Category Archives: control

A little church humor

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When you usually think about church you may not include funny

memories.  I can remember being a single mother in Lancaster,

Ohio at the Presbyterian Church with two little ones in tow. I would

use a little ‘bribery:’ “We will go out to eat at (choose one of the

following choices) Bob Evans, Frisch’s or Jolly Pirate if you only

behave today.”  I would also include some behavior allowances for

crayons and scribbling on church bulletins and donation envelopes.

 

I have fond memories of my being at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

in Bay Village, as a teenager. I remember our minister, Reverend Lynch,

would include the comic strip, Peanuts’ philosophy. There is a book,

“The Gospel According to Peanuts.”  I also liked his use of humor when

he would refer to other comic strip characters like the Wizard of Id,

Dagwood and Blondie.

 

Hope these chuckles bring some smiles and I hope that you will also

throw in any humorous memories of church in the comments part

of this post.

 

“This Sunday in a Midwest city, a young child was ‘acting up’ during

the morning worship service. The parents did their best to maintain

some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle.

Finally, the father picked the little cherub up and marched sternly

down the aisle on his way out.

Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called out

loudly to the congregation,

“Pray for me!”

 

I would like you to visualize this cute picture of carolers, one upon

the other’s shoulders, almost like the Bremen Town Musicians.

They each have their mouths wide open and above them, upon a

balcony, is a family of music ‘listeners.’

Here is the ‘punchline:’

“The Hickory Knoll Church carolers were always ready to make

necessary adjustments.”

 

“Six year old Angie and her four year old brother were sitting

together in church. Joel giggled loudly, sang a song with lots of

enthusiasm and talked out loud,

“Who’s going to stop me?”

His big sister had had enough. Angie pointed to the back of the

church,

“See those two men standing by the door?

They will!

They are the ‘hushers!'”

 

This last one reminds me a little of my waffles post.

“A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin and David.

The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.

Their mother saw the opportunity to give a lesson on morals.

“If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have

the first pancake. I can wait.'”

Kevin turned to his younger brother and said,

“David, you be Jesus.”

 

Hope you have a relaxing, fun-filled and spiritual day.

Grown-Ups Here

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We are all “grown ups” here, I hope! I realize there are occasional young

people that are part of the blogging community that may wander in and

read one of my posts. There are ones who are as young as high school or

college who may stop by. I believe anyone who is logged into wordpress

or have their own blog are able to hear about a wide variety of subject

matters, or make the choice to ‘move on.’ I also think everyone should

read other posts, just in case the first one is just not your ‘cup of tea.’

Today, I am not trying to ‘start something,’ nor wishing to add too much

controversy in your lives. I don’t wish to shake you up or create drama

that you aren’t interested in.

I am hoping for a conversation about relationships.

The working relationship between the characters of Boothe and Temperance,

in the television series, “Bones,” had a great quotation that I will try to paraphrase

to give its essence:

(Boothe to Bones)

“Our perceptions are always colored by what we want to believe and hope for.”

I will share just some recent things that have caused me to ‘draw conclusions’

on the subject of couples.

Everyone has read or seen the subject, “Signs You Need to Break-up,” on the

television, in articles and on talk shows. Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, all have

their opinions and judgments.

I always hope you (my friends and family) will know and make that choice on

your own.

There are times, though, that you may feel as a good friend or family member,

that you have a right to express your opinion. You are my ‘family’ of sorts and

I wish to share reasons I would ‘give up’ rather than ‘fight’ to stay in a rocky

relationship.

You sometimes know, instinctively, when you have heard a person tell you about

someone who seems a little bit “off” or “wrong” for that friend.

Here are some strange and real examples observed or told to me by friends.  .  .

When You Know Things Are Going Wrong or

When You Need to Dis-Connect:

1. Calling one of the members of your ‘couple’ (spouse/partner) “Selfish.”

This is something that I could not believe someone said recently around me.

In this case, I would need to find out why that person was being considered

‘selfish’ and tend to think the one who is ‘name-calling,’ may not be meeting

that other person’s needs.

2. Using derogatory comments, with possible swear words, in a group or

family setting.

In this time, I was at a play area, where the person said this to the other one,

in a loud voice, while children were playing near by.

This would be, truly, a cause for leaving someone. Sorry, I don’t play around

with ‘maybe’s!!’

3. When you walk into a home, where the people are not great-grandparents,

and there are two Lazy-Boy’s, side by side, with an end table in between.

I am wondering how long have these people been living on parallel chairs,

with no bodies touching?

4. One participant in a relationship, who is not open for any counseling nor

discussions about improvements. There is a big, final door shutting on this

couple, I hear about at work.

5. Shorter version, not open to friendly (not nagging) suggestions and gets

hurt and insulted ‘easily’ by the other member in the couple.

6. One excuse after another, even when there is no financial nor scheduling

challenges, for having a ‘date night’ and time away from children.

7. One excuse after another, for months on end, with no physical or emotional

reasons behind these excuses, (unfounded excuses) for refusing any kind of

intimacy.

I would recommend the frank and explicit film, “The Sessions.” Our library has

it, it is about a man who is a parapalegic who has sexual healing sessions with a

physical intimacy counselor, played by Helen Hunt. It is very touching, I cried. I

felt that someone who is fully capable of having romance, will realize that it is a

gift to be able to do so.

This was brought up in a painfully honest, step by step movie, on how to get the

‘spark’ back into your marriage, in “Hope Springs.” It is not, in any way, funny.

But so honest and brutally true of some couples with their lives on hold, for

whatever reason. (Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Steve Carrell, in a

serious role as a counselor.)

8. In a shorter version of #6 and #7, one person ‘putting distance’ into a

relationship. There is something wrong, this needs to be fixed before it is

irreparably repaired or broken.

9. No ‘big’ secrets kept between members of a family.

10. There is an uneven distribution of ‘power’ or ‘control’ in the couple.

This can be quite upsetting, when you see one or both covering up this

but other times, the truth slips out. Control and abuse are both forgivable

situations for separation or divorce, in my mind.

(Not going to worry about the Bible, since there are not any passages to

support this. It is okay to leave if your partner leaves ‘first’ and you don’t

need to follow. This is the only example of infidelity being a reason for

leaving, that the Bible addresses. No words about if the person is being

abused, emotionally or physically.)

They fester, rot and eventually tear apart the foundation of trust and love.

There are many ways to have a wonderful relationship and it is no one’s

business but the two of you, unless it is a confidential, impartial member of

the clergy, physician, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist or member of the

medical field.

My friend, Melvin, is not embarrassed to talk about how his girlfriend has

undergone different surgeries, outcomes of having cancer in her internal

‘private’ areas. He doesn’t broadcast them, but when she had a colostomy

bag, due to her having colon cancer, she and he dealt with this. When she

had an ileostomy, due to having something go seriously wrong with her

urinary tract, they managed to get through this, too. She has improved her

health, taken steps to have both chemo and radiation, so now the “stoma’s”

are the only physical remainders of her having both urine and fecal ‘bags.’

Melvin once confided in me, that he and his girlfriend have found ‘ways

around the different complications’ to ‘express their love for each other.’

After 15 years together, that is wonderful and admirable, that they realized

that they still needed to feel physically connected.

We have had a few comments back and forth, last summer when I brought

up that I was contemplating intimacy with a man I had dated for over a month.

I was hesitant, I gave a few humorous examples of how three women plus

myself had told on our more embarrassing parts of ‘growing older.’ That post,

with different stimulants, varied physical challenges ended with one of the

women sharing a strange and uncomfortable position. Anyway, hope that it

is okay to tell you that I agree with Melvin.

There should be ‘no limits’ to the ways you would engage in closeness, with

another person. As long as Both Parties are comfortable and agree. If there

are parts that are not satisfying, then being open to changing the parts but

adding something else to enhance the happy feelings and connectedness

one feels while engaged in romantic activities. When there are physical

challenges, “there are always alternatives for both parties involved,” my

friend Melvin shared with me.

After we talked out in the parking lot, Melvin asked me if I felt like we

should not have ‘stepped into this area of discussion,’ being friends and

coworkers. I felt very blessed and happy by knowing them. Melvin’s girl

friend and he were able to overcome their obstacles, working like a ‘team.’

I told him I had high hopes to have someone who treated me with the

same respect and consideration that the two of them expressed for

each other. They were ‘blessed’ for this union of lives together. I am so

happy that Melvin kept with Diane, despite these physical challenges.

Melvin then reminded me Diane no longer has them, since they hung

on, through it. He said,

“We may be not married, but we treat our feelings like ‘vows,’ and the

one about ‘for better or worse,’ continues to apply to us.”

 

I ended the ‘personal space’ dialogue by saying,

“Of all the things my parents talked about and what I learned from their

own personal lives, sex is not the weirdest topic covered!”

He burst out laughing and we got into our own separate cars. Happy to

have an open-minded friend to share some personal moments with, once

in awhile.

The meaning behind kisses

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My coworker and friend’s words stopped me in my tracks yesterday.

Amy said, “Roy doesn’t kiss me.”

I turned to look at her, my beautiful and lively horse-backing friend,

owner of Spirit and Lokie.

I have worried about her, since the beginning of the year, when her

divorce was finalized. She has been a single woman trying her ‘wings’

lately, with a man named Tom and another named Roy.

Her grown children have been more on the side of her ex, even despite

the fact that he is the one who has notably, in over 25 years of marriage,

had affairs.

Twelve years ago, he had children with another woman, for Pete’s sake!

Amy allowed the twins to visit at her home, living proof of his rampant

unfaithfulness. She would have tolerated this forever. She was a believer

in marriage and its lasting forever, ‘for better or worse!’

This last time, her husband had chosen a woman who was a neighbor,

who had been a so-called ‘friend.’ This would have been my ‘last straw!’

Only after this ‘other’ woman ‘made’ him get a divorce to marry her, was

Amy released from a private ‘hell’ that she had been in, for so long. It is

hard for her to know what to do with her new freedom.

Men have been coming ‘out of the woodwork’ to ask her out on dates.

She has been enjoying all the attention. I have been happy for her, listening

to her different stories.

So, what was this about kissing?!

I thought every man who dated a woman, would eventually kiss them!

Roy has been in her life for about 5 months, the brother of the stable

owner.

Roy is a past rodeo cowboy and his photograph shows a sturdy, thin

attractive Clint Eastwood type. Amy likes him a lot more than the Tom

guy.

I have been listening to her ‘soap opera,’ for many months, while most

of the other order fillers have begun to ‘tune her out.’

Or worse, make fun of her, behind her back!

I have ‘been there, done that,’ as far as my dating history and failed

relationships.

So I understand the need to validate behaviors along with needing a

‘listening and sympathetic ear.’

“Amy!”

I used my stern voice to exclaim,

“What in the world are you talking about? You have had multiple dates

with Roy! You go to Indian Lake and stay in a cabin with him!”

She looked at the ground, saying,

“I was afraid you would lecture me about this! He never kisses me.”

I answered in an upset tone,

“Well, I think about Julia Roberts’s prostitute role, explaining to Richard

Gere’s character, how people aren’t allowed to kiss on the mouth, no

matter how much they pay their prostitute.”

(“Pretty Woman,” movie reference.)

I added hastily,

“You are not one, of course!”

Amy looked sheepishly at me,

“I was really hoping you were going to give me an example of someone

who did this, who was intimate with you but still preferred not to kiss!”

I could feel my brow creasing, my furrow between my eyes deepening

with my concern and caring for her. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or

make a hasty judgment about Roy, but. . .

“No, haven’t experienced this one before, Amy! I honestly have had only

one man who didn’t like to open mouth kiss, but that didn’t last long.

Sorry, as time went on, it got annoying kissing someone like I did my Dad

and brothers!”

And I knew this would not be what she wanted to hear but I had to add this:

“Amy, you need to back away from Roy. There is something seriously wrong

that you two have slept together and never kissed!”

Amy came to Roy’s defense,

“But Robin, he gives great foot and back massages!”

I told her that once my ex-husband and I broke up, I dreamed about being

kissed. I wanted those lingering, sweet trembling moments that would make

my knees quiver and shake!

I even had daydreamed and pictured special kisses, where my soul would

glide into another’s soul, finally knowing what the concept of “Being One”

would mean!

I also wondered aloud,

“Don’t you want the silky, sexy kisses which turn into passionate, arousing

ones?”

My brothers are very different in their hugging modes, one is a sideways,

pat on the back or shoulder kind of guy, while the other gives great, warm

bear hugs. Both love me and are my best guy friends in the world! I did not

want to go into past men in my life or details. It is best to keep the

past in the past.

I told her my personal thoughts about ‘romance.’

“I feel slow dancing and passionate kisses are foreplay!”

I saw her shoulders drop and she turned to what she had been doing,

since her job is to count products in the bins, (Cycle Count department.)

I passed her with my long hampers, filling them with cords, wipers and

other longer items. The line was going the other way, away from Amy.

When it came time for break, she was happy again, telling me that Roy

had her to do something with him later that night. She felt that he was

going to do something special.

She thought, maybe they would talk about the lack of kissing.

“Maybe he is a ‘germaphobe?'” she wondered.

I nodded my head and told her the most validating thing I could think

of at the time,

“Whatever floats your boat, Amy. Remember to always be true to

yourself!”

 

Have you ever been in a relationship where one of you didn’t like to kiss?

Was there any psychological or meaningful reason for this?

I could give Amy some explanation, if I were better prepared!

Or is it like I fear? That this is a way to put distance between them, like

a wall between them? Is Roy doing this so that Amy isn’t bound to him?

I worry about her being ‘used’ by someone who is not appreciating her

the way she deserves to be.

Bureaucracy

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This will be an angry post, one where frustration sometimes is best

relieved by venting! It can be about the fact that it’s quite challenging

to get a hold of an actual human being on the phone! It can be your

own disappointment or disgust at the way businesses seem to give you

the ‘run around!’

I can only hope you will add to this, with your own examples of

“Bureaucracy!”

(There is a reason why there are so many people throw the word, “idiocy”

around! Also, I do know there may be some people who may mention the

dreaded word, “politicians, ” too.)

Tomorrow will be my smiles and chuckles post. . .

 

I would like to start the ball rolling with a look at a small example of how

business in my workplace, at the good ‘ole warehouse, is run.

Last Monday, while about 20 people were lining up to ‘clock in,’  at our

time clock there was an obstacle to walk around to get to the clock. It is a

small ‘vehicle’ or ‘cart’ that has an engine, which the ‘bosses’ scoot around

on.

It would ‘crack you up,’ to see them get on one of these, only to go about 30

paces, to get to another office or to use the rest room.

In each of these cases, no one else is allowed to ‘touch or move them.’

On last Tuesday, at the morning meeting, a fellow coworker mentioned that

whoever is parking their little mode of transportation in the way of the time

clock, was actually ‘breaking a safety rule.’

Then, my friend added, it is unsafe, due to the way people have to ‘clock in’

and then try to get out of the way of the next person in line. ‘There isn’t any

room to do this safely.’

Then, he mentioned that someone ‘almost tripped over it!’

Well, what do you know?!

That darn cart was once again parked in the location directly under

the bins order fillers’ time clock. I wish to note, at this time, I never get

in this long line, no patience for such nonsense. I enter the hallway by

the lockers, ‘clock in’ where there is usually only five people getting

their last sips of coffee, filling their water bottle, or something like this.

It is located by the break room.

No one blocks the break room!

Anyway, at the morning meeting on last Wednesday, one of our immediate

bosses, (one is for heavy bulk fillers and the other regular ‘bins’ order fillers)

made a proud announcement,

“We sent out a memo to whoever is leaving their cart by the time clocks.”

(In this case, he meant an ’email.’ There are no more memos, unless the

boss’ boss prints out an email and checks it for any facts that may not be

disclosed to us, (‘paeans.’) By the way, how many people would have put

an ‘o’ in that? Since everyone says ‘pee-ons’ I struggled with the spelling!

Out of practice!

On last Thursday, the cart was moved, presumably due to the ‘efficiency

and effectiveness’ of the email!

Another minor example of ‘Bureaucracy,’ came in a rather smelly way!

I went away to my Mom’s on June 27th and arrived home on July 6th.

I had a grand time, some challenges but overall, a nice escape from my

everyday life.

When I arrived home, I smelled an odor in the hallway, quickly sped up

to get into my apartment, presumable to be in my old, familiar, cinnamon

and other kinds of homey smells. (I love Yankee Candle Company’s scent

of “Home Sweet Home,” use it in my candles, warmers, and in my car, too.)

Oh my!

It was my apartment that truly stank! Yuck!

I quickly went to the nearly empty fridge, it held only pleasant condiments

and the baking soda box held any of the odors. No spoiled foods, check!

I then ran into the bathroom, and as I got there, I was splashing in the

hallway! The carpet was soaked and yes, it smelled horrific. Like a dead

animal, no none of those in evidence!

I called my apartment manager’s phone number, leaving a message.

I went out into the hall, stopped across the hall. The friendly woman, who

is still nameless, since my good friend, “Bo” and daughter “Amyah” moved

out, I have not attempted to know this one. I miss the grandmother friend

and her granddaughter, too. (I gave her a lot of my Dad’s porcelain light-

houses and other nice things, like a ‘throw’ blanket with the 12 Lake Erie

lighthouses on it.)

The neighbor opened her door, asked me had I been gone long? She had

noticed my absence and admitted to smelling my odor. She also told me

that her air conditioner pipe from the upstairs (floors 2 and 3) had somehow

gotten clogged. The overflow or pressure had leaked into her apartment,

hallway and into her bedroom, too. She said this happened on June 30th,

that the manager had provided a fan to dry it, would be cleaning her carpet

sometime around July 11 or 12th.

I was ‘freaking out!’ That meant he clearly knew others were having this

problem and had not bothered to knock and check around to see if there

were other instances of this. Just while I was talking to her, Pete called.

He lives on the second floor with his wife, Nancy. It is not like he is off

the premises, surely he would have smelled this, since they are supposed

to vacuum the halls and wax the chair rail in the hallway.

I approached this with caution, remembering my Mom’s favorite expression

for handling irksome circumstances:

“You can attract more positive responses with honey than with vinegar.”

(There are variations on this but this is how she would say it.)

I told Pete, that I had come home from vacation and found my apartment

very ripe smelling, think it has to do with the water heater leaking or the

air conditioner pipe. He said he would bring me a fan.

I called my oldest daughter, she came over. I was sure I would have a fit,

if someone would not be there to keep me from over-reacting!

I boiled tea for the two of us, I lit about ten candles around the apartment.

I put a little of my vanilla scented lotion inside my nostrils.

When Pete came down, he knocked and then opened the door. He did not

admit to me that there was any odor. (I miss my old landlord, Ron, he would

have sympathized and also, maybe offered to help find out the root of the

problem.)

Pete said, “I will have to call a maintenance man tomorrow. He is also good

with the electrical stuff. He can check your heater and air conditioner.”

Carrie was walking in, saw my look and asked me to come in the hallway

while Pete set up the fan to blow air into my wet carpet and then he opened

the doorway to the ‘electrical stuff.’

Carrie ‘admonished me:’  “Don’t use your teacher look or your teacher voice,

Mom! But you may ask him if there are any avenues to proceed to, if it were

an ’emergency,’ mention that mold is not healthy for you to sleep in.”

I re-entered my apartment, almost knocking him down. Pete was going to

leave! I had to take a short breath not to let my steam blow!

“What would you do if this happened to yours and Nancy’s apartment?

Would you think there may be a solution that could be chosen tonight?”

 

(Inside my head I was yelling,

“So I won’t have to sleep knowing that there is water with possible mold

or e-coli, lying inch thick in my hallway!!”)

Pete asked me twice in quick succession, had I run my air conditioner

while I was on vacation?

Each time, I answered, “No.”

I am not sure if that would have somehow made it ‘my fault’ that the air

conditioner’s condensation had run into my apartment, but he seemed to be

focused on this point. Now, later, I wonder if I had it so that it would run

while I was gone, would that have somehow alleviated their responsibility?

 

An emergency plumber came that night.

 

I am thankful that he said to Pete, “This place smells disgusting! It would

be hard to sleep with this in the hallway!”

He said to me, “Maybe you could spend the night at your friend’s apartment,”

looking at my 34 year old daughter. (God bless his heart!)”

He also explained how there is a perpendicular pipe, that had filled with

mold, where the condensation from others’ air conditioners siphons down

into this. Normally, going into a drain. I was glad he explained that the

whole thing was ‘not your tenant’s fault’ to Pete.

In this case, as I talked to my coworker the next day who also happens to

live in my apartment building, he feels that Pete should have offered to

pay something towards a motel room. Another coworker says, he would

have insisted on getting the carpet cleaned and suctioning off the water,

too.

I have a good thing to tell you! My carpet did get cleaned on July 1oth,

so I only had to live with the stench for Sunday through Thursday nights.

Another good bureaucratic occurrence is to be announced.

I got a refund from the Cable company!

What? You heard me right!

I called them to tell them I did not get my Time Warner Cable Channel

Guide for the months of June or July! I wondered if I needed to go to

the Post Office and ask for a trace on it? The first woman that I talked to,

used a businesslike tone, saying that they were no longer publishing this

lovely television guide, that was quite a bargain for less than $3. It had

the look of a magazine, with at least ten pages of colored paper, then the

rest of it, in black and white newsprint. I would pore over that, circle and

use two different colors of highlighters, too!

When I did not get a significant explanation nor confirmation of the bill

being changed, since I had sent both June and July payments by this time,

I asked for a manager!

I used a plaintive tone, almost whiny, but was almost beside myself, really

upset about this. I wanted to know if there had been written notice of its

discontinuation? I wished to have an explanation why this happened? I

wondered was I the only person who felt it was well worth paying for this

monthly guide?

The manager was like a psychiatrist, she had a bell-like tone to her voice,

very sympathetic, kind and saying, “Oh, that is too bad!” and then, “Oh,

I can understand how important this was to you!”

I actually got a $30 refund, she felt this was well worth using her power

to use “discretionary funds.”

She was looking at my years of being an “Outstanding customer,” and

telling me she did not want to lose me, that I was “Valuable” to Time

Warner Cable!

I may have to call HER next time something else goes wrong, somehow

she imparts some warmth and love to the whole ‘bureaucracy’ and gives

me hope after all!

Let me know you worst case scenarios with bureaucracy and I will kindly

impart my “Oh, that is too bad’s” to each and every one of you! I have a

good feeling that this post may help you ‘vent’, ‘rant’, and you will feel

much better!!

Fellow bloggers ‘therapy’ begins when I hang my ‘shingle up!’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single Ladies Unite!

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On June 4, 1948, Marion Richards placed a greeting card and a corsage on

some of her coworker’s desks. Inside each card, she left a special message

and in honor of her choice of words, there is a holiday on June 4th to celebrate!

She had chosen, you see, women who were over thirty years of age and were

unmarried at the time. She wanted them to feel loved and cared for, despite

their status.

This day is called, “Old Maid’s Day!!”

Oh my! Let’s see, in that time period my Dad was 16 years old and my

Mom was 20 years old.

Both my parents had aunts that were unmarried, due to choice, situation

or loss of a husband. They lived in separate homes, leading active and

productive lives.

My Great Aunt Marie had lost her husband to death while young. She had

worked until she was 67 years old at Gorton’s Fish Company in Gloucester.

She was one of the ‘highlights’ of my 16th summer in 1972. She had a little

red sports car and would take me to the drive-in movies, pick up young (and

cute) hitch-hikers when we were heading out of town. She would carry on the

liveliest and most interesting conversations. She was a good ‘role model’ for

my future dates by being independent and leading a positive life. I remember

one of her favorite outfits that she wore. She had a bright coral blouse and a

beautiful silk scarf with a floral design that included the color of turquoise.

She showed creativity and good fashion sense, which I liked to think about

as time went by She showed a ‘joi de vivre.” She will always be, in my eyes:

Forever young!

When my Great Aunt Marie was 92, I went to visit her. She still had her

own apartment, liked to walk to Bingo, to McDonald’s and the stores

in Gloucester.  When I woke up early to hear her lilting voice raised in

song, I walked slowly and quietly into the kitchen to find her dancing.

There she was floating on her toes, gracefully pirouetting and spinning.

When that song that says, “I Hope You Dance” came out, I carefully copied

all the words and mailed it to her. We were pen pals, and although she

never remarried, she always professed love for Pete, her husband who

had died. She never expressed regrets for not having children and truly

seemed interested in mine. I kept some of her letters, since they hold

such amazing positive words of encouragement. She was not lonely and

made friends up until she died at age 96! No worries for her being an

“Old Maid!” Not in her vocabulary or sensibility.

My Great Aunt Harriet was also a widow, a little older than my Aunt Marie,

but still would take her easel out Bearskin Neck and paint boats and the

infamous Rockport, Mass. red boathouse, Motif Number 1. She also was one

who would hop on her bicycle and go to the other ‘coves’ or inlets to use

her drawing pad. She was quite lively, intelligent and could get my 16 year

old self intrigued in everything from conservation, sea life, and politics!

Mom used to talk about her “elderly old maiden aunts,” which in reality

were cousins of hers. They were retired school teachers. They were not

related, so there were times, much later in my life, that Mom said one

time,

“I think they may have loved each other, choosing to spend their retirement

days, reading and volunteering at the library in Middletown, Ohio.”

Still later, while watching Sean Penn acting as the gay character with the

same name as the movie, “Milk,” she expressed thoughts that her maiden

aunts “may have been” lesbians adding,

“I guess we will never know for sure, since they never told anyone, that I

knew of, in the family.”

Tomorrow, (June fourth), is “My Day!” It may be “Your Day!”

In this world of crazy reasons to celebrate, rejoice in the feeling of being

‘free to choose whatever you wish to do,’ as long as you don’t go out and

break any laws, I don’t care if you even ‘play hooky from work!’

Many women, in today’s society, choose to remain unmarried well past

their 30’s. There is no ‘time limit’ or restrictions or even suggested age

that one must marry now. When women choose to focus on their careers,

their own paths in life, and possibly having children with no marriage

license. . .

I think, “Whatever works for you!”

If you haven’t found Mr. Right, he may just be around the corner.

(At least you have not settled for Mr. Wrong!)

If you are looking for Ms. Right, she may also be just around the corner.

(I hope you catch her eyes!)

If you are content in your ‘Single-dom,’

May it be a kingdom filled with

Joy, Independence and Tranquility!

Who needs an excuse to celebrate being single?

No one needs one, but it is fun to do so, anyway!

Any excuse for a Party of One!

In case you have forgotten the beautiful and inspirational lyrics of

Lee Ann Womack’s song’s lyrics are written by Mark D. Sanders

and Tia Sillers in 2000.

“I Hope You Dance”

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,

You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger.

May you never take one single breath for granted,

God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed.

I hope you still feel small

when you stand beside the Ocean.

Whenever one door closes,

I hope one more opens.

Promise me that you’ll give faith

a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

I hope you dance..

I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,

Never settle for the path of least resistance.

Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking.

Loving might be a mistake but it’s worth making.

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter.

When you come close to selling out– reconsider.

Give the heaven above more than just a passing glance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

I hope you dance…

I hope you dance.

Time is a wheel in constant motion,

Always rolling us along.

Tell me who wants to look back on

their years and wonder where those

years have gone”

(A couple of repeated stanzas and the “I Hope You Dance” repeats.)

If this song isn’t energetic enough, check out Martina Mc Bride’s

song, “This One’s for the Girls.” Of course, you can always rely on

the fun song, even sung by the little Chipmunks’ girlfriends can

be silly to dance to: “All the Single Ladies” by Beyoncé Knowles

and others.

A totally different song, a rowdy and controversial song with

anti-violence message and ending domestic abuse is called,

Independence Day,” sung by Martina McBride. This was not

played on radios because of the difficult subject matter of a mother

fighting back against abuse by burning her family’s home down.

The reason I support this song is due to Martina McBride’s being a

dual spokeswoman for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and

the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

“Independence Day” contains a powerful message for those who are

needing an ‘anthem’ to give them ‘backbone’ to get out of abusive

situations. I like it just to shout out the lyrics, “Let freedom ring!”

 

All Kinds of “Fixes”

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In their third album, “X & Y,” songs and lyrics by Coldplay, there

is a lovely song called, “Fix You.” The British rock group was

founded in 1996. Two college friends, Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland,

started together having met at University College, London, England.

Their group, also, includes Guy Berryman and Will Champion.

The breakdown of the musical group, Coldplay’s talents goes like this:

Guy Berryman is on acoustical guitar, Jonny Buckland plays percussion

instruments, Chris Martin is talented on the piano and Will Champion

plays the piano, also. They have contributed to the writing of many

of the group’s songs together.

The song, “Fix You,” has a slow, sweet pace with some sadness in the

lyrics. It is about someone who is broken, who doesn’t ‘know their worth.’

The singer is expressing the desire to fix that person. I find it a song

that ‘haunts’ me.

I almost included this song in my “Homeward Reflections” post. I felt

that my poem, partly inspired by the Simon and Garfunkel song, “Homeward

Bound,” could have been a ‘bookend’ to “Fix You.” (The album, “X & Y,”

came out in June, 2005 in the UK and Europe.)

Only the lyrics held me back. . .

I was a little bit disturbed by the implied arrogance of the title.

Also, the idea that someone felt capable of ‘fixing’ anyone other than

themself.

Probably, I was a little brought ‘down’ by my own personal inner feelings

of having possibly chosen, in past relationships, ‘broken people.’ Some

sense of inadequacy naturally derived from several failed marriages.

Was I saddened because this made me examine these feelings again?

Am I one who likes to play God and “fix” others?

I wanted that post to be positive and upbeat, so I left the Coldplay

song, “Fix You,” out of the post.

While talking to others, since that ‘home’ post, I found they thought

that I may be misinterpreting the words of the song.

I am also intrigued with analyzing the different ways that we use the

words, “fix,” “fixing/fixin’s,” and “fixed.” I have upon reflection,

decided I don’t like the lyrics, but still absolutely adore the song

by Coldplay’s artists, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland (and others) in the

lyrics’ credits.

My favorite parts are the beginning stanzas and the repeated (3 x)

refrains.

Here are those ‘pieces’ and help me to understand what “fix you,” means

in this song:

“Fix You

“When you try your best,

but you don’t succeed.

When you get what you want,

but not what you need.

When you feel so tired,

but you cannot sleep.

Stuck in reverse…”

(“Tears” stanza)…

(“You’ll never know what you’re worth” stanza)…

Refrain:

“Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you.”

The definition of “fix” includes the ideas of

Repair,

Mend,

Prepare,

Make whole,

and many more definitions.

In my favorite part of looking at a word, I like to engage in ‘word play.’

It helps me to think in terms of lists of uses of “fix,” “fixing,” “fixin’s”

and “fixed.”

This may be challenging to understand if you are used to another language!

This also may confuse you, but variations of the word, “fix,” can be shown

in both negative and positive connotations.

POSITIVE uses of the words that have a root word of “fix:”

1. “fixer-upper” house- one that someone would purchase, make it better by

putting their hard efforts into. It is usually a first home, but sometimes

fixed up to become a rental or ‘turn around’ home. (Real Estate.)

2. “Fix-o-dent” can be quite helpful to keep elderly (and toothless) persons’

dentures in place. (Personal Hygiene.)

3. “fixin’s”- In the south, sometimes in the ‘hills’ people consider this

the delicious side dishes that go with the main meal. Cracker Barrel had

a section with this label for quite some time.

I especially like the expression, “all the fixin’s.” (Food Preparation.)

4. “fix up”- When you are getting fixed up to go out, your appearance

usually is improved!

Example: “My, you certainly look ‘fixed up’ for the party!”

Other variations can include, fixing one’s hair, makeup, and adjusting

your clothing.

Example: “She ‘fixed’ the length of her dress to cover her knees.”

5. “fix”- To prepare a dish or dinner.

Example: “My friend ‘fixes’ a great lasagna!”

6. “fix”- To set up a date, match-make a friend.

Example: “I ‘fixed’ my brother up with my high school friend.”

7. “fix”- To mend or repair, in the way of making whole.

Examples:

a. “I will do whatever it takes to ‘fix this’ and make you feel

comfortable.”

b. “He told her that he would ‘fix’ their relationship by building

her trust.”

8. “fix” or “fixed”- To have won the lottery or inherit money. Be ‘set.’

Example: “That family if ‘fixed’ for life!”

9. “fix” or “fixed”- To be focused on a goal. (Personal Development.)

Example: “He was ‘fixed’ on the Prize.”

10. “fix” or “fixed”- Body parts replaced or repaired. (Personal

Appearance.)

Examples:

a. “She had her eyes ‘fixed’ by laser surgery.”

b. “The famous actor had his facial structure ‘fixed’ after

the accident, through plastic surgery.”

11. “fixed”- A short term used when an animal is neutered,

spayed or castrated.

Example: “I had my dog ‘fixed.’

12. “fixin'”- When one is planning to be married or do an action,

they may express this as, “I’m fixin’ to get hitched!” (Slang.)

My personal bias, interpreting this definition, is that we should

have animals fixed, if we are to help with preventing over-

population of animals. Breeders are allowed to interpret this

usage as negative, since they may wish to produce champions or

make money selling ‘pure breds.’

NEGATIVE uses of the words derived from the root word, “Fix:”

1. “fix”- A person may use this word when ‘in a jam,'(or bind) or

otherwise need someone to bail himself/herself out of a bad situation.

Example: “I’m in a fix.” (Personal Behavior.)

2. “fix”- To repair something broken, attach two parts together with glue,

other things that “need to be fixed.” (The positive result of fixing,

done well, is its counterpart, the whole item.)

3. “fix”- To comply with a teacher or employer’s request to “Fix this.”

This means a mistake or problems lie in the presentation. (The positive

result of fixing this, may mean a better grade or a raise!)

4. “fix”- Need to have a drug, caffeine, sugar, tobacco or other mood

enhancer.

Example: “I need my caffeine ‘fix’ or I won’t be very productive.”

(Slang term, “I need a fix,” can be very negative…)

5. “fix”- This takes on a sinister meaning, in politics, hidden agendas

and mobster movies.

Example: “You better ‘fix’ this!”

(Interpersonal Relations.)

6. “fix”- In certain situations, meaning to change or ‘throw’

something.

Examples:

a. “The fight was ‘fixed.’

b. “School test scores have been found to be ‘fixed’ and may have to be

retaken.”

c. “The player ‘threw’ the game by fixing the bets based on a losing

score.”

7. “fix”- In slang or colloquial usage, can mean revenge or vengeful

thoughts or behaviors.

Example: “That’ll ‘fix’ her!” (Personal Behavior.)

8. “fix”- To adjust an item of clothing that needs to be.

Examples:

a. “Fix your fly!”

b. “Her bra straps would not stay up, so she had to continually

‘fix’ them.”

Both examples are easily turned into positives, when the person

adjusts their clothing item! (Personal Appearance.)

As far as the song, “Fix You,” goes, I feel that no one should think

they are solely responsible for another person’s decisions. I found

this out, through Al-Anon and also, marriage counseling. Accepting

and adjusting to the choices your partner makes, will help you to

stay together. Only when you feel that you cannot do so, then if

the other person doesn’t want to change and adapt to your ways,

then you may need counseling or separation, to reflect on whether

or not it is worth changing for the other person.

Certain phrasings don’t go over well with me, since I feel that in

most relationships the couple needs to work together to make decisions.

I prefer Kahlil Gibran’s image of two cypress trees, neither in each

other’s shadow. Here is a passage from the 1923 book, “The Prophet.”

This is how to be part of a couple, in marriage:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you…”

(Several passages follow)…

“And stand together, yet not too near…”

“The oak and the cypress grow

Not in each other’s shadow.”

When you leave a comment, please let me know if you think the intention of

this song, is positive or negative. Is it just me that worries about an

unspoken sense of negative control of the other’s being?

Odds and Ends

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Like the ends of fabric bolt rolls and the end of a great movie,

I hope to bring you some smiles on this Sunny Monday. There will

be one possible frown ‘producer’ but it is more of a question of

values and appropriate behavior guidelines.

At the Cincinnati Zoo, a new baby giraffe arrived, on May 2, 2014!

Her name was voted on and received 32% votes to become, “Nasha.”

She is adorable, awkward and of course, gangly-looking! I want to

go see her and her family.

When I picked up my youngest daughter from the Columbus Airport, it

was on Mother’s Day morning. She treated me to a breakfast/brunch

at a place on the East side of town, called The Angry Baker. It is

located on Oak Street.

Today, I was answering my coworkers and friends who inquired,

“What did you do on Mother’s Day?” by saying that I went with her

to brunch at a little quaint and unique place.

We sat out in the sunshine, with a few clouds intermittently

covering the sun, for over an hour chatting and catching up.

Her adventures with her ‘new’ family and seeing the sights of

St. Louis were very cool. When a few coworkers stopped to ask

what I ordered there to eat, I told them that I had spotted

and decided my ‘dessert’ first which helped me to choose my

main meal. I saw in the refrigerated display case a triple

layered white torte with what they were calling “Green Tea

and Coconut” icing. In between the three layers was vanilla

cream. Yummy!

I had ordered an asparagus and leek quiche and a ‘field

greens’ salad with raspberry vinaigrette. They asked what

else sounded or looked good, I responded,

“I would like to try next time I get treated to breakfast,

the French toast sandwich with Swiss cheese and ham or bacon

in between.

It was served like a ‘fork and knife’ sandwich, with a small

pitcher of maple syrup. Had I eaten that, I would have probably

not eaten the dessert. Which was as scrumptious, as it had

appeared!

As I passed through my day, I also, inquired into others’

family or individual activities over the weekend. There were

a lot of family cookouts and visits to restaurants, along

with some buffets of home-cooked meals mentioned. I was so

happy, that almost no one ‘reported’ a challenging Mother’s

Day! Even the fathers and sons were pleased with their days.

I heard from a single man who is friends with Anna, that she

requested they go out for a Chinese meal for her Mother’s Day.

I was rather surprised that I had 2 people admit they didn’t

know or asked,

“What is quiche?”

One guessed it was a type of fish and the other guessed a

type of cheese. Interesting who they were, too.

A very important message was given on my CBS This Morning

Show, today (May 12, 2014).

I was sure that this was “News” but once I researched this

subject, it has been an ecological concern and has been around

since 2012 and in 2013. I found headlines from those years,

that this was endangering the Great Lakes!

Have you heard of the Los Angeles scientific study into women’s

(and some men’s) personal care products that include micro-beads

or micro-exfoliates in their ingredients?

I had not heard about this one, until today!

Apparently, it has become scientific research that is being taken

more seriously recently. Actions and results are finally being

taken by major companies.

The products that include these beads are facial scrubs and

body washes. I have also purchased, once or twice, a Bath and

Body Works’ hand sanitizer that had little blue beads in it. I

liked the ‘grit’ and also the way it made my hands feel.

Well, hate to tell you this, especially if you are quite attached

to any cleansing products or cosmetics which include these beads…

They are not good for the environment!

Especially, fish!

And then, fish eaters!

The micro-beads absorb fertilizer and other unnatural by-products

that are in the water system. They tend to ‘grow’ in size, due

to the absorption of these dangerous elements.

They attract fish’s attention.

They consume these, which can be dangerous for us to consume.

Since we are the next ones in the food chain. They can also kill

the fish!

The deadly elements in the water supply have been able to be

measured, viewed and studied under a microscope. It can be lethal,

in so many ways.

One company, ‘stepping up to the plate,’ is Johnson and Johnson,

who have promised to slowly phase these cosmetic and cleansing

products out by 50%, by Christmas. Due to the severity of the

situation reported, I am recommending my friends and fellow bloggers

to go ahead and find another product to use, since this is already

pretty controversial.

My youngest daughter has already started using a ‘Green’ and more

ecologically sound product.

My last “Odds” is not really a positive one, so I will try to think

of something funny to close today’s post. Here is a ‘rant.’

I had a nice time with my girlfriend, going to a place we had

eaten my ‘birthday meal,’ called Horsey Hall. On Friday, they were

having a nice arts and crafts sale, with antique items also for sale.

These were displayed in a large barn and a smaller gardening shed.

It was quite nice and had many reasonably priced items. I ended up

buying some homemade candy that tastes just like a “Heath” or “Skor”

bar. She bought some peanut butter fudge.

We saw Morgan Treni, my favorite local musician, sat on a bench and

drank coffee, while listening to her wonderful voice. I have written

about her, before this.

I am going to ask a question, if someone is just asking an open-ended

“Why…” question is it okay to ‘rail’ on the subject a bit? I mean,

if someone asks you for your opinion, you are allowed to voice it,

right?

I was with a close (over 20 years long friendship) good friend

who asked,

“Why, when we believe in our country in the Bill of Rights and

Freedom of Speech, do we crack down on people who are saying what

they believe?”

She went on to mention the newest two young builders and participants

in a HG-TV project, the twins, David and Jason Benham whose new show

was almost ready to air, called, “Flip It Forward.”

Although the two brothers had been scrutinized for their father’s

very outspoken opinions, they had said they would not reveal their

religious beliefs on air. They felt that their positions on gays,

abortion, divorce would not be an ‘issue.’ The producers had asked

about this before they had begun their project. Also, their family

does not like the fact there is a Muslim mosque at Ground Zero,

(9/11/2001’s tribute to those of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds

who died on that day.)

My friend thought this should not be a ‘problem’ while they were

buying old houses, fixing them up and reselling them. The builders

felt they were helping teach others to ‘flip houses,’ along with

ones who were poor or on a fixed income.

Apparently the source of the controversy is from incidents and

an interview that occurred in 2012. One was at an abortion clinic

and another was where their father had said that “Jesus doesn’t

like Muslims.”

While being interviewed, one of the twins was more outspoken

on the subjects of anti-homosexuals and anti-divorce comments.

My thoughts reflect that of a comment of someone that writes on

an entertainment and news blog. To me they make sense,

“Why rub LGBT employees of HG-TV and possible viewers the wrong

way with having these guys be the center of an upcoming show?”

Mainly, my thought about my friend’s comment is this:

“If you choose to be in front of the media, get your paycheck

from the media and your viewers are the world, you owe it to the

ones paying you, to keep your opinions to yourself!”

It is not a question of ‘Freedom of Speech,’ to me but one of

making good choices. In my opinion, you have to realize that the

ones who are not accepting others, really are a ‘problem.’

Even if you are a Christian, it is not your place to ‘judge others.’

No one has that right, I believe.

Seriously, espousing these beliefs, as this Benham family did, in the

recent past of 2012, had to surface and come under the scrutiny of

the employers and possible viewers eventually.

By saying what they were saying, it was only one short step

away from bigotry. It is not cool, it is not acceptable and I

would have cancelled their show, too!

My Dad and Mom used to use the terminology of ‘slippery slope.’

When they thought that someone said a disparaging or prejudiced

comment, if they did not respond or react to the negative words,

they felt that it was a ‘slippery slope’ to becoming ‘just as

bad as the ignorant ones, who were saying those things!’

On this same subject, Sunday evening while turning to my Arts

and Entertainment Channel (A & E) to watch, “Turn,” the

Revolutionary War show, I caught the ‘tail end’ of “Duck Dynasty.”

I really feel like ‘boycotting’ A & E, which you may remember

I was upset about the leader of the Robertson’s Clan, Phil…

How many months ago?

The story I wrote was called, “The Cost of Silence,” written on

January 22, 2014.

“Good ole Phil” is back on the show, folks! The network gave him a

‘slap on the wrist’ for his horrible comments in an interview. It

was a short hiatus, like serving in ‘detention hall,’ where he was

not allowed to be on the show.

Like it was okay to say what he did to “GQ” magazine, while on

A & E’s payroll.

What a shame!

For my ‘funny’ ending that I promised here are two things to get

you smiling.

First, have you ever imagined how a baby giraffe was conceived?

Second, my Mom and I talked for an hour from 11 p.m. until 12,

midnight, leading into Mother’s Day. She knew that I had had a

splendid picnic with all 3 kids and 6 grandkids on this past Wed.

Also, I had written two letters and sent two Mother’s Day cards

to remind her of my Sunday plans. She had joked over Easter that

I wasn’t her mother, but I did tell her I would have liked to be

two places at one time!

I had told her, I was going to spend my Mother’s Day picking my

youngest daughter up from the airport.

My youngest brother and his wife are at a Reading Convention

in New Orleans, which they were pleased to attend. (It means

neither one has to put on their Doctorate robes and hand out

any diplomas at their respective universities they teach at.)

When I asked Mom if she remembered I wasn’t coming this

weekend she responded,

“You wrote it on my bulletin board and my calendar, what

chances did I have to forget?”

When I asked Mom if she minded just ‘hanging out and having

dinner’ with my middle brother, the artist, she cracked me up:

“What other choices do I have?”