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Rumilluminations May 2009
By: Esther Powell
Posted on: Fri, May 01 2009 - 5:06 pm

May 31, 2009                                            Valparaiso, IN

My partner and I are walking along the street admiring clematis, weigela, and the spring debut of the mock orange.

He shrugs at rows of new flower plantings - impatiens, for one.

"I thought you liked rows," I answer.  "You put our potted flowering shrubs and containers of flowers in rows."

"That's different.  That's along the sidewalk in containers."

"I think rows are rows are rows are rows ...."

Ha, ha.  Shades of Gertrude Stein!

May 30, 2009                                              Valparaiso, IN

People of the West have no real reason to wonder how Mideastern Islam women can stand having no civil liberties.

Look at how many American women, protected by civil rights and domestic violence laws, still choose, often for religious reasons, to submit to their husbands!  If in a country with the strong rights for individuals that the U.S.A. has many women still choose to give up their freedom, what wonder that women steeped in any tradition support that tradition, no matter how destructive it is to them as individuals?

They are only doing what they have been brought up to see as their duty, and if they are lucky, there are privileges attached.

Oh, maybe freedom isn't the best word in the English language!  Maybe it is equality!

May 29, 2009                                                Valparaiso, IN

My apologies - I have evidently misdated my last few entries.  I've tried to correct them.

An observation or two about the blame game.  Parents, you can't win!  Your child can ultimately blame you for everything if he/she wants.  After all, you created that child.  Talk about first movers!  Ha.

Many children resent their parents because the parents try to take credit for their children's accomplishments.  Well, let them!  Laugh it off!  Yeah, yeah, they conceived you so they are responsible for everything!

Everything!  Including the crimes.

Parents, if you want any autonomy at all, give over the credit and blame games! 

May 28, 2009                                         Valparaiso, IN

One way cool thing about having a website (thanks to my son, Martin Kretzmann) with MapLoco on it (also thanks to Martin) is that I can often see where people who look at my site are coming from.  Then I can look up the town and learn a little sliver of geography.  (I know I could learn more in other faster ways, but I can only handle my geography in small doses.)

Anyway, once every few days I get a hit from a foreign country.  The other day Hilversum, Netherlands was on my list.  That particular hit was full of coincidence for me.

For the Valparaiso Book Club I have been reading a fictional account of the love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick.  That in itself is a coincidence because Wright has gets my attention every now and then and I always grab a chance to see his architecture if I find myself in the vicinity of one of his buildings.  (I even gave one of my brothers-in-law a picture book of his stuff once, because I liked it!  (Maybe a mistake.))

It turns out that Hilversum, the broadcasting center of the Netherlands, has a bunch of municipal buildings designed by Willem Dudok, an avid follower of Frank Lloyd Wright!

Coincidences, as I have observed before, abound in life.  It is only when they are emotionally important to you that they seem like Fate!

This one, to me, isn't Fate.  It is kind of noticeable, though.

Maybe it's Fate to you!

May 27, 2009    (and edited, altered, and added to May 28th)                 Valparaiso, IN

Sometimes I do a random search, like, say lglkh.  Or maybe silk shoes (actually haven't done that one yet.  It sounds promising!)

Today I wanted to get to my list of favorites from Yahoo Messenger so, for some unknown reason thinking of Baton Rouge, I typed in Baton Noir.

What rewards I got!  I got a website www.antiqueautoranch.com (or you can try www.montana500.com)  which has short stories in it that take place in a fictional town called Baton Noir, Idaho.  Clever name, no?

Well, not being much of a motor person and not being much into codes, I was kind of lost in the story I read, but I could still enjoy it.  And I do have a theory about what the three... well, no, I wouldn't want to give away my thoughts!  I might be wrong and make a fool of myself!

Anyway, if you enjoy short stories, you might like it.  Evidently the author has written more.  Someday.... I might actually read them!

Another website www.scn.org I stumbled has a section about some people of Ghana, Africa.  This was also a fascinating website that talks about geographical food taboos and linguists' staffs which might have inspired the staffs of the Boy Scouts!

You are probably scoffing at me.  Of course, you say!  Why do you think people spend hours searching (er, I mean surfing) the web?

I dunno what I thought.  What do you do sitting in front of the computer? 

P.S.  These links don't go directly to where I was in these websites.  Just Yahoo Baton Noir - it's faster, I bet, than typing in the whole addresses!  So much for links.  Are they like the sphinx?  Or am I just toooo lazy?

May 26, 2009                                           Valparaiso, IN

When I was young I was not political.  I was barely aware of the news.  When I read about China or Arabia I was not tempted to travel there.  Too foreign, perhaps.

If I had been more political, maybe I would have seen more green fields to go grazing in.

For months now I have heard about the military losing speakers of Arabic because they are gay.  I won't repeat the argument that this is bad for our national security.  Other people have already made it.  Evidently this argument is not enough to get the military to act rationally and stop evicting gays from the military.

I saw in a movie years ago (or read in a book, I forget which) that part of the attraction of military life is that it is a man's world.  This attracts gays more than other segments of the population.  (Except maybe for women-haters (oh, just what we need turned lose on a defenceless civilian community!))

The prejudice of the military against gays is hypocritical.  Perhaps the reason the military is so against the inclusion of gays is that many of its members are so unconsciously homosexual themselves.  (Remember the movie, American Beauty?)

Yep, I truly believe that the armed forces don't want admittedly gay men in their midst because (in their own psyches) they can't handle the idea that they might be gay themselves!

Go ahead!  Prove me wrong!  Make it permissible to be openly gay in the military!

(In the meantime, young people who are casting about for something to do - study Arabic!)

May 25, 2009                                  Valparaiso, IN

I saw a photo in the Week in Photos just now about one of the child stars in the movie Slumdog Millionaire losing her home, which is being razed - just like a fellow child co-star's home was razed last week.

How much has this movie grossed?  Thirty-four million as of January, 2009?  Or was that what it grossed in India alone?  This boggles the mind.  Are the producers of this movie really going to allow their child stars to become homeless?

It seems as if stars of an academy-award winning movie should be set up economically for life in a third-world country like India.  What on earth are the makers of this movie thinking?

Someone explain this to me - please!  I hope I see some news very soon that this unbelievable situation is being rectified.

May 24, 2009                                   Valparaiso, IN

News alert to U.S. media!

Dick Cheney is not the Vice President!

We have a new Vice President - Joe Biden.

To get careless about the way former Vice President Cheney is addressed and talked about is to confuse and mislead the American people.  Worse, it lends more weight to the opinions of this man who has NO official standing in the U.S. anymore.

What I really don't understand is that the liberal media is (are?) making this slip of the tongue a bad habit that they don't even bother to correct.

What do you think, Jay Leno?  Too bad you are going to be off for the summer and can't make, "Who is the Vice President of the United States of America?" a Jay-walking question very soon!

Vice Presidents are known for being unseen and unheard.  But the present one is more invisible than the former one and that is just wrong.  Gaffes are not as damaging to the population and the Democratic party as lying fear-mongering!

Dick Cheney, our ex, appeals to the crowd that hasn't grown up enough to stop believing in campfire ghost stories and the bogey-man parents use as a tool of power over their children.  Why don't the national media just stone-wall him the way they seem to have erased the publicity-hungry Octomom?

Yoohoo!  Joe Biden!  Our Vice President!  Where are you?  (Yeah, I know about Lebanon.  I mean on TV.  We miss your smiling face!)

(Come to think of it, maybe we need to change that title!  That word "vice" might be misunderstood also - if only at an unconscious level.)

May 23, 2009                                    Valparaiso, IN

Two years ago I saw a hornet's nest way high up in a gable of the third story of someone's house.  I wondered if they knew it was there, and if they would try to get it down.

On Halloween Day of the same year, I saw a hornet's nest under the edge of the roof of the porch of our own house that I hadn't noticed all summer!  It can't have been more than six feet from my head at times and I never knew it was there!

Last year the hornet's nest was empty and some robins built their nest right next door.  It looked as if the hornet's nest might have provided some papery material for their nest.

This year the robins refurbished their home and raised another bunch of babies.  The hornets' nest has a bigger hole in it.

Yesterday the last baby to leave the nest spent hours teetering on the edge of its home, trying to work up the will and the nerve to leave.  Its siblings had been gone for a couple of days, but it seemed willing to enjoy the comforts of home for as long as possible.

My partner was the one who got to watch the fledging freefall (with some flops of the wings) down at a steep angle to the lawn, then fly a foot off the ground to the cover of a big patch of daylilies.

He thinks the whole family of teen robins is in that protective cover, scavenging and gaining strength.

The parents are still scrounging around the yard for food.  Maybe they still feed their subadults.

I felt a little like that last remaining bird when I was young.  I was not so ambitious to leave home and make my way in the world!

Have a little compassion for the young adults around you.  It is no mean feat to become independent, especially if there aren't a lot of yummy opportunities around!

May 22, 2009                                    Valparaiso, IN

What does MSNBC have in common with soap operas?

I love Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and am beginning to like that new guy but honestly watching these commentators from day to day is like watching soap operas.  We spend as much time reviewing the story as we spend getting the incremental action that happened that day.

Well, okay, that is kind of the way these things unfold in real life.  I admit I like getting the background.

I know all these folks have their own take on a story.  I know they all have their own style.

But can't they take turns talking about the big stories - maybe draw lots or something?  Is the idea that the viewers are going to choose their one favorite and just watch that person?

I like them all.  I wish they would pool the stories and each choose one every day.  That way we would get more stories.  They could rotate them among themselves or something.

Well - just an idea.

The truth is I am sick of hearing about torture.  The incremental daily developments in this story do not justify commentary by three or four different commentators on the same evening.

Draw straws!  (Or maybe I should every day.)

This soap opera approach to news reporting is a form of torture in itself.

May 20, 2009                                    Valparaiso, IN

Let me get this straight.  The Republican Party wants to rename the Democratic Party?

Bizarre.  Is there some legal way of renaming someone else that I don't know about?  If so, I'll get to work at once.

Rush Limbaugh can be Push Limburger Cheese.

George Bush can be Brush Bushman and Michael Steele can be Bent Rebar and Eric Cantor can be Empty Canteen.

Glen Beck can be Les Feck.

Sarah Palin can be Haras Palindrone.

Hey, this is fun!

What can we rename the Republican Party?

(Oh, that's right!  We already have!  It's the Party of No!  A very memorable, catchy name!  But not, of course, serious.)

Non-Republicans, evidently, are not even supposed to control their own names!

What are Republicans going to call Independents?  Wanna-Be-Frees?

May 19, 2009                                    Valparaiso, IN

Valparaiso is in many ways a lovely town.  It seems, though, that there aren't many social activities here that are not church-sponsored.

There seem to be good activities for bicyclists, although despite good intentions I have never gotten very involved.  There is the Valparaiso Old-time Dance Society which has a contradance every third Saturday evening at the Y more or less during the school year.

And there was the Friends of the Library's Book Sale Room - or so I thought.

I felt ambushed, therefore when the new Director of the Library (a very personable man) said grace before the Friends' annual luncheon to thank their volunteers at the county libraries' book sale rooms.

Awkward!  Maybe it was a nondenominational prayer (I automatically tune out unsolicited worship) but what about all us potential atheists?  Should we now feel that our help is not wanted in the Book Sale Room?  Why would anyone in this day and age assume that in a group of forty there would be no one who might object to this intermingling (however minor) of church and state?

This is the fourth such luncheon I have attended.  Was I always so late in the past that I missed the before-meal prayer?  Or are we regressing back to the fifties?

I enjoy the food.  I appreciate the fact that it is home-made and donated so that all us volunteers can feel appreciated.  I really love and look forward to the plant I get to take home every year!  Maybe someone who doesn't like to garden feels the same way about a potted plant that I feel about the prayer.

Somehow it doesn't seem parallel to me, though.  Am I being unreasonable in feeling transported into a church social hall?

I don't want to go to church when I go to my local public library.  

May 18, 2009                                     Valparaiso, IN

I'd like to de-glamorize "the dark side."

"The dark side of the moon" sounds romantic but the side of the moon positioned away from our view is pretty much the same as the side turned towards us, I understand.  It even gets light.  We just don't get to see it from here.

The dark side of our psyches enjoys a similar romantized reputation.  We tend to think of our unconscious as dramatic and evil, but it is also the source of much that is creative and good.

Sure, there may be some unsavory repressed stuff in my psyche, but not much, I bet.  I spit it up and write about it!  It's out there and no longer repressed, unless somebody else decides to use my "dark side" as a nursery of his or her own evil designs.

There is a lot of ho-hum, "oatmeal again?" hum-drum small-town stuff going on in that glamorized collective unconscious of ours, I bet.

Which brings me, I guess, to the idea of the in-our-face "dark side" of someone's personality or life that emerges to cause trouble.  A person like this is either very unfortunate or very stupid.  Could be both, of course. 

Misfortunate isn't glamorous, and neither is stupidity.

They are just too, too bad.  I try to just shake my light, introspectively porous lawn-mowing head and not fall into the dark pit of "glamor" envy.

May 17, 2009                                      Valparaiso, IN

I wish we had a racetrack close by.  When I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico I went a couple of times.  There is nothing like standing at the finish line and watching those horses fly by.  Those bright flashes of sun on silk and horses' coats!  The adventure of the race!

I know there are people who criticize horse racing, but I cannot be one of them.  As one racer said once, "This is the reason these horses exist."

I don't think my children's memories of the races are all that sweet.  Too many flies around.  And my oldest to this day will gamble on nothing because she lost five dollars at the races.

It turns out that losing is great for putting first-timers off gambling.  The only trouble is, according to one person I spoke with, winning the first time is what creates a gambling addiction!  So, in the larger sense, my kids won that day.

The real reason I love the races, of course, is the horses.  Seeing Mine That Bird (a horse from New Mexico) win the Kentucky Derby was a joy.  Such an exciting move up from the back!  I love to see the odds overturned.

Yesterday we saw the favorite, Rachel Alexandra, win the Preakness.  Such a load of sexist gibberish we heard on TV before that race!  Maybe we should hire attorneys to represent the rights of animals the way courts hire attorneys to represent the rights of children.

Seeing a filly win the Preakness was wonderful, and Mine That Bird surprised us by coming in a close second even though the track wasn't muddy.  Rachel Alexandra was the first horse ever to win the Preakness running in the 13th place from the rail.

The filly was the favorite, and I love to see the favorite win!

Yeah, long shots, favorites - I just love the races.

May 16, 2009                                        Valparaiso, IN

I haven't said anything here about health for a long time, but I want to rave about the practice of moisturizing your whole body with lotion twice a day - that is if your skin is dry.

At my last dermatology appointment a physician's assistant told me to do this.  Once in a while I actually follow his instructions for a day or two, and almost always put some lotion all over my body at least once a day.

Right now, though, I'm running low and using less - and I can feel the difference.  Itchy and therefore more gritchy.

Of course, I have read such advice as all-over slathering in beauty columns for years, but ignored it for reasons of expense and general hostility towards beauty advice.  I figure the PA told me to use the lotion for health reasons.  If your skin is not all dry and cracked you have less chance of infection.

The beauty columns, though, did not do justice to the magical effect of smooothing moisturizing lotion on your body from head to toe twice a day.  I would say the difference in my skin is twenty years, but my skin didn't feel this good twenty years ago.

I almost swoon when I touch myself!  Take that, Madonna!

My skin feels better than it ever has in my life!

(At my age, I need that kind of compensation.)

P.S.  I have used dollar-store moisturizing "cream" (more like a gel) that smells like tea-tree oil and feels very sticky going on.  I have bought expensive Kiss My Face moisturizing lotion that smells like sinus-cleansing lavendar (but good!) from the health food store.  I make no claims as to how good they are for you, but the results for my skin (a while after application, of course) have been the same.

Scrumptious!

May 15, 2009                                        Valparaiso, IN

A few days ago my sister reminded me that I was in Pittsburgh in the early seventies.

I think I can be excused for having forgotten that fact because we arrived after dark and stayed in my aunt's house in the suburbs, never seeing the downtown district.

I have also been in Fort Lauderdale and Miami - in the airports!  Whenever I say I have been in those cities, I make that qualification.  If you only hit the shopping centers, suburbs, or airports, you might as well never have been there at all.  (Except under oath in a court of law, of course.)

It is really as pathetic as those children who think Santa Fe is the penitentiary because when their mom says, "We're going to Santa Fe" that is where they wind up!

Is there any wonder that there might be confusion when they try to talk with other kids about their trip to "Santa Fe"?

Me being me, of course, I think of other situations where such misunderstandings might take place.  I think of other aspects of life in which two drastically different meanings can reside under the auspices of one word.

The only way to understand better is to get out of whatever bubble, building, or mind-set encloses you.  Just take a deep breath and go!  Think of it as leaving the airport in a limo gliding to the heart of the city!

Heh, heh, or even better, trudging there by foot!  It would probably only take a day or so. 

May 14, 2009                                            Valparaiso, IN

I guess with all my talk about the world's biggest... I am trying to stumble toward the question, "What am I going to do?"

Whether it is making the world's biggest omelet (if there was a larger cause than just making the omelet, I missed the details.  Was it a project to attract tourists to a certain place?  Was it an advertisement for the poultry industry?  Was it just for fun?) or the world's biggest quilt it seems okay to me.  There is a larger cause here.  Harmless and fun.  Those are good things.  Right?

I would especially like the omelet thing if it was done in the middle of a poor African country and fed to the locals there.  I would especially like the giganto quilt if its individual quilts are held together by velcro and then distributed to the children who are orphaned by AIDs or, if they don't need them, someone who does.

The question, "What are we not going to do?" seems as if it should be a much easier question.  In this country we have agreed that torture is wrong, yet there seem to be all kinds of rationales going for doing it.  The "ticking clock" scenario for one.  (I had an acquaintance in college who laughed off that kind of argument as "casuistry."  (Had to look it up.))  Defining what torture actually is doesn't seem to be easy for some people.  The golden rule upgraded by platinum, maybe?  Or lead?

I have a good idea!  If we wonder if something in particular is torture get one of your charismatic omelet-makers to try to drum up the biggest waterboarding party in the world!  See how many people turn out for it!

Oh, darn.  There might be lots of sado-masochists show up!  What then?

Well, okay.  Make a list of their names and make sure none of them is employed or gets employed by our CIA, armed forces, or policy decision-making levels of government!

In fact, don't hire anyone who doesn't think that sleep-deprivation is torture!

May 13, 2009                              Valparaiso, IN

Just saw a news item about the world's biggest omelet.

What is our obsession with the biggest of everything?

I admit, after spending Mother's Day with seven mothers, it did occur to me to try to get lots of mothers together.

Why? Isn't it the quality of the experience (whether eating omelets or eating omelets with moms) that is important?

I have to admit, the world's largest quilt left me cold, even though I'm a quilt lover.  Aerial views of it, that is.  As big as a football field?  So what?  In that case I guess the cause was everything, and the purpose was to get attention for AIDS.

But who really wants the biggest of anything?

It all gives me a big headache.  But not a migraine.

May 12, 2009                              Nashville, TN

Just now I had to gather my thoughts for a moment.  Readying myself for great syntheses and inspirational thoughts?

Hell, no.  My big question was, "Where the hell am I?"

Well, I seem to have figured it out and now I'm functioning again.  More or less.

Mother's Day was wonderful.  In the end I had celebrated momhood with seven mothers, one with a two-week old baby boy in tow - her first.  The company was lovely.

We all learned a lot about each other, I'm sure, but any philosophical truths percolating out of Mother's Day through me might need a little more time.

Yesterday we drove back to Nashville; the plan is to leave for Valparaiso at seven this morning to beat the rush hour.

Maybe by this time tomorrow I'll feel a little less like a particle moving at speeds resulting in infinite mass (I did eat a lot!) and more like waves of feeling, intuition and ideas.

May 10, 2009                              Pittsburgh, PA

Ha, ha!  I logged into my article to write today, and found a list of Chinese characters where I thought I was putting spaces!

Maybe my whole spiel yesterday is in Chinese and I didn't know it!  I'll have to check.

Well, there is a lot going on here on Mother's Day - including a dinner honoring five mothers!  That should be a trip!  Especially since we can't all speak the same language.

Yesterday was a day for bridges.  First we saw the bridge crossing over what I guess is the deepest gorge in West Virginia.  Then we saw a few new-looking and interesting bridges in Pennsylvania.

We travelled from my family in Nashville, TN to my partner's family in Pittsburgh, PA.

And finally, we have bridged a gap between China and the U.S., meeting with the parents and wife of my partner's brother.  Their little daughter is an enchanting bridge between China and the U.S.! 

May 9, 2009                                        Charleston, WV

My family drove to Washington, D.C. when I was twelve so I guess we must have been in West Virginia, but it was still exciting to cross that border for the first time in my adult life.

We had taken the Blue Grass Parkway from Nashville, enjoying the variety of Spring progression among the different trees. The fresh spring green shot with chartreuse turned into chartreuse fire enveloping everything in some areas.  Other places were more like bridal groves merely accented with green buds all fresh and young and new.

I hadn't noticed there were two Hampton Inns in Charleston and thought I was calling the downtown one.?I was surprised to learn how inexpensive ours was.  Then I realized it is the one on (in?) Southridge.  Okay, we thought.  Maybe we'll get a big long walk downtown.  Well, no.  Probably a little too far at five or six miles each way!

So maybe we would drive to downtown Charleston and eat dinner and walk around.  Uh-oh.  After a mostly sunny glorious day - rain.  And there are plenty of restaurants around here.  Besides, we are really tired.  So a little work-out in the mini-fitness center and dinner out at the Olive Garden.  There are at least half-dozen chains around here to choose from.  Sorry I didn't discover some unique little gem of an eatery for you!

This morning we plan to go to downtown Charleston for at least a little while before we head out to see Fayetteville and the New River Gorge.  If there isn't too long a line at the Post Office we might buy some forever stamps.  Their price increases Monday.

If we don't get those, oh well.  I like commemoratives better anyway.  I try to post my bill payments with stamps decorated with sharks and man-eating tigers but this time I had to resort to love stamps.

I know, I know, why am I still using snail mail?  (The Postal Service should put out a sheet of stamps with snails on them.)  I guess I'm just in love with commemorative stamps!  Not just the loving ones!  Oh, and I am not too heartbroken about not being in downtown Charleston, either.  I bet those rooms were way more expensive.

May 8, 2009                                              Nashville, TN

A day's drive in clouds and sun yesterday, and here we were in Nashville, being told that yesterday was the first sunny warm day for quite a while. I guess the ghost of April still hangs around here.

For those of you have not driven through the kind of green rolling mountainous hills of southern Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, they are worth experiencing.  Especially this early in the spring the leaves still have chartreuse highlights (at the very least) and are so young and tender!

Last night we had carry-out from a vegetarian restaurant specializing in southern Indian cuisine - Woodland's.  I didn't get to taste everything (too much abundance!) but what I did taste was very good.

It has already rained and stormed this morning, so I guess we got lucky for the trip down.  Looks like it is clearing up.  Good thing, because we are heading out again today for Pittsburgh. This is a drive I have never taken before so I am very excited.  New territory!

May 7, 2009                                                  Valparaiso, IN

I love hearing people indulging in the hundred-year-old debate about evolution.  Right now the other side is called "intelligent design."

It's enough to make an efficiency expert laugh.  (If efficiency experts do laugh.  I'm not sure.  Laughing is terribly inefficient. What purpose does it serve?  (Oh, of course, health - but since when do efficiency experts have to care about the health of those whose lives they efficate (Is that a word? ?Or is it efuckate?)))

Onward. The universe is terribly inefficient.  What about entropy?  We (creation) are supposed to be getting more disorganized all the time.  What about all the suffering and death? How intelligent is that plan?

And the waste!  Why, in nature, for all the critters who survive to adulthood, there are many many who do not.  They just fall by the wayside or get eaten up.  In some times and places that includes humans.  And look at all the wasted energy! Wind, water - children!

Intelligent design, indeed. If God is a two-year-old

May 6, 2009                                                Valparaiso, IN

If a zealot is full of zeal, would someone full of weal be a wealot?

Is a shallot a strong-willed type?

A car lot is full of cars. Would a wiener lot have a lotta wieners? Would a wiener lot be one of those hot dog-eating contest winners?

Are pilots full of pi - orpie? If it's the latter, they might end up being a fat lot!  Maybe they used to need pie to keep them going over long distances.  Maybe they needed comfort because they were going so far from the safety of the ground.

Is plot a contraction of pilot - shorthand for where he is going??After all, aren't plots designed to make us uncomfortable?

Is slot a contraction of sighlot - what you do when your coin disappears (probably forever) into one of those automated machines (they are all a gamble!)

Is wot some kind of lot contraction? (Wot the hell is wot, anyway?)

I know what started this, but I can't remember what I thought was gonna stop it.

God wots!

God swats... zealots.....zzzzz....

May 5, 2009                                          Valparaiso, IN

What makes us start?  What makes us stop?

Have you ever tried to analyze it in yourself?

The moon waxing doesn't make us plant seeds, does it? It doesn't seem to inspire me.  But the days getting longer does!

(A full moon didn't inspire me to go into labor, either, but as for the urge that got me pregnant, that might be another matter!  Maybe more than plant seeds do well when planted under a full moon!  Heh.  Dunno, though. Don't remember.)

Why do I all of a sudden get up and dig those beds that could have just as well been dug two weeks ago?

Is it the fact that I'm getting results from what I planted a month ago?

Does starting feed itself?  Does stopping stall you?  Does it all come down to inertia?

Can you change gears?  When you do, what makes you change them?

So many mysteries!

Time to stop.

May 4, 2009                                                    Valparaiso, IN

I had a boyfriend whose mom told him, "Don't ever expect your fair share, because you won't get it."

Which turns out to be true, studies show, because men don't recognize their fair share when they see it.  (Don't look at me, I'm paraphrasing!)

Over the last couple of days, I decided this doesn't go for just men.  It is hard for all of us to realize that our fair share is probably much less than what we already have.  I've begun to think that for everyone to get along even minimally each individual has to feel like a martyred Saint, or at least a Bodhissatva!

(I refuse to be drawn into an argument about which category is more spiritual, and my syntax doesn't necessarily represent my point of view.)

An article I read this morning about our Congress, which has enacted law which gives tax breaks to companies who create jobs overseas (Obama is trying to undo these laws right now) makes me wish our representatives were more spiritual.  Or at least more representative.

But wait!  I have an idea!  Instead of someone who is supposed to represent our interests, how about electing someone who is supposed to be disinterested?  Like, say, an Iraqi or an Eastern Indian?

Maybe we should trade legislatures and govern each others' countries!  It could be like a round robin all around the world and change every couple of years.

It's hard to believe that my original new system of international government (incidentally outsourcing our legislators' jobs - oops, well that's the way it goes!  Too bad!)  could result in a worse outcome for us, the common citizens, than what they have been doing "for" us in recent decades.

May 3, 2009                                           Valparaiso, IN

How often do you hear a discouraging word?

For this beautiful May, all full of glorious flowers, I encourage you:  bloom!

If you want to grow, grow!  Don't be discouraged by all the possibilities of drought and heavy storms and tornadoes.

Anything may happen, unless - you let yourself get discouraged and paralyzed and refuse to do anything!

May 1, 2009                                            Valparaiso, IN

I am truly amazed that 61% of my countrymen and -women do not want to see prosecutions against our former President and Vice President and whoever else condoned torture.

Sure, it is difficult to see this happen.  But we have been happy enough to pursue and try war criminals (and "terrorists") from other countries.

In my life I have made enough mistakes of judgment that I have sympathy for those who lose their way.  But for a President who condemned others for waterboarding to forget that it was torture two years before he condoned it is hard for me to accept as anything but hypocrisy.

It is one thing to want to spare your child punishment for a crime.  We are still not allowed by the law to protect our children from justice.

Our leaders are not our children.  They are supposed to be of exceptional quality and judgment.

I say, if they make such egregious mistakes as torturing, let the chips fall where they may!

Am I really in the minority on this issue?

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