Friday, December 27, 2013

Wherefore Art Thou....Brangelina?

I have been trying to limit reading comments to articles and blogs because they, inevitably, become disturbing, crude, ignorant politician-bashing, religion-bashing, 'spam-alot', or completely off-topic.

This caught my eye yesterday and I just HAD to read on.

Floating around the web-inverse is a blog posting that has me laughing, saddened, puzzled, insulted, curious, and full of desire to dissect it.  Note: I'm saying dissect, not judge. I just have to share this!

The blog I'm referring to has been circulating with lovely pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with a couple of their children with joy on their faces and playfulness in their hearts.  They all look healthy and loving...and the pictures.  My first instinct is to say, "This joy is real". The World tries to manipulate me into saying, "These are ACTORS.  They can portray any emotion.  It's their JOB."

I try not to overthink these things but the blog has me wanting to know about the people who read it and are responding by the thousands in their comments. 

Because I believe the blog post was written solely to get a reaction and millions of views for profit, I refuse to actually name it.  You all know that mine is not a "money-making" site.  It's purely experimental and a vessel to hold the thoughts that come to me, sometimes in the middle of the night.  Forgive me.

Therefore, I, personally, refuse to endorse the site or lead any more readers to it directly.  If you are interested, it can be 'googled', I'm sure. This is also the reason I never wear clothing with slogans or names of sport teams or designers blazed across them.  Let them pay for their own advertising. Alright, I'm back.

In a nutshell, this is a published letter signed by "Brad Pitt" that spills out the details of weight loss, 'head-poking' (I still don't understand that!), depression, and physical pain and agony Angelina Jolie was in, that he was going to 'divorce' her, but had a revelation that included buying her things, speaking well of her to her and to their "mutual friends"(note: not to his friends), and loving her to the point of 'madness' that she would "become a reflection of him". Uh...OK.

Point number 1...are they married, now? Never mind, I don't care for this post now.

This poorly written letter was such a hoot that I didn't know where I'd start with it. Then the comments started rolling in to my email.  I'd enabled that function out of curiosity in how people viewed celebrity relationships, IF they actually believed Brad Pitt had written it (it's been denied by his agent and him), how much people would reveal of themselves in relation to the people involved and of their own personal struggles in relationships, and, finally, of the "believers" how strongly would they fight for the message, for Brangelina, or against the fact that it is fake!

I was rewarded with an inbox full of material!

Last night I watched Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits for the first time.  It is a story of a middle-aged woman whose husband's sin is infidelity with a young model. She struggles with her upbringing in her faith, being overshadowed by glamorous family members, is pulled in many directions by odd friends and a neighbor who tries to, pardon me, get her laid. Spoiler Alert:  Two wrongs don't make a right. She runs away before it happens, confronts the mistress, lets the husband go on his "business trip" with the girl, breaks off the need for acceptance from others, and walks away into the woods.  Whether she is happy or sad is left to the viewer.  Whether she was processing how to leave the marriage is left open. Whether she feels alone or stronger is, also. I like to think she walked out to think and listen to the voice of God telling her everything would be alright, whatever her decision was. The idea that Masina was portraying almost exactly what her life was with Fellini makes her performance stunning!

I'm not just drifting here. 

The comments to the blog are rife with women and men whose spouse or whoever, were unfaithful.  They express it so vehemently online that you see they are still suffering from the betrayal and it hurts to read them. They call Brad a hypocrite because of Jennifer Aniston (Oh, he'll never live that down!).  Others say, and I was amused, that good men are like parking spots.  They are hard to find and when you do, they're handicapped. The loneliness and pain are palpable.

Others defended the post as if it really said something deep and intellectual and true.  The comments are full of "Wow's" and even a "Wow+1"! They speak of how wonderful Brad is to do what he did for Angie.  It's so romantic that he bought her stuff and was nice to her and brought her back to life. They defend it as, whoever wrote it, (sniff) beautiful.

Ding-dong! Answer the door. I think it's Reality calling for you.

My own comment was:

"I had to leave a comment on this blog....That point is good but I believe, actually. Don't jump. A Brad Pitt may have, indeed, written this, just not THE Brad Pitt. Might even be that it's just the imagined thoughts of some writer about the couple by someone with too much time on their hands. They've demonstrated over years they are a pretty private couple so I don't think he would expose such intimate details of their lives to the public in this format...or at all. They aren't living a 'reality' show like Real Housewives or something. Lastly, if she were as bad as all that, the first thing he'd do is get her to a DOCTOR. I'm pretty sure they can afford one. Nice thoughts, but that's all it seems to be and a bit deceptive and insulting."

Although my comment may be a little on the snarky side, I was raised to be nice and polite, to be gracious, to say thank you when receiving a gift or if someone did something nice for me, and to say excuse me.  Is that not how we should all be, anyway, especially to the one we've selected to be with for the rest of our lives?

Point number 2. I do not think he wrote it. I think as one commenter said, it is "donkey balls". (Yeah, I LOL'ed at that!)  I do not have a tremendous interest in others' personal lives.  I do believe if someone is going through a tough time they may need professional help, not gifts. 

Point number 3. I don't believe making your partner a "reflection" of yourself is healthy. I do believe if everyone, including this couple, had a strong faith, it would help in huge ways to sustain their relationships. I know that is my personal belief and don't expect all to understand or accept it.  Know that I pray for all who are going through tough times in all ways. I pray for the lonely who are seeking a fantasy love that is made up by movies and books while real love may be right under their noses.

True romantic love that exists for eternity is not about the bells ringing, fireworks going off, the 'I want a Brangelina romance or nothing' mindset that many women and men are fooled into believing.  That's another reason why I was insulted by the blog post.

Love is everlasting, seen through each other's eyes, caring for one another through their worst as well as best, seeing the other at his or her worst, hand-holding that doesn't lead to bedroom action, knowing that isn't the only 'proof' of your love, saying I love you and only you and meaning it, complimenting one another to each other and to others, doing nice things for each other, being each other's hero, being polite to each other, saying 'thank you' and 'please', praying together, being together in your fight against the world and all it's lies, and being on the same page for what you want for both of you.

The other stuff is.....acting.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, MooMoo!

I frequently change her name from MooMoo to Mom to Mama to Mamacita to Mumsy to Crazy Lady.

My mother will answer to any of the above.  That's the kind of cool lady she is!

In the beginning, God created this woman who loved Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice, Pepsi, Tom Jones, James Brown, the Allman Brothers, Rock and R&B, Classical and even some Country music, to give birth to me.  Dad was the Jazz fan. And people wonder why I'm a little, well, off-center. We spent many non-school nights watching Midnight Special and Ingmar Bergman films, in theatres, museums, at concerts, or watching plays. I may have mentioned some of this in a previous post, forgive my repetition.

I was raised, primarily, by a sophisticated, spontaneous and outgoing mother who would take my brother and me to unknown surprise places often, taught us how to use a knife and fork at a dinner table, and how to do the 'mashed potato' (a dance).  She had front row seats for The Stones at Soldiers Field in the 70's! She was the most fun to hang out with at any age I can remember and has hilarious stories of us all in the family.  She's been known to have people hurting and practically wetting themselves laughing at her recollections. She, at 71, can remember better than I am able. What does that tell ya?

She is utterly devoted to my daughter and as 'grandma' will drop everything and everyone if Jan calls her.  I think it's  As usual, my daughter, while growing up, could get away with anything with Mom but not with me.

"Oh, let her have the gun...she won't hurt anyone!"

"", says the Bad Guy aka Me.

So, for a long while it was the 3 Musketeers, that is, the 3 generations of females in one house.  That was fun, if you can imagine it.  I say that being facetious and yet it really was fun.  Mom introduced my daughter to films (NOT movies!) of foreign nature, classics, and stirred the desire in her to learn and do and see more of the world. Grandmothers serve a special purpose in children's lives that should never be taken for granted, I learned. They are the eternal cheerleaders in our childrens' lives because in their eyes those kids can do NO wrong and can conquer the world if they want. Everyone needs someone in their lives to be that for them, right?

Mom is the type of person that will give you not only the shirt off of her back but the pants and shoes, as well. When she gets to the undies, that is where I have to step in and be the bad guy.  I have to remind her of her own responsibility to herself now.  She no longer has anyone to take care of. It's her turn.  It goes against her nature as a nurturer, though.  Thus, the reminders.

If anyone ever asks, I'm very grateful to have been born into the family I ended up in.  She has the typical 'motherly' guilt of "Did I do this or that wrong?".  I have it, too. There is no book, not even Dr. Spock, that can reassure you that you did a good job. But as Jan tells me, "I had a good childhood."

Then again, Steve Allen (loved him!) told his children the same statement every night before bed.  Remember, you had a good childhood. 

My husband calls me "Mama" because he says I mother everyone I meet. But my mother is the Mama of all Mamas.  If you are not eating, drinking, relaxing in her home she believes something is wrong and will try to fix it!

Why aren't you eating?
Because I ate before I got here.
 No, you didn't.(Why would I lie?)
Here, eat this.
I'm not hungry.
Eat it.  Why won't you eat?
(5 minutes later)
Do you want some ice cream?  I have some chips, too!
(She keeps looking at me and it's freakin' me out!)
OK.  A few chips. Thank you.
Put this pillow behind your back!
Thank you, Mom.
(She sighs contentedly until the next round begins.)
You can't win.  It's a personal affront if you don't eat her food.  The funny part is that she hardly ever cooks!  Cooking has never been her forte', so to speak.  She's always been the restaurant type of woman who likes to be served.  How I got to be so domestic, I guess I attribute to my Dad.
How I became an interested person (I won't say 'interesting'), I attribute always to my mother.
Happy Birthday Blessings to you, you lovely crazy lady!  We love you!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Common Scents?

I may have mentioned that my book collection is my 'thing'.  What I failed to mention is that I have realized I might be more girlie than I think.  Surprise!

I looked at my vanity table today and realized I have at least a dozen different perfumes and colognes of which I wear 3-4, consistently.  I'm not sure if this is reasonable.

One, I began to keep in my car to freshen it up because I don't like the smelly cardboard cut-outs that hang from the rearview mirror.  One, I keep in my purse, just in case I've run out of the house in a hurry and forgot to 'apply'.  The third varies depending on my destination.  There's an everyday scent and a formal scent.  As I'm writing this I'm realizing just how involved this process is and it's a little twisted.

More thought has been put into what I decide to smell like than into what I wear!

I'm such a casual dresser, unlike a lot of women.  If I can get away with a skirt or jeans, sneakers or my combat boots, I'm set to go.  Perhaps, that's where I should be putting more thought. Hmm.

Scents are something that can affect a person very deeply and on a subconscious level. It's the fault of the amygdala in the brain defined as:

"...a structure in the limbic system that is linked to emotions and aggression. The amygdala functions to control fear responses, the secretion of hormones, arousal and the formation of emotional memories".

It's there for a reason, as is everything in the human body. For instance, I have Tabu and one from the 40's (!) by Francis Denney called Interlude that remind me of my mother's purses and of her dressing up so prettily to go out.  It's a real memory that I can see so clearly and feel the emotional memory attached.  Of course, smelling nail polish or remover is what I also associate with Mom.  She always says, "Either wear it or don't." That meant no chipped polish on our nails...ever!

If I smell fresh laundry, I always think of my Dad! He was always a sharp dresser...always! He always smelled of clean clothing that came from him literally scrubbing his shirts at home until they were blindingly white.  I don't think he ever trusted his shirts to a laundry or cleaners because he knew they would not do the job of it that he could.  I never asked. Of course I didn't! I didn't want the job. The hot iron pressing clothes is what I like, still.  Regarding burning things, the smell of incense and candles places me in a church feeling peaceful and loving everyone.

Not that it's still around a lot but if I do smell Drakkar Noir (1980's-90's!), that reminds me of my older brother and his young days and ways.  He took great care in his appearance, also.  I wonder about young men now that don't appear to have the same pride in how they look...and smell.  Has that generation all died?

Baby lotion and talcum powder take me back to my little girl and how I used to love to bury my nose in her soft curly hair and deeply inhale.  It was sweetness and innocence and a preciousness that I can't completely describe but many of us know it well.

Now, Pine-Sol, if anyone remembers it, Mr. Clean, and Clorox Bleach remind me of waking up in the middle of the night to the smells of my working mom working more at home, mopping and cleaning. Rose-scented Glade Air Freshener, isopropyl alcohol, Ivory soap, and fried chicken remind me of my grandmother, and cigarettes, burning bacon, and coffee, of my grandfather.  Is it too cliche' that evergreen makes me yearn for Christmases gone by? Can anyone else smell heat and remember radiators and ovens keeping the cold out and feeling nice and cozy and warm indoors?

What a person's habits are or what they wear isn't the only way to have the memory, either. Everyone knows we have scents as individual as fingerprints.  I'm confident that I can recognize my husband's personal male scent blindfolded.  And, although he doesn't wear cologne, I can say I love how he smells after a shave!  Most women will say they love how men smell after a day of working. There has to be something very basic and biological about that. (Note to Self:  Save for another post.)

Back to my collection.  My friends and family know when I really like a perfume because I'll actually use it and use it until it's empty and then I hint that I'm out, Sneaky Me.  This is leading to yet another issue. I like the bottles. I find it VERY hard to dispose of the empties.  It's not like they can be refilled!  I see I'll have to come up with a craft project to utilize them in some way. (Note to Self: STOP HOARDING PERFUME BOTTLES!)

Today's thought is take time out, smell the smells, pay attention, store the memory, feel the emotions.  It's what makes us human, not robots. It is what makes us care.  It's what keeps us close, even when someone is gone.

I'm sure you saw it coming if you've been following this blog and how my brain works....Stop and smell the roses. Come had to see one that coming.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Half a Century and I'm Still Here!

Yes..yes..yes! I've officially hit 50 years old, my friends!

I stayed 49 right up until 2:05am then I couldn't put it off anymore. Just kidding,  I'm actually quite glad to a) still be here, b) have most of my faculties, c) have the experiences I have had, to date, and d) still be here.  Did I say that already? Well, guess that means I'll be even more all over the place in my blog!

Looking back, I can recall bits and pieces of years that I could say I took chances that might have removed me from this Earth.  Haven't we all?

To say that I have learned lessons from those and other experiences is an understatement.  To say that I have learned what is important and urgent and what can wait is something I can say appeared in the last few years. To say that I have learned that there are going to be those that like me or what I say and some that don't is something I made peace with at my 40th year. To say that I'm grateful to be able to be here and to possibly pass on whatever I've learned to young ones, is a joy to me.

Therefore, I can say that my life is pretty joyful, in general. 

I'd like to share this with anyone who may need to see what real joy looks like...Enjoy!


Here in the U.S. we are celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving.  Time to recount what you are thankful for and we like to share the day with friends as well as the usual family, eat, watch American football, sleep a little, then eat again.  Why do we do this? Because we are THANKFUL! Oh, the pity I feel when someone can't come up with anything to be thankful for.  There is always someone or something, if you think hard enough.  It may not be much but it's YOURS and it's a gift.

The First Thanksgiving is hilariously illustrated by Eddie Izzard, who I think is a brilliant comic and actor! For those who are not familiar with him, don't be thrown by the outfit and makeup!

Tell me where else are you going to find these two videos presented in the same blog?  ONLY HERE, FOLKS! LOL

It was basically the first time America had to show some humility, which is never a bad thing.

And so, we will do the same tomorrow.  We show how humbly grateful we are for how much or how little we have, that we are happy with what we are given, that we have no legitimate right to complain about our lives and shame on us if we do!

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone, Every Day!


Nya hasn't met Bruno Mars (yet!) but she did receive an autographed cd and is happy, sweet, and beautiful, as always!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Whatever Nya wants...Nya gets!

...and little Nya wants...Bruno Mars!

Update: Princess Nya went peacefully, surrounded by love, to Our Lord's waiting arms on 5/1/14. Please don't ever forget to hug a child and make contributions to charities for childhood rare cancers research and those who provide help like St. Jude's. Thank you.


This may be a little off-topic for my usual posts but this is a MUST read.

I will be an advocate for all children but this is even more special because it involves my beautiful cousin, a 14-year old girl with a beautiful spirit who has cancer spreading in her brain and spine.

She's been battling it for 3 years now and has shown more strength and love and acceptance than many twice or three times her age.  That's what happens when a child is faced with what should be an adult problem.  You read about such things everyday.

Nya has never asked for much, even though, given her situation, she could have been given anything and everything within our power by the people who love her so much. 

She has now asked for one thing. 

That is to meet Mr. Bruno Mars, the singer, @BrunoMars.

Simple enough.  I hope.

I'm begging anyone who reads this blog (and you know who u are and Thank you so much!) to check into and 'follow' @NyaMeetBrunoMars to help her get the number (one million!) necessary to get his attention.  Our family will be ever so grateful.  You can also 'like' her mother's efforts to get this done on Facebook at facebook/HelpNyaMeetBrunoMars (!/NyaMeetBruno?hc_location=stream and see more information.

This wonderful child has suffered with such dignity and grace that this small effort I'm making here doesn't seem like enough.  However, if you can support Nya in this small request, it actually will, and this I promise, make you a better person.  Can't hurt, right?

From those who love her as I do and the rest of the family, we thank you!  God bless you!

P.S. And does it meet the 3 N's?  Is it Normal, Natural, and Necessary? Heck, yeah!

Special thanks to Locks of Love and all dedicated Nurses, Doctors, and Technicians who do their jobs so very well and care so much!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

From the 3 R's to the 3 N's

When I said in prior posts that I'm out to learn something "true" everyday, I take that very seriously.

I am confessing that by the time I learn to do a "smoky eye" instead of a racoon-eye, there will be a new trend.  By the time I perfect the "cat-eye eyeliner look" and no longer resemble a poor man's Eartha Kitt, I'll no longer desire it and be too old to pull it off, anyway.  If I even WANTED to do the extra bright eyeshadows in multi-colors, I would be the woman others would ask, "So are you on stage?" or worse, "Are you really a dude?". 

This is a refusal to submit to what I've observed in mascara ads that promise larger eyes, complete with behind-the-scenes application of fake lashes and camera close-ups of a woman's eye very slowly but definitely lifting her lid to give the appearance that her eye is actually larger.  I look waaaay too closely at these trickeries and sleight of hand approaches to sale tactics.  It's what I do.  Prestidigitation.  I like the word.  I watch for the action and usually find it.

Notice the television ads pharmaceutical companies show every 10 minutes.  I know I've mentioned this before.  Close your eyes and really listen to what the pleasant voice is saying instead of being distracted by the visual cues of happy, healthy people being "helped" by the drug.  You'll hear what this medication may actually do to you.  And it isn't pleasant.  It take advantage of those who are suffering and willing to try anything to stop it. So, yes, you can have the botulin injections to help the migraines, but you may go numb and never feel the gentle stroke of a hand on your cheek.  Let's continue looking.

We have been convinced of something I heard today that is TRUE.  A guest on a show on VeriaLiving Channel spoke of it in relation to healthy lifestyles. Our present situation has us believing what Dr. Melanie Joy calls the "3 N's".  We are told and have truly bought into what we are told and led to believe is Normal, Natural, and Necessary. The discussion was primarily regarding being Vegan or Vegetarian but it occured to me that this can have many applications from the politics we choose to the food we eat.

Dr. Joy, a psychologist, has written a book called, "Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows".  I intend to check this out soon just for the title, alone.  Look for a 'review' in the near future.

The other is "The China Study" by Dr. T. Colin Campbell who, through his research, discovered that cancer can be 'turned on or off' based on which diet was fed.  Apparently, plant-based diets turn it off. Not news enough for the world to know, I guess.

Insulted, it reminded me, again, how we are lied to, intentionally or not, by food growers, FDA, USDA, and that thorn in my side, Monsanto. Here's a short recap from a previous post.

Monsanto made Roundup Weed Killer.  Then they made a seed that is resistant to Roundup.  They patented that seed so if anyone decides to use it, they have to pay for it.  Meanwhile, wind, birds, and insects can move the seed from one farm to another.  If they discover their seeds, unpaid for, in an area, they will sue the owner of the property.  And, believe me, they check for it.  They have for years and have forced many farmers out of business.  It's been done with soy, corn, alfalfa, and, careful now, they tried to hit the wheat.  Many countries have insisted that consumers be notified when a Biotech or GMO is in their food through labeling.  The U.S. has not.

Once they have the wheat, though, the world will be at their mercy. It sounds melodramatic but if we continue eating the Genetically Modified foods and the animals that are fed the GMO's, what does that do to us all, in time? The great unknown. They presently enter poor countries, claim they'll increase the amount of food available to the population, make promises of prosperity, and then proceed to decrease the natural-found seeds that have existed for thousands of years, apply for patents, and guarantee the poorer become the poorest, yet somehow fatter at the same time and dying earlier. Interesting and for sure, a topic for another blog post.

Now, back to the Normal, Natural, and Necessary question. Is it?

This is a question we each should ask ourselves as we 'vote' with our money for every purchase.  We should ask this about every morsel of food we place in our mouths and give our families.  Ask it about the clothes we put on our backs. We should ask this about the latest greatest promised technology offered to us every few months.  Yes, I mean the security blankets we carry with us disguised as cell phones and pads.  We need to determine the 3 N's in our relationships with others, the movies and tv we spend time watching and other amusements, what we drive, the medicine we take, the words that come from our mouths, how we care for ourselves and each other, and the jobs we choose to do and what sort of life do we want when we stop doing it.  We should be interested and thinking about what affects us and those around us.

I thought this was the most enlightening and true thing I'd heard this far.  I'll be waiting for more to appear as time goes on.  It's just something to deeply consider, use as a guide and discuss, and help with direction in our lives.

The argument, as I play Devil's Advocate, Sociologist, Philosophist and Scientist, is that each principle is relative and not measurable.  Where does that leave us, then?  As it was said on the show, the dinner stew may have been great, until you learn the first ingredient was dog. But that was normal for your host. It's natural. And in some places, necessary. Meanwhile, we chew on chicken chests as healthful and think macrobiotic diets are weird.

It leaves us with individual choices and decisions to make.  It calls upon us to grow up and decide what is important to each of us in this Life until we leave it.  It calls upon us to help others to know what we know and empower them to do the same.   

People say, Life is Short.  Compared to what?  A moment can be less than a second or it can be years.  Because we had no say on when we got here or when we leave, following that simple criteria can save us time better spent and given, money better spent and given, our sanity when we stop chasing what doesn't meet the criteria, and our peace while we are here.

Those three N's are a pretty good place to start.

Is it normal?  Is it natural? Is it necessary?

Many blessings to all this week with open eyes, hearts, and spirits, and a special blessing to all who open their wallets, homes and lives to others in need. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wake Me for the Super Bowl

I've just lost my husband for the 13th time to another.

For the next 4 months, his complete, and sadly for me, undivided attention is on football. 


Not soccer.  Football.  American...Blasted....Football.

I remember being excited in elementary school about football.  But I was a cheerleader.  I didn't understand the game at all.  My attendance was required and led to a very flexible and fit body.

I was equally excited about football in high school.  I was dating a player.  I still didn't understand but went to games and cheered when everyone else did.  That was my contribution.

This evening, I have a nonstop tutor explaining the game, the comments, the pre and post coverage, the daily in-between game commentaries and interviews, and his feelings about them all.  Let me put that out here again.  ABOUT THEM ALL.

Our home becomes Miami Dolphins Central during the season.  I lose control of how the interior is decorated, what goes on our Christmas Tree, and what rugs are in our guest bathroom. Everyone who knows him gifts him with Dolphins memorabilia and I am guilty, as well.

When we were married, I saw this as a challenge.  I could a) fuss and distract him from the games, b) I could entertain myself taking the time to spend time with my friends and hobbies, or c) I could learn something about the game and join him cheering and yelling at the players as if they were in the room.

I chose option "c" and bought Football For Dummies.  I got through the 3rd page and gave up.  Hubby tried explaining.  I, being of average intelligence, picked up some of the lingo but lacked interest and moved on.

I tried the first option with miserable results.  I felt guilty making something he loves so much, so awful.   

That left Door Number Two. 

When we sit together in the evenings with men yelling at each other in suits on NFL Live, etc. I hear a voice in the room telling me WHY what they are saying is wrong, but I'm knitting or reading.  I smile or shake my head in understanding at the correct cues, ask an occasional question, and continue my projects.  He doesn't seem to mind...or notice. The best times I think for us both, is when I leave the house.  He's free to yell as much as the neighbors can stand and I spend time and/or money doing something I enjoy. 

I just can't work up the same enthusiasm for watching men run around making millions of dollars for playing a game! But that's another blog, entirely.

Now, some may think it dysfunctional that a husband and wife don't share this same interest.  I'm just thankful that this is his only hobby, besides learning Spanish.  He could be a fisherman, a hunter, or worse, a golfer! That's an expensive hobby!

When the games are on, if I'm in another room, I can count on him seeking me out for lovey-dovey time....until the commercials are off and the game's back on.  He could be in sports bars, chain-chewing buffalo wings with the guys but chooses to watch here at home.  He could be doing any number of things, legal or illegal, as men do. 

Given how hard he works, how he maintains the house, how he takes such good care of us, I have no valid complaint.  I want him to enjoy himself.  He deserves it.  Just don't expect me to take part in this particular sport.  We don't have to share everything to maintain our relationship.  As a couple, together but individuals, that's an impossibility.

There is a lesson in here somewhere for younger women, I think. 

If a man is 'ignoring' you for a sport but is there for you in every other way at every other time, what is the point in complaining?  I like to think I'm pretty good at my age at picking my battles.  Therefore, we don't have many.  It helps that Hubby reminds himself, like the comedian Ralphie May says, that he'd rather be happy than right.  And he chooses appropriately...most of the time.

For those women that love the sport, I applaud you.  I think it's wonderful that you can stay connected through it.  It's just like the make-up thing for me.  It's just not happening.

My one concession is the actual Super Bowl game.  It's the last game so I'm up for a celebration by then. I will sit through that and, for some reason, understand it.  Of course, I, like millions of others, am drawn by the television ads, too.  It proves, though, that I do have the attention span and ability to follow the game.  I simply choose not to.

And, thus, we have a happy marriage. 

With a red zone.  And a no-fuss zone.

Have a happy and blessed weekend (and enjoy the game)!   

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mediocrity Is Prohibited!

Today, I ran across an article online to help me in my Reboot entitled, 7 Things Leonardo Da Vinci Can Teach You About Creativity.

The author is really writing for someone in business to tap into their creative side to 'get ahead' but I found some of the information useful, personally.

It caught my eye because it mentioned Leonardo Da Vinci, who maintains a spot on my list of admired figures.  The reason I like this guy is because, as mentioned in the article, he was not only the artist behind the Mona Lisa.  Leo (yeah, we're close like that!) had volumes of drawings and inventions and ideas far beyond his time. He would have a blast with all that is available today to take his plans to another level! His excitement and curiosity are infectious!

Now, on to how this applies to me and my journey...

I say, again, there is no reason on Earth why anyone should say the words, "I'm bored", "There's nothing to do", or worse, "I can't". 

I realize that each life is so very different from the time we wake to the time we bed-down for the night (or whatever order it's done for you).  I realize there are many different responsibilities we have daily using up daytime/nighttime/OUR time, and keeping us from pursuing what we'd love to be doing AT the time.  I realize that many of us don't even know what we want to do with our time. And, it is precious

It's so precious that we need to use it carefully.  Thus, part of my Reboot is going to be dedicating my time to thinking.  You heard me.

We are all so busy Doing that we don't get a chance to THINK.  The thoughts we have are mostly superficial, often, of clothes, food, tv, who-said-what-to-who, etc. that we are not open to the full use of our talents and skills. 

The other part is attempting to truly find what my gift is.  Daunting thought, but not impossible.  Many, regretfully, never give it a thought, at all.

Just when we think we have no talent or skill, a crisis or a rare quiet moment presents itself and we discover it.  What we do with it is the question.  If and when it is discovered, we must not let it drop and ignore it.  That's a crime against Nature.  I feel it should be mandatory in our minds that we must complete something regarding what we've discovered about ourselves. If it's not completed to the end of the process, that's ok. After all, Leo designed a helicopter and never got to see one fly.  Someone else may grab the ball and run with it but at least we did our part.  And we enjoyed it.  How rare is that these days?

The trick to this is that money must not be a motivator, nor fame or notoriety or approval.

That curiousity I mentioned has to be developed again. It was so natural and present as a child, then knocked out of me by Life.  I'm out to rediscover it and then take off running with whatever comes about.  I'm ready to say "Yes" instead of "No" to what comes to mind.  I'm ready to seek the talent or skill that was gifted to me.  I'm ready to not settle for 'good enough', anymore, and seek 'right'.  I'm ready to be as fearless as I was as a child.  I'm ready to push past the discomfort that comes from changing up the routine.  I'm ready to do better even if it's not someone else's best.  I'm ready to do the best ME I can.

When I was a little girl, I imagined myself a chemist. I sat backwards on the closed toilet seat using the flat-top as my lab. I'd mix anything I could find in the house in little cups, just to see what would happen. In fact, that's how I create recipes to this day but not in the bathroom! I liked the Marx Brothers and would open a wire hanger into a "D" shape, stretch rubber bands across it and pretend to play like Harpo, or piano (table) like Chico. Agreed. Those things were a little nutty, but I was a weird kid. I was the 'household' ballerina and tap dancer because of Cyd Charise, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I flipped, bent, balanced, and split to be an Olympic gymnast. My favorite tree still stands in Lincoln Park in Chicago that I could climb into and be "Jane of the Jungle" observing others from above. I took old clocks and phones apart to see what was inside. I wrote. I drew. I painted. I sang. I sculpted figures from clay. I did needlework, weaving, and crocheted and knitted with pencils. I designed dresses, added numbers, played "secretary", Mommy, doctor, and architect (Mike Brady made it look so easy!). I played for hours! Where did my imagination go?

There's a Youtuber, known as Shameless Maya. She can be found on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and whatever else is out there.  She's put herself 'out there' to free the talented spirit in her, even to the point of shaving her head. While I may have different ideas about a few things she does and says, that effort she's making and her slogan is one I support.  It's "Do You, Boo!".  I thought it was just cute at first but actually makes sense for a younger generation sleep-walking into envying what the latest '20 minutes-of-famer' is doing or being.  It's a way of saying that whatever you do and whoever you are, you are the best of you.  There's no imitation needed, even as a form of flattery.  There is only one You created, ever existing, now and forever.

Therefore, that You....and I, must be treasured and cared for and our resources used to the utmost.  For me, that began, laughably, by starting this blog.  Again, this is not for money in any way.  It is a way to sort thoughts, see where my talents lie, and bring with me anyone else who wants to join me on the journey to finding their own.  It is there. I just know it! For any new idea I now have, the question is, "What if...?".

The Joy of Play is what I seek. And, I won't settle for less. Nor should You.


Friday, August 9, 2013

The Silence is Deafening!

I was going to name this post, 'Fun With Insomnia', only it's not fun!

As my husband tells it, I have trouble shutting down my hard-drive at night. 

The house is darkened, it's late, the temperature is good, the bed is comfortable, I'm medicated, and it's quiet.  It's too quiet.   

We're so blessed with this life, then why can't I just go to bed like a normal person?

Here's the process I'm now suckered into acting out before the Sandman does his thing.

I must have the television on.  I know that's a big NO-NO! It has to be tuned to something I have absolutely NO interest in watching, hearing, learning from or paying attention to.  This could be a movie I've seen many times, a television show rerun, or a documentary on a topic I truly can skip.

The second step is letting my brain go through the thoughts that may include any, or all, of the following:

          "Wonder what my daughter's up to right now?"
          "What was that noise?"
          "Did I lock both doors?"
          "So, that's why men have nipples!"
          "There was an error on King of Queens tonight.  The price tag on his shirt disappeared!"
          "Funny how that post office lady guessed the city where I was born, correctly!"
          "I should check that receipt for errors."
          "That sounds like a frog or something!"
          "Why on Earth would anyone want to create 'fake' ground beef??"
          "Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in Gunga Din is called Valentine."
          "Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as Valentine says his last day in the French Legion is February 14th."
          "That's Valentine's Day here....did they do that on purpose?"
          "Why did I just think of that?"
          "No, wait.  He says, May 14th.  That's not Valentine's Day."
          "What should I make for dinner tomorrow?"
          "Another error on King of Queens was that pan of chicken that kept changing places!"
          "I have a lot of veggies to use up.  I'll make soup."
          "I should sleep. If only I was at the beach.  I always sleep well near water."
          "I love waves."
           (Bathroom break)
          "What is that song's name?  la-la-lala dum. Never mind."
          "Can't forget to make that call tomorrow."
          "Was that thunder?  It may rain again tonight."
           (Bathroom break)
          "How does that go again? 1-3-0-1-2-3?"
          "I used to love that jacket I had when I was 12."
          "Oh, yeah...there's the rain.  I hear it on the roof."
           (Bathroom break)
          "Is that a frog I hear?"
          "I should not have had that last bottle of water tonight."
           (Bathroom break)

Lastly, not only is the mind going at a breakneck pace but I rock!  I mean I literally rock myself back and forth in bed.  Our marriage has lasted only because of a memory foam mattress.  As it stands, I can do Pilates, stretches, and even the Electric Slide in bed and not wake my husband (who has no problems sleeping!)  There's my 'shout-out' for Tempurpedic.

My body may not run like it did at 17 but my mind is racing all over the place.  Eventually, exhaustion kicks in, after covering so many miles of data, and I sleep. 

I sleep.

I sleep until 4am when Tommy's alarm rings.  He wakes, he cuddles, he tells me he loves me and to go to sleep.  Really? Waaaaaaah!

I will either resolve to nap later, completely awaken at this time and chat, try to read, do a puzzle, check Facebook, or turn on I Love Lucy reruns and, eventually, sleep.

Thus, people wonder why they don't hear from me, why there are times the phone goes to voicemail in the afternoon or late morning, or why I sound so out of it when they call.

Please see above.

Oh....and it was a frog.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Swahili is So-So

I'm putting on my "thinking cap" and trying to figure out a way to do more of the amazing and exciting things that I see others doing. I have my limitations so it's a challenge, definitely.

What I'm referring to is learning new things, going to new places, meeting new people, growing, and changing what needs to be changed. I have, and never have had, fear of these actions. No one should with the Gifts we've all been given.  The existing challenges, for me, are that age is catching up with me (excuse??), I have legitimate fears of what might happen with the Multiple Sclerosis (hasn't happened yet...don't worry about it?), and my brand new knee that hasn't quite healed yet (but it will!).

Sounds like I just talked myself out of my own challenges, doesn't it?

I look around and see new careers that didn't exist years ago. People are being creative in new and fascinating ways. Opportunities abound that I didn't recognize when I was operating at full capacity!

There is FUN to be had in this life!

True, there are personal trials, wars, political conflicts, protests, poverty, hunger, anger, frustrations, and sadness in this world that can break your heart and your spirit. But there is good, also. And we know that Good ALWAYS triumphs over the bad. We may lack patience waiting for the Good to happen, but it will always happen....just not always in the time we want.  If we sit and wait for a person to knock on our door telling us it's alright to come out and live our lives, well, that's just not going to happen.

There are activities I know I'll never be able to do, like apply make-up.  I just don't have it in me.  I've tried and it's laughable.  I won't run a marathon. I'll never be a starving artist in a Parisian attic apartment. I won't have 'Doctor' in front of my name. And winning the lottery looks waaaay out of reach. So, here I wait, trying desperately to be patient. I wait for my knee to be 'normal' again to carry me better than it used to. I exercise, I read, I learn, I study, I PRAY, I love, I go out, I travel when we can, and I meet people....everywhere.

I know I cannot live without challenges or I become bored. I always say, that only boring people get bored. With each day, I try to learn something true. I learn even if it's a fact mentioned on a television show.

I know I cannot live well without people in my life, especially new ones! We may not become lifelong friends or even see one another again.  But the time we spend, when we spend it, can be a precious memory.

I have a girlfriend that has an open invitation to any holiday get-together or party at our house.   She has no family here and considers us her family now.  She recently had a party given in honor of a former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya. He and his wife and family were lovely people. Of course, I put the 'bug' in his ear to come home to the Faith in which he was raised. It came out of nowhere but as soon as I knew he'd been away, I just blurted it out. He didn't seem to mind and actually, though surprised, he seemed to be considering it.

While everyone is having a great time, Kenyans, Ugandans, and a few Americans, their little grand-daughter comes to me as I 'chair-danced' and places her tiny hands on my breasts.

         "You have big t..t...t.." struggling and searching for the word.

         "Teetees." The Ambassador's wife helped her with her observation.

I've never been called out by a 3-year old before. I genuinely laughed as she pointed out her grandma's teetees were big, too, but that grandma's belly was bigger than mine! So many mixed reactions at that, my head was spinning. Children always bring me joy with their honesty!

We had the greatest conversation as we sat together, of tragedies, and of triumphs, of personal heartaches, and of joys. Let me remind you, that we'd known each other for 2 hours, by then.

My point is that you never know who you will meet and how they will affect your life or, you, their lives. I felt so close to everyone I'd met that we all hugged and promised to meet again, left with invitations, blessings, and fond farewells. "Grandma" made sure to give me her card and I do plan to stay in touch. She is doing great work in fighting against FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) which is common and still practiced in many countries.

In less than a day, I learned much about a proud culture, yet still know so little about it. My background may not even include Kenya OR Uganda. People think Africa and see only one continent with all the same kind of peoples and culture. I'm guessing there is no other continent with such a mixture of languages, peoples, music, dances, and landscapes. I recently learned that there are 68,000 languages in the world. I'm guessing again that half of those are in Africa, alone!

What did this spark? Now, violin lessons aren't enough for me. I'll be brushing up on my Spanish conversation and any other language that intrigues me. I'm increasing my exercises as I heal. I will narrow my interest in the 5 books I'm trying to read to ONE and finish it! I will continue to learn and change our diet to a healthier, nutrient-rich one that won't only tickle the tastebuds but make us feel better. I'll be with my church ladies knitting and crocheting shawls for the elderly and ill. And, I'm still working on this 'hair project' which doesn't require lots of effort. I love that! Then there's this blog-posting-thingie.  I'm enjoying being able to focus long enough to do this.

Meanwhile, I hope this encourages someone to take up the gauntlet and get out there. Learn. Do. Act. Sing. Dance. Paint. Read. Play. Live. Love. Be. This isn't a dress rehearsal.

Until we meet again here, giving thanks for every day I wake up and hoping all feel that way! Have a greatly blessed rest of the week!

Friday, June 28, 2013


Everyone's been there who owns an electronic gadget of some sort. 

Why does everything need repair or reconfiguration, or whatever, all at the same time?

Part of my Reboot is simplfying life, as you may have read elsewhere here.

Farewell, iAnything!

I don't have the patience or the ambition to work with applications and toys that I'm not going to use steadily or need in my life to improve it.  Therefore, I have a simple inexpensive cell phone that texts and calls.  I own a camera.  I have maps. I don't need my phone to speak to me and call me Sexy because I have other people around to do that. Kidding. I don't need to be alerted to do or not do something by a machine.  I have a watch and a slightly malfunctioning but mostly stable brain. I have a stereo so I can share the music with others and enjoy 'it at the same time and not through waxy 'buds'.

I get that people are actually getting good use out of some of the products.  What I don't get is how we are being conditioned to believe that we need them.

Sitting in a waiting room recently, I looked around, as I do.  Never made eye contact.  Do you know why?  Because out of the 5 people there, including me, 4 were mesmerized by their cellphones.  Important health information was being played on the television and not one looked up. 

I was elated when a man came in with a bag and actually pulled out a book to read!  I wanted to hug him!  I didn't.  I like to think I could have.

I once saw a woman, brushing her hair, looking in the mirror, talking on her cellphone (at her ear), and DRIVING.  She belongs in a Circus if she can accomplish that and not run her car up a telephone pole!

I was speaking to a child the other day about the need for security.  He was holding a pillow.  I assured him it was alright to have that to make him feel secure.  I told him about security blankets which led to what I'm seeing now. I see insecure adult hands that NEVER release their phones, not for a nanosecond.  I've seen them in public restrooms!  What call, text, game, or 'memo' is that important? (I mean, besides Candy Crush.)  They are among the group I, respectfully, refer to as ATMS (There's a double meaning to this!).  They are Afraid They'll Miss Something. The irony is they are missing out on the world around them while they stare at a screen.  It's drawing them in and shutting the world out, and saying at the same time, that it's connecting them to the world.


What a waste of our limited time on Earth and money!

Back to my own frustrations with modern technology engineered to make me want to cry...I have a new printer!

The old one, apparently, had a shelf-life.  Who knew? It copies, it faxes, it scans, it prints, it slices, it dices, it breaks up with your boyfriend for you, it attaches to the web and prints app pages for you on a schedule, if you like!  I don't like.  I don't like at all.  In fact, I hate it and I hardly ever use that word.

I want a phone that takes and makes calls.  I want a car to get me from Point A to B.  I want food that I don't have to consult a dictionary to know what's in it.  I want a PRINTER THAT PRINTS! 

And World Peace. (blink-blink)

So far, that's been the only problem.  I figured out the copying, even double-sided.  I know how to replace the ink cartridges, add paper, but this puppy won't print for anything.  Upset?  You bet I am.  For days I've been praying for patience and been tested more than I have in a long while.

Final results?  Verizon says I need a new router.  It's 'skipping'. I'm glad one of us is having fun. I wish I was skipping off some of this tension. 

So, don't look to me for the latest and greatest toy developed by an engineer who is working on the next latest greatest to sell me by Christmas.  I'm already Sprint's biggest nightmare.  I'm a woman without extreme needs or made-up desires on a Reboot.


Reboot Challenge? Unplug for a few hours or even a whole day, and enjoy the peace and quiet.


I am one who will own my errors.  Today, we were lost having forgotten town map and without GPS. That just means I must remember to replace maps in our vehicles.

You still won't make me yours, Sprint! Bwaaahhahahahahahaha!

Paula, Paula, Paula

Tsk...tsk...tsk. I don't what to say. 

Yes, I do.

If I had what Paula Deen has you couldn't catch up with me because the last place I'd want to be is in a studio cooking!

Everyone is up in arms about racially-insenstive comments (and suggestions) that Paula Deen of The Food Network made...oh, I have no idea when. 

What's the problem?  Why would she lose so many contracts, left and right?

I have no preconceived notions about this woman.  I watched her shows from the very beginning and know her story, well.  (She referenced it quite a few times.) She came from nothing and grew an empire because she learned to cook from her Aunt Peggy, et al.  Nothing wrong with that.  It's the American Dream. 
Everyone followed her like she was made of gold, because she was!  Golden butter, yellow cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, and, if anything stood still long enough, it would be battered and deep-fried! Then Brother Bubba and her boys jumped on the bandwagon with his oysters and it was ON!

My husband began watching her show with me.  We found her mildly amusing, sometimes interesting, but mostly, I would sit and I'd take mental notes of recipes while Hubby drooled.

"That woman could KILL a man!", he exclaimed once.  That was my light bulb moment.  I want my husband to live!

So, I would 'tweak' the recipes to suit us, of course. Sometimes, I'd go all out on Holidays or occasional Sunday and make it exactly how she showed her audience. I can't say it didn't taste really good.

My problem with Paula Deen is not what she's said or done.  Look.  The woman was raised a long time ago in the Southern States of the U.S. around racists, bigots, whatever, during a time when African-Americans had little value, in their eyes.  Some were good friends to Blacks, some just friendly, some used us, some tolerated our presence on the planet, some 'stole' recipes from Blacks.  Whatever.  I expected actions like using the 'N-word' was going on in her personal life.  No biggie.  Didn't hurt my feelings at all.

It's how she was raised.  Kind of like whoever raised the woman in front of me in the theater tonight rubbing her bare feet on the back of the seat in front of her, playing with her toes, and rubbing and scratching at her foot.  Let's talk food!
I've BEEN to her restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.  The lines can circle the block with fat people dying (pun intended) to get it.  We, mistakenly, chose the trough, I mean, buffet for dinner. Everything tasted of salt. But it was Paula's and we were excited as we left past the gift shop.

We even tried Bubba's restaurant.  The food was better there and had just enough people, which meant the food was better there!

My problem is that for years Paula (being naive?) encouraged Americans to eat with MORE butter, MORE sugar, MORE salt, MORE fried, MORE dipped, MORE gravy, MORE MORE MORE!  That was the last thing we need in the Western World is to be told to eat more, and eat more food that'll kill you, eventually. The perfect storm.

I guess her radar never detected that there was a world outside of hers actually hungry and starving.  I'll leave that alone for now, except to say there's kids with cable television and no food in the house watching her and others like her.  That's gotta hurt.

She would enjoy the tastes of the food she made on the program like it was, well, porn.  It was funny yet disturbing at the same time to watch that.  She finally had to confess to the world that she'd developed diabetes.  Hm. 

Paula continued cooking.  She had African-American cooks on her show (in anticipation?).  She joked and played around as if to say, "See? I'm a good person! I like EVERYbody!) But in hushed tones told her boys not to think to bring a black woman home to marry.  That last part is a guess and hopefully, a wrong one.

I think Paula Deen encouraged poor health and for viewers to desire more of what they know is wrong for them.  Even as she began to cook lighter meals after the diabetes-bust, her own cravings didn't stop her from making and tasting desserts, etc.  It's her decision to obey or disobey her doctor's orders.  Her son went on to his own show during which he makes 'diet food' and challenges Mama if she likes it or not. She pretends to. His heart, I believe, is in the right place.  He wants her to live, of course!  If he can get on TV and help others, great.  But know that people are only watching because of her cameo appearances.

I believe people have been too hard on her in the press.  Her fans, however, are being too easy.  When I watch, for example, Jacques Pepin, I learn from him.  He uses the same ingredients, frequently, as Paula.  But he presents a beautiful, healthful, normal (read: smaller) portion of a meal that I think I'd enjoy more.  Paula, however, is literally 'feeding' into this slogan of "More is Better" we have here.  More's elder brothers and sisters are Bigger, Better, and Faster.  Perhaps, you've heard of them?  None of them get you where you want to be, in reality, but promise a lot.

Paula has become an extremely wealthy woman due to her personality and as a cook (not chef), which is fantastic.  This is the point when she should sit down somewhere or take a vacation and enjoy her life with her husband.  No one ever said she had to be like Rachael (Energizer Bunny) Ray and have 10 shows simultaneously, 5 books out every other month, create dog foods, sponsor everything, and have a talk show.  Relax.  Anything from this point on that Paula signs up for is exhibiting pride and vanity.  And we, Christians, all know neither has a worth in our lives.

I don't feel sorry for her and won't protest corporations that are dropping her like she burned down an orphanage. She has enough money.  She has a husband and a family.  She has fine homes and gets to travel the world.  Thinking of it, she has more than the larger population does but it just doesn't seem to be enough for her.  If it were, she wouldn't be all over the place with looking pitiful and tweeting and interviewing, and talking about much she's losing.

How much is enough, Paula?

But Paula's done nothing wrong, really.  If we each were fired everytime we said or did something stupid, the world would come to a halt.  I wish her blessings in her new endeavors which I hope don't include the spotlight.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Youth Is No Longer Wasted On the Young

Shockingly, I find myself on the 'skin-side' of a half of a century in chronological years, about 90 in physical years, but I feel so much younger in my heart and soul and spirit.  I feel like there are so many things left for me to do!  I want to jump out there and engage in opportunities to help, to aid, to CHANGE the World.

Those opportunities are presenting themselves everywhere, as I write.  And, young people are stepping up. God bless them!!

The beautiful part is that I believe they are able to accomplish goals in peaceful ways that older generations still haven't gotten a grip on or know how to approach in any other way than the OLD way.  The older generations are still saying, throw some money at it and fix it.  Shoot it.  Kill it. Put the fire out no matter who you have to hurt. They say, I just want mine and I care little for anyone else's needs.  They don't know how to react to peace. (What the heck is that? It makes me uncomfortable and nervous....Quick! kill it!)

The young are seeing this.  The young are more charitable and kinder than older people give them credit for being. They have loving hearts and will show that if you give them a chance. They want to help their fellow man. I'm sensing they are beginning to see the BIG picture, as my cousin says.  They know there's something wrong.  They know there is something missing from their lives.  They are just sometimes wrong about what that 'something' is that's missing.  It's not about money, or what money can buy, or how many friends you have on Facebook.  It's a longing for something not of this world. They have to remember this to stay focused.

Some societies are fighting now for what they think is freedom...and it may be...from fascist or dictatorial rule.  Good for them and I pray for their success.  But what usually happens in our world in trying to obtain that kind of freedom is it can lead to confusion, pain, sadness, losses, frustration, and despair.  The young are still willing, today, to take it on with courage even if it is without a plan.  Patience, Darlings, patience.

There are the up-close problems that affect loved ones like illnesses, accidents, and violence, as with Cipriana of whose boyfriend was brutally attacked by many cowardly men while walking with his twin brother in New York.  Please take time to watch this if you haven't seen it already.  Her frustration and pain is palpable: 

And please sign their petition to bring some type of justice to these types of situations which pass by as if it didn't happen many times.  Here is the link with the full story: 

Meanwhile on larger scales, young people are not being heard by their governments and are being lied to and constantly having their intelligence insulted, and Human Rights violated.  The new reports are of more problems here in the U.S., in Turkey, and now, in Brazil. Because they want to talk, they are hurt.  In many other countries, because they want to eat they are hurt.  Why is that always the result of opening your mouth? 

I pray for their safety as they avoid weapons but take up their crosses...and they are doing just that, in order to be heard.  That is all anyone really wants is to have their needs acknowledged, followed by a sincere discussion, with those in charge, to work out Peace and compromise. Do you understand that, Mr. Erdogan?

Coincidentally? Pope Francis' General Intention in prayer this week is,

"That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among peoples."

The Youth of today have the energy, the heart, the brains, and the drive to effect positive changes given the opportunity.  Time to pass on the torch and remove this Culture of Death.  If they have any chance of success, it will be with Angels guiding them, leading them to it, if it is for the GOOD.  I have to state, though, if it's more of a push for Secular Humanism, none of us have a chance. I believe that's the wrong track. Many, unfortunately, don't understand what 'good' really means and from where it originates.

That is my belief that stems from my Faith as a Christian.  Keep in mind, there have been times when all the major religions lived peacefully among each other.  Will we ever see that? I wonder and I pray that God's Will is done, which is nothing less than Good and Peace and Love. For the sake of upcoming generations.

I leave you with a prayer we should recite daily, however, we worship:

"For the poor, the sick, the lonely, the hungry, the homeless, those who are unemployed, those suffering from addictions, and those who have no one to pray for them:  that God in His mercy will draw close to them and rescue them." (

Bless all the Dad's today on Father's Day, living, and those who watch over and pray for us from above.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

As I Tweeted, the Definition of Irony is watching CNN live coverage of the Taksim Square Protests and Riot Police water-cannons, fireworks, and yelling suddenly going deathly quiet except for the beautiful PEACEFUL Call to Prayer that happens 5 times a day in Istanbul in the background.  The voice sings (translated) "God is Great", "Come to prayer".

The Square had since been evacuated by tons of tear-gas fired at demonstrators, who actually began quite peacefully, to dispute the building of a shopping complex in a spot young people gather, is historically relevant, and has a few trees left for them to enjoy in the city.  It was almost like a University Sit-In.

It quickly escalated to a point where there are demands for the Prime Minister to step down, for a more secular state, for freedoms that are being taken away like to peacefully protest, and that the People's Voice, being largely ignored, is heard.  As much as I respect and admire the courage it is taking for young people, of all professions, to do what they are doing, I question the wisdom, timing, and planning of it.  There are even people in the US and UK "sympathy-protesting" who can't see the 'end' of or even speculate how it will end.  It will become worse before it gets better for the Turks, but not for the protesters in the US or UK.  We'll all be O.K.

On one hand, nothing has ever changed in politics or with a government, rather, without a group being brave enough to cause some trouble to make that change.  On the other hand, as with the Occupy Wall Street Movement, if you have no real plan for what happens if you don't (or, particularly, DO) get what you are fighting for then you could truly being going from the frying pan into the fire, or just fizzle out (Occupy Wall Street reference).  If it's this much of a debate in my own head over this, how can anything be settled with many who are of different minds, altogether?  You can't satisfy everyone.

The Prime Minister Erdogan is not a President and Turkey is not the U.S.  It appears to be a cross-breeding of a Democracy that cannot be understood and has no real manual of operation. Now the response to that may  The U.S. is a little spotty these days and not looking so democratic, free, and lovely.  But, it's still better than the alternative.  We are pre-teenagers compared to the rest of the countries who are mature enough to have worked all this out over the past few thousand years.

HOWEVER, hear me out. 1) Ergodan WAS elected by at least 50% of the population three times.  2) They say he has helped the Turkish economy to improve and  3) He has much support in the country (especially as long as No. 2 remains true!) which makes it VERY difficult to make him out to be a bad guy.  Good thing he's really really good at doing it all on his own. 

In calling the demonstrators basically a rag-tag group of criminals, looters, and illegal protesting losers, sending out policemen to attack the civilians in a knee-jerk violent manner, he has not exactly made himself look good in the eyes of the World.  He made the number one mistake of one in a powerful position.  He underestimated his opponents.  His only concession tonight has been to allow people to remain in Gezi Park (for now) but tear-bombed them out of the Square.  Legitimate protesting in a democratic society, who elected their leader, is (or should be) an action that can take place without threats.  But what Constitution exists to allow this?  Even our own hasn't protected us from what many perceive as wrongdoings.

Again, nothing changes without those who are willing to sacrifice to effect that change.  Tonight, they remain there in the dark, in the park, with no real direction but lots of wants, frightened, confused, but determined.

Our country has not had this type of thing happen in a loooooong time.  Do you want to know why?  I believe the reason is because we really don't care and we don't want to be hurt.  As long as our family and our 'stuff ' are left alone, we just don't care.  It's been a couple of generations since we've had something to stand we sit....on the couch...until someone ticks us off directly.  Then we change the channel to see who is doing something about it on TV, criticizing them strongly if they don't handle it the way we would.  If we cared.

Even though the days brought people together in the Square with music and dancing, food, medical aid, vendors selling food/gasmasks/goggles, and a peaceful setting, almost like Woodstock without the weed and mushrooms.  The night brought strangeness, strangers, fear, anxiety, anger, and frustration.  I've heard the police/government had their own people increasing the violence to make it look as if it were the original demonstrators doing it. Just something I heard, but if the photo out there is real, there is a man throwing a Molotov Cocktail and the police are spraying a water cannon next to him.  Not on him. Next to him. Whatever.

It's so easy to fall into a Mob Mentality as the sun goes down.  You can fight.  You can call people names. You can throw rocks.  You can throw Molotov Cocktails.  You can run and hide.  You are anonymous in the dark.  We see it after sports events with drunk fans all of the time. Evil works so well without Light.

I think, sometimes, that's why the Internet works so well, too.  You can comment, say racist, horrible, mean, ignorant and awful things behind an avatar.  I've read comments on general articles and interviews that would make me cry if I didn't know better.

Stay in the Light because the Sun does come up in the morning. Love All, and Pray for guidance, for Peace for All, and for us to hear each other and, more importantly, the whispering Voice of God.

Meanwhile, no one likes a Bully.  The World is watching to see how this finishes but will lose interest with the next breaking news item.

Update:  Demonstrators not leaving, it's raining teargas on them and news crews. Sigh.

Friday, June 7, 2013

What Is Love?

I recently saw a Facebook post from my cousin, Belinda.  I know this happened to her because I've witnessed the beautiful loving relationship she has with her husband.  She says, " Love is humming a song and he finishes it". 

I read that a lady allowed an elderly lady to step in front of her in a grocery line, a loving action. That 84-year old lady, of course, purchased the winning lottery ticket that the younger one would have if she hadn't let her go first, but...Oh, well! The encouraging part is that she says she has no regrets.  That is love.

Another expression was a recollection of a priest on last night.  Father Jeffrey Kirby, STL, @FatherKirby and (, stated that his clearest memory as a child was being picked up after school with his sister by his mother.  He sat in the car wondering which girl was going to be his girlfriend as most 4th graders tend to do.  The thought then came that if all of them were, then he could love them all.  How sweet is that! This was the beginning of his vocation as a priest, believe it or not. What they do as shepherds is love everyone. And watch it.  I take my religion very seriously and won't tolerate horrible responses about priests.  They are human and susceptible to sin like everyone else. But the ones that are able to resist temptation, and there are more, are truly good priests, and full of love for all.  Even those who attack the Church.

Policemen get a bad reputation for what they do and how they do their job.  But on the side of the cars I grew up looking at, the slogan read "To protect and serve".  I may get a lot of flack for this but I believe most of them are simply trying to do just that.  My dearest cousin, James, and a lovely woman, Dana are with Police Departments.  One is out there in one of the worst city these days, Chicago, trying 'to protect and serve'. Knowing they are out there and praying everyday for them and all earthly protectors, I know they do it out of love.  Whether, James will acknowledge it is another story.  It's gotta be tough in that field.  If anyone wants to talk about them, they have to deal with ME.

Another relative, my nephew, James Dean, a Fireman/EMT, is sent out on the spur of the moment to save drowning children, stroke, heart attack or accident victims, victims of violent crimes, or to extinguish fires consuming family homes, apartments, or businesses.  He is among the bravest and the most caring of vocations. (And, really, have you ever seen an 'ugly' fireman.  They are all so tall and strong and good-looking! All the ladies notice it. It must be a job requirement or....Oh, where was I?) Yes. There is something there that makes them go out and put themselves, like policemen, in direct danger, in order to save someone.  Each time they have a call, it could be real or it could be a set-up by some crazy person or gang.  I think of these things.  In fact, years ago, Father Remo DiSalvatore, a former priest of our parish with dear Father Martin Schratz, (now in the Bronx at Immaculate Conception) once stopped in the middle of a Mass when he heard a siren outside.  He had us all pray a 'Hail Mary'. I've been doing this ever since whenever I hear a siren.  I stop whatever I'm doing or saying and pray for the victims and for those going to help.  God bless them. And, as for the priests, again, here's a story of how they truly love in Jesus' name and helped a 5-year old cancer victim. I love Capuchin Franciscans with a special part although as I love all God's servants who give their lives for God and us.

Nurses give their time, yes, for pay, but you know the ones who truly care about what they do. They are patient, attentive, kind, friendly, and yes, loving, toward their patients. You can feel it from them at your weakest, when you are ill. They are angels that visibly walk the Earth and show love. They are among the few on the planet who want to see you well and help you get there.

My daughter travelled from Istanbul to the U.S for a week, just to see me as I had knee surgery and to care for me while she was here.  That's love. I've been seen at my worst by my husband. He's seen me with a swollen red bumpy frog face from Shingles and guided me with double vision and other weirdness from the MS, but has always been more concerned about my level of pain or discomfort and cares for me like no other nurse could. And I love nurses as you can probably tell! Still his level of love is one that I can compare with no other one but God's. It's unconditional and I thank God for that and for every caregiver.  It takes a lot of love to be a caregiver, to sacrifice, especially to love someone and see them suffer with very little you can do to make pain go away.  You can't get a better view of the joys and pains than from seeing this woman's book.

You see, love comes in so many forms in life.  It's more than loving your immediate family or family pet.  It's important to me to show love to everyone I meet and see in the World.  I hope it shows.  It's Christ in me and in others, if you look.  And He IS Love. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

What is "Normal"?

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and Mom's here for dinner to celebrate Memorial Day with us.  Hubby's not home yet so we sit and chat, listen to music, and laugh at silly things.

I begin to laugh uncontrollably as I realize many things are happening at once.  I'm thumbing through a Woman's World magazine, slumped over a chair in the living room comfortably.  Mom's in another comfy chair.  We are both listening to and suddenly singing with Jimi Hendrix.  My 70-year old Mom plays air guitar from her chair and states, "I should have been a guitar player!".  I agree.  We continue singing "FOXY LADIEEEEE!" She then announces, "I should have joined a rock band!".  I agree.  And we laugh. 

I have been raised by one of the kindest and funniest, weirdest women you'd ever want to meet.  She is intelligent, worldly, and hilariously silly at times.  That's what we all like about her.  The oddest things can come out of her mouth at the oddest moments.  Normal? Nah! And I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

My brother was the same but had a more sarcastic nature in his humor.  I miss him terribly. Him normal, though? No way! And he was a fascinatingly talented creature!  He made me think that normal was boring and stagnating when I was younger.

Today is a day to remember those we miss and those we've all lost in one way or another, and those we don't even know but we lost them in active duty serving our country. 

Everyday I pray for their souls.  Today, they all get extra and more detailed prayers. 

I've noticed so many disturbing events in the news, i.e. kidnapping, decapitating, 'almost' wars/conflicts, and threats to the innocent that I feel we should all be doubling and tripling our prayers for mercy and for the fear and hatred among us to dissolve away like dew under the morning sun.  That's my morning prayer.  I offer all my pains and sufferings, prayers, good happenings, love, works, joys up to God for the day and for his blessings to be dispersed wherever they are needed.  And, BOY, are they needed these days!

Normal days are rare, now.  They are so rare that I'm now happy to turn on the television news and hear about a puppy that was found or a funny YouTube video going viral. I used to laugh at the lack of 'real' news. Now, I'll take that over a woman stabbing her ex-boyfriend almost 30 times, cutting his throat, and shooting him in the HEAD! Now, I think we can all agree, that's not normal.

What happens behind closed doors of our neighbors, we don't know.  When we see them occasionally in their driveways or on the street, they seem normal.  But what do we know?  They could have 3 women locked in their basement for the past 10 years as I read in the news recently.

So do we continue to seek 'normal' or accept that it may no longer exist?  How comfortable are we with the fact that 'normal' may be an extinct concept?

Personally, I prefer to think that most people are normal and kind and funny when they are relaxed, and willing to reach out to others in need.  I live that way joyfully and in prayer until others prove me wrong. 

That sounds kind of abnormal, doesn't it?