If George Orwell wasn’t a prophet, what would you call him?

Do any schools still require students to read 1984, or is that too dangerous to those who seek to gain power by dumbing us down?

Bloggers, never:

  • lower your standards and use the too-easy profanity,
  • forget how to use logic and thought,
  • use ad hominem and straw man attacks, or
  • cave into “political correctness,”

…lest you become a mindless slave of the system.

Keep learning, expand your vocabulary, and continue honing your literary skills, even when people don’t understand you and mock you for it.

“I may be sitting down on the outside, but I am standing up on the inside!”


Sometimes we all need to read really GREAT writing.

Yesterday I was reading an article and then I idly clicked on this article and was in writer’s heaven! The writer takes the death of a lonely hoarder and writes a masterpiece of humanity and information. Bloggers, this man is an award-winning writer, and his work will take your breath away. Since its source doesn’t have the features I need, I can’t reblog it, so I will give you the beginning, then you can follow the link to the full article.

The Lonely Death of George Bell

Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, some alone and unseen. Yet death even in such forlorn form can cause a surprising amount of activity. Sometimes, along the way, a life’s secrets are revealed.

They found him in the living room, crumpled up on the mottled carpet. The police did. Sniffing a fetid odor, a neighbor had called 911. The apartment was in north-central Queens, in an unassertive building on 79th Street in Jackson Heights.

The apartment belonged to a George Bell. He lived alone. Thus the presumption was that the corpse also belonged to George Bell. It was a plausible supposition, but it remained just that, for the puffy body on the floor was decomposed and unrecognizable. Clearly the man had not died on July 12, the Saturday last year when he was discovered, nor the day before nor the day before that. He had lain there for a while, nothing to announce his departure to the world, while the hyperkinetic city around him hurried on with its business.

Neighbors had last seen him six days earlier, a Sunday. On Thursday, there was a break in his routine. The car he always kept out front and moved from one side of the street to the other to obey parking rules sat on the wrong side. A ticket was wedged beneath the wiper. The woman next door called Mr. Bell. His phone rang and rang.

Then the smell of death and the police and the sobering reason that George Bell did not move his car.

Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, and each year the mortality rate seems to graze a new low, with people living healthier and longer. A great majority of the deceased have relatives and friends who soon learn of their passing and tearfully assemble at their funeral. A reverent death notice appears. Sympathy cards accumulate. When the celebrated die or there is some heart-rending killing of the innocent, the entire city might weep.

A much tinier number die alone in unwatched struggles. No one collects their bodies. No one mourns the conclusion of a life. They are just a name added to the death tables. In the year 2014, George Bell, age 72, was among those names.

George Bell — a simple name, two syllables, the minimum. There were no obvious answers as to who he was or what shape his life had taken. What worries weighed on him. Whom he loved and who loved him.

(click link to read the whole article) The Lonely Death of George Bell

Catching up with old business – Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very-inspiring-awardOK, this is the last thing I blog about today. Back at bit I received the following from Today is the Best Day of Our Lives (http://jacquelynchen.wordpress.com). Please remember to visit her blog. It is such a wealth of inspiring quotations and beautiful images that there ought to be a Hidden Gems Award; it inspires me just going there.

I would like to nominate you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”. There are five rules you will need to take note of:
(1) Display the award logo on your blog.
(2) Link back to the person who nominated you.
(3) State 7 things about yourself.
(4) Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
(5) Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements. Congratulations and do continue to inspire! Bravo!

I was very flattered, but this was just before I went “offline” for at least 6 months, and when I got back to blogging I never got around to my part of the bargain.

Since I am “back” (and clearly blogging waaaaay more than anyone wants to keep up with, but I have recently learned how to schedule my posts!), I am catching up (especially now that I know how to post the image!).

First, 7 things about myself that are not in my “Who Am I?”

  1. I am a procrastinator. In fact, at any given time I am putting off much more important things than what you see me doing.
  2. I love beautiful things and making them too, but my pragmatic and busy personality makes that hard for me so I compromise by making them practical/useful. For example, I love origami but focus on making origami mobiles (of the 3D type) because I can hang them up or give them as gifts, or make origami boxes and other beautiful and practical objects.
  3. I love books and magazines, but never seem to have time to read them.
  4. I want to take my family and re-visit Singapore.
  5. I don’t feel like a very inspiring blogger, but this motivates me to try to be a bit more so.
  6. I am impressed that my 16yo son is learning Mandarin.
  7. I’d love to set up a table, comfy chairs and select beverages some place in public with a sign saying “Will discuss important or difficult things, or just listen and pray”

And now for the nominees (without descriptions – be surprised!).

Wait a minute, I think that I am not alone in saying that I have many blogs I follow, but only a smaller percentage fall specifically into the “inspirational” category, making this a difficult award to pass on to 15, so I am making an executive decision and changing it:

  1. The Matt Walsh Blog – http://themattwalshblog.com/
  2. Simonjohnsonofclowne – http://simonjohnsonofclowne.com/
  3. Burnblog – http://burnblog.net/
  4. SparkOnIt: Science and  Technology News – http://sparkonit.com/
  5. Daughterbydesign – http://daughterbydesign.wordpress.com
  6. A Twisted Crown of Thorns – http://atwistedcrownofthorns.com
  7. CTK Blog – http://ctkblog.com/

It took me long enough to come up with 7 out of my many.  I shall change it to 5-7.


Another List Of Awesome Bloggers You Definitely Should Check Out

Thanks to Sparkonit.com for listing my blog on:

Another List Of Awesome Bloggers You Definitely Should Check Out.

I appreciate the pat on the back. I especially appreciate the opportunity to see what other bloggers he finds awesome and visit their blogs as well.

Getting started on WordPress

OK, I tried to reblog this, but it didn’t work, so I am going to put in a link. I could have used this information when I first started! There are still a few things I am learning, so I share:

Get Going Fast: A Checklist


Create Presentations Easily on WordPress.com with Shortcodes


What is Getting Me Up Off My Blogging Rear and Moving – A Visual Retrospective and Hopeful Plan

FYI, this is NOT changing the character and focus of my blog (I am still an eclectic blogger, just a fatter one), although it is a consequence of it–and yep, that was how I was feeling when I abruptly stopped blogging last year (recent post “Attempting balance”), and it wasn’t good.

computers and obesity


Just sitting and typing – the good Lord didn’t design our bodies to just sit around (that is the “genetic” problem for most, but not all, of us) – it causes trouble the way a car that is just parked and left alone for a very long time goes surprisingly bad. But at least I didn’t sit around shirtless and in my underwear while doing it!


I did, however, have the not-so-sneaking, disturbing suspicion that the view from behind was worse the the one in the  fitting room mirror, which I didn’t care to dwell on…

pressure on knee from obesityMany people say I look fine, but I dress carefully, yet kids and age make the results on me not very forgiving.

I have a few friends with weight issues so bad that at least one is now wheelchair-bound (with chronic cellulitis of the tissue in the legs, and now type 2 diabetes) making the very thing she needs and wants to do nearly impossible; another has a leg brace and cane, and others talk about their horrible “arthritis” in their knees and how they might need knee surgery… Uhhh, that’s NOT a solution, and doctors say you must lose weight before they will do it (which can obviate the need, of course). But they didn’t get to those painful states overnight, but just one ounce/pound at a time, a little more food, a little less activity, a little more self-loathing temporarily assuaged by ice cream (or whatever), and repeat….

There, if I didn’t get off that path could very well be me! Eeek! And then I saw this….

Sitting is Killing You

But in this slow, downward (upward?) spiral, a ray of hope…I saw my friend with the leg brace for the first time in maybe 6 months. I used to drive her to work, but More

Attempting balance

I have been offline a while…but it was a plan, and necessary.  I needed to step back and re-evaluate, regain perspective and remember why I was doing this in the first place and not be so obsessive about blogging (I had seriously let other more important things slide). I had already come to realize that I had strayed from my original intent, but gaining 20 pounds from too much sitting that was the final straw.  I immediately stopped cold and started looking for an answer. I found one, but it wasn’t cheap and it took time to get it. Ta da! My Lifespan Treadmill Desk! (For more details, Amazon is a good place to go, but I bought direct from the manufacturer.)

Lifespan walking treadmill desk

Lifespan walking treadmill desk

I have learned that the only way that I will change/do something hard is to put myself in a position where I can only do the right thing. So I eliminated a seating area in my living room and put in this walking desk and set up a complete work area. It is fully adjustable and is as solid as a rock, goes from 0.5 to 4.0 mph, and as I am typing I am walking 2.0 mph. I sometimes take a break and crank up the tunes and speed up (now walking 2.8 mph), just stand if I need to (harder on my feet), or slow down if necessary. For special situations I take the laptop to the couch and sit, but it is (deliberately) less convenient and comfortable. There is Bluetooth from the treadmill to my computer and I can then upload the data to an online site to keep track of my walking stats.

It is convenient because I won’t walk in the rain/snow/ice (we get enough of that around here). If the living room allowed for turning it to face the TV it would be even better, but no luck, so I just listen to it a bit more than watch it.

No comment yet on walking/weight loss progress. Later, maybe.

In the meantime, I am going to look at scheduling when I blog. I also plan to return to doing it more for me. I may update this post on those points, but for now I have other things I must do and will do them, but since much of it involves paper shuffling (see the mess on the desk?) I will be walking no more than a more leisurely 1-1.2 mph.


One Lovely Blog – thank you!

OK, while I still have time today, I want to thank Organized Living Essentials (http://organizedlivingessentials.wordpress.com/) for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog award! I am surprised and pleased at the recognition and I feel rather badly about taking so long to respond, but a recent post explains a bit of my “shoemaker’s elves” disappearance immediately after she gave it. I enjoy her blog so much and was one of the first ones I “followed,” especially since, as a homeschooling family, organization is something towards which I constantly aspire. I also could really relate to one particular part of her  “About”:

I have so enjoyed reading and learning from all of the other blogs… I have a lot of interests and passions including writing, researching, green living, creativity, digital technology, photography and most of all organizing. Through my pursuits I have learned a lot of lessons about all of these interests. It is now a natural progression to move onto sharing what I have learned by creating this blog. The time is now and the fit is right.

Anyhow, the rules are:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award, include a link to their blog,
  • Post the award image on your site
  • Select several blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and nominate those bloggers for the same award.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Well, I realized that I am still so new to serious blogging that I hadn’t had an opportunity to “meet” many other blogs (don’t let migrated posts from my old Blogspot blog fool you, I wasn’t doing much until I switched), so recently I have been happily rediscovering my usual follows and discovering others and am sharing a broad selection, combining my blog nominations with telling 7 things about myself:

  1. Bird Light Wind – http://birdlightwind.com/. I like photography blogs and I like birds and this combines both, and I learn so much here.
    • I love taking pictures, but although I have an old 35 mm, it seems I never did take the kind of pictures I saw others do. I just don’t seem to have the knack, 😦  so perhaps I need to find the $$ for a digital 35 mm so I can save time and frustration.
  2. C’est la Vie – https://theleanorigby.wordpress.com/. Another photography blog, but this one is special to me because the blogger (Wan-Ting) lives in Singapore. She takes breathtaking pictures in just about every place in the region except Singapore (even though it’s beautiful and picturesque) because one rarely sees the uncommon beauty in one’s own hometown and it’s common to her. I understand.
    • I lived in Singapore for a time and adored it. It was clean, organized, safe, well-educated, the food was great…it just didn’t have much to do for someone who was not working (it is not a leisure society). However, eating, shopping and photography are excellent and fairly affordable past-times there.
  3. khamneithang – https://khamneithang.wordpress.com/.  Khamneithang was born in Manipur, a state of India (on the map it iIndia Geographical Maps on the far right, bordering Myanmar (Burma). He is a Christian who lives out his daily faith with great courage and strength. In one portion of his “About Me” he writes:
    “…I have seen different shades of life, at times bringing me to tears with joy and happiness; and at times bringing me so much pain that I wish I could pierce my heart with a pointed arrow, at least to touch and feel it in the hope that something could be done to it. But in both cases, it has always brought me to my knees before God.Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you…Finally, life is too short for wallowing in self-pity…”

    • I lived in northern India for a few years finishing high school (look just below the “M” in “Himalayas” and you will see Uttarakand, which used to be part of Uttar Pradesh – I was there). There’s a backstory there which I am not going to attempt, here. I am also an unapologetic Christian and I have read a bit about the “faith” history of the region, particularly in a book entitled “Eternity in Their Hearts”by Don Richardson and have been awed and inspired by what I have learned.
  4. Town & Country Gardening – https://survivalfarm.wordpress.com. This blog is just chock full of gardening information – you have to see it because describing it doesn’t do it justice.
    • I am an avid gardener. My husband prefers flowers and ornamental additions and changes to the yard, but if I had my way (and I didn’t have black walnut trees) I would make most of it a vegetable garden. Sooo, we compromise and I try to make as many flowers as possible edible or useful. ;-).
  5. Cristian Mihai – http://cristianmihai.net. I just started following Cristian, who is a Romanian blogger who writes about writing (as in publishing/self publishing). Good information. So why…? (yeah, I know, I overuse the ellipse…)
    • BTW, after years of research I am writing the definitive book on gardening near and under black walnut trees and am in the final edit (the indices, oh the indices!). Kick me in the rear occasionally to keep me moving – this is the hardest part. I’d much rather find someone else to do that and focus on the marketing part (fun! fun!).
  6. On the Cocoa Trail – http://onthecocoatrail.com/. Attention all chocolate freaks! Want to learn about the process from bean to bar? In part of “About Me” she writes: “I’m off to Peru to learn about chocolate in the country where it was first refined by the Incas. You will be able to learn how I get on there by reading this blog.” Check this out!
    • I am endlessly curious about everything, which makes my husband a bit crazy (Rough translation from American Sign Language: “There goes Mom talking to people again!”), but it serves me well as an interpreter for the deaf.
  7. Eagle-eyed Editor – https://eagleeyededitor.wordpress.com. Another writing blog, but this is broader in scope and eminently practical and interesting. She was even “Fresh Pressed!”
    • As I write, I am always striving to improve, no matter if it is only writing/talking to myself. I have to say, though, I have learned more about writing from teaching it to my kids than I ever did in school.

What exactly is “irony” and how is it used?

This is a succinct and interesting explanation.

Experimental housing – same ol’, same ol’

I really have to stop making my replies so long that they are like posts…am I the only offender here? The only reason I mention that is that I decided to repost my reply in response to an open request by Ross Gale in his blog post “The heart of a buffalo” (http://rcgale.com/2012/05/19/the-heart-of-a-buffalo/). [Are you confused, yet?] His request was to “[w]rite a piece that gets to the heart of something. Don’t dance or impress, just speak plainly and honestly and get right to its core.”

I had just been reading about an experimental structure in the tinyhouseblog (http://tinyhouseblog.com/dome/indianapolis-island/).

I replied to that original post, then later I decided that I had done what he suggested and, since I don’t generally write by request (not being a student anymore), I decided to do the unprecedented (for me) and put it here and let him see what he thinks. Fun challenge. This means that if you decide to go see what this is all about you don’t have to read my response here because I did it there. [Are you confused, again, yet?]


Hmm. It looks like an igloo without the benefit of a “self cleaning” (melting) inner surface or being 100% biodegradable. Also, More

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