Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!




Fun from Luther College in my home state.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I am second

I Am Second

This is a pretty interesting website. The stories of struggle are captivating and moving.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas work

I just posted pictures of a box that I did for a client for her daughter on my art pages . Check it out....I'm making a lined satin bag to present it...thanks, Connie for helping with instructions on lining and bag! :-)
Please pray for the teen. She is gene positive for CF; has what they call a "mild" case of it; and has pneumonia and is in the hospital.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crossroads. . .

I'm in a weird place...unsettled. I want to be "useful" and am looking at perhaps starting a new career. I keep thinking that 51 is too old to start anything. I don't know where that nonsense comes from....hitting 50 was weird. Glad to be here, though.
I don't know if I can physically handle full-time work or not, but I do know that I'm happier out working and contributing. Thoughts range from these:
**Truly market myself and start doing more art; keep subbing on the side.
**Going back to school for my LPC to become a licensed counselor.
**Go for alternative certification in General, Art, and Special Ed and teach full-time.

Would you offer up a prayer for me to listen for God's word on this? Thanks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Family Feets

Just postin' cuz I liked it....can you guess which ones are Gracie's? ;-)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas silliness annual rant. . .

I just heard that some public building in some state (great info, huh?!) put out a Nativity scene, so atheists got together and put out something about "There are no gods, angels, blah blah, something about religion is myth and imprisons your brain....blah blah." I forget what it said, but it was presented as a statement of fact, and I don't know if they "signed" their creation or not.

I have a solution to all of this. Stop Christmas. Yeah, that's what I said. Stop it. It's too commercial, anyway. Stop the weeks off from school; stop the days off from work. Our holy day isn't getting any respect. SO, only Christians get Christmas Eve and Christmas day off. No atheists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Pokemon, or anyone but Christians. Period. OOh, ooh, and Good Friday, too.

How's that?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

No class

Since Obama's victory, we have all been lectured about "getting along" and not being divisive, etc. This stupid woman had an extraordinary chance to do an ornament for the White House Christmas tree and chose to turn it into a political statement. She doesn't even like Christmas. She should have declined.

I hate to give her press here, but as I said, we're all supposed to join hands and sing Kumbayah now...yet people continue to bash GW. It's over, okay?

If I were chosen to do an ornament for the Obama White House tree, you can bet I'd strive to make it the best one there...with no political agenda.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Another one bites the dust. . .

Just lamenting tonight because, once again, a friend has been harmed by a church. Because she is a woman, she was told that she could not be a candidate for a (volunteer) pastoral care position.
Unbelievable. Then these church "leaders" wonder why their churches are not growing.
Didn't God use Deborah and many other women for His work?
Didn't women walk with Jesus?
Didn't Paul say each person brings gifts to the Church?
Didn't Paul work alongside Phoebe, Priscilla, Chloe, Nympha, Junia?
Doesn't it say that "sons AND daughters" will prophesy?
If God has no problem using women, why should anyone else?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday afternoons. . .

I hear that cats and dogs aren't supposed to get along, but Lizzie and Gracie didn't get the memo. I love days like this. Quiet, overcast, chilly without being outrageously cold. Working on a couple of client projects and sipping some java. Most excellent. I hope your day is special.





Thursday, November 27, 2008

2 Generations. . .

My dad and me, Thanksgiving 2008. He still thinks he's taller than I am. :-) He doesn't look 76, I think. We all had a great day. Hope yours was, too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

3 Generations

This month marked the 11th anniversary of my mom's death. We took this picture quite a while ago ;-). I am the only woman left in this line. My mom was a holiday queen...holidays were very important to her and she resented her mom, Millie, on the left because Millie couldn't be bothered much. I admired my mom for doing the holidays in grand style...but I also admired why my grandmother wasn't a holiday fan. She was too busy, really. She was a single mom for a time, kicking her ex-husband out of the house for raising a hand to my mother as an infant. My grandmother got them through the depression by working as a hairdresser. When she met my grandpa, Sam, he decided it was his dream to live on the family farm and my city grandma became a farm woman. She plowed straight into it, and ran a small garden as well as the rest of the farm house, barns, animals, and life in general. Millie was...um...shall we say, a little on the cranky and snappish side most of the time. But, I admire her for her hard work. I admire my mom because she was the ultimate house manager. Everything was in order, spotless, ALL the time, even when she became ill. She was the glue that held us together, expanded family and all. It all changed when she passed. I'm not the one to carry that torch, but my kids and I have great memories because of it.
Holidays at our home are lower key. They are about all of us together, laughing, watching movies, and yep...eating. Instead of spending my time in the kitchen, they want me in the living room. Gifts are kept to a minimum, while the reason for the season is at the center. Expectations are different; I guess I could lament in some of the changes, but it's the people I miss, not the trappings.
In honoring their families, each generation takes from the last and forges their own traditions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful


Caught another bug this weekend, thanks to a sick teacher who felt compelled to cough on all of us. I actually got angry Monday morning when I woke up with a fever. I was looking forward to meeting with Missy and her hubby for breakfast--my only chance to see her for a spell. I decided fuming wasn't productive..although the adrenaline may be helping my recovery! Instead of fuming, I chose to count blessings instead. . .

When I am ill, I'm thankful that I'm alive
When I have pain, I'm thankful that I can feel

When there is too much going on, I'm thankful for my family
When the alarm rings too early, I'm thankful that I can work

When the phone rings endlessly, I'm thankful I have friends
When there is ugliness all around, I'm thankful that I can see
When my tinnitus is at its loudest, I'm thankful that I can hear
When my feet hurt, I'm thankful that I can walk

When life is overwhelming, I'm thankful for Yahweh

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 21, 2008

7 random and/or weird facts about me:

1. I'm a sci-fi nut
2. I know how to tat
3. I can write upside-down and backwards (at the same time, if it's a good day!)
4. I nearly died twice--once as a baby and once as a toddler
5. I had my 'beginning' in a 400 year old house near the North Sea, in Thorpeness, England
6. I've had an out-of-body experience
7. I did editorial cartoons for a time for a newspaper in Garland, Texas


Tag, you're it!

Don tagged me a bit ago on this fun lil' thing:

Rules: Identify the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog

Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
(I'm lazy. You're all tagged! ;-D)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rough days. . .

Warning: Whining alert! ;-)

The last couple of weeks have been rough. I came down with some kind of virus a week ago Sunday. Chills, fever, extensive muscle pain. I wasn't sure if it was some horrid lupus flare or what. Went to the doctor Tuesday after and got a script for antibiotic "just in case" and ended up taking it. It helped. . . now on probiotics to fix the after effects of antibiotic.

The Wednesday morning after election night we get a call around 2:30 am ---those calls that just about stop your heart. . .it was a life alert company for my brother. He had fallen when going to the bathroom, somehow hit his head against a dining room chair and cut it so severely that he couldn't stop the bleeding. He and I have gone back and forth about him wearing his life alert necklace to bed. He was afraid he'd set it off in his sleep (not gonna happen) so he wasn't wearing it. (What does some stupid sister know?) Therefore, as he was bleeding nearly to death, he had to crawl over to the button station in his living room and hit it to alert the company.

Had he lost consciousness (and given the amount of blood he lost, it's a miracle he didn't) he would have bled to death. I would estimate, from the 'crime' scene, he lost at least 2 pints of blood. . .rapidly. He severed a vein and they had a dickens of a time stopping it in the hospital. We spent a very long 5 hours in ER; me running a fever and looking like hell, and my brother sleeping peacefully as fluids were being pumped into him. So, I finally started to comfortably doze off in his little room as we waited for CT results, my head in my hand, and he yells, "WHAT'S THE MATTER?!?"

So, once again, we battled him to get a script for home health care, and to pay for a private pay "sitter" to stay with him for the time he needed to be watched. They wanted someone with him for 24 hours, expecting me to do so (He was to be awakened every 2 hours all day and night). Hubby nixed that, and the wrestle began. He didn't want to pay someone to stay with him overnight...but I drew a boundary line and he relented. Some of my family think I'm pretty selfish for having boundaries, I think.

I worked at home for the next few days trying to play catch-up and managed to snag a cool mural job. That didn't take very long, and was fun....I was given carte-blanche to "just do it." I loved that.

I subbed today at the school where the student who is emotionally disturbed goes. I had emailed his teacher a few times last week to see if I could come and visit with him at lunch. No responses. Apparently, he was doing okay after a week at a psychiatric hospital after medication adjustments. I showed up for work today expecting to be able to give him a big birthday hug--but he was taken back to the hospital and no one told me. The prognosis isn't good for long term and he may end up in a state hospital indefinitely. He's becoming violent to himself and others.
This hit me hard. The last time he ended up in the hospital was on a day that I had been gone for a week because they had a potential hire for the job I kept subbing for. I showed up that day to fill in and he was...not him....if you know what I mean. Different.
It breaks my heart. I came home and just cried. He hasn't had a chance. His parents are horrible. His only chance has been his grandmother. . .and she has given up.
Would you pray for him? I can't say his name, but God will know who you're praying for. Thanks.

(Yes....it's funny and ironic that I can have such compassion for a near stranger, yet set boundaries and get frustrated with my brother. Jesus said there'd be days like that. . . .)


Sunday, November 09, 2008

"I spoke with Him this morning. . . "




Nicole C. Mullen "I Know My Redeemer Lives"

Friday, November 07, 2008

Damp parades and all that. . .

Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama. Your people ran a significant and successful campaign. I will be praying for your safety and wisdom, and your lovely family, every single day. There are calls all over blogdom for prayer and support for our new president. Calls to refrain from speaking ill of him; to believe the best of him. I think that's great.
Did we do the same for President Bush? No. We didn't. Period. Well, except for the crazy, right-winged, religious nut-cases, that is.
The media has changed drastically in the last few decades. I don't know where I'd be had I continued in journalism. There is no objectivity in reporting. Chris Matthews actually came out and said his job was to make Obama a success in the next 4 years. Is that whether O merits that success? Or will we be fed only the successes? Will the Fairness Doctrine, if put through, apply to mainstream media also? At least conservative talk radio is readily identifiable. Mainstream media is adept at its deception.
Back to my prior point: I am ashamed of our country. We present a very poor image to the rest of the world. We blame President Bush for this image, but that's a big fat lie. When a leader disappoints us we start in on him or her and it never stops. The people we elect are bashed and battered and left in the gutter. Heck, if we don't want them elected we're allowed to make continual SNL parodies till some of us want to vomit. I noticed the self-righteous Obama camp never asked SNL to stop mocking Sarah Palin. And, where was the ACLU when Joe Wurzelbacher's privacy rights were being illegally and immorally violated? I know we're all supposed to be in a state of euphoria over the changing of the guard, but, frankly, I'm very worried.
The majority of us have no idea of how our government works, nor do we take part in any kind of service to our country. It's absolutely shameful.
I wrote President Bush a thank you note...a few times. I heard a woman from Canada ask Mike Huckabee why Americans are so cruel to George Bush. She said Canadians love him. Israel loves him. Why don't we? "He's kept you safe," she said. She's right. We've been safe for the last 7 years. All of my soldiers who come back tell me that they are proud of their work in Iraq. It wasn't just George Bush who took us into Iraq.
This article says what I feel: Treatment of President Bush.When Barack Obama makes his mistakes (and he will, just like Bush and the others, and with the help of other leaders) how will he be treated? Well, probably a little better, thanks to Chris Matthews.
Before we try to bless the new administration, I believe we need to repent over the treatment of the last. What are we teaching our next generations?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008




You Should Be Allowed to Vote



You got 15/15 questions correct.

Generally speaking, you're very well informed.



If you vote this election, you'll know exactly who (and what) you'll be voting for.

You're likely to have strong opinions, and you have the facts to back them up.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MY turn

I commented on another blog that I had REALLY McVoted and that I wasn't choosing the lesser of two evils....that I just didn't pick the evil.
Oh, my....
The fact is, that I can have an opinion. I speak only for myself, yet, I've seen many on blogs speak for everyone. And I have not made personal jabs at anyone for their opinions...even though I've taken them.
Or, maybe we're not going to have free speech anymore.
The other morning a news story broke that the Obama camp has frozen out a news station for asking tough questions--she based them on Biden's OWN comments. Biden didn't like her questions and belittled her. How is the most likely coming Obama Administration going to handle tough grilling? Apparently, by attacking and freezing out those who might ask tough questions. Joe the Plumber has been attacked every which way because he had the audacity to ask a question.
Sarah Palin has basically taken all the heat. An effigy of Obama was met with outrage and censorship at a university...one of Palin hanging by the neck was allowed to hang in the interest of free speech. And, the outrage about her clothing. Campaigns can spend their money any way they want. Whether it's on a jet for Obama, or clothing for Palin that she donates. Personally, I find her clothing less of an issue than the company Barack Obama has kept for 2 or more decades. The argument that Jesus hung around with questionable characters falls flat. I don't think there were unrepentant criminals in his posse.
I've taken note that Biden has refrained from speaking much, but when he does, he puts his foot in his mouth...and still nothing happens. I watched Charlie Gibson a couple of times and the sneering in his face and voice when he said, "McCain" was disgusting. As a former journalism major, these guys fall flat on the core of reporting: objectivity.
I've seen McCain accused of fear mongering and anger, with the same behavior by the accusers. I've seen an incredibly condescending Ron Howard video. Must be nice to be a gazillionaire director who can "teach" the ignorant masses to not be afraid of "change." I've seen comments about how stupid people are because they don't agree with the commenter. And this is from people who claim that one man is going to change everything. Human nature will not change. Hate and anger are in abundance in both parties.
I've kept the Madonna "I'm gonna kick Palin's ass" concert video off of here. And Sandra Bernhard's anti-Palin foul-mouthed diatribe off. And the "Sarah Palin is a C...T" t-shirt pictures off.
I do see a dark side to Obama. I hear a lot of "He has inspired ME." or "He has given ME hope." Me, me, me.
And, I can say so. A lot of bloggers don't agree with me. Will we still be friends when this is all over? I can love you and completely disagree with you. The most vocal of you are Obama followers. The least vocal are McCain's.
The trick to keeping an open mind is to make sure it's not so open that the brains fall out.
I can't wait for Wednesday morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Big move. . .

My littlest soldier moves to Ft. Hood today.

Moving is tiring.
He saw a comfy spot
and crashed. That's the
quietest he's been all day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

You can have one, too.

If I do nothing else with this blog, I hope it's for a good cause. One
of my soldiers that I've adopted through

www.soldiersangels.org

sent me this picture of a "Mountain Dew."
Please consider adopting a soldier if you haven't...especially right
now around the holidays.
You'll be glad and blessed.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trials

I was taking a break, or so I thought. I know one thing. Never again, never anything of a political nature here. I'll have to trust Him when I step up to the ballot. I have no idea what I'm going to do.

Still may take a break, but God's working.

After my friend called about his daughter and grandson, and not knowing what was happening, or even if they were alive, I got on my knees and thanked God for them, and prayed His hand in their lives, and asked Him if they were okay. He said, "Yes."

Of course, we never trust ourselves, do we? We're obviously talking to ourselves. What does it take to trust? I was overcome with a sense of peace after I heard that, though. Turns out I heard right. Praise God.

Yesterday, I was asking God why we suffer so much, so many in such pain. Many of you are in pain with chronic disease. I'm in the middle of a wicked flare of lupus and fibromyalgia right now. I have only worked 2 days out of the last 8.
Why is my stepmom suffering with a neurological disease just when she found happiness with my dad?
Why are KB and Ann also dealing with a neurological illness and both of them with such trials?
Why are some moms going through so much right now?

"Why, God?" I asked.

He said, "My Son suffered, too, you know."

A tad angry, I said, "Well, at least He knew what was going to happen after all that!!"

God said, "So do you."

Urgent prayer needed

My dear friend Mike needs prayer for his whole family. His daughter Lisa and at least one of his grandsons was in a car accident this morning....nothing is known yet....he is on the way to the hospital. They called and said they needed an adult there. Very, very scared. Please pray.

Lisa and Landon are alive....Lisa pretty beat up. Landon untouched although his and his brother's carseats are demolished. Parameds said the Hand of God was on them. Someone hit them, they spun into and wrapped around a pole. Most damage done to the place where Aiden, 4, usually sits. They had JUST dropped him off at daycare. Praisin' God right now!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Substandard

We've been having a back and forth here, which is good, I hope. Unfortunately, because of my own ineptness...I think you've misunderstood. Or, perhaps, you've only seen the assault on your own candidate. For those of you who support Obama, I don't like him. For those of you who support McCain, I don't like him, either. The American people have been handed--and accepted--substandard candidates--and I like that least of all. Who would be good enough, you ask? A role model? A strong and reputable person? Someone the world and our enemies would respect? Someone who is smart enough to NOT want to be president! Colin Powell.

Here's a little something to leave with you for now. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who is buying the White House?

Disturbing. Where are those funds from Obama coming from? McCain has full disclosure of his funding. Looks like Hillary may have been the best pick for Democrats.

Here is a little something someone sent to me about McCain's possible character:
McCain's gambling

See why I'm nuts this election season??

I promised myself no YouTube stuff...

Are they saying "Alpha Omega"?!
"Because of Obama" they will succeed?
That is sad, indeed.
(For the record, I don't think this video has been sanctioned by O.)


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A few for laughs

'If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed;
If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.'
-Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress....
But then I repeat myself.
-Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity
is like a man standing in a bucket and
trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul
can always depend on the support of Paul.
- George Bernard Shaw

Democracy must be something more than
two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
-James Bovard , Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from
poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
-Douglas Casey,

Giving money and power to the government is like
giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
-P.J. O'Rourke , Civil Libertarian


Government is the great fiction, through which everybody
endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
-Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Government's view of the economy could be
summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
-Ronald Reagan (1986)

I don't make jokes...
I just watch the government and report the facts.
-Will Rogers

If you think health care is expensive now,
wait until you see what it costs when it's free!
- P.J. O'Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of
taking as much money as possible from
one party of the citizens to give to the other.
-Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics
doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!
-Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe
while the legislature is in session.
-Mark Twain (1866 )

Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.
-Unknown

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal:
a happy appetite at one end and
no responsibility at the other.
-Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is
the unequal sharing of the blessings.
The inherent blessing of socialism is
the equal sharing of misery.
-Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist
is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
-Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
-Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)

A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson

Election

I missed a lot of the debate last night because our choral group was rehearsing our talent show song. From what I saw, it seemed kind of a dud.

For all they are worth, the polls indicate Obama as the probable winner. Over at Brian's place, he has been giving his views on Obama--and if O wins, I truly hope Brian's right. I respect his opinions--heck, I'd vote for BRIAN. From what I've read so far, I don't necessarily see the positive aspects of Mr. O. However, it is entirely possible that I'm wrong! ;-) I really hope so. It fascinates me that people can see things SO very differently!

I'd love to see this country come together. It seems more divided now than ever. I blame the media, first and foremost. Now they are stirring more and more fear about the economy--one headline states "Only one thing keeping us from a depression." How responsible is that? It's simply not true. I feel like the country is a puppet to them. Do they just throw a dart to see what they'll come up with next? There is no accountability there.

So, what did you think of the debate? What are your thoughts about the future of this country?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

For KB




Is YouTube now our Go To?

I continue to get emails and read posts with youtube political bends to them. I cannot in this day and age trust videos on youtube to be my political information source. I could post a dozen or so here that would make any of you out there with way liberal leanings think twice--but having a kid who works in film and production--it's just too easy to manipulate and edit out of context.
I prefer other sources--(online) newspapers, a vast array of mainstream and not so mainstream news programs; websites with information and links to follow and the ability to CHECK OUT sources--and to know WHO is putting the info out.

I got a kick out of the SNL bits last night, though. I did. I was aghast that it appeared that they were actually blaming Bush and Republicans for the economic nightmare we're experiencing--but they did (sorta) correct that by admitting who is really to blame in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacles. It was done quickly, though, and I doubt anyone really wanted to hear that.
If Obama is elected, he will reap the rewards by the media when the economy naturally starts to improve. If McCain gets elected, and the economy naturally starts to improve, he will be crucified because it won't be good enough.
I have a sense of humor. I love youtube. But, I love the truth, too, and youtube and mainstream media ain't it. Better to go to many, many sources to determine what might be close to the real truth. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I watched the VP debate last night, fully expecting Palin to be chewed up and spit out. I was surprised and intrigued with her poise and ability to think on her feet. If she took a Government 101 speed class to pass this test, she passed. I'm surprised, though, that she didn't go for the jugular with Obama's links to subprime leaders and the beginnings of this mess .

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shakin' up our prayer life. . .

This is both rambling and freeing....

For the second time in my life, I was in prayer this morning that transcended most prayer time. I started shaking and it just freaks me out. . .but my prayer was in-depth and most personal and meaningful to me as I entered in.
First, I thought, well, that's just evil or something because there's not really any scripture about people shaking. There is scripture in Acts about the PLACE shaking (after I read that I heard an audible voice: "So, PLACES can shake, but not YOU?") and a scripture also: They were filled with the Holy Spirit. Through prayer, they received the Holy Spirit who gave them boldness and energy to move on. Acts 4:31 (some verses say "boldness" some say "power" I'm still looking at this.)
Well, what is energy, boldness, power? What does energy, boldness, power that comes from the Holy Spirit feel like? I imagine it's something. The word in that verse is, I think, parresia: freedom to speak one's mind, boldly, openly--can mean risking self to tell what in on the mind. Which makes sense because I'm risking you thinking me a nut case when you read this.
Hebrews 12:26-29 was another verse.
I felt I needed to check on this and called an accountability friend. He assured me that he didn't feel it was anything evil and that he has experienced it as well. He told me he felt the Lord wanted me to ask these questions and to search out...that He might be taking me to another level. I realized that I have had the most amazing spiritual dreams this past week and have had some revelation.
My purpose in writing this is to admit that my prayer life as of late had been weak. I haven't fully entered in because of distractions, etc. I pray for others and get a Word here and there, but as for my life and situation. . .nada. Weak is the word. I went to that place this morning after the week of dreams to enter in--I felt like I have been ignoring Father...and it then felt as though I had been gripped by pure energy--no power from me but going through me. As it subsided, I felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. . .and calm washed over. Maybe He was just shaking me to my senses!
My point is to ask you this: has anything like this ever happened to you?
and
What is the status of your prayer life?
You don't have to answer that last one--just think about it. Does your prayer life need shaking up?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Who is running this show?

KB asked me to voice some opinion on the upcoming election. Thanks for the props, Bob, although I am not a brainchild in these matters. However, I am highly discouraged this election season. I do know that the economic mess we're in is not the result of one administration, but a couple--and all of those folks we vote in. It makes my stomach turn. I'm getting sick of the blame game emails, Democrat and Republican, and actually sent out an email telling people to STOP sending me this crap. And, it is crap, indeed. Last night's debate was depressing. I quit halfway through because it seemed one jab and attack after another...which is fine for a debate, but I didn't hear much about plans and strategy.

Of course, I am concerned about Obama's ties to Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. I trust the WSJ article. I have no reason to not trust WSJ so far. Wright's Black Liberation Theology is, frankly, horrible. Of course, we all do stupid things in our early years...we're radical and edgy. However, I sense that Obama has bigotry issues (not just with race) of his own that affect his agenda. I also tried to picture him meeting with Ahmadinejad and broke out into a cold sweat. Experience-wise, and because of his past attachments, he is simply not up to the job.

McCain scares me, too. He had my vote in the beginning--until I realized that his character may not be all that it's cracked up to be, and his answers last night weren't any more impressive than Obama's. Because of age and experience, I expected more from him. I honor McCain because of his military experience. I believe this gives him a definite edge in foreign affairs--Obama lacks experience, and truthfully, interest in our military. It takes the mind of a soldier to comprehend what is happening. And, hearing from all the friends and family I have and have had in Iraq...we surely are doing good over there. Americans are not suffering this war! We sacrifice NOTHING! We carry on as if nothing is happening and then stand back, aghast at the loss, and point fingers and then move on with our lives. This war is causing the highest number of closed brain injury in history, if I'm correct. How many of us have visited our troops in hospitals? How many stand at the airport and greet them? How many are getting involved at all? Precious little.

Okay, I digress. McCain knows war, he knows win and loss. He knows the ugly side of government, too. But, he picked the wrong person as a running mate and this is what dropped him off of my radar. This was clearly a political move...not clever nor calculating as Republicans like to imagine, nor did he pick another "maverick." It is not a pick that serves our country at all. We're not supposed to vote based on the VP, but we are literally a heartbeat away from Sarah Palin becoming the president of our country. She does not impress me one bit. Republicans loved to point the no-experience finger at Obama...and then, Palin?

I am more perturbed with Americans than anything else. We have gotten ourselves into this campaign mess ourselves. Our complacency is disgusting. We rail against our leaders because of our dependence on oil and "demand" alternatives--but what are we willing to sacrifice about anything? We blame our economy on leaders, but what level of greed in all sectors, private and government, have gotten us to this point? What level of entitlement do we all wallow in? We deserve the best of all things, right? Our leaders have fought tooth, nail, and sold our souls to keep us happy and maintain our lifestyles, and we've let 'em. Well, we're going to lose our way of living if we don't start thinking about what we are doing to set these things in motion. A recent poll asked, what are you most concerned about this election? The answers:

Economy 73% 98,779
National security 16% 21,692
War in Iraq 6% 8,097
Health care 3% 4,235


Everything falls by the wayside when our own livelihood is threatened. We must be, collectively, the most selfish nation on the earth.


I am also sick of the two-party system. It's a big game and we lose. When will Americans stop having to vote for the lesser of two evils and have a candidate they can stand for? When will we say enough? When will we demand the media start giving coverage to the "other" candidates. When will people like Ron Paul be allowed to take part in the debates? When will THEIR conventions be aired on national television instead of being ignored a few blocks away?


This season, I'm "wasting" my vote and voting 3rd party. Bob Barr, a Libertarian, is on the Texas ticket. He is a candidate along the lines of Ron Paul, and he fits my "less government" beliefs. I suggest that anyone who is unsure about who to vote for send a message that the election fare this year is despicable. Then, get involved. As a teen and college student, I always worked for my candidates--on a city and national scope. That fell away with kids and work, but we need to start getting behind people we think will work for us--for real. At the very least, we need to contact our representatives and contact them OFTEN to voice our opinions and stay on them. Right now, we've voted them in and the result is lethal for our country because the inmates are running the asylum.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Waiting for the paint to dry. . .







I'm working on a little prop for my choral group. We're in a talent show in October and we're singing, "Turn Your Radio On."
I'm the youngest member of this group, but they have blessed my socks off. So, I'm making the "radio" and it ain't goin' as well as I thought, but there's still time to pull the rabbit outta the hat. Remembering I'm doing it cuz I love 'em. Here's a bad picture of my little Philco prop.

Brother is remarkably better. Praise God, and thank you for prayers. This incident reminded me of what I must do...and what I mustn't. I will be pressing him to get on a private pay company's rolls so that in the future, I don't kill myself trying to care give. Frankly, it's unnatural for siblings to do that level of care. He has the funds to maintain a quality lifestyle for a lonnnnng time. Thanks, Pat, especially, for helping me work through that since you've been there. Thanks all for your support!

The most important news is that Robert is home for a few days. Then he is off to Ft. Hood. He didn't make it into the Special Ops group that he had hoped for. Maybe that's a blessing. He would have had to go to torture camp (still may have to) and the unfortunate news is that he will most likely be deployed in the next few months. However, he will be working on a base in a hanger doing his chopper work. He really wants to get into some dangerous work, EOD (handling explosives that haven't gone off) and the Army psychologist told him he'd rock in Special Forces. I already knew that. For now, he says he will do his time quietly in the hanger until further thought processes. He has a wife and child to think about now. He has always walked on the edge.

More later. I'm digesting some blogs that I've read lately.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This election makes me sick

Update: Not to leave Obama out (and there is so much more I can bring here if I want):
Obama ignores gender equity in pay

I keep getting emails from Christian friends and family supporting McCain and Palin; assuming that I do as well. While I won't vote for Obama; I'm hard pressed to support anyone this election season because

Palin endorses cowardly hunting and

McCain dumped the disabled wife who prayed and waited for him

You may say, hey, this is small stuff compared to the national issues we face. I would reply that it is the "small" stuff that makes us up and defines character.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

He's the One who's loved you all your life..

Thank you all for your comments...you've lifted me up; no words to describe how that feels. Only you can make this wimp feel not so wimpy.
I woke up this morning with the words from this song running through my head. I guess He is using songs this season of my life because I persist in keeping my ears covered and He knows music will get through. The words "You're not alone, for I am here" were in my head this a.m.
God is so good.


I think this is for you, too.

Meredith Andrews' You're Not Alone

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spilling my guts...

Kurt is more mobile, but his balance is terrible...which is normal. The case manager nurse thinks it may be an exacerbation of his SOPCA (sporadic olivoponticerebellar ataxia) There's one for your word files.

Well, sadly, the nurse knows less than we do. We just don't know. He is weaker because he's been laying around. I left him to go run some errands and he took a nap; when I got back he was back in his wheelchair, had his fanny pack on, and almost made it to the door to greet me. He is being careful not to hurt himself because he knows that will be really, really bad. I spent a bit of time tracking down the doctor who ordered the MRI, and we don't have those results back. I turned that search over to our family doc. I'll be surprised (pleasantly) if he didn't suffer a teeny TIA. I've done a little searching and actually found that some with similar disorders have had improvement with traditional Chinese medicine. Not surprising...it's helped me. I may take him to my Chinese doc. It may give him a positive feeling. That cannot hurt a bit, and may make all the difference. Anyway, he got into his scooter and joined his "under the stairway" apartment friends for a bit of a chat.

Otherwise, I think he may do better with physical therapy; perhaps it will buy him independence for a bit longer. Or, maybe that's the 1/2 oz of wine I'm ingesting right now talking. I figure grapes are natural, and it seems to be taking the edge off the freaking anxiety I'm having. Don't worry. No plans to become an alcoholic. My tolerance lasts for about that 1/2 oz. I'm done, but I feel better.

The case nurse found out I have lupus, and suggested that I don't need this stress. Well, no, this kind of stress is just for other folks, certainly not ME! Heck, NO ONE needs this kind of stress! My dad lives this 24/7. Kansas Bob lives this 24/7. The big difference, though, is, this is not my husband, nor my child. This is my brother, who I think is really a good person at heart, but has chosen to be pissy to me most of my life.

I'm admitting right here. I'm scared, I'm tired, and I really don't want to deal with this. Some Christian gal, huh? I am seeing the road down the way. I should be grateful that I'm on the delivery end, not the receiving end. Shame on me. Truly.

I tended my grandparents. I tended my mom. I tended my in-laws. This is different. Not a parent, nor a child. Of course, I feel compassion for him...let me tell you, it's a cruel disease; but my compassion is mixed with irritation and I am ashamed. I get flashbacks about my childhood, growing up with him. When he was able he beat on me every chance he got. My mother and father enabled him by not making him live on his own when it would have been optimum timing to do so. When I had kids, he says he loves them, I'm sure he does, but he has been jealous of their "normalcy" and has picked on them. He couldn't drive, so it was easier to have him live at home for convenience. He didn't live on his own til my mom died when he was 42. My dad remarried and set him out on his own in an apartment. I moved him closer to us when my stepmom became ill with supranuclear progressive palsy, so he could be independent, but not a 25 mile drive for me. Dad's pretty well tied up.
Supranuclear progressive palsy.
There's another one for your word file.


Thank you for your prayers. I guess I need them for my hard heart. This may be one of those I delete in a couple of minutes, because you'll surely think I'm mean.
Thanks to my Kentucky blog friend for the call. Blogworld truly rocks. Thanks, Connie, for the encouraging calls and strong Words. Thanks, Kyle, for stepping up to help your ol' mom. You make me proud.
Thank you all for your support. It means the world to me.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Prayers needed

Update 9/9/08
Thank you all for prayers. Definitely felt. Kurt is better, was discharged Monday afternoon when doctor decided from tests that he didn't have a stroke or even a TIA (which, granted, might NOT be evident on CT); that was good news. Doc thinks the Baclofen, newly prescribed a day or so before, may have caused a bad reaction. It can cause confusion. Brother takes lots of pills. Bad news was they sent him home. With back problem he cannot walk (he normally doesn't walk well, but has been independent) so I've been the caregiver these past couple of days. Is that all? Just a couple of days??
I arranged for home health care and physical therapy 2-3 times a week. That will give me a break. Pray for me, too. My brother has never been very nice; long story. I minister to many folks, but I guess the ministry of family is hardest. Jesus knew that.
Anyway. . .thank you all.
I found my brother at his apartment this morning in a confused state. He is physically disabled, not mentally, and was unable to answer some questions, such as the date, the President's name, his age, etc. He knew who I was, and my son. We took him to ER, and tests were run. CT scan essentially normal, as well as other tests. MRI tomorrow. I just got home a little while ago.

He and I haven't always gotten along, but he finally has found a life of his own, friends, and some joy. We moved him close to us 3 years ago...and I pray that this isn't long-lasting, that he will heal.

Please pray for him. His name is Kurt.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Do it anyway

God is great
but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah, I do it anyway

These words from the Martina McBride song, "Do It Anyway" brought me to the computer this morning. I've been in a place of complacency, watching my kids grow up and away (I've done my job!) and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Sometimes that complacency takes us away from God. When I get away from God, my direction becomes confused, altered. I see and get caught in the selfishness and pettiness of others' trips. Recently, I voiced some thoughts and opinions and there was an attempt to squash them. That's okay. Jesus said there would be days like that. I woke up this morning with the refrain, "Do it anyway! Do it anyway!" going through my mind, over and over--my eyes get opened and I can see things in a new and wonderful Light.
Sometimes He speaks to us through scripture, sometimes in others' words, and sometimes He just shouts in our ears because we keep tuning Him out. HE is always there. We're not always listening.
So, whatever it is that you're called to do. . .listen.
And no matter what anyone says, do it anyway.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

How is your holiday?

Ours is nice.
Dinner with family, working on web copy for a client, catching up on laundry. Our dryer died last week and the quickest we could get someone here because of work, was Saturday. Our dryer, 23 years old, dried its last. Since I have a longstanding aversion to laundromats (sat in way too many of them!) last week I was washing, hanging up clothes to dry, and ironing.
It made me appreciate our conveniences even more. I like to iron, though, and laundry was intentional...picking only what we needed at the time, alloting time for air drying.
Our Maytag washer is still kicking, thank God, and the repairman said it should last a good while longer. Still, it was sad to see the old dryer go away. . .I had it before babies; it faithfully dried their little onesies, jammies, and overalls....all the way up to their Scout shirts and Led Zeppelin T's, and it dried my grandson's clothing as well.
Our new dryer was delivered this morning, and has been busy all day.
How was your weekend?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reruns...


I had trouble sleeping last night because I came across a webpage by an acquaintance. She persists in shunning women who are called to leadership--and has insulted me in my own home--even though she pushes her husband around--and builds the "case" on that one scripture (incorrectly translated) that tells wimmin' folk to shut up in church--while ignoring Junia, Nympha, Chloe, Priscilla, and Phoebe, among others.
My journey in Christianity has led me to some interesting places, and I'm at a point where the Bigness of God just makes my head spin. Church seems so very small right now, and I know some of you have great churches, I wish I could find one, or come with you. We visited a new one last week and my husband waited patiently while I calmed myself in the parking lot; all the frustrations coming back. It was friendly enough, but no women in leadership, so there you are. The communication card offered coffee, childcare, and parking as places to serve. There was no place to check ministering, or caring for people.
Not that we need to check a box for that. We're going back, though, and I'll have to suck it up because my husband doesn't have "church" every day with folks like you, like I do. I'll just have to Trust.
The bottom line is, I want the Really Good News out there.
Anyway, rather than rewrite, I thought I'd re-cycle, even though it's a little testy:


January/2007
I really don't have anything intellectual to say about this subject right now. It's all from my gut. You know how I feel about the subject of women in ministry....it just seems that the devil is throwing all these blogs, comments, and websites at me that espouse limits of the calling of women to pastor over a congregation. I'm not just talking about men here.

First...I'm currently out of church, but women in ministry was never an issue with me personally. I was ordained as an elder...and the RCA considers that once an elder always an elder with them. Eldership means serving the Body. That's it, and that's the only way that I would allow myself to answer that call--in that manner. I always consider myself to be a servant. Kneeling before a congregation to be "ordained" meant that I made a public promise to do so.

Second...it's unbelievable to me that in this day and age, with all the information available, that there are still Neanderthals among us who lie through their teeth when they say "women and men are equal. They just have different 'roles.'" The Q'uran says something similar. It says that women and men are equal, but men are 'more' equal than women.Hmmmm.Who of us has the right to say what anyone's role is? If God calls you to minister, to serve, you GO! If someone tries to stop you, just who exactly are they working for?

Third...the powers that be, the ones who are keeping their chosen Bible translations in your hands, and the information away that they DON'T want you to see, are the ones we should be keeping an eye on. They want to confuse you by saying that these new translations are gender inclusive. That's a lie. The truth is they are gender ACCURATE. There's a huge difference. Be proactive....go to the interlinears and some websites (I'll help ya) and see how many words have been inserted that were never there. Do a little sleuthing. Don't be spoon-fed.

Fourth...Jesus had no trouble using women in ministry, why should anyone else? When Paul's words are really looked at, he had no trouble with women either. I used to think so, but not anymore. And quit throwing those horrible translations of the "women" scriptures at me. And stop with the rules that aren't even in scripture! Only priests can anoint? Jesus had no problem being anointed by a woman before his death! He chastised her criticizers. What would he say to you? What can I say? That's where I am. If you don't think women should pastor over a church, don't go to that church.There's a battle out there, and this is the time that God is calling His daughters to rise up and take up the sword with His sons against the enemy! The Truth is here. I can't imagine any real soldier who is intent on fighting and winning a battle that would refuse help from another warrior! There's work to be done.

If you can't get over it...then get out of the way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, heck....

...I was ready to hang this blog up, but will putter on...I have a couple posts brewing thanks to you all....make me think, will ya?
This is kind of true, except for the balanced person thing, and the success thing. Having a mid-life crisis and not feeling so successful....but I DO love playtime! :-)




You Have A Type A- Personality



You are one of the most balanced people around

Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want

You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.



When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back

Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!

You live life to the fullest - incorporating the best of both worlds



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I have....

...absolutely nothing brilliant to say. I read all of your blogs, and you're so clever and insightful. Barbara and Tim always have something wonderful to contribute. Don is always coming up with the freakiest, deepest, stuff. Brian, KB and Codepoke talk way over my head half the time. Milly and Missy cut to the chase and get me thinking. Connie has the best pics and devotionals. Paige, Pearlie, Helen, Dave, Matt, and Trace always have a good word. I know I've missed several of your names.
I don't know...wonder if it's time to shut 'er down. Guess I'll just keep reading!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Last few days. . .

I had a whopper of a migraine; the boys and I went out to my dad's to help him in his yard and around the house a little. I guess breathing in all the plant stuff plus already having allergy problems set it off. The fact that he keeps his house at 80 degrees didn't help much either. However, I managed to clean some vines out of his landscaping and help him with the NY Times crossword.


It finally rained....and a GREAT rain it was.....yesterday. Absolutely fab!









Michael spent some time
with us. Gracie doesn't like
rain much. She sits on the furniture....like ON the furniture--the top, edge, whatever. She tries to sit on your head, too.






I managed to finish my brick curvy "line" in my back yard between my graveled french drains and my grass. It was getting frustrating
keeping the gravel out of the grass....may not be much better, but it
looks lots nicer. Thank God it was cool this a.m.! We're putting in
a stained concrete pad (that irregular shaped bed there) for our grill toward the back there, with a berm (in the back corner) that will be mulched and planted, and a quiet place way on the
left for a hammock. Getting there.










Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My baby is 17!!!

"Little" G is 17 at 9:14 pm today! He was 9lbs, 13oz at birth. Whew!
We're proud of you, and love you!
G is:
A keen observer of people (he'll figure you out before you will!)
Smart (straight A's-no effort)
Talented...whatever he does, he does well
Kind
Polite
Star Scout with an incredible wit and sense of humor
(In other words....better than we!!)
Happy Birthday, Grant!


Here he is (left) with Robert

Friday, August 01, 2008

I fully admit it....

...this. heat. is getting to me.
Whining warning!
I'm cranky, short on patience, and my nonsense-o-meter is registering in the high 100's. I'm mad at my foot (can you get mad at something that you should be grateful you even have??) and everything costs more; my SUV that I use to tote disabled people, wheelchairs, and paint is making greedy sucking noises, and I need a freakin' routine, people! I usually like warm weather but this is ridiculous and I hate not working full time at this time.
Not to mention the Texas DPS is messing with my summer-born kid--how am I supposed to renew a provisional license with a Verification of Enrollment when it's summer and the school is closed?!?
Growing up, now...
I feel so sorry for our soldiers in Iraq. I'm going to go buy more cool neckerchiefs and send them on.
Sorry.
I'm done, now.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

baggage...

I caught the end of "Hope Floats" on TV the other day while rummaging through some paperwork.
Sandra Bullock's character tells her daughter that "childhood is the thing you spend your adult life getting over." Or something like that.
I had to laugh. It really is true, and you'd think that after you hit 40 those issues would go away, but as I minister to people, there it is. It's in me, too. Past occurrences, especially parental induced, mess us up.
Much as I have a lot of "stuff" that still follows me around from my childhood, (and still have a 76 year-old-control-freak father who thinks I'm one of the stupidest people alive) there are many of my friends who have much more from which to break free.
We all seem to suffer from self-esteem problems of one level or another. So, then I have to wonder....how badly have I messed my own kids up?
Did I push 'em too much? Not enough? Did I hurt their feelings? Did I lift them up or drop them in despair?
They're all great kids...even the ones to which I didn't give birth.
My oldest is an Eagle scout. It was his dream to get Eagle. We had to push him through the last stages. He was trying to graduate, work, get a car, and make Eagle before his 18th birthday. That was a fun year! But, he made it, praise God.
My youngest struggled through Scouts because he thought we demanded it of him. He has retired a Star scout and all of us are relieved. He hasn't followed through on any of his passions; basketball, music, etc., for one reason or another. I think he hasn't found the "thing" because he's good at everything he tries. Straight A's with no effort. He most likely has more talent in one little finger...and a higher IQ than any of us...and he has no idea how incredible he is.
I did, though, ask him to draft me a letter as to why he wanted to quit scouts, so he did. I sealed it and mailed it to myself with a postmark--and filed it.
I didn't want him coming back to us when he is 30 and demanding why we let him quit when we encouraged his brother--which we only did because it was his brother's passion.
We wrap ourselves around the perception of others and take it as the truth. They see our flaws, our faults, our mistakes, our less-than-perfect appearances. We let that become our esteem-o-meter and walk in those untruths. One thoughtless (intended or not) word from a parent (or child, or friend, or spouse) can last a lifetime.
Sometime, though, as we work our way through our journey, we have to learn to shake it off--it's hard because the reflection of ourselves that we see from others seems to ring true--after all, they're LOOKING at us, right? They KNOW us, right? And, it can be the only "tangible" feedback that we get.
Somehow, though, we have to see our reflection in the right Light--from the right Source--from the One True Mirror. Him, of course. We're made in His image--not theirs. Anything bad we get from others in regard to ourselves is a poor reflection.
Everything here, in this realm, is small and unimportant compared to what will Be. Thank God.
If only we could always remember that, and strive to be instruments of True Reflection, for ourselves, our children, and others---but, truly, no one's opinion, bad OR good, matters! Only His opinion matters--and that's a done deal. We're loved, adored, sacrificed for. And, there's not a thing we can do about it.

:-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Catch up

Life is sweet with Bob here.

I had to withdraw my application for the teacher assistant job because of my foot on doctor advice. Guess God's got something else planned. Maybe I'll get certified. Or maybe I'll paint more.

Foot is still not great. A friend dropped off a walking cast. It helps, but it weighs a ton and I feel like the Borg or something with it. "Resistance is futile. . . ."

Gracie's bloodwork, which is always a little weird because of a congenital kidney problem, came back a little scarier this time. She is her usual crazy, hungry, energetic, self though. The vets aren't too concerned at this point, but I've kind of freaked.

The heat has put me off of working in the backyard for right now. It doesn't seem to matter that it's not all "together." Had some friends over last Friday night. I put out candles, lights, etc., and with the wonders of fellowship, it came alive. One friend said, "This is just wonderful!" It was because they were all here.

I'm trying to finish projects that were already in the works; a lightweight blanket for Michael--must finish before they move in October; a mosaic table so I can get it out of the garage; a pet marker for a friend, and a couple more mosaic projects.

Also trying to get the PAPER stuff out of the house!! What happened to the "paperless" society?? I have to shred half of it so no one takes up the "special offers" in our names and recyle the rest of it. I'm proud to say our weekly trash is about 1-2 small bags--the rest is recyled. Do you all have this paper chase?

What's up with you?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A surprise knock on the door at 9:45pm

Pfc Robert is home early! He surprised his wife and son with an early arrival while they were eating out last night! Kyle told me he might be in early, but not to say anything. I was still surprised, thinking he was coming in TODAY! I heard a knock, Gracie was barking, but not her guard dog bark. I said, "Who is it?"
"Who do you think it is, mom?"
What a thrill! :-D
He'll be here for 12 days, then on to Special Ops training (I think) which is making him very happy
. Which makes us very happy.
Now, to get my older boy in Boston and hubby in Phoenix home tonight. I'll be even more happy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

bittersweet

I miss my boy in Korea. He'll be home soon for a week. This morning I picked up my guitar for the first time in around a year and there was the strap he bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I missed him more.
Luckily, I have a little sweet-faced reminder around.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Keeping up connections


I've been lax in visiting blogs this last week, and I missed Missy's post about a medical scare. I have many good face-to-face friends here in Texas, some of you in blogland have become those face-to-face friends like Missy and Don and Chappy. If I miss a crisis you're suffering, it bothers me the same as if it were happening with one of my Texas pals. Can't help it, that's the way I am.

I've talked with a few of you on the phone or IM, or Skype (Dave and Kriss!). That's been very special. Having a son who has most likely met his future wife via an online (W.O.W.) forum, I take my cyber-relationships pretty seriously. People get to know each other before ever meeting. . .like penpals of old. Lots of you are going through some tough stuff.

We're here for you--and know you're here for us as well.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Check 'em out. . .

Check out my heresy pages (;-D) and see what everyone put as answers to some random questions: Gary has a story! Whoa! and TimD...seriously, folks, check out his blog (link on my sidebar). Good, good stuff. Bothy Gary and Tim have amazing miracle stories that happened in the darndest places!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Stuff we miss. . .

AOL had a list of stuff "we" miss:

Grape NeHi Soda
House and Garden Mag
Use of vowels (as in texting-my 17 year old refuses to "text-speak")
Lard in pastry
Howard Johnson's (like it used to be)
Vent windows (in cars)
Screaming yellow zonkers
Train travel
New Potter books
Chromed metal on cars
Gelatin salad
Drive-in theaters
Gas attendants
MILKshakes
vinyl records
McD's fried pies
cursive writing
full size spare tire
day games during baseball playoffs
phone booths
pleasurable air travel
Hydrox cookies
Easy to open packaging
In-store lunch counters
The Far Side


I thought about it. I'm not sure I miss "stuff" so much. I miss:

Kids playing outside in summer
Only 3-5 channels on T.V.
Neighborhood BBQs
Everything shutting down on Sundays
Clothes hung on a clothesline
No privacy fences
Grandparents' house on Sunday
Farms
New school supplies' smell (and you kept your own!)

Got any to add?


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Puzzle pieces

Gary Means directs us to a blog by Tim (which by the way is a good read!) and his struggles with healing. I can relate. A friend of mine feels deeply the pain a lot of you are going through, so healing is definitely a subject in the universe right now.

As I read Gary's and Tim's posts, I could relate. My anger about my stupid foot right now goes deeper than the foot and its pain. After struggling for years with Crohns, lupus, fibromyalgia, tinnitus and thyroid disease, I finally reached a point where I decided to be healed. I believed it. I thanked God for it. I started walking and strength-training. I'm losing weight. Now, I'm felled by a freaking foot. It's such a small thing, for God's sake, there are people suffering with horrible diseases--some in my own family.

I am blessed beyond belief, and yet I'm pissed off, too. So close.

I wonder what I'm missing.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Monday?

Got the foot shot on Friday, heck, that didn't feel good, but not as bad as pushing out a 10 lb baby boy with a 15" head, drug-free, with a migraine headache. It's all relative.

He suggests another in a couple of weeks. Hmm....guess maybe I will. Why the heck not? I'll plan on smacking myself in the head for a good 10 minutes with a wooden plank so the foot pain will seem insignificant. Not much result yet. I stayed off it, and then worked in the yard yesterday...but I didn't "stand" or put all my weight on it. Still hurts. A glass of wine seems to help.

Oh, well. I must push forward. Lots to do. I've been feeling good, and it's like a person who wakes up from a coma. Hey, feel great! Look at all the paperwork and dust.

Awaiting bloodwork that was also done.
In a funky mood. Can you tell?

How's about you?

Check out Missy's blog It's like she has a cool index of what's happening on everyone's blog! :-D

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I must be crazy

I put thought and prayer into it and applied for the job at the elementary school that I subbed for! I have to be out of my mind.
However, I really enjoyed the team and the kids; it will work out car-wise for my youngest and I between his school and my work. If I continue to sub, we'll need to get him a car--one more car in the drive and street will not make me happy. Oldest will be busy with internship and school.
The money's not great, but the hours and only working about 180 days out of the year, having a few weeks off for holidays, well that all sounds ducky to me. I actually got a lot of MY art done when I was doing the sub job, so it helps justify and fund my own art. I can always do jobs in the evening and weekends. I'm also looking into a website and installable, shippable murals. The school is also less than 3 miles away. Gasoline-wise, great deal.
We'll see if they hire me. If not, it'll be another car in the drive. . .
Now, if I can just get this freakin' foot healed. I go to the doc on Friday and am seriously considering the shot in the foot.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy 21st Birthday, Kyle!



We're so proud of you!
Dean's List/Phi Theta Kappa
Eagle Scout
Always there when needed.
A listener, a thinker, a friend.
Here he is with sweetie, Abby.
We're pretty proud of her, too!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Heroes

Check out my friend Joe. He's joining the Peace Corps., awaiting their response.
Go Joe!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Must have put my foot in my mouth one too many times. . .

Anyone out there have plantar fasciitis? My left foot is giving me fits. It's such a little thing, but I was really enjoying my walking. I walked at school, I walked around the neighborhood with the dog, I walked at the rec center. I NEED to walk, I CRAVE it, but I'm grounded right now, and I'm hopping (literally) mad. My overall pain had decreased considerably with exercise. Now, pain is all focused on one freakin' foot.
I have excellent walking shoes, I buy ol' granny SAS shoes, etc. I have orthotics, and still the dang thing is flared. I'm rigging up a night splint, but guess will need to order a "real" one.
Any advice other than rest, drugs, splinting, orthotics?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

To all you blogbuddy dads out there! You guys rock! :-D

Let's see, that's :

Chappy, Don, KB, Matt, Mark, Kevin, Dave, Brian, Bruce, Gary, Mike, Joe, Chris, Michael, Pete, Chad.
Oh, and, Barbara, too, cuz she's mom AND dad.
Hope I didn't miss anyone. . . .!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

This week. . .


I was born in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I've also spent 15 years in Boy Scouting, so this week has been kind of emotional for me. I can't imagine the pain of the 4 sets of parents who sent their scouts off on a fun adventure--never to return. Please keep them in prayer.
Seeing my hometown and familiar places under water was a shock to me last night. I'm proud of the way the city is pulling together. It was a great place for me to grow up.
This photo is of the town of Palo--a woman (who I used to babysit!) lives here. She has 5 feet of water in her basement.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Am I patient, or stupid?

For the most part, in my 23 years in my home, my neighbors have been great. The one to the east of us has been here almost as long; the four closest to us on the street as well. We've all talked and no one is planning on going anywhere in the future. Our most yuppie, non-childed neighbors have just added on a beautiful addition because they want to stay. It's not like we all party or anything. We're just kind to one another, and if anyone needed anything, we'd be there for each other. It's a good situation. My neighbor to the west, well, you know the story. Still, I've never been rude to him, and now he waves at us, smiles, etc. Of course, he's very happy the trees are gone, but I did that for me, not him. With the 50 mph winds that have kicked branches and trees down around here. . .I'm so glad I did that.

I have two neighbors in the back, though, that are trying my patience. One on the left has her sprinkler adjusted so it pounds the fence and rots it out quicker than normal. She doesn't want her spa house to get wet. She lost a couple of moon flower vines and lamented to me that she missed them. I imagine it was because they got too wet. Anyone have any experience in successfully getting neighbors to share cost for a shared fence section?

Neighbor to the right moved in, gutted the house and has a screaming toddler. She is cute, but obviously rules the roost. I went over one day and asked him to check his sprinkler system because our yard was being flooded all the time. He never did, because the problem went on for a month or more. . . .until he sheepishly said he got a $4oo.oo water bill. See, he wasn't going to do anything til it became a problem for HIM.

Now, he's installed a bug zapper. I can't believe people still use those things. Isn't it common knowledge that they are more harmful than helpful? I just don't want to say anything. Maybe there's something we do that annoys him as well. Maybe my dog bugs him or something. She is very quiet out there, rarely barks, but maybe there is something. I sat out at 4:30 this morning--it's a ritual for me to sit out in the a.m. and the zapping noise was very annoying. I imagine I'll get used to it. The purple florescent light is unnerving, too.

Come to think of it, he used to have a house light that shone in our faces for a bit, but I know my testy neighbor didn't like that either. That's probably why it went away. This zapper will affect his outdoor experience, too. Testy neighbor spends time in his yard and pool. Zapper neighbor never goes outside.

Hmmmm. I'm not planning on saying anything to zapper neighbor, but. . . .
having a testy neighbor may turn out to be a blessing after all! ;-)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The empowering of today's victims. . .

Well, school is over, thank God. I must say, I got physically stiff the last couple of days since because I wasn't walking as much. The job was great for my health! So, must continue walking more and more.
The child did have a big blow up the day before the last day. However, because the women, all of us, got after him strongly, he recovered quickly and regained his status. For a while, in the beginning, he would always say thinks like:
"I have anger issues, so I can't control myself."
"I have a bad homelife, so it's too hard for me to control myself."
He was so used to parroting these things he has heard from the school psychologist. I hope I don't offend, but psychology is not much of a science and I have very little respect for the practice. I always seem to find that psychologists are mostly people who are trying to figure their own problems out. Growing up, one of my best friend's mom was a psychologist. Her secretary committed suicide. She had no idea her secretary was suffering. That is just weird to me.
Anyway, I'm sure there are good psychologists, however, every one I've ever seen in action seems to empower people to continue make excuses for their behavior and act as victims. The child was parroting excuses that he was given by the school doc. Luckily, this guy doesn't come around very often. The child's teacher was very much walking on eggshells in the beginning, following all the procedures laid out by the psychologist. In the end, she still was, but she added something else to the mix, with our support and. . .encouragement. She added a firmness, an insistance on personal accountability no matter what was happening. 3 of us always spoke in a no-nonsense way with him, and I think she garnered strength and confidence from that. In the last few weeks, whenever he pulled the victim act, none of us fell in with him on it.
"No, it's not my fault. You made the choice to kick the chair and scream in so-and-so's face, no one else made it for you. That's why you're not in class."
"If you choose to do your work for the next few hours, you can go back to class. If you choose to act out, no class. Period."
"Yes, you have a bad home life, but that doesn't mean YOU have to be bad."
He made significantly more progress when he was held fully accountable. He was also given encouragement, kudos, and love.
How many times do WE make excuses, hold grudges, carry unnecessary baggage? In all of our hearts, I think we already know the answers to those nagging questions about who we are, if we are honest with ourselves. . .letting that stuff go, taking responsibility, and just getting on with living a good life.
We have to teach, and learn, to PUSH through the pain of whatever it is that is holding us back. It's hard! I've had my own moments, believe me. Our energy flags, but we have to gather strength. In order for us to help kids (and adults!) like this, we have to tell them we expect nothing less than their success--no excuses. I remember telling my "son" Robert that, yes, he had some pretty crappy parents in the beginning. Yes, his childhood was bad. Yes, he had some obstacles to overcome. But it was HIS responsibility to overcome them. I sympathized with his plight, but I did not pity him. I was there for him, but I expected nothing less than he was capable of...and now he is a contributing member of the US Army, a mechanic soon to go to Special Forces. Before he left for the Army I told him I was proud of him. He got angry at me..."I haven't done anything to be proud of yet!!"
When he came back for a visit in February, well after basic training, and having worked on big machines, I asked him, "Can I tell you how proud I am of you now?" He answered with a big grin, "Yes." :-D
He pushed through. I think everyone can.