coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, July 13, 2018


I know, I know, forgiveness is a difficult concept. When someone has done something bad enough to warrant our forgiveness, we are usually too angry and resentful to even see straight. So the concept of forgiveness seems out of the question. Only weak people forgive, right?

I'm not so sure. I'm tired of hating and resenting certain people in my life. It is like burning in Hell. I think the real heroes might be the victims who refuse to be eternally victimized. The ones who choose to forgive so they can move on, as unblemished as possible. Because when you forgive, you don't say it was okay. Bad things are bad things, and forgiveness doesn't wipe that away.

Forgiveness happens when you say that the problem belongs solely to the one who treated you badly. You still have to deal with the social, physical, and relationship damage inflicted, but you don't have to hate. If you can forgive, you cleanse your psyche of the darkening stain that particular transgression (or injustice) casts. You walk away with a real chance to heal. The sin stays with the sinner, where it belongs. Am I being naive?

Here's a really interesting YouTube video (by Nadia Bolz-Weber) explaining forgiveness in that light. It made me think:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Some people make me sick

I'm currently sick of interacting with people and need a break from reality. 

I am not a misanthrope, au contraire!  I like people very much. I am a social being, and I care deeply about society. I am able to forgive, and I trust easily. I admit my mistakes and apologize when I lose my temper. When younger, I had an endless capacity for love.  Or perhaps it was simply an endless capacity for the bullshit of others.  I dunno.  Hard to differentiate.

At any rate, I am cranky and snippy. I have just alienated a person with my bad temper and I feel bad about it.  However, she still makes me sick. 

I hate when I do this.

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
Ambrose Bierce

Monday, July 2, 2018

My beautiful New York State

If you've never been to the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York, you may enjoy seeing these photographs. 

Libe Slope at Cornell University, looking down to Cayuga Lake
Looking to opposite direction. That's Ithaca, New York in the valley     
The overlook, gazing down at Taughannock Falls near Trumansburg, NY

Taughannock Falls from the walkway
Standing at Taughannock Falls looking up towards the overlook

One of the walkways at Treman State Park, Ithaca, New York

R, CH, T standing above a small falls, Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY

The top of Lucifer Falls at Treman State Park
Add caption

The bottom of Lucifer Falls
Wine Country, Seneca Lake, near Watkins Glen, NY

Water and rock formation in Treman State Park

Sunday, June 24, 2018

My beautiful Florida

A cranky osprey on a telephone pole

A discarded fish skeleton hanging from a telephone wire

heron and alligator coexisting

I think this is a juvenile bicolor heron - feel free to correct me

Egret with just the right amount of yin and yang in it's neck

Dwarf poinciana and butterfly.  Feel free to tell me what kind of butterfly it is

The mucky swamp land with a heron smack dab in the middle

More mucky land, this time with attitude

Monday, June 18, 2018

Good Old Matthew

I've been meaning to write about the political trauma in this country. I certainly live it everyday, and have been as active as I can manage without losing my mind.

I am heartened by the outpouring of public support fighting to end the cruel policy of stealing children from their parents at the Texas/Mexico border. I have even learned a new bible quote (is that what you call them?) that is now my favorite. I use it to shut down hateful, heartless, soulless trolls: Matthew 25:31:46. 

You know things are getting complicated when a heathen agnostic like me starts reading the bible to get clear on what is and what is not Christ-like. But I was raised pre-Vatican II Catholic. That stuff (the golden rule, morality, aversion to sin) never really goes away. At least it never went away for me. What I don't understand is why so many Fox News Christians don't follow the teachings of Christ? What's that all about? It is almost like they are following the anti-Christ, ya know? At any rate, they certainly are giving Christianity a bad name. Oh well, their choice.

Here's a fun meme, ha! Feel free to download and share it widely. And then vote as if your immortal soul depended on it come November.  See, I can still talk that talk!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Settle down or someone is going to get hurt

I thought I broke my damn toe the other day. It's not the worst in the grand scheme of bad things; however, walking and biking are a big part of my daily routine. Right now it is black and blue and a little sore, but I can bend it so I think it is okay. Yay!

How did I do it?  Well, I am in the habit of racing my little grandson, N, from the front door to the car when he leaves our house. It started out more of a command performance than a habit. Now it is a simple joy. As he is leaving he looks at me with those big brown eyes and exclaims "Race you, Grandma!" I can't resist. I have only won once or twice because he is much faster than me.  But I run for the joy of the race. 

My husband, T, was amused and wondered out loud if I have reached that age where I should stop acting like a child. Sorry honey, but as long as that little boy wants to race me, I'm gonna run.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Of course, a uniform!!!

It's hot, and it's going to get hotter. June in Florida is idyllic compared to July and August. Worse than being hot, it gets thick and steamy humid.  Like you step out of your car and your glasses fog up kind of humid. I tried to walk barefoot from the house to our curbside mail box yesterday, and already the sidewalk burns the bottoms of my feet. I had to divert my path onto the grass. You may not realize this, but grass in Florida is not the kind of grass you actually want to walk on. Here, the grass grows out instead of up, and is not particularly soft to walk on. There are fire ants. I try to avoid the grass, and I am thankful for flip flops. 

So I know you are all wondering, what does a Florida retiree woman wear in this year-round, subtropical wonderland?  Well, I have a closet filled with t-shirts, shorts, and capris.  This is what I've been wearing every day for the past 4 years. I've never been a fashion maven, although I admire the aesthetics of fashion. I wish I cared more, but I have never had the money or inclination to pursue fashion in any real sense. I admire from afar.

Summer down here is almost too hot for wearing pants, so recently I bought a housedress. It is a simple A-line, sleeveless dress in a soft indigo fabric. This fabulous dress is comfortable and looks passably good on me. How could I resist? It functions well as long as I don't leave the house, try to garden, or bike. For hanging around the house being an aging bon vivant, this housedress is perfect. In fact, I love it beyond reason. I am happy when I put it on. Consequently, I ordered another one just exactly like it. Would it be ridiculous to order a third?  If I have three, it kind of becomes a uniform.  One less choice to make. One less thing to consider. I think I'm good with that. Going online right now for #3.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018: My Uncle Joe

On Memorial Day 2018, I choose to honor my my maternal uncle, Joe. He was initially stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with the Army Air Corp. On the morning of 7 Dec 1941, he was walking back to the barracks after attending mass when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The heel of his shoe was hit by flying shrapnel, but Joe was not hurt. After Pearl Harbor, he was assigned to Canton Island, a South Pacific coral island, where he helped to operate one the first radar facilities.

Later, he received a transfer to Europe. While traveling from Hawaii to England, the B-17 he was in flew over Griffith, Indiana and “buzzed” his hometown. My mother said they had been expecting it, and everyone knew who it was. Joe, being short (about 5’8”), was a tail gunner flying bombing missions over Germany.

The first week in December, on his 13th mission, his B-17 was shot down over the Black Forest. The crew parachuted to safety. All survived but the pilot. Joe hid in an abandoned farmhouse for 4 or 5 days. He melted snow to drink, and in one of the houses he found one egg, flour and sugar. His feet froze, and he wrapped them in old rags. He decided to try to make it back to the American line. He was dressed up as an old lady, and some German solders spotted him crossing a river.

I wonder if he stole the clothes? He was a beautiful young man, charming, and he spoke German. Perhaps he talked a kind older woman into giving him the disguise?  We never felt like we could ask him, he didn't like to talk about those days. Regardless, he was captured and imprisoned at a German prisoner of war camp until the end of the war.

War, of course, is Hell.  

Uncle Joe, Uncle Jerry, and Grandma (before he was captured)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Blueberry picking

It is almost the end of blueberry season in Central Florida. There is a U-pick blueberry farm near us I had never been to. I talked myself into taking my grandson.

I picked N up from school and asked if he wanted to pick blueberries. He was surprisingly enthusiastic, so we went. The farm has a bouncy house for the kids next to the concession area where they sell things like blueberry popsicles and blueberry muffins. First he bounced. Afterwards, he chose the muffin and raved in ecstasy the entire time he was eating it. He hates everything, so this was interesting to me. I'm going to have to find a good recipe for blueberry muffins.

Turns out he is a remarkably good farmworker. The concept of picking enough little berries to fill his pail was not daunting; it inspired him. Of course, he also assumed it was a competition and wanted more than anything to pick more than me. This is what blueberry picking is like when one is all hopped up on testosterone. I tried to be grandmotherly and ignore the competition, but it was a formal challenge! In fact, this challenge was shouted out with great bravado, arms raised with fingers pointed to and jabbing at the heavens. You know how I like to win. I picked with abandon. 

We ended up rather even, but when weighed I had a few berries more. That bothered the boy, so the next day he insisted we go back. This time he had a quiet plan involving going into rows all his own, not following me as he had before. Nothing was said about winning or losing. However, he picked fast and furiously. I pretended not to notice, and picked leisurely as a Grandma should. 

When we had the pails weighed, one weighed more than the other. I told him the heavier one was his and congratulated him. He bellowed in delight. I think you know the truth.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

uuuh, what?

I apologize for how sporadic my posts have been. We've had a lot of visitors, which has been wonderful. It is the end of the school year so there have been plays and kindergarten moving up ceremonies, and the like.  As the Florida primary approaches (August 28, so late) I am busier than ever with coordinating candidate FB Live Q&A's on my beloved secret group.  We are on fire, and some like it hot. I know I do.

I sat down with the sole purpose of writing a blog about something specific.  After writing the first paragraph, I have completely forgotten what I wanted to say.  It was gonna be good, too! 

I can muster up a photo, though.  Will be back in a few days with something of substance.  I'm almost sure of it.

palm fronds and fruit