On Pause

13 09 2017

Of all the technological advances that fill our house, one of my favorites is the DVR.  I love being able to zip through commercials, replay home runs in slow motion, and I especially love the pause button.  I can get a drink, answer the phone, the door, or the call of nature without missing a single Jeopardy clue! 

There are times when stuff is going so fast in life that I wish for an actual pause button. 

It’s fine to temporarily stop the action while we get our bearings, catch our breath, find our courage; it is not, however, fine to hold that button until our screens freeze.  It is reasonable and necessary to take a break from whatever it is that feels overwhelming, as long as we don’t go from taking a break to feeling broken.

Seems like we go through phases – little or large challenges to our ideas about our lives – where we feel like quitting. Sometimes, quitting is the right thing, but giving up is not. I have felt that challenge for the last few weeks, but I know the answer is not simply quitting something. The answer is changing something. It’s okay to pause for a moment to figure out what to change, but the key is not the pause, it’s the change.

Yes, I love that DVR and Comcast is a god in my life – and as good as that pause button is, the channel selector is even better!  If we don’t like the show, we can change the channel.

I’ll be flipping through the options for a little longer, but I know I’ll find something interesting soon.

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With a Grain of Salt (and a Cup of Butter)

6 09 2017

When the world seems especially out of control – like when the news is all about two major hurricanes, raging wildfires, and potential nuclear war – some folks drink, some folks pray, some folks cry:

I cook.

     

Whenever I feel helpless to make things better on a grand scale, I fall back to just making things . . . homey, comforting, fattening things.  That’s just what I did today. I fed my mother and my husband Sunday supper on a Wednesday evening. It did not move Hurricane Irma’s course, but it made us feel better for a while. 

I wish us all

The comfort of the aroma of simmering pot roast, 

The warmth of straight-from-the-stove mashed potatoes,

The tender sweetness of home-made pie,

And the most delicious gift of sharing it with people we love.





Au Revoir, August

30 08 2017

August – an adjective meaning respected and impressive.

Well, August, I am not impressed. You have disrespected your reputation as the hot chick of months, boo-hooing rain from chilly gray skies a few too many days to go unnoticed.  Seems like even you are in a funk this year.

I guess I can’t blame you. There’s plenty of awful stuff in the ether (and in Virginia and Texas and North Korea and D.C.) to spoil any sunny disposition, but COME ON,  you only have one more day this year!  Shake off this gloom – that’s November’s gig.

August and I know that we’ve been less than our best this week and I think we’ve both had quite enough of our pitiful selves. She’s making an impression, today though, with lovely sunshine and a comfortable breeze.  August, I owe you – and myself – more respect than to sit and mope over things that will not change whether or not I cry over them.

August is here for one more day this year. That means one more day of my favorite ice cream as the flavor of the month,  one more day to write that curvaceous number eight in my checkbook, one more day of summer’s not even close to over yet. 

August, I’m sorry I hollered at you.  It’s not your fault that you happened to be a reflection of my crankiness.  I’m shaking it off by cranking up the lawn mower, strolling around my little property and remembering how lucky I am to have such a lovely and peaceful place to call home.

I’ll miss you when you go, tomorrow, but I’ll see you again next year – and that’s pretty impressive.

Bye, August.

 





Still in Business

23 08 2017

 “The going concern principle is the assumption that an entity will remain in business for the foreseeable future. Conversely, this means the entity will not be forced to halt operations and liquidate its assets in the near term.”

Oh, Accounting 101, I remember you (not) well.

This concept from that long-ago class popped into my brain for two important reasons this week: my mother and my friend. 

My mother, who’s 87, will tell you that she does not want to get old; she wants to live a very long time. Mom’s got plans on her calendar for the next several years and she continues to add to it with abandon. She shakes her head at those folks, many who are many years younger than she, who’ve resigned from living long before they’re gone from life.  

My friend, who is fighting a disease that has no idea that the odds are NOT in its favor, recently remarked that the well-intended but really stupid advice to “Live each day as if it were your last,” is exhausting.  She has brilliantly decided to live each day like it’s each day, with the next one following, just as it always has. I told you her foe is outmatched and outclassed, didn’t I?

These women embody the going concern principle.  

Okay, we know that Fate is going to slap us around. We can’t prevent it. That’s life. We can, however, prevent tripping over our own feet because we fail to look forward.  Sure, seize the day, but don’t strangle it!  Part of enjoying the moment is anticipating more of them.  Optimism feels good and it’s free.

Cheers to this fine day and here’s to a fine tomorrow. Keep those doors unlocked. We’re open for business.

OPEN for BUSINESS Bloomed. Blooming. Blooms-to-Be.





What’s Your Goal?

16 08 2017

More than a few times in my life, I have had to find my way back to my path from some pretty deep weeds. The most effective way to do it is to stop and ask myself, “What’s your goal and is what you’re doing moving you closer to it or farther from it?” Sometimes, the answers comes quickly; other times, it takes a bit more effort, but it has always worked when I have answered myself honestly.

“What’s your goal and is what you’re doing moving you closer to it or farther from it?”

This train of thought left the station most recently as a response to the story of the snotty newlyweds who, instead of working to resolve a minor pricing issue with their (otherwise-fine) wedding photographer, elected to “ruin her career.” 

(BTW, here’s how that worked out for them.    http://time.com/4884613/couple-must-pay-wedding-photographer-one-million/)

The horrific events of the last few days have made me want to ask a whole lot of folks,  “What’s your goal?”

I refuse to believe that any sane fellow American’s goal – their true life’s purpose fulfilled goal – would be to hurt other people. 

I know the “answers”  that fit on protest signs or can be shouted while marching in formation would have us fear that; but I believe that (while the actions based on these are more dangerous) these “goals” are no deeper than “I want pizza for dinner.”  These are visceral, shallow reactions to stuff that hasn’t been sufficiently questioned by the very people who would tell you that they have the answers.  We can’t let this be our answer. We must find our way out of the weeds and back to the path of civil society.

What’s your goal?

Peace.

 

 





Grief and Gratitude

9 08 2017

When we lose a loved one, there is an enormous hole left in our hearts – in our lives – that we know will never be repaired.  What we don’t know until it happens in us is that, while the wound  is never healed, it does get filled up with the love and support of our families and friends and even people who were strangers before we were so grievously injured.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the day we lost our dear daughter Jessica.  The pain of that loss will always be with us, but the kindnesses shown to us every day by all of you helps keep it manageable. It keeps the rest of our lives in perspective.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating, especially today:

When we lost Jessie, we lost the person we loved the most in the world, but we did not lose the only person we loved, so we continue on. We celebrate her joyful (too short) life and we celebrate the life that we continue to live with the help, encouragement, and comfort of our friends.

Love one another.

Be kind, always. 

Don’t miss a thing life has to offer you.

Smile from your heart, like my Jessie did.

Peace.

 

With best cousin ever, Katy Little, when they were both little.

 

Happy. Up to no good. Happy.

March to your own drummer – Be your own drummer!

Ready to roll with Grandma – always.

Not spoiled, just loved!





Hey, Superman!

2 08 2017

I recently read a Facebook post by Adam Joseph, ABC6 ActionNews, Philly, https://www.facebook.com/6abcAdamJoseph/ where, in talking about pushing himself too hard in a training run, he said, “This evening was a reminder that I am not Superman, and I’m human . . .” 

It made me think, which we all know creates some issues, but I do it anyway, sometimes. 

The trouble with the Superman moniker is that, to quote famous fencer Inigo Montoya,

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I am here to tell you that you, my masterpieces of humanity friends, ARE Superwoman/Superman/Superperson – it’s all the same wonderfulness to me.  

Here are my Top Ten Qualifications of Superperson

10.       You are aware of the beauty around you every day.

9.         You are brave, especially in defense of your friends and family and those who can’t defend themselves.

8.         You are attentive to your health, mental and physical.

7.         You are smart.

6.         You are kind. 

5.         You are optimistic, finding some goodness in even the toughest of situations.

4.         You are faithful to your core beliefs.

3.         You are relentless in your support of your friends.

2.         You are honest, even when the truth is hard.

1.         You never give up on the people who love you, even when we feel like giving up on ourselves.

Not one of these criteria is dependent on the size of your bank account,  the spotlessness (or not) of your house, how many wrinkles you have, who you married (or divorced), your weight, your Alma Mater, or a whole list of other nonsense metrics that we use to browbeat ourselves with. 

It’s simple. You are Super because you live a happy life and you let that joy spill out into the lives of those who know and love you. Your delight in your world is so big that you can’t help sharing it.

That, my dears, is Super.

SuperPeople Sample:
Niece Elizabeth, Husband Ken, Nephew Jake, the Amazing Mad Mildred Mom, Niece Katy, Brother-in-law Eric, Nephew Ben.