Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
August 20th, 2009

BLOGGING: WHY? HOW?

When I titled my blog Musings at 85 I had a passing notion that some people might be interested in what an old lady thinks about all day.  It also occurred to me that we old folks might be of some help to each other, sharing problems and solutions and woes.  What never occurred to me was how helpful the blogs of OTHERS might be to ME!

As you can tell by my early posts, I started blogging without ever having read a blog. And I had obvious growing pains. There was a time when I couldn’t italicize or bold or post a picture, much less a video. So it has been a growing experience in that way. What I have found out through reading the blogs of others is that it is a wonderful way of broadening and increasing your friends and family – real friends and family, not pretend ones like those in the soap operas in the afternoon — real people that you could actually interact with if you had a mind to!

Pew Internet & American Life Project says “Email is the most popular online activity, especially for internet users age 65 or older.” Once they find out how to do it, they love email. It’s a quick, easy, inexpensive way to keep in touch with the friends and family you already have. When people are bed-bound, home-bound, or just can’t get around they way the used to, they often turn to the television for company. Day after day many oldsters spend their afternoons glued to their TVs to see what is happening on their favorite soap opera (or all the soap operas!). Whiling away all those hours is nothing that appeals to me as I can’t help realizing these are only pretend people living pretend lives. What I have found out is that it is much more interesting and much more real to turn on the computer and read what others are writing out there. Bloggers are real people and they write with great honesty and integrity about their seeking, finding, suffering, solving.

Television was long ago heralded as a Window to the World, and indeed it is. But perhaps the computer is even more of a window to the world in that you can visit online a wider range of people leading different lives in many places with different families  and challenges.  And you can learn what they really think, not some scripted line in a fictional life.   It is only about a year ago that I started looking at blogs and over the months I have come to actually know the first names of the authors of several blogs that I follow. Among my favorites there’s Aimee of Historical Christian, Jennifer of Conversion Diary, Barbara of Mommy Life,  Jill of Prolife Pulse.  They have inquiring minds and are interested in a multitude of things. They ask questions and get comments in response. They are up front with their trials and tribulations.  They care about what is going on in the world.  I believe them to be good and honest people.

I am in awe of the sheer beauty of some of the blogs, Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience,  for example. I have looked for similar bloggers left of center, so far without success. Please point me.

According to Pew Internet only 26% of Americans age 70-75 and 17% of Americans age 76 or older go online. I think it could be a real blessing if you could help your oldster become acquainted with a computer. S/he might enjoy it and make a host of new friends.

Just as a bonus here is a link to a recipe that I copied yesterday from the Mommy Life blog for Curried Chicken & Broccoli Casserole.  I looks good — can’t wait to try it!

On second thought, it seemed much simpler to include it:

CURRIED CHICKEN & BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

Fresh broccoli steamed
1 lb. chicken (boneless) sauteed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. curry
Shredded cheddar cheese

Cut up broccoli and layer on bottom of casserole dish. Mix together in side bowl: chicken soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry. Cut up chicken into small chunks (or shred) and mix into sauce. Pour over broccoli. Top with flavored bread crumbs.

Oven: Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Fifteen minutes before finish, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, put back in the oven until cheese is melted.

And here, believe it or not, is a tutorial on how to start a blog with WordPress, which is what I use. I’ve never seen this tutorial before and upon viewing it know that I can learn quite a bit from it, once I get down to really studying it. Please God, I’m 86! I should have oodles of time on my hands. Where is it? Help me to learn how to use WordPress better, to find time to Scrabble. I want to read more of those beautiful blogs that happify my heart. I should take a bath every now and then and the yard is full of weeds where flowers used to be. Soon there will be potatoes to dig up. There’s the mail to sort and bills to pay, plants that need watering, the bathroom floor should be damp-mopped, shopping and cooking to be done, mass in the morning, prayer meeting Thursday night, the abortion mill to be picketed – AND a blog to write. I look at the blogs of others and realize I can’t do what they do. Help me, Lord, to be satisfied with my own best and grateful for the others that give me such joy.

Amen.

THE WORDPRESS TUTORIAL


~~~

Here I am Lord, I come to do your will. — Hebrews 10:7

July 15th, 2009

THE F-WORD

After I had written the following reflection on the most unprintable word in the English language, I didn’t really know what to do with it.  Wondering what the reaction of decent people would be, I sent it to the Catholic editors at MercatorNet because I have a great deal of respect for them and their publication.  It was Mr. Cook’s suggestion that I delete my imaginings about the onomatopeic origin of the word. (You are going to have to do your own imagining.)I wondered if I should just deep-six it.  He was kind enough to write:  “I don’t want to shun the topic, but I feel that we need something a bit different. Sorry to disappoint. Best regards and I am full of admiration for your amazing blog….I think that it would go quite well on the blog. The blog is more personal and represents you rather than an institution. Don’t deep-six it.”

And so:

WTF

Some years ago a doctor friend told me about a couple who sought his advice about a child with a speech problem.   It seems the little fellow loved to play with his trucks but was not yet speaking very clearly.  They were comfortable with most of his mispronunciations but the boy would consistently mispronounce “truck” so that it came out “fuck.”  Now, as I spell out that word, first an f, then a u, then c, and then k, I can foresee that some editor will start to tear out his hair trying to figure out what to do with the result.  It is not, after all, one of the forbidden words in proper society.  It is only a child’s mispronunciation of truck, not intended to be naughty, or offend, or breech any societal construct.  It is just an arrangement of letters.   Can it be that certain letters of the alphabet cannot be juxtaposed without offending?  As I type on my computer, is some bot going to come along and censor me?  Listen up, bot!  I’m not swearing!  I’m talking toddler talk!  Leave me alone!

Of course, as the doctor told me, the problem was not with the child but with the parents.  Why could they not allow him this growing stage?  Can there really be combinations of letters which are not allowable?  So, he said, “See my fuck”, and “My fuck drives here,” and “My fuck fell down.” So what? It was the parents’ fear that the child’s language might reflect badly on them that was the problem.  They found themselves unable to let their boy’s speech mature in due time–and if he spent his whole life saying fuck in stead of truck, what’s the big deal?   If there is any blame it is in the ear of the listener who brings to a child’s innocent speech his own hang-ups.

From whence comes this fascination with “fuck?  I don’t really know the origin of the word but my guess is that it is one of those onomatopeic words that  sound like what they portray.   Your guess is as good as mine.

It is generally agreed that comedians who rely on four letter words are getting cheap laughs.  The really good comedians  use humor, not profanity.  Some actors feel that slipping in a forbidden word, almost by accident, is a way of getting attention, and any attention is better than none.  I recently attended a play in which the actress, playing Katharine Hepburn, who reportedly used some strong language, slipped in a fuck along with a naughty look and got the expected titter from the audience who enjoyed being naughty along with her.

In certain venues you expect the language to be crass or vulgar, and you can go or stay away, according to your preference.  I suspect that when some celebrities slip and  utter a naughty word on a respectable daytime show they are not as much slipping as using it as an opportunity to create a buzz and get a little more attention than they could  with anything they might have to say.

Once when I was in jail (it is easy to get there if you refuse to move  or give your name) an inmate emerged from the shower and walked down the corridor announcing to her friends along the way “I fucking shaved my fucking legs.”  I had to laugh at the sheer idiocy of her statement!  It was nothing but an effort by an immature woman to appear cool and “with it” to her peers, most of whom couldn’t speak English if they tried.   Obviously, it made no sense whatsoever.

On the one hand, it is totally stupid that there should be any arrangement  of letters of the alphabet that one is not permitted to write or pronounce.  The F-bomb, as they like to refer to it, is said to be the least printable and most vulgar word in the English language.  On the other hand, it is equally idiotic that grown-up, supposedly mature people should think it is cute or cool to get off on using such a forbidden word several times in every sentence in a totally meaningless fashion.  You’d think they were two-year-olds playing in feces.   Or  a four-year-old saying pee-pee, poop, wee-wee, ca-ca — delighting in using bathroom words in the parlor. It is like George Carlin running through his seven dirty words, going from bad to worse, rubbing them in, like a naughty child.    It is juvenile.  It is dumb.

In an obvious play for attention Britney Spears attempted a come-back with her new album, Circus, containing the popular single If U Seek Amy.  It was #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 when I looked it up  and reputedly had been downloaded over 100,000 times.  Don’t be fooled by the inocuous sounding title.  She is spelling out  F-me which many find daring and titillating.  They are like children with a secret code that grown-ups will never be able to crack.  If truth were told, grown-ups can’t be bothered.

On the day before Mothers’ Day this year President Obama succeeded in being quite funny in his opening address at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. It was apparent that the joke that tickled him most was when they said it was a tough day for Rahm Emanuel because Rahm was not used to saying the word Day after Mother!  Even as president he delighted in displaying  just a hint of the bad little boy in him.

Think about it.   Think about someone you really respect.  Does s/he talk like that?  Perhaps those who sprinkle their conversation with F-words are trying to be cool or funny.  Does it work?  They seem to be somehow stunted, or, as the song says, “more to be pitied than censored.”  They are like naughty little boys who are trying to be cute or get a rise out of mommy.  It doesn’t work.  You just want to say:   Get a life.  Get a real sense of humor.  Get a vocabulary.  GROW UP!

~~~

On further reflection,it occurred to me that the only other word I have heard of that cannot be said was the holy name of God in ancient Hebrew.  Yahweh was written YHWH because in those days they did not write the vowels. When scripture was being read aloud and they came upon the word YHWH they would pronounce Adonai instead. This was a respectful, reverential thing.  God’s name was just too holy to be spoken.

On the other hand, it seems to me there is an unholy word used by those who do not love God.  It is to be spoken as often as possible, whether or not it makes sense, in a defiant, in-your-face way. It makes a mockery – it defiles, degrades, profanes – the most intimate, sacred, loving, life-giving union of which human beings are capable.  The very meaning of “to profane” is to debase something which is holy.

I do not recognize that word as anything special. The F-bomb is a dud — it has no real power. It is only a word, like shag, screw or hump. Don’t make a fool of yourself, thinking it has shock value. It is only crude. It is boring. It has very little place in intelligent discourse. GROW UP!

~~~

A really excellent blogpost on why the F-word is tantalizing.

~~~

What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’  –Matthew 15:11



July 7th, 2009

PALINS PHOTOSHOPPED

Palin Family Photo

Palin Family Photo

The original photo, above.

Photoshopped Version

Photoshopped Version


The left sinks to a new low.    That’s Trig down in the lower left corner.  Is this satanic, or what?

~~~


..he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old that we should be saved from all our enemies, from the hand of all who hate us.. — Luke 1:70-71

July 2nd, 2009

TEN HONEST THINGS

One of the requirements when I was given the Honest Scrap award was that I write ten honest things about myself that hadn’t already been mentioned in my blog.  If other awards have similar requirements, I’d just as soon they stay away.  I’ve had to reach into the remotest corners of my life to come up with ten remotely interesting things and I’m not about to do it again.  Some of the honest things below I have never told to a single living soul!

1.  I was in medical school when I married and made a conscious decision that I would rather have children than become a doctor.   I traded an MD for 7 MA’s.

2.  As a member of Operation Rescue during my 60’s I was in several prisons.  The hardest part about being in prison, for me, was my inability to sleep.  Once, in Buffalo, when I hadn’t slept for about a week I asked for medication.  I had to see their medic and he ordered one dose of liquid Vistaril.  At first I thought it wasn’t going to work, but once it did I slept off and on for 24 hours.  Sleep is a wonderful blessing and prison isn’t half bad if you can get a good night’s sleep.

3.  Sometimes I wish I was a nun with a habit so I would not have to wake up each day and decide what to wear.  It seems to me it would simplify life considerably.

4.  I never buy new clothes.  First, because  I figure I already have enough clothes for the rest of my life. Second, my children, especially daughter-in-law Martha, very kindly buy me new things on special occasions.  When I have a hankering to go shopping for some particular item,  I’ll visit our nearby Salvation Army.  If I find something I like, good!  — I have a bargain.  If I don’t, the desire to shop is over in about a half-hour.

5.  Right after I married I started working for Argonne National Laboratory studying the carcinogenic effect on mouse skin of various substances, among which were methycholanthrene and yttrium 88.  When the mice were obviously dying with the tumors we had caused, I had to kill them by holding my scalpel at the back of the head and pulling on the tail, thereby breaking the neck.  Then the pathologist would autopsy them and select samples for microscopic examination.

6. For those who might be reading this blog to learn the inside skinny on getting old, one of the perks is the decrease in body hair.  I now no longer have to shave my legs, and underarms are practically hairless, also.  This may not be a universal phenomenon.  Maybe someone else would like to report about this to increase the data base?

7.  When I was 8 or 9 I lived in Lebanon, PA and attended St. Gertrude’s Catholic church.  One day I told my mother I thought the priest sang, “O, how men love beautiful sauerkraut, O!”   She thought that was funny and I had to tell my father.  The moral of this is: Your kids will never forget your reaction to what they do.   Appreciate!  Compliment!  Listen!

8.  My FBI dossier started when they interviewed my friends before I was hired for the above-mentioned Argonne National Lab job.  I was attending the University of Chicago and in those  days  they were working on the first atomic bomb under our stadium.  My dossier has only increased since then.

9.  On Ash Wednesday of this year started a post about a bad habit I wanted to work on during Lent.  By Easter, I still had it.  At Pentecost, ditto.  The post remains in my draft file and I update it every now and then.   But success is not mine.   Publish?

10.  I may have the flattest feet in the world.

June 27th, 2009

AN AWARD?!

If truth be told, when the author of the first blog on my blogroll asked me to visit her blog because she “had something for me,” I put it off because it involved a little more clicking than I wanted to do at the moment.  And, if truth be told, she is first on my blogroll only because it’s an alphabetical thing.   Her blog is A Bit of the Blarney by  GrandmaK.  Her name is Cathy Keller and I have just immersed myself in her blog.  It is so pretty and charming, with pictures, and family, and substance that if she didn’t already have this award, I’d give it to her!  But, imagine! – she, having received it,  in turn gave it to ME!

This is what I read on her blog:

Honest Scrap Award

My sincere thanks to Lisa at Are We There Yet and Eileen at Umma’s World for this delightful award. Both of these ladies offer me a place to go and enjoy the environment and down home friendliness. I will try to do justice by them in accepting this award and sharing a bit of who I am.

Rules:

1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.

2) Share “ten honest things” about myself.

3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.

4) Tell those 7 people that they’ve been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it.

Of course, accepting this reward and doing justice  to it involves more work. Now I not only have to pick out 7 brilliant blogs but share “ten honest things” about myself.   Gadzooks!  Then there was the problem of getting that “Honest Scrap” picture from her blog to mine.  People,  you must be careful about the strains you put on old brains.  To top it all off, one has to wonder about whether it is a good idea for each awardee to choose seven other blogs to be similarly awarded.  It would seem that pretty soon every one would have one and it would be worth nothing.   Just a thought.

Now let me tell you about my real reward at Cathy’s blog.   No sooner did I log onto her blog than I was assaulted by the sound of very loud applause.  As it turned out, Clay Aiken was singing and crowds were making that racket.  Once I discovered that GrandmaK had a playlist of songs, I was able to quiet Aiken and move on.  I was SO IMPRESSED with her musical selections and their variety I just listened and listened until I had sampled all 43 of them.

I loved Mariah Carey’s O Holy Night and Ray Charles’  America, the Beautiful.  Marching songs always move me and she had Anchors Aweigh, the Army Air Corps Band, Stars and Stripes Forever,  as well as The Caissons Keep Rolling Along (Daddy sang that in WW I but his version differed.  Where this one goes Where e’er you go, you will always know, the caissons keep rolling along.  Dad would sing:  With a three-inch gun, we’re going to get the Hun..…). Also, three Michael Talbot selections, two of Ode to Joy, Amazing Grace, Time in a Bottle (Jim Croce), Tantum Ergo, On Eagles’ Wings.   As I say, I just listened and listened.  Thank you so much, Cathy.

I think my ten honest things and seven re-awards will be post-poned (pun)!

June 26th, 2009

YOUNG ‘UNS, LISTEN UP

I don’t imagine that a lot of really young ‘uns read my blog but when you’re on the verge of 86 anything below 60 seems young.   I look back in amazement at the things I did in my 60’s!  So this is for the greying ones who actually do follow my blog and might be making decisions about their own future or, even, that of parents still living.

As an aside, I find my spam fascinating.  Bloggers all over the world want to provide me sexual enhancement drugs, narcotics, adult movies, et al.  They really put a lot of energy into luring folks to their sites but fortunately WordPress is very good at separating them out.  And for that I thank them.

So, young ‘uns, without a lot of commentary (actually none, because it speaks for itself) I invite you to contemplate and heed the wisdom in this lovely link with words by Anonymous and song by Josh Groban.  It is obvious to me that Anonymous has had some experience with the trials of aging.

~~~

[When] you were young you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.   — John 21:18

June 8th, 2009

VISITING THE SISTINE CHAPEL?

I didn’t dress. I forgot to eat breakfast. I spent an extraordinary amount of time this morning exploring the Sistine Chapel which arrived via e-mail. Because I think I can, I would like to share this experience. This link is said to lead to the world’s largest gigapixel picture and to give new meaning to the word incredible. By using the symbols at the bottom you can view the Sistine Chapel from side to side, up close and away, and top to bottom. Enjoy.

According to the Columbia Encyclopedia the Sistine Chapel was built in 1473 under Pope Sixtus IV (hence the name Sistine).   It is most famous for nine episodes from Genesis across the ceiling painted by Michelangelo including the stages of creation, Adam and Eve’s temptation and fall, Noah and the Deluge.  Michelangelo’s last work, the Last Judgment, is on the altar wall.

Along the side walls are frescoes by Perugino, Pinturrichio, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Roselli and Signorelli.   They tell me there are multicolored mosaics on the chapel floor.  I did not see them.

Is that a mirror image of the ceiling in the middle of  the floor? Why have I read nothing about it?

LATER:

Post in haste, repent at leisure.   That church was so magnificent I had no trouble believing it was the Sistine Chapel.  And I figured since it arrived in my e-mail it would be OK to post it for others to enjoy.  Well, no, and no.  It was Piaristenkirche in Vienna and when I read about the Sistine Chapel after “travelling” around inside the beautiful building that had arrived  claiming to be the Sistine Chapel, they didn’t jibe.   When I tried to post a picture of the real Sistine Chapel, Firefox crashed.  I guess this is not my day.

You would surely enjoy being able to cruise around inside Piaristenkirche and if I find a way to get you there legally, I will.  Till then —-enough excitement for today.  I’m all for letting the dust settle.

NEXT DAY:

It seems that  the link above  to Piaristenkirche in Vienna sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.  Should anyone who has read this far have a desire to take a virtual tour of a magnificent church that isn’t the Sistine Chapel and is said to be the world’s largest gigapixel picture, just send me a comment and I will forward to you the very e-mail that caused all this confusalty.  It worked the last time I tried it and the virtual tour is amazing.

~~~

All that glisters is not gold; often have you heard that told — Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice

June 7th, 2009

ONLINE IS FOREVER

You never know, when you share something of yourself online, whom it may reach and touch — or when.  I received the following e-mail today:

I was recently searching the interent for a cure or some sort of releif for my outbreak of Poison Oak, and I found your posting on a site.

If you’re actually reading this, it means you’ve kept the same email [address] over.. eight years, which would surprise me.
If you do get this email, I’d just like you to know that you’re post is helping eight years later.
Thanks
(name deleted)

Most people who read things online do not bother to comment, correct, or thank the writer.  This gentleman was kind enough to take a minute.  At the same time he reminded me that what is posted online is FOREVER!

Since this is the season, here is the link to the poison ivy/oak/sumac treatment posted 8 years ago that helped him today.

May 25th, 2009

90-YEAR-OLD WISDOM

An e-mail which arrived in my in-box a few days ago began in this way:

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.

My immediate response was WOW!   What a column! I have to look into this woman.

And I did.   This is the way her column actually started:

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:

So Regina Brett is still a youngster!  You can’t trust those e-mails.   They tend to morph as they make the rounds — they are embellished, truncated, tweaked, and “improved.”   But, even at the tender age of  50, some of Regina Brett’s  columns have been good enough to be nominated for Pulitzer prizes.   This one I thought, with my 86-year-old sageness, is well worth passing on:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

You can learn more about Regina Brett here. Her column on Alzheimer’s Disease is especially poignant.  It makes me wonder if I am up to level one.

~~~

The young sow wild oats.   The old grow sage. — Winston Churchill.

May 1st, 2009

ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING

It is now over a year since my first blogpost – and what a surprising ride it has been! I started blogging without ever having read a blog, without a clue about what a blog usually looks like. That explains why my blog has its own different look. My web designer, son Johnny, had as little blog experience though he does have a very useful website for small engine people.

It has gone in directions I could never have imagined. Who would think I would be so politically involved that I would head to my computer and immediately start writing ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS about how excited I was when Sarah Palin burst onto the scene. I read once that young voters tend to vote for their pocketbook and older ones are more interested in character. We old folks want to know that we are voting for a GOOD man (or woman) regardless of party or promises. We want to believe that a candidate will “do the right thing” according to his conscience. When Sarah Palin said she had a “servant’s heart” that rang true and she rang true. If I chance to find a real Christian it is my expectation that s/he will not lie, cheat, or steal, and any political mistakes will be honest ones. As soon as Obama reneged on his agreement with McCain to rely only on public funding he was off to a bad start with me. He out-spent McCain three to one and I agreed with the magazine cover that showed the White House with a big SOLD sign on it when he won the election. When Judicial Watch (good people to my mind) listed him among the ten most corrupt politicians in the country that boded ill. After all, he did rise to the top in a notably corrupt one-party system in Chicago. And things have gone down-hill ever since–or so I think.   Watch 100 days of Change ———-

I remember writing early on that blogging made me feel naked.  A blogger is so “out there” and vulnerable.    If you happen to think you’re smart enough so that your opinion might be of some value, the last thing you want to do is write something incredibly stupid. The more you write, the more likely that you will make a bad blunder. It might be better to say nothing at all than to take the chance of putting your foot in it.   How humbling that would be! On the other hand, maybe it’s good to get those “wrong” opinions out there so someone can put you straight. I’ve always said I love a good dialogue and a dialogue has to involve differing thoughts. Hopefully both sides will listen, and think, and perhaps arrive at something we can both agree on, with a ultimate increase in understanding.

Are there things I don’t blog about? Of course there are. When I finally start wearing Depends and I write about it (IF I write about it) you might say to yourself, isn’t there anything she keeps private? If someone does something nice, I can write about that. But suppose someone does something hurtful.  That is probably something to keep to myself. I probably shouldn’t even write about the wonderful, Godly way I’m dealing with it! So rest assured, everything is not being put out into cyberspace. Just because we old folks  have some faith and some perspective and are  cheerful overall doesn’t mean we don’t hurt sometimes.

I have very much enjoyed reading  other people’s blogs, especially those in my blogroll. I love the honesty that shines through these beautiful flawed persons.  When Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife who juggles “three kids, four blogs, a blog design business, and the laundry) got her new washer/dryer set (on pedestals) it was fun going through the agonizing, the shopping, the deciding, and seeing pictures of the final installation with a new paint job on the wall and the prospect of a “colorful rug” on the floor.   Bloggings provides a real insight into the nitty-gritty of other lives.   Provided, of course, you run into a truthful person.

Healthwise, with me, things are not much different. The walking is now slow enough for people to comment on it. The balance is obviously a little off. I’ve blogged about the dentures and the hearing aid and there’s no need to repeat. Weight is down a bit which I attribute to more fruits and vegetables. Mentally, I’ve really been enjoying playing Scrabble with online friends. On the other hand, the word-finding and name-recalling is worse than before. Yesterday, try as I would, I couldn’t remember the name of the stuff in my caulk gun. I knew everything about it, except it’s name. But if you came up with “silicone” I’d say “that’s it; why can’t I remember that?”  My mind is sharp enough to know that it’s not as sharp as it used to be.  Never a computer whiz, I seem to be more easily confused when it comes to uploading and embedding or doing anything beyond typing and editing. It has become clearer than to me than  ever that everything we have is a gift.  Our abilities, talents and our good looks are gifts.   We did not choose then, earn them, or deserve them.  They are not things to be proud of but rather grateful for.  Now you have them — now you don’t.

Why do I blog, why  am I still blogging? I originally wrote because I thought the experiences and thoughts of an old lady might be of interest and even of some help to those either living old or getting old.  I write also to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God-with-us, a historical person who started a church so old that its prelates wear funny clothes that date centuries back.  I lean a lot on him.   I write especially for my family thinking that I might set some things down before the Alzheimer’s sets in (one out of two over 85 gets it!) that will give them some clue as to who their progenitors were and what made them tick.

Yes, blogging makes me feel naked and vulnerable.   On the other hand, when one is aware of the sheer volume of what is “out there” one can feel very insignificant.  Why would anyone pay you (or me) any attention at all?   We come to realize that to the rest of the world we are about as important as a pebble on the beach.  We  are both afraid of being heard and afraid of not being heard.

Is there anything so intriguing about the title of this post that someone would bother to read it through to the end?   If anyone has, would you let me know?

~~~

The Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. — Job 1:21