2011 Christmas Day

It was such a lovely morning.  My son gave me a beautiful sweater, and he liked the few gifts I got him as well.  He really enjoyed his stuffed stocking, and it makes me so happy to see his happiness.  That’s the best aspect of parenting.  I don’t care how old your child/ren is/are: wanting for, and taking pleasure in, their happiness, and success, is paramount.

We had a scrambled eggs and bacon breakfast, and then we made our Gingerbread house.  We don’t have a good track record at that activity.  We’ve only made two of them before, both of which came out awful.  We didn’t name the first one, but we dubbed the second one: “Sucky, the Gingerbread House”, and this one my son named: “Mediocre, the Gingerbread House”.  We did have a lot of fun making it, and maybe any future attempts will give better results.

My son’s feeling mostly himself again, although he still has a cough, and he told me he woke up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night so he left his room and slept on the couch, where I found him this morning.

He left a little while ago to hang out with friends, and while I want him to stay well, it was really nice to have him home and wanting my help and company for the last few days.

Merry Christmas every one!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-Portrait

There are so many ways I could have gone with this, but I decided to post the picture taken with my new camera.  One of my friends and I went down to Cape Cod for a weekend and I took this picture in front of the hotel bathroom mirror:

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

December 21, 2011

Ice is forming on the river that separates my town from the next town over.  Winter is truly here.  I drove by the river early this morning on my way to an appointment and I thought about years past, and ice skating with one of my best friends back then on that stretch of river.  She lived with her brother and father in a cabin at the end of the cove.  I think about her nearly every time I drive by, but especially in the winter, and I wonder about her life now.

I vaguely remember my daily life growing up, or even young adulthood, but some specific people, places, and/or events have never receded that far in my mind, and certain times of the year bring them clearly back to me.  I’ll open a particular hair conditioner every once in a while when I shop at the store that carries it, and the scent places me back to my seventeenth year, with my best friend at the time, and the situation we were in.  It’s an immersion experience, but only lasts a second, if that.  Like a dream, I try to remain in the moment, but it’s gone.  Smelling the conditioner again will not bring the experience back, even an hour later.  I guess it takes my brain, or psyche, or whatever, more time to reset its visceral memory capacity.

Most of the time, my memories simply detail times past with whatever emotions were attached to any particular one, as well as my current feeling about it.  I might miss friends who were part of that memory, or maybe feel grateful that I’m not there anymore, or regretful for having acted badly, or having missed chances never given again.

I hope that I’ve gained more than I’ve lost, and, that I’ll not only recognize, but have the courage to take advantage of any worthwhile opportunities presented to me, and treat the people in my life in ways that won’t have me looking back in regret.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Being Honored And Honoring

The Versatile Blogger Award

I think what I like most about blogging is discovering other blogs that make me want to read more, and often change how I perceive the world, and/or myself.  I so enjoy these folks who have blogged on topics impersonal and personal, tragic and uplifting (sometimes in the same post, or at least on the same blog), and my favorites are those who can pen nearly all those states with a sense of humor.  Some have made me snort out whatever I’m drinking at the moment in a fit of laughter (which is a cautionary tale about not drinking while reading blogs), while others have left me leaving my chair for a tissue to wipe my eyes (which is why I now keep a box of tissues by my computer desk).

Here are the requirements for having such an honor bestowed upon you (should you choose to fulfill it)

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.

Thank you so much Renee Mason of:

http://pooterandboogersplace.wordpress.com/

I found Renee’s blog after she ‘liked’ one of my posts, and I was riveted from the start.  Although the first post I read was intense in subject matter, it was the way she wrote that pulled me along and invested me in what was happening, making me want to know more.  I’ve since found her to be delightfully sarcastic, hilarious, and real.  I’m grateful to have found another writing sista in the blogosphere.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

~ I go out of my way to find humor.  I seek out friends who I can make laugh, but more appreciate when they make me laugh, or when we laugh together.

~ I can mimic accents fairly well (as long as I can practice them for a while before trying to speak them authentically – or at least what I hope is authentically…)

~ I have been singing since I was four or five, and first recorded a song for a local advertisement when I was seven or eight (with my entire second grade class).  I am not a great singer, but I am a good singer.  Singing is one of the few things I ever cared about excelling at.  Acting and writing are my other life pursuits.

~ I like meeting people and learning about their lives.  Humans, for the most part, are so cool.

~ I dislike judgment around age so much I never tell anyone, and I lie if pressed to reveal it.  It’s less about vanity and more about not wanting to be codified.

~ Fear and procrastination have been the biggest obstacles to achieving what I desire in life.

~ I am sometimes ridiculously selfish and petty, but I am also often generous and magnanimous.

3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

5. Post a picture of the Versatile Blogger Award on your site.

http://brendamarroyauthor.com/ – Brenda’s is one of the first blogs I discovered that speaks to my heart and soul, adding fun, joy, comfort and another woman writing friend on the journey!  Thanks Brenda!

http://belleofthecarnival.com/ – I don’t know Belle Of The Carnival’s real name, but I do know she’s hilarious, entertaining, and thought-provoking.  I’m happy to have found another phenomenal woman writer out here in Internet-land.

http://happyvalleynews.wordpress.com/ – Paul resides in the same area I do, and I recently found his blog and have looked forward to his writing, video posts and commentary ever since.

http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/ – Lesley Carter’s blog is about LIVING!  Reading her blog has inspired me to be braver, laugh more at myself, and just do whatever I can to enjoy this limited time I’m given.  She’s who you want cheering you on when you’re not quite sure you can do it.

http://notquiteold.wordpress.com/ – Nancy Roman’s blog is fun and thoroughly enjoyable.  I like her take on every day life, along with her sense of humor!

http://quotidianhudsonriver.com/ – I found Robert Johnson’s blog after he had ‘liked’ one of my photo-challenge posts, and I’ve come back to his site again and again.  His pictures of the Hudson River and take on life around it make for a fascinating photo journal.

http://lifeasiknowitv1.wordpress.com/ – I first met Molly through another blog that she had chronicling some of her life and times in Alaska, particularly a hiking challenge she embarked on.  It was comforting to have her posts during a time that was not so great, and I love her new blog: ‘Life as I know it’.

http://talinorfali.wordpress.com/  – Talin had me at Lemon cake! Her blog isn’t a food blog, but she posts recipes sometimes that I can’t wait to try, and her writing style is comfortable and familiar.

http://kanatyler.wordpress.com/ – Kana’s Chronicles makes me smile and want to read more (ok, sometimes I cringe like when I saw the picture of the stitched up leg, but it was a good post…).  I appreciate her humor and take on life.

http://findinglifeinadeath.wordpress.com/ – I only know her as ‘Rising On The Road’, but as with many of my favorite blogs, I found her blog because she found mine.  Her writing is lovely, and her life journey is as varied as it is beautiful to read about.

http://melodygodfred.com/ – Another versatile woman writer I found on WordPress is Melody Godfred.  I’ve learned so much from reading her blog posts, and am looking forward to reading her début novel!

http://blinkutopia.com/ – I’ve followed Jim Culleny’s topical commentary for years in my local newspaper, and I’m delighted to read more of his writing and even some of his poetry too.

http://thelaughinghousewife.wordpress.com/ – Tilly Bud is another happy find on WordPress.  Her posts keep me giggling, and often pondering.

http://chicoryskies.com/blog/ – Deborah Gregg Folk Art Paintings.  I so enjoy Deborah’s art.  The colors, style and subject matter keep me going back to look at her latest creations.  Thanks, Deborah!

There are many other blogs that I’ve come across and read, so it was hard to pick some and not others for my count of fifteen, but there are some that would have been on the list no matter what.  I think I appreciate the varied audience that writer’s have.  Some only like humor, some only horror, while others go in for adventure or romance, and there are those who take a pass on fiction altogether and stick with facts – which we all know is often stranger than fiction anyway.  I appreciate being given this award, and I hope those I returned the favor to will feel honored as well.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Morning Frost

Still and grey.

A crystalline glaze coats the land.

The blazing aura of the sun, newly risen, remains celestial,

Its beams hindered by dense clouds resolving downward into mist.

A frozen Earth repels the moist sky gift.

Thus impeded, the icy vapor settles where it may,

Supplanting argument with silent resignation.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Festive Photos

I’m not sure if I wish I were a better decorator, or more into decorating, or if I wish I simply enjoyed the efforts of my friends and others, and leave it at that.  Decking the halls (any halls, in any season) is not my forte.  It never has been, and more than likely, never will be.  It’s so lovely when a home is made beautiful, and I can appreciate it, but I’m more of a minimalist.  That probably stems from having moved so often rather than any true life philosophy.

I know this looks like a sailor hat, but it’s really a Santa/Elf cap.  I didn’t realize how far back it had slid!

I like how my shaky low-light exposure picture-taking caused the lights to look like Christmas bells!  I should pretend that I meant to take the picture that way, but it would come back to me somehow.  I’d get asked to create more pictures like that, and never be able to replicate it! 😉

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

O Christmas Tree

I’m really enjoying my Christmas tree.  Part of me feels bad that a tree was cut down so I could bring it inside my house to decorate and light up, only to discard it a few weeks from now.  I’ve struggled with that dilemma the last few times I got a real Christmas tree.  I didn’t even have a tree last year, but it really cheers up the room.  I’ve bought artificial trees twice now, and used them until I became really allergic (because of all the dust they gather – and likely some mildew too from humid summer weather), and the best option is probably a potted live tree that I can plant in the spring.  Although, not only do I like a taller Christmas tree than is reasonable with a potted tree, I’d have to get permission from the landlord to plant it, or find some other land to plant the tree on.  Seeing the top of my tree nearly reach the ceiling is satisfying somehow, and no artificial tree has the lovely aroma of fresh pine – no matter how much they ‘scent’ it in the factory.

Many years ago, my next oldest sister and I, along with our younger brother, went to Florida to spend Christmas with our father and step-mother.  Our father didn’t want to get a Christmas tree, but we kids decided he and our step-mother needed one, so off my sister, brother, and I went the next day, while my father and step-mother were at work, and bought a beautiful potted Norfolk pine that stood about four and half feet high.

We also bought decorations for it, and after we adorned it, and lit the tree up, the house felt much more festive.  A year or so later, my step-mother sent me a picture of the pine, which they had planted in their back yard.  It had filled out beautifully and grown about six more feet.

I’ve always felt glad that we ignored my father’s ‘waste of time and money’ objections and got the tree.  Even though my father has been gone for several years, and he and my step-mother had divorced many years before that, I wonder about that tree every Christmas.  It must be fairly majestic by now, if it’s still there.

Maybe I’ll get a potted Norfolk pine for my Christmas tree next year, although I’m not sure it would take well in our frigid climes.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Celebration

New Year’s Eve, 2010:

The restaurant becomes a club after 10pm on the weekend, and while I usually feel like a chaperone amongst all the 20-somethings when I go out dancing with my friends, it was very fun last New Year’s Eve because it was a truly diverse group with many older folks as well as the typical club-goers.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

John Lennon, Remembered

Imagine
Imagine

When I was a kid, my older brothers had the Beatles‘ records and I wanted to listen to them all the time, probably more because my brothers didn’t want me playing them.  The Beatles had broken up as a band, and were well into their solo careers by the time I was really interested in them.  I thought Paul was the cutest, John was handsome, but had an edge to him that I liked, but also intimidated me.  George was the cool, aloof one, and I had a big crush on Ringo.  Ringo was the most accessible member of The Beatles to me.  Maybe it was because of the songs he was featured on, or maybe it was because he was more in the background than the others, it seemed to me, and he had an unconventional puppy-dog attractiveness.

It was John I remained most drawn to through the years, although I still liked the other former Beatles’ music as well.  Maybe it was John’s personal struggles and vilification that made me like him so much, but his peace activism awoke my sense of justice and I became a peace activist as well.

I’m tearing up just remembering how deeply his music and life affected me, and I still feel that his death came much too soon.  I felt so bad for his young son, but glad they had so much time together before John was gunned down that cold Manhattan evening.  I felt sad for Julian, who looked and sounded so much like his father, and I wondered if they had had a good relationship.  I felt sad for Yoko too, but I think I mostly felt sad for myself, that John would never make any more amazing music I could listen to, and I would never get a chance to meet him.

I nearly spoke with him on the phone once, but I thought I was being punked by the guy who told me I could say hello to John Lennon, so I declined to take the phone when it was offered to me.  I was maybe eleven or twelve at the time, and just a few years ago, I was reading the obituary of the guy who held out that phone for me to speak with John Lennon, and the write-up included how he had been friends with John Lennon.  I think I actually yelled when I read that.  He hadn’t tried to prank me after all, and I missed a chance to speak with one of my favorite musicians, and icons of the 20th century.

On the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination in 2010, Brian Williams introduces the last interview John Lennon gave in 1980:

http://www.videosurf.com/video/nightly-news-rolling-stone-releases-lennon-interview-1247381948

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Pearl Harbor Day

It was seventy years ago that Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, leading us into World War II.  I visited the U.S.S. Arizona when I was in Hawaii nearly twenty years ago.  I feel the same deep sadness about the attack on Pearl Harbor as I feel about the attacks on September 11, 2001.  No fore-knowledge of either event affects me the most.  I think that if you know something’s going to happen, you can at least mentally prepare, even if you can’t cushion the blow, or stop it from occurring.  I know others would rather deal with after-effects than have to anticipate horror.  I understand that surprise is what gives assailants an advantage, but I have a naive desire for fairness, even in war.

I’ve heard that both Pearl Harbor and the September 11th attacks were known as possibilities, or actually allowed to happen, to push through agendas that would otherwise fail in Congress.  Maybe that’s true, or maybe it’s not, but I’ll never know.

I grieve for those that lost their lives so tragically, and for those that remained, traumatized and having to cope with the aftermath.  Life throws us curve balls all the time: maybe it’s disease, or famine, earthquakes and tsunamis, or hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods.  We are constantly barraged by life’s changes, but stability seems to prevail more often than not.  I suppose we couldn’t exist if there weren’t times of relative calm and ease.

Acts of war and terrorism affect me more deeply because there was a choice involved.  An individual, or a group, decided to cause harm, and the more suffering, the better for their cause.  A few of them (groups or individuals) even think their actions were/are sanctioned by God – a mysterious, amorphous, unknowable being or force, and yet, they act as though they can know or understand what they can actually only guess at – when it is their own selfish desire to make the world, or parts of the world, be as they want it.

Maybe they’re right.  Perhaps ‘God’ wants us all homogenized, rather than creative, evolving beings.  Or maybe, ‘God’, if It exists, wants us to find, or create, our own tribes, and peacefully co-exist.  If that ever happens, I hope memorials will be built to commemorate that.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Trimmed Tree Pictorial Tale

It felt very odd to not decorate my Christmas tree with my son, but I didn’t want to leave it bare for two weeks.  I decided to put the tree in the corner by my bookcases, and I’m enjoying having one this year, even though I think I’m a bit allergic to it.

My lack of skill with a camera made this a kind of cool picture where the light trails remind me of Santa’s reindeer, flying through the air:

Christmas trees look so much better in the dark!

When I was four or five, until I was nine or so, I’d shimmy under the Christmas tree every year, looking up through the branches with un-focused eyes until the lights resembled something like this:

Almost every ornament holds a special memory, or marks stages of my adult life.  My first serious boyfriend and I bought frosted glass bulbs for our first Christmas together.  He got half of them when we broke up seven years later.  I doubt he kept his, but I’m glad I still have mine.

My son made a few ornaments during his grammar school years that bring back those Christmases to me when I hang them up.  A hardened dough, glazed, and painted bone he made in his sixth grade class, (the year my mother got a beagle from the animal shelter, and the dog was on my son’s mind when he created the ornament), and a variety of others from my son’s first Christmas, to this year’s ornament that the folks at the tree farm gave to everyone buying a tree, commemorating the volunteers who helped with clean up and salvage after Hurricane Irene’s flood devastation this past August.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

I’ve been waiting a long time for this one…

I used to think my life wouldn’t be complete or fulfilled without a husband, but I’ve come to understand that I’ve only ever needed myself.  Once I started making better choices, loving and accepting myself, and focusing on my life, other parts of my collage started to be fulfilled:

I thought peace and happiness would come from what I attained, or achieved, or especially, through someone else.  In fact, most of the turmoil I’ve experienced in my life was because I tried to get others to give me, or do for me what I needed to give to, and do for, myself.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Getting In The Spirit

I bought a Christmas tree today.

I didn’t have one last year, and the holidays are usually depressing and far too filled with expectation and anxiety for me to enjoy them.  I’d rather keep to myself this time of year.  I don’t like holiday gatherings or Christmas parties much, and I suppose I dissociate for the month of December, and often into January.  Trying to keep away from alcohol is harder this time of year too.  Most of my friends drink, and none of them abuse it, so they don’t really know what it’s like for me.  I’m at that place with drinking alcohol that I can either control it or enjoy it, but I can’t do both.

I am not as anxious this year as I have been previously, but I’ve been careful to not make many plans so I don’t have to pretend to enjoy myself or others.  My family gets together for a holiday dinner and then we exchange gifts, and that’s pretty much all I can handle.  Well, that, and having my son with me for his winter break.  Christmas isn’t as fun as it used to be when he was little, but I really like having a pretty tree all lit up, and getting cozy on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and watching, It’s A Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Carol, on Christmas Eve, and of course, how could I let Christmas go by without watching, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and, A Charlie Brown Christmas?

When I was in college, one of the girls in my dorm phoned her father the night, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, was playing, and he stayed on the phone for the whole show.  She told us that she had gone on vacation over Christmas during High School one year, and her father had phoned her so they could still watch the show together.  That made such a big impression on me, and made me wish I had a father like that, and probably made all the girls in our dorm who were there with us that night wish that too.

Even though there are aspects of the season that I can enjoy, I’m happiest when it’s all over.  My true celebration is the Winter Solstice; there is no one who appreciates the return of the light more than I do.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Current Events

I’ve been reading, Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, and while it hasn’t made me detest the Financial Industry and the Federal Government more, the book has framed a better context for my ire.  I’m grateful to understand more about what happened and why, and I know that we’re a nation governed by avarice far more than ever before, checked only by revolt of those it harms the most.

Occupy Wall Street was always going to happen because there’s no way the current system could continue and not experience blow-back.  We might be poor, but we’re not stupid, although I’m betting that’s how many of the four-hundred richest people in this country like to frame it to themselves.  Ignorance is one thing, stupidity is quite another.  As soon as the ignorant become educated, they get angry.  You can’t enslave a people forever, not if they have any sense of self.  You can’t rip us off and tell us it’s our own fault for very long without the ruse starting to come apart.

The irony is that so many of us are amenable to getting by with some moderate comfort.  I believe that most Americans are hard workers.  I know many people, in my blue-collar community, who work to live, and will do that until it becomes impossible due to health issues (in themselves, or in their family, or to others they care enough about to try to help out) or from job losses.  The working class isn’t asking for the situation to reverse, they’re asking for human decency.  We live in a rich nation that doesn’t provide affordable health care, when it absolutely could; our nation doesn’t provide decent jobs or living wages, when it absolutely could, and our government has seemed to have forgotten about providing for the common good, about being a voice for the voiceless, and power for the powerless, because of all the money in politics.

I don’t know what the best solution is, but there are many fixes or stop-gap measures proposed but not being implemented.  The ‘let them die’ crowd will always be with us, but that doesn’t mean they should be listened to, because if it were their own children or family, I doubt they’d be euthanizing them.  Even Ayn Rand took the Social Security and Medicare that she hoped to see dismantled.

Congress having a nine percent approval rating shows that whatever side of the aisle you sit on or root for, nothing is being done except yelling back and forth.  We need action that addresses the problems of the ninety-nine percent, because the one-percent will be just fine, no matter what happens.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Holiday Get-Aways

I am on several e-lists of vacation-hawking sites, and most of the time I look at the Grecian seaside pictures, the trips down the Nile, to the Great Pyramids, and the Sphinx in Egypt, the azure waters of so close, yet so far away locales, drooling over them all.  After wiping the drool off my computer keyboard, I sigh, and think: someday, I’ll get to all of those places.  Then to console myself when reality sets in, I remember that most of the places the brochures depict are aerial shots on perfect days (and often air-brushed or otherwise tweaked) that never show cockroaches, bed-bugs, or the final room bill…

Yeah, if you need a sour-grape story, I’m your girl!

Just a while ago, I was looking at one such travel site advertising an Inn in New  Hampshire (basically my neck of the woods), for a lovely winter vacation spot.  First off, my idea of a winter vacation is somewhere more southerly than New Hampshire – and I don’t mean Rhode Island.  Secondly, the picture the site shows makes me think of the Stanley hotel in Colorado that inspired Stephen King‘s novel: The Shining:

Mountain View Grand Resort, Whitefield, New Hampshire

I know it’s a beautiful resort, and it’s probably a lovely place to stay, but it creeps me out.  Now, if they wanted to pay my way to stay there for a weekend and write about my experience, I wouldn’t turn them down.  I just wouldn’t think of it as a ‘vacation’ per se, but maybe more like an investigation.

Just for reference, here’s a photograph of the Stanley Hotel:

I know that there are many people who look forward to, and really enjoy, cold weather, and snow, and all the winter activities therein.  I, however, would rather write about those frigid climes and enterprise from the warmth of an Aruban beach.  Heck, I’m not picky, any equatorial or South Pacific locale suits me just fine.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Son Day

I’m so excited to see my son today!  I get to have him home an extra day for the Thanksgiving holiday, even though most of his time will be spent with his friends who are also coming home for the holiday.  Just knowing he’ll be here feels so good to me, although I know it feels nearly opposite to him.  It’s not that he doesn’t like being home and seeing me and his other family, it’s that his life is at school now, with his own group.  He told me he doesn’t sleep well when he’s home, and doesn’t know why.  I think it’s because he’d rather be in his world.  We will always belong to one another, but he has his own life now, one in which he sleeps better than when he’s here…

It made me sad to hear that, but I got over it.  It’s not personal in a mean way, it’s just life stages.  I had a really different childhood experience, and was separated too early from my mother, after her divorce from my father (which was a very good thing for all of us, but still disruptive and chaotic).  My son got to have a healthy, self-directed separation, and he’s so much less emotional or sentimental than I am, so it sucks for me…

We have the same sense of humor and like to talk about a myriad of subjects (when he’s willing to talk), but when he’s home and not with his friends, he prefers to spend his time reading or working on the computer.

I’m doing my best to find common interests to connect with him on, but it’s tough when our personalities and styles are so different.  Maybe if he ever has children, we’ll get to re-bond then.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Sad Day

My uncle, Louis Prunier, passed away on November 4th.  He was born in 1920, and was married to one of my mother’s sisters, my Aunt Olive, for 68 years, passing away on their anniversary.  He really lived his life, as well as being an extraordinary man.  I remember him as kind and interesting.  Although I didn’t get to spend much time with their family through the years, I’ve always really liked them and looked forward to time spent with them.

Today is my uncle Lou’s funeral, and his wake was last night, but I couldn’t attend.  It’s appropriate that it’s a gloomy day today.  Heavy rain is forecast, so I hope traveling won’t be too bad.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

OPBs (Other People’s Blogs)

I could read other people’s blogs all day.  I am humbled and delighted by the creativity and thoughts in this world – and that’s just from reading about twelve other blogs I currently subscribe to.  I have a few blogs off of WordPress I follow, and I know there are thousands I could get lost in.

I’m often inspired by what I read, and sometimes I read blogs and wonder if I should keep writing because those writers are far more skilled, funny, focused, and/or interesting than I am.  Then I take that step back and think that I have a voice too.  I write because it’s in me to do so.  I find this world endlessly interesting, and frustrating, hilarious and dour, simple and complicated, treacherous and secure, etcetera – and all the writing I come across about the myriad of life experiences and differing viewpoints is so captivating!

Although I’ve not physically met anyone from the blogosphere, so far, I feel like I’ve made several friends, and that is so cool.  Thank you to all of you who’ve visited my blog, so that I in turn found you, and to all of those I happened across (or StumbledUpon: www.stumbleupon.com), or sites recommended to me.

I always read the blogs I’ve subscribed to through my inbox, and don’t always comment or show appreciation, but please know that I am thoroughly enjoying them, and I am grateful for your writing.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Saturday, Please Don’t Mock Me

No writer’s block will stand in my way.

I banish you, wandering thoughts!

Stay on task, write the book –

oh wait, a cute man just walked by, and I stopped to have a look…

No!

Back to writing, back I say, I don’t care that it’s such a glorious day!

There will be others, now don’t you fret, and you’ll waste them as you would have today if you didn’t commit to write, I bet.

Dr. Suess, you are not, well, maybe if we find a fish in a pot, and the fish starts talking, and telling you what to do – but if that should happen – I’d go to a doctor, if I were you.

Fine, I shall go back to writing my story, about people doing things, maybe it’ll get gory.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

All Hallows

Rabbit, Rabbit.  The ancient Celtic year begins today, marking the start of winter.  Winter was already ushered in rather harshly with our recent Nor’easter dumping thirty inches of snow in some areas.  I feel lucky that my town escaped with just over a foot of the heavy, wet snow.  I was only out of power for part of a day, while some of my friends are yet to get back their electricity.

Yesterday, I visited my Mom because her phone was out and I wanted to make sure she made it through the storm alright, even though I know that one of my aunts was staying with her, and the guy who works for her and lives nearby would also have checked on her and I figured I’d have gotten a call if anything bad had happened.  Then I thought that all phone service in the area might be out, and I just wanted to visit regardless of anything else.  I was a bit worried that fallen trees or downed wires would prevent me from making it to my mother’s house, and it might well have earlier in the day because I saw evidence of cleared trees and other debris all the way there.

It was almost evening when I arrived, and I brought a flashlight in case it was dark by the time I left.  My mom doesn’t have electricity or running water, so the storm changed nothing for her except interrupted phone service.

The glow of the kerosene lamps, and warmth from the wood stove, enveloped and welcomed me even as I was welcomed by my mother and aunt.  They were happy for my unexpected company and we chatted about the snowstorm’s effects, and how weird it was to have a major storm before Hallowe’en, as we sipped coffee and evening began settling in.  I don’t know if it was the time of day and the way the lamplight glowed and cast slight shadows on the walls, or the steamed windows and cooking smells from whatever dinner my mother was making, or simply spending time with my mother and one of her sisters, but there was something so extraordinary about being there that I noticed and enjoyed in the moment, and that feeling, or experience, actually, has stayed with me since.

I left before it was dark and made my way up the path without needing my flashlight.  I noticed the stillness of the woods around me as I walked, and had a sense of being present to life in a way that I rarely sense.

I got up this morning and began working on things that I often think about doing rather than starting – or finishing.  I feel my life changing, almost radically (for the better), and I hope that’s true.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Spooky Hallowe’en!

Jack-O'Lantern in the snow

I’m looking out the window at the six inches of snow still on the ground, and it’s hard to get into the Hallowe’en mood.  There are still green leaves on many trees around here, and we haven’t really had a proper autumn.  These climate change indicators suck.  We had a hurricane two months ago, along with a record-breaking flood.  We had a tornado two months before that, which decimated several areas in Massachusetts.  If you had said that we’d have a tornado and a hurricane, a record-breaking flood, as well as record-breaking early snowfall, I’d have packed my bags and moved to – where?  Is there any place relatively unaffected?  We’ve had tornadoes for the past several years now, not like they do in the flatter mid-west, of course, but it is extremely unusual weather for this area, and it’s frightening how common it’s becoming.  I’d rather go through a haunted house or see a scary movie – at least I know that has an ending.

I suppose climate change is the spook this year, and giving it candy and sending it on its way is not going to appease it.  Any smashed eggs or strewn toilet paper tricksters might dole out do not usually cause dire consequences, however annoying it may be to clean up, but getting the power back on after heavy snows brought wires down and cut off electric service to millions, is not so easily remedied.

Trick-or-Treat, indeed!

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P.S. For anyone who looked for the hidden object in yesterday’s post, I updated the post with a photo pointing to the object.  Cheers!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hidden

Zombified 2011

Ok, it might be considered cheating to post this for the ‘Hidden’ Photo Challenge, but as a nod to Hallowe’en, and my post theme this week, I think a mask is a perfect angle on being hidden, even if it’s only make-up I’m hiding behind.

Here’s another photo that more closely exemplifies this week’s photo challenge.  Do you see what’s hidden in this photo?:

Can you spot the hidden object?

Update:

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Hidden bottle cap

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Too Young To Trick-or-Treat On My Own

On Hallowe’en, when I was around five or six (maybe even the same year I split my head open), my older siblings were allowed to leave on their own to go trick-or-treating, but I had to stay home until I finished my supper, and wait for my mom to get my little brother in his costume.

I remember thinking how completely unfair it was that I had to wait for my baby brother, and be treated ‘like a baby’, when my next oldest sister was only two years older than me, and she got to go out with my other sister and brothers.  After enough complaints, my mother warned me that she could leave me home while she brought my brother around if I kept harassing her.  I don’t think I uttered a word after that until we finally went out into the chilly night.

We had split-pea soup that night, which was one of my favorite dishes my mom made, but there would be no seconds that night.  I wanted to get out there and trick-or-treat until my pillowcase was filled to the brim with candy!  I never stopped to think how heavy it would be to actually fill a pillowcase full of candy.  Back then, there were no ‘fun-sized’ candy bars, only full-sized bars, but people often gave things like small boxes of raisins, or popcorn balls, or apples.  My mom would usually throw out anything that wasn’t store-bought, so I had to beg her let me keep a candied-apple one year, and she finally acquiesced after I badgered her so much that she told me it would serve me right if I found a razor-blade in the apple.  I also think I lied and told her I knew who it was who gave me the apple, so she could have them arrested if I died.

All week before Hallowe’en I walked home from school singing the Five Little Pumpkins song, and felt a chill up my spine when I sang, “Oo, ooh went the wind, and out went the light…!”  I would pull off any leaves still clinging to their branches that I could reach on my way home, as though that would hasten the arrival of the much-anticipated day.

My older sisters and brothers always ended up with more candy than I, or my younger brother ever got, and I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get as much candy as them.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.