Friday, January 30, 2009


News flashes of the day remind me that everything really IS relative.

*I hear Madoff whining because he has the Feds' felony ankle bracelet keeping him "all cooped up" in his multi-billionaire luxury penthouse... But most of us would be able to put our parents, siblings, kids and kids' kids and their families in that space, with room left over...

The Hollywood newsies are tsk-tsk-tsking that Jessica Simpson has gained a few pounds... But one look at her wearing those pounds still impresses your average American male.

*A man who normally makes $200 million-plus yearly is telling his sad story to the news, that his income suddenly and drastically plunged to $10 million a year, and he's lost his beloved private polo-practive field... But your average American family couldn't afford to buy tickets to SEE a polo match...

Now I hear from someone I care about, who philosophically reflects that he has sometimes regretted that he and his family have been renting a house at an age when their friends have all owned their large homes for some time... "Now they're all losing their homes," he says, "and I'm sad for them. But my wife and I can sleep soundly at night because we have NOTHING to lose!"

Yes indeed, it's true: everything surely IS relative.

Cheers to my philosopical and happy someone who owns little and enjoys life a lot.
R.A.T. (Rose About Town)

Thursday, January 29, 2009


"I didn't break the law; I only did what all the politicians do."---Former Illinois Governor Blagojevich, booted from office today.

Goodness gracious, golly-gee they actually impeached the little gnome from Illinois, who has provided such entertainment value for us in these dark days. Every time I saw the little governor, I had to remind myself it wasn't Saturday Night Live.

We're going to miss you, Blago; or will you re-appear from time to time like the Guesthouse Guy from the O.J. Simpson trial?

You look a lot like one of Edgar Bergen's dummies; perhaps you should advertise for a ventriloquist to keep your travelin' act going. It might be easier and would certainly be safer for you to sell theater seats than it was to sell Barack Obama's senate seat.

Regards to you and all your Blagomania fans from R.A.T. (Rose Around Town)... not interested in being your agent.


Admittedly, I'm one of those peculiar people who scan magazines and newspapers from the back before I open the front and dig in. That and only that led me to the article in the fashion magazine I had begun to flip through in a doctor's waiting room.
Near the back page, my interest was captured by a small memoir written by a woman with a serious eating disorder. "At last!" I silently saluted the editors, for here was a valuable precautionary tale, stark in its reality; I read it word for word. It was a thoughtful, almost journalistic piece that could have an influential impact on young women contemplating anorexia and all its various related disorders.
I turned back to the front cover and began to dig into this amazing magazine. I was angry and disappointed to find that, except for the young women's bitter memoir, every one of the magazine's many colorful pages threw the spotlight of perceived glamour on concentration-camp-thin models who were little more than bags of bones topped by designer clothing and hollow-eyed, slack-jaw faces, empty eyes and not a trace of a smile or facial expression to indicate any life or thought within.
Model American women? I thought of my sweet young granddaughters and put the magazine down.
I encourage you to share with me your own comments on such matters.

R.A.T. (Rose About Town)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My brother, Old Northwest Philosopher Ben, said he sat up and took notice when Nancy Pelosi decided contraceptives would be a good stimulus package item.
"I'm the sixth born into our large family," he reminded me. "How could I look at that kindly?"
And, he suggested, if Pelosi really wanted to stimulate the economy, she should have campaigned to have a "Cigarettes for Elders" project added to the package, along with money for programs to encourage young immigrants or new babies. (The cigarettes to send the elders off sooner; and the new-baby-and-young-immigrant stimulus to offset the imbalance between Social Security receivers and young workers paying into the fund).
Ben, by the way, is an elder himself; still working, however; still doing his part to bolster the stimulus package and the Social Security fund.
Cheers to you, little brother, from your grateful older sister "R.A.T." (Rose About Town), who's collecting Social Security.


When I awoke, I saw the morning trees etched with the fine white patina of something we call hoar frost; the type of frost that sometimes comes as the result of something we call ice fog.
Ice fog was responsible for one of my rarest and most memorable views of nature a decade ago, during an early-morning ride with my husband through the rural roads of nearby Geauga County, Ohio. The frosty mist, rising hand-and-hand with the morning sun, was steadily delineating everything...trees, shrubs, barns, Amish buggies, field grasses, rocks, twigs... even the manes and tails of the horses in the pastures. We slowed our vehicular pace, Bob and I,leisurely wandering through that beauty until, at last, it disappeared in the morning sun.
In my favorite coffee shop this morning, we discussed the artwork Mother Nature creates during her coldest season, and a woman sipping coffee at a nearby table observed, "Yes, it's been an exceptionally beautiful winter... Too cold to walk in, to be sure, but an outstanding feast for the eyes."
Perhaps, we all decided, it takes the bitter cold to make us really SEE the season. A milder winter of freezing rain and slush just doesn't do it for us.
Feeling less like a winter R.A.T. (Rose About Town) this morning, I'm wishing you could see Ohio seasons through my eyes and my heart.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Night before last, I sat at my west window and watched a brilliant sunset. The cold of the day had softened enough to expose a thread of water in the ice-covered creek, and as the sun sank down into the horizon, the creek lit up like liquid copper flowing downstream. The winter-bleached bark of the sycamores lining the waterway picked up the color too...
Remember the old forecasting adage---"Red sunset at night, a sailor's delight; red sunrise in the morning, sailor taker warning"? It has always seemed to me the adage was most often on target, and I looked forward to yet another good outcome. Perhaps a little sunshine despite the January cold.
But the day that followed was dull, damp, dreary and bone-chilling. A day to ignore.
And I pretty much did.