Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Anticipating Christmas

Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is on the horizon. It's time to send cards, make lists, review recipes and get ready for the Big Day. In my experience Thanksgiving includes the weekend and culminates on Sunday. When my kids were small we celebrated for four days. Sunday was nearly as big a day and Thursday. We cooked, visited, ate and celebrated to the end. We had a lot to be thankful for.

Giving thanks is a good foundation for Christmas. Maybe I should say a good introduction. Laying a groundwork of thanks is appropriate. 

We are thankful for the appearance of the Savior. The message of the angels promises rich connection to God and His Son. We are blessed to share in this celebration of his birth. We do need to be careful about the level of our celebration. Drunken foolishness is often viewed as celebration, but when we are dealing with issues and realities created in heavenly places, it behooves us to be more circumspect and critical of common practice. Are the things we see in our society really the behaviors we want to present before God as worthy of the gift and grace He bestowed on us?

I realize Christmas has taken on a life of it's own. It has new traditions and myths not associated with the Lord's birth. Many of them are centered in generosity, mercy, hope, and joy, which doesn't do violence to the Biblical ideal. There is a lot of emphasis on gifts and what and how to buy for friends and family. One big risk to the meaning of Christmas comes from the distraction of gift giving and receiving. How much you spend is not necessarily a good gauge of how important the person is to you or the nature of your relationship. Trying to spend the same amount for all your children is a path to hopeless frustration.

I think I'll probably revisit this subject before the big day. You can address it in your blog, too.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How About Embroidery?

Last year about this time I remembered that I know how to crochet. It inspired me to Make some hot pads for a few people for Christmas. O.K. here I am at Christmas again, facing the same dilemma: What can I do for those people I would like to give something for Christmas? It would be bad to give the same thing again. 

Then I visited a friend's home today and saw a whole wall of beautiful, embroidered, framed art that inspired me.  I don't think I could finish anything in time for Christmas, but I could make some nice things for next year. First, I want to make some for myself.  I don't have much on my walls, and this is what I would like to do.

I can imagine things I would like to make that would remind me of people and events that mark rites of passage. I would spend some time creating special settings for them. Sometimes the things I want to dwell on in an art form are poems I love, or dates that are important. 

One thing that troubles me is my lack of expertise in embroidery. It would be a learning experience. Maybe that's good. It would mean I have to master a new skill. It would fill my time and prevent the boredom I find in much of the TV I watch. I think I'll look into it more and see what comes of it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Mother Didn't Tell Me About Getting Old

My Mother died when she was 38 and I was ten, so I didn't get much information from her about old age or the frustrations of it. Now I am forming my own opinions about old age. I still think I'm getting better as I get older. My body is in a state of decline, but my mind and senses are strong. My children aren't so sure. Mostly they just tolerate me.

Now I am getting better at being alone. I don't feel lonely. Sometimes I hear a sound in the other room and am reminded that there is no one there. I keep the TV volume low so I don't disturb anyone. I'm the only one here, so I must be successful. Sometimes I forget where I am. I often doze when watching TV, then I come to my senses and don't know which way the bedroom is. I recall the house I used to live it and imagine that I am there. It makes for some very exciting journeys to other places.

The noise in the other room could be one of my children or my husband. Suddenly I know it's a day dream. I really am alone, but I don't feel alone most of the time. I'm not quite sure whether to say it's a dream or an hallucination, or maybe just a memory.

I try to create patterns and routines to structure my day. There are no constraints on me now to observe other peoples's needs. I get to make a day have more or less hours to suit my mood. I can sleep late or rise early without being a bother to anyone else. I like getting old. There are many advantages and many options I haven't mentioned yet. If you are getting old, claim the joys and make the most of the benefits. It's a blast!   

Friday, July 15, 2016

Life--Ready for the Game

On Monday morning when I got
life was waiting at the door,
standing there, demanding there
that I come out that day.
But the games of life are hard to play.
It was plain to see the pain would be
too much for me to bear.
And so I thought I'd run away.
Life would follow me,swallow me
I had to find a place to hide.
Just be real still and stay right here, but
then I chanced to see that Life was here with me
inside of me.
I could not get away.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Old and Getting Older

I'm old and I'm getting older every day. I don't think I'd actually test as having Alzheimer's Disease, but I'm exhibiting symptoms that approximate the early stages, and I resent it very much. Sometimes I can't think of the right word. I recognize the word as soon as I hear it, but it just didn't come to mind immediately. Then, I have trouble with planning and decision making. I hear that these are primary symptoms of the disease too. Just last week I read that recurring depression is a symptom I had not associated with the disease. I am convinced that severe depression may actually sound like Alzheimer's and feel like it to the victim.

Depression sometimes presents with forgetfulness and memory loss. Lethargy is also associated with Alzheimer's Disease. Of course all these are also associated with aging. There are several brain syndromes that mimic Alzheimer's Disease. Parkinson's Disease has some similarities to Alzheimer's Disease, but it affects movements, walking, hand-coordination, and sometimes speech, more often. Other conditions like Senility are confused with Alzheimer's and may be as debilitating. The difference may lie in the symptoms and potential remedies.

Both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases have support organizations that offer aid to victims and family members and support research into the causes and cures. For more information about Alzheimer's Disease click this link. To learn more about Parkinson's Disease click link Parkinson's Disease 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

No Direct Marketing For Me!

I got all excited about Direct Response Advertising a couple weeks ago. I've heard about it for years, but I never thought I wanted to write junk mail. Well, I looked into a little more and found out I was right: I don't want to engage in Direct Response Advertising.

There are several factors involved in this venture that don't appear on the first level of interest. I watched a video or two and read some reports to get a better understanding of it. The claims are wonderful! You can make a six figure income with two or three hours of work one or two days a week. Sounds good doesn't it? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You can make that kind of money if you have built up a client list of companies that need your services and keep you writing a lot. You will have to learn the tricks of the trade which includes some almost shady promises and guarantees of the product you are pushing. I say almost because none of this is intended to be illegal. It is mostly hype and hope. 

Forget the short, easy work week. Think in terms of classes and conferences to strengthen your writing skills and shaping your words to fit a company's product line or service. This is all done by contracts with various companies. You have no job security, insurance, or benefits. The first thing I learned was the Direct Response Marketing is a victim of it's own product. 

It has to sell you on the idea that you can do this; then it has to sell you on the idea that watching a video they charge you for will make it easy and quick; then they assure you that companies are lining up at the door to hire you; but first you will have to write some high pressure sales pitch and spend endless hours in research learning business principles and technical terms you never thought you needed.

Some people have made a career in this field. But I have looked into it, and I don't think it's for me. Let's be fair. I am presenting this in a very negative light. My warning focuses on the fact that they do one thing and they do to promote their own view. Be warned: It ain't as easy as it sounds!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Writing Letters

Writing letters is becoming a lost art. The computer age has replaced letters with e-mail, just as informative, but less personal, and texting has lost all sense of grammar and spelling. 

Writing a letter means you have a tangible item that will find its way to a friend or loved one far away. The letter you send will carry your message of love or hope or condolence to some one you may not have seen in person for a while.  I have a collection of letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother beginning in 1888 and ending with their marriage in 1893. It is sentimental and revealing and filled with hints and facts and suspicions most of which I will never prove. But each letter is precious. I like to picture her when she received it and him as he struggled to convey the depth of his feeling. It connects me to them in ways I never could have imagined. 

I write a few letters now, but somehow, I don't feel the magic I used to about letters. Maybe the internet has taken the thrill out of it. My E-mail box fills up everyday and I delete most of them without even a second glance. Getting a letter in the mail is still pretty special. Of course sometimes we call, but a letter is different. It required thought and preparation, and I can share it with others. It can last for many years and reveal the special message somebody sent me. 

Maybe it is still the best way to receive a message from a loved one who is far away.