Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Someone mentioned that they wondered where my blog went....  They only read it when it appeared on their Dashboard.  So, here is one last One Mothers Day post to say - I've moved!  And, I've moved to a new and secret location.  If you'd like the address just e-mail me at:


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I am heading  into the new blog.

If you would like to follow me, in all my new anonymity, please e-mail me at  and I'll give you my new blog address.

I hate to shut anyone out, but if you go to my parish, or see one or more of my children regularly here in Lansing, I ask you not to come along.  It is just that the children have begged for their privacy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012



I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more. C.S. Lewis

Saturday, June 16, 2012


OK - I have to do a little follow up.  How I love it when I write a post people want to comment on!  So much fun!

But, I just have to write a little more so I am absolutely sure no one thinks I am a curmudgeon.

I love a smile when it is genuine!  I don't want people to be surly, and I am really a very friendly person.  If I know I am going to encounter someone, such as a check-out person - even if I am not in a great mood - I try to summon up enough cheeriness to be kind and courteous.  But, so often, when I enter a place with greeters, I've forgotten about that feature of their operation, and feel ambushed.  That post was written after I went to Meijers very late one night, when I was not only exhausted but terribly unhappy and upset.  The greeter said, "Hello!"  and startling me out of my reverie, I actually had to fight back tears.  I suppose the rule of thumb ought to be - don't go to the store when you are that upset!  But, the effort to be friendly was almost impossible, and add to it that I had recently been told by someone who worked at this store as a greeter that their real job is to watch for shoplifters....well, it all seemed to be almost the last straw.

 I could just about say I'd wish every person on earth a "nice day" (though "nice" isn't aiming all that high, is it?) and I can even expand that wish to include all the evil people, too.  Why not?  But, I don't like anything that is FALSE.  If someone can be genuinely friendly to every one - and I know some who can - that is LOVELY.  But I don't want to see someone do an artificial version of friendly, then turn to someone and say something rude about the same person they just wished a nice day to.  And, I've seen that in the check-out lane, too.  In fact, I absolutely mortified one of my children one time, by sharing my opinion with an employee at McDonald's who did that to a disabled man.  To pretend kindness when you can't wait to say something nasty is false and worse than dignified silence (or even sullen silence) in my opinion.

I take it back - I don't wish everyone a nice day.  Rude drivers are exempted.  Actually, to be quite honest, I always utter a little interior wish that rude drivers would suddenly be struck with a really bad case of intestinal disturbance.  

Friday, June 15, 2012


Ciska is doing a givaway.  She is a super blogger, a wonderfully bright and interesting young woman....and you should go visit her blog.

I have said thisbefore even when there was nothing in it for me....this time I have to admit that posting here gives me another chance to win!


Sharing a little pet peeve here.

I detest artificial friendliness.  This is where Russia really has it all over Americans.  In Russia people do not paste false smiles onto their faces, or tell you to "have a nice day" again and again.  I suppose you might say they err on the opposite end of the scale, taking even everyday exchanges - in stores or at a business, very seriously.  I don't mind that at all, frankly.  When the lady responsible for handling the dry-cleaning at the hotel is hyper-solemn and businesslike, it gives her (and her job) dignity.  When the girl checking out at the grocery store, reprimands me for not bringing my own bags - well, she is right; I had been in Russia enough to know that I ought to carry a bag or two with me at all times.  (And who can't appreciate that thriftiness and environmental benefit?)

You might not get a smile, but you get good bread.

In Russia one of the things that I got used to, which initially surprised me, was what was I think the main job held by men - women seem to generally run the country, but in front of every business, it seems, there is a man.  He just stands there and watches (and.smokes). A sort of guard?  I never saw one accosting anyone, and they certainly did not seem to be there to help you.  I presume the idea is to discourage shoplifters - though there was also one at the hotel, where there was nothing, really, to take.  I did shock Ilya once, by asking one of these gentlemen for directions.  I shocked the man, too.  He truly looked dumbfounded, so perhaps the unspoken rule is that they are not to be addressed! 

Here, though, it is a different story.  In the front entry of far too many places there is someone who is actually placed there to watch for shoplifters, I'm told, but quite disingenuously, these people are called  "greeters".  And greet they do!  They greet you with a bright "hello" as though they know you.  As though they care about you.  As though it delights them to see you.  Since none of these things are true, perhaps there is some psychological ploy going on, intended to immediately put customers (oh, sorry - "guests") at a disadvantage.  Because, no matter if you are deep in thought, or trying desperately to recall the seven things you want to be sure to buy (ticking them off in your mind so as not to forget), or you might even be so sad you are just struggling to keep from crying - despite whatever it is that is going on with you - enter the store and you must suddenly snap to attention yourself, and be artificially friendly back. 

I hate it!

Part of that comes from having lived in a place where the effect that the big box stores are hoping to achieve (I think) was the genuine article.  If you live in a small town, where everyone knows - or is, at least, acquainted with - everyone else, then these greetings are legitimate.  When we were first married, we lived in a little town in Eastern Oregon - Heppner.  Everyone in Heppner at least knew of everyone else....  Even if you didn't really know someone, you were all in the "same boat" so to speak.  Living in that  rural area gave you immediately a lot in common with everyone else.  The town only had 1,500 people and it was an hour drive to anywhere bigger.  When people were born, or when people died, a little notice was put on the counter in all the main businesses.  People did matter.  People were individuals.  We had release time for religion classes, and if ever anyone noticed a little Catholic dilly-dallying by the creek rather than heading straight to the church for classes - I'd get a phone call!  So, when the checker at the grocery store gave you a greeting it was the genuine article. 

Maxim is working at Target now.  I was early to pick him up one day, and figured I'd pleasantly wile away the time by browsing.  I do enjoy browsing in Target.....but not that day!  Every couple of minutes someone would ask me if they could "help" me - or assault me with one of those artificial "Hi! How are you?" non-questions.  You can't really enjoy browsing if you have to keep stopping to speak to strangers.  I just wonder what they think they are accomplishing.  Comparitively, I am friendly and outgoing!  I'm pretty comfortable talking to strangers after years of doing theatre and touring from city to city, sometimes even boarding with different people every night.  Surely this stuff is even more comfortable for me than it is for most people?  But, I detest it!  It really felt as though I was being discouraged from just browing.  I began to feel that I was expected to either buy something or get out.  So, get out, I did.  I went to wait in the car.

I heard yesterday on some public radio program that recent studies have shown that people really do not like this.  So, I'm not the only one!  In  rating customer service, the artificial friendliness gets a business nowhere.  I'm now looking forward to this becoming common knowledge, allowing me to shop in peace.