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Bikini Bias

In listening to podcasts, attending conferences and just reading for self improvement for fun, I have recently been confronted with (fill in the blank) bias.  It could be opportunities to test for racial bias, male (or female) bias, you get the drift.

It's all very interesting to me because we all like to believe that we are cool with everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, politics, etc.  It's just not the case.
When taking the different quizzes, it quickly becomes apparent that some decisions we make are solely based on all the wrong things.  It could be a deep seated thought or feeling that was instilled when we were young,
And sometimes, what we think and feel, pop up at the most interesting times,  
Just when I thought I was able to recognize all things about me....biased, I had to confront a recent revelation.
What are those bikini bottoms called where there really isn't any "bottom" at all.  You know what I am talking about...the small triangle…

Proceed with Caution!

As we were coming home from church on Sunday, we noticed the entrance ramp onto the highway was closed,  There were detour signs posted and we mindlessly followed the postings.  Right away, we realized we were heading in the opposite direction of where we were supposed to be going.  Mr. French said "What kind of detour is this?".  We stayed with it and after a couple of miles out of route, we were back on the highway, heading in the direction of home.

This week when I went to the dentist, I was scheduled for a cleaning only, however, x-rays revealed that a few old fillings were failing and needed to be fixed.  The doctor said they could work me in RIGHT THEN if I was so inclined.  Instinctively I wanted to say "NO".  This was not the direction I envisioned for my day.  However, by allowing myself to say yes to "the detour" I avoided much of the anxiety associated with an upcoming dental visit.  I pondered this as I enjoyed the loud sound effects of the d…

You are never too old.

At various times in my life, this thought has crossed my mind "I am too old for ____" (fill in the blank).  As I reflect on some of those things now, I realize just how wrong I would have been and what I would have missed) if I stayed with that mindset.

Starting young, we become "too old" quickly.  That transition from 6th grade to junior high was harsh when one realized we were now "too old" for recess!!

Then I thought I missed my window of opportunity when I did not go to college immediately following high school.  I didn't even revisit that possibility until I was 36 years old.  Working full-time with two daughters at home, I started slow.  Taking two classes to see if I could "still keep up".
In my twenties and working at my first "adult" job, I remember a couple of women fast approaching 30.  The conversation revolved around hair cuts.  They both had longer hair and we all knew that once you reached 30, you were "too old&…

For the next 60 seconds - THIS IS ONLY A DRILL!

When I was a kid (back in the olden days), our school conducted two drills per year - a fire drill and a tornado drill.  Besides being guaranteed to get you out of class for close to an hour, the thought has always been that if you know what to do, you have the best chance of survival.  And the more you practice something, the better you will know it.
I still remember the tornado siren sounding at noon every Monday.  This was when the sirens were routinely tested in the event they were ever needed.  People who live in Kansas and Missouri relied on these sirens.  In Texas, sirens are scarce and we rely on the news (really scary).
I also remember the radio and TV tests conducted periodically for the Emergency Broadcasting System.  "For the next 60 seconds, our station will be conducting a test for the Emergency Broadcasting System.  This is only a test.  In the event of a real emergency, you would be instructed...." . Obviously I heard this one frequently enough to have it per…

Fake news!

Sometimes the things we see on TV cause us to pause....and maybe ponder "is that really happening?"  "Did that really happen?"  "Will that really happen?"

Mainly because (as I have discussed before), if you don't like the 10-day weather forecast, or the slant on news being reported, please just change your channel.

Lately we have been hearing much about cyber attacks in our country and around the world. Apparently, a criminal no longer needs to take human hostages in order to demand a ransom.

For example, it has been reported that hospitals have had to cancel surgeries, appointments, etc. when a cyber attack was launched on their system, with many $$$ being demanded before the system is "freed".  Obviously, no one wants to negotiate with cyber terrorists, as this just sets the stage for more demands.  And there is no real guarantee that you will ever get your system back intact as before.

On a more personal level, a computer in our househol…

Be aware (or wary) of your surroundings....

The conversation went something like this...."Hey, what are you doing?  Are you having a good day?"  I couldn't quite hear the response but it must have been funny as it elicited quite a chuckle.

Before you get all fired up about my bad manners and eavesdropping, let me explain my surroundings in more detail.  Because I can promise you, for a quick minute, I thought I might be in the wrong room.

BUT NO!  I was right where I intended to me - the Ladies room.  Also know as the lavatory, restroom or "down the hall".  Typically, said room is reserved for bodily functions that do NOT include talking on the telephone.  I wish I could say this has only happened once (it has not) or that the chatterbox in question was relaxing on the sofa in the "sitting area" part of the restroom (they weren't).

The first time it happened, I thought they were talking to me.  After I realized the situation, I thought it would be humorous if I put a sign on each stall th…

How did you get that old?

Birthdays have always been a blessing to me.  I realized at a very young age that eventually I would get old(er).  As I believe I have mentioned in the past, I really only struggled with one birthday and that was 35.

But we aren't talking about my birthday today.

I want to talk about our kids.  So much planning and celebration over the years into each birthday party.  Family gatherings and cake.  Festive decorations and games.  Not once during all those years did I ever think that my kids would someday be "my age" at the time of the party.  How does this happen?

Megan turned 40 this year.  When I called her and asked how it felt, she said "I am not going to lie, I cried a little bit".  I said, "I am not going to lie either, so did I".  Then we both laughed.

In a card she will probably never get (or at least not on time) since I transposed the numbers on her mailing address, I shared my thoughts on turning 40.  I don't believe I have done this sinc…

My latest kick?

In the mail today, I received a tea strainer I had ordered.  My husband said - what is this?  Your latest kick now?  While I answered quickly that I would be drinking "leaf" tea as opposed to commercially packaged tea bags, his statement did give me pause.

What did he mean by "my latest kick"?

So, it might have something to do with what I read.  Anything I read that seems worthwhile, I do like to apply to our daily living.  Yes, "us" as opposed to just "me".  He might be on to something,

About a year ago, I read about the amazing benefits of maca.  I didn't even know what this was but I quickly googled maca and before I knew it, I had ordered two different colors, one for each of us, If it works for Jennifer Aniston.....This was a powder and not very tasty if it wasn't mixed thoroughly in a drink.  After that experiment (well, we might have gone through several rounds of the powder), we progressed to the liquid drop supplement,  Not bad…

The Eyes have it!

When I was in third grade, I failed my first test....eye test, that is.  I was soon picking out frames for my new constant companion.  And what a difference they made.  Being near sighted, I didn't notice the discrepancy in my vision close up, but once I had glasses....WOW!  Everything was so much crisper and clear.

I wore glasses with bifocals (no, they aren't just for old people) until I was in my twenties.  Then I was told that because I had been proactive with the bifocals, I no longer needed them.  It was also around that time I switched to my first pair of contacts.  What a thrill to be able to wear sunglasses and still see!!
















But the eyes are fickle creatures.  After a lifetime (well, since third grade) of being near-sighted, when I entered my early 50's I thought I was going blind.  I could no longer see up close without my contacts.  In reality, I could no longer see up close WITH my contacts.  I went to the eye doctor who told me, my vision was changing.  Instead…

What is the why?

What we do everyday is make choices.  All.  Day.  Long.  Sometimes these choices are different than others made in similar situations.  Or, we might make the same choices, in the same circumstances, over and over again.

And we will continue to do so until we understand the why.  Not all "whys" are profound, yet they must be examined to understand the eventual outcome.

What do I need to do, (for example) to quit losing the same three pounds, every other week?  More importantly is the why.  Could it be that one week I am respectful of my body and my diet, exercising diligently, monitoring portions, saying no to dessert (at least some of the time).  Followed by the next week of hit and miss exercise, lack of understanding when it comes to portion control and
it's apparently KATY BAR THE DOOR as my intent seems to erode around the possibilities of cookies, dessert wine, etc. etc. etc.

And that is just one What is the Why?

What possesses me to repeat some of my old mistakes, w…

Master Chef

In the six decades I have been alive, I have been cooking and baking for five of them.  My first exposure to cooking was when I was in 4-H.   We studied measurements, different types of ingredients, how to read a recipe and how to safely use the stove/oven.  When I was in junior high (which then was grades 7-9) I took Home Economics.  Not only did I continue to learn how to prepare food, I also learned the basics of sewing.

My brother and I were quite adventuress when it came to trying our hand at new things in the kitchen. One major memory is when my two uncles were in Kansas visiting, Erik and I decided to make them breakfast.  At that time the eggs were prepared over-easy (something Madison wouldn't even recognize because I gave that up long before her time) and we fried the bacon.  My recall is that the meal was an amazing success.  We were probably around 13-14 years old.  Mom's memory will be slightly different.  Since we were preparing this feast before school (and she …

What answer are you looking for?

Maybe my memory doesn't have the same recall as it did when I was younger, but I seem to remember that there used to be only one answer for every question asked.  Well, I admit there was some confusion over "feed a fever, starve a cold" and "which way the toilet paper was supposed to go on". So obviously I am being VERY general when I say one question/one answer and I am not even saying that the ONE ANSWER given was necessarily the correct answer.

But here is what I find in today's world.  If I have a question that involves morals, ethics, hair styles, parenting advice, dieting, sleep habits (anything but blatant historical facts), if at first I don't find the answer I preferred, I may need to keep looking.  Because I guarantee you, it is out there.
I am a frequent listener of pod casts (I love them).  When I am not frequenting a courtroom drama or true crime (think Dateline - audio version) I like to listen to question/answer type shows.  They cover al…

Discipline -for the win!

So I have been thinking about the whys and wherefores of discipline lately.  There are many forms of discipline, with the effectiveness solely dependent upon the recipient.  I have also been thinking about the rewards of discipline (and this should also be why we do it).  It sounds like an oxymoron, but we want discipline to result in something positive being gained.

When I would discipline my kids when they were growing up, I wasn't much for spanking but could dole out a thump that would be a real attention getter.  It's like my arm would stretch out like a super hero to deliver the goods.  I must have got that genetically since that is what I remember my grandpa threatening.  I rarely raise my voice in anger but tend to go quiet(er).  Regardless of volume, my girls would always say "quit yelling at me".  The tone was (is) so important!  Remember the old adage, "if you want to get someones attention...whisper"

Because I appreciate structure and have gained…

Where is your home?

Today I was listening to a podcast that revolved around finding the right "location" for your home.  I don't mean a specific zip code in a given area but more specifically, finding where you feel like you have "come home".

I have never really thought about my location in that sense before.  Though I will say that both Terry and I love Texas and feel very much at home here.  And truth be told, initially Terry was a little apprehensive about making the move.  But before we got here, I wasn't longing to find a place where I would find my "home".  

In fact, every time we visit a new place, I envision what it might be like to live there.  I have lived "many lives" in my imagination.  And I really can't think of one place where I thought....not here. Some places have more to offer than others, but even that particular thought is subjective.    It's like finding your soul mate.  If we were all looking for the same thing, there might be…

Time passages...

When we are first born, our time here on this earth is measured in days, then weeks, then months, and finally years.  I think we make a solid switch to years when we reach the age of two.  That is when we also focus on those half years.  This usually carries on to about twelve.   Once we hit that magic number, we say we are twelve....until we cross whatever point in the twelve month cycle that represents itself as "almost 13". This goes on until we are 29.  Then we are 29 until the VERY DAY we turn 30.

When I was young(er), I looked with great anticipation to arrive at those signature years; 18, 21, 25 (for car insurance purposes) and even 29 (the first time).  I don't know what I thought my life would look like, or even who I would be, but those were earmarked as important years.

As a teenager, I think I thought 25 was surely old and mature.  I used to believe I would be able to handle things better..."when I was older".  Specifically I thought this when I wa…

Tis the Season....

I have lived in Texas for about five years now.  I love the VERY mild winters, spring and fall are great and the heat of the summer days is not that different from the Midwest.  Given that, it has taken me about five years to figure out the dress code here.  And it has nothing to do with the actual temperature and/or weather conditions.

This past February has been unseasonably warm.  It will probably be a record setter.  Nothing wrong with that in my book - warm is my choice versus cold.  However.  How does one dress in February for this warm weather?  Particularly when the office you work in could be likened to a frozen tundra.

This year clarified it for me perfectly.  And the answer is.....however you want.  Initially my attention was drawn to those women who would wear jackets, tights and boots (even winter boots) when it was 71 degrees out.  And I am not talking about a high of 71, I am talking about 71 degrees as I enter the building around 6:30ish every morning.

Once in the lob…

Eye on the Prize

I was talking to a guy I work with the other day and he "schooled" me.  But in a good way.  He is retired military and was formerly active in the investigative unit.  He shared some things he remembered specifically while taking an evasive driving class.  He told me that if you focus on an obstacle while driving, you will hit that obstacle.  In a nutshell, what you focus on is what you make happen.

Of course, I needed to ponder this for awhile.  And this thought he shared reoccurred to me as I have been reading "You are a Badass:  How to stop doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" by Jen Sincero.

I am always reading (and will be glad to recommend) all types of thought provoking self-help books and I truly believe I benefit from them.  If nothing else, it causes me to think in different ways. I say "I have a book for that" like today's generation says "there is an app for that".  Name your poison and I can help.  Anyway, ba…

Here's your sign

Remember my blog a few weeks back (still available if you need to refresh your memory) about the guy who was so busy listening for the words, he missed the message?  I had my own 'ahhh haaa" moment this week.

Recently I have been praying about a situation that is troubling to me.  One could even say I have allowed it trouble me.  And when I pray about it, I give it to God.....yet it seems I take it back at some point throughout the day.

This isn't the first time I have felt the need to exert my control over events.  I could represent wonderfully at a "Controllers Anonymous" meeting (if such a thing existed-ask my husband).  You would recognize me because I would be fighting over the microphone to run the meeting.

And this is despite my prayers to the contrary.  Does that mean prayers don't work?

Every morning I receive a bible verse for the day.  In addition I receive "Encouragement for Today" and it was when I allowed the message (versus the wor…

Bruised but not beaten.....

It should not be compared to "riding a bike".  You know that saying, "it's like riding a bike.  After a few minutes all your skill comes back to you."

Terry and I went skiing this past weekend.  We were bit by the skiing bug after Madison went on a ski trip sponsored by her school.  We reminisced over the beautiful pictures she shared and decided we did miss this snow - if it was productive.  For Iowa, Missouri and Kansas fans - we don't really see a point to your snow, but in Colorado there is a life that revolves around it.

So, it was decided.  Skiing, dog sledding and snow mobiles were on the agenda.  Plus a sleigh ride up to Beano's cabin - a very exclusive mountaintop restaurant with five course meals.  WOW!  

Now, I did do some preparation in anticipation of the reunion with skiing.  Have y'all ever heard for YouTube??  What a plethora of instructive videos that had for me.  And since I have been skiing before (albeit 37 years ago -to Terry&#…

There is a name for that!

What is the word for a person who always takes pictures with statues or other inanimate objects? And I mean a word like...hypochondriac (someone who always thinks they are ill) or claustrophobic (doesn't like enclosed places).  I am sure one exists.

However, when you find this word and look it up in the dictionary, I think you fill find a picture of me...with some type of object.  I can't recall when it started, but I know it goes back many years.  Obviously it still continues.  I was scrolling through pictures on my phone the other day and was amazed at how many photos I had just going back six months.  I stopped after that because I just didn't have that kind of time.

A picture is worth a thousand words (or so I have been told).  I remember when I was employed at a utility in Kansas (to remain unnamed), there was a time when Catharine (my trusted assistant) and I took advantage of several photo opportunities to create a story to cheer Marissa up. Do either of you remem…

One is silver and the other gold

When I was in girl scouts, there was a little song we always sang (join in if you know it); "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."  I only remember the first verse but that's all I need.

Growing up, it was all black and white - either it was "She's my friend....or she's not my friend."   Friendships come so easy when you are surrounded by peers all the time.  School is a natural habitat to facilitate that growth and exposure.

As adults,  we have commitments to family, our job, etc. that push friends to the back burner.  We also have different categories of friends - work friends, childhood friends, church friends, couples friends..whatever interest and category we socialize in - there is another bucket of friends.

I listened to a podcast the other day and the topic was friendship and best friends.   It caused me to reflect on my many friends and best friends growing up.   I can think back to my first best friend (3rd …