Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gypsychild Blog

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Gypsychild  is my main blog.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Love Days

Juma,

When I ask you to pay attention to the route we were taking on our trip to UCF in Orlando it was not simply to learn where we were going, it was more than that. It was to be awake to what is happening in your life when it is happening. Take advantage of the moments where life is teaching you a lesson.

Life doesn’t always have lessons for you. Some moments are truly there just for the moment. That moment my come with laughter, joy, pain, love, first love, old love. This list could fill many books and it has filled many books.
Right now I am just talking about being in the moment where life is presenting you with an opportunity to move forward in love.

I am also talking about life presenting you with an easy lesson. Like for instance your mom learning an easy way to get somewhere near the college you are going to but if you don’t pay attention you might end up getting lost and having to find your own way. All this while you are in the same car with her and she tries to explain to you what just happened but you say “Don’t try to tell me because I will not remember any of it.” and I say, “But if you would just try to listen, the next time you hear it, it will be that much easier to understand.” This is the tug of war that goes on between most children and their parents. When will children learn life could be easier if they would just pay attention and when will adults learn their kids need to learn it in there own time in there own way.

But for now we will go forward with the message of moving-forward-in-love thing.

Story number 1

I went in the gas station today to buy a new Florida map. Mine dated back in the 80’s. I knew I was also going to ask for directions from whomever was working.

Two women were working. On first appearance, life did not look like it had swung many dollars their way. They were southern women who had probably lived many a years working long hours and minimum wage. Exercise and diet were not a high priority nor was dental.

“Hi, My map is pretty old so I want to buy this map but could you also tell me how to get to I-4, and is this toll road around Orlando better than going thru the center?”

The woman behind the counter calls the other women over, “Sandy, you want to help her, your much better with directions.”
A woman comes over. Her hair has soft brown curls. It sounds lovely to have soft brown curls and it really was her finer feature. When she spoke you could see many teeth were pulled most likely because she couldn’t afford crowns and her cheeks were worn before her time. But there was such a softness to her whole being. “I don’t really know Orlando very well, I haven’t been there much times at all. But I do know a good way to get to I-4.”

She proceeds to tell me this really simple way, “You turn left at the first light, go right at the next light then go two lights up to 540 and turn left. It takes you to Orlando toll Parkway. Follow that and it dead ends into I-4. Once you get to Orlando I think that Toll Road is the best way. Just look for the sign that says toll, thats what I would do.”

Before going into the gas station I was in my car looking at three different maps and not really knowing which path to follow as my choices were many. What this women said was not even one of the choices I had noticed. I did not even give it a second thought, I was going to trust this women’s wisdom and follow her directions.

I went back to the car and said lets go.

Juma said, “What if she sends us on the back roads out in the middle of nowhere and someone jumps us.” Juma over-thinks most things and leans toward the not-trusting side. This can balance my over-trusting side. It did cause me to rethink which way to go but only for a split second.

“We’ll be fine.” I followed her directions, which I must say made me second guess myself when I drove a bit longer than I thought looking for the the second light on 540. All said and done, it did put me on I-4 easily.
I was happy, but more than that I got to interact, connect if you will, with these two beautiful women who were so genuinely helpful and seemed so happy to help. There is such a love connection ready to be had at such random places. If I had lots of time with these women I probably would not like every view point they had. I may not like there politics, there view on the government, how they treat there kin folks, who knows.

The point is: who cares.

Do all those little life grievances even matter in the end?

I would seriously say that I believe every human being on earth has something to love.
I believe you could look at anyone and find some love connect.
I know that is really pushing it when you think of a serial killer or anyone that has killed or purposely hurt someone.
The part of that person that has hurt something or someone is not the part I could look at and love. I don’t believe you need to love that part. But I believe that person has a part that can be loved.

These moment of connecting with people happens to me all the time.

Story number 2

Latter that night I went to a hotel to see if they had any rooms. I know, I know, it is so much easier to book a hotel before you arrive 8:30 at night in a town that you have never been to. I would have to say the reason I didn’t is because I wasn’t sure of the area. I rethought that whole wait-to-see-the-area thing once I got to the hotel and they didn’t have any rooms and told me they didn’t think anyone in the area did because it was a crazy weekend. It was then that I realized I could of went to hotel.com and typed in Orlando then typed in UCF and wha-la, hotels appear in that area.

Really, when I take the time to think about this, I know all this. It is simple internet common sense, which I actually have.
Why did I put this off? My only answer is that I tend to put all things off when I think I can get away with it. This time I was almost proved wrong.

Hotel.com on the Internet also said no hotels available. But there was an 800 number that I called and the lady on the other end of my cell phone said she had two possible choices: each were non-smoking but each had only one king. My husband(sorta), my 18 year old son and me all decided we would make it work. I pay with a credit card over the phone and take my reservation number with me and drive two blocks from the hotel that had no rooms.

After waiting in line about two people-worth which in hotel time can be two seconds or ten minutes, mine being the latter-I happily announce I am here for the Williamson reservation.

The front desk women clerk looks at her computer and repeats, “Williamson, Bonnie?”

“Yes that’s me.” I smile.

She smiles back and say’s, “I’m sorry but we only have a smoking room and it is out of commission.”

I pause to process this and she proceeds, “I’m sorry but I can get you a room at another hotel and we will cover the cost.”

I still pause to process this and when it catches up to me I slowly say, “OK”

There is a women that was in line before me still waiting at the counter. She also had a reservation here but no room so they proceed to give her the hotel that was my other option when I was on the phone to hotel.com. I find out this was that hotels last room.

Three separate women come in at three separate times, each with a little girl that looked as if she was woken in the car to come into the hotel.
I kid you not. Really! Three totally unrelated people, women, with a little girl all between the age of five to seven, come in within fifteen minutes of each other. Each time they would come in I would stand back so they could get their room. I didn’t want to torture these little ones anymore than they already were with their sleepy little faces quietly frowning as there hands were clutching there mothers. “Do you want to sit down?” each mother would say.
Each child would say “No.” as they slide closer to their mothers leg.

“I will just sit at the table over there and wait, I know you will let me know when you get through.” the hotel women smiled and said thanks for being so patient.

I felt happy even as I wondered were I was sleeping tonight. I really felt something would work out even though the front dest women’s voice seemed to be getting louder each time she would call another hotel, “Hi, this is Ellen from La Quinta on Reservation Drive. Do you have any rooms available? OK. Thank you anyway.” Each time she tried another number she would recite these words faster and faster.

Finally, after about 10 attempts, she changed her response from “Thank you anyway” to “Really, That would be great!”
Once again I connected to a women whom I had never met before. We took a moment that could of been stressful and changed it to a moment of joy. I felt grateful to have that moment with her.

I wish all days were like this.
They are not.
Some days I feel angry for no reason at all.
I know there is no reason I am angry.
I feel claustophobic of those around me and I get angry with them but really I know they are not doing anything to me to truly be angry about. I let them know I am not really angry with them, that I just feel angry and it has nothing to do with them. I am grateful that I can recognize this and let them know. Sometimes I feel I hurt their feelings before I can let them know and I feel bad about this.
I wish people would recognize that when people get angry at them it is really not about them at all. It is a feeling inside them that comes out and is just directed at them.

I am glad my angry days do not outweigh my love days.

I know every moment can bring new challenges.
I say bring it on.
I will keep on keeping on.
I will smile and give thanks for the love days.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

‘Where The Wild Thing Are’



‘Where The Wild Thing Are’

I happen to feel like Kenneth Turan, who did the review on NPR News, did not get the movie. He said neither parents nor children are going to like it.

Somehow it completely missed his frontal lobe, slithered past his heart and gut and landed in a pool of (no imagination); taking everything exactly how it is presented with no creative thought process of his own.

I cannot imagine watching a movie waiting for everything to slap me in the face crying “look at me, listen to me.” I watched the details alongside the clatter and the silent depth of emotion sprinkled with the folly allowing my mental juices to go along with the imaginative ride I was taken on.

I loved this movie. I get this movie. I easily flowed along the lines of his mother’s toes hiding behind her stockings to the stacking up of limbs, heartbeats and knarly toes; resting in the comfort of loved ones in one big monster lump.

I get the moods of each character. Tell me you couldn’t relate to the selfish, out of line, dysfunction every character relayed and I will say you are not looking very close at yourself. People do things and say thing that are not always who they truly want to be, then out of nowhere people will say the perfect thing, do the most noble thing. This is human nature.

This boy’s eyes show anger, confusion, compassion, hope and love. Max Records couldn’t be more perfect.

In the end he returned to what was familiar. He decides he could rest easily in a house full of chaos and love. He could accept all these traits and still find comfort in the mist of his mothers love. She falls asleep at the end not out of neglect, but out of release; release of anger that turned into fear that thankfully lead to relief. The boy understands his mother is as human as he is.

She is simply exhausted from a night of no sleep.
The simplicity of the moment is enough.

The movie captured Maurice Sendak’s sense of adventure and content for what this journey called life is all about.

…he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are…
…and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found supper waiting for him.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wordpress or Blogger

I use Wordpress and Blogspot for different blogs. I started with blogger but wanted a self-hosted blog so did my next blog on Wordpress.
My mother, out of the blue, got Gullian Barret Syndrome. She is a 72-year-old woman who went from playing tennis 4 days a week to being in the hospital for over a month in excruciating pain that took weeks to diagnose. My sister was sending these very lengthy email updates every few days to all her friends. I had heard of blogs but did not really know what they were. I was wondering if this would be a good way to tell my mother’s story to a wide array of people. I know it is a rare disease but it seemed like everyone we told said they knew someone who had been diagnosed with this but they knew nothing of it. I love to write and figured I needed a way to channel my frustration in a productive way, so voila, I started a blog.
This process all started in December 2008.
I went to Dictionary.com to see what it had to say.
Definition of blog: an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called Weblog.
Example: Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.

Then I found a site that teaches basic blogging for free then more advanced blogging for a fee. I would refer you to it but I just spent the last 15 min looking for it and it is no longer there. I only did the free part because I was itching to start. Patience is not my virtue.
I started with Google’s blogger. It was so easy. I loved it and was instantly hooked.
I went to the library and took out a ton of books. One book was how to use Google’s blogspot, Publishing a blog with Blogger by Elizabeth Castro. This was a waste of time for me because blogspot is so easy and self-explanatory it needs no reference. There are thousands of templates to choose from so you can look original plus many widgets to choose from. I think blogger is a good choice for many.
It might of saved me a lot of time had I stuck with Blogger. What I mean by that is, I have spent so much time trying to educate myself on how to be self-hosted. I am currently using the self hosted Wordpress. A large amount of time I get caught up with the technical details and spend days not writing anything. This was not my original goal. My original goal after I put together my mothers blog was to write enough that someday I could compile it into a book, which has been my goal for about 8 years now. I also wanted to take the many articles I started and ideas on articles I jotted down short notes on and be forced to finish them.
I have very little computer knowledge. When I was in high school no one had a computer. I started learning them in college and I must say my “D” in that class did not look good on my report card. My teacher had squeaky shoes and a monotone voice. I mostly slept that period. I got my first computer in 2000. No not a $2000 dollar computer; in the year 2000. No way you say, yes way.
So here I am, at the age of 48,learning CMS, HTML, SEO, FTP, C-panel, URL, RSS feeds, SSL, MySQL, IP addresses, tags, chiclet, ping, troll, meta data and my favorite-WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).
The way I am learning this is thru online tutorials, library books, calling my host and asking them, emailing the theme creators and pluggin creators.
Recently I started a meetup about Wordpress. Meetup.com is a very good site to get connected with others from your area that have similar aspirations and get together in person. Their main goal is connecting people by Internet to get people off the Internet to meet in person. It is a very well organized site and easy to use.
What I really want is my own personal blog expert sitting next to me everyday. I have a question and they instantly answer it. I have a problem and they instantly fix it. One on one, just them and me. I have been accused of being a dreamer but hey, why not. You know how many of my unrealistic dreams have actually come true? Too many to mention here today. Back to my story….
I plunged head into a hosted blog by Wordpress.org. I wanted to have just my web page name on the URL. Instead of it saying gypsychant.blogspot.com or gypsychant.wordpress.com, I wanted it to just say gypsychant.com. Wordpress recommended a few host sites, I went with Bluhost.com. I have only good things to say about them. They have been more than patient with me. I effortlessly got my domain name for free when I signed up with them. When I signed up with a secure SSL site I got two more free domain names. They helped me install Wordpress onto my page. Their web server has only been down once in the 5 months I have been with them. They fixed it in a few hours.
I read an article about domain names telling me how important securing your domain with the ending .com, .org, .net, .info, so someone doesn’t try to ride your site. My reaction was to buy up a bunch more domain names. I went to GoDaddy.com and bought what appeared to be bargains. It was a little tricky moving them to my host, some kind of time period thing that I obviously still do not understand. The people there were helpfull and nice but it felt a bit commercial-meaning an oversell.
I have four domain names that are active. Three are blogs and one I use as a Web site with a blog. They are all listed on the sidebar of this blog. Wordpress is a great Web engine (CMS). Now I just need to be great at figuring it all out.
I must say all the plugins are a little overwhelming; there are thousands. The choice for templates are endless and I have spent days just narrowing them down. I now have my favorites and even have a pros and cons list. Another post.
I find the support for Wordpress is difficult. If I have a question there is no one to call, you can only write into their Forum and wait for an answer. Then you hope you can understand the answer. It is not Wordpress itself that answers but users like you and me. Bluehost also makes it clear they only answer questions about their hosting, no Wordpress questions. So I have looked elsewhere for answers. There are a few video tutorials that I like. Common Craft is my favorite as far as breaking things down so my brain can digest it. Not an easy task. Educhalk also has free wordpress tutorials. Lynda.com is a wealth of info for a fee of $25/month. Money my son and I feel is well worth it, he is learning filming and editing. You can watch as much as you want in a month’s time. They have endless amounts to watch.
I bought the book Wordpress for Dummies. Another good book is Buildin a WordPress blog people want to read by Scott McNulty, a little more expensive but worth it. McNulty’s book was published Nov 2008 which is the latest Wordpress book I could find.
This site helped me blog.2createawebsite.com. Lisa, the founder, has a great amount of info so I would definitely check out this page and read the comments, 94 as of today.
To wrap it all up, I really like the endless options with Wordpress. It feels all grown up and smart even though it is relatively new. Kind of like getting to play with an iPhone or TeVo. It is a fun and useful state-of-the-art publishing platform.
Nuff said.