Please read my latest post on Zest Now.
Please read my latest post on Zest Now.
Please read my latest post on Zest Now.
At the beginning of this New Year I am making no new 2017 New Year’s resolutions. Except maybe that I will continue doing what I’m already doing.
I know 2016 was a rotten year for many people. But it was a pretty good personal one for me even though Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election. Now my stoic old heart is broken and the whole country is DOOMED. (I’m STILL With Her, by the way.)
I stopped worrying about what other people think of me. I finally like me…and really…isn’t that enough?
how good the winter sun feels on my face,
planning a doll house and making the furniture,
illustrating a book,
taking a walk,
reading a good book,
and hanging out with my grandkids.
I no longer focus on my uncomfortable britches. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Whew!
Some of the best advice I’ve ever heeded is this: Find what makes you happy and do more of that.
I did. I am. And in 2017, I think I’ll just keep on doing that.
by Peggy Browning
Ho ho ho. So here it is…that most jolly of seasons when everyone is merrily skittering around…filling their shopping baskets with gifts for giving to others. They are happy and excited, trying to choose just the right gift. Unlike me, they are not giving the worst Christmas presents ever.
They’re choosing presents for people they love, people they like, and probably for a few people they don’t even like, but feel obligated to buy a gift for.
They are buying wrapping paper and tape…ribbons and bows…and festive Zip-Loc bags to wrap up all those precious presents they are sure the recipients will love…or at least like…or not exchange for a gift card.
I don’t like gift giving season. In fact, I kind of hate it. I suck at gift giving.
I’m serious. I am a terrible gift giver. Nobody wants to get a gift from me. Because I give the worst Christmas presents ever.
No one wants me to draw their name from the Christmas hat. No one want s me to be their Secret Santa. Even my kids don’t like to get gifts from me.
I am notorious for giving bad gifts. I have no excuse for it. I’m just truly bad at it.
One year, I gave my grandson a huge package of various sized batteries, a battery organizer, and a big orange box to store his other junk in. He loves batteries…he needs batteries for many of his toys…he loves to put stuff in boxes…orange is his favorite color.
So that’s what I gave him. I was so pleased with myself for finding that battery organizer and the orange box.
Needless to say, the gift was less than impressive. My present was questionable among all the other packages. The faces of the adults present said “What the hell, Grandma?”
Last year, the same kid won an award in Cub Scouts for baking cupcakes or something. I was so proud of him!
So I made him an apron and bought some cake mixes and cans of icing and mailed them to him so he could bake cupcakes in style. Little did I know that the Cub Scout thing was a one-time activity to earn a cooking badge. He’s not that fond of cooking and the gift of that manly-looking apron elicited another look of, “What the hell, Grandma?”
So that apron landed on the list of one of the worst Christmas presents ever.
One Christmas, my son Ben asked me, “Are you giving us more of that home-made crap this year?” He was about 19. So…no…there was no home-made crap that year. Honestly, until that time, I had thought my hand-crafted gifts were appreciated. . C’est la vie…you never can tell.
Fewer people are traumatized by my presents these days because I have stopped giving Xmas gifts to people who are not my grandchildren. I do still try to give them something that makes them smile.
So I give them what I loved as a kid. They get a new pair of pajamas, a new Christmas tree ornament, and a flashlight.
I loved my warm pajamas. Our house was always cold because we had open flame butane heaters and my mother was afraid we would die of carbon monoxide poisoning if the fires burned after we went to bed. Flannel pajamas were greatly appreciated. (and lots of heavy quilts.)
I loved our Christmas tree as well as the old glass ornaments. We didn’t buy new ornaments every year, nor did we decorate with a theme. Our tree had ornaments that had weathered many a Christmas season. Each one was unpacked and hung on the tree with a child’s wonder. I still have my very favorite one…the one with Silent Night and a frosty old church inscribed on it.
I loved flashlights. We lived in the country, where the nights were dark and the stars shone bright and the Milky Way was visible. We didn’t have mercury vapor lights way back then…or at least we didn’t. So if you needed to check on a sound outside, or walk to the barn to check on a cow, or make shadow figures on the ceiling…a flashlight was a necessary part of life.
Here’s my wish for everyone on my very small gift list: Be warm…Be happy and filled with wonder…and Let your light Shine.
So that’s what my four favorite people get. Warmth, Wonder, and Light.
Everybody else gets…well…nothing. Settle down…I’m saving you from experiencing the worst Christmas gifts ever. Don’t be disappointed. At least you didn’t get any home-made crap from me this year!
Breathe, Peggy, just breathe…
I’m having a grouchy day today. To be more accurate, I should add that I’ve also had a grouchy week. And probably 15 months of grouchiness. How long can this damn 2016 Election last?
I have no personal reason to be grouchy. My life right now (and I emphasize right now because experience tells me that it could change tomorrow) is pretty great.
I live in a nice-enough apartment with a comfortable bed, food, water, and heat & cooling. I am well-clothed. I have good health; my cholesterol and glucose are well within the normal limits. My grandchildren live within easy visiting distance.
I am pursuing one of my life’s idealistic dreams of serving in Americorps/VISTA. I work with people I like and respect and I am proud to be a part of that enterprise that serves my country.
I exercise daily and take my anti-depressants and vitamins religiously. I meditate and pray and count my blessings. I laugh and smile A LOT. I tell jokes. I hug people…even the 20 second hug that is supposed to be life-changing and affirming.
And yet…I can’t shake this underlying vague anger and anxiety that’s bothered me now for a week or longer.
The only thing I can blame this grouchy demeanor on is this: election fatigue.
I know we’re all tired of hearing about this election and all the ugliness that is hurled outwardly through the media by sparring campaigners.
I am having trouble breathing with all this BS floating around in the air.
All of it is toxic air pollution, as deadly as any smog, smoke, exhaust fumes, or burning coal could ever be. It makes it hard for me to breathe and I seriously need to breathe…in with the good…out with the bad. In with the happy…out with the grouchy.
It feels too late to ask people to talk about the issues. I’m pretty sure that all the real issues of this campaign have been forsaken to make the point that America is not great, that America is in the shitter, that America…Land That I Love…is doomed. Doomed, I say.
I am disappointed that all these ugly accusations have clouded the real issues of this campaign. I am incredibly disappointed that we have sunk so low that we resort to fear-mongering and name-calling. And I am immeasurably disappointed that so many people seem to have such little grasp of history.
I am so tired. I can’t wait until November 9…I plan to sleep late and I pray the pollution will have cleared when I awake.
I need to breathe again. And I’d really like to lose the grouchy attitude and anger and anxiety.
by Peggy Browning
Trump’s American Vision leaves me cold. And kind of pissed off.
Of course, everyone who knows me knows that I would never vote for Trump for a seat on the local school board or city council much less for President of the United States of America. Trump’s American Vision is in direct opposition of my own American Vision.
I get it…I know he was the star of a “reality” TV show. He also seems to be a legend in his own mind. He seems unhinged and out of touch with the real world. He is projecting his version of horror-filled scenarios on to the rest of us.
I’m not afraid. I never have been. I don’t think I ever will be.
I don’t rely on National Enquirer for my information. And I have no respect for the opinion of someone who does. I have no respect for conspiracy theories and rumors. I don’t base my opinions on what someone else spouts off. I like to investigate and learn the truth on my own. I like to see for myself just what is happening.
Donnie and I obviously don’t live in the same America. I like mine best. I think Trump should get out more…you know…see the real America.
My vision is that America is already great and that it will continue to be great if we do not give in to fear of change. America is in a period of change and growth right now. I believe we will come out of this period stronger and better than ever before.
My vision is based upon experience and knowledge from the past. My confidence is based upon what I have observed this spring and summer.
I’ve been watching the Oklahoma legislature during the second session of 2015-2016. The Oklahoma state budget was in a shambles (and still is). Deep cuts were made to essential services that improve the lives of Oklahoma citizens. Education, state parks, human services, medical care, disability payments…all these vital services were cut to the bone. The shortfall in money was not due to the falling oil prices or to lack of stewardship by the various agencies. It was due to the short-sighted partisanship of the governing body.
So what happened? Exactly what you would expect would happen in an America that is great. People said…No, this is not right and we will change this. Record numbers of new candidates filed for offices in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and Senate. They spoke up about the unfair distribution of ad valorem taxes for school districts. They went to the State Capitol and talked to their congressmen and they successfully passed bills that had been on the books for years…like autism insurance reform. They stopped bills that discriminated against the LGBT community.
No riots or other hub-bub occurred. But change is coming to Oklahoma and it’s coming through the use of our consciences and our votes. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be done.
This summer I worked as an Americorps/VISTA volunteer for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. I had the privilege to travel all over western Oklahoma monitoring summer feeding programs for children ages infant – 18 years old.
And you know what I saw as I traveled from small town to small town? I saw dedicated, caring people who were concerned and DOING SOMETHING for their communities. They weren’t merely feeding children. They were feeding their spirits as well.
I saw people working together to make sure their children were provided for and that their futures were secure. I saw kindness and generosity everywhere I went.
I saw that the system…and the people…are working and keeping America great.
And yes, I saw blue spacious skies and golden fields of wheat. I saw the red Gloss Mountains and the Little Sahara sand dunes. But mostly I saw that America is great…that America is working…that America is beautiful.
I believe that my American Vision…in direct contrast to Trump’s American Vision… is the correct one. I believe that our home of the free and the brave is still great and we have nothing to fear.
(Unless, of course, Trump is elected without my vote. If that happens, I will be afraid, very very afraid.)
If you’re surfing the ‘net this morning when you’re supposed to be working, here’s a few notes to make you smile, laugh aloud, or give you some ideas for your own passive-aggressive notes. __Peggy
Michelle Combs…is dead on about the things she’s too old for. I’m too old for them too. And you are too. Please read and enjoy Michelle Combs thoughts on growing older. —–Peggy Browning
8 Things I’m too old for. If I go back 25 years and think about the information available to me compared to now, I realize why my ADD brain swirls like one of the cheap pinwheels my husband decorates our deck with.
Source: 8 Things I’m Too Old For…