Embracing The Odds

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Thankfully, my early-to-work mornings will end today, at least for a while. I’ve struggled to take care of my animals and position myself for leaving to work by seven a.m. Soon I’ll get another early shift, because we’re rotated, and fair enough. Maybe I’ll be organized to leave easily when next in the hopper.

Like most Americans I anticipated correctly how the Supreme Court would rule on two major situations. Nonetheless, I felt great disappointment, anger, and frustration on learning that the Court’s Majority did overturn the New York City gun carry law and Roe v. Wade.

I am a product of the era that enabled R v. W. Finally, women could decide whether to go through a pregnancy. For a change, we no longer had to depend on men to support unwanted babies. Finally free from kitchens and child-raising we had new opportunities.

We could work outside the home, could step beyond our dreams by becoming formally educated, finding careers, and being self-supporting. I explored the new freedom, became educated, found rewarding work, and took for granted that a Law would last.

Young people today see the world differently than did my generation. They will have to visualize and make their own future acceptable. Their achievements might or might not resemble my generation’s. It will be interesting to see how today’s youth cope with the overwhelmingly powerful elderly in our Congress and Judiciary.

These days I find myself coping backwards. It’s for performing baseline work in a modern retail establishment, which by the way is managed by younger people. I’ll find what’s possible to learn from them, and hope to interpret through their eyes modern social and political events.

It’s good that me likes the modern retail establishment, for again this morning it’s squeezing my freedom.

Dear Friends: Everything that happens can be a learning happening. Diana

Early

Friday, June 24, 2022

Today and tomorrow mornings are my last scheduled to start working at 7:30 a.m.

Well, working “there” means first accomplishing bunches of needed work here before leaving. Once in the store, it becomes a non-stop busy day at my cash register.

Checking out early morning groceries is an eye-opener. I’m surprised by the kinds of items people purchase, for example, high quantities of alcoholic products passing my register particularly are noticeable because I’m prompted to check a buyer’s ID.

There also are purchases, and aplenty, of junk foods, like donuts and candy.

Some people simply are early birds, getting ahead of the crowd and doing their shopping. Others have a business agenda and purchase in huge quantities, perhaps for restaurants and store shelves.

I’m practicing how to “read” grocery shoppers. I’m working with a game of guessing how they might pay their tabs. Depending on the types and amounts of products being purchased, I estimate if payment will be from food stamps, cash, or debit cards. I’m usually wrong, but gaming helps my brain stay awake.

I’ve never given a thought to what a register operator might be thinking about my purchases and me.

Dear Friends: Pimmy is braying, roosters are crowing; I must go feed critters. Diana

Musing

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Welcome, really warm weather! Finally, we Central Oregonians may change our closets by moving December wear to the rear and putting summer clothing up front. Yesterday at work, exchanges between customers and me mostly were appreciating the welcome weather.

That’s all I have time to write now as this is another early-at-work day. My mind is busy scheduling to-dos, they will consume my moments until leaving home. Yesterday, during my first early-at-work half-hour, my register was dead. Once customers began unloading baskets, my line became nonstop. Today should be the same.

Some of my coworkers seem interesting. Take for example, Sarah, a retiree. She was born in Holland, raised in England, and for many adult years lived in Ecuador. She and others with hefty backgrounds might help me feel less like a fish out of water in a workplace environment.

Okay, I must get ready to leave!

Dear Friends: Wishing you chances in lovely summer to be out and about. Diana

Irving & Me

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

For today and for another three days, I must be on my job at 7:30 a.m. That is pushing my morning routine forward; I am trying to wrap my head around soon going outside to feed the waiting critters.

I remember the lyrics of Irving Berlin’s army song, written for a movie, “This is the Army.” It’s to the tune of and cadence of the Army’s trumpeted morning reveille:

‘Oh! how I hate to get up in the morning,
Oh! how I’d love to remain in bed;
For the hardest blow of all, is to hear the bugler call;
You’ve got to get up, you’ve got to get up, you’ve got to get up this morning!
Some day I’m going to murder the bugler,
Some day they’re going to find him dead;
I’ll amputate his reveille, and step upon it heavily,
And spend the rest of my life in bed.’

Dear Irving, I completely understand.

By the way, Berlin was one of America’s greatest popular song writers. I suppose most young people have no recollection of ever hearing his name. Almost everybody knows “White Christmas” though. It’s one of his many songs.

Dear Friends: A quick good morning to you all. Diana

Summer

Wild Sego Lilly

Wednesday, June 21, 2022

The local weather finally is warming. We’re at this year’s midpoint, for Tuesday is the summer solstice.

This year, Central Oregon has been a cool enclave in contrast to other areas bathing in sweltering heat. I’ve not readjusted my closet, am still reaching for cold weather wear and winter jackets. Until yesterday, when it became warmer, and I wore a short-sleeve t-shirt while working outside.

Tuesday will be this year’s longest day. After that, our daily sunlight doses will begin dwindling and starting us toward fall and winter. Fall is a great season in this part of the country, the weather warms in a way that’s fine. Here it’s a pretty season offering great outings, and for me pleasant horseback riding.

Today, I’ll adjust my closet so that summer items easily are grabbable.

Fortunately, this high desert has received rain and might yield decent hay crops. That’s my next challenge, finding enough hay. My usual grower thinks he’ll have some, but he’s a country guy with an old country style, he doesn’t oversell. The typical price from a feed store for a two-string (~90 lbs.) bale of grass hay is $25.00. My equines and goats consume a bale easily within two days.

Dear Friends: With high hopes for warmth, rain, hay, and outside adventures. Diana

Socially Oriented

Monday, June 20, 2022

Mark Shields has died at age 85. He was my favorite political commentator through his years of weekly appearances on the PBS Newshour. Shields was a political insider, a liberal Democrat, thoughtful and knowledgeable about “everything and everybody, Washington D.C.”

My favorite years of his commentaries on The Newshour were those he shared with David Gergen, a reasonable Republican whom I admired. Gergen’s observations from a conservative standpoint were as meaningful and balanced as Shields’ from a liberal standpoint. I rarely missed their Friday appearances and from both men gained clarity relative to the nature of political maneuvering.

I would apperciate today hearing them speaking about America’s gridlocked government, overweight Supreme Court, gerrymandering issues, and gun-ownership politics. But really don’t need to, I could sense of their positions on those matters. Just would like, again, an opportunity to listen-in and think with them.

Here’s more about Mark Shields, his background and perspective, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/18/us/politics/mark-shields-dead.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Obituaries

Today’s PBS Newshour might offer highlight clips of his appearances on the show. I’ll watch for them and remember pre-Trumpian politics.

Dear Friends: Shields had a distinctive appearance, rather like a real-life Columbo. Diana

Space & Light

Sunday, June 19, 2020

Yesterday, my flooring team arrived and did lots of prep work. They brought a load of the vinyl product that will replace my home’s wall-to-wall carpeting, now old and ravaged by generations of dogs. The guys took to the dump old carpeting and some furniture pieces I no longer want.

A space that becomes more open transforms where one focuses. Today, I’m without a large sofa absorbing my vision, and my eyes go to walled art that’s prominent again. Experiencing open space is refreshing.

Very different from my preferences years ago. I furnished my then-new home to my then-vision and loved it. I didn’t anticipate how over time perspectives can change as might preferences. Trends, passions and interests coming and going can alter one’s experiences and impressions.

I’ll do some replacement refurnishing. All new pieces will be minimal to foster a refreshing perception of open space.

The header photo is a close-up of my soon-to-be flooring, “Water Lillies.” The photo below shows it covering a floor in an area far more more modern and spacious than mine. I zeroed in on this pattern, helped by my very experienced installer, expecting it to reflect the light wood of my ceilings.

Dear Friends: Adventure time in a home that’s in upheaval. Diana

Need Coffee

Saturday, June 18, 2022

The flooring installation team is coming early today to tackle my dining room. I must remove items from the display cases that need moving in order to access that room’s entire floor. I must go to work today, too, so haven’t time this morning to think and write.

Charlie and Snoopy are helping me wish you a good morning.

Dear Friends: May your day become a delight. Diana

Thrifty Thinking

Friday, June 17, 2022

My cashiering work at the price-cutting supermarket, WinCo, has me with shoppers intent on saving money. I routinely check out some paying with food stamps and others using debit cards. Most customers bag their groceries while watching a large viewing screen that makes visible items being scanned and their prices. Most customers know the prices and stop my scanning on seeing an unexpected cost.

In my working environment pennies count. That impacts my perspective although I could weather some inflation. Yesterday after work, I shopped in Winco. Between a written list of needed items and “other stuff” that struck my fancy, my cart filled more than intended. Checking out cost me $95.00.

In earlier months my shopping trips at WinCo totaled less. Typical weekly needs from WinCo averaged $50.00 to $60.00. But Winco is farther away so I shopped at nearby Safeway and Costco. My Safeway purchases usually averaged $90.00 to $120.00. Of course, any trip to Costco averaged $200.00 and upward.

In fairness to Costco, impulse buying is my own fault. Nonetheless, good marketing encourages impulse buying at Safeway and Winco, too, but in lesser quantities. This impacts bottom lines less noticeably.

In today’s pricey environment, shopping at WinCo saves money compared to other venues. The environment hasn’t reached a point where I’d elect to travel farther and shop at WinCo instead of nearby Safeway and Costco. Nonetheless, my employment at WinCo is an education that impacts my thinking. And, I’m inside the store.

I prefer to pay less for my needs while having many choices. In the words of a WinCo manager who initially interviewed me, “We sell the same stuff as other stores, but we sell it cheaper.”

Dear Friends: Ever-tightening economics are forcing noticeable learning on us. Diana

Super Strawberry

Rising

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Susie and I were waiting in a farmer’s field east of the city for the rise of this June’s Strawberry Super Moon. We were alert with cameras poised for the earliest light over a dark horizon.

Strawberry Moon did not disappoint. It was magnificent in size and color.

Rising Higher

Strawberry’s clarity made it nearly impossible to conceive that it’s distant by about a quarter of a million miles. Astonishingly despite distance Moons highly are visible. It’s especially exciting to see one rising over a dark horizon.

Regardless of how often we have gone sighting for full moons, each rising of an alight globe enthralls Susie and me.

Here Strawberry is higher and fully visible.

Floating

The awe of experiencing makes us envy people who live in the distant farmhouses and nightly enjoy unobstructed moon views. It also has me wishing for a new camera with expanded capabilities.

I will begin to research cameras. I hope my wants aren’t beyond what’s possible and affordable.

Dear Friends: Sunlight makes Earth’s little planet a magnificent sight. Diana