Friday, January 28, 2011

My Hair

Have I written about my hair before?  I think I have, but I do not have a label for hair. Well, it started sometime after 2007.  I did not record it, but at some point in time, I could tell that the hair on the back of my head was starting to wave.  This was too weird.  I have always had very fine straight hair. When I was a child, I argued with my mother about this: she was always wanting me to have permanent waves.  When I got old enough, I stopped that nonsense, and enjoyed my straight hair.  It was fine, and no matter how much I trimmed it, the ends seemed always to be frayed when I let it grow long, but I let it grow long anyway, for a long, long time.

Then, I got a short blunt cut. And I really liked it. That was in the early 1990s. And, true to form, I kept the same hair style for a very long time.

Until sometime after my mother died in 2007. As I said, I could tell the hair on the back of my head was waving. It bothered me, so I changed my hairstyle:  layered in the back, long in the front.  That worked for a while, until the sides started waving. So, more recently, I have gone to a short, layered style.

But my hair is still driving me nuts:  it feels thick and wiry.   Unlike the fine hair I have always had.

I will admit that in the winter, whether in the Northeast or in West Texas, my hair is filled with a lot of static electricity.  So much so, if I undress in the dark, I can see the sparks.  That makes my hair feel coarser. 

So, I wonder if part of why my hair is feeling coarser is because of the dryness of winter and the static electricity that is less pronounced because it is shorter. But something else is going on with my hair. 

Maybe I am just obsessing about my hair.


Vulnerability and Victimization

I can not help but thinking about how many times I have placed my self in a very vulnerable positions over the years.   Sometimes it was lack of judgement, naivete, stupidity, or trust.  For whatever reason, from all those episodes I have escaped relatively unscathed. Some have changed my life, but even so, the changes were not necessarily for the worst. Just sent me down a road I had not anticipated.

I think God is to thank, and I do, for taking care of me.  Children and fools are well cared for by God.  He is good to me.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Did Not Want To Go To Work Today

I am so rarely overwhelmed by what I face at work that I wake up not wanting to go to work. I wake up not wanting to get out of the warm bed.  I wake up, not wanting to face a cold shower (no more), but not wanting to go to work.

Since my vacation at Christmas time, going to work has been difficult. But this morning, it was down right almost impossible.  I had such an overpowering sense of not making a difference, no matter how hard I tried.

Part of the problem is we are short staffed, although we hope to have a new member to our team soon.  We have had so many people out with vacations and illnesses that the load has been spread fairly heavily.

That being the case, I have had to forgo what I enjoy the most at work. I enjoy the counseling/psychoeducational opportunities I have with patients.  But, this is optional, and has to be put aside when I am busy with treatment team, release planning, and psychosocial evaluations.

Well, today, I do not have my new treatment team list; the patient I needed to interview for a psychosocial evaluation was waiting to be moved from seclusion.  And, I am struggling to help the releasing patients on my caseload.  So, I spent a portion of the day doing psychoeducation.  It made me feel better about my work.  Thank you.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Last week, a co-worker paid me in advance for a knitting project.  I felt an obligation to complete it quickly, and I did. 

Since then, I have taken on several other knitting project orders.  Additionally, I have several books that I want to read, and the deadlines (books due, discussion club dates) are looming.  So, I am feeling like I want to work on those on a regular basis.  And, do the knitting.  I can watch TV and knit at the same time, but not read and watch TV.  And, I can not read and knit.

So, I have been keeping myself consistently busy.  In addition, I have had some other projects, all of which I enjoy, but take time.

And, I am feeling behind at work, so it is not unusual for me to spend between 9 and 10 hours at work, instead of 8 plus lunch.

I was visiting on the phone tonight with a friend. I could not focus to even think what to talk about. She made the point I need to rest and de-stress, wind down.  She was right. (Thank you.)  Although I enjoy reading and knitting, doing it under an even self imposed deadline puts the pressure on.  So, maybe I have been pressing too much, and I needed a night off. 

I took one.  I have knitted some, and read some, but I spent some time with mindless solitaire.  It helps my brain to empty out.

Which is good.  The fact that I have been unable to keep up with regular blogging was an early sign that my brain was too tense, too overwhelmed to relax as it needed to. It still is, but I am feeling a little better tonight...

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Monday, January 24, 2011

A Different House

I want a different house.  I like my little house: it is not too much to clean, it is not too much to heat or cool... But I want a fireplace, a sun room, and maybe even a basement and hot tub... (I could put a hot tub in my back yard.) 

I am not sure how financially sound I feel:  I am a state employee and I am not sure how stable my employment is. So, I am not sure I want to run out right away and find a different house. 

But, as I think about it, tonight, there is a front blowing in, and my house stands solid and strong, with little undue impact being noticed. 

I like my house.



I fell in love with Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella the first time I viewed it.  I must have been in high school. But even now, some forty plus years later, I still love the musical.  I actually have found myself singing some of the songs in the last couple of days. 

Amazingly, tonight, I found it on BET: a different version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella:  I had no idea this was remade in1997.  But, it is just as wonderful and magical as the original, in its own way. The colors were so much more vibrant and dramatic than the 1965 version, which seemed to have much more etherial hues.   Both were fun to watch.  Such good fantasy. 

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Sunday, January 23, 2011


At various times in my life, I have spent some time and effort volunteering in various community activities.  It takes time, but I am always amazed at how much more I get out of volunteering than I am asked to give.

Recently, I was elected to the board of directors of a well thought of social service agency in my community.  My term started in January, and I have attended three activities relating to this.  I am delighted to say all three activities have been delightful.  I know that hard work is involved in being on community boards, but hard work does not have to be a horrendous experience.  I think, with this board, it will not be.

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I am nine spots behind in posting.  I know why.  When I get home, my brain is so full of brain chatter and day to day noise that it is very difficult for me to concentrate and think about writing. So, I do not. 

It would help if I developed a meditation/wind down routine to help me to relax, and to let my brain rest so I can be more creative. 

The word puzzles, jigsaws and other games help me with that, but not as much as they used to.  Obviously, it would help me to have a more serious regrouping technique.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

A Day Off

Today was Martin Luther King Day, and in Lubbock there were a number of activities over the weekend that commemorated the day.  Sadly, I chose not to participate, although, as I have the last several years, I watched some historical shows on television about Martin Luther King Jr and his life and works.

I did have some chores, activities and tasks to which I had planned to attend, and which I accomplished.  They were spread out throughout the day and into the evening.  But, that also afforded me some down time during the day.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tea Cozies

When I make a pot of tea, I do not have a tea cozy to keep the pot warm.  So, I have been using a clean dish towel.  It is amazing to me that the dish towel helps to keep the tea pot and contents warm for a couple of hours. 

As I was looking on line, one sight made a distinction between a tea cozy which leaves the spout and handle uncovered, and a tea cover, which covers the entire pot.

Additionally, as I was searching for cozies, I came across a reference for koozie.  If you do not know, a koozie is a wrap for a can or bottle, usually a cold beverage.  Hmmm. Do you think it might be a variation on the word cozy?

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Lucky Day

I went to a Lady Raider basketball game today; they played at home against Kansas State  They won, in double overtime, by two points. 

I usually sit in the general reserve open seating area, but this  year, the tickets have seating noted for other areas, and today, I decided to sit in the section, row, seat on my ticket.  It was on the other side of the court, and much lower than I am used to... I am still not sure I like being that close, but I think I do.

During the game, I was lucky to get two promotional T-shirts.  The first I caught purposefully.  It was smaller than I could fit, so I gave it to a young girl sitting near me. The second tumbled into my lap from the people in front of me. I was not even paying attention. I gave it to a little boy sitting behind me.

During the Chick-Fil-A promotion, small, stuffed cows are parachuted to the fans, with a coupon for a free sandwich...Today, I got a cow. I do not believe I have ever eaten at Chick-Fil-A, and if I did, it did not impress me. But I am very glad I have a cow.

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Friday, January 14, 2011


I used to be able to go all day at work, go home from work, and keep on going and going and going. At one time, some of my acquaintances called me "the Energizer Bunny." 

As the years have progressed, I have noticeably slowed down. Sometimes, now, when I get home from work, I have no energy for anything else.  On those days, I mostly sit and vegetate (read, knit, watch TV.)  I do keep a semi-active calendar, and when I have after work activities, I am able to attend to them.  Some of that is because I conserve myself at work, some of that is because I "psyche" myself to be ready for the activity.

Sometimes, though, no matter how much I want to keep going, I am tuckered out...

Tonight, I am tuckered out.  But, I can understand why.  I look at what I did at work this week, and how many hours I put in.  I look at the after work activities in which I have engaged.  Even so, I am sitting here, at the computer, trying to be productive.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Bitter Cold

The first real bitter cold of the winter dropped upon us today.  True to form, our worst winter months are January and February.  It dawned gray, drizzly and cold and the day became colder as it wore on.  The biting wind did not help and created quite a wind chill factor.

The conversation at work was similar to what was in my head:  I had hoped we might dodge the winter bullet, as we have, sometimes in the past.  But not this year. However, if I had a choice, I would choose the deep wet snows of last winter, with the icy road conditions, over the bitter dry cold we have experienced so far this year.

But, the weather is not for my choosing, and my role is to cope as best I can: stay warm and dry, dress properly, keep my vehicle in good condition so it will run properly.

Today, when I left work, the Vue ground for a moment before it started:  a cold battery.  I am not sure if it is also a worn battery.  I remembered, though, a trick I did not need:  sometimes, turning the lights on briefly will warm the battery just enough to get it started, if it is cold and not discharged.

Stay warm.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Museum

I remember when I first moved to Lubbock, one of the first things I did was go to the Museum of Texas Tech It had a powerful display of the destruction that occurred during the May 11, 1970 tornado that was very destructive and killed many people. (I moved to Lubbock in 1977, and people talked about the tornado as if it had happened last week or last month.)  It also had a wonderful display of the "Llano Estacado" and the early explorations by Coronado.

Over the years, I have spent less time than I should have at the Museum...They have permanent and traveling displays.  About a year and a half ago, a colleague of mine mentioned that he had been to an exhibit at the Museum... Hmmm. I went, it was good.  About the same time, I saw an advertisement about a series of nature films, promoting the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative  The premise is that establishing a wildlife corridor between the Yellowstone and the Yukon will allow species to travel safely between the two territories in response to changes in climate, food supply, and other factors.  The corrider would allow the creatures to naturally adapt to changes in circumstances by moving between the two areas, and foster better maintenance of species.  

I have been back to the museum several times since then, when I hear about an exhibit. Or, today, because it sounded like a good thing to do.  I checked the website, and was interested in the patent model exhibit. I had previously seen the photograph of dogs exhibit. The playtime memories exhibit also sounded interesting.  When I got to the museum, the docent also mentioned an exhibit on trains.  I really enjoyed that...It included a PBS show, probably filmed in 2001, that presented information about railroad stations in Pennsylvania, that have been salvaged and revitalized.  It was very good.

Another museum of Texas Tech is the National Ranching Heritage Center  I really enjoy that museum, and go about once a year or at least every other year.   They have days when they have re-enactors who share information about the museum exhibits.  They have Candlelight at the Ranch, in December.  They line the paths with luminarias and have re-enactors at the various buildings.

Perhaps my most favored Texas Tech Museum is the Lubbock Lakesite Landmark  This museum is established at the site of an archeological dig.  I think I like this museum the best because in addition to the interpretive center, there are hiking trails.  And they have some special days when they have demonstrations and exhibits. 

Lubbock has other museums, not associated with the Texas Tech Museum. The most notable in my mind is the Silent Wings Museum  This museum commemorates the glider pilots who served in World War II.

And, there is the Buddy Holly Center Shamefully, the City of Lubbock backed this project, which involved ruining the Lubbock Railroad Depot (which is the shameful part, and which was a restaurant that really exhibited the character of a railroad station, and changed it into a tasteless building. The Buddy Holly Museum is fine, but there is no evidence of the beautiful railroad station.)

Additionally, there is the Science Spectrum  This was started with an infusion of city money, as was the Buddy Holly Center, due to the influence of politics in the city. But it is really a neat museum, with a permanent exhibit of the Brazos River, and some wonderful "perpetual motion machines."   Additionally, it has an Omnimax Theater.  And, the National Weather Service in Lubbock has its offices in the same building. 

So, in the course of your life, do not forget the museum.  Museums help us to remember what is important.  They help us to learn from the present and the past.  Museums cover many subjects: history, art, science, the military, wildlife, natural history, animals to name a few.  They have more information than we can absorb, and they often change and grow.  This is good.  We learn from the past, and the more museums can help us, the more we can learn about ourselves and others.

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Saturday, January 08, 2011


Sometimes, I can not blog because my brain is being so impacted by so many different messages and influences that I can not think straight nor can I concentrate... I understand that writers need some space, peace and quiet, if they are going to be able to write. 

We are surrounded with so much ambient noise, that we really do not always have the opportunity to think in quiet...Years ago, I wrote that one of my most favorite past times was to listen to the grass grow. In the last few years, I have not done that as much as I would have liked.  It is my own fault, but nevertheless, it is true that I enjoy listening to the grass grow...

After attending to the sports activities on the radio and TV that I was interested in today, I have shut the electronic media off.  The silence is calming, soothing, but overwhelming.. Does that make sense?  

Take time to listen to the grass grow, the silence, and the sound of your heart.


Friday, January 07, 2011

Why Do I Get So Cold

This is not unusual, but I get so cold.  Most recently, while I have not been uncomfortable at work, I have noticed that my feet become very, very cold... I think I might start wearing my insulated hiking boots to work.

Last night and tonight, I have been very cold in the house, although the house is quite comfortable...I am sitting again, tonight, in my warm robe, warm neck pillow and I have the space heater running.

So, maybe I can feel warm, again.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

Warmth and Comfort

Tonight, I am feeling the luxurious effects of a warm bath robe, a heated neck pillow, wine and warm song.  Warmth  and comfort comes in many different ways. Sometimes, it is a heating pad. Or a fireplace. Or hot tea. A warmed foot massage.  A comforter or afghan. 

I am fortunate that I have many options available to me for warmth and comfort.  I used to relish the warmth of the heated water bed mattress, when I had that option.  I no longer have that option, but my bed warms quickly, and the blanket and throw offer plenty of warmth. 

Sometimes, the girls gather round and offer me another level of warmth. Or maybe, I offer them a level of warmth. Whatever, it is just fine.

I hope you have some warmth in your life tonight.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Suspending Belief: Advertising

Some of the most clever, and interesting advertising has been done for GEICO.  First was their Caveman Campaign.  And, their Gecko Campaign. More recently, their "Turn of Phrase" campaign. .  Will I change my insurance company?  Probably not. But they have my attention.

Thinking back, the "Taster's Choice" soap opera commercials were on a par with the GEICO commercials.

Another set of pro-active, pro-social commercials are the Liberty commercials:  I really like the "pay it forward" aspect of these commercials.

The other commercials that were that greater than that were the Coca Cola commercials: "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing."

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

True Grit

A friend talked to me about True Grit how the remake of the movie is more consistent with the book than the first movie was. Another friend talked about the same thing, and referred me to the new movie  I do not know what to know about the movie, and the book..

I am interested in your feed back about True Grit.  


Monday, January 03, 2011

The Girls

After I spent 10 days of vacation at home, I returned to work today.   The girls seemed to understand I was back in the "go to work" mode when I got up and followed my work routine versus the non-routine of my vacation days.

I came home from work as usual, but knew I was going to a Lady Raider basketball game, so parked the car in the driveway... I fed the cats, ate dinner and left for the game.  Both cats wanted to be in the garage and expressed consternation that the Vue was not in the garage:  I am not sure if that was because they like to sit on the warm hood, or because that is a signal that I will be going out again.

When I got home from the basketball game, both girls wanted something.  I was not sure what:  they had dry food, I tried milk, they both had some left of their dinner, I had given them deli sliced meats.  I could not figure out what they wanted.  Eventually, they settled down... Haiku ate some more dry food, and Sake decided she just wanted to be in the garage... Haiku opted for a laundry basket...

I just wish I understood cat language better than I do... I need to remember to talk to them more.  I talked to Mack all the time, and he obviously understood me, and was able to communicate with me quite well....

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Trash and Recycling

My community has tried to be progressive with recycling, and had a "blue bag" program that allowed us to mix recyclables: aluminum cans, tin cans, glass, newspaper and plastic in blue bags that could be placed on the dumpsters and picked up regularly.  The local stores even used plastic blue bags so we did not have to buy commercial blue bags which were also available.  However, this was not a successful recycling program.

So, currently, the city has drop off locations where we can bring the same kinds of recyclables. I recycle.  I actually have recycled for more than 33 years, long before I came to Texas... In fact, when I first came to Texas, recycling was not common.  I lived in an apartment, and took my aluminum cans to a recycle station and dropped them off, not waiting for payment, which was apparently unheard of. I no longer recycle aluminum for payment, but at one time, I did and garnered tidy sums of money for the effort.

It is amazing to me, how much trash we produce.  I have just a small trash can under the sink, and use store plastic bags.  In the summer, because I use scoopable cat litter, and place the deposits in plastic bags before putting it in the trash, I take the trash out to the dumpster almost every day.  I think of how much more trash I would be putting in the dumpster if I did not recycle. 

Recycling is a business, and there is at least one company where I live that will pick up recyclables for a fee. 

It would be really good if more people would recycle. 

I have to get better at it... I bring plastic drink bottles to work, and do not recycle those: something I can improve upon this year.

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Returning to Work

I usually work extra hard to get ready for a vacation, and then return to work overwhelmed at what I have to catch up on.  Partly due to my current assignment, and partly do some different planning, it was not so bad this time.  

But, returning to work, it took me about 2 and a half hours to catch up on emails and paperwork, before I proceeded to the day's tasks.  However, I was able to get off as planned, in plenty of time to get to the Lady Raider basketball game tonight. 

So, returning to work was not as bad as it could have been.  Thankfully.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Years Traditions

New Years' traditions and superstitions vary for us all   When I moved south I learned about the tradition of eating black eyed peas for good luck.  Personally, I prefer pickled herring  Well, yesterday, I was able to partake of both.

What that means regarding the prospect for a good year ahead will wait to be seen.

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