I've Landed!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Victory




The market place.
How I love the market place.
The market place is where community starts and ends.
It is the time immemorial human meeting place.

And there was Darla.
I hadn't seen Darla since I retired several years ago and left her behind in the workplace, the local hospital.
Yet there she was.
Happy to see me!

Catching up, Darla said, "Oh course I look good, Riverwatch!  I beat cancer."

Four years ago "they" gave her 2-6 weeks to live.  Even with chemotherapy she was considered doomed. Pancreatic cancer.
Thank goodness she went to see her favorite surgeon before starting the chemo.

He is one of the favorite surgeons for so many of us who worked along side him in the local hospital. 
He looked at Darla's tests and said, "Darla, I think I can save your life."
And he did.
The surgery was horrendous....took everything.....her recovery was slow, the chemo also deepened her nausea, but eventually that was all history.  "Can you believe the only thing I could eat was tomato soup?  How strange is that when you are nauseated?  Tomato soup, tomato soup, tomato soup!"

She was celebrating her advent into her 80's.  A happy shopper.  Cancer free.

"By the way", she said as we parted, "my husband died last year."



Beating cancer caps everything.


Riverwatch
Thanks for your visit.








Friday, June 16, 2017

I am my mother's mother.








Long before children become parents,
                                                           they begin to remake their parents. 


Wordsworth was talking about something else,
                                                                        but his line captures the point: 

the Child is father of the Man.”



                                                                                                             



Think about it.




One of the sterling gems of old age is seeing how fluid are relationships.
How nothing is cast in stone.
How blended we are.
And how ok that is.

How identity is a cloak we wore to do that which we needed/wanted/had to do.
A cloak that is now worn and ragged, pulling apart at the seams no matter how rich we are,
showing glimpses
of someone else.  Someone finer.
Someone so valuable, who was cloaked in identity. Even multiple identities!

Ahh.   Old age.


God is Great.


Image result for images for jewels
                                                                                                                 thediamondworks.co.za

Pass the red wine!  I want to drink to old age.
Grateful for you,
Riverwatch

Seriously.  Pass the red wine!










Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Different Kind of Prayer




A Different Kind of Prayer


I have always been serious minded and consequently I had to field my former husband's accusation that I am "heavy weather".
What can I say?
Am I supposed to choke up over what the irresponsible say about me?!  I think not!

Some doc once told me....in the work arena....that I think too much, but I was quick witted back then and reminded him he didn't think enough, "so it all evens out".

My kids have all told me multiple times (as though I don't get it!) that they get it on the first sentence and do not need a whole paragraph. That shuts me up for a whole day, or maybe an hour.

I've always been a sitting duck for extra large assignments because "if you want something done, ask a busy person".

As you can see, I'm not a party girl.  Never was.

But lately, since the sawdust has gotten soggy....or dry, I don't know which....I've begun praying a different kind of prayer on my behalf.


"Please bless me with a fun day today."

The first such prayer was in desperation.  And I  had trepidation.  Praying for fun? That doesn't sound humble. Naive and childlike, maybe. But, come on!
Really?
The whole world is going to hell in a hand basket and I am praying for a fun day for me???!!

Dare I?

Should I pray to be more mindful, more concerned, more focused on the trials and tribulations of the world??

I need help having fun!      I don’t need help having more panic attacks.

I justify my prayer for a fun day for me this way:

If I am having a fun day, that means there is no war within the sphere of my influence.
If I am having a fun day, there is no suffering within the sphere of my influence.
If I am having a fun day, my family, my friends and I have escaped death another day.
If I am having a fun day, my relationships are not gyrating in a whirlwind.
If I am having a fun day, there is no...well there might be poverty, but no grinding poverty.
If I am having a fun day, diseases have been held at bay for my family, my friends and me.
If I am having a fun day, I have far more energy to spontaneously impart to strangers needing care.
If I am having a fun day, there are no floods or fires or earthquakes or asteroid collisions in my neighborhood.
Winds make me happy (never having experienced a hurricane nor the twister funnel), so..... there might be winds on a fun day.

My little prayer is short, but it sure wraps up a lot of heretofore lengthy requests.

My little prayer turns out to be the most unselfish of prayers.

Do you wonder how am I doing?

Well, each prayer is followed by the relaxing of my hunched up shoulders.
I find I have stopped  waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Let it take me by surprise!  What the heck.  Quick surprises may not be as bad as long anticipations.

And I have had some surprising fun pop into my field of vision.

Glad I am I prayed for fun.

Still and all, I am thinking of the blondie bottle.  
They say blondes have more fun, and hey, one of the nice things about aging  is you might have snow white hair which you can color whatever color you desire.
I wonder about going red.
But it's fun I want, not comments.
So......I am thinking about going blonde.

It is always appropriate to do your part in helping get your prayers answered.

"Oh, but white hair is SO BEAUTIFUL!!"

Right you are.

But the three things that show our age most are, in order of impact:
1. gray or white hair
2. extra weight, overweight
3. wrinkles

We are first and foremost identified by our hair.

Want to remain relevant and “seen”?  Get rid of the gray.  Get rid of the beautiful white.

We live in a culture that dismisses old women.

Old men don’t need a dye job. They remain relevant through thick, thin, missing, gray or white hair.
Old men become distinguished.
Not so for us gals.
We need to fool people just a little.
Go for the dye job!” I say.

Or not.  Whatever. If you think role modeling the beauty of aging is the way to go, I say you are probably thinking that because you still have a little waistline!
Good for you!

As author and screenwriter Nora Ephron once quipped: 
“There’s a reason why 40, 50 and 60 don’t look the way they used to, and it’s not because of feminism, or better living through exercise. 
It’s because of hair dye. 
In the 1950s only 7% of American women dyed their hair; 
today there are parts of Manhattan and LA where there are no grey-haired women at all.”


Me? I'm for the dye job.
My family starts going gray in our teenage/young adult years.
I have been dying my hair for years and years and years and years and years.
Ok. Decades and decades.
It's easy. It's quick. It's inexpensive.

But maybe blondes do have more fun.

They certainly couldn’t have less!

"Please bless me with a fun day today."



I appreciate your visit,

Riverwatch

















Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Good Name For God









A good name for God is Not Me.


                                                     comment by Anne Lamott.

                                  
























Saturday, June 10, 2017

Laughter






"Laughter is carbonated holiness,

                                 and grace has the last laugh."

                                                                                     Anne Lamott


Image result for images for anne lamott
knoxnewsentinal









Glad you could visit today and hear me quote a fellow Presbyterian Christian and one of my favorite authors,
Riverwatch












Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Against the Tide





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blog.moneta.co.kr









The tide is moving.

and now,

all that I accomplish or do,

will be against the tide.





Wait!
I feel fresh air!
Perhaps I have been too hasty in my assessment of my place on the beach.

Image result for animated images of cliff by the beach

giphy.com


Thanks for dropping by,
Riverwatch

Remember: it isn't over until it is over









Friday, June 2, 2017

Drenched in Thinking




"God loves you, anyway."

That sounds like an ok message, yes?
That was the title of a little leaflet devotional handed to me by a "caring" semi-friend.

I like her but I list her as semi-friend because she is a person I do not tell my secrets to.

I like her but I list her as semi-friend because I am guarded about what I say to her, being careful to not expose her to the fire of my brain.  Image result for images Make way for the whinersPJ Media

In other words, I am often silent while visualizing hitting her in the head with a 2 by 4  for not following good health habits, for not keeping up with the grooming as she ages, and for whining.

Did I mention she whines?
Whiners do not make much of an effort to sweep the entry way, do they?

But she is nice.

So here came the little leaflet:  "God loves you, anyway."

Do you think this was about being loved in spite of being a sinner?
Oh, no.
OMG!
This is about God loving me in spite of the fact I do not have physical beauty.

Oh, my God!

Did my semi-friend think I am beached and have no knowledge that I am 73 and UGLY?????

Do such little "devotionals" strengthen your inner beauty?

Oh, my God.  Have mercy.  I want to hit my semi-friend in the head with a 2 by 4.


Image result for images Make way for the whinersPJ Media

But let's be honest here.  If I had physical beauty I would be more compassionate.  Yes?  No visuals of 2 by 4 smacks to the head.

It's all about the "lack of physical beauty".

OMG.

I am drenched in thinking.


Thanks for understanding,
and thanks for dropping by to hear me whine.
Riverwatch














Sunday, May 28, 2017

Magicals




Image result for images for fantasy
pinterest.com




The wannabes. The Magicals.

They say they can walk when they have never crawled. 

 They say they can swim when they’ve never jumped in the water. 

 They say they can fix the engine when they’ve never read the manual. 

 They say they can perform when they’ve never been on stage. 

 They say they are an author when they have never written anything.





LaLa Land is a stunningly beautiful place.
No work is required.
Problems do not exist.
And when they do, they evaporate on their own.
Lalaland is a land of love unfeigned,
                                                         applause,
                                                                       success,
                                                                                    understanding, and caring,

                                                                        where one is young,       
                                                                                                      always young.                                                                                   

 Some of us have created a permanent residence in LaLa Land.
 Some of us visit daily.
Everything that exists in LaLa Land 
was created 
for that one person living there.    



The older I get, the harder it is to create LaLa Land!

The older I get, the more important it is to create LaLa Land!!

No wonder so many of the old-old look so wretched.  No more trips to LaLa Land.  Out of creative juice. 
Pass the applesauce, please.


I appreciate your visit. 

You'll know I can't find LaLa Land anymore when I throw my little bowl of applesauce at you!
As a nurse, I have had many a little bowl of applesauce thrown my way.  

Applesauce.  Always applesauce.

Riverwatch










                           

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Is Your Hut Burning?


Image result for images of an island in the sea
BBC

By Unknown Author

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. 
He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. 
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. 
But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. 
The worst had happened; everything was lost. 
He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. 
Early the next day he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. 
"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. 
"We saw your smoke signal," they replied. 
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It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground---it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.



For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, 
God has a positive answer for it:


Image result for images of single flowers
NatBG.com


You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
Image result for images of single flowersflikr.com





Thanks for dropping by,
Riverwatch

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Better




"It is better to live without knowing, than to live in error."
              So they say.


I like what Garth Last, MD and friend told me:
"I believe every single decision we make is made with inadequate information.  But we still need to decide.  We can correct course at a later point when more information becomes available."





I also like what Scott Peck, MD said,
"A rule of thumb:  if at a particular moment, we are in a position to choose a particular perspective concerning a circumstance, we should probably choose the most dramatic perspective- one that imparts the greatest possible significance." (paraphrased)
People of the Lie
Page 38


No, I do not believe it is better to live without knowing than to chance being in error.
We can go ahead and know, through a glass darkly.
In time we will see better and know more.

For now, we can dare to know what we think we know.

I can dare to impart significance to my life.

Keep looking, friends.
Avoid the "error-less" path.

Thanks for being you,
Riverwatch



Good shape, for the shape you're in!




Good Shape

Disturbed and anguished, she told me what her doctor said.


She is thinking about getting a new doctor.

But at her age, it seems daunting to find a new doc.  
Why in the world did her physician tell her she is "in good shape for the shape she is in" ??  

I mean, isn't there a limit to medical honesty?  

Having lived and worked behind the scenes in the medical field I can guess that doc was having a good day and thought he was relating well to the old woman in front of him. He was doling out the compliments like crazy that day my aged friend popped into his office.                       
Either that, or he was having a bad day and was in bad shape for the shape he was in.
Who knows?  


But I know what Liz means.
  
Here is what my Barely-30-Something doctor said to me:
"Go ahead! Try to look younger than you are.  If you look younger you will act younger and you will then feel younger.  Go ahead."    
Say what??
What the hell is this young doc trying to say to me?  
It sounds like a bit of a compliment when you read it,
but if you had been sitting there with me you would have heard and felt the mild contempt in his young voice.  
Not an upper.
Was this merely a "tacit permission" to continue dying my hair?
If so, he could have just said, "Nice dye job.  Fool the world.  You are not fooling me! I read your lab work!"  
That could have been a little bit funny (maybe, maybe not)  if there were no contempt attached.

But since my friend and I are both Medicare patients, I can tell you that the docs charge about $100 for an office visit and Medicare pays them about $50, or even less.  
Not an upper for them.
Heck, it costs more than $50 to get a massage! True it is that the massage lasts 50 minutes and the doc only sees you for 7 minutes max, but you did clog up his waiting room for 53 minutes.  
Oh, dear.

As my mom always told me, "Damned if I do, damned if I don't."


Related image
pinterest.com



Cheer up.  This too shall pass.

Thanks.
Your visit warmed my heart and that means a lot on a chilly day.
Riverwatch













Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Is niceness nice?



Is niceness actually nice?
Image result for images of fields of flowers



There is something vicious about niceness
                                 because it covers up
                                                                   meaness,
                                                                     harshness
                                                                       abuse
                                                                         violence.

Cultivate honesty, not niceness,
    and you will be nice.

Dare to be brave.
Dare to be disappointed aloud.
Dare to be angry.


Related image
pinterest.com



Image result for images of women marching for suffrageWashingtonian
SO YOU WON!  (the vote....the amendment finalized in 1919 )

OK!!

We will give you MOTHER'S DAY!  ~   That'll teach you!

 Mother's Day: a proclamation in 1914 while women were in the streets, winning the vote.

Image result for images of woman surrounded by babiespinterest

MOTHER'S DAY!
The final blow to women.

Oh.
Mother's Day is 100% good for you, you say?
You are special indeed.

Put your glasses on
and look around at other women:
 the barren,
   the extremely fertile,
    the mothers who jumped the tracks and fled,
     the mothers without support,
      the crushed mother who gets praise and honor from two of her three children,
the mother on the roadside looking in vain for her prodigal son or daughter,
       the mother in the looney bin,
        the  lonely old mother in the rest home,
          the mother bent over in the cemetery at the grave of her child.


Just saying.

I realize it was a woman who  advocated Mother's Day,
but then some women put the screws to women over and over, so please excuse me for not being impressed.

Equality will not be complete until Mother's Day is abolished.

Fathers do not suffer on Father's Day.  Nor should they.
Father's Day is no big deal.
Absolutely no big deal and dad's couldn't care less about it.

But Mother's Day is back-loaded with hype and obligation.  Advertising, hype, and duty.  Guilt and pressure.  Dumped onto emotional hormonal women who dared to win the right to vote.
No, this wasn't done to women by men.
This was done to women by a woman.

Just saying.


Riverwatch










Saturday, April 1, 2017

Intergeneration Understanding



Playing Magic cards with my 16 year old grandson, I am flustered at all the many curves and rules of the game!
So of course, I ask again for an explanation.

My teenage grandson looks at me.
Image result for images of teenage boy playing cards with old womanIDMb

"Grandma," he says slowly and evenly.
"I want to say this in the nicest possible way.              
You are old."
................long pause as he waits for this to sink in....

"and when people get old, things start to go."
....................long pause while he waits for this to sink in....

"And I notice that the first thing to go for you, is your hearing."



OMG.  I am scrambling to think of a witty retort.

...................long pause as he looks at me level, eye to eye to see if I heard.................

"but it won't be the last thing to go."




Well, I love him.
And he did say it in the nicest possible way.

Catch the curve,
Riverwatch

I am glad you had time to stop by.
And I want to say this, in the nicest possible way:
you must have been hard up for entertainment to visit this blog!
















Monday, March 20, 2017

Living in a Multicultural World




The World Around Us


We, the great we, should have:

"In essential things, unity
 in non-essential things, liberty
 in all things, charity."
    Rupertus Meldenius ......a long long time ago during the bloody European wars (are there any other kind?)




Here is the gift, or sadness...of aging:  "What are the essential things?"  ??????

Dammit!
I long for youth when nothing was fuzzy and language was crystal clear.
Heartsickness, Lover'S Grief








Hear the cry of the aged:  "In all things, charity.  Please, I beg you.  Charity."

People, Homeless, Male, Street, PovertyKasunChamara












I think I might be having a bad day, 
so thank you for coming.
Riverwatch

Related imagetr.freeimages.com















Monday, March 13, 2017

Dang it!





I have to tell you a word that scares the heck out of me:   CENTRIST

Remember when Obama first hit the national scene and was touted as a CENTRIST ?
It was like
...dew on the flower 
.... a rainbow in the sky
.......a walk in the park
..........a breath of fresh air
.............a golden gleam from on high.

We did not know if he was a centrist who would occasionally throw a bone to the left,
or would occasionally throw a bone to the right.

But the word CENTRIST itself was so filled with refreshing water,
like a Saguaro Cactus 
on the desert.


"I don't think that word means what you think it means."

And then we heard his minister, Rev. Wright.
Ranting hatefully about our America.
Our land of hope with its open society and its on-going efforts to improve!

Things began to not add up.

Dang it.  
Not a  centrist.
Is he left wing....as in communist, socialist liberal, progressive (moving lefter and lefter until horizontal), secularist, feminist, anti-capitalist, anarchist ?
Is he right wing.....as in conservative, theocratic, nationalist, traditionalist, fascist, neo-ad-nauseums (moving righter and righter until horizontal) ?

But that's not important. 

 What is important is Who am I?.... and What label fits me?

I have to confess, I don't know. 
I would have sworn I was right-wing until I saw the word "anarchist" and  I "felt the fit".  
That puts me squarely in the left -wing camp.
Does leaning further and further right finally bring you to the left?
Dang it!


Just another brick in my bucket of "gee whiz" to carry on my journey.

And incidentally,  (speaking of my journeys) my journey out of Mormonism has lead me to a place where I can admit there IS something about Mormonism (other than the people) that I like !

42 years as a Mormon and I never ran into one shred, not even a whiff of anti-semitism.

You cannot even believe how refreshing and significant that is until you leave the Mormon Church, and run into anti-semitism.

Mormons are so pro-Israel that they want to be Israelites!!
Seriously.
I received a blessing in that church that told me I am an Israelite!
Out of the ten lost tribes, I belong to the tribe of Ephraim.

I bet that might be very surprising to the Jews who are of the tribes that are not lost.

But so it is.







In reality I am part American Indian.        Image result for images of girl on horseback moonlight



Straight across the ancient land bridge from Asia some of my ancestors came.
Would Ghengis Khan be disappointed to find I am of "the lost tribe of Ephraim" in the Middle East?
Being mean and all, maybe he is not so easily fooled.

Not to worry, Ghengis.
I do dream of riding a fast horse across the moors in the moonlight,
and in my dreams I am young, always young.

Image result for images of girl on horseback moonlight

Not really a Jewish girl,
or even a Jewish matron.
Dang it.



Thanking you for flipping through this one!
Riverwatch





Friday, March 3, 2017

Far above me, far beyond me. Nothing in common.





There is a mournful painful state connected to loving someone so far above you, so far beyond you, so different from you, having nothing in common with you.

Rumi, "the" poet of ancient Persia, addresses that situation so well in the following poem:

Reason says,
I will win him with my eloquence.

Love says,
I will win him with my silence.

Soul says,
How can I ever win him
When all I have is already his?

He does not want, he does not worry,
He does not seek a sublime state of euphoria -
How then can I win him
With sweet wine or gold?

He is not bound by the senses -
How then can I win him
With all the riches of China?

He is an angel,
Though he appears in the form of a man.
Even angels cannot fly in his presence -
How then can I win him
By assuming a heavenly form?

He flies on the wings of God,
His food is pure light -
How then can I win him
With a loaf of baked bread?

He is neither a merchant, nor a tradesman -
How then can I win him
With a plan of great profit?

He is not blind, nor easily fooled -
How then can I win him
By lying in bed as if gravely ill?

I will go mad, pull out my hair,
Grind my face in the dirt -
How will this win him?

He sees everything -
how can I ever fool him?

He is not a seeker of fame,
A prince addicted to the praise of poets -
How then can I win him
With flowing rhymes and poetic verses?

The glory of his unseen form
Fills the whole universe
How then can I win him
With a mere promise of paradise?

I may cover the earth with roses,
I may fill the ocean with tears,
I may shake the heavens with praises -
none of this will win him.

There is only one way to win him,
this Beloved of mine -
Become his.
**






Yes, I am sad,
when I am not ecstatic, 
hopeful when I am not in despair.
Related imagePinterest




Riverwatch








Saturday, February 25, 2017

Crystallized Intelligence




Thou Shalt Not Whine


It's odd.  "They" (whoever "they" are) cannot make up their minds whether they want us old folks to work until we can barely waddle out of the workplace,


or get out of the workplace earlier and open up slots for the younger unemployed workers. 

                                                           



.

It is straightforward  in Japan.  MUST retire at 60.  CANNOT "draw money" until 65.
Now there is a solution!
In Japan, you are expected to bridge that 5 year gap with your own saved funds.
Japanese workers save money for that horrendous 5 year gap.



Saving money means not SPENDING money, and our own national economy is dependent on us spending, not saving!

Japan's economy is also dependent on spending.  
Hence the "prolonged economic downturn" in Japan, the land of the "setting sun citizens".


Ageing is an adventure 
in the workplace .  
Or anywhere else.


Recent research by Monash University and the Australian Institute of Management found older workers may bring specific management 
skills and crystallized intelligence (intelligence based on knowledge acquisition and experience) to the table, 
where younger managers may have higher levels of fluid intelligence (basic or abstract reasoning ability).
Wow. 

Excuse me! 
   Not all older people  "crystallize".
Some remain fluid.  



OK.  
Most of us do dry up a little.  Crack around the edges.  "Crystallize", if you will.                                                               Experienced.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Got the tee shirt.    

       
Image result for images of old person with "got the tee shirt"pinterest


Thanks for the fly-by.  You obviously haven't crystallized!
Riverwatch