Friday, February 27, 2015

Golf Gypsy: Words Matter

The first of February I began to workout four mornings a week. Today, I added a new routine on the mat--practicing the bench (Plank) hold.  In order to really build strength in my core, it is important to strengthen my core by holding myself up in a plank position for two minutes from arms to toes, and two minutes on each side for three sets. Holding each pose for the first set lasted sixty seconds and gave me a red face. On the second set I began to shake and quiver from tired muscles, so I rolled over and said, "Oh, Well!" 

I walked away and began to roll up the mat. Luckily, I have an inner spirit that yelled at me today and said, "It matters. Now get back over there and finish the routine."  To my own amazement, I did and like a child, I smiled at myself in accomplishment.  

Focus helps.

I learned a decade ago that "Oh, Well" demoralizes my golf game and my spirit.  It's like the "I can't do it" phrase, and it sets up failure. Now I write single thought words on my golf balls, like "It Matters," "Level Hips," "Swing and Sing," or "Giggle Inside." These are thoughts that keep me focused. 

The Pro giving lessons 1954. MGCC

I also know how to live with my golf scores. If I am a 10 handicap then I know that on my best day I will hit at least 10 bad shots. Notice, that is on my best day.  So on those days when I experience some "Crazy 8's," I can say "Ok," not "Oh, Well." I feel the difference inside of me with the words I chose to say.  It Matters.

It matters when I write, even if I've not finished that book.  I'm careful to say, "Ok" I can live with this because writing is a process that I practice nearly everyday. The quote above my desk reads, "What lies behind us and what lies before us...are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

I love my brain (most of the time), but it stays in constant motion.  When it's good it's really really good, and when it's bad, it splashes in the bottom of a deep black well (Oh, Well.).  That is why I've added meditation to my life.  I know better than to say that I will meditate  everyday because I will fail.  Instead, I have agreed with myself to practice mindful meditation at least twice a week.  When I meditate more then it's like icing on a cake, and it gives my crazy brain a break.  

Our words matter.  Let's be kind to ourselves each day.
It Matters.

We all have stories to tell.  What words motivate you? You are welcome to leave comments below where the blue words say "comments."  Those comments come to me to read before I publish them.  


Monday, February 16, 2015

California Dreamin' on a Cold Winter's Day

I'd be safe and warm
If I were in Palm Springs....
Airport greeter in Palm Springs

The ground is frozen outside my winter window
The birds are chirping
The squirrels are dashing, searching
I found the seeds in the feeder frozen.

If I were in California....
I'd be with friends in the warmth and sun;
Letty, Peggy, and Manon

Instead I'm in Oklahoma dreamin of a
  California sun.
If I were in California ...
  I'd be dreaming of a hole in one.
Palmer Private PGA West

Instead I'm sitting behind a computer
  Dreaming as I search my photographs.
Watching the animals dig and peck 
  for food.
Even squirrels need a little help from a friend.

If I were in California...
  I'd relaxing by the pool
or among the flowers in bloom.
What rain does for the desert.

I'm not in California,
I'm a native by birth...thank you mom and dad.
We  moved to Oklahoma (not Arizona).
I sang the ballads of the 60's 
California Dreamin'
and learned to dream on such a winter's day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This Tenacious Techie--HELLp!

What a difference seven days of technology fever can do for one's confidence. It began on a Monday when I was writing a story.  I hadn't written much when my Microsoft program went blank, not my mind, mind you, Microsoft Word was black and blank.  Of course, I panicked. It's what any reasonable adult who was not born in the computer age would do.  

It became a battle of wills, me against the computer.  What seemed futile was not.  Three hours later, with a smile on my face, Jason from Microsoft was able to teach me how to uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Word.  Ha! Little did I know how important knowing how to install and uninstall apps and programs would become with this new generation of computer programs.  (Thank you Bill Joy.)

A few days later I spent the most beautiful day of January inside at the MNVoTech learning how to better use Windows 8.  Just learning that the first screen that comes up with the cubed tiles is called the Start
Just read the directions!

screen was a good piece of information to have, because many directions tell the user to go to the Start screen.  You can imagine the four letter words that can be exchanged when you don't even know where start is. Next, I learned that once I'm on the start screen I can type in my search questions or words without a box to type in. It's rather like typing in space. By now I'd noticed that the other gray headed people around me were struggling with the same issues. What a relief, but no surprise that we are all Senior citizens. It must have been the discount offered that pulled us into class!

Receiving colored handouts, showing every step we needed to learn, thrilled the teacher in me. Critical reading skills and patience are all one needs to learn from technology directions, and they are not my strengths. Luckily, we earned fresh air breaks every hour and a relaxed lunch time with classmates where four of us casually chatted and shared stories not about grandchildren but about our techie skills. The first breakdown came right after lunch when my new friend Rose sent me a note, "Hellp!"  By the 2:00 break my attention span had ceased, and I exploded with laughing frustrations, as did my new friends. The storyteller took over, and I chatted with nearly everyone in the room. We all exchanged personal technology griefs of time lost, worksheets lost, pictures lost, stories lost. My answer to how did that happen or where did it go, "Mayhem did it." For all I learned,I may still have to read the handouts, or do what the instructor said, "Practice what we've done today." There's that word practice.  I practice writing, practice golf, practice weed pulling, so I guess he's right. The good news of the day is that I have new friends, Rose and Lynn, who is a massage therapist.

The very next day I practiced personalizing my Windows 8 program by changing backgrounds, moving tiles, setting up touch control, etc. Then came a new Monday and my printer decided not to talk to my computer. I spoke ever so softly to both machines, pleading that off/on, unplug, check plugs, the little tricks would work.  NOT.  More than six hours later with one hour on the phone to the NPL Virtual Library (free assistance)the two machines still did not communicate, but we knew the problem--I needed a driver/printer update. I called Microsoft again and explained my problem. George said it was an HP problem.  

HP said, "There is no printer installed."  I said, "There sure as hell is and it is sitting right beside me."  Ok, I didn't say that outloud, but I thought it loud enough that I'm sure the techie understood my frustrations. By 8:45 pm on that Monday night I had followed the directions step-by-step to install a new printer program, and add a new device. Like magic the printer shoved out
Scribbled notes.
the, stuck in queue, word document that had started this whole problem. The bonus, is that my printer and computer can now talk to each other wirelessly, at least today they can.  

I don't foresee that I will ever put 10,000 hours into learning computer skills, like Bill Joy and Bill Gates, but at least I can use one with a little more confidence.  I wonder if they know how teach thirty children to read; how to play golf; how to pull weeds; or cook a meal for a hungry family?  


Sunday, February 1, 2015

The New Addition

A terrified little dog, Princess.
Shortly after moving Jack's mother into an assisted living home, we became the adoptive parents of her little dog, Princess.  But a Princess she was not for us, so began the weeks of renaming.  Dancer was the first tag we gave her, because when Jack asked her to do anything she danced at his feet, for me she hid under the desk.  I secretly named her Heidi!

She was not totally socialized, so she spent many hours under Jack's desk.  In Alleen's home she hid under the bed at night or when company arrived, especially bouncy great-grands.  When I attempted to take her out with Lucy, she hunkered down and made herself a cinder-block.  Hence, I named her Cinder-block or Hunka Munka, neither of which did Jack appreciate.  

On her behalf and Lucy's, they have managed to get along. Little dog knows to follow, not lead. Little dog also knows to go to Jack when there are problems, just like the kids did?  Hum, is there a pattern here?  The days turned into weeks, and we began to feel ashamed that our little dog had no name.   Then one day after a romp and roll in the dried Oklahoma bermuda, we burst into laughter. There she was, a smiling Haystack.  We stuck with Haystack for several days until we both decided that it was hard to call "Here Haystack."  It had no rhyme or rhythm to it.  

This little dog is also about two sizes larger than good health would dictate, so we've had her on a walking diet.  We only feed her two small meals a day, which she has to eat quickly before Lucy comes in to finish off her meal.  We do our best to walk the dogs daily in the field on North Base, however, the ride over for little dog is stressful, and she screams, cries, and whines every minute of the drive.  I growl,  Lucy paces back and forth, all to no avail.   Hence, we changed her name to Whiny.

Heads or Tails?

Then one day when the sun brought us summer temperatures, she followed me out the door when I called her; she began to run through the yard like she owned it; she took off in the fields with glee and played around Lucy. We both watched her run and simultaneously we said, "Scooter."   She's a Scooter when she runs. We erupted in enough laughter that Lucy ran to our sides, jumping and asking if we needed help and Scooter barked. At last our new addition has a name, a home, and now sleeps on the rug by our bedroom door, not under the desk.   

Our children certainly kept us active for decades, and now we consider ourselves lucky to have pets that keep us laughing and exercising.  Our next adventure will be to teach Scooter how to walk with a lease and not cry, and whine in the car.  Any suggestions?