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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Remember

My daughter is so young she would not really remember 9/11 if it wasn’t for what we were doing that day.

She was 4 going on 5.

I awoke and was getting ready for work at 7am PSA (West Coast). 

Usually talk radio greets me. This day was odd every station had on some rambling news. It really was not anything I could make out.

Arriving at work the tv was on or turned on. We worked in a home but this was unusual.

I was in the home of a local Hugo nominated author. We were Nannies or care takers for a couple of BABIES. 

I called them the Menopause Twins because they were twins, a boy and girl. Age wise they were 17 months old but each weighed around 38 pounds making them the size of preschoolers.

This enabled their motor skills and physical abilities at an accelerated rate. They were quiet and good natured. It was a fun job. We were  being nicely compensated to boot. The only thing do dislike was the 7am start time.
The poignancy of the day was that August had been the award ceremony for the Hugo. The mini version of what was a larger blended family had taken the trip back east and spent two weeks. 

Plenty of time to see the sights and sounds of New York City.

It is a rocking place. I have been there once for a few days. I went with my high school choir. We were booked to perform at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Back to 9/11

So there I was in the home of a family that had just returned from the City. My then boss and I watched the towers fall in real time. I did not want to panic even as the information came in making it seem like no one anywhere might be safe.

Still when I heard that the hijacked planes were fully loaded and west coast bound my heart sank anew.

In a recent conversation via social media a handful of single women and I were talking. My mother always says she knows where she was when Kennedy was shot.

My generation and to some degree children like my daughter whose families were aware or involved say “We remember 9/11…”

These events mark generations. America lost her innocence eleven years ago in September. We had suffered before from within and without. December 7th is coming. 

Still we had never seen anything like imbedded terrorists. A new normal settled in and life has gone on.
I hope we have learned a little more geography along with our new words. I hope we are more tolerant. I hope our enemies can see Americans might be a mess but we are not weak. 

Thank you, service members and volunteers. I love how support just poured out in the midst of the all the misery.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Trinket Love

Is this butterfly ring cute or what?

Sometimes a piece of jewelry can really make a look pop!

I like to accessorize. It is part of the fun of being a woman.

The ring goes nicely with the butterfly bracelet which is made of leather. An interesting combo leather and the butterfly no?

These necklaces I picked up at the fair when we went last month. I think I have worn them all now.
Here are a few of my necklace holders. Why when I am getting dressed and trying to accessorize do I feel like the selection needs to increased or be tweaked?

Can you believe I found this darling thing thrown out on the side of the road? It reminds me of a mail box and a weather vane.

Here I am decked out for graduation last year. I am not doing it justice but that dress is well made. It was a delightful last minute upscale thrift find. Score!

Friday, September 7, 2012

I Missed A Date

I’m late I’m late
Anyone remember Alice in Wonderland?

Be Late For Something Day? Sounds like something a procrastinator dreamed up.

I am not sure I need a day to celebrate. In fact I think that the reason I am not more timely is because I am so laid back.

It is not that I want others to wait on me or do not value their time as equal to my own. I know some therapist suggest this is a reason certain people continuously run late. 

Many times with me it is the under estimation on how long getting ready or traveling to a place will take that causes me to run behind.

If I did not know myself better I would be far more worried.

Instead I know that I have taken trips on planes and gotten around via public transit so I know I can keep a time schedule and be where I am expected in a timely manner.

Most things in life aside from a job with a time clock are not that rigidly controlled in terms of start times.

I like to stay up late. 
I like to sleep in. 

When I wake up I like to take it easy. I do not want to be hurried or rushed. When I do get ready before the appointed time that I have set to leave the house there is always something more that can be done. 

Leaving early never makes the top of that list.

The list is comprised of simple things that should only take a few minutes. It can be a house hold chore. Other times it is an extra bit of prep I wanted for the adventure but had put on the optional side of "things to do".

I will opt for something like throwing a load of laundry in the washer or applying a coat of nail polish.

Constantly missing appointments that caused me distress would cause me to amend my behavior. So far, some how, I manage to just squeak by.

I know how to pack extra things to do, with me. 

This is a piece of advice given to those who are afraid they will be bored arriving early and having to wait. 

If you have not tried this it's simple and can be productive. 
Take along a book you are reading, some paper work you need to review, bills you need to pay, paper and pen so you can take notes, doodle, draft etc., download games on your Kindle or other type ereader.

I keep puzzle books on hand. I know many love Suduko. I prefer letters to numbers so I like Variety Game Puzzle Books.

I carry things with me but I would still rather get things done around the house.

What I would really prefer would be to work from home or plan events that have people coming to me, preferably in the afternoon or evening.

God bless those Type A people and early risers. I am just not one of them.

Give me midnight. I love the night life. Oh wait I mentioned that already…

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A 10 Day Diet

I have gone vegan. Wait this is very temporary. 
I really do not believe in ultra limiting one’s diet as a general way of living. I love items from all over the food pyramid if you will and I believe in balance.
So why then am I doing this? A challenge of sorts of course.

10 days of natural eating 

No dairy
No beverages besides water

These words are all torturous to me. 

Only fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables are on the menu. Nothing pre-made, processed or refined so that means no white rice, bread or breading.

I am not a huge meat eater. I am also not huge on dairy. It is just the little things that make food so yummy. I am glad I can use spices and seasonings.

The biggest issue is I am a SuperTaster who dislikes the taste of most vegetables. The ones I do like and eat are usually not eaten as single items.

The other issue is this challenge started this week but my grocery shopping day is not until the weekend. I did not get a chance to stock up.

Oh well the good news is a plain vegan diet can be nutritious.

I won’t call it filling with all the things I do not want to eat but I usually under eat so I am not hungry as I nosh on what I have available.

I marvel at people who eat like this on purpose long term or those who have chosen the raw diet life. I know there are those living with illness and allergies who have had to cut things out. 

Nothing was bothering me so losing foods I am used to enjoying has taken the joy out of eating. Good things life is ultimately about more. 

That is the point of the challenge.

This is why I am subjecting myself to this misery. I will be glad when it is over.

I am at my target weight. I do not expect that to change. I thought I would be more hungry or thirsty but so far I feel fine. 

Not even a big caffeine headache so that has been nice.

My nation by the average is filled with unbalanced over eaters. It causes some of the illness and suffering that occurs in the life times of our citizens. 

I was amazed to see a chart in a health book that showed this information. It is as much about over eating as it is empty calorie consumption. 

Statistically those persons who have a habit of fasting in their lives live longer. I found that fascinating as well. 

Eating and breathing ages the human body. Wow! 
Both are things we need. Both contribute to the circle of life and death. These are reasons to take a hard look how we are living.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Civility For All

Yesterday my daughter blogged about an interesting and slightly complex issue.

Who deserves respect?

When asked this way it seems like a value test that people need to pass. 

I would rather more people ask themselves: Is this behavior civil?

Where did public civility go?

The truth is probably that it has been falling apart from home for a long time.

These are the teachable moments when you realize what your kids know and what they are still missing.

The little mini me has a feisty side. It is not so much temper for tempers sake. More she is a fierce defender of what she sees as herself or her rights as well as those she cares about and loves.

These are wonderful things about her. Look out Nancy Grace my girl could grow up to give you a run for your money.

I would be delighted if she was thinking about going into law and order. It is looking like she is leaning more creative and will follow in her mother’s footsteps of community activism.

This will also be delightful. It can mean making a scene or a splash from time to time.

There might be time for heated arguments and raised voices. They should be few and far between. I do not think cursing is needed in public discourse for the purpose of advancing community and accomplishing projects.

There are the rules of social media that I am trying to instill:

Do not engage brats

Don’t assume the worst in someone’s responses

Be willing to let things go

There are on-going principles parents try to instill:

Think about your actions, the motivations and the consequences thereof.

Deal with your stuff. 

Do not operate in reactive mode based on injured or immature emotions. 

Maybe none of that seems powerful or comforting in a heated moment.

This is why the older generations are supposed to have learned these lessons and be mentoring the youth.
Sadly my daughter has not had great models all around when it comes to personal behaviors. I have controlled my home to a large degree but the real world is just outside the door.

Thankfully I do not have to say too much. Patterns of personal behavior that are ineffective present themselves clearly to all who will look and see.

A person should be able to keep a job and maintain relationships in the community. This takes common civility. Not much more and not much less.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Watching Real Drama

If you did not know, I really like reality television.

Now before we go any further I find it necessary to define what I mean by that. 

When I say reality t.v. I mean shows with non actors or actors and no scripts, but not improv. To this end I also enjoy sane talk shows. I am over my addiction to the Jerry Springer show, thankfully.

I have a fascination for watching and knowing all about real people. Actors are beautiful but some are vapid. I do not want a talking head or and air head. I want real interaction.

First let me say I have been watching since MTV did their first Real World experiment. 

Things have really broadened since then.

There are some great families we have gotten to know through this new vein of television entertainment. 

Who does not love:

The Little Couple
The Roloffs 
The Duggars?

I like some of the food shows: Top Chef, Cake Boss, Food Network Star, Chopped etc.

I love Patti Stanger  and Dr Phil.

I do not watch any of the housewives shows, Bad Girls or the Jersey Situation…

People fighting and yelling, getting drunk and acting badly do not attract me.

Instead I watch the Bachelor shows and Big Brother.

We watch the hair style shows. My daughter discovered LA Hair. There were others before Tabitha was taking over everywhere.

I like to see people being successful at accomplishing things. I want to see people growing and changing.

Families or individuals going about their everyday with us looking in from a birds eye view, that excites me.

There is one set of shows that surprised me. 

When I heard they were going to have shows about teen moms I did not think I would want to watch. 

I was a young mom. I am still a single mom. I understand the issues all too well.

I caught a reunion episode that sort of drew me in. I got a little tense when I heard one of the moms saying her and the baby’s father had given their child up for adoption.

After seeing the reunions I saw a segment of the show 16 and Pregnant that convinced me not only that these young parents made the best decision for all concerned but worse that they were raising their own parents.

The girl’s mother is married to or dating the boys father. 

More importantly in that episode the mom and daughter were fighting. 

Into another room the girl goes and she 
says to her boyfriend “I think my mom is mad at me.”

She returns to her mothers presence to find out why. 

Her mother tells her “I am upset at you for giving away my grandchild.”


I do understand the complex emotions this might cause.

There are just other ways to deal with them besides throwing a fit about something else in your home so that your teenager has to sit you down and drag the true pain out of you.

Never mind the idea that said teen gave away said baby because she has no one to look up to who could help her raise it.

Better than any soap opera. I was over those as a young child when I realized how they string people along. There is none of that in reality television. 

For all its flaws it is raw and real. Whatever is happening has gone on in real time and there are very few secrets.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Contemplating Our Republic

It's Labor Day! The great irony of course is that many of the people who do the most labor in this country actually still have to work.

Others have the day off.

It is the end of summer so people are hanging out and doing fun outdoor things like grilling and hanging out in the water as they are able.

We have plans of our own that are awaiting Mom the taxi.

I am not sure it gives me time to really do justice to the issue on my mind for the day. 

I am thinking about the fabric of this country's government.

So often we talk about the democratic process but it feels like the idea of us being a republic gets lost.

We must maintain the healthy balance of both.
A republic is run by elected officials. There are foundational ideas that are agreed upon by the citizenship.

Inside that frame work with the responsibility of the nation on the people we all have the right to have our opinions and even have our say. 

There are boundaries to that including the idea of not bringing harm to others, inciting mayhem or panic for just the sake of such.

I grew up understanding all of these things. I am not sure what kind of a job I have done in imparting all of this patriotic understanding to my daughter. She appears at least for the moment more infected by the apathy of her generation.

Maybe I should have taught her to say the pledge religiously in our homeschooling life. I know that is going away in public schools. I never felt like saying it was the reason I feel as I do about my country.

Right now she is studying American history with her high school charter program. It is annoying her further the mistakes and chaos of the past. I have always looked at the history from a more reserved place.

For all of the problems and issues I recognize those things allowed us all to be here now. There is no country in the world that either of us would rather live in.

I am not sure how typical or unusual that is statistically.

Expats always intrigue me.

Speaking of other countries, I was seeing the strangest thing suddenly. People were saying Happy Father’s Day.

Turns out it is celebrated at different times of the year all over the world. Who knew? It is on the first Sunday of September in Australia.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tag! Who is it?

Paging a blogger friend who tagged me a couple of months ago. Here we go! 

1. Post these four rules
2. Answer the questions the tagger sets for you.
3. Tag 11 people.Blog commentors maybe.Link them.
4. Pose 11 new questions for them to answer.
1) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

I live where I want to live, in northern California.

2) What is your favorite memory from High School? What is your worst?

I loved all the social fun stuff and disliked math class…

3) What are you currently reading? 


4) What would you say your biggest accomplishment has been?

Wow if I have to say just one maybe raising a kid.

5) Who do you look up to the most?

I am not sure there is anyone I look up to in a big way.

6) What's your favorite recipe?

I have already shared my favorite recipies. The new one I need is for a salad can you help?

I am kind of picky but if you have a favorite salad recipe please share.

7) What is your most embarrassing moment?

I try not to be a hot mess. From the archives:

In high school we rode the bus. MI winters meant ice and snow. Getting off the bus if you slipped and fell everyone on your bus saw, everyone on all the buses before and after you saw and the schools outer walls were all made of glass so everyone inside who was wandering around instead of in a class somewhere also could see you.

Adding insult to injury if things went really badly you could have a damp spot on your but from sitting in the snow before you got up and that was further reminder or telltale if people did not see you fall they could see that you had as you walked to class.

I am sure this happened at least two or three times through three blistery winters in the great north east.

8) What is your passion?

I a passionate about life and people.

9) What 3 websites do you most frequently visit?

Ravelry, G+ and Yahoo.

10) If you had millions of dollars, what would you do spend it on?

I would buy a house and a car for me. I would buy my daughter a car and pay for both our educations.

I would buy my mother and brother houses. I would share with friends. I would buy some businesses. I would start a business. I would travel. I would tithe and donate.

I would get a maid and a chef. I would adopt some teens. This is my life on fast forward in no particular order.

11) What is your favorite tradition?

I am not huge on tradition. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July.

Does that count?

Eleven Questions for the tagged ones:

1. Will you show us a picture of a pet or favorite animal.

2. Where did you go on your last or favorite vacation? If none where would you like to go?
3. Who is your favorite historical figure?
4. Who is your favorite fictional character?
5. What is your favorite movie?
6. What kind of music do you listen to most?
7. How many of these things can you do: whistle, swim, pat your head and rub your tummy, skate, ride a bike.
8. Where are your ancestors from?
9. What is your favorite fruit?
10. Do you have craft or hobby pics? 
11. You dream about writing a book or running a business? Tell us about it.