Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Biding My Time

Dear Readers, I’ve been in a bit of the doldrums lately but I think I feel the stirring of a slight breeze. I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel that I’ve been wandering around in, lost. I’ve begun taking 30 minute daily walks after work to begin working off a few holiday pounds that I seem to have acquired (I knew that once I began to succumb to a holiday goodie here and there, all would be lost). It’s time to get myself back into shape and ready for warm, sunny California weather and these walks seem to be clearing out some of the cobwebs which seem to have accumulated in my brain as well. Therefore, I present to you my answer to Question No. 2 from The Journal Jar; to keep my hand in the journal habit.

Question 2 - Games children play


When I was a little girl and played with my friends, we played "Red Light, Green Light", "Tag", "Mother, May I?", "Statues", "Hide and Seek" and "Sardines" (the opposite of Hide and Seek).  "It" hides and everyone who finds him squeezes in and waits for the next person to come along, etc.  I loved this game, it was great fun!  We played jump rope with variations of the intricate "Double Dutch" and "Chinese Jump Rope" (creating the Chinese jump rope was part of the fun; you needed lots of rubber bands).

When I was ten and in fifth grade, it was the rage to play ball games with a small "pinkie" rubber ball against the brick school wall.  The only games I can remember were called "7-Up" and "Russia"; the names only, not how we played the game.

Do kids play any of these games anymore?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Something New

I've discovered someting new in which I wish to participate:

Lots of fun, interesting questions.  Here's the first one.

Discribe your first job.  What did it pay? What were your duties?  What was your boss like?

I didn't start my first job until I graduated from business school and was sent on interviews to land a job.  My pay was $100/week.

I worked in a sales office for a regional sales manager of a tape company.  I answered the phone, typed and mailed letters for my boss and the salesmen who reported in to him via the phone.  I filed, operated a telex machine, ordered supplies from their warehouse in Chicago (I was in New Jersey at the time) for shipment to customers in the northeast part of the country and babysat a temperamental Xerox machine.

My boss was a kind, easy-going man named "Bud" and I seem to recall his real name was Hugo.  I worked for this man 33 years ago and I can still remember the look of astonishment on his face when I came to him in tears nine months into this job to tell him I was completely overwhelmed and couldn't handle it any longer.  He told me I had been doing a wonderful job and found it hard to believe I was having any problems!

A replacement was hired and I stayed long enough to train this woman who was older than I.  When I inadvertently discovered that she was hired at a substantially higher rate than I'd been making, it was my first hard lesson of disappointment in the working world.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Patrick's Saturday Six

Picture from Hometown

1. Do you believe that Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die or that she should be kept alive?

The only way I can attempt to answer this is to try to put myself in this woman's place.  I believe she should be given the gift of death to free her from the shell in which she's been trapped for so long.  It's time for her soul to move on and time for her family members to move on with their lives.

2. Has the Schiavo case made you take any action towards creating a living will of your own?

It's brought home to me the importance of having such a document written, witnessed and stored in a safe place where immediate family knows where to find it.  I have not done this yet but it is one of my short-term goals.

3. Let's forget what we know -- or more likely, what we think we know -- about Schiavo's condition.  If you suffered a brain injury that would leave you in a non-responsive vegetative state (whether Schiavo is in this state or not) and your doctors said that there was so much brain damage that there would be no hope of recovery, would you want to be kept alive no matter what?

Should such a tragedy happen to me, I would most definitely not wish to be kept alive by any means available.  This is not living.

4. Has anyone outside of your immediate family ever asked you to be their "personal representative" to make such a decision on their behalf if they ever suffer a severe injury?  Do you think you could really make the decision?

No and I would not want to be given this responsibility to make such a decision.

5. Do you have a special outfit ready for Easter Sunday?  Does your family have any special Easter traditions?

No special outfits since the Easters of my childhood when I always had a pretty, new Easter dress.  Our tradition of having an outdoor egg hunt continues with our grandchildren but I no longer boil and dye the eggs; that pleasant task has been taken over by my daughter.

6. What room of your house is the absolute messiest?  Would you ever let a house guest see it?

Alas, my bedroom is usually the messiest.  It's my sanctuary and I never feel compelled to invite any guest in for a peek!


Friday, March 25, 2005

Kitty Love

Sharing our home with an animal once more has proved quite delightful. When you’re used to having an animal around the house, there’s a real void felt when there is none. Our kitty has endeared himself to each of us. He’s about seven months old now and even though he’s only been with us for three of them, it’s difficult to imagine life without him. How quickly these small creatures entwine themselves around our hearts.

When my son caught wind of the notion that we were looking for a cat rather than a dog, he was less than enthusiastic. "A cat!? What can you do with a cat!?", was his reaction. At this point, I would say this very same son enjoys the cat more than any of us. This is the first time in his life we’ve brought a new pet into the house and he’s finally reached that age of understanding that you must let the animal come to you; not chase it around and try to catch it in attempt to establish a bonding friendship. How you approach and treat an animal from the beginning of its life with you is extremely important.

Finn, short for Finnegan, is a very affectionate cat. People are often quick to say that cats are incapable of loyalty and showing affection. An appreciator of the species knows this isn’t true. I’ve never experienced a "kissing kitty" before but we’ve got one now. It’s so pleasant to have a little cat curled up beside me in bed. When 4:30 am or thereabouts rolls around and he decides it’s time to wake up and begin his first wild kitty fit of the day, I simply gather him up and gently boot him out the door, closing it behind him. Problem solved.

He’s developed into quite the acrobatic kitty as well. When my son plays with him with dangling feathery toys, the flying leaps he takes are reminiscent of a ballet dancer. I call him Nureyev at times such as these; but not many people probably recall this exquisite dancer’s expansive, graceful leaps. I never get tired of watching him when he’s in high gear.

I’m so glad we brought him into our lives. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the simple pleasure of having a soft, purring cat in your lap to pet makes you feel good, better than you did before he was there. I suspect it’s a symbiotic relationship because the cat seems to enjoy it just as much.

Our kitty is much more handsome than this; perhaps this poor creature has had a rough night.  This graphic cracks me up and I must give credit to the individual's journal in which I discovered this:

Check it out; her daughter is gorgeous!


Monday, March 21, 2005

The Saturday Six

Picture from Hometown

Yeah, I know, Saturday's long gone but this is the first chance I've had to post these so here we go...

1. You know company is coming:  do you panic and immediately begin cleaning house or do you sit back and relax because your place is already clean?

Thank God for occasional company to goad me into action.  I'm not a slave to housework so I usually have to clear away and tidy up a bit.  Strategic placement of lit candles and use of subdued lighting help to disguise a multitude of neglected chores.  Besides, anyone who really knows me is fully aware I'm not the neatest person on the planet and they're coming to see me, after all; not my house.

2. Which was a bigger surprise for you:  
a) Robert Blake was acquitted
b) Martha Stewart did jail time
c) Scott Peterson was sentenced to death
d) The Michael Jackson trial began at all

a) Robert Blake

3. What was in the last package you received in the mail?

Two large boxes containing our new computer

4. What commercial annoys you the most at the moment?

A man wrapped up in a blanket falls out of bed, proceeds to roll down a flight of stairs and apparently survives to inform his wife he wants breakfast crepes at IHOP.  This one gets my vote because it must've run at least 15 times during the program I watched last night.  Enough already!

5. What charity was the last one to call you to solicit a donation?  Did you give them money?  Why or why not?


6. What common household product do you hate to run out of the most?

Paper towels.  How did the world survive before there were paper towels?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Weekend Assigment #51 Spring Haiku

Already time for the weekend assignment once more:

Weekend Assignment #51  Write a haiku about spring--


Mornings are lighter

As winter loosens its grip

Spring is almost here


It's very hard to stop at one so here's another:

Tiny leaves appear

New growth on trees has begun

Soon a shady place


And then my husband wanted to join in; here's his offering:

The sun comes northward

Rejoice in its arrival

Cast off all your clothes!



Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Sight for Winter Weary Eyes

Hope springs eternal (in the human breast) –- credit Alexander Pope. I wonder if that’s where the decision came from to call the season which marks the emergence of new growth each year–spring! I’m sure this is not so, just a passing thought. Spring is always a beautiful time of year and we’re well into a solid beginning of it where I live even though the official date is March 20. Incidentally, when did the 21st of the designated month of beginning a season cease to be the correct date? Wasn’t it always the 21st?

Scattered about the towns and surrounding mountains, hills and valleys are tons of fruit trees; lots of plum and cherry variations. For a brief time in spring, they are in their glory year after year. San Francisco’s Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown is a famous annual event which attracts many visitors. For me, however, there’s no need to travel to the city to fill my eyes and soul with such a lovely sight. Many years ago in my little city’s history, some forward-thinking, brilliant person decided to line a particular street on both sides with cherry trees. I don’t know what kind of cherry trees they are but they’re not the kind that produce edible cherries. This is a good thing else I’d be attempting to climb them all and pick cherries until I fell out or collapsed from exhaustion...whichever occurred first.

When this double line of trees has blossomed to its peak, it’s one of the loveliest sights of the year this place has to offer. Yes, it’s the same sight year after year but it’s one of those things that are always better than you remember. The delicate pink petals above the graceful trunks always make me think of weddings and all things bridal. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to travel along this street to its end to meet my beloved and tell him oh yes, I do.

Already, this glorious display is almost at its peak. If a week passes and you don’t remember to drive or walk down this one street, you’ll miss it. Thank goodness there’s always next year.

Cherry Blossom Trees - Spring In New England - Photo, Photos,

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Weekend Assignment

Weekend Assignment #50: Tell us about an artwork -- painting, sculpture or other visual work -- which had a significant impact on you. Note this doesn't have to be your "favorite" piece of art, or the one you like the most (although it can be, if you want): I'm looking for the work that made you think, or affected you in an unexpected way.

A painting that left quite an impression on me was one I saw many years ago at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. My parents were with me and we were there to see either the King Tut Exhibition or a Tiffany Glass display; I can’t remember which one. After the exhibition, we strolled around and looked at lots of paintings.

One, in particular, stopped me dead in my tracks. It was a huge painting of a man being tortured; disemboweled, in fact. It was so large that it seemed to take up the entire wall at the end of a room. The title of the painting was "The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus" by Nicolas Poussin.

The Martyrdom of St Erasmus

I was horribly fascinated and asked my Dad what this painting was all about. He told me the man was being tortured because he refused to worship a statue of Hercules, a pagan idol, and renounce his faith. Well now, this was amazing to me that an individual would possess a faith so strong that not even hideous torture such as what was depicted on this giant canvass could sway him. Even though I was brought up through the usual steps of becoming a confirmed church member, I have never possessed anything close to a faith in religion that this man surely had. I still don’t and simply cannot imagine such a thing.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Slow Return

Fifty-three days is a long time to forego a habit which provides a pleasant pastime, a hobby of sorts. Many upsets have occurred in my life over the past several weeks. As I look back on them now, they seem trivial when compared with "the big picture" of the world’s current trials and tribulations.

But it’s not dealing with that big picture on a daily basis that skews our normal day-to-day routine. We’re all tuned into the small-screen version of our personal lives and it’s upsetting when disruptions occur. At last, after many fits and starts I am the proud owner of a new computer and a reasonably new (2003) car. The normal routine of my life has resumed and I’m happy for this. Much to my amazement I’ve discovered that I’m unable to pick up where I left off in my journal before my old computer took a nose dive. I find I have to ease back into the process.

I’ve been spending time catching up on all the entries I’ve missed in the journals I follow. While I was without my own, I visited the public library once a week and logged onto one of the three computers there for public use. The allotted time was only one hour and we all know how quickly time flies by when we’re tuned into that small box; even more so when a timer is counting down the minutes in the upper right-hand part of the screen. After checking out, reading and deleting a weeks’ worth of email, there wasn’t much time left for reading journals and no time at all for posting entries of my own. I feel, as they say, out of the loop and need to get my creative juices flowing once more. This entry is a step in the right direction.

It's so good to be back!