Anne Lorene’s Blog

In just a few weeks, the goslings are as big as their parents. I can’t belive how quickly it happened. The must wake up half an inch taller each morning!

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Off to get dressed this morning. It’s cold and dreary outside and due to rain all weekend. C’est la vie in Portland.

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I love my grandchildren but have to admit they don’t look like me. As you can see from the photo above, Bre has lovely blonde hair and big soft brown eyes (from her mom). She has just finished up first grade and reads to me at night before going to bed. I used to read to her. This past Saturday morning we went to the local farmer’s market and had a great time. After all, with a French bread baguette and fresh strawberries for purchases, how could we go wrong?

As we were hanging out at my place, she found a small notebook I had bought in an attempt to keep organized. She asked me if she could have it. Then, she started to write down what we had done that day. This is with no coaching from me!

I told her that she was beginning to keep a journal. She thought it was fun and wrote about her day.

I am so proud of her. My granddaughter has begun her first journal. Just like her grandmother.

Now for some more fun things to do so she can write about them!

Well, we did make oatmeal raisin cookies on Sunday night. That’s always something cool to write about.

I can see her years from now with a pile of journals, writing with a fountain pen and recording her life.

angry woman

In light of the recent post about men losing their jobs, and the subsequent one that will appear on Monday, I was appalled at this quote from G. Gordon Liddy regarding the nomination of Sonja Sotomeyer to the Supreme Court.

LIDDY: Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

I could not believe this! Women have won Olympic gold medals while having their period.

There are times when the Neanderthals open their mouths and I want to scream, “What are you talking about? You have no clue.”

But now that I have calmed down, I have to consider the source. Here is what Mr. Liddy is most famous at: (courtesy of Wikipedia)

White House years
In 1971, after serving in several positions in the Nixon administration, Liddy was moved to Nixon’s 1972 campaign, the Committee to Re-elect the President (officially known as “CRP” but to opponents known as CREEP), in order to extend the scope and reach of the White House “Plumbers” unit, which had been created in response to various damaging leaks of information to the press.

At CRP and at the behest of John Dean (operating on his own to impress his superior, John Erlichman, unbeknown to Liddy at that time), Liddy concocted several plots, some far-fetched, intended to embarrass the Democratic opposition. These included firebombing the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. in order to sneak into the building as firemen and grab sensitive classified documents leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, kidnapping anti-war protest organizers and transporting them to Mexico during the Republican National Convention (which at the time was planned for San Diego), and luring mid-level Democratic campaign officials to a house boat in Baltimore where they would be secretly photographed in compromising positions with call girls.

Most of Liddy’s ideas were rejected by Attorney General John N. Mitchell, but a few were given the go-ahead by Nixon Administration officials, including the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office. Ellsberg had leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. At some point, Liddy was instructed to break into the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Hotel.

Watergate burglaries
Liddy was the Nixon Administration liaison and leader of the group of five men who broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Complex with the intent to plant listening devices. John Dean had arranged for the operations of this group purportedly to curry favor with his White House superiors, H. R. Haldeman, and more directly, John Erlichman. Liddy did not participate in the break-in himself, insomuch as he did not actually enter the Watergate Complex, rather, he admitted to supervising the break-in from another hotel across the street.

For his crime, which he coordinated with Hunt, Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping. Liddy was sentenced to a 20-year prison term and was ordered to pay $40,000 in fines. He began serving the sentence on January 30, 1973. On April 12, 1977, President Jimmy Carter commuted Liddy’s sentence to eight years, “in the interest of equity and fairness based on a comparison of Mr. Liddy’s sentence with those of all others convicted in Watergate related prosecutions”, leaving the fine in effect. Carter’s commutation made Liddy eligible for parole as of July 9, 1977. Liddy was released on September 7, 1977 having served a total of four-and-a-half years of actual incarceration.

Rant over

Of course, this was a case of overzealous thugs who assumed they had the backing of the president. The only use they had for women was to use poor Rose Mary Woods as a scapegoat, the clumsy secretary who “erased” 18 1/2 minutes of taped conversations that could have implicated them further.

When the kids asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I didn’t hesitate. I knew that my sons living here in Portland wanted to see the new Star Trek movie. Being a fan of the original series, I said I did also. It was great!

There was lots of action and it never dragged, something I could not say about some of the previous films. Lots of fun and inside jokes. I am not a Trekker, but a fan, (there is a difference). It is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I probably will miss the other movies shown in the previews; since it appears that the theaters will be drowning in blood this summer. If I can tell the beginning from the end in the trailer, it’s a no go for me. None of these seemed to anything going for them other than they are recycling old material and originality is replaced with lots of blood. I like to be pleasantly surprised by good acting and plots.

Then we took a few minutes and stopped off at a variety store. We bought some Mother’s Day flowers and a card and all of us signed it. We then drove over to drop them off to my ex-daughter-in-law. While she and Erick are no longer together, she is still the mother of two of my grandchildren. She is an excellent mother and they are both happy and fun kids to be with. She has moved on, and has remarried and has another little one, who is also a cutie. In addition to working full-time, she still keeps things going well at home. It’s not an easy task. When my kids were that young, I was home full time and still went crazy often. She does it well. Here is a dated photo of her with the kids, but I think it shows how pretty and caring she is.

I think it is admirable that she and Erick have remained on such good terms. I appreciate the efforts both of them have made in this regard. Our house rule has been to only speak well of her and her new family when we are talking to the kids. That is easy to do. We want them to know how much we care for and respect their mom. They have a new set of grandparents also, and I am grateful to them for being so good to the kids. The most important thing is that we all love them.

It’s good to remember what is important here. Deb and Erick have their priorities straight and the kids are thriving because of it.

 

 

 

Mother’s Day is approaching and as I rush around to get cards for my daughters-in-law, my thoughts turn back to my mother, who has been gone for almost 20 years now. My sister, Janet, has written a lovely tribute to her, and I am posting a link to her blog for you to read. She also has added one of our favorite pictures of our mother. It was taken about the time she married our father, and shows her lovely tentative smile.

Check it out at her blog.

Even if it is a bittersweet time for you, remember your mother with love, if you can. I was just talking to my friend Pat, who lost her mother when she was a younger mother. Someone said to her that it was so good her mother was out of pain. She said, “I wanted to scream. She was my mother! She understood me like no one else every could, and now she is gone.”

Happy Mother’s Day everyone.


It’s been a long time coming here in Portland, but the temperature is getting up there, and everything is starting to bloom.  When we were walking last night, there were actually lilacs in bloom and I just stood there and inhaled for several minutes.

Another sign of spring here is the appearance of new babies all over the place. As of last count we have four goslings, who are growing wildly, and eight newborn ducklings sharing the ponds at our complex. Six of the ducklings are brown, and one is half brown and yellow. The last one is pure yellow. They just grow so quickly. When I get more pictures, I will send them on.

The kids were over last weekend and got to feed the goslings. Thankfully, they are not afraid of people. Residents hang out around the ponds in the evenings, striking up conversations over the little ones. Other bring out grain and old bread to make sure no one goes hungry.

My friend Jeff, another resident here, has been chronicling their growth. I seem him most evenings clicking away. All four of the babies are here; one is hiding behind the others.

goslings

I Get By
What would you THINK if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me.
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song,
And I’ll try not to sing out of key.

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends,
I get high with a little help from my friends,
Oh I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends.

What do I do when my love is away.(Does it worry you to be alone)
How do I feel by the end of the day
(Are you sad because you’re on your own)

No, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?
I need somebody to love.
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love.
Someone in the Beatles

Boy, does this take me back to the days. I had just finished college and was teaching Chicano kids in Whittier California. I was totally enamored with another, group, Simon and Garfunkel, so really did not appreciate the historical significance of the British Invasion and the effect it would have on the world. Oh well, another trend missed in my youth. Only later, did I come to have their lyrics embedded into my consciousness, as did the everyone else on rest of the planet.
This message, hokey, as it is, has rung true for me recently.

We are constantly told to use our friends to network, as if they were another resource, like a recruiter or hiring manager who will help us get a job. I have a serious problem with this. I struggle with the idea that the only reason to have a friend is to use them to help you find employment. In this world of Facebook with the competition to have hundreds of friends, twittering (and having 1,000, 000 people linked to you), Linkedin with its thousands of tiered layers of people, maybe we should stop a minute in our job search and look to our friends, our true friends and look at what they add to our lives.

When I was a teen and in love for the first time, my beloved gave me a book by Joan Walsh Anglund entitled, “A Friend is Someone Who Likes You.” I still have it, with his dedication, packed away in storage. The complete text is printed in this blog. I do want to quote the last two stanzas, though.

And then you think you don’t have any friends.
Then you must stop hurrying and rushing so fast…
And move very slowly,
And look very carefully,

To see someone who smiles at you in a special way…
Or a dog that wags its tail extra hard whenever you are near…
Or a tree that lets you climb it easily…
Or a brook that lets you be quiet.

Sometimes you have to find your friend.
Some people have lots and lots of friends…
And some people have quite a few friends…
But everyone…
Everyone in the whole world
Has at least one friend.

My two best friends are my two sisters. They are both married and live in another state from me, but we are still connected so tightly. Between the three of us we have 12 children and have been through life together. We have buried both of our parents, written a novel and laughed a lot together. I don’t know what I would do without them in my life. No matter what rivals we may have been as children, we are there for each other in so many ways now.
I have other friends who I call my soul sisters, who have shared much with me also. I can think of about 10 of them. Not all of them understand my profession, but they are there for me in my life. One is in South America right now, and we Skype. Several are back in Minnesota and we keep in touch by email and phone. Some are new friends who are a part of my life now. I never know when a soul sister is going to show up in my life, but when they do, I almost immediately recognize them for the jewel they are.

There are my online friends in CJ who have been with me for over 10 years now. There are 30 of us who share our lives on a daily basis. Last summer, I was able to meet some of them in Denver at the famous international journaling conference. Whenever we met, it was instant hugs and recognition of old friends even though we were meeting in person for the first time. We have shared life’s deepest mysteries and joys with each other. I have posted about some of our struggles and good times here in the past.

There are business friends, those with whom I have worked and shared assignments. Sometimes they blend into my soul friends, and then others stay in the “work only” category. I enjoy their company and respect them for their gifts and the many ways they have enriched my personal and work life. I lean on them a lot. Their honest feedback has been a source of help when I have been floundering around wondering what I am going to do when I grow up. If I don’t know I have a flaw (moi?), how can I fix it?
I have gathered a small group of friends who are technical writers. I met them at a much larger networking meeting and selected eight of them to meet on a weekly basis. We support each other in our careers and job searches. They are a knowledgeable group who understand what it is like to want to write with passion, but need to make money also. I grabbed a name out of the air, CC Writers, since we met at a CCC Job Seekers meeting. Three original members of the group are now employed. We have explored our options, crafted our resumes and shared our experiences. They are an invaluable asset in my career development.
There are my Linkedin friends, with whom there is some familiarity, but to a lesser degree. They are still a valuable part of my life. One of my goals is to get to know some of them better so that we can enjoy a mutually productive relationship.
Will one of these friends help me find a job one day? I don’t know, but I do know that they make my life what it is.
How about you? Who are your friends? Where do you find them?