Sunday, April 08, 2007


What A Long Dark Winter!

I have not posted anything for over three months. I have been in the throes of the winter blues. A mild kind of depression where I still function normally, go to work, to to Walmart once a week, go to church, but that's about it. It's been too cold now to go out and walk regularly, but I have it on my list of to do things. I have been lifting weights, and trying to get some sunshine to absorb at least once a day to try to fight off the blues.

I have not had any really good adventures...well, maybe one. It was back in January. It wasn't that cold of a month, so I was still walking regularly, even if it was just around my yard and down the alley, but I always walk after dark as I like the anonymity. So, this one evening, the wind was really howling, and I didn't even want to be out there, but I was being faithful to my routine, so I went remember, the wind was howling! A truly dark and stormy night! I was coming around the north corner of my house, and there was a tree between me and the tree closest to the alley. I was walking that way, and suddenly noticed a figure in black standing under that tree...he was trying to light a cigarette in that wind...had a hooded sweatshirt on, but had deliberately walked up into my yard from the street, which is on an incline up into my yard. I cannot explain the feelings that came over me...not a feeling of being afraid of this spooky looking guy...nope...he just made me so mad I could have picked him up and bodily thrown him out of my yard. (for those who do not know me personally, I am a tall woman, with very short hair and broad shoulders, and with my own hooded sweatshirt on, someone could easily think I was a guy.) So, when I saw this guy, and he startled me, I thought, what the hell is this guy doing in my yard! And I began to walk purposefuly towards him...he did not see me at first, then he caught sight of this "big guy" coming towards him in a menacing kind of way, and he literally leaped out of my yard, down into the street, walking rapidly away...sooooo...I decided to follow him. I began walking the same way he did, but staying in my yard...he turned the corner in front of my house and started walking down the street...I followed on my sidewalk...he stopped abruptly and turned around, saw me, but began retracing his steps, got back to the corner and turned down the street, going away from me. I stood there awhile, till he was out of sight. Laughing my fool ass off.

Well, I have seen him a time or two since then, but in daylight...he is just a kid who lives two blocks down...but in the daylight, I doubt if he connects me with the 'guy' who chased him!

I need more adventures!

Sunday, January 07, 2007



An Answer To A Christmas Prayer

This happened to me shortly before Christmas, and I consider it to be an answer to a prayer. I have posted for years on several faith based forums, and I had posted a prayer request some time before Christmas, asking that we pray for each other to know the real meaning of Christmas in our lives this Christmas season. I also mentioned that usually when we pray for stuff like this, we can expect the devil to jump right in with all kinds of nasty things that might happen to distract us from our high minded intentions. It was not two hours after I had posted that very prayer, that the following happened to me.

I was sitting right here at my computer desk, which sits in a tiny alcove right off my front door, and I can see out the window of the front door...

I noticed something moving out in my yard, and saw an elderly woman bent over, approaching my door, but not on the first inclination was to close the blinds and ignore her, thinking she was trying to sell me something...then I noticed she was covered with bits of dried grass and leaves and was holding one shoe in her hand and I quickly opened the door and asked her if she was ok...she had fallen in my yard, but the reason she had stopped was cause she needed directions. She was delivering Chistmas cookies to shut ins from her church. The house she was looking for was a block east of me, and I patiently, in the cold cold air, tried to explain to her how to find it, while brushing leaves and grass off of her. She had a cockeyed eye, and when she looked at me, she just was not comprehending what I was I said I would get my keys and she could follow me to the that's what we did...very very slowly, we drove down the block, turned left, drove another block, turned left again, and found the house. I pulled up in front, but away from the driveway, left my car running, and went back to where she had parked...she began to get out, thanking me, and the car began to move forward, as she had not put it in park! I grabbed the door and literally began to drag against the moving car, while sort of pushing her back into the car yelling at her to put it in park or step on the brake! In my mind, I was seeing me run over by the car, as it crashed into my car...but none of that super human strength and probably about three angels, stopped that car. I thanked God and prayed for protection for that little old woman to get home safely. When I told this story at coffeebreak today, I included the part about praying and meditating on the true meaning of Christmas, and as the story unfolded, everyone laughed till they cried. I think it was the thought of me hanging onto the open car door dragging against the moving car that did it for them.

Sunday, December 31, 2006


Thoughts on the Ending of 2006

The end of the year. A day filled with the surprise of a snowfall. The end of the year, the shortened, brief days, hectic and busy and all of a sudden, the last day of the year. The last day of the year always makes me sad.

It has not been a bad year at all. God continues to bless me with good health and vigor and meets my every need. But I have not had a tremendous sense of peace this year. I keep asking myself, "is this all there is?" Can I be content with what I have? Is there more?

My biggest complaint is that I am alone. Most of the time, this does not bother me, as I have been alone before in my life. But now it is by means of an empty nest. I tried to prepare myself for it years ago. Nothing really helped.

So I ask myself, do you think you want to find a man friend? That scares the holy crap out of me. So, after much contemplation, I decided I need a closer friend/friends. I have some wonderful and caring internet friends, and some I am in touch with on a daily basis. And I work with 9 other women, with whom I am friendly, but we have to be in each other's company for about 7 hours a day, so we are eager to say goodbye and see you tomorrow, or have a good evening, or a great weekend...but we do not carry the friendship into our home life. It is an 'at work' friendship. I am becoming more aware of the fact that to have friends, one must be a friend, first. I feel like I have failed at that. Or my cup would be running over with friends.

I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions, but tonight I have a few:

1. I resolve to become a better friend.
2. I am going to work at being happier.
3. I pray to always have a thankful heart.

Saturday, December 30, 2006



One week ago today was a memorial service for Henry Linck, a local guy who died in Iraq recently. The Phelps family from the Westboro Baptist Church out of Topeka were here protesting. I posted my experience on another blog, and I will copy and paste what I wrote here...

This was the scenario...the memorial service was scheduled to be held at the American Legion, right next door to the National Guard Armory, about two blocks from the highway that runs through town. The Phelps had sent our city attorney a 30 page document outlining their demands for protection during their exercising of their rights as American citizens, to protest. They said they would be in town between 12:15 and 1:00 pm. The city suggested a spot about a block east of the armory on a main road, where they could safely protest. Evidently, when they saw the spot upon their arrival today, they demanded to be allowed to protest on the highway itself, exactly one block south of the armory. When I drove by on the highway, I saw two adult males holding signs that said either, 'Your Sons Are in Hell' or 'God Hates Gays' or one other one about America being the home of terrorists. I saw one adult female, whom I believe was actually one of the Phelps, and also about four children. I found a parking spot and walked up to the armory, which was surrounded by motorcycles and guys in black leather...The Patriot Guard. They all had flags mounted on 6' poles, behind their bikes. Many other folks stood with them, both young and old, some waving smaller flags. I asked if it was ok to stand with them, and was told, sure, come on I stood on the very corner closest to the protesters, as I was curious what might happen. The group of protesters did not even look our way. At one point, the female began screaming/singing...a cop came by and said she was 'singing' but that even up close he could not understand the words. At precisely 1:00 pm, they put down their signs, walked over to a 9 passenger van, and left town.The Patriot Guard is made up of bikers from all over the midwest. I saw jackets with the names of towns as far away as KC and Lincoln, NE, and one guy even had one on that said, Kentucky. At one point, the apparent leader of the Guard came by and spoke to the group I was standing with, and he said the reason why the Phelps left so abruptly, is that with all their legal shenanigans, they demanded protection for exactly 45 minutes, and after that, legally, they were on their own, and they did not want to take a chance of anyone suing them, so they hit the trail. He also said how pleased he was that so many town people came out to support and stand with the Guard. He said he liked to call it the rebirth of patriotism in America. The Guard leader had a very interesting little patch on the back of his black leather was an American flag with the words, "Try burnin' this," below it.The memorial service was broadcast on loud speakers so the Guard and those standing with them could hear it. Afterwards, the bikers paraded on their bikes through town, and then came back for a luncheon with the family of the soldier at the Legion.My personal feelings? When I walked up and actually saw about a hundred flags waving in the gray, chilly air, I got all choked up and began to cry, and could hardly speak when I got close enough to ask if it was ok to stand with them. I was impressed with the Guard's quiet dignity and strength. I overheard one man standing with his son, tell some newcomers that they prefered to concentrate on the soldier and the family and not on the protesters. I heard many references to the fact that the soldier that died was fighting for the protesters' right to stand and protest their government and their hatred of gays, as well as for whatever other reasons this 25 year old found himself in Iraq, the object of a bomb. I was torn with wanting to stage my own anti protest of the protesters, but for some reason, no one did that at all. Basically, everyone ignored them. People were driving by constantly, some stopping to give the Guard plates of Christmas cookies and cups of hot coffee, or honking or clapping, or rolling down their windows and saying, 'thanks.'All in all it was an interesting experience, and although the hatred I could feel emanating from the Phelps was shocking and ugly, I was glad to be standing with all those that was pretty cool.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The 28th of August

Today is my birthday. I have not liked birthdays for a very long time. They are a painful reminder of happier times when I was nourished and loved by my mother who died when I was 21 years old. The thing about my mother that strikes me as so tragic, is that for 21 years I took her for granted. Suddenly she was gone. Oh, she'd been sick, but when you are 21 years old, the death of a loved one is not a reality that you readily understand. At least, I did not. She has been gone for 38 years now. I turned 60 today.

I have outlived my mother by 18 years. She was relatively young when she died at 42. My mother had her hands full with my father, who was diabetic and given to terrible mood swings. She deserved better. She was a sweet woman who did not speak badly about anyone, ever. I never heard a cuss word come out of her mouth. The worst I ever saw her, was invariably, when my sisters and I would be laughing late at night and would wake her, and she would come frowning into the room we were in saying, "this has got to stop!" As soon as we saw her coming, we would mock her, cause we knew what she was going to say, so we said it right along with her. "This had got to stop!"

My sisters and I would always say that Mom had eyes like a hawk when she would see something we were trying to hide. She had ears like a hawk if we were trying to do something we did not want her to hear. And if there happened to be something we were up to that involved the sense of smell, well, you guessed it, she had a nose like a hawk.

My faith in God was shaken the months my mother was sick, dying of cancer. If ever there was someone who did not deserve to die a painful death, it was my mother. And yet she suffered far beyond what anyone should suffer. When she died I was somehow comforted in the thought of heaven, a place where she would not have to suffer anymore, but the devastation of losing her was far beyond comforting thoughts.

Being a mother myself, I wondered today, if my own daughters take me for granted. I wondered if I should die, would their lives be impacted as much as my own, and also my sisters' and brother's lives were also impacted by our mother's suffering and dying. I don't know. But I am finding this day, this day that I have turned the milestone age of 60, that I am thinking deep thoughts. Maybe they are dark thoughts as opposed to my usual cheery and positive outlook. I don't show that side of me very often, but maybe it will have a cathartic influence on my mood today, if I get it out and roll it around here where I can say whatever I have a mind to.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Moon Flowers

I could not let the day pass without mentioning that tonight when I walked in my yard as it grew dark, the moonflowers opened up, and although I have seen one or two by themselves so far this year, the recent rains caused a growth spurt that brought out the blooms.

Now for those of you who do not know the moon is an ugly plant, with gorgeous, huge, trumpet shaped white flowers whose spicy smell lingers on the night air and makes the air smell downright exotic. The blooms last only one night, and droop in the morning.

Farmers consider them weeds. I got my moon flowers from a former custodian at school, Rick Colson, who kept telling me how nice they were. He brought me a few tiny plants and it took a year or two to get them growing good, to where they would reproduce I hoe off the bunches that come up, cause they are a pain to clean up in the fall. Each one of those incredible flowers will create a seed ball about the size of a ping pong ball, covered with stickery thorns. They are aggressive! When the seed ball breaks open it is full of feathery silky strands with a seed attached. They will come up by themselves, and could probably take over an entire property if allowed to.

There is nothing comparable to walking either by the light of the moon, or at dusk, down the back yard fence, where the moon flowers are growing profusely. Their stark whiteness in the dark is a lovely sight. And their smell is like no other flower I have ever smelled. I have tried in vain for several years to get them to grow under my bedroom windows. I have three puny little plants growing there now, but it is getting late in the season already, and I have my doubts if this dry summer will produce much more growth in them.

Right now, flowers and weeds are growing side by side in my garden, bearing testimony to the busy-ness of my summer. At least when I am out walking in the moon flowers, it is too dark to see the weeds.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Uh, there was a time lapse....

I had intended to blog my little heart out here. Didn't happen! Too much stuff going on to distract me. Mainly, my summer job!

Let me just expound a bit on why that is significant. I have been working in the USD 364 school system for 14 years. I work primarily with women. Most of you women reading this will understand the implications of that statement immediately! Working with other women is the hardest thing I have ever had to do! Why? Women are why the term, 'bitch' was created! And all the terms from that original word, such as "bitchiness." It is hard to work with women. Sooner or later, every woman has to be bitchy. Sometimes it is just the moon and it's influence on the female cycle. Sometimes it is just that it is easier to take it out on someone you don't like very well.

I have always considered myself to be a friendly person. I will go out of my way to speak to strangers, smile at children, pet animals, I am friendly! So explain to me please, why I can name three out of 12 co-workers, who in one way or another, simply cannot stand me. This has jolted my view of myself as Ms. Friendly, believe me! I began a campaign to win over those disliking me...I went out of my way to be friendly, cheerful, compassionate, caring...blah blah no avail! The three still disliked me. And my boss had remarked, perhaps innocently, that at times I annoyed the entire place with my know-it-all attitude...oh no! The whole place??? This was not something that someone with a fragile self worth should hear. Thus began my questioning whether or not I was truly a friendly person, or if I was simply kidding myself, and was an obnoxious know-it-all.

I took a summer job as a custodial assistant in the school system. My job was to work at a different school than the one I normally work at, with three janitors (they prefer the term, 'custodian'), who I knew somewhat, but had not worked closely with before. Larry, Donnie, and Glenn. I had no idea what kind of situations I might be getting into, but figured an adventure would be worth it. Basically, we cleaned the elementary school from ceiling to floor. The first endearing thing I found out about my three co-workers, was that they were addicted to a couple of soap operas...we dragged a tv with us from room to room, if that room did not have a working tv. So now, I know all about The Young and the Restless, and can name all the judges holding court on tv throughout the day.

I was also exposed to the special services employees, those who work year round with handicapped children, and also the office staff, the staff of Kid's University, which is a child care facility at the school, and a number of teachers who were there on and off throughout the summer. Did I find anyone who disliked me? Anyone who thought I was an obnoxious know-it-all? Not yet!

My last day was last Wedsnesday. My three guys told me how much they appreciated me working with them and they hoped I would be back next summer. I ran into the principal, Mr. Lord, out at Walmart a few days ago, and he told me how much he missed me being around already. I was touched! I came home and boohooed a little cause it dawned on me, that I was having a kind of epiphany of how I saw myself. Flawed? You bet! Obnoxious? Only when I want to be, not unintentionally! A know-it-all? Wellllllllllllllllllllllllll...perhaps someone as all around knowledgable as myself could be seen in a negative light as being a know-it-all, but I much prefer thinking of myself as a good candidate for Jeopardy!

This week I go back to work amongst the ladies. I will need the grace of God to help me continue to be nice to someone who truly doesn't like me. But I am no longer going to view myself as so flawed that no one could possibly like me. My summer job has proved to me that I am likable and dare I say it? Friendly!