~~~As Above So Below ~~ Be True to Oneself ~~~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy New Year!
I love good stories, and this one came my way.  Perhaps you will enjoy the reality check about peace.

Portrait of Peace – author unknown –  There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace.  Many artists tried.  The king looked at all the pictures.  After much deliberation he was down to the last two. He had to choose between them.  One picture was a calm lake.  The lake was a perfect mirror for the peaceful mountains that towered around it.  Overhead fluffy white clouds floated in a blue sky.  Everyone who saw this picture said that it was the perfect picture of peace.  

The second picture had mountains too.  These mountains were rugged and bare.  Above was an angry sky from which rain fell.  Lightening flashed.  Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall.  This did not appear to be a peaceful place at all.   But, when the king looked closely, he saw that behind the waterfall was a tiny bush growing in the rock.  Inside the bush, a mother bird had built her nest.  There in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest. 

 The king chose this picture as the perfect picture of peace.  The king chose it, “Because,” he explained, “peace is not only in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  Peace is in the midst of things as they are, when there is calm in your heart.  That is the real meaning of peace.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hope Rant

Is there hope for the magnitude of information and fear reaching us daily?  This Wikileaks sensation that has rocked the world just hasn't amounted to much horror for US policies.  Really, I've read of more high fives due to Assange for his publishing, than persecution for leaks that he didn't steal.  He's a 39 year old Aussie who considers himself a journalist, not a demon spawn hacker unleashing sick secrets that will cause wars and undo harm to millions of innocent people.  A few bruised egos have certainly resulted, but nothing even as harmful as what was done to Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson.  What happened to those leakers?  Not enough....

Sometimes I think that Hope Remains in Pandora's Box !  Read the article and you'll understand the link.  This season of supposed hope has lessened with the consistent big brother attitude of fear mongers. Really, should we just kill all the journalists instead of the lawyers? 

Today Assange is released yet not.  He is under house arrest fighting extradition to Sweden on other charges.  He does need to answer to sexual allegations, but not treated guilty first.  I can't help but wonder if he is being made a scapegoat for some truly horrifying leaks that he may or may not have that the evil empire bosses don't want transparency about.  Meanwhile, surely some film screen writers are having a heyday writing the script that will enable not only visions of money dancing in their heads, but better than reality TV.

Oh, and then, why don't the people who are frightened by the leaks just give it a time out and stop paying attention to it?  Isn't that what good baby boomer parents did with our kids when they were behaving in undesirable ways?  Pay attention to that which you want to continue (good behavior), ignore the rest.  It's a form of parenting truth.  A technique that could be used in this situation for sure.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tea for Christmas

There are some terrific gift items for tea drinkers at Barnes and Noble.  Ceramic tea pots colored in "green pugg or yellow pugg."  Loose tea sets with exotic names that accompany the tea pots.  Tea brewing systems that use Kati cups, tea infusers, teacup ensembles, tea chests and tea collections.  Even Santa might enjoy a nice cup of tea as a break from milk and cookies! You can view the eye pleasing gifts here.

Tea has numerous benefits including medicinal healing use.  Historically tea was considered a precious cargo from the old world of China to Europe.  Now it is a staple in most places.  There is a sense of harmony and ritual with tea drinking that enhances the experience.  Please read my infobarrel article, Tea Benefits for Tea Drinkers for more about the drink many of us enjoy.

A new political party has taken the name of the Tea Party, but it doesn't relate to any benefits that I'm aware of.  It seems more like a strange brew that is simmering over. They have spiced the political jungle up a bit.  Maybe things will get revolutionary.  Then a cup of tea would be invaluable.  Tea for Christmas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Conversation

Stars Sparkling Glitter Animated Avatars
Let’s face it, baby boomers are where it’s at, and seniors are younger than ever.  So much advertising is about ageing gracefully, staying fit, viagra, and eating healthily, all geared to the self improvement we are capable of.  Just today I used the pch (publishers clearing house) search with visions of winning the green, and decided to search “sex after 60.”  OMG!!!! I was amazed at all the results.  

Then I found an incredible article on The Huffington Post about why sex is better after 60.  Ohh, and another article about a woman (Jane Juska), who wrote a book,  Kiss And Tell: Sex After 60.  I decided great minds think alike and feel quite with it for such an apt search.

Is sex on the Santa list for boomers?  Are you checking it twice and bein’ naughty and nice?  I don’t doubt it. Seniors have more time to enjoy the experience, that’s a big plus. Seniors don’t let bad press (ex pres Bill Clinton for example) regarding sex ruin their life.  I guess it’s just becoming delightfully discussed, and it’s about time!  The 60’ sexual revolution may be over, or history may be repeating for some or true sexual freedom is really mind orientated, and that takes some maturing - yeah, 60 plus is good stuff.  Sexy holidays to you.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Helpful Forward

Below freezing temps have arrived and so has this timely e-mail that I just had to paste here.  It's got some helpful and inexpensive suggestions for car upkeep during the long, cold winter.  Enjoy!

Helpful Hints For Winter
 
 
Keep your headlights clear with car wax! Just wipe ordinary car wax on your headlights. It contains special water repellents that will prevent that messy mixture from accumulating on your lights - lasts 6 weeks.
 
 
Squeak-proof your wipers with rubbing alcohol! Wipe the wipers with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol or ammonia. This one trick can make badly streaking & squeaking wipers change to near perfect silence & clarity.
 
 
Ice-proof your windows with vinegar! Frost on it's way? Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water & spritz it on all your windows at night. In the morning, they'll be clear of icy mess. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water---preventing water from freezing!
 
 
Prevent car doors from freezing shut with cooking spray! Spritz cooking oil on the rubber seals around car doors & rub it in with a paper towel.  The cooking spray prevents water from melting into the rubber
 
 
Fog-proof your windshield with shaving cream! Spray some shaving cream on the inside of your windshield & wipe if off with paper towels. Shaving cream has many of the same ingredients found in commercial defoggers.
 
 
De-ice your lock in seconds with hand sanitizer! Just put some hand sanitizer gel on the key & the lock & the problems solved!

 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Unhooked in a Divorce Culture

Maybe it's the grayness that the overcast November days present, or just that we Colorado folks are spoiled by the most days of sunshine, that gloom and doom rears an ever vigilant notice to threaten any serenity we had. I don't know but it sure seems apparent that most everyone is processing a bummer of some sort, and some even get stuck in the depressive side of the problem/opportunity that is bumming them out.

Then, on top of it all, baby boomers are still getting blamed for cultural norms now.  I've been reading about the divorce stats in the US, and the US census estimates that 1/2 of all marriages end up in divorce. There is divided opinion of the divorce rates with boomers, it is nicknamed the "gray divorce, the late life divorce, and  the silver divorce."  Some say there are more divorces, others say that the divorced are now boomers.  Al and Tipper Gore seemed to highlight the topic by there amicable divorce announcement after 40 years of marriage. . . yup, they grew apart.

Then there are the rants about the baby boomer generation and how the values (free love, drugs, rock n roll) of the once hip time screwed up the next gens, broke with the traditional marriage mores, and made divorce more acceptable and common.  Oh, also we of the baby boomer generation are blamed for the pre-nuptial agreements made so fashionable today.  Yadda yadda okay, our generation did make way for some change, but that's not to say it was all bad!

I read that relationship difficulties are prevalent in our generation.  This may be so because we did learn to question traditions - religious, marital, educational, military, etc.  Once that started, it landslided into The Times They are a Changin'.  Change is the only constant, so we might as well celebrate it, and keep questioning it.  Relationships are ever challenging, and monogamy may not be the answer to loving.

There's some interesting insights in Unhooked Generation . It is an enlightening book that reveals why singles can't seem to make their relationships last.It is available in hardcover, paperback and for the Nook (nookable?).  I first read it when I was writing a VIP paper for one of my lit classes, actually a critical essay for a book that I had to argue something about, and I kept it.  Although it is written about the Gen-Xers, there is something to be gleamed in it for any generation.  It helps those overcast days lighten up somewhat.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Childhood Obesity, Body Scans, Cold Weather, Etc...

Dreary news descends like a shroud from above the dark clouds that we can't see, but know must just be lurking about.  Honestly, are we tired of hearing about obese Americans, and know the ever-looming reality of those obese folks being body scanned at your local airport.  Or, the ever present war stories consistently monitored by instant media sources worldwide.  I actually just wrote about Johnny Got His Gun, the horribly important 1939 WWI classic anti-war novel.  It is well worth reading to help from becoming apathetic and cynical about the ever present war.

Yes, the weather is bound to get colder and snowier or rainier north of the equator...it's what happens now!  I found a site called Happy News that only informs and reports about positive news.  It's a pleasant change from the daily crap of political nonsense, childhood obesity, body scans, no cancer cures, no jobs, etc., ad nauseum.  It offers categories (both national and international) of health, arts and entertainment, heroes, sports, and opinion. It may be worth exploring when the daily dailies compound the sad state of affairs on planet earth.  Of course I'm not saying that just reading always positive real stories is the only way to survive.  Some of the real live politicians equate to comic relief.

Choose your headlines carefully, protect yourself from a drag down of news that is only important as the writer makes it.  Happy November.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Traditions

The big cultural event that has become a wee bit twisted, Halloween traditions undone so to speak, is almost upon us.  I find it quite enjoyable to cruise the web for fun items relating to the October 31st phenomena. That is, after I have enjoyed a long walk in the crunchy golden leaves that have been (alas) covered with snow. Here in Colorado we have been graced with a dry climate that means more gorgeous sunlight amidst the winter snowstorms, which allows for more sunny walks.

A common Halloween tradition is baking some delightful desert that relates to a monster, goblin, witch, cat, or just a food colored vampirish, greenish, blackish, orange decorated sweet.  I do recall all the baking fun when the kids were little decked out in costumes and bearing some ghoulish desert to school.  Now I don’t get into it much anymore, however I did see this blog with a Pumpkin Whoopie Pies recipe that looks quite mouthwatering, and easy to make, so take a look and see if you might want to give it a try.  I think I will, since at this baby boomer stage there is no pressure to have it made except at my leisure.
The other Halloween tradition that I have let go of, because I just never seemed to get the hang of using a knife to carve, is pumpkin carving.  For some reason the work just never appealed to me.  I love the carved results that others could pull off so artistically, and helped carve if I was asked to.  Now I find out that I wasn’t the only one who carving didn’t appeal to.  This is a pretty funny video, short and to the point.  
                                 
                                                         

Enjoy the cold night that will soon share its scairy faces and yummy deserts.  Oh, and take care of your skin - check out these weekly specials for skin care.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October Trials 'n Tribulations

Greetings from the Rockies. This October (2010) is quite long since it has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.  This is an event that hasn't occurred for over 800 years evidently. Along with that info is the cosmic look at the intensity October offers.  It is a month of great drama involving the choice to dump behaviors that don't serve anymore.  Of course, this day has a full moon that should appear around 7:38 pm Mountain Time.  Hopefully the clouds will give way to that spectacular force in the sky.  The length of this month increases the planetary pressures that throw us off balance, so the advisement I have read is to remain neutral.  What a concept!

October trials and tribulations have rendered me stronger, yet very apt to break down easier than usual.  I've been riding the roller coaster with little sanity in between.  Now that I have the understanding of the October Power Path I feel better.  Maybe you have been frozen in the ups and downs of a lengthy month also?  I have really had intense feelings about everything.  Plus I wondered about the 10/10/10 brouhaha that didn't appear very important.  I noticed the date because my granddaughter became 6 months old on 10/10/10, then I realized that was somewhat significant in the calender world. Coincidental? I don't know, but I did read that the next significant date in the calender world is 9/10/11.  H'm my grandbaby will be having her 17 month anniversary then.  Surely we will read more as the date draws closer.  Ah, I digress from the trials and tribulations piece of this blog post.  The trials have been with relationships, and the tribulations have been that so many are reaching back with support.  We survive the ride through our higher gift of creativity, and by the miracle of the process.  

The most majestic tribulation has been the grace of Fall colors appearing at different times in this valley of different altitudes.  Peak visual days were earlier in higher altitude, and luckily the driving to those places was gorgeous, and a pleasure.  So, from September up to today a great blessing of color has sustained the intense upheavals many of us have experienced.  One could say that the trials will continue, and that is a given in this thing called life.  Meanwhile we should stay attentive to that which shows up, especially this October.
 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sumac Fall

The sumac out front is shining with bright red leaves, and the foothills are brilliant with oranges and golds nestled among the remaining greens.  Fall in the mountains is a treat because the cool mornings and evenings enhance the long, hot Indian summer we are enjoying.

Time to treat oneself to a nice spa with Crabtree & Evelyn goodies, especially after a day hiking, biking or just strolling a grandbaby!

You may be interested in reading some of my more current articles:
They are all published on the ezine, InfoBarrel.  I find it a great place to publish online.  This is what I enjoy doing - writing, and if I can make some google adsense income, that is nice too.  Like many baby boomers, I have many interests and a varied job history background, so I also have much to draw on to write about.  If you would like to do the same, then just join InfoBarrel on my link (under author info- I am known as Footloose).  It's free to join, and make new online writer friends as well.

Happy Trails!

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    August in the Mountains

    GENTIANS
    August has almost finished in a whirlwind of anniversaries, new experiences, and a death of a friend's son.  Although the sadness and shock of the sudden death weighs heavily, I am so grateful for the songs from the river, and the whisperings from the wind.  The words from dead poets that inspire me to know the treasure of the world in my heart where those who have passed live on.  Like Rumi says, we are all returning.

    I went on a camping trip and hiked up to tree level- 10,000 feet.  It was an awesome journey- especially hiking the trail with an old friend and a new friend, and a blind dog.  I learned so much about love and compassion with the blind dog and his master.  We hiked at a snails pace, and I was able to surrender to the awesome day and gorgeous surroundings.  The Gentians were fantastic.  So were the giant mushrooms!     

    Now I'm getting ready for family to descend in September.  I get to rock my granddaughter who will be 5 months old.  I can hardly wait.  Hopefully the long Indian summer will provide warmth and sunshine and just perfect mountain weather.  What could be better?  If there is a bit of cool weather, there is always the great spa bath items from Crabtree & Evelyn online store to have on hand for a treat.

    Meanwhile have you noticed that gray hair is oh so chic with many younger celebrities?  Maybe August really is all about Fall coming- changes, and that gray is indeed beautiful! I liken it to the green movement, be natural, although many of these younger gray haired celebs had to dye their hair to get it gray!

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010

    Remember Raffi

    Baby boomers and others have been honored to listen to the irreverent and funny, Raffi.  I know him from when my kids were very young. He made new singable songs for kids - kind of like the Shel Silverstein of singing.  Perhaps some of you younger boomers heard him in your youth.

    Now that I'm a grandparent, I need more songs to draw from my brain to sing to my grandbaby.  I'm thinking that this chant is the way to go:
    If you get up in the morning at a quarter to one
    and you want to have a little fun,
    You brush your teeth ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch....
    If you get up in the morning at a quarter to two
    and you want to find something to do,
    You brush your teeth ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch....
    If you get up in the morning at a quarter to three
    and you want to hum a tweedle dee dee,
    You brush your teeth ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch....
    If you get up in the morning at a quarter to four
    and you think you hear a knock at the door,
    You brush your teeth ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch....
    If you get up in the morning at a quarter to five
    and you just can't wait to come alive,
    You brush your teeth ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch....
    Remember Raffi with Raffi music

    That tune is sung on his Singable Songs for the Very Young CD.  Go for it, see how much your memory recalls, and have a good laugh, too.

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Lily, the Famous Black Bear

    Back in January I noticed an article about a video first - of a black bear named Lily, giving birth.  It caught my interest because it took place near Ely, Minnesota, and I was born in Minnesota.  Also, technology never ceases to amaze me.  To capture a live bear birth from the den is just as amazing as walking on the moon in this baby boomer's mind.  Lily gave birth to Hope on January 22, 2010, and videos are all over the web.

    The main site is the North American Bear Center.  It is certainly worth checking out.  There is a whole menu about Lily and Hope with FAQ's and photos and videos.  The biologist (Lynn Rogers) also started a "Lily the Black Bear" site on Facebook.  That too is quite interesting.  Of course, numerous videos are on You Tube as well.

    I figured a blog about Lily was necessary.  After all, maybe some of you recall reading something about her, but never had time to look into the results?  We all get terribly busy in day to day events that affect our lives, so this  dramatic story may refresh them, and highlight life in general.

    The Center has a mission statement worth repeating.  I quote:
    "The mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in ecosystems, and their relations with humans.
    There is a huge need for accurate information about bears worldwide. 
    Bears have been unfairly demonized for centuries.  Exaggerated perceptions of danger historically led to eradication campaigns using bounties, poison, trapping, and shooting.  All eight bear species around the world are now listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered in all or portions of their ranges.  Remote habitats that once insured isolation and protection are now being occupied by people, and the attitudes of these people will determine the future of those populations. 
    The Bear Center is dedicated to replacing misconceptions with facts worldwide.  It is also working to conserve bear habitat, stop poaching for bear body parts, rehabilitate injured and orphaned bears back to the wild, and implement methods to reduce conflict between humans and bears."
    I live in an area where bears and humans overlap too much.  This is happening all over the country and we all need to be aware of the dire consequences.  This blog is my way of supporting the Bear center.

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    1973 Musings

    A look back at the year 1973 came about when I wondered while I smiled at the memory of the delicious apothecary of Crabtree & Evelyn. It was founded in 1973 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The name "Crabtree" brought up sights and scents of great beauty.  The packaging of the all natural products was enough to give me great pleasure and desire for the products.

    A certain Celtic tree love stimulates my inner time traveler when I look at the lovely crab tree.  It bears apples (wild apples of more than 1,000 varieties exist), and all sorts of tree lore. The many remedies of the crab tree even include divination. 

    Yes, love and prosperity were foretold in more ceremonious ways than at the present time.  Now, one practices apple bobbing, or tossing an apple peel over the left shoulder to see if it forms the initial of a certain individual when it lands.

    Apples aid digestion, cure constipation, and the bark of the tree can be used as a tonic reducing fever.  The crab apple detox can be internal and external (poultice).  The fruit leaves are also used.

    1973 was a big year for most of us baby boomers.  Pontiac Firebirds were hot.  The World Trade Center became the tallest building in the world. Roe v Wade was made into a legalized U.S. Constitutional right.  Brando refused to receive his oscar for Best Actor in The Godfather (Best Picture).  The American troops left Vietnam (finally).  

    Overseas the OPEC folks restricted crude oil flow and the price increased 200%.  Not good! Europe entered into a recession.  

    Funny how some of this history seems to resonate today, in 2010.  One thing though, Crabtree & Evelyn have a wonderful online outlet with discounts up to 75%.  This is an amazing grace of all natural health and beauty products including; spa goods, soaps, candles, fragrances, and even scented drawer liners.  Maybe even some of the discounts are like the 1973 prices.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Baby Boomer Romance Novels

    Remember those hazy days of summer of youthful romantic fantasies that may have become a weaving never finished? A mind weaving of interconnected relationships with strangers from any space in the thoughts emanated from imaginative daydreaming.  I find it quite possible and entertaining as well, to reach back to those possibilities, and shake them free of my confining mind.  

    One way is by devouring romance novels (not for women only).  Some of the vastly popular categories to choose from are:
    • historical romance novels
    • paranormal romance novels
    • western romance novels
    • gothic romance novels
    • contemporary romance novels, and many more.

    Mostly they are entertaining, sometimes familiar, and often great escapism to be had at a reasonable price.  In fact, there is a great romance novel sale occurring  here at Barnes and Noble.  The link will take you to the sale, and you can easily shop for DVD's, games, music, and other goodies if you want to enhance your summer romance! 

    Baby Boomers have wonderful imaginations when left to their own devices.  Where else do these great novels come from?  Experience and memory mix with the creative flow from imaginative mindfulness, and loose threads begin to gel.  A story is born, a tale told, and the reality may be somewhere in between, or not.

    Check out the romance novel you may be searching for.


    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    Summer Sale and A Great Read

    Since I've returned from a 6 week hiatus in New Zealand, I feel summer is moving along way too fast.  After all, this is June 30th, and the heat is on.  The states are gearing up for various 4rth of July bashes, and I noticed that a great sale is happening  that may interest you - 4th of July Sale - Save 45% on thousands of books, toys, games, and DVDs!

    I've been enjoying the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  She is a New York Times best selling author with a great sense of drama and humor in this very addictive and enjoyable series of books about an eighteenth century Scotsman and his wife from the twentieth century! History at a delicious and enthralling possibility just envelops me to get my work done so I can read! Hopefully I won't go into a deep downer after I finish the series. Luckily Gabaldon has books about one of the characters (Lord John Grey), whom I am beginning to like, so maybe I can continue with his stories.  

                                                       

    Please comment if you have read the series and how you liked them.  I'd love to hear your take.  Also, for foreign readers (other than the USA), the first novel is titled Cross Stitch, in the UK.  Here, it is titled, Outlander.  I read Cross Stitch in New Zealand, and had to figure out the different titles because I never saw that title here.  Maybe you picked it up out of the US?

    Remember to check out 4th of July Sale - Save 45% on thousands of products!

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    First Time Grandma finds Grandma Faith

    Grandma faith is experiencing new grandchild bliss amidst initial misgivings.  Not only do new parents (first time parents) have some misgivings, but they also have a great faith in grandma wisdom.  It seems like a tall order initially, but the rhythm of love, mutual support, and encouragement becomes clearer as the bonding grows.

    I've been graced with an incredible experience as a first time Grandma. I have shared it here. Some of the delightful benefits from my experience are:
    • bonding deeply with 3 others
    • providing support
    • trusting my Grandma instincts, and renewing faith in the human nature of nurture!
    Luckily I was able to meet other Grandma's from around the world, and compare notes.  A lovely thread of mutual knowing and respect in each other's care taking really  takes place in the baby boomer Grandma galaxy. 

    Although current Grandma-hood care taking methods may differ from our mother's Grandma-hood methods, they still involve support in some form. It could be; doing laundry, cooking, babysitting, companionship, advice, etc.  Having Grandma faith that all is as it should be sure helps.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Baby Boomer Dilemma: Grandma or Nana?

    New baby boomer grandmothers need to be aware that they may be asked what they want to be called.  It can be quite a surprise if it is an unusual custom to them.


    I speak from experience as a new grandparent.  I am from the States and my grandchild was born in New Zealand (which is where I am presently).  Much to my chagrin, I was asked which I was going to be, "Grandma or Nana?"  I stumbled around verbally, and used the excuse that I didn't realize I had a choice in the matter, but I would have to decide.  I was asked numerous times before I decided.  I went with Grandma and my nickname.


    After a little research about this question, I have realized there is no pat answer.  Traditionally in the States we are called Grandma.  Personally I never knew I had a choice in the matter, I just figured whatever the child could speak is what I’d be called, and then as the child grew older it would be “Grandma first or last name,” and that would be that. I prefer having a choice in the matter. I like my nickname best, so that is what I chose. I love the term “Nana,” but always pictured the English being attached to it - like in the Peter Pan story. 



    Some say it is a family preference.  That appears to be common. Whatever has been in a family as far as how grandparents are called on both maternal and paternal sides holds steadfast. Others leave it to what the person wants to be called, which is smart if a divorce was present. Still, it can merely boil down to where one lives. The local traditions are followed, and some of the names:
    • Nanagrandma
    • Grandmanana
    • G-ma (less traditional)
    Whatever your situation, be prepared for the dilemma so it won’t be too ponderous.  Oh, and know you can probably change your mind as the baby grows into childhood, teen-hood, and beyond. 

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Baby Boomer Grandparenting

    One thing many baby boomers have in common, besides our labeled birth years from 1946 - 1964, is the next step up from parenting.  That would be Grandparenting.  I am being graced with the title of Grandparent this very day, as I blog! 

    Our daughter and son-in-law are living in New Zealand, and the mystery of birth is upon them.  I have been so anxious, so I texted them only to find out that the waters had broke, and the midwife was on the way!  This is so very awesome, our first grandbaby will be here soon.

    Some of the pre-boomer grandparenting challenges have been how to gracefully share that:
    • yes, names have been chosen, but we don't know what they are
    • no, we don't know the sex, and neither do they
    • waiting to pack all the lovely baby goodies for the trip to NZ until we know the sex because we have been given many gender specific items
    • cheering the parents-to-be on with their choices of where and how to birth, and not sharing those choices with others who may not agree, or inadvertently say something negative
    • and of course, wondering if we will really remember all those newborn tricks, and safety rules, and what not.
    In short, being a good Grandparent does take some know-how.  I'm counting on the parenting experience to re-live in all the loving ways that include humor and mistakes.  Right now, I'm holding our daughter, son-in-law and the baby  in the womb in my heart with loads of love and light.  I plan to hold them all in hugs physically soon.                                     
                                                

    What a good deal being a grandparent will be.  I will get to spoil the little love, and pass on wise stories.  I will know a fake cry for a real need cry.  I will be able to be a source of extra security and affection for the little love.  I will provide the best dining room table chairs for fort making, and pulling up on, when learning to walk. So much to look forward to.

    Presently I am gifted to be an "auntie" to a friend's 13 month old, just walking, adorable little boy.  Yes, while my grandchild to be is making her/his way into this world, I am playing with another's child.  What a blessing. Those little ones are such great teachers.  One plus is learning patience.

    The patience of practicing good grandparenting by honoring the choices made by the parents, and prayerfully awaiting the birth outcomeI am happy to announce the birth of a grandaughter!  A new angel to love.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Eve of Winters End

    Colorado weather is so very ironic on this last day of winter.  The snow has been hurtling like daggers from the above, causing very cold temperatures and lots of school closures and others around the state.  Funny, I always thought of the vernal equinox, or first day of Spring coming rather than the last day of winter.  Especially today, March 19, 2010.
               
                                                              

    At approximately or precisely (whichever you want to believe) 1:32 pm tomorrow, the sun will cross directly over the equator making day and night equal in length.  It would be nice if we see the sun tomorrow!

    This event was marked by many previous peoples from cultures world wide.  The Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so it points directly toward the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox. Machu Picchu, the Inca castle in the sky, is considered to be an observatory for events such as the vernal equinox.  I was there in 2000, maybe that's why I feel so strongly about this upcoming event.

    Today is definitely being taken note of because it has been like waking up to return to sleep.  Now the eve is more like staying awake time.  Maybe the time change (spring forward) is just catching up, or maybe the sudden weather change is just living up to the March description, in like a lion, out like a lamb.  Except that the lion is roaring, and the closest to finding the origin of that saying is in this cartoon.  Check it out, and have a sunny vernal equinox!

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Saint Patrick's Luck of the Irish

    The lucky man from Britain who was enslaved on The Emerald Isle has been immortalized as a patron saint and a spiritual shepherd who led the Druids from a four leaf clover to a three leaf clover symbolizing the Catholic trinity.

    One of the most widely celebrated holidays is Saint Patrick's Day, March 17th. It doesn't matter whether one is Irish or not, the holiday has grown so popular that many countries hold parades in honor of the Irish tradition. In fact, Saint Patrick's Day has become a celebration of not just the lucky saint, but of all things Irish.

    Saint Patrick Quiz

    • What are some other names of the great saint? Answer; Maewyn Succat, Patricius, Patrizio, Paddy or St. Paddy.
    • Where was he kidnapped from? Answer: the British mainland.
    • What was his slave job? Answer: shepherd.
    • What does his pagan birth name (Succat) mean? Answer: warlike.
    • What does his baptismal name (Patricius) mean? Answer: noble.

    My heritage includes Irish from both parents, along with some other ancestry. I recall my parents getting in friendly, funny arguments. Mom would say to me, "You're Roman Catholic, and dad would counter with, "No, you're Irish Catholic." Then they would fondly call each other a mick and a wop. Now I know that I am half Irish, and we always celebrated March 17th, somehow.

    The wearing of a green hat, shamrock, or drinking something green, as well as attending a parade or certainly Mass, was always part of the day. Why green? Well, Ireland is known as The Emerald Isle, and the clover is green, and the holiday is in the Springtime which signifies green for new growth. I have seen lovely photos of green rivers dyed so on the holiday! It is also the color of sympathy for the time Ireland was trying to get independent of Britain in the late 18th century. So green has become a national color, enhanced on March 17th.


    Things Irish Quiz

    • Where in Ireland is Saint Patrick's Cathedral? Answer: Dublin.
    • Name a famous Irish dance troupe. Answer: River Dance.
    • Name a famous Irish singing group made up of all females. Answer: Celtic Women.
    • Name a famous Gaelic game similar to hockey. Answer: hurling.
    • What are some of the foods served on Irish holidays? Answer; corned beef, Irish stew, potato dishes, shamrock shaped cookies with green icing.
    Finally, ask where the phrase, "Luck of the Irish" came from. My research just suggests that the Irish have survived stolen lands, famines, and war so the phrase has aptly described their plight. Here is an example of an honoring of the Irish survival.


    John Lennon Luck of the Irish Lyrics

    If you had the luck of the Irish
    You'd be sorry and wish you were dead
    You should have the luck of the Irish
    And you'd wish you was English instead!

    A thousand years of torture and hunger
    Drove the people away from their land
    A land full of beauty and wonder
    Was raped by the British brigands! Goddamn! Goddamn!

    If you could keep voices like flowers
    There'd be shamrock all over the world
    If you could drink dreams like Irish streams
    Then the world would be high as the mountain of morn

    In the 'Pool they told us the story
    How the English divided the land
    Of the pain, the death and the glory
    And the poets of auld Eireland

    If we could make chains with the morning dew
    The world would be like Galway Bay
    Let's walk over rainbows like leprechauns
    The world would be one big Blarney stone

    Why the hell are the English there anyway?
    As they kill with God on their side
    Blame it all on the kids the IRA
    As the bastards commit genocide! Aye! Aye! Genocide!

    If you had the luck of the Irish
    You'd be sorry and wish you was dead
    You should have the luck of the Irish
    And you'd wish you was English instead!
    Yes you'd wish you was English instead!

    So you see, I consider the Brit, Patrick, to have the luck of the Irish. His legacy and legend survives from the Celtic tradition with some myth and beautiful literature thrown in as March 17th approaches every year. Go ahead, celebrate! Create a snake dance, and undulate to a green field to search for a four leaf clover. Go golfing, or participate in horse racing, there is always some way to celebrate Irish.

    FYI - this is a reprint of an article published by me on InfoBarrel (under a pen name).

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    March Myriad Addendum

    I just received this e-mail and I am sorely disappointed - angry even. All affiliate marketers should be alerted to this, no matter what state you live in.  From my understanding, Colorado had the highest number of affiliates turn out to oppose the proposed legislation. It still passed. What the heck is wrong with our legislators, anyway?  Do they not get that this is the future means of making a living for thousands of people?

    I am dismantling any links to Amazon from this blog.  I have numerous articles published online with links to Amazon products.  Now, if readers click through and purchase, I won't receive a cent.  Many affiliate marketers count on this extra income, especially now. This is so wrong.

    Colorado is just being added to the growing list of states that have passed similar legislation.  Beware, and be watchful.  Our dear nation is severely ill.  Here is the email from Amazon:

    Dear Colorado-based Amazon Associate:
    We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to inform you that the Colorado government recently enacted a law to impose sales tax regulations on online retailers. The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules. The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax. Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to "voluntarily" collect Colorado sales tax -- a course we won't take.
    We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10-1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.
    There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.
    You may express your views of Colorado's new law to members of the General Assembly and to Governor Ritter, who signed the bill.
    Your Associates account has been closed as of March 8, 2010, and we will no longer pay advertising fees for customers you refer to Amazon.com after that date. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to March 8, 2010, will be processed and paid in accordance with our regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of March 8, any final payments will be paid by May 31, 2010.
    We have enjoyed working with you and other Colorado-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

    Best Regards,
    The Amazon Associates Team

    March Gadget

     

    Greetings and I hope you enjoyed the blog read like an actual newspaper. I'm constantly learning new goodies about technology, and wanted to share the above.  You can actually create your own "newspaper" on this site.  It only takes a few minutes, and it is free. No need to sign in or anything.  Just click HERE to check it out.  I think it would really be fun for home schoolers or even in the classroom as a teaching tool. If you are an affiliate marketer, this would be an eye-catcher for a promotion.  Enjoy.

    Maybe I'm just gearing up on my new baby boomer role. I'm going to be a Grandmother soon, and this would be a great way to announce the baby's arrival!  Life is so very rich. I'm so blessed.

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Writing Passion: My Bad

    I can't trace my passion for writing, but it might have been from a memory I have of childhood play.  I was with a friend, playing in a muddy, dirt filled area.  It was late into a lovely Indian summer, so we were warmed by the sun, and very chilled as the sun descended.  We were deep into the creation of some village.  We used mud, stones, sticks, grass, whatever.  There was some large story going on with the created villagers.  

    Now, looking back, it feels ancestral as ways of knowing some past life was being re-enacted.  It's a strong memory of story creation, and possibly where my writing passion has evolved from.

    The history of writing is vast, and it evolves from pictorial to hieroglyphical to phonetic.  Many different writing tools were used:
    • sticks
    • feathers
    • quills
    • clay
    • stones
    • shells, and eventually papyrus, paper, and computer.
    The author of this book considers writing a great invention and I concur. 

    There is some suffering involved in this ardent means of conveying the spoken language.  The writing organism consists of those grammar skills that can plague a writer endlessly.  Luckily, with daily practice those skills sharpen so editing doesn't have to be such a pain.  With daily practice comes the memory of childhood play.

    Nevertheless, the process leads to such open-mindedness and interesting research that I do believe it aids in keeping one young. Certainly it can be used to empty the demon thoughts that don't pay rent in one's head! It is great mental exercise. I consider writing as anti-aging treatment. 

    Since we distinguish our humanness from other beings by writing our language, it helps to keep it in the now - current.  This is where some playfulness can come into writing, and playing is anti-aging!

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Writing About Writing

    Any writer gets to the blank page syndrome and suffers from not writing.  A paralysis type grip seems to download on empty pages to remain empty. I'm feelin' the pain, now and then, too. So there are ways to upload the words.  Here's some offerings for anyone else needing some inspiration.
    • Let yourself be conscientious about the not writing blank page syndrome, but don't feel guilty and beat yourself up.  Piling remorse on the pain doesn't really do anything to de-stress the situation.
    • Read some bad writing. Really, poorly written crap. You know you can do better. Allow for some contemplation on the doing better part.
    • Exercise differently than you normally do- like go bowling instead of weight lifting, or go swimming instead of skiing.  Your creative juices may just start flowing in ways you'd never imagined.
    • If you are reading a really good book while trying to write, you may be comparing your writing to a published, famous author's work.  Don't. That author started somewhere, sometime, and experienced blank page syndrome too.
    • Write down your random thoughts without worrying about grammar.  Don't re-write or correct any misspellings or punctuation.  Just write.  Don't try to make sense of your words. No one else has to read them. You don't even have to.  It is just a way to get your page full; a way to begin again.
    Writing is so about beginning and continuing.  It is about those scraps of paper in your backpack, purse, on your bedside table, in your car, next to the toilet.  It is about the pictures in your mind and in the sky and on the beach.

    The thing is - one must actually be mechanical about the physicality of writing.  Pen in hand, or keyboard ready- feel the words coursing from fingers to tools, to paper.  It's a start to continue.

    I really enjoy Natalie Goldberg's books to keep me inspired and writing. 

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    The Cat's Meow: 1920's Article

    Hello readers.  I thought you might enjoy this article I wrote for InfoBarrel.  It's a great site to get articles published and make some $$$ from adsense.  You can sign up for InfoBarrel (it's free) on my link if you'd like to write. Here's my article reprint.

    Those jazzy 1920's created a time that is probably as revisited as the 1960's. A swanky fashion, created by liberated women such as Coco Chanel was matched by gangster fashion inspired from the one and only Al Capone. The prohibition of alcohol didn't stop the youth from having a good time, instead speakeasies flourished. A flapper sub-culture became legend thanks to the Ziegfeld Follies. In short, the 1920's was the cat's meow.

    Numerous words were said with a knowing tongue-in-cheek attitude:
    · bump off - to murder, kill
    · cheaters - eyeglasses
    · copacetic - wonderful, fine, allright
    · hoofer – dancer
    · gams - a woman's legs
    · heebie-jeebies - the jitters
    · keen - attractive or appealing
    · pinch - to arrest.
    1920's history even included the introduction of the popular Chinese game, Mahjong.

    New Morality
    Although folks were singing the Blues, mainly laments about a mate, there was a new, looser morality going on. Cars with a combustion engine (rather than a steam engine) had been introduced, so more people were driving the more affordable cars. The increase in consumer products made for more affordable pricing. There was an emphasis of youth culture over the older generation. This was a sort of coming out from a stricter generational view of society.

    Relationships in the dating sphere changed. Dating became informal - no chaperones. Couples went out and the man paid for the night out. Singles broke away from parental authority and enjoyed an emerging independence. Let's imagine a dating scene. Jo picks up Sally in his automobile, and they drive through some newly invented traffic lights to a speakeasy. Sally is dressed fashionably with a feather boa adorning her flapper dress. They order hair of the dog (shot of alcohol), and maybe even indulge in some Indian hop (marijuana). Then they become hoofers to a jazz singer's soulful tune, or maybe some ragtime piano music. They can do the shimmy, turkey trot, and bunny hug. Once Jo's dough (money) is spent, they take off in his car and maybe park for awhile, since they realize they are stuck on (having a crush on) each other. See how this new morality looked in the 1920's?

    Bee's Knees - phooey
    It wasn't all the bee's knees (extraordinary, the ultimate). They didn't write self-help books about making up like nowadays. Certainly the new morality led to trouble, infidelity and sorrow for some. One famous actress of the 1920's history was Evelyn Nesbit. Her affair ended with her husband murdering her lover. It was quite a big story at the time, and not exactly the cat's meow.

    Along with the inventions mentioned, penicillin and band-aids can be added. This was great, because baseball players like Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees needed to stay well to hit 60 homeruns in 1927. So did Charles Lindbergh with his first successful transatlantic flight. No doubt those two fellows did some talking to the Sky Boss with their great endeavors.

    There were five major movie studios; Warner Bros., Paramount, RKO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and 20th Century Fox. One of the more famous films was "The Jazz Singer" with Al Jolson acting in it. He didn't win any awards at the time, however. Here's a link to a short video about 1920's history, enjoy, and Don't take any wooden nickels!

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Valentine Central

                                                                                 
    Poor St. Valentine.  The dude was beheaded in 296 by the Roman emperor Claudius, and 200 years later Pope Gelasius declared him a saint.  Since then, Feb. 14th has had something vaguely to do with love.  Valentine was the patron saint of lovers, although he may be a wee bit chagrined at how the 21st century materializes his day.

    Another famous dude, Paul, wrote a famous, timeless letter to the Corinthians, and a part of it is quoted all over the world.  1 Corinthians 13: Love Quotes shares the beautiful words from the letter, and gives a little more meaning to love on the 14th.

    In the mean time if you aren't able to give your love a kiss and a hug or a hand written card, or bring her/him coffee or tea and a treat in bed, maybe you'd like to be material and purchase some love gift.  Nothing wrong with that.  Here are some ideas for her:
    1. Savon de Marseille with Crushed Local Flowers 300g-Lavender (French lavender soup)
    2. Valentine Raspberry Hearts Box - 25 pieces (Intentional chocolate)
    3. Sterling Silver Pendant Cubic Zirconia CZ Heart Journey Pendant Necklace - For Valentines Day Gift 
    and here are some gift ideas for him:
    An added note about love, loving oneself is not selfish.  To believe that you are a part of something bigger, and that you are so much greater than what happens to you, that is a great maturity beyond material loving.
    So, love yourself this Valentine's Day.




    Monday, February 1, 2010

    The Knockout Dropper: 50th Mission

    I've been obsessed with the myriad history of World War II.  Specifically the Flying Fortress of the U.S. Eighth Airforce.  Exactly, about a plane that completed 75 missions, The Knockout Dropper.  It was a B-17 that came through the war with little damage, and was scrapped at Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1945.

    My father (1st Lt John P. Manning) was the Knockout Dropper's pilot for it's historic 50th combat mission.  He wasn't one to ever speak much about the war so most of what I know has been through research and old newspaper clippings that I am fortunate to have copies of. He also left a journal of his time at Molesworth, England that I found when he was dying.  All my siblings have copies of it, and my mother has the original.

    There were many heroes from the men and women who served in WW II.  I don't mean to dismiss any of them.  This particular blog post is just focused on referral to the U.S. Eighth Airforce that mentions the Knockout Dropper.  Here are some books that I have found that mention the B-17.




    These two for sure mention the Knockout Dropper's 50th mission.









    These look good also:
    My dad's flying history while based in England for the European theatre was probably pretty much like other heroes - it's just that he was my dad, and I have wanted to know more about that plane and that event that seems harder to research as time passes.  Perhaps you would like to know more about it also? There is much more offered in my article, "The Knockout Dropper: 75 Combat Missions," that you may find helpful.

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Baby Boomers Wisdom is for Everyone

    To begin a blog about baby boomers wisdom being for everyone, one should realize that truly wise baby boomers know that wisdom comes from people of all ages.  When we were young parents, we were willing to learn from our children.  We allowed to let them be teachers, our teachers.  Later in life, we can continue to allow that and the natural reciprocity (being reciprocal) with others just enhances our own wisdom.

    So, I saw an interview with Will Smith, who is not a baby boomer (his birthday is 9/25/68), but the wisdom he shares is very worth passing along.  If you need an inspiration break, or just a wisdom reminder, please view it.
    It's a short 10 minutes to lift your spirits.


    Great, huh?

    Another wisdom source from a true baby boomer is the marvelous Marianne Williamson (7/8/52).  I have read and studied and discussed many of her writings.  The books that really spoke to me are A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", or  A Return to Love CD, and Illuminata: Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage. This is the link to the hardcover, which is a beautiful book, there is also a paperback version.  She is a wisdom writer for all ages, and her sincere honesty really is reflected in her work.  I'm glad I was turned on to her many years ago, because her work is often a fallback for me when I am at that trying time - needing a faith renewal.

    The well known Wayne Dwyer, who is not a baby boomer (5/10/40), has spent much of his life sharing wisdom.  I have enjoyed many of his books and watching him on PBS.  He is able to break through the intelligentsia psychology in lay terms that we all can relate to. Two notable books of his are: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life (this is really a classic, before he added Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao).  The other is Wisdom of the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment.  One certainly doesn't have to stop here.  These are just a few of his many offerings.

    Baby Boomers wisdom is the knowing to pass on wisdom from sources everywhere.  The earth is a wise teacher too.  Listening is one way in to the wisdom world.  Please pass it on as a well known phrase teaches, "You can't keep it unless you give it away."
                                                                          Celestial Wisdom of the Heart



    Celestial Wisdom of the Heart
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    Boomer Galaxy is a blog from a baby boomer, about this baby boomer era and all it's relations.