Stop and Think

I have voted in every election cycle since I turned eighteen. I believe we have a responsibility to voice our choice as citizens. That being said, this is the most frightening election I have seen in those subsequent thirty-four years.

I am a registered Republican. I have also been registered as a Democrat in my younger years. Whatever party, I feel that I vote for the person’s policies and programs, not by party. I must say, this year, morals, ethics, and other issues are crawling into my decision.

Since I am registered as a Republican, I will deal with that party’s front runner; Donald Trump. At first, his running was quite a joke. Then, it got serious. Mr. Trump does have a certain appeal for those of us that are completely frustrated with the past several administrations. His frankness came off as blunt honesty at first. I have seen that turn into crass bullying of the other candidates, people that don’t agree with him, and numerous other types of people.

12278825_10153798902187235_410961801334942309_n

How about this example of his crude attack on a journalist that happens to have a physical disability? Was it rude? Yes. Did his supporters laugh? Yes. He didn’t alienate his mass audience with this, just a percentage of our population with disabilities.

He has choice words for women and for those that speak against him, his returns are vile and caustic. You may not like Rosie O’Donnell, but she is not the only woman of which he has spoken about in a degrading manner. Instead of commenting on a female opponent’s record, he talked about how ugly she was to him. Women are babes, chicks, and bimbos. Is this how you speak about your Mothers, Wives, or Daughters? Our schools have a zero tolerance for bullying, we have programs in schools, churches and public forums against bullying and yet, we support it with passion in a presidential candidate? nelson

I try not to judge another’s relationship with God or their religion. In full disclosure, I consider myself a Christian. That meaning I believe and follow the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Mr. Trump states emphatically that he is a Christian, no, a GOOD Christian. I have just a couple of comments regarding that statement.

I, personally,  hope to be a worthy Christian. I am not perfect. I stumble every day to live up to the example that Christ set for us to follow. I ask forgiveness almost every day for fallacies in my character and walk. Mr. Trump stunned me in an interview when he stated that he was a good Christian and feels like he has never done anything to ask forgiveness for. I can’t imagine a person that has not sinned with the exception of Jesus Christ.

920x920

There is a quote from the Bible that says “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 KJV. Now think, what is the focus of most of Mr. Trump’s speeches? Winning. Winning a deal, winning voters, winning the election, etc. He surrounds himself with luxury, as much gold as he can, beautiful and powerful people, and whatever he can that will help him win what he wants.

What does he want now? To rule over us. What if we disagree? “Well, he’ll pay for that.” was his response when Senator John McCain and former Governor Mitt Romney spoke out against him. When he was asked if that was a threat, he denied it was a threat. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘That wasn’t a threat, it was a promise.’  That’s what I heard in my mind as he denied the threat. In fact, when he was asked about Governor Romney’s comments he also added that when the Governor ran for President, he would have gotten down on his knees for Trump’s endorsement. I shan’t  explain the allusion he was making, but needless to say, Mr. Trump has not proven himself a statesman, let alone a gentleman. We have also been assured that his phallus is of satisfactory size. I have never needed to know how a candidate is endowed to make a political decision.

Mr. Trump claims he is an amazing businessman. What he neglects to say is how many of his business ventures have ended in bankruptcy, leaving others holding the debt. He says he loves the uneducated. Well, of course he does, they don’t research his claims, look into the details of his dealings or life. They say the devil is in the details and that’s where Mr. Trump lives, but not how he speaks.

I will end this blog post here. There are many other issues to bring up, comparisons to leaders of other times that could be made, but I just wanted to deal with now. Please, go back and look at his statements, how he has done business, where his priorities have been and where we stand as a people in those priorities. That’s all I ask. God bless this country and help bring us to his will (God’s).

Sympathy for Trump

 

Time Springs Forward

It’s that time of year again where we humans try to manipulate time to benefit our own agendas. If you haven’t heard yet, at 2 a.m. Sunday (really Saturday overnight), March 9, you are instructed to turn your clocks forward one hour. That depends, of course, on if the part of the country you reside follows the time change guidelines. I expect to see lights come on in neighborhoods all over Illinois at 2 a.m. that night/morning as people rise at the government-designated time to physically change their clocks. What is that you say? Don’t hold my breath? Well, I have to admit, even though we own and operate Willy’s Tick-Tock Clock Shop, we won’t be up then either!

I don’t believe it matters if we move the hands of the clocks forward or backward, because time itself will always move forward no matter how hard we try to manipulate it. As humans, we are used to managing and manipulating nature to our liking. We clear forests, plow up grasslands, tunnel through mountains, and dam rivers to accommodate our wants and needs. We’ve built windmills to harvest the power of the wind, water mills to use the power of water, mined the earth, power our homes with oil, gas, and coal, supplement power with solar panels, geothermal heat,  and even split atoms for both the welfare and detriment to man. The one thing we really haven’t been able to manipulate is time.

We are fascinated by time. It is an enigmatic entity. Entity? What is it really? You can’t touch it, hear, smell, taste, or see it, but it moves on and we are all affected by it. From the moment we are conceived, the clock starts ticking for us. There are some people that seem to have their whole lives mapped out from the moment they come out of the womb. Then, there are those of us that have reached the ripe old age of 50 and still don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. Not to be trite, but, where does the time go?

I look around in my own life and wonder that same thing. When I was in grade school, we had an assignment that I remember very well. We were talking about history and time. We were supposed to take the year 2000 (wow!) and figure out how old we would be that year. I did the math and figured out I would be 37 years old. Thirty-seven years old? Oh. My. God. I couldn’t imagine being 37 years old. I didn’t even think my parents were that old! It seemed like school years lasted for years and summer was but a weekend. Remember the agony of waiting for, well, anything when you were a kid? “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Time was not our friend, or so we thought.

After my 21st year, time seemed to speed up. Juggling school, work, and a social life became the new challenge. I didn’t feel like things were taking forever, now I had to try to keep up as things were moving faster. I didn’t meet my Husband until later in life, so consequently, I wasn’t chasing little ones around during this time. I had a career, roommates, friends, family, and time seemed to just slip by doing other things. I fought against time by not acknowledging it..

I met my Husband and time changed again. Time was so short when I was with him and workdays were forever until I could be with him again. Maybe that’s why we say love makes us feel young again. Coincidentally, we met in the year 2000. We moved to Chenoa. I worked as a secretary and Will was a nursing home administrator. Will’s Grandfather collected clocks and tinkered with them, he had downsized his collection and Will had a couple of his clocks. He wanted to keep them in good running order and have the movements restored. They meant a lot to him. He remembered watching his Grandfather make the case of one we have in our house. We searched a long time to find someone and when we did, they complained about working on them. Will decided to learn how to work on clocks, especially if he was going to collect them. So he did. He trained with a professional, read every book on the subject he could find, watched videos, and spent hours upon hours training. It seemed like forever!

He found out that a lot of other people also had timepieces they needed restored. Hence, the birth of Willy’s Tick-Tock Clock Shop. At first, he just did restorations, but then we needed to expand to sales as well. We remodeled the other half of the building into a showroom for new clocks. We worked long hours and with help from friends and family, finally finished the project. Next came the website. We had people wanting to see clocks, but there is a limited amount of space and too many clocks to be able to house them all. Will spent more long hours of researching and developing the website. Clock descriptions, pictures, videos, music clips, shopping cart features and a lot of faith went into www.willygoodclocks.com. In the meantime, I have been learning to restore clock movements as well.

I come from starting out as an art major and finally getting my degree in psychology. May I tell you that no matter how gently you speak, or how often you curse at it, a cuckoo clock will still need to have all the adjustments made properly before it will run correctly. Trust me. The restoration process is time consuming and not for the faint of heart. The movement is disassembled, we check all the parts for wear, polish the pivots (end of gears that come through the brass plates) to a mirror finish, replace all the bushings (holes where the pivots come through) that are not perfectly round, broach the new bushings to fit perfectly, run the movement through a cleaning system, reassemble the movement, oil, and test the clock. This is a continuing learning experience for me, but I have come a long way. There is great satisfaction in taking something might be 100 years old and giving it new life again, while preserving it’s beauty and value.

I look back and it seems like we started the business just yesterday, but it has been about 10 years. It’s like looking at children and how fast they grow. It just amazes me how time goes so fast watching our nieces and nephews grow up. Our oldest nephew is 22 now. It seems like I was just holding him my arms watching him follow my bright blue gloves. That’s how I got my family nickname, Aunt Bleu (french spelling please). It made my heart melt when I got to cuddle with our oldest niece the other day. She is 17, but still wants to curl up next to her Aunt. The 11-year old wants to take over the clock shop when we retire and during visits, wants to “handle” the customers. The seven year-old still wants to be a pirate princess, and we just celebrated our youngest nephew’s 1st birthday. Love makes us feel young and children make us feel old!

Passing time makes us sentimental. Remembering things that happened in the past fondly. We attach those feelings to objects, pictures, jewelry, and yes, clocks. Our business’ foundation is built on sentimental emotions. Will started the business because he felt a closeness to the clock his Grandfather built. You can tell when people bring in a clock the real value of that timepiece. Sometimes they bring it in swaddled like a baby; sometimes, they bring it in and tell us how they remember hearing it tick and chime growing up; and we have had widowers come in with a clock they want fixed because it was their spouse’s favorite piece and they think of them every time it chimes. We strive to honor those emotions, those memories, not just because we get paid to do it, but because we would want our memories honored in that same way.

I don’t think I have answered the question about what time is, either socially or scientifically. I don’t know that I, or anyone ever really will answer that, but what I do know is that we should be mindful of how we spend this fleeting time that we are gifted.

“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life.” by an anonymous USMC Veteran

Wuve, twue wuve

a-true-love-story-never-ends

It is February! We all know what that means, Valentine’s Day. Actually, it is St. Valentine’s Day. According to the Catholic Church, St. Valentine was a priest that was aiding, abetting, and marrying Christians during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. In the year 269, he was arrested for assisting Christians and held at the Emperor’s pleasure. He apparently tried to convert the Emperor and for that was beaten with clubs, stoned, and beheaded. Pope Gelasius  marked the remembrance of St. Valentine’s martyrdom as February 14th in the year 496.

So here we are today and how do we honor someone that gave their life to help others that were being persecuted for their beliefs? Do most of us even have that kind of love to give out to others? Bruno Mars would die for you, but would you die for him? How deep is a love that is requited with candy hearts, chocolate (I’m not saying not to give me chocolate. Just making a point here folks, don’t get carried away.), a dinner at a nice enough restaurant, or some flowers. Gestures are a nice way to demonstrate affection, but the marks of real love are small and cumulative.

Don’t tell my Husband, but I am rethinking the whole card thing. I always want at least a card to mark Valentine’s Day, my birthday and our anniversary. I am starting to believe that society has trained us to want those things as proof that our significant other has not taken us for granted. That they still remember and acknowledge those moments in time that are milestones for us as humans and as a couple.

Perhaps it would mean more to tell someone how much they mean to you on those days and share the day with you, rather than picking through cards that have generic sayings in them. What would I really like instead of a card on an essentially Hallmark driven day? I would love for my Husband to come in with some of my favorite flowers, freshly cut from the neighbors lilac bush. Oh, that is without prompting. We are still working on that one!

I don’t need specified holidays to know my Husband loves me. I know it every day. I wasn’t feeling good today and went in and laid down on the bed in the afternoon. He came in to check and see if I was alright. I know it when he tries to cop a feel as I get into the shower, curl my hair, handle a sharp knife, lift a boiling pot of water, and etc. I know it when he lets me take his arm when I am tired or when it might be slick. I know it when he refills my coffee in the morning. I know it when he volunteers to turn off the Xbox and watch a documentary about the Amish with me. I am very lucky to have a man that loves me. We are lucky to have each other.

We met by happenstance, but our being together was by a group of determined forces. We were both working in human services. He was the Administrator of a larger facility, and I, was a director of a program for community and residential services in the same town. I had begun holding networking meetings for agencies in several counties once a month. He came with the Director of Nursing (DON) for his facility. We were introduced and neither of us thought anything of it. However, his DON (and boss’ wife) decided then and there that we were going to be together. The scheming began.

My roommate worked for the same company and was sent home by the DON to tell me about this amazing man. The stories of his greatness made me laugh and ask where the bodies were buried! I was also informed that at the next meeting he would be asking me to lunch and I needed to go. I scoffed, but figured that it would just be an hour out of a day. I found out later that the DON had dropped a hint that he should take me for lunch. He had no idea of the scheme.

That next meeting, he came to the meeting. I kept looking at him and thinking how stoic he was and what was I going to do with that? I looked down and saw that he had Spacejam socks on. For those of you that are too young, Spacejam was an animated movie with Michael Jordan and the Warner Brothers characters. I loved Spacejam. Yes, I am a cartoon girl. Maybe, I thought, there was at least a sense of humor. Well, he asked me to lunch for the next Wednesday. We went to lunch. It was over two hours and we were almost inseparable after that. She was right and we acknowledged her at our wedding. He also wore the Spacejam socks with his tuxedo.

What happened to change my mind? I actually let him be him, not what I thought he was going to be. He is a wonderful soul, caring, loving and intelligent. He is strong, soft, brave, and my balance. I could not be more proud to walk beside this man who walks beside me. Even when I cringed the other night when he was doing laundry and we went to the neighbors’ house with him in plaid fleece pants and a plaid work shirt, I would not trade him for anyone. I want our love story to continue and never end.

This is my St. Valentine’s Day card for my Husband. I don’t know if he will read this, he doesn’t really like to read my blog. But maybe I will just open it up for him sometime around Valentine’s Day.

Think about if you would die for someone.

 

http://youtu.be/SR6iYWJxHqs  Grenade by Bruno Mars

“We accidentally had sex”

This is really better for “Hump Day”.

I have heard this phrase used on reality shows, talk shows, scripted evening shows, and daytime soap operas. I have never quite figured out how one ‘accidentally’ has sex with another person. This is bothering me today.

My Husband and I were having our lunch today as I watched a soap opera to which I have become attached. Since we work together in our clock shop and I fix the lunch, he is subjected to it as well. Today, two people had sex that don’t belong together. I know that may shock some of you, but it does happen from time to time. We surmised that when they are found out they will use the excuse that they had sex “accidentally”.

How does one have sex accidentally? “Excuse me honey, but we were just talking and out of nowhere, her vagina just grabbed my penis and began gyrating!” I can’t see that flying. I can’t imagine being able to turn off my consciousness and suspend my cognitive abilities long enough to not realize that my clothes have been parted, as well as my legs, and then suddenly become aware. Oops, I believe I’ve just had sex with someone. Now, I am clumsy, but come on people!

For several hours this afternoon, I kept trying to come up with scenarios where one might have sex by accident. The only one I could come up with was if you were perhaps riding a special “Nude” bus, using the hand bars (because it is full of naked people). Then just at the moment you had to bend over to pick up the bible you dropped, the driver slammed on the brakes as you entered a ‘slow speed’ area and the gentleman behind you (alert and erect) was thrown forward with enough force to enter your vagina. Then, before the two of you could disentangle yourselves from this awkward predicament, the bus driver kept hitting the inappropriately spaced speed bumps for the next mile or so.

Any other ideas?

Can you say ‘epicaricacy’? I knew you could.

I learned a new word today; epicaricacy.

Schadenfreude is a word I have heard used more commonly in recent times. It is a German word roughly translated as ‘joy of harm’. Basically, you are experiencing schadenfreude when you derive pleasure from someone else being harmed. I suppose it could be as simple as laughing at someone that falls down, or even laughing at your own mishaps. I posted a picture of Facebook just the other day of my left pinky toe. If you’ve read my other posts, you know how I feel about my feet (yeech) and trying to maneuver two size-13 planks while walking a bit like a duck can be a dangerous proposition. My foot came this pinky toe short of making it past a sturdy chair. Did it hurt? Hellz yesss! Did the cat look at me funny? Yep. Did my Husband yell (not looking up from saving the world on Call of Duty) “What did you do now?” Yep. Can I laugh about it now? Kinda.

My favorite personal example of schadenfreude is exemplified by my good friend Erika. I have a falling story that makes her cry in laughter every time she thinks of it. She has even sent me messages telling me she told my “falling story” again, and is still laughing thinking about it. The story goes that while I was attending college I worked part-time in the athletic recreation office. I would come from the gymnasium, cross (kitty cornered) a busy three-way stop to walk to the Psych building where most of my classes were. This day, I was wearing a new outfit. I had a brand new spanking pair of light blue jeans (yes, it was a while ago) and a pair of new cowboy boots. It was a bit misty that day and the pavement was wet. I was heading to class before work, so I walked from the parking lot, past the gymnasium and used my right of way to cross the three-way stop. At this time there were cars lined up in all three directions waiting to turn. I was the lone pedestrian. I made it to the middle of the intersections and boom! My new boots slipped and I went down on my left knee on the wet pavement (I was Tebowing before it was popular). The knee the my new jeans split across from seam to seam and I bloodied my knee. I jumped back up and hobbled to class trying to regain my dignity. I had to go to work after class through that sameintersection to get to work. Midway through the intersection, my heel slipped and boom! My right knee hit the pavement, splitting the jean leg from seam to seam and bloodying that knee as well. I wobbled to work lacking any dignity at this point. What I am thinking is that there is probably someone out there that saw me fall both times. How do you think their story goes?

So, schadenfreude just wasn’t the word I was looking for today. Upon looking it up I came across ‘epicaricacy’. It translates from the Greek as “joy upon evil”. It may seem like a similar word, but I think the word evil makes a difference.

Humans seem to crave the humiliation and degradation of those that we see as ‘fallen’ around us. Taunting one another, watching others fail, no, waiting and hoping for others to fail so that it makes us feel better. We have become a society of harpies and it makes me shudder to think what the upcoming generation will tolerate and encourage for their own self-pleasure and entertainment.

Not that getting enjoyment from watching people fail and having evil befall them hasn’t been around since the beginning of time. In 2012, there are careers built around this epicaricacy. It is difficult to turn on the TV, radio, or computer without coming across this slithering kind of joy. It may have been the fault of the soap opera, bringing us crafted stories of ridiculous drama in people’s lives that we could watch and feel better about our own lives. I enjoy a few soap operas. The need to see more, more, and more has grown exponentially. We need it to be ‘real’ now. Well, what we want to call real.

Our society has come to believe that reality is now not reality. The advent of Reality TV has brought contrived reality to the masses. Professional Wrestling has always had a cult following. Everyone knows that the dramas and most fights aren’t really real, but they pretend they are so we can enjoy some schadenfreude and root for the good guy. We have stopped rooting for the good guy. Somewhere along the line, we began to enjoy the pain and humiliation the bad guy inflicted upon his opponent more than seeing evil defeated. Part of that may be that we stopped seeing the good guy as a good guy and someone that is really flawed and therefore fair game.

People are willing to prostrate themselves to the gnarling masses for a variety of reasons. I always wondered why people would agree to appear on the Jerry Springer Show. I think a lot of them enjoy the ‘moment of fame’ as they see it. I also think that some of them are desperate to find some kind of help, and have no where else to turn. I know several people that just howl in laughter at the people on the show because they have convinced themselves that it can’t be real. I have seen enough in my life to know that those people are real and a majority of the stories and issues are likely real.

I worked with people living with developmental disabilities for quite a few years. Anyone that has seen people that choose to live on their own have seen living conditions, dramas, and ideas that seem surreal to those of us raised in middle-class society. That time brought Maslow’s Heirarchy of Need to life for me. At one point, I had helped a woman go into the hospital for psychological treatment and her husband became very angry with me. I was informed that he had put out a ‘hit’ on me. I was shaken because $40 and a carton of cigarettes in that circle could have been big trouble for me.

Jerry was pretty early in the game. Now everywhere you turn they are out there in different forms. From “Jon and Kate Plus Eight”, “TMZ”, and I even consider “Big Brother” forms of our need for epicaricacy. What has sickened me recently is the epicaricacy over Nadya Suleman’s falling into humiliation and degradation. This is a woman that has been assisted in her psychological delusions by medical professionals by allowing her to procreate beyond reason. Now, in her desperation to care for the children she now has, she finds that her option to make money is based upon a certain segment of the populations’ desire to see her literally prostrate before them. She has started to venture into pornography and public stripping to try to make money to support her children. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the future in this case. She will eventually lose the ability to care for her children, they will be removed from her care and she will further slide until we hear about her final throes.

Until that time, she will be comedic and voyeuristic fodder. Fodder. An appropriate word to use here. She and others like her are used up to feed society’s joy of evil. Evil for evil’s sake and evil done to others. I am afraid we are near a societal collapse that I don’t want to be around to see.

Learning to live….

I’ve been afraid of changing, ’cause I built my world around you. Time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older too.” ~ Stevie Nicks, Landslide

I am an Aunt. I was blessed not to have children. By that I mean I was not ready to have children until the last decade. I went through the no self-esteem method of choosing men until about 36 or so, then when I met a man I would have wanted to have children with, my body had betrayed me and it was not possible. I think it was destined for me, because my Husband is more than happy not to have children and it just be us. But we are damned good at being Aunt Bleu (my favorite color and nickname) and Uncle Will.

We have one nephew and three nieces. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a parent, if the emotions I have as an Aunt are just a touch of those of a parent. Every time I see them, my heart skips a beat. Their ages are; 5, 9, 15, and 20. It’s such a joy and at the same time so painful watching them grow up. Hearing their early words, those small feet running to give you a big hug, and watching them develop into beautiful men and young women pulls at my heart and fills it with joy. But watching them go through the pains and suffering of not only youth, but additional sufferings that I will not speak of here tears at my very soul.

I can only empathize with parents as their children grow up that I would take an eternity of eye rolls and hand-hipped foot stomps than watch the pains that we humans put ourselves and others through, touch the forever little ones that are our hearts. The famous quote about what does not kill me makes me stronger (paraphrased) doesn’t seem to apply to being an Aunt. What does not kill my nieces or nephew may make them stronger, but it sure kills a little part of me. Maybe that’s why we do survive as children and young adults. As we go through life, those who have gone before us suffer to give of themselves so that we may live. I guess that may be what Christ-like behavior really is after all.

TTYL


Hello, my name is Crystal and I am on Pinterest…

Follow Me on Pinterest

People thought that My Space was a huge waste of people’s time, then came Facebook. Now enter the female heroin of cyberspace…Pinterest.

They are evil. You hear a whisper of this new website, but you need an invitation. I fell for that with gmail, but I like my gmail, so how bad can this be? I want in. I get my invitation and open the page to a dream!

Remember when Sears, JCPenny and others used to mail out those HUGE catalogs? Mom used to have us play this game when I think she wanted us to be quiet. She would hand us each a big catalog with some paper and tell us we had a certain amount of money to spend. The first one to spend the exact amount of money won. Then, we got to look at what each other spent the money on. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the best financial management training game, but it was fun!

Pinterest is almost like that game, only you can add anything from anywhere!!! As a catalog lover, it’s like getting to peruse all of your friend’s catalogs and shopping lists without all of the cumbersome paper! Help me!

I am addicted now. I just keep adding and adding and adding pins! I am trying to figure out how to have my Husband add the little “P” to our clock website (www.willygoodclocks.com) so other people can share all of the beautiful products we carry! (insert maniacal laughter here) I don’t know how many pins I can have, but there seems to be new stuff daily, hourly, by the minute! In fact, I have had to check it twice while writing this post!

I could rationalize it by saying it is a good way to share recipes, thoughts, tips with other people. It’s not. It’s my way of guiding everyone to think like I do, like what I do, do what I do! Muwaahhaaahaa!

So, if you would like to participate in my world domination, click on the icon at the top of the post and join me…follow me.

TTYL