Friday, April 30, 2010

A Sickening Sensation

We had a gathering at work today, and the talk turned to the various ways our country shows support for the military. And there are many, personal, and corporate...It is amazing and touching.  It made my heart swell.  And it makes me proud to be an American!

Talk then turned to the difference between the way it is now, and how very different it was during the Vietnam War Era.  We talked about the civil rights climate, the political climate, the way minorities were funneled into the military, the way rank vs. soldiers were treated and behaved.
We also talked about how the returning soldiers were not supported or respected.

I am typing this now quite calmly, but as we discussed these things, I had a visceral reaction that included a churning stomach and weakness in my knees... The physical symptoms persisted for several hours, including an upset stomach for quite some time.

It was amazing to me that the younger members of our group did not have a sense of the political and emotional climate of the times.  But, I am sure I did not have that sense of the 50s or 40s or the Depression Era...

I had no idea I would react like that... I do not think of that era often, and I guess I know why.

Years ago, my 6th grade class asked a member to ask his father if he would talk to us about his experiences on Iwo Jima, when we studied World War II.  His response was there are some things you do not talk about.  When my uncle, who was in the Navy during World War II, was asked about what he did in the war, he would say "I went to England."  After his death, we found a commendation letter for his efforts during D-Day, signed by Admiral Nimitz. 

I have to think it is true, that real soldiers do not want war.  They know the horrors of war.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time Warp

I send out the meeting announcements for the South Plains Branch of NASW monthly meetings.  This past weekend, I asked my colleagues to get the information I needed, to be able to send out the announcement this weekend... Well, our monthly meeting is the second Thursday of the month, and we usually send out the announcement about a week before the meeting... So, my request to get the information was about a week premature... (And I sent an email apologizing to my colleagues.)

I am not sure why I am in a time warp...Part of it has to do with the fact that we did not have a monthly meeting in April, due to having a CEU 3 hour workshop...Also, I am now doing 2 treatment teams at work, and have spent the week doing treatment team preparation, which includes dating things 5/3/20 and 5/4/10.  So, in my mind, I am almost already in the first week of May.

Sometimes we find  ourselves in a time warp.  It happens.  But we can manage.....

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Top Ten Places to See on A Cross Country Trip from Lubbock to the East Coast

A coworker is planning a trip to the East Coast and wants to know about places to see as she and her husband travel back East...I have been preparing a list, which is very difficult, because there is so much to include...

I decided I needed to do a "Top Ten List" and am sharing it with you...

Niagara Falls

Gettysburg, Pa Civil War Memorial

Vicksburg, MS Civil War Memorial

Lancaster County, PA Amish Country

Williamsburg VA  or Old Sturbridge Village, MA

Outer Banks, NC

Blue Ridge Parkway

Rockport, Ma

Asheville, NC

The Land Between the Lakes

You will notice that I have avoided the highly populated centers, and the obvious, commonly thought of tourist attractions.  There is nothing wrong with visiting these areas.  I am just wanting to expand the traveler's horizons to consider some other sites...  And yet, these are not vistas that are so out of the way...

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Being Flexible

I really did not have a plan for tonight, but offered to be available to lend some books to an acquaintance.  Timing is important, since one of the books is for the book club we both attend, and is looming soon. 

I received an announcement about a meeting that I wanted to attend tonight, but it would last too long.... Oh well, I went to the meeting, left early, and still exchanged books. 

I am the kind of person who hates to arrive late, and is embarrassed to leave early.  Well, I left early tonight, and the walls did not fall down around me...

Life lesson:  you can arrive late or leave early, sometimes, without negative consequences.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Bonus Coverage

I do not buy a TV Guide.  For years, I had used the TV listing that was included, once a week, in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal  I am not sure when, but they started charging extra each month to receive the TV listings insert.  I could afford to pay for it, but decided, on principle, and knowing that there were online and on TV viewing guides that are free, that I did not need to pay for the TV listings.

With that, I discovered that I was spending less time watching TV... Since I do not know what is on, I am not planning to watch it...  I look at the sports media guide in the sports section daily, to see if there is some sporting event I want to watch... I check the channels I know have shows that I want to watch... If I do not find anything I want to watch, sometimes, I just watch The Weather Channel  Or do not watch TV.

I check the online TV Guide, and the on TV TV Guide. Sometimes, I stumble upon a gem. Sometimes I am disappointed. 

I also channel surf.  That is what I did tonight, and I landed on ESPN. The scheduled game, which was of no interest to me, was rained out.  So, ESPN is offering "Bonus Coverage," a feed from various games, including NESN, the Red Sox vs. Toronto game in Toronto.  In addition to that game, the "Bonus Coverage" might include another game I want to see....

The life lesson today is to be flexible and open to what opportunities that might present themselves.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

It Was A Beautiful Day

It was a beautiful day, weather wise.  I sat outside to read the newspaper with my morning cup of coffee.  I worked inside, and outside, had lunch outside, worked outside, took a break and watched part of the race inside, worked outside, ran errands, ate dinner outside, worked outside.  Now, I have opened the windows to allow the fresh night air in, as I watch "America, The Story of Us."

These are the idyllic, pastoral days that I enjoy.  I enjoyed the outside, I took care of chores, I visited with friends, and watched what I wanted to on TV.  I even did some computer work. But at my pace, my schedule, with no no stress or pressure...

These are the kind of days that make me appreciate being alive, appreciate living in West Texas, and appreciate my homestead... I am so blessed.

My wish is that blessing extend to all whom I love and care about, and if a stranger is reading this blog, to you, too.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Out of the Turmoil

As I was leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot today, I had an interesting experience.  In the parking lot drive lane, there was a common grackle eating something on the parking lot. I approached slowly, in my vehicle,  but the bird did not move... I aimed my passage over the bird, and as I progressed, the bird seemed to stay on the spot.

I was concerned about the bird, but it did not appear to react to my driving over it (I did try to "miss" the bird's body.)  In my rear view mirror, the bird was still there. 

If you are not aware, grackles have been introduced from Europe. If you see stylized European illustrations, you may see a gracious bird with multiple colors.  Well, great-tailed, boat-tailed and common grackles are very gracious birds.  Their very black feathers are iridescent.  Their posture is preening and self absorbent...

But they are pest birds now in this part of the world....

Having said that,  I would not try to hurt a grackle in the Wal-Mart parking lot..I would be concerned that the grackle is so acclimated to human vehicular travel that it would not move when a vehicle is bearing down on it.

The bird was still alive when I drove on.

The grackle did not worry about his safety... He just went about doing what he does... He was not concerned about the turmoil about him... What lesson in life is there for me in this.


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Friday, April 23, 2010

Expanding My Comfort Zone

We were discussing today about doing things on our own, versus with a companion.  My colleague was talking about not enjoying doing things alone, and that she had always had someone: a sister or cousin, husband, children.  She commented that she is learning to do more on her own now.

I have done things on my own since I can remember.  I am grateful that long ago, I learned that I do things because I enjoy the activity, or I do things, because I want the companionship.  I often do not have the patience for people who do not live life at my pace, and prefer to go on my own.  I have diverse interests, and sometimes, can not find someone who wants to share them with me.

The best reason for doing things on my own is because I am able to expand my horizons.  I have found that I enjoy new and different experiences, and do not always have someone to attend to them with me.  If I had let not having a companion stop me, I can not imagine all the things I would have missed in my life.   I am so grateful for having spent time in life expanding my horizons.  I will say that I have not always been in a frame of mind to expand my horizons.  Sometimes, I contract my horizons, and close my self off.  But, when I am expanding my horizons, I am feeling very good about myself and life.

Tonight, I took up the offer from a colleague to attend, with the Interfaith Alliance group, the Shabbat services at the local Jewish synagogue.   It was a wonderful experience, and the congregation was very welcoming. 


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I hate Technology

I really do not hate technology, but find it frustrating and confusing.  Having said that, I have programed remote controls before, set up my wireless net work, and tonight, have started the process to have a digital converter box for my TV.  I waited until after the 12 inning Red Sox game, so got a late start.  I activated the converter box, and it says it may take up to 2 hours for it to be activated, so I may attempt it tonight, with the expectation that I will have to attempt to finish the set up tomorrow, early enough in the evening so I can call (live) tech support, if need be...Just thinking about this makes me want to cry.  Yet, everyone I know who has digital converter boxes tells me programming and using is very easy... I hope.

Other technical mysteries:  Some months ago, I could not spell check in English on my email.  I do not know why, it just would not happen.  I would set the default language to spell English, but all I got was French... After being frustrated at not having English spell check, I stopped trying to use it.. A few days ago, I tried it, and the English spell check had returned...

On February 7, 2010, I decided to start posting regularly.  Yet, I was frustrated, because I could not find the spell check.  I knew there should be a spell check button on the editing bar above the blogging area, but there was not.  I have been SO frustrated at the lack of spell check,  I tried changing all kinds of settings, but to no avail... I just did not have spell check.

Well, tonight, I opened up the blogging area to submit this blog about how I hate technology, and lo and behold, there is the spell check button....I wonder if I edit some older posts, it will show.. I will experiment, before I publish this, and let you know.

Ah yes, I only went back a few posts, but the spell check was there.  Project:  to go back to February 7, 2010, and spell check every post.  If I do two or three a night, it will not be bad.  I will let you know when I am done.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spanish Speaking TV or the Boston Celtics in Spanish

As I moved into the living room tonight, I turned on the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics basketball game, which was near the end of the first half.  The announcers were speaking Spanish.  Well, on occasion, I have heard part of a Red Sox game announced in Spanish or in Japanese, when these announcers were in the park, and were "guesting" on the broadcast.  So, I thought the same sort of thing might be happening.  The game went to half time, which was in English, so I thought nothing of it....

Until the second half and the Spanish broadcast resumed.  I changed channels, and most were in English as they should be, but one or two others were in Spanish.  I tried using the language control on the console, but to no avail...

Well, I had occasion to move into the office to do some copying, and turned that TV on.  The game was in English... too weird...Same cable connection, so I knew it was not a cable signal screw up (although I toyed with that idea before I turned on the second TV.)

After I finished the copying, I returned to the living room and to toy with the controls on the TV... Changing the language on the console did nothing. I thought maybe a control on the TV was screwed up... I know that when all else fails, unplugging for a few minutes helps... Well, it did not help...  So, in desperation, I started hitting buttons on the remote.  Well, there is an "audio" button on the remote that changes from SAP to MONO to STEREO.  And, hitting that button restored the English language announcers... Hmmmm.  I do not understand.

I do not need to understand.  I just need to remember what to do if this happens again.  Now, you may ask how this happened.   I can be the culprit, or it could be a helpful paw from Haiku or Sake... There is no reason for blame, and I am the only one responsible for maintaining TV controls....

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Topics for Blogging: Trying A New Awareness

I have had difficulty finding topics for blogging, and sometimes sit and stare at the screen until I am ready to go to sleep.  But no topic.

Last evening, I realized I was doing this wrong.  I get to the blog sight at the end of the day, and hope some topic will come to me...Last evening,  I realized I need to go through the day opening my mind to an awareness of topics for blogging.  If I can do that, I will have more topics than I can write about.

Well, did I do that today? No.  But that is okay, because I wanted to share with you my awareness of the new way I will find my topics for blogging.

My task for tomorrow is to open my mind to an awareness of topics... I can do this!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Organized and In Control?

I attended a talk today during which the speaker talked about being organized and in control may mean being unwilling to expand your comfort zone, and try things that are new and different.

This may be true.  I like being organized, but I am rarely in control. I do try to experience new things and expand my horizons.  I have found myself really doing so this last year:  I have joined the Mystery Book Club at Barnes and Nobel, the Friends of the Library, and the Heritage Fiber Guild (not yet a member, but participating.)  I have been attending the Osher Life Long Learning Classes.  I attended the Lady Raider Basketball games (but did not enjoy their sporadic record.)

The speaker I heard talked about a trip to Italy, backpacking and traveling with no plan or design as a very freeing experience.   Hmmm.  She wrote a book:   "Two Nuts in Italy"

I have never been interested in traveling to Europe.  But I understand, from this speaker, and from others, that the attitudes and ideas of Europeans are very different than those of the Americans.  Less technological, more earthy and less circumspect.

However, after reading "The Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potato Peel Pie Society", I have thought a visit to the Channel Islands might interesting.  And, I think a visit to Ireland, and to Scotland (the outlying islands, especially) might be exhilarating.  

But there are so many places in the United States, and Canada, that I have not seen.  And want to. 

Well maybe someday I will take well orchestrated trips to those places.  Or, someday, I will feel able to just take off and travel to where ever I want to go....

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Saturday, April 17, 2010


I use every organizing trick I can think of, and am always interested in learning new ones.  I use the electronic calendar with reminders to notify me about when bills are due, and when activities are scheduled..  I have a special events electronic reminder service.  I use sticky notes, lists, and notes on doors. 

My calendar tells me when to change the furnace filter.  It tells me when the library books are due.  When I have non-work related appointments.  On Star tells me when to change the oil in the car.

For years, I have called myself (usually at work) to use my answering machine to remind myself about doing things.

When I have invitations, I add them to my calendar.  I have a specific basket where I put pending bills, invitations, notifications of events.  I check this basket once a week, at least. When I purchase a gift for a shower or party, after I wrap the gift, the invitation is moved to be on the gift, so I will know where I am going. And, my calendar tells me when.

Frequently, I load my vehicle the evening before with whatever needs to go with me the next day, as much as possilbe. 

Do I lose things.  Sometimes.  Do I miss things, sometimes. Do I forget things, sometimes.  But I try not to. Do I oversleep, sometimes. Am I late. Sometimes.  But I try to start early for most things, bring a toy for while I am waiting, to allow for delays I can not avoid. 

I do not carry a calendar with me to meetings.  I know my schedule in my head, and if anything unexpected comes up, I have to defer to my calendar... I learned this from someone a long time ago:   it gives you the chance to debate if you really want to commit to that or not.

Okay, so some of preparations are anal retentive, but they keep me on a better track than if I were not as prepared.  It takes me some effort to do these things, but I FEEL better, knowing my ducks are in a row... And, I do not spend scurrying at the last minute energy getting organized.

As far as I am concerned, trying to keep things organized helps my stress level to stay lower, and helps me to do better self care.  And frankly as far as stress and self care go, I need all the help I can get.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Why I Belong

For years, I would not join the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), because I felt the dues were out of line with what I earned as a social worker... Eventually, through a series of steps and good fortune, I was able to make a salary as a social worker that allowed me some discretionary funds, and one of the things I did was to join the National Association of Social Workers.

I do not necessarily agree with the policies, politics, or practice of National Association of Social Workers.  I certainly think the dues are too high.  I think their billing practices are questionable:  in addition to the dues, they add in all the "suggested" donations and send you a bill well inflated above the basic dues price.

I will not participate on the state or national level of NASW because of my disagreements about so many things that NASW does. 

So, why do I belong...On the local level, I am able to participate in regular meetings, networking, CEU opportunities.  When we have successful local activities, meetings, CEU workshops, I am so charged to be a part of that, that it makes being part of NASW exciting for me. I help with communications, I help with the workshop, and the feeling that I am giving back to my social work community is a great feeling. The feeling that I am part of a successful venture is important to me. 

Today was our annual CEU ethics workshop... The speaker talked about the ethics of self care.  She was a great speaker, the workshop was well organized, the facility was very good.  The weather was atrocious.  The speaker commented that she was surprised that so many people turned out in spite of the weather. That was a testimony to the reputation of the workshop, and more importantly, the reputation of the speaker.

An inspired activity was to hand out, as people left and received their CEU certificates, a flyer about our next meeting, and an NASW application...(Our membership is waning. I think that is a function of our economy:  people do not have discretionary funds, and agencies are cutting back on non-essentials, like paying for membership in professional organizations.)

So, it was a good day, a good workshop, a good outing for NASW... Whatever I think about NASW, it is a psychological boost to be part of a successful activity.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delicious Rain

Lubbock, Texas is not normally a place where we get what I would call delicious rain:  rain that is gentle, often a mist, sometimes a downpour, but with little wind, thunder or lightning associated with it. Just a good, soaking rain.

Frequently in Lubbock, the rain storms we have are associated with thunder, lightning, strong winds, hail and possible tornadoes...

The rains we are experiencing now are full of dark, grey clouds, cool weather, and soaking rains as well as misting rains.  This is good sleeping weather, and good curl up with a good book weather.

It is delicious rain, and I am thankful we have it.

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Organizing Workshops

Since the beginning of my social work career, I have been involved in organizing workshops...At Catholic Family Service, Inc., we did adoption workshops, typically with the Interagency Adoption Council... We usually had a workshop co-ordinator, but did a lot of the work ourselves.

Late in life, I started helping with the NASW workshops.  Sometimes we co-ordinated with other agencies, sometimes we did them by ourselves.  I will not be a workshop chair person, but I like working on this activity.  I like working on the brochures, the mailing lists, and the registration forms and logs.  I really enjoy sitting at the registration table.  It gives me an opportunity to say "hi" to people. And, reconciling registration with collected fees is something that comes easy to me... I enjoy doing this.

This year is not different.  I have loaded the paraphernalia that I need for registration: pens, brochures, NASW applications, flyers about upcoming activities.  I am ready!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Learning for Learning Sakes

Some almost 15 years ago, a very dear and wise woman said to me that you do not have to be in school to learn...She was right then, and she is right now...She was responsible for expanding my professional and clinical knowledge at my (then) new job...Her support and encouragement spurred my interest in learning...It was great. But, truth be known, I have always been interested in learning.

I am now a member of the Osher Life Long Learning Institute
This is a collection of classes, seminars, concerts, lectures, reading circles, and what not for people over 50, who want to expand their horizons and broaden their knowledge base. 

I have taken classes in archeology, astronomy, comparative religion, printing, and mystery books. I attend the monthly Reader's Circle.  I have had discounted admission for the pre-concert dinner and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra...I have taken an art tour, and a tour of the new county jail.

I have met new people enjoyed the discussions and interactions.  I have not listed everything I have done.

I will tell you that it is a really interesting experience.  Some of the classes are late afternoon, or at night.  I have decided to sometimes take time off from work to attend classes.  And it is well worth it..

Many of the classes are not convenient for someone who works full time, but the options are there, and I take advantage....

I am so glad I have the opportunity to learn without being in school... Thanks!  OLLI.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

The Mini-Masseuse

I was having some serious neck problems that ultimately were diagnosed as compressed vertebrae in my neck (cervical vertebrae).  I took Celebrex for almost a year, and went to the South Plains Fair one September (2007).  There was a demonstration by the Mini-Masseuse people, which gave me immediate comfort for my neck.  The Celebrex gave me immediate relief, but there was lingering pain discomfort. After about three weeks, the Mini-Masseuse seemed to take away the discomfort.

I have been having ongoing hip and leg pain.  I have been using the Mini-Masseuse for my hip... I realized the placement of the electrodes was wrong at first.  Now, I have used the electrodes in a more concentrated pattern.. It relieves a lot of stress... But sometimes, there is residual tension.. not pain, just tension.

I am so grateful to have the Mini-Masseuse to help with my pain.


Confusion to the Maxx

It is not unusual, but tonight the cats, both Sake and Haiku, are not settled.  They want something, but I do not know what they want.  I am not sure they know what they want.  Sake wanted outside, but she does not like the wind, which has been blowing consistently. I carried her outside, and she then realized she did not want out. Haiku wants what?  Who knows?  As the light dimmed and and it became dark outside, Haiku was less concerned about being unsettled.... Hmm I am not sure what that is all about...

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Instructions and Recipes

So often, for many of us, following written instructions and recipes is harder than it needs to be.  We read through step by step instructions and become overwhelmed and confused.  Sometimes, it has to do with the way the instructions are written:  too much information at once, or Step 3 contains information you should have had in step 2.  Mostly, it is hard for our brains to conceptualize the steps and it is just overwhelming.

Things become even more complicated if the instructions are translated from a different language.  Idioms, usage and syntax can make a simple instruction or statement sound strange.  Frequently, this is because there is no direct translation between the two languages, and the translator is not a native speaker of the second land.  So weird statements occur While they may seem funny, they are also a sincere attempt to communicate to someone in a different language.

But give them credit, at least they are trying, which is more than I can say for myself.


Friday, April 09, 2010

History is His Story

I thought I did not like history when I was in junior high or high school...It was about memorizing facts, figures, shapes of maps, lists of people...  I did not like my teachers, and the classes were DULL.

I learned in college that History is really His Story, the story of man, of men, of politics, romance, greed, bravado, valor, morality, immorality, of women, of cultures, of so much more than facts and data.  I started to like history.

I made friends with a Texas history teacher, and learned so much about Texas history from her.  Sometimes, I remember more Texas history that native born Texans who went through formal Texas history classes.

And then, I discovered The History Channel    Of course, I will not pretend to like every show the channel airs... But, they have a variety of shows that are really fun, interesting, and extremely interesting.  I like "America Eats," "Modern Marvels," "The Presidents," "The States," "How The Earth Was Made," for example.

The History Channel alleges to report the "real facts" when there are popular history events in movies, the news, etc.  It sometimes gives a more factual account of a popular account...But, as a historian has pointed out, they, too make historical errors.

The most important part of history, is that we can, and should, learn from our past.  We do not, though, as a people, as a nation, as a world... I think we also need to learn from anthropology, and  archeology. 

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

From Where I Sit

Sake was the first cat I had, and when I introduced Haiku into the home, their opportunities to be together were supervised.   Haiku stayed in the office, and Sake had free range of the rest of the house at first, when I was not home.  When I knew Haiku was house trained, I switched off. I also let one stay in the cat carrier, while the other had use of the house. Sake is still very territorial and intimidating of Haiku, but Haiku has learned to fend for herself.  She likes to sit with me on the sofa, and in the office. 

I spend a lot of time on the computer in the office.  Frequently at night, Sake complains about my being in the office, wanting me to be in the living room.  She may or may not join Haiku and I on the sofa, but she likes us to be in the living room.  She may not even stay in the living room with us, but she wants us in "her" part of the house.  She does not always get her way, and sometimes, she sits at the door of the office meowing, other times, just staring at me.  Some times she sits just out of eyesight beyond the door, meowing. And, truth be known, she does like to sit on the deskshelf, and look out the window...

If I sit at the dining table, Sake or Haiku and sometimes both , want to be on the table.  If I am reading a book, or doing a word puzzle or Sudoku, one has to sit on that.  They of course want to be on the table when I eat. 

If I sit on the front porch, they want to be out there with me.  I put them on a leash with a harness.

Sometimes they will both be on the bed with me, sometimes, not.

From where I sit, I can not understand all of their seating patterns.  But, I do not need to.  I need only to understand that Sake prefers me to be in the living room, and Haiku just wants to sit near me.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I have spent the better part of the evening making travel plans to get to New York and New England to see family and friends.  I am excited about seeing family and friends, but find the process of making reservations distressing... Although the travel resources all look agreeable, there are so many rules about flight schedules, rates, check in, etc. that do not conform to what I want to do, the reservations process ruins the trip for me... Fortunately, I have about some time to recover before I travel, and that is a blessing.

Because I will no longer be traveling over a holiday weekend, and most of the folks I want to see will be working, I have shortened my trip by a day...And because I want to use my reward to pay for the flight, I had to delay my take off by a day... But, that is okay... I stress over being gone too long, away from the cats. So instead of 9 days, my trip will be 7... With two devoted to flying...Well, that is okay, too... I love reading and doing word puzzles, and will have lay over in Las Vegas, although, of course, I will not take in the city. 

If I did not worry so about the cats, I would drive cross country... I find that a most freeing experience... I am better about travel than I was, and have learned to enjoy the delays and lay overs, and plan nothing for the travel day but to travel.   It reduces the stress.  But driving is more freeing.

But this will be a fine trip, and I will see the people I want to see, and have some time just to be for me...

I have to learn to plan better for vacations.  It is a skill I have never learned.  I remember telling someone that once, and he was very surprised, but realized why it made me such a basket case about taking a vacation.... I just do not do it well.  Maybe I need some vacation coping skills classes....

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Learning for learning's sake

I did not know I was interested in learning about printing, until I saw the blurb in the Osher Life Long Learning Catalogue.  It struck a chord with me, and tonight was the first of two sessions. It was presented from the perspective that printing is art, but also utilitarian.  And, it was amazing to see the advances that computers have allowed.

The smell of paint and paper evokes a memory scent in me, that I can not place, but find almost comforting...

It was good visit.  Do I know a lot about printing now?  Now, but more than I did!

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I do it to myself

I find myself getting involved in things and over loading my schedule...There are so many things in life that I enjoy, and I want to participate in as many as possible.  Many of them are free or service activities, and offer me a very positive outlet...

This month is a perfect example: 2 book groups, 2 classes (3 sessions), an appreciation dinner, a workshop for NASW, a dinner party I will attend and an annual meeting for a group to which I belong, and a monthly meeting of another group...All, in two weeks.

A major swing from a schedule in which 2 basketball games in a week is a lot. It seems to run in cycles, and the things I want to do happen generally, all at once. Sometimes conflictually.

What suffers.  Well, I am a "floor piler" and my floors look like it right now... And, my dining room table does, too.  It will get cleaned at some point, but for now, stacks. 

Oh well, we do what we do...


Monday, April 05, 2010

Take Shelter Immediately

This is the time of year that tornadoes crop up in this part of the world fairly regularly.  There are multiple warning systems in place, including TV, radio, and even personal messages to the cell phone.  Some communities use sirens, others use announcement by emergency vehicles, including police and fire department vehicles. 

Whatever the method, if the warning words are pronounced "Take Shelter Immediately" then that is exactly what you should do. Do not waste any time.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Major League Baseball Yankess and Red Sox

I am a rare baseball fan:  I am both a Yankees and Red Sox fan... When the Yankees play the Red Sox, I am a Yankees  fan.  Otherwise, when these teams are playing others, a cheer for the Yankees or the Red Sox.

Tonight is the opening of Major League Baseball, 2010. The Yankees are playing the Red Sox at Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox...The Yankees were in the lead, the Red Sox tied, then went ahead.  This post will be issued before the game is ended, so who knows who will win.

There are records for the longest game:  August 29, 1967 The Yankees and the Red Sox are both involved in the longest game ever played (by innings) at Yankee Stadium. New York recorded a 20-inning, 4-3 victory over Boston.

While not making the record for the longest game in Major League Baseball, both  the Red Sox games, and the Yankee games are known to be longer that the average game.. Generally, a Major League Game runs between 2 to 3 hours.  Whenever these teams play, the games run 3 or more hours...

The Red Sox Yankee rivalry is fun for many other reasons, including bench clearing brawls... But, mostly the games are fun because a four or five run lead does not mean anything, and the team that is down is not out until the final game out.   And there are often extra inning games...

I am glad that Major League Baseball is back, and I hope to watch a lot of Yankees and Red Sox games this year...

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Saturday, April 03, 2010


Human beings are interesting creatures. Sometimes, when our habits are shifted, we feel incapacitated...If my car is in the shop for repairs, and I am at work, I feel incapacitated.  The repair shop gives me a ride to work, and picks me up after work, but the mental knowledge that my vehicle is unavailable makes me feel incapacitated.  Even though I spend most of my work days at my agency work site, and not away from my agency location. I plan routine maintenance for days at work when I will not need to use my car during the day.  But, still I feel less of a person if my car is not with me at my work site.

I went to a basketweaving session today, but took my knitting, in case I had some time to work on it... It was a long day, and I was exhausted when I left... I packed my things, but somehow missed my knitting bag...I was looking for it tonight, and realized I had left it behind.  The leader of the group rescued me and has my knitting project... The feeling of loss I had when I realized I did not have my knitting bag was as if a part of me was lost... I have a project I am working on, that is time sensitive, but it is not just that.  It is as if a part of me was lost...

We get attached.  We have a sense of control. We are creatures of habit.  Our extra-corporeal appendages are such a part of us, that we really notice when they are unavailable... And, we would acknowledge that if they are not available to us, we feel incomplete, out of balance, out of whack, or what have you.

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Keyboard Keys

Sometimes the keypads on my laptop keyboard come loose.  I don't know why, but they do.  It takes some finagling, but pushing and pushing generally gets them to working again.  I am not sure why the keyboard demons and imps do this, but they do...

I remember typewriters, and sometimes, the typewriter keys would stick.  Sometimes the bars holding the keys would mysteriously get bent.  I never understood that. Now, I do not understand how my keypads get loose... Weird. 


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Severe Weather Radio

I was speaking to a friend who lives in another part of the country which typically has some severe winter weather, but not the tornados we have in West Texas... I mentioned the severe weather radio, and she was unfamiliar with this...It occurred to me, others of you might be unaware of Severe Weather Radios:  It may be that you are not covered by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, parent agency of the National Weather Service)  Severe Weather Radio... But if you are, these are great tools for dealing with severe weather...

Basically it is a radio receiver (get one with battery back up in case of power loss) which enables the listener to set the radio to the local NOAA broadcast, by a set of codes.  You can get constant weather broadcasts, or just set the receiver to get the emergency broadcasts... They also broadcast Amber Alerts

The first weekend I had my radio, I thought I made a mistake...It was a weekend of multiple area severe weather, and it went off, and went off, and went off.  But, really, I was glad to have the warnings, and watched the weather (around me) on TV, and gave thanks for the information....

In Lubbock, the last several years, a local TV station KCBD with meteorologist John Robertson, and the United Supermarkets have joined to make a weather radio very affordable.  That is a great community service.

Maybe you need a severe weather radio.

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