SoCS: clocks

I like clocks that have faces and numbers and hands, also known as analogue clocks. They are elegant in their simplicity and, for me, a much faster way to tell the time.

If I look at a digital clock, and it reads 12:38, my brain has to process, okay, so it’s halfway between twelve thirty and quarter of one. If I see the same time on a clock face, I can see the proportions of the circle and ascertain the information much more quickly.

In most cases, I don’t need to know the exact minute.

I know that people in medical training are having to adjust to not having watches with second hands. It used to be that someone taking your pulse would just glance at the second hand on their wristwatch to count the pulses in a given time and then multiply. Now, many people don’t wear watches and do time on their cell phones. Presumably they have an app that counts down seconds for them so that they can calculate a patient’s pulse.

But it’s more complicated than in the days of the handy-dandy analogue wristwatch.

I love my solar-cell powered watch and hope to wear it for a long time. So much more elegant than my old flip-phone…
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “-clo-” Come join us! Find out how here:

SoCS badge 2015


A Thirty Hour Day

Yesterday was loooooong.

Our alarm rang at 4 AM so we could get to my parents’ place so they could help shuttle us to the airport for the first flight – a 6 AM to Philly. Yes, I know that at most airports we would have needed to arrive at the airport by 4 AM or sooner, but BGM is not like that.

We were delayed a bit by fog, but got to Philly in plenty of time to switch terminals and get breakfast before boarding a flight to Phoenix, which arrived early. So there was lunch and walking about the terminal and browsing the shops and finally boarding our flight to Honolulu, which also arrived early at about 5 PM Hawai’i Standard Time.

The rub is that HST is six hours earlier than Eastern Daylight Time, so our bodies felt like it was 11 PM – and we had gotten up at 4 AM.  It took a long time to deplane, get baggage, wait for the shuttle bus to the rental car lot, finish paperwork, drive to the hotel, and deal with check-in and parking garage issues. We were fading fast…

Fortunately, our daughter E arrived with dinner, a delicious pasta salad with zucchini, Parmesan, and almonds that she had prepared and a loaf of fresh Italian bread. We are staying in a condominium hotel, so we had a fully equipped kitchen and a table for supper. Seeing E for the first time since they visited for Thanksgiving last November – and the food – helped revive us despite the length of the day, although I collapsed into bed a bit before 9:00.

Adjusting to time change is not one of my better skills, but B and I managed to sleep until 3 AM and then to snooze off and on until 6:00.   It’s now 4:15 PM and I admit to being a bit tired. But E will be done with her work day soon and we plan to go out to dinner and visit for the evening, which I hope will keep me going until a reasonable bedtime.

I’m hoping to get settled into Hawai’i Time sooner rather than later.

SoCS: What I would like

I would like to spend a leisurely time writing an amazing SoCS post. I would like to snap my fingers and get everything organized and accomplished because there are many appointments and obligations coming up in the next week and a half, including helping a daughter move to another city for her summer internship.

Obviously, snapping my fingers isn’t going to cut it.

So, short and sweet and on to the next…
This week, Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ke.”  Use the letter combination at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the word you choose to base your post on.

Join us! Find out how here:


Ten years later

2005 was a difficult year. I lost a great and good friend, my long-time church community, and my father-in-law all within a few months.

Today is the first of the major tenth anniversary dates. Ten years ago today, which was Good Friday that year, my friend Angie died from cancer, leaving behind a husband, two sons, a daughter, her mother and siblings, extended family, and many, many, many friends.

I’ve written about Angie before, including here, so I won’t go on too long about her awesomeness. Her legacy includes not only her wonderful family and friends but also a charity fund that gives scholarships, supports cancer patients and their families, and supports The Discovery Center, our local children’s museum, which Angie blessed with her artwork. There is an art gallery, memorial tree, and butterfly house dedicated to her there, as well as an art gallery near the African Road/Vestal Middle School auditorium, which I will always think of as Angie’s Auditorium because it was a long-time dream of hers that she helped fulfill when she served on the Board of Education.

What I am thinking about today, though, is the ten years we have been without her physical presence.  The high school graduation of our daughters, the college commencements, her son’s law school graduation, passing the bar, getting married. All the little moments – hanging out in the kitchen, going out for lunch, taking the dog for a walk, attending seemingly endless committee meetings.

Because I do believe in the eternal life of the soul, I believe that Angie is still able to be present in our lives spiritually.  For those who don’t believe, Angie is still present through her role in shaping the people whom she loved and who loved her, as well as through the art she left for us to enjoy and the legacy projects I’ve already mentioned.

In some ways, we have been without her for ten years. In other ways, she has been with us all along.

Poem for the turn of the year

For the new year, I’m reposting a poem I wrote for New Year’s Eve 2013. The sentiment still applies.

December 31, 2013
– by Joanne Corey

is not a New Year
anymore than
August 14th
or November 29th
or April 4th

Midnight promises only
the next day
the next hour
the next minute

Linda is promoting Just Jot It January or JusJoJan, for short. I am trying to participate some, although likely to be more disJointed and Jumbled than the envisioned version of daily posts with cute badge attached. (As in, it dawned on me somewhat later in the day that I could add the pingback to make this post part of JusJoJan, even though most of the jotting of this post happened a year ago.)  Join us! Details at the link above, plus pingbacks to all the participating posts. EnJoy!

Everything is awesome!

I have a confession to make.  I really like The Lego Movie!  I realize as a 50-something-year-old woman, I am not the demographic group that was targeted, but every time we saw a preview for it, B and I were always laughing, so we went to see it when it was in theaters and both enjoyed it.

I have been known to break into a chorus of “Everything Is Awesome” now and then.

I admit that I felt a bit sheepish being so drawn in by a (non-Pixar) children’s movie, but that was cured by reading Richard Corliss’s “Best of Culture 2014:  Movies” wrap up in the Dec.22/29 “Person of the Year” edition of Time magazine, which listed The Lego Movie third of the ten films mentioned.  That means I have some sense of taste/style, right?

In my haphazard approach to Christmas gifts this year, one thing I did manage to buy for our family was the DVD of The Lego Movie, which we watched this afternoon. And it still makes me laugh, which is great because this hasn’t been the jolliest holiday season ever.

We will probably watch some of the special features this evening. There is a sing-along version of “Everything Is Awesome!”  Singing such a bouncy, optimistic song can only help…

Blog fail times two

After working through most of the aftermath of my parents’ medical misadventures in August, I had the foolish idea that I could make plans for the fall.  The problem wasn’t making the plans as much as executing them…

In the rule of things happening in sets of three, the third member of our family’s elder generation has had medical issues which have necessitated major time commitments and the further jettisoning of things from my already pared down but still lengthy to-do list.

I had signed up for Blogging 101, reasoning that, even though I have been blogging for a year, I still struggle with some of the mechanics of blogging and could use some help. While I managed to do a few assignments the first couple of weeks, I haven’t had time to even look at the site since then, so Blog Fail #1.

Yesterday, I read the email and pingbacks that Some Kernels of Truth had nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog” Award with a touching paragraph about Top of JC’s Mind.  I am so honored and humbled, but I know that I can’t do justice to fulfilling the requirements of acceptance.  Blog Fail #2.

While a large part of these failures is lack of time, the larger problem is lack of brain power.  Even when I can get online time, my mind is running through medical information and planning practicalities for the coming days.

I would urge you to click on the links above and check out the truly lovely Some Kernels of Truth and all of the listed links.  It will be at least partial redemption of Blog Fail #2.


SoCS: Find the time

This week’s prompt is “find.”

As I write this, it is not Saturday, but Friday morning. My first thought in reading the prompt was how am I going to find the time to do this and I figured if I didn’t plunge in now, it was not going to get done, so here I am, with the washer running a load of towels, dashing this off before I go back to what I am trying to do today, which is catch up with some of my electronic life, especially my overflowing inbox. 516 emails to deal with, at this second. No doubt it will be more by the time I hit save and schedule.

People who read my blog may recall that my parents had simultaneous health crises this summer.  What I haven’t been blogging about is more recent life complications. I am happy to say that my parents, after losing most of August to recovery, are mostly back to their routines and doing well.  I spent the first part of September battling a GI thing, but recovered in time to prep for and participate in the Alice Parker tribute at Smith, which I wrote about here and here.

Within hours of my return from Northampton, we got word that my mother-in-law has a lumbar compression fracture due to osteoporosis. The time since then has been a blur of appointments, errands, transport duty, trying to get her to eat and use her medications properly, and rest, and not twist or bend or try to do things that put strain on the back, like changing the bedsheets or picking up the paper from the stoop.  There is also a lot of mental energy going to figuring out the next steps, which may include having a neurosurgeon inject a cementing substance into the collapsed vertebra, but first we have to get through an MRI and another consult appointment next week.  And a caucus with my brother-in-law, her elder son, who is a physician but who is several hundred miles away.

Meanwhile, I have been able to carve out some time yesterday and today to tackle the backlog on my computer.  It’s impossible to get to everything, so I am trying to jettison everything I can bear to, while still attempting to create at least a shadow of my presence here at Top of JC’s Mind, through my personal correspondence, and for my Facebook friends.  There are at least half a dozen blog posts that I have in my head that I need to find time to get worked out on screen, unless I suddenly become a stream of consciousness blogger.  No, that would be a bad idea. Forgoing editing once a week is one thing.  All the time?  Shudder…

And, as you read this on Saturday, I will be “celebrating” my birthday. Under the circumstances, original plans have been pared down and even those are vague, pending seeing how today goes for my mother-in-law and what she is like in the morning.  At this point, I’m hoping to be able to at least have dinner out with enough notice that we can wrangle an early dinner reservation at a fine dining type of place.  If push comes to shove, we can go impromptu, even if it means picking up a wood-fired brick-oven pizza and eating it with my husband at the kitchen table. Maybe we can put a candle in it….

519 emails…

socs-badgeBadge by Doobster @Mindful Digressions

This post is part of Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays.  Please join us!  Visit to find out how.

SoCS – time management

I wasn’t sure I was going to have time to do this today because we were moving our daughter to Syracuse in time to begin her grad school orientation on Monday. But we are back home with a bit of time before bed, so I’ll give it a go.

We are back to being empty nesters and I’m hoping to take this opportunity to re-vamp how I spend my time. On weekdays, I will now have 9-10 hours of time on my own, with no one else in the house. I’m hoping to spend some more time exercising. I also hope to be more intentional with my writing time, although I’m not sure how the balance will work out between my blog, my poetry, my personal correspondence, and my comment/advocacy writing on fracking, other environmental issues, and various social justice/progressive causes. I need to put in more time on submitting poetry to journals, hoping that, some day someone will say yes.

I also hope to spend more time with my parents in person, rather than by phone. And I need to spend some time helping at the church library.

There will be a few changes for our evenings, too. Probably lighter dinners with a follow-up walk, weather permitting. And maybe an earlier bedtime.

But not tonight. It’s been a long, exhausting summer and I need a bit more time to unwind before I can fall asleep.

***** ***** ***** *****

This post is part of  Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This week’s prompt is “time.”

Daylight Savings Time

Time for my (semi-annual) rant about changing clocks. Daylight changes a few minutes at a time. Changing what the clock says when sunset happens does not “save” daylight; it just re-names it.

DST puts me out of sync with the seasons. At my latitude, going on daylight savings time when it is still winter means that many more weeks of getting up to start the day in the dark. In the summer, it barely gets dark for bedtime. In the fall, we are back to dark mornings for a much longer time than we should be.

Admittedly, changing clocks is difficult for me personally. My circadian rhythm is very stubborn. Even one hour’s change throws me for a loop. I joke about being a “delicate flower,” but changing my sleep pattern can quickly devolve into multiple body systems going haywire. (And writing a blog post at 4:30 AM on no sleep.)

As you can guess, I don’t do well when I have to cross multiple times zones…

%d bloggers like this: