Thin-skinned or Teflon?

One of the issues I had rolled around in my head before writing a blog was if I started one is, would I be able to handle the critics and the haters if one of those would come upon my blog or one of my views. I know that I don’t take criticism well. I take it too well. I take it deep into my soul and let it sit there like a lump. I don’t even take questions that are adverse to my position on Facebook, how would I survive a personal blog?

I googled thin-skin and one of the articles that came up was “Thin Skin? Added Protection Helps-Mayo Clinic. I laughed and laughed. There is not armor for me. I can give it as good as I get it, but I rather not do either.

My friend and I follow the same community Facebook page and we have made a joke where we say, “Just don’t read the comments!” The original  post itself might be innocuous,  but then the commenters take it in a whole other direction that is sometimes, mean, ridiculous, or at the very least, not well thought out.

I get it. Sometimes someone will say something one day that on another would not even raise one degree on the blood pressure scale, but due to the day or circumstances that happened recently, sent the commenters, “To the moon, Alice!”

I’ve done it. One of my friends or relatives says something I don’t enjoy thinking about and I seem to have to say something in the defense of what I view as “the maligned”. Did I need to say it? No/Yes? Did I say it with a love in my heart that I hope showed in my response? No/Yes? Did I really think that what I would say would make a difference? Of course I do! haha Did I make them hide me on Facebook like I now have done to them? Probs.

You know that paper that is like tissue paper that we used to call onion skin? That is my metaphorical skin. I don’t know how to play poker, but pretty sure that if I did I would not be able to show my emotions. I always find it funny when at Job 1 people from there think I am calm and nothing flaps me. I don’t know what is going on there, but seriously these people don’t have a clue. Everything flaps me. My mind goes a thousand miles an hour and once in a while my filter kicks in.

Just today I was taking inventory of what I was thinking about during part of the road trip which is my daily commute. Here is just what occurred to me that I can remember; I have to find out the difference between evogelical and evangelical, how I can use “erudition” in my vocab today, what is the definition of somatic work, whatever happened to …that I used to know, how do people just fall our of your life, do we outgrow people and do they come in and out as we need them, how long do we leave the light on for people that don’t seem to care, did I get the meat out to thaw,  where can I get a white gel pen specifically a Uni-ball Sigmo, do I have to buy whole milk for the weekend, I wonder if the ice caves will be open, should I give Dollie a shower today or wait until the next time it gets about 31 degrees, wouldn’t it be nice to have those trees with white lights on all year, why do people not take those wreaths down, is it because it is too cold, why does that person bother me so much, take a deep breath, is my rib really broken and what does that mean, that was nice for Rick to gas up the car…..  That was just the part where I was driving slowing through the construction zone in a little town I go through.

Now you might understand why I need to have a blog. There are too many questions that have to be hashed out and you gentle nice. No Teflon here.

1000 Moons

Sahasra purna chandrodayam in India and Nepal is a celebration of a person’s 1000th full moon during their lifetime. In Sanskrit sahasra means 1000, purna means full, and chandrodyam means dawn of moon. They have a little party to celebrate when you get to 1000 moons.

If you have seen this many full moons you are about 81 years old. I did a fast calculation and not figuring in blue moons I come in around 708 full moons while my grandsons collectively have compiled 45.

Tomorrow we here in the United States are experiencing a Super Blue Blood Moon which we haven’t had around here since 1866. The best viewing will be on the west coast. It is once again freakishly cold here in the prairie of Wisconsin and I wouldn’t mind being on the west coast looking out to sea. I got to see a preview of the moon this morning while taking Dollie out for her morning howl and it was RED!!!!!  Pretty cool. It made me think of Psalm 8:3-4. I’m thinking that the author there also appreciated how cool it was and thankful to its maker.

Ernesto Sanchez is an artist who made a project called “1000 Moons”. His goal was to make 1000 moon like spheres cast in gypsum and hand painted and to remind us that while the energetic dance between moon and the earth has endured, each of our individual lives is but a brief flash of illumination-only 1000 moons. I looked up an image of his spheres and they are little manikin like heads. I suppose they are a man in the moon type of thing.

He has a participatory event where he burns one of the moons as a metaphor. Each person will take the metaphor differently. One way could be to see it that we burn up our days in each their own way, but we burn them up. The question is then perhaps, how do we burned up our days? As I look at the moon again in the morning, that question will be a good one to start the day.



Mr. Fred Rogers and Mr. Tom Hanks

Today I learned that Tom Hanks will play the part of Mr. Fred Rogers in a movie. My first reaction was that of joy. Can you stand it that someone would make a movie about what I think is a righteous man?

The sad truth is that I am a little worried now that I am thinking of it. Will the movie justify my idol worship of Mr. Rogers? Was he sort of weird in a good way? Ya. Will they tell the truth? Will they dig out some garbage on this icon of education and television?

Then I also have been holding my breath hoping that Mr. Tom Hanks doesn’t do something in his personal life that will make me make my heart sink.After all these events of people being inappropriate and treating others like how they really feel about themselves…well I worry.

Everyone is not awesome. Everyone treats people poorly for different reasons, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not on purpose. Now I hold my breath.
I know Mr. Rogers has two sons. I hope he loved them and liked them. I hoped they loved him and liked him. To tell you the truth, I am not willing to dig into that because sometimes people are not awesome. Maybe he is just regular, full of flaws like me.
I think that it would be difficult to live in the spotlight. People know you as they think you are and then there are those that know you as you are.We regular folks have people that know us personally and our friends tend to look at us through glasses that see into your heart and separate the yucky from the aces part. They accept the yucky, but are willing to put that in a little closet that can only be accessed on certain days when they are willing to be brave and peer inside with their rose colored forgiving glasses.
I used to watch Mr. Rogers for a few minutes in my classroom while my students were at recess or lunch while it was my day off of one of those duties. He made me calm. I needed calm. It stopped me from holding my breath.
I have listened to a few podcasts extolling the virtues of Mr. Rogers and watched him via YouTube talk to lawmakers, an assemblage of guests at the Emmys where he was receiving a reward, and a documentary about how somebody was his real neighbor.
I didn’t know Mr. Rogers in real life or don’t know Mr. Hanks in real life, but I am hoping they were as I imagine them to be. Gently flawed. Wouldn’t that be great? I would like the same from my readers. Now I hold my breath. I guess I better go find Fred on YouTube.

There it Goes

Once there was a lady who used to be a little girl. She had a pink teddy bear that was in terrible condition, but had the stuffing loved to a flatness only time could provide. It was around 58 years old. She threw it out last night. Threw it out as in burned it in the burning barrel. That lady was me.

I have been getting rid of stuff. Sorting my belongings and trying to decide if they are bringing me joy. That term annoys me to no end, because I read that darn Marie Kondo book (I mean I listened to that book on CD) and sort of wanted to throw it in the trash. It didn’t bring me joy. The first mistake I made was probably getting the book on CD from the library, thinking that I could listen to that while I drove to and from work. The reader of the book was not my favorite reader and since I think whoever reads the book is the author (although that is not always the case), I immediately blamed that Marie Kondo for sounding like a shebot and not bringing me joy. She probably is a terrific person, but I think that she might be OCD. Who does all that when they were a little kid and then does it for others when she is grown making a gazillion dollars? I guess not me.

I follow the Minimalists. Those are those 2 guys that made a bunch of money and didn’t find joy in their junk and ditched that lifestyle. Their names are Josh and Ryan. One of them looks like Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and the other one looks like Clay Aiken from American Idol. When I recently read one of their essays…they have podcasts too, I see they actually said, “bring you joy”. Gahhhhhh! NONONONONONONONO! The words are true, but when I see those words all I can think of is Marie Kondo’s shebot saying, “Does it bring you joy?” I also heard it on my favorite show, “Gilmore Girls”, when Lorelei was mocking something…that a girl, Lorelei.

I was in my basement going through the never ending pile of stuff that I will use someday. I find that I have 5 main towers of totes/boxes. A pile of totes full of my kid’s toys, containers of craft materials for when I make something, photos, and decorative accessories and holiday decorative accessories (I know…different from daily decorative accessories). There are some other random piles of stuff, but those seem innocuous to me and don’t yell at me when I go in the basement.

My kids have boxes that we took to two of them last summer. So many boxes that it filled up the bed of Rick’s truck. I had the pleasure of sitting next to my daughter while she sorted it when we got it there, took pictures of some of it and remembered a few nice things of some of the memories. Most of it ended up in the trash, but that was ok. I felt it wasn’t for me to decide if they should keep it. Sometimes it is nice to look it over, handle it, think of it, get repulsed, laugh at it or choked up a bit about it, and sometimes it is good to toss it. The stuff hasn’t earned a right to take up that much room for what it is, yet it does have a right to spark a memory. Lisa Frank erasers? Birthday card from Great-grandma? Participation ribbon for an event? Note from a childhood friend? Sometimes it is hard to decide and you have to live with it for a while before you pitch it or keep it.

When my dad died my mom got the chance to move from their farm of 54 years. That means that there was a lot of stuff to sort through and make decisions about and that was just me. My mother and brothers had their own sorting to do. I had to make a rule for myself on what would come and live at my house. I said then and say now, “Everything has a memory on it.”

The rule I came up on was, “If something comes into my possession then something must go out of my possession.” Mostly that has worked out for me. I got rid of a lot of my stuff to make room for family bowls and tablecloths. When I buy a new clothing item, one old thing must go out. Here is the thing with that though, I am a child of a Depression Era and WWII survivors who grew up with the adages, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!”, “We might be able to use that for something or that might be worth something someday.” Finding the buyer who thinks it is valuable to them is difficult, time and resource consuming. What is valuable to me is not always valuable to others because of the memory. That potato ricer has a story on it that I don’t want to be reminded of…not hard to part with. That hand tatted little baby collar for and outfit is so pretty, but who wants just collars? Who has use for a tin full of embroidery floss that was already old in 1962? The hard ones are the glass bowls that held a million salads that were the best salads made by Grandma, Mom, Aunt Milly, who were/are memorable.

The not hard ones are the things from people your mom loved, but you didn’t know or if you did know them and didn’t like them then they are not valuable to me. I rarely have anything of monetary value in my possession as I like things that are memorable or recycled. Some of the best stuff I have are things like, the “Cats” Broadway show program my daughter brought me, a little Barbie tiara that one of our sons found on the school playground when he was little and gave to me as a ring, or the note one of my sons gave me on the occasion of his wedding, the glass piece that my dad welded a frame for so I could hang it on the wall or the wooden bridge my Rick recreated for me for my garden. Those are gold.

So who gets it tonight? I think my baby dolls will have to live in the totes for a while yet and make faces at my kids’ stuff in their totes. Getting rid of the pink bear will have to do for this entire week. A person can only handle so much memory burning in one week.


What’s Up With That Title?

I know! Here I am blogging. I am not really sure it is blogging until I publish it. Hit that button. Commit.

The title is from a home remedy about trying to help ease arthritis. The thing is that you are to take golden raisins and soak them in straight gin. Then you are to have exactly 9 raisins a day to help you cure your arthritis. Here is the thing, I don’t really like gin. So it is not that I am an advocate of alcohol to cure things, but neither am I against alcohol to cure things. Sometimes if you are not suppose to have alcohol because you are an alcoholic or because it doesn’t play well with your meds then gin would be bad.

The reason I chose that title is that I am a hopeful and fun person. I am willing to try a bunch of stuff to not hurt anymore as long as it helps, and the title is fun. Who soaks raisins in gin? (Gin is made from juniper berries…eww)

Why a blog? I got inspired to write more when I went off and told my true tales to my friends and wrote my true tales on Facebook  I think it is therapeutic.

I am reading a book called ‘Back in Control” by a spine surgeon named David Hanscom M.D. I don’t really have back pain, but have chronic pain in other areas, not like some people I know, but enough to seek some answers. He has some no med, no send me money today and no voodoo ideas for managing pain and one of them is writing. Did I buy the book yet? Silly, no. You know where I work.

I am not a master of many things and writing seems to be something that I enjoy and am not horrible at. I know it is all in perspective as some people might contest that, but I don’t care. I know, that is new.

I get a lot of inspiration for writing and telling my stories. Here are a few of those people that aren’t in my bloodline or married to:

Kim Marxhausen has a real blog that has deep well thought out ideas. She can be one of my inspirations. I haven’t seen her in about 37 years in real life, but I knew her when and read her blog now. I went to college with her when she was not being stupid like I was.

Jenny Lawson has a most irreverent blog. It is full of truth and courage, fun and darkness. She wrote one of my favorite books called “Furiously Happy” and another one I enjoyed parts of called “Let’s Pretend this Didn’t Happen”. Her blog is called “The Bloggess”. It makes me go, “What?” and “Ya, I get that.” It has also made me wonder how she functions. I am impressed.

Michael Perry is one of my favorite authors, but doesn’t blog…yet. I like him because he creates pictures of events and people with words and makes me have to set the book down while my brain digests them. He grossed me out once with his column in a newspaper/online thing so much that I couldn’t read his writing for a YEAR! It was the one about a drowned mouse that he didn’t know was in his coffee mug in his truck. See? Impressed that he created such an image in my brain that grossed me out to that extent plus he lives in my state.

My friend Rhonda impresses me because she is the first truly cool person I knew and she still loves me. As everyone knows, I am not cool. She doesn’t have a blog, but she can stick up for her friends and tell people (not me) where to get off while laughing. That is impressive.

My friend Gail listens to me. She accepts me and lets me be how I am. That alone is impressive. She follows my shiny quarter moments. She is right there. That is impressive

My friend Rachel puts up with me. She is most thankful that we don’t live near each other or I would be hanging around her 24/7 learning learning learning. I will say, “Did you read that?” “How do you do that?” “Where can I buy that?” “What do you think of this ridiculous idea I am having?” She always answers me and pretends that I am smart. That is impressive.