Category Archives: intuition

All in One Day: Thank God for Small Favors

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From being called, “honey chile'” (which is a short cut for “honey

child,” with a Southern twist) to “m’am,” Wednesday was quite a

unique day. I expressed myself, much to the chagrin of my boss

and boss’ boss about work and it seemed like I might have to be

looking for another job.

 

It was “one of those days!”

 

The upswing were the nice labels given to me, they brightened

my mood and took me outside of my own discomfort and nervous

feelings, too. But. . . this didn’t happen to me, until the end of an

extra long day.

 

This would have been nice to have landed on February 2nd, where

the imaginary day would have played out like the actor, Bill Murray’s

day did in the movie, “Groundhog’s Day.” I would have loved to have

been in the young woman’s shoes in the fun and new Hallmark film

shown on television, “I Do, I Do, I Do.” The woman gets to have so

many ‘do-overs’ that she learns to dance, a foreign language and

manages to marry the ‘right’ man in the end.

 

No, my week started with us paper-picking, which is a tedious

process that you fill hampers with car products which normally

you get to see lights lit up which I smile and say, “Pick 1- A” and

then put one of the products under the light into the “A” tub.

 

The ‘system’ was down. It was a long day. As I was turning in my

indirect time sheet which is like a daily log of the up’s and down’s

of my workday, explaining ‘time gaps’ by saying I was ‘cleaning’

which may entail drying a stack of wet, snowy hampers before I

could use them or ‘research,’ which means checking if the stocker

put the right products into the correct slot.’ My most used one is

called, ‘warehouse,’ while I may have to open packaging of eight

scented air fresheners to place one in the bin, or may have to

count out sets of 24 that the stocker dumped out of the boxes,

which is a Royal Pain, when the stores are having rush orders of

asking for 72 or 96 in my six hampers I am pushing along, while

filling on a line.

 

Anyway, after handing in my answers to the ‘Essay Test,’ I was

told I was going to have to start using a wrist computer with a

Blue Tooth feature, which would tell me orders across a screen

and it weighs between 5 and 6 pounds. This may not be a big

deal with some of my younger and possibly bigger coworkers,

but it is strapped onto my left forearm and there is a gadget

which you attach to two of your fingers to scan with. This is used

in a work area that I often mention is not “Pick to Light” but it

involves pushing a cart where you place four hampers up and

down rows in a place called the “Mezzanine.” I have used in this

area for the past six years a Tablet with a scanner. I like this,

since I can play imaginary ‘store keeper,’ scanning products and

placing them into bins.

 

The Tablet, unlike the arm computer, is put on a rack attached

to the cart and has large writing,. You can see the next product’s

location, as you push the cart down the aisles. This is one of

the ‘fun’ places I finish many of my days in a few of the zones.

On our short Fridays, Melvin and I try to beat each other by

running around corners.

if you have ever read, (yes, Mike Lince has often said this is

like a Lucille Ball show, where the center character is me!)

 

I was upset, but managed to say, “Okay, if I must learn this

new tiny printed screen and heavy weighted thing placed upon

my arm, I will try my best.”

 

Two days later, since I did adapt emotionally well to the blue

tooth computer (not so well to the numbness of my thin arm and

wrist area) and was doing fine in what companies consider MOST

importantly: My performance rate was at a 95%.

 

The manager decided to burst my newly found ‘bubble’ and add

on Wednesday; a FEAR. Yes, folks, Robin is afraid to go back to

Heavy Bulk.

 

I am one of three people left in the Bins Order Filler position since

I arrived six years ago. When others have been used and abused by

being asked to daily “cross-over” and “help” heavy bulk, I had done

my eight weeks’ training, failed by running into racks and tipping

pallets of stock over by bumping them in the shipping lanes and had

to be written up with three warnings.

 

My old boss, Jake,  the one I have declared “my very best boss ever,”

(over any teachers, principals or superintendents) due to his ability

to stay calm and be such a patient leader to a variety of people.

He is gone, off to a better position, but he was there during that

disastrous summer fiasco!

 

Jake had finally written me up for the third time, taken a photograph

of the ‘ding’ in a metal rack left and let me stay permanently in the

area of Bins. Now, if you stayed with me through that Hemingway-

esque description and length of run-on sentence, I will tell you I said

to my current boss, and then my boss’ boss,

“I hate my job!”

 

As I dragged my feet down the long walk from Building One to

Building Three later in the day, my coworker, Nick, slowed down

on his center riding pallet rider, the very one I never hoped to

drive again to say,

“Hi Robin! What’s going on, I never see you looking at the floor

as you walk. “(I am not making this up, he is such an intuitive

and kind young man, I have really asked him more than once,

“Do you have a divorced father or widowed grandfather who

would like to casually date me?” He always smiles at this kind

of compliment to him, too.)

 

I rolled my eyes and told him,

“They are really pushing me to cross-train or retrain again and

thinking about placing me in Heavy Bulk with the likes of you!”

 

As I talked to him briefly, I went into my plastic Zip Lock bag

and found the new Juicy Fruit Starburst Gum with tangy cherry

flavor to hand him three pieces. This is an ongoing ‘help keep

the young people around,’ ploy and he gave me a broad smile

in return,

“Thank you so much, Robin!”

 

When I mentioned my appalling and inappropriate employee

behavior to my best friend, Jenny, after work on my cell phone,

she said,

“Oh no! Robin you cannot talk to your bosses like that!

You will get fired!”

 

I answered her, my best friend and retired teacher I dearly love,

“Jenny, you would not last a day in this job. I have adapted, I have

stuck with each request for six long years and I am going to try to get

a better work excuse out of Heavy Bulk from my ophthalmologist.”

 

She replied, “This will just get them to start writing you up over

and over again, until you have enough ‘Points’ (you can get up

to 10 before being fired) to get legitimately fired. Your talking

in such a disrespectful way will get you terminated.”

 

My attitude to the whole thing was to say in response to my

long-time friend of over 20 years, approaching 25 was to say,

“I don’t care anymore.”

 

So, I went above my boss’ boss to the newly positioned CEO

on Wednesday. Ted was someone we have all known who has

risen from the ranks of Order Filler in Florida, having taken

business courses and getting a Bachelor’s down there. To be

finally receiving a Master’s degree (online coursework) and

being recognized for his leadership and good work ethic.

 

I asked Ted a simple question:

“How do I get my eye doctor to write me a prescription you

and others will understand? I have submitted one that has

explained I had narrow eye glaucoma, have had laser surgery

and now wear contacts to help me see the tiny bar codes on

the products and to the best I can with these, see far down

the lanes in the Pick to Light and the Bins area in the Mezz

and the Green Bins areas. It says plain as day in my files,

written with the idea of driving a fork lift and pallet rider,

that I cannot see out of one of my eyes well enough to back

up into shipping. It expresses these two elements: Robin

lacks depth perception due to her monovision.”

 

Ted studied me, he is a fair man, after all. He then put his

hands into a prayer ‘posture,’ and asked,

“Could you get your ophthalmologist to write a clearer

prescription which describes our different equipment?”

 

Exasperated, I told Ted that I would try but added that

he could look up My Summer from Hell, that I spent in

the Heavy Bulk radiators, struts and tailpipes area and

how I was ‘wrangling stuff far bigger than I was’ and how

I lost my Summer bonus, because I was not able to drive

backwards in the narrow lanes on the shipping floor.

 

Ted listened, I give him that.

Again he repeated that I needed a more specific excuse since

“everyone” was being cross-trained back into Heavy Bulk.

 

As I left, I mentioned this fact,

“When I interviewed for this job, I was told I would just

be in the area of the bins and never drive abt equipment. I

did give this a ‘shot’ and failed miserably. How is it that

two of the last older colleagues may use knee surgery and

shoulder surgery to count as good excuses but when I

am afraid of hurting others, using equipment I am not

very capable of handling, due to the safety concerns you

would think that my eyes would be every bit as ‘good’ an

excuse as theirs. . .  I will call Dr. Pappas, leave a detailed

message and hope for the best.”

 

When I left work, I was discouraged. I have really tried

there. I went into the library this time driving directly

there and not parking in the front lot of my apartment

building, trudging here and back by foot. I just wanted

to read and post an upbeat message on Thursday or

Friday. No complaining or ranting.

 

Into my second hour of writing my Premio Dardos post,

I was asked while immersed in my writing by two young

men a question. I had to ‘shake off my dream world of

blogging’ and listen. They looked rather upset and worn

around the edges. One was in a ball cap and the other was

holding two skate boards,

“M’am, would you be able to give us a ride?”

 

I glanced at my neighbor, a woman who is a nurse who is

doing online training, often in the library. She looked at me,

raised her eyebrows, her head turned towards me, back of

her head towards the ‘boys.’

 

I told them I was blogging, needed to be here about an hour,

but afterwards I could drive them. I pointed outside through

the glass partition that separated the computer room from the

lounge chairs and cubicles that people tutor students in and

also, set up their private laptops to do their work,

“If you want a ride, I will try to do what I can as fast as I can,

so you may only have to sit out there for 45 minutes. Where

am I taking you?”

 

Their response reassured me it would only take me 15 minutes

out of my way and it was an older, more familiar territory to

me. Sometimes I just use my ‘gut’ and I did this time. I used

to live there on this street, where the corner had a bakery and

a hair dresser, side by side with a leather works shop. It was

more of a positive way to end my day, than to focus the whole

time on my dumb job problems. I probably wrote distracted

and shortened comments on Wednesday to my fellow bloggers,

since I was really fuming inside. (The repeated rant I kept

carrying in my head, interrupting my writing flow was,

“How much more of this can I take, Lord?”)

 

As the young men walked away, I noticed one has droopy

drawers, which is what is still considered fashionable among

some of the teens around Delaware. It looked like Kanye and

sometimes other rappers still think it is okay to wear, too.

 

The nurse looked at me and asked pointedly,

“Do you KNOW those boys?”

 

I replied, “No, but my son used to ask people for rides,

sometimes still relies on others for them.”

 

She grabbed my arm, not too tightly but more of a warm

touch,

“Honey chile’ you should not give boys or men you don’t

know rides. I will pray for your safety tonight.”

I looked at her computer and saw she was finished with

her program and she handed the headphones back into

the computer room aide. I told her thank you and I did

appreciate her caring about me.

 

I decided to finish up and leave the computer room, go

to the bathroom and give the ‘boys’ a ride. I looked at

them with the one boy having his cap pulled over his face,

slouching in one of the leather chairs while the other, who

had asked me looked up expectantly, asking, “Are you ready

now?” He nudged his skate boarding partner and told him

to get ready to go. I found them waiting outside the women’s

restroom, probably figuring I was making a ‘go at leaving

without them, ‘ but I never purposely go back on a promise.

 

I went to my car and they stood outside while I unlocked it,

asking if I minded their smoking one cigarette while it warmed

up. I didn’t mind and made a joke telling them I had to take a

few moments to clear a seat in the back of the car, adding that

when I had gone to Cleveland to my Mom’s I was given a few

odds and ends to put into my own crowded apartment. I tell

many people about my using the trunk as a kind of ‘shed.’

 

When they got into the car, the one who has asked for the

ride and had been in ‘charge’ of the skateboards said such

a nice compliment,

“Thank you, m’am, we asked probably a dozen people, men

and women in the library and finally were about to give up

and we saw people in the computer room and there you were,

being so kind to us. We would have waited, it got so cold all

of a sudden. Hope you didn’t rush on account of us?”

 

I asked their names, the one who was the speaker of the two,

more outgoing and friendly said,

“My name is Hudson and he is Shane, we went to high school

and have also gone to the JVS. (This is shortened version of

Joint Vocational School, where high school students learn

a variety of skills.)”

 

I told him, “I paint children’s names but have only painted one

‘Hudson’ for the past thirty years and never painted a ‘Shane.'”

 

Shane perked up in the back, looked at my eyes on him through

the rear view mirror. He told me that it was taken as a nickname,

from a movie his grandmother liked, that his real name was

Richard and that Hudson was really named William.

 

I told him I loved the movie, “Shane,” had he seen it?

 

Shane told me he had more than three times watched it with

his grandparents and had made his friend Hudson watch it, too.

 

When I told William that his name was really a nice one and

that Kate and William are making their royal rounds in the

world. Why didn’t he stick with this name? He responded by

saying he ‘hated’ to be called, “Billy” or “Willy.”

 

I told him Will Smith was a cool guy and he carries his name

well.

When I asked what jobs they were going to work in or what

were their hopes for the future, William/Hudson told me he

had learned to cook at JVS and that Richard/Shane had taken

computer classes and was having a hard time finding a job in

that area.

I told Hudson that my son is a morning kitchen manager and

cook at Son of Thurman and it is a great paying job with a good

work environment setting. Explained how James has been in

wonderful places after he finished JVS, like learning how to

be a ‘sous chef’ under a European, German chef and has been

a kitchen manager for another restaurant, as well as plenty of

other ‘worse’ paying and poorer atmosphere places, too.

 

Hudson exclaimed excitedly,

“I know I have heard of James! He is a friend to one of my

older brothers!”

 

All of a sudden, this was a ride meant to be had. It was one of

the best moments of my week. I am getting teary eyed as I type

this, just thinking if I had said, “No, I don’t give rides to strangers.”

 

When I got into my darkened one bedroom apartment, I turned on

ivory colored decorated warmer of scents that my friend Jenny gave

me for Christmas, switched on  the lights on my little tree with birds

and nests, with red and white calico ties on the branches and gazed

at my dining room table in the living room with the burgundy runner,

burgundy covers on my chairs and the lovely pewter candle sticks, with

three large Valentine’s Day cards and several small ones

from the grandies on the table, suddenly. . .

 

“all was right with the world.”

 

 

 

 

* Musical selections:

Here are a few songs which crossed my mind later.

1. “These Days,” by Foo Fighters.

2. “One of These Days,” sung by Emmylou Harris which

talks about being a woman and finding peace.

3. “One of These Days,”  Tim McGraw’s version is about

being bullied and finishes with such a poignant, touching

line, “some day you’re going to love me.”

4. “One of These Nights,” by the Eagles.

5.”These Days,” sung by Rascal Flatts.

6. “These Days,” performed by Jackson Browne.

7. The way people connect in our small town of

Delaware reminds me of John Mellencamp’s song,

“Small Town.”

 

*Art suggestion:

If you would like to see an adorable drawing of a child

throwing up fallen leaves illustrated by Mary Englebreight,

check out this by writing, “Thank God for Small Favors,”

it comes up with a special picture.

 

 

 

 

“Let’s Go for a Ride!”

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When the word, “bicycle,” first appeared in print, it

was in an article in the English newspaper, “The Daily

News.” The writer spelled its variations as, ‘trysicles’

and ‘bysicles.’ This was in 1868. To put this into time

sequence and add perspective, the first car was invented

in 1886. Bicycles were around only 18 years longer. This

is rather hard to believe!

Original bicycles were totally different looking and the

foot-powered bikes were somewhat like hobby horses.

Their nickname, coming from the odd word combination

using a hobby horse, was “Dandy horse.”

In 1897, magazines advertising for ointments to ease

aches and pains, included women in these loose items of

clothing. They looked like “pantaloons” or as my friend,

Luanne suggested, “bloomers.” These women wore their hair

swept up into buns, with a hat held onto their hair, using

hat pins. The smaller hat, could have been replaced with a

wider brim, with netting to tie under the women’s chins.

The women, in the old fashioned ad, were preparing to ride

on bicycles.

To still look like a ‘lady,’ this clothing design makes

me smile. It accommodated women’s ‘right’ to ride bikes.

They could disembark from their bike, having the look of

wearing a longer skirt.

An author of a recent book, Thomas Ambrose, includes a

long passage about the impact of bicycles on women’s

equality. Here is part of that passage in the quotation

about women’s bicycling:

“As women got ideas that they wanted more social liberty,

this” (the fact that cars were expensive and they were

not able to purchase them) “became irksome. The coming

of the bicycle gave women freedom…the lady’s bicycle

is probably an emblem of emancipation.”

“The History of Cycling in Fifty Bikes,” (224 pp.),

by Irish author, Tom Ambrose. He rode bikes as a boy

in the 50’s and 60’s. Now, currently, as a grandfather

rides a ‘sporting amateur’s bike.’

When people while courting sometimes would say,

“Do you want to go for a drive? (or road trip?)”

this would sometimes include a stop at “Lover’s

Lane” before going home. If one were not able to

afford a car, you could travel with a bicycle with

your sweetheart. Another choice, you could have a

bicycle built for two, called a ‘tandem bike.’

The song with the chorus of “Daisy, Daisy, tell

me your answer true…” originally contains the

words, ‘bicycle built for two.’ It was written

in 1892 by Harry Dacre.

After all, you could still stop to have a picnic

or have a romantic moment under a tree.

There is a recent trend of using bikes to travel

as families, with the adults in the lead and they

have attached a wagon with a netted canopy-sort of

thing. The children are safely strapped down inside.

These are called, “cargo bikes.” I sometimes wonder

how those children feel, as they look out upon the

world, whisking briskly past them. Do they have any

focus to their views on nature, if the parents’ travel

route is on a bike path in a park? Do the children

have any thoughts on the lack of clarity of their

scenery? Is it rather blurry, once the bikes start

going down the paths quickly. Maybe they love the way

it feels going ‘fast’ through life?

In the 1960’s and 70’s, the new trend then, was to be

more conscious of the environment. The gas prices then

and other areas of society were soaring (just imagine

if we could go back to what the rising prices were

then! Smile!) I can picture someone who was a hippie

then, saying ‘ride on’ instead of ‘right on!’

Anyway, being aware of the natural resources brought

about the movement to cycle to work.

In some big cities, they started adding a cycling

lane. Of course, in Eastern countries, this was an

older pattern, from rickshaws to bicycling in China

and India, along with other countries whose cities

were getting engorged with traffic jams.

The low cost and community sense of bikes, also was

apparent while I was growing up. There were more

‘fix-it’ or bicycle repair stores around back then.

In communes, if one weren’t walking or riding a horse,

you may have a bicycle to get from the country into

town.

Racing bicycles became popular and the biggest race

of this sort, was the Tour de France competition. This

came about in 1903.

Some different, unusual advancements in the bicycling

world that are notable are:

The Lucas bike lamp, an early oil lamp, made night time

bicycling safer.

Inflatable tire, thanks to John B. Dunlop’s invention.

Wire spokes, kudos to James Stanley’s creative usage.

In the Viet Nam war era, North Viet Nam bikes were

painted in camouflage, allowing many dangerous and

silent war events of bombs and shootings to occur.

Gears, derailers, carbon filters and more improvements

have been made over the years.

There was a Spring in the past eight years, while I

have been single when I dated a man, casually. After

we had been together a year, I had a moment where I

visualized the movie with Tom Crew, Renee Zewelleger

and Cuba Gooding. No, it was not, “Show me the money!”

It was that romantic line delivered by Renee Z. to

Tom’s character:

“You had me at, ‘Hello.'”

The man I was dating said,

“I would like to buy you a bicycle and keep it in my

garage for us to ride in different Central Ohio Metro

Parks.”

The line redone could have been, “You had me at buying

me a bike!”

That was ‘as good as it gets!’ I really don’t need a

sparkling diamond ring nor a proposal!

It meant something, it meant some future good times.

We bought a nice red “cruising bicycle” with red and

white Hawaiian pattern. It was a reasonably priced

Schwinn bike. It had a bell! It had a light! I was so

thrilled! I had called my brother, Rich, for some

shopping input, since he is a triathlon racer and

uses a racing bike for one of the ‘legs’ of those

races. He told me the three speed bike, with hand

brakes, would be an ‘easy adjustment’ for me.

We went on a short bike ride that weekend. I headed

home, ready to call my best friend (or two) to brag

that I finally had reached a sort of commitment with

this man.

The following weekend, I headed over on a sunny day,

anticipating a wonderful afternoon of riding our bikes

together. That just seemed, to me, one of the most fun

and romantic pastimes ever!

When we opened this man’s garage, he was pulling his

bike off its hooks on the wall, while I approached my

bike which was leaning against the wall. I dragged it

out into the sunshine. It was hard to roll. Oh no!

Both tires were flat. While the man looked up the

weight of the tires and got his air pump out, I had

a weird sense of doom. I know, you will call it some

kind of intuition. I was starting to babble, showing

frustration. I was flabbergasted:

“How could this have happened in one short week?”

I verbalized my fears:

“Is this a sign or something?”

I could not stop my heart from sinking, as I sat out

in the yard, looking up at the bright blue sky and

pondering the significance.

I heard what sounded like a gun shot. It was the stupid

inner tube exploding inside the tire. That sinking

feeling sunk more. He had simply over-inflated it.

I don’t know why I was being so anxious, but I was!

I tried to breathe deeply, tried to allow calm to fill

me up.

When he emerged from the garage, he had ‘accidentally’

exploded BOTH inner tubes. I don’t know why, but I

realized this may have been on purpose. I reflected

back upon the purchase the past weekend, how he had

exclaimed. as we passed a park,

“That is the park I used to ride all the time with

my ex-girlfriend.”

You may think I am crazy, but when he asked me, note

that he did not tell me,

“Do you want to take the bike back and get another one?

We could say we didn’t notice that the bike’s tires

were flat…”

I noticed that he did not say,

“Let’s go buy new inner tubes.”

I sighed and replied,

“Just take the bike back.”

He looked at me,

“Are you sure, Robin?”

He didn’t argue or try to talk me back into this

decision.

I then knew that the bike represented ‘too much

commitment.’ The relationship went downhill after

that. Weeks later, he was back with his ex, probably

riding those same paths with her.

When I talk about a bucket list, plans to travel far

and wide. I would be happy to have a bike and a man to

ride, here in Ohio. This is not that much to ask for!

I have many fond memories of bike rides with friends,

brothers, Science Club and loved ones. I hope that I

did not detract from the positive opinion I have about

bicycles!

This Spring and Summer, if you have a bicycle, get it

fixed up and ready to go on a marvelous ride! There

are many reasons, to enjoy scenery, move up and down

hills, pump your legs for exercise and for the special

way it feels to be on a bike! Some people who feel

hiking is overwhelming or hard on their feet, will

enjoy getting on a bicycle. It is still a rather

reasonable purchase, comparatively speaking, to

other sports equipment.

Don’t worry, it is not like you will have forgotten

how to ride!

It is like that old adage, “Get right back on that

horse and ride it.”

By the way, I think that would be an equally fun way

to travel around parks that accommodate horses. But,

what I really meant to say is,

“Get your bike out and enjoy the ride!

… and don’t forget your bike helmet!”

I’m Looking Over a 4 Leaf Clover

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Good luck charms come in a variety of ways. Some may have

a penny in each loafer, like I did in the sixties. Some

may pick up every penny they see on the ground. Some may

study it, as they bend down. Since, if it is facing up,

then you will have good luck. If it is facing down, the

‘omen’ may be that you won’t have any luck. Just as when

you hang a horse shoe, don’t ever hang it facing down! This

means your luck will be ‘draining out.’

Every culture that I can think of has some kind of tradition

or superstition that some members of it, follow. Now, I have

met many people who feel no fears of walking under a ladder,

opening their umbrella, in the house as they step out into

a torrent of rain or don’t worry a bit, if a black cat passes

in front of them.

I have a picture of my Dad in a little pocket of my car, by

the dashboard. I also have a Las Vegas poker chip (given to

me by a friend who has been there and won big stakes) stored

in another part of my car. I have yet to travel there, but

have a cousin, Heather, who I could stay with, when I go. I

also have a little silver ladybug, who is in my luggage, to

keep me ‘safe’ and give me ‘safe travel mercies.’ My parents

had a St. Christopher medal hanging on their rearview mirror.

I never store a purse, sell one or give one away without a

penny stuck in each one of them. I particularly save the years

of my three children’s birthdays. I suppose, for me, “Pennies

from Heaven” would explain this purse tradition.

I was very excited when someone gave me a list of talisman for

many different areas of the world. It is not the sum of all of

them, I am sure! This will, at least, get you started.

Here is the lovely list given to me:

1. Bumble Bee- for luck and prosperity.

2. Anchor- for hope and optimism.

3. Egyptian Ankh- for health, wealth and longer life.

4. Mushroom- good things to come.

Are we sure this didn’t just come from the ‘stoners’

in the sixties and seventies? Party on!

5. Pig- for wealth.

6. Owl- for wisdom and truth

Now, I understand why people collect owls and pigs!

7. Grecian key- for knowledge and opportunity.

You see on Greek sororities and fraternities, a symbol

of a key. Now, you know what the significance behind

this. We had Key Club in high school, where students who

were wishing to be prepared to become leaders, joined.

8. Horseshoe- for protection and luck.

9. Rooster- for good fortune and justice.

10. Thor’s Hammer- for success in adversity.

11. Pole Star- for guidance and safety.

12. Japanese Frog- for safe travel.

13. Four leaf clover- for luck and happiness.

This goes hand in hand, with shamrocks, which is an

Irish tradition for good luck, too. Happy St. Patrick’s

Day, to you all!

14. Buddha’s Shell- for fortune and sanctity.

15. Elephant- for luck.

I always thought this should include the trait of

memory? Like an elephant never forgets. But this was

not included in this talismans’ list of qualities.

16. Turtle- for wisdom.

17. Lion- for a long life.

18. Horse- for achievement and happiness.

This also I thought would include some kind of racing

reference… like being quick?

19. Eye of Horus- for health and wealth.

20. Sun- for awareness and enlightenment.

21. Dolphin- for friendship.

I feel we, as humans, have an affinity for animals. I

can definitely understand why we would show respect for

the creatures of the world.

Hope that this list will have given you something to

think about. If you have a special token or charm that

you carry around with you, please let us know. I would

like to hear about the significance, if there is a

culture or tradition tied to it, or any other details.

I was surprised that the list that was given to me, did

not include a rabbit. As in a rabbit’s foot used to be

put on key chains and by rubbing one, you were supposed

to get good luck. Probably the whole idea of it seems

horrifying, nowadays, since we have the prevention of

cruelty to animals. But, my uncle, who was a hunter and

a high school biology teacher, would have said,

“What’s the big deal? You have to cut the feet off and

skin it, to be able to have rabbit stew!”

Good luck and “May the Road Rise Up to Greet You!”

Last year’s post around this time, I had a nice St. Patrick’s

Day blessing included, you may wish to check out.

The Opposite of Romance

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There were Saturday afternoon movies on television where

the brothers got to take a turn choosing the movie. Which

meant; it must be winter! Then, while they were outside

gallivanting in the Spring or Fall, I sometimes wanted to

get ‘lost’ in a movie and dream’ a little.

One of my favorite ‘escape’ movies was called, “Tammy and

the Bachelor,” starring Debbie Reynolds. She played a 17

year old girl, living barefoot along a Mississippi swamp

with her Grandpa, played by Walter Brennan. Along comes a

city ‘folk’ handsome man named, Leslie Nielson. You can

just guess what transpires!

There are four ‘Tammy’ movies, if you wish to indulge in

plots that resemble cotton candy spun into tales of love

and romance. I adored these, along with the old black and

white “Thin Man” movies. These were about a wealthy

married couple but enjoyed playing detectives. Myrna Loy

plays a rather ‘spunky’ wife, with William Powell as her

debonair husband. This comedy-romance movie spun off

into quite a collection of films.

Today’s post could not be written on Tuesday or Wednesday,

since I really had a debate with myself. I was unsure

what you would consider about my thoughts about the recent

debacle on a silly show called, “The Bachelor.”

I mean this week is “Brain Awareness Week” and what am I

doing writing about a show that most probably consider

‘mindless drivel?’ Pretty ironic!

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I had watched the

Bachelor show, observing dating in its most unnatural

habitat. How could I have a witless dating after fifty

blog and not have some comments to ‘weigh in with?’

Although the ancient, and almost extinct, patterns

depicted in this season’s show were amusing, they also

had some alarming warnings.

The Bachelor, Juan Pablo, has become fairly infamous

in the past two days. Besides there were many people

who had purposely watched the season. I can only

imagine women cringing behind their pillows, gritting

their teeth every time he said such surface-oriented

compliments.

On the show, I noticed there were few women who even

noticed his very shallow dialogue and subject matters

in their conversations. Almost all seemed to get big

grins on their faces, while we watched him ingratiate

himself with such comments as,

“You are so sexy!’

“You are the most beautiful woman.”

“You look pretty today.”

or, using his Spanish, “Ay, ay, ay!” (Meaning ‘Oh, my!’)

It happened to be the Final Rose Ceremony and the

episode that usually ends with a marriage proposal.

Lots of current hype about the show, the shocked

silence in the studio audience. The stunned host,

even, shaking his head.

Either you caught the different wild stories on

the entertainment news or you may have already

seen a cover story about Juan Pablo. He pocketed

the diamond ring that he had us all focus in on

while he chose this with the Lane Jewelry man

who makes his periodic appearance, when the final

show is approaching.

When Juan is about to tell Claire, one of the two

final women left on the show, that she is not his

heart’s desire, she figures it out. She had already

insinuated that he had made a major rude ‘under the

radar,’ (possibly crude) statement to her on their

‘island date.’ As they were disembarking from the

plane, while no microphones would pick up his not

so nice comment, which threw Claire through a loop.

She made a big deal about that she had expected a

different kind of ‘sweet nothing’ whispered in her

ear. We can just imagine.. He was, according to Claire,

‘crude.’

On their final night together, Juan had persuaded

Claire to soften her heart. He was giving promises and

espousing future plans of their having babies together

and raising his daughter, Camilla. She had decided she

loved him, would ‘forgive’ his faux pas and was ready

to get engaged to him.

I think, after all these years, I had a sick to my

stomach feeling. A deja vu moment. I saw myself, talking

myself into accepting what most, including my parents,

would consider ‘unacceptable behavior.’ This happened to

me!

I felt compelled to write this, thinking that it may

save one person from this foolish mistake. To cover

a television show that I do feel within the realm of

my interests and studying dating patterns. Little did

I realize the ‘reality show’ would open up my memories

of a bad situation.

When Juan did not ask Claire, but told her that she

was not the one he loved, she let him have it. That

she would not take a hug, she put her arms out and

with a firm (and not bitchy voice) said that she would

not want to marry him nor wish to have any children

with him. She felt sorry for the one who would be

part of his future life. (This is the gist of Claire’s

final ‘stand,’ I am sure there are videos of this

episode, if you wish to get the juicy details.)

So, the final night with the second girl did not

go too smoothly either. Nikki had written Juan a

very heartfelt letter, professing her love for him.

She had already told him once before and she also

(like Claire) had been one of three girls to take

Juan ‘home with them.’

Nikki is saddened that Juan does not say any sort of

answer to her thoughts, her question being, ‘Do you

love me?’ This final night, she cries because she

is unsure of his answer.

Unless you have been living under a rock, or hate this

sort of thing, (hopefully you stopped reading awhile ago.)

Nikki was not given a ring nor asked to get married, by

Juan. Nikki, again, tells Juan she loves him and has

enjoyed every moment together…

Juan tells her he is not going to ask her to marry him

until he ‘is very sure’ or that he is ‘100% sure.’

Then when she has poured her heart out once again, Juan

says these words:

“I like you a lot.”

Seriously!

One smart man, Sean, who chose a great partner, in

Katherine (or Catherine) is in the studio audience

watching along with two other couples and a full

room. Three couples have followed the procedures,

kept the pattern or formula of finding their partners

and gotten married.

Sean says a wise statement,

“Isn’t this like biting the hand that feeds you?”

He is astounded that even on the “After the Final Rose

Ceremony,” Juan is not able to say he loves Nikki nor

if or when they will get married.

Lots of red flags have gone off, in my own head, during

the course of this particular Bachelor’s season. Juan is

able to kiss and do more with some, but says to others,

“Out of respect for my daughter, I will not kiss all the

women.”

He chose to go out into the ocean with Claire, where it

looks in the moonlight, like they are making out. Possibly

more.

The next day, Juan gave HER a lecture about disrespecting

his daughter, making her feel bad that she had ‘enticed him

into there.’ Presumably, they did more together that night

than he had planned. She was half of the equation and yet,

he doesn’t say he is sorry. No, he places the blame on her!

If I were a pediatric nurse, as Nikki is, I would have

used my mind and my intuition to pack my bags really

early on. Looking back at the season’s shows, maybe she

still will walk out.

Here are my quick words about the girls that stayed,

once Juan’s behaviors became questionable:

Have you been brainwashed?

Have you not been out on a date for quite awhile?

Are you desperate?

Did you get ‘caught up in the moment’ and possibly

got into a competitive spirit… which explains why

you didn’t care that Juan is not the ‘brightest

bulb on the Christmas tree?’

Have you ever heard of Stockholm syndrome? Were you

held against your will?

This season’s Bachelor show did not do well in the

producer’s choice in a man to follow the guidelines.

The parents, during the family ‘hometown visit’ had

been saying that Juan doesn’t always know who to

choose, is immature and also, that he is egotistical.

I see Juan trying to come off as nice and easygoing,

while showing a lot of control and forethought into

his actions.

During commercials the week before this Final Rose

Ceremony program, they called this, “The Most

Controversial Bachelor Show Ever!”

I would call it the show that held women back in time,

to when they were not able to make their own choices.

It was a ‘throw back’ to the giddy, but sweet, movies,

like “Tammy and the Bachelor.”

Too bad it did not have the lovely innocence or

sentimentality needed in a truly romantic show.

Are You Using Your Noggin?

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The week of March 10 – 14th, (2014) has a health concern

attached to it. This is Brain Awareness Week. I decided

that for our “Hump Day” we need to think and work a bit.

Here are some people who are putting their brains to good

use. They all have been working since 50 or more years ago.

Not only are they still considered very talented but they

have made major contributions to our world.

Queen Elizabeth II, 88 years old and has been ‘on the

job,’ since 1952. She became Queen at age 25 years old.

The lineage went through her father, King George VI. He

followed his brother, King Edward VIII, who abdicated the

throne in 1936.

The Rolling Stones have been ‘on the job’ since 1962.

Their great beginnings and their stone got to rolling,

was when they signed with Decca Records in 1963. The

first 45 they ‘cut’ was “Come On” and on the flip side

was, “I Want To Be Loved.” They have made rock n’ roll

to the ‘tune of’ 92 singles, 29 studio albums and 10

live albums.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81 years old, has been a jurist

since 1959. Her first big job was as the second female

faculty member of Rutgers University Law School, 1963.

Way to go! Way to make an impact on society!

Here is a quote from R. B. Ginsberg,

“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that

meant be your own person, be independent.”

Placido Domingo, 73, has been singing in his tenor

voice, since 1957. He joined the Mexico National Opera.

He is also known for being a member of the “Three

Tenors,” which includes Luciano Pavarotti and Jose

Carreras.

Here is a quote from Placido Domingo:

“I won’t deprive myself of singing opera as long as my

voice follows.”

Warren Buffett, 83, is considered a ‘business magnate.’

He has been working since the age of 13 years old, when

he delivered newspapers. He also sold his own horse-

racing tip sheet, along with claiming his bicycle a $35

tax deduction! That’s using your ‘noodle,’ Mr. Buffett!

Warren Buffett was considered the world’s third richest

man and talk about ‘contributions:’ He plans to leave

his $44 billion dollars to charity!

Dr. Maya Angelou, 86 in April, is a notable author and

poet. She has been writing creatively since 1958. She

joined the Harlem Writers Guild at that time. Her book,

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was a requirement for

one of my high school literature classes. Her poem,

“I Rise,” is considered a classic motivational poem. She

has written several books, one that claims, “I Still

Rise.” Dr. Angelou is considered a member of America’s

“Golden Renaissance.” She is the only poet to have read

at two presidents’ inaugurations, President Clinton and

President Obama.

I heard today, from a friend and coworker, that some

universities measure and test brain waves on ‘normal’

brains, sometimes paying participants for their time.

This helps them to have a base line, when Alzheimer’s

disease or other debilitating diseases which attack

and damage brain cells. Comparing your stable brain

waves to ones which have gone awry, may be very useful.

So, I could suggest you volunteer or look into this

in honor of Brain Awareness Week.

Here are my suggestions to show respect for brains.

Remind any young people to follow these ‘brain

guidelines,’ that I gathered together.

1. Please use your head!

2. Take care of your mind.

3. Don’t do drugs or alcohol, unless of age

and in moderation, please.

4. Stretch your brain daily.

5. Encourage everyone to use their imagination.

6. Always be careful while in a car and wear your

seatbelts. Make sure all passengers, “Buckle Up!”

7. Protect your body and head from injury.

8. Always wear your helmet, while on a motorcycle

or bicycle. If you do any other sports which require

helmets, consider them a necessity. (Examples: Snow

Boarding, Skate Boarding, 4-Wheeling, Football, …)

9. Pursue education, no matter what your age!

10. Set goals, strive for new ones when you meet the

ones you have met!

I like to stretch my brain by doing crossword puzzles.

As my parents did together, once they retired in their

fifties.

Just as an additional historical fact, the impact of

words such as, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste,”

comes from over thirty years of use. The United Negro

College Fund incorporated this catchy phrase in 1972.

I read a wide variety of materials, including posts

written by all of you, smart bloggers, out there!

Hope you enjoyed the half dozen Golden Oldies who are

still using their ‘noodles’ and the ten things you need

to do to keep your mind safe.

Character Study #2: A picture of “Brian”

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I have not seen Joe, the first ‘homeless’ man I studied

last Summer. He had been a frequent visitor to the

computer section of the library with his dog. I had

described him, once the chilly days had arrived and

the seasons had changed.

I still hope that Joe and his little buddy are either

out West or living in a warmer climate.

My second ‘homeless’ person, I have known about for

years. Within the last 7 years of living downtown in

Delaware, Ohio, I have seen him much more often.

The first year I moved into my little one bedroom apt.

I was always heading out to walk or hike, once the

weekend came.

I like to walk to the Delaware Community Market and

on my way, stop to see what wares and produce the

downtown Farmer’s Market holds. (Held on sidewalks

on the eastern side of Sandusky Street on Saturdays.)

Sometimes, I was going to the library or post office.

I was entranced with the novelty of not only being

“ecological” by not using my car, but also by seeing

all the people I had not noticed, while living behind

Buehler’s in the Lexington Glen development in what

is considered the ‘suburbs.’

Brian, I will call this second man. He seems like a

Brian (or a Patrick) since he has reddish hair and

scruffy thin face that sometimes sports a scraggly

red beard. I have looked into his blue or green eyes,

depending on what he wears. I think the time that

Brian was ‘most striking,’ and shocked the heck out

of my youngest daughter was while we were briskly

walking the Mingo Park trail from our apartment,

along the tributary of the Olentangy River.

We saw Brian straddling atop one of the walls of a

dumpster, five or six feet above us, gingerly

examining wine and beer bottles that the fishermen

or teens who may have ‘parked’ by the river to

‘make out’ had discarded.

He was putting the bottles along the rim of the

dumpster. His hair was standing straight on end,

like he had been electrocuted. It was stunningly

bright red in the early morning bright light!

Brian wore raggedy jeans and a brown non-descript

t-shirt on his upper body. He appears to be about

5′ 10″ when he is on the same level as I have been,

in other circumstances.

Brian waved at my blonde daughter and me, like he

recognized us. (Who knows? Maybe he had seen us

travel this walking path on other occasions.)

We actually slowed down to say,

“Good Morning!”

We thought we would have beat all the Saturday

morning walking/running ‘traffic’ at 6 a.m.

Little did we expect that the one who has no

home, must wake up at the ‘crack of dawn,’ too!

Brian repeated the greeting, in a jovial tone, back

to us.

His gallivant nature made us think, as we resumed

our quicker pace, that he was reminiscent of a

pirate! His neck had had a red bandana tied in a

cavalier knot, on the side. His black leather boots

were somewhat like a cowboy, but with a tug of one’s

imagination, could have ‘passed’ as a pirate’s.

We thought his pocked face and grin with a few

teeth missing made him likable. His appearance was

similar to one who had been a ‘mate’ on a pirate

ship on the high seas.

As we turned the curve at Mingo to go along

the river path, we saw him turn a green wine

bottle upwards into the air, catching a small

drop or two. This morning ‘juice’ would hold

him until he walked to the recycling place on

London Road, where he may get a few dollars,

enough to get a meal or at least something to

drink. The wine bottle in the tilted fashion he

had held it, finished my thoughts of a pirate,

as if he were drinking a big swig of rum and

releasing a loud, “Arggh!”

In later Fall, 2013 I saw Brian sitting on a

bench in front of Walgreens, smoking a cigarette.

He wore a khaki colored poncho, his hair a wet

mess. His face looked more ruddy and seemed like

he had contracted a rash. Not to be funny, but

it crossed my mind, “hope Brian didn’t sleep

out in poison ivy as it gets really ‘ripe’ in

the late Indian Summer months. He asked me if

I had a dollar, I looked in my pocket where I

put change and had tucked one dollar in with

the quarters.

I told Brian, “I need my quarters for laundry

so here is my only cash.”

He nodded his head and his raspy voice asked

me a question that stopped me in my tracks.

He was holding out the dollar, as if ready

to pass it back to me.

I had not expected him to really listen,

care or respond except for a ‘thank you.’

But Brian asked me,

“Are you sure you have enough for laundry?

You could go across the street over there

and they have a change machine.”

I smiled and answered, “Oh yes, I would have

not offered it to you if I needed it!”

Brian had longer, more stringy hair, the last

time I spied him at McDonald’s with a hot cup

of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. He was

leaning forward, crouching over the Styrofoam

cup, as if putting his hands over a warm fire.

Either he made it to the recycling or a kind

soul had given him a donation to his ‘pantry.’

He had a much warmer coat than the poncho I had

seen him wearing in the Fall. It was a deep blue

with a red plaid cotton lining, which you could

see since it lined his fake fur edged hood. His

face looked chapped and still had the ‘angry’ red

blotches. These kind of look like they may have

an allergic reaction, but more than likely, are

due to his all weather living quarters.

There is one other ‘homeless’ person, a woman,

who will sometime be my subject to practice a

little of character development. I think observing

details, finding and adding quirks and mannerisms

helps round out a person. I have never taken a

‘writing course,’ although we all write our thoughts

down and analyze life, situations and people.

I hope to see the more buoyant and ‘pirate-like’

Brian again this summer…

on the shores of the Olentangy River.

The Truth

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It seems like this word, in itself, could fill journals about

its meaning and consequences. The lack of it, definitely present

in society, individuals and often in companies’ actions. It is a

hard thing to come by, these days, it seems, to find an honest

person. Everywhere you turn, media in all its glory, flashes on

the falseness, the liar, and the unfaithful people. Businesses

have false advertising and people who hold C.E.O. positions are

often taking the brunt of the lies, sometimes knowingly promoting

them. Politicians are not to be trusted, or so the media often

publicizes the ones that are the worst, anyway.

“White lies” or “fibs” are what you would normally expect among

friends, loved ones and family. It would be great if that was the

“worst” you would have to face on a daily basis: someone telling

you look “nice” when you are recovering from the flu or that

dress “fits you,” when it has different areas pinching you in

all the wrong places!

It would be fantastic if there were no lying going on. I loved

the wit, satire and sarcasm of Ricky Gervais in the “The Invention

of Lying.” Poor, beautiful Jennifer Garner’s character is the “foil”

for a lot of the jokes and being so sincerely sweet and innocent,

believing Ricky’s character’s bold faced lies!

The song, “You Can Count on Me” comes from the adorable animated

children’s film, “The Fox and the Hound.” It is a great song about

how friends can count on each other. It was written in 1982, by

Burt Bacharach and has been performed by Rod Stewart, Dionne Warwick

Stevie Wonder, and many more. This leads to my second favorite

song about friendship, it begins with those infamous words, “Winter,

Spring, Summer or Fall…” (“You’ve Got a Friend” sung by James Taylor.)

Both of these songs are talking about your friends being there for you,

through thick and thin. I would like to say, that most people also

assume their friends and lovers will be honest, too. I mean, why would

someone say they are your best friend, or “You are my best friend” and

then, turn around and lie? Also, who would expect someone to say the

wedding vows, then within months, turn around and cheat on their new

bride or groom?

I have a “belief system” that I have “paid” for my mistakes in not

always being honest, if I have misjudged someone, or when I omitted

the truth. This is when I feel “karma” has come into play. Maybe

some would think God would punish the lies. I am not sure about this,

I prefer to think payback comes in time, “what goes around, comes

around.”

As I get older, though, sincerely to tell you the truth, I find it

easier to keep my ‘facts straight’ and to stay on the ‘straight and

narrow,” by just telling the truth. Isn’t that a mouthful? But, I

think you may understand, when you ‘make up excuses’ for not attending

a dinner, helping a friend move or something even more serious, you

don’t feel like going to a funeral, if you don’t just say, “I don’t

feel like it,” inevitably you will be caught in this “lie.” You will

be running out to get milk and you aren’t really “sick” as you had

given for the excuse out of a dinner with a somewhat irritating

friend or relative. They catch you and then, not only is their mistrust,

but you must pay with a bunch of guilty feelings!

While discoursing, without much factual backing on this subject, I had

to tell you that the famous line, Jack Nicholas’ character belts out

in the great movie, “A Few Good Men” echoes in my mind:

“You can’t handle the truth!!”

This can also happen, in your life, you are hiding your head like a

turtle, sheltering your heart. You don’t want to know that the person

you loved is unfaithful to you. You don’t want to really know your friend

cheated on her income taxes. You don’t want to… fill in the blanks of

when you would rather hear a lie. You would rather be comforted with the

blanket of untruthfulness.

Have you ever met someone who could look you straight in your eyes, without

batting their eyes, and they could tell you a lie? I have had two men in

my life and a girlfriend do this. It is heart breaking and also, strange when

you look back, seeing that there were threads left dangling, there was some

unraveling going on and you chose to ignore it.

While watching a rerun of “Criminal Minds” I found out that a man or woman

can take the lie detector test and still “pass it” by biting the inside of

their mouth. By creating a painful moment, their can be irregularities in

those “spikes” where the reader can see the lies. But, it can be artificially

created in intervals with little tricks like biting the inside of your mouth,

taking big, deep breaths and exhaling to give your pulse and reactions some

time to relax.

When people are put on the witness stand, they place a hand on the Bible,

then they say those famous words, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole

truth, so help me God.” Wish we could just go around in our lives, being

able to trust our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Sometimes this is

not possible. When you have to face a person who lied to you, how easy

is it for you to forgive? Are their different “levels of transgressions”

that would help you to decide how soon to give out forgiveness?

A serious subject and a diversion from Christmas. Far from the happy

posts, recently, and I hope you will forgive my “breaking up the party”

for these few moments…

Lying.”