Yours truly in pink scarf...pottery displays some of the things I made this year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On Aging

From Ram Dass on Aging.  Please click and read a few paragraphs of his words.

Embracing Aging within Society (Ram Dass)

Among other thoughts, he says:
we’ve ended up where we have alienated ourselves across generations instead of embracing ourselves across our society of course, where technology moves so fast we get outdated, so that the question of what wisdom elders have that is useful... and I realize now that I already can't talk the language of my friend’s twelve-year-old son and you know I moved from a typewriter to a computer..
 Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass, has been an elder who I've listened to for about 40 years of my life....ever since reading his Be Here Now.  His teachings reflect those that were taught to him by his guru.  I chased the idea of having a guru for years.  After all, the Beatles had one.

Funny how I would be interested in the spiritual pursuits of a rock group.  But that shows just what Ram Dass is saying about how we look for wisdom in our culture of promoting youth and the glitz of showmanship, whether in the music industry or Hollywood.  Since when does a spiritual message come from those sources, I now ponder.  He did teach me to look to spiritual wisdom from those who were were seriously working on themselves, if I couldn't find the words of the "Masters"

So I read blogs these days.  They are another great way to share between like-minded friendly (mostly) people on topics that range all over the place.

And I pass along the wisdom in little bytes on Facebook everyday.  Some even gets clipped and shared here with you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tea Party History

First let's look a this reprint from last year...worth noting I think.

The coffee insurgency:

The global rivalry of bean versus leaf

"EXACTLY 240 years ago today, (241 in 2014) uppity colonists barely disguised as Mohawk Indians defied the crown and ruined the private property of English merchants by dumping 342 chests of perfectly good tea into Boston harbour."

(See my post about the Edenton NC Tea Party held in October 1774, led by 

"This illegal act, known as the Boston Tea Party, was part of a small rebellion that eventually led to independence and to today's Tea Party movement. Americans now quaff three times more coffee than tea, according to Euromonitor, a research firm. 

"Throughout most of the West, the bean bests the leaf. Yet the British consume three times as much tea as coffee, despite an invasion by the American Starbucks. And tea fuels the fast growth of BRICS countries (save for coffee-producing Brazil) and dominates Asia."


So do you know what the BRICS countries are?  I didn't.  Wikipedia told me.

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.[2] The grouping was originally known as "BRIC" before the inclusion of South Africa in 2011.

Now abuot the current TEA PARTY movement of the Republican Party...

The Tea Party movement is composed of a loose affiliation of national and local groups that determine their own platforms and agendas without central leadership. The Tea Party movement has been cited as an example of grassroots political activity, although it has also been described as an example of corporate-funded astroturfing. Other observers see the organization as having its grassroots element "amplified by the right-wing media", supported by elite funding.
 It is...
... known for its conservative positions and its role in the Republican Party ("GOP"). It demands a reduction in the U.S. national debt and federal budget deficit by reducing government spending and taxes. The movement has been described a mix of libertarian, populist, and conservative activists. It has sponsored multiple protests and supported various political candidates since 2009. It was successful in 2010, when the Republicans made major gains. It failed to defeat President Barack Obama's reelection in 2012. In 2013 it had escalating conflicts with the big business wing of the GOP, which began organizing to fight back.
"The movement's beginnings were kick-started by Republican Congressman Dr. Ron Paul in 2007. He continues to be a prominent force in the Tea Party movement, such as endorsing Tea party candidates, and also giving talks and speeches alongside prominent Tea party activist, and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin
 "National Tea Party organizations, such as the Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks, have expressed concern that engaging in social issues would be divisive. Instead, they have sought to have activists focus their efforts away from social issues and focus on economic and limited government issues. Still, many groups like Glenn Beck's 9/12 Tea Parties,, the Iowa Tea Party and Delaware Patriot Organizations do act on social issues such as abortion, gun control, prayer in schools, and illegal immigration.

And if you didn't follow the elections of 2014, or didn't may have missed the chance for our government to be able to accomplish anything in the next 2 years...with a Democrat for President and the total Congress in the hands of Republicans.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Family stories

A long lost second cousin of mine, from San Antonio TX, contacted me when I wrote of our great grandfather we have in common, Charles Herman Miller.

Leslie said she had belonged to Ancestry in the past, and not at this time.  Her grandmother was Rowena Eugenia Miller Rogers.  My grandmother was Mozelle Booth Miller Webb Munhall, sisters.

I loved hearing from Leslie about our g-grandfather, Charles Herman Miller.  She's pretty sure he stowed away on a ship from Germany as a teen to come into the US.  That sure explains a lot of the mistakes in his various census reports as to when he arrived, how old he was, etc.

So I hope she has some more stories to tell.  I won't need to see photos of the graves, since Ancestry usually gives the connecting links to Find-A-Grave sites for people.

But the stories about our actual ancestors, the things that happened that aren't on papers, I can't wait!

Friday, December 12, 2014 Virgin?

If your world was suddenly turned upside down, say there were some strong and powerful people who conquered your culture and made you start to follow their rituals...then you might find that you would continue the traditions of your old culture in secret, and try to blend them into the newer rituals that were required.

After a while, the old ways would have died with the old peoples...a thing that used to happen more frequently, but now that we elders live longer, the memories are there longer.

Here's a great link to the tale of Tonantzin, who became absorbed into the Virgin of Guadalupe.

It was 1531 when Spaniards told indigenous people who lived in Mexico that they must become part of the new culture.

But today there are still Mexicans of indigenous descent who know Tonantzin's story.

Last year I also posted on Dec 12 about Tonantzin.  If you want more information look HERE>

Look into the cultures of your own heritage...does your family continue a tradition that was handed down in the family, rather than according to the media?  Perhaps favorite holiday foods...decorations, or opening presents on Hanukkah or Christmas Eve?

 I really miss having Christmas morning peeks at presents, though I've moved away from many of the rituals of celebrating Christmas itself.

Have Christmas cards become unimportant with daily instant contact through the internet and via cell phones.  But that's because "snail mail" represents just certain kinds of paper in the mail box now, which seldom includes chatty letters.  Did you ever wait eagerly to hear from someone, so whenever that mailman came there was such anticipation?

 I'm sharing this on Sepia Saturday this week, not at all on theme!  Sorry about that!  Maybe next week.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Acting my age...

"It's not Wednesday, so you can't have the Senior Discount that is only offered on Wednesday..." the young man checking my groceries said kindly.

"Oh, but I just had a Senior Moment.  Actually the whole time I was in the store I shopped thinking of that wonderful discount.  I wouldn't have purchased as much if I didn't think I had it."

Life's embarrassing, and expensive moments.

I was obviously in a spending mood, but not much spending.  Purchased some wrapping materials for my projects to go to my family next week.  Then stopped for some more food, than I'd already purchased earlier this week.  There was something special to get at this store on Wednesday (which I missed).  But I also forgot completely what special item that store had in order to purchase it.

So I got some of the goodies I like there, which are already discounted.

And I must share what I'm happily enjoying right now, some Gaelic Ale by Highland Brewing Co.  I had some before Thanksgiving, but it's long gone.  We shall see how long this is around.  I don't really like to drink wine, but love one beer either before bed, or before dinner, or after dinner, or in the afternoon...or whenever.

So I may not have all my marbles in the sack any more, but I'm happy.  The oven is full of my special mushroom noodle casserole.  The toaster oven has some Talipia ready to broil...or I guess I could just slide it into the big oven.  Oh my...what a smart idea I just had, didn't I?   I did forget to put the spinach in with the noodles it will be a side dish.

What me worry?  (Five stars if you know who I'm quoting.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Divine Feminine

More photos from this program will be published at my new blog....Pagans and Goddesses soon!
Susa Silvermarie
I'm am so pleased to have talented friends who put on a great program of poetry and music last Sunday.
Annelinde (Linda) Metzner
I mentioned it here on another of my blogs.

Linda and Susa both write poetry, and are published in the 2015 WeMoon calendars.  That's why the cover was posted, as they sold both wall and spiral bound forms of these calendars during intermission.

Susa Silvermarie, Annelinde Metzner and Kim Hughes
These are some of the photos I took of the performance.
Kim's singing was truly wonderful

Linda composed the music which Kim sang, and recited poems she wrote also
Susa's poetry included her dramatic gestures

Intermission included lovely snacks with proceeds to benefit the church in which the event was held.
The program about the Divine Feminine attracted many woman and a few men.  Shelly speaks with Kim during intermission.
Nels Arnold and Susa had a discussion
Three talented women who inspired the audience!
Thank you so much dear powerful, beautiful, goddessing women!  The photos are available in higher resolution by request from blackmtnbarb AT gmail DOT com...just email me!

Monday, December 8, 2014

That Protestant work ethic

Last night was the deadline to sign up for a Medicare plan for next year.
At least I hope the deadline was midnight...I only know the date.

So being a work before pleasure kind of woman...raised the proper way you know...I had to do that work before I could relax.

It wasn't easy, and I had notes and spread sheets comparing annual cost of doctors and drugs.  I finally decided, and then said, no let's look a bit further...what if I did that...

Then I was fed up with the whole thing.  Which tells me I'd better make a decision and just live with it.  The lessor evil.  None of the plans will give me my drugs, doctors visits and physical therapy at a reasonable cost that is like the last 7 years of my retirement.

They all will cost me more.  And in case you missed it, my cost of living increase in Social Security is a paltry 1.7% this year.

I would love to get 1.7% increase of a congressman's salary.   That would see me in great comfort all year long.  They are the ones who voted to give all us retired people that strange number to match the basically thousands of percents increase over nothing for drug beyond the cost of Medicare (last year) to now paying a monthly premium on top of the basic cost of Medicare.  I am not grateful for the way our elected representatives think they are saving someone money.  It's sure not me.

So the rich get richer.

The poor don't get as good of medical care (did they ever?) but have learned the values in their lives are not based upon dollars or material possessions. 

The things that are most worth-while in life haven't got a price tag on them. 

I'll be posting about the wonderful afternoon I had yesterday, which left me feeling really good and inspired!