Friday, October 18, 2013
On the way to get my running shoes ( I only walk but walking shoes sounds old) I check my emails, which leads to my husband having enough time to catch up with me and ask again for the bank printout.
Have you ever done something on the computer that you have done a hundred times only to have it freeze and won't even close? Or anything else? I managed to google the solution...but it took forever.
An hour later he walks by and says, "no problem, I'll just get it off my iPad" What? ....seriously?
No time to walk, wasted that hour pounding my thumb with a hammer.
Errands to run.....off to the post office to fetch my mail that is being held hostage by the post office because my carrier doesn't care for the bush that is next to my mailbox. They decided to suspend delivery while the government was shut down which made it impossible to find my mail because no one would answer the phone. Obviously the person in charge of answering the phones was celebrating the furlough.
We move on to the next errand, Costco. When I got out of the car I decided to go through the enormous pile of mail to see if a certain check had arrived. We were contracted out to cater a lunch for a man who worked at a large bank. He was having a seminar for small business people, ooooh like me! And he wanted lunch for the attendees. It's been 2 weeks and still no check. He had promised it that night....so I contacted a woman named Olga to find out where the check could be. She proved to be most unpleasant. During our conversation I asked her if on her way home from work today if she could go grocery shopping but tell them she would be paying for them next week or the week after...hmmm. And I told her how ironic it was that I had been late with a bill to the same bank, 10 seconds late, and 2 different fees were assessed to my account. I was a bit cranky. And Olga did not care.
We weren't able to find what we needed at Costco so back out to the car with a lowly case of water. Checked my purse......and then that dreaded moment when you realize you have locked the keys in the car.
While trying to call the roadside service my phone died - by the way it died just as I had worked through the automated hell of, press 1 press 2 etc.....the annoyance was reaching critical mass. I found Raymond and used his phone...30 minutes later Pop a Lock was on their way. ETA? 45 minutes. Doesn't Pop a Lock sound like Greek food?
We went back inside Costco and decided enough time had passed to qualify for another round of samples.
50 minutes later Redondo from Pop a Lock arrived. He took one look at my license plate ( longhrn)
And decided it might take longer since I was a Texas fan. Seriously? I thought he was from Oklahoma, that's right we whipped their butts last Saturday, but he was from LSU. What did we ever do to LSU?
He turned out to be a really nice guy, he even showed us all his tattoos. When he got to the New Orleans Saints tattoo he proudly told us every member of his family had the same tattoo, all 8 sisters and his mom.
Somehow he managed to get the lock popped and off we went.
Some days our angels just have better things to do than watch over us.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Up until 1996 Ravens had an image problem. We had a scary poem and a scary movie moving our trend. My great-great-great-great Grandfather was the inspiration behind the Edgar Allen Poe poem (say that 3 times) "The Raven". We are a proud group of interesting looking Birds with a purpose and a presence, we clean up road kill and obviously pose for postcards around the castle.
|Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,|
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I want to get back to Paul Ehrlich who said India could not possibly feed itself. Couldn't you make a case easily for that? How do you feed 1.2 billion people? Paul Ehrllich felt it couldn't be done and could not even conceive of a solution for it except to have less children (bad pun, sorry) But then alongs comes an agronomist named Norman Ernest Borlaug. He invented dwarf wheat that was disease resistant and well, short. Taller wheat took up more room in the field because as it got taller the wheat would fall over from its own weight. Dwarf wheat takes up less room because it didn't fall over and they could double the yield. By doubling the yield Borlaug saved the lives of a billion people. Think of that.
As an aside, Borlaug was one of seven people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor. That's a good days work.
So Paul Ehrlich a PhD wrote a book predicting the end of the world and scared people to death, because he lived and thought small. Norman Borlaug, also a PhD looked at tall wheat falling over in a field taking up a lot of room and simply invented something that would take up less room. He fed the world because he saw possibilities which led him to a solution.
My message is simple, there is always a solution. Doesn't that bring you more peace than, "You can't get there from here?"
Here is your first step, start believing it. Think of Norman Borlaug and the solution he found. It wasn't just because he had a PhD that he was able to develop dwarf wheat, Paul Ehrlich has a PhD and all he has been able to do is frighten people. You don't need a PhD to solve your problems. But you do need to believe you can.
What tall wheat is getting in the way for you?
Take that first step in believing you can solve your problem, and then watch doors open.
Remember God is a very big God who can help you develop your own dwarf wheat. You can't do it alone, but with Him you can do all things. And if you don't believe that, I bet you would like to believe it.
Monday, September 16, 2013
I read a woman's blog today and under her byline was written.....Author, Blogger, Motivational Speaker. I googled her and found that her field of concentration was...wait for it...Happiness.
Isn't that the best? If you are going to speak or write about something wouldn't you chose the Happiest thing available? And what if the happiest thing there was happened to be happiness?
Are we not happy because we aren't happy? Could it be a choice?
OK, sometimes I have chosen to not be happy...
Anytime the conversation begins with, "You can't....." fill in the blank with anything, anything at all. Starting with, you can't park there, you can't stand here, you can't have that, you can't do that...My husband believes that I could move a mountain by sheer force of will if I am told "I can't."
When I have to say good-bye, which is why I gave up AOL. "Good-bye"
When people underestimate me. (on the other hand I love it when people underestimate me.)
That they swapped out Faith Hill for Carrie Underwood.
Anytime I call Sam's Club Discover. If we fought a war and our only weapon was the automated system at Sam's Club Discover, the enemy would surrender without a whimper.
|I am going to do yoga|
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
|I am going to get a chicken coop just like this|
And I want a greenhouse....
|And I want bees and sell honey|
Monday, September 2, 2013
The fact that the Rolling Stones got old is not a shock, they always looked old, even when they were young. Now they look.....older. But I am thrilled they keep performing. I hope they do until they just can't anymore. When my friends start retiring I get nervous.... Retire? Yikes...So Mick and the guys are just going to have to keep singing. And I am glad....
I have been blessed to basically start over. After my children really didn't need me the same way I was eager to explore other purposes for myself. I looked ahead at going to lunch, maybe learning to crochet or make pottery. I thought I could go back to college, or learn a language. But necessity prevailed and I joined my husband in a catering business (www.Rayraysfinefood.com) that seemed improbable in the beginning, but now seems perfect. I will be the first to admit I did not want to, it seemed too complicated and honestly I thought I was just too old. I was not sure I wanted to work that hard. As a friend said to me, "I used to cater, but then I quit to do something easier, now I lay asphalt." I have watched our life take a new shape and I stopped fighting it. It's scary when we don't have work and exhausting when we do. But it will be a great story someday, hell, its a great story now!
We just won't give up.
James Taylor was the voice of my high school years, with my friend Roxane we listened to his albums and wondered what Carly Simon had we didn't. He was enigmatic. And I think he still is. He has aged perfectly, in great shape, bald with wrinkles. It feels dignified...
I have to put Stevie Wonder together with Wendy Cleverly. Wendy was my dear friend, mentor, and beautiful, beautiful girl. She was the DJ at the Hilton and got all the attention from the guys you could imagine. It was fun tagging along with some really famous people she attracted. She played music in the Hilton Disco (I know it was a long, long time ago) for 20 minutes while the live band took a break. So for 40 minutes we were on our own. We could go to other clubs or stay there and dance. Wendy is a great dancer and won every contest. When she was DJing I always requested the same songs, Stevie Wonder and that song from Car Wash. She finally got the album for me so I would stop bugging her to play it. We did the hustle to "I will survive" and went to bed really late. I had to be up early every day because I played tennis about 3 hours a day and then I worked at a racquet club. I went to every tennis court to play and sometimes all in one day. We would go to the Desert Inn (no longer there) and then to the Frontier (no longer there) back to the Tropicana because they had indoor courts (no longer there) stopped by the MGM, now Bally's and then back to our home courts at Ceasar's. I met lots of very famous people and found out right away they mostly all had clay feet. I played tennis with Bill Cosby every time he came to town, which was a lot back then. He loved to make me run from one side of the court to the other. His entourage assumed he was a great player...he could be....challenging. And one of my best hitting partners was a woman named Mirha who was a topless dancer in the Folies. The only person left in my life from that time is Wendy. I am happy to say she has been married for 33 years and has 3 beautiful children and 2 grandchildren. She still looks like the disco queen she was. Oh did I mention she was the card girl for the Ali fight? That is a very big deal....
As for me I started over and finally got a real job. I gave up scooping balls for tennis pros and coming in at four. About a year after finding a real job I married the love of my life who still loves me. We have 4 beautiful children...all of this is a shock to me. Talk about a long shot, although Raymond comes from pretty stable people, my mother was married 7 times. Hardly the kind of stuff long term marriages are made from. But that has been the theme of my life....improbable situations with surprising results.
This isn't an epitaph, I have a lot of things to do yet, but I wanted to look back at my life and check out the road I have already traveled. For everything I wish I had done, I did 10 things I never thought I would. One thing for sure, music has been the background to my life. I was thinking about changing my theme song, which is "Feelin' Alright" by Joe Cocker, but I couldn't find one I liked as well.
I am optimistic about our future, grateful I feel good, happy to have challenges to keep us young, and glad for all the family and friends who will be traveling this part of the road with me.
Happy Birthday to me!!!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I rarely take clothes to the dry cleaners, we are on an austerity program which precludes luxuries such as someone else pressing our things. But the laundry was piling up and my husband took the clothes to the dry cleaners. After all they only charge $1.25 to launder a shirt, that is a fair price so I didn't feel too guilty. My husband's cotton shirts were $1.25 a shirt and wait for it, my cotton shirts were $2.50.
Why? Our shirts are made from the same material. I didn't take a silk shirt in...all cotton. All of them.
Boom...if you are a girl your freight is more.
So we had a discussion, the dry cleaner and I. I showed him the material and asked on what grounds he felt he could double the price. He told me, with a straight face, that he used different temperatures on my shirts.
I assured him if he did he wasted the effort.
He told me he knew more about dry cleaning than I did.
I told him none of these shirts had been dry cleaned. They were laundered, exactly the same.
He told me, "I promise I ironed them on different temperatures, that is the way it is done. You don't know how this works."
I wish he was right, I wish I haven't been doing laundry for almost my whole life. I wish I didn't know exactly how laundry was done. I revealed this information to him and let him know that his 21 years on earth didn't make him much of an expert. In fact if you are 21 years old, how long could you be doing this anyway?
I knew he wasn't going to change his policy, but if we don't register our displeasure about the
I will never explode....at least not with frustration.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Most of the pioneers made it to the Salt Lake Valley safely, of course it was extremely difficult but they got up every morning and walked west. They were prepared with enough food and left with enough time to get to Salt Lake before winter. But some of the pioneers were in groups that left a bit later in the year than expected and encountered the most horrible deprivation you could imagine. They endured early snowstorms, starvation, sickness and death. None of my ancestors were Mormon pioneers so it wasn't until the recent past that I began to appreciate the sacrifice these people made. Their lives are an example to me, as they should be to everyone, of never giving up. Examples of following something bigger than themselves. You don't have to be Mormon, or even have pioneer ancestors to appreciate that.
I hope we all follow something that is bigger than ourselves. That is how we challenge ourselves. We never know how tall we are until we are in over our heads. And when it becomes discouraging to keep going, to keep "walking west." we need something to encourage us. God could have made Utah easier to get to for them, but he didn't. It was a challenge to get there, certainly a way to measure their commitment. Most made it, but some gave up. I have searched for the pioneer story of the woman who simply sat down by her wagon and said, "I am not going another step. I quit, I give up.....I am finished" I know it is there, even if it is unwritten, you know some had to feel that way, but for the most part they got up, dusted themselves off and kept walking west. And in our own lives we have to keep walking "west" to whatever our west is.
We have examples of walking west around us everyday. People challenged by almost everything. God uses this fallen world to teach us who we are, because He already knows who we are and what we can do. The problem is we don't. We don't know how very powerful we are. So we have this world to teach us how powerful we are. We get the opportunity to overcome pain or disappointment which in turns teaches us how tall we really are.
By way of happy coincidence, 20 years ago today we bought our little acre of happiness. After years of searching for our perfect place to live my husband attended a land auction on the 24th of July 1993 and bought our land. That purchase started the greatest and hardest journey of our lives at that point. We encountered one challenge after another as we started building our home. We had no business building a home without a proper contractor, and our lack of experience caused lots of problems for us. But we prayed everyday for everything. We prayed that the roofer would show up, that the electrician would do a good job, that we would order enough doors....and always that we wouldn't run out of money!! And you know what? The roofer finally came through, we ended up with enough doors, and even though we are convinced our evil electrician booby trapped things we haven't had too many problems.
This house is a constant example of what God can do if we are willing to do our part. If we are willing to do things we have no idea how to do, but have the faith to try, He will make us powerful enough to do it. Just look at your own life and the struggles and challenges you have encountered...when you believed you could and devoted your existence to that belief you succeeded, didn't you? And weren't you scared out of your mind? But you did it anyway. You went back to school when all the other students were half your age, you went to chemotherapy and survived! or you started a business and that business sustained your family. You finally found a job you loved after searching forever. You got out of debt after this horrible recession without loosing everything. Every story has a happy ending, you just have to have the faith that the ending is the one meant for you, just don't give up.
For us we withstood an angry seller of this land who didn't live up to her end of the contract...but that worked out.
When we were in the initial stages of getting our home started we got our plans back from the county with 36 problems on them. Our architect wasn't actually an architect but just a guy with a ruler who didn't really know what he was doing. We were facing our own Red Sea. But just when Raymond was picking up the plans he ran into the man who was contractor for the RV park he was building downtown. He had a contractor for that, we just didn't have the money for one for the house we were building. This man took the troubled plans from Raymond and gave them to a woman who did know what she was doing. She found so many other problems that we would not have known about, or been able to fix. Her rendition of our house plans sailed through the county process in a week.
Almost every day was an answer to a prayer of some kind. When you don't really know what you are doing all kinds of things can go wrong.....but we were protected at every turn.
It wasn't easy, and it wasn't smooth, and it was the challenge of our lives, but we stayed with it and our home is a testament to us of what we can accomplish....if we remember that God can make us powerful. We know we didn't do this on our own, because we couldn't.....but we have proof that God made us powerful one time. And now that we have started a business, a hard and competitive business we have to remember we can be powerful and we will succeed, because we did before. Our lives can become our scriptures.
All four of my husband's grandparents came from Italy through Ellis Island. They came with very little money, spoke no English and had no place to live once they got here. But they answered a call, just like the Mormon pioneers. Like every other pioneer who came to America. And just two generations later their posterity is numbered in the hundreds. I am sure they didn't think they were powerful, but they did it. God knew where he planted them, and He knew what they could do.
So today look at your challenges differently and realize they aren't a punishment, they are a way for God to show you how powerful you can be. Marianne Williamson has a quote that I love,
And then one more, from one of my favorite souls...“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe.”
― Jeffrey R. Holland
Overcome your fears my friends, it might be the challenge of your life....be powerful and be successful. And never, never give up.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
No need for a long post...this is Miguel from All-American carpet cleaner, my hero. The price i was quoted on the phone was the price i paid, and he did an awesome job .!....in an hour.
The furniture is already back in place, and servicemaster is a distant memory.
Miguel made me promise i wouldn't do anything like that again.
Learn from my mistakes...
Friday, July 19, 2013
I told this very nice young man to gather up his equipment and ease on down the road. He called his supervisor, a not very nice man. Who assured me I did not know how carpet cleaning companies worked. I assured him I did know how his carpet cleaning business worked. If I wanted the Gambino family to clean my carpets I would have called them.
The advertised special is the price....unless you want us to bring in all of our equipment and actually do the job.
Or plug in the machine
Or use a carpet cleaning product
Basically the special was lightly dragging a steam cleaner over the carpet. And when I was not happy with it he would just say, I told you to do the deep cleaning, can't help you, sucka.
I am so sorry I gave in to my need to find a better deal. My daughter's boyfriend is coming for the weekend and at noon today I looked at my ancient carpet and thought I have to get this cleaned. It looked like the bottom of a bird cage. My regular company increased their prices and I was trying to save some money, so I called someone else who advertised a great deal. I put all the furniture outside, in the kitchen and dining room. You know that look? The one after the hoarder police have gone through the hoarders house? Cleaning carpets is a great excuse to deep clean every thing and get the Cheetos out from under the couch. But I like for the process to happen within the space of one day. Not so on this one....my regular guys can't get here until 1 tomorrow. I am up on blocks
I definitely make an impression on my daughter's boyfriend each time he comes.
The first time he came my husband was arrested and spent the entire day in jail. Suffice it to say over zealous police and a bench warrant for a ticket he had paid. We just had our insurance overhauled and gone through, you would think they would find his license was suspended. It was mortifying. But my husband was able to make many new friends....
The next time he came my husband threw his back out and couldn't get out of bed.
The next time the air conditioner was leaking in the room he was staying and water was everywhere along with a warped ceiling.
The next time he got sick....oh my.
Well the good news is we can lay on the floor in the den, watch TV, eat popcorn and throw it at each other....
Please don't let it rain.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
We live in a decidly rural area of Clark County Nevada. Our roads are paved but that's the extent of our development. We love the "rural standards" here, streetlights and sidewalks are at a minimum and even very few curbs and gutters. But to the quail, rabbits, chipmunks, roadrunners, hummingbirds, doves, and the occassional coyote, we are an intrusion. Hopefully, an accepted intrusion.
Early This morning I took my dog outside and we startled three quail that were on our patio. Quail mom and Quail dad flew onto the roof, and Quail junior fled to the open side door of our garage. All at warp speed. The outpouring of concern from Quail mom and Quail dad was very dramatic and very loud. I have lived here for eighteen years and the quail still amuse me the most. Their actions always make them appear worried and in a profound hurry, like they are returning an over due library book just before the doors closes. Since Quail tend to walk very fast instead of fly they embody the word scurry. I didn't think of this before but scurry must be an amalgam of scared and hurry.....and that is how they appear to me. I can almost hear Quail mom and quail dad talking to their brood, "let's go let's go! Hurry up! Hurry up!"....and off they go, scurrying for their very lives......across the backyard, on top of the fence, down the street...scurry, hurry and faster. I have watched a whole family of quail cross the road, and then after a second, the mom runs back to get one slow little quail, as though they are in a constant fire drill. She then appears to give that little quail the what-for all the way back to the others.
I usually step away as quickly as i can when I Intrude on my wildlife friends but for some reason I wanted to watch this particular quail dilemma play out. How do they solve the problem of being separated from their children?
The Quail parents are on the roof, while junior is in the garage, running in circles. (sound familiar?) Quail children are just as neurotic as their parents which solves the nurturing versus nature question. I notice that the mom quail is on the roof looking at where junior went into the garage while dad quail is on the roof on the other side of the garage. And they are loud! The adult quail seem to be angry with each other as well as their offspring....I can almost hear them say, "oh what to do, what to do?" So I reach in and hit the button to open the garage door and hope they figure it all out. And they do, Baby quail runs out of the open door with his parents right behind him.....
As a parent I realized I have a lot in common with Quail. I got it right then that we aren't all that different. And why would we be? We are all created by the same being, the same force, the one who put into us the desire to "fill the measure of our creation".
And that made me smile.
Friday, July 12, 2013
"As part of my funeral I would like 6 Cleveland Brown football players to be my pallbearers, that way the Browns can let me down one last time."
OK, seriously, is that hysterical? Pallbearers, letting him down one last time...love that.
I have told my children repeatedly that I would like my tombstone to read,
"I told you I was sick."
I hope they do it.
Have a great weekend...
The heat has shifted a bit, the fire is almost out....and maybe some rain. Maybe?
Saturday, June 29, 2013
But then she committed the unpardonable sin. The pattern of the sin is actually one that is in every family. The one thing you never say, your families unpardonable sin...the one thing that is not to be spoken of. And because you love your family and respect each and every one of them you just don't talk about certain things. For instance everyone knows that Great Grandma Mabel didn't have a 8 and half pound "preemie". But we don't say anything, right? Cousin George came home from the Army.....early. No questions asked, and no one talks about it again. Uncle Shug married a stripper, who took all of his money and moved to Chicago. It happened, but it is painful to bring it up so we don't.
Our country, our family, allowed an unspeakable thing to occur. It may have been a long time ago, but it still happened. In a country founded on freedom we denied that freedom to a great many people. We allowed them to be treated inhumanly for a very long time. Only after the most bloodshed our country has ever had in any war, was it finally over.
So now we have blessedly decided as a nation to never say the "N" word. That word has become verbal pornography. It conjures up a time in our history that we should be deeply ashamed of. It is actually a very small consolation, and we don't say it......ever, and when our black brothers and sisters say it, that is their business. They own that word, after hundreds of years of subjugation, I think they can do what they want with it.
I grew up in the South, I remember "colored" bathrooms, and "white only" signs. As a very young I had the most profound experience. In a black grocery store I reached for a tomato at the same time a black women did. She drew her hand back quickly in deference to me. And at that moment I heard a voice in my head say we weren't really different at all because we all liked tomatoes. I know that is simplistic but I was 6 and that is how you teach 6 year olds, I never forgot it. Paula Deen grew up in the South and maybe she used the "N" word long before she knew how damaging it was, how belittling it was.....how dirty it made people feel. It was a word designed to make people feel like they were in fact 3/5 of a person. We get that....we get that now.
The public outcry is a testament to how much we hate that word today, unfortunately Paula Deen handled everything badly after those documents came out. Her reaction wasn't very polished or clear. I watched her being interviewed by Matt Lauer, (I personally loathe him, but whatever.) and I watched him tear her apart. He has had plenty of his own indiscretions and personal sins revealed to not act like such a prosecutor. What I wanted was for her to look in the camera and with clear eyes and calm demeanor state - "I was wrong! That was a different person from a far different world. I am sorry, I am ashamed that my grandson knows I used that language. I am sorry that the people who watch me and buy my things now know I used that language. It hasn't happened since and it doesn't happen now. And I will spend the rest of my life proving that." Personally I would have taken Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Shaquille O'Neal with me, I would have begged their forgiveness....and meant it. Then I would answer Matt's "gotcha" questions.
I don't wonder about Paula today. I know that she campaigned for President Obama, she has black people on her show all the time....for heaven's sake her food is "soul food". Honest to goodness racists don't do that. And I know she is in shock about what has happened. To watch your whole life unravel in front of you, to be rejected by every major company you were partnered with that you thought loved you, has to be the worst time of your life. Unfortunately she will never be the same...and I will miss her. I watched her not because of her cooking, but because she made me happy. She loves life!....she loves her kids, her husband, Savannah Georgia and she loves to cook.....but most of all she loves people. That cannot be faked.
I will miss that laugh. She has a great laugh. And one thing I know about personalities like hers, someone who truly loves people it will take a long time for her to get past the rejection to be able to go out and change the perception of her. But I so hope she does. I hope she isn't remembered as a racist, but if she doesn't get out there and show people what she is really like that this chapter could be her epitaph.
Forgiveness is a tricky thing, the Savior was very clear that we were to forgive everyone. And regardless of your higher power that is a great way to live. I certainly have forgiven her....Oh no!! does that mean I have to forgive Matt Lauer too?
Forgiveness is what our country needs from every direction.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I have a dilemma, advice please. I am asking for it, so don't be shy, just be honest. I have two blogs....this one, "My life from the Bleachers" which has been my clubhouse, my refuge, my port in the storm. I come here to be honest or mad or grateful, happy or sad..... I don't have to be a great writer on this blog, I don't feel Marilyn Arnold (my college writing professor who wore horrible shoes and taught me so much. If only I could have helped her as much with her shoes as she did with my writing) looking over my shoulder. I write for me. My other blog is the one I was told I should do by people who know these things. It is a business blog. My husband and I started a catering company and I was told to blog about it...they liked My life from the Bleachers and wanted me to advertise the business by blogging.
Guess what happened? Nothing....the blog I started for the business seems blah and uninspired. I don't like to go there. But now I don't write on this blog because I feel guilty that I should be writing for our catering business. Because, well, we need the business. Being on Facebook and the few blogs I have written about our parties or weddings have been beneficial. People see my husband's work with food and flowers and we have been hired for several jobs because of it.
So now I am torn...I don't have time for 2 blogs. Actually, I don't have the talent for 2 blogs....so what would a professional social media specialist advise me to do?
I just read the blog of one of my favorite bloggers crashtestdummydiaries (go there!!) l enjoy her blog because she gives me a chance to read about her real life, warts and all. She is honest in her writing. If you clean your life up too much it is sort of like a body with no bacteria at all. You will end up with some kind of nasty infection, because we need a little bacteria. Opposition in all things right? We must know the sorrow to appreciate the joy. I rarely learn anything when there isn't problem solving involved. Solve a problem! I do know one thing, you can't solve a problem if you don't admit you have one! One of the greatest things about the family I grew up with is how we treat our crazy people. All families have crazy people, but we weren't ashamed of them...we brought them right out on the porch for all to see. My Uncle Homer was a benign alcoholic and he was definitely right out on our porch. Remember this was the age before Oprah, we didn't know how to have an intervention, or tough love or any of that. We just loved him and accepted his limited contribution to our lives. Life is better now that Oprah has shown us how to fix everything, or is it? Uncle Homer died with his favorite nephew, my dad, right next to him. I won't minimize the tragedy of a misspent life, but I won't minimize the importance of unconditional love either.
My other favorite blog is called "Entertaining Women" (go there!!) One of my hobbies is tablescapes, and she is amazing. She is a real Martha Stewart. I go there for inspiration, and peace. I don't know much about her, except her name is Cherry, she loves the Lord, her family, and shares her talents with all of us. She inspires me to do a better job of making the tables for our business beautiful. She reminds me of a part of my life I really enjoy. And when I worry that I am not contributing to the business I look at her blog and realize making things beautiful is a big part of the business of catering.
I have learned a lot over the last 4 years. The truest being, treat everyone as though they are having the worst day of their life and you will be right 50% of the time."
Sobering isn't it? It is also our opportunity to share each others burdens. Life is not Facebook where everything is wonderful, all bathing suits fit perfectly, all babies are beautiful and all weddings are perfect. Not everyone is going on a vacation this summer. Not everyone's child is a joy, not every doctor's appointment ends with just one suggestion that we lose weight. Sometimes life turns on a dime. One phone call or one trip to the store could change our life. That is when we find out how tall we really are, when we are in over our heads. And we need each other.
I have discovered we want status quo, we want to control everything. We don't want anything to get in the way of our checklist journey through life. Make the bed, walk the dog, get in the car, go to the dry cleaners, go to work, pay the bills, blah, blah, blah....do you have time to help someone? It is the way to feel as though you make a difference. To just take the time to listen to someone and maybe help with a broken heart.
I would love to be remembered for my best day but I will probably be remembered as the woman who screamed the loudest and most obnoxiously at football games. I cringe about that now, definitely not my best days. Which is why my prayer will always be " Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth".
So now you tell me, my problem solvers, what do I do? Do I write 2 blogs?
I guess I could........
I want to write about my husband who will not give up, I want people to know he started this business with the utmost faith that God would see him through. I want people to know that my ecclesiastical authority has no doubt we will succeed. And right now when morale in our country is so low, we need the courage to take a chance. And we can get that courage from each other. We need to believe we can succeed with the talents God has given us. We need not be afraid to accept help, but we also need to give help. Where much is given, much is required. The Lord has given me the most remarkable friends in the world. I am loved and helped every day. And when I get really low they remind me to realize how powerful I can be. And we all are powerful when we walk with whatever higher power we have in our lives. Mine is Jesus Christ..... and whatever higher power you adhere to, use it. We just have to believe.
Do you see what I do? I go off on tangents that Professor Arnold would hate. Can't be good for my business. I will make people run into the dark Nevada night.
So what do you think about my blog dilemma? Leave a message anywhere....on this blog, on Facebook for all to see, or message me...on my email, TexDona@gmail.com I want to help expand the business, I want people to see the amazing things my husband creates, and I want to write about other stuff too.