Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Both Sides Now


I listen to oldies radio. After all, I am on the downhill slide of the old mountain, so it fits. Yesterday while driving home listening to the 60’s or 70’s station on the radio a Judy Collins song came on the radio. I like most of her music and they usually only play “Send in The Clowns,” so I turned it up to sing along.

As I was singing it dawned on me how much the first verse and stanza could be changed to mimic something swirling around in my head; the very thing that I wrote about in my last blog. Someone I am related to, but most times wish I weren’t. The person that I believe does not understand me, and in my mind, does not even try.

And while I was singing it hit me – that I always think I understand this person, but maybe I do not – and maybe I don’t really even try either.

So there you have it – “Both Sides Now.”

If you change the word ‘clouds’ to ‘her’ or 'she’ (and a few other words to make it grammatically correct), it is perfect.

“Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere, I've looked at ‘her’ that way.
But now ‘she’ only blocks the sun ‘she’ rains and snows on everyone.
So many things I would have done, but ‘she’ got in my way.

I've looked at ‘her’ from both sides now,
From up and down and still somehow,
It's ‘her’ illusions I recall,
I really don't know ‘her’ at all.”

So maybe today, even if it is only for a few moments, think of something or someone that bothers you and take a look at “Both Sides Now.”

Thanks Judy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Never Break The Chain


Most people my age have heard songs by Fleetwood Mac. Today I am struck in particular by the song “The Chain.” I have always been drawn to that song for reasons I won’t expound on here, but yesterday and today it is running through my mind continuously for a new even more – at least to me – disturbing reason.

Everyone knows there are ‘chains’ in our relationships; things that tie us together to another person for various reasons. We can choose to make those chains stronger or weaker depending on how we feel about that relationship.

But the genetic familial ‘chain’ is what I am thinking of right now. Why are we so bound by these chains? What is the outside pressure brandished onto us that keeps us bound by those chains regardless of the cost to ourselves.

If, for instance, someone we are ‘chained’ to, outside our family, becomes too harmful to us, we simply break the chain and move on – sometimes without a second thought. But in those instances when we do have a second thought, we are able to decide if this relationship is good for us or not, and then move in the direction we need to according to the results of our rational decision.

Our decision, no matter how carefully considered, can be used with family. Why are we required by social convention to accept whatever behavior a family member heaps upon us no matter how toxic? Why are there so many external complications if we desire to break those chains?

 “I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain.”

Why can’t we? If we can decide to break the chain with others that are hurtful to us continuously, why can’t we decide to break away from family members that do the same without feeling guilt, shame, or remorse?

I think this social construct should be revisited. I think familial ‘chains’ should be strong where they need to be, but have the ability to be unlocked, or broken, or discarded when their behavior becomes literally too much for us to bear.

I don’t have an answer to this really - just the question 'why?'

Maybe it is to make us a better person.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Finally a Post About The Book!


Something at work recently came about because a new employee joined the ranks and he has decided we all need a little motivation and morale “boostering.” I applaud him for that. What he has started in his short time here is called “Accomplishments.” He has asked everyone that works here – he even included the likes of me and my cohorts that fall under the ‘staff’ category - which is rather shocking actually - to send him something we are proud of.
At first I thought he meant merely ‘academic’ since we all are in Higher Ed, but then I found out he meant ANY accomplishment! Anything at all that we consider a great thing - that is what he wants to know about.
It took me a while, but I finally realized that I actually had an accomplishment! A real live honest to God accomplishment.
THE BOOK!
But precious few knew about it! I mean how could they know if it took me so long to remember it myself?! I suppose ‘remember’ is a bad word. It is more that the accomplishment hasn’t exploded onto the book scene and become a best seller, so I have relegated it to the files in my grey matter that hold only thoughts and ideas that could have funded my retirement – but haven’t yet.
Unfortunately, that file is full but it is growing many cobwebs and has a lot of dust on it.
Nevertheless, this new PR campaign going on at my place of work was the perfect opportunity to get rid of some of the dust & spiders!
If I flaunted my accomplishment campus wide – maybe a few people would tell a few people and those people would tell a few people and those people would tell a few people and – well you get the idea.
I live in a small town and word spreads like blood at a crime scene. (Too graphic?)
I decided rather than just tell the Accomplishment Master of this book – I would show him. I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t want to buy the book after they have actually read the book! (I feel retirement approaching!)
So today, I brought the book my sister & I wrote (she did most of the work – I am really just the silent funding partner) and gave it to him with a note:
"Rather than just tell you about my “accomplishment,” I thought I would actually give you a copy of my accomplishment. This book was a long time coming. My sister and I are the authors. Years ago when our  children were still young we used to get together for Thanksgiving. We didn’t live close to each other, so it was always a real treat and full of crazy. As we were sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, we asked the kids to say something they were thankful for (because we are a crazy & a partially cliché type of family). One of the 6 kids said they were thankful for ‘chipmunks’ to be silly – and that is how the jokes started. That was probably 20 years ago, but my sister (Auntie) and I (Auntie) never let go of the idea to publish those jokes in a book. My sister’s second daughter, Amy, grew up to be an amazing artist (and tattoo artist) so she did the artwork. It is a family operation and all in all we love the book. I thought maybe you could have a laugh over the Christmas break by reading it (I hope over & over) with your children. Be sure to tell or show your friends!
There is another book in the works. Maybe one day we will have a best seller! J
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
P.S. You can buy them on Amazon, at the Bookshelf in town, and in the Spirit Shop if you want more of them for your friends. I can sell you some at discount out of my trunk.  ;)"

I cannot confirm or deny that how this book started, as told in the note above, is the absolute truth. But I do know that it was Thanksgiving (I think), we were around a table, and we make up these jokes.
While I was writing that note, I realized I had never written about it on my blog. So here it is!
Link is below! Buy one or two or twelve or 100!!! Remember, it is for my retirement!



You can also buy it at the local bookstore in my town and my universities Spirit Shop – and out of my trunk (I can give you a deal)!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lola

This blog isn’t for everyone this time. It is for one specific person. Now, I can’t say if this person actually seeks out my blog to see if I have posted regularly, but I know he had read my blog. I hope he reads this one – because I cannot think of any other way to tell him this.

We have 4 cats. We love our 4 cats, but if you follow my blog you know that early this year we lost our one and only beloved beagle, Bunny. Bunny was my first real dog. Well, there were other dogs – 2 to be exact – and those 2 did not last very long at all for various reasons.

Our kids LOVE dogs because of Bunny and I have to admit that because of Bunny, I love dogs. But I am a cat person. Born and bred, dyed in the wool, clear down to my bone marrow, cat person. Dogs? Who needs a dog? Way too needy I used to say – just like babies. But that needs to be a whole different blog topic.

Bunny changed all that. I finally saw what people see in dogs. I finally learned why they call them man’s best friend. I finally learned to love dogs – almost as much as cats.

Then she was gone. That is when I learned just how deep my new found love of dogs was. Well, if you can call cultivating it for 13 wonderful years ‘new found.’

It has been almost a year now and all my brain can think of is DOG. Commercials about DOG food pain me. I even don’t like Jack Hanna – but when his Cosaquin commercials come on all I can think is ‘lucky duck – he has a dog.’ Don’t even ask about the Humane Society commercials. Talk about a way to rip my heart out….

So this person and I started chatting about getting another dog, even though we said we never would. The talk became more frequent. The longing became more urgent. The Googling on the internet became more common.

But we didn’t find our dog.

Then by a sheer coincidence I found this cute puppy last week:


Holy mackerel – is she cute or what.

Oh yes, she definitely is!

She is a ‘Pocket Beagle’ and she cost more than my first car. But I was smitten.

Let me just caution anyone reading this by saying – READ THE FINE PRINT BEFORE INQUIRING ABOUT ANY PUPPY ONLINE!

I inquired. Unfortunately – according to their fine print – that inquiry is binding contract to purchase said puppy – if available. She was not.

I was happy yet sad all at the same time. Happy she was not available so I didn't have to shell out a fortune, because as I said – she cost more than my first car. But sad because she wasn't available. It was like having canine vertigo!

But the next day I got an email from the breeder telling me the other person had backed out and she was mine – invoice attached.

OH

MY

GOSH

What have I accidentally, on purpose, done? How do I tell this other person that I just bought his Birthday/Christmas present without so much as a hint, a prayer, a picture, or a request - asking him if this was the right time. How will the cats and his beloved little cat/puppy Little Rat react? (A cat/puppy is an extremely cute cat that even though I saved her from death itself has devoted herself to this person and follows him around like a puppy PLUS sleeps on his head nightly just to be as close as possible to him.)

Sooooooo……SURPRISE!! Now is the time! Well, December 15th is the actual date.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY & MERRY CHRISTMAS to the most wonderful husband on the planet!!


Please don’t kill me….

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Greatest Plans of Mice & Traps Oft Go To Snakes



I have been gone a long time. I have no excuse worth mentioning, because unless you experience for yourself, the black hole of depression that sucks every bit of joy & laughter from you and no matter how hard you try - you can't get back to it, you won’t understand. But then for some odd reason, on any odd day, you suddenly feel a little like yourself and you see the things that make you laugh once again. 


Today was one of those days. 


A coworker and I were talking about mice. Probably because I showed her the video I had recorded of an electronic fake Halloween rat that screams and cries and tries to shake out of a snap trap - and my cat. The cutest cat in all the land by the way. 


It is motion activated and my husband and I placed it on the floor and placed our cute little cat (smaller than the usual full grown cat), coincidentally named Little Rat, next to the electronic rat. She sniffed and looked and circled and finally swatted it. Screeching instantly ensued and she jumped back like a snake had just bitten her. But then she just laid down beside it and watched until it ceased its ranting's. She then rolled over and reached a paw out to it - like she was telling it that she felt its pain and how she wished she could free it from its trap. Only there wasn't any real pain - because it wasn't real - but she is a cat - what do expect. 


Anyway, back to my coworker. After watching the video she told me about her REAL mouse traps at her house and how once she had such an infestation that the traps in her house were everywhere. (QUIT JUDGING - she lives in the woods - and little meeses are EVERYWHERE!) 


I looked her in the eye and forcefully asked, "You don't use glue traps do you - they are so cruel." 


Of course she answered, “Yes.”  


Her cool point factor went down by 10 for that because I think glue traps are sooooo cruel. The poor critter is stuck by their feet, or toes, or hair (if he/she rolls over somehow), just waiting for the big bad human to come pick him/her up and chuck him/her in the trash - making him/her live the rest of his/her days or hours next to some leftover liver and onions that the kids wouldn't eat (and neither will he/she, if he/she is smart) in a trash can until the trash truck dumps him/her in a giant bin that squashes everything together so that it is all over. The whole experience is a cornucopia of terror for the little critter! But, there is the chance that he/she may go to a landfill intact with only the prospect of pulling off his/her toes to escape, starve to death, or be eaten by a passing predator.  


I hate those traps. If you are going to get rid of mice, entice them with cheese and let the trap snap and end it all quickly. So much more humane. 


She didn't agree, but in the end, in my world, the past glue trapped mice got their revenge on her heartless (actually she is very, very nice) mouse trapping soul. 


Her story goes that glue traps were EVERYWHERE in her house and she had a habit of accidentally stepping on them quite frequently. (That alone should get you seriously wondering about her - but laughing) So, one day she got out of the shower, dried off, and entered her bedroom to get her pajamas. As she moved toward the dresser she stepped on one of the ever present glue traps - and it stuck to her bare foot. She wasn't too worried because as I said - she told me she stepped on them quite frequently. But then something odd happened. She felt a sharp pain on her ankle, and then another one. That made her look down and then she saw it - a SNAKE - not a mouse - was stuck on the glue trap - which was stuck on her foot. And it was mad. So it did what snakes do. It kept striking her ankle trying to tell her to get it off her foot and off it and the glue trap! She screamed of course. Her husband and kids came running to see their naked wife/mom writhing on the floor yelling, "GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!" 


Her husband obliged and took the snake outside. She insisted that the poor oak snake had lived long enough and made sure her husband made sure that the snake never came back into her house to get stuck on any other glue trap. One snake on your foot when you are butt naked is quite enough for a lifetime.  


Her story cracked me up. Because we have all done things - maybe not snakes stuck to our foot kind of things - but things that take us completely by surprise, are embarrassing and horrible, but turn out all right in the end. The type of things that we know deep down inside - that as soon as it is over and as soon as we compose ourselves and get a good night’s sleep - will be a great funny story to tell. 


Maybe on another day I will tell a crazy story of mine. But for now - sit back and picture my coworker’s story in your head - and laugh. 


And forget the glue traps – the mice (and snakes) will thank you!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Short & Sweet


Today I received an email from a Professor (I work in Higher Ed) and the subject line read: 

“Fan Drive by PSY Club” 

The email went on to state the Psychology Club was collecting fans for senior citizens.  

But as you know, I am a grammar freak and below is where my mind went when I read the subject line. I had to email the professor for clarification! Below is what I sent:

 

“Is this a Fan Drive Sponsored by the PSY Club?

 

Or a Fan Drive By PSY Club – like a fan drove by and shot the club members?

 

Or are we as employees supposed to drive by and shoot fans???

 

I am so confused by your subject line….”

 

I haven’t heard back from him. I wonder why? Inquiring minds need to know!

 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Poignant Words I Wish I Had Said


I have wanted to post about the horrendously terrible situation going on now in the United States. I am mystified why so many people want to hurt or kill innocent people they don’t even know. To me the whole situation smacks of the devil trying to take over the world and laughing at us as we give in to his deceitfulness. The lie that makes individuals believe that taking the lives of others will somehow heal the pain the slayer himself/herself is feeling. It is mind boggling to me.

But – I could not think of the perfect words or even come close to the perfect words – until I read my sister’s blog. Please read it using the link below. The sentiment is magnificently said.