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.