Broken

       No one is happy to hear about anything that is broken. I suppose this unhappiness depends if the broken item can be fixed or not. Otherwise usually something broken is pretty serious. It can be very upsetting for any of us to deal with.

   Broken bones do heal, but are painful and often times debilitating.  Broken pipes can also be fixed but it is a real chore to mend them. Broken glass can be replaced but it is usually a pane. Sorry I could not resist. A keepsake or family heirloom can be broken and possibly not replaced.  Branches on trees are often broken from a storm and their breaks cannot be healed. Friendships also can be broken, and very painful. They can be mended back together too.

Many times we break bread together as a sign of friendship, so that is a good way to break something.  In sports breaking a record is always a positive. 

  Cars break down all the time, and most often they can be fixed for a price. Usually unfortunately a high price. Then we the car owner many be broken financially.

I suppose of all the things that may never be fixed is a broken heart. A broken heart sometimes can mend but there usually is always left a painful memory to keep the heart break from healing completely. It is a different type of pain. It goes deep into your chest with an ache that flows through your entire body. Some heart breaks are worse than others, but there is none that is a good experience in life. Usually there is a scar left on our broken hearts that never really heals.

  So broken is a rather harsh word. It does not bring much joy in our lives. It is a word which is usually saddens us to use.  

 

 

  

 

 

 

Closed

Closed is the new signage we see everywhere now that the Corona virus has been called a national emergency here in the USA.

Closed seems so extremely negative as opposed to “open”. It sounds so permanent. It gives little optimism to our current world. When we see “Closed” it means more than just a door being locked. It means our inability to get inside. It means we are being shut out of the area. It is very hard to deal with such a sign now.  We are just not used to seeing so many of these signs.

In America, we are used to easy access to just about everything. We may have fences but there is always a working gate to go through. We are used to conveniences and not used to no conveniences. It seems that there is very little open now, other than grocery stores.

I think if we learn anything from this present experience, we will learn that life as we knew it will more than likely never be the same. We will be prepared for such events, and we will not take the “open” signs for granted. because anything that can be open can also be closed!

Motherhood

This coming Sunday is the traditional holiday of Mother’s Day. The day of course, never had much meaning to me until I became a mother. I know that would be true of any woman I know.

After having had three children, a boy and two girls, I know how it takes some time before your children are actually old enough to go out and buy a present for their mother.

Truthfully, I have always felt that the greatest gifts were made by those little hands that we love from the time they were born. Only those handmade crafts fully show the love that our children have for their mothers. 

I know I have a collection of those wonderful gifts tucked away in my closet. I would never get rid of any of them because they show my children’s love for me.  They showed more love than any bouquet of flowers could.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Moment in Time

This past Sunday during our church service, I had a very sad awakening. Oh, I am not claiming to be totally out of the swing of reality, however, this struck me unusually hard. Usually, at one point in the mass, there is an announcement of parishioners that passed away that week. On this particular day, the pastor said a name that I truly did not recognize. I assumed this was the name of an elderly parishioner. That is really not unusual, because even though I have been a member of this church for many years, there are names that I do not know. I recognize many faces, however. 

Often times I will go home and look in our church photo directory to find a face or a name to recall. This day, however, the pastor happened to mention the person who passed away had been a frequent lecturer during our mass. The pastor mentioned her parents and brother were there in church. It suddenly hit me who this person was. I had a sudden feeling of gloom and remorse. It was as though I expect the elderly to pass on and I am never really shocked. But when I found out who this person was I was in dismay. She had not been ill and suddenly she was gone.

She was always a very thin lady with long dark hair and always dressed very nicely. She would read the scripture readings very eloquently with a touch of perfection. I actually never met her, but I knew her face. And now I know her name too. I always imagined her to be a teacher or someone in the education field.

She was only fifty-two years old. Way too young to pass away. She had never been married and she did volunteer work bringing her two dogs into hospital settings for patient therapy. It showed her good heart. What a shame that I never met her. I suppose I felt I had plenty of time because after all, she was younger than me. She must of has a heart of gold. Now she has gone to be with the Lord and will have eternal peace. Such a sad loss for us here left on earth.

I suppose there is a big lesson here for us all. Never assume there is always tomorrow. I am sure this lovely lady felt she had plenty of tomorrows left. 

 

 

Thankfulness

   Today I am thankful. Truthfully, I more than likely was thankful yesterday too, I just did not concentrate on it! I have so many things to be thankful for that I thought that I would actually think about them and write them all down to share. I admittedly do not think of these things often enough on a daily basis and by all rights I certainly should think of my blessings much more. As the famous Irving Berlin song, “Count Your Blessings” said in White Christmas.

I believe these facts about myself and our family all occurred to me after looking at the current news reports across the country. I am sure you are aware there are  horrible flooding in the midwest from the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers. These poor people have lost their homes and farms. The farmers’ livestock have drowned and there will we loss of crops this coming year because of the saturated water soaked soil. I on the other hand am nice and dry and comfortable in our home. I am thankful and I pray of those who are not safe.

I also think of the little children in hospitals all across the country and the world who are either dealing with serious illnesses or have horrible infections eating away at their bodies. In my world, our Grandchildren are all well and are living a very good life with their parents who love them more than life itself. I am thankful and pray for the ill children.

I know in this same sense, there are people all over the world who probably will not be eating any nurishing food today. And sadly the same starving third world people more than likely had nothing to eat yesterday or the day before. My family will eat today and have as much as they want. I am thankful. But during this Lenten season, I also will pray for everyone else, that some time soon they too will be thankful for any gifts God may bring them to survive.

I believe in our society we take for granted all the gifts we are fortunate enough to have at our fingertips. For example drinking water. We can actually buy purified clean water or more easily turn the knob on our tap without giving much thought to the fact. I think of the children and people in countries such as  India living in filth and human waste. If they could only have some of the water we have. Once again I am thankful and pray for everyone to have clean water.

I am a very lucky person. I am not wealthy. I am no longer young, but I am healthy. We have a beautiful healthy family and a roof over our heads. What more should a human being have to be more thankful for than all of these things.

Thank you Lord for all the goodness we have. We pray for those in need of food, clothing, water and shelter. Please help all the people who are suffering and grant them fullfillment of their basic needs. I wish these things for all humanity. 

 

 

A Little Adventure

  My First Husband and I own a cruiser. For those of you who do not know what that is, allow me to explain. A cruiser is usually a large motorcycle that can be used for traveling on long road trips in comfort. They are usually very heavy.  Ours is that sort of a motorcycle.  It weighs almost 900 pounds without us being on it. Our motorcycle has two saddlebags and a trunk which is large enough to hold our helmets. I, of course, am the passenger and I sit on what I lovingly call the couch. Believe it or not, this is so comfortable to travel on, I actually have fallen asleep. It is also a place that I often times meditate while watching the beauty around me. 

In 2009, my First Husband and I decided we were going to fulfill a dream. Every year in Sturgis, South Dakota there is a huge motorcycle rally.  Tens of thousands of motorcyclists travel to be there usually the first week of August. Sturgis normally is a small quiet town, but not during this period of time. I believe over 100,000 people descend on this little western town during this time. I have heard that the town residents usually try to book their vacations during this time. I am sure you can understand why.

Of course, this motorcycle rally means money for Sturgis. There are police there monitoring the partiers and crowds of people. There are vendors selling their goods, from all over the country. The tourists purchase many mementos of the events from T-shirts, to tattoos. It all is about spending money. 

My First Husband and I only had eight days to go out to the Bike week and be back home, because at the time I was still working in a school district and I needed to report back for the new school year to begin the second week of August. Unfortunately, the timing was bad, because we could have stayed longer and enjoyed this beautiful area of our country if I had not had my responsibilities in the school district.

These are the items I had to somehow pack into our motorcycle, and I did not mention we were camping. One 9 X 7 dome tent, two twin air mattresses, two sleeping bags, one small propane stove, one small cast iron griddle, plastic utensils and cups, two water thermoses, two leather jackets, two jean jackets, and bath towels. A container of essentials with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant. Small inflatable pillows and many bungee cords. Also two changes of clothing. A collapsible cooler to hold some frozen foods for breakfast items. I know I have forgotten something, but those are the basic things I packed. To say that I had to pack light was an understatement, but I would say that I did very well. We knew there should be laundromats along the way.

Invariably, my First Husband would ask for an item buried deep into the saddlebags. I eventually learned to keep those items closer for easier access but admittedly I was grumbling under my breath in search of whatever he needed.

The first day we headed out and made it to Williams Iowa, which is very near to the border of Iowa and Minnesota.  We were on I-80 and stopped at the largest truck stop in the country. We had never seen anything like it. It was basically a shopping center for truckers. It gave us a good stretch of the legs. At the end of this first day, we had ridden 800 miles. We decided to spend the night at a hotel since we were both exhausted.  We knew that the next few days were going to probably be much rougher. We were tired, but not really sore. I do recall FH’s legs shaking when we got off the bike.  We have found that when riding for long distances, it is good practice to stop and stretch the legs every 90 to 120 minutes. Of course, there was also the issue of needing gasoline. Our motorcycle can hold seven gallons of gas and we averaged 40 miles to the gallon on the open road.

The next day we headed out and drove north through Minnesota. We caught I-35 to head north to locate I-90. I believe one of the most memorable sites we saw that day was when we reached Chamberlin, South Dakota. We crossed the Missouri River which is so wide it looked as though it really was a lake when we rode over it. We have a friend who lives near the border of South Dakota and North Dakota who frequently goes salmon fishing there.  Now we were headed for Wall, South Dakota where we camped. We were at the entrance to the Badlands State Park. I had never seen anything like that before. It was gorgeous and after we had been so fortunate to have had cooler temperatures for that summer of 2009, however on that day it eventually reached 100 degrees. I was constantly drinking water. We wound up riding on a gravel road which is never easy when holding up such a huge bike as we have. It is especially concerning for the passenger. There were many other motorcyclists riding through the Badlands the day we were there. Of course, everyone was headed for Sturgis and the surrounding towns. South Dakota is a motorcyclists dream. 

Wall,  South Dakota is located at the east entrance of the Badlands National Park.  All along the I -90  route, there were constant signs of advertising for the infamous Wall Drugs. The main theme of this constant advertisement was that they had a $0.05 cup of coffee. Of course, this sounded inviting to me, except I had no idea at the time that the doughnut that went with this inexpensive cup of coffee was $5.00.  We toured the town of Wall which is a wonderful touristy place to spend some time. We camped in the Wall campground too. It was a very nice place with showers which we were happy to use. I was able to make us our breakfast, which is always enjoyable to eat enjoying the fresh air.

After repacking the motorcycle we were headed for Rapid City. South Dakota which is closing in our destination. On the route, we actually had an encounter with a motorcycle gang. To say that I never thought it was possible on this little adventure, I would have had to of said no way, but it truly did happen to us. We were stopped at a rest area. We happen to notice this group of motorcyclist standing around in a group. They were all dressed in their leather vests, and we really did not notice the logo on their back since with motorcycling many wear leather vests. In fact, both my First Husband and I both had on our own vests. They actually serve a purpose by keeping our t-shirts from flying up into our faces.  While we were riding out on I-90 we were basically alone. The crosswind was very strong. So strong in fact that it was hard to turn our heads.  Trucks and trailers loaded with motorcycles were a common sight. As we were riding we heard the sound of a large group of motorcycles coming from behind. We were probably cruising at 80 m.p.h. at this time on the open road. Gradually this group of motorcycles came up two abreast riding alongside us. I did not even try to turn my head. They rode alongside us for probably 10 minutes, then gradually started to pull ahead of us. I had no idea that I should be afraid at this point. As I said, I had no idea this was a bad group to fear. Two by two they rode by and then at the end, there was one lone motorcyclist. He was very grungy looking. He suddenly without warning cut in front of our bike practically clipping our front wheel. It was very close to knocking us off the road. Of course, there would have been nothing left of us if that had of happened. We had no idea how fortunate we were. After this, we were basically thankful to be alive and confused about why this had happened.

The next town was Custer. A wonderful place where the townspeople were dressed up in old western attire. They were very friendly people. After our ordeal, we decided to sit on a bench on the front porch of a store. We were still badly shaken about what had happened to us. Suddenly a deputy sheriff walked by and I decided to tell him about our experience on the open road. He informed us that the gang we had encountered were a very dangerous group of people and that we were very fortunate to have survived. They evidently had a history of drugs and prostitution among other illegal activities. The Deputy mentioned we were very lucky to have survived. 

  We did not have reservations but we were lucky enough to have found a primitive campsite in Spearfish a town very close to Sturgis. We were able to camp there and could ride from there to Sturgis and the surrounding areas without having to lug our heavy camping equipment as we saw the sites. We rushed to put our tent up in the dark, out in the huge field without any light other than the moon. The prairie wind was blowing hard and we had no idea what was to lie ahead. All we knew was we were exhausted and needed to sleep. So as we laid in our little tent I heard the wind picking up. Somehow my First Husband stayed asleep. Me, on the other hand, felt that our tent was going to blow us away much like a windsurfer on the open sea. I wound up straddling each corner of our tent trying to keep up from blowing into the western sky. I believe this was the first of four sleepless night for me.  Another issue was a group of campers next to us. They immediately did not like us because we were older and also we did not have a Harley motorcycle. Our motorcycle is a Yamaha. For some reason they hated us. Of course, they were also drinking heavily, which did not help.

As I laid there in much fear and admittedly anger, one of the campers took his motorcycle and backed it up to the side of our tent. He roared his engine sending the fumes into the side of our tent. This continued for 10 minutes as the other campers laughed and made fun of us. I was very afraid that they were going to damage our bike.  As I said, I was angry and I was scared. Obviously, these people were crazy and mean. If I had been younger I may have gotten up and confronted them. I had to act as though I was not aware of their existence as my First Husband slept on. I did not sleep at all that night.

The day we finally got to ride into Sturgis started out very well. It was a beautiful day, but as we learned the weather in South Dakota is not a certainty. We rode into the town of  Sturgis. The constant roar of the two cylinder motorcycles was almost deafening.  I believe I heard that sounds for days after we left. There were motorcycles and people everywhere. Motorcycles were parked in huge lines on both sides of the street and due to a large number of motorcycles, they were also parked in the center of the streets. 

There were vendors in the storefronts and in booths all over the town. To say that my First Husband was excited was an understatement.  There was no stopping him. We had trouble finding a place to park the bike. We found a field with a little tree and we decided to park the bike under this little tree.  Then we started to walk around and see the sites.  There was much police directing the constant traffic. My First Husband wanted to walk everywhere. Since I had not had any sleep for several days, I would have preferred to sit down and people watch. As we were walking, and I say that in jest. My First Husband’s 6’2″ frame is hard to keep up with when he gets excited. As I was following him I was trying not to lose him. I happened to see one of the strangest sites I had ever seen in my life. There was a dog which I believe may have been a border collie. On the back of the dog was a cat and on the back of the cat was a rat.  I could not believe what I saw. My First Husband saw nothing, he was erratically tracking through Sturgis with a mission of which I was not quite sure what it was. As I was trying not to lose him, I noticed the sky was becoming very dark. I heard the sound of thunder and saw lightning in the sky. The air raid sirens started to blast. The strong winds started to blow. I said we need to find shelter. We just happened to be near the Expo center. We ran inside there. As we were looking at the customized motorcycles in this building the storm was getting worse. An announcer told us to head for the auditorium and stay in there. In the meantime, large hail was hitting the roof of the building. I truly thought we were going to die in Sturgis, South Dakota. 

When the storm was over Sturgis had been hit hard. There was evidence of golf ball size hail on the ground.  The worst damage was to the motorcycles at the Buffalo Chip campground. Many expensive motorcycles were damaged from the hail. All in all, we were lucky that we had parked our bike under that little tree because it saved our motorcycle from hail damage. After this long day, we headed back to our campsite in Spearfish. I was hoping I got to sleep that night. 

The next day we decided we just wanted to ride and tour the Black Hills. We were riding on some very winding roads and we came upon a single lane tunnel that was cut through a rock tunnel. As we rode through this tunnel suddenly the sunlight was shining into our eyes as we rode through the opening,  I turned to my right and there was Mt. Rushmore in the distance. The sun shining on the four faces. It was like a spiritual experience. We headed to Keystone and road to Mt. Rushmore. We rode around the Needles highway where we actually could see the back of George Washington’s head on the mountain monument. I different experience to say the least.

 We had another bad experience there in Keystone because we got stuck in a severe thunderstorm. We were soaking wet and it was another pretty miserable night. I knew not to complain because we should have made reservations at a hotel room. My FH is not that sort of a man who plans ahead. That is why I called this an adventure. The Black Hills are beautiful and I would love to ride there again.  I know there was much more to see but we basically ran out of time. As we rode home we wound up in a long span of road construction in Minnesota. As we rode along we were basically running on fumes we were so low on gas. All of the exits were closed due to the construction. It was starting to get very concerning because there was no place for us to pull off the road if we did run out of gas. The Lord was with us once again as we finally got to an exit and we rolled into a gas station. It was a very close call. 

Our Little Adventure to the Sturgis Bike Week was all in all a great trip. This was in 2009 and I was ten years younger. I am not sure I could do it again but I will always remember our trip with many fond memories. 

 

 

Generation Gap

     My parents were fairly old according to normal standards when I was born compared to other married couple’s average ages. My Mother was 38 and my Father was 46 years old. This age difference was never a problem during the years when I was very young. My Mother and Father both handled the chore of parental responsibility of a young child very well.  I had no idea there was a problem having older parents because I never noticed the age difference. Since my parents were the only parents I had to me there was no problem. They were simply Mom and Dad.

As the years went by my parents and I still had a good relationship, they disciplined me as needed, even though I was a pretty great kid to raise. The dividing point came when I started dating. Now my parents suddenly became my grandparents, which sadly I  had never known. As I recall it was the first appearence of what some call the “Generation Gap”.

 Almost without warning a big generation gap that suddenly grew between us. My Mother was born in 1910 and my Father was born in 1902.  And now I was a teenager in the late 1960s. The differences in the two eras were quite remarkable.

  Our first issue was over popular music. I loved the Beatles, and my parents only saw their long hair. I do not think that they ever really listened to their music.  I would hate to think what they might of thought about today’s rap or hip hop music.  My Mother was a fan of Mitch Miller and Lawrence Welk. My parents did not understand the popular dances of the time either. Actually, my Mother had issues with Elvis prior to this time. I think it had something to do with his swiveling hip gyrations. Which personally I found great pleasure in. So the division was beginning because suddenly I was a child of older parents, something that never seemed to be an issue prior to this time.

  Now came the time for me to graduate from high school and to go on to college. As I recall this was the time where the trouble began to really get much worse. Unfortunately, my parents were having problems of their own. My Father was now 65 and it was time to retire from his job. There were issues of how he was planning to take his retirement money. I think they were in a very big disagreement because of how my Father had decided to take the money. I can remember a lot of arguing at this time. And at the same time, my Mother was going through menopause, which in the year 1967 was a subject that was never discussed. I know I had no understanding of it at all. I was too self-absorbed in my own teenage self. I had no time for such other issues. It was all about me! And my parents were having problems of their own that I just was too immature to understand.

I started dating quite a few different guys. I would go out on Friday nights with girlfriends and go out on dates on Saturday nights.  Life was all about fun and that was what I was going to do. After all, I was young and when you are young you have fun. Often times we are selfconsumed and just living the carefree life while we are able too.

I was working on the weekends, and going to school during the week. I was needless to say not exactly rolling in the dough. My parents suddenly were on a budget because of my Dad retiring. Whenever I got paid there was my Mother right at my bedroom door wanting the money for my room and board. I understood they wanted money for me to live at home, but I hardly had any money at the time. So it really upset me and I think there were times we would have words. If only she could have given me some time to bring the money to her. I think it was sort of brutal of my Mom to be there in my doorway immediately when she knew I had been paid. It gave me a feeling she no longer trusted me, which made me very sad. 

I suppose it was inevitable that eventually there would be a separation between us because of the generation gap. These times were so different from the years when my parents were young. What made it worse was that I was an only child. They were amidst their own issues of aging and I was getting close to the time that I probably would move away from home. So our time in life was now drastically different, and we were bumping heads. I had no savings so I had no way of moving out and going on my own. It seems I was trapped. I was in a difficult situation.

It was now a problem each day. We were dividing as a family. As I look back on this time, it is a sad memory. As I have said, I was too self-consumed in my own life to see my aging parents were in their own problem. It was the first time that we realized we no longer had an understanding of each other and our different lives.

Please understand this did not mean that I no longer loved my parents. I was just caught up in my youth and could not see how to make them understand how I felt. I suppose the worse argument we would have was over curfews. My parents expected me to be in the house and in bed by I believe 12:00AM. This was really hard to do and it made me angry. This caused many arguments. Then one night I had gone out with my boyfriend, who is now my husband, and we were sitting in my driveway in his car after a date. We actually fell asleep and when I woke up it was 2 AM. So now my Father went ballistic because I did not get home in time. He did not believe that we fell asleep in the driveway and that is exactly what happened.  So now my parents no longer thought that I was trustworthy. 

So generation gaps can be a big problem in the relationship between parents and their children. I endured mine and also with our own children. It is always a challenging time.  I know it was for me.  However, I seldom think of the hard times with my parents. I seem to relish all the good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning the Closets

I would guess that I have to clean closets at least three times a year whether they need it or not. Of course, I am being facetious because they always seem to be in need of some order.  If the truth is known, I probably should do it more than I actually do. Perhaps I know in my mind I need to work on the organization of my closets, but truthfully I find is to be almost as horrible as cleaning the toilets. Oh there usually is not the bad smell. And if there is a bad odor coming from your closet, you really have a problem.

  Of course, this household chore seems to be delegated to me even though my husband of 46 years also uses the closets. I suppose if you could see how he takes care of the garage, you would not suggest that he helped organize the closets. I do not know for sure, but I do believe that the useless items in our closets seem to be breeding behind closed doors. It seems that every time that  I straighten and clean out the closets in a few months the closet is once again in disarray. All I can guess is that when the lights go out in the closets, there must be some monkey business going on in there. I do not have proof, but I have my suspicions. 

First of all, why do we have closets? Or why do we need closets? We have a wide variety of closets too. There is the food pantry or food “closet”. There is the linen closet, the broom closet, the hall closet which is usually for coats and jackets for the family. My parents used to have a “fruit cellar” which was basically a closet to store can goods and other things. So throughout lives, we as a society have a  need for closets. 

Why do we need closets? As the famous comedienne George Carlin once said, ” they are for our stuff!” You know we all have stuff! We have good stuff, bad stuff, everyday stuff, and normal stuff!” A closet is very simply a place to put our stuff.  

Have you noticed even homeless people and vagrants have a need for closets? I suppose their closets just surround them. They, unfortunately, have no home or house to live in, but they still have a collection of stuff.  They usually carry their belongings in a duffel bag, or sometimes in a grocery cart. It is their mobile closet.

Today, I decided to go through my clothes and see what I could get rid of. I recently lost some weight, so many of the clothing items I had buried in the back of the closet I was able to pull out of the deepest darkest part of the walk-in closet in our bedroom. Why I had kept some of these items I am not sure. For instance,  I found the  Mother of the Bride dress I wore when our daughter was married 14 years ago. I decided I should get rid of it. I doubt that I will ever need it again. There is also the dress I recently wore in my son’s wedding, it is too big for me now, but it is so pretty I have to keep it. Of course, I will never wear it again, but I can get rid of it during another closet cleaning. 

Going through these clothes, is like a family reunion in a sense. I just kept unwrapping all these clothes that I had hanging in the closet forever. Of course, I kept many of the ones that I had a personal attachment too. I either had good memories concerning the last time I wore the dress or I thought that maybe I could make some good memories once again if given the opportunity. You just never know.

I was able to try on some of the suit coats I had not been able to get into for a long time. That always makes me feel better. While digging through my collection of fleece jackets I decided that some had broken zippers, and some were just worn out. Why do we keep things like that? I think I always need some worn out ugly clothes to use when I paint. The problem is that I seldom paint. So why do I keep these things? Perhaps I have a hidden agenda of wanting to paint. I am not sure.

I made a bundle up to donate to St. Vincent De Paul. I plan to take the bundle there tomorrow. I do always question do I want to keep certain clothing items. I really do not know why I question that. I guess I feel guilty about getting rid of something. It is silly I know. But I am sure it is not that unusual of a problem.

The truth is I have too many clothes. I have dress up clothes that I know I will never wear, simply because we never go out anywhere. But just in case we would be invited somewhere, I have many selections to choose from. I have jeans in three different sizes. I seem to keep my favorites from the sizes I seem to go up and down in. I go up and down so often my Mother should of named me “Otis”.

It seems now I wear a lot of exercise clothes. I usually walk every day and I wear that style of clothing. I also wear jeans a lot. I have my favorite pairs of jeans that I find to be the most comfortable. So as I look at all the other items that are hanging in the closet I wonder why am I keeping these. Some are too short, and some were too long.  I suppose long I can deal with, too short there is nothing much I can do about.

So why do we keep things we know we will never wear again? I do not have the answer to that question. I do know there are 365 days in the year. I also know that I have my favorite clothes that I seem to rotate through. So why do I keep these extra clothes in the already too crowded closet?  I am not sure. It makes no sense. 

Of course, if I decide to get rid of a bunch of my clothes, that is when I will suddenly need one of the items I just took to the donation center. So to save myself this aggravation I will keep all of these unnecessary clothing items until I go through this very same ordeal once again in a few months. 

I guess I figured out that the useless items are really not breeding in the dark. It seems I have a real psychological issue about getting rid of my clothes. I guess I will never be a nudist, and  I am sure you are happy to hear that bit of news.

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking News!

Our news media of today, believes that our public wants and needs to know what is happening every minute of the day, even if it is not true. Sometimes on those infrequent “slow news” days they tend to report on inconsquential news items that really do not make or break my day, if you get my drift. The news media seems to be a competition among themselves similar to the obvious stress of sellers and buyers on Wall Street.

I do enjoy the happy stories of humanity and the silent majority which always warm my heart. In contrast the constant viscious political stories usually send me to bed early. I have often wondered if the news of old had been the way it is today, could it of changed the outcome of some of our past history. Just imagine with the technology we have now, perhaps Pearl Harbor would not have taken place. We would of known of the Japanese plan and would not have been attacked as we were unprepared. Think of all the sailors who would not of died that horrible day on December 7, 1941.

However in 2001, we had our own recent disaster on September 11, with all the modern technology available, showing modern technology has it limitations. Sometimes I think these horrific events in history actually make us stronger as a nation. I do remember the patriotism that was reignited after 911. We were hurt as a nation and we were all angry that could happen to us.

The news media is always ready for a story. I do believe that they prefer the hateful ones. I think they want our attention whether good or bad.  I believe there are times that the media especially in the realm of health news, can do very positive things. This is the kind of good news I am personally interested in. If only they could be more of a teaching tool for the public.

But to me it seems they do enjoy possibly ruining peoples lives if they have the opportunity. It is a competition to be the first with the story that could possibly destroy a person’s career. They do seem to actually enjoy it. They are insulting and often times cruel. But they seem to just not care any more about people, if they get the big story first. They seem to choose one word and then they tend to run that word into the ground. There is so much good that the media could be working on to change the bad in the world, however it seems they prefer the bad over the good.

  I know news reporter have risked their lives in foreign wars to get us the story. I remember seeing old film of people like Walter Cronkite reporting on the battle field during WWII. But today the battlefield seems to just be in the public domain. The media tells the story in their opinion whether it is the truth or not. It seems that they no longer care about the truth. It is all in the wording of the story. They send out implications of peoples guilt before the people have a chance to prove their innocense. They are for the most part ruthless.

In my opinion the media needs to change for the better. I believe the common people really get tired of all this viciousness. Life is hard enough just going to work and taking care of our families. I think we would enjoy some good news once in a while. I believe we just are worn out with all this politics. And to think the 2020 election has already started. 

I strongly suggest there should be a rule that reporting false information should cost the reporters either time off of work or a set fine. Like the NBC reporter who lied, Brian Williams, who no longer has a job. I am sure many others have done something similar but not to the degree he did. I suppose he was a good example of someone getting grandiose ideas to become more famous and then actually getting caught with his lies.

Now to me, that was good news.

 

 

 

The Joy of Sacrifice

   Recently, I have been on a “journey” to change my life.  This began last July. I was in a situation that I had never been in before. I was having constant pain in my right leg. I discovered I was dealing with sciatica. The painful inflammation of the largest nerve in our bodies, the sciatic nerve which runs along the length of both of our legs adjacent to the femoral artery. 

I had heard of sciatica before and I also had heard that it is very painful. As with any conditions that cause pain, it is not real to us unfortunately until we personally are stricken with the very condition.

 That is exactly what had happened to me. I unfortunately also had gained an enormous amount of weight. I was in so much pain, I actually decided to go to the doctor. I am a Registered Nurse and a very poor patient. I usually wind up going to the doctor only when I have given up on my self-diagnosis and treatment. So when I was forced to go to the doctor, I also was forced to get on the scale. I was in total shock. I knew I had gained weight but it was at that point I saw the actual numbers. I wanted to cry but I knew it was all my own fault.

The doctor told me he thought that I had a pinched nerve or perhaps a deteriorated vertebrae.  He ordered an x-ray to see what it showed. He said if that shows nothing then I would have an MRI. Something I would have to be gagged and tied down to have done. I have had one done in the past and at that time I swore I would never be put in a long slender tube again, at least not one I was totally conscious. I was thinking more of a morgue.

So I looked on YouTube for help. This is America’s answer to the Encyclopedia Britannica. I found numerous physical therapist videos who had helpful stretches for sciatica. I started doing these very painful stretches. My husband of 46 years just watched not understanding how much pain I was in. Also at this time, I decided to lose weight. I am a lifetime WeightWatchers member who went a bit crazy on maintenance. I have tried every diet in the book and usually would have success eventually. The last attempt was WheatBelly which I lost forty pounds on. It was the fastest I had ever lost weight. Then I decided I would go back to eating wheat and grains. This is when I gained this huge amount of weight.

Also at this time, our daughter was living in Chicago, the carbohydrate capital of the world. So I would go there to visit and enjoy all the delicious Chicago foods. To make a short story long, I was in a mess. All due to my own thoughtless eating habits.  

I have always been an athletic person specifically a bicyclist. I found that bicycling kept the weight off of me. But of course, with the problem, I was dealing with sciatica, it was impossible for me to ride a bicycle. The awful truth was I could barely walk. When we would drive to Chicago which was five and a half hours from Cincinnati, I would be in horrible pain from having to sit in the car. I was only good for about ninety minutes, then I needed to stand up to find some relief from the pain.

 Now I will get to the topic of my story, sacrifice. Dieting has always been a sacrifice for me to maintain. I usually would be mad that I had to diet. I decided that I have to change my life for the better. I found out about the ketogenic diet or regime. This is where your body switches from burning glucose for energy to burning ketones for energy. This is achieved by lowering carbohydrates to 20% or less a day. This is net carbohydrates not total. Ketogenic means also eating fatty protein, which has been always discouraged in my lifetime. And also eating saturated fats. The whole idea is that producing ketones helps to burn away unwanted fat on my body. This way of eating takes a while to get used to, but when you do you feel really wonderful. I have presently lost forty-three pounds eating this way. It seems I am no longer hungry. Something I have never known before. The weight has not fallen off of me, it has taken since last July to accomplish but I am very pleased. 

  Normally when I go on  “different” diet my husband usually discourages me. He is a tall six foot two man with an irritating high metabolism. He eats constantly all day long and usually right in front of me. This has always annoyed me. I have been dieting for most of the years of our marriage.  I am basically running out of time because I am now seventy years old. I have sworn to my self that I will not gain this weight again. Of course, the truth is I always do regain it. But this time I will stay on the keto diet because I truly do feel like a new person in an old body. I even plan to ride my bicycle again this Spring.

Sacrifice is the topic. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices to change our lives. Sacrifice is never an easy thing to accomplish. I would have to say dieting is always usually sacrificing for everyone that I know. It has always been true that foods usually have to be given up that we are used to eating.  For instance, going to family birthday celebrations. Of course, there is usually always cake and ice cream. I of course no longer can eat those things. Believe it or not, those sacrifices no longer bother me. I truly mean that. It is natural for me to be excluded from this event, but I stand there and watch everyone eat their treats and I do have an extra piece of cheese. I am fine.

Sacrifices are part of our lives I suppose. Some are easier than others. Either way, though it is usually never enjoyable. This sacrifice has worked out for me so far. Just the fact that I am no longer in horrible pain is worth doing without any cake or ice cream that anyone could possibly offer me.