Yes, this is a disjointed rambling post. Deal with it.

A few hours early to be sure, Tuesday’s prompt is on hold. Something has struck me lately as I find myself spending more time on my blogs. My own personal question is this:

Who exactly am I writing for these days?

When I started a blog long, long ago using Google I was writing for myself. It was basically a journal. Actually not even a journal but what it really started out as was a memoir for my kids. I made this wholehearted but tiresome attempt to take myself back in time and begin to chronicle my life for my kids. I mean my entire life. Every single thing I could remember as early as I could remember it. It was great fun for a while, but then I began to remember that I wasn’t very good at remembering anymore. It was taking a lot of effort to remember all the little nuances and stories and moments that would flash in and out of my head that I wanted my kids to know about.

I caught moments mostly through pictures and I’m sure that in the end,  had I continued, they would have gleaned some insight into their mom, but the whole idea became a struggle. I wanted to write about other things like my life now. Like my kids now and their lives. So Google went away and this blog was born. At first I only made it available to a few but in a short amount of time I realized that I felt more comfortable putting myself out to the world. For a long time I didn’t open the blog to close friends or acquaintances. I was worried about their opinions on some of the things I write about here.

That really is sort of odd because it’s not like a fill this blog with profanity, or pornography or radical revolutionary ideas such as plans to overthrow the government. In fact this blog is usually pretty darn tame. I also decided that if they didn’t like what I had to say then they didn’t need to read it. Again odd, but that was really a freeing realization.

Then along came college, and my rants and whining about this class or that professor and the next thing I knew The Perpetual Student was born. I try to contain my student self to that blog although the two have been known to overlap.

The point of my question way up there in bold letters is that I have become a follower of quite a number of blogs lately. A small number actually when compared to the blogs I read or simply visit that have massive amounts of followers. Some questions for those bloggers as I ponder my presence here:

1. How do you do it? Where do all those followers come from? Do you have a flashing light on your blog that says READ ME-FOLLOW ME-I AM GREAT-STOP BY AND JOIN

2. Why do you do it?  I follow a few writing blogs so that answer is pretty obvious, but just in general I wonder what your initial motivation was to become a blogger on WordPress. What happened one day when you woke up? Did you just say to yourself, “Today is the day I start a blog.” and do it?

3. When do you have time to do anything else? Some bloggers have a gazillion followers and comments posted from those same gazillion followers all the time. When do you eat, sleep and work. How can you find the hours in the day to reply?

I do realize that not every blog on WordPress encompasses a mass following and many bloggers have many reasons for being here. I have barely scratched the surface of this world, mostly because I don’t have the time nor the inclination to sit for hours looking at all of the blogs here. Does anyone do that? Or do you just find your little niche’ and stick to it?

I think all these weird thoughts are circulating in my head because they fall under the same sort of umbrella concept we ask in Creative Writing.

How do you write, why do you write and when do you have time to do anything else if you think of yourself as a serious writer? I’m learning more about the how part, have some handle on the why part but still struggle with the when part.

All of those questions bring me back to my original. Just who am I writing for in this blog and at TPS? Is it just an escape for me?  Am I tired of listening to myself talk so I felt I should subjugate the world to my thoughts? Am I writing with the hope that one day someone will tell me that this blog is the best ever? Am I wasting time. Should I just take to my bed with a good book and reserve this computer for intellectual college pursuits?

Quite possibly the only real point to this ramble tonight was that I am trying to avoid writing a Sociology paper.

Perhaps I should sign off now and wait for an epiphany to happen that will answer all these questions.

 

 

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Sons

Here I sit, at the computer trying to kill some time before Downton Abbey comes on PBS in just over one hour. I have been wandering back through some of my older posts. I never quite realized just what an eclectic mix of topics I write about.

I was struck though by the realization that I hardly ever write about my son and I’m not really sure why. He is a terrific son. He is smart, funny, talented, loving and struggling to make it in a world that isn’t always kind to college grads who chose to pursue a slightly different path.

He also has a fantastic significant other in his life who he met while at college and who he began dating in his sophomore  year I believe. She is also trying to come to terms with the fact that what one has written on ones diploma is not always the life path that unfolds initially. These two have so much to give and are probably two of the most intelligent people in the mid twenty crowd that I know, yet they are stuck behind circumstances that keep them tied to a daily struggle to do nothing more than earn enough money to pay rent and live.

This instrument has been the guiding force in Jeff’s life since 5th grade:

So much so in fact that he turned his love of playing music into composing music and chose this as his major in college. I know nothing about the intricacy of composition, nor have any idea what one must do to put those compositions out into the world for other talented musicians to see, hear and desire to play as their own. He consistently works so hard, playing many of his pieces locally himself. He does have some connections through old school acquaintances but this passion that was supposed to turn into a career is stalled due to the fact that he wants to eat also.

Perhaps this needs to be an unabashedly open plug for my son and a call out to anyone who reads this blog or has a connection to anyone musical. Jeff today goes so far beyond his original debut with the alto sax in 5th grade playing his first solo to Hawaii 5-0. He is self-taught in so many musical instruments, many I am probably unaware of. He was self-taught in music theory until he reached college and could officially get credit for those self-same classes.  He composed and had pieces played by outstanding musicians. He received awards and honors for his work.

When contemplating grad school in 2010 he stuck to his passion rather than his practical inner voice. A Master’s degree in composition looks great, but ultimately means he faces the road toward research and eventually teaching. He is a great teacher, has had numerous students over the years, but teaching is not what he wants. He writes and he wants what he writes to be out in the public domain. He wants it to be played for the world.

Here are a few pictures of this son of mine, all with his companion.

This great guy, both of these great people just need an open door. An opportunity to shine. I know it will happen for them one day but as a mom I don’t want them to have to wait. I don’t want them to have to put aside their dreams and settle for occupations. I want them to both follow their passions and give to the world the way they were meant to.

An award to brighten my day

Look what I found in my inbox this morning from http://bodhisattvaintraining.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/big-bigger-biggest/

What a lovely bright spot to add to the sunshine just coming over the roof tops and peeking through my window. Bodhisattva, filled with wisdom as the name implies, mentions the many paths that the blogging world seems to create. I am happy to be one of those wayside places along the path just waiting for other bloggers to stop and rest for awhile.Thanks B!

In accepting this award one must:

1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post. 2.  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. 3. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment on their blogs to let them know.

Here are my 7 blog nominees in no particular order. They are just some of the many wonderful wayside places I stop on my journeys each day.

 

http://smswsf.wordpress.com/

http://letitbelovely.com/

http://makesmewander.com/

http://trophos.wordpress.com/

http://virginiaplantation.wordpress.com/

http://wheresmybackpack.com/

http://butimbeautiful.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Now I’ve gone and done it

Yep, I have committed to a series. On television. On Sunday evening. From 9-10:30.

I work on Monday. I get up at 4:30.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

This new-found delight is not even a new series. Background: I watch very little television. I have a few shows on Monday nights and Thursday nights that I like. When those aren’t on my husband has free rein on the TV. Oh, we do have another television set but why turn on a second electronic device when my preferred shows are on in the other room anyway.

Have you all heard of the PBS series, now out on DVD and probably other digital media, called Downton Abbey? Well, of course you have as this series is already past its second season. I know. I am way behind when it comes to jumping on the Downton bandwagon, and the biggest reason for this is the time this series airs in my locale. (See notation above)

I like to sleep. I need to sleep, especially on Sunday nights when 4:30, and my cat beckon just around the corner. I don’t live in a cave really. I knew full well of this series and its following. Time was the only deterrent for me over the last few years.

But Downton  knew how to get to me. How to dig in its magic charms of royalty, England, grandeur, history, suspense, romance. Downton also knew when to strategically reappear in my PBS lineup. She showed up quietly, by accident on a Sunday evening when coincidentally I had a week’s vacation and had no need to arise at 4:30 on Monday.

I am now hooked, line and sinker as they say.

Monday mornings are not easy. Maybe the answer is to stop working on Monday, especially since I have Tuesday off anyway.

Four day weekend anyone? It gets my vote.

Baby musings: expiration dates

Were you aware that baby items, such as car seats and such can “expire”? I was not aware of details such as this.

My husband and future grandpa works with a wonderful lady who very thoughtfully passed on a car seat/stroller system to us for either C & C to use or for us to keep around the house and use. They both are in relatively great shape. No stains, mars, nicks, dents and nicely clean meaning no visible baby puke anywhere.

When I mentioned this wonderful gift to C, the first thing she asked was,” What is the expiration on the car seat?”

“Expiration?” I said. “How can a car seat expire?”

She instructed me on where to find the date, which I did, and which by the way is found by flipping the entire seat over and looking on the plastic underneath.Something sort of like this:

Fortunately we have over a year before our system hits the magic expiration number.

Interesting to speculate what happens on that date though. Do the screws and rivets simply fall out of their proper places? Does the seat implode? Would the seat belt refuse to hold the system in place even one minute past midnight on that special date?

Possibly the bigger question is this: Am I just that out of touch with all things baby these days?

If I am going to be honest, and I will, it has been roughly 16 or 17 years since any of my children have been strapped into a car seat and a few more since the last one graduated from the booster seat and into sitting directly butt to upholstery. I now have to wonder if car seats had expiration dates way back then and I just never knew about this important piece of information.

That then makes me wonder about buying car seats at places like garage sales and consignment shops? Are young parents endangering their children by not buying new or is this expiration idea nothing more than a gimmick which forces parents to spend money unnecessarily? How long is one car seat good for? Can you use the seat for more than one child if you have a second child say two years after the first or must you go out and buy another new car seat?

The answer to those questions might be found here:

Many parents unaware of car seat safety expiration dates

Did you know that you can recycle parts of the car seat system:

And if car seat systems expire, what else expires that I don’t know about? What else has changed and how do I learn all of this important information?

I’m starting to think it’s going to be harder to be a grandma than I originally thought.

Old is new again

I spent the last two days with my girls doing both baby/maternity shopping and vintage/consignment clothes shopping.

Yesterday it was the shopping mall for a few light weight maternity tops. Unless moms to be are shopping in stores designed for maternity wear, have you noticed where most retail shops place their maternity clothing?

Yep, near the large and typically older ladies clothing. Why is this? I concede that some pregnant moms may begin their journey to motherhood overweight but what I don’t understand is the correlation for the average size mom to be with the large, 1x-2x-3x section. Have we not come to realize in our society that being pregnant does not equate with being overweight? Mind you, not every retail establishment places the mommy clothing near this larger ladies section but more often than not that’s were you find them.

Today we struck out for vintage/consignment clothing for my youngest daughter. She had a list of stores all fairly close together in a small neighborhood near one of the local colleges. Little did we know that the majority of these shops did not open until late morning  and that a number were no longer in existence. We had the opportunity to see quite a bit of the neighborhoods in roughly a one square mile area as she drove back and forth in our vain attempts to locate some of these shops.

The ones we did get to though were all eclectic and really catered to the vintage more than the consignment crowd. We’re talking 1940’s to 1960’s era clothing with a few more modern things thrown in here and there. At our first stop, Nine Lives,  A almost had to leave the store with a shirt she had tried on and then couldn’t get off.  Her sister had to go into the dressing room and help her pull it off backwards. It appears the arms went on, but then would not come back off.

I found some fantastic candles there. They are soy based and made by Echo Valley Candles, and we had a nice chat with the owners father who was babysitting the store.

Two doors down was a fun little shop with lots of Indian related items called the Laughing Lotus. They had Buddhas, prayer flags, incense and tons of essential oils that they will mix specifically for their patrons into massage oils, lotions, etc. It was too bad that C had just purchased some lavender lotions the day before. We did find this great little statuette by accident there also. It is made of carved wood, a female figure with what can best be described as a spiral design, probably signifying Mother Goddess/circle of life/cosmic unity/? placed over her abdomen. If you know art history, think the Venus of Willendorf  just not as robust and full and ancient. C is going to use this for labor as a visualization, focal point sort of thing. She was already tuned into its power after we bought it. The little spiral area is perfect to rub with your thumb and you can visualize massaging the baby during contractions.

We did stop for lunch in the midst of all this shopping. I caved into my growing desire for some bacon (my one weakness as a vegetarian/flexitarian) with a salad called Phil’s Creation.

PHIL’S CREATION
Fresh greens, oven roasted chicken breast, pineapple,
caramelized onions, hand crushed cashews and hot bacon
tossed in a sweet honey mustard dressing and sprinkled with
cheddar cheese.

We were eating at Farrelli’s Pizza and their lunch special included soup. The girls decided to go with that and had some wonderful Tomato Gorgonzola with bread sticks. I rather regret not having the soup.

After re-energizing and stopping to go pee (which is essential when you are 1. 29 weeks pregnant and 2. over 50) we hit a few more stores, ran into some construction, parked in a zone where we were supposed to pay but didn’t, got some flavored popcorn (Huckleberry and S’mores) and decided to call it a day.

Spending time with my girls was a great way to end my week of vacation.