Those Alaskans!

Did you hear about the reporter in Alaska who quit on air because she has  a stake in a cannabis club and wants to further the cause for the legalization of pot in Alaska? She dropped the F bomb as she announced her resignation from her position as a reporter.  Interesting things seem to go on in Alaska. I hear they have the most eligible, good looking bachelors, Sarah Palin is there, touring Russia from her back door and this lady has pretty much burned all possible bridges in her communications career. And I thought Texans were into doing things up bigger and better.

The door is now open for questions to begin firing away. Questions such as – “Does this mean this reporter was stoned more often than not on the air? Off the air? In her sleep? ” I don’t know, but this one has to wonder -well, just for a moment anyway.

I’d love to hear your brief thoughts on this news item. If you heard it, what did you think? I admit I thought it was a bit amusing.If you have not heard about this, here is the link. Let me know what you think.

http://rt.com/usa/189704-alaska-marijuana-quit-charlo/

I Was Thinking …OW!! That Hurt My Head

This morning I woke up with an interesting (I thought) idea. You know how it is when someone is in their teens and 20’s and dating. This age group is interested in going to dinner, going to the show and/or other venues – at night. That’s usually because they can sleep during the day, take an afternoon nap or even an early evening power nap before the date.

dinner dates
dinner dates

This goes on for a while until we approach our thirties and forties.

During out thirties and forties, we realize lunch dates are the best. Often, you’ll hear, “I’ll have my people call your people and we’ll do lunch!” Or- if neither party has “people”, you might hear, ” Wanna go to lunch?” or maybe even more appropriately, “Let’s Do Lunch.” – which is always funny phraseology to me.

"doing " lunch
“doing ” lunch

I’ve heard of having lunch, eating lunch, going to lunch, but “doing” lunch brings a weird visual to my mind. I won’t go into detail. I’ll let your imagination run away with you if it still can. You can always go home afterwards and take a nap. I know lunch always makes me sleepy and I love a good nap- and there is no better way to pass an afternoon with nothing to do.

Even later in life, say the mid-sixties, seventies and onward- breakfast!Now, if you are a semi- oldster, don’t take this personally, but it seems like people in this age bracket “do” breakfast much more often. No lunch and definitely no dinner dates- breakfast is just fine, thank you. I suppose it is a concerted effort in that one can take a mid-morning nap AND an afternoon nap, and of course, the after dinner nap.

Seniors eating breakfast
Seniors eating breakfast

Of course, I say this all in jest- but it does make sense if you think about it long enough. hiho

Who, What , Where, When and Why- the Basics

… these are the basic questions a good journalist would ask  They are the most basic questions … or are they?

I am, at almost 57 years old, just finding out who I am. I have been a daughter, a mother, a wife, an ex wife, a wife again, an ex wife again and a wife once more to the guy I divorced the second time.

I find, though, at almost 57, not a senior citizen, but a woman just coming into her own. A woman who has discovered art, rediscovered horses and owns her own now, rediscovered life and living and rediscovered a love for God. The newly discovered love for God rivals those days as a preteen and teenager at church camp when God’s light flooded the tabernacle and we all were on fire as we trudged back to our everyday lives.  Only now, I find the fire is lit wherever I go. I find that I try to treat people as Jesus treated people. I try to be kind, empathic, I try to be loving towards those who cannot be. This is what I strive to achieve.

Who I am , who I’ve been have changed with time. I have no reason to think who I will become in later years will be subject to change as well.Things I know will never change about who I am is that I am a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a friend, a lover of beauty and a person who looks for beauty in the imperfection that is life. That is who I am, who I strive to be and who I will always be.

stock-footage-child-girl-playing-with-wheat-on-agriculture-field-agricultural-land-children

Writing is like a Prayer

just say what you mean.
just say what you mean.

“To write is to pray.”- Paula Walker Baker- yep, I think I made that up all by myself- just now as I thought about what I was going to write.

I wonder if you have ever read blogs or stories in which the language is flowery, using unnecessary words, phrases, cliches or what have you? Well, I have and I have heard people who pray in that same language.

Me? Well, I like to write like I talk. I don’t want any pretense when I write- just want a good conversation piece- even if it is only with myself.

We had a guy at a church I attended once who would pray frequently. I guess the pastor loved his prayers, because he was called on an awful lot- but I found them boring, flowery and somewhat presumptious. Because I was a teenager, I wondered to anyone who would listen why this man insisted on praying like that. I mean, doesn’t God know what you mean to say? Doesn’t He already know our hearts and isn’t He just waiting for us to come to Him and tell Him our issues or requests in our own words, sans flowery agenda. No, when I write, it may not be in the “correct ” form for – say- an English teacher- maybe not even for a publisher- but it is the correct form for me.

I like writing like I talk. I realize that folks who don’t know me have no idea how I sound- where my inflections are or if there is any inflection. Maybe they think me monotone. But, I get the idea they know from how I write what I mean. If I want to say something, dadgum it, I’m just going to say it. I don’t want to pussyfoot around it. I just want to say it and have done with it. And I have done so- many times! And when I pray, I want to speak to God in easy conversations. It’s difficult for some of us, me included sometimes to pray. When I go to God, I don’t want to complicate it with a lot of words I may not be sure of the meaning. What’s the point in that? No, I want to say, “Hey God, help me with this deal. I’ve tried to figure out how to handle it and I’m at a loss. So, I need your help now. Oh and if You could see Your way clear to heal (insert name here), I sure would appreciate it. I’m kinda scared and I need You to help me out there. Thank you and forgive me of my sins.  Amen.”  That’s it -done. No flowery words, no what-not. I think He gets it.

pray  simply; easily
pray simply; easily

Do you?

Mission Trips-Send Your Kids and They Will Never Forget It

A couple of weeks ago, my husband, Stephen and I decided to invite a few of the homeless people we knew who had a been working and trying to better their situations to our house for a brisket dinner. The clergy, and other leaders came as well and we all had a great time eating, playing with the animals and just hanging out.

I want to go back a bit and say that David and Micah and their sister Amanda, always went on mission trips as youth in the church. It’s always a useful and productive thing to send your kids on mission trips to teach them compassion, empathy and learn how to help and love people who often feel unloved, unworthy. I always thought it was a good thing, but never really thought about actually seeing the fruits of the mission trips themselves. That’s because I’d seen it in subtle ways- nothing like I was about to experience the day of the cookout.

Stephen and I went to church down at Thanksgiving Square- Ervay and Pacific in Dallas, as usual. After church, we had to wait until the chairs were put away, the musicians put away their instruments and we sorted out who was riding with who. Once all that was done, we were on our way to the farm. Once we got there, David, his wife Natalie, Micah and his wife, Laura had continued to prepare dinner and it was ready to put on plates. The kids served our guests without hesitation and kept them at ease and comfortable.

Chris, the music guy at church,brought out his guitar and we all starting singing old songs- “horse with no name” and other such oldies, songs with gestures, fun songs to sing. I looked up to see that the kids were making plates for our guests to take for dinner that night. As our guests left, the kids handed the plates to them, one by one. Kinda like Jesus did-exactly like Jesus did.

I was almost brought to tears. My children took what they had learned on their mission trips- how to be more like Jesus- and was applying it now- right this minute! What a beautiful thing to see. They did it with such grace, compassion and empathy. I have never been more proud of the kids, never loved them quite as much as I did in that moment, and was never so humbled by my own children.

So, if you can send your kids on mission trips, do it by all means. Oh my gosh, the rewards they and you will reap and the blessings that go with all that are almost more than you can stand.

Later on, Natalie smiled and said, “i’m tired.”  I smiled back and said, “it’s a good tired, though, isn’t it?” She smiled and nodded her head.

It’s just a little piece of heaven in an otherwise cruel world.

What Happens at Walmart….

walmart

It all started Sunday afternoon when my son and my husband set up a swimming pool at our house. It’s one of those pools with a pump – not very deep, but just about the whole neighborhood could fit in it. Kinda like a huge spa. “Redneck Riviera” – that’s what Stephen calls it. 

like he says, "Redneck Riviera"
“Redneck Riviera”

I wanted to try out our new toy, but realized I had no swimming suit. Grabbing my coin purse, my keys and my flip flops, I was out the door on my way to Walmart. My son and daughter in law coming toward me got a quick hug and kiss and I asked if she wanted to go with me. She declined. I would too. Who wants to spend a Sunday afternoon at Walmart ,of all places! 

I had a simple plan. Run in, get a swimsuit, run out, get home, jump in the pool and relax. But it was Walmart and a Sunday afternoon-school supply weekend, of all things. Anyway, I didn’t find much in the way of swimsuits. Picked up some swimsuit bottoms and a few pair of scrubs and I was off to the self-checkout. As I put my clothes down, panic ensued after realizing my coin purse was not with me anymore. Where could it be? Where did I drop it? I didn’t feel myself drop it. Did I lay it down somewhere? My debit cards were in it, over two hundred dollars was in it – farrier money for my horse’s shoes, my drivers license and donor card- my whole life was in it! I combed the store- went back to every place I had been -all to no avail. Customer service had not had anything turned in and the ladies I asked out on the floor- employees, you know- were less than interested in helping me look.”I haven’t seen a coin purse, but then I wasn’t looking for one either,” one said with a bit of a whine in her voice. Whatever. I called my husband, panicking and crying. “There’s over two hundred dollars in there for Rigo, ” hearing myself whining now. “Just come home – there’s nothing you can do now. It’ll be ok.”  I left the building, grateful I had my car keys at least and praying my coin purse would be found.

Once at home, I decided not to dwell on the whole thing. I felt stupid for losing it. I mean, how could I drop it and not know? Or maybe set it down somewhere and walk off? That’s just dumb. (I can hear my mother saying it now! )

The next morning, I had to get ready for work early and decided to stop by Walmart. I went straight to customer service, finding for once, no line. I explained my plight and one of the ladies went into the office to check for my coin purse. In just one minute, out she came with my purse! I was so relieved. I opened it immediately to see if anything was still in there and lo and behold all my money was there, my debit cards- everything! Tears filled my eyes as I looked to the woman and said, “My money is still there. ” She said, “See, not everyone is bad” and smiled a sweet, genuine smile. 

In a bit of a stupor, I was able to push the button on my telephone and call my husband. He was as amazed as I .  Normally, I might say “What happens at Walmart should stay at Walmart.” But, i think this time, it should be told.

Thanks to the lady at Walmart and thanks be to God for answering prayer. 

Uncomfortable? Think of Other Guy

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An old Scottish pastor, upon hearing I have Bipolar disorder, asked me what it felt like. I’d never really had anyone ask me what it “felt like.” I’m not sure there are words for it. But, pictured here is what it  looks like.  I have been stable with medication for a while. But, I painted these two examples of what bipolar is and what it feels like only yesterday. “But,” you may be thinking, “You just said you were stable.” Well, see that’s the whole thing about bipolar.

Bipolar means manic depression. Some folks may be more depressed – some more manic. And still more may be mixed-yep, depressed AND manic at the same time.  And that’s where it gets complicated. That’s when there are no words to describe it because iit all becomes too much. Too many feelings racing through my head, too many things that irritate and agitate me- too much noise, too much frustration- just too much. Overwhelming sadness, overwhelming hyperactive behaviour- all at once. Organizing, cleaning, music, laughter, crying- all symptoms of mania.

Overwhelming, crippling sadness, the inability to get out of bed, the inability to care, the inability to move.The tears, the screaming, both in my head and out of my mouth.

A call to my doctor decreases a med here and maybe add a med there. An atypical anti psychotic, she says. “I don’t want to if i can get away from it,” I say.” It makes me feel flat, takes away my imagination, my ability to write, communicate and paint. My creativity gone- in one fell swoop. That is why folks diagnosed with bipolar don’t stay on the meds they are prescribed. Ridiculously expensive and highly effective as far as curbing the feelings, non-feelings, voices, weird behaviour and activity, they come with a bevy of side effects not the least of which is flat affect or no real feelings at all. More of a numbness. So, the plight of the mentally ill  is basically too many feelings, thoughts and more or none.

I have a wonderful psychiatrist who has worked with me for long about 20 years or more now and my therapist is so in tune to the cycles in my mind. She can usually help me ward them off before they actually come to the surface. I waited too long to go see her this time. I’ll know better next time.

Mental illness is debilitating at best. I have tried to use words to describe what happens- what goes on- but it is difficult helping a non-mentally ill person sort it out. The triggers that set a mentally ill person off may be nothing to someone else. That is why it is so difficult to understand and so difficult to relate to. It is like folks say, ” Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not a disease.”

People are sometimes not nice to people like me. I don’t really have that problem since i’ve been stable. But, just let me cycle- let me go manic or depressed and then some people think “pulling myself up by my bootstraps ” should do the job. Righty-o. Please try to have patience, empathy and if nothing more than a modicum of understanding if you see someone on the streets talking to themselves, making gestures to no one in particular. If you think it is uncomfortable for you- imagine what it is for us.

Comic Books- Man, Times are a Changin’ – Just my opinion.

I just read a news report- news, mind you, that Archie Andrews, of Archie, Veronica, Betty and Reggie fame, in the comic books, don’tcha know, is fixing to be killed off by a bullet meant for his gay friend , Kevin. Really? It seems the comic book wants to use real social issues as a way to show Archie’s character. Archie would do anything for his friends and this is one way to prove it. Gimme a break.

I read Archie comic books all the time as a kid- a teenager. A comic book was fun to read, an escape of sorts. Some kids have never even heard of a comic book, but I have to let it slip that even one of my sons read the Archie Digest (pronounced dee guest in his little world). 

As a teenager, most of the girls I knew who read Archie comics would chose either Betty or Veronica as the favorite girl- the one she would most like to be . For me, it was hard to choose because Veronica was the epitome of every girl’s dream- dark, mysterious, sexy , beautiful. But, Betty was really the girl next door. She had that innocent quality about her that Veronica didn’t really have. Veronica’s family had money and she knew how to get her way. Betty, though, just seemed real. Believable. Then there were the guys in the comic. Archie, the do-gooder – red hair and freckles. Not really my type, but I could deal. Jughead, the goof, in my opinion. Not the kind of guy I liked. Reggie, the bratty, wealthy dude- too stuffy. These were the characters I knew well and loved anyway. I could dissolve into their world in an instant. It was a comic book, for heaven’s sake.

I thought comic books were supposed to be- fun, entertaining, easily absorbed, something to do for a bit. I can’t imagine reading a comic book that also makes a social statement. I do not formally condone escape from the real world, but don’t you think it’s nice , just every now and then, to get away. I mean, after all, if you watch the news, it is gloom, doom, war, decay, shootings, protests etc and so on ad nauseum. 

I am not going to get involved with my feelings on being gay or any other social issue other than to say, I do not believe people should have to hear or read about or otherwise be exposed to them every minute of every day. I  know me. I would not read a comic book in which it addressed social issues. Just my take on what they were in my day and what they should be in this day and age. 

I love living in the real world with real issues , but escaping said world is something we all should do at one time or another. 

archie
Veronica, Archie and Betty

I’m going to jump on my horse from behind, yelling, “Hi Ho Licorice, Away!!!”

 

 

Eloping Has its Moments

I was mad at my mom… as mad as I had ever been. I called my boyfriend, Doug, and told him I was running away from home. I guess, in his own way, Doug was trying to protect me from whatever he thought I might do and offered to go with me. Had he not offered, I would have probably taken a long walk around the block and come home because barely sixteen, I really was afraid of most things. I had been a sheltered, protected child all my life. I knew nothing of the world I was about to venture into. Doug was four years older than me, so I figured he knew alot about alot. 

Doug came and picked me up in his bright red Ford Fairlane 500- a pretty cool car, I thought. He was tall and thin with brown hair and eyes He had dimples right under his eye. Because he was from Quebec, I called them “Canadian dimples” because I’d never seen dimples in that particular spot. He had been getting ready for work when I called and he dropped everything for me. Love? I thought so. In real life, probably not so much. Probably more a case of lust, adventure and romanticism. Even at this early age, I was a hopeless romantic.

That day was payday at The Plum Tree, a children’s clothing shop where I worked. So, after taking a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and jelly and one of Mother’s butter knife, we went to pick up my paycheck. I don’t remember if Doug had any money- probably not, but I wondered how far we could get on my $32.00 check. I was afraid we wouldn’t get far, but we did, after all , have food and gas. He  had friends in Minnesota where he grew up and went to high school. So, we planned to head for Minnesota- St. Paul to be exact. Thus, our journey began.

We drove for what seemed forever until it got dark and we stopped for the night. I can’t even remember what state it was in, but it was a lady’s house and we rented a room for the night with a bathroom down the hall. I can’t imagine what we might have paid for the room since money was, uh, tight. Anyway, I know it wasn’t much. It felt good to be there with him and the lady was older, so oddly, I felt safe.

Little did we know my parents had already called the police, had words with his parents and filed charges against Doug – such as taking a minor across the border, statutory rape, kidnapping and other charges. We slept good in that little room and got up early the next morning to make St. Paul before dark. I had never been to Minnesota, so I was kind of excited and scared all rolled into one. I wanted to make a  good impression on Doug’s friends, so I asked him questions about this friend and that one- things I could use to converse with the unknown exponents.

It was cold in March in Richardson, but much more cold in Minnesota and more snow on the ground than I ever saw in Dallas! I had never seen so much snow. I don’t know what I expected with Minnesota so far north it was almost Canada! I don’t even think I thought about stuff like that. I’m sure I didn’t take many, if any clothes.Image