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Rated: 13+ · Book · Family · #2058371
Musings on anything.
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My blog was filled up. I'm too lazy to clean it out. So I started a new one.
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June 16, 2022 at 4:40pm
June 16, 2022 at 4:40pm
         The car was in the shop for over a week. I did not get a loaner or a rental. I stayed at home. Trying to save money, and I did not need a ride to or from work. I did get my niece's car from Friday night until Sunday night. It came with her 3 kids. I gave up the car and the kids when she came back to town!

         I can now sympathize with those who because of eyesight, disability, or age-related problems have to give up the car keys. The sense of independence is gone. I had nowhere to go, but felt imprisoned, knowing I couldn't go. I felt like a child, completely dependent on taxis or others. It gave me a glimpse of what a long-term stint will be as I age further. (I am not going to be one of those still going strong in my 90's.)

         Driving gives you that sense of independence when you're 16. It stays with you, but you take it for granted until you lose it. Giving up driving is difficult for seniors. Many don't give it up soon enough. I've had enough of that for a while.
June 8, 2022 at 3:27pm
June 8, 2022 at 3:27pm
         After listening to a Dr. Phil podcast with guest Lori Gottlieb, I ordered her book Maybe You Should Talk To Someone. It is an excellent book, which I highly recommend. It is about her own personal journey while she herself is a therapist. We can all learn a lot about ourselves and others in general from reading it.

         The two therapists suggest that over half the American population is clinically depressed to some degree. Almost none of them realize it. It doesn't mean down in the dumps or reasonably sad. The symptoms vary from person to person, but with similarity. Restlessness, fatigue, sleeping problems, lack of energy, too much energy, anxiety, stress, worry, moodiness, habitual tardiness, losing things may all be symptoms of depression. Most people who are treated for depression are surprised when they start to feel better. They never knew they had a problem until they got over it.

         In my own sphere of acquaintances, I know several people who are probably clinically depressed. They are unhappy, most notably. They aren't in rewarding jobs, or have been passed over for promotion for younger, less qualified people. Or stay-at-home dads, who after a few years, are letting "the man is the breadwinner" mind frame get to them. Or they are in marriages where the spouse nags or complains a lot. None of these people are getting positive reinforcement anywhere. They are getting beat up emotionally by others or by themselves. Some have financial worries or aging parents worries (I've been there).

         One of these people is a micro-manager at work, and while that worked for her to make her successful, it has alienated her from many people over time. She has become anorexic, looking painfully thin, like a skeleton with skin. She's also nervous and shaky, and she gets angry at her family over everything. A helicopter parent, she expects her family to obey without hesitation. Ten years ago, she was nothing like this, but laughing and friendly. She will never see a therapist for fear of what people will think. Yet she is unhealthy and miserably unhappy. Her friends are afraid to mention it.

         In today's culture, we are all pushed to unrealistic standards. We go too fast. We have to be busy all the time (which is why cell phones are so addictive: we never have to be alone with ourselves). We need constant stimulation. We are all in the same boat as humans. We need to be validated. We need rest. We can't really multi-task, despite the adamant believers. We need to face up to our fears. Sometimes, no, oftentimes, we need a professional to talk with, perhaps on a short term basis, in order to face our own behavior and attitudes.
April 19, 2022 at 3:18pm
April 19, 2022 at 3:18pm
Day 3349: April 19, 2022

Prompt: Literature: Today we have access to literary classics from across the planet that are translated into English. Have you read any English translations of novels, short stories, or poems that were translated into English from their original language? Did you enjoy them? Please, write a synopsis of what you read.

         I've read quite a few, mostly from Eastern Europe with tales of the war and racism. They had amazing insights into the horrors the older generations from Europe endured. However, a better-known story of enduring value is Crime and Punishment. It took me a very long time to read it. I'm always slow, but this was difficult to keep the story straight. You need a list of characters, who are sometimes referred to by last name, sometimes by the first, and frequently by a short version of the latter. Despite how spread out the reading was, and the flipping back and forth through the pages to figure out which character was acting, it was an intriguing story. I had to know if the lead character, with his elevated ego, would get caught. I felt great empathy for the young girl who was trapped in a desolate, "sinful" life to support her family. Her conscience was purer than his, but her actions nevertheless were against her standards of human behavior. I also enjoyed little insights into Russian life of that era.

         Much emphasis is placed on detective skills and interviewing technique. Guilt, which is only present in moral people, assists in solving the crime. I really appreciated the stress the author placed on atonement, a concept almost overlooked in modern culture. This book by Dostoevsky is considered one of the world's finest novels. It's worth the time to read.
April 11, 2022 at 2:02pm
April 11, 2022 at 2:02pm
         I think I could be a beach bum. Almost. I like the flat land, easier to walk or ride a bike for long periods. (I have a heart problem that makes uphill or even slight inclines difficult.) The slow pace of life, the roar of the ocean and wind are so peaceful. Because of all that wind and sand, you can forget about perfect hairstyles or fancy shoes. You have to stay stocked up on supplies because so much driving is required to go shopping. Entertainment becomes a night on the town, an excursion. Modern times have made TV and Internet reception available, even WIFI.

         There are a few things I wouldn't care for. Mosquitoes are number one. Flies are pretty nasty, but they don't bite. During hurricane season, you'd have to have a bag packed at all times, and a few necessities ready, so you can hit the road at first warning and head inland. Even a trip to the doctor involves a long ride. Right now, I can get to any doctor I see in under 15 minutes.

         Finding social outlets might be a little harder, but I could manage okay. There would be enough relatives and old friends visiting, that I would welcome the quiet after the vacuuming and the laundry are caught up.

         I'm not a sun worshiper, so I would not be spending all day out lying in the sand. My skin fries like an egg on the skillet. And I am not one of those women parading around in their 60's, 70's and beyond in a bikini. (I hate those women.) So, this body is not going on display. I will keep it discreetly attired. I probably would give up make-up except for those rare excursions inland.

         This is just a little fantasy. I could never afford a beach house or its maintenance. Extra income for someone outside of real estate and building industries is not very likely.
April 4, 2022 at 7:26pm
April 4, 2022 at 7:26pm
Prompt: Environmental: EARTH DAY 2022 INVEST IN OUR PLANET - How can we, as individuals, invest in our planet?

         There are many small things that we can do to help planet earth. Putting baking soda in the home drains at least once a week helps neutralize the soaps and cleaners that we use. It doesn't help industrial waste, but there are laws governing that. we can stop wasting water, like letting it run while we brush our teeth. If you hand wash dishes, use a plastic box that you can lift out of the sink and pour onto your lawn. The grass and flowers like diluted dish soap, and it helps your water bill. You can keep a rain barrel to water your plants or even spot wash the car. (Keep a top on it to avoid mosquitos.)

         The dishwasher reruns the same hot water over and over to clean your dishes and supposedly uses less water than hand-washing a sink full. However, the dry cycle uses a lot of electricity. You could hand dry or let sit overnight. I have mixed feelings about the laundry. According to Consumer Reports, the washer redistributes the dirt evenly over all your clothes. The stains might come out, but overall, your laundry will turn gray in time, unless you use more water in extra rinses.

         Planting trees seems the number one thing to do. If you don't have a yard, you can contribute to a school or church or a park to plant trees. If you're a business owner, be sure some shrubs or trees are nearby. The scenery is better, we have more oxygen produced, and they help screen out pollution. If you do have a yard, don't haul away all your brush or plant clippings. Have a small compost pile or keep them in your mulch. They give a home to bees and insects that are necessary. Carpenter bees are not harmful: they make ugly holes in the wood, but they can be plugged up and painted. The bees don't cause harm or attack if left alone. I can't say anything nice about hornet nests.

         Littering is not only an eyesore; it is a sign of irresponsible, self-centered behavior. Some litter can be harmful to animals and fish. Plastic bags can kill turtles and other aquatic life. In my family, we not only clean up after ourselves, but we also pick up other people's trash. We try to leave the woods, parks, and playgrounds better than we found them.

         I really have an ax to grind with smokers who throw their butts out the car window. That might work out in a divided highway, although it really makes a city or urban area ugly. In the rural areas, that butt can set a field on fire, burning down wooded areas, gardens, and endangering nearby residents. In fact, most smokers or vapers I have known don't care how they affect others or the atmosphere.

         I admit my conservative use of water and electricity at home has more to do with keeping the bills low. Keeping tabs on the toilet tank and leaky faucets helps. If you lower your water bill or propane bill or electric bill, you are rewarding yourself for conserving resources.

         I take a controversial viewpoint on climate change. We have been in global warming ever since the ice age waned. Scientists weren't around to keep statistics in the earlier stages. Now the earth is more populated, increasing the use and abuse of resources. Technology and modern industrialization have escalated the speed of warming. So it seems that we are in the original plan of creation. I believe it is important to care for what we have and not abuse it. We should not waste or spoil anything on the earth. But doing the best we can will not reverse or stop the course we are on.

March 21, 2022 at 4:49pm
March 21, 2022 at 4:49pm
Left the Outer Banks Friday. I stayed in Salvo, bordering Rodanthe. Two blocks to walk to beach! The first time the tide splashed me, I screamed from the sheer coldness of the ocean.

Gas was $4.19 in Rodanthe. I only got a few gallons because I was told it was a little cheaper further north. But I ran around a lot more than planned, and had to fill up in Hatteras. $4.17. I was shocked to see it at $4.05 in Kitty Hawk, then in Currituck, it was $3.95. But as soon as Rt 168 turned into 158 at a sharp turn, it went up to $4.15. Twenty cents more only a few miles apart.

I did make it home before filling up again. My Kroger points made it $3.97.

But I really needed that break. Lots of walking on flat streets. Walking barefoot on the cold sand. The roar of the ocean, the slow pace of life, casual dress everywhere. Of course, on the way home, I took a wrong exit which landed me in Friday afternoon bumper to bumper traffic. It took two hours longer to get home than it did to get there. As much as I loved being away from the computer, the house phone, and my usual responsibilities, I liked getting back to my private quarters, with my bed, my chair, my TV. I caught up on all the newspapers, snail mail, and laundry. I hope I am revitalized and ready to go.

*Beach* *Anchor*
March 13, 2022 at 1:11am
March 13, 2022 at 1:11am
         Just when I accepted an invitation to the Outer Banks, I woke up to snow today. I spent most of the day at the opera, the Met Live HD. Thousands of people all over the world supposedly watch this broadcast at the same time as the live production. Today they also showed a film of the Met chorus and orchestra performing the Ukrainian National Anthem the first day of the war a few weeks ago. Everyone in their audience stood. Everyone in my audience also stood. It's not a mellifluous tune, but it was a very moving experience. I had to wipe my eyes.

         I haven't had a vacation in 4 or 5 years, but most people cut back during the pandemic. I have to drive about 5 or more hours by myself, at the current price of gas. But the lodging is my brother's house at Salvo. I will keep his 9-year-old busy for a few days, while he works on the house. I might get in some mini-golf. I have to pack t-shirts and sweat shirts. Who knows from day to day?

         I tried to find reasons not to go. Two abandoned cats that I feed will go unfed. They're accustomed to being outdoor cats now, but I have spoiled them with warm towels to sleep on my porch and plenty of food. Then there's the newspapers piling up in the driveway and the mail. I won't have computer access to clean out my junk e-mail. I dread the long drive and making the wrong turn at the end of I-64. But I've managed to start feeling a little excited about going.

         I still have to water all the plants before I go, so I won't come home to dried up brown things. And I'll have to take the milk and cheese in a cooler, and some fruit, so they won't spoil. I can't pack the toothbrush and medicines (a boatload) until I'm ready in the morning. But then I'm off. I'll catch up with WDC Saturday maybe.
February 24, 2022 at 12:29am
February 24, 2022 at 12:29am
         My brother and I have established a storytelling routine with the children in our extended family. They can be repetitive or stumbling, but sometimes they are quite inventive. They catch each other using some story line from a movie or tv show with different characters pr actions, but don't all authors do that? They give a lot of details, including colors. We have some budding fantasy writers in our family. This one is based on a six-year-old boy's tale.

         Six-year-old Hank begins his tale, "once upon a time, a cowboy named Roy had to go after some rustlers. He rode a pale unicorn with a silver horn. He rode out to the desert and over the mountains. The unicorn could fly when it had to."

         "They stopped at a stream for water. Other cowboys were coming up the mountain below. They also rode unicorns."

         His aunt interrupted. "Did Roy wear shiny black cowboy boots and a cowboy hat?"

         "No, they were brown like mine with some with some white decorations. He looked over the hill and saw a dragon come out of the cave in the mountains. He roared, but he did not breathe fire. There was going to be a war."

         "Roy got on the unicorn and signaled to the men on below. He whistled to them. The dragon looked up and snarled, but he did not breathe fire. More dragons came from behind him. They were big with long tails."

         Hank looked off in the distance.

         "So what happened next?" asked his aunt.

         "They had a battle. The dragons won. They were stronger and meaner."

         "What happened to the cowboys?"

         "They died."

         "All of them? Even Roy?"

         Hank nodded.

         "What about the unicorns?"

         "They were all killed, too. Their magic was just small." He pinched his fingers in the air and shrugged his shoulders.

         "Oh, my. That's a shame about the unicorns. Is there more to this story?"


         "The end?"

         "The end," he said with a nod.

February 8, 2022 at 4:49pm
February 8, 2022 at 4:49pm
         Mr. Lightfoot is 83 years old and still doing tours. I think it's great. I hope I'm still around at 83; traveling and working would be even nicer.

         However, you can't go to a concert of an 83 year old musician and expect him to sound like he did at 50 or 30. To make matters worse, he had a sinus infection and had to use a nebulizer a few times. Of course, everyone expects the guy to look older, but then they're upset he doesn't sound like the album at home. He is still a great guitarist. He still tells funny stories of his experiences and travels.

         I saw him a few years ago with my father. He was losing his voice then but played a longer concert with an intermission. I was impressed with his guitar skills. This time it was a shortened show with an opening act. Even the songs were shortened versions. His voice had dramatically changed. He kept going even when his breathing faltered.

          I have lost my father since that first concert, so this one had a little bittersweet nostalgia to it. And this time I was not a paying customer sitting in a comfy seat. I work as a volunteer at a historic movie theater that has been converted to allow multiple venues and seats slightly over 1000 people. All the seats were sold, so I stayed on my feet the whole time. I heard lots of comments from the patrons, who were mostly gray or white-haired. They either didn't like seeing him in this frail condition or they were celebrating his fortitude and remembering his past.

         I remember seeing Loretta Lynn on an outdoors stage, also limited seating. She was frail and getting feeble mentally. Her voice was also gone. Unfortunately, she still dressed in the frilly clothes of her youth and looked clownish. But I had that same feeling then of honoring her past mixed with sadness that she was in her twilight years of performing.

         I like seeing older stars like Clint Eastwood and William Shatner keep working and creating in the golden years. Singers, on the other hand, can't adjust like directors and actors. They are expected to live up to their former selves. We have to accept that if they are up in years, a concert is only a chance to look and remember, to pay respect, but not to relive their former glory.
January 1, 2022 at 9:44pm
January 1, 2022 at 9:44pm
         How the time flies. Seems like last week when I was analyzing my goals and trying to make some breakthrough goals. It's been full and filled year. I haven't lacked for things to do and sources of stress. However, it hasn't been as bad as some years. For that I'm thankful. I regret only that I didn't make better use of the time.

         Sometimes, it seems like we're always setting goals, or resolutions or giving ourselves some kind of makeover. As though we just can't be happy with ourselves or the progress in our jobs or social lives or finances, we search for the next big step in life coaches, pod-casts or self-help books. What does this dissatisfaction say about us?

         If we go at this process with the idea that some "answer" is out there, like striking it rich, or finally finding perfect love, or losing that last twenty pounds, or getting into the right club, we'll probably keep getting disappointed. On the other hand, self-improvement is not a bad idea at any age or any level of achievement. Broken resolutions are usually due to setting our specific goals too high or within too tight a timeline, or it doesn't achieve what we truly want.

         For instance, if faith is important to us, then spiritual growth is a worthwhile endeavor, so our goals should be measurable things that support that growth. If we want to retire on time without going backwards in our lifestyle, then we need to update the goals that help us achieve that. If we want more time and money for travel, what are we willing to sacrifice or change to make that happen? We do need to be clear that our goals are not just a detailed "to do" list. We also need regular evaluations and be willing to alter our goals or change the deadlines.

         Having goals is important, even for retirees, so that we don't just keep wandering aimlessly and end up broke, unhealthy, and all alone. Knowing what we want to be in three years, five years, and ten years is important, whether we're 21 or 71. We all want to believe that despite the great memories, our best days are still ahead.

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