Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

My Interest in Pinterest Problem

I have a serious Pinterest addiction. I don’t know what it is about that site, but I can’t stop browsing and pinning and linking and dinking around for endless hours day and night and day. It’s like the crack of social media pages for  me.

I have thirty five boards now. I don’t even own that many shoes.

I am sure I have thousands of pins now also. My Arts and Crafts and my Jewelry Ideas boards alone have over 2500 pins.

Suffice it to say that I don’t get much else done. I have a gazillion ideas, thousands of visuals, and plenty of inspiring blog posts to link to when I’m ready to actually do something though.

Someday I’m going to build that plate rail for the kitchen.

Someday I’m going to write that book.

Someday I’m even going to organize my sand paper collection.

Just not today.

I’m too busy nosing around into other, more productive people’s lives, oohing and aahing over their projects. It’s amazing how attractively displayed and professionally photographed it all is. And how cleverly worded the content is. I could never do that.

Actually some of it doesn’t really apply to my own project list at the moment. Like I don’t think I’ll be constructing a purse out of a pillow case or an outdoor grill out of a cinder block anytime soon. But if I wanted to, I now know that I could.

It’s hard to resist jumping on Pinterest whenever I am bored or can’t sleep or need some information about, well, anything. It’s all there: crafting, cooking, dieting, decorating, gardening, building, dressing, travelling, exercising, writing, cleaning, organizing, working, looking for work, improving relationships and, I think, advice on sexual matters even, but of course I haven’t personally sought any.

But if I need it, it’s there.

It’s kind of like if Martha Stewart was God and I was the Pope and I had one of those phones like the commissioner of Gotham City had that was actually a direct line to Batman, but of course mine would be to Martha:

Hello Martha, Pope here. Got any ideas on how to build a chicken coop out of a junked 1973 AMC Pacer?

Which would be nice but of course is no longer necessary because I have Pinterest. And Pinterest is like having several million Marthas right at my fingertips.

I KNOW!

Which reminds me, I need to go search how to remove set in cooking oil stains from a t-shirt. And while I’m at it, I’ll browse those jewelry boards again. And maybe look up a recipe for tomorrows frittata, oh and I had a question about planting ever bearing raspberries.

And perhaps, perchance,  I can even find a pin or two on how to make a curtain entirely out of grandma’s old lace doilies.

Now THAT would be the bomb.

Me and Cosmo

The Author (on the right)

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Barrier Grief — Hakai Magazine

Nadine Marshall is trained as an ecologist, and she’s an expert on the Great Barrier Reef. But recently, her work has picked up an unexpected new element: crisis counseling. “People tell me about their childhoods spent spearfishing in clear blue …

via Great Barrier Grief — Hakai Magazine

 

The grief is real. Do you feel it too?

When it Hurts to Laugh Everyone is a Comedian

My body doesn’t seem to have a lot of patience with non-essential organs. I don’t know if it’s trying to make room in my abdomen for more pizza and Italian wedding cake or if I’m just prone to inflammation, but I’ve lost several over the years. What surgeons love to refer to as non-essential organs, for me, includes two ovaries, a cervix and a uterus, removed when I was 49, which I guess made them largely non-essential for me at that point in time, my appendix, and most recently my gall bladder.

I was ten years old when I had the appendectomy. This was back in 1968, when any  abdominal surgery was open surgery resulting in a decent sized incision held together with black prickly stitches. The kind they had to remove after a few weeks, which created the strangest sensation of tickling, haunted by subtle back notes of stinging pain. Totally weird stuff.

The open surgeries that were common in those days definitely required longer recovery times, which resulted in longer hospital stays. With my appendectomy, I was in the hospital forever, like a week or ten days. Now most surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, and for better or for worse, that isn’t likely to change any time soon.

Like my most recent surgery, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, more commonly known as gall bladder removal. Yes, it was laparoscopic, and while I don’t have any major incision, I do have four punctures wounds of varying sizes in my abdominal wall through which several tools were inserted and my wretched non-essential organ was unceremoniously released and removed.

So I was a little overwhelmed last Tuesday, when, after the gall bladder surgery, the recovery nurse asked me immediately upon waking if I was ready to go home?

Wait, What? Um, my head is spinning from anesthesia, can I have a little time? Sure, how long? Well like maybe ten minutes? Okay, you can have ten minutes.

Gee…thanks?

Ten minutes later she was yanking open the curtain that separated me from the rest of the outpatient surgery ward and handing me my clothes with a very business like, no BS demeanor, a lot like a tiger Mom dealing with a surly child trying to avoid a math quiz.

My head was still spinning slightly, but I dutifully got dressed with my husbands assistance and was whisked outta there…pronto. Thanks again, Nurse Diesel.

Now, one of the things I remember vividly about my first abdominal surgery was how, after I got home, my four older brothers thought it was hilarious to make me laugh. This caused excruciating pain. They pretended to be innocent about the pain component and acted like they were cutting up to cheer me up after my long ordeal, which was total bullshit. And we all knew it. You see, two of my brothers had already had appendectomies and knew first hand how painful it is to laugh afterwards.

I was strangely conflicted by all this. You see, in my family the winner was not who had  the most money or the nicest clothes or the highest grades. The winner was the one who made you laugh the hardest. So that even as I was in pain with tears running down my face begging them to stop making me laugh, I couldn’t help but love them a little for it.

It was weird, kind of like getting those stitches pulled out.

Let’s face it, surgery is hard. Abdominal surgery is especially hard, because it shouldn’t hurt to laugh. But it does. Oh God does it ever.

That’s the other thing that became painfully evident again this last week also–I married a funny man. Go figure.

I guess I forget sometimes how many times a day the old man makes me laugh. Damn him for being so funny!

It’s weird to have conflicted feelings about someone making you laugh.

You love them for being funny. Who doesn’t love a funny person?

You don’t quite trust them though, because you know that they know that laughing right now is gonna hurt for you.

And they’re making you laugh anyways.

But’s it’s all getting easier every day.

I can pee. I can raise my head while lying down. I can even roll over in bed without feeling like a lump of Pillsbury dough still stuck in the can.

And I can laugh without excruciating pain.

No more tickling sensation with subtle back notes of stinging pain.

Life is good.

 

Me and Cosmo

The Author (on the right)

©2019 by Ilona Elliott

 

 

 

Talking to Myself Talking to God

I’ve decided that God is somewhat more like my dog and a lot less like the popular images of him in the church these days. And if I am wrong about that, I imagine that He is big enough to forgive me.

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Verona: Who Wouldn’t Fall in Love?

Verona wasn’t high on my list of cities to visit in Northern Italy–until I got there.

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With the Eyes of a Child: Ode to the Einsteins of the World

I wondered: is the dark side of the moon darker tonight?

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we can smell wood smoke in the air and taste snowflakes on our tongues

Wonderful post reblogged from Live and Learn by David Kanigan:

via we can smell wood smoke in the air and taste snowflakes on our tongues

Stop the Insanity: Just END Us Now

What if the Book of Revelations does not represent the will of God for man but simply represents his foreknowledge about man’s selfish, intractable and rebellious nature which will inevitably lead to his demise, and the earths, unless…

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He Said/She Said: Another Year of the Dreaded DIY Disease

…tiny, fluffy little drifts of fiberglass insulation float in the air like fairies…

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Smart Phones, Wonder Bread, Crack Cocaine and Commie Plots

Smartphones are as ubiquitous these days as Wonder Bread was when I was growing up.

Turns out they might be just as over rated when it comes to how helpful, or healthful, they actually are for keeping us all “connected”, especially for kids.

But back to Wonder Bread for a moment for some context.

Open any cupboard door or breadbox lid back in the sixties and you would find a loaf of Wonder Bread. You would know it by the dazzling white wrapper and the bright primary colored dots and bands. What an eye-catching design! Hard to miss on a grocery store shelf or in a pantry.

My favorite sandwich on Wonder Bread was peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. But mostly I ate bologna sandwiches with mustard, because even way back then, we knew that marshmallow fluff was a little over the top. But bologna sandwiches–health food, no doubt about it.

And Wonder Bread did promise from the start to “help build strong bodies eight ways”, and later, twelve ways, as we became more educated about nutrition.

Never mind that this was actually a reference to all the added nutrients it contained. Or that these were practically necessary for Wonder Bread to even qualify as food, because the basic ingredients of white bread in the sixties:  refined white flour, sugar, water, yeast, etc., really don’t have much nutritional value.

Brilliant Marketing. And we fell for it.

Of course, this is old news. We all know this. Now.

But let’s face it folks, we are talking about the Tang generation here, so it’s easy to see how indoctrinated we were by marketing claims.

Tang was science, and space travel.

Tang was the future.

It was almost an American duty to drink Tang. And we did so, gladly, in service to our country.

It was what the Astronauts drank for crying out loud, plus, it tasted awesome. I pretty much drank it everyday for like twelve years.

The only reason I have any teeth in my head today is because they fluoridated our water back then too.

And of course, now we know that Tang was to orange juice what crack cocaine is to Budweiser.

And fluoridation was really a hard core commie plot, just in case you didn’t know that either.

And yes,  at the time, we thought we were geniuses. Turns out all the geniuses were writing ads for Tang, Wonder Bread, and Oscar Mayer.

Now, back to Smart Phones.

Last night, in a segment titled Screen Time , Sixty Minutes reported that the National Institutes of Health are doing a study of the brains of kids to see how cell phone usage affects brain development over time.

The results are not complete, and won’t be until they can study the children over a number of years, but already, they have observed that children who spend more time on their phones show changes in brain development, a slowing down of development in certain parts of the brain, as compared to children who don’t spend much time on devices.

They have also discovered that babies are more sensitive to the addictive effects of screen time, in particular as it relates to smart phone usage over tablets and other media delivery systems, than their older counterparts.

Other research revealed that while babies might appear to be learning from their screen time, much of what they learn does not cross over into the real world. They described how a baby who learns to play LEGOS on a screen cannot then play LEGOS off screen. In other words, if they want to play LEGOS in the real world, they have to learn to do it in the real world. So stop screen timing your babies and get out those LEGOS.

Generations of parents have limped around for days after stomping on those little plastic demons, and what makes you think your so special that you shouldn’t have to?

Another finding the NIH reported was that while young smart phone users say that they feel more connected to friends and family because of their smart phone activity, they are actually experiencing more depression, loneliness and feelings of isolation than they have in the past, translated, before wide spread cell phone usage.

This got me thinking about those genius marketers.

The question that I’m begging to ask young users is “If you have grown up with a smart phone since childhood, how would you know if it improves your connection to others or not?”

It might just be that you believe this because you have been told it for as long as you can remember and you are told the same thing nearly every time you look at your screen.

There is always some new app that you must have right now, right here in order to stay better “connected”.

There is always a new phone coming out that will out perform your old one and that you won’t want to live without because it will improve your quality of life and your social media game and everyone you know will have one and how could you possibly connect appropriately without it?

And as one industry insider reported, apps are constantly monitoring your phone habits and adjusting and updating the marketing messages that you receive on your devices, so that they seem to be responding to your needs, but what they are really doing is cleverly manipulating you into developing the needs that they want you to have.

Brilliant Marketing. And we are all falling for it.

Evidently, one of the things social media activity does for human beings is stimulate the production of dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter which operates in the reward centers of our brains. And of course anything that stimulates our rewards center–sex, drugs, amaretto cheese cake, can become a habit forming problem if we let it.

Which goes a long way in explaining my long standing love/hate relationship with Facebook.

I know it’s a terrible time suck, and I don’t even like it that much, but I keep going back.

Even after discovering that corrupt and hostile foreign entities used it as a platform to foment a deeper political divide in this country than most of us alive can ever remember.

Which just might be the real hard core commie plot of our time.

©2018 By Ilona Elliott

Me and Cosmo

The Author (on the right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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