Versatile Bloggers Award

My first experience at blogging awards! Thanks to Cheryl Wright for the nomination. This year’s April Blogging from A to Z writing challenge is a shared experience, and it was so worth exploring the blogs of other participants (more than 2000, I believe). Her blog displays diversity from the “About Me” page through the connections Cheryl has provided. The person in personal is at the blog series’ center. Find her…everywhere! And at Plucking Of My Heartstrings.

Seven little-known facts about me:
1. Mine was not a military family; however, my parents, siblings and I moved often.
2. I was completely blonde as a child; while I retained the stick-straight hair, the blonde is now mahogany with plenty of gray.
3. My superpower is hearing a little too well, so earplugs are stocked in quantity.
4. I’ve been homeless.
5. I once ate a (beheaded) grilled trout—bones and all—much to the dismay of my paternal grandmother.
6. I grew a mango from the store-bought fruit’s seed.
7. I have milked a cow and a goat.

June 2014: Versitile Blogger Award

June 2014: Versatile Blogger Award

The nominees for Versatile Blogger:

A.K. Andrew at http://akandrew.com/blog-a-writers-notebook/
Lydia Steele Richmond at http://www.clutteredgenius.com
Gettin’ Trippy at http://gettintrippy.blogspot.com/
Elena Levon at http://mselenalevontraveling.com/
Scott Schuman at http://www.thesartorialist.com/
G.E. Reutter at http://gereutter.wordpress.com/
Otto von Münchow at http://munchow.wordpress.com/
The Renegade Seamstress at http://chicenvelopements.wordpress.com/
Valeriu Barbu at http://valeriudgbarbu.wordpress.com/
Impressions of a Princess at http://gongjumonica.com/
Jean at http://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/
I Heart Faces at http://www.iheartfaces.com/
Cluttered Genius at http://www.clutteredgenius.com/
TK at http://nerdbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Sylvia at http://silviatomasvillalobos.wordpress.com/

Those who choose to participate:
1. If you have been nominated, create a post to thank that person. Link your post back to their blog.
2. Nominate 15 other bloggers that you believe deserve this award. Link back to their blog. Notify them to let them know of the nomination.
3. Share 7 little known facts about yourself.

Island Survival

Image By Larry Farr||morguefile.com

Image By Larry Farr||morguefile.com

Lewis and Clark would be dismayed. The careful calculations they charted were of a forming and reforming Columbia River, which was destined to divide.

Swaths of explorable land forked the lake-like Columbia while heavy timber slowed the push of mist, rain and river. The ocean fought the flow of fresh water, diluting with low tide only to reclaim its mixture as the tide swelled.

The tide and the river’s pulse remain. With the felling of timber, the rise in soil run-off heaved the volume of the river. What the rush of spring melt had not washed away was suffocating in the sudden silt. Island swaths dwindled to stranded trees between muddy banks.

True, the onslaught of matter-dense river water will etch away the blunt tip of an island. And it is at the upstream the island gains debris with which it incrementally rebuilds itself. The trees march forward, sidling up to shore one another during the calmer months. The solidarity of trees’ roots claim any purchase—deadfall, rock and nutrients—that would otherwise escape the grasp of an island.

Then-maps will never match now-maps, or next-maps for that matter. The Pacific Northwest is a place set in its ways, however malleable the landscape.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Really? Labels on Psychology Today

Beyond YourselfMental health issues have come a long way from being covered up by family or applying the label, “nutcase.” Labeling reduces people to objects, convenient as the phrases may be.

Psychology Today is the last place I would expect the use of derogatory labels such as “crazy.”

Here is a list of the instances of crazy in the article by Donna Jackson Nakazawa.

Paragraph 1: “…[someone] simply acts crazy in ways that confound us…”
Suggestion: Drop the word crazy.

Paragraph 3: “How can we stop feeling embroiled in other people’s craziness?”
Suggestion: The word behavior would be a suitable substitute for “craziness,” though I can think of other alternatives.

Item 11: “…to prevent a crazy-making altercation…”
Suggestion: Slightly less succinct would be, to prevent an altercation that leaves us with distressing thoughts.

Item 14: “…who’s driving you crazy…”
Suggestion: How about, who’s become the center of your thoughts.

Also, I ask, “Who is behind the wheel driving? And why isn’t it you to begin with?” That could be another article in itself. I suspect there is more than one side of the equation that needs to address mental health.

Postscript: From the point listed in response to paragraph 3 ["How can we stop feeling embroiled in other people’s craziness?"], are we conveniently turning away from recognizing others require help? We likely are not the person to help them; however there are many ways to foster connections between the person in need and persons who can offer help.

Sandra R. Davidson

Educational Optionals

I read a pointed Facebook post about graduating students today. I won’t bother commenting after the 500+ comments on the other page.

My nephew graduated high school today. As far as I am aware he has no intention of incurring student loan debt.

I didn’t own a home until my 40s because working two full-time jobs during my younger career and a one full-time job during my married life was still not enough to afford a home without total debt—debt again, that pesky word.

My niece has no desire to have a family. Many of her generation around the world feel similarly.

I felt I didn’t have a choice between immediate full-time work and further education. Looking back, a formal education would not have made a difference in my long-term job choice as an adult. I suppose I chose purpose instead of pay.

I’d say the generation graduating now are not risk-takers in career endeavors; they play their risks in rock climbing and other thrill pursuits.

As far as a university education, why is it required we barter our careers with that embossing on paper? Isn’t proven ability far more important?

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson (Don’t know why this is even necessary if my words are posted here.)

The Laws of Youth

Vanity“Energized Skin is Younger Looking Skin”

Today I saw this slogan for Olay® Regenerist™ in a magazine. Beautiful full-color ad of course, complete with sparkly motes emanating from the open jar of product.

Specialty moisturizers appeal to the turn-back-the-clock vanity in all of us. Women are expected to hold onto youth as long as they can—or there may be consequences. Men also are using products to keep the outside more appealing to a wider age group. The fountain of youth exists. Billions of dollars in revenue speak for themselves.

There is a catch. When you stop using their $30+ product, the etching of emotion, exposure and time reassert themselves. I’ve indulged in one of these vanity-boosting creams. That was before my husband pointed out the inevitability of reversion.

My life has been physically demanding, emotionally varied and I’m not 17 anymore (please, oh please, don’t make me go back!). I often scrub at my eyes with my hands when I cry. I squinch my eyes because sunglasses aren’t something I am used to. I catch myself whole-face frowning. I turn my face to the sun. I’m not Sleeping Beauty, always sleeping face up to avoid the creasing weight of my head on a pillow.

And each time I smile there is an undeniable energy that exceeds the brightness any product could provide. My eyes shine with emotion. My skin is uplifted.

Aged woman with curlers in her hair and a bright smile.

Our most regenerating, rejuvenating revitalizing product is payed for with genuine emotion that comes from spending our time among the people who love and accept us, creases and all. I can afford that for the rest of my life, and I’m pretty sure I’ll not abandon my smile at some future date.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson