SYW: On Soulmates, Aromas, Being Older, and Sharing

Although it is a holiday in the U.S. today, that didn’t stop Melanie from putting out her weekly questions for Share Your World!

QUESTIONS

Do you believe in soul-mates?  (my definition of ‘soul mate’ is the IDEAL partner romantically).
I agree with Melanie that a “soulmate” is the ideal partner, whether you ever meet that person or not. I know some couples who say they are “soulmates” – often those who have waited a long time and had other partners. I love my husband, but I do not consider him my “soulmate.” He is not my “ideal” romantic partner, but perhaps I was not destined to find whoever that might have been. I’m OK with that. However, he supports me in so many ways, including putting up with my ADHD-related defects, and says I do the same for him, so I did marry someone who I could spend the rest of my life with.

What are three scents you like?
Brewing coffee (although I can no longer drink it), chocolate, and the smell of grass & dirt after it rains.

What are some things that you might be considered too old to do, but that you enjoy?
There are 2 ways of approaching this question: either people in general think I am too old to do it, but I do it anyway; or things I used to enjoy doing but no can longer do. If the former, I would say it is the type of clothes I wear. If the latter, being able to drink coffee with no adverse effects. Also, being able to do regular yoga and long-distance walking or hiking. I can no longer hike on paths that have a lot of boulders or stairs, but I still walk as much as possible. I consider it better than bike riding, because I can enjoy the small things in nature that I wouldn’t be able to notice while riding a bike. Also, my balance isn’t so good anymore, which explains my inability to do a lot of yoga postures that are on the ground, or “flow” up and down. I used to be very flexible. Maybe I am still considered flexible for my age, I don’t know. Whatever the case, I am trying to stay as fit as possible, because as a senior citizen, if I don’t exercise, I will soon lose my ability to do so.

Living in a senior community, I am amazed at the range of physical abilities of older people. I know many people older than myself that are much more fit than I am. That is a motivation for me to try to get better fit. I still want to travel the world, without worrying about physical handicaps that would interfere with that.

What is one food you absolutely refuse to share?
Most chocolate desserts – I allow my husband to take a bite, but that’s all!

GRATITUDE SECTION (as always, optional)

Please feel free to share something positive!    

SYW: On Being Better, Love, Memories, Death & the Composition of a Baseball

A new set of questions this week from Melanie’s Share Your World!

QUESTIONS    (Going DEEP on these today)

Are human beings required to better themselves and will doing that make them happier?
Required? No, no one is required to do anything in their life, but it’s better that they achieve their potential, which will be a contribution to our society and human existence in general. I think if a person works hard to achieve something, or meets a goal, (s)he will be happy with what was achieved; so collectively, people who strive to be the best they can be will be happier and more confident in themselves.

Is it easier to love or to be loved?
Depends on who is doing the loving! If one who loves another is always having to give, give, give and the other gives little in return, that can’t be an easy emotion to deal with. Love ultimately requires work, while being loved requires nothing. So being loved is easier, but both are needed.

Outside traumatic brain injury, can memories be completely erased?
I don’t know. I do know it’s possible to “block” traumatic events in one’s life – such as a history of child abuse. A person may block such memories for self-preservation and to forget those terrible events to be relieved of suffering, having nightmares, etc. But I guess these memories aren’t really “erased” – a good psychotherapist may succeed in bringing a patient’s blocked memories to consciousness in order to confront them to aid in healing.

Is there such a thing as a good death?
Sometimes. If a person has been suffering a lot or has no quality of life, or “alive” due to machines but in a vegetative state…then yes, their death could be considered “good” because it alleviates their suffering. When my mother was suffering from dementia and could no longer really communicate – and she was a person who loved being sociable, to talk on a variety of subjects, reading and writing – I used to pray for God to allow her life to end.

Perhaps we can also say that a human monster (like Hitler) who has caused terrible suffering and death of innocents, also had a “good death,” in that the world is better off without him!

Or perhaps a “good” death is simply death free of pain and prolonged suffering – such as dying in one’s sleep or very suddenly with no pain involved.

Anyone’s idea of a “good death” is really subjective.

and one ‘silly’ one because the former questions were fairly serious:   What do you imagine is inside a baseball? 
Some stuffing – cotton, or fibers of some kind. Maybe a ball of string? I’ve never thought about it before.  But your question made me curious, so I looked it up.

GRATITUDE SECTION

Feel free to share something uplifting this week!  

SYW: On Unicorns, Apostrophes & Diversity

Melanie’s Share Your World questions this week come from her “partner in crime” called Evil Squirrel.

QUESTIONS

 When you just need to forget the world for a few hours, what helps you get away from it all? 

I read a good book or get engrossed in a movie or TV series that I really enjoy.

 If you woke up tomorrow with a unicorn horn extending from the top of your head, what would be the biggest advantage and disadvantage of your new appendage?

Disadvantages would be its weight and the inability for me to wear a hat, which I always do when the weather is cold. I can’t think of an advantage.

  What is the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen someone do, that you’d be willing to talk about, of course? 

Guys who grab or scratch their crotch multiple times in public, seemingly unaware – or not caring – that they are in full view of other people.

 What’s the silliest or pettiest thing that tends to really upset you?  

People’s abuse of the apostrophe. It seems as though they never learned that an apostrophe at the end of the word (or is followed by s) means POSSESSIVE. I have a friend who I care dearly about, but his emails are full of misplaced apostrophes (almost every plural word he writes has an apostrophe). This misused symbol should never used to denote a plural!! NEVER!

The weirdest apostrophe-used-for-a-plural mistake I saw was a few days ago. There was a sign up sheet for men’s and women’s breakfast at a restaurant. For women’s, the creator of the sign up sheet wrote LADIE’S. So she was combining two grammar/spelling mistakes: Changing the /y/ to an /ie/ when making a plural (she sort of got that right), and it seems she was confused about exactly how to make a possessive out of a word that is already plural. (There are two acceptable ways to do this: LADIES’ or LADIES’S, but the first one is preferable.)

An old writing buddy of mine published a book, a mystery set in Hawaii. Apparently she didn’t have it proofread, because every single word that ended in a vowel that was made into a plural (like the word “lei”), she added an apostrophe before the s. There were so many errors of this kind in the book that I deducted a star from my review on Amazon. How can someone publish a book and not have it proofread or edited? Obviously, since she is older than I am, she forgot this basic English spelling rule.

This may seem petty or silly to get upset about because there are many more important things that deserve one’s wrath, but it shows the decline in grammar/spelling education. It has to be this, because the misplaced apostrophe is such an ubiquitous mistake nowadays, but 20-30 years ago, it was fairly rare.

GRATITUDE SECTION (Always Optional)

How comfortable are you with meeting others who are very different from yourself? (no judgment implied.  Different in any way you’d like to think about – different cultures, different races, different mind set (opinions)? 

I like meeting people who are different from me, but I tend to be shy around strangers so I may appear to be uncomfortable. I am afraid to ask questions that might make them take offense; or I am afraid to speak to them in their native language when it is one I know (Spanish & Portuguese). I don’t know why this is – it’s silly really, but if I get to know the person or people enough to be comfortable around them, then I have no problem, unless their accent is so strong that I can’t understand them. In general, I like to be in places where a diversity of people surround me, where I hear a number of different languages being spoken, or I see unusual hairstyles, or the people are wearing non-Western but beautiful clothing. I’m also pretty open to trying new cuisines, although I do have my favorites.

So my gratitude is living in a country that has a lot of diversity – cultural, racial, ethnic, etc. I actually am looking forward to being in the minority (white, northern European origin). It’s a shame that many people feel threatened by our increasingly multicultural society.

SYW: On Ice Cream & Traveling During Covid

I’ve been so busy this week that I haven’t had time to participate in Melanie’s Share Your World until today!

QUESTIONS

Restrictions are being lifted all over the world.  Do you feel it’s safe to go out and mingle in crowds in light of the Pandemic?
To a certain degree, yes, although the delta variant is causing the cases to increase at an alarming rate, such as we haven’t seen for several months. I just saw a Facebook post from a cousin’s son announcing that he was a “breakthrough” case – fully vaccinated yet got the delta variant of Covid.

COVID Breakthrough: About 99.999% of fully vaccinated Americans have not  had a deadly breakthrough case, CDC data shows - ABC7 Chicago
Notice that there are no “green” states on this map!

His symptoms were not serious and he’s OK now, but it made me think that I ought to be a bit more cautious. Mask mandates have been reimposed here so I’m carrying one around again and having to wear one even when I exercise. The mask came in handy last night, though, when a homeless man “joined” our book discussion group at the library (the discussion is held outside). The moderator was nice to him and the rest of us tried to be casual and welcoming, but I did put my mask on.

It’s a strange situation – there is no lockdown, because of the vaccine, but the vaccine isn’t perfect and the delta variant is spreading fast so we have to wear masks again. Yet I feel Covid-19 fatigue, as I’m sure most people do. I have not tried to go out into a crowded place, such as a theatre. I would, however, love to travel again. I don’t know if I want to get on a crowded airplane right now, though. To go on a road trip, I would consult Covid statistics to see if our destination is more or less safe.

What are some things that are okay to do occasionally,  but definitely not okay to do every day?
Having a drink, eating ice cream – anything in excess is not okay.

Would you relocate for love (romantic or otherwise)?
I have done – moving here to this senior community was my husband’s idea. I didn’t feel ready for it, and it’s still strange to be surrounded by white haired people who have children close to my age, but I’ve gotten to enjoy it. You’re only as old as you feel, and many of the folks here feel young!

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories (no judgment)?
Not the quack-a-doodle conspiracies promoted on social media today, but there have been some conspiracies worth looking into. There are still people trying to find out if JFK’s assassination was a conspiracy and Oswald/Ruby were just front men. I’ve heard enough convincing and reasonable evidence that I believe it might have been a conspiracy.


GRATITUDE PORTION (Optional to participate, as always)

Please share something sweet (take that as you want)

Chocolate ice cream | Chocolate recipes | Ginny Rolfe for Jamie magazine

5 Italian Foods: Deliziosi!


It’s been quite a while since I participated in Tanya’s 5 Things challenge. The topic this week is: Italian food!! My favorite cuisine! It’s even a bit difficult to choose ONLY five of them!

  1. Gnocchi with Vodka sauce
Bowls filled with comforting gnocchi alla vodka, Parmesan, and basil.
I love gnocchi with whatever sauce is put on it, but I am partial to “vodka sauce” – I don’t taste the vodka, but it’s a wonderful tomato based smooth sauce!

2. Gelato: This is the Italian word for ice cream, which is my favorite food, but somehow the Italians (or wherever it is made in their name) have it just perfect – rich, creamy, flavorful! I also like the sorbets.

Espresso Gelato
This is a photo of espresso gelato – coffee ice cream! I love it! Since I cannot drink coffee anymore, this ice cream is a delicious way to get my “coffee fix”!

3. Pizza – Who doesn’t love pizza? It is such a versatile dish – a variety of toppings, a variety of crusts, the combinations are almost endless! If you ask me what kind of pizza I want, I would say spinach (for deep dish), Hawaiian (pineapple and Canadian bacon, usually topped with barbecue sauce), margherita (tomato and cheese) if it’s very thin crust, and sausage and onion if ordered from a certain local pizza place.

Mugs Pizza and Ribs | Chicago


4. Shrimp or Chicken Alfredo – I rarely order this because the alfredo sauce has about a gazillion calories (more than many other Italian foods, but most Italian foods are very caloric), but I still love it!

5. Risotto, if it’s prepared properly!

Overhead shot of prepared shrimp risotto in grey bowl with spoon.
This is risotto with shrimp – one of my favorite kinds!

Tree Squared: Another Kind of Tree

There are things that are called trees besides those living, breathing plants we have around us. A family tree, for example, is called a “tree” because from one individual, it spreads out in several branches. I have an earring tree! On its branches I hang my many pairs of earrings. This “tree” is rather gnarly and has knots in its branches so the earrings don’t fall off. So for Becky’s challenge TreeSquare, I am featuring my earring tree!

SYW: On Clothes and God, But Mostly About Hazel

Here is Melanie’s Share Your World for this week.

Okay we’re flipping things over this week with three rather silly questions and one philosophical one.

What would be much better if you could just change the color of it?
Half of the clothes in my closet – I like some of the things I rarely wear, because I don’t have a matching blouse or pants. Then I forget about that particular item until I get totally bored with what I have to wear and find it again. If it’s really a weird color I can’t do anything with, I will regretfully give it to Goodwill.

Do You Think Cats Have Any Regrets?
No, I don’t think they can think on that high a level. This is a serious answer for a somewhat silly question! My cat, for sure, is content with her life right now.

Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
No, I have a Fitbit that can do that for me. I used to really keep track of that, but not anymore. I always, however, count stairs whether up or down. That makes me focus on the stairs so that I don’t get distracted and trip or fall. It can also be really useful, for example, in our old house, if we were carrying something that blocks our view and so not able to see the stairs. I knew there were 15 stairs from the first floor to the second, and 12 steps from the kitchen down to the basement.

Is there a supreme power?  (you choose over what, and please be respectful)
That is a tough one. I believe in God but not as a “supreme power” per se. I don’t think God exists as a human-like being somewhere, controlling everything we do. Humans invented God. I believe that God’s presence lies within ourselves – we are our own supreme power, whether or not we recognize it. It’s complicated and I’m on a “faith journey.” Without getting into a long theological treatise, I will leave it at that.


GRATITUDE

Please feel free to share some gratitude with everyone! 
I’ve just been “in love” with our cat, Hazel, lately. She is such a well-behaved kitty and follows us around a lot, just to be near us. She’s not a lap sitter – she prefers what she is doing in the above photo – getting comfortable between someone’s legs, preferably on the recliner. Hazel was a godsend for us during the pandemic. She is 10 years old and life is good!

Watching a nature program with us on TV
Peeking out from one of her favorite catnap places – my computer chair!