I sometimes cry over the sadness in the world. The sickness, the cruelty, war, selfishness, stupidity – they all make me want to puke from sadness. I think to myself that God has really screwed up. And then I see a sunrise like this morning’s and I know that all is well with the world.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
The Search for Meaning
Today I got an email from Freedom With Writing, a site that sends me places that are accepting written stories and poems. Parabola proposed a story contest to write about The Search for Meaning. I thought to myself, “the search for the meaning of what?”
Of course, I thought then about the meaning of life and of all the things I had read in bygone years about the subject. I read once about the true meaning of life was to realize your dreams. Another suggested to become more than you imagine. I think the meaning of life is to draw the next breath and keep right on.
And the search…Where do you search? Some suggestions are within your faith, within yourself, within a dictionary.
The meaning of a life might consist of the profession they chose, the person they choose to spend their life with, if or not to have children. Another person’s meaning of life will be if they ever get published and become famous for their terrific writing.
Was I a good mother, wife, friend? Am I happy? Would I do it differently if I had it to do over? Why am I here?
My parents were Christians and raised me with Christian morals. I truly believe we would all be better people if we did indeed stop and think, “What would Jesus do?” before we acted. I try and live by the “love your neighbor” rule of thumb but sometimes the really stupid and cruel ones get to me.
I believe my meaning in life is to try to leave this world a better place because I was here. I know I succeeded with my children. They still like me and respect me. They are successful individuals and I hope they are a reflection of my belief in what they are in their souls. Only they know their soul. I don’t own them and never have.
As to the search for meaning, I think it is an ever going process. When you stop searching, you might as well die.
Photo of me and one of my meanings, Jessie dog. I mean to give this little girl the best life ever. Someone told me once that she won the lottery when I adopted her. It's true.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
I try to do my yoga session every morning but sometimes I sleep in instead. I’ve been having the funniest thing happen when I invert. I do yoga in older daughter Addi’s, old bedroom and her dresser is still in there loaded with sewing stuff. The dresser pulls are so strange and when I am inverted they look similar to Umpaloompa heads and I find myself singing that goofy song in my head.
You know me, I get a brain worm of a song in my head and I drive myself nuts singing it over and over in my mind. I know, I should be pithed or lobotomized.
I try to quiet my mind when I sit Zazen. This is a good explanation -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDJ_wbjBL6c But clearing the mind of stray thoughts when you are singing the Umpaloompa song is not easy. Back to counting and trying not to look at the drawer pull. I’m just going to have to start facing away from the dresser.
I have a new picture in my yoga room. Addi sent me a poster from Dartmouth College and I had it framed for myself for Christmas. Do you like it?
To read more about me, my yoga and sitting Zazen go to http://woehema.blogspot.com/2015/02/yesterday-morning-while-doing-my-yoga-i.html
Friday, January 15, 2016
I had a wonderful surprise when I checked my mailbox. Inside were two copies of the magazine Green Prints. They are the publication that bought my short story and poem last year. Inside I found my poem in print. You cannot imagine how thrilled I am.
Here is the poem:
Oh garden, how I loathe you
With your weeds, Purslane and that annoying lemon balm.
The sound of a fresh dandelion root popping is one of my favorite sounds.
The smell of herbs and marigolds keeps me calm.
Oh garden how I adore you
Planting, cultivating, and reaping – this is my church of the soil.
Digging in the dirt brings me consolation
And eating your produce brings me further joy.
Oh garden how I miss you
When autumn turns to winter and I’m stuck inside.
Turning the pages of garden catalogs and organizing my seeds.
Oh this snow I cannot abide.
Oh garden how I need you
To give me hope of a new spring meaning
Get out the tiller and new gardening gloves
For another season of avoiding house cleaning.
Frankly I don’t think this is my best work but it earned me twenty five bucks and I’m not complaining. Now if I can just get that big buck story sold.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
I edited this stupid picture and it still came out lousy. This is my office with five of my plants.
Well I’ve gone and done it again. I said “yes” to another houseplant. It seems as though I cannot say “no” to adopting another houseplant. My friend and reflexologist, Lorraine, has a new spa office and she bought a palm tree to grow in the room. The room, however, does not have sufficient light for the palm to grow.
I was at Lorraine’s last weekend and she asked if I would like the plant. Of course I want the plant. I want the entire universe of nature to come into my house! And so I am planning on how to take care of the plant until it passes my test of “Can I live with other plants in this house?”
First I will probably give it a shower. I just put the plants into the bathtub and turn on the shower to a gentle warm flow. I might just spray it with a little Ivory soap water to begin the cleaning. Next I will let it sit in the sunshine on a towel while it dries. Then I will check it over carefully for any insects or illness. I do this with all my rescued plants.
Two years ago I found a schefflera on my neighbor’s driveway by the garbage. I quickly stopped and brought it home. I was lucky that it was nice day in the spring and it got to live on my porch for a few months. It is growing but I may have to repot it this spring as the growth is a little stunted.
I have a Norfolk Island Pine that is about 12 feet tall. The hubster gave it to me when we moved into our new house almost thirty years ago. Luckily we have a two story solarium in which it lives.
I made a count today and realized that I have thirty houseplants and a new one on the way. Of these plants, one is a geranium that I am saving to plant outside in the spring, four others are my herbs which I bring inside for the winter. My sage is about three feet, the rosemary is probably three and a half, the thyme is humungous and the marjoram did not do well last season and it is new baby plants around the old mother which has died.
I get this biologically from my parents. Mother always had several African violets that she nurtured. My dad brought in plants from outside to save them for next year, and he also started most of his garden inside.
I may not be a crazy cat lady but I’m starting to think of myself as the crazy houseplant lady.
My magnificent Philodendron gigantium.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
I am reading the best book right now. It is Trevanian’s semi autobiography entitled The Crazy Ladies of Pearl Street. My initial love began when he wrote that the address was 238 Pearl Street. Two thirty-eight is my lucky number as I was born at that time and so was my oldest, Addi. She being am and me being pm. The number 238 has haunted me for sixty-five years. I once worked at a tv station (channel 13 and I am a Friday the 13th baby) and my phone extension was 238.
Yes, I am the queen of diversion!
Back to the book – this little kid, Jean Luc, his little sister and his mom are abandoned once again by his good for nothing father and are living in a row house at 238 Pearl Street. It is in Albany, New York. The story is quite fascinating and I really don’t want to put it down.
In the book he tells about playing alone a lot and making up wonderful storylines. He pretends that people on the radio are his partners (one is Gabby Hayes, one of the all-time greatest character actors ever). Right now they are fighting the Nazis who are in Albany to start taking over the US of A, and he and his imaginary friends have to defeat them or the US of A will be overrun with Nazis.
I am getting such a feeling of nostalgia that it is inspiring me to write. When I was a kid I played often with this deaf kid down the street, and his brothers and sister. We would make up these imaginary stories. I played Annie Oakley and they would be Gene Autry or Roy Rogers or whoever they wanted at the time. We didn’t really play Cowboys and Indians but rather the Good Guys vs the Bad Guys. A lot of times the brothers and the sister would tire of it and leave Tim and myself to play. Well, since he didn’t talk much and I didn’t know much sign language, it sort of was me making up the stories and acting them out.
I got a Cowgirl outfit for Christmas one year complete with holster and cap gun. I was on cloud nine. My dad put me atop a pony once when we were visiting friends. It took off with me on its back and hightailed it to the clothesline. I ducked the first one but the second one caught me and I was thrown off the pony. I wore a scar around my neck for quite some time. I didn’t really want to be Annie Oakley much after that incident.
And back again to the book – the characters in the book are so real and I just love how Trevanian writes. He uses quite a lot of “big words” and so I am kept busy touching them to discover their meaning. I should write these down. I used to do that when I read physical books. I have lists upon lists of “big words” that I have come across in books. I should write my own dictionary. Lawrence Sanders was the one author I could not keep up with. He used entirely too many “big words”.
Trevanian wrote my very favorite book, Shibumi. If you haven’t read it you should. It is probably one of the greatest spy novels ever written. Exciting, sexy, funny and with wonderful characters. This was the reason I wanted to read the Crazy Ladies book. You could not pick two completely opposite types of literatures. But they are both wonderful. I can wait to finish it because I don’t want it to end.
Friday, January 8, 2016
I have been having a week of not feel very inspired to do much of anything. I have a sewing project going but keep avoiding it. I want to write every day but sometimes I just don’t know what to say.
I have made it to my Pilates class on Wednesday and Friday mornings this week and I did run across a new Zumba tape and did that one afternoon. I think it must be the gloomy weather we are having. I have to admit that I prefer a crisp cold snowy day to this dreary, warm, foggy, rainy stuff.
I remember when the girls were little and in Girl Scouts, we would have a Beach Party meeting. Everyone would wear their bathing suits and bring a beach towel. I would turn up the heat and we would play Beach Boy music and complain about how hot it was. I’m thinking I need to have me a Beach Party.
I want frozen drinks and watermelon to eat. I think I will play Bob Marley instead of the Beach Boys because my beach is in Jamaica, mon! I may just have to rub that yummy smelling coconut, palm, cocoa butter stuff all over my body. Then just close my eyes and pretend I am there on the beach with my cold drink and my lathered body, and just as it sinks in, the darn snow plough will probably go by.
Photo is of a beach in Jamaica. I need to be there!
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Have you ever had one of those days when you think you are going nuts? This morning while eating my corn flakes and bananas I was reading Facebook. I read so many typos that my head began to hurt. I read one sentence like ten times before I realized that is was missing a verb or a noun or a dangling participle and didn’t make any sense at all. The trouble was that the sentence before it has struck me as interesting and I wanted to know more.
I realize that I frequently make typos and grammatical errors. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Forgive yourself and go on!
I like to point out mistakes so the person who made them can correct them. I like my mistakes pointed out so I can correct them. But who do you contact on FB? And if you pointed out the mistake to the person posting, will they take personal offense?
Another thing that is pestering me on stupid Facebook is those folks that post stuff and beseech you to repost them. Like this morning I saw a rose photo and it read, “Repost this if you love your daughter.” Now if I don’t repost it, does it mean I don’t love my daughter? I have two daughters; do I repost it two times. And if I don’t, does it mean I don’t love either of my daughters?
And all of the Jesus love and Obama hate is getting to me too. You folks are probably tired of my tree hugging fanaticism and my gardening brouhaha. But seriously, FB would be boring if we only posted cute puppy and kitty videos. I saw a really cute dog video this morning where the dog had eaten the side of the couch, crawled in and got his head stuck out the other end… Okay, I admit it, I am an addict. I love dog videos!
I am just two teensy steps away from giving up Facebook. I may start my own page and invited all my “friends” to join me. And what will I call it? I’m not sure. Make a suggestion.
Show your ass book
I’m an idiot and I don’t care who knows it book
Jesus loves me more than you book
I hate Obama more than you book
Make my day with a cute dog video book
This is my selfie for today but don’t hold your breath, I may do another one soon book
Photo is of my two daughters whom I adore. Picture of a rose, my ass!
Monday, January 4, 2016
Today is the last day of holiday vacation for most people. I read on Facebook all these postings about not wanting to go back to work, hating Mondays and having to face being an adult. It breaks my heart to see so many people, and especially because they are my “friends”, so very unhappy.
I tried to teach my girls that when they grew up to make sure they chose a job that they would love because then they would be happy in their personal life and in their career. I think they both have chosen well.
When my girls were in high school they read about a mother who was so nurturing that her kids called her “Smother”, hence my nickname.
I was very lucky to be a stay-at-home mother for many years. I did work here and there while doing such. I was Kelly Temp for many, many years and I tried on many hats to find exactly what I wanted to do. I have been a word processor, telephone operator, librarian, television advertisement clerk, dental assistant, legal secretary, junior executive secretary, school secretary, newspaper writer and photographer, and many others too numerous to go on. Of all of these jobs I liked singing with a rock and roll band the most but that is, of course, beyond my reach now at 65.
In the end I chose secretary for a very small school. I loved “smothering” the students and teachers. I enjoyed doing things for others whom I cared for. I loved being able to help a stressed teacher just by taking a load of copying out of her hands. Helping the students was certainly a pleasure. One forgot his lunch, one forgot their homework, another just needed someone to listen while they ranted on how much they hated their life. I enjoyed bringing snacks in and sharing them. I loved cooking the lunch for the teacher’s appreciation week. I got a little thrill when I gave a small gift to a child because I knew they would love it.
My job was not chosen for the monetary reward I was given, but for the spiritual uplifting in each and every act involved. I loved my job for nine full years. The last two years were hell. I hated my new office, most of my favorite teachers had left to go to other schools, there was unrest among the staff and students. I knew it was time to move on.
When someone asked how old I would be at my next birthday, I replied “62”. “Why don’t you retire?” I looked into it and I would be making as much money not working as working and so I made my decision.
I have been retired for two and a half years now and I could not be happier. (Well I guess if the house was paid off and I had maid service twice a month…) I am enjoying my new career as a retired person. I am making the most of it. I exercise, meditate, cook and bake whenever I want to, walk the dog, sleep in, stay up all night. It is a great life. Thank you very much.
Front Porch Jam (when I was a rock star.)
Friday, January 1, 2016
The beginning of a new year is not as exciting for me as it was when I was younger. I am now 65 and each New Year brings me closer to the golden years of my life. Not that I dread them but I guess it beats the alternative. I have been retired for three years now and I must say that I have had more adventures in these three years than I have had in many, many years.
I can remember when I was a child and tried to stay up until midnight. I usually fell asleep on the floor in front of the fireplace. I rarely saw the ball fall.
As a teenager I did attend slumber parties at friends’ houses and managed to stay up until midnight. At which time most of us fell into our slumber.
Adulthood brought all night partying to a crescendo. We not only made it to midnight but usually saw the sun rise. We had New Year’s Eve parties at our place for about 15 years straight. We had about 30 plus guests most of whom brought their guitars and tambourines. We whistled in the New Year and continued on our pursuit of playing, “just one more song.”
I’m sure my children hated us at this time of our lives. Upstairs trying to sleep with someone singing and playing, “Jet Plane”. When they got older they found other friend’s houses to visit on that special evening.
Nowadays, we just watch Netflix for a while, go to bed around 7:30 and read for an hour or two, and quietly go to sleep and forget about the breaking of a new year.
Last year I promised myself that number one, I would do my yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong faithfully and I carried out that promise. I lost about seven pound of body fat and am pretty happy with myself. I also promised myself that I would grow fingernails. This to most of you is stupid but when you have never had nice fingernails it mean a lot. I ordered myself some Horsetail vitamins and have taken them throughout the year.
For Christmas this year, I got a manicure at Changing Trendz Hair Salon at Best Road and route 75 on Friday, Dec. 18. They made it until Monday the 28th when I finally had to clean them off and let them air for a day. I polished them on Wednesday and they still look pretty good. It pays to get it done professionally. Thank you Sheila.
My resolutions for this year and to continue my exercise and nail maintenance. I also want to organize some things in the house and get rid of some unwanted “stuff”.
I plan to finish my “Vision Board” that I started last year. My visions for myself include getting rid of more debt, downsizing the household, having another vacation in Jamaica, and staying close to my girlfriends. Also writing more for my blog and for me.
My wish for my friends in this New Year is contentment, health, optimism and new leadership in our country that will lead to peace on Earth.
BTW, it is hard to take a picture of your hand especially if you are right handed and you broke one of the nails on your left hand and don't want a photo of that. I snapped it back a the airport digging in my bag. The pain of it!!! And yes, I have arthritis in my pointer finger but it doesn't really hurt that badly. It just makes handwriting a little burdensome. Reason why your pen pals of mine don't get hand written letters any longer.