Gratitude Sunday: New Spring, New Easter

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.

Sunday Haiku
Bright white light fills my
eye, soft gray clouds obscure my
sight, cover my sigh.

Sunday Musings
Happy Easter however you celebrate it!

Regardless of spiritual overtones, Easter time represents the best of spring, a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, birth, changes, transitions, movement. It marks another year in the wild crazy adventure we call life.

In my youth I thought of life as a destination. If I can accomplish this one thing I will be happy. If this happens I will be content. When that thing comes through we’ll finally be good. Yet with every success and failure little satisfaction was obtained.

As I grew older I began to realize the only destination is death and I better embrace the journey along the way. The journey, however, has proved to be a struggle as there have been small joys and massive amounts of distress. The normal/average/typical road is difficult. The road less traveled is exponentially harder. This journey has been full of failures, nay, of lessons learned and not learned. This journey has also been full of successes as ephemeral and amorphous as they are.

Now I am older still and the destination looms hopefully still far in the future. The journey fades as each day becomes a failure and a success merely because I got through it. Each day is a gift to be made of what I will.

The past is memory. I judge myself on it and carry the burden of it. Yet if you tell nothing of your past to others, it hardly matters, certainly not to others who carry their own burdens. Is our past real or can it fade into fiction? Is it the reality or the fiction time has made of memories that is our burden? If it hardly matters why do we carry the weight of our past? The past is hard to give up because we carry our memories in our bodies not just our brains. The past is in our muscles, our blood, our cells, our DNA even when the memory proves elusive.

The future does not exist. We perceive the future in our imaginations: we plan, we make goals, we visualize, but we live only this very moment. I may want to have lunch at noon but so many things can happen between this now when I am in the moment of thinking of lunch, and that moment when I sit down to lunch, the concept of noon may seem arbitrary to the fact of when I’m having a meal. The phone could ring, I could trip over the cat, a bird might crash into the window, the dishwasher could overflow and lunch might not happen at noon. That crafty imagination brought all kinds of unnecessary concerns which don’t exist. The concerns are real enough; there are so many shoulds, woulds, and coulds. The concerns are not what necessarily what will happen; they are only possibilities in the myriad moments of the not-yet-existing “future”.

Which is evidence that even this moment we call now, slips away unceasingly like the current of a river. I can sit here writing, nothing changing in my immediate now, but time still passes, the sun moves across the sky, and life goes on for every person in my extended life. A phone call comes, or a text, or an e-mail, or a news report, and life has changed for someone else and there goes my river flowing off in an entirely new direction. It doesn’t matter if the news is good or bad; a change has happened. The past, the present, and the unknown future alters.

As a low-income person I have less control over how the river flows in my life. I am no longer able to control the flow and my influence is relegated to how I can keep what I have without falling further into poverty. One can live a good life with little, for example, Jesus Christ never owned property, nor did Mother Teresa, or Buddha. I am by no means comparing myself to them. Yet. One needs little in the way of material things to enjoy the bright changes in nature spring brings. Or to ride the current of change.

Spring’s colors and longer days seem to make transitions, changes, and re-birth or new birth easier. I don’t know if it’s the colors or the light or merely a sense of having survived another year, but I find spring to be refreshing and uplifting.

So life goes as the river flows. Welcome, Easter and Welcome, Spring!

Color Watchcolorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A cluster of bright and pastel daffodils next to the red brick of one of our city buildings. A creamy white bunch of blooms with golden centers. This tangle of varied pink cherry blossoms against the brown branches that produce them. The yellow green of these leaves against the tiny salmon pink buds. Vivid purple shooting star.

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.} Hell or High Water (2016, rated R) with Jeff Bridges. A pair of brothers rob the bank that holds their mortgage to pay off the mortgage. It’s a little more complicated than that, and even though it is a crime movie, the intricacies are fascinating. * Discovered two seasons of Call the Midwife (2016, TV series) I hadn’t seen. Despite the predictability of having a birth in each episode, and the same things said to coach each new mother, the series addresses social issues such as British National Health, the challenges of living in poverty, self-inflicted and back alley abortions, language barriers, drunken or abusive fathers, and babies born with disabilities in the late 1950s and early 1960s, social topics still very much in discussion. The character portrayal of the midwives and nuns is engaging, as well. * Florence Foster Jenkins (2016, rated PG -13) with Meryl Streep, from a true story of a socialite who thinks she can sing, and can’t, but she does anyway. We all should have such confidence. Another stellar performance from Streep. * The Passion of The Christ (2004, rated R), the Mel Gibson production. I had not watched this before and I won’t need to again. I admire the production but it was absolutely bloody brutal to watch especially with the current political climate; though we have no current Christ figures in our world we certainly have a similar amount of brutality in many forms. Make no mistake: Christ’s death was as much political as religious; greed and jealousy are disgusting reasons to hurt people. I’m familiar with the stories but in the movie I couldn’t tell who was who even after I figured out who most of the players were; everybody had dark hair and dark beards, or helmets. I have never understood the need (or pleasure – more disgust there) for some people to inflict pain upon others, and watching this movie reinforces to me that for whatever reason some people cannot rise above that base feeling. I have more questions now than before. Always questioning.

Currently Reading – Finished Pachinko (2017, fiction) by Min Jin Lee. Tragedies ping around the plot like a steel ball in an old mechanical pachinko machine and shines as brightly as a new electronic one. I understand more about the racism between Korea, Japan, and China now, and American racism toward Asian races. I find racism such a sad waste of human potential, and I don’t have to abide it; unfortunately so much racism was here before I was. * Finished Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (2016, sociology/haunted places) by Colin Dickey. Well done historical approach. Death is one of the sure things we have in this life; we cannot help but be fascinated with what happens after. And exciting for me: Mr Dickey was my classmate when we were seeking an under-graduate degree. I am happy to see him succeed. * Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science (2015, scientific morality and ethics) by Alice Dreger. Just starting, the introduction gives a clue I will be reading about the philosophy of ethics and morality of medical procedures altering the bodies of babies born with ambiguous genitalia. Fascinating. * Citizen: An American Lyric (2015, prose poetry) by Claudia Rankine, a series of frank prose addressing the current black experience, climate, exclusion, and blatant discrimination in white America.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Getting my taxes done and mailed.
  • How vivid the spring colors of flowers look when the sky is gray.
  • A few sunny peaks through the April showers.
  • The new baby giraffe at Animal Adventure Park after weeks of watching.
  • Resting when I needed to.
  • Being able to do my pool work-out when I wasn’t feeling up to par.
  • The pleasure of reading when I want, not just at breaks and lunch like when I was gainfully employed.
  • Getting up when my body says “Get up!” instead of by the clock.
  • The convenience of my own private bathroom.
  • Celebrating the successes of other people and not falling into the jealousy trap of comparisons.
  • A fat ripe sweet juicy pineapple.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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Gratitude Sunday: Makers And Doers

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.

Sunday Haiku
Spring’s bright flowers nod,
wind whips slender green stalks down,
cold air feels like snow

Sunday Musings
America used to be a country of doers and makers. Have we really evolved into a country of spectators and consumers? We don’t have to be.

A movie I recently watched (Loving) reminded me of habits of people in the past. I come from a low-income demographic, so I don’t know if this was or is how the upper levels live, but where I come from we learned to do many things for ourselves.

My parents kitchen gardened. Every year, not just on a whim. And every year we canned what we didn’t eat fresh. Mom cooked from scratch every day of the year. My mother made almost all our clothes by hand with a pattern and scissors and a sewing machine. How I hated the try-ons with all the pins in place, but I’ve never had such beautifully tailored clothing since. My mother made quilts, aprons, hot pads, throw pillows, and stuffed toy animals with the left-over material from the clothing. Mom painted and crafted and allowed us to do the same. I don’t remember any of my female relatives sitting down after the day’s work was “done” without some kind of hand work like sewing, knitting, crocheting, or embroidery in their lap.

My dad did his own car repairs. He made leather goods for his fellow police officers. He brewed his own beer and wine. He refinished his little boat with his own hands and rebuilt the trailer he hauled the boat with. He spent time taking care of his tools and fishing equipment because he didn’t want to replace them, and god forbid you should use a tool and not put it back exactly where you found it. And like my female relatives, I remember my male relatives out in the barn or the garage after dinner, not just couch diving after work, beer in hand.

My folks did all their own house painting inside and out. They refinished furniture and tried to start a picture framing business, cutting and finishing the wood for the frames themselves. They refinished the wood floors in their little WWII tract home, and re-shingled the roof twice by themselves, though from the stories and one home movie I have of the last re-roofing, it looks to me like Mom did most of the work. After Mom and Dad divorced Mom refinished the floors and stripped and refinished all the molding one more time. In Mom’s retirement years she ran a business making art with recycled materials and selling them at art fairs and farmers markets. I don’t think she ever sold a quilt but there was always a new one for every new baby and every new marriage in the family and for anyone who needed one.

My parents came from a long line of doers and makers because they had to do for themselves or go without. My hubster, however, comes from a different situation where he was an only child and his father had a really good job (which included a company car – that changes your living expenses). Hubster’s adopted, and we have learned details of his birth family; his parents married a few years after giving him away and while he has five natural biological siblings the birth family was also way better off than mine. Hubster has never worn anything but store bought clothing, and though his dad never touched a car in his life, he makes his best effort at resolving car issues before turning it over to a mechanic.

Do you make things? Do you fix things? Or do you just go out and buy what you want and pay other people to take care of your material stuff?

I’m not very good at making things or even taking care of my stuff. When I was employed in the hair and beauty industry, I made pretty things, hair barrettes and bands, and simple bridal veils. After inheriting my dad’s leather working equipment I added belts and hatbands to the mix and offered them for sale in the salon booth I rented. In my last job any attempts at bringing art into my work were squelched faster than Thor can throw a lightning bolt.

I can’t sew a straight seam to save my life even with a seam guide. Mom tried to teach me to sew and I even took Home Ec. Fave memory? The apron I made in Home Ec that was about 4 inches long instead of 14. I never figured out what I did wrong; probably cut first measured last. I’m sewing-challenged. My “art”, painting, crafting, knitting, never turns out the way I see it in my mind, usually only rendering nothing that could be recognized as art or craft, and when I am disappointed it all feels like a waste of time and resources. I pine for the abilities and talent of Susan Branch and Mary Engelbreit, but it is not meant to be for me. I hammer my words into shape and even those fail me sometimes.

The last few years before my mom died she said the only way to make it financially in this society was to have a home business in addition to your day job. She advocated making and doing until the day she died.

When America began we were doers and makers with only the wealthiest of us able to pay for the comfort of someone else doing and making it for us. Women made the beer and the bread and the babies and tended kitchen gardens, while their husbands made the saddles and the kettles and the houses and dug the graves. They sold what they made out of their homes with need for a business site only when they’d outgrown their homes.

There’s so much we could do. I know we have to have safety regulations, but I’m to the point where I would love to be able to pay somebody to make me quality home cooking at a reasonable price. I’m not fooled by grocery store delis and bakeries, “food” full of gross chemicals I can’t pronounce at horribly inflated prices to pay all the hands involved; it’s just fast food in drag.

And it’s not that I need clothing, but I’d love to have an outfit where the shoulders are where my shoulders are, and the darts are where my boobs are, and nothing is too tight or too loose anywhere, and the length of the pants and the top and the skirt are exactly the right proportion for my height.

I’d love to have a mechanic I can trust. Time after time I feel taken advantage of. But I don’t have the knowledge and can’t do it myself so they have me over a barrel. Home repair people too.

I’d love to be able to garden like my parents did, but I’m starting from scratch. With a half hour’s worth of steam in me I seem to re-do the same task day after day and nothing gets planted. I’d love to have somebody make me a couple raised beds and help me get a head start on that. I need raised beds because of the hubster’s scorched earth policy in yard care: if it’s lawn grass level it gets mowed. What do you mean that was a flower bed?

I have all kinds of desires I’d love, but since I don’t need much, and don’t have cash, I get to do without. I don’t feel deprived. I feel greatly abundant because I have a home full of stuff and a half hour’s steam every day and an ugly yard of my own. I feel abundant because I have working appliances and a solid roof and a working car. I feel abundant because I can still think about all the lovely stuff we can make and do and occasionally I can make it or do it.

And with this silly, strident, supportive voice of mine I can encourage you to keep on making what you make and doing what you do. Try selling what you make, or marketing what you do. Turn your home into a cottage industry. You don’t have to go Shark Tank (though cool if you want to), just make yourself another revenue stream. Our world would be interesting if we could eliminate the need to go to a workplace, and create our lives out of our homes. We’d still have plenty of social interaction. Maybe more so.

Anybody got my dinner ready yet? I’m on my way over.

Color Watchcolorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A creamy star magnolia. The first tulips; check out this neon orange. Soft yellow ruffles, yet another daffodil face. A fantasy of blue-purple grape hyacinth river with pink tulip trees. And these tiny pale pink fairy bells.

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.} Burglar (1987, rated R) with Whoopi Goldberg, one of her comedies about a bookstore owner who moonlights as a cat burglar. A Murphy’s law comedy, yes whatever can go wrong does, and Whoopi’s character gets to kick some serious ass. Totally a fun movie. * Finished season 2 of Schitt$ Creek (2015, not rated TV series), it will be fun when season 3 comes out.

Currently ReadingPachinko (2017, fiction) by Min Jin Lee. This story is set in Korea and Japan, the plot is intricately interwoven, and an interesting look at history on the average person level. I am halfway through the novel and we are finally entering the pachinko scene. * Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (2016, sociology/haunted places) by Colin Dickey. Parks and cemeteries and entire towns. Oh, my!

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Getting a job done I’d been wanting to finish.
  • My doctor suggesting I cut my medicine in half rather than prescribing an additional medicine. Yay.
  • Old TV sitcoms. Nothing beats The Andy Griffith Show and the home town wisdom of Mayberry.
  • How bright and beautiful my red Christmas tablecloth looks on my table. Looking forward to changes coming soon.
  • The patience one develops while revising one’s own work. Trying to be gentle with myself while also being my own worst critic.
  • Time to write. Time to re-write. Time to re-write. Time to re-write.
  • Watching my lilacs mature. I love all the stages. They are likely my all time favorite flower. My mom’s too. These bushes are from clippings from bushes my grandmother brought with her when she moved to Oregon. I think of my grandmother, my mom, my brother who potted them and started them for me, and my son who dug the holes and helped me plant them every year when they bloom.
  • Discovering the least expensive way to wax my legs and still being able to do it myself.
  • The beach in my mind when I can’t get there for real.
  • That my brother is retired from the Navy and no longer under the threat of serving active duty. While I appreciate why we have a military force and the people who serve and have served, my belief is we have too much war and not enough peace.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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

A Brief Treatise On Pockets

What is it about pockets in women’s clothing? They are too small or the wrong shape or in the wrong place. Who designs pockets? Cause get a clue. Women need better pockets.

My pants pockets aren’t big enough to hold a set of keys, which is what I need.

The pockets on my everyday sweater are in the front over my stomach. And too small. Now that’s comfortable. Not.

My down vest has pockets nearly in the right place but they are only big enough to get my first shoved into. God forbid I should want to stretch my fingers.

Almost every other pocket I own is too small. Too small for my hand even folded into a fist, too small for a small billfold so I can travel hands free, too small for my cell phone, too small for a set of keys. In short, they are too brief.

I don’t like cargo pants. If I’m going to carry that much stuff, I’ll take a backpack, thank you very much, where the stuff is all in one place, not distributed around my body. I just want regular clothing with bigger pockets in the right place. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

Especially in outerwear, people. Why in the world would I wear a heavy wool coat against the weather and have a tiny pocket you can’t squeeze your hand into? Duh, pockets are there in case you forget your gloves, or to stuff your gloves into as the weather warms. Small pockets are not a tease, they are a rip off.

I can buy men’s clothing and the pockets are big and deep and on the sides where they should be. I’m going to stop buying women’s clothing. Men’s are cheaper anyway. Women have as much need for functional pockets as men.

Women’s clothing designers, hear my plea. Make clothing with pockets in mind. Cut the cloth a little generously so the pockets lie right. Make the pockets large and sturdy and on the sides where women’s arms are, not over their stomachs. If you lack imagination you can ask me. I have ideas.

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Gratitude Sunday: Spring Into Poetry

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.

Sunday Haiku
Pink! Yellow! Purple!
Spring screams its name in living
color, right out loud.

Sunday Musings
April is National Poetry Month. I love poetry in almost all forms. In a few words a feeling of beauty or love or sorrow or amazement or sublimity can be conveyed. In a larger amount of words whole worlds can be achieved. Through words!

What is poetry? A hard question for sure. Poetry is not just rhyme, though rhyming is fun. Poetry can cover any topic and create many moods including humor. Poetry is personal; what pleases me may or may not please you. Poetry is universal; no matter the language the words still reach us.

Why should we care about poetry? Because we need beauty in our lives. Because life is too weird without art and beauty. Poetry and all the arts are the real reason we live. Art gives us the ability to tolerate the mundane, the deadly boring process of making a living just to live modestly in society, to get from one minute of the day to the next because we are able to put two beautiful words together to make a picture, or to make pictures in your chosen medium that inspire two beautiful words.

Art, for some of us, is the one thing, the only thing, we have control of. You can’t control other people, how they think or how they behave. You can’t control how systems work without generations of rethinking and working toward a change. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control consequences (because: other people). You can’t control your body.

You can take care of things, like your body, and your belongings and property, but age and decay will occur regardless. You can work hard, but no guarantees there; your body may fail or you may be terminated from your job in a unwarranted way when you least want it or when you are least able to gain new employment. You can be enterprising, become an entrepreneur with your own business, but you will still work with other people, whom of course we can’t (and don’t want to) control, and any time other people are involved there is the element of surprise.

But art. Art you can control. You create the world. You create the story. You wash the background with color. You populate your art with characters you can control. Here’s where the mysteries happen. Anybody who writes will tell they have had the experience of the characters telling the writer how to write them. Writers who are in the flow, in the full zen of the word, sometimes find their characters come to them (the writer), and write themselves. This is a powerful experience. If a writer is using their imagination where does the character or story come from?

Let’s pause there to think about that. Who is controlling whom? Is the writer in control? Is the writer’s imagination in control? Does the character come from some kind of “beyond”, needing to have a venue for its words?

Then there’s the writer-reader phenomena. What I write and what you understand when you read my writing may be two different things. So who is in control? Me as the writer, or you as the reader? What if I’m telling what I think is a funny story and you are terrified by those same words and your other pal thinks the story is just stupid? Who is in control, the writer or the reader? When I explain to you what I think is funny and you explain to me what scared you and your pal explains what’s stupid, will the understanding of the story be the same? Does it matter?

Words matter. Sharing art is hard. You try to control your story to say what you want with your words. When you release it for others to enjoy, readers take what they will from your words. And you have to let them. You can’t beat readers over the head with your words. Hwell, maybe some writers can. I prefer writers who lead me to discovery of new worlds and new ways, of seeing through another’s eyes without me necessarily being in control. As a reader, I’m all up for the “take me along for the ride” approach.

I read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. As a writer I don’t know how to gauge the diversity in my work other than letting other people read my work. I just spew out whatever comes to my wild imagination and then work the words from there. My readers are treated to my crazy imagination and bits and pieces of my limited education or what I still remember of it.

It’s good to have control of one thing in your life, one little thing, or one big thing. It’s good to go with the flow of that control. It’s good to create in whatever form that takes for you. It’s good to read, even if you don’t write.

Your challenge for April, should you choose to accept it, is to read one poem a day. Re-read poems you love, read poets you’ve never heard of, read poems you don’t like, you know they won’t bite. Read poems of babies and for little old ladies, read poems about strife, read poems for your life. But read poems, and enjoy the rooms you find in your mind.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A purple azalea that lives up the street. Close up: bright pink cherry blossom branch. Mounds of blue periwinkle with shiny green leaves. Fat cluster of pink cherry blossoms.

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.} Star Trek: Beyond (2016, rated PG-13) another typical futuristic story about people working together to defeat the enemy, who truly are enemies. And the fun of imaginative characters and weapons and transportation and technology and place settings. Basic Star Trek fun. * A few more episodes of Schitt$ Creek (2015, rated), offbeat humor in a 25 minute fix. Can squeeze an episode in between anything. * Loving (2016, rated PG-13) the Academy Award nominee about the case of Loving vs Virginia in the 1960s and overcoming miscegenation laws. Subtly done without too much movie violence. Sadly reality contained much more violence, I suspect.

Currently ReadingPachinko (2017, fiction) by Min Jin Lee. Just started this story set in Korea and Japan, plot so far includes a teenager who becomes pregnant and the tubercular [Korean] Christian minister who offers to marry her to save her reputation. The hubster brought home our pachinko game about 30 years ago; it’s one of the 1970s mechanical models. We’ve had many years of fun with it having only to replace the battery if we want the thrill of the lights. I am wondering if this novel will be about the game or if it will be a metaphor. Time will tell. * Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (2016, sociology/haunted places) by Colin Dickey. Through the ghost-busters chapter and on to insane asylums. It’s been a fun ride so far.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • The family of squirrels in the oak tree outside the windows of my aquatic center, who entertain me with their acrobatics while I exercise.
  • The heavy scent of the blooming plum, loaded with blossoms this year, on warmer days. Aaah.
  • The patches of white wood violets that grow under one of my trees the hubster can’t mow under and thus kill. The patches get larger every year if left alone.
  • Warmer days and turning off the heater. I love turning off the heater.
  • The mild last days of March, the lambikins of days, the sweet fresh fragrance of the oncoming spring.
  • The pale pink snow from the plum tree and the languid meandering drift of the petals from tree to earth.
  • The first cut grass of the season; I love the fragrance and I’m so grateful to suffer limited allergies.
  • The son kindly suffering through my same tired old April Fool’s joke. Again.
  • Computers, word processors, and electricity. Some progress is good.
  • Art. Artists.
  • Literature. And stories. Writers.
  • Movies. Film makers.
  • Live theater. Actors are artists too. Performance art.
  • Succumbing to my strawberry craving and buying California strawberries, the sweet-tart version of Oregon strawberries.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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

Gratitude Sunday: I Am, I Said

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.

Sunday Haiku
New life happens day
after day, lambs, chicks, blossoms,
learning to grow old.

Sunday Musings
The change I’ve been going through this last year has been difficult, partly because it was forced upon me about 3 years early. As you know, when life is forced upon you the story you’ve written about yourself changes. You have to go with the flow. You write a new story.

Since I was forced out of my last job, I’ve been through a torturous year of job applications, a couple interviews, and a whole bunch of “we have more qualified applicants”. Thing is, I have 40 years of certain skilled experience, and yet I don’t have the skills they want (not bi-lingual, which seems prerequisite these days) or when they calculate 40 years of experience they realize I’m over 60. While age bias, in theory, should not be a challenge, we know how theories work. When you apply for a job, all kinds of hidden or not-so-hidden biases apply.

I can get over the biases; I am guilty of them, and while biases may not be fair, I understand them. I have trouble getting over what a person does if one cannot get a job despite the biases. Enterprise and entrepreneurial business only work for some people. Don’t get me started about the myth of choice; you can make all the best choices in the world, but you cannot control the consequences especially when other people are involved. What does a person do if there is no work to be found and no social or familial safety net? I’m not going to whine and complain here (boring), because unless you’ve lived it you cannot know what living on this edge of homelessness (or actually going there) is like, and you might not be familiar with the stress of living on faith. Faith that you can find some way to maintain your current minimal lifestyle, just status quo, and not caring to improve that lifestyle because you don’t need much. Faith can be comforting to some, but not as comforting as it sounds, and stressful to others who are uncomfortable with insecurity. Buddhism may teach accepting impermanence but I like knowing I can live in the privacy of my home rather than on the streets depending on the kindness of strangers.

People re-create themselves all the time, some of us daily. Becoming that new person is not always easy. I’m not going to turn into a billionaire overnight. Especially after 60. But some of us are nothing if not tenacious. We don’t know what else to do but keep on going, to keep on fighting for a minimal existence, because that’s all we’ve ever known.

Being an artist is one of the hardest ways to create or re-create yourself. Our society has little regard for art of all kinds (hwell, maybe not movies). Carving out an income from art is, well, let’s just say, you better have a Plan B, like a day job. If you can’t find a day job and are forced out of the last one, maybe the universe is telling you to grit your teeth, go with the flow, and concentrate on what you’ve always wanted to do anyway.

When you were a kid what did you want to be? Remember when the relatives came over and asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”? What did you say? What you wanted to be may have been fantastic and they shot it down, or it was practical and they told you how wise you were, or it was professional and they praised you for your high ambitions. Did you become your childhood dream?

Never say no, I didn’t become what I wanted. Never say you failed to make it because you didn’t fail. You did something else. For some of us childhood dreams are broken because of the harsh realities of making a living in this society which rewards only a few for their hard work. Many others of us work hard for few rewards and are happy merely to have roofs over our heads and food on our tables. Really, how much more do you need? And sometimes we are judged by our appearance, or our attitudes, or our abilities, and we don’t quite make the grade according to other people. Sometimes we have to stop listening to other people.

Each time you re-create yourself you have that opportunity, that choice to become what you want to become. What will be the consequences of that choice? That part you don’t get to control. Will you get rich from it? Who knows, maybe. Can you make a living from it? Sometimes you don’t know until you try. Should the money question stop you from trying? So many questions seem negative and they are generated by a capitalistic society. Especially in a society that emphasizes the myth of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is rarely enough.

I have written most of my life. Nope, I’m not a diary keeper. I write crazy essays, about injustice and this wild American society. I write stories. I write tidbits and oddments on scraps of paper and always have a notebook in my pocket along with a pen. I write poetry about admiring beauty. I write.

Since my transition began last year, I’ve been using some of my time sitting on my butt. That’s what you have to do when you write. If your butt isn’t in the seat you aren’t writing. I don’t sit all day, because that hurts. I get up every hour, refresh my water, do a little housework until it hurts too much to continue standing, and back to the keyboard.

So if I write, I must be a writer, right? Logical. Are you a writer if you don’t get paid for your writing? Yes, you are an unpaid writer. Is your work just as valuable? Yes, your work has value even if you aren’t paid, and one day you might get paid.

So here’s the deal. It’s really hard for me to own this new gig, to say I am a writer. I, diddly-squat, come-from-nothing, is-nothing, will-never-be anything, am a writer. It’s what I have left. If nobody will hire me, I must do what is left to me. I am a writer.

Am I good at what I do? I don’t know. I don’t get much feedback. Do I like what I do? Oh hell, yeah. Words are my tool to create worlds and thoughts and provocation. Is it worth it? I don’t know, I haven’t earned any money yet, but I’d like to. As I said artists aren’t paid much if at all, and very few make writing lucrative. Are those reasons to stop? I don’t think so.

If I were more physically able I might spend more time trying to re-enter the job market, but the physical devastation that takes place after a let-down is hard on my body. Many people think anxiety is merely an emotional thing, but for me it takes a physical toll. The anxiety of hoping and the abyss of the dashed hope is physically much harder after 60. For me, age and illness is a factor in my ability, fortunately not for everybody. I am grateful the brain continues to work, though the body fades.

Owning this new me is hard, even though I’m enjoying increased writing production. In the hot tub the other day an acquaintance asked what I was doing these days, I said “I’m a writer,” and it felt weird, but she didn’t blink an eye, accepted it as a matter of fact. That’s what I do. It’s what I am. The self help books I read say “act as if, until you are”. I am working on owning it. I am. I am a writer.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – The myriad shades of color in one beautiful face. A canopy of creamy pink plum blossoms. A little white violet volunteers in my yard every year. I love this yellow bloom that comes from a bulb, but I don’t know what it is.

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 re-watched Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990, rated PG), with Alan Rickman, because I waited so long for it, and enjoyed it the second time as much as the first. * I watched a few more episodes of Schitt$ Creek (2015, TV series not rated) on Netflix. I am so far away from billionaire thinking it’s not even funny. I try to imagine it and see myself giving most of the money away, you know, after my basic needs are secured. There are so many others in need, silly me, I already have a helping foundation written up, just no funds for it. Dreaming is fun, even when unrequited. * Good Fences (2003, rated R) with Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover. I love Whoopi Goldberg and often order her movies when I am in the mood for comedy. I forget what a talented actress she is. This movie is not a comedy, though there are some bitter-sweet moments, instead this is a story about race in an upwardly mobile African-American family and how heavily the past can weigh on our psyches. * Binged through the new Season 3 of Grace and Frankie (2017, TV-MA) with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. I am particularly enjoying this series about women in their 70s starting a business and new lives.

Currently ReadingThe Memory of Water (2014, speculative fiction) by Emmi Itäranta. The protagonist: “I believe…we must make hard choices every day despite knowing there is no reward…because if that is all there is, it’s the only way to leave a mark of your life that makes any difference.” Plans to save the world and then a quirky twist. And I can’t help but wonder how prophetic this work is, and how the synchronicity of fiction works as each novel comes into my life when I seem to need it. No spoilers: good, quick read. * Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (2016, sociology/haunted places) by Colin Dickey. Forgive me, the title was incorrect last week, and is now corrected. I am enjoying this wide venue of haunted places and the writer’s engaging writing style.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Getting the son’s taxes done and mailed. He does my housework while I do his math. Fair trade.
  • The gray clouds and wet heavy spring weather to match my mood. Funny how much I like the gray.
  • Eyesight. Vision.
  • Imagination. Our world would be less without it.
  • Ingenuity. Figuring out new and different ways to do the same old things.
  • Intellectual curiosity. Maybe if I learn new things every day I won’t die. Oh, that’s right, on that day I will learn how to die.
  • Memory and the funny (peculiar) ways it manifests. Memory is not always straightforward. Funny (ha ha) thing about that.
  • People don’t send many thank you cards through snail mail these days. I love them! I received one from one of my scouts, who just had his Eagle Court of Honor, for a small gift I gave him.
  • Sending a couple stories for editorial input.
  • Sweaters for the cooler days of spring. Tank tops for the warmer ones.
  • Oregon, where 50 degrees brings out the shorts and tank tops.
  • The blooming of the plum tree, smells so sweet even through the rain. I haven’t seen any bees yet; it’s been cold and wet, so I doubt we’ll have plums this year.
  • Learning patience.
  • Expecting less from other people and being pleasantly surprised.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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

Gratitude Sunday: The Black White Game

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.

Sunday Haiku
Field of daffodils
lift yellow faces over
languid waving leaves.

Sunday Musings
When the son was little we played a game together. This particular game made his dad crazy and dad refused to participate. The son and I often found ourselves at disagreement. I would tell him something, and he would disagree, whether he was right or not. Several times of that and I said to him, “I keep telling you one thing and you tell me the other. It’s not just black and white.” After that if he disagreed with me I would say “white” and he would blink, because that was his cue for a reality check, and then he’d grin and say “black” and I’d say “white” and he’d say “black” and so on until we started laughing. This game became known as – wait for it – the Black White Game. I used it the other day when he chose to argue with me and he reminded me he was black and I was white. Inviolable rules of the game.

Seems like we are doing way too much of the Black White game these days. Oh, not the son and I, he grew out of that long ago. Now he is able to engage in intellectual discourse, sometimes with a fiery passion (where’d he learn that?), and acknowledge there are many sides to any question and not always an easy resolution for challenges. If the son should fail to check his facts before ripping out an attitude all I have to say is “white” and he’ll laugh, “black”, and check his attitude and his facts.

The Black White Game doesn’t work in real life; it’s only a reality check to alternative facts, and with little kids alternative facts are easy to make up in an attempt to get your own way, which any half-thinking parent knows better than to fall for. The Black White Game was a tool in our family to enable the son to do his own research and explore and grow into his own critical thinking abilities. It worked for us.

In life, it’s simply not that easy. There’s way too much gray. Not that gray is a bad thing, it just messes with that either/or dichotomy we try to fit everything into. If it’s not this, it’s that. It’s not so clear these days. You can’t say boy-girl, black-white, smart-dumb, rich-poor, Christian-Muslim, native-immigrant, able-not able, youth-elder, us-them; you can’t use any of those dichotomies anymore; they weren’t really valid in the first place. We all have our place in this world. As I said last week, we all have merit, we all have potential and abilities, we all are able to contribute, right down to the least of us.

Gray comes between black and white, oh so many shades of gray, so many kinds of people, so many broken cookies because the cookie cutter doesn’t work that well. Who needs a cookie cutter when there are so many delightful people out there each with their own abilities? When I say we are all able to contribute I think we need to apply gray to the concept of contributions as well. Contributions or production may be very different between individuals, according to ability. Every body, every story is different, with its own strengths and weaknesses.

With all that said, seems to me there are only a few rules.

Do your best.

Work as hard as you can as long as you can. Then do what you can when you can’t work that hard anymore.

Help others who have less and are less able than you.

Don’t hurt other people.

That’s pretty black and white, right? Well, no. My best is not the same as yours, but it’s just as good. My as-hard-as-you-can-and-as-long-as-you-can is different than yours as well, and since I’m trusting you are giving your all, you must return that trust and not call me a slacker because our experiences and choices and advantages differ. Our ability to work and give back has less to do with material goods and more to do with effort, but the folks who amass great wealth and hoard it, or worse lie about giving back, get under my skin. I see many people with little who share tremendous amounts and people who have great wealth and resent sharing any part of it.

Then there’s my oxymoron rule: Don’t judge others. You don’t know their stories.

I’ve just been going on about how people “should” behave. If all the shoulds, and the woulds, and the coulds got together and ran the world we’d have either a really fine or a really mucked up world. See the gray working there? I should behave this way, but I don’t. You should behave that way, but you don’t. Neither do they. Gray.

Look up at a stormy sky some day. Do you see one color of gray? If you stand there a while you will see many shades of gray, some of the colors might move over or into the others, or change shape. There will be so many shades of gray you cannot say a name for every color, nor can you tell where one begins and the other lets off. This gray blends into that gray blends into this gray. It takes all kinds. We are all connected, different but connected.

Some days I can look into the sky on the west side of my house and see nothing but white: bright blue sky, silver golden sun, white light everywhere. I walk to the east side of the house and the cloud is black, low and heavy with rain, dark as night though it’s mid-day. In just a few inches of difference we have black and white. And a whole bunch of gray in between. All connected.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Another shade of yellow daffodil. The perfection of white camellia. Yellow-red Oregon grape blossom. The pink rhododendron around my aquatic center that blooms before any others in the neighborhood.

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 Boss (2016, rated R) with Melissa McCarthy. I like McCarthy but sometimes her movies elude me. She’s funny, but occasionally she likes her jokes much more than I do; it’s like she hits you over the head with them (Did you get it? Did you get it?) and then carries them on so long I want to stop watching the movie. Humor should flow smoothly, and if you want to watch it again, you reverse and do so. Please don’t drag me through 10 minutes of a 2 minute skit. Just saying. * Stumbled upon Schitt$ Creek (2015, TV series not rated) on Netflix, with Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy of Second City Television and Saturday Night Live fame. A billionaire family loses everything except a small town the father bought as a joke, and the family is reduced to residing in the town. Small town vs the cognitive dissonance of wealthy lifestyle jokes abound, and in the 25 minute format of sitcoms, humor flows, and no time is wasted belaboring jokes. * Seriously though, I watched The Tempest (2010, rated PG) with Helen Mirren cast in the lead role of Prospera, and I loved how the gender change of the lead character worked so marvelously. I watched it with subtitles and now I think it’s the best way to watch anything Shakespeare. We are so far away from the language he used, but the way he used it is so stunning. I love the way they cuss and curse all the time without using the four letter words that are so hurtful to us now. Reading the plays are one thing, watching them live on stage is another, but putting the words side by side with live action for me made the language use so much more clear as far as meaning and context. Plus this happened to be a particularly well acted, and well filmed production, with direction and screen play by Julie Taymor. Recommended.

Currently ReadingThe Memory of Water (2014, speculative fiction) by Emmi Itäranta. War brought global warming rapidly upon the earth and the rising seas changed the coastlines and reduced the continents. The Scandinavian Union encompasses what’s left of Scandinavian, northern Russia, and northern China. Books are rare as well as paper, and old technology was destroyed. Water is the gold standard, and water crimes carry the highest punishments. Our female protagonist is a tea master, to which water is essential. I’m interested in what chaos will ensue. And I can’t help but wonder how prophetic this work is. * Ghostland: An American History of Haunted Places (2016, sociology/haunted places) by Colin Dickey. A first person point of view, thoroughly investigated with literary and historical allusions, clearly written stories, and the fun of following ghosts. What could be better? Photographs.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • The kind staffers who listen when I call my legislators.
  • Running into a neighbor and hearing she is having health and income issues, and giving her some contacts to get assistance. When she admitted she had no idea what to do and was embarrassed to ask for help, I assured her everybody needs help now and then and this would help her stay afloat until she is back to work full time. Busting the myths of the “welfare queen”.
  • Squeaking by.
  • The squirrels who visit my yard and love the dandelions. They even dig up the roots to eat. I would be happy if they would venture closer to the house. They are welcome to eat all the dandelions they want. Free lunch on me.
  • Remembering how much I love language from Shakespeare on up, and wondering how prophetic Shakespeare’s words are if we apply them to our own times.
  • Thinking too much. It’s what I do.
  • The new acquaintance who called me a high-strung worry wart after several weeks of exchanging views, and knowing it was a compliment.
  • For all my complaints about Daylight Saving Time, once I’m used to the switch I enjoy the light in the evening. Maybe we should just never switch from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard time. That would give another control state to compare to the states that still switch back and forth. It’s the switching I don’t like. And the cat doesn’t get it at all. Can’t blame him. Pick one. Stay there.
  • Noticing the difference between years. Last year at this time after a warmish winter, most of the late winter blossoms, like the crocuses, daffodils and tulip were already done and early spring bloomers like rhododendrons were full on, and this year after a long cold winter (it’s still cold), the daffodils are barely started and tulip sightings are still rare. Such a joy when the color blooms.
  • Laughing at myself. Laughing with myself. And those times I crack myself up and nobody else gets it.
  • The couple of days that warmed up above 50 degrees this week. I love turning down my electric heaters.
  • Tomorrow is spring!
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Education, Entertainment, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gratitude Sunday: Lovely Day For A Wedding

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.

Sunday Haiku
Shades of bright yellow
spring, turn your fresh blossom up
open to the sun.

Sunday Musings
We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming because of a family wedding. It was a lovely affair and now 6 of my mother’s 8 grandchildren are married. None are divorced. Win-win so far.

However, though I did very little, it knocked a hole in my “schedule” even as loose as my schedule is these days.

The wedding was Saturday and a lovely day for it. By that I mean in Oregon it rained hard most of the morning. It’s good luck to get married on a rainy day. The wedding was scheduled at 4:00 pm and by 4:30 when they were ready to take photos outdoors there was just enough sun to do so. We were at a McMenamin’s establishment and had access to the outdoor courtyard, but it is still March after all, and a bit too chilly to be outside in our wedding clothes. Especially the bride who had on one of those pretty strapless gowns so half her skin is subject to the elements. Bride was also out of her high heels by 4:30 as well and the cold concrete in the courtyard was too much.

McMenamin brothers in Oregon save historic buildings like old schools that are slated for destruction and turn them into destination sites with rooms for events, bar and food service, and rooms to spend the night so you don’t have to drive after drinking. The wedding party was smart and got rooms. I don’t drink so for me it was a one day event, though I let my younger brother drive me as I’m not so good driving at night these days. Good to spend time with him.

It’s interesting about family. You either like each other or you don’t. And sometimes you can make all the effort in the world to get along and it still doesn’t work out. I’m lucky; we may not be best friends, but we do pretty good. We don’t hate each other, at least.

It was a fun little do, though I would have loved to have the music a little quieter during dinner and visiting time, because it seemed like during the entire event the music was the right loudness for dancing time. Just me.

The bride and groom were gorgeous. They have been friends for many years so they are off to a good start. The whole wedding party looked great. They were all so excited.

And our family’s bride and groom dolls (circa 1950) traveled to the wedding venue to share the evening. These dolls were on my mother’s wedding cake when she married my father. The costumes were handmade by my paternal grandmother. The dolls have been on every wedding dessert table of Mom’s children and grandchildren, every one she could get to. My sister is now keeper of the dolls and responsible for making sure the dolls are at every wedding. What a great way to make sure you get invited to the wedding!

I like my family well enough to enjoy the events. We tire easily, but a few hours together and we are good, sometimes for another year. And then if we wait a whole year, we ask each other why we waited a whole year. Seems pathetic sometimes how busy our lives get and we have a hard time finding time for family.

All this on Daylight Saving Time change weekend! And a full moon as well. Bet they didn’t even look at a calendar when they planned. Now me? I’d be checking those dates and days to avoid cosmic influences like leaping into the future (pun intended as marriage is the big leap) and the full rays of the moon. Not that I’m superstitious or anything.

And did you know women don’t wear hats to weddings anymore? Go ahead. Laugh out loud. I know I’m an old fashioned dork. I thought I looked lovely in my hat. I love wearing hats to weddings. It makes it more official somehow. The hat I wore came from my mother from one of the Christmases we had and she pulled out a pile of hats. As each female came into the room, no matter the age, she had us pick a hat and we wore the hats the rest of the day. It was a fun Christmas and we got to go home with souvenirs not just gifts.

Speaking of souvenirs, our bride and groom made terrariums to decorate tables and guests were invited to appropriate one for home. I chose a low cut profile one. It’s all sedums in the bowl so it will be hard to kill. Smart thinking. It’s a fun reminder sitting in the middle of my kitchen table.

I didn’t find out about a honeymoon, but they just bought a house so maybe they’ll just hide in their new house for a few days of privacy. I wish them all the luck in the world as they start their new life and a lifetime of growing old together.

Color Watchcolorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – All the colors of crocus; here’s a purple one. The many shades of yellow faces of daffodil. Fine feathery strands of forsythia.

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.} Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990, rated PG), with Alan Rickman. I waited for more than a year for this old film because the local lending library owns only one copy. Charming twist on the love story, the husband dies, and comes back from the dead to help his widow get on with her life post-husband. (I waited to view the movie to comment on Liane Moriarty’s Truly, Madly, Guilty title I read several weeks ago, and I see no connection whatsoever to this old movie. To date I don’t even know how the title related to her story. Just saying.) * I also waited a long time in queue for The Birth of a Nation (2016, rated R), about the Nat Turner rebellion that took place in 1831. I understand in my mind and heart the ugly treatment people have perpetrated upon people (and still do). I am heartsick at the thought of it. I try not to be an ugly person. I don’t know what I’d do if I were in similar situations. Let me just say I also understand rebellion. No spoilers; though this movie was “fictionalized” I thought it a good representation of the horrors and why they choose to rebel. Not for the faint-hearted, but if I could do so I would make it required viewing in like middle school. History is so important. Recommended.

Currently Reading – Finished The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007, fiction) by Junot Díaz. I’m not a good traveler; I have literature to time travel with. When fiction gives me a history lesson I can spend the day in the chair. Power, greed, degradation in the Dominican Republic and how it affected one family, Oscar kept me enthralled for days. Recommended. * But What if We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it were the Past (2016, contemporary culture) by Chuck Klosterman, the death of football, social media, science, and war are all subject to his contemplation.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • My friend’s aunt who I will always remember saying, “You will only regret what you don’t do” when it comes to opportunities and events.
  • Traveling safely across town in the Portland metro area in city driving which is different from the little burg I live in. Very fast, aggressive, tailgating, lots of lane switching. I like my slower life.
  • Getting to attend my nephew’s wedding when earlier in the week I thought I was catching the plague.
  • The day clearing in time for wedding photographs.
  • Having something of my mother’s to wear to the wedding. She loved these kinds of events. She made beautiful framed keepsake collages with the wedding invitations and lace doilies for wedding presents.
  • Deciding to wear my regular supportive dork shoes, and not worry about “pretty” at the wedding. Who’s looking at my feet, right?
  • My crazy Christmas cactus which decided to bloom again this week.
  • How my nieces and their husbands are so committed to helping their children have the tools to succeed.
  • Spending some time with my brother and helping him with some computer issues. Me, the techno-ditz, helping with computer stuff. Don’t be fooled: it was only how to navigate websites I’ve recently had to use. The websites aren’t terribly user friendly and make you feel stupid if you have difficulty filling out the form, and the navigation isn’t straightforward. I like being helpful, and neither of us are stupid. We do the best we can, learning every day.
  • My brother trusting me enough to give me a key to his house.
  • My own bed.
  • Clean bedding.
  • A day warm enough to open the door and the long handed swiffer as the light revealed a cobweb that had to be dispatched.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

Posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Homemaking, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gratitude Sunday: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

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
What name thee, color,
pink-gold-silver-luminesce,
pearlescent yellow?

Sunday Musings
March on!!! One sixth of 2017 is in our past now. It’s been a rather long and tedious year so far for me, personally and politically. That’s life, right? Every day changes and is full of opportunity.

I switched my house calendars to the March pages. Guess what I found? That’s right. One of my two least favorite days of the year. Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12, 2017. Remember Spring Forward, Fall Back? Yes, this is the month our bodily chemistry has to adjust to losing an hour. We are time traveling, or clock traveling. Tighten your seat belts and hang on for the ride.

This would all be moot if we hadn’t invented clocks and capitalism and schedules, so maybe we shot our own foot off there. If we went about our day according to the sun and the light and the dark, and whether there is too much weather out there, we wouldn’t have this twice yearly stressor of time changing. We’d likely miss a lot of deadlines and appointments as well, especially on those “too much sun” days. But this peculiar jump into the future by skipping an hour, and in the fall the eerie feeling of going back in time, is disconcerting and crazy-making. An hour can be a lifetime. Twice a year I experience that “back to the future” dissonance no matter which way the clock goes.

I’ve written about this issue in the past. Several states, including Oregon, have Senate Bills on the floor about removing Daylight Saving Time. Arizona and Hawai’i are currently the only states that don’t use DST. As far as I can tell none of the Senate Bills I am aware of have made any progress over the last two years. Two years is silliness; this should be a relatively easy issue to resolve; not like health care, but “nobody knew how complicated health care was”. To prevent any confusion that last bit was sarcasm.

If we can’t change it yet, we have to go with the flow. I’ve learned a few things along the way to make the transition easier for me. This year I’m thinking a whole week ahead and sharing those tips before, rather than the weekend of, which by then is too late to take advantage of the tricks. See? Deadlines.

Yes, you’ve seen the tips on this blog before. As one of my English professors used to say, “repetition enhances learning”, which is a great tip for study methods as well.

Here’s what I do:

1. I set my clocks forward Saturday, the night before, sometimes as early as 6:00 in the evening. And to make that effective I
2. Don’t watch TV that night, so I’m not on a “programmed” schedule. Sometimes I even skip the news, which doesn’t hurt twice a year. Instead I
3. Watch a DVD or Netflix, or READ a book, or take a long hot bath, or gasp, have a conversation. And then I
4. Go to bed at my regular time. And I
5. Get up at my regular time on Sunday morning. I also
6. Go to bed at my regular time on Sunday night.

This seems to work for me. By Monday I’m usually a little more smoothed out by following these simple routines over the weekend.

Now I’m semi-retired and it seems a slightly easier transition. The difference is I’m not on that hamster wheel schedule of having to be at work 40 hours a week plus the transportation time, and getting all the rest of life and business and other obligations taken care of during the other hours. I am fortunate now to work from home on my own schedule and I’m careful how I schedule events or appointments as I tire easily. I can see why many elders just don’t care any more about the effects of Daylight Saving Time.

Except we have to be concerned because of the work force around us helping us age in this society. Workers are affected by body chemistry changes because of the switch to Daylight Saving Time, and workers have an affect on our lives, so we have to be concerned for them. It’s the same as paying taxes for public schools when you do not have children in public schools. The village, remember the village? Not all of us are affluently insulated from these concerns, so we have to support the village, the good-for-all approach, on some things in our society.

Interesting how profound the chemical changes are for one little hour’s adjustment in our clock day. As far as I can find there have been no scientific studies on the effects of DST changes, nor about the accumulation of years of making this change. We have two control states, Arizona and Hawai’i. In the United States DST was not officially adopted until the late 1960s and 1970s (depending on the state) and the federal adoption date is said to be 1974. So we have at least one generation still alive that didn’t have DST and then did, and a couple generations that have been all DST all their lives. Any scientists interested? Sounds like an opportunity for funding. Then we’d have even more proof of how bad DST is for us. I know the scientific method and yes, I am jumping to an obvious conclusion.

DST is a silly waste of time. It’s non-productive and non-justifiable, and actually dangerous. Unless DST is all part of a nefarious plan to control American workers. The flaw in that plan is DST affects the administrators of the plan as well, so maybe they’ve shot their own feet off. So much for my take on DST conspiracy theory. Maybe in that conspiracy theory we should include natural selection because of the uptick in number of deaths the week after any DST change. We can’t choose to opt-out, as we’d lose jobs and miss appointments and opportunities.

So another year, another complaint about DST. Thank you for reading this Public Service Announcement. See you in November.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – The earth knows: tiny white snowdrops. 1970597_10203283793399338_678248994_n1-2 The first bright yellow faced daffodil. dscn2959 The particular red that is late winter camellia. dscn3135

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.} Songcatcher (2000, rated PG-13) with Janet McTeer, one of my favorite actresses. Subtly a movie about women’s struggles in 1907, McTeer plays a professional musicologist collecting old English ballads in the Appalachian mountains. Recommended. * Kingdom Come (2001, rated PG), with Whoopi Goldberg, another of my favorites, looking for a comedy, and found a semi-drama about the death of the family patriarch. I don’t usually make a note of skin color difference, but watching this movie I had to remember training I received in a diversity class about honoring cultural and heritage differences, in this case, the difference of the inter-personal dynamics of the white suburban culture I was raised with and the African-American family of this film, i.e., more yelling than I am used to. Not like we don’t yell in our house too, just different. * 13th (2016, rated TV-MA), a documentary about the 13th Constitutional Amendment banning slavery and how the language used in the amendment continued the disenfranchisement of African-Americans as criminals and scapegoats. Deplorable history, but it is truly American and we can’t deny it.

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Currently ReadingThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007, fiction) by Junot Díaz. I’ve worn out my little pocket translator, and given up online. The Spanish is colloquial or slang and at this point in the novel, I’m going with the flow and think I’m getting the gist. It doesn’t matter if you know Spanish to get this novel. Even better is the fascinating way the author weaves in the history of the Dominican Republic. Fiction and history is pretty close to heaven in reading for me. * But What if We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it were the Past (2016, contemporary culture) by Chuck Klosterman, delves into sociology and anthropology as well, as in we have little proof of what happened in history. We have only the stories, and artifacts can be subject to conjecture. Pictures and film can be composed and contrived, so that might be questionable as well. And then there is the question: when we perceive color do we all see the same color? (The answer is: no. There is a variation in how different people see color.) So much to over-think, so little time.

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This week I have been grateful for:

  • People who serve me over a counter: the pharmacy assistant, the library assistant, the grocery clerks, the helping agency receptionists, the medical receptionists, la barista, and the gas station people who don’t have counters but serve me running.
  • The smile and warm laugh I got when I told my grocery clerk how much I loved her head scarf, and was inspired to look up how to create the pretty rose twist she’d made in the front. Her voice revealed a Caribbean lilt, and we agreed the internet was a good thing.
  • Nature documentaries.
  • Knowing how documentaries can be as tricky as statistics. It’s all in how it’s worded.
  • Travel and history documentaries.
  • Being able to attend one of my scout’s Eagle Court of Honor, the ceremony for awarding the highest rank in scouting. For this young man there was never any doubt in my mind. And thank God for his blessed mother, there for him every step of the way.
  • The diamond rays of sunshine on raindrops.
  • A recent sunset with the light shining between the branches of the trees outside my kitchen window.
  • Catching a view of the ten minutes of vibrantly colored sky two different nights this week.
  • Getting one part of my financial situation firmly in place. It’s a relief to have this taken care of. One less stressor.
  • Yes, I do love the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Honoring my donut craving, but not giving in to it as I get plenty of treats.
  • Honoring my asparagus craving. Patience, grasshopper.
  • Honoring my strawberry craving knowing the wait will be longer, but Oregon strawberries are worth it.
  • March taking a couple days to come in like a lion. And being both Women’s History Month and National Poetry Month. Two of my favorite things.
  • 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, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gratitude Sunday: Teach Your Children Well

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
Gray, lacy edges,
golden sun light behind casts
out silver rayed cloud.

Sunday Musings
March is around the corner and nationally designated as Women’s History Month. It’s pathetic, really, to have to set a month to celebrate the contributions of women to this world, considering we constitute fully half the population. Not one of us exists in this world if it weren’t for a woman. But without men the miracle of conception would never occur either in this fancy dance of life. Don’t give me the in-vitro argument. Cold clinical baby-making? Eww.

I’ve been thinking about men this month. I love men. I don’t always trust them any more than I trust women, but that’s me. Of course men are different from women. It wouldn’t be any fun if we were all the same. But it seems to me we’ve gone off the rails somewhere along the way.

I’ve been a feminist since I was a teenager, when I realized how unfair it is for a woman to depend on a man for protection and income if we consider ourselves to be equal and as capable as men. When I was raised in the 1950s and 1960s the standard male model of the century was in the process of being broken. The “strict father” style of family and parenting was being questioned by youth and dismantled with progressive technology. I was lucky to have a gay uncle, and learned early on people could be different. My mother made sure none of my other uncles behaved in an untoward manner to my sister and me. Generally we were not left alone together. I am so grateful; because the men in my family did not physically harass or molest me, I have always loved them.

Verbally, and emotionally it’s another whole battle. To be disapproved of because you are fat or not as pretty or as smart, or whatever, is internalized and carried with you all your life. Women grow up with emotional walls we build inside ourselves to keep some private space no person can violate.

Not all men are violators; some are victims as much as some women are. As feminists we need to help men learn how to be honorable, respectful, and non-violators. We have dismally failed the young men in our generations. Failed to teach them honor, failed to teach them respect, failed to teach them love, failed to teach them how valuable they are. I’m not saying men don’t love others, or value themselves, but what I see seems skewed. I can point all kinds of fingers of blame, only one of which would be the 50s and 60s media that glamorized the lecherous playboy lifestyle taking the focus away from families. Blame doesn’t offer solutions and only gives partial understanding of the de-railing.

I see men who don’t provide for their families or acknowledge their offspring. I see men who despite the need cannot find employment or a good fit with employment. I see men giving up and letting the wife work for minimum wage and then complain about why it isn’t enough to make ends meet. I see men disabled from years of hard physical labor without a social safety net to create a life with dignity when they can no longer work. I see young men who don’t want to invest in a college education because they fear the spirit killing weight of debt before employment. I see young men unable to start families because they’ve spent years living in their parent’s basement, never progressing beyond a minimum wage job. I see boys who will never succeed in academia with few pathways to vocational resources at the teen level. I see boys neglected in our public school warehouse system, because they are active hands-on creatures and often slower to take to academics.

This is not all men; obviously many men have been able to figure out how to succeed. But when I read that 16 percent of our young men aged 18-30 are unemployed, I see a statistic to support my concerns for men. It starts at a young age, which I saw for myself when I volunteered in the son’s classrooms and saw boys being ignored because teachers don’t know how to teach children with reading differences like dyslexia, and the consistent drugging of boys because they wiggled in class, boys who 30 years ago would have been sent outside to play are now over-diagnosed as ADD or ADHD. There are no tests to “prove” these “diseases” and if these children’s brains are truly different we need to develop teaching methods for them, not drug regimes. We may never know the fall-out of drugging our boys so they can sit in a classroom, instead of designing education to fit more than one style of learning, except maybe some of the results are now many of the basement dwellers, their brains compromised by years of chemistry altering drugs.

We have worked so hard to get equalization for girls and young women in our schools I’m afraid we have tipped the scale askew. Unfortunately, if either gender fails, we all do. All people have merit, but boys and girls are not alike. Similar, not the same. But it’s going to take all of us in this world to keep civilization going and maybe even make it better.

**Disclaimer: Please do not take me to task because this appears to be a binary discussion, as I chose this format for simplification of noun and pronoun use. We know it’s never that easy. For me, inclusion is primary, thus “all people have merit”.**

As you know I don’t express concern without having a few ideas for improving the situation. Keeping in mind, of course, change may be constant but it doesn’t happen overnight.

I’m not blaming teachers. Our teachers do the best they can with what they have. I’m not sure we even give teachers all the tools they need to accommodate all learning types, which makes the case for innovative thinking that much stronger.

We start at the basic levels, providing professional day care for our littles so their parents can work without worry for the safety of their children.

We think out of the box or beside the box for education. Separate part of the educational day into “gendered” portions, not dependent on genitalia or sexual designation on a birth certificate. Children would have a greater opportunity to participate in hands-on or active kinetic style learning, and also have a portion of the day for academics. Part of the day would also be spent interacting between the two (or more) learning styles to prevent isolation.

We absolutely need to re-invest in vocational schools at the high school level, especially agriculture, and infrastructure skills, in addition to current technological skills and advances. Imagine a school for teens innovative enough to produce and install solar panels and fund the school’s additional activities with the proceeds. Or a school who produced a series of tiny homes to help alleviate the homeless situation in their community. Or a school that converted the unused lawn areas into vegetable gardens complete with goats and chickens (for a complete eco-circle) with culinary classes to feed the student body and faculty with fresh local organic foods that traveled no more than a few feet from garden to table. We’re always going to need to eat and the more local we eat the greater the affect we have on our carbon footprint. We need to teach our young people how to farm and produce food and how to enjoy the fruits of the bounty, to have the knowledge they can depend on themselves and not commercial food producers. I’d rather students learned how to produce food than how to mow lawns.

We need to have better pathways to vocational work. We are likely to always need electricians, and plumbers, maintenance and construction workers. Since this type of work is hard on the body, men need to have the option of retraining at midlife or after injury moving to an academic or teaching position. They will certainly have enough experience to teach the next generation.

At the same time we need to provide experiences in home care. Everybody needs a roof over their heads. Knowing how to repair an appliance, how to hang a picture or a curtain rod, how to glaze a window, or clean a gutter are important bits of day-to-day knowledge. Likewise how to put a meal on the table after working an eight hour day and having no idea what’s in the fridge. And how to do their own laundry and clean the bathroom and wash dishes. And how often to wash the sheets.

So here’s the thing. If we don’t teach our men how to do some of these basic things in life we end up with a generation or more living like mycelium in their parents’ basement never able to fruit into the true mushroom as productive citizens with careers and families.

I would guess if we nurtured boys in a similar way we do girls, by making education fit them rather than making them fit the current education, we would find we are able to create a more stable work force, more satisfied citizens, and more secure family situations. The fear of insecurity is part of what is wrong in America. These suggestions are not welfare or assistance programs but a re-thinking of whom we fail and what we can do to try to improve education and employment for all who need it.

We can’t buy the myth that men are tougher. Men are sensitive critters, and they should be. They are human beings. And they need nurturing every bit as much as girls so. We don’t have to feed the power myth, or the capitalism myth, or the patriarchy myth to improve the lives of men and women as well. We need to teach our children, all of them, well.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Another damp week here but my favorite brown and gray mud puddle is full. dscn29011 Pink edged grape leaf buds call out to me for pruning. archey-budding-vine1 White leaf shadows imprinted on gray concrete sidewalks. dscn9993 One bright white late winter crocus. dscn9826

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.} Needed to move into a lighter head space, and tired of trying new things and being disappointed, I am re-watching Grace and Frankie (2015, rated TV-MA) with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Two women friends in their 70s go through a huge upheaval in their well established, privileged lives. Some nostalgia, and some comedy moments, I found it fun the first time, and equally relaxing this second time. * Atlantic Records: The House Ahmet Built (2007, not rated), part of the PBS American Masters series partly funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, this is a biographical documentary about a music business centered on Black American music, built by Ahmet Ertegun, whose father was a Turkish diplomat. Interesting how many of my old records were artists on this record label.

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Currently ReadingThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007, fiction) by Junot Díaz about a young man of Dominican Republic heritage, his isolation and his writing aspirations, the story is interjected with Spanish and slang Spanish my translator won’t translate so I have to make up a definition from context. My basic Spanish 102 only goes so far and I’m too shy to ask a Spanish speaker to explain as I’m sure many are expletives or slurs. I know the cultural myth says that within any one heritage it’s OK to diss each other, but outsiders can’t. I still think any diss is hurtful no matter where it comes from. Still, I can’t put the story down. Since it is still late winter I might consider this to be my Winter Classic read as it fulfills the criteria, i.e., I haven’t read the author before, it’s taking me to a different time and place, and the novel is a Pulitzer Prize winner. * 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 we’ve progressed to conspiracy theory, and the meaning of dreams. This is turning into one of those I consider a little above my current level, so I continue reading, confident my neural net is taking it all in and one day the pertinence and application will dawn on me. Still enriching.

Spring Easter borders

This week I have been grateful for:

    • Living in a “small town” environment.
    • The first crocuses and color of the late winter season to brighten the day.
    • Technology.
    • Shutting off technology.
    • Waking up every day in my own bed in my own home.
    • My chive plant, all that’s left of a graduation gift of a wooden box full of growing herbs to season my commencement from 20 years ago. With the fresh chives each spring I still commence. And remember the friend who gave it to me every time I look at the pot of chives.
    • Getting a couple surfaces clean. And all the kitsch on top as well.
    • How good it feels to stretch muscles and not feel pain.
    • Accepting pain as part of life.
    • Talking with men to understand their perspectives. We hardly ever agree, but I like learning what they think.
    • Hearing some positive financial news.
    • Knowing how to fold a fitted sheet into a tidy square.
    • A sweet ripe kiwi.
    • Relishing the craving I get this time of year waiting for the first fresh asparagus.
    • 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, History, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Poetry, Science, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

floral[1]

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