Thursday, February 26, 2009

Superhero and Mr. Bill

I know I've told you about taking Superhero(5 year old grandson) to church with me on Wednesday night. He then spends the night with me, and I take him to school the next morning.

I help feed the college age kids a meal on Wednesday nights, so Superhero is left to his own devices, when I find myself forgetting he's there. I worry about where he is, who he's bothering, and what he might be getting into.

Well, he's made a friend and it allows me to do what I need to and not worry about him. We have a retired gentleman(Mr. Bill)who opens the building any time it needs to be opened. If you need in for something, you can even call him and he's right there to let you in.

We have a very large building with lots of doors, lights and other things that have to be touched prior to services. This is something that often gets taken for granted. It's just always done.

Mr. Bill has taken Superhero under his wing. He lets him open the classroom doors, and turn on all the lights. He takes him along as he does his rounds of getting everything ready so that we can continue to take things for granted. But Superhero loves it. When I went to find him last night to make sure he ate some dinner, they were putting some things they'd found into the lost and found box and having a great disucssion about each item.

On the way to school this morning, he was telling me about helping Mr. Bill. It dawned on me that this 5 year old knows more about this building than I do. But the most important thing is that he's found an older man that is patient, loving and kind that allows him to help, and you hear all that in his voice, and you see it in the way he is so gentle with a nosey, talkative 5 year old.

Thank you Mr. Bill. I am forever in your debt.

Hope you are having a wonderful Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pictures on Blogs

I'm not very good at doing things to my blog. Partly because I just don't seem to have the time to play with it. That comes from having to work a 40 hour week and then spending time with my grandchildren. The first I complain about, but not the latter.

I would like to post more pictures of 'stuff' but loading the pictures at home is a slow process, and I don't have a dock here at work. So thinking about that, I remembered I at one time had a cord that would allow me to load from my camera to my pc. It wouldn't charge the battery or anything like the docking station at home, but it would allow me to get my pictures loaded so that I could add them to my post.

I looked high and low and low and high for my cord. Like my birth certificate, it was nowhere to be found(are you seeing a pattern here?). Daughter#2 thought she might have a cord that would work, but the plug was too big for my camera. So I went to Office Depot and bought what I needed, or at least I thought I did. It does fit, but when I attach it to my pc and then to my camera, it wants to run through an unzip process, and I can never make it unzip and then save the photos to my harddrive. Now, I know it is mostly my ineptitude that keeps me from being able to make this work, but that's beside the point.

So dear Blog friends, until either I or someone who has more sense than I can get my pics to upload from my desk, there just won't be too many pictures and this irritates me.

What is irritating you today?

Have a great Wednesday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why I Need A Passport

I'd love to tell you tales of being a CIA operative, or a member of some other covert group, but alas, I just need to be able to go to Mexico to shop.

I'm going to visit my friend in S Texas next month, and while there, go over to Mexico to shop. However, now that you need a passport to make that trip, I am in need of one. I'll be ordering one tomorrow. I just hope I get it back in time.

I now have the birth certificate, and may still be able to get over and back with just that, but I guess we'll see in the event I don't get the passport back in time.

And if I don't make it to Mexico, that's ok. I plan to have a great time regardless.

Have a great Sunday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Mother's Birthday

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. She would be 85 today if she were alive. She was born Julia Levelle Zeiger on February 20th, 1929.

She was only 7 months old when her mother died leaving her in the care of her father and 4 older siblings. Her father remarried, and had 4 more children. She was definitely a middle child.

She spent a good bit of her life with her father's sister, Gertie Creech, who loved her like a daughter, and to whom she was devoted.

As you can imagine, she didn't have an easy life. Being shuffled around as a small child wasn't easy I'm sure. But I don't ever remember hearing her complain about her early life. It was just accepted as part of ordinary living.

At the end of WWII, when my would be father came home from the war, they met and married. She then began life as a farmer's wife. Soon their first child was born-that would be my older brother, then a couple of years later, I arrived on the scene.

On our farm, we raised pigs, chickens, cotton, soybeans, strawberries and wheat. We had a cow for milk, and I don't ever remember being hungry. Mother made biscuits 3 times a day. She was the one who milked the cow, and took care of the chickens.

It was not an easy life, and then my younger brother came along. But we didn't notice that it was hard. Our lives were much like those of every other family we knew. None of us had much money, so there wasn't fancy clothes to envy, no name brand sneakers, or jackets with high priced logo's on them. We all wore our Tuff Nut denim jeans, our Keds sneakers and homemade shirts. We looked like all the other kids at school.

My mother's life was cut short. She died in an automobile accident on June 19, 1969 at the age of 44 on her way back from a job interview. We never did find out if she got the job. Doesn't matter anyway. We miss her still. I'm sorry that my children and the children of my brothers never got to know this amazing woman. All we can do is tell them about her and hope they see the same traits in us. And I sincerely hope I have some of them.

Hope you have a great Friday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Birth Certificates and Passports

Do you know where your birth certificate is? I thought I knew where mine was, and after spending a week looking for it, I knew it was time to get a new one. When you apply for a new birth certificate, the form plainly says allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. I know that government agencies don't get in any hurry. First they have to wait for your check to clear, and then allow time for it to bounce and come back. Then they get around to processing your order.

I don't have 4 to 6 weeks to wait, but I ordered one last week by snail mail. That was $12.00. I knew that wasn't going to work, so I called the Arkansas Bureau of Vital Statistics and was told exactly what I already knew. But the lady to whom I spoke suggested that I go to a web site and I could have one expedited for a nice fee. That was another $12 for the certificate, $11 for the expeditious treatment, and $15 for FedEx to deliver. I ordered it on Tuesday and got it yesterday. And it has an official seal, so I think I'm in good shape.

I'm up early this morning to make a trip to the nearest 'Receiving Agency' to apply for the passport. I guess then I'll see how long it takes for it to make it here. You may be wondering what a 'Recieving Agency' is. Well, that's a designated post office. The one on the Campus where I work is one and I think the main post office in town is one also. I don't know for sure if the post office on campus is open on Saturday morning, so I'm heading that way in just a bit to see.

I got my mug shot taken last week for my passport, and I have my application filled out, so if I can just get it expedited, I'll be in good shape.

It's been a busy week at work. We have a lady who may have to either go to part time or go on disability, and we have been doing some reorganizing this past week. Someone has to learn her job, and someone has to learn their job, and we begin to feel like dominos falling. So, I'm doing my job, and learning a new one. I have been living in a comfort zone for a while now with my job. But now, I'm having to go outside that zone and learn lots of new information. It will be all right. You really can teach an old dog new tricks. I just worry about the people who will have to put up with my learning curve. Hopefully, it won't bee too long.

I hope you have an enjoyable Saturday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday?

I know you can have a Wordless Wednesday, but anyone who knows me very well, knows 'wordless' just insn't in my vocabulary. So since I can't be wordless, I'll just complain today.

First, I got my taxes done the other afternoon. I have one source of income, and two houses. That is all I have to worry about for my taxes. The only thing that had to be itemized was the interest that had been paid on the two houses and the lot that is contiguous to one of the houses. We also added my property and personal tax and charitable contributions. For this, and it took about 15 minutes to do the whole thing, I was charged $176 bucks. Now I'm not a chinch, least I don't think I'm one, but I think that's a bit much. I think next year, it will be TurboTax or something.

Next, I don't know what happened to the cord that came with my camera a few years ago that you use to upload pictures to your pc without your base, so I went and spent $30 bucks on a new one, but for some reason I can't get the pictures to load. This means the pictures I was going to put on my blog today aren't there.

I've gripped enough for one day. The sun is shining and it's a balmy 65 degrees outside. I should be happy. How about you? What's your complaint today?

Hope you are having a great Wednesday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Who's getting Axed?

Which character is going to die on Brothers and Sisters?

I have watched Brothers and Sisters since it's inception a couple of years ago. I like how they have addressed some of the social issues. I don't care for the fact they have the gay brother with his partner, and that they now have Sol in a gay relationship, but I can overlook both those, because I'm a huge Sally Fields fan.

I like the way she pushes her way into every situation. There seem to be several protagonists in the show since there are always multiple plots going on. But I think I like the bickering the best. This is something my family never did. My two brothers have never been as embeded in each other's lives as the Walker siblings are, so it's fun to see how they interact and fight.

Last night in the previews, they indicated several plots happening, but the main one is that someone is going to die. Who is it? As they were showing the previews, I tried to give it some thought, but came up blank.

Tell me who you think it is and why.

Have a great Monday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Are you Superstitious?

If you've looked at the calendar, you know it's Friday the 13th. There are probably people who won't get out of bed or leave their house today. Not me! I'm not superstitious at all.

My first husband's grandfather(for whom both my son and grandson are named)was. He'd walk a city block to keep from walking where a black cat had crossed. He wouldn't walk under a ladder(but wait, wouldn't it just make sense not to walk under a ladder?) He threw salt over his shoulder, and he'd never start a job on Friday he couldn't finish that day.

He had a lot more, but those are the ones I remember best. He was a lovely, wonderful man that I miss and who I think of often. But superstitious, yes, he was.

How about you? Do you have any thing that you do or don't do because of superstition? I've tried to think of anything I do, but can't think of anything.

I found this link and it has some really unusual superstitions If you have time, go look at them, they are quite funny, and many of them are things I'd never considered a superstition.

When I think of superstitions, I think of the Darling family on the old Andy Griffith shows, and the movie 'The Shepherd of the Hills' which is one of my favorite John Wayne movies.

Hope you are having a great Friday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fresh Strawberries

As we speak, I'm sitting at my desk eating fresh strawberries. I went to Sam's Club yesterday, and they had 2lb boxes for $4.37. My grandson, Superhero, loves strawberries and he was spending the night with me last night so I bought a box. I have a brother who loves strawberries too. I always try to have some when he comes home to visit in May, which is prime strawberry time in our area.
We ate a few yesterday, just to sample them, you know, and he ate on them all the way home from church last night. Then he ate a few more after we got home. I brought what was left to work this morning, and have been eating them all morning.
The picture above shows strawberries from Louisiana, but what I'm enjoying are from California. They would be much better in a pie or with cake and cool whip, but they are awfully good plain. And there wasn't a bad berry in the bunch-not one.
The sun is shining here, and best of all, the wind has stopped blowing. And it's a brisk 50 degrees. These things help with my anxiety.
And LisaJ, thanks for eating that extra helping of chicken soup on my behalf. I sure think it helped.
Hope you are having a great Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Thoughts on Wednesday

I seem to have a hard time keeping my thoughts together lately. I still think it's the ice storm and the aftermath, and now having the threat of severe weather last night had sent me into some kind of tailspin. I've never been afraid of storms, I don't jump into storm cellars, and I don't get scared. I don't think I was as worried about the storm as the possiblility of being without power again.

I know, you are saying, 'get over it', and I think I'm doing that. My anxiety levels have gone down several notches. A little xanax helped with that also.

My heart goes out to all those people who are still without power and now to those who were victims of the storms in Texas and Oklahoma yesterday and last night. At least the houses are still standing in this area. I think I would need a straight jacket if I had to attempt to gather my belongings from a destroyed house.

My sweet son, aka the Contractor, is doing all he can to calm my fears. He is locating a ventless, gas heater for my house, so in the event this happens again, I can stay warm in my house. He says it will also be good to use in the place of the central unit because it will be more energy efficient.

The church with which I worship is feeding about 350 of the utility workers who have been so kind as to come work in the difficult conditions for the last few weeks and who will continue to be away from their families for a few more weeks. I am on the list for potato salad, and even though I could make it, I took the lazy way out and bought 3 5lb containers from Sams today at lunch.

I hope you are holding things together better than I seem to be lately. Have a great Wednesday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Just a quick nap--Pleeeeeeze

We've began running an unscientific poll here in my office. I happened to mention yesterday that since all the disruption to my life pattern for several days, I have been unable to sleep like I think I should.

The first night I slept in my bed was Saturday night after having been at my son's house for 5 nights. I thought I'd go to sleep and basically 'sleep the sleep of the dead' for several hours. This was not the case. I could go to sleep, but couldn't seem to stay asleep. And when I would wake, I felt this compelling urge to get up. I'd wander around a bit, then either settle in the recliner or go back to bed. This same pattern has continued for the last 4 nights.

I mentioned to one of the girls here in the office about my restless sleep, and she said she was having the same problem. I spoke with another fellow in the break room this morning, and he was surprised when I told him about my troubles, and he said the same was happening to him.

Now I'm beginning to wonder if this is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I realize that none of us have suffered what the troops suffer, and I know this covers a lot of things, but I'm wondering if we aren't also suffering from some type of traumatic stress.

We were forced to either leave our homes, or stay and deal with the cold. We wondered if we would be able to feed our families while we had no power. We had no idea how long it would be before we regained power(and some are still 2 or 3 weeks away). If you left your home, you didn't know what kind of damage you'd find on your return. You wondered if your home would still hold all your belongings, or if in your absence, someone had removed your valuables. If you had a generator, you had to chain it to your house and hope it didn't get stolen. If you try to live frugally, you grieved over the loss of the food in your refrigerator. The thoughts of having to deal with the insurance companies if you did have damage. There were just too many unknowns that it made for an unsettling situation.

But one of the main things, was lying in the very dark quiet at night, listening to the hum of the generator, and the trees breaking, falling and the sound of ice crashing was like broken glass. Thefalling ice sounding like breaking glass made me think of the night in 1938 during WWII the Jewish people called Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass. This is a sound I'll never forget. It actually sounded like a war going on in the distance. Hearing and sometimes watching the transformers arc and hum as the lines were breaking and the eerie strangeness of the whole thing. We were very fortunate that we didn't suffer a great deal. We have been hearing stories of people who couldn't get out of their homes, had no place to go if they could, and were eating cold food directly out of cans.

I certainly don't campare myself to the horrors of war, or the injustices done to the Jews during WWII, however, the Ice Storm of 2009 will be with me for many years to come. I'm just hoping I can get some sleep since my employer frown on my napping at my desk.

One last thought--I'm going to watch the birth rate in late September and early October. I guess this will also be unscientific, but I'm going to see if the number of babies relate to the number of families without TV during the storm.

I hope you are having a fabulous Thursday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Iceman Came!

Yes, the ice came, and thankfully, now is gone. And you know what? I didn't get a single picture of the beautiful disaster.

My power was out until Saturday about 6pm, but I was able to sleep in my bed that night and everyone since. Now it's time for the chiropractic treatments to begin after sleeping on the floor and assorted other places for five nights.

I think this episode has wrought havoc on my sleeping (and eating)patterns. I was eating what I should, I was sleeping well, and then this happened. I not only couldn't sleep well, but we lay awake at night listening for the limbs to break and the ice to fall. Then there was the noise of the generator(for which I'm forever thankful) and last but not least the super heater that the Contractor uses to dry drywall and paint, etc. It sounds like a jet taking off when it comes on, needless to say it woke us anytime it kicked on.

But for my family being together, unharmed and armed with a few stories, I am eternally grateful.

I really don't know what I'd have done without my son to take me in, cook for me and keep me warm and dry. It would have been quite chilly had I been at my house. On Wednesday, when I went to check on things, it was 44 degrees in my house.

On Saturday morning, I again ventured down to my place to clean out the fridg and freezer. I hadn't lost everything, but still quite a bit. I don't have a big freezer, I just have what is above the fridg, so I'm not complaining about what I lost.

There are still many families who have no power. Some are in shelters, some are trying to stick it out and stay home.

Hopefully, things will get back to normal--whatever that is.

Hope you have had a good Wednesday. Pray for our country. Love one another.
*/code I added/* */ code I added/*