Canadian Geese

I live near the Canada border.  The other day, a family of Canadian geese were in my yard.

Baby geese chasing Momma.

I have the good fortune of having a Momma bear and her cubs as my neighbors.

I call her Dolly.

Today, I saw a post trending on Facebook about Margaret Mead and the first sign of civilized humanity.  It was good:

“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.
But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.”

We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.”

Alot of animals do this too.  I’ve been sick with Covid and my 2 dogs refuse to leave my side. 

They slept by me all day. 

But geese, now Canadian geese, are special too. 

The V formation

Canadian geese fly south for the winter. It’s a long haul in a v formation in the sky.

1. They stick together.

2. The strongest takes the lead at first.

3. When the strongest gets tired, it falls back to the back of the group to regain strength protected from the winds by the others.

4. They rotate the front leaders and take turns with the youngest and weakest protected at the back.

5. If a goose gets hurt, shot, or falls out…2 geese volunteer to leave the group too to follow the goose down and stay with the goose until it gains strength again or passes on.

6. The geese honk alot to each other in v formation either for communication, comraderie, or encouragement.

Animals are more like humans than it seems sometimes.

Yesterday, I learned Rudyard Kipling wrote the Jungle Book while living in Vermont. Remember Mowgli? Maybe his book about the connection between man and nature had a lot to do with living here among these animals…the black bears and geese and deer here.

Anyway, I haven’t seen Dolly the bear and her baby cubs in a while. She showed up the day my son returned home from Guam. Coincidence? Maybe.

She does kinda remind me of Baloo living the bear necessities out here in Vermont. In the Jungle Book, the animals take Mowgli in and teach him how to survive and protect him. They remind me of Dolly, my Canadian geese family, and my own little “wolf pack,” my pups. We humans have a lot to learn from animals and nature too. This whole time living at this mountain cabin for a year, I thought I was letting the animals enter our domain, the fields and forests nearby, but no, it’s the other way around here. They have allowed me to be here and are beginning to trust me more. Just this morning, I saw 2 deer by my bird feeders so close to the house. I even set out a bowl of peanuts in shells for the ravens.

Something about living here in Vermont is changing me. I am becoming gentler, calmer, and healing.

And it has everything to do with the animals.

Unsung Hero

A dedication to giant barrels of cheeseballs:

How many times have I walked past you smirking and saying. “No one needs that much cheeseballs.”
I secretly wanted to buy you though and pop the top and devour you and cover my hands all in cheesy goodness popping one after another after another after another etc in my mouth.
Years went by and I ignored you with disdain.
Yet in my darkest hour, when work got to be too much and I tested positive with Covid…you, giant barrel of cheesey poofs, you were there for me. I admit with shame…I kinda let my composure go and reveled in cheese mess excess….watching TV and hugging you to my chest in my despair on the lazy boy like a long lost friend …and you came through for me. You made me happy again in that amazing moment of sheer unadulterated gluttony and for that I owe you a debt of gratitude oh glorious barrel of cheesy delight!

Oft maligned…you have withstood the lofty sneers and slander only to serve humanity over and over again in our darkest of darkest hours, the dark night of the soul. How many have sought you out when all else fails to cheer them up oh wondrous puff of cheesy air? So you sit day by day near the check out lane at Walmart..waiting for barrel hugs from sad humans only seeking to make us smile again! I salute you oh marvelous giant barrel of cheeseballs. You saved me…well at least for ten minutes. How many countless others have you saved? You made them think they could go on..well life is not so bad if wondrous cheesey poofs exist in the world. Right? Your merit goes unnoticed day by day yet you persevere to benefit humanity endlessly.

Bravo cheesey poofs! Bravo.

You are the unsung hero of the Walmart check out lane.

The Economy

A drop of sweat fell from Atlas’ brow.  He furrowed his eyebrows watching with downcast eyes as it fell to the concrete floor.  The weight was becoming unbearable.  He shrugged slightly to the right, to hold the weight a little better.  This slight movement, jostled the rest of the passengers in the pyramid pile. 

Atop him in the pyramid pile, was Dorian Gray.  He stared admiringly at his own visage in the mirror, disregarding the wretched soul in the painting near him.  So handsome he was, he pondered to himself.  So beautiful, so wealthy, so noble…..and yet, the disgusting eyes of the horrible picture answered back in silent judgment. 

When Atlas moved, it rocked the mirror a bit so that Dorian had to hold it to prevent it from falling.

“Watch what you’re doing, you brute clout!”  He yelled down to Atlas who merely grunted beneath the burden. 

He went on to admire himself further.  Such red lips, such regal stature….such awe-inspiring glory……..and the nasty picture beside him laughed mockingly. 

He looked down his lofty perfect nose at Atlas.

“You stupid soul.  If only you would learn to manage your money more carefully as I do, you would not be in such a predicament.  But you are the only one to blame for what has happened to you. ” He said admonishingly.

Atlas grunted again and said no more.  He hated Dorian. 

Atop Dorian sat a police officer and a soldier.  When Atlas moved, the police officer got out his handcuffs and pointed threateningly down at Atlas.  The soldier, likewise, aimed his rifle down to the bottom of the pile.  They didn’t say much, just went about their day but every time Atlas shifted his burden, they would go to the edge, pointing at him silently and menacingly with their handcuffs and guns. 

Atlas was tired and wore out.

Above the soldiers, a voice called out to Atlas. 

“Atlas, dear, perhaps you just need someone to talk to or maybe some happy pills to keep you carrying such weight on your back.” 

It was the therapist who was neither very concerned about Atlas as his own place in the pyramid and how to not get stuck in Atlas’ position himself.  He carried with him a medical notepad and recorded in a file every movement poor Atlas made…..in case the police officer and soldier might need it later. 

Atlas sighed. 

Another voice beside the therapist called out from high in the pyramid.

“Oh dear Atlas, can’t you see that you are a sinner and all your sins have brought you to this point.  You must bear the weight with no hesitation as our dear lord and savior bore all the weight of salvation for you.  Be more like our savior and lord, Atlas.  Do not get down.  You only need to pray more while you bear the weight and perhaps the universe shall come to your aid.”

Atlas listened to this but he knew the universe would never really come.

The weight was getting so heavy.

He looked down with weary and despondent eyes.

He heard the oink from above and he looked up again with angry eyes.

Atop the great pyramid sat a fat and slovenly pig with a bib on.  He had gathered around him a great feast of lobster and all the finest things.  Wine, champagne, turkish delight….all and everything a pig could want.  He dove into it hungrily and spreading slop all around.  He snorted and snorted, happy as a pig at a trough and flat out ignored anything else going on in the pyramid pile, especially Atlas. 

Some food slid slowly down, dripping down from the top to the bottom.  It splattered on the concrete floor and all over Atlas.  He grunted and moved a bit to avoid the mess.  Everyone wobbled a bit more.  The police officer got out his handcuffs and shook his head at Atlas. 

“Now Atlas, you need to behave!  Stop jostling us around so much!  I can’t fix my hair.”  said Dorian Gray as he admired a new man satchel he had bought online.  Dorian worked from home but rarely did any real work.  He spent most of his days shopping online. 

The fat pig snorted from the top. 

And Atlas shrugged……..finally.

He threw the whole pyramid of jokers off his shoulders and with a mighty yell, pitched it as far away from him as he could get. 

“Jerks,” he said under his breath and turned and walked away. 

The police officer and soldier were first to get outta the heap mess and followed after the titan who for the first time in his immortal life was finally free. 

The titan kept walking away.  He looked over his shoulder at the others, neither smiling nor sad.  He looked ahead and kept walking into the sunset on the horizon……..and the police officer followed. 

Salmon Run

He was a preacher.
They’d checked him into the nursing home.
He was wheelchair-bound.
He had dementia and required a lot of medical attention.
So his wife checked him into the home.
She came to visit him every day
but noticed his smile and his light was fading.
One day, he said he wished he could go home.
So, it was decided. They planned together to make the trip.
One last trip together
to the place he was born.
He wanted to see the ocean tide.
to hold her hand and sit on the sand.
One last time.
She sold the house, sold all the possessions.
She bought an old van.
She took out the couches and made him a bed.
She made it wheelchair accessible.
She stocked up the van with everything they would need.
Her eye sight was bad.
Her hearing even worse.
She worried they wouldn’t make it.
There would be dangers up and down the road.
They had to cross 10 states to get there.
Plus his health was failing fast.
Nevertheless, they sat together and mapped out the route carefully.
He waited for the day.
On the day he left, I saw him sitting outside in the wheelchair.
He had got up early and waited two hours in advance to be picked up. He was smiling.
It was their final salmon run upstream – against the current, against the odds,
and they were doing it together.
No matter what.

7 Ideas for Women’s Products

I’m a woman. I’ve been a woman for 44 years. I think like a woman and I love to shop and try products. Over the years, I’ve had some ideas about things to make life better for women. Here are 7 interesting product ideas.

  1. Create a “sheet cover” for baby car seats. Baby car seats get notoriously grimey and dirty. We use fitted sheets for our beds. Why don’t we use fitted sheets for our babies to keep them safe, less dirty, and more comfortable? So create a baby car seat with a wide variety of fitted sheet covers that are velcro and super easy to take off the car seat. You can change them out once a week, put them through the wash and dryer, and them put them back on. You can order pack sets of car seat fitted sheets in all sorts of designs and themes. Think Disney animated characters or NFL teams or Major League baseball teams or Star Wars or rainbows or unicorns or whatever you want your child to see. You can have different textures too of fitted sheets and all kinds of washable fabrics used. Maybe you could even have fitted car seat sheets that are customized – you have your own artwork on them or your family photos.
  2. I used to work on concrete floors in a factory. I had the worst case of plantar fasciitis. It was god awful painful from like 2 pm in the afternoon to 5:00 pm every day. I would shift back and forth on my feet trying not to feel the pain. I ended up getting shots in my feet and buying all sort of expensive shoes that were supposed to guarantee me a soft cushion. They never worked. This lasted for probably 2 or 3 years every day. Finally, I fixed it. Guess how? I went to Walmart and bought those 10 dollar sneakers that are wide and got the generic almost like Nike swoosh on the sides. I don’t know where those are made from but those are the most comfortable shoes ever……for 2 months and then once again, the pain comes back from the concrete floors. I soon realized that the way to cure my plantar fasciitis for good was really simple. Buy those 10 dollar Walmart shoes every 2 months. 10 dollars every 2 months means 6 pairs of really comfortable pain-free shoes a year at a very cheap price of $60 a year. I don’t see why Walmart doesn’t market these shoes specifically for factory workers all over the world who work at low wages and have feet issues from concrete floors. Think about all the people around the world that would benefit from a program like that to cure their foot pain. Maybe you could even make the shoes recycleable or find a way to collect the used shoes to make some other product such as that rubber stuff they use in children’s playgrounds? Maybe you could even set up an annual shoe program on the Walmart website where they ship new pairs to people every 2 months and the customer pays a monthly auto deduct from their paycheck or perhaps an annual or semi-annual fee. This would be a good idea not just for factory people but for anyone that works a long time on their feet such as medical workers or construction workers or housekeepers or dietary workers/restaurant workers. You could ship them a different design or color of shoe every 2 months and again, use all sorts of colors/images/fabric textures.
  3. This brings up another point – Make shoes that prevent people from having foot problems. Address the issue of the damage high heels do to women’s feet. Create a campaign to revolutionize women’s footwear. A lot of women have to have surgery in their feet or shots in their feet or have severe bunions and such from high heels worn in their younger years. I think this is as archaic as the ancient technique of foot tying that Asian women used to do. High heels, although beautiful at times, are not healthy for women. Create shoes to address the issues women face in their feet. Make shoes perhaps that position their toes correctly (especially sandels not the thong kind that sells everywhere). Also keep people from getting fallen arches with proper arch support built in.
  4. Perhaps this is already addressed. I think I saw a commercial for this recently but another idea I considered is feminine products that are built into a disposable panty, almost like a depends or diapers but not so bulky but with enough coverage that they don’t gotta fear the maxi pad slipping to one side and leaking through their work clothes and leaving a humiliating blood stain. I don’t know about other women, but a few times a month I have to worry about this issue all day long at work and it would be so much easier if these were built better for all sizes of women from petite to 2XL sizes. Cause let’s face it, a maxi pad that fits a small size women is not always guaranteed for us bigger girls.
  5. Bring back ideas for women’s hair that prevents frizz. Consider bringing back the ideas of the 1940s with pin-curling hair or rag-curling and move away from excess heat styling.
  6. Create a website specifically for women to easily sell or donate their “gently used clothes, purses, belts, and jewelry” directly to each other. I know we have eBay and such but something really simple and easy that is strictly a clothing exchange for women all over the world to participate in. We also have Facebook exchanges but maybe create something that is easier exchange rather than having to meet up with each other in the Walmart parking lot to exchange cash and a cardboard box of things you are getting out of your closet. Maybe something that uses a Paypal or Venmo and has an easy way of shipping the product to each other with like cheap to buy “Amazon-like” shipping bags and easy ways to label them and stick them in the mailbox. Also, maybe each woman could create her closet page and quickly upload a screenshot of the clothing item via an app straight to their page collection and it would be organized in maybe 3 or 4 easy categories – pants, shirts, belts, and purses. When someone goes to their “closet”, they click on the category and it opens up a quick gallery of their screen shot pics with a quick price. You could call it something like the World Closet or something like that or maybe Penny Swap. Anyone could setup a closet, not just women. Maybe when you start out, you setup your username and password and it generates your generic closet page and you can customize it a bit and quickly order maybe 50 Amazon-like shipping bags that can go through USPS.
  7. Create a business to sell beirocks. They are a Volga German dish much like a hot pocket with hamburger meat, cooked cabbage, and cheese rolled into a sweet bread. Volga Germans came from the Ukraine so you could market it as a Ukrainian dish and donate a portion of profits back to helping Ukrainians in the war. You can make variations of the beirocks like a pizza beirocks with pepperoni slices and mozzarella and tomato sauce or a philly cheese steak beirocks or a ham and cheese beirocks or a chicken Kiev (see…Ukrainian again) or broccoli chicken or vegan beirocks, etc. There could be endless variations of the beirocks and they can come in frozen packages to be used individually for microwaves or for dinner with family. This would be a good idea to start up a factory making these. I don’t have that kind of money but it could be a good investment if marketed correctly, particularly with the idea of sending a donation per box sold to help Ukrainians. Get a popular Ukrainian like Mila Kunis to do a TV ad or something like that for it. I don’t got the money to mass produce any of these ideas. Maybe you do. Well, if you make like a gazillion dollars please kindly send me back a small amount for the seed idea cause this blog ain’t paying my retirement lol. Thanks for reading and have a good night.

Happy Father’s Day! 7 Life Lessons Learned from My Father

  1. Whatever you do, do it 100%. – My father taught me to water ski when I was 7 years old. I remember the little red skis with the white string to keep them together. It was not long before I was popping out of the water and criss-crossing back and forth across the wakes. My dad would sit me on the edge of the boat, put my skis on and pick up my little body and toss me in the water unceremoniously. I’d fly through the air, hit the water, the skis would threaten to drag me down and drown me, so I had no other recourse but to start doggy paddling like hell in a frenzy of fear and determination. Just matter of fact like that and then he’d walk away without looking back. It was always a sink or swim moment and I learned from an early age to keep my head above water, to hustle hard, and it is the most valuable skill I learned for adult life in the rat race. Fathers are good about that. Mothers will hover over you and helicopter you out of love. But Fathers will throw you in and feign to walk away, knowing that is the best thing for you and it is also an equal love, just a different kind, perhaps a better kind in the long run.
  2. Hold on no matter what. – Another water skiing lesson. After a few rounds about the lake going at an easy pace, we’d generally pick up speed or go over rougher waves or even go in tight circles. My forearms would get really sore but I got a reputation for hanging on. I wasn’t the kind of kid that could get thrown easily and I never went down without a stubborn fight or total wipe out with water going up my nose. I learned that life would be like a Tetris game or maybe Lucille Ball working in the Chocolate Factory with the conveyor belt speeding up and she’s stuffing chocolates in her bra to keep going with the supervisor yelling in the background to move faster. I learned from lesson #2 that you had to work hard and stubbornly maintain your work and speed because eventually, things are bound to get rougher and harder down the road. Show up to work most every day. Be present. Clear your desk as much as you can. Don’t get behind. Work earlier or later if needed so your “tetris pieces” or piles of paper don’t start stacking higher and higher. Whatever you do in life, do it with intensity. Even if things get faster and more out of hand just go with the flow and ride the waves as long as you can. If you succeed, succeed immensely. If you fail, fail brutally and embarassingly. The kind of wipeout that makes everyone laugh and ask if you’re ok and becomes a great story in hindsight. But just know, either way, there is no room for regret that you didn’t try hard enough. Avoid being lukewarm.
  3. Being strategic is far wiser than being charismatic. – Strategy will get you a long ways but it requires some important elements, listening and learning to move in silence. You must be willing to sacrifice ego to attain greater goods of security and persistence. “We spend our first 2 years learning to talk and all the rest of our lives, learning to be silent.” – Aristotle. My father was a vice president at a university for 30 some years. He managed the money. He was a strong, silent type that came in to work daily, did his accounting, and then went home to his wife and kids and his gardens. Many times, he would listen and give wise counsel but he never really stepped up to be the charismatic designated leader of the organization although he was the influence behind it. Presidents came and went and he stayed on through the years. Being the bureaucratic leader is a far more sustainable and advantageous position within government and where the real power lies, the power to raise up presidents and the power to undermine their authority if necessary to maintain the rule of law. If you don’t believe me, look at the Executive Branch.
  4. The best way to get along in the work place is to be quiet. – Adopt an attitude of calmness and others will feel that. “Aggressive people are a vexation of the spirit.” – The Desiderata. Think like a flight attendant and remain calm under most all circumstances. The more drama and gossip you involve in, the worse the work environment becomes for all members. Punch in. Do your work. Go home. When you get home, don’t discuss work. Keep home life and work life two separate spheres in order to maintain the peace, calm, and happiness of your home. I struggle very hard with this one personally as I often want to confide my work problems with my husband but as I get older, I learn that it really does him no good and instantly turns his attitude sour and pessimistic. If you love your family, do not burden them. If you gotta sit out in the car in the driveway a few more minutes and relax a bit or maybe hit the gym to release pent-up frustration, try to do so. My father used to go to work, come home and have dinner every night at the head of the table with us and then disappear for a few hours to watch television in his room. I get it now. Television has a way of mellowing a person out and instantly improving their mood. It is easy, effortless, and sometimes entertaining. As I get older, I realize that one must strike a careful balance between play and work every day. If you grind 8 hours and drive 2 hours and then cook dinner and clean dinner and do laundry until 8 or 9…….you are just burning yourself out internally. You need down time to maintain a positive mood which is the number one determinant of future success. Work smarter, not harder. You can get more done in the workplace with others with the right personality and attitude. What is that line, you can catch more with honey….something like that.
  5. Manage by walking around. – If you really want to know what is going on at the front line level in your organization, you must leave your office and be seen. Get out on the factory floor everyday and make yourself accessible to others. When I took classes at the university, I would often see my dad do this. He’d be examining the flower beds or talking to a custodian or I’d see him maybe talking to a faculty member here or there. He was observing what people needed help with and he’d go back to his office and work on those little things for them. The little things eventually become the big things if not attended to. During his tenure, the university campus was the most beautiful I had seen with carefully manicured and attended to lawns and the university was constantly in the process of building and acquiring donated funds from community contributors to expand in technology and engineering and the arts. “Pumping the flesh” as they call it, or shaking hands on all levels, is a very important part of managing. Like Zig Ziglar says in regards to sales, when you meet someone for the first time, learn what they are in need of and help them to fulfill that need and you will develop a life-long client.
  6. Leadership is not about you, it’s about being of service to others. – Go to work with the frame of mind that you are providing customer service to everyone that enters your office. What can you do to help them today? When you answer the phone, ask them how you can help them. Build networks through being of service to others and in turn, when you need help, they will be of service to you. Humble yourself and you will connect better with others.
  7. The best leaders are the ones who don’t want the job but take it because it needs to be done. – They see a vacuum and they fill it because they are responsible, not because they want the attention or the power.

What are the best lessons you learned from your father? You can share them here if you want to. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!

Protected by a Gang Leader

I rented Candyman. The 2021 movie tells the urban legend of a Southside region of Chicago that had project buildings built in the 1940s that by the 1980s and 1990s had become notoriously dangerous as gang and drug trade territory. Cabrini Green has an amazing history related to Irish and Italian gangs and then African American and Latino gangs later. It was originally referred to as Little Hell.

I was visiting my older sister who lived near the Lake just east of Cabrini Green and near the University of Chicago I think. She lived in a posh high-rise overlooking the waterfront. I brought my roommate Amy with me. We must have been about 19 or 20 and it must have been around the summer of 1998.

On our trip, Amy and I got all dressed up fancy to go shopping downtown and at the Navy Pier. We were Midwest girls from Kansas and we wanted to shop at all the expensive shops we didn’t have back home. We dressed up fashionably with heels and brand-name purses and our nicest clothes and by afternoon that day, we were loaded up with shopping bags. We caught a bus headed to my sister’s street on the Southside. We were tourists and so we stopped and checked with the bus driver to make sure we were on the right bus. She just looked at us and nodded but looked a little surprised.

The bus headed first west quite a ways and we got worried we were on the wrong bus. Then it turned south and we breathed a sigh of relief. But as we stayed on the bus together with all our stuff, we headed into worse and worse looking neighborhoods. We kinda got quiet and looked out the windows.

There were metals bars on the few shops in the neighborhood we were approaching. There were only a few people out in the streets and few cars and no taxis. A lot of the people we saw were wearing puffed up jackets even though it was warm that day. The churches were gated with high fences and the windows were barred too. Meanwhile, the big high rise houses looked pretty rough. Concrete jungle with lots of graffiti and some of the buildings were all boarded up with dark stairwells. I remember there didn’t seem to be a lot of kids around playing outside.

We got off the bus on the street corner of my sister’s street but it clearly was not in a good neighborhood. We didn’t really know where we were but we quickly reasoned that if we headed east we’d eventually come to the lake.

We crossed the street in our heels and fancy clothes with all our shopping bags. A man came out of the barred up convenient store across from us and quickly headed down the road south. We kept our heads down and our eyes on the ground, trying not to trip as we tried to pick up our pace. We didn’t speak to each other much but we knew instinctively not to stop much and not to talk to anyone and just keep moving towards the lake.

We made it maybe two blocks.

A large 1970s style grey Lincoln town car with lowered suspension and tinted windows quickly pulled right alongside us. We looked at each other quickly and kept walking, a little scared honestly at this point.

The Lincoln followed slowly behind us by the side of curb.

We didn’t stop to talk to them and they never lowered the windows. But whoever it was followed close behind us as we headed down the road for at least 8 blocks while wearing heels and laden down with shopping bags and purses.

We were afraid of the person or people in the car but in hindsight, the person or people whoever they were became an unlikely guardian. We were safe for 8 blocks in an area of the city where a lot of drive by shootings and rapes and murders sometimes occurred. That year around 704 people lost their lives in Chicago to murder.

On the 8th block, as we neared what looked like nicer houses and restaurants and some university area, the grey Lincoln silently pulled away from us. We could see them quickly turn right and head back into the neighborhood. Whoever, it was, they seemed to have protected us and probably had some clout or some money in the neighborhood, maybe even a gang leader or something.

We never learned who they were.

Another five or so blocks and we made it to the lake and to my sister’s high-rise. When we got to her apartment, we told her what happened and she looked at us in shock. “You were in Cabrini Green,” she said surprised.

“What is that?” we asked, having never been to Chicago before.

“It’s a bad area of town. Even the taxis don’t go down there.”

You can see what Cabrini Green looked like in the 1992 movie Candyman and then in this more recent version. I’ve traveled to the Middle East and to other places where I felt uncomfortable but no place ever worried me as much as that long walk that day.

In the late 1990s, a lot of those project buildings were tore down and in recent decades much revitalization of the area has been done. It now is a pretty nice region to live and I think they even renamed it to something like the Parkland or something like that.

I guess I owe a debt of gratitude to the occupants of that grey Lincoln car with the tinted windows that day. I am 44 years old today thankfully. I’ve been lucky like that, to come across unlikely protectors and guardians here and there. I was pretty young and very naive and stupid that day. I thank God they were there, whoever they were.

Diabetic Herbal Tea

I made a video about the benefits of dandelion, cinnamon, rosemary, and peppermint in an herbal tea for Type 2 diabetics. Unfortunately my phone broke the video up into 3 sections. It’s still good information so I posted it here.

The Short Reading List

I signed up for the Penguin House reading prompts. They suggested to put a small list of books together to read. It took me a good hour searching through Amazon for about 10 books I might try. These are the ones I selected:

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing (by Delia Owens) – I think it was the setting of this story that interested me…the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have an affinity for Ocracoke Island.
  2. The Screwtape Letters (by C.S. Lewis) – An old boss recommended this book to me. I didn’t really like that boss but what the heck, I’ll try the book. Don’t judge a book by a bad boss. If it’s anything like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – I’ll dig it although I must admit that Edward’s turkish delight did not live up to Lewis’ hype. Ick.
  3. The House on Mango Street (by Sandra Cisneros) – yum, mangoes…enough said.
  4. Flowers for Algernon (by Daniel Keyes) – I actually read this as a kid and absolutely loved it. Just want to reread it.
  5. Watership Downs (by Richard Adams) – My mom told me this was one of her favorites, an animal story, and I love animals.
  6. Love in the Time of Cholera (by Gabriel Garcia Marquez) – We’re in a pandemic. Why not read about another one? I think I saw this in a movie once. I seem to recall it was very sad. Something about unrequited love and come on, everybody has someone from their past they are curious about looking up on Facebook now….except now you find out he’s balding and got a pot belly.
  7. The Name of the Rose (by Umberto Eco) – ok, I loved this movie with Sean Connery as a kid. I mean who wouldn’t love a medieval monastery murder mystery with a priest detective? Oh, by the way, another absolutely awesome book in a similar vein but set in Japan with samurais is The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. Great book.
  8. Murder and Mayhem in Southeast Kansas (by Larry Wood) – ok, I’ll be honest, my friend from the Writer’s Guild wrote this..so I’m curious. Plus, the cover has the Dalton Gang from Coffeyville on it and I am certain the book talks about the Benders.
  9. Milk and Honey (by Rupi Kaur) – it’s poetry. I like poems. Plus….way, way easier to read.
  10. When Wolves become Birds (By Alise Versalla) – ok, ok, another poetry book. Hey, to be fair, there’s a lot of reading on this list and I wanted to finish easy. Plus the title kinda intrigued me.