~Living a life of sophisticated domestication deep in the heart of Texas~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The other day...

...might have been a day to celebrate a birthday.  The person whose day it was is no longer "with us," so to speak, but there are more than a few memories of who she was and what she did and said and thought and loved (whew) that live on in my mind.  Or maybe it's just in my heart, most days.

A few of you know who this is, just by seeing the flowers.

She loved delphiniums.  Flowers that grew as tall as they could along the fence behind the white daisies, with bees, heavily dusted with pollen, busily buzzing around.  She'd cut bouquets for friends and to take to church.  The floral stems were so many and so tall that they had to be laid out on a towel in the back seat of the car, with a tall vase wrapped in tissue paper, waiting her arrangement.  Just beautiful.  I always liked to gather up the fallen blossoms and dry them in a dish on my dresser. That's a fun memory.

What else do I remember about her?  Oh, that on her birthday morning one of us would have a heckuva time getting a parking spot close to the Pioneer Bakery so we could go pick up her usual cake.  She loved the springtime bouquet of daffodils and grape hyacinths designed to fit on a round cake with almond filling between the layers, frosted in buttercream, and the cake almond flavored, too.  Vanilla ice cream picked up on the way back to the house.  Coffee would be served and frilly napkins and gifts stacked nearby with ribbons and cards over which to exclaim.  Lots of laughter.

Those are the bright, happy memories that offset some of the more serious thoughts and questions I still have that emerge in dreams of days gone by, when family was close and people were in touch.

I do know that she would have been helping me get to where I am today, in Texas.  She'd have lots to say and be sending bulbs and tubers and seeds for gardens (same temperate zone) and she'd be telling me to stick up for what I believe and live my dream.  Don't set those goals aside!  Don't be talked out of anything about which you really care or believe or want to try!  Hang on to those "manners" and get back your equanimity.  Be proud of what you've accomplished and done.  Don't pay attention to people who don't pay attention to who you are or what you know or where you've been.  Speak less often if you have to.  Think more.  Don't get mad....get even.  (That would be a BIG one)  You don't have to yell to be heard.  Just keep your Truth and Be You.

Yeah.  Those would be the positive influences she had back when, and still would have.  There are negatives in there, too....but it wouldn't be nice to speak ill of the dead.  Especially when you're talking about them on or near their birthday.


Happy Birthday, EL.  You did right by me, and I do thank you.

So there.

;~) Shawn xo

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

You have 2 cows...

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then
throws the milk away

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy
You sell them and retire on the income

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by
your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption
for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States , leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to
produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why
the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows. You borrow lots of euros to build barns, milking sheds, hay stores, feed sheds,
dairies, cold stores, abattoir, cheese unit and packing sheds.
You still only have two cows.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce
twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called a Cowkimona and
market it worldwide.

You have two cows,
but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the ** out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least you are now a Democracy.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive...

attributed to Matthias Vargas
With thanx to our friend Magda, who lives in South Africa and is very funny.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The problem with the world today ....

.... is that everyone says they care, but most (including me many times) don't back it up with any effort. One can only assume that if caring is not backed up by effort, then it is not really caring. 

Nobody has time to sit and relax and talk and play. Everybody is too busy with their own lives and dramas. People will be sitting across from you and not even notice that your hair is on fire. Its always about tomorrow and next year. I am having this experience so I should post it on Facebook.

Everybody has their nose in their phone texting and multitasking and we all forgot how to be just plain ole friends and family that do things with each other and communicate and watch the kids play, or even play with them ourselves. 

It used to be so easy to be a friend and have friends and it has turned out to be the hardest thing in my life to do anymore. You build relationships over the years and then they get blown off and you never see that person again except maybe at their funeral. You gather with friends at Christmas or Fourth of July or birthday parties, and realize you will probably not see them again till the next celebration. I may be getting old, but I liked it back when our phones were connected to the wall and there were not 150 channels on TV, and 30 some-odd cold medications to pick from and just too many choices.

You and your friends wore the same thing more than once and your car was a beater and you and your girlfriends all got together and borrowed each other’s clothes and went with a carful to the drive-in and never paid attention to the movie. We were actually forced to stay connected with each other, stay in one place, do one thing at a time (maybe two).

Having everything you want right now or striving to have it all has made us less human and less happy. Things. Then more things.

If a friend does not act the way you want them to you blow them off instead of talking it out and all that history goes down the drain. Everybody can see the faults in others and will only accept people that are doing what they think is the right thing. We don't mind pointing out what is wrong with another but have a hard time with giving actual deep spiritual hugs and saying “I really love you and I want to know what you are going through.”

We don't let our children be children. We want them all grown up in one second and to keep up with the other kids the same age as them, and be the best at everything. We don't want them to act like babies. We don't want needy, imperfect kids or grown-ups around us. We call them emotional vampires. We don't accept imperfection in any area of our lives. But NOW is all there is and this always involves imperfection. We need to accept people we love for what they are now, not what they can be in the future.

Our children won't really remember how nice and perfect their house was. My favorite house growing up was my Nanny's (grandmother’s) and I remember going out and playing with friends, playing card games at the dining room table, eating chocolate cakes that she made with pecan halves on top, smells of her soap when I took a bath, the color of grass and a sprinkler to play in, the picture hanging over the bed I slept in when I spent the night. It feels like contentment and security. We remember the things that are usually uneventful that happen daily and that invoke the feelings that someone cares and loves us no matter what we did.

These days, I have never been so lonely being surrounded by people. I remember when we looked at each other in the eye in the supermarket and said hello. I remember when someone driving had the courtesy to wait until they person in front of them made a turn without blaring on the horn or speeding around to cut in line. I remember when people said they were gonna do something with you and actually followed through. Or maybe I just remember it all wrong. I'm just saying that I need to be present for a person sitting in front of me. That is the best gift I can give to the person I love. Focus. Listen. Look at a person. Don't run away if they cry or get angry. Make an investment in flesh and blood. Matter.

I have probably three huge boxes of pictures and mementos and at least 30 or more home movies of people that I once loved or called friends. Many have died and many have left my life or me theirs for stupid reasons. Most are not in my life anymore. They rejected me or I rejected them. We don't stick around and work it out. Maybe all those memories are worthless in the end. Maybe it is better to be a robot. I don't know. Get it done and don't let your emotions get involved. That is maturity right? Don't be weak. Don't cry or act like you care. Don't wear you heart on your sleeve. Become a robot. People like you better that way.

Sylvia d'E

Our guest blogger is smart, sweet and funny.  She's a dynamic woman making a difference in San Angelo, Texas, and we're privileged to have her as a friend.  Thank you, Sylvia!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day....

....from Texas, America!!!

Shawn & SGTex

Friday, February 7, 2014

Words shared with me....

"The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.

They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."

~ Henry Beston "The Outermost House"

These words were shared with me today, and I wanted to share them with you.