The Day is Almost Behind Me

rhubbarb cake

Friday, June 08, 2018

Today I am grateful the day is almost behind me.  Sheesh!  Some days I wonder if my entire being is in retrograde like the planets.  Don’t worry, it was nothing serious, but if you add up the drops and spills and foo-pah’s (I know it’s not spelled correctly) it can grate on even a positive persons nerves.  Like me.

 

Before I go any further in this missive, I’d like to thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes.  I’ve read almost all of them and work on more any chance I get.  Onward and upward, or should I say downward?  I’m only gonna hit on the high spots because you have a life and better things to do.

 

I baked a rhubarb cake last night to take to the YMCA this morning as a birthday treat.  We ladies who do water aerobics sit around and gab over tea or coffee after class and invariably half of the Y saunters past to eavesdrop and/or scrounge goodies.  It’s fun.

 

This morning I carefully cut the cake in even pieces, popped the lid back on and put it in the bottom of a large cloth bag along with plates, forks and napkins.  Then I set it on the counter near my purse, next to my swimming suit which I was taking into the living room when I had my breakfast along with Good Morning America.  I know.  I live a wild and crazy life.

 

I arranged my tray like always and tweaked my pinky through a strap on the suit like always, turned like always and headed out.  Except it wasn’t the suit.  It was the handle of the bag with the cake, which got a mind of its own, did a two-and-a-half-flip-with-a-twist, like an Olympic ski jumper and landed face down on the floor.  I said, “Goodness me, whatever will I do now?”

 

When I picked it up, being careful to at least keep the lid on, I was not happy.  Inside all of those nice evenly sliced pieces had shifted to one side and overturned like dirt on a construction site.  I pasted it back together as best I could, finished my breakfast and got dressed with that swim suit on under my clothes.

 

“I don’t know what’s wrong with this shirt today,” I said to Himself, tugging at the neckline.  “It’s choking me and feels weird!”  He said, “It would probably feel better if you turned it around.  I don’t think the sparkles are supposed to be in the back.”  I told him about my earlier episode with the cake and he said, “If everything in your life went okay, you’d have nothing to write about.”  Tru Dat!

 

After the Y, I had to fly in the door and change clothes before having lunch with friends and then participating in a presentation mid-afternoon.   HABAND just delivered my new white pants and they fit!  Guys, you can leave now if you want, but if not just bear with me.  I had on colored underwear and since I am neither Madonna, nor Miley Cyrus, I had to change them she they wouldn’t show through.  But most of my tightie-whities were already in the laundry.  So I dug to the bottom of the drawer, holding up a pair while trying to do the hip-size-versus-panty-size-versus-can-I-even-get-into-these math.

 

They went on.  But the waist was tight.  Would I be able to stretch the elastic a little?  Oh come on, ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Especially if you are of a certain size, like a real person is.  Who hasn’t stretched a T-shirt or sleeve?  Or panties?  So I shoved my thumbs in and put on the pressure.  . .alot. . .until they ripped right down the side seam. . .four inches!  Since I was out of white panties and time, I wore them anyway.

 

Though it doesn’t happen often, I once again have to admit Himself was right about something.  If I didn’t have the life I have I would not have any stories to write about.  At all!  FYI – The cake was still great; I managed to put the shirt on correctly at the Y; and I’m washing those torn panties.  Who knows when I might be in a crunch again and need them?  Besides, they were very comfortable.  And you’re welcome.

 

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Wisdom

a wisdom quote by Kahil G.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Today I am grateful for wisdom.  I’m spending a lot of time these days looking for words that I feel should be part of today’s dialogue, yet are not often present.   Wisdom is a big one.  But what exactly is wisdom?  The definition is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.  WOW!  Where is that happening?

 

Synonyms of “wisdom” are sense, shrewdness, common sense, sagacity (cool word), judgment, prudence, circumspection, logic, rationale, advisability. . .as in “we question the wisdom of the decision.”  I don’t know where much of that is happening lately, either.  Full disclosure – the above definition and the synonyms are stolen from a Google search defining wisdom.  I’m not immune to borrowing well put together phrases for my own enlightenment and yours.  Here are a few more I pilfered.

 

Wisdom is the soundness of an action or decision based on all of the above as in, “some question the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano.”  Another wow!  Okay, that’s the official stuff based on huge generalities.

 

Here are ten places I would like to see more wisdom on a daily basis.

 

  1.   Be wise before you hit send on those acerbic words that you think are brilliant when you throw them out there, but could destroy someone when they land.   That old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me” is completely outdated.  Words hurt.  And the recipient of nasty words will continue to feel them hurting long after the time it takes a broken bone to heal.
  2. When asked for, advice is often well-placed.  At those times you owe it to yourself and the recipient to be as honest as possible. . .while remembering to be kind.  When advice isn’t asked for, don’t offer it!!  No one wants you lecturing them on the best diet, exercise or way to raise their children. You might believe you have all of the answers, but trust me on this one, they are only YOUR answers and not always applicable for someone else.  Shut up!
  3. Now that email has virtually replaced letter writing and phone calls, be judicious in your approach.  The written word is more powerful and more difficult to interpret than the spoken word.   Words spoken with the intent of humor can often be misinterpreted in print.  Likewise with complaints.  When I wrote letters years ago, I’d print them out and sit with them for a day or two before sending.  Often I would decide to edit, re-write or not send at all. If I was ranting about something, waiting a day gave me a chance to cool off and re-think my words.  “SEND” on email is too easy, too sporadic and too instantaneous.   Now if I need to complain about something I write it out in a word program first.  That way I can look at it again before I send it.  I can easily copy and paste the next day if my rage is still blowing hot, but often the mere venting of anger diffuses it.  Pause before you send.
  4. New drivers often get in fender bender accidents not long after they start to drive.  As long as no one is injured, this can often be a wake-up call to them.  When metal hits metal they are jarred into realizing how quickly things can happen.  We could all be wiser out the amount of distractions we allow while we are driving.  Also, turn signals are on a car to use.  I know, shocker, but that’s true.
  5. Cell phones. Are you a brain surgeon or cardiac specialist who might be called at a moment’s notice to save a life?  I doubt it.  I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but perhaps you are not the most important person in the universe.  Maybe you shouldn’t assume you are by hogging exercise equipment while you gab away about your personal life.  The same holds true at checkout lines, in doctor’s offices and at performances of any kind.
  6. Guilty.  I have not always used wisdom in some of my posts.  I’m pretty okay with my blog stories, but when I get my dander up about something my mouth runs my fingers and I can be a bit acerbic.  Translation: a real bitch.  I need work in this area.  (See how wise I am to know my own faults?)
  7. Being a Mother(Father)-In-Law. This is an easy one for me because I’ve been blessed with the choices our children have made, but there were some along the way that caused me to bite holes in my cheek and metaphorically slap my hand across my mouth so that I wouldn’t interfere.  This is a tough one for some people, but without the necessary wisdom to shut up, families can be irrevocably divided and/or destroyed.  Find something to love in everyone.
  8. Being a grandparent. When my children had children they finally realized I wasn’t the stupidest person in the world.  I have gained a little bit of knowledge through the years and sometimes even my kids want me to share.  I hope yours do, too, but wait to be asked.  That has killed me in the past, but I’m getting better at it.  All new parents want to believe they know it all.  It usually isn’t until that kid is moving around on their own that they realize they don’t know jack-shit and will continue that way until the kid is well out of high school, in college, or married.  Raising kids is a crap shoot.  Sometimes you win.  Sometimes you don’t.  But the game is always interesting.
  9. I want good leadership.  It is important to me that people who are making decisions which affect me, my family and friends, are honest.  I want to see elected officials showing kindness, dignity and grace to those visiting or immigrating from another country or culture.  I want the powers-that-be to use every ounce of wisdom they have and collectively pool the wisdom of hundreds, thousands, millions of others, to keep children safe at schools, in the movies, in the malls.  I want debates, discussions and polite discourse, where people offer viewpoints different from mine and maybe yours, so that I can have all of the information necessary to either hold my ground or change my mind about any given topic.  If I have any hope of getting close to meeting the above desires, then I have to be wise when I vote.  I need to create my list of “must-haves” and “can’t tolerates”, because no one person can meet all needs, but some will come closer than others.  Then I have to study like I’m going for a master’s and use all of my collected wisdom before I mark my ballot.  I want to be a wise voter.
  10. If we place too much emphasis on wining, we will not experience the learning curve necessary to accept defeat and become a gracious loser.  We do a disservice to our young people if we always let them win, no matter what.   If you don’t know how to lose, you don’t know how to live.  I may not like it, but I believe I have learned more from my loses, my set-backs, my defeats, than I ever would have learned if my life had gone without a hitch.  Losing is a necessary life skill.

 

So there you have it.  If you’re still reading at this point, I hope you grabbed a snack before you started.  This one should have come with a lunch break.  Perhaps one day I’ll learn the wisdom of brevity.  Nah.  That one’s not happening any time soon.

 

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A Hard-Copy Newspaper

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Today I am grateful for a hard copy newspaper.  I don’t want to read all of the news I’m absorbing on line or listen to the talking heads on TV.  My phone is too small and my brain is too impatient to scroll around looking for what I want to read and don’t want to read.  And I don’t have enough soft stuff to throw at the TV.

 

I wanna pick up the newspaper, read the headline, scrounge around looking at sub-headlines and then decide what is going to get my attention in first, second, third and beyond in my reading pecking order.

 

And I don’t want to read the news only at my computer.  I might want to take the paper outside, or to the kitchen, or along with me when I go out to lunch, or to the bathroom where all crossword puzzles should be finished.  I don’t want to lumber around with my devices, boot up, scroll, or monitor how much power I have left before the whole works shuts down or flashes messages to find an electrical source.

 

I want paper.  Printed.  With words and ads and pictures and stories and news.  Real news!  I want opinions and obituaries and wedding announcements.  I want feel good stories and op-ed pieces written by average folks like me about controversial issues.  I want some of the newspaper to be filled with stuff I don’t give a crap about, but someone else does.  I want another portion to tempt me to read every word, even if it’s a long-running, three part series on a vital issue in my area. . .or the world. . .of which I knew nothing about before someone wrote the article.

 

And I love the columnists.  All of them!  Many people have said I should write a newspaper column.  I would love that!  I’ve contacted numerous newspapers, both daily and weekly.  No one wants me.  I know I can write.  You know I can write.   I know I’m prolific.  You know I’m prolific.  But I don’t have a journalism degree. . .or any college degree. . . so they won’t even discuss.  I hit the metaphorical round file before I even get a click.  Their loss.  And mine.  And maybe yours.

 

But I still want to read their newspapers, even if they’ve dissed me.  I want to absorb writing that is technical and factual and way more long winded than even I am.  I want to read features where gay couples, mixed race couples and people in their eighties are getting married.  I want to read the Health section and find out what medical mystery needs solving, what gizmo I should be wearing on my wrist (not happening) and how many ab exercises I need to do to look like Claudia Schiffer.  (too many to count)

 

When I’m feeling blue, I want to pour over advice columns and thank my lucky stars that the petty crap that people complain about doesn’t affect me anymore, or that my life seems great compared to so many others who have it much worse.  Then I’ll check out what kids need adopting, what wonderful teacher did something amazing, how many football players donated how much time and money to good causes.

 

I can’t flip through a computer willy-nilly like you can a hard copy newspaper.  I can’t fold it up to tuck under your arm.  I can’t fight with it in the wind, or lay it flat on the table, or cut out a comic about the crazy “Pickles” and paste it to the fridge because it is hilarious because it’s about me coping with Himself’s hearing aids.  Names are changed to protect the guilty.

 

And best and probably most important for loving a hard copy newspaper, is that I can give those comics to my two year old granddaughter and she can learn the joy of eating blueberries while holding printed paper in her hands and “reading” without the glow of electronics.  And then when she’s done, she can crumple it up and toss it at Grandpa, like I often do when I’m reading about politics.  No screen gets injured.

 

On-line is okay for “breaking news” and some other stuff, but for day-to-day, there is nothing like a hard copy newspaper.  Oh! And I’d make a great columnist so someone hire me!  I’ll wait for your call.

 

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Genetic Humor

a mothers day cards-2

Friday, June 01, 2018

Today I am grateful for genetic humor.  When you have kids you wrestle with the nature vs. nurture theories.  Or was that just me?  Because I divorced when they were a bit young, I wondered how much of their birth dad I’d see in them and how much of their step dad.  I’m happy to say that the good in both is there, so whew on that one.  What about my genetics?  I bring something to the table, too.

 

Then as if a mother doesn’t have enough to worry about I wondered if they would be responsible, have families, good lives and most of all a sense-of-humor through whatever is thrown at them.  A lot gets thrown at all of us.  I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for the humor I find in almost every situation, appropriate or not.  Alas.  But I have the brains to keep my fingers still and shut my mouth so I’m not Tweeting nonsense and way more ahead of the game that so many celebrities are losing.

 

All of those frets and fears and worries are what give mom’s the right to get rubbery eggs and burnt toast crumbs in bed on Mother’s Day.  Until your kids grow.  Then who knows?  And if you have boys, who knows if they remember you’re their mom.  And I’m okay with that because for me it’s about treating their wives, the mothers of their kids, well on that day, too.

 

So this year I saw one son the day before and he gave me a card with movie passes inside.  Perfect!  The other son called and said “life” got away from him but he was calling from the car after the kids and him all took their mom out to dinner.  He said something would be forthcoming in the mail.  I didn’t hold my breath.  Nor did it matter because I know we’re good on every level so I don’t need a card to remind me.  It’s really okay.

 

Then his card came in the mail.  With movie passes.  Perfect.  Two sons.  Two cards with movie passes.  They know me!  Now is when you want to notice the picture attached to this post!  Two sons also got the SAME CARD only with different pictures.  The inside says, “. . .a great mom turns off the mixer first!”  Perfect!  Genetics gave them both my sense of humor!  BING!  Huge Heartprint!!!!

 

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Paradigm Shift

a paradigm shift

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Today I am grateful for a paradigm shift.  Here is the definition: “par·a·digm shift (noun); a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.”  Yes, please.  I want a paradigm shift. America needs it.  Humanity needs it.

 

I used to write my blog every day.  Then I cut myself a break and missed a few here or there.  I’ve never struggled for what to write because the ideas pack into my brain like the pounds pack onto my backside.  Easy peasy.  Yet I’ve found myself going one, two, three, even four days without writing.  Why?

 

I want to be positive and there is not a lot of positive flying around out there these days.  I don’t want the majority of my posts to reflect political opinions, yet that’s all I seem to be able to think about.  And I don’t want to support bad news or bad behavior by writing about it.  That doesn’t leave much lately, so I don’t write.

 

Full disclosure.  I really liked the new Roseanne Show.  I thought they were tackling some tough issues like fear of Islamic people, the high cost of healthcare and gender identification.  And they did it with humor and honesty.  Then yet another whack-a-doodle opens her big mouth and spouts racial garbage and now a show that really could have made a difference, one that employed hundreds of people, is cancelled.  And I’m thrilled!  Cancel it!  I’m sad about the loss of residuals for innocent people, but I’m glad they even cancelled the reruns!

 

While I support the First Amendment, I also believe that exercising that right does not come for free.  There are consequences.  At least there should be, although I have to wonder if all people are really “equal” like the constitution states.  Think of the people who have lived with the consequences of their stupid actions.  I’m not going to name names because I don’t want to give them a shout out.  You know who they are.  You also know who doesn’t ever pay the consequence for actions and/or comments as reprehensible as Roseanne’s were.

Almost instantly the network, ABC chose to fire Roseanne and cancel her top-rated show.  Disney, their parent company agreed and issued a statement.  Talk about standing arm-in-arm with your integrity and values!  GOOD FOR THEM!  She’s responded with a twitter storm that no Ambien could take claim to.  Ridiculous.  And the makers of that drug slapped her with a scathing tweet, too, saying that “racism is not a side effect” of their drug.  So good for them also!

 

A month ago a racist event occurred at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.  The broo-ha-ha was enormous.  Did the CEO of Starbucks back-pedal and make excuses for the bad behavior of his employees?  Nope!  He said it was WRONG.  Flat out wrong!  And he showed up in Philly and personally met with the young men who were treated like crap. He didn’t send a “representative” to do his dirty work.  He took responsibility and made changes when a few days ago many Starbucks shut down for four hours of diversity training!  Thank you!  It’s a start!

 

Horrible, racist behavior will continue as long as we tolerate it.  But we shouldn’t tolerate it.  EVER!  We should be outraged and angry and tell everyone who will listen and especially those who won’t, that it is flat out WRONG!!!  This is the year 2018 and we know better!

 

The leaders of these two companies have shown us a better way. They are leading a paradigm shift.  And I am very grateful.  I hope you are, too, because we are way overdue for the madness to stop!!!

 

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Protocol

a color guard pic

Monday, May 28, 2018

Today I am grateful for protocol.  The hoopla about taking a knee-not taking a knee, staying in the locker room-not staying in the locker room, wearing the flag, desecrating the flag, serving meals on flag plates, having a beach towel flag, flag tattoos, slapping flag magnets on your car. . .and on and on and on and on. . .is palpable and seems like it will never end.

 

I repeat yet again that taking a knee never, ever meant the person disrespected the flag.  Indeed, respected the freedom and right to exert first amendment rights for ALL people.  ALL PEOPLE!  Not just those in your political party, your church, your neighborhood, your race.  ALL means ALL.

 

Yet there is a little item in parade protocol that has left me curious.  When we were kids and my dad was at the parade with us, he made us stand for “first colors”.  That means when the first color guard of the parade passed us by, we stood at attention.  Dad took his hat off and put it over his heart and in later years he taught my sons to do that, too.  “You don’t have to stand every time the flag passes,” he said.  “But you do have to stand for first colors.”

 

We went to the parade in Harleysville last Saturday.  We stood for first colors.  I made a lot of noise about STANDING FOR FIRST COLORS.  One other family that heard me stood.  Everyone else sat on the curb, stayed in their chairs, or didn’t miss a beat buying their pretzels.  I was shocked.

 

“Don’t they know about standing for first colors?  Are they exercising their First Amendment rights?” I asked Himself, who had no answer.  I want to know the protocol. . .for next time. . .when I’ll stand anyway, regardless, because it’s what I was taught.  And I’ll respect those beside me who might take a knee because I was taught about freedom too.

 

What about you?  I’m curious.  Is “Standing for First Colors in a parade” something my dad made up or is it real?

 

 

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What Not to Wear

a puffy jumpsuit

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Today I am grateful for knowing what not to wear.  When a cute dress or blouse shows up on your feed, didja ever click on it and go poking around for a closer look?  Yeah, me, too.  Not often, but it only takes once and you will find that and similar items will appear to tempt and silent-scream at you like Lays Sour Cream and Cheddar potato chips do in aisle seven at the Shop Rite.

 

Usually if I do look at some item of clothing I find they don’t have it in my size.  I have  learned to check the “size chart” after ordering something once and realizing it was Asian sizing.  That means a 3X is teeny-tiny compared to what it is here.  If you are a size 4 I don’t know how many zero’s that would be according to their method and I would probably be a as many XXXXXXXXXXXXXX’s as are on a porn shop marque.  So I don’t order anymore.  I’ll give that shirt to my granddaughter.  The two-year-old, before she out grows it.  At three.  No more ordering for me.

 

But I still get pop-up clothing pictures.  I like odd clothes with wild colors and asymmetrical styling, but some of the stuff that’s popping up has me wondering if they have a clue who they are dealing with.

 

It took me a long time to accept my cellulite laden, drooping, body.  That’s why asymmetrical works for me.  My body is shaped just like it, with uneven patterns and wild colors in various configurations.  It is clearly more “odd” than “normal” and suits my personality perfectly.  That works for me and I’m the only one who counts on this issue.

 

But I have to ask the manufacturers what they were thinking with this one?   I was glad I wasn’t drinking anything when that picture popped-up.  Really?  From analyzing my profile, this is what you think I’m going to buy?  Did it occur to you to evaluate my age?

Maybe you picked up on my boldness, my perky attitude and my sense of humor and figure this will fly.  Understandable, I guess.

 

But the truth is I wouldn’t have to wonder if my BINGO arms would fit in this puppy.   I could bat-wing all over the place with ease.  And that V-neck goes down to just about the spot where the boobs now land, so I’m good there, too, plus there’s plenty of room for the turkey neck to dangle.

 

I have a shape like a Weeblish-pear, so I’m intrigued by those blouson legs.  Are they supposed to hang all loose and floppy like bad draperies, the way my natural legs already do, or am I supposed to fill them out, stretch ‘em tight so I look like a rotting avocado with thick ankles?

 

I’m no fashion expert but I’m pretty much okay with that since I have so much other stuff going for me, what with my witty repartee and my spunky attitude.  And I’m very glad that I know what not to wear.  Even if it says, “as seen on TV”, only costs $19.99 and is in my size, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.  I’m not buyin’ it!!!!

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