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BY tbeck

02/01 Direct Link
These are long ago memories from attending a Catholic school for the first, second and third grade. One early memory included Sister Theresa who wore the traditional habit swapping my hand with a ruler. This experience was the first public humilation and I wasn't even sure what I did wrong. Was I trumatized by this? You bet and it set a tone for the rest of my education. Why trust authority especially connected to religion. The saving grace came with my dad's job promotion and we moved to a new city. Thank God my parents sent us to public school.
02/02 Direct Link
If you asked him he'd say he has no regrets. Looking back it was the early 70's and he just missed the draft. College wasn't an option. Through a family friend he got a job working on a movie set in Los Angeles. His first job was a campy B movie and forty years later the film business has enabled him to travel all over the world. He's currently in Malaysia finishing up an action packed movie and will end on the highest note of his career. He's giving his life, his sanity and everything he's known to the movies
02/03 Direct Link
He arrived in Bangkok, Thailand a few days ago to begin his 2 1/2 months of traveling. This has been a trip he's been planning for months. Actually since his mother passed away last April and he inherited her estate. Finally, he was in a financial position to retire from his job, finish some home improvements, invest some of the money and do some traveling. I'm seeing messages and photos via Facebook. Sharing play by play actions of a single man visiting the ancient temples, drinking in seedy Thai bars and meeting tons of women. He couldn't be happier.
02/04 Direct Link
February always seems so early to start thinking about growing food but I'm six weeks out from planting in the garden. I've done the ordering of seeds online and plotted out the beds. To cut costs I grow my own starts. Today I seeded seven trays of broccoli, kale, boy choy, swiss chard, onions and leeks. If all goes well I'll get a decent germination and have some healthy cold weather starts to put in the ground by the end of March. The weather can always be a factor but I peservere and I'm hopeful that the plants will survive.
02/05 Direct Link
Awaken at 2:30 am and the dog is scratching to go out. He's crazy to think I'll let him out the front door in order to scare off the coyotes yipping in the field or chase down the deer who have walked across the front yard. He wants to do what the breed tells him he should do. Hunt and retrieve. His drive and focus has always been an asset and sometimes used against him in numerous situations. At this hour he's instinctively doing what nature says, he needs a job. Please let me out to protect my territory.
02/06 Direct Link
I'm not sure where the past four days went and now playing catch up with writing. I'm enjoying the new voices to 100 words and have wondered what teacher has assigned this site to the class curriculum? Who really enjoys the writing and who will stick with it? I've said this before but it amazes me of all the millions who have access to the internet and this free site why more don't utilitze it? On an average under fifty people a month complete a batch. Each day I write I applaud my efforts however mundane it may be. A+.
02/07 Direct Link
Charles Dickens was born 200 years ago today and global celebrations were held in his honor to mark the anniversary. While listening to NPR this morning it said Dickens used to walk for miles every day while working on the characters for his novel. Apparently the walks generated the creativity and inspiration he needed. I was more intrigued by his life and wonder what other famous writers either living or deceased have similiar habits like daily walks or meditation. Whatever the practice the idea is the same. Create healthy rhythms. Look within and do what you love every day. Write.
02/08 Direct Link
She never liked the idea of answering personal ads to meet men but with the computer she's hooked on the dating sites. She's tried a number of sites but doesn't like to pay the monthly fees. One site claimed to match couples by interests and values. The first four men were not compatible. She felt no spark and didn't care to have a second date. After some second thoughts she considered pulling her profile but alas another match. She emailed him, they chatted and soon after agreed to meet for lunch. There was instant chemistry. Love is in the air.
02/09 Direct Link
I wouldn't exactly say I was awestruck when I first met someone famous. Growing up in the suburbs of Ohio I had the opportunity to meet Charo, the blond, buxom entertainer on a promotional tour of her latest album playing flamenco guitar. As an employee of a record store I was invited to a promo party in Cleveland and among press and other media she mingled throughout the crowd. Photos were taken and she did her cha, cha cha thing. Charo did it well and for that time she had her fifteen minutes of fame. Wonder where she is now?
02/10 Direct Link
I'm remembering the Farrah Fawcett hair that I tried to emulate in high school. The wispy windblown look that she was famous for. Everyone I knew had the look. I spent hours every morning trying to get my hair to look like hers. I used a blow dryer followed by hot curlers and touch up with a curling iron. So much work for a style that wouldn't hold. My hair was fine, straight and layed flat. The poofed up feathery look didn't work. Styles are styles. They either work or they don't. Glad I know longer need to follow one.
02/11 Direct Link
Iíve been reminiscing the 70ís lately and what that time was like for me. Every decade seems to be known for something and growing up I thought the 70ís were uneventful. The sterile suburbs of Ohio didnít offer much except I lived close to Cleveland and had access to some of the best rock and roll music. Starting at fourteen I was going to concerts and some classic bands I got to see were America, Elton John, Bad Company, Peter Frampton, Hall and Oates, Foghat, The Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, J. Geils Band.
02/12 Direct Link
We had our clique in our high school and that stuck with the same six or seven girls until we graduated. We weren't jocks or nerds or druggies but we did like to party. Drinking for us was the norm even though we were underage we could buy alcohol and for years we got away with it. I had access to a car, usually an older model beater but we didn't care. On any given weekend I'd pick up Kathy, Anna, Sue, Chris and Sandy and off we went to the latest party. Just a bunch of high school girls.
02/13 Direct Link
I'm not sure what's gotten into me with the past entries. I'm going down memory lane and can't seem to stop thinking about the 70's. Guess I'm dating myself but the times were good ones. The one song written by Ian Dury in 1977, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll summed it up for that time period. It was a phrase coined for my generation, maybe an anthem. Sex & drugs & rock & roll, is all my brain and body needs. I'm happy I got to see Ian Dury and his band perform this song at a small club belting it out real loud.
02/14 Direct Link
My husband and I have been visiting his parents on the gulf coast of Alabama since Saturday. Despite the unseasonably cold snap we're seeing the sights and appreciating the slower pace. I became alarmed after eating dinner at a local restaurant and having a very candid conversation with the waitress. It'll be almost two years ago since the BP oil spill hit this region. She's watched the whole thing and has had many conversations with BP officials, cleanup crews and concerned citizens. The beaches look pristine but what lies beneath the ocean floor and all of God's creatures? BP knows.
02/15 Direct Link
While I was showering yesterday morning my husband ran down to the beach and with a stick spelled out our names inside a big heart. As he was doing it a group on the first floor balcony were watching him and applauded when he was finished. After I was dressed he called me out to the 9th floor balcony and I glanced down to see his Valentine's Day message. It was such a surprise. His gesture was simple and for me better than a store bought card, box of chocolates or bouquet of roses. A sweet Valentine's from my love.
02/16 Direct Link
The last two mornings I've gone out alone and taken a beach walk at sunrise. I apprecite the solitude and the serenity of the morning. The time is meditative with the sound of the waves and ocean air. The small flock of least terns and a number of seagulls calmly wait by the shore. The low tide brings out the serious fishermen pumping for sand shrimp or ghost shrimp. They work in pairs pumping the sand with their pvc made tool and the other stands nearby with a net. It looks like a lot of work but they seem content.
02/17 Direct Link
Another early morning walk on the beach before the day starts. The sky looks promising in the east as the sun breaks through the clouds and almost looks like it'll be a sunny day. But as I head back towards the condo the western sky is dark and rain is falling in the distance. I notice the contrast between the two skies and eventually the patch of blue sky is gone. I finish my walk in the rain and even jog a ways but the rain feels good. I am surrounded by the the power of nature, all 360 degrees.
02/18 Direct Link
Mardi Gras revelry is in full swing in the southern part of Alabama and the parades have been happening all over the region. We went to one last night, the first for my husband and I. As the first float drove by the driver of the truck yelled to us to join them. We ran over and climbed aboard and for a couple blocks we got to experience the frenzy of the crowd. Everyone is yelling for beads, moon pies, stuffed animals, t-shirts, nickles or candy. Crazy energy with kids, parents and grandparents grabbing the loot. Happy Fat Tuesday.
02/19 Direct Link
Today we leave for the airport but I take advantage of the morning and head to the beach for one more walk. After a night of severe thunderstorms the Gulf is relatively calm and the sky is amazing. Initially the beach is empty but as I walk east I pass by one other man and we acknowledge with "good morning". Further down a number of photographers are set up with cameras on tripods to capture the sunrise. Clusters of women are picking up shells and filling their plastic bags. A few fishermen are scattered along the beach. A peaceful time.
02/20 Direct Link
Fred was a retired farmer living with his wife in Fairfield, Iowa. After his retirement he continued to work part-time as a janitor for their church and every spring he planted a vegetable garden. Minnie, the stoic farm wife complied with Fredís interest and helped pick, can and preserve. After she turned seventy-nine she told Fred ďI wonít can another bean, no more garden this year.Ē He knew it was too much work for her and that summer he planted seeds and bulbs for flowers. He picked and took bouquets of dalhias to the local hospital.
02/21 Direct Link
She only wants to control and has no idea she's doing it. She created a world in which she calls the shots and everyone around her succumbs to her wishes. It doesn't matter what it is. If you go out to eat she'll choose the restaurant and she'll tell you what streets to drive on. The behavior is exhausting and you can't offer anything. Her mind is made up, end of sentence. Just accept and don't get in her way. How does someone have so much power over other people? Not the right time to challenge her self centered ways.
02/22 Direct Link
On this date in 1892, the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine and spent her formative years in Camden, a coastal town eight miles up Highway 1. In 1985 I spent six months living in that region working and taking classes at the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport, situated between the two towns. It was then I learned she grew up in Maine and was shown the house from her childhood. This was an aspiring time for me and during those six months I photographed daily, hiked Mt. Battie and explored the quaint New England town.
02/23 Direct Link
He's trying to get attention but he's going about it the wrong way. As a fourteen year old it's not a good idea to make a threat to any authority figure in school. Before the Christmas he spoke the words out loud "If he takes my notebook away I'll come back and kill him." That was directed to the assitant principal and the authorities were called. The student was sent to juvenile delinquency for two months and the other day released. Rumors started circulating he was on the loose, no where to be found. Today the school issued a lockdown.
02/24 Direct Link
A friend of mine is traveling in Thailand spending two months on an adventure. He's semi-retired so has the time to see the country and get off the beaten track. He's posting photos and tales of his adventures on Facebook visiting many of the Buddhist temples since his interest in Buddhism started in his thirties. He's a Buddhist at heart but also a man who has sexual needs. He's finding the Thai people have a more open view of their sexuality and not ashamed of prostituting. Or at least some are not ashamed or just making a decent living.
02/25 Direct Link
The other morning I came across the name of a young woman I used to babysit for when she was a toddler and her brother was just born. Both her parents worked full time and I was paid a nice salary to care for them. Not the best scenario for mother, children bonding but I didn't question the mother's decision to return to work. This young woman, now in her mid twenties attended both a private high school and graduated from a small liberal arts school with a degree in Political Science. Her life is just beginning in San Francisco.
02/26 Direct Link
Guess what? No surprise that we're all too busy to listen to each other. Ever notice you're having a conversation with someone, anyone and as you're speaking you get interrupted so they can interject a comment, thought or idea? Or you start telling a story and again they interrupt so they can share a similiar story they've had? Do you know what that feels like? This is my observation but getting harder to sit and talk with someone without this happening. Here's a mindful practice. When you are in conversation just sit and listen and really hear those words spoken.
02/27 Direct Link
A sweet baby girl was born on the East Coast at 6:37pm. Her name Evelyn Rose with two wonderful parents who will love and cherish their first born. The past few days of waiting, she would come when she was ready. So the weekend came and went and under the advice of the doctor a C-section was performed. It may not have been what my step daughter had hoped for with her first born but the professionals made the final call. Turns out it was the best decision made and mother and baby girl are doing just fine.
02/28 Direct Link
Tall and lanky wearing a plaid, flannel shirt he's standing next to the truck and grins exposing a missing tooth. The road of hard living has taken a toll on his body and spirit. I overlook the bad teeth and glance in his eyes. There is still life left in him. He no longer wants to hurt himself. Despite the years of childhood abuse he's survived. How many more are wandering the earth, suffering from generations of abuse? The courts have given him a second chance and he's hopeful he can turn his life around. Today, he wants to live.
02/29 Direct Link
Never had an experience like the one I had early this morning. My dream was so vivid. I was with a group of people in a school building and I looked out the window and could see a tornado in the distance which was coming right in our direction. I yelled to the people that we needed to get out and find a more secure place but no one wanted to leave the building. As the tornado got closer, the sound was intense and then I woke up. The morning news reported a major tornado touched down in the Midwest.