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Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Best Day in MY Life



Good morning, afternoon or evening!  I am today's host for the

BlogFEST 

and today's prompt is a finish this sentence prompt.

The Best Day in My Life....

You may finish this one any way you please. Any way at all.  Run with it! I can't wait to read your thoughts!

When you have written your thoughts...place the url to your blog in the comments box below, if you'd like, BUT don't forget to post in the thread on

BlogFEST https://www.facebook.com/pages/BlogFEST-2012/508934629122385


Here are my thoughts on this one...


The easiest and probably most honest answer would be the birth of my babies, two days equally happy, but I think there was one day that I might have been happier in a completely different.

In 1988 our first granddaughter was born. That was a very happy time. Not just one day though. As each grandchild came the same, very happy times, but not single days. My retirement has created many happy days in a row running now into years of contentment and pleasure, but not a single happiest day in my life.

Defining happiness as a very light heart, no worries, electrified feeling of elation and satisfaction, the happiest day of my life was September 21, 2012.  We paid off our mortgage and became home owners free and clear. If we want to sell out now and do something else, the money would be ours. If we decide to stay here for the long haul, the investment has been made. Mike can retire in December as he says he plans, without that mortgage hanging over his head. It has been my dream for a very long time to never have to worry about losing our home regardless of what happened financially in our lives. We have an annuity which will pay the taxes and insurance, unless they sky-rocket, for the rest of our lives. So we feel fairly confident we are good as far as a roof over our heads go. Unbelievable relief.

At this point we owe the usual monthly utilities and insurances and nothing else.

That day was like our own independence day. Happy is almost not a big enough word. It wasn't like a new baby happy; not like Mom finally moved close to us happy; not the kids are all coming home for a day happy more like life-settling-in-as-we-hoped-and-planned for many years happy. The kind of happy that sits easily on your stomach and heart and mind. Peace, contentment and maybe even a bit of sedation falling all around us. A kind of happiness that only comes from working together for 13 years with a single goal. Both incomes contributing until only one was needed and then a little belt tightening for 7 years until finally, it's achieved with very little effort. It just took single minded financing and never allowing other debts to become more important or too big to allow the extra money on that mortgage. It all worked. Losing $70,000 after 9/11 from his pension fund didn't help at all. That money would have paid the house off, had the financial adviser we used insisted we should NOT pay off the house, but rather invest in insurance, it's very safe. RIGHT.
September 11 nearly bankrupted the insurance company we were heavily invested with and we were too old and too far in to ever recover that kind of loss. We made a new plan and I went back to work after my first retirement was just 3 years old. I worked 4 more years and then was able to safely walk away and retire for good (I hope) nearly 3 years ago.

Deep, deep satisfaction and comfort in this kind of happiness.

At age 74 and almost 63, I believe our golden years began September 21, 2012!

Jo

Friday, October 26, 2012

CREEPING OBESITY


Today's host is here....
 http://4abettalife.com/creeping-obesity-what-can-be-done-to-reverse-this-dangerous-trend/

BlogFEST is here.




Are we talking about a nation here or are we talking about the natural aging process?

I want to talk about the aging thing because that is where I am in life. I feel like I have something to contribute to this part of the equation and not so sure about the whole national FAT problem.  I don’t like other terms, by the way. It is fat that causes us to be obese so why not just call it what it is? Oh, because it might hurt someone’s feelings? Well, I’m not calling anyone fat, I’m saying if you’re over weight, it’s fat that is making you that way. Medically speaking, you didn’t gain a lot of water or milk or fruit, you gained a lot of fat. Food that your body can’t process becomes fat. Simple enough. Also natural foods are processed more easily by your body and make less fat. So there is a good reason to cook at home with fresh/frozen ingredients that have not been canned with preservatives (many sugary) nor have they been treated with anything you can’t just wash off.  Natural and organic foods are available at all groceries now and fresh produce is always on the shelves. Fresh meat is tastier and healthier, as is fresh fish and both are available at your grocers. The canned and processed meals in a box are not really any faster than making your own and not nearly as healthy. You control the salt, sugar and fat when you are preparing from scratch. This is all I have on the national side because I think it is the answer. Lazy shopping and no desire to prepare a meal from natural foods. Real butter is digested efficiently by your digestive system. No one knows for sure what margarine or oleo is doing to you. Why use it? Done with this part.

The aging process does by nature put weight on your body. Why, you ask? Because as bones, joints and muscles age, they become less co-operative and send pain to your brain with less activity. Walking short distances is doable, but the long romantic walks on the beach become a memory. The knees won’t do it, the feet don’t want to and if you make them, they’ll repay you with cramps and aches. Less activity means not burning as many calories as you once did.

The obvious and easiest solution is to eat less. You no longer requite 1500 calories to get yourself through the day. 1000 may be enough. A doctor should help you determine your caloric needs. I don’t actually count calories anymore. I did for a time. I found it annoying and depressing. I have worked out my own weight control system over the years and it seems to be working pretty well for me. I haven’t fluctuated in weight by more than 10 pounds since beginning this practice. I eat whatever I want. I eat at the times that my husband wants to eat or when I feel shaky or remember that I haven’t eaten. What’s that? You think I’m an idiot because I don’t know that I’m hungry? Well, I have never in my life really been hungry. I believe that I could go days, well, in my past I did do this, without eating anything. I would drink, but eat nothing. I forgot to eat. I was busy with my jobs and my kids and feeding me was not on my radar. I got very ill. It was not a good time and I don’t want to be there again. I am 5’5” and at that time in my messed up life I weighed about 95 pounds was a size 4 and looked like hell. Sunken cheeks and black circles under my eyes and bones everywhere. Not good, but I thought I looked very good, at the time. I did not. Since I do not feel hunger, for some reason I don’t know, I make myself eat at the time most people eat. It works. I do forget lunch very often, though.

Now at 62, I think I am healthier than I have been in a long time. I am at or close to my optimal weight and I am semi-active. I do what I want to do and now and then I make myself get up and just walk around the house; upstairs, downstairs, down the hall and repeat. That helps to keep me semi-limber. Meals to me are whatever I feel like making and eating and just a little less than I really think I want. I do not clean up my plate unless I feel the need to do so. I don’t eat just to eat. I eat to satisfy my desire for whatever food I am looking at and also to fuel my body. Overeating is what makes most people fat and I don’t want to be fat, so I don’t overeat. I eat until I feel satisfied and then I am done. Period.

It isn’t rocket science by any means. Eat less, move more and lose weight. That is it. I eat deserts because I love them. I eat them about once a month. I eat small amounts of the things I love and I have learned to throw away left over deserts. They will draw me back to them otherwise.

I do enjoy cooking and worrying about what I am putting into my recipes is not fun. So I quit worrying about that. I add what makes everything taste good. That means some of my dishes are very high calorie count and the far may well be over the recommended amount, so I eat less of it. There is nothing I don’t eat because it is too fattening. I just eat a smaller serving.

Just quickly hitting on the obesity in our nation’s kids ~ it is alarming! I am quite certain the answer lies in exactly what I just wrote about. COOK for the kids. Put a meal on the table made from natural ingredients. Don’t give a menu option. Prepare a meal and serve it. Sit with them to eat and insist they taste everything. The things they hate, they may leave. The things they like, they may have seconds of when everything (minus the hated item) is gone. No more than that. Continue to offer the hated item from time to time and you might be amazed that eventually because they have to taste it every time, they may develop a taste for it. Allowing them to assist in food prep has also shown to improve their desire to try new things. Most kids like to help out in the kitchen and I have found it to be very helpful in getting them to taste what they helped prepare. Seeing exactly what goes into the food is also helpful for them.  The younger you start this, the better. The longer they get the deep fried fast food, the less likely you are to get them to try a nice baked piece of fish, for example. The texture won’t be right in their mouth. The look won’t be right for their eye. We all eat with our eyes first, so making food look ‘usual’ is very easy if that’s all they see.

Let’s go back to fast food being a treat and not necessarily dinner. And for sure not dinner 5 or 6 nights a week.  Obesity will probably go away in short order.

EAT LESS ~ MOVE MORE = WEIGH LESS.

Jo

Thursday, October 25, 2012

VALUES

Today's host....Right here
BlogFEST link...right here




My life is filled with blessings today and I try never to forget that. I know that many people are living with heartache and sadness, facing losses and financial desperation and many people are alone. I am free of all of those things, today. I say today because one does not ever know what is around the next bend of life. Any moment all things can change and what was hopeless can become reality as quickly as what was contentment can become chaos.  So, I am thankful for this moment of peace and contentment.

The sources of my peace are first and foremost, my faith in God to provide all things. I know that all things are possible because I believe He will help me get there. I believe His will will be done and I will be given the strength to see my part through. Feeling safe and saved and loved is one of my most vital values. I value God and the trust I have in Him.

My days with Momma are certainly something I value. As she turned 90 last week and was under the weather, I reminded myself how much she adds to my life and the fact that she gave me life as well as, in this particular time of our lives, she is my daily reminder of what I am to my children. Regardless of all the other people in my every day living, Momma is the one person who will never not love me nor will she ever not want me in her life. That kind of unconditional love comes from a very few people and your parent may be your only source. I strive to be that source for my kids. I am grateful to be the recipient of that from my mother, as well.  I value my relationship with her and I value my time with her.

Being a parent is a gigantic and lifelong obligation to me. I won’t ever not be the mom, because I accepted that roll and take it seriously. I value the time I have with my kids and with their kids and I try to always be a positive example to all of them and the one voice of reason in their lives. I support them, but I also am honest with them. If they are wrong, I will say I think they are wrong, but I will add, but you have to live your life your way and if it works out, that’s wonderful and if it doesn’t, I’ll be here for you. I will not say, “I told you so.”  Even if I did.

I value my friends. I don’t often write about how much I love my real life and on line friends.  The ones I have never met and the ones I have known for years.  I have gotten very close to a lot of people on line and through their writings, I think I see a lot of internal things I might have missed in real life. I have only lost a couple of on line friends after getting close. One to death. One to misunderstanding. The rest have remained very close and very dear. The one I lost to misunderstanding still pulls at my heart and I miss her. I valued our talks and our connection. I may possibly have overestimated the importance of our friendship. It may have meant more to me than it meant to her. I have reached out for a new start, but so far, it’s unanswered. Politeness has replaced love.

I value very few material things, but one is my Keurig coffee maker. I love the freshly brewed cup at a time coffee with cream anytime of the day or night that coffee is needed. I do have an addiction to good coffee and the Keurig has answered my need for freshness and full flavor, European roasts every single time, one cup at a time.  Love it!  I value this easy to use enabling machine. I value being enabled in my coffee addiction.

Being a pet parent is another thing I value. The opportunity to raise furbabies in our home and be the recipient of unlimited kisses and cuddling is priceless. Only one of our furbabies is really a cuddler and the other one is more of a princess who prefers to be stroked and then left alone on her throne. Her throne, by the way, is wherever she decides she’d like to sit. It may be your lap or the seat you have chosen, but she will gently let you know by staring a hole in you, if that’s the case.

One more thing, I value my readers. I love that when I hit publish, someone out there in cyberspace will actually click on the link and read my words. I cannot tell you how much I love that.  When I get only 4 or 8 readers, I am so discouraged. Not because I NEED the readers, but because I wonder then if I have offended or disappointed. You have spoiled me and I value that!  Thank you, each and every one of you who take time from your busy lives to read this humble amateur writer’s offerings. You all make me want to be more.

Jo

HOT OR COLD?

Today's host is Betty....Check her out!
And the BlogFEST page...Is right here...more entries on this subject




I guess everyone who reads me with any regularity would already know that I like it HOT.

I am a summer girl through and through. BUT, there are some things I prefer COLD.

For example, I much prefer cold drinking water. Room temperature is okay, but I love a nice cold glass or bottle of water. I also prefer cold wine. Could explain why I am not a big red wine drinker. White wines and many fruity wines are best served cold and those are my preference. I love a good glass (or bottle) of Piesporter. My second choice is a good cherry wine from one of Michigan’s best wineries located in Grand Rapids. I also love tea, sweetened and iced down. I drink hot tea, but prefer it iced.

HOT is my preference for coffee, vegetables and soup.  I am not a fan of cold soups. Cold veggies are okay in salads, but I don’t eat many cold vegetables on their own. Iced coffee is low on my list, but a good Frappe from McDonald’s is fabulous!  It could be the ice cream and whipped cream that make that a good choice.

Now having said that stuff, room temperature is my choice for a lot of foods, such as cheese, fruits, candy, chips, sandwiches and probably more if I really pondered it long enough to be complete. I have learned over the years that many foods are just more flavorful if served at room temperature.

So HOT or COLD? 

HOT weather

COLD (or room temperature) food.

Jo

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


VACATION ~ Headache or Happiness

Most of our vacations have been heavenly. I am sure the best of all would be the last trip to Hawaii.  We celebrated our 25th anniversary with my sister, Pat and her husband John on Maui. Does it get any better than that? Not for us, definitely.  We had one week on Oahu alone and spent most of the time on the beach and enjoying wonderful meals and not a few tropical cocktails. We never missed a sunset and never laughed so much.

The second week was on Maui in a lovely condo on the Napoli coast. We were treated to dolphin shows right outside our door and lush tropical plants everywhere we looked. The mornings consisted of coffee on our veranda overlooking the Pacific and hoping for a show of whales or dolphins. We saw some of each during the week. The afternoons we spent sight-seeing or shopping with Pat and John and we had dinner with them nearly every night.
Pat and John, 2-12-2007 at Mama's Fish House, Maui, HI

Our anniversary dinner was at Mama’s Fish House a positively beautiful and delicious meal just off the beach of one of the most magnificent bodies of water on earth. The deep blue of the Pacific is all around you on Maui and you see volcanoes inland to admire and climb, if you’re inclined. There is no place I’d rather have spent our 25th anniversary than in Hawaii with my husband and my sister.

That was a vacation filled with happiness.


Roomy and me ~ March 12, 2007 at Mama's Fish House, Maui, HI
 25 years of wedded bliss

Monday, October 22, 2012

JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

Today's host is Paula Martin Check out her entry here...click!

The BlogFEST 1012 link is HERE

I am taking this literally. I feel differently than many on this subject. As I prepared by first book for publication on Kindle, I took their advice very seriously. They tell you your cover must tell the reader something about the contents and must be eye catching. It will be one among millions and your cover will make your book stand out or not.

Okay. I was on a mission to find the perfect picture for The Island Princess. I wanted a beach wedding or at least a couple cuddling on a beach that could be in Hawaii.  After hours and hours of searching, I found a picture I could use, free! And it was very close to what I thought I needed. Not too busy...the top of the photo was kind of blurred or whited out...not sure why, but it worked for me.  I was drawn to it and used it.

I don't think it makes a diddly difference.  The two subsequent books have sold better and have done just fine with their plain solid color with black lettering covers. Also, I am much more drawn to those covers. The title is clear, the author is clear and I like them. So my future books and the rewrite of the Island Princess will be plain colors with black lettering.

Accurately judging a book by its cover is impossible. And in the electronic world makes no difference, in my opinion. No one ever sees all the book covers side by side and standing on a display. They are titles in a list.
The cover is inconsequential to me.  The judging comes from the summary. That is fair. I need to do better with that because I know that telling the story in a few sentences without revealing too much is an art and I have not perfected that.

As with many things, I am a work in progress in the book writing, designing and selling world, but I don't worry about people judging my e-books by their covers.

Jo

If you are interested in checking out the books...not one to miss an opportunity to self-promote...

Just click here and you will find all three for Kindle

Two are available for Nook right here


Sunday, October 21, 2012

IN MY BATHROOM

This is in response to this weeks GBE 2 post prompt...no other excuse to write about what happens in my bathroom!  None that I could think of, at any rate.  :-)


 A very small and newly redecorated bathroom. Nothing fancy and it's very small.

It's the place where the dirt and grime of the day is removed. It's where the beard is washed down the drain and the razor is rinsed. The teeth are polished and the mountain man becomes my handsome, clean cut and presentable husband.

It's also the bathroom most of our guests use so it is kept in better condition than if it was his alone. I might be tempted to not do so much wiping, scrubbing and stocking, if it were only Roomy's bath.

This is the room where transformation takes place and it takes place because I'm not interested in living with a mountain man. And lucky for me, the mountain man cares enough to shave, keep his hair cut and always look good. I really like this bathroom!  And I really like a lot of things that happen in there.




This is MY bathroom...itty bitty tinsy and all mine. Very few other people use this one and it is always tidy and always uncluttered. There is no room for clutter, for one thing.

In this personal and small blue room, I become me everyday. Left picture is the shower where I wake myself of relax myself or renew myself. It's rather dark inside and I like it that way. There are no full length mirrors in this little room, I don't need them and I don't want them. I use this room to bring myself into my day with a good feeling and without my glasses, I can certainly make pretend I am doing the best I can with what I have.
The right picture is the all the rest of the room except the large window that looks out over the back yard. I like this window. It also makes me happy to start my day by seeing the grass, the pool, the edge of the decks and the birds. Even in the winter, yes even in the winter, I can enjoy this view for a few moments every morning.  What happens in my bathroom? Washing, drying, eliminating, brushing, curling ~ now and then, primping and now and then a little make-up is dabbed or smeared on this face. What really happens? I become human and I remind myself, as I look in that mirror and see my momma looking back, the years all show on that face, but they also show in my heart. It's all good and my life is not so bad. In this room I reaffirm that I am okay to go take on another day be it good, bad or just nothing special at all.

This is also the room I choose for the occasional crying spell. The "I have no idea why I am crying and for God's sake, don't ask" cry. I haven't had one of those in some time now, but I don't think they have really gone away...they just happen.

Oh, I noticed no potties are showing in either bathroom. We do, in fact, have 2 toilets. Mine in next to that sink and you can see the corner of the tank.  In the other bathroom, it's opposite of the shower and also next to the much larger sink, which you can't really see, either, but the toothbrushes are on it.  We have learned that eliminating is necessary and those make it much less messy.  Though cleaning them is NOT my favorite chore, it is one I do almost daily because I cannot abide a dirty potty. YUCK.

That's it!  That's what happens in my bathrooms!  OMG...why did I even write this?  Oh, yeah, Bethie!

Jo

Saturday, October 20, 2012

DO YOU SOMETIMES PUT YOURSELF LAST

Today's host for BlogFEST...click here for her post...Linda Schulman  She asks. "Do you sometimes put yourself last?"

And for more blogger's entries...click here for the BlogFEST page

Here are my thoughts...

Retirement has given me the chance to not be the bottom of my own priorities list. I have time for me and time to make me happy now.

I do, however, find that Momma is still a top priority for me because she needs me for basic things everyone should have. You know, like getting food and reaching things not made to be reached by height challenged people. She doesn't drive so I am the taxi service and I help her with cleaning things that are just too hard for her or out of her reach. She is not a demanding woman and seldom asks for anything so I have also had to learn to intuit most of her wants. She will ask for anything she really needs if I have no way of knowing of them.

Since she got sick last Friday, she has not really felt like doing much of anything. Each day getting less able than the day before. She does not like seeing the doctor, even though she does love our doctor, but she did agree to go this Friday and he diagnosed pneumonia in the early stages. He wrote her a Rx for antibiotics and cough syrup and told us what to expect in the coming weeks. Now, he didn't fix her on the spot, but he did relieve her mind and give her the tools to get well. It made a difference within the day. Today I went to clean for her and hang out with her and found her to be pain free, the wheezing is gone and all that remains is coughing, less violent and less frequent and the exhaustion. Now that she isn't looking at dust and wishing she could just get up and take care of it, I hope she can just relax and heal. She was in good spirits the whole time I was with her.  Today, I did put myself last and met her needs.

Sometimes the grandbabies are my priority because I want to spend time doing things with them. My kids might come first, if they want me or need me. My sister or my brother might need me and I will make them my priority. Roomy can be a priority from time to time. One of my nieces might be a priority, if I can help. If someone I care about needs me to do something which I am capable of doing, that will become my priority, temporarily.

Those things are all things I do because my priority in life is my family. My own happiness does in fact come from being there for them if I am needed or wanted. So in a round about way, it is still my priority and I am still my priority.

Doing what I want when I want is pretty much a daily thing for me. I can almost always do whatever makes me smile most days. It just happens that when it's doing something for someone else, that might just make me very happy also.

So sure, sometimes I do put myself last, but in the big picture, it's because that's where I choose to be.

Jo

Friday, October 19, 2012

DEAR PAST ME, DEAR FUTURE ME

Today's blog host can be found here →click right here

More wonderful posts on this subject→click here

Dear Past Me,

Holy Crap girl, you have so much great stuff in your future, I hardly know where to begin.  Oh, no. I don't want to ruin the surprises for you. You'll see it all soon enough, in  a flash really.

Look in the mirror from time to time and try to see what everyone else sees. You're a cute girl with a big heart. You have made some giant miscalculations and you surely have made some poor choices, but it won't be the last time you do that. You will make many more before your time here is up. You need only to learn from those mistakes and most importantly ~ forgive yourself and try to do better.

My best and most imperative advice to you, my youth, is enjoy these days. Live your youth with all the vigor and vitality you can muster because one day, those will be lessened. One day you will wish you could run a few miles just to clear your head. Don't light that first cigarette. Keep those notebooks you write in day in and day out. They will be keepsakes one day.

Never give up. On anything you have a passion about.

You're gonna be someone someday, so don't leave too many skeletons for the media to dig up!

Love you,
Future You


Dear Future Me,

I have no clue where you are now, but I am willing to bet you are still writing and still hoping to be discovered by some big publisher. Oh, how exciting if that has already happened!  I hope you are someone!

I don't know if Roomy is still with you or not, but I can assure you that he loved you very much in your past. I can assure you that you finally got the love thing right. If he hasn't left you, you are really lucky because you sure gave him plenty of reasons over the years to walk out that door. If he's still there, lay this damn letter down and go give him a big ole hug.

The trials and pains and blessings of your past are all responsible for who you are today, whoever that is. You are responsible for where you are. The decisions and choices you made in your own past brought you to where you now stand and I pray it is a good, harmonious and peaceful place. I hope you are still creatively living your days and that your mind has survived the years.

I pray you are surrounded by love and that your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren are all a loving part of your everyday life.

I also hope you do not outlive your good health. I hope you die quietly in your sleep after a full day of whatever makes you smile.

I hope you are still ready for that day as you were back here in my time.

Jo


Thursday, October 18, 2012

DEDICATION


Suzy is celebrating her birthday by hosting BlogFEST!  Run on over and wish her a happy birthday!

BlogFEST entries are here...clickity click

Alone or with you
The world moves too fast
Don't know what to do
To ensure that we last.

There isn't any other
For you or for me
We are with one another
For all eternity.

As I ponder our history
I know why there's a 'we'
It isn't a mystery
Dedication is key.

I'm dedicated to loving you
All of my days
And your love is as true
As your comforting ways.

'Til death do we part
And beyond, I am sure.
We'll walk hand in hand
Through that heavenly door.

Jo

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PEOPLE CHANGE

Claudia is today's host and her page is here...click

And as alwaysBlogFEST is a click away here...more posts on this picture

He looked up and saw the simple elegance of the lamp on the boardwalk by the beach. It reminded him of a girl he had known many years earlier. She was elegant and willowy. Her eyes were the brownest eyes he had seen  before or since. Her voice, a little hard to remember it, but he knew it had once caused his heart to pound. The sea was calm tonight. Calm as her demeanor had always been. Why tonight? Why was she front and center in his mind tonight? He hadn't thought of her in months and hadn't seen her for 12 maybe 13 years, but here she was walking around his mind and leaving a hint of pain wherever she stepped.

He rested his hand on the lamp post and leaned into it as thoughts of her floated and settled. She was magnificent. Her body, her hair and her hands. Oh, those hands were perfection. Small and slender fingers with a perfectly manicured nail at the end of each. He preferred she wear red polish; her choice was often purple or blue. Her style was ultra high fashion in his mind. She never dressed in jeans or shorts. She wore dresses, skirts and jackets or sweaters and heels. Always heels. She nearly met his 6'2" frame wearing her heels, but fell short of his chin without. He loved the way she fit into his arms. Snug against his chest and thigh to thigh they simply fit together.

Had he loved her? Had she loved him? The words were never said aloud. He thought they were in love and yet when she disappeared, he oddly didn't really miss her. Oh, he noticed she was gone, so to that extent, he missed her, but his life was not affected by her absence. He found that peculiar even yet today.

Shaking his head slightly left to right in an attempt to move her on her way, he continued his stroll down the beach. Ahead he sees his wife coming from one of the little seaside bars. She sees his silhouette approaching and remembers why she fell for this big guy. The saunter. The hair falling in his eyes as he strolls. The way his clothes enhance his body. A big and manly body. The kind a girl can get consumed by. Eight years married, still madly in love with him she walks towards him in hopes of sharing the evening in yet another seaside bar with the man of her dreams.

All thoughts of her are gone. This woman is the woman of his dreams and the woman he will spend eternity loving. He was suddenly aware of how much he had changed from the man who maybe loved her. That man was a cad. He didn't value anyone or much of anything. He lived for the moment only. The man who married this woman whose kiss he had just returned, this man is a strong and loving man. This man is loyal and financially supports his family. Loves his family, 3 children had been entrusted to them for raising and loving and he relished that role of father and husband. Responsibility could have been his middle name. Life and love often changes who you are and what you give the world.

Hand in hand they stroll the beach and she resting her head on his shoulder suggests a side trip to Benny's Bar at the Beach and a couple of beachy drinks. He orders a cute little umbrella bearing drink for his love and a bourbon on the rocks for himself and then requests an umbrella because it will make her smile. That man from before would never be so silly and he would never be so happy.

Over her lovely head he can still see the outline of the lamp on the tall post against the sea in the moonlight.

"Cheers, Babe. To all of our yesterdays and a million tomorrows."
Clicking glasses, sipping and kissing. This man is content.

Jo


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'M SORRY

 Today's host is found here and this is another BlogFest entry which you can find here with more entries



I'm sorry about so many things. I'm sorry I wasn't the mother you deserved as a small child. I'm sorry I wasn't the mother you deserved as a teen. As an adult, I hope I am doing a better job, but if not, I'm sorry I'm not what you need me to be. But know you have always been the center of my world.

I'm sorry I'm not the Grandma you heard about in your bedtime stories. I'm sorry I'm not the cookie baking, always at the stove or sitting on the floor with you Grandma you were expecting me to be. I'm sorry your baby years flew by so quickly and you are approaching adulthood with a less than perfect Grandma smiling ear to ear and feeling her heart grow to gigantic proportions every single time she sees your face. But know that you are the very best thing I have ever had a hand in creating.

I'm sorry I haven't been the sister you may have wanted. The one who is always there or always knows what is right and what is to be done or even the one who jumps in and takes care of you, when you need compassion. I'm sorry I wasn't always happy and cheerful and wasn't always as helpful as I could have been. But know that you have always been everything I need in a sibling and that I love you and that you are everything I ever wanted a sibling to be.

I'm sorry I wasn't the wife of your dreams. Sorry I didn't nail the full time job holding, kid rearing, Suzy Homemaker thing. I'm sorry you were often left out of my emotional crisis, when you should have been my confident. I'm sorry I wasted so much time trying to build our future and maybe neglected some of our nows to get here. But know that we have our nows, now. Know that there is no one else I'd rather go forward into my 'golden' years beside than you and know that everyday since I met you, I have loved you.

I'm sorry I am not the daughter you once pictured. The perfect little girl who looked like her mother and behaved in public and never embarrassed you, wasn't me. I do look like you, but that might be it on that list. I'm sorry I made such a mess of my life for so many years and worried you. I'm sorry I haven't always been there for you when you wanted or needed me. But know that I am here now. Know that no matter what comes our way, you have my unending love, my unending respect and devotion. Know that I will love you every minute of my life and to this point, already have done so. Know that I strive daily to make you proud of me. Know that even now, it matters to me that you are proud of your baby girl. Know that I am proud of you every day. Know that when you need me, I am there. Always.

I am sorry I am not the friend you needed. Sorry that when I should have had your back, I was elsewhere. Sorry that I didn't have the words you needed when you were in pain. I am sorry that you cried without me. I am sorry that I cried and didn't include you. I am sorry that when our lives drifted away one from the other, I didn't run back toward you and hold your hand. But know that I love you and value your friendship as another might value gold. Know that when you need a hug, a hand or an ear, I will be there with one or more of each.  Know that when everyone else walks away from you, I will be running to your side. Know that I am a friend for life.

I'm sorry I am not the Christian I should be. I am sorry that even when I know right from wrong, I don't always do right. I am sorry that I may have missed an opportunity today to be a blessing in someone's life. I am sorry I am just me. Nothing more. But know that each day you give me, Lord, I will try harder than the previous day to be a better woman. Know that I will try to be a stronger woman and live a more giving and loving life. Know Lord, that I am your child, a work in progress and I am living this life in love. I hope that's enough.

Jo

Happy 90th Birthday Momma

My daughter and my Momma Nov. 2011


Today Momma (Dorothy Settle) turns 90. Born October 16, 1922 in Cynthiana, KY to Olin Reed and Nora McClanahan Reed.

She lives just 2 miles from me now and I am the taxi service because driving is something she really never enjoyed and when an accident totaled her car 3 years ago, she decided she was done driving. She wasn't hurt nor was the other driver, thank you God.  I am happy to provide this service and any other she needs or wants.

Not so long ago we used to enjoy shopping Kohl's, it's exhausting for her now and I understand that. We still make an occasional trip, but we try to go directly to the department needed and then call it a day. We do a lot of online shopping and gift giving is mostly cash because she depends on her grandchildren and her children to shop for the little ones, the great-grandchildren. The three of us have given her 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren to date. That would be the bio grands...including the steps she has 11 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.  Personally, I count 'em all, cuz they all count!

Widowed nearly 34 years, she lives in a lovely 2 bedroom apartment which she mostly maintains by herself. There are a few chores that are too high for her and I, her very tall daughter, take care of those places as needed. It is very seldom that she asks for help, she is very independent.

Hoping this day goes well for her because she seems to have caught herself a big ole nasty butt head cold and today was not feeling well at all. I got groceries for her and suggested she just take the cold meds I got for her and wrap herself up in a blanket and rest up for her visit from my brother and sister-in-law followed by dinner here with her three kids and spouses. Exactly what she requested. I hope she is able to enjoy it.

She has been my go to guy for a long time and now it is my turn and I am honored to be able to assist with the physical things that are too difficult for her now. She has been and continues to be a blessing of gigantic proportions in my life.

Happy Birthday to my mom and a blessings filled year ahead. ♥

Jo

Sunday, October 14, 2012

COBWEBS

Cobwebs ~ well, yes, I have some. I've been playing with two of my granddaughters all week and driving to get them and then taking them home, so I do have some, no doubt. Today I could have chosen to rid my house of them, but no, I decided to go shopping this morning and watch the Detroit Lions and Tigers play instead. You should know that I am not a gigantic sports fan and almost never watch the Lions. The Tigers I do watch now and then and I enjoyed their first two games of post season a lot. Exciting and mostly well done. The point here, I sat on my bottom most of the day.  No cleaning and thus, the cobwebs are still hanging.

Tomorrow is grocery day and Tuesday is Momma's 90th birthday and my sis, bil, bro and sil are coming here for dinner to celebrate. So, Tuesday will be cooking day. Maybe Monday afternoon I'll feel like cleaning and chasing dust bunnies and cobwebs, but if not, I think my sis and bro and the in-laws and Momma will be okay with that. (As long as the kitchen is clean and the food is good.) The kitchen is clean, cuz I'm a bit ocd about that.  

Of course, I could say I'm leaving them in preparation for Halloween, they need time to develop into the scary kind versus the haven't cleaned in 2 weeks kind, right?  Yeah, that's my story.

That's it!  Cobweb blog by Jo is not very interesting nor very inspired, but it is done!  Sorry, I'll try harder another day, but not about cobwebs most likely.  :-)

Jo

Saturday, October 13, 2012

SHADOWS

BlogFEST host today is Leigh Young and her entry for the prompt of Shadows....

Can be found by clicking here!


 Aiden and Uncle Frank part 2.


It's been 4 months since Uncle Frank's ship set sail and he is so far overdue that Aiden has begun to regress. He had made gigantic strides in the last few years and was now attending mainstream school with a counselor to aid and intervene when needed. For the most part he was functioning without too many obstacles. Oh, he still had to close all doors three times, he still had to have everything in his room in the 'right' spot before climbing into bed and there were many other particulars to aid his comfort and his ability to calm himself. He still had days that leaving the house was not possible, but they had become very rare, until lately. The missing uncle was more than just someone he loved, he had become someone Aiden needed to maintain his functionality. Although his autism was not severe, quite mild, in fact, he was one who did not accept change well and the absence of a parent or Uncle Frank was okay, short term.  Four months is NOT short term. He was nearly 2 months over due. Eight weeks is an eternity when you are standing on the beach every evening in the cold November wind looking for a ship which failed to materialize. Not going was not an option. Aiden was convinced not going would equal giving up. There would be NO giving up on Uncle Frank.

Breakfast had been chosen carefully from his choices and his mother placed each pancake, not touching each other, exactly as he required. He gently buttered each and poured his favorite cherry syrup on one, trying not to get too much on any other pancake. The plate held 4, must be 4, dollar pancakes all around the edge. Each one would be placed into the center for syrup and eating. The process never varied. It mattered.
Clearing the kitchen of all the breakfast fixings, Aiden and his mom were startled by the dog barking. The cocker was not a barker unless someone was in their yard. They both walked toward the front door and saw nothing out of the ordinary. The barking stopped.

"That's odd. Dani never barks at nothing, Mom." Aiden was not convinced that someone hadn't been out there, but he turned with mom and started down the hall to shower.

"She might have seen a squirrel too close to the door or something.  I don't know. Get your shower and I'll get the beds made so we can go run some errands this morning. We are getting pretty low on food around here. I think my men are going to eat me out of house and home if I don't get some real food in here soon." She laughed and kept walking. Aiden was very confused. He knew she referred to him and Dad as her men, and Uncle Frank when he was home, but he had no idea how to eat her out of house and home. What a crazy thing to say!

He shook it off, finally and headed to the shower. Nothing relaxed his head or his shoulders as much as a warm shower. He always felt like the whole noisy world had kind of stopped while showering. He would often walk small circles under the falling water and feel, well, just feel the water on him. It was one of the things he liked to touch him. There weren't many.

Dressed and ready to go he retrieved his soiled things from the bath and put them in the hamper. Wet things on the floor made him twitchy. In the hamper. In the hamper. Done. Good.

He slowly and methodically walked to the kitchen where he heard Mom's voice speaking softly. He thought she must be on the phone. They were alone in the house, unless she was talking to Dani.

Turning the corner to the kitchen Aiden stopped and then ran full steam into the waiting arms of his Uncle Frank nearly knocking both of them to the floor. Uncle Frank had braced himself knowing this was coming and still nearly fell backward.  Aiden was growing!

After all the giggling and looking each other over and hugging, Uncle Frank explained.

"I'm sorry I couldn't let you know, Aiden. I knew you would be worried, but there was no communication, I mean phone, to let you know. We lost our engine on the return trip. We tried repairing with what little we had on board and it would only run for a few minutes. We had to send a small boat out to an area where someone could call to get us some help. We were in a 'dead' zone. None of our radios worked. The little boat took the best part of a day to get to the nearest land with phones. Then when the mechanics were notified of where we were and what we needed, they had to order parts because that ship is so old no one had the parts we needed.  The guys came back with food and water and a bigger boat to take the men back that were just fishermen. All the rest of us, the crew, had to stay with the ship so we could fix it and then bring it home. All the fish were saved though because they were iced and it was plenty cold out there to keep that ice!  (laughed)  Anyway, there were no tugs willing to come tug us home, so we just had to wait it out. And now I'm home, here with you, for at least 2 months. No more trips until after all the holidays. What do you think of that? Your mom says I can just stay here with you. Is that okay?"  Frank sat down and Aiden fell in beside him about midway through the story.

"Yeah, that'd be okay. I sure as heck did miss you. I went to watch for you every night." He looked a bit sad. "I kept thinking I saw your face in all the shadows. I thought that if you had died you would come to tell me in the shadows. So I stopped looking at shadows."

"I would never come to you in shadows, Aiden. I would come to you in sunshine. I would be the butterflies, the bees, the clouds, the things that make you happy. I would always want to see you smile, never sad like shadows make you. I would always come in good times, Buddy."

Jo

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE BOY

Again today he waits. He hopes. It could be today. The pink hue of the ocean makes him cold inside. The air has the coolness of fall and even the sand requires shoes to be comfortable. Comfortable. No, he won't be that until it happens. Looking far out, as far as the horizon, for a bump, for a light, for a flash. Anything that interrupts the smooth line of sea meeting sky. It could be...

The same thoughts every day for months now. Three months and 2 days to be exact. The ship sailed for China from San Francisco Bay and had been expected back for nearly 3 weeks. On that ship was the boy's uncle who happens to be his best friend, also.


Uncle Frank had no children of his own and had been an integral part of Aiden's life since birth. Uncle Frank was his mother's brother and often stayed with their family when not out to sea. He had a small cabin of his own down the California coast a short ways, but he rarely stayed there unless he was going to be in town for a month or more. He had become Aiden's best friend almost from day one. He would hold him, rock him and walk with him by the hour to soothe Aiden's tortured body. The boy is autistic and often required having his cradle rocked with no human hands on him. Other times, he required bunting and big warm arms holding him safely still. Uncle Frank knew all the secrets and seemed to know which was needed. Mom and Dad loved the way he related to this special and troubled baby and trusted him to provide care for their infrequent dates.

As he grew, he learned and his parents learned and life did get somewhat easier. Aiden is an only child and now at age 13, he stands alone to wait. He knows the days have passed too far. He knows Uncle Frank should be here now. He cannot wait at home. He needs to go to the seashore and look for himself. When the sun has set, he will turn where his dad waits for him, a safe distance away, and together hand in hand, they will walk back home. Aiden may talk non-stop about how many days it's been and how long it takes to make the turnaround and how long the lay over was and what might have gone wrong. He will talk about the length and speed of the ship because he is an expert. Other nights they will walk in silence. On those nights his dad worries. He doesn't know what is going on in Aiden's head and it worries him. He doesn't want him to be sad, rather he talk himself into security. Feeling whatever has gone wrong is going to be a great adventure that Uncle Frank will tell them about for many years to come.

For Aiden, life cannot return to normal until Uncle Frank comes home again. When he walks up the sidewalk and through that front door to big hugs and maybe a surprise for Aiden, then and only then will life be right.

Most of us have safe places and for Aiden it is in Uncle Frank's presence. Anywhere in the world.

Jo

Daphne suggested this picture as our inspiration today...and I was inspired. Go check her enty here. Click!!

This is a BlogFEST entry....Read more by clicking here

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Old Man Hickson

Morgue files photo
Old Man Hickson is known to all who live anywhere near Bay City. He has fished the Saginaw Bay his entire life. As a young boy his father took him to the best and most productive fishing holes in all of the Great Lakes. His parents had settled in the Bay City area when Mr. Hickson discovered the fishing season was longer and the ice fishing was excellent on the Bay. Arnie was only 3 years old when his family moved to the area and his first trip out on the beautiful smooth waters of the Bay were very shortly after. 

All these years later, some sixty plus he guessed, he still felt the same excitement as he boarded a ship to take his crew out for what they always expected to be a full load of whatever Great Lakes fish were in season or hitting the baits.

Walleye salmon is a popular fish with all the area restaurants and the commercial clients he had long ago signed with, are always looking for his salmon. He seems to get the biggest and most desirable of all the fishermen on the Bay. His crew has been nearly unchanged for 20 years. Only Bert had to be replaced. Bert died a year ago of a massive heart attack only a few hours after one of the most successful trips of the season. They came to dock with a full load and the price was high; a combination that made every captain grin for days. Every member of the crew would get a nice bonus and all had attended the funeral. Bert's wife used the bonus to pay final expenses on her husband of 55 years. Fishermen don't get a pension or a retirement plan, they fish until they die, for the most part.

Arnie makes pretty good money on the Bay and his boat is well maintained. His men are well paid and most are friends away from the boat. The wives all know each other and because some trips are several days long, keep in touch with each other and make sure no one is in need. It is more like extended family than co-workers and spouses.

Today the trip would be day one of what would most likely become a three or maybe four day trip because the fish they were seeking were several miles out into Lake Huron north of the Bay itself. Sturgeon is the subject and the need for the commercial client and the bigger the catch, the bigger the paychecks all around.

Readying the ship for launch, the crew all performing their tasks as assigned. Little talk going on because this is a critical part of any trip. Every part of the ship is checked for any possible problems and the galley is stocked and checked for any oversights. The marine store is on the dock for last minute purchases and today it appears, none are needed. The cook is happy with his stock and securing all the odds and ends for travel. He works hours for each meal and then the clean up and the next meal until the final snack around 10 p.m. Then it's lights out in the kitchen and O'Malley retires to his bunk for a well deserved night of dreams.

Old Man Hickson is the captain, the oldest member of the crew and there is never a doubt who is in charge. He is the last one on board and the last one off when they return. Today he seemed a bit heavy of heart. The usual smile and wave to each friend he passed on the way to his post, missing. He simple boarded the ship and walked straight away to his cabin. He pulled the log and entered the days information. The time of departure, the weather, the crew (each by name) and his own name and title. Closing the log he heaved a huge sigh and lifted his substantial weight from his arm chair and headed to the engine room for a quick check from the engineer.

All is well and they pull away, the captain steering in his usual careful and methodical way from the dock and through the harbor to the open Bay heading north to the area of Huron where the sturgeon awaits. Leaving his wife of 47 years a couple of hours ago was difficult. She had gotten a diagnosis from her doctor yesterday which had sent them both into a spin. Arnie is an old man at 67, too old to be leaving his bride the day after such news. She should not be alone and he should not be running this voyage. They should be sitting together and holding hands and talking and planning and praying. Arnie drops his head slightly as he hits the open water and prays for his wife.

"Dear God in Heaven, if you have not already done it, could you please relieve my wife of her pain and anxiety. Would you mind giving me the words she needs? I am so afraid. Oh God, give me strength, please for my wife. I must be strong for her. Amen." He felt relieved and tried to imagine her just feeling relief, too.
Fighting cancer would be a long and lonely road with her husband on the Bay or the Lake all the time.He wondered with a great deal of seriousness if this might be the time to retire and hire a new captain. First Mate Martin would do a fine job. He felt, at this moment every minute of his 67 years.

Retirement. But who would take care of Bert's widow? He wouldn't have enough money for their needs and the widow's needs as well. He had been sending her a check weekly since Bert's passing. He had to. There was no one else.

Day 3. Log entry...The trip ends today. We have a full load. We have enough ice to get back with fresh fish and the weather is holding. Headed in about 2 p.m. ETA 8 p.m.  No incidents. No injuries. Calm seas. Troubled heart. Capt. Hickson.
Docked 8:35 p.m. Truck loaded by 9:00 p.m. and crew dismissed. Captain leaving ship secured at 10:00 p.m.  Capt. Hickson

He walked home. Home to his bride and decisions and discussions. Home for hugs and the security she was waiting to share. They were equally in need.

Old Man Hickson was known as a tough old bird by all who had met him. Only Old Lady Hickson knew the man beneath. The soft, loving man. He walked to her side after every trip. This time, for the first time in these 47 years, she was not on the dock. He had to walk home alone to find her. Sadness overwhelmed him as he walked the four blocks alone.

Opening the front door to the darkness he quietly walked to their bedroom and there she was. Covered to her neck, eyes closed, face lovely as the day he met her. He went to the shower and then straight to the bed to lie next to her and feel her near him.

She didn't stir. She didn't open her eyes. He laid his hand on her face with the most gentle touch. His heart stopped. She was cold. Very cold. He spoke her name. Louder, he spoke again and again and the tears rolled down his face and his voice faded to nothing. He held her and rocked her and cried. She was gone. He was alone and she had died alone. The strength he prayed for had not come, yet. He learned later that night that she had died on day 2 of the trip. The cancer had been far more advanced than the doctor had supposed and had caused her heart, her kidneys and her liver to shut down. Mrs. Martin had spoken with her last on day 2 of the voyage around noon. She was sleepy, she told Mrs. Martin and would be fine. No one had called her on day 3 because all were preparing for their men to return and thought she was just sleepy, but fine. She had apparently slipped away without trauma. The doctor explained to him that she most likely passed in her sleep.

Old Man Hickson had aged years in the week following her death and he relived that 3 day trip every day for months. Why had he gone? She needed him. He had gone. She couldn't fight without him. He wasn't sure how to live without her. Wasn't at all sure he wanted to. The crew had taken the ship out twice without him. He didn't want to go. He didn't ever want to go again. His right hand man, the First Mate, Martin, had taken over, as he knew he would, without a hitch. Arnie, well, nothing would ever be without a hitch for him.

It's been 5 years since she passed and this recent picture shows one of the few smiles he has given since. The reason? Arnie just returned to the ship. He is taking his crew out onto the Bay for a 1 day trip for salmon. There will not be any over nights for this crew again. The cost, Arnie has declared, is just too high. One can never regain lost time with your loved ones. Five years of grieving had taught him this.

Jo


BlogFEST 2012


October 9, 2012
Good morning, afternoon or evening!  I am today's host for the BlogFEST and today's prompt is a finish this sentence prompt.

If I ruled the world...

You may finish this one any way you please. Any way at all.  Run with it! I can't wait to read your thoughts!

When you have written your thoughts...place the url to your blog in the comments box below, if you'd like, BUT don't forget to post in the thread on

BlogFEST https://www.facebook.com/pages/BlogFEST-2012/508934629122385


Here are my thoughts on this one...

Honestly, if I ruled the world you would not recognize the world in which you live.
  • There would be no discrimination because ALL people would be equals on all levels.
  • There would be no crime because there would be no need to harm others to get what you need.
  • If you want a job, you get a job. If you can't work, you get food, home and necessities. You would be required to do a government job, such as phone work, computer work, something you are capable of doing and currently someone else is being paid to do.
  • Taxes would be a % of your total income ~ period ~ all income from all sources taxed the same %.
  • Health care would be available to all on an equal basis. It can't be that hard to provide, so many other countries are doing it. Higher tax percentage, yes, more benefits and less out of pocket, yes.
  • Hunger would be eliminated by providing free food pick-ups for those who could cook, if they had food and kitchens for those who have no way to cook. Funding, you ask? That tax % would help and donations would sustain. Schools would all have programs that the students would work to raise cash for each of these causes. Churches would be encouraged to become major sponsors and people will rise to the need. They always do.
  • War would be abolished world-wide. How? It would become illegal to engage in war and any country that started or participated would be cut-off from all other countries. No trade. No financial aid. No support of any kind. No exceptions. 
  • Children would be required to live within an hour of their parents as long as their parents were living. Okay, this one is just silly, but I would love it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Political Posts Will Kill Your Reading Stats


Yep, that is quite possibly true, but it is also quite possibly a chicken's way of not taking a stand.  I have never posted a blog about politics except to say that I wish people would be more respectful of each other when they disagree. I still feel strongly about that. I also feel strongly about all the people who constantly post memes they copy and paste without checking their validity. I also feel strongly about people who think their thoughts are the only valid ones and everyone else is just plain stupid for not agreeing. My tolerance for that kind of thinking is zero.  I have very strong political views and I am not stupid. The mere fact that you disagree with my views does not make you stupid, either. It makes you different than me. That's all. Just different.

The one thing I will state openly and often is that whoever is currently sitting, or who has previously held the office of President of the United States, will get my respect and I will not speak harshly of them. They are or were MY President and the office alone, the fact that the majority of my fellow Americans voted for and thereby elected them to office is enough to earn and hold my respect. I may or may not like the actions they take or the inaction they missed, but I will respect and speak respectfully about them. This is so missing from our society today and I think the internet is partially to blame for this. It's much easier to be disrespectful by typing and putting it out there with no face to face ~ even with the people you are calling stupid and uninformed.

I will not do that now nor will I do that in the future. I will type exactly what I would say to your face and I will consider all of your comments as your replies to my words. Isn't that a fair and balanced way to handle political differences?  As a side note, it might even be beneficial to each of us to actually read (listen) to each other with an open mind. There could be some truths we hadn't considered. Or there could be just a bunch more "talking" points reiterated from some web site put up by the supporting group of the republicans or the democrats. That will gain neither of us anything. But it could happen, nonetheless.

I am basically a liberal. I believe we are our brother's keepers. I therefore, generally fall to the Democratic candidate based on the history of the Democratic party being more likely to provide for people who need help and expecting those of us who can financially do so, to help in a fair way to give those who need what they need. I wish churches and charities could do it all, but they aren't able, so yes, I believe our governments, both state and federal, should provide basic human needs to anyone who temporarily or permanently needs a hand up. Yes, I am that person who still feels like people of the United States should not live in squalor and should not go to bed hungry. They should not be homeless, without choice. I believe I should pay enough taxes to make that happen. I am willing to pay for federal and state programs to ensure our citizens live a decent life and are able to acquire a job that they are able to perform. Training should be available at no cost to those who need it to secure such a job. I am willing to fund this proportionately to my income.

I am fully in favor of making certain social security payments are available to all who pay into the fund. I am fine with spousal benefits for widows and widowers who shared the life of a working productive person who paid into the SS fund during their working years.  I am in favor of this program and a payment being based on the amount the worker has paid in over their lifetime. I am in favor of taking care of our seniors who have given most of their lives and upon reaching age 62 wish to retire and collect their Social Security Insurance.
They are entitled to this program and these payments. Have a fit, if you like, about these being called entitlements and deciding that means a free handout, but know this before you stroke out about that wording,

entitle: n, v
1) give just claim or right,
 give a title to,
 allow, permit; make eligible, qualify; authorize, empower.
2) name, call
This is according to Webster.

And dictionary.com says
1. the act of entitling.
2. the state of being entitled.
3. the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social 
Security or unemployment compensation

So...my take on this big controversy is like so many other things. It is just a HOT SPOT phrase with NO basis for truth.

Social Security and Medicare are entitlements!  They are programs we are entitled to because we are CLAIMING our own money which the government has been holding for us in trust.

STOP BEING OUTRAGED ABOUT THE USE OF THAT PHRASE....IT IS ACCURATE.

So now my question is ~ which candidate will most likely give me the country I want to live in?

My answer is Barack Obama with the help of a congress dedicated to getting things done. I am voting against every incumbent that is up for re-election on the Rep side of the ticket. I am looking for congressional support with enough condescending opinions to equate to good, solid results. I don't want a bunch of "yes" men, I want men and women who will give good serious thought to issues and choose what is right and best for their constituents. We don't have that now. We have an entire block of congressional republicans voting to keep Obama to one term. Politics over people.  Cannot continue.

Gov. Romney speaks often of not growing up privileged. I'm sorry, compared to my life, he was very privileged. He may have given away his inheritance from his father, but not before he used the money from the stocks his father gave him to achieve his college degree and support his wife and children. He used the money his father gave him in the form of stocks for years and was never in jeopardy of not being able to feed his family or pay a bill. Compared to me and most of my friends, that is privileged. So I find it hard to imagine he could ever imagine life without enough food, without enough money for the utility company and having the heat shut off in winter or the pills you need to stay alive not being purchased because the rent is due. Owning a home is out of the question for many people now, it was never out of the question for the Romney's. How can anyone expect him to have any notion of what we are really living without here in the heartland. I can't imagine never having to even give these things a second thought, so I can't expect the Romney's to get my life style either.

I DO expect the Obama's to get it. They lived it. They were without money and worked to pay off student loans, their parents did not give them stocks to draw interest and dividends from to pay for their expenses. They do get what is going on here and they also care. I'm not convinced by Romney's plan that he cares so much about us as he cares about keeping a Republican congress to support his trickledown economics plan moving forward. It has never worked and isn't economically sound.

Quoting Clinton...”it's arithmetic.” It doesn't work and way too many details are missing. We have a month left and I am looking at my absentee ballot right in front of me, now. I am ready after the debate last night to announce Romney did not win that debate, because he didn't tell me anything new or anything that made sense to me concerning my social security, future Medicare or tax improvements. My health insurance is a main concern to me and he says give it back to the states. My state is in big, big financial trouble and it can't afford to help me out with insurance. And it won't help me anyway; we have a Republican Governor who believes everyone can have insurance, if they want it.  

Very long...sorry....you probably checked out a long time ago....but I'm done now and I'm listening.  The floor belongs to you....be kind.

Just so you know, if you leave a rude or hateful comment, I will delete it.

Jo

WILL YOU TAKE CHARGE?

Day 4 in the BlogFEST 2012 is being hosted by Stuart Fish

and he purposed we write an answer to

 "Will you take charge?"



Yes, I will. Under the following circumstances:

If I am capable of leading others to the finish line.

If I believe in the project.

If I am educated enough to organize a successful end.

Oh, and if someone tells me about the project and invites me to a meeting or tells me they are thinking about calling a meeting or had a dream about making the world a better place by tackling this project or tells someone I know and they mention it to me in passing. Or if I hear about it by eavesdropping at the local eatery or grocery.

YES...I will take charge and I will see it through and I will do a damn good job, too!

Now, what do you need done?

Jo

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MAKE A WISH

BlogFEST ~ click here for more blogs to enjoy on this subject  yep click here

Our host today is Tree Girly and if you click here ~ you will find HER blog

The prompt for today is what talent would you like to have, go ahead and make a wish.

I have always been rather creative and enjoyed making things. I love starting with ingredients of some sort and ending up with something cool. So I imagine it stands to reason that I would love hairdressing and writing and crafty things. I love interior decorating and designing. I enjoy flower arranging with live or silks and pretty much anything where my mind can see the desired object and then create it. It's not work for me to know what I am making or creating, but it can be work to reach perfection or near that. I have successes and I have okay results and now and then I have epic failures. I will try again if that happens, but on a different day.

The same creativity allows me to love cooking. Creating a great meal from whatever is in the cupboard or fridge or freezer and measuring nothing. If I create something really good, I write it down as nearly as I can, since I don't measure. If it's just okay, not writing and if it stinks, I order pizza.

Now, what I cannot do and would love to be able to do is wood working. I would love to build, but each time I have tried, I have been very disappointed in my project. I admire people are capable of taking a pile of wood and cut, hammer, screw, sand, finish and create a lovely piece of art or furniture. If I actually learned how to do it, and I may, I would probably never leave the garage.

So my wish is....to be a great carpenter.

Jo

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

INSOMNIA?

Another BlogFEST entry....Go here (click) to see more entries for today

Today's host is ... Susan M. Dusterhoft and her entry can be found here (click)


What keeps you awake? That is Susan's question for the day.


I am a great sleeper. I can literally sit down or lie down and fall asleep. Almost without fail, I will just nod off for an hour or maybe two. That is during the day or evening. Now at bedtime, which for me is usually between 2 and 3 a.m, I may or may not drift off easily.

If my brain is working things out, trying to figure out where I need to be or what I need to do, I may be awake well into the morning. I have about one of these every couple of months. I don't really see it as a problem because I know it is my inability to settle my brain that keeps me awake. I have learned that once I figure out what I can do or realize I can do nothing, I can sleep. I credit prayer with this relief.

Let Go ~ Let God = good night's sleep.

I also find that using a fair amount of physical energy during my day is necessary for a really good night's sleep. If I have been sedentary most of the day, say writing or reading and not moving around much, I will likely wake up throughout the night. Easily falling back to sleep, but waking not very well rested. I apparently require a certain amount of getting off the buns and moving about to earn a full night's sleep.

On the very rare occasion that sleep eludes me and my brain is calm, I blame the total lack of hormones in my body and therefore, my inability to cool my body. It will, every now and then, flair up and try to cause my entire being to spontaneously combust. Those nights require a trip outside. If it's winter a quick trip to the deck for a few minutes will work. If it's summer, I may have to step into the pool to cool myself. Once the fire is extinguished, I can usually fall right to sleep.

Oh, this aging thing is just a riot. Something new every year!

Jo