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I bought a quart of Land O Lakes Half & Half, this morning, and noticed the carton said “Share Your Delight”.  My first thought was “What delight?  It’s too darned expensive!”  But under it, it said “1 Carton = 50 cents for Kids”.  That softened me a bit.  😉   The side of the carton says if the UPC is registered at ShareYourDelight.com, Land O Lakes will donate fifty cents to (your choice of) Toys for Tots or Coats for Kids.   It hurts me to think that children are without toys, especially at Christmas, and to think any human being is without necessities, makes me want to cry.   So, when you see the program on products you buy, please take a few moments to register the UPC.  

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Two more programs worth your attention to are Box Tops 4 Education and Labels for Education.  Manufacturers will donate money to participating schools of your choice when the labels and box tops are redeemed.   The labels and box tops are found on hundreds of products that you purchase at grocery stores.  Please be aware of them, clip them, and redeem them.  For more information, go to BoxTops4Education.com and LabelsForEducation.com.  

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Every penny helps… though for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the billions of dollars, donated to education by some states, from lottery funds, don’t have kids sitting in cushy, velvet chairs and eating better lunches, but… well, that’s another blog.  😉

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I wasn’t surprised to see, in the News, this morning, that Thanksgiving has been referred to as “Black Thursday”.  It’s sad that Black Friday has, already, overshadowed Thanksgiving, a day to give special thanks and, now, advertisers are announcing “Black Thursday, “Black Week”….. and how many times have you hear “Black Friday” sales mentioned through the past year?  And, yes, there’s “Cyber Monday” and “… Month”… and so on.  😦
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In the early 1970s, I experienced my first Black Friday in retail.  I didn’t know it was called “Black Friday” then — my boyfriend suggested it, that night, and I said the name was appropriate.  I was mortified at what I had experienced, all day long — people fighting over merchandise, as cruel as I’ve ever seen them.  I was grateful they didn’t have guns….  Guns are so much more available these days.  I don’t intend to ever Run with the Bulls; I don’t intend to ever shop on Black Friday… or Thursday.

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 Not quite a year and a half ago, a little cat started showing up in my yard.  He would sneak up on the porch for food, when I fed my other cats, and then, go back under the car.  About five weeks after I first noticed him, he started coming in the house, with the other cats, to eat.  (I put dishes in the house and on the porch when its cat-feeding time.  The door’s usually open and the cats also have two kitty doors, so they can come and go freely.)

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Then, for a year, the cat stayed in the house.  He let me pet him, but would always squat, like he was ready to run.  I have always tried to make him feel welcome.  He seemed most comfortable in the house, so that’s where he stayed, except for occasional strolls to the porch.  Then, I (finally) named him — “Homey”.   Seemed appropriate.  But, wouldn’t you know it, the very next day, after telling him his new name, he left!  Disappeared — for three days!  Crazy timing!     
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I suspect he was under the house, not feeling well, for that time, because he showed up with cobwebs on him.  He’s been in the house, primarily, since and, recently, started living on my desk.  (LOL.  I’m glad he feels comfortable.) 

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I know that the economy is tough and I suspect Homey was put out in the wild, by his previous owners [caretakers, as I call them] because they needed to eliminate a mouth to feed.  I completely understand.  As difficult as it is to feed another mouth here, I always feel blessed when a cat finds his way here. 

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Homey cries, sometimes…. sometimes right after dinner.  I think he may worry, then, that he won’t have food if he is put out.  I try to console him, but he still acts afraid when I pet him. 

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Why am I telling you this?  I don’t know.  I struggled with what to write about, this morning — trying to choose from a list of topics — and, then, just started feeling alone and abandoned…  Yes, much like Homey.  So, I thought I’d share my story about Homey.      

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Who’s idea was it to collect garbage and put it in “landfills”?  That was a stupid!  How can people think that it won’t end up the water supplies and soil, as it deteriorates?  I’m thinking these people (or person) — whose idea it was — are in the same class that said, “Hey, let’s dump old tires in to the ocean and create reefs for fish!”  They didn’t know the tires would deteriorate and become toxic to the ocean life and the water supply, in general?  It scares me that people are, actually, considering floating umbrellas around the earth in light of what they claim is “global warming”.  What if the claims are not true and we are stuck with umbrellas hovering over, blocking the much-needed sun to prevent us from freezing and to grow food?  

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I take issue with what some people claim is “science”

 

I think we ought to, slowly, start burning the burnable garbage that is in landfills and stop creating garbage.  I’m not worried about contributing to “global warming” — I have faith “Science” is wrong about that.

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When I went in to “retirement” (too sick to work), about 10 years ago, I decided to make use of my time study things that Science ~~ and people, at large ~~ are perplexed by — like, dreams and spirit matters.  Here’s what I know about dreams.             
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When you go to sleep, your mind does not stop.  It continues to think, just as it does while you are awake.  But, while you are sleeping, it has time to develop thoughts because it is not involved in daily (awake) activities.                    Photobucket
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When you are awake, your “conscious” (fore-most thoughts) are constantly being disrupted by “more-subconscious” thoughts — those you don’t need, want, or have time to think about in depth (like, your immediate environment, people that pass by you, what you’ll do on the weekend, what you’ll have for dinner, what you need to add to your grocery list, your appearance, old friends… the list could be endless).  But, by the very nature of sleep, your mind’s activity is slower and takes the time to see, more clearly, many of those “more sub-conscious” thoughts.  For example:  A person who passed by you, while awake, may have looked like an old friend, even barely, or wearing a style of clothing you associate with an old friend — but because you’re in a conversation with the boss, or rushing to get to work on time, or chasing the kids, you don’t give it “much thought” [little or no fore-thought].  However, when you go to sleep, later (even weeks, months, or more later), the scene (of the passer-by) might play back in your head and you might think about that old friend (thus, “dream” about him/her).  Here’s where it might get a little complex:  That friend might remind you of another friend, or a color, an activity, an argument — anything — and your mind might go off in another direction (away from the initial friend).  So, your dreams ~~ or what you remember of them ~~ may seem “crazy”.                                                                               Photobucket

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“Why do dreams seem so crazy?”  If you can dissect your awake thoughts into micro-seconds, or micro-thoughts, you will see how your mind works a little better.  Let’s use the Passer-by example, above:  If you “stop” your thought on the moment you noticed the passer-by and take the time to think about anything (even remotely) related to the awareness (the friend, what he/she wore, things you did together, places you two talked about going, etc.), it might explain how “crazy things” show up in your dreams.  The mind, when asleep, has time to wander and make associations.  Images or scenes may seem blurred in a dream because that’s how some thoughts go through your mind during awake time, or that’s all you remember about that scene in the dream, or you remember the moment when your mind was changing thoughts.
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“What about ‘sexual objects’ in dreams?”  The notion that if bananas, melons, and a long list of other things, appear in dreams, they represent deep-routed sexual problems or sexual needs that are not (and need to be) addressed is absurd.  (The first time I recall ever seeing bananas in a dream was after spending a week of discussing dream interpretations with some friends.  In the dream, someone held up a bunch of bananas and I gasped, “OMG!  I have sexual problems!”  Maybe it woke me up!  I quickly rationalized, however, and cautiously, that my mind was only reflecting those recent discussions.  The more you make associations between objects and sex, in awake hours, the more apt you are to incorporate them in to your dreams — merely because those associations are part of your awake life.

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“What is REM sleep?”    Rapid Eye Movement.  This is a period of sleep when the eyes and eyelids “jitter” and lasts, usually, briefly.  If I remember correctly (without looking it up), this is the only period that scientists think a person is dreaming.  Not at all true, in my opinion.  Periods when there is rapid eye movement are periods when there may be fast action, or the dreamer’s eyes are moving quickly around a scene, in a dream.   For example, if the dream scene is a busy playground and the dreamer is looking at all the children playing, it might cause REM.  REM, by no means, is the only time a person is dreaming. 

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“Does everyone dream?”  Yes.  Dreams are merely thoughts (and images associated with them) that occur while sleeping.  The mind does not turn off when asleep; it does, however, rest and takes time to develop thoughts.  We all think when we’re asleep. 

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“If it’s true that I dream, why don’t I remember?”   If your asleep thoughts are a lot like awake thoughts, you might not notice any difference between them — and, therefore, the “dreams” don’t stand out (as having dreamed).  If you do not take time to think about dreams, when you wake up, they are apt to be buried in thoughts of the day.  (I found the more I thought about my dreams, when I woke up, the more and more I remembered about them.) 

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“Sometimes, I dream I’m falling and I always wake up before I hit the floor.  Why is that?”  It could be you know it will hurt if you do hit the floor.  It could be, in dreams, we put ourselves in situations where we do, or might, fall and wake ourselves up (or stop thinking about it) and stop the fall, because we don’t want it to happen.  There are times, however, when we might allow ourselves to to hit the floor or, even, go through the floor.  See “Can analyzing our dreams benefit us?”, below.     

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“I sometimes dream I’m slipping and wake up with a jerk.  Why?”  Much the same as “falling” in dreams, you stop yourself from hitting the ground because you know it will hurt.  There may be a little more to it.  See “Can analyzing our dreams benefit us?”, below. 

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“Can analyzing our dreams benefit us?”  Yes, I think so.  It helps let you know what’s going on in your head, more deeply, and what paths our minds take in thoughts that might effect our actions during awake periods.  We make associations between words and actions, so it might help you control, or, at least, be aware of conditions.  That is, for example, if, in a dream, you are in a car, racing out of control, is that how your life seems to be going?  You could take it as a sign that (1) you are fully aware of it and (2) you might need to slow it down and get control, make life more manageable.  Keep in mind, these are thoughts you could have during the day, if you had time, or allowed yourself to think about them.  (When you are asleep, your mind is only thinking things it might if you were awake and had time (or took time) to consider them.)   If you are falling, in a dream, do you feel like you are “falling” (declining) in awake life, in other ways — health wise, financially, socially?  It could be actual, (or) it could be merely a fear.  If you see a banana peel or patch of ice, and still slip on it, anyway, how apt are you to see “slips” in your awake life — slips of the tongue, slips socially, on the job — and not avoid them (change the conditions so the slips don’t happen)?   Dreams can (probably) only tell us what we are, already, aware of, but we can use dreams to bring some things to the surface (of our conscience) a little more.  If we take time to think about our dreams, we can look for things that we may need to pay a little more attention to.  But, again, they are things that you would, probably, pay attention to (think about) if you had time, took time during awake hours.

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 One of my favorite memories about my friends is one that happened in the early 1970s.  Tom and Mike had made investments in a venture that was starting up.  When they told me about it, I convinced them it wasn’t a good idea.  I posed a few questions they didn’t have answers to.  They talked to the venture group to get answers and, subsequently, got their money back.   They were so grateful, then, that they did not invest that they wanted to reward me for my input.  They said I could have anything I wanted and offered sending me to Europe for a week, (or) fine jewelry, (or) a new wardrobe, (or) more!  I told them I didn’t want anything for helping and we went back and forth a while, “we want to do something”, “but I don’t want anything”.     Right as I had them convinced I really didn’t want anything, I thought (and said), “Wait a minute!  Yes, I do!”  I, clearly, remember the grateful and curious smiles on their faces.  🙂  🙂 There were a couple other friends there, so I said they would have to be involved — to which they replied they weren’t involved with the investment and did not owe me anything.  I told Mike and Tom they would have to convince the others to partake, as part of the deal, but the others quickly surrendered to it ~~ conditionally, of course ~~ without further coaxing.  

 

I said, “OK, this is what I want:  I want all of you to drink milk!”  They thought about it, a few seconds, then the moans and groans started.  Mike, sincerely, sweetly, and desperately said, “Wouldn’t you rather go to Europe?  A whole week!”  Tom said, “What woman gives up clothes?!?  We’ll buy you a car load!  Milk?”  

 

“Yes, milk, that’s what I want!”  And, after more discussion, we made a date for Friday night.  The guys would order pizza, I would supply the milk.  (I insisted.  I didn’t want any excuses.)  Milk goes great with pizza!   

 

The big night arrived.  (Boy, you’d think I had asked them to swim an ocean.)  It was hard for them to take those first swallows, but, eventually, they got in to it ~~ and enjoyed it.  One picked up the empty carton, looked in to it, and got a sad look on his face.  I said, “I’ve got more!  It’s in the fridge!”  Looks of delight everywhere!  🙂

 

We had such a wonderful evening!   One asked why I would turn down a week in Europe or fine jewelry to have “milk” with them.  I told them “What would Europe be without all of you?  Fashion comes and goes — I’d be stylish only for a few months.  Jewelry?  I’ve never been one for ‘bling’.  But your health?  That’s priceless!  I hope you’ll all drink milk, from time to time, in the future.  Here’s to Milk!”  We held up our glasses and toasted. 

 

My friends and I had to separate — whether it was because of job transfers and so forth — but I still love and miss them so much!  Those are the people I need to be with to feel complete in life.  I still think of them every day, so often.  They are the ones that got me through all my troubled times… just thinking about them and all the great times we had.  I live every day to be with them again.

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      The horror of darkness,

   
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                                                         ~~ Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

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When I was a kid, if a cat (that wasn’t ours) was found in our garage and we couldn’t get it out, we went door-to-door, looking for the owner.  We didn’t call Animal Control, as our only resort.  If a home owner needed the lawn mowed and couldn’t do it, for any reason, a neighbor would do it — without expecting anything in return, except maybe getting help (from any neighbor) if he needed it, someday.  

I am not going to start a rant [here, now ;)], but what happened to “Good Neighbors”?  Why do people call the Board of Commissioners (to complain) if a neighbor’s hedge is too high or Animal Control if a cat’s in the garage (rather than ask neighbors if they own the cat)?  What happened to Good Neighbors?
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Inspiration for post:   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44996377/ns/us_news-christian_science_monitor/  

                                                                                                     
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This really gets to me.  (LOL.)  This is how the article, in the Christian Science Monitor, starts out: 

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“A new climate study shows that since the mid-1950s, global average temperatures over land have risen by 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit), confirming previous studies that have found a climate that has been warming – in fits and starts – since around 1900.” 

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My argument, right away, is (that) science has said they changed their position to global warming, from global freezing (much-talked about in the late 1960s and early 70s), because, now, their instruments are better for measuring and calculating.  But, I say, if those instruments were so inaccurate, in the ’60s and ’70s, how can their “calculations” now, based on that inaccurate data, be accurate?

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Coupled with the fact that, over a period of 60 years, 1.6 degrees isn’t much.  (Maybe it’s only a measure of how much their equipment has improved.  (LOL!!)

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The article, noted above, mentions that some say there were serious flaws in the data and analytical methods used in other studies and some data was discarded as unusable.
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This new study made use of that “unusable” data and thinks it’s findings are more accurate because of it.  In my opinion, it’s just another person’s or group’s opinion as to whether that data is usable.  Which person/group is right? 
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The term “trend” is used a lot to describe the scientific conclusions on global warming.  There’s an example in this article:  “Besides confirming the temperature trend, the Berkeley group says…”.    Trends (to me) are not forever-ongoing.  A trend in fashion, or cars, or housing, is merely a direction it’s going for a relative short period of time.   The trend, then, changes direction and new trends immerge.  Trends toward mini skirts and hybrid cars does always mean we will want them in our wardrobes and garages forever.

   

I think this “trend” in warming is merely part of a Universe cycle and the temperatures will will cooling again.  Scientists don’t know how the celestial bodies of the Universe work together and their influences on the Earth.  Science can not predict hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, why should we think it can predict ongoing global warming?   

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