Sunday, August 30, 2009

Reflections on Second Weddings

I have thought about my ex-husband's weddings. The vows that were taken at our wedding were that we would "love" each other but have no commitment. These new vows are that even though we may hurt each other we don't mean to. Interesting.

The assumption that one is loved no matter what the other does and the assumption that no matter how hurtful you are to the other they should always know you don't mean it? Interesting. I wonder how many hurts it takes to have this mean absolutely nothing.

This life path is the same as his father's-- spend the first part of your life working out your own frailties, trying to control your spouse, and (intentionally or unintentionally) demoralize the mother of your children until she gives up and then choose someone else to live out the rest of your life with when you have learned what hurts a companion and don't want to do that anymore. Interesting.

How long until women recognize this pattern and stop participating?

That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I saw John Lennon today

I saw John Lennon today, long gone, but still in the ghosts of the video tape. His "bed in" caused quite a stir. The message was "give peace a chance". I have listened to the churches preach "love one another" and the golden rule "do unto others as you would have them do to you" and many more like statements.

I find myself in a quandary. The only way these things work is if everyone does it. Just one person not thinking of others needs, just one person finding that hitting or yelling gets their way no matter if it is good or not, just one person taking advantage of others and the whole "Peace" thing goes up in smoke unless. . .there is something in place that holds them accountable.

Tolerance is fine until someone takes advantage of the tolerance of others. Patience is fine unless someone keeps blocking progress on purpose. Forgiveness is fine until someone repeats the offence until there is no more room for forgiveness. Loving(emotionally) is not enough, but caring what happens to them and being willing to do something about the difficulties they face is another. Words are not enough.

Love, Peace, Tolerance, Forgiveness, Patience, Acceptance, Openness-- All really good words, but there are actions, parameters, and accountability in these words. If not, then there is abuse. Where there is abuse there is disillusion. Where there is disillusion there is disappointment. Where there is disappointment there is discouragement. Where there is discouragement there is depression and at the end there is resentment that causes unloving, un-peaceful, unforgiving, intolerant acts. Then all is in smoke.

We can not afford health care for all but we can spend billions in Afghanistan to stabilize their country. We can send a probe to Pluto, but not give all our citizens secure banking. We can spend millions on entertaining movies, but not for keeping our public parks in order and the list goes on and on and on. . . . . . . . . .

What is wrong with this picture? Peace will only come when we want to take care of each other and stop getting what we think we need despite what it does to others and our planet. Who does this start with? Well, you decide. John said we could do it if we try. I have become a bit cynical. Who wants to try anymore?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Note from beyond from Ruthie

My mother passed away almost 7 years ago. Today I was cleaning out the garage and found yet another note from my mom.

Who's Name? Mine?
By Ruthie written February 2, 1995

Until I was 65 years old I thought I was named after my God Father's wife, Ruth Morris, my mother's matron of honor and wife of my Dad's friend and best man, Governor Morris, the writer. She was an actress of some repute. My mother told me she was very beautiful. I didn't know my mother's younger sister had claimed the name Ruth for her middle name. For years I basked in the lime light of the talented actress, now I had to adjust to "You were named after me!" from my abstinent Aunt Aldine "Ruth" Henriques Young. I am glad I didn't know this until this stage of my life.

My birth certificate reads: Ruth Underwood Brown-- the Underwood after my Grandmother Brown's family and my father's middle name. Mother used to tell me my Grandmother Brown wanted me to be named after Great Aunt Matilda, but they didn't think "Tilly" was a suitable name for their daughter, but Ruthie stuck. Those who knew me well called me Ruthie--my Aunt Aurora called me Ruthie until the day she died at 91 years young.

I was Ruth Underwood Brown until I was a little past 2 when in the baptismal font in St Patrick's Church in San Jose I became Ruth Marie Brown. I remember the glow of the stained glass window and my Aunt Aurora holding me.

Somewhere in recent years I became just Ruth. Where Ruthie was a term of endearment, Ruth gives deference to my years and status of Great Grandmother.

I have always liked my name. It is easy to spell, easy to pronounce, holds some dignity, and rhymes with Truth.

So, Ruth Underwood Brown changed to Ruth Marie Brown in 1927. My named changed again in 1944 at the Navy Chapel in Corpus Christi, Texas to Ruth Marie Brown Byles. Then Ruth Marie Brown Byles Becker has been on my driver's license since 1980.

I read a tribute my God Father wrote for his Ruth when she died and felt proud to have been named for such a person. My Aunt Aldine lived to 91 years old with Ruth as her middle name. She was determined, stubborn and fought for her way throughout her life. According to the New Dictionary of the English Language (1925) the name Ruth, of biblical derivation means Beauty. The two people who held my name were examples of strength and beauty. My wish is somehow the legacy of "this" Ruth will have been to show the beauty around us in trivial and everyday things and people.

And she did!


Wednesday, Aug 12, makes 7 years of this different life. I know that our bodies change all the cells in it on a 7 year cycle, so I am a completely different person than I was when I got here. Except the ends of my hair which I decided not to cut because there must be a little left of the past.

It has changed my perspective to realize this. I am not sure why but it has and I feel different.

We will see what the next 7 years brings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

a voice in the wind

I have been talking to 4 teachers, an art teacher in private school, a Spanish teacher and a third grade teacher in public school and a home school teacher. These four people are working very hard to educate our children, but have major problems with the way things are going right now.

I wonder if they have thought of this?

Did you ever think that the state of public education was deliberate?

In the 1950's there was a push for better education. Children were taught to think for themselves and learn what they could with enthusiasm, self discipline and order. But in the 60's after the Viet Nam War protests and the civil rights demonstrations things changed. Those who were in power saw that an educated public, especially young people, would march in the streets for what they perceived is right.

This is how they choose to combat this civil unrest:

1. Slowly dumb down the books that are required for the young to learn from, removing as much of the meanings as possible and have children learn meaningless facts.

2 Listen to the uneducated and allow them to dilute the professions by giving them special dispensation because they did not know what was required (no matter what the reason).

3. Require that the higher forms of English not be used In fact don't require English at all.

4. Require educated folks to step down the language they use to the level of the majority rather than keeping up a higher standard of communication.

5. Require that all written forms be in short sentences limited to less than 10 words, use common words not more accurate words, no use of colons, semi-colons, dashes, even descriptive commas, like this, should be discouraged. This will keep the young from understanding even the basics of our nation's written documents because they will not be able to read the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.

6. Stop teaching civics, parliamentary procedure or orderly assembly, because if they learned these they would have a means of dealing with their dissatisfaction with the government thus the civil unrest that is to be avoided at all costs.

7. Promote radio, television, and other media that will accomplish the demoralization, desensitization and destruction of self esteem by subsidizing businesses that promote these aims.

8. Discredit, as much as possible, the older generation so the young feel they know better. Especially make them feel that wrinkles, yellowing teeth, and a bit of flab are signs of dementia.

9. Then, and this is the kicker, set up in the educational process for what you want workers, not citizens, to know.

10. Define a job list that has dignity and prestige attached to it, making sure that things that would care for the people are eliminated. Even though we need some of the jobs that have been discouraged like mothering, making your own shoes and clothing or growing, preserving, and cooking your own food, Thus making us all passive, fat, self riotous consumers rather than intelligent thoughtful customers.

Haven't they done a good job!? Can you look at an ad for a younger you or see a protest about not getting what you deserve rather than what you have earned without feeling bad about somebody?

Young people don't vote--they think there is no hope--they are afraid of strangers and are not willing to stop their neighbor's cat from dumping in their garden-- they don't feel they will be as well off as their parents( who are old, demented and were dumb anyway)--and they hate themselves, their appearance, their frailties and want to change noses, tattoo their bodies, and use wrinkle cream and teeth whitener at 20.

And we wonder why they don't participate! They don't even know they can!

Don't let them do this to any young person you have charge of!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stuffed Pork Loin/ Flank Stake

Cut a 3 lb Pork loin roast out to be one inch thick and 12 inches long.
Filling: Saute in 2 tbls butter--chopped 5 large mushrooms, one head of garlic sliced thin, and season them with 1 tablespoon 5 spice powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Let cool.
Spread on open roast then roll and tie to keep in place
Cook in a 325o oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Let stand covered for 15-20 minutes to set juices

Serve with sweet potato, green beans and applesauce.

Flank Steak roll

Filling: Mushrooms, onions and thyme.
Bake 325o until 135o in center. Let stand covered 15- 20 minutes to set juices.
might be good Served with Mashed potatoes, zucchini-yellow squash-onion steamed.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Build, Build, Build

If a contractor came upon a prime located property, just what he wanted for a building he had in his mind. Perfect, except that it had been an old creosote factory, and now was used as a dump for unwanted furniture, trash, a few old cars, and smelled to high heaven. And, this same property was a swamp full of dead trees rotting vegetation and filth. And, it also had been a depository for dead cows from the local farms and chicken manure and all manure of farm waste. Even to see what this land could be he had to overlook all the filth! But, he was a great contractor and could see right past it to the finished building, eco friendly, green roof, undisturbed wet land--everything.

What would he do?

Would he complain about the unknown people who had dumped their unwanted trash, find the farmers that had dumped the dead animals and complain about the way the property had been misused and neglected? Perhaps, but most likely if he really wanted to build his dream on this property he would negotiate with the city to clean up the property for tax relief, and dumping rights in the city waste disposal. He would get his contractors in to clean up and clear the land, properly dispose of the filth and animal remains and cut down and recycle the trees, clean up and plan around the wet spots, drill holes for pylon supports and plot out what the new building would look like right there.

It would be a waste of time and would not get the property fixed for the contractor to complain or even recite what was wrong with the property other than to find folks to clean it up.

He would build, build, build!

Too much time is spent reciting what is wrong.

See, plan, build, build, build!

It is the way to get things done.