May 15th, 2011

Portrait

To Blog or Tweet?



I can't believe that's it's been over a year since I wrote something on this blog.  It's not for lack of content.  There are enough happenings in everyday life to provide fodder.  Maybe deep down I figure that readers are not really interested in reading my extraneous thoughts as they can choose from so many active bloggers who are willing to share their musings.  But what it really comes down to is TIME.  There are only 24 hous in the day and, with all the social media available, I would have to sacrifice too many of those hours to be active on all the sites. 

So early on I chose to concentrate on my web page and blog.  For a writer, we're told that we MUST have at least one of each to reach out to our target audience.  Alas, I found that I was not very good at blogging and I latched onto Twitter as my preferred method of sharing my thoughts.  I like the idea of 140 characters.  Brevity sometimes does provide clarity and it's a good exercise in editing.  My Twitter name is @BarbaraBentley, making it easy for someone to find me.  I now have 11,859 followers.  In case you're not up on Twitter followers, many of these are people out to sell a service and I refer to them as my "not real" followers.  The "not real" followers use programs that blitz the Twitter world with auto-follow programs. 

But many of my followers are "real."  They are woman to whom I have religiouosly reached out to share my thoughts on domestic violence, psychopaths, recovery, and positive living.  I also like to share my photographs of nature.  I have worked my way through the alphabet, targeting women's names, and have reached the letter R.  But I am selective.  I choose not to follow people who feel a need to be vulgar or sell themselves for sex. 

As you can imagine with over 11,000 followers, I can't read all the Tweets that pop up.  But I enjoy each tweet that comes to me as an @BarbaraBentley or DM (direct message) and I answer every single one.   And for those who do not want to sign up with Twitter, I feed my tweets to the home page of my website
www.adancewiththedevil.com.  

So now you know why my blog entries are few and far between.  But don't give up on me.  I will try to do a little better with thoughts that take more than 140 characters to share.  In fact, I'm going to post something in a couple of minutes.

Thanks for reading and, as always, may you feel laughter in your life.

Portrait

Recycling


The following story is not original to me.  It appeared in my email Inbox and I'm sure it has made the rounds throughout cyberspace.   I like what it has to say because....ahem....I can remember doing many of the things mentioned by the older woman.  Besides the recycling message, I feel this speaks to us in other ways.  The most obvious is that's it's easy to criticize that which we have not taken the time to validate.  It also illustrates that the younger generation can always learn something from their elders, if they only took the time to listen.  Instead and all too often, the older generation is the brunt of unkind jokes.  This is not something new.  But, as we get older, we realize just how short our time on this earth is.  So enjoy every phase  of your life's journey -- be kind to others and yourself -- and hopefully you'll be able to become the older generation so you can share the wisdom you've gained along the way.  It's another way of recycling!

THE GREEN THING
 
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.  The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."
 
The clerk responded, "That's our problem today.  The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."
 
He was right -- that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.   Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
 
But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.
 
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
 
But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.
 
Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right -- they didn't have the green thing back in her day.
 
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
 
Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
 
But she's right -- they didn't have the green thing back then.
 
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
 
But they didn't have the green thing back then.
 
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked
instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
 
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?