Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Meld



I never quite know how to Feel about this time of the Year... when The Meld between Autumn and Winter happens in the Retail World.  And blends one Holiday into another until it doesn't quite Feel like Thanksgiving or Christmas... perhaps more like Thankschristmas!?   The Harvest Vibe is still happening and outside you know it's still Autumn and the Celebration of Thanksgiving is coming soon.  That most neglected of Holidays in the Retail World, with just Token Offerings in the way of Decor for it.  Thanksgiving might get a Shelf or an End Cap Display in most Shops, mebbe a solitary one sided Row at the Big Box Mega Stores with a wealth of other Inventory.




Yet Christmas is evident everywhere now and not just making an Appearance, it's made a full fledged Takeover already!   And from a Retail Standpoint I totally Get It, so no explanations are Needed, I just don't know how to FEEL about it every Year at about this time?!   Though I thoroughly revel in everything Christmas, I'm just not ready to Celebrate it yet.  I want to revel in the remnants of Autumn and Celebrate Thanksgiving properly and Honor that Holiday's significance.   Says me, who just bought an inexpensive White Christmas Tree the other day before they Sell Out, so that I have enough Time to also Tea Stain it!  *Bwahahahahaha!*




Yeah, tho' I don't know quite how to Feel about it all, I do Sell Out and go along with The Meld happening in full force.  You might as well go along with The Flow or you'd just end up left behind like jetsam and flotsam after all!   And being left behind during the Holidays would mean trying to play catch up too late.  With too little left after it's been thoroughly picked over by the exuberant Christmas Shoppers who get an early jump start!   I Love Shopping and Retail Therapy but I don't happen to be your Black Friday kinda Gal, there's nothing I actually Need that badly to participate in The Madness.




Last Year, because The Young Prince couldn't Believe I had never in my long Life participated in a Black Friday by Shopping on that day, reluctantly convinced me to do it with him.  I didn't really want to but he was very persuasive, he said I might even find I would Enjoy it!?  The first Store I cut my Foot badly on a broken shard of shattered blown Christmas Glass Ornaments that were smashed all over the floor by reckless Black Friday Shopping throngs that were losing their Minds!   I mean, who looks DOWN while Shopping, Right, especially when you've got swarms of Crazed Folks around you who have lost all Control and decorum and have to scope out your Escape Routes through them?!  *LOL*




As we were picking the broken shard of Ornament Glass out of my Foot and having a Clueless Clerk poorly administer First Aide I asked my Grandson if I was perhaps Enjoying myself yet?  *Winks*   We aborted the whole Fantasy of an Enjoyable Black Friday Shopping Spree, I'd had enough as I hobbled out of the Store still bleeding.  I was thinking more along the lines of a Lawsuit, but frankly, Stores cannot help The Madness and carnage the Crazed Black Friday Shoppers create when they descend upon them!  It would be impossible to run sufficient damage control behind these Crazed Masses until after they leave or at least thin out sufficiently, because they act more like Looters than Shoppers!




It's like The Mob Mentality takes over and they run with it because it's almost considered acceptable.   I'd like to think my very brief Black Friday initiation was an exception to the rule, but I think not, I've seen the Videos to the contrary.  I informed my Grandson that it was my first and last Black Friday Experience, I won't even Work on a Black Friday, I don't Need that much Drama and a Headache!   I don't Need the crap shoot of Scoring some Advertised Special that they perhaps have five of and thousands vying to Score it!   I don't find Camping Out in front of a Store to be the ultimate Camping Experience.  Especially if the hardship of doing it comes away empty handed because you didn't even Score what you Camped Out to try to buy?! 




And even if you did, do you really Need that Cheap Brand of Big Screen TV they were Advertising to Sucker you in?   Wouldn't it have just been better and easier to Save Up for a little while and buy the Better Quality Brand Name one instead and not Deal with The Madness or risk of NOT getting it?   I've tried to have avid Black Friday Shoppers explain the Appeal to me, it makes about as much sense to me as to why someone avidly Supports a Bad President tho', I just can't wrap my Mind around it!  *LOL*   But I'll avoid Politics, that gets Messy too... and never has a Meaningful Outcome.  Besides, 'tis getting to be The Season to try to be Jolly, to have Peace and Good Will towards ALL.  So I'll keep that in Mind thruout the Holidays and Holy Days when Dealing with Society in general and leave the Mysteries as just remaining Mysterious.  *Winks*




Even if I don't have a single thing I Need or even Want to purchase, I do Enjoy Window Shopping tho' and that's one of my absolute favorite past times during the Holiday Seasons.   Even with The Meld, it's a lot of Eye Candy to take in visually and Appreciate thoroughly while it's all still intact.   Before it's ravaged and picked over it's all quite Lovely to behold and so I go out and behold it all as often as I'm able to.   I like to see what's Trending in the way of Holiday Decor and Styles this Year, as opposed to previous Years?  There is always a Trend happening and it's always quite Evident.   Not always certain who Created the Trends or if they will last, but some do have some staying power.  Others were flashes in the pan and fall out of favor fast.  Or perhaps were never favored and that too will be evident, as to how much of that didn't Sell and ends up on Clearance en mass?!




I'm sure there's some statistical oriented individuals that pay attention to what the Masses are gravitating towards on any given Year.   Sometimes I actually do Like what might be Trending... and sometimes I just scratch my Head and don't understand the Appeal at all?  Usually though it's just not my Aesthetic or Sensibility so I'd never Buy it no matter how Trendy it's alleged to now be, I Like what I Like even if nobody else digs it.  In fact I almost prefer when they don't so I can get it Cheaper, since I was gonna Buy it anyway!  *Winks*  I know my Tastes are very Eclectic and Eccentric so there's not usually a lot of peeps vying for what I totally fall in Lust with and that's Fine with me!  Means I don't have to Throw Down for it and can sometimes Negotiate a Deal if nobody else Wants it or has to have it!?




Now as a Retail Hobbyist that poses some Challenges, since I'd have to gather My Tribe to really reach the demographic that would Buy my merchandise if I were to Do Me exclusively.   I've been waffling about doing that for Years now in my Modest Retail Spaces at the Antique Mall.  I haven't stepped out and done it yet, mostly because the Economy has still been so Soft and Overhead keeps increasing every Year anyway.   Clearing Profits is hard enough when the Economy isn't Strong and if you're not making Money you're probably losing Money and I'd close it all down should I not be Profiting.  I can't sustain an Experiment right now so I just haven't tried to Experiment with what the Market would bear?  I'm Curious tho', the Alice in me wants to go down My Rabbit Hole deeply and try to take my Customers with me!  *Winks*




I have had the Deeper Discussions about it with my Inner Circle and perhaps 2019 would be the Year to step off into the Unknown and just do a Free Fall down My Rabbit Hole to see what happens?   Now that I've got The Hoarded Garages Mega Project Completed, I only have tinier management Projects at Villa Boheme' to tackle.   So I can throw myself into my Hobbies and Art Projects with more reckless abandon.  I fully intend to pursue something that I have more Passion for than just getting unpacked and completely moved in... I mean, it's been over four freakin' Years after all man!  *Bwahahaha!*   Can you only tell that our Nomadic Didi Kai Existence Days could be over, just because Moving now is just such an Ordeal?   Either that or we'll just have to Sell it ALL and hit the Open Road... we're just not Sure yet?!  *LOL*




We are People of Extremes so it could go either way... and that would be Okay!  *Smiles*   My Commune here at Villa Boheme' will be breaking up some soon, the Young Gal that The Grandson is Friends with, who found herself suddenly Homeless and has lived with us this past Month, is finally going Home.  Nope, her Parents never did make it out here to retrieve her, tho' she can go Home, so we're taking this Show on the Road and delivering her, kinda like UPS!  *LMAO*  Her Boyfriend has come over so that he can help The Young Prince, her and I, load up her possessions and deposit it all at her Parent's Home when they come back from Work later Today.   She's the Sweetest Young Woman and has been Grateful to have to not live in a Park or on the Streets for this past Month when her living arrangements suddenly fell apart.




Getting her safely back Home will be Mission accomplished and be a relief to The Grandson and I, we Care what happened to her.   Those just becoming Adults don't have Life all figured out the Moment they turn 18, I Wish more Seasoned Adults didn't presume they just will because of a single Birthday and that Parenting is over the Morning of a Child turning 18!   But I won't go off on that tangent and pet peeve of mine, you can't tell anyone how to raise their own Kiddos or not to forsake them, to each their own and the consequences thereof.  




Tho' many places have "Help Wanted" posted in the minimum wage job market realm, I've taken enough 18 Year Olds and even Retired Grown Seniors crappy job hunting now to know they're not always actually hiring.  Nor calling anyone back whose filled out Applications everywhere they could in hopes of being hired or at least get a damned Interview.  Everyone wants Online Applications only now, they don't wanna see you in Person anymore.  I've watched numerous Applications filled out Online now at places allegedly hiring and the IMMEDIATE response within mere seconds of Not Interested come back at the Applicants... nobody could have possibly read those Applications that fast!   I know I'm a Dinosaur but things have altered in strange ways as to hiring practices I guess?




The Young Prince likes to joke with me that it's all very Simple really... he and his peers are too Young and have no real Experience... and me and my peers are too Old and have too much Experience.   I think he could be Right?   That's why so many of my Friends are Homeless at 18 he said.  Coz they can't find a job or work their way thru College with no job and their Parents just kick them out, because now they're a burden or liability to the Family Unit's function or convenience?   Since I know a bunch of Seniors struggling too, who either aren't able to Work anymore or had to Retire, I suppose we've also found ourselves, as a demographic, in that Grey Space {no pun intended} of being a burden or liability to Society's function or convenience?  I'm Thinking Soylent Green... and those of you of the early 1970's know what I'm talkin' bout!   Those Younger can Google it and catch up.  *LOL*




So the Homeless and sometimes Jobless and/or Retired of both demographics of newly Adult and struggling Seniors hope to find temporary Hostel somewhere if things just don't work out for them.  We've taken in our Quota recently of Friends and it's kinda been reminiscent of the Hippie Communal Living Era of sincerely helping one another out and just putting more water in the Beans to do it and make it Work.  I actually Liked those bygone days of camaraderie and helping one another out in a hands on meaningful way of action and not just mere words.  Now it seems the typical automatic response when someone has a very real Need is for someone to say they'll Pray for them.   I don't diminish the Power of fervent Prayer, but the trite knee jerk line of saying it to every Person's serious problems reminds me of people automatically asking how you're doing.  Then not even expecting a response or wanting to hear it either, so it's meaninglessly being Polite and not at all Sincere sounding nor Involved.




At this time of Year especially, the Giving and the Thanksgiving should be more on the Minds and Hearts of the Populace.  Something even just a little bit Sacrificial and Meaningful going on between Human Beings in response to what the Holidays and Holy Days should be representing.  Or is it just all pomp and circumstance, a form and a fashion, window dressing of Lovely things gracing our Homes but not bestowing much Grace nor Mercy upon others, or about making Money since People spend more this Season?  Are we going thru the motions automatically and without Thought to what we're Representing in our Celebration of both the Holidays and the Holy Days?  We do try to make it more Meaningful than Decorating the Home, trying to make more Money and going Shopping or attending Seasonal Events.   Anyone can lose their way, and that's Okay so long as they continue the Journey upon the Right Path eventually.




We're all on the Journey, but we choose our Individual Paths... final destination is Death eventually, so it's what you do inbetween Birth and Death that matters in this Realm.   And to the Believer will be Judged in the next Realm accordingly.   To someone without a Spiritual inclination perhaps just here will ever matter, but I do think it's still worth making the Best of it and Being the Best version of yourself you can possibly be without excuses.   People can and do come up with all kinds of excuses tho', Interesting to hear them and the justification behind them that is given.  If a person can come up with an excuse they feel they can justify and make it Okay, then they fail to see what the definition is of excuses.   I personally prefer to hear a valid explanation I can respect and not some lame excuse someone's trying to justify of a fault, an offense or attempt to lessen blame.




We always raised our Kiddos to cut the crap with excuses and give us valid explanations instead.  When the statement or account makes something clear I'm more inclined to listen intently and take it seriously.  Excuses are just too easy to make up and are a dime a dozen and often not very believable either.  It's like the Mind of someone put on the spot is racing to find the handiest excuse to pass off as a reason or justification, even if they only JUST had it pop into their Head so as to get off the hook or shift blame somewhere else.  I know why I avoid DOING something, there doesn't have to be any smoke and mirrors about it, the Truth is just easier than some fabrication to appease conscience or Save Face.   Keep it 100% or keep moving... my Hope is that most folks opt to Keep it Real and they're not some fake facade of Self?  Hard to tell with some tho', they Clean Up well in Public and the ruse mostly works so they work it.




The most common ruse and excuse is that some would do more if they had more.  No you wouldn't, I call that BS out, Money just Magnifies what you already are and having more of it isn't changing that.  If you were a stingy asshole before you had Money, you're just gonna be a bigger one with Money, that's all.   If you were a generous lovely person without Money, you'll just be more philanthropic and help more people when you attain greater affluence, that's all.   I've had Money and I've been broke, I was exactly the same in both situations, my State of Being didn't alter over having some Paper in my Wallet and the Bank... or not... and yours won't either.  If you want to be known as a Giver, then just Give... if you want to be known as a Taker, then just Take... no excuses and ruses to try to convince people otherwise.   We SEE who you already really are by what Actions you take or don't take.




Doesn't take a freakin' Fortune Teller to figure that shit out really, it's evident, you might be fooling a few, but mostly not everybody buys into the facade.  By the way, dont'cha Love my new acquisition of Art that I bought from my Friend Michelle?   I got it 50% Off after Season when Halloween Decor was winding down and everyone was scrambling for Christmas.  The very Best thing about Loving Halloween Year round is that I can Source the Best Halloween, Oddity, Weird and Wonderful stuff when other people aren't even thinking about it anymore.  I'm going to dress Madame Olga up some before I Style with her, and I Love her Antique Frame which is as heavy as a Boat Anchor, but that also means I may opt to prop her up rather than hang her up?




I didn't initially feel like I Needed a Holiday Gnome, but the more of them I see around, they are growing on me like they did in the 70's with the Woodland Ogre Trolls of that Era!  *Smiles*   Don't know if I'll buy one yet or not, but I just might... depending on if one makes me fall in Love with it and wants to come Home with me at the right price point?   Too many Grandkids to buy for to have a Spendy Gnome Dude raiding the coffer during the Holidays and it's not as if I Need ANY more Holiday Decor!  *Ha ha ha ha*   I'm actually trying to seriously downsize my Seasonal Storage items nowadays coz how many Christmases do I still have in me, ya know?!  I'll probably be loading up my own Retail Spaces with Christmas Past to get that corner of the Double Car Garage weeded out and culled sufficiently!




I am absolutely and positively diggin' those Sepia rare Christmas Trees like this one tho' even if they don't come in serious sizes!   And even tho' they do still come with serious price tags which have prohibited me from buying any so far even tho' I've Lusted after them for a few Years already.   Very few Stores or Vendors even have them and Online Sources have turned up zilch, so I don't even know who makes them?   Which is why I'll be attempting to dye my own, and we'll see how that goes?  *LOL*




I really Wanted to come Home with this small Plaque, picked it up and carried it around, then went back and put it back, leaving it behind since I didn't really Need it.   I can distinguish between a Need and a Want... tho' it can get muddy if I get The Meld of a Needy Want.  *Winks*   So I am not against Season Melds at all, I just don't know how to Feel about them!?  *Le Sigh*




Passing on the Madly Popular Holiday Gnomes wasn't so difficult since I didn't necessarily Need nor Want one, they were still growing on me and thus I didn't know how to Feel about them either?   Some things are Madly Cute but I can Pass without hesitation, I mean EVERY Kitten, Puppy and Baby is Cute, but that doesn't mean I Want or Need any more of them!   Tho' clearly we're still picking up the occasional Stray one here and there, aren't we?!  *LOL*




I really Liked the Graphics of that large Sign but I don't Dream in French and so it just wasn't appropriate.  I do Like a lot of French Classic Style, and even French Nordic Style, but I'm not a self professed Francophile by any stretch of the Imagination.   My Dreams are much more Eclectic than that.  I had a really Weird one last Night in fact... analyzing Dreams can be Interesting.   Analyzing why I had that particularly Weirdo one tho' was not something I wanted to do or get to the bottom of!  *Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!* 




So Today, with Thanksgiving heavily upon the Minds of every Member of the Family apparently, except Mine, everyone wanted to know my Thanksgiving Plans for getting together this Year?  We have extra People in the household this Thanksgiving and that part is perfectly Fine, but this is my first Thanksgiving of the Nutritarian eating and ditching Meats ie: any Turkey or Ham!   My Friend whose temporarily living with us is a Vegetarian and has been for Years so she's been giving me some options to consider.  Right now Princess T and The Young Prince have told their Grandpa that they no longer eat Meat now either!?  Who knew, not I!!!   Besides I tell him, doesn't she know that her Little Ceasar's Hot Wings are Meat?   Apparently she's making THAT exception, go figure!  *LOL*  Actually Princess T doesn't and hasn't ever eaten much Meat anyway so she could easily swing Vegetarian or Vegan I suspect?




The Young Prince once tried to go Vegetarian for two Weeks when he was a Resident in a Children's Mental Hospital, probably not the best Timing, it didn't work out!  * Bwahahahahaha!*   Sorry, my Gallows Humor you know... just sayin'...   Apparently I've Inspired him to try again... but who knows... he's Hot and Cold on what he does always since he has Borderline Personality Disorder, so he could be a Vegetarian this Week and next Week he might ONLY eat Meat and ditch all Veggies.   Depends on Who he is on any given point in Time!?




I presently have Princess T in Merry Maid Mode and she's been furiously Styling and Cleaning her Spaces upstairs in totally Obsessed Clean Freak Mode.  It will Pass of coarse, but for now her digs look Amazing and almost spotless in an OCD kinda way that I do Wish wouldn't Pass so quickly with her.  She could wreck it all Tomorrow and it might look ransacked, so I try not to get too excited about it or Praise it too much lest I disturb a Balance in The Force and jinx it!?  *Smiles*




Now, by comparison, I had the two 18 Year Olds prance Downstairs to Proudly inform me they had cleaned and organized some and made the Bowels Of Hell, that are his Spaces, a lot Better.  Mostly since I had lost my shit about the condition the day before and threatened to light them all on Fire.   A LOT Better being totally subjective, since my interpretation and theirs is about as vast as the girth of The Grand Canyon.  There had actually been the two Living up there plus four of their Friends working on it so I had higher expectations than usual!  




 I could hear Dishes being washed up there and they borrowed housekeeping supplies, my Friend naively said how Great it was that so many Teens were willingly Cleaning the area he lives in without me going totally berserk to Inspire it or actually lighting any of them on Fire, she was duly Impressed!  She's clearly a Senior not raising Kids. *LOL*  I was Guardedly Optimistic and giving them the benefit of any Doubts, but I had my Doubts, I ain't gonna lie, this ain't my first Rodeo with Older Teens in the house.  I must say The Reptiles Spaces had been meticulously Cleaned and Upgraded, they Live better than their Teen Caregivers and their Guests clearly!   I think 18 Year Olds in general just don't mind flophouse living conditions and are totally Fine with being Oscars rather than Felixes when it comes to housekeeping!   I would much prefer they be Felix Unger Types, but they are Oscar Madison Types and nothing I could do or say will change that State of Being that they clearly just ARE!




They did apparently wash most of the dishes before running out of steam, or eating more, I'm not sure?   Young Men, especially between the Ages of 18-25, can be insatiable when it comes to food!  *LOL*   But the Older ones with Jobs did go out and buy more Food and bring it back with them to Share with the whole Household, so whatever...   They even called from the Grocery Store to ask me what I wanted them to buy for us all, so I am not beyond exploiting opportunity and giving a short List.  *Winks*   The Young Prince is in Culinary Genius Mode, since he's been watching Holiday Food Network Competitions with us Senior Ladies lately, so he's really into making Crepes right now.  He's very good at it actually and I Love Crepes so that's been an upside of his current Obsession and Compulsion.




His Friends clearly think this is better than IHOP right now and so long as they buy the ingredients I'm Down with Sharing the Kitchen and having Communal Crepefests going on for the Holidays while his Obsession with it lasts.  *LOL*   They just came Home with Strawberries, various other Berries and Cream, plus Ice-Cream for Today's Crepes before his Friend leaves and we take her Home to her Parents this Afternoon.  Since some of his Friends drive I am also exploiting The Runner to have Groceries delivered, since we don't live remotely close to any Grocery Stores and Free Curbside Delivery Service is kinda Nice.  *Winks*  Hey, don't Judge me, I've always got a house full of Teenagers, so The Man and I have to get some fringe benefits out of this Arrangement, Right?!   Full time unpaid Caregiving being what is just is, whatever Works you Work it dammit!




The Man, with his Memory Care Issues, will often look and see how many Young People are in his house and ask my Friend and I, Who are all these People and Why are they here?   *LMAO*   He forgets the Names and Faces of all but the ones actually Living here and I think he even Forgot that the Girl isn't even one of Ours now, I mean, it's been a Month, he probably now thinks she's one of our numerous Grand-Daughters?  *Bwahahahahaha!*   He's known my Friend for decades so her presence is a lot more comfortable for him than random Young People who have been long time Friends of his Grandson, but who he cannot always remember who they even are?!  *Smiles*   When they're Nice to him and fetch him stuff, or leave him alone tho', he's quite Content with their presence and mostly ignores them all or doesn't even realize they're here, out of sight, out of Mind for him.  That's why he can't ever be in charge of the Kiddos tho', he'd lose one... or all of them!  *Winks*  Thankfully now they're all Old enough to find their way back Home, so no Worries... we've tried to lose them, it just doesn't Work anymore!  *Winks*




Okay, Truth be told I don't try to actually lose any of them, but I have on occasion forgotten one or two of them!   Senior Moments, I'm not responsible... well, mebbe... but they have the Leash that is our Cell Phones so I can't forget them for very long.  Except mebbe that one time... when I forgot I even brought The Young Prince with me to Work and came Home thinking he was still up in his Room, even when The Man asked where he was... and went to Bed.  He called at about 1:00 a.m. from his Friend's House, where I was supposed to pick him up after my Shift at 9:00 p.m., they thought I'd been carjacked or something and he was crying, I felt bad.  We didn't get back Home until about 3:00 a.m. since it was a long commute back and forth into the City!  *LMAO*  Now he blows up my Phone before I leave Work if he's come along, just so we don't have a repeat performance... they Learn quickly how to adapt and improvise when being raised by Seniors!  It's just not Natural for people our Age to still be raising Kids, what can I say?  *LOL*




But we joke with them that we're Grooming them all to look after us in our Advanced Old Age.  Right now they're scheming on the best way, when that Time comes, to drop us off at the very Best Nursing Home we can't afford anonymously and file off our fingerprints so we can't be traced?  *LMAO*   They kind of Like the Gaelic Idea of a really big kick ass Wake when we Pass, The Man and I have prepaid Funerals we paid for Years ago.  Mom and I went Casket Shopping Years ago to pre-arrange it all, hey, it was still Shopping... The Man thought it Creepy so he let us pick out his too and stayed behind.   When I got Home he asked what I'd picked out for him and I said an Oak Casket with Eagles, Mom reminded me it was a Bronze Casket with Seagulls... whatever!  As for me I got the gaudiest damned Casket I could find, just to make the Kiddos all laugh like Hell at my Funeral and Celebrate how Insane I was... Wakes are supposed to be Festive and Celebrating the Memory of the decedent, they are not at all like your Garden Variety American somber Funeral!  *LOL*

  


I am not gonna be all dolled up either, my Mom, who was Welsh, thought that was super Creepy when they do that at American Funerals, she only went to one for that reason.   I'll be wearing a plain Shroud and my Casket has a big Virgin of Guadalupe with Roses all over it, it's Grey and White lacquer, a really Pimped out gaudy Hood Style send off... I Loved it!  In da Hood it's probably their Best Seller so the Dude that Sold it to us didn't bat an Eyelash when Mom and I chose it.   Besides, he heard Mom's accent, which nobody could ever pinpoint and distinguish where she might be remotely from,  and probably thought, Crazy Foreigners?  Especially since we were having so much Fun picking out Caskets for her Daughter and Son-In-Law back when I wasn't even very Old. *LMAO* 




Today The Man was even talking about our pre-paid Funerals and what I'd picked out all those Years ago, don't know if it's coz he's been feeling his own Mortality or if he'd just seen a Commercial about dying, hard to tell?  *LOL*  He said we should probably go back to The Funeral Home in da Hood and make sure they still have our Models and that everything we pre-paid for is still an intact Contract they have to Honor when we croak now... or in the Future?  We might do that, he's not Feeling the Bronze and Seagulls much anyway that Mom and I picked out for him, mebbe he wants an Upgrade?  *Smiles*  I'm Hoping they still have my gaudy Casket, it would be a Shame if they don't have an outrageously tacky one to replace it, won't have the same Effect at the Funeral! *Winks*




Like my Dearly Departed Mom used to always say, Live Life on your own Terms and outrageously, because it's far better to be looked over than overlooked!  She skidded in sideways at the Pearly Gates, probably dressed in Leopard Print and wearing LOTS of Bohemian Bling and screaming, "Bloody Hell what a Wild Ride it was!"   I'm sure there was some kind of kick ass Party that she was the Life of when she arrived in Heaven.  Dad was probably in charge of the Catering, nobody Catered a Party like Dad, who was a superb Professional Master Chef and Loved feeding everyone during the Holidays!   My Parents always Hosted anyone during the Holidays, especially Young GI's who couldn't get Leave to go Home and had nowhere else to go during Thanksgiving or Christmas except the Barracks and without Family.  I always Miss her and Dad a lot during the Holidays because they each passed during the Holidays, Mom slightly before Halloween and Dad slightly after Thanksgiving.  Dad was born on a Thanksgiving Day and the Year he passed he had said he would only go to be with our Lord AFTER Thanksgiving and his Birthday, and he did.




That was also the very first Year we didn't have Thanksgiving at a Family Member's Home, even ours, since Dad was in Hospice and actively dying we went to a Boston Market Restaurant nearby the Hospice with Friends and Family to eat.   We've made the Tradition and Ritual of doing that now from time to time since.  This Year I told The Son that I think we'll do that again and meet in the City at a Boston Market for Thanksgiving Dinner with our whole entourage, however many there will be.   He was OK with that since he and the DIL also go to her Parent's Home for Thanksgiving later in the day, the Cambodians always gather and have a huge Feast with the huge extended Family that will probably last all Night.  We do the earlier thing because... well, The Man and Football! *Winks*   Plus the day after Thanksgiving is when I Decorate Villa Boheme' for Christmas officially and put Autumn away to officially say Good-Bye to my Fav Season.




*******

Happy Thanksgiving my Friends... may your Meld be a Memorable one... of Thankschristmas... Dawn... The Bohemian

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Veteran's Day 2018



The Phoenix Veteran's Day Parade is one of the largest in the Country honoring the Service of our Veterans.  I'm so Thankful that the City takes it so Seriously and that the Public hugely Supports the Celebration and turns out in droves to Celebrate our Veterans, it's quite impressive!  The Man looks forward to attending every year, it's one of the few outings he's enthusiastic about and never wants to miss.  I suspect he's not one of the only Veterans that feels this way, I saw the Joy and Pride on the faces of so many Veterans and their Families that we met.  They get to Proudly connect in this Celebration among one another and the Civilian Population in the most Positive and enriching of ways.




That has unfortunately not always been the case in our Country's History, especially with those who Served during the Vietnam Era.  So to be recognized, honored and Thanked sincerely and publicly is important to these Veterans in particular.  During Vietnam their Homecoming was often shameful in how they were treated by the Public and the Protesters when they returned!  It wasn't a Welcome and they'd already endured and sacrificed so much in Combat.  So it often added to their Misery and Pain to receive a hostile reception upon returning Home and what happened to many of them.  It's very common to hear them greet one another with "Welcome Home" for that reason... since many were never Welcomed Home as they should have been during and after that War.  The Man has Served during numerous Wars and Conflicts, some clearly were more popular than others in how the General Public viewed and properly honored it's Service Members participation... or NOT!   His Military Career was a very long and distinguished one.  He's very humble and quiet about his Service, he is in fact a legitimate War Hero.  The word Hero is thrown around a lot these days, which marginalizes those who earned and deserve the actual Title of being one.  He has three of these Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and many other distinguished Service related Medals and Awards that he earned, mostly during Combat. 




The Man has even had Generals single him out and come up to shake his hand and Thank him, they clearly recognize the real Heroes, nobody earns that many Medals to wear on their Dress Uniforms for nothing.  Being as humble as he is, The Man has always downplayed what and how many Medals he was awarded, he does like to wear one of his Purple Hearts and Bronze Star Medal upon his Caps though now.  He proudly wears his Caps and Military T-Shirts nowadays, that wasn't always the case, especially during days he was spit upon and called anything but a War Hero.  I personally know the Pain of that abuse towards Veterans by some Civilians of that dark Era is deep, he is a Forgiving person, though he can never Forget.  I do Believe that the warm and sincere receptions by the General Public now and random Strangers who walk up to him and Thank him mean so much though and have been Healing to the scars Post-Vietnam inflicted when he came Home.




Nowadays if our Veterans were to be abused and disrespected like that almost anyone else would be Supportive of the Veterans and not the abusers.   I know that myself, our Children and Grandchildren are very defensive and Proud, if anyone were to not show him due Respect we would confront those individuals openly.  I remember when my Dad also returned from Vietnam, that off Base it wasn't always warm and fuzzy for the Veterans who had been sent to Serve in that War.   My Dad was a quiet stoic individual, he didn't talk much about his Wartime experiences or about how he felt about popular opinion during that Era when it was not at all Supportive of our Troops and returning Warriors.   But I knew enough to know it was hard on him and all the others to bear any negative impact they endured from fellow Americans.  It's bad enough to confront an Enemy during Wartime and in Combat, to come Home to feeling like you suddenly became the Enemy to many of your own Citizenry because you Served your Country and didn't evade your Duty to Serve must be unbearable!

  


I'm Glad and Relieved that as a Country we're more Celebratory and Respectful now towards our Veterans, Honoring them properly!   It's not just the Veterans who suffer when we don't, the Families do too, and having Loved Ones Serving can already be stressful enough let me tell you.   The separations and worries can be constant and epic, many did give All and thus many were Lost and Paid the ultimate Price for preserving Freedom.   The collateral damage to Families when the Veteran has Emotional and/or Physical Disabilities after deployments and Combat is often a daily struggle we get little to no relief from really.   The Man is a 100% Service Related Disabled Veteran with 39 Years of Service under his belt.  He took a hammering Physically and Emotionally from his Proud long Service to Country.  He has no regrets about that Service, he Loves his Country even if he doesn't always agree with all Government Policy at all times.  He upholds Freedom and all it should stand for and that every American should Enjoy it.  He just asks that everyone recognize it came at a Cost, it wasn't Free even if you weren't the one who Paid any Price for it personally.




To disrespect or try to dishonor those who did personally pay the Cost of your Freedom is disgraceful and ungrateful to a degree I have zero tolerance for.  The Man fully Believes in the Right to Protest anything one might be against, Peacefully and Respectfully.   Don't vent at him or disrespect him and other Veterans if you happen to be in disagreement with Government Policy and what our Leaders demand of our Military Members though.  They're merely doing their job as those who signed up to, or were drafted to, defend what our Country asks of them to defend and do.  That's why it is vitally Important for us to wisely choose Good Leaders who hold the Power to deploy our Troops and engage in World Affairs prudently and with Wisdom.   Taking into account that real American lives are always at stake when they do so.   Honorable Men and Women who wear the Uniforms and Serve their Country Proudly.




You know, Parades are Nice, they are Festive and the Veterans and their Families often enjoy them as much as the Civilian sector do.   But I do Hope that this Veteran's Day you Honored any Veteran in some way beyond just attending a Parade for them or perhaps getting a day off Work if your Employer recognized the Holiday?   Just beyond waving a Flag and displaying your Patriotism publicly, or privately having a Bar-B-Que or something?   I'm always very Happy that many of our Local Establishments Honor the Veterans with discounts or complimentary Services to show their sincere Appreciation.  Those are the types of Businesses that the Veterans and their Families remember really do show Appreciation in more than just Words.




The Man always really does feel like a Guest of Honor when he goes to such Establishments and receives Special Recognition for being a Veteran.  It means more to him than Words could ever tell you actually.   And it's not just that he can get a Complimentary Meal or a Veteran's Discount, most Veterans can pay for anything they expect to receive, but the generous Gift of it IS Appreciated because it's not just paying lip service.   Words are cheap, Actions speak volumes and are much more Meaningful and sacrificial after all.   And that goes for anything actually as you well know... Words have never fed any Family after all.  Which takes me to the very Real Issue of our Homeless Veterans and those who are too Disabled to take Care of themselves without Help and Services.  I Hope you Support those Services that do Care for them in whatever ways you can?




There are many Services and Agencies we could Thank personally in providing Support Services that The Man has required and met him at his point of Need, but I want to personally Thank them ALL for what they do for ALL of our Veterans and their Families!   They are a Lifeline for so many, in many cases they provide sometimes what our Government has not provided for the Veterans.   Public Support is crucial, don't just assume the Government will take care of every Need a Veteran might have, it's unrealistic to.   Many Earned Benefits have been eroded over the Years, even after a Veteran fulfilled their end of the Contract and Service to Country.  Rescinded Earned Benefits are something almost all Veterans and their Families resent.   To deny what a person Earned or take it away is disgraceful and unjust, no excuse is a good excuse to do such a thing.




Princess T was sick Today but she didn't want to miss Honoring her Grandpa and attending with us, she soldiered thru how she felt and was at his side, it was very Touching!   My Friend whose living with us right now would have stayed Home to take care of her for us and Volunteered to, but that wasn't necessary and I could tell Grandpa liked having his little Princess with him, at his side.  It was actually a very Cold day for Arizona, but not inclement Weather, just way Cooler and Windier than usual on this day so many folks bundled up.  Yes, those of you in harsher climates laugh and roll your Eyes at us bundling up and attesting to being Cold when the thermometer isn't below zero or something!  *LOL*




I felt bad for the scantily clad Participants of the Parade, usually this time of Year for the Veteran's Day Parade is still very Hot, so they had dressed more for the usual Heat than what the day brought forth!   I had my Wrap on, Princess T had layered Hoodies and was still Cold and sniffling since she wasn't feeling Well anyway.   We'd opted for Hot Herbal Tea when we went for Breakfast.  And Thank You to "Kiss The Cook" in Glendale, for The Man's Complimentary Veteran's Day Breakfast before the Parade!  It's a Restaurant that is one of our Favorites anyway so we're Regulars, but they truly do Honor the Valley's Veterans on this day and make them feel Special and Appreciated!   Red Lobster also honored him with a Complimentary Entree Today, so he really felt quite Pampered for Breakfast and Lunch while we Celebrated out and about in the City!




With the Winds making it a blustery day the peeps who were managing the gigantic Parade Balloons really had their Work cut out for them and had to sometimes keep a lower profile on the Balloons!   We were concerned that if the Winds got too strong that it might lift them off the ground?!?   Thankfully that didn't happen and they did an admirable job of keeping those Balloons under control.




I just Photograph and cover a scant few of the Participants of the Parade, there were actually over 100 Entries this Year who Participated.   Everything from Floats to Marching Bands from various High Schools.   Everything from Historic Military Vehicles to Local Businesses that Support our Veterans and handed out Gifts to the Crowds lining the Streets for miles!




And of coarse there were the Veterans who Participate in their Parade and Honoring every War by representing it.   There was the Widow of one of the Navajo Code Talkers.   By the way, a piece of History about Code Talking, it was Pioneered by the Cherokee and Choctaw Peoples during World War I.  Here's some more Facts to Honor the Code Talkers:

Being the last surviving original twenty-nine Navajo Code Talkers from World War II. Chester Nez (January 23, 1921 – June 4, 2014) was an American veteran of World War II. He was the last original Navajo code talker who served in the United States Marine Corps during the war.



This Year, June 12, 2018, Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the longest surviving Navajo Code Talkers from World War II, has died, just days after celebrating his 94th birthday.




During his Special Forces Marine Corps. deployment for two consecutive Tours in Vietnam The Man had a Navajo Tracker on his Team.   Numerous Members of my Dad's extended Family have Served Proudly in the Military, Tribal Peoples have always Served.   My Dad Served for 27 Years, one of his Brothers and his Son, my Cousin, also Served.   I was really excited when that Cousin's Sister Shared a Photograph of their Maternal Grandmother who Served in the Military, Women have Served in the Military more than and longer than most people realize.




This is my Cousin's Grandmother who Proudly Served, Dorothy Monzingo.  I just Love to see all of our Family and Friends Share Imagery of their Veteran Loved Ones and Honor their Service to Country.  It's an Important part of History and the Public recognition is putting faces to the Veterans and their Service and Story.




There is a Person and their Story behind the Uniform being worn and Honored this day.   Whatever Uniform they wore and whatever Story they have to tell is our privilege to Hear and Acknowledge.




It is always Touching to Witness the incredible turnout we have at The Veteran's Day Parade here in Phoenix and some of the others Celebrated in Sister Cities like Mesa, which also has a very large Veteran's Day Parade.   I'd like to one day attend the East Valley Celebration, we typically attend the one in Downtown Phoenix since we live in the far West Valley.   The Son lives in the East Valley but had to Work Today so he couldn't attend with his Dad this Year but called early from Work to Wish him a Happy Veteran's Day and Thank him once again.  Our Children remember all their Dad's deployments, as I remember my Dad's and the long separations and worries for their Safety and Well Being in dangerous situations.  It was tough on them growing up to have him go off to War and being separated so often, many times being gone during Holidays and Milestones, but they are fiercely Proud of his Service and Sacrifices for Country.




It is hard on the Families and extended Families of our Servicemen and Servicewomen to endure the separations from our Loved Ones as they are deployed.  It can be hard upon their return to Deal with the after effects of Wartime and the Personal Sacrifice they had to make.  Many do not come back the same, they almost can't.  So don't neglect or forget that it's not just the Veteran who Served... their Family has Supported that Service to Country in many Sacrificial ways as well and go generally unacknowledged and not celebrated.   I am very Proud to be the Daughter and Wife of a Veteran.  I have spent my entire Life connected to the Military via a Loved One's Service to Country actually and so have our Children.




Not everyone can Serve who wants to and not everyone wants to Serve and that is Okay too.   It's not a Career for everyone and not everyone who enlisted or was drafted made it a Career.   But whoever Served and however long they Served should be acknowledged with Dignity and Pride.




I only captured one of the Fly Overs this Year since we arrived at the Parade barely in time and had trouble finding Parking close enough to catch the whole Parade.   The Man is considerably Disabled but there isn't usually Disabled Parking available and he did a good job of walking from a very long ways out to get to the Parade Route.  We joked that it was our Exercise for the Whole Week, we were quite knackered by the time we Walked to and fro before and after the Parade!  *LOL*   We always bring Walkers with Seats for obvious reasons, it holds whatever we Need in the Pouches and provides a handy Seat for rests during the Walk and for sitting Curbside at the Parade.   Handy things Walkers, even if you don't really Need one for a Disability or Age related limitations. *Winks*




I think Princess T sat on the one I brought more than I did actually!  *Smiles*  The Neighborhoods around the Parade Route are quite Lovely so we actually also enjoyed our long Walk to and fro, admiring the Homes in the more Historic Affluent Neighborhoods of that area.   One 1930's Era Mission Styled Historic Home I particularly J'Adore... I think it Sold for about $310,000 in the 1990's and now is Valued at about $1,200,000!!!  Yeah, I should have Invested in the Historic Downtown Area Years ago... hindsight being 20-20 and all, it's an Area I've always Loved and Admired the Homes of and I always Worked in the Heart of Downtown Phoenix during my Corporate Lives.  Ah well...




Well, if I ever Win the Lottery I'll buy one for ya along Central, is what The Man jokes nowadays... I'm holding him to that one... being he usually would never consider Living in the Inner City and knows I Hate Rural Subdivision Hell so much but agreed to give it a Go anyway!  *LOL*   So I took one for the Team, and Okay, there are the enclaves that if we could afford it, he'd gladly live without complaint... so I Believe he would... you know... if and when we Win the Lottery and all so could Sell Villa Boheme'!?  *Winks*




The Reality is that Inner City Schools suck tho', unless you can afford to send the Kiddos to Private School, so Princess T reminded us we'd have to Win enough to afford a Fancy School for her too... True that!   Or Home School her, to which she got a hearty Bwahahahahaha!  *LMAO*   Yeah, like that would ever happen, me Home Schooling, shit, I can't even help her with 7th Grade Homework!  *LOL*




So on the Walk back to the Truck after the Parade we humorously discussed just how much Lottery Winnings it would take to live in these Desired Downtown locations?  *Winks*   And some Crazy Older Lady in a Wheelchair was sitting on the Corner of Central and where the Staging Grounds are for the Parade. Dressed like she's in the Circus Sideshow and singing Yankee Doodle Dandy loudly, but making up her own words to it.  And acting generally Street Crazy towards Passers By, and hardly anyone notices or pays attention to any Spectacle.  Which isn't unusual Downtown either, to get the proverbial Sideshow going virtually unnoticed, which is what makes Downtown so Interesting and sometimes humorously Bat Shit Crazy and Surreal.  *LOL*  Princess T in typical Deadpan Wednesday Addams Gallows Humor turns to me and quietly says, "Well, at least she's in the Spirit for Today..." and we Smile kindly at the Lady and she in turn says something Paranoid and hostile to us and the other Passers By, poor Soul, and continues her Singing gleefully! 




The Force have much Compassion for Mental Health Disorders afflicting anyone, they've had to Live it daily with various Loved Ones and even their own Disabling factors of it.   But as a Family we see and acknowledge the Dark Humor that can come along with such things and it's kinda a Coping Mechanism I suppose that has sustained us often, to be able to Laugh about it and even at ourselves.    The Crazy Lady out on the corner on her own this day just was a reminder that not all have a Caregiver present in their lives and just have to go about their days as best they can.  Perhaps it's Merciful that she can just do her Thing and nobody bothers her, interferes or notices much?   She seemed quite Happy to be loudly Singing her Song and being Patriotic in her own uninhibited way.




She wasn't harming anyone and mostly had a Positive Energy about her unless the discomfort of being looked at, even kindly, triggered a hostile response.  Perhaps that is why most look away or pretend not to notice?   Perhaps she's been patronized so much in her Life that she's skeptical of anyone's intentions no matter how kind or Positively directed towards her?   We do that as a Society, don't we, patronize so many who are 'different', Disabled, or make us uncomfortable with their State of Being?   We're not always all that inclusive really, because it would take effort and some discomfort on our part, it's easier to be exclusive and so mostly Society does.




I'd personally like to see more Inclusion, more Tolerance, more Compassion extended towards our fellow Human Beings regardless of their State of Being.  Regardless of where they've come from or where they're going.   I Believe the Principles of Freedom dictate that we Honor People being Free of what might be oppressive and harmful to them.  I'm Thankful that our Military Members strive to Preserve Freedom not only for us here in America, but all over the World when they are tasked with aiding in that Outcome Internationally. 




There is a lot of talk lately of Nationalism and what that means... or what it could imply... or what History has shown to be the results of that line of Thinking and Behavior.   I personally strive to maintain and dwell upon that which is Positive and the just Right Things to do, rather than that which is Negative and divisive, which sadly abounds these days.  The Polarization of our Country continues unabated and it still makes me very Sad and Concerned for us as a Nation... Unity, Harmony and Peace is better that hostile divisions among us as a Society.




I've never met a War Veteran that prescribed to 'Like' War or Hostilities between other Human Beings, War is Hell, nobody goes off to War thinking otherwise if they are of sound Mind. Yet History has shown us that Societies and Nations just cannot always get along or do the Right thing.  Getting along and playing well with others seems to be something that even Grown Adults can struggle with and not just Children.   There are a lot of reasons Why, too numerous to mention, but you can all speculate as to what you Believe they are and what Solutions we might come up with to Mature as a Species to where we just do it better one day and want to sustain it.




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I Hope you had a Happy and Memorable Veteran's Day my Friends... Dawn... The Bohemian
A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl