Losing a friend

I asked my friend, what will we do when there are no more rallies? I guess we have years to figure it out.

I have never felt this way at the changing of the guard. But we’ve never had a president like Trump, either. Bold, decisive, and stubborn. I am not one of the people who think he’s just short of Jesus but I liked him very much. He is the epitome of what New Yorkers are like – it’s an easy-going friendliness; everyone’s your buddy. A lot of his humor (and why so many people didn’t understand him) is New York type humor. I ‘got it’ because I was born and raised in Queens.

President Trump’s farewell address was a good one. He mentioned all that he had been able to accomplish in four years of the most contentious presidency ever. It’s impressive. He’s impressive. Great smile and hide like a rhinoceros. He is the unique combination of a rich man and ‘everyman’; it’s very attractive in a ‘down home with the family’ kind of way.

As he and Melania walked toward Air Force One for the last time, a reporter shouted, “What do you regret about your presidency?” and our boy just kept on walkin’. He doesn’t have to tolerate that crap anymore. Hey! Reporter! ‘read between the lines’. Those of you of a certain age will understand the ‘lines’ thing.

Covid actually gave us one blessing. The Republican National Convention. It was stellar. And moving. And classy. And very American. Just our neighbors from around the country telling us about their America and the impact Donald Trump had on their lives. There’ll never be another convention like that one – it was a one time treasure to behold.

Now he’s back to being my down south neighbor. He’s home again. But you know what they say, you can never go home again. I’m feeling that way today. Home is where the heart is and for every American, the White House is home. But it will never be my house again; too much has and will change. I feel like that picture of the little kid, walking alone down a dirt road, my belongings tied up in a bandana tied to a stick.

There’s no solace in conservative news – they have started the same crap the liberals did to President Trump and that’s just stupid. It’s wasted effort. It doesn’t make anything better, it doesn’t change anything. It’s just the flip side of the last four years and I don’t know if I can go through it again. I have always been the person who, being warned about someone, decided I’d wait and see for myself. Who knows? Maybe something good will happen. In any event, we’re stuck with whatever this new term becomes.

But in my heart … I feel like I’ve lost a good friend.

 

What is it about women?

My dearest Alys sent me a clip from a favorite movie – I haven’t even seen the movie yet but I cried at the clip’s ending. She said it’s one of her favorites and always makes her cry. Ask just about any woman her favorite movies and dollars to a donut, it’s the ones that made her cry. Men think it’s because we’re tender-headed, lol, but we know it’s because we’re tender-hearted. Emotional things don’t scare us because – well – once the hormones set in at puberty, we pretty much have soft spongy hearts. Little things make us cry. Big things make us cry. The stuff in the middle makes us cry. Folks living in Florida will remember Publix (supermarket) ads for Thanksgiving – they would make me cry! You know I had to get the Snowman and Wife salt and pepper shakers. Mrs. Snowman arrived a little cracked but that just seems appropriate…

This song is true, too.

Every ‘hen party’ turns into a discussion about husbands/boyfriends. Not a bashing, really, more like comparing notes on the level of craziness he displays; it’s no surprise to any adult that men and women react differently to the same event and that’s the sort of conversations we have amongst ourselves. We laugh; we try to outdo each other ( “If you think THAT’S bad, this is what he did when …. ” ). Here’s a little hint, gents – look at their eyes when they’re sharing this stuff; unmistakable love shining through. We love your lunacy even when it drives us nuts. Because you’re ours, our one and only.

Random Observations

Feeling a little bit better about things – momentarily, I’m sure, sigh – but I loved this and want to share it. For those of you with a memory like mine, the song is Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox. You can’t imagine how long it took me to remember the name! I think my hard drive needs a re-boot. Enjoy this…

Just to make peace with Nancy Pelosi, I will tell you this story. For Christmas, I sent my child who has a penis two big food packages of meat, cheese, and a selection of sweets and breads. Also, for my person-in-law, who is married to my child who has a vagina, I purchased a food processor. All the children were pleased.

Every once in a while, you strike gold. I did this morning. I have to share this with you because – well – just because I HAVE to! You need to walk around in my shoes to fully appreciate the things I do to inform you (I know, you never asked me to but hey – it’s my job) of all that is happening in the world. There’s this:

but there’s also this, Feral pigs flummox Puerto Rico, infiltrate communities | Honolulu Star-Advertiser. And finally, just so we don’t get tickled by these stories, here’s a real wake-up call Biggest Wild Hogs Ever Killed – The Outdoor Trip.

Audre’s articles are nearly perfect, so I rarely have anything to add but this reminded me that the phrase ‘Root hog, or die’ goes back in American history at least to the early 1800s. Pigs were commonly left to roam the first growth forests in the Old Northwest and Old Southwest. The result was Cincinnati’s early nickname ‘Porkopolis’. We may not be Pepperidge Farm but we remember in our folklore, like this [Neo]

In the final analysis, we all know he pissed off too many people – there was no coming back from that. But more than that, even if nothing happened on January 6th, the size of the crowd was frighteningly huge. It was the culmination of the campaign rally season and it scared the hell out of people on both sides of the divide. It’s one thing to think a person has power, it’s quite another thing entirely to see digits converted to human beings. Our job now is to figure out what comes next and how to deal with it. We’ve lost a battle – not the war.

Here’s a question – I don’t have an answer and maybe you’d like to make some suggestions (just remember, it’s physically impossible for me to do that! [wink]) … am I the only one that has noticed that suddenly there’s no talk at all about “voting irregularities” (just in case Big Brother is watching) since Jan. 6th? Hmmm …

http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/dunning-kruger-effect

Yes; it is.

This has been here since shortly before Christmas, it didn’t get published – not because it not a really good article – but because we simply ran out of slots. Anyway, it’s just as valid today as it was then so enjoy. Neo.

As there are twelve days of Christmas, I’m going to push your patience a bit and have a little discussion of the old movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I saw that! – you just rolled your eyes, didn’t you? Don’t deny it – I caught you dead to rights. Anyway …

A couple of weeks ago, I was enjoying the yearly series “A Carol A Day”, written by Margaret Ashworth, a staff writer for The Conservative Woman UK. Along with the ‘backstory’ of the carol writer, and often times the words of the carols, she selects the most delightful samples of YouTube videos that relate to the carols. I highly recommend you go to that site – you can go back to December 1st and catch up or just enjoy the carol of the day. One of the carols she posted caused some interesting comments (below the line, as they say) and some of those comments got me going. Not in a good way.

Some of the TCW commenters hate It’s a Wonderful Life and proceed to share their mean-spirited appraisal of the movie. While some make valid – though obvious – points about the unrealistic portrayal of the characters and insist that if it were honest, the way the movie should go is ‘insert your objections here’. I just sort of bristled a minute or two and then moved on – as you do (a delightful English expression I may have to adopt).

Then, my very dear English friend, my Alys, sent me the link to an article in The Critic https://thecritic.co.uk/its-a-wonderful-life-the-perfect-christmas-film/

It’s meant to be supportive but it doesn’t quite reach its goal. To me, anyway. There’s just something missing from the article. It may warmth; it may be heart. I suspect what’s missing is heart.

First of all – in case you haven’t figured it out yet – IAWL is a work of fiction. Fiction means it is not true. But because something is not true, we are not prevented from taking a lesson from it. There is a great message in this film and especially important – I would think – in this time of me-ism. It is, after all, all about me, isn’t it? Hmmm – one wonders. In any event, we learn what we do has an effect in the world – like the thrown stone causes concentric ripples on the water. Truly no man is an island unto himself. Cast your bread upon the water and it will come back a hundred fold*

The big part of the movie that the Critic’s writer misses is the biggest part of what makes the movie. In his article, the writer says that the angel, Clarence, gives George Bailey the ability to see what life would be like without him; that’s wrong. The scene that matters is the one that shows the night sky with twinkling stars and the audience hears a discussion between God and St. Peter. God hears the prayers of the family and friends of George Bailey and sets about making things right. God and St. Peter choose Clarence, a not very effectual angel who needs help to get his wings, to accompany George on the journey he’s about to take. Clarence is there as a sort of haphazard “Behold, I bring you great tidings”. It is Clarence’s job to help George see what is most important in his life. Unless people understand that it is God ordained for this to happen to George, it’s very easy to pick apart the rest of the film’s premise.

I know you’ll be grateful that I’m not going to go through the whole movie – I’ve already spoken about what’s most important. But I do want you to consider your own life. Simple things we’ve done for others, without their knowing or without them having to ask. These are the things that make our lives wonderful. We didn’t think long and hard about them, we just did them, sort of spur of the moment or an opportunity presented itself. Or perhaps – just maybe – you answered a prayer. I call them ‘Holy Spirit moments’; seemingly coincidental moments when you did something good for someone without even thinking about it. Answered prayer.

My prayer is that your life is sprinkled with these lovely acts and that you acknowledge that you’ve done good in the world. Not to take pride in them but to be grateful that at that moment, you did a good and wonderful thing. For someone else.

*Ecclesiastes 11:1

Home

click to embiggen

I hope everyone is enjoying ‘nothing time’; that span of time from Christmas to the first working day in the new year. It’s nothing time because pretty much nothing gets done. There are occupations for which there is no ‘nothing time’ and I appreciate the sacrifices made to be sure everything in the country works when we need it. For the rest of us, it’s a chance to breathe a little after the chaos of Christmas and to actually enjoy all the work we’ve put into the holiday.

I was thinking about when Christmas goes away and the real world descends again and having to put the beloved Christmas decorations away for another year. Which lead me to think about my home. Which lead me to think about ‘home’ and what that looks like today. The American dream has always been owning one’s own home and a lot of people do. What is changing, however, is the idea of what that home should look like. I grew up in New York – most homes there are brick, some stone, a few frame. When the pioneers crossed the country, they took that idea of brick homes with them. Depending on where they decided to stay, a lot of the architecture of the midwest and west is very much similar to the homes of the east. Then regional changes had an impact on the design and construction of homes. Technology and innovation changed the layout of houses and how they could be used differently than our grandparents and great grandparents used their houses.

Today, I’m very much interested in ‘tiny houses’. I am both charmed by and fascinated with them. I live in a house that’s 1800 sq. ft under cover. How much of it do we use? Probably around 1000 sq. ft. As long as my tiny house has a fully functional bathroom with a flush toilet, I’m good to go.

Our children are grown, live out of state; we don’t entertain anymore. A family could use this house to its full potential. The only time the foyer gets used is when Amazon drops off a package; the dining room is lovely but unused, the spare bedroom very rarely gets used. A tiny house makes much more sense for two people or someone living single.

YouTube is filled with tiny house videos. I thought this was brilliant – I’d love this house

We don’t need any more room than that. If I have room for my computer set up, I’m happy. Another option, depending on what you’re looking for is the dome – it’s been around since the 1980s, if not before, and it, too, has been improved. Take a look at these

With the space problems Japan has, they, too, are going tiny. Some are no more than a coffin with a hot plate but some are very clever and airy. Once you’ve gotten over the need to impress people with what you have – which is our tendency when we’re young – you realize it doesn’t really take much to make you happy. There’s a lot to be said for simplicity and freedom from ‘stuff’. It seems to be human nature to fill the spaces we have; the less space, the less stuff. Additionally, I’d a whole lot rather mop 1000 sq. ft than 1800 or 2500 or 5000. It just makes sense to me, those tiny houses. I think I could be perfectly comfortable in one. I have a dream – it’s silly, really – a dream of building a tiny house on a corner of the land my son owns. Far enough away for personal privacy but close enough for coffee and cake of an afternoon. Yes; I’m ready for tiny.

Random Observations

I was going to keep this one till last but I’m so excited about it, I can’t do it. I stumbled upon this today. It had a profound effect on me, possibly because of the situation we’re in right now. Whatever the reason, I wonder if you won’t get a little catch in your breath as you watch this. Amazing technology. When the long dead seemingly come to life.

As we desperately look forward to the year 2021 – well, I am, anyway – I thought it might be fun to take a look back a few years. Ok; 70 but so what? It’s hard not to laugh and maybe that’s why I’m sharing it; gosh, we could use a good laugh, couldn’t we? When I was 18 and graduated high school, of course, I thought I’d go into office work of some kind. In the 60s (don’t you do that math! our, for our cousins across the Pond, maths), women weren’t allowed to wear sleeveless blouses to work. Today women wear their clothes as tight as is humanly possible, sleeveless, low cut in front, 6″ high heels, and sparkle fingernail polish. Eye roll! I wonder what would happen if one of today’s business office candidates walked into the Personnel Department (isn’t that sweet? quaint? today you’re considered a ‘human resource’. Not all change is good) of 1950 dressed as 2020. Even the men would be scandalized. At first. (laughing) But enjoy this little walk down memory lane.

This was great fun; I guess you could call it variations on a theme. I don’t know any of the people, of course, but they look like a good bunch to hang out with.

NEO is fortunate enough to have an international readership and we never forget them. I decided, after watching this video, that I ought to be able to buy the same thing today. I want to buy the same thing today. I wonder if the United Kingdom is still in the cigarette business?

There’s a certain woman in America who feels that she has been victimized by the ‘system’; that she has no voice. Au contraire, mon ami. I’ll give ya some system – try this!

Finally, I’ll show you the pictures and you gents out there can tell us ladies about the ‘rules’ you were brought up with, in regard to appearance and clothing.

But let me run get popcorn and a beverage first – this should be entertaining!

My prayer for us is to go into the new year with laughter and hope.

%d bloggers like this: