The Innocence of Youth

Mom and I went out the door hand in hand and headed to the bus stop.  Mom didn’t drive when we were little so the two of us did our weekly trek to catch the bus for downtown.  We would do our errands and then do our grocery shopping and finally take a taxi home with our treasures and groceries. 

InnocenceThree-year-old me ran up the steps and found a seat for us near the front of the bus.  Most of the people that rode the bus back in the day knew each other.  This day there was a man that was unfamiliar.  Something was a bit different about him.  I tried to whisper to Mom but my voice came out a bit loud.  I asked how come that man had such a dirty face.  She shushed me but too late.  The man had heard my question.  He told me that his skin was a different color than mine. I asked him why and he answered that he was born that way.  He asked Mom if I wanted to touch his skin.  She quietly declined and I climbed up in her lap.  

It was the first time I had ever seen a man of color in person.  I tried not to stare. He was very nice and smiled at me when he caught me looking.  I think he could tell that I meant no offense but that my youthful curiosity had gotten the best of me. 

I was raised in a small town in south-central Wisconsin.  There were not many people of different races or colors when I was little.  It was the 1950s and it was a different time. 

When I was in the 4th grade, I was driving with my Dad.  We went through a part of town where there were homes that were kind of run down and not as well kept as some other neighborhoods.  I asked Dad if this would be concerned the slums of our town.  He frowned and pulled the car over.  He said that it was not right to label a neighborhood that way and said I shouldn’t do it again. 

When I was in High School, I joined the forensics team.  We had to pick a famous person that we admired and write an essay about them.  I had been fascinated with the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and chose him to write about.  My talk centered on his “I Have a Dream” speech and his words moved something deep inside me.

Innocence

In August of 1963, Dr. King led the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom by some 210,000 People.  The demonstrators came from all parts of the country: one-quarter of them were white.  

1963 marked the centennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation. Dr. King stated “when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Dr. King went on to use his check metaphor to say that “America has given the negro a bad check; a check which has come back marked insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”

I moved to Iowa when I was in my early 20s. The town I lived and worked in was segregated by color and real estate.  I worked at the local television station part-time on the weekends and often got into discussions with a young black reporter that worked there.  Randy was bright and articulate. He would argue with me that it was wrong that people like myself were raised in “lily-white communities”. I explained that while I had not grown up with a diverse group of people, I had been raised to treat all people equally. He explained that through the ignorance of exclusion, my view was not helping the black cause.  Coincidentally, Dr. King was assassinated on my birthday in 1968.

I could go on to describe other instances where my naivety concerning the plight of the African Americans challenged my opinions. 

I remember a good friend of mine told me that until a person walked into a room and no one could tell what color they were, we would not have a truly integrated America. 

InnocenceToday, these issues are more present than ever before. We watched with horror the murdering of George Floyd. We have watched and participated in the demonstrations and still have no answers.  

I can no longer claim the innocence of youth. I do understand that my lack of understanding could be looked at as ignorance. And yet, in the words of author Viktor E. Frankl, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, “From all this, we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two – the “race” of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man.  Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people.”

Who is Judy

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Rock Your Hairstyle (for Women Over 50)

hairI got my hair cut–I mean CUT–right before 2nd grade. I was 7 years old. My mom had just gotten her 1960’s shoulder-length locks updated into the iconic 70’s shag. I loved her new do and wanted to be a grown-up who could make choices about my hair. So after much begging and pleading, mom relented. Thus was the beginning with my love/hate relationship with my hair.

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No Bras Required – Ever!

bras source of strife

Age 18 – No Boobs!!

Bras have always been a source of strife in my life – being one of those people that really doesn’t require one completely.  (I’m the odd duck in my family in this regard)

 

Look at this picture!!  I’m 18 in this picture and you can see – I have NO BOOBS!!  Ha-ha!

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17 Tech Tricks Everyone Should Know

17 Tech Tricks

 

I’ve been working with computers for 30+ years.  I’ve found lots of keyboard shortcuts over the years to help me.   Here are 17 keyboard shortcuts/tech tricks that are not commonly known to help you at both home and work!

 

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Bra Shopping – The Perfect 6 Step How-To Guide

I recently needed a change. I was feeling blah and stale. When I looked in the mirror, my middle-aged face, clothes, and body all looked tired. I smoothed my hands over my face. I ran my fingers through my hair. I looked at my self straight on and sideways. Then I saw it. The “girls” could use a lift. They were looking rather blobby and rounded. I think the terminology is “uni-boob”.   I decided that I would begin a mini-makeover from the inside out. That is, clothing-wise, with my undergarments–my bra.

I come from a long like of conservative, modest, and frugal women. My mom has never seen a new bra that can compete with the dingy, ancient one that’s held together with safety pins. Arghhhh.

Now, I have recently been intrigued by some interesting new styles and brands of bras out there on Pinterest and on Facebook ads.  But how do you buy a bra without trying it on first? (I have also never been able to buy a swimsuit–that I actually wore–without first trying it on in a store.) After analyzing strategy from the experts (my fellow Sidetracked Sisters) here are my 6 tips for a successful hunt!

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Shopping for Intimates (namely Bras) with my Sister?!?

braBra shopping is an event that comes along very rarely in my life.  Several years ago, I found a bra that fit well and I keep buying the same make and model over and over in different colors but mostly flesh color. I know, boring.

Frankly, my first choice, when I’m not out in public, is to go without. I find it much more comfortable.  I was delighted when I recently read a report that said going without was better because it built up your chest muscles.  All right! I’m happy to comply and all in.

One day, several years ago, my sister and I decided to go bra shopping for her. She never could find a bra that she liked. We spent three+ hours in the “intimates” department picking out pretty bras, utilitarian bras, lacy bras, and plain bras.  She would hang out in the fitting room and I would bring in different sizes, colors, and styles. She would try them on and we would both laugh hysterically. Very quickly the fitting room was filled with rejects. 

After many false starts, we settled on 3 bras that she felt were just right. The final picks were not too big, not too small, but just right. It was a bit of a goldilocks moment. We selected a few pairs of underwear to match and called it good. I was exhausted and she was quiet. 

About a week later, I asked Sandy how the new bras were working out. She got quiet again and wouldn’t make eye contact. She finally confessed.  The Monday after our intense shopping excursion, she had returned all the purchases we had made and continued to wear her old, worn-out bra.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  

I have always wanted to have a professional bra fitting, however, after my escapade with Sandy, I think it can wait. 

Who is Judy

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How Do I Love Thee – Let Me Count The Ways…

love about myselfWhat do I love about myself is the question of the day.  It’s a challenging question to answer because people tend to focus more on the negative aspects of themselves.  I’m choosing to try to be more positive, so I’m actually having a hard time picking just one thing.  That will most likely sound conceited to some.  Here are a few things that I’m proud of about myself.

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Sandy’s 9 Tips for a Beautiful Garden

Here are some of my gardening tips:

When to Plant

Iceman Days.  Do not plant annuals or vegetable plants until after “Iceman Days”.  Iceman Days seem to be different every year, but when I looked it up for this year it says they are May 11, 12, and 13.  It has something to do with the moon.  (This is taken from the Farmer’s Almanac).  If you are really interested in the history of this just go to Google as Google knows everything.  Not being a farmer, just an unknowledgeable girl, this saved me quite a bit of money.  It really seems true and I follow it religiously.  One year I put out impatients the first week of May and it actually snowed on them.  So much for pretty plants.  They don’t like to be frozen!!!

Hostas

Don’t plant (most) hostas in the sun.  Read the labels and make sure if they will tolerate the sun or not. They will grow, but the leaves have a tendency of burning.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe burned leaves is the look you will want to achieve.  (Reading the labels for all plants is essential to proper maintenance)

Mulching

I don’t mulch around annuals as this seems to stunt their growth.  Mulching around other items in the garden does provide a clean appearance and helps retain moisture.

Overcrowding  

Overcrowding is another way to prevent plants from thriving.  Allowing space between your plants is beneficial for their growth.  This is something I fail at miserably because I prefer immediate gratification and want to see full planters and gardens.  

Weeding

Weeding, of course, is really important.  For some of us that don’t mind weeding, if taken an area at a time, it can be rewarding.  Lisa and I actually tend to weed anywhere we are; restaurants, stores, other people’s houses, wherever we are standing and notice weeds.  It might be considered a mental problem by some!! (Michelle thinks we are nuts)

Fertilizing

Fertilizing is a must, even though this is something that I don’t do as often as I should.  This is especially important for container planting.

Larger Pots

I used to do a lot of planting in little pots.  I have now gone to fewer, but much larger planters.  The flowers thrive much better.  This creates less fussing over.  

20-minute gardening

Don’t overdue.  Don’t do it all in one day if you have a lot of gardening.  By taking 20 minutes each day to do your garden maintenance you’ll enjoy the process more.

Edging

A nice crisp edge to your garden completes a finished look.  Even if there are weeds in the middle, a clean edge makes your gardens look cared for both far away and close up.

Who Is Sandy
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Letting Go, Decluttering and Streamlining

letting go

A magical night (in the perfect dress)

We work from the time we’re old enough to make money to buy stuff.  Actually, it’s true that there’s a lot of good stuff out there like collectibles, beautiful crystal, all of the issues of Oprah Magazine from Day one, clothes, furniture, decorations, and shoes (my special weakness). This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stuff. Then one day when we’re older, our desire to have things turns into the need and desire to purge and to work on letting go of the extras in your life.

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Changes are Coming – Time to Streamline My Life!

changesThe women in my life are facing many changes and it’s brought to mind the idea that to have the kind of life you want, you need to let go of what you don’t want in your life.  So it’s time to ask myself, what kind of life do I want and what do I need to let go of in order to obtain that kind of life?  

The first thing that comes to my mind is the clutter that I’ve accumulated since I moved out on my own.  I tend to be a pack-rat and my basement contains so much clutter. The storage room contains toys and games from when the children were little, ceramics that Grandma Is never got around to painting, old prom dresses, etc.  For whatever reason – I have a hard time letting go of the old stuff. By letting go of this clutter, I can make room for the new and simplify my home.  I’ve currently been cleaning up some of the paperwork clutter.  I’ve been shredded old documents that I’ve been holding onto dating back to 1986!!!  (Don’t ask me why I’ve been saving documents for that long!!!) Continue reading