Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rant from an Old Codger

from Falling Up by Shel Silverstein


Gee, my good ole paper book never told me that.

Oh yes, and “Engaging in repetitive motions such as pressing keys or playing some games may cause you to experience occasional discomfort in your hands, arms, shoulders, neck or other parts of your body.”

As you may surmise, I am reading through the User’s Guide for my Kindle. That device is all over the place, bringing up things I don’t want, not giving me things I do. My husband bought a book on it (not mine) and it is still wandering in the Netherlands.

Maybe it’s just that my Kindle doesn’t like me. Maybe it’s jealous that I am using a Nook. (My book Mother’s Letters, is now available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook.)

This is not a plug, it’s a rant. Am I becoming as old codger or what?! Maybe I need to give that Kindle Ho'oponopono, which is a Hawaiian healing process. They say the way to heal is to say, "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you."

Maybe I need to Ho'oponopono myself.

I had a thought the other day—I do have them occasionally. My grandson said that drawing wasn’t creative and that he didn’t do it well. I told him that no one does it well when they begin. And drawing is not creative? Hum.  I thought about the Minecraft (creative mode) that he loves so much. It has given him an enormous vocabulary. It has given him manual dexterity, and memory for details. It has given him the ability to create worlds, and go to the moon, but  IT IS SLICK.  (Caps mine.) It has great pictures all there, all available on screen. Pictures ready to be manipulated.

It’s messy when one begins to draw or to paint, even beginning to play an instrument is messy. The first time you blow into a flute, (or other wind instrument) nothing happens. No sound, no beautiful notes. Just a  “Phtt.”

At first strum a violin sounds like someone stepped on the cat's tail. And a piano sounds like someone is playing the garbage can. The first time you try to make a pencil line look like the thing before you, it comes out as thought a muddy-footed chicken stomped on your page. Oh does anyone use a pencil anymore? Even the fashion designers use a HP tablet.

Could be that I am becoming an old codger, but the world needs us to stand up sometimes and yell. “WHAT ARE YOU THINKIN?!”

Ray Bradbury said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Pirate's Battle?

After Walt Disney built the Pirates of the Caribbean he had all the workers ride the attraction and asked if they saw a way it could be improved.

The attraction was ready to open, and it took considerable time to have every worker take the ride, but Disney requested it.

One fellow said something was missing but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was. Disney told him to keep riding until he found it.  

 “Fireflies,” he said, “a bayou isn’t complete without fireflies.”

And so during your trip through a Louisiana Bayou preparing for the romping ride down a waterfall into a pirate’s battle, you see fireflies lighting the dusky darkness.

And so here, I’m asking, how could this blog be improved?

Keep riding you’ll find it.

What would you like to read about?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oh God, Please Give me a Sign

What’s the most ridiculous idea you can think of?

I’m trying, but my mind is oatmeal.

(I published this post on the 90 Day Millionaire Challenge blog, but decided to repeat it here.)

Pet Rocks—remember those? They came. They went. They made the owner 15 million dollars. It was fun and not so ridiculous.

Okay, I can’t think of anything so I will go into, “What do people want?”






A lesson on How to Get Rich

They might want a little companionship.

Some want a spiritual understanding.


If they have children, something to entertain them.

Advice to parents? Well, everyone has their own ideas, and who wants anyone to tell them how to raise their kids anyway.

Well, maybe they will listen to Dr. Phil.

Vampire books.

Horror stories.

Action films. Sports




How to be healthy.

How to get healthy.

How to have good eyesight, good hearing, and good bowel movements.

How to avoid the dreaded diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, strokes, Alzheimer’s, dementia.

A book on How to get Everything You Desire, would be nice, but who knows How-to do that?

I got too serious.

Remember gratitude rocks? The story is that an African man visited a friend in the US. When the African got home his son was quite ill. He worried and wrote to his American friend asking for help.  His friend in the US sent him a gratitude rock chosen especially for him. The African held the rock, gave thanks for the health of his son, and his son recovered. He wrote to his friend thanking him and asked for more rocks to sell to his friends.

I think I ought to follow suit and sell gratitude rocks.  One can always get their own gratitude rock, but if a rock is packaged well and comes with a quote as well as suggestions of something to be grateful for—so much the better. It doesn't always have to be the big things we are grateful for. We can be grateful for the tuna fish sandwich we had for lunch.

Rocks harvested from a mountain creek in Oregon would be imbibed with magical snow melt. I’m thinking of such a creek. Each day you could hold your rock and be grateful for one thing--or more. I would bless the rock, too, so you would remember to be grateful every day.

I’m excited about this. After awhile people could write about how the rock helped them, the miracles that happened, and I would happily post stories.

This is a test.

If I sell five rocks here, I will start a site and sell rocks.  Five rocks! This is a “God, please give me a sign,” exercise. 

The other day my daughter began writing “Give me a sign,” and her pen stopped in mid-sentence. “Was that my sign?” she said.

Let’s see, Rocks under two ounces would cost $2.00 to ship. That’s a small rock.

Packaging would be about 50 cents.

If I charged $3.50 I would make a buck.

I’m going to test this concept with my own rock and my own gratitudes. My rock, though, doesn’t count as one of the five.

What do you say?

Want to try it?

Hit the Buy it Now PayPal button that directly follows this post, and we will be on our way. (The button was there, then it wasn't there. I will try again.)

Ta Da. Here's to  miracles!

P.S. I won’t guarantee that the rock will be pretty. River rocks tend to look good under water, but when dry, not so pretty.

“Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise”—Tennessee Ernie Ford

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Happens When a Love Affair is Over?

You sit numb and think of the candle light dinners, nights on the beach, days swimming at the Sheraton, snorkeling at #Waikoloa Beach. You remember #Waimea’s rolling hills high above the sea blanketed with such incredible green sparklers of tears sprang to your eyes. You remember the horses of #Waimea and the ride you took, and the sign at the #Panilo stable: Wranglers, you are perfect. Don’t change a thing.

You remember swimming in the bath-tub warm water at the Ponds and the little fishes that nibbled at your feet. You gave a lot to that relationship. You were committed, and then one day you realized you didn’t love her anymore. It was time to leave.

Pele, that great goddess of the volcano, jerked us around that last day, but we did it. We made it off the island, and like the pioneers of old, we moved to California.

Fascinating isn’t it how thoughts roll in like surf against lava rock? Here I am a couple of years off the island and I still can’t help but envy the way a good storm gets everyone’s attention. The storms of Hawaii rolled up against our house and onto the shore of my memory. I remember the rain pouring off the roof and splashing into the funnel that ferried it into the water tank of our catchment system. 

We had been having drought conditions so water was a priority. The rains came at last, but we were losing half the water as it splashed out of the rain gutter into the funnel that was askew from its down pipe. That pipe carried the water underground and into the above ground storage tank. I wanted to catch every drop, so I climbed the ladder to straighten the catchment funnel. Warm water rained on me and splashed off the gutter wetting me comfortably to the skin.

Next I moved over to the second tank to make sure it was getting its fair share from the opposite side of the roof. The only trouble was my cell phone was in my bra, and it took the same dousing as I did. Its reaction? It refused to work.

Technology helper to the rescue. “Take the phone apart,” he said, “put it in a plastic bag along with some rice, and then leave it for twenty-four hours.”

The next day, we were good to go—or to talk. That phone worked perfectly until we moved to California where I bought a new one. Rather a shame after if served me so well.

So what happens when a love affair is over? 

Time to begin a new one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Look at the Magic

Okay, I’m awake. It’s 5 a.m. I decide do some editing on my Island book.  I go to my computer, and it’s like grand central station around here. The cats figure a closed door is an invitation to ask someone to open it. Zoom Zoom, traipses across my computer, purring, rubbing against me. For a skittery cat, he is affectionate when nobody else is around. Obi, Nina’s cat, tries to bury a piece of tissue paper on the floor. (He will try to bury my coffee too. He is the cleaner-upper around here.) Peaches, our poodle, wants out. Bear comes into the room, then he wants outside. Well, the sun’s up, and the animals have settled down. Time to pack Neil’s lunch.

Yesterday five-year-old Grandson was sticky so I convinced his to let me spray him off with our shower hose. Reluctantly he got into our tub, then decided that spray was pretty fun, and after he doused me with water, I closed the shower curtain, and was wiping up the floor.

“Ow,” I said.

From behind the curtain: “I’m sorry.”

“Oh, I bumped my head. You didn’t do it.”

“That makes sense,” he said, “Cause I’m not out there.”

On Monday, a good friend commented that if we are skeptically optimistic, the world is magic. And I decided to look at the magic, for I’m tired of reality.
So yesterday I tried to find a quote I remembered from Ray Bradbury. I thought it was this: “The world is a magic place or it should be if we don’t fall asleep on each other.” Maybe it’s his, maybe not, I can’t find it.  I took pleasure, though, in a memory of Bradbury. It was a warm night in San Diego. My husband was going to an Optic Conference. I almost didn’t accompany him as I had some wounds on my face I didn’t want to expose to the public, but they were small, and Ray Bradbury was the keynote speaker—that motivated me, scabs or not.
I don’t remember what he said, except that he always raised his audience to heights of stupendous expectations. Afterward I went up to him and instead of asking for an autograph, I asked to shake his hand. He said, “How about a hug, and gathered me into his arms in a big bear hug.” Gosh I wish some of his magic had rubbed off.
This is how I remember him.

And, what do you think of this? From the wisdom of Bradbury:

If you know how to read, you have a complete education about life, then you know how to vote within a democracy. But if you don’t know how to read, you don’t know how to decide. That’s the great thing about our country—we’re a democracy of readers, and we should keep it that way. –Ray Bradbury

I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves—you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.” 
 Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

“Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land? I loved to smell them when I was a boy. Lord, there were a lot of lovely books once, before we let them go.” 
Ray Bradbury

And here I am writing an eBook.

And finally, "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." --Ray Bradbury

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