White Shirt or Blue Sweater

Choices and the decisions they become
I like choices…for the most part. It is scary to think of life without them because that would mean a straight line with no curves or angles.

Variation start at birth when we are given the option of accepting milk and schmoozing with the giver or rejecting it and continue squalling. And it grows from there. Think about how many decisions you made each day–white shirt or blue sweater, stay in school or drop out, Taco Bell or Pizza Hut, marry de bum or take off on your own.

The process continues through old age which brings on some new ones. Downsize my living style? Life support or let go? At the end we often are back where we started with someone asking if we want a sip of water or another blanket.

Thank goodness
Past actions take care of a lot of the mundane everyday questions.Key Wet June 22, 23, 2015 734 I like coffee; I don’t like tea; coffee on the shelf ready to make whenever I want it. The white shirt, blue sweater gets more attention and opening your closet is revealing: loves to shop, extra money to spend, needs a boost to self-esteem, varied life style,
or  your choice really is white or blue.

For some, even the smallest decisions take a nerve-racking amount of time. We think each commitment needs to be perfect, we don’t want to get anything wrong, we are concerned about other people’s opinion of us. Instead, make sure it is your decision, made for yourself, not someone else.

“Just do it.”
Because if you have thought about all options, wild through practical, tested how you feel–queasy versus brisk nod of the head–then yes, just do it.  Not all are going to be right.  President Obama, agreeing with Bush, says, “Any given decision you make you’ll wind up with a 30 to 40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work. You have to own that and feel comfortable with the way you made the decision. You can’t be paralyzed by the fact that it might not work out.”

Thought by some to be a flighty grey-headed albatross where my life decisions are concerned, I disagree. I love writing down all the possible pros and cons and studying them. Being a realist I try to be honest with myself so I am at peace with a decision. The problem comes when I compare my life decisions to those of friends and family. Beside them I can look a little flighty!!

So I might look my options over at this point and make the decision to  …accept myself as I am and carpe diem!

There are plenty of internet articles on decision making and choices. Here are two:

Finish This Proverb

I stole this directly from Janis Ian’s post on Facebook. What insight indeedIMG_3113!!

A 1st grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb… It’s hard to believe these were actually done by first graders.. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are 6-year-old first-graders, because the last one is a classic!

Don’t change horses
until they stop running.
Strike while the
bug is close.
It’s always darkest before
Daylight Saving Time.
Never underestimate the power of
You can lead a horse to water but
Don’t bite the hand that
looks dirty.
No news is
A miss is as good as a
You can’t teach an old dog new
If you lie down with dogs, you’ll
stink in the morning.
Love all, trust
The pen is mightier than the
An idle mind is
the best way to relax.
Where there’s smoke there’s
Happy the bride who
gets all the presents.
A penny saved is
not much.
Two’s company, three’s
the Musketeers.
Don’t put off till tomorrow what
you put on to go to bed.
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and
You have to blow your nose.
There are none so blind as
Stevie Wonder.
Children should be seen and not
spanked or grounded.
If at first you don’t succeed
get new batteries.
You get out of something only what you
See in the picture on the box
When the blind lead the blind
get out of the way.
A bird in the hand
is going to poop on you.
Better late than

My September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001 I was in the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, Africa, on a safari with two friends.  The following are abbreviated notes from my journal starting that day. Note: Kenya time is 8 hours ahead of the U.S.img098

Tuesday: Up at 5 a.m. for the balloon ride. Stars still covered the sky. Passed herds of zebra; striped mongoose ran across the road in front of us. Rode in the balloon with a group of Japanese girls who were a hoot. Twiga was the name of the balloon. Easy set down and then the champagne breakfast.

We left immediately for a game drive which produced cheetah with four cubs, hippo, crocodile, several lions, thundering gnu, wet warthogs, elephant, etc. Out 9-1/2 hours total, no swim time today.

Wednesday: Game drive, breakfast, re-pack, trying to figure out why Jennifer’s camera isn’t working. I’m ruining a bunch of film.  Need to call Irene to talk about a different plan since we can’t ride the train to Mombasa.

Phone service spotty. Didn’t connect until the evening.  She said there was news but she wasn’t sure whether or not to give it to me.  I asked if it concerned any of our families and she said no. I told her to go ahead and she said that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center, that no one knew for sure what was going on , but that all air travel in the U.S. was stopped.

To this day I have never fully realized the shock the terrorist attack caused America. It was the next morning before we had access to one newspaper which a driver brought from Nairobi. It passed from table to table at breakfast.

No television, no radio. No way to leave the country.

It is difficult to express how remote it does seem, even after reading the headlines it is very removed. I can’t imagine what the U.S. did without airplane traffic for 24 hours? or more? one article in the paper said the attack was second only to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

So we continued with our trip as planned.

Flight  to Mombasa about two hours.  Cloud coverage so that we didn’t see Kilimanjaro. Mombasa is dirtier and poorer looking than Nairobi, at least what we saw. Staying at The Voyager,  an all inclusive resort with 4 swimming pools, 3 restaurants, book store, free liquor.  Also have a tv room. Terry went down to watch some news. I couldn’t do it.

Up at 5:45 a.m. for coffee and toast before getting on the minibus to go down to the south coast to Kisite Marine Park. Going out on a motorized dhow to snorkel with dolphins.

img097On the ferry ride out of Mombasa the headlines of our driver’s newspaper said as many as 11,000 dead. He expressed sympathy for what had happened. Many have when they find out we are Americans.

Still difficult to take in. We are driving through the coastal countryside with palm trees on bumpy roads, stopping to let very newly hatched baby chickens cross the road.  Maybe my psyche is keeping the news at bay since there is nothing I can do about it.

There were no problems in leaving Kenya by the time our safari was over. Security much tighter in every airport, but on-time departures everywhere. My son, Stephen, met us at the Atlanta Airport.

September 18 I am back in the office, just two minutes late in clocking in–could have been on time but forgot to find location of car keys before Amy left and the front door screen fell out as I opened the door.

I have been spilling out about the trip and in return listening to accounts of what everyone has been through trying to grapple with the events–anger, depression, disbelief, fear.  

While on the internet I came across an article on refocusing life priorities, something people think of after such a disaster as the attacks of September 11. 

In the closing paragraph the author asks if we were to die suddenly, violently, what else would we wish we had done with our lives. “Maybe we would wish that we had enriched our lives by simply choosing, as often as possible, to pay attention to the fact that we are living it: to how great a hot cup of coffee really is to the way a child’s smile suddenly lights up her face to the incredible taste of summer’s last tomatoes. Pay attention. I think I can do that.” M.P. Dunleavey


Those were the days

~Does anyone else miss having to sign your name on a library card to check a book out? Without that guide I find myself checking out the same ones and discovering the fact about five pages in. And it is worse with the books on tape  and a mystery for a road trip alone, only to remember who done it at the opening lines.

Making It Last

~An article about a 75 year marriage gave five reasons why the couple felt it had lasted: 1. Love and respect                                                                                                                         2. Sense of humor                                                                                                                               3. Value each other, not possessions                                                                                             4. Forgive and forget.                                                                                                                      5. Never go to bed angry.

I think this is good solid advice although #5 seems nigh onto impossible to me–bad day at work, cranky kids, worries about the bills, no one appreciates me, dog bit postman, why can’t I get any help. There is a lot to deal with at evening time, and I admit I failed this one more than once. Looking at this list, if you just count backwards on the steps it works out o.k.  Just hard to do.

For those who remember Art Linkletter

~Stephen Moore’s remembering Art Linkletter appeared in the Wall Street Journal in the May 29-30, 2010 issue.  He recalled one of Mr. Linkletter’s favorite stories from “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” This was the conversation after a 7-year boy told him that his dog had died. “Don’t be sad because your dog is up in heaven with God.” The boy responded, “Mr. Linkletter, what would God want with a dead dog?”

~Did you see any June bugs in June?

Vol Scholar

~Theotis Robinson, retired from UT and former Knoxville City Council member, wrote a column in the News-Sentinel about a program at the University of Tennessee, the “Vol Scholar.” A Vol Scholar is a UT athlete who maintains a 3.0 grade point average. When you see them in action you can tell the Scholars by a torch patch on the uniform. The present football coach, Butch Jones, is helping promote the program; participants rose from the teens to the fifties with his interest. That is the most positive college sport news I have heard in ages. GO BIG ORANGE!!

Remembers what it was like

~Love people who walk the walk! Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spoke recently to college students about getting a mentor. He says, “Find a mentor who will tell you the truth, but not the answer,” and to accept advice they need”…. to leave your ego at the door.” Cash still consults with the mentors who helped him. I admire someone who remembers how difficult it is for a young person to ask for help. He did it anyway and now takes time to tell others they can too.

WHAT is it then??

One of the minuses to aging are the changes to my body. I’m talking beyond the sagging neck skin, age spots by the dozen and face wrinkles whether you frown or smile. Bumps and tiny growths all over the place; some here for a short time, others settle in for the long haul. Joints now crackle, snap and pop if I don’t do warm ups before reaching for a coffee cup.

Full Blown Panic

Then there are the mood swings which keep a steady calendar beat, even though my friends say my ovaries dried up a long time ago. What if I am unusual and my hormone level is high and I keep feeling angry or sad just like during “that time of the month ” forever? And I know I am not alone in having zits and hot flashes.

On a visit to the doctor for other reasons I mentioned my theory of high hormone levels destroying my life. Taking a blood sample he quickly deflated my attempt to diagnose myself. Hormone level showed as postmenopausal. So WHAT is it then?? What is it and all the other minute changes coming at me?  Isn’t there something the medical profession can do for me?

Get A Grip

Deep breaths. It is what it is. Hakuna matata. Go with the flow. That hit home today when I took my dog, Spunky, to the vet to talk about his itchy ears, lumps and anxiety. After a very thorough exam she concluded: no ear mites (just a little dirty), probably fatty tumors (keep an eye on them) and from my description of his anxiety it sounded like pretty normal behavior to her. I think I did a little transferring there.

So my answer is in the first sentence of today’s blog  Aging—which we conclude to be better than today’s alternative. Keep vigilante but never, never forget to carpe diem.

Key Wet June 22, 23, 2015 313