Monthly Archives: June 2013

What is Patriotism? My July Post: 3 days early


I am going on vacation and looking forward to not being

into much media. Sorry to say, I will be removed from my

blogging and posting responsibilities to concentrate on my

much needed rest and relaxation! I will be gone for at least

nine days. Heavens, will I lose some readers? Will I have

hundreds of emails? Do you know what kind of a freeing

feeling comes over you when you fully realize you don’t have

to do anything?

My only visual stimulation from any media will be the few

special old movies that may be on or older mystery series on

the television. These will be watched with plenty of snacks

and treats with my Mom at her senior apartment in Westlake,


My brothers may invite us to a barbecue where we will bring

a baked pie and homemade potato salad. Mom likes to do

these home cooked, made with love, specialties. I will insist

on buying some  “real” whipped cream in a can and make

iced tea in the sun on her balcony.

We will have a “grand old time” with shopping, eating out,

driving around to look at some of her favorite sights, and

seeing fireworks over Lake Erie!

Just in time for the Fourth of July!!

Here is an outstanding quote by Paul Malloy:


“What, After All, is Patriotism?

It isn’t the sight of the Statue of Liberty.

It isn’t a whoop-de-doo on the Fourth of July.

Those are but symbols.

It’s pride in each other.

It’s children safe in their beds at night.

It’s being able to scrap your job tomorrow if you feel like it.

It’s having the right to laugh, play, speak, write, think and

pray as you wish.

It’s liking it here.

It’s wanting to say thanks.

It’s contentment.

It’s going to the voting booth and making your choice and

cheering your candidate if he gets in,

and if he doesn’t get in, closing ranks behind the one who does.

If this is flag-waving… long may it wave!”

July 3rd is considered the beginning of the Dog Days of Summer.

Water your lawn and garden during the early morning or in

the evening to minimize evaporation and the grass browning.

July 4th is Independence Day. Celebrate with fireworks and picnics,

please enjoy and be safe if traveling!

I love the simplicity and excitement of little children holding sparklers

in their little hands.

On July 22, you will be able to gaze at the Full Buck Moon. It is also

called the Full Ripe Corn Moon. Don’t forget to look for the full moon

this evening!

I like this short poem from an American poetess, Evaleen Stein


“Look! Look down in the garden how

The firefly lights are flitting now!

A million tiny sparks I know

Flash through the pinks and golden-glow.”

May you be filled with laughter and the bright, beautiful majesty

of the fireworks over your head with your neighbors, friends, and

family close by watching. With “oohs, ahs, and wows!”

Oh, and I will miss you!

“No offense…”


These words along with the words, “Don’t take this personally,

but…” are the most sinister words that come across innocently.

The answer to the first, of course, is “No offense taken.” No matter

what awful string of words follows. The answer to the second

comment is a little more challenging to me!

I tend to be a very sensitive person who does not take any criticism

well. I learned in one professional job I held to take a big bottle of

water or a cup of coffee with me to my annual reviews. I could sip it

slowly and “swallow my (defensive) words!” This particular boss

was known for crushing new or younger employees’ egos. I was not

going to let her beat me down!

Another relevant situation is when you are in a social setting and

have a circle of people around you. One person who may vaguely

know you, may try this unnerving approach.

“I know you, wait! Don’t tell me…. Hmm… Did I meet you

while going to so and so’s house?”

“No, I can tell you where I met you…” but said person interrupts

and says,

“I met you while you were working as a waitress at Cracker Barrel.”

(or the earlier waiting job was at the Delaware Hotel.)

Yes, I am not proud of that fact but I will admit to it.

I would rather have let me tell what I am doing now or what I did


Constructive comments, positive thoughts are always wonderful to

hear! It is the destructive comments or negative thoughts that need

quick replies or “comeback lines.”

I usually answered, in reply to her announcing to a big group of

people that I served tables at a restaurant, like this,

“You don’t know me very well but I am pursuing my Master’s Degree

so that is why the second job.”

If it was a comment about my children, their progress in school or

life, like a recent social setting I was in my comeback is not so quick

but I stewed awhile. I was at a recent party for cancer remission

where a past teacher of my two oldest children was standing right

by the food table. I set my appetizers down and went to get a beverage,

but as I turned to leave (on purpose) she said those dreaded words,

“Wait, I know you!”

I answered that I had been a middle school substitute and my last

name had been Long. I also tried to make a joke, “I subbed a lot for

Mrs. Delong who taught home economics. So I would tell my students,

‘I’m Ms. Long for Mrs. Delong today!'” The person talking worked in

that middle school.

She, of course said,  “No, no, that’s not it. Did you have any children


I tried my first foot forward and led with the one who is to all outsiders

‘successful,’ “Did you know _______, my youngest?”

She wrinkled her face up and said, “No, what year did she graduate?”

I told her the year, also trying to escape by  saying I needed to get a

beverage and move to where the guests I knew and liked were

standing, she turned to a friend and younger coworker and said,

“Do you know I can guess what people’s children are doing if I find

out their name and know them.”

So, I turned back and gave my first and second children’s names, she

said she knew them but would hate to guess what they were up to.

Now, that was kind of mean! I knew she had had both and their last

names were the same (first marriage children).

If she had said her “guess” what they were doing, and prefaced it with,

“No offense but…” I might have lied. Sorry, I have two beautiful adult,

fully grown children, who are a father and mother. They have children

and are trying the best they can to earn sufficient livings to be able to

give their children nice clothes, some after school activities like soccer,

baseball and football.

One of my granddaughters is a junior cheerleader. The cost for her new

uniform, with socks, shoes and the special skirt with top was over $100!

My son’s income covered it.

But do my two oldest earn professional incomes? No.

Both have extra training, one in art and the other in cooking. I am

proud of them so I finished the conversation with this positive retort:

“You could not find better parents nor human beings than my three


How is that for my “stewed” and thought out comeback line?

You’re the Inspiration


I love the song by the group Chicago, entitled “You’re the


Here are some lyrics that speak to me about why you, the readers

and commenters to my blog, are special and incredibly inspire me!

“You know our love was meant to be

the kind of love that lasts forever.

And I want you here with me tonight

until the end of time.

You should know

Everywhere I go

Always on my mind…

in my heart

in my soul…”

(Peter Cetera sings, Chicago 17 album)

I have to say, I do carry you around in my heart and in my soul.

I am nominated for an awesome award called the Very Inspiring

Blogger Award. I appreciate it very much and especially this award

means a lot to me coming from Shandra who has stories and poems

to share, along with her Heart Wide Open Ministry. She has a passion

of empowering women and children to see themselves the way God does.

Shandra’s blog can be found at:

The rules for accepting the nomination goes like this:

1. Display the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

2. Link back to the person who so kindly nominated you.

(see above about Shandra!)

3. State 7 things about yourself. (That will be a challenge

since I pour out a lot to you…)

4. Nominate 15 bloggers who inspire you.

5. Notify the 15 bloggers so they may get all excited and receive

their award!

Here are seven random things you may or may not know about


1. I am a people watcher,

2. like to talk to strangers,

3. listen in on other people’s conversations,

4. I feel like a reporter!

5. I enjoy movies,

6.  listening to music of all types,


7. watch a lot of television, too.

And now, here are the Nominees who I have never before

given credit to:

1.Uzoma (far away in Nigeria but close soul)

2.Suzie (life, stories, great commenter!)

3. Phoenix Flights (some wild and unique posts)

4. Yoshiko (gentle spirit)

5. M- (nice posts)

6.Kay Bee Bee (single with stories to tell)

7. The Real Darla (some karma, tarot, elements…)

8. Evie (different perspective)

9. Theresa (humor, poems and prose.)

10. Carol (stories, restoration of cottage, plus!)

11. Bill Brown (illustrator)

12. Hands on Bowie (cute kitties!)

13. Andra

14. A friend of Jesus

15. Mom, wife of 40 blogging a year today!

Do The “Right” Thing


I know a man who is tormented by his conscience. You can

look at his face and see the furrow between his eyebrows. His

troubled countenance holds the clue to what in his lifetime of

mistakes have done to his body and mind.

This man is an acquaintance who is on the peripheral edge of

my life. I have heard a varied multitude of stories concerning

his problems. I would like to hesitate but say, this man has used

the power given to him and blessings bestowed upon him for “bad.”

One of his stories has a crazy in love teenager finding the “hottest”

girl in high school to go after, taking her innocence and marrying

her while pregnant. He hurt the one he chased and chased after he

had two toddlers, sweet little girls, at home, by being unfaithful with

the woman across the street. A neighbor who dropped by when he

had just walked in the door, they were hurrying in the living room

to fulfill and quench their desires. Seconds later, dragging a car seat

with one toddler, holding the hand of the other one in comes his wife!

He unabashedly says to the “guys” he hangs with, joking,

“I can’t believe she didn’t see the woman’s clothes were all unbuttoned

and could not smell the sex.”

Not long after, choosing to go live in another state and hang out with

his sister, he left those two little girls behind. They were but a little

speck in his rear view mirror as he rolled away to Florida.

You have the power to love the ones you are blessed with, or you can use

that power and wield the swift sword of pain into their lives.

Children are not like old toys that need to be tossed out or replaced. But

this man went off and found someone who wanted to have a different

adventure, going to California. There he had three more little girls and

was trying hard to stay in this marriage. Or so he retells someone, a

mutual friend.

Now, looking at the older man (aged 55) and knowing why his face shows

age and his body is a little rickety, I can get a small glimpse of the history.

If he wants to have a future filled with hope and forgiveness, he needs to

retrace his steps. He needs to find out the address and write a letter filled

with contrition. Asking his children in their thirties for forgiveness is going

to take every ounce of courage for him. Asking his grandchildren to go with

him and play, hang out or have a meal out may not be so difficult.

This is a fact, one I know after being around children all my life, either as

a babysitter, mother or teacher:

Children forgive and forget quickly.

They don’t hold grudges.

They love unconditionally.

They are such wonderful embodiments of God!

Which brings me to another area this man needs to work on,

he needs to get “right” with God.

I think he may be still “looking in all the wrong places” for love.

This is another area he needs to choose to straighten out. This

has come to my attention through the gossip mill but he has done

hurtful things by leaving more than his four wives, he has had

more than affairs, he has been misleading women about his status

on a dating site.

Those who continue doing hurtful things are repeating their history

and not learning a darn lesson in life! The face looks guilty and worn,

the smile seems to radiate happiness when there are pretty women

around. He can still attract them like bees to honeycomb. He has a

group of women at work held spellbound with his stories of famous

people in California and his amorous antics. Until he has something

seriously wrong happen to him, he can keep exchanging people like

parts, but we know people have hearts. These hearts can be broken

and children’s hearts can sometimes be more easily broken.

Let’s hope for his health, life and others he comes in contact with,

that he does the “right” thing. Make amends, start new habits, and

by asking for forgiveness the dark cloud across his life may lift. He

may find a beacon of light shining and leading him to a better place.

I heard an excellent song on the radio by Mumford and Sons! Have

you heard, “Roll Away Your Stone?” I will share some passages that

gave me goosebumps! It pertains to this man especially…


“Roll Away Your Stone”

Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine.

Don’t leave me alone at this time

For I am afraid of what I will discover inside.

“Cause you told me that I would find a hole

within the fragile substance of my soul.

And I have filled this void with things unreal

And all the while my character it steals.

Darkness is a harsh term, don’t you think?

And yet it dominates the things I see.

It seems that all my bridges have been burnt.

But you say that’s how this Grace thing works.

It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart

But the welcome I receive with every start…”

Please check out the rest of the lyrics or better yet, find it on Youtube

and blast it! This has a wild and lively beat so the lyrics need to be

read to really understand the depth and power of these lyrics written

by Edward J. M. Dwane, Marcus O. J. Mumford, Benjamin W. D. Lovett,

and Winston A. A. Marshall. (copyright Universal Music Publishing, Ltd.)

Work Fun


Do you have a job that is kind of boring? Mine is! I tend to

make up little games with the stores we send Advance Auto

products to while I am filling the hampers. If I have five to

fill I am less able to play a number or letter game.  If I have

1 or 2 (only a few areas fill only that small amount of totes)

I use the store numbers and “wave” sheet to play games.

Let me know when this short post is over in the comments

if you play any games at work!

C’mon and share, you know you want to!

When we start our day our “wave” sheet starts with the letter

“M” and goes all the way to “W.” The evening shift bin order

fillers start with “A” and usually go to “L.”

So, here are some ways I remember where I am at on the wave


Wave M E = medical examiner.

Wave P B = peanut butter.

If I am filling totes A and C~ I think AC/DC band.

If I am filling A and D ~I think A and D ointment.

If I am filling totes with the letters B and E, breaking and entering

come to mind!

If I am filling B and C~ I think B. C. which means before Christ.

If I am filling A, C, and E totes, I think of the vitamins A, C and E.

If I run into store numbers close to anyone in my family that doesn’t

have a number that is in the first 6 months of the year, I will be able

to translate it into their birthday. If born in June or earlier, since it

is a four digit number, I cannot do the birthday “game” with theirs.


When packing a hamper to ship to store # 1285 I think of my youngest

daughter’s month and year of birth.

There are many more combinations of numbers and hampers with letter

placement so my brain still is focusing on not missing the correct tote

or labeling it incorrectly.

There are big chunks of time when I actually whisper the numbers or

letters so that the eyes and the mouth are using two areas of concentration.

This happens early in the day, especially when we start every Friday at

6:00 a.m. And then, on Mondays, when we usually go way past 4:00 p.m.

My brain is fried almost after our last break that ends at 2:00 p.m.

All of these things “go to the wayside” when a coworker comes along or

is across the rolling rails (rollers that run on a conveyor belt.) When two

coworkers are just about 5 feet away, one going the same direction as

you, then you tend to chat and hope (and pray) you don’t throw products

or pack products in the wrong hamper! Quality Control will be filling out

a report on your errors and soon, your boss will be coming by with a sheet

with your errors delineated and you have to sign or initial it! Oops!

This is the first job in my life where I get a good work out and my steps

have been measured by an engineer once a year.

I also feel this is the first job of my life that reminds me of school where

you were waiting for snack time (break time), lunch time and recess!

I am sure this is kind of a boring post but it is also one that I have thought

may get “spiced up” a bit with WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP YOURSELF


A Beautiful “Old Soul”


My youngest daughter’s friend Morgan is a

bright, beautiful and musically gifted woman!

When I met her, we had gone to a local bar

that has Open Mic night on Thursdays. She

was wearing a long, flowing batik printed

dress and a lovely blouse with a scarf wrapped

around her neck. She was holding a mason jar

filled with green herbal tea with a mint flavor.

I would have taken her and placed her in a Time

Machine to put her back at least to the seventies

if I could have! She would have been MY best

friend, then!

Morgan Treni graduated from Ohio Wesleyan

University this year and in my post about “Leo”

who I met at Open Mic night, I mentioned this

woman is going places! That night she had sung

a bluesy Cole Porter selection while tapping her

ballet shoe toes hard enough to create the beat

but no musical instruments, just “a cappella.”

Morgan’s next bigger venue appearance will be in

Columbus, Ohio on the jazz stage Solar Stage)

of Comfest in Gooddale Park on June 29th at 5:05 p.m.

Then, next month on July 22nd she will sing

at the Clintonville Women’s Club, joining the

Vaughn Weister’s Famous Jazz Orchestra at

7:30 p.m.

She sings like a song bird, sweet, lilting and so

ready to go on any awards show and take away

all the honors.

Best New Artist

Best Rhythm and Blues Artist

Best Personality

Best Dressed

On and on!

My daughter went to a laid back porch party

where everyone was getting drunk and yelling,

telling “Treni” to “Sing one MORE!” Like a true

artist and professional, Morgan asked for requests

and also, kept on singing despite the rowdy crowd.

Please, Please check her out:

Musical Essays by Morgan Treni at

This does not always directly connect…



or try this:

Self Love


We all need a healthy dose of self love to get through this world

in a successful way. There are some who have too much of a

dose of this and they are labeled, “narcissists.”

I am going to tell you of a man who I once knew and dated

It was long enough ago that I am not worried that he would

associate this post with himself, if he would stumble upon

reading my blog.

This man had what one dear friend later, much later, revealed

to me: “A stable of women who were attractive ponies he liked

to take out and trot around town with.”

Wish I had known that BEFORE I dated the man!

This attentive man seemed to anticipate all that would make me

happy. Looking back, he had quite a charming and smooth

manner about him. He showered me in the first few weeks

with nice meals, special words, extravagant gifts and the

ability to look deeply into my eyes. He seemed to absorb all

of my desires and produced tickets to a theatre production

and one concert. Along with being interested in rubbing my

feet and back after a couple of  long days.

There were of course, since I am telling you a story about a

narcissist, evidences dropped like hints of the underbelly or

seamier side to him along the way. If I should after he listened

to my recounting my  busy day, interrupt him as he was starting

to tell me about his day, a flash of anger shot through me like

daggers from his eyes. He was able to tamp it down within a

short moment though. Less noticeable but there. Other subtle

hints of things to come. He wanted me to meet his family so

we traveled out of town. At dinner, while his  6 year old niece

was eating quietly, he proceeded to start a rather pompous

story about his military responsibilities at his past weekend

reserve duty. Sandy accidentally asked,

“Uncle ____ did you know I have a recital next week?”

He kept on talking, as if she were a gnat and he wouldn’t even

bother to swat at it.

I interrupted his long reserve duty story to ask,

“Hey, did you hear Sandy has a recital coming up?” and I

turned to her and asked, “What are you going to wear?”

As a teacher, sometimes I learned that adults can remember

the subject matter of what they may want to continue talking

about, so assumed he would be okay listening to her answers.

When she was done, he did this hurt (passive aggressive action)

thing when I asked “Now what were you saying about such and


He answered, “Never mind.”

On the way home from his brother and sister in law’s

house, I was given a searing scolding about how ‘we

don’t interrupt’ and ‘children need to seen and not


Being the way I am, since this was only the first or second

time I had heard him lose his cool, I assumed he was just tired.

I rationalized his behavior. I did not worry about the situation.

The next time we had dinner after he came back from reserve,

I asked him while we were eating and catching up on each

other’s weekends,

“So, how many people do you stay in touch with between

weekends?” (Meaning do you have friends that you hang

out with from reserve?) He scowled at me and asked me,

“What do you mean by that?”

I then said what I meant and he was very nasty about the fact

that it was ‘not my business.’

I had more men that were friends during this period so I

just put this egotistical man on the “back burner.” There

were too many warning signs that he was demanding and


Now, there is, and always should be, good self image in the

people you surround yourself with. Many successful people

have strong, assertive natures. They surround themselves

with others like themselves and understand about not

taking themselves too seriously. They need to share their

experiences without bruised egos when there are expressed

differences in their approaches. Sigmund Freud addresses

both healthy self love and narcissism in his psychological

studies and books. His book, “On Narcissism” may be

helpful but is challenging to me to read. There are many

other newer studies and professionals who write about

this subject.

The moment that I started to appear busy and did not answer

this man’s phone calls, he was like a changed man! His

responses on the phone when I did answer, were caring and

thoughtful. He inquired about ‘what had he done?’ Also, he

insisted that I needed a nice meal out at a fancy restaurant.

He would not take “no” for an answer! I backed down and

stopped resisting him. Instantly, he was so pleased and told

me the time to be ready.

We had a pleasant evening and I allowed him to talk about

his own career and did not inquire about his military reserve

duty at all. When we were saying ‘good night’ I mentioned

that I had to go to a professional workshop that would mean

I was out of town all day the following Saturday. He said,

“No problem. Have a nice time and hope it is more meaningful

than most workshops are.”

Once I got back into town, I asked my girlfriend if she would

want to go out, last minute notice? We went to a local dance

and sports bar. We were dressed fairly casually and I was just

wanting to have a relaxing time. We looked at the dance floor

as we sometimes were searching for a couple of our other

girls that would possibly be out. There on the dance floor,

was the man I had been dating. The woman with him

was tall and lanky. She had dark, long hair and she was

wearing dress that I would call a “party” dress. Or maybe

even a “New Year’s Eve” dress.

Granted we had had only five or six dates, so we did not

have any verbal promises, but I was hurt. I had become

attached to this prideful man. We both looked at each

other, he kept dancing and did not indicate by a wave of

his hand nor a smile that he recognized me.

I turned around and started walking out, my girlfriend

was chatting with someone. I had gotten to the door

when he was pushing through the standing room only

crowd. I heard him saying, “Excuse me, excuse me.”

He called, “Robin, wait!”

I felt so lucky to be able to turn and say, “Don’t bother

explaining yourself! We really don’t have that much in


Years later, I met a man that I ran into who knew him and

had served along side him at Rickenbacker for Air Force

Reserve that this man I had briefly (thankfully!) dated,

used to, in his words, “Banging every cadet there was

who would go into a supply closet with him!”

Well, it is like ‘the other shoe dropped.’

That explains that!