Archive for the ‘life’ Category

It has been so long since I’ve posted here that I had to go back and review a few posts to jog my memory. What I found was how I have been trying, really hard, to justify asking you to read my blog at all.

The truth is that I don’t really have much to say. But I DID once have something to say. And I DID say it. There’s a record (yep, a recording) of that that’s now thirty years old and still timely. It’s such a miracle that technology has now made it possible to pass this on in my lifetime.

For several weeks now, I’ve been expecting, day in and day out, that what I was sent here to learn and to say to you, whether you’re a man or a woman, anywhere in the world, would be made available to you. My goal is to have it uploaded onto Amazon, Audible, ACX. But I guess I’m one of millions awaiting registration and the actual uploading of my life’s work.

Perhaps it won’t hurt to have a few followers holding good thoughts for me as I continue to deal with Amazon.

The original tape was entitled, “Gentlemen Prefer Bitches” and that’s what I’ve submitted to ACX. It was a flawless reel-to-reel, recorded in a Hollywood Studio in May of 1981. Time and reproductions have diminished it slightly and I’ll never speak in that voice again but it served me well.


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I cannot believe that I’m still barking up that same ole tree. It’s like trying to let go of your dominate hand. This is the last item on my “bucket list.” It feels like I can’t kick the bucket without having done this. 

Thirty years ago this month I recorded a one-hour lecture in a Hollywood studio. When that day ended, I felt that I had done what I came here to do. I had been given a gift, and this was a way that I could share it with others.

I had been teaching this theory about the innate differences between men and women for quite awhile. At that time there was not a women’s section or a relationship’s section in public libraries. There were very few audio books in 1981. But I felt that my depth of understanding the subject and my broadcasting background would make a recorded message the best way to go.

It’s a timely message, just as true today as it was then, and has always been. I still have the original reel-to-reel version; I have cassette tapes; and now I have it on CD’s. What’s next? The inevitable. I aim to upload it onto the internet. This time the title will reveal what this is really about. It’s about, “What Women Don’t Know About Men.” And that, of course, is because of what women don’t know about women.

So if anybody knows how to go about uploading an audio message where people will find it, please let me know. I really want to wrap this thing up. As good as it is, I’m tired of it.

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Yep, I’ve done it again – partied for a week.  This indulgence all started with my 80th birthday back in 2006. Some of you will remember a three-day party at a beach house near where I live.  It was such a smashing success that we can’t help but trying to replay it.

That year, on my actual birthday, we all dressed up and went to the Mendocino Hotel for a no host party. In other words, the whole event was Dutch Treat. Everybody bought their own drinks. Whenever anyone got hungry they ordered from an adequate bar menu and somebody brought it to their table. No getting ready for a party. No cleaning up after a party. Just being together.

So we did that again this year on my actual birthday, March 22nd. Since friends started arriving in town four days before that, and kept coming and going for days, the hotel gathering was very small but it was wonderful. I had TWO martinis, just to see if I could, and came home feeling that this really is the best way to “throw a party”.

I thought that that was it … but no.  When I went to work Thursday there was this gigantic cake (about 2 x 3 feet in actual size) and I learned that all the local Realtors had been invited to an Open House for ME. And on and on until Sunday night. Sunday afternoon I made my first appearance at a local bookstore and read from “Getting Lucky at Eighty” and then my buddy Michelle took me out to supper.

Monday I stayed home all day and slept.

Frankly, I was much happier being 84 than I am being 85. Silly as that sounds, I really mean it. Aren’t we wierd creatures though?  At 45 I felt sad that I was not who and where I wanted to be. By 60, I’d found me and took this “vow”. I will prefece every decision with: If I knew that I only had one year to live, would I do this?

I recommend that you adopt that habit no matter how old you are. It has saved me from all but two major decisions … when I forgot to ask my self the question .

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Seldom do I ever complain. That’s because I’ve never had it so good and I never for a moment forget that. But this week has been a bummer–a real bummer.

My kindred-soul grandson, who’s serving in the Air Force, returned just a year ago from Iraq. He’s married and has two children. They have just closed escrow on their first home near his new base in New Mexico, and he’s being deployed.

He has already been to every continent on the globe since joining the Air Force fresh out of high school to follow in his father’s footsteps. He’s thirty.

Now, they’ve decided that he is needed in Afghanistan; this time apparently they need thousands more foot soldiers. I guess you’d have to be in my shoes to imagine how much I resent their making a foot soldier out of a patriotic, high-achiever like S.Sgt. Dustin Lawrence. Every parent must be sickened at the thought of their son or daughter being considered just another number among countless thousands being sent to this God-forsaken place. Just the sight of it on TV brings tears to my eyes. What are we doing there?

As much as I love Dustin and want good for his precious little family, I was unable to call to say good-bye. It was just too much to ask of me. Trying to think of one single thing to say that might help either of us in any way, knowing that my being opposed to this war could not be concealed, I could not call. Of course I am proud of him; of all of them. Still, it’s been the worst week I can remember.

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When I was a kid getting to ride in a car was a pretty special treat. Whatever it is that’s special about it has never gone away. And like a lot of other things, my appreciation for the automobile is not only still there but seems to intensify as the years go by.

During some of the tough years, I would sometimes get through the tough times by thinking about  hopping into my car and just driving and driving and driving. Many times I would wish that I would never have to come back, but, of course, I did; I was a mother.

Last weekend I invited a friend to join me and we met my younger daughter, Erin, half way for an overnight in Eureka. These meetings are practically harmless except that we’re shopping freaks and have excellent taste in food.  We had two memorable meals together, found great bargains, and Michelle and I laughed about having another Thelma and Louise experience.

But the best part of all was the drive home. If you’ve never been to northern California, you can’t know how much beauty there is to be taken in when you hit the road to go somewhere–anywhere. Highway 101 from Eureka south to Leggett is no exception, especially now that they’ve opened up that new four-lane cut off where there used to be an on-going rock slide threat.

I swear it felt like flying. My little Sebring is a fun car to drive at worst and on this trip home it seemed to take wings. The cruise control was set, there was no  sound, and not a bleep in the pavement that I could feel. What a joy. What a blessing to be able to feel so much joy, to be sharing it with a friend, to have a home to go to, to be a spoiled brat American and over eighty. Thank you, God.

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After pulling on my warm gloves and taking one last look into the mirror to make sure my wool cap was covering both ears, I reached for the door.

Although the calendar says that it’s early fall, it will be cold out there. My eyes met their reflection in the mirror and those eyes asked me to take a long, deep look into the motivation behind what I was about to do? I was leaving the warmth and comfort of my peaceful home to participate in an attempt to “demand” settlement of the conflict in the Middle East, to stop a war, to rid the world of terrorism.

I had never actually seen a public demonstration before leave alone been a part of one. But I know this is something people do when they want desperately to change something that seems beyond their capacity to change, when they feel utterly helpless as to what to do about it.

And that describes what I am feeling. I have never for a moment questioned the sincerity or the intentions behind a public demonstration. But my reflection in the mirror was questioning me now.

It wanted to know, if  hidden behind my longing for peace, there may be some anger within my own heart? If my ego is, in some way, seeking gratification by publicly pronouncing my objection to what is nothing more and nothing less than group anger—people warring against other people?

Am I subjecting myself this night to anger magnification by participating in the emotion of a group? We all know that anger feeds upon anger and that both war and terrorism are consequences. Is there a more effective way?

If we believe that gathering together for a common cause, publicly demonstrating our objection, and bearing banners can actually have a positive effect on a situation, can we take a look at the larger picture as well? Are we aware of the message that the demonstration itself sends forth? Are we perpetuating separation rather than the very peace and unity we proclaim?

Aren’t we saying, “We’re over here and you’re over there”; “We’re right so you must be wrong”? It seems to me that nothing is ever so black or white as all that; that we can agree with a principle while disagreeing with what needs to be done about it.

It was a wise person who said, “Of course, love is the answer. What’s the question?”

Maybe love can overcome the anger, the fear, and especially the ignorance that drives people to rise up against other people. Maybe if there were enough love, neither war nor terrorism could exist.

I closed the door, removed my protective gloves and my wool cap.  I built a fire in my fireplace and sat down in my favorite chair.  After taking some deep breaths and growing very still, I summoned up my capacity to feel love and gratitude.  And then I imaged a hate-filled terrorist kneeling before me, pleading for understanding, and I embraced him in this beautiful feeling that was consuming me.  I was at peace and was reminded once again that peace has to begin with me.

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Nowhere is it written that you have to go to a doctor. It’s never been mandatory; it’s a choice that we make. People have lived to a ripe old age who have never been in a doctor’s office. I have to admit that for me, life would have ended at 30, at 50, and again at 76 except for a doctor’s intervention and immediate surgery.

But because it is my choice to go to a doctor in the first place, I wonder why I have the right to sue the doctor should he/she do a less than perfect job? Law suits are, after all, at the root of today’s exhorbitant medical costs. I knew a Japanese gardener who was married to a doctor. His entire earnings for all that hard work barely paid his wife’s malpractice insurance each month.

Maybe suing a doctor should be limited to getting a refund for  the actual expenses incurred instead of expecting to “never have to work another day.” Maybe it’s time for us all to start living a little more responsibly, to stop mistreating our bodies and looking to doctors to fix it.

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That’s why Nancy gave up nursing. After years of working at hospitals, she could no longer tolerate watching vain efforts to revive, rescussitate, or further diagnose teminally ill patients.

It was one thing if there was the slimest chance that the patient might live. Quite another when the poking, probing and gurney rides to take another test were making the patient miserable. 

Nancy could no longer bear to see frail, old people who were trying to die being dragged from their beds and taken for yet another X-ray or another MRI.

If people have the right to live, why shouldn’t they have the right to die? No amount of denial will change the fact that the human body is not going to live forever. It’s going to die. The person in that body may very well know when that time has come. 

Does anyone have the right to interfere with that process? Nancy didn’t think so. Neither do I.

My Do Not Recussitate order is in place. Right now I consider that  correct and even partiotic. Keeping people alive who are ready to die, gobbles up most of the insurance money paid out each year. I hope none of it prolongs my life when I’m ready to go.

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Four kids was the magic number. Everybody born in the 1920’s wanted to have four kids. That was because so many of our generation had been only children. They felt cheated that they didn’t have brothers and sisters.

That had never happened before–that only child thing. Women’s liberation really came about when women had a contraceptive for the first time, you know.  That’s why they called that whole era “the roaring twenties.” (The device was made of gold and was called a pessary. It’s now plastic and called an IUD. The pill came later.)

It would not surprise me to learn that “the universe” now questions whether it was maybe too soon to turn loose those unprepared young women.

The first thing they did with their emancipation was to almost turn their backs on feminity and begin to emulate men. They’ve taken that about as far as it could go. Now we’re seeing signs of a return to balance.  

Take, for example, “Dancing With the Stars” surprising success. I think it’s symbolic. It’s a beautiful thing to watch men and women dancing together again.

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When you’re 83, everybody on Earth is a kid – by comparison.  Furthermore, you can call anybody anything you like when you’re over eighty. No rule book has ever been written for people with that particular claim to fame. Nor am I proposing to write one.

I’m sitting here at my beloved Vaio, in the picture window of my glorious yard, with the fascinating challenge of introducing you, the younger reader, to what it’s like to be over eighty. Hang with me, and you’ll begin to look forward to it.

I have a particular kind of love for the whole baby-boomer generation – being wholely responsible for bringing four of them into existance. Well, OK, I was impregnated by their father. Yep, the same man for all four. That was acceptable, if not expected, “back then.”

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