Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday Thirteen-Illustrious Genius.

CNN was interviewing a half-dozen Democratic voters (in Youngstown, Ohio) who in frustration with the system had voted for Trump. They gathered them together after a year and they were all pleased with the current administration and would vote for him again.   They liked him because they 'felt' the economy was getting better:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Industries are booming everywhere I've seen.

SAVIDGE: I look around here and I don't see a boom. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, in this area, no, but I feel like there's small businesses that are starting to pick up.  

When asked about what he says and his tweeting the female responded:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's like tenacious sometimes and says stuff off the cuff, like we do. Like real Americans do. We're not perfect. I'm tired of suave, I'm tired of polished, I'm tired of the teleprompter. I am, I want my country back.

So, I decided to revisit some of what our President has said to be more reassured.
  1. "Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich. I was always the best at what I did, I was the -- I was, you know, I went to the -- I went to the Wharton School of Finance, did well."
  2. "I created maybe the greatest brand."
  3. "Just -- and so -- so I was successful, successful, successful."
  4. "I was always the best athlete, people don't know that."
  5. "And then people say oh, is he a smart person? I'm smarter than all of them put together, but they can't admit it."
  6. "I've been, you know, pretty successful in the courts over the years, I've been a very successful person, you can check."
  7. "No, I'm not a racist. I'm the least racist person you will ever interview."
  8. "I'm a person that wants to tell the truth. I'm an honest person, and what I'm saying, you know is exactly right."
  9. "All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me - consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."
  10. "Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault."
  11. "I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful."
  12. "I think I can't do much better, right?"
  13. "Now, you know, I was a good student. I always hear about the elite. You know, the elite. They're elite? I went to better schools than they did. I was a better student than they were. I live in a bigger, more beautiful apartment, and I live in the White House, too, which is really great."
Now are you totally assured, people?  (No one at Wharton can remember this blusterous personality who had transferred from Fordham and he failed to get his photo in the yearbook and the university did not write a pro-Trump  letter when he was a candidate as other ivy leagues have done, even though the Trumps have donated almost a million to Penn State.)  And yes, I could have listed so many more comments to reassure you about how he is so much better than I.  He talks just like the people I hang out with...hardly.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Three Day Weekend--exhausting!

I am spending a three-day weekend in the suburbs of the city child-sitting while parents are off to Las Vegas to celebrate a 50th birthday with old friends. I have three children between the ages of 6 and 12 and one small dog. They are polite, responsible, and smart people. I find that the early-bird twelve-year-old gets up at 6:30 A.M. and is full of tidbits about a game where the angle of the wall and the angle of the projectile make a big difference in whether you run into the wall or go over it and that he has found a way to continue to beat the system, and he also has done the math to figure out how many millions of successes vs. crashes happen over an hour and how long he can leave the game idle with the successful settings....and I really need more coffee.  Breakfast with the others consists of a discussion about food.

I also learned this morning that I had asked each child as they got up whether they were still wearing pajamas or whether that was what they were wearing to school, because their casual school  attire and their casual sleep attire look virtually the same.

The parents have left us a two-page hand-written list of activities and times and addresses.  Included are weekend sports classes, a birthday gift shopping trip along with the time for the party, religious classes and a meals list.  I am exhausted just listening to Dad go through it with me.  Thank goodness these kiddos are independent enough to know what happens next.

They are all off to school and now I sit writing my blog while the little dog looks out the window  and barks at the mailman...clearly a highlight of his day.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Burdens Need Strong Boots

This has been an extremely rough week for those I love and since I have no control over their lives, and can only worry,  I curl up like an abandoned kitten and hide out at my computer and fiddle. When it is too cold to go outside, I do still life photos. These are two pairs of shoes I took from my closet and with filters and layering and some dodging and burning, made a vintage photo to match the subject of the photo. The black boots are my snow boots and the other's are a favorite pair of cowboy boots that I own.

"No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  Corinthians 10:13   When someone says "God will not give you more than you can handle," please note that this Biblical quote is about temptation and not about the burdens of life.  God WILL give you more than you can handle, and all you have to do is wait if your burdens are light.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

That Extra Layer for Warmth

The ice cold weather is here to stay through the beginning of next week. We have not had such an extensive and harsh freeze for a number of years, so we are trying to adjust. I do not go outside except to grab a quick photo from the dock, or to fill the bird feeders. We check the mail every other day and sometimes even every third day. The roads are not dangerous, but any time spent outdoors is.

Yesterday the brutal winds returned and I am sure they reached peaks of thirty miles per hour. At least the clouds let the sun throw nice shadows. Of course, a cloudless sky means bitter nights. My heater kicks on often and I worry about its age and the amount of fuel left in our tank outside.

So we sit around the wood fireplace and hibernate like two old bears.  I clean out the leftovers in the refrigerator and make hearty soups and stir-fry meals in the old wok.

I spend afternoons baking as we crave the carbs.

I actually have time to scour the Internet and old cookbooks for challenging recipes, because I am not going anywhere and thus not rushing home.

AND of course, I have to exercise  more regularly, because even though these calories keep me warm, they also keep me fat!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The Collector

I see two types of people in this world:  those that live a very clean and uncluttered  life.   They get rid of junk, stuff, old memories and sometimes old friends as the new year begins.   They value the  simplicity of a clean start with fresh chances for success.  They strive for a Zen mind.  (I  want to be that type of person but...)

Others are somewhat like me.  They try hard to remove the clutter, but find the memory of the time it was acquired makes them hang on to it.  They refuse to ignore that annoying old friend that contacts them once a year over the holidays to bemoan their life or to brag about it.  I still respond and make attempts at meet-ups that will never happen.  I am not a collector in any formal sense, except for turtle figurines that I used to collect on my travels (never labeled them as to country or state) and which I really no longer collect, after I started putting them in a box!!

There is also my extensive seashell collection that I started when I lived out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in my younger years.   Most of others like these beauties are also in cardboard boxes!

I do save new buttons, just clipped from new garments and put them in a box or a bag never  to be used.  I guess I would have to admit that I have a rather extensive collection in drawers of glitter, beads, yarns, threads, connectors, paints, fabrics, batik tools, ribbons, bits of jewelry, colored papers, bits of craft from my Mother-in-Law...all in my crafting closet in the basement.  I do not use those things much these days, except if the grandchildren come by and want an activity.  They take up an entire closet in the basement!

I have a growing collection of books of poetry, yes, but who does not have shelves of those?  This is just one shelf below.

I can explain how I got here at the beginning of a new year.  I  was standing  looking out the kitchen window  and then decided to take the photo below.  The photo is what motivated this rant,  post on collections for this day.

I am a collector  of bits and bobs of my life.  This is the window sill above my plants in the corner of the kitchen that comes about  after I empty my pockets at the end of the day.  (Left to Right:  seeds, more seeds, a stainless cup I accidentally brought home from a restaurant, a tiny turtle shell, a regular seashell, acorn seeds, a beautiful burl of wood I found, a grouping of oyster shells from a canoe ride, a cardinal feather, and a dried Celosia flower and in the middle background branches from some piece of  coral that had washed  up  on a beach.)

Collections of ephemera in Victorian times were placed in cabinets (Curios) that were  called "Wunderkind", "Cabinets of Wonder" or even whole Wonder Rooms.  Most were filled with collections by scientists.  FDR and Beatrix Potter had such collections, so I am in good company, if not as well organized.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bubbly for New Year's Eve.

Hope you are going to have a perfect New Year's Eve followed by a better 2018.   We are not celebrating with anyone, anywhere and will probably watch the event on TV if we decide to stay up!  

These birds got me thinking about how to celebrate the incoming of a new year....

House Finch

Eastern Bluebird
So, I went out and bought me some bubbly for the big event.

These are bath "bombs."  Cheers!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Do You Have a Clue?

Taking a photo of a wood orchid a few years ago.

One of the real problems that I (and most of us) have is understanding each other. It is hard to see the big picture when you know the people involved only somewhat superficially. Just because you work with them and see them maybe monthly at meetings or because you run into others three times a year at one of your daughter's project events, or you chat with someone on a regular shopping trip to a retail outlet, this does not mean you have even a clue about them, about their challenges, beliefs, prejudices, history and/or motivations.  This is because the yardstick by which you measure these encounters is YOUR yardstick.  The nicks and faded numbers on it are from your experiences and your wins and losses.

Our current cultural shift has seemed to drain the swamp of empathy as we are told that most people do not deserve anything they have not earned.  So, I try to work harder at this understanding of people and not come into relationships with pre-conceived opinions of where they get their opinions...

But I do need some help on this one:

I post my photos regularly on Facebook.  I post my photos (the ones that I am most pleased with) on a less regular basis on an Australian website that sells digital art.  I have sold maybe two dozen items and made enough money on all of them for dinner out for two at a nice restaurant.  Clearly, I would have starved as a digital artist.  I only mention this to illustrate that I do take this a little seriously.  As the year progresses I may have hundreds of photos on Facebook.  These go into albums such as family, trips, and my yard, etc.  At the end of the year, I begin to clean all this up both for personal privacy reasons and to protect my artistic work and to just be able to keep track of what is posted and what is not.  The more artistic photos I will post in lower resolution on the off chance that someone would 'steal' them.  My friends ask if they can use them for odd things and I always let them copy and re-use so it is not a hard rule.  

So, now for your challenge and response.  I recently deleted a bunch of photos and posted on FB that I was cleaning up my albums getting ready for 2018.  One of my virtual friends (He is very smart, very opinionated, and I do not know him very well. He worked IT and I rarely saw him when we worked at the same company.) went off on a tangent.  He was furious that I was deleting photos and he said he was not going to comment in the future on my photos if I deleted them, etc.  I commented that I was sorry, but that was the way it was.  I went on in my life and last week decided to re-read that conversation as I was still mystified and the thread was gone!  He had deleted it.  Weird.  I do not care about this person.  We are never meeting in real life.  I am just curious about what would make a person think he had control over anothers' creative work?  Why would he care that his comments on my photos (which were short and flattering and mostly just LIKES) would be gone forever?

Where is Miss Manners when you need her advice?