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April's Perspective

looking at news and our lives

Waking Nightmare

I’ve always admired my wife, her selflessness, her care for others, her outgoing nature.   Didn’t she just go into the closet to get dressed for the day?  I was right here!  Who is this strange woman.  Am l dreaming?   No!  Where did my wife go,and why is she always disappearing.  Where did she go?

Who is this woman making the bed, and straightening the room?  A housekeeper?  My wife is so overworked, plus she is always gone.  A housekeeper makes sense.  Why does she have to be gone so much, now that I’m retired.  I wonder when she will be back.  In the closet getting dressed he looks around.  There are no doors in the closet, except the one to the bedroom.  He taps the wall, and finds nothing.  This doesn’t make sense.  A person doesn’t go into a closet and just disappear.

“I’m taking the dog out,” says another woman.  He looks around for anyone else, checking all the rooms, and all the closets.  Alone until his wife brings the dog back.

“I missed you,” he says giving his wife and long lingering hug and kiss.  She reminds him that it is time to leave for his doctor appointment. She goes through the door leading to the garage.  He gets into the car, and faces another woman.   “Are you driving me to the doctor,” he asks the stranger.

 

This is a small glimpse into the life of a person with Capgras Syndrome.  Those he loves are replaced by look-alikes, but he can tell the difference.  He is surrounded by multiple strangers, and longs for his wife.  We have a dear friend who was just diagnosed with this syndrome.  Check back tomorrow for her perspective.

 

Our Snow

 

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It was a ceiling crack.  During the summer, the crack was a fine line stretching across the room.  We caulked, painted and thought we had it fixed.  Temperatures cooled, humidity lowered, and the dry air caused the fine line of the Crack to reappear, and stretch wider.  This was no longer a do-it-yourself job.

Maybe we could do it ourselves.  We have built rooms from the studs out.  Along the way, we learned taping and patching is not our forte.  If it were not for the texture of the ceiling, we might have tried once more.  Surely with the proper paint, and maybe lighting, our skills would be sufficient.

Unwilling to redo the entire ceiling, it was time to call in a professional.  After consulting three contractors, we picked the men who would insert a new section of drywall and re-texurize.  Thank goodness.

As soon as a section of ceiling was opened, blow in insulation started snowing down.   The unseen complication.

Most projects have unseen complications.   Often, more than one trip to the store is needed.   Maybe it’s only a tool you don’t realize is needed until you get into the project.  Sometimes the complication is a mistake, causing more work.  Often, the problem is that you just can’t know everything going into a project.

It is good advice to assume that there will be the unexpected in every project, and plan the extra time and extra expense for every project.

Someday Working from Home will be Common

As a child, most of my somedays were about becoming an adult, and following in my Mother’s footsteps, having a family of my own.  In the 1960’s becoming a mother was the accepted aspiration of a young woman.  Women were talking about careers, and our own mothers were supportive of education for their daughters “just in case.”

Our mothers were not necessarily supportive of our working once children were in the picture.  When I asked my mother if she would be willing to help with childcare so I  could work, the answer wasn’t  just “No thank you,” but included an expression of shock and disappointment that I  had the nerve to ask her to help me shirk my parenting responsibilities.  Mom recommended I take care of my own children, just as she had.

Someday advances in technology will bring many jobs from the workplace into the home.  Are you skeptical?  In 2016 there was a 36% increase in remote job listings.  While computer and IT jobs dominate the at home job opportunities, there are also opportunities in medical and health, sales, administration, customer service,  education,training, and marketing.

Remote jobs, offsite jobs, telecommuting jobs are different names for the same thing, working outside of the traditional work place.

Still not sure these are real jobs?  They are jobs such as transcription, translation, training, teaching, tech support specialists, designers, writer and editor, travel agent, accounting, administration and recruiting.

The benefits for employers include reduced facilities costs, lower absenteeism, lower turnover, and savings of an estimated $10,000 per employee per year.

The benefits to the employee includes 15 days of time saved from commuting, and savings between $1,600 and $6,800.  In addition, 47 percent of telecommuters are very satisfied with their jobs as compared with a 27 percent very satisfied rate of their office bound peers.

Telecommuting doesn’t mean parents will never need childcare help.  Your job will still have all the other requirements of your in-office counterpart.  Telecommuting does mean increased options and flexibility for families, and for employers who want to retain productive workers.

 

Shades of Green

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Original  collage by April Eileen Sutton 

The delicate shades of spring

 Fresh grass, new leaves, lucky clover,

Fresh scent makes me sing,

And dance like fairies in spring.

Emerald sparkling crowning king,

Kelly bright and vibrant!

Velvety forest a luxuriant swing,

With playful sprites conspiring.

No aqua pools can sooth the sting,

When dressed in jealousy.

No cling of suspicious looks fling,

Contentment upon a thing.

Reality

Imagine if we were equal,

No educational advantage,

All equally bright,

Talent across the board.

 

Imagined no advantage of position,

None with higher status,

None with more money,

All equally attractive.

 

Imagine all things equal,

Would we all be successful,

Would we all be prosperous,

Could we all be happy.

 

But imagination is unreal

How can we be just,

Compassionate and loving,

When things are  uneven.

 

 

International

A taste of home from Lebanon.

2017 Resolution

Between Christmas and now, I totally surrendered to temptation.  The indulgence of holiday foods crossed over into gluttony.  I’ve eaten pie every day for a week.  I’ve lived off leftovers for a week.  I have lounged around the house and done nothing!  I am fat and stupid happy.  All things have their time, and the holidays are over.

I don’t need a scale to tell me I have over done it.  I have enjoyed a period of laziness, after the rush of cleaning and cooking for holiday guests, but now it is time to get back to real life.  Getting back to routine feels good.

For some family and friends, real life invaded the holidays with injuries, hospitalization and even death.  Getting back to find their real lives will take a period of recovery, grief, and adjustment.  For some, real life will be changed forever.

Comfort can be found in routine.  Routine doesn’t need to be thought about, decided each day.  Routine is a well-worn path that we can follow.  All that is required by routine is one small action at a time.  Eventually, we again notice details.  Something calls for attention.  A choice is made.  Time has carried us to a new day.

Some people are concerned that being in a routine will leave them in a rut rather than a groove.  A well crafted routine relieves stress and creates peace, while forging pathways into the future.

Exercising routinely will lead to greater fitness and health.  Reading every evening countless books can be read.  Seeking knowledge routinely  will lead to being knowledgeable.  Regularly writing a few words a day can lead to pages of text. Reaching out to others on a routine basis can strengthen relationships, forming strong relationships.  Instead of a rut, the future is made bright and interesting.

The key is to establish a good routine.  A good routine has built-in flexibility, time for dreaming, time for creating, and time for catching up when routine is inevitably interrupted by unexpected events, like a cat bite infection that lands someone in the emergency room.   Because we have unstructured time built into our routine, interruptions in our routine will not derail our goals and intentions.

With these thoughts in mind, my resolution for 2017 is to establish a good routine.

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Cat bite.

You Won

This is probably when I  should just be quiet, bite my tongue bloody, and step away from the computer.  But Nooooo!  That is not what I’m doing.  All my common sense says, “This will make me no friends.”  Really.  I know. But this is really just too amusing.

Sure I am disappointed that my candidate didn’t get elected.  I accept the decision of my country, and hope for the best.  While I  may disagree on policy, you won’t find me seeking a second amendment solution.  Name calling really isn’t my style, either.

After a campaign openly supported by the alt-right (a new word for antisemitic racist swastika bearing white supremacists), some people aren’t willing to let it go.  Not all Republicans are alt-right, racists or others in the basket of deplorables, but unless you have avoided the news completely, and why wouldn’t you, you have seen the rallies with neo-Nazis lifting their arm in salute shouting Trump.

A cafe in Hawaii has posted a sign to prohibit Trump voters and Nazis.  Republicans are not just annoyed, but complaining about the poor taste of offering a side of politics with lunch.

I had this very same reaction, which I shared with Hubby repeatedly, during the Clinton administration and again during the Obama years.  While going to a dentist, insurance office, or other private business I constantly saw disrespectful political signs and distasteful cartoon. My complaints were met with mockery of my political correctness.   President Clinton and President Obama were frequently called Hitler by those opposing them politically.

During the last eight years, I  have had to endure lectures on the evils of universal healthcare or Obamacare.  I have had to change my podiatrist and my orthopedist, because at the cost of these specialists, I thought it poor taste to subject me to their political diatribe. While not unfeeling about the financial hit they are taking, I have a hard time feeling too bad when their houses are much bigger and their cars are much finer than mine.

Political comments are totally lacking in civility. Comments on the President and first family have taken on a very personal tone, have been overtly racist, and without regard for the fact that most people will not be persuaded to change their views by name calling, anger, and disdain.

Where has all of this righteous indignation been over the last eight years?  To those minority Republicans living among the Democrat enemy,  I would like to assure you that you will survive.  Of course, you could move here to coal country.  Feeling pillaged by Obama policy, coal county is the lap of the Trump majority.  We could trade houses for awhile.  Deal?

Why I Hate my Tablet

Full disclosure:  I am not a great speller.  I was a great speller through grade school.  I received spelling awards each year from first through sixth grade.  Then something happened.  I don’t know what.  My Dad always told me that if spelling ever became important to me, I would figure out how to do spell.

The more I write and publish, the more important good spelling is to me.  My Hubby is an excellent editor, but I do not like to depend upon him.  Spellcheck is a lifesaver, but it won’t catch everything.  I do find self editing very challenging.  After writing several drafts, and reading my own work over and over again, I tend to read what I meant, rather than what is actually there.

I do so miss the days when I had an editor to make sure nothing slips by.  Truth be told, no-one is perfect, not even the excellent editors of the Intelligencer Journal for whom I served as a correspondent for several years covering the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.

Add my less than stellar typing skills, and you have a perfect storm for mistakes on words I clearly must know how to spell.  Now add my tablet, or telephone, with the tiny little keyboard, and being technology-challenged have yet to figure out how to turn off auto correct.  I try very hard to have “clean copy” for my posts, but errors in my comments have proven comically frustrating.   Spell check is no help there.

What kind of professional am I?  Wait a minute!  I don’t get paid for any of this.

I will admit, if spell check doesn’t find any errors, I feel cautiously optimistic.  If Hubby doesn’t mention any mistakes, I do rise and take a bow, and imagine the ovation from my many readers around the world.

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