Search This Blog

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jury Duty .......yikes!

So in keeping with a life lived on the proper side of the law I reported today for jury duty. I usually am a good sport about my number coming up for jury duty....but not today. I wore my very bad mood right on the outside of my face, and left it there.
I forgot to call the jury summons folks last night...I don't know how your system works but here in the hinterland we call the night before to find out if we need to report or not. I forgot to call and didn't realize it until almost noon. I panicked and saw a bench warrant in my near future. I was so relieved to find I wasn't supposed to report until I drove as fast as I could, I was only a little late and this is what I walked in on.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please line up numerically.....that is one number sequentially after another. What number are you sir? 108? What number are you? 115? We are missing a few people.....would number 109 please come to the front of the line? No Ma'am please stand behind 108 not in front of 108....would number 110 please come up?"
This went on forever......seriously forever.....
And then this exchange......."ladies and gentlemen would you please curve the line around the chairs in the back? No sir, behind them.....sir? could you please go behind the chairs in the back?
And this went on forever.......I felt like I was in the Star Wars Cafe.....

And I was just annoyed......and cranky.

And so I waited....and waited....I had some friends who worked in the building and they came down and visited with me.......and then some more friends came and went......they all seemed to find the humor in a situation that was certainly escaping me.

And then after another interminable amount of time the folks in charge of our little slice of heaven told us all to go home.

Another day in Paradise....and I made it through without a bench warrant for failing to show up for jury duty.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flowers For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays....the colors are warm, the times are sweet, the food is good, and we stop just briefly.....just for a moment......for gratitude.

This is my husband's work, he used all my favorite colors....

If you would like to order any of these arrangements, let me know.

As my grandmother would say in the deepest of drawls, "She seems like a nice girl, but does she set a good table?"

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Decide to Decide

Aunt Stuff called the other day....not happy at all. This is the same always happy woman who has minimized her ailments over her later years. When I asked her how she was doing a few months ago she told me in that wonderful west Texas drawl "oh, Donna we're still kickin'! Just not very high!"
That same Aunt Stuff wasn't on my phone the other day. The woman on my phone was shaking with anger. She almost whispered, "Donna? Did you hear what has happened at Penn State?" When I assured her I had, she told me she was sick. Sick in her heart, sick at her stomach and sick with the thought of what had happened there.

Sick that young boys had been so used at the hands of a monster.

And no one did anything to help them. I cannot get the images out of my head. I have two sons....I remember when they were 10 what if this had happened to them and no one tried to save them? I can't wrap my head around what is going through their minds. The boys, the moms, the many innocent people involved......
The fact that no one helped these boys, and so very many people knew what Sandusky was doing...Aunt Stuff read the grand jury many people knew what had happened. And no one did anything. How can that be?

I hope I taught my children to be valiant. To be people of honor who stand up when the world would tell them to sit down. Should we have to reassess on something that should be a reflex? Shouldn't it be a reflex to protect a child? There should be no thought to our own safety or in this case to our own career when a child is being raped.

Joe Paterno was an icon. Now he is a pariah......his reputation ruined. He is scarred forever. It is horrific that he made such a disastrous decision. Couldn't he have made one more phone call? But just one report? And no follow up? There was an eye witness, not a rumor, an eye witness. But they all filed it away, oh that silly pedophile! Let's just take away his key and tell him not to bring young boys on campus any more. Again, I am sick.

This monster has brought down a whole town. Ruined lives and careers in every direction. Joe Paterno will never get over this, his wife and children are forever scarred, Penn State will always have this scandal to deal with. Proud students who have to come to grips with the man they considered their "dad" let a ten year old boy be destroyed and did nothing. And how many other victims? It is hard to believe such evil can exist, it is also hard to believe that this monster was welcome on the Penn State campus up to a week ago, working out in the weight room.

I have been heartened that most of the sports figures that have come forward have said the same thing....."I had nothing but respect for Joe Paterno, but I have sons....."

As typical with evil it was all well hidden. For years it was hidden. I saw Joe Paterno as a guy who never ventured out of his beloved State College Pennsylvania. His home was on campus, he was the undisputed king of Penn State Football. Hundreds of boys went through his program.....he prided himself on making them men, teaching them values, making them work hard and be disciplined. Again the reality is parents are the role models, parents teach morals, how to work, be disciplined. Parents teach values. Sometimes we trust the people around us with too much and we foolishly abdicate our responsibilities. This story should make us all stop and think. And then reconsider the people we continuously set on pedestals for no real good reason. And trust.....with our children.....why do we do that?

This is why we have to decide to matter what, no matter the cost....we will stand for what is right.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh The Places You'll Go!!

When I bought this book for my children I had no idea how profound that statement really was......

Have you ever analyzed all the places you go?

Come with me, you won't believe it......

Today started out OK in front of the computer, I have had to deal with car insurance I checked that status...and then noticed that the credit from the auto part we took back still hasn't shown up on the bank statement......I got Mikey out of jury duty. He isn't a resident of Nevada any more so you would think that would be a no brainer. Nope....he has to fax a litany of information to the jury people. Then all hell broke loose when someone called who said they have something to do with an upgrade, or a new model or something like that for my husband's diabetic meter. Now I listen because this sounds important. But something isn't right, you know that feeling? I soldier on because it's medical and that seems important. But then I realize they don't know what meter he uses, what medicine he takes or his doctor's name. After denying a million times that she is selling something I realize I have given her all my information and she is selling something...a new meter. What a dope I am. And to continue my dopiness instead of just hanging up I keep pushing this wagon right off a cliff. Remember that story about the group of kids who are hiking and one gets bit by a snake? And the rest of the kids take the time to find the snake and kill it instead of rushing the injured one for help? The poor sick kid had a way worse recovery than if they had forgotten about the snake and went for help right away. Well that was me, instead of just hanging up I had to argue with what happened? Because I wasn't paying attention the dog ran out. I had to finish my argument so a long time went by before we started looking for the dog. My daughter's number is on his collar so I had to wait for someone to find him and then call her and then she had to call me and guess what? She is in New York waiting for it to be Friday so she can go to my Nephew's wedding.....11-11-11. By the time all these events took place and I finally talked to the person who had him, they were 20 miles away!! So dumb? Ya think?

Now I am fit to be tied...madder than mad...I missed an appointment AND I had to drive 20 miles to get a stupid dog AND then go to a mammogram. Forgot to tell you about that didn't I?...that's right a mammogram, ah the sweet days of Donna.


I have on no makeup, a terrible attitude and a need for revenge. So I set out to find the dog.

Found the dog.....and the sweetest young girl comes out to meet me. She tells me how they had to pick him up because he was in danger. My heart melts. Thank you I tell her.....thank you. And put the dumb dog in the car......oh he stinks.

Then I look over and see this amazingly huge real estate building...I find the front door and go in. It is the coolest lobby I have ever seen. The directory speaks to kidding. The directory has this great touch screen touch the office you want and a woman's face appears and tells you where it is. I went to the wrong door just to be able to do it again. I loved it!! Once inside the right office I find someone and ask if they have anyone who specializes in raw land as I have an acre to sell. I give them my flier and they buzz around a bit. It may not work but I felt better. Have to sell that land.......

Then I decided to cheat on my diet and have a diet coke. That's right cheating on this diet is a diet coke. Don't ask. So for some reason I decide to go to the Middle Eastern mini mart to get my soda fix. As I pull up I notice another store next to it called, "Trading Labels - Contemporary Designer resale" My bad mood has abated a bit so I go in there before the soda and am wowwed!! St. John's knits, Burberry coats, Coach boots, scarves, shoes, jewelry. At a fraction of the cost!! It was heaven! And two of the nicest women, Natasha and Marlina, own and run it. Fabulous..... and then not to mention and added benefit, the pet groomer next door who brought a poodle in with a mohawk. A green Las Vegas.

Note.....mood improving.

After that I go into the Middle Eastern mini mart and discover middle Eastern people don't drink diet coke. But their food is fascinating. So I walked around....took in the smells and aromas...and I saw some produce I had never seen before! But alas, no diet coke, so back in the car.

Oh the dog smells.

On the way to a diet coke mini mart my friend Lianne called to talk about tomorrow. We are going to the hospital to sit with another friend while her baby, that's right a baby, is having open heart surgery. Couldn't be more serious. Our first instinct in situations like that is to stay away, not wrong my friends. Unless they tell you so, intrude! Bring your love! You don't have to stay long, but you never forget who visits in the hospital....

Mood waaaay improving.....

Now on to the mammogram. Picture me driving down the road with the stupid dog standing up on the console and I cannot get him to move. What I must have looked like to other drivers.

I get to the radiology department and stand there waiting to be helped. I am just about to say something when an elderly woman walks in, holds up a bag with an urine specimen in it and asks "Where do I take this? I couldn't give a sample this morning so they told me to go home and bring one in later." It was the most incongruous thing I had ever seen. We are all about radiology....x rays, mammograms, cat urine specimens. They tried to tell her this was not the place, but she was determined someone in radiology was going to take that sample. They finally convinced her to go down the hall to the lab. She slowly walked outside and came right back. "The line is too long. I am not waiting in that line." Again, Sheila, woman behind the desk at radiology, tells her they don't take urine specimens, and please go to the lab. I pipe up and tell her to go to the lab and find the table near the bathroom and put your specimen with all the rest of them. No line, no waiting. You know if they take urine specimens there is a table near the bathroom covered in specimens. Right? She disappears again......only to come back after awhile to tell me she did just what I told her. Found the table and left her specimen right there.
I turned and looked at all the women working behind the desk. They had the most incredulous look on their face. You know how you look when you see something that you cannot believe you saw, but you saw it anyway? Oh my, this day is so odd.

Now on to the mammogram and the fabulous Nancy Taylor, my preparation we talked about my weird day, and how it was getting better. All it took was kindness. A little here and a little there.....the woman who found my dog, the two lovely women at the resale shop, my friend Lianne, Sheila at the front desk of radiology....and now the fabulous Nancy. Nancy reminded me there was a full moon, a meteor had just gone by and not to forget Friday, 11-11-11, a numbered palindrome which brings some kind of mystic quality to us all. Then not to forget next year, specifically December 12, 2012 starts the Age of Aquarius. I thought the Age of Aquarius was a song....nope, the Age of Aquarius is connected with all kinds of activity. From mayhem to harmony you be the judge.

Nancy was a kind voice, a calm in my abetting storm, and I was a different person. Thank you, Nancy. You never know where you will find a little helpful philosophy.

Oh the places you will go.....all in one day. From the ridiculous to the sublime. I so grateful I could see it.....grateful I didn't stay stuck in my bog.

We really are in control of our lives....I keep thinking I am being acted upon. Things are breaking right and left, bills are piling up with no end in sight, and my stupid land is not selling. And all I am is noisy.....noisy in my head, noisy in my prayers......because of all the noise, I am not listening and not paying any attention to the amazing life that is around me. I am glad I had this day....It was a gift.

What places will you go?

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Augie.....

In the circle of life we have good times and we have not so good times. The not so good times are so we can appreciate the good times. The calm after the storm, the moment after the baby is born.....the minute a party is over and it was a good time. All good times....

But the not so good times pretty much stink. And when we are in that particular curve in the circle of life we depend on a few tender mercies to give us a will to live. To think the sun will come up tomorrow. And if you look real hard you will see all kinds of kindnesses. I know we have...

But to Augie.....not so much. In fact, he is a big donkey. And I don't even know him except for a brief, unpleasant time on the phone this afternoon. There was a bill due...on the 5th, but the 5th is on a Saturday, so they took out the automatic payment on the 4th. The 5th was fine, I had the money there on the 5th, not the I received an overdraft fee. Yikes!! So embarrassing, so annoying....and of course, that would just start an avalanche of problems. So I called the bank...and got to talk to Augie. He was the most difficult, unhappy man I have ever spoken to. He told me he would send me the paperwork that showed on page 5 of 7 pages in one paragraph that if the due date is on a weekend then you have to pay on Friday. And NO we will not help you. And then he did the most amazing thing, he hung up on me!!

I calmly called again, actually because I was stunned, and spoke to an angel at Wells Fargo. I didn't even know that angels were bankers, but yet I found one. She saw the problem, refunded the money and wished me a great night!

How about that?

Did you hear that Augie?

And to everyone else, never take no or NO for an answer. Talk to everyone, after someone tells you no, call again. Never give up.....when you are right, or at least can prove an honest mistake, often people will work with you....unless of course your name is Augie and you work at Wells Fargo.

And to everyone who works with the public, or anyone who even just ventures out in the world, treat everyone as though they are having the worst day of their life and you will be right 50 per cent of the time. There are lots of folks out there who will be affected by a kindness, any kindness.....because the world is beating us up pretty good right now. Isn't it amazing how one smile, one honest kind word changes everything? I want to be that element of change.....

So to the woman at the store who raced around me to get to the checker when she had a cart full of fattening and disgusting food and I had one thing...and then pretended not to see me....let me introduce you to Augie........Enjoy......

Life is good and life is hard....I just want to make sure I behave myself at both ends.