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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/kenzie/sort_by/entry_order DESC, entry_creation_time DESC/page/14
by Kenzie
Rated: ASR · Book · Writing · #1160028
Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise

Sunrise on Surfside Beach, Texas

A friend, William Taylor, took this picture. He visits Surfside Beach with his dogs almost every morning, watching the sun rise while the dogs prance about at the water's edge.

This is only about ten miles from where I lived in Lake Jackson, Texas. Sadly, I only visited this beach about four times in the six years I lived nearby.

Each day is a challenge. A challenge to get by without thinking about the fibromyalgia pains. A challenge to stay awake when chronic fatigure wants to take over. And a challenge to navigate through fibro fog.

I haven't been writing as much as in the past. For years, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Now, I'm lucky if I write 500 words in month. Sigh.

For more information about what my day (or life) is all about with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, IBS, depression and everything else thrown in, check this out:

It's a New Day  (E)
My pain and welcome to it.
#1028189 by Kenzie

Sunrise on Surfside Beach, Texas
Previous ... 10 11 12 13 -14- 15 16 17 18 19 ... Next
May 18, 2007 at 8:33am
May 18, 2007 at 8:33am
Yeah, like I could play Frisbee. *Laugh* I just needed an f-word. No naughty thoughts now.

I mentioned that I got my Women of Faith newsletter yesterday. I found a really interesting book they were touting. It's called If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.*Bigsmile* Isn't that a great title? The description says:

Either you are one or you've got one. If you fall into both columns, you've scored double in Emotional Scrabble. The incurable Momsense-Compulsive Counsel Disorder. For less than you would spend on a box of chocolate therapy, you can get yourself some honest, hilarious, southern-fried wisdom from a chick who knows what it's like on both sides of this fence. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll either need Depends or an epidural. Sorta like motherhood.

Isn't that great??? Here's the link: http://store.womenoffaith.com/wofstore/product_detail.asp?sku=9781576839935&ref=...

I was also exploring www.butyoudontlooksick.com. I love that site. Especially the spoon theory, which I know I have mentioned before. http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/2007/02/the_spoon_theory.php

They have an online store now, and some of the t-shirts are hilarious. Well, maybe not hilarious. Maybe just a bit funny. I guess it depends on whether or not you suffer from an invisible/chronic illness.

My disabling chronic illness is more real than your imaginary medical expertise.

This disease must do wonders for my appearance. Everyone keeps telling me how good I look.

If you are bored with asking me how I feel...imagine how I feel answering you.

The message board has suggestions about what to say when someone glares - or worse, comments about your health - as you exit your car that you just parked in the handicapped space.

The idiot: Tsk, tsk. You don't look handicapped.

You: And you look intelligent. I guess looks are deceiving.

Okay, that's not nice. But it is something we all think about saying.

Some others:
How sweet of you to say that. I've been so tired, I haven't bathed in three days. And I was sort of worried about going out in public looking like this. So thanks for the compliment. It's really made my day.

It's really good to know that the 4 hours it took me to get out of bed, and get ready this morning wasn't wasted!

Would a bit of vomit help? Because I'm feeling quiet nauseous.

I read in ♥Flower♥ 's blog (who has Lupus) that she is doing some books for young people about chronic illnesses. That's really great. I wish all kids could read about chronic and invisible illnesses. Maybe they wouldn't grow up being adults who make stupid comments. *Wink*

Sounds like I have a bad attitude today, doesn't it? Well...I guess Lil' Ms. Merry Sunshine has some of those days.

I told my sister recently that I would not really wish illness on anyone else, but I would like some folks to think about what it feels like to...

Have a day when you wake up with your ears burning so badly (what I refer to as my frost bitten ears) that you just want to scream. You have throbbing pains in your knees and stabbing pains in your thighs and constant aches in your back. You hands and feet itch. You feel like you're going to puke any minute. And...your brain is so fuzzy that you're not sure if you just woke up from a night's sleep or a day time nap. And yet you remain rather upbeat throughout all of that.

I was pondering about this the other day and I realized that most of the folks I have encountered with chronic illnesses have rather sunny personalities, even those who claim not to believe in God. Then I wondered what it would be like for a few of the folks that I know who are "Negative Nellies" when they are well and the sun is shining brightly. Can't you just imagine???!!!

My brother's wife was always a Negative Nelly. One time I was visiting, and when I woke up I said, "Boy it's a pretty day."

She responded, "But I see a cloud in the sky."

Me: "The kids are looking forward to our trip to Kennywood today."

Her: "Yes, and as soon as we get on the bus, they'll be complaining. And after being there for an hour or two, they'll probably be ready to leave and whining."

Sometimes I wonder how much her attitude helped him escape into a bottle... And I really cannot imagine how someone with that attitude when life is running smoothly would react to a chronic illness. Yikes.

I better go get an attitude adjustment. *Smile*I'm sure if I sit on the porch for a few minutes, soaking up some sunshine and listening to the birds while reading a few Bible verses, I'll feel better again.

Of course...it is rather cold out there...*Pthb* *Frown* *Bigsmile*

Oh yeah. One more thing. We really need to sell a few of hubby's antique player pianos. Put that on your prayer list, okay? We could surely use the money...

Another one more thing. *Bigsmile* Budroe mentioned this in his blog. Check it out. http://www.bloginspace.com
May 17, 2007 at 6:09pm
May 17, 2007 at 6:09pm
Somehow, even though larryp's blog is on my list of favorites, really got behind in reading. *Blush* Back on May 1 (I really was behind) he shared this:

In Appendix 3 of The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren states why he uses so many translations of the Bible in his book:

"We often miss the full impact of familiar Bible verses, not because of poor translating, but simply because they have become so familiar! We ‘think’ we know what a verse says because we have read it or heard it so many times. Then when we find it quoted in a book, we skim over it and miss the full meaning. Therefore, I have deliberately used paraphrases (of the Bible) to help you see God’s truth in new, fresh ways."
~ The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren

Our pastor does the same thing - uses many Bible translations - for the same reasons. He and Rick Warren are friends. I know, I know, some folks don't like him. But he has a point. Even if you have a favorite translation, you see things just a bit differently when you read another translation. You're actually reading instead of just remembering. And that can be a good thing.

I remember a few years back (well, probably more than a few) I was in a study about the Lord's Prayer. (Or Our Father.) I looked (Googled) to see if I could find the book we used in our study, but I couldn't. The book had a chapter for each separate line or thought in the Lord's Prayer. An entire chapter! It really made me understand the depth of that prayer, something most of us don't think or feel if we're just reciting it instead of praying it . There is a difference.

A few years later, I helped out in a youth ministry where we did a shortened version of that Bible study with the kids. Afterwards, we asked each young person to write his/her own version of the prayer, using each element, but changing it to their own words and thoughts. Those kids wrote some amazing prayers. They were also thankful for the study because they had never really thought about the words, just memorized them.

How often is that true in our study or our faith walk? We just memorize. We see familiar words, but we don't dig into them. I keep different translations around so that if I'm just not getting something, I can search another version. Often times seeing the same words phrased a bit differently will bring about an "ah-ha!" moment. Of course, God also gives us those "ah-ha!" moments. *Smile* But I am sure that he loves seeing us pour over His Word, trying to understand at a deeper level. I'm sure that just warms His heart.

I also participated in a study about the 23rd Psalm, which broke that down verse by verse. Afterwards, we memorized (or memorized again) those words.

That reminds me. An EMT once told me that people who are injured or think they are dying often pray the Lord's Prayer or recite the 23rd Psalm, even if they have not been in church or had a close relationship with God for years.

*Note1* *Note4* *Note1* *Note4*

R E P O R T ! ! !

*Note1* *Note4* *Note1* *Note4*

We sold our dining room set to a cute young couple. We didn't get quite what we wanted, but I think this couple is going to enjoy the furniture. They actually acted interested when hubby told them about his player pianos and they wanted to know more about fibromyalgia. The young man's dad came along to help them decide if it was a good deal. The set was from the 40's and in good shape, but they are considering refinishing it with the dad's help. They left one happy couple, knowing that they can now have Thanksgiving dinner at their house. She was excited about filling the china closet. Like me, she was fascinated with the buffet and wondered at all of the "places." We were trying to decide why there was one really long drawed and decided that it was probably for tablel cloths, since the table had two leaves and could easily accommodate 12 people around it.

That's the good news. But...instead of the money going to help some past money problems, it will have to fix a few new ones. Sigh.

But we did hold out some money to replace what we sold. We still need a table in the kitchen, just not such a big one. And we will need a place for at least some of my china and knick-knacks.

I got my Women of Faith newsletter today. In it was something about how to grow your own salad, even if you don't have room for a garden. Even apartment dwellers can do this! Here's the link: http://www.womenoffaith.com/newsletter/may07/salad.html
May 16, 2007 at 3:25pm
May 16, 2007 at 3:25pm
Sure is. *Bigsmile*

I didn't make it to the church this morning. The pastor was quite understanding.

Why? Well...my ears were doing their weird thing again, for one. They still feel like they're burning. I describe it as feeling as if my ears are frost bitten or on the way to being frost bitten. That's really how they feel.

And my stupid digestive system decided to misbehave today too. Maybe if the pastor had been away from the office - like last week - I might have tried to go in. But...the church has a few maintenance issues. Like the women's restroom for the office isn't working. The men's room is - complete with urinal. And since we would have had to share and I might end up in there a few too many times, I decided I'd just keep folding the booklets at home. I also did some searching for bulletin illustrations from home.


Hubby called after lunch to check in. He usually does. Or I call him. I tease him if he doesn't call at the "right" time. When I answered today, he admitted to being late. *Bigsmile* In fact, he said, "I'm late, I'm late..." sounding as if he was going to complete the thought..."for a very important date."
Then he asked who said that.

I came right back with the Mad Hatter. There was some quick bantering about him having fibro fog. And I said something like..."I only have fog under certain circumstances. Like when I move from room to room." *Laugh* We both cracked up. (I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong about what I said. I think he wrote it down. *Bigsmile* I guess in case he got foggy. *Laugh*)

It's true, though. That's why I mentioned taking a pad of paper from room to room somehow. We haven't figured out yet how to do that. But I have gotten better about grabbing a sheet of paper where ever I am and scribbling things so I'll remember.

Yeah. The Social Security folks are right. I should be able to work. Y'all wanna help me find an employer....who won't mind if I don't come to work when my ears are on fire or my IBS is acting up...and who won't mind if I forget everything one day and have a fantastic memory the next. Who won't mind that today I can't sit without being in pain. And tomorrow I can't stand without hurting. Or that my hands have broken out and I look like I have leprosy. Or my feet have broken out and I have to squirm 'cause I can't very well scratch them in public. *Laugh* What else? Hmmm. Maybe I should write a new resume and show my faults as well as my talents and experiences? That might make an interesting project.

I'm tired. Oh yeah. My potential employer cannot mind if I have to take a nap in the middle of the day.


Since I don't have one - an employer - I'm gonna go do just that. Take a nap.

If only someone would pay me for these goofy blog entries.

Bye guys.

May 15, 2007 at 1:18pm
May 15, 2007 at 1:18pm
Well, not really. Well, maybe. *Smile* Awwww shucks. I just wanted the title to be something different. Okay????

With it being Fibromyalgia Awareness month (did you see my contests a few entries ago...for fibro sufferers and others???), I guess I've been thinking about the people I know who have fibro.

But I have been thinking about my niece, Shannon. I have probably mentioned her before. She needs our prayers. Bless her heart. She's 19 and has been diagnosed with HMS/HEDS. That's far worse than having just fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. If you do a Google search, you'll see what I mean. Yes, she has chronic pain. But the HMS part of the malady is something like...HyperMobility Syndrome. Basically, her joints pop out. When hubby and I were in Texas, she was on Spring break and visiting my sister. Her ribs were popped out and were killing her. I guess so. I'm not exactly sure what the HEDS part does, but I do know that she already knows that she may end up in a wheelchair and could end up blind. Something about the eyes could come loose? Sound pretty bizzare. Anyway, she's been in my thoughts and prayers today. I hope she's not having a bad day.

From my email inbox this past week:

“Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.” -- Huch Macleod

“Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

“No more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.” -- Napoleon Hill

From a 48 Days Newsletter last week:

"Linda Katz of Garden City, Kansas sells tumbleweeds all over the world. Although Linda’s venture started as a joke, she is now making about 30 sales a week, which at her listed prices, suggests she’s making $40-50,000 a year – selling a nuisance weed. http://www.prairietumbleweedfarm.com/ Okay, what idea is lurking right under your nose – waiting to be developed?"

You just have to visit this web site. A woman designed a new US Christian flag. It's great. An as an added bonus, as you look at pictures of folks who have purchased and displayed the flag, there's music playing in the background. It's "American Christian" by Michael Combs. I do love that song!!! http://www.uschristianflag.com/

"If you want something you have never had, be prepared to do something you have never done." - Author Unknown

It always bugs me when something says, "author unknown". I looked for a name to put with that quote and could not find one. It almost reminds me of another quote I've seen about the definition of insanity. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting new results. *Smile*

I guess that's all for this purrrrrrrty Tuesday. Well, sort of purrrrrty. You know...the weather is still a bit weird. It's been getting down to 48 at night and up to 80 in the day time. Since we can't open the windows and just let the breeze in (last year when we tried that, Pie tried jumping out of all of the windows!!!), it either gets too warm or too cold in the house. It would really be nice not to have to have either heat or a/c on for a while. Right.

Daisy Sig from PassItOn
May 14, 2007 at 11:12pm
May 14, 2007 at 11:12pm
If you remember, I had a few posts going into Sunday about respect, and, lo and behold, that was the focus of the pastor's sermon. *Bigsmile*

I made lots of notes in the margins of my paper, and since it's been a bit longer than usual, I hope I can read them. Here goes...

At the beginning, the pastor gave a list of 10 things that bug people the most. I'm not sure where he got these. I didn't necessarily agree with them all. *Smile* Or at least the order he placed them. And...since I don't take very good speedwriting anymore (I never did learn shorthand), I didn't get everything on the list.

Here are some:

10 - When a person calls you on the phone, and when you answer, asks, "Who's this?" Yes, that does bug me a bit. The question is, "WHO ARE YOU???"

9 - Email chain letters. Yes, that does bug me.

8 - People who honk their horns in traffic, when there is no where anyone can go. Hey, that one bugs me too. Maybe this is a good list. *Bigsmile*

7 - People who empty their car ash trays in parking lots (especially the church parking lot!). Yep, bugs me.

6 - People who don't use signals to turn. Okay, grrr.

5 - People who use cell phones while they drive. Yep.

4 - People who bring a truck load of groceries to the express line. Hmmm.

I missed #3 and #2.

1 - People (dads, mostly??) who encourage their kids to burp. Here the pastor showed a film clip of a dad and son in competition. Of course, the dad won.

Some of my more serious notes in the margins:

*Note*The Bible tells us to honor our mother and father. We don't have to honor their parenting skills, just the position of parents. The same applies to leadership - in the church and in the world. We don't have to honor the behaviors, just the positions. Good point.

*Note*Respect starts in the home.

*Note*We are not God. People are not accountable to us.

*Note*We cannot argue people into heaven.

*Note*We can disagree without being disagreeable.

*Note*We should honor with honesty. Our pastor suggested that if we were adults whose parents had horrible parenting skills, that it was okay to acknowledge to them that we loved them, but we didn't like certain aspects of our growing up years. He even suggested that if our parents were gone, that we should sit facing an empty chair (here he admitted that he's not a licensed psychologist) and talk to it as if our parent was sitting there. That we should express both our love and our displeasure - being honest - about our past with that parent. Only by releasing that displeasure or anger can we grow and mature.

On to the fill-in-the-blanks...

Continuing the series of Building Character

R - E - S - P - E - C - T

1 Peter 2:17 TLB
Show respect for everyone.

*Check5*Everyone deserves respect because they and...

*Note*I am His creation.
Psalms 8:5 GW
You have made him a little lower than Yourself. You have crowned him with glory and honor.

*Note*I am His possession.
1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

*Note*I am His reflection.
1 John 4:7-8 TLB
Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. ...for God is love.

1 Corinthians 13:5 NCV
Love is not rude.

*Note*I will reap what I sow.
Galatians 6:7 NIV
A man reaps what he sows.

*Check5*Practical Applications

*Note*When I'm speaking, I will be tactful not just truthful. We can make a point without making an enemy.
Proverbs 15:4 MSG
Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.

*Note*When I'm served, I will be understanding, not demanding. Our pastor suggested that when a restaurant server is having a bad day, as Christians we should give a bigger tip, not a smaller one. Hmmm.
Luke 6:31 NIV
Do to others as you would have them do to you.

*Note*When I disagree, I will be gentle, not judgmental.
Romans 14:12 NIV
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Good reminder, huh?

*Note*When I share my faith, I will respect and not reject.
1 Peter 3:15 NIV
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

*Note*When I am mistreated, I will return good for evil. Boy, that's where we need God with us, isn't it?
Romans 12:17, 21 NIV
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. ... Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Jeremiah 49:11 MSG
God says, "I'll take care of your orphans."

Psalms 27:10 NIV
Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

These last verses were included as the pastor reminded us that even if we didn't know our mothers or fathers, or if they were not the parents we would have chosen, God has been with us and continues to be with us. It was, after all, Mother's Day. *Smile* The issue of whether or not we had good mothers was certainly on everyone's mind...

May 14, 2007 at 1:23pm
May 14, 2007 at 1:23pm
This one is for those who suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. If you know someone...tell them about this contest!!!

 Hi, My Name is Fibro...Fibromyalgia  (13+)
Fibrmyalgia/chronic fatigue contest. And the winners are...
#1262145 by Kenzie
May 14, 2007 at 11:54am
May 14, 2007 at 11:54am
I will share my sermon notes later today. Or maybe tomorrow. *Bigsmile*

Meanwhile, I've been working on two contests. One for fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue sufferers. And one for everyone else.

May is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month.

And since about 4% of the U.S. population suffers from it, isn't it time you learned more about it?????

Here's the contest for those who don't suffer from it:

 Please Understand  (13+)
Fibromyalgia Awareness contest. Closed - but check back for another opportunity.
#1262109 by Kenzie
May 13, 2007 at 8:37am
May 13, 2007 at 8:37am
The music of the birds was interrupted this morning by a teen coming home. At 8 a.m.? From where at that hour? I dont' know.

I do know that as she exited the car of a boy, she slammed the car door just like anyone would. His reaction was, "Don't you EVER slam my car door that way again!!!" My heart ached for her and for him. Just the way those words escaped his mouth made me think that his car is more important that people, or at least than this girl. The anger in his voice scared me, a person just sitting quietly on my porch trying to hear the song of the birds. I wonder if his voice and his words worried her.

As she entered her home, I didn't hear the words of her parents. I did hear her voice, even through closed windows and doors. "Whatever!"

The boy sat impatiently waiting in the car. How do I know? Because he beeped the horn. Folks in our neighborhood are much like those in other neighborhoods. Those who don't attend church services like to sleep late on Sunday mornings. This young man cared not that he might waken anyone. He beeped the horn a second time.

She exited the house and got into his car again and they drove away. He drove much too fast for a residential area.

Ours is not what one would consider a white trash neighborhood. In fact, we live in a township with good schools, mostly residences, with businesses grouped mostly in one or two places. Our township has some rather large and expensive homes and a country club. Our own little subdivision holds some of the more modest homes.

Still, in past days, the kind of behavior exhibited this morning by a teen girl and boy would not have occurred in a neighborhood such as ours.

Now, disrespect of friends and family are something evident in all kinds of neighborhoods.

I worry for that girl and boy. I hope he doesn't get more abusive than those few words he shouted today. But I also know that between 25 and 33 percent of all women will be abused. And by allowing herself to subjected to those few unkind words, she has opened the door just a crack. That young man may try to see how much more she will take.


It was only about 8-ish when I typed these words. Hubby and I went to the early service at church, so he could come back and finish studying. (He has a test at work on Tuesday, and he's cramming.)

Our pastor's series on character continued today. Today's focus? Respect. With the 5th Commandment brought in for Mother's Day: Ex 20:12 NIV "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

God gave me a sermon illustration in my own neighborhood, before I even got to church.

May 13, 2007 at 1:08am
May 13, 2007 at 1:08am
I read the work of a newbie tonight who spoke about pride in our flag. "The American Flag

I get goose bumps when I see the flag waving too. I have that same pride, even when I know that our country's leaders aren't always doing things exactly the way I would have wanted. Our country is still the "land of the free and the home of the brave." But are we teaching our kids that?

When I was in second grade, Mrs. Clauser spent weeks teaching us all the verses to our National Anthem, America and America the Beautiful. We memorized them all. We also learned how to raise and lower the flag outside on the flagpole and how to be respectful of the flag in the classroom. I doubt that those are lessons that today's kis are taught.

Earlier today, I heard a teacher on some news show lamenting that today's classrooms have more kids than ever. That's just not true.

I really don't remember how many kids were in my class in kindergarten through fifth grade. I know there were always more than 25. I kind of remember that in fourth grade and fifth grade, the classes seemed to get a bit bigger.

Then came sixth grade. Wow.

Back then, parents didn't have to enroll kids until the day school started. I lived in what had been a farm community, but was turning into a huge suburb of Pittsburgh. What had been a farm across the street from our house became a subdivision with over 300 homes.

Add to that, the local Catholic school only went through fifth grade.

So, on the first day of school in the sixth grade, the administrators were quite surprised. Caught off guard, actually. There were two teachers ready to teach us. I think we started out thinking there would be about 32 kids per classroom. But the kids just kept coming and coming and coming that first morning.

The school district had to hire a third teacher for sixth graders that year, and we still ended up with 50 in each classroom.

We learned what we were supposed to learn that year, and things we never should have. (That was the year that JFK was killed.)

No, the classes are not bigger today than they have ever been. Not when you think about the baby boomer generation - my generation.

Today's classrooms are certainly noisier than ours ever were. Less discliplined. There probably is not as much learning going on.

We respected teachers. We were afraid of being sent to the principle's office. We were afraid we might be paddled - in school and at home. Our parents and teachers stood together, worked together, to see that we respected both. They teamed up against us, if necessary.

Today, parents will fight against teachers. A few years back a teacher was fired for failing a bunch of kids who cheated. The parents and kids "won", but not really. They learned how to cheat. They learned that might wins over right. Just the opposite of what our forefathers taught. The teacher made the rounds of talk shows and I think the teacher's union fought to get her job back. But she didn't want it, and I cannot blame her for that. How could she continue teaching a bunch of kids who could just band together again with their parents any time they wanted her fired? For being the teacher she was meant to be.

Things surely have changed.

Think your kids or grandkids or neighbor kids know the words to all the verses to The Star Spangled Banner. Hey...do you?

Star Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us as a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

You know what? I was at a game a few years ago then the National Anthem was played. I stood and place my hand over my heart, as did only about 20% of the people in attendance. I was surprised at that. And it wasn't only kids that didn't stand. There were people my parents age in the crowd who didn't stand. That made me a bit sad.

Heck, I've been known to stand in my own living room when the Star Spangled Banner comes on. *Bigsmile*

May 12, 2007 at 10:00am
May 12, 2007 at 10:00am
From my inbox today.

Dr. Rick Scarborough: "I make my living and fulfill my calling as a minister because of the cherished God-given rights acknowledged in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So obviously I believe all other Americans have a right to freely express their views and opinions on any subject they choose. When I express my opinions, as I do, I expect a reaction, and believe me we get reactions. We are never shocked when a call or email comes to our offices filled with expletives and even threats. We take strong stands and express moral outrage when we feel it is appropriate.

That said, I believe that many in Congress, the press, academia, Hollywood and even retired military, are committing acts that border on treason as they assail our President’s policies regarding the execution of the War on Terror.

America was united when this war was initiated. Hindsight is always 20/20, though it is clear to any informed observer that hindsight regarding the War on Terror is selective. Looking back over the past five years we can see numerous mistakes in the way the war has been executed, but we must never forget that we have not had a single successful strike on American soil since 9-11. To God be all praise and thanks for that! But President Bush deserves credit for his steadfast resolve in facing the evil of militant Islamist terrorists in the Middle East.

Only fools and blind men believe that withdrawal from Iraq at this stage of the game will not result in the massive slaughter of innocent human life. Generals certainly ought to know better. It seems that "Treason is in Season" in America and none dare call it that! "

Read the rest of this article at http://www.visionamerica.us/site/News2?abbr=RSR&page=NewsArticle&id=7462

I'm responding to Bud's comment here. I though I would just add a comment of my own, but knowing my wordiness, I figured...

I don't usually make comments here, but this one deserves it. Bud, we serve and share the same God, but we don't exactly agree on politics. And that's okay. We have that freedom in the good 'ol US of A. *Smile*

This man speaks much closer to my heart than any of the Hollywood types who have been against the President from day one.

I certainly don't want a theocracy. But I do want a government where the leaders are honest men and women, not persons who lie. Scarborough says hindsight is 20/20. He's right. What bugs me about the politicians who did vote to go to war and who now say "they didn't know..." is that many are just downright lying. The did know. They knew what the President knew. But at the time, they knew that the American public was all for going. And now the American public thinks it's against being there, so the politicians are going to say what they think we want to hear. Not what's true. Not what's necessarily right even. Just what we want to hear.

I want everyone - no matter what they believe - to REMEMBER that our documents DO NOT SAY that there is or should be separation of church and state. They DO SAY that I have freedom OF religion. That that means that I am free to take a Bible to work, free to read it on my break. A child is free to write about Jesus in a paper, if the topic is supposed to be "inspirational". He should be free to write about church camp if the paper is supposed to be about what he did in the summer.

The Bible tells us that we should respect our leaders. I think that covers our spiritual leaders as well as our government leaders, especially when the government leaders do claim to serve and love the same God as we do. But just following the two commandments that Jesus said were most important - loving God and loving our neighbor - gives us the command to respect and honor, for what is love without those?

We will never agree with everyone. But disagreeing should be done with that same love and honor and respect. And, frankly, the folks that Scarborough talks about are anything but respectful. Some of the things they say are mean and ugly, not just disagreeing. Some are about their own interests, and not about the interests of us all. I am often shocked at what is said - about the President, about the war. Bordering on treasonous? Yes, I think some are. And there we can agree to disagree.

And you know what really gets me? Is that the stupid politicians who are rushing to be shown on TV, and the retired military folks, and Hollywood types seem to forget that it's not only the US folks who are watching them. Their images and what they say (or shout) are shown around the world. Even in the places where there are terrorists watching and loving the fact that we're in such disagreement. 'Cause they, most certainly, do not understand the freedoms we have. And take for granted.

May 12, 2007 at 7:51am
May 12, 2007 at 7:51am
I just witnessed the strangest thing(s). You know, since it's this early it just has to be about the birds or the squirrels or the beautiful sun, right? Right.

Until today, I had never really thought about the fact that the birds come to the same feeding place but are not really socializing outside of their "kind." Sounds a bit like people, doesn't it?

Our yard is the favorite for all the birds and squirrels, probably because we don't use chemical fertilizers nor chemical weed killers. We'll pull the pesky weeds, sure, but we're not using chemicals. And our yard is the greenest. *Smile* And it must be full of bugs and worms, 'cause the birds - of all kinds - land here.

Anyway...as I was sitting on the porch this morning, I noticed one poor squirrel was really being chased by two birds. I realized that they were probably mates and wondered if the squirrel was getting too close to their nest. (They were all way too close to the electric transformer to my liking.)

I've seen birds "mess with" squirrels before. But not like this. They chased him up and down the pole, out into the street, even under my car. They wanted that squirrel gone. Or maybe worse, the way they were chasing and swooping down on him. I have never seen anything like it.

Then....the other birds started joining in. He was being chased by every kind of bird in our neighborhood. The birds were singing loudly in the trees and they were all chasing that one squirrel.

I sat on the porch wondering....if birds can understand each other, even though their music all sounds different to us. I wondered why they appeared to be working together, even though they can all come and eat in the yard and totally ignore each other. I also wondered if they were all swooping down on that squirrel because of something he did to one of them, or to all of them.

Then the answer appeared. Under my car and coming into my yard were a bunch of smaller birds. At first, I thought they were just a smaller kind of bird. Then I realized that they appeared to be baby birds. And there were a bunch of different kinds all playing together.

Now isn't that too cool? Even baby birds don't see color. I'm sure eventually their parents will tell them that robins don't play with cardinals. But today, they're all one happy bunch. And their parents are in one accord as well, since they're all protecting the kids.

I guess we do that - to some extent.

I am so glad that Dad suggested to me years ago that I might enjoy watching the world wake. He was so right. I would miss so much if I slept too long. *Smile*
May 11, 2007 at 8:06am
May 11, 2007 at 8:06am
Hubby has been pondering how I can string a small notebook around my neck with a pen. Someone else suggested maybe wearing a fanny pack with them in. Hmmm.

I also need to be able to wake up now and then in the middle of the night. *Smile* I started keeping a notebook by my bed when I was quite young. I discovered that I had some pretty neat thoughts in my sleep and if I could write them down quickly, I could retain them.

This past week, I had some strange dream/thoughts in my sleep. I created an entire story one night and an entire poem another. With the poem, I read it aloud - in my dream, of course - and tweaked it and edited to perfection. Then, when I finally woke up, the only thing I was remembered was the process, not the results. I couldn't even tell you what I was thinking/writing about in my sleep. Dagnabbit. *Bigsmile*

Spent most of the morning hugging that white thing in the smallest room of the house.

Tired. Sicky. Don't know why.
May 10, 2007 at 5:40pm
May 10, 2007 at 5:40pm
If you haven't seen the Zimmers on YouTube, you really have to. I think it was ABC News that mentioned them. I don't think this video has been on for all that long, but it's been viewed over 1.4 million times.

It's a bunch of folks old enough to be my parents (seriously, the main dude was born in 1927). They're singing and dancing to music from The Who - My Generation. And they do a scene that will remind you of the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover.

It's really a hoot. Trust me. You'll have to *Laugh**Laugh**Laugh*...or at least *Bigsmile**Bigsmile**Bigsmile*. Unless you're dead, and then I think you'll at least *Smile**Smile**Smile*

Here's the link:


W A R N I N G..........

You know I've been volunteering at the church - in the office - on Wednesday mornings. I was prepared to be hurting and tired after those mornings, and I wasn't surprised.

I've been working on a booklet for the pastor and finally got the gazillion pages (300 copies each) copied. There isn't much room in the church office, so I brought those pages home, figuring I could fold them here easier.

Well...I discovered pains in places I didn't know I had places. *Smile* And that after folding only about 100 pages.

Grrr. I used to do things like this all the time. I worked as a secretary for years. I was a regional sales director and did newsletters every month. Back then, it was nothing to fold a gazillion pages. Not any more, I found out.

I ended up taking half of a pain pill and finishing one stack - 300 pages. At that rate, I won't even have them all folded by next Wednesday.


I have decided that the only way I'm going to survive the foggy brain stuff is to carry a notebook around everywhere, even in the house, so I don't forget things. I'm really understanding the frustration my dad had with Alzheimer's now.

Mom has it easier that way, I guess. She doesn't know that she's lost her mental abilities.

Okay, that's enough sad stuff. I have to figure out what to feed my hubby. Payday is tomorrow, so the cupboards aren't very full. *Bigsmile*

May 10, 2007 at 8:54am
May 10, 2007 at 8:54am
Did you know...I get email comments about this blog? *Smile* I wish everyone was comfortable just making public comments, rather than emailing me privately. I don't mind that some of those private comments are negative. Perhaps your comment will be a wonderful addition to the blog. Perhaps it will be what causes another to think or ponder or do a bit of research. Why should I be the only one to benefit that way? *Bigsmile* Seriously. It's okay to disagree with me in public. I can take it.

So. Yesterday I wrote some stuff in my blog about tithing. I also wrote a static item for my port about the same topic. If you're interested, just find the "What's New?" folder in my port. I actually wrote four new items in April and three so far in May. Not bad for this 'ol foggy self. *Laugh*

I commented yesterday about how sad it is that those who have tithed - or even been obedient in other ways - and kept quiet about it ('cause that just seems right) might sometimes need to share so that those who have never tithed or who ar not so obedient understand what a generous God we serve.

Oh, I know that folks might get the idea that you're boasting. Paul sometimes prefaced his remarks with, "I'm not boasting, but..."

I also know that some may get the idea that God is a cosmic vending machine. Put in prayers and petitions and tithes and get back gobs of blessings in return.

That's not how God wants us to think. It's certainly not how God wants us to present Him to the world. And I know that He is none too thrilled when we present Him in the wrong light.

As human beings, we're just so stupid sometimes. Me included. Taken as a whole, God's awesome instruction manual lays out exactly what we should do, and how, and when, and even why. It's in there.

And when we're wise enough to follow the manual, what results is PEACE. If we're smart enough to just lay down our hurts and pains, our fears at the feet of our Lord and walk away, knowing that He is in control, we will find that peace.

That's really the key, folks. Acknowledging that He is the Lord of our lives, living in obedience to Him even when the urgings we're getting don't make a lick of sense to us, but are a part of His larger plan for us. Allowing Him to control every part of our lives, not just one or two, but every single part of our lives.

That's when we truly discover that our lives are full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The FRUIT (not fruits) of the Spirit. Every one of those glorious things are available to us as a whole, when we bow down to Him. When we submit to Him. We're not given just one or two of these, but all of these, when we follow His commands. When we "delight in His commands."

We're all human, of course. Or as Budroe always says, "the belly button crowd." And being human we think 1) that we can keep control of some of our lives and that we know best for parts of our lives. Right. And 2) that some things are just too small or petty to take to Him. Nothing is too small to take to God. He already knows everything anyway. *Smile* Why not admit our failings? Why not admit that we just cannot do this on our own? That we are not able?

I think God must shake His head at us a bunch. He gave us free will, of course. But He must wonder why we keep trying things that just don't work, when His way will work each and every time. When doing things His way will give us such peace and joy, which we all claim to be chasing.

In case you've forgotten, here's what Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV) says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

I urge you to read what comes before this passage. The part about our sinful natures. Verse 17, "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature."

Or the words of Verses 13-15: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."

Everywhere you look, if you choose to look and seek, the Bible - especially the New Testament - speaks of love. There's a reason for that.

Are you really loving God? Are you showing love to your neighbors? To your spouse? Your children? To your fellow writers?

Am I? For, when I took my very first Lay Speaker class, the instructor reminded us that when anyone - lay person or clergy - preaches, he/she is speaking first to him/herself. And so it is.

Our pastor has been given a "new" idea for helping his flock. (Obviously, there's nothing new under the sun, right? *Smile*) His plan is for us to learn to love and serve one another so much and so well, that the light will shine brightly from us and from our church that others will be intrigued and want what we have.

The same thing could happen to each one of us. If we served and loved God the way we should, then our lights will shine brightly. Our love and joy and peace - plus patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (especially self-control!!!) will be so obvious to the world around us that they want what we're experiencing too.

Have you noticed how excited new Christians are? How they fairly glow like a new bride? How they want to devour God's word and learn everything there is to learn - NOW!? That's how we should become again and again and again each and every day. For each day brings us a new opportunity to be the person God created us to be.

Have a great day. One filled with sunshine and SONshine.*Bigsmile*
May 9, 2007 at 8:15am
May 9, 2007 at 8:15am
I remember when TexansBeatTheMiamiDolphinsBy3 arrived on the scene here at WDC. As I sometimes do, I found her port and some of her writings before others. I mentioned that while she might identify with storm clouds, my nickname had been Ms. Merry Sunshine. Friendship developed from there. *Bigsmile*

On Friday, TexansBeatTheMiamiDolphinsBy3 was in a car accident. She's okay. Bruised. So is Apryl, (her son's fiance) who was also in the car. She's more worried about having damaged two parked cars. And that fact that her car was totaled. I talked with her on the phone last night for quite a while.

If you've never visited her port, now's the time. Here's a link to her blog. You'll note that her entry about the accident was rather....well, out there. http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1156288

Yesterday, I got my first issue of Discipleship Journal. I don't remember why, but for some reason, I have a few free issues coming. In this one, there was an idea mentioned that might help those who swear they don't have enough time for praying or studying God's word.

The magazine suggested taking a calendar and writing prayer notes or requests on each day, then laminating and hanging in the shower. Everyone bathes, so having prayer requests right in front of you might just work. I figured while you're making the monthly calendar, you might just copy some Bible verses on each day while you're at it. You could hang the calendar anywhere in the bathroom and be reminded prayer petitions and God's word each day.

The frugal - and practical (since most folks don't have laminaters in their homes) part of me says, rather than laminating, why not pick up a big roll of clear contact paper. It will keep the calendar dry, and there should be enough left over to do a few more months while you're at it. *Smile*

I guess I don't understand not having time to pray or study God's word. I cannot imagine not starting one's day in prayer and reading the Bible. (I guess that's because I've been doing that since I was a kid.) Oh, I know a few folks who think that setting the alarm for 15 minutes less sleep would be a disaster. They think that losing that small amount of time would make them more sleepy throughout the day. I say, "Try it! You might discover that starting the day with God will be refreshing and you'll never miss that 15 minutes."

I guess it's much like tithing. We look at the money we have available and think it would be impossible to give God 10%. I guess we forget God's promise. "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10 NIV

Everything we have was given to us by God. It's on loan to us. In my small group on Sunday, one of the women said, "If you borrow something from a neighbor, you usually take better care of it than if it were your own." How right she was, and that's exactly the way we should take care of the earthly treasures God has bestowed upon us. We should take better care of them than if they were truly our own.

I wrote about this topic at ezinearticles.com, and this article is the most downloaded of all the articles I have there. http://ezinearticles.com/?Who-Is-Really-Tested?&id=367412

I have also shared my grandmother's simple way of thinking about what we OWE to God. "Time, Talent, Treasure

Oddly enough, while searching the Internet for snippets about tithing to put in our church bulletins, I found very few. I also found very few sermons on the Internet about this. Perhaps that is because in the US, the average giving is now down to about 2.5%. We don't have many church members who can give testimony to the wonderful blessings they have received by just doing what God asked. Well, I can. The woman mentioned in the story at ezinearticles was me.

When I have tithed, I have been blessed. When I have not, I have struggled financially.

There were times when I was a single mom, receiving only Worker's Compensation, that I was tempted to keep that 10% tithe for myself and my son. Surely, God would not miss that small amount, but I could have used it to buy groceries or gas for my car to get to the doctor or physical therapy sessions.

Reluctantly, I would put my money in the offering plate. Then I would watch - always astonished - as God provided. I should not have been so surprised.

One week a retired pastor, who lived in the same apartment building, knocked at my door with a huge bag of fresh fruits and veggies. One of the members from his church showed up with the food and told him to give it where it was needed. The pastor gave some to each of the three single moms in our building and had enough left over for himself and his wife.

Another week, I received a check in the mail that was quite a surprise. Someone who had owed me money for years found my address on the Internet. (That didn't exactly make me happy.) This old friend had owed me $100 for over 20 years, and because of that he added another $100 for interest.

Still another week, I discovered that one of my writings had been accepted. The envelope contained a letter and a check for $100.

A neighbor found that he had been transferred, and he and his wife had just filled their refrigerator and freezer. They didn't want to try to transport those foods and risk that some would spoil in their quick move.

Books that I listed on Amazon.com sold within ten minitues of listing them.

Am I convinced that these blessings came from God? You bet I am!

And I am just as convinced that when I do not tithe, the blessings are not as quick to flow.

Daisy Sig from PassItOn
May 8, 2007 at 12:05pm
May 8, 2007 at 12:05pm
I keep forgetting whether or not I have shared this picture. If I did already, I'm sorry. But it's still worth a laugh. *Laugh*

No, no, not because it's my hubby. That's not nice.

This is a picture taken in Lake Jackson, Texas. Even before hubby and I were married, I had been telling him about lil' 'ol Lake Jackson. You see, the guys who designed it weren't really city planners nor street designers. You should see this place. The streets - in what is considered "downtown" - are pretty strange.

They also have strange names. Like: This Way, That Way, Any Way, Which Way, His Way (There is at least one church on His Way. Pretty neat.) They also have Parking Way and Circle Way. Most of the streets could be called Circle Way, 'cause they all weave around and almost catch themselves going the other way. Really odd.

This picture is of hubby (that's Incurable Romantic for those of you who don't know) standing at the corner of This Way and That Way. And isn't it a hoot that they also have a yield sign there???

Lake Jackson, TX has the only downtown I've ever seen without any stop signs. At each corner, you just slow down to see if anyone else is coming. They also have great turn arounds at every intersection in case you took This Way instead of That Way. *Laugh*

May 7, 2007 at 9:58am
May 7, 2007 at 9:58am
Boy, oh boy, a sermon on anger management. Was that something I really needed to hear? Me? Little Ms. Merry Sunshine? Well, our pastor also spoke of self-control in general, and that's certainly something I needed to hear. *Smile*

The sermon series continues....about Building Character.

Some of my margin notes:

*Note*Anything uncontrolled can destroy you.

*Note*Anger is not necessarily sin. Sometimes anger is justified. (Remember Jesus in the temple?) But see the note above? If it's uncontrolled...

*Note*Are you a skunk or a turtle? What kind of question is that? I'm neither, right? Hmmm. What are we talking about here? A skunk is one whose anger (and other behaviors, I would think) affect everything and everyone around them. You know a skunk when you see him (or smell him). A turtle hides from everything. When there is conflict, a turtle just pulls his head back into his shell waiting for everything to calm down again.

*Note*In the US, there are an average of 32 shootings every day. We don't get excited about them. Unless it's all in one place and time, like the VA Tech massacre. And that day, there were probably 32 other shootings we didn't hear about or care about.

*Note*Why are we so stressed? Fast paced lives. Irresponsible people. (Us and them.)

*Note**Laugh*Men speak an average of 20,000 words each day. Women? 30,000 words. We spend 1/5 of our lives talking.

One man to another: "Don't you resent it when your wife gets the last word?"
Second man: "Are you kidding? I'm just glad she's finished."

Hahaha. Grrr. Oops. Controlling anger.

*Note*You're never going to get to the top if you keep blowing it. (Your top, that is.) *Bigsmile*

*Note*What we say with our mouths comes from our hearts. Thankfully, God is the best heart surgeon around.

*Note*"I will never let another man control my life by making me hate him." ~ Booker T. Washington

Okay...on to the fill-in-the-blanks...

Self-Control is Possible if....

*Note*I commit to controlling it.

Proverbs 29:11 (NIV) A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

Circle and underline the word "keeps". We must decide in advance to control our anger.

See also Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

*Note*I must calculate the cost.

Proverbs 11:29 (TLB) The fool who provokes his family to anger and resentment will finally have nothing worthwhile left. He shall be the servant of a wiser man.

As a parent, do you want short-term obedience (fear?), or long-term respect?

*Note*I must curb my comments.

Titus 3:9 (NCV) But stay away from those who have foolish arguments...Those things are worth nothing and will not help anyone.

James 1:19-20 (TLB) Dear brothers, don't ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and become not angry; for anger doesn't make us good, as God demands that we must be.

See also: Proverbs 21:23 (about keeping your mouth shut)

*Note*I must count before I counter. Reflect before react.

Proverbs 21:11 (NEB) A stupid man gives free rein to his anger; a wise man waits and lets it grow cool.

*Laugh*God was the first one to say, "Just chill."

Ephesians 4:16 (NIV) In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Myth: Your anger is a reservoir that will finally empty. Nope. It's a factory. More and more anger is made if we let it...

Chek out Provers 19:11 too.

How to Turn It Around:

*Note*Return blessings for curses.

Romans 12:17-21 (NLT) Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honarable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, a much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, "I will take vengence; I will repay those who deserve it," says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you. Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.

*Note*Release the rudder to the redeemer.

(Note to readers: Our pastor races sailboats, and he always tries to get something into his sermons about boats.)

James 3:4-5 (TLB) And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark.

*Note*Personal Prayer: "Lord, help me control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say." Psalms 141:3 (NCV)

Matthew 12:34 (NKJV) Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (TLB) When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!

Don't have lots of time for studying the Bible? (Although how can we not have time for that?!?) Try short daily doses. At least vow to start your day with a small portion of God's word. It WILL help you cope. It WILL help you control your anger.

Suggested small doses this week:
Monday Proverbs 29:11
Tuesday Titus 3:9
Wednesday Ephesians 4:26
Thursday Romans 12:17
Friday Matthew 12:34
Saturday James 3:4-5
Sunday 2 Corinthians 5:17

May 6, 2007 at 8:17am
May 6, 2007 at 8:17am
“A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when someone contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.” Saint Exupery
May 6, 2007 at 7:31am
May 6, 2007 at 7:31am
I wish. *Bigsmile* Weatherwise, that is. It's a bit chilly this morning. The TV says that it's 49 with 7 mph winds. Feels colder than that. Son was just complaining. His room is always the hottest or the coldest.

I don't know how or why I found this (isn't that always the way?) but here's a link for A Time Line of Recent Worldwide School Shootings. Recent here is defined as about the last ten years. The time line starts with February 2, 1996 in Moses Lake, Washington and ends April 16, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

You know what I find amazing? Two things. 1) That I don't remember most of the US shootings. Most of the US shootings were fewer than 6, so I wonder if the number decided how much new coverage there was. I feel badly that I don't remember... 2) I am downright certain that I never heard about most of the shootings that were outside the US. And that's just not right.

I surely don't remember this one: March 13, 1996. Dunblane, Scotland. 16 children and one teacher killed at Dunblane Primary School by Thomas Hamilton, who then killed himself. 10 others wounded in attack.

Or this one: April 26, 2002. Erfurt, Germany. 13 teachers, two students, and one policeman killed, ten wounded by Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, at the Johann Gutenberg secondary school. Steinhaeuser then killed himself.

Here's the link: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html

Some folks left comments about Viva paper towels. *Smile* That got me to thinking. I know some folks who just won't buy anything but the most expensive name brand stuff. Personally, I think I've been blessed by those really lean years as a single mom. I discovered that Kroger's brand of chocolate syrup is better than Hershey's. And that Kroger's macaroni (with the creamy cheese, not the powdered stuff) is better than Kraft. Those are great discoveries, since you can save a bunch of money. Of course, when we my son and I first bought these - and other store brands - it was because of economics. We also discovered Angel Soft toilet paper. Lots cheaper than some of the major brands. A little bit more than the store brands. But soft and not scratchy, and that's real important for tp. *Bigsmile*

Here's another "I don't remember how I got there" link. America's Most Literate Cities. Is your city on the list??? http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0932809.html

Here's one for America's Smartest Cities. {http://money.cnn.com/2006/08/29/real_estate/brainiest_cities/index.htm} Seattle, Washington is at the top of both of these lists, most literate and smartest. Cincinnati made the top ten most literate, but is not on the top 25 smartest list.

My dad passed away two years ago in August. Still, there are stories about him that I must share from time to time. (Hubby says I have to. *Smile*)

I was complaining to my folks once about a 3 day stay I had in the hospital to see why I had abdominal pains. They never did discover anything, but at 6 am the third day, the doc arrived to tell me I could leave. They had me so drugged that I couldn't even hardly lift my head, but suddenly I was supposed to shower, dress and drive home. I did.

My insurance was that 80/20 stuff. And as I went to check out, the hospital insisted that I pay my 20%. I didn't have the money in my checking account, so they insisted that I put it on my credit card. I thought for sure that Visa would reject the charge, since it would make me over my limit. But they didn't. The hospital maxed out my credit card and I was off, still not knowing why I had such bad pains.

As I relayed that story to my parents, my dad just did his wonderful daddy grin. "What?" I asked.

"You should have done like I did. When they told me I couldn't leave without paying, I picked up my bag and started walking back the way I had come. The lady at the desk asked where I was going. And I said, 'Back to my room. I can't afford to leave."

I told my dad that I surely wished he had shared that when it happened, 'cause I might have tried it myself. *Smile*

Dad was a great example in the area of finances. When he was a working man, he never touched a credit card or check book and didn't really know much about either one. My dad was the bread winner, and Mom took care of spending and paying bills. (She was NOT a good example. But more about that another time.)

When Dad retired, Mom and Dad tried being nomads for a while. They traveled to California to visit relatives. Oddly, they never took any pictures of their trek from Pittsburgh, PA to Chula Vista, CA. I have no idea what route they traveled or where they stayed along the way. As one who loves to document trips, I always found that rather odd.

They also visited relatives in Virginia and Tennessee. Again, there are no pictures to document their trips. *Cry* But they didn't like the traveling life, and ended up living in a retirement mobile home village in St. Petersburg, FL.. Mom went back to work part time and Dad did some odd jobs around the mobile home park for widows - mowing grass, cleaning out gutters, etc.

He also learned how to shop for groceries, make bank deposits, pay bills and balance a check book. *Smile*

Each day, after the mail man had left the mail in the mail box, Dad rushed to write checks for the bills he had just received. Then, he rushed outside to meet the mail man coming down the opposite side of the street.

At first, I thought that was a bit strange. My dad was a true Scotsman. He liked hanging onto his money. But he soon explained that by rushing those bills off in the mail, he paid less interest on the balances. Yep, he was a great example.

May 5, 2007 at 11:22am
May 5, 2007 at 11:22am
Okay, okay, so maybe it isn't sludge. But doncha just love that word???*Laugh**Laugh**Laugh**Laugh*

I'll admit that it will be a hodge-podge, though. Another great word. I think I love words as much as I love pondering about them. *Bigsmile*


I almost finished cleaning the kitchen yesterday. Hey, that's a big accomplishment. Or almost accomplishment. Our kitchen is big enough - well, sort of - to have in it: a dining room table (without the big leaf in the middle) and four chairs, a china closet, book shelves, my computer desk and computer, plus the normal refrigerator and stove and sink and cabinets and counter space. And it's big enough - definitely - to accumulate lots and lots of junk. *Smile* So, almost getting it spiffed up in the midst of fibro pains, fibro fog, and a computer that calls to me is something. *Laugh*

While I was cleaning the microwave oven (I wonder who splattered?), I had some thoughts about being rich and poor. I did rush to my computer and put a note in my blog, marked private, with the words rich and poor. Trouble is that now I cannot remember what in the world were he other more complete thoughts. Grrr. That makes me so mad. Here I thought I was being smart just putting a shorthand note down.

I did come across some "better" paper towels while I was sorting things. They came from my storage unit in Texas. You know the ones. I think they're Viva. I love how they feel and work. I just don't love their prices. I think back in Texas, because I was dealing with so many things alone - my son's long spell with mono, then depression and his brief experiments with drugs, plus my pain management for my back, then my knee surgery and physical therapy, then dealing with Worker's Comp and attorneys - that buying the "nice" paper towels was one way for me not to feel so poor. Or beaten down.

That was one thought that crossed my mind as I cleaned the microwave. But I don't think that's why I rushed to the computer to make a note. I guess if it comes back to me, I'll write about it then.

Earlier today, the local news folks had two things that I made note of to share here.

Remember when I wrote about the death of the 3 year old foster child a while back? The one whose foster parents had tied him up and left him in a closet while they went out of town for a family reunion? The poor boy died, then they pretended he had been lost in the park. (They had at least partially burned the body and buried it.) They have finally been sent to prison and Marcus was finally buried this week.

Some local talent wrote a song about Marcus Feisel and recorded it. It's not my kind of music, but here's the link if you'd like to listen:


Also in the news was information about a University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music student's tribute song to the families of the April 16 Virginia Tech shooting victims. The song/video is on YouTube and has received over 280,000 hits. This music is much more to my liking. *Smile* I think it's called, "No Sunset in Virginia." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G0hdZeK7ss

The other thing that I wanted to pass along was that in one of the writing newsletters I received this week, the publisher said that she had signed this petition. It seems that the Atlanta Journal Constitution has decided to to eliminate its book editor position—and, possibly, its book review section.

The petition says, "The AJC's book section is one of the best-edited literary pages in the country. It provides Atlanta, which ranks #15 on the University of Wisconsin’s list of most literate cities in the U.S., with a powerful and necessary cultural dialogue. Under the astute guidance of the section’s editor Teresa Weaver, the books page has demonstrated an admirable commitment to both literature and nonfiction works which have grappled with some of America's most complicated issues and themes."

I'm not so sure that internet petitions work, but here's the URL. You also might want to write to the newspaper editor(s). http://www.petitiononline.com/atl2007/petition.html

I hate to think that anyone is serious about getting rid of the book review part of any large US newspaper. Personally, no matter how much one can read on a computer screen, it's just not like curling up with a book.

I have trouble reading long works, even here at WDC, myself. If I do, I have to stop and rest my eyes quite a bit. With a real book in my hands, I can read and read and read until I've finished the entire book. *Smile*

Perhaps having a laptop would help. But could it - and an e-book - really join me for a walk in the woods? Or by the shore? And they're just a bit bulky to cuddle up with in bed.

Call me old fashioned, I guess, but I like having a book in my hands. And on my shelves. Hubby and I - and my son - could probably have an entire library room filled, if all of our books were displayed. *Smile*

Guess that's it for now.

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