December 07, 2009

Competitive? Not me!

If you had asked me how I felt about competition a week or two ago I would have shared my life-long philosophy with you. I do not believe in Competition. I believe in Cooperation. I have always believed that we would dwell in a much more peaceful, gentle world if we were united in cooperative living. I have always believed that and I looked down my nose on the competitive spirit....

Then came Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook......OMG was I delusional!

I have just discovered something really, really, really, really ugly about myself...I want to win....I need to win...I live to win.

It was a cold and windy night...hmmm...actually it probably started on a way-too-hot day in summer. I saw that my dear friend, Valerie, played this little game on Facebook with all these cute, bright jewels, sparkly explosions and cool sound effects....I thought, "why not!"

Why Not? Why not? When you ask yourself "why not?" there is a good reason "why not"! Probably several good reasons "why not".

The ugliness starts off real slow. It sneaks up on you so subtly that you have no idea what is happening. Razzles and dazzles! Little emeralds popping! Yellow diamonds exploding! The points start to add up....ta deep voice in the game itself says, "excellent"! 12,000! 24,000! 63,750! Hmmm. This is fun.

Yum, flash: I just beat Valerie's high score...what was that? A little kajizzle up my spine. Nice!

Log in the next day: Valerie has beat my score. No problem. One day, two days, third day, 112, top score....I'm on top again. Nice, real nice...can feel that kajizzle up my spine...."this is a cool game," I think to myself.

Next day, log on to Facebook...."what the?" New friend Cheryl has topped both Valerie's and my score...."hmmm, easy fix" I think as I smile to myself....and I fix it....well, of course I do!

(WARNING: Please do not read on if you have a weak gets really ugly from here)

We juggle top-dog place for a week, maybe two....the kajizzles aren't as intense as the first time...I need more....

...THEN....5:15 AM...can't sleep....what if someone has "somehow" beaten my score.....better get up and protect it! Explosions, sparkles, "exellent".....ooohhhh....bright colors, jewels...points.....Points.....POINTS....POINTS......MORE POINTS....GIVE ME......

Yes, 288,550 points....."EXCELLENT!"

Oh the kudos, Amanda likes my score (yes, even sweet Amanda is hooked)....Heidi likes my score.....Valerie asks "How did you do that?" Oh, sweet Kajizzles, not only up my spine but up my neck and spreading out over my scalp, down my arms and even down to my toes. Oh Kajizzles....I love you......

WHAT? Cheryl tops my score again....and again....WTF? A new friend.....Ann (you know who you are)...ANN tops the highest score..311,050...I think to myself, "how important is this friendship....I can delete her and get back on top....but what if she requests my friendship again.....I know, I could block her!"

Friday morning I set the alarm....the early bird gets the worm you know!

I must get back on top....I need to get back on top...... I WANT IT! GET OUT OF MY WAY!

Can't do it.....124,00.....134,000......187,00....."NO, I don't want any lunch, I am busy".....188,000....189,000......."yeah, yeah, I'll go to bed when I am done here"....202,540.....3:45 AM Saturday morning...need sleep but Ann is still way up there, Cheryl, close behind.....I am not even in the ball arm hurts....I think I have shoulder hurts.....I don't care....Someone is higher than me.....Please, don't make it so...clicking the, click, double click, explosions, jewels, bright ugly colors, ugly little numbers....where are the big numbers....."NO, I don't want any dinner...get off my ass" click...more ugly explosions, cheap little jewels...must sleep...can't sleep....must sleep.

What! Heidi can't sleep and she is gonna try and beat my score while I sleep!.....not gonna sleep.....can't lose my footing.....I need more.....GIVE ME MORE.

Monday Morning....6:30 AM......Facebook.....gotta check....did Heidi bury me in the ugly little squares and circles pretending to be jewels? Did she dump me in the tank of tacky fake explosions......can't breathe.....No....I am safe at 200,000+ but Cheryl....OMG...Cheryl.....the Bejewelled Blitz Terrorist has buried Ann.....319,050.....HELP ME.....I NEED AN INTERVENTION!


December 06, 2009

A beach.

A beach and a blanket.

A beach and a blanket
with a soft warm breeze.

A beach and a blanket
with a soft warm breeze
and gentle lapping waves.

A beach and a blanket
with a soft warm breeze

and gentle lapping waves and peanut butter sandwiches with grape jelly.

A beach and a blanket
with a soft warm breeze
and gentle lapping waves
and peanut butter sandwiches with grape jelly
and You.

A beach and a blanket
with a soft warm breeze
and gentle lapping waves
and peanut butter sandwiches with grape jelly
and You. Nice!

December 05, 2009

Worm Soup!

On those days, when its way too cold to go outside....or way to hot....and we have danced and tea-partied and Phineas-and-Ferb-ed 'til we can't anymore my granddaughters and I like to make worm soup.

Well, actually, they like to make worm soup and I like to shake my head! We get out a couple of bowls, the bigger the better; measuring spoons, measuring cups, some smaller bowls and big (BIG) spoons to stir with. Often the ingredients to our soup is completely know, a bit of lizard lips, bat spit and maybe octopus beaks.

Friday was not one of the imagination days...Alaina was definitely into "the real stuff". So we started with a base of water and milk...lumps okay. Rock salt, dog food, wood shavings, brown sugar rocks....whatever she could find. The soup was a wonderful shade of turquoise which she blames on the milk and several drops of food coloring...5 blue drops, 3 drops of yellow and one drop of red.

Her sister came home from school, rolled up her sleeves and proceeded to not be outdone!

Her concoction was slightly slimier due to the large amounts of last summers sun block (which should never be applied to the skin due to Vit D deficiencies and clogging of pores). I digress.

Jocilyn's soup included crushed peppers, coffee creamer, flour, egg shells and maybe even the egg....could that egg have added to the slime-factor?

Wonderful mess! Warning: the food coloring should be avoided if small child in your care is about to leave with parents for a trip to Santa Cruz.

Yes, Thanksgiving....there was much of that!

Thanksgiving....yes, there was lots of thanksgiving. Gratitude that we have all survived a year of extreme ups and downs.

My 6 year old granddaughter was hospitalized, my 18 year old grandson rolled his little Subaru and walked away from the accident....God bless Subarus. His step-dad has battled cancer and has had two major surgeries in the past 6 months. Lots of challenges but here we are; a family filled with love and blessings.

This year, thanks to my brother Mike, we have reconnected with family...lots of cousins! We are planning a big reunion next summer of first cousins and our families....but some of us couldn't wait so Mike, my sister Sherree and I gathered at her house with our cousin Brian and his wonderful wife. We hadn't seen him for close to 40 years.....did I say 40? My goodness!

We had such a good time! He really rocks, he has grown into a wonderful, intelligent, talented and involved man. His wife is fantastic, too and we had such a fun weekend reaquainting ourselves. We told stories about when we were little kids, shared some memories of our grandparents and and Aunt and Uncle that have passed.

Front row: Sherree, Brian, Mike
Back Row: Me (Toni), Wendy and Connie (Mike's wife).

We had fun and I honestly can't wait until this summer when all the cousins get together!

March 01, 2009

Woman to Woman. Let's Talk!

Are you content with the condition of the world? Does it bother you that children go to school in the morning and are shot at by their school mates? Do you wonder what has caused so many teenage suicides?  Why are schools promoting birth control and abortions without advising parents or obtaining parental consent?

Our children are confused. We preach one thing and than do another. We give birth to our children and hand them over to a daycare organization or a television to raise them.

Does it make sense that we tell our daughters to say no to sex yet they are bombarded on with daily messages that they will not be "cool" or "liked" if they don't dress, act, talk and look sexy. Does it make sense to our daughters and sons that we say we are so offended with the certain images of women and girls in advertisements, tv and movies but we continue to purchase and consume the very products whose advertisements offend us?

Are you comfortable with the fact that almost every mother and father (especially fathers) on television are portrayed to be bumbling idiots. Dad can't plug in the toaster without blowing up the house and Mom is an emasculating Robo-Woman.

Every day another politician is being outed for sordid extra-marital affairs, cheating on taxes or stealing government funds to pay for great vacations in exotic places. Our children see us gripe and complain about these dishonest public servants but do they witness taking action?

"Apathy is not the most dramatic form of suicide, just the most common." William J. O'Malley

What are we going to do to make this a better world for our children and grandchildren? Henri Amiel wrote, "Woman is the salvation or the destruction of the family, she carries it's destiny in the folds of her mantle." In my opinion, Mr. Amiel is right.

Men tend to define themselves according to how autonomous they are. Women always wonder why they won't "commit" and I am sure it is because to "commit" is to lose one's separateness and therefore, one's identity. Women, on the other hand, define ourselves by our relationships. Unconsciously we believe, "I have a relationship therefore I am!" How many women stay in terrible relationships because unconsciously we believe that if we don't have even a lousy relationship we might cease to exist.

Now, one might think that this is a weakness but it is, in my humble opinion, one of our greatest strengths. It is because of the way we define ourselves that we are the caretakers of the earth. We are connected, we feel compassion, we nurture! We know in our hearts and souls that if any thing is wrong with one baby, one family or even one lake or river, that something is wrong with us all.

We just need to teach our daughters that the first relationship they have is with God, Goddess, All There Is, The Great Spirit, the Higher Power. The next relationship is with their self. Next, the relationship they have with Mom and Dad will accompany them for the rest of their lives so show them how important they are, how much they are loved and respected. Honor your daughters. If they never witness respect and honor they will never recognize it or the lack of it.

Look at how connected we are! We menstruate on the same cycle as the moon and tides, and in the days before artificial light and synthetic birth control, we cycled with the other women in our huts and caves. We invented villages, agriculture, math! We are good!

Somewhere, sometime, somehow we lost our footing. We need to regain it. I'm not suggesting that we grab the reins from men and take control but I am suggesting that we put the focus back on our children, our elderly, our families, our communities. We turned our backs on the living and breathing and have surrendered to the inanimate, the governments, the corporations, the organizations. When did we decide that it is more important to "give" our children stuff than to share ourselves with them?

January 16, 2009

Within...or.....In My.....

I've been tagged......what is cyber tag anyway? Steven tagged me and says I have to answer the following I do things I "have to!"

5 things in my fridge:

unopened egg nog, a hostess gift from Christmas....think its still good?
lettuce....just in case we get an unexpected visit from a rabbit!
white wine....again for unexpected guests, I prefer red.

5 things in my closet:

a 3' tall doll with orange hair that I had when I was a little girl!
two large boxes of Mitch's writings many different sizes and eras!
scarves and hats and gloves....for those winters when California pretends to be Montana for a day or two.
dust bunnies....wonder if they like lettuce....

5 things in my work supply bag....?
Okay, hard one you mean my teaching bag or my Mary Kay bags?
Can't mean a typical gym bag as the really most extreme sport I participate in is my morning showers and luckily no bags are necessary!

Mary Kay bag:
15 Look catalogs
15 "Invite" booklets
Business cards
Records & scheduling book

5 things in my car:

Rob Thomas cd, love Street Corner Symphony.
Wayne Dyer collection of cd's...can't learn too much about creating my reality!
Mary Kay bag
Travelers bag with sketch pad, pencils, pens, journal and water bottle.
quilt....never know when the need for a nap or picnic will hit and I believe in being prepared!

Okay, Steve says I have to tag 5 other people and I say, "Steve, You are not the boss of me!"