HAPPY NEW YEAR…..is it possible?

Engrossed in review of numbers and dollar figures in a budget meeting yesterday, it was impossible to NOT think about the comparisons of the year 2018 and 2019.

The numbers and dollar figures of 2018 are now matters of FACT, intractable and for better or worse, part of our history.

The numbers and dollar figures of 2019, while projected with knowledge of existing situations, are largely HOPE and in the light of optimism, drafted with expectation that certain things will NOT change, while reaching for ways to stretch each dollar.

And further, trying to draft a sensible, accurate, and viable budget, acceptable to a large group of people who will be impacted directly or indirectly, is fraught with a tinge of real DANGER….

….most certainly, in light of all the swirling dissent and distraction and downright disregard for us as American Citizens coming out of the White House in 2018 and into this 34-some day “government shutdown”, can a small group of people in a small town in this Southwest California Desert community actually believe that the US DOLLAR will be standing as 2019 goes forward?

At least standing equal to the current value?

What will be held hostage NEXT when “someone” does not get “someone’s” way?

This group of people I represent and have been honored to serve as a member of Council, are caring, genuine, members of society, some military Veterans, some have had or do now own and operate businesses, some work for employers of varying industry, some retired.

Each and every one is someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, spouse and etc.  Good friends, good neighbors, good people.

None that I know of have been DIRECTLY affected by this government shutdown, such as losing a job or being furloughed and expected to work without pay, but still, it stands to reason that the”HAPPY NEW YEAR” we all wished each other a month ago might hold some unhappiness in some way we haven’t even thought of yet.

Or at least it might hold more of that which we have ALL seen and heard on TV or read online and let’s be honest, it is time for the schoolyard BULLY to be removed from the playing field, made to stand with his face against the schoolhouse wall and wait for the bell to ring to end this disaster of a recess from intelligent leadership.

 

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Fun with words…..

At a holiday luncheon, I ended up the winner of a cute and pleasantly fragrant candle when I was the person who created the MOST words out of a short phrase. Anagrams are and have always been one of my fascinations with words, since I was a little kid.

i like alliteration too.

But that’s beside the point, maybe even another post – fair warning!

So another interesting take on what to do with words on an otherwise boring afternoon or in a group, is to see how many words you can conjure up that RHYME with some word.

Breaking that down into another vastly different kind of word play, you can entertain yourself or some party guests with THAT …..

….so for the purpose of THIS post I have chosen as “the word”, TRUMP…

Yeah, I haven’t posted ANYTHING on my site for a very long time, largely because the last time I sat down to do so, it was with the intent to find THE definitive WORD to describe Donald J. Trump, and to date, even now, I haven’t been able to think of a word BAD enough (in English OR Spanish etc).

So THIS post then…..taking the name TRUMP… finding other words that BEGIN WITH THE LETTERS “TR”…

TROUBLE…….TRAGEDY….TRAMPS…..TRASH…..TRICKS….TRAVESTY…..TREASON…..TRAITOR….

Bye-Bye.

 

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it does NOT compute….

Life is a complicated thing, and the world has evolved and evolved and evolved some more, and in the process, MATH has loomed large in most of our lives…

…For instance, my ex husband was able to use his level of understanding MATH to draw blueprints acceptable to City Building Inspectors in construction, calculate certain costs associated with his hobbies through the years, and etc…

…in comparison, MATH made ME want to run screaming into the schoolyard. or at least hurry home to comfort myself with writing a letter to a friend or my cousin in other states.

…Out of the deal, though, our DAUGHTER made Dean’s List many semesters and years in a row, actually ENJOYED math, algebra, geometry, trig and worse…..and NOW she is an 8th grade MATH TEACHER!

My parents didn’t understand my MATH homework, so they couldn’t help. My dad had an absolute FIT the year a letter came home from MATH class demanding that I show up at school next Monday with some HP Calculator that Dad deemed unnecessary, too expensive, or both and more.

The academic world came out with “NEW MATH” just in time to make my misery worse.

But it was in ALGEBRA class in 9th Grade that I really decided the world had taken a step too far…. A plus B equals C????

It may as well have been ROCKET SCIENCE – ADVANCED – because clearly, there is NO answer to that question….

CLEARLY, as a pretty much straight A student all my life, you CANNOT ANSWER THAT because you don’t know what A, B, or C is…

I distinctly recall that as my answer to the question, and I rose to the occasion by cleverly pointing out to my teacher, Mr. Alsop, that C minus A would equal B.

The whole class laughed, but Mr. Alsop did not.

Schools just need to teach mainstream students what they need to know to get along in
mainstream LIFE ahead of them…such as:

HOW TO BALANCE A CHECKBOOKI  (add and subtract)

HOW TO MAKE OUT A GROCERY LIST USING ITEMS THE STORE HAS ON SALE! (notate the price next to the item)

hOW TO GET AWAY FROM THE MALL WITHOUT MELTING DOWN YOUR CREDIT CARDS WHEN YOU ONLY NEEDED A NEW PAIR OF PANTYHOSE. (Park in a no-parking zone)

HOW TO COUNT BACK CHANGE FROM A TEN OR TWENTY IF YOU ARE A CASHIER!  (Start with the customer’s sale total, hand back bills and change til you reach the denomination of the bill they gave you)  ***SOME STORES REQUIRE YOU, AS CASHIER, TO JUST HAND BACK THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE CHANGE THAT THE COMPUTER SAYS FOR YOU TO GIVE, BUT THAT WON’T HELP YOU WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT!)

HOW TO CALCULATE IN YOUR MIND THAT FILLING YOUR TANK AT THE NEAREST GAS STATION TO YOUR HOME WILL BE LESS OR MORE EXPENSIVE THAN FILLING IT ON YOUR WAY HOME FROM WORK.  (subtract and multiplication here)

HOW TO DOUBLE UP A RECIPE FOR SOMETHING AND HOW TO CUT THE SAME RECIPE IN HALF IF NEEDED.  (Multiply or divide)

HOW TO TIP YOUR SERVER FOR GOOD SERVICE.  (If you are a fair-minded woman and the service was good, this is where you use a percent of your dinner total.  If you are a man, you probably just give the pretty waitress the largest bill in your wallet, and scrabble out a couple nasty old bills for the hefty grandma type)

HOW TO FIGURE OUT THE AVERAGE OF SOMETHING, HOW TO SAVE UP FOR CHRISTMAS FOR YOUR FAMILY AND STILL PAY YOUR BILLS ETC. (look for sales and start shopping and hiding things in October)

I never ONCE in my LIFE have knowingly USED ALGEBRA, Mr. Alsop….and  I bet at least once in her career as a MATH teacher, my daughter will have a student just like me!

SORRY many times over…..

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My FAVORITE TIME was in the kitchen drawer…..

Title get your attention?  Ha!

Get your filthy mind out of the gutter!

All our lives we are chained to TIME….. the TIME of our birth is on our very birth certificates TO THE MINUTE!  And that is only the beginning…

…The beginning of TIME is addressed and covered so beautifully in the book of Genesis, which we all learn very early.  After, of course, we are able to comprehend the written word, after a few infant years of BATH TIME, BED TIME,  NAP TIME, TIME for a diaper change, PLAY TIME, STORY TIME, TIME for Daddy to get home from work, TIME to go to the babysitter’s and TIME to go to school…

As life goes on, TIME is both our friend and our enemy.  TIME sends us into realms of happiness and expectations for exciting events, like learning to drive and getting our license!  Like being asked out on (or asking someone on) our first date!  Like being asked to Prom and looking forward to High School Graduation.

TIME follows us as we pursue further education and careers, we learn to use TIME as well as possible to prepare for interviews, tests, reports, presentations.  TIME rules our lives for setting alarm clocks to work on TIME, church on TIME, social events on TIME.

We mark our calendars for future necessities – TIME for an oil change, TIME to prepare our taxes, TIME to decorate for the holidays, TIME to take out the garbage for collection.

TIME, TIME, TIME.

How many songs have been written that deal with TIME in some way.

Women spend YEARS expecting and enduring that TIME OF THE MONTH.

The TIME of our death is always upon our final “certificate of completion”…

Helping mankind tame TIME, we have created a variety of devices……the SUNDIAL in the garden.  Cuckoo clocks, grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, bedside clocks, wall clocks, clocks on a chain in a gentleman’s pocket, clocks for on your wrist, on a ring,on a decorative chain around your neck, clocks on a lapel pin.  The large clock downtown on the courthouse building, the church steeple chimes set to ring out the hours.

Cars have clocks in the dashboards since way back when, and now computers and cellphones and laptops and etc have a clock.

Microwave ovens and coffee makers and other kitchen appliances have clocks, time, but some allow you to SET THEM TO a TIME to come on IN ADVANCE!

There is a clock in our garage and EVERY room in our home except the bathrooms!

TIME AFTER TIME…..

Twice a year we have to go about and CHANGE all the clocks…..that Daylight Savings TIME thing, which translates to “Spring Ahead” and “Fall Back” where we live.

(And watches, too!)

OH Yeah, the title of this post about my favorite TIME being in the kitchen drawer…..

…Well I have a pretty little box  in one of my dresser drawers in which I keep my  wristwatches.  Some are very old and some are new, some are very inexpensive and a couple are downright CHEAP….

…Some I purchased myself and others were given to me as gifts over the years…

…MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE WRISTWATCH EVER was a gift from my daughter and her husband, back when they were pretty much just engaged…

…This has been my favorite watch of ALL TIME…

…Although through the years I have had the battery replaced maybe twice, it keeps PERFECT TIME, is a design that is SO “me” and I have received many compliments on it.  It doesn’t snag my clothing and “goes” with every color or style of clothing, looks just as well with a fancy dress as with tee shirt and jeans.

I am ALWAYS careful to be certain the clasp is fastened every TIME I wear it and every TIME I remove it, I am ALWAYS CAREFUL TO PUT IT AWAY WHERE IT GOES.

…BUT ABOUT A MONTH AGO, I went into my little box in my drawer for it and it was not there….

…Being so careful about it and liking it so much, I was almost panicked to find it and I looked EVERYWHERE…..   Purses, Pockets, everywhere in the house and my car.  When my boyfriend came home from work I went out and searched his SUV.  No luck.

…I was just “sick” about it, concluding that somehow the clasp must have come undone and it dropped off my wrist somewhere…grocery store, gas station, post office, church, or arecent morning walk down our street….somewhere out to dinner or etc.

…I inquired at our grocery stores, but they didn’t even HAVE a “Lost and Found”.  I scrutinized our front and back yards, front porch and patio out back, even looked in the garage in and around the laundry area.  No luck.

…That first Sunday after my watch went missing, I asked at church…No luck.

…As is my typical pattern of behavior, after the initial panic, the determined searching and related disappointment, I concluded that I had enjoyed that watch and the sentimental value for many years, and accepted that it was gone.

There are other more significant and important things going on around us in the world, and over TIME, I was less acutely aware of the loss of my favorite watch.

THEN THE OTHER DAY I opened a kitchen drawer that has things in it you don’t use all the TIME, like the old-fashioned potato-masher, the really good potato peeler my mom gave me, a clever kitchen “do-it-all” device I got as a gift for signing up for AARP, (it has a mandolin slicer, shredder, zester, and little juicer thing all in one).

AND THERE WAS MY FAVORITE WATCH!

I can’t remember a TIME when I was so happy to find something I had misplaced, don’t know how it ended up there, but the clasp is working fine and the TIME was correct!

I called my adult daughter (mother of two) just to tell her how happy I was to have found my watch and she didn’t even really remember the one I was talking about!  But that’s ok.

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HOLD THE DOOR- CHIVALRY WAS ON ITS WAY IN…. (almost)

In some olden times, it is legendarily said that Sir Walter Raleigh, British citizen, known as a gentleman/writer/explorer/spy and etc, took off his expensive cloak and placed it over a mud puddle in order to protect the fancy footwear of Queen Elizabeth I.

He was rewarded highly by the Queen for this supposed deed, and in fact later was knighted. His reward continued through the annals of time by the telling and retelling of this legend, thus earning him a place in British and world History.

Fast-forward to the United States of America, and probably other countries, in the 1900’s, the “Women’s Lib” movement surfaced, and some part of society decried the idea of a man dirty-ing his clothing just so some bitch could walk over some mud without screwing up her Nike’s or other designer footwear.

i was on Earth in the years of this social phenomenon, and I recall that one of the previously long-standing ‘habits’ of men to open doors for a lady became taboo.

In the many years since, it seems to me that men have resurrected the “door-opening for ladies” idea and no one seemed to care.

UNTIL “#ME TOO”!!!

How is the confusion and consternation and convolution of the current Administration in the White House and its swirling debates and debacles and decadence affecting us?

Prime example – I was shopping a couple days ago and had just taken my “cart” and entered the store, when suddenly, behind me at the doors, I heard a woman’s voice VERY LOUDLY and ANGRILY yelling: “I DIDN’T ASK YOU TO DO THAT!”

I and other shoppers stopped in our tracks and looked towards the voice.

Standing just inside the doors, was a woman, dressed in jeans and tee shirt, looking up at a man dressed much the same, at least 3 times her age.

The man looked down at her and meekly asked “what??????”

The woman then yelled, in the same loud, angry voice – “I don’t need YOU or ANY man to open a door for me! How DARE you! Stay away from me and stop opening doors for women you don’t even KNOW!”

The old man, who for all we know, might have been, like Sir Walter Raleigh, a British citizen, gentleman/writer/explorer/spy and etc, or even may have shared the knight’s DNA, just stood there looking stunned.

He glanced around at all of us standing there gaping at the scene, then he looked down, and went on about his way into the store.

The woman looked around at everyone like she had just struck gold or won a prize and flounced off on her own merry little shopping trip.

There isn’t any way to end this post humorously so clearly there isn’t more to say except that when all the Old Men have died off and the Millennials and Gen-Xers are the only men entering stores, women better be ready and willing to open doors for themselves.

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!Q

People keep complaining that nothing has changed in America, but things HAVE changed in the United States and I don’t know if it’s for the best…

BF and I recently paid a quick and short visit to the LA County Fair in Southern CA.

Sort of a spur of the moment thing, even though we had discussed the fair was on. After church on a Sunday, we didn’t arrive until well after 1 p.m. and we left prior to dark.

His first visit to this venue EVER, but I have a long history of fair-going, most of it quite pleasant. First with my parents and my best friend, who later served as my Matron of Honor as I took my vows, with a couple different “boyfriends” during high school, and with my now ex-husband, before and after children.

I took my mom to the fair on several occasions after my Dad passed away and she had moved to Southern California. We always had a wonderful day.  Mom liked to get a good “spot” to watch the parade, and we always made sure to get our favorite food items from the many amazing food vendors.  Mom especially liked the Giant BBQ Turkey Leg, something you could get “only at the Fair”!  But she moved away in the late 90’s and I haven’t been to the fair since then.

I was so pleased to find the “flower building” was still there, and it was the first thing I dragged BF through, and since we were both starving and the delicious aromas of the BBQ meat concessions got the better of us and we stood in a relatively short line to get some!

I had my favorite “only at the FAIR” item – a BBQ’d corn-on-the-cob on a stick, with the husks on. BF got a BBQ Beef Brisket plate which we ended up sharing to some extent.

I had told BF about and remembered back when there was a section of the fair that was dedicated to Mexican Foods, the culture, with a stage and Mariachi Bands and things to buy that were made in Mexico or looked like they were, and I had always enjoyed that.

When I was a kid, to get into this area, you strolled under a big stucco archway “WALL” which had the words “MEXICAN VILLAGE” in big letters on it and some colorful flowers painted in a most artistic and welcoming way.

Several years ago, I remember being a bit taken aback to find the big stucco archway had the words “FIESTA VILLAGE” on it instead.  This was during the heyday of the “politically correct” world in which we found ourselves living at the time.

THIS YEAR…..I was pleased to find the big beautiful stucco wall, but THIS  time, it didn’t say ANYTHING….It was just a WALL……????????????

We strolled under the archway and I felt a sense of sadness. It IS a new world. I am not certain there was anything wrong with some of the old world.  Adios.

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Oh DEER…..

After maybe a full five years of discussing, researching, planning and preparing, we FINALLY left home for a cross-country road trip this past June!

We left our home in Southern California bound for Chicago first, then Ohio. Along the route we had FINALLY decided on, were pre-paid motel reservations made thru Travelocity, and carefully prepared lists of things we wanted to do and see at both destinations, and along the routes in each direction.

Two weeks would fly by fast, but we did accomplish at least 90 percent of the to-do items on our list. An unexpected overnight in Wyoming for unexpected car repair stole a whole night and day from our schedule of events halfway from home to Chicago, and a surprise night and day in Memphis, Tennessee on our way home from Ohio for yet ANOTHER car repair issue snagged another day and night of our time.

Not to mention the extra cost for unplanned motel rooms. Luckily, being “seasoned” travelers, we had planned for extra expenses and didn’t have to melt plastic to take care of these “detours” to repair shops.

But you might be wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this post, and so now I explain…..

…We both love animals, appreciate all they have to offer as we observe them in their natural habitat or as pets…I have always enjoyed watching the hillsides, the meadows, fields and catching sight of a wild animal.

Oh DEER…..oh Dear…doe, a dear, a female deer, was the first remarkable wild animal to gaze upon as she stood on the side of the road, arching her graceful neck to reach the leaves of some tree she was nibbling upon. Her baby was at her side. It was a beautiful scene, we approached before I could get the camera ready and we sped past before I could do more than just look.

This was in Utah, and from that point all through the day and into evening, it seemed we saw a deer here, a deer there, and sadly, a deer on the side of the road.

Deer standing together in a green field, heads down as they grazed, one deer standing on the side of the road looking across the highway. Another deer drinking from some pool of water not far off from the side of the road, and two deer that scampered into a little copse of trees before we could get a good look.

In addition to the beautiful deer who graced our journey were future steaks and burgers grazing in their fields, and some sheep. These of course were not wild, but fun to see, anyway.

We had remarkable sunrises and sunsets and met some awesome people along the way. We apparently missed some supremely bad weather, rainstorms with hailstones and near-tornado winds, and even the mosquitoes waited til we left the Midwest before they swarmed out to cause their misery.

We met with family, saw some sights, each day different and fun. No one became ill or was injured during our trip, and aside from the two relatively inexpensive car repair moments, it was a wonderful vacation!

We arrived home on schedule after all, the house was still standing and all was well. I just recently purchased a large scrapbook for our journey mementos and pics and notes, and handed postcards to some friends and neighbors, since I took the address book, but didn’t manage to write on, address and send any cards.

We have reminisced, shared some of our favorite stories with friends, and keep in mind the 10 per cent of planned events on our “to-do” lists that still need “done.”

Of my favorite memories will always be the moment I stepped up onto the Chicago sidewalk amidst the magnificent high-rise buildings, after my first-ever ride on a Subway, and the night we sat on the front porch of my cousin’s beautiful Craftsman style home with a light rain falling all around, enjoying her delicious home-made cheesecake and margaritas.

We don’t see wild deer here in the Southern California desert where we live, but other creatures regularly visit even our fairly suburban neighborhood yards…like the three bunnies out front this morning, and hummingbirds who don’t even care if I am sitting with my morning coffee less than five feet from their breakfast.

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