Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A sad end for 2011~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

Some of you have asked me why did I come home early since it was my original plan to stay with my Folks for the New Years.

I saw that things were becoming a bit unsettling in my type of business and thought it best to return home and head to the office to talk to some of my clients. Fortunately things worked out well.

And in another way it is a good thing I did return early. Joe finally returned to my place after a difficult long shift. He's angry and sad at the same time.

Angry at how the "Occupy Oakland" group is wasting resources and taking those same resources away from much needed areas and both angry and sad that someone for no apparent reason, shot and killed a 5 year old boy at his parents Taco truck stand.

The suspect is an adult male, but you will have to go to to read more details, it hurts me to even think about it. A little boy who never even had the chance to go to kindergarten, who never had a chance to live a life. This is the third little child killed this year and near a food truck, that one would think would be a neutral area.

ANIMALS!!! JUST ANIMALS!!! This shows that something is so terribly wrong with our society that people without compunction can kill just for "KICKS".

Do not get me wrong, I am not anti-gun, I still believe in my 2nd amendment rights, it is not the gun----it is the Animals behind the gun, they do not have a soul, they do not have a conscience, they do not have love or compassion or a moral compass...they have just become thugs, monsters, beasts, animals and even animals have a sense of what is right and wrong.

Swans and Wolves mate for life, wolves will try to move away if possible from human contact, hawks hunt for food, killer whales hunt for food, their instincts maybe primeval but they do not kill for pleasure or just for the sake of killing. They kill for food, to defend themselves and their mating territory, to defend their herd, to protect their young. When they are in battle it is rarely to the death, because that defeats their prime directive to procreate.

Heather and I took a walk along the beach early this morning, then stopped for coffee at our favorite shop.

We talked about this sad news and coming from a college student who has to deal with other students and teachers she said an oft repeated statement "The more I know about people the more I prefer nature's animals; at least you can understand the actions of nature's animals, but the human animal, suppose to be high on the food chain, suppose to have a thinking, reasoning brain and then goes beyond disgust" and she is only 20.

Last night she and I and Lillian we're going to go to our favorite restaurant but decided to leave a bit late, Lillian loves to watch Judge Judy and the Judge had a defendant that was talking Ebonics "Like I feel ya" and statements like that, looked like and talked like he hadn't cleared out his sinuses, would yawn like he was bored with the whole thing but still tried to play the judge. The plaintiff did put together a very good case even though she did not have a signed contract, but she spoke well, answered her questions well, had enough circumstantial evidence to win her case.

This morning Heather and I discussed about what we saw on Judge Judy and the killing of the little boy, and we knew that it goes back to not enough discipline both at home and in school. And to cap it all those students going on a holiday ski trip and being found with drugs and alcohol and the Elko, Nevada Sheriff not even siteing them??!! I was surprised to hear Heather say "We are too soft, too P.C. to much sparing the rod for these little S*&#@^T's to get away with it. They should be sent to a Marine Corp basic training camp and be called and treated like the maggots they are to square them away!!"

And Heather is a Liberal, but she is changing fast. And I think that in due time the pendulum will swing that way, there can only be so much turning the other cheek, she wants to kick Ass and I don't blame her. I even showed her that I was carrying Pepper Spray, since I do not have a C & C licence, our County Sheriff refuses to even consider giving a legitimate, legal, responsible gun owner one.

The Pansy.

So today, the both end and start the New Year's right, Heather and I are going out to buy her a can of Pepper Spray. Yes Heather, I "feel ya".

All of you Sweet Things have a Happy and Safe New Year! Kisses.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Memories

Hello Sweet Things,

I have to say that this is one of the happiest Holidays I've ever had with my family.
I only wish Joe was here, but for him sometimes duty comes first and he wanted those who have children, especially to have the time with them.

Sometimes I think he misses the idea of having children, but as he says "we can do what we can to protect them".

Baby Sis and her fiance have set a wedding date, and they said they want it to be a simple wedding, nothing fancy, just close family and friends. Mom is glad that it's set for nearly a year away, yes Sweet Things, they want to get married on Dec. 31st. of next year.

At least we'll always have something to celebrate besides New Years. I think its just marvellously wicked and perfect.

Both Mom and Dad are happy and yet a bit sad, the baby will be leaving the house, but I told them while we were sitting at the kitchen table and baby Sis and Ted were out of the house, I said "Just think of the fun with the Grandchildren".

I wish Sweet Things you could have seen the sparkle in their eyes. I know Dad will spoil them. And yes I'm still here at the house with them, I won't be leaving to come home until tomorrow, all too soon.

I've been following all the news, financial, and political reports, the slight down turn is something I half expected. With the Middle East, as one of my co-workers says, you can always expect their governments to come up with something to spoil Christmas. And yes I know that is not polite to say, but one needs to be honest, it seems that something like that always happens this time of year, just when you don't want it to happen.

I am just devastated about the Ad Exec who lost her children and parents in the house fire. I can't think of anything worst than to lose family in such a horrible circumstance. The Exec was right when she said "My Life is in there!"

Both I and my parents have fireplaces, but the one thing we are very careful about when we have burned a fire is about embers, I usually let mine completely die in the fireplace with a tall firescreen around it to prevent sparks, something that Dad taught me ages ago.

Not that I would have burnt a fire with all the spare the air days, even in this freezing weather, even Dad got into the burning candles in the fireplace idea and that always works. And I have on the outside of my fireplace a trap to drag the old coals out into a metal bucket, wet down with water and leave for one more day away from anything flammable.

Dad and I took a number of walks with his dog Trixie, meeting people, looking at things, talking about things. I feel closer to him now and to Mom, but especially to him. I understand what he went through and I feel the sense of guilt that he has about his treatment of me, of Mom and of Sis.

Even though we've made amends, I sensed that this was something he might take to the grave, so I gently confronted him about that. He admitted it to me when we were walking Trixie on Christmas Eve.

I looked at that little dog that was wearing a nice little warm doggie coat and asked him "Who bought the coat?" He looked at her and said "Well your Mom mentioned that the nights were getting cold and one day we were at the pet store getting her food and treats and such and I saw this nice one, fleecy on the inside and plaid on the outside, not too fussy and I bought it. Wasn't sure she'd take to it but she did. Gets happy when I grab it first and then the leash." He smiled at me "What are you getting at?"

"Didn't you feel that when she was on your porch that you had a second chance?" Dad thought for a minute then nodded.

"Didn't you see Mom when she was soaked with water from cleaning the old refrigerator?" He nodded again.

"Didn't you tell the other fellow that was trying to date Baby Sis that she wasn't interested in him and it would be best to not pursue the matter?" Again Dad nodded.

I said to him "Dad whatever guilt you have been feeling, let it go, what was done in the past, is past, Mom, Sis and I are wise enough and forgiving enough to let it go and enjoy the new you, and work with you as well. How are your employees how do they feel about you?"

He said that they feel that they can work with him and that the company even in these bad economic times is holding its own and has even gain business, making a profit. He had to inform them that there would not be any financial raises but they did manage to get them Christmas bonuses and are hoping to add eye and hearing care to their medical benefits. They've also have created a transportation benefit for them if they switch to public transportation or create car pools which nearly all are doing. "Many of them feel that even if they don't get an increase in salary, there is a savings in other ways, they are willing to work with me, and most importantly we've avoided any layoffs."

I said to him "Would that have been truly possible with the old you?" Not as easily he admitted.

"Then let go of the guilt" I said. And we continued walking but Dad had to asked me a question. "What about you?" he said, I looked at him and replied that what he has done, kicked the monster out of the house (meaning his old church), doing things to make it better for Mom and Sis, taking me into his confidence, being proud of my accomplishments and, yes apologizing to me in his own way is the best gift one could receive and for that I forgave him quiet sometime ago.

And with that we hugged. And then all of us, with Trixie staying at home to 'guard the house' went to Christmas Midnight Mass and such a joyous feeling there was!

I'm not going into Christmas Day but it was fun! And I managed to Call Joe later in the day, he was at Lillian's grabbing some Turkey Sandwiches and such to take to eat when he'd take a break, he told me about his Christmas Eve adventures, he even played Santa Claus when he managed to catch someone trying to steal packages from a car. The thief got away, but with the commotion the kids came out. Fortunately the only thing damaged was the lock on the trunk of the car but how to explain the presents...quickly Joe said that Santa left them in the trunk for their parents to find and take into the house BUT they couldn't open them until Christmas day.

Then he told them about the NORAAD Santa Tracker and that Santa is going all over the place. The Father was happy with the save, and said he'd put the car into the garage because of the trunk lock.

At various places he'd check in and owners would give him coffee to keep him warm, he wanted to pay but they said they were giving it away to everyone. He managed to get some homeless guys to a shelter or they would have frozen up. One other was a very happy drunk who asked to be taken to the drunk tank, well better than nothing thought Joe.

He said he'd have more to tell me when I got home.

New Years he'll be pulling duty again, so I'm going to take my friend Yoshi to the Hornet for New Year's Eve, even if we have to dance together although I think there will be gentlemen who will ask to dance with us. Her niece will be staying with Yoshi's Mom, unfortunately Yoshi's Husband is over seas and will be celebrating the New Years in Japan at least he will be with some family members.

Baby Sis and Ted will be going to a 1940's Dance and have invited the Folks to go with them, I'm sure they are going to enjoy it.

I'm sure a number of you think I'm becoming old and staid but I still do wild things, just more quietly.

But for now I'm just enjoying what life brings my way, no great expectations but enjoying the ride.

Kisses Sweet Things.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Of Hot Apple Cider & Pumpkin Spice~~~

Well Sweet Things,

I am taking a well deserved break right now. Yesterday we were busy, we found the right tree for Lillian at one church tree lot and I found mine at another. We wrapped the cut trunks in damp newspapers, but that may not insure that they will remain fresh through the holidays, so we trimmed a little off on each and put them into buckets of water and allowed them to soak until later.

Heather and I went off in Lillian's van and Joe set off to get what I call "grain lights" not LED's if possible, I find them although efficient the colors they do are too "cold". O.K. we have to be energy efficient but for the Holidays---let's splurge.

Heather and I found used in great shape ornaments at some of the thrift stores, and I found several old boxes of tinsel, but what I wanted them for was to put them up on the mantle (boxes and all) as decorations---a hint of "A Christmas Story". But my best find was an old fashioned angel, the angel is of paper but with spun glass halo's much like the kind you'd find from the 1950's, she maybe a little large for my tree but I fell in love with her.

So yesterday evening, we put the tree's up in their stands adding more water and some stuff that is suppose to help them stay "fresh" much like the stuff one adds to fresh flowers. We worked on Lillian's tree, taking our time, breaking for dinner that was slow cooking in the crock pot. A nice hearty stew with rice, and lots of vegetables, Joe complained he was eating too good, I had noticed that his uniform pants were getting a little tight in the waist. So with a promise to watch he eating habits and do more work outs especially for the new year we finished Lillian's tree.

We enjoyed looking at it, relaxing, listening to KOIT radio with their Christmas music, Heather called out for us to see the full moon, and there we were in the brisk cold looking at the full moon, Joe had his arms around me and just then Frank Sinatra came on singing "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas". We just stayed there looking at the moon, in each other's arms, listening to Frank sing, and it felt perfect, that I didn't want it to end....But eventually it had to, with Heather bringing us back into reality with mugs of Hot apple cider and a wink in her eye at us romantic "old folks".

And groaning at desert of pumpkin spice bread that Heather had baked up the day before. Lillian said that she is becoming quite the cook. But Heather confessed that there was something soothing about doing something so old-fashioned, a sense of slowing down and breathing.

I could understand that. I've been looking at things, technology in a different way, using the DVD recording device to save things for me so I won't miss them, to watch at a later time( for example Svengoolie finally showed Bob Hope's "The Ghost Breakers" and I recorded it while at Lillian's). And being more careful with check card usage.

Recently here Lucky store had their credit/debt card scanners compromised by thieves who would steal the information and then create false debt/credit cards and use them to buy things from merchants using other people's accounts. We have become so use to the convience of these cards that we as consumer's who work hard for our money are at risk.

Although I'm in the financial business, I've been taking a very hard look at things and technology and I realize that I am forced to use things to keep me abreast for my job. I've decided that for my personal use I will cut back on somethings and learn to live a simpler more organized life style. I know with Joe's job that can be impossible as he could be called into work at anytime at any hour depending upon the situation, so that is where organization and flexibility is important.

I'm fortunate that I have a cleaning lady who is so efficient that she makes my home life easier, and that I have neighbor's and friends I can call upon in a pinch. But I am looking to eventually "retire", I have an excellent income from investments and I am beginning to feel the need for "ME time". Perhaps I'll get involved in a hobby that pays for itself. Who knows, but I am glad that Heather has discovered the mental relaxation of making "pumpkin spice bread" and is already thinking in those terms.

For Joe, he's beginning to feel that way, unless something changes, he will become too burned out and it could affect his health. We've talked about this on and off. So with the new year we shall see what our options are going to be.

I know I will not abandon where I live right now, nor my job, I have some things I need to put into place, I am thinking about the long term further "down the road". And it's best to start thinking about it now or at least after the Holidays.

For now, I'll finish trimming my little tree, allow Joe to nap, check to see if this is a spare the air day and decide on wood or candles in the fireplace. Koit is playing softly in the back ground, I've made plans to visit the family, Joe will need to stay here unfortunately, he said he wants to cover some of the other's schedules so they can have time with their family, him being 'single'. It's his Christmas/Hanuka gift.

So Sweet Things, if you do not hear from me before Christmas, have yourself "A Merry Little Christmas" now, Happy Hanuka, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Worries & Sadness~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

I have been keeping both my eyes and ears glued to the media on any changes in the European economy. Because we have become global we do have the "Butterfly Effect". What happens in Europe affects the U.S., what happens in China, Japan, the middle east, Canada, South America affects the U.S.

I have continued to encourage my people to be conservative and think of their basic needs, shelter, food, medicine, health care, utilities, transportation---I know I'm over-simplifying, but I really cannot give out more information, but I can tell you this I have given as gifts, when I can purchase them, Elaine St. James' books on simplifying one's life. For my older people they have taken it to heart, and I can see that their faces are more relaxed, less stress.

On the younger ones they do not like the suggested restraints, but I've become a sort of "Mama Bear" and have told them that it will create a greater comfort level for them as they get older.

I've been doing it too, not walking so much on the wild side, I think having re-connected to my family and with Joe in my life along with Lillian's comfortable and wise wisdom and Heather's youthful zeal on things, I am finding the simple things to be so much better.

Although a bit chilly today, Lillian, Heather and I are going Christmas Tree Shopping, I have no desire to put up my "black" tree (artificial) I want a real tree. Not too big, table top size.

Lillian is going for something a little larger about 4 or 5 feet, There is a couple of lots sponsored by local churches that I know will have something just right and it benefits the church programs for the needy. Now I'm going to need Christmas ornaments, but Heather said to check Salvation Army, Goodwill and St. Vincent De Paul, so I will, but the lights will need to be new.

Joe is tired, angry and sad, he knows it's not going to be a happy Christmas for one family, an 18 month old toddler was taken off life support yesterday and died. His father is a rapper and he had taken his young son to a food truck where he and some of his "homeys" were going to do a music rap video, when someone snuck up on them and spray shot at them, some where hit but the little boy was shot in the head, he had been on life support, and the doctor's told the family that all indications showed the baby was brain dead.

What frustrates Joe is that the people know who did it, they won't give up the names, and these same people complain that the police won't do anything---how can they if the witnesses refuse to at least anonymously give up names.

Joe and a number of other officers along with the chief of police were in a march organized by the community and family members in memory of this little boy to try and have people speak up and help the police stop this violence. What makes it even sadder is that the boys father will not co-operate. There is rumours of possible gang retaliation.

Between this and the expenditure of dealing with the idiots of "Occupy Oakland", law resources are spread thin. Joe said to me that the basic message of the "Occupy" groups is correct but they are going about it all wrong, and they need to be careful of doing more damage than good.

There is a petition going around to re-call Jean Quan, the question is "who would be better".

I am glad that I live were I live and not in Oakland, or Berkeley. Not that it's much better in a way, this local government has made mistakes too, not as bad as others but still I cannot turn a blind eye on things. With my work it's impossible.

But for a few hours I will think on church Christmas trees and ornaments, and getting some toys for Toys for Tots, giving food to the food bank and doing what good I can where I can.

Joe has some time off, so he is going to drive Lillian's van and help us haul some trees, tonight comfort food for all 4 of us and hot apple pie and cider as we decorate Lillian's tree.

And you Sweet Things---what kindness are you going to do to help others this Holiday Season and through out the year?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Thanksgiving Update~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

I hope you don't mind the picture that I've posted but as you go further down reading I think you'll understand why I posted it.

Thanksgiving with my family was wonderful! Baby Sis and Ted her fiance, Mom and Dad, and Trixie the dog, (she was a good little girl).

Dad also invited some of his co-workers who couldn't get together with their families for Thanksgiving, he said it would be a shame for them to be alone.

I'm not going to tell you the feast we had, but we had all the traditional fare, but substituted sparkling cider for wine. I loved it, Mom had made copies for Baby Sis and I of her recipes she said she plans to copy all her favorites for us.

I had a chance to call Joe while he was at Lillian's for their dinner, he said he had to go on duty that evening, so they were having theirs early and he was taking extras as sandwiches for his late supper. Turkey with cranberry spread sandwiches, it may make for a strange sandwich but tasty.

Afterwards we played games first it was "Squeak" a card game, and then "Chicken foot Domino's" I had no idea how to play the latter but I learned. Mom is deadly at that game.

It was good that Dad had invited Alex his co-worker to dinner, his wife had to go back east because her Mother was very ill and she had to help out her sister, Alex was feeling lonely and was thinking of some restaurant then taking in a movie, but Dad said he was coming to our house, and Ralph who is a widower, he lost is wife last year and his children live out of state. Ralph's funds were a bit tight to travel he had just paid off the last of his wife's medical bills, which is sad because although the insurance came through for the bulk of it, there were some that could not be written off and the cost of the funeral as well. And Dad told Ralph that he wasn't going to be alone for this holiday or for Christmas either.

Seeing my Father put himself out there for Alex and Ralph during their difficult times warmed my heart. Dad was always so self-contained before, but as we took our late night walk with Trixie, Dad told me that he is looking at people and situations in a different way, and sometimes, the best gifts he's discovered are the one's that are not bought and gift-wrapped but one's from the heart. He had seen Ralph just looking so down after his wife passed, that he thought he might be suffering from Depression and so one day after work, they got together for coffee and Dad suggested that Ralph see someone to help him make sense of his loss, he knew that the priest from the church that he and Mom go to is also a specialist as a grief consular, so he suggested that Ralph go and see him, even if Ralph is of a different faith.

And it seems to be helping. Dad said that Ralph is now more focused at work and seems a bit lighter in outlook, but the holidays can always be a set back.

I thought that Dad was going to plan to retire next year but he said that he's going to put it off for another year or two. He enjoys the routine and he said that if he retired he'd just be getting into Mother's way, but he told me that he is quick to ask the younger staff members their opinions on things, more staff input, more "brain storming" to which the productiveness has increased as well as moral.

I'm planning on going down the day before Christmas and staying through New Years with the Folks, with Dad's Internet connection I'd have no problem staying in touch with the office.

Joe had a busy Thanksgiving holiday, there were good things and difficult things, the shooting they had recently in which a 1 year old was shot in the head has him feeling down, and the little guy is still in critical condition, just because someone wanted to take out a local rap artist. Joe said that because of the violent competition between rappers and their "fans" no one wants to hold a rap concert, there is no guarantee that no one will not get hurt.

I said in an earlier post that I'd have to modify my thoughts on education and jobs...on the education portion I found out that there are special programs for people who do not have the finances to pay for the training jobs, and this is being offered though several government programs, it's to help keep people on track and off the welfare roles by training them and getting them job assistance especially for those that do not have the funds to pay for training or junior college.

The other thing is that I read in a recent Bloomberg Business Week magazine (Nov 14, 2011 ?approx.) the cover said why Americans won't work. Well they do but they don't want to or can't seem to handle the hard back breaking work like picking tomatoes or cleaning fish, or changing beds. In Alabama alone because of a law in regards to immigrants many of them that were doing these jobs, left because of their illegal status, even when employers used the government Internet program to verify their status.

So several young men who were out of work went to pick tomatoes and most of them quit after one week---Why? Because the work is hard, picking tomatoes in the hot sun. One Employer stated yes the work is hard, but they have the same type of guys working in the hot foundries and that is hotter and more dangerous than picking tomatoes, but the difference is the benefits.

One young man said it is hard and he's just amazed that these immigrants they just keep at it, hardly taking breaks and he's exhausted. Another employer also admitted the work at his fish factory is hard too, cold and long hours but if the work isn't done the food that is produced will rot and go to waste.

One young white male said that for someone like him such work is like impossible, how can anyone white or black do that kind of work that the immigrant workers are doing.

It had me thinking that since these are minimum wage jobs, with next to nothing in benefits, it is one of the reasons why some of our food costs are so low, years ago from the teens to the 1950's in Montery, Ca. there were all these sardine processing factories, and everyone for blocks and blocks around worked in these factories and they were not immigrants per se, so when the sardine boats came in the factories would blow their whistles to call everyone to work and they did, hard, cold, miserable, stinking work to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs.

Now the sardines are gone fished out, the Cannery factories on Cannery Row turned into Restaurants, or boutiques and all hurting in this current economy. And back in the depression and drought of the 1930's farmers lost their homes, and people moved from place to place camping out in shacks to work the next crop, the classic picture of the farmer's wife with the two children taken by Dorothea Lang, is iconic for that period, but what a lot of people don't know is that the family eventually by following the crops and available work found themselves in California in L.A. and some years later that same woman, much older saw that photo of herself at an exhibit and she was mad, she said that they were not poor and are not poor, she has a nice house and wonderful children and grandchildren.

What had happen is that when the husband found work and she found work they saved up enough to buy a house and live comfortably, they, according to this same woman were just going though a hard time and were doing what they could to find work.

In the National Review magazine either Nov. 14 or 28 there is an article about the "philosophy" of the Occupy groups, but it is, according to the author a dangerous "Marxist" philosophy.

My thoughts were almost on the same line, I felt that the Occupy groups were really not focusing on the problem and were in danger of falling victim like the characters in the novel "Animal Farm".

As I've said before I worked for my education, hunted for grants and scholarships, went hungry, shared a place with 3 or 4 other girls, walked to save on bus fare, had to go to free clinics when I got sick, even went a dental school when I had a toothache and allowed myself to be a teaching "device" while my toothache was being treated to save money, or for check ups or cleaning, I don't need to tell you how painful that was. To get my hair permed or cut I'd go to a beauty college and allow myself to be a "guinea pig" for students, more than once I had to wear a knit cap to hide the mistakes.

And I had no guarantee that there would be a job out there for me, NONE! I went to the Library the other day and a staffer whom I'm friendly with said that they had one opening for a technician, only one and 92 applicants for the job, every one with different degrees of experience but one, just one edged out the rest by the tiniest of margins.

If the people who are a part of the Occupy groups think that by doing this it will get them jobs, it won't. They forget we are now a Global Economy, not a National one so they are competing with people from India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, etc., etc., etc., for jobs. So they better be prepared to pick tomatoes or clean fish.

The one thing the Occupy groups do have right is the so-called hidden bailouts by the government to the banks, but they need to look deeper, if some of these bailouts didn't happen, more people would have their homes lost with no options for re-financing.

But as I've heard one old-timer say to me "Gas, Grass or what you sit on, nobody, but NOBODY gets a free ride."

Now a slight apology, perhaps I'm over simplifying things, being too simplistic, the issues that surround our economy our un-employment, our fee raising, is far more complicated. I for one do not approve of handing out bonuses and high raises on the backs of students and their parents, I do not approve of stock holders getting big dividends on the backs of the elderly, I do not approve of our government slackers at the Capitol doing cut backs on our elderly, widowed and children.

So if the Occupy groups want to really make a statement, Do it at our Nation's capital in the Middle of Winter if need be and let everyone else get to work doing their job that you are intent on disrupting.

Sorry Sweet Things---I really have a lot of pent-up anger tonight. I think I need some pumpkin spice bread that Mom sent to me, some hot coco and watch "Columbo" on the retro T.V. program when times might have been simpler.

Kisses Sweet Things and thank you for letting me Rant.