Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Yesterday I flew from the land of frozen grass to the land of the desert, where grass comes at a water price, a price becoming higher and higher each year. The type of grass popular in Colorado these days comes at a high price as well.

But I want you to think of “grass” and “high” in a different way. When the hardy pioneers emerged from the forests of the east into the middle part of the US, they were greeted by a sea of grass, but not the grass of our manicured lawns or even the grass of the unkempt lawns of abandoned homes.

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Today on Facebook I’ve seen a number of posts about animals, many of which advocate treating animals well, a sentiment I heartily share.  The same day also shows me posts and memes vilifying various groups of people or individuals, usually based on their beliefs, and nasty a/o foul-mouthed comments about some of these same groups or causes.  Disclaimer:  please note that I am NOT referring to any specific group or cause!!

It’s a popular notion that the way you treat animals shows how you treat people, but I’m afraid that isn’t true.  As much as I love animals and as much as I believe in their ability to love and help people, they are NOT people.  If you can treat animals well, but you’re full of hatred for humans, especially based on their beliefs, then I think you need to take a good look at yourself.  Here’s what I think is a truism, my own saying about how to treat people and animals.

I’d like to see people treated as well as we think we should treat animals and then animals treated as well as we start treating people.

I think that if we started going this, the world would be a much kinder, gentler place.

Et vous?

The end of the day has come, I should be in bed, and I realize I have yet to write a post.  Today was to be the last day with our younger daughter.  We drove through pellets of ice and roads deep with slush to get her to the airport, only to find that her flight had been cancelled.  A long drive later through the same conditions brought us safely back home.

Bad news.  But there was good news as well.  We were only about a mile into our way back when she texted the information.  She has not appointments or “must do” things in the next two days, so the flight VERY early Wednesday morning will get her back without schedule problems.  She didn’t have to spend the night at the airport, she didn’t have to get a hotel room, she could come home with her family, to through more boxes of her things still at our house, and I could make her another bowl of popcorn tonight.

So many events in our lives seem bad and some, of course, really are.  But many have good that comes from them or aren’t as bad as they initially seem, as in our case today.  Look for those good things and you can change your perspective and your day, as well as that of those around you.

copyright janet m. webb 2015

No, I’m not getting married again.  This is a little something I penned while sitting at a coffee shop in Pasadena earlier this summer, enjoying the ironies of the day (as well as the tea.)

I’m having tea in a large city in a majorly major metropolitan area, having arrived by bicycle in a car-driven society.  I carried in a plastic bag something old (school), a magazine, as well as a notebook (paper kind), in which I’m writing by hand with a pen, and a Kindle with which to also read, as well as a smart (most of the time) phone to use for messages and camera.  I think I’ve spanned more than a few decades!

What old school things do you still embrace in this era of technology?

One’s destination is never a place but a new way of looking at things.
~ Henry Miller

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, something I love, so this quote captured my attention. It called to mind a quote by Mark Twain: (more…)

I hate…

Posted: June 6, 2015 in Musings
Tags: , , , ,

It’s easy to say “I hate….” whatever that something is, but what does “hate” really mean?

Hate
verb (used with object), hated, hating.
to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest

The word “hate” gets thrown around quite a bit these days, especially in politics.  Although there are people I dislike intensely and some I detest (terrorists, for example), there are none that I hate in the biblical sense of the word, wishing they would go to hell.

However, I hate…

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…litter.

When the girls were little, they asked me why people litter.   The only answer that made sense to me was that they were lazy.  Perhaps they’re also unthinking or don’t care.  But ultimately, I think they’re lazy and disrespectful of other people, of animals, and of the earth.

If you can smoke it and put it out in an ashtray, unwrap and eat it, drink it from a disposable bottle, carry something in it, or simply don’t want to keep it, take it home and dispose of it properly.  Put it in a public trash can, not on the pavement in the parking lot.  Place it in a bag in your vehicle and toss it in the garbage later.
I don’t hate you.  But I do hate your litter.

Last week, two young men came into the tea shop.  They were probably in college, although they didn’t look very old.  They ordered their drinks, one tea and one hot chocolate, then sat near the window.  I don’t recall how long they were there, but as far as I could tell, they spent most of the time hunched over their phones, not interacting with each other at all.

This is a phenomenon I’ve noticed time and time again: this sitting together, not paying attention to the other human or humans but focusing intently on the “others” caught inside that bit of technology.  Coffee shops have become all too often places where people go to be alone together.  It’s something I understand for people who are on their own and simply want to be around other people while they work or read.  I understand if people meet to work together.  And trust me, I understand the urge to check my email, see what’s been posted on Facebook, or check to see who’s liked my blog for the day.  Before smartphones, it was easy to talk and laugh with someone else without distractions.  There was no internet, no siren song luring you to abandon the puny human before you and take off into the outer reaches of the world.

But I implore you.  Don’t be the person who ignores a friend for the internet.  When you spend time with a person in person, spend time with him or her, not simply sitting in the same vicinity.  Look at him, talk to her, let your friend know that you value him by taking some time to care enough to put aside technology to listen. Leave the phone in your purse or pocket; put it face down on the table, off to the side.  Maybe she’ll do the same and you’ll both feel cherished.

I’m challenging you this spring to take the time to really be with people and to step away from the phone! It will be worth it, I promise.

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The word “space” can mean disparate things. There’s “space: the final frontier”, stretching into unending vastness. There are spacious houses and those without much space. And then there are those spaces both too small and too large, although certainly not infinite or vast.

“Space” can also mean opposite things at the same time.  There’s a space between the counter and the stove. It’s not big, not wide enough for anything substantial to fall through, but a yawning cavern for bits of escaping food. An asparagus end cut off before putting the rest into water, a carrot coin afraid of steaming, anything round and distressingly mobile—all these have plenty space to take the, to them, skyscraper-sized plunge into the depths of that cavern.

The space is too small, however, to easily retrieve the miscreants. A yardstick works best, the only thing I’ve found with the perfect combination of thinness and length to reach down and sweep out. Sometime I use the reach-and-sweep from floor level, pushing everything out to the far side of the stove. It arrives coated with the dust that with unseen, relentless determination finds its way into every space, dustable or not.

February 2nd, I start working in a tea shop, turning me a tea-rista eventually.  I’m looking forward to it, although I have to master the cash register (a Microsoft program, so beware) as well as learn about over 100 teas, among other things. I love working with people, so that part will be right up my alley. But what really threw me was the paperwork needed these days to get a job!

Besides an informational sheet, there’s a six-page employment agreement, full of WHEREAS’s , THEREFORE’s, and EMPLOYEE and EMPLOYER, including a non-compete agreement that in essences bars me from working at another teashop within a 25-mile radius (the entire Chicago metropolitan area, I presume) for 2 years after quitting work at this shop.

I’m pretty good with all that, although I often wonder why these things can’t be written in basic English. When I was studying physical education, when you shouldn’t do an exercise or something else, it was always “contraindicated.” I know what that means, but why not just say, “Don’t do this exercise?”

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