Wednesday, September 21, 2022

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2022

 

“Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.


    Watch a young child play, he/she creates imaginary friends, makes up stories, and plays them out (like a spaceship landing...), and wonders about things beyond the door and out of sight. It is actually marvelous to enjoy that FREEDOM.

    But lately, SOME people seem to seriously want to limit free thought. Censorship is one way and while we all wish we could hide from some ugly facts of life, isn't awareness and the ability to decide things for ourselves more important?

    "Between 2021 and 2022, there were a considerable number of books banned or challenged in the United States. Most of the targeted books have to do with racegender, and sexuality. Unlike most book challenges in the past, whereby parents or other stakeholders in the community would engage teachers and school administrators in a debate over a title, local groups have received support from conservative advocacy organizations working to nationalize the efforts focused on certain subjects. They have also been more likely to involve legal and legislative measures rather than just conversations in local communities. Journalists, academics, librarians, and others commonly link the coordinated, often well-funded book challenges to other reactionary efforts to restrict what students should learn about systemic bias and the history of the United States. Hundreds of books have been challenged, including high-profile examples like Maus by Art Spiegelman and New Kid by Jerry Craft."  (Wikipedia)

    Just today I read about a teacher who was fired for sharing a QR code to a public library! Not only was she fired from that school, but now there is even a movement to remove her teaching license and remove her ability to work in her field! The QR code in question was for the Brooklyn Public Library which did allow students across the country to take out e-books that are not available in their own school district. (This service has since been suspended) All this is because she encouraged her students to learn.

    


    As a much younger version of myself, I remember the first time I read Ray Bradbury's book FAHRENHEIT 451. It was chilling. The book, written in 1953, depicted an American nation where books were outlawed, burned if found, and freedom of thought was severely discouraged. Even more disturbing than the book's premise is that the picture above (on the left) is NOT from the book — it is from a book burning here in an American town, in February 2022!

    A few Romance Lit titles that have been banned or challenged through the years include works such as Lolita, 50 Shades of Grey, Gone With the Wind, A Farewell to Arms, and more. Some of the reasons that books are challenged, and possibly banned, include sexual content, alternate lifestyles, interracial involvement, and even historical stories that blame racists. 

    Why not take a trip to your local library and find out which books are challenged/banned, and then use your library card to check them out and read. Keep your minds open, read and learn, and learn not to sit idly by while your Freedom of Thought gets "hogtied".


ALA's Top Ten Challenged Books of 2021
 

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
 

Sept. 18 - 24



    




Wednesday, September 14, 2022

This Time of Year

 

In Judaism, as in many other religions, there are times to “repent” for our wrongdoings and make SINCERE promises to try to do better in the coming year, months, and days. At the time that you are reading this, we are about twelve days away from the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the 2-day festival of our Hebrew New Year, 5783 (sundown on September 25, 2022)

Just like the “Lord’s Prayer” (forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us), we ask for forgiveness in a prayer called “Avinu Malkeinu” (For our sinful actions which we have committed in Your sight… bring us back to You in perfect Repentance).

Rosh Hashanah is followed by Yom Kippur (25 hours beginning at sundown, October 4, 2022), at which time the “Book of Life” is sealed for the year, and we are judged by G-d based on our intentions, our repentance, and the changes we make inside our hearts to be better, to do better. We ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt, as we forgive those who have hurt us.

Sometimes we cannot physically ask for or give understanding, but it must be in our hearts and minds. The hurts we may have inflicted, if done intentionally, are not forgiven… if accidentally, they can be. That doesn’t mean there is no hope for the future, it means we must try harder.

As in the secular new year, this is a time to look forward, to appreciate what we have, and who we have in our lives, and hopefully be able to start anew with more kindness and understanding. We try, with all our might, to be better people.

To you I say “L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichateimu”; A good year, and may you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.


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Sunday, September 11, 2022

21 years of memories

  On September 11, 2001, 2996 people lost their lives.

the youngest was only 2 years old,
the oldest was 85.

A generation of children grew up without one or more of their parents. Husbands and wives were left to raise their children alone. Parents never got to see their children marry or have children of their own.

There have been many losses and illnesses since due to injuries and exposure to the toxic dust at Ground Zero.



As a former Rockland County NY resident, I have always listed those
local residents that we lost on 9/11/2001

Ø Janet M. Alonso 41 Stony Point NY
Ø Calixto Anaya Jr. 35 Suffern NY
Ø Japhet J. Aryee 49 Spring Valley NY
Ø Richard E. Bosco 34 Suffern NY
Ø Sgt. John Gerard Coughlin 43 Pomona NY
Ø Welles Remy Crowther 24 Upper Nyack NY
Ø John D' Allara 47 Pearl River NY
Ø Bernard D. Favuzza 52 Suffern NY
Ø Thomas Foley 32 West Nyack NY
Ø Andrew Fredericks 40 Suffern NY
Ø Robert Joseph Gschaar 55 Spring Valley NY
Ø Dana Hannon 29 Suffern NY
Ø Capt. Frederick Ill Jr. 49 Pearl River NY
Ø Farah Jeudy 32 Spring Valley NY
Ø Joseph Marchbanks Jr. 47 Nanuet NY
Ø John Marshall 35 Congers NY
Ø Patricia A. McAneney 50 Pomona NY
Ø Robert Garvin McCarthy 33 Stony Point NY
Ø Robert William McPadden 30 Pearl River NY
Ø Luke G. Nee 44 Stony Point NY
Ø Gerald O'Leary 34 Stony Point NY
Ø David Ortiz 37 Nanuet NY
Ø Lt. Vernon Allan Richard 53 Nanuet NY
Ø Thomas G. Schoales 27 Stony Point NY
Ø Mohammed Shajahan 41 Spring Valley NY
Ø Gregory Sikorsky 34 Spring Valley NY
Ø Catherine T. Smith 44 West Haverstraw NY
Ø Robert W. Spear Jr. 30 Valley Cottage NY
Ø Loretta A, Vero 51 Nanuet NY
Ø Benjamin Walker 41 Suffern NY
Ø Weibin Wang 41 Orangeburg NY
Ø Steven Weinberg 41 New City NY
Ø Capt. David T. Wooley 53 Nanuet NY


It is so hard to realize that 21 years have passed since that dreadful day. 

My husband and I were home that day, together, when my sister called me. She had been watching television when the news broadcast came in that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center Towers. Ironically my husband had been working down there the day before on an Audio-Visual event, it was scheduled for 2-days, but one of the presenters had a prior commitment, so it was scheduled for the 10th and the 12th instead.
Two planes had crashed into the North and South towers of the WTC. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers tried to take the plane back from the terrorists behind this horror. There were 19 terrorists on the 4 planes in this suicide mission.
I remember the panicked calls from my son, in high school at the time, and my daughter, away at college. They wanted to know where their dad was.
Being members of our local ambulance corps in Rockland County NY, we responded to the building. No one knew what to expect next. There had been futile hopes that there would be many survivors who needed medical help and our local ambulance corps made preparations to help unload victims for transport to local hospitals. Sadly, that need never came to be.
Rockland County ambulance corps sent rigs to the scene that evening to try to help. My husband was on one of those rigs. Our son, a youth corps member at the time, helped to stock the truck and watched as his dad and crew drove away. My husband returned home very early the next morning — there had been no survivors to treat or transport. He cried at what he had seen.
Our daughter came home from college to help in the ambulance building. We did have several local residents walking around dazed, some of them were still hoping to hear from loved ones who had been in the buildings. They came in for comfort, for blood-pressure checks, and just to be able to sit and cry in someone's arms.
Rockland County had lost more than 30 souls that day, I knew a few of them, and I knew a few of the families. Some who died had been at jobs, some were passengers on the ill-fated flights, and others were 1st responders, firefighters, police, and EMS, who tried to save as many as possible. Even days later, no one was able to fathom what had just happened. 
The NYC Medical Examiner's office states that more than 1000 people have yet to be identified and possibly never will be. There have been more than 1500 deaths from various cancers among Ground Zero responders and those who lived or worked in the area. Many more are fighting Certified WTC-related illnesses. A few, very lucky ones, received treatment as doctors learned what to look for. 
Today, September 11. 2022... the heart still aches for all that we lost.


... 21-years later.

Rockland County FTC, NY


9/11 Memorial "Tear Drop"
in Bayonne New Jersey

Pentagon 9/11 Memorial
Arlington Virginia


Flight 93 Memorial
Shanksville Pennsylvania


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

THE DOCTOR IS IN

  

Few things scare us more than going to the doctor’s office. And yet, you can’t help but be paranoid about every little ache and bruise you have. Oh my Gawd… why isn’t that bruise gone already? Maybe that ache is more than just a muscle strain? I sneezed three times this morning… how sick am I?

It’s no wonder that some avoid seeing their doctors. We fill ourselves with angst every time we (women) go for breast exams and (men) go for prostrate exams! I’ve heard that SOME high blood pressure has been labeled “White Coat Fever”.

Generally, as we are younger, so many of us tend to erroneously label our friends who have constant doctor appointments as hypochondriacs. Even some folks who have confirmed “invisible diseases” like Epstein Barr, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chron’s Disease, Ehlers Danlow Syndrome, and others are treated rather unfairly and hear comments such as “But you don’t look sick!” all the time.

However, there are so many of us, as we age, who begin to have our own complaints of aches and pains and we begin to demand answers. When you consider how many of us, even with our chronic complaints, are living into older “old age”, of course many other health problems start to haunt us. They say it is common for folks in their 60s and older to develop Atherosclerosis, after all, most of us have been eating the WRONG foods for a lot of years. And just like any FINE machinery, our parts do show their wear!

Sure, sure, we can blame it on the genes and that does affect SOME of it. Our lifestyles may also contribute to our current state of worn-down. And who can really blame us? After all, how many years did we hear that butter was too fatty and margarine was better, and then, then we were told that margarine was no good for our arteries and butter was healthier!!!!! We can’t reverse all of those years that we thought we were doing the right thing.

So instead of complaining and putting it off, make those doctor appointments and start to take care of yourself. If nothing else, think of how you will be able to brag about your “social life” with all those professionals in your old age!

 


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Living in 2022?

 

…and feeling like a Pioneer!

Okay, I am exaggerating. When our well pump “crapped out” on us a couple of days ago, well, it has truly been an experience!

Last week I had a problem with our electric account, and I wanted our meter checked. Unknown beforehand (to me), that meant that a tech had to come out and replace the existing one. While he was here, I talked with him, and he was helpful enough to make some suggestions about what energy we use; he mentioned items that use more than the standard household appliances.

One of the things he mentioned was to have our well pump and septic checked periodically. I looked at him like he had just landed from out-of-space! Until three and a half years ago, we had always lived in places with municipal water supplies and municipal sewage. His response to me was “Well, you’re a country girl now.”

We are connected to a power supply company, obviously we are NOT living “off the grid.” I was told a while ago, by one of my neighbors, to have the septic serviced/emptied periodically, so that was not particularly surprising. I also knew that because we have our own well and the water is conveniently pumped into our home, that if the power went out, so would our water supply. But…

Anyway, my husband quickly called our favorite plumber (this scope of plumbing is one of the few household maintenance projects he would not think of tackling). The plumber came by and told us that the pump was “on its way out” and needed replacing. The repair was scheduled for five days later. Since I already knew about losing water during a power failure, I had prepped a few gallons of water to keep under each sink (we purchase spring water for drinking, our stomachs do not do well with the high mineral count; neither does the cats).

We were not doing anything to tax the system over the weekend… and then WE HAD A POWER FAILURE that affected our area! We have a gas-powered generator, but we figured we would give it a while before revving it up, eventually we had to and used only the absolute necessary appliances (like our freezer and refrigerator). Several hours later the power came back on, and hubs flipped the electrical panel switches to ON; then the power went out again a few hours later. This time though I barely had time to do more than turn on our battery-operated lantern when again the power came on.

But we had a SURPRISE! The well pump NO LONGER WORKED! So, we have NO WATER coming into our home. The stored water is being used sparingly, and, as I said before, we have a supply of spring water for drinking and cooking. As luck worked out, we already had the plumber here and he ordered the part so hopefully, by the time you are reading this, we will be catching up on laundry and dishes (our dishwasher is filling rapidly). I am looking so forward to a hot shower instead of managing with sponge baths from our precious stored water.

A lot of serious preppers would be laughing at us now at how inept we feel without the convenience of tap water. This “Now-Country-Girl” is coping the best she can.

So, folks, even in 2022…

PREPARE FOR ANYTHING!!!!

 

 


* a quick update... We have a NEW Well Pump!!!!!  Total heaven!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

An Inhuman World…

 

My goodness, this automated world is truly unbelievable!

Everything is automated in some form or other… and what is not yet seems to be headed in that direction. From do-it-yourself checkouts to RECORDED customer service assistance! Hey, if I knew what help I needed, I would not be calling customer service!!!!!

I just spent 20-minutes on the phone with my utility company’s automated response system pushing buttons to make selections to try and get some answers about my bill. Some of the questions far into it did accept YES or NO answers. The next message said that if I wanted to wait to speak to a LIVE (maybe?????) customer service rep to press one if I wanted a call back (in 1.5 to 3 hours!) or two if I wanted to wait on the phone (for 1.5 to 3 hours!) … and then the message said, “if you have a rotary phone, please stay on the line and a customer service representative will help you”.

So, yes, I do have a touchtone, which is obviously how I even got to the point I did, but I decided not to push any buttons HOPING for a human voice. Less than 15-seconds later I got the same automated message about pushing one or two! If you wanted a call back, you were told to leave your call back number after the beep. I finally pushed 1 AND I WAS DISCONNECTED! (I did have hope that MAYBE they would use caller ID to get back to me, so here it is 4-hours later and after their business hours and still no response).

I did send an email through their website’s “contact form” – I wonder how many computers it will take to decipher my request?

The other day the hubs and I took a drive to meet up with family at a restaurant and we had a toll bridge to cross. We do have EZ-Pass so, really, no worries there. But as we are nearing the entrance to the bridge, where toll booths once sat, was a big sign reassuring motorists that “If you don’t have EZ-Pass we will just bill you”. NO PEOPLE, just scanners (for the EZ-Pass) and overhead cameras to read your license plates! Aside from the fact that this system has effectively done away with jobs that some once depended on, the thought that your movements are being tracked is a bit upsetting.

Yes, I do have an ALEXA on my desk, which I use to set reminders… and it is very convenient when those reminders pop up on my cell phone or ALEXA’s voice tells me “In person” when I am sitting here. But I will NEVER, EVER put her in my bedroom because SHE LISTENS! And I have found out that she actually “cooperates” with other AI systems. And in ALEXA’s own words, she “is rather partial to all AI systems”. By the way, I also write the reminders on my paper desk calendar!

What a world we are living in where robotic devices are controlling our moves, recording our lives, and replacing human beings who not only did their jobs and got paid for it, but also found time to say a kind word here and there! Just watch any Sci-Fi movie with a plot where there is no more power, or where robots have taken over and it is scary to realize JUST HOW SCREWED WE ALL WOULD BE!

Okay, I have to go now… ALEXA just told me it was time to go fix dinner.


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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Apologies

Hi Everyone!

 

I just wanted to apologize for my recent absence from my blogs this past month. I've been dealing with an unexpected family medical emergency… things will be okay, but caregiving does require my time.

 

Please be patient… I will return as soon as I am able.

 

Many hugs. Wishing all of you happy times, good health, and sunny days. See you SOON!

 

~ Chelle

 

Posted to:

http://chellecordero.blogspot.com/

https://ccepotourri.wordpress.com/

https://chellecordero.com/


 

          

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Forgotten Memories

 

I was listening to a random conversation the other day where someone commented on the horrendous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911… suddenly I was reminded of a conversation I had (as a teenager) with a young woman whose mother, as a young child, was one of the severely injured survivors ——and it truly bothers me that I cannot remember her name.

 

How many people have we come across in our lives who made enough impression on us to remember bits and pieces, and yet not all the information? Admittedly, she was only an acquaintance, we hadn't been hard and fast friends, and yet her words about her mother's scarring and terrible ordeal did leave a lasting impression somewhere in the back of my mind. I don't even remember how I met her, just that at one time we "hung out" together and talked… like friends.

 

I have childhood friends that I remember vividly (or so I believe), most of them are no longer in my life. I often wonder what happened to some. Why is it we seem to remember some people even though we haven't spoken to them in (in some cases) half a century? And why is it we forget others even when something sticks in the back of our minds, just waiting to spring open when we haven't thought of them in years? I am pleased to say that I do have some very long-term friends who are currently in my life and those friendships I will always treasure.

 

Novelist John Irving said,
"Just when you begin thinking of yourself as memorable,
 you run into someone who can't even remember having met you."

 

 I apologize to those folks that I don't "remember" — it's terrible to admit someone has been forgotten. (Yes, I am sure that I didn't remain memorable to some folks either.) And yet, do we ever really forget when just a simple, supposedly unrelated, phrase is uttered and suddenly the memories come flooding back, but not quite all the way.

 

Allegedly the average person meets around 80-thousand people in his lifetime. I guess it would be hard to keep track of all of them.

 


 

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Peter Pan Story

 

I was about 5 or 6 years old when my paternal grandfather passed away… he wasn't that old, maybe 58 or 59. I really didn't understand at that time that I would NEVER see Pop again. At his wake (my Dad was Jewish through his mother, not his dad), I had no idea what was going on – and I snuck into the room at my aunt's house where the coffin was, climbed up on a chair, and tried to wake my grandfather. I was shaking him in the open coffin when it was discovered where I was. My aunt scolded me and stopped suddenly; I saw tears in her eyes. My parents took turns holding me and explained that Pop wasn't going to wake up.

 

I wasn't allowed to go to the funeral, I think a neighbor watched my sister and me. My sister (5 years older) gently tried to explain about death and its finality, I think I began to catch on. But when my parents came home, I saw Daddy crying – I didn't think that fathers ever cried. That's when the explanations my sister tried to tell me really hit me… and I was terrified.

 

Daddy wiped his tears, held me, and asked why I was so scared. I told him in my own juvenile way that I realized that growing up meant that our parents would die. I knew that my Mom's father had died long before I was born (I'm named for him) and that reinforced my terror. I cried long and hard on my Dad's shoulder while he tried to comfort me. I kept on yelling that I didn't want to ever grow up.

 

Daddy hugged me, his arms were always so strong and safe, and he asked me if my name was Peter Pan. I stopped crying and looked at him, I had no idea who Peter Pan was. He told me that Peter Pan was the boy who never wanted to grow up. I told Daddy that I agreed. He chuckled.

 

We sat in his chair, he put me on his lap, and he told me, it's true, as we get older, we often lose those who are older than us. Daddy said that's the way it's supposed to be, and then he told me that even though losing people sometimes hurt, he would never change a thing because growing up also meant that you would meet new people and have families of your own. Daddy said that if he and Mommy hadn't grown up they never would have met, and they never would have had "the most beautiful daughters" in the world. And he told me that even though he and Mommy would one day leave this earth, he knew that we would both find others to love and maybe even have our own beautiful children.

 

Daddy died a little more than 17-years after he lost his own dad. My sister had already married and had a son, a grandson who was the pride and joy of both of my parents. I had also gotten married to a man I loved so much. Mommy and Daddy were thrilled with both of their daughters and the "sons" we had brought them. During the days after he passed, I heard Daddy's voice, ACTUALLY HEARD IT, telling me that he was glad I had decided not to be Peter Pan and he was excited about the life I would live.

 

Although my husband and I lost all 4 of our parents just a few years after our marriage, I still feel blessed. Today, more than 46 years after marrying the love of my life, we have two beautiful grown children, a daughter and son, and two wonderful in-law children. We've had adventures and many joys. My sister and her husband had a second son, two daughters-in-law, and 4 grandchildren… and their first GREAT grandchild was born shortly before my sister died.

 

We grew up, and just as Daddy told me, I wouldn't change a thing. I am so glad I wasn't Peter Pan.

 


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Grief

We've all experienced it, it's that ache inside your chest that has led to the common and anatomically wrong description of "a broken heart". Your heart may feel like it's breaking over the loss of a parent, a sibling, a pet, or any loved one. Sometimes grief strikes over the ending of a way of life, the loss of a dream, a worrisome medical diagnosis, or the breaking of a cherished object, but there it is.  Grief never leaves, it is just something that you learn to live with.

 

No one's grief is as intent or paralyzing as another's. No one solution will work for all to put grief away in a tidy little box and only visit it occasionally. A response from someone may seem callous at first… just get over it… it might be that person's inability to process or deal with their own fear of grief. Grief is like a fingerprint and different for each person, and even different for one person dealing with more than one loss. Grief's five letters, like fingers of a hand, will slap you until you can no longer turn away.

 

The past two years have been tough on so many, Covid deaths and losses, isolation from loved ones, failed businesses, lost income, and so many lost opportunities. Yes, things MAY be easing now, but it's so much time lost, so many changes. So many of us are confused between our anger and our sorrow. So many of us just want to resume our NORMAL lives, but we can't, we can't rewind to a time we felt safer and more connected. So many of us are struggling. So many are mourning losses, time, missed events, missed memories, and now we are just expected to resume our lives as if nothing ever happened.

 

If you are struggling, there is help

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Veterans’ Crisis Line

1-800-273-8255 press 1

National Drug Helpline

1-844-289-0879

Reach out, for yourself and for others

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

O.M.G. ~ 68!

 

 

This past Sunday was my dad's heavenly birthday, he was born in 1919 so he would have been 103 years old.

 

Because my mind was doing the math, I also calculated how old I was going to be LATER this year (don't rush it!); I will be 68, yes SIXTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD! Especially in today's world 68 is no longer considered over the hill. But I have NO idea what 68 is supposed to look like. You see my husband's parents, and mine, all died relatively early, between 55 and 61 years of age.

 

It's already mind-blowing that both of us have outlived all four parents, but I thought 68 was SUPPOSED to be OLD. True, my maternal grandmother lived well into her 80s, but she was a phenomenon. In the early 1960s, just before my pre-teen era, my grandma taught me HOW to do the Twist. And when I mean taught, she showed me by going all the way down to the floor and back up again… WITHOUT ASSISTANCE! As for me, she had plenty of chuckles when I fell completely on my derriere!!!! So, this lady, in her mid-60s, had more flexibility than I do at (now) 67 and I try to pick up something I've dropped.

 

If someone were to ask me HOW OLD I FEEL, I would never say in my late 60s. Aside from nagging arthritis and some backaches, I would honestly have to say something like 55. I would admit to being a senior without a doubt, I certainly cannot do some of the things I did in my 30s or even 40s —besides I like to make use of Senior Discounts. Aside from my amazing grandmother, I thought 68 was OLD, and I don't feel that old (most days at least).

 

My husband and I were born into the Baby Boomer Generation. Our kids were born as Millennials.  People there are already TWO age groups past my kids, Generation Z and Generation Alpha! That means FOUR generations past me!!!!! I AM NOT OLD! I don't want to be THAT "cute old lady" my kids introduce to their friends. (Besides we have cats, so I am already that "Crazy Cat Lady")

  • The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (76-93 years old)
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (57-75 years old)
  • Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (41-56 years old)
  • Millennials: Born 1981-1996 (25-40 years old)
  • Generation Z: Born 1997-2012 (9-24 years old)
  • Generation Alpha: Born 2010-2025 (0-11 years old)
                   (according to the PEW Research Center)

The Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) lists some of the common characteristics of the average Baby Boomer… hmm, how accurate is this? Hardworking and Focused??? Personally, I prefer lazy and, as a fiction writer, my mind does tend to wander. Competitive??? I guess I am, I will fight for that last parking spot at the shopping center. Value Relationships??? Definitely, I do. Independent??? I can handle things myself, so long as it's not automotive or electrical. Pursue Excellence and Quality??? So long as I can get a bargain while doing so.

 

CFI cautions marketing campaigns NOT to use the words OLD or ELDERLY because "baby boomers do not consider themselves old, nor do they feel old"…

 

Well, I guess they got that right! So come right on in 68!

 




Wednesday, March 2, 2022

ORGANIZATION

Organization has never been my forte. I sit in awe of people who do their lives on a schedule… a perfect schedule that lets them get all of their things done every day! As for me, I make a list of to-dos for the next day (and so long as I find where I put it, it does help a little) or I ask the Alexa on my desk to remind me of this and that.

 

Still, my day never seems to go as planned. Okay, in my defense, as a part-time and semi-retired freelance writer, my writing assignments are not on a set schedule (but I do adhere very strictly to writing deadlines, that's kind of one of my pet peeves). And of course, if the day is just lovely and all then hubby and I might take a random drive. So, my schedule could not possibly be set in stone! I guess that's my defense.

 

I've always been like this, so it isn't just about my semi-retired and retired hubby's time. My mom always said (cliché warning) that I march to my own drum… I have tried for years, and at 67 I do mean YEARS, to get some type of organization to my day, to do things at set times WITHOUT distractions, but it seems I just don't work that way. Still, I usually manage to get the important things done — I just have to be clear about what is important and what is only "it should be done".

 

As I said, I DON'T miss writing deadlines, I am a stickler about that. I also don't like it when others miss their deadlines, such as promising me some info or keeping an appointment. And I also put the same weight in meeting a PAID deadline as I do a volunteer one; we have a monthly newsletter in my community and invariably someone who is supposed to submit a report or other tidbit will decide to forward it to me A DAY AFTER THE DEADLINE! (grrr…)

 

My desk is not a shambles, but it could certainly be neater. I do have compartments for certain correspondence, bills, records to file, etc. and I do put everything in its place… but then I seem to forget to empty the old stuff and it sort of overflows. Most times I actually can find what I am looking for! I have a calendar on my desk, a calendar on my phone, a calendar on my laptop and a calendar that hangs in the kitchen, but when I have to check on an upcoming appointment, I have to check EACH calendar because there is no guarantee which one I put the information into.

 

I don't think I was ever a very good role model for my kids as far as organization goes, but somehow they have managed to do well for themselves with jobs and getting things done. (It has to be in the genes, and the organization-genes definitely skipped me.) By the way, it was my son and daughter-il that gave me my Alexa, I guess they realized I needed someone to remind me to do ordinary things.


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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Ugly Word, Prejudice

  

I am not going to pretend that racism and prejudice disappeared, although there were SOME (not enough) strides being made. The "closet racists" seemed to be keeping their heads down (mostly) and I guess too many of us let down our guard THINKING things had gotten better.

 

But in the past few years some folks seem to think it is not only alright to be prejudiced, but it is now perfectly fine to shout it to the world. It's disgusting. People of color, females, LGBTQ, religious targets, and immigrants (even legal) have been targeted in both subtle and out-loud obnoxious words, acts and violence. There has also been a heightened suppression of freethought where real-life topics are considered taboo.

 

A few months ago, parents in a North Carolina school district complained and had a very favorably reviewed book pulled from the school's curriculum because they felt the content was too ugly instead of recognizing it as a story of moral failure and coming of age. Quite recently another North Carolina school district banned a book about racism and a black teenager trying to follow the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. And these incidents are not limited to the deep south… Just this past week some Indiana parents were given the option to take their children out of Black History Month lessons. Meanwhile in NYC, Asians are being targeted for attacks.

 

I was recently intrigued by a notice of a church group in the Midwest that offered use of their database to search genealogy and ancestry. Since this is a topic I am very interested in, I thought I might sign up, however I took the time to read their "terms of use". Imagine my surprise when I read "You should not submit… those names gathered from unapproved extraction projects, such as Jewish Holocaust victims". I did ask rather pointedly if this group was "Holocaust deniers". I did get a replay saying "Not deniers… just you should only use names from those you have permission of" and that doesn't include deceased.


Yes, I took umbrage at that explanation, my family history includes those who were exterminated in the Nazi camps, and yes that also means many links to other relatives were lost as well. Since most genealogy searches include the past generations, many of whom are not living, maybe I am being sensitive, but I felt the comment was a direct hit on Holocaust victims, aka, Jews.

 

Growing up I was very aware that many of us practice different faiths even within the same family — and I was aware that we still could love and respect each other. Why is it so hard for others to accept the differences among family members, friends, neighbors, and our society as a whole. Why should the congregants of synagogues, black churches, and Islamic temples have to fear going to their house of worship? Why should the skin color(s) of a couple mean more than how they treat and respect each other? Why should women and men have pay disparities, or the wealthy be treated with any more respect than other incomes. Why should sexual preferences be a target of so-called moral outrage?

 

People are people. All hearts are red.