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Friday, September 30, 2011

A Celebration of the Unique

Somewhere in the western region of Poland, lies a section of the forest where the trees bend at a 90 degree angle just near the base of the tree.  And they all bend in a northerly direction.  This section of the forest is relatively small....about 400 trees.  No scientist has an explanation of why this small group of trees have grown this way yet all the trees surrounding this section have grown straight up, as usual.  But I think it is as beautiful as it is unusual.

The 'Crooked Forest' has a place on this Earth.  The thought that comes to my mind is: it is perfectly okay to be be different....your uniqueness should be embraced and enjoyed.  There are so many people in the world who loathe people and traits that are different from their own.  Fear is probably at the root cause.  They cannot see the beauty.   They cannot understand the 'How' or the 'Why' for the differences.  So, they criticize and condemn the uniqueness.  That's sad.  Because by closing yourself off to the more unique and different aspects of life, just look at what you might be missing?!  A forest of curvy tree trunks....

I dream of a more tolerant world...a world where we at least try to see the beauty and unique visions surrounding us.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 'Think Food, Eat It' Dilemma

Sometimes you are in the mood to eat your vegetables and drink a gallon of water and other days, you would prefer to climb in to the bowl of cupcake mix and eat the batter........for me it's the days when you cannot decide which type of day you should have that are the most frustrating!

Take today....I could go either way.  I started with a Fiber One bar and two cups of coffee.  It was quick and easy.  I am gulping water as I type.  But I am thinking about a Starbucks Light Frappacino.  "Light" as in 340 calories versus 600 something!  Grilled cheese sandwiches sound good about now, too.  No visions of broccoli or asparagus have popped into my head........

I think I would eat better if I lived in a nursing home where they just brought me healthy, nutritious food, and I just sat in my chair and ate it.  Or, perhaps a better vision might be if I was extremely wealthy and my personal chef prepared a light, delicious meal for me and has brought it out to the patio for consumption.  Either way, I did not have to think about the food, which is the point where I seem to get in trouble!

The logical solution....stop thinking!  Set up a boring routine like, Monday is chicken and broccoli, Tuesday is Grilled Fish and wheat pasta.  I know there's so many wonderful cooking shows and blogs giving advise of great food, but when I read or listen to them, I just get so hungry!  My advise: avoid the topic completely, be boring about food...give food less attention and you will make better choices if the decisions and selections are set in stone.  Hey, you won't even remember what you're missing....after awhile!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Can a Tortoise Win In American Politics?

I have found myself dreaming of a media that allows me to decide who's a front runner in the GOP candidate decision.  A world where a debate is televised with all the candidates rotating to the middle placement positions and NO commentary from the press afterwards.  Just me and my thoughts trying to decide who believes in the kind of fiscal policies that can jump start our dismal economy, who knows how to be civil to everyone's ideas and mostly, who can beat Obama with the largest margin! Because after each televised debate I am thinking, wow, I really like what Huntsman and Cain have to say, and what kind of bee is up Santorum's behind?! But, then media people start talking.  They say, "we" like Perry and Romney and nothing else matters. Well, maybe they will point out the funniest joke line of the night, but who the heck cares?!

I also find myself describing the candidate race as kin to the story behind the race of the tortoise and the hare.  I like this analogy and dream of one of the candidates the media is not focused on slowly but surely ends up winning the prized position.  And everyone rallies behind him/her and the media is furious! I like the slow and steady types.  My husband is a slow and steady type.  In the end, he wins. Hey, he "got" me, didn't he?! Still, not everything about being a tortoise/turtle type is wonderful (as evidenced by this short video)...( which you probably cannot see due to my lack of sleep last night and finding it difficult to even post a U Tube Video properly, this morning!):

The man turtle seems more like a Rick Perry than a Cain or Huntsman, I'd have to say! 

Official photo of United States Ambassador to ...Image via WikipediaThe real reason behind my complaints with the media is that I believe they unfairly influence the public's opinions with their poll findings and their comments on who's the strongest candidate(s).  The majority of voters still sit comfortably in the center of politics (either leaning a little to the left or a little to the right) and this majority doesn't often answer the phone polls on who they like.  They don't respond to Facebook ads or even watch the debates, for that matter.  It's just the way most Americans behave.  So, in reality, the polls and the comments from the media are not an accurate depiction of what the majority of voters believe, so they are irrelevant.

Even my Zemanta link tries to influence my decision making.....example, even though I mention Huntsman's name, there is no link or picture available for me to link to.  Now, Obama, Perry, Romney?  I get a million posts and pictures for them!  Huntsman, Huntsman, Jon Huntsman.......(still nothing!) Okay, finally a picture of him as Governor of Utah and one as the Ambassador for China! But, I think you understand my point and my frustration.

Finally, I have a simple request from some of the heavy hitters who are NOT planning to enter the GOP race: please pick your choice for candidate now, especially if you are routing for one of the tortoises in this race.  Your opinion matters to a lot of us.  Yes, Paul Ryan (link to opinion piece from The Daily Beast) and Chris Christie, I am talking to you two!! You could even kick up the wow factor by stating that if, say, Huntsman or Cain is selected, you would be their Vice Presidential running mate.  Now, wouldn't that be a kick in the pants?   Come on.....I, for one, would love to see how the media commentators handle this bold move!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Random Thoughts For This Tuesday

StacyMy first random thought is that I miss Keely and her posts.

How is boredom measured? Are there actual levels of boredom that require medication?  And can you be very bored but not at all depressed?

I may be certifiably bored as I am okay with having to sit home today and rest after yesterday's grueling episode at the family dentist's office. I would gladly take some delightful form of medication, except my house is equipped with only a few pills to help joint soreness or for menstrual relief (which is funny, since no one in the house has periods anymore!). And, my glass is always half full; I can think of at least a dozen boring things that I really want to do around the house while attempting to take it easy..  

I think there should be much better programs in the public school system to teach children about how you can brush two times daily, floss nightly, don't drink sugary drinks or eat an abundance of caramel apples in your life, and still, you will probably have expensive dental work done when you are older.  I don't like to point out God's faults too often, but come on.....TEETH?! Teeth that hang on by a thread that awkwardly attach to bone? I think you could have done better....just saying....

Why is it that from the exact moment you begin to work with a professional resume writer, you cannot remember the chronological order of your own work history or when you took off for delivering your second child?  And what was the real reason you left that awesome job as general manager at XYZ Company again?  Everything gets muffled and I am quite sure they are on the other end of the telephone line thinking, "boy, this person's going to have a time finding a decent job!"  Luckily for me, I found a terrific resume writer, Chandlee Bryan, who is guiding me through this process so that I look as good on paper as I do in real life! 

Finally, I remembered why I don't attend HOA meetings.  The agenda at our neighborhood's meeting included a discussion on the severe dangers that one wireless cell pole could produce to our lives......scary, dangerous workmen lingering in our streets, terrible noises and possible medical sicknesses!  When the whole neighborhood has a 'Michele Bachmann Moment', it's time to run straight out of the room before mental retardation occurs!
Enjoy your Random Tuesday!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cleaning House With The Appropriate Products

When you have a fluffy, furry animal like my golden retriever, it is important to adhere to a rather strict vacuum schedule lest you end up with a collection of natural hair area rugs only Flokati could appreciate.   Having exhausted all my stall tactics today, it is time to change the vacuum bag and get started.  But wait..... an idea has popped into my head and I really must spit the words in the form of a blog post before I forget it!  The house cleaning will just have to wait!

The idea began to formulate yesterday when I heard bits and pieces of the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio.  She had someone on who seemed to be whining about poor Obama and just how dirty "the house" was, economically speaking, when he was elected President and that the public needs to understand just how bad it could have been had he not stepped in when he did.  At that moment, I looked down at the bathroom floor and saw a clump of dog hair the size of a tumbleweed and thought, damn Diane, it's time to vacuum again!  Yes, I blame Diane and her whiny guest!  

No matter who was elected in 2008, I think we all knew it was not going to be a picnic in the park.  I also think all sane Americans would agree that both parties really want to help out fellow Americans by creating jobs, providing good education, great health services all in a safe and quality environment.  The problem is both parties have their own bucket of cleaning tools and sometimes, no matter how hard you scrub, if you are using the wrong products for the job, the "house" will never get clean.

Okay, to further illustrate......The floor is covered with caramel-colored dog hair (high unemployment rate), mud brought in from the daily walks on the golf course (expensive entitlements programs we cannot afford) and a little spilled lotion that spurted out unexpectedly (poor Global economies).  The Democrats have in their bucket a small tooth brush (shovel ready construction projects), some lemon oil ($850M in stimulus dollars) and a hammer (new regulations).  They take that brush and combine it with the lemon oil and brush for months so that now the hair and lotion are mixed with the the lemon oil and it actually seems worse.  So, they try hitting the hair-mud-lotion mixture with the hammer, but it is still a mess!  One politician and one economist suggest  we add some more oil.  Another thinks adding another small toothbrush could really help clean the mess.  They mean well, they are giving it 100% effort, but the problem has actually gotten worse.
In the Republicans' bucket all along has been equipped with a vacuum cleaner (reduced corporate tax rates), some organic floor cleaner (adjusted entitlement reform) and a mop (fiscally appropriate spending cuts).  With little trouble, the hair is removed and companies begin to expand and hire more employees. The mud is removed and the public confidence is restored and they start a big spurt of consumer spending. The lotion gets mopped up and everything smells fresh and inviting. 

This is not to say that one party's bucket is the only useful one.  Lord knows, we sure could have used the hammer during the Bush and Clinton years, when both were encouraging home ownership to every Tom, Dick and Harry who could go to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and sign on the dotted line!  It's just this time around, with the set of global issues at hand, we really need to use the tools that will help resolve the problems at hand.  I, for one, don't want to waste anymore time and effort using the wrong bucket to clean our "house". 

And see how clever I am?  I managed to delay my house cleaning for at least 30 minutes........

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Riding the Waves of the Empty Nest Syndrome

I have just returned from my summer trip back East and several "friends" (and by friends, I mean people who I only know because they read my blog posts) have emailed me and said, "Are you still feeling effects from being an empty nester, even though its been 3 years since your youngest flew the coop?"  They also said that they noticed I haven't written as much lately, so maybe I am "cured" or something.  But, this summer has been the most difficult time frame of all for me and here's why...................

Three years ago, in the middle of August, my youngest child started her first year of college and this blog was created to document the emotions, the thoughts and the activities of being an empty nest Mom.  I wrote sad posts while sobbing, I wrote posts telling of funny stories about getting older and forgetting things, I wrote about treating my golden retriever as if he was a child and many posts about dieting and generally living out my wonderful life!  It's been very therapeutic and I would recommend to all empty nest parents, to at least write a journal about this time in your life.

Just when I thought I have conquered this phase, I became jolted by another even more powerful wave of empty nest issues!  Blindsided, actually.  In hindsight, I should have been ready and prepared for the emotional roller coaster that occurred in July.

My oldest son had attended college at ASU, just 25 minutes down the road.  I got to see him regularly for Sunday dinners, tailgate parties and the like.  After college, he took a position with a large firm, in downtown Phoenix.  Again, I got to see him when I missed the kids.  He and his girlfriend (now wife) were always very accommodating to my need for temporary filling up the empty nest.  But Andy was now packing and leaving to attend Columbia Graduate School, for his MBA.......and for the first time, I was really going to be an empty nester!  Mother Bird kicked into serious crazy mode and stayed with them for about 5 solid days, helping them pack, and handling the details of a cross-country move.  I can tell you now, songs on the radio were my enemy!  I could not control the tears and if I heard Alisha Keyes and Jay-Z sing that beautiful song about NEW YORK one more time, I was going to explode!

So, I think the best answer I can give my reader friends is that I believe that from now on, we will experience "waves" of that ole empty nest feeling.  Some waves will be gentle and others, like this summer for me, will have hurricane force winds behind those waves.  And, I would tell them not to worry, because we Mother Birds are very resilient and strong.  And we will control the situation as best as we can to help alleviate the pain and loss that we are experiencing.

For me, maybe the nest moves...................maybe my wings will grow....................maybe all of the above.  That's the beauty of life.......and we should relax and try to enjoy the moments as they occur.

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