Today’s approaching birthday has been causing me much consternation. To my dismay, this day points out that I have been present on this planet for three-quarters of a century. On my thirtieth I cried all day, on my fiftieth I laughed a lot at all the teasing I received from co-workers, friends, and family. On my seventieth, I enjoyed a nice weekend at French Lick, IN with my daughters. But, this one is different, in fact, I was thinking it might be lethal, until I learned something significant in USA Today on June 24th.
Superman is 80 this month!
This news helped so much. If he can keep on flying faster than the speed of bullets surely I can continue to walk, blog and enjoy each day for a while longer. So, my daughters and I are going to have a slumber party to celebrate my big 75 and I look forward to adding to this three-quarters of a century!
“You are as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fears; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” Unknown
Theme photo in title and graphic by Pixabay
Her wardrobe is almost exclusively black and white, but I did not notice this over the several months that I had known her. In fact, it wasn’t until that day when I was looking deeply into her eyes. She was grieving the death of a family member and needed someone to listen to her sorrow.
While she spoke of her loved one’s last hours tears brimmed over her lower lids and as I watched in empathy I almost expected her dark eyes to stain the tears and leave a trail on her cheeks. Her eyes were inky black. Solid black so that I could not discern the pupil from the iris. It was then that I noted the contrast of her white hair. At 78 she was beautiful in black and white.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’ But I say unto you, they are inseparable.” Khalil Gibran
Theme photo in title by Pixabay
Mystery to Solve
My readers are smart and always quick with comments so I’m sure I’ll get the help that I need to solve this mystery. I just want to know why all my tee shirts get one tiny hole in the same place, lower front. I don’t even care about prevention, I just need the answer as to how it happens. It has been on my mind for years now!
Does this happen to you?
Yes, I do realize there are more important things to worry about, so don’t bother to throw that out, okay? I also care about nuclear weapons, water pollution and the hole in the ozone.
“Don’t become a mere recorder of facts but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin.” Ivan Pavlov
I know nothing about tires, other than they need to be kept inflated. My tip is more about what to do to prepare for car trouble which came about for me recently because of tires. After more years of driving than I care to calculate I had my first blowout a couple of weeks ago. Oh, I’ve had flats, they are not that dramatic, but a blowout, now that is pure drama! I’m happy to say that I maneuvered my car safely to a stop in an emergency lane. After collecting my thoughts and calming my nerves for a minute I called AAA, grateful as I looked at my card to note I’ve been a member for 29 years. I was sure help would be on the way in no time flat (pun intended). That’s where the tip comes in.
For one hour I sat waiting for help to arrive to place my spare on my wheel so that I could be on my way. One hour! It was 91 degrees so I was thankful to have adequate fuel to use the A/C intermittently. I read everything on my phone and had to resist calling anyone to chat because I didn’t want folks to be concerned about me. But I had nothing to do, nothing to read . . . wait that is not exactly true.
I opened the glove box and rooted around finding the vehicle registration, an owner’s manual and insurance verification. BORING! Then I spotted two white envelops which I had forgotten having in the car. One contained a copy of my Living Will and the other a copy of my Health Care Surrogate document. https://crookedcreek.live/2017/01/25/death-decisions/ Realizing that I had not updated these papers in over a year, I spent that long wait reading, initialing and dating each page so that my time was productive after all. This is not what I recommend but it was a good alternative to having something more interesting to read.
Yeah, back to the tip: I now have good reading material in my car. I’m ready for any emergency. Don’t leave home without something to read in case of an emergency!
“I had to stop driving my car for a while… the tires got dizzy.” Steven Wright
Theme photo in title by Pixabay
Since the “Year of the Woman” 1992, 1993, 1994, etc., at least one woman has remained in a position of power, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We owe tribute to her. She deserves all the recognition and honor that has been bestowed upon her to this point and more. This eighty-one year old may look frail, but I see her as strong as steel. Ginsberg is not the only woman who has served on the Supreme Court or even the first. She is not the longest serving Justice, either, but she was appointed in 1993, almost twenty-five years ago and she serves with strength and dignity.
Is it possible that the so-called “me too” movement currently sweeping the US will be the turning point for women? Is it likely that women will finally be treated with equity? I want to be optimistic, but I am not, at this point, even hopeful. What will it take? I do not know, but I do know what is at stake.
At stake is every inch of progress made to date. At stake are healthcare and childcare and the overall economic stability of women and their families. In 2016 the pay gap for women was 20%! According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research if progress continues at the rate of the past fifty years it will be 2059 before there is pay equity between women and men. For women of color, it will be well into the next century. https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/
What is the answer? If only it were that simple, but there are many changes that must be made and while men are important to this cause and their support is essential, it is women who must step up.
- Run for office
- Vote in each election
- Expect (demand) more
- Educate girls
- We might begin by recognizing their strength and intellect ahead of their appearance
- Support other women politically, in business and personally.
These are a few things that come to mind at the moment but there are many more. Let’s not be afraid of the fight. The suffragettes endured real physical pain for the right to vote and if you aren’t sure about that, I challenge you to see the 2004 movie, “Iron Jawed Angels” now available free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOrD0tH_WaM
If you have not seen this movie, please watch it, show it to your daughters and your granddaughters. While we’re at it, let’s include the men and boys. We all need to know this history.
“Paradoxically, the most constructive thing women can do is to write, for in the act of writing we deny our muteness and begin to eliminate some of the difficulties that have been put upon us.” Dale Spender
Whether we write, speak or teach . . . . No matter how we lead, the important thing is that we be not mute!
Theme photo in title by Pixabay
In 1993 I turned fifty-years-old. I felt old. I was teased and received all the gag gifts that go with such a milestone birthday. But there was a bright spot, it was the “Year of the Woman!” What could be a better birthday present than that!
But wait, 1992 was supposed to be the “Year of the Woman” too. And, according to a Wall Street Journal article, 1994 was redux. Surely with all the elections and appointments of women, it did come to pass . . . surely. No doubt all this attention to the female majority in the US resulted in equal pay . . . no doubt . . . surely.
What happened? Does anyone even remember the first “full-fledged” female bishop? How about Carol Moseley-Braun? Joyce Elders? Lani Guinier?
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The battle for women’s suffrage began in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 and it took seventy-two years for the 19th Amendment to be ratified. My mother was one year old at the time. If living she would turn 100 next year. My what progress must have been made in all those years. Surely women now receive pay equal to men. Surely a woman has been elected President. Surely women have an equal place at the table where important decisions are made. Surely . . .
What went wrong? Who failed? We need to ask these difficult questions. In the next post we will take a closer look at the progress made since the Year of the Woman of the nineties.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, we may be them, may we raise them.” Stacey Bendet
Theme photo in title by Pixabay
Today I received this from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and I want to share it with you. Please use any of these resource links that you might need and/or pass the information along to others.
To our AFSP Family,
On the heels of the reports of a second high profile loss to suicide, I wanted to take a moment to pull our AFSP family together and offer resources, and support.
We understand that the recent coverage may trigger strong feelings or memories that may be impacting you right now.
If this is the case for you, please take care of the basics for yourself and those around you: breathe, support each other, and practice kindness and self-care, even more than usual; un-plug from the news and/or social media if you need to minimize your exposure to this news coverage and chatter.
We encourage you to make sure you prioritize your mental health right now. Protect your sleep, eat healthy, exercise, stay in treatment if that’s part of your life, and connect to the people and things that encourage you. If things seem more difficult than usual, reach out for help; friends, family, religious leader, anyone you trust. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24/7 @ 1-800-273-TALK or text TALK to 741-741.
Along with the extensive (and sometimes graphic and inappropriate) media coverage, the CDC also issued a significant report
evaluating the trend of suicide death in the U.S, so you may see that much of the news reporting is incorporating data from that report.
While we have very important work to do, we need each of you to be in a good, emotionally healthy place to do so. If you need some time to regroup and recharge, take that time. Your wellness is a priority.
We ask that if you desire to share about this news, that you share the AFSP national social media posts or posts from other mental health organizations that focus on the hotline number and seeking help – and to not share articles or content that are sensational and graphic in nature. We encourage people to share messages of hope and that encourage seeking of help.
Supporting Safe Reporting in the Media
If you have contacts within the media, please share the Safe Reporting Guideline to help ensure best practices are being used when reporting on suicide. Download the Recommendations HERE
Find Local Support
Survivor Outreach Program – You are not alone. Our trained peer support volunteers are all suicide loss survivors who know firsthand how difficult it can be to find your way in the aftermath of a suicide. CLICK HERE
to request a visit with an SOP volunteer.
Mental Health Professionals – If you’re living with depression or another mental health condition, a health professional can help. CLICK HERE
to find a mental health professional in your area.
Thank you for all that you do to help #StopSuicide in our community.
We have a lot of work to do, but together we can save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.
Christine Moutier, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Suicide is not going away, but with more information and understanding regarding depression we may be able to stem the tide which threatens to wash over people of all ages, colors, religions and economic status.
Theme photo in title by Pixabay
Do You Remember?
- Sprinkling laundry and refrigerating it in a plastic bag before ironing? Do you even remember ironing?
- Cars not having air-conditioning, turn signals, seat belts nor heaven help us, cup holders?
- Dialing a telephone, i.e., spinning that dial with one finger?
- Car hops who delivered your food order which you then ate in the car?
- Visiting folks without calling before dropping in?
- When you kept up with relatives and friends by writing letters, known today as snail mail?
- Blue Laws which required businesses to stay closed on Sunday? And, then later when they were allowed to open only after church “let out” at noon?
- Women not wearing pants to church or much of anywhere else? I remember the first nurse who wore a pants uniform in our city. There was an article and photo in the local newspaper!
- When cameras had both film and flashbulbs?
- When schools had recess?
- Books were not audible?
- When passengers smoked on airplanes during flight?
- Farmers (usually the wife) killing their chickens for food?
- When unwanted pets were “dropped”? Sadly, it still happens today. Here’s one named Jackson that was fortunate enough to be found and adopted.
And the list could go on and on. I make no judgment. For the most part, I like the ways things are today and I love technology. That does not mean I don’t grow nostalgic at times thinking about how some things were in the past.
I sometimes wonder if we see what we look for. I realize that statement needs a lot of clarification. What I’m thinking about is my most recent walk at Pope Lick Park. I don’t take the same trails each day. I’m not in the same mood each day, although my mood always improves during my walks.
Today Floyd’s Fork was high and muddy and I enjoyed it in the morning mist. Even though it was quite early, I was not alone. Bikers, walkers, runners and even one person on inline skates were out there with me. I add this for one of my readers who worries about my safety. I am one of many enjoying the Parklands and being truly alone is rare.
Usually when I am in nature I think of little else. Today was no exception, however there were no deer, squirrels or even birds to hold my attention. One of the first things I noticed was my least favorite living creature. You guessed it, spiders or at least their homes. https://crookedcreek.live/2016/09/21/one-fear-explained/ Right away I noticed a dew covered web on the ground that reminded me of “angel hair” we used to decorate trees with at Christmas when I was a kid. The matted looking web had a hole that lead to a tunnel. The photos are not as clear as I’d like, but perhaps you can see what I’m talking about. As I walked there were many more such structures mingled in the grass. I cannot help but wonder what other sights I might have missed because I was looking for these spider homes.
With the editing feature on my camera, I was able to crop one photo with the resident builder at home. I assure you that I did not get that close! I hope you can see him here.
It was a day for spider exploration, but a good day for a walk nevertheless. They were minding their own business and I was very careful to avoid interrupting their day.
One more photo, but from a different type home above in the trees.
The next time you see a spider web, please, pause and look a little closer. You’ll be seeing one of the most high-performance materials known to man. Cheryl Hayashi
Frogs Are Valuable
Frogs are precious and, not as dinner. Did you know that according to the Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project* (Panama) between 1996 and 2006, over 100,000 tons of frog legs worth almost half a billion dollars were consumed by human diners?
Frogs are valuable and not just as pest control. We would certainly suffer without frogs eating flying pests. Considering the diseases carried by mosquitoes I cannot imagine a world without frogs and other amphibians to keep them under control yet, since 1980, we have lost over 120 species of amphibians!
“So what?” some may say, but the value of frogs goes way beyond pest control and culinary uses. Frog skin is a virtual bonanza for medical research and treatment. Frogs have been found to carry cures and controls for some of humankind’s most threatening conditions*.
It is True
Someone has said: “Frogs have it made, they get to eat what bugs them.” Anonymous and it is true. We once had a koi pond with frogs and lily pads and it was great entertainment until one very large frog became “bugged” by a bird. The bird just wanted a drink from the pond, but that hungry frog rose up and gulped the bird into its mouth! Only the tail and wing tips were not swallowed. I would never have believed it possible had I not seen it in my own backyard. And, you might not believe it either except in addition to a couple of (frightened) witnesses I have pictures.
Warning, it is not pleasant.
Like people, they may not all be sociable but we need frogs and they need us to preserve them for the value they add to our world.
Part 2 of 2