I’m a Jinx

You’ve Got Energy!

I believe we all have an energetic field around us, and that field emits an energy that betrays our emotions. In the alternative world, they call it an aura. My mother, from the time she was a little girl, could see auras around people. I also have a friend who can see auras, and in case you’re thinking this isn’t a useful talent, she said it helps her know which salesperson to approach. After all, when you’re parting with your hard -earned cash, at the very least you want it to be a pleasant experience. You don’t want to catch the salesperson on a bad day!

In this way, being able to see auras is a utile skill. It comes in handy in the marketplace. I’m sure there are a myriad of other uses, but that’s another subject. I once had a friend who couldn’t wear a watch because her energy caused the watch to run backwards. Bummer!

The idea here is that energy is real. You can’t see it, but it’s there. I’m accustomed to not being able to see things. It wasn’t until 4th grade that I knew the leaves on the trees were individual. I think there’s a term for that, “blind as a bat.” But imagine my amazement when I discovered individual leaves where beforehand I saw only green blurry clumps. My point being… I can’t see auras either, but I believe they’re there.

I have my own experiences with energy and it’s my story to tell. I can sense energy around certain people if it’s strong enough. Some people are naturally passionate, and their energy is easy to sense. I’m usually adept at sensing anger. I have a feeling you are too. People don’t have to wear a sign around the neck saying “Angry…stay away”. You usually get it. In my case, though, I can sense some energies from afar. This comes in handy. If I feel angry vibes coming from a room I’m about to enter, I head the other direction. I don’t look for trouble! This turns out to be a skill that has my back!

The Downside

Today I experienced the downside of my own energy. I can’t verify I’m on the right track with this, but here goes. I’ve decided my energy can be a jinx. It seems whenever I watch my favorite football team, I jinx them. I know this is probably what they call “magical thinking”, but it happens! As I walked into the living room, the score was 0-0. I was satisfied with that. They’d been playing a whole quarter and we weren’t headed yet for the agony of defeat. It didn’t take long, though. Five minutes later, they dropped the ball. It was then recovered by the other team, who then ran it back for a touchdown.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. My jinxsy energy has struck many times…from my body to the TV and straight to the players. I’ve been cheering for them for 25 years. I guess the best thing I could do for the team is to stop watching.

It does seem that whenever I’m watching someone show off their skills, I jinx them. Doesn’t matter who the players are, who the coach is, or whether we’re the home team or not. I have to face it. The common denominator is me.

I have to live with this, but I have a piece of advice for you.

Think twice before you invite me to your recital.


Hold Your Horses!

I usually close the bathroom door when I’m getting dressed. It’s what I do. However, my cats, once regarded as royalty, regard a closed door as a personal insult.

After a few noisy minutes, I was tired of hearing loud caterwauling on the other side of the door, and yelled out, “Hold your horses!. I’ll be ready in a minute.” 

Lightbulb Moment

Then it struck me. What does this idiom really mean and where did it originate? Who came up with this? I’m guessing it was a rancher.

But what made it stick? How was it able to stand the test of time and make it into the top 10 of our unconscious vocabulary? Did my cats have any idea what I was talking about? Do they even know what horses are? Yes, my tone of voice probably gave them a giant clue, but horses? Really?

I wonder how many idioms we use on a daily basis without a clue to their origins.


In case you’re interested, here’s a list of common idioms we use without questioning or examination:

 “Under the weather, spill the beans, sit on the fence, through thick and thin, once in a blue moon, hit the hay, stabbed in the back, kill two birds with one stone, piece of cake, takes two to tango, up in the air, costs an arm and a leg.”

Actually, the phrase, “piece of cake” came from the Royal Air Force in the late 1930’s to allude to an “easy mission.”

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in America, people would stuff burlap sacks with hay to create a comfy bed. Hence, “hit the hay”.

Regarding “spill the beans”, in ancient Greece they used different colored beans for voting. The voting process was supposed to be anonymous. If someone spilled the bean jar they used to cast their votes, everyone would know how they voted.

These are just a few examples of things we take at face value without questioning or examination…not a bad thing…simply an observation.

What makes one old saying a keeper is another question.

As for the origin of “costs an arm and a leg”, I don’t even want to know!

The Rules of the Road

My Rules

As I exited the grocery store, I noticed an SUV had courteously stopped for the woman walking in front of me. I wondered, “Would he extend the same courtesy to me?”

Not so lucky.

 He was only willing to stop for one person. I didn’t take it personally. The reason I didn’t take it personally is because I do the same thing. For me, it’s when several cars are trying to merge from a shopping center back onto the main road.

 I usually allow one car to merge in front of me. It makes me feel like a good person. Maybe this person will pay it forward. But let the second car try to squeeze in…I consider this butting in. It’s against the rules. 

I guess I’m not such a good person after all. The truth is, I have rules…one car only. The second car provokes road rage. But, sometimes, when I’m feeling uncharacteristically generous, I let the second car in.

Another phenomenon involves my turn signal. In my high school driver’s training class, I was taught to put on my blinker before I turned or changed lanes. This seemed reasonable. But, in Florida, very few drivers follow this rule. I‘ve learned not to put on my blinker because I know the moment I do, the car behind me will “floor it” so I can’t change lanes. 

Is this diabolical or what? Either they didn’t take driver’s training, are extremely old, or have something against Hondas. 

Let’s Move On

Now, on a completely different subject, I noticed something interesting today. I guess you’re never too old to learn something new or get a different perspective. When I was in college, I took a course on WWII. During class one day, he played the music of that era. The piece he chose was by Wagner. I was entranced. I had to have that album, so I ran to the student union bookstore directly after class. However, while I was looking for Wagner, the bookstore was playing the most beautiful song…so beautiful, it stopped me in my tracks. Instantly, for me, it was “Goodbye Wagner, Hello Elton John”. I absolutely loved the song. In fact, it was called “My Song”.

Fast-forward to today. I heard the same song on the radio, but this time it was sung by a man and woman…not Elton John. I quickly realized it wasn’t the song I loved as much as Elton John’s voice and style. 

I guess I’m right…you’re never too old to learn something new or get a different perspective.

Awesome Combinations

The Miracle of Music

I have a question. I wonder why, with only seven notes on a musical scale, so much music has been created. Yes, I need to include the black keys, representing the flats or sharps, and the major and minor keys. Actually, I’ve read that there are 240 notes in all, but this is nothing compared to the number of songs created since the beginning of time, which, according to Google, is 82,500,000,000,000,000,000. I’ve been listening to music for many years, and never heard a song that was exactly like another. It seems infinitesimal!

The Alphabet

To add to that, just consider the letters of the alphabet. There are 26 at last count. How many bazillions of combinations of these letters make up language, and I’m just thinking about English. These combinations are arranged in such a way, or order, that many thousands, or even millions of words, with differing meanings take form.

It’s like the Scrabble game that never ends!

Your Body

If that’s not enough, think about your body. You have 46 different chromosomes that comprise your DNA. That’s 23 sets. 

These chromosomes make up your genetic footprint, which influences your total makeup including how you look, how you act, your talents, as well as your vulnerability to disease. It runs the gamut. 

Some things you can change…some you can’t. You can alter your environment via your lifestyle, but you come into the world as unique as your fingerprints. Yes, maybe you have a doppelganger floating around somewhere on the planet, but it’s still not you!

Another question…how is it that everyone on Earth has a unique fingerprint signature?

Did Einstein have the answer?

Are we living in the Matrix? 

I know virtual reality can simulate almost any fantasy, but there are limits to what the mind can conceive or believe…at least in my mind.

There must be a higher intelligence, a Higher Power.

 In my world, I call that God.


Because of the Wars currently occurring on our planet, coupled by the constant threats of War, I’ve decided to share a poem I wrote in high school. At that time, we were living through the Cold War period. This poem reflects my thoughts at the time. That was then, but over the years, my feelings haven’t changed. From the time of recorded history, there’s always been conflict. It is my fervent prayer that someday war will simply be an anachronism, and we’ll finally live in peace.


There’s always been, historically

War and strife and poverty.

But of the three, the one most sure

To regularly re-occur

Is war.

War seems pointless, I’ll admit,

“Load the cannon, score a hit”,

But where would our great nation be,

(Eating crumpets, sipping tea), 

If our forefathers hadn’t fought

So bravely for our liberty.

What if Lincoln had decided 

“Let the nation stay divided”

And Civil War had not begun?

We’d be two nations ‘stead of one.

And what if Hitler, on the Rhine, 

Who threatened “I’ll make Europe mine!”

Had been allowed to use his clout?

We might be eating sauerkraut!

Though war’s a vile and hideous thing,

With tanks, grenades, maneuvering,

There comes a time one needs to fight

For what he knows, and feels is right.

And yet, I’d certainly rejoice 

If we could find a better choice,

To view each person as a brother

Rather than to kill each other.

                               Terry Trower

                                Circa 1965

The Reasons Why

The Reasons Why

Let’s face it. There’s a reason behind everything we do. Some things are mandated, and that’s why we acquiesce to things we might not agree with. For example, if I’m in a hurry, I may want to run through the red light, but the reason I don’t is obvious.

Yet, as I stated, I don’t do most things unless there’s a pretty good reason. For example, I recently bought a stainless-steel pan. Why? In my estimation, it’s healthier, and the eggs taste better.

However, as I was cleaning the pan, the thought crossed my mind that the reason I exercise is partially to have enough strength to clean that pan. Have you ever tried to clean a stainless-steel pan? You’d better have some bulky biceps before you spend your money. This requires elbow grease, so it’s part of the reason I work out. I can visualize that pan while I’m pumping iron!

So, why do I bother to make my bed? What’s my reason? First, it’s one of those skills acquired at summer camp. I don’t mean to brag, but now I can make hospital corners! What are those, you ask. Do you even make your bed?

I make my bed because it makes my entire bedroom look finished. Even if the bedside table is loaded and the chair is piled with stuff, making the bed gives a clean and orderly look to the entire room. It’s the biggest piece of furniture in the room, and the eye is naturally drawn in its direction. Second, it’s a lot more fun to jump into a bed that’s been made. It points toward my health and productivity. Obviously, I haven’t been hanging around in bed all day binge -watching TV. Third, it only takes 3 minutes of my time.

Where else do I get so much bang for my buck?

I’m also attempting to grow my own vegetables. Why? The “powers that be” keep threatening, or at the very least, warning about a food desert and possible food deficits. Armed with this knowledge, I felt the need to be proactive. So far, I’ve tried to grow several veggies, but not without fierce competition from the insects and raccoons. Anyway, my actions are motivated by my love for one thing……I like to eat.

When I meet friends for lunch, I often ask if we can switch seats. This elicits a lot of puzzled faces until I explain that staring into bright sunlight is one of my migraine triggers. Ironically, I live in Florida, popularly known as the “Sunshine State”.

Bottom line, I think the “why” of our behaviors is also the driver of our behaviors. 

As they say, “different strokes for different folks.”

Wake-Up Call

Wake Up Call

I experienced an interesting wake- up call yesterday. Because our government is warning of impending food shortages, and I can’t deny the empty shelves at the supermarket, I decided this might be a fortuitous time to start my own victory garden. I’m not sure why I call it victory, except that I figured, with my lack of a green thumb, it would definitely be a victory if I could bring a seed or plant to maturity. If I’m being honest, I should have called it my miracle garden.

Therefore, in a quest to make my dream a reality, I planted squash, tomatoes, basil, and bok choy. The squash and bok choy were in long drainless plastic containers and the basil and tomatoes were in clay pots that drain.

I won’t bore you with the process. Let’s just cut to the chase. There was a diabolical, unseen enemy who seemed determined that my plants not live to maturity. I can’t tell you exactly who this enemy was, except that it was really hungry. I’d go out each morning to find huge holes in my bok choy. These bugs must really love bok choy. They could have opened a restaurant in my wetland. In the end, though, they completely devoured my bok choy. 

My tomatoes, however, were seeming to flourish. I only had two on the vine, but they were making it. I prayed over them. I whispered words of encouragement. “You can do this, little tomato. I believe in you!”

The tomatoes were red and juicy looking, but when it was time for picking, I was stopped in my tracks. There were no tomatoes on the vine. Where were my tomatoes? The restauranteers had struck again. If only I’d picked them the day before? Not wanting to live in the land of the “if only’s”, I focused on the basil and the squash.

At least the squash was doing well. Little squash buds were appearing. I was definitely on a roll.

I had a sense of pride about these two seemingly healthy plants. But before I could relish in my pridefulness, another comeuppance…

As I was showing off my squash, I was informed this wasn’t squash at all…I was growing okra, and it was ready to be picked.

What? And all this time I was waiting for them to turn yellow…yellow, like squash. I think this was divine intervention. Spiritual forces sent a messenger to let me know I was actually growing okra…a nice way of saying, “Maybe you should find another line of work.”

All I can say is, I have a brand-new respect for farmers, and although I feel like the dumbest farmer in the market, I am having home grown okra for dinner. 

Ah, Silence

My Newest Insight

I’m constantly surrounded by sound. Some is pleasant, such as music. Some is annoying, such as noise.

Because I have my original builder-grade windows, I’m often treated to the sound of late -night street racing. However, some sound is entertaining, like Netflix or Comedy Central, but some is downright frightening…like watching the news.

My point is… sound, regardless of its origin, permeates my world 24-7. So much so, that I take it for granted. I don’t even notice it. It’s just there.

The first thing I do in the morning is turn on the TV. After all, I have to hear the bad news. I have to be prepared for ultimate disaster and possible annihilation…don’t I?

At night I go to sleep to the sound of my cat crying at my bedroom door. His goal is to sleep with me, whereas my goal is to sleep, period. I’m a light sleeper, and the slightest noise will awaken me. Not to mention cats have claws, and I have thin skin…as I see it, a recipe for sleep deprivation.

On the other hand, I try to be considerate to my felines. This morning I left the TV on for my cat when I went for my walk. As kind -hearted as that may seem, I seriously doubt he was interested in “Face The Nation”. But sound, I reasoned, was like company. Doesn’t everyone like company?

My Definition of Peace

I had my lightbulb moment later in the day as I washed the dishes. Everything else in the house was turned off, without any sound but the running water. This felt like heaven! This must be what people mean when they talk about peace. 

I’ve always known this. As a cafeteria monitor for a room full of elementary school students, the noise, at times, seemed over 80 decibels. I tried to compensate by looking  at them and imagining I couldn’t hear them. They were behaving, I noticed, simply eating and talking. But when the noise became too overwhelming, I put them on silent lunch for ten minutes. If this sounds too Machiavellian, I knew there were probably students who cherished the silence as much as I.

Bottom line, I want to create more time for silence. I invite you to listen to “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. They were brilliant.

At their tender ages, they “got it”. 

Finally, now, I too, “get it”. 

Harry Chapin

I Remember Harry

Last night I watched a documentary about the entertainer, Harry Chapin, a singer-songwriter, who you may associate with the songs “Cat’s in the Cradle” and “Taxi”. Both were thought provoking in their messages, and well worth listening to if you haven’t heard them. 

Basically, he sang about life. Both songs are about relationships, both poignant, but instructive at the same time. He was both talented and a deep thinker.

His Personality

He also had a deep sense of mission, and when combined with an obsessive drive and firecracker energy, he was able to make things happen. One of his strengths was his gift of gab. If he couldn’t win you over to his side, or convince you of the need for change, he could at least wear you down.

His Mission

His choice of causes was world hunger, and he worked tirelessly to make a difference. Although he died young, at the age of 38, his contributions left a lasting legacy to the cause of world hunger that continues today.

There’s much to admire about Harry Chapin. However, what left the most lasting impression on me was his philosophy of life. He felt strongly that problems could be solved by action. I have the feeling that the type of action didn’t matter. It was like ”just do something.” 

I believe this is the answer to most of our problems. The beauty of “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is his realization that you have to take one road or the other. Remaining frozen in place won’t solve anything. 

I think this describes Harry Chapin’s philosophy of life , and the world is better for it.

To listen to Cat’s In The Cradlehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUwjNBjqR-c

Why Do I Even Carry a Purse?

Deja Vu

It’s happened again. I remember writing about my purse in a previous blog. I called it “the mix-master” because it might as well be a Kitchen- Aid appliance.

Dropping personal items into my purse is like watching them fall into the abyss. It takes a certain amount of faith. What mysterious morphing takes place on their way to the bottom? 

Case in point: this morning I dropped a small folder containing my daily to-do list into my purse. I was planning a trip to Walgreens, and wanted it to consist of one trip …not one trip followed by another trip to get the things I forgot to get on the first trip…hence, the to-do list.

When I pulled my wallet out of my purse at the check out counter, it had attached itself to the silver latch on my to-do list folder. It was totally entangled. I tried, several times, unsuccessfully, to untangle it.  By untangle, I mean separate two totally merged items that were now one… like Siamese twins. 

At this point, the cashier offered her assistance, which I gratefully declined. She didn’t know the diabolical nature of my purse, or the extent of its ability to morph its contents into an almost unrecognizable form.

As much as I appreciated her offer, what I really needed was an engineer, not a cashier.

I couldn’t fathom, as I tried to figure out how to untangle this mess, how in reality it could have happened in the first place. It was like there was a tiny little David Copperfield inside my purse, doing its magic. 

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

I tried untangling the fusion with my own slight of hand…I got nothing.

I tried cutting the wire with scissors…nada.

I finally found success with wire cutters.

Maybe I should start carrying wire cutters in my purse.

Or maybe I should stop carrying a purse.

It works for guys…