a life spent unwisely?

a life spent unwisely

Housework? Please! I’d rather eat a worm!

It’s Thursday and I’m plotting a new scene I’m about to write. I’m alone with my thoughts. And except for a sable brown cat’s meandering there is no other movement in the house.  I like it this way sometimes and today seems to be one of those times I appreciate the stillness and quietness of this little house more than not. Although, I’ve managed to put on my jeans, I’m still in my sleep shirt and my hair is tousled.  This is a writing day — ponder, scheme, play with words —  and a day to detach myself from dishtowels and other things that draw my attention.

Focus — focus — focus!

I’m trying to write, but it seems my focus is on something other than writing, which is stalling out the words. And this is the dilemma I find myself in on this Thursday. Awe – My perfect day to write has gone awry.

So I pull out the newly serviced sewing machine. I take the blue unfinished quilt from the chest and look at it. Should I stipple or machine tack a design here and there on it to secure the (sandwich) layers together?  I decide to do both. Stipple along the sides and place a design (star) in the center of each block. The quilt is for my grandson’s twenty-fifth birthday and I really should finish his first before I finish the others.

But, first I wonder outside to water the herbs that are growing in pots on the back porch. I discover the soil is as dry as sun-weathered moist-less sand.  The herbs drink up the water quickly.  mental note: pay closer attention to the herb pots!

I come back inside. I draw myself a tall glass of ice water and decide to blog before I begin the task of machine quilting.

After blogging, I’ll sew and ponder the ‘words’ that need to be written, and I’ll write them later today because I really do need to do this too. Awe, the life of a retired woman, a writer, a quilter, a gardener and someone who is unable to focus on this Thursday because she is thinking about a lovely walk in Old Town.

 

EASTER EVE BLESSINGS

EASTER EVE BLESSINGS

May the spirit of my Lord be in my heart and in my actions on this day as I prepare for my baptism ~~~

From this day forward may I be Your shining example to all that know me ~~~

I am a simple woman Lord, quiet & reserved, softly spoken; I am not a star on the world’s stage; the gifts you have given me have served me well — compassion, kindness & empathy, discernment & wisdom — over the years in the rearing of my children and in of my career. I know I have been blessed! Father, I ask for your conditioned blessings ~~~ bless Me a Lot Lord God ~~~ as I renew my spiritual path.

(excerpt taken from one of the (untitled) poems I’m working on for the newest collection of poetry)

“The path taken deepens under the twilight of my years;
the soft sands of time swept — brushed aside
by the hands of God,
giving way to a future filled with the softness and beauty
laid out before me — sweet as honey. 
I always knew this place;
In retrospect I can see it always was —
waiting — waiting — waiting for me to arrive!”

(content carries copyrights :) so please no re-posting)

Aches & Pains

the pasture at grandpas (800x600)

The pasture at the Capps farm hasn’t changed very much in over the 100 years that our family has owned this land. Of course the meanest bull known to man, our Roosevelt, is no longer there, as he went to graze the fields of Bull Heaven sometime in the early 1960’s, but the pond and the old weathered tree still remains. the fence has been replaced and looks straight today whereas when I was a kid it was anything but straight!  This ‘found picture’ brings back lots of good memories of summer hot and dusty red clay roads and farm life.

 

Aches & Pains — a Poem by mary louise wehunt

I was warned by my grandmother years ago 
That my youthful limberness would get up and go, 
Depleted — replaced with aging’s aches and pains,
Oh, how I snickered at her warnings of abated limberness;
 

Embarking on a free-fall away from her warnings to guard against that which was coming;
I bend straight down from my waist with unbend-ed knees, to the floor, quite pleased; 
and I twisted in any direction I could twist; ignoring her words — be careful, 
please, undo before it is done what you are doing to your skeletal of one.

 
In my limber state I had two thumbs, eight fingers and many digits of toes
attached to wrists and ankles that allowed for the climbing of trees, allowed me
to go up and over fences and across any hill or up and down any steep mountain I pleased, 
Agreeable limberness, at thirteen, took me running across pastures of sage and lime green.
 
A heavily sodded pasture grandmother warned against ever entering;
And, the same beckoning pasture grandfather forbid me from entering; but
I listened to their pleas about the pasture less than I listened on limberness lost
if I continued my bending and stooping in unnatural ways.

Then in unison the time sped up while falling shorter;
the walks became less as my hair grayed lighter — to white 
I no longer bent with ease from the waist, low to the floor, —  limber lost,
less agile, less limber — less like the girl who ran from Roosevelt, the pastured bull!
 
The day I ran from Roosevelt, I was thirteen and I was a fine example of — agility and limberness;
I hopped over a slightly drooping barb-wire fence and stuck my tongue out at his meanness — in a dare;
Would I dare be so sassy today, to enter the forbidden pasture, I fear I’d be subjected to a whole body hug from Roosevelt;
My chance to prove myself brave to cousins and any humanitarian rights of youthful passage to older and wiser — spoiled
 
I should have listened by my Grandmother on both accounts! 

 ***(copyrights 2013)***

happy national chocolate cake day

We Americans will celebrate anything — even give it a day of national recognition!
Today is National Chocolate Cake Day and although I suspect this day has more to do with commerce than cake
it is a kind of whimsical fun to have chocolate cake set apart from all other cakes and be so honored! 

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A new twist to chocolate cake: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Even Stationery stores love chocolate cake!

chocolate-curl-cake
Stationery Trousseau in Columbus, Ohio is honoring this cake today and giving 27% off for three days on their stock of items for customers — no commerce there!  

And for the Bride who likes her Chocolate Cake!

Choco rose cake.pictured on Wikipedia

Choco rose cake.pictured on Wikipedia is perfect for any special occasion — like for a Bride (see white roses?) who wants a less traditional top layer on her wedding cake!

History of Chocolate Cake —

Chocolate cake is made with chocolate; it can be made with other ingredients, as well. These ingredients include fudge, vanilla creme, and other sweeteners. The history of chocolate cake goes back to 1764, when Dr. James Baker discovered how to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans between two massive circular millstones.[1]

In 1828, Conrad Van Houten of the Netherlands developed a mechanical extraction method for extracting the fat from cacao liquor resulting in cacao butter and the partly defatted cacao, a compacted mass of solids that could be sold as it was “rock cacao” or ground into powder.[2] The processes transformed chocolate from an exclusive luxury to an inexpensive daily snack.[2] A process for making silkier and smoother chocolate called conching was developed in 1879 by Swiss Rodolphe and made it easier to bake with chocolate as it amalgamates smoothly and completely with cake batters.[2] Until 1890 to 1900, chocolate recipes were mostly for drinks.[2]

The Duff Company of Pittsburgh, a molasses manufacturer, introduced Devil’s food chocolate cake mixes in the mid 1930s, but introduction was put on hold duringWorld War IIDuncan Hines introduced a “Three Star Special” (so called because a white, yellow or chocolate cake could be made from the same mix) was introduced three years after cake mixes from General Mills and Duncan Hines, and took over 48 percent of the market.[3]

In the U.S., “chocolate decadence” cakes were popular in the 1980s; in the 1990s, single-serving molten chocolate cakes with liquid chocolate centers and infused chocolates with exotic flavors such as tea, curry, red pepper, passion fruit, and champagne were popular. Chocolate lounges and artisinal chocolate makers were popular in the 2000s.[4] Rich, flourless, all-but-flourless chocolate cakes are “now standard in the modern pâtisserie,” according to The New Taste of Chocolate.[2]

Awe is there anything more delicious than chocolate cake?

 German chocolate cake from a bakeryOur most popular cake. Of course anything choc...

Kidizoom Camera

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The vtech Kidizoom Camera that is (apparently) the newest rage among four-five years old in my family.

Of all the things I love to do shopping is not one of them. I say this after enduring a tragic four hour shopping spree in search of a “Kidizoon”  (vtech no less) camera which is for the ages 3-8 and costs 35.00 to 40.00 dollars depending on where you find one.  It has built-in games, photo editing software, a 4x digital zoom!, and “fun photo effects” with 1.3 megapixel resolution! It shoots movies and will store over 1000 photos and claims to be of durable kid-friendly design. On my forth try, I found the camera and bought it. I paid an additional 4.00 to insure this little camera because it is going to a four year old and lets face facts, you can’t trust a four year old not to flush it or drop it in a mud-puddle! Or to loose it in amongst all the other lost toys at parks and the local pizza pallor or, in Hannah’s case, in a cubicle stuffed with 100 or so stuffed animals.  I noticed that this camera, which does so much, has no strap of any kind.  I think it should have a strap for Hannah to use, at least one for her wrist, although in order for the strap to work properly a dot of super glue may be needed to secure it to Hannah’s wrist, just to make sure it did not slip off, as it surely would do. The slipping off of the strap would be an intentional action of Hannah, of course.

When Hannah’s mother decided to sideline her love of freelance photography for a greater love (Hannah) she never thought that the greatest joy in her life would become a mini version of herself — the apple never falls far from the tree — and who knows what may come out of Hannah’s grandmother spending four hours in as many stores to find the toy Hannah talks about from sun up to sun down. Is it possible this small beginning will end in an assortment of mega-long-range-zoom lenses and trips to far away places? If so I do hope it is a mother-daughter team trekking through the underbrush.

facts of life of my earthly existence

Facts of life:

  • Even having one leaf on the driveway will drive my mother crazy until it is sweep up so I might as well run out there straight away and sweep.
  • The Ozarks is the most friendly place on the planet — and it’s no use arguing with me about this little observation of life.
  • Growing Herbs benefits mind, body and purse — they are a beautiful and useful part of my life.
  • Eating any Tomato not picked directly off the vine in my own garden is not worth my time.
  • I do not have to be married to be happy — but it would be nice to be married to an equally avid gardener.
  • My children will disappoint — and I’ll get over it and love them in-spite of the disappointment.
  • Planting flowers in-amongst my vegetables in the garden makes me relax when gardening.
  • Creating a quilt, start to finish, actually stresses me out but I love the feel and warmth of the quilt on my legs when I lap quilt it in the Winter months.
  • The research for an outline is much more satisfying than the written paragraphs that follow — and I’m a much better editor than a writer.
  • The best part of being retired from a 9 to 5 is waking up naturally and not to an alarm clock — but —
  • Either way I wake — please pour me a cup of coffee before thou speak of leaves on the driveway!

 

 

 

Equality of Motherhood, Home & Hearth & Career (i.e. the 1% vs. 99%)

 

If 9 times out of 10 children get their awesomeness from their mother, then on a scale of 1 to 100, 99% of children get their awesomeness from their Moms and 1% get their awesomeness from their Dads. There we go again with the 1% versus the 99%!

Of course, there is another take on 1% vs. 99% but it has nothing to do with the cuteness of kids.

  • 1% earns a higher income for the exact same work/job done by the 99%.
  • 1% puts the “final” stamp of approval on nearly all domestic decisions the 99% make.
  • 1% has a larger retirement account 99% of the time than do the 99%.

This leads me to the question of the century: Equality — how do we obtain it and how do we maintain it?

Since the late 1960’s I have witnessed the fight for equal pay in the workforce creep along at a snail’s pace. And although I am pleased with the progress women have made during the past fifty years, it surprises me that there is continued discrepancy. In the 2000’s I retired but before doing so I trained my replacement. Being privy to the company’s financial information I noticed that my replacement, certainly well educated, licensed and qualified to replace me, had a new hire income at a much higher percentage than I’d expected to see. I also noticed another perk he would enjoy every week during little league baseball season which left me speechless. Now let me say, and make it clear, that I admire anyone willing to coach a little league team for it is an awesome thing to do but having paid time off from work for doing so didn’t sit well with me.  I thought about all the Dads (and Moms) without such a generous employer benefit breaking a sweat as they rushed onto the field after work in time to coach. Before you leave me a comment, i.e. sour grapes, let me say I did not coach little league; I did not need any “paid perks” and never asked for any. It simply struck me odd that my replacement, with the same qualifications as me, was beginning employment with a package that seemed, to me, exceptionally less equal to the one I enjoyed.

It is not in my nature to be combative but is in my nature to be diplomatic so when opportunity presented itself I didn’t back away. That opportunity came when my boss commented to me: “of course you noticed the new hire salary”. Umm – I cook the books – bake the payroll – save your ass from regulatory boards – so, “yes Sir, of course I did” and I went into diplomacy mode.

This is what I learned: One, my replacement valued himself and asked to be valued in return because (1) education, (2) experience and, (3) he was, according my Mr. Boss, providing for a family. By the way, providing for a family is a small item left out during most 99%’er’s negotiations because 99%’ers assume it is not important to mention. It is! Letting Mr. Boss know your salary requirements are based on providing for a family is a smart negotiating point to make.  Two, he negotiated a better package by agreeing to give something back, in his case it was to offset time away during little league season by working an as needed Saturday morning. But, if my replacement was as good as I was at finishing tasks under budget and on time, and I had every indication he was that good, this as needed Saturday morning would never come to fruition which in turn meant he had made himself one sweet deal. How was he able to do this? He exercised his 1% advantage the 99% (me) never do and the 1% sitting across the bargaining table from him didn’t want to look like a slouch to another 1%’er.  So, my replacement (the 1%’er) began employment with more pay, less hours (during little league season) and a designated parking space which was being sectioned off with yellow stripes as I pulled out the lot on my last day!

I know you are dying to know: How much more pay? The answer is: Substantial – it was a significant 20% more, at the same age as me (give or take a few months) with nearly carbon copy qualifications (I graduated on the west coast on him on the east coast way back in the day).

On the home-front equality is muddled by the relationship one is in. Some work better than others as far as a balance in equality. But, most still have a traditional imbalance. By this I mean that when I was married we agreed to a set amount we could spend without approval of the other. My husband was more or less willing to abide by this rule but his 1% got the most of him most of the time and he simply needed to that final approval in all things non-related to the grocery store. So I’d work hard to find a good deal on – say a vacuum cleaner, which I might add I solely used – something needed to run the household but was under our agreed to amount to spend and still feel required to wait for his final approval. Talk about driving me crazy.  The need of my 1%’er to have the final say was a major factor in his not remaining my 1%’er.  1%’ers beware.

In the few instances I am aware of, which are few-few-few, our 1%’ers have the larger retirement fund. Reread the paragraphs about equal pay. This is a no brainer to the 99%’ers out there like me.

Equality is a fundamental right for the happiness, well being, health and success of all women.