Monday, March 12, 2012

Actor Tribute - Who Can It Be?

For reasons that may become apparent as I write I have decided it is time for another tribute to an actor blog.  But lets change it up and see how many clues it takes to discover the one I am talking about.  So, this is a quiz.....your honesty is appreciated, cheaters may be challenged.

Years ago Andrew and I started watching the 007 movies from the beginning so he could see the development of special effects, story line and other theatrical advancements.  While I enjoyed it (the first movies almost felt like comedies) by the time we got toward the end I was bored with the project.
I say this because I would get bored if I saw everything in which my chosen actor has performed. And, no, this actor has never been James Bond.

I can't say I have seen all of his movies, or ever will.  My favorite types of movies don't include all that he has done.  But he likes variety.  He has been known to refuse jobs because he has already explored the character in other roles -- this may be the biggest clue for anyone familiar with  the work he has done.  As an 'all around' normal person he considers himself a regular guy who rides a motorcycle and shows up every now and then for a movie shoot.  (If you got the answer with this clue you get 10 points)

We have watched him as a scientist, an athlete, a police officer, a gamer, a killer and an alien.  He has been a gentle veteran and a very haughty Englishman.  His acting career has spanned more than 20 years, and I am sure he will continue another 20.  Names of his characters are fairly common - Paul, Kevin, Eddie, John, Jack.  Know who he is yet?  (7 points here)

More clues?  Let's talk about his co-stars:  Charleze Theron, Shia LaBeouf, Rachel Weisz, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Quinn, Sandra Bullock, Al Pachino -- these are just a few of the extremely well known  co-stars.  (5 points.....)

I have to assume that the majority of us movie buffs know who he is with what I have given as clues.  Before I give it away, let me revert back to my original premise which was the reason I have decided to write this tribute.  On my last blog the need for knitted together acreage to support the family so we can all live together came up in what I wrote and in the responses I got.  One of this actor's roles in his early to mid acting career has him on a vineyard, family all around, support and love with all actions and gestures. It frequently comes to my mind when I feel the desire for a family oasis. This is what we want, to be close enough visiting would just be a walk across the courtyard....but it doesn't have to include the vineyard -- just the wine.  (Not a great clue, but a clue, nonetheless -- 3 points)  The movie I am referring to here is spelled out with bold letters in this paragraph.....kind of an obscure movie, but I liked it anyhow.

This actor has never personally won the little golden man award.  But I think he deserves it.  And if you haven't figured out who I mean --- zero points, I just have one more word to say:


All images are courtesy of Google Image search. 

Thank you for playing my silly game.  Who got it?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

21st Century Family

In this day and age I am reminded of how much family needs each other.  The blogs I read are interesting and fun to follow.  Of course, like anyone else I love to have comments on my blogs.  For the most part it is family that comments.  I have several readers, but like me, they don't comment all that often.  So I was thinking about what lengths our family goes through to help each other out.

The common family dynamic is no longer two parents, two kids, one dog.  This would be an aberration.

Check this out:  for years Gramma Brown lived in a mother-in-law home next to Aunt Karen.  Now that Gramma is gone cousin Julie occupies that address, hopefully helping Aunt Karen out as she cares for her infirm husband, our Uncle Don.  Aunt Karen has been my ultimate example of selflessness....but even though she may growl about it now and then; it doesn't take away from her commitment as she in turn, took care of Gramma, Uncle Don as well as Julie.

Then there is my address, courtesy of Mom and Dad....I moved in several years ago and stayed so I would be available as they aged and needed more help.  Dad, of course, is gone now but Mom and I are going through the same scenario.  It has been a life saving location for me.

Or Dawn and Yo, who's house is definately a 'yours, mine, and our' locale, their main extention is Laura, a full time nurse who needs assistance raising her three kids, courtesy of Dawn and Yo.  At a point in time my son  also called their house home.  Dawn and Yo are like that.  If Darcie or Andrew had a say in it, they too would have been raised in that house by them.  Knowing this doesn't take away the love or the closeness Andrew, Darcie and I have.  If I had a choice I would be living with Dawn, too.

Which brings me to another example: Darcie with her little family is currently dwelling with her mother-in-law Angie.  In this case it is a mutual admiration society.  Darcie and Angie love each other and would be close friends even without Mondo or the kids in common.

Point is, our family never stops being our life.  We reach in deep and we make room for whatever is needed.  Lane and Jean do this with their kids....mostly against their will, I think, but they do it because they love their kids even when they don't like them.  In the last 10 years I think that at least 3 of their kids lived with them.  Help goes both ways in that situation.

People can seldom afford to live alone, at least in our family we would be happy with 10 acres and the agreement for everyone to dwell within.  Must focus on that, as I am not sure what my fate will be when Mom has gone.  In the meantime, I have my family.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I steal inspiration wherever I can...for my writing it may be incidental conversations I have with my customers; I tend to write down ideas that spring from these talks on my computer notepad.  I actually have a doodle notepad set up to copy and paste selected items.  This has a steady stream of things I have been pasting into it since I got this computer.  There are blogs I want to visit, articles I want to read,  web addresses containing information I pull for my blogging, or a list of things I don't want to forget.  But I seldom open it unless it is to add another item.  So as I read it some things amuse me, some things don't tickle anything in my memory.  Sometimes it is obvious what the point was.  Here is a short example of a section in my notepad:

check on 934 Whittier for aliens.....
concierge   keeper of the candles
oldest known animal was quahog  (clam)  405 yrs old; scientists had to kill it to determine its age.  freaking ironic!

With my painting I snip puzzles,  grab photos with beautiful scenes.  I study them.  Sometimes my very talented daughter will photo shop one of her images she snaps with her phone.  I use those as backgrounds on my computer;  this is an easy location for pulling inspiration.  But I wind up with so many folders to keep all of these because I am unorganized.  The clutter on my computer may be a reflection of my brain, echoing the way I live.  Here is a terrific example of her creativity, and it would make a marvelous painting:

What is lacking in this formula for creativity?  I know that it is me.  So many years of thinking about these things have carried over and all I do is think.  At times I believe I use other people to validate me, forgetting that the validations should come from within.  Painting is fun when I have someone else to paint with.  Otherwise I feel like I should be doing something else. Other times it really is my life getting in my way -- sadly nothing fun or exciting.  I haven't gone the the movies with my son in months;  my routine is work, store, home, watch the birds, sit with mom.  I don't even take care of home business.  My niece has created a routine of coming over and doing the heavy cleaning.  I allow guilt to creep in.  When that is there nothing is done.

So now that it is March 3 -- the days are ticking away -- I am going to teach this old dog a new trick.  I am going to commit to creativity, add some beauty to my life.  After all, the name of my blog was created to reflect painting water colors; the intention of the blog was to share to paintings I create.  So it is time to create, damn it!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Inventions, an American Passtime

 I am extremely messy in many areas of my life.  If anyone has been in my bedroom you know my boast is founded on reality. I am also good at allowing my drinks slip onto the floor of the car and spill all over.  Not a big deal, after all it's mom's car not mine.  But for convenience sake I have been considering inventing something which will stop car spillage and make me boo-koo bucks.  As an added bonus I may even manage to make some of the clothes I wear actually make it through a drive. But I  can't go into detail here, after all, I don't need anyone to jump claim on my patent.

I have known for a long time that there are no original ideas out there.  Great spins on ideas, lots of money flowing into someone's pocket because they took action on something that was floating out in the ether.  

Dad was a great inventor of a lot of gadgets.  None of them made fruition because like any Groves, we love to 'talk' not 'do'.  The one that stands out in my mind was his idea in the early 60's for a nail polish dryer.  You see, he knew that if we were able to polish nails, and then set them into a box of some sort with a heated fan we would have dry nails in no time.  Funny how within 1 to 2 years a device came out on the market that did that very thing.  I am sure we can all recall thinking of something and then within months someone has done it.

I have experienced this personally.  I have had an idea for a novel for many years.  I have even gotten a lot of the ideas down on paper (read: computer) for the book.  The name of the book came to me one night; I was extremely excited, it fit all of the areas of my story.  I was going to call it The Dream Walker.  Nine months later my favorite author wrote a character he called the Dreamwalker into his series.  It has caused me to completely halt my writing and  go back to the drawing board on what I will create as one of the characters in this story I am writing.  I don't want to infringe on what someone else used.  I need a little bit of  originality here.  Plus there is the plagiarism issue.  This just demonstrates to me that the ideas are floating around out there.  
We just need to tune in.  Use our dreams.

But, I digress from my main subject, which is inventions.  One of the local radio stations was advertising a pretty cool invention for those couples who have issues in bed.  I am sure, other than finances or straying, this is the single most cause for divorce.  There, I said it, and you all probably know exactly what I am talking about:  bed farts.  You see, evidently someone decided to utilize the technology used to protect our troops from germ warfare and applied it to blankets. Those bed farts will now be nullified of the power to drive a mate from the room.  Check it out.

Given that this is such a wonderful invention it has led me to research and discover what other unknown inventions are floating out there.  This one is cool:

I think a lot more kids would be willing to mow the lawn if only they had this great gadget.
Or here is a practical one that is probably a derivation of something in use:

I would use this!  Wouldn't you?

Finally, I will leave you with a youtube cartoon of some throwback crazy inventions.  Who doesn't enjoy a little bit of Boo boop ti doo!

Friday, February 24, 2012

PidgApeg: Email Issues...

PidgApeg: Email Issues...

Super Hero

Remember if you will the sound track from what was my favorite cartoon as a child:  Mighty Mouse.  (Here I come to save the day!, best portrayed by Andy Kaufman in his stand up routine. Check it out here.  Enter our modern day hero.

Who, you ask?

Well, let me just say I need a National Will Smith Day.  He has been our most versatile actor for the past 10 years or more. Yeah, I said it.  John Wayne always played himself.  For that matter, so does Bruce Willis.  We have actors that we love to watch no matter what they do, but it is because we love them.  I think Will Smith is different.  I find him more of a character actor than most of the mainstream actors, with a couple of exceptions.  Brad Pitt does an incredible insane does Leo for that matter.

But, Will.  We should just take a day that we are all required (requested, sans penalties) to watch the man save the world over and over and over again.

To celebrate you could start with Men in Black, where he takes care of the socially acceptable aliens, then
onto Independence Day, where he vanquishes the evil ones.

Next, I Robot, and how Will saves the world from Robots running amok.

If you are still up for it, after all of that awesomeness, comes I Am Legend, our hero for curing the zombies who terrorize our dreams (and in this current society, our tv's and laptops).  I am sure this is just a watered down version of the current plague of zombies set to a sound track.

Onto Hancock, a superhero with human frailties along with a great cast to support him.
Can anyone forget his selflessness as he portrays a dying man in Seven Pounds? (was that TMI for those who have not seen it?)

 Throwback to a different style shows Will playing Hitch, the man able to connect true love for his clients; or finally, in the Pursuit of Happyness, we see him as one man able to overcome the odds and salvage himself and become a hero in his son's eyes.

 It seems to me that Will projects an all around hero, able to tackle anything the world needs him for.  We should hope he is planning on a routine drive-by focusing on vampires.

And for those of you who do not necessarily agree on him as the man of the hour, keep in mind my list offers you everything from comedy to drama, fantasy and science fiction.  The renaissance man of film.  Truly.  Mighty mouse, the man.  My hero.

Monday, February 20, 2012

So, Vacation

                                         So, Vacation

Vacation can be a wonderful time to learn about yourself.  For example, I learned that things don't get done unless you take active steps to apply yourself.  I am an active procrastinator, therefore, mental goals I made never saw the light of day.

I did learn that in spite of  false starts, such as needing to go to the coast a day earlier than you mentally plan for, you can drive through snow to play at the beach on a sunny day.  Possibly common knowledge for most Oregonians, while at the coast I learned low tide is an awesome time to collect sand dollars;  to be fair to the sand dollar population, I also learned you don't take the ones with the little fuzzy feelers on the bottom.  This means they are still alive.

Once we returned from the beach my powers of procrastination kicked in -- there should be a super hero of procrastination; I would definately be in the running. I learned additional things once I got home...keeping the grandson and stepgrandson (to be exact, it is a great nephew who calls me Grandma, cuz it is easier than figuring out what type of relationship he and I actually have, as he is living with my ex son in law and my niece) is good for me, but slightly stressful for Mom.  So ya keep em busy with movies or playing around in the next room.  My vacation education from these two little guys took over.

From Caleb and Trevor I don't really get stars for doing gramma things:  such as (from Caleb) the other gramma, even though she is older is quite fun to be around, but of course, I am alright.  I also learned  from the almost four year old grandson that it really sucks bigtime that I didn't get him something for Valentine's Day, even though he brought over candy for me.  But I wasn't the only one that learned something from him today.  Caleb learned he should have gotten something bigger for Trevor since I suck. I am not a 'relationship' kind of person -- don't really have a close personal relationship with all of my children...heck!  I can't really count the friends I have, because that would demonstrate an active participation with people, and I am such a procrastinator that I really prefer being at home and 'doing my thing'. I suspect that these could be 'learned' a bit more active with my grandchildren, with the people I would like to consider friends.

So perhaps the biggest thing I learned over my vacation is I should be open to learning and not procrastinate making changes; it might make me a more 'all around' person.  To reinforce that, I just found on a blog a terrific statement.  Check it out!

Hope you enjoyed the pics, all three of you readers, lol!  One final coast shot!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Gife of a Perfect Moment

                                                   The Gift of a Perfect Moment

Occasionally there is a feeling of being in the right place at the right time -- I hate that phrase.  It is over used and it doesn't really describe the event.

Instead, I will describe the moment; you may interpret it as being in the right place at the right time; but I think of that phrase as a situation where a positive event benefits an individual, such as being in the right store to buy that particular lottery ticket, or assisting in something momentous as to help an individual who has been involved in  a car accident, or even something as simple as helping someone to the grocery store.

So, to be clear, perhaps I had a perfect moment.

The sky, wonderfully robin egg blue, enveloped the morning, and sitting on my deck gave me a sense of belonging to the day.  The sounds of birds floated through the air, one particularly close.  (I attempt to make sure the birds in the neighborhood have plenty of seeds, a bit of water for hydration, and I try to keep the deck free of cats.  This is an ongoing state -- me against the predators of the aviators.)

As I listened to the tweeting, the chirps, the talking back and forth of the species, I had an overwelming feeling of honor that they would choose my humble deck as a place to gather.

A junco hopped down onto one of the planters, empty of foliage.  I have placed a pie plate - thank you Marie Calendar - on this planter filled with a combination of black sunflowers, simple seed, and thistle, attempting a combination which would entice anything from my wonderful winter juncos, to the blue jays or chickadees and gold finches.

After nibbling for a moment or two this junco hopped back into the pear tree which is adjacent to my back yard.  From his beak I had the pleasure of listening to his song.  This was a first for me, something more than the quick little sounds, almost chitters like I normally hear.  His singing was for the day, as if expressing an accord with my spirit.  It was beautiful.  Here is a connection which will take you to the sounds the junco emits:  If the link doesn't work (I have attempted to set it up a couple of different ways, just copy and paste in a new window.  It reminds me of just the songs they insert into the background noise in movies -- wonderful.

Because it was a perfect moment I didn't focus only on the junco but sat there and absorbed the day.  Sun was glinting through the branches of our maple tree/bush and strands of cobwebs glittered from branch to branch, trails of the pathway the friendly spiders traveled.  The branches were full of them, almost as if they held the branches together. As I looked I could see light playing with the individual webs.  My content was complete, and I felt the honor of being alive and part of the cycle, as if there was something in my life I was doing right.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February Challenge

I discovered a new blog today, love her thinking and her style.  She has started a challenge I am willing to  take up, so now that I have completed my 'self assigned' chores for the first day of my weekend, here is my response to her challenge -- something written in my own handwriting.  Will spend some time setting up a great blog tonight, if only for myself.  In the meantime, a pic of the birds.

This next shot is of my handwriting.  Following this link for the challenge:

Can't emphasize enough how much more fun it is being grandma than it was to be Mama.  I feel like all of my grandchildren are each children of my heart, and Riah is no exception.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I read an article about how to raise your IQ by as much as 20 points.  I have a fairly high IQ by the testing I have done. It's not Mensa level by any means.  But it does mean that I should be able to follow instruction, understand irony and sarcasm.  I take it for granted.  I have also taken for granted the high IQ of the others in our family.  The leading cause of a high IQ, to my mind, is a curiosity.  No, I don't mean strange, I mean curiosity in that we ask questions, we want to know things, we play games.

Now, my roll model has always been Mom.  When I was growing up she did word puzzles all the time, she read a lot of books about the mind and controlling life.  But it seems that since she retired she may have also retired her less struggle?  But I hate to see her just sitting and losing touch with everything.  She has gotten out some of her old books and is slowly reading through them, working her hands, doing jigsaw puzzles online.  But it is a long road.  Mom doesn't think outside the box.  Well, outside of her own box anyhow.

For example, I got Mom a puzzle book, mind challenges, logic problems, etc.  She looked through the book and only found a couple of puzzles she could figure out; the rest are going to be a challenge.  One she figured out was a grid that you fill in with letters to create certain words.  The grid was only 4 across and 4 down.  It's a start.  However, on the same page was a puzzle that gave you a series of 6 jigsaw puzzle pieces.  You had to choose three of the pieces to fit on a puzzle.  The puzzle itself was just three pieces and the clues were made from the outline of this small puzzle board.  Basic.  (Back to this in a minute.  I want to make a side note to my blog.)

(I took some time today to read through book and I can see why she was so final that she can't do it.  I am going to give it a try; maybe I can do about 25% of them.  I will challenge myself somehow and let you know how it goes.)

I attempted the puzzle.  I was able to figure out fairly quick.  So I have copied the puzzle using a paint program.  The puzzle pieces are not precise, so I will ask forgiveness about the disparity you may initially notice.  Keep in mind if it is off center that is the way it should look, even though the off - centeredness is not precise, this is my drawing error, not an error of the actual puzzle.  With that in mind, below is an image of  the puzzle pieces and the actual puzzle they need to fit in.  Please look at it and attempt the puzzle, then let me know in a comment how difficult or easy it was to figure out.

I will explain in the comments the discussion mom and I have about this puzzle.  Have fun and be sure to leave a comment for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Using Your Imagination

When I was young dad would say 'use your imagination'.  I have always thought I don't have much of one.  However, when I see things I get totally inspired and am able to re-create ideas with little twists of my own.  But I cannot claim to have done anything original.  In fact, no one has for a long time.  We are able to take things and improve on them according to our own perceptions.

What I choose to do with ideas and what someone else chooses to do with the same idea will turn out completely different.  Our imagination is at work.  When we create something, albeit based on someone else's idea, our idea blossoms based on feedback from our family and peers.  I have a memory of an instance which would have fed my artistic leanings from the very beginning.

My brothers had to take summer school in high school, the need for credits to graduate I assume. I didn't want to be left out so I enrolled in a speed reading course and an art class. The art class stays with me to this day, some of the fundamental instruction and the free form projects we accomplished.  My drawing was juvenile at best, a page of rain drops colliding - clustered together, so that all you had on the page was a series of tears.  It was interesting at best.  But Dad looked at it with encouragement.  He told me to use my imagination.  

With that in mind I built on the idea and created a series of faces.  Still juvenile; but the difference was someone encouraged me, saw that I had the potential to create something just a bit unique.

So much from Dad stays with me as a reminder to encourage those around us. His encouragement fed my desire for approval.  I will forever be grateful for his perception of what I could do. What we create may not come from an original idea, but our creativity will make the ending results unique.  Thank you, Dad.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Changes and What Comes Next

Since Birds and Blooms revamped their online magazine and no longer needed my services I have felt so many different things....initially I felt the hurt and insecurity one feels after loosing a job even when it was nothing I did and nothing I could have changed.  Then I felt relief.  My time was so full there was never any wriggle room -- full time at the pharmacy, mostly full time with mom, odd times I was able to spend with my kids and grandkids, and the occasional blog I was able to mete out here -- my time was all spoken for.

I looked at things from the perspective of how it would fit in the B&B blog.  I curtailed my own opinion and tried to conform my writing for a blog that had national exposure.  Oh, I avidly spent time researching online and trying different things to attract birds; I explored and displayed interesting gardens.  And I learned which way to point the camera so what I discovered could be shared.

Once it was over I thought I could do these things for me, because I really love doing them. I felt like I had a ton of time on my hands.  So I will continue to learn what I can about birds (in fact, check out this incredible picture I found online.  This is a Jamaican Hummingbird.)

I am actually looking forward to the things I can accomplish in my gardening; I am also excited about setting the deck up this spring.  Additionally one of the things I could have done better with the B&B blog is networking.  Sadly, there was never enough time.  However, that will change now.  Some of my time will be focused on learning and sharing.  Hopefully I can learn from my fellow bloggers, too.

But the underlying excitement I have now?  From the time I started writing the blog for B&B I haven't picked up a paint brush.  That was the whole point of my blog here, to learn what I could about water colour painting, and to share my progress. The title Cold Pressed is a painting reference to the type of paper used with water colour.  In learning to paint with water colours one of the choices people must make is whether or not to use hot pressed paper or cold pressed paper.  There is so much about painting I want to learn.   Guess I just reset my goals.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Written Word

(This is written specifically for my friends/family who have joined me in this project.  Thought I would share my mind flow so that those of you who are on board, or have been asked to share in the idea by contributing a character can get a clear picture of what my intention is as the lead in the project and what that may mean that I need from you.)

I had a great story line I wanted to follow late last September.  It was kinda cool, I thought.  To give you an idea of the way my mind was thinking the title came to me first:  Brina, The Harvest Witch.  Basking in the success of Mona's pirate story, this was to be short, along the line of Casper the friendly ghost, written to share with the kids in the family around Halloween. But I come up with ideas about the time something should be finished, in other words, about a week before Halloween.  So I thought Thanksgiving still fits in with harvesting, maybe we will broaden the story line, make it a little more than a short story.

Thus is would become a story around a young girl in November.   Failing that, December.  So I enlisted my writer's group, and expanded the base to pull / pool information.  Character studies.  My character descriptions started coming in, not like a galloping horse, certainly.  More like a trickling faucet.  In fact, I received responses from people that were not members of the writers group.  Then I sat back and patiently (patiently? -- oh my goodness, Patience would love this!) waited.  The base was once again expanded.

This time the expansion came not only with good ideas, but great instruction, too.  We learned that Google Docs includes a share tab, we could write on the same document back and forth.  At the same time.  No more writing things out, waiting for an available time to have someone else review the storyline and write their character's part, work through the conversation, get together again. Yada yada yada.

What was the purpose of asking various people to provide characters?  My thinking is this:  I have a certain slant on how my character is portrayed, the way he converses.  I didn't want the supporting cast to have the same slant.  Dawn writes differently than I do.  Yo creates people who are very different than mine.  And Paysh?  Well, those of us who have had the pleasure of being part of the initial group learned that she has a fierce mind, a terrific imagination and a very unique way of projecting her ideas.  Why not allow the creator of the character actually write the part?  The ideas that run through these peoples minds can be very different than mine.

So, the short story becomes a novel; the idea morphs into a viable storyline.  Suddenly I have to have a foundation to carry the characters, the ideas, the plot.  The P L O T ???  My Brina may be a minor character in this story; she may be called something different.  But I will tell you there is actually a plot, and a lot of great ideas.

I have a lot of work to do to flesh out the idea, to give these people the general tenor of the story and provide something worth participating in.  As a conclusion, if those of you who created my base of characters want to stop with that as their contribution, I understand and thank you for the assistance you have given me.  For the ones who are anxiously waiting to become active participants in the development please, oh please just give me a wave and we will work it from here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Down Time

I have spent today as 'down time'.  Oh, the day started productive:  picked my sister up at 10 a.m. for a quick trip to the craft store -- quick because Grampa Yo was left in charge of the grandchildren.  He is highly equipped to take care of them, being the father of more than those little ones.  But we made it a quick trip, none the less.  That means Dawn and I were back within three hours of leaving the house.  That's good, right?  Heehee.

Then I was anxious to get home and start on my project.  Part of what we have been doing is trying different things for an Etsy Account.  That means this baby (or one similar to it) will be available to order.  We each have a couple of ideas for a variety of things that we can create and offer.

But, back to the 'down time'.  After I managed to choose the paper for the project, Dorthy came over for her semi monthly visit with mom.  Good on Dorthy.  She has never pulled her punches when it comes to telling her what she thinks about mom's choice of inactivity.  We all know about pain.  Each of us have our own 'brand', whether it is migraines, lupus, arthritis, we have all felt the pain of living through each day.  So I cannot judge the depth of mom's pain.  Surely when it started it was manageable, but we had a wonderful father that couldn't stand to see her in pain.  His solution?  Make sure she didn't have to do anything that hurt.  If you are arthritic (I am) you know that the more you move the better off your joints are.  It is a choice.

If it is not a choice then I will be living the way mom does when I am her age.  I can't go for that.  So I work in retail. I sit on the floor.  I play with my grandchildren.  I try to do things each day.

Yet I write in digression once again.  What was the topic?  Oh, yeah.  Down time.  I spent the day in the dining room (and kitchen - salmon, saute'd carrots, mashed potatoes and peach cobbler).  I didn't gravitate too far away.  Computer was handy and netflix caught me up on my Bones episodes.  So at the table, plotting out my creation, cooking and several episodes of Bones. That is my idea of a great day. Now I can concentrate on Fringe.

What does down time mean for different people?  I have a couple of brothers in law that would consider an afternoon with a sports show their down time.  My sons would consider playing video games (such a narrow word to apply to so many options on what type of device they use to attack their video games).  My daughter Darcie probably figures movies as down time while Marnie likes to experiment in the kitchen.

My down time is spent with crafts, whether it is creating what is pictured above, or writing on one of my stories.  Regardless of how we choose to spend down time, everyone needs it.  It builds the spirit, nourishes the soul.  Not taking any down time is to neglect yourself.  Aren't we much healthier and able to help other people when we spare a little time for ourselves?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sunset over Mt. Angel

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day

What if you can't sleep?  What goes through your mind?  If it is the first day of the new year?  3:28 a.m. and counting......

First thoughts......

The family I have been blessed with, and how, after so many years I have been put in a position to be able to help when needed.  The past is a tired old story of my selfishness, and the extreme selfishness of the man I am still married to....and shouldn't be.   So I cover the insurance for my youngest son, even though he is not driving right now;  yeah he pays me, but he uses my vehicles and I keep it just for him...then there is the Santoyo of my heart, my monthly payment to one of  her bills because I had the benefit of using her credit to start myself out with independence -- at least that is the way I felt about the laptop she made sure I could buy; that brings me to Chris, who has been so far for so long I am sure he never felt the love of the family.  I have spoken of what he has done for me, how could I not do what I can to make sure they get through their rough patch?  And, finally the child who helped me find my spirit as a young woman, the one who saved me.  She was named after an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  It was actually about a psychotic woman who needed help. (Subconscious mirror?)  For many many years Marnie needed the kind of help I couldn't provide, (no, she is not psychotic! lol) but the time has come that we seem to be walking on the same plain (or is it plane? -- where is Yo when I need him?). The desire to help her comes easy.  The children, each a child of my heart, each a different reflection of what is inside me, I count myself blessed.  If this is all I have going into the new year, then I am a wealthy woman, because I love each of them more than ever.

......more of what keeps me awake?

Finances.......what does a 57 year old woman do when she never had a plan or built a dream?

  • Thoughts of how to power save over the next 10 years.  Pay off a couple of credit cards, then all of that money can be used for a savings account.  (I actually would like to retire someday)
  • My creativity comes in a couple of guises...painting, which I set aside while I blogged for Birds and Blooms.  Writing, most young American girls' dream; I am not so young, but I have the tools to make mine work for me.  If I brainstorm there could be something there.
  • Actually focus and quit spending money on things I don't need:  coffees three days a week, quit being too lazy to pack a lunch, cigarettes....oh the vices.  lol
  • Ways to make money with what I have -- creativity, what a concept!

Then, of course, my writing, the direction the stories should go.....

My story, the one I have conjoined with my family, the one that started as a challenge, and it may turn out to "be" something.
Then  my "Awakening", the story of the healing of the world. Fantasy, of course, but if I had to choose one thing in my life that I ever finish, that would be the one.


What can I say?  I would do anything for my mother.  I certainly don't know what I would have done without her.  Oh, there has always been that "psychological relationship" between a mother and her first daughter between us.  I know she always felt it with her mother.  I never feel like I quite measure up.  I know she would laugh more with Dawn here instead of me and her admiration for Becki is deep.  But she had the same inadequate feelings with Grandma.  I have learned to ignore it, managed to figure out how to be myself and live under the same roof with her.  She has given up control in her life and has had to learn to trust me like she trusted dad.  That is a different feeling of never measuring up, but I figured it out --- by not using the same measuring cup, I am able to fulfill that part in her life I was meant to:  her daughter that loves her so much.

I have always hated the saying "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."  Extremely trite, such as "Just say no", or "Don't worry, be happy".

But the saying actually means something to me:  I have control over how my life is to go.  If I can be happy too, then I win.