Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
A Texas Sunrise|
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:
|Nope. No trash here. Just needed a blog entry title that was new and different.
So, let's see...How about a few quotes. From my notes. From today? No way. Yesterday. Hey, hey. Okay...
I'll stop. With the rhymes anyway. Oops.
"Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time." - Edward L. Bernays
Hmmm. Perhaps that's why people start writing, at least writing with the intention to share and sell it. We humans want to have meaningful work that we enjoy.
A pastor put sanitary hot air hand dryers in the rest rooms at his church – but after two weeks requested they be taken out. When asked why he confessed that they worked fine but when he went in there he saw a sign that read, "For a sample of this week's sermon, push the button."
“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” -- Gail Sheehy from Passages
Oh, think about that one. "Growth demands a temporary surrender of security." Wow. No wonder people just moan about life rather than doing something about it. Growing and changing means that we have to step out of that comfort zone that every motivational speaker mentions when they try to get us, well...motivated. While we ponder that one, maybe we need Gloria Estefan's song, "Get On Your Feet" playing in the background. Don't know that one? "Get on your feet. Get up and make it happen. Get on your feet.
Stand up and take some action."
“Creativity, when not used, turns to depression.” -- Joey Reiman -- from Thinking For A Living
I never thought about it that way, but I think this is a pretty wise thought. Don't you get a bit down in the dumps when you're not being creative. I think writers experience that...when they're complaining about writer's block. The longer the block, the more we're feeling blue.
Here's something different. This link will take you to a YouTube video about health care problems.
|I heard today that a Yale survey showed that anger in men is rewarded in the work place - by promotions and pay raises. Do you think that anger in women is seen in a positive light? Of course not. Anger in women is penalized in the work place. Women who exhibit anger are thought to be out of control. Women who exhibit anger will not get promotions and pay raises.
Figures, doesn't it?
So...my entry yesterday must have made someone mad.
I'm like everyone else. I don't mind a less than perfect rating if the individual doing the rating can explain why my writing is less than perfect. I do mind if our opinions are different and I'm being punished for that. But, I understand, even so...and don't get upset about that either - if the rater will 'fess up.
What infuriates me - as I'm sure it does you - is when a coward pops in and gives a low rating as a "drive by" without commenting or reviewing or letting you know who you've offended.
Up until yesterday, this crazy blog had mostly 5s, 4.5s and 4s. There was one 3.5 that was given by a newbie who thought my "book" was written well but really confusing and changed topics waaaaaaaaay too much. When I explained that this isn't a book, but a blog, said newbie said, "Ooops. My bad." But he/she didn't change the 3.5.
But in the wee hours of the morning, someone came by and gave my blog a 2. Like I said, if that's what the rater thought, then that's okay with me...if he/she would just drop by and tell me what I could do to improve.
I figure, since it was done anonymously, that it's someone who just didn't like yesterday's entry.
Figures, doesn't it?
|You know, something has been bothering me. Back when all the drama was going on and allegations were made about a certain member not actually being sick, some things were said that have me bothered. A few people have made comments since then, too.
If you feel that you have been wronged, mistreated, harassed or otherwise unjustly bothered by someone with a blue or purple case, would you drop me a line?
Or if you reported another member (any case color) for harassment and the issue has not been resolved, drop me a line as well.
A few people mentioned not knowing which moderators they could trust because they don't know if they're in a clique. I'm not, and I've always had a heart for newbies. Some of you can attest to that, since I was among the first to welcome you to the site.
I thought about putting up a survey, but that would probably get way too much attention. I thought if I quietly offered my support, you could just pass the word.
I cannot promise that I can help anyone, but I will listen. It may be that you don't understand the workings of the site or the what the position of moderator can and cannot do. But if you have truly been unjustly wronged, I will do what I can to help. It may not be much, mind you. Since...I'm not in any cliques.
|What a fast food world we live in. Where did that thought originate?
On one of the free content sites where you can find some of my writings, there are numerous articles about how to write good free content. These sites are used mostly by people advertising an idea or service, because their real product and/or service web sites can be listed in the article. It's free advertising for them. The articles, then, are used by newsletter editors who can use the articles for free, and those links to the web sites that are selling something tag along every time the article is used. Get it?
Anyway...about those "how-to" articles...
Time and again, they advise that the best way to write one of these articles is to list "10 ways to do such and such" or "The 5 best so-and-so's". People want sound bites for their news and small lists to read instead of real articles. That's the world where we live.
Those same kinds of articles are popping up everywhere. Just pick up any woman's magazine today and you'll see right on the front cover, "5 Quick Meals", "7 Best Decorating Ideas", etc. You know what that means to us as writers? We have to learn to think that way, in small chunks and in lists. I wonder if I'm just too old to think that way. I always hated making outlines, and lists were something you used for two things - chores "to-do" or groceries.
Crossing off items from your list - to-do or grocery - made you feel like you had accomplished something. Every time I read an article that is not much more than a list of items, I'm tempted to take out my pen and cross out the items as I read them. That confuses the heck out of my brain, I think, because I'm also one who never wants to write in (or deface) a book or magazine.
Grrr. I have always embraced change - when it makes sense or when it enhances life or the world around us. I'm just not sure that reducing every complex thought to a few items on a list is good for us. Must we have a fast food mentality about everything??????
These are a few of the web sites I visited yesterday about high cholesterol. Just needed a place to tuck them away. I am going to go to the library today or tomorrow to see what books I can find about this topic. It seems that the only medical studies being published are those that agree with the taking of Statin drugs. Others are being ignored, but I'm not sure that means they're all bunk. It could just mean that the drug companies are in charge, as many suggest.
Another link to keep and read again later. http://www.newswithviews.com/Ellison/shane28.htm
|Two things today...
Who should I (we) believe?????
Remember the arguments I had with the nurse at my doctor's office? I was reminded of that this afternoon and started searching the Internet for information about high cholesterol and prescription drugs. What I found just was not pretty. There are hundreds of books - at Amazon.com and other sites - that claim that high cholesterol does not cause heart disease. I would love to buy one or two of the books I discovered, but my plan is to visit the library on Monday to see what I can discover there. Meanwhile, if you're curious, just go to Amazon and search for yourselves.
I am certainly aware of how "easy" it is in today's world to write a bunch of words and have them published. So, I will be cautious in believing everything I read. However...
Why should I believe what the doctor is saying...if she's been fed bad information from pharmaceutical companies? Hmmm.
Sadly, I am more apt to believe anything that goes against what the drug companies claim.
He had a dream (well, nightmare?)
My son told us about what he called a nightmare he had a few weeks ago. It was the night here a few weeks back when the power went out. Most likely - although none of us can attest to this - there were probably "boom-booms" and streaks of light in the sky that night too. We all slept through it. Well, until...
Derek had quite a dream. When he first woke up, he remembered the whole thing and wanted to wake me. But he didn't. And, now, of course, that he remembered to share what he did remember, it wasn't much.
What is still left in his memory banks (where he can easily access it, anyway) is that there was an old woman in the room with him. Her back was away from him. And she was telling him in a raspy voice, "Pray for your children. Pray for yourself. Pray for your children. Pray for yourself."
He finally made his way across the room and was able to see the woman's face. That scared him. He said her eyes were white. (I asked it they might be like the eyes of the zombie type people who were in The Omega Man with Charelton Heston back in the 70's.)
Her face was scary too, although I'm not sure he can tell why now.
As he looked at her face and eyes, she shouted, "Pray for man!"
That's when Derek woke up.
I wish he had wakened me when this happened, since that's all he remembers now.
He got out of bed and all the lights were out. Spooky, huh? He went outside and realized that the entire street was also without power.
That's when this thought came to his mind, "I wonder if everyone is gone. I wonder if they've all been raptured."
Those of you who are close to me know that Derek struggles with matters of faith. He's not sure what he believes right now. He has quite a history as a young child - shouting "Amen!" in church when he was only 18 months old. Helping the ushers in church welcome people - at the age of 2. Showing new kids how to get to children's church after the children's sermon, then coming back to the adult church service, 'cause "he liked it better." Asking to be baptized at the age of 5 - and having the pastor assure us (after spending about 5 afternoons with him) that Derek knew what it meant and was ready. Writing a "church" song and singing it (while his Dad played piano) and teaching the chorus to the congregation - at the age of 5. Asking to attend confirmation classes at the age of 8, so he could be a full and real member of the United Methodist Church. Asking what job he could have after joining the church, since he had vowed to support the church with his time, his talent and his treasure.
As a teen, he urged his youth group members to get involved in the community. Because of Derek, they participated in fixing up houses for the elderly about one weekend every 2-3 months. They cleaned the community food pantry every week in the summer. They went to Houston to feed the hungry, and also to Mexico to help in a food pantry. If they scheduled a fun event (like skiing in Colorado) Derek urged them to do a service project immediately afterwards.
But...since he went to work with me every day at the church where I worked as secretary (and we both were members and attended), he learned about what often happens behind the scenes in churches across America. He saw how ugly Christians really can be. How disrespectful to the pastor and staff. How they can disrespect the church building - God's house he was taught - by putting off repairs. And the list goes on.
At that age, although he was a bright kid, Derek just could not understand. (Who could?!) He did realize that we're all hypocrites. He understands the concept that none of us are perfect. But he did expect more from a church. He expected to see love and not hate.
So? I wonder what faith struggles he's facing now. Interesting dream, don't you think?
|...or so I've been told. I was a pretty serious kid, I guess. I watched as the older folks made jokes. Maybe now that I'm one of those older folks, it's just my turn.
Whenever someone said, "You're funny!" to my mother, she responded, "And funny looking too." Don't think I'll use that one.
I have a question...about bridges or anything else, for that matter. I'm wondering why the officials can make immediate judgments that an event has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, but then admit that finding the exact reason(s) will take as long as a year. Officials have said this about bridges and planes.
Looking at the rubble at the bridge tragedy in Minneapolis, I'm wondering how they can give any kind of information at all until the under side is revealed at the bottom of the wreckage. Yes, they can show what information they have from past inspections. But until they can see what's underneath all that concrete and steel, how can they make absolute judgments?
I'm just asking...
One day last week, I had either the Science Channel or Discovery Channel on. I wasn't really listening, just keeping something on to keep me company. A show came on about dinosaurs, and while I didn't follow the whole thing, there were some comments made that interested me a bit.
For instance, it was said that the dinosaurs ate all the time - and were fat - because they just couldn't get enough nutrients to feel full and nourished. That sounded a bit odd to me. Personally, I always figured God created a perfect world... Perhaps anticipating that kind of thinking from Christians and Jews, the show also said that after a huge flood, the soil became much more fertile, but by then there were no dinosaurs left. Interesting...
But that got me to thinking about today. Is it possible that people who are obese and eat way too much (many not wanting to), do so because the foods they eat are not healthy and are lacking needed nutrients? We know lots of foods are just sugars. But, even when a person tries to eat well today, there's the problem of hormones in milk and meat products. We know that farmers don't rotate crops like they used to and the fields are not full of minerals. That's why so many foods have added vitamins and minerals.
I don't know the answers. I'm just asking...
Looks like we're back to normal with the number of folks stopping by here. During the time that I was writing about something...well contraversial...I had as many as 117 views per day. Yesterday it was back down to 40. Those 37 people who rated my blog are probably my regulars.
Some idiot said on the news today that 1) there are hundreds of bridges in the U.S. that are as bad or worse than the one in Minneapolis AND that 2) Americans don't want to pay for the repairs. WHAT?!?! I really don't recall anyone asking me if I would like the bridges fixed so they wouldn't fall in and kill and injure people.
I guess if they asked me about resurfacing that they do over and over and over, I'd be pretty vocal about that. I'd ask why in the world we don't use the same materials that were used 40 years ago...when the roads did not need resurfacing every time someone spit on them. I'm sure what they use now is cheaper. But if they have to use it again and again and again, doesn't that increase the cost?
Yep, if they asked me about that, I'd have an opinion they probably wouldn't like. But fixing bridges? I'm all for that. Remember...I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. (Lots of bridges!) And I lived in Texas quite a bit. (Just heard today how many bridges there are in Texas and how many are in critical condition. Amazing.)
Maybe those guys in Washington, D.C. need to start spending money wisely. If the entire interstate highway system is 40 years old, and most of those bridges are in the same shape as the one in Minneapolis, we're in for some major spending on bridge replacements and repairs. So...maybe we need to stop funding things like...comparing the number of love bugs that hit windshields this year as opposed to last year. Or...if it hurts to stub your toe. And...well, you know...that pork stuff that the feds pay for that should be local expenses, or - heaven forbid - costs of the local folks doing business. .
|I thought I had written something about yesterday, but I guess not. After picking up my son from work at 6:45 I came home and called the pastor to let him know I probably wouldn't be volunteering at the church. Then I went back to bed. I guess the pastor called around noon, but I never heard the phone. I woke up about 1:30, then finally forced myself out of bed after 2 pm. I really hate days like that...
I added something new to my portfolio today, something I found at another writer's site, something I had completely forgotten about...
Have you seen the August Quotation Inspiration contest? The quotation being used this month is this: "Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain." ~ William Faulkner
You know...I might just have to think about entering this month.
|As I logged on to the computer around...I don't know...maybe 8:30 pm, my Yahoo front page said something about a bridge collapsing in Minneapolis during rush hour. I wondered why it wasn't mentioned on the news, then realized there was a time difference. The accident happened about 5 minutes after the evening news finished. Still, I'm surprised that there wasn't some breaking news report a bit later.
As I read the Yahoo information and viewed "raw video" with no words, I was amazed. The article said that there was some construction going on, as if that was an explanation. Later it was reported that they were filling in pot holes. Well, that certainly would not cause the damage that bridge experienced.
The late news reported that at least 7 people were dead and "dozens" injured. I pray that our WDC folks and their families are not among them. I know I have read things here by Minnesota folks.
I'm sure the rescue personnel (and divers) will be searching for missing persons for a while. Let's keep them all in our prayers. And the families involved.
For those who asked about those July 4th parade pictures, I got this from the pastor today in a newsletter: http://4Salem.org/images/2007July4.wmv Hopefully you'll be able to view this easily using Windows Media Player. (I had to re-download it myself and find a "codec2" before I could see and hear. Grrr.)
The music was some of what was piped to the crowds as we passed by. Our church members sang along with the music (no, none of our folks were actually playing instruments, just marching and giving out bottled water to the crowds...and clapping and singing... That song is one of the favorites of our praise and worship team and of our members.
What was really fun was when folks in the crowd joined in to sing with us.
|I never read Hillary's book, but for some reason as I sat on the porch the other day, the title came to mind. Behind that quick thought were a myriad of others...about how different things were when I was a kid.
Back then, our neighbors did help raise us. And mold us. Our friends' parents and our neighbors told us if we were out of bounds in our behaviors. They took advantage of teachable moments. They yelled at us if we needed that. And some, depending on the neighborhoods and the agreements among adults, even physically disciplined us. That's just the way life was back when I was a kid in the 50's and 60's.
Today, most of us don't even know our neighbors. Even if we know them well enough to have a few discussions, or our kids play together, we don't have the closeness of those old neighborhoods.
I do talk with the neighborhood kids about what's right and wrong, at least as it applies to my own yard. For instance, hubby and I are not comfortable having kids playing in the backyard when we're not back there or when Tiff is not with them. We had to get rid of the partially erected swing set (long story about why it was never fully completed) because the neighbor kids insisted on playing on it. We threw out the old tire swing (that was in a rather dangerous place) because the kids kept trying to swing. Even though we asked them to wait until someone could watch them or until Tiff was visiting and playing in the yard with them.
When I was growing up, I learned many lessons from the adults around me, even when they didn't realize they were teaching. (That's something we all need to remember!)
My mom offered hospitality to everyone. (That got the town gossips talking!) She offered iced water to the mail man, bread man. ice cream man, even the construction crew that was putting in the sewers in our neighborhood. No, there wasn't more to it than that, although the neighborhood busy bodies liked to think so. Mom had three kids running around (plus all of our friends), her mother, and her youngest brother-in-law (18 and building a stock car in our back yard) all around her to play chaperon.
Our home was also the one where our out of town relatives stayed. (And my uncle's church youth group, missionaries, and church officials when the Methodist church was changing from Methodist to United Methodist, and a bunch of churches were joining together.) Staying in motels was just not an option.
Yup, Mom taught me all about hospitality.
The lady next door had her mother-in-law living with her. The old grandma had a stroke and wasn't able to talk much. (Besides, she still spoke "the old language" - whatever that was.) My neighbor taught me the importance of taking care of family. She also taught me about flowers and veggies, although I have never been able to grow things like she and her hubby did. And, most importantly, she taught me about praying throughout the day - while cleaning the bathroom, mopping floors, folding clothes and stirring soup.
My own grandmother taught me that we make being a Christian such a complex thing, when it's really quite simple. She told me Bible stories from heart, helped me learn the old hymns, and explained things to me in ways that I could understand. One lesson that I remember was about tithing. She explained that each of us should sing in church if we could, should teach if that was our talent, etc. She told me that we were supposed to tithe our time, talent and treasure. The treasure part I got. She explained about time this way. If one is awake 16 hours a day, then 1.6 hours (at least) belonged to God. If we only prayed or read the Bible 15 minutes a day during the week, then we had to make up the difference on Sunday, by serving and attending services all day if we must. Or by doing God's work in the afternoon - perhaps visiting shut-ins after church.
The mother of two of my friends (girls - one was a year older than me, one was a year younger) taught me something about my behavior. If things weren't going my way, I would take my doll (or whatever other toy I brought with me) and pretend to leave. Actually, I hid on the cellar stairs, then emerged a few minutes later. Patty and Janet were glad I had returned and were more willing to see things my way. Once, though, Mrs. Rice caught me on the stairs and spent a good 30 minutes talking to me about what being a friend is really all about. I still remember that talk.
The mother of another friend taught me things without every having much interaction with me at all. Because of her, I never wanted to spank my son, at least not much. Mrs. K used to paddle her kids over the most stupid things. They (and I!) were scared of her. I never wanted to have a kid (or kids) who was afraid of me. Today, I understand her a bit more than I did back then. Her husband had died and left her a single mother of 5 kids. She was pregnant with the last one when he died. That was before she moved to our neighborhood, so, of course, the busy bodies did lots of talking about her and her situation. I don't think they ever believe Mrs. K had been married. Some speculated that if she had been married, the last one was not his and finding this out caused him to have a heart attack. People could be mean. (Still are!) Today I realize how difficult life must have been for Mrs. K. In our neighborhood, most moms didn't work. But Mr. K didn't leave any insurance money, and in order to feed 5 kids, Mrs. K had to work after he died. You know...I have no idea what Mrs. K. did for a living.
I'm not sure if I shared these links or not. I found them tucked away in a partially completed blog entry that was marked "keep private." I guess I had not finished my thoughts and forgot to finish them.
This non-profit provides free movies to disabled persons. (Proof of disability required.)
Here's a great South Carolina resort. Prices for seniors, especially wanting to stay 6 months (and not minding a one bedroom) are great. Hubby and I have talked about going to North or South Carolina when we retire, so this was of interest to us. Of course, retirement is a way off.
I'm not sure why I had this link tucked away. This is the URL where you can request all kinds of government (federal) brochures. http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/
|Jungle Jim's is a great grocery store here in the Cincinnati area. Jungle Jim's potties are in the running for America's Best Public Restrooms. There are 5 finalists, and voting ends today. You can still vote! Check out the story here, and don't forget to click on the movie camera that leads to a film all about Jungle Jim's and their weird restroom. http://www.fox19.com/Global/story.asp?s=6801667
Did you know that last year the House of Representatives was in session about 79 days, but they got paid for an entire year. Something wrong with that picture, isn't there? Didn't these guys used to have other jobs to go home to when they weren't in session?
Some of the guys from the House and the Senate will be holding town hall meetings in their "off time." Check here to see if your dudes (and dudettes) are doing that, and think about going to voice your opinions on what's important. http://www.house.gov http://www.senate.gov Find the local offices and call about where and when they're meeting.
The other night when hubby and I were talking, for some reason something I wrote in the 6th grade came up in the conversation. Back then, we were assigned a paper on cancer. I got a C on my paper, which was quite unusual for me. My teacher told me that my construction deserved an A+, but that she didn't agree with my "findings" or "opinions." Know what I said? I wrote that I thought the only "cure" for cancer would be when God chose to cure one of His kids...because the doctors, hospitals and drug companies would be too busy making money on treatments to worry about cures.
Perhaps those words and opinions would not surprise us from one of today's 6th graders. They've seen the medical machine at work. But the year I was in 6th grade was the same year that JFK was shot. That's a long time ago, and back then most folks still held the entire medical profession in high regard. There were probably still a few doctors who did house calls. Ours did up until he got sick when I was about 10 or 11, I think.
That's why I got a C and why my teacher disagreed with my opinion of the medical profession. Thinking back now, I realize that I could not have written that paper all by my lonesome. I doubt that the resources I used - mostly encyclopedias and some library books - would have voiced the opinion that I embraced. Thinking back now, it almost appears like a....well, a prophecy? I came across that paper again when I was about 25. The teacher was right; the writing was rather good for a 6th grader...if I do say so myself. But the opinion was far from the norm.
Sure wish I still had that paper. But, alas, it must have been dumped from the attic at my parents' home when they retired and sold their home. I remember my mother asking if there was anything I needed from the attic. She did send me a box of my old report cards, but my writings - and there were LOTS since I started writing so early in life - were tossed out. All I have now is the memory of some of them. Like that 6th grade paper.
Wonder why that came to mind last night. Perhaps it was because I've been following along on the journey of our good buddy Budroe and our ex-member Raven. Perhaps it was because I had heard from my cousin, whose mother died years ago from cancer. Or because I have not heard from another cousin much recently whose father died from leukemia. Yesterday, Marvin Zindler passed away from cancer of the pancreas. (See my entry yesterday for more information about him. Or here's KTRK Channel 13 in Houston's page with lots of info. http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/front)
What's even stranger is that right after this discussion with hubby, a friend sent me a link to an article written in 2006 by someone who voiced some of those same things I did way back in 1963. I was going to put that here, but now I've lost it. The link to the 2006 article. Grrr.
Speaking of videos you can watch. Check this out. Here's a place where you can watch videos of your favorite Christian pastors and speakers: http://www.lightsource.com
|Marvin Zindler passed away today, at the age of 85. He was part of Houston's KTRK-TV news gang - the consumer reporter. Most recently, he'll be remembered for his reports on the cleanliness (or not) of Houston area restaurants. He wasn't shy about telling viewers about roaches and rats or rodent droppoings found in restaurants. And every one of his segments ended with reports of slime in the ice machines. There was even a jingle about that.
I moved to Houston in 1978 and loved Marvin's reports from the first time I heard them. Perhaps his voice reminded me of someone I knew in Pittsburgh - Myron Cope, a commentator for the Steeler's radio broadcasts for 35 years.
I left Houston in 1986, then returned to the viewing area (Lake Jackson) in 1997. How exciting it was to hear Mr. Zindler's voice again. "Marvin Zindler, aaaaaah (eye) witness news."
If you're not in or near Houston, you still might know something about Marvin Zindler without realizing it.
Zindler used to work the sheriff's department. After he was fired, the TV station hired him and shortly after that, Zindler reported on a brothel in La Grange called the Chicken Ranch. Yes, that's what inspired the musical and the movie, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." In the movie, DomDeLuise played Melvin P. Thorpe, the character based on Marvin Zindler.
I wonder if someone else will step up to do those slime reports now. Don't think it will be the same.
Here's something I found on YouTube about the slime in the ice machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUqlbjxznZA
|Our small group's appointed time for working the booth at the festival was 7:30 to 10 p.m. A few of the younger women had committed to being there the whole time. That left us older folk the choice to decide if and how long we would be there. I was actually thinking that if I felt able to be there, I would try for the whole time. But plans are supposed to be flexible, right?
One of our neighbors was sitting on our porch and sharing kitty and kid stories with me and hubby. I'm not sure how much bonding with older (and hopefully a tad wiser) folks this young woman has had in her life. I've been trying to get her, her boyfriend and their two children (about 18 months and almost 5 years old) to come with us to church...or to find a church to their liking. So, I figured the porch talking was a good thing.
I finally did make it to the booth about 8:30. A little while later, our neighbor and her boyfriend showed up at our booth. Later, when we were all home again, her only comment to me was, "It looked like you were having a great time with your church friends." I was! And I'm glad my neighbor got to see that. Well, you know. Some folks think that all church folk do is fuss amongst each other.
We sold sodas, iced tea, bottled water, and lemonade - all bottled and convenient - for $1.50. The sign on the booth said that all of the proceeds from that booth were going to the township recreation center. So, I take it that our church does this to be neighborly. We did have our church banners at the top of the booth and brochures that folks could take if they were interested. But, as my neighbor pointed out, our camaraderie was probably the best advertisement.
I'm not sure if the township collected money from the first shift (5-7:30) or if what we ended the night was from the whole evening (5-10), but we figured that there was over $1,000 in the money box when we turned it in. That's lots of $1.50 sodas. And, many were sold in the last 30 minutes before the fireworks started at 10.
I did have fun, but was reminded of something this morning when I finally got out of bed. Everything I do takes its toll on my energy level. Since I went to church (and I do clap and sway and actively praise Him) and then worked that booth all in the same day - with a very short nap in between - I think I used up some of today's energy yesterday.
Golly gee whiz that makes me mad. I'm only 55 for pity's sake. I should still be dancing!
On a whole different note...
Have you seen this New York Times article? Scientists’ Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California and Elsewhere. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/28/us/28vote.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&or... With Presidential elections looming (and primary voting even before that), this is a pretty scary discovery, if you ask me. It also does make one wonder about those last elelction results. But that's another story...
Devvy Kidd, contributing columnist for NewsWithViews.com said, "The only way we the people will know if we have fair and impartial elections is paper ballots, hand counted inside the precicnts before they are transported to the county clerk. Anything else will be a continuing illusion and a tragedy for this nation. Do Americans want fast-food style elections or honest ones? High-tech can be good, but we cannot allow it to steal the ballot box in favor of speed." http://www.newswithviews.com/NWVexclusive/exclusive118.htm
|Well...our township's annual festival is this weekend, and my woman's small group is working our church booth tonight instead of meeting at someone's home. I think we'll have a great view for the fireworks.
Last week was so strange that I never got last Sunday's sermon notes posted. Now I have today's too. (And someone asked if I was ever going to post notes from the sermon I gave on July 15.) Okay...I'll work on all of that early in the week. Promise.
I'll be leaving soon. Think I'll take a chair so I don't get stuck standing for 3 hours.
|I didn't have to pick up my son from work this morning. Yippee. But I was awake. So I sat outside a while and watched the world awake. You know the drill. How I love watching the squirrels and listening to the birds. I talked with God a bit too.
This strange jumble of words insisted that I write them. Seriously, the weird words took over my mind and body and refused to let me finish up the load of laundry or work at cleaning up the kitchen. They made me write them.
|Hey! Remember I said that the Cincinnati Enquirer was using my opinion piece/guest column? Here's the link:http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070724/EDIT02/707240305/10...
We don't subscribe to the newspaper, so we didn't see it on the 24th. Yes, I do read the paper. We buy it on weekends and I usually check the online version every other day. But I was not being diligent (or vigilant) in checking for my article.
I was looking at my blog statistic page and checking to see how folks found their way to my blog page. Someone did a Yahoo search using the words: Book, Good, Lord. And they found their way to my blog. Pretty cool, huh?
|Just wonrdering... Have you ever known a man to organize and conduct a garage sale on his own? Even when a garage sale is supposed to be a family affair, the woman usually spends weeks sorting through junk, tossing some, organizing and pricing the rest.
On the appointed day(s) the man of the house might help put out a few tables for the junk, and furniture if they're selling any. (But, hey! Not that ugly chair that he's had since he was 13!) But that only really happens if you can put the tables out the night before. What man wants to get out of bed hours before the garage sale? Nope. They like rolling out of bed 10 minutes before the sale, throwing on clothes and asking, "What's for breakfast?" They don't understand, either, when the woman throws a really good plastic flashlight. "Hey, that's my flying pig flashlight! You can't sell that!"
I guess that's why women don't complain. They put up with being the chief thrower-outer, pricer, and sales person because if the man actually likes participating he might notice all of those clothes she put out (he never wears them!), or those baby food jars. The guy insists that baby food jars might come in handy some day. Sure. When pigs fly, right? Those jars have been around for 12 years without being used.
If the woman of the house needs a pit stop (heaven forbid!), the man hates being left alone. Of course, people (women) tend to know when the man is all alone with the garage sale stuff. Soon, he's totally confused by the women in 6 cars that drove up just as his wifey went into the house for her 5 minute adventure. Yikes. When she comes back, she discovers that he sold one lady a $2 item for $20 and another lady a $20 for $2. Well...not so nice for the one, but it evens out. Another kept asking if she could have "all of this for $10?" He got nervous and said yes. Ooops. Looks like he sold a box of about 75 old videos for $10.
Well, not to worry. This is not going to happen at our house today. Why? Well... The hour by hour weather report that our local TV station puts on their web site says that we're going to have rain at 6, 7, 8 and 9 a.m. Our sale is supposed to start at 9 (which means the early birds should be showing up at 8). But if it's going to be raining right up until the sale is supposed to start, I'm going back to bed.
No sense in me getting all hot and bothered about how men don't do their parts in the whole garage sale process. Nope. This chick is heading back to bed.
Now...if hubby wants to handle a garage sale all by his lonesome, well...he's welcome to do that. Who's taking bets on this one? I'm telling you...men just don't do garage sales on their own.
I'm pretty good at garage sales. (Both having them and finding other people's bargain junk when I'm out and about. ) When I was married to my son's dad, I used to have sales twice a year. He was always surprised that I (he thought we - ha!) brought in $300 or more each time.
Haven't done that well here with Incurable Romantic . Know why? We've only been married since 2/05, remember? It will be a year or so more before I feel comfortable getting rid of his unnecessary junk.
Remember yesterday I said we had 17 truck loads of stuff. That's his stuff. He's a collector of junk and a pack rat. I told him the other night that he would have to take a week of vacation to sort through the stuff. It's true. Pick up something, hold it and walk down memory lane, put it in the "keep" box. Repeat a gazillion times. After sorting through an entire basement and garage, I'm betting he'll come up with one box to be thrown away and one to be sold. The rest will continue to fill the shelves that line the walls.
But that hasn't happened yet. I'm figuring...when pigs fly.
Disclaimer: I am NOT saying hubby didn't do anything to get ready for this garage sale. He probably spent 6 hours sorting through old player piano music rolls that he's willing to part with for $1 each. In the process, he found a few for which he can get more like $10 each. Hey, y'all want any antique player piano rolls?
Stats for Friday - 113 folks took a peek. Or maybe 10 people took a peek 11.3 times?
Friday afternoon, I thought of a really good entry for early Saturday morning. You think I can remember what it was? Ha!
|"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..." Isn't that how it goes? "These are a few of my favorite things...???"
This one has her blinders back on folks. I'm going to hide away in my own little world of sunshine and Sonshine.
Y'all can come visit if you want. But leave the negatives at the door, okay? My tummy really cannot take any more negatives. It's screaming.
Hubby and I (and two other neighbors on our street) are going to try to have a garage sale tomorrow. We have about 17 truck loads of stuff we could get rid of. But there's not really time to sort through it by tomorrow.
And...it will probably rain...if the weather man is right.
So, that's where I am as I log off. Sorting through stuff just in case. Pray for sunshine, okay? And that we drag out lots of stuff and sell it all. Right.
Hey, you know what? Yesterday I had 107 hits to my blog and already today 43. Guess that just shows to go ya that folks like fussin' and fightin' lots more than they like raindrops on roses. Oh well. I'll happily go back to having my 30 visitors. Y'all come.
|You know which one I mean? The one that was always soooooooooo inspiring to me. She's quite a fighter, that one. Reading about her fight always made me realize that my own pains and illness were really nothing compared to hers. Grrr. Come back, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease. Now that we know how mean and rotten people can be to you, we'll try to protect you. Won't we people? Won't we??????!!!!
Remember how in the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicked her ruby shoes together to get back home? Think that would work? We could try... Ready, click your heels together. "There's no one like you know who, there's no one like you know who."
Or...remember how in Peter Pan, kids were urged to clap to get Tinkerbell to appear? (That was it, right?) We could try that. Okay, ready, set, go. Are you clapping?
Or...maybe we could....I know! Say it with me, "Star light, start bright. First start I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight."
Or, better still we could pray.
But, no. None of that is going to work. Our friend is way too fragile to survive the negatives around here. She needs our prayers, of course. She may be in remission now, but we need to pray for a huge God miracle for her.
I surely have been blind to things that happen here. Really. A few months ago, I encountered two writers who used to be here. One was here as long or longer than me. The other was only here for about....maybe 6 or 8 months. Both of them are happily sharing their works of heart at another writer's site. Both of them told me that they left here because of the cliques.
"Cliques?" I asked. "What cliques?"
Each one told me about being shown the door by some really mean blue case persons. (One of them had been a blue case writer too.)
Of course I just poo-pooed the idea that there were cliques or mean blue cases. Psssshhhhaw. Not here at good 'ol WDC. No sirrree bob. (As someone in my family used to say.)
Then I remembered a few other people who have gone from here whose "real" email addresses I had. There were about 3 or 4 of those people with whom I corresponded after they left here. A few of them mentioned cliques too, but I had ignored their comments. One of these disgruntled ex-WDCers called those who made his life miserable before leaving the BCWs (Blue Case Wonders). One said he had been dumped out of here for some really petty reason and I could not believe what he was saying was true. He must have done something worse than that...
But now? I'm not so sure. There surely are cliques. There surely are people who can - and do - make life miserable for those who....what? Don't conform to their way of thinking? Don't bow down at their feet? Or those who defend persons who were wronged?
Seriously. Remember how happy David McClain was about being on Center Stage. And then.....poof.......he's not there anymore. Here's what he said about that. "My Last Word on the Subject......" Did his writing suddenly go from being good to being bad? Nah. He made someone mad. Go figure. Let's see... Is this a writing site, where folks go to learn about writing or a place to go to be in popularity contests? Hmmm.
I've been pondering this a bunch, as my blog entries show. I guess this Pollyanna (as my sisters call me...that and the Ms. Merry Sunshine label I admit to) wears those rose-tinted glasses waaaaaaaaaaaay too much. I just don't see the bad stuff happening all around me. Usually. But my blinders have been lifted and what I'm seeing is really ugly. Yucky. Ewwwwwwwww. Stinky too.
Since I became a blue case myself (which seems like forever ago), I've had black and yellows write to me and tell me what a nice blue I was compared to some others. I thought they were exaggerating about the others. Now, you know, I'm just not so sure.
I used to be proud of WDC and of being a blue. But these days, not so much.
Well, I'll ponder all of this later. Perhaps after sleeping the world will look bright and sunny once more.
I've heard that she's still fighting....today...and she'll be fighting tomorrow...and the next day, and the next, and the next....
This just in from Jem. I don't know how long it will be available. "Invalid Entry" This entry names names and gives details, so it might disappear. Probably will. She and Raven are leaving for sure now, I guess. That's probably the right thing to do. Raven DOES NOT need to be around such negatives. She needs positives. Well, I'll miss her and her inspiration. Bunches.
|But it won't be much of a secret once I share it here, right?
Actually, I think I have found a secret. The secret to getting lots and lots of blog views. Want to know what it is? Well, based upon the number of views of yesterday's blog entry, it is one of two things. (Is it just two? I think I talked about two things.)
1) Call blue case persons "hoodlums." Yes, I really did say that. We're not all that way, but some definitely are - from the complaints going about this site right now.
2) Remind folks that they can save their entire portfolio by using the "site tools" drop down menu and clicking on "export portfolio".
Which one do YOU think brought all the traffic to my blog yesterday? Something did, because I got 75 views yesterday. 75 Before that, my highest number was 57, I think.
Hey, you think if calling blue case people hoodlums worked, will calling them dunderheads work just as well? Let's find out. Y'all are dunderheads! There. Now... I'm going to cross my arms across my chest and kick back and wait to see if the masses come....
I know, I know. Yesterday's entry was a bit cryptic. For those who didn't know what in the world I was referencing, I'm sure it was confusing. I'm sorry. For those who did know, they know I support them and their cause.
Here's something else. Some may wonder why I'm bring this up now, but others will know.
In 2003, I fled an abusive relationship. I left Texas and went to Michigan to get away. I spent a week with one sister, then ended up at my parents' home, where I experienced even more abuse - not physical, mind you, just....well being wakened at 3 a.m. and asked to leave for no cause that I could determine. (Except that later on it became apparent that Dad had Alzheimer's and mom suffered some kind of dementia.) I spent a month in a women's abuse shelter that year, then lived with an 84 year old lady for about 6 months, then was back with my parents.
Note: During all of that, no one could have found me if they wanted to. That was the point. I was hiding from the man in Texas, remember?
In 2003-2004, I was in the hospital twice, and you know what? If you had tried to find me or to send flowers to me you could not have done so. Why? Well, for one thing, I was in a hospital in a completely different town than where I lived for one visit. For another, I instructed the hospital staff that they were to give information to no one, even if they claimed to be family or friends.
You know what else? If you had asked my parents if I was in the hospital, their response would have been, "No! She's not sick." They were clueless.
Whew. Can you imagine what might have happened if some hoodlums and dunderheads decided they wanted to send flowers to me in the hospital?
They might have decided that I was lying about being in the hospital.
They might have believed my parents!
They might have decided to tell the world - well, the WDC world - that I was a liar.
....'Cause that's what hoodlums and dunderheads do. They assume things that are not true. Then when confronted with facts they refuse to listen to them.
Aren't you glad we don't really have hoodlums and dunderheads here at WDC? I know I am. 'Cause since I made a public accusation of them being hoodlums and dunderheads, finding them to actually being intelligent and caring individuals would mean that I would have to apologize in public as well.
Yep, that's how things should work. Accuse in public and apologize in public. Make a note of that kiddies.
Disclaimer: If you are an admitted thug (I mean hoodlum) and/or blockhead (I mean dunderhead), and I have offended you, I am really, really sorry. I did not intend to offend anyone. I didn't realize we had persons at WDC who admitted to being in these groups. In the future, I will try to use different references to persons who don't have a clue, but choose to point fingers and wreak havoc around WDC.
Hmmm. Hubby said that early on it's not clear whose side I'm on. Hopefully that's not the case, but as I told someone else just recently....I don't care what is your case color. What's important to me is that you are kind and truthful. And if, somehow, you've made a mistake, you own up to it. Well, I guess that's part of being truthful, isn't it?
|I have been here since September, 2001. I think I arrived the week before 9/11. In that time, I have seen people come and go. I have hurt when writers were hurt - by their fellow writers or the general public.
I particularly hurt when writers are hurt by those at a higher level, like the blue cases. Yes, I am a moderator myself. But I would never attack people like I know some mods have attacked writers. How do I know? Word gets out. People talk. Sometimes you can take what folks say with a grain of salt, I know. But sometimes, when the same stories are being circulated by persons who have not yet come in contact with one another, you know that the stories are real.
Besides, I have had my share of accusations, about both writings and pictures.
I really have been writing since I was a kid just old enough to write. I don't steal the writings of others. I don't have to!
And I have been taking pictures almost as long as I have been writing. I don't remember the first camera I used, but I do remember the one I got when I graduated from high school. It was a Kodak Magic-Cube. Are you old enough to remember those? You had to use a flash cube with an "X" at the top.
But can I prove that the pictures I have used in my portfolio or my blog are my own creation? No, probably not. There are some on my computer that the church secretary at my church scanned for me in 2000 and put on a disk. I immediately went home and transferred them from that disk to my computer.
When I worked for the newspaper in Texas, I also had some pictures put on a CD for me, by the guy we used to make copies of pictures for us when folks requested them. (We took good digital pictures for events, but had no way of making copies of them at the paper.) Again, I transferred those pictures from the CD to my computer. Could I prove that? No, probably not. Should I have to?????? ABSOLUTELY NOT! As anyone who reads my writings has to know, I am not a liar or a thief.
Well, enough of that. I'm sure some of you are wondering. I know this is rather cryptic, and I'm sorry.
Actually, after learning about something that happened here recently to a member of our community, I'm wondering if I want to even stay here and be a part of it all anymore.
This time, it wasn't about whether or not said writer had written something, but it was a bunch of blue case hoodlums attacking someone's integrity.
With my own personal (health) problems, I don't always see these things as they happen, but I have heard some things from a number of different sources - people whom I trust to be correct in their telling of the tale.
Frankly, I'm feeling badly for two reasons:
1) That I wasn't around to put my two cents worth in as the drama enfolded. Not that my input would have made any difference. But it would have made me feel better to know that I had defended the writer involved while this was happening.
2) I wonder what kind of moderator I really am if I cannot be here as often as I once was or offer help to as many as I once did.
Make that three reasons:
3) I am disappointed in my fellow blue cases, even though, to be honest, I don't know which ones participated in this event. That makes me wary of being close to any moderators, and I don't like that feeling.
Perhaps just sharing that much will get me in trouble. Perhaps questioning whether or not I want to be here will be enough for someone to decide that I should not. Stranger things have happened...
If my portfolio up and disappears one day and you haven't heard me say that I'm leaving, then remember that TexansBeatTheMiamiDolphinsBy3 has at least one of my other email addresses.
That reminds me...
Writers aren't always diligent about saving their writings. Did you realize that if you go to "site tools" and choose "export portfolio" you can save all of your writings? I suggest if you have not saved everything already, that's a great tool for doing so.
Take a look at my hubby's comment to this blog entry. (You know,
Incurable Romantic .) He has a point...
And that reminded me of how our brother Paul used to end his letters:
"Peace to the brothers, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love." Ephesians 6:23-24 NIV