Saturday, March 21, 2009



My sister sent me today's post, bless her liver. I think that she knew how my latest attempts have been turning into screeds of self-pity, which get wiped before I can hit the PUBLISH POST button.

I am reminded of the greeting card with the picture of the cat hanging onto a limb by both front paws. The caption inside reads “Just Hang In There”.

Of course, just hanging in there can be for the birds. In a former life, known as high school, we had physical education classes twice a week. Being a total klutz, these were not my favorite times of the week (and during marching band season I managed to avoid them altogether) . Organized sports (basketball, volleyball, softball, badminton) were a total disaster—usually I ended up being a referee/umpire by virtue of nobody wanting me on their team.

But the truly worst times were the physical drills and tests. You know, all the calisthenics, the relay races, the obstacle courses, climbing ropes (the only thing I was good at), the sit-ups, the chin ups, and the dreaded hang time.

I don’t know the official name for that last exercise, but it was torture to grab that bar and just hang there while the arms started shaking and the hands burned.
Right now I know that Jan is hanging on for all she’s worth and everything is shaking and burning, but I also know she is stubborn as all get out and she is not about to let go of any more than she has to.

Hang in there, kid. Love you bunches.

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner, neither do uninterrupted prosperity and success qualify for usefulness and happiness. The storms of adversity, like those of the ocean rouse the faculties, and excite the invention, prudence, skill and fortitude of the voyager. The martyrs of ancient times, in bracing their minds to outward calamities, acquired a loftiness of purpose and a moral heroism worth a lifetime of softness and security.

--Author Unknown

The word of the day for March 21, 2009 is "fortitude"   /ˈfɔr tɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [fawr-ti-tood, -tyood] –noun
Origin: 1350–1400; ME -tude
Synonyms:See patience.

: Show mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation.

Our quote for the day is from Jacqueline Bisset:

Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.


Friday, March 13, 2009



Lloyd fell again this morning. He had gotten out of bed and was on his way into the bathroom when he went down. I don't think he actually had gotten his balance. As he is so much larger than I, there is no way that I can effectively help him when this sort of thing happens. Eventually, he was able to pull himself up, using the fixtures, but it was not easy.

His hands are all swollen this morning, also. He complained about the pain and swelling before he got out of bed. Catching himself certainly did not help. I asked if he would like me to get the heating pad to lay on his hands when he got off the throne. "It doesn't do any good," he said, waving away the very thought. It took him five minutes of working to get his wedding ring off his finger. It left a deep depression between knuckles. I soothed some lotion onto his hands because the skin was very dry.

Recently, I've been looking at nursing homes. It's depressing, but I know the time is coming that he will have to have 24 hour care outside our home. He will not go willingly. He refuses to go to a Senior Center for day care, and thinks that having Jimmy come in to help is a waste of money. Lloyd won't even discuss signing power of attorney for medical matters to make things easier. Speaking to a lawyer the other day, I learned that I will have to go through the court if Lloyd won't voluntarily sign the POA.

This all sounds depressing, and it is. However, I've been praying for help in these matters, and I forgot the adage, "If you pray for patience, God will send you tribulations."

The word of the day for March 13, 2009 is "prehension" — Pronunciation: \prē-'hen(t)-shən\
Function: noun
Date: circa 1828
1: the act of taking hold, seizing, or grasping. 2 a: mental understanding :
comprehension. b: apprehension by the senses.

Our quote for the day is from Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Stephen Rojack, in An American Dream, ch. 5, Dial (1965):

I had a quick grasp of the secret to sanity—it had become the ability to hold the maximum of impossible combinations in one’s mind.



Thursday, March 5, 2009



This is a folk tale, so it is told in the third person.

Once upon a long time ago, when the Gryphon was still limber and spry, she attended a modern dance class on a regular basis. This was part of the course requirements at a state university where all the students were otherwise sober and industrious. A couple of Gryphon's step-roomies also attended this class, which is how Gryphon got involved in the first place.

One of the usual problems set for the class was, in groups of five or six persons, to perform an improvisational dance. On one occasion each dancer was told to choose one of her group to stay as close to as possible and choose another to avoid during the course of the dance. Gryphon's step-roomies were in other groups, so she chose two others whom she knew slightly and the dance began. Avoiding the one young lady was fairly easy, as she appeared to be chasing after someone else. However, the other chosen dancer was very difficult to approach. The dancers twirled and writhed as the music played. Gryphon was a step away from catching up to her chosen dancer when the music ended.

The chosen dancer put her hands on her hips and said to Gryphon, "I chose to avoid you, but every time I turned, there you were. It was awful."

Gryphon explained that she was sorry, she hadn't meant to discompose her classmate's well-being, but that was the rules of the excercise—to stay with the one chosen. She had really meant to honor this classmate and, eventually, develop a friendship. That burgeoning friendship died in the course of a three-minute dance.

Now, I wonder about the surfeit of stalking that has swept our nation, our world. Do stalkers feel entitled by their perception of the rules of life to discommode their chosen victims? So many times we hear that the stalking victim has enlisted friends and family, or even the police, attempting to avoid the predator to no avail. Stalkers seem to think that an absent smile is a come-on, when the rest of us recognise it for the polite dismissal that it truly is.

So, just why is it that stalkers miss or ignore the clues telling them to back off, find someone who might possibly care on whom to lavish their attentions? Do they listen to too much 1950s Rock & Roll—"Take Good Care of My Baby", "There Goes My Baby", all those "she's mine and if I can't have her I'll die" songs. Do they have delusions of grandeur: think they are as good as the rest of us?

The word of the day for March 5, 2009 is "aversion" Pronunciation: \ə-'vər-zhən, -shən\
Function: noun
Date: 1596
1obsolete : the act of turning away. 2 a: a feeling of repugnance toward something with a desire to avoid or turn from it [regards drunkenness with aversion]. b: a settled dislike : antipathy [expressed an aversion to parties]. c: a tendency to extinguish a behavior or to avoid a thing or situation and especially a usually pleasurable one because it is or has been associated with a noxious stimulus. 3: an object of aversion [inconstancy is my aversion — Jane Austen].

Our quote for the day is from Agnes Repplier (1858–1950), U.S. author, social critic. “A Kitten,” In the Dozy Hours (1894):

Why does not the kitten betray some of the attributes common to the adult puss? A puppy is but a dog, plus high spirits, and minus common sense. We never hear our friends say they love puppies, but cannot bear dogs. A kitten is a thing apart; and many people who lack the discriminating enthusiasm for cats, who regard these beautiful beasts with aversion and mistrust, are won over easily, and cajoled out of their prejudices, by the deceitful wiles of kittenhood.



Sunday, March 1, 2009



Late night Friday, we watched Cast Away with Tom Hanks. Now, I am not normally a Tom Hanks fan. I know he is a creditable actor. His work has won awards, etc. Still, I remember the sitcom, Bosom Buddies, that he participated in early in his career. I realize that the material was fluff, but it did nothing good for my perception of the man.

My problems aside, Hanks carries the main acting burden for Cast Away. His character is sympathetically, if somewhat optimistically drawn. How many of us would have survived one night on a deserted island without so much as a pocket knife. Hanks did give a good performance, both in the physical emulation of setting up housekeeping on his island and the emotional in giving up the relationships that had kept him going throughout his exile. If that's a spoiler, I'm sorry. Y'all had plenty of time to see the movie before I did.

The word of the day for March 1, 2009 is "castaway" Pronunciation: \'kast-ə-,wā\
Function: adjective
Date: 1542
1: thrown away :
rejected. 2 a: cast adrift or ashore as a survivor of a shipwreck. b: thrown out or left without friends or resources.

Our quote for the day is from Anne Sexton (1928–1974), U.S. poet. “Doors, Doors, Doors.”:
Castaway, your time is a flat sea that doesn’t stop,
with no new land to make for and no new stories to swap.