Musings for January 15, 2019

sun melting the snow 20190115The sun came out for the first time in four days. It’s comparative warmth (41 so far) is welcome and it has begun to melt our 4 inches of snow

January sun greetings–Hello Sun,  where have you been?  We’ve missed you Bro.  Looking forward to you melting all of the snow and ice around here.

  July sun greetings–Hello Sun.  You here again, Bro?  Where’re the clouds to blunt your heat? I need some ice water to drink.  You’re melting me.

Bloom where you are planted, but you may have to move the pot.  We had to move the lemon tree three times before finally finding the spot it liked.  Last Spring, we placed it in the living room.  By mid summer it had dropped so many leaves that moved it to the back porch, where we figured it would die by fall when the temperatures dropped.   The plant looked healthy in early fall so we brought it indoors to the family room.  It began to produce small buds.  Now many of those buds have blossomed.  If we can figure out how to pollinate the flowers with a Q-tip without killing the buds, we may actually get lemons.  We can maybe even make lemonade (althought I’d rather make lemoncello.)

lemon tree in bloom 20190115

The House has stripped Steve King (R- Iowa) from all of his committee assignments because of his white nationalist comments. Are Republicans using him as a proxy for what they might have wished to say to the President?

You may be right, (dead right).  In the gym parking lot, two coeds ambled across the parking lot with utter disregard for any cars that might have been pulling into or out of parking spots.   Fortunately, a third coed driving a BMW was paying attention and let them have the right of way.  As she turned the corner of the parking lot, a large amount of snow fell off the back of her car where she had not bothered to finish clearing it off over 24 hours after the snow had ceased falling.   There was no poetic justice because the two ambling coeds had already passed the spot where the snow fell.

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Passages–Daily

sun and moon

 

Watch the sun waltz with the moon

Progressing across the sky as they change positions

Each day.

One follows, the other leads.

The dance master set them forth eons ago.

Time and distance do not matter.

Dawn bring the sun to prominence.  Dusk subdues it. 

Sometimes clouds obscure it.

The moon is more capricious.

Appearing some days and disappearing some nights.

Alone–It Depends Upon Your Perspective

All by myself
Don’t wanna be
All by myself
Anymore
From The Song All By Myself by Celine Deon
What does it mean to be alone?  Are you truly isolated by distance, love, feelings, incarceration, faith, being marooned in a distant spot?   Is being alone the same as being lonely?
lone cypres aloneFrom this perspective, the famous Lone Cypress along 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach looks quite alone.  It stands alone on its point, the other cypress trees are not visible from this angle.  The haze on the early morning sea seems to heighten the feeling of isolation.
In this picture, you can see the branches of another cypress tree in the foreground solone cypress with perspective that Lone Cypress has neighbors.  Do you have neighbors or friends nearby that you do not notice because of your perspective of being alone?  Sometimes the neighbors may have a different, if not better, perspecive than you do. If you both branch out, you may find a common point of view.
Audrey Hepburn famously said “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.”
Do you just want to be left alone, or do you want to be alone?  Sometimes we do find our own company the best at a particular point in time.
Do you make a  point of being alone on your point?  Can you see others in the distance but do not feel drawn to them for whatever reason?
Does being a self-diagnosed Introvert or Extrovert add credence to your point of separateness?  Is that the same as isolation?
Is no man (or woman) truly an island?
lone cypress--not really alone
Did you notice how the perspective of the Lone Cypress changes as you move from picture to picture?  It all depends upon which point you stand on to survey what or who is around you.

When Living on the Edge Gives You a Story to Tell

This is unlike any other living on the edge story you are likely to read.   It does not involve living in the fast lane, going outside your comfort zone, or even starting anything new.

It’s a heads or tails kind of story.  You flip a coin:  heads you do it one way and tails you do it another.  One time I was trying to decide what to have for lunch.  Heads would be go out, tails would be eat in.  I searched my pants pocket and pulled out a nickel.

I flipped the nickel.  It did not land on its head.  It did not land on its tail.  It landed on its edge.  Our old stereo had a plastic lid over the turntable.  We had moved and the movers had placed one of their inventory tags on the turntable.  When the tag was removed it  left a sticky residue which had never been cleaned off.  The nickel landed on that residue and did not roll off or fall over.

nickel--recreation of its side view

I have never seen a coin do that and have never heard anyone say that they have had a coin that landed on its edge.

This picture is a recreation of nickel that has landed on its side or edge.

Since the coin could not tell me what to do, I made a sandwich at home and ate it outside.  I am not sure that this would have worked with a smaller coin.  Any other coins I have ever tossed have either landed on their heads or their tails.

Three Reasons to Celebrate Not Your Birthday

happy unbirthay cakeWhen I turned 50, my husband took me to dinner and an overnight stay at the Inn at Little Washington,  in Washington, Virginia.  It was a wonderful experience–personalized menu, doting wait staff, private tea in the garden, and an over the top room with yards of lush floral fabric everywhere.  (My birthday was during the week in October so the restaurant was busy, but not ovewhelmed by people clamouring for food or attention.)

When my husband turned 50, I made reservations a year in advance at the Inn at Little Washington.  He has one of those party day birthdays like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, or St. Patrick’s Day.  His birthday also fell on a Saturday that year.  There was no personalized menu, the staff was attentive but hurried and harried, no one had the time to explain the intricacies of the menu.  The food was still excellent and our room was still lovely, but the personal touches from our previous visit were just not possible when the  venue was that crowded and busy.

That was when we decided to celebrate Not Your Birthday so that he could enjoy the same level of personal attention that most of us expect on our birthday.

Why celebrate Not Your Birthday:

1) Your special day is celebrated the way you would like it.  There is no obligation to make a reservation so that your special someone can also enjoy the party holiday.

2) If you tell the restaurant or resort that it is your birthday on a day they are less rushed, they are more likely to give you a special dessert, maybe a complimentary glass of champagne to celebrate, or can comply with a request for a special table or wait staff.

3)  You can chose the date or time of the year in which to celebrate Not Your Birthday.  If you like summer vacations, but are born in in the winter, celebrate Not Your Birthday when it is warm and you can enjoy the type of meal or actvity that you really want.

happy unbirthday to you

Caution:  Don’t do this multiple times a year.  You become the stereotype of someone trying to game the system.  Businesses want to gain your repeat business, but they do not want to be stiffed.  If they do something nice to help you celebrate, appreciate but do not do it again three months later.

 

Happy New Year

Crystal Pier-1

H appiness can only come from within.  Will you choose to be happy?

A llow others to come into you life. Will you share yourself with others?

P eople, places, posessions.  Which is the most important to you?

P urpose is why we are here.  What is your purpose for being?

Y oung at heart, age is just a number.  How young do you  feel?

 

N ever give up on your dreams.  What do you dream to accomplish in 2019?

E veryone has value.  Have you found yours?

W elcome change; it is  inevitable.  What changes would you like to make?

 

Y ou are the only you that you’ve got.  What do you make of that present?

E xplore your world.  Do you know your neighbors, local history or events?

A sk questions. What do you still want to learn?

R ealize this is the first day for the rest of you life.  What do you want to accomplish?

 

 

My Expectations Were Not Met Three Times Today,

and that was a good thing.

I was at the gym this morning, riding the stationary bike.  A plump, grayhaired man was on the bike next to me.  When he finished his ride, he wandered away from the bike, leaving his newspaper spread neatly over the electronic display screen.  I thought he was going to get a wipe to wipe the bike down after his ride.

Instead he got he got a drink a water.

Now he will get a wipe, I thought.

He paused to stretch out his right calf on the waist high plastic fence that marked of part of the cardio area.

Now he will get a wipe.  Wrong again.

He resumed his bike ride and reading his newspaper.  He was still riding when I left to get my damp wuoe to clean the bicycle.

After the gym, I went to the local Barnes and Noble, to order for this month’s book for  book club.  I was the second in line waiting for the lady in front of me to find out if her titles were available.  While I was waiting, a middle school looking boy stepped closer to the woman than from where I was standing.  I figured he had not seen me and when the person at the desk asked who was next, he would say he was.  Since I had not more obviously staked my claim by standing closer to the first person in line, I was resigned to waiting my turn.  The young man looked at me and said, “Please go next.”   “Thanks!” I smiled at him in reply.  The book was not in stock and I ordered it from Amazon when I got home.

My husband likes to eat lunch at 11.  I got home at 11:30 and figured he had already eaten.  Since I had brought 4 premade salads at the grocery store, I was not concerned about having to make lunch.  He surprised me by saying he thought I would want a warm lunch and was going to cook hotdogs and baked beans for both of us. They were delicious.

In each of these cases, I ‘assumed’ the worst and was glad to be wrong in each case.  We should let people have the opportunity to do their job or the right thing, before we ‘know’ they will not.   How often have you been accused of sitting on your ass, when you were actually trying to help a customer?  Or have you thought someone else was sitting on theirs because of an assumption?

 

 

He Who Steals My Purse Stills Trash, but He Who Steals My Book….

quill pen and parchmentBack in the Middle Ages, when books were written by hand in natural light only (because candles were deemed too dangerous around the books), the best way to prevent a book from being stolen or damaged was to include a book curse. (Fortunately most people believed in such things then. )

Nowadays libraries and archives rely on theft detection strips, sensitizing/desensitizing stations, , traffic control, and surveillance measures.  (Most people do not seem as susceptible to curses these days.)  Unfortunately, thefts from both regular and special collections seems to be on the rise.  It can be books, documents, artifacts, or parts of the same.

On my last trip to the  National Archives in College Park, Maryland, there was a rogues’ gallery of known archive thieves at the entrance to the second floor research center.

Why do we steal?  Do we want the secret satisfaction of owning/handling/seeing something that nobody else will have access too?  Do we think we are getting something over on the Man or Woman?

Bibliophile Killed by Toppled Bookshelf

book shelves falling overBefore you begin staying awake nights obsessing that your overflowing bookshelf will smother you in your sleep, THIS IS FAKE NEWS.  It is also a catchy lead into why you should buy more books than you’ll ever read

Surrounding yourself by books (read or unread) is a way to jumpstart your creativity. There is a lot of untapped knowledge stored in those physical or virtual volumes.

Although I personally disagree with the term “antilibrary”:

An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations — the vast quantity of things you don’t know, half-know, or will one day realize you’re wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself toward the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning.

My husband wants me to get rid of the cutter that lines the walls of our bedroom. I want to tell him, it’s not clutter, just reservoirs of knowledge I have not yet acquired. It’s also a sign of my comparative modesty because it is a visual reminder of what I do not yet know.