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Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Darling


Time passes by...
In a swift rush of ways...
From bright, shining moments...
To calm everydays...

From cycles and seasons...
And moonlight and tides...
To milestones and memories...
A lifetime provides...

Yet the wide revolution...
Each year is made of...
Is small when compared...
To the time span of love...

You are my husband...
The love of my heart...
My cherished companion...
My true counterpart...

My past and my future...
My soul mate, my friend...
Now and forever...
Time without end...

I hope you have the best birthday ever Babe, because no one deserves it more than you. All my heart, all my love...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Childhood Memories of Bare Feet, Giggles and Momma's Fried Pies

If you happen to be walking through our office during our break time, there is just no telling what snippets of conversation you may hear. Our conversations run the gamut from one extreme to the other. We've finally been able to convince our summer college student that has been helping out in the office, to join us for our breaks... She was making us look bad by working straight through. We've all become really fond of her as she is cute as a button. She's learned life lessons she never imagined this summer. I'm sure the images are seared in her brain for life, leaving mental images she will never be able to erase. LOL! Yesterday we were talking about food when someone mentioned fried pies. This is how young she is... She had never heard of fried pies. You know you can really block out the whole aging thing for a while until you come across someone too young to remember something like fried pies or who James Taylor is, then WHAM!!! It hits you in the face that those things are so far in the past kids don't even know them. Although if you ask me, your parenting style should be in question if your kids aren't intimately familiar with musical icons who could and still can actually carry a tune and play and instrument... IMO. (Rabbit Trail)Anyway this morning one of my co-workers materialized at may desk with two fried pies in hand. Awe!!!! How sweet is that? Apricot (my favorite) and Coconut (my second favorite). Oh, it was like falling back in time (as if I haven't done that before). I remember being a little girl. The women of the church met on
Thursdays to make fried pies. Women in their aprons, little kids running barefoot in Sister Stephenson's yard behind the church. We would play in the summer sun as the smell of fresh fried pies filled the air. Momma was always in charge of making the apricot filling, because that was my favorite. Oh, those were the good old days of ignorance and bliss, the good old days of childhood. I sat at my desk and moaned and groaned with yummy noises until every last bite of the apricot pie was gone. It's funny how just the smell or taste of something can bring back long forgotten memories.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's Good About a Really Hot Summer?


It's so freaking hot this summer!!!! We've had two months of way over 100+ weather with no end in sight. I'm thinking that summer was a bad time to try to knock off the caffeine... Heat + No Caffeine = Headaches and Grumpiness. Not a lot of grumpiness, just teetering on the edge grumpiness. The heat isn't the only thing severe about this summer. We've got a drought, there have been fires, it's just an extreme year. But just because it's extreme doesn't mean it's all bad.  There are some good things about a really hot summer. Good can be found in every situation if you look hard enough.
 

What's Good About A Really Hot Summer?

1. The hot water heater gets a rest because the cold water is   
   hotter than the hot water
2. You don't have to mow the lawn, because there is no lawn to mow
3. If the electricity goes out frying an egg and some bacon on
   the back porch is no problem
4. People don't complain if their plans gets rained out

There you go! There are the benefits to having a really hot summer. Don't sweat the heat! Hot, cold, wet, or dry, how good your summer turns out mainly depends on you :-)Beat the heat with positive thinking. Use your imagination to conjure up some snow capped mountains in your mind and embrace the summer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Facts of Life (Parental Guidance Suggested)

I bit the bullet yesterday and went to a new doctor who runs.... Hang on to your panties..... A Menopause Clinic. I know, I know, but I just wanted to see what all the hoopla was over "Getting to that age." Every hangnail and muscle spasm I've had the last couple of years has been diagnosed by Pseudo Doctors as being part of "That Time of Life". My personal opinion is that women are just really hormonal nuts (from the beginning of time... Hello Eve!)and the older we get, the nuttier we get. The big bad phrase is used for anything we can't explain, comprehend or rationalize. Not that changes don't occur,but seriously!!! Must we throw that term out at every inexplicable thing we experience? Okay, I'm slowly--stepping--away--from--my--soapbox--rant (I just had a little... "That time of my life" moment there). Back to my Menopausal Clinic experience. The office was really very nice. I walked into a waiting room filled with women my age and older. It's like some kind of secret club or something. I checked in (not knowing the secret hand shake, I just use my name) and then I sat and tried to concentrate on reading my book instead of the many humiliating ways I was about to be violated. Finally I gave up because I was too nervous to read, so I looked around the room at the different women and secretly wondered about their stories. I was making a mental note to self to avoid Botox at any cost as one older lady had the whole perma-joker smile going on and WAY too many lip filler injections... Bad, bad, bad way to age, when they called me
back to do my Mammo(which I'm two years late on). The technician was a chipper little thing. I mean REALLY chipper and very animated. She just loved her job and as I pressed myself up to the cold machine, I nonchalantly looked around the room for hidden cameras, because I was pretty certain I was participating, (without my knowledge), in a Punked episode. She was seriously nice, but it was just like having a Lilly Tomlin character do your Mammo... But Lilly Tomlin doing a Mammo is way better than having the Grinch who stole Christmas doing your Mammo so I am in no way complaining,
just making mention that it was a little humorous (if having that done can be humorous).By the time the Mammo lady was done with me, we were old pals. I knew how old her son was, I knew a lot about his personality and now that I say that I just realize that... That sounds just like my Mother!!! She gets the personal scoop on everyone she meets... Back to the point. After the Mammo it's back out to the waiting room where more mental notes were taken, until they called me back to see the nurse. She gets the scoop on what's going on with "things" then she passes me off to a P.A.. The P.A. asked me questions that made me blush (kind of like when I was in elementary music class and we were singing a song with the word "yearning" in it and I thought it was a dirty word)... Geeze, that ADD medicine just doesn't seem to be cutting it today. Then the P.A. announces the doctor will come in to meet me.... "He likes to
meet his patients with their clothes on first." I have always heard that men mentally strip you down within seconds of meeting you, so I'm kinda wondering what the point is, but then I'm like... "Oh! That's comforting." More waiting then the handle on the door turns and in walks... The Doctor? He didn't look like a doctor, he looked like a kid imitating a doctor. His scrubs were mismatched and frayed and wrinkled. He was wearing ratty old converse sneakers that he had probably had for about 25 years (if in fact he was even that old)with no socks. His hair was dark and shaggy and by gosh if there weren't several strands of gray waving around in there. He introduced himself, shook my hand and then as I watch with my mouth hanging open in utter surprise, he kneels on the little rolly chair with both his feet tucked under him like a 3 year old. With my chart on the table in front of him, he puts his elbows on the table, leans in and asked... "So, what's going on?" Immediately my eyes look toward all four
corners for those dang cameras. I am amazed and a little confused because... A)These people are way too chipper! I'm like the lady on when Harry met Sally, "I'll take some of what she's having." B)Doctors don't sit on their feet! I sit on my feet! but Doctors are suppose to be tidy,old, refined and maybe a little condescending... This guy is none of those things.C)He expressed a desire to help me "Make my uterus happy." Yes, you read correctly, that is a direct quote. Just like the Mammo lady, he was very animated, to the point that he actually clapped his hands like a small child when he learned I had a TBI last year. He practically begged me to allow him to help me with that recovery because he found it "Intriguing" and he said he enjoyed working with people who have had a brain injury because no one else would do it because it wasn't "Glamorous" and it took a lot of time and research, not an easy surgery fix. Light! Action! Cameras!!! He was so joyful, he had even me believing that I could have a happy uterus as I practically skipped out of his office like a schoolgirl at recess. I'm actually looking forward to my next gyno appt.! How weird is that?!? Yesterday was a treat! It was like going to the dentist, as a child, and looking forward to the bubblegum stuff they put in your mouth or the sticker they give you afterwards... It may not actually make what happened in between any better, but it sure seemed like it did. Besides, you know the old saying... "If the uterus isn't happy, ain't nobody going to be happy." That's a fact Jack!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fleeting

Life is but a vapor. Conquer your fears, release your regrets, capture the present and count your blessings like the petals of a rose. Make memories with the ones you love and place them in the treasure chest of the heart. The hands of time continues to tick- tock and too soon today will be a distant dream of what was, or would have been. Life is fleeting, capture it when you can. Make every second count.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thinking of You!

Today is the birthday of my step son. His life tragically ended just as it was beginning. He taught our family to live every day as if it were your last, to never underestimate the power of a smile, and that every child deserves the strength of family ties and family connections. Happy Birthday Ritchie....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Star Wars vs Heart Wars... Memories for Sale


Sometimes Motherhood is like a swift punch in the gut. Like when your daughter comes home and says she is quitting college and joining the Navy, or your oldest son says he wants to be like the missionary in the movie "The End of the Spear" where the missionary just happens to have a plane crash in a remote area and is killed by a tribe of uncivilized natives, or when the baby of the family doesn't want you to hold his hand any more when you walk him to school. Punch in the gut, that's what it is. This morning I had a punch in the gut experience. My husband announces Sunday that we (as if he has a mouse in his pocket) are having a garage sale this week during the "World's Largest Garage Sale" which is our little towns attempt at claim to fame. Duncan America has had like 30+ days of over 100 degree weather. There have been several days where the heat index has been 120+. First of all, for the record and since I'm not interested in being politically correct... July is the worst time of year (IMO) to have "The World's Largest Garage Sale", simply because it is so hot. Secondly... I HATE HAVING GARAGE SALES!!!! To the very core of my being I hate having a garage sale. Yes, I'm not embarrassed to admit, I threw a huge hissie fit!!! It's one--hundred--and--seven--freaking--degrees outside! This does not sound like a good idea. In his typical, too sweet for his own good way, my husband assures me that he will take off work, get everything
together and he will work the garage sale. Admittedly, that's a little better but I still pouted about it for a couple of days. So, anyway he was outside in the driveway this morning as I was leaving for work. I stop to kiss him goodbye and look around and the mess (so thankful I'm going to work). I notice my youngest son's tub of Star Wars figures (he has about a thousand). The longer I stood there and looked at them, the more the memories came flooding back. Even as a toddler his OCD was alive and well. When he was as young as 2-3 his toys were categorized in separate drawers. Star Wars Characters in one drawer, the weapons in another, accessories in yet another drawer. He kept his little cars separated from his dinosaurs and he only played with like toys at one time. For instance he would not play with dinosaurs and cars at the same time because they didn't go together. It really was very interesting. I questioned my husband about the wisdom in selling these particular things... What if we have grandchildren some day??? I know it's a stretch right now, but it could happen. I told my Oldest son as he left for his African mission trip to bring me back a moon-faced African baby, so... It could happen. He assures me that we can always go buy our grandchildren Star Wars toys if we ever have one... "But that's not the same as having the same ones he held in his little chubby hands!" As my husband reasoned with me that in all practicality we did not need to keep the thousands of Star Wars toys he actually said... "See this one isn't even out of the box yet." Well, DUH! That's because he wouldn't let him open it because some day it would be a collector's item (eye roll)... "I don't even know why we have all these things still in their boxes" he says. I threw up my hands and said "That's because you bought everything they had in that little store in Eureka Springs!! You even had the guy take you into his basement and our Volkswagen Bug was filled LITERALLY to the roof with boxes of Star Wars crap!!!" He agreed to go through the stuff and pick out some to keep, which I argued wasn't the really the same as not selling it at all, but I didn't have time to argue long cause I had to go to work. My bottom lip was hanging as low
to the ground as it could go (and may have even been quivering a little) as I got in the car. My heart ached, my eyes burned with tears and I felt like the last little bit of my kids childhood was being sold to the highest bidder. At the core of it all, it wasn't about Star Wars toys, it was about the war going on in my heart about seeing my youngest child's childhood slipping away... At not knowing what the next chapter in the story may hold... Sometimes Motherhood is like a swift punch in the gut.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rock a Bye Baby

Today I attended the funeral of a former co-worker's 1 year old baby boy. As a parent, I can't think of a greater tragedy than to lose a child, especially one so young. The slide show at the beginning of the service showed a beautiful and robust baby that had the face of an angel. I can't imagine how empty his Mother's arms must feel today.I know people say you're not suppose to ask why, but I don't know how you keep from it. One thing I do know is he was a lucky little boy to have been given to such a loving family. I believe the memories he left behind in their hearts and minds will ultimately overshadow any questions they have as to why. May God sing a lullaby of peace to their heart as He rocks their baby goodbye.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scatter Joy!!!!

Welcome to Oklahoma where the dirt is red and the grass is.... Crunchy! We do everything in Oklahoma halfway, that's why we only have two seasons... Hot and cold. If you want more seasons than that, I suggest you move someplace else. LOL! You think I'm kidding? Trust me I'm not. Summertime means travel (any place but here sound good to me), and my oldest son has once again put his travelin pants on (actually he rarely takes them off) and is headed to the wilds of Africa. Mission is his passion.  It's a passion he shares with several of his friends. He has a really neat group of friends that just scatter joy wherever they go. For the next 3 weeks they'll be scattering joy to the far corners of the earth. You can bet the grass never grows crunchy under his feet because he doesn't stay in one place long enough for it to grow. My prayer is the seeds he sows this summer will flourish and change the world. How about your joy??? Go out and scatter joy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

...and Justice for All

Riveted!!! I know, I sound like a talking head on T.V., but it's the only way to describe my  my interest in the sad case of Casey Anthony. I was memorized and perplexed by the case from the very first report of her missing child. In the beginning it completely boggled my mind as to how a mother with any maternal instincts whatsoever, could not report her child missing. Sadly, three years and a trial later, it still boggles my mind. Regardless of how the case is dissected, analyzed or debated, it still comes out a puzzle with several pieces missing. It's safe to say we will never know what happened or who was involved. Today when I heard the verdict and I read and heard some reactions to it, this was the mental picture that came to mind....

John 8

 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt. Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?" "No one, Master."
   "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."

Before the trial began, the judge spoke to the jury. In essence he told them that the accused entered the court room an innocent woman. Although she had been accused of crimes, the burden to prove her guilt was up to the state. Until that burden had been met, she remained an innocent woman. I let that settle in for a moment and it changed the way I viewed the rest of the trial.  I came to realize that not only should I look at the trial differently, I should approach my day to day interactions differently. I've been guilty of putting people in a box due to past interactions with them, taping the lid shut, never to allow them to break out of "the box" to hurt me again.  Likewise, I've had people put me in a box due to interactions, which may have been harsh, irrational, or simply just taken wrong, and there I am, sitting in a dark closed in box, usually of my own making. Casey will forever be known as at best, the woman who did not report her child missing, or at worse, got away with murder.  Regardless of what good she may move on to do on this earth, she will never be able to escape the box that her actions has put her in.  Thank God for mercy!!! What do you think Jesus wrote in the dirt? The 10 commandments? Sins he knew had been committed by those surrounding the woman? Names? Whatever it was, it settled into the hearts of the woman's accusers and they dropped their rocks and walked away.  Something tells me they didn't have their heads held high.  Sometimes I forget that I'm not as "good" as I want to be, and will look at others with judgement.... Then I remember who I really am. I'm greatly flawed, yet tenderly loved by a merciful God. My prayer is to be able to look at others and remember that they are the same. I'll throw my rocks down and remember if it wasn't for Mercy, justice for all would be harsh on every one of us.... Me included.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Stars and Stripes Forever

Freedom? Independence? This weekend we celebrate both. We live in the greatest nation on earth, yet are becoming more and more ensnared by the freedoms we celebrate. It's time America reclaim the freedom we have fought and died to attain. The reason our nation has been blessed, is because it was built on the foundation of faith. The farther we get from that foundation, the less freedom we enjoy. The Star of David came to give us life. He bore stripes on his back so we may be healed. It's time we embrace the true stars and stripes so that the flag that signifies our freedom will continue to be a symbol of freedom.

2 Chronicles 7:14

King James Version (KJV)

 14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.