Bits of Life

I’m feeling so lazy, but I’m trying to rest my shoulder.  Everytime I use it, I’m set back.  So I’m bundled and cozy on the couch.  Think I’ll nap.

Haven’t written for quite a while.  But Thursday and Friday brought many thoughts to my mind.  Went to book club to discuss “Woman in Berlin”, which in hindsight was not a good choice given the political climate we’re in now.  Being the book subject was at the end of WW2, folks started comparing our new president to Hitler and all that is going on.  Tried to move back to the book, but some just won’t let go.

I was getting exasperated so I suggested folks watch the CNN Money piece about Beattyville, KY .

It ended and all went home.  On Friday folks started in again so I suggested again that they watch the video to try to comprehend why some poor white people would vote for Trump. The discussion went from bad to worse and I outed myself as voting for the Republican party because I am pro-life.  Then added my feeling of estrangement from that party because I am pro-environment, anti-gun, anti-big business, anti-capital punishment.  Don’t feel I belong anywhere.

The bottom line is that I won’t be going back to book club.  As I thought more of what I should have said – isn’t that always the way.  I’m not sharp-witted enough, I need to ponder.  The pondering brought me to the thought that all the conversation is on an intellectual level, not a personal one where you put yourself in the shoes of the poor white population.  What would I want?  How would I feel with the idea of no prospects?

I don’t know.  But I do feel their pain after living in Colfax and driving through Vevay or hundreds of other once-thriving communities who want it back the way it was.


I’ll add my lovely time in Arkansas, but first I want to deal with expectations.

People are deficient – I mean all of us – me included.

Expectation 1 for today – Spent lots of time with a conference coordinator going over what we expected to happen.

Then today I find out they didn’t do what we talked about.  Now I’m frustrated, but as long as I identify it, deal with it and move on.

I know I’m not perfect either, but I do expect others to be!!!  HA!!

I need to play a game of solitaire.


Expectation 2 – When someone says Thank You, the response has always been You’re Welcome –  When did “No Problem”  become an answer to Thank you.




At church this morning the sermon addressed typical reactions of folks at Christmas.

Stress and anxiety.  I sat there thinking that the root cause of these two problems is expectation.  Expectation is a dreaded emotional disease that creates upheaval in families, friends, work, leisure or any part of our life.  It leads to pain in our own life when we expect people to live up to our expectations for them.

And the really sad part is, it’s self-imposed.  I look around at the pressures people put on themselves to make Christmas so special. But special for whom   All traditions must be strictly adhered to.  Even if we don’t know why we do them.  They just must be done.  Trees, lights – indoor and outdoor, cookies, ornaments, parties, expectation upon expectation.

I watched “Kranks’ Christmas”, a movie based on John Grisham’s book “Skipping Christmas”.  The couple decided to skip Christmas and go on a cruise.  They found it difficult to forgo past traditions and then the neighborhood and work labeled them Scrooge and they became pariahs of the first order.  And why – because they weren’t living up to the expectations of everyone around them.

Long ago, I decided that it wasn’t worth going crazy doing all the Christmasey “things”.  I began dropping them one by one.  First no cookie baking.  AH!!!   Then not worrying about the time my Christmas cards or letters got to people.  Then not sending any – thanks to the computer I can send a lovely Christmas letter which I know some people hate, but I also hate getting a Christmas card from someone I haven’t seen in 10 years and all that’s in the card is “Merry Christmas ___signature_____”.  I already knew their name, I want to hear about them.  See an expectation and it frustrates me.

Next came “the tree”.  I live alone and when grandkids visited, it was fun watching them look at the tree.  One year I saved ornaments for them to put on, but they weren’t interested.  Then I moved. Now I go to their houses to admire their trees.  So, little by little I reduced another stressor – trimming the tree and the house.  I really, really hate putting all of it away.  Displaying cute Santa’s, angels, snowmen, candles, etc. all around the house means I have to put other things away and then when it’s time, do the reverse.  No more.

Now I quietly, watch old movies, make presents. Visit museums and places that have lovely displays.  I’m happier and stress-free.  I know there are people who love this time of year because of all the traditions they want to do.  I guess if it doesn’t bring you peace and joy, reduce it and then maybe eliminate it. Find the things you like the most, keep them and free yourself of what drags you down.  After all they are just things.  Don’t make yourself and others miserable living up to unrealistic expectations.




It’s 17:27 and I am ready for bed.  Seems it has been dark for hours.  I’ll be celebrating soon. Spent the last few days crocheting hats for Christmas gifts.  Working on a monogrammed scarf for a niece.  Having trouble feeling the needle so it’s not much fun.  Hope I don’t have to give it up entirely.

Then when I crochet my fingers get all bunched up and I have trouble straightening them.  I suppose I could find new hobbies if I have to give up those two.

Watched a fascinating movie/documentary – The Barkley Marathons    It’s an insane 100-mile race through the Tennessee woods.  Consists of 5 loops of 20 miles each and it is to be completed in 60 hours.  Amazing endurance.  Worth watching.

It’s really terrible when you’ve sworn off cookies, cakes, etc and then have a terrible craving for something sweet!!!!  I don’t even have regular tea that I sweeten. Only have herb tea and I could add some sugar or honey.  An apple will do I think!

Occam’s razor is a principle first developed by the Franciscan friar and philosopher, William of Ockham.

Whilst it is likely that the philosophy was posthumously attributed to him, as it was based upon common medieval philosophy, it seems to be a result of his minimalist lifestyle.

Occam’s razor is more commonly described as ‘the simplest answer is most often correct,’ although this is an oversimplification. The ‘correct’ interpretation is that entities should not be multiplied needlessly.

Researchers should avoid ‘stacking’ information to prove a theory if a simpler explanation fits the observations. Occam’s razor is the process of paring down information to make finding the truth easier.

In science, it is getting rid of all the assumptions that make no difference to the predictions of the hypothesis. If you have a few hypotheses that could explain an observation, it is usually best to start with the simplest one.

Around 10 on a cloudy, icky day, a young man on OSU campus drove into a group of students on a sidewalk who happened to be outside because of a fire alarm.  After hitting several he jumped out of his car swinging a butcher knife.  Within minutes the young man was dead and 11 people were in the hospital.


Rita’s Bits of Life

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