Letters From Home

Life looks at infmom / infmom looks at life

February 12, 2012
by infmom

Rejoice, rejoice, you have no choice

The RainbowRecently, a bunch of terrified religious leaders slapped their names on a “marriage and religious freedom” screed that anyone with two functioning brain cells could see was a horrendous collection of lies. You know, marriage is under attack, religious freedoms are under attack, religious organizations are going to be forced at gunpoint to do all kinds of things they have been taught to believe are totally icky… blah blah blah.

One of the signatories was the Commissioner of the Salvation Army. As it happens, I am a descendant of two of the Salvation Army’s shining stars, and I have their last name. All those other fearful-faithful brethren would not even see a letter I wrote to them expressing my opinion on the subject of Bronze Age superstition clouding 21st century minds beyond all reason… but in that one instance, my name would get me an audience.

I took the opportunity to write. I was polite but firm. Signing that hateful collection of absolute lies was reprehensible. To be honest, I never expected a reply and I was fine with that.

In one of those cosmic connections that defy imagination, I got a reply. It arrived in our mailbox the same day we got the news that our daughter (also a descendant of those two shining stars) and her partner of seven years had gotten married in New York City.

I told the commissioner (among other things) that he was standing square in the footsteps of George Wallace in the schoolhouse door and that my family and I were very sad that his unfortunate lifestyle choices would prevent him from sharing in our happiness.

Marriage equality is inevitable. And the people who frothed at the mouth about it are securing for themselves a place in history right alongside George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Lester Maddox and others who truly believed that they were right.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Kaptain Kobold

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December 13, 2011
by infmom

Darkness, darkness

Image by DanOCan via Flickr

A few days ago I was watching one of those science-oriented shows and saw someone say that a fear of the dark is instinctive for humans, probably because our ancient ancestors who ventured out after sunset didn’t live long enough to reproduce.

I’ve never been afraid of the dark. I couldn’t understand why so many of my friends had to have a nightlight, or leave the door open to let in light from the hall when they went to bed. I welcomed the darkness, because that was the only time I could think my own thoughts and have time that was completely my own. The door was closed, the room was dark, and my parents were somewhere else. Why would anyone be afraid of that?

The neighborhood always seemed more welcoming and cozier after dark. The noises of the day were gone and I could hear dogs barking from far away. I could turn on my radio and listen to stations that only came in at night, sometimes waiting till the hour or half hour to find out where they were when they identified themselves. When I was growing up, I could look out the window and see most of the night sky (precious little light pollution in those days).

I’m older now, and when I look out at my neighborhood at night I still feel the same way. It’s cozier. More welcoming. We live in a safe place, so I can go walking pretty much anywhere near my house at night without fear (yes, even down the proverbial dark alleys, although no alley in the Los Angeles megalopolis is really dark).  I still wonder why so many of my childhood friends were so afraid, and wonder whether they ever grew out of that fear and learned to appreciate the night.


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November 11, 2011
by infmom

Email subscriptions

The email notifications of posts seem to be showing only a partial post with a link to click to get more. I’m experimenting with new subscription plugins to see if I can fix this. I hope we can all be patient. 🙂

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November 9, 2011
by infmom

It’s that time again


This is my third year for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’m writing the middle section of the multi-generational novel that I started last year. Yeah, this one’s gonna be LONG. But it’s a good story, if I do say so myself.

Anyone else trying to Be A Writer this month?

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October 15, 2011
by infmom

Tea Party prototypes

Tea Party Prototypes, or TPPs, through the ages.

Neolithic TPP:

  • Basket? No way. I’ve got hands. Keep the change.
  • Horse? Are you crazy? If we were meant to get around on four legs we’d have been born that way. Keep the change.

Bronze age TPP:

  • Stone tools are way better. I can make them myself. Keep the change.

Iron age TPP:

  • Bronze tools were good enough for my grandfather and they’re plenty good for me. Keep the change.
  • If that long-haired preacher and his pack of losers think I’m going to change my religion, they’ve got another think coming. They can keep the change.

Renaissance TPP:

  • The sun goes around the earth. God said so. Galileo, you’re in deep sewage.

Industrial Revolution TPP:

  • I can make those things better by hand. Get that factory out of my town. Keep the change.
  • I am not riding on that infernal machine. I’ve got my own two feet. Keep the change.
Revolutionary TPP:
  • That Patrick Henry is nothing but a wild-eyed community organizer. God Save the King!
  • Our Colonial government is just fine the way it is. God Save the King!
Civil War TPP:
  • States rights!
Mid 19th century TPP:
  • Charles Darwin is crazy. The Bible tells me ALL I need to know, and that settles it.
  • No, women do not need to vote, and anyone who says they do is a harridan. Keep the change.
Gilded Age TPP:
  • The public be damned!
  • Birth control is against the law and that’s that. Keep the change.
2oth century TPP:
  • I’m voting for Hoover!
  • I’m voting for Landon!
  • I’m voting for Willkie!
  • I’m voting for Dewey!
  • There are communists in the State Department and fluoride in the water!
  • Love it or leave it!
  • Nixon’s the One!
  • Whitewater! Travelgate! Impeach!
….yeah, there’s an age old pattern. Keep the change.
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September 15, 2011
by infmom

More adventures in publishing

In honor of what would have been my mom’s 82nd birthday, Logan Books has released The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton.  It’s available on the Smashwords web site in all e-book formats. Kindle format on Amazon coming soon!

Publish your book with Smashwords

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August 29, 2011
by infmom

Gone, but not forgotten :)

I know it’s been quite a while since I wrote much here. It’s not for lack of things to write, it’s for lack of time to write them. However, I’m working hard on a schedule that will start in September that will help me get all my writing tasks in order and make sure I do regular updates here and on my other blog.

Yeah, I know, promises promises, right? Let’s see how well I can make it work.  🙂

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June 24, 2011
by infmom

Beaded medical bracelets, your way

Table of contents for Making medical jewelry fancy

  1. Medical jewelry, plain & fancy, part 4

I kinda left my personalized-medical-bracelets series in limbo, didn’t I? I promise, I’ll make up for that now.  🙂

As I mentioned before, I’ve worn a MedicAlert emblem for decades. Like everyone else, MedicAlert has been changing with the times and offering a lot more choices than the bracelet or necklace they had when I first signed up. Their latest offering is beaded bracelets, featuring Swarovski beads or pearls. I happen to like the look, but (a) the choices are limited to what they supply and (b) they’re expensive.

Note, I do not for a moment wish to imply I’m criticizing MedicAlert for their prices. They offer a fantastic service and not one of their emblems is unfairly priced. It’s just that some of us can’t afford the fancier offerings.

So, herewith I offer up instructions for creating your own beaded medical bracelet.

beaded medical bracelets

You will need:

  • Medical emblem of your choice, on a bracelet that fits you comfortably
  • Acculon or other sturdy beading wire
  • Beads (I used both real and Swarovski pearls from Fire Mountain Gems)
  • Two large lobster-claw clasps with swivels (the swivels are important)
  • Crimp beads
  • Crimp covers (optional, but they’re a nice touch)
  • Wire cutters
  • Crimp bead pliers or needlenose pliers

Take the emblem off the chain or stretch band. Measure the emblem’s bracelet, including the attachments. Cut a length of Acculon this length plus 1″. Slip a crimp bead onto the Acculon, thread it through a clasp and back through the crimp bead and crimp firmly close to the clasp.

Thread on your beads, in whatever pattern you like.  I’ve only made fairly plain bracelets so far, but I plan to do a lot more creative work next time around.  🙂  Hold the bead strand up against the existing bracelet from time to time to check for length. When the length of the bead strand plus a second clasp will equal the length of the original chain, put a crimp bead on the wire, slip it through the clasp, pull tightly and crimp close to the clasp.

Trim off excess wire, and add crimp covers if you’re using them. Done!

To wear the bracelet, clip one lobsterclaw on one side, wrap the beads around your wrist and clip the other lobsterclaw to the other side of the emblem. It may take some practice to do this easily, but once you get the hang of it it’s easier than the standard medical bracelet clasp.

So, now you can wear your medical bracelet in style! I wore the real-pearl one to a dressy occasion not long ago, with a matching pearl bracelet on the other wrist. You’ll have plenty of beads left over from this project, so you can do the same.

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June 15, 2011
by infmom

GOP Blues 2011

GOP Blues 201


Once there was a party that was old and grand,
Voter registrations were in high demand,
Even though their platform came from Calvin C.
Forcing back the clock to how things used to be.
No one asking why the status quo,
Or why they never let an old gripe go.

They’re pushing yesterday’s views,
Yesterday’s news,
That’s why they’re singing GOP blues.
Women in the modern world are scary,
These guys barely trust the Virgin Mary!
Trickle-down dreams,
They’ve lost their pensions, it seems,
But voting like they’ll still be rich some day.
Even Joe the Plumber, he’s the guy they adore,
He couldn’t seem to pay his income taxes before.
Ain’t it a shame, but it’s just more of the same
On re-run avenue.

They’re still second place,
Yesterday’s race,
Praying Obama will fall on his face.
Walker, Scott, Pawlenty and Santorum
Praying that the ‘baggers will adore ’em.
GOP blues,
They’re focused on yesterday’s news,
They’ve been that way since 1932.
Sucking up to rich folks and ignoring the poor,
The Democrats will organize to show ’em the door.
Now everyone knows the GOP blows
On re-run avenue!!

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March 21, 2011
by infmom

Publishing, one, two…

Dutchman's PuzzleMy second novel Dutchman’s Puzzle is now available in e-reader format!  The print version will be coming as soon as I review the proof.  I will post another message when it’s available.

If you’ve got a Kindle you can get it from Amazon here (or by clicking on the picture of the book jacket) and if you’ve got another kind of e-reader, or want plain text, HTML or a .pdf file, you can get it from Smashwords here. DRM free.

I’d be very interested to hear what you think of the book, or of my first novel Closed Circuit, which is available on Lulu here (lowest price!) Amazon here (print) and here (Kindle) and on Smashwords here (e-readers, etc).

Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.