Chimes and salt water

I’m in my hideout (aka my office-VO studio-sewing room) with Tinkerbell, listening to a 10 hour You Tube video of Japanese Koshi Chimes (seriously), and immensely grateful this day isn’t already over 100 degrees at 10 am.

Me and Tink are BFFs

Along with that I am editing a folder of beach/ocean photos. The process of renaming them is so they are well shuffled and will play as my screensaver.

Can I just tell you how zen I am right now.

Cheers!

-N

The “aquarium” off of St. Lucia.

What is age?

I don’t like my chronological age. It doesn’t remotely reflect how I see myself. It doesn’t reflect my interests in most cases. It is, however, unavoidable.

In my varied work life spending the work day with many different ages of coworkers I found I gravitate toward younger individuals. I appreciate their energy, curiosity, enthusiasm, perspective, and enjoyment of life. Working with them is fun, and I find I model my actions to theirs. The conversations are about what’s the next thing to experience. The new places to eat, the great places to go to listen to music, the crazy friends who entertain them with adventures they have, the trips they take and places they go for fun.

Conversely, when working around older humans the conversations are about doctor appointments, prescriptions, parents failing health, avoiding places new that might risk injury, paying bills, worry for adult children (the ones who are having all that fun) and fear of what is around the corner. I gravitated to the younger employees (if there were any) and escaped as soon as I could for those situations.

Can I tell you how easy it is to fall into the old foggy mentality. Instead I dream of beaches, music, boats, diving, dancing.

The past several months have been startling to me by the varied aspects of my life as aging grounds against my self perception. Literally – doctors, prescriptions, tests, treatments, looking at my reflection and thinking of how she can be that fun, silly, carefree person she was?

I’ve never wanted to get old. Each age milestone didn’t make me excited for what was next but gave me pause for what I had lost. It’s been that way my whole life. I didn’t even like my children getting older.

I see elderly people and say to myself, “I don’t want to be them,” and still I am creeping up, crawling up, flowing up, rushing up, running up on that.

So, as I get ready for another test today at 1 pm I try to push away the regret for youth lost, and think this will give the doctors the information to keep me going another good twenty years.

My Happy Place – Salt Water

Cheers!

-N

Doing my own research

As I traverse the Covid-19 news, I find conflict in my understanding. I want to be wise is my approach to this virus. Yet, I really can’t find a middle ground (which is my preferred spot) so I can conduct my life in the best way possible.

I find when I google covid-19:

“In depth info: How it spreads, Incubation period, Who is most at risk

              Followed by – For information purposed only. Consult your local medical authority for health                      advice”

Heading under local and national resources are: General information, Re-openings, Testing, Quarantine, Travel

Okay so this sounds like good resources.

Then there are the common questions like – Is a headache a sign of the disease? Who’s at risk for severe Covid-19? Looks good.

But then we get these-Does Antonio Banderas have Covid-19? Does Alyssa Milano have Covid-19? Really? Seriously? These are some common questions in the height of this situation? The weight and value given to anything pertaining to celebrity stuns me. I don’t know them, their lives have no bearing on me, why are they important enough to push ahead of information like the following:

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
Masks or no mask. I guess it depends on whether you are gathering for a high profile funeral or collecting together to protest, then this is up to personal discretion.
Each state has an online presence with particulars for the citizens of that state. Go look for yourself.
One thing I can share from personal experience is while living in Misawa, Japan I often saw Japanese people, young or old, wearing masks. I discovered it is done when an individual is sick and provides them a way to protect others while working or going to school. In their culture you don’t skip work or school with a cold, flu, etc. It is just not done, so you mask up to protect others. When you are well you go without one. I wonder how differently Americans would feel if we practiced this?
So…I wear a mask when required in order to buy groceries, gas, home improvement supplies, animal supplies and anything else I cannot have delivered. I live in a rural are without access to delivery outside of Dominos. I wear a mask to my church as do the other members.
But let me tell ya, pulling that thing off once I’m in my car feels as good as yanking off a bra when I get home!
My grandson started Kindergarten today, at home, Zooming on a laptop. It’s not ideal but at least he is learning the discipline of it, and once he can go face to face school, he will know his wonderful teacher’s faces, and his classmates too.
My daughter started teaching today as well, same school and same way as grandson is learning. I pray for them both as they wander the covid learning maze. Being only five, he has a tendency to mind wander.
So I guess my advice to you is what I am trying to take myself: do your own research. Don’t go to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for information.
Cheers!
-N

You Tube and me

Greetings beautiful blog followers! 

Here is some news.

I plan to start recording YouTube videos on Tuesdays. The videos will be me sharing about the places I have visited and my understanding of those locales. Some will take more that one video to delve into the dynamics of the location (The Philippines) and some might be brief (Anchorage AK airport) as I explore the experiences of myself and my family.

I love to travel, and the greatest part is meeting locals who give you the best advice about places to check out that the tourists don’t know about. The wisdom and sophistication gained from the travel reality when you are faced with the awareness of the human situation in a “third world country” means you cannot come away unchanged.

An example of locations featured in the videos will be Texas, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, North Dakota, and California to name a few. Some of these are older travels, but just as many aren’t.

My first video will go up next Tuesday. I have a test video posted right now to initiate the set up of my channel, but the real stuff will begin next week.

I look forward to sharing my observations with you, and I would love to hear your YouTube experiences, tips, and techno knowledge.

Cheers! and happy travels.

-N

 

I need a schedule

Greetings lovely blog followers!

Wanted to share something I have discovered about myself. It appears I require more than just spontaneous efforts in writing, blogging,  and voice over for successful results.

So…

I’ve begun to schedule specific days each week for that work. Mondays and Fridays will be for writing. Wednesdays will be blogging day, Tuesdays and Thursdays are VO days.

So…

This schedule will begin next week. I may have a bit of trouble staying on it next week since the grandson will be here until the 8th. Yet I am determined to persevere.

Cheers!

-N

My annual summer in southern Arizona rant

It’s July in Southern Arizona and I have reached my breaking point.

108 degrees today. It may be a dry heat but it is still hot! I laugh when I hear, “Albany is roasting in dangerous 96 degree heat!” Okay, so I’m told, “yeah, but they have humidity.”

Heat index equation temp/humidity = how it feels.

96 with 50% humidity = 108 (Albany)

108 with 20% humidity = 109 (Tucson)

BOOM! we win.

During monsoon season here in SoAZ we can have the following equation: 108/40% =137

Cry me a river, Albany. Granted that humidity level lasts for a few hours at a time then will drop back down to 20 or 30% but we were still feeling it here, and it does it almost daily. Do you know how hot every surface in a car gets when it is 108 degrees? People keep oven mitts in their cars so they can touch the steering wheel.🔥 Forget trying to sit on leather seats while wearing shorts! 🤬 The vehicle paint manufacturers had to come up with different paint so new cars don’t have the painted surfaces faded and peeling after a year. OK, so you stay inside during the snow – well we stay inside during the hot.

We had fires in the mountains next to us nearly all of June, with hot shot crews climbing all over in that heat fighting fires. I’m sure they figured they were in hell.

But it’s a dry heat.

But it’s still damn hot!

When hubby retires I hope we will downsize a bit – sell this place, and move to cooler climes. I’m thinking Ogunquit, Maine. My work: blogging, writing, voice-over can all be done from home so I can go anywhere as long as I have internet.

Fiction/children’s/biographies
Non fiction

I just need a space big enough for my books.

I love my books. This is not all of them.

Nothing in here is newer than 1950.

Hubby said a small house with books on all the walls. That works for me.

So – it’s time for a rain dance. I look forward to October. I keep doing my thing and enjoy hearing from you lovely followers.

Cheers!

-N

Giving back?

I’ve been reading lots of posts about how people are making great efforts to give back in their communities. For example the young person who had a lemonade stand raising funds for the family of a slain officer.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/girls-lemonade-stand-raises-1000-benefit-kin-slain/story?id=55789702

Giving back seems to be on the radar for many folks, and it’s a great thing.

However, is giving back to those who are strangers, or a group of people who are from a different part of the world more or less valuable and worthwhile than say focusing on needs in ones own village (family and close friends?) Is it selfish to see and target the needs in my local community, and not go all out for a dynamic that the rest of the world seems to be focusing on and fiercely directing the narrative toward?

How do humans spotlight a need without feeling guilty? Guilt that my concentration isn’t the same as what I’m being told should be my priority, or guilt that I’m fixating on the periphery of the real need.

My daughter is a single parent of a son on the Autism spectrum. I want to be the person she can count on when she has a need for my help. This is important to me yet I feel because we are not people of color (any color) I am typically selfish and self centered to identify this way.

Who decides what giving back truly looks like?

Is it me being part of a meal chain at my church that provides meals to families who are in need, but aren’t necessarily people of color? Is it my daughter adopting a child with autism and working hard to provide for his mental, physical, educational, and emotional needs? Or is it only in protesting for social change? Are my regular monetary donations to charities a cop-out? I always thought I was helping, doing something good for the world when I’ve sponsored several children in Kenya, supported arts at the school where my daughter teaches, supported a wildlife charity or environmental effort, or took a star from a giving tree to provide Christmas for a child in need.

Who gives value to the conscious efforts of others?

I won’t stop doing these things, but maybe, I won’t let others make me feel guilty for my efforts.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are we underneath?

I don’t know about anyone else but each day feels strange. A bit unsettled, maybe precarious and shaky, yet I look for the things that give me comfort – my beautiful plants, how funny and cute my grandson is, fighting the summer heat in my cool above ground pool, listening to all kinds of music, watching and reading about space travel, and sewing/quilting.

But thoughts come seeping in.

Matthew 7:12 New International Version (NIV). 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…

Who will we be in a year? Who do we want to be? I hope and pray I will be a loving and accepting person who emulates Jesus and the way he treated everyone with love. I want to see the institutionalized racism in effect since the civil war eradicated. This can only be done by people who see it for what it is, and accept nothing more than equality. It may take a few generations for this to truly happen, with the federal and state governments eliminating the use of “redlines” around undesirable neighborhoods based on the racial makeup to reduce the property value and tax based for infrastructure to discourage improvements and developments.

Whether your name is Todd or Shaquille, your college application should be viewed with equality not whether your name sounds black or white. There is no place for a biased perception where educating our youth is concerned. All youth. 

 As far as I know, there were no slave owners in my family, however I grew up with a grandfather who was a racial bigot and saw no wrong in it. He believed as many from his generation and the generation before him that _____(and he used the N word) couldn’t take care of themselves, that they were like dumb little children you had to look after. He saw no harm in the word, and laughed when I told him I would rather he said “colored” than that word. He was once asked what he would do when he got to heaven and blacks were there? “God wouldn’t do that to me,” was his response. I loved him, but I disagreed with him completely, and didn’t shy away from telling him so which got me in trouble.

The picture below shows the truth. There is not a white or black arm there, but beautiful shades of flesh. Take away that covering and you could not tell the difference. This is how we need to look at people. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It goes for everyone, every human. 

Comments are always welcome.

“Come on people now,

smile on your brother,

everybody get together,

try to love one another right now.”

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

You’ve Got To Be Taught

Any city USA:

The call comes in, suspect in a robbery. The witness describes a white male, approximately 5’10” tall with dark, shoulder length brown hair, sunglasses, jean and a navy hoodie. As the police are patrolling they see six different white men in a group on the street as they drive, but don’t stop to question them because obviously they don’t resemble the description of their suspect provided by the middle aged white woman.

The call comes in, suspect in a robbery. The witness describes a black man in jeans and hoodie. Police patrolling see a black man walking his dog wearing sweatpants and a grey t-shirt. They pull up beside him, telling him to stop, call for backup and ask him who he his, where is he going, where does he live, what is he doing. The man is shocked, scared, nervous, and reluctant to say anything. The cop reads his behavior as suspicious and as two patrol cars pull up the cop yanks the dog’s leash from the man’s hands, and push him against the car to handcuff him. His dog is barking, the man begins to ask why he is in custody, the other officers have guns drawn and in a matter of moments this man has lost the right of innocent until proven guilty; the benefit of doubt. The witness was a middle aged white woman.

You wonder why people of color distrust police?

My sweet German Shepherd was traumatized last Friday after being trapped under our back porch while escaping the loud thunder and winds of a storm that blew through. She was trapped for several hours and has since become very reluctant to go outside to do her business for fear of being trapped.  We have to go outside with her because of her learned fear.

People of color, because of past experience have developed a learned response. They have experienced bias, neglect, distrust, and fear based solely on their race. Expectations passed down from generations of family, friends, and cultures which they have had no reason to discard based on their everyday experiences.

A line from Casablanca in response to a murder, “Round up the usual suspects,” is the reaction of rogue bigots in law enforcement and those usual suspects are often not white.

I am not saying that white people are not judged solely on appearance, have you ever seen a nasty white dude hooked on meth? I was profiled by a cop because the peeling paint on my car made him think I didn’t have insurance – big $$ ticket for him. He came up with an extremely lame excuse for why he pulled me over. It felt awful.

What I’m saying is there are years-decades-centuries of people of color given no quarter, always under suspicion, the first to be accused, the person who is treated aggressively, the one who expects to be the focus of distrust, and without merit they are categorized as unintelligent, immoral, underhanded, brutal and lazy. This has to stop with us, now, all of us. All humans.

When a child is told every day to steer clear of cops because they will not keep you safe and they don’t like you because you are black. When they see a brother or uncle aggressively searched and handcuffed because they were in a group on the street in front of their house and must be up to no good so the cops decided to stop anything before it starts. When they are in a not too busy restaurant waiting to be served and watch as a family of white people get seated, drink orders taken and given menus from wait staff who haven’t even looked at them. What is that child supposed to think?

I’ve seen behavior by white humans who get obnoxious and yell at a server for messing something up or taking too long, demanding the manager who came and did their best to assuage the customer, that a person of color would never attempt because they know it will go very bad for them. I hear “what about black on black crime?” “what about all the whites killed by cops?” Listen to what you are saying! You can’t justify, gloss over, and dismiss any thing with these statements. It’s all bad.

My young cousin was incensed that cops were wearing black ribbons across their badges “hiding their numbers” while working the riots. I told him it is common protocol to do this for a fallen officer. His statement was why do this now when it inflames the situation? My thought was why did the rioters wear full-face covered masks? Humans are hiding behind masks, rhetoric, and bias which keeps the others from hearing. Who will be the voice that both sides will listen to, the one voice that can radiate calm and focus on the fact that this situation has been brewing for centuries not just in the last ten years of people shaking the bottle ready to let it explode.

You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught-Oscar Hammerstein II “South Pacific”

You've got to be taught to hate and fear

You've got to be taught from year to year

Its got to be drummed in your dear little ear

You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught to be afraid

Of people who's eyes are oddly made

And people who's skin is a different shade

You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught before it's too late

Before you are six or seven or eight

To hate all the people your relatives hate

You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be carefully taught

-N

My Amazing Village – Great Neighbors

Last Friday hubby and I drove to Phoenix so he could help Melissa put down new flooring on the stairs and a powder room, while I occupied Charlie. We got there around 1pm and they got to work straightaway. Charlie and I made Chocolate Chip Banana bread, then once that was done and cooling he and I left for my sisters house so Charlie could swim (burn off energy) and visit with them. She has a wonderful kids room for her grand kids and when Charlie saw it his first expression was “Whoa, wow!” He proceeded to be occupied for a while as us grown-ups chatted.

I did a Marco Polo message to Melissa asking if they were ready for our return and was told only if we brought food! I can do that – it meant a Whataburger trip.

What I love best about her place is the nearly next door proximity to a Whataburger.

So Charlie and I headed toward home via the Whataburger stop – drive thru only – and while we waited for our order Charlie got more and more annoyed that everyone else seemed to be getting their orders “Too long!” “Nannie where’s ours?” After at least 5 minutes of this grumpyness we got the order and drove home.

The next hours were spent eating, Charlie playing on the iPad, and Melissa and her dad getting a lot done. It was dark and I worried about our dog Millie. We left her outside for the day because we were going to be home that night and we didn’t need a big dog and Charlie underfoot during construction.

My niece Trinity called her mom Heather (who is my go to house/cat/dog sitter) because she has a key to our house to ask if she would go over and let Millie in. Heather went over and Millie was no where to be found. She always comes when you call. Heather called me back very upset and I told her I would call my neighbors to see if they might have spotted her or had her. Heather headed home with the statement she was going to drive around the neighborhood looking and calling.

I called Sandy, then Jayne, left a voice mail for Jan, and then called Sylvia. Sandy also contacted the neighbor behind her. Sylvia went outside where her husband and son where hanging out. While she was telling them about Millie they heard a bark in the direction of our house, it didn’t move around the acre, but seemed to be coming from one spot. We share a property boundary with them. Sylvia called me to tell me and I gave the guys my okay to check. They looked into the back yard and said the barking was coming from our back porch. As she was telling me this, Sandy called to tell me she saw the guys and heard Millie’s bark.

I called Heather again to ask if she could go back and see if she could get Millie from under the porch. She was able to get my very scared girl out, with lots of hugs, and inside the house. The porch is enclosed with one small opening, but when she pushed her way in it prevented her from getting out. We don’t know how long she was there, but there had been a quick thunderstorm come through late afternoon with strong winds and noise which make her very nervous. We think she hid from it.

Millie was well and truly traumatized by this and it has taken several days for her to relax completely. We took her for a drive to Tractor Supply where they love up on her and give her treats. Then spent lots of time cuddling and spoiling her.

All this to say I have the BEST neighbors ever! We have all lived in the neighborhood for decades. Hubby and I won the neighbor lottery. I cannot express how grateful I am to know I can call when I need help, and they are there for me, and they know the same from me.

Cheers!

-N