Archive for October 2010

Hate? Or Opinion?   Leave a comment

I read an article on the internet recently (I’m always picking up news stories on web sites — I don’t always read the whole thing) about some people protesting against what a leader in the Morman church said about gays.

I did not read the entire article, nor did I go to read his whole speech.  The gist of it was he said homosexuality was a choice and a person could change, and that it was wrong for two people of the the same sex to get married.  His comments were immediately labled “hateful”, and protesters picketed…. the church?  Not sure about that.  Also, some folks in Salt Lake City staged a protest where they wore black and lay down.  The article didn’t explain that and I did not quite see how that related to his comments.

It got me to thinking about the word “hate”, or the label “hate”.  Were his comments showing “hate” towards homosexuals?  Or was he stating an opinion?  Well, in that example, since he was one of the top leaders of the Mormon church and was giving a speech in front of literally hundreds of thousands of Mormons (in person and via broadcast), then I think I can say that his comments were insensitive and inflammatory and went beyond his own personal opinion and into the realm of a directive to the whole Mormon church from a leader.

Now, if I were to turn to my co-worker, with just the two of us with no one else in hearing, and say to her, “I think it is wrong for two people who are the same sex to get married” — I believe that is showing my opinion.  My co-worker does not have to agree with it.  And I don’t think I should be labeled “hateful” for saying it.  Where is hate in that statement?  If you were to say to me “Two people who love each other, no matter what their sex is, should be allowed to get married” then I may or may not agree with you.  But I see no hate there.  I see opinion.  I see feeling and conviction.  Not hate.

When did it become OK to label anything that is not 100% supportive of gays and lesbians and transgenders and all the rest — hate?  I can (and have) work next to muslims and catholics and protestants and jews and christians and agnostics with no trouble.  I can (and have) work and live next to gays and lesbians and transgenders and cross-dressers and not have any conflicts and get along.  So when did it become OK to slap an instant “HATE!” label on someone who expresses an opinion that shows disagreement with or a divergence from the ways gays and lesbians etc. etc. live and/or their culture? 

Can’t we all just disagree thoughtfully, communicate freely, and find the good in all cultures and lifesyles?

Posted October 15, 2010 by Maureen in Musings

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Doodaley Doodles   Leave a comment

Gourd Doodle

Like, wow, man. Its a doodle


Double Doodle

A double doodle.... all the way


Oval Doodle

Doodle Oval

Posted October 14, 2010 by Maureen in Art (if you wanna call it that)

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Thinkin’ about….. marriage   Leave a comment

The current relationship I am in is at a stand-still.  Due to a misunderstanding (with some cultural stuff thrown in) he has a wrong impression of my living situation and the kind of woman I am. 

Yesterday I came home from an OK day at work.  Lonely.  Wishing I had someone to greet me and to talk about my day with.  Same as it has been for, oh, 25+ years.  I was contacted yesterday by someone I had broken things off with in January.  I hadn’t heard from him in about 7 months and thought he was out of my life.  He wanted to pick up where we left off.

See, the thing is, despite everything else, he was the only man I have met in the past three years that ever spent time with me.  Yes, it was online (he lives across the States).  But it was steady. He and I got to know each other pretty well, at least as far as what we told ourselves.  I told the truth about myself, but I had no way of knowing if what he said was true.  We would also send text messages and talked on the phone a few times.  When we talked he would ask about my family and my day and my hopes and dreams.  He was there every day, and on the weekends.

Which is what my woman’s heart wants.  I want someone who is interested in me.  Who knows me.  Who tries to understand me.  Who spends time with me.  Not every waking moment — heavens; spare me!  I couldn’t stand that after being single for so long.  No, I don’t mean joined-at-the-hip kind of spending time with.

Why is it my ‘stalker’ is the only one who seems to be truly interested in me?  Oh – don’t worry.  I am not going there again.  Nope.  Been there, done that, had the relationship, got the scars, not interested in doing it again.

But the man I am presently….. dating?  Hmmm. No.  He lives in another state.  In a relationship with?  No.  You have to actually communicate and see each other once in a while for that to happen.  My present man has said he wants marriage and has led me to believe (without explicitly expressing it) that it is me he would like to be married to.  And yet he has spent less time with me (despite many many many phone calls and a weekend spent in his City) in the four months we’ve known each other than this other guy, who I never actually met in person. 

I never would have believed it if someone had told me that it would be so hard to find someone who likes me as much as I like him.  Who wants to be my husband as much as I want to be his wife.  I know we need to be careful what we wish for — but I do wish I was married.

Posted October 13, 2010 by Maureen in Being Single

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Sunsets   Leave a comment

Back from being unplugged for a bit.  I drove home last night from Sacramento.  It was my first time visiting the State capital.  I’ve been through it on the freeway, but this was the first time I spent any time there.  My sister told me the city is known for having a lot of trees.  Did you know that?  I didn’t. 

I didn’t have time or inclination to explore, but what I saw was beautiful.  By 4:00pm Sunday evening the businesses around the hotel where I stayed were closed.  Hmmm…. haven’t seen that since I was in Tenessee.  It was very warm but not unbearably hot.  Monday there was a stiff breeze blowing.

On the way back…. traffic was good my way.  It was very clear – no clouds.  And we had one of our clear fall days.  No smog – you could see clear across the Bay, all the way north and south and east.  Very beautiful views of the Bay coming south on I80.  Driving across the Bay Bridge the sun was about a half hour from setting.  The sun played peek-a-boo with the high rises through downtown, bathing everything with a backlight of yellow and orange.  The Bay was smooth, so there were no wind surfers off Berkeley.

Then Highway 1, over and around and down the other side of the coastal hills, and that view from the top of the hill of the coastline with the ocean going all the way to the horizon, all the way west and north and south.  The sun had lost almost all of it’s yellow, it was lower in the sky and a big ball of red and orange.  There was light fog over the coastline.  Not the fog we so often get, rolling in via clouds, pushed by the wind, continuously pouring in, over the hills, swirling and being pushed and dissapated.

No, this was a light fog, like a fine gauze.  Once you got down off the hill it hung lightly in the air, just enough so you sometimes caught a glimpse of a reflection from a street light on it, or saw its flimsy presence over an open field.  Off went the air conditioner and on went the heater.  Off went the sunglasses.  Then, finally, pulling in the driveway.  The small crescent moon hung brightly in the sky.  A deli roast beef sandwich awaited me, as well as my furry girl Belle and my own bed, and my slippers.

It was a very nice sunset.

Posted October 12, 2010 by Maureen in Memories, Musings

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Fall   Leave a comment

Fall is here.  You can feel it in the air.  Even when it is sunny and warm out, you can feel that…. cool tang.  Like living next to the ocean as I do, there is always a salt tang.  Sometimes strong, depending on how strong the wind is.  But Fall is here and there is a cool frosting on everything.  Sun shine.  Wind.  Walking.  Driving.  Morning, afternoon, and evening.  The cool frosting will deepen and not let go once winter is here. 

Though, “winter” in the northern San Francisco peninsula area is a season held loosely.  I lived in Washington State for 32 years, and we had WINTER up there.  It snowed.  Storms. Ice.  You know – WINTER.  “Winter” here where I live in California means cooler temperatures.  All the natives whimper when it gets below 55 degrees.  I have only been back here two years so I have not acclimated to being a native.

But I was talking about Fall, wasn’t I?  I miss seeing leaves turn color – we don’t get many trees that do that in California.  And the trees don’t lose their leaves until the end of December here.  In Washington almost all the trees were bare by Thanksgiving.  With Fall comes the tang and coolness.  Pumpkins and…… mmmmmmm….. pumpkin pie.  Yum! 

Fall also brings memories of my brother who died in November 2006.  And there is, inevitably, Christmas.  Since my son was killed I have woken up crying on Christmas morning every year.  It sucks.  I have to struggle to bravely put a smiling face to the world, while inside I whimper and cry all day.  One year I spent the whole day of Christmas in my bathrobe, pajamas, and slippers.  I read books the whole entire day, quietly by myself, with my cat next to me.  I cried when I wanted to.  Ate and drank when I wanted.  It was so wonderful. 

But…. as I have found and no doubt others know also…. these things pass.  Life goes on.  I continue to breathe in and out and go from day to day.  And today, I’m going to enjoy the Fall time.  The cool frosting on the warm sunshine and the sparkly ocean lapping against the shore.  And the memories will come, bittersweet, but at least I will know they will pass.

Posted October 9, 2010 by Maureen in Musings

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Darn it? Darn right!   Leave a comment

My grandmother Anna taught me how to darn.  When I was growing up she would fly down from Seattle once a year, and one of the things we would do would be to gather all our socks that were worn or had holes in the toes and/or heels, and she would darn them for us.  When I got older I would watch her and I finally asked her to show me how to do it myself.

Ever have a sock that is perfectly good…. EXCEPT for that annoying hole?  Does your big toe poke holes in your socks like mine does?  Making a perfectly good pair of socks unwearable because the part of your foot sticking from the hole rubs against the inside of your shoe?  Worry no more.  I’m going to show you how to darn.

First, the tools.  I use a straight needle because that’s the way I learned, but you can also buy a bent darning needle.  They don’t make darning thread anymore (at least I can’t find it) so I use embroidery thread.  You’ll want to separate the strands into three, and flatten them.  Embroidery thread comes in six strands that are twisted together – gently pull apart and flatten the three threads you’ll be using.  You will of course want to choose a color that is the same or close to your sock color.  Unless of course you want to create some great contrast.  If so – have at it.  You also need a darning tool.  These come in eggs, mushrooms, and gourds.  I like the gourd – my grandmother gave it to me.  It is rounded, has a handle, but is also flat on one side – that’s the side you darn on.

Darning gourd

Darning gourd

Next, get your sock(s).

Hole-y sock

Hole-y sock


Pull the sock over the darning tool.  If you don’t have a darning tool….. you will need to find something hard with a flat surface to pull your sock over.  It is important that your sock has something hard on the other side when you are darning, and you need to be able to pull your darning point tight and hold it while you darn. 

Sock on darning gourd

Sock on darning gourd

Thread your needle.  Do NOT tie a knot at the end of the thread.  Why not?  Because what you are going to sew will be pressing against your foot and shoe.  Do you want to be pressing against a knot?  I didn’t think so.  What you are going to do is create a weave pattern with your stitching.  You will stitch in a row in one direction over the hole, then stitch in a row in the other direction, weaving your thread through.  #  like that.

You want to start your stitches a quarter inch or so outside the edge of the hole.  For the first stitch, leave about a half inch or less of thread sticking up.  You will fold that over and sew over and under those loose threads, weaving them into your stitching, as you move across the hole with your first set of stitches.  With the tip of your needle, pick up a few threads, move forward, pick up some more, dipping your needle point up and down.  Start to one side of the hole, moving across the hole to the other side.  About a quarter inch on each side.  Now turn and go back the other way, so your threads are next to each other. 

The weaving is important, as is picking up part of the edge of the hole (so it smoothes out and becomes part of the new covered hole).  Go slow.  Sometimes you may have to weave a bit, pull your needle through, and then continue.  An experienced darner can weave in and out in one smooth motion before pulling the needle, but don’t worry if you have to do it more than once. 

Weave and move in and out through the sock fabric and across the hole.  Your hole should now be covered with threads in one direction, with your loose threads you had at the very beginning woven in with those threads.  Now turn your sock (or darning tool) and start back the same way, doing the same weaving, in and out thing with your needle.  Now you are also picking up pieces of your first set of threads as you weave.

Partially done

Partially done

I know my pictures aren’t the best – my camera does not do close-ups very well, and I’m working with a white sock and white thread.  Squint.  Now – do you see it? 

When you get to the end and are satisfied with your weaving, weave your needle along the side, back and forth a bit, turning and going back another way, about a half inch or so, and then cut your thread.  You are done!  You can now wear your sock for a long time to come.  Wear it, wash it – you’ll forget there was ever a hole there.  Sometimes a darned hole will not last long, but I’ve found they usually last a very long time indeed.  You can also use this same technique on a worn heel on a sock.  With a worn heel you usually have some existing threads to work with and weave through.  In that sense it is easier to do a heel, but heels are also larger and so they are harder to work with.  Here is my finished product.  I used my thumb to point to the place the hole used to be, since it is had to see in this picture.  Happy darning!

Darned sock

Darned sock

Posted October 8, 2010 by Maureen in DIY

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Relationships   5 comments

Relationships come, relationships go.  Relationships change, relationships grow.

Ha!  I rhymed there – totally by accident.  I’m a poet and I don’t know it. Ha!  Did it again!  Ok, but seriously folks…..  for the past three years I have been looking for a husband.  I did this after lots and lots (and lots and lots and lots) of thought and prayer.  A lot of thought and prayer.  Have I mentioned I prayed about it?  So, I started looking, mostly online.  I’ve tried a bunch of sites — I won’t mention them here.  I’ve met a LOT of men.

But that saga is for another post.  This one is about a relationship I’m currently in that is …. growing, evolving, changing.  Will it last?  Only God knows at this point.  Will it lead to marriage, my heart’s desire?  Only God knows.  Circumstances and people will have to change for marriage to happen.  Which I believe God is 100% capable of doing.

Relationships hurt.  Relationships make us examine and look at ourself.  Relationships change and morph and grow and shrink.  I like relationships.

Posted October 7, 2010 by Maureen in Being Single

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Secrets   Leave a comment

Contrary to the title…. I’m not sharing my secrets.  But I have been thinking lately of a bulletin board post I saw recently. I have a profile on a free Christian dating web site.  Part of the site are chat rooms, which I never go into.  I’ve tried it a couple of times, and there are so many people coming and going and “Hi’s” and “Byes” that you can’t carry on a conversation with anyone.  They also have a Chat Forum, which is essentially a big bulletin board, as in the olden days of computers.

The Forum is divided into sections such as “Ask a Guy” “Ask a Girl” “Dating Advice” “Biblical Discussion” and so forth.  You click on a topic, such as “Ask a Girl” and see a list of posts people have posted.  These can be questions (mostly), rants, raves, or just a long dialoge on something they want people to see.  You can click the post and see the details, and post your own response.  Or just read what’s there.  Sometimes there is heated debate between people on a topic.  Other times there is thoughtful discussion.  There is flirting (it is a dating web site) and friendly banter and teasing. 

A man posted something on the “Ask a Girl” link that I’ve been thinking about since it was posted.  His question, inviting comment and responses, was “What goes on when know one else knows?” 

People posted things like crying, eating too much, watching reality TV.  Some of it was quite personal. 

I never wanted to respond on that post.  I don’t want people to know what no one else knows.  I keep some things private and don’t want to share.  Especially with strangers that are all over the world.  There are lots more readers than posters on each of those Forum topics, so you just never know who will read what you wrote.  Oh, no.  Not sharin’ that.  Uh huh.  No thanks. 

Ok, here is just one thing.  Sometimes, when there is the correct music on and there is no one else around…….. no one knows that I dance furiously and vigorously to the music.  I look like a total dork, I’m sure, and my rhythm is off and I have no moves at all.  But I like doing it and no one sees, so it doesn’t matter.  There.  Now you know one secret about me.

Posted October 5, 2010 by Maureen in Being Single, Randomness

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Sun in my eyes   Leave a comment

The time between the solstice and when daylight savings kicks in is when the sun is most in my eyes, driving in the morning and evening.  The sun is at just the right angle in the morning when I’m on the road to work to hit me square in the eyes as I’m coming up the hill, ready to go over and hit I101.

When there aren’t any clouds in the way, you come around that one corner and WHAMMO!  Right in the eyes a laser beam of red/orange, blinding you to all else.  If I am paying attention and remember, I can quickly avert my eyes to the lines and dots separating the lanes and keep my eyes on that, avoiding swerving into the divider or the other lane, while I am otherwise blinded and can’t see out the main part of the windshield.  Then the road curves again and the sun is blocked and I can check to make sure I have, in fact, not drifted dangerously to either side, and check the cars around me.  When I am not paying attention, that laser beam of sunlight and subsequent panicky visible groping can shoot my blood pressure up pretty high.

And in the evening it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who don’t turn their lights on when the sun is starting to go down.  When there is cloud cover and/or fog (an almost-daily thing where I live) it is astounding the number of people blithely driving in dark or very light cars without their lights.  They simply fade into the evening light and cloud cover, sneaking up on you unexpectedly when you try to change lanes or slow down for traffic.

In the Spring we get to do all of this all over again, except the time change comes before the solstice so the sun blinding me is not as much an issue.  I do like seeing the sun change position with the seasons, and seeing it at different times during the year as I drive to and from work.  I enjoy the full sunrise in the summer, the not-quite sunrise during the winter, the just-sunrise in the Fall.  Always something new to see, and a new view to enjoy, and new sky wonders to praise God for as we change from season to season.

Posted October 4, 2010 by Maureen in Randomness

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Weekends – Good or Bad?   Leave a comment

Weekends are not really a single gal’s friend.  At least not this single gal.  Oh, Saturdays I can stay busy.  Housework, I used to do homework (YEAH!  I’m graduated!), grocery shopping, errands.  Sunday mornings are filled with Sunday School and church service. 

But I have to plan my weekends ahead of time.  Plan things to do.  Even make lists.  Because the weekends can be lonely.  Even living with my sister and nephew and two cats as I do, I can get lonely without a husband.  So I write things down to do.  I plan Fun! Things! to do — try to generate excitement about them during the week.  “Come on!  You’ll have fun doing that!”  “Won’t that be great to try?”  “You know you’ll like it!” 

And then when it comes right down to it……. I almost always don’t.  Because I dislike having to do it alone.  Now, sleeping in is great.  Weekends are terrific for that.  Especially on days like today when I can naturally fall back asleep for another hour to an hour and a half and wake up in full sunlight.  Aaaahhhhhh…….  To lay in bed snug and warm, knowing I don’t have to get up and DO something.  I love that.

For me, Sunday afternoons are the worse.  I love teaching Sunday School and it never fails to excite me and stimulate me, teaching 3rd – 5th graders.  Then service, where I can sing and greet my friends and say hello to new people and hear the message.  It is lonely sitting alone, but I’m also used to it and it does not distract from my pleasure at being in church with God’s people, singing His praises and learning more about Him.  But then I go home.  And the afternoon and evening s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s before me.  It is very hard for me to be motivated to do anything of consequence after church, the let down is so strong.  So I struggle with that every week.  Sometimes I allow myself to feel down, and just make a nest on the couch.  I’ll turn on the TV sometimes, or read a book.  But other times I’ll try to shake it off and do at least a little something around the house – there is always something to do.  Or some project to work on. 

Weekends, yeah.  Love not having to work.  Love sleeping in.  Don’t love the lonelinesss.

Posted October 2, 2010 by Maureen in Being Single

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