How Showing Up Became My Super Power

When I was in high school, I only missed one day in four years–my stepmother had just had her third child, my grandmother had a stroke and I had to stay home to babysit a half brother and sister. I already knew that being at school was better than being a stay-at-home babysitter.

At college, I did cut a few classes, but never enough to miss an assignment or a test.

Four years after graduation from college, I did take a break from working full time to attend library school, where I worked part time and attended school full time. Library school was two summers and one year; it was the last year before the University of Washington began its two-year Master of Librarianship program. I was married by this time and my husband supported my desire to become a librarian. Fortunately, his ship was sent to the shipyard in Seattle. We lived in government quarters and got in-state tuition (both helped make graduate school a debt-free experience).

After graduation, I worked a series of part time jobs as a substitute librarian for San Diego Public Library, a substitute library technician for San Diego County Library, and a substitute librarian/teacher for the San Diego Unified School District.

When we moved to Athens, GA, I was a substitute teacher for a teacher who had to unexpectedly take a temporary leave of absence because of a problem pregnancy.

Next, we moved to Norfolk, Virginia where I worked as a librarian for a Defense contractor before getting my first federal librarian job, first as a temporary and then in a permanent position. I got each of these jobs because I showed up every day and found ways to expand what the job could entail.

By developing a strong reputation for reliability, hard work and imagination I was fortunate to never have a break in service or experience a civil service downgrade when moving to a new city when my husband got orders. I was also active in professional library associations (both SLA and ALA).

The downside was that I was frequently tasked with other duties as assigned, which provided me an opportunity to show a willingness to work with others, flexibility when accomplishing tasks outside my area of expertise, and the probability of success when temporary promotion opportunities became available.

My goal was to run a post library, which I accomplished in five years. After that I transferred to the National Defense University which gave me experience in academic libraries. I was able to switch from running one type of library to becoming a systems librarian and eventually leading the section that oversaw both systems and technical services (cataloging, acquisitions, and serials management).

After retirement and relocation from Washington DC to San Diego, I was fortunate enough to become a volunteer for the USS Midway(CV-41) Research Library where I was once again able to create a niche for myself by combining what they needed with some ideas of my own.

Showing up and being flexible in what you are willing and/or able to do can be a winning combination. You never know what job skill or experience that you pick up may be the winning combination for a future opportunity.

Stop Robo-calls

Scammers maybe the worst of all
But second worst are robocalls.
Some machine calls your phone
but the mechanical voice won't leave you alone

There may be a way to end this abuse
Fill out the pettition, don't make an excuse


The petition is put out by the nonpartisan Consumer Reports, the same folks that do not take money for their unbiased reporting on many consumer goods including cars, furniture, foods, and consumer products.

Petition to stop robocalls

The Trouble with Reflections

Have you ever gazed upon your reflection in either a mirror or in your thoughts?

Whether you gaze inwardly (thoughts) or outwardly (a mirror) what you see is a distortion. Your reflection is you backwards and reversed.

Am I distorted
or is that my reflection?
What is my truth
without interjection?
Do I have time
for a midlife correction?
Or do I need a 
new course of direction?

To myself
I try to be true
What works for me
may not work for you.
Trust in yourself
You're all that you've got
You'll always be with you
Believe it or not.

Reblog: Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a physical way to provide White Space for the Body.

From the post , “Every Yoga pose has a specific purpose and perspective. In Yoga, the intensity of the actions is felt inwards rather than outwards. That is why most Yoga classes start with slow movements. It’s like taking a moment from the busy/noisy world and pause to think before reacting.”

White Space Expanded

The literature scholar Alan Jacobs argues that we need to embrace “not a permanent silence, but a refusal to speak at the frantic pace set by social media.” He calls silence “the first option — the preferential option for the poor in spirit, you might say; silence as a form of patience, a form of reflection, a form of prayer.”

How I learned to shut up and be still Author Headshot
By Tish Harrison Warren

White Space is the blank space left around a PowerPoint, print on a page, or words in a lecture or sermon. It provides a respite from thick block of text, graphics, or words and allows us the chance to absorb what we have just seen, heard, or experienced.

After reading this thoughtful essay that someone shared from the New York Times, I realized that White Space could also be extended to our lives as well as our various activities.

“Candle Flame” by Sam Bald is licensed under CC BY 2.0
As Thomas Kildare writes, “Advocacy in support of the oppressed, the poor, the marginalized and the pursuit of peace requires action. Particularly in a democracy, we have a responsibility to raise our voices to call for a more just and compassionate society for all people.
But the practices of silence, contemplation and stillness are essential disciplines in Christian spirituality. If you survey the advice of the saints from the past two millenniums, a consistent piece of advice emerges: Shut up. Be still.
If we fail to engage in active practices, Alcántara says, “we risk becoming distant, aloof, and detached from the world around us.” But he also says, “if we fail to engage in receptive practices, we risk becoming distant from ourselves, offering living water to others while we die of thirst.” 
By Thomas Kildare

Recopied from a Facebook post on Cancer Awareness Month

From the American Association for Cancer Research

January

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

February

National Cancer Prevention Month

Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month

March

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Kidney Cancer Awareness Month

Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month

April

Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

May

National Cancer Research Month

Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

June

National Cancer Survivor Month

July

Sarcoma and Bone Cancer Awareness Month

August

September

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

Uterine Cancer Awareness Month

October

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Liver Cancer Awareness Month

November

Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Month

Gastric Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

December

From the Facebook Page:

After chemo (and immunotherapy) treatment, it’s true that it can take years until you feel alive again … With the side effects of chemo and radiation, you will never be 100% again because your immune system is weak. Ruins marriages, families and relationships with friends. Because you’re not the same again after cancer and treatments.In the hardest moments you know who your real friends are or who the people are who appreciate you.Unfortunately, like with most friendships, Facebook friends will leave you in the middle of a story. They want a post to ′′like′′ for the story, but they don’t really read your message when they see it is long.More than half have stopped reading. Someone may have already gone to the next post in their newsfeed.I have decided to publish this post in support of close family, friends and relatives who have fought this horrible disease.Now I’m focusing on those who take the time to read this post to the end … a little test, just to see who reads and who shares without reading.Cancer is a very aggressive and destructive enemy of our bodies.Even after treatment, the body is devastated. It’s a very long process.I would like to know who I can count on and who takes the time to read this.When you have finished this, write ′′Done′′ in the comments.Sadly, cancer is still the illness of the century. Unlike others, this little petition will not have the effect of removing friends from my list. As I have a personal interest in the effects of cancer, I want to see who reads and who shares without reading! If you’ve read everything, select ′′Like′′ so I can put a thank you on your profile. I know 97% of you won’t broadcast it but my friends will be the 3% who will. Please, in honour of someone who died, or who is battling cancer. Everyone says, ′′If you need anything, don’t hesitate: I’ll be there for you.′′ So I’m going to make a bet, without being pessimistic: I know my family and friends will put it on their wall. You just have to copy (not share)!!! It’s awareness month for this disease. I did it for someone very very special! We all know someone who stood before us, and who has fought or who is fighting this battle. #CancerAwarenessMonth. Shirl Smith, Christopher French, and William Fitch Jr

To be Nimble with Bimble

I learned a new word and found a new app after reading Easy Malc’s Top Ten Places to See In Torbay.

From his blog:

9. Broadsands to Elberry Cove

This easy walk is a delightful way to bimble along next to the sea for anyone who can’t, or doesn’t want to walk too far.

Although the word is accurately implied in the context of the sentence, I still looked it up.

bim·ble/ˈbimbəl/ Learn to pronounce informal•Britishverbverb: bimble; 3rd person present: bimbles; past tense: bimbled; past participle: bimbled; gerund or present participle: bimbling

  1. walk or travel at a leisurely pace.”on Sunday we bimbled around Spitalfields and Brick Lane”

nounnoun: bimble; plural noun: bimbles

  1. a leisurely walk or journey.”we were enjoying a pleasant bimble over the rocks”

Thanks to Google, I also found that is an app available for both Google and Android

I joined Bimble on line and have found it to be easy to use, with a comment block for your comments. You can make your Bimble records private or public.

The Woes of Woo

She really understand me, and that’s not easy.” –Brian

Wooing

1. seek the favor, support, or custom of

2. try to gain the love of (someone), especially with a view to marriage.

Liz said she loves the “State of Woo”. She never defined exactly what that is but it seems to be when two individuals meet and are attracted to each other. Each day is a wonderful discovery into an unknown package of delights. You want to know what is in the package and unwrap each layer with anticipation and appreciation. Inevitably you fall out of woo and reality seeps in.

His tender looks start to glaze over or develop an acquisitive gleam.

Her soft laughter turns from trilling to shrilling.

What once enchants eventually annoys.

As projection of perfection morphs into perceived realities the idealized one no more exists.

Focus shifts from no faults to magnified imperfections.

Many people flee the decay of their fantasies without waiting to see if its replacement may be a more worthy object of affection.

Enjoy it while it lasts; the sun will set on the state of woo.

Doing the Right Thing, Even When We Don’t Want To

Suck it up, Buttercup.

I had company this past weekend which left me tired, more than ready for the visit to be over, and arguing with myself that it is better to suck it up and do the right thing.

This person was invited and stayed from Thursday to Monday. We did a lot of local things which I knew the person would enjoy. We paid for everything, except lunch on Sunday–which the person offered to pay for. We each had a salad and an alcohol drink (1 wine and 2 gin and tonics), and shared an order of french fries. The bill came to about $65 which the person paid in cash.

The only reason I know this is because the waitress followed us into the ladies’ room saying that person had left $65 for a $75 dollar bill. (This is a place we go to often, I know the waitress, and this has never happened before.) Fortunately I had a $10 and some some $20s in my purse so I gave the waitress $30 to pay the rest of the bill and a nice tip for her troubles. I never said a word about this to the person (although I wanted to on several occasions–but what purpose would it have served?)

Today, I received a supposed comedy sketch (which I am guessing is from Monty Python) in an email. Some people thought it was hilarious but I found it as leaden as trying to run in metal shoes. I deleted it before the end and felt since others like it, no one wanted the benefit of my opinion to the contrary. (Again what purpose would it have served?)

Have you ever had to hold your tongue, suck it up, or force yourself to stay quiet because the incident was not important enough to cause an argument or hurt someone’s feelings?

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day–February 17

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Where are places you can practices random acts of kindness?

  • Home
  • School
  • Work
  • Shopping
  • Standing in line
  • Sitting in traffic
  • Riding public transportation
  • Walking around the neighborhood
  • Look for anyplace that provides an opportunity

How can you practice random acts of kindness?

  • When you talk to someone, actually listen to them
  • Smile and make them wonder what you are up to
  • Let someone cut in front of you
  • Offer to help carry a heavy package
  • Give up your seat so someone who is tired, older, or has a disability
  • Allow someone to do something for you
  • Read a new blogger’s post and take the time to read and leave a meaningful comment, not just like it and move on.
  • Pay attention to opportunities sprinkled throughout the day–you can be kind to animals also

National Seed Swap Day-Last Saturday in January

Today is National Seed Swap Day.

National Seed Swap Day on the last Saturday in January serves as a reminder to gardeners that spring is on its way. It is also an ideal time for gardeners to gather and swap seeds in preparation for starting seeds indoors.

The first annual Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchange was held in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2006. Kathy Jentz, the editor/publisher of the magazine had the last Saturday of January named an official holiday and National Seed Swap Day was born. After that event’s success, seed swaps in other cities across the nation have joined in celebrating the day each year on (or around) the last Saturday in January.

Seed Libraries are often good places to swap seeds.

A seed library is a place where community members can get seeds for free or for a nominal fee and is run for the public benefit. Many seed libraries are open in public libraries and community centers. For some communities, getting folks to garden and grow some of their own food is the focus. For other communities, seed libraries may be created as an important step to develop a network of seed savers, to create locally adapted varieties, to respond proactively to climate change or loss of gene integrity due to GMOs  or to preserve genetic diversity. Seed saving is something humans have done for over 10,000 years. Rejoin the ritual and start to save seed and share the abundance in your community.

Seed Libraries is a network of seed lending libraries. Seed libraries can vary from community to community, but the basic idea is that seeds are made available to the community for free or at a low cost. Some of the intentions of seed libraries are:

  • increase access to locally grown food
  • social justice
  • local resilience
  • food security
  • seed sovereignty
  • promote seed saving
  • community building
  • preserve and increase genetic diversity
  • pro-active response to peak oil and climate change
  • desire to strengthen genetically honest seed

When All Else Fails….

Email the company.

Last weekend my sisters were in town which meant that our dishes for two, suddenly doubled to dishes for four.

They were good company and helped rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. That is where the trouble started.

Our two Calphalon sauce pans somehow got forcefully nested in the dishwasher and when we took them out, we could not get them apart.

My attempts:

  • Trying to pull them apart using the handles
  • Banging on a handle to jar them apart
  • Leaving them for my husband

His attempts:

  • Greater brute force on pulling them apart
  • Greater brute force on jarring them apart by using a hammer on the handle
  • Putting them back in the dishwasher and taking them out when both were hot

My sister recommended that we email the company which I did. After I describe our attempts at separation I finished the comment “We are neither stupid or kidding.”

I got an immediate auto-reply from the company saying that would get back to us in a few days but email was currently backed up.

After a few days of no reply from the company, we started looking for replacements pots, but Walmart was out of Calphalon saucepans and only had Calphalon frying pans.

We got home and got a very helpful email reply from the Company,

Hi Patricia,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Calphalon. We apologize if there has been a delay in our reply since we have experienced a backlog of emails. We are working diligently to respond as quickly as possible.


We’re sorry about what happened to your pots. Hope this advise will help.

  1. Fill your sink with hot water. Place the stopper in the bottom of the sink.
  2. Set the stuck pans in the sink, just covering the bottom pan with the hot water.
  3. Place a handful of ice cubes in the upper pot. Wait five to 10 minutes. 
  4. Twist the pots in opposite directions. For instance, you could choose to twist the bottom pot counterclockwise while twisting the top pot clockwise, or vice versa.

To help us make Calphalon the best it can be, we would like to ask for your feedback. A brief survey may be sent on your email to rate the service you were provided. Please take a moment and let us know how we are doing.

We wish all the best for you and stay safe. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

My husband tried that but could not get enough contrast between hot water in the bottom pan and ice cubes in the upper pan. He decided to very carefully heat the bottom pan on the stove, being careful not to get the burner too hot. SUCCESS! The pots are now separated

I sent the company an email back telling them their advice was perfect and thanks for getting back to me.

Neat Info

From an email

JUST PLAIN NEAT INFORMATIONS ☺

Glass takes one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!

Gold is the only metal that doesn’t rust, even if it’s buried in the ground for thousands of years.

Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.

Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.

Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.

The song Auld Lang Syne is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.

Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent. Drinking a glass of water before you eat may help digestion and curb appetite.

Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 450F.

The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.

The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.

Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

The University of Alaska spans four time zones.

The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.

In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant she accepted.

Warner Communications paid 28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday, which was written in 1935!

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

A comet’s tail always points away from the sun.

The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent.

Caffeine increases the power of aspirin and other painkillers, that is why it is found in some medicines.

The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.

If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up, you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.

When a person dies, hearing is the last sense to go. The first sense lost is sight.

In ancient times strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed.

Strawberries and cashews are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside.

Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams.

The moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year.

The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.

Due to earth’s gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters.

Mickey Mouse is known as “Topolino” in Italy.

Soldiers do not march in step when going across bridges because they could set up a vibration which could be sufficient to knock the bridge down.

Everything weighs one percent less at the equator.

For every extra kilogram carried on a space flight, 530 kg of excess fuel are needed at lift-off.

The letter J does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of the elements.

And last but not least:

Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there .

COVID-19 What We Knew in June that We Didn’t Know in February

A professor of pharmacy at U of Toronto sent this clearly worded update to his family.

For this pandemic there’s a greater chance of survival for those getting infected 3 months later like June 2020 than those who got infected 3 months earlier say February 2020. The reason for this is that Doctors and scientists know more about Covid-19 now than 3 months ago and hence are able to treat patients better. I will list 5 important things that we know now that we didn’t know in February 2020 for your understanding. 

1. COVID-19 was initially thought to cause deaths due to pneumonia – a lung infection and so Ventilators were thought to be the best way to treat sick patients who couldn’t breathe. Now we are realizing that the virus causes blood clots in the blood vessels of the lungs and other parts of the body and this causes the reduced oxygenation . Now we know that just providing oxygen by ventilators will not help but we have to prevent and dissolve the micro clots in the lungs. This is why we are using drugs like Aspirin and Heparin ( blood thinners that prevents clotting) as protocol in treatment regimens in June 2020.

2. Previously patients used to drop dead on the road or even before reaching a hospital due to reduced oxygen in their blood – OXYGEN SATURATION. This was because of HAPPY HYPOXIA where even though the oxygen saturation was gradually reducing the COVID-19 patients did not have symptoms until it became critically less, like sometimes even 70%. Normally we become breathless if oxygen saturation reduces below 90%. This breathlessness is not triggered in Covid patients and so we were getting the sick patients very late to the hospitals in February 2020. Now since knowing about happy hypoxia we are monitoring oxygen saturation of all Covid patients with a simple home use pulse oximeter and getting them to hospital if their oxygen saturation drops to 93% or less. This gives more time for doctors to correct the oxygen deficiency in the blood and a better survival chance in June 2020.

3. We did not have drugs to fight the corona virus in February 2020.  We were only treating the complications caused by it… hypoxia. Hence most patients became severely infected. Now we have 2 important medicines FAVIPIRAVIR & REMDESIVIR … These are ANTIVIRALS that can kill the corona virus. By using these two medicines we can prevent patients from becoming severely infected and therefore cure them BEFORE THEY GO TO HYPOXIA. This knowledge we have in JUNE 2020… not in February 2020.

4. Many Covid-19 patients die not just because of the virus but also due the patient’s own immune system responding in an exaggerated manner called CYTOKINE STORM. This stormy strong immune response not only kills the virus but also kills the patients. In February 2020 we didn’t know how to prevent it from happening. Now in June 2020, we know that easily available medicines called Steroids, that doctors around the world have been using for almost 80 years can be used to prevent the cytokine storm in some patients.

5. Now we also know that people with hypoxia became better just by making them lie down on their belly – known as prone position. Apart from this a few days ago Israeli scientists have discovered that a chemical known as Alpha Defensin produced by the patients White blood cells can cause the micro clots in blood vessels of the lungs and this could possibly be prevented by a drug called Colchicine used over many decades in the treatment of Gout. So now we know for sure that patients have a better chance at surviving the COVID-19 infection in June 2020 than in February 2020, for sure.

Going forward there’s nothing to panic about Covid-19 if we remember that a person who gets infected later has a better chance at survival than one who got infected early. Let’s continue to follow precautions, wear masks and practice social distancing. Please distribute this message, as we all need some positive news…