Trace the Path


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I can’t draw a straight line, but I used to like to trace pictures and then color them. There used to be coloring books meant just for that purpose.  Don’t know if there are still such things available.

Of course, one can use tracing paper for copying quilt block patterns, and that’s something I’d like to take up again someday. Maybe when I retire. If I retire.

Also, one can be lost without a trace, which is a terrible tragedy.

You can go here to find out a whole lot of other definitions of the word trace.  It’s amazing, really, how many different ways the word can be used.

And then, of course, there is Dick Tracy, which may be too old for younger people to remember. He was a Sunday Comics detective who wore a two-way wristwatch that he could talk to, and messages would go back and forth between him and whoever was on the other end. That was science fiction back then 🙂

Image result for Dick Tracy

And yes, of course there was a movie.  I think this actor is Warren Beatty, but I could be wrong.  Feel free to correct me.

Image result for Dick Tracy

And now see if you can trace my path from the first sentence to the last.

Be a Dick Tracy, Detective 🙂

Who I Am


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Roots.  The first thing I thought of was the movie. And that led to thinking about the present interest in sending one’s DNA to some laboratory that will break it down into one’s ethnic roots.

I have a cynical turn of mind about some things, and this is one of them. Seems like a good way to make a lot of money, to me.

Maybe I’m not impressed because I know all I need to know about my roots. German and Swedish on Dad’s side; Heinz 57 on Mom’s. One of my maternal aunts did an exhaustive family tree, which was interesting to follow. Most interesting to me is that she discovered some Polish Jew ancestry back in the 14th or 15th century.

Interesting, but not life-changing.


So maybe my DNA would reveal that I’m actually descended from some near-eastern royalty, and I’m really a princess from a long-lost tribe somewhere.

So? I would venture to say that my life would go on just as it is, because no one really cares if my father was the seventh son of some German nobility, or if my mom is actually descended from the Queen of Sheba.

Maybe it matters somewhere, but not here in America. And that’s just fine with me.

A Christmas Truce


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Terry and I watched a movie last night. It was titled A Christmas Truce.  At first, I thought it would be about the time that soldiers on both sides of the killing fields began to sing Silent Night/Stille Nacht  and ended up calling a truce for the observance of Christmas. That wasn’t it, though. This was, I’m sure, an entirely fictional story, but very believable and touching.

Without going into detail, it was the story of how some people on both sides ended up helping each other.  It was a story of victory and a happy ending.  War, of course, doesn’t always end that way, but sometimes the people who are out there in the trenches put aside the desires of the men sitting behind the safety of their desks and find a way to show kindness and even to give the gift of life to their “enemies.”  Such was the story last night.

It made me think about how many people were able to flee from Germany before it became impossible to leave.  Also, I thought about the efforts of so many to protect Jews, to hide them and keep them safe for the duration of the war. I thought about the heroic people who risked their own lives, were sometimes imprisoned, tortured or killed for the sake of the people they were trying to help.

I wondered what could happen in America with the present anger, bitterness, demands for recounts, accusations and counter-accusations. Could all this possibly rise to the level of war?  For some, I believe it could, and the idea of that is chilling. There is no place for us to go. We are (were?) the last bastion of hope and freedom in the world, and many thousands of refugees from WWI and WWII came to rest here.  There is nowhere else for us to run to.

Well, that direction of thinking is not very productive or uplifting, is it?  I guess we shouldn’t borrow trouble from tomorrow. We need to learn to resolve our differences without resorting to killing each other.


Fat Like Me

No, this is not a true confession.  It is not a whine.  Call it a movie review and some introspection.  It is, though, my third post in one day on this blog, which is something of a record.

I just watched the movie To Be Fat like Me on You Tube.  It stars Kaley Cuocco before  her present TV fame. It was made, I believe, in 2007.  It tells the story of two high school girls who enter a documentary contest to earn money, in Kaley/Allie’s case, for college.

Allie is your basic popular ,thin, pretty, athletic blonde, not so good in academics.  Her friend is a brainiac.  Allie gets the idea to do a documentary to prove that fat girls can be just as popular as thin ones.  It’s all about personality, she says to her chunky younger brother.


That’s all I’m going to tell you.  Look it up on You Tube, if you haven’t already seen it.  It’s worth watching.  (Have to add here that when I was searching for the picture, I came across a really bad review of this movie. Some critic or group of critics thinks it’s one of the fifty most ridiculous movies of all time. I don’t know.  I don’t watch many movies).

It spoke to me because I’ve been fat most of my adult life.  I wasn’t a fat kid in school, but I wasn’t thin, either.  For a little while, during college, I managed to reach my lowest weight of between 110 and 115, just about right for my height and frame. After the babies started coming, though,  I never saw those numbers again.

The steady weight gain has brought me now, at age 68, face to face with diabetes, insulin resistance, possible heart conditions, and all the other awful things that come with Syndrome X.  And I’m working on it.  I’ve lost nearly 17 pounds since the first part of October.  I’m swimming for exercise.  I’ve never been an athlete, and I don’t enjoy sweating.  Swimming is perfect for me.

It’s the emotional side of being grossly overweight that resonated with me in this movie.  Did you know that medically speaking, if you are 20% or more over your ideal weight, you are considered morbidly obese?  Yeah. That’s a real downer. Morbid obesity.  I’d never even heard the phrase before I saw it on my dad’s death certificate.  He was only 70 when he died.

People who have never been fat and never had to work to stay slender really are blessed.  I hope they realize how blessed they are.

Now look, I’m not doing the pity me thing here.  I did this to myself, and no one knows it any better than I do.  Honestly, though, there were a lot of things I didn’t understand about my own body, metabolism, and so on. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned in the past three months is that even when I thought I was “eating healthy,” I was taking in way too many carbs.  Now that I’ve learned how to monitor that, I’m avoiding just about every low-calorie “diet” meal in the freezer section.  For me, it’s the carbs that have made me fat. Love me my carbs:  Chocolate, pancakes, bread, donuts, chocolate, ice cream, pastry, potatoes, chocolate . . . .

I’m still eating some of those things, but not as much and not nearly as often.  I’ve even managed to lose 3/4 of a pound over Christmas!  That’s pretty amazing for me.

But back to the emotional issues.  One character in the movie, Ramona, shares some pretty amazing insights with Allie. One of the things she said, loosely paraphrased, is that when you’re fat you don’t own your body.  Everyone else does.  People think your obesity gives them the right to moo at you, call you “Tank,” look at you in disgust, tell you that you need to lose weight, even refuse to wait on you in a clothing store that “doesn’t carry your size.” And you’re supposed to hang your head in shame, because you’re such a cow. You deserve to be humiliated. If you weren’t such a pig, you wouldn’t be treated the way you are.  It’s your own fault.

So.  I’m thinking about all this, about my own experience being the fattest one in the room most of the time.  People haven’t been unkind to me right to my face.  I don’t know what they say behind my back, and I don’t worry about that.  I do know how I feel, though, because fatness is not cool at any age, for many reasons.  I hate being fat. I’ve made jokes about it, blamed the gene pool (lots of overweight in my gene pool) and generally gotten along pretty well.  But inside, I hate it. I truly, truly hate it.

Watching the movie has renewed my determination to keep tracking those carbs, to keep increasing the laps in the pool.  Not for anyone else’s benefit, but for my own health, my desire to live long enough to see my grands grow up and have families, my energy to be productive and useful as long as possible.

So call this my New Year’s Rant, instead of a resolution. I just needed to put it down in black and white before I forget about it.

Daily Prompt: Worldly Encounters

(The friendly, English-speaking extra-terrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie or song that explains what humans are all about.  What do you pick?)

Oy. I have only ONE answer to give him?

“Okay, Mr. E.T.  Do you want a serious answer?  Funny?  Political? Religious? Historical?  Hysterical? Philosophical? Sociological? What aspect of humanity are you interested in?”

“Say what?”

“Well, I mean, do you want a book about humankind from the beginning of the history of the world? Or about how human civilzation developed? Or do you want maybe a movie about how we relate to each other?  A romance? A comedy?  How about something by one of our most famous playwrights, William Shakespeare?  Or a history of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, or maybe of the Third Reich?”


“Come on, you have to help me out here!  We humans are not just one-dimensional, you know.  We have a lot more to us than you think.  I need to know exactly what kind of information you want.  How about a medical book?  Grey’s Anatomy? Or would you rather know about our art, music, literature, inventions–”

“STOP! Stop it right now!  You’re driving me crazy!”

“Hey, man, you’re the one who asked.  Look, this is really hard! Don’t you understand we’ve been around for a long time, and there are zillions of books,movies, and songs that would tell you all about us. How can I pick just one?  Do YOU have just ONE book, song or movie that would explain YOU to US?”

“Well, of course!”