I Stand Alone Yet Not Alone

I am one alone. I walk my mountain in solitude, even as the approach of autumn means my birds and such are beginning to leave. It is in this place I am safe. It is in this place I am one with all that surrounds me and know that although I stand alone, I am not alone.  As the cool air blows through the trees which are about to enter their slumber, the Earth beneath my feet seems to energize my inner being by letting me know that no one has carved into her and marred her any further here–yet.  Hopefully no one ever will.

The foxes aren’t here right now. They seem to be staying in their own domiciles as of late.  Once in a while I see a few stray birds up in the sky of blue. I feel a sadness at their departure, but  with joy knowing that they will return in the Spring.  All is a reminder that the circle continues and will not end–even when the day comes that my life is over.

I hope to be by the Ocean again one day and far away. We shall see what awaits me, that is for certain. Have a great day.

From the Top

What beauty this all has for me!

rainbow

 

Nana’s Chance Encounter with a Famous Person…*Smiles Here*

It was another day of busting chops at work…Pretty busy–12/30/12 to be exact…Not quite New Year’s Eve, but at least it wasn’t dreadfully cold, like it is supposed to be tomorrow…I worked a very long shift that day but just before sundown, a call came into the store that I answered…I looked at the name on the caller I.D. and I recognized it…I was thinking, “Yeah Right…Sure…Whatever.” and I answered it.  I answered the gentleman’s questions and then went on my merry way.

My co-worker Sylvia semi-recognized him too, and confused him with his deceased brother. I told her, “No that is his younger brother.”  THEN it clicked.  I’ll put the pic up here now and it sucks because it was from my cell phone.

corrected pic w Keith Carradine 2

Recognize him?  Some of you won’t, but I knew who he was right off the bat when he walked into the store.  40 minutes after that phone call, Keith Carradine came in.  We talked a bit, and he was very gracious! Gave us autographs and such, but the only thing we had for him to sign were the paper bags we put the beer quarts in for people! He smiled as he signed those!  I meet a lot of former NFL players, but I had never met an actor.  He was very kind and it was an honor to meet him.  He told us that he is going to be doing theater for a while in NY.  I hope he has a safe journey and all goes well for him!

I was embarrassed to admit when he asked that I had not seen “Cowboys and Aliens” yet, but I do watch “Dexter” from time to time and I saw him in a movie called, “In the Best of Families”, which is based on a true story.  Talking about “Dexter” completely slipped my mind, but Sylvia had me in stitches both before and after he left!  She was all “giddy”!    WELL, that ended my year on a high note, and I wish you all the best for 2013!  Have a great week everyone!

 

Nana and the Techno-Challenge…Man I Got an Awakening!

I love the fact that there is always new technology out there to make our lives easier but this post is directed at those on a budget.  I raised 3 sons and believe me, we did NOT keep up with the Jones‘s. I don’t believe in it. That being said, I decided to make a trip to Best Buy and check out some I Phones…I quickly figured out why some I Phone 3’s and 4’s are being resold too…The plans are not worth it.  There is no reason why a  family on a tight budget should be buying these things for a teenager.  Thank God, my boys are 30, 27 and 24.  Now I am going to go into one very good reason why parents should hold off on this.  The plans available (at least in TX) are NOT unlimited plans.  They use the same towers and such, but yet no plans are unlimited. Why is that? I can tell you…Pure greed.

If my boys were teens, I’d be telling them they’d have to have part-time jobs to pay their phone bills…IF a company does not offer unlimited talk, text and web–I would NEVER use them.  Teenagers do not need these things and I know that some parents are made to feel bad about hesitating to get these things.  This time of year it is the time when parents have the urge to want the best of everything for the kids, but here is my suggestion and I hope it helps. If you REALLY cannot afford the things, get the android ones.  Many companies offer unlimited plans and since there are no overage charges, you will sleep a lot easier.  If older teens persist in trying to get you to spend money on these expensive toys, then it’s perfectly fine to let them work a 20 hour a week job and make it clear that they MUST PAY THEIR OWN PHONE bill to keep the phone on.

A lot of the android phones will save you an average of $35 a month or more depending on the plan you do get and if it is a prepaid android phone, and these are good for first time users because it simply cuts off when the plan is expired or until it is renewed.  For what most teens use it for, these android phones are good enough because the cost of apps and games for the I Phones also run into money.

Personally, IF I were making plenty of money I wouldn’t mind having one but since I’m not running a business and such, I don’t see a need for most of the I Phone applications and since most teens watch videos, play on Facebook or use the game apps, I would suggest waiting on getting an I Phone and get them an android.  Teens tend to break a lot of stuff too, so get the extended warranties, insurance, etc…  Now if they come out with an unlimited plan, then I will consider it.  Even for Skype, I would rather use my laptop when I get it to where I can download on it. I just had a new hard drive installed and I’m being very particular on this issue.

I am sure the I Phone is a great one, but do I want to spend a fortune on one right now? No. I have bills that come first and if people out there are having a hard time at this time of year, the last thing anyone would need is another bill to look forward to that might not stay the same each month.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

And I hope you all have a wonderful time with family, friends, and/or loved ones. I’ll be at work and will go to Mom’s after or early in the a.m.

Here’s a laugh for ya!

Oh Come on! You knew this was coming! LOL Have a great one!

Fallen…Forgotten…

I was called Fallen.  I am the one you don’t see or hear.  I stood by you when you cried, and told you all would be well.  Yet you chose to simply let me fall.  I was crushed and broken, but you were no longer there. You built your own Utopia while I faithfully stood and waited.  Silently…Hoping for some sign that my fears had not come to pass.  Then the rain fell.  As each drop penetrated my being, I longed to be part of Mother Earth once again–to have that oneness with something again, for walking on this red road has become increasingly difficult.

At least if I am part of Mother Earth, at some point we will cross paths again and I will feel your warm presence–though you will not know mine for I will be supporting your footsteps as I always have. However, the Great Spirit has other plans for me.  I will one day leave this place behind, and the grief I have with it.  As the rain washes the tears from my fading tracks, you will come to look for me but I will be gone–as well as my tracks.  And when you seek the Great Spirit to return me to you, you will find that he has sent me to where I am truly needed…

And at that point I will no longer be fallen or forgotten. I will be appreciated, needed and loved.  I have a purpose yet to fulfill in this life and will not let you drive me to such depths of despair again–let alone distract me from what I must do ever again.  Farewell, for soon you will be fallen and forgotten as my purpose on this road unfolds before me.  Even now you seek me, but I am not to be found…Please do not ask  about me or for me again. I will no longer answer for the ship I am going to leave on is waiting. I shall not look back because I have now risen.  Of the two of us, I shall now fly to my new sanctuary. Peace.

My Sanctuary

For Students: SCHOOL is in session…Oh My God! Don’t Panic! Writing is not THAT Hard!

While some are already in school again, some of you had to go to summer school or had to simply pass the bloody state testing…I realize I go a little deeper into a lot of different things here, but if you can grasp this, you can write stories that will have your teacher going crazy–so be careful not to spend too much time on death and destruction like 3 of you that emailed me did!   Most of you that I talked to can put a sentence together…The art you have to figure out is how to put 5 of those sentences in a sequential order that will enable you to pass the essay part.  Of the 8 of you that emailed me last week, 7 of you can write coherent sentences and paragraphs. However you had your paragraphs out of sequence.  I am going to give you and example of what I am talking about before go any further into this character thing…

Let’s start with this one:  “I like Thanksgiving.”   Okay…There is your first sentence and they want 4 more to follow…So here goes an example:

“…I like Thanksgiving a lot.  During Thanksgiving I get to go to my grandmother’s house and visit my family.  I also get to enjoy a turkey dinner and all kinds of desserts my aunts make for the family!  I also get to play my guitar and sing for my grandfather who really loves music, but cannot play anymore.  It is a holiday for which I am grateful that I get one more day to be with the ones that I love the most!…”

There…Did you notice how I did this?  It covers your 5 W’s in that darned book too.  Now…That is your INTRODUCTION…Next is the other paragraphs, right? Check this out.

“…I like going to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving because it is big enough to hold all the relatives that show up, and there is plenty of room at her table for us all to sit.  Grandpa sits at the head of the table, and we take turns helping him to get  to it since he is not used to moving around in his new wheelchair.  When he’s there we all eat until we’re stuffed and then we all just want to take a nap so we go to sleep on whatever beds we find!  Grandpa goes back into the living room and watches T.V. with my mom and Grandma…”

See what happened there?  The reader knows what happens just before, during and after dinner.  Now let’s go further…

“…I woke up at 3:3o and sang a song I wrote just for Grandpa.  As I was strumming the guitar and getting to the last verse, I looked up and saw a tear rolling down his cheek and he was smiling.  He has been sick for about three months, but he always makes time for me.   We could have lost him earlier this year, so I am so grateful that we had this time together.  I hope to have many more of them because my Grandfather has been a very important part of my life!…”

Do you see what happened there?  It became less about the food and the holiday  and more about the love this child has for his/her grandfather, right?  THAT is what those test graders love to see!  That last paragraph can also be used as a great closing, can’t it?    You should practice writing ONE sentence about something important to you every day and practice building on it in a journal.  It does help!

NOW FOR THE OTHER STUFF that 3 other people asked me about:

‎”Even in the most oppressive of regimes, the spirit of no man can ever be caged…Just as the mustang roams this valley, man has to go freely where his spirit directs or he becomes a slave to his own shadow, which repeats lies to him constantly about how past errors are his own fault …”  Prelude to Awakening –Ch  1

This is the opening lines of a book I am working on.  My characters are slowly evolving, but I will use a profiling method to make sure the fit is right for the rest of the stuff I’m putting into it.  Yes, you read it correctly…I’m profiling…To profile a character, you literally have to create a ‘life” for them.  Who are they?  Where were they born?  What about family, IF they have one?  What do they like to listen to music-wise? Food?  Pets?  If they are evil, why did they become corrupted?  Were they abandoned, abused, or just hardened to the core?  Childhood memories–build them for your characters. It does help…YOU LITERALLY create an identity from scratch and make it real enough that even if you don’t  specify–let’s say–that they hate liver, it will come out in the story in another way.

Question one:  Could this person really exist?  If you need to ask that, watch “Stranger than Fiction“.  THAT will blow your mind.  Your character’s  profiles should be so believable that a stranger would think you were speaking of a real  people if they saw your notes lying about.  God help you if you are a student and it is your mother (who cleans up your room because YOU never do)  that finds a particular passage that mentions how a fictional character likes to sunbathe nude, but your mom actually thinks you’re writing about the minister’s wife two doors down because of everything else you’ve got thrown in there!   If you are writing something based on ANYONE around you and you are still attending school, I only have three words to share until it’s finished and someone you know you can trust reads it for you:  “Hide that crap!”  I didn’t and ended up in the counselor’s office at least 3 times a month all through High School.  This is especially true to you young men and women who love to write rap songs. God knows what they’ll think–especially if you live below the 36th parallel.

Just remember one thing when you are putting your heart and soul into anything you write:  “…Every moment that arrives you’re the greatest thing alive…” and it might get you through the day…Thank Duran Duran for that song “All You Need is Now”.  Give it a listen.  It’s about NOT giving up…If you’re ready to toss your manuscript or your paper, essay, etc…Then you do need to give this song a shot!  If you are writing for your own enjoyment, it’s even better because you don’t feel pressured to come up with the wording all the time–eventually, it will flow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvqnJ8AGhFg&ob=av2n

Missing Grannie…Especially at Easter…

Well, the family is all mixed up about tearing down my grandmother’s house.  I think it can be lived in, but nobody seems to want to take the time to give it some TLC.  I was quick to remind my son, who in his youthful haste said that it does need to be torn down, that it is hard to fathom that when so many little feet trotted across the white and gold linoleum floor of her living room over the decades–including mine and his.

My Grannie made us all go to church with her.  I didn’t like that stand, sit, stand, pray, sit, stand ritual–especially with long songs between stages.  The preaching did not bother me though.  The preacher we had would weave stories that kept us thinking and reflecting.  We did not get bored and fall asleep with him.  Grannie told stories about her youth also.  My sons were blessed to hear some of her stories also.  She told us all many stories of her childhood–and it is my youngest son, Kevin, who seems to have the memory of an elephant because he retells them once in a while–as does Brian and Eric.  Now my mother is sharing hers with us–along with Grannie’s so I guess you can say we have a rich oral history being handed down.

I can remember times when over 30 people would show up for Easter Sunday Dinner.  The smell of chocolate pies and her porcupine meatballs seemed to be luring the horde of relatives in from places unknown on that day of the year.  She served different types of food, and would often have worked on the meal since pre-dawn.  She would have a huge pan of meatballs, and later would have an even bigger pan of chicken and dressing.  I loved potato salad and deviled eggs…There was always homemade macaroni and cheese–until Kraft came out with a good, convenient alternative.  As usual, I could help get things and lick the bowl and/or the spoon!

Once the horde arrived, the adults ate in the dining room (in shifts–taking turns) while the kids were in the living room.  Grannie would often wait on everyone until the last person ate, and then she would sit down with her red, white and blue goblet full of iced tea and a plate.  Once she did that, everyone helped themselves, unless one of my aunts decided to do that to  keep traffic down in her tiny kitchen.

I remember when she painted the floor of the kitchen.  It is dark green with yellow.  Looking at it now, it is so hard to fathom how so many people could get through it to get to the dining room because it is tiny.   I remember sleeping through many a Texas thunderstorm on her bed.  The sound of the rain on the tin roof made it so relaxing to me.  There are times I wish that I could go back to those days–especially when my Grandpa Ainsworth was still among us.

Often I couldn’t reach the eggs hidden in trees higher than I could reach so he would lift me up to get them.  We would sit by the truck and eat a couple of eggs before the hunt was over and headed back to the house.   By four o’clock, people were eating again–if  not still napping!   All of us (the kids) rode in the back of the pickup truck.  There were no laws against it then, and depending on how the driver is behaving, you will not find a lot of policemen in that area saying much about it now because that might be the only vehicle a family of six owns in many places.  It is their sole mode of transportation and their work-truck 9 times out of 10.

Sometimes we’d stop at Mann’s Grocery to get a soda.  Then we’d get turned loose out in the yard, and sometimes we’d make ourselves sick eating so many mulberries or green plums off of the trees from my other grandmother’s house across the street.  Yes, some of the kids liked the green plums.  Not me…Now the grapes were another story.  I would really chow down on those–and ruin my supper every time, but Grannie didn’t say much because it was fruit and not the candy bars…Besides, after running off all that energy, we’d eat again in about an hour anyway.  My oldest brother would have dinner at Grannie’s–and then go across the street to my other grandmother’s house and eat again! Where the heck he put all that is beyond me to this day!

I found some pictures of myself from when I was little that I will share one day when I can scan them.  I was wearing dresses my mother and Grannie had made for me for school.   I often wonder what happened to that little girl in those pictures.  I also wonder if there are porcupine meatballs in Heaven…If there are, I’ll beat my brothers to her door when I get there~!

I miss her right now and no one will ever be able to fill her shoes or the void that her being gone has left in my life.  I cherish those memories.  Make sure you keep record of those for your families too–whatever your faith may be or whatever special days you have together.  You only have them once.  I hope you all had a blessed day and will have many more to follow.

Peace Beyond the Cage–and Thank God It’s FRIDAY!!!

“Peace is not the absence of conflict.  It comes from the ability to cope with that conflict.”–From “The Wind is  My Mother” by Bear Heart

I don’t understand how it can be that some people seem to have this “shiny-happy-people” existence while others seem to muddle through life via one cage after another–some of them of others’ making and some of them of their own making.  

If I take a good look at Bear Heart’s comment above, it makes me come to one of those “apocalyptic epiphanies” that nobody has the “shiny-happy-people” life unless they are on some serious anti-depression medication or are just pretty damned lucky.  Then you’ve got people (like yours truly) who have somewhat of a mixture–kicking down the bars to each cell I get thrown into one bar at a time.

Every moment of my life has had conflict in it.  I’ll take it in literary terms here…Most often in my cell (about which I will one day finish writing a novel) I had to endure man vs. man, man vs. self and man vs. environment.  I’ve had to fend off bullies, deal with five stepmothers that I know of–(I stopped keeping track of Dad’s nuptials when I was 18).  I’ve had to deal with arctic blizzards with kids in tow, man vs. society–because there is no such damned thing as “normal” because that word gets redefined every 20 years or so.

It’s bad enough that all results of Historical significance can be boiled down to 4G’s–and I don’t mean money or drugs…I mean THE 4 G’s:  God, Greed, Gold and Gold-Diggers…Stop and think about this for a second…WHY did the Spaniards listen to Dona Maria and kill off whole ethnic groups of people?  Get it yet?  Then under “greed” there is a lust for power.  Hitler and Stalin had it.  Mussolini had it, Chairman Mao had it, Kim Jong Il DOES have it and so does Iran’s leader.

Has anyone on here sat and REALLY read “The Communist Manifesto“?  IF one did, then he/she knows communism can never truly work because Marxism in its PUREST form sounds more like living in a hippie commune.  It looks good on paper but got bastardized by those who wanted to use that writing for their own gain in much the same fashion that the Bible was used in trying to justify “The Crusades“.  However one can easily decipher why pure communism (under Marx’s ideal–which no communist nation follows) will not work:  It is because it is designed around an idea that humanity does not have the inherent traits of greed and lust for power.  As long as anyone remains that could cause conflict over greed and power, it can NEVER truly work for a sustainable time.  It is those at the top of the food chain that will ultimately bring it down. Why?  Because everybody wants to rule the world!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST86JM1RPl0

There is one thing people can do to help bring about peace in our world and it starts by finding inner peace.  How can one be at peace at the world when one is not happy with his/her own life?  It’s simple.  Accept things you have absolutely no control over and look for ways to find a positive in a negative situation.   Let the rest of the world pursue whatever they want of the “4G’s” but be content with what you have.  There are people worse off than we are.  IF you don’t believe that today, then turn on the news channel and look at Japan.

Ultimately we have NO control over tomorrow until it arrives, and we have no control over yesterday so the here and now is what we have to work on.  We need to get rid of some of the things we were programmed into being.  I know of a song called “Ain’t That Unusual” by the Goo Goo Dolls.  One particular line strikes a chord with me:  “…All we are is what we’re told and most of that’s been lies…”   Why would that be true?  It is true when we’ve let other people dictate our lives for us instead of choosing our own way–and in order to be out of that cage, we have to forge our own path in life.  No one can live our lives for us. Trust me…If they could, I’d let them have mine–bad credit rating and all…I’m sure there aren’t many who will disagree with that one either!

A sense of humor is also key.  Many people seem to let themselves be weighed down about circumstances not realizing that most of the minor circumstances that tick us all off are things we should by laughing hysterically about.   Why?  They too shall pass.  Now if one is an intellectual, or a pseudo-intellectual, then this is a song that might just cheer you up a bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_WRFJwGsbY

After all, I don’t know many people who the Monty Python cast can’t crack up!  And for those who celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in an intellectual light, I am sure that it will make you forget life’s circumstances–at least for a little while.  Anyway today of all days should be one during which we all bust out of the cage for a bit and let our hair down long enough to have a good time–especially since it is Friday!  We can worry about the plight of humanity into oblivion on another day!

And for those of you who will party and partake of the dram tonight, this is what you’ll be singing in the morning!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oUr19aVUCU

Can you tell I watch Star Trek?  LOL!  I hope you had a great St. Patrick’s Day, folks! I just kicked down another bar in the cell! I hope you have a smile on your faces now!  I know I do! I’m going to enjoy another evening out under the moon tonight!  The weather is great, the breeze is warm and I simply cannot wait to get back to my mountain next week!

What a beautiful sight tonight!