Friday, June 29, 2012

Looks like a blizzard

As I write this, we are experiencing a thunder storm the likes of which I haven't seen in several years.  The rain is coming down so hard that it looks like a blizzard rather than just rain.  Our lights are flickering, something that rarely happens in our neighborhood because our electric lines are under the ground.

Here's how it looks on the weather map.  We are directly under the red portion near the center of the map.

The street lights, themselves seem to be raining and nothing but a few lights are visable across the street.

I love this kind of weather and spent quite a bit of time enjoying it on our balcony.  I was sitting in a chair six feet from the railing and got throroughly soaked in a matter of a couple of minutes.  Wild and wonderful!  Now if we could just send some of this to the fires out west. . . ..

My forehead is falling . . . .

. . . and it’s taking my eye lids with it!

What’s with the loose, wrinkled skin that now resides where my eye lids used to be? I want too believe it’s temporary from rubbing my “allergy eyes”. But it now appears that I must face the fact that it is yet another cruel trick of aging.

Not only are my eye lids drooping, but they seem to be gobbling-up my eye lashes. How sick is that?! Not that I ever had lush lashes. Mine have always been stick-straight like my hair and pointed downward. Nevertheless, I’d torture myself daily gathering the few I could grasp with an eyelash curler trying to make them more perky. They ended up more bent than curled. Eye lashes with square corners -- not attractive.

Now there aren’t enough lashes left to hold mascara, much less be caught and curled. What’s a woman to do?

A couple of weeks ago, a beautiful woman of color stood behind me in a grocery checkout line. After several stealthy glances, I simply had to ask her if her gorgeous, lush lashes were all her own. Now she had every right to say they were and she would have fooled me, but I think I caught her off-guard.

Now I’ve got the urge to invest in some drugstore lashes myself. Hers looked absolutely real and not at all over the top like some Hollywood bimbo’s. However, reexamining my face this morning, I realize that glued-on lashes wouldn't stand a chance and would soon be pushed off by my now aggressive, creeping eyelids! . . .sigh.

Happy Weekend, Y’All!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So delusional

Jerry Sandusky must live in his own fantasy world to believe that his repugnant behavior, year after year, was OK. Photographs of him before and after he was caught reveal a man who seems to have no idea that he was torturing boys. He enjoyed himself and, I do think, believed his victims were enjoying his attentions.

In no way am I trying to excuse him. Being a survivor of molestation, I have little sympathy for him.

As with many of child victims, confusion, shame and disbelief kept my lips sealed until I got home and screamed into my pillow until I was hoarse. I had no idea how to act or what to say to the man who molested me.

To this day, I don’t know how or if my abuser was dealt with. He was an old, respected, up-standing member of the community. Mom was a young mother of three. I don’t think she told my Dad about it because his reaction would have been loud and clear.

When I experienced a sickening flash-back years ago, I was stunned to learn from so many women friends that they, too had been victimized as children and more as teens and adults. These are smart, capable women of a wide range of ages, some raising families of their own. This lead me to wonder how a parent can prepare a child to handle difficult situations.

As an 11-year old, I knew nothing about men and women, much less sexual behavior. I had been taught to respect and obey my elders; a perfect target for a pedophile.

If I had been told it was OK to refuse -- even coming from an adult --anything that turned my stomach or made me feel weird, would I have reacted differently? Maybe. Adults are physically bigger than children and perceived to have priority and authority. I believed that ninety-nine percent of the adults in my life at that time were worthy of respect. It was the evil one percent I knew nothing about.

Instincts in children tend to encompass simple things like not liking the smell of spinach or fearing water. Their instincts about people are pretty rudimentary, too. Early on, they fear strangers but, with age, they become more gregarious and socially aware.

Is there a way to develop and hone instincts in children so that they can better protect themselves without making them paranoid? I hope so.  Being a woman who enjoys babies and children, I would be heart-broken if children were taught to fear anyone but members of their immediate families. I love to chat-up babies and their parents in the grocery store.

The sad truth is that child abusers have been around for thousands of years and they aren’t going away. It’s about time this crime was recognized and dealt with as a crime, rather than being hidden away in shame. It’s time we Americans shed our Puritanical imprinting.

The courageous victims who have spoken up against their abusers deserve our respect and attention. They also need help to overcome their shame, hatred, and every other emotion that sexual abuse provokes. I read somewhere that some abusers were themselves abused -- a vicious cycle hard to be break.

Perhaps psychologists need to re-examine the minds of pedophiles. Mental illnesses are most often the result of a brain chemistry imbalance. Jerry Sandusky seems a prime example of someone whose mind is polluted with delusion.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a pill he and his kind could take that would correct that imbalance? Maybe medicine needs a Super Fund like the petroleum industry has.

Dream on. . . . …..

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Weather Can Kill

Stories about the deaths of children and pets being forgotten or deliberately left in parked cars during extreme weather are starting to surface.

How many babies must suffer horrible deaths before people wake up to the fact that they are far too distracted? And what would make anyone believe that leaving his or her pet in a parked car while they work, shop or play is a good idea? I dare anyone thinking that way to sit in a parked car, even with the windows cracked but not enough to allow a pet to escape. They won’t last long.

The legal system is in a quandary over whether and how to punish those, most often parents, responsible for such tragedies. Accidents happen. BUT, how should grieving parents be adjudicated for bad judgment because they over-extended themselves to the point of neglect.

I still see people texting and driving. For some, talking on a cell phone seems to go hand-in-hand with driving. I have to wonder what they did before electronics drew their attention away from the task of maneuvering and controlling a ton of metal and glass.

Eating, smoking and applying make-up are still popular diversions. It’s facetiously called multi-tasking.

I wish that people who are addicted to their electronics would turn them off and set them aside even if it’s only for a day. So much of what goes on around us is not contained on a tiny, electronic screen. The old proverb “stop and smell the roses” is just as timely today as it ever was.

Busy parents need to ask themselves why they created a child in the first place. I refuse to believe it was simply to make a fashion statement “baby bump”.

Newborns and infants may seem like crying/pooping/barfing/wobbly lumps, but they are absorbing information at an extraordinary rate. They are sensitive to the moods of people around them. Too much stimulation is as bad as none at all.

I’m grateful that I was a child before electronics took over our lives. I happily live without TV, preferring reading. I don’t own a cell phone although with my total lack of navigational skills, perhaps I should.

Electronics ideally make our lives simpler, chores easier and quicker, provide information and entertainment and keep us in touch with each other.

Electronics cannot smile and laugh at a joke, give a hug, cry with us, tie a shoe, change a diaper, sooth a scared child, kiss a boo-boo and make it all better. Have we forgotten how important eye and skin contact are to humans?

Maybe some smart techie will invent a phone “app” to remind drivers of the sleeping child belted into the safety seat behind them or the beloved, hard-of- hearing old dog asleep on the back seat. It might prevent future tragedies. But then again, there’s nothing better than simply being aware of what is around us.

P.S. The surest way to be robbed, mugged or run-over is to drive or walk around listening to whatever on ear buds and/or your attention glued to some gadget. Those toys are expensive and not everyone has the bread to buy their own! At least look up every now and again.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Little did he know this was only the first of his five children.

I wonder if he was surprised that his namesake looked so much more like his mother than he did his father.  He had his father's build and big feet, but his mother's dark, curly hair and eventually, her beautiful teeth.

Looking at this picture reminds me of the wonder and probably a little fear that accompanied the births of all of his children.

Dad was a fierce protector and teacher.  We often resented his strict "teaching" methods, but his heart was in the right place.

Equally important for a man who fathered five children is the fact that, for the rest of his life, he remained a devoted husband and lover to the most important person in his life; our Mom.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


We haven't planted our window boxes yet, but this weekend appears to be the right time to do that.  Today is exactly a week from the Summer Solstice so we need to get it in gear.

It's always hard figuring out what, how many and where to plant our mini-garden. We have window boxes and big pots that sit on the balcony deck.  Spouse prefers the latter, but I like the idea of sharing lovely flowers with the world as it passes by below.  Maybe we should plant all our containers.  Of course that would seriously cramp anyone who might want to sit on the balcony.

Friday, June 8, 2012

No More for This Champ

It broke my heart to learn that I'll Have Another will not be running in the Belmont Stakes or ever again.  At the same time, I'm greatly relieved that his owner and trainer withdrew him from the race because of a tendon injury.

It would have been a tremendous honor if he had won the Triple Crown, not to mention making plenty more bucks for his owners.  This is a fine example of integrity winning over wealth.

Ill Have Another Belmont

This horse has the heart of a champion and I hope he will sire many more during his retirement from racing.  He will live on through his offspring.