Thursday, March 27, 2014


I used to feel I wanted to be touched.
I waited for not only the physical whispering touch
on the palm of my hand,
but the sweeping touch on my heart,
and the powerful touch on my mind.

The touch that would make me swallow my breath,
give me flight
to soar over the universe
and see all and conquer all
and understand all.

The touch that made me into


The touch 
Kindling a fire that never failed to
burn bright and white hot
for its brief time.

The touch that reduced the impossible
to possible.

The years now trail politely behind me
offering only faint memories of smoke and ash
and little warmth, with a few glowing coals
as I walk away
to meet the not so distant future.

This is the time in my exploration
of the universe
I realize that
I want to be that touch.

I want to electrify,
to be the contingency in others before I die.

I want to punch potency
into others hearts and minds.
I want to send them up on a
spiraling cloud of heat rising
to see the universe with new eyes
and new possibilities.

My ego
Wants them to remember my touch
when they face their not so distant future.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

On the Turn of a Dime!

Spring began to venture into our neck of the woods this weekend.  On the turn of a dime it went from 40F to 70F in a matter of hours.  And with that dime still turning, I persuaded hubby to go on a small hike with me.  We selected a nature preserve that was a long drive from home, but we like looking out the car window, anyway.  Below is where we sat, at the end of a small 1.5 mile hike, at the end of the trail to eat our lunch of granola bars, jerky and apples that had been thrown carelessly into the back pack.  Yes, the ground was prickly and stickery, but I managed to enjoy the first real day of a spring hike in spite of the pine needle floor.

The hike back was quick so we decided to also stop at nearby state park on the bay.  There were others with dogs and kids and all other enjoying this first spring day.  The two in the photo below were probably looking for sharks teeth.

This beach walk was also short so we headed into the seaside town for a Thai-French dinner at an award winning restaurant we had discovered a few years ago.  It was never a disappointment.  I had red curry and hubby had a shrimp noodle special.  We started with wine and spring rolls and glowed like two lovers on a spring day chatting away with three other diners at the next table.

As we left the restaurant, I decided on the turn of a dime, to drive around the little town.  We followed a small road past the central church toward the waters edge where an old dock had not survived the test of time.  An osprey had returned to build his nest and the sun glowed through the clouds with such loving reward, I took more photos.

Then since it was late and we had almost two hours to get back home we regretfully got back in the car and set out GPS for home.  As often happens with technology leading the way, we tend to daydream more than hurry.  About an hour into our trip we had to slow down as several cars were pulled to the side of the road and the cars ahead of us, those that did not pull over, were pumping their brakes and flashing brakes lights.   A young couple were sauntering beside the road, the girl on the phone and the man carrying her purse and other items.  From their demeanor, one figured they had not a care in the world.

Once the cars ahead of us moved past below is what we saw.

We did not stop to assist as so many before had already lined the road.  We hurried by so that we would not be involved in some tank explosion.  The young couple had their day completely changed, on the turn of a dime yesterday.  And, yet, they have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Horse is Now Dead

Not to beat a dead horse on women's rights but...regarding equal pay for equal work:

"...Beth Cubriel, executive director of the Texas Republican Party weighed in further on the issue. “Men are better negotiators, and I would encourage women, instead of pursuing the courts for action, to become better negotiators,” I agree with Ms. Cubriel that women need to be better negotiators as our culture does not make it easy for a woman to take a more aggressive stance at the table, but that is NOT the reason for the pay disparity in the early years of a woman's career.  I think women are excellent negotiators, but they do it far more well for others than for themselves.

"You don't deserve equal pay on the merits, you just need to find out you're being discriminated against, then argue your way into equal pay. That is totally a sustainable solution that in no way privileges a certain class of women who can negotiate their wages or even find out they're being discriminated against and is way more efficient and effective than just paying workers the same amount for the same job regardless of their sex!"  I think this was the counter argument.

A most recent study proved that across ALL professions except for humanities, women are 20% behind in pay after their FIRST year of employment right after getting their college degree.  This is before they get married, have babies, and even have time to negotiate for a raise which are the various reasons given for not paying women as much.  This gap increases from 80 cents on the dollar to 70 cents on the dollar in some professions as the years go by even after controlling for variables such as part time work, lack of experience, etc..  Women are left struggling to pay their college loans with less income and permanently behind the economic spectrum and being blamed for not really negotiating well?

This reminds me of my friend who was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy decades ago.  He felt that women did not belong in the Navy because the minute they show up aboard ship they affect morale and command because they flirt.  Really?  Female engineers graduating from the Academy have a flirting problem?  Well, men harass sexually and even rape, which I do feel affects morale and command structure, so that makes it even in my book.  (Not really, just trying to be snide.)  

This war is ongoing and women (and their men) are going to have to stand up and demand fair treatment, whether it is a promotion or an honest criticism of their work, but it has to be fair and transparent.   Thank goodness I am married to a fair and hard working man that agrees with me and sees this disparity and wants his daughter to get a fair chance in her career.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Maybe a Rerun?

I have just spent the better part of this early morning (4:30 A.M.) looking through my past posts to see if I ever blogged about my last day of junior high school.  I am sure that I wrote about this, but being rather casual about blog labels and being more cryptic than necessary with blog post titles, I could not find it.  Therefore, today you are in for a re-run.

I was reminded of my last day of junior school because of some of the comments in my prior post.  Some readers wondered why I was so passive in those situations.  Perhaps, some of it had to do with my being brain tired at the time, maybe I was a little intimidated by the elevated position of each of these rude men, but I actually think it was a more practical decision,  a decision of picking ones battles carefully.  I would not have changed them or the world much by a female outburst.  Remember those scenes in the bar where one man gets accidentally bumped by another and then the bumped man confronts the other man with a snarl and in-your-face response?  Well, the snarling one is the one who always comes off looking like the idiot or the ego-centric oaf while the person who did the bumping comes off as being apologetically distracted.  These men did not impact my job or my family...just that brief time at that moment.  I did not let them ruin my day either.

While I am not one of those in-your-face feminists, I have held my ground on issues when necessary and have tried to give that philosophy to my daughter.  OK...what does this have to do with my last day of junior high school and perhaps my very first feminist protest?

I went to school in the mid-1960's.  This was the first decade of drugs, sex and rock and roll.  It was also a decade of the beginning of the women's liberation movement.  Liberation from dishes and babies to working 50 hour weeks and then coming home to dishes and babies.  I went to a tiny school in a farming community in the mid-west, which was pretty much sheltered from all of this.  An out-of-wedlock pregnancy was the most shocking thing that happened there.  Pot had not moved into the small town culture and we had sock hops in the new gymnasium for our rock and roll experience.  Girls danced with girls and the guys stood around trying to look cool except for the bad boys who would sneak outside the gym for a smoke. 

The last day of school was only half a day and there were no formal classes.  We cleaned out our lockers, cleaned out various classrooms, ran errands for teachers, got our annuals and spent time getting them signed by classmates and talking about about starting high school in the fall.  The day was really a wash, and perhaps, that was why two of my best friends and I decided to shake it up a little.  We were thirteen and thus just becoming rebellious teenagers and women.   I wish that I could say I was the ring-leader, but one of the other girls has instituted the idea.  We had decided to wear jeans on the last day of school!  I felt it was a very practical idea since we had to spend time clean up dusty shelves and lockers.  But I also knew that it was against the school rules for girls to wear pants to school.  We lived in jeans on weekends, because we all lived on farms and had chores, but this public school required skirts or dresses.

I don't think my parents had a clue, because they said nothing when I left the house in neat dark blue jeans, white tennis shoes and a shirt.

We didn't make it past first period when the Home Economics teacher, a tremendously prim and proper little tornado standing 5 feet and weighing 100 pounds, came huffily into the classroom and announced that we would have to leave the school building!  When we asked her where we were supposed to go, she said to wait outside until "they" decided what they were going to do with us.  She glared and fussed and indicated that "This was going to go on our school record" as we carefully hid our smirking.  I do not think we knew what a quandary we had them in, because we were all top students and had held various leadership positions in the school.  But we were certainly having fun being rebellious, something that as "good" girls we had not considered before.

We sat on the lawn on a lovely June morning for about 20 minutes talking and defending our position to ourselves. We could see the principal and the Home Ec teacher standing at the office window looking at us and talking and we somehow knew that we had the upper hand.  The whole thing seemed more than ludicrous to us and that is probably what won the argument, the total idiocy of the idea.  I do not know if they called our parents, but I am sure that my friend's mother would have given them a real piece of her mind over being interrupted by something so insignificant.

While I am sure they had considered sending us home to change as the very least of what they could do, we finally were allowed to go back inside.  Within an hour we had forgotten we were in jeans as had all the other students and the last day of school continued without further event.  I wish I could say that this changed the dress code for the school, but it did not.  I don't think I was allowed to wear pants to class until college where crossing a snow filled campus pretty much demanded better leg cover.

Anyway, that was my first but not my last feminist protest movement.  (Chuckle.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

That Small Feeling

A number of years ago I was crossing the lobby in a fancy hotel in Cairo, Egypt, to see if our reservation was ready.  It had been a rough airplane trip, a hot and sticky and dusty cab ride and I was already feeling jet lag.  I had almost approached the check-in desk with my last bit of energy when two tall men in white thobes covered by the traditional bisht trimmed in gold moved in front of me only inches from my face and called the clerk over.  They made no apology or even gave recognition that someone, a woman - me, had been brushed aside by their rude behavior.  They completely turned their broad backs to my face and began the check-in process.  I could have given them the benefit of the doubt, except I have been given the impression that Saudi men treat women as a much lower class and make all kinds of pretend excuses for the way the culture makes women behave and dress.  Clearly I was a level lower than their well-dressed women in my Western dress.  They wore shiny large watches and talked in firm voices and did not once look my way as they walked away to the elevators.  I could have been a potted plant.  They really did not see me!  How can you be rude to a potted plant?

A few years later my husband and I had been invited to a reception in the South Pacific to celebrate the completion of a large bridge.  There were drinks and hors d'oeuvres.  Hubby and I had our brief chat with one of the high chiefs and every single time I made a comment during the conversation I was totally ignored while the Chief turned to my husband to talk.  The third time that this happened I walked away and got more wine and perused the table until hubby was done.

A few years later my daughter and I had just finished a special tour of the catacombs and St. Peter's resting place beneath the Vatican (my daughter's MIL is Catholic and this tour was for her).  Once again I was tired from having been in an area with little oxygen and listening to rather dry history and having to stand for over an hour in close quarters.  We had walked up stairs into one of the many alcoves of St Peters church, and I was just turning to view but one more tomb of one more saint when two Cardinals dressed in crisp black robes and blood red sashes and red head cover walked right in front of me at a deliberate and slow saunter.  ONCE AGAIN I had become the potted plant.  The area was not filled with tourists and there was plenty of room for them to move away from me.  They walked so closely I lost my balance for just an instant and felt the robe of one against my ankle.  Not once did they apologize or act as if they had seen me.  They were deeply involved in some miraculous thought I am guessing, and when you are planning miracles how can you bother with a low level tourist.  If I had been Catholic I might have been forgiving and even a little honored, but because I have long had black issues with this church, I just frowned and turned away looking for fresh air and less gilded stuff.

I could list other times like this happening at work or at meetings.  I am a women and for some reason on this planet the other gender does try to keep us feeling small.  Well, times are changing all over, if ever so slowly both by men and women to a fairer world.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Too Many People

  1. There are too many poor people in this world.
  2. There are too many people with physical and mental challenges.
  3. There are too many ignored artists.
  4. There are too many parent-less children.
  5. There are too many homeless people.
  6. There are too many billionaires.
  7. There are too many obese people.
  8. There are too many couples searching for children.
  9. There are too many underpaid hard workers.
  10. There are too many people who do not like their reflection in the mirror.
  11. There are too many people who call names instead of suggest specific plans and ideas.
  12. There are too many people waiting in line for the next best thing. (photo)
  13. There are too many people staying at Yellowstone in August!!
(The black arrow in the photo above points to the guard who was letting people into the Apple store very slowly this past December as they waited to spend money.  #11 is what I gathered from my painful watching of CPAC as I tried hard to understand their ideas.  #13 is about my plans to share the geological west with grandson this summer and being forcedto stay in a much more expensive room!  I am guessing that you think there are too many people of some sort or other.)

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Ripples

What I posted a few days ago did stir a ripple or two among my readers and that is perfect, because what in the heck is blogging all about if not a communal mind meld...aka Spock now and again? 

The prior post may have sounded more down than I wanted.  I AM a happy person.  I am in the prime of my life just like Jean Brody, but I also feel the ups and down of this roller coaster ride that I am on and I do feel I am missing something.

One of my readers made a comment in response to my last post that among her goals she had hoped her blog would be more powerful, would reach more readers, would affect more minds.  What a really cool idea.  I had never thunk that!  I probably would not have even started writing this blog if my goal had been that interesting and powerful.  I would have been way too intimidated thinking I might reach hundreds or thousands of readers.  I had the mind set that if a few read it and no one commented, that was jolly fine with me.  I was writing for myself anyway.  I would re-read posts and check over my shoulder at past ideas and learn something from my digital musings.  (Besides in the very beginning of blogging when everyone, not just writers, was out there testing the waters, I had a few brief cross-postings with some rather 'liberal' young people and their subject matter was, well, I had long ago left that place in my life, so I quietly shut the door on that and assumed their blogging was more about shocking and testing the shocks than thinking.  I even got to the point where I linked them to some "safety" products.)

But, other readers did show up as the year moved on!  Readers did comment!  And when I ventured out and commented on others' blogs I got even more comments.  I started to write for my readers and not for me so much.  But I soon learned that I had not entered this medium just to comment and write and then see what people said back.  It is too important to treat it so shallowly.  I have come to realize the personalities of some of the other bloggers and find that my feelings force me to comment on their blogs. I think that is much of the key, getting the essence of the blogger's soul. 

I decided to review the history of my posts and the two top ones which each got thousands of views were titled:  "Did You Know...any of these Thursday 13? #37 in a Boring Series" and "Bloody Murder at Tabor's Yard."

Besides being very poorly written titles, I am not sure why they were viewed at all, except for the bloody murder.  I am sure if I had put s*x in any of the post titles that would have been really popular.

I have found when people get very personal, discovered a serious illness, have some tragedy in their family or with themselves, the comments do soar for a bit.  This does not mean that the good writers fail to get comments in the three figures almost always and do not have to be fighting cancer to do that.  But blogging is a crap shoot.   I mean you have to be funny, sexy, and at least a little youthful to draw a crowd these days.

My readers also suggested in response to the prior post that should I make a list of what I want to change or do.  I am working on that.  And if it gets solidified I will share.  Even if it fails, I will share that also, because then the replies will grow in number ;-)

Anyway, today is very spring-like so I should at least clean the deck.  I, sometimes always the realist, am hoping it lasts and we do not have the hot weather by the end of April, because this HAS been the warmest year globally in history and those of us in the Northern hemisphere are going to get our share soon.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Rat a Tat Tat

One of my volunteer groups had its beginning planning meeting yesterday.  Some of us had not seen each other for months during the winter hiatus.  We are 8 little old ladies of similar cultural, educational and economic backgrounds.  The main part of the meeting had little substance as we all knew what we were going to do and just had to detail the when and where.

Instead we discussed several of the ladies winter trips, one to India, another around the world and another to visit relatives up north.  The the jewelry beader among us discussed buying beads in India that were more expensive than here while showing off her newly made earrings and the lady with the doctorate in forestry talked about her graduate school alumni around-the-world trip where they hired a converted jet that seated 80 and thus everyone flew first class!  We all talked briefly about our health and the awful weather.  Then we departed into the cold to head home or to run errands.

I was somewhat dismayed when I got home and dropped the mail on my desk.  I am a full-fledged cliche.  I am that person I promised I would never become.  I am ego-centric enough to have never seen myself as one of the "ladies who lunch."   There is nothing wrong with that group, but I always wanted to be the edgier one, the one who was REALLY making a difference, the one whom others liked but also looked a little askance at since I marched to my own drummer and they could not hear the beat of that drum.  I wanted to be the one that accomplished something special.  I wanted to be the one that was warmed deep inside by what I had accomplished, what I had given or helped complete.

I guess I am going to have to think harder about how I am running this last part of my life!

Monday, March 03, 2014

What I Learned

For the first time in decades I watched the Oscar program from beginning to end.  We had a pending snow storm with a predicted start big time at midnight and therefore it gave me another reason to stay up.  (If you did not see the Oscar show, you can totally skip this post!)

I learned 13 things and it is not yet Thursday:

  1. Weathermen get it wrong all the time.  The real snow did not start falling until 6:00 A.M. the next day.
  2. Staying up until midnight did not change my (lack of) need for sleep, therefore, I was up by 5:30 A.M. to see the weather change.
  3. The Red Carpet segment of the program is more than sleep inducing.
  4. For the first time I saw Ellen Degeneres in a dress and know why she does not wear dresses.
  5. All that stuff one injects into ones skin does something scary to the brain and turns old actors and actresses into really scary things.  (I was terrified of both Kim Novak and Liza Minelli.)
  6. Bette Midler should not take Valium before a performance.
  7. These people love each other as there were MANY standing ovations.
  8. Jennifer Lawrence can act but she cannot walk.
  9. Keven Spacey has charisma in spades.
  10. Jared Leto can not only act but he can give a great acceptance speech.
  11. Many actors say stupid and inane things, because after all, they have no script.
  12. Idena Menzel has a huge mouth and a lovely voice.
  13. Unfortunately the show was not worth 4 hours of my life.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Talking About Others

A number of years ago when I worked, we had a secretary that was a gentle old soul.  She was usually upbeat even though her personal life was a disaster (two broken marriages where the last dude tried to kill her and then at the most recent being a devout Christian and living with a Jewish man who others told her must be gay).  She was the kind of person who would take in every animal or small child if she could.  She was also the kind of person who could not get her work done unless there was a looming deadline and nothing else to fill the time.  She was endlessly distracted by things such a livecam polar bears or email chain letters and memes on the Internet.  I rarely asked her to do anything for me, because it was much faster to do it myself.

She wore her heart on her sleeve and I loved her and hated her at the same time!

We are both now retired and I made the mistake of befriending her on FB.  I guess I thought  I would see a better side of her when we were just friends and not colleagues.

She posts up to 30 posts a day on FB.  I have to scroll through them endlessly.  She has not posted an original comment or thought since I befriended her via FB over two years ago.  She instead "shares" a lot!  She shares religious statements from celebreties, photos from sites such as Style Genie, Traveling Dogs,  various animal rescue sites, FamilyShare, something called "Silly Stupid Statuses and Stuff" and other "uplifting" or "humorous" links.

A recent "share" was a graphic which said "I am a fruit loop and the world is full of cheerios."   I almost commented with a snarky reply on that one.

When I complained in bed one evening of her clutter on FB which was like the clutter she used to email to me  at work, hubby replied:  "Tabor, you must know by now that she has not had an original thought ever in her life."

The trouble is, she makes me feel like I am a cranky old bitch and I think I am just an intellectural, discerning person.

There.  Got that off my chest and did not hurt anyone's feelings...did I?

(Today...almost immediately after writing this post...she posted on FB that she had just won $1,000 in the lottery!  Is this a message to me from God?)