Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Whole World on My Wall


The map of the world hangs on the wall above my cluttered desk and my more-than-often-than-should vacant mind. Above the map hang a few cobwebs. I'm sure Molly the Cat would be fascinated with the cobwebs if she would look up. Fortunately, the desk is too cluttered for her to find a spot to park while I work.

The map? Yes, the map. I like maps. Except for topo maps, I can read a map. Reading maps, even street maps, are fun. For me.

When I think of Africa, I see the number seven in a serif font. Australia makes me think of a terrier.

On this world map, Greenland is orange. As are Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Korea. I see no key for colors so maybe it means nothing more than that's what the creator of the map wished to color those nations.

You would think I'd gaze at that map a lot. Nope.

I put it up to inspire me. But, it only reminds me that I haven't traveled more than I would've thought I would by now. If I think long and hard of the why not's and how comes, well, let's just say I don't want to mentally go there. Still, I don't want to take the map down. I like to remind myself, now and then, how big of a world that we live on. So huge that quite a lot of people don't realize they share the same space in the infinite here with so many people who live in countries they have no idea exist.

Yeah.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Merged!

I did a lot of this and that on the computer over the weekend, rather than going here and there. My last task was merging my two blogs, the now—Don't Be a Hippie—with the then—This and That. Here and There. Now, Sometimes Then. Some of you dear readers may remember my older blog, and I thank you for following me to Don't be a Hippie.

My reason for combining the two? A sudden need for continuity. Let's face it, I stopped that other blog because I wanted a new blog title. If my first blog, Cu'Pie Baby Bird Says "Tweet, Tweet" was still up, I'd probably merge that one, too.

If you're on Blogger and interested in merging two or more of your blogs, check out this tutorial (How to Merge Blogs in Blogger?) at Blogger Tips and Tricks.

So, what's in my new archives? I hope you'll explore for yourselves. At your leisure and whim, of course. For now, here are a few of my favorite posts:

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Simple, Low-Key Mama Helper


A cane is a very useful tool. It helps you steady yourself as you stand up. It offers you support as you make your way down your path. It's also something you can point with and you can use it to hit a car (or person) that comes too close for comfort.

Yep, a cane is a useful tool.

The Mama, however, will have nothing to do with one. She says (not these exact words, but this idea), "The more you use a cane, the more you won't be able to walk on your own." I suppose, in her mind, a cane is proof that you've given up to old age.

Fortunately, when she works in her gardens, she turns her rake or broom upside down and uses it kind of like a cane. But, she's not really using a cane, you see, because she's just transporting the rake or broom.

All in all, the Mama is very strong for a frail-looking woman in her 90s. (Don't let that fragility fool you. The woman is pretty much all muscle.) By using a cane, the Husband and I would have false confidence that all would be all right as she moves about. But, that's not a battle worth fighting right now. Instead, we look for unobtrusive ways that may help her, and that brings me to the black pole, which you see in the above photo, thanks to our two amigos, Pal D. and Buddy M.

Pal has generously made it his mission to put up things, such as railings or grip bars, that will help Mama get in and out of the house with ease. And, again, the key point, is that those things be essentially unnoticeable as being helpers for the Mama. So, the first project was putting up something by the front step for the Mama to hold onto as she goes up and down it.

When  Pal told  Buddy about the project,  Buddy offered a heavy, metal black pole that was once attached to a weight scale for fat people. That's how the Buddy described it. A very big person holds onto the pole to steady himself (or herself) as he (or she) gets on the scale. The Buddy said that he had that pole for more than 30 years. He figured that one day, the pole would come in handy. So, it did.

Pal brought the pole over to see if it might work. We figured that by attaching a wooden base to it, the pole would be the perfect height for the Mama.  "Keep in mind," I said to the Pal, "It may take a couple of years before the Mama will actually use it." I didn't want him to be disappointed.

A few weeks later, the Pal gave me the final product. "If it doesn't work, or she doesn't like it, that's okay," he said. "We'll try something else."

Several days later, the Husband and I installed the pole. It merely required digging a hole deep enough to firmly hold the pole in place. When I showed it to the Mama, I could see the annoyed look that says "I don't like that you are reminding me that my body is old." It quickly disappeared when I told her the history of the pole and how much Pal and Buddy wanted to give it to her so she could use it to help her whenever she wanted.
Many thanks to Pal and Buddy for the Mama helper.

"They did," she said.

"Yes."

I could see the Mama's body take on a smile. Then I left it at that. I did not nag her to use the pole as she went up and down the step, nor did I ever ask if she  used it. So unlike me.

About three weeks ago, I watched the Mama hold onto the pole as she stepped down and then later on reach for it to help her step up. A very natural act. I was amazed.




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Giveaway Day Event at Sew, Mama, Sew!


I like to sew.

It was only recently that I realized I did. My passion to create via the sewing machine comes in spurts and usually 10 years apart. It is probably just my lazy nature that kept me from becoming skilled at the craft. Unlike the Mama. She is a talented seamstress. A very precise one, too. Though not anymore. She still has a pedal Singer sewing machine, but it's  too heavy for her to work, and the electric sewing machine confounds her. So she says. These days, she asks me if I'd mend something for her on the sewing machine. That makes me feel darn-tooting good. Fortunately for me, she has mellowed and doesn't care that my seams are still not perfectly straight and tend to be wiggle-waggle looking.

One of these days, I'll tell you, dear readers, the story about the time the Mama got a C (or was it a C minus) for my homemaking project in seventh grade.

Today, I want to mention the Giveaway Day event that Sew, Mama, Sew! is hosting at its blog. Quilters, crafters, sewing mavens, and others are giving away wonderful items they've sewn and crafted as well as extra fabric, patterns, and sewing and craft supplies that they have in their caches to their readers. Yes, that's right. Here's the opportunity to win a beautiful scarf, a necklace, a handbag, a yard of fabric, a vintage pattern, and much more.

Amazing, huh? One of these Giveaway Days, I'll have my act together and give away something that someone may think is cool to own. Yep, I shall.

 The Giveaway Day event is a one week event. It started on May 6 and will run until  May 10th. Sew, Mama, Sew! has divided the giveaways into five categories. Here are the links:
Buena Fortuna!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Danger: Crazy Writer at Work

Sometimes, it feels like this when I'm working: Herding sheep (which are the words) into a pen.

The sheep, however, are not being nice about going into the pen. Sheep there. Sheep over there. And more sheep way, waaaaay over there. Then, of course, I must not forget the sheep that are hidden from view. Or, those sheep that have made their way to a meadow I had no idea existed. Where's Little Bo Peep when you need her? But, wait, she lost her sheep.

I wonder though if sheep is the best animal to stand for the words.

How about a horse? Gallop. Trot.  Nostrils flaring, head tossing back, foot stamping. Such attitude. Neighhhhhhhhhh.

Maybe the words are more like cattle or milking cows. Mooooooooooo.

Definitely not cats.

Be nice if the words were more like dogs. Woof-woof. Here I am. How ya doing?  I'll hang out with you. Can I do anything? You need a nuzzle. Give it a rest. Let's go for a walk.

Yeah.