Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm going home...

I have tried... and tried... and tried again to start a different blog (as I did with this one).

Just for a change... something different.

But it never works!  

I forever pine after my original one.  It seems to have my heart... the atmosphere, the "feeling", the whole milieu screams ME!!!

So I'm going back home once again.  I'd love it if you'd follow me there.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bill Cosby for President



(1). Any use of the phrase: 'Press 1 for English' is immediately BANNED!!!. English is the official language; speak it or wait outside of our borders until you can.

(2). We will immediately go into a two year isolationist attitude in order to straighten out the greedy big business posture in this country. America will allow NO imports, and we'll do no exports. We will use the Wal-Mart's policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.' We'll make it here and sell it here!

(3). When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it coming in here.

(4). All retired military personnel will be required to man one of the many observation towers located on the southern border of the United States (six month tour). They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTH BOUND aliens.

(5). Social Security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you AIN'T getting nuttin out. Neither the President nor any other politician will be able to touch it.

(6). Welfare -- Checks will be handed out on Fridays, at the end of the 40 hour school week, the successful completion of a urinalysis test for drugs, and passing grades.

(7). Professional Athletes -- Steroids? The FIRST time you check positive you're banned from sports ... for life.

(8). Crime -- We will adopt the Turkish method, i.e., the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more 'life sentences'. If convicted of murder, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for the victim you killed: gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

(9). One export of ours will be allowed: wheat; because the world needs to eat. However, a bushel of wheat will be the EXACT price of a barrel of oil.

(10). All foreign aid, using American taxpayer money, will immediately cease and the saved money will help to pay off the national debt and, ultimately, lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask The American People if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision as to whether or not it's a worthy cause.

(11). The Pledge of Allegiance will be said EVERY day at school and every day in CONGRESS.

(12). The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

My apology is offered if I've stepped on anyone's toes. Nevertheless.....


Sincerely, Bill Cosby

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A blessing to be "poor"...

The perception of being "poor" varies with every family... and the different words defining poor vary too.

We're just about as monetarily-challenged as we've been in a long time.  A decade or two, actually.  Medical bills have piled up, hubby's pay hasn't increased with the cost of simply living, gasoline prices are through the roof, our utility bill is higher each month than any car payment we've ever had, school tuition for Caboose (which came out of the blue last November) equals our property taxes per year, it costs over $100/mo to keep my blood pressure down so that I can stay alive, and usually by the 15th of the month our wallets are pretty well dry (hubby gets paid once a month... the last work day of each month).

Like in the good ole days of our early marriage, we have to try to make a quarter stretch into a dollar most of the time.  We have to tell ourselves "no" to many things that we used to do & take for granted.  Eating out is a huge treat now... and by "eating out" I mean McDonald's.  

You know you're poor when.... sitting down to a meal at McDonald's is as big a treat as going to a fancy restaurant used to be years ago.

When there's no money in the wallet, folks have a tendency to get creative.  "What can we do, to get out of the house, that doesn't cost anything?"  The library's a big one for us.  We usually head there, especially when we have granddaughter, because there's so many things she can do... run around, color, play on their children's computers, etc.  We can get books & movies too.  The library is still an amazing luxury to me & one that I'm shocked, in today's economy, isn't busier than it is.  Reading books... checking out movies... for FREE.  Doesn't cost one thin dime.  A better deal can't be had anywhere else!

We sometimes head to our local mall as well.  That place is nearly deserted most evenings & how they stay open I have no idea.  But it's wonderful for our uses, in letting granddaughter run to her heart's content, in a sheltered environment.  We look at all the store fronts & once in awhile we buy a few turns on the Bob The Builder ride.  Granddaughter enjoys that! :-)

Yesterday was payday for us & we had granddaughter since Sunday noon.  We were all feeling a little stir-crazy & money-deprived so hubby went to the bank, withdrew our monthly allotment, and we all (hubby, son, youngest daughter, granddaughter & myself) headed for the open road.  Our first stop was the library, of course, and we spent about 90 minutes there.  We had such a wonderful time!!  We saw the son, and some of his children, of a dear former neighbor of ours who moved back to Louisiana about 7 years ago & has since passed away.  It's always a blessing to see this man & speak to him, with hugs & handshakes all around, talking about years gone by.  We couldn't believe how tall his oldest daughter is.  When hubby saw her last, she was a toddler no bigger than granddaughter, in a frilly little dress visiting Grandma & Grandpa next door.  

We all found books to read & brought home a Mickey Mouse video for granddaughter to watch while here.  Our son even colored one of the pre-printed pages at the children's table (he's 6'4" tall... those long legs at that little table, sitting in that little chair... priceless!) & granddaughter did her usual library routine except this time she didn't cry when we left.  She must have had her fill by the time 90 minutes was over.  Have we hit on the magic number?  :-)

We then all went to McDonald's for supper.  It will be our only time we "eat out" for this payday so everyone ordered what they wished.  No instructions to "Only order from the $1 menu, guys!" and no admonitions to "We have food at home too, guys, so don't order enough to get stuffed... just enough to fill the empty spot!".  This time we had a table full of food with apple pies for dessert.  We feasted & it all tasted soooo good.  As we sat around the table eating, we talked & laughed & reminisced about so many things.  We hadn't all been around a table, eating out, in a long time.  After we got done we let granddaughter play in the Play Place at McDonald's, for the first time.  I don't know if we've ruined it for future visits or not, as far as her eating before wanting to play.  But somehow that thought didn't matter last night.  It was a magical night with not a money concern in sight.  Some playground fun in the Play Place seemed in order.

After we left McDonald's we went to the drugstore to pick-up my blood pressure pills & headed home.  My heart was full.  Really full... of joy, happiness, contentment.  When you can go to the library & to McDonald's afterward and come home feeling like you've had one of the biggest treats imaginable, then that's the blessing of being poor.  When you can find joy in the simple things, that's when you know that you are right where God wants you.  He has brought you back to a place you left years ago, to perhaps locate once again some things you misplaced without even realizing it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

How do I love thee...

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, 
when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's
most quiet need, by sun and candle light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with a passion put to use
in my old griefs and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
with my lost saints.

I love thee with the breath,
smiles, tears of all my life!

And if God choose
I shall but love thee better after death.

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My daddy...

My dad died a relatively quick death from lung cancer, once we knew what it was that was making him so sick.  By the time he was diagnosed until he died was 2 weeks.  But for 18 months before he was diagnosed, he lived in hell... on earth.  Back in 1987 the diagnostic tools weren't what they are today.  Whether that's a positive or negative could be debated... seriously.  They thought he had congestive heart failure & that's what was causing all the fluid to build-up in his lungs.  They thought that was why he needed to have his lungs stuck with a HUGE needle every so often, to drain off the fluid. 

Right there in the dr's office.  No numbing of any kind. 

My dad was a brave man. 

Today is the 24th anniversary of  dad's passing.  He died at 3:01pm on Friday, February 13, 1987.  I could go on & on about how much he suffered during those last months, weeks, days, hours, minutes.  It wouldn't be hard for me to do because I remember every detail like the whole nightmare happened yesterday.  But I've made a conscience decision this year to not dwell on his suffering but to dwell on the good things... the things I loved about my dad... the things that I can still remember. 

~ I loved how well-groomed my dad always was.  No matter how sick he felt, he a-l-w-a-y-s showered, shaved, combed his hair (and fingered-in those waves on top) & put on cologne.  Always put on cologne. His face was as soft as a baby's bottom & whenever I would kiss his cheek, I would feel the softness against my lips & could smell his cologne... Avon Musk for Men.  He never wore anything else but that cologne.  I kept the last bottle he ever had for the longest time.  I even might still have it, I don't know.  But after he died I would open up that bottle & smell it and be instantly transported to a world where my daddy was still alive and still with baby butt soft cheeks.

~ I loved how my dad made oatmeal.  Lumpy!  My dad was a big man... 6'2" & 260 lbs.  He loved to eat but never EVER looked sloppy in his clothes.  He was simply just big but neat as a pin in everything he wore.  Sometimes when mom was gone, dad would make breakfast & it was always oatmeal.  It had huge lumps in it & I loved it, for whatever reason.  Sometimes he would make it for me "just because".

~ I loved how my dad & I did some body work on an OLD Pontiac that my young husband had bought for me, to drive back & forth to college when, after being married a year, I decided I wanted to become a nurse.  It was a jalopy if there ever was one.  I swear it got (maybe) 10 MPG but it got me to school & back safely for 3 years... and was within our budget.  The poor thing started to rust really bad one summer so dad convinced me that we could do a little sanding, puttying, and painting ourselves to make the car last longer & not totally fall apart.  I'll never forget doing it in mom & dad's driveway while dad sat in a lawnchair & supervised.  Dad already had heart problems for years by that time so he couldn't help me much but he coached me & together we did it.  No, it wasn't the best of jobs but it served the purpose.  That's such a vivid memory for me.

~ I loved how my dad worked for the same company all of his adult life.  He took 2 years off, to serve in WWII when he was drafted, but then returned to the same company after being discharged.  A plaque was given to him, upon his retirement, and it said: "Constancy is the complement of all other virtures".  I believe that's true... and my dad was definitely constant in everything he tackled.

~ I loved how my dad made things with his hands.  Whenever there was a need around the house, for a new table or a set of shelves or a kitchen cabinet or some cabinets for mom's laundry area in the basement, dad would always build it himself... usually with no pre-purchased plans or schematic.  He would draw out the plans himself & then set to building whatever it was that the household needed.  The house that I spent the most time in, from birth until 13 years old, went up for sale not so many years ago, by the owner who had purchased it from my parents back in the late 1960s.  I saw the ad for an Open House in the newspaper & couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the address.  My husband took me & I explained to the realtor how we were just there to reminisce.  He was very kind & let us take pictures & slowly walk through the house.  It was like I had stepped back in time because so many things were still the same.  Especially in the basement, where the shelves still stood that my dad had made for my toys... and the cabinets he made for mom's laundry supplies next to the washer & dryer... and the beautiful bar that my dad had built in the family room side of the basement that was now stacked with junk & had totally lost the luster & beauty from when I was little.  So many many things... too many for me to list here... were still in that house, standing in the very place my dad had built them.  I wanted so badly to ask if I could buy those old cabinets & shelves & that bar but: #1 We had no money to buy them with & #2 Had no place to put any of it if we did.  Walking out the door of that house that day, I felt like I was leaving a part of my dad behind.  I felt exactly like Alice in Wonderland walking through the looking glass into a whole different world.

~ I loved how my dad built me a doll house in pieces one winter, down our basement, and then assembled it outside in the spring.  It's long gone now but it stood in the backyard of my old house for many years after my parents sold the house.  It had windows, shutters, a shingled roof, a little table & chairs inside, the whole bit.  A house in miniature.  I was the most popular little girl in the neighborhood and all my friends & I played in that doll house for years.

~ I loved how my dad came over every single morning, Monday thru Friday, to have coffee & visit with our oldest (and only, at that time) child.  My dad was our oldest daughter's "Papa" & he loved her more than life itself.  Dad met his cronies at McDonald's every morning, after he was retired, and they'd meet when the place opened at 5;30am.  All these men were used to getting up early & reporting to work, so after retirement their lives still needed an early morning purpose.  They'd let dad buy (for 50 cents) the Happy Meal toy & so that's what he'd bring our daughter on certain mornings.  Other mornings he'd stop at the drugstore & buy her a little something.  He felt he could never come empty-handed to see her.  He'd sit & color with her at the kitchen table for an hour & not mind in the least.  She always looked forward to her Papa coming in the morning.  We had a signal too.  If I had a bad night or wasn't up by 6:45am, which was the time he'd usually stop by, I was to keep the kitchen curtains closed and that way dad would simply drive by & not stop.  It only happened a few times, that I would keep the curtains closed, but God how I wish I never had done that.  What I wouldn't give for just one more visit from dad! 

~ I loved how my dad cried when he "gave me away" at my wedding.  I was his youngest child... his only daughter... probably his favorite, if the truth be known... and he wanted to keep me for himself, as his "little girl", I'm sure.  I was only 19 when he walked me down the aisle & I'm sure he thought he was truly handing me over to my husband & "losing me" as his own.  It didn't take me long, after my marriage day, to make him realize he would never lose me & I would always be his little girl.  Even at 54 I'm still his little girl today.

~ I loved how dad would want to take a little "vacation" once in awhile.  Never anyplace far & never for a long time.  Usually within a day's worth of travel & usually for always less than a week.  It was just the fact of getting away for a little while.  Mom never liked to travel so I was always dad's "partner in crime" to plan out our next destination.  Dad loved atlases & loved mapping out our routes.  I still have an old atlas that he used to use, along with a notebook he'd write in about the paths we should take.  Those precious hands, writing down those precious plans, with all the excitment of a child on the night before Christmas.  I would simply listen & smile... and do all the driving because, with his heart the way it was, he couldn't.  He dreamed & I made his travel dreams come true.

I love you, daddy, and I miss you so much that my heart aches whenever I think of you.  It's been 24 years since I've seen you smile... or heard your voice... or kissed your cheek... or heard you laugh... or saw you walk up the steps to my house... or watched you drive a car... or saw you swing a hammer... or watched you comb your hair... or listened to you sing to Fallon... or tasted your delicious oatmeal... or watched you knot your tie for church... or listened to you snore as you laid on the couch "watching" your favorite John Wayne movie... and my memory has so faded that it makes my heart weep.  I used to be able to close my eyes & actually feel the softness of your skin on my lips as I'd kiss your cheek... but I can't do that anymore.  The years have taken that away from me.  I wonder if you ever fathomed me being a grandma, dad?  Or Fallon being a wife & mother?  She was only 4 years old when you died, dad.  She's a 28 year old woman expecting her 2nd child this spring. 

I'm aging, daddy, and one day... probably in the wink of an eye... we will be together again.  I can't wait to hug you & kiss your cheek.  Please wear that Avon cologne for me, would you, daddy?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A carrot, an egg, & a cup of coffee...

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying A word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hurray for pro-choice movement!

Hurray for the pro-choice movement.  This excerpt should make you happy, no?  You are proud of and promote the existence of abortion clinics, yes?  You are in favor of what goes on in abortion clinics being legal, correct?  Then this article should make you thrilled.  It's a good advertisement for your cause, eh? 

If you are pro-choice, picture me grabbing the back of your neck & MAKING YOU READ THIS ARTICLE.  Because the chances are very good that you are in favor of something you've never witnessed & never received yourself.  If you are pro-choice and unable to read this article, from start to finish, you are a weasel.  A baby-killing weasel in denial of the actuality of what you favor.

You're the same suckers that car dealers count on to buy their used pieces of crap without driving them first or actually looking under the hood, as to what is lurking there... refusing to look at the reality of what you are about to buy, hook-line-sinker.

Read this article and weep... for the actuality YOU pro-choicers have helped to bring into legal existence in this country.  How kind of you.  On behalf of this little child, tortured to death, I thank you.



An excerpt of the book "unPLANNED"
by Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson was executive director of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Bryan, Texas, and had been with Planned Parenthood for eight years.

One day in 2009, due to a personnel shortage, she was asked to assist with an ultrasound guided abortion.  This was a technique uncommon in Planned Parenthood abortuaries, but the doctor executing abortions that day had opted for this method.  It was a procedure Abby had not been part of before.

As she held the probe over the stomach of the young woman having the abortion, Abby saw the image of a perfectly formed baby appear on the ultrasound screen.  The baby was about 13 weeks, and Abby saw the clear profile from face to feet.

Abby did not want to watch what would happen next, but she knew she had to.  She saw the insertion of the cannula - a straw shaped instrument attached to the end of the suction cup.  Abby repeated to herself the empty talking points Planned Parenthood had taught her: "The baby doesn't feel pain... the fetal tissue feels nothing as it is removed... This is a simply quick medical procedure."

She was jolted out of these platitudes when she saw the baby react - a sudden jerk from his tiny feet.  The baby was kicking as if trying to move away from the invader.

"As the cannula pressed in," she writes, "the baby began struggling to turn and twist away."

The abortionist then made the callous comment, "Beam me up, Scotty", which was meant to instruct the nurse to switch on the suction.

Abby knew what she was about to see.  She wanted to cry out "Stop!"  But there she was holding the probe.  She was an accomplice.

She then describes one of the most horrifying scenes a person could witness.

"The cannula was already being rotated by the doctor and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting from it.  For the briefest moment it looked as if the baby was being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed.  And then the little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes.  I saw the tiny perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube.  Then everything was gone."

Stunned and horrified, Abby dropped the probe.  She remembered the ultrasound of Grace at twelve weeks, her daughter who was now age three.  She thought of her eight year affiliation with Planned Parenthood, and determined on the spot she would never be part of this again.

(I was going to insert a picture of an aborted, broken, mutilated, tortured 13-week gestation fetus here.  I decided not to.  Not everyone who visits my blog is a baby killing abortion proponent.  Why should I expose them to the heartache.  You pro-choicers... go look it up yourself.  Wait, you don't have the guts to do that.  But vote for pro-choice presidents & other governmental officials?  No problem!  You do it with smiles on your faces & celebrate afterward.  God save your souls from hell's damnation, I pray.)