News Flash

I wanted to let you all know that my children’s book, “Lulu’s Book of Children’s Stories” is available now at the Water Street Book Store in Exeter, NH. It’s right in the center of downtown Exeter, so if you’re in the area, do stop in and check it out.

As always, I am grateful for your reading my daily posts. This one is a blatant push for my book; how’s that for being pushy?

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50th Class Reunion…Yikes!

My class graduated from high school in 1969, a date that now seems so ancient, but yet so significant. Every ten years, there was a class reunion, and I’m sorry to say that I only attended the 20th one. At that time, we were still sort of the people we were in high school (at least that’s what I thought at the time). But a 50th class reunion, now there is a real milestone.

I am sure that we all are grandparents now and will spend a lot of time showing off pictues of our grandchildren to everyone. We will not be the shy kids we used to be. We will not be the cool kids we used to be. We will not be the weirdo kids we once were, and we will not be as consumed with fear, doubt and worry as we used to feel. At this time in our lives, the playing field is pretty much the same.

We all will have had life experiences, some good, some bad, and we will see life and old school mates in different ways. At this stage in our lives, we know who we are. We know what works for us, and what doesn’t. There is no longer a lunch table where only the cool kids sit; we are all the young people we once were, and are now adults with more life experience that we possibly could have imagined.

Some of us will have lost parents and friends and some, sadly; children. We will have lived through joy and sorrow which we never would have imagined on that sunny day in 1969 when we left school forever. The old rivalries are over with and forgotten. The one-up-manships are buried deep into the past. It no longer matters who made the final score in sports, which couple were the prom king and queen, who did a flute solo that brought down the house, and who starred in the plays and musicals.

What matters now is who we are and what we have learnedWe are so much more than prom queens, sports stars, straight-A students, theater geeks and pranksters. We have lived through challenges that changed us forever. We have loved and lost and loved again. We have amazed ourselves and disappointed ourselves. In short, we have gone through life experiences that have brought out the best and the worst in us. We have becomes the sages we used to look up to; we are older, wiser and far more forgiving than we once were.

Life goes on and so do we.

Acceptable (Sort Of) Swears

I wrote this a few years ago, and am still trying to clean up my swears!

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Alas, the habit of swearing can really trip you up. Like any other habit, it doesn’t take long for it to become part of your regular vocabulary. This would be ok if you never left the house, but trust me-–if you get in the habit of swearing, it’s not a question of IF you will drop an F-bomb in front of the wrong person, but WHEN.

I had gotten lazy about swearing, and it had became so routine that I didn’t really give it much thought. However, during a visit with our fabulous granddaughters, Ava and Juliette, I happened to drop the S-word for poop. Well, I could have cheerfully bitten my tongue off for saying it in front of them. I quickly explained that Lulu (my grandma name) had made a mistake and said a rude word and was sorry. Luckily they didn’t really pay much attention to my saying it, but they did catch on that Lulu made a mistake and crowed about it all day. Nothing less than I deserved.

So, I decided to exfoliate my expletives and sanitize my swears. We all know how satisfying it is to blast out some good old Anglo Saxon swear words such as f*ck, d*mn, cr*p, h*ll, sh*t, b*gger, and so on, but it is a tough habit to break. So I came up with a list of words that have some of that same satisfying explosive effect, but are not offensive. I am saying them often to get used to them.

Here’s my list:

  • For f*ck: frickity-frack (or ‘frack’) or fidacaducia or fish or *feck (this one’s risky as it’s too close to the real thing)
  • For d*mn: ding-dang for just dang
  • For cr*p: Kazakhstan or crap
  • For h*ll: hal, halcyon or hoolies
  • For sh*t: Shostakovich or scheisse (German); ok as long as you’re not in Germany
  • For b*gger: boggart or beggar

Wish me luck–it’s perfect hell–sorry–hal trying to clean up my mouth!

*By the way, the Celts often use this word in place of “f*ck.” 

Picking Your Own Name

Have you ever wanted to change your name; your first name, that is? Back when I was in grade school, I skiied at our local ski slope every chance I got. My dad taught skiing, and I skiied for free. At that time, I loved speed. I would often abandon my ski poles and point my skis straight downhill and ski like the wind. At that age, I had no fear. I also was a bit moody about being a girl, so I always told my dad to tell people that my name was “Hank.” As I stuffed my hair up inside my ski hat, no one really knew.

So, have you ever wanted to change your name? It’s not all that hard to do; it’s all in making up your mind as to what name truly fits. I hadn’t really thought about name changes once I got older, but I did remember fondly being “Hank” for a while.

When I was in college from 1969 to 1973, it was the age of hippies, and the Age of Aquarius. Many babies were given interesting monikers, such as my personal favorite; “Wolf Starblanket.” (I always wonder where he is and what he is doing.) It was all about peace and love and rainbows and unicorns.

Which makes me wonder: would you like to change your name? I had this discussion with my oldest granddaughter, Ava, who is 8 years old. She said that if she could have a new name, it would be “Ocean.” I told her that was a great name (actually, I kind of wished that I too could have that name!), and it would suit her well. She has great interest and compassion for all creatures who live in our oceans.

For myself, I always liked the name I made up: “Moon Water Lily.” So, if you wanted to, what name would you choose? Think about it; you might surprise yourself.

Be You—You’re the Only One of You

I learned a long time ago to stop beating myself up for not being smart enough, pretty enough, brilliant enough, creative enough and so on. We are who we are, and we are supposed to be where we are. How we run our lives is up to us. We may go through the fires of things that want to consume us, but we come out of it stronger. If we can just accept our own faces in the mirror each day, we can find peace in ourselves.

We can only be who we are; we are each unique and wonderful, and we are here for a purpose. We may never understand what that purpose may be, but we are here for a reason.

When we try to compare ourselves to other people and come up lacking, it’s a hurt that we don’t need to feel. We can’t possibly know what that “perfect” person thinks of themself; for all we know, they are just as scared and vulnerable as we are.

It’s easier than you think to be proud of who you are. It’s easier than you think to accept yourself as you are. You may never know all the people who look at you, wishing that they could be like you. Sometimes that fabulous person you so want to emulate is just as scared and self-doubting as yourself.

So if you are wasting precious time in loathing yourself, you can change. Start with the mirror: no matter what you look like and how you judge yourself, know this: there are people who look at you with envy and would love to look as you do. Here is how you get to like and then love yourself:

  1. Look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud: “Hiya, beautiful!” (For me, I always say, ‘hiya, gorgeous!’) It isn’t easy at first, but keep it up. Sooner than you think you will have a better view of who you are.
  2. When someone compliments you on anything, just smile and say ‘thank you.’ No self-deprecation, no saying ‘oh, this old thing?’, and so on.
  3. Walk as if you own the world. No hanging your head, no shuffling (unless of course you have a disability), no keeping your eyes on the floor. Stand up straight, make eye contact and smile. Trust me, you can do this.
  4. If you smile and say ‘hello’ to someone and they don’t respond, don’t take it hard. That person may be terribly shy and fearful. But your hello to them may mean more than you know.

That’s for starters. You can also create your own vision of yourself by saying things to yourself such as “I’m wonderful and unique!” “I’m a great person!” “I’m beautiful and strong!” Or just make up what you want to say to yourself.

Do not judge yourself if you feel you don’t measure up to what you feel a sucessful person should be like. Be you, because in this entire planet, there is ONLY one of you. Love starts with you. Never, ever discount how amazing you are.

Big Raptor, Little Cat

The other day while the Crankee Yankee and I were sitting on the porch drinking coffee, there was a burst of loud screeching and squawking across the road. We are lucky enough to have a beautiful green space across the road from us; it has four tall pines, juniper bushes and lush grass. There is also a small hill where we often see rabbits as well as lots of birds.

The screeching and squawking escalated and we couldn’t see what the issues were, until we saw a smallish black cat (this guy lives across the road in the condos) come bounding down the hill. He ran right down to where all the noise was coming from, and we saw him pounce on something.

It turned out that all that noise was about a raptor in the area who was trying his best to carry off a bird. But that little cat scared the bejeebers out of him, and he never got a chance to lift off with the bird he had his eye on. While all the other birds were trying to distract the raptor, this cat went right into battle mode and the raptor took off, giving a hoarse crow of defeat.

If birds could talk to a cat, I’m sure that they would have said ‘thank you for saving the baby! But, erm, could you not jump on any of US?’ And I’m sure the cat would have shrugged his shoulders and said, “it’s just what we cats do. No big deal!” and sauntered off, tail high (and probably saying to himself, ‘oh yeah, I beat that bad old raptor, oh yeah!’)

Sometimes the drama is just right across the road.