Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Gift

A homemaker/housekeeper is a priceless gift and since Women's Liberation in the sixties, devalued even more than she had been before the sixties and by our own gender! At least, this is how I see things.

Several days before Christmas I pulled out my sewing machine, which I hadn't used in three years. I had just finished taking care of an enormous hair clog in the bathroom sink by taking out my trusty pliers and making a long hook with an old wire hanger. As I plugged in plugs, threaded the needle, placed the bobbin and began to sew I thought:  How many people can go from being a plumber to being a seamstress from one moment to the next? The answer is--most homemakers/housewives.

Most homemakers are Janes (or Jacks!) of many trades and even masters of some. A homemaker can go from cleaning the gunk off the grout to teaching his or her son to throw a ball or cast a fishing line. We can cook for small parties or big families, sew well enough to mend torn jeans and ripped seams. We can budget, inventory, shop and do basic bookkeeping. Many of us can knit, crochet, embroider, tat, and wield a glue gun like nobody's business. There are those who can take the plumbing apart and fix leaks or even install a garbage disposal. Often you will find us digging in the garden both for necessity and pleasure. Some of us can change the oil in our cars or if nothing else, at least check it! We are interior decorators, part-time counselors, emergency medical technicians and even minister to our family's spiritual needs.

Before the sixties and Women's Liberation women were pretty much unpaid labor and not truly thought about by the male half of the population. Once Women's Liberation went into full swing, us females put our two cents into the pot and made it well known that the woman who stayed home was not looked upon favorably. We gave the ones who worked outside of the home bad names, although I've never figured out why.

Over the years, I've noted that the view has changed, although last I heard there were still two camps with regards to women's liberation. The one that put down the homemaker and the one that empowered women for whatever choices they made in life.

There are so many women who have found themselves forced into a workforce they weren't prepared for and for a variety of reasons. Perhaps their husband of many years died or left them and they had really done anything except run a household for ten or twenty years. Or maybe they were in an abusive relationship and finally found the courage to leave, but leaving left them unable to provide for themselves and their children. Or, maybe they want to leave, but how would they eat? While the Employment Development Department insists a resume can be tailored to make it sound like a homemaker has many skills to impress an employer with, my experience has been very different.

So women, don't settle. Don't buckle. Don't listen if you feel like you aren't skilled enough or experienced enough to handle a job. If you have run a household successfully and raised children then you've been in the trenches and gotten your education by doing while others were studying. The only way to make a change in the world they say is to be the change you want to see. Let us support each other as we give our homemakers/housewives a voice.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"The Voice"

So, I've been watching season 5 of The Voice on Hulu Plus and I'm moved. Deeply moved. What moves me is these coaches who don't try to change who the singers are.

Some of you know, and many probably don't, I sang for years. I began in grammar school like most kids do and music was one of the few things that truly motivated me. I taught myself guitar when I was 12, having been inspired by my two sisters, Charlotte and Melissa, and after high school I spent something like 18 years singing in our little church every Sunday and eventually putting together a choir for special occasions like Christmas and Easter. A choir, I might add, of people who wanted to sing, but felt they could not sing well enough for anyone to hear them--and in the end they were a fabulous group of people who sang wonderfully!

I also spent several years in college learning the foundations of music writing, vocal presentation, history, etc., because teaching music seemed to be the outlet open to me. There was an expectation, both societal and familial, that the arts were not an acceptable way to make a "living". I can see the rational behind this, although at this point in my life I realize limitations are put upon our children when we don't have a broad enough knowledge about what is available for work opportunities in a particular area.

I eventually quit music because I could never be what my instructor said I had to be.  I had no interest in singing opera or being a soloist with an orchestra, or even being the best in the city, state, country, etc--I didn't want to be a "star". I simply wanted to be...well, me when the music overtakes me! I had no desire to remake who I was into something that would fit into the world they insisted I needed to be in to be successful.

And here we are back--finally!--to my main thought. I am so utterly impressed with the coaches on The Voice, only one of which I've actually heard of. (Not surprising as we all know I don't get out in the world much.) They gave these people a chance, mentored them and brought out what was beautiful and unique about the person and their voice. Not one of the coaches tried to make those people over into something/someone else. They listened to their dreams and their desires and guided them toward their goals. Wow!

To close I want to speak to all you people out there who have children or who are in a position to influence someone's dreams--and that would be all of you because there isn't a person who doesn't have some kind of relationship with someone who confides their dreams to you.

Do your best to help them find a way to find those dreams. No one can predict what is possible. People laughed at Fulton and his steam engine and H.G. Wells and his stories of man landing on the moon. In the seventies when I was working in behavioral health people were skeptical of things like art therapy and psychodrama, yet these disciplines have been proven helpful and are now taught in our universities. Don't let fear and skepticism color your support for your children and the people who look to you for mentoring. If they want to make a living in music help them research all the ways there are to do that and keep encouraging them until a door opens and they find the right mentor for themselves.

Blessings! Teri

PS--While I don't blog much I love the medium 'cause I don't have to follow the rules of writing!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I wish all the people who are searching, questioning, wandering in the haze of depression could be here with me today. They are painting our complex. We live in a big complex--500+ apartments. Mostly three stories with some places that have four stories. 

I just finished a conversation with someone that touched on living in the moment. Finding the joy in what is before you and stopping the wish that things were different. Focus on the moment. This is a difficult mind set to attain. I should know because I've been working on it for most of my life.

We also talked about people who go to jobs like deli counter jobs, cashiers in grocery stores...you know, support jobs. How do they find joy in those jobs? 

So here I sit watching these laborers. They aren't doing a job I would like. They are climbing up and down ladders, taping windows and doors. Hauling smaller ladders up the larger ladder, climbing back down to grab heavy buckets only to climb back up again. I get tired just watching them!

And then I hear singing. One of the workers is singing some little ditty in Spanish. I have no idea what the song is. He is singing and moving his ladder by bouncing it sideways while he stands on it taping a second story window. Before I know it, I'm smiling and humming along with him. His joy is contagious.

I can only assume (because I can't go out and interview him) that he is taking joy in the moment--what ever that moment brings.

Put simply--he blooms where he is planted. He finds joy in the moment and has put aside the day-in, day-out drudgery.

Sing while you go about your tasks and one day, if you keep at it, you will find the sun shining even if the sky is overcast.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I was watching a commercial that listed all the reasons people get dark circles under their eyes. Stress, fatigue, and so on. To combat that they suggest using this new concealer. Suddenly I realized how much time and money we are encouraged to put towards facades...towards covering up our true lives.

I've been thinking a lot about how commercials push people into thinking they need to look a certain way in order to be successful, accepted...loved. How to be what most of us aren't.

Instead of putting money towards cover ups, clothes, shoes, hair dye, diet aides, etc., how come we don't put our money toward learning to be honest and real? Learning to accept who we are and shine with our light that comes from within.

Just a thought.

Monday, October 29, 2012

10-29-2012--Love and Relationships

It looks like a picture of needlework, not some thoughts on relationships, right? And it is. I've shown a progress picture of this counted cross all year long as I've labored to  finish it. And labor is has been. I have ripped it out too many times to count and then put the stitches back in again. The canvas is warped and in one or two places it has been snipped apart accidently and then carefully mended with the stitches. I've sworn I'd throw it away and never do counted cross again. And yet I always come back to it. 

I saw this and knew this was what I wanted to give to John this year. I looked at those two birds and felt my heart move because that's how I feel when I lay in bed at night with my head on his chest. Safe, loved, protected.

I was talking to Meg the other day and realized this needlework could be a metaphor or analogy, or whatever it is called, for marriages, partnerships, people you live long-term with. Sometimes things seem to be going smoothly and then you run across a part that doesn't match up quite right, so you rip it out and re-stitch it so it matches better. Sometimes you cry over it. Sometimes words are said and make rips in the canvas or fabric and you have to carefully piece it back together again. Sometimes you want to trash the whole thing and never do it again. 

Sunday John and I went shopping and we stopped on our way out of the store for ice cream cones. It is difficult to push a shopping cart full of things with one hand and eat an ice cream cone with the other, so he took one side of the cart handle and I took the other. We walked down the sidewalk pushing the cart, eating our cones, managing the turns and corners with very few words because...well, we know each other.  I said to him--you know any two people who can push a cart together without struggles or directions have a pretty good relationship. This could be some kind analogy for marriage or something. Yes, my brain alway seems to be working on metaphors or analogies for our struggles in life. That way when someone has troubles perhaps I can offer some insight. This is who I am, I suppose.

In the end, if the relationship is worth fighting for, if the relationship is loving and not abusive, all the tears and frustrations are totally worth the effort. Good relationships of any kind are a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

Oh...and I still have a ways to go before I finish this counted cross and here it is almost November! Yikes! Where did the year go?

Friday, August 24, 2012

08-24-2012 Remiss-Ness

That's a word, right? Remissness? That state feeling remiss. Well, if it wasn't a word it is now. I've fallen down on my pictures and blogs. Some weeks I am simply not up to sitting and doing a post even though I've taken pictures. Last month we went to the Santa Barbara Zoo and this month we did the San Diego Zoo. I thought I'd share pictures and spread them out as I often don't have anything to take pictures of when I'm hanging around the house.
But first, while I was hanging around the house I completed a set of pillowcases. This is cross stitch, which normally I don't do because it is boring, however I really liked the colors and besides, some days boring is good!
I took this at the Santa Barbara Zoo. He fits right in, doesn't he? I love him so much and one of the reasons is because he is such a  clown and makes me laugh.
This is one of  my favorites pictures from the Santa Barbara Zoo. I really like the light and color and the texture. Leave it to me to go to a place that showcases animals and come back with plant pictures!

Zoo pictures can be a challenge because so many of the animals are behind fences and in cages. However the Santa Barbara Zoo had a nice aviary and I had a wonderful time with the birds. And who doesn't like parrots? They are so colorful and have such personalities. These two were like an old couple constantly squawking at each other!
This pretty kitty is from our trip to the San Diego Zoo. He's playing with his ball. 

I think he must have seen us and put on a show! I was thrilled to be able to take this from the tour bus 'cause no way was I going back down, and then back up the hill to the big cats! Tigers are so beautiful. I just want to rub my hands through his thick fur.

We had a great weekend in San Diego. Besides the zoo we got to visit with my best friend, Deby, and her family. We sat and talked and laughed and the evening was so nice. I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with Natalie and her partner Lyndsey. I hadn't seen Natalie since I was in still in Alaska and I'd never had the pleasure of meeting Lyndsey. I'm sorry I didn't get pictures of everyone. I had my camera...people often feel shy of cameras, so I like to get candid shots and we never shut up long enough for me to sneak around and capture them on film. It's kind of hard to sneak when you are the center of attention because you are from out of town! We also got to visit with Deby's roomies, Paul and Lizzie, two great people! I'm sure Denny's was happy to see us go since we were loud and created a ruckus with our humor and laughter.

We also were able to take in a Giants vs Padres ball game on Sunday. We took the trolley down and the ride was wonderful. That's the way to go--no traffic to deal with, no parking to contend with. We lost; however, just sitting in the ball park cheering for the team and enjoying the day was the point for me. Oh, and eating hot dogs and popcorn. Sorry--no peanuts 'cause I don't like them, and no Cracker Jacks because they didn't come with our all-you-can-eat tickets. no pictures either. I thought we'd be too far away and it turns out we were in the perfect place to see well and take pictures from. The pitcher even warmed up right in front of us! That will teach me to leave my camera behind. 

I'll try and get some other pictures up soon!

Blessings and love to all.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Well...so much for a picture a day. I wish I could say I've been so busy that I didn't have time and that wouldn't be the truth. I just couldn't seem to muster much enthusiasm. However, enthusiasm or not, I actually did take some pictures and thought I'd share. Sometimes I just snap them and then don't have the gumption to post.
 I guess I was bored. I know I was resting after having  mixed up some cookies. Isn't it wonderful that I had the motivation to bake cookies? YAY!
And we have said cookies. On my new wire cooling rack that John bought me for my birthday. You never really realize just how much crap gets put on your counters until you take a picture of it...storage in this place is a real problem, so lots of things stay on the back of the counter, which was really designed to eat at.

 Yum...white chocolate chip with macadamia nuts. That wire cooling rack pulls out and becomes three racks. When I am done, I can push them back together and store them easily. I could wish for larger counters, eh?
 I planted some herbs and one actually pushed up. I planted oregano, chives, bell pepper, and something else that I can't remember.
 I was fascinated by this picture. I love how bright the flower is and stands out from everything else.
 Here is my fern friend. He has uncurled. I am fascinated by how tightly curled they start and then slowly become a frond. Hopefully the sun won't kill this before it has a change to grow all the way.
 Here is the first sign of life--oregano, I think. although it could be a weed. Who knows? Half the fun is watching new life grow. The other half is having fresh herbies for John to cook with.
 I couldn't get this guy very well. I had a host of caterpillars and they decimated my nasturtiums. This guy is so full he is somnolent. I have a love-hate relationship with the caterpillars and snails in my small planting space. I love to watch them, but they eat my plants, so then I hate them! Some people are never happy. Where are the hungry birds?
 Ah...more life! This is definitely oregano coming up and that tall one is most probably a weed.
 Peach cobbler. Yum! We didn't have enough peaches, though. I love peaches, but they never really ripen well when you buy them and bring them home. Peaches were meant to be picked ripe off the tree. However, I thought if these didn't look very good when they got riper I could make a cobbler. It was very good! So good, we got more peaches so I can make another one. It was very easy. I blanched the peaches and peeled them, John cut them up. I dumped stuff in them and made the biscuit topping stuff. Much easier than pie. A very good breakfast treat!
 So don't laugh...my poor cake. lol  They both fell in the middle just before I took them out of the oven. I think I got too much butter in them. I wanted them to be moist...I can tell you, the cake is moist. And it is really good. It just looks like an earthquake hit it.

 Thursday John took me out to dinner and then we took a small walkie. I call it a walkie because I can't do very much at all. Maybe a block. the first think I saw was this flower...are the colors gorgeous or what?
 And then there was t his beautiful flower...we were suppose to walk in the park, but the complex across from the park was much more interesting.
 We saw a squirrel as we crossed the street and before I could take his picture he got scared and dashed up this tree.
 He is looking at these two people who were doing that wheelbarrow thing--one person holds the other person's legs and that person uses their hands to move forward. The squirrel probably couldn't figure out what the heck that strange new creature was!
Beautiful roses...if there is one thing I love about southern California it is the roses that grow around here. They are huge and colorful and gorgeous.

My camera battery died.  There were huge old pine trees lining the sidewalk. Some of them tilted, sidewalks pushed up from their roots. It was a beautiful little walkie. I probably won't be able to do another one for a couple weeks, though 'cause I pushed it to two blocks instead of keeping it down to one. Oh well, that's why they make narcotics!

So this is my blog and picture offering. Happy day to all!