Monday, March 19, 2018

On Saturday I was listening to NPR and the show was Ted Talks.  The topic was Decoding our Emotions.  The first presenter was John Koenig who makes up words to describe our emotions.  His book is Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which I just love the title.  He made up a word, “saunder”.  I’m not sure of the spelling but that is what it sounded like to me.  It means understanding that every person has their own story.  They are listening to their very own soundtrack.  Each is unto a world in themselves. I thought this so overpowering.

I read a book years ago and don’t recall the name of it, but it explained to me that someone else’s sorrow is not yours.  That your own sorrow is your own and no one else’s.  You make the decision if you want to empathize with them, but you will never comprehend what they are going through.  This was a very powerful renaissance for me.

I have been a very emotional person all my life.  I cry over tv commercials, Hallmark cards and even a song.  I hate with a vengeance, I am overzealously happy, and or sad.  My soundtrack has emotional written all over it.

The next word they discussed that aroused my interest was “youyee”.  Again, not sure of the spelling but that what it sounded like.  It is the emotion that makes you want to feel like you did as a child.  I am surrounded with youyee.  I realized when I turned 60 that I was not a child any more and never would be again.  And yet I cling to youyee.

The next person to speak was Tiffany Watt Smith, a psychologist from England.  She introduced the Japanese word, “amay”, ditto on the spelling.  It means the feeling you get when you turn the responsibility of your own life to someone else.  I got caught up in my thoughts and missed what else she said of amay.  It was something about the difference in culture that amay would not be felt the same in an Englishman as it does to the Japanese person..

They went on to discuss whether emotions were universal.  Descartes describes the six emotions – wonder, love, hatred, desire, joy and sadness.  It made me wonder if our neighbors in surrounding nations feel these differently.  Even in different parts of the country, do people feel these emotions differently than our self.

In our little own soundtrack, are our emotions as different as every other person’s?  Are your emotions different than mine?  At this point in time, I felt I should give up listening to NPR.

On a happier and not so deep thought, The word, “toska”. means longing for nothing to long for.  Well, maybe that was pretty deep.  And my last made up word for an emotion is “basorexia”, which is the sudden urge to kiss someone.  I can say I have never felt that one.  No, on the other hand, I do kiss Emily dog frequently.

Peace be with you.  Is your peace different from mine?  Oh no!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

We are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day today because we already had dinner planned yesterday, and forgot it was SPD.  The hubster is making a corned beef and we will have Reuben Sandwiches because neither of us is fond of corned beef and cabbage.  He makes the best Reuben in the world.

I decided I needed to make a dessert for the occasion.  I have this recipe for Butterscotch Pudding Dessert and I thought I’d make it with Pistachio pudding instead.  The crust is made and cooling.  It tastes a lot like Pecan Sandy cookies.  The next layer is cream cheese, confectioners sugar and Cool Whip.  I don’t make a lot of stuff with Cool Whip because I don’t think it is as good as whipped cream.  But this recipe is wonderful.

The next layer is the Pistachio pudding.  And to top the whole thing off, you use the rest of the Cool Whip.

I’m not a real big fan of St. Patrick’s Day.  I am partly of Irish heritage.  My grandmother was a McCarty.  I’m not into parades or drinking green beer at the local tavern.  I do, however, love corned beef.  When we lived in Dayton, Ohio and got a half a beef every fall we used to make our own corned beef.

I find most corned beef entirely too salty.  The hubster’s trick is to wash the corned beef several times before putting it on to cook.  It comes out perfectly.

Here is the recipe for the pudding dessert.  I have had it with butterscotch, chocolate and now with pistachio.  You can make it with your favorite kind of pudding.

Pistachio Pudding Dessert

1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ sticks of butter, 2/3 cup pecans and a dash of salt.  Mix together and press into a 10 X 3 baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool completely.

1 C confectionary sugar, 1 8 oz cream cheese, ½ carton of Cool Whip.  Mix together with mixer and spread over the above cooled crust.

2 packages of your favorite instant pudding, 3 cups of milk, 2 tsp. vanilla.  Beat above ingredients about 2 minutes.  Let cool.  Spread over top of the above.  Top it off with the other half of the Cool Whip.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peace be with you.

Monday, March 12, 2018

What aspects of raising children didn’t turn out as you expected?

I never really planned on having children.  I was the youngest in my family and was never around children.  I didn’t babysit or really have many friends that had little sibblings.  I just got really tired of taking birth control pills and my diaphragm let me down.

I was pretty scared to say the least, with my first child.  Thank goodness, my mother was close.  And I had three friends who had babies in the same year.  I guess my absolute and total love for the little person won me over.

The care and maintenance of child rearing came easily.  At least, I didn’t break her.  I really enjoyed caring for my baby.  It was when she started walking and talking that was hard.  Luckily, my first child was pretty easy.  She nursed well, learned to talk pretty fast and minded me very well.  She was so pleasant!

I thought she would never potty train.  We had a little potty chair in the bathroom and I put her on it every time I had to “go”.  We would take a book with us and I either read to her or asked her to name various objects in the book.  She finally potty trained after her dad took her with him to visit a friend.  She pooped her pants and he brought her straight home and threatened to never take her with him again.  Click, she understood, and I never had another problem with potty training.

Now that second child gave me fits.  She cried and whined all the time.  She was needy and wanted to be held often.  She was slow to learn to talk but I had the first one to interpret.  This child potty trained at the babysitter.  There was a teenage girl who took her under her wing.  She asked me to bring some panties for the child.  I sent a couple of pairs of panties and sure enough, she was potty trained in no time at all.

I feel that most of the time I was a pretty good mother.  Patience was not my best quality and I lost my temper and yelled quite often.  Evidently, I didn’t scar them for life.  They seem to be pretty happy adults and I don’t think either of them had to have counseling.

When the second one graduated from high school, their homeroom teacher sent us a letter which I have cherished.  One paragraph read, “This is a paragraph for Mom.  Now when I met Mom, lo, these six years ago, I quickly realized that she’s crazy.  You know, the nice kind of crazy.  (Perhaps you girls have noticed this quality of hers?)  As the parent-teacher conferences progressed, I began to see that her kind of crazy seemed to be working; her girls seemed happy and were obviously doing well with their talents.  But, Mom, I simple must share with you something Jessica said the last week of school—something that so unique that it still brings tears to my eyes.  Perhaps she and I were alone a moment during homeroom.  I must have said, “You and your mom get along well, don’t you?” Her answer was precious. She said, “I adore my mother.  There is not one iota about her that I would change!”  This is unique in my 20 years of teaching.  It is such a testament to your “kind of crazy”.  It has worked.  Your girls love you so.  And Jessica is the one who showed me this.”

And I still have an email that Addi sent me in 2003.  I must have had bugged her about my computer.  She wrote, “I just wanted to tell you that I love you.  And that I don’t mind helping you with your computer.  You fed and diapered me, educated me and loved me 
unconditionally.  I figure after all that I owe you some guilt-free tech support.”

I suppose the part of raising children that turned out unexpectedly is that I am loved--by two of the most wonderful people in my life.  They don’t hate me because I would let them have a cabbage patch doll.  (Their father finally broke down and got them.)  They don’t resent that they had to drive their Great Grandmother’s AMC Concord while the other kids got new cars.  They lived through not having designer clothes and shoes.  Heck, they even invited me to be a chaperone on their marching band tour to Minnesota.

I am complete!

Peace be with you.

Friday, March 9, 2018

My first memory of telling someone what I wanted to be when I grew up was when I was about four or five.  I’m not sure where I got the idea, but I wanted to be one of those baton twirling girls.  I wanted the cute outfit and some boots.  I twirled my baton all the time but never got very good at it.

When I was a little older my favorite show on television was The Annie Oakley Show.  I wanted to be a cowgirl.  I think my parents even got me a little cowgirl outfit complete with cap guns.  I remember paying cowboys and Indians with the neighborhood kids.  I was always Annie Oakley.

When I got into Junior High all I wanted was to be a cheerleader.  In my Freshman year I became one.  I cheered four years in high school and two years in college.  I should have moved to Cincinnati and cheered for the Bengals.  I might still be there.

In High School I also wanted to become a writer.  I had a wonderful English teacher by the name of Vivian Kruse and she told me that I was a good writer.  I used to write short stories and let my friends and teachers read them and critique.

I despised my first real job out of school which was making these minute fuses in a factory.  I did the same thing over and over. On occasion, our supervisor would allow us to switch to a different section of the assembly line.  I could have died of boredom had it not been that my best friend from high school quit college and came to work beside me.

I worked there for a year and saved all my money and went to college for a year and a semester.  I did terribly because I just wanted to have fun and be a cheerleader.

But in college I still wanted to become a writer.  I was majoring in English Literature which I absolutely adored.  My Freshman English teacher told me that no one in first semester College English would receive an “A”.  I was appalled.  I got one in my second semester.

In later years, I got a job as the receptionist and Junior Executive secretary for the Treasury Department at The Mead Corporation in Dayton, Ohio.  I loved working on the 24th floor and having a bright and shiny new clean office.  I loved answering the phone for everyone and directing the calls.  I love being the Xerox key operator and fixing paper jams and stuff.  I loved typing the horrible humungous Accounts Receivable report and even suggested we do a brochure with it with charts and graphs.  I got a huge pat on the back for that one.

Having two daughters, I was pretty happy being a homemaker and mother.  Especially after we moved to Lake Summerset and could afford to live nicely.  I worked at a local newspaper and took photos of kids at school and wrote the stories about their major accomplishments.  The kids all loved when I came to school because I might take their picture and they’d be in the paper.

While I was working for AT & T while they dismantled their office, I had nothing to do but shred paper at the end of the day.  I answered telephones and ran errands.  I asked them if they minded if I wrote since I was stuck there doing next to nothing.  They said it was fine.  I wrote most of my novel during this time.  I wrote the beginning and the end but didn’t figure out how to tie it together.  I dreamed the middle.  I woke up amazed that I knew how to complete my novel.

I have since rewritten it several times and it is now so out of date that it will never become a story.  But I do have the ability to say that in my life, I have written a novel.  Several times.

And now as a sixty-seven-year old retired school secretary, I am just happy to be a Master Gardener and blog writer.

I remember years ago Addi suggested to me to “write about what you know.”  I guess that is what I am doing with my blog.

Peace be with you.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The family member that I wish I had more contact with would be my Grandma Mintie Long.  Evidently, when she lived in Kentucky, she was an herbalist.  Mother said people would come from all over to get her tonics and concoctions.  With my love of herbs, it would have been wonderful to learn things from her.

I went on a blind date once.  I don’t even remember how this happened or who arranged it.  I took a picnic lunch and we went to a park somewhere in the area.  It started to rain, and we ended up under the picnic table.  It seems that we talked and talked for hours.  I thought we had gotten along quite well.  He never called me again.  I must have had bad breath!

The place that I could travel to over and over again would be Jamaica.  I love the food, the people, the music and the ocean.  And you can drink the water.  I was scared the first time we went to Jamaica.  Rick took me for our twentieth anniversary.  I was afraid to fly over the ocean.  Friends, Jeff and Ellie Webb, went with us.  She brought a bottle of Champaign and I believe I drank most of it.  I was pretty mellow when the pilot announced that if we looked below we could see Cuba.

Another time, that will remain with me always because Mike Kelly reminds me of it, is the time that I got the giggles and the farts at the same time.  I could not quit laughing and so I ran to the restroom and hid behind the stall.  I was in there giggling and farting hysterically.  The lady in the next stall must have been highly entertained.

Another Jamaica trip was memorable.  The Webbs took their son, Jay, and we took our girls too.  They had a gambling room at the place we stayed, and we discovered the kids up there gambling.  It was hard to get Jay away because he was winning.

Do I believe in a higher power?  Now that is a very deep question.  I remember Addi telling me that Jessica told her classmates and friends that I was Buddhist.

I believe that the power is within us all.  It is within every living thing – trees, plants, animals and humans.  That is the reason that I am a Pantheist.  My god is all around me and inside me.  Nature is my church.  Gardening is my testament to my religion.

I have had a lazy streak a mile wide for about six weeks.  This arthritis is aggravating me.  I have to take medicine and I don’t like taking medicine.

Today I received a letter from my college roommate.  I found myself at my computer sending her a long email.  I discovered that the pain in my hands is affecting my typing.  I used to could type like a hundred words a minute and now I have to back track and correct my typing.  And my stupid capital shift key doesn’t work right.  I should pop it off and clean it.  I shouldn’t eat my breakfast over my keyboard.  And it is covered with dog hair.  Magical fibers of love, my ass!

Jess sends me a question about every week to write on.  I believe I have answered all four of the questions that I have been given to write about.  I hope the next question is more inspiring.

Peace be with you.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Aunt Nollie’s sweater

A couple of weeks ago my sister wrote me that she had visited my aunt in the Alzheimer's nursing home and that she was wearing a thin tee shirt and a towel.  She went to her room to find her some warm clothes and found none in her chest of drawers nor in her closet.  I decided to hit my local Goodwill and buy her a new sweatshirt.

I was thinking I should try to find her some of those labels you can sew into your clothes with her name on them.  I'd look on line.

I went to my local Goodwill and a bright pink sweater hoodie caught my eye.  I checked the label to see what size it was and it said, "Nollie".  Flabbergasted I bought the shirt without knowing what the price was.  My aunt's name is Nollie.  How often do you hear that name?  Never?  I know.

I just love Twilight Zone moments.

This is a post from several years ago.

My precious Aunt Nollie passed away yesterday physically.  Her soul had passed away several years ago.  This breaks my heart and yet I am so relieved for her and all that loved her.  Rest in Peace Aunt Nollie.  I loved you like a sister.

Peace be with you.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

So many exciting things have happened in my life that I am not sure where to begin.  I guess childhood.  In second grade I was in a spelling bee.  My word was “pants”.  I repeated the word but pronounced it as “paints”.  My teacher corrected me and told me the word was pants and not paints.  I spelled it correctly, but I remember that was the first time I realized that I had an accent and would try my hardest to pronounce words correctly after that.  The beginning of my unending quest to lose my accent.

In eighth grade I was voted to be on the junior varsity cheerleading squad.  My parents were horrified.  I was thrilled to oblivion.  I had four years of cheering in high school and two years in college and they were some of the best times of my life.

I met my husband and he certainly changed my life.  He took me on our honeymoon to Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin which is one of my very favorite places in the world.  We swam in a crystal clean lake and lay in the sun on these humungous rocks by the shore.  I got one of the worst sun burns in my life, which didn’t help the honeymoon, but we had a great time.
Years later he would convince me to take Scuba Diving in my college classes.  Never in my dreams would I have believed that I would scuba dive.  I wouldn’t have passed the physics had it not been for him.  I had to miss my checkout dive as I had just found out that I was pregnant.

The next year I did pass my checkout dive and we dove all over Ohio in various quarries and had such a wonderful time.  He took me to Jamaica for our twentieth anniversary and we snorkeled in the Caribbean.  In later years, we did scuba dive the Caribbean several times.

When Jess was in junior high she became obsessed with hot air balloons.  She and her dad made a model of a balloon and she did her science project on hot air balloons.  That summer we were invited to the local hot air balloon rally and we got to crew for one of the entrants.

Some years later, one of my girlfriends married a gentleman from Holland who had a hot air balloon and we crewed for him.  I have ridden in a hot air balloon more times than I can remember.  Being afraid of heights, the first ride with Jess along, was pretty scary but Jess was so excited that I had to calm down.  I hunkered in the balloon basket until we set off and then I stood, looked down and fell in love.

A lot of our close friends were musicians.  The hubster picked his guitar back up and started to relearn to play.  I sang harmony with some of the singers and we had such fun on our deck playing music.  We had parties and would stay up all night.  We would do a song and then someone would say, “just one more.”  We saw the sun rise many of those nights.
The group formed a band and called ourselves, “Front Porch Jam.” We practiced in our garage and all of our neighbors would set up lounge chairs in the driveways and listen to us play.  In 1999, the band performed on stage at “On the Waterfront” in Rockford, Illinois in front of a huge crowd.  It was the happiest day of my life.

I also had two of the best children who grew up to be wonderful adults.  Addi read the play in Kindergarten and we were so proud of her. She was also Salutatorian of her high school class. Jess won the “Young Authors” contest at her elementary school one year.  They were both just outstanding people.

And now I have a grandchild.  I never imagined that I would become a grandmother.  He is adorable, beautiful and so sweet.  He lives very far away but I plan to visit, and they are coming for a week in June.  Now that is exciting!

Peace be with you.