Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Is Not an Unlucky Number

Responses to past questions in no particular order from ya'll:

Never played Angry Birds, but I do know what it is.  (I got a smart phone for Christmas, unasked for, and I am sure I will not play Angry Birds on it.  I am hoping I can just figure out how to make calls!)  The Angry Birds game in the post below was a lego-like game without the great Lego engineering behind it.

I do not know what Google Reader is and glad that I have 117 followers there--so should I shoot for 150 now?  How can I not know  about this stuff?

Regarding the malware issue, I deleted the html link from my side bar to another blogger and deleted the html link in my post to the same blogger and that got rid of my malware issue.  I still cannot go there to read her posts and I love her blog very much, so this is very frustrating!  I will try again soon.

I also cannot leave a comment on Murmurrs and I love her blog to death as well!!  I log in as Google reader, I log in as anonymous, nothing works.  I seem to have resolved The Chubby Chatterbox issue.  WILL YOU ALL PLEASE JUST STAY PUT!

On the bright side, 2013 is going to be a great year for us all...I just KNOW THAT!






Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reviewing

The holiday was very nice this year.  One of those perfect ones where no one is sick, no one is grumpy, and no one has an agenda.  I will treasure it.


We got soft fuzzy things to hug, for me it was a bathrobe.



We got stuff to put on our head.


With or without tags, we really look cool.


Anyone for a game of Quidditch?


The adults got a little angry over assembly of Angry Birds.


Sometimes it was a little overwhelming.


Sometimes little animals friends went to hide under the furniture.


But it ended with the best double birthday party!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Follow Me!

All I want for Christmas (among other things money cannot buy) is 100 followers.  I am close!

I guess my blog is now safe from the malware notice that I got this morning??? I will let others know on the other blog if I get no problems later today.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Posting...or Not

I have been having trouble posting comments on a few blogs.   Murmurrs and Butler and Bagman to name two.  This may have been going on for some time because I assumed my comments were going through and I did not go back to read what I had written.  The other day I had wanted to add something and found that none of my posts were being accepted, at least to these two and maybe others.  I know that coding is becoming more individualized by bloggers, but does anyone know about this bug, and if so, found a solution?  (I tried IE and deleted all the cookies and that worked.  Mozilla is still being temperamental.  I am so depressed that all my wit and wisdom was for not lost in the Interknot!)

Now I find that Loose Leaf Notes is being blocked for Malware or something or other,no matter which broswer I use!  Sorry Colleen but Google will not let me comment!  Two bloggers forward and one backward.  Maybe this is a Mayan thing after all?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Godlessness Be Damned

As we get closer to a God-filled holiday, I am surprised, although I certainly should not be, at how many God-less situations are being pointed out to me by God-filled experts. The most recent being a justification for tragedies in schools and universities because they are God-less bastions of compromising lifestyles and philosophies, and the next at the funerals of some of the school victims where church-goers were protesting their Godlessness.


As my readers know I am not a religious person. I am not an agnostic or an atheist either. I am someone on a journey always looking for God-fullness and answers in religious and non-religious events alike.  I do not see God in my likeness but as a magnificent power or energy inside all living things, yet I do not see myself as a pantheist. I would never have the hubris to point out places where God does not exist.   But I am bold enough to say that I think God is goodness and God is everywhere.  God is the quiet and tiny.   God is sometimes the bold and loud. God is ALWAYS EVERYWHERE and we abandon God, God does not abandon us.  I do not think God is an evangelist demanding loyalty and creating punishment for those who stray.  We create our own punishment.  God is the softest act you will ever know seducing you into loyalty.  He is like the poet's (Autry) son who in his autistic struggle in this world caught not one but dozens of butterflies and hummingbirds in his child-hands in slow wonderment, named them and then set them free in love.

I see IT/God in the face of a child whose life was shortened by violence. I see IT in the eye of the whale. I see IT in the dance of youth at a party. I see IT in the hands of a nurse removing blood streaked gloves. I see IT in the bent and gnarled body of an old woman crossing the street. I see IT in all the music that man has created and invented. I see this power for goodness in the poetry I read. I see it in all the colored lights we string and all the candles we light when man celebrates any God-filled holiday anywhere in the world.  For that brief moment we concentrate outside ourselves.   I also see God in the anger and discouragement of mankind.  IT is hidden inside behind the fire waiting to be seen. 

I see IT when we sigh and forgive ourselves for our mistakes each year and promise ourselves a better year.  There sits God deep inside our soul waiting for us to recognize IT and not give up hope.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Got Your Attention, Didn't It?

I have had a mild infection that I have been unable to shake for weeks and I finally demanded help from a local Physicians Assistant since my doctor (well THAT is a whole other story) will be fired by me this month.  I am now on a drug that has the following uses:

"is used to prevent anthrax (a serious infection that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack) and  is also sometimes used to prevent or treat travelers' diarrhea and plague (a serious infection that may be spread on purpose as part of a bioterror attack)."  Were these explanations on labels years ago?  Do the U.S. embassies have this in their stock?  It also has not one but two black box warnings from the FDA.  Whatever THAT means.  I kept thinking of black boxes in airplanes as I read this.

The tablets are accompanied by a rather dense brochure.  This drug also has the following dangers:  "sudden pain, snapping or popping sound, bruising, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or loss of movement in any of your joints."  It is that "snapping or popping sound" warning that makes me more than nervous in taking this.  No popcorn or fires in the fireplace tonight.

The above is, of course, in addition to a whole slew of possible reactions you would never want to happen to your worst enemy ever.

There, now aren't you feeling much, much better about your current problems?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Waves on the Water

This is how one email begain when I opened my inbox today:

This was a hard day telling Michael about what happened before knowing names. He is handling it well by asking thoughtful questions and knows that there are kids in heaven with Orazio(grandfather), Ricardo (horse), Elmo (fish), and his hermit crab.

Michael is the grandson of a friend of mine who just earlier that week attended a birthday party of one of the children who was killed in the tragedy at the elementary school and who also attended CCD (Catholic school) classes at his church taught by the mother of the same child.  The wife of my friend who sent this email, who is also a friend of ours, is a nurse and was at the hospital working with a father, a NICU Physicians Assistant who has save so many babies lives, when he learned that his daughter had been shot at the school.  This is the little blonde girl whose face has appeared in so many news stories.  These tragic waves keep on expanding.

This is such a tough holiday season for us all.  I took an unplanned trip up to see my grandchildren on Sunday...just to hug them and see them.

Early Warming?


It is totally amazing to me that I had roses to pick a few days ago to add to some Christmas decorations that are on my dining table.  I also noticed this morning that some trees are beginning to have small buds swelling in anticipation.  This is so frightening to me as I do think we must have some cold weather ahead.  If we do not, how odd spring will seem in early March!  Which plants will survive this change, which birds and insects will be caught off guard and flying around somewhere they should not be?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Words...just Words




You can ask why?  No one will give you an answer that makes any sense.
You can ask how?  No untangled web will lead to the path of what the pattern meant.
You can ask what next?  Take one step and then breathe and then take the next step and then breathe.
The breathing hurts, I know.  It is harsh and sharp.
The first step feels as if there is no ground beneath your foot.
You may fall, but pick yourself up.
Reach for that nearby hand, it is firm and warm.
Take the next step.
You are part of the tapestry of this life.
Your presence helps keep it all from unraveling.
You are important.  Please stay strong.

To the Rest of the World...We Are Not as Crazy as We Seem...Maybe.

(Note:  This event and the writing about it happened days before the Oregon tragedy.)

I had a list...somewhere...I thought...looking for that wrinkled yellow paper torn from my notepad and now lying hidden beneath a wallet, a small camera, hand lotion, a pocket calendar, and stale gum deep in the bottom of my purse.  I must use the list or I will kick into that addictive mode where I keep buying gifts for loved ones as if that could make them love me more or longer.  I MUST STICK TO THE LIST!

I look around the mall filled with dazed shoppers and resigned children carrying bags of all shapes and sizes.  Down the center of the mall are young minimum wage employees standing expectantly outside their kiosks wishing to dab something on my hand or allow me to play with some automated toy.  They stand intensely watching for potential customers or absently texting wishing they were anywhere but here before displays of woven scarves or silver jewelry or brightly colored cell-phone cases.  I silently say a prayer (to whomever) that they make it through the season with a little more money than they had hoped for.  They deserve some reward after spending days rubbing lotion on old ladies hands.

Sighing to myself,  I have given up on the list.  I do remember my son asking for shirts and sweaters in medium and I turn to hubby and direct him away from watching some flying toy toward the large department store at the very end of the mall.  It will be a trek and an obstacle course, but we will get there.

Surprisingly, the men's clothing section in the back of the store is not in total disarray.  Shelves are neat and reasonably full of stock.  Some of the sale prices are very good.  I peruse tables avoiding the cream cheese golf look and the expensive European brands and turn toward the edgier clothing to match my son's 'rock star' personality.  After all, he texted yesterday that he will be opening for Sublime with Rome...whoever in the hell they are!  Striped shirts with thin bright bands or shiny black buttons which I match to a more subdued but very soft pullover sweater are my selections.

As I turn toward the checkout a tall woman about my age is standing just to my left.  She turns to the (Indian/Pakistani?) girl behind the counter and asks if the shirt she is holding out is more blue or more purple.  The girl hesitates and then answers "Purple" with a distinct un-American accent.  Then the woman pulls up a bright lime green shirt, and looking at both the girl and I, asks if we think it is too bright.  The girl demures clearly not sure what answer her customer is looking for.

I think her question is naive, but I tactlessly respond.  "Depends on the personality of the man you are giving it to.  Is he bold with personality or more conservative?"   She doesn't answer but tucks the shirt under her arm and then turns to me again with the blue/purple shirt and asks if I think it is blue or periwinkle.  I want to explain that looking at colors under store lighting is very deceptive, but being the photographer that I like to think I am, I boldly state that it has a little more purple in it and is probably closer to periwinkle.

I place my selections on the counter and hand the girl my credit card.

"I do not know what color is periwinkle," she smiles as she begins to scan the bar codes of my selections.

The tall, solidly built woman approaches the counter behind my husband and I, and looks around the store commenting that there is a lot of stock that still has to be moved by the holidays.  I respond that I have seen some stores that do not seem to have so much inventory and appear to be playing it more carefully.

Hubby says something about the recession and something else that I do not hear about the economy as I finish my check-out.  The woman responds to him with some comment I miss and he looks at a loss for words.  I grab my bags of clothes and turn to leave as the woman leans in close to hubby's ear and says something to him in a low voice.

As we are leaving the store and out of her hearing, I ask him what she said.

He takes a deep breath, "When all the goodies are gone, just make sure you have your gun loaded and ready."

And yet, she had looked so absolutely normal.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Continuing with the Holidays

I have little to add this week as I am up to my eyes in Christmas wrapping paper and there seems to be various amounts of scotch tape in my hair that I cannot get out.  I have misplaced the scissors once again yet I know they are somewhere here on the floor where I am sitting under tags and ribbons and boxes.  I refuse to get up and look around, because at my age getting up off the floor requires and Act of Congress and I find it almost impossible to get back down again.

Speaking of Congress no one from there sent me a single Christmas card!  And I did send a number of those folks money this past year.  But I got a 'BUNCH' of cards from the White House--each time asking me for money and I thought my candidate of choice had won that election?  Anyway, I thought I would share two of my favorites that came in the mail.  No matter who is in office I always love their pets!



Friday, December 07, 2012

The Annual Visitor

There it sits with patience, or is it insolence, in a dark corner of the basement.  Plastic green sheeting with bright red handles protects it from dust and mice droppings.  Every year it gains weight.  What does it eat down here?  It has melded into its little corner with such fossilized determination and like a big fat dog it fights our every tug and pull to break it free from other large unidentifiable objects.

Finally it falls between us with a soft whoosh like a beached green whale just inches from our toes.  Hubby lifts the heavy end and I lift the other heavy end.  We both grunt and groan and wonder if we really want to do this.  Every year we put off the task until we reach a tipping point in time.  The lump gets bumped and dragged past the covered unused dining room table, past the antique doll house and over the threshold toward the stairs.  This is where we wipe our brows and put our courage to the sticking place.  At our age this could be a life or death decision.

With hands tightly grabbing canvas and stitched pulls we drag it ever so slowly over each wooden step up to the main floor using our (my) body weight to prevent it from running back down the stairs and taking me with it.  At the main level it is like a heavy dust mop as we pull it down the hallway.  It accordians various throw rugs until it reaches the designated place: the bay window.  This means we no longer have a place to eat breakfast.

We should feel successful at this juncture, but an even greater effort and struggle awaits us our expended energies.  We catch our breath.

Hidden in the dense plastic branches, there are green tips to match green holes, red tips to match red holes and black tips which are impossible to see to match anything.   Then buried deeper in the darkness of the plastic pine needles, there are numerous male and female plugs, so many that we have never been able to count them all.  One year long ago when I was determined I labeled them AA, BB, CC, DD.  We have never again found the DDs in the dense green.  There is one string of lights that no longer lights (perhaps related to the DDs) and we must add our own little string across that area.

After an hour in which we do not swear because it IS the holiday season, we have a perfectly symmetrical plastic tree in place.  It does not smell of pine, but smells of age and mildew, a perfect tree for old people.  We tweak the ends of various wire branches turned inward like the bowed head of a timid dog that has been subdued by its master and does not want to be here.  Then we decorate each branch in red and gold glass ornaments because it is an adult tree with sophistication and no whimsy as all the family ornaments have been given to the children now that they have their own homes. 

Once it is lit sharing all its glory we remember why we go through this every year.  It cleans up pretty good and so does my floor!


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Action vs Reaction

Continuing on a theme from the prior post.

This is why (not really) that I no longer go to church.  I wonder what the parishioners' "helping the poor" programs are like, because in spite of their misinterpretation of that quote from the Bible, Jesus did preach that we help the poor.  Do they offer free gun training or free ammunition to poor families at Christmas?  It reminds me of the dorm at the Colorado University that was set aside this year for students who wanted to bring their guns to college.  Keeping a concealed weapon is so important to learning.  No one signed up, which gave me hope that we were not returning to the uncivilized wild west where we must be ready to defend ourselves daily using violence.  There are those who live in fear of almost everything and need to stock up on food, water, guns and prayer with the belief that victory goes to those who are prepared for the very worst.  There are those who feel there is a master plan of which we are a small part or if no master plan is unfolding, then we must accept that each day is an energy of events and we can control it to a small extent by the way we live our lives.  But the greater control we have is how we react over time to what happens to us.  You know which one I am.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Tis the Season to Blow a Kiss

Up to 57% Off Concealed-Handgun  -  Permit Class

"A bullet travels at hundreds of miles per hour, much like a beam of light or a kiss blown by Paul Bunyan. Work on your quick-draw skills with this Groupon."

( Found in my "Groupon" email this morning.)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Ticky, Tacky Taste.


(In a pink fog mood.)

So my cold decides to stay a  little longer and that means that bacteria bring trunks of stuff and move in to keep the cold company.  Therefore, I am now on antibiotics.  The cough has reduced in duration and size, but the medicine I am taking to move these hanger on cells has given me tummy rumbles that are not wise to endure in polite company.  I am staying under cover for a day or two more and have now finished both books that I was reading.  Hubby is gone to babysit while I am bored and turn to TV.

Some  of my choices are:

The Shopping Channel
Ink Masters
Storage Wars
Pit Bulls and Parolees
SurvivorMan
Celebratory Ghost Stories
Redneck Island
Deadly Women
Amish Out of Order


Honey Boo Boo doesn't come on until another time, so I didn't list it, and there are bunches of 'housewives and wh++es' shows that feature plastic/saline enhanced women wearing skin tight clothes who spend too much of their time drinking and shouting at each other in expensive restaurants...shows that only a very lost soul would consider entertainment.  Even at death's door I would not invite these people into my home. (And people think the Hunger Games is a fantasy.)  Many times I turn to BBC, Aljazeera or RT (Russia Today) or MHz network for a fresh air change in news and re-runs. 

Main stream shows are interspersed with tasteless ads about some beautiful celebrity using expensive perfume and then having men chase her through the rain soaked streets of some European city while her diamonds and clothes drip away.  The next ad is developed with great Christmas spirit when a handsome young man shows up at the Holiday decorated house of his well-to-do parents and goes looking for them while they sneak out the back door and steal his fancy new car and go on a road trip laughing as they get traction on the snow.  This ad may be followed by a family being persuaded to go on a holiday cruise by a sea shell.  Yes, a sea shell!  Perfume, cars, cruises...all of the things that families will be buying this year I am sure, the 2% at least.  We are so tasteless, tacky and tawdry sometimes that I am embarrassed for us. 

At least I have Bill Moyers on PBS and that dignified costume drama on BBC starting in a few weeks.

Do you think this time in our culture will go down as the lowest in years or am I just not aging well?