Thursday, February 26, 2015

Choose A Date Fit For A Mate

     I was going through my mom's photos, trying to scan and save some memories to create an on-line album when I came across this gem.  There's some good advice here.  


Who's Whistling?

           It is a bitter cold day out there today!  This morning on my way into work I realized I needed to stop and put gas in my car.  As I was coming into town the radio started playing Guns n Roses “Patience”.  It starts out with a great whistling intro and I can’t turn the car off because I have to whistle with it.  Once done, I pumped the gas and got back into my car.  As I was waiting to pull into traffic it got to the last part of the song where there is some more whistling.  Whistling along, I watched another driver coming up the street.  She was whistling too.  It’s always good to see a fellow whistler and 80’s music appreciator.  Yeah!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You Look Nice Today

           I gave up meat for lent.  At least I am trying to.  I’m not a practicing Catholic.  I have trouble with living by a book that a man wrote.  I believe in God and that Jesus was a great teacher and that if we lived by his tenets that this world would be a much better place.  I do not go to church except when I find a priest I love to listen to, one that connects with his congregation and one that is human and shares his trials and tribulations, not just preach about how damned we all are.
I know I probably have disappointed my parents in the way I don’t attend services.  I’ve tried Methodist, I’ve gone to synagogue.  I like listening to the stories and singing and being a part of something bigger than myself, but I dislike hugging strangers.  And even if we’re all part of a church family, you are still a stranger to me.  I very rarely reach out to someone and hug them.  I have to be very comfortable to do that.  So group gatherings are not a good fit for me.

I was trying to think of what I could do instead of giving up meat, because let’s face it, this isn’t working.  In fact, last night after I took my daughter to her safe driving course I suggested a burger from the King.  Not thinking, I had one.  I realized it on my way home, after dropping her off at her house, that I had done it again!  Then the guilt sets in.  Why do I get myself all worked up?  I haven’t done lent in years!

I was thinking I could do something more.  I read part of an editorial about giving of yourself, not taking something away, and I thought “What can I do?”  I’m not sure yet.  I am sincerely selfish because I will not go outside to shovel a neighbor’s driveway just for the hell of it.  If they were elderly and couldn’t get out I would be there but just to do it for an able bodied acquaintance?  Ummm, no.  I thought about volunteering at the SPCA, which is a noble act indeed and I support the people who do so, but I would walk away every day wanting a cat or dog and wondering if they were going to be put down if I didn’t take them home.  We have three dogs and one cat.  We can’t afford flea and tick medicine, let alone emergency care, at this point.

Then I thought this – A Random Act of Kindness – every day.  The only way I have participated in this so far is that I have stopped myself from saying something mean, or being preachy, and just letting the other person talk.  Say what they have to say.  Inwardly I may be screaming, but on the outside I look like I care.  Not fair?  It is if you’re the one sitting across from me.  I’m kidding, for the most part, although I am trying to be more accommodating/fair/nice.  I’m actually pretty good with people I don’t know.  It’s people that I DO know that I have no patience for.

So this Lenten season, I will try to cut down my meat consumption and work very hard at doing something nice for someone every day.

Trying to grow spiritually - hopefully I have the right tools

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Promise of A Seed Catalog

            It’s that time of year again – it’s time to plan the garden!  Several weeks ago I ordered catalogs.  I couldn’t wait any longer.  The snow keeps piling up and there’s something about a vegetable and flower catalog that brings hope before you even open the cover.  The bright photos of peas, carrots and tomatoes evoke mornings of patient weeding, with a break on the porch and the transplanting of flowers along the house or in containers in the afternoon.  I think of ice tea and porches and waving to neighbors and listening to the neighborhood children ride their bicycles up and down the block.  A seed catalog brings back my sanity at a time when I think I could forget that the sun will ever warm me again.

            I love gardening.  I am by no means an expert.  No, I am a trial and error girl and I try to remember my Dad’s garden.  He died about a year after I decided I actually didn’t mind weeding when it was MY garden and not a chore but a means of escape from being anything – a mom, a lover, an employee, a bread winner, a daughter, a friend.  I had so looked forward to discussing the garden with him, possibly trading plants or vegetables.  But then he was gone. 

             I garden now still as an escape, but I also feel my Dad with me then.  There are times when I’m out in the soil, with the sun beating down on me, and I wonder about something as my mind opens, whether it has to do with gardening or some other conundrum, and I think that I’ll give him a call when I’m done.  Not a second later I realize with a twist in my gut that I can’t.  It’s been nearly fifteen years and I still can’t believe he’s gone.  And I can’t believe he left before I could be a full-fledged adult child, so that we could talk and understand each other on the same level.  I was an adult when he passed away, but I was still in the stage where my parent’s really had no clue about what they were talking about when it came to me and my life.  

            I do talk to my Dad out there, and I believe he listens to me.  I believe he would be proud of the way I’ve taught myself and others around me in regards to plants and sunlight and where to plant and near what other veggies or flowers. 

            I lost my Dad on the first day of spring, 2000.  Every year since, sometime in May, I get him back for the summer.  I know he would love our garlic, that we planted it at all and just tried it out would have pleased him.  Cooking with it would have given him great satisfaction.  I like to think, that if he was alive today, that he would be satisfied with me, too.  I like to think my gardening would have made him proud and that he would come over just to walk in my little gardens and sit on the porch and watch my birds and listen to the water falling in our homemade pond.  I like to think our talks would start with seeds, move on to soil and plants and then grow a little deeper.  I like to think that just as my garden grows, so would my knowledge of my dad and he of me. 

            I look forward to receiving the seed catalogs every year.  They promise more than just beautiful vegetables and flowers.  They promise hope and hard work, ideas and memories; and for me especially, they promise that my father will be with me once again, guiding me through my hands and heart.

            I can’t wait dad.  I can’t wait.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Firing Winter

          Winter has been at my door for the last several months, bright and early, until late in the evening.  It seems like I can’t go anywhere without her being right there and it’s a bit tedious if not completely annoying.  Yesterday I gave her her walking papers.  “You have to go Winter”, I told her with all of the authority I could muster.  Her coldness has worn me down every day.  I don’t think she’s taken one day off in months.  The last several weeks she has been absolutely frigid to everyone and everything.  No one is immune and we are all hoping she’ll go away.  Sooner, rather than later.  When I told her she had to leave she stared me down.  I eventually went down the hall, griped about her to one of my co-workers, grabbed a cup of hot cocoa, and went back to my desk.  I refused to watch for her the rest of the day and then this morning she showed up again!  I wish she would get the hint that no one wants her here!  Of course she loves snowmobiling and ice skating and skiing, but there’s only a select few that will join her.  I do believe the majority want her gone.  If she would just warm up a little she wouldn’t be so bad to have around, but this bitch is cold!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

To Pose, Or Not To Pose, That Is The Question - Or Not

            I saw the ad in the paper today.  We are lucky to have a school that promotes the arts with many different outlets, including pottery, painting, fabric, etcetera, and drawing.  The ad was looking for folks to pose with or without clothes.  If I was going to pose I would have to be nude.  There is no doubt in my mind that I could do it.  I just can’t locally.  We are such a small area I just couldn’t risk running into a colleague or a customer, friend or foe.  But if I was in a strange city, just starting out, I like to think I would volunteer. 

I am not an out of the ordinary beauty.  In fact, I’m the plain Jane in the next cubicle.  I try to stay low key in the workplace because they just wouldn’t “get” me if I was really just me.  Only one place ever really embraced me and I will probably be searching the rest of my life for another just like it.  These are some of the things I could do, and people just understood:

·         Breaking out in song when a phrase was uttered that reminded me of it.  Example “Always something there to remind me” referencing the previous sentence!

·         Talking about a coffee commercial (Maxwell House) or a Hallmark commercial and falling into a bucket of tears as I’m describing it.  No biggie – that’s Jen.

·         Saving baby birds when they fell out of a nest over the office window by standing on chairs held by employees so I wouldn’t fall.

·         Whistling “If I Only Had a Brain” when the mood struck.

·         Decorating for holidays.

·         Organizing parades and getting everyone involved.

·         Hitting up my co-workers for donations for various charities I would walk for.  (Side note:  In my experience I have found that when you work with people who are living paycheck to paycheck, they are more generous with donating to charities, as opposed to people who are making a good living.  They hold their quarter until the eagle screams, and even then won’t let go).

·         Putting my photos on the wall at my desk.  My co-workers would ask who they were or what we were doing or where were we and comment and talk about what they did or if they’d been there, etcetera.  No one has asked me one question about my photos or cartoons in the last almost three years.

These are just a few small examples of me that I am unable to expose in my present position.  How I got here from posing naked, I’m not sure.  I guess it’s because I exposed a little bit of me, for you.  There has to be a better way for me to make a living.  I gotta get outta this place, if it’s the last thing I ever do…

My Dark Eyed Junkos - love them!

Monday, February 2, 2015

My Heart

I was the first to hold you under my heart.
I was the first to smile into your eyes.
I was the first to realize I would fight unseen enemies to keep you from pain.
I was the first to feed you, clothe you, bathe you, comb your hair, plant kisses on your face.
I was the first to fall in love with you.
Mine was the first heart you broke.