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

Kennel Dilemma

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Before my last employed day at a feed store I purchased a kennel I’ve loved. Over months of marketing this model to customers with pets, I’ve wanted the kennel, too. It’s large with a walk-in door and fencing fabric consisting of rectangles smaller at bottom and larger upward.

Moreover this kennel completely is modular, comes apart anywhere to adjust length or height. As another plus, it has a roof.

The store had only one left, an assembled model on display. That’s the one I bought. I wanted to avoid having to reassemble the kennel and requested it be loaded, fully assembled, onto my big trailer. It took four burly warehouse guys to lift and shift around the unit while deciding how to load it. They couldn’t make it fit straight in, as today’s header photo shows.

I had to have help on the unloading end. I called upon my neighbors, Bill, Grant, Susie, and Dale, each more competent spatially than me. They gave me time in their busy evening, came to help unload my tilted kennel.

Before they arrived, the job was looming ever larger in my head and seemed un-doable.

Those wonderful folks came and made the process seem “easier than easy.” They unloaded the kennel, set it where I wished, and pointed out where the base needs adjusting for maximum safety and security.

I got into my truck, was attempting to turn around the rig, unsuccessfully, when Dale kindly offered to help. He hopped into the cab and backed its heavy trailer up the hill. He turned around the rig.

My friends! You made everything seem a piece of cake!

Later, Susie and I regrouped, as we had planned. We chased the rising of June’s full “Strawberry” Super Moon. Today before writing about that incredible Moon and sharing our pictures, I wished to say thank you to wonderful friends.

Thank you, for showing up and creating closure to my kennel dilemma.

Dear Friends: Caring and kindness enrich, and expand possibilities. Diana

Living Art

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

This morning, art is on my mind. Before my flooring expert arrives, I must wrap and store the many pieces displayed in cabinets. The cabinets will be moved before the labor can start, of pulling carpeting and recovering floors with vinyl. For weeks ahead my house will be full of dust and confusion.

It’s surprising to find how accustomed I am to my art collection. I infrequently focus on individual pieces, and now considering how to pack objects makes them come alive again. I have some wonderful pieces, many by Oregon artists. I collected them on first moving here when for awhile I worked at the beautiful Mockingbird Gallery.

Later, I became involved with horses and all else slipped into the background.

As an aging person, I must consider returning my pieces of fine art to the larger world. I have enjoyed them and would miss their presence, but quality art deserves continuing admiration. Mine should become available to collectors.

The header image from my camera represents my own fine art. This accidental capture turned out to be striking, and special, too. It revealed my changing perspective on evolving into less a city-girl, becoming more a country-type.

Dear Friends: Art both reveals and connects us to humanity’s magnificence. Diana

Cycles

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Time and Date website illustrates a special lineup of planets arriving soon in our pre-dawn sky. A viewer can see Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn lined up, in a sort of “celstial choreography.” The Sun joins as a reddish glow from just beneath the horizon. This will occur at 4:40 a.m. (local time) on June 24.

Coming tomorrow evening is the rise of June’s fullest Moon, “Strawberry.” I’ll be in a farmer’s field out east beyond city lights with my moon-chasing friend, Susie. We’ll be there watching the dark horizon to witness Strawberry Moon’s earliest appearance. A full globe’s first lights and risings are amazing events that excite and satisfy.

June’s Full Strawberry Moon is named after the plentiful strawberries that grow this time of year in our Northern Hemisphere. “Strawberry” happens to be a Super Full Moon. A Super Moon looks bigger than a regular Full Moon, it’s an excellent subject for photographs. Susie and I will capture images as this one rises above the horizon!

As of today, I’m officially an ex-employee of Wilco. Working there has been fun. Its managers are kind and people-oriented. I learned about being in a retail environment and am moving forward to a new challenge. I’ll operate a cash register for the supermarket chain, WinCo.

For local readers who shop at our WinCo, look around for me. My cash register will be somewhere among the many, and I hope to see familiar faces.

Dear Friends: Never-ending changes, in the sky, societies, human activities. Diana

Change

Goodbye, box

Sunday, June 12, 2022

This will be another day of work, once again back at Wilco. I owe the store a day to receive earned vacation time. I’ll purchase goods for upcoming needs while my employee discount exists. There’s much I will miss about Wilco, it’s a kind environment.

My new workplace, Winco, is a super busy store. I’m at a register checking out people and the lines are constant. I’m learning on the job, making minor mistakes but not hurting the store. Getting quicker is my essential goal. I’m not memorizing product codes but can find them faster.

Because we’re busy, working hours pass quickly. So far, so good.

A couple of ex-coworkers from Costco suddenly appeared at my check-stand at the same time. We celebrated a brief reunion. Word’s out, that I’ve moved on!

Rain, beautiful rain, we’ve been getting it. Not heavy, no downpours, but daily drizzles. I’ll call my hay-guy hoping to learn his crop will be good. It’s been very dry, making hay hard to find and very expensive. Many of us having horses worry about gaining enough hay to carry our animals through another year. Keep coming, rain!

Incoming populations are making Oregon liberal enough that a gun control measure may get onto the next ballot. If so, hopefully, gun control resisters won’t misbehave. Gun control and abortion issues make some individuals crazy and heighten an already tense environment.

On that note, I’ll sign off now.

Dear Friends: Everything changes constantly, and too little changes really. Diana

Daylight

Beautiful, quirky, Osix

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Yesterday was my second day on the job and I asked to work at “my own” register. The Leads appeared surprised but assigned me to one located near an experienced cashier. She kindly assisted when I got stuck and early on that was often. Eventually my glitches became fewer, and by shift-end, I could reasonably well process customers through.

The fastest cashiers can rattle off product sku numbers from memory, which I’ll never do with any competence, for my brain doesn’t process numbers efficiently. I can’t count as well as I can process words; but experience teaches that I am flexible. I can figure out how to elevate my performance and be a winner in this new game.

The store has lots of employees, mostly on their toes and aware of what’s going on and who’s doing what. It’s similar to my former cashiering job but on steriods. This store is a one-stop, and convenient workplace for almost everything. I’ll need to shop elsewhere mainly for clothing and farm animal products.

Except that I want make some furniture changes. That might take traveling to Portland and finding Ikea.

Dear Friends: Interesting and absorbing, the inner world of commerce. Diana