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Showing posts from May, 2015

3 Pieces of Wisdom

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A portrait of the American writer Mark Twain taken by A. F. Bradley in New York, 1907. "Never pick a fight with a man that buys ink by the barrel." (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It has come to my attention that I know too much. When I spout off on something especially in front of my children I often get that eye roll thing. Most of the information I can talk about is not important or even relevant.

But in all truth, if you are a person that can adapt your knowledge, some of those old saws can come in handy. Here are three of my personal favorites:
Never stand in front of a man swinging an ax. Since the days when this piece of wisdom was very important the ax has gone out of style. Not many people swing axes these day. If you are a city person you probably wonder what I am talking about. If you were to visit a store that caters to wood choppers or lumberjacks you would find that axes can come in two pieces. The handle is often not attached to the head of the tool. When an ax handl…

9 Ways to Deal With (annoying?) Cell Phone Calls or Why Don't They Answer?

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English: Phone box A rare sight these days, an old fashioned red phone box outside the Old Stores in Yarpole village. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I have three email addresses, an iPhone with text messaging and Whatsapp. I have an iPad too. Skype is loaded and ready to go. I seldom use any of them because everyone I know is very busy. It is very difficult to get a response from anyone. Does anyone else have this problem?

It hasn't been that many years ago that we wrote a letter on a piece of paper and put it in the mail. We were willing to wait for an answer and, if the answer did not come, the other person could always claim that it had never arrive..."darned postal service messed up again," they would say. No one's feelings were hurt.

But now...now we need a whole new list of excuses for not responding. My phone battery is dead, I didn't hear the beep and so on when the truth is the person on the other end of the phone probably did not feel like answering you. Rem…

Do High Fences Make Good Neighbors?

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My husband is redoing our back fence...a "good neighbor" fence of sorts is being created. We are the neighbors and the fence is good for us.

See, our backdoor neighbor is a naturalist...or something like that. He mows his yard once a year whether it needs it or not. He has the remnants of an above ground pool in the middle of his yard topped with dead branches and covered with a tarp. His son is a teen and the toys from his childhood sit strewn about the yard and his maple tree seeds itself down willy nilly. A hose that I have never seen used lays by a broken barbeque and his deck cover is going to collapse any day now.

I have to admit that he was living there when we bought this house. I just didn't see that it would bother me because there was a nice fence and I thought I could cover the lattice board we could see through at the top with planters. But, as it turned out, it was not possible to buy enough planters to conceal what was going on over there. And the neighbor…

Yes, I Do Buy Green Bananas!

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I know people that do not want to pay taxes anymore because their children are not in school and they don't go to the park anymore or maybe don't even drive. They have ceased to care about the future and all those generations that follow them. I find myself avoiding those people because they just make me depressed. I like to think about the future and, yes, I still buy green bananas.

On the other hand I know so many people that do care about what their grandchildren or great-grandchildren will become and are willing to contribute time and even money toward what they will never see. And I suppose they realize that taxes are an investment in the future too. I certainly hope so.

As for me I still buy small plants and trees so I can watch them grow. I think that schools are the foundation for the future and if we don't pay for them, the community will fail. I like change and all that it brings. I honestly live as though I will see it come to fruition...who knows what the futur…

Aging: I'm Sorry But You're Not Doing it Right

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Aging is a full time job and I can actually say I like it a lot better than I did the jobs I did as a young person. But it seems that I may not be doing it right. It seems younger people, some of them "experts", have an opinion even though they have no real experience at being old. I think the final straw for me this week was the notion put forth on Fox News that we need to have our vocal cords fixed so we sound younger. Of all things in the world it had never occurred to me that my voice did not sound just fine. I like my voice.

Then I was read a post written by Chloe Jeffreys over at Chloe of the Mountain called Another War No Woman Can Win. In the article she talked about the battles that women just cannot win. Aging has been added to the list. But then doing it wrong is nothing new to a woman like me. Here is what Cloe had to say:
Spending my entire female life watching women emotionally and socially beat the hell out of each other over...being a feminist, maintaining yo…

Retirement: On Being Normal

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I often wonder if there is any such thing as "normal". Is there actually someone in this world that gets up, does what is average, sleep the average number of hours and spend the average time driving, eating, with their children. Who are those people and where do they live?

I for one watch movies like About Schmidtsee myself in so many of the situation pictured I find the characters not only average but boring. Am I like that? Maybe. I could even see myself doing what he did when his car quit working...abandon it and just drive that awful RV everywhere. In fact, it looked so average that I didn't even notice what he was doing until a long way into the movie.

We traveled during the month of April in Europe and returned to Arizona where we battled jet lag as we packed to return home to Oregon. Average had become a life living out of a suitcase, showering in other people's showers and walking endless miles on a wounded knee. I was out of my shampoo and didn't have a…

Bill Clinton and FDR...a simple matter of privacy?

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Franklin D. Roosevelt at The White House - NARA - 197216 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Clinton family arrives at the White House on Marine One, 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It was so interesting that the post I wrote a couple of days ago about the Roosevelt book had commenters linking FDR with Bill Clinton. I was surprised.

While I think the two men did have a lot in common it was the era in which they served that made the them different. Those of us that could only feel sad that Clinton was so twisted wanted the Roosevelt era back with all of those private moments hidden from our eyes. The political climate in FDR's time has remained pretty much the same as the years go by. The big difference is that the press shielded our presidents all those years ago. Now, nothing is sacred.

I would say that I find people that were fans back when Clinton was president seem to focus on his great accomplishments and turn a blind eye to the sordid part of his presidency. I personally still thin…

BEST Book Yet: No Ordinary TIme by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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I have been in the process of reading some very thought provoking books lately. My latest conquest was the book about the WWII years in the White House called No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. The book by Doris Kearns Goodwin took me almost day by day through one of the most difficult periods our country has ever had to endure...and I loved every page of it.

I grew up in that era. When I was a high school student in the mid 50's things were not always as they appeared in the history books. Even at that age I was a lover of books and what I read then is not at all what was really going on.

For example, because of what I read I believed that we had done the right thing for the right people. But at Kearns knee I learned that while we tried to resolve the Jewish issue after the war, it was our own government and its employees that resolved to withhold help when we knew it was badly needed because of anti-semitism. The Nazis took this as…

Photography: It said so on the bathroom wall.....!

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What do you take pictures of when you travel? I mean, I do like pictures of the Arno in Florence and the Rhine River in Frankfurt and the Isar River in Munich but I can only take so many of those and I am done. Besides, I know that some really professional photographer has one for sale online. 
So what interests me is not so much the tourist picture but that quirky thing catches my eye. I don't always have my camera but my iPhone is wonderful so I use it. 
For example, the graffiti I notices in a bathroom stall in Florence made me think that we are all so connected in someway. If I see that girl I will tell her that the graffiti writer liked her shoes. 
When we travel I try to take one picture per day (at least) of a bicycle. I think they are beautiful and everyone in the world, accept Americans, ride bicycles everywhere. In fact, in Munich people seemed to ride them and then abandon them on the sidewalks when winter came. Sad, flat tired, lost bicycles lined the street next to t…

Travel Oregon Highway 66 Back to the 70's

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Here in Southern Oregon there is a subset of our culture that invites a closer look. In the days when hippies wandered the woods living secluded lives that only required a garden and a few marijuana plants, a revolution began. The interesting thing is it has never really ended. Some of the people that live in this part of our country still are living the dream. Even though Marijuana will be legal here in Oregon soon and use of the drug or even growing it has lost it's rebellious connotation, the feeling is still all about freedom and rebellion in the Siskiyou Mountain forest.

We stayed in a lodge in the Siskiyou Mt. near Ashland Oregon called Green Spring Inn and Cabins on our trip home from Arizona. Our cute room fit the description of a boutique hotel room. The old lodge has been refitted with very good beds and wonderful amenities. But it was as I sat with my husband in the restaurant that I had that feeling...you know the one where you wonder where you are and what decade is i…