14 October 2008

My Mom by Jack

Jack just got home from school and as I rummaged through the various papers requiring my signature and graded homework, I found this little tidbit which made me giggle:
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My Mom
Do you like your mom? Well, I do! One thing is that she's nice. She's kind to others. She says hi when people pass her by on their bikes and waves. Another thing is that she loves me. She gives me strong hugs before I leave for school. Also I feel a tap of a kiss on my head. My favorite part is her smiles. When she smiles she tells me she loves me, and when she smiles it makes her cheeks go up and it takes up a lot of her face and her eyes squint. She's the best mom ever! I love my mom very much.
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Thank you, Sophe. I love you, too. Can't you see my eyes squinting?

Happy at the end of my rope

I just recently got sucked into Facebook by an old friend from Ft. Benning, Kathy Long - I wrote about her earlier. She was my younger dotters' 1st grade teacher at Benning.
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So, anyway, I started poking around and found some old friends... um, not 'old' necessarily... how about friends from my past?... on Facebook as well. Strange how no matter how much time passes you still feel 18 (maybe that's why so many older men leer at young girls - old men don't realize they aren't 18 any longer?? maybe not.) - and you still think about people from your past from time to time.
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Much of my chapter book series: The Elementary Adventures of Jones, JEEP, Buck & Blue incorporated my friendships in my past - high school, jr. high, elementary school - neighbors, friends and foes - as well as in my present. I owe them all a debt of gratitude. I can honestly say there was no one I didn't care for in my home town as I grew up... 'cept maybe Dusty ;o) - and that one guy.
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Don't get me wrong - there were some girls who were horrifically horrible to me growing up, especially in PE (gym class). I was a late bloomer. Pam P made fun of that fact and teased me unmercifully in the shower: "Maybe if you shave down there, the hair will grow back darker... Oh, my God, I think she's tried it!!! HAHAHAHahahahahaha." Yeah, a real laugh-riot. And, no I didn't shave back then. (Don't ask me about now, unless you really want to know the answer!) And the ever-so-original: "Them ain't boobs, those are bee stings!" hahaha ...funny.
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Dawn M and Dana N used to love to aim for my face in dodge ball. I think it was a personal goal of theirs to break my glasses, or just my nose. I am unsure.
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Yep, I pretty much hated PE class. It didn't help I was about as physical as a snail, weighed all of 75 pounds at 4'11" as a Freshman. Go, Tigers!
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Seriously, tho - can anybody really climb that frickin' rope and touch the ceiling? And, what is the purpose of that specific talent?
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I'm currently working on the next set: Stuck in the Middle with Jones, JEEP, Buck & Blue and was considering a set for when they're in high school as well... how does "Getting High with Jones, JEEP, Buck & Blue" sound? No? Well, send in your suggestions then, because I'm pretty much stuck... How 'bout: High Expectations of JJBB? Anyone? Anyone?
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The phone lines are open.
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Enjoy & In Joy

21 September 2008

My Bucket List

Things I had always wanted to do before I die (all without a tour group)...
Visit Alcatraz
Visit Ellis Island and look up my great-grandparents' names
Climb Lady Liberty - all the way to the torch
Take the American Orient Express (I've never been on a train)
Fly first class to Europe (I've never flown first class anywhere)
Visit England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, etc...
Sail on the 35 day cruise ship to Easter Island and other destinations
See Victoria Falls first-hand
Visit Prince Edward Island - home of Anne of Green Gables
Videotape a UFO for my mom's play-zure :o)
Learn to fly
Learn at least three other languages
Sail around the continent in a yacht
Swim among wild dolphins
Snorkel and scuba much, much more
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...and more, but that's a starter
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In Joy & Enjoy

18 September 2008

Rae Turnbull

It's hard when your child
Is very small,
And needs your constant care.
.
You try to keep her
From slipping on stairs
When she's learning to walk.
You try to keep her warm
When she's cold.
And cool when it's hot.
You try to keep her happy,
And, above all, keep her safe.
.
But it's harder still
When she no longer needs
Or wants
Your constant vigilance.
.
And you can't be there
When she trips and falls
And makes her own mistakes.
Or when friends she's made
Turn her away.
.
And with every hard lesson
She has to learn,
Your own heart breaks.

15 September 2008

Carl's Bad Caverns and other dead mammals

A few years ago, I took my mother, my aunt and my two youngest daughters to New Mexico on a road trip. Our first stop was in Roswell, New Mexico where we visited an exhibition of my mother’s favorite topic ever – Aliens and UFOs.

The International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, NM.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11159

- Where we were privileged to sit in on an alien autopsy. Dead aliens, how freaky is that? We spent hours (and hours) looking over their exhibits (my mom in her own special alien heaven - would that be Mars or Venus?). So much time, in fact, I was beginning to become apathetic toward them. How many wrecked silver discs, little green men and alternative theories can you take in one day, anyway? We spent the night in Roswell, with the plan to drive to Carlsbad the very next day.
It turned out, the 'freakiest' thing about Roswell had nothing to do with little green men, however. That particular moniker was saved for a medium-sized 'blue' man in the early morning hours.
As we were driving out of town, I noticed a taped-off partition in front of a local back with “Do not cross” police yellow ribbon. At the center of this cordoned off area was a mannequin-esque male figure on his back with his arms and feet in the air - knees bent – the position one would take when crawling, but strangely inverted.
(We discovered later an indigent vagabond had frozen to death during the night.)
I remember his left foot was without shoe. And the sock he wore upon it shone a bright white in the rising sun.

Talk about a surreal experience. When you think about people finding bodies, or people seeing death – you don’t think of something as unusual as a body in the front yard of a local bank, frozen stiff and solid with riggormortis, with his legs and arms in the air, and police officers just milling around talking, ignoring the corpse in their presence.
Thank God the girls didn’t see him.

Dead Aliens in a museum have nothing in the freaky-factor compared to a dead man in a bank yard.

The girls and I had talked in length about the Carlsbad Caverns – its origins and explanations - the entire road trip there.

http://www.nps.gov/cave/

I assumed the Jack & Jo (7 & 9 at the time) kinda knew what to expect in this adventure. I was sure they were as excited as I to see bats escape their caves en masse, stalagmites desperately reaching for the heavens, and stalactites searching for the entrance to hell.

We paid the National Parks fee and followed the signs to the entrance of the caverns… and I heard Marci whisper in sheer wonderment:

“WOW! And, I thought this was gonna be boring…”

It made the whole trip worthwhile, dead man and all.

And you thought life was going to be boring… "Fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride."
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Enjoy & In Joy

13 September 2008

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in
silence. As far as possible, without
surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and
listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
the are vexatious to the spirit. If you
compare yourself with others, you may
become vain or bitter, for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.
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Enjoy your achievements as well as your
plans. Keep interested in your own career,
however humble; it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution
in your business affairs, for the world is full
of trickery. But let this not blind you to what
virtue there is; many persons strive for high
ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
,
Be yourself. Especially do not feign
affection. Neither be cynical about love; for
in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
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Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in
sudden misfortune. But do not distress
yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears
are born of fatigue and loneliness.
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Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle
with yourself. You are a child of the Universe
no less than the trees and stars; you have
a right to be here. And whether or not it is
clear to you, no doubt the Universe is
unfolding as it should.
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Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever
you conceive Him to be. And whatever your
labors and aspirations, in the noisy
confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
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With all its sham, drudgery and broken
dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful. Strive to be happy.
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~ Max Ehrmann

11 September 2008

Heinz 57

The English language is such a diverse and wonderful thing. It can distract you, confuse you and bring you to tears with laughter when arranged in one way or another. That’s why I think I love it so… and hate it so.

For instance, take the word WIND: it stands for storm, blustery weather, breeze and also coil, twist, curl and wrap around… but, wait, I’m not done yet – it can mean snake, meander, bend and curve (among others). So, if I was to say: ‘Wind the wind,’ would you take it to mean I want you to ‘twist the breeze’, or ‘storm the snake? – as you know, snake can mean reptile or curve… How confusing is that? And only I know for sure, don’t I? You can guess what I mean by that, but until I tell you what I mean - flat out or in other ways – you’ll never truly know. You can only speculate.

I love that I can write a book and each person who reads it puts a little of themselves into it. Daddy's Boots and Mama's Boots are fine examples. The main character in these picture books are non-gender specific, yet everyone who's read them, without exception, has pictured the main character as a boy if their child is a boy, or as a girl if their child is a girl. That’s the magic – the wonderment of the written word; the written story.
It can also be a detriment to a story - from any storyteller, seasoned or raw. I mean something completely innocent in writing: “He aggressively spackled his way to the end of the crowded hall.” But if you don’t really know what ‘spackled’ means, you could come up with maybe three or four actions he may be taking as he would wind (meander) down the crowded hall. (You probably do know what ‘spackled’ means now the HGTV is such a hit, along with other do-it-yourself programs… but I digress.)

I could write a story about a boy named Russy, who takes a balloon to the top of an old, gutted-out barn to release it into the breeze in the hopes that someone in Denmark will find it, and connect with him in some magical way… and you would inevitably remember yourself in a similar situation as a child (as close as you can get, anyway) and would attach the appropriate-to-you feelings associated to my words of danger, hope, expectations and wonder. But, what if someone you loved fell off a barn roof as a child and died? Would my innocent words then cause fear and anxiety, loss, anguish and discomfort? I believe they would. And, the closer you were to the accident or the deceased, the stronger those feelings would be, dontcha think? And, what if you grew up in a big city where barns are scarce? Would you picture a big, red monstrosity, or a small, rectangular horse shack? It makes a difference to the story, doesn’t it? I mean, if he climbed ten feet in the air to release a balloon, well that’s not nearly as scary as if he had to climb up the ladder, shimmy onto the broadside and make his way up a slight, but ever-so-dangerous pitch of the barn roof fifty feet from death – all with a balloon grasped tightly in his sweaty, cramping hand – he’s been holding on to that string so tightly. He doesn’t want to release it until he can attach the paper holding his identity. Which is in his… Did he remember to grab it off the table as he rushed out the door? Did he put it in his pocket?...

What feelings emit from thinking he may have gotten nearly all the way to the top of that barn roof, only to discover he’d forgotten his name? (See how I did that? He didn’t really forget his name – only the piece of paper holding his name – but still, in essence, his name.) Don’t you hate that feeling? Getting somewhere very important, like a business meeting, just at the nick-of-time, not a moment to spare, and, OOPS! Forgot the main presentation!

Did the words put those feelings into your mind/memory or did your associations to those words do the trick? If you walk into a bakery, would the counter girl with the pimply face and braces who’s handing you your biscuit remind you of your grandma’s cooking, or would the hot, melty aroma bring your memories smack dab back into the warmth of her kitchen and heart? But, what if your grandma was a meanie-boobaleenie and ate the biscuits in front of you and wouldn't share, even though the cupboards were bare? Yeah, you wouldn't be so happy in the bakery then, would you?

The same words can mean very many different things to humans – whether spoken or written. We place our assumptions and beliefs as to what we think is going on inside the mind of a storyteller. It happens all the time in books, magazine articles and in presidential speeches. Did Barack mean for his words to imply Sarah Palin is a pig in lipstick… I hope not. I doubt it, really – what I do think happened is he stumbled up to that path unawares and opened the gate before he knew what he was doing, then thought, “What the heck, I’m already here.” and ran right over the “Stay out” sign, instead of just closing the gate and leaving that unsaid. Everyone in his audience placed their perceptions of what they believed he meant by that – you could tell by their reactions, they all believed it to be a slight on Sarah. Was it? Only Barack knows for sure.

We will never know if he meant it or not, or what he really meant it to mean. Because once them-that-know got a hold of it, it went hog-wild-crazy. Mouths started screaming, words started spewing and

Everyone
Stopped
Hearing.

For every written word, probably at least five meanings can be attached. For every sentence - probably 57 ways to interpret it. For every feeling the author tries to capture and relay back to you in the written word, you attach your history, your feelings, your upbringing, your desires, your dreams, your disappointments, humiliations, fear, anger…and your feelings about the author as a person. If you pick up a book by Stephen King, you already know you're gonna get the $hit scared out of you, and more than likely are disappointed when you find out it's a romance novel - but still at every turn of the page you keep expecting the monster to come lurking from the shadows. If you feel the author is writing through hate and destruction, you feel it in the words and take it to your heart – the doors and windows of your soul slam shut. But, if you start to read with no preconceived notions about whence the author comes, the windows fling wide and the doors sweep open, allowing you the full pleasure of the taste of each and every word. In many ways, I guess, a writer is like a Chef – putting together a masterpiece for you to devour, and always hoping you take something away from the table you enjoyed and will savor until the next course.

Bon Appétit.

10 September 2008

Get over it!

I find it strange humans say “you need to get over it” when someone they care about (or don’t) is hurting - for whatever reason.

Get over it.
Really?!? Wow! Is that all I need to do? Thanks for the advice. I’ll get right on that pony!

I can tell you it’s easier said than done. As my mom is wont to say, “It looks better on paper.” Is there a specific time-line one has to follow in order to “get over it?” Does one get an hour, or a day, or a few years? Do you get a different ‘over it’ schedule depending on the varying degrees of pain inflicted on your soul?

For instance, just how much time is one allotted to get over the death of a loved one? How about the malicious, vindictive, dishonest words of a virtual stranger (or cousin, for that matter), or the harsh betrayal or abuse from friends/family? How about the infidelity and mendacity of a spouse, or the ruthless and inexcusably heartless treatment by health care professionals, police officers and other public servants in your hour of need?

You can call me cynical and jaded all you like – and you’re most likely correct. But, I know from experience - it takes as long as it takes. And the funny thing is, until you’re over it, you don’t have a clue as to when you’ll be over it. One minute you’re not, and then something happens… enough time has passed maybe, or your heart gets a case of Alzheimer’s, or you just stop caring, and then *BAM*, you’re over it. Just like that. Yesterday you had no idea you’d feel differently about your situation today.

Or, you think you’re over it and then something happens, - like an a$$wipe yarns yet another confabulation about you and *WHAM* back to the front of the line! Over it yet? Nope, not so much anymore.

Have you ever been in the situation where your heart was broken by your first serious boyfriend (ever) and a couple of years have passed… and you think you’re over it, finally? You haven’t seen him in years – and you barely remember anything about him, and then he walks into the room… and your knees buckle, your hands begin to shake, and your heart takes up temporary residence in your throat??? Yeah, not so much over it now, are you?

I tell you what else you never really get over: The smell of your newborn’s breath when the nurse brings her bedside to breastfeed; the sound of your baby’s first uncontrollable belly-laugh; the apprehension you feel with your toddler’s first few tentative steps; the look of wonder on your child’s face when she discovers new things; new worlds; new ideas. The feeling consuming your heart the first time your child tells you she loves you – or says you’re the best Momma ever (and I think you’re the best Sophe ever).

And the warm, comfortable all-consuming feeling of your love’s embrace, his tender kiss and unconditional love - and then you realize you finally understand. You’re home and nothing else matters.

When it just doesn’t matter anymore - that’s when your heart truly starts to heal and you know eventually you’ll “get over it” no matter how cynical or jaded you may have become. There’s hope on the horizon.

You don’t agree? Well, get over it! I’ll give you exactly two seconds.

Enjoy & In Joy

01 August 2008

Let's go swimming...

...on Mars. You bring your suit, I'll follow Doug's advice and bring the towels (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

So, they found water on Mars. Cool! Actually - too cool. They had to heat the soil sample to above 32 degrees F, then the water melted and separated from the soil. Again, I say: Too cool.

Wouldn't it be really neat if aliens are just our ancestors who left Mars for planets unknown? Some landed on Earth, which was just becoming habitable, while others went elsewhere and are now returning.

Or, maybe we used to live on Venus, then it became polluted and ruined - so we loaded onto a space craft and crash landed on Earth, only to have our technology demolished and having to start from scratch... whereas the others who went elsewhere continued on with their technology and have since returned. Look, up in the sky...

Now that the Earth is doomed by us, maybe we'll travel through space and make a home on Mars... once we figure out how to make the planet sustain our lives.

The possibilities are endless, aren't they?
Food for thought!
Enjoy & In Joy

29 July 2008

Menopausal Much?

I just got done talking to my sister (again). I have to tell you I'm having a crazy day today - not that it's hectic, more that I'm acting/thinking crazy.

First, you need to know I left my Black Cohosh in the mountains, and came home to clean up the girls' room while they're gone...

That said...

So, Sis tells me she wants to win the lottery so she can give lots of money to the Make-A-Wish foundation... and I lost it (not temper - tears).

Why is it the little cherubs who've been encased in love the entire 1825 days (plus or minus) on Earth get to have their wishes come true, only to depart this world and go to what all religions see as the ultimate Wish - Heaven?

Whereas the tender little American souls whose fathers and mothers work 24/7 to make ends meet - don't usurp social programs, but cannot afford to buy new clothing, much less a trip to Disney Land... or the tender little American souls who are beaten behind closed doors daily because Daddy/Mommy is a bully or on drugs (alcohol is a drug)... these little beings who try so hard to please, so much want to be loved or noticed... they get to live in quiet desperation, hoping someday their lives will get better. They dare to wish on one falling star after another, only to find out 10 years later their wishes were wasted on a meteor, not even a star. And when they've struggled through life... through disappointment after disappointment - no matter how high they've held their chin or how much they continued to hope and strive for a better life - they die at 90 never having seen the ocean, or a new pair of shoes, or having a Wish come true.

What's the answer, though? Suppose we made a Make-A-Hope foundation for these little American souls? Would they be happier after seeing the world one day, and then have to come back to their existence of day-by-day? Or would they see the world for what it has to offer, and then strive harder to make a better life for themselves as they grow up? Would kindness make their hearts grow bitter? Now knowing what they've been missing?

I have no answers. I wish I could take all those awkward little healthy American souls with scabbed knees and hand-me-down lives and give them a reason to hope, to believe and not ever give up. No matter how many times they're hit, or discouraged, or belittled, or abused. I wish I could wrap my arms around them and tell them, "This isn't what life is supposed to be. You drew the short straw, so pick your teeth with it and dare to be happy. This, too, shall pass."

Yeah, I'm a freak. Yeah, someone's going to write in and call me a pathetic, life-less, ignorant idiot because I don't see any value in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But, that's okay, because there are many people who do - and that's all MAWF needs - caring, loving people to donate to their cause.

When I make my millions, I'm going to donate to American individuals who fall through the cracks, and - much like the power poles which line a busy street - nobody notices any more.

28 July 2008

Wanna play?

My sister was telling me: The other day my nephew - her son - got freaked out when he went to check on her home while she and her husband were, well, here in Colorado with me. My nephew is 21, tall and handsome, and not easily frightened. (He was to stay there on the weekend, leaving his older brother to check on the place/dogs during the weekdays.)

He said while watching TV one night it shut off, and he could see a reflection of a little girl with an evil smile on the tv screen. He said it seemed as though she was gesturing him to play with her. The room was cold, and all he could think about was "Sixth Sense" and it sent spooky shivers down his spine.

Convincing himself it was only his overactive imagination playing tricks on him (but all done playing) he decided to forget about spending the night there. He checked on the dogs and shut down the house, locked the door and took off for his own place.

As he was driving down the long road out of my sister's place, he looked in the rear view mirror and noticed the living room light was on. He was sure he'd turned it off. He pulled over to look closer - to make sure it wasn't just a reflection of headlights from oncoming car, or something.

At the window stood the little girl with an evil smile, slowly waving good-bye to him.

He didn't go back until my sister got home from vacation.

I asked her what she thought it may have been. She said she had no idea, but the house sometimes gives her the heebie jeebies, too... and often appliances turn on or off by themselves.

I then asked her if she ever saw dead people.

She said, "Only when I'm at work."

Enjoy & In Joy

27 July 2008

Being Soul in America

I saw CNN just did a program called: Being Black In America - I'm not going to comment on that except to say we all had our problems growing up; we all had our crosses to bear; all of our ancestors had some kind of difficulty to overcome. Whether you want to say, "Yeah, but our's was worse," or "You had it easier, and still do," nobody knows what it's like to be anyone else. I grew up in a small country town in Wyoming, where everybody knew everybody else - and they all knew everyone's business, so they thought. But, if everyone really knew what really was going on in my little town - behind our closed doors, they never let it show they knew my father was an abusive pedophile... and he was thee boy scout master in town. I often wonder how many little boys he scouted. But I'm going off on a tangent, here. Let me get back to my thoughts.

The American Culture is full of people as diverse as creatures in a pond - and it's one we're losing fast. We all see the differences. We all see the similarities. Why do we have to keep hashing out what one group sees as incongruities and another sees as opportunities? There are a few in every crowd who need their brains removed for the common good - people who think the color of your skin means anything at all. It doesn't. Just because you're black-skinned doesn't mean you're treated badly by society, and just because you're white-skinned doesn't mean you aren't. And, every shade in between.

We're becoming a culture of hyphenAmericans. We no longer have a culture in which to be proud, it seems. Our forefathers' visions are now just a joke to touchy-feely hyphenAmericans. A man can brutally rape a child and the Supreme Court says capital punishment doesn't fit his crime. What would? Should Yeti brutally rape and assault him?

Turn the other cheek. An eye for an eye. Let this generation pay for the crimes of our ancestors... Who are we supposed to pay back? How long will we have to pay for the decisions of our great-great-grandfathers? How or how much will we have to pay? When will it ever be enough? I cannot wait for the day Americans stand side-by-side and say, "I love this country - and not because my husband has a chance at being President, but because I was afforded every opportunity my grandparents and great-grandparents weren't - but through their sacrifices and hard work I am who I am today. And I am grateful to this Country, and my God - whomever I perceive my God to be (or lack thereof), and to all who came and struggled before me. I will do my best to make the next generation better than the last one. I promise to leave this Country a better place than when I arrived. And, I will stop placing blame on others, and start utilizing the challenges placed before me as a learning/building block to spring forth into my horizons; my life; my destiny."

Yes, I had a monster for a father. Yes, my upbringing was in poverty and shame. But, wonders upon wonders, I now have a treasure chest of experiences from which to draw as I take pen in hand and do what I love to do - write.

I give thanks daily for that monster who was instrumental in making me who I am today - not unlike the people who loved and cherished me. Because of him I have more compassion and strength, and understanding. There's no sense wishing I'd received that lesson in a more loving environment, because, hey - you take what you're given and you carve a life for yourself. You surround yourself with love and lovely people - and you thank the Universe daily for this wonderful opportunity of being Soul in America.

26 July 2008

What's so funny about that?

So...



Anyway. I'm sitting here not knowing what to do with myself because Jack isn't reading over my shoulder and interjecting with her usual, "Momma, I'm hungry." Or, "Momma, when's lunch?"

My eldest is pregnant with my second grandson. I think I already mentioned that. She told me they've (tentatively) decided to name the baby Noah.

"Great," I said. "Now I'll have to buy him two of everything."

My mom has a friend, Lorena, who is in her late 80s. Lorena's not doing too well. Just the other day Mom told me Lorena is now on oxygen. Twixt I replied:

"Aren't we all?"

I went to the local Office Depot to replace my Vonage adapter the other day. I asked the salesmanpersonthingy if they had any USB cable. He said, "Sure do. How long do you need it?" And, swear to God, I said, "Oh, about four years ought to do it." He shook his head and said, "You're killing me, here." I know - it's an old joke, but it had to be said. And he just handed it to me - without a care in the world as to how I'd use it. The groan belongs to him.

But one of the biggest jokes of all continues to be the pharmaceutical companies who place ads for their snake oils on the telly and in our mags, knowing full well we cannot buy said poisons without a note from our doctor... I guess the joke is on us, really, because we lemmings see/hear the ads, ignoring the death-wishes attached to the pills disguised as 'side-effect may include' and we arrive at our doctor's offices armed with false expectations of a drug our bodies have no use for and doc doesn't really give a $hit about us or our health. Just the health of our bank accounts.... Next!

Enjoy & In Joy

18 July 2008

Fat-uous

My sis and I had a good laugh this morning. I read in the Gazette 'they' now think a low-carb diet is better than a low-fat one.

http://www.gazette.com/articles/low_38299___article.html/pounds_atlanta.html

 What we laughed about, however, is the idea if you eat low-fat or no fat, you'll not add fat to your body... so... what they want us to believe is fat converts to fat in your body? Using that concept, can we also say if you drink blood, your veins will probably pop as the blood goes directly into the blood stream... and if you eat meat, you'll bulk up your muscles... and if you eat liver, it'll go to your liver... and a healthy helping of brain matter will increase your brain size... and if you eat tongue, you'll be the most popular girl in school? Hmmm... makes you wonder what the main ingredient in a male-enhancement product is.

I may have gone too far, but hopefully you get my point.

We're forgetting all about our stomachs, and our fantastic digestive systems. If we can eat the crap we eat and drink the crap we drink, and our wonderful, magical bodies break it all down into something we can use and disposes of the other stuff efficiently, why do you want me to believe it won't work the same on fat or fatty substances? We human be-ings fall for everything them 'in the know' tell us, even though they flip-flop every 10-20 years or so.

Like my sis said, wasn't it just yesterday 'they' were warning us about the coming ice age? And now it's global warming, and flooding? Tomorrow it'll be the reoccurring threat of the earth's water evaporating, causing huge deserts all over our country... or a meteor plummeting to earth, knocking earth off its axis (whatever happened to that fear, anyway? That one was big in the early 80s.)... or, whatever.

So, go ahead and eat your fat, and let Jack eat your lean... and you'll see there's no difference. You aren't really what you eat, you know, or I would suggest our congress members have been eating a lot of horses' arses for the way they've been acting.
.
Enjoy & In Joy

16 July 2008

What's this button for?

My sister asked me an 'ethical' question this morning... yeah, it cracked me up, too. Me? Ethical? Thank you so very much, sis. :o) That's the nicest thing...

I watched "Secret Lives of Women" last night - the polygamous sects. Pretty interesting stuff. There's no way on God's green earth I could participate in something like that. I'm too much the jealous type. Can you imagine openly sharing your life... your love... with 2 - 40 other women? (I know many of us do it without knowing about it because our husbands are weasels who cheat, but that's different.) Can you imagine making that 'decision' when you're barely a teenager? Every man probably thinks it's a great idea - having the incomes of two or more women... diversify your bed mate every night, with any whim. Legalized pedophilia - some of these girls get married off by their fathers at the age of 12... to men old enough to be their grandfathers. One guy married his step-daughter. He said he was the only one strong enough in the faith to remove the devil's grip on her - because she wasn't happy about the situation - or something like that. I don't mean to judge. To each his/her own, but I know I couldn't last long in that society. That's just ooogie in my book.

Why don't you ever hear of a matriarchal society of polygamy - women with two or more husbands? Now that makes sense! No overpopulation, as a woman can only have one child every year (unless it's a multiple birth) and you'd have a man for every job. One to do mechanics: one to do the maintenance on the house: one to do the yard work: one to do the finances: one to do the odd-jobs... and one who's really good at doing... you... know what I mean.

Enjoy & In Joy

14 July 2008

Don't fish naked

Jack, the bean-stalk, has been growing so much lately. Pants which used to be too big and long on her just a few weeks ago now fit her like tight capris. Good thing tight capris are acceptable wear, or she'd be naked. I usually buy their school clothes a week before school starts as that's when all the sales are happening, and then they don't bug me for months on end to let them wear their new clothes over to their friend's house "just once. I won't get it dirty, I promise..."  
They've grown so fast and so much, they have to be there when I buy them to try 'em on. 

.

Jack has a talent which Jo calls "freakishly weird" - I may have spoken of it before. She can play her recorder through her nose... "Ode to Joy" is the song she usually picks. But now I've discovered a freakishly weird talent of Jo's. Every time we go fishin' the darn girl catches a fish. Only one time was it big enough to not throw back, but WOW! That's amazing to me. We were at a lake this weekend. She picked up a pole, and sure enough, not more than five minutes later she reeled in a fishy.
.

(The little boy is the child of a friend.)

I wonder if all of my kids know how amazing they are. I tell them all the time, but who ever really listens to this crazy woman?

Enjoy & In Joy

13 July 2008

One Stop Shopping:

Conspiracy Theories and Grammar lessons... all in one easy-to-swallow pill. (May not be suitable at all for humans. Can cause labor pains and minor navel-hair growth in pregnant or ovulating or menopausal women, or men looking to enhance their portfolio. Be sure to ask your doctor if this treatment is right for you...)
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Not too long ago, I read someone's opinion that humans in the cities are far more happy and content than rural folk. They stated, in their opinion, if people would move from their huts in the country to the roaring metropolises which make up our great country, we could then move on to modes of mass transpo - effectively taking a bit of strain off our energy predicament. Not only would we drive our own cars less, we'd only drive out of necessity... and when we did travel via mass transit, it would force us to converse and interact with other humans be-ings along our paths (tracks?).

My opinion is this author is from a big city - like NYC, or LA - and has never ventured outside his limits to see human be-ings of the heartland already drive only when it's necessary; we already know our neighbors - at least the ones who wish to be known, or we wish to know (think No-You-Aints). We don't need no stinking buses or trains to make us act more humanely.

I wonder if the opposite will become true - people start hating each other more because they're forced to interact with others who play as nicely as they do, which is probably not at all. Familiarity breeds contempt.

Here's a conspiracy theory for you: Get all the lemmings onto buses and trains, and then the terrorist will have an easier/compact target. (I figured I may as well give you a conspiracy theory every now and again to help the less fortunate. You're welcome. I'm just doing my part.)

I like living in a smaller community. I like having clean air and stress-free shopping. I don't like living, as my mom would say, "elbow to arsehole" - so city living isn't for me. No Sir-eee, Bob. Thanks anyway.
Did you know, while researching my current book project this weekend I discovered (or rediscovered?) the word 'ain't' is a contraction of 'I am not'? I did not know that. Did you? It's improper, and grammatically incorrect to say: "Aren't I?" because one doesn't say "I aren't" - the correct grammar is "Aren't you?" or "Aren't we/they?" and "Isn't s/he?" but about 100 years ago, if you wanted to express "I am not" in that fashion, you were to say: "A'n't I?" Or, "Am not I?" which, throughout the years became "ain't" and has since been shunned by English professors and mothers alike. I think the accepted form now is "Am I not?" but I amn't sure.

I still think we should use that word: amn't. It was good enough for my children as they were learning to speak.

"A'n't I correct?"


Enjoy & In Joy

11 July 2008

Buy Lingual

Did you happen to catch the speech from our president the other day about how we shouldn't worry if immigrants learn to speak English, or not? He went on to say the immigrants would eventually learn to speak English after they lived here long enough (I disagree, especially if they stick to their own language-speaking neighborhoods and never venture outside their comfort zones). He said we should worry more about teaching our kids to speak Spanish.

I have two thoughts here - maybe more. We'll tally up later.

First - Not all immigrants are from Spanish speaking countries... therefore, should we really teach our children only Spanish as a second language? What message does that send to our non-Spanish speaking friends?

Secondly, I believe he meant to say all children need to be bi-lingual (or multi-lingual) in this day and age. With which I heartily agree. But, if that's the case, isn't he saying ALL children need to be bi-lingual, which would include the children of immigrants - thereby making it necessary, in his spoken opinion, for them to learn to speak English, as well?
And, as a parent with European/Native American ancestry, oughtn't I have the option to have my children learn German, French, Latin, Northern Arapaho Indian, Welsh &/or... whatever?

(Why is it we never get credit for learning 'the King's English'? That's just... how might Alli put it... a bit bonkers. One of our French Foreign Exchange students - Ophelie - said she didn't learn to speak the English we were speaking... She learned the 'correct' English!  It was amazing, listening to this tiny French girl speaking like the Beatles with her thick native accent.)

Is it important we bow down to one speaking faction of society? Just when did bi-lingual become synonymous with Spanish/English anyway?

Why are school funds - which, in my opinion, could more appropriately be used for the purchase of books and supplies - being used to print fliers and schedules and newsletters in 'English on one side & Spanish on the other' yet not printed in any other language, as a rule? I have nothing against speaking or learning to speak Spanish. In fact, I've considered learning it myself so I can better communicate with citizens of Mexico - when I vacation there again. "Una más cerveza, por favor, Daniel."

BTW, when I vacationed in Germany, I did my best to speak German - albeit poorly, as the last time I spoke the German language I was in High School. Yeah, they're probably still laughing, but that's not the point!

I think everyone coming to America ought to learn English for their own sake. I believe we all ought to take this 'globalization' thing by the horns and learn a different language... or two... or more... for our own sake. Improving yourself is never a bad idea.

Tyck om ditt tillbringar veckoslutet.

07 July 2008

Achieving Peace and Love... and total enlightenment

First off, I want to wish Ringo Starr and David a Happy Birthday today. I hope Ringo's birthday wish of "Peace & Love" today comes true. As for David:

I attended the North Side Elementary School in my little town. While in second grade, Mrs. Polson's room, she marked all of our birthdays on her calendar, and when it came to my turn, I said in a weak, pathetic voice, "July 2nd." David  -  a classmate whom I didn't know - as this was the first day of school - jumped up and said, "Seventh? July 7th? Your birthday is the seventh? So's mine!"

At that point I wanted so much not to disappoint, but apologetically said, "No, the second."

David sat back down all dejected like and said, "Oh..."

So, happy birthday David. I hope you're more satisfied with sharing Richard Starkey's birthday than mine.

I have two revelations to make today. As I drifted off to sleep, I realized God is probably a female. She gives us a clue as she dictated the Ten Commandments... Let me explain.

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing (cross? statues?) that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water underneath the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God... (Now isn't that just what a woman would say? Yeah, only a woman would put that much detail into her demands.)
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain. (Now, I believe that to mean you shalt not make money off the name of God... but that's just me. And, I'm a woman.)
3. Remember the Sabbath (Saturday) and keep it holy. (Men changed it to Sunday...)
4. Honor thy father and thy mother... (Yeah, an all-powerful man would even remember to mention a mother in the day females were no more than chattel.)
5. Thou shalt not kill. (My mom told me and mein bruder that 24/7 - and my dad just always tried to kill us... I'm just saying... )
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery... (I think a man would have left that one out, Period.)
7. Thou shalt not steal. (I think either gender would agree with that one.)
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor...("I did not have sexual relations with that woman...Ms. Lewinsky.")
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, not his maidservant, not his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. (Okay - why would a man covet his neighbor's ass???)

I never really found #10. The religions usually split #1 into two, but they are basically the same. Maybe 'Nine Commandments' wasn't as catchy...  or left the tablets lop-sided... Who knows?

My second revelation... I think my mother is going loop-de-loop. Her own revelation this weekend causes me to think such things. Somewhere in her vast search for 'the truth' she came across an article about an 80-year-old woman, who - in a controlled experiment, mind you - tripped on Magic Mushrooms and achieved total enlightenment. So, now Mom feels she'd like to take that Magical Mystery Tour (you're welcome, Ringo) herself...

Um... two things you really don't want to hear your mother say: "I've sold the house so you'll need to find another place to live." ...when you're barely 16 and... "I'd like to start experimenting with crazy-arsed drugs." ...thirty years later ...especially when you're absolutely, positively against mind-altering drugs. Period!

Enjoy & In Joy

03 July 2008

Now that was close!


Did I ever tell you how glad I am you take the time to read my thoughts? Well, I am. Thank you.

Did I ever tell you of the time I saw a UFO? It was back in the summer of '72 (stop with the math) and I was sleeping outside under the stars in a sleeping bag with my brother... Let me be clear - he had his own sleeping bag. We grew up in Wyoming, not Alabama! Anyhoo, I awoke before dawn, but the light of the sun illuminated the morning sky, giving off the eerie, not-quite-there feeling. Directly above us was an object which filled the pre-dawn sky. It completely filled the sky but at an arm's length, I probably could have grabbed it with my arms stretched wide... ('I'm pinching your head' type action - think Kids in the Hall). It hovered above us at quite a distance away. It was deafeningly quiet and felt as if it were vibrating within ...hard to explain. It shone in a grey-silver metallic. It was multi-dimensional, in that it was like the underside of an engine block. Not circular by any means, it was more of a rectangular crystal in metal, multi-surfaced and no rhyme or reason to the pattern. No marks, no writing, no lettering of any kind, it hovered until the sun peaked over the horizon, then blipped away so fast you would've thought it disappeared, but I watched it go.

I was frozen in surreality more than fear, and turned to my brother and asked, "What was that?"

His face told me what I my face was probably saying to him. If we were any older, we might have said WTF... but we didn't use the 'F' word - or initial -  back then. I don't know if it was invented yet... I wonder if whoever invented it gets a royalty every time someone uses it. S/he'd be a gazillionaire thanks to the 'entertainment' industry... but I'm tangent-ing.

I don't know what it was. I've never seen anything like it before or since, even in drawn depictions of others' viewings. I just know it wasn't my imagination. It wasn't a dream and I have no idea what it was, I just know it was.

I told you that to tell you this:

I was recently abducted by aliens.

I have a hard time telling you this. You'll think I'm crazy; a whack-job even. But, seriously, I was scared.

I had no way of getting away.
I didn't know where they had taken me...

...and, I can't speak Spanish.


Enjoy your day.
S

02 July 2008

It's my party

"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts." Marcus Aurelius Antonius.

Here's to souls in all the colors of the rainbow.

Today's my birthday... I'd really like the new Jason Mraz CD, since you asked - I think it's "We sing, we dance, we steal things" - I amn't sure, but it has the song "I'm Yours" on it... Thanks for asking.



So... what would you say the color of my soul is today... this day... my birthday?

In Joy & Enjoy

19 June 2008

Six feet under (water)

5 right feet, 1 left - all clad in running shoes and found on the coastal border of western Canada - about 115 (150?) miles of shoreline between Vancouver, British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

According to Dan Springer in Seattle, all six feet have been in the water for a while as they are merely skeletal remains tucked inside running shoes.

Suicide victims? Experts say probably not. Accident victims? Unlikely. Drug/payback related? May be. Serial killers? Worry and concern there may be a crazy person out there. Several young men have gone missing east of the Vancouver area in the past few years. Hoax? How would you hoax something like that? Just drop by the local cemetery and dig up just the feet? How many people are buried in tennis shoes? Anybody know? I don't, but I would bet the dearly departed are mostly dolled up in their best, including shoes. Don't ask me why. I've never understood you humans in regard to death and dying... and then burying your dead (which is another subject all together).

I wonder if the left foot is a match to one of the rights.

Maybe a shark out there has an anti-foot fetish. Strange going-ons... goings-on?

Hey, Danna, heads-up. I just heard on the news the police in Holly Springs, GA (NE Atlanta) are tacking on an additional $12 to all moving violations as a fuel surcharge - to cover the cost of the gas they used to pull you over. Good news - they'll consider dropping the fee if gas drops below $3/gal. Ouch! Talk about slapping you twice.

Again, I ask, to whom do I send the bill for my fuel surcharge?

Last week I stopped twice - two different days - for people in the crosswalk. These were not at lighted intersections, but marked crosswalks on heavily travelled side streets. The first time, two teen-aged girls had been standing in the crosswalk, waiting for traffic for a while. The second time, a man in the December of his life (80s?) was trying to cross. Both times, no one was directly behind me, but about half a block to a block away. I stopped to allow these pedestrians to cross. Both times the vehicles behind me passed me on the right and damned near took out the crossers.

When did they change that particular law? Do people have to pass driving test these days, or just look good in their DMV photo?

Enjoy your Thursday.  I have a lawn to mow. (Today is Thursday, isn't it?)

...

29 May 2008

That makes ME sick

I think I'm gonna cry...

I woke up last night (this morning) at around 4 to the sounds of vomit - you can't mistake that wonderful sound, can you? Coming out of my stupor (hush, y'all), I register sloppy, splashing sounds of something hitting the flat water of the toilet...

Stepping into the hall, I realized one of my daughters had just spray painted the antique linoleum of the hallway with gut gravy... and I was standing smack dab in it.

Long story short - Jack had gotten sick last night and she couldn't keep it in on the long trek from bed to bath. She left a slimy trail behind her.

I spent the next hour giving her a bath and removing the trail of sludge - which literally started from her bedroom door and ended as an explosion around the toilet.

I have a weak stomach.

Where is that 'every other' parent when you need 'em?

So, we get back to 'normal.'  I put her on the couch next(er) to the bathroom with a trash can at her side; give her a cold, wet washcloth for her tum-tum and a glass of water... then I head off to bed and into fitful dreams of her eating year-old chicken noodle soup which she had hidden under her bed for later - hence the sickness.

I got up this morning and pushed the button on my brandy-like-new coffee pot... and went in to take a shower. My design was to come out, clean as a whistle (wit-woo) and enjoy a nice cuppa with a towel piled on my head.

No such luck.

My brandy-like-new coffee pot isn't registering it has any water. It be broke... like my heart.

...

28 May 2008

Oh, Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.

I see from the responses to MEN!!, I once again successfully confused the issue to the point where no one understands what I'm trying to say...

So, I should just get over it, but I have to say a few more things first. Then I'll shut up (for a bit anyway).

1. If you like looking at the female form, good for you and bless your heart - I think maybe you should keep your tongue in your mouth and your thoughts to yourself, however.

2. If you have a problem seeing two round masses of flesh encasing fat cells in the same vicinity and at the same time functioning in society - I think maybe you'd be better off staying home a lot more... maybe get a subscription to one of the Playboy Channels, or something...

3. If you think that girl dressed up so she could be leched and groped by your eyes - you may be correct... but I think maybe you should try to see life from her perspective... and maybe, just maybe she dressed like that for her guy. I'm not saying every girl who wears a bikini to the beach is looking to be leched at, I'm saying maybe one or two are looking to be appreciated by their beau... or maybe they just want to swim.

4. I'm not disagreeing with you some chicks dress like that for shock and lech value... and when that's the case they shouldn't be surprised when they get a reaction. But, I'm also not saying every man is a lecher...

There. I said what I had to say. No need to call for me to cut off my boobies. I like them just fine, and, I like being appreciated - more for my brain than my boobs, but, hey, I'll get it where I can.

Put your tongue back in your mouth and enjoy the view.

...

23 May 2008

Happy Decoration Day Weekend

From Wikipedia.com:

Memorial Day is a
United States Federal Holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, and don't forget to honor the soldiers of the past by thanking the soldiers of your now (and future).

Enjoy & In Joy
S

22 May 2008

Men!!

What is it with men? I apologize to the 2% of you who don't fit in to this particular category, but OMG!! Siera's father is in his late 40s or early 50s... and he marries a malignant tumor in her twenties. What could they possibly have to talk about? I mean, besides the obvious - what position she takes... and I'm not talking politics.

As I drove down a very congested major city street yesterday, I kept thinking, "What the heck is going on?" The two vehicles in front of me in the left lane were doing about 20 in a 45 mph zone. I couldn't see any obstructions in front of them - no cause for defensive driving nor concern... then I noticed what, or rather, who was driving in the right lane. There were, oh I'd guess seven or eight Harleys, riding somewhat tandem - two in a row, four thick. Behind each Harley Dude sat a chick - oh, I'd say early 20s, if that - dressed in barely nothing. Quite beautiful by every means - not merely striking at all!

Then it dawned on me. The guy (looked to be about 60) in the PU in front of me was driving with his head practically stuck out the passenger-side window, tongue dragging on the ground. As was the derelict in front of him.

OMG!!!

How old do you have to be before you stop making a complete and total asinine fool of yourself over a bodacious babe on the back of some dude's bike??? In what world would this 'fine young thing' find you remotely more attractive than the dude whose biceps she's grasping?

So, while you're having fantasies I don't even want to think about, you're holding up traffic so you can get some eye candy??? What??? Grow the F up, already. If you looked at your old lady the way you ogle that child, you'd have a much happier marriage, you idiot.

GROW UP! OMG!!

Is that ALL men (and I use the term lightly) ever think about? Can't they think about driving while behind the wheel, and working while at work, etc.?

If a UPS guy walks in the door of an office full of women, dressed in the shorts and sportin' some nice biceps and tidy thighs, most women will look up and appreciate what they see and sign for the dang package (the one he's holding in his hands, sicko)... but switch genders in the roles, and you have a whole group of males jockeying for position, tongues hanging out like a bunch of wild dogs. I just don't get it.  If it weren’t so sad, it'd be funny.

Boys will be boys, they say - but it really is disturbing to think if that's all old boys can think about, why the hell aren't all positions of power held by women?

'Scuze me. I have to go throw up now.

Enjoy & In Joy

21 May 2008

Thought For The Day

Almost everyone likes to feel useful...
..
However, no one likes to feel used.
.
Enjoy & In Joy
S

16 May 2008

Helloooo???

I'm still waiting for Ed Begley, Jr. and the DIY &/or HGTV network(s) to contact me concerning my "Green Me, Green My Home" idea. Just thought you'd like to know (you can read about it in a previous post, if you don't know to what I'm referring.).
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Ed, you can just comment on this blog and leave your phone number. I'll have my people call your people. Ciao!
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In Joy & Enjoy
S

76 Trumbones...

MSN.com has plethora information at your fingertips... literally. I just read my spices lose their strength and flavor (shelf life) after about six months. Crap! Salt's another story, however. Lot's wife can, and will, be around for eternity, sitting right next to Honey - which, according to MSN.com, never spoils. Things you didn't know you didn't know.

Jo had a band concert last night. She plays the trombone - not the trumbone (as that one person calls it). I suppose that's a half trombone - half trumpet - which I don't believe exists, but as you all know and have told me many times - I'm ignorant.

She had previously signed me up, oh, around Christmas concert time, to play a song with the other parents in this concert. She told me about it, but that was ages ago. You can't expect me to remember something which happened five months ago, can you? You can? Oh...

So, they called the parents on stage and we played "Hot Cross Buns" for the amusement of the other parents who were smart enough or sly enough to dodge that particular bullet. There were seven of us in all... and one brave grandma. (I know I'm a grandma, but I was playing for my daughter, not my Knickerless. Don't be so picky.)

The instructor told us to sit in our child's chair, take their instrument and she'd have the entire band of children play the song twice, parents would play it once, then we'd all play together. Four times in all.

She started the band a-playin'. I heard my daughter loud-whispering from the stage wings "MOM! Play!"

I looked around and saw the other parents (and grandma) don't listen very well, do they? They're all tooting along on their child's instrument. So, on the second play-through, I joined in and continue throughout. I thought I did a fine job.

The boy sitting next to me - another trombone said, "You suck."

I smiled, and said, "Makes you appreciate Jo's playing just that much more, huh?"

After the concert, we met in the band room where Jo informed her instructor I played the trombone 32 years ago, while a sophomore in high school.

I said, "Yeah, but after six months they asked me to please stop ...and put me on the bass clarinet."

"I can see why," Jo said. "You play too loud."

"Oh, is that a bad thing? I thought they asked me to stop because I made everyone else sound like amateurs."
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I guess my shelf-life as a trombone player has expired. Water ya gonna do?
.
Enjoy & In Joy

15 May 2008

Don't they have a drug for that?

I read in the paper today... or was it yesterday? ...more than one half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems.

Let me be the first to congratulate all the pharmaceutical companies: You're almost there.

I remember about two years ago an inner-office memorandum of the largest pharmaceutical company leaked from under their child-proof cap. In it, the company bragged about their far-reaching, lucrative poisons... er, medications. They went on to say it was their goal every man, woman and child in America be on at least three prescription drugs by 2010. The kicker was they bragged about making one drug dependent on another.  (i.e., when you take prescription A for heart problems, it will cause diarrhea. Therefore, we offer prescription B for the diarrhea... unfortunately it may cause sleep disorders. But not to worry, we've come up with prescription C to combat the sleep disorders... just don't forget to pick up prescription D to deal with your gambling and sexual activities caused by prescription C, and you may want to ask your doctor about prescription E, as D causes...). And the beat goes on.

So, again. Congrats, legal drug pushers. You're almost there. You and the insurance companies make quite a team.

I wonder how my great-grandmother lived to be 102? oh, yeah. She refused to take any medicines for anything, save aspirin, and ate meat and potatoes every day of her life. Sure, her ankles were huge, but she was 'all there' until the day she died.

I heard on the news last night the preteens and teenagers are trying a 'new' way to get high. I guess they drink a bottle of Robitussin DM with tablets of Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold - both OTC medicines. Brilliant! I just came across a number of postings from college students who reported the effects and benefits of such practice. Bottom line - it's a cheap and easy high. One student reported feeling disoriented and 'out of control' with painful itching, hot flashes, vomiting, and lived in a 2D world for awhile, but, what the hell, she was willing to do it again. The doctor says it does the same as PCP to the brain and blood stream. He said it increases the heart rate to a dangerous level and causes hallucinations. It also causes irreparable kidney, liver and brain damage. Cool! It may kill you and definitely damages your brain, but, hey, it's only a brain. If you're thinking of poisoning yourself with this shit or any other kind of drug, you're really not using your brain for anything anyway. No great loss. Maybe you can successfully kill yourself before you can procreate.

Only in America are the pharmaceutical companies allowed to advertise prescriptions on TV and other media. Only in America are they allowed to practice such irresponsible and reckless behavior.

It wasn't very long ago the predecessors of our medical communities were handing out Opium and Laudanum, etc., to pregnant women, mothers, infants and children. They prescribed cigarettes to calm nerves, small doses of arsenic to calm stomach pains and variations of other lethal 'snake oils' to a trusting society.

I wonder what we'll know tomorrow about the poisons they vend today.

In Joy & Enjoy

13 May 2008

Date me!

Lookit what I found on MSN.com:

How to date a divorced man
By Chelsea Kaplan

If you've just begun dating a divorced man, you may soon realize the "regular" dating rules don't always apply. Whether it's due to encounters with his ex, issues concerning his children or heavier-than-average baggage, dating a divorced man can be especially challenging. For tips on how to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with a divorced man, heed the advice of Dr. Christie Hartman, author of Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide if He's Right for You.

(And, do you know what? I'll add a few tidbits in case you're planning on dating my X. Ooohh, this'll be fun!!)
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Q: In which ways is dating a divorced man different than dating a man who has never been married?
.
A: Divorced men have more baggage than never-married men. (Not necessarily. Just how old is this 'man' and has he been living with his mother for the past 50 years? Think Norman Bates.) And while baggage doesn't have to be a negative thing, it does create more challenges you will need to be prepared for. (I'm sorry, I had to take out all them unnecessary 'that's. Please excuse the intrusion. You won't even miss them, I promise.)

Q: Tell us about the specific challenges…
(please)
.
A: Well, first and foremost, all divorced men have an ex-wife. (DUH!) Because marriage is such a serious commitment (should be, anyway), ex-wives tend to have more power than ex-girlfriends (NOT! especially while still married), even after the marriage ends. If they had kids together, she will always be in the picture (not always by her choice... no, really, feel free to keep me out of your relationship with him - just don't harm my children), feel protective toward her kids (DUH!), and feel she has certain privileges with him due to having had his children (Not on your life!). What's more, women without kids may be surprised by the amount of time and care children require (another DUH! but the extree time and care is allotted to the mom... me, in this case), which will influence the freedom the couple has (Wah, Ma-ma). Lastly, divorce can be financially devastating. On top of the actual divorce costs and having to split up all the family assets, divorced men may have child support or alimony obligations (Which he'll incessantly whine about to you even though he keeps more than 75% of his income for his little ol' self). These factors will influence his future - and his future with you (so you'd better have a really good paying job because the man is a skinflint and you won't even be able to attend the sticky theatre... um, dollar theatre? Discount theatre? You know, the one where you only have to pay a few buck to see the movie but the floor is always sticky from pop and candy - I hope - cuz they don't mop up... anyway, that one - he won't let you spend a few bucks on a movie... ever!).
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Q: When dating a divorced man, is there anything in particular women should be wary of (you should be wary of ending your sentences in prepositions)?
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A: Women should definitely be on the lookout for a guy who's not yet over his marriage (run, girls, don't walk). He'll talk excessively about the marriage, ex-wife, or divorce, frequently praise or badmouth his ex (badmouth, for sure), and spend more time with the ex than is necessary for children or polite friendship (not on your life - you're good to go there, but if he talks you into marrying him, the next item on his agenda is to take the kids away from me and make you a full time momma...What? He's too busy with work to be bothered taking care of his kids - that's why he wants to marry you.). It's OK if he displays these signs once in a while, but they should not occur frequently (define frequently... every day? Every other day?).
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Q: In your opinion, are most divorced men looking for another long-term relationship?
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A: Some divorced men, especially if the divorce is recent, may be more interested in having fun than in having a relationship (no, that happens with the other women/girls barely into puberty he befriends after he marries you). Unfortunately, they may not be aware of this, or if they are, they may not share it with you. Usually after being single for a couple of years (it's been more), the issues surrounding a man's divorce - and his grief about it - will resolve itself (yeah, once I die).
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Q: When it comes to dating divorced men, are there definite don'ts?
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A: Don't be afraid to ask questions. Find out if his divorce is final(yep), when he separated(Jan 2005), if he has children (two he claims - three he threw away), why his marriage ended (I think her name was Cheryl... or Elizabeth... or Dawn... or Kendra... Oh, I'm so confused), etc. Also, don't give too much too soon. Divorced men, especially if still divorcing or recently divorced, can be needy (watch it girls, he cries... a lot!). Never give more than you are getting. (Now that's funny!)
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To read the other side of the story, "How to Date a Divorced Woman." read Chelsea Kaplan's blog, "I'm Somebody's Mother?" It can be found at www.chelseakaplan.com.

Okay - that may have been a little bitter... a tad childish, but hey - it was fun, wasn't it? Thanks for playing. See you in the funny papers.
.
Enjoy and In Joy
S

11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day


I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations
Before I was a Mom
.
I had never been puked on; pooped on; chewed on; peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night long
Before I was a Mom

I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests, or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep
Before I was a Mom

I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom
Before I was a Mom
.
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy
Before I was a Mom
.
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every ten minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much
Before I was a Mom

Author Unknown

09 May 2008

Welfare... so easy a caveman...

Well, you know the rest. Sometimes I think the cavemen had it right. Get up. Club something on the head to eat. Watch the sun rise. Smell the flowers. Stay alive. Watch the sun set. Get up and do it all over again. (Sure, you stink, but have you ever walked on the sidewalk in downtown New York City? Gadzooks! I imagine it's pretty much the same smell in dem dere caves.)

Civilization!! Dot-de-da-DA! *trumpets blaring* (or trumbones, as my X would say). Now we have regulations, rules, laws, taxes, liabilities, standards, protocols, referendums, religions, anti-religions, sects, factions, guidelines, ...and, my personal favorite: policies to adhere. How many of you had any say in the writing/sanctioning of any 'have to' you have to do/be? (do be doo)

We are governed by idiots as to what is in fashion, and pretty much have to stick to it - albeit we can be 'so yesterday' if we shop at Goodwill, etc. - but unless you sew your own clothing and make your own footwear, you're pretty much falling in the fashion line dictated by bone-heads. Do you remember those jeans with the butt cheeks cut out? Yeah, I think they sucked, too, but they were all the rage for a bit in the... (?late 70s, early 80s?? Who can remember?) Not beautiful by any means...

We are governed by idiots as to who deserves to work and pay for them-fools-what-don't-want-to. I liked the email going around a few ago - why do employed citizens have to take drug tests when welfare recipients don't? 


Fine, Upstanding, Pay-Your-Own-Way Americans - I SALUTE YOU!!! You are the backbone of this country. Everyone else has lost their spines.

Hey, get out there and enjoy the sunset tonight... and club something on the head for dinner while you're at it, why don't you?

...

07 May 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down...

I pondered giving the little ones their umbrellas as it looked like rain outside this morning. It reminded me of an incident years ago involving my #3 daughter - who is now almost 21. Well, in reality, it involved all three older daughters. Allow me to reminisce:

I had just been married to my second ex - the absentee father of my two little ones still at home - and his father took the three older ones shopping. RUC#1 would have been... hold on while I do the math... about 8, placing Peanut in the 7 age category, and Peaches was 5.

The brandy new "Grandpa" came back from shopping overly impressed by Peaches' choice. He explained he had taken them to a store, and he told them all to go find something they wanted and he would purchase it for them. (They didn't know it was a test of their character - the first of many.)

I cannot remember what the older two picked, as they must not have picked 'the correct' things... but Peaches was hailed as 'the unselfish' one as she picked a child's umbrella. Grandpa tried to talk her into something less practical; more hedonistic (I guess), but Peaches stuck to her desire to have the small, 'Hello Kitty' umbrella. Grandpa left the store, seemingly impressed and continued to talk of the incident until his death about three years later (unrelated).

My children learned a hard lesson that day - a lesson I don't deem as a true or fair one, but a lesson in humility all the same:

Every episode in their lives from that day forward would be judged and labeled by that family - by every member of that family - for the rest of their lives.

Choosing something functional wasn't Peaches' plan. Impressing her new Grandpa wasn't even in the cards, but she drew the correct one and was labeled for life as THEE (only) 'unselfish child' of mine for all time - fit to be a 'true' Linhart. (I never passed that test - BTW)

I learned a lesson that day as well. I learned the real differences in Love - A parent's love, which is unconditional... and the fake "I approve of you as long as you act and do as I approve" love - which is what we all lived with for the past 15+ years.

Of all the experiences I've had in my life and shared with my kids, I wish I could have foreseen the effect of ex's 'approval love' on my children's lives. I wish I could have nipped it in the bud and instead taught him the true meaning of love.

Until I met his family, I never knew every episode in life; every choice you make; every word you say is a test to your character. I never knew that as a child choosing something off the shelf spoke directly to your worth.

Frailty, mistakes, learning, bad choices, redemption, forgiveness, humanity - all words inaccessible, and actions unforgivable by the ex and his family.

I didn't know most people were born perfect. Someday, I'll take Knickerless to the store and let him pick something off the shelves. The more hedonistic and useless, the better... and I will never make him feel bad about his choices.

I didn't give the little ones their umbrellas this morning. In fact, they rarely use them except to play. A little rain never hurt anyone.

The truth is I can't look at an umbrella without feeling a pang of shame and regret.

...

06 May 2008

Barbara

My cousin's wife died this morning after a lengthy and painful illness. I don't think she was quite 40. They didn't have any offspring, so he's basically alone in his grief. He has siblings and parents, and she did, too, but...

For the past fifteen years he's been the primary caregiver for his wife - she's had numerous strokes and other ailments. Toward the end, she could barely talk. She became almost child-like.

About three weeks ago, she entered the ICU. Yesterday or the day before, she was placed on a respirator. He had the sole responsibility of deciding whether or not she would or could remain there. It took him 24 hours to realize she'd already left; only her shell remained. Her heart stopped beating thirty minutes later.

Now comes the hardest part. Going home alone.

I cannot imagine what it'd feel like to have the one you love at your side 24/7, totally dependent on your care and love for over fifteen years ...

And then, not.

What does it feel like to walk alone into a home you've shared with someone for so long? How empty the halls must feel? How big the bed...  how loud the silent echoes...
How lonely and barren... and cold the rooms... and knowing the biggest part of what took up your life for the past fifteen years is gone. Just gone.

I know people who've been married for a substantial time feel the same in many respects, but to be the one who cleans, washes, combs, dresses, feeds... what do you do with your time, now? What busies your hands? What settles your mind when you start to think of all the 'should have dones' and 'could have dones' and 'maybes?' With whom do you quietly sit now? Now that your 'purpose' for living the past fifteen years is gone with that last beat of her heart?

I cannot imagine.
My heart is broken for him.
...

pass the popcorn, please!