CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

May 29, 2009

Exercise/Fitness Program Landmark

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

EXERCISE/FITNESS PROGRAM LANDMARK

      I promise not to journal my spring exercise/fitness progress too often—it can get boring to both the reader and the participant. However, on May 26 I hit a landmark. However, if you want to read the first post on my new fitness program, click on Spring has sprung…with yard work and fitness workouts

     Two days off—Sunday the Ligonier YMCA is closed, and Monday was Memorial Day, another closed day.

     Tuesday it was bright and beautiful, and I relished not going. But go I must. However, I lazily enjoyed my morning coffee and breakfast on the porch, reading parts of two books: The Hanging of Ephraim Walker 1806 and Walker’s Point (on the west coast, not the Maine coast summer place belonging to the former president). I didn’t leave the house until after ten o’clock.

     In the fitness room, I used the (more…)

May 26, 2009

Spring has sprung…with yard work and fitness workouts

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SPRING HAS SPRUNG…WITH

YARDWORK & FITNESS WORKOUTS

      A mile on the treadmill at a fifteen-minute per mile pace…five minutes on the elliptical machine…familiarization with fitness machines, capped with fifty twenty-five yard laps in the pool. My new membership in the Ligonier Valley YMCA will hopefully pay off.

     My membership in the YMCA began three weeks ago, with the coming of spring. I’ve managed to keep this schedule—with some variation, since the swimming lengths have escalated up from twenty laps—three days a week, even though I’d prefer to do it five days.

     It’s a tough routine, because, as I informed the trainers in the fitness room, I am naturally a sedentary person. It’s a real sacrifice to leave the early morning enjoyment (more…)

May 25, 2009

Why women stay in abusive relationships: Is this the right question?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSTITIONS

WHY WOMEN STAY IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS:

IS THIS THE RIGHT QUESTION?

      Why would a woman who’s been savagely beaten by her boyfriend run right back into his arms?

     That was the question people asked when singer Rihanna, who not only didn’t press charges after her boyfriend (singer Chris Brown) allegedly assaulted her in February, but may have even reconciled with him.

     It’s a question asked repeatedly by persons familiar with any abuse situation where the victim returns to a dangerous situation. And it’s a hard situation for most people to understand.

     Most often, the abused woman’s self-esteem is (more…)

May 22, 2009

The “Meow” Chorus: A cat symphony on a Greyhound Bus

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE “MEOW” CHORUS:

A Cat Symphony on a Greyhound Bus

     The bus passenger carried a suitcase—an ordinary enough looking valise, dark brown with stains and stickers identifying places its age and destinations. It was one of several unmatched pieces she was traveling with.

     She was returning to her hometown after a years sojourn in a strange city. All her worldly goods were in these bags. Ordinary items. Clothes, a few books, financial records, photos and a favorite glass from the state fair.

     But another bag held one thing that was not ordinary. She held it tight to her side as she stood in the bus line, waiting to board.

     As the line shortened, she grew nervous. Could, she, would she, be successful? After all, there were rules. And she was intentionally and uncharacteristically breaking one of them. (more…)

May 17, 2009

Don’t let the bed bugs bite…

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DON’T LET THE BED BUGS BITE…

 Good night,

Sleep tight,

Don’t let the

Bed bugs bite!

      A children’s ditty, but filled with history. Travelers used to sleep on rope-boxprings (rope woven together, tightened by twisting a wood piece attached to the bedframe). Several travelers shared the same bed. It was fertile territory for bedbugs to thrive.

     According to the Harvard School of Public Health, bedbugs are small, wingless insects. They are parasitic, and seek out the nests of warm-blooded animals, whose blood they feast on.  Although some types of bed bugs (and their relatives) inhabit bird nests and bat roosts, others seek out human “nests,” eg., people’s homes.

     While clearing out information from my New England travels, I came across an article headlined “Couple claims room infested with bed bugs.” A couple was (more…)

May 13, 2009

Eavesdropping—the good and the bad of it

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

EAVESDROPPING—THE GOOD AND THE BAD OF IT

       I entered an office today to see if they had any news story updates. While waiting for the director, I heard an employee on the phone: THAT’S NOT MY JOB! Hmmm, I thought, good prompt for the writers group. It wasn’t totally eavesdropping—the office was small and the employee was speaking in a loud voice.

     However, writers are instructed to (more…)

May 10, 2009

May celebrations: Part II

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

MAY CELEBRATIONS: PART II

Click on May Celebrations: Part 1 to read about special May days in the first half of May.

May 11 is my day, Eat What You Want Day. Perhaps I should make Monte take me to that restaurant I haven’t been to, that serves prime rib and lamb chops. An exclusive place. And I have never been. This is what I want to eat on this day. What would you like to eat today? Of course, if you are trying to lose weight, you might find yourself in (more…)

Reflections on motherhood

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

REFLECTIONS ON MOTHERHOOD

     I lost my mother six and a half years ago. We had just reached a point where she would talk to me about happenings in the past, and we had had numerous conversations over the previous eighteen months. I grieved the loss of getting to know the woman who, I often say, taught me how not to live life. In spite of being a the matriarch of a typical dysfunctional family, she did (more…)

May 8, 2009

The French military in America during the American Revolution: Part II

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

THE FRENCH MILITARY IN AMERICA

DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Part II

French relations with women in America

 Newport, Rhode Island, played an important part in the American Revolution by housing military personnel who arrived from France to help the Americans. Excerpts from three journals, kept by Jean Francois Louis Clermont-Crèvecœur, comte de; Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger, and Louis Alexandre Berthier, provide material for this second post on Newport, Rhode Island and American women. To read Part 1, click on The French military in America during the American Revolution Part 1.

      In 1780 women in America were very pale and seemingly frail. The men were “tall and well-built,” although some were big, fat and lacked vigor.

     This was according to diarist Jean Francois Louis Clermont-Crevecœur, one three French military officers in M. le Comte de Rochambeau’s army who kept journals which extensively described their observations and thoughts about Revolutionary America. The army spent the winter of 1780 in Newport, Rhode Island. Along with the other two diarists, Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger and Louis Alexandre Berthier, Clermont-Crevecoeur recorded his keen observations about Americans and their dating/marriage habits. Observations from two other diarists, Prince de Broglie (in 1782) and Comte de Segure, add to the word picture painted by Clermont-Crevecoeur, Verger and Berthier.

     Americans had a lifespan of sixty years, Clermont-Crevecoeur wrote. Some rare residents lived to be (more…)

May 6, 2009

The French military in America during the American Revolution Part 1

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
THE FRENCH MILITARY IN AMERICA
DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Part 1
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND HOSTS
THE FRENCH MILITARY IN 1780

Newport, Rhode Island, played an important part in the American Revolution by housing military personnel who arrived from France to help the Americans. Excerpts from three journals, kept by Jean Francois Louis Clermont-Crèvecœur, comte de; Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger, and Louis Alexandre Berthier, provide material for this post on Newport, Rhode Island. This is Part 1 of a continuing discussion of the French in Rhode Island. To read the next segment click on The French military in America during the American Revolution: Part II

     During the night of October 30/31, 1780, a snowfall blanketed the navy ships that were transporting M. le Comte de Rochambau’s army to their winter quarters in Newport, Rhode Island. On the morning of the 31st, a thick mist enveloped the ship’s sails. “There was great activity as they hoisted their anchors to proceed to (more…)

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