Just Saying

I’m a head case, always have been and unless I get dementia, always will be. My mind is continuously busy with thoughts and questions so it’s not unusual for me to walk into a room and not know why…

Source: Just Saying

Just Saying

I’m a head case, always have been and unless I get dementia, always will be. My mind is continuously busy with thoughts and questions so it’s not unusual for me to walk into a room and not know why I’ve come there. People say that’s a sign of senility but I’ve been doing that since I was ten. I didn’t realize until this morning that my mind is also crowded with adages, song lyrics and literary allusions.

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As I did the breakfast dishes, I was thinking about George Washington. He cut down the cherry tree but he would not tell a lie. That story from first grade has had a lasting effect on me. I rarely tell even a white lie—I’d never lie about something big. And my word is my bond.

Thoughts about George led to a flood of others. Growing up, my brother, sister and I were taught to never judge anyone until we’d walked in his or her shoes. We drank in the concepts of compassion and respect for others with our Gerber formula. We knew that there but for the grace of God, we’d have gone into the ovens of Auschwitz.

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Taught to be responsible for each other and be grateful for what we had, we knew we needed to share our bounty. I took this to heart and have literally given people the shirt off my back.

My brother gave away the money for his birthday party to help a family in need.

My brother gave away the money for his birthday party to help a family in need.

The work ethic and saving for a rainy day were strong themes in my childhood. Our parents were children of immigrants fleeing religious persecution.

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They married during the Depression and had no money. But when the going got tough, the tough got going. They worked like dogs to become successful and to make sure we all went to college.

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We were admonished that the early bird gets the worm and that practice makes perfect.

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“Waste not, want not,” they said if we left the lights on. If we didn’t finish our vegetables, we were reminded about the starving children in China. Along with this, we were taught that a penny saved was a penny earned, but also that all that glitters is not gold. There was also a sneaky suspicion that money was the root of all evil.

My parents weren’t the speak when spoken to kind. We were encouraged to have our own opinions as long as we honored our mother and father, and thought before we spoke. However, we were cautioned about opening a Pandora’s box and that it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

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Since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I taught these same values to my own children.

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They have taught them to theirs. Which makes me proud as punch, even though I know that pride goes before a fall. We all believe immigrants like our families have made this country strong.

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I think who we are is a combination of our nature and how we’ve been nurtured. I’ve been told many times not to be so nice because nice guys finish last, but it’s just the way I’m wired. Besides, I’m the tortoise to many others’ hare. Slow and steady wins my race.

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Which reminds me, I think there’s a place for everything and everything has a place. That’s why I go crazy when I need my scissors and they aren’t where I put them. The Borrowers have moved them.

Even though I’m an old dog, I’m trying to learn new tricks. An inveterate multi-tasker, I can rush around like a chicken with my head cut off, but I’m getting better. I don’t rob Peter so much to pay Paul. I’m more into the moment, into the Now. I’ve always been slow to anger, and believed you can catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar. I have a long fuse but when lit, watch out. Then I’d be happy to cut off my nose to spite my face. I’m willing to share all this because I’m an open book. The truth is, you can’t tell a book by its cover.

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Besides all these sayings, song lyrics play in my head. They come up from my subconscious, unbidden. Last fall while my husband was going through Proton radiation, the constant theme song playing was, “Put on a Happy Face.”

Lately, it’s “Wake Me Up When It’s All Over,” because I’m as frightened as a rabbit about the present political climate, as well as just climate in general. Hope springs eternal so I’m hoping the Emperor has someone around who tells him he has no clothes on. I’m hoping they don’t throw the baby out with the bath water when reforming affordable health care.

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I’ve given up watching television. I’m sick of the pundits earning fame and fortune while crying, “The sky is falling.” And I can’t handle the bloggers, who obviously never went to Journalism School where we learned to be clear, concise and accurate.

Right now the lyric in my head is Bob Marley’s, “every little thing’s gonna be all right.” I know there’s no fool like an old fool, but I still believe good triumphs over evil. I’m still looking for the silver lining.

 

 

 

We Are The World

This was my kind of protest march. No violence. No shouting of epithets. No hatred. Families and friends walked along the street, some holding signs, some holding hands, some pushing strollers and …

Source: We Are The World

We Are The World

This was my kind of protest march. No violence. No shouting of epithets. No hatred. Families and friends walked along the street, some holding signs, some holding hands, some pushing strollers and other pushing wheelchairs.

 

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img_0573Grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads, moms and moms, and dads and dads, toddlers and babies all strolled in the same direction, in no hurry to run another over or get in someone’s way. Friends greeted friends, said, “How do you?” Strangers met over a common cause and exchanged phone numbers.

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Actually, rather than protest, it was more a solidarity march for pro-thinkers. It wasn’t really political. Yes, women’s rights were the focus that brought us all out. But it was more than that. Groups of strangers united on the streets of our country to proclaim democracy and equality as the corner posts of our ideology. As the president said in his inaugural address: “It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”

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Walking with friends, new and old, I felt empowered and healed. People of good will surrounded me. People who want to help the common cause. People who want to do something for the greater good. And I knew this was happening from the north to the south, the east to the west.

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I’d thought I’d lost my sense of who Americans are. But, united with folks from the far corners of the states, I found my kinspeople again.

 

 

 

 

Inauguration Day Realites, Please

Please don’t tell me I shouldn’t be dressed in black because I’m in mourning on this 20th day of January 2017. Please don’t read this if it will disturb your Trump sensibilities. Please don’…

Source: Inauguration Day Realites, Please

Inauguration Day Realites, Please

 

Please don’t tell me I shouldn’t be dressed in black because I’m in mourning on this 20th day of January 2017.

Please don’t read this if it will disturb your Trump sensibilities.

Please don’t tell me that I’m un-American if I don’t consider this man my President.

Please don’t tell me to rejoice in the peaceful transfer of power. Sorry, the transfer of power was powered by Russian hacks and unscrupulous people who created lies to denigrate Hillary Clinton. Fake news became a new industry fueled by the Internet. Outright lies were made up and spread around, bringing an income to these lowlifes. Peaceful transfer of power means nothing when it is tainted.

Please don’t tell me Kellyanne Conway should be admired. She is a model for a propaganda robot, effective but not admirable. She can be programmed to spin anything.

Please don’t tell me Trump was America’s choice. Almost 66 million people voted for Clinton compared to 63 million for him.

Please don’t tell me my dream of a united America working together is just that, a pipe dream. I don’t believe you.

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Please don’t tell me Trump has the good of the country at heart.

Please don’t tell me Trump’s rhetoric didn’t unleash bigots to perpetrate acts of hate.

Please don’t tell me not to worry.

Please don’t tell me that gun rights are more important than lives.

Please don’t tell me I shouldn’t be suspicious when I can’t get on the Internet. I’m sure there is tracking of dissidents, which now has a broader definition. I’m sure my Google history can be traced.

Please don’t tell me I shouldn’t have lain awake half the night until I took a tranquilizer so I could get some sleep.

Please don’t tell me I’m stupid that I cried when I woke up here at 7:15 and knew that in Washington, D.C., Trump had been sworn in.

Please don’t tell me to put a smile on my face.

Please don’t tell me I shouldn’t feel as if I’m seeing the beginning of train wreck and that I’m powerless to do anything but watch.

Please don’t tell me that women in the land of the free shouldn’t have dominion over their own bodies.

Please don’t tell me that I shouldn’t be disturbed that the Republicans blocked Obama’s Supreme Court nomination.

Please don’t tell me the country hasn’t be hijacked by the conservative Republicans who believe they should be able to tell private citizens what they are allowed to do. States’ rights? B.S. And if you’re old? Forget it. Before the election, you were respected. Now, you’re on the way to being disenfranchised.

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Please don’t tell me I should be feeling proud of America today. Sixty-three million voted for a man who felt it was okay to grab a woman’s genitals. They voted for a man who discarded beautiful wife, number one, for beautiful younger wife, number two, etc.

Please don’t try to make me drink the Cool Aid. I’m not swallowing the lies and mistruths no matter what. Business is booming and unemployment is down.

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Please don’t re-write history and tell me things that are not true. I remember when George W Bush left office. America was teetering on the edge of disaster. Unemployment was so high. Banks closed their doors. The auto industry was in the pits. Friends lost their entire life savings at a time they thought they’d retire. Others went out of business or lost their homes. We took money out the bank and hid it under the mattress. Some people survived, others’ didn’t. Fact: Obama leaves a booming economy and low unemployment behind.

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Please don’t tell me the majority of Americans voted for a man who’s proven he doesn’t keep his word. He’s a man who believes the world can be flimflammed as he’s done time and again in his business practices. But he lost by 3 million votes.

Please don’t laugh in my face and call me a stupid liberal who doesn’t get it. I am one of the 65, 844, 954 who voted for Hillary.

Please don’t tell me the group Black Lives Matter is misguided. They, I should say we, as I am a member, were just ahead of the curve. Black lives don’t matter and neither do Jewish, Muslim, Latino, LGBT or any life that doesn’t fit the narrow picture outlined by Richard Spencer, the alt right leader and his friends, the Tea Partiers. Oh, there I go being silly again. Unborn lives of any hue do matter to them. But let them got born—forget about it!

Please don’t tell me I’m ridiculous to want all Americans to have health care and a full belly.

Please don’t tell me not to worry about my grandchildren. If the hyperbole leads to war, two of them are at an age where they could be drafted. Also, all my grandchildren go to Public Schools and are receiving excellent educations. It looks like this could be in the past as one of the basics of American life is being threatened.

Please don’t tell me Trump wants to be a President for all Americans. Just his Cabinet picks point to the opposite.

Please don’t tell me that everything is going to be all right. I want to believe it, but I need some proof.

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Please don’t tell me to give him a chance. I’ve been doing that. I haven’t seen him reach out to the four corners of America. I haven’t seen him surround himself with statesmen who are skilled in working with the system. His advisors are liars and bigots and ill prepared for the crucial work ahead.

Please don’t tell me to get a life and move on.

Please don’t tell me my nightmares are ridiculous.

And please, don’t mess with me today. For your own sake.

 

 

New Year, Not so New Resolutions

This is my new year’s resolution blog. You might think it’s too late for it but it’s only January 15. 2017 is just two weeks old. Still a baby!

Anyway, one of my resolutions is to stop rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off. (You might think this is a cliché but my husband actually got to see the phenomenon. In the old days of his Ancestors.com, a newly built home was blessed by cutting the head off a chicken. The vision of the chicken running around their yard featured in my husband’s nightmares for years.)

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As for my resolutions:

I have resolved to stop multi-tasking and to slow down. We had dinner with friends last night and she asked me what I’ve doing. “Since we’re in Hawaii, are you sitting around and relaxing?” she added.

I shook my head. “You know me. That just doesn’t happen. But, I’m trying. As soon as I get caught up with everything, I’m going to put relaxing into my day. It’s one of my new year’s resolutions.” It’s that I so rarely get caught up. Then something happens, either good or bad, and I’m behind again. I didn’t think I’d have this problem in my 70’s. Still.

I find that every year I resolve pretty much the same thing. Writing that, it reminded me that two years ago I printed out my 2015 resolutions and taped them to my computer. I was supposed to look at them every day but then I forgot they were there until just now. Oh well, one of my resolutions this year is to give up trying to do everything right. That leads to perfectionism, which means you’re polishing things at midnight, be it silver or words. It also means there’s constant judgment being aimed at my endeavors. Mother has been dead twenty years but she still is holding up the signs and there’s never been a 10. So time to get over it!

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Now, I’m looking at my list on the computer, and I like it. I haven’t accomplished any of the items, but they still seem like worthy goals. They aren’t global but more about me taking care of me. As a Grandiose Co-Dependent, I’m good at taking care of others, especially in the way I see fit. Taking care of me can go sideways.

No more procrastinating: here goes:

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  1. Be happy with myself at my age.
  2. Stretch after my walk.
  3. Eat Healthy.
  4. Do one thing at a time. Finish it.
  5. Think the thought that makes me feel good. Work on reducing anxiety.
  1. Write a blog every two weeks. Write every day.

 

All of this should keep me busy. I told myself just the other day, “You better learn to be happy with your age, or you’re going to be constantly depressed. Stop looking at your arm and wanting it to be firmly muscled. Ain’t happening. Be happy if it is has a muscle at all.”

Which reminds me—this getting older is not so much fun sometimes. Keeping healthy is more than a full time job. Cancer knocks on your door and comes in uninvited. Strokes and heart attacks and dementia are only a Plavix away. Friends and relatives are getting really sick or dying. I finally get it when people say, “This is not a dress rehearsal.”

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So, I guess my main resolution is that I’m going to do less and enjoy it more. (Okay, friends and relatives, stop snorting.)

 

 

 

 

Getting into the Spirit of Things

I’m hoping to get into the spirit of things. Of anything. Right now I’m so worn down by life and Life that I need to go back to bed, pull the covers up to my nose and stay there.

 

This is actually an attempt to get myself back into writing. I haven’t been able to write since the election, when I wrote with such hope and naivete that Americans stood together. It hurts me to look at that post. I despair at the divisions in our country. I believe a rift in our population was revealed and will stand irrevocably. I think of Rodney King a lot. “Why can’t we all just get along?”

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Rodney King.

 

 

“We have to get on with things”, my cousin said. And I thought, she’s right. The sky is not falling no matter what is happening in this country I once thought I knew. Even though Donald Trump will be president. Even though we won’t have the expert and wise guidance of Hillary Clinton. Even though the ADL and Southern Poverty Law Center are reporting unprecedented acts of hate. Even though Richard Spencer, leader of the Alt-Right, is gaining a platform in this country. Even though Trump won’t make a statement against these acts.

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Even though hate won. Even though my dream of a pluralistic society has proved to be an illusion–the sky is not falling. The sun did rise and it did set. And the sky is not so polluted yet that I could even see it.

I meant to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving.I truly did. It’s my favorite holiday.

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I did make our traditional dinner and decorated the house. I looked forward to our family being together, all five grandchildren, our children and nephew sitting around the table. We always hold hands and say what we’re thankful for. There’s always a lot of laughter and love and gratefulness. This year, though, our daughter got so sick she was hospitalized. She and her family couldn’t make the trip down to California. Instead, I needed to go up to Seattle to help her. So my husband’s cancer treatment and the side effects of radiation and hormone therapy got placed on my back burner.

Someone texted me asking if I felt like Job. “No,” I wrote back. “The Perils of Pauline.”

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Certainly life should not be so melodramatic. But then, on a dark and rainy night, I had the car accident with my four-year-old granddaughter in the car. My worst nightmare. With that, I lost my sense of perspective. (I’d already lost my senses of humor and hope on November 9.) It seemed that life was perilous without relief. I couldn’t take a breath or unhunch my shoulders. I was in high alert for the next assault.

Today, my spirits are finally up, a bit. Austria didn’t vote in the far right leader, Norbert Hofer!

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And the Army Corp of Engineers will not immediately grant the Dakota Access Pipeline the right to cross the Missouri River next to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation!

My husband is almost done with his treatments and our daughter is much better. And I could write a blog. So see, good things can still happen.

And if you really don’t agree with what I had to say today, please keep it to yourself. I’m a bit tired and not my usual tolerant, feisty self. Since this is still a free country, you can always unfollow me. Feel free.

United We Stand

I volunteered again this weekend. It’s what I can do. I can’t watch the talking heads anymore. I think it’s these hired guns who are dividing us. Who are they? They’re just giving us their opinions–I rather listen to yours. These people are paid to cause controversy so the networks’ ratings go up. A lot of what they say is drivel. A lot of what they say is completely on party lines and they don’t deviate. Most of it is negative. Some journalists don’t hesitate to promote their own career along with their political agenda. Why is there so little talk of policy and plans for the future? Why is there no discussion of what America stands for?

I rather spend my time with people who want to work together to create solutions.

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I volunteered again this weekend so I could be with people who care about the country. They care enough that they’re giving up their time to talk to strangers about the election. That’s no easy task. I listened in sometimes and I was struck by the sincerity I heard. It was Americans reaching out to other Americans. Don’t tell me people don’t care.

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People came early to work on more than one shift. That morning by 11:00, thirty people came to the door to volunteer. As the day went on, the numbers kept increasing. The ages ranged from 16 to 90.

“I wish I could vote,” the sixteen-year-old said. “But at least I can make calls.”

Harold, the ninety-year-old was one of the walk-ins.

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“I’ve got to do my part,” he said. And he got right to work.

The mood was somber. We felt the weight of our responsibility. We believe in our candidate. We feel Hillary Clinton will make an excellent President. We’re concerned that Donald Trump is not prepared.

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“I had to come,” one man said. “There are so many lies out there, I’ve got to do something or I’d feel guilty.”2016-11-05-10-19-21

 

I happened to be in a Democratic group but I bet there was a Republican group with the same kind of people. People of good will. People who care about our country and are willing to work for the common good. We’re not flashy nor dramatic. You don’t see us because we aren’t the kind to create headlines. We’re just ordinary normal Americans.

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Volunteering

A Corner of My Mind

It’s Saturday morning. I have had a full week, being the support person for my husband who is going through Proton radiation at Loma Linda. That’s another story, which I’m about ready to share. I could have stayed in bed this morning, getting some rest. I don’t sleep well in Loma Linda and it’s a blessing to be in my own bed.

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But I’m at a phone bank for Hillary Clinton. For me, this election is that important.The phone bank isn’t anything like I pictured. It’s not official looking in any way. We’re all volunteers.

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We’re at someone’s house a couple of miles away from where I live. Women and men, young and old, every color and ethnic group, we’ve brought our charged cell phone or laptop. Some people work through their laptops. Others of us spread out and begin to call. I hear one man speaking in Spanish.

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Today…

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