Gratitude Sunday: The Margins Less Traveled

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

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Sunday Haiku
Who can count the drops
of water refreshing earth
and filling rivers?

Sunday Musings
Whine, whine, whine. Money, money, money. I know. I’m always whining about money. Remember that phrase I keep trying to remember? The one about change being the only constant? How many changes can a person stand before losing a grip on reality? I’m not going to bore you with the surreality of the political climate. The day-to-day stuff is exciting enough when I’m busy whining about money.

I’m not very good at handling excitement. Part of the challenge of change is getting excited about a decision or an opportunity only to have them not go as planned. After several decades of learning control is an illusion, one also learns excitement often results in disappointment. Don’t get your hopes up, but go with the flow. The sequoia is strong; it is resilient; it bends with the wind even when it is old.

As we age change becomes harder to deal with. In the past I had the physical strength to do housework or yardwork when I was in between jobs. My memory could be fading but I don’t remember going more than a few weeks without a job. I used to be able to do a wider variety of work. I used to have confidence that I could always get work to pay my bills. Things change.

When you can no longer do the physical odd jobs you did in a pinch, in between having full time employment, it can be a shock to the system. If you can’t get an interview, let alone a full or part time job offer, when do you give up? When do you try something else even if you don’t have the credentials? I should run for president of the United States: you only need to be born in America, and over 35 years of age. With the currents events we’ve proven no experience is necessary to apply or prevail.

It is HARD to admit you can’t do what you once were able to do. REALLY HARD. You get treated differently. People ignore you. You become the possessor of a superpower: invisibility. After more than 40 years as a contributor to society you suddenly are treated like a leech. Old. Unable. Disposable.

Hwell. I’m still kicking and screaming. Still making a rather loud contribution even if I am just talking into the ether. Even though I’ve not had gainful employment for more than a year now, longer than I ever remember going without paid work, I’m busy breathing deeply trying not to panic. Things change every day. I’m traveling, as usual, down another road less traveled. I have fewer choices these days.

I don’t have the advantages of the best choices: I didn’t inherit money; I wasn’t born male; I am the (female) family breadwinner; I never had the skills or the physical beauty to attract men who would provide for me (and how demeaning is that!); I went to college late in life; and my opinions and mouth are just abrasive enough to be off-putting to many people. The double edge to that sword is obviously I’m too weird for the conservatives (or should I use the term normal-averages? for whom most things go according to plan), and not weird enough to fit in with the misfits (all the others of us for whom the regular rules don’t seem to function). I barely fit into the margins of the marginals.

I have had employment, it just hasn’t put money in my pocket yet. It’s different work than I’ve done before and I’m hoping to turn it into some sort of income. Soon would be nice. Patience is a virtue, and good things are rewarded in one way or another. I keep reading motivational writers who say if you do what you love the money will come. In my life that has yet to be seen, but I’m not done with this life yet.

I really dislike so much of this life has to be about money. I am a human being, not a human dollar. I just desire a certain amount of security. A bit of comfort zone from which to execute my new adventures. I don’t require much, but I do need a secure base from which to operate, like the toddler who ventures out and returns to mother to reassure all is fine. I’ve never been a couch surfer or a minimalist; I like my own bed and come with a personal set of baggage. I am no longer able to function when everything is on the edge; it takes up too much of my brain space, and my new adventure requires the use of my brain, as little as there is of it left.

Thank you for listening to me whine. I know it’s not fun to hear another person moan and groan about their life. Being able to vent frustration sometimes enables people to see their way clear to the next step. And since I’m on the road less traveled, I get to make up each step as I go along.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – It was so rainy this week it was hard to get out to get pictures, though I did spy the first of the cheery yellow crocuses. 1926749_10203291788239204_263360273_n2 A neighbor had a cute pot of colorful primroses. primroses

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Because of some recent inner turmoil, I felt the need for some fictional ruthlessness, so I’m watching the first season of Game of Thrones again. At least when you re-watch this kind of vivid story there are no surprises because you’ve been there before. * My local lending library was able to borrow a VHS tape (from Arizona!) of the original movie of The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961, not rated). Thank goodness I still have a VHS player. This version starred a platinum blonde Vivien Leigh of Gone with the Wind fame with Warren Beatty sporting an Italian accent as the gigolo. Both versions (this and the Helen Mirren version) are based on a novel by Tennessee Williams. Now that I’ve seen both movies, maybe I’ll read the novel.

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Currently ReadingAll Over Creation (2003, fiction) by Ruth Ozeki. Gasp. “Resistance is fertile”. Required reading. * But What if We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it were the Past (2016, contemporary culture) by Chuck Klosterman, a series of essays posing questions about how the past informs the present and how that may affect or reflect the possible future. I’m not sure I always follow his logic, but his thoughts are interesting.

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This week I have been grateful for:

    • Chocolate.
    • The hubster, who cooks the best steak.
    • Patience. And still learning how to be patient.
    • Remembering it’s not always about me.
    • The moon so bright peering in my window on clear nights.
    • A glorious sunset Friday night, with puffy clouds and bright splashes of pink and gold.
    • Myriad shades of gray sky.
    • Waves and waves of rain. Take that, drought!
    • Electricity to light the indoors on gray rainy days.
    • Surviving another migraine.
    • Well placed expletives. Judiciously used.
    • Sweet almond oil which seems to be helping my peeling fingernails.
    • Listening to the rain from inside the comfort of a warm home.
    • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Careers, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude Sunday: Silver Hearts

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Rain freezes, becomes
an axe in the crevasse of
a two branch tree trunk.

Sunday Musings
Happy Valentine’s Day! Sound a little hollow to you? A few of the excuses we use for a holiday are vapid and even hurtful. Like Valentine’s Day this Tuesday. If you don’t have a sweetheart, you are left out of this holiday. If you are having trouble with your sweetheart, you are conflicted. If you recently lost a beloved sweetheart, you are bereaved. Not the best excuse for candy, or flowers, or diamonds. Though I could make a case for treating yourself to all three. And if you are single for whatever reason, I would throw in an all day spa with massage included.

Valentine’s Day is all wonderful if you have a great relationship and the money to back it up. Don’t tell me you can have any sort of celebration without at least a small expense. Frugal is great, more power to you. Would you consider skipping the holiday altogether?

This Tuesday marks my silver anniversary. Yup. Been legally married to one man these last 25 years. And lived with him for 17 before that, so really, 42 total. I got As in math.

We got married 10 days after we found out our son would be joining us. We didn’t have money to go into debt for a wedding, especially not with a baby coming, so we made arrangements to marry at the county courthouse. We used our old dot matrix printer and used up some old paper and envelopes collected over the years to make invitations to send to people we couldn’t afford to call. Remember when long distance phone calls were more expensive than a postage stamp? Yes, only 25 years ago. My sister sent me money for flowers and my cousin bought us a suite for the honeymoon night at the local up-scale motel where we got to use the party room for a reception. We made a heart shaped chocolate cake. My mom and others brought finger foods. It was standing room only in the courtroom. A reception room full of people from all over the state and guests from California came to help us celebrate.

We’ve had our spells. We both have to say our what-fors, but we’re lucky we communicate at all. We have different styles, and we think differently, but as I tell him, thank God. We are not the same person. And like a river, I think we are not the same person twice, for a good reason. We read, we learn, we think, and we change as we grow with new knowledge every day. There is a basic undercurrent of inner self, but the growth might be tidally affected, or dammed by a learning block. Changes.

It’s a good thing to change and as a couple it’s called growing old together. It might not be about sex any more, which we make too much of publicly in our society anyway. Sex is marvelous, but it’s private business. It might not be about being the same, or the same as when we married. So much nicer to be about accepting each other every day, as we are every day, doing the work of living.

So much for the la-las. Being married is bleeping hard. It is. You have to share. You might think you are being selfish or the other is being selfish but in the end you must learn how to share. I had to learn to buy my own box of Valentine candy because when I give him one he has never offered to share. I don’t know if it was the way he was raised or if it just doesn’t cross his mind, so I get a box to give to myself. We’ve never had disposable income, and I suspect if he had money it might all be different. Because if the money was there I would certainly take advantage of the excuse of a holiday myself.

So. A silver anniversary. What would I want that’s silver? What would I need? Considering I live a poverty life style, I’m sort of clueless, because as long as I can keep a roof over my head there’s really not much I need. I don’t throw fabulous parties so I don’t need serving dishes or salt and pepper shakers. I have a perfectly good set of stainless steel silverware, and real silver table ware needs polishing. Nah.

I might like a little silver ring. If I were dreaming a design I’d like something simple, no stones, maybe an old-fashioned filigree if I could see the right pattern. Or maybe a commemorative candle holder. Wanting is OK, as long as it’s not obsessive.

No ring this year. Likely no year. Not to worry, I have a very rich fantasy life. I don’t have to own the thing to feel the wealth. Which is good because after 6 months of zero income, I am currently boycotting all consumerism, only buying the bare necessities. I’m trying to figure out how to quit buying food, but my body keeps rebelling. Besides, if you have more stuff you have to take care of it.

Boycotting consumerism is a great idea now anyway. I can use it as a political statement, not just an excuse to avoid a holiday. When I was growing up our holidays centered around a home-made meal shared and finished with a cake. And ice cream for 4th of July. A box cake graced with home-made butter cream frosting doesn’t cost much. I can make cake. There won’t be a little silver ring hiding in it. With my luck one of us would break a tooth. Fixing that would be an un-needed necessity.

This is supposed to be a holiday about love. What if we made it not about romantic love, or passionate love, or erotic love, or even couples love? What if we made it even less about spending money on each other? What if we made it just about, well, you know, love? And we could start from the ground up. Love the planet and all the beings on it. Love yourself. Love others. I am amazed sometimes to be sitting reading or standing in line somewhere or walking around the block, and suddenly I will be awash in a golden melting feeling of love for everything in existence, from the soil and lowliest microbe in it, to the air and plants around me, and all the wondrous people beside me, and the radiant energy that drives it all. Don’t tell me it’s just a hormone rush. For whatever reason and whatever mechanism I am overcome with intense feelings of connecting love.

Love is about what you give, not what you get. It is lovely to have your love returned, but that’s not guaranteed, and it is essential for mental and physical health to give love. On our earth we’ve just been through a time period of lost connections, lost old knowledge, lost respect. We are moving into a time of new connections, of strengthening our connection to and appreciation for our blue planet with its green earth, of honoring and re-learning old knowledge while inching forward into new knowledge. A time of honoring others without regard to profit for ourselves. And that’s the catch. The more we do for others, the more it is returned to us. It might not be an immediate return; we might not see the fruits of our love even within our lifetimes, but it is there nonetheless.

It would be fun to have fluid capital to buy flowers, and candy, and diamonds, and dinners at the beach. For those of you who are able to do so, bless you. I hope you design your holiday your way, frugal or otherwise. But make your holiday about love, about growing old together, about the long run, about earning your silver, and your gold. And if you are single the same applies to you. Love yourself, as you get to be there all the way, growing older with friends who may have partners. In the end we all lose those partners or they lose us. Our single friends may then be a source of comfort to us as we’ll be single too. So if you have the funds, treat yourself to a pretty vase of flowers or a little silver ring to celebrate your love of yourself, your family, your planet, for fun, or just because you have the excuse of a holiday.

Don’t blow your budget for love, but if you have the funds and aren’t boycotting consumerism, and want to treat yourself or a loved one, Valentine’s Day is as good an excuse as any. In fact, it’s a rather lovely excuse. Bring on the chocolate.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A very naked brown Japanese maple waiting for spring clothes. dscn0415 Stark gray winter-dried lavender spears. dscn0412 Red lava rock with soft green moss like a miniature planet. dscn0394

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} I was casting around for something to watch on Netflix and briefly viewed several things I quickly lost interest in. Not that they weren’t funny, but they just didn’t tweak me at the time. Black Books (2000-2004, rated TV-PG) a British sit-com set in a bookstore; Vexed (2010, not rated TV series), a British comedy detective series; and The Detectorists (2014, not rated TV series), a comedy series about a couple of amateur metal detectorists and their antics. * The Brothers Grimm (2005, rated PG-13), a mash-up of the fairy tales we grew up with, and a plot twist. This was a re-viewing and it’s been long enough I remembered only two brief seconds of film. Really. Two seconds. Interesting to consider the work of the actors since then: Matt Damon in The Martian, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, and the unfortunate early demise of Heath Ledger.

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Currently ReadingAll Over Creation (2003, fiction) by Ruth Ozeki. Fascinating exploration of several issues: mixed race marriages, mixed race children, infertility, and parenting; teenage sex and abortion; genetic manipulation of food sources and the controversy over labeling; add a diversity of characters and desires and once again I am admiring her storytelling. * But What if We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it were the Past (2016, contemporary culture) by Chuck Klosterman, a series of essays posing questions about how the past informs the present and how that may affect or reflect the possible future. I’m not sure I always follow his logic, but his thoughts are interesting. And he chooses fun topics like literature and rock music.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Watching a hawk circle over a field while I was stuck waiting in traffic.
  • The convenience of bluetooth in my car. A one button push is as hands-free as it gets.
  • Starting my taxes. It’s just math. And reading. And following instructions. Like school.
  • Knowing my heart, even though I am confusing. Hmh.
  • Otters. Cute.
  • A good citrus season. I don’t know what makes the difference but some years they are sweeter than others.
  • Making a casserole I hadn’t cooked in so many years the guys couldn’t remember eating it. When I told them what I was making, they initially said “eww”, then they ate it all. The rule in this house is if someone else makes it, and offers it, you say “thank you”. I had to hide a serving for lunch.
  • The power of fiction to teach current events and address political concerns.
  • The power of fiction to cross cultures.
  • The power of fiction to create a small slice of life, a tiny concise world.
  • The power of fiction to imagine the future.
  • The power of fiction to recreate the past.
  • The power of fiction to create other worlds.
  • The power of fiction that makes you suspend your disbelief.
  • Words. Reading. Communication.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude Sunday: No Outer Limits

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Fat snowflakes descend
quiet as death in the night,
pure white coverlet.

Sunday Musings
January happened so fast. Already into the first week of February and I’m paying so much attention I still have my Christmas tablecloth on the table. Didn’t even put on my white new-start-for-the-year New Year’s cloth on. I doubt I’ve jinxed anything by not following tradition, because the last year was so weird I can’t see this year being any different. Maybe I’ll put on the white cloth later in the year if it feels like a real new year.

For now I think I’ll drag my feet another week and put on a pretty spring tablecloth. Because I really need spring. I need flowers and bees and blooming trees. I need open doors and mild breezes and the smell of freshly mowed grass. I need spring.

Spring brings winds of change. If you’ve been paying attention we’ve been going through some big changes, starting last spring. I don’t have enough knowledge to say definitively we are experiencing some kind of harmonic convergence, or disharmonic divergence, or otherwise put some clever fancy name to this interesting time in history we are living through. Maybe it’s just an “oopsie!” But. I have the feeling we are in for a whirlwind of changes, maybe even a paradigm shift of changes. Take your place in line, then buckle up for the ride.

If we are going to survive the tyranny and oppressive leadership currently facing America we are going to have to be creative and use our imaginations. We are legion: more of us than them. The more important thing to remember is we are not at the end of knowledge; there are no outer limits of knowledge and new thinking. We don’t have to be in man-made apocalyptic end days if we work our way away from them.

In most communities, we know each other. Most of the people in our communities want and are working actively toward creative, progressive, inclusive, supportive communities, even in the poorest of areas. Do not believe the words being given to the awful state of the world by some factors who are orchestrating the awful state. We, the people, are working toward a brighter future after getting through this political hiccup. Hopefully the hiccup will not leave too large a blight in our history.

Ideas are important. Ideas come in science and in art. Art is created from imagination; science sets out to recreate ideas in the physical world and prove imagination can be functional.

For the length of time we have had modern technology, frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t made more progress than we have. I would guess it has to do with who controls the money. We can use this political disruption as an excuse to change many things.

For example: the size and power of batteries. They are still large, they are on the expensive side, and they have a limited energy/power life. Some of these elements, of course, benefit the manufacturer’s profit line. What if we ignored the profit line, re-invented the battery (while keeping them safe to use), making them smaller, easier to use, cheaper, and find it generates even more profit for the manufacturer? Wouldn’t that be a win-win?

Or medical technology. We’ve been watching Star Trek for 50 years now. Where are our tricorders, and biobeds, and holographic body scanners? The glucometer, for example, which measures blood sugar, has been available for home use for more than 20 years, yet remains clumsy to use involving many steps, many clunky parts, and a safe disposal unit for the sharps you have to poke yourself with to make yourself bleed. Where is the easy to read saliva test? Or a ball point pen sized unit that dissolves the sharps and has a USB at the other end to record your data on another device if you wish?

Or social policy. My grandparents never had health insurance. My folks didn’t have health insurance until after I left my family home. They paid for medical services and prescriptions as they went, and medical care was a reasonably affordable expense for all but the most extreme cases. Science created medical options; doctors were trained to be drug pushers, and insurance companies took the opportunity to be involved and found a niche for creating profit. The pharmaceutical companies joined right in there. We have an opportunity to re-create a system that serves all, while eliminating the insurance company middle man, and still creating a profit for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. I don’t have space here to lay out my whole idea but I bet if you put your mind to it you can imagine what I am thinking. It involves funding real science and separating the collusion of Big Insurance and Big Pharmacy and Big Agriculture.

Or the calamity of modern “food”. We already have movements toward local organic food, but we could be more aggressive with local policy, requiring gardenable spaces in urban areas. An amazing amount of edibles can be produced in a small area, especially if you are able to create a community of many hands. When you have community investment it makes the work easier for all.

Local organic foods will mean eliminating fossil fuels as a source of energy. Don’t panic! There are plenty of alternative energy sources available and I’m imagining many more we haven’t thought of yet, and I would give my best guess they can still generate a profit for those who need it, maybe even raising the standard of living for our communities as a sweet side effect. I won’t start on progressive alternative energy sources. We’ve already got a good start but for the insistence of the dependence on fossil fuels. Most of us know in our hearts fossil fuel use is bad for our planet.

For all of the new imagining we need to remember old technology as well. We can remember it is safe, when certain clean handling practices are observed, to keep one cow on an acre lot (maybe even in an urban area), along with a few chickens beside a multi-family garden. We can remember, with safe handling practices, that cow can provide fresh raw milk, and the chickens can provide eggs with full proteins intact, and the garden can provide fresh organic vegetables for several families. We can remember the waste from the animals can be composted into fertilizer for the garden, and garden waste can feed the chickens, creating a bio-effective feedback loop. We can remember not to spray the grass the cow grazes on with commercial pesticides because the ambient eco-systems we create won’t need them.

It doesn’t do any good to help people with their health and wellness if an education is not provided, wasting natural resources of human potential. We have the tools, we have the money, we have all the ways to provide for both urban and rural area education, but a potential wealth of knowledge is not being nurtured because of inadequate applications in education. And right up to the top levels, our teachers can use better education and support. We can apply creative solutions here as well, like re-thinking the cookie cutter warehousing system currently in use.

It’s all connected and these ideas come from an old brain which is used to thinking in old ways. My grandmothers were born into a world of horses and carriages and lived to see a motorcar in every household. In my lifetime I’ve gone through a technological progression from land-line phones to pocket sized cell phones, from when we backed up computer information on cassette tapes and played text games without graphics with each other by modem with intense time lags between plays, to digital mega-giga-bigga-and-bigga-bite thumb-sized storage units for backing up information and games online in real time with movie quality graphics.

Our youth will think of new solutions. They will create new knowledge. We can use new knowledge to keep the best of the old knowledge and improve the old. Occasionally the old knowledge isn’t valid anymore, but for sustainability I think we’ll find many of the old ways are good.

We will survive this hiccup through change. Too many of us understand empathy and compassion. Even though some of us didn’t change the Christmas tablecloth yet, some of us did. We can only move forward; we cannot go back. I don’t want to hurry time along; I want to enjoy each day as I can. And to make my mark on each day as I can. I’ll change my tablecloth soon and I’ll be creative. I have to be. First I have to find the table under all the stuff before I can change the cloth.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Spots of orange-red rose hips. dscn7233 A green backyard discard awaiting the recycle bin softened with white snow. dscn9749

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} The Break (La Trêve) (2016, not rated TV series) a mystery in Belgium, in French with English subtitles, and glad for it as my French is 9th grade rusty. A small town reveals its secrets after the murder of a young African soccer player. * Houdini (2014, rated TV-14) with Adrien Brody, a theatricalized mini-series version of the illusionist’s rather tragic life.

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Currently ReadingAll Over Creation (2003, fiction) by Ruth Ozeki. Ozeki explores seed and family preservation, from diversity to monoculture and back again. * But What if We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it were the Past (2016, contemporary culture) by Chuck Klosterman, a series of essays posing questions about how the past informs the present and how that may affect or reflect the possible future.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • A vast sky that looked like a giant hand had thrown wet white silver streaked splotches of spongy cloud onto a pearly gray water colored surface.
  • The skill of storytelling. The art of writing stories down.
  • The imaginations of other people.
  • Recognizing how hard it is to admit to limitations.
  • Getting some paperwork done and filed.
  • Starting a second phase on a project. Good to see progress.
  • The son taking the boxes of Christmas decorations out to the shed. Watching the hubster doing a happy dance in the recovered space for a silly minute.
  • Rocks. I don’t know what it is about rocks, but I like them. Landscaping that has rocks has me poking around with my cane looking for interesting pieces, though I try not to steal other people’s rocks. And the beach? Rock heaven.
  • The selection of glass Pyrex baking dishes in assorted sizes to fit any project. Because you never know what you might want to cook up. Worth buying at garage sales or thrift stores. I like the clear ones.
  • Exercising or resting when I need to.
  • Paying taxes that support a public library system available to all citizens of the county I live in.
  • Pulling into the driveway after a trip out into the public and finding Wild America: little birds playing in my mud puddles and a squirrel lounging by the fence eating nuts and then running frantically, dashing and dancing away like a cartoon squirrel, when he saw the rig.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Education, Food, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Medicine, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Science, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude Sunday: Welcome To The Twilight Zone

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Earth bares its secret.
Soil feels warmth before we do,
leaves shoot out of bulbs.

Sunday Musings
You’re traveling through another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

Many of us are having strange feelings of dissociation these days. We are having a hard time adjusting to having an immature, impulsive, petulant, reactive person who by a fluke of policy is the top “leader” of America. I’m pretty reactive myself and I have to be very careful what I say and to whom. I work on all those other qualities every day. I do my home work, know how to admit when I’m in over my head, or ask for help when I need it. Those are hard things to do when you struggle with adulting every day.

I’ve been through eleven presidents. I was born the year Eisenhower was inaugurated. I don’t remember much about him, though my family had a small black and white TV and we must have watched some news.

I do remember, however, how excited I was for JFK to be our president in 1961. I was in second grade. Here was a young man, who was rather handsome (in a way he physically resembled my dad), with a beautiful gracious wife, and a little girl who reminded me of my little sister with her dark hair and sweet round face. I don’t remember anything about his politics or what he represented for our nation. Such is the way an 8 year old mind works. Even though our school teachers taught us how to duck and cover under our desks, I was never afraid.

LBJ, of course, we got by default the first time, and while I don’t remember, I read about the controversy of his re-election. People were still in shock over the assassination of JFK and it was easy to keep him. Again I don’t remember his politics but as a tweenager I liked that he had young daughters who were growing up just like me, even though they had many more advantages. But I was never afraid.

Then we got Nixon. We all know how that turned out. I was still a teenager, and though I had not had much experience with people yet, I had enough to know I did not trust this man’s face. While I was not comfortable with many of his politics – we were in the Vietnam era – I was not afraid.

On July 1, 1971 the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. October 1971 I turned 18. I understood the feelings of our young men who said if they could be drafted to serve in a war they did not support they should be able to vote for change.

Meanwhile Gerald Ford was appointed to Vice President as Spiro Agnew resigned the office in disgrace in October 1973 and when Nixon finally gave up denying he was a crook Gerald became president in 1974. I didn’t get to vote for him. Nobody did. Gerald Ford was comfortable. He had a family like mine with 4 kids, he tripped over his own feet like me, and he was an Eagle Scout like my brothers ended up being. He was our only president ever who was an Eagle Scout. He may have seemed inept to some critics, but I was never afraid.

The first year I was qualified to vote for president was 1976, America’s bi-centennial year. And what a year it was. The bi-centennial celebration was amazing. The bi-centennial was everywhere you looked, in all sorts of marketing, and in the political campaign as well. The fun part about aging is not remembering so well any more. Ford narrowly lost to Jimmy Carter and I honestly can’t tell you whom I voted for. Now when I look back I love both men. To me, both of them exuded integrity, honest family men who took their work seriously. I was not afraid.

I know I voted for Carter against Ronald Reagan. Given I didn’t understand or know much about politics as I was so busy scraping together a living, I felt Carter had significantly more experience than the actor. But Reagan was not so objectionable that when he won I was afraid.

And then the economic mess that was George, and Bill, and George W. I might have voted for them. It is embarrassing to say I don’t remember. Even though I may not have agreed with their politics and policies, I was never afraid.

I was proud to vote for Obama. I was thrilled to have an educated man who seemed so different than the last few. I admired the way he conducted himself, thinking he did his homework and considered the issues from many sides before he made a decision. I loved his family, and that he is a family man who loves his family. And I was never afraid.

Granted I did and do not know these people in person. I was not privy to meetings or press conferences with them. I knew/know them only second hand, by what is reported in the news in whatever form that takes. But you can see enough body language, and hear enough vocal inflections, and listen enough to cohesive (or non-) speech to know when a person is trustworthy. Or not.

I refused to watch the original Celebrity Apprentice because I could not tolerate watching a face that activated in me a fear like having nightmares. The fear comes from actual trauma experiences, and can be triggered by an assortment of cues. The fear is mine, but it is very real. Being lied to, gaslighted or asked to believe other than what you see and hear, being raped, being threatened by a man who is very much larger than you, all of these and some others trigger the fearful feelings. It’s a look of contempt on the face, a flash in the eyes, a smirk of the lip, a derision in the voice, a slap with the hand, an attitude of “I can because I can” without regard to the other person. Many women and men have experienced these fearful feelings.

I entered the Twilight Zone somewhere during the summer of 2016 when it became obvious how many people hated Hillary enough to vote for him. How many people were suckered by campaign lies. How many people were not skillful at reading body language and between the lies. In November with the electoral college win I started falling through the dimensions. In December when the electoral college failed their responsibility of preventing an unfit president from taking office the line between reality faded even more. Inauguration Day 2017 left me fully in the Twilight Zone. And afraid for the world and our blue planet.

I am comforted to know I am not the only one. We are multitude. We are women who march. We are people who voted and who take the time to protest peacefully. We are people who seek guidance for these awful scary feelings. My counselor tells me her clients report experiencing increasing fear since the November election. I take the time to call my elected representative, and the staffer I talk to tells me so many of the constituents who call tell her about the Twilight Zone feeling. The pastor at the church I choose addresses it subtly in her sermons. Friends talk about it between themselves and on social media. Fears are overheard while waiting in line at the grocery store.

So here we are in another dimension, an alternate reality, the Twilight Zone. Will our world as we know it be victimized, raped of resources? Will the voices of fear, the voices of the constituency, prevail? Will the billionaire class succeed with the devastation of an entire society? Beware the smoke and mirrors in front of us. We have an uncertain future. We can help change those feelings and our future.

What can we do to fight feelings of fear and dissociation, of disbelief and powerlessness? Here’s a few ideas.

If you have a job, make sure you continue to do the best job you can. Do not let these feelings interfere with doing your best at work. If your work is making art, create as if your life depends on it. It does.

If you have littles, or young people in your home, spend as much time with them as you can. They are only little for a short while and you may find even the 7- and 8-year-olds are experiencing strange feelings because of smart phones, peers, and social media. You are their best resource. They might be your best avenue to joy.

Take care of yourself. Eat well. Exercise. Sleep. Spend time on yourself whether it’s a hobby or a massage.

Call your congress person or state representative. Really. We pay their staffers to listen to us. It takes less than five minutes. Phone calls are proving more effective than emails, and if you have phone phobia it gets easier the more often you do it. Write a script which makes it even easier. Representatives receive daily reports from staffers about how many calls they take and what the concerns are. Worth five minutes once a week, or every day. Depending how concerned you are.

If you have the funds you can join the ACLU or other organizations who work to protect our civil liberties and rights we have already achieved.

If you have the funds you can make tax deductible donations to organizations who support your point of view.

If you are physically able you can volunteer in your community, at your local food bank, for your local homeless shelter, at your church or school, for your city or local hospital, with a youth group or at an elder center. There is so much we can do just to help each other and keep our personal connections strong.

If you cannot physically help, remember your voice. You can share information. You can share your stories and experiences of presidents in the past. Of what you did to help your family and community. Tell your children how interesting it was when you volunteered and recommend they do the same. You are not bragging; you are telling histories as it was lived and you are encouraging others to create those stories in their lives. Listen to their stories as well, what they are experiencing at their schools and jobs. We must keep communication open.

If all you have is your voice don’t pay much attention to the tone police. As long as you express yourself politely the passion that shows in your voice reveals your heart. No one has the right to set the parameters of discussion by asking you to “calm down” and if they feel they have to stifle the passion in your voice they aren’t really listening anyway.

The Twilight Zone is a fluid dimension. We can move back and forth between the fear we are being directed to feel by an uncaring bully and the reality of a life in which we can have our voice in how we are governed, in a nation embracing forward progress toward world peace and cooperation. Sharing our stories, focusing on our everyday lives, writing down our stories as we live them contribute to the connections we all have in this world, the one without fear. We work hard for a world without fear and we have the right to continue to do so. If we bring the power of numbers together, and all pray and work for the safety of the world perhaps we can prevent what so many of us fear instead of crossing over permanently into the Twilight Zone.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – The first pink heather of the season. dscn0396 Green daffodil shoots spearing warrior-like through brown leaf shields. dscn0402 A hopeful stand of green iris leaves. dscn0409 Emerald primrose leaves full of the promise of spring blossoms. dscn0422 Some shiny green leaves with ruby magenta string blossoms. dscn0417

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} It’s Helen Mirren week here. * Painted Lady (1997, not rated) was a Masterpiece Theater presentation about an aging rock star who becomes involved in a murder mystery involving stolen artwork. Sounds more exciting than it was. Meh. * The Clearing (2004, rated R) with Mirren and Robert Redford, a mystery with Redford’s character being kidnapped and the unsuccessful recovery process. Better than Painted Lady, but I never figured out what the title meant, and didn’t understand why the character was kidnapped. I’m not willing to watch it again to figure it out, because I bet it isn’t there. Some things happen for no reason. * The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone (2003, rated R) from the novel by Tennessee Williams. I think I have watched too much Helen at once. Each additional movie makes me feel she is a self-indulgent actor. But I still like her and I know how hard it is to make art, so perhaps I am too harsh. However, I now want to watch the original 1961 version of this movie with Vivien Leigh. Inspiration wherever you can find it, right?

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Currently Reading Just finished The Girl on the Train (2015, fiction) by Paula Hawkins. Good standard British mystery, great for a summer read. In between fiction, we’ll see what the week brings. * In between non-fiction as well. Finished Ed Slott’s Retirement Decisions Guide: 125 Ways to Save and Stretch Your Wealth (2016, finance) by Ed Slott. Now explain that to me in language I can understand. As it applies to me.

It’s almost February and I didn’t choose a Winter Classic for the 2016-2017 season. So many interesting books to read. I must have been distracted. It’s been such a traumatically strange year I’m ready to skip it. Exceptions can be a good change occasionally. I’ll have to put more effort into planning ahead next year.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Some lovely warmish days, you know, when 45 degrees feels warm after the cold spell.
  • Watching the signs of spring coming.
  • Being able to walk a bit on the clear days we had.
  • Weather forecasters who are mostly right because of technology and science.
  • Sweet juicy mandarins when I’m craving orange flavor.
  • Librarians who work everyday for our access to knowledge.
  • Libraries public and private: repositories of knowledge.
  • So many voices waking up to speak out for progressive values.
  • The kind staffer I’ve been speaking to at my congressman’s office who explains process to me and thanks me for expressing my opinion, which I always do with polite language.
  • Reading some different perspectives on the opportunities this dreadful political situation may present. I like different perspectives. Helps me with mine. One can always learn.
  • Learning when to shut off the news.
  • Having many distractions to keep me busy so I can stop thinking about the state of the world occasionally.
  • Finding my bedroom floor again. It’s cyclic.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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Gratitude Sunday: Truth, Lies, And Civil Discourse

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Melting, melting, warm
rain dissolves weeks of snow just
in the nick of time.

Sunday Musings
Another historic week in the politics of America. I have bad feelings about the whole mess so I declined watching most of the news reports, wary of deepening my moods. I watched a few highlights, and boy howdy, that was way plenty.

Now, I may dislike the “leadership” and the questionable cabinet picks for the next administration, but that part is not my choice. I voiced my choice with my vote and it wasn’t him. I don’t have to say his name. People know who you are talking about anyway. I can think anything I want about him, but I won’t lower myself to name calling. Yes, he lies, but instead of calling him a liar, I will only say he lies, and there is a video record for proof. I’ve seen him called many worse things and I may think they are true and whether true or not those words do not have to pass my lips or move from my brain to my finger to my page.

Saying those derogatory words feels bad to me. Reading them from others make me cringe. The ugly names and their effing adjectives make me feel as bad as saying his name. Like invoking evil. If that were a thing. Now don’t get me wrong, I can cuss with the best. Hwell, maybe not the best, but I can cuss pretty well. In this case cussing, expletives, name-calling feels wrong, like it isn’t accomplishing anything. It’s too easy to call a name or place a label to express your displeasure but not convey what you really mean.

Here’s where I wonder if some sort of paradigm shift is coming. From social media I don’t suspect this is happening in the general population. As I read many of the comments of strangers I wonder where or if they had any education and if they remember how to employ any critical thinking. Grammar and spelling doesn’t matter in these responses, it even seems a point of pride that the readers understand any variation, and criticize each other for correcting each others’ grammar, though I also see it creating many misinterpretations as well.

I know I’m being judgmental here, but come on people. I’m judgmental, but I’m not. Just because you work all day and come home to yours (your house, your family, your food, your wine, but where is your empathy?) doesn’t mean you can’t think critically about helping others as well, and use correct grammar and civil discourse while you are at it. For maybe, you know, just a few minutes of the day. We are all connected. I think the paradigm shift is coming in a different way. I don’t know how, but I see what I think are significant signs, and I’m likely to be the worst sign reader ever. I just understand some of the connections.

The most significant sign I see is water. The fight over the safety of clean water, where the overuse of fossil fuels impinges on better energy technology that already exists and would provide as many jobs and likely just as much profit for those capitalists who seek gratification through money, is unconscionable. Simply put we cannot keep raping the natural resources of the blue planet that supports us.

Water is the basic unit. Everything needs water; most living things on this planet are made of water; water is the universal solvent. I won’t bore you by going on about water, but suffice it to say without water, we are, well, nothing.

If you mess with water, I will cry foul. I don’t have to use name-calling to do it. I can stand in a civil manner and say: Protect our water. Respect our planet and the beings in it. All beings. Don’t exploit those beings, human or otherwise, in the name of profit. Because, you know, respect. Even when they are different than you. Treat people like the valuable resource we are and not like possessions.

Even though change is really hard we must continually remind ourselves change is the only constant in this odd little equation we call life. Birth plus growth multiplied by change equaling death, that’s what life is. I know, bio-math is confusing to me as well. Confusion is a part of life too. Change can be good; you might find a better way, invent a better thing, create beautiful art that wasn’t there before, see with different eyes, open a new opportunity.

During this changed political administration, I will work on change as well. Change in my home and my habits, change in my community, change in protection of the good things we have and creating more good things for those who have less. I don’t have to trust people who lie because I know many who still tell the truth, know the truth, and are working on changes based on truth, with civil discourse and reason. People who believe in peace and justice.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Finding green spots after the snow melt. Emerald moss with brown pine needles. dscn2839 Shades of sage and green and gray with a variety of moss and lichens growing on my fence. dscn7404 Heart shaped hardy ivy greened with red ribs and pink edged leaves. dscn2847

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Touch (2012-2013, not rated TV series), I remember why I’m not a fan of Kiefer Sutherland, but this story of an autistic boy and how he communicates is rather an interesting jigsaw puzzle of interconnected pieces. * Tideland (2005, rated R) with Janet McTeer and Jeff Bridges, two of my favorite actors. Artists make strange things sometimes and this is one. It’s also one of those so hard to describe and so disturbing I have mixed feelings about recommending it, but that’s also exactly why I recommend it, because it is disturbing in the way it makes you think about the lives other people might have to lead. Not for the faint of heart.

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Currently ReadingThe Girl on the Train (2015, fiction) by Paula Hawkins. I’m having this strangely déjà vu experience reading this book. The main character is alcoholic and doesn’t remember things she does while drunk. In the last two years I’ve read something so like it the hairs rise on my neck every time I read it, but I cannot determine which other novel it was. And it means I’d have to re-read a few maybe to see which one it reminds me of. Not sure I want to spend time chasing ghosts. I can’t blame the authors; there are only so many words and there could have been some sort of synchronicity going on. * Ed Slott’s Retirement Decisions Guide: 125 Ways to Save and Stretch Your Wealth (2016, finance) by Ed Slott. Yargh. Money should be simple. You make it. You keep it, invest it, save it, or spend it. You can make interest off it and profit from it. There should not be 400-who-knows-how-many laws about how to save and use (and pay tax on sometimes more than once!) your money. It’s almost better to be poor. Except even the poor need money to live.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Only losing a couple of branches in the recent winter weather event.
  • The neighbor who helped cut up those branches to get them out of the driveway.
  • Getting out of the house after being inside for a week.
  • Friends who were able to participate in the Women’s Marches all over the nation on Saturday.
  • People all over the world standing with the Women’s Marches in the United States of America.
  • All the generations of women who have worked for the rights of women to be themselves and not a possession.
  • Freedom of speech and press.
  • Seeing so many people waking up to the consciousness of the planet.
  • Learning patience when you can do nothing else.
  • Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley and John Lewis.
  • What a difference ten degrees makes.
  • The little birds who have come out of hiding from the ice now the ice is gone.
  • Indigenous people who are still standing for the protection of our water at Standing Rock.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Education, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Photography, Poetry, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude Sunday: Beyond Yourself

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Snow melt turns blanket
to quilt, drift stitched to drift, white
patch pieced next to green.

Sunday Musings
Snow in the Portland metro area is not predictable. It is random, even rarish, and because of that makes a mess when it comes. Traffic gridlocks; people can’t get to work, or school. Businesses lose money. People can be isolated or caught at the wrong time between grocery shopping trips or have to cancel important medical appointments.

In the winter I like to buy ahead just a little bit. You know, have a little bit extra of the basics on hand, coffee; milk and cream; cheese; fruits and veg; TP. Oh yes, TP. I hate that time I don’t have extra on hand and the hubster has to walk the mile round trip to the local convenience store and pay 7 dollars for a 4 pack, when on a good sale I can get 24 rolls for 7 bucks. The walk doesn’t hurt him; the convenience was how much money the store made from the transaction.

When the son was growing up we had a house rule. When it snowed we played in it now, no matter when it happened. We didn’t wait til morning, or until it stopped snowing. By morning it could be gone or iced over. If we waited until it stopped snowing the precipitation might turn to rain. Hardly ever regretted this rule.

Will the son remember those nights I woke him up because it was snowing? Or the mornings we went straight from bed to outdoor clothes because it’s happening now? That we put on as much clothing as we could and used socks on our hands when we couldn’t find the gloves and braved the snow and the cold and the dark to make snowmen and snow angels that would be melted in a few hours? I know he will remember the elusive quality of Oregon snow.

Every so often the Portland metro area has a significant snow event, and it cripples us, because we just are not used to it. The transplants, the folks from back east and the Midwest, from eastern Oregon, who are used to snow most of the winter and know how to drive in it and cope with it, laugh at us valley Oregonians who scream “snow day” at the first inch. This current event is likely to be a full week of being trapped by the snow before it’s done with us. Snow may be beautiful to look at and fun for children to play in, but it can also be dangerous and deadly.

It is a challenge in our capitalistic society to have a week of snow days. Businesses and individuals lose money, not being able to get to work or suffering property damage from the weather. Elders can be in need of help and caught unawares. Anybody can get cabin fever and take a tumble when they decide to brave the elements. But we can’t shut down the community because of the weather. The show must go on.

Many communities don’t have funds to assist all their citizens. If you are out shoveling your sidewalk, take a few more minutes and shovel the neighbor’s as well. Especially if you know they are older people or generally in need of assistance. It’s just time and a little more effort, which probably won’t hurt a bit. Or if it will hurt, get your teenager to go shovel the neighbor’s house after you’ve shoveled yours. Let the kid know not to expect to be paid or thanked and to take their time to do a good job. Let them know it’s the right thing to do either way. Sometimes help is so simple and so needed. And you don’t have to wait for challenging weather to have empathy and help others.

If you are otherwise able bodied you could volunteer at your local severe weather shelter. If you are cleaning shelves and cupboards, donate unused blankets and gently used coats. “Help bags”, plastic ziplock bags filled with new clean socks and gloves, toothpaste and brushes, lip balm, a few non-perishable edibles like jerky and granola bars, along with a few dollars, are always welcome at the warming centers and many churches will distribute them as well. We can do so many things to help each other. We can even reach out and know our neighbor’s names and phone numbers and be willing to check on each other. Like people did when I was growing up. It’s nice knowing your neighbors. You don’t have to like them. You don’t even have to like them to help take care of them. Life is hard for most of us and we may never know how hard the other person’s life has been. And how much they appreciate what you do even if they never say.

If we can’t physically help, we still can help. We have voices. We can pass along information about where and how to help. We can encourage those who can to help those who can’t. We can take the time to thank all the people who were able to step up and help. We can share gratefulness for those who are still currently able and do the physical work, and encourage the youngers to step up when they can. And we can pass blessings on to the people who received the help as they likely provided that same help in their younger days.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – So white here this week. One of the measurements. dscn2787 Gray and white day. dscn9663 Love the stark wavy branches laced with snow. dscn9748 Tabletop looks like a gigantic marshmallow puff, with cushy chairs to match. dscn2785

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991, rated PG) with Helen Mirren and Helena Bonham Carter, a rather confusing period piece, with no subtitles available. * Sound of My Voice (2012, rated R), another Brit Marling film, presenting questions about reality, time, and spiritual dimensions as most of her work does. * Touch (2012-2013, not rated TV series), I’m not a fan of Kiefer Sutherland, who plays the dad of an autistic son whose mother died 9-11, just before the boy was a year old. I do, however, have a fascination for numbers and math, and I like Danny Glover who plays a consulting professor, and after the first episode I’m willing to watch another. We’ll see if it gets too formulaic, or if it keeps being fascinating.

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Currently ReadingTruly Madly Guilty (2016, fiction) by Liane Moriarty is a good summer read. A little fluffy for winter. * The Girl on the Train (2015, fiction) by Paula Hawkins. I’ve waited a long time in queue for this and by fluke my sister gave it to me. Standard British mystery so far, but it messes me up when the editor misses that moss doesn’t grow on the undersides of rocks and when you drop something when out of doors if falls on the ground or the street or the sidewalk, not on the floor. I know. Picky, picky, picky. * Ed Slott’s Retirement Decisions Guide: 125 Ways to Save and Stretch Your Wealth (2016, finance) by Ed Slott. Why are finances so hard to understand? Banking and tax rules are just crazy making. It should not be hard to save and keep your money. Not like I have wealth. I’m just trying to keep the pittance I am grateful to have. What I want is information explaining how poor people whose every penny of income goes to rent, bills, transportation, and food, can save toward retirement.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Having plenty to keep me busy while stuck inside during this week’s snow event.
  • Not losing power or water during the weather.
  • The clothes washer that puked water all over the floor last week, appears to be working properly, temporarily at least.
  • Having a small amount of money in savings.
  • Hearing strange “ploof” sounds outside and realizing it was globs of snow falling off the trees. Every time a glob fell, a little burst of snow sprinkle would follow right after. I could almost hear it: ploof, sprinkle, ploof, sprinkle.
  • Not having the pressure to “go” to work, or having to call and tell the supervisor I won’t drive the mile in the weather which was always a special kind of torture. No income isn’t much fun, but things are changing every day.
  • Finishing a short story. Writers understand how hard it is to finish something.
  • How warm my new quilt is. I need to wrap it around me more and soften up the stitches. Not brave enough to run it through that tricky washer right now, and besides, it’s still clean.
  • My mother-in-law’s pancake recipe which I amend with a spoonful of vanilla. You have to let the batter sit and work before it’s ready for the griddle, but it is so worth it. Fat fluffy cakes spread with almond butter and a drip of real maple syrup or homemade berry jam. Oh, my.
  • Having of bag of sweet mandarins in the house when I am craving them. When it snows I want citrus.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch</p

Posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gratitude Sunday: Words Matter

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Crystal water makes
feather patterns on my cold
windshield. Icy lace.

Sunday Musings
I made an observation this season on social media. Not that I’m a stickler or picky (I am, I am), but all the spelling and usage errors made me crazy. I didn’t bother to correct everybody’s English on social media; that would hurt their feelings when all they meant was offering good tidings and cheer, and I find mostly people don’t care if their written language use is correct and they get offended when told they are incorrect. But if we don’t all make an effort to use the same language, just what are we saying? Are we saying anything at all? It’s easily alleviated. It takes education, repetition, and persistence. Does anybody remember proper spelling and grammar? If communication is muddled it is easier to make a muddle and keep information muddled. An uneducated society is much easier to mislead than an educated one.

I have some letters from my grandmother who might have finished 8th grade, but not likely, and her creative spelling and fanciful handwriting are a wonder. She was mostly self taught and I find it charming the effort she made to say what she wanted with her pen.

That’s why language was standardized and dictionaries were invented. If you read documents from the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s spelling and punctuation were footloose and fancy free, and meaning and intent were often obscured because of ambiguities in the language. Even into the 1900s spellings had variations, and now with social media, creative applications of spelling, grammar, and punctuation are enjoying a new high.

With social media and texting, people feel free to shorten or create words and much of what is said cannot be interpreted. Or they ignore conventional usage so a person does not know if they mean two, to, or too. Then you have to ask what was meant. May as well stick to standard English in the first place.

Here are some seasonal examples from this year:
Happy Hollidays. (Possibly forgivable. Not.)
Merry Christmas too All. (Also All? Inclusive to what?)
Merry Christmas to you and your famliy’s. (Wild apostrophes! Plural [more than one] is “families”.)
Merry Christmas from our family to you’res. (Wait, what? Most creative word invention I’ve seen.)
Mary Christmas. (One of my favorite Christmas characters: Mary)
Merry Christmas to Al, of my friends and family. (Dear sweet Al, the only one I really want to wish a Merry Christmas.)

As I said I did not correct these good wishes on social media. Why crush the spirit of good will over words? Because words do matter. Words can crush as quickly as fists.

Words can also build. Words can share information, can convey ideas, can affect and effect (there’s a tricky couple of words) social policy, and can change a culture. That’s what I want this year; to help build a better world through words. Using words is never easy because they are easy to misconstrue. Did you mean this or did you mean that? And how do you express something you hardly have words for?

Words are the communicators but we are the operators. How we use our words is important. For example, and this is a wild example, what does the word moron mean to you? Or idiot? Do moronic idiot and idiotic moron mean the same thing? Yes, I’m having a little fun with nonsense. Applying moron, idiot, moronic idiot, or idiotic moron to real people either verbally or in print is just not polite. Used in fiction, it indicates certain character traits, don’t they? Those fictionally bestowed character traits are so easily transferred when used with actual people. Maybe it is best to avoid words like this altogether even though they are in the dictionary. We all know what we mean by them, but with all the words we have available to us can we find another way to describe what we like and don’t like? I’m saying when people do or say things we don’t like that we don’t automatically say things about the person. If we are moved to a comment, it may be more productive to comment about the action they performed or words they said that we don’t like, rather than attacking the character of the person.

I’m finicky. As in picky. As in picky, picky, picky. And as picky as I am, I still make mistakes. Because I know I do, I still take the time to look up words that are easy to confuse; I don’t even bother to trust my own memory. I won’t make a list for you. Most people don’t care. If you are interested, I’d be happy to tutor you in English, but I won’t bother generally to correct your grammar or spelling on social media. I will ask you if I don’t understand what you are saying. I expect nothing less from others, as I take great effort to use words to the best of my ability. I’m lucky. I’m only just fair at taking criticism, but I love to learn so it sort of balances out.

If you don’t understand why the above holiday greetings were not correct, I blame recent educational standards as well. It’s not just about you. It’s about how the education system failed you. With this caveat: you can, and have always been able to, teach yourself. That’s right. You don’t need a teacher to guide you through it (though I find when you need a teacher, they come). You can check out books from the local lending library, you can look up stuff on the internet, you can ask experts sometimes even in their own work space.

Here’s to a new year where we know words are important. Communication is nothing without them. Let’s use words to build each other up, to improve our society, to object to process and procedure without denigrating the people behind those processes and procedures. And when a breach shows we can still say what we think with civility, even if it takes sophisticated words. Because we are adults, not 3rd graders. And we know words matter.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – The ground may be covered with snow and we may be feeling the cold, but the earth knows what is right around the corner. Look at these little greenies popping up already.

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Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} No Letting Go (2016, not rated), the difficult subject of childhood mental illness. I found this movie painful to watch because of the sensitive material. * The Late Show (1977, rated PG) with Lily Tomlin and Art Carney, a neo-noir mystery I’ve never watched before. Speaking of spelling, at the end of this movie Carney’s and Tomlin’s characters are coming out of a cemetery after burying a friend. The sign (obviously a prop and not the real cemetery sign) says “Hollywood Cemetary”. One word worth double checking every time. * Another Earth (2011, rated PG – 13), a mirror earth suddenly shows up in the sky. * Netflix’s series The OA (2016, not rated TV series), I can’t tell you anything, because it would all be spoilers, except you MUST watch this for yourself. I was so amazed and impressed I watched it twice and the weird thing now is I want to watch it again or give me another season. * Netflix’s series The Magicians (2015, not rated TV series) from the young adult novel of the same name by Lev Grossman. Magic students find a variety of upper education options outside the magical university.

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Currently ReadingTruly Madly Guilty (2016, fiction) by Liane Moriarty, an exploration of relationship dynamics while waiting to find out what happened the day of the barbeque. * White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America (2016, social history) by Nancy Isenberg. This is a thick professionally researched treatise that has a long queue at my local lending library. I can see already I will have to read it in more than one check-out period. Ms Isenberg has done her homework.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • A few family members who were able to get together for a holiday celebration, almost thwarted by a weather event, but a thaw occurred in the nick of time.
  • Being the new owner of a beautiful hand-made queen-sized quilt, with pink and purple material picked especially with me in mind, from my gorgeous niece. As if she doesn’t have enough to do with a husband, a 5 yo, and a 1 yo. I’m not sure I’ve ever had such energy. She makes clever things too like baby clothes and baby doll clothes.
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  • Smelling the crisp cold air as the wind pushes it through the cracks in the house.
  • The “thrio” of squirrels playing together on my back yard fence and in the neighbor’s trees. First time I’ve seen three of them together.
  • Not losing our electricity or water during recent weather events.
  • Ms Techno-ditz received a stand alone 3.5 floppy disk drive, so I can retrieve some old work and work on it. Another learning curve ahead.
  • Being an auto-didact. Even when it sorta scares me or seems over my head.
  • My own walls and roof which protect me and mine against the weather.
  • Hearing the laughs and screams as the neighbors and their children play in the snow with other neighbors. Enough snow for a good snowball fight or a shallow snow angel, not enough for a snow man or snow wall/fort.
  • How good doing the dishes feels when the weather is this cold. It’s all about the hot water.
  • Conscious breathing. In. Out.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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Gratitude Sunday: Prayers For The Yuletide Holidays

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Crisp long nights upon
us, sun begins its lazy
journey north again.

Sunday Musings
Seasons Greetings! In honor of the 29 religious holidays that take place during this season I wish you Happy Holidays. All of them. It is a plural thing as many of us celebrate Christmas/New Years or Chanukah/New Years or more than one holiday during this season. No matter the religion. How and who you worship doesn’t matter. What matters is somewhere along the line one takes the time to honor what has gone past in the year, to be grateful for what one has in the present, and to welcome the future. And even celebrate a little.

For me honoring the past means letting go of regrets. We do the best we can. Sometimes the best laid plans and good choices don’t work out, usually for reasons beyond our control. Keep trying new things, not the same old things. Be flexible. No regrets.

Be grateful for this minute. This now. It won’t come again and you can do amazing things with it even if it’s only a nap to restore yourself. Be in each moment. Live now, now. Let go and embrace the pain of the past and do not fear what hasn’t yet happened. This now is what it is and all one really knows is now anyway. At least until somebody discovers the mechanisms to travel through alternative time lines.

Isn’t it amazing to wake up every day? How many days will your future contain? Each new day comes. Each evening a bed awaits. Days come and come again as they become now and slip into the past. I’m grateful to wake up every day.

I have desires. My desires are not hope. I don’t think much about hope; hope doesn’t do the hard physical and emotional work; hope is more like wishing and we know what wishing gets for us. I have this feeling, though, that many people share my desires. So I invite you in my prayer. To my mind prayer is asking for help from whatever energies are out there. Asking for help is sharing your concerns and trying to solve them. It’s part of the work. You can pray to whatever god/s, goddess/es, universe/s, spiritual power/s, or natural energy you wish. That part doesn’t matter (seems like so little matters). What matters is that we share. Share our hearts, and some light, and some love, and continue to work for what is good, and even what is right and just, on this planet.

I pray for:

The end of jealousy, greed, exploitation, and hate.
Love and kindness prevailing.
Open hearts knowing we are all connected.
Increasing the intelligence of Americans: read.
Reducing consumerism and increasing caring support of others who have less.
Courage to endure the political climate and resist tyranny as needed.
Comfort for all who need a solid roof, a warm bed, or a full tummy.
Finding abundance in our lives instead of deprivation.
Empathy for others who are not like us. And really there is no two of us the same, though we are alike.
Maintaining that feeling of the higher power in our lives in whatever form that takes, to feel the light in us.
Peace on earth upon and within us all.

I wish you all the cheer of the season, especially if you are enduring loss and grief. Without loss we cannot know love. Look to the light within you and there you will find the light of the ones you love. Celebrate the ones whom we miss and keep them in your now by telling their stories; keep their Christmases alive through your memories. And I pray you have a Merry Yuletide!

Color Watchcolorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – All the red and green this week. Red berries for the birds. And cheerful eye candy for us. dscn7256 Some red without the green, but with a sturdy network of brown. dscn7248 Sharp green points of holly, bright red round berries for the birds. dscn1134

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Season 2 of Gotham (2015, TV series rated TV-14), an intense version of the teen-aged Bruce Wayne, before he becomes Batman, and the story of James Gordon before he becomes Police Commissioner. * In the spirit of the season: The Santa Clause (1994, rated PG) with Tim Allen, still a little piece of film magic and it has a wienie whistle! * A Very Murray Christmas (2015, TV-MA), with Bill Murray up to his usual off-beat stuff.

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Currently ReadingThe Snow Child (2012, fiction), by Eowyn Ivey, is a story of loss set in 1920s Alaska, a childless homesteading couple build a child from snow. * White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America (2016, social history) by Nancy Isenberg. Just starting but I can see the writing on the wall of the exploitation of poor (“waste”) people to build America for the benefit of the few.

I still haven’t chosen a Winter Classic and the solstice has passed. Some summer reading books I had been in a long queue for arrived, so I will be reading them while I make my decision. Any suggestions?

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • The toddler who decided to bestow me with a brilliant smile and a “Hi” as if I were his long lost friend, while I was having a tearful meltdown in the store.
  • The two lovely women who helped me with hugs and pats on the back during the same meltdown mentioned above.
  • The beauty in other people.
  • Seeing a couple neighborhood squirrels when I thought they were already tucked away in hibernation.
  • The weather letting up so I could get out and about.
  • The hubster towel drying the very wet kitchen floor after I mopped. I’d just completely run out of steam.
  • How good a freshly mopped floor feels.
  • Getting the Christmas magic under control.
  • Scotch tape.
  • Sitting down for a break Christmas Eve evening and finding Holiday Handbells on public broadcasting. Refreshing change to the usual.
  • The flock of birds (geese?) that flew round the sky in circles to entertain me when I got stuck in traffic just before dusk. I suspect they were scouting for a night camp. Loved watching their airborne meander.
  • Not forcing myself to eat when I am not feeling well.
  • Hot tea.
  • Sweet buttery Comice pears.
  • A juicy bag of mandarins.
  • Reading history and watching historical documentaries, so much better than what the basketball coach exposed me to in high school 45 years ago.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude Sunday: Keeping The Magic In Christmas

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Pure, white, clean, changes
how everything looks, hides some
imperfections now.

Sunday Musings
Yup! Next Sunday is the big day at our house and I’m not ready. The Sunday after that is the family party and I’m not ready for that either. One of the stories of my life: I’m not ready. And that’s despite trying.

I’m not good at following rules. I’m really good at questioning authority. Whatever label you put on that combination they haven’t helped much in meeting a minimum standard of living. Couple that with generational poverty and the societal barriers of trying to achieve a middle-class existence. I was flattered this week when an adviser told me I already live a frugal life and would be hard pressed to find more corners to cut. She also showed me other financial news I was expecting but did not want to face. The truth is for the rest of my life it is doubtful I will make ends meet and retirement “security” is even more elusive. That’s not to mean I still can’t make something happen to change that picture. As the adviser said, “You had a great plan.” So there it is: plans change and it’s time to come up with another great plan.

My default mechanism is whining and complaining, topped with moaning and groaning, and a fair piece of kicking and screaming. Often that’s how I find a solution, it’s just not a very cheery path. Since this is a cheery time of year, I have to be careful how I talk to people. I’ve taken a long time to learn mostly it’s better to keep my mouth shut. I don’t know if that is betraying my true self, but I think I’m getting old enough not to care much either way any more.

I am at a complete loss for ideas for gifts for my guys. Usually by this time in the season I at least have some idea and a plan for the shopping part if necessary. This year? No such luck. And you know I hate to shop just to shop. We aren’t a BIG gift household anyway so it looks like I am going to have to get really creative. I’ll figure out how to make some kind of magic happen and the deadline is upon me. Perhaps I will stick a bow on my head and sleep under the Christmas tree, so in the morning I will be the gift I give to my family. I think they are pretty lucky to have me. I’m sure glad to have them.

To complicate the gift challenge the Portland Metro area keeps having snowy, icy, and cold weather events. Valley Oregonians do not do snow well. One and a half inches of snow can cause a city-wide gridlock, even with 4 wheel drive rigs and chained tires. I don’t go out in it if I can avoid it.

I take advantage of the cold days by bundling up and buckling down. I need some kind of part time income and with my physical challenges I have to be creative on producing that income. As long as I have any kick left to me I will have to do work of some sort to get one end somewhere near the other, at least near enough they can wave at each other. No life of luxury, no retirement in ease for this old girl. Creativity might become my other middle name.

How blessed are people for whom all those good plans work. The ones America was made for. The opportunists and hard workers whose choices click and give them profit and success. I am grateful it works for some of us. I am sad it does not work for all of us. I am sad America doesn’t have social policy to help the ones who experience challenges despite good choices and best efforts. I get tired of having to think all the time (especially when I’m already tired from pain and illness) about money: how to make it and the most frugal ways to use it. I don’t mind being frugal, I’ve lived a simple lifestyle (read: low-income level according to American standards) for many years. I would just rather be able to save some of it. In this society you always need money. The future is only going to cost us more. And living is about so much more than money.

I have a week. Somehow I will make Christmas happen. Santa and women make magic from energy. There will be packages under the tree. Santa will come sometime in the middle of the night Christmas Eve and fill those medium sized stockings with all manner of neat stuff and yummy candy. There will be paper ripping and ribbon tossing and thank yous all around. It’s a woman thing; we make the magic happen. Especially when we put ribbons in our hair and sleep under the tree.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – It’s mostly white around here this week. Fat fluffly flakes layer frozen white lace on backyard trees. dscn9661 Neighbor’s shed roof makes a clean white slate ripe for snow art. dscn9739 Thaw and freeze, thaw and freeze, dimples like wind on sand. dscn0390

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Season 2 of Gotham (2015, TV series rated TV-14), an intense version of the teen-aged Bruce Wayne, before he becomes Batman. * In the spirit of the season: White Christmas (1954, not rated) the classic with Bing and Danny and Rosemary, the colorized one. I remember watching it when I was a kid after they put it on TV on the old black and white TV set Dad had. He wouldn’t watch it with us. * Christmas with the Kranks (2004, rated PG), with Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, from the novel Skipping Christmas (2001, fiction) by John Grisham. The Kranks cancel Christmas, then have to hustle when it is suddenly back on at the last minute. Mayhem and hilarity.

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Currently ReadingThe Snow Child (2012, fiction), by Eowyn Ivey, is a story of loss set in 1920s Alaska, then odd events begin to happen. * Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: Death Stories of Tibetan, Hindu, and Zen Masters (1997, Buddhism) by Sushila Blackman. Interesting what people say and what others record when one is at death’s door.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Having no appointments to keep or cancel when the snow arrived.
  • Being inside and warm when the temperatures dipped.
  • Warm sweaters, thick socks, and fat blankets.
  • Hot cocoa and buttered toast.
  • The pretty little bird who danced around in the snow on the front deck eating the seeds from the weedheads poking above the snow. Little moments of natural joy.
  • The brain still working a bit.
  • Waking up every day.
  • Looking forward to the solstice this week and the return of the sun.
  • Remembering simple is often better.
  • No damage during the recent weather event.
  • The deep cold we are having and hoping it lasts just long enough to kill the bugs that have wintered over the last several years, especially the ants.
  • Leftovers, for lazy days.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Careers, Education, Entertainment, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gratitude Sunday: Laughing All The Way

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

floral[1]

Sunday Haiku
Oh weather! Fickle
mistress of nature. Snow, rain,
sun, what hour is it?

Sunday Musings
Tree’s in, mounted in the stand, watered, lit, decorated, and skirted. Only took three days this year. I had to replace the battery on the remote control but it’s worth it to be able to turn on the lights with the push of a button instead of crawling around behind the tree. The hubster helped me mount it; the son helped me string the lights.

Mister Kitty aka George Murphy has finally been with us long enough to be comfortable showing an interest in the tree. He freaked out a little when I started cleaning and moving furniture. Since we found him outside in a tree, from his reaction this year I am more inclined than ever to think somebody just abandoned him. I feel lucky to have him. He is easily trained with a firm “No” and is a companion to all three of us. Funny thing though, he’s different with all three of us. He’ll play in front of the guys but not in front of me. When I caught him playing with a gold ball off the tree, he hunkered down and gave me the wild side-eye. I took the ornament away from him, firmly told him “No”, and replaced the gold ball with one of his toys. He sat back on his haunches, stretched his back tall, blinked his eyes, and stalked away like “You know I don’t play in front of you.” Occasionally he lets me hear him playing with something, but it will be in the other room in front of one of the guys. He’s showing me how regal he is I guess. Or he’s a control freak aka cat.

We’ll see if this training technique works. I wonder if Mister remembers something similar happening last year. I might have to look up studies on cat memories. I’m grateful to have the work done until it’s time to take it all down. Now I can sit down and enjoy a lap full of cat. And lights at the touch of a remote button.

I need to get down to the serious business of getting gifts ready. Once the tree goes up it’s ready for gifts under it and can grow and change every day. I wrap all kinds of little things for gifts, so there are lots of packages, even though what’s in the package might not have cost much. It’s fun to get lots of stuff.

My favorite part of our family tradition is the Christmas Stocking. Another opportunity for a plethora of tiny gifts. Last year I found this tiny screwdriver kit that both the guys have thanked me more than once for. We all use electronics so packets of screen wipes or little cans of air have been a hit as well. Little flashlights are the best. Cash fits nicely in the toe of the stocking. Assorted chocolates and favorite candies fill odd spaces. Pre-paid phone cards slip flatly along the side. Total abundance in one little (hwell, medium sized) stocking. We all look forward to sharing that time together still.

I love the little things. Oddball stuff you might not otherwise consider. One year our stockings had little wind-up racers and that afternoon three silly adults whiled away an hour racing these funny little toys and laughing until we were nearly sick.

I have fun seeing how much I can get for how little. I make every bit of money spent count. Pardon the pun. The years of breaking my budget for a holiday are long past. It’s all good. I’ve plenty of stuff to give, and lots of crafting materials to make more stuff with or to pretty up packages.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to watch some funny movies. I want to hibernate in the winter, when I should be concentrating on my writing, and my yoga, and getting more corners of my house cleaned out. So my days are full, and my nights will be humorous. Laughter is an element of good medicine, and nothing is more satisfying than a good laugh. I’m hoping the humor will help me prepare to embark on a new adventure. Which is what the new year is about.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Finally the Pacific Northwest got its first hard freeze and some snow, so that’s the end of the roses for the season. I spied winter blooming camellias in the snow. winter-camellia1 So much white weighing down the pine branches in the back yard. dscn2804 On my yard toys: no wind will spin this yellow daisy around. dscn2733 Blue bird carrying snow on its back. dscn2737 Cold white entrance to this little handmade birdhouse. dscn2777

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Finished the Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow current series. Fun superhero action. * About Cherry (2012, rated R) about a pretty young woman who takes a job in the porn film industry because the money is good. Spoiler: she succeeds and progresses from actor to director of the films. Just boring. Meh.

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Currently ReadingThe Blood of Flowers (2015, fiction) by Anita Amirrezvani, a coming of age story about a young woman who learns rug making and more in 1620 Iran. Enjoying how fiction can help me time and culture travel. * Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: Death Stories of Tibetan, Hindu, and Zen Masters (1997, Buddhism) by Sushila Blackman. Stories of the final words, poems, and meditations or revered monks and nuns.

I’m still undecided on the choice for a Winter Classic read. I looked at a couple lists and nothing piqued my interest, which means I must keep looking. Suggestions?

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • Walking out into my driveway and finding Wild America: a whole flock of the little brown birds I love playing in the puddle, and two squirrels scampering down the drive to dive into the plum tree they’ve built their nest in.
  • A bit of snow. Valley Oregonians don’t do snow well. I like to stay in and not go anywhere.
  • A warm house.
  • Extra layers of clothing to throw on.
  • Little fist-sized acorn squash just the right size for a small family. The guys don’t care for squash much so I get a nice little feast.
  • The winter farmers market where I found the tiny squash.
  • Roasting root vegetables, like beets and carrots and potato and onion in olive oil with garlic. It makes them so sweet.
  • The relief from getting into the pool after a puny physical day.
  • Swimming upstream. My metaphor.
  • The 29 different religious holidays celebrated during this quarter of the year. However you worship honor the right of others to worship differently than you, and thank god and the universe we are not clones.
  • The hubster and the son helping with the tree with few complaints.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

floral[1]

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Entertainment, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment