Friday, June 29, 2007

Problems / Resolutions

If you had collected your family genealogical information, photos, movies, and color slides from many people for decades, and added research following select lines back as far as possible, what would you do with it? Since I am the only one in my line with this data I’ve collected, if I don’t document it, no one will ever know. There will be no history. It will be as if my ancestors never lived, except for the fact that I am here.


Nellie Josephine Weeks
1874 – 1968

A person is more than the dash between the dates of when they were born and when they died. She is more than her occupation or where she lived. It’s how she lived. Not that she was born in Missouri, but that she was born in a sod house in Missouri and at the age of eight traveled with her parents, two brothers, and three sisters in a covered wagon to the plains of Fort Collins, Colorado where her mother and sister died from malaria.

How did she meet her spouse? Was he her first choice? You might not know that she was engaged to a cowboy when she was thirteen, but her father wouldn’t allow the marriage for a year. Planning to return, her cowboy went to California to pan for gold and was killed in an earthquake, and she didn’t find anyone else until she was thirty-four. She remained married for forty-one years until his death, which unfortunately was on her birthday.

I realize that I am here because of an earthquake!

My hope is to document what I know to date in the form of a family DVD video and distribute a copy to all my family members, so descendants will know more about the dashes.

For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars...the house...the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
...Author Linda Ellis

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Money House #3

The master bath is a room where extravagant imagination can run wild. While my taste in decor isn’t opulent, there are a few lavish features I’ve thought about.

I’d start in the corner of the room with a square sunken tub with two steps descending into the marbled pool. The corner would support two floor length windows overlooking a private tropical garden of fern, elephant ears, caladiums, hibiscus, and banana trees. My view above the pool displays a colorful muraled dome supported by two small white Greek or Roman columns at the entrance. Opulent would be having the trim gold leafed.

In another corner, the floor of my glass shower, continuously sloped from the rest of the bathroom marble, has an oversized clear glass door that swings both directions. It is large enough that, if needed during my old age, I could wheel a chair in. One side would have a built in marble bench to make leg shaving convenient. The multiple, multi-level showerheads would spray a pulsing massage or a gentle rain forest.

Something pampering that I’ve never seen before is to be able to soak my feet in warm swirling water and have a foot massage while sitting there on the pot in it’s own little room. Kind of like a long-lasting foot bidet! Maybe I’m going overboard here. After all, I’d have to plan ahead and strip my shoes and socks. Fortunately for me, that’s not a problem. I’m almost always barefoot! Beside the throne, there would be a magazine rack with shelves for a few paperback books, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and a place for blue and red pens, a pencil, and an eraser. The writing instrument variety is to give me multiple attempts at Sudoku without having to do multiple erasures of my errors.

Vanity double sinks are pretty common in today’s homes. Short of a descending Jetsons hairdo tube or tooth-brushing machine, my improvements would ensure plenty of drawer space so most used-daily items would not have to sit out on the counters. The finishing touch might be my handsome fellow shaving at the sink near mine. A girl can dream!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Great Escape

I’ve been reading so much more in the past five years than I ever did during the rest of my life. I never liked to read and am amazed I actually made it through all the reading requirements from school. I’m not talking about intellectual books and manuals containing technical and instructional jargon on how to build something mechanical or how to make an engine or computer run that I’ve needed to read and comprehend throughout my career. Those were easy.

I’m reading the type of books that divert my mind and venture into the areas of things I don’t romance. It’s comforting to know ahead of time that in the end, the girl gets the boy, or the boy gets the girl. It gives me encouragement, even if it may be false hope and unrealistic.

I don’t really like reading suspense, thriller, or mystery fiction and can’t stand non-fiction. I have to think too much. When I read, I want to fully escape without trying to think about who the killer is, how the hero or heroine overcomes some adversity, or how to escape some maniac. To me, it’s much more interesting reading about my favorite authors’ detailed romantic exploits so I can compare what I know to what I’ve missed out on. And if my hopes are ever fulfilled, I’ll have someone to practice on!

Friday, June 22, 2007


I recently attended my niece’s wedding outside of Houston. It was a beautiful affair at a wedding and reception facility of southern plantation style. The wedding package was all-inclusive with flowers, photography, a cathedral with twin staircases, cake, music, dining area, and dance floor. The entire event was perfect including a gorgeous bride and extremely handsome groom.

I’m guessing there were about 300 people at the sit down buffet dinner and dance following the ceremony. Several photos were taken of the bridal party along with all other attending family members. This consisted of three separate shots: the bride’s father’s family, the bride’s mother’s family, and the groom’s parent’s family.


As I was leaving, close to midnight, I was thinking about the many weddings in other branches of the family and the differences. Most were self-catered receptions to make them affordable. Being part of the family, I was automatically involved in the post wedding clean up that included washing dishes in church kitchens, setting up chairs for the next day’s event or putting them away after the reception. It took a good deal of time packing up the leftover food and carting the gifts to the parent’s home after the couple had left for the honeymoon. Sharing the work wasn’t thought of as a chore and family bonding was strengthened.

No matter which way your resources go, there is no guarantee that the marriage will last, even with all the best wishes and prayers of family and friends.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Money House #2

Another conflict for me in room terminology is “office” versus “study”. According to the dictionary, an office is a room in which business or professional activities take place, while a study is a room used for work that involves reading, thinking, or writing. At home in this room, I do both, so I’ve opted to call mine a study so I don’t feel obligated to put the word “home” in front of it, as in “home office” or like “home theater”.

I love my study and spend much of my time there on my computer, while multi-tasking watching TV, writing, and playing games. Recently, my computer time has been spent creating my family video, a topic I may expound on later. I have a wall of bookshelves and other storage cabinets and files. There are glass-paned French doors that are normally open, but can be closed if I wish to keep company out.

If I had the money thing going on, my study would be similar, but slightly larger so there’s room for a comfy reading chair, lamp, and maybe a small sofa so I can sit and visit with friends. There would also be enough room to have a dictionary stand for my big Webster’s unabridged that would make it accessible. Maybe I’d learn more words that way, or at least use the ones I know in the correct context.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Truth By Any Other Name

I’m somewhat incensed at the way marketers try to turn a negative feature about their product into a good thing. A recent annoyance is all the ads for the new pharmaceuticals that boldly announce the symptom, how their product goes about “fixing” it, and then in the fine print or in vocally whispered side effects of the drug, they happen to announce the very side effect that is the problem you are taking the drug for in the first place.

I believe new drugs are being approved much too early, before enough time has elapsed to reveal harmful long-term effects not included in the lumped narrative side effects. It’s obvious based on the amount of drugs that have recently been recalled. What will be the problems encountered in twenty or thirty years by people taking these insufficiently tested medicines now?

Another big product, as well as advertising, change was when animal testing became unpopular. What the marketers did was to make the term “clinically tested” sound desirable. The unthinking public accepted this without much attention. We blindly use the cosmetics, hair products, over-the-counter remedies, and even some prescription drugs. Do you know what that makes us?

We are the first animal to be testing the product. Bad move in my opinion.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Money House #1

Having all the money imaginable to use at your discretion, in addition to traveling with friends as much as you want, have you ever wondered what kind of house you would choose to live in? What features? What size?

I recently thought about it after I read a new (to me) term for “home theater”. It was called a “cinema”—the common English name for a theater. Not a new word, yet not normally referenced as a room in a home. With money to spend, I would definitely have a cinema, probably with a currently-in-development organic light-emitting diode (OLED) painted wall as my screen. When I’m not watching something, I’ll be able to change the wall color at random.

The “cinema” will also have a 7.1 speaker system, but I don’t think I’ll have the volume turned up until the walls shake like some people do (remember Jericho). I’m not deaf yet. I have sensitive ears. The ceiling and floor materials will provide the best in acoustics.

There will be reclining lounge chairs with cup holders and places for the remotes (until they find a replacement method to change channels, volume, etc.), but not all will be as large as the ones my brother has. I want my feet to be able to touch the floor when the chair is upright! One level of the tiered room will have a sofa to lounge on...with comfy pillows to hug during scary scenes or gushy romantic ones if I’m not with my special someone.

A large, indexed storage area will hold DVDs or whatever the current technology is by the time I get all this money, and a pantry will hold movie snacks such as candy, crackers, cookies, and nuts; a microwave for nachos and popcorn; and a small refrigerator for soda or whatever. Of course, there’ll be a place for alternative snacks like fresh fruit.

I’m sure I’ve left out some items, like movie poster decorations, etc., but I’ll worry about those later. After making this huge investment, I hope the movie industry will be providing entertainment worthy of this endeavor.

I’ll blog about other rooms as I have time to describe them for my “money house”.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I Must Be Invisible

Have you ever wondered if you’re invisible? When driving while many other cars on the road seemed to be trying to run over me, I’ve often thought that my car must be invisible. It wasn’t like the color of my car blended in with the low light at dusk or dawn, or that it was so dirty it disapeared into the horizon.

A recent experience left me wondering if anyone ever looks at me. For the past 20 years or more, I’ve had my hair long in the back, almost to my waist or just a bit shorter. I recently had a significant amount of hair cut off all over...from 2 to 7 inches...and it now just touches my shoulders. It has not been this short since 1961. Yet, since my cut I’ve been around several members of my family and friends and not a single person commented on my hair.

I must conclude that people noticed and didn’t mention it because their mommas told them if they couldn’t say something nice, they shouldn’t say anything at all. If it’s not that, I must be invisible.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Feast to Famine

I must have a closer link to cave dwellers than some of my friends. Somewhere along the line, my ancestors probably included a tribe of hunters. They were the people who lived from feast to famine. And, thus being hungry much of the time, their bodies learned to store fat to sustain them during the lean times.

For the life of me, I find it difficult to stop eating so my body will be forced to draw from some of this fat I’ve stored up! I have proof. I still have the fat retained safely in my body!