Zero Excuses

Sometimes, blog subjects are so apparent, and then sometimes they are so NOT. In the middle of the covid pandemic, we find ourselves in the middle of race riots reminiscent of the sixties. History repeats itself, over and over, until the lesson is learned.

There is ZERO excuse for the senseless murder of George Floyd. There is Zero excuse for looting, destruction of property, and violence. Protest is fine. I understand that it is sometimes the only voice loud enough to make real change. Violence, however – led by agitators or people crazed by the mob – is not fine. It only serves to dishonor George Floyd’s memory.

When, just tell me when will we figure out that our constitution’s phrase “secure the blessings of liberty” means for all of us – for all races, genders, religious beliefs, for ALL citizens. We’ve been working on it since 1776. Why don’t we get it yet? It’s such an easy concept.  I’m so sick of the fear. I’m so sick of people thinking it’s “their” cause being hurt by the violence. People, we are all in this together. It’s America’s cause. Peace and equality and justice are OUR causes.

Let’s see now, what can we do? Teach respect. Teach humility. Teach the Constitution. Teach negotiation skills. Teach respect. Teach communication. Teach respect. Parents,  if you tired of teaching math and english these past months here are a couple of different topics, history, civics, and our constitution to keep the kids busy with this summer.

Law Enforcement needs to once again become a respected profession of individuals dedicated to ‘serving and protecting’ our citizens. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people go into law enforcement today, leaving gaps that need to be filled. Many (NOT ALL) of those that do join up, go there because it’s the one place they can be macho, be a bully, be tough, and get away with it. That environment has to change.  My hat is off to those officers who have knelt in solidarity with their communities, their people of all colors. You have honored George Floyd’s memory. Thank You!

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Crew Dragon

Research, research, research. I’m warming up to it. It was never my favorite part of writing, but my current project requires it – else I’ll look the fool and we wouldn’t want that, now would we? The two topics I’m currently studying are the autism spectrum and personality disorders. Those are not fun topics, but when you have a character that has a particular disorder, what else can you do but learn about it.

Hot dogs and s’mores. I can’t think of a better menu for the fire pit and my grandkids. My daughter thought healthy choices like salad should be added. Today’s parents! What are they thinking? We topped the evening off with a couple of matches of the ‘corn hole’ game, and my daughter slayed us. Go figure. All that salad, I guess.

I sprayed the house for bugs and power washed down all of the mud-daubers ‘up and coming’ home sites. The yard looks pretty spiffy. I still have the urge to go buy a bunch of plants and add them in – somewhere. I’m trying to train myself to just sit back and enjoy what is here. ‘Relax’ is what my best friend keeps telling me. For some reason that lesson about not having to be productive every minute of every day has been a difficult one to master. Talk about personality disorders!

I set my phone alarm so I wouldn’t miss the lift-off of Crew Dragon. Love that name! It was a picture perfect launch. For one who is old enough to have watched the first man walk on the moon, reaching for the stars never gets old. 

My next countdown is for my grandsons’ arrival. Three more days! That is impossible to believe. June is here – the month I’m supposed to be in Scotland for my birthday. Arghh. I’ll let that one go, but I’m not cancelling my trip to France in the fall. That one is still on. I’m going. I’ll quarantine when I get home, but I’m going. There is so much excitement and restoration happening at my nephew’s new home, and I cannot wait to join in.crew dragon

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Out There

Monday was an interesting day. I voluntarily drove up I-25 to Denver. That doesn’t happen often because I hate I-25. Traffic was not heavy, which I am thankful for. The weather was nice, not too hot, not too cold, and I was thankful for that too.

The purpose of my trip was a visit to my sister’s grave in Riverside Cemetery, Denver’s pioneer cemetery. The place is full of incredible monuments to founding Denver-ites, people who have streets named after them and such. Statues of men on horseback, mausoleums the size of tiny houses, and headstones that look like trees are all part of the interesting history of the place. There is also a new entrance, a dirt road at the back on the far side, opposite where you used to go in. No entry way landscaping, just a small sign with an arrow that made me think it was an afterthought. The original entry  is fenced off, possibly because of traffic problems, I’m not certain.

They (whoever they are – the cemetery district?) quit watering this cemetery decades ago, so it is shabby now, and many of the once beautiful trees have succumbed to the stress of Colorado’s dry climate. Such is the case for the giant pine tree that used to shade my sister’s grave. Only a large round stump marks where the tree stood for so long. Now her stone stands stark and unprotected in a place that used to be so pretty and peaceful.

As I read her headstone, I realized that Pam has been gone for forty-one years. Unbelievable. For a while after Mom and Penny died a year and a half ago, I did not feel her with me. I guess we were both grieving and had to go it alone, but she is back with me now, sitting on my shoulder, once again telling me to be brave and get out there. Bravery came so much easier for her. So, I loaded up the kayak and out I go.kayak2020

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Celebrate Memorial Day

Rhyaden is available for free for one more week. Go to smashwords.com and look up Rhyaden. You can download to any format. Enjoy!

I spent a fun half hour visiting my grandson’s 4th grade classroom via Zoom. It was the kids last class meeting for the year, and I was privileged to be their guest. The teacher had just finished reading my middle grade novel, Rhyaden to the kids. I had questions for them and they had questions for me. What a treat. I never realized how much I missed visiting and working with kids in the classroom. I suppose that’s one of those little silver linings from Covid isolation. As I watch the creative, and definitely increased family activities in the neighborhood rather than parents simply running their kids to lessons of some kind, I know there are other good things that have come out of this mess. I hear bicycling has made a big comeback! Yay! No carbon emissions!

I enjoyed a lovely tea party with my youngest granddaughters (princesses really) while their mom did some grocery shopping the other day. We hadn’t played with the fairyland set in a while, so there were all sorts of critters attending our tea party. Little ponies came galloping through via the two year old, puppies woofed their way around the fairy castle, and we even had a mermaid join us. Quite the event!

We’ve got to get our stores back to recycling plastic bags soon. Everyone’s stash is outgrowing its allotted space. Eventually, people are just going to start throwing them away, into the landfill trash. Please! We can’t let that happen. Come on grocery stores, there are ways to do this. Get a conversation going with your county health officials. As they learn more and more about how this virus spreads, I’m confident we can get back to handling food with reusable bags. In the meantime, hang in there and hold on to your plastic bags if you can. The solution is coming.

Celebrate Memorial Day tomorrow – for all those lost fighting for us!

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Housefull

I spent a lovely Sunday gardening, taking a walk, doing laundry, baking bread, studying and writing. I love those days when at the end, you can turn around and point to the things that you did.

Now, I’m panting. I was out fixing the irrigation pipe that I accidentally sliced open with my shovel transplanting some flowers. Oops. I tell you what. I know how to fix these things, and I have the couplers and steel clamps to do it. What I lack nowadays is the muscles. Even using liquid soap to help slick the coupling, it was a beast to say the least. On top of that, it was the first really hot day of the season – hence the panting. I just read a poem that said to “gracefully surrender the things of youth.” Oops again. There is nothing graceful about my surrender.

I am wondering if the weight lifting I do each morning is enough. I do it so that I can load my kayak by myself. Perhaps I need to step up my game. Heavier weights or more repetitions? Actually, if I would bake more bread, kneading would do the trick. The recipe I use is large and it’s quite a work out. The problem with that solution might be how much weight I would gain from eating all that bread. I could give it away, I suppose.

My youngest and her family are prepping for their upcoming move to Colorado. At long last, all of my kids will again be in the state, on the eastern side of the mountains to boot. I am so excited. The school year (such as it turned out to be) is winding down for the grandkids. The packing and logistics have been figured out, except for taking out a basement window and removing their gym equipment. That means a couple of fun weeks with a full house. After all the world has been through these last months, that sounds pretty awesome to me.

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Solution

Classified Ad:  Wanted: the sun. That big golden orb that comes up once a day, shines brightly, warms things up, and goes down when I’m exhausted at night.

Yes, that one. It’s missing. I haven’t seen it lately. It’s almost nine am and it has yet to make an appearance. What is up with that? OH! It just dawned on me (pardon the pun), it’s in QUARANTINE! I get it. Now I understand. Okay. I feel better. We’re all in this together and that includes the big guy up in the sky. It’s amazing what you can get through when you know you’re not doing it alone. My four year old granddaughter walked in the door and told me her mommy’s phone lied to her. It said it was supposed to be sunny. Ha! Exactly.

My youngest grandchild is about to turn two years old. How did that happen? She is such a character, and she wears all of her thoughts right there on her face for you to see. You definitely know when she doesn’t approve of what you’re wanting her to do. She also is a budding jokester. Good luck to her parents. (giggle) Being a grandparent is SO much fun.

I have to say, I’m getting tired of hearing all the whining about quarantine. Shucks folks, if you think this is house arrest, you really should read some WWII history. There are many historical accounts out there to give you an idea of what actual house arrest is like. This ain’t it! I can suggest several really good books, such as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak if you want an idea of how really good we all have it right now. I am not by any means discounting the suffering from loss of jobs or the death of loved ones due to Covid 19. This is real. Which means it’s time for those of us that can – to pitch in, donate to food banks or similar charities helping ease other’s suffering. Let’s be part of the solution.

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The Mundane

We enjoyed beautiful weather for Mother’s Day weekend. My neighbor’s Canada Cherry tree’s rich blossom smell wafted right down into my patio area. What a lovely treat. The next day was forecasted to be thundery and possibly rainy, so I sat outside to write, enjoying that aroma. I also indulged in an extra walk.

The American goldfinches are an amazing, brilliant yellow this year. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen them this vivid. They mesmerize me as they cling to the finch feeder and eat the tiny Nyjer seeds. The doves coo nearby in the soft evening air, their sing song voices drawing the waning sun down to rest for the night.

Life seems to be a long series of events, obstacles, and problems mixed in with joy, triumphs, and moments of just being. All of the problems eventually work themselves out, despite our efforts to control, fix, or hurry the outcome along. They just do. They work out in the long run. Many of us have forgotten how to live for the long run. Yes we all love the big moments of joy, but we also need to look for the tiny richness found – when we look for it – in the midst of utter chaos or the boredom of the everyday. Many of us have forgotten how to live appreciating the mundane, because those very everyday things are our comfort zone, and when those things are threatened, we are threatened and become insecure, or downright scared.

Listen to the birds sing. Listen to your children tell you about some silly game they played today. Listen to them laugh. Listen to the crickets chirp through the open window at night. Listen to your partner breathe, and rejoice in it. Let these sounds give you reassurance that we are where we are supposed to be. Gratitude for what you have now, will bless you in the future.IMG_1954

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