Saturday Morning

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt:  “Me Time.”

Today is a cold, cloudy, rainy Saturday morning in Central Texas, as it has been many days recently. After a pretty good night sleep, Boyfriend and I woke up about 8:45AM, brushed our teeth, said hello to our cat, made up the bed and then munched on the delicious double chocolate peanut butter chip cookies Boyfriend made yesterday while we drank our coffee. We were then both on our laptops, with boyfriend working on videos for his website as I read news and write my blog. Brunch in the form of scrambled eggs came a little before noon. Other than the cat trying to eat our blinds and having to throw out dead plants, this has been a very typical, relaxed Saturday morning thus far, especially given the cold and dreariness of this winter season. We are both tired of the dreary weather, anxiously awaiting consistent sunshine and temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius.

Our Saturdays will change when the weather is better, depending on how we are feeling and what we need to get done that weekend. Sometimes we will get up and get dressed, pack a cooler, grab breakfast in the big city or visit a farmer’s market when it is nicer and warmer outside. Other times we will eat, run our errands and place tennis at the local university. If broken-down bodies and a busy work week have caught up to us, Boyfriend and I may lay by the pool in the sun, take a walk in the nearby park to see the turtles and geese, or just take a drive with good music and the sun shining down on us. Boy, I can’t wait for winter to be over!

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

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CLONE WARS

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Clone Wars.”

I remember watching the Michael Keaton movie, “Multplicity” several years, and that was my first thought upon reading this prompt today. Rather than climb my soapbox to get into the political and ethical complexities of cloning and GMO’s, I will do my best to stick to the topic. Multiplicity

Getting back to the movie, I believe the character ends up with 3 clones, which cause lots problems and make for a great comedy. The character, Doug, meets a scientist who has a clone and decides that he will get a clone to help him out at work. Each clone continues to look like him but appears to exhibit different facets of his personality. I think one clone would be enough for me, and I think I could definitely try to send the clone to work to deal with some of my difficult clients or make phone calls I don’t want to make. However, instead of making things easier for me, I would probably have to make a study guide for the clone, resulting in more work for me not less. Maybe I could just send the clone to do my laundry… or I could have the clone talk to my family on days they are arguing and I am ill-equipped mentally and emotionally to deal with the drama.

courtesy of wallhits.com
Courtesy of wallhits.com

Uh, oh, here comes the soapbox! I think having a clone would be ripe for criminals and other mischief-makers to use against people, you know, bait and switch, plausible deniability and other methods of manipulation. On this level, the idea of cloning scares me, especially in the realm of trans-humanism, merging animals and humans with machines. While this used to be the subject matter or sci-fi books and movies, the technology is moving quickly toward anything and everything becoming a reality, unfortunately. This make me think of the clone army in the Star wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,  and other movies such Robocop, Demolition Man and Total Recall, among other movies and TV shows.

On a lighter note, we have all joked about having a clone at some point in time, as there are only so many hours in the day and many duties to complete. Anyone with a 40-hour work week and a commute knows the difficulties of getting everything done on the weekend and in the few available morning or evening hours, depending on your schedule. I imagine that this could be an attractive people with children, as your clone could play or cook dinner while you catch a nap! You could have your clone cutting the grass, while you are at the park playing Frisbee.

Although a clone might be fun for awhile, I like to know what going on and realize that I am responsible for my job, my family and my obligations, so a clone would not reduce my stress. Maybe I can just teach my cat to clean the apartment!

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

Back In Time

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.”There are a few things that take me back in time, among them, are cucumbers and “black cows”. It sounds weird, I know, but cucumbers take me back to visits with my paternal grandparents on the northside of Chicago. Because we lived an hour away, my parents, my brother and I would trek north about once a month to visit Grandma and Grandpa, usually on a Sunday.  I liked to help Grandma in the kitchen while she prepared the meal by washing and cutting vegetables, setting the table and getting beverage of water or coffee for the rest of the family. She would often make something hardy, such as a roast or homemade beef stew. Grandma would also make a small salad as a side dish, and we would both snack on cucumbers as we got everything ready. Sometimes she would set aside an extra cucumber so it would be left for the salad because we had gotten hungry!After the meal, while Grandma would rest a little, Grandpa would come up with little games to play with my brother and I, we might walk to the corner store for the newspaper, or he would let me bang on his typewriter while wearing his hat, which was cross between a fedora and a panama straw hat. He would laugh while we took turns dancing around with his cane and took silly photographs with his camera. We, as a family, would then indulge in root beer floats, which my grandpa called “black cows.” My grandma and Grandpa would always send us off with a few small treats, a book or maybe an article of clothing, and my Grandpa would give my brother and I each a few dollars and tell us to hold on to our “mad money.” There was always a little family drama, but those were some of the best times!

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

Faith

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Good Faith.”

My faith has fluctuated throughout my life. I grew up Roman catholic, then lost touch and have, over time, found a comfortable level of faith-based beliefs and independent spirituality. I believe in God and that He gave us free will.  I believe that miracles can happen. I believe that we sometimes face challenges that help us learn and grow. I believe that He can intervene in life but I am sometimes confused how it all works, the why and how of it, and I don’t believe that He saves close parking spaces.

I recognize times in my life when I got a favor and I was clearly given a hand, if you will, though I struggle with faith in other situations. I had an alternator go out while I was driving on a city street but I was able to keep the car running long enough during a brief red light to turn a corner, turn into a business parking lot and park the car in a towable parking space before the car completely shut off. I believe that I was kept safe in a situation that could have gone wrong. I was a on a two-lane street with no street parking available, my panel was not lit and I had no idea of the speed I was going. If the car stopped in the middle of the street, it likely would have resulted in an accident. This car presented me with other similar situations and I was protected each time, thank God. I also believe that God has helped me through some tough times.

I struggle with faith when it comes to bad things repeatedly happening to good people and the suffering they endure, seemingly while bad people carry on with minimal consequences. They somehow manage to get sympathy, justification for their bad behavior and, in some cases, multiple chances for redemption, while others get the book thrown at them for the smallest of infractions. I am told that they will “get theirs in the end”, that “God’s justice is not the same as human’s justice”, and that “everyone deserves a second chance.” Yes, and I am familiar with the Holy Bible’s stance on this  in Matthew 18:21-22 NASB.

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

I get that we are all human and that we will have our day of judgment to answer for what we have done in our lives. I am even sympathetic to the plight of the wronged and abused who were not taught a better way and committed horrible acts but I believe that they still, in many cases other than severe mental illness, made a choice. We are all held accountable for our actions and the choices we make, especially as adults. I believe in forgiveness and its power to free us, yet I also believe that our forgiveness of others can be taken for granted.

I believe in free will and I believe in divine intervention, but I often wonder how God decides when and when not to intervene. Why does He intervene in some situations and not others, especially a situation of magnitude? Or did He try to intervene and the people were willful, preventing a different outcome? I contempt this as I see terror attacks, wars, crimes against humanity by companies, countries and individuals, oppression, child abuse, and a world in which the most basic human freedoms are being restrained and struck down by powerful individuals working for the supposed “greater good”.

I have faith that there are good people who care about others and about what is going on around them, and I have faith that they can make a difference by speaking out, helping and educating others and by just being honest, decent human beings. Maybe God is using them as instruments to fight back against the evil order at work. Although I try to be a realist, I remain optimistic that life can get better, even as I see signs of life getting harder, and that humanity can band together to fight for true good – freedom, liberty, healthy non-genetically modified food, clean air and water, self-defense, self-sufficiently, an end to wars and power struggles, true healthcare rather than sickcare, individualism and respect for our likenesses and differences. We all need to have faith.

Grown Up

When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

Bear

Being well into my 30’s, I think I should feel like a grown all the time but I don’t.  I think I have always had an idea of what being a grown should be like and yet, it doesn’t seem to fit. I have a full-time job, a long-term relationship, a car, an apartment, a cat, and small signs of growing older (a few random grey hairs, sunspots and creases). I can think of a few moments when I thought to myself, “Wow! I feel like an adult, I did it,” and then the moment passes. Maybe it is because I still like a lot of things I did when I was younger: hair band music, stuffed animals, Beavis and Butthead, Charlie Brown cartoons, ice cream and I somewhat resist dressing like an adult unless the occasions calls for it. Maybe it is because I viewed being grown-up as being like my parents and though I have commonalities with them, I am very different.

The moment that stands out for me as me feeling like a grown-up was buying my first car. With a little assistance, I bought the car, cleaned it, maintained it and eventually paid it off. I was fully responsible for the car and it enabled me to get to and from work, allowed me the freedom to travel and it gave me solitude at times I needed it. I loved driving around the city between work appointments, listening to news or music, and sometimes provided an escape on a stressful day.

Co-workers and I celebrated 7 years together
Co-workers and I celebrated 7 years together

I again felt like a grown-up when Boyfriend and I packed up our lives and moved to the Great State of Texas to start a new life. My Boyfriend finished his Associate’s degree two weeks before I finished the rest of my agency’s contract with the City of Chicago and we left for Texas two days later. We spent the next few weeks driving back and forth to find an apartment in a town we had never visited before, to find a job for me and for Boyfriend to explore the continuation his education and other opportunities. I further felt like a grown-up when we returned home a few weeks later to retrieve the rest of our belongings and my car, which after $600 in repairs, died and needed replacing. Grown-ups deal with frequent problems, right? So I bought a new car, eventually found a job, and Boyfriend determined that he would stop at an Associate’s degree to pursue other options. Everything worked out for us, though not without a little sweating.

 In my previous job as a juvenile case manager, I had flashes of feeling grown-up as I strived to be a positive influence on trouble youth and families. I reached out as an understanding voice that tried to show youth the value of hard work, the importance of making good choices and planning for their futures, while in the presence of their daily challenges. I sometimes had flashbacks to what my parents and coaches told me, and I felt proud to pass on that knowledge.

Maybe I have more in common with my parents and the “grown-ups” who affected me, positively and negatively. I get up, some days begrudgingly, to do the best I can for that day, trying to be responsible, pay my bills and find a bit of joy and fun when boyfriend and I can, though I’m not sure when the “grown-up” thing will really stick. 

© blogdaysofchrell 2015