Wednesday, October 30, 2013



Late in the afternoon at the local box store which sells groceries, I noticed a bit of crankiness and short tempers. I observed this while pushing my cart along the aisle of cat litter; it also has pet toys and pet medicines. I love this particular brand of cat litter, clumps nicely, but refuse to clip the coupons because that would be measuring my life in cat crap. I simply won’t do it. Well, I don’t know if it is products located there, but people are testy along this aisle.

The aisle is so narrow that you can barely pass another cart going the opposite direction. There is clearance of maybe inch or inch and half. To add to this if there is any restocking going on then the cart and boxes carrying these goods will have to be avoided as you navigate. You can be in the position of trying to pass one of these carts, full of boxes of cat litter, and not be able to do it because you have been blocked by the restocking activity. You can wreck if there is another cart coming forcefully toward you going in the opposite direction.

But the event I call your attention to occurred when I exited the aisle and left the stocking of cat litter behind. When I exited, I was rammed by the cart of another lady coming out of the cleaning products aisle on my left and one of those electric cart thingys coming out of the stationary aisle on my right. Picture it if you can. A crash in the space that used to be a central aisle but now is not wide enough to be a central anything. The cart drivers were very cranky. I was the victim of a perfect case of shopping cart rage.

There was no stopping to check for injuries just frowns and glares as those impeded by my basket sought to clear the way for their advance. What has happened to our society? When did we get so cross that we must crash our basket aggressively while we study our list?


Wednesday, October 23, 2013



I love the weather radar Doppler whatever. It gives all of the details about where the storm is originating and where it will head. Who is in its path and what they need to do. Much better than my childhood years of sitting in the hall closet with my mother while she smoked, and then opening the closet door and peeking around the corner at the TV. We would let the smoke out of the closet while trying to get an idea about where the storm was going to go.

Historically we were not as prepared for the storms as we are now. Even with our current preparedness we still have awful tragedies and terrible personal losses. We need to continue our research and refine our instruments. It is the collective will and our collective resources that has developed this new warning system that works for us. We have to continue to do all that we can do to avoid the death and destruction of these huge storm systems.

I might still find myself sitting in the hall closet opening the door to check the TV for the storm’s location, but there is no smoke now. No smoke is a wonderful improvement as I peek around the corner at the dopplar spinning to see if it is in my neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013



I consider my privacy fence a blank palate. I love to hang objects on it that enhance the plantings beneath them. Nothing is better for this than the Jamaican Metal Art. I have purchased this art at my church’s international market in the fall. I have used the website of to order it, and I have ordered it from a clearing house in Jamaica by googling Jamaican Metal Art and finding something I like.

The artists in Jamaica use oil drums to make their sculptures. Drums washed upon theirs shores during and after World War II. So the artists took a hammer, and awls, hoping it is not just a nail, and pounded out some of the loveliest things I have hanging on by garden fence. I have beautiful angels on my garden gates guarding the entrances to my little Eden. Along the fence on the east side, I have a tree of life, a sun, and a calypso band of women adding to the beauty of the plants below them.

Everyone has their own style. A unique style dictates individual pieces of art hanging on the fence and other objects place around the plantings. I have worked long and hard on my sanctuary. I would encourage you to decorate your quiet reflective place, and consider some of the pieces of Jamaican Metal Art.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013



I just purchased a bottle of tarnish remover for sterling silver. I hate it when my earrings start to lose their shine. I am now at the table reading the terrifying label for this product. The warning on the label reads: “Warning: This product contains thiourea, a chemical know to the state of California to cause cancer.”

This statement brings so many questions to mind. Do other states know? I feel pretty sure that if it causes cancer in California it will also cause cancer in Oklahoma. Why define a carcinogen so strangely? Is there something unique about California cancers?

Where do we go to discuss the idiocy of the labeling process?

To my knowledge cancer does not know geography. This product is distributed by a company based in Skokie, IL. Does it cause cancer in Illinois from where it is shipped? Who is regulating the information on this label? I would like to think that some inspector somewhere is looking out for the safety of the consumer who goes to buy silver polish or tarnish remover, but I am afraid that is not the case. Just look at the label.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013



I spent thirty years in the South training for the rest of the world. The South has its own perspective on things. Everything is seasonal, forget the scripture about planting and sowing, I am talking about lawn mowers and children’s toys.

I moved to the South with a child of two who had a birthday in July during lawn mower season. Not a toy to be had in a small southern town before the days of the huge box stores. You bought your housewares in spring around Mother’s Day. Forget wanting to purchase a broom in November, that’s holiday season, toys and ornaments.

I learned about this phenomenon the hard way. I wanted to make raisin bread in June. I gathered the ingredients. No raisins. Can’t make raisin bread without raisins, what would be the point. I went to the store and looked in the baking aisle, I looked in the fruit aisle, and I asked the manager of the store.

“Do you have any raisins?”

“Lady, ya have to buy your raisins during raisin season.”

“When is raisin season? I thought they dried them so I could have them year round.”

“Raisin season is in the fall when everyone does their holiday baking.”

There you go. Enjoy raisin season. It is coming upon us.