Not Even a Novice

I enjoy games like Sudoku and Scrabble—games where you need to use your smarts. I have the apps on my iPad, so if I have a few minutes with nothing to do….

A game I’d wanted to learn was chess. I had no idea, but Mom had wanted to learn too. Currently, that’s what we’re trying to do. She is definitely better than me, but we are both neophytes. We play after dinner, when I am in bed just watching TV before I go to sleep on the app Chess.com. That way, we can play each other as friends.

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We definitely have more to learn, me especially.

But if you want to learn, I recommend start with the app ChessKids. It’s literally teaching chess to kids. It’s in layman’s terms and starts with the very basics; what the pieces are, for example.

It feels ironic giving advice, but I guess if I’ve inspired you, we can learn together.

Halloween Is For Kids

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There are two things that fall is known for. The first is today; rather, tonight. As a kid, Halloween was so much fun. We, or Dad, made our costumes from the American Girl magazine costume ideas. Just this morning he was complaining what a pain it was and I told him to quit playing coy—he knows he loved every minute of it.

But a fun holiday for kids—with Casper the Friendly Ghost and little boys dressed as Superman—turned ghoulish when adults started celebrating as much or more than kids. Now instead of ghosts and goblins you have zombies and gore. My mom likes those baking challenges on Food Network. I tried watching the Halloween one, but the channel was quickly changed. Typical of the holiday these days, the amount of blood and guts rivaled that of an operating room!

I remember being on candy patrol when I got too old to go trick-or-treating. Seeing the teenagers begging for candy was my Halloween pet peeve, but I didn’t dare not give them candy—they could have taken me on!

I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re old enough to trick-or-treat by yourself, you’re too old to celebrate Halloween.

I Remember…

In ‘96/’97 life was so simple! I was in eighth grade, just entering high school, beginning to receive more freedom.

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There was a soundtrack to this era: Hanson!! Think long hair and Mmmbop. I expect readers around my age (34) will know who I’m talking about. Well, last night my sister, Sarah, and I were lucky enough to attend their concert at The House of Blues in Anaheim.

Hanson was pretty much the original boy band—three brothers—and it was pre- ‘Nsync, pre-Backstreet Boys. The concert got eye rolls from the rest of my family and we even invited my youngest sister; I believe that got the biggest eye roll and pleasant (sort of) decline. It’s okay; she just hasn’t been enlightened to good music.

What’s scary is this is Hanson’s 25th anniversary tour. When I first got the CD (!!!) I was completely able bodied, and their hair was to their shoulders. Now I’m in a wheelchair, and the brothers have short hair. I guess it proves twenty five years is a long time. There’s bound to be some sort of change in a quarter century.

Well Done, Governor! (Insert Clapping Hand Emoji Here)

I wouldn’t say I’m a full Republican. But not Democrat either. I guess you could call me Republicanish. The issues that bother me are abortion and stem cells. For abortion, I hate the idea of it, but why should the government tell a woman what to do with her body? As for stem cells, they are the best hope for a cure for me. And not just me; probably millions of people around the country. How could anyone be against that?

But it doesn’t matter how I vote when I live in California, one of the most liberal states, because it’s as if my vote doesn’t count. Oh well, I do vote, and that’s all I can do.

But on Facebook I saw an article about a law Governor Jerry Brown, a true liberal, signed that I actually wholeheartedly agree with. I absolutely hate the ASPCA commercials around Christmas of the cats (although I’m not a cat fan) and dogs in puppy mills and, I guess, “kitty” mills.

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According to KTLA news, all pets sold in pet stores need to come from some sort of rescue shelter in a law that takes effect in 2019. There will be a $500 fine per pet sold for stores who haven’t succumbed to the law. The new law will solve two problems: it won’t give puppy mills any more business, and it will give pets who need homes a loving family.

 

California is the first state with this law, but I truly hope others will follow suit. As an animal lover, I have to say GOOD JOB GOVERNER BROWN!! Even if he is a democrat!

Ok, It Wasn’t That Bad

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I went to a local community college. Though probably fifteen or more years ago, I still remember my first class: Children’s Literature 101. I love remembering the younger me who read The Boxcar Children, Ellen Tebbits, Nancy Drew, and the like.

I hoped we would have to read the books of my youth in class, although my eyes have a hard time tracking if a book isn’t enlarged, and the Kindle was still a few years away, so I got audio books. No; the first book was one I’d heard of, but didn’t have the slightest desire to read, or listen to. I saw the picture on the box of CDs: a boy with a wand and a cloak. I was filled with doom. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Have I mentioned how much I hate fantasy? Worst of all, it was a huge box, probably containing eight CDs.

I’m an optimist, often to a fault. How bad could it be? Listening to a story about the orphan with magical powers. I kept thinking how the book wasn’t so bad. Okay, I survived! Though it’s not my favorite book, probably not even in the top 50, but it was definitely not what I was expecting. It’s corny, but I guess things—even fantasy books—deserve a chance.

Pippa’s Time of Peace and Quiet

Although we get along now and I have no idea what I would do without them, my younger sisters were sure pains as kids. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this opinion. Sure, you love them, but enough is enough sometimes.

You met Henry, my son. We also have Pippa, an extremely sweet, gentle, PATIENT—I don’t like the word mutt, so mixed breed. You would think she was Henry’s mother the way she takes care of him. The two even share a bed, napping, of course, up against the other. We have pictures (of course you need to take a picture) of one resting one’s head on the other. Sometimes they become nauseating!

I sometimes feel sorry for Pippa. Henry is always there! Of course she loves him, but I’m sure she would love time to herself. That’s why I’ve instilled Henry-free time. Pippa can just have a half-hour walk or lay down on my bed while I write a post—door closed, of course.

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We took a walk this morning (please excuse thee outfit—I had physical therapy this morning first). Maria, my aide, Pippa and I were pedestrians around our neighborhood. It was just 30 minutes, but sometimes that’s all it takes.

Ignorance Is, Well…Ignorant, Sometimes

What to write? Okay, check my email while I think. Then, my inspiration!

On the sidebar of my email was a place to donate to Feed the Children.

I haven’t donated to Feed the Children, but I do sponsor a child through World Vision, a probably 12-year-old boy named Freedom in Zambia. I forget how much the sponsorship is, probably $40 a month.

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Imagine living in utter poverty. My sister taught in Zambia as part of her master’s program. She said when people talk about poverty here, they have no idea what true poverty is. Even a family friend who is also a retired priest says that if you were born here, you have already won the lottery.

I guess I live in blissful ignorance. That is, until Christmas. Then the World Vision gift catalog comes. There goes my denial! In it are gifts for clean water, food, and education.

Here, we obviously have absolutely everything in that catalog. I love America, but it seems like for us, it’s never enough. I think we should take a deep breath and count our blessings.