Friday, October 21, 2016

TO NAME OR NOT TO NAME?

     OK, I had a few more ideas about the name of my new country
What do you think of something like:
910917dfuf6xv0uf.gif (390×212)
 tumblr_n34ebmjw2V1ralxhxo1_500.gif (500×500)

"Marisol" -

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                or  "Tierra de Mar" - the Land of the Sea



There is also 
"Tierra del Sol" - the Land of the Sun

beaches62.gif~c200 (200×200)

DECISIONS, DECISIONS...

     So, since I didn't get any suggestions yet from my readers in regards to a new country we can invent, I'm going to start by myself.
     Thinking about the name for my new country:

1. "Beautelia"?

beach1.gif (176×220)
2. "Freeland"?

freedom.jpg (601×190)


                                                        3. "Hopeland"?

gif-hope-seasons-Favim.com-368113.gif (400×300)


boygivingheart.gif~c200 (200×200)      4. "Heartland"?
     
     What do you think? 
5. "The Land of ..."?

     This will be hard to decide all by myself...
     

Thursday, October 20, 2016

STARTING MY OWN COUNTRY

     I decided, I'll start my own country. Who's with me?
     Let's see: where would we do it? Some island would be the easiest choice!tumblr_lpgluzxbjp1r0ld6io1_1280.gif (600×450)

     Do I want to be the President or the Queen? Perhaps, it should be the parliamentary monarchy. No, then I'll have no say in the way the country is run. On the other hand, I don't want to be involved in every nitty-gritty thing...
     Yes, the parliamentary monarchy it will be!
     Since it's going to need a parliament, I'll need your suggestions to what kind of laws the country will need and how it'll be run. By "your", I mean all of you, my readers! So, put on your thinking caps, "gird your loins" for the courage of your opinions and give me your comments!
     We'll need to create:
1. A country name - that's important. 
2. Constitution.
3. A flag.
4. A country mascot.
5. An anthem (can be a popular song). If I don't get any suggestions, the anthem will be: animated-music-note-image-0041.gif (62×80)"All by my-se-e-elf!"animated-music-note-image-0041.gif (62×80)
     Please feel free to add whatever else this absentminded future monarch can't think about.




Monday, October 17, 2016

DAY AND NIGHT

     The house is quiet. Taka ans Sonny went to work. It was a long weekend: Taka took a day off on Friday to cut the grass and repair Sonny's door, which he took off the hinges in one of his rages.
     Yep, that's how mad he gets, trying to motivate Sonny to action. 
     My foot still hurts. It was better for a couple of days, but  started to ache again last night. The house is covered in the remains of the fast food: wrappers, boxes, cups from soda decorate every surface. I couldn't cook so much (or clean!) last week, and gratefully employed newly discovered food delivery services. 
     At night I hear Chicken Bone trying to get into a pizza box, left on the table. He goes after the leftover cheese, that's stuck to the top of the box, or some pineapple slices from eaten Hawaiian pizza. 
     I know, I'm prattling. There is a lot that's occupying my mind, but it's hard to decide, what is worth sharing with you in this blog.
     With Mr.P. we talked about Taka. He keeps reminding me: "You get, what you tolerate". It's true, I realized, I am prone to celebrating every small achievement in relationship to my husband, forgetting that I can't relax the boundaries, which help protect me, no matter how much I desire to be at peace. For example, Taka and I might have a strong conversation about something, in which I stand up for myself or Sonny and remind Taka of the things he himself desires in the our relationship: warmth, intimacy. mutuality. Sometimes he would suddenly respond by altering his behavior for a while, which would send me over the moon! The struggle to maintain healthy connections is never over though, and I shouldn't just ignore the grating sounds of his voice, the next time he berates us for something, but I often choose to do so, because I can't stand to be in a constant battle with him. 

     Well, I myself got depressed writing this!

     

     

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

ORANGE HOPE

     My ankle is bright orange, and so are parts of the living room carpet. 
     For three days I limp and moan, favoring my aching foot.
I can't really complain: I had a year free of tendon inflammation. I walked without a cane, was free to exercise and shop til' I dropped.
220px-Eucommia-ulmoides.JPG (220×147)     I took Eucommia Leaf Extract supplement. The proof that it works came, when I didn't take it for a few days and ended up in my current state. 
     As I said, my ankle is bright orange. It didn't turn that color because of the pain. Another natural remedy did it: the Turmeric poultice. 
turmeric-spice.jpg (300×231)
     I am still amazed, how well these God-given plants work to help us with pain, sickness,.. housekeeping, etc. Sonny says, turmeric must have a placebo effect on me, but I swear: as soon as he helps me apply it to a swollen, painful joint, I feel relief. It shouldn't be possible because the body needs time to absorb herbal medicine through the skin, but I feel, what I feel!
     What I began to understand is, even though I didn't give much thought to taking Eucommia and didn't have much faith in its healing properties, it still did its job. I took it just in case, but it faithfully worked its magic anyway. 
     Is it so with our Heavenly Father? No matter the amount of attention we pay to Him, He still is with us, right? 
worrying.gif (500×272)     I don't know. The first time I prayed, God rushed into my heart and life, filling me with hope and love. That was many, many years ago. I now often forget to invite God into my daily events. I might worry or feel hopeless about some situations. Why is it not my first instinct to tell God about them? And I find less and less miracles happen in my life.
     Maybe it means, now that I am a little more mature in faith, I should be more responsible for the relationship between Him and me. 
     It isn't a big secret: we need to work on the relationships with those, closest or most important to us.  Loyal spouses, loving children or parents, friends - all need to feel that we also care and are ready to lend a helping hand, when the need for it arises. Without it things fall apart. 
     Surely, I trust God more than some herb to help and to work in my life! I daily take the supplements, believing, they'll be my defense against an attack on my health! 
     What else is there to say? Perhaps He needs me not to just say some perfunctory prayers. I need to feel deep gratitude to my Heavenly Parent for the many times He helped me with His Grace
     That's what I'll try to remember while looking at the orange stains left on my ankle and carpet by Turmeric. 
     Awaken, awaken, my heart! 
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Monday, October 10, 2016

PRINCIPLES TRUMP POLITICS

tumblr_nsq6xdsd3p1qb6v6ro3_500.gif (426×240)     I understand, we want, whom we want in the White House. Bill Clinton is an animal, who attacks and uses women. Hillary, his wife and a present Presidential candidate, is a manipulative, greedy, lawless .... 
     
     Does that make right Trump's attitude toward women?
Z (289×175)Yeah, he said those things on tape ten years ago. Do you honestly think, he changed his ways since then? All those remarks of his about women being fat, needing to be beautiful to get a job; him petting his adult daughter on the behind during public events... Doesn't it make you a little nauseous? 

Trump-Donald.jpg (550×367)     We all want, what we want. To my remarks on Trump people tell me, how much worse Hillary and Bill are. They tell me, if Hillary is elected into Office, she'll appoint wrong kind of Supreme Court judges, and America will go to Hell. And therefore, it's OK for Trump to be a women-hating, tactless, pimply-adolescent minded jerk. 

     In effect, people practice politics. They sacrifice, what's really important: care and respect for another gender, fairness - to promote a political candidate, who, hopefully, won't disappoint them.                                                                
                                                                
     It never worked before, you know! Whenever we sacrifice our principles for the sake of practicality, a disaster follows. 

     We can't bargain with the Devil. If we offer him a finger, he'll take the whole arm. We can't betray, what we care about for the sake of what we might want at the moment. 

               Ideology knows the answer before  the question has been                                           asked. Principles are something different: a set of values 
                       that have to be adapted to circumstances 
                            but not compromised away.” 
                                                                                                                                  ― George                                                                                                                                                 Packer



Sunday, October 9, 2016

TRUMP TALK

     



     So, some say, all men talk dirty about women. What does it prove? Do you feel good about it? Do you feel empowered that, you think, you have have a right to do so? 
     As a woman, I feel like such mindset and behavior is a betrayal. Man's role is to protect and uphold his partner. Real, secure in their position and authority men wouldn't demean women. Those, who hate women or fear rejection - would.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

BREATHE DEEPLY

     woman-giving-up-with-a-leaking-broken-washing-mac-gif-U4HEgU-clipart.gif (640×480)The laundry machine is broken. It happened about three months ago. Fortunately, just before that we purchased The First American Home Warranty insurance.
xHBh5AsuuOCCCy644IILLrjgggsuuED6H03HQarWZenLAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC (483×104)     I called them up, and they sent a repairman from a reputable company - the Sears. He spent 5 minutes with the machine and an hour - trying to order parts for it. His English was poor, so when he told me, he couldn't reach the parts' department, and I'll have to do it now, I didn't understand him. 
replace-wash-machine-1.jpg (360×240)     How do I know, what he meant? In about a week I called the insurance again, thinking that by then my parts arrived. Two men came out this time. They said, they had no parts and no notes from the previous person, so they'd have to take the machine apart. Didn't find a leak, but looking at MY receipt from the last repairman, those two told me a cockamamie story about how the dial is broken, and the washer keeps filling with water and doesn't know, when to stop, so they need to order a new dial. Even I knew, it couldn't be right!
     One more week passed. A box with the new dial arrived. A repairman, for whom I waited for four hours, didn't
     Now hysterical, I called the company and yelled at everyone, unfortunate enough to talk to me. 
     The guy, who came the first time, showed up at my door. I didn't recognize him, because he was wearing a little mask. He told me, he was allergic to cats.
     He didn't understand, how a new dial would solve a leaking problem, but opened the box with the new part anyway. 
     "Is broken!" - he declared, shaking the box to let me hear the rattling inside. "Can't do anything with it!"
     And I thought, it couldn't get any worse! 
     I called the company once more to inform them, I wasn't going to pay for this kind of service. They reassured me, they understood, and promised to take care of the problem, but I had to buy some new parts. 
     Before the next visit I received a letter with a refund for $65, even though I didn't pay anything yet. Who is running that company, anyway?
     It was a different man, who came to repair my machine this time. Chewing on my frustration, I took him to the laundry room, but a few minutes later he was out, saying, he'll order me a replacement washer. 
     The point of this long story?
     I don't know, who is running the insurance company or the repair shop with whom they have a contract, but things in this country are getting worse. Maybe I was lucky until now, but I was always impressed about the ease, with which the American businesses take care of their customers. These days my head is spinning from the un-business-like behavior I encounter everywhere! For example, when I tried to get Roberta her "free" phone, the web of mistakes and bureaucratic run around I was subjected to, left me with the PTSD! 
     Are we getting too big to manage the precise handling of our responsibilities? It seems like, the right hand doesn't know, what the left one is doing! 
breathe.jpg (644×332)
     What's there left for us, the clients and the customers, to do, but to breathe deeply (in through the nose and out through the mouth) and pray? For now it helps.
       By the way, we are still waiting for the new washer!
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Friday, October 7, 2016

PRAYER

     I'm waiting for Sonny.
     Earlier this evening, when he and I had an easy conversation in the living room, Taka walked in, Sometimes it seems to me, he spends all his time making up the ultimatums with which he can present Sonny. The situation is not black and white, though: Taka told me, he can't sleep, thinking of Sonny and how he might once again disappoint us. I came to a realization, that we need to let Sonny succeed or fail on his own. I argue with Taka, therefore, when he demands that Sonny presents him with updated reports on different aspects of transferring to the Arizona State University. 
     This time Taka interrupted the relaxed atmosphere in the house by spouting something about Sonny having too many car accidents. For some reason the new ultimatum was for Sonny to pay money to offset our car repair losses. 
     My son is broken. He doesn't argue with his dad or responds to the his questions or even mine. He just sits there with a closed, vacant expression on his face. It kills me to see him like that. It kills me to see, Sonny is closed not only to his dad, but to me too.
     Since I couldn't get Sonny to respond to me, I tried to get his dad to lay off. As after a heated exchange with my husband I turned to Sonny, I saw the ironic look on his face. I couldn't dwell on it, because I still, foolishly, perhaps, hope that my words will reach Taka. Instead my spouse walked away. When Sonny went to his room, I heard that Taka resumed his assault on him. 
     I began to walk to the back of the house, where Taka's voice droned, but half way there Sonny came toward me. He went out of the front door, wearing only shorts and a T-shirt. I tried to get him to take car keys, but he walked away into the cold, dark evening.
     It didn't help to call Sonny's phone. It's been a few hours, but there is no word from him.
     What surprised me was Taka. This is not a new kind of a situation. Usually after an altercation with me he storms off into the bedroom/office, and the next time we have to start from square one. This time he showed more patience, as I asked him to change his approach to Sonny. I expressed my need to see him treat his family with more warmth, like a dad would. He, of course, interrupted my every sentence, and I, finally, as Mr. P. teaches me, walked away, saying: "We'll continue this conversation, when you can afford it more respect".
     The only thing I had left was to pray. About what? Sonny's safety, him finding it in his heart to open up to us and to do, what needs to be done for his future; for Heavenly Father to reach Taka and Sonny, because I can't.
     Taka came, looking for a flash light. I guess, he decided to search for Sonny. He returned to the living room and sat by me, which didn't happen for many many years
     He finally told me, he had to go to bed. Before that he said: "When Sonny comes back, tell him, I'm sorry"

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

ROBERTA AND THE REALITY

     A few illustrations to Roberta's mental situation:

Sonny and I were chatting in the living room. Suddenly Roberta's cheerful voice interrupted us:
- "I got my pants off!"
Before I managed to turn around, I saw the horror on Sonny' s face, as he covered it with his hands.
Sure enough, by the dining room table, smiling from ear to ear, stood Roberta. She wore a pretty green suit jacket, but no pants.

Some days later:

Me: "Roberta, do you know, what a misogynist is"?
Roberta (defiantly): "Of course I do!"
Me: "What does it mean then"?
Roberta: "Someone, who comes to give you a massage!

On the way to the doctor's office:

Me: "Roberta, what's the matter, why do you look so displeased?
Roberta (irate): "It's nothing."
Me: "You have to tell me, because I can't guess, what's bothering you!"
Roberta: "It's just that I remember, when you took me there once before. It looked like a junk yard. There were pipes everywhere and the artificial insemination equipment..."

Me: Speechless.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

GOD'S GRACE, MY HUSBAND AND THE GAMES WE PLAY

     2Q== (121×126)The Unification Church announced in August that, there will be a Special Grace Ceremony for the members. Although I left that church and became a Christian, I promised Taka to go there once a month for Sunday Services. I guess, a Special Grace Ceremony can be also counted as one of those occasions, when I had to put up an appearance there. 
images (258×195)     The more I thought about it, the clearer it became: the Unification Movement or it's leaders - the Moon family - have nothing to do with God. We all had to pay a couple of hundreds of dollars to receive "the grace and some holy objects". My skin crawled, as these words brought thoughts of the Inquisition, indulgences and holy relics. I went to the ceremony with Taka and Sonny, but didn't drink the "holy" wine or "amen" to anything.
     A few days after the ceremony, I, half-joking, told Taka that, since I go to his church, it would be only fair for him to go to mine, meaning Creekside Community Church in San Leandro. He refused, of course, but later on came to talk about it. For some reason, it was a news to him that I don't consider myself a Unification Church member anymore! 
     We sat in a darkened living room for at least an hour, as I tried to explain to my husband that, God's Grace comes to us for free, and those who demand payment for it are not to be trusted. 
     Because his English can be quite difficult to understand, I still might not have comprehended his reasons to stay in the Moon's Movement. I think, he meant, since joining  that church, he felt, he had no choice, but to commit to it fully and unquestioningly, as he feels now that there can be no choice for him to leave it. 
     From a discussion about our faith we moved on to discuss our marriage. Not for the first time I told Taka, he has to pay attention to me beyond a few words a day he manages to squeeze in my general direction. Something must've finally struck a chord, because Taka suggested, we do something special together every week. Hallelujah, there is a God in Heaven!
     We went out to eat. The next week Taka proclaimed, we have to do something more active. We played billiards. 
Usbj0y4.gif (500×195)     I played billiards on Wii before and was pretty good at it. The real, physical game proved to be very different. Suffice it to say, I was sweating from the top of my head to the bottom of my soles.          We had to go down two flights of stairs to get to the tables, and at the end - two flights of stairs up to get to the street. It might not seem like a lot to all of you, young and spy folks, but to me, with the feet that start hurting when I just look at a stairwell, it was a challenge. The final decision: billiards is not my game!
     We finished our paid period in Tai Chi. For a couple of weeks we didn't do any exercising, except some Tai Chi practicing on the backyard. This Saturday Taka wants to play Miniature Golf. 
images (303×166)     So, my man designated a day a week, when he can pay attention to me. Is that normal? He still looks through me and hears only what he wants to hear on other days! Should I be patient and pretend, everything is honky-dory? Should I still pressure him into a deeper involvement with me?
     To tell the truth, it's so much easier to spend time on my own! But I know, deepening our relationship is a right thing to do.