Monday, September 30, 2013

So What? say

I dreamed about high heels last night and how I used to love them.  I used to wear them 3-4 inches high and absolutely loved my shoes.  I wore them on the subway and on the concrete streets of NYC.  I wore them at work and dancing.  I honestly could not understand when the phase of wearing sneakers and walking shoes on the subway and to work began.
My heels were thin and high and in many different colors.  I had a pair of brown stacked leather heels I loved.  I had spectators, open toed, leather, black patent leather, woven, everything but vinyl or plastic.
I did try Earth Shoes when they first came out, but hated their unglamourous looks.  Later, when my feet first started bothering me I lowered the height of my everyday shoes to 2 inches and wore open toes.  I began to see a podiatrist every six weeks in the 80's.  My insurance paid and I was still a happy camper.  When I left my company, moved and could no longer afford the podiatrist I switched to pair after pair of shoes I thought might be comfortable, but none worked.  By this time I had corns on the top of my hammertoes, corns on the bottom of the ball of my foot and bunions on both feet:  also ingrown toenails.  My feet had callouses and were a real mess and hurt all the time.  It was about this time I started on a collection of Birkenstock.  They were much better but I still couldn't get rid of the corns on the ball of my feet.
Finally, I discovered Crocs, and life has never been the same since.  I love these ugly shoes and own them in many colors to go with my outfits.  I have silver, gold, several pairs of black, 2 pair of sandals, as well as brown, green, and dark green crockskin.  My feet are now comfortable and I can walk again without pain.  Friends of mine have said they would never wear such ugly shoes, but do you think I care? 
As I mentioned at the beginning I have ever had a love affair with shoes.  Now it is pocketbooks.  I collect them but have been trying to restrain myself, and have not bought one in over a year.
In my dream last night it was very real, like a dialogue with shoe designers.  I was telling them that while  people always say women's legs look better in heels it isn't necessarily so.  If you got fat ugly ankles or calves, or god forbid crankles, high heels make you look no better.  Wear long pants and do not worry about it.  Design beautiful flat shoes with wider toe boxes and that women should never wear any kind of heels with long pants or jeans.  It is just silly. If you have lovely long legs guys will notice them in flat shoes, and again, heels are not necessary.
I told this to the designers in my dream but it is up to women to smarten up for themselves.  Think about it!  It is just advertising.  Most cultures didn't show the female leg and those that did had them barefoot in short African, Hawaiian or batik dress.  We do not need to ruin our feet like they did when they bound and deformed the foot for an idea of beauty.

Friday, September 27, 2013

BloggertyBlue and India too

Hail to thee blyth spirits!! Join me in a journey about the land which has enchanted me for as long as I remember.  I think I had mentioned how I subscribed as a little girl, to a program which sent me a little soft cover book each month on a country or group of countries (like England/Scotland/Ireland and Wales).  These little books were sent with a page or pages of stamps about 2×2". We were to find the chapter or page which related to the stamps and paste the stamp onto that page.  Similar to the sticker books kids have today.  Anyway, one of the books was on India and I was complete enthralled with the colors of the sari's and outfits worn by the Maharajah's and Maharani's, as well as the ordinary people. I loved the landscapes, temples, scenery and animals in the stories and pictures.  The jewelry too, oh my! what wonderful images.  I loved the elephants and camels and monkeys and big cats of every type.  I loved the crafts and cottage industries shown.  I went again and again to the little book.  I used to have a little black rubber baby doll I had begged my folks for one Christmas.  I loved that little doll more than any other because I could use him in my adventures.  I would pretend he was a Maharajah and I would create clothes for him from my collection of neckerchiefs, and drape necklaces and bracelets around his head.  We would go off on elephants to hunt Tigers in the jungles, etc.
Later, when I went to Camp Alders gate, summer camp, we had a Christian minister who was from India.  He had dark skin and was handsome and he told us stories about India and the development of Christianity there.  I was more interested in him and the stories about India than I was about Christianity but I was spellbound each night at the campfire and he regaled us with tales of India. My next exposure to the culture that I remember was the book "Caravans", by James Michener.  I adored the book when I first read it in High school, and subsequently read it several times more.  I always knew I would someday visit India and explore it for myself.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I would marry man from India.
Things came to pass when I had been NYC just over a year that I met and fell in love with my husband Srinivasan.  This is a story which I will tell at another time, but suffice it to say that through him all my dreams were fulfilled,
I remember the first time Srini met my dad after we were secretly married in NYC(I had told just my mom and dad).  We flew upstate for Christmas and Dad was hospitalized at that time with heart problems.  Mom, Srini and I went to the hospital and daddy was very gracious when he met Srini and seemed pleased with my choice.  He did laughingly say  "I always suspected when you were a little girl and always carrying around that little black baby doll, that someday you might have a little black baby of your own".  This prophesy did not come to pass because I never had children of my own.  We did however, always support little dark babies in India and Africa through Christian Children's Fund and now a sponsorship project run by Bibles For The World, Inc.
The following year I first saw India and I knew my heart had come home.  I can't put the feeling into words but while I prefer to call the US my home now; India will always be the home of my heart.
  Go figure, I must have been reincarnated or something, but who cares.  There are some things and feelings I will never understand but I am so happy I have these experiences and adventures in my life.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Horses I have owned and loved

I was thinking a lot about horses.  I love them, have always loved them, will always love them. I cannot remember when my love for them began but it seems like it has been with me forever.
My absolutely best moment as a child was when my father gave me a horse. 
I was a chubby, nine year old, horse loving little girl who at first read only horse stories.  Black Beauty, the Black Stallion, the Stallion series and every other horse book I could find.  I loved western movies because of the horses and knew all of the famous horse's names.  Trigger, Champion, Silver, Buttermilk, and  Fury to name a few.  We didn't have a TV yet so I had to content myself with the movies and horses I saw in the fields around where I grew up.  I remember the farm a few miles away had a pinto pony and I looked for him whenever we went to Potsdam for shopping.  I begged my parents for a pony/horse every time I could.  Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, whatever.  I just wanted a horse; any horse. 
My parents kept telling me all the reasons I did not want a horse.  I would have to take care of the horse completely by myself.  I would have to fetch the bucket of water from the outside pump on the hill near the house to the barn/garage at the foot of our property(we had one acre).  I would have to feed and water the horse daily and bring him out of the barn and tie him to graze on our lawn during the day.  The property was not fenced.  I would have to shovel the manure and the hay bedding out of his stall onto the pile at the rear of the barn. This meant daily I would have to carry shovels full of the stuff about 10 feet from the stall to the small door at the rear of the barn, and fling  it out the door.  I was to curry and groom the horse and, co-incidentally I would have to learn how to ride.
All of this I agreed to and more if I could only, please,  please have a horse.  I was continually told no, especially by my mother.
Then one mystical, magical evening, nearing the end of spring, something wonderful happened.  My dad had gone out and I was working on my homework in the dining room with my mother.  This was always traumatic because I always had trouble and this drove my mom, who was a teacher, nuts.  We heard my dad drive in and heard men's voices outside but I thought it was just my dad and uncle.  A few minutes later, it was just at dusk, I heard my father calling me and my mother and sister to come outside.  There, tethered to the little old apple tree in the front yard was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.  A huge bay horse stood with his head turned toward me.  I yelled and ran to him with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I simply could not believe what I saw.  I threw my arms up high around his neck and hugged him then patted and stroked his neck, all the time blubbering.  My father stood holding the halter to be sure I didn't get hurt.  He told me laughingly, that the horse's name was Pete and he was a gelding who was a retired pacer.(a kind of racehorse).  He was 13 years old and was now MINE.  I absolutely could not believe it.  I stood with the horse for hours, refusing to come in and go to bed.  I will never forget the wonder of that first night with my friend.  My chest swells and I sigh just remembering it.
Later of course reality had to set in.  I had to do by myself all that was mentioned above and additionally I had to do the feeding, watering, and tethering before getting on school bus in the morning.  It was just a few short weeks before summer vacation, but it all began again in the fall.
I developed a reputation for smelling like horse even though I washed and changed clothes before getting on the bus.  I should mention I was the only country kid below 7th grade who went into the town school.  The other country kids went to the country school where everyone smelled the same.  I was still a little ripe for the townies. 
I learned to ride  but I was not allowed to ride alone on the roads.  Pete wanted to race every car that passed,  and he was just too big for an amateur little girl to handle.  Later my dad, without my permission, traded Pete for another brown horse named, Pinocchio, as he was a bit long in the nose.  I didn't care how he looked I loved him anyway.
 He too, had been a race horse(a trotter), but he was a bit older and didn't thrill to the sport like Pete had.  He too, I was not allowed to ride alone, until I was older.  The fall was fine but it was a long cold winter.  Pinocchio was in the barn all winter because it was just too snowy and cold to tether him outside.  It was really hard for a 10 year old girl to prime the pump; pump and then carry the bucket to the barn in the freezing weather.  My father absolutely refused to help me with anything but Mama would feel sorry for me and sometimes help, and the two of us would carry the sloshing bucket through the snowdrifts to the barn. In Daddy's defense he had to get up at 4:30 AM and get his car started in below O degree weather and drive 25 miles to work in Massena each morning.  Mama was not working then because she didn't drive yet but she got up with him to get his breakfast and pack his lunch box.
At the end of the following summer my mom began to work on me before school began.  She reminded me how the kids teased me in school about my smell and called me Clara, the horsey girl.  She reminded me that winter was coming again and how the Farmer's Almanac predicted a worse than usual winter.  (It was always worse in upstate N.Y., but anyway...)  She reminded me about the carrying water and the manure and played on my emotions saying Pinocchio would get lonely by himself again, in the barn all winter, waiting for his little girl to come home from school.
Her coup de gras was, that the farm that had the pinto pony had, several other horses and a teenage girl, who was quite a young horsewoman.  She gradually convinced me that I should give Pinocchio to Maryellen.  My dad had talked to the family and they said I could come and visit and ride my horse anytime I wanted.  I finally bowed to all the pressure and my horse became a lovely memory to me.
To this day I wish I had held out.  Of course everything else would also be different and we can only go back and imagine the what it might have been. I have always felt a yet unfulfilled yearning to have a horse again and board it on one of the horse properties we live near.  Every time I go out I try to take either 43rd or 51st Avenues so I can look at the horses in the pastures.  One of the things I love about living where I do in Phoenix is that within the town limits you have all these wonderful horse properties just a minute away.  You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the horse out of the girl.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review- Zealot by Reza Aslan

This is going to be just cover a few examples as I do not wish to spend more time than this subject is worth.  I read, I thought, I didn't like.

The author is a very well recognized scholar and as such I was prepared to accept his historical facts.  I think I do accept them.  I have read about zealots in other places as well as the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Masada, etc. etc.    I doubt very much that the facts are wrong.  I cannot stand however,  his own opinions, which he freely expounds upon, concerning the New Testament.  He takes a piece of text and puts layers and layers of his own theories and ideas over it, and promotes it a historical fact.
He suggests that Jesus was a disciple of John the Baptist, and worse that the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness was when Jesus was following John with his other disciples. Whatever the 40 days were or meant, there is NO historical evidence that Jesus first followed John. This is pure, or should I say impure, opinion. There is even no historical evidence that Jesus the man of the New Testament even existed ; so where does this author get off.
He suggests that the Kingdom of God, is a call to arms to overthrow the Romans and that he, Jesus, wanted to be the earthly King of the Jews.
I am sick of it.  I do not wish to expound on the unhistorical opinions the author holds anymore.  He pisses me off.  Read the book if you will but this guy is delusional in his theories and opinions and his hubris.   

Gotta get rhythm

I got to get in a rhythm for posting.  We know with me there is no rhyme or reason, but rhythm is necessary for you all to know when to check blog for something.  So I am making a pact with you all to post on Monday and Friday.  Anything on other days will be a bonus.  I do not know who will think it is a bonus, but as Clay Thompson would say, "there you have it". I just love this guy and hope is back to his usual snarky column soon.
I just want to let you all know that I so much appreciate all of you loyal followers.  It is so good to have my crazy voice being heard.
I am posting entirely too much on Face Book.  Mostly sharing things or thoughts I see and love.  Unfortunately every time I share something to my timeline it gets posted on my homepage also and my friends who have no interest in the things I share are going to get angry at me taking up so much room.  Also things stay posted for such a short time that unless you go to my actual timeline you may miss all the profundities.  Such a quagmire this places me in.  To share or not to share.  This is the question.  I will have to see about posting more on Pinterest,  ISO FB.  So this is a short talk as I think about how I handle everything.  Are you not amazed by the problems I create for myself.  I was told in High School, when I took a test to determine what my interests were and what type of job I should train for; that I was too immature to take the test( don't you just love using semi colons).  I had too many diverse interests.  This is still unfortunately true today.  A single minded focus leads to success in one's field of endeavor.  Diverse interests lead for me to a world full of wonder, imagination, love and diversity.  I guess I do not mind so much not being successful.

Friday, September 6, 2013

What is most important, right now?

Hello again my friends, it is time for a little game.  If you could change just one habit or behavior you have held for more than 5 years, what would it be.  For me it used to be smoking.  I smoked for 50 years before, through God's grace, I was finally able to stop.
I, however, cannot ever leave well enough alone so I have to try and change something else.  Of all my striving towards perfection what key behavior still bothers me most?  It is hard to decide because my faults range from the physical, to the mental, to the spiritual and each category needs a lot of work.
First, the physical or health:      I need to lose at least 20 lbs.
                                                   I need to get more exercise.
These two behaviors are important because with COPD you cannot cure the disease, it is progressive. What  you can do is influence the body's ability to take in and more efficiently utilize oxygen.          

Secondly, mental or discipline:  I tend to put things off and wait until either time or circumstance 
                                                    force me to act.
                                                    I have to organize my paperwork better for my husband and heirs.
                                                    I have to dispose of my excess possessions before they create a 
                                                    problem for the previously mentioned.

Thirdly, Spiritual or Soul:           I want to be kinder to others in my thoughts and erase
                                                     negative feelings I hold; to eliminate hate from my heart.
                                                    I want to better understand and more completely follow
                                                    the teachings of Jesus, as they have come down to us.      

So given all of the above what should I  focus on first. In order of priority I believe the last should be first.  Love and kindness and understanding should always be at the forefront of all our activities.
Love your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself, to paraphrase.
A part of loving one's neighbor is taking care of their interests before one's passing. So I believe I should focus on the second, second.  Lastly, I should focus on number one. In more ways than One.
Ideally I can do all things in God.  With sacred help and guidance I can make progress in several direction as long as I keep my priorities straight, and do not get sucked in to superfluous activities which benefit no one.   

So my fellow players, what life changing activities would you like to focus on.  Life either is or is not a game.  If it is, one needs to move one's pieces in such a way as to win.  If it is not, then it is all the more important to get straight with what is most important and create one's own destiny.  One's character is one's destiny.  Is it not?  "To be or not to be, that is the question......"
I apologize for the previous paragraph.  I could not help myself.  :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Riches come from all directions and in all times.  What made me feel rich in my youth was how many colored neckerchiefs I owned to dress my dolls in, and how many little glass horses and Black Stallion books I had. When Daddy gave me a real horse when I was nine, I felt like the richest girl in the world.  All of my dreams had come true.
In high school I felt rich because I had a BFF for the school year, Christa, and a BFF for the summer, Eileen.  I felt rich because I had a Public Library with what seemed like all the books in the world.  Those books made me feel truly rich because they could carry a poor little girl from Slab City N.Y. to all the places on earth, through whatever historical time I choose.  Some of my favorite books in that day were Pearl S. Buck novels. I think I read them all. China, that far off land, fascinated me.  I did however, also read Lady Chatterley's Lover, and Payton Place. I had a vociferous appetite to read and learn about everything
I was very slow in beginning to read.  Mr. Gant in fourth grade was the one who taught me to read.  My first real book was "Polly Kent Rides West".  I remember the title because it was such a momentous achievement for me and my family.  It was finally decided that, other evidence to the contrary, I wasn't a total dingbat and was in fact teachable. I guess that was a richness of another kind. 
I felt really rich when I graduated from high school and Daddy gave me a car. Granted it was a 1950 Chevy in 1961 and cost only $50.00, but I was in Hog heaven.  I drove it all summer, but of course it reverted back to Dad when I went to college in the fall of 1961.  In the beginning, the first two weeks, at Geneseo, I felt awesome.  I was living away from home, I loved the campus and my new roommate, and I felt the world was wide open. Unfortunately that didn't last.  I had carried myself along to college with me, and I had a very poor self image.  I felt poor, ugly and dumb and my grades and social activities reflected that. I pledged for 4 sororities but was chosen by none.  I didn't have the clothes or spending money the others had so I worked in the cafeteria on the breakfast shift.  I started skipping classes and drinking at the kegs.  My grades were lousy but I hung on the first semester.   I had only chosen my major, speech therapy, because it wasn't offered in any of the Potsdam area colleges.  So I found I hated the beginning speech classes, and the teachers who taught them.  I was crazy, boy crazy by this time, but no nice boys were interested.  I did hold to my standards, however, so was mainly dateless my first semester.  I had one interesting episode of potential date rape with a beefy young lad from the next town over.  When I told him my father was a Deputy Sheriff in Potsdam, and if anything happened to me my Dad would hunt him down and kill him; he promptly backed off.  I got out of the car and started to walk back to the dormitories, a distance of about 6 miles, but my date pulled up beside me and reluctantly said he would drive me back.  All the way back he sang a take off on the song "Your the Reason I don't sleep at night"  but substituted the word screw. Some things you never forget!
The second semester I discover a romantic interest in the drama club, a young man named Berry.  He looked a little ape like, long arms and very hairy, but he had a certain charisma and was one of the most popular upper class men at Geneseo.  I fell for him hard but he barely knew of my existence.  I volunteered for everything surrounding the theater group.  Stage painting, makeup, costumes, lighting, you name it.  All to just be around my hero.  My grades fell like an avalanche and I was flunked out my second semester.  I went home to tears and desperation on the part of my mother, and a certain grim acceptance from my father.  There was a rainbow and silver lining to all this, however.  I was able to finally embark on my richest and most cherished dream.  I left with my friend Christa, and her Mom, to New York City. 
My riches were just beginning.

Monday, September 2, 2013

I'm dying to know

I'm really interested, but I do not know how to solve this problem.  I frequently find from my stats that I have people following my blog from Germany, the Netherlands and Russia, among the countries I sort of expected.  I know it is hard to leave comments on the blog unless you are already signed up for Google +, but I would love to have your feedback. If you have Google + please leave me some comments.  Those who access me through face book can leave a comment or message on my timeline.  Those who have my email can of course email me. Since I am putting so much of myself out there I would just like to know who is listening(IE. reading). Thanks.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday Morning

It is Sunday morning, September1, 2013 and in a few more minutes I will be going to Church.  Why bother, you might ask.  You all know me for what I am.  Sarcastic, gossipy, lazy, materialistic, irreverent, and very critical of religions in general.  So why would this woman be going to church?  Does she think a few minutes in a sacred environment will change her?  Does she not notice that her pew mates share some of her characteristic's and that in fact some of them may be even worse than she is? 
No, I am not silly enough to believe an hour or more in church is going to change the bad habits or thoughts, or actions of me or anyone else.  In fact it could be even worse.  I might become sanctimonious, believing that because I spend an hour thinking of and worshiping a higher power, I might be better than those who do not, or who worship differently. 
I know God, if he exists, and I do believe he does; is too big for any religion or church and he gathers to himself any who wish to be with him anywhere, from gutter to mountaintop, and loves us all equally.
So why am I happy about going to church today?  I am happy because I look forward to greeting my friends, with whom I have worked for years, on projects and missions which bring comfort and aid to many others in my community and world.    I am happy to sit in my pew and say the old prayers, sing the old hymns and listen to the reading from our ancient texts. I am blessed to listen to a live sermon from our pastor who illuminates with compassion and love the trials we face in our daily life, and offers comfort and support for those who seek it. 
I become present in a holy environment, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." 
I feel I walk with my God, each day of my life.  I am in a holy presence whenever I turn my thoughts to that which is so much greater than I.  I cannot hope, in this life, to ever know the answers to all my questions.  I do know, however, that I did not create myself and that neither I not anything else is accident or chance or natural selection.  Where accident, chance and natural selection play a part in the creator's plan I am unable to fathom. I know in my most present moments, my darkest thoughts, my most destitute moments, I feel the action and presence of God and he sustains me.
Church service is a moment in time where I share with others our belief in the divine and holy being who creates, sustains and destroys each of us in turn in this life; and who one exists in, eternally.