The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of the movie My Salinger Year (2020)

A young woman, Joanna (Margaret Qualley) leaves her musician former boyfriend, Karl (Hamza Haq) and comes to the big city New York after graduating from college.  A poet herself, she is hoping to become a published writer of poetry. 

Joanna is hired by literary agent Margaret (Sigourney Weaver) to work at a publishing house, as a person to read/answer JD Salinger’s fan mail (which Salinger was not allowed to see) and to answer his calls when he phoned, thinking this would lead to a writing career for Joanna.  The only one nice to her at work was Daniel, a higher-up staffer member (Colm Feore).  In the movie, Judy Blume (played by Gillian Doria), who wrote more books than Salinger, wasn’t treated as well.

After moving in with a married couple of friends, Joanna meets a bookstore clerk Don (Douglas Booth) who writes an explicit manuscript about himself and wants Joanna to edit it for him.  They move in together with only her name on the rental contract (his idea).   

She never seems to have time to work on her own poetry because her job involved extracurricular activities like making sure things were delivered at odd hours in addition to editing her new boyfriend’s manuscript.

If Joanna stays with either boyfriend, she will always be second without shining at all—supporting one of them and not being supported herself.   The concert musician will want her full adoration of his skills while the bookstore clerk thinks all her time should be his.  There was even a very good dream dance number with the musician boyfriend which was the end to their relationship.

JD Salinger published his first novel Catcher in the Rye in 1951 at the same publisher and his last work in 1965.   Joanna answers his calls and he questions her and encourages her to continue to write her poetry every day.

I can relate to the relationship between author and first contact.   I once worked at a publisher where I loved talking to authors about their expected payments.   I also loved the small library of published works the publishing house had.   Although I tried to get them to do imprints of smaller works like a book of my short stories, they wouldn’t go for it, so I can relate to her situation.

Catcher in the Rye was the only novel written by Salinger.   I read it when I was a teenager and I don’t remember it at all.   I’ll have to read it again.   His novel has been banned many times over the years.   Maybe because the novel’s 16-year-old Holden Caulfield’s language and life situations were and are considered to be too mature.

Let’s not forget what our young people are watching today as animation:  The Simpsons where never-aging son Bart tells his father to “eat his shorts”; South Park where in one episode, grown men make their testicles grow so huge that the men can ride on them and collect disability; Family Guy where the baby Stewie is a literally super child who commits felonies, etc.  These are things I’ve seen flipping through channels.                       

Although this movie My Salinger Year portrays Salinger as a total recluse, Riley’s article says he went to church socials in New Hampshire.   “He was hanging out with people who think good fences make good neighbors and that people who come asking about folks that prefer their privacy don’t deserve much in the way of cooperation.”

Aldrich says that Catcher is an “incredibly educational novel which promotes moral lessons essential for high schoolers.”

Salinger’s worth at his death in 2010 was $20 million.   He made most of his money selling short stories to New Yorker and other magazines.

Screenplay written and directed by Philippe Falardeau.  Based on author Joanna Rakoff’s memoir.   The MPAA rating for My Salinger Year is R for language and some sexual references.   I must have missed those things or I am used to seeing just as much of that in PG-13 movies.

Sources:

Eleanor Ringel, “’My Salinger Year’—A Lightweight Movie Based on J.D. Salinger’s Literary Agency”, saportareport.com, March 22, 2021.

Peter J. Riley, “JD Salinger Really Was a Park Avenue Rich Kid”, Forbes, October 3, 2013.

Wikipedia

Elena Nicolaou, “11 Best Judy Blume Books That Will Take You Way Back to Your Tween Years”, https://www.oprahdaily.com, April 8, 2020.

Rae Alexandra, “JD Salinger’s Pursuit of Teen Girls Gets Renewed Attention After ‘Allen v. Farrow’”, Arts and Culture, KQED.org, April 2, 2021.

Haley Aldrich, “4 Reasons the Catcher in the Rye was Banned”, Bookstr.com, June 9, 2021.

Catcher in the Rye Should Not Be Banned”, 123helpme.com.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Tidbits 4

Cheikh Anta Diop

Senegalese author, historian, anthropologist, physicist who thought that “Ancient Egypt was a Negro Civilization”.

Kim Moir said on Facebook that he read this author’s book The African Origin of Civilization.

Sarah Rector

At the age of 10, she became the richest black child in the world.  She received a land grant from the Cree Nation as part of reparations.

By 1912, revenue from oil on the land was $371,000 per year (approximately $6.5 million today).  Sarah resisted attempts to steal her land and fortune.  She attended the Tuskegee University and settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where her mansion still stands.

Tanya Deshields shared this information with us on Facebook.

Demisexuality

Discussed on The Real tv show, demi-sexuality refers to an emotional connection with another person before sex or before actually meeting.

“Demisexual people only feel sexually attracted to someone when they have an emotional bond with the person.  They can be gay, straight, bisexual, or pansexual, and may have any gender identity.   The prefix “demi” means half—which can refer to being halfway between sexual and asexual.

Demisexuality can be a type of graysexuality.    A graysexual person may experience sexual attraction only rarely, or they may feel sexual attraction but are not that interested in sex…  

They only feel secondary attraction—the type of attraction that happens after knowing someone for a while.”

“Demisexuality:  What Does It Mean?”, https://www.webmd.com, June 28, 2021.

Aromantic

“People who are aromantic can still have intense, loving feelings, they’re just not romantic in nature.  They can form emotional and personal connections, and they can provide and benefit from empathetic support. “

The first time I saw this word aromantic, I was reading Lizzie Damilola Blackburn’s novel, Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? with my bookclub.   A female character, Nana, said she was aromantic.   Quote: “People like me don’t really experience romantic feelings.  We’re not fussed about getting into relationships…Don’t worry, I only found out about the term the other day.  Someone posted about it on Twitter, and I was like, wait a minute, that is so me.”

“What does Aromantic mean?”, https://www.webmd.com, June 27, 2021.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of Movie Here Today (2021)

This movie is a hopeful, positive, and funny version of the descent into memory loss which is just one facet of Alzheimer’s disease.  You may say there is no humor in that subject, however the writer and director of this movie handle it carefully and artfully.  It uses a very different way of approaching the subject with laughter and tears.

Two unlikely people who are strangers meet for lunch.  Emma Payge (Tiffany Haddish), a young black woman, meets a white veteran comedy writer, Charles Burnz (Billy Crystal).   She uses her ex-boyfriend’s $22 raffle ticket and of course Billy is not thrilled with the idea that somebody spent so little money to lunch with him.

Charles is a comedy supervisor for a television show similar to Saturday Night Live with different actors/comedians acting out skits written for them.

Emma is a popular street singer who works with a small band which makes money from donations.  Tiffany Haddish did her own singing in this movie, singing funny songs like “Your Feet’s Too Big”.  She did a great job singing upbeat songs which drew crowds.  Her band was great also.

Charles and Emma start hanging around so much together that they become friends.   Emma and her band get an offer to tour in another state.  

Charles had developed a way to walk to work every day by memorizing the exact route.   But, one day construction blocking his usual route sends him into a panic holding up traffic.   His memory is getting so bad that he has to consult Dr. Vidor (Anna Deavere Smith).

Once Emma finds out about Charles’ inability to remember things, she decides to set aside her music career to take care of him.   “There are people outside blood can call family.” (quote from the movie)  This is the only part that is not believable to me for a couple who has not known each other long, but Emma is a person who gets along easily with most people.

Like in a horror movie I was hollering at the screen for Charles to “tell your children before its too late.”   He thinks that his children blame him for their mother’s death so he doesn’t want to tell them that he has been developing Alzheimer’s in the past few months.

I watched it on DVD 3 times.

Six other movies I’ve seen with an Alzheimer’s theme and loved them all:

“Iris” (2001) stars Dame Judith Dench and Jim Broadbent.    True story of English novelist Iris Murdoch’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and the unconditional love of her partner of 40 years.

“The Notebook” (2004) stars Ryan Gosling and James Garner; Rachel McAdams and Gena Rowlands.  The movie goes from a young couple’s parents not wanting them to get together to their old age when the wife no longer recognizes her husband and he has to put her in a home to keep her safe.   But, she no longer knows him as anything but a stranger.  So he makes sure she reads the notebook daily until she remembers him.   But, he has to do it each time he visits.

“Away from Her” (2006) stars Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent.   A wife is in a living facility and forgets who her husband is and starts a relationship with another man there.

“The Leisure Seeker” (2017) stars Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.   An elderly man with Alzheimers and his wife travel in a new RV until they realize that they don’t want to travel any more and take the situation into their own hands.

“What They Had” (2018) stars Blythe Danner and Hilary Swank.   A mom wanders off to do what she is used to doing.   Her adult children have to decide what to do about mom’s safety.

“The Father” (2020) stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.   An elderly father imagines living with a daughter and a son-in-law as well as himself living on his own.   Just when you think a scene is one way, it switches to the opposite way you just saw because the director wants you to see both sides.

Great sources:

Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Maryland, 1850 York Road D, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093.  410-561-9099.   I attended virtually 4 sessions presented by the Alzheimer’s Association’s (alz.org) 17th Annual Pythias A. and Virginia I. Jones African American Community Forum on Memory Loss on November 6, 13, 20 and December 4, 2021, each 10-11:30 a.m.  A lot of experts presented expert research, statistics, exercise demos, nutrition talks, etc.   The sessions were not dull.

AARP, “Dementia vs. Alzheimers—How to Tell the Difference”, Kathleen Fifield, June 15, 2020, http://www.aarp.org/dementia/alzheimer’s

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Gone with the Wind Banned in Memphis [September 2017]

I enjoyed the movie Gone with the Wind (1939) starring Clarke Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Hattie McDaniel because I like movies that are historical, showing how people lived back then–the housing, costumes, songs, etc.  But I always thought that a four-hour movie was too long.   Perhaps the movie has already been shown in parts like a mini-series.  [Exception:  The Justice League: The Snyder Cut 2021]

As a Black woman, I say things have gone too far when we are trying to ban or get rid of everything historical.   I agree that no confederate flags should be flying over any municipal or federal buildings anywhere in the U.S.   However, you can’t study history without including every ethnicity and ideology.  This is what makes up our world history.  [Today, there are Congresspersons who don’t want Critical Race Theory taught in schools at any level.  According to Wikipedia, CRT is a cross-disciplinary intellectual and social movement that began in the United States in the post-civil rights era, as 1960s landmark civil rights laws were being eroded and schools were being re-segregated.]

I don’t have a problem with White people showing pride for their own history on their personal belongings. Remember, the Dukes of Hazzard–a popular tv show–had their General Lee car.   And, remember, the statues were dedicated during a different era, but they are still part of American history. 

[In the movie, Places in the Heart, the white hooded store owners tried to discourage a widow (Sally Field) from keeping her farm and growing cotton.   The Black farm hand (Danny Glover) was beaten and forced to leave.   But one of the store owners’ relatives, a blind man (John Malkovich) was also helping her out because his relative coaxed her into hiring him, recognized all the voices of the hooded men and shamed them into letting her alone.   I’m sure there were people in power over the store owners who directed them to threaten the widow.]

Since the statues are a part of American history, museums are the places for the statues, etc. although dedicated to slavery and prejudice.   They should all be moved/given to the Smithsonian system of museums.   [I suspect that U.S. President No. 45 missed the whole point of Black and White protesters being able to protest the statues without getting shot or bludgeoned in 2020.]

Like I saw engraved on a monument to the Jewish holocaust, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  George Santayana, 20th century Spanish-American philosopher associated with Pragmatism.

https://en.m.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana

{I posted most of the above article on 9/4/17  to http://www.chicagonow.com/friendly-curmudgeon/2017/09/gone-with-the-wind-banned-in-memphis-actually-indicts-the-confederacy/

friendlycurmudgeon@yahoo.com

[bracketed information is new]

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of miniseries, Taken

Sci-Fi channel production also known as Steven Spielberg Presents Taken, December 2-13, 2002.  Executive producers:  Leslie Bohem and Steven Spielberg.   

When I hear of the movie title, Taken, I don’t think of Liam Neeson’s Taken, Taken2, or Taken3 about evil people kidnapping his family members. You can’t copyright a title so the same title can be used by anyone else. 

Instead, I think of producer Stephen Spielberg’s Taken miniseries (10 episodes written by Leslie Bohem) in which evil space aliens keep kidnapping and torturing humans all over the world, and treacherous humans take advantage of humans and aliens, but the story is focused on three generations of families over five decades–the Clarks, Crawfords, and Keys.

The story is narrated by 8-year-old Allison “Allie” Clark/Keys (Dakota Fanning), who sounds so mature giving the overview of each episode.

Aliens can appear in any organic shape especially human.  Humans are either their alien victims or fierce enemies trying to kill everybody including aliens.

Casualties

The series started with fighter pilots in a battle with German planes who see blue lights during the battle and it seems that the lights help the wounded among them.   The memories they have later of the surgeries are different.  They all survive in spite of their wounds but end up with physical and mental problems and all except one die early for no apparent reason.  The child of the survivor will be abducted by aliens for years.

Women in the series are fodder for military men and the women’s husbands or boyfriends, i.e. the Colonel Thomas Campbell’s (Michael Moriarty) daughter, a farm woman, a fresh woman, two female mediums, government undercover psychologist Harriet Penzler, etc.

Even military contractors were casualties.  Dr. Kreutz (Willie Garson who we lost this year) was a treacherous German-accented scientist working for the U.S. military; Dr. Goldin (Rob Labelle) a Jewish scientist who died because he wanted the alien to keep him in the memory of the happiest time in his life–his bar mitzvah; and Matt Frewer as an astrophysicist.

The only alien casualties of record were the ones who looked like doctors treating the soldiers injured in the original dog fights and the handful of aliens captured over the decades.

The actors were excellent.   I believed the treachery of the captain/killer Owen Crawford (Joel Gretsch) of humans assigned to the project of tapping into the one alien ship they had for decades instead of the fake weather balloon reported at Roswell

There was a different director for each of 10 episodes:  Breck Eisner, Felix Enriquez Alcala, John Fawcett, Tobe Hooper, Jeremy Paul Kagan, Michael Katleman, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, Bryan Spicer, Jeff Woolnough, and Thomas J. Wright.   It was so interesting hearing the directors’ opinions in the extras after the miniseries.   I saw the miniseries week by week from its origination in 2002.   And, luckily for me, the Baltimore County Library had the miniseries I could borrow recently.  The pace is action, action, action!

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie “Separation” (2021)

I can’t blame the wife Maggie (Mamie Gummer “Ricki and the Flash”, “The Right Stuff”) for thinking her husband Jeff (Rupert Friend “Hitman: Agent 47”) is irresponsible.   He always seemed to be in a daze all the time—his mind only thinking of ideas for his past graphic novel career to the detriment of his wife and young female child Jenny (Violet McGraw “Black Widow”, “Doctor Sleep”, “Ready Player One”).

For instance, at his wife’s wake, he sees his face on a family portrait catch fire but stands there stunned.  If left to him, the house would have burned down around his guests.  Thank God for his daughter’s babysitter Samantha Nally (Madeline Brewer “Hemlock Grove”) who put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. 

But I believe the father-in-law Mr. Rivers (veteran Scottish actor Brian Cox “Red”, “Red 2”, “Red 3”) turned the wife against her husband by talking in her ear all the time.   And the babysitter (opare?) always seemed focused on the father’s artistic talents rather than his child.

Every time the husband sees strange events like the demonic loose-limbed Marcel Marceau-type mime Nerezza (non-CGI uncredited Troy James) a duplicate of one of the characters from his old graphic novel and doll on his daughter’s bedroom shelf, he just keeps backing up and acting like it never happened and tells no one.   The father burns breakfast for himself and his child  when they both see something else strange.   But isn’t that something he should tell somebody?   A lot of these happenings he thinks are dreams, but it turns out they are not.  

The father runs away leaving his little girl with the babysitter with no explanation.  Taking the subway (demon scene there also), he went to his friend’s new job site.   He finally gets a job but stays away all day without telling the babysitter.   An employer Alan (Simon Quarterman “WER”) tells him there is a “dark energy about you”.  

The acting was superb.   I assumed they all did what the director wanted, but there is a disconnect somewhere in the script.   The little girl’s father couldn’t be that dumb.

(Spoiler) The villains:  the father-in-law, the babysitter, the dolls made from his prior graphic horror novel, mommy and demon mommy, and the father himself.   The husband and daughter finally make peace with demon mommy and all should be well.  But, when the mommy demon returned from demon town, she must have let other demons through.   No way should they have a sequel after this but the Marcel Marceau mime type loose-limbed horror returns practically begging for a sequel.

Directed by William Brent Bell.   Writers Nick Amadeus, Josh Braun.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Hoarding versus Collecting

Hoarding

Back in the 50s when I was born, you didn’t just throw things away.  You kept them for a time when you might need them again i.e., baby clothes, or you checked to see if a relative or friend needed it or donated it to charity, especially if you had a large family.

In my youth, I used to give away clothes I could no longer wear because I’d gained or lost weight.   I refused to wait until I was my perfect weight to wear those clothes again.  However, in the last few years my behavior has changed.   I’ve gotten way behind in keeping up the annual evaluation of the importance of things and documents to the point of hoarding.

In recent years I started keeping gifts others gave me as well as the things the gifts came in…pretty wrapping paper, pretty shopping bags, envelopes, pretty ribbons, etc. in case I can use them again.   Also, well-meaning friends and even strangers give you gifts you don’t want and I end up stockpiling things I don’t want or need.  And, I’m of the old school thinking in which it would be shameful to give away what’s been given to you as a gift.  I’ve recently donated perfectly good clothes that made me feel older than I am though.  

A move to a smaller home brought the issue to the front when Laura McCamy and her partner moved from a large house.   “I had a hard time getting rid of things, even if they no longer made sense in my life. My ‘poverty mentality’ was holding me back but getting rid of those items freed up mental and physical space.    I no longer have to look at the things I no longer need.   I no longer have to look at them and wonder what I’m going to do with them.   I define poverty mentality as living in unnecessary scarcity and fear.  It leads me to make poor decisions about the possessions I bring into my home.   Clothes that don’t fit…and furniture I don’t need.   Yes, perhaps the item is broken/ugly/doesn’t fit me/doesn’t fit in our house, but my poverty mentality tells me that I need to keep it because I will never be able to afford another.” 

For example, Laura lost a pair of eyeglasses in her clutter, and found them when moving after having expensively replaced them.   I did the same with a set of keys which turned up a few months later in a winter coat.   I also lost costume jewelry I had bought a couple of weeks before and found under some other clutter recently.   We had finally gotten rid of a closetful of plastic bags to a recycle bin only to find out that the local government banned the plastic ones for paper bags which are too flimsy to hold a gallon of milk.    I’ve seen some restaurant dinners fall out of paper bags. (See Laura McCamy in Sources below)

According to mayoclinic.org, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.  The hoarder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items.   Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” 

According to Adaa.org, “The behavior usually has harmful effects—emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal—for a hoarder and their family members.  The home lacks functional organization or living space.   The hoarder refuses to let others see the hoarding.   Hoarding may cause extreme debt.   The hoarder may be embarrassed or depressed after acquiring more”. 

“At the turn of the 20th century, people rarely needed money because they grew food to sell or trade.  Food stockpiles had to be maintained especially in winter.  People experienced the poverty of the fear of such horrid times in the future—for example, a grandmother’s large collection of gifted silverware, plates and glasses from her wedding.  Hoarding has its roots in poverty in their youth and not having enough.  They saved stuff as well as money because of uncertainty.” (See Rubbish Please below in Sources)

While some other people think poverty has nothing to do with hoarding.   According to MedicineNet.com, “the reasons someone becomes a hoarder include altered brain connections, genetics, stress, OCD, environmental factors and altered levels of serotonin.   (See Medicinenet.com below in Sources)

Collecting

The other end of the spectrum is keeping things until they become valuable.   We’ve all heard of people who have kept toys, musical records, baseball cards, etc. until somebody wants to give them thousands or millions of dollars for it.  If you haven’t heard of this, check out PBS’s Antiques Road Show where people get value for things kept since the 1800’s or older.   It’s possible and even likely though that you won’t be around to get that kind of benefit…maybe a relative or the state will when you die.  But, by all means, keep things that are valuable but sometimes it’s hard to know what will become valuable in the future.   That also could be a reason to hoard.   Suppose some movie studio is looking for just that old refrigerator of yours or an old desk to use in a movie.   People have become millionaires by renting their vintage cars, etc., to Hollywood.

Oh yes, we can’t forget invisible digital money which can also make you a millionaire or a pauper.   For example, Elon Musk was pushing this heavily at first, but is surprisingly silent about it now.   If you are the one who ends up holding and not folding, you could end up in the poor house.   There are all kinds of gimmicks to make you rich, like flipping houses for example.   There was a man who went to one of those seminars and tried to flip 10 houses at a time and lost everything.   Having too many of anything is not necessarily the answer.

Now, I give gift cards instead of buying a gift, because unless you know the person well, you don’t really know what they would like.   And, I would really like the person to enjoy the gift and not be put in the same predicament of hoarding or re-gifting things they don’t want to keep to avoid hurting the giver’s feelings.

Even the Bible says, “God gives a man riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires; but God does not allow him to enjoy them.   Instead, a stranger will enjoy them.  This is futile and a grievous affliction.”  Ecclesiastes 6:2

Sources:

Laura McCamy, “Decluttering My Home of 17 years Showed Me My ‘Poverty Mentality’ Has Been Doing Me More Harm Than Good”, https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/decluttering-my-home-poverty-mentality-harms-2021-10.

Rubbish Please, “Connecting Domestic Hoarding & Poverty”, February 1, 2016, London, https://www.rubbishplease.co.uk/blog/connecting-domestic-hoarding-poverty/

Medicinenet.com, Medical author Karthik Kumar MBBS, Medical reviewer Pallavi Suyog Uttekar, MD. “Why does a Person Become a Hoarder?”, March 5, 2021

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Caregiver, Allow Yourself to Be Helped!

Some of you may know The Parable of the Drowning Man.

In a flood, a man sat on his rooftop praying for God to help him.  Well, a rowboat came along to help but the man said basically “this is not the way God will save me.”   Someone else came along in a motorboat. Although the water was rising, the man thought “this is not the way God’s going to save me either”.   Finally, when the water had risen to the roof, a helicopter pilot hollered at him through a bullhorn that this was his last chance.   He refused with wet feet and drowned.   He went to heaven and asked God why He didn’t save him.   And God answered, ”I sent you two boats and a helicopter”.

We too as caregivers male and female are guilty some times of not taking help when it’s offered.

 I Kings 19:11-12

“And He said, go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.   And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake;

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

Sometimes God is not in the spectacular but in the still small voice.   We as caregivers sometimes tend to second-guess God as the drowning man did.   We don’t take help when it is offered.   A friend, a relative, and even a stranger who becomes a friend may offer help but we refuse.   Are we too tired, too stressed, too overwhelmed, too much of a perfectionist thinking nobody else can do it like us?  We pass up opportunity after opportunity for “me-time” to go out and have some fun, have some quiet time to ourselves, accept a smile, a hug, a visit, a friendly phone call, a job, church, a movie, etc.

Even the person you are caring for may tell you that “you look tired, you need some time away from me” as Teraleen Campbell’s mother told her in her book, Carefree to Caregiver.   Sometimes we feel guilty thinking that the person you are caring for will think less of you if you take time for yourself.  It still takes a village to care for our loved ones.   You need to establish your own group of relievers. 

“It can happen so slowly that you don’t even notice it as you push your own social needs aside.”

Even the one you are caring for may be able to do some things if you let them from a to-do list of your making, i.e., open the blinds, wash their own eyeglasses, make their bed, get the mail or newspaper, put out a fresh dish towel, wind the clock, etc.   And, if they don’t do it perfectly, accept their imperfection like God does with all of us caregivers.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that you:

  1. Accept help – don’t try to care for your loved one alone.
  2. Focus on what you are able to provide.
  3. Set realistic goals.
  4. Get connected.
  5. Join a support group.
  6. Seek social support.
  7. Set your own personal health goals.
  8. Take a break.
  9. Get short-term nursing help when you need it.
  10. Check local resources like the Department of Aging, AARP, etc.

Many of us have had “on-the-job training” when it comes to those we care about, but it’s alright to learn and prepare.

Sources: 

“Caregiver Tools:  10 Things to Add to Your Toolkit” [Me time], Medically reviewed by Judith Marcin, M.D., written by Ann Pietrangelo, updated on November 21, 2016.  Healthline.com.

“Caregiver Stress:  Tips for Taking Care of Yourself”, mayoclinic.org, December 16, 2020.

Parable versions:  Rationalwiki.org, Truthbook.com

Scripture from Authorized King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Reading Expands Your Mind

Reading has been one of the important things in my life along with writing.   They both can teach and transport us safely to unknown places.  Some books whether fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s, etc. can add value to our lives. 

One of the eye-opening books of my life is John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath published in 1939.   It alludes to White people treating other White people criminally during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl.   A mass migration began from Oklahoma and other states to California.   Along the way, we find why there developed a need for unions (who will pick a bushel of fruit for a $1, then .75, then .50, and before you know it your family has to pick several bushels at .25 per bushel.  Certainly not enough to feed a family after buying essentials in that same farmer’s store), tenant farmers who gave their lives to work land they would never own, and man’s inhumanity to mankind.  Even in the Bible, the Jews were instructed to leave some of their crop for the poor.

“Steinbeck’s book is historical fiction and was banned and burned by citizens although it was the best-selling book of 1939.  It won the National book award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Nobel Prize for Literature.   The most fervent attacks came from the Associated Farmers of California, and the book was challenged off and on into the 1990’s.”  (Wikipedia) Director John Ford made the book into the movie Grapes of Wrath in 1940.

Don’t be afraid to tackle a thick book.   The more you read the better you get.   Some books are now in audible form and can be borrowed from the library, my favorite place.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie Shadow in the Cloud (2020)

A young woman, Captain Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz), finds herself in a deadly hair-raising adventure.   All she planned on doing was hitching a ride with a combat Royal Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress plane during World War 2.   The chance of being on a plane which is likely to get blown out of the sky would be enough for me to pass up that trip.   So, obviously, she had a good reason for being there—a secret mission to deliver a satchel for the base commander.   Unfortunately, something else hitches a ride as well.

She was constantly trying to help the crew with the battle since she did have some flying experience but she was insulted at every turn, basically told to stay in her place as a woman.   So much so that the captain (Callan Mulvey) commanded that she be locked in the lower gun turret “for her own safety” especially after she mentioned the creature she saw flying in the cloud.  

The plane was in terrible shape that they all found out eventually when they tried to do things like get her out of the turret once the two battles started:  the one with the enemy planes and the one with the creature.   She constantly asked if her top secret satchel was ok, and she asked a certain crew member to keep an eye on it.

Because the crew couldn’t get her out of the turret, she had to fight the creature alone.   She was “Wonder Woman in fatigues”.  What was the creature attacking her?  It was the mythological Gremlin that is credited with tearing military planes apart.   It had wings like a bat, long teeth, long arms and legs, and a long tail.   It was nothing like the puppet-like creatures in the Gremlins horror movie comedies.

According to Wikipedia, “a gremlin is a mischievous folkloric creature that causes malfunctions in aircraft or other machinery.  Often, they are described or depicted as animals with spiky backs; large, strange eyes; and small, clawed frames featuring sharp teeth.   Originates in Royal Air Force (RAF) slang among British pilots stationed in Malta, the Middle East, and India in the 1920s, with earliest recorded printed use being in a poem published in the journal, Aeroplane in Malta, April 10, 1929.”

There were two other horror dramas about gremlins:  the Twilight Zone episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 feet” with William Shatner (1963), directed by Richard Donner, based on a short story by Richard Matheson.    Also, there was Twilight Zone The Movie, “The Gremlin on the Wing” (1983), with John Lithgow suffering from aviophobia.

I first saw Chloë Grace Moretz as a daughter in the re-make of the horror movie The Amityville Horror (2005) with Ryan Reynolds; as a child vampire and the only vampire in the movie, Let Me In (2010).   This movie was re-made from the 2008 Swedish-speaking movie with subtitles, “Let the Right One In”, that I also saw.  She was also the goddaughter in the movie Hugo (2011).

Chloë also starred as Hit Girl in the Kick-Ass movies (2010) and Kick-Ass 2 (2013).   I also saw her as the werewolf daughter in the movie Dark Shadows (2012), as Carrie in the movie Carrie (2013), a Russian gang victim in the Equalizer movie with Denzel Washington in 2014, and the action movie The 5th Wave (2016) about aliens taking over the earth.   There may be The 5th Wave 2 coming in 2022 I hope because the first one left me hanging.

I got a copy of Shadow in the Cloud from the library but would have liked to see it on the big screen.   It’s action-action-action!   The director is Roseanne Liang.

There was a tribute to military women at the close of the movie!

Written by Rosa L. Griffin