I have been in the Hotel business right out of college. I loved it…..I craved it. I was also very passionate about teaching, but I wasn’t ready to venture there.
When I became a mom with my first child, I truly discovered the emotional feeling of what real love is. The true meaning of the word love that passes through every fiber of your being is when you gaze into the eyes of your baby the second your baby enters the world, and you are overcome with a feeling of warmth and incredible emotions. It’s surreal! I am LOVE! To be able to love and give love, I feel that a person has to be love.
Anyway, I was working as a manager for years with the Marriott Hotel and decided that I had to go with this feeling in me to become a teacher. I went back to college…
Regular readers to my blog will have noticed that I’ve recently been reblogging posts from around the Word Press community. These are from folks…friends, really…who have generously spent time visiting hugmamma’s, mind, body, and soul.I’ve returned the favor, as often as possible, to read their stories.
Spotlight on The Shadows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve been moved to spotlight some of them here. I’m sure you’ll agree…they’re worth reading…or watching. Hopefully they touch you in some way. Whether they inspire, tweak your funny bone, are thought-provoking, or just plain…entertain.
I;m feeling great lately. Less aches and pains, I feel stronger, and my lips are pink. My pH is 8.0., this is not good. Too alkaline. I have to drink more purified water with less lemon juice.
So I canceled my Doctor appointment. They want to put my body again in the “Doughnut Machine”. :). Thanks. I have enough radiation for life. Yes.You may say that I should go for the check – up. But I won’t… I believe that keeping my body strong and sabotaging Cancer every day will keep me going for some time. Only God knows how long. And only God knows and Coroner can tell for sure, what is wrong with me. :). I have a right to be wrong on medical issues. I’m only a Limo Driver. I believe, I’m going to be just fine.
English: “The Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth Wonderful performing geese, roosters and musical donkey”. Chromolithograph. Français : Affiche originale pour le cirque Barnum obtenue par chromolithographie vers 1900. Traduction du texte “Barnum & Bailey, le plus grand spectacle sur terre. Ses merveilleuses oies et coqs dressées, son âne musicien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What finally got me to put my thoughts into a blog was hearing the same refrain over and over again…”The American people feel…”
I often babbled to myself “How the heck do they know what I think?” and “Who said they could speak for me?” Tell me you don’t have the same thoughts when you hear the pundits spinning their half-truths, or downright lies?
Well some things never change.
Here we are again…smack dab in the middle of another Presidential Election. Complete with the same spinning…day in…day out.
I won’t lie though. I love the high octane excitement, the back and forth, the “he saids” and the “he meants.” However I still cringe when I hear…”The American people feel…”
While little has changed on the outside…there’s been movement within.
The change hasn’t been seismic. On the Richter scale…maybe a 2. Just enough for me to notice.
Two years ago, blogging was a new adventure for me.
At first I dabbled, writing more introspectively. I regurgitated the beauty I saw in the world around me. I reveled in happy thoughts and memories. My words were measured. I had no desire to tackle controversy, not wanting to offend. Never mind that I might be offended.
As I broadened my horizons to include other members of the Word Press community of bloggers, their realities seeped into mine…and mine into theirs.
Not all the stories I read had fairy tale endings. Not all writers came from happy places. Some came from dysfunction, as had I. Many sought encouragement and confirmation, as did I. There were safe havens. Places to go…for kind words, compassion, hope.
I was emboldened to take a stand. Speak my mind…my truth. And I supported the efforts of others to do the same.
Strangers…some who became friends…affirmed my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Feeling encouraged, I moved forward taking control of my own life.
There was no looking back as I made my way, a day at a time.
I realized however, that my newfound confidence must be tempered with a large dose of humility. Having a following of readers is heady stuff. It can become an ego trip. Focusing too much upon becoming popular, as in how many hits are garnered, can lead one astray from one’s goal.
My goal has always been to write, and write well. If I publish a book someday, as some have suggested I do, that will be a bonus beyond what I’ve already accomplished.
With a lot of help from all of you, I’ve learned to accept who I am. I’ve gained the strength to stand firm in my convictions. I’m comfortable in my own skin. Others’ opinions matter, but no longer to my own detriment.
Like the caterpillar that metamorphoses into the butterfly and the chameleon that adapts to its surroundings, I’ve gone from being a wise, old coot at 61…to being a wiser, older coot at 63.
Perfect I ain’t. I’ve still got the same body in need of repairs now and then. I don’t always eat right…and exercise regularly. I’m always behind the eight-ball when it comes to paying my respects to fellow bloggers…and accepting awards from some. I still lack some technological know-how.
I still make mistakes.
Think Tank (Photo credit: Robiwan_Kenobi)
In spite of my shortcomings, and who doesn’t have a few, I’ve planted my feet firmly and proclaimed to the world…
Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again.
There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:
I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always, Jesus
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. “Why would the Lord want to visit me?
I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer.”
With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.” She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. “Well, I can get some bread…
We can’t be reminded enough about the power of positive thinking.Being bombarded by negativity everyday means we have to hunker down and…let the sunshine in!
Retrain your brain so you see the sunny side…by Joanne Hlavacek
While studies indicate that genes have some 30% to 40% control over our mind-set, Elaine Fox, Oxford psychologist and author of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, suggests it’s possible to retrain our brains through actions. Her advice for a sunnier outlook:
Count your blessings. If you record your day in adiary and review the entries later, it becomes easier to see just how much in your life is going right. “We know that by doing these kinds of techniques, the biases will gradually start to change,” Fox says.
Make time for you. Distancing yourself from stress helps eliminate a negative mind-set. “Literally take 10 minutes in the day out to sit…turn off everything.” Fox advises. She also recommends spending time outdoors.
Push yourself. Fox found that pessimists often hang back and wait for things to happen instead of taking initiative. To combat this tendency, she recommends putting extra effort into something meaningful to you. That could be raising the bar at work, adding distance to your morning run or spending more time with your kids. “Pushing yourself and exceeding your comfort zone is very important,” Fox says.
This woman is 10+ years my senior, but outpaces me…BIG TIME!!! Gotta love Betty with the baton!
Time Marches On, With a Baton, For 79-year-old Betty Lambert- Long-Lived Majorette Is a Minor Celebrity In Harmony, Pa.,; Twirls and Splits by Clare Ansberry
Harmony, Pa.–Majorette Betty Lambert leads the Resurrection Band, twirling batons between her legs and above her head, and stopping several times along the route to perform the splits. The 79-year-old recently gave up cartwheels but still twirls knives, and fire-batons when it isn’t windy.
Ms. Lambert, who threw a baton when she was in high school, then married and had children, took the sport up again in her 40s after seeing a small classified ad in the newspaper looking for people who wanted to start a marching band. The group called itself the Resurrection Band because members resurrected their instruments from attics. Ms. Lambert didn’t play an instrument but offered majorette services. Cartwheels and baton twirling are like riding a bike, she found. “You don’t forget.” Since Ms. Lambert is naturally limber, the splits require only regular stretching and some exercises in the weeks before a performance.
The Resurrection Band performs mainly at parades in western Pennsylvania, the latest being the Fourth of July in Zelienople, although the musicians no longer march but ride on a float. “We’re getting older,” says Marlene Domhoff, a 74-year-old flutist for the band but not the oldest member; that title belongs to an 80-year-old snare drummer.
Ms. Lambert, though, marched the whole route as she has done for 32 years, then came around again on a float, where she was dressed as the Statue of Liberty. It is one of her 41 costumes, which include cats for Halloween parades, a Rudolph for Christmas and a Native American for the Horse Trading Days festival. For that she wears a feather headdress her late husband, Pete, found at a truck stop. Many of the costumes are homemade. Her husband, who died seven years ago, made a Statue of Liberty torch out of a table leg and Tiki lamp. The crown is a plastic milk crate that they heated and bent into shape. After 9/11, she appeared as Miss Liberty eight times in two weeks.
Most majorettes retire their batons after high school or college, says Bonnie Kupp, who is with Drum Majorettes of America, which holds clinics and competitions around the country for various age groups. The oldest active majorette she knows is a 37-year-old woman from Tennessee who competes internationally. Another national twirling group, the US Twirling Association, says twirling is a great sport for all ages, adding that some retirement communities offer twirling classes. “It’s a great aerobic activity,” says Anna Osborn Dolan, of the twirling association, which has played host to world championships.
Ms. Lambert has never twirled competitively, although she did enter a Classic Beauty USA competition in the 1980s, for women 39 and older, and won a trophy in the talent category for twirling. She prefers performing on her own, too, rather than in a group. “If I make a mistake and go left instead of right, no one knows,” says Ms. Lambert, who improvises her choreography as she marches. “I go with the beat of the music”–which typically consists of patriotic songs, big-band pieces and the “Pennsylvania Polka.”
Her four children grew up watching their mother march. “I thought this would be a phase she would go through,” says her youngest daughter, Kim Marburger, who never twirled but did master the unicycle. Ms. Marburger and her daughters walk along on the sidewalks during parades, carrying water bottles, a variety of batons and tiki fluid to light the fire batons. They help with costume changes. It was so hot Independence Day that the green Statue of Liberty makeup was running down Ms. Lambert’s face.
Ms. Marburger tells her mother to take it easy. “I say, ‘Mom, please keep it to two or three splits.’ ” says Ms. Marburger. Invariably, though, the crowd, four deep along the sidewalk and having seen Ms. Lambert every year for the past three decades, calls for more. Ms. Lambert obliges. This year, she did about nine or 10 splits. People stop her in stores and tell her she looks familiar. “I’m the old lady who does the splits,” she tells them.
Ms. Lambert updates her routine to keep it fresh. Several years ago, she took classes to learn how to throw fire batons and, later, at the age of 76, took up knives. She had only one mishap when the yarn tassel on her boot caught fire. “She’s an inspiration,” said Jennifer Dimit Baldacci of Jen’s Academy of Rhythm & Moves, who said Ms. Lambert attended her classes in 2009 and performed with all her other students in the recital that year. The theme was “TVLand” and Ms. Lambert twirled hoop batons and knives to the “Andy Griffith Show” theme song. “People went crazy,” says Ms. Baldacci. “She stole the show.”
Twirling isn’t easy. It requires good hand-eye coordination, especially with multiple batons, and upper-body strength to propel heavy knife batons, which are often hooked together, high in the air. Ms. Lambert credits her longevity to good nutrition and keeping active.
A beautician and graduate of the Victoria Mannequin Modeling School in Pittsburgh, she continues to cut hair and give permanents to longtime customers of Betty’s Beauty Salon, located in a small building next to her house, and makes house calls to her customers who no longer drive. Her other business, Betty Lambert’s Picnic Shelter, which has a swimming pool and well-kept shelter pavilion, is a favorite for graduation parties and wedding receptions.
Tim Sapienza, who retired after 32 years as chief of the Harmony Volunteer Fire company, was just a boy when he first saw Ms. Lambert, then in high school, twirling for the Harmony Harmonettes in 1949. That band and others, including the Butler Flame, were sponsored by local fire departments, which have since stopped organizing marching bands. “They quit, but Betty is still at it,” says Mr. Sapienza who was particularly impressed to see her perform splits and twirl the baton for one length of the parade and then return as Miss Liberty. “She held that torch up the entire length of the parade,” he said.
Ms. Lambert said she hopes to do it again next summer.
I can always count on my blogger friend, Doris, to set me up with some music from the good ‘ole days…Dean Martin…Perry Como…Peggy Lee…Doris Day. Thought you’d enjoy as well. So fill your tea cup…and sit a spell.