Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I do not like driving in the dark anymore. Apparently for some of us the aging process includes "night blindness".
My employer allows workers to utilize flex time so we can set our own work schedules within certain guidelines. It gets dark very early up here in the forgotten land of Northern New York. By around 4:30 PM the long dismal shadows cast their dark blanket on the frozen tundra. Okay I'm exaggerating a little about the frozen tundra but this is the snow belt and the temperatures do dip into the subzero at times. So right now I am ending my workday at 4:oo so I can drive home before the light of day has completely faded into darkness. It sounds more than wimpy that I have begun to avoid night driving. I do it if I have to but the extent of it is now limited to familiar road ways near home.
I have experienced my fair share of white knuckle rides home during heavy snowfall and enjoyable it is not. I drive a Jeep Cherokee with four wheel drive which definitely helps keep me on the road but if it starts to snow really heavily and the visibility grows poor I slow down to 30 miles an hour so I don't end up in the ditch. Last year there were times when I was shaking by the time I slid into the driveway.
The other major danger is hitting a deer as they seem to enjoy bounding out of the woods without a cautious gaze to check if any machines are hurling toward them.It is prudent to focus peripheral vision along the roadsides for the telltale animal eyes. You know that expression "like a deer caught in the headlights!" People have actually been maimed and injured by flying deer carcasses landing on the hood of their vehicle smashing the windshield. I am not making this up nor exaggerating.
So here I am trying to drive home on the snow covered roads, slowing down to a cautious speed, vigilant in my quest to spot any stampeding deer when some yahoo in a large pickup truck decides he will try to pass me traveling 50 mph. Let 'em, as I spew a nasty epithet about their ancestry. I will lower my high beams as a courtesy and hope they have a safe trip home too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Glasses

Contacts are not for me. I realize it probably ages my appearance somewhat, however I have deluded myself into believing it makes me look smart. I have fairly good health benefits so I am able to get two pairs of new glasses every year. If you wear glasses every day it's nice to change what you look at in the mirror.

At about age forty I was informed by my optometrist that I needed bifocals. I nearly had a fit right there in his office. I was not happy with the news. When people begin to realize they need to keep adding more distance between themselves and the reading material and their arms are not going to grow any longer it's time to give up and do what you have to do.

I keep one pair as my office glasses and my second pair are the transition lenses that darken when you go outside in the sun. I love them but sometimes if you are going in and out of dark places and then back again into the sunlight it takes a little while for the lens color to adjust.

I get frustrated sometimes about the tightness behind my ears bothering me after awhile, like right now. It is usually after wearing the same glasses all day so sometimes I reposition them over my ears and they will stay on. If I go have the glasses adjusted to fit looser then they are always slipping down my nose and if I bend over they fall off my face.

So why don't I just get contacts or laser surgery? I've always had this aversion about anything going too close to my eyes. When my daughters were being fitted for their contacts I had to step outside the office because I couldn't bear to watch something being inserted in their eyes. So I doubt I'd ever be able to tolerate a Dr. or someone messing about with a laser beam. I guess I'll just have to keep wearing my old fashioned Ben Franklins. I guess if it's good enough for Jordy LaForge it's good enough for me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Crowd Control

....the longer I live far away from the urban environment of the fast lane the less tolerance I have for crowds. Even in the rural area I reside in occasionally encountering a crowd becomes this challenge of who or what is going to piss me off. I realize I have issues with personal space but even taking that into account some people are just so unaware of their behavior that I wax incredulous.

If a bunch of people are all walking in the same direction whether it is toward an exit or just the flow and momentum of the crowd do not stop abruptly to chat with people. Move to the side and avoid obstructing other people's paths. This would also include possessing the awareness that someone might be in close proximity and you should look around behind you before making a sudden move forwards, backwards, or sideways, not swing your arms around. If you accidentally bump someone offer a polite excuse me but honestly people do not seem to have any clue about this.

If you are in a store browsing or intending to buy something be aware that someone else may have the same nearby intention, be purposeful or yield some space.. That would again require a level of awareness which isn't an unrealistic expectation while out in public. I will acquiesce and step away for someone who needs to reach for an item close by me on a shelf but do not reach over me. I swear one of these times I will bite someone like a rabid dog. I definitely feel like growling sometimes, grrrrr!

Do not act loud or boisterous when there are other people close or nearby. I really do not want to hear about your argument with your mother or boyfriend or a joke about something inconsequential to me. Teenagers are notorious for this type of transgression and I will even be reasonable and take this into account and smile as I pass by but do not start laughing hysterically when I am an arms length away.Be aware of your immediate surroundings. Is that too much to ask.

There are times when I have actually extended my arm out to protect myself from someone else who is unaware of my presence and is about to bump me. My facial expression tends to be a frozen smile with veiled annoyance. How can you not be aware of your immediate surroundings?

Next week I will be traveling which will include being herded like cattle thru the security lines at the airport. I intend to be polite to my fellow travellers and would like the same behavior reciprocated but I think it will likely be a challange so maybe I should just take a chill pill and block out as much of the experience as I can. I will not cut into any lines and I hope no one does that to me or my frozen smile may crack or maybe I'll just start to growl. Oops I better not do that or someone from the TSA might think I'm losing it and jerk me out of line.

Sometimes it is just necessary to rant. And oh by the way, get out of my way! I do not consider myself anymore important that the next person but behaving in a civil manner out in public is something people no longer seem to expect from one another.......

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Food is Love

I have been realizing over time that my love of cooking is really a way I show my love to family and friends. I love to prepare food that my family will enjoy and appreciate. When I don't feel like cooking I don't. There are times when I have worked all day and I'm not the least bit interested and thankfully my husband is usually able and willing to cook a meal. He has certain dishes he is good at making and he also enjoys cooking.

I guess I consider it a labor of love. It is also a way to express my self creatively and try new recipes. Some will become part of my repertoire and other not so delectable creations will be abandoned. Not everything has to be from scratch. There is nothing wrong with taking a few shortcuts. If company is coming though I tend to go all out and often times cook too much food but then there are always leftovers to pick at for a few days.

I don't enjoy the cleanup from one of my cooking sessions but dirty pots and pans have to be dealt with. Actually, I'm a clean as you go person so I try not to let things pile up if possible.
Using a microwave is not cooking, it's reheating. Opening a can of something is not cooking. I confess I keep some frozen entrees in my freezer as backup especially when I don't feel like cooking.

People rave about my spaghetti sauce and I will make a large batch and freeze some of it. I do not have one of those large freezers so I am somewhat limited by the space I have in our regular freezer compartment. Sometimes I will bake ahead for the holidays but have to be strategic about the space available.

I like to make a pot of chili, including potato skins and chicken wings for the Super Bowl. Sometimes though I don't like to repeat myself so I'll go with crab cakes and Jambalaya.
At Christmas I tend to cook a turkey with all the traditional side dishes especially since we are usually away at Thanksgiving so I have to make up for that (according to my husband). I'm the only one that likes home made cranberry sauce but I make it anyway. I love to bake some holiday pies but I am not proficient at making pie crusts so I have a shortcut with a boxed mix crust.I usually make an apple pie and also blueberry and pumpkin. My holiday fudge has improved over the past couple of years.

This past weekend the youngest daughter came home for a few days visit and she jokingly complained she tends to gain weight whenever she comes home so she is glad she doesn't have to live with us anymore or she'd be "huge". I cooked chicken enchiladas which I have made on several occasions and people always seem to like that dish. I do not make it overly spicy but my husband splashes on all kinds of hot sauces. I also baked some chocolate chip cookies and an apple pie. We had some guests for Sunday brunch including blueberry muffins, and chocolate chip pancakes. Now I have a refrigerator full of left overs which we will probably be eating a few days this week. I just do not like to waste food.

I think I will probably take a few days off from cooking.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Season

If I were a poet I would scribe an ode to fall, but alas rhyme is not one of my explicit talents. I enjoy the ride to work everyday observing the changing colors of the leaves, vivid orange, fiery red, dazzling yellow. Sometimes I've let my attention wander to the vistas of the fields and stand of trees showing off their plumage of blazing hues along the sides of the road. I think the deer are in cahoots with fall because they are leaping and running all over the country side as I make my may to and from work. There are wild turkeys strutting their stuff across the nearby landscape. Unfortunately though there has also been momentous amounts of "road kill", little creatures mashed into the pavement who didn't quite make it across the road.

The smell of fall is unique. Not quite the odor of dying vegetation, but a crispness in the air, frost's harbinger signaling time to rake the leaves and bring in the lawn furniture. Bright orange pumpkins, hearty mums set out on the front porch welcoming visitors to hearth and home.The near naked trees no longer hiding the house from the street. Soon it will be time to forage for the snow scraper and shovel in anticipation of the first early warnings of winter.

Regretfully, there are some less hearty souls afflicted with the seasonal pattern of depression who look upon fall as the precursor of winter and all the challenges of frigid temperatures and the falling of snow. Either way it's time to snuggle up to the wood burning stove and reclaim the corduroys and sweaters packed away in their plastic bins in the attic.

The children are now all grown up and I miss so much the excited preparations for Halloween. I so enjoyed planning and helping make the costumes, Freddy Krueger, witches and ghosts and of course a skeleton. Now all I have are pictures and remembrances of trick or treat.

When I was a kid, I harbor fond memories of our families and neighbors efforts raking the leaves. My intent was always to build a large enough pile to jump and roll around in. My parents would burn the piles of leaves at the curb in front of our house and I can still recall the scent of the burning leaves and my friends and I nearly scattering the orderly piles by our playing and then having to scoop them up again so they could be incinerated. The smoke never seemed to bother my eyes, instead enjoying fantasies of sending smoke signals to the Indians.

It's time to drag out the crock pot and concoct a hearty stew or soup. A little baking will be done and the confections frozen for the Thanksgiving holiday. The warm heat from the kitchen stove will be comforting as the nights begin to grow chilly and no complaints about there being brownies or muffins to eat.

Fall is the season that is a prelude to the long cold winter. A time to read books, sewing projects and of course free time to devote to the technological muse of the computer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Skill of People Watching

Observing visual cues are a very important aspect regarding our perceptions and observations about our world. We all probably have some level of skill observing people's body language however some of us have more skill than others. Anecdotally, I find those who lack that specific awareness as probably the most capable of annoying others (or myself).

When some one's posture is stiff or rigid it can mean many things including someone who might be experiencing pain or discomfort or perhaps feeling some level of frustration or tension. Further clues would include facial grimace or a tight clench of the fist. Maybe it's time to run in the other direction but first look at the eyes because that can often be the telltale sign of reading the emotion or by looking at the person's facial expression.

It doesn't seem overly difficult to be able to read another person's facial expression or perhaps my experience or practice makes me more proficient in that area. Part of this involves eye contact. I get very nervous with someone who doesn't make eye contact with me. What are they trying to hide? Self conscious people have difficulty making eye contact and this can often be misread as rudeness or disinterest. Some people also believe that when people are not being truthful they are not able to maintain eye contact. A good sociopath probably can fool us though.

When you are speaking with someone you can usually tell how interested they are by how they maintain eye contact, nod their head, or hold a stationary position. I've witnessed people walk away as you are trying to talk and engage them and if this happens it's fairly certain they are not interested in what you are saying so stop trying.

People are not that difficult to read if you take the time to observe their behavior. Of course you can make some wrong guesses but it's also possible you might have some success at surmising a person's mood or intent. Isn't that sort of true of animals too? When a dog wags its tale doesn't that mean he's probably friendly? Unfortunately people do not have a tail to wag and don't usually bite.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Walter Mitty's World

I do not know if I am boring but I can tell you I am hardly ever bored. Somehow a very long time ago I learned how to keep my mind busy. Maybe I'm simple minded but it apparently doesn't take much to amuse me. I don't mind being alone. I'm not a lonely person.

It certainly helps that I enjoy reading so my mind is often occupied reading something even if it is just the back of the cereal box. My curiosity tends to keep my mind active as well as possessing a healthy imagination
Visually I'm always scanning, noticing the environment surrounding me. I admit to being an avid people watcher, not critical more quizzical. In airports, I'll make up little stories about people, where they might be going and extrapolate regarding their traveling companions
I'll make a further distinction that my mind is not obsessed with worried thoughts. Actually there is a large portion of randomness and free association that often prevails. I'm always having internal conversations with myself and humor is often on the edge of whatever thoughts my mind generates. I'm not afraid of my thoughts and just about anything is fair game. Once in awhile I shock myself but since it is just me and my thoughts I'm not likely to get myself in any trouble as long as I know it's not reality.

The difficult task is to remain in the" here and now " and to be careful not to over intellectualize. Being present is a wonderful place to be and life can be as interesting as I choose to make it.So I may be a bit of a day dreamer at times but that does not mean that I am preoccupied with my own thoughts to the extent I miss what is going on.

Okay, so I know I'm a bit weird sometimes......but usually harmless.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Flash from the past

Not everyone is engaged to technology. There are more and more people though regardless of age who are growing more comfortable with using the computer for recreational purposes. I have a few acquaintances who use their computer all day at work and so do not really have much of an interest in sitting in front of the screen and keyboard to catch up with friends on facebook or blog. "Not everyone has a blog. Oh really?"

I recently ran across a site which involved the hometown I grew up in and there were several people on facebook that I was able to remember from my childhood and from the old neighborhood. It was great fun catching up. This led to my coming upon a site for my old high school where you just type in the year you graduated and "poof" there it all is. Many female classmates that married no longer have their maiden name anymore but with a little detective work I was able to determine that one of my friends from high school was listed. We grew up together all the way back in grammar school and used to occasionally engage in our own form of mischief and rights of passage. We pierced eachother's ears and she taught me how to shave my legs for the first time.

I decided to take a chance and contact her via facebook and it was her. We grew apart as friends around 7th or 8th grade when she began to hang around with a much older group of kids and I had not quite gained that level of maturity or interest yet in the opposite sex. We were always friendly towards each other but just began to move in different circles. These things happen. She never attended any of the high school reunions that I managed to get to so there was always a bit of mystery about how her life might have turned out. When I would get together with old friends whom I remained close with since childhood invariably her name would come up when we would talk about old times but no one knew what happened to our old friend Gloria.

Now we have begun to catch up a bit with each other and I have also given her the names of a few of our old pals on facebook and we're all connecting again. Her life is not any different than mine, the usual work, kids, family, etc. Nostalgia is a great thing. We're talking about maybe arranging to meet for lunch with a few other old friends when my travel plans include a trip "home".

Monday, August 31, 2009

True or False?

A Blogger friend at recently received a tag to post 5 quirky characteristics about himself that are outlandish but true and one of those is false. Despite pleas,you are never supposed to divulge which one is false. Here are mine, there are many others too numerous to mention:

1. I was once engaged to my best friend's brother.
2. I am geographically challenged, cannot name all the united states nor their proper locations.
3. When I was a small child I went thru a phase where all I would eat was tuna fish.
4. I can whistle thru my fingers.
5. I have a tattoo of a Husky dog on my butt.

Monday, August 10, 2009

She Doesn't Travel Light

I'm not one to throw a few things in an overnight bag and breeze out the door for a weekend getaway. All contingencies must be prepared for; warm weather or cool temps, rain or sunshine. Every ensemble must be planned with matching accessories and shoes of course.

I have improved though with mixing and matching specific color schemes. Sometimes I'll choose a few basic neutral color pieces of clothing and then build around those, however then layering becomes a challenge. I seem to get carried away. Must have short sleeves and long sleeves, be prepared for changes in the weather and temperature fluctuations.

My exasperated mate wobbles his pate with resignation and hides the involuntary eye roll so as not to display disdain, but more likely a restrained sentiment of confusion."Why do you need to bring so much stuff ?" My lament is "I just have to!"

If I wear a red jersey I must have matching shoes. Doesn't everyone? I have a female friend who shares the same affliction and we understand each other while our husbands feel like lackeys or porters wrestling multiple suitcases. My lady friend and I compliment each other on our attire as we merrily go on our way to buy more shoes while the men go golfing. Hey they tote those big golf bags around so what's the difference.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One Year Anniversary of Blogging

It's amazing how fast a year can come and go. The one year anniversary of my blog has arrived and I am making note of the occasion to reflect back on some of the year's activities.
The first post I wrote was "Ten Things I Dislike About Brad and Angelina". I haven't changed my mind about anything I wrote that day yet some of my cohorts were a bit taken aback by my vitriolic display of negativity. I guess one of my reasons for starting the blog was to have my own forum to say what ever I wanted and that is basically what I've been doing. You can't write honestly if you care too much what other people think.
I haven't been able to observe any trends or themes which I was somewhat surprised about really. There appears to be attempts at a sense of humor which probably took a bit of effort to compose. I'm not known for my spontaneous wit but there are times when I think I'm quite funny. My post about "License Plate Slogans" had some humor to it as did "Innies and Outies and "My List of Lists".
When I decided to initiate my blog the title "Confessions Of A Hope Fiend" was borrowed from Timothy Leary's book of the same title . I do see myself mostly as an optimist and wanted to express some of my thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It was never my intent really to write for anyone else except myself. If you start to allow yourself to get too distracted by what other people think about your writing it changes things. I think I've stayed rather true to that but admittedly my candor is more on the mild side and I haven't taken that many risks. This has lead me to consider starting a third blog and keeping that totally anonymous but already having two blogs seems like it takes up enough of my time already without devoting more of my free time to the keyboard.
There really is no difference between "gaf 85" and "Confessions Of A Hope Fiend" they could probably be consolidated into one blog but since they are separate I 'm just going to leave it that way.
I've met some truly nice people whom I admire, especially their creativity, and honest self disclosure. It takes all kinds and I have enjoyed reading a cross section of other people's blogs.I still visit other blogs randomly from time to time however most of my activity revolves around the other bloggers who read my posts and I in turn read there's, basically forming a loose group of associates.
To all of you I say thank-you for all your constructive comments and sincerity in your responses to my posts. I guess I'll keep doing this awhile longer until I get bored with it at some point.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


While I'm out and about doing errands one of my usual stops is Walmart. Many people criticize their business practices and employing people for minimum wage keeping them under full time hours and not having to provide benefits. This is not what this post is about.

I live in St. Lawrence County which is rather rural, off the beaten path, with individuals tending to be hearty souls who brave very challenging winter weather and then are rewarded with (mostly) amazing summers and the Adirondack mountains in their backyard. There are a few subcultures including old hippies escaping the city life in the fast lane and enjoy hiking and the outdoors. Many of the locals continue to maintain small family dairy farms. Unemployment is staggeringly momentous and many young people leave the area for college and upon graduation choose somewhere else to live due to the lack of jobs. There are a few colleges in the area which at least provides some culture and opportunities. We also have an extraordinary number of prisons. What better place to dump society's miscreants.

As I ramble on here and make my point, we have a large Amish population which most of the local people are used to seeing on a fairly regular basis and are very casual about their presence in the community. Motorists slow their cars down not so much to gawk but to give them a little extra safe distance to steer their horse and buggy down the road. For awhile they were patronizing a little convenience store a few miles away and the owner of the store asked them to shovel the horse droppings while parked in the lot. Apparently a misunderstanding developed and the poops were not picked up so the owner banned them from his parking lot. It made the local newspaper. I think alot of people thought the Amish should pick up their horses's crap.

Since I am a regular but guilty patron of the big box store known as Walmart the first time I observed the Amish in Walmart I was a bit taken aback. What could they possibly be buying? Let's face it most everything in the store reeks of consumerism and plastic which seems counter to their basic beliefs of rejecting modern society.Although curious, I kept a respectful casual distance, not making direct eye contact. There was a teenage Amish boy wearing a straw hat in the greeting card section checking out the wrapping paper and bows. What occasion could possibly warrant his interest? They don't observe any "English" holidays I am aware of so who knows what that's about until a little while later I encountered an older Amish women whose age I could not discern because her bonnet shielded most of her face and she was in the aisle looking at pain relievers, Tylenol and Motrin. So was I. I need my Tylenol Arthritis to keep some of my aches and pains at bay as needed. She did not seem unfamiliar with the products and knew what she was doing so I guess Amish people medicate with over the counter medicine.

I wonder if they scoop their horse's poop out of the parking lot while visiting Walmart or if some young kid who chases the shopping carts has to go out there with a shovel and perform the task? I bet the young kids who take turns out in the parking lot fight over whose turn it is to remove the equine droppings?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Everyone is from somewhere

There are a multitude of reasons why people move from one location to another just as there is a myriad of reasons some people choose to live close to where they were born. Society of course is now much more mobile and international involving patterns of migration and immigration. Oops, we're talking about humans here not animals.

I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, which while a kid I assumed was the center of the universe. I lived within a small community which was rather homogeneous with few visible signs of minorities, religious, cultural or otherwise. I was aware that certain ethnic groups had their predictable stereotyping, however grew up somewhat insulated within a Catholic upbringing where most people were of European descent. It was only later in life that I began to realize how self reinforcing it can be living amongst the same type of people as myself with only small amounts of variance. Middle class people living in a similar environment can be rather featureless in the larger picture of things.

When people make a decision to move away from what's familiar to them they take the inherent risk of experiencing something different than what they might be used to.It may involve a job opportunity somewhere else, moving to a different climate, or being near (or away) from family.Relationships may also be a factor, wanting to live near someone we love or the hope of romance and socialization.

Such a melting pot our country has become, although I'm fairly certain there remain some isolated areas that do not experience much change. When moving into a new community it is an adjustment trying to figure out how the locals do things. I'm a dead give away because of my accent. I often get comments "you're not from around here are you?" When I encounter people who grew up in the south I often have a difficult time understanding them if they have a thick accent. I think it is probably challenging for southerners to move to other areas of the country without being noticed as talking different. I think I kind of know how they feel. It must also be rather noticeable when a "Yankee" moves down south.

Do people ever develop that deep sense of loyalty and identification to a region they move to in adulthood after growing up somewhere else? Although I have resided in northern New York for 24 years I still feel like a transplant and unless you were born and raised "here" you'll always be considered an outsider by people who have generational longevity. So when someone asks me where I'm from I say I live in northern New York but grew up in the suburbs of Boston.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Rant About Shopping Etiquette

I usually enjoy going grocery shopping however there are times when my patience is tested by other patrons who are not aware of supermarket etiquette or how to behave in public. Maybe I just have my own rules but then again what I think is proper decorum is not always shared by others.

I have some acquaintances who are anti Walmart and they are probably right about the "big box" stores squeezing out the smaller businesses in the area.When I shop at Walmart I have to adopt an approach of let's go on a safari. You never know what your're going to encounter there. Without sounding overly snobbish, some of the shoppers have issues regarding how they behave and also how they supervise their children. I figure half the time it's okay for me to be the one to yield right of way with my shopping cart so that would mean the other 50% of the time other people should do the same. I seem to run into a great deal of difficulty with this theory because apparently I'm the only one who values politeness and civility. I'll even joke with people when we almost collide, but for heaven's sake please get out of my way and pull your shopping cart over to the side so I can get by, thank you.

I also must comment on people's general appearance while out shopping.When I leave the house I give myself the once over making sure I don't look too bedraggled but I admit I'm probably a bit obsessed about always appearing presentable. You never know whom you might run into, so rather than be embarrassed I make sure my hair is combed, no large stains down the front of my shirt, and I have a bra on. I can't make other people care about how they dress but what about cleaning up a bit when you are going out in public to a store and wear enough clothes so everything isn't hanging out all over..... And would it be too much trouble to pay attention to your child who is misbehaving causing a scene about wanting chips or a soda and while out of control smashes into me and then the parent not even uttering "I'm sorry" or acting the slightest embarrassed by the child's temper tantrum.
( By the way I raised two of my own children and they will testify that at times I stopped taking them into stores when they couldn't behave themselves. I'm so mean.)

While I'm ranting about this, let's not forget to mention that giving people a few inches of space when you are in the same store aisle and it appears you might be both looking at the same item that it's okay to step back and occasionally acquiesce. Take a moment to be polite, someone like me might appreciate it or we can both laugh, but do not reach over me or try to budge into my space.

Did I just make up these rules arbitrarily? No, I really don't think so. Maybe how one is brought up may at times dictate how someone behaves in public. We all have different values and that is apparent. Maybe I should just stop shopping at Walmart however I think these crimes probably are quite prevalent in other shopping venues as well. Leave your kids home, put on some decent clothes, smile and try to be polite to other shoppers and I will try and do the same.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trying to figure out life?

As I continue my quest to figure out my life, myself, and the choices I make, I've begun to identify that much of it is about some very basic issues. Patterns or themes come to mind and tend to reoccur. It's as if the same things happen over and over again just different circumstances and situations.

Much of life is about communication. Sometimes I try really hard and get the sense I am good at it and then other times I'm as confused as hell. When I am honest with myself and do not create any smoke screens or defenses I feel I'm on the right track and life for the most part seems fairly tame and sane. I am close to the people I want to be close with and those on the periphery don't really know the real me but that's true about alot of people, don't you think?

At work I am my "professional" self, somewhat formal and focused when at my job. When I interact with co-workers I make an effort to be fair, polite and direct. I don't really have the time or inclination to play mind games so I expect other people are being forthright with me as well. Sometimes I wonder if this is a correct assumption because other people's behavior sometimes indicates otherwise. I try not to let it bother me but I have a hard time fathoming other people's motivations when they are different then my own. There have been times when I feel apologetic if I have offended someone and will express that when I think I have acted in a hurtful way but not having intended to. People may harbor bad feelings and this is what worries me sometimes. Alot of people are unable to express if they are bothered by something you may have said or done and so you don't always know and this is what contributes to a breakdown in communication but often you don't know that or why.

Relationships with people can often be complex, filled with nuance and subtlety. I get that, but if you operate on the premise of being open and honest and you think those are the rules of the game it can be quite disappointing when you realize in certain situations you are not on the same wave length with other people.

Trust has always been a big issue for me and until I get better at figuring some of this out I feel stuck in the same pattern of relating to people. I don't think I over analyze too much but trying to figure some of this out would definitely allow me to feel a sense of personal growth and less confused. They say in therapy you can only bring someone as far as you have gone yourself and I am humbled by this because I am often searching for answers myself.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sometimes I scare myself.

Here I am a little after midnight when the world has grown quiet but my mind is still active and not ready to let me retire. Once in awhile I have a bout of insomnia and it's better not to fight it so instead I put in a load of laundry and started to bang away at the keyboard. Sometimes it is actually my most creative period of the day when I come up with ideas about what I might write about in my blog or I do my best problem solving.

I had to totally give up caffeine several years ago because it had a significant effect on my sleep pattern so I switched to decaf tea (most of the time), and didn't worry about giving up coffee because I never drank it anyway. A bit of chocolate is usually harmless but sometimes it can be unpredictable what it'll do to me. It's unlikely I'll give up chocolate, not gonna happen.

When I was in my teens and twenties staying up all night was fun and I could survive on very little sleep without it being too much of a problem. If I let myself I would probably revert back to keeping late hours and then sleep late but that's totally unrealistic when you have to get up for work everyday. It would be totally uncool for me to nod off at work because in a therapy session you don't want your therapist falling asleep on you!

There's something about the late of night that is mysterious and different. Darkness gives the world a different dimension. The world is generally quiet and at rest, unless you are in some type of urban setting. I guess that also has it's own rhythm. I don't think I was really ever afraid of the dark but I definitely had a very active imagination as a child and would sometimes be startled by weird reflections in the windows at night. I have a confession to make, there are still times when I'll glance at a dark window and think I see something. Not a monster, more like the portal to a different dimension that only nighttime brings out. Stephen King would know what I'm talking about. Sometimes I scare myself.

I will go take my laundry out of the washing machine, shove it in the dryer and try to go upstairs and put myself to sleep. I will relax my mind and hopefully sleep will take over. Good night world.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reggae Morning on a Quiet Country Road

The temperature and cool breeze of the morning was perfect for a walk around the neighborhood down the quiet country road. I donned my favorite Syracuse University t shirt, a baseball cap, and my fast as a bastard sneakers . My shuffle accompanied me as background music for my trek. Nothing like a little Reggae music to get a good rhythm going for a walk. As a precaution I spritzed a bit of ode' cologne bug spray to prevent harassment from the flying vampires. Off I went with the bitter taste of bug spray on my lips.
I was acutely aware that my right hip might protest but my motto is use it or lose it. Not to focus on any errant pain just enjoy the journey, focus on observing what might be encountered. I walked by the farmer's front yard and despite the Reggae music pulsating through my headphones I discerned the sounds of a barking dog, guarding the perimeter of his territory and his herd of cows. Four or five automobiles passed, most slowing down as a courtesy to the grey haired dame making her way down the road smiling and a wave from one or two of the vehicles acknowledging friendly greetings, don't really know who they might be...
Little yellow breasted birds swooning from tree to tree. I was able to detect a few tweets and twitters of their animated babble as my shuffle switched tunes to the Allman Brother's bluesy plaintive wails. Gazing down I observed small tiny pine cones dotting the side of the road and regretfully a scattering of litter, mostly fast food wrappers and a Mountain Dew can. I turned my attention upward towards the leaves on the trees waving their greetings at me in the gentle breeze.

I rounded the corner and was greeted by the vision of my home surrounded by a lovely landscape of grass , shrubs and flowers welcoming me back from my travels. I complimented the Iris' on their striking purple colors entered the house and enjoyed a bowl of Cheerios. Life is too short ,it must be savored whenever possible.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Awhile ago when I originally created my blogs I thought it would be humorous to list my occupation as "Spaghetti Bender" under my personal profile. Growing up that term was often a benign euphemism for a person of Italian descent. There were other references not quite complimentary, and many other cultural groups had their own as well. I'd like to believe that prejudice has come along way towards increased tolerance and understanding but there are times when I am disappointed by the ignorance that still prevails at times somewhat unexpectedly.

Not everyone whose last name ends in a vowel or has an Italian sounding last name is associated with organized crime. The HBO series the Sopranos, which I enjoyed viewing very much had the unfortunate effect of causing a setback in the way people view Italians .Some of the stereotypes were actually quite damaging. (Not all of us have antisocial tendencies.) One thing the show did highlight is how much Italians love their pasta. Tomato sauce and meatballs made by simmering the tomatoes all day long is truly a labor of love and patience. You cannot hurry the sauce.

There are many variations of the recipe, probably each family does it a bit different. My aunt used to make the meatballs and submerge them in the sauce without browning them first.My mother always slowly browned her meatballs first before adding them to the sauce and used to like to add a few pieces of pork or veal to sweeten the taste of the sauce.

The family story about my mother being taught to cook Italian food was often referred to with humor. When my parents started dating back in the 1930's it was somewhat of a scandal for an Irish girl to "go with" an Italian. Her father disapproved and wasn't too pleased. When my parents married it was necessary for my mother to receive cooking lessons from my Italian grandmother so that she could cook properly for my father. Keep in mind this was a different generation than today. She turned into a fantastic cook and I'd like to think I gained some of that talent from being around her growing up in her kitchen.

One of the important learning experiences growing up in a spaghetti eating family involved teaching the young child to twirl their pasta. Although this was usually approached with casual humor and encouragement make no mistake about it, you were expected to learn to twirl your spaghetti or face disappointment and ostracism. The earlier a child learned to do this allowed the parent's bragging rights in the family similar to how parents brag about their little ones learning to take their first steps. Very serious business and a point of pride especially with my father.

If you are naturally right handed the fork is placed between the crook of the thumb and index finger and a soup size spoon is held up midway with the left hand. Does this sound over specific, yes, but form is important. The spoon should be held off the plate but not too high. The right index finger and thumb are gently rotated over the handle of the fork. It is easier to manage if you take a smaller portion of spaghetti to twirl in the spoon rather than a larger amount which inevitably will most likely not stay wound on the spoon. There's nothing worse than to have stray strands flopping over or spraying sauce about trying to pile it into your mouth. It should look delicate and effortless. All of this takes dexterity, patience and a certain amount of practice.

If you expect to eat with Italian people at their table you better know how to twirl because believe me, secretly you are being evaluated whether you will be a good match for their child. My poor husband had to be warned before he sat down to our table to practice his twirling or my father might be unimpressed if he started to slurp wild strands of spaghetti into his mouth or heaven for bid cut the pasta in half which my father had always pronounced "the lazy way". If all this sounds a slight bit unreasonable try to put it in the context of good manners. I imagine Asian people might feel the same way about chopsticks but I've never asked them.Our daughters had to go through their own initiation when boyfriends were invited for dinner and if spaghetti was likely to be served to be warned they better twirl their spaghetti.

Celeste's Spaghetti Sauce Recipe: 2 0r 3 lg. cans of tomato sauce and 2-3 small cans of tomato paste combined in a large sauce pot. Add spices including; 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning. 2-3 small cloves of garlic, a few shakes (1/4 tsp.) Tabasco, 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 pepper, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp.onion salt, pinch of thyme and or Rosemary. Simmer on low heat at a very gentle bubble, stir often, keep cover on while simmering. If thick sauce is preferred add extra sm. can of tomato paste, for thinner sauce add 1/4 cup of water (which can be increased if the sauce loses too much moisture while simmering). 6 hours
While the sauce is simmering it's "tima to maka the meatballs":
2-3lbs of ground beef (not too lean), add spices including 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/4 or 1/2 tsp.crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like meatballs), 2/3 cup (approx.) Italian flavored bread crumbs, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp.water, 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning. 1/2 tsp. onion salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic seasoning. Mix ingredients gently together, don't be afraid to use your hands.
Wet hands under warm tap water often to keep meatball mixture from sticking to hands. Rotate meatballs in a circular motion in palm of hand until firm, lightly brown in fry pan (spray lightly with cooking oil) on low heat to keep from burning until cooked nearly all the way through. If the meatballs are nearly fully cooked they are more likely to remain firm and not fall apart in the sauce.You may have to experiment a little. Drain cooked meatballs on a layer of paper towels for 5-10 min.before placing them in the sauce. The meatballs need to simmer in the sauce at least 5 hours. Keep cover on sauce pot and gently stir often. You may also add Italian sausage that has been lightly browned either 30 min in oven or in a fry pan on low heat. It's a good idea to drain them a few minutes on a paper towel to get rid of the grease.
Serve with any type of pasta you prefer and remember to twirl your spaghetti!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

DestiNation NoWhere

Lawn mowers are a special breed. They don't seem to care or register that they never go anywhere. Maybe they think they do but they don't. Endlessly steering their machines, lining up their tracks, being ever so careful not to leave a patch unmowed, striving for perfect symmetry.

It seems to be irrelevant the size of the real estate. Having a ride on is the prize of perfection. Why should a modest patch be hand mowed when a ride on can do it . Did John Deere fantasize as a young boy about inventing the most powerful mower with the most elaborate accessories? How many men though have fantasized owning a John Deere? Not, Hugh Hefner, I bet.

There appears to be artistry involved in how one mows. Whether to mow in vertical lines perpendicular to the driveway or horizontal to the walkway. Evaluating how close to mow to the shrubs which might then require an additional pass with the weed wacker. Must like noise, looks like a motorized serpent's tongue.

Hiring a landscaping company takes the joy out of getting out there on a hot sunny day, shirt off if your're a guy(?), not bothering with sun screen because that's for wimps. Stopping every once in awhile for a cold one and sitting on the porch surveying the artistry of the patterns made with the blades with a sense of pleasure, accomplishment and satisfaction.

Some may complain about how fast the turf grows but secretly they can't wait to mount the lawn mower and repeat the same activity. If it rains on the day there were plans to mow the lawn and having to remain inside gazing out at the unshorn green knowing it will grow even longer from the rain. Can't wait to get out there. Kill some time messing around in the garage hoping the rain will inevitably pass.

Maybe buying some cows or sheep would eliminate the need for a lawn mower. Or here is a radical idea; maybe just let the grass grow wild. Are you crazy or something! Letting the grass get too tall allows the snakes to hide in there. Never mind that was a bad idea.

A few miles away closer to town there were several neighbors who grew rather irate about this radical thinking guy who wanted to have his front yard resemble a wild field . The town actually became involved and issued a summons to court for creating an unsafe visual obstacle blocking clear line of sight for vehicles trying to see oncoming traffic at the corner of his lot. It took several months for the town board to rule that they couldn't make the guy mow his grass. Several weeks later when no one seemed to be around one of the town contractors went and mowed the guy's lawn. The saga has continued and now we will have new debate as lawn growing and mowing season is upon us.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hold on to your hat

Wearing a hat or cap can reveal alot about a person. Hats can be a fashion statement or an accessory besides the obvious practicality of covering your pate.Some people are adverse to covering their noggin even in the most adverse weather because they do not want to have hat head. The hair flattens down on the head appearing somewhat unattractive.News flash, that's what combs and brushes are for.

When my friends and I were in our early teens we would often go into department stores and make a detour to the hat section. Adolescent females do not need much prompting to giggle, and that we did. Sometimes we would get rather raucous and attract attention from disapproving adults but tended to be oblivious enjoying our frivolity. We actually had a name for this activity, "let's play hat". I have always had a thing for hats and this activity was probably the launching point of my love for chapeaus
I began to wear a baseball cap way ahead of the trend. It started out as a way to shield my face from the sun at the beach as I began to notice accumulating sun damage. If this was a way I could slow down the wrinkles and spots why not. Baseball caps are now commonplace and lots of people enjoy displaying their loyalties to whatever sports teams they follow. I have too many baseball caps to count but would admit that the Red Sox are a reoccurring theme as well as various places I have visited in my travels. Now there is a device to wash your baseball caps in the washing machine so they don't become misshapen. It's a plastic shaped cap with snaps to mold it and keep it in place.

Wearing a hat in the winter is just good common sense. It's nice to have a pretty beret or wool hat to keep your head warm and dry from the snow. I have two baskets of hats all of which are various colors to match my winter coats, scarves and gloves. I keep adding to my collection and have a difficult time getting rid of any of them. I'd say my favorite used to be this nice little black beret until my husband began to tease me I looked like Monica Lewinsky. I don't think he liked the beret but I continue to wear it anyway.I had never heard a wool cap referred to as a touk until I moved to Northern N.Y. but that's what they call them up here.Again, the Red Sox are well represented in my winter hat collection.

Wide brim hats have a dramatic flair. There are not alot of places to wear them unless women chose to dress up going to church. Every year during the summer season we try to go to Saratoga Race Track in N.Y. State a few hours south of where we live. The women adorn themselves in the most magnificent hats and I forget sometimes to watch the horse races because I'm too busy gazing at the millinery finery displayed. I have a few wide brimmed hats of my own which I have sewn ribbons and flowers on to. I also wear wide brimmed hats on the beach in Costa Rica mostly resembling gardening or cowboy straw hats. It seems to prevent me from feeling overheated in the hot sun.

I would guess that there are times when people may have more that one motive to don a cap or hat. If you had not washed or styled your hair on a certain day it would definitely hide the unattractiveness with out feeling overly self conscious.Unless you work at a very casual job though this would unlikely be tolerated. However, now people in the food service industry often wear hats to maintain sanitary standards. There is nothing worse than finding a hair in your food.( As an aside, I recently saw a bearded gentleman with a net over his beard while working in a deli, good idea.)

What if you were trying not to be noticed and wearing a cap or hat might alter your appearance enough that people out in public might not recognize you? Since I am not a famous Hollywood celebrity I guess there is nothing to worry about regarding that although I do confess to wearing my sunglasses and hat sometimes to not run into people I don't want to stop and talk to. Am I bad? I wonder what those people ( Stacey and Clinton) from the show "What not to Wear" would think of my hat adornments? I guess I don't really care. I hope they don't show up knocking at my door because I won't answer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Many Different Uses of a Car

You can sometimes tell alot about people by the type of car they choose to drive.I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is essential having four wheel drive in our Siberian type winters in the North Country. Some people don't want to spend all their money on an expensive car loan so they make modest choices purchasing a vehicle that will get them where they want to go. In certain parts of the country people seem to drive a status symbol to reflect their economic prowess.

I've also noticed that the bumper stickers people display on their automobiles tell alot about their politics; whether their child is an honor student, and what college they attended. Probably the funniest bumper sticker I have read had the initials PETA and below that it said "People Eating Tasty Animals", not exactly politically correct but still funny anyway. I'm not too enthusiastic seeing New York Yankee logos on the back windows of pick-up trucks because I am a very loyal Red Sox fan. My daughter gave me a Red Sox licence plate holder for Christmas this past year and I display it proudly.

Have you ever casually gazed inside any of the parked vehicles near you as you walk by? No, not to see if it is unlocked so you can steal stuff but just idle curiosity. I have a rather quirky co-worker who has the most interesting items located in plain site in the back seat and storage area of his little Subaru. Today I noticed he had a rather large guitar amp speaker in his back seat. Not long ago he had an agricultural feed/grain bale in the back. I have also seen him ride around for a few days with a chain saw back there. Maybe he was hoping to meet up with Jason. He once told me he had a cake plate leftover from a birthday party over a year ago that remained in his car until he was looking for something else and discovered it, eureka! There are many random items, pieces of paper,this and that. It scares me a little.

On the opposite end of funky items people ride around with in their car are those people who are neat freaks and you can tell they keep their car vacuumed and detailed reflecting pristine conditions. No eating or drinking in those cars. My car does not contain anything extraneous nor do I let any empty beverage cups or wrappers linger for very long. In the winter I may keep an extra blanket or snow boots in the back in case I ever get stranded in a snow drift. There is however a fine layer of accumulated winter grunge covering everything and the floor mats are a bit disgusting.

I realize that for some people who spend extended time in their automobiles on their commute to work that they might be given a waiver because they probably eat and do various other things while they are trying to drive.I once knew someone who was very focused on practicing time management and he used to dictate case notes into his small hand held recorder while driving down the road. The secretaries in the office use to laugh hysterically as they attempted to listen and transcribe his dictation.If I had tried that I think I would have landed in a ditch. Many states have now promulgated laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving which is supposed to help reduce car accidents. I'm sure there are plenty of other things to distract drivers.

I have had several uncomfortable experiences riding in other people's cars that have resembled the inside of a trash can with no place even to plant one's feet while attempting to balance myself in the passenger seat while sharing space with hockey equipment and old fast food wrappers still containing bits of french fries.Up until that point I had considered that person relatively sane but had to reevaluate that assumption when she asked me to scrounge on the car floor mat for spare change to pay the toll.

I think cars should be exclusively utilized for driving somewhere not storage compartments on wheels for random things we don't know what to do with.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bicycle Pants

While out driving around in my car today I observed several bicycle riders pedaling down the road. I laud them for their profound dedication to exercise. It must be very enjoyable taking in the scenery while biking.

There is one thing though that I am curious about. Do you have to wear those silly pants in order to be considered a serious bike enthusiast? If I happen to see someone riding their bike and enjoying themselves and they are not wearing the bicycle uniform does that mean they are not serious bikers? Does it have anything to do with how far they go on their outing? If someone were just recreating and riding for a few miles for some fresh air and exercise when is it a "must" to suit up in the bike pants? Are the bike pants unisex or are there special ones for males and females? Logically, you would assume their would be, since there is a different part of the anatomy to take into consideration. Speaking of naughty bits, it appears that the buttock area has a layer of padding most likely providing a cushion and comfort to the posterior. It's probably a good idea.

The material these bike pants are made of seems to be some type of stretch-leotard spandex. Since they look tight fitting this might involve some type of aerodynamic design. I am also fascinated by the shape of the helmet which looks like it is aerodynamic too. The cone shape at the back of the hat makes the head look misshapen. Have these people ever taken a look at themselves in the mirror without a chuckle? When did they make the conscious decision to go out and buy themselves special bike pants and funny hats? Did they want people who saw them riding their bike to think, "oh yeah, there goes a serious bike rider".

If it is cold out or if it is windy do these pants keep you warm? It doesn't look like they keep you warm but maybe it helps cut down the wind resistance but does that really matter unless you are participating in some type of organized road race? It looks like there may also be a reinforced area in the inner thigh which might help reduce chaffing. Someone once told me that your butt and other anatomical areas grow a little sore after balancing on a hard banana shaped seat for long periods of time. Maybe that seat is where they should really get some soft padding. Do the bikers know that the way they perch on the little bike seat actually makes their posterior look rather large? I don't think people with large bottoms would look very attractive in these bike pants but then again the serious bikers who ride longer miles probably have minimal body fat.

Lance Armstrong has certainly helped biking gain in popularity. He certainly is an amazing athlete after overcoming testicular cancer and coming back to win the Tour de France several times. The French hate him but then the French hate everyone.Maybe they are the ones who have conspired to make the bike riders look ridiculous in those costumes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's Your Story?

I have an internal dialogue often going on in my head which seems reminiscent of a narrative.( I do not hear voices). If you can imagine a sports broadcaster who is the play by play commentator, that would be a fair description of my self talk. The important thing is to attempt to keep your self talk positive, non judgemental and the way you'd want your best friend to cajole or coax you.The tone of voice you use is also significant. It shouldn't be harsh or overcritical. A sense of self deprecating humor might also be the right voice you want to listen to.

Some people have little songs singing in their head. If people are music lovers that is probably what they are listening to sans ipod/mp3. I often wonder when people behave a certain way what they are possibly thinking. It's not really productive to let yourself become too distracted by what you think other people are thinking because this distracts you from your own internal dialogue.Perhaps this internal dialogue is actually insight and intuition expressing itself. We need to listen to that because it is our own reality check.

Everyone has their version of their own life narrative which actually becomes our each unique story. Patterns of thoughts influence our perceptions. My own story usually reflects attempts to keep myself on track and offering gentle guidance. I try to be benevolent when I interpret my reactions yet this is likely the source of my own internal struggle not to judge myself harshly. I try to stay in "real time" avoiding the pitfalls of history and not let the past dictate my present or future. I think this may be where alot of people go off in the wrong direction. Yes, we all have a history, our collection of experiences and perceptions, but we don't need to let it effect us in the "now".

During the day I will sometimes hear myself saying things that at times are slightly irreverent.I have to admit I sometimes find my own thoughts amusing and have actually laughed at something I was thinking while in the midst of daydreaming or battling distraction . If I stray too far I can find myself off track and have to catch myself not to be negative or judgemental in my thinking towards people who may not conform to my sensibilities.

Intellectualizing may be a trap to fall into. Catching yourself at it takes a certain amount of awareness and practice. It really requires being honest with yourself. I think I'm fairly proficient at catching myself intellectualizing because it usually means I am distancing myself from my own feelings.

If you were writing your own story and you were the main character how would you view yourself, hero, villain ,comic ,wise?

We are all authors.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not Tall

Height is relative.Which relative I take after in the family happens to be the short statured ones. I would say I'm just average short, not tall. In my kitchen the upper cabinets can only be reached if I drag over my special kitchen step stool. I also use a pair of kitchen tongs to grab unbreakable stuff from the top shelves. I have one high shelf that contains a large number of plastic storage containers that are balanced somewhat precariously and inevitably fall down on Mr. gaf's head when he opens the cabinet. He usually has something to say about this when it occurs and it is often a comment reflective of my habit of collecting plastic containers (expletive deleted). It is difficult for me to arrange them by nesting the smaller ones in side the bigger ones because I would then have to spend time up on my step stool with my arms raised above my head an inordinate amount of time, so I don't.

In grocery and department stores I am at a decided disadvantage. What I want to buy or look at is sometimes beyond my grasp on a high shelf. I have actually waited for a tall person to pass by and very politely ask for assistance. Most of the time it's a male and they just sort of shrug, not looking overly involved at helping to assist the short lady. I have at times tried to crawl up a shelf at a store but I feel at my age it is a compromise on my dignity.

I try to keep my clothes closet neat but again the upper shelf is the nether land of items flung up there with a toss. Every once in awhile I have to get a chair to stand up on and reorganize all the assorted miscellaneous accessories of hats, pocketbooks and anything else that was flung up there. If you have ever watched the docu-program Little People Big World you get the idea how difficult it is to be vertically challenged. I am 5 feet 2 inches tall which does not qualify me as a little person but there are a whole bunch of things that I can't reach.

Fortunately, nearly every vehicle I have owned has a lever to move the seat forward so that my foot reaches the gas pedal. This is also a constant "readjustment" when Mr. gaf has driven my car because he has moved the seat back, adjusted the tilt of the steering wheel and both the rear view and side mirrors.We must be very patient with each other so that the height difference does not become a disagreeable situation.We have learned not to bicker about it and just accept the reality of two different sized bodies sometimes need to drive the same automobile. Pick your battles.

On the television there is a news commentator, David Gregory on NBC, who is gigantic. When he stands next to people of ordinary height he towers over nearly everyone. People come up to his mid chest. I imagine he has the opposite problem trying to adjust car seats and having to stoop over too short furniture. Maybe in his house his wife waits for him to come home so he can grab things that are up too high or dust the chandelier. I wouldn't doubt that he probably has a specially made bed long enough for him to be comfortable to sleep on. What arrangements he makes when he flies on an airplane is a mystery unless he flies around with all the NBA basketball players and they take a detour to drop him off somewhere. I actually saw on a news program they have specially designed planes for the basketball players.

I have had to shorten almost every pair of slacks I have ever owned. I've grown rather adept at this, but just once I'd like to buy a pair of pants that don't hang 5 inches below my heel. Petite size never seems quite long enough for some reason so I reside in limbo, not tall enough but too short, but taller than little people.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Social Intercourse

Although we may all be bloggers pecking away at our little keyboards living wherever. I have observed the phenomena of social intercourse ie; dialogue and sharing of thoughts and ideas. I don't think there needs to be actual face to face contact in order to engage in social intercourse. In our virtual universe of the blogosphere we have posted our thoughts and ideas as a way of communicating with each other. I find it amazing the plethora of perceptions, sometimes similar to my sentiments and sometimes somewhat far removed. The level of intimacy and self disclosure varies as does the intent and content. It is not a passive pursuit, but it is solitary until someone out there provides feedback, a reality check if you will.

I find the anonymity of blogging somewhat comforting. You can say anything and be anything you want to be, or portray yourself as the idealized version of what you wish to be. There is no handshake, wink or nod to read some one's body language. Does this have an effect on how words might be interpreted? Maybe it is a safe way we find to express ourselves when we offer our opinions without fear of retribution.There are things we might say that under different circumstance we might be reluctant to espouse. Perhaps positive regard can be more freely expressed in person with a hug or gesture. How does that translate at the keyboard other than our "LOL" or sideways smiley face :) ? When we speak in person to people whom we know our voice and tone transmits our emotions.

Intimacy can be defined in many different ways. It does not necessarily have to involve body contact. Emotional intimacy is possible especially when it evokes feelings. There are many blogs I have read that facilitate meaningful feelings. The comments exchanged often are our attempts to acknowledge and or validate to the writer we understand or commiserate. Genuineness can only be assumed or inferred. It is necessary to take what is said at face value but there is no face.Perhaps instinct can somehow be transmitted through the keyboard when we are not entirely sure of the motivation.

I recommend that we all engage in intercourse as often as humanly possible.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Less Work More Relaxing Time

Weekends are too short. Saturday is usually the day to run around and do all the errands that I didn't get done during the week because of being too busy at work. Most of the time I enjoy a jaunt into the community riding around stopping at the dry cleaners, the local stores and buying the groceries. I usually run in to people whom I know and we engage in a brief chat on the fly. After doing errands I return home and put away all the groceries which my husband is usually around to help me with. I think he really wants to survey the larder so he'll know what's in the cupboard. It makes it hard to hide things on him because if I don't he will eat the chocolate chips and burglarize the walnuts before I get to make the cookies.

Saturdays also usually involve a fair amount of household chores which frankly I dread because I have usually put things off until the weekend.I'm always doing laundry throughout the week but there is always ample enough waiting in the laundry baskets for at least a few loads of sheets,towels and clothing. I don't like mixing the towels in with the clothes because it causes too much fuzz and lint.There is quite a bit I will hang to dry because I don't want certain things shrunk or shriveled in the dryer.Then of course there is the folding and putting away of all the laundry which I think I'm a little "OCD" about. I save some of that until Sunday which involves an evening routine of ironing my clothes for the work week while watching something stupid on the TV.

If it is nice out I might try to take a walk up the road which is about a 2mile long trip of rural scenery and barking canines which I judiciously encounter. Sometimes I am not entirely certain if they are restrained because alot of people have those electronic fences but I don't know that while the crazy thing is running menacingly towards me. I much prefer mooing back at the cows, or neighing at the horses. During the winter months it is really too cold and snowy to attempt much of a stroll but I have a treadmill down in the cellar which I hardly use.

In the winter unless you enjoy outdoor activities it can cause a bit of cabin fever but I manage to keep busy with all sorts of projects. Of course there's always time to bang away at the computer but sometimes that type of solitary endeavor can be isolating if I spend too much time staring at the computer while my husband is usually yelling back at the TV set watching some type of sporting event. We do enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail in the evening but if not careful it can lead to falling asleep on the couch too early.

We enjoy our season's tickets for a local college hockey team which is a form of entertainment in the area where there isn't much to do. When you live in a rural area it's not like you can just walk down the street to the movie theatre.We do occasionally go to a movie but it is difficult to come to an agreement on what to see. I like the relationship type stories and my husband will roll his eyes because he much prefers car chases and people shooting at each other.

I do like to cook so during the weekend when there is time I am often in the kitchen concocting some type of elaborate meal. I used to bake a cake, brownies or cookies but right now we have had to declare a moratorium at my husbands insistence not to indulge in sweets because of excess poundage.He's right of course.

Sunday mornings are reserved for relaxing and reading the Sunday paper. I enjoy this pleasure and look forward to it when I've had a challenging week to just read articles and exercise my intellect. Keeping up with current events is important and necessary if you expect to carry on an intelligent conversation at work or at lunch time.I also have to peruse the best seller book list and see what author's have published lately.

Our office recently offered a four day work week as an option and several co-workers have chosen to work longer days in order to have a three day weekend. Even though I would very much enjoy a three day weekend I am not willing to test my stamina by working extended hours each of the four days. I think it would basically involve eat, sleep and work for the four days. I have enough vacation time to basically take off any Friday I choose or even add on an extra day to a Monday holiday which I do quite often. See that's the thing, by the time Sunday comes I'm finally beginning to relax and then it is all too soon to gear up again for a busy work week. I can't wait to retire but unfortunately that is likely a few more years away.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


winter's stark shadows at twilight,
the wise moon's owl
shy morn of early dawn,
cycle of life unknown
adolescent hue of noon
reasons why the dark of night falls
changing seasons,
life's rebirth of latent spring
groom's warm gaze of summer fire
autumn's golden middle age

winter's stark shadows at twilight
evening's tide washes life away

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things I Have Learned About LIFE

  • Less is more. Possessions can weigh down our spirit.
  • The written word is a cornerstone of culture. Somehow we began to murder the English language mutating words and slang.
  • Having teeth is important. We need to pay attention to oral hygiene.
  • Reading books enriches our imagination.
  • Giving and receiving love makes us better human beings.
  • Laughter and humor are necessary. Don't take yourself too seriously.
  • Believe in "something".
  • Celebrity is incipient.
  • Live life without regret.
  • Be a good listener.It makes it hard to get into trouble.
  • How you dress leaves a lasting impression.
  • There is no such thing as having too much humility.
  • Sex is a way for people to physically connect and promote intimacy in a relationship.
  • We need food to provide fuel for our bodies.
  • Size matters. Have a big heart.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


As birthdays go I think I'm ready to call it a draw. "Don't ask don't tell". I go through the motions of celebrating my birthday but honestly I would rather not acknowledge the growing old part. I have joked with friends and family that it is time to start counting backwards. I remember in my younger years looking forward to birthdays and celebrating but now it is more something to endure.Yes,with age comes wisdom but you can't really do much about it other than to look or act wise.
The aches and pains are not things I bargained for. I don't recall my parents complaining but then again maybe I just wasn't listening. I recall thinking they were old but now at the same age I am declaring to myself "I'm not that old!" Fifty is the new forty and forty is the new thirty. Don't believe it for a minute. When you begin to grow older you no longer stay up all night "partying" with friends and a 10:oo bedtime seems rational. After a long day I'm ready to rest and retire early, "tomorrow is another day" and pace yourself. When you reach a certain age you start to loose your youthful glow and sadly things begin to sag with the inevitable gravity. Don't get me wrong , I accept all of this but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
I work with some people who have parents my age and we often joke about it and I will say "I have shoes older than you". They were born after John Kennedy was president so for them that constitutes history. So I guess to them I represent history.When out in public I will sometimes look over at other individuals who look about the same age and inside I'm despairing about how old they look. We start to move a bit slower and youth passes us as if we are in the way.
At some point it is acceptance to stop fighting the aging process. We can't reverse the aging process so why not embrace it if possible.I do not quite agree that people should have" work" done as a way of stalling the inevitable. I think that is more for the Hollywood types not our everyday people.
I'm not ready for the grave yet but I have come to realize that even middle age is past its bloom.
So for now I will try to keep my appearances up as much as I am able but have stopped dying my hair.I'm okay with having to wear bifocals to see up close.When I gaze in the mirror I am sometimes shocked to see this older friend looking back at me with a reassuring smile that everything will be okay. So you're not 19 anymore, get over it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Secret Hiding Places / Innocence Lost

When I was growing up in the 1950's and 60's kids could freely roam the neighborhood and there was little or no worry about being abducted by strangers. Neighbors watched over all of us and if you happened to do something wrong your parents were called and told about it. Punishment would be swift and appropriate, usually grounded to your own yard.

Things seem to have changed quite a bit now. You very rarely see children out playing. Play dates are arranged and parents drive their kids over to some one's house. In my neighborhood growing up you just walked down the street until you found other kids playing and joined in. Our parents told us to go out and play and that we did. Everyone in the neighborhood knew everyone else and every yard was a playground. My best friend Jane and I used to wander into other people's back yards, play on their swing sets or whatever, and be invited in for cookies and milk by nice old people. We had quite a racket going until we knocked on this one lady's door who had given us some candy one day. She worked nights as a nurse and slept during the day and we woke her up so she had to inform our parents that we were knocking on her door asking for candy and it wasn't Halloween.We were "spoken" to and told to stop knocking on people's doors asking for candy.

Every kid has a secret hiding place. When you grow up in a neighborhood where safety and security are expected as part of an innocent childhood you are free to explore within the boundaries of the area defined by your parents. At the end of our street was a small wooded area where kids were always building forts and clubhouses. It always seemed to be a magnet for playing army man, jungle, and spy games. There was a small hill which we would climb up and slide down on pieces of cardboard boxes when some one's parents purchased a new TV or washing machine. All kinds of schemes were hatched, our plans to find out things we overheard our parents talking about. There was this poor lonely man named Oscar that did nothing to harm anyone but somehow when a kids imagination takes over anything is possible. He apparently worked at one time as a mortician and the kids in the neighborhood believed he had dead bodies in his basement so we were always skulking around trying to peek in his cellar window. We probably terrorized the poor man. We would run and hide when we saw him walking down the street. He had an unfortunate sister who dressed in old fashioned black clothes and carried a large bag, probably to put groceries in, but we had our own theory that she carried her own dead baby in it.

The only toy a kid really needed was a bicycle. We would spend hours playing chicken on our bikes which lead to at least one trip per summer to the emergency room.We would make pretend we were riding horses and have riding competitions.The only thing that would interrupt our play is when we had to run home to go the bathroom. We were expected to show back up at home for lunch and then try to escape our parents list of chores so we could continue whatever game we were playing. You had to be home when the street lights came on at dark and if you were late they would yell your name out the door until you heard it and hurried home.

As we grew older the parameters of our explorations were extended further. There was a very small "secret"military installation on the other side of a causeway road that held endless fascination for all of us. We grew up in the era of fearing Russia was going to attack the United States so there were fenced in missile bunkers hidden in several innocuous locations which just happened to be very close to our neighborhood. The view extended into Boston Harbor so it was of strategic importance in case the Russians tried to sneak in a submarine.(I am not making this up.) Things were very different back then when the Cuban Missile Crisis had occurred. We would hide in the grass watching helicopters land and take off and sometimes a loud whistle would blow and out would come these missiles out of the hidden bunkers. They would test them every few weeks to make sure they still were operational. You can imagine being a kid seeing this. Our parents did not seem overly concerned about this. I guess they felt a certain sense of security. As long as we stayed away from the fence no one seemed to care. Who knows if the military guys were watching us with binoculars and viewing it as benign activity.

I guess childhood was not as innocent as I choose to remember. Maybe the world hasn't really changed that much. Now we have to be vigilant about another group of bad guys.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Good Morning! Shut up and leave me alone.

I had to give up caffeine several years ago when I began to realize it was effecting my sleep pattern and causing me to feel "wired". I noticed that it was taking me a long time to fall asleep at night and there were occasions when I was laying awake in bed trying various techniques to induce slumber (no nasty thoughts please). You can't function very long with disrupted sleep but I know quite a few individuals who survive on only a few hours each night. That isn't me. When I was in my teens I would engage in marathon sleep sessions until my mother would come in to my room and check to see if I was still breathing. I used to enjoy sleeping " in" on the weekends which is nearly impossible and unrealistic when you are raising children.
I seem to do okay with about 6 1/2 hours sleep each night but 8 is even better. I am not one of those people that wakes up in the morning all chipper and lively. When I first wake up it takes me awhile to figure out what day it is and then once I realize it isn't the weekend I start to convince myself to assume the position (upright), and stare blankly at nothing imparticular, dangling my legs off the side of the bed. I have been known to utter nonsense and confusion, likely related to the last thing I was dreaming. The other morning I woke up in my usual catatonic stupor and began to relate that the circus had come to town and there were no parking spaces. My husband is used to this behavior by now and tends to just go with the flow and will offer a benign comment , "oh that's interesting".
In order to further orient myself I will sometimes totter over and look out the window and check to see what the weather is outside. Lately it usually involves snow and cold temperatures.For part of the winter it was even more disconcerting because it was dark outside when it was time to get up at 6:30AM. Lately it has been getting lighter out in the morning and it also stays light out till 5:30 - 6:00 in the evening which makes it an easier ride home after work.
In the summertime we have our windows open and the birds will start chirping out as soon as the early dawn shows its light and it is hard to ignore the crows plaintive caws. By the way, I really dislike crows and consider them evil.
Suffice to say I am not a morning person. When the children were young and needed to get up for school it became my husband's job to interact with them and supervise because Mommy wasn't quite that swift. When I would try to help it usually would not be a good thing because I was unable to absorb details nor operate my motor functions. They still like to tell the story about how I was really trying but ended up pouring orange juice into the cereal bowl. So it became usual for me to remain in the bedroom and gradually begin my morning routine instead of worrying I might burn the house down by turning on the wrong burner on the stove (been there done that).
If I'm allowed to gradually gather myself within an hour I'm usually myself then but people who have stayed overnight have made the mistake of trying to engage me with verbal interaction and learn I can be unpredictable. I've been known to fade out of the room and seek a quiet corner. It's not meant to be rude I just can't deal with people babbling at me too early in the morning. Of course my husband knows all of this, saint that he is , and has learned to only speak when spoken to. Once I'm talking he knows that my brain is fully functional and it's safe to initiate conversation.
Since I am expected to get myself ready for work I usually pick out what I'm going to wear the night before if possible so I don't have to think about trying to match something in the morning when I'm not at my best. I have also learned from experience that I need at least 90 minutes to get myself on the right track and out the door. By then I'm fine to drive to work and I usually arrive early so I can take some time to unhurriedly get my desk in order before my usual busy day starts.
I guess I am a creature of habit but that is how I have learned to survive not being a functional person in the morning. It would be great if I could sleep until 8:30-9:oo and leisurely meander into the kitchen and have a relaxing cup of decaf tea and maybe watch a little of the Today Show, which frankly I haven't been all that enthralled with lately, especially when they show screaming people as they pan the camera across the crowd and Al Roker starts his shicht. Let's face it I'm kind of a grouch first thing in the morning and my family has learned to adjust to that and stay clear of me. I won't go into further detail but I'm not a good phone talker in the morning so it's not really a good idea to call me before 9:oo especially on weekends because I'm not sure what might be said.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Day in the Life

Today was just a regular ordinary day for me. I awoke at 6:30, went down the cellar and loaded the wood stove. After burning all night there were some live coals left to reignite and rekindle the wood.This is not my usual job but my husband was away on business and so it became my job. Then I went back upstairs took a shower, blow dried my hair and got dressed. It had snowed more over night so it was necessary to put my boots and snow pants on and shovel the walkway and a path to the garage.I was worried that since my husband wasn't home to snow blow the driveway that I might get my Jeep stuck in the 8-10 inches of snow despite having four wheel drive.(I had already shoveled the day before just to get ahead of the game but then it snowed another few inches overnight. My nose was running and I didn't have a kleenex so I had to wipe my nose on the sleeve of my LL Bean anorak. By 8:30 I was pretty tired from all the snow shoveling and I had a 9:15 dentist appointment so I was very conscious of the time. I changed out of my snow shoveling clothes and put my work clothes back on.

I was able to make a quick cup of tea and eat a piece of corn bread while simultaneously packing a quickie lunch. I had to brush my teeth for the second time before I left the house because it's not nice to show up at the dentist with food bits in your teeth.

I was a little worried about backing out of the garage and making it down the long driveway with 8 inches of snow so I had my four wheel drive in gear and kept enough speed and momentum so that I wouldn't get stuck which has happened to me before. The roads had been plowed and they were clear of any substantial snow however the side roads were plowed but still slightly snow covered. I had to put the Jeep back in four wheel drive on the side street of my dentist's office.The parking lot was plowed with no problems with parking. It was about 13 degrees out so I had my long coat on but didn't wear a hat because I didn't want to look like I had hat head.

The dentist's office is a friendly place and I was greeted by my first name and told my dental hygienist would be right out to get me. I was there to get my teeth cleaned for my 6 month visit so it was fairly routine.My dental hygienist has a thing for cats and her whole exam room is adorned with cat posters and cat memorabilia.She also has dozens of tooth nicknaks and posters of teeth and dental care tips. I got to pick mint flavor as my choice for the stuff they clean your teeth with.We had quite a chat about the weather which is the usual topic of conversation during our snowy cold winters. I kept my eyes gazing at one of the cat posters which displayed 100 cats and a mouse and picked my favorite one and we talked about some of the other cute cats. While lieing in the reclined chair I began to notice my sore muscles from all the snow shoveling and then I told her about it all and then we talked about how I didn't know how to operate our snow blower at home and my husband being away.

The dentist comes in to check your teeth after they have been cleaned and she told me I had a few suspicious spots and would need to come back for some small fillings. I have had the misfortune of having rather cavity prone teeth my whole life and commented I should be Mrs. Dental Queen USA. My dental insurance sucks so I had to pay the difference between what they charge and what my insurance pays so I wrote a check.They gave me a follow up appointment to come back in a few weeks.

I had a quick errand to run and brought my blazer in to the dry cleaners to drop off. Then I decided to stop at Walmart because I drive past it on my way to work. Many of my co-workers are anti Walmart because of the wages and lack of health insurance afforded their workers by keeping most of them at part-time.I was in the mood to look at bras and decided to buy two. I also saw some loungey type sweat pants that I like to wear around the house so I bought a blue pair and a matching long sleeve T.

I had killed enough time by then and decided I better show up at work. It was 11:30 and I managed to get down the hallway and unlock my office door unnoticed. I checked in with the receptionist that I was there and then picked up stuff out of my mail box and returned to my office and shut my door so I could get some work done before anyone realized I was in. I decided to work thru lunch since I had been gone all morning and there is always paper work hanging over all our heads so I could get some done before my first appointment for the afternoon. In between I encountered a coworker who had to vent about a meeting the previous day that did not go well for her and I offered my sympathies. We often commiserate about a director-psychiatrist who is very difficult to deal with and has to be in control. I was able to eat a few crackers and cheese and some grapes before I saw my first client.

My afternoon consisted of seeing 3 back to back clients in a row but it wasn't too bad because it had been a short day for me but I was physically tired from all the snow shoveling and wrestling large chunks of wood in to the wood stove that morning. It started to snow again as I looked out the window and thought to myself "oh shit, another white knuckle drive home on snowy roads".It turned out to be okay .The roads weren't too bad and I was able to drive 50 miles an hour on the road home which is about a 16 mile trip.

Here comes the nice part. My husband saw me pull in the driveway and stood out on the front porch to greet me and gave me a big hug and kiss and told me he had missed me. I told him about having to shovel snow and load the wood stove and thanked him for all he does as part of his routine and how it made me appreciate all the things he does to keep the house going. He also told me I had done a good job keeping things going while he was away. He told me all about his trip while I cooked dinner and he told me he was glad to be home since he loves my food. We had chicken with apricot preserve as a marinade sauce, brown rice (he's not a big fan,can't convince him that white rice isn't good for you ), and broccoli, he will only eat the heads.

I am going to bed now after I type this post because I am really tired from all the physical activity which I am not really used to. I will be more assertive about him teaching me how to use the snow blower.

Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My "Bucket List"

These are just some of the things I would like to experience before I leave this world. I'm really uncertain what happens to us when we expire. It would be comforting to know if there is something afterwards but no one I know has come back from the dead to elaborate or testify.

> visit the Great Wall of China
< take a really good photo of a hummingbird
> sail on the Caribbean
< travel to the Olympics
> swim with dolphins
< ride a gondola in Venice
> write a book
< have a conversation with the Dali Lama
> visit the Baseball Hall of Fame
< watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (or be in the parade)
> have at least one grandchild
< see peace in this world
> be visited by a friendly alien
< view an amazing sunset while drinking an extraordinary bottle of wine and have Pink Floyd on as loud as possible
> go to the jungle and see lions and tigers in the wild
< visit Tibet

This list is a work in progress and maybe I'll just do some of these things and not really think of it as my "bucket list".

Monday, January 19, 2009

White Flakes in the Sky

not summer
grey snowy days, too many
hats, boots, and gloves
trying to keep warm
car in four wheel drive on way home from work, not happy
drifting and blowing
animal tracks in snow out in yard
snow blower shooting spouts like old faithful
stay inside, read a book with a cup of tea
keeping track of weather forecast
school cancelled
wood stove cranking out heat
under the covers, wearing socks to bed
People scurrying into buildings
seeing your own breath outside
waiting for Spring

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is real?

I recently had a discussion with an acquaintance about his/her computer habits and it occurred to me that there may be times when we mistakenly "believe" there is an actual rather than virtual relationship with our on-line contacts. Being part of the blog network is enjoyable, sharing ideas with other bloggers and at times feeling a sense of kinship. Many of us have original thoughts and an interesting outlook regarding our world. Sometimes we need to share or process some of our experiences and perceptions. There is often inspiration from reading other blogger's posts. I have observed many creative pieces of "literature" which could someday lead to a book or something for some of us frustrated writers who want to be the next Kurt Vonnegut or John Updike. It tends to be a harmless pursuit of expressing our thoughts and attempting to express and explore our feelings. That all being said, I want you all to ask yourself a few important questions......

1. Are there ever missed opportunities to interact with other human beings, having a conversation, going out and participating in some type of activity because you choose to sit at the keyboard?
2. Do any family members make comments about how long you are on the computer and you ignore their comment ? They may be trying to ask you to spend some time with them and instead you stay at your keyboard, maybe making excuses or rationalizing.
3. When was the last time you read a book? Has the amount of time on the computer effected the previous amount of time spent maybe reading or some other type of intellectual pursuit?
4. Do you consider the people whom you trade comments with on your blog(s) as sharing some type of familiarity? Are they your actual friends or virtual?
5. Have you ever considered asking or suggesting a face to face meeting despite knowing anything real about the person other than on-line " chatting"?
6. Have you ever stayed up late to peck away at your keyboard instead of going to bed and cuddling with your significant other?
7.Have you ever referred to an on-line contact as a quote "friend" in a conversation with a real person and maybe failed to mention or make the distinction it is a computer buddy?
8.Do you spend an inordinate amount of time scanning your comment section waiting and hoping for feedback?
9.Have you ever allowed another bloggers comments to dictate your thoughts as a source of self esteem or posted seeking needful validation?
10.Have you ever taken a sick day from work or school so you could spend all day at the computer and no one else would ever know about it?

I have posed some of this inquiries as perhaps a wake up call to some of us who may have forgotten there is a real world out there and we should be participating in it.

A few days ago someone told me an actual true story about their marriage falling apart after meeting someone on-line while gaming. They became "close" friends spending many hours at one of those team member war games. It grew to the point they would actually get up early and have their morning coffee before going to work and chat on-line and exchange numerous e-mails throughout the day until they met up again on the computer to play games in the evening. They were each married to their respective spouses who had become somewhat questioning of their activity which they then would reassure nothing was going on. For various reasons they were not getting their emotional needs met by their partners and instead subjugated their feelings by developing this virtual relationship. It reached the point that one of them left their partner and traveled a great distance to meet up in person. After showing up on the other person's doorstep the other party's spouse was somewhat taken aback but invited the person in. The two computer people steadfastly denied there was anything going on. Basically it tore apart two marriages. One of the people was forgiven by their spouse and eventually returned home after about a week. The person who traveled to the other's home did not think that they had done anything wrong . Regardless of whether they participated in intimacy they had cheated in their hearts,all over the computer. As unbelievable as this story may seem it is actually true.

We need to be aware and careful about those we communicate with over the computer. What do we really know about others and what they choose to tell us? For all you know the on-line person whom you think is witty and interesting may have bodies buried in their basement. I'm obviously exaggerating here to make a point. There is a difference between actual and virtual so try to remember that when you are interacting with other people on-line.