Hopelessness

It’s been awhile since I’ve ranted or wept or completely given in to my feelings on this blog. Today, I feel a need to do all of those things.

Recent news has my stomach churning, my head spinning, my heart breaking. We’ve lost 17 more kids – this time, those kids are of the age and the education level to speak out, to demand change. And there are the factions – the faction that is calling these kids “crisis actors” and other demeaning titles make my heart weep. Make me feel hopelessness. We tear at each other, like wolves with a new kill. At least the wolves do it for survival – we seem to not really have a reason. Or the ability to reason.

Yes, I know I’m making blanket statements, and that is never a good thing. There are those who use their brains to think logically, reasonably, that listen to opposing arguments calmly, considering the choices. And then there are the rest. And I might fit into “the rest”, I don’t know. I only know that I don’t know how anyone can really disagree with the concept of having a strict, universal background check before a gun can be purchased. If people have to wait a few days from the time of application to the time of getting the gun, so be it. What’s the big deal?

I don’t know how anyone can really claim a “need” for an assault type rifle – and I use this term admittedly without a clear concept of what an assault type rifle is. For which some will criticize me. Sorry about that. To me, an assault type rifle is one that allows someone to repeatedly fire many rounds in just a few seconds. Sportsmen, that is not sporting. I would think the thrill of the hunt would be the ability to “win” on relatively even terms.

I don’t hear demands from anyone to ban all guns, although those who support the NRA and defend their right to have guns seem to think that’s what’s happening. I would not care if they did, but I know many would be opposed to that. Fine – but that’s not what I’m hearing is on the table right now. I had a long Facebook conversation yesterday with a man who I assume is a gun proponent – but there was no progress made in that conversation. He obviously felt I wasn’t hearing him and I know he wasn’t hearing me. It makes me sad. Our minds are made up, don’t bother me with facts.

Then there is the New York State GOP Congresswoman who states that most mass murderers turn out to be Democrats. You will excuse me, but what the hell has political party got to do with anything at all here?

We are sick. We are a sick society and we need help. And it makes me so sad. It makes the world so bleak. What will it take to make us caring humans again? Will it take a colossal disaster? I hope not. I hope not.

On another topic, I have been playing with acrylic paints now because the alcohol inks were having an adverse affect on my system it seems. And I have been trying to learn to use palette knives with these paints. It’s an adventure. Here are two that I’ve done recently – and the darkness of these paintings might be symbolic, I’m not sure.

Snowy Night in the City:

Snowy Mountains:

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Share Your World – 2/19/2018

I think I’m setting a new personal best here – posting in response to Cee’s challenge on the very same day the challenge was issued! We got snow yesterday, so it’s a perfect day to stay inside where it’s dry and warm – except I will have to go do some snow shoveling. later.

How do you like your eggs? As usual, that depends. If I’m having eggs for breakfast, I usually go for over medium. Don’t like runny whites at all. If I’m putting eggs in my salad or just want an egg for a quick snack between meals, I want them hard-boiled. If I’m having eggs for dinner, I’ll usually fix them as a frittata or an omelet. Except tonight, when I plan to have some leftover hash browns, bacon, and eggs over medium.

Have you ever met anyone famous? Maybe. Casually. Quickly. Kind of. Like, getting an autograph after a concert by Sonny James (how many of you remember him?) 100 years ago. I saw Robert Redford in a restaurant in New York City once, from a distance. Does that count?

What was the first thing you bought with your own money? Oh, like I could remember that? That was so many years ago. Probably something frivolous like a kid would do, with babysitting money. When finally a sort-of adult just out of business school working in an insurance agency, I bought clothes for work. My mother had always made my clothes or I got my hand-me-downs from a cousin, so buying clothes was exciting. That didn’t last long, and I started making my own clothes. Until the price of fabrics got too high to make it worthwhile.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I appreciated daily conversations via email or text messaging with both of my kids. I appreciated Shasta snuggling with me in bed. Yesterday while the snow fell and the wind blew I appreciated having a warm house to stay inside. Then I appreciated watching Shasta play in the snow when we went for a wee walk – like just down the driveway because, after all, I had to shovel the porch and one of the decks.

This is how it looked outside my window when I got up:

Our walk:

Shasta playing in the snow – she was doing the snowplow routine just before I snapped the picture:

Then there was this view of the sun trying really hard to show its face:

All of these were taken with my iPhone – I dropped my camera the other day and now it keeps giving me an error message when I try to turn it on. Thank goodness for new smart phones!

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Share Your World – February 12, 2018 except this is February 17

Late to the game again – but not as bad as last week, when I never quite got to it at all. Now that it’s almost time for a new share, I’m ready to join Cee and all of you to share some more of my world.

Are you a practical jokester? No, not at all. Too often I think practical jokes are on the cruel side.

Who cuts your hair? You, a friend, or professional. In the past, once I grew up and out of my mother cutting my hair, I’ve always had a professional do it. But lately since I have so little hair, I’ve been snipping at it here and there, getting the clippers with the 1″ attachment on them for the back – where I do have to sometimes ask for help in neatening it up since it’s hard for me to see back there. Ultimately I know I’ll have it so messed up I might have to go to a professional to get it fixed.

Did you have a stuffed animal when you were a kid, if so what kind? I don’t remember having stuffed animals as a kid except for the monkey my mother made out of men’s socks. I think I was more a doll kind of girl, until I turned into a major tomboy. I have some stuffed animals now that people have given me over the years, but those are gradually becoming Shasta toys – because they are big dust collectors.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. Communications with my kids, mostly. Friends returning from visiting their family and enjoying a casual dinner out with them. Trying to learn how to use acrylic paints – wayyyyy back in the day, I painted with oils, but it’s been a very long time and I’m finding out there’s a steep learning curve. So I watch tutorials – thank heavens for You Tube – learn a little more with each one, then try another painting. So far I’ve painted over two or three canvases to start again. I have one I will share, but just barely – I’m not happy with it, but it’s better than the two I painted over. This one was done on a canvas on which I had applied a gel medium to seal for an alcohol ink painting which left odd ridges on the canvas.

So here goes – be kind.

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My Brain went on Vacation. I Did Not.

I realized this morning that it’s been over a week since I last posted. Maybe longer. That’s not because I’ve been doing anything productive, believe me. More like my brain has decided to go on vacation without me. That’s very sad, and really leaves me for a loss. I mean, the brain is a rather necessary thing to have in your life – even if it doesn’t get used as often or in the way it should.

So after a week of sitting around, more or less blithering nonsensically, I’m going to give putting some words on virtual paper a go. Just to see what comes out. I must warn you to proceed at your own risk. There are no guarantees about what might follow.

I have been having some issues with dizziness for a couple of months now. In the beginning, I figured it had to do with a wax buildup in the ear canal, so I did all those things the internet suggests to clear that up. Nothing came out that proved that theory, so my brain moved on. Building a mountain out of an ant hill, of course, because that’s one of the things it does best. It decided first that I must be anemic, but how could I possibly be anemic? Then it went, well alright, maybe you’re not anemic, maybe you have a brain tumor. Oh, that’s so much better, I said to my brain. Maybe you should go to the doctor – but no, maybe not, because people with the flu will be at the doctor’s office and I’ve been avoiding a lot of contact with the public sector during this flu season. Besides, you know the doctor will just want to run a lot of tests, and my past experience is they test for a lot of things, but never quite the thing that is actually causing the problem.

Then one day, a Facebook post on one of the alcohol ink groups stopped me in my tracks and made me think a bit. Yes, I can do that when I must. A woman posted how her husband was concerned that she was working in their basement without much ventilation with alcohol inks. Of course, the inks contain alcohol, and a lot of regular alcohol is used in doing the paintings. Alcohol = fumes, he said. Toxic fumes. So they tested the toxicity in the air in the basement when she was painting. Not good! Really not good! Which suggests if you are in a space that is not well ventilated you should probably use a respirator – most masks will not filter out that type of toxicity. I decided to forego inking for a while, just to see what happened. You want to know what is happening? The dizziness is gradually going away. My conclusion is that unless I wish to prepare as if I was entering a hazardous waste zone, I should find some other hobby.

My choice – let’s try acrylic painting. After all, I worked with oils several years ago. So I did some shopping – online and at my local-ish Michaels. Nothing is really local here. What did I learn? Starting a new hobby is not cheap. But the shopping for it can be fun. I’ve been watching You Tube tutorials, which may or may not be a good idea, because the people doing the tutorials are so good and make it look so easy, what if my attempts are . . . bad? I watch tutorials and think about sitting down to canvas with brush and paints at hand. Maybe today. . . I’ll keep you posted.

Otherwise, things in the news keep me sort of alert. Sort of angry, too often, sort of laughing sarcastically sometimes, making me wonder what so many have done with their brains, since it appears they’re not being used to their maximum ability. Or even minimum ability. I’ll delve into politics no further this time.

I watch the birds and the squirrels as they dine on the food I put out for them. I wonder why it is that there seems to be a limit to the number of each of them that can “sit down at a table” together. There’s more than enough room for three squirrels, for instance, but the third one is rarely welcomed, usually chased off. It’s the same with the Asian Collared Doves that appear – there is always one dove that does not tolerate another one within eyesight. They have quite a lot in common with humans, my brain says, when it’s talking to me.

That seems to be what I have to say this morning, so maybe I’ll go watch another painting tutorial, or maybe I’ll actually sit down, pick up brush, put some paint on the palette and give it a go. In the meantime, I’d like to share with you what might be my last ink, or might just be the last ink I do before I can open windows in here. There is always light at the end of the tunnel:

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Share Your World – January 29, 2018

In my current mode of non-motivation, it seems like a good time to just sit at the computer and let my fingers do the walking. Fighting that urge to search online for a new pair of earrings that I could put on and just leave on, eliminating any need to decide if/what earrings to wear on any given day. When I was working full time, that’s what I did. I have a pair purchased maybe 40 years ago that work, but they are gold and I have decided I prefer silver now. Fighting that urge means occupying myself some other way – like sharing my world by answering Cee’s questions.

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why? Amazon – no doubt – because they have everything and anything I could possibly want. And more. Oh, could I build up a store of “stuff” to leave for my kids to take care of when I am gone.

What is the worst thing you ate recently? I made a dish for dinner a couple of weeks ago – I don’t recall now exactly what it was, but it didn’t involve a recipe. Suffice it to say, I am not a cook by nature, so recipes are a good idea for me. Anyway, I ate some one night. A little. Then made myself a peanut butter sandwich. Does that tell you anything? It’s probably the first food I’ve thrown away in a long time.

Name five things you like watching… On TV – This Is Us, Dancing With the Stars. Although most often I stream things from Netflix, Amazon, BritBox or Acorn. I’ve grown fond of British shows – they seem to have more story lines that interest me these days. Tonight I start this season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix – unless I decide to watch the State of the Union.
In real life – squirrels chasing each other around, kittens playing, Shasta putting on her fierce face and telling the world to watch out, she’s here, like Gobblefunkist said, ocean waves come and go, come and go. Really that could be any large body of water. Sunrises and sunsets. Birds outside – I am not fond of birds inside.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I appreciated life this past week, although there is no motivation to “do” anything right now. It’s still nice to actually be able to get out of bed and stand upright, watch the clouds go by or the weather try to decide if it wants to rain or snow, or maybe do neither. I smiled when a summer dress that I found online on sale arrived and I love it.

No photos, no inkings this week. Because. It’s been a lazy week. Because. But the sun is appearing after being in hiding for a few days, so perhaps something will stir me. Later.

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There Are These Things

Yes, there are these things that pleasure me, irritate me, frustrate me – which means I think they need to be shared. It’s always good to share your feelings, right? Besides, I’ve been relatively nice for awhile now.

First of all – sexual harassment, abuse, whatever you want to call it – is horrid and should be condemned in the harshest manner possible. I applaud Judge Rosemarie Aguilina, who was the judge for the sentencing trial of the gymnasts’ sexual abuse case against the doctor. We need more telling it like it is done in a decent manner – and anyone who did the things he did has no right to feeling harassed or “picked upon”. He earned it. However – I hope this bandwagon this country has jumped onto doesn’t go the way so many of them do – to the extreme, where accusations are made when the actions were actually not unreasonable and really quite innocent. Hugs are not bad – as long as the hugs don’t get extreme and involve touching that shouldn’t happen unless we’re in a serious relationship. Telling me I look nice is fine, as long as it’s not accompanied by a leer and you don’t think you’re doing me a favor by saying that. Behavior as described by Trump in the Billy Bush tape is not acceptable – by anyone at any time. Respect – we just need to respect each other and get over the idea that women are possessions or playthings of men.

Speaking out for what you believe – important, I think – but again, it should be done in a respectful manner. There’s that word again – respect. It’s fine that you think Trump is doing a good job and I do not agree – except, of course, I will probably think you are daft, and I may tell you that – respectfully of course. With no name calling, despite what our country’s top role model does. I saw a news report the other night, where a couple of his supporters were crediting him with the current state of the economy, yet all experts will tell you the current state of the economy has been many years being formed and one year in office will not the economy make. I think our economy right now is a bit of an anomaly – considering the state of so many other parts of our society.

Housekeeping, in all of its facets – seems pretty useless to me if done too often. I mean, it just needs repeating over and over, ad infinitum. Now, I’m not talking living in filth – but I have noticed that I wash my windows, and then a bird flies by. You know what that means. Or my dog or cat puts their nose on that window. You know what that means. There are some things we really need to learn to live with. Okay, laundry needs to be done on a regular basis, because wearing the same clothing for too long can be quite offensive. Unless, of course, you never come in contact with other humans. Then I guess it’s up to you. And it’s nice to have clean dishes when it’s time to eat. Or you choose to eat something. It’s okay to eat when you want to, on a schedule of your own devising. Until that new outfit no longer fits, then you might want to think about it a little more – or buy another new outfit in a little larger size. That’s really an each to his own thing, isn’t it?

Then there’s the condition of our planet – the air and water quality. The extremes of the weather. Again, you have the right to believe what you choose to believe, but really – how can it possibly be okay to allow the pouring of destructive waste into our rivers? Each action has a reaction, and there are many that depend on rivers for a source of clean water, not to mention the wildlife that live around the rivers. The poisons that get pumped into our air – look at the air quality in China, in big cities in our country – those are seriously dangerous and will continue to be harmful to generations that follow us. I understand not liking a lot of government interference with regulations, but until man begins to use common sense and think beyond what he can gain for himself, some of the regulations are good for us. Again, that need to think beyond our own greedy desires.

Caring for our local wildlife – I have a squirrel that is getting quite insistent. When I don’t replenish the seed I put down for birds and squirrels and whatever might like it when it passes by, he lets me know. Insistently. He looks in the window of my door – I think to see if he’s being watched before he rushes to the metal trash can that holds the seed. Because he figured out how to remove the lid. The lid is now anchored by bungie cords, but when he figures out he can chew through those and get to the seed again, I will outwit him by putting a heavy rock on it. Demonstrating my superior wit and thought process. Destroying my old back, perhaps, but I will have won the battle!

After all, it’s winning that matters, right? I’m pretty sure someone famous has said that before. Just think about it all.

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Share Your World – January 22, 2018

I’ve been thinking about creating a blog post the past few days – but have done nothing about it. Because. Because I don’t want to spew my frustrations with our world all over those of you out there who are able to get through your days without thinking a great deal about what’s going on – I don’t want to discourage those who are better than I at ignoring, although I don’t doubt they are happier and more at peace than those of us who can’t seem to ignore. So. Today I will post – but it will be a post sharing my world with Cee and all of you.

List 2 things you have to be happy about? I have a roof over my head and my larders are full. I have my kids and my friends. I have my furry girl. That’s more than 2, isn’t it? See how lucky I am?!

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry? Oh yes. I’ve had a habit for many years of picking up small rocks various places I visit – most often when it’s a beach, but there are some mountain rocks involved too. And I have a number of gemstones that are not set into any kind of jewelry. Nothing of real value, other than their natural beauty. Come to think of it, that’s probably of great value in ways not monetary.

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? My parents were not touchy feely people and hugging didn’t happen very often at home, so I’m usually pretty reserved. There are some people, however, that I enjoy hugging and being hugged by.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. This past week I appreciated those things I too often take for granted. I appreciated the fact that the weather cooperated and allowed me to get into town to shop for food (for me, the furry girl, and the feathered friends outside). I appreciated that the winter storm warning never amounted to much of anything down here in the basin. I appreciated that my house is warm and cozy, and that I can control what I do and when I do it without guilt. I appreciated having internet access, which allows such easy and convenient communication with my kids. I appreciated having those kids in my life, for all these many years.

Sometimes I need to remind myself of all of these things, and Cee’s prompt every week is a big help that way.

I did do a little inking during the week too – adding to my accumulation of tiles and other media, but still struggling with what, if anything, I want to do with them. Anyway, here are three new ones – a 4.25″ x 4.25″ inch tile that could grow up to be a coaster; a 6″ x 6″ tile that could grow up to be a trivet; and a 4″ x 6″ (approx) ink that might grow up to be a note card or greeting card of some kind.

Wishing you enough, today and everyday.

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