As of last Thursday evening, 57% of eligible voters had cast their votes in this mid term election.
This is the highest pre voting numbers since 1999. With a week to go, we can to hear more of candidates spending their last dollars to bombard us with get out to vote masked with last minute appeals for our vote.
Opinions are far apart and vocal. I hear little in the way to compromise to come to a consensus.
In my brothers blog, Mayor Turnbull of Northville stated,”My Grandpa Turnbull was a Baptist, Republican and a Mason. My Grandpa Heatley was Catholic, Democrat and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Though they had different political views, they were the best of friends. They were able to listen to each other and accept another’s opinion. Asking questions, they were able to find compromise and common ground.
During the news and social media, I have heard little in the ways to work together to build a better community.
After tomorrow, we will count the votes to announce the winners and the losers. If we can’t find a way to listen and understand another’s point of view, we will all be losers.
I look for the quiet voice of reason and not rhetoric. If this succeeds, we will all be winners.
Twas the Night before voting and in all the booths, not a voter was present, there will be no goofs
The signature cards were placed with care, In hopes that votes will soon be there
When outside the poll there arose such a noise, I leapt to my feet to see what made the clatter
When what should my eyes see
Three different crews from the local tv.
Turning my head to go inside, a microphone was thrusted into my side
A little man with beady eyes,
questioned me to my surprise
How will you vote? who are you for?
Taking his shoulders, I led him to the door
Banging and hollering he kicked the door
He uttered a curse, then I heard no more.
He went quickly to work
He scattered pamphlets of candidates and turned
with a jerk
giving the the finger, he turned to go
Outside in the falling snow
I heard him yell into the night
No one wins without a fight.
Carolfarn@aol.com Copyright 2/7/22
Most people are familiar with traditions of All Hallows Eve or Halloween. In my hometown the scariest night was October 30th or Devil’s Night. It was a night for pranks. It was popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Older youth would soap window or decorate trees with rolls of toilet paper. Occasionally, a hole from a bb gun would be found in a front window. Younger children would stay indoors.
In large cities such as Baltimore ,New Orleans and Philadelphia, pranksters turned to arson. The most notable urban area to see this change was Detroit. Racial riots, a shrinking population and factories closures led to burning of abandoned buildings and homes.
My husband’s family lived in the inner city of Detroit. The flight of white neighbors to the surrounding areas and the increase of rental properties led to the decline of neighborhoods.
As more people left, fewer police and firemen had to cope with set fires. In 1983, more than 800 acts of arson were reported on Devil’s night.
Fires spread to adjoining structures with the loss of property and lives. Detroit was burning and the city leaders were at a loss how to stop the destruction.
In 1986, a city wide curfew for youth under age 18 was in effect after 10 p.m. It continued through Halloween. Groups of neighbors patrolled their streets and reported any suspicious activity. These groups were named angels of the night.
The curfews and angel patrols continued until 2017. As a result of the angels and police, the number of arson incidents dwindled each year. Detroit paid a high cost. Many neighborhoods were abandoned with one to two homes on a square block. Traffic lights blinked with no traffic. Homes were cleared and remaining owners planted crops where city playgrounds once stood.
The Homes in Detroit are becoming a place to bring new young couples into neighborhoods. But the city infrastructure and schools are lagging behind.
My nephew bought one of the older historical homes in Detroit. He lives with two Great Danes and lives behind an 10 foot wooden fence.
More needs to be done to rebuild the community.
Located on the Detroit River, across from Canada.
Early settlers traveled the waters of Lake Huron to smaller lakes.
The French traders gave way to the English then Americans.
Except for the native Indians, all called this land their new home.
Many ethnic groups migrated to this city for the factory jobs and the hope for a better life.
Settling in neighborhoods, they stayed , like bees in their hive.
Racial violence fueled by unemployment compelled a generation to move.
Some tried to stay and help rebuild the city.
Many more wanted to destroy the Motor City.
Arson is quick, but rebuilding the trust of a people will take generations.
Don’t forget the Motor City.
firstname.lastname@example.org copyright 10/31/2022
This week, I celebrate my 68th birthday. Thats is a lot of cake and ice cream! Recently, we have had several first birthday parties. The consensus of the family members is to place a small cake in front of the birthday child and record him or her attacking the cake. My youngest niece Evie, eagerly ate her cake with gusto. When the remains were cleared, she had cake and frosting in her hair and on her face, shirt and both of her hands.
I started to research birthday celebrations. Historically, the Pharaohs of Egypt, proclaimed a feast on the day of the birth of a new Pharaoh over two thousand years ago.
Early Christians celebrated the Feast Day of the saint that had the name sake rather than their birth day. They were given another name at Baptism and picked another saint’s name at Confirmation, when the young person is accepted as an adult into the community.
Some Christian churches have a new member be born again with a public profession of faith in front of the community.
In Japan the seventh, fifth and third birthday are called Schichi-Go-San it is marked by going to visit the Buddhist Temple and distributing sweets to the children. The former empress Michiko’s birthday on October 20th has art exhibits and public festivities. She will turn 88 this year.
In Argentina, birthday party menus include cake, small sandwiches similar to tea sandwiches and filled pastries from the bakery.
In Brazil, tradition calls for guests to sing birthday songs while clapping. Brigadeiro is a chocolate cake, covered with chocolate frosting , served to celebrate the day
In Mexico, Quinceanera, is a traditional celebration on a girl’s 15th birthday. She is welcomed into womanhood with a party and a table of young men and women. Gifts are given to each guest.
In Nigeria, it is common for a whole cow or goat to be roasted. This is served with Jollof rice, a dish of tomatoes, peppers and onions. Nigerians prefer to give small gifts through out the year rather than on special occasions.
In China, friends and family gather to celebrate with each other to promote good luck in the coming year. The year of the dragon, is considered to be the luckiest of the Chinese new year. The next year of the Dragon is in 2024.
Whether you have a lavish party or an intimate family gathering, birthday celebrations are here to stay.
Birthday an acrostic poem
Balloons hang from the kitchen fixture.
I imagine what are hidden in wrappings.
Red and white streamers hang from the corners.
This is the day I have waited for!
Hurrah, Mom brings in the cake.
Dollops of frosting decorate the doll cake.
A cry of lament escapes my lips.
Yuck! The cake slides to the floor!
Carolfarn@aol.com October 24, 2022
This past week, we had a large full moon. The Native Americans called it the harvest moon. As the days shorten and the frost appeared in the morning, nature warned the people to harvest their crops for the cold weather ahead.
As I gazed out at the bright backyard, I thought about how many ways we use the word moon in our daily lives. The light in the night could have caused moon blindness for some nocturnal animals. The deer were active for several evenings. I saw the activity on our motion cameras posted at the water dish.
The gem, moonstone, is a popular addition to jewelry, they come in a variety of soft colors varying from cream, gray, yellow, orange to light red. The moonstone symbolize change .The stone can change to a green color if stimulated by light. Moonstones are said to protect travelers and bring luck in matters of the heart.
In the Hopi language, moon means overflowing spring. In Afghanistan, the full moon has an orange cast. The full moon name is translated as,”God is with you.” There are many names moon seen in different cycles. For example, the next full moon on November 8th is called the shelter moon to start the time of the year when the native people’s sheltered most of the time.
Mooning is a reference to a person’s idling . To moon over another is to be attracted towards that person. A less attractive use of the word moon is to bare one’s buttocks to insult another. The word mooney can mean dreamy, restless or or silly. The moon is said to influence feelings and thoughts as the moon’s pull affects the ocean’s tides.
As the song from the Movie, Moonstruck explains,”When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.” So enjoy the large moon on a clear evening. Allow it encouraging your imagination to soar.
Moon Over Michigan
The bright orb reflects on the rippling waters.
Large pines cast shadows the dance in the wind. Water laps onto the beaches with a slow rhythm.
The pull of the full moon causes the animals to frolic in the night.
Man ponders the full moon while nature embraces the experience of night glow.
October 17th, 2022
Two months ago, I was invited to share my process and insights on producing craft art for the APH Insight Art Contest. I have participated with the show for the last 5 years. My friend and fellow artist recommended me to APH after she turned them down due to a full schedule.
Carol, you are so engaging,” Lynda continued, they will love you.”
So last Wednesday, I called in on zoom to talk about my art and encouraging children who are visually challenged to try art. I had no photos, notes or examples of my art. I did have stories and shared interactions with fellow artists for the past five years.
How does a blind speaker know if he or she is connecting with their audience? I listen for audience response. The number of questions asked tells me if the audience is engaged and enjoying themselves.
The best laugh was in answer to a mother who had a blind daughter who doesn’t want to try art.
Thinking we were talking about a child, I started to talk about finding materials for the child to explore.
“O no,” she responded,
“She is eighteen!”
I replied,”Well, my daughter just turned thirty. She is just starting to listen to me.”
I added,” Wait a couple of years and you will be amazed how smart your teenagers will think you have become.”
I spoke about increasing opportunities to learn the artist craft and display artwork. I told the story about researchers study of the the lack of art majors. They found that if kindergarteners are asked if they can draw an object, most will answer yes and demonstrate their skill.
In the middle elementary school years, less than half of the children will respond that they can draw.
By the time the students are in high school, only one or two will indicate that they can draw. If this is true of students with no disability, how much more must we encourage, promote and support artists with a disabilities?
I my own experience, six years ago, I attended an art contest locally called ,”Art Prize.” The art was displayed all over the city in many venues. When I asked to feel a piece, the answer was, “
no.” I had to explain that I was an artist and that is the way I see the art.
This last year, there were signs that encouraged people to touch a piece of sculpture or 3 D art. The art world is slowly changing to include more than vision to enjoy art. Art is for all.
Stay behind the barrier.
“Monet would never tolerate this!” I mumbled at his exhibit of his work.
He painted at different proximities to his work.
Far away to see the whole picture.
Close to paint what he saw.
email@example.com 10, 10, 2022.
This weekend, I talked with my sister-in-law Karen, about her trip to Scotland. She reminded me of many places that I had seen in Scotland. One of the most interesting memories was visiting an old Scottish chapel high on the North Sea coast surrounded by fields. This chapel was so old that it only had part of the roof and two walls to keep it together. There was a beautiful window that did look out on the sea. What I remember the most was the old cemetery. To walk into the cemetery one had to go through a cattle gate or a gate that had two turns in it to keep the sheep out. Once in the cemetery one could wander through 12 inch tall grass to see the old monuments. Most of them were very simple. One in particular caught my eye. It was newer than the rest and could be read easily as it was not as worn as others.
This one was inscribed “in memory of our daughter gone but not forgotten ,she traveled to America and has not been heard of since”. The idea of never seeing a child again after she left her homeland was sad but inspired me to think of all of the people who left their lands to come to America. How many of us have tales of immigrants in our families? In my own family, I have tales of relatives and ancestors coming from Scotland to Canada and England to America. My husband’s family has tales of his grandparents both coming from Poland to this country for new opportunities.
These tales are woven into our family history. As I think of what is happening now in our world I am reminded that these people are also looking for a better life, what do we do now in our world, to make life better for ourselves and for each other? Those immigrants built communities to help each other, what are we doing to help people who are new to our community. We may think there are more differences now than in the past. In reality we are all humans and all have similar needs and wants. Do we look for what is similar or do we emphasize the differences in each other. I am glad that my grandparents were able to make the leap from the old world to the new. Can we make the leap from our old ideas of family and community to encompass more of the world. I find I have an easier time ignoring some of these physical differences because of visual impairment. But we all have our prejudices and instead of emphasizing differences, I would suggest that we look for similarities in those that we meet. How do we greet new people in our community? Do we ignore them, do we assist them in finding things or do we angrily turn against them? Building community can be messy, but building walls can be more harmful.
When I was in high school, my choir sang a song,”No Man is an Island,” by John Dunn. It was a part of a meditation series. Other writers have used the metaphor of human interactions building bridges to each others. Below are the words that I remember:
“No man is an island. No man stands alone.
Each man’s are dreams for me.
Each man’s life is my own.
We need one another, so I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.”
John Dunn, 1955
October 3, 2022
John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed was a pioneer from Pennsylvania. His goal was as he moved west from Pennsylvania to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Ontario was to plant apple seeds along the path that people were taking west. He said “this is so that people will have something to eat along their travels westward”. Many people have heard of Johnny Apple seed but most think he is a story rather than a real person.
John Chapman was born in 1774 and traveled first with his family and then by himself through several states dying in 1849. The Midwest can thank Mr. Clemens for the number and variety of apples that you will find in this area. Also apples from the original plantings have been found as far south as Northern West Virginia.
As a young girl, my Girl Scout troop would sing a song about Johnny Appleseed. And it went like this:
All the Lord is good to me
and so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun and the rain and the Apple seed
The Lord is good to me.
Traditional song about Johnny Appleseed author unknown
So today when you reach for that delicious fresh apple think of the pioneer who thought of his people to come behind him and he tried to put in plants that they could enjoy and eat.
Today I go to the surgeon to see if I need any more assistance mending my broken arm. About three weeks ago I broke the upper part of my left arm and they have been at a loss to type or write any notes. I am now trying to use dictation to make my emails and notes. It is long and slow work. First of all, I thought I could do this. Unfortunately dictation is not as easy depending on your program. The punctuation and capitalization may or may not be put into your writing. I have found it very difficult to remember to say the words for punctuation, capital and so forth. Yesterday I got the bright idea let's try the brailer! I have an electric brailer and it should be easy to push those keys with one hand. How wrong I was. First of all a brailer is set up with a left and right hand and spaces to easily use . When I tried to use the brailer it was easy to push the keys but I can't make complete cells. I need that left arm. What to do in my desperation, I made one side of the letter backspaced and then made the other side of the letter. Long slow and tediously I wrote my note. The only saving grace was that I could read this one-handed giving me an opportunity to read a note while on a call. You may wonder, why is it so hard to type one-handed well, they didn't put my arm in a cast. It is hanging by my side in a sling and when I move it moves a different direction. It is supposed to be set with the weight of the arm holding it in place. I can't wait to have something solid on that side again. So wish me luck, and hope for the best.
Tick tock like a clock my arm moves back and forth
It can’t take weight but hangs like a sack
disturbing to me that when I move it throws my movements off
tick tock like a clock I can’t believe it’s time to stop
This week I have found that I have more issues with technology I recently broke my left wrist and upper arm and cannot write any information with typing. Finding a dictation program has been cumbersome, finally the Voice Dream Rider program puts commas periods in the right spots. Hopefully this will help other people to do programs. It’s not perfect but it is better than trying to type one-handed. Often I have to repeat or have the spellcheck look to see if my dictation was correctly interpreted. Now by the time I get this perfect maybe I will go back to writing or if I get good at dictation maybe I’ll stay with dictation. Below is a copy of my blog from all technology and old brains from 2021
Tech versus an old brain
We live in a wonderful time when there are many assistive devises to help blind people with mobility, identifying, labeling and using computers and smart phones. All this technology can be confusing to an old brain.
The other day I was using my smart phone to participate in a blind teleconference. My phone lost the phone page just as I was asked a question. I had to hang up and redial. This took several minutes. When I finally returned to the conference, I told them that I had technical difficulties . The whole group understood. We all have had difficulties with assistive devises.
I have a blue tooth speaker that talks into my hearing aids. But I have found that if I an too close to my husband who is also using a blue tooth listening devise I will get a echo of his book. It sounds like gibberish because he plays his books very fast.
I have used my I-pad to look up recipes and information. Usually I ask the assistive helper Seri to find the information. Many times Seri misunderstands and can’t locate the information quickly. When I finally locate the correct web page, I find that I must sign up for access to a website.
I have not learned my limits. I have recently signed up for a virtual eyes program, digital tags to use in the kitchen and a recording devise that will help me with locating and storing my patterns for knitting . I can just see this happening , I go to find a yarn color that has been tagged. The tag tells me the yardage, weight and material but not the color, is’t a number rather that a color. I get the recorder to find a pattern and find I must listen to several hours because I forgot to insert titles and bookmarks for each pattern. I go to get the phone to find the printed pattern in the book. The apps reads part of the pattern but starts over when it thinks that it had a better angle for the document.When it finally reads the pattern it makes little sense because the knitting abbreviations make no sense to the program.
I find that it would be easier to get my husband to help me. But I am determined to be independent . Technology takes a lot of time and effort I hope that this old brain of mine can handle it
We still have a home phone to screen unknown callers. If I recognize the voice or the caller identifies himself, I will pick up before the caller hangs up. This has been a good system. Most of our friends and family’s calls are answered.
Today my curiosity got the best of me. As the phone rang, I picked up the receiver.
A slight pause. Then the pitch started.
“Congratulations! you have won an adjustable bed.”
Not bothering to say goodbye, I hung up the phone.
I started to think of the number of junk emails that I delete regularly.
Pitches of morning stretches , endurance training and relaxation for health have been replaced with gummies to give relief from arthritic pain , better brain function and lowering cholesterol . When did the ads for a better sex life change to living longer?
Peppered in the notes are offers for free samples for such needed items as wrinkle creams and salves. Instead of gutter guards for the home.
I wonder if anyone reads these come ons ?
Then I remember that the targeted group includes older single people. The welcome sound of a live voice on the other end of the line, may fool older person’s with the start of dementia to think they may know the caller. Often a senior may talk to this stranger because they are bored.
Friends have told horror stories of large checks written with their spouse’s signature on the check. When asked about the check, they may have no memory of the event.
Aside from taking all checks and access to internet buying away from our love ones , what can we do? It depends on your ability to talk and trust your partner. Talk about pitches as they happen so each of you are aware of the calls. Monitor each other with questions about the transaction and the result.
The reality is all of us are mentally slowing down as we age. The new callers are quick to pick up on a lonely person or a person that is not hearing as well on the phone. They may even resource to pretending to know you or your spouse.
Though our training is to be polite, it is best to hang up on such callers. Talking only encourages more return calls. If the caller wants to get credit card information, hang up. After, check with the business to see if they really work at the business.
My husband’s Mother was fooled by a young man pretending to be her grandson. He requested money and told her not to tell my husband. That sent up alarms in our minds.
So be smart. Don’t answer the phone until you are sure of the person on the other end.
The phone rings with a cheerful note.
Hoping to hear a familiar voice,
you pick up the phone.
Instead a robotic voice asks for funds.
Sighing, you hang up.
When was the last time I had a friend call?
Picking up the phone, I place a call from my phone book.