Saturday, April 19, 2014

One Of My Biggest Faults

    Occasionally I own up to my faults.  This post is about one of them.  I am old, cranky and set in my ways and one of my biggest faults is I am so opinionated.
     Today my daughter announced she wanted a tattoo and is looking for the perfect design.   Something for her foot, she thinks.  Why yes, she is an adult.  In her 30's and old enough to know better, but yes she is an adult and it is her body.  Did I keep my mouth shut and my opinion to myself?  No.... and I am the one who just a post or two back said introverts like to think before they speak.  Well, for me that gets tossed out the window when it comes to my kids doing things I think are less than sensible.
     I didn't say much .... just that tattoos are tacky, ugly, common and vain.  That I would draw on her with a sharpie for free if she wants.  Oh, and that tats are a waste of money when she might remember she has two sons who will need back to school clothes, shoes, glasses, supplies in just 4 months.  Remember those drum sticks & band expenses that were over $100?? And every class last year had its own expensive requirements that were unexpected and threw her for a loop?
    No, she did not appreciate my comments.  Imagine that.  Figuring my comments had just sealed the deal, I texted back for her to go ahead and tattoo to her heart's content, anywhere she wants, but that I hear tattoos on the foot are especially painful --- but it is HER body so go for it if she wants.
     You would think I would learn to bite my tongue, but I tell you what.  I sometimes wonder about me, my kids, and what happened to that idea that kids learn by what you do, not what you say. (I do not have tattoos in case there was any question, and have been vocal about my opinion of them all their lives).
    I grew up in a time and an area where if you had a tattoo you were a thug, criminal or something akin to it.  The exception were sailors and we gave them some slack because they were busy defending our country and just made a mistake getting that tattoo (but please, we don't want to see it).  Absolutely no one I knew in the first 30 or so years of my life had a tattoo except a classmate who went to prison and came back with a tat.  We were all shocked and stunned .... moreso by the tat than the fact that this guy had been to prison.  My kids tell me they just about don't know anyone without a tattoo.
    I guess my kids never listened to me when i said "so if everyone is jumping off a bridge are you going to jump off the bridge too??"  Both of my sons have tats, Becky now wants one and Casey would have had one by now but thank goodness a tattoo artist near Camp Lejeune told her he wouldn't do it because her skin forms keloid scars, thus a tat would be a big mistake for her.  I know that this mom, when I saw my 4 babies with sweet, smooth, babyfresh skin never once thought "oh wouldn't this be cute with some grafitti on it." Like I said, I am old, cranky and set in my ways.
    Oh well, maybe it is a good thing my eyesight is failing.   Now if I could just learn to keep my opinions to myself.
     I hear that someone did a survey and a large majority of people regret their tats.  If I were a younger woman I think I would get training and open a tattoo removal practice.  I'm betting there is a good future in that skill.

Dying Eggs

Friday afternoon fun at Aunt Casey's apartment!  My grandsons got out of school at noon,  so we all had lunch together, dyed eggs and had Easter cake.  It was my 3 year old granddaughter's first time to get to dye eggs and she had been waiting all week for her cousins to get out of school on Friday and come have a little Easter party with her.   My daughters, Casey and Becky, helped their niece dye eggs, Mason and Travis had a good time dying their own, and Grandma and baby Rhett spent some quality time in the rocking chair.  (note to self:  although Casey's carpet is still beige and the table only has two little spots of dye stain on it we best save up newspaper to cover the table before dying eggs next year!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Know The Sign Said "Drive-Thru" But----

     I live on the north edge of town and my kids & grandkids live on the south edge of town.  Whenever I go to take care of my grandkids, go to the library, pretty much go anywhere in town I take Pierce Street south, which is a busy 3 lane street through the center of town.  On the corner of Route 66 (Amarillo Blvd) and Pierce is a McDonalds.  I used to go through the drive-thru every morning on my way to take care of my grandkids because you can buy a local paper for a quarter at McD's, instead of the normal 75 cent price, and I like to work the two crossword puzzles in the daily paper.
    Well, I have not been buying the paper this week and I sure miss it.  There are numerous McDonalds here but none that I pass by on my way except for this one.  It will be a while before I can get a newspaper there again.  Last week someone ran a red light and a car and a semi carrying a huge load of bales of hay collided. The end result was that the semi of hay pushed a 3rd vehicle completely inside the McDonalds and the cab of the semi itself was buried inside, right  where the counter use to be. 
     Thank goodness no one was killed.  7 people were hospitalized.   Miraculous that no one was killed, considering a Ford Explorer was pushed inside the store, followed by a semi on it's side.  It happened around 10 p.m. on a weeknight so it was not a busy time.  Had it been in summer it would have been tragic. 
     I took this photo on my way home tonight, more than a week after the wreck.  The door to enter the store was just to the right of the two windows, the counter would have been right where the A/C duct is hanging down, the bathrooms right where you see some big bales of hay stacked.  It took crews about 6 hours to get the Explorer and the semi out of the store.  If you want to see videos taken that night by a local news crew then go here:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Do Introverts Do Extrovert Things?

Introvert:  (not scientific, this is my personal description) ...
  • Shy, but not always
  • thinks a lot, reads a lot, studies a lot, ponders a lot
  • finds small talk very uncomfortable & annoying
  • feels terribly alone and out of place in a crowd
  • does not enjoy parties, gatherings, etc & seldom makes new friends there because we tend to stick with someone we know
  • often "just wants to go home"
  • enjoys solitude, in fact needs alone time to recharge
  • is exhausted by stimulation of being around other people
  • giving a talk in front of a crowd is far easier than talking to one or two people
  • does not enjoy participating in a class or meeting and does not want to work in a group
  • prefer to think things over before we speak
  • is comfortable with one's self, alone is not lonely
  • appear dull & uninteresting, but often actually have a good sense of humor & can carry on a conversation if they want to (they just don't want to)
  • hate surprises, and do not want anyone to drop by without calling
  • are not stuck up, mad, anti-social ... they just need time alone, and are often lost in thoughts
  • does not have the need to "do something" and"be with other people" every minute of the day
  • down time is not wasted time, it is recharging and rejuvenating time
      The first 18 years of my life I was extremely shy.  I have always felt like it was maybe 25% just my personality and 75% environment.  My environment was a weird one but I didn't realize that at the time. It was all I knew.  Until the 4th grade I was the only white kid in my class and everyone else's first language was Spanish, which I did not speak.  At home we lived in total isolation.  No one ever visited.  No one came to dinner.  No one had friends that came over.  Inside our four walls we all walked around on eggshells.  There were no family activities, no family conversations, no hugs or kisses, no laughter. none. really. Children were meant to be seen and not heard was branded in my brain. When I learned to read and by some miracle my mom got me a library card was the best thing that ever happened to me. I remember the library allowed a 3 book checkout.  At age 6 I walked the half a mile to the library by myself several times a week (if my kids or grandkids at age 6 wanted to take off on a half a mile walk by themselves ... well let's just say it would not happen!)  From then on I had my nose in a book any time I was awake and that was my means of escape.   54 years later it still is.   How could I have been anything but an introvert!
      I did not come out of my shell until I was 36 and got the job I always wanted, working in a library.  When I was at work I was required to do school presentations, public speaking, storytimes, booktalks for teenagers, a multitude of things outside my comfort zone and I created a persona so that I could do the job well.  I admired Mr. Rogers (Fred Rogers) and his gentleness with children.  My persona was a combination of Mary Poppins, Fred Rogers and ... don't laugh, Doris Day. Hey, she always was smiling, was always friendly, was always outgoing, was always "good."  It worked for me.  I had a very successful career.
     The people I was close to could not understand how I could be so successful at work and do all kinds of things in front of large groups but would have a huge panic attack if I had to socialize with a few people.  All I can say is I could be the person I created but when I had to be "me" and come up with small talk like at a luncheon I would be almost frozen with fear.
      About that same time that I got my dream job I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).  One thing I did not realize is that in my church there is no paid ministry and "sermons" are given by church members when asked by the Bishop.  I mean, I knew the Sunday speakers were members, I just didn't realize they would be asking ME.  Talk about growth.  I learned to love writing and giving sermons, after I got over the initial shock that I would be asked.  It was not scary at all.
      The persona I created was the person I wanted to be.  It was not fake.  It may have caused me to break out of my shell and out of my comfort zone but it was the personality I wanted to have and therefore I did.  That is exactly how this introvert could do extrovert things.  Towards the end, though, before my breakdown, it was so hard to put on that game face and be perky all day I would get in my car and just cry from exhaustion.   At the end of the day I was just plain old me.  The introvert always won.
P.S.  Another blogger just helped me see something!!  When we are passionate about something we can pull up the strength to do what is required.  See, I learned something today.  I love my blogger friends!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why Do I Blog?

    Another blogger asked this question and I could not answer it in one sentence.   Letter writing, journaling, losing my mind all led to blogging for me.
  • Letter writing was a part of my life for decades but now I just email.  Sorry, United States Postal Service -- email is cheaper.  I might go back to letter writing, just to my son, because holding a letter in hand is a gift.
  • Journaling has always been important to me.  I saw a quote once that went something like this --- "I don't know what I think until I read what I wrote."  That is part of it.  I journal so that I won't forget.  I journal so that I can see how the Lord has had a hand in my life, how prayers were answered.  I journal to help me figure things out. I journal because I can write some things for only me to see that I can not say to anyone. I journal to let things out.
  • If you have read this blog before today you know I suffered a mental breakdown a few years ago and I am still recovering.  Losing one's mind -- well, there is a reason it is called a "breakdown."   You find yourself broken.  It was suggested to me that writing a blog might be a way to help find myself, understand myself, deal with the changes that have come.
  • I am a weird introvert.  In my former life I had a job where I did very extrovert things.  I did a lot of public speaking, acting in skits, storytelling, that kind of thing and I was able to do that by taking on a persona. I have read that many actors are introverts and this is how they are able to practice their craft.  It worked for me, but once I had to face the world as myself I became a big ole introvert.  Because of the responsibilities I had in my former life I spoke with a lot of people every day and I enjoyed it very much.  In my current life I see very few people, almost none.  I miss that contact.  Blogging is a way to reach out.  Comments are a wonderful reward.
  • I have always been agoraphobic to some degree, varying degrees at different times in my life, and intensely so after my breakdown.  During the worst spells of agoraphobia  I could only leave my house, or attend meetings, or go to the store if one of my "safe" people were with me.  Needing a person that makes me feel safe is very important.  If you are agoraphobic and can't easily go out into the world then you feel pretty isolated.  You need friends, but friends are out in that world. 
  • I am not a writer, highly educated, or even a student of writing classes but I like to write.  I just like to put down thoughts.  I love the feel of a pen or pencil against paper.  Blogging, of course, does not involve pen or pencil, but the feel of laptop keys is comforting as well.
  •   I am hearing impaired.  I don't know when I lost my hearing.  If you have never heard perfectly you just don't know.  I started wearing hearing aides in my late 40's when it became necessary in order to keep working. Hearing aides are very price-y (for me anyway), only last 5 or 6 years at best (well, that was true back in the day when I last had a pair), companies won't even let you send them in for repair if they are older than 4 years old (again, true back in the day), and mine just never worked all that great.  If I could afford hearing aides I would have a pair right now but they are just not affordable.  Even with hearing aides I still had a horrible time trying to understand consonants.  Baby, lady, gravy all sound the same to me.  Having a conversation with someone is something else.  The gears in my mind are constantly churning, trying to figure out what word would make sense here during the times I might understand some words and misunderstand others.   It is much easier for me to read something than try to figure out what someone is saying to me so that makes blogging an easy way to communicate for me.
  • In the past 4 years I have lost the two friends of whom I could tell anything  (and did).  Thank goodness I still have my sister and can now tell her anything and everything, but I miss the conversations I used to have with those friends.  Blogging will never come close to replacing them but it is a start at something different.
I wish I had an interesting life so I had something interesting to write but my current life is pretty confined.  I am home with my dogs, or at my kids' homes with my kids and grandkids.  I used to love to go to church and all the activities there but that is way too much for me to do now.  I would love to go to our city's First Friday Art Walk, to plays, exhibits, events but going out into a group of people is terrifying to me, and most things cost something, ruling out me being able to attend.  For most of my life I forced myself to be bigger than the panic attacks and feelings of agoraphobia and go out and live life, but feeling as shake-y and fragile as I am now --- it is just more important to take care of myself.  Being in the mental hospital was not a bad experience but not one I want to repeat because I never want to be that ill again.  I could not read and comprehend, I could not function, --- I just never want to be that ill again.  I will protect myself and not push myself beyond my current limits.  I feel like a fine china teacup that has been shattered and the pieces glued back together, but the glue is not I am not gonna shake the table.  So, instead of being out in the world, I blog when I can come up with anything to say (again, sorry it is so boring) and I appreciate my blogger friends more than anyone can imagine.  Life is good.  And heavens, it takes me a lot of words to say anything.

Why do you blog and/or why do you read blogs?   

Monday, April 14, 2014

If You Don't Like The Weather Just Wait A Minute---

On Saturday the high was 89 degrees and my redbud tree bloomed out.
On Sunday it was in the high 70's and warm enough I had the A/C on until the evening. I took the photos of the elm trees budding and the redbud flowering yesterday afternoon to post with 7 things.
On Monday morning at 3:04 a.m. my dog wanted outside and this is what we saw:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Grateful for 7 Things, plus 7 Thoughts 13 Apr 2014

  1. LILACS...I absolutely love lilacs.  Love the smell, the colors (dark purple, light purple, even white) the "home-i-ness"of them, the bushes whether in bloom or not, but mostly the blossoms. I love love love lilacs, and I saw some blooming today! Not at my home.  Gee, I wish I knew someone with a bush because I would beg for a bouquet. The lot I bought to put my trailer on is just toxic I think.  I have planted probably a minimum of 8 lilac bushes over the 4 years I have lived here.  None have survived.  Neither have more than a dozen rose bushes, 3 trees, a dozen Crepe Myrtles, a yard full of "store bought" grass (sod), and way too many plants.  My daughter swears the moles that also live here underground have really enjoyed eating the roots of everything. 
  2. RED BUD TREES... The one tree that has survived in my yard is a Red Bud.  When it blooms in the spring it is just so beautiful.  I love it.  I can see it out of my kitchen window. It is not red but pinkish/purple.  Well, here, this is it (photo below).  As you can see there is no other color in my yard other than a glimpse of a yellow plastic grocery bag blown in the yard and stuck in the fence.  Thus, I think Seattle IS the garden of Eden, and why I appreciate the tiny bit of color my red bud tree gives me for a few days. 
  3. GREEN BUDS ON ELM TREES... It is so nice to see the Elm trees bud out.  Just happy to see another touch of color.  These elms have probably been here a hundred years and Dutch Elm disease is getting to most of them.  These trees are full of dead branches.  I don't have one on my lot but the branches get blown onto my roof every now and then. This is the view out my front door towards highway 287.  It appears that I am right on the access road but it is 160' of vacant lot from my fence to the road. The vacant lot between me and the street is brown, the access road and highway are the gray streaks, followed by more dead brown grass on the other side of the highway, gray dead branches in the trees -- and why I am excited to see some green buds.  The blah concrete stairs lead to a bridge.  Kids can walk across the bridge over the highway to get to the elementary school across the way. 
  4. NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE...I spent my Sunday afternoon reading a New Mexico Magazine.  The March issue.  My sister sends it to me because I love New Mexico and wish I lived in Santa Fe.  I was born in Tucumcari and lived in NM (Tucumcari, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho) until my 30's. 
  5. FINDING FREE STUFF...While in Wal-Mart the other day I saw a basket of these boxes.  A woman was stocking shelves with sidewalk chalk and had taken them out of these display boxes.  I asked if I could have one, thinking it would be perfect to store my New Mexico Magazines... and it is even turquoise!
  6. DIGITAL CAMERAS...I also spent a good part of the afternoon cropping, deleting, saving digital photos of my new grandson.  LOL! Even after deleting some I still have 168 photos of him between a few hours old and 2 months.  He is almost 6 months old and there is no telling how many photos I have to date.  Next Sunday I will work on them again.  I love my digital camera.  I would post tons of photos of my grandkids but I worry about weird people out there and have heard there is a way to get the address of where the photo was taken.
  7. ICE SKATING...Nope, I have never skated, on ice or anything else, but I have enjoyed watching it on tv this afternoon.  I am taking it easy this weekend.  I had my 3rd go-round of "the cruise line crud (without the cruise)" this past week and let me tell ya, I am sick of being sick.  It was so violent and frequent this time I threw up blood three different times.  That was scary. Now it just feels like I have pulled loose every muscle in my body or I have had a beating with a 2" x 4" or something.  Went to the Dr Fri for my yearly free Medicare wellness checkup and I am fine, but I told her it has been this bug, the flu, this bug, really bad colds, this bug.. since December and what can I do besides bleach every available surface in my house and spray Lysol until I can't breathe.  She told me it has just been a really bad year for these illnesses here this winter.  Well, I hope all the germs leave soon.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wives of Los Alamos

The Wives of Los Alamos

      I haven't had time to read as much as I would like lately but I was excited when the library called that they had this book in for me.  It was excellent and I highly recommend it.  I am surprised it is the author's first book.  It took me awhile to get used to the writing style.  It is written in first-person plural. A little strange, but because of the subject matter I decided, 3/4 of the way through the book, that actually it was brilliant.  I don't think I have ever read a novel written in first-person plural before, and as I said, strange, but don't ditch it without finishing the book.
     Having grown up in New Mexico, and born a decade after the war, I have always known about Los Alamos.  If you are not familiar with it, Los Alamos is a town in northern New Mexico, not too far from Santa Fe.  During WWII it was "the secret city" and no one knew what was going on there.  It was not a "city" but a place created for scientists recruited for the Manhattan Project, creators of the atomic bomb.  The bombs eventually dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  To say that it was blanketed with secrecy is quite an understatement. 
     Wives of Los Alamos is the story of the families that came to live there for three years.  I can not even imagine.  The average age of the wives was 25 and they came from everywhere but this part of the world.  They knew no one, except for their husbands, who could not tell them anything about their work.  Their names were changed, their parents could not visit, they had no phones, mail was censored, they could not own a camera, they could not leave unless it was for a close family member's funeral, so tight was the secrecy.  This is their story.

7 for the 6th

  1. rest
  2. energy
  3. endurance
  4. disposable diapers
  5. PBS
  6. cloudy days
  7. homemade "playdoh" recipes
In our lives there are many things to be grateful for, therefore we should always start each day with a grateful an - Personal Growth picture quotes