Day 133: Leap year Hodgepodge

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1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day? Tying up loose ends.

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part? In the past I avoided long  distance relationships and recently I threw  that out the window. Thus far it’s been one of the best blind jumps I’ve made.
3. We’re one week into the season of Lent…are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How’s it going so far?
I’m not part of a religion that practices Lent but I like the concept. If you asked some of my family they will probably tell I should give up Dr. Pepper. In the better late then never I will walk Gideon at least once a day.
4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire? I think it’s been at least a year…far too long.
5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?
As is, as long as i wasn’t eating alone,steak if I was,  lobster can be difficult and I don’t have the strength in my hands to crack the claws myself.
6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose? Dark Shadows, hands down. I wonder who would Barnabas Collins now?
7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?I am the family phone book.
8. For those of you who follow me regularly  I am taking a two week sabbatical, this means  that my already sporadic posts will be even more so. Be back soon!

Day 132: Wednesday Hodgepodge 1st Edition….for me

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So I finally understand what a meme is and I found a pretty neat one in the Wednesday  Hodgepodge. I don’t have a link button because I don’t know how to put them into posts but if you go visit the nice lady who writes Reflections…by Kathy( the blog which introduced me to the Hodgepodge) she does

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day…what makes you proud? What keeps you humble? I’m proud of what Gideon continues to accomplish. Every lambing season I am reminded of how simple life can be. Sometimes the best thing about life is a game of king of the mountain on a hay bale.

2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house? A drawer in our kitchen…you never know what’s in there.
3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What’s your favorite? I have never been to either but if I had to pick one to visit it would be Craters of the Moon National Monument.
4. How would you define honor? Wow ..blog post fodder that.

5. Angel’s food or Devil’s food-which cake do you prefer? Since I’ve only had Angel Food I don’t know.
6. What’s the most recent road trip you’ve taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice? Last trip I took was to Atlanta….it was at least 6 hours and my favorite snack is cheese crackers. Since I don’t drive I don’t set the pace.

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts? That is just screwed up.

8. Transporter machines  need to be invented.

Day 131: Me and Red Pollard

Italiano: Seabiscuit e Red Pollard English: Se...

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I happened to see the last thirty minutes of the movie Seabiscuit today. I am a horse person and since I realize that not everyone who reads my blog is one I will explain the movie a bit. The movie is about an underdog horse and his jockey who raced during the Depression. The  horse was too small for a racehorse, Red Pollard(his jockey) was half blind  Because of his ’5″7 height many people thought he had no business on a racehorse. For a bit of perspective consider this: a tall jockey is ’5 “3. The horse’s owners lost almost everything in the Depression, it’s an underdog story all the way around. At some point during his career Red suffered a fall from a runaway colt he was working for a friend. One of his legs was broken in eleven places. I originally saw Seabiscuit well before I broke my legs, now I cringe with empathy when that part comes up, my three breaks were bad enough,  I can’t imagine healing eleven in a time period before they used metal to reinforce healing bones. Red raced again against everybody’s expectations. For refusing to give in in the face of life’s multiple monkey wrenches Red Pollard and Seabiscuit’s owners are some of my heroes.

Day 130: The Indifference of Good Men

Mass-produced colour photolithography on paper...

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Let me make one thing crystal clear, I believe bullying is wrong. It doesn’t matter who is getting picked on or the reason for it, it’s wrong. Period. End of story. It has been said that the only thing that is equired for evil to prevail is the indifference of good men. An entire school district stood by, some bound by the fear of job loss in this awful economy, some by religious conviction, as children crumpled under the weight of the vitriol they suffered every day from their fellow students while their teachers and people who these children were supposed to be able to go to for help stood by and did nothing. I lay blame squarely at the feet of Barb Anderson, the main author of a school district policy which became known as “No Homo Promo”. From this, the Minnesota school district invoked a policy of neutrality which seem to forbid any mention of homosexuality at all within the schools. This policy put many teachers between a rock and hard place, because if they violated the policy they would find themselves out of work. So, out of fear they remained silent, and children desperate to escape their tormentors committed suicide. Some people reading this may ask where were the parents? Why did they not force the school district to change the policy? The answer is that the parents didn’t know. The parents weren’t informed of the policy at all and only fount out about it after the deaths started. In a school were racial slurs weren’t tolerated, kids who identified as LGBTQ were subjected to bullying every day without help from the adults they should have been able to ask help from.

The policy has since been repealed but it is too little to late for many families. So I leave you with the closing lines of Romeo and Juliet. “A glooming peace this morning with it brings; The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head; Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardoned, and some punished; For never was a story of more woe Then this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

Day 129: My Valentine’s Day

•° بحط قلبي بين ايدينكـ .. هدية

 Valentine’s Day is upon us. My life isn’t exactly where I’d like to be yet but it’s getting closer to it every day that passes. If the days sometime seem to crawl by slower than a zombie’s shuffle I can deal with that. Any progress, no matter how slow is better than the stalemate my life has felt like lately.

Since I still have to put up with really inconvenient state lines because life keeps throwing monkey wrenches into our plans (insert swearing in multiple languages) I am left with horribly inadequate words instead of the things I’d rather do on the holiday. At the risk of sounding trite this is the best I’ve felt in a long time. Some things are worth waiting for and this is one of them.

I never have been considered average so I suppose it makes sense that my relationships aren’t cookie cutter either. In spite of monkey wrenches I’m happier than I’ve been in quite some time and it can only get better. I love you John.

Day 128: The Kindle Question

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

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I have a Kindle. I have actually had this nifty little device for over a year and I’m just now getting around to saying something about it on this blog. If you for some reason feel out of the loop, you are not the only one. I had it for several months before my sister knew. I have a 3rd generation Kindle,what Amazon is now calling a Kindle Keyboard. I have not gotten to “play with” either a Kindle Touch or Fire. Both look awesome at a glance but I would have to spend a little time with either if I were considering upgrading to see if the touchscreen technology was “cerebral palsy user friendly.” I can manage an Ipad easily enough but I’ve come to the conclusion that those things are best evaluated on a case by case basis.

Someone suggested that owning a Kindle (or any other e-reader for that matter) can contribute to laziness. Say for example you decide you want to read Mary Stewart‘s Merlin Trilogy. You then go hunting through the Kindle bookstore only to discover it doesn’t exist there. So rather than go to the local library or brick and mortar bookstore you don’t read it. In case anybody’s interested the Kindle bookstore doesn’t have the Merlin Trilogy or National Velvet yet, I have looked for both to no avail. I would like to be able to refute the charge of laziness but that is easier said than done. I have discovered that many times, unless the book already has a special place in my heart (like Merlin, National Velvet, and Harry Potter do) I won’t go looking for the paper and glue versions. Does that make me a snob? I can’t get to a “proper” bookstore as easily as others can so I prefer to think of the Kindle as a way to prioritize my reading  list. In other words I have to really like the book before I go hunting for the paper version if there isn’t a digital one.

Day 127: Hope is….

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Hope is a Greyhound bus ticket. Yes, I really said Greyhound. I saw that reflexive wince at the thought of interstate bus travel, trust me the fact that I won’t be able to even stand up to stretch like most able bodied people can is not lost on me by any means. I don’t really care. This trip is about a lot more than just a change of scenery. For me, this trip is a step on a path that could very well be the best thing I’ve ever done with my adult life. That idea itself is a little scary, but the most important things often are. College was scary and did not turn out anywhere close to the way I’d wish but it was still very important. The biggest thing I took away from college was that I am an adult who can make my own choices no matter how uncomfortable others might be with them. I’m not sure that I would have realized that quite as effectively without having been to college. When you reach the edge of what you know sometimes you must step into the unknown and hope there is solid ground. Even if there isn’t perhaps you will learn to fly.

Day 126:A Slightly Different View of Valentine’s Day

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

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Well I meant to post this on the first of the month but apparently my internal editor had other ideas. It is very rare when I can write anything that doesn’t go through at least two minor edits even blog posts.

It’s February. I have had a love/hate relationship with this month in the past, and not just because I still have to use spell check to make sure I spell it correctly. I am not one of those people who is ever completely comfortable being single,I applaud people who are but that isn’t me. I tend to approach most relationships I get into as though it might be the last one…the one that sees me buried six feet under or scattered to the four corners or however I decide to eventually leave this earth. Call me a hopeless romantic if you want, I don’t really care. Some people believe Valentine’s Day was created as a purely commercial idea, I disagree.

When I was little my dad used to buy a single rose for my mom, my sister, and I on or close to Valentine’s Day. The roses were two dollars a piece and came from the local convenience store but the cost wasn’t the important part.

The important part to us girls at the time was that they were real, they made our room smell pretty for almost two weeks, and that pair of roses made us feel like the princesses daddy told us we were.

As I got older something else about our roses became important. For me Valentine’s Day was more of a family holiday. Yes, if there was money mom and dad went out on their own but we never felt left out. I think that if more people viewed the holiday as a day to show all the people closest to them how important they are, there just might be a few less single people with chips on their shoulders.

Rose colored glasses or not I think we would all be better off if more people used the day to validate each other regardless of relationship status.