August 30, 2009

Through A Child's Eyes

"A young child looks through a gate as an American Marine keeps watch whilst on patrol in Khan Neshin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, the furthest south of any coalition troops and near the border of Pakistan Tuesday Aug. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Lewis Whyld)"

As a mother, I cannot begin to know what a mother in Afghanistan (the country in this photo) feels or what hope she clings to for her child. When my children were young I was almost over protective, much to the chagrin of my children. It mattered not what other children were allowed to do or how much freedom their parents allowed them, I insisted on knowing where my children were at all times and when they were quite young, they had to be within sight. My son would get on his tricycle and nonchalantly ride down to the end of the building, glance over his shoulder to see me watching, and then ride like crazy around the corner only to see me run all the way to the end of the building and around that corner and the next corner by that time and see him waiting for me with the biggest grin on his dear little face!

My heart hugs the sweet child in this photo and the soldier who is someone's son.

August 29, 2009

Cough, Gag, Cough

A French soldier wears a visor and face cover to protect himself from the dust as he patrols in Deh Rawod, in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan on August 17, 2009. (PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Maybe I am easily influenced, but when I saw this photo I could almost taste the sand and I had to cough. I.Actually.Coughed. Empathy personified.

Living my life in a mid western state in a safe environment takes little effort compared to the sacrifices and tragedies people face every day in other countries. Seeing photos similar to this one help remind me to be thankful for my life and health and hubby and home and to send support and love from my heart to those like the soldier in this photo.

World's Largest Rosebush

How large do you think a rosebush can grow?

According to the Guinness Book Of World Records, the rosebush that holds the record for the largest rosebush is in Tombstone, Arizona.

When Henry and Mary Gee left Scotland as newlyweds and made a home in Tombstone, Arizona, Mary's parents sent some things from her homeland to help her make a new home so far away. They included cuttings from the rose in their yard and Mary planted them. That was in 1885.

Today a strong, gnarled trunk supports a vigorous rosebush suspended by a wooden arbor and the rosebush covers over 8,000 square feet.

I have been there a few times and walked under the gigantic umbrella of roses and walked up steps to look down on the entire spread. This picture is one I took and I have the photos with me. Inside the attached museum, I purchased a cutting and took it back to California, planted it, and the very next year there were some roses and each year my rose bush grew and I took cuttings from it and shared with others. It was the fastest growing rosebush I ever had.

The rose is a white Lady Banksia.

August 27, 2009

Building Love and Commitment

I just read a book titled "Building A Home With My Husband" by Rachel Simon. I enjoyed the book because it actually was about a house renovation. But the thread throughout is the relationship between husband and wife.

Near the end of the story are some quotes that I want to share here.

"So this is commitment, I realized, as we walked up the hill toward our house. Pressing myself to admit my feelings aloud, and how they arose---even when I'm so convinced that he did something wrong that I'm on the verge of running. Of course, commitment requires that the other person must love and respect me enough to want to hear, and I must love and respect him enough to speak words he can hear. But assuming that is the case, then this is commitment: Valuing our unity over my pride, the whole of our us rather than the sum of my righteousness.

.... Love is not just a feeling, and commitment is not just a decision. They, when intertwined, are action. Love and commitment move, and touch, and listen, and speak. They are deeds that sacrifice individual pride. Their goal is not just happiness, but mutual vulnerability."

These words wrapped around my heart and taught it to sing and dance.

August 25, 2009

My, How Time Flies

Four years ago I worked from home, and there were several printer/fax/copier machines in the busy home office.

One day my son called and said he was in the area and would like to stop by to use a fax and work on some paperwork. No problem. When my son arrived, he introduced me to a colleague and they sat at the dining room table and soon had papers strewn around. I re-focussed on my work.

When my son and his friend entered my office area to use fax machines, the friend looked at my computer. I was living in a duplex at that time and my son asked if I had found a tenant for the other unit. His friend asked if I had placed an ad in craigslist yet and I replied no but that I had heard of it from a couple other people. The young man, who is a super whiz on computers, walked over and stroke, stroke, stroke, put craigslist in my bookmarks. I had two simultaneous thoughts: Wow, I thought I could type fast; and How brash for this guy to put something on my computer without me asking.

The next day I began searching around on craigslist and giggled when I saw "women seeking men" and "men seeking women". I clicked on "men seeking women" thinking how fun it was going to be to tell my friend Linda about it when I talked to her later. I read a few ads, got the gist of them, started losing interest and then a heading caught my eye. I clicked on this ad, read it, and proceeded to email this guy immediately, which was totally not like me at all to contact someone I did not know. My sole purpose in emailing him was to ask him what he was doing on craigslist because he made too much sense. His ad was not like any of the others at all. And then I wished him luck in his search and said I bet he got lots of replies to his ad. I did not expect to hear from him.

The reply was easy going and said there had only been three answers to his ad. We began emailing back and forth. We learned more about each other. Then he sent his phone number in case I felt like calling him sometime. I called a friend of mine who had met her husband online and talked to her. She convinced me to call him. My hands were sweating when I shakily dialed his number. His voice on the phone was even better than his emails. Still not even considering meeting him and still not even thinking of finding a relationship, I relaxed into getting to know him as a possible friend. I had a couple guy friends that I went to ball games with and movies and have always had relaxed relationships with guys.

After many hours on the phone, we both were looking forward to meeting in person. I had seen a picture of him in his ad, but he had not seen one of me. His ad even stated that "what you look like is not as important as how you sound". We agreed to meet in front of a buffet style restaurant halfway between our two homes. When he asked what color my hair was or what I would be wearing so he could identify me, I told him I would be in casual clothes, I had blond hair, and I would probably be there a little early and I would be reading a book as I always carried a book with me and I am always early. I heard a little gasp but it wasn't until I had known him awhile that I learned what that meant to him. He too is always early and always reading, a book always with him.

I arrived early, was reading and glanced up to see the guy in the picture walking toward the front of the restaurant. I walked toward him to shake his hand and we went inside to get food. We talked over five hours!!! We actually had fun. When we shook hands good bye in front of the restaurant, he said he would like to do that again soon and I said so would I.

The following week we were emailing and talking on the phone and when he emailed a list of movies playing at a theater near the restaurant of our meeting face to face, we arranged to meet in front of the theater the next weekend.

That was almost four years ago.

August 24, 2009

I'll Huff And I'll Puff And I'll Blow Your Mailbox Down

We get strong winds in this part of the country. Some days at work as I carry out boxes or bags to the dumpster, the wind picks me up and pushes me toward the dumpster. But coming back to the building, going against the wind, I have to honker down and push hard to walk and then it takes strength to open the side door and not get squished trying to get inside.

The other day our next door neighbors signaled to us as they returned to their driveway and were pointing out that the mailbox in front of our house was down on its side. They met us at the mailbox and we could see that the wooden post was broken into bits. We rent this house, so we didn't have a hand in the installing of the mailbox, but it seemed pretty clear that the landlord did not treat the wood and the wooden post wasn't in the ground very deep and no concrete was used to set the post. The wind had been too strong for hubby to ride his bike that day, so we figured that the wind caused the mailbox post to keel over.

The men got to work deciding the best solution and they headed to their garages and returned with tools and steel rods and proceeded to work together to stand the mailbox upright and pound stakes and make sure it would be secure for the next heavy duty midwest wind.

We wives chatted happily and it turned out to be a great visit for all of us and the mailbox is standing proud and strong in the front yard. Our neighbors have been in their house over 30 years and we found this house on the internet and were drawn here last year by the location. But one of the best things about this house is the wonderful next door neighbors. They love us and we love them. When we are outside as they leave their driveway, she blows kisses to us and they wave hello and goodbye and we visit at the fence often. I think the now standing mailbox is not the only sturdy thing in this cul-de-sac. The friendship with our neighbors is growing stronger and more dear each day. The wind can't blow that down!!

August 23, 2009

Mango-Lime Salsa

I left a comment here a few days ago asking for a recipe mentioned in a post.

Here is the recipe:



1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)

2 cups diced mango

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup chopped red onion

Juice from 1 large lime (about 1/3 cup)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 Chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained, seeded and chopped

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz cans)
* 8 cups of fresh spring salad greens



Heat the Olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook for about 1 minute.

Stir in the corn kernels; cook until browned about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the corn mixture in a large bowl. Add the mango, bell pepper, onion cilantro, lime juice, salt, chile and black beans and stir well.


Pearl, please tell Icky THANK YOU for sharing this great recipe with me. This has now become a staple in our house.

August 21, 2009

September is Recovery Month

There is a blog called Subdural Flow. I found this post there about September being designated Recovery Month.

"SAMHSA/CSAT (the government agency on substance abuse and mental health) sponsors Recovery Month, which celebrates recovery, highlights the benefits of treatment, and educates the public on recovery and treatment options.

Upcoming events for your area can be found by putting in your zip code here. On September 12 there will a human bridge of recovery across the Brooklyn Bridge. Already 10,000 people have signed up!"

Today my hubby is 9 years clean and sober. I have been working the twelve steps in a codependents anonymous program for 2 1/2 years. We know many people in recovery who are working programs to become and remain healthy. It isn't simply a matter of attending a meeting and getting to know other people in recovery. It takes hard, consistent work.

It is worth every ounce of energy and every tear of frustration and all the sweat of hard work.

August 20, 2009

Reader's Digest Facing Bankruptcy

Looks like Reader's Digest is facing the same woes other businesses are facing these days. This story was in BBC News.

"The US publisher of Reader's Digest magazines has said it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it looks to get rid of up to 75% of its debts.

If approved by a bankruptcy court, Reader's Digest will see its debt cut to $550m from $2.2bn.

"It doesn't affect our employees, it doesn't affect the vast majority of vendors, it doesn't mean we'll do mass layoffs, it doesn't mean we're going to be selling off assets. It's business as usual."

The company says Reader's Digest is the largest-selling magazine in the world."

While my children were growing up, the Reader's Digest was like part of our family. We all read stories in it and we talked about it at dinner and made games of the word definitions in the magazine. My mother still subscribes. The image in this post is the way the front cover used to look; this one is the cover for May 1973.

I haven't read a Reader's Digest in a few years and I don't see this little magazine in the waiting rooms I frequent, but I have a sentimental interest in the future of this publication.

August 19, 2009

Four Seasons

I found this at a blog called True Love Is Life. Thank you, Sunshine, for your permission to share this in my post.

"There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So, he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The First son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in the summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and returned ,he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The First son (winter) said that the tree was ugly, bent & twisted . The Second son (spring) said it was covered with green buds & full of promise.

The Third son (summer) disagreed; he said it was laden with blossom that smelled so sweet & looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful tree that he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life & fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had seen only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you can't judge a tree, or a person, by only one season. That the essence of who they are, and the pleasure, joy & love that come from life, can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up."

August 18, 2009

The End Of Saturday Mail Will Be Soon

CNN News has an article about the demise of delivery of mail on Saturdays.

"The postmaster general of the United States, John E. Potter, has gone to Congress and officially asked for permission to do away with Saturday mail. He has told Congress that this will save more than $3 billion every year.

If and when it happens -- and it's beginning to seem inevitable -- the texture of the nation's life will be altered, probably forever. Saturdays without mail will feel like ... well, who knows? Maybe they'll feel like Sundays.

I have just started writing letters and placing them into envelopes, applying stamps (not necessary to lick stamps anymore) and mailing my nifty little letters. It has been so long since I wrote letters to anyone but my mother, but since I received a letter from my aunt I have decided to write my brother now too. The list is growing. It doesn't matter to me if there is no more Saturday delivery, as long as the modern day pony express gets the mail delivered in a reasonable amount of time.

August 17, 2009

Don't Be Shy, Sweetie

Photo: Melissa Brandts

Hubby sent this to me. He loves this picture. We watch squirrels in the yard every day and try to get good pictures of them but have never been able to get one to pose for us!!

"We had our camera set up on some rocks and were getting ready to take the picture when this curious little ground squirrel appeared, became intrigued with the sound of the focusing camera and popped right into our shot.

It was a once in a lifetime moment - we were laughing about this little guy for days! said Mrs Brandts."

The picture was submitted to the website of America's National Geographic magazine.

August 16, 2009

You've Got (Snail) Mail

Today I actually had mail in my mail box. I don't look in the mail box every day because there isn't anything in it most of the time. I know, I know, most people get junk mail and bills and all sorts of negative correspondence. Some people need to push a wheelbarrow out to their mail box to carry it all back to their house.

Not me. My little mail box is my friendly quiet keeper of peace and unobtrusive letters and packages delivered by the friendly quiet mail person. My bills are not paid through snail mail, therefore I do not receive statements in the mail box.

Up until today my mother was the only person writing me letters and she was the only person I sent letters to. Mail is an important part of her life as she has never ever been interested in computers. My brother delivered a computer to her home many years ago and set it up and showed her how to use it and she tried for a day or two but she did not want it in the first place and got so frustrated because she had never even typed so my brother removed the object of intense dislike and she promptly forgot about ever having the computer.

Today I received a letter from one of my mother's sisters. By the sound of the letter, my aunt is just as baffled as I am regarding how many years it has been since she and I have corresponded. I remember writing her a few times when I was a teenager and it is possible that I wrote her a few times up until my thirties. Heaven only knows when I last wrote her but I recognized her writing on the envelope and smiled when I saw her name so my correspondence with her must have always been pleasant.

In this nice easy-going letter, my aunt told me how she and her husband are doing, that they are in good health, and asked if I would like to write to her. She made a nice gesture and made sure to say that if I did not want to write to her it was okay. No pressure. I like that. She does not know much about most of my recent life, but it would be nice to have a sort of pen pal no pressure person at this time in my life. This particular aunt always seemed much cooler to me than the other aunts, maybe that is why I always liked her. Anyway, I am going to go write a letter!!!!

August 15, 2009

Mints With Bawls

There are several different candies on the market that will wake you up, keep you awake, and not let you fall asleep. Caffeine abounds in candy mints I found on Think Geek.

"Finally! Mints With Bawls!

Spiked with the same high-caffeine Guarana that fuels the amazing BAWLS soft drink, these fizzy sweet mints are some of the best candies around to help you stay up all night. They are even slightly carbonated to mimic that authentic BAWLS experience. And they taste great!

Your choice of a single tin or a 4-pack of tins. Each tin contains approximately 75 slightly carbonated BAWLS mints. Each mint contains about 1 milligram of caffeine (via Guarana & pure caffeine). Contains real sugar (each mint has about 1.3 calories and a quarter gram of carbs). Regular candy is for babies. BAWLS mints are not for babies.

Lots of people I know like to calm their caffeine cravings with candies, but I like my coffee. I drink medium strength coffee every morning, two or three cups. The whole experience of coffee is what I crave: The aroma, the taste, and the after bliss. Yeah.

August 12, 2009

Another Way To End A Relationship

The woman was remembering the many times she had been there for her daughter. There was never a choice. Nothing her daughter did would be bad enough to desert her. Not when she was a child of many moods and not when she was a woman with her own child. Admittedly, there were times of distance. For many reasons. Not all of them caused by the woman. The child/woman was loved at all times by the woman/mother.

The woman and her new boyfriend drove to the daughter's house so the woman could deliver a birthday gift to the daughter. The daughter knew she was coming. There was no answer to the doorbell, so the woman walked around the house on the sidewalk to the back door, tried the handle, went inside. The TV was on in the den. No sign of anyone at home downstairs. The woman called out. No answer. So the woman left the prettily wrapped package on the dining room table and retraced her steps around to the car in the driveway. In the car about fifteen minutes later, the woman called the daughter. The daughter answered immediately, and said she had been home. She and her husband and their two children had run upstairs and were quiet so the woman wouldn't know they were home. The daughter sounded like this was quite a lark. The woman said she was disappointed not to see the daughter and was confused as to why the daughter would hide from her.

A few months later, the woman drove again to visit the daughter and her family. This time the woman was alone. The boyfriend did not go with her. This visit was also confusing to the woman. The daughter did not sit to talk with her mother nor did her family. The woman sat in the den waiting for some or all of them to come and visit with her. Some of their friends stopped by and they were introduced to the woman and then they all went outside to visit by their friends' car, with a casual comment from the daughter to the woman that they would be back inside soon. An hour later the woman picked up her things and walked outside where the daughter and her family was talking with their friends and told them all good bye. The woman cried on the way home, trying to pay attention to her driving, but unable to still the sound of her heart pulsating like war drums.

One more phone conversation after that encounter clarified the extent of the damage between the woman and her daughter. The woman had "yet another boyfriend and the daughter did not want it to be confusing to her children to see the woman with another man". The woman dared to speak up, which turned out to be unacceptable to the daughter. The woman explained that there had been a divorce from a husband, then four years without men except two men friends to attend movies and sports activities with and a few dates with one other man. And then the brazen woman asked what difference it would make if there were many men, how would it become her business to issue limits on a subject that was not the daughter's life.

That was the beginning of the end of that relationship. The woman moved in with her boyfriend and after two years together the woman and her boyfriend were married. The daughter was not notified of the wedding as emails and phone messages were not returned by the daughter.

Two years later after sporadic attempts to reconcile with the daughter, the woman mailed a letter to the daughter attempting to make amends and left a final voice message asking the daughter to return the call. A week later the woman received a letter in the mail instructing the woman not to attempt to contact the daughter again and not to attempt to contact the daughter's children as they also do not want to have anything to do with the woman.

Interestingly, the woman sees the direct communication in the letter as a sign that the daughter is emotionally healthy because she was a strong person and able to say exactly what she wanted in clear terms. Many adults have difficulty stating what they want for fear of conflict.

From the woman's viewpoint, there is not a reason substantial enough to warrant extreme exclusion. However, the woman understands that however the daughter came to believe she did not want the woman in her life, a decision had been made. It is a final conclusion. The relationship is ended.

August 10, 2009

Is Your Love Tank Full?

My husband's therapist suggested my husband read a book titled "The Five Love Languages". So hubby located the book online and ordered it. When the book was delivered a few days later, hubby read the book. He left it on the coffee table and one day I said "Maybe I'll read this Luuuuuv Book", and hubby's eyes sparkled as he said "Okay".

Well, I flew through that book. And I learned so much about hubby and what he would like in a relationship. I also learned what I want which is something I had not been able to articulate or imagine accurately.

The great thing about this book is it is NOT a book about me (the reader). In the past I had read some books on relationships with the slant on what do I get out of this, or what is he doing wrong, or why can't he read my mind. But this book helped me to see things from my husband's perspective. I began to see more clearly how he was raised in a house with little hugging and closeness. I am a mother and I raised three kids so I understand how three people being raised in the same house can get different signals and can feel differently about their upbringing. My husband has a brother and a younger sister. But what I was learning as I read was what it was like for my husband, how he truly felt as a boy, and how important hugging, holding, touching is to him. Reading about filling his love tank meant more to me than devouring the book to find out how I can get my love tank filled. That was a total eye opener for me to care more about him than about me.

What did I discover is the thing that fills my love tank? Quality time. And quality time is just that: Time shared with the person you love, caring, eye contact, talking, laughing, crying, walking, biking, or whatever the activity. No cell phone interruptions. No eyes rolling or shrugs. No hint of impatience. Just devoted time to be with the person you care for. It may be ten minutes or an hour. But it is genuine and given freely and happily.

Is my love tank full? At least it's not empty and sometimes it gets close to maximum.

August 09, 2009

Top Gun Anthem

Click on the video. Gets the juices flowing.

August 08, 2009

Marriage Enrichment Poem

A wonderful poem titled "Marriage" was the inspiration for this post. Margie at "When The Heart Speaks" has given me permission to share her poem on my blog. Thank you, Margie.

"Marriage is an instrument
designed to be played upon
by twenty fingers, and which,
when tuned with delicate precision
by human love and empathy,
is capable of exalting souls
and moving mountains; however,
the music is composed by two artists,
the songs are sung by two mouths
and the martial concert is directed
by two conductors;
thus the longed-for-achievement
of perfect harmony demands
a deliberate and calculated
double self-sacrifice,
that from this union of two
there may arise
perfect oneness."

Marriage is a special subject for me. And this poem awakened my intense passion for the commitment of two people making choices to enhance and adhere to the sacred bond of togetherness. Everything in this poem audibly describes the joint effort of two lovers to achieve oneness. Our eyes and ears are not solely for the beloved, we drive to jobs and talk to other people, but our hearts are reserved unquestionably for the specific person chosen by the intense joy in loving someone unconditionally.

Communal Solar/Neighbors Sharing Energy Source

An article in Scientific American titled "Can Rooftop Solar Systems Serve Whole Neighborhoods?" prompts some interesting discussion.

"Collective bargaining is a good strategy when looking to get the best price on a given product or service. Solar power is no exception, and dozens of neighborhood-wide installations in the U.S. and Canada have created a new model whereby going solar can actually start to pencil out for individual homeowners.

One of the first neighborhood-wide solar installations in the world was at the master-planned community of Drake Landing in the town of Okotoks in Alberta, Canada. The entire community, now with more than 50 homes built and occupied, is heated by a neighborhood-wide “borehole thermal energy” system designed to store abundant solar energy underground during the summer and distribute it to each home as needed for space heating throughout the winter. The system, which launched in June 2007, now fulfills some 90 percent of each home’s space heating needs, with any slack taken up by fossil fuels.

While some planned communities like Drake Landing incorporated neighborhood solar power from the get-go, others decided it made sense after they were first built. One example is the deal that homeowners in Marin County, California can get in on, thanks to the hard work of the nonprofit GoSolarMarin. The group negotiated discounted group rates with several photovoltaic solar panel providers, and eventually signed on with SolarCity, a Silicon Valley based solar provider that operates some 30 different “community solar programs” across California, Arizona and Oregon.

GoSolarMarin was able to negotiate a rate some 25 percent lower than what a typical solar installation would cost for Marin County residents willing to participate. And best of all, homeowners can lease from SolarCity instead of having to pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to buy equipment that may become obsolete in a few years. SolarCity monitors all clients’ installations online to ensure that they are running at peak performance, and also makes house calls for maintenance as needed."

We know solar energy saves money. We know it can be shared in communities. What we don't know is why every community doesn't use solar power for the main source of energy.

August 07, 2009

A True Weiner Dog

Found this on Holy Cuteness.

Nothing can be said really. The picture says it all.
This is one of the cutest pictures I have ever seen.
Maybe because I love animals so much. Isn't this a darling puppy?



August 06, 2009

One of the Ways To End A Relationship

The man was in his late 50's. He and his fiance and their dog were enjoying a peaceful evening of background music and light dinner. The man heard footsteps on the front porch and opened the door before the visitors had a chance to knock. Two male sheriff deputies were on the porch with papers to serve the man. The legal documents were a summons to appear in family court the next month. There were papers explaining a restraining order that had been filed by the man's daughter. The end of a father-daughter relationship had begun.

What prompted this drastic action was a visit to the daughter's apartment the previous month. The man and his fiance had loaded their car with groceries and small gifts and drove one and a half hours to have some time with the daughter. The man cooked lunch and his fiance cut the daughter's hair. Quality time with the daughter was the object of the visit. The five year old grandson was not to be outdone this day nor on any previous visits. He was determined to control all the adults at all times. His mother attempted to ply him with his favorite movie which meant a half hour of adult conversation before the grandson demanded attention. The grandson was shown love by all three adults. The grandson was certainly loved. But the grandson would whine and complain about not liking his food so his mother fixed something else he said he wanted and then he did not want that either. He continually yelled at his mother and then proceeded to punch her, and then kick her, and then he jumped on her when she was sitting on the floor and knocked her over. Then he grabbed her breasts and pinched them. All this time the grandson was hurting his mother and she was requesting him to not hurt her. The man and his fiance were shocked into inability to do anything other than to try to speak reasonably to the grandson about not hurting his mother. You see, the reason the man and his fiance wanted to have a day to pamper the mother was because she had learned she had a brain tumor. This was the man's only child and he hurt for his grown child.

It became obvious that after three hours it would be impossible to visit, and it became more difficult to watch the grandson literally beat on his mother, so the man and his fiance bid their good byes and headed to the car for the one and a half hour drive home. On the way home, the man asked his fiance for her opinion of the grandson's behavior and it was agreed that it was very disturbing to witness such crude cruel manhandling by the grandson upon his mother. It hurt the man so much that he instant messaged his daughter from the car on the way home and told her that it was disturbing to watch his grandson hurting her and that the father would like a few days with his grandson to teach him how to behave.

This request was not taken kindly by the daughter. For the rest of the day there were a few emails and text messages back and forth between father and daughter but there were no threats or any unkind words or rants.

When the sheriff served papers on the man it was unexpected. The man spent the next two days writing an answer to the summons and mailed it to the court but not to the daughter as the man was obeying the restraining order by not contacting his daughter in any way. The day of the court hearing the man and his fiance took off work and drove the hour and a half to where the hearing was scheduled. The judge listened to the daughter and to the man in a closed courtroom. And then the judge granted the five year restraining order.

In his response to the court the man had written that he would not fight the order nor would he do anything to disobey that order and that as far as he was concerned the restraining order should be forever. The things that were told to the judge by the daughter were fiction. The man did not attempt to correct any allegations. He remained quiet and calm. When the daughter read the letter that the man had sent to the judge, the daughter cried. When the judge asked why she was crying, the daughter said it was so sad that her dad did not want to see her or her son. She could not have it both ways, try to hurt her father with the elaborate ruse of the fear for the life of her son and then still want her father to see his grandson. She had started this whole fiasco because she was not willing to see the abuse she was subjected to by her son and she did not want anyone telling her that her son needed training on how to behave to her and to others. No one was going to harm her son. It was the other way around, her son was harming her.

There are many ways to end a relationship. A court order is one of them. This particular manner of ending a relationship was extreme, but it was final.

August 05, 2009

Nerdy Eyeglasses Or Not, I Want Some

For most of my life I wore contact lenses. And half of that time I wore only one contact lens. Yeah, I was a prime candidate for mono vision. One lens to correct for distance and one eye without correction that blends with the contact in the other eye for close up work. It worked great for me for so many years.

And then I turned 60. O.M.G.

I couldn't see a thing up close. Computer work suffered. My jobs involved computers so I was under pressure to find something right away to correct the new sight situation. I saw an optometrist and started using two contacts. No more mono vision. That did not help much. So I ordered glasses. A pair of bifocals and also a pair of glasses for distance only and a pair of glasses for computer and reading. So I have been juggling these glasses for two years now.

You can imagine my delight when I read this article in the New York Times:

"Dr. Stephen Kurtin, 64, has spent almost 20 years of his career on a quest to create a better pair of spectacles for people who suffer from presbyopia — the condition that affects almost everyone over the age of 40 as they progressively lose the ability to focus on close objects. The glasses have a tiny adjustable slider on the bridge of the frame that makes it possible to focus alternately on the page of a book, a computer screen or a mountain range in

Now we're getting somewhere!!

"After many false turns and dead ends, he has succeeded in creating glasses with a mechanically adjustable focus. He says they are better than other glasses and some forms of Lasik surgery. This month, TruFocals, the company he founded three years ago, has begun selling its first adjustable focusing eyeglasses through a small group of optometrists and will soon sell directly online. The TruFocals eyeglasses, which sell for $895, are the first to become commercially available in the United States."

Uh Oh, $895!!???? Yikes.

"The glasses consist of a lens that is comparable in thickness to that of commercial eyeglasses, but which has three components: a back glass, a fluid-filled inner membrane that is essentially a piece of plastic-wrap-like material stretched across a ring whose surface curvature can be altered mechanically, and an outer prescription lens attached with magnets to the eyeglass frame. To change the focus, the user moves the slider on the bridge.

The TruFocals lens must be round to ensure that the curvature of the interior lens is correct, but the company’s founders do not think the shape is a fashion obstacle. TruFocals come in a unisex frame with a variety of colors."

Everything sounds great except the cost. Oh well, I will keep an eye out for these or something like these that carries a more reasonable price tag.

August 03, 2009

Hair Every Color Of The Rainbow And More

Walking around with hair colored two or three different colors is fun.

I started coloring my hair at age 17. Doing it myself. And then for a few years my hair was used as a model for hairdressers in competitions as well as for new graduates from cosmetology schools who needed hair models as part of the state exam. So for many years I was a walking advertisement for some hairdresser or other. Which meant that I had my hair done without charge. It also meant that I did not have input on the hair color choices or the hair styles, and I had people touching up my hair-do before I left my home so the hair style would look fresh.

It was for the most part an adventure and fun. It helped that I was born with the kind of hair that hairdressers like to work with.

Any traveling to other cities and any clothes needed were paid by the sponsor or the hairdresser. My only investment was my time.

So I can remember having three sections of hair in three different colors. I can remember having green hair. Auburn hair. White hair. Blue hair. All sorts of objects added to elaborate hair-dos. The only time I had hair color of my choice was when I was pregnant with my first child and because I was adamant my baby would be a girl, my hair was kept pink during the pregnancy and I was a stay at home soon to be mom. And hooray, when she was born everyone said it was because of the pink hair. Hahaha. Today wearing hair in a shade of pink can do double duty in support of breast cancer awareness. Which I would do again in a heartbeat in honor my daughter's beating heart.

August 02, 2009

Doing It Backward

This is something I would not like to do. Diving backward would be a big no. Diving in head first from this height would be a big no. Even riding the ferris wheel is okay if it going forward. But when it starts going backward my stomach want to say hello to all the other riders!

August 01, 2009

Health Care

The health care issue affects so many of us in a personal way. I have not had health care insurance for most of my working life. That is a lot of years.

In a year and a half I will be eligible for medicare. Yep, now that I am getting old(er) I will have some kind of medical insurance. Now I hope I will be (sorta) healthy in my old age. Looks like we caught the diabetes early and I am doing so much better regarding high blood pressure. Other than those two things I am easy maintenance.