Category Archives: warning signs

The “C” Word Messages













Income Level

Fill-in-the blanks



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“The ‘WHY?'”


Why my Mom’s Mom?

Why my Grandma M.?

~ Paula ~


Why my Children’s Grandpa?

Why my Mom’s Husband?

Why my Dad?

~ Robert ~


Why my Daughter in Law’s Mom?

~ Cricket ~


Why my Daughter in Law’s Step-Mom?

~ Chris ~


Why did both of my best friend’s Mom’s

have to leave us?


“Why Me?”


. . .


Fellow Bloggers



~ Terry ~

~ Jean ~






Loved Ones


Famous Ones


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Cell Phones

Bic Lighters



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“Take a Stand”

“Stand Up




. . .


We Stand”


We Fail”


Written by Robin O. Cochran



Last night, all the regular television channels aired, “Stand UP 2 Cancer.”

I felt moved to collect some thoughts in free form poem today.

My highlights of the show were Will Ferrill’s

Silly Ron Burgundy newscast,

with his asking,

“Why Cancer?”

“Why not Capricorn?”

(or any other



Sofia gave

a tribute







the loving









Please list





What touched you in the fight against cancer?

What are some of your fears?

Silence is okay.


. . .


Musical selection for Today:

“Tears from Heaven,” sung by Eric Clapton

“Calling All Angels,” sung by Jane Siberry and KD Lang

“The Rainbow Connection,” sung by Kermit the Frog

(associated with animals crossing the Rainbow Bridge)

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,”  sung by “The Hollies”





Solemn Poem


This Emily Dickinson poem is quite solemn and sad.

It offers little solace to those who read it.

I feel bad, imagining her writing this.

She only lived 56 years.


I am not sure why,

since it is Summer,

I am posting this.


I think it is because of a few of my friends,

fellow bloggers, are going through more

turmoil than I would wish for them

to have to go through.


There has been another enormous tragedy, the Malaysian airplane

which held possibly 300 people in it. The images of its crashing

down in the Ukraine, imprinted on my thoughts today.

There are some assumptions of its being shot down

or a bomb having been set off, within it.

Most of the television newscasters

are leaning towards the former,

rather than the latter



“A Certain Slant of Light”

~ Emily Dickinson ~

(1830 – 1886)


“There’s a certain Slant of light,

Winter afternoons

That oppresses like the Heft

Of Cathedral tunes.


Heavenly Hurt, it give us

We can find no scar,

But internal difference

Where the meanings, are.


None may teach it- Any-

‘Tis the seal Despair

An Imperial affliction

Sent us of the Air.


When it comes, the Landscape listens

Shadows hold their breath

When it goes, ’tis like the Distance

On the look of Death.”


Reprinted on the internet with permission from

Amhearst College, from the book,

“The Poems of Emily Dickinson,”

originally published posthumously, in 1951.

National Days of Remembrance


For the week starting April 27, 2014 until May 4, 2014, the United

States has set aside time to remember the people who were killed,

survived and helped rescue the Jewish and other ethnic groups that

were affected during WWII time period.

We have designated this week as National Days of Remembrance of

those who were ‘martyrs’ and ‘heroes’ of the Holocaust.

On this evening of Sunday, April 27th, in respect to the 27th day

of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, until the evening of Monday, Israelis

mark those moments in time, through prayers and thoughts of those in

the Holocaust. The term, “Yom HaShoah” is given for this period of

reflection. This was the time where protesting people were engaging in,

what is called, “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.” If anyone is affiliated

with this, through family members and are more informed on this practice,

please feel free to add to the post, in the Comments’ Section. Thank you!

On January 27, 1945, troops entered a concentration camp in Germany,

where they found 11,700 prisoners. This camp with its gas chambers

and other horrors was called Auschwitz-Birkenau. Other camps, where

many people were tortured and killed, later surfaced and became known,

once the war in Europe ended.

In May, there will be a celebration of Victory in Europe, for WWII’s

ending. I have already made sure to include this day on my May Monthly

Calendar post. I cannot believe how time has flown and another month

has passed already!

My Grandmother Paula Haller Mattson came from Germany, immigrating

while a teenager. She denounced the behavior of Nazis and many times

denied her heritage, during the thirties and forties, since there was

more common knowledge here in the United States, even than in Germany,

at the time. She practiced English and did not sound “German” during

her adult life. She was a waitress at the Waldorf Astoria, where she

liked to say, “I waited on Kings and Queens, the Rothchild’s,

Vanderbilt’s and Presidents.” I believe she wanted to be part of our

country, assimilating more than her cousins, Elaine and Clara.

When I got married, my second and third cousins, came to my first

wedding. I noticed a distinctive difference in their accent, although

my Grandma had already passed away by then. Family was always important,

but becoming an American citizen, was equally special to my Grandma M.

The movie, “The Sound of Music,” told through the Von Trapp Family

Singers’ escape from Germany over the Alps’ story. This popular movie

depicted the foreboding atmosphere of the upcoming takeover and war.

More serious films, like “Schindler’s List,” which told about the

sympathy of other cultures towards the Jewish people are interesting

and deeply realistic.

Of course, reading history books, visiting the great Holocaust Museum in

Washington, D. C. and seeing documentaries will give you more accurate

pictures of the drastic takeover by Adolf Hitler of the German peoples

and troops.

When my brothers would watch Saturday morning movies, such as ones that

had John Wayne and others in them, my parents tried to discourage any

glorification of war, in their young minds. My Grandmother M. would get

angry when my brothers would play Americans against the Germans,

Cowboys versus the Indians and (from their cartoon views of “Rocky and

Bullwinkle”), somehow my brothers came up with the idea of American Spies

against the Russian Spies espionage ‘game.’ All of these were forbidden around

my grandparents’ house, along being within earshot of my parents’ house.

Being an English, World Literature and Spanish teacher, my Mom was pretty

strict in her use of language. One word we were not allowed to use often,

and it had to be very important to do so, was the word, “Hate.” She was

taught this by her mother, that most things in Life, can be expressed as

“not pleasant,” “dislike strongly,” or “prefer not to.” It is a great way

to raise children to be more open minded, whether it to be trying a new food,

learning about a different culture than one’s own or meeting unfamiliar

people. It is another way to show ‘remembrance’ and ‘respect’ to all

things, peoples and thoughts.

I like the way in “South Pacific,” the character played by John Kerr

sings, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.” This song is in reference

to prejudice is a learned experience, taught by the ones closest to the

children or young adults. Only after researching this song, did I find it was

considered very “controversial” and “downright inappropriate” for musical

stage productions.

Interestingly enough, it was also labeled, promoting “Communistic agenda!”

I am proud that the authors of the lyrics, Rodgers and Hammerstein, the

producers, directors and actors all said that they were ‘in it’ due to

the way it expresses these emotional viewpoints. I listened to this, along

with a lot of major musicals, in person, at theatres and on the stereo, where

my parents placed a stack of records to listen to, during relaxing, ‘television

restricted’ periods of weekends or ends of workdays.

Of course, I am going to be honest about this, teens learn ‘prejudices’

from their peers, even when you (as parents) have done your ‘darndest’ to

prevent them from this.

There have been people who are ‘brainwashed’ even as adults. Don’t think

my kids are, or ever were, “perfect!” Or that I didn’t have to ‘straighten

them out’ a few times!

Even professionals, pastors and teachers hold views that are bigoted and

close-minded. I had a family member who felt the Bible “said” the “Tribe

of Abraham,” meaning people with African heritage, were meant to be slaves.

I was appalled, argued when I was once involved in a holiday discussion,

home from college on Winter Break. My parents and brothers stood on my

side, basically telling the person to table the debate.

When the Viet Nam War or skirmishes began, my brothers were close

to Draft Age. My parents seriously (sorry, if this is going to bother

you), thought about relocating to Canada! Enrolling my brothers in

college, during this time may or may not have prevented draft, but

draft ended before they needed to be concerned with it, personally.

A song which includes, “How can people be so heartless? How can people

be so cruel?” was one of my favorite songs, sung by Three Dog Night.

It is called, “Easy to be Hard,” (1969).

We still have ‘enemies.’

We still have ‘hate.’

I hope you will take some moments in this next week, to reflect and

remember the Holocaust and other people who are continuing to be

scapegoats and persecuted in the world, sometimes with the governmental

support of a country.

Adding to this post, on Monday April 28, 2014.

Will you please keep those who endured the twisters in the states of

Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, those who lost family members, and those

who are hospitalized in your remembrances and thoughts this week?

So far there have been 17 deaths in these three states. There was a

little four year old girl, who was swooped up, carried a distance

and had her legs crushed… I hope you will be including her in your

thoughts and prayers, too.

Another twister came through on Monday night into April 29th, 2014.

The states of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee had houses and

properties destroyed, along with unfortunately, 11 deaths.

All of these areas have had people volunteering to assist the people

who have had to leave their homes, along with sifting through the rubble,

looking for people.

Thanks for reading some more about this tragic weather situation!

Calling All Angels


What was your favorite prayer growing up? If you are from another country

or did not pray, what was your favorite expression wishing for the best?

Sometimes people will say, “God bless you,” “Good luck,” or “May the saints

be with ye…” I have a few prayers that include the word, “Angels,” in them.

Angels, to my family, are messengers from God. If they take the form of an

animal, a form of natural wonder or a miracle, all are such fantastic

examples of how God “tells us he loves us.” I had a strange and wonderful

experience with a cardinal, within an hour of my Grandfather Mattson’s

death. All who are in my family, either ‘believe’ in this miracle of

a meaningful message or they ‘humor’ me! No one argues or tries to show

disdain for my loving memory of that moment. (I posted about this in

Cardinals send messages…)

The musical group, Train, has performed the song, “Calling All Angels”

since 2003. Here are a few ‘telling lyrics’ for this new society

where we have concerns and dangerous situations we face daily.

“I need a sign,
to let me know you’re here.
All of these lines are being
crossed over the atmosphere.

I need to know,
that things are gonna look up.
‘Cause I feel us drowning
on a sea spilled from a cup.

When there is no place safe,
and no safe place in my head.
When you can feel the world shaken
from the words that are said.

And I’m calling all Angels…

When children have to play inside,
so they don’t disappear.
While private eyes solve marriage lies
‘Cause we don’t talk for years…”

This is a haunting song, with many ‘truths’ but mainly

it would be nice if we could all live without fear or


Someone may have a spirit or angel that watches over them, showing

themselves through movement of objects, words that are heard aloud,

or maybe a “vision” of a future happening, with its being ‘foretold’

by that heavenly appearance. My friend, Lori, has had one that she

thinks is her grandfather who will “knock my hat off of my head on

a clear, still and windless day.”

Some people have dreams that show a remarkable ability to see into

the future, others solve crimes and help the police by even finding

someone or something that is lost. I know we could attribute these to

our own fascinating ‘brain power’ but some like to think they are

also a ‘helping hand from Above.’ I always thank God, daily, multiple

times for his creations and my blessings. This can be from saving me

from an accident or harm. This can come by giving me a ‘premonition’

not to take a certain road or something I should not undertake.

It can be a special way of someone passing you a healthy way to

take care of your illness or make you feel less pain. I feel there

are ‘angels’ everywhere there are people who are kind, helpful and

go beyond normal levels of caring, beyond limits of ‘doing the

right thing.’ There have been people in war times, accidents and

other catastrophes, that have had “someone by their side,” holding

their hand, leading them out of a fire, out of the dangerous zones

or out of the deep water where seaweed had caught on their ankles.

Just as in the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,”

I believe God and his ‘posse’ of angels are all within our personal

beliefs in God and our own personal relationship with Him.

Here are Four Angel Prayer or Poems, that hopefully will bless and

touch your hearts during this Season of Peace and Love. Hope, if you

have a short four lines or less, special poem or quotation that you

will add to this conversation about Angels.


“Guardian Angel from heaven so bright,
Watching beside me to lead me aright,
Fold thy wings round me and guard me with love
Softly sing songs to me of Heaven above. Amen.”


“Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed.
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently fall upon thy head.”


“Four corners to my bed,
Four angels round my head;
One to watch, and one to pray,
And two to bear my soul away.”
(Child’s bedtime prayer, 17th century)


“Little eyelids cease your winking;
Little orbs, forget to beam;
Little soul, to slumber sinking,
Let angels rule your dream.”
Written by Eugene Field

Signs of an Upcoming “Hard” Winter


To determine through our natural world, whether or not we will have

a “hard” winter, I consulted Dick Goddard, meterologist and television

personality from Cleveland, Ohio. He is known in my parents’ cottage

town, Vermilion, Ohio as the man who created a wonderful Woolly Bear

caterpillar celebration! Thousands flock to this town in the Fall, check

out the websites on this and you will be amazed at the variety of “cute”

costumes that people will put on to look like a “woolly bear caterpillar,”

the ones with orangish-brown and black stripes.

The below list also can be found with illustrations by the illustrious

Dick Goddard. I will tell you that #5 and #11 are new to me!

I love the special mental pictures that #10 and #17 evoke.

1. Thicker than normal corn husks.

2. Woodpeckers share a tree. (Aww…)

3. Early arrival of the snowy owl.

4. Early departure of geese and ducks.

5. Thick hair on the nape of the cow’s neck.

6. Heavy and numerous fogs in Autumn.

7. Raccoons with thick tails and bright bands.

8. Mice entering homes early.

9. Early arrival of crickets (on hearth and in home).

10. Spiders spinning larger webs and more in houses.

11. Pigs gathering sticks.

(Seriously, is this where the 3 little pigs got started?)

12. Insects in lines rather than “meandering.”

13. Early seclusion of bees in hives.

14. Unusual abundance of acorns.

15. Narrow orange band in woolly bears mean heavy snow

and fat and fuzzy caterpillars mean a bitter cold.

16. Squirrels gathering nuts early to fortify against a long, cold


17. Frequent halos or rings around the sun or moon.

What Old Wive’s Tales or Farmer’s Almanac information do you have to

share about how to know if we are going to endure a difficult winter?

Maybe you know some Native American folklore to share…

Hope you are living in a temperate or mild climate and don’t have to

worry about such things!

Self Love


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

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

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

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

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

associate this post with himself, if he would stumble upon

reading my blog.

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

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

to take out and trot around town with.”

Wish I had known that BEFORE I dated the man!

This attentive man seemed to anticipate all that would make me

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

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

with nice meals, special words, extravagant gifts and the

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

of my desires and produced tickets to a theatre production

and one concert. Along with being interested in rubbing my

feet and back after a couple of  long days.

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

narcissist, evidences dropped like hints of the underbelly or

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

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

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

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

short moment though. Less noticeable but there. Other subtle

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

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

was eating quietly, he proceeded to start a rather pompous

story about his military responsibilities at his past weekend

reserve duty. Sandy accidentally asked,

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

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

bother to swat at it.

I interrupted his long reserve duty story to ask,

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

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

As a teacher, sometimes I learned that adults can remember

the subject matter of what they may want to continue talking

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

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

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


He answered, “Never mind.”

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

other’s weekends,

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

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

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

“What do you mean by that?”

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

that it was ‘not my business.’

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

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

were too many warning signs that he was demanding and


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

people you surround yourself with. Many successful people

have strong, assertive natures. They surround themselves

with others like themselves and understand about not

taking themselves too seriously. They need to share their

experiences without bruised egos when there are expressed

differences in their approaches. Sigmund Freud addresses

both healthy self love and narcissism in his psychological

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

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

other newer studies and professionals who write about

this subject.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

me the time to be ready.

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

his own career and did not inquire about his military reserve

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

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

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

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

than most workshops are.”

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

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

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

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

as we sometimes were searching for a couple of our other

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

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

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

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

even a “New Year’s Eve” dress.

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

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

attached to this prideful man. We both looked at each

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

his hand nor a smile that he recognized me.

I turned around and started walking out, my girlfriend

was chatting with someone. I had gotten to the door

when he was pushing through the standing room only

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

He called, “Robin, wait!”

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

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


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

had served along side him at Rickenbacker for Air Force

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

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

who would go into a supply closet with him!”

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

That explains that!