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BarbD
"Find something to care about and live a life that shows it." -- Thayne Maynard
Interests: music, theater, reading, writing, and always -- connecting with others.
Recent Activity
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Mouth of Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon I remember my excitement as my 16th birthday approached and with it, that all-important American rite of passage -- getting my driver's license. Cars, the open road, Bruce Springsteen on the radio: those were the days. There was another side to my driving experience, though, and it wasn't pretty. Behind the wheel, I became enraged at the smallest infractions of other drivers, frequently sending blistering curses their way. I set a terrible example for my younger brother and sister, something they still mention 40-odd years later. This is particularly worthy of mention because... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at The Middle Way
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For the past week or so I've been carrying around a feeling of imminence -- lots of thoughts and ideas swirling in my head but no organizational theme, no "start here." I'd begin to write something but could feel it trailing off like a thought that's lost its way. So instead I began cleaning out drawers and cabinets. I purged books and old documentation for long-gone household goods, rearranged and reorganized kitchenware and glassware, and winnowed out unwanted and unworn clothing. The end result? A bunch of stuff, some of it quite nice, that I'll distribute to friends, family or... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at The Middle Way
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Many years ago I sat at the kitchen table of the older woman who boarded my dog for me while I tried to figure my life out. She lived out in the country; I lived in a city apartment (no dogs allowed). She was easy to talk to and I often found myself using her as a sounding board for the intense emotions the 20-something me struggled to understand and conquer. I remember confiding in her about my fears when I became pregnant. I wasn’t sure we were ready for a child, or how we’d manage the extra expenses and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at The Middle Way
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A couple of weeks ago, I met my friend, Claire, at a local craft brewery. We hadn’t seen each other in a while and had a lot of catching up to do. Our conversation ranged from the revelatory to the ordinary – new directions for her, the latest home improvement project for me. It was an emotional evening and, like all our deepest conversations, one that could have only happened with my very English friend in a pub over pints of beer. As I laid out my plans, Claire asked, “Why do you spend so much money on your house?”... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at The Middle Way
Updated: added Additional Resources at end of post I’ve been engaged in a running conversation on Facebook with friends who don’t support the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. We also wandered into the cost of other government-provided benefits like SNAP (food stamps) and mobile phones. It’s hard to cover all my points and supporting documentation in a Facebook conversation, so I’m expanding it to this space. First, in defining myself as a communitarian, I’m trying to establish a foothold outside the usual liberal/conservative terminology. While my political views are decidedly liberal, I’m comfortable with certain conservative viewpoints as well. Ultimately,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2013 at The Middle Way
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“You say you want to write – so write.” My inner voice, approximately 5 am, June 24, 2013 I dreamed that morning that I was stung by a scorpion while leaving the loading docks of my former employer. And that sucker held on! One of the people with me – an old friend and colleague – finally killed it with an electric current, leaving the stinger behind. We were debating whether we’d fully removed it when I began feeling the poison coursing through my veins. By the time we got to the company cafeteria, I was feeling better. I awoke... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2013 at The Middle Way
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Mother's Day is just around the corner, and it finds me in a reflective mood. As a young mother, I celebrated new milestones and looked forward to future accomplishments. As a mom whose job is done -- child raised, launched and successfully navigating his world -- the smallest things, remnants of our shared past, lurk in every corner of my memory. Today, a brief conversation about well-used childhood blankets brought one such memory to mind. Two days before the space shuttle Challenger blew up, friends from work held a baby shower for me. One of the gifts was a green... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2013 at The Middle Way
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Sometimes people come into your life and you don't realize what you've learned from them until after they're gone. Marcy was one of those people for me. That's her on the right, in the picture above. We visited with her and her husband, Barry, in their old RV on an unseasonably warm night last December and talked of returning in the spring to take a long bike ride and have a cookout. I didn't meet Marcy until several years after a stroke and related illnesses permanently altered the vital woman I can only see through Barry's pictures and memories. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2013 at The Middle Way
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First, some background: Facebook Entry: July 4, 2012 Much to my own surprise, the competitive spirit I didn't think I had has been awakened by a program at my gym. Although I didn't join the Spring Fever program for the competition (or rather generous awards), I've consistently ranked #1 since Day 1. Enter my nemesis, whose name I've smudged out. With only 4 days to go, we're running neck and neck. It's down to the truly crazy, like wearing my Polar tracking device while we walked all over Boston yesterday (including up the 297 steps of the Bunker Hill memorial).... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2012 at The Middle Way
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BarbD is now following J. Bradford DeLong
Aug 9, 2012
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Like many women, I’m amazed that our national political conversation has returned to a topic I thought we settled long ago: birth control. As a young woman contemplating my first sexual experience, the most important question after “when” was: how do I make sure I don’t get pregnant? I knew one thing: I wanted control over the decision about when to have a child. When I entered the workforce in the mid ‘70’s, birth control pills were the only regularly prescribed medication not covered by my company’s insurance plan. That didn’t change until women gained a larger share of responsibility... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2012 at The Middle Way
The very purpose of spirituality is self-discipline. Rather than criticizing others, we should evaluate and criticize ourselves. Ask yourself, what am I doing about my anger, my attachment, my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we should check in our day to day lives. -- Dalai Lama Bullying has been in the news a lot lately. All over the country, every day, you’ll find news reports of its sometimes tragic aftermath and efforts to stop it. We feel outrage and ask why this is happening. We blame the kids, we blame the parents, we blame the schools, we blame... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2012 at The Middle Way
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“I want to save lives and serve my country.” That’s what my son said at his swearing in ceremony earlier this week when asked why he’d chosen to serve in the Coast Guard. And I -- who came of age to Bob Dylan’s raging Masters of War, violent protests in the streets and on college campuses, and a deep suspicion of government in the wake of Kent State and Watergate – felt humbled by my son’s conviction of purpose. On the day he shipped out, we got up before dawn so I could deliver him to the Military Entrance Processing... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2010 at The Middle Way
BarbD is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
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Why don't people believe climate scientists that anthropomorphic global warming is real and a growing threat? This question puzzling scientists comes as no surprise to social scientists. NPR's All Things Considered ran a recent story highlighting research that shows a belief in climate change hinges on a person's world view. From NPR's story: "To social scientist and lawyer Don Braman, it's not surprising that two people can disagree so strongly over science. Braman is on the faculty at George Washington University and part of The Cultural Cognition Project, a group of scholars who study how cultural values shape public perceptions... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2010 at The Middle Way
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I have never outgrown my love of snow. I feel the same wonder and delight today that I did as a child, watching it fall and muffle the sounds of a noisy world. I know few share my love of snow, especially in a winter that's already seen more than usual. Here's something for those who do. Shoveling Snow With Buddha Billy Collins In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok you would never see him doing such a thing, tossing the dry snow over a mountain of his bare, round shoulder, his hair tied in a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2010 at The Middle Way
This past Monday, I left my bracelet in the locker at my gym. Taking it off in the first place was a hard habit to get into; I never remove it except when I must -- my few hospital stays, airport security checkpoints and now, when I swim. But that day I left it behind when I gathered my things. I realized it was missing about an hour after I got home, and rushed back to retrieve it. It was gone: whoever found it did not turn it in, nor has it shown up in the days since. There’s a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2010 at The Middle Way
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Baby Boomers are entering their retirement years to the strains of Dylan Thomas’s “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Through sheer numbers, we’ve been a force of social change our entire lives. We’ll continue to shape and redefine what it means to be retired, just as we have with every other milestone we’ve encountered. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2009 at The Middle Way
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It started off simply. An email from my conservative brother, distraught about cap and trade legislation that had passed the U.S. House. Just another in a long-running policy debate between him and his liberal older sister. I admitted the legislation was flawed but not final: the Senate had yet to weigh in. And I asked him this question: “Given that this is an even more dire issue for the future of our children and grandchildren than any other, what ideas do you support for curbing greenhouse gases and creating a more sustainable society?” That’s when for me, the conversation became... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2009 at The Middle Way
I'll probably return to the new one, but a post I'd been working on in the old design had an embedded video. Something happened, and it's not showing up in the new design. SO I'm going to fix it in the old version and see what happens.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2009 on Tell us why you are switching back at Switching Back
1 reply
I've listened several times and I cannot catch the text you add on after the Typepad URL to complete this task. Sounds interesting -- but could you actually provide this word in print? Thanks!
1 reply