Entrepreneur, inventor, octogenarian Madame Butterfly who goes by the name Lee has written her annual newsletter (I’ve received over 25 of them through the years) and she agreed I could share this one with my readers as a guest post…… How many of you have your New Years resolutions so clearly defined and have a really good handle on how they relate to your 2011 experiences?
Henry David Thoreau advises: “Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify, simplify”! The picture of my Christmas tree 2011 below depicts my Last Hurrah to creative Christmas decorating!
Resolution #1: Next year, I will have a small pre-lighted tree, draped with disposable garlands and bows, with my 50 year old lighted Angel on top. Christmas card and stockings will still adorn the fireplace.
The outside lighted Santa Clause, Doe and Deer may be on the lawn another year, or donated to cheer other families’ homes, along with my 50 year collection of fancy ornaments.
Resolution #2: I will give away half my clothes. The first step has been taken, having given away over 100 pairs of shoes! It would help if I’d stop buying new outfits from irresistible designer sale racks!
Resolution #3: I’m going to have a more interesting Christmas letter to write for 2012 than I did this year because I plan to enjoy retirement next year much more than I did 2011, which follows:
Resolution #4: I will never again interfere with my male cat’s sex life! Jentry, a female Burmese cat (see below) was sent to me to breed to my male champion Mme. Butterfly’s Samson.
As the owner instructed, I attempted to give her a pill Feb. 28th, the first night she was with Samson, holding her while sitting on a bench in his room. He warned me to put her down, poking my knee. Foolishly, I ignored his warnings. Then he suddenly turned and attacked my leg, taking a chunk out of it in a split second. Grabbing a bunch of tissues and, while holding my bleeding leg, I went from his room in the garage, through the laundry room, down the hall, across the living room and my bedroom to reach the master bathroom where I had bandages and tape. The stream of blood left in my path looked like a murder had been committed.
When I couldn’t stop the bleeding, I should have called 911 — but I was embarrassed to say my emergency was a cat bite — so I drove myself to the emergency room in Reno at 3 AM. The doctor said I needed a plastic surgeon, but they didn’t have a room for me, so he bandaged the wound and sent me home with written instructions to see the surgeon the next day.
Resolution #5: Always read the doctor’s discharge instructions. I didn’t, and the nurse misread them. Instead of telling me to see the plastic surgeon the next day, she wrote the phone number of the wound care facility on my instruction sheet and told me to call them. I saw the wound nurse March 4th who changed the bandage and told me to come back in 4 days. When I returned, the nurse didn’t finish removing the bandage before she called for a wheelchair, saying, “Gangrene — Get her to emergency!”
The surgeon operated that night because I’m told I was in jeopardy of losing my leg. The next day, a cumbersome pump and tubing was attached to my leg which was my albatross for over two months until after the second operation in April to perform a skin graft — all because I interfered with my cat’s sex life! I spent a total of 2 weeks in the hospital and 3 weeks in the nursing facility where I met some interesting people. I got permission to go home for 4 hours one day (to cut my cats’ nails), and I brought back a couple of martinis for my roommate and I, which we enjoyed before dinner, but the orderly reported me. I guess I wasn’t supposed to do that.
The guardian angel was on hand while I was in the hospital and afterward — providing me with a friend who stayed at my house to take care of the cats with the help of very kind neighbors, Jeff and Ruth, who live a few doors from me. Even after I came home, Jeff took out my garbage every week when the pump was still attached to my leg and did many other favors. My friends do a lot of charitable work for their church, so just added me to their list of good deeds. They are certainly good friends.
I’m sure Samson (who won 4th best all-breed cat at the Reno TICA show last Oct.) doesn’t remember the cat bite incident. It happened so fast, I doubt he knew what he was doing — He’s really a very gentle natured cat, who really loves his girlfriends.
Resolution #6: When entering a highway, before you look toward the traffic lane you plan to drive onto, first look ahead of you! Recently, I looked to my left as I was driving onto I-80, and when I turned my head, driving at about 60 miles an hour, I saw an enormous tumbleweed directly in front of me. I had no choice, but to drive through it. I expected large twigs to fly into the car because my Seebring convertible top was down, but they didn’t. The branches scattered everywhere, but I was driving so fast, I guess they just flew over me. Wonder if they might have hit cars behind me — I didn’t look.
I didn’t find any damage to my car and drove it over a month before taking it in to have the oil changed. The service man came into the waiting room and asked me if I’d run into a tree recently. I said, No, but then mentioned my having driven through a very large tumbleweed at 60 miles an hour. He said, “That would do it — You’ve got a branch stuck in your car that ran clear through your radiator, condenser/air conditioner and heater.” Because of the speed, probably, the holes sealed themselves as the branch ran through each of them. Otherwise a leak could have caused a major engine problem.
So, now I have a brand new radiator, condenser/air conditioner and heater, paid for by my friendly Farmers‘ Insurance Co. Does anyone doubt I have a Guardian Angel?
Well, the cat bite took care of the winter and spring of 2011, and I played catch up all summer. Five weeks on hospital beds stressed my back problems, so I didn’t play golf with the girls at Incline. Am much better now and next year, Resolution #7: I plan to join the 9-hole players at the Somerset Golf Club.
Resolution #8: I spend too much time on the computer reading and answering emails and using the internet. Trying to become computer literate and to learn how to use my new I-Phone, I take an Apple lesson almost every week, but I’m still frustrated by technology. I’m amazed watching little 5 year olds playing games on the computer at the Apple store!!
I am still raising Burmese kittens, and enjoy the excitement of people who buy them…..
– so I got a third breeding female and had three litters in August — That was too much! Won’t do that again. I no longer have a home office business with employees to take care of my cats when I travel, so they do restrict my activities. It’s a problem I must solve so I can travel in 2012 — a possible cruise, or to visit my cousins in Florida, and/or a return to my “Big Apple” roots… that’s Resolution #9:
I’ve adjusted to the retirement community life — I have a doctor and nurse living on one side of my house and a chiropractor on the other. I still like joining the weekly Investment Group, where I brag about my successes, and confess my blunders in stock market dabbling. I also enjoy leaving driving to the bus driver when we have dinner and a show at the El Dorado casino, with priority seating for our group.
Recently I saw “Peter Pan,” sitting next to 2 little boys (4 & 7) so enthralled with the performance, they were as much fun to watch as the show.
Friends will stay with me New Year’s weekend, and we’ll celebrate the New Year at a retirement community champagne party from 6 to 9 PM, which suits me fine because I still celebrate the arrival of the New Year at New York time!
Speaking of champagne — I’ve been having Thanksgiving dinner the past few years with a few of my church friends, but this year, I didn’t go to church on Thanksgiving and chose to have my dinner at home. To make my turkey dinner festive, I decided to open a bottle of champagne. There was a dusty old bottle I’d retrieved from the top of my kitchen cabinets when I first moved in, apparently left by the former owners of my house. I didn’t recognize the label, and the condition of the bottle indicated it had been there a long time — although the house is only about 5 years old. Worried that the contents of the bottle might be sour or that the cork might fall apart, I opened it in the sink. To my surprise, the cork popped normally, so I poured some of the champagne into a glass to taste. LO & BEHOLD! — It was the best tasting champagne I’d ever had, and I’ve tasted some good ones. I suspect the bottle was, indeed, very old — and very expensive. I drank almost the whole bottle, some before, some during and a little after dinner. It made my day!
Resolution #10: I look forward to a happy 2012, hopefully practicing my resolutions — and my wish is that it is a very good year for each and everyone of you! –
Lots of Love, Lee
Lee Cunningham is an inspiration and if you have anything to ask her please leave a comment below. She was a neighbor of mine at Lake Tahoe for close to 20 years and I followed her entrepreneurial exploits through the years (I’ll have to write a post about that another time……. if she’ll let me) and of course I’ve had 5 Burmese cats with the magic Madame Butterfly heritage………was there a missing resolution #11: about drinking more expensive champagne in 2012?