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Friday, September 30, 2016

Yep, I am marching onward.

Woke up his morning and had a serious thought.  Probably not my first one, but this one seemed a little morbid even to me!  My Happy Birthday is coming and while that is a cause for celebration it is also a very sobering thought.  Remember when we were young and and our birthday came and it was a milestone?   For me it was great!  When I was young that meant I took 8 or whatever number of pennies to church and stood in front of the kids and dropped the pennies one at a time into the candle bank on the table.  As each penny dropped the kids all counted;  "One!" "Two!"  Little did it matter that I had started out with pennies and I was going home with nothing.  For a few minutes I had been the center of the room.  Everyone had looked at me and sang the birthday song to me!  For a few minutes everyone was happy that I was born. 
But as I grew older the symbolism changed.  Thirteen meant I was not a teenager.  Then sweet sixteen and I never really knew what that signified.  Eighteen was the legal age of consent and shortly thereafter I married for the first time.  By my twenty-first birthday I had started my family.  By 30 I was a single mother with 5 kids.  What had started out as marking milestones was now becoming more of a habit.  The cakes got bigger and the candles got hotter.  By the time I reached 40 I was settled into what would become my middle age with my husband that would prove to be my last.  We lived a very comfortable life.  The kids left home and we adopted a grandson. 
My 60th birthday found me a widow with a pre-teen son.  It was at this time that I began toying with the idea of a "bucket list".  Now be aware that I said "toying with the idea."  An old woman with a teenage son does not have time to entertain many ideas at all.  First get him through school and out into the world and then figure out my life.  That proved almost an insurmountable task, but now it is finished.  He has a home and a new son and needless to say, a woman to replace me.  So here I set contemplating my birthday.
Let's take stock of the situation.  I have no goals set on the horizon.   I guess I do though.  Take this  morning.  It is a blessing.  I woke up, stood upright and am taking nourishment.  I have my day planned.  I am going to go buy Ziploc bags to bag up 25 pounds of  flour that was given to me to take to Los Pobres.  I am going to make a batch of cinnamon rolls to give away.  This afternoon I have a  lady  to set with so her daughter can catch a break.  I digressed there for a moment.  Back to the birthday thing.
I guess what I am trying to convey here is that when I was young and my life stretched out on an endless path before me, birthdays were important.  Now they are not.  At some point they stopped being celebrations and became more of mileposts on the way to the grave.  Every time I add a year to my age, I get closer to not having another birthday.  The good Lord in his wisdom gave us only so many years.  Some he did not give so many, but some he gave a lot.  I am afraid I am one of those to which he has given a whole lot.  I see my life behind me and I look ahead.  I see no hope of a quiet peaceful death any time soon.  The body keeps functioning and the mind keeps working and the grass keeps growing.  And I keep mowing it. 
I wish life had come with an instruction book.  But if it had, would I have read it?  If I had read it, would I have followed the instructions? I knew on some level that my first husband was going to be a mistake.  But I forged ahead.  Had I not, I would not have all my children.  I can not imagine my life without my kids.  And my grandkids.  And my great grandkids.  I have made lots of mistakes, but there is no getting the toothpaste back in the tube, as my mother used to say.  Sorry is a word that is over used because in my life "sorry" just doesn't even touch it.  But here I am, alive and well.  One of my kids tells me "What doesn't kill you makes you strong."  I expect I am one strong bitch by this time.
So, I will mark another year down the tubes and prepare for another to come.  That is how we do it here on earth.  Some day the good Lord may see fit to reach down and tap me on the shoulder.  When that happens I am going to listen this time.  And my kids will stand at my memorial and say nice things about me.  Maybe.  At least I hope so.
I remember how overwhelmed I was the day we buried my mother.  That was a lot of years ago, but the loneliness is still there.  Kids just have a special bond with their mother.  My kids  will be no different.  I hope they can take comfort in knowing that I loved them all.  I loved everyone the same; not one more than the other.  Each one was special in a special way.   At the risk of becoming morbid, I need to wind this up and go bake something.
So Happy Birthday to me!  Another one in the books as we used to say after a catering job or when one of my wedding cakes went out the door.  Enjoy this day.  Enjoy your next day.  Love your family and love your friends.  Do a good deed along the way and smile at someone on the street.  You have today.  Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.  There is no tomorrow. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

My corner of the world is getting smaller.

I woke up this morning in my little bed and lay there for a minute to think about the day ahead.  First I thought about all the shootings and the riots and it made me very sad.  I thought back to when God first made this earth and how perfect it was.  He just wanted companionship and Adam and Eve gave him that, but in typical fashion, they wanted more.  Or at least Eve did.  From the apple to Cain and Able was just a short hop and from there to now it has been all down hill.  Brad and Angelina are divorcing and if I click enough keys I can get all the dirt on that but I really don't care.  Oklahoma is arresting a police officer, but it does not change anything.  The man is still dead whether or not it was intentional or just an honest mistake, his life is gone.

The "Indigenous Tribes" are trying to stop a pipeline.  I can remember when they were Indians and they lived on reservations that were theirs given to them by our Government in exchange for all the rest of the whole United States that they thought was theirs.  What happened to that?  Oh, we needed oil.  Now I remember.  Fossil fuel is what makes our world turn.  We can get wind and solar power, but that is too clean and we will always have wind and sun, or so we think.  What I want to know is why it is only the people on the reservation trying to save our planet?  Why aren't all of us outraged that our government is completely ignoring the fact that this is THEIR land and not ours.  We only have this one earth and unless someone knows something I don't, we need to preserve it and water is just pretty necessary in that equation.

Wars are raging around the world and I have no idea why.  Wait, yes I do.  War is a matter of one person or nation imposing their will and beliefs on another person or nation.  Both sides think they are right.  For some reason our great land seems to think it is our business.  Babies are being aborted and children die from child abuse here in our country on a daily basis.  Animals are mistreated and left on chains to suffer in the back yard of a master who has no heart.  Homeless people beg for a crumb and a blanket to stave off the cold while our city fathers burn their cardboard shacks. 

Where are our peacekeepers?  Where are our Mother Teresa's?  Where are our people who care about our brothers and sisters?  Why is skin color even an issue?  Why is an accent even an issue?  Who is right and who is wrong and what difference does it make in the grand scheme of things?  But wait!  There is hope!

I remember somewhere in the far recesses of my mind a glimpse of news that a huge asteroid or something like that is hurling through space and will most assuredly crash into our dear mother earth.
Think about that!  Will it knock us out of our orbit and send us flying through space with no gravity to keep us implanted on our Terra firma?  It could happen and then would the size of your bank account make a difference?  Would your opinions matter?  Could your friends save you?  Can your fancy BMW go fast enough to save you from the apocalypse that is sure to follow?  Just some thoughts this morning.

Welcome to my world!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The bike lanes are going away!!!

Well, at least they are going away on Fifth street.  I must confess that before I leave the house and drift towards town, I say a prayer to the great white father that I encounter no bikes in town.  The streets are so screwed up with lines going here and there and bikes going both ways on one way streets and cars parked in the middle of the street that it is almost impossible to get from point A to point B without killing someone.  I waited for a car to go the other day after the light had changed and I finally figured out that I was parked.  And no where did I see a bicycle.  At no time in the last 3 years of becoming a cyclist friendly city have I even seen a bike in the lanes designed for them.   Oh, I have seen them on the sidewalk and I have seen them dart across traffic to get to the sidewalk on the other side of the street, but at no time have I seen a cyclist with their little helmets riding in the bike lanes.  Those people are rarer then the Dodo bird which was declared extinct many, many years ago. And do you want to know why?  I will tell you.

Many moons ago when I was a mere child I learned to ride a bike.  And I learned to ride a bike in traffic.  I did not learn to ride on the sidewalk because that was designed for people to walk on, hence the term side walk meant walk on the side. Side walk.  Not side ride.  It was a very simple concept.  If I was riding on the right side of the road the same as a car was driving on the right side of the road I was assured if a car wanted to pass me, the car could speed up and zip out around me.   Anything on wheels follows this rule.  When walking I walk on the left facing traffic.  I can step off the road that way and avoid getting ran over.  Simple concept.  Walk facing traffic and when driving or riding go with the flow.

In this manner I have survived 74 years without a scratch.  It is my opinion that it would have been much simpler and a whole lot cheaper to require a license on a bike and require the owner to pass a test.  Motorcyclists have to and the only difference there is that the motorcycle has a motor and the bike does not.

I understand that their are places where bikes are a major means of transportation and I think had the city fathers just studied how it was done that a lot of frustrations could have been avoided and the city would have saved a lot of money on paint.  My theory on this is that it was not broken so why did they have to fix it?

It is all becoming a blur to me!

It seems it was only yesterday that I was poking in the soil to see signs of life in Mother Earth.  The next day we were in the middle of a stretch of 100 degree days.  This morning I am wondering if I should have unhooked the hoses last night so they would not freeze.  Oh, and some where during the intervening days I recall mowing and cutting weeds and cleaning the goose house and planting seeds and wondering where they went after they came up because the garden was shoulder high in weeds last time I looked.  Spring and Summer are a complete blur. 
I meant to take a vacation and go back to Kansas, but I must have forgotten, because it did not happen.  I meant to go on several hikes, like the Manitou Incline and up Tower Trail in Beulah to get seeds from the Sage plant, but I think it is too cold up there now.  I know it is pretty chilly when I go out in the mornings and I have that dew on my car windows.  Leaves are starting to fall in the yard and spiders are making their way in through the cracks.  Where did the summer go? 
I recall one of those pattern books with the  cute little sayings that can be embroidered in cross stitch.  I actually made several of them and God only knows where they went. I could use them now.  The first one was "When you are over the hill, you pick up speed."  That is the truth if I ever told it.  Seems like some where in the far recesses of my mind I was a kid and the days crept by as slow as molasses on a cold day.  I do not recall summer or winter affecting me as far as the creature comforts of warm and cold.  I do recall walking home from school behind my older brother and sister who broke a trail through the snow.  And I recall sleeping on the floor at school because we could not get through the snow.  It must have been very cold.  I remember those damned itchy wool blankets we slept under.  I recall jumping in the creek or horse tank or a mud puddle when it was summer, so I must have been hot. 
I remember the hayloft and how hot it was up there in the summer.  Sometimes if the hay was just a little damp the pile would start smoldering and the hay would have to be pitched out on the ground to save the barn.  I also remember how warm it was in the winter.  Course I also remember the mice and the cat. There was invariably a litter of kittens which would grow up to eat the baby mice.  Also spiders.  Damned spiders were every where.  Black Widows were the scariest.  We learned early to recognize the web of the Black Widow.  It was shiny and if I touched it with a stick it would crackle.  Sent chills through my bones.  And I could always see the Widow somewhere with her round marble body, shiny black.  Sometimes I could see her dead husband trapped in her web.  She killed him after they bred and that is why she was called a black widow.  There was one that lived behind the door into the chicken house.  Very scary.
(Why does everything always revert back to Nickerson, Kansas and my childhood?)
The other thing I cross stitched was one that said "Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most."  That was my mantra for many years until I decided that I had not really lost my mind, just sometimes I let it go on vacation without me!  I have been told that I should write my life story and I gave that a lot of thought, but that will not happen and here is why...
When I set down to start to write my mind wanders off.  I started to write about how fall is in the air and I had beautiful pictures in my mind, but then I started thinking about how the city fathers have now decided to remove those stupid bike lanes down on Fifth Street.  This started me thinking of how I learned to ride a bike in Nickerson, Kansas and that made me remember school there in the big two story brick building. 
I usually call this "digressing", but I guess if the truth be known, it is just the old adage "All roads lead home."  And I take great comfort in that.

Friday, September 9, 2016

I didn't understand what I was voting for that time.

I take my voting very seriously.  When I get the little booklet from the League of Women's Voters, I devour every word.  I talk to people and weigh the pros and cons.  If I am not clear what it is about, I am going to find out, you can bet your sweet bippie on that!  When the question of legalizing marijuana came to the ballot, I was very sure that I wanted a yes vote on that.  I would have been more excited had they made the legal age 25, just because by the time someone is 25 they are pretty sure what they want out of life.

I have seen what the synthetic heroine and crack cocaine and meth has done to our kids and I did not want that to continue.  The argument that Marijuana is a gateway drug is a crock.  I have seen first hand kids go straight for the meth and other drugs simply because they are very cheap and very, very easy to purchase.  My hope was that by legalizing marijuana some of that would slow down, but I don't think that is happening.  I have never done an illegal drug in my life and do not intend to start, but I can tell you this, I have dealt with kids smoking pot and they do not behave at all like those who have been doing the illegal drugs.  Ever see a kid that is so zoned out they have no idea where they are or what they are doing?  That is not marijuana!  Marijuana seems to make kids a little spacey, but it does not make them stand on a street corner staring off into outer space and drooling all  over themselves.  Most of the marijuana smokers I run into are happy little people and I would just assume they were having a really good day if it weren't for that little whiff I get that is akin to a skunk passing by outside.

I see in the Chieftain that Hasan is funding a study on marijuana and I will certainly be glad when that is done and we can see the scientific evidence of the benefits of marijuana.  Years ago I had back problems and took more pain pills than I can remember.  I recall going to work more often than not with a fog in my brain and I could hover up near the ceiling and watch myself slaving over a hot grill and smoking french fry baskets.  It is a wonder I survived that! I had back surgery and as with any surgery, more pain pills.  Today I have spasms in my back and when that happens I reach for my bottle of marijuana pain cream that I bought legally in Blende.  I do not take any pain pills and I have been told that I would not be able to pass a drug test as there is pcp or thc or something like that in my system, but I do know I do not feel it and I am clear headed, just no pain.  I refuse to take pain pills so if legal sale of marijuana goes away in Pueblo City and County I am just going to have to go back to being unable to function.

I could go on about what good the tax dollars have done for our economy along with our low unemployment rate, but I think that speaks for itself.  I just wanted to give my opinion as a human being.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The wisdom of one younger and wiser than me.

  This is Hammer, me and my daughter Debbie.  If you look at us, it appears that she is a clone of me.  Spitting image of her mother!  And the interesting part of the whole thing is we think a lot alike and seem to have the same reasoning power.

I was talking to her the other day and I commented that she had the same reasoning powers that I did and she must have inherited them from me.  At that point she told me that many years ago she had come across a paper that someone had written and that the basic rules on that sheet of paper had kept her on a steady course for her life.  She read them to me and they sounded like something might have writtem back in my early life..We do not know who wrote them, but I would love to share with all of you.  She said her copy was covered with fly poop, grease spots and water marks, but she could still read it and agreed to send it to me.  Today it arrived in my mailbox and I copied it for you.  

Author unknown

1.      1.  You will receive a body.  You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
2.       2.   You will learn lessons.  You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life.  Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons.  You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3.        3.  There are no mistakes, only lessons.  Growth is a process of trial and error:  experimentation.  The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately works.
4.        4.  lesson is repeated until learned.  A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.  When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
5.       5.  Learning lessons does not end.  There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons.  If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
6.        6.  “THERE” is no better than “HERE”.  When you’re “THERE” has become a “HERE, you will simply obtain another “THERE” that will again look better than “HERE”.
7.       7.  Others are merely mirrors of you.  You cannot love or hate something about another person unless is reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
8.       8.  What you make of your life is up to you.  You have all the tools and resources you need.  What you do with them is up to you.  The choice is yours.
9.      9.   Your answers lie inside you.  The answers to life’s questions lie inside you.  All you need do is look, listen and trust.
     10.  You will forget all this.
     11.   You can remember it whenever you want or need to.

      So thank you to Debbie Keisel for sending this to me so I can share it with others.  Who knows, we may make the world a better place if we try hard enough!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Keep right except to pass and do not pass in an intersection on a country road.

A couple days ago I was coming home down South Road and driving my usual 40 MPH in the 35 MPH speed zone.  Actually my speedometer is off by a couple digits, so I was driving about 38MPH.  There is a stop sign on 25th Lane and 27th Lane has a "widow maker" dip.  See out here this is how we control water. The dip is so water on the road has a way to get off the road so my car does not flood out.  I slow down so my car does not bounce.

Let me tell you about the history on this dip.  Our mailbox is on the North side of the road.  It is about 1/2 a city block from the dip.  When we first moved out here and the dip was new we lost our mailbox 2 times because people neglected to slow for the dip, became airborne and wiped out our mailbox.  The dip is clearly marked so over the years people have learned to slow down at that corner.  They also have the added attraction of seeing long black marks where brakes are applied very quickly by drivers who wake up at the last minute.  Back to my experience.

So I am driving home and stopped at 25th Lane.  A red car was behind me.  It also stopped and caught up with me very quickly.  I knew the dip was coming so I tapped the brake to slow.  Red car whipped out around me and romped on the gas.  When it hit that dip, it became airborne and then came down very hard on the road.  I heard the crash when the bottom of the car hit the pavement.  The car continued forward out of control and swerving from side to side.  By the time it got to Scalese's house it was finally under control.

Now my dear little Bret hit a dip in Pueblo West once and raised his radiator 2 inches.  He was only going 7 mph.  (snicker, snicker!)  This car was probably doing 55 when it hit the dip.  Wonder what it did to that radiator!!  I do not know exactly why I shared this with you, but I must have had a reason.  I wish I had a dash camera and I could have shown it to you.  Might make you want to drive a little more carefully out here.  I do know I just watched this video.  


I know they have this law here in Colorado, but no one pays attention to it.  Do we still have traffic enforcement?  I pass more on the right then I do on the left.  In all fairness lots of these drivers are on the phone and not really noticing what I am doing, or what they are doing either for that matter.

I could be wrong , but I think if you are going to be herding a 2000 pound vehicle down a public road you really ought to be aware of your surroundings.  I have niece's that like to text going down the road.  Real important stuff isn't it?  I do not do that because I am old and I can remember when the phone was hooked on the wall and if someone called and I did not answer they just figured I was not home.  Imagine that!  Now I call someone and Lord only knows where they are located.  They could even be in my back seat.

I guess what I am trying to tell/ask/beg people to do is this.  When you crawl in your car, leave you other obligations on the seat or in your pocket and pay attention to driving.  In a perfect world all the cars are going the same place at the same speed, but inevitably someone colors outside the lines.  In a perfect world the only fatality would be the driver with the phone in thier hand, but life does not work that way and I have come too far to be a statistic because someone else heard a phone ring, or heard a text come in, or missed that sign about "DIP".

The road to hell is paved with good intentions!