February 23, 2013
BLOG, BLOG, BLOG
I think I’ve actually finally figured out what BLOG stands for – it’s the combined words of “Bump on a Log.”
What do we, bloggers, do when we write, create, edit, copy, paste, and send our blogs? We sit…like a bump on a log. Some of us are blessed with very comfortable office chairs, with both back supports and padded seats. Others are even more blessed…they have a relaxing overstuffed living room or library accent chair and are able to use their laptop or maybe even their iPad. Can you write a blog on an iPad? Shows how much I know about technology, right?
So, this is what I’ve been thinking while I watched “Dreamgirls” on TV tonight. First of all, I thought it was a very good movie, for being three hours long, but I could watch Beyonce’ and Jennifer Hudson perform anytime, anywhere. Those girls are fantastic! And to also have Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, AND Danny Glover? Oh yeah…let’s bring out the bad boys! Talent to boot! It’s funny, though, that I’d never seen it before. Funny, because I thought I had. I must have been BLOGging during the time I thought I watched it.
We, as Americans, have it pretty easy when you consider that we can sit in any chair with almost any mechanical device and contact any person anywhere in the world…oops, I typed “word.” Hey, I think that makes even more sense!!! We can contact any person anywhere in the word.
I’m ecstatic! That’s a Freudian slip that deserves a round of applause! [applause here]….
Okay, back to my original thought. We’re lucky. Just take a look back over the last 100+ years at how much advancement we’ve achieved: flight, Edison’s and Einstein’s genius, radio and TV, artificial life begins – the first robot was built in 1921. 3-D movies, FM radio and stereo records, the helicopter, Silly Putty, Frisbee, and Mr. Potato Head, Hula Hoop and Barbie, the black box for airplanes, McDonald’s, the artificial heart, computers of all kinds, sizes, and shapes, the computer mouse, medical advancements of treatment and prevention of disease and technology, and most recently, cars that park themselves.
The ‘70s were a whirlwind of computer-related progress and development, and the ‘80s brought in even more, along with the first Cabbage Patch Doll, digital cellular phones, and disposable contact lenses. The 90s saw the invention of the internet and the rise of Microsoft. The 90s saw the invention of genetic engineering, as well as cloning, and stem cell research – and Viagra. The first 11 years of the 21st century have brought us Toyota’s first hybrid car, bionic contacts and retinal implants for the blind. And that takes us to the end of 2011. Does that worry anyone that I couldn’t find any amazing, brilliant acts of MAN for the past year and a half? What does that say about our computer skills now? Huh?
Then there are designer babies, facelifts that make you look feline, millionaires that have enough money to fly into outer space for their birthdays, yet they won’t offer to build low cost/no cost dwellings for families who’ve lost everything and are living in the streets. I’m not talking about drug addicts or those who call themselves victims of their own demons who stand on street corners begging for a dollar to make their lives better “today.” Their desire is to talk you into deep sympathy for their inventive story that day for one more pint of cheap whiskey or another syringe full of possible death. They don’t care…they just need the fix, and they’ll concoct any story they can to convince you that they are truly a casualty of life. Just realize that you are their prey. Then, if you have something to donate to a good cause, more power to you…go ahead and do it! But do it for a good cause and for something that will help the masses who need it. Don’t be a BLOG!
Well, I’ve finished “Dreamgirls,” had my dinner, answered a few emails, and done some research for another article or two. It’s way past bedtime, but I have a query for other writers out there who will substantiate this rule along with me: Do we, as writers, ever have a “past bedtime” or are we always in light sleep mode just waiting for the American dream – the New York Times #1 Bestseller for 2013! Personally, I have a pen, tablet, booklight, and Post-It notes in bed with me so that when my muses begin to talk, I don’t actually have to leave my warm, comfy bed to input the idea(s) into the computer. Of course, if these nocturnal angels talk way too much and way too fast, I just grab my glass of water and my warmest socks and boot up the 21st century’s “one-eyed monster.” My dad used to call the television set that. I bet he’s rolling over in his grave with all the advances and technologies we’ve accomplished just since his passing in 1982.
I do think it’s time I tried to sleep, though…it’s almost time to wake up!
Happy reading, happy writing, and happy BLOGging!
February 23, 2013
February 4, 2013
HA-HA’S, WAHOOS, AND YUK-YUKS
A few ha-ha’s, wahoos, and yuk-yuks for a beautiful February day!
In order to survive this thing called “life,” I rely on humor. Whether it’s laugh-out-loud, brutally honest, or gut-busting foolery, I rely on it daily. If I can’t laugh through a day filled with bill collectors, religious folks knocking on my door just as I finally fall asleep for my mid-day nap, or telephone calls telling me someone else I love has just been taken ill, I simply MUST find something funny to get m
e through the sad/bad times.
So if you’re in the midst of a crisis or six, I hope my little “black and blue” humor will bring you a smile – even if it only lasts for the length of time it takes to read it.
With all good wishes for you to have a happy day, I remain
* * * * *
EVEN THE PONY EXPRESS HAD BETTER SERVICE THAN THIS!
By Linda Robertson
I paid my water bill in full, and mailed it to the Water Department on Monday, August 3rd, 2009.
I got a late statement from them in the mail on Friday, August 8th, stating that $53.97 was due, and must be paid by August 10th, a Monday.
On Monday morning, at 9:00 a.m., I rushed to the Finance Department in the City’s Administration Building to pay the extra $53.97.
Thank God, I found someone who knew what they were doing. A very nice woman behind the counter explained that Clovis mail goes first to Stockton, about 120 miles north of Clovis, then to Bakersfield, which is approximately 173 miles south of here. From there, the mail is re-routed back to the Fresno Main Post Office, which is over eight miles from the Clovis branch, where it is then delivered back to Clovis. Now this normally would not present a problem; however, I live in Clovis, I have water service in Clovis, and I pay my bills in Clovis.
Is this not the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?
The good news is – I did not have to pay my water bill on August 10th in the Administration Building, because, according to that very nice woman behind the counter at the Water Department, my check should have arrived in that day’s mail at the City’s Administration Building. If it didn’t, however, the Water Department of the City of Clovis would add a $5.00 service charge to my account. Either way, I’d be losing money, but I was able to keep my water service active, and I was privileged to watch the trail of my 44¢ stamp travel the entire distance of the San Joaquin Valley over a six-day course.
Even the Pony Express had better service than this!
* * * * *
JUST A FEW FEET OVER THE HILL!
By Linda Robertson
And I really resent it!
My Nana told me years ago that as I aged, things would change. I didn’t believe her because, at that time, I was a child and I knew that my life would go in one direction and one direction only. I would conquer the world with my brilliant mind and unfailing energy.
My beliefs were soon altered by the reality of adulthood and that ever constant “aging” thing. My brilliant mind is often cloudy, and energy flew out the window a long time ago.
Nana said my tastes would also change. I have to admit, I’ve noticed the changes sneaking along over the years. I no longer enjoy the pairing of doughnuts and cocoa, or mayonnaise sandwiches. Instead, broccoli has appeared along with cauliflower, spinach, and purple onions. I now enjoy salad instead of sodas, pasta instead of pudding, and carrots instead of cake. I used to drink cocoa because it was warm and chocolaty. Now I use it as a sleep inducer because of the warm milk effect.
I was told that my sexual desire would be affected in my later years. No, I thought. It can’t be!
Yes, even that sometimes takes a vacation!
Nana also said I would require less sleep. I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now!
My sleep has been disrupted, disordered, disturbed, and discombobulated. How can this be? I’m just a few feet “over the hill” and already my friend, my solace, my companion of the night is waning. As I wrote this article, it was 4:00 a.m. and I was totally awake. My body felt the need to snuggle under the covers but my brain said, “Oh, no! It’s almost time for the rooster!”
Sleep, you are my pal, my passion. Do not desert me. We’ve been friends too long to end this way. You were first interrupted when I had my children. We would lay down for a nap and never complete it because of barking dogs, noisy neighbors, telephone calls, and knocks on the door. It seemed that everyone we knew needed my attention and chose that particular sleep time to do their bidding. Then, when the kids were teenagers, you were interrupted by barking dogs, noisy neighbors, telephone calls, and knocks on the door.
Now that you and I have time to spend together, you are leaving me.
I remember when we used to share three or four hours of uninterrupted rest. Now, barely an hour goes by before you’re yanked away from me because of some fitful dream or night noise.
Sleep, why have you forsaken me? We were such good friends, you and I. I’ve always depended on you, in good times and bad. Won’t you please reconsider our relationship?
Come back and join the party – the slumber party!!!
* * * * *
By Linda Robertson
Pets! The kind on the furniture, not the kind you find under the dirty clothes of a 16-year-old!
I once saw a woman running toward a dead cat laying in the road. She was screaming hysterically, rubbing her eyes, pushing her hair out of her face, and reaching out toward this dead cat. I drove by and shook my head. Stupid woman.
As soon as I got home, I picked up my own little pussycat and told him how dumb this woman looked overreacting like that about some stupid animal. My little darlin’ just sat there in my arms, purring, touching my face with his sweet little paws, looking up at me with those big brown eyes, and telepathically telling me how right I was.
I have had strange pets all my life. I had normal dog/cat/bird relationships, but I’ve also had horny toads, hamsters, salamanders, a tarantula, a snake, a rat, and cockroaches. The cockroaches weren’t really a given choice…they moved in and I couldn’t stand to see them go hungry. I’d fix a little salad, vinaigrette dressing, croutons, a little wine, and set it out on my daughter’s tea set.
They weren’t satisfied. They preferred ranch dressing!
The snake was a real treat. I got him in 1984 from my business partner. That tells you something right there about my life choices, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I have always been deathly afraid of snakes. I saw one bite my father once when he assured me “those snakes don’t bite.” Blood spurted from his finger, and I heard my first bad word. The next time my father said anything about snakes, I looked for blood and yelled, “Oh, damn!”
When my partner tried to show me his snakes, plural, I looked for blood and yelled, “Oh, damn!”
He said, “They don’t bite. They’re warm and loveable. They’re great companions. They’re interesting. It’s like holding a belt.”
I said, “Yeah, a conveyor belt, with teeth. Oh, damn!!”
He gave my kids a snake for some holiday, reminding me of my own rule, “You can’t return a gift!”
I said fine, the snake could stay one night as long as the cage was locked so Houdini couldn’t escape, and if it didn’t invade my dreams. We named him Heebie-Jeebies, since that’s what the snake gave me!
Freud would have had a field day with my dreams the first night the snake stayed over. I was strangled by snakes, molested by snakes, separated at the joints by snakes. I stepped on them, slept with them, ate them. They were everywhere in this dream. There were wet ones, dry ones, stinky ones; there was even a scented one. He smelled like some guy that bathed in Aramis and was ready to party. I’d turn around with my best sexy, come-hither look and then notice that thing was a snake!
Hey, Freud, think that was my partner?
Anyway, we kept the snake almost a year. We fed him live baby mice, another little hurdle I had to overcome. I have never been one to believe in cannibalism. The argument was that he’d die if he wasn’t fed. I said, “Convert him to vegetarianism! Feed him ice cream!”
One day, I made a little salad, vinaigrette dressing, croutons, a little wine, and set it out on my daughter’s tea set.
He wasn’t satisfied. He preferred ranch dressing!
End of snake.
We held a funeral for him in the back yard and buried him next to four cats, two birds, a rabbit, and a dead lizard the kids found under a rock. It was a beautiful service. “Here lies Heebie-Jeebies…he’s dead. I’m sorry I killed him.”
It was sad to lose a pet, a little friend and companion. But when you have to face the reality that you murdered someone with your cooking, that’s pretty tough to get over. I cried for weeks!
The kids cried for a few minutes and ran off to see if they could find a replacement pet. I said anything was fine as long as it couldn’t run faster than me. I figured as long as I could outrun it, it couldn’t bite me!
* * * * *
YOU SAID YOU KNEW ABOUT COMPUTERS
By Linda Robertson
I’ve still got a lot going on with this computer. I was on the phone with Dell again from 3:50 to 6:30 to get my sound turned on (you’ll LOVE this!), and to get my printer working again (it quit three days ago). As for the sound issue, the guy I talked to that day told me to look for the red light on the speaker. I explained that there was no red light. He said to push down on the button on top of the speaker. It had a button but it wouldn’t push in, out, up, or down. Same thing I had told the two previous Indians in the last three days. He then said check the plugs. I did, explaining the same thing for the umpteenth time. He then said to look for the button on the right speaker. I got the two speakers down from the top of my hutch and looked at them. One had a button on it, so I turned it and a little blue light came on. He asked me if I could hear anything. There was a very, very faint female voice, but I couldn’t be sure if it was coming from the speaker or the living room TV.
Then, an epiphany! I told him I was going to T U R N the button on the larger speaker to see if that would increase the volume. Suddenly, Alanis Morrisette was singing in my ear! Why didn’t my two computer geeky friends, four Dell consultants, and basic common sense tell me that a button ON THE SPEAKER needed to be turned ON?
Ah, such is life!
* * * * *
By Linda Robertson
Motherhood has taught me some valuable lessons. Be kind. Be understanding. Children SHOULD be listened to. Don’t assume they’re guilty until you have the dead kitten in your hand! When the angry neighbor knocks on the door, pretend you’re not home. And the best lesson of all? ALWAYS HAVE CHOCOLATE IN THE HOUSE! It’s not for the kids! It’s to be hidden, savored and used with discretion, but don’t kiss your child! Their sense of smell is like a hounddog! Just keep it on a high shelf for those times when you’re sure you’ve lost your mind by raising children!
What has been your most embarrassing moment as a mom?
As a reward for having the most beautiful child ever created, my husband took me out to dinner. I was thrilled to wear real clothes again, and feel sexy for the man I loved. As I took my first bite, my husband’s eyes widened as two emerging spots on my shirt began to drip down. “It must be feeding time”, he mocked. I kicked him under the table, and hiding behind my massive purse, made my way out the door, to return to what I was sure would be a screaming baby waiting for his next suckling!
What do you wish you had known about labor that no one told you?
I wish I’d known that the pain of labor would extend to my teeth and toenails; that I would reach out and pull chunks of hairy flesh from my husband’s head because of what he’d done to me. I wish someone would have explained that the rumor of “forgetting your labor pains as soon as your baby is born” is pure drivel! You do NOT forget it. Every birthing scene you see in a movie or on TV has you reliving every screeching moment of your birthing experience. Forget labor? Not on your life. Yes, having a baby is a joy unmatched, but labor pains are misnamed. They should be called “reverse murder.”
* * * * *
WHEN YOU’RE TOO FAT
By Linda Robertson
I’ve been overweight most of my life with the exception of one year when I dropped to 115 pounds. It came, it went, and I haven’t seen it since.
I’ve been on a diet since I was nine.
My baby fat remains, even though my baby’s almost forty.
Pitfalls and falling into pits are part of the lives of fat people – lives filled with pizza, Pepsi, and pork, ice cream, cakes, and pies. We gag on lettuce, brussel sprouts offend us, and fat-free foods have been proven unhealthy.
We cry like babies when we run into walls. Getting through department store aisles is always difficult.
I have composed a list of even more situations that fat people deal with. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in this article.
1) You need more makeup to cover your face and this costs extra money because you have to replace it more often.
2) When you try to speak, your cheeks make fart noises.
3) Your side of the bed sinks in faster.
4) Your car tilts to one side.
5) When you bend over, no one can see the television.
6) When you bend over, farts escape without your knowledge, but everybody else in the room knows you’ve done it.
7) The more you weigh, the more your shoe size increases.
8) You have to wash clothes and linens more often.
9) You need more pillows and bigger sheets.
10) All your visitors know you have hidden candy that you don’t admit to. But you do!
11) No one can give you a complete hug, because their arms can’t reach around you.
12) When you take a walk, your neighbors run outside to find the epicenter.
13) When you lean over, you tip over.
14) You can’t have your pictures taken because you don’t fit in the frame.
15) The area under the chairs in your home are all concave.
16) Your idea of a bowl of ice cream is to fill the largest mixing bowl in your cupboard.
17) When you go out to dinner at the local buffet, they have to kill another cow.
18) You need ten cans of Febreze to refresh just your living room.
19) You have to put an extension handle on the back scratcher.
20) A 5-pound box of See’s candy is your idea of an afternoon snack.
21) No one makes a backpack big enough for you.
22) Tent City makes your clothes.
23) You’re never invited to a party, because you can’t fit through the door.
24) You’re never asked to go hunting, because you block out the deer. They can also hear you coming!
25) You scare small children. Older children think you’re a Bounce House.
26) No ladder will hold you.
27) All your gifts have to be wrapped in bigger boxes.
28) You’re always asked to play Santa Claus.
29) The Michelin Man runs away when he sees you coming.
30) When you go “down under,” Australia slides away and becomes part of Antarctica.
31) All your necklaces need extensions.
32) Your idea of a balanced meal is that all the food has to be white.
33) They don’t make rings big enough to fit your fingers.
34) Your computer chair has a permanent dent.
35) You always ask for free refills at a restaurant.
36) When you walk away, you cause a solar eclipse.
37) You need an extension handle to wipe your own butt.
38) Your coffee mug holds 60 ounces.
39) A family-sized pizza isn’t big enough to fill you.
40) Animals run away from you.
41) When you were in diapers, your mama used garbage bags and duct tape.
42) The mailman can’t lift your packages.
43) Your cubicle at work had to be reconstructed to fit you.
44) The phrase, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker” has never applied to you. Both are gone before their effects can take place.
45) It takes a professional laundry service to remove grass stains from your butt.
46) A hot air balloon never leaves the ground when you’re in it.
47) Your friends think you need a tank instead of a car.
48) If your clothes are hung out on the line, the posts pull out of the ground.
49) You don’t bother unwrapping the Fudge-sicle.
50) It takes four Angus burgers to fill you up.
51) Your house is filled with lamps and lights so you won’t bump into anything while walking through it.
52) Your soup spoon is a ladle.
53) Your do-rag is a horse blanket.
54) When you so swimming, they call the Coast Guard and report a whale sighting.
55) When you have a funny feeling in your stomach, your doctor gets overtime to find it.
56) Any step you take throughout your house causes the Richter scale to mis-calibrate.
57) When you try to make love, the second thrust bounces him right out of bed.
EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE COSTS MORE!
So, this is my theory…we must all follow a strict diet using the food pyramid. It is completely safe. It doesn’t cost any more money. It will improve your life and give you years longer to live.
More fruits and veggies in our diet will not only drop some poundage but it will also clear up skin problems.
Your feet will get smaller just as your body will, and we all know what that means – MORE SHOPPING!!!!!
And don’t fret about shopping. With all the money you save from having to buy the “Super-Size” product every time you go to a pharmacy for insulin (yes, you will most likely get diabetes), along with treatments for all the other medical maladies that will befall you, those extra dollars can now be dropped in a vacation jar. By the time you’ve lost the weight you want to lose – and MUST lose – you’ll be ready for that trip to Disneyland, a cruise, or a scenic and surprising vacation through the entire USA.
This article isn’t to remind you of all the wrong things in your life. It is here to encourage you, show others you have the support of this author (who also needs to lose about a hundred pounds), and the readers of this “wonderfully written honesty piece” about the battle of the bulge.
Thanks for your time…I’ll meet you on the street someday, when we’re both as thin as we want to be, so come on over and re-introduce yourself because neither of us will recognize the other!
* * * * *
January 1, 2013
Good happy 2013 morning to all my friends, relatives, and loved ones! Actually, the last one covers the first two!!!
I woke up wonderfully this morning! I was still alive, I didn’t fall out of bed, I didn’t squish the cat, I didn’t NOT make it to the bathroom on time (what a relief!) (and what bad grammar!), I prettied myself up for the day so that I can be spontaneous at a moment’s notice (LOL – cracked myself up!), and my daily “To Do” list is less than a foot away and everything on it is manageable for a full 24-hour day! Whew! Wore myself out!
So, what else is new? In 2012, I was published a few times, but so far, haven’t collected my payments. Blue Mountain Arts has accepted another 17 poems for market review and I’m very excited about that. No more grandchildren, although I’m keeping my fingers crossed, and I lost 27 pounds! It was a hard year for controlling my pain, but in looking at my accomplishments and personal gifts, it wasn’t too bad.
Robyn and I have talked a little bit about publishing our book on the internet. We’ll be meeting sometime in January or February to discuss it further and we’ll also be searching for more mainstream publishers through Writer’s Market, Writersmarketonline.com, and word of mouth/networking.
I’m no longer co-editor for our local writers’ eNewsletter. A few weeks ago, I spent 27 hours compiling the address list with names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, what classes they currently attend, plus just a complete email list linked together so that the other co-editor can just copy and paste the list to email and send out the eNewsletter. Now that that’s done, she’s decided to hand over the reins to someone else. I hope she finds some willing volunteers because it is a valuable quarterly newsletter with current conference dates, publishers who are accepting work, a Memorial section for those we’ve lost in each quarter, and always, many valuable writing tips.
Now for my 2013′s goals: (1) Lose weight and exercise (HAHAHA) – that’s a daily goal! (2) Submit more writings to publishers. (3) Be better at organizational skills, in both home and business situations. (4) Find true love – anybody out there the perfect man? (As If! Another big giggle!) (5) Spend less, save more. (6) Continue thanking God for the gifts He’s given me and not asking Him for material things. (7) Be loving to all people: be more generous, be helpful. (8) Most of all, use the lesson I was given a year ago from God: BE HAPPY. JUST BE. It was that simple, that pure, that straightforward voice in my ear at 4:30 a.m. that changed my life completely. I needed to restructure my attitudes, my outlook on life, my spirituality, my general being, and most of all, my peace of mind. BE HAPPY. JUST BE. I’ve been practicing that every day since November 17, 2011. And it’s working!
May I share it with you and offer this amazing spiritual gift to you. Our lives continue to be filled with stress and anxiety over money, relationships, children, and our elderly. But I strongly recommend that you take a step back and reexamine your life from this day forward. With this new year upon us, please take a moment to open your eyes and see clearly what is ahead for you. Accept it; don’t dwell on it. You never know when a miracle will pop its little head up and hand you a gift certificate for change. Accept it freely and gratefully, then use it immediately. Set new goals, pay off a bill, spend extra time with your children, tell your family how much they mean to you, honor your mate, (Use the word “love” – it won’t bite!), but above all, honor yourself, because without you in the world, circumstances around you would be greatly different. Just think of George Bailey in the Christmas movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Clarence, his guardian angel, shows George just what the people around him would be like if he’d never been born. Well, that holds true to this day…if you weren’t here, all your relationships would alter every person you know.
On this perfect new day in this amazing new year of hope, I wish you very good things…and thank you for being my friend.
I love you very much!
By Linda Robertson
December 21, 2012
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my friends and readers. I doubt that I will get back to you before Christmas and this has me thinking about gratitude. I have so much to be grateful for, even though hard times have befallen me. I’m still alive, I’m still breathing, and I still have a good working brain – although some would challenge that thought.
Among the things I’m grateful for this season are the following:
1. I’m grateful that I can see my faults and realize I might as well laugh about them now.
2. I’m never confused about anything… no wait! Maybe I’m not.
3. If I don’t remember it, it didn’t happen.
4. I’m grateful that every day is the best day of the year.
5. Nothing is worth more than this day. Goethe
6. Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. Albert Camus.
7. I’m grateful that I am the richest person in the world, because I have friends who love me.
8. I’m the reflection of every person who wants to go from nothing to something. Kyle Rifken
9. I can plant a seed of friendship and reaped a bouquet of happiness. Lois L. Kaufman
10. I’m grateful that when I open my mind, no marbles fall out.
11. I’m grateful that no one can dim my light but me, and all I have to do is shut the refrigerator door.
12. My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can. Cary Grant
13. Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. Groucho Marx
14. A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked. Bernard Meltzer
15. Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. Ed Cunningham
16. There are a good many fools who call me a friend, and also a good many friends who call me a fool. G. K. Chesterton
17. One good reason to only maintain a small circle of friends is that three out of four murders are committed by people who know the victim. George Carlin
18. The best time to make friends is before you need them. Ethel Barrymore
19. Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. Mark Twain
20. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have. Anonymous
21. The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least. Anonymous
22. A best friend is a sister that destiny forgot to give you. Anonymous.
23. Shoes are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Mrs. Ben Franklin.
24. Good friends are like angels, you don’t have to see them to know they are there.
25. And one of my all-time favorites, of course, is, “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways. Champagne in one hand – strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO!! What a ride!”
So now you can see the world through my eyes. I am the epitome of a cockeyed optimist, constantly searching for happiness, health, companionship, success, and love. Do you think that’s too much to ask for? I don’t. Someone once said, if you desire it, it will be yours. Of course, I’m paraphrasing, and I don’t know the author but it’s a good philosophy – sort of like the “Field of Dreams” movie when Kevin Costner is told “if you build it, they will come.” Talk about optimism! He spent his life searching for his father with an optimistic viewpoint, and tearing down that field to build a baseball diamond lead him directly to his dream.
I wish you now, once again, a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful, happy new year. I hope Santa brings you everything you want and need, and may your muses be consistently blessed.
November 29, 2012
By Linda Robertson
The fourth of July had barely passed by. Streamers, stars, sparklers, and shimmers left their marks in the night sky, other remnants remaining on high school football fields. We’d barely turned the pages of our calendars when ghosts and goblins began to appear, hanging above our collective consumer heads. Before trick-or-treaters arrived at our doors, tissue paper turkeys made from tiny handprints began appearing in homes with school children. Thanksgiving came and went with little fanfare, usually a half-day long, and suddenly retailers decked the halls of shopping malls with Christmas ornaments, tinsel, popcorn strung as garlands on live pine trees gathered from the mountains of California and Oregon.
What has happened to our traditional holidays that we get so caught up in each one three or four months ahead of their due dates? We plunge right into the buying habits, fully appreciated by store-owners in big cities and little towns. No matter where we look, we can always find a bargain, and in today’s economy, we will sometimes travel to three or four different stores trying to save an additional $2.00. That may sound like a pittance to some but to others, that’s a good cup of coffee. Maybe not a national chain coffee, but a good cup anyway.
As you hop into your car on a blustery weekday morning, you start to notice that there are about twenty more cars on the road than usual. Pondering this, you realize that the holiday season is upon us. But here’s the rub: Halloween is just around the corner, yet we’re already seeing all the elements of Christmas right beside them on store shelves.
Francis Pharcellus Church must be turning over in his grave since he answered Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the New York Sun onSept. 21, 1897, in which she asked if there was a Santa Claus. He answered her with a serenity, faith, and belief that has remained a holiday truth for over a hundred years.
I remember hearing Virginia’s letter, and Mr. Church’s reply, when I was a child. I heard it all through school, and when I became a mother, I told the story to my children. There was a magic about Santa Claus back then, and an even more mysterious enchantment of Christmas itself. To wake up Christmas morning and have hot cocoa steaming on the stove, half-eaten cookies and a glass half-full of milk sitting on the side table right next to the Christmas tree revealed the untold joy of every child’s sugarplum dreams. In that moment, there isn’t a child anywhere who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. The child has proof – the cookies and milk are evidence that a jolly old man in a red suit with a white beard and a belly like jelly had secretly entered their house in the quietest moments of the night that only angels and fairies speak of.
I can’t deny, and I won’t lie about getting caught up in the spirit of Christmas. It is the most awesome holiday of the year, perpetually filled with the laughter of children, the long forgotten hymns of Jesus’ birth, and the chilly air that sometimes sprinkles snowflakes on our noses. But I do have to question why our holidays, all of them, have become so commercialized. I understand about our plummeting economy, and that shop owners need to make a living, but I wish just for once – maybe even Christmas of this year – we could get back to the real meaning of Christmas and spend our time given as gifts, instead of our money, buying presents. The best gifts I ever received were those of my grandmothers: Grandma would give me persimmon cookies wrapped up in cellophane and a big bow, and Nana would fill a quart jar with cracked walnuts that took hours to prepare, topped off with draping ribbons. Those gifts were more precious than anything they could have bought in a store because I knew they spent time thinking of me while creating my gifts.
I adopted their traditions as much as I could by making holiday gifts instead of buying them, and I raised my children that way – to appreciate someone’s thoughtful gift, as opposed to a Zip-n-Go bottle of toilet water because someone got caught having to pick up a last-minute present.
It is my hope that everyone reading my blog tonight takes with them my true meaning of the majestic Christmas Eve and the blessed Christmas morning we celebrate. Please take a moment to appreciate your loved ones and spend a little extra time with them, because time is what it’s all about. The jump from July to December is a rapid one, yet on these two extraordinary late-December days, let’s try to forget about commercialism and putting ourselves in debt for presents we can’t afford and our recipients may not need or want.
Appreciate those we think of every other day of the year…those people who fill our hearts with love. Make every moment count!
THE POWER OF PRATTLE AND CHATTER: NETWORKING
By Linda Robertson
In the old days, when people got together and shared ideas, it was called “conversation.” One guy would have a great idea and he would share it with his friend.
Now, in the 21st century, we network. We still share ideas with others, but now we can do it through the use of machines. We sit at a desk in front of a screen, and talk into another machine in which we dictate our ideas. Once that is accomplished, we save our brilliance with the push of a button, or in some cases, we just say the word “save.”
And that takes care of that.
The next step is to take what we have written on the screen, assign it a name, and share it on this thing called a “blog” – (shortened from the words “web log,” in case there’s anyone in the universe that didn’t know this.)
What have we accomplished?
We have just networked.
This is only one possibility of how to network. We attend meetings, hold conferences, do “meet and greets,” socialize at parties, go to conventions, and have lunch with friends. Every one of these settings is a way to network; this is the power of prattle and chatter. We openly share our ideas with someone else, and in return, they share their ideas with us. We talk, converse, chat, discuss, verbalize, articulate, lecture, preach, show and tell, and all things in between. We can infer, deliberate, consult, confab, speak, utter, blather, chitchat, chew the fat, natter, jaw, interview, and share information. No matter how we convey an idea, it still takes at least two people to do it, but the result is the same. As they say, “It’s all in the details.”
And here’s the great part – through networking, we can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t take a face-to-face meeting, although those are joyful, but now we can sit in our living rooms with a laptop or an iPad, and hold a conversation with someone halfway around the world. One conversation, one discussion, and we can build an empire with just the right amount of networking.
If you’ve got a great idea, something marketable and useful, all you have to do is network. If you’re at a convention or a workshop, and someone catches your eye, extend a hand and meet someone new. Who knows? This person could become your business partner, your benefactor, your associate, your employee, your champion, or your new best friend.
It’s still acceptable – in fact, it’s essential – to utilize the methods of our ancestors, and talk to “the man in the street.” Not to take this too literally, but the underlying statement is quite true. Holding a dialogue with someone you’ve just met in whatever location, may well turn your idea into something amazing, viable, and profitable. We must verbalize our thoughts and opinions in order to get anywhere in life. In order to succeed in today’s world, we must communicate even more than we ever have in the past.
And this is easier than you think, because most of us fervently believe in ourselves and our ideas, and we enjoy sharing these inspirations with others, to bring them to fruition.
So here’s the skinny on your success in the 21st century:
Leap forward with fresh innovations…
Allow your uniqueness to shine…
Let your imagination run wild…
Venture out into the world…
November 1, 2012
Hello again. It’s me. I’m trying to decide on whether I should give up the ghost and go to bed…but I decided to write my blog first – no, not my first blog…never mind.
My goofy day changed from the hope of utilizing the computer for several, several, several hours and went straight into the dumper when I wrote down all the places I needed to go today, then realized that I had completely outwitted myself and totally messed up my schedule. I left at 9:00 AM and got home at 2:30 PM. So much for a productive day at home.
I’m getting to the point, but for a moment, you’ll have to bear with me while I detail this out a bit. My circular trek around my hometown led me in complete opposite directions of the way I had written out my schedule. For a normal person, this could have stressed them out completely – but if you recall from earlier blogs, or even if you don’t, I tend to go where the road leads me. I don’t mind getting lost – I just consider it new country I’ve never seen before. Birds chirping, trees blowing in the wind, out of traffic – all this is good stuff. So if I had to go in the complete opposite direction of the way I had laid out my plans, so be it. By the time 2:30 approached, I was back in my house putting away groceries, talking to my cat, and kicking off my shoes.
So went my day.
But the evening turned out pretty well. And this is getting more to the point of what I wanted to tell you tonight. I watched the CMA Music Awards for three hours, following my nightly routine during commercials of going through the mail, refilling my tea glass, and finishing off my leftover lunch. (I don’t finish off leftovers everyday; it just so happened that today, I did. Point taken.)
Something clicked inside me watching all those beautiful entertainers sing their incredible music. I was cheering on the ones I liked and wanted to win, and amazed by those I’d never heard before – truly gifted people who have the amazing talent of writing and performing music. They brought tears to my eyes with every note. And when Willie Nelson came on stage to sing his own song, one of the immense accumulation of songs that he’s written for himself and for other singers, I felt breathless. Although Willie walks to the beat of a different drummer, or maybe to the beat of a different guitar, on a daily basis, I doubt if anyone could call him a lackluster musician. He was born to write and play, and enjoy his life the way he wanted it to be. To me, that man is a genius. Some of my favorite songs from singers I had idolized for years, I found out that Willie had written them. This 79-year-old man is all of the following: inspired, gifted, exceptional, accomplished, talented, brilliant, impressive, and he can keep up, and far surpass, some of the young ones note by note.
Anyway, here’s my point. I could’ve looked at today as a failure, because I was gone from the house so long, but if I didn’t accomplish all of it today, I would just have to go out again tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday, etc. If changing my schedule had ticked me off, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the rest of my day, complete with little rain drops on my freshly washed car. Not to worry… why should I? Life is going give you whatever is in your destiny and you can’t do a darn thing about it. If you try, by avoiding or creating an alternate route, even as far as what you’re going to have for breakfast, or if you’re going to gas the car up today or wait till the prices come down, your life is pre-planned. Are you going to change your destiny by suddenly deciding that you’re going to start jogging to get yourself in shape, or is destiny going to intervene by the very nature of what destiny is, and give you a massive coronary because you’ve gone from an inactive life to one of a constant vigorous routine?
This is my lesson for today, and you can take it for whatever it’s worth. Life is life, and you get what you can handle. So, on a day like today, when I got my errands run, and all my chores done, I found time this evening to sit down with my cat and watch the CMA Music Awards, listening to all that glorious music, channeled from the gods, and observe as Willie Nelson was honored with his Lifetime Achievement Award, I ask you to be reminded that, in every day, there is something beautiful close at hand…
If you just reach out and take it.