YOU NEVER KNOW

 

GOOD MORNING WORLD

 

After having been away for over a month we returned to pick up all of our mail.  There was a pretty orange envelope from someone I did not know in Charlotte, NC.  I anxiously opened the card.  I smiled at all the different ‘brooms’ and could not wait to read inside.susans-card1-2

The next item you need to know is I used to dress in full witch regalia to the green face and mole on Halloween.  My black hat was tall with a huge wide brim. I delighted in giving out candy to the neighborhood children. We used to attend Halloween parties.

Now Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays.  I understand there are many who revel in it.  I am not sure where I lost my enjoyment of it.  One year in full dress a young boy was surprised and started to back up and was about to fall off the porch.  Of course I grabbed him and hoped he would not fall.  Then he saw our children and knew who I really was.  I often wondered if I harmed that child’s psyche in any way?

Then as I grew older the annoyance of having to get up and get to the door was a pain.  Compound that with the ‘Scream’ mask which I detest and I am no longer into ghouls, the glow for Halloween left me.  In fact truth be known I do not like being scared and some of the costumes are scary.  This year we did not even turn our light on and it did not matter as we were not in any heavy trick or treat area.  If the light had been on I am certain no one would have come anyway.

Back to the above card.  It came out of the blue across the miles and years.  It is from a woman who used to trick or treat at our door when I was in full witch dress.  Come to find out she loved it.  I was friends with her mother and her son was a best friend of our son.  She decided this year to tell me how much, as a young girl, she loved my costume and the hat especially. She said, “Every year as we get ready for trick or treating I always wish I had a big strong witches hat like you wore greeting trick or treaters in Hollis.”  She went on to share, “…..I look back with a smile.  My youngest is 15 yrs old now and even she knows of your great witch costume.”

While I no longer wear the costume it is heart-warming to know at least one child was and evidently still is happy for my foolishness.  Thank you Susan for reaching out.  You made an old lady happy.  When our world slows down I will write back.  You never know.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…..

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GOOD MORNING WORLD REDUX

I wrote the following a long time ago on September 22, 2012 when I was in the ‘write daily for a year’ challenge that I gave to myself.

As the time passes it appears our outlook can erode.  Last night I was caught up in a reflection that gave me pause to look at myself and how I have changed internally.  It was more like a slap in the face.  It caused me to reexamine and this blog came to mind.  Time to practice what I preach and this seems a great way to do it – repost!  What is old is new again.  Here is the blog minus a paragraph which referred to current events of the time.

GOOD MORNING WORLD    9-22-2012

THE COCK-EYED OPTIMIST from South Pacific

When the skies are brighter canary yellow
I forget ev’ry cloud I’ve ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.

I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we’re done and we might as well be dead,
But I’m only a cockeyed optimist
And I can’t get it into my head.

I hear the human race
Is fallin’ on its face
And hasn’t very far to go,
But ev’ry whippoorwill
Is sellin’ me a bill,
And tellin’ me it just ain’t so.

I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
And appear more intelligent and smart,
But I’m stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can’t get it out of my heart!
Not this heart…

Growing up in my house we had a record player which was a huge piece of furniture.  It held a turntable and a radio all in one using the same speakers.  It was not new and we only had three LP records that I can remember.

What is an LP you ask?  Records in those days were 12″+/- across and held 5-6 songs on each side.  They were placed on a spinning disk and you physically placed a needle on them so the sound would come out.  I am not trying to talk down to anyone.  I am trying to be clear as there may be people who have not ever touched one of these records.  The LP which stands for long-playing came in a sleeve that was heavy cardboard and decorated to tell you what was inside.

We had an LP with the music from the Broadway play ‘South Pacific’.  One was the music from the play “Kiss Me Kate”.  There were 4 as we had Tommy Dorsey Band and Glenn Miller Band records.  I used to be able to sing all the sings from ‘South Pacific’ and ‘Kiss Me Kate’.  My favorites were ‘Cockeyed Optimist’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ from ‘South Pacific’.  I loved ‘I’ve Come to Wive it Wealthily in Padua’ from ‘Kiss Me Kate’.

The words ‘stuck like a dope on a thing called hope…’ from ‘The Cock-eyed Optimist’ were specifically written for me I believe.  When I sang them I would almost scream them as important.

I live in a state of hope and have most of my life.  Full disclosure I have had moments of depression – most of my first year of college would qualify for this description.  There were other various times in my life when I have been ‘blue’ or ‘down’.   Few would know that I was feeling unhappy as I tried to not let it show.  For the majority of all these years I will claim upbeat and residing in a state of hope.

I have been a cheerleader literally and metaphorically.  I believe it is the best way to live.  When I am faced with negativity it feels hurtful like I am being physically assaulted.  I try to remove myself from these situations as quickly as I can.  I look for the best in people.  Everyone has some ‘best’ in them I have discovered.

I refuse to look at the outcome of anything as negative.  It is my belief that looking with hope leaves one in better shape to work toward a positive result.

I believe it is a heavy burden to live a life without hope.  I believe it is visible.  Look at the homeless for a glimpse of lost hope.  Look in the eyes of an addict.  Look into the eyes of someone who is terminally ill.  Many are hopeless.  Their situations could change on a dime and yet they cannot see it as they are bogged down in the depths of a dark world. That is the reality that they may live. Yet once in a while there is a glimmer of hope.

The ill person has a good run of terrific test results and their eyes light up as hope comes into them.  Offering an addict a place to recover so they can choose to change their habits can give them a glimmer of hope.  Suggesting to the homeless that there is another way and then taking them to an agency to find it is offering hope.  Perhaps the simple offer of a cup of coffee and some company can bring hope to someone.  A phone call can bring hope.  A letter or an email can contain hope.  A smile to a stranger walking on the sidewalk or in the mall can give hope.  We have no idea what is going on in their lives.  Remember my post ‘A Smile and A Wave’.  It is simple to spread hope.  I believe our world needs it more today than ever.

Many people have referred to me as naïve.  Well fine with me as I am…’a cockeyed optimist – immature and incurably green’ AND naively  ‘stuck like a dope on a thing called hope…’

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

SHOES AND LONG PANTS

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This morning I woke up at alarm time and stayed in bed as I normally do until the hustle of going to work is passed. I was feeling the cold outside of the blankets.  It was freezing in this room.  I love to sleep in a cold room and believe for the first time in a long time I had actually had a decent night’s sleep.  When I got out of bed at my normal time I checked the temp in the room and it was 52*.  When I opened the shades there was frost on the inside of the window.  It was cold and outside of the blankets it was uncomfortable.

I have been dealing with symptoms of stuffy head, nasal congestion and coughing lately.  I have no idea where I got the germs that created these symptoms.  I only know I have them am not naming them as I do not want them to feel comfortable enough to hang around.  Not working as they are hanging around regardless.

All of this is to make the statement that I am feeling the cold more this year than in years past.  I am wondering why this is?  Is it age?  Is it the symptoms and will pass?  Is it colder outside?  I mean 52* is 52* is it not? Not much has changed except I am not eating many carbs – like pasta, breads or alcohol – these days as I feel better physically without them.  Could it be that food is making me cold?  I have no idea though watching squirrels put away food for the winter gives one pause.  Bears eat tons before they go to hibernate.  Who knows and I am really not interested.  I simply know the cold is bothering me this winter.

The problem is that for as long as I can remember I have been hot in body temperature.  I am certain that has to do with age and stage of life.  I do not like being hot.  I am uncomfortable.  I compensate for heat out of doors or in buildings by dressing cool most of the time!

I wear sandals all year long.  My Clark sandals are comfortable and have been acting as a thermometer.  When it is warm out they are open toed and cooling.  In the winter many buildings or people have their homes warmer than I like and the open toes keep me cool as well in this time of year.  Even in snow I wear sandals as I am usually only going from the car to a building.  I do have boots in case I need them though can count the times I have worn them on one hand.

On top of the shoe issue, I am more comfortable in cropped or capri pants that come above my ankle.  Again it is a heat issue and I am more comfortable in the shorter less covering on my legs to keep me cool.  I do not own many full legged pants.

The revelation in all of this is, that for the first time in years, I am faced with buying shoes and long pants.  I am at a loss.  This may also have to include a sock of some sort.

Now in the scheme of things in this world this is not a huge deal.  For me it is a wee bit traumatic as I really am so comfortable having free ankles and feet.  Perhaps a clog, I used to wear them, is a compromise?  Perhaps a skinny sock will allow shorter pants and not look to funny?  Perhaps this cold feeling will pass when the symptoms go? Perhaps I will finally have to face the fact that I am an eccentric old lady and simply deal with this quietly?  Who knows?

I can only take comfort in the fact that though I am dealing with the physical cold issue be it temperature or germ, I still have a very warm and whimpy heart!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…..

 

WHAT IS OLD IS NEW AGAIN

GOOD MORNING WORLD

HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL! It is the first day of 2016 and I am astonished that I am up and dressed and preparing dinner.  You see I have been attacked by symptoms.  I say symptoms as I do not want to label this malady for fear it will hang around.  If I call it a cold I will have it for 7 days or a week whichever comes first ‘they’ say.  If I call it a flu then I will be accosted by those who tell me I am nuts not to get a flu shot.  So I do not name it – I name the symptoms.  I have had a sore throat, nasal congestion, watery eyes, headaches, minor cough and now hoarseness.  Symptoms only.

I am not a big one to run to the doctors for the least little thing.  I do my due diligence with the yearly check-ups etc.  Other than that I am an over the counter search the web and gut kind of patient.  If I cannot fix it I will call the doctor as an absolute last resort.

The other thing about doctors is I believe even with all their education they do not know everything.  I also believe that some alternative remedies work just as well if not better than expensive chemical prescriptions.  I also believe that ancient remedies though sounding ridiculous can be very helpful.  Acupuncture is one of those.  Seriously you are telling me that sticking needles all over you to take away pain will work?  You are telling me in the case of acupressure that pushing on the right spot will remove pain?  Both of these are valid methods of taking care of pain.  Being a white knuckle dentist patient it amazes me that my brother-in-law goes and has his dental ills taken care of by using acupressure.  Had someone else said this I would scoff.  Not from this man.  He is a man of few words and the ones he says are truthful so I accept this alternative medicinal cure as real.

The first minute of 2016 I decided to go back to the ages of childhood medicine and I rubbed Vicks VapoRubVICKS all over my throat and chest before I went to bed.  I used Vicks nose spray to clear my nasal passages and prayed for a good night’s sleep – something that had been alluding me for almost a week due to the symptoms.  It was not more than 15 minutes when I was feeling much better.  I could breathe and  my cough was lessened.  I had the impression I might actually sleep.  I did!

With all the meds out there this little miracle in a blue jar changed my world in one night.  I am on the mend and looking forward to 2016 instead of last night dragging 2015 behind me as I headed to bed like it was an anchor weighing me down.  I toss aside that ague as one rips off the covers in the morning when getting out of bed.  It is a miracle!  I will be well again! (I know a little melodramatic right? Why not – it is a new year!)

I know a little too much glee invested in that statement.  I am going to be ship shape again soon.  Not much gets me down for long.  A few symptoms will not do that either – I will not let them.  I will sing the praises of Vicks and share it with the world.  Do your own investigating.  I hear now the new thing is to put it on your feet.  I thought of that last night once in bed though was too tired to bother.  Tonight I will bathe in it as from my reading it does wonders.  Read for yourselves from the links provided – the pros and cons.  I will believe the pros, ignore the cons and continue to use the product in the magical blue tub!

So it is indeed a Happy New Year – let the year begin!

…ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…..

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicks_VapoRub

http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/wellness/12-surprising-uses-vicks-vaporub

http://www.everydayhealth.com/cold-flu/vicks-vaporub-debate.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/nasal-decongestant/faq-20058569

http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/vaporub.asp

CHRISTMAS -1

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring as their noses were all in the books they got for Christmas!

It has been an interesting journey to Christmas this year.  It was and still is and will be again tomorrow a wonderful holiday.  The last of the gifts under the tree will be opened tomorrow afternoon.  The decorations will start coming down the next day.  I usually wait till Little Christmas on January 6th and will not be doing so as we are busy the minute the new year begins.  As I said it has been an interesting holiday.

The Spirit of Christmas was intermittent for me.  Coming in and out, gently touching me on occasion as a summer breeze.  It never really settled in and for that I believe the holiday was a bit less merry.  It was not a disappointment; simply not as jolly as others of the past.  Is that what happens as we age?  Perhaps that is why I have not been able to turn a phrase to write a blog as well?  I am not certain.  I simply have not been as tuned in as in the past.

Perhaps it has been the weather.  It is now 60 outside my window on this Boxing Day.  Tomorrow it is to be 69 and sunny.  This is mid East coast USA and the normal temp is low 40s by this time of year at least.  It is one of those years that defies imagination.  We are to be skiing and skating not hiking and golfing.  Our neighborhood is petitioning to have the pool opened again.  Of course it is jest yet it is warmer now than some days last summer!!!  I remember a winter or two like this as a kid.  Very disappointing when you get skates for Christmas and the local pond is still open water.

Whatever the reason, the joy of the season is here, any malaise will pass, winter will come and the first snow will blanket the earth.  The quiet beauty of a winter night will appear with streetlights casting shadows on a pallet of  white.  The pureness  of hope and promise.

The  new year will begin.  Resolutions will be made and broken. Children will return to school after vacations and the world will get a chance to start all over again.

…..and there it is……….one just has to look into ourselves quietly sometimes to find goodness and joy that is in each of us.  It is there despite what we may think or feel on the surface of that I am certain.  Hope and Joy and Love.  It is the season to find them in the manger.  If we have Jesus in our hearts, Hope, Joy and Love are there too under all the distractions of the lives we live.  Our job is to look and the humanity of this writer gets in the way on occasion.  Not today!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…………

 

SIGNS, WONDERS, COLD

…..written Nov. 19 – unable to post until today………

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I am at my happy place – our cottage at the head of a harbor off the coast of Maine. I came here in answer to a ‘call’. Ask anyone who lived here and they will tell you, if they are honest, that on occasion they hear a strong call to return to this place. It may or may not be answered. I choose to answer this call as often as I can and did especially this time. You see it has been a year since my father graduated and I wanted to be here. Plus I wanted to check on our cottage before winter.

My ‘boyfriend’ was not going to join me. I asked my aunt, 8 yrs my senior and more like a sister, partner in crime to come. We arrived Thursday night turned on the heat to toast the cottage and began our few day stay. We were returning to our homes the following Wednesday. That was until Sunday morning.

We got up as usual, turned the heat up, made coffee and began smelling burning plastic. Not certain of what it might be we turned everything back off. The smell was much like a curling iron heating up or the scent of foil garlic bread heating in the oven. Something was burning. We had company coming for lunch.

I made a few calls to a couple of male relatives getting neither. Got a call back from one wife saying call the fire department which I did. I called them and explained exactly where I lived. I was told they gave my neighbor a burn permit that morning so it was probably from his burn pile. They asked me to go out to see if I could smell it outside. It seemed I did so we let the whole issue drop as explaining the smell and smoke we saw.

Our company arrived. We were having a great time. The house was getting chilly so we turned on the furnace only to experience the smell and smoke again. Off it went immediately. One of our guests said they had those conditions when their furnace needed cleaning. We shut if off committed to calling the heating company in the morning and started the woodstove.

Morning came and the repairman said my furnace was burning itself up. It was heating though not connecting with the blower. The blower was not pushing the hot air. The safety switches did not work. The plastic coated wiring was melting (the burning plastic smell). The heating man left to order the part as well as taking the blower for further examination. The heating company gal called to say it would take 2-3 days for the part to arrive. It was then Monday making a Thursday exit doubtful.

The thought of HAVING to stay in my happy place an extra day or two was extremely appealing. Now realizing that Thanksgiving is next week along with all the things I had planned to do, the added time is beginning to look less enjoyable. We are keeping the home fires burning, literally, in the woodstove to keep the cottage warm so there is no freeze up. As the weather is turning warmer for the weekend a freeze is unlikely though I still want to be sure all is in working order before I leave. My aunt may have to be ‘rescued’ by her husband as she can stay no longer than Saturday.

That is the story of the Cold part of the title. It has been chilly even with the woodstove. We have shut off the bedrooms to make it comfortable. Both of us like cold rooms to sleep so that works well. Luckily it is keeping the rest of the cottage fairly warm. It is an adventure for sure!

The Signs and Wonders part of the title is a bit more involved. Hang in with me as I explain these words.

Daddy graduated to heaven on a Sunday. The date was November 16th, 2014, Mondays date. The furnace began to act up on Sunday after two days of working just fine. The repairman came on Monday with the verdict. This for me was both a wonder and a sign.

Why, after working properly all fall and for the Thursday night, Friday, Saturday we were here, did the furnace break on Sunday – a year to the day after Daddy’s graduation. The repairman found the problem a year to the date of the graduation! Coincidence? Godinsidence? Or simply my father still looking out for me through his intervention from another place? Perhaps you can come up with even more questions. I have none.

The furnace is serviced regularly. It was working properly all fall. Had I not been here the furnace would have overheated probably resulting in a fire with the cottage being a total loss unless someone happened to see the smoke.

Ask your questions as you will. For me I have all the answers I need. I am reaffirmed in a life after our time on earth. I believe my father is still watching over me with “Our Father who is in Heaven”. Graduation is not the end. I find this reassuring and comforting. I am filled with wonder at this demonstrative sign.

Now if the furnace part would arrive please today I could get home to my boyfriend!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

addendum – the part arrived Thursday and the furnace repaired on Friday.  we reached our homes on Sat ofr my aunt and Sunday for me………..ONWARD………..

Top of Form

 

A TRIBUTE

GOOD MORNING WORLD

It is a rainy dreary Wednesday outside my window this morning.  It looks cold.  The leaves are falling from the trees.  The color will soon be all on the ground and the branches barren and empty.  If this description were put into a feeling it could easily pass for a feeling of loneliness or despair.   Surely when the leaves are no longer on the trees there is a loss of color.

My world lost some color yesterday when I heard of the graduation of a facebook friend.  How strange that seems.  A stranger I never met became a good friend to me in social media and yesterday cancer won the physical battle though I know the Lord won the spiritual one.  John is in heaven sharing his stories with any who will listen.

When my ‘boyfriend’ arrived home last night he asked what was wrong as I seemed a bit somber.  I told him of John’s death. He complimented me on my compassion for someone I had never met.  I thought about this for a long time all evening and as I was falling asleep.

In the not so recent past much of our communication was done by letters not in person.  We have the letters of note written by famous people Hemingway, TS Eliot, Tolkien, Ronald Reagan or Barrett-Browning.  All these people communicated with letters.   My favorite of all regarding letters is “84 Charing Cross Road” about the relationship with Helene Hanff, a writer living in New York during WWII and FPD the manager of a London book store.  It is a delightful story and they never met yet had the most wonderful friendship sharing their family stories across the ocean.

On the best day this is what facebook can be and was for me with John.  I had no idea who this man was.  He asked me to be his friend.  He told me he liked the way I wrote about political topics.  He told me he thought I was quite clear and thoughtful in my responses to some heated arguments.  I looked him up as best I could and accepted his request to be my friend.  I had no idea who John W. Huffman was except a fellow conservative who voiced candid and clear opinions about political issues.  I discovered that John was an author and the jacket of one of his books listed his historical information.  I had no idea about much of this until this morning when I decided to write this tribute.  See for yourself.

About the Author

John W. Huffman was born 29 November, in Hemphill, Texas, attended elementary school in Pineland, Texas, junior high and high school in Jasper, Texas, and graduated summa cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He enlisted in the Army Airborne in 1966 and served two tours of combat in Vietnam, the first as a private, and subsequently a sergeant, with A/1/27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, in 1966-67, and the second as an officer/aviator with the 120th Aviation Company in 1972-73. He retired as a major in 1986 with three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, sixteen Air Medals, one Army Commendation Medal, two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medals, and various other service and campaign ribbons. Upon leaving the Army, John launched a real estate sales and management company, owned and operated seven speedways in five states, created an automobile racing and sanctioning body, and developed three touring series. John has honorable mentions for two short stories, along with his six other novels: A Wayward Wind, a Regional Finalists in the General Fiction category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; The Baron of Clayhill, a Finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Contest and a Finalists in the Popular Fiction category of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Book Awards; Tiger Woman, the First Place Winner in the Action-Adventure category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Above All, a Finalist in the Action-Adventure category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; America’s Diplomats, The Road To Attleboro, the First Place Winner in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards, and his recent release, Cold Hearts Burning. John has one other novel awaiting publication, Eyes of the Blind, and is currently working on When A Rebel Comes Home. John resides in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, with his wife Misty, and has three sons and four granddaughters.

I think I got to know, over the course of our friendship on facebook, more of the man than is listed above.   Those are the things he did. We who were his facebook friends got to know what he thought and felt.  He had over 3000 friends on facebook with 200+ following him regularly.  He was a rabid conservative willing to take on the most left leaning liberal out there with carefully placed nuanced words.  He was sharp, clever, kind ever ready with a joke or verbal smile.

He was supportive.  I told him I was writing a book .  I asked if he ever previewed first time authors. He sent me an email and said send it along.  Sadly I never sent it as I would have valued his opinion.

He loved his wife Misty, his Bride as he called her.  He would speak of her sweetly and lovingly.  He loved his granddaughters – his Princesses.  His page was filled with pictures of their visits.

He loved his home The Eagles Nest.  It sounded like a small farm as he described planting, harvesting and storing vegetables, cracking bags of black walnuts and cutting wood for the winter.  Not sure he ever stopped until cancer grabbed him and took him quickly.

He was very proud of his service in the military and his friends from that time.  Lots more pictures of all of these people were on his page as well.

I am certain the man we all knew on facebook had unhappiness in his life as we all do.  It was not evident from his posts.  He greeted everyday with joy that would sometimes help my down mood evaporate.  If he was anything other than kind it did not show up on facebook.  Nor does it now.

His loving Bride posted that she was with him when he passed yesterday morning.  That one post alone had 450 comments.  Today as yesterday his wall is filled with notes from his many followers and friends sharing stories and sadness at his move to heaven.  I believe he was a good man.  My world is a little less today knowing he will no longer be posting a “Good morning from the Blue Ridge”.  I will no longer be able to return “Morning from the top of the Delmarva”.

Strange isn’t it.  I never met the man face to face yet I believe I have lost a good friend.  I think John Donne said it best,

“…….any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Rest in Peace John W. Huffman, you will also be missed by we who never met you and call you Friend.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

THE AFFAIR

GOOD MORNING WORLD

It has been a long time between posts.  No good reason simply the busyness and business of life.  I have decided that it is time to regroup, regain my being and reestablish some guidelines for my life.  Thus far this week I have done the outward work of cleaning in the house.  I have had some painting done on the walls and the carpets cleaned.  A few more chores and I believe I will have the opportunity to  actually take a breath and live without chaos as I continue to clear the clutter of paper out of my life and off the desk.  Last night as I was falling asleep I thought I needed something more.

This morning I awoke with the answer.  I am going to have an affair.  An affair seems to allow the two participants to escape from the mundane of their lives.  It appears they are kinder to each other.  They do special little things for each other.  They call at odd times to be spontaneous.  They may bring flowers or chocolate.  They dress up more than normal.  It sounds very appealing.

I believe the impetus for this was a movie I watched on Sunday.  Being a chick, I love chick flicks.  Sunday I watched “Serendipity” a favorite.  I also watched “Falling in Love” with Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro.  I did not think I had seen that one before.  It was almost finished when I realized I had seen it after all.

In this movie the two characters meet in a bookstore though they ride the same train into the city.  It is a draggy movie until they connect and meet for coffee, then supper, then sit together on the train and hold hands then the big deal that does not happen as Streep has a case of conscience.  Both of them are married.   Both seem to have working marriages.  While neither are living in bliss they seem to be happy.  The affair unsettles both marriages until they each divorce.  You can see the movie yourself for the end.

As I contemplated the post sharing that I am going to have an affair I researched famous affairs.  Of course those my age know of the Liz Taylor – Richard Burton affair.  We know the famous abdication from the throne of Edward so he could marry Wallis Simpson.  More recently there was the nastiness f Prince Charles and Camilla.  Ultimately these examples ended up in marriages.  Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy had a lifelong love affair never marrying.

Then we have the tawdriness of Monica and Bill and others that had brief flings that made the news.  There are actually books that have been written about affairs.  On such book has an interesting name “The Break-up Bible”.  Cannot imagine what this has within its pages.

While an affair is not in my nature I am thinking it is something that will be exciting.  In my new take on life it will give me a boost.  I plan to begin this affair on Thursday.  I already have the man picked out.  He is an older married good looking man.  He has various interests so I think we will find much to chat about.  His children no longer live at home.  He works so could call without alerting anyone that might matter.  Hopefully he will enjoy the new meals I plan to woo him with using different recipes than what he may be eating now.  In the Streep film she changed her clothes a bunch of times to find just the right outfit.  I think it will be fun to get out of sweats into nice clothing on occasion.  Perhaps an affair has more to do with the anticipation then the actual meetings?

Think of all the work that goes into having an affair?  Think how great all our marriages would be if we put that much effort into them?  Really stop and think……how wonderful would your life be if you prepared your home and heart as much for a spouse as it appears people do to have affairs.  Would more marriages be happier?  I do not have the answer.  I simply am going to have an affair.

In case you do not know me and have not caught on as yet, I am crazy in love with my ‘boyfriend’.  We actually celebrate  47 years of marriage next month.  He has been away this week on his annual fishing trip.  I miss him! So I decided that when he returns we will begin an affair that hopefully will last another 47 years at least.

Nothing like having a bully pulpit to shout I LOVE YOU right out loud without waiting for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday.  Perhaps other husbands and wives could take my lead.  The question of the day could be “Have I told you I love you today? If not why not?”   Think these may be more important, certainly more interesting than, “How was your day?” or in my case “How many fish did you catch?”  Your question of the day is……….?

ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE………..

SHOWER TALK

GOOD MORNING WORLD

…..fools to the left of me …..to the right of me….. here I am stuck in the middle …..scattered scattered  – I cannot seem to focus on any one thing these last 48 hrs – so much effort has been put into the day of reflection we presented on Saturday that the rest is now a blur………it has been a wildly busy time.  Are we not old and is this not supposed to be the time to slow down……..I was left with a blur, unsettled thoughts about what to do next and where when and how do I start.  The news has been full of the election the Pope and controversy surrounding all of it.  I myself even entered into some of that controversy which did nothing except unsettle me more……in the middle of all of this is daily living and doctors appts regular blood work dentists meals life…..CALGON TAKE ME AWAY.  Can you still buy Calgon???

When I left the OCS on 9-11, an interesting day to leave, I was filled with new resolve to live a new way of life.  As I sit here this morning the thought occurs to me – when is it going to begin.  The answer comes as readily – when you are willing to begin.  I am thinking perhaps today is the day.

I have been struggling all this past week with all the admiration this Pope is receiving.  He is the successor of Peter and many men have held this same position.  Why is this man now the new darling of all, especially the politically left leaning among us?  I struggle with this and then I think my answer came this morning while I was taking my shower.  You have heard of pillow talk before well let me introduce you to shower talk – I am not the only one who hears this either.    Another friend of ours gets light bulb moments in the shower as well.  As I type I am certain we, each individually alone in our own showers for clarity, are not the only ones.  The only real difference in pillow talk and shower talk is the ease of writing down your thoughts is not available. I keep pen and pad by may bed for pillow light bulb moments – the shower – well water inhibits any of that so one must rely on memory.  I did and here I am developing this stream of consciousness  conversation with myself.  While this will be public this is more for me than anyone else.

Let me start ( and maybe even end) with the Pope.  I have absolutely no right pontificating about this wonderful man nor his position.  This is the faith that I chose for many reasons.  Probably first it was my husband’s faith and I wanted one religion in our family.  Many other validations of my choice have come over the years.  PLEASE – this does not to negate any faith at all.  I believe in faith and church. My second mom said “I don’t think it matters what pew you sit in – just that you sit in a pew.”  She made that ever so clear to me once when she told me about her church attendance in Boston while getting chemo.  She was a Catholic now Protestant sitting in a church on Sunday  in Chinatown in Boston with my dad’s boss who was a Jew.  Now if that is not ecumenical I do not know what is!!!

My problem with this Pope is all the hoorah.  He is not the first Pope to come to the US.  Why is he being celebrated and touted as being so different from the last two?  Is he being seen as the second coming?  He is a different man in the same position of many before him.  His life work has been to serve as the other Pope’s before him.  Anyone elevated to this position is there from a life of service to Christ not just the church I believe.    What makes Pope Francis so different?  What makes the media see him so differently?  I have been chewing on this for a bit now and this morning was the light bulb.  I had to do some further looking.

What I found was very interesting regarding the media.  Before anyone jumps all over me, the media has reported widely on both the previous Pontiffs though maybe not in quite the same manner.  Pope Francis is getting a positive full court press and I wondered why.

While both the previous men were amazing as well their outward positions were not aligned with much of the media in the USA.  The agendas did not mesh.

Pope John Paul II – well you can read the summary. (1)

Plenty have been written and said about the remarkable journey of Karol Jozef Wojtyla, popularly known as Pope John Paul II, to the most sacred seat of catholic community in the world. Throughout his lifetime, he earned both the admiration and criticism for his stands and opinions and enjoyed great influence over the masses. Along with being the longest serving Pope in history, he was also the first non-Italian since 1523 to become the Pope. Considered one of the most powerful religious authorities of 20th century, he was instrumental in improving relationships of the Catholic Church with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. Never restricting himself to the comforts and safety of Vatican, he pushed aside the boundaries of religion, culture, caste and creed to spread the message of ‘God’ and apologized for the wrong doing and sufferings inflicted by the Catholic Church over the centuries. However, he defended the church’s decision to oppose the marriage of same sex couples for which he also faced great opposition. He vehemently opposed the various aspects of Liberation Theology (liberation movement in catholic theology) and also criticized the U.S invasion of Iraq, incessantly.

Pope Benedict:

During his time as a cardinal, Ratzinger’s liberal Catholic critics dubbed him “God’s Rottweiler” because of conservatives positions and actions such as his denunciation of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, his disciplining of Latin American liberation theologians, and his censure of Asian priests who viewed non-Christian religions as part of God’s plan for humanity. (2)

Ratzinger was elevated to the papacy on April 19, 2005, upon the death of Pope John Paul II, and celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass five days later. Known for his rigid views on Catholicism, he has sought a more inclusive image as pope.(3)

In 2008, Benedict made his first visit as pope to the United States, where he spoke out against clerical sexual abuse and delivered an address at the United Nations. That same year, to foster relations and understanding between religions, Benedict addressed the first Catholic-Muslim Forum, a three-day conference of Catholic theologians and Islamic scholars.

All three men proclaimed Catholic values.  All three men really not wanting the job yet accepting, believing and living according to and in the shoes of the fisherman who came first.  Pope Francis, is seen as a new wave in the church.  I have to admit I did not understand it.  I was struggling with this man, as well, though you revere the Office.

I could not understand why he said it was not necessary to go to church.  Why did he say “If a man is gay and searches for the Lord …who am I to judge?”  I was confused when he stood in the well of the Congress and asked for capital punishment to be abolished and did not ask for abortion to be repealed.  Why bother speaking about climate change and gun control?  Then I read another article or two and discovered what he actually really said in some case and through conversations found clarity with the others.

One article quoted,  “Since the start of his papacy, Francis has sought to shift the hierarchy’s focus away from what he said is an “obsession” with sexual issues and toward a greater concern for the poor and all those rejected by the church and society, a social justice priority that many gay Catholics also share.” (5)

Then I saw an article about Mo Rocca. The article was from a militant church group (4) and they were incensed that Mo Rocca was a Lector reading the first Scripture during the Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden.   They described him as an actor, comedian and openly homosexual.   This struck me odd in this context.  I am not labeled openly heterosexual.  Why specifically when speaking about a church service was his sexuality mentioned.  In the context of church is not the prerequisite of our going that we are all sinners? This article was of course focusing on what they believed was Rocca’s sin.  I was very confused at first about what all the hubbub was about.  AND there it was in the shower – the light bulb – who am I to judge?

The media in this country is obsessed with liberal leaning pundits who focus in and aggrandize all the social issues so why would they not adore this man who is now apparently focusing specifically on a social agenda.  The issue, that was not coming across to me via the media, poured down on me like the water in the shower.   Pope Francis is still speaking the beliefs of the Catholic Church.  The Church in the Mo Rocca case has always accepted homosexuals. What the media is hearing now is a different lead line.  Pope Francis is leading with the Love One Another and feed the poor.

The light bulb said to me he is speaking acceptance which I live daily.  I love everyone.  I simply took for granted others did as well.  It evidently is new to some that the Catholic Church – the people in the Catholic faith –  actually does love everyone.  Pope Francis is calling us to love one another – something I live or try to remembering I am human too.  His message was not new to me so I could not understand all the flurry of newness.   That was the light bulb.  The Pope proclaims hope and reaffirms the promises of Jesus.  He is walking in the shoes of the fisherman and bringing us the same message as all Popes before though it appears many more are listening.  That is a good thing. The different way he is packaging his message is what is being heard first now.  New Pope new packaging that evidently appeals to more of the masses, certainly the media.  His message in Congress was really clear.

“This rule points us in a clear direction: Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves,” he said. “In a word, if we want security, let us give security. If we want life, let us give life. If we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.

“The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us,” the pontiff said, drawing a standing ovation from the assembled House and Senate. (6)

I struggle with my faith and stand on scripture probably more than Catechism, truth be known, yet they really are one in the same if you do the study.  Probably more correctly speaking the Catechism is based directly on the Bible.  Regardless as Christians, followers of Christ, we are called to follow His standard for us all.  Pope Francis is continuing to proclaim that.

As with most of my blogs I come to the end more educated and find my own message.  Grounding – that  is what I need and that is one of the mindful gifts I am going to give to myself.  Back to the basics of a daily study of faith.  Daily prayers are good and not enough.  I need more grounding than that so this stream of words has brought me to a new resolve.

Last Saturday at our enrichment I was speaking to one of our friends and shared with them that I had a very interesting walk with and without faith in my life.  The part that really impressed me the most is that while I was all over the place God had not moved.  He was right there waiting for me to return.  Blessedly I did and receive His blessings daily through the gifts He has given me.  For all of that I am grateful.

Pope Francis said, “We have a father who waits for us. In the midst of our worldliness, He calls us his children. We are not orphans.”

Thank you.

ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…….

(1) http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/pope-john-paul-ii-81.php

(2)http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-pope-benedict-xvi

(3)http://www.biography.com/people/pope-benedict-xvi-15045109#promotion-within-the-church

(4) http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/outcry-after-open-homosexual-serves-as-lector-at-pope-francis-nyc-mass-vide

(5) http://www.religionnews.com/2015/02/16/gay-catholics-find-new-tone-pope-francis-bishops/

(6)http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/24/pope-francis-tells-congress-to-seek-common-good/?page=all

THERE IS GOOD NEWS…..MEDIA WHERE ARE YOU?

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Good News?…..we just have to find it.  For some it may take a long time if you read and listen to the negativity and scare news in media of our country.  I decided this morning to address the media so you may stop right here if you choose.

Dear MEDIA or A MEMO to whom it may concern in the world of news:

I believe, I have to believe, the world as a whole is NOT in the dire straits that is portrayed regularly on our news and in our papers.  There are more than one human interests stories in or communities, states and nation.  I can attest to this and will willingly share 48 of my recent hours with you in which to show an example.  Goodness abounds whether you choose to see it or not.

Hour 1.  I awoke.  That in itself is a good thing for me at my age!  It counts as really good news!  I hopped into the waiting car to drive for 4 hours with my boyfriend to a family event.  When we received the invite to this event we were uncertain as to whether we could attend.  After some scheduling and research as to how far it was, we determined we could go.  We kept that date held close so that nothing would interfere with it as we really wanted to celebrate our grand nephew’s accomplishment.  He was to be awarded his Eagle Scout Badge.

For many this may not be a huge deal.  For our family Scouting is a major part of the male activities.  My boyfriend is an Eagle Scout.  As a teen he even went further earning five more merit badges which gave him a bronze palm to attach to his Eagle ribbon.   As a scoutmaster he helped 11 boys, including our son,  reach this pinnacle.  As an adult Scouter, serving on District Boards, he worked to received his Wood Badge beads.  To recognize registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council men are given a Silver Beaver Award and my boyfriend has this as well.  You’ve got to love a man in uniform with all the ribbons!

His oldest brother is also an Eagle Scout as this brother’s son, our nephew, who now is a Scoutmaster.  I had the honor to sit with these three adult men in uniform and their wives to applaud our niece’s oldest son as he received his Eagle with Six – please see that number 6 – of his friends.  That is Seven – 7 -young men – teenagers – who worked diligently over the course of time to move up the ranks, earn 21 merit badges with 10 required, hold leadership roles in their troop, propose and complete a major project for their community.  All of this activity is done while the Scout still attends school, church and participates in other activities along with simply being a teen.  Many of them played sports – soccer and lacrosse.  The Seven were not just scouts they are all Seniors in High School.  Their senior prom had actually been the Friday before this event.  These boys are going to West Point, Cornell, Middlebury College, University of Michigan, UConn and Penn State.  The work it took to become Eagle is over and above the work it took to get into those named schools. It really is a tall order.  SEVEN Boy Scouts from one troop were honored on Sunday.

MEDIA – where were you?

I sat there in awe of the Seven Scouts.  Seven teens who had been friends for a long time.   Each one of them was given a chance to speak over the course of the ceremony to share what this award meant to them.  They also took a time to honor a mentor that had helped them on the way.  The mentors were, in our nephews case and one other Scout, their Grandfathers as well as former Scoutmasters, fathers and men of the community.   Each time one of the Seven rose to speak I waited and in each case I was rewarded with a well spoken young man.  One Scout even spoke clearly with clarity and compassion and no notes! It was astonishing to see in comparison to what the news tells us of teens in our country.  Here were Seven who were excelling not dropping out.  The local papers had been notified of this event.

MEDIA – where were you?

These young men – still teenagers and again I say all seniors – I believe represent what our country is all about.  I believe I saw the real America standing in front of me.  Despite what we see daily in and on the news, all teens are not drug or sex obsessed or as violent as they are portrayed.  I believe that 90% of our country have hometowns filled with young men and women full of honor and pride.  We simply do not hear about it. Later  I asked our grand nephew if they had made a pact to do this all together.  We have all heard of other less positive pacts in the media of late. The answer was it was not official yet they all wanted it to happen together.

MEDIA – where are you? 

We have another Eagle Scout, the son of my boyfriends other brother in our family.  There are three more nephews on the trail and will make Eagle in the coming years.  That will make 10 Eagle Scouts in for our family.  This may not be unheard of and yet I think it is quite a testament to this program.  I note also it is a testament to the men I am related to through my marriage.  I can say that with no bias being an in-law!  Well maybe a little bias.

MEDIA –  where are you with all this good news?

Missing in action is where the MEDIA lives today.  Or surely focused elsewhere not accentuating the positive.

The next 24 hours of this period of time was in pursuit of a long awaited dream to augment retirement. We took the day off to look for recreational vehicles.  I will not go into the litany of this pursuit other than to say it is ongoing.

Hour 1 again was awaking and grateful to be doing so as we said with our morning prayer!  Off we went to the back roads of Pennsylvania.  If you have never, I hope one day you can.  This state is covered in the very out outskirts of Philadelphia with fields of green and hills covered with farms of all shapes and sizes.  Much of it is inhabited by the Amish as I have written before.  Their way of life is simple and leaves me longing to be a part of it until I understand the lack of conveniences and accept that ultimately I am a lazy woman!

We were waited on by people who were pleasant and wanting to help.  One man, we discovered, had common ties with both of us growing up in New England and having parents who retired to upstate NY and my husband’s hometown.  “Small world” is ever the phrase we use at these times.  As we ordered lunch the gal waiting on us shared that she was from Farmington, Maine.  We told her of our most recent trip through there on route 2 to which she said, “You drove right by my parents house.”  “Small world”.  These were nice folks earning a living and being kind to their customers.  Good news? Maybe not earth shattering yet I believe there are more of these than the foul mouth persons in news stories on our screens each night.

As we continued our day and the rain came, the conversation invariably drifted back to the information we are fed on a regular basis that is negative and filled with despair and violence.  It was hard for us to even turn on the TV to see the news when we got home after these delightful 48 hrs without it.  We knew what we would hear and were not disappointed.  Death, destruction, poison politics and more.  I am certain that there are really good stories out in our nation’s countryside.  It would surely be nice to hear more of them.

MEDIA – where are you?

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

WORDS FROM WEIRD PLACES – THANK YOU JIM CARREY

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This morning started like every other day with the exception that t is Saturday and I have no gatherings or meetings or people to see.  I have essentially a free day.  This in itself is amazing.  I started as I did most other days.  Got my beverage – today it is coffee, some days it is tea – and headed to the computer to check emails and facebook and scrabble.

As I am scrolling down my facebook page I came to a post that said “What Jim Carrey Explains In 1 Minute Will Change Your Life Forever. Seriously.”  Now I am not a big Jim Carrey fan and would have moved quickly on had it this link not been shared by a friend  from a past life who is a sweet, very quiet, unassuming and kind lady.  I actually hope one day to be able to be with her again.  Years ago we had the most delightful day touring a plantation house in Louisiana.  I clicked on the link to see what she had shared.

The link took me to a video (1)of Jim Carrey making a graduation speech in 2014 at Maharishi University.  I had no idea where that was so of course did a quick wikipedia search.  It turns out the University is in Iowa. (2)

Maharishi University of Management (MUM), formerly Maharishi International University, is an American non-profit university located in FairfieldIowa. It was founded in 1973 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and features a “consciousness-based education” system that includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.[6][7] Its founding principles include the development of the full potential of the individual, fulfilling economic aspirations while maximizing proper use of the environment and bringing spiritual fulfillment and happiness to humanity.[8]

The university is accredited through the PhD level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers degree programs in art, business, education, communications, mathematical science, literature, physiology & health, Vedic Science and sustainable living.

Interesting search into the credentials of the University.  The average cost per student it said was about $16,000 in 2011.  With the costs of some schools this appears to be fairly reasonable.  You be the judge of its programs.

The speech was what held my interest.  I heard what had been shared then went back to hear more.  Jim-Carrey 3I had a new appreciation of Jim Carrey.  Besides his movies, he has written and children’s book (3)and is a painter (4).  In fact in his speech he references one of his paintings.

I will not go into all of this.  I will simply leave you with the links and a few of his words.  Got to say my day has taken a different direction.  Has listening to this speech changed my life forever?  Who knows.  It has impacted my morning for sure.

At this time of graduation and transition for many, it simply seems like a good thing to share.

From the speech……………

“…all there will ever be is what is happening here and the decision we make in this moment based is either love or fear…”

“You cannot fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance at what you love.”

“….the effect you have on others is the most powerful currency there is.”

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible…..risk being seen.”

“….to find real peace you have to let the armor go…….”

I also liked what he had to say about faith – take a listen it might interest you today.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

(1)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V80-gPkpH6M

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maharishi_University_of_Management

(3)http://www.amazon.com/How-Roland-Rolls-Jim-Carrey/dp/0989368009/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432999450&sr=8-1&keywords=Jim+Carrey+books

(4) http://www.palmspringslife.com/Palm-Springs-Life/January-2012/Something-to-See-Here/

THE SON OF THE LADY IN YELLOW – BALTIMORE

GOOD MORNING WORLD

It has been a long time since I have written anything of any controversial nature. After being put in my place with stinging words and shunned by family members who no longer have much to do with or visit me or us,  I decided the better part of valor was to keep quiet on controversial issues.   I cannot leave this Baltimore situation alone.  Specifically the situation with the lady in yellow and her son.

I, like the rest of the country dare I say world, watched that video with interest.  I commended the mother in conversations with friends and in social media.  I believe discipline, responsibility and accountability are much of what is lacking in our world today.

Much has now been written about the woman in yellow, Toya Graham.  I can add little to any of it.  She has been called the ‘mother of the year’.  She has just lost a job has six children and does not know where the father is.  It has been suggested that there may be different fathers.  I am not here to judge her taste in men.  The fact is that she is a single mother of six and took charge when she saw her son misbehaving in public.

She told the reporters that she did not want him to be another victim.  Nor did she approve of what he was doing.  No matter her motivations she probably saved that 16 yr old son of hers from further pain by embarrassing him as she did.  His peers were telling him via social media that she deserves the greatest Mother’s Day gift ever.

I also am not here to judge her tactics.  While I do not believe I ever reprimanded my children in quite that way it was effective.   It is surprising though that social services has not intervened and taken all her children away for that act of violence.  Lesser actions by some have taken children from their homes as a ‘protective’ measure.  Perhaps it is a good thing this was caught on camera and the Mayor and City Police Commissioner have held her up as a good example of parenting.

It actually is ironic that this woman is being applauded for her actions which were not dissimilar from the ones the police are accused of taking with the victim that started all of this.

Toya Graham seems to be doing the very best she can with the circumstances in which she lives.  The one thing that it appears that no one has made mention of to this point is the proof of her really good parenting that does not include violent beatings of children.

Toya Graham’s proof of her good parenting I submit is in the way here 16 yr old son reacted to her intervention.  Did anyone notice that this young man did not get in her face and yell back at her?  Did anyone else notice that aside from trying to not have her left hand hit him in the beginning that this young man simply tuned and started home?  Did anyone else see the look on his face when at one point he turned so you could see his whole face?  That look was a look of ‘I know I’ve messed up’.  Did anyone else catch that he stopped when she told him?  There was no hate for his mother there was no anger on his face.  He simply acknowledged the situation and turned and went home.  The young man in question, Michael, was told not to go to the protest.  He went.  What would your parents have done to punish you for disobeying them?

My guess from all that I have seen and read about this that Michael, Toya’s 16 yr old son growing up in a household of 5 sisters and a mother, has learned to respect women from somewhere.   I do not think it is the streets as movies paint a totally different picture of how some young black men relate to women.  Perhaps it is from church as she says she goes to church and in fact her pastor would not like seeing her actions on TV.  Regardless, I am thinking I like the Toya Graham school of parenting that has a 16 yr old willingly doing what his mother is asking (screaming) of him.  I may not agree with the hitting or language, yet her anger and his face tell another story that is totally different.

I leaves me hopeful after this tragic week.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2015/0428/Mom-of-the-year-Why-a-Baltimore-woman-disciplined-her-son-on-TV-video

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/baltimore-mom-toya-graham-on-smacking-son-at-riots-freddie-gray/

REPEAT YET AGAIN FOR THE SECOND TIME – HAPPY BOXING DAY……..

GOOD MORNING WORLD

There is a picture circulating on facebook (www.facebook.com/Kysouth/photos_stream)depicting Santa asleep in a chair.  He appears to be ‘done in’ and exhausted.  I can relate to this shot.  Yesterday afternoon found me asleep on the couch sitting straight up.  I knew I was dozing and was so relaxed I did not care.  I remember being aware of my pose and feeling a little chilly and wanting the new blanket that had stars on it to put over me.  I was so comfortable I did not want to break the mood so did not bother to move and fell off to sleep again. 734546_313963812040856_1844614011_n

I think I was in and out of this state for well over an hour.  All else was quiet.  Dinner was done and the dishes being washed.  Someone was watching shows on TV.  Someone was putting together a Christmas toy and someone was playing a video game.  I was aware and relaxed as my work was done.  That is what the picture of Santa said to me.

Today the returns to the stores begin.  We have a couple of things to return and it will NOT be today.  When I first heard of boxing day as the day after Christmas I thought that was what it meant.  Wrong.

We used to be invited to a boxing day party each year.  It was lovely getting together with friends. The hostess was British so this was her tradition.  I could not imagine having my house as clean as hers let alone as organized the day after Christmas to have a party.  She did each year and it was very nice and relaxed, no pressure, despite the fact that her husband was my husband’s boss.  Things changed.  We moved and no longer celebrate the 26th as Boxing Day.

The origins of Boxing Day is not related to the sport or as I said returning gifts.  There are a couple of thoughts among historians.  One is that servants had to work on Christmas Day and not the 26th.  The Masters would give them gift boxes as they left to be with their families.

Another is that it is St. Stephen’s day and the alms boxes [i.e. poor boxes] at the churches were opened and the monies distributed to the poor on the 26th.   St. Stephen was on of the original seven deacons ordained by the apostles in the Christian Church to look after the poor.  When he died, he was a martyr and stoned as his preaching was so successful, he asked God not to punish his killers.

Another may be found in the carol “Good King Wenceslas.”  He was the Duke of Bohemia.  As the song says he went out on ‘the feast of Stephen’.  It goes on to say that as the Duke of Bohemia he helped his peasants through a blizzard the day after Christmas by bringing them food  and wine.

Today Ireland and England use the day as an added holiday and do the same as we with sports and shopping.  Occasionally there is the odd event such as swimming the English Channel to heighten the festivities.

For me it is going to be another day to relax.  I may play some games or do a puzzle with our resident, for the next few days at least, 8 yr old.  I am certain we will play Mine Shaft that Santa brought and his dad spent 6 hrs assembling the 400 pieces yesterday.  I may take another one of those gloriously relaxing naps.  Though I think it will be hard to duplicate the quality of the one I experienced on Christmas Day, I am willing to give it a whirl.

I usually keep our decorations up until January 6th, Epiphany or ‘Little Christmas’.  As I look around this house I am thinking that with the long New Year’s weekend coming up I might just break that tradition this year and put things away for a clean slate January 1.  Perhaps I could ponder that on the couch with that shell blanket.  Hmmmmm – that might just bring on a restful nap!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

FAREWELL ALEXIS RE-DO

GOOD MORNING WORLD DEC 5, 2014

I do not normally do this.  I think perhaps I have repeated only a couple times in my almost 500 posts over the years since June 2012 when I challenge myself to that year of writing.  Please allow me this one today.

I read on the news feeds that I check about a couple of suicides and attempts today.  This is the season of the year when we are at our happiest and probably at our saddest as well.  Having just celebrated the life of my father it seemed important even urgent that I share this post again.

Life is the best choice.  A life well lived is joy.  A life lived well is a blessing.  Living gives us a chance to correct ourselves over and over again.  Without further comment I give you my belief that we must all choose to live the best we can everyday we are blessed with on this side of the grass.

FAREWELL ALEXIS (first printed 11-16-13)

GOOD MORNING WORLD

On occasion we will send a request to one of our family and friends to pray for something in particular that is effecting our lives.  We believe prayer works and prayers shared are more powerful.  We receive requests from our friends as well.  We have prayed for tests, jobs, illness, house sales – the sky is the limit.  Today one came across that as I sat at the computer took me figuratively to my knees.

It simply read:

We come to you with heavy hearts this evening as we ask for your prayers. Our oldest daughter lost her best friend today, and is in a very confused and sad place. We  we ask for prayers for acceptance for our Sera, and for the family of Alexis. And that they all may comfort and peace through the love of our Lord during this difficult time.

We could not imagine the sorrow that Sera was experiencing and since the word confused was there we jumped to the, later confirmed, horrid assumption that Alexis took her own life.

Please join us in this prayer.

When tragic events happen don’t we all stop for a few minutes and think about what went wrong for this young girl to take her life?  There were over a dozen google accounts of this and the news picked it up from hours away from the incident.  Occasionally this type of sorrow reaches the national news.

These tragedies leave us all with more questions than answers.   Looking from this age I cannot imagine what could be wrong in a young life.  Looking from the eyes of a teen I cannot imagine what could push me to that point.  By the time I was 15 I had known my share of upheaval and can honestly say suicide was not in the forefront of my mind though running away occasionally popped up as an alternative.  I had not the ability to do either.  Sadly today’s teens are more worldly and know both.

I cannot explain it.  I cannot change it.  I must accept the reality that it does happen and according to the statistics last taken in 2010 it happens once every 13.7 minutes.  That is simply too high.  Again I ask what do we, as a society, not understand to help these people?

I am being torn as to what direction to go with this post.  It opens the door to say so much about kindness and acceptance.  Loving people who are different from or disagree with us.  Awhile ago I was involved in a nasty situation on facebook.  The person wielding the unkind verbiage told those reading not worry as one day I would use it as material for my blog.  Today is the day.  This person was scourging me for my political beliefs and asking that I be removed from that particular list and more.  Those words hurt and if other words are not offered these will be the last we share.  How sad.  Is that what sent Alexis to the edge – bad words from a friend or relative?

I have friends and relatives that have very differing opinions from mine.  It does not change my love or caring for them or my wanting good for their lives or more importantly that I treat them with kindness and not cruelty.   Think the golden rule is “Love one another.”

At my age I can accept derision and unkindness in vile language aimed at me.  Could Alexis? Was she treated unkindly?  Did people berate her for her beliefs or actions?  Did they tell her to get out of here?  Did she not feel love?  Was she abused?  Right now these questions cannot help her.

They can help us in dealing with people.  They can help us to be more loving and kind to each other.  These questions may stop us from saying that off the cuff remark that may seem innocent to us and may hurt another.   These questions may stop us from assuming that if someone seems strong on the outside they are the same on the inside.

Another aside this morning,  A game came across the emails in a forward.  It asked what would you do with $86,400.  It had specific rules and ended up sharing with the reader that 86,400 is the amount of seconds in a day.  What would you do with all of those?  Why didn’t Alexis realize that in all those seconds much can change?  Could she not wait for one second more?

I have used this poem before.  It is so appropriate today.

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

John Donne

Alexis’ death diminishes me.  Diminishes us all.  What would she have given to the world?  What would have been the ‘butterfly effect’ of her life? We will never know the full extent to what her life may have given to the world.  I put forth that we are all the less for that.

Yet let me also put forth that she has stopped the world for us to have a conversation about love and kindness today.   I can feel the breeze of butterfly wings.  I think I will find someone to receive a butterfly kiss from me right now.

Farewell Alexis and prayers for Sera.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures

?????

Good Late Afternoon- from the comments it appears the choice has been made as to who is the willow and who is the cedar – the larger question is who uses the mangled tube and who uses the neat one???

more misadventure…………..

THE BROKEN PROMISE

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I ask forgiveness for my lack of postings.  I believe that last few times I have written I said I was going to blog more often.  I really intend to do so and yet life has a way of intervening of late.

Old Mr. Webster says a promise is:

1-  a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future

2-  an indication of future success or improvement

3-  a reason to expect that something will happen in the future

All of these meanings of the word promise have to do with you having the power to fulfill that promise.

As children we believe our parents.  When, as parents, we told our children that we promise something will happen we made sure it did.  If we were uncertain we did not promise.  Not breaking a promise to our children was very important.  If it became evident after that we would fail to fulfill said promise,  we would sit them down and discuss the situation.  Promises are very important.

Sunday November 16th my father broke a promise to me.  He promised me that he would die at 96 on the seventh hole of the Causeway Club.  He didn’t wait.  My only assumption is that a tournament was going on and his tee-time was noon on Sunday.  I am certain that his golfing buddies and many family friends were eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Les pixMy father was loved by many.  I believe I have mentioned him once or twice in these writings.  He was “Honest Les from Southwest”.  I had the honor of giving a eulogy for Daddy, our niece spoke and my brother concluded with remarks at the service.  During the service many from the community shared the stories of their relationships with Dad.  It was a wonderful remembrance of his life.  In my eulogy I used many movie references as Daddy was a huge movie buff which was a little known fact.  Perhaps I will post the eulogy another day.

He had the gift of gab (or BS as some would say) and was a born salesman.  Luckily that was his life’s work.  He was known from the coast of Maine to all over New England.  In the Bangor Daily News comments after his obituary there was a comment from someone in Minnesota who knew Daddy as a young child when his family lived in Maine.  Cousins from California have been in touch as well as Army buddies from Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Family and friends from Maryland flew up to attend the service.  This man was well loved in his life.

He played as hard as he worked.  He was a “Man for all Seasons”.  In the winter I loved to watch him ice skate.  He was as graceful as any Olympian. .  He was a semi-pro baseball player.  As a kid I thought this a pretty big deal until I discovered it was simply a town team that played other town teams.  If you remember the movie “Field of Dreams” then it certainly qualified as semi-pro!  He was a golfer the majority of his life and won championships and got a hole in one at age 78.   His swimming strokes at the lake were fluid and beautifully executed.  We usually had a deer hanging in the fall from his hunting exploits.

He was genuine and I am not certain I ever saw him without a smile on his face.  In the eulogy I called him an everyman as did our niece.  Indeed he was.  He was a big kid at heart, loved the little ones, tolerated some of we grown-ups at times and I do not think there was a person that did not like him.  What a wonderful legacy that is indeed.  To be loved is a wonderful thing.

For the last few months the quote from “Winnie the Pooh” has been on my mind and facebook page and I even think in this blog.  Pooh said to Christopher Robin, “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”  My father could have said those words to us.

Above all Daddy was a man of faith.  He lived it.  He attended a men’s Bible study as long as he could. Wednesday November 12th my father called me.  He wanted to know where Jesus was when the babies were all killed.  It was such an out of the blue question that I said,  “Jesus was not born.” Then I said wait a minute “The Magi.”  So on that last time I was to talk to Daddy we researched the ‘slaughter of the innocents’ and had a marvelous time re-learning and sharing.  Later I came to realize he was cramming for a test he knew was coming up!  It was all too soon for me.

I know Daddy is in heaven.  I sat in front of that casket with calm and peace knowing he was no longer with us.  I hope I was some comfort to my family.  I really needed none myself.  I seem to be grieving in joy and faith that we will be together again.  I believe as I shared on Thursday that. like the scene from “GhOst”, all the love went with Daddy.  I also believe, as I shared from the musical “Les Mis”, “To love another person is to see the face of God.”  We were surely blessed to have been a part of the life of my dad, Leslie William Thurston.

Today I am even more certain that Daddy is in heaven.  One of my brothers-in-law and dear friend shared a picture he took as we were at the cemetery.  He did not join us there.  This dear friend was at the service then went back to his work on the dock.  He was talking with his son and turned around and looked toward the cemetery where we were burying my father.  He had the presence of mind to grab a camera and take this picture.  John told me he believed it summed up some of Daddy’s life with the harbor and boats and all.  For me it showed that heaven was open and awaiting this beloved child of God home.  The orange sunlight is directly over Mt. Height Cemetery.  If there is ever a question of heaven here is the answer.460

Daddy is here with us every time we laugh or share a story or for me listen to my answering machine! I believe I will use the following as comfort for days to come.  “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

AUGUST GONE – SEPTEMBER HALFWAY

GOOD MORNING WORLD

We can safely and correctly say that three fourths of the year has gone.  My question still and ever remains – where did it go?  It went by faster than a speeding bullet and appeared to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  It was a blur this year 2014.  I want some of it back to make sure I enjoyed the time.

Last Friday a friend of mine and I were commiserating that we simply had no energy and each of our list of things to do was way too long.  I explained that I am trying to simply do one thing each day.  Last week one of those things was to clean the microwave.  It did not get done yet two other items were checked off the list instead.  I still have to clean the microwave over the stove.  My issue that I loudly mention to those in this household is that I am simply too short.  The thought is that someone else who is taller might pick up the gauntlet and go ahead and clean it.  Thus far no takers and I will be getting out the step stool later today or tomorrow as it is not on today’s list.

I completed my one task for this day.  It was to simply get the table cloth off the dining room table and put the room back to the clean state in which I like to see.  When I mentioned this at dinner last night I got a chortle and a “That will take all of five minutes.  What are you going to do with the rest of the day?”  I simply said my list has one thing each day so not to disrupt my qi!  I heard another chortle.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Qi (disambiguation).

In traditional Chinese cultureqi (more precisely , also chich’i or ki) is an active principle forming part of any living thing.[1][2][3] Qi is frequently translated as “natural energy”, “life force”, or “energy flow”. Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinesemedicine and martial arts. The literal translation of “qi” is “breath”, “air”, or “gas”. Qi is a purely hypothetical concept.[4]

When I was at OCS (overly comfortable spa) I acknowledged stress as I shared with you a few weeks back.  I also learned more about qi.  I also learned about breathing which was actually a review from the year before.  I am a slow learner as I have also shared often.   The result of this knowledge is that I am being easier on myself and not going as fast.   Ultimately I am happier.  It has been an interesting couple of weeks.

I have a whole house to clean.  We have multiple bedrooms and multiple bathrooms for which I am very grateful.  I would like hired help and am determined I can do this on my own and keep it in the state I want – breathtakingly clean.  It is going to take time.  I have that.  If it does not work I have determined that I will work my new business harder and look for help.

With September here fall arrives in a few days.  It is the beginning of my favorite time of the whole year.  It is cool out.  The air is crisp.  While I like the green of summer and colors of flowers I love the display of fall colors equally as well.  It gets darker at night and cozy clings to the windows like the curtains that cover them.  This is the time of year I button up.  I snuggle in.  I grow stronger.  I have more energy.  I feel more empowered.  Never have understood it and not looking to right now.

Right now I want my life force to flow with the energy I need to bring about fall inside of our home.  The full drapes will now be used on the windows instead of valances.  I am going to change the kitchen curtains this year to reflect the warmth I need which means I will probably make some more calicos with ruffles and tiebacks.  I wonder how many pairs of these I have made in my lifetime thus far.  I can think of 3 or 4 different prints that had to cover 5 windows.  Oh my!  More work!  One thing per day will make it happen.

Not going to overwhelm myself.  Few strangers visit our home.  Those that come care for us and will understand any clutter they see.  It is not the stuff of course.  It is the people we want to be that counts.  I want to be organized and hopefully one day will make it.  If I die before than apologies to those left behind right now!  Just know I am going to give it my best one chore at a time.

I must note that the dining room table cloth is off.  The furniture and floor have been dusted.  The chairs are back where they belong and all that needs to be done now is water those plants that decorate the room.  That is tomorrows chore as it is “water Wednesday” when all the plants get a drink.

Oh my I did more than one thing.  Good for me!!! Breathe!  Off to start a soup for supper.  Does this count as another thing or simply a daily item?

……ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi

COFFEE AND CALLS

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I can add nothing to what we in America are feeling this day.  Every 9/11 I recall standing at my kitchen island in MO. and watching the TV on top of the refrigerator.  I saw the plane and immediately called my husband who away was in LA. on business. I asked had he seen the news.  He had not and those in the conference room with him immediately found a TV.  I told him I loved him as I had no idea how far reaching this action was going to be.  I called our children and said the same.  I had no idea what would happen that day.  I was blessed to have plans to be with other friends for lunch and we all intentionally kept to the plan so we could be together.

My husband was told by his home office not to let go of his rental car as it might be his only way home as the planes were all being grounded.

My luncheon friends, to a woman all their husbands were traveling as well, and I prayed.  Relief washed over all of us when the last husband reported in that he had a way home.

I posted a picture on face book with a “never forget” note.  A friend of mine commented in words that said everything I was and still feel.  I will let her end this.TWIN TOWERSLIBERTY

Cathy wrote: “Today marks the anniversary of the day that our generation felt unsafe in our country for the first time …… that innocence was lost ….. never to be felt by generations to come. It also marks a day where SO many became heroes trying to help save lives ……. AND, a day our patriotism and love for our country was felt everywhere!! I pray God brings peace to this world …….. prayers also for those who lost their lives and for their friends and family – for comfort, strength and faith!”

 

Well said and thank you.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

KIDS GAME = GREAT TRIVIA

GOOD MORNING WORLD

The month of June found our home filled with our three grandchildren.  The fun part is that they are very willing to put down electronics and play board games which their Grandmother adores.  I love Scrabble and long for someone to play this game with me.  When they suggested it I was in heaven!

Their favorite board game I believe is LIFE.  Oh the gales of laughter especially if Grandpapa plays.  It is also fun if we go around with no children or like the last time when our youngest had 4 children and was hysterically frightened he might spin for more.

The other game that is a big hit is an old family favorite and until he learned RISK, Monopoly was the youngest go to game.  Well until he lost last time.

The trivia about Monopoly being based on Atlantic City is common knowledge.  I am not sure that anyone can relate to the thrill of driving on those streets.  The first time I was in Atlantic City and Ventnor and Pacific and Baltic and States Avenue and New York all came to life I was enchanted.  These places are real.

Today I got an added piece of Monopoly Trivia in my inbox thanks to one of my high school classmates.  Thanks Dean!  As an aside I have to share how energized and happy I am that our class is still much in touch with each other on a regular basis not just at the 5 year reunions.   Perhaps coming from a small town with only 41 students in the class makes a difference.  I am not sure of this as I think we all generally simply like each other!

So to the Monopoly Trivia that was new to me this morning.  I am presenting it as Dean sent it and since I did not write it nor can verify who did I have listed several links to the same information.  It really is a fascinating read!  Enjoy………………

Monopoly – I Did Not Know This!

Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape…

Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of ‘safe houses’ where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.

Paper maps had some real drawbacks — they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.

Someone in MI-5 (similar to America ‘s OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.

At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd.  When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.

By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly.  As it happened, ‘games and pastimes’ was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages’, dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.

Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany , Italy , France or where ever Allied POW camps were located.   When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s also managed to add:

1.     A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass

2.     A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together

3.     Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their  first  mission, how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set — by means  of a tiny  red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking  square.

Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets.   Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.

The story wasn’t declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s, as well as the firm itself, were  finally honored in a public  ceremony.

It’s always nice when you can play that ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card!

I realize that many of you are (probably) too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Dec. ’41 to Aug. ’45), but this is still an interesting bit of history.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

http://www.snopes.com/military/monopoly.asp

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/the-northerner/2013/jan/08/history-monopoly-waddingtons-victor-watson-stalag-prisoners-of-war

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/01/how-monopoly-games-helped-allied-pows-escape-during-world-war-ii/266996/

http://militaryhistorynow.com/2012/12/20/how-allied-fliers-used-monopoly-to-escape-from-german-pow-camps/

 

ALL FOOD IS CREATED EQUAL

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I have entered into another discussion about gluten.  It is the FOOD FAD of this last few years.  We are to all be gluten free.  In order to be free of it one might need to know what “IT” actually is.

(1) Gluten  is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barleyrye, and spelt. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. Gluten is used in cosmetics, hair products, and other dermatological preparations.[1]

Gluten is the composite of a gliadin and a glutenin, which is conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-relatedgrains. The prolamin and glutelin from wheat (gliadin, which is alcohol-soluble, and glutenin, which is only soluble in dilute acids or alkalis) constitute about 80% of the protein contained in wheat fruit. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.

The fruit of most flowering plants have endosperms with stored protein to nourish embryonic plants during germination. True gluten, with gliadin and glutenin, is limited to certain members of the grass family. The stored proteins of maize and rice are sometimes called glutens, but their proteins differ from true gluten.

About 1 in 133 people in developed nations have intolerance to gluten.[2] Gluten sensitivity is classified as intolerance, not an allergy.

Do you want to know more?  Look it up yourself.  I have provided the Wikipedia link below and I am certain all you have to do is google Gluten.  We are to be free of it these days to have a healthy diet.

BALDERDASH – I SAY!!!

I have had it with the THEY of this world telling us what is good or bad for us.  Here we go on a rant that may be pages long.  By the way I am not the only one to rant on this and I have provided other links.

We are sheep I tell you – we are sheep!  Whatever fad comes down the pike if we like it we jump on the train.  Me too – I am not writing this simply for exercise – I am writing this at the irritation in my own lack of will that I bought into some of these fads.

I grew up eating a fairly healthy diet.  We were not rich or impoverished allowing my parents to feed us as good as they could.  We did not have filet mignon; we had cube steak or hamburger.  We did not have escargot; we had haddock or scallops (sometimes).  Our menu (actually think I have written this before) was fairly regular and much the same with Monday meatloaf, a Wednesday Spaghetti and a Friday Fish despite the fact we were not Catholic.  Saturdays were baked beans and Sunday dinner was a roast chicken or meat and would provide leftovers for a dinner during the week.  We picnicked with pb and j’s and tuna and had store bought cookies like Hydrox or Peanut Butter Squares.   We did not starve and our meals were varied.

I was a trim active kid riding my bike everywhere then went through a chunky stage and still graduated with a fairly trim figure.  I always believed I was fat!  Psychologists today would probably blame the teasing I got when I was chunky on this thought. Regardless I lived this thought and it became a reality.  The fact is we are probably born with a genetic make-up that responds to the types of foods we consume.  The proof is someone like Harry (former co-worker of my husband’s) who could eat enough for three people and maintain his same weight all the time.  That man could eat and he never got fat.  The machine that was his body used the fuel he put into it efficiently.

That is the most important fact I believe.  Our bodies are machines.  They need fuel to function efficiently.  If we feed them well then our bodies will respond accordingly.  To deny our bodies the fuel it needs for cosmetic reasons seems a bit out of touch.  My car runs on gas.  When it is getting low a red light comes on (thank goodness) to let me know it needs more.  If I deny the fuel, the car denies me transportation.  It does not work.  It stops running.  If the oil, filters, carburetor and other dohickeys (that is a mechanical term) that are under the hood are not kept in tip top condition that vehicle is going to shimmy and shudder and cough and spout until I fix it or it dies.

Is it any wonder we do not know what is good for us?  We have gone through the government, the all knowing OZ,  telling us many
different things. We had the 7 Basic Food groups, the Four Basic Food Groups,  the Food Wheel, The Food Pyramid – twice and now we have the food plate.
basic7foodgroupsfour food groups

We have been told in recent decades to fondue for digestion, eat fat free, low fat, 2% fat and reduced fat.  No cholesterol, no foodwheelsodium,  no meat, all meat, low fiber, high fiber, no butter, yes butter and olive oil is good though other oil is not.  Saccharin, sugar free, NutraSweet, splenda, and oh sugar is okay…………is it a wonder why we have no idea what healthy eating really is???  No wonder why I am so skeptical about gluten today.

A couple of personal things that I am going to share.  While I am a fairly open book on this blog you, the reader, do not really know all about me!!!  A little mystery
never hurts.  Once you read the following you may wish there had been more left to the mystery part.

In the 90s there was a food fad.  PASTA is GOOD for you.  People were creating meals of pasta only.  New fast food restaurants were coming online that served pasta dishes.  It was no longer that neat little Italian place to go for spaghetti.  There were now Pasta restaurants popping up all over the place.  Fazoli’s started in 1988 and expanded throughout the 90s when Toyota bought it – it is an interesting story.(2)  While hamburger places were selling a few ounces of food,  for the price Fazoli’s was selling much more food.  Pasta a good buy for the family buck.  More pasta restaurant chains were to come Macaroni Grill Olive Garden and S’Barros.

foodpyramidfood pyramid2food plateI, for a long time have mentioned this craze and people fail to remember it.  I know as I can tell from the looks I get.  I found the proof today that I had been looking for all along.  I was surprised at the source though should not have been.  NPR did a great story on this and I have taken the liberty of taking some of it or you to read.

(3)

So, when Sen. McGovern, a Democrat from South Dakota, called his hearing, he summoned the likes of Nathan Pritikin, a longevity guru who believed you could reverse heart disease with diet changes. And he called as a witness a Harvard U(3)niversity professor who pointed to the harms of overconsumption of fat. The hearing led to the creation of the first set of dietary guidelines for Americans.

“The thinking of the day is that you wanted to reduce fat,” says science writer Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat.  He adds that once fat was fingered as the villain, the thinking was that any way Americans could get fat out of their diets would be a good thing.

“And if we did it by merely replacing milk and cheese and fatty meat with carbohydrates, with pasta and potatoes and rice,” Taubes says, the theory was that we would live longer, and be thinner.

So, one of the top goals listed in the original dietary goals: eat more carbs.

“In retrospect, it’s kind of amazing, but this was the thinking at the time,” Taubes says.

Now, to be fair, the kinds of carbs the authors of the guidelines had in mind were whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

But this message was lost in translation. What did Americans hear? Fat is bad; carbs are good.

And the food industry saw the low-fat, high-carb mantra as an opportunity to create a whole new range of products. Fat-free frozen yogurt, fat-free muffins and cookies — the formula was: Take out the fat; add lots of sugar.

By the early ’90s, foods with little or no fat were flying off the shelves. Pretzels were good (no fat); nuts were bad (loaded with fat). Baked potatoes were OK, but hold the sour cream. And salads? Sure, greens are great, but no oily salad dressing.

Lots of you told us in our survey that you remember this fat-free mania well, and that it didn’t work out so well for you.  Taubes argues that it was not good for the country.

“Right around this time [when people started eating more refined grains and sugar] is when Americans starts getting fatter and fatter, and more diabetic,” Taubes says.

So, in trying to address one problem — heart disease — by cutting way back on fat, many experts we talked to agreed that the original dietary goals may have helped fuel other problems, like diabetes and obesity.

I suppose I could get in a little political point here by mentioning that this might simply be another Democrat Plot to control the country.  I will not and hope that it was simply a Senator trying to get us healthy.

The fact is it did not work.  The fact is that prescriptions for the diseases mentioned above went up and the pharmaceutical companies were happy.  The fact is that Americans were less healthy.

The personal part of this story is that I bought into it.  I love pasta and have some amazing recipes on sauces and ways to prepare it that we all did enjoy.  I think “Vicki’s Pasta and Brie” was may favorite.   I also along this time was drinking diet soda of course as we heard in the 80s that sugar was bad.  I was eating fewer eggs as the cholesterol  in them was bad.  Since we were having more pasta meals I was eating less meat too.  I was getting healthy.

My body began to expand.  How come.  All of this was good for us wasn’t it?  I began to have these horrid headaches that would get my eyes feel all floaty and dizzy.   I had bad cases of irritable bowels.  I was getting healthy by eating the right things!!

One day with a horrid headache that I could barely see though I called my eye doctor who was a friend of ours.  He asked if I could get to his office.  I made it ever so slowly down to Humphrey Boulevard in Memphis.  Rick examined y eyes and said all looked well and that I was having a classic ocular headache.  We chatted for a long time as the symptoms subsided.  It seems that the cause of these headaches could not be pinpointed necessarily.  No I did not have a brain tumor he did not think!!!  He suggested I look for something else as a trigger in my body.  He said maybe I am lacking some nutrient from my diet or some such.

It really did not take long to pinpoint that my body was crying out for protein.  Where did I get it ?  No meat.  Few eggs.  Few beans as they are not a favorite.  I stopped eating pasta as much and put these things meat, eggs and the green beans back in my diet.  It was almost like magic.  The less I ate pasta the better my body felt.  All I was left with was fat on my frame.  My blood pressure was great, my cholesterol numbers were good and I no longer panicked not being near a bathroom.  It was food.

This leave me being a skeptic.  There is no one size fits all.  I have said it enough that I could probably write a book about it.  Hmmmmmmmmmm………….

Everything is good for us.  I believe we can eat whatever we want to eat.  When I see big names like Bill O’Reilley touting gluten free as a necessity I want to smash the TV.  He is not a Dr.  Then again neither am I.  I believe we have to do what is best for us.  Share with others as they may choose to listen and occasionally say BALDEREDASH and rant.

I believe in eating everything.  I cannot imagine going through life not tasting all the good foods out there.   I believe it is all balance and clean.  We can eat anything that grows.  Now gluten is in grain yet how much do you actually have to eat to be intolerant of it?  A piece of toast or a pasta dish could not create that could it?  Wouldn’t it have to an overindulgence or too much?  Perhaps it is the processing that creates the problem.  I used to make all of the bread for our family and I am certain gluten was in the mix.  None of us had health issues.

The start of this blog is that I am convinced that someone somewhere is making money off the gluten free industry that has popped up over this latest food dilemma.  I do not like being a cynic.  When something flashes in my face it is hard not to say BALDERDASH!  It is all good if you use your head and close your mouth not your mind.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fazoli’s

(3) http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/28/295332576/why-we-got-fatter-during-the-fat-free-food-boom

 

http://jmarbach.com/american-food-fads

http://www.amazon.com/Fashionable-Food-Seven-Decades-Fads/dp/0226494071#

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/02/usda-food-pyramid_n_870457.html#s286384title=1916_Food_For

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_USDA_nutrition_guides