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Road rage and other misplaced angers.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I remember years and years ago, my husband and I were going somewhere in the city (Philadelphia), I was driving, and someone cut me off on the Schuylkill Expressway. The fact that the Schuylkill (known locally as the "sure kill") Expressway was moving at all was a miracle. Anyway, he turned to me and said, "Are you going to let him get away with that?" I think I muttered something about, "No, dear, please reach into the back seat and hand me the grenade launcher, will you?" and then he was mad at me for the rest of the afternoon. The point was that a minor traffic discourtesy seemed to escalate to murderous proportions pretty rapidly.

This morning, being up at 5:30 and having nothing better to do for several hours, I decided to go to the grocery. I pulled out onto a main route, seeing that the next car was a good 1/4 mile away, and began going through the gears to get my fifteen year old Betsy (all cars are named Betsy) up to speed. The far-away car immediately appeared in my rear view mirror - meaning he had to be going at least 75 in a 55, because I go this way all the time and know relative speeds and distances - and the driver made a big show of swerving around to pass me, making very rude hand gestures all the while.

I'm usually a pretty easy going person (ignore reports to the contrary) but this time the devil that sits on my left shoulder said, "This clown wants to play? Let's play!" so I came up behind him, only slightly closer than one would normally (and nowhere near as close as he was to the driver ahead of him.) He started frantically making rude gestures and - this is the interesting part, to me - raised a half-filled water bottle out of his sun roof. I didn't even understand the threat - you're heading to the OK Corral armed with...half a water bottle? "I'll get you wet!!!" Oooookay. It made me laugh, and unfortunately he saw that, which made him all the madder. He gestured rudely with *both hands* - leaving him steering with....his knees? He took the top off his weapon on choice... and poured water all over his own car and probably his passenger and himself. I guess that showed me!

When we arrived at the grocery, I put on my turn signal in plenty of time for him to see that I was turning off and going about my business. He briefly turned on his signal as well, but then I suppose decided not to get into it with this obvious lunatic and went on to work, or wherever else one goes at 7:00 a.m.

Sure, I guess he could have thrown his water bottle at me and maybe, *maybe* broken my windshield, but I had his car description and his license number, so that wouldn't have ended well for him.

The part that bothered me was the idea that so many people have so much fury built up inside them that having an innocent middle-aged woman pull out in front of them, forcing them to slow from 75 to 55 mph, is sufficient cause for over-the-top anger and aggression. Really? Was it my impudence, his inchoate rage, his passenger saying, "Are you going to let her get away with that?"

I guess I think that life, no matter how long it may last, is too short to get so wound up about nothing. I did the man no damage, didn't even slow his progress to wherever his destination may have been. All I did was inadvertently raise his blood pressure to the exploding point. I honestly feel a little sorry for anyone who is so miserable, that such a teensy, unintentional gaffe instantly escalates to a potentially life-threatening incident.

What's wrong with us, as a society, that this is considered normal and acceptable behavior? No one holds doors anymore (not just for women, but for a man with arms full as well), no one happily waits in a line. Everyone seems to be so all-encompassingly self-oriented that when others fail to notice around whom the Universe obviously revolves, they are immediately ready to throw down the gauntlet.

I'm not longing for days gone by. Just read my summer's worth of Jane Austen, and people were forever throwing down gauntlets, real and imagined. I just wish we'd all simmer down little and be more willing to overlook things. We're not exactly perfect ourselves, you know? (And for the one person who might respond "Speak for yourself, missy!", I sincerely salute you.)

(NB: if someone ever does follow you in a threatening manner, do not go home or anywhere else. Drive directly to the nearest police station, laying on the horn. I guarantee your pursuer will get a well-deserved welcome there.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 9/27/2014 1:42PM

    Well...the way I look at it (and I AM some what of an expert) living in the la~la land of FL where 80% of the drivers are over-medicated and the other 20% are new drivers with SERIOUS chips on their shoulders toward the 80%! It's not worth the fray. I used to get incensed when driver's did STUPID things...but now I realize that I do STUPID things from time to time and have to pay homage. Besides..there are so MANY serious crazies out there I don't even want to get in their cross hairs. I'd say the guy had a serious testosterone problem or was showing off for his passenger. Needless to say he was an idiot...I give idiots wide berth..there is no reasoning...or winning with them...I see it every day in our consignment gallery. It's not worth getting my panties in a wad...but it would have been good entertainment seeing the water bottle weapon! emoticon

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AJDOVER1 9/5/2014 6:20PM

    Yeah, road ragers around here are armed with guns so I don't play with them.

I'm glad you survived the trip to the grocery. The riskiest place I drive is past the elementary school in my neighborhood. There have been tragedies. I pray for people -- don't know if it helps them, but it makes me feel a bit better.

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MOM2ACAT 9/5/2014 4:45PM

    I agree, it seems like people in general are always in a hurry, and not just on the roads. People are low on patience when they have to wait for anything it seems.

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BETHGILLIGAN 9/5/2014 8:37AM

    Road rage killings are not that unusual here in N VA. Everybody is way too stressed and way too self centered. It can be scary out there!! Back in my younger days I, too, got bent out of shape over someone else's poor driving but as a mature, retired woman I realize life is too short. We will all get to our destinations!

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_UMAMI_ 9/5/2014 12:36AM

    Oh Dear! I can relate....

I have a long stretch of road I've had to drive for YEARS (almost a decade!) to my youngest son's school, and the people on that road are frequently, um, I'll use the M-word instead of the A-one, "macho". (or maybe, malligned? misinformed? maladjusted? malevolent? misogynist? Mental? Ok, I'm having too much fun with this, onward...)

I'll admit, I've used my windshield wiper fluid to give a "heads-up" to the person behind me, when I can no longer see them in my side view mirrors. Sometimes they "get it" and back off.

Sometimes they just get mad, and go TWENTY miles over the speed limit, so they can spray me back.


My favorite tactic is to just lay off the gas and slow down. And sip my mug of coffee, and turn up the radio. And let them move AWAY FROM ME....My mantra on the road tends to be, "The more space between you and me, the better off we will be."


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HIPPICHICK1 9/5/2014 12:00AM

    Oh road rage! Thou art so silly; as silly as threatening one with a water bottle.
One time, this guy punched my passenger window because he thought I cut him off in a parking lot. What really happened was I couldn't stop on the ice and I was waving frantically at him trying to signal to him with hands and horn that I couldn't stop for him. When I finally did stop it was to insert my ticket into the machine, and the window puncher got out of his car, approached the passenger side, freaked out, punched at the window, called me all sorts of very untrue things as a gazed in my rear view mirror pitying the woman in the passenger seat and wondering if this was her carpool guy or husband. Hoping for the former.
War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'.

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    ROFLMBO!! Sooooooooooo funny!! A water bottle? OMG!! He would not last 5 minutes in our area.

I once had a loaded gun pointed at ME by an irate nut while I was driving. Of course a humongous Marine saw it, forced him off the road, and almost beat him to death with his own gun while explaining to him rather impolitely about the significance of gun pointing. The Marine broke the man's windshield and side window out first before he pulled the guy out of his car and crushed him into the pavement. Then the police came, declared the Marine a hero, and slammed the pistol pointer into the cruiser. I almost felt guilty for not driving right.

We have a maximum security prison on every corner and some nice former inmate would have no problem running your water bottler threatener off the road, taking his water bottle away from him, and shoving it up his butt.

I hate road rage but some people are really asking for a good lesson and this guy got it.

Comment edited on: 9/5/2014 10:53:51 AM

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FRABBIT 9/4/2014 5:39PM

  It seems patience is a trait that it is going away. We are always in a rush and so angry when someone gets in our way. It is something I really try to reflect on. Is a few minutes going to make a big difference - and maybe if I planned ahead I wouldn't be in such a rush.

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/4/2014 5:24PM

    I have several situations a day and realize that people make up their own driving rules. I've had so many times when the other driver does something and then gets mad at me like it's my fault. I have to put my patience hat on each time I leave home. People are not people anymore. Too self-centered. Also, I've done a few angry moments on the road as a result of this type of thing, but have since substantially corrected my anger as many are packing and kill over this type of thing. No kidding.

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It's been a wild and wooly summer.

Monday, September 01, 2014

I ran away from SP in the spring when I inexplicably gained weight. I've since learned that that's a silly thing. The next week I'd lost it again, whether by whim of weight or scale. We weigh what we weigh - it has as much to do with our overall happiness as our specific gravity.

So...lessons learned...friends aren't necessarily those that you've had the longest. I "broke up" with a friend of nearly 40 years because when I asked something of her, for another person in serious peril, she refused, and I realized that if we met today, we'd be acquaintances at best. I miss her daily, but I don't see the point going back.

After a five - maybe six - year break from landscaping, I discovered that I can still do the work. Not as fast as I could ten years ago, but every bit as well. And when some 30 year old boy said that I didn't do as much of the "heavy work" as others, I had the sense to call him on it - what kind of 30 year old man says a woman old enough to be his mother, maybe his grandmother, doesn't do the heavy lifting as well as he? I can still do it, just not as fast, and the only reason that lad has a job is because I know this.

I've also realized that I am...humbled to admit it...I am turning 60 this year (2015). None of the other "milestone" birthdays hit me this hard. I want to book a trip to Mexico or the Bahamas or someplace where my daughters and I can celebrate my croning, rather than being alone in my snow-belt home. At first I thought this was frivolous, but the more I think about it,the more appealing it becomes.

Ive considered remarrying, but realize that, for me, marriage, like childbearing and rearing, is a part of my life that I loved wholeheartedly, but that is over. If I remarry, it'll be for money, and that'll be upfront.

I've decided that rather than take some stupid minimum wage job, I'm going to spend the winter writing my book - or finishing one of the half-dozen I've started - and give it a decent chance to succeed. APPLEPIEAPPLE, I can't tell you how much joy your comment brought to me.

I've sold off a hunk of my farm in order to pay for insulating my house. Last winter I literally cried - and if you know me, you know that I'm not a weepy sort - when I was cold to the bone day after day after day. The dog's water bowl froze over in the dining room. I swore I wouldn't do it again, and I won't. If I decide to move in the spring, so be it, but I won't be chased away.

I guess the most important thing that I've finally learned is that *everyone's* life is full of trials - that's the point, or the commonality, of being human.

I've tried to reach out to family that was estranged when i didn't hold a "proper" funeral for my husband. I've also realized that if they don't accept the olive branch, it's not my story, but theirs.

Other than learning the difference between a cistern well and a "dug"well, I guess that's my summer.

I hope yours was lovely.

Please, bring me up to speed on my cherished (truly) friends here on SP.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 9/27/2014 1:29PM

    Hey my beautiful friend! Soooo happy you are back at the blogs! I've missed you muchly! I'm cuddling up to 63 in January and in my head I'm just as capable and full of sass as ever. I mean hauling around sofa beds and moving armoires for the consignment shoppe isn't for the faint hearted now is it? It's all in a days work...yes...slower...yes...crankie
r...but I still get ur' done!

I would have slapped that young whipper snapper for a comment like that! What an idiot! I'd ask him if he'd smart mouth his mom with a comment like that!

I say GO for it on the book! I also say...don't marry for money...make your OWN!

I have a feeling we are two peas in a pod on the writing front. Perfectionism is NOT a happy characteristic to have. That's why they have editors my friend. I can't write a sentence without editing it 30 times wonder nothing ever moves along.

See my cool New Orleans blog where I had my cards read by a bonified warlock no less...the cards may be a WHOLE lot smarter than I am on the writing front.

You have the talent, now you have the time...get that book written...I want to read it..right now! sure to work a character into the fray like that sassy landscaping guy...I'd make sure he gets knocked off fairly quickly! emoticon can't kill em...except in a REALLY good plot line...know what I'm saying? emoticon

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SUSANNAH31 9/7/2014 4:37PM

    Welcome!! I am so glad to see you back again.

And I am all for a warm weather venue for your 60th birthday --with or without your daughters.
How about a warmer weather venue for year-round living?

Sixty is a landmark birthday, for sure.
This is as young as you are ever going to be again, so enjoy it.
I am celebrating my 70th this winter.
I tell myself it beats the alternative.
There is nothing to do but accept it - with as much enthusiasm as I can muster.
I try very hard not to act my age.

I am glad you are doing what is necessary to take care of yourself. And if that means you sell off part of your property, so be it.
Heating in the winter is a must have item.
It is a very sad tale you tell about that frozen water dish.

I have a couple of good friends who are divorced - and have been single for several years now.
They would like to have a man around to be able to 'be a couple' at times when that is required socially. But neither of them wants to get married again.
While they would appreciate the companionship now and then, they like the freedom of being single and not having to live with someone -- and all the compromises that go along with that.

I hope you get to follow through on your idea of writing a novel this year. We would all love to cheer you on. I, for one, have purchased every book you wrote and told us about - and enjoyed reading them.

Take care.


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HIPPICHICK1 9/4/2014 11:47PM

    Dear Scooter,
It's so good to hear about your summer!
I too have found that sometimes, even though breaking up is hard to do, it's the right thing to do too. People DO change. Also I heard our noses keep growing as we age, so that thing I just said about changing is totally true.
30 year old men don't sound as bright these days as they ought to, IMHO.
If you go to Mexico for your birthday, let me know. If I win the lottery I'll meet up with you there.
Marrying for money: what other reason could possibly be better?!
I'm glad to hear that you are insulating your house. I can picture you now, warm and toasty in front of your typewriter, writing away with critters all around your feet that have water bowls full of water instead of blocks of ice.
We are insulating our house too. JF made a great start on it and he's going to make a huge effort to get it done this year. Yay!!
I've been working like crazy all summer. I've made zillions of pots and spent too much time inside. Next summer things are going to be different! I've been writing a lot of notes about how to achieve that.
The summer was late and not as warm as I would have liked but still I had some great days of swimming and tomorrow is another opportunity to frolic in the lake.
Sending you much love,

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JUSTYNA7 9/3/2014 11:41AM

    It happens. We go off the path in search of a better, different one.. or just feel tired of this one.

The Writing Diet is started up again with a small group so should you wish to join in at any time you are welcome. I'm sending out a weekly email to the team to consider wriring about or commenting on. You can lurk or participate as you like.

I too am looking at a possibility of doing my writing full force. I have a few things in the next 2 weeks to complete and then should be able to work hard at it for three months. An extended Nanowrimo. The book right now seems like a priority to me. Like my daughter wanting to finish her degree. I'm sure I could do other writing but for ME I have to finish this. I lost my finished book in cyberspace. Hubby tried to find it and did... in bits and pieces. I'm sure there is a reason to have to start again. I had written every Nanowrimo for 5 years so the beginning was a learning process. Last year I tried to rewrite it and I noticed improvements. DD did a quick review as I wanted to submit the first 10,000 words to someone... and she had some very good critisisms. I could start again... or continue from where I am and finish and then do the rewrite a final time. Long novel. It was over 250,000 words when I finished the frist time but a great story. I just am not sure I'm the writer I want to be. Or the writers I love. Hence the writing diet.. and the verbal diarhea here. Ha! OK. I'm supporting your writing desires. That's all I really wanted to say. Justyna

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MOM2ACAT 9/2/2014 6:29PM

    Welcome back!

Beautifully worded blog, and I think you should plan that trip!

I had my own "milestone" birthday last fall, when I turned 50.

My summer has been busy with medical appointments; seeing different doctors, and also a colonscopy and 2 endoscopies, and also bone and CT scans. Right now I am in kind of "limbo" because my oncologist is considering putting me back on I.V chemo, so I am awaiting his decision on that. Thankfully, this is a week with no appointments for me!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 9/2/2014 10:26AM

    Fantastic! Your Back! Glad to hear from you. I am 63 and will turning 64 this December. I, too, might move a bit slower but can still get things done. Turning 30 was the toughest for me. I felt I was joining the enemy. LOL. The sixties gotta love them. But since then each decade has been just another year. Although I did just recently formally do my will, power of attorney, and living will.

I, also, had a longtime friend with which I cut ties. In my case, the friend, who always use me as her back up friend, made the mistake of using me to cheat on her husband and assumed I'd be ok with it. That is when I cut the cord.

Glad to hear you are writing again. I am now starting my second book. Thanks! emoticon

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FRABBIT 9/2/2014 10:08AM

  So glad to have you back.

I can't believe how quickly summer has passed.

I definitely think you should go away for your birthday. It is a celebration and you should not think of that as frivolous or if it is who cares. Life can not always be about practicality.

Took a cruise in June for my birthday and the disconnect from the stress is exactly what I needed.

Recently someone on Spark shared this quote.

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement - BIll Watterson.
It really stuck with me though I haven't figured out how to do this as yet. That is my goal.

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BETHGILLIGAN 9/2/2014 8:57AM

    I can't tell you how happy I am that you are back!! I have missed you tremendously!! I am now 63 and the 60th also hit me hard. I had a lot of depression and began to notice my aging body more. Not pretty! I've come to accept what I have to but continue to struggle with that number. I have gained a lot of weight which is also making me feel old. I am working on that and hope to at least stop the gain and get more toned so I don't look/feel so old.
I've had a really busy summer---finally got to visit London and spent a short time in Ireland. Great trip!!! A life long wish of mine and finally fulfilled!! I can die happy! emoticon
I have few friends also. I just never seem to want to put in the work it takes to keep up the relationships. But, I complain that I don't have any friends! I've never much enjoyed girls night out or girls weekend, etc. My daughter and I have gotten very close and hubby and I do a lot together. I feel satisfied and content where I am.
So glad to hear you will focus on your writing!! That will make you much happier and, hopefully, will be financially good for you too!
I know how you love that farm. But, I have to agree with some of the others: do you really need it? Seems like a lot more worry, time, taxes, etc. Being warm is more important, I think.
Well, Scooter, I've "known" you a long time and it seems like you are in the best frame of mind ever. I can't tell you how happy that makes me!!!!

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DOKEYOKEY 9/2/2014 8:08AM

    Wow -- Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability. I am hoping that all parts of your life get LOTS easier -- companionship, nourishment, funding, and work! I am rooting for you. And YES, write that book!!!

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_RAMONA 9/2/2014 12:10AM

    This is one of the most beautiful blogs I have read in a very long time. I subscribed just before you 'left'. I'm so glad you're back, and I hope that we may become friends.

I hope I can learn to be as gracious as are you.


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AJDOVER1 9/1/2014 11:35PM

    I'm so glad to see you! I love your blogs and I'm happy you're still alive and kicking!

Be well and please stay here

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AJDOVER1 9/1/2014 11:35PM

    I'm so glad to see you! I love your blogs and I'm happy you're still alive and kicking!

Be well and please stay here

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_UMAMI_ 9/1/2014 10:46PM

You're back! So good to hear about your changes, and, for this about-to-turn-fifty-year-old (2015), such words of wisdom.

Things have been really bad here, but, then again, there are such bright spots (my kids shining, my parents still alive and well, a huge oak tree does NOT fall on my house), that life continues to amaze me.

Yes! Work on your book(s)! You have a gift for words, and to withhold would be selfish. Now that you will have heat, tend to that inner garden of yours this Winter.

And I'm sure the critters will be much happier, too.....

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    Ah, so good to have my buddy back. You have been missed.

I can relate to the gaining of weight but not the losing of it right back. That doesn't happen for me. I practically have to donate an organ to lose. At any rate, the last sentence in your first paragraph is right on.

I broke up years ago with a friend that I have had the longest relationship with. Another friend who seemed to break up with me over and over for years on end may have broken up with me for good. The reasons for the former were mine. She has profound psychological problems and eventually she became very critical of me. I couldn't do anything right. I started to weigh everything I said to her like I was talking to a minister or the police. I finally saw how toxic things had become. I backed away and hid. The friend that broke up with me had psychological problems too. Do I collect these people? I finally realized that the relationship was important in my head only - obviously not hers. At my age I have come to feel that what will be will be. Hate the song but it is the truth. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a friend. I'm flawed.

I sometimes wonder if I could work back up to my former job speed but I seriously doubt it. I have reached a point where I have been there and done that and have no further need to prove myself. I think you are there too. A strong back isn't everything, as your 30 year old man with the weak mind will someday know.

Ah, 60. I had the same reaction. I didn't have to feel seniorish until that 60 year point. I don't actually feel a senior but I know I am one and I do avail myself of the discounts, meager that they sometimes are. I'm 62 now. I can no longer rationalize that my life isn't half over. LOL.

I don't know that if and/or when I lose my husband I will want another. I'm not really that hard to get along with but other people are. LOL.

I think selling part of the farm off to be more comfortable is the right thing to do. I know it hurts but what were you going to do with it? Sometimes I wish I had more land and a bigger house and then I think - Why? I don't need more to take care of. It's hard to take care of what I already have.

I think it's nice that you are trying to reach out to family. I make more of an effort too but when I put my hand out there I expect them to come half way. If they don't, it's their loss.

I am glad to see you getting back to your book.

As far as me, we spent 3 months nursing little Reekie to lose him on August 23. It tore part of hubby's and my heart out but he is better off now. Not suffering.

I'm fat and ready to get control of my life. Unlike most people who seem to start things at the first of the year I start things at this time so it's back to basics for me.

Comment edited on: 9/1/2014 10:10:01 PM

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/1/2014 9:08PM

    So nice to see you here again, Scoot. I have been through the mill in the past month or two, meeting landscapers for front and backyard xeriscaping. I never would've guess they'd be the hardest bunch of prima donnas I've ever met. I could write a book on them. As always, I've had similar experiences to those you've described in your blog. Remarry for money is the best. I've thought of that as well, but really don't want to do all the stuff that goes with taking care of a grown up child that many men are. It takes a special breed to deal with a strong, independent woman and I'm most certainly not going to meet him here in SoCal. Big hug.

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WILSONWR 9/1/2014 9:05PM

    Welcome back! I just turned 62 this year, and I can out-walk most of the 30 and 40 year olds. You're only as old as you act. Act like a kid, and you will remain young at heart. Happy birthday!

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NORASPAT 9/1/2014 8:43PM

    Scooter I am soooooooooooooooo!! Happy to see you come back.
I have had a Stressful year thanks to the DSS Upstate NY . I have blogged it almost every day.
You can catch it on my blog page but it will probably be very old news. Days change I have made them change.
I was hoping to have at least one trip in our RV instead it became home for our Plattsburgh grandson. Our Granddaughter was forced to go to Summer school and so after spending the last 12 summers with me I have had her for less than a week.
Our son drove over and he stayed 2 nights. First time he did not work till now.
Still too much to harp on but the minute I saw you are back I am a bit happier. HUGS and MUCH love Pat in Mainer. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/1/2014 8:45:45 PM

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/1/2014 8:40PM

    It's good to see you again. Go for it: working on a book should be challenging in all of the right kinds of ways and keep you in a mental place where you won't solace yourself with sweets.

Best wishes!

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CRUISEGAL55 9/1/2014 7:57PM

    Thanks for bringing us up to date. I am fairly new to SP. I, too, am a single woman sliding into 60 (April 2015). I appreciate your openness about releasing your friend of 40yrs. I recently released a 20yr friendship. I actually miss her less then I expected.
I highly recommend a warm weather trip for your birthday!

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I'm out - for a while anyway.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

This is just stupid and inexplicable, but after ten days of landscaping six hours a day, drinking tons of water, eating salads and very little else, Ive gained seven pounds. I don't understand how this is possible, but it's same scale, same place, same everything except amount of fat I'm lugging around. It's not muscle and it's not water retention - I've played those mind games before.

So I'm bagging the whole SP thing for a little while. I'm extremely busy anyway, what with spring clean-ups during the week and elder care on weekends, but it's mostly that I don't see how I can support other people when I'm such an apparently dismal failure myself.

I'm not quitting entirely, but I've got to take stock of what's going on here.

Not feeling very competent at writing at the moment either, so you may choose the closing line:

1) Gen. Douglas MacArthur: "I shall return"
2) Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator: "I'll be back"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSANNAH31 6/20/2014 2:47PM

    Being busy is good.
Warm weather is good.
Coming back soon will be good too.

Take care.


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_UMAMI_ 6/3/2014 8:39PM

    I missed your grand exit!

Please leaving me a calling card (on my SP) when you return.

You shall be missed dearly. I haven't been around a lot myself, obviously!
Life gets in the way.........

emoticon emoticon

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FRABBIT 5/31/2014 6:03PM

  Missing your wisdom.

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KARENE10 5/26/2014 11:32AM

    Hope to see you soon!

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UUCEEJAY 5/16/2014 11:36AM

    I've taken my breaks from SP too and for much the same reasons. I'm back at it for a bit but not doing all that well. See you when you return. emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/12/2014 9:33AM

    I tend to agree with SLIMMERKIWI
"a) been gaining muscle"

I'll miss you here, but I know where you live.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/11/2014 10:51AM

    Well that just sucks! I understand, though. I'm working on 10 pounds myself, and it really sucks when the writing muse abandons you. Everything will come together, though. And Morticia is right. If only the svelte were allowed to give support here, we wouldn't get any.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/11/2014 9:24AM

    I hate to hear this! I will miss you and, like MORTICIA said "you don't have to be perfect to hang with me"!! I love you for who you are, 7 pounds up or 7 pounds down, it's all the same. You know from past experience I will keep in touch and will not let you slip away!!

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OLIVIANIGHT 5/11/2014 6:14AM

    You've got to do what you need to do, but I hope you're back soon :)

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    You better come back or I'll have to hunt you down. LOL! I hope to see you back soon. You don't have to be perfect to hang with me, GF!

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HIKING-4-ME 5/10/2014 8:49PM


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SLIMLILA 5/10/2014 7:45PM

    I chose ARnold's comment.... he always brings a smile to me!

That is really weird, all that work and 7 lbs...I've got a broken ankle and am barely moving, so the scale isn't even entering into my reality these days.... just staying on this pity pot and counting down the days. til the cast comes off and then starting all over again. I just pray that I don't need physio and a walker and the whole summer to recover, that will push my patience further than I can handle...

my silver lining right now is that our weather is still miserable, cuz if it was beaufiful and spring-like out, like it should be, this cast would be hot and annoying and I would be so chomping at the bit to be out walking, this way, I sit and shiver and count down the days.

Hope you figure out what's going on, and better stil that it's just a little bit of adjust ment and then the pounds start falling off like you deserve and all the work should be earning you.

Take care and hope to see you 'lighter' and soon.

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SLIMMERKIWI 5/10/2014 6:46PM

    Quite likely with the work you have been doing you have
a) been gaining muscle
and therefore
b) also been retaining fluid for that muscle.

It WILL cause weight gain BUT it will sort itself out.

Being extra busy and obviously on your feet a lot also has a tendency to retain fluid. I found this when I worked every day for a year (except 6 days) as a caregiver, and then had some time off. I dropped loads of weight the first 3 weeks.

I like your choice of closing lines - LOL!


Comment edited on: 5/12/2014 2:43:19 AM

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 5/10/2014 6:21PM

    Best wishes!

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AJDOVER1 5/10/2014 4:22PM

    You're in my prayers.
I'm going to miss you.
Looking forward to your return. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/10/2014 3:53PM

    How is the elder care thing going? I've thought of it, but never got around to it. Stay well.

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    Either line works as long as it is true. We await your rtetuirn

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Bucket Lists

Monday, April 21, 2014

My daughter, who is 23 years old, informed me this morning that she is building something called a cafe racer -apparently some sort of small, fast motorcycle. I was horrified, but that's beside the point. When I asked her (repeatedly) why she'd do something like that when surely there were other things yadayadayada, her reply was that it was on her Bucket List.

Ever since that annoyingly depressing movie came out, everyone I know has constructed a bucket list. So I thought I'd come up with my own.

Bad idea.

The only thing I can think of is "get all the laundry washed, folded and put away." Maybe "organize the holiday decorations." Not thinking big enough? All right, how about "get all four sides of the house painted at the same time"?

I've had accomplishments in mind over the years. Once I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover, but bogged down somewhere in Leviticus. I did better with the dictionary, but kept getting off track by their, "See thus and so" instructions, so I never finished that either. There's no point in reading the encyclopedia (yes, children, I still have a set) because most of the information in it is no longer relevant and all the countries in Africa keep changing.

People have "Travel!" on their bucket lists. I've been from Newfoundland to Key West, although for some reason I've never been west of Cleveland. I've thought about wanting to drive across the country, but so much of it is flatness and corn and dirt and rocks...I mean, why would anyone want to drive across Iowa or Texas? So you can get to the other side of the country and meet people who are just like the ones you know at home, only tanner?

I used to want to take a cruise somewhere, but I developed an ear thing and now get seasick really easily (I used to be virtually immune to motion sickness) so now a cruise sounds like spending three days feeling dreadful so I can get to a place where rum is $50 a bottle.

I've done lots of outdoorsy stuff, driven a ton of miles, met plenty of semi- and for real famous people, eaten exotic food, learned a foreign language, written books, driven cars really fast, painted (very mediocre) paintings, completed 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. Am I really that boring that I can't come up with any Must See or Must Do things? Heck, they don't even have to be legal - I'm flexible.

Sure, I suppose Nepal would be interesting, but the chances of successfully arranging (and paying for) a trip there are pretty far-fetched, and composing a Bucket List of things I'll likely never be able to do sounds pretty depressing and self-defeating.

How do you feel about Bucket Lists? Do you have one? And if you have any suggestions for me by all means, let's hear them (and remember, SP won't let you post naughty words.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 5/10/2014 8:28AM

    I like the 'concept' of bucket lists...I just don't like the fact that once you go through the events you most likely promptly CROAK!

I would LOVE to get my hands on enough $$ (we'd have to think lotto winnings here) that we could hire a driver (a GOOD driver) and take a big ole' RV around to all of Josh's many friends that are spread out all over the world and visit with them for a few days and find out their dreams and hopes and then fund them into reality!

That would be the cat's meow!

I'd also like to have more time to go out and get all hot and sweaty and my hands dirty volunteering for Habitat for Humanity...what better way to spend your days then putting a roof over some deserving human's head.

I of course would love to actually follow through on one of my many writing projects and get ONE of my books completed that would expose the evils of the dirty rotten bankers that have successfully stolen homes away from trusting homeowners that fell for their "Yes...we are helping you...modifications that are a total rip off and end up just putting MORE money in their stinking pockets before they STEAL your houses anyway.

That story has been hush hush for some 6 years now and is still status quo. It reminds me of the Nazi's and the Jews...yet there is no outrage only submission all these many years later.

I'd LOVE to go back to Italy or the French countryside...or move to a country outside of the States but still be able to connect to my internet and see my first run movies.

I'd love to travel to all the reaches of the world and visit each and every one of my awesome Spark friends and have the $$ to fly them all down here to FL for a couple of weeks in the winter and rent a big fabulous house on the beach that all we had to do was get up, have our breakfast catered and then take off for the day walking the beach or traveling around the state playing tourist.

I'd love to get rid of all of the nasty food ads and fake food pop ups that appear on Spark and interfere with my concentration when I'm reading blogs...yet still have the site free for anyone who is wanting to join and use the many healthy tools they supply.

I'd love to have a bucket list that isn't called a bucket list...but a 'living la vida loca' list and allow each of us to be the exciting and adventurous humans that we have been put on this earth to be.

And yes...Scoot...that would mean drag gin you along for the ride too! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/5/2014 8:30AM

    My dear Scooter...Bucket Lists (IMO) should not include reading the Bible, a set of Encyclopedias or the dictionary, but rather things that you just don't want to miss. For example, a friend of mine saw Leonard Cohen in concert and said it was a "must see" kind of thing, so that is on my Bucket List. Yes, I have a small list that I keep on my iPhone and started making it one day when we were travelling somewhere in the car and I had some time to think about it. Most of what is on my bucket list is travel related (I was inspired by the car ride I suppose), for example I would like to take the train from my hometown of Winnipeg up to Churchill just for the train ride and the experience of being up that far north and seeing Hudson Bay in person instead of just looking at its vastness on a map. And one of the entries reads: Meet Spark friends Scooter, Bobi, Stephanie....

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FRABBIT 5/1/2014 8:46PM

  I thought it was only me.

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WINDSWEPTACRES 4/23/2014 12:11AM

    No bucket list for me either. I couldn't have planned most of the things that have happened to me over the last five or six years. Sometimes life's surprises are a lot better than the things we had planned for ourselves.

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FITBIZZZ 4/22/2014 12:16PM

    lol. You've just created the anti-bucket list. ;-)

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NORASPAT 4/21/2014 11:09PM

    Great. Blog Karen. My walking buddies made up a bucket list where we all should go in Maine. Most of the Places they want to go to I already went with our kids. My walking Buddies have walked all over Europe.
I just like to get away out of the house but DH wants to stay home. He was in the army so he got go lots of places.
I did a lot of stuff in my youth. Our kids have mostly seen Maine. I just want to be happy and pain free. HUGS Pat in Maine. I guess I am boring too. Thanks for straightening me out. HUGS.

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    We are definitely sisters in another life - sharing the same bucket. I don't have a bucket list either but I loved some of yours. Organizing the holiday decorations would definetly make me happy. Getting all sides of the house stained at the same time would rock.

My hubby read the Bible twice and I felt and urge to do the same and they begating seemed to go on forever and I quit. I know it wasn't much of an effort but I'm not long suffering and I really wanted to get to the good parts. Hubby reads dictionaries and encyclopedieas too. Same problem again with me - short attention span.

I am ambivalent about travel. I would love to do it but I would have to leave home.

I thought I wanted to cruise too and then norovirus and SARS came about and other maladies and I was cured.I can get sick here and puke my socks up without having to pay for it.

Re Nepal? I have a friend who is from Katmandu and he left there anr really, really, really never wanted to go back. It's not a fun place. I'm not into mountain climbing.

My bucket list would be to get this place in some kind of order.

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CANDOK1260 4/21/2014 8:47PM

    i too don;t have a bucket list

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 4/21/2014 6:46PM

    Like you, I have a fair amount of contempt for the "bucket list" concept because I fear it creates snares and delusions. I sometimes envy the people who have so much passion that they have such strong desires.

Before I knew the term, I guess my "bucket list" was to go to London and I've done that. Right now if I had to say I have a "bucket list" it would be to read certain books that I know I can read easily and soon. My bucket list is to get my home cleaned so that I will leave a tidy corpse, metaphorically. "Things" and "accomplishments" matter less to me as I age.

My bucket list if I had to have one is to see my children occupied with something in life that goes beyond sheer drudgery and tedium.

Your blogs always provoke much thought. emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/21/2014 6:21PM

    I guess I'm fairly boring. I have no bucket list and no real desire to make one. I have traveled a bit; not my favorite thing to do. We are going to London/Ireland in a couple of months. It's my dream trip so I guess you could say it's on my bucket list (soon to be checked off). I'm content doing what I'm doing and living my life as positively as I can.

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AJDOVER1 4/21/2014 5:00PM

    No Bucket List for me -- I can't cope with a grocery list most days....

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SCOOTER4263 4/21/2014 4:24PM

    You all, as usual, have made me very happy. I actually hadn't thought of it as having lived my life the way I wanted to, as I came to it, but you're right - that's what it is.

My great-uncle (second uncle? removals? I don't understand those things...anyway) Al Close was a very good poker player and one of his favorite sayings was, "It's not the cards you're dealt, it's how you play them." I agree wholeheartedly.

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/21/2014 3:07PM

    As usual, you make me smile. When I read your title, I immediately thought of two things - 1. I think bucket lists are ridiculous 2) My main priority - maintain my sanity throughout today. Then I read what you wrote and it's similar. (smiling) Like you, I've travelled my little hiney off and done a variety of other adventures. Big hug, Scoot.

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 4/21/2014 3:01PM

    Instead of a bucket list, I just do what I want to do. I live life in a way that gives me joy. There is not many if any places I want to travel. I did take a cruise in 2003 with a friend. It was just after I retired and it was something my husband wanted to do but we never could afford. But I chose to take the trip while I had the money to do it. I never thought of it as part of a bucket list.

Most of my life I just have tried to live in a way that I had few regrets when I died. If I felt if I did not do something I would regret it later--I would do it. So far I have very few things I have regretted. I guess the bucket list is a list of regrets you have later in life. If so, I do not have such a list. I have enjoyed my life even with the tears and pain.

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SHERYLDS 4/21/2014 2:28PM

    I've been following the South Korean Ferry cruise for me thank you. But I can't afford my bucket list. I would love to move to Hawaii. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of money and I don't think I can earn a living as a hula dancer. emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 4/21/2014 2:19PM

    I must be pretty boring, too, because I have no desire to have a bucket list. But I really enjoyed reading about your lack of one! emoticon

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LOLAINSC 4/21/2014 2:16PM

    If I have to force it, then it isn't worth putting on my bucket list. If it was something unforced that deserves being put on my bucket list, then I've probably already done it.

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MNNICE 4/21/2014 1:35PM

    I'm pretty boring myself. I do have a bucket list, but there's only one thing on it. I'm afraid to do it because then I would probably die! :)

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HARVESTER54 4/21/2014 1:27PM

    LOL you brought a smile to my day. I have a short BL I have taken my trip to Israel the main goal LOVED it. It is a joy to read that you are so content with your life and what you have achieved. Blessings.

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Quicky explanation of the term "blood moon"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Apparently some folks are concerned that seeing a "blood moon"means the earth is going to end or something like that.While I have complete respect to anyone and everyone's religious beliefs, this time science can come to the rescue.

There is a full lunar eclipse tonight. This means that the moon, the Earth and the Sun are all lined up with the Earth in the middle - the moon is in the Earth's umbra, or shadow. The moon isn't completely invisible though - because of the angle at which the light from the sun passes through the Earth's atmosphere, the moon appears reddish. This is where the name "blood moon"comes from. There will be another total lunar eclipse sometime this autumn - I forget exactly when. There are between two and five lunar eclipses each year, although not all of them are full eclipses.

Sometimes the full moon in October is called the Blood Moon. This, like another traditional name, the Hunters Moon, is referring to the fact that October is when animals were slain to prepare for the long winter ahead.

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FRABBIT 4/16/2014 2:58PM

  Thanks for the explaination!

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AJDOVER1 4/15/2014 10:37PM

    Thanks! I love stuff like this.

The world can't end today, it's already tomorrow in New Zealand....

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/15/2014 8:19PM

    Thank you for the info!!

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MOM2ACAT 4/15/2014 7:13PM

    I never heard about til this morning, until I was in my doctor's office and heard the staff talking about it. I wish I would have peeked out and looked at it last night, would have been a cool sight to see!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 4/15/2014 10:58AM

    Educational. Thanks!

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WILSONWR 4/15/2014 8:31AM

    Thanks for the great explanation!

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KARENE10 4/15/2014 7:06AM

    Nice Science lesson~ emoticon

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MTRACHEL 4/15/2014 12:00AM

    so glad you reminded me to wake in the night tonight!

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MCJULIEO 4/14/2014 11:25PM

    Thanks for the explanation!

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_UMAMI_ 4/14/2014 10:03PM

    Here's a link to times, etc. for those interested:

And now I must go listen to Klaus Nomi.

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_UMAMI_ 4/14/2014 9:15PM

    Also, there is the thing where all four blood moons will occur on Jewish holidays (2014-2015?). Yes, the end is nigh. (Said she, who got married during the scary days of Y2K.)
I SWEAR I saw a blood moon when I was nursing my eldest, and my period came back (first post-partum), and it was really weird. Now I can't find anything that coincides with that. AM I CRAZY??? Hmmm....maybe it was second child?)
Anyway, enjoy it if you're having one of your sleepless nights. I'm going to attempt to rise mid-sleep, get my youngest up, and have a gander. Trying to muster my sense of fat-but-adventurous.


Comment edited on: 4/14/2014 9:16:29 PM

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    I wish I were up for the eclipse but it's right during my sleep time.

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SOUL2SHINE79 4/14/2014 7:31PM

    Hahaha! I didn't know about the blood moon..thanks for letting us know! I was wondering what phase the moon is in today though, because i've been a crazy lunatic! It's all starting to make sense! : ) emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/14/2014 7:09PM

    I also think some are concerned about the unprecedented number of them that are supposed to appear in a relatively short time? Thanks for the info, Scoot.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 4/14/2014 6:47PM

    Thanks for the explanation!

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POSITIVEHOPE 4/14/2014 6:36PM

    Thank you for the explanation and science lesson. You did a nice job without visual illustrations. I am not afraid that the world will end but it is nice to know.

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