Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Strengths and Weaknesses

What am I good at?
What can I do that most other people can or do not?
What is unique about me?
What is easy and natural for me to do?

What am I terrible at?
What do I hate to do?
What is the most comon trait I have?
What is difficult and frustrating for me to do?

I've been doing some self discovery lately. I have always been somewhat introverted, however I have recently felt the need to be good at something. To feel mastery of a skill is wonderful and I need to have that right now. My current job is not a satisying one because of political reasons and I want to do something better with the rest of my life than feeling defeated at the end of every workday.

So...what do I do well? I feel. I feel alot. I am a sensitive person and I think I feel things more deeply and more often than most people. Well, how can anyone make a living doing that?!? Sounds pretty silly. Certainly won't get rich off of emotions.

Of course, being rich is not what I require. I require a certain amount of money to live, however, financial wealth has never been of big importance to me. Spoiled as I am, I just want to do whatever it is that I want to do! For some people that might be excessive, however my desires are pretty simple really. I want to spend time with the people I love. I want to be able to enjoy this world with the people I love. So some travelling is involved.

Some of the things I like to do are - writing, sewing, crocheting, playing with animals, reading, watching movies, gardening, sanding wood ( taking the old skin off and seeing the new skin underneath).

One thing I do at work now that I think I do really well is listen. All the people who I work with like to tell me about their lives. And I listen. And I comment, relate, guide...I nurture. I love to nurture. Even in the career I have chosen (hospitality) I like to be nice to people; to accomodate them, to facilitate them. I like that alot. Most people respond well - and are kind to me in return. Occasionally though, I find a person or persons who will take advantage of that kindness and hurt me with it. So, it is not the safest of ways to be...but overall it is a good thing. I think people learn from me too. My example is contagious.

I think the biggest problem in our world, especially the United Sates, is that children are not nurtured by parents. People are not taught to be kind. Many children have no opportunity to experience feeling nurtured. It is a vicous cycle that will continue to grow if left unchallenged. It is a scary prospect; A world full of selfish unkind people.

I think I can use my strengths, help children and the United States by becoming a Foster Parent. My husband agrees. Since our children are grown we have 3 bedrooms unoccupied. We will be attending a Foster Care Orientation mid October. We will find out more about it. I think this is a good idea.

Monday, September 28, 2009

bathroom doors

I grew up in a household of mostly females and we hardly ever shut the bathroom door. With just one bathroom for six people, it was rare that anyone got to be in the bathroom by themselves, so the door was perpetually open. Everyone was accustomed to seeing everyone else in various stages of disrobe. My father was the most modest of us, we never saw him nude, however Dad in briefs was a natural thing in the morning.

A typical morning was Momma in front of the mirror curling her eyelashes, Dad shaving his face in the same mirror with Monique on the pot, me sitting on the side of the tub shaving my legs...and the two youngest sisters appearing in the doorway whining "I have to go!" while fidgeting back and forth holding their small hands close against their tummies. We were all in the various stages of morning dress; some in pajamas, some in underwear. Monique would finish and Hilda would take her turn. Of course the movement in small bathrooms was very tight. You could not help but brush against each other; a bump here and a jab there. "Excuse me, excuse me" was just part of the dawn chorus. We all accomodated each other, mostly we were polite, but there were the occasional grumpy outbursts; "You're using my toothbrush!" or "It's my turn!". On rare occasions you might be able to go pee alone, but if someone wanted to talk to you - it was not unusual to carry on a conversation with someone who was on the pot. A naked bum did not offend anyone and if it got smelly, a window was opened. An occasional remark about stink and a laugh or a snort and life went on. Everyone got to work and school on time; with clean and orderly bodies and faces. Daddy did, however; have a little spot of bloody toilet paper stuck somewhere on his face each morning; his sacrafice to the rest of us for the sake of the group.

I married into a family larger than my own - seven children vs four children - who also was accustomed to small houses with one bathroom. However the bathroom tone was far different than my own. Their 7 children was comprised of both girls and boys; with an age span of eleven years vs the seven year span in my own family. The mother was a modest woman; with no father in the premises. I cannot imagine very well how they accomplished their bathroom duties with the large number of people needing to occupy the toilet one at a time; Modesty was their highest value in bathroom protocol.


They say that a child is basically formed by the age of five years. All the basic personality, style and probably habits of that person are what they are by that age. Closing bathroom doors is one of those habits.


Edward and I, to this day, have a difference of opinion on closing bathroom doors. Edward cannot do his duty if the door is open and I will leave the door open if I am in a hurry, or - if I want to continue to carry on a conversation with him. He habitually comes and closes the door on me - with a wince and a comment on decency or modesty or stink... and I roll my eyes and forget what I was talking about.

My children have adopted Edward's modesty routine and I am the lone wolf in this area. Lone wolves do not last very long.

Several times my habit has caused me some embarassment. Just yesterday my brother in law Robert came over early in the morning while I was using the hall bathroom (with the door open) and called out "Hello!" I was able to push the door shut and flip on the light switch just in the nick of time. If Robert had seen me on the pot it would have embarassed him horribly! I would have felt somewhat awkward with of the delicate nature of the situation, but it certainly would not devaste me. However, if it had been someone else -Oh! it could be terribly uncomfortable. However, the situation did give Edward a good laugh and an ideal position for the "I told you so" lecture that evening.

At 52 years of age can I change my ways? I don't know - You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks. But if I remember the feeling of fear of embarassment, perhaps I will be better prepared in the future.

Of course - there is also a chance that I will become worse as I age. I can see it now. At the age of 80 I will be on the pot - with the door open while I carry on conversations with all the other old people in the home...and no one will think any the worse of me because they all do it too.

Ah well.

Ashes to ashes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Grandparent's Memorial

Last weekend Boyd and I travelled to Carmel to take part in a Memorial for my Grandparents. Grandpa died over 10 years ago and Grandma died last year. Neither one wanted a big fussy funeral and they both wanted to be cremated and the ashes poured into the ocean. They loved the California coast.

So my father and aunt and their spouses took some of their inheritance money and set aside a "Memorial Fund". The Memorial Fund paid for our weekend in Carmel. A large Villa was rented for the 18 of us to stay. It was large enough for everyone to have any alone time they might need - but mostly it was a party house; ample room with many nice features.

I had not seen my cousins, Barenda and Carrie, in many years. It was lovely to be able to enjoy them again. They had their spouses with them. ( Barenda and Matt * and * Carrie and Colin) Actually - one spouse and one spouse to be. Both couples look to be very good together...communicative and happy. Carrie had her daughter Micayla (age 12). She is a very precocious 12 year old. What a hoot! She was great. And she looks so much like a very young Elsie 'Grandma' Scherrey.

My youngest sister Jill came with her son Vincent (who will be 15 in November!) and her fiance John. Sigrid and Craig came and Gigi came. Reggi had business to attend to and could not make it. Aunt Karen, Uncle Owen, Maryann, Dad, Boyd and I...that makes 17 people. I was surprised to see John - and surprised to discover that he and Jill are engaged. Vincent was quietly puppyish - with a deep voice and surprising talents. He played the piano for us (with Micayla) and could converse on many subjects (for a 15 year old). Missing, because they were not included on the guest list, were most of the great grandchildren. My two - Andrew and Laura, Sigrid's two - Rhiannon and Kurt, Barenda's three - April, Kyle and his twin ( I am sorry to say I cannot remember his name). Half of these great grandchildren have spouses and some have children of their own ... so there are great great grandchildren! Grandma and Grandpa would have loved this gathering of family. I think they would miss the kids though.

Anyway ---
BBQ on first night, breakfast next day with eulogy time following. Daddy did a nice history of Tony and Elsie Scherrey. It was good. I hope to be able to write it all down to pass on. Then it was my turn. Yup. I had something to say. I thanked Grandma and Grandpa for being who they were and for sharing themselves with us - but mostly for being wonderful influences in my life. I cited examples and got everyone crying. Even Owen had a bit of a tear welling up. (And he is a tough cookie!) That led into a sharing time until it was time to leave for the boat in Monterey.

We carpooled over and found our way to the correct dock and boarded the small whale watching boat. The ocean was fairly calm and most everyone had ingested Dramamine an hour prior to boarding the boat. We drove for about 15 minutes to a place where the ashes were poured over the side. After that the boat drove in a circle around the ashes and each person threw a rose into the sea - on top of the ash. It was a quiet time. The sound of the boat motor was pretty much all we heard. A few words passed between folks, but it was mostly quiet till we got back on land. We went into a nearby restaurant had a beer and some calimari and chatted some more. After that we had to stop in the candy store and buy oodles of candy. Maryann made the candy lady's day! Probably the largest purchase of the day...fudge, peanut brittle, carmel corn, and of course - salt water taffy.

Back to the villa for an hour's nap and then out to dinner. Just south of Carmel to an old restaurant that hung off the cliffs over the water. It was built in '47 and had old style ways, decor, etc. There were many sea cliffs outside the that had been lit up. It was very impressive looking. We occupied 2 tables and it worked fine. Not so much alcohol tonight...I had a good piece of swordfish. I was struggling to keep my coughing at bay...drinking hot tea and not speaking very much. Unfortunatley this cough does not want to go away. It is quite annoying. After that - home and bed.

Next day - lite breakfast, pack, clean up and back on the road towards home.

It was a good time. It was a very appropriate memorial for them. They would have liked it better (as would I) had all the great grandchildren been there also. I do not think my father and Aunt realized how much time my kids spent with Grandma and Grandpa...and how much it meant to me. My relationship with my kids is very different than my father's relationship with me. So how could he understand? Nothing in life is ever perfect. And that's okay.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I should not forget to send birthday cards

I recently missed another birthday. My nephew Jim turned 15 and I did not send a card. That is not unusual for me nowadays. When I was newly married - and for the first 10 or 12 years I remembered all the birthdays and sent cards, made the phone calls, etc. As I became busier and the family grew larger I began to forget, send belated wishes...and eventually went to nothing...which is where I am now. It is not that I do not think about the people - I do. I think of Jimmy and how he must feel to become 15...nearly an adult in his eyes, I'm sure.

Part of it might be that I still have such a hard time believing that HE IS 15...Good grief! - He was just 4 last week! That means that time has passed and everything is older...including me. How did that happen?

So - yeah. I am selfish.

You know what? I am tired of being selfish.

On my deathbed what am I going to think about?
Work? Nope.
How clean the kitchen is? No way.
How old I am? Probably not.
How much I love everyone? Yup.
How I screwed up? Yup
Regrets? Um hmm.
What I would do if I had just 1 more year?
Most definitly

Perhaps living life as if you only have a year left would be a good thing to do. Sort of. I don't want to make us go broke with too much living - BUT within reason - I think that is a grand idea!

What IS important to me? People. My people especially. Loving them, showing them I love them, receiving love. Yup - I really like this idea.

What is the purpose of life? Many answers here, depending upon your philosophy, your spirit.
I recently overheard a conversation regarding this subject and it seems basically sound...even the scientists would approve. All life wants to make a copy of itself. Look at molecules, look at all living things. Always reproducing. Okay. So I made (with some help) my copies. My copies have grown into adults. Now perhaps my job turns to carrying on traditions, nurturing a community of family. Caring for my grandcopies eventually.

I used to think I wanted to do and be something grand and important in this life. And you know what? I did and I am. Small and unimportant in the world's eyes - is large in the human scheme of things. There really is not enough family love in these United States. Our families need to be nurtured. Children need to learn love - they need to learn to be decent and caring. Those things are taught. It is the basis of the whole world! Imagine if the war mongers had had loving different life might be. Yes, yes --- there is more to it than just a good Mommy, but I know it would not hurt and I think it would make life better.

This blog has evolved into something much more philosophical than I thought it would be. Wow.

So now I will send Jim a belated birthday card and make my apologies...
I will also update my calendar and get back to the important things in life. People.

"Live like you'll die tomorrow and dream like you'll live forever".
James Dean

Saturday, September 5, 2009

what color is your armor?

sometimes i think i should write stories out of my dreams.

last night i dreamed that everyone wore armor. Each person's armor was a different color. For instance my husband's armor was canary yellow - bright, attractive, happy, alive. my daughter's armor was orange - a combination of red and yellow...all of yellow plus a passion, a zeal, a zest. My son's armor was bright royal blue...true blue, brilliant and attractive, it reminded me a a deep lake.

my armor was a combination of all colors - an ugly no name color...a mish mosh of unidentifiable reflection of light. It was sort of brown, yet sort of purple and dark gray...mostly brown(ish).
Was I all colors because I am a little of all the colors? Or because I do not know what I am?

yellow, red, orange remind me of flowers, tropical birds, fruit; seasonal living things
blue and green remind me of the waterways and the grass and trees; seasonal, yet not as much change as the yellows, reds and oranges
white and black are good and evil - as in old stories - or maybe rather - truth vs non truth
seems most of the colors are really combo colors -
orange, purple, brown, gray, various shades of each color.

why armor?
protection, or perhaps a mask that protects you. Or maybe a type of banner...what you wish to represent, or simply reflecting who you really are on the inside.

this blog is a mish mosh of my thought. no art here. just a way for me to express thoughts. if anyone reads it - hope you have a wonderful life! hope your armor is both pretty and strong.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I wanna be...

well thought of
smart enough to not be stupid
smart enough to still have people like me
i want little children to like me
i want animals to like me
i want to be good at something
i want to like myself
i want to be comfortable in my skin
i want to be comfortable with my mind
i want to be and feel guilt free
i want to have integrity intact
empathetic - sometimes
i want to be so honest that all the lies cannot penetrate.
i want a persona that proves evil wrong, simply by standing.
i want to be an educator, mentor, helper, protector
A shepherd
I want to have a quick wit and matching voice
I want to be brave enough to stand up for myself and others who share my truth
Clean in body, mind, soul, spirit