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Bearing Up

June 30th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

All right, Lisa. You’ve really surpassed my original opinion regarding your brave and adventurous spirit. Your curiosity, it seems, knows no bounds.

Last week , my sweet younger cousin Lisa called to tell me about her experience at her cabin in the woods which is just up the road from our mountain hide-away in the northwestern Catskills. Lisa often drives the 3 plus hours (4 from where we live) to seek seclusion from city life. Besides us for neighbors (when we’re there) about a quarter mile off, there’s another house in close proximity but he isn’t always there either, these being just vacation homes. Lisa’s on her own and just the way she likes it. Mom and Dad, retired now, are directly over the mountain, but instead of hopping in the car and driving around the mountain, Lisa sometimes chooses to hike through the woods to get there for supper. Oh, it’s still light enough by the time she makes her way back, she consoles me.

This is the kid who used to grab her sleeping bag and head for the woods at dusk for  “privacy”, camping at “the beach” no short distance away. The beach, as we call it, is a tiny area strewn with smooth stones alongside the river accessed by an old logging road through the forest. Like me, Lisa is a huge nature lover but so much braver. I simply wimp in comparison. I’ll never know where she taps into her sense of fearlessness. She’s also a bit of a globe trotter, thinking nothing of taking in a foreign country on her own. This year it’s Peru.

Now for Lisa’s latest adventure. A couple of weeks ago, just outside her cabin, she heard “sticks breaking” off into the woods. While my normal reaction would be to rush inside to the safety of the indoors and peer anxiously from a window, what does Lisa do? She goes to investigate the source of the sound, but (thankfully) finds nothing. Days later, she hears it again, “sticks breaking”. Whatever’s making that sound has to be heavy enough, she says, and we’re both thinking the same thing. But Lisa is undeterred. Once more she resolves to find out, and once more there is nothing. The following week she is obligated to babysit the family dog and brings him to her place. “Foxy”, a large elegant hunting dog, is a breed called Vizsla. No sooner does she let him out of the car, than he begins sniffing around and barks threateningly into the direction of the woods where she has heard the sound of “sticks breaking”. I knew it! she exclaims and heads off into the woods by way of that old logging road.

This time she sees it!

About forty yards away, excitedly reporting “It’s a big one”. Does she run? Not Lisa. They regard one another until she sees a smaller “kid bear” leap across the way in apparent play. Knowing the fierce protective nature of mothers, Lisa retreats, turning away and sprinting towards home.

“It was beautiful!”

is how she sums up the experience. Lisa, oh Lisa. Whatever shall we do with you? Don’t worry, I’m buying some pepper spray, she assures me, and never going outside without a stick. But she suddenly remembers that Grizzlies, while fiercer than the Black Bear, are aggravated by pepper spray, she wonders if it might have the same reaction on the bear with the milder temperament. Well, I sure as hell don’t want to find out! To think I walked all the way down to Lisa’s cabin the last time, only to find no one around and walked all the way back by myself is enough to give me the willies. Armed with only a stick and my cell phone. Hello, nine one one??? I’m at the corner of an Oak tree and a berry bush with prickly thorns! On the other side of that are a huge set of carnivorous teeth!!!! The line suddenly goes dead. Despite what they tell you (don’t run) I AM FLYING UP THE ROAD SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!

If I only had a thimble full of Lisa’s courage. I could at least sit on my deck without looking over my shoulder. By the way, think they’re only at eye level? Don’t forget to look up!

So…………………whadayathink? What’s your biggest fear? You know mine……bear1

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Love – Wonderful And Impossible to Describe !!!

June 27th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

weddingMy wife and I are joined at the hip and in love.  I guess I can write a book about it and somehow it would still come up short. I guess I should begin by asking what is it ? I don’t know, but it is magic … instead of writing, I’m just going to show you a video of John and Yoko, no words

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLgYAHHkPFs&list=RD02221mohEolWc….this is love . Look at John !! First John glances at Yoko then Yoko looks at John – undying love. Love and beauty beyond comprehension!!! So simple yet impossible to grasp.

WhaDaYaThink  ? Everyone who has been in love knows the feeling and I’m not talking first year love, but John and Yoko love, Michael and Madelene love !!!

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The Ant

June 23rd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

The ant. The ant.

The ant that looked askant.

Shouldering his bunk mate.

Carrying his own weight.

Nothing could be bolder.

What a brave lttle soldierant soldier cartoon

Is the ant.

With a purpose and a mission.

Driven by volition.

Through the jungle of the lawn.

By his wit and with his brawn.

Never one to moulder.

What a staunch little soldier.

The ant.

A crumb. A crumb.

To most is next to none.

To the army of the ant

Rations of gigant-ic

Proportions to be plundered.

To be hoisted to the wonder

Of the ant.

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Bloody Awful !

June 22nd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

This morning while reading cnn news on the train, I was struck by an interesting article, “Car Crash Leaves Australian Woman With French Accent”. Apparently the bumps and bruises suffered eight years ago have long since healed but what’s hurting her the most is an accent  acquired for a language she doesn’t even speak and is unable to retrieve her original Aussie accent.

I am not making this up. Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare condition resulting from a brain injury, the first of which was reported in 1941 when a Norwegian woman was injured by shrapnel during a German raid. She began speaking with a German accent and was shunned by her native Norwegian people. Ach du lieber!

What’s supposed to be a serious condition is, c’mon guys, too FUNNY for words! I found myself laughing out loud, trying to suppress my laughter on a public train. I’m certain my fellow passenger sitting opposite was wondering what was so hilarious after I read about the British woman whose migraine left her with a Chinese accent. I was in stitches by her following statement, “To think I am stuck with this Chinese accent is getting me down. My voice has started to annoy me now”. Stop! I am DYING! Willing myself to act normal before I begin rolling in the aisle with uncontrollable GUFFAWS!

If you Google Foreign Accent Syndrome, you’ll be presented with numerous accounts of this baffling (and I’m sorry, LOL) condition. How does one go through life if this mysterious ailment doesn’t correct itslef, as it oftentimes does not? People whose paths you cross will inevitably ask about your background, curious to know why an American or a European with typical features posseses an accent of Oriental origin. Might it be best to assume sign language when in public? And your family, what must they think? “You’re putting me on, right?” or ” Come off it, Harry. Always the clown.”

And what about ordering Chinese food? They’ll think you’re mimicking them and a heated argument will develop over the Won Ton soup. You won’t even get any fortune cookies with your order. You might even get the meal with the unidentifiable meat.

What about the Woody Allen type? The psychosymatic who conjures every affliction known to mankind? This bizarre disease will give him one more to worry about. He’ll start speaking in tongues. A variation of all languages culminating in an assorted stream of accents in the breath of a single sentence. It can become exhausting, impossible to carry on a conversation with the constant distraction of the mottled mangling of words.

Whatever happens, watch that bump to the cranium. I’d hate to have to listen to a Brooklyn accent for the rest of my life. FAH-GEDDA-BOUD-ID. Pass me the BUD-DAH.

So…………….whadayathink? What accent would your brain retrieve from its recesses? Could you live with it?crayon

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Statue

June 19th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

statnoseSome say statues

Are beautiful…

But when they crumble

And craze

What a depth of soul!

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The Tattoo Craze

June 19th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

 

Hey guess what ? I don’t have a single tattoo nor did I ever want one. I am in the minority here. There is one industry that has not been hurt by the awful current recession and that is the tattoo business.

 

I was born in 1963 which makes me 49 going on 50 and when I was a teenager, only sailors, prisoners, and just really bad guys got them, now everyone has one, even grandma ( well sadly inasmuch as we are all getting older, there are a lot of grandmas and grandpas who listen to The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and may even smoke weed – lol)

 

 

What I find interesting is that a whole lot of women get tattoos – I just don’t get it. Surely an innocent rose on a gal’s ankle will certainly not affect her physical appearance in any sort of positive or negative way, but when a woman paints 50 % of her body I am just stunned and ask myself, why ? Another growing number of folks getting tattoos are black athletes, which actually in my opinion does make them look “badass” and cool.

 

 

So another simple and short blog – now WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Do you like tattoos? I, personally think it’s old hat not unlike when men started wearing earrings,  you were making a statement – I am my own person, I don’t follow the rules, I’m rebellious, and I’m just simply anti – establishment. But listen folks, it’s OVER !!! When everyone has tats, you no longer stand out.

 

tatoo1

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In The Footsteps Of My Grandfather

June 17th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

statueLast Father’s Day I wrote about my father. This year I thought I’d do the same for my grandfather. I never knew my father’s father but my mother’s lived with us for a couple of years or so  when I was very young. He emigrated from Austria along with his wife, four daughter’s and their husbands. Some of his grandkids (my older cousins and 10 month old brother) were also in tow. Earlier on, his son had moved further west to settle in Ohio. Like a lot of immigrants back then, they crossed the ocean via ship. To this day my mother hates boats. Everyone was apparently very seasick for the whole of the journey. Lady Liberty held her torch high over the stench of vomit with one hand while holding her nose with the other. Everyone was very happy to see her in spite of her unusual pose.

Back in his homeland, my grandfather was a forest ranger by trade. By the time he moved to the states however, he was already retired. But his love of animals stayed with him and carried over in his day to day life. From my earliest recollection I can see him feeding the squirrels; they’d always eat right out of his outstretched palm. He was never once bitten. He even got my aunt into the act but she only went so far as to leave peanuts on the kitchen windowsill and then close the window as we’d watch “Hansi” eat them from the safety of the glass between us. This went on for several weeks until one day Hansi peed on the window ledge and that was that.

One day my grandfather won a pig at one of the family events we always seemed to be going to. We all thought it was a great big side of ham or something until we were informed that we had to go and pick it up at a farm in New Jersey. While there, a certain little fox terrier took a shine to my grandfather and the farmer told him he could take the dog along with the pig. “Tiny”, as she was called, never left my grandfather’s lap for the remainder of her life. When he removed his pants at night she was always stuck to them until the next morning when he’d put them on again. Occasionally, they’d have to be washed so she was included in the wash, rinse, spin cycle. She adored him and would always yip yip yip any time someone tried to get near him. She didn’t even mind his cigars or that pipe he smoked.

That pipe. That’s another very early memory. When we were quite small, we celebrated the Feast Day of St. Nicholas on the sixth of December. On the evening before, my mom would place our shoes outside the front door and Lo and Behold, the next morning they’d be filled with chocolate, oranges and maybe even a coloring book along with a brand new box of crayons. We either had very large feet or somehow my mother had a real sense of ingenuity and managed to stuff them all in with the aid of a shoe horn. Anyway, on one particular December 6th, mom told us to “Run to the window and look outside!” It was already dark, and our window, two flights up, faced the backyard. She was screaming “It’s Saint Nicholas! It’s Saint Nicholas!” I hadn’t a clue what she was yelling about. All I could see was the glowing embers of my grandfather’s pipe and called out to him wondering what in the world was he doing out there in the dark with Saint Nicholas? This was followed by his deep raspy laugh which meant “Don’t I feel silly”.

Once when I was about 4 or 5, he gave me a tiny gold ring with the initial “M” engraved on the top of it. I was totally amazed. Where did you get it? I naively asked, still too young to know you could go out and purchase these things and they didn’t just magically appear. I found it, he replied. Wow! Imagaine that. He found a ring perfectly sized to my finger that just happens to have my initial on it! It was my prized possession, which I didn’t have too many of at the time, that lasted for about two days. On that second day, I was washing my hands with soap at the bathroom sink when  it slipped off my finger and tinkled down the drain! I was horrified! I can still hear the delicate tune it played all the way down “tink-a-tink-alee-tink-a-tink-tink” translated to “aren’t-you-a-stupid-little-girl”. My heart sank. I didn’t tell anyone. I was too ashamed. I was hoping he’d never ask what happened to it and he never did. But looking back, had I said something, they could have removed the J pipe  where it probably sat for a bit until it was washed out to sea. The same sea they journeyed over on all those years ago. Any chance it may have slipped onto Lady Liberty’s little toe? No, her feet are definitely too big. Her shoe may have been the boat they came over on.

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The Language Of Time

June 12th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
The language of time.
Born of noxious gases.
Races through space.
Sears toward destruction.
Burns out incoherent.
Like cryptic tongues
Spoken by God alone.
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Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson: The Best In the Business

June 12th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Short and sweet – Roy Jones Jr. and Iron Mike were far and away the most exciting and quite frankly the greatest 2 boxers ever to step in the ring. Here’s a great clip I pulled from YouTube:



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Amazing Species !!!

June 8th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Isn’t it just absolutely awe – inspiring to contemplate the diversity and vast array of all of the different species living on land and sea? The intricately complex, fascinating, beautiful, ugly and startlingly strange creatures evolution produces never ceases to amaze to me.
First of all, just take a look at the critter  – look how awesomely colorful and creepily mysterious the creature, it’s a Mantis Shrimp, looks ???  But its unusual appearance is not what makes the Mantis Shrimp such a special species, but it’s rather what it can do. This little guy is the most powerful boxer, pound for pound (or more appropriately ounce for ounce) on the planet by far; Mike Tyson nor Rocky Marciano do not even come remotely close to the vicious knockout power of  the Mantis shrimp. Scientists estimate that it can fire blows at the speed of a .22 caliber bullet – literally capable of cracking open crab shells, knocking out fish and octopuses; This is after all how it kills its prey and survives.

But if you think it’s punching power is amazing, the Mantis Shrimp’s vision is even more spectacular; experts say it can see in both infrared and ultraviolet spectra and uses 16 receptor cones (as compared to a mere 3 as we humans possess) which allows it to see in all directions at all times and not only that, it has the greatest and most profound depth perception of any creature on the planet.

Well, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? We humans think we’re so remarkable (which we are but …) because we have a large brain and a well – developed cerebral cortex but there are a plethora of creatures, such as the Mantis Shrimp, which have far superior physical capabilities.  Check out this video and enjoy

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