Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where is Faith, and Compromise Today?

In this country being an independent in politics these days can be very frustrating! Look at the extremes on either side that has controlled our respective parties for the past 20 years. What happened to that idea of the normal American who use to be more of a thoughtful moderate and who cared that all people's ideas are celebrated? The extremes of conservatism and liberalism have had our government polarized on a very few issues for so long.

President Bush and his administration were focused for the whole 8 years in office on cultivating a culture of fear, and a few issues that often certain groups seemed to dictate to his administration as the only issues important to the country.

When did we become a country of single issue voters who miss the important ideas like developing solid relationships with our allies and working with on compromise so we actually are able to function as partners with much of the rest of the world? Since when have we become the only country with all the right answers?

I know, these are a lot of nasty questions, but to be effective as that caring compassionate country we often try to portray to the world we need to allow others to be who they are and not rubber stamps of our own policies and beliefs all over their everyday lives. We are different because of circumstances, families, and cultures we grow up in, and one culture is not the best for a world with so different life experiences.

We see that even in the confines of a single family there are many ideas about what's right for the country and what changes need to be made to succeed as a nation, but without a willingness to compromise there is no real fellowship as a world of diverse peoples...just as I might win you might lose type of situation that fosters anger in that loser, and often fosters retaliation when each new President and party come to power after four or eight years.

In that kind of dynamic, there can be no space for change, and for some of us who have observed this for over 40 years no hope of anything other than constant battling for supremacy. Between the parties there is no reason important enough to learn how to share the gift of power for the betterment of all.

Extreme ideas come from having any group have their needs and ideas crushed over the years. First comes a feeling of being all alone and that can foster a mentality of, "I'm right and I'm going to make them all know that when I get to power they will have to follow MY rules!"

We often cannot talk or even share friendship with those outside our individual idealism groups. In some ways our forms of discrimination have become more fine tuned and unhappily more filled with hate. I wonder where our faith-filled love of our fellow man and woman has disappeared to....

Monday, March 30, 2009

Real Change - Now

People are watching jobs disappear daily, and fear is rising - even though some still hold onto hope. In fact for many, that is all that there is for some to hold on to these days. How many businesses will go under and how many families will be destroyed before we are back on even ground? I haven't any answers. And I do not blame the present administration for this resulting catastrophe which was formed over many years of seeing the auto industry as a savior for the common man, and in fact the nation as a whole.

Many past administrations helped this financial mess come to fruition, and many past members of congress helped create this downfall through ignoring and enabling the auto industry to grow top heavy and ignore the warning signs which we needed to restructure and remake the industry and the autos they produced, and in many ways the country and people that it was meant to support.

Our country is in trouble and there is no one easy answer as to who caused these difficulties or how we might be able to find our way out of this jungle with all its venomous snakes, tigers and whatever else is lurking to destroy the lifeblood of our nation.

Republicans and Democrats quit pointing that finger of blame and remember that we are all responsible through ignoring the past signs, or facilitating the continuation of a destructive dynasty that might well bring down our economy and our country.

President Obama is right in demanding a major change from these institutions that long have refused to even modify slightly because of the comfort it afforded those at the top. The auto worker has only recently demanded their piece of the pie and to blame them for this whole mess because of the demands for more pay and benefits denies the reality of this century old situation.

We must stop blaming, and begin the real change before it is really too late.

Writing Isn't Always a Fun Sport

There are times in a writer's life when the dry periods seem like they will last forever. Selling your writing means someone has to enjoy your take on the world, or your personal spin for a story, whether it be in a book, tale, or your own spin on a story as a reporter. Where this economic mess hits the hardest is in the arts, and believe it or not the arts usually begins with a good artist or wordsmith.

The arts usually suffers right along with the other trades in a recession or depression - except those who are at the top of course! So, how does a writer continue on when there seems to be nothing out there to create or anyone who will buy what their selling? You've got to change or give who you are as a writer a totally new spin on written expression.

But how can you be confident your something new won't turn out to be just a gimmick and instead be that gift of creativity that will keep on selling your writings? That is the motivation of the week for me that is sending me back to the books and keyboard!

One of the ways to make a better product might be the use of pictures or video to help tell the story. But in the end, like with the school that finds that better and new way to teach reading, the written word has to be the seller of your thoughts and ideas.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reaching You the Reader

Sunday is almost over, and that means Monday's on its way. Another week with meetings, house cleaning and writing in my blogs. There are times that I wish things would take a new twist, but every time that I do something awful happens, so I'm going to enjoy this quiet week since - hey, I don't get very many of these!

I want to get out in the garden, but I think it will be too cold again this week. It's like we're in spot that is caught between winter and spring and cannot quite break out of that almost warp and cannot move on to the real world! That's something like life for me right now which is stuck in the writing ideas and thoughts, but not selling anything. I have to write (It's who I am.), but there's no one reading...or like I'm speaking and there's no one there to listen.

I do hate frustration, but I'm not ready to give up just yet! So I will keep writing and keep expressing thoughts and ideas that are important, to me at least. The next question is how do I reach YOU?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where's the Real Spring?

There is bad weather to be had all over the country today! I was just in touch with a friend in Georgia and the rain is coming down in sheets, and has been all day. And now they are under a tornado warning.

Of course there is the mess in North Dakota too, and all up the East Coast there is rain and terrible weather as well. Our temperatures here in Michigan are suppose to bottom out and there is going to be snow tonight and tomorrow.

I have to really wonder - where spring is hiding out these days, and why is she letting this nasty weather in while she's away??

Friday, March 27, 2009


Midnight, and it's the beginning of another Saturday. Yawn. I had a 7 year old granddaughter until 10:00 p.m. this evening and had a great time going to Starbucks, having hot cocoa, playing checkers, and then returning home to read a huge stack of books. It's funny because we both love to read so we trade off, she reads and then I read! It's fun and we always have a great time together.

I have four grandkids with whom I share time weekly and I would not trade those minutes and hours for anything in the whole world! I know that these four special children of my own children will grow up and move on to friends and high school all too soon.

My boys weren't so lucky. Their grandparents were gone all the time. That's why it has become my mission, as well as a gift I give to my four - I am taking time to get to know them, and they get to know me...and I can teach them about what it means to be family. It's called sharing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Nightline is a huge show, again. I liked it with Ted Koppel because of the analysis that really dissected the issues, but I was a bit concerned when the changeover came because it seemed to be simply the news and only the news, and some of the first episodes were sometimes the sensational side of the every day news.

But with the three good reporters as anchors the changes have occured and the show is coming together again. I enjoy two of the three more than the third, but I'm watching more and when I can't I am taping the show so the show has captured my attention.

As news shows go, I think it is up near the top and I hope it has a nice long run!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Dread Disease That Will Be An Epidemic

Alzheimers Disease. It is becoming an epidemic with the baby-boom generation, my generation. I am a baby boomer and it the thought of it scares me. Everyone has a friend or family member that this disease has touched in some way, and it is a fearful thing for many of us to even contemplate. But with many of us getting older there is a chance that it will strike one of us, and if you have it in the family that can raise the risk.

Tonight I watched Terry Moran on Nightline. He's someone I personally respect for his compassion and ability as a journalist and he took a tough step - he took a DNA test because his mother suffered from this scourge of our time and he wanted to know the rick of him getting it.

I have to admit that I do not know if I would have the courage to take that test if I had a history of the disease...I might be almost too frightened to find out the results. To let the world know something like that with all the insurance companies denying coverage for preexisting conditions already could end up as a pretty disasterous piece of information. When you can put money aside for long care insurance and even pay for your own insurance makes it a bit difficult, but not the impoosible dream it does for us who live in the lower income bracket.

What answers are there? We are living through a financial mess that seems to be deepening and widening as we live each day. Here in the Midwest we're simply hanging on, and in our family we're looking more to the good things in our family, and sharing laughter as often as we can. But to add a looming monster called Alzheimers into the picture and I think I would be frightened...very frightened.

Is medicine and research the answer? I sure hope so!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Important Things in Life

Yard work and cleaning our upstairs bedroom were on my chore list for today, and I actually made a dent in both jobs. I love these kind of days! I didn't get to a few things on that ever present chore list, but these two big items means a lot since they helped cut it down to a doable size for the week.

I have to deal with the sniffles and a bit of a runny nose because of all the dust upstairs but it sure was worth it as I dug my way through at least three large boxes. I have piles that are going to be recycled at a local used book store and we'll send of the clothing and other items to one of the second hand stores.

Most of this stuff has been in my attic for over 33 years, as long as we've been here in this house. It's funny how we take little parts of our lives with us as we move, but much of it remains in boxes in an attic or basement after the move. For me, the time has come to get rid of that stuff and to once again reclaim my house for living, not simply for storage!

So this spring will be my clean-out and clean-up time. Cleaning the yard and the garden to prepare for a new summer, and doing the same for my home and that new start with more space!

Quiet Zones

I got a new timer for my kitchen today. Since I love to cook, the timer can be invaluable. But every so often, life without time can be really nice too. I know you have to understand time to bake cakes, create dinners, and get to that important meeting on time but there are times in life when time needs to stop and stand still. We don't always have to get somewhere - quickly.

Mondays or any free day are those times for me. I go too fast most days, and those lists in every day that drive me pile up like so many cars piling up on the freeway after an accident continue to drive the wheels even after everything seems stalled.

When it gets crazy like that I need to find some small amount of time to escape those overbooked, crazy days. All of us go too fast and without that quiet, thoughtful place I know I would be totally be unable to function.

So those free moments seem to be my times to jettison to another world. That quiet place for me begins with music and usually ends with a walk out into the real world of trees, birds and everything wild. When I drive I can create those moments to by looking to see what things wild there are nearby at stop lights or signs. Sometimes there are hawks beautifully positioned on the tops of telephone poles, or even deer near the road standing like a statue. Yesterday, it was a fox sitting quietly in a bush at the edge of the road I was traveling down. Most times I have to look hard to see this world, but it's always well worth the look, and if I carefully look it is always there.

Today since it is officially spring, I'm out looking for Trillium. Those monikers of the season are always hiding in places swampy and out of the way. I'm off on a quest to find these examples of local flora and as a bonus I usually can find myself in that quiet process.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Weather Forecast

I love Mondays that are quiet, and thoughtful days. Today was simply time for me to plod through paperwork and actually have time to do some reading as well. In fact this whole week should be nice, no meetings, or major appointments scheduled which means I can work outside and get the backyard and garden back into shape before things start actually coming up.

Of course my garden beside the house has daffodil greens coming up already, but that's a warm spot because of the warmth from the house so it really doesn't count. Still, when I think of spring this year and see those bits of green by my backdoor I am so excited! Winter this year seems to be so unwilling to leave the area! The beginning of next month will be cold again and they're talking snowflakes in April which will be a bummer, but I hope no snow storms are coming our way at least! Light snow showers I can deal with, but the idea of another snow storm would be more than a little frightening!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Obstacle Course Called Butternut Drive

I live on five lanes of fast and this winter has been hard on all area roads, but our long stretch of road has been especially hard hit. Don't get me wrong, there are small sections of smooth, but they are definitely punctuated by huge sections of the dreaded deep crevasses we call the Michigan pothole.

This year some have become deep car eating, transmission destroying holes. The best way to help a car survive this mess is to drive like you're ducking between cones on an obstacle course and believe me if you hit one of those suckers your suspension gets rocked - at the least!

The most deadly time is of course after sunset when the holes and canyons can meld into the darkness and unless you know the street well it can be a nightmare that can include considerable damage to the car, and to your pride.

You see we who traverse this section of road consider ourselves the very best of drivers and to successfully maneuver around the many chasms that dot the tarmac has given many of us a real sense of pride.

So if you live in the state of Michigan watch out for we few who love the obstacles course created by the ice and snows of winter. Who knows you might catch some of your own speed demons and enjoy some really wonderful magic on the road we call Butternut.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quiet...It Is Never Overrated!

I'm writing tonight, but not about much. Today has been crazy with meetings, picking up grandkids from school, more meetings and there was a haircut thrown in for good measure as well. Days like this are a total pain and I'm looking forward to a quiet Friday with a few hours at the end of the day with one of my granddaughters.

In fact the weekend looks good too. I am really looking forward to a measure of quiet and time for thought this weekend too. That is something that is in short supply these days.


Another day, but certainly NOT another dollar - at least not for me. The writer in me keeps blogging and sending out those written pieces of my life, but at the moment nothing has exploded onto the scene. But, hey the time is still ripe and I can smell that bit of hope rising like spring through those ever present cracks in life. These days I live on hope, and that is a really magical four letter word. In fact I have lived with it for a very long time and through quite a few career twists and turns in my life.

Sometimes, hope can be a real pain to live with when nothing happens and you seem to be left hanging out there with nothing to hold onto but hope's anemic hand. In these days of little or no work it can often seem like I'm holding onto such an undernourished hand sometimes and that makes it hard to continue holding on.

So here I still am, out there still searching for my small place in the world of writing and continuing to hang on to the hand of that four letter word.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ireland's Call

The end of that once a year green day is upon us. The phenomena which is St. Patrick's Day always amazes me...to many people it is simply a drinking holiday that as an aside is a way to raise a pint to the Saint for whom this day is remembered. But there is so much more to this simple day which is more remembered for the color green, than the country who has survived a painful history.

The 17th of March is a celebration of the saint who returned to Ireland after being held as a slave there during his early life. He thought the peoples of this Ireland were worth the deep dedication he gave them the rest of his life. From then to the push for freedom from 1912 to 1922 this special day became a rallying point for many who stood for the rights of those who were the Irish. The day still gives a sense of pride even today for those of us who share a familial link to the country of Ireland.

From shamrocks that supposedly stood for the way St. Patrick shared the trinity, to the color green that is so intensely a part of the country and the image which has become synonymous with its beautiful land and people.

Here the color green can mean all the newness that is spring, but in the country of Ireland it has always stood for the way the people have look to each new day as a gift of new beginnings...I think we can learn a great deal from this little island that has spread it's most famous holiday all over the world.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Scent of Spring

It's Monday and it is lovely out! No snow, actually warm temps and I am loving it! I will be leaving my computer screen and heading out to work in the yard so have a lovely day!!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Coffee rings on table tops

expanding outward like

thoughts that float around for me to grab

and slowly nibble on

until they


Concentric circles getting

larger, then smaller

as my mind takes

on another conundrum…

Life - the puzzle

has captured me


Is Anyone Out There?..Out There?....Out There?

I'm may be heading way off, but it seems like no one is out on the keyboards of inner space in the online world today! Sunny days do tend to send people away from the computer. I'm here because of a terribly obnoxious cold so I will be working on a article all day.

I'm jealous of you who are enjoying the sunshine!

Rainy Days and Tuesdays...

Gray days. Well, at least it isn't a gray raining day here today! Though I must admit it is still spongy from the rains last night. Something about this kind of weather makes me burrow into my cave of a computer room and often gets me writing. Who wants to be out in that kind of weather anyway?? I have dogs sleeping and music playing and with a huge mug of tea what more could I ask for to warm myself on one of these dreary of days? I write and think and share my daily fauz pas and funny experiences.

I usually write simply to express how I'm feeling and articulate what's on my mind at any given moment. Almost everyone blogs these days, and could probably makes for a decent diary, or journal, but how many really take time to try expressing themselves fully in words and describing the world around them? I do of course, I can be crazy that way sometimes. I know, I can be a bit over the top when it comes to writing, but why has it a dark art for most kids when they are in middle and high school these days? Kids are so frustrated with, or are scared about writing! It's like they think they need to be gifted in this discipline to succeed as a writer, even just a journal writer.

The art of journaling, or writing a diary have moved into the computer world...well, sort of! If kids do write a blog, it is short only a few lines that describes how they feel but rarely a piece that shares our every day world. When we look at history, some of the best information we have about a given time comes from the journals historians have discovered. And those tomes really chronicle the life of every day people and what it was like to live during those periods in our history.

Examples that really made a difference in our view of early centuries can be found in some of the books we have read, and some of the great history shows we've seen over the years. One of the first that comes to mind for me is of course The Diary of Anne Frank, but there were many others that opened a window into a different age for us even more.

Samuel Peyps who lived in 17th century England gave us a vivid picture of the how the Plague in 1665 that ravaged London and what it felt like to survive the great fire of London in 1666 as well. A member of Parliament and a British naval administrator he wrote prolifically and gave us such a full vision of the city we would not have except for his insights.

From the volumes of diaries of those at home and on the war front of the American Civil War we have a picture of the individuals and familes that experienced this horrific period in our nation's history. If you've seen the Ken Burn's miniseries on that war you know that much of the images of how that conflict affected the lives of ordinary people came from those touching thoughts and word pictures from the many diaries that have survived as historical documents to our past.

Where will we get those images for future generations if our young people aren't shown the simple joys of sharing a life in the pages of a journal or diary? I really have no idea how we can spark that interest in our children and young people, but to give the world more than the annals of our governments as a record of how we really lived we need to find a way - today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weather, Whether or Not You Like It!!

Weather can set the mood for any day. For many rainy or snowy days brings the blues and lethargy that is frustrating. Isn’t it funny that we change so with the weather? I have chosen to try to enjoy the rain, and after our perfectly dry summer the rain has really come as a blessing, though not to the crops – I fear it’s really too late for most of them. Sitting at the window, or watching the water run down my car window at a light really gives a different view of what rain can be. It’s definitely quite good art in the sense that the drops running together create this lovely view of dripping colors as if the painting is melting.

When wandering into that runny world during a soft summer shower it can make you feel clean and sticky and wet all at once. My dogs hide from the rain most of the time in their dog house, but willingly run out to greet a squirrel, or a passer by. They don’t seem to mind getting wet at all then, and neither do I. Guess I’m too old to care how I look when I’m wet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Bad Day

Another crazy day. Do you ever feel like there are times in your life where you cannot do anything right? Today was one of those nasty days and I felt like I was saying, "it is okay, you did not do it to hurt anyone because that's not who you are," or, "you really did the best you could." all day over one thing after another. Those kind of days make for a re-run in my head that is stuck on the troublesome events all night long.

I hate those kind of nights! Hauntings by those ghosts of my day are no fun, and it is hard to change the station when they're on screen re-running through your mind every few minutes. I'm working at turning them off one by one, but there is always one that plays hard to get.

Here's to a better day tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Books that Move You

For me, books are a total escape and that has really always been true. As a kid those hard covered worlds were my escape from a world that was unkind for me and often painful.

One of my very favorite books told the story of a little red haired orphan from Prince Edward Island, Canada. That first book which was the beginning of a wonderful series that captured me most because the character seemed so much like who I was - only she had something very special in her attitude about people and the world and I wanted to be like her!

Something about that book, and those in the series about Anne that followed over the years changed my outlook of who I was. It may seem funny, but without that confidence that so many girls my age had I was unsure of myself in every arena and fearful of how I came across in almost all situations. Can a book really help build confidence, especially one that isn't a self-help book?? I am here to say from my own experience that, "Yes, it can!"

One simple little redhead showed me that you could make mistakes, be silly and still be a really profound girl, and woman. To this day I still re-read the Anne stories and am amazed at how much there is between the covers of this book.

Are there any books that touch you that much? If I'm honest with myself, there are many that changed my own perspective on life as well as the peoples of the world. Some of those book titles I don't remember, but the lessons I absorbed still remain in who I am and what I really believe.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Wish the Weather Would Change!

March has arrived - with quite a question mark! Did it come in like a lion because of the intensely cold temperatures, or like a lamb because of the super sunny and quiet day? We've had warm and sunny, and often windy days since the beginning of the month, but we've also had our share of those cold winter days as well. It's almost like March is having a really difficult time deciding what it wants to be this year.

I think many of us here on the Western side of the state feel like we've had enough winter - I know I have. But the funny thing about spring is it enters our world each year when and where it wants and we can't entice it here with any promises we make. We can sometimes predict the weather, but we certainly can't change it!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Olde Lickity Split Dial-Up!

The age of fiber optics, computers and the craziness that comes with repairs and online fiascoes has just about done me in today. I've an ancient computer and it has been in and out of the "hospital" over the past two weeks way too often! Then today, we got hooked up to the new thing - fiber optics! We have our phone through it, and internet as well as basic cable for our TV.

The cable is fabulous! None of the blank screens like since we got that DSL box, which is great! The phone reception is pretty good too, but that internet connection has been a real problem all day!!! After about 7 hours we are finally online and it's much faster than our good old lickity split dial-up! This final change-over is great and is working fabulously.

It sure is nice to have something that moves so much faster than a snail, and I for one am really likeing it!!!