Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Current Ghost Story

I have asked my daughter to allow me to use a post she had written on another site regarding the paranormal activity she has been experiencing for a couple of years now. This incident occurred just the other night, and I thought it fitting for Halloween. She moves out in a few days, and in her, and her husband's mind, - it can't be soon enough. They have experienced knocking, banging, whispers, and my daughter has experienced physical hits to her body. She has felt someone sitting next to her on the bed in the middle of the night, and covers being pulled off of her and her family. A few weeks ago she heard a very definite "Get Out!" She said it sounded loud, as if someone were shouting. It woke her up.

They always sleep with their son between them. I have talked with several people about this, and I have it on good authority that my daughter may be psychic, able to see things that we cannot. I do know that these things started when she was a teenager, right after one of her boyfriends died in a car crash.

My personal thoughts are that old houses, and this one is over 100 years old, can have energy left over, and that if traumatic events occur in the house, it can have residue from these events. Of course, we have no idea what might have happened in the last 100 years since the house has been occupied. But it has a very weird staircase that scares the stuffing out of me. They are extremely steep, and wooden. I worry constantly about someone falling. The upper banister is very low - not what you would call "code" in any way! It is only about three feet tall, and anyone could just stumble and go over the banister to the wooden stairs below!

There is a very old man that lives next door, he's lived there since he was a young, working man, with a young family. One day we were chatting about the neighborhood, and he mentioned the stairs, saying he thought they were dangerous. He mentions this right out of the blue!

So do the stairs have something to do with the "haunting"? Could the ghost be trying to warn them before someone falls? Maybe their toddler? You tell me.

Anyway, here is my daughter's story from a few nights ago:

Anyway, the other night we had some paranormal activity. It was a weird, restless night. I FELT something there from early on in the evening when I was sitting in bed doing homework- and I ignored it. I am really past the point of being afraid of energy or entities (at least those that hang around my house) because they have never done anything to harm me. The worst they have done is try to get my attention which can startle and frighten me a little- but now I am accepting of it.

So I am laying in bed, awake, as I tend to do and my son is suddenly extremely restless. He starts crying and doing his writhing around on the bed thing and he keeps saying "No, NO
NONONONONONONO NO NO NO NO No NO NONO" (you get the idea). This was different from when he has night terrors though because he was communicating with me- he wasn't in a trance state, he was conscious. When he was saying this I could feel the energy in the room growing... eventually he changed what he was saying and started saying "Stairs. STAIRS. STAIRS. STAIRS. STAIRS. DOWN STAIRS. STAIRS. STAIRS! STAIRS! STAIRS!"

creeped me right the freak out. After about 20-30 minutes I finally got him to calm down and lay down with me. That is when I heard it.

We have very old doors and door knobs in our house. They are metal and they make a
squeaking sound when you turn them. Earlier in the night I had latched the door because my son is now big enough to get out of bed and make a run for it if he wants. Anyway, I heard the door knob turn and then the door SLAMMED. I screamed and sat up clutching Coleton to me. The door was open a crack.

"WHAT WAS THAT?!!" I asked my husband.

He suggested that it was the DOG- but I could CLEARLY see the dog across the room, curled up on her bed. It was NOT the dog. This was at 5:00 in the morning and there was nobody else up in our house. There were no doors or windows open anywhere that could have created a "suction" effect and I knew it.
I demanded that Erick turn on the light and he did and I SWEAR I could see something move through the room. It makes me feel crazy when I try to explain to people that I can see energy, but I just can. It's almost like a shimmer in the air... but shimmer is not the right word. In any case, the SHIMMER came and stood next to the bed and I told Erick where it was and he said he could not see anything. I told it to GET AWAY FROM ME. GET AWAY FROM MY SON AND STAY AWAY FROM US.

It left.

I didn't feel like staying in that room so we all got up and went downstairs and started our day... early.
Ever since that night I have been sleeping like a BABY and haven't felt anything there. I guess it listened, right?

Or maybe I am crazy. Either way- we move out in two weeks...
Sayanara ghosts.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Little Voice

I have watched Nightline this last week, and it was talking about Scientology and David Miscavige, as well as, James A. Ray, the "guru" leader who was responsible for the sweat lodge that killed several people and sickened many more. I'm sure you have all heard or read about these people in the news.

I would just like to say, as someone who has spent the last 20 years reading and studying a myriad of materials relating to human nature, the mind-body connection, spirituality, etc. - if someone tells you they know more than your "little voice" - run, don't walk, as fast as you can in the opposite direction. No one has the definitive answer to anything. You have just as much spiritual value as any one person, and your intuition is geared to keep you alive and healthy. It is nature's way of giving us a sixth sense about the world around us.

When I think of these people, and others like them, who think they know more than anyone else, the quote "absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes to mind. They may not have started out that way, but I think the ego takes over and these people actually begin to believe they are greater than the people around them. Sadly, it sometimes takes a tragedy to bring this fallacy to light. I can recall several cults over the last many years that proves this point. Anyone remember Jim Jones, and The People's Temple? I always wondered how such a tragedy could transpire, and I think it's because people give away their personal power to someone else.

We need to listen to our own intuition. We have it for a reason. It tells us it's time to leave the sweat lodge for some water and find a new way to spend $9,000.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sustainable Gift Giving

One of the things that our family is doing, like so many, is being very careful with purchases. I have begun to not only think about the price of an object, I ask myself if it is needed, but also what is the impact of that object on the earth. In the case of shoes for toddlers, the answer is almost always yes - they are needed. So I thought I would share these cute shoes with you. They are made by Simple Shoes and I ordered these through Zappos. I try to use local vendors for most things, but being a grandmother in one state, with a grandson in another, it is not always possible. In this case the shoes will be delivered the next day, free shipping, and return if necessary. Our younger daughter has been wearing shoes by Simple for a few years now. Most of hers are made of the sustainable product, hemp, with recycled materials for the soles. I like the product specs on these little shoes:
  • Constructed from washable, earth-friendly suede.
  • The suede is from an eco-certified tannery.
  • Certified organic-cotton fleece lining for comfort on your feet.
  • Organic cotton comes from non-genetically modified seeds. It is also grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides.
  • Recycled PET and natural latex elastic laces with pull toggle for a snug fit.
  • Foot form inserts are made from post-consumer recycled paper.
  • Non-marking, natural rubber outsole with toe bumper.
  • Even the box that your fun shoes come in are created from post-consumer recycled paper, soy-based printing ink, natural latex, and a starch-based glue.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post Of The Week

Thank you so much for the high honor of Post Of The Week for my last post titled "Childhood Lost." Many more wonderful offerings for runner-up are listed, and well worth a visit. Please visit Hilary at Smitten Image for a list of these great writers. Thanks Hilary, and for all the people who have left comments that reinforces my view that you are a great bunch of people, who really care about this terrible problem that we are facing all over the world.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Childhood Lost

It is a difficult time to be an adolescent. Not that it has ever been easy. Misunderstood, and often irritating, they can be difficult to be around. The main developmental goal is social, and that doesn't mean their family, who are often first in line for their angst. They can often be easy targets for familial scapegoating, as they make it easy with bad attitudes, laziness, and self preoccupation.

But underneath all that bravado is a child trying desperately to evolve, to become an adult, to be free from the dependence that has been all they've known. Some of these kids come from dysfunctional environments. Homes with anger, hate, substance abuse, and violence. And never more than now.

There is a group that is literally falling through the cracks. Children on the streets as young as twelve years old. Too young to get a job, or even rent a hotel room, they live in packs if they're lucky, sleeping in public bathrooms or foreclosed homes, living next to freeways, or river banks. As our economy struggles, no one struggles more than families on the edge. Armed with very little resources, they are the first to go under. We are seeing a surge in runaways unprecedented in this country. Families that are either throwing their children out on the streets because they can no longer afford them, or not calling the police to file missing persons reports when they run away. It is a serious problem, and growing.

It is estimated 1.6 million kids are kicked out of their homes or are runaways in any one year. Most return within a week, but many are not even entered into the database for missing and exploited children by law officials. Excuses abound. Outdated software, not enough man hours, etc., etc. But the bottom line? We will pay for these kids one way or the other. Either we will help them while they are young and on the streets, or we will pay for them when they enter the criminal justice system. But pay we will.

Am I writing about this because I want to give you one more thing to worry about? One more downer in a world full of them? No. I am bringing this to your attention because you are an intelligent, kind, resourceful group of people. You write blogs, work jobs, have an effect on your world, even if you don't think so. I just want you to remember these children, not to forget they are out there. Talk about them, bring them to the attention of your friends and family. Just please don't forget them. Realize that the 1.5 billion dollars allocated for fighting homelessness is targeted toward families, and not these children out there alone. Help out, or give a few dollars to your local teen outreach. Mentor. Give generously to your local food bank, because these kids are often first in line, knowing exactly when the shelves are restocked.

Just another sign of the times.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine!

We took my brother and sister-in-law to see Craig Shoemaker at T's Comedy Club in Rancho Cordova, CA on Saturday night. It was our gift to my brother, who is turning 50 on November, 4th. What fun! We laughed for a solid 1.5 hours! If you have a chance to catch this funny, funny comedian, do so. You will not be sorry. His rendition of "The Love Master" will have you rolling. And what could be better during these rough times? Laughter is the best medicine!

Disclaimer: He's a bit racy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Winter Reading

(A view of a sand trap on the golf course behind where we live, taken on a walk yesterday. Now that the golfers are finished for the season, it is a great place to take a walk.)

(The fall colors are beautiful right now - another view of the golf course.)

I have decided to do some research on my "dream" post from yesterday. This winter will be a perfect time to do some reading on alternative living styles. If anyone has a good book you think I should check out please let me know. I will start a list on my sidebar, and share the results of my research with you, or you can come along for the ride. It should be interesting, and it gives me a project for those cold wintry days. My husband can bake bread, we can have a pot of soup simmering, and I will see if this thing is even in the realm of possibility. What do you think?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Have a Dream

Lately I have been ruminating on a new way of living. A lifestyle I have not even considered for the last forty years, since the 1960's, but has been a recurring thought that bubbles up with some frequency. I don't know if it's the state of the world, the economy, my age, or some intuitive thought processes that lives deep in my psyche. But I have the feeling that I should put together a "shared resources" community of like-minded people. I have gone so far as to find property. I have designed the perimeters in my mind. I have thought of the book that I would write as it progressed, giving others a template for their own community. They could learn from the mistakes we made.

In this community the land would be owned by all, like a condo project, and small, "green", homes would be built into the landscape. There would be open spaces for wildlife, marshes for migration, large organic gardens, and shared items, such as cars, trucks, tractors, etc. A common exercise room and maybe even a pool. Another possibility could be a child-care facility for working parents, a large common kitchen for canning and baking, etc.

Is this a waste of time?

It may be, but I'm not alone. It seems others have been imagining, and designing, a world based on Cooperatism. Phantsythat did a blog post on an economic system, already in place, that utilizes a system of sharing, as opposed to capitalism or communism. It was very interesting, and I plan on reading the book she recommended.

In the meantime, I continue to dream, look at property, and see a world that moves beyond greed, to one of sharing and cooperation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Toxic Parents

I read an article today in the New York Times about toxic parents, and whether or not, for one's long-term health, it might be better to sever the relationship. This is a really tough call. I agree with the writer in that the mental health profession is geared toward keeping the relationship, no matter what. It was termed "cut-off" in my classes, and was to be avoided at all costs, with the exception of abuse. The idea behind it is that we are hard-wired to attach with our parents, which is true, and that cut-off really doesn't work to maintain good mental health.

I disagree with the last part. And it has taken me awhile to get there.

The author used the example of a woman who was being treated for depression. Her mother had always been abusive to her and her siblings, going so far as to wish her a disease, instead of happy birthday, on one occasion. I don't advocate cutting off your parents, or parent, because they have aged and are annoying or difficult. That is a natural process, and we have a responsibility to care for our aged. It's part of the circle of life. I doubt any of us had, or became, perfect parents. We all had our issues.

But I also believe we reap what we sow. Not all are good, loving parents. For whatever reason, they were too selfish, self-centered, unhappy, or had substance abuse issues, to be a good parent. And in some cases, they were hateful and dangerous. It is this type of parenting that is at issue.

We know that long term stress affects our brain and body in a very negative manner. So at what point do you throw in the towel on a toxic relationship, and how much responsibility do you carry for an aging parent who falls into this category?

I think each individual needs to come to this decision on their own. But I'm beginning to lean in the direction of good mental health. I don't think we are responsible for someone, just because they are aging, if that person has always, and continues to be, a destructive presence. At some point, that person has to face the consequences of a lifetime of bad behavior. I don't believe we should sacrifice our health. Trying to make sure they are safe is sometimes the best that we can do.

This is a very serious decision, and should be made with professional help, certainly, but people who constantly make us feel bad are dangerous to our well being. Unfortunately, that may also include our parents in some rare circumstances. Choosing to forgive them, and moving forward, is important in becoming the pilot of our own lives. Learning from their mistakes, and making sure the cycle of abuse ends with them, is a lesson well learned. Sometimes removing ourselves from a negative environment is the only way we can heal.

Monday, October 19, 2009

When in doubt - cook!

I've been thinking back lately to my early twenties. Most of my friends were just making do in those days. Money was tight, and since it was yet another recession, most of us were satisfied if we had a job, even if it didn't pay much.

And yet, we were happy.

I have always had the kind of home with plenty of cooking. It really doesn't take much to make a house a home - just the smell of good cooking. It wafts out the doors and makes people want to come inside. I remember one year I was cooking a meatloaf on Halloween, and people kept asking me what smelled so good, peering around me, when I opened the door to hand out candy. It was the smell of home cooking.

I think that no matter where you live, or how little time you have, you should know how to cook. Today was rainy and a bit snowy, and we were feeling a little down. That tends to happen when you read the news. So I decided to cook my grandmother's 'kniphla and saurkraut' dinner. It didn't take long, and the house was full of yummy smells. Browning onions have a way of upping the good smell quotient.

It wasn't long before I was thinking about a holiday brunch that I want to have sometime in early December. I was starting to feel better. Looking forward to things, people, the holidays.

Cooking is deeply ingrained in our psyche. It is how our forefathers and ancestors nurtured their families and friends. It brings people together in a very basic way. It's important.

So instead of going out next week when we drive, yet again, to Sacramento, to go to a Comedy Club for my brother's never ending birthday celebration, I'm going to cook. I'll take all the ingredients, my pans, my knives, and I will cook him a good German dinner before we go out. I know he will love it, and I know the neighbors will stop by if they smell it. Plus he will have leftovers the next day, and all for around $10 in ingredients. One thing my grandmother's family knew how to do was stretch food dollars. Big families ate little meat, but the cooking was usually outstanding.

In these recessionary times, if you haven't already, think about cooking. If you don't know how, then watch the Food Network, or get a cookbook from the library, one of many outstanding food blogs, or online. It doesn't have to be fancy. Some of the best food is easy and inexpensive. It makes us feel good, and our friends and family appreciate being nurtured these days.

Do you have a family recipe that is comforting?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's that time of year!

Here is the Headless Horseman (I think), Betty Boop, and Marie Antoinette.

You may remember this dynamic dynamo from this story.

What will you be?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Party Rages

I am currently sitting in my niece's bedroom. All partied out. It's only 9:30 p.m!

The party rages on. It's my little brother's 50th birthday, a costume party, and everyone will continue for some time, and a few until the wee hours.

Being the oldest of four, I used to be the one that went until the wee hours. They straggled along behind. Now I'm the one done after, say four or five hours. When did this change? When did I throw in the party towel?

I guess it's part of growing up, while growing older, realizing a little is better than too much.

Better than growing older, without growing up, me thinks.

Now I'm like my Gram once was, I'm the cook, the one who cleans up, laughing and having a good time, but not needing to overdo, content with being in the background keeping things clean and moving.

One of our friends died last week. He was our age. His wife came home and found him. A lifetime of playing and working hard. At everything.

I feel content to let the party rage on without me tonight.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Hobby

My husband has revisited his hobby of bread baking. The problem? A house smelling of fresh baking bread, and a crock of butter softening on the counter. It's going to be a long winter.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10,000 hours

I have been doing some writing, other than my blog, for some time now. Whenever I get discouraged, my husband reminds me that Malcom Gladwell in the "Outliers" postulates that success often comes after hours and hours of practice. Some 10,000 hours for people who are at the top of their game. We're talking Mozart here, and I have no illusions, but practice may be important even for us neophytes.

Other factors play into success, not the least of which is privilege and luck. But since I believe in attracting my own luck, and privilege is not in the cards, I started to take a look at what is actually in my control; said 10,000 hours.

Let's see, there would be a childhood of reading, definitely a part of writing, so that should be good for at least a thousand hours. Then there was school. I can't say I was an overachiever in high school, so maybe another thousand hours, total. I like to comfort myself in the knowledge that the developmental goal for adolescence is social, not necessarily academic. Thin, I know.

So that leaves college and years of reading on my own. I did my best in college. I usually have more than one book going at any one time. Another two thousand hours.

Now for the actual writing. Not counting college papers, which I admit were numerous - the structure of human development and family studies - which is still evolving - required tons of writing. But what about lately? Work emails and your usual business correspondence doesn't really require much creativity. And that's been a while anyway. So that leaves my blog.

Three hundred and one posts to date. How many hours? Well, some took a little research, some quite a bit of research, but mostly an hour or two for each one, max.

That's not many hours! I'm probably only halfway to my 10,000 hours. Which actually makes me feel better, in a perverse way. It explains a few things.

What about you? Does your craft or dream require practice, or can you rely on luck and/or privilege?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For Janine

In the blog world we often have fun, such as Willow's Ball last night - (for which I am still recovering.) And sometimes we have a fellow bloggy going through difficult times. Yesterday two friends of one of my favorite bloggers sent me a little picture to post on October 14th to show support for her during a tough time. Janine of Snifles and Smiles is going through surgery today, unfortunately one of many, and I would like to join her friends in sending her love and light. If you haven't visited her blog, then you are missing out. She's a great writer with a soulful and funny style.

Thank you to Teacher's Pet, and Sleepless in Gainesville for being so thoughtful.

Hang in there Janine - we're rooting for you, and pray for the very best outcome from this procedure.

I could have danced all night...

I can't believe the night is here. I've been waiting weeks for this moment. The incomparable Willow Manor Ball is tonight. I'm breathless as I wait for my escort to arrive. I spent the morning having a wonderful two-hour massage utilizing essential oils. Smelling of lavender I was ushered, wrapped in my warm, thick, terry robe, to the manicure and pedicure area of the spa. Don't you just love this blood-red polish?

It goes famously with my Oscar de la Renta gown. Doesn't the model show the lines of my dress beautifully? I bought it after the show, right off the runway. It didn't need much altering because the model and I are the same size:

Such a beautiful bandeau neckline called for a simple chignon, with jewels, of course:

No necklace, the dress speaks for itself. Don't you just love these earrings? Harry Winston is my favorite jeweler:

And a simple little bauble of a ring:

I found just the perfect Manolo Blahnik shoes. The heels won't be a problem because I can dance for hours in six-inch heels. No problem, my feet are superior specimens:

And a gorgeous bag for those few essentials:

I was so excited that my escort was free this evening. He's between films. Of course, I'm used to seeing him in more casual attire. Here he is playing a round of golf right outside our hotel room in Kauai:

Was that the doorbell? He's here! Someone get the door! "Ohhh, hello, dahling!" (drawl, fluttering eyelids)

Is that look for me? I guess the preparations paid off:

Oh, is that for me? It smells heavenly. I will inhale the smell of rose and Hugh all the way to the ball:

What? A kiss? Well, maybe just what did I do with that fan?

Limo? Of course, I'm ready. Just let me grab my bag. After all, we have some dancing to do!

Won't you join us? It's going to be a fabulous evening!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


No. Not that kind. The kind that twinkle and glow, are dark, light, smooth, jagged. The kind of stones that have stories and reputed special properties. I have taken to those stones lately.

I found this beauty in a shop on Hawthorn, in Portland, Oregon. It has a story, too.

I knew I wanted a crystal, but it had to be just the right crystal. I have always had one until fairly recently. I don't know why. Just because they intrigue me, I guess. I gave my daughter the one that always sat on my dresser before one of our moves, and she wasn't willing to give it back. She said it protects her from bad energy.

Anyway, The Gold Door has a massive array of crystals. Passing on the ones shaped like a penis - don't ask me why - I was drawn to this one crystal that was big and shaped into a more acceptable bedside accessory. (Fertility is not my issue at the moment.) It was a beautiful rose quartz crystal. It was the only one of its kind in the store. I knew it was out of my budget. So I looked at a clear one a little smaller - over $200. Moving on, I found one even smaller - same outcome. I was just about to walk away when I decided, just for fun, to see how much the rose colored crystal cost. I had to get the salesgirl, feeling guilty about having her go to all the trouble, knowing full well I wasn't going to buy it, based on the prices of the others. She struggled to get it out, and around, from all the other crystals without having a major catastrophe. Pulling it out she remarked how pretty it was. My daughter, standing nearby, agreed. It was a beaut!

She hands me the hefty crystal, and I'm immediately smitten. I turn it over to see what the price is, and it says....$25.00. Not the $250-$300 range for the others. Twenty-five dollars! I really couldn't believe my eyes! The salesgirl seemed very confused - she said it was obviously mismarked. But of course, since she took it out of the cabinet, she would stand behind the price tag. It now sits on a shelf beside my bed, in all it's rosy, $25, glory.

Rose crystal is proposed to be the stone of love for oneself, life partner, children, family, friends, community, the Earth, the Universe, the Divine. It is said to activate the heart chakra, dissolve boundaries of isolation, and heal the heart of wounds. It is recommended for the bedroom, around one's neck, and on the desk to keep one's interactions in the highest possible state of harmony. It carries the loving consciousness of the Christ, and other heart-centered spiritual masters.

So there you have it. If you want to attract love, wear the rose quartz crystal. Put it on your desk to remind you to get along with others, and keep it in your bedroom to draw loving positive energy to your dreams. Give it to those in need of love in their lives, who are grieving, or seem lost and alone. It might be a nice gift to leave on the desk of that person at work that is driving you nuts. It couldn't hurt.

I'm now in search of just the right piece of moldavite, said to be very powerful. I'll keep you updated.

A little addendum: Since a commenter felt this was a sefish and unloving act on my part, for buying the crystal at the price it was offered, I feel the need to further explain. The shopkeeper offered the crystal at that price - she was not sure what the correct price was of the crystal, it could very well have been the $25 that it was tagged. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to sell it, and she laughingly said yes, of course. I didn't make her sell me the item. If it was wrongly priced, I would never do that. I'm sorry if my post gave that impression.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are you going?

It's not too late! You still have time to shop. The ball is on the 13th, and I think everything is in place for the cyber event of the year. I am so excited - my escort is free to take me, and my dress should be here today. Come join us at the Willow Manor Ball.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

After you're gone - who cares?

I've been reading about the Tony Marshall case going on in NYC this week. Mr. Marshall was convicted of embezzling his mother's money, which included amendments to her will. As her only child, he is facing a prison sentence at age 85. The crime was committed while she lay bedridden and suffering from Alzheimer's and/or dementia. Mrs. Astor was a very generous donor to the Metropolitan Museum and many other philanthropic entities. One of her favorite sayings was from a Thorton Wilder play, "The Matchmaker", in that "money was like manure; it wasn't worth a thing unless you spread it around." Of course, a scandal of this size includes a grandson, who accused his father of not caring for his grandmother properly in her last years, nurses and household help with their own stories, a lawyer, also on trial, for helping him with the dastardly deeds. Not to mention a greedy third wife, on whose behalf he was supposedly procuring these funds. After all, what more do you really want to buy at age 85? (Except for that pesky yacht?)

All of this brings to mind the thought - who cares? I mean, should you care what happens to your money, once it is out of your control? Do you really want to spend your last years worrying about money, of all things? She had made the comment to one of her nurses that rich people were like poor people - they always wanted more. I'm not sure that's true. Maybe if you spent your life knee-deep in money, that could be the case. After all, you become what you focus on in life. But for most of us, money is not the most important thing in our lives, people are.

Of course, if you have a bundle, you would want to see your favorite charities endowed, but after that - why worry about it? I would like to think my children will look after me for my sake - because they love me - not because they want to manipulate me out of whatever I'm going to leave behind. It would be theirs anyway. After my needs are met, who cares what they do with what's left? Hopefully they are good enough people that they will do the right thing. Be charitable, considerate, kind, thinking of others and the future. And if they're not? Well, they will reap what they sow. It's only money, after all.

Nor would I think I was entitled to anything more than what I had given in my life. We all have emotional bank accounts. Back to the old "reap what you sow" adage. By the time you are really old, and fragile, it's too late to change the outcome of a lifetime of wrong thinking and behavior. Best do it now.

As for Tony, it doesn't sound like his son will probably spend much time worrying about his father, either. Dad didn't set a very good example on caring for the elderly.

I guess my point is that all of this revolves around money and control. Two issues I really don't want to worry about in my twilight years.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some things are just not cute!

Go here to see some equally amazing specimens on the Paris runways.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Economy & Clothes

We go to Oregon quite often to visit family, so I generally save any shopping for when we head in that direction. Oregon doesn't have a sales tax, and Nevada's continues to rise. Which brings me to an annual event my daughters and I share. Fall shopping for warm clothes. Both Portland and Tahoe require such expenditures. Some things just wear out by the end of the season, and warm boots take a beating in the snow and rain. I purchased just what was needed, and so did the girls. Basic layering t-shirts and a sweater or two, to spiff up last year's winter jeans and skirts. I looked at all of the things people probably wouldn't buy this year, and thought this economy is not going to improve through consuming. I think those days are over. People are being very conservative. Our country, and maybe the world, needs to retrain and retrench.

My younger daughter needed a few things in order to segue from college hippie to working girl. Baby steps with that one - she doesn't feel the need to dress up for much. But she actually seemed pleased when I took her shopping, explaining that going to work with holes in your leggings should be a thing of the past. That, no, it was not okay to save all of her good clothes for going out at night, and wearing the worn ones to work. (She doesn't work with the public, except by phone.) It was time to think about moving up from her basic job and maybe into a more interesting position in the company. Hers is one of the few companies actually growing in this economy. That if she wanted a different car, that held friends and camping equipment - she would have to improve her income. Parental units are pretty much finished with their responsibilities. She knows she is lucky to have a college education minus student loans. She is lucky to have a job that has health insurance, including eye care and dental. She is lucky to have the possibility of upward mobility. Her dream of farming may have to be on her own time, however, starting in her own yard. Travel will have to wait until she can take a leave of absence, but she is lucky to work for a company that will allow her to leave for three months and come back! In other words, it is time for her "to paddle her own canoe," as my father used to say. She graduated into a new world. A new economy less forgiving, and not at all conducive to moving around looking for just the right fit. More like the world her father and I knew when we graduated high school. The Vietnam war was raging and inflation was double digits. Gas lines were long, and finding a good job was a blessing.

I actually think she was listening.

Hmmm... Maybe we are entering a new era, she and I. She is growing up, and I am learning to let go. Maybe, just maybe, we did a good job raising her. She is capable and prepared. Smart and industrious. She is loyal, honest, and works well in a team environment. Good workplace qualities. She always earns an additional bonus at the end of each month, given to those making few errors.

In a country where one in ten Americans are out of work, an estimated 15.1 million and growing, I'm grateful. And more importantly, I think she is, as well. At least for the moment. And isn't that where we're supposed to be living?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Eventful Drive

We returned home to snow-tipped mountains. I guess Fall has arrived. Hot one day, snowing the next.

It was an eventful drive home from Portland. We came across two bald eagles sitting together on a transmission pole, four beautiful deer, and a bad car accident.

We were one car behind a Subaru driving erratically, swerving all over the road, including into oncoming traffic. After calling 911, we followed half a mile behind, holding our breath, praying no one would be killed, but fearing the worst. After about five minutes he swerved into a ditch and flipped. The car landed upside down and an elderly gentlemen, the only occupant, was unconscious. We're not sure if he made it our not, but it didn't look good. Fortunately we didn't smell alcohol, as he narrowly missed a school bus full of children. The reality of the road. After traveling so much by car this year, we've begun to feel very grateful that this was the first accident we have come across. Also a great reminder to take those keys from our elderly when we know we should. My father-in-law drove way beyond the time when he should have given it up. He was 94 and in very poor health. He could easily have been the poor man we trailed today.

I look forward to catching up with all of you. I'm sure I've missed a ton. Hope all is well with you, and that you are enjoying a new season, whatever it may be.