Monday, April 24, 2017

These Days In Photos

Sunday Walk 3.5M Over 10,000 steps 

Purple, Green, In between

Caught in mid transition 

Beginning of scenic route home

Sky Over Brown Line Rails 

Oh look, Hostas! 

In a week, there will be green



For weeks now, I have snapped at minimum a photo a day to not only document the day but also to train observational skills. And for inspire. And to train task discipline. And to stop and see the beauty of a day.
Welcome to Monday  

More. More. More.


Monday, April 17, 2017

That Day in September

Do you remember? That day, that crisp, bright day last September? You were wearing that Carolina blue sweatshirt as if you were daring the sky to out blue that shirt. I recall asking why you were wearing such a heavy shirt, it wasn't that cold. Your reply was something like, loving it so and feeling so grand in it. 

Do you remember that crisp, bright day last September? You were in the park feeding the ducks, or geese, or whatever the hell those birds were. As you are now aware, I am no fan of birds, but on that day, I faced my fear to be closer to you for you were intent on feeding those birds. Enticed by the pellets in your hand, entranced by the swell of your heart; we laugh about it now, my desire to be one of those birds that day. 

Do you remember what we talked about that crisp, bright day last September while you were enticing birds to eat pellets from your hand? Do you remember the ease of the conversational flow? How we seemed to predict what the other would say? Do you remember saying in the midst of all the words, those three words? 

Do you remember me saying them back? 

Do you remember running out of pellets, the birds skittering off to find another benefactor, the day growing cooler, the companionable silence sitting between us on that bench? Do you remember offering me that Carolina blue sweatshirt to wear for the short walk to my apartment, entranced by the sight of me pulling it over my head?

Do you remember talking about that crisp, bright day last September many weeks later, remembering it fondly as the day when . . . 

                                                   
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Monday, April 10, 2017

Out of the Weeds, Into the Clouds

See Those Buds 

Have you ever had one of those days where your work production suffered because all you could think about is what you wanted or needed to do when you got home? And once home, you couldn't get much of any of those things done because your mind wandered back to what you didn't accomplish at work and how that now will impact the next working day?

Well, welcome to my week. Every day. Every. Single. Day. last week I struggled to get out of the apartment in a timely manner that would guarantee an on-time work arrival; so mired in listing, planning, studying, arranging the work and home agendas. There was a work list. There was a home list.

Each carefully crafted to achieve maximum efficiency and success.

Somewhere in the mix, the lists conspired to become a muddled mess of: STUFF TO GET DONE which ultimately led to my scrambling, muddling, meandering, tick-tocking instead of humming right along.

Ouch.  It was a long, topsy-turvy kind of week.

But, it is a new Monday. A new week. A new . . . attitude, if you will. Oh, I still have lists as there are still goals to achieve, tasks to clear. But something will change. I haven't quite mustered out what shape this change will take, how IT will manifest. But I have every confidence this week will be better.

Yo, you buying any of that?

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Monday, April 03, 2017

April Third Check on April


Disclosure: I am not following April the giraffe, but many are. 

Baseball season has started. Sorta. Opening Day for the White Sox was post-poned until Tuesday.  Rain. 
Rain. And more Rain. 

I have not turned on any external sound and until daughter walked in a few minutes ago, nothing 
but the sound of upstairs neighbors clanging about; their dog barking, their baby crying, my dog making whatever sound she makes, and the cat's meowing. 

That (not turning on music, news, TV external sound) might not seem like a big deal to some but for me? HUGE. But, I'm trying this new thing, you may have heard of it, sitting in silence. Well, relative silence. Upstairs neighbors and pets aside. 

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? The actor (my son) was a performance poet first. He began in his second year of high school, charter member of the the school's Spoken Word Club. He doesn't write poetry much anymore and hasn't been to an open mic (as a performer) in years but he is still quite poetic in his thinking. 


Every now an again a stranger leads with an act of kindness and literally stuns me into silence. 
Such a thing happened today. To the lady who offered me her pink umbrella for my walk to the bus stop, THANK YOU. 



Welcome to Monday. Go HERE form more MBM! 



  


Monday, March 27, 2017

WWW DOT COM

The HUGE Ferris Wheel @ Navy Pier

Monday thru Friday from about 8:45 (most of the time) until 5:10 or so I am unplugged from all social media. Sure, I'm online as most of the medical billing functionality as well as my work station telephone is internet based, but my internet activity is pretty much limited.

To be fully in compliance with HIPAA we are not allowed to have our personal phones (or other mobile devices) at our workstations (let alone.have them on) and we are not to access our personal emails or other sites while any of the medical billing pages are up. Actually, we are only to do those things during a lunch or other break time. We are allowed to access streaming radio like iHeart, Spotify, or Pandora which most do (we are allowed to have one ear plugged) as the office music selection of the day is not to the taste of the room at-large.

So, Monday thru Friday from about 8:45 am (most of the time) until 5:10 pm I have absolutely no idea what has gone on with my FB, Instagram, or Twitter feeds. And for the most part, I don't really care, wouldn't do me much good since I can't access them. I suppose I could take my phone to BK (or some other nearby spot) to surf or take WWF turns but I don't.

That isn't to say that I don't spend a good portion of the very long commuting time (about 90 minutes including waiting) scrolling through FB and Instagram, taking WWF (Words With Friends) turns, and reading blog posts. I try not to comment (sometimes I can't help it) because the bus jostling adds a bit of intrigue to tapping out coherency. . 

Given the limitations I don't have a lot of time focused on or to be dedicated to Internet / social media sites for pure leisure. When I first got on-line oh so many years ago, I emailed and surfed the WWW. Surfing various topics (most having to do with lesbianism--as I wasn't "out" yet) led to a community of bloggers and eventually to my own blogging.

While I do have Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr accounts I do not actively participate in any of those platforms. Tumblr asks every year if I'd like to keep my Tumblr name and I always reply, "yes" even as I have no intention to Tumbl(r).  My leisure time Internet usage is FB, Instagram, Blogging, and to a very small degree, YouTube. (I shop on line but that is not a leisure activity). 

A blogging (and FB) buddy talked about YouTube channels and the number of subscriptions she has. I had to admit, yes, I YouTube but had no idea how many channels I had over the years clicked, "subscribe". After reading her post I discovered that number was 26. I spent a few minutes un-subscribing and so now the number is: 19.   

I have to admit, YouTube has not been my "go to" internet place for some time now. Their pay-to-play platform and more recent acts played a role in my staying (mostly) away. My most recent upload was 3 years ago.   My YouTubing usually happens as result of a video being posted on another platform, usually FB or embedded in a blog.

My fellow blogger's post got me thinking not only about my YouTube subscriptions but about my overall Internet activity and how I might re-dedicate my leisure time Internet usage or even if I may (or should) re-dedicate more leisure time off-line.

I didn't realize this was even on my mind until I read her post on my way home from work today. 

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Monday, March 20, 2017

This and That


We had snow last week. Not like other places, but enough. 

I hope the snow is over, but this is the Midwest, anything is possible

The madness that is March (i.e. college basketball) is in full swing. 

And I have no idea who is where. Well, except for UConn. 
(UConn women, I am sure you knew that.) 

Why do people reach out, start a dialog and then just stop? 

Click here for tidbits about the name Deborah. 

According to family lore my name was nearly Clementine. 

Ryerson, Morse, Beidler, Ryder, Dvorak, Suder, and Skinner are the names of the elementary schools I attended.  

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Step To It

4,886
4,886

4,886

4,886 multiplied by three total 14,658. 
Which is the total number of steps taken on the Sunday. 

I joined a new group and the outing (stroll near one of the north side beaches) was my first event. The goal is to manage at least two such events a month. Of course, there must be other such events on my own. The idea is that joining the group will help motivate movement outside of the group events. 

Beginning. Again. 



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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

One March On


Ruby Bridges is 62 years old. Fifty-seven years ago she was the first Black student to attend Franz Elementary school in New Orleans, LA after the federal government forced Louisiana to comply with the landmark, Brown vs. the Board of Education Supreme Court ruling leading to the desegregation of the nation's public school system.

For over a  year, she was the only student as all the white families pulled their kids out. The teachers refused to teacher to teach her, save one: Barbara Henry, a Boston native. Ms. Henry taught Ruby as though there were a room full of Rubys. 

♥  ♥ ♥ ♥

I mention it here because one: I will celebrate my 57th birthday in a few months. Two: Women's History. Black(s) in America history IS  AMERICAN
history. Three: I have been thinking about my school experiences as well as been in conversations with my son and daughter about experiences during their school years.
Four: Fifty-seven years ago Ruby was the first Black child to attend all-white Franz Elementary.

" . . . one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."    



#post 1,000.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Remembrance and Loss


"When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it. you just slowly learn how to go on without them. But always keeping them tucked safely in your heart."   I don't remember where I read this quote, I wrote it on a random piece of paper some months ago. I marked it author unknown and promptly stuck it in a book where it stayed until Friday while looking for some other random thing written or sketched.  Ironically , one day before the anniversary of my mother's death.


Turns out that day was also the day my orange boy, Buttah died. I haven't talked about it much, but Buttah has been sick. The sickness came on rather suddenly and progressed rapidly.  At first it seemed like something that would pass, he was acting a little differently but was otherwise, fine--all the markers, marked. Until the last few days. He didn't appear to be in any distress caused by pain. He leaned in to all our touches and ministrations. We made him as comfortable as we could in his final days and on Friday, he went to sleep. Quietly. 

The parallels are striking. My head and heart are in a swirl.

 
Pair Buttah's demise with remembering mom with receiving communication from an attorney regarding a pending case related to my dad and his death,  totally out of the blue, all within the same days, and well. . . loss and remembrance, remembrance and loss, like a never ending loop.




The hours, minutes, seconds of the last several days have been consumed with thoughts of mom and dad; tucked safely in a heart now cracked open needing to make room for my dear orange guy. Loss and remembrance. Remembrance and loss. Running in a loop. 

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Monday, February 06, 2017

Three (now Two) From One Thousand

The actor at a table read. 


Last year, I shared this  The year before that, this  And many years before, this .  All that has been said before remains true and even more. In addition to acting and the music noted in previous posts, the man who will turn the page on his 35th birthday on Wednesday, will add a directing credit to his resume.

He has spoken at length of the challenges, the joys, and the pains of the process. And how he is enjoying every minute of it. He said, "If I can cultivate an environment where a bunch of strangers want to work together to create, then much of my work is done.

Casting (an arduous process) is now complete. Rehearsals will begin soon. And then, opening day!

Not sure I can adequately convey just how hard this guy works, how "matter-of-factly" he takes the knocks that come his way, how focused and committed he is to craft, to art, to creativity, to life and how art plays into that.

I wish my son a happy birthday (in two days). I wish his spirit and verve for life and art continues to grow.


                                                                               
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Take Aways



No, I didn't attend any of the marches. But checking in during Saturday into Sunday via multiple news sites and social media pages, I was floored by the magnitude. The global response to Friday's event was mind-boggling, overwhelming; encouraging.       



Overwhelming yes, encouraging, absolutely. But, also sobering. 


These two images culled from hundreds, perhaps thousands, state just how large the the job ahead is, just how much work there is yet to do. The marches, the speeches, the signs, and the petitions, is only the beginning.   

For those who gathered on Saturday, thank you. For you and the rest of us, the work continues. We have only just begun.  



Monday, January 16, 2017

You've Got Mail




Happy New Day!  Here we are smack dab in the middle of a new month, the first month of a brand new year and I am not feeling the newness; I am not feeling optimism usually associated with a new year (particularly when coupled with a new administration); I am not feeling UP. 

Maybe because the cold hasn't fully left my body. My right eye is phlegmy and sensitive. However, it is responding positively to treatment. For that, I am grateful. 

Still, it is a new year, a new administration, a new drive to speak up, stand up, be present, and a re-commitment to that which brings me joy and hopefully comfort to others; writing letters.   A colleague of my son's was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I shared the Girls Love Mail program with him as a way to support others as well as his colleague. 

Happy New Day! for I am taking on this year, one day at a time; treating, acting, addressing, art-ing, writing, sharing, caring . . as the day presents, unfolds. 

Happy Birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. May his wisdom, words, and strength embolden us all to live out loud. 


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Monday, January 09, 2017

Family: Life Matter

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One of my weekend projects (in the midst of my recuperation from the head cold that won't go fully away) was to get personal business and household papers in order which also meant: purge. Out with the old, in with the new(er) and all that whiz.

Well, I got that done. Feeling somewhat energized and motivated to move on to another project (inside over outside given the air temps this weekend) I decided to tackle the main photo and other memorabilia cabinet;
stuffed so full of our lives that the door didn't fully close.

Soon after I began, the thought that I'd bitten off more than I could chew crystallized in my mind. The volume of items paled when factored against with the volume of emotional intensity.

And then my daughter came into the room. She looked through some of the items, marveling at the sweetness, invoking memories of sheer joy. She commented on how the images of she and her brother as young children illustrated how protective he has always been, how loving, how gentle . .  We laughed over the kindergarten writings, the sixth grade essay, the toothless grins, the "Garfield" necklace and earring set, and especially the images of a dad fully engaged, fully invested.

My ex-husband died just before Thanksgiving. His relationship with the kids was strained long before we split. The chasm grew with his re-marriage, a stroke, a move to a Mississippi nursing home after he and the second wife split. Our daughter (much like I did with my absent dad) tried to engage, tried to embrace, tried to include him in her life, and be included in his, with little success. The experiences of the past several years left her a little broken which of course, broke my heart as I recalled my own brokenness over my dad's distancing himself from my life.

And then, Saturday. She saw what she hadn't remembered, what she hadn't known about her dad, my dad, the whole of all our lives. And we laughed. We were able to say goodbye. We were able to uplift his presence in our lives and embrace the joy that was, that is, that will always be, our family.

.    

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Scattered Not Gory

The Magic of Christmas 
The above image is one of the few family Christmas photos featuring me and my siblings as children. My older brother is standing next to me and the younger is barely in the frame. That is is elbow. This is a Christmas morning circa 1965 or 1966 with my mom as photographer. It was my intent to post this along with memory lane jog before the 25th of December but I was smacked with a doozie of a head cold that left me horizontal as often as possible. What little present energies were spent getting to (and attending to) work. Even still, I was sent home early one day and called off another. I've already burned some 2017 PTO hours.

Today is the best day of the last ten. The worst is over. Knock wood.

I've forgotten where this was going . . .     oh, nowhere really, except that Scattergories is one of my favorite games. Daughter and I played a couple of rounds between my coughing and sniffling. Some FB friends were passing around a Scattergories with a twist--using the first letter of your last name to answer the questions posed:

P    Animal: Porcupine.
      Girl's Name: Penelope
      Boy's Name: Peter
      Color:  Purple
      Movie: Poseidan Adventure
      Something You Wear: Pants
      Drink: Pink Lady
      Food: Pigeon Peas 
      Item in Bathroom: Pipe
      Place: Portugal
      Reason to be late: Pothole
      Car: Plymouth
      Composer: Puccini
      Author: Patricia Cornwell
      Singer: Paula Cole

I still don't know where this post was going, has gone, it is just . . well, is.    I hope everyone had a please holiday and if you had a break, I hope that too was pleasant.

Happy New Day!

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**published too late for Monday, but meant for Monday or at least earlier on Tuesday.  Yeah, still kinda scattered, operating at about 86% (generous).