Doesn’t apply, just saying…*

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when it’s down to just

two pancakes topped with cherries

t-shirts are the shiz

JSmith 02/13/2017

* Some days are all about the corn.

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Just get through it…

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days informed by pain

must be survived in one piece

life takes a back seat

JSmith 02/11/2016

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Ignorance is blistering…

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I read a stunning statistic this morning* that blew both Kim and me away – over half of Americans believe it should be illegal for a woman to keep her last name after marriage, WHAAAT??

Of course that represents people who were actually polled, which I’d like to think means half of those surveyed in rural areas, remote hollers, and socially isolated mountain ranges rather than honest-to-goodness 21st Century Americans who know what’s up, because this finding is both laughable and disturbing.

Events until recently seemed to indicate that we were steadily moving toward a better world informed by human equality in every direction, but here we are still fighting the same old shit that first raised our collective consciousness in the 60s. Unbelievable.

A world without women and our influence is not to be contemplated, so why is the focus so rarely on what’s good for us? (Simple question for the Luddites among us, please show your work.) All you pathetic cases of arrested male development endlessly stuck in junior high need a brighter awareness of truth: Women have 100% of the babies. Just the facts, Jack, and your ideal little world starts to go downhill after one generation, so what are you thinking? Oh wait…

This crap is so silly I thought it must be “fake news” but no such luck, so I’m sitting here hoping I don’t know anyone with this attitude and outlook, it would shatter my heart, hyperbolically-speaking.

Prejudices, stereotypes, and backward thinking are buried so deep in our nation’s psyche, how is it we believe we’ll ever dig out, but women are fierce and we don’t quit. That alone should show you what we’re made of, but that’s okay – we’ll keep doing what we do because – what else? Respect is owed, but we’re used to working without it, so don’t give it another thought, you guys all persevere in your empire-building and let us know how that’s workin’ out for ya’. But here’s how it is: Brains are the new tits and you’re falling behind.

 

women

* The Name Game

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Namasté…

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clear out the cobwebs

brain engages as it will

worth the good effort

JSmith 02/09/2016

#ShePersisted

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No snowmobiles on sidewalk…

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We need the kind of winter we aren’t having this year – with plenty of snow and cold to replenish the soil and annihilate every bug. So far it’s been “string of mild days” followed by “plummet into the cellar” for a couple, shampoo, rinse, repeat, and with only a dusting of white to show for those few wintery days. The photo above was taken in the 1950s, my two little sisters and me atop the fifteen-foot snowdrifts in our grandparents’ orchard, which was endless fun for us but sobering in the destruction the storm left behind.

I have a soft spot for the raging blizzards of my childhood despite their danger, mostly because they seem to have gone out of vogue. Pretty sure, after observing weather patterns over a lifetime, that the climate change phenomenon at work in Lawrence America and around the globe is a thing to be dealt with, sooner rather than later, and the changes we’re seeing will continue to proliferate until we’re in real trouble, maybe as early as yesterday.

Not my circus, not my monkeys, however, I’m just along for the ride, so might as well enjoy the warmer days as they roll through. Forecast says 53º today, 37 tomorrow, with only a hint of any precip on the horizon. Life IS and we roll with it, you know it’s true. The bitching and whining we do is all window dressing, which of course doesn’t apply only to weather, amirite?

Go out there and make your Wednesday a happy one for you and everyone within range of your influence, why not? Staying alive continues to be a good thing, I’m in line to kick it in the fanny one day at a time, and the whole thing gets easier if we team up, so let’s just do it.

Warm Winter Savings

Warm Winter Savings

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Honeybun cake…

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I find it hilariously revealing that my all-time most-visited blog post is one entitled “Heeeyyy, good lookin’, whaaatcha’ got cookin’ …?” It’s a recipe for coffee cake, which people might not be expecting to find under that title, but had I called it “World’s Best Coffee Cake, Trust Me,” I can’t imagine that it would have outperformed everything else I’ve ever published by 1000 to 1. Since I put it up three years ago it’s never left top spot on my “most viewed.” People are so freaking predictable.

And yet…and yet…92 people have taken the time to give it a rating, for an average four stars, and a lot of comments have been left, so you know what? This probably IS the world’s best coffee cake, trust me. So simple to make, so yummy to eat – we should all bake one this morning just to get the week started on a good note. You know you want to…

Best Coffee Cake

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Don’t forget…

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Not nearly enough paeans to Monday mornings have been penned over the years, would you agree? After surviving almost seven decades of them I’m finally learning to appreciate them for what they are – the lull before the actual week – which runs Tuesday through Thursday – cranks up. The privilege of this is not wasted on me nor unappreciated and it was worth the slog to get here, she says, not suffering pangs of guilt, not ever, at all, but given enough coffee and therapy she’ll get over it.

There’s a Monday Morning level of quiet that happens – a hush composed of minute layers of sound and aroma: coffee on the warmer, the laundry gurgling and sloshing at the far end of the loft, the faint scent of detergent and softener, muted traffic noises under my windows, faraway voices muffled by winter humidity, people walking to work but not hurrying, because Monday. Faint construction sounds, too, and the now-familiar slight moans and groans of our steel and concrete building. If home is a state of mind, that was the nickel tour of mine, free today just for you.

And now assorted sirens from a few blocks over are saying it’s time to move it, so I think I will. Make your Monday feel like a Friday if you can. And then there are only three actual days until Real Friday – you’re gonna love it.

 

 

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Fun things to do while we wait out the war…

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  • Record all those accumulated websites and their logins in your handy-dandy password keeper, which works like a dream when fully utilized.
  • And just like that you’ve also checked task #2 off your bucket list: Get rid of every last coffee-stained note on your desk, and stop DOING this.
  • And oh look, what’s this but another bill, fortunately an ACH this time, whew. Girl, you have got to reform at last, and hey, with all this free time on our hands…
  • Establish a login for each of those sweet lil’ apps you’ve downloaded to your phone, and figure out how the heck they work anyway.
  • Meticulously purge every folder on every device. Every folder. Get real – all those recipes? There’s enough there for three or four lifetimes, you don’t cook anymore, and Kim is not the scullery maid. Pick five from each category and lighten the load – this is not brain science.
  • Heartlessly ditch contacts whose names you no longer recognize, and get totally realistic about the rest. Unless you’re a Young Turk who’s still networking nonstop you will never need a goodly number of those contacts, nor have a use for what they represent.
  • Dive into and finish that major closet purge you’ve been postponing since you moved three years ago. That was SO not difficult, WHAT IS YOUR FREAKING PROBLEM?
  • Haul a couple of small truckloads full of treasures to Goodwill in honor of their recent revamp and redeeming online rep. Come home feeling not magnanimous but relieved and grateful that at least a few of the world’s goods will find their way into deserving hands instead of gathering dust bunnies on shelves that will be better put to use.
  • You could make your surroundings so enchantingly Zen that you would find yourself with the psychic freedom to write your buns off, for hours every day.
  • You might become so engrossed in the lovely, soothing minutiae of daily living that you entirely forget to sweat the sneaky destruction in progress around you and miss the war altogether. Could happen.

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Facts of Life

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move it or lose it

the experts are not kidding

leaves not to return

JSmith 02/04/2017

 

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Random free-time calisthenics…

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  • How could a girl be anything but happy when a beautiful man plays guitar several hours a day in their shared space? That’s just silly to contemplate.
  • A potential unforeseen consequence of painting a silver head of hair with reddish-brown streaks (billed as mahogany) is that one could appear to have been beaten mercilessly about the head and shoulders with a flail. Not likely, but possible, and worth considering in advance.
  • Long overdue tasks like cleaning the screens on all your toys takes mere seconds once finally begun, but the existential lift it provides can’t be measured. Ah, those smooooth, silky, flawless surfaces. You must never touch them again.
  • Ridding one’s environs of prodigious amounts of needless accumulation is euphorically cathartic. If only it were a long-term high, but – sweet while it lasts.
  • Without the distraction of social media during every waking hour it’s surprisingly easy to pay bills in a timely fashion and keep a steady supply of clean underwear stacked in the dresser drawers. Who knew?
  • Also when you do three years’ worth of work in two days, you come face to face with the possibility that you could be a whiney-ass malingerer because look at what you can do if you really want/need to.
  • When you can’t get out of bed the next morning you remember why you  keep a mental list of limitations, but it’s so worth it you don’t even care for once.
  • Saturday Trivia: My iPad is currently home to a library of 318 books, all of them quality and most of them acquired free or for a dollar or two on BookBub over the past five years or so. When space is at a premium but you can’t survive without books it’s the only way to go. Or, you know, there’s always the City Library. {Smacks self in forehead.}
  • When you play a Rubik’s Cube-like game on your phone during all those moments away from home when you’d otherwise be checking Facebook, you get pretty dang cagey at it. I think it’s called counterbalance. Or trading one addiction for another – yeah, probably that one.
  • There have been only a handful of weekends over the last twelve years when Kim hasn’t made his Saturday Breakfast, and in all that time, including this morning, the quality, flavors, and presentation haven’t varied except to get even better. Aroma, too, which is calling my name as we speak. Gotta go have some more of that slooow food with the love cooked in.
  • Happy Weekend to all of you. Be sure you’re making time work for you and not the other way around.

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To sleep, perchance to dream…

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Woke up this morning in the middle of a dream where all the people I used to know were energetically ostracizing me, turns out because I wouldn’t do whatever it was they wanted me to do. I didn’t see any family faces in the crowd, just an auditorium filled with random people from my childhood to recent past, who were now stolid in their unanimous repudiation, and there I was alone inside my bad self, feeling calm but annoyed. Unfortunately, Kim chose that moment to advance my wake cycle so we’ll never know how I would have resolved the whole thing, but I was holding my own so far.

When I told him the main theme he labeled it a nightmare, but it didn’t feel that way at the time and hasn’t left me with a sense of dread after. Sitting here I realize why. In the dream sequence I was fully in control of my present because my sleep-brain said so, thus no fear. That knowledge gives me renewed energy for staying in control of my present in my waking hours, challenging as that may prove to be.

Here’s the tricky part: It was obvious in this morning’s trip to la-la-land that every person confronting me with his or her personal rendering of truth was sincere to the gills. Each one had my shining best interests in mind and deeply wanted to impart to me the things they knew. No one seemed angry – they were all sad, not mad – disappointed to the core that I could be satisfied with being a holdout, an unbeliever.

The weight of other people’s disillusionment grows ponderous in a hurry if you soak it up like a sponge, so I’m thinking I won’t do that, this morning’s apparition being the very heads-up needed for today.

Pretty sure all my psyche wants is a decent hiatus, during which it will undoubtedly team up with Ms. Brain and Ms. Heart again so we can get back to work.

 

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The Great Escape

I am forthwith a fugitive from the fickle finger of Facebook, fabulously forestalling a fatal fortune formerly framed as finery.

Had to bail for the sake of sanity, both mine and my victims’ / friends’. The world is in free-fall and my powerlessness to affect that situation in any discernible way is disturbing my disposition and threatening to unhinge me altogether. Oh, I kid. So far.

Besides which I have things to do, like opening every piece of mail stacked on the dresser since sometime after the 8th of November. Found three Christmas cards, a stack of tax mailings, and a bill. Three months may be too long to put off looking carefully at that stuff, and just to be safe I’m aiming for daily now.

I have things to do like dumping yuge numbers of emails from three accounts, one of which needs to go away. Trashing most of what comes in will need to be on the daily now also.

Things like filling giant trash bags with all the crap (perfectly GOOD crap) from our closet that should be in someone else’s hands for all the reasons.

Like finally mounting a relentless assault on the bins and baskets full of office stuff we schlepped here three years ago and making decisions. In or out, go or stay, moment of truth – I have bigger fish to fry.

So that’s what the past 24 hours have looked like here: much productivity, organization, and purging, all of it a total necessity at this juncture. My brain is starting to freewheel again, which is exactly what’s required going forward.

Will I go back? Probably, I hear you never really leave. Do I want to go back? Not at all, not today. I’m liking this free-as-a-bird feeling too much, and I don’t want to waste it.

Happy sailing to you, and if the stress is getting to you too, don’t be afraid to give it all a rest.

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Hello February…

February pinned on noticeboard

(GOALS)

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But there must be something…

ct1tfedweaayxri

so much hurt and pain

you have to walk away now

you can’t save the world

JSmith 01/28/2017

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Three Things

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It’s an eating-ice-cream-from-the-carton kind of HumpDay, even though I made a beautiful list this morning, in my best handwriting, fully intending to accomplish more than making the bed.

So far I’ve made the bed.

This is turning out to be a fibro day extraordinaire, plus social media is a swirl of innuendo and intrigue, bringing emotions to the fore and threatening friendships and family ties, things better dealt with in a less vulnerable state of mind. In truth there’s so little any of us can do to influence events, or even to order our own small worlds, it’s easy to get discouraged and walk away.

I’m pretty resigned, at this point, to the philosophy contained in the graphic up there – resigned but not discouraged.

Life teaches us that everything indeed changes. Buried in the fine print is the disclaimer that some things never return to us, and we don’t get out of here without knowing that, in there where we feel it. We’re abjectly powerless to stop change, so accepting that it simply IS is what we’ve got available to us.

From there it’s a short existential hop to knowing that everything is connected. Life doesn’t take place in a vacuum, so everything that happens affects something else, on into infinity. A lot of what happens out there in the world around us does not add up to a positive effect for our benefit. A lot of it hits us hard and keeps right on trucking. Which brings us to our final point:

PAY ATTENTION. It’s what keeps us out from under trucks and buses and the random despot, and if we’re too busy to pay attention the hits are not going to be kind to us.

For now I’m exhausted from the effort required simply to pay attention, so here’s the deal… I can only pay attention for myself, and I lack the energy and drive to help anyone construct a mental/spiritual house they’re comfortable living in, or to validate that construct by never doing anything that would cause them to examine it too closely. If things I write cause you to fidget and make faces, just remember that I can’t see you out there in the world, through some magic mirror that shows me and the TV audience your inner heart and thoughts – so it could just be your own reflection.

It’s almost 5pm now, so screw the list for yet another day, I’m moving in with Kimmers where the fire’s cozy and the vodka sours are cold. Happy Hour with sweetums is an effort I can get behind…

 

 

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