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    • lkazel
      • hello Linda Kazel
      • Username: lkazel
      • In response to: "What's the one thing you're never gonna give up?" Chocolate
  • lkazel's latest answers
    • The Perils of Detritus
      • Just recently, a cousin, a bit younger than my own sixty-five years, mentioned the enormous amount of "stuff" that she has been in the process of getting rid of…or trying to. Likewise, I replied, I was attempting the same daunting task. We both agreed that at this point in our lives, there is a rapid decline in feelings of sentimentality for any of it. Rather we are now in the business of judging the detritus of our lives as well as what we have accumulated that was associated with our children and long passed relatives as a burden to be removed from our sight and our possession. We are determined to be the anathema of anything that smacks of hoarding. Just because we have attics, basements and garages, does not mean those spaces must be floor to ceiling repositories of forgotten, unused and unwanted "stuff." Embracing empty spaces trumps cardboard boxes filled with ??? And so, with this new-found objectivity, we plow through it sometimes rapidly, other times with painful slowness. We separate it, pare it down, delay decisions and then keep repeating the process. We laugh that when we turn our backs, the Junk Fairy comes in the night and brings half of it back. On good days, that is when our objectivity is at its strongest, we allocate a greater portion to the category of "junk" and it goes to the landfill. But then, as the dreaded nitty-gritty of it all confronts us,there are always those few pieces that are questionable antiques or collectables. We give them a fair shot at garage sales, eBay or Craig's List. The truth is, we believe, that much of the world is beginning to feel the same way that "one man's trash" is just that and the serendipity of a finding a treasure that is worth thousands on "Antiques Roadshow" happens to other people and not us. And so, we devalue it right into the trash or a box headed for the thrift store donation center.

        The cruelest of our "junk" has to be family photographs. Both my cousin and I have them going back to the turn of the Twentieth Century and before. Those impoverished steel backed, stern faced, overworked people standing with their pitchforks and chickens cannot have been related to us. Where are our well-dressed relatives enjoying a leisurely afternoon sipping tea on a vast gingerbread laden Victorian front porch?

        Regardless of who the subjects are in these photographs with their obvious economic hardships, not a person in the generation of our children and grandchildren has one iota of interest in exploring the family tree or keeping this collection of photographs intact. So, we debate whether or not to put these gems back into the old boxes from whence they came and leave the problem to whoever is stuck with disposing of our meager belongings or do we just assign them all to the recycle bin? While we have been incredibly decisive about vases, silverware and old sheets and towels, these photographs are touchier, perhaps throwing a little monkey-wrench into our mission of leaving this world the way we came in with just our birthday suits.

      • answered by lkazel on 10/17/2013
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    • Savoring My Guilty Pleasure
      • Having recently retired to a remote part the Adirondack (NY) boonies due to retirement from a beloved career in urban Connecticut, I quickly discovered that my addiction to Dunkin Donuts coffee would now require a 36 mile round trip drive, equating to +/- $10 in gas for the SUV I felt was a necessity in this land of " 'X' feet of lake effect snow falling all at once." This presented a few minor problems: plowing-yeah, whatever; outrageous heating bills-um, a shocker; dark dreary days and long nights-get moving girl.None of these issues can be rationally addressed without my Dunkie's coffee-ain't happenin.'

        A little perspective is in order. First, that large cup of joe I grabbed through one of the five Dunkies within a mile of my residence was required for my hair-raising morning commute in Connecticut's often mind-boggling traffic; this was now a moot point. A great thing! But...and isn't there always? Now in major penny-pinching mode, I had to find a solution to the pricey Dunkie's ground bags of coffee. No Maxwell House, Folgers or GACK!, Brand X for me. Not now, not ever.

        My solution to savoring the the daily delight of Dunkie's coffee was to spend even more money, now very tight,on a cheap Keurig. No K-cups for me however. With this city girl's newly discovered pioneering spirit required for existence in this woodsy backwater, I headed for the DIY route with a you-fill-it container and filter system that works just fine thank-you-very-much. I now keep several pounds of my precious Dunkie's on hand and stock up on a regular basis especially when winter is upon me. And, yes, if I had to spend my last 5-spot, I absolutely would not EVER leave that store without a blast from the past: a large black with sugar and and two old fashioned donuts. Old habits die hard.

      • answered by lkazel on 10/03/2013
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    • An Independent "Only"
      • As an only child in a dysfunctional family, I had only myself to rely upon for most problem-solving when life's challenges came along. To that end, I became incredibly independent and proactive, rarely asking for or accepting advice or help of any kind. The most positive impact of this upbringing has made me self-confident and willing to take more risks than most people I know. The downside is that I am not an effective leader or the best team player. Rather, I'm generally the wallflower in the room. I always prefer to work and play independently. Interestingly, other women in my life who are "only's" have many of the same traits.

      • answered by lkazel on 09/19/2013
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    • Difficult Choices
      • I was working out of state and living alone and needed facial surgery for something that had a high risk of being cancerous as well as a high risk for nerve damage causing facial paralysis. I was close to a world-famous hospital and surgeon whose specialty was this particular surgery. I chose to have the surgery done near where I worked rather than return to my home state where health care is not state of the art and where such a complex surgery had a much higher risk of failure. My choice left me to deal with a complicated, painful and prolonged recovery alone without asking for the help of someone from home for whom being with me would have meant great sacrifice for that person. In retrospect, I did indeed suffer the consequences of my choice in several unpleasant ways. I think it would be fair to say that if I ever found myself in a similar situation again, I would ask for help.

      • answered by lkazel on 06/20/2013
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    • Keeping the Grammar Wheels Greased
      • Most adults make few opportunities for themselves to write creatively these days. Blogging ensures that I maintain my ability to express myself clearly with grammatical correctness. I have always loved words and it has been important to me to continually expand my vocabulary and use those newly found words in their proper context. Blogging has definitely enabled me to reinforce my language skills.

      • answered by lkazel on 02/07/2013
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