After more storms whisked through the south the night before last, the current estimated time of power restoration has been moved from 5pm last night to 5pm tonight. What’s up with the south and all these destructive storms this year? The thunder, lightning, wind and rain of this storm out-did all other storms so far. Even the hailstorm didn’t have these kind of damaging winds and lightning… it only pounded things into oblivion. We’re supposed to get more storms through Tuesday, so I guess it’s time to batten down the hatches.
Thank goodness I still have my apartment, albeit one with no bed. It does still have a/c (a must in the south in May) and cable tv (a must since it was Survivor night and I’ve never missed an episode). With these two amenities calling us, Keith packed up a few things and our spoiled kitty Camille, and met me over at my apartment. He even thought to bring my bp meds – whatta guy that man is. 🙂
I must admit that I was a little sad I’d unknowingly spend my last night in my apartment last Thursday night. We’d decided to carry my bed over on a whim last Sunday, meaning there was no ‘reflection time’ assigned to my last night spent there. This power outage was a hidden blessing. I found it only befitting that I got to spend just one more night there, with both my man and my little animal. So the palette on the floor did just fine.
My friend Shawn over at Happy Publishing posted this today. Although it’s been around a while, it’s a few great reminders of how to make the world a little more livable. I found it more than worthy of a repost.
- Do not contradict people, even if you are sure you are right.
- Do not be inquisitive about the affairs of even your most intimate friend.
- Do not underrate anything because you do not possess it.
- Do not believe all the evil you hear.
- Do not repeat gossip, even if it does interest a crowd.
- Do not jeer at anyone’s religious belief.
- Learn to hide your aches and pains under a pleasant smile; few care whether you have an earache, headache, or rheumatism.
- Learn to attend to your own business – a very important point.
- Do not try to be anything else but a gentleman or a lady; and that means one who has consideration for the whole world, and all races.
Pools, Storms and Coasters, oh my
I live for the weekends, and lo and behold – here comes one as we speak. Last night Keith came over with some swatches of pool liners, it’s time for a new one. Choices, choices… so many choices. After a fantastic mexican dinner out at our fave little place, we came back and immersed ourselves (pardon the pun) in the grueling decision-making process of picking just one.
I think we have a winner… at least we thought so last night. If we end up going up to the showroom this Saturday, I’m afraid we’re gonna have umpteen more choices given. So we’ll see. But isn’t it pretty?!
Last weekend Keith had his daughter for the weekend. Saturday we went to see the new movie we’d all been dying to see – Soul Surfer. It’s based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, the professional surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. It is one excellent movie, we were all ready to watch it again. We drove up at Chili’s to eat, where a tree had just landed on a truck prior to our arrival. Can you imagine coming out of a nice relaxing dinner only to find a tree on your truck? A very nice truck, might I add. The storm damage is still showing up at various places. Last night, we drove around the parking lot after eating and almost every car there had extensive dents from the massive hailstorm two weeks ago.
Sunday, we took both our daughters out to Carowinds amusement park. Since we got out there semi-late we didn’t get to ride much, but did get on the park favorite… the Intimidator. That coaster could literally make me want to be a coaster enthusiast. What a fantastic ride! Long as heck, fast as heck, and tall as heck.
No shoulder harnesses or bars. Only a
lap pelvic bar holds you down on this long ride, so your whole upper body is free from the stomach up. Combine this with the open sides around you and overall smoothness, and it simply makes for an amazing ride. Looks as though I’ll be spending a lot of time out there this summer. 🙂
Will and Kate
Amidst the daily life struggles, including controversy, drama and in-general mean and miserable people – there is a bright spot I have looked forward to for some time now. An event in which I’ve taken the entire day off from work to enjoy watching.
I’ve always enjoyed reading other people’s comments when it comes to a subject of interest. Over the past few days, a good many comments astound me. The British Monarchy’s facebook page created an event for the Royal Wedding. How about such negative comments on that as “I’ll bet 79% couldn’t give a toss about the wedding” or “So sick of hearing about this, move on to something else already.”
Seriously? You’re sick of hearing about it but you’re going to take initiative to write about how sick of it you are? That takes precious time, my friend! Newsflash – you liked the British Monarchy’s facebook page to begin with… what do you expect to read about?? The news channels are the absolute worst. Every time something is posted about the Royal Wedding, negative comments come flooding in. Have the majority of these les miserables really become so curmudgeoned to the daily routine of life that they are unable to appreciate a good love story anymore?
Maybe it’s just me, but that’s how I see it – and such is life. As for me, this old romantic shall remain upbeat and continue to appreciate a monumentally happy event. After all, who couldn’t use a little happiness?
Apparently, the context of this post has sparked some debate as to exactly who the intended target was. This should be considered my response.
I’ll start off with a gentle reminder that this is MY blog. Although I remain flattered that anything I write could be of a holding interest to anyone – if you choose to negatively dissect a particular post on my blog, I feel that you should consider creating and managing your own blog. They’re absolutely free of charge.
Secondly, I have always taken the utmost care to protect the perimeter of any issue I choose to write about. A person’s anonymity has and always will be of utmost concern. In actuality, this post could have been written about anyone – male or female, young or old, family, friend, colleague, or person at Walmart for that matter. There will be no apologies offered for any assumptions that were made.
Thirdly, please read this post again. Now. If you openly admit to identifying with some or all of the traits I listed, you can rest assured that a problem exists. If you so note yourself exhibiting these traits, note that there’s a problem. If you actually sat there while reading this post and hand-picked traits that pertained to you… I’ll say it once more – there is a problem.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
How do you handle a miserable person? Specifically, an individual with anger issues? A person who, for the life of them, will not let up on their pathetic antics until they’ve brought down an individual or entire group around them?
This type of individual must constantly be handled with kid gloves. Anything can and will set them off. They trust no one, and view the entire civilization around them as a threatening hell who is out to get them. The miserable person has few, if any, friends.
Upon successfully downing others, they appear to be on a ‘high’ for a while. You see, bringing others down brings the miserable person much satisfaction. Truth be told, this individual is the epitome of selfish. There are many highs and lows, indicative of something even more serious than meets the eye. They have the uncanny ability to reach deep within their brain and pick out a person responsible for every single bad thing that has ever happened to them.
Back to my initial question – how do you handle a miserable person? I’ll tell you the only way I know of – which is to totally cut them from your life, by whatever means necessary. One thing’s for sure – life is way too short. At this point, my patience level has been far too exhausted to entertain any other option.
Just a thought for today
We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, where everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don’t think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you’re still hung up on nostalgia… pretend today is yesterday, and just go out and have one hell of a time. ~Art Buchwald
K was supposed to get his daughter over the weekend. In talking to her last night, she told him she really wanted to spend time with her boyfriend. Although he was disappointed, he told her sure. He understands what comes first in a 14-yr old girls life – friends and boys. It’s not been so long ago that my own daughter was that age, and once upon a time I was that teenager, too.
I understand that K and his ex had a difficult divorce. I’m also well aware of how she kept his daughter from him for almost 2 years of her life, and how much he missed her. When all is said and done, a 2-year wedge is hard to remove. What I don’t understand is this. WHY can’t parents share a common ground when it comes to the child they supposedly love so much? To me, it’s selfish – plain and simple. I’ll say it again because it very much bears repeating – SELFISH. It accomplishes nothing but hurting your child. An example, you ask? Well, here ya go.
Last year, Keith, his daughter, my daughter and I went to the local theme park. That same day he was sweet enough to buy all four of us season passes for the following (2011) year. Since we live so close, he figured it a great investment for an entire summer of fun. While on the phone with his daughter last night, she mentioned that her mother was getting her a season pass. K asked why, that she already had one and didn’t need it. She replied that her mother wasn’t going to let her bring her pass to his house when it was ‘his weekend’. He said, ‘but you won’t have to, because you’ll have the one I bought you – why would you need two passes?’ She never could really answer why. You see, he has no problem with her using her pass whenever she wants… that includes when she’s at home with mom. It’s hers. He bought it for her unconditional use. Apparently, mom’s rules are a bit skewed.
I can only go by past antics, but when ‘his weekend’ rolls around his daughter might show up with no pass (the one he bought) because mom won’t allow her to bring it.
Rule #253… no fun allowed at dad’s, ever.
So now what? Will K be forced to keep the pass at his house, so she’ll have one when he gets her for the weekend? Seriously… what benefit could this whole thing possibly have for their daughter? More importantly, what lesson could it be teaching her?
Aside from the obvious… how about ‘how to waste money the most economical way possible’? Yeah. Hats off to ya there.
I’m looking so forward to my move, I really am. The emotions that come with this move are high, though – higher than those who would be making that ‘generic’ move from one place to another. To me, the home I currently reside in represents the beginning of a brand new life following a failed marriage of 21 years. This home I’m in – it’s a staple in my life. It might seem weird to most of you, but I actually knew shortly after I moved here that if and when the time came to ever leave, it would be more than emotionally challenging. Of course back then, I couldn’t even imagine there would come a time when I would leave.
But the time is coming. It’s all so surreal. Slowly but surely, I’m gathering everything together.
I ran out of paper towels last night, so I went to fetch an extra roll. I realized it would probably be the last roll of paper towels that I would ever replenish here. The forest beyond me has morphed into my very favorite look… it’s like an artist has taken their tiny brush and dab dab dabbed little hints of green on the ends of all the branches.
All of the forest is flourishing. Each new spring, this continues to represent promise and hope to me. It’s so very beautiful. The deer will make their nightly trek through the woods, on time nearly every night. Soon I’ll hear the nightly hum of boats cruising the lake again, for a short while…
I have to accept the fact these are the last times that I’ll be gazing at this beautiful forest I’ve called my own for 3 years. Honestly, just opening an empty cupboard in the kitchen can make my eyes well up.
It’s surreal. In fact to me, this is the epitome of surreal.
I believe everything happens for a reason – I’ve always believed that. Sometimes we don’t know why at the time… oftentimes we’ll never know the reason. I still believe it all the same though, and it’s honestly something I’ve never questioned.
I’ve been thinking recently about the people who come in and out of our lives and the directions it takes us. Sometimes these people are new and fresh – sometimes it’s someone from our past. It’s possible that a person can make a re-entrance into your life many years later – with you both taking solace from one another from a certain event. Maybe questions need answering. Perhaps you just need to be heard. Maybe you need validation from each other about something you went through, or of the pain inflicted by a person common in both your lives at the time.
Whatever the case may be, I remain thankful for every individual in my life that has came, went, and made a re-entrance.
A Royal Occasion
I did it… I indulged myself. Call me crazy if you will, though I personally prefer the word romantic. This past Monday, I put in for a vacation day on April 29th. This is the date of the Royal Wedding.
Having had ancestors that hailed from Wales, as well as certain parts of Scotland and Ireland, the Royal Family has always held a special place in my heart. Truth be told, in my own lifetime, I believe it all started with Diana. Of course it started with Diana. Was there a person in existence who didn’t love her? She was the epitome of grace, dignity and beauty – with a kind and caring heart. Her tragic death was a blow to the world.
I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news. My husband, daughter and I were at the beach celebrating our tenth anniversary. That dreaded news, which we’d stayed up late in apprehension of, came during the wee hours of Sunday morning. I had to wear shades to hide my hideously swollen eyes for the remainder of the trip. These memories are still as fresh as if they’d happened just yesterday.
On his eighteenth birthday, Prince William received from his grandmother a new coat of arms, or crest. He chose to commemorate his mother by including a red scallop shell (escallop gules) prominent in the Spencer ancestors’ coats of arms, four times on his – though one must have sharp eyes to catch it. I’ve always loved what we usually refer to as a ‘sea shell’, but never knew of the association with Princess Diana’s own crest or of the commemoration by her son. I find this so very special.
Prince William and his beautiful bride Catherine Middleton (Kate) will have their own fairy-tale wedding on that last Friday in April. I like to think that Diana will somehow be granted a view of her first-born son and his Princess as they begin their life’s journey together as one.
On March 2nd, the website designed for the Royal Wedding was unveiled. Needless to say, I wasted no time popping that little address into my VIP bookmarklets.
So happy for the two of them…
Bridge Over Troubled Water
I was talking to my mother last night, and the topic of worry came up. After some discussion as to some things that were bothering me, she asked ‘Where does it get you, really? And what does it accomplish?’ I had no answer.
I know prayer is the main key when you’re feeling overwhelmed, but I confess it doesn’t always quell the worry inside me. Of course all a person has to do when they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders is look around – for there’s always someone very near who has it a lot worse. It’s not that it makes you feel better – just lets you know that you’re not alone, and that perhaps what you have going on pales in comparison to theirs.
Worry can come from a variety of things. Too many bills, not enough money. A sick relative. Being unemployed. Health problems of your own. Drug or alcohol addiction of yourself or a loved one. Being bullied at school. Being bullied at work. A variety of these or other things can be a constant source of a knotting stomach and intense worry, as well as a variety of other emotions.
A long time ago, when I was just a kid, I found this religious tract somewhere that stated something along the lines of “Why Worry?? Don’t be a smudgepot!!” What was the meaning of this? I have no earthly idea other than saying not to worry, that we should let God handle things in His way. I remember my Mother and Grandmother seemed so impressed that I’d hit on such an integral subject at what appeared to be a much-needed time. I often think about that tract, and wish that I had it now so that I may fully absorb it’s contents. Something tells me the value within it’s pages was priceless.
As Time Goes By
I have no idea where time is going. It’s flying by so quickly and I feel I’m getting nothing done – not the things that are really tops on my to-do list, anyway.
I want to get started on some brochure work I promised a friend for her side business. I miss writing!! I want to spend more time with my family. I want to catch up on the few blogs I follow. I seriously need to get a grip on my time management skills. And I need to start packing to move. Hey Bon… would you like some cheese with that whine?
I haven’t mushed and gushed about romance for awhile and boy do I feel the need… so if this topic isn’t for you then this is quite possibly your stopping point. When exactly did I start believing that my Prince actually did exist? I can’t say exactly. All I can say now is that he does. In him, I have found everything and more that I thought never existed in a soulmate. I have happened upon a treasure – one that I want to expose to the entire world. Sometimes I find myself feeling paranoid that something is going to ruin what could only be described as my fairy tale love affair. I worry about car accidents, deadly diseases and crime. I know I shouldn’t, the Lord takes care of everything in His way – but I worry just the same. I mentioned this to my daughter, and you know what her response was? ‘Mom, that’s an actual condition associated with an anxiety disorder. It’s not that uncommon and if it’s really bothering you, there’s help for it‘.
That’s my little psychology major.
So, play it once, Sam, for old times sake…
An end result can hit you in the face with the same impact as a thrown brick, even if it’s something that’s been coming on for a while. Especially if it’s been coming on for a while, since the inevitable seems to lay dormant even more so.
The emotions of a mirrored past are thick – but flow swiftly, and justly. Even so, they lie bare and open to the focus of others. We often feel the need to either avert, hide or thwart these emotions (thanks, human nature). Therefore, once we’re faced with the reality of finality, BAM!! there goes that brick to the cheek.
Where and when one door closes, another has usually already opened – or is waiting to. This ever-wise quote has provided comfort to many, myself included. I do hope it provides that same comfort to those who might read this.
The finalities in life aren’t always as we might perceive them. Just as a brook or waterfall continually recycles itself… finality may also serve as a means to better yourself as an individual. To protect and heighten your own standards. The chance now exists to persuade your own self of going that extra mile. To further yourself in a way you never thought possible… to perhaps exceed your own expectations.
To Thine Own Self Be True
After about a years worth of failed attempts to reach me through texts, I received an innocent enough email from an old acquaintance. It’d been over two years since I’d even seen the guy, and it’s not like a real friendship or anything ever existed. I did what I thought was the right thing – I politely replied back, informed him I no longer had that phone number, and saw no point for further contact between us. I wished him the best, and gave my regards.
The next morning, he had sent an email apologizing twice for ‘bothering me’ – that he’d gotten married, and ‘was going to tell me so if the conversation arose’.
If the conversation arose? WTF does that mean?
Thing is, I found out after the few times I’d seen him years ago that he already had a girlfriend on the side. Recalling that memory got me thinking – if he’s married now… why on earth is he still contacting numbers that reside within his back pocket? I’m just asking…
I would so hate to find out my husband was contacting other women. I know sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, like maybe where a friendship is involved, etc. – but trust me when I say this is not one of those times.
Dude… do the right thing and throw away all those old numbers. You don’t need ’em anymore…
I am forever thankful for the one child God blessed me with. I find myself contemplating it from time to time, and I simply cannot imagine what my life would have been like without her in it.
From the age of three months, she’s always loved to laugh more than anything else. I can say with 100% certainty that she gets this from her mama – and although that trait seemed to get me in trouble more times than not, she has managed it well.
Even as a young girl, her maturity level always surpassed that of her peers. Her tenderness and caring nature was apparent from the beginning, too. If someone was hurt or injured, she wouldn’t rest until she knew the situation was rectified – even if she was forcefully removed.
A real one-track mind, hers has been said to be. I guess that can be a hindrance at times, but not necessarily a bad thing. I believe that one-track mind was the source of her strong will that has endured from childhood throughout adulthood, which her pawpaw endearingly referred to her as the “Philadelphia Lawyer”. This most befitting term has yet to be matched.
I have often marvelled at her intelligence. It’s not just what you’re born with, ya know – it’s what you do with it. While she watched friends either dropping out of college or opting for other routes in life, she continued to work hard and give the extra mile knowing it would greatly impact her future. From the very beginning, I’ve asked three things of her…
1. Love God. 2. Get a good education so you never have to depend on anyone to keep you up in life. 3. Learn to drive a stick-shift, an emergency situation may warrant you knowing how one day. So far, she’s completed all but number three. 🙂
She’ll be twenty-three in March. Let me now revisit her maturity level, which even today, especially today – exists in full-force. Although she’s fresh out of college, she’s holding her own with her first apartment and a wonderful start to her career. She sees where and what she wants to be in life, and makes it happen. Would that I were that strong when I was her age! She worries about her own parents so much that it’s almost if the roles were actually reversed, and gives good solemn advice that I’ve never found any wrong in yet. Sometimes I see her taking on too much in this area, for her worries are often many. How I do wish I could take some of this weight off of her shoulders at times.
I could, of course, go on. But that’s my bright shining star – always full of surprises, excitement, fun, beauty, ambition, love and compassion, and will spout out an honest answer to anyone regardless of the consequences. I can’t imagine being any more proud of her than I am at this moment… though I’m quite sure the day will come when I am.
(Note the cactus to the rear in photo to immediate right… ouch…)
That’s my little comedienne.
Declutter thyself 2011
Up until now it’s been my ‘silent’ New Year’s resolution. Back when I moved in mid ’08, I was probably the most de-cluttered I’d ever been in my life. Since then – well, let’s just say I’m no hoarder or anything like you see on television, but things have slowly been building back up. I can’t stand it, and it certainly doesn’t take long for it to happen.
I’ve always heard that if you don’t use something a year after boxing it up, you can toss it (aside from certain memorabilia of course… which, if taken to extremes could still lead to hoarding).
My plan of action is to tackle one area at a time, one thing at a time. Now all I need is some Tacklin’ Fuel to do it with (said using my best New Orleans accent of The Waterboy, Mr. Bobby Boucher). Yes, yes. Tacklin’ Fuel. Now, to find that fuel…
Is today for my sweet guy, Keith. Happy Birthday, baby! I hope you enjoy your special day, and the year ahead is all you wish it to be and much more. You truly deserve it.
The sixties… it seems so long ago, but yet not so long ago. Sure, we can’t really remember that era as children of the seventies, but we still remember all the hype. A lot of it we heard about from our parents, you could always depend on the media’s skewed views, and anything left we were taught in history class. The protests, the demonstrations, the assassinations, the Vietnam war, the flower power.
The seventies, now that’s really where it all began. Friends, bikes, and spending most of your time outside. Jimi Hendrix. All in the Family. Watergate. Hee Haw. You still remember your surroundings when you heard Elvis Presley died. Disco music. KISS.
I won’t go into the rest of the decades, as I could only document my own. Unbeknownst to us at the time, during the eighties we came together briefly by being classmates of the same graduating year. How I really wish I’d known you then, but then again, timing is everything….
To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up
that which is planted;
A time to kill,
and a time to heal;
a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
A time to weep,
and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn,
and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get,
and a time to lose;
a time to keep,
and a time to cast away;
A time to rend,
and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;
A time to love,
and a time to hate;
a time of war;
and a time of peace.
The Holy Bible (King James Version)
Attributed to King Solomon
Icing on the cake
And that’s sure what it was. The icing came all during the day yesterday from late afternoon on into the night. When all was said and done, about three-eighths of an inch of bonified icing topped our lovely vanilla snow cake. I am eternally thankful we never lost power.
It’s going on mid-week now, and I have yet to go to work. I realized today that my car wasn’t going to de-ice itself, neither was the driveway going to shovel itself. So we dressed, went outside and made a big show of it, huffing and puffing and sliding/sweating our little buns off – to start and finish a job we didn’t really want to do. Seeing as how the temps aren’t supposed to rise above freezing until Friday-ish, I needed to get my tail in gear and do what I had to do to get home. You see, my little treehouse is situated privately in the very back of a complex that can be tricky at best in ice – but once I get out of there, I’m on a main thoroughfare. In going back to work, there was no way I was getting out of Keith’s neighborhood any time before noon. So, I had to get home.
I really don’t mean to drill this ‘Southern’ thing into the ground when it comes to us driving, but… okay just one more time. Have I told you we just can’t drive in the stuff? Snow is bad enough, but go and add over a quarter-inch of ice over it? Impossible. Through country back-roads that have no hope of ever being scraped/brimed? Inconceivable. But, guess who did it and made the ten-mile trip back home? (And, might I add, *cough-cough* you-tubed a portion of it?)
ME! (If anyone ever had doubt as to my southern-ness before, please refer to that accent – my gosh. I’ve obviously been here awhile now.)
Okay, enough with the bragging. For those who wonder, Keith was insistent on at least following me – I just saw no logic in it. After several failed attempts at convincing me, I finally convinced him that I had a cell phone and that signals had always been plentiful through the area, with the exception of a certain spot. But hey, I also had my new snow boots on! So, Da da da-DAH da-DAH!! It’ssss Super–Bonnnn!!
Well, I hadn’t been at home very long at all when a crave-wave winded it’s way into my head and wafted right down to where I could literally smell it.
Chinese… take-out… mmm, good good… come and get me…
I tried to ignore it, really I tried… to no avail. Moments later I was back on the road on a Chinese food quest. I found it so weird that there was no 5 o’clock rush-hour traffic. I mean NONE. I did mention, didn’t I, that the ice and snow brought this city to a screeching halt?
Guess this whole ‘I can drive now’ thing means one thing – I gotta go back to work tomorrow…
Here’s to my health, and all that.
I’ve had much rest this past holiday season. The joy has been tremendous and the stress very minimal. However, even a beautiful post-holiday beach vacation to bring in the New Year isn’t enough to keep the blood pressure level in check for ole’ Bon. Apparently the second med that was added a couple of weeks ago was an Epic Fail. In lieu of waiting for that one month follow-up visit, I called Doc up yesterday morning. After another failed attempt on acquiring correct triage information between 4-5 phone conversations throughout the day, the last of the conversations went something like this.
Medical Assistant: Dr. Yadada has faxed in a new prescription that’s waiting for you at Your-Pharmacy, USA – you are to immediately quit your current bp meds and replace with this new ‘combination’ prescription.
Bon: What, a combination? So he said to cease taking the blah-blah? Wait – does this new ‘combination’ rx contain a beta-blocker, like the blah-blah I’ve been on for thirteen years?
Medical Assistant: I’m not sure.
Bon: I don’t think Dr. Yadada would just pull me off a beta-blocker which I’ve been on for thirteen years that’s pertinent to my survival. Just the last visit, he told me I’ll be on this one for the rest of my life. Think you could double-check with him?
Medical Assistant: Hmm… from what he said I’m thinking he meant come off of all your prior bp meds and immediately replace with this new one that’s a combo.
Bon: *Shock* Well, what’s the name of it, I’ll see if I can look it up.
Medical Assistant: I don’t really (really??) have access to that, as I don’t work in clinical.
(NOTE: ‘I don’t work in clinical’ most likely translates to ‘I don’t know what the f**k I’m talking about medically’. The title Medical Assistant assigned to her by yours truly is more than likely a very generous title.)
Bon: Look lady. One day off the beta-blocker could literally mean a stroke or worse for me. This is my LIFE we’re talking about here. I don’t want to hear what ‘you’re thinking’. I want to know what HE’S thinking.
Medical Assistant: Okay Ms. (cough-cough) Bitch, I’ll see if I can reach him again and verify if not all, which rx you are to replace with the new one.
You can probably guess the outcome. I was to remain on my beta-blocker and the new ‘combination’ one was once again an addition. It took the remainder of the day for me to calm down from this little ditty. With competent souls like this getting paid to look after your healthfare, will someone please tell me who the heck needs enemies?
New Year, New Beginnings… Part II
2010… it’s hard to believe it’s already over! Once again, it’s time for me make my year-end picks. I must pick my word of the year, and a meaningful new banner picture – something that I can look at for an entire year without getting sick of it. For those of you who missed it last year, here’s the link to New Year, New Beginnings Part I.
Even after a full year of looking at my banner pic, I’m sad to see it go. The below collage was made from all things I love, and I think the visual description alone pretty much says it all. Five little things at a glance that describe me.
For every year since the start of my ‘new life’, I’ve donned a single word that seems to most closely correspond with what that year meant to me. This whole word thing started pretty innocently in 2008, when I reflected back and chose the word Monumental. 2008 was the year I grew a backbone, or I’d like to think part of one – and walked that plank in search of a new life. The word I chose for 2009 was Colorful. 2009 was the year of
mistakes growing for me. The chance to experience many, many firsts and new things, as well as learning truckloads about my own self.
On to my word of 2010. Drum Roll Please…
Serene. Isn’t that nice? I even like the way it looks. True, it doesn’t pack a punch like Monumental does. It doesn’t make the mind wonder what the hell I’ve been up to like Colorful does. It’s simple. The way my year was. Simple, easy… predictable. And, predictable can be a very good thing.
There’s also something else – something I honestly hadn’t contemplated until after I’d already chosen my word. As a young girl, I decided I didn’t like my name. My fix was, much to my Mother’s chagrin, ‘changing’ it to one of my own choosing. My choice was Serena. I was often asked ‘oh you mean Selena?’ ‘No’, I would say, ‘Serena.’ I could never explain exactly why I loved this name, and I even used it as my own signature until a teacher told me I couldn’t do it anymore. I was crushed! Such a beautiful name that was just slightly beyond my reach. Of course I grew out of this ‘phase’, but even in reflecting back, I remember how good the name made me feel when I used it as my own. (I also used to go around with a bright yellow turtleneck attached to my head, pretending I had long flowing blonde hair… but that’s another story. I blame all that on the Barbies.)
I like to think that after this year… I’ve finally found myself. Because, I actually feel ‘Serene’.
I believe I’ve finally found Serena.
I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all of you. May it be a year of good health, prosperity, peace and unity for us all – God bless.
A Real Country Christmas
I received the below story via email this morning. The preface warned that the story was a little on the long side, and it is – but a great read nonetheless. I found the story not only moved me to tears, but more than worthy of posting as a blog subject. Hope you all enjoy.
Now this is what a country Christmas is all about…
Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.
It was Christmas Eve. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.
After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I asked. “Pa, what are you doing?” “You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what? Yeah,” I said, “Why?”
“I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked. “Shoes, they’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?”
“Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?” Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.
“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best – shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.
“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you; I know for certain that He will.”
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children.
For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best and most memorable Christmas of my life.
My wish for you all is to have a real country Christmas! It is, after all, what we do for others that makes CHRISTmas such a wonderful blessing…