Sunday, September 27, 2015

Resolution

I've made about a thousand resolutions in my life. I'm one of those people...forever proclaiming something new, something intended. But almost never following through. Why? I lose interest. I convince myself that I will fail. I start to realize all the reasons I won't. I sputter and choke. And eventually move on to the next thing...the next whimsy, the next proclivity, the next distraction. Until I move again. What does that say about my early-childhood programming, I wonder?


However, in defiance of who I seem to be, I've made a very, very painful decision. Well, not the decision so much as the repercussions of my decision. I've decided to write a book. Chris's story. Who he was, why we loved him, and what we lost January 5th, 2012. It's like gouging out my guts to contemplate this, much less do it. The agony of reliving what we have all lost fills me with chagrin. But he was an amazing person. Everyone who knew him had a list as long as their arm of stories of funny, athletic, charming, gallant, brave, and frankly incredible things he had done. If I devoted my life to chronicling everything people knew about or had experienced with him, this would take me 10 years to write. So I'm going to write the story I know. The man I lived with. The man who - for some unknown reason - adored me. This incredible man adored....me. That is a puzzle I will probably never answer. Nor will I try. But as much as he loved and adored me, I loved and adored him even more. Strange...when he was alive, he used to say all the time that he loved me more than I loved him. And I never knew really how to take that. I felt guilty, as though my secret had been found out. While I without a doubt loved him with everything in my heart and soul and would absolutely swoon over the man he was, I knew he was right. Somehow he just had a capacity to love like no one else I have ever met. It didn't matter if you were a friend, an ex girlfriend, a kid from the neighborhood...if you needed someone, he was there without a moment's hesitation. He gave his life to making everything ok for everyone around him. He used to say he had so many people on his plate...but the truly incredible thing was, the more people needed him and looked up to him, the more humble he became in his heart. Oh, he would swagger and crack jokes and build himself up. But I knew the man he was in his heart, and in his heart, he was deeply, deeply humble. That was part of what was so amazing about him. He would boast about himself in a way that made you like him more. Because you knew he was soft and sweet and just having fun. In a heartbeat, he'd step aside and give credit and attention to anyone else and never for a moment ask anything for himself. That's the way he wanted it, always.


So that is the man I will try to write about. I wonder if my character is developed enough to convey the depth of who he was, his story which was frankly amazing in every way. Character - how about writing talent??? I will have to do better than I have here...otherwise no one will want to read his story. And his is a story I think everyone who has a heart and a soul that wants to see good in this world will love.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Our Culture of Stuff

I've been increasingly preoccupied over the last several days with our culture's preoccupation with stuff. When I was over at my brother in law's a week or so ago, he was showing me old pictures of the Baldus store in Newaygo. There was a picture of it from the 1910s and another picture sometime in the 1920s, and then he had a picture of himself and some other friends standing outside waiting for the bus in the 60s. It eventually burned to the ground in the early 70s. But looking back at those photos, all I could think of was that people would go to that one store in Newaygo every week and buy everything they needed for their house. 


That entire store was the size of any one of the store fronts we have downtown now that specialize in women's clothing or bead-crazed jewelry or sporting gear or hand crafted items or specialty dog foods. But inside that store was almost anything a family, and in fact a family farm, would need. Sure, they would have the Montgomery Wards catalog or the Louden Farm Equipment catalog, but in that world one box grater served the culinary needs of whoever was cooking...no need for a cheese grater and a zester and a microplaner. All you needed was a box grater. I have each, including the box grater which came first. But somehow I became convinced that I also needed a special cheese grater for my Romano, a zester for my citrus, and a microplaner when I needed a touch of nutmeg. Last night when I was shopping for groceries, I happened to walk through the seasonal area where the deck chairs and outside ottomans are, and I saw this glove that had a sponge that covered the hand and I thought, perfect! Wow, so glad someone finally came up with one of those to clean the lawn furniture! And suddenly it dawned on me that up until twenty years ago, everyone used their old towels that they would cut up into smaller pieces, and that would clean the lawn furniture. And they'd use it on the living room tables, not the fancy one-use wipes we all use now. Heck, there was a time women mixed up their furniture cleaner in their kitchen. Do you know that in the 1050s, people had very small closets because they only had about five outfits? Three for every day, one for dressy occassions and one for hard work. And I just had to buy 30 hangers because I was short that many and had so many items of clothing I couldn't hang up. Back then, closets were about the size of our broom cupboards. Broom cupboards...where we now keep our Swiffer, our Wet Jet, our mop (for the really dirty jobs), our dust broom (complete with its matching miniature dust pan), our regular broom, the broom we use outside (for again, the really dirty jobs), our vacuum cleaner, our Dustbuster, and our carpet cleaner. Seventy five years ago, women had one broom, one dust pan, and their carpet beater. And that was it.

Of course, one could argue, this is just commercialism, profiteering off the well-to-do age we live in now. But I do long for a simpler life. I've often thought that once the girls have grown up and moved out, I would like to buy a miniature house. I probably won't, but I won't change how I feel about all the stuff we are so convinced we need.

I say all this and yet...I won't get rid of any more books. Even the ones I look at and think, I don't like that book. Nope. Books will stay. Even if I end up in an apartment so small, I brush my teeth in my kitchen sink. While I'm laying in bed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I'ma FB dum-dum


So, I've been on FB for a number of years. I started with this blog in, what was it, 2005? Then in probably 2008 I started on FB. I thought FB was like my blog, and I could put whatever I was thinking on it. While that may have been true at the time, I think the role FB has in society has changed. It is no longer a personal communication tool, it is largely a "public persona" gadget. You put in the image you want the world to have of you and presto! Magico! You are magically the public persona you have projected. And what is better yet, YOU get to choose the people that you get to project that image to! Brilliant!

Problem is, I didn't realize that until today. It's like my human being interelations mechanism is finally kicking into "sophisticated" thought patterns! Wow, like, I could pretend to be the person I've always wanted to be!? I don't have to be Laura "mentally negligible" Baldus anymore, I could be Laura "ultra-sophisticated, attractive and loads-of-fun" Baldus??? Dang! Why didn't someone tell me this ages ago! I've been blundering along being real and sharing these real thoughts and real emotions and degrading-frigging realities in my life when I could have been making it up, putting things that make me sound intelligent, thought-provoking, personally evolved and ultra-chic???? Damn, damn, damn...I'm going to have to start changing my tune on FB! I could be so much more than what I have been! Why, don't you realize, if I don't do it then I'm.....living a truth on FB when I could be living a much better lie!

Glory be! I gots me a tool now!

Oh, and ironically, what is on FB is SO MUCH MORE SEEN when it is really a PRIVATE forum, whereas my blog is COMPLETELY PUBLIC, any person on earth who has internet access could see this thing and....if I want to share my REAL thoughts, the REAL person I am - it has to be here. Cuz that way, no one will see it!

Hahahahahahahahh! (evil laughing abounds)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh, comma, I love you!

You know how there are little niggling things tickling the back of your mind that you think you should probably look up, but half the time when you've got a minute to do so, you can't remember what the heck all those myriad of things are??? Oh, no? Welcome to my life, then...

Well, I knocked one off the list today!

For the last several years, it has been a bugger of a brain-bracker that I compulsively use commas in compound sentences, seperating the first compound sentence from the second compound sentence. However, I have become increasingly aware that other people do not use this comma. Almost no one. But I continued to use it, thinking to myself that I never would have ever begun using it if it was wrong, now would I??!!

Apparently, I was right. I should be using it, and even better yet, when people don't use it, they are wrong! Oh, that made me so happy! Now, I'm not saying all my comma usage is right. I look at my commas in this little bloggery, and I have to say, I'm not sure half the time if they are right or not. But one thing I do know: I can use them in a compound sentence! Whoo-hoo!!!

The Trouble with FB

Like many people oh-so-late-to-see-the-light, I am a recovering soul; yes, recovering from being sucked into the vortex of on-line social networks. As a recovering addict, I have had to force myself to abstain from such pleasures as reading my twitter feed, poking people on facebook and - in one of the biggest moments - I deleted my program on my iphone that automatically updated everyone and everything all at the same time. I don't read other people's posts, I rarely comment or post anything myself. Essentially, I have tried to disappear. Except for that whole deleting-my-account thing. I mean, hey, I've got a lot of pictures and memories wrapped up in all of that!

Since my self-enforced retirement from the online community, I have given some thought to why I felt the need to make this socially-sacrificing gesture, essentially removing myself from party invitations, birth and death notices, and all other general information about my friends and cohorts. What it boiled down to is very simply stated: I only have time in my life for people I truly care about. Perusing these websites not only diminishes the amount of time I can spend on people I truly care about, it distracts me with slogan-style statuses from people I actually don't know all that well and if the truth were known, I really don't care about very much at all. Not that I wish them ill, I just don't wish to see yet another status about a piece of food stuck to the side of their coffee cup or how their dog farted and it really smelled. Which really gets me thinking about what I want and why I want it: I want to know what the people I care about are doing - which can be counted in a number less than 30 - and I want to touch base with them and them only. So....I think I'm going on there and I'm going to clean house - and leave it only to the people I truly want to know drank out of a dirty coffee cup.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yeah, I had a stroke and can't remember what I was going to write.

I know you, my dearly faithful blog readers (who essentially don't exist), are deeply disappointed by the title of this blog. But, I felt I should share it as this is the one reason that you rarely see posts from me anymore. Here I am at work with a slight lull in my day and suddenly had a burst of inspiration for a new blog post. Excitedly, I logged in already beginning to compose my new literary piece in my head. But then - oh, distraction of distractions - I see my brother's post and begin reading his posts....about five minutes into it I think, oh, yeah, I was going to write a post! So I go to write it and - poof - it's gone. Empty. Blank. Not a primrose of a memory of what it was I thought would be so exciting to write.....and so you get another vacuous nothing of a post. Hmph!!!!!!!

Perhaps one day I will be able to retain my train of thought long enough to write extemporaneously....until then....harumphicolispism!!!!!!!! 

Friday, December 09, 2011

My honey

I just have to tell you - the general world out there - that I have probably the best human being in the world as *my husband*. I'm not saying that to brag, and I'm not saying that to butter him up. It's just the darn truth. No matter how you measure out what a good person truly is - no matter what criteria you use - he will rate at the top of your list, too. He's truly the best human being I know, bar none, and I love him more than my flattened personality could ever, ever express. He saved my life, my childrens' lives and the lives of many other people too numerous to count by being the good, honest, hard working, truly inspiring human being he is. At this time of year when we are thinking of giving things to each other - and even about the things we may get - I realize that there is nothing I could ever give that means so much as what that man gives every day. He is the love of my life, and I pray that his influence makes me a better person each and every day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Doing it for myself

About six years ago - or was it seven? - I quit college just short of my two year degree. By "just short" I mean by 22 credits. Even still, I could get those 22 credits fairly quickly. I remember Brian Hosticka took 24 credits one semester prior to transferring to a four year university. Last time I saw him was at the court house prior to some court case he was working on. As a lawyer. So I guess those deeply mediocre grades he got that semester didn't hurt him too badly. I mean hey, he finished. I have A's on my transcript. About one A for every class I dropped. I'm thinking deeply mediocre grades on a completed degree a far better accomplishment than my few A's and many, many withdraws.

So I'm heading back this winter, taking six credits, considering that the likely outer limit of my ability while working full time. I'm also taking the last two required classes for my Associates degree. After that, I'll have 16 credits to fill of whatever I want to take. Not too bad, I'm thinking...wish me luck that I can still retain newly-learned knowledge after my stroke. If not, this could be a deeply painful failure. Good luck to me!!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello, Blogger, Long Time-No See!

egs_bg_0015_800x600.jpg "writer's block" appearsI said recently on that little comment on the post one-down on the list here that I don't care who reads my blog; I just write because it is IN me to write - or some such nonsense. Well...that's not entirely true. I write because I love to have people read my blog and post comments. For a long, long, looong time I did the FB hop like the little bunny-bunny I am, reading and commenting and genuinely irritated at most everything other people put on their FB wall. It lacked any real sense of accomplishment for me. Oh, I would post exciting little tidbits and wait with bated breath until *someone* posted a comment and then, within 30 seconds, I would respond. Then wait once more with bated breath for more comments.... Stupid. Not fulfilling. And I would always put such stupid statuses on there - for example, see the stupid status I posted a month or more ago happily plastered on my blog wall (look to the right). See what I mean???

One thing I did like about FB, though, was when my girls' friends wanted to friend me. I loved that. I thought it was so deviilishly clever of me to have *their* friends as *my* friends because then I could see what *they* were putting on *their* wall!!! Stupid. All it really did was show me what is obvious to most well-actualized parents: kids are kiddishly posturing their version of adulthood exhaustively on FB. And quite irritatingly, too. I used to get pretty hyped up if I saw something upsetting on there. Now I realize that - like my own self - the kids are putting stuff up there they barely put together into an actualized thought, so why bother? I mean, do we REALLY want to see the random thoughts plucked out of the heads all around us? Not really. Not me, that's for sure. If I want a vision of random thoughts, I all I have to do is listen to my own!


Anyhoo, it's good to see you. Love-love-love!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tweet.....300 and Counting

I just saw that I had published 299 blogs. This one equals 300. Holy cats alive! That's less than one a day for a year. And I've had my blog for like 5 or 6 years. Hmm...I'm thinking that's rather tankopulous.

In other news, I've been largely following my diabetic diet and exercising and so far I've lost about 9 pounds. Whippidee-dee. I would love to say I've lost 20 or 30, but alas! Only 9. I've discovered it is really hard to lose weight when you are a diabetic. Sucky freaking genetics. Sigh.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Big Step for Posterity

UPDATED: Well, I deleted the FaceBook icon from my iPhone. Why, you ask? Because unless I get my Diabetes under control, I will die early. Like maybe within a decade. But how does that relate to FB? Mmmmm, it doesn't really.

But what it does relate to is the amount of time I spend dinking around on it instead of exercising or writing on my blog or cooking healthy food instead of eating another Toaster Strudel (ooooh, the strawberry cream cheese.....mmmmmmm). Ok, you get the idea. This obviously not going to be easy. But I do hope for better days.

UPDATE: I've spent the evening working quite extensively on a food plan and found the *best* iPhone app for Diabetes control; it's called Diabetes Buddy which is a rather unfortunate name. However, it kicks the effeminate ass out of the other apps I've tried over the past couple years. The only thing this app does not do is tell me how many calories I've burned on my workout. Other than that, it tracks EVERYTHING- even how much water I drank today! And it has the best food database I've seen so far - and I'm talking I've had probably about 6 or 7 various programs with food databases! I am thrilled to the max. Now all I have to do is exercise and eat right tomorrow. And take my medicine. And be good. Whew, it'll be a chore with or without my new app! ;)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hunting Target

Once upon a time, we moved through the world around us without fear of noxious gas clouds on subways or gunmen lurking along the highway and even allowed our kids to go to school without the latest bullet proof jacket. But we live in a different world now. Whether it is the Islamist who may be secretly planning the next bio-terrorist event while giving us our change for coffee at the gas station or the quiet friend from a troubled family our kids bring home from school, we are faced with possible - and terrifying - threats to our security every day.

I remember in my bioethics class in college studying possible threats to our society and to what extent we would be willing to accept security trespasses to (almost) guarantee security, safety and most of all, not having to worry. Would we accept security cameras? Body searches? Secret surveillance? And ultimately, here we are all these years later debating the real question: what is the price we are willing to pay for the needful sense of security that enables us to snuggle in bed, smile as we send our kids off to school and drive to work unscathed?

The answer to this question is determined by the extent we have smelled danger lurking outside our own door. I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 19, 1995. It was around 9 o'clock, and I was heading over to the executive secretary's office to ask her a question. I walked in and instantly knew something was wrong. The President and Vice President of our company were tautly standing next to her desk and each person stared intently at a radio: The Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City had just exploded. In utter terror we stood listening as horrific reports of the chaos and destruction as people ran for help, ran for safety, ran for friends, family, coworkers....just ran. Ditto the morning of September 11, 2001. I stood watching the news in our lunch room with the President and Controller of our company, wondering, et tu, Brute?

To me it all feels pretty darn close. Too close. So I am willing to pay for my unterrorized freedom by inconvenience, whether it is being scanned and people seeing my fat rolls or walking through the scanners at the county building. I don't want to be shot, I don't want people I love to be shot. I don't even want people I don't like to be shot. And for that, I'll pay the price.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ahhh, finally!!

For those of you vain enough (dare I say it?) to use the location finder in BlogPress blogging app on the iPhone, please note: it doesn't freaking work! After weeks (or days....) of trying to get it OFF the blog I innocently tried to write a few weeks (or days...) ago, I finally had to just delete BlogPress off my phone and reload it, CAREFUL to make sure I TURNED OFF that option for my blog posts! You may note that I have used this feature in the past successfully. Alas, it was not to happen again and resulted in many unfulfilling moments in which I could have been blogging but instead spent 5 minutes saying "OK" to the continually repeating message that it couldn't find my location. Humbug!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone