Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall is Here, Life is Good

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon here, outside it's pouring down rain but the sky is half bright and sunny. Thunder is booming in the distance, but the sound of rain is relaxing. I like days like this, with no need to go anywhere or do anything. Just peace, quiet, the cats sleeping nearby and the computer on, as I research my next drawing. Earlier I made some Chinese food, Honey Chicken (well,heated it up anyways), for lunch. Very satisfying.

Yesterday I took the neighbor kids out to the movies, to see The Lion King in 3D. Mom wanted to go, so she went too. Aside from mom harshly criticizing my driving (I drove fine, she just always needs to control/stir some sort of drama up about whatever), she behaved herself the rest of the time, and all went pretty well. The kids had fun, I bought them a refillable bucket of popcorn so they chowed down like crazy on that. What a cute movie, the artistry of the animation and background scenery was just gorgeous.

After the movie was done, we walked to the car and little Eden (she's I think, 8 years old) was giving her younger sister Joy a hard time in the back of the car. Little tempers were beginning to flare because they both wanted to sit in the window, not in the middle. Poor little Joy, I told Eden to scoot over so her little sister could sit in the window. She folded her arms and wouldn't budge, defiantly. I told her "No problem, we aren't going anywhere until you move over, and I have all day, so you can choose what you're going to do about it." Next thing I know, I saw her discreetly moving herself over, millimeter by millimeter. He he, it worked. I waited until Joy had enough space to be comfortable (a few minutes) and then we left. All was fine after that. It's interesting to see how their little squabbles quickly dissipate and are forgotten. We all enjoyed the drive home, and after dropping everyone off, I went home and took a nap.

I would love to have the energy of three kids under 13, their youthful ways are fun to be around but it feels good to go home and recuperate afterwards. They are three of ten (soon to be eleven)kids! Their parents are saints, how they handle them all so well without losing their tempers. They treat them all equally, with respect and a gentle firmness. Being an "only", it's interesting to see them all relate with one another so well.

So today is a day of total rest. This coming week I get my new refrigerator delivered as well as the fireplace insert I ordered, making the fireplace complete for the upcoming cold weather season. After much research, I got both of these items at good prices. When the quality and price is right, I buy. It will be wonderful to have a working fireplace, making the living room even more of a comfortable place than it already is. As for the refrigerator, the new one is big, so I can finally retire my small cube-sized fridge to my upstairs office, to hold pop and milk only. It has served me well but it's hard using such a small refrigerator on a full-time basis. I had it down to an art form, shades of college dorm rooms!

Next month I plan on taking Meraiah, the oldest girl, horseback riding. Her first lesson! She's all excited about it and I know she's going to love it. We've been to the farm where the lesson will be, a lovely farm with nice people, quality horses and inexpensive lesson prices. My kind of place. My back is sufficiently healed up enough to ride by now, and I look forward to jumping again. I'm still as incorrigibly horse crazy as I was when younger, just a little more creaky, that's all. Stiffness won't stop me from doing it, though, not at all. In time I plan on getting another horse when the time is right, so I'm going to enjoy getting back into the swing of my old passion of riding again.

The sky looks like a Michaelangelo painting out there, very dramatic clouds of different hues, rays of sun coming from them. The rain is over now, and all is quiet again. Time to watch some tv and be useless. Love it.

Custom T-Shirts google-site-verification: google7067dc8e96d74570.html The Fine Artwork of Carolyn McFann

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The 9/11 Tragedy, Ten Years Later

Rest in peace, all who died as a result of the tragedy on 9/11/2001. You are not forgotten.

All day I've been working on the computer while watching the recap of the tragedy on 9/11, ten years ago but it feels just like yesterday. I remember it just like it was yesterday, though. All those people, just gone. It's just beyond comprehension. And quite a few of those who worked so hard on the wreckage have cancer and other physical ailments as a result of their bravery. Then there's the families and those who survived the carnage, only to end up with Post Traumatic Stress and grief over losing friends and/or loved ones. It's just so terribly unfair.

When 9/11 hit ten years ago, I was at a hotel in Las Vegas, having flown there the night before by my ex-boyfriend, who was attending a huge professional bakers' convention there. Here we were in a lovely high-rise on the 15th floor, in a pretty suite overlooking the city. I had the flu (caught the day before, what bad luck), and didn't do much since my head was spinning, but I turned on the Today show the morning of the 11th and witnessed the collapse of the Twin Towers and the rest of the horrible chain of events. It was surreal, terrifying (especially since they targeted American Airlines, the airline I'd flown in on the night before).

Nearby McCarran airport the night before had a steady flow of planes flying in and out, which could be seen from our suite window the night I got there. On 9/11 all planes stopped, of course, and instead there was a jet fighter plane circling the city, guarding it. Las Vegas would've been an easy target, so loaded with large crowds of people and high-rises (such as the one we were staying in). The city still operated after the tragedy but in a subdued, guarded way. The Forum shops were off-limits, closed, as was some of the attractions. When we went to the nearby Hoover Dam, state troopers inspected cars and asked questions before all of us were allowed to cross it, and we weren't allowed to stop on it at all.

When my ex and I had lunch at Caesar's Palace, we watched people across the way all watching the tragedy on many monitors on walls, normally used for horse race gambling, I think. You could've heard a pin drop, it was so very quiet. I remember feeling overwhelmed with sadness, and how I wanted to go help those working at the site in NYC. Being sick with the flu, that wasn't going to happen. My ex and I had a rental van, so we drove to southern California after his convention wrapped up. Wherever we went, I was glued to the tv, trying to get updates on what was going on. It was too devastating an event to not be aware of what was happening. As we drove around, we saw crowds of people waving American flags and holding signs in support of the USA. It was wonderful to see such solidarity of people all over, we all needed comfort during this time, and seeing the people together like this was heartwarming.

My ex and I went to see Jay Leno at the Tonight show, it was the first show after a respectful break away from comedy at that time. We ended up in the front row there at the studio, the place was freezing cold. Jay wheeled out a motorcycle and stars such as Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwartzennegger came to sign it. The motorcycle was eventually auctioned off on Ebay, with the proceeds going to the families of 9/11. A very noble cause indeed.

After nearly three weeks away, we drove the rental van across the US, back east to home. We'd been in constant contact with my parents in Ohio, since the tragedy was a confusing, scary time for us all. Our trip wasn't joyous or fun (who could have fun after experiencing such a major loss of innocent, good people?) This trip was more a study of humanity as we'd seen so many people out and about as we drove, showing flags, displaying them on cars and shirts, and everyone seemed to be more open with one another. We talked to others in restaurants about the tragedy more than we ever would've previously, as everyone was grieving together. An interesting lesson in human psychology, more or less.