June 03, 2016

Question Of The Month




What a crazy two months have just flown by. There hasn't been time to just sit and think, sit and be still or, frankly, just sit.

Today I am calling a personal time out. It is Michael D'Agostino's Question of the Month time. I've locked my bedroom door, turned off my cell's ringer and have turned of the Mumford Brothers on Pandora really, really loud.

I am declaring the next 20 minutes "Free Play" time to answer this question. Is it a question that requires deep thinking? Nope. Is it a question who's answer is going to change your world. Not even the slightest bit. It is a question that requires nothing from me nor can I be wrong.

It is even an inquiry whose response can be changed by me three minutes after I have posted it, if I care to. Yup, though I can (almost) guarantee you that it won't change.

For Michael at A Life Examined, I thank your for the respite and the question:



Of all the places in the world that you haven’t yet been to, where would you like to go next?”

Having either lived in or traveled to 37 states and 3 countries, I realize that there is still so much world to see. Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Italy, Costa Rica...even the moon, the list seems endless.

I want to see them all. Not so crazy about landing ON the moon but sailing through outer space and watching a sunrise or sunset over the big blue marble in the sky would turn me on more than cheesecake.

In this moment, though, at this stage of my life, my dream destination would be a nice cabin in the woods, miles and miles and miles away from towns, freeways, cellular reception and (not that there's anything wrong with them) people! Of course, you know that means no television. I will bring a couple of CD's if I need music other than the wind in the trees, the flowing of the river and an occasional call of a hawk or an eagle.

Maybe a nice single story house with a view of the pine trees, a river, the ridges across the river. Montana would be good, even Kentucky or those little tiny hills they call mountains in West Virginia.

When I said 'no people' I did not include my handsome husband. It would be wonderful, if after 3 days or so, he would come join me. I would probably need more wine by then and a little wedge of cheesecake!


May 13, 2016

Listen To Your Intuition

Kate is my grandson's significant other. They have a brilliant two year old daughter. They both work very hard at their jobs and their work ethic is extremely strong.

Kate, as you know, works at a credit union. She is a teller and she loves, loves, loves her job.

Tuesday afternoon she looked up from her paperwork to see two people walk through the door. The one in front walked straight to a teller, the one in back sat in one of the waiting chairs.

Her thoughts were that he was probably going to sit while the first person got his transaction done, so she continued her work.

The 1st person finished up, walked out and the young man was still sitting. Kate took a little time to study him and found a huge knot building up in her gut. "Something is wrong," she thought.

She left her station and walked over to him and asked him if there was something she can help him with. He stood up, answering, "I'm waiting for a teller."

"I'm a teller," she replied. "I can help you."

"No, not yet. In five minutes." he replied.

The knot in Kate is growing but knowing that something was seriously wrong, she studied him. Height, haircut, facial features, black jeans, black hooded sweatshirt (in 88 degree temps) and a black handkerchief around his neck.

She went back to the bank manager. Shared her feeling of impending trouble. The manager walked over to the stranger, asking again, "May we help you?"

"I'm waiting for a teller."

"There is a teller open at that station," he said, pointing at Kate.

"No, I am waiting for her." The man in black points to the older teller who has a customer.

"Okay! She should be available soon."

The manager walks back to Kate to tell her that the guy must know one of the other teller's older kids and is specifically waiting for her.

Kate doesn't buy it! She takes all but the minimum amount of cash from her drawer to the vault. As she is starting to walk out of the vault, she sees the stranger walk to the older teller and say, "I'm sorry for what's about to go down!"

Kate stops in the doorway and takes a step back into the vault. As she was telling us the story she says, "I've watched enough cop shows to know that the phrase, "I'm sorry for what's about to go down" is almost always followed by bodies and blood. Well, it wasn't going to be mine, I have a two year old who needs me."

She stayed in the vault the whole two minutes the robbery took place. Robber didn't even put his hankie over his face as he had been siting in the back for at least 10 minutes, so cameras had a good record of his features.

Panic buttons hit, police showed up within 3 minutes. They searched the area around bank but could not find the 'bad guy'! He actually took the money her had stolen and handed it out to homeless people in town. He turned himself in the next morning.

Kate was rewarded for her intuition and perception with a $10 Starbucks gift card! (Nice job trying to save our butts, go have some coffee!)

I tell you, there is nothing like the intuition of a young mom with a kid to live for. Not one other person in the credit union had any clue that something was wrong, even after her warning.

The saddest part of the whole story is that for the past two days, customers at the credit union have been abusive, rude and cruel.  They accuse the tellers of not standing their ground and refusing to hand over the money, accuse them of being cowards, etc, etc.

One aggressive woman customer "He didn't even have a gun, you should have just told him 'NO!'"
"We didn't know that he didn't have a gun." was Kate's answer.
"Well, you should have been able to tell!"

So, the 'bad guy' steals $800 and gives it away to homeless people on the streets and the upstanding 'good' citizens are being nasty.

What a world!




May 11, 2016

Bad News and More Bad News!

OMG!




Bad News #1:

Our grandson's girlfriend's bank was held up yesterday!

What a story!

Bad News #2:

I don't have time to write it down today....dang gum!

But tomorrow, am I going to have a story for you!!!!


May 09, 2016

Canadian Friends


"The end of the Republican party...."

After last week's Primary results, I read on one of the blogs that Trump's nomination was going to be the end of the Republican Party.

Normally, that wouldn't sound too bad! The extreme religious conservatives have tweaked my butt, if you know what I mean. Also, the party drawing a line in the sand, crossing their arms across their heartless chests and refusing to play Operation Government is foul! Everyone of those jerks needs a red card and to be thrown off of the playing field.

Yet, the thought of no Republicans is also very scary.

I am a Democrat (like you didn't know!). I would say I'm halfway between moderate and woo-woo! I probably even stand on the conservative side on some issues (but none come to mind!).

Many of my friends, including my husband and two of my children lean towards conservative thinking. Actually, my hubby is very conservative, even though he is a registered Democrat. (Boy, some of our 'discussions' have been doozies!).

Most of my closest friends are liberal, very liberal, in fact.

In spite of our differences, together, we know how to communicate, collaborate, cooperate! Even when we agree to disagree, there is (for the most part) a peacefulness about it. 

We need at least two political parties, though I wish the people of this nation were more open to allowing some of the other parties on the playing field instead of just running up and down the sidelines.

We need a Republican party. We need a Democratic party. We need people with conservative thoughts and ideas and we also need liberal thinkers.

Most important is the need for balance, integrity, for cooperation.

We, also, need to climb out of the labeled boxes we have stuffed ourselves into, release the egotistical desire to be called the 'Winner' and just be people who want the world to work for the betterment of people, animals, and earth.

Sidenote: If any of you sight the Mother ship, let them know I am packed and waiting. 


May 05, 2016

From Paulo Coehlo

An excerpt from the book Like The Flowing River, posted on Coehlo's blog today:

"I was talking to a Catholic priest and a young Muslim man over lunch. When the waiter came by with a tray, we all helped ourselves, except the Muslim, who was keeping the annual fast prescribed by the Koran.
When lunch was over, and people were leaving, one of the other guests couldn’t resist saying:
“You see how fanatical these Muslims are! I’m glad to see you Catholics aren’t like them.”
“But we are,” said the priest. “He is trying to serve God just as I am. We merely follow different laws.”
And he concluded: “Its a shame that people only see the differences that separates them. If you were to look with more love, you would mainly see what we have in common, then half the world’s problems will be solved.”

Have you ever met someone of a different religion, ethnicity, culture, region or nation and made an instant judgement about them only to find that they were more like you than different from you?


May 03, 2016

It's Tuesday and that means It's Okay!



Over at Airing My Laundry, it is Hey, It's Okay Tuesday! That's a good thing and it comes just in time because there are a whole bunch of things that are NOT OKAY on Mondays!

Here's what's okay at Wondering and Wandering today:


The city we live in is offering rebates to pull out our lawn (drought) and replace our old toilets (drought)! Yeah, no watering except for drip tips here and there and I get to toss the bricks in the toilet tank away!

My car needs to get a smog certificate this year before registration but low smog prevents global dimming.

I get to go shop for toilets and rocks! Hmm, I wonder what one wears for such auspicious events! I suppose heels are out.

Thunder clouds are moving in....was that a rumble I just heard? Yummy!

There are five gum drops in a bag on the counter and I am going to eat them, every last one of them! I might even drink a soda because I am the boss of me and I do what I want, especially on Tuesdays!!!!

Short list for this Tuesday, though there is a host of Okay stuff. Mostly, It's Okay not to have to share it all.

Wish me luck on the toilet hunt! Oh, and, just for the record....oval or round?









May 02, 2016

Lovin' D'Agostino


May 2nd! Yeah, it is. It is a new month and I had no clue.

Early onset Alzheimer's or just too dang busy, but thank goodness for Michael D'Agostino at A Life Examined and his Question of the Month. I happened across a couple of posts, shook my head that April had stumbled out the back door and let May in.

First of the month, May is here! Meaning? Pay the mortgage, pay utilities, get oil changed, get tires rotated, put the sheers up on the pergola, get chlorine tablets for pool and see if last years swim suit still fits (or is fit to wear). Mostly, it means a Question of the Month....Yay!

Chronological Query: "What are three pieces of advice you'd give to people starting their own blog?"

#1. Do It!  Don't put it off for another minute. Stop reading this and do it right now.

#2. Don't worry when you discover that you've abandoned your blog, haven't posted for six months or a year and all your links are bad. Cyber dust is invisible and won't make you sneeze.  Just get back to it. The second time around, your commitment will have sharper teeth. When you return, your ideas for what you want to say, and how to say, it will have be a tuned up a little. 

#3. Build relationships. Visit other blogs, comment, get to know your fellow bloggers. When you find a site you love, share it.  Post a link to their site on your pages.  Respond to their comments on your posts. Go back and read their replies, if any, to your comments. 

When you've built relationships, you have people you want to communicate with, an audience to write to. On the days you have nothing to say, or after you've had your say, you can stroll around Blogville.  Visit your friends and acquaintances, read what they have to share, respond, support and maybe be inspired!

Who knows, you might end up having a Question of the Month to look forward to or an It's Okay Tuesday!

p.s. #3.5 getting your oil changed and tires rotated are probably not the most newsworthy item to share!


May 01, 2016

If You Were...

Have you ever asked yourself....and my guess is that you haven't....have you ever asked yourself, if you were a piece of furniture, what item would you be?

In one of HGTV's property hunting programs, a sleek, red sofa was in one of the rooms. The couple doing the hunting were seeking a home for a woman who couldn't do the search herself. I can't remember the reason she was unable to accompany them.

When their eyes spotted the sleek red leather sofa, they both "oohed" and said, "Whoa, she'll love that couch. If she were a piece of furniture, that's what she would be!"

One the "searchers" was the woman's husband and, frankly, the sofa was pretty damn sexy. The design was contemporary with a low tufted red leather back, sleek edges and wide chaise off one side. Can you imagine someone comparing you to a sleek sexy item, even if it was a sofa?

Made me wonder what kind of furniture I would be.

The first picture to pop into my head was a window seat built into a bay window on the south side of a house. Warm sun streaming in, bookshelf built into sides; the seat able to be lifted up to hide and discover whimsical and magical items and books. Cushioned seat, lots of pillows, well-padded, comfy.

I realized I was visualizing a design element of a building. Thinking "Home Goods" and "Stickley" I returned to pieces of furniture!


I would be a comfy over-stuffed chair with high winged back and tall, well-rounded arms for snuggling into. I know in my heart that I would not be a single color nor would I be a buffalo plaid.

The deep seat cushion would be a bright purple, turquoise and sea green in swirls and capricious geometric shapes. The edges of the cushions would be vertical stripes in the same colors. The overstuffed wings would be covered in purple polka dot on a turquoise background, the arms in a reverse pattern with the turquoise dots of different sizes. There would be 3 pillows; one a bright orange, one a deep purple and one with stars and moons in a dark purple night sky.

I'm thinking there should be a skirt on the chair (to hide dust bunnies and books that don't fit on the two side tables. The skirt should probably be the same vertical stripes as the cushion edges; there should be some control, right?

Do I have any volunteers to be a puffy square ottoman with tufted top matching my chair cushion and the full skirting in vertical stripes though you could choose piping in the polka dot purple and turquoise textile!

Fabric? Now that is a little bit of a dilemma...let's see, cotton vs microfiber! 

Cotton is a natural fiber, it is soft and durable (sound like me) but it is not fade resistant, will wrinkle and is actually flammable (again, me!) I am already imaging some wrinkles in the cushion and a little natural wear on the arms.

Microfiber, on the other hand, is super comfy, forgiving, long-lasting and easy to clean (me!) Down side to microfiber; it is a synthetic!

I guess I'm going with cotton!

I asked my husband, "Honey,"    (you've always got to use sweet words or you won't get a response) "Honey, if I were a piece of furniture, what would I be?" He immediately got that scared, "Do-these- pants-make-my-butt-look-big trick question look on his face. I smiled and tried to look as non-threatening as I could.

Wavering just the tiniest bit, he ventured, "A rocking chair!"

"Upholstered or wood?" I asked.

"Yes!" he responded.

I think I'm okay with his answer. Let's be honest, I am not a sleek, sexy, red leather couch!!!

What piece of furniture are you? Are you a seven piece sectional with several layout options? Could you be a stately four-poster bed with a pillow-top mattress and silk canopy? Maybe you are a stained-glass lamp with gilded base and a purple-toned metal pull chain with a peacock on the chain's end.







April 28, 2016

Hanging Our With JP

Went for a drive with my granddaughter yesterday. We drove 'the back way' to my folks' house.

JP drove, we listened to music and shared thoughts about the music, the lyrics, moving, boys  and moving to the east coast.

She is going to be sixteen in just over two weeks and she astounds me.

She is honest (extremely honest), she is authentic and she is wise.

We took my dad grocery shopping and she carried on a wonderful, animated conversation with him. She helped transfer groceries out of the cart and onto the belt to the checker. She packed groceries into bags, loaded them into the car and helped unload when we got back to the folks' house.

She is an excellent artist and drew a picture for Mom and Dad. She joked with them, asked some questions and listened to the answers.

Not once did she pick up her smart phone and disengage. She was involved and she showed them how much she cared.

She also taught me about making venison sausage, she shared her thoughts that people need to dress for themselves and own their own look.

Basically, she told me, "No excuses! If people like me or don't like me, it's none of my business!"

I liked the message and I love her.

 





April 22, 2016

Room For Two?

A FB friend asked yesterday, "If you were stuck in an elevator with a rock star, who would it be?"

(To all my grammar nazi's out there, should that be "whom"?)

I ran my list of favorite songs through my head and visualized the artist behind it. Went a little like:

Cat Stevens....no.

Stevie Nicks....no.

Steven Tyler....mmm, no.

Pharrel Williams.....hmm, maybe.

Cindy Lauper...another maybe.

Bob Marley....Oh Yeah, but that elevator might be on the way to heaven, so, uh, NO!



But when I do take that elevator to heaven, it would be nice if Bob Marley and Jim Croce come down to greet me and accompany me on the way up.


Still thinking.......Carlos  Santana......now that is an elevator that I could be stuck on for a long time.


I would definitely ask him if he was thinking of me when he wrote Black Magic Women!!!

If there is room for one more music artist on our little elevator, then I do think I'd like Sarah McClachlan to join us.  Can you imagine the angels that those two people would have in their company?



Which rock star would you choose to be in a stuck elevator with?

p.s. I would have preferred if we were sitting around a fire pit, drinking tequila but, hey, an elevator will have to do.


April 20, 2016

Dream Maps

Wow! What a dream I had this morning. I could feel the texture of the coat I was wearing, the breeze on my face. People's eyes could be read. Interesting selection of people to join me for such a lucid dream, too.

Three, no four, major players in the dream.

Person-one, who has a habit of "not showing up" was in the dream and, surprise, did not show up! But we were expecting her.

Person-two: I found her stuffed bunny and returned it to her. We chatted and danced while we waited for person-one to not show up. Person-two left on a school bus and took her bunny with her. They both seemed very happy to be reunited!

Person-three, had a heavy load and was headed to the laundromat, but eyes told me that maybe later.....(promises, promises).

Person-four - What are you doing in my dreams? I've never seen you here before; welcome! You look good at the head of the table! Your leadership skills are becoming very impressive!

I was wearing my pretty royal blue coat with the fur collar that I lost 45 years ago. All this time I thought it was stolen but I just left it in the land of dreams. What other items might be waiting there for me to rediscover?  It would be nice if my skate key is there. I don't have the skates anymore but I sure liked that skate key. It would look good on a 30" silver chain surrounded with Kyanite and Iolite beads.

The restaurant where I was having lunch with friends was built with thick redwood beams  and boards. Windows wrapped around three sides of the dining room. I could smell the vegetables roasted in rosemary and the ravioli (I'm pretty sure I brought the ravioli with me from watching Master Chef Canada last night. I could taste it too and all I have to say is "YUM"!)

I do hope my subconscious noted the location of the restaurant; the ambiance was remarkable and the black currant balsamic vinaigrette was literally out-of-this-world! I'm going to start sleeping with a  mason jar just in case I go back.

If I die in my sleep, please know that some uptight dream-realm official wouldn't let me transfer dimensions with a mason jar full of other-worldly salad dressing so I chose to stay with that divine nectar of the gods!

I found a folding laundry basket, returned it to person-two, returned to the curb to wait!  I looked down the street and knew that person-one was always going to not-show-up. I unbuttoned my coat, put my hands in my pockets and started walking in the direction of home. I made the choice not to wait but to show up for myself.

The walk felt good, the pace was brisk, even in an elegant pair of heels! I was smiling. The air brushed my face as I walked.  As I woke, I could still feel the breeze on my skin and I was still smiling.

I wonder if I can get a map back to that place and where do I get one if they exist?

Now, if you'll excuse me. My teapot is whistling and I have fresh ginger to peel and chop.

Do you have a place that you visit often in your dreams?