Monday, July 31, 2006

The BIG reveal......A good time was had by all.........

First let me apologize for not posting yesterday as promised. My new redsident is still adjusting, and was up all night both Friday and Saturday. Add this to the other stuff I was doing, and by Sunday I was a tad under the weather. I even tried to post, but I simply couldn't make my brain function enough to make sense. (I heard you say...... "And this is unusual?" Stop it!) Better late than never, right?

For some reason, my oldest daughter has always had this thing about the matching shirts that people have at family reunions. Back in December, I decided that I would throw her a big surprise birthday/friends and family reunion party, complete with matching shirts for all.

Believe it or not, we all managed to keep it a surprise from her the entire time. What I had told her, was that I was giving her a time sensitive gift so we had to pick a date when she was sure she could come home and get it. By party week, she had decided that it was either family pictures, (which is why I gave the hint I gave..... I am one of those nutty people that make the entire family match for pictures. There was this one year.... I will have to dig out that picture, because you have to see it to believe it.) or that I had signed us up to run a special race.

Lots of people hang ballons on the mailbox to let guest know which house is the party house. My friend's son participates in Creative Minds (which is a school related competition where you have to build these tiny little structures out of balsa wood and then see how many hundreds of pounds you can get it to hold.) and for part of their presentation they make life size human sculptures to use. We took these three sculptures (Which by the way, One 4JC, reminded me of one of your redneck families)put the T-shits on them, and stood them by the side of the road.

So...... My daughter called me when she got into town, and our family all went out and stood with the dummies. As she pulled up to the house, she focused on the dummies, and not recognizing them was thinking I had hired actors to make a team or something, until she got close enough to read the shirts which had her name of them, (which is why I am not posting any picutes) and then she saw all of our shirts, but still wasn't getting it. When we told her it was a party for her, with her matching shirts, she was speechless. (being my daughter, this never happens, so it was a sign that she was really happy and overwhelmed.) Then I showed her her cake which I had been selfish with and had a picture of her and I in the hospital right after she was born, and then one of the two of us taken at our last race together. Then the two of us had a quick cry (which is again a sign that we are overwhelmed) and then I told her that there would be other guests coming, and she would be surprised over and over as they each arrived.

Enough details........ Everything went great, even if it was very hot outside. My daughter kept saying, "I feel famous or something with everyone having my name on their shirt. The rest of us kept saying, "Who is that girl (most of my daughter's Soroity sisters came to the party) over there, the one in the red shirt?" DUH! Everyone had on a red shirt. All in all, the party was a huge success, and everyone had a great time. I am already thinking how to top for next years birthday surprise.

My daughter called me when she got home last night, to thank me again and tell me how much fun she had, and also told me she was feeling a little let not having a surpise to look forward to. I reminded her that we would be seeing each other in Hell in just a couple of weeks, and this made her feel better.

That's right folks.......... We will be running through Hell, (a town about an hour from my home) or at least 4.8 miles of it....... And I even found socks with flames on the cuffs for all of us to wear. (Except one of the girls from our trail race team, who matches her entire running outfit and prefers pink, so the red socks would clash.) So we do have something to look forward to. By the time the run through Hell race is over, I am sure there will be something else on the horizon, and before you know it, it will be time to begin training in earnest for next years trail race, as WE ARE SOOOOOOO DOING THAT AGAIN! See there is always something to look forward to!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sorry to be short changing you all dear readers..............

I am in the process of putting the final touches on a big surprise for my oldest that has been in the works since last December....... Thus no time to blog, or even respond to comments, but I like what I am reading........ Keep them coming!

Until I have time to really post, entertain yourselves by trying to guess what the surprise might be. I will post the big reveal on Sunday, promise!

NOT that I should even have to say this, but to those few of you that know the details of the surprise...... If you value your life, you will keep it to yourself for one more day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time for a change?.............

I have been thinking lately that it is time to change the title of my blog. Problem is I can't settle on a title. Okay! I haven't really taken anytime to think of the perfect title to represent me and what I post about. Why do you think I have my dog Ben as my picture? Because I couldn't find one that I felt REALLY represented what I wanted to convey. So, I settled.... Being way cuter than I am, it wasn't a bad settlement! Now, I am thowing out a challenge.............

To my regular readers, as well as any drop ins, tell me what you think would be a fitting title for my blog. You can also send pictures for a Ben replacement if you think you have the perfect one. The prize? Bragging rights for coming up with a great title, and a mention in a post. Oooooo! I know you are all dying to win that one, so let those entries start pouring in! Enter as many times as you like, and thanks in advance for your help.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Jumpin on a soap box for a minute................

Earlier this morning I was visiting Julia's blog. Yesterday was her daughter's first day of first grade. I posted a comment, and found myself writing a blog in the comment section so I made myself stop and come on over to my own space. What was I writing about? Glad you ask.

Maybe this will come back to bite me, but I am not a fan of the public school system. Once upon a time, I shelled out the big bucks for private Christian school, until they began to go the way of the public school and I figured I was wasting my money.

In the state that I live in, you do not HAVE to enroll your child in school legally until they are six years old, so I taught my youngest kindergarten at home until her birthday in April and then put her into public kindergarten for the last month of that year. This way there would be no problem with them promoting her onto first grade. The school system was less than happy with me, but I was within the letter of the law so they had no choice but to go along with it. First and second grades went well, and since third grade things have gone downhill for my youngest.

What I was talking about on Julia's site was my daughter being just like me. Every year is seemed like there was a personality problem between her and her teacher. In third grade, her teacher's husband was very ill the entire year. While I can feel for the teacher, it was her responsibility to either be present to teach, or take a leave. She was there in body, but she was often short tempered and harsh, (in my daughter's opinion) but when I would speak my concerns I was dismissed "as this teacher was having problems at home." Aren't we all? Must be nice to do a crappy job and still get full pay and benefits. My responsibility was to my daughter's education and well-being, not the teacher's problems.

Fouth grade....... Luck of the draw gave her a male teacher that was to be with the class for fourth and fifth grades. My youngest bonded quickly with this man and had a great September, October. Then he informed the class that he would be taking a job at the middle school at the end of October. About two weeks after he left, I got a call at work from the principal informing me that my youngest had passed out paper and crayons to all the kids in her class, and told them to make posters saying "We are on stike! We want Mr. _____ back." I got to tell you, I WAS REALLY PROUD OF HER FOR SPEAKING UP FOR HERSELF. Up until this point she had been a shy little thing that would never stand up for herself. I pointed this out to the principal and told him that if she was doing something this dramatic then I thought the school staff should take a look at how the teacher's leaving had effected her rather than brand her a trouble maker. I was told that the teacher would let her leave the room if she was feeling emotional and needed to go talk to the principal. My response was, "Who is the adult in this situation? Should it not be the adult that watches for signs of a meltdown and offers ways to handle things instead of putting the responsibility on a child to help herself?"

Then there was middle school....... For some reason, my youngest has always put tremendous pressure on herself to get perfect grades. She would come home from school day after day in tears, because the math teacher didn't explain things so she could understand them. She was told to ask another student if she had a problem. Boy! Did I have a problem with that answer. I went to the school and first had to convince the teacher that there was a problem in the first place. I was actually accused of making stuff up because in class my youngest was quiet, kind, and never appeared upset. The fact that she was holding everything in until she got to the safety of her home, was something the school just couldn't (or wouldn't) grasp. As to their great idea of peer teaching, I was quick to point out that my tax dollars was paying HER to teach my daughter not paying for some other student to do so. And the idea that one learns by teaching might be great for the kid doing the teaching, but did't do much for the kid needing the learning.

I will spare you further examples.............

We are about to begin her last year of high school, and I am already checking off "THE LAST TIME I WILL EVER HAVE TO DO THIS" things. In a way, this is sad, but in another way it has been a great education for my daughter. In life we are always going to have to be willing to take charge of what is best for us. Sometimes, to our detriment, we give our power away to people that don't deserve to have it.

My youngest is a rare bird that REALLY wants to learn. On three different occasions during her high school years she has been put into a classroom with a teacher that was not teaching her. With support from me, each time she took her concerns to the principal and got placed in a different classroom so that she might have a better chance of leaning the material presented. She did this respectfully, and with a well documented list of concerns that could not be ignored by the principal. This was something she had to learn to do on her own, and also something that will more likely than not serve her better than all the textbook learning in the school curriculum.

Her attitude for her Senior year is to not worry about what her teachers think of her, but what her teachers can do for her. Again, not in a disrespectful way, but in a I expect you to do the job you are being paid to do, and I am going to hold you to your responsibility. I made a good choice as she grew, by transfering the responsibility for doing so onto her a little more each year. By the end of last year I was pretty much out of the loop completely. If I was called with a problem, I thanked them for informing me as her mother, (Like I wasn't going to hear about it from my daughter or something.) then directed them back to dealing with the problem with her as, "Afer all, I do not plan on following her to college and she needs to learn how to handle these things for herself." She has done a great job, and all I can say is, "Look out world...... There will soon to be four of us on the loose." (I taught my other two kids to stand up for themselves as well.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

So you don't think I've died...................

As I told "Other Right Arm," in answer to "Are you okay? You haven't blogged since Thursday."............. I have had my respite resident.......Six people, three of which are total care, is a bit much, even for SUPER caregiver, me! Respite resident is going home this afternoon, so until I have some real time...............

Here is a visual for you.................

Saturday, I made it out to the garden to discover the first red tomatoes of the season. One small one, and a handful of cherry tomatoes. I picked them and stood in the garden, the warm sunshine on my face, wiped the tomatoes on my (most likely dirtier than the tomatoes) shirt, and ate them one after the other, letting the juice dribble down my chin, not caring that I wasn't sharing with a soul!

Call it my reward for all the caregiving I did over the weekend....... I will not feel guilty! Besides, there will be tons more over the next few weeks, so EVERYONE can have their fill then.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Might make it to Ripley's Believe It Or Not...............

I decided to pick up a tag from Has to be me, as I thought everyone might enjoy hearing about the interesting ways I use the varying spaces around my home..........

I promise............. I am not making this stuff up!

Five things in my freezer:

1. slush, the yummy pina-colada kind that you mix with rum
2. slush, the not-so-tasty kind that you use on sore spots after running. In case
you want to know how to make it, it is one part alcohol (rubbing or booze) to
four parts water. After it freezes it makes a great cold pack as it forms to
body parts like knees and ankles.
3. Cookie sheets with blueberries layed out to freeze. When they are frozen, we
transfer them into bags, and then we can pour out just what we need rather than
having one big frozen clump. Yes! Blueberries are finally in season, I have
thirty pounds that I am putting in the freezer.
4. Horseradish.... I think it was two years ago, I dug up part of the root from the
plant that used to be tiny and is now huge. I ground it in the food processor,
and put it into baby food jars. The piece of root that I ground made like a
dozen jars. Two years later I think I have ten left. Horseradish is something
that most of us don't use much of I guess.
5. A vast assortment of Weight Watcher ice cream snacks, (only one and two points a
piece. Did I tell you I was point counting as a way to control my portion issues?)
as well as a gallon bucket of vanilla ice cream for my new resident. She
goes through about one a week.

Five things in my car NOTE: My car was really handed down to my youngest, so I take
NO responsibility for this list:

1. One can of Madarine oranges (must have fallen out of the case on one of the
grocery trips)
2. An old beat up American flag licence plate (I guess she is patriotic)
3. Easily a third of my youngest's wardrobe (she changes for track practice....
enough said)
4. A cane (who know why?)
5. Enough condiments and napkins to supply a park full of picnic goers for at least
three weekends.

Five things in my closet... NOTE: Since being displaced from my room and closet, this is an old list. I am currently closetless, and mooch off of other spaces to put my stuff.):

1. A washer and dryer (The stackable kind)laundry soap,etc...
2. A camera case with my 35mm camera, assorted lens, filters, film, etc...
3. (my) Mister's clothes....... I gave up space for clothes so I could have the
washer/dryer on the first floor instead of in the basement.
4. Personal play things..... The box got to big to fit under the bed.
5. Lots of lint, as a result of number one.... See why I didn't mind moving my
clothes? Are we at number five already? For a small closet, there was a lot
packed in there.

Five things in my handbag:

1. Six pair of cheap headphones, the kind you get when you take an airplane trip.
2. ear plugs and a sleeping mask. The earplugs are for the movie theater. Well!
Okay! I used the sleeping mask at the movies as well, but only once! Normally
it is in there for those times that I can send my daughter into the store and
catch a quick nap while I am waiting.
3. For (trail) running: Ipod/case, afore mentioned headphones, wrist wrap for
holding a car key, sweat band, a zone bar, muscle milk (both for instant fuel
after the run)a supply of tissues, (for needed stops during a longer run) hair
ties, Aleve, clean socks, (have been meaning to add a pair of clean panties, but
keep forgetting)
4. A wide assortment of coupons and discounts, probably over half of them have
expired, but sometimes I can talk the sales person into taking them anyway so it
never hurts to hang onto them.
5. Enough ink pens/pencils to supply the entire Senior class for at least the first
semester. And I wonder why I can never find one around the house when I need it!

The above is just a small sample of the things in said catagories. I probably could have done a hundred things...... For sure could have come up with fifty...... But we'll leave it at this for now!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Maybe I need a new hobby.................

Either that, or those of you that post for my enjoyment better step up the action...

Just Kiddin!

Around here, the bedtime routine begin about six-thirty in the evening, and works through stages until round nine-thirty, ten O'clock. There is a lot of down time during this period, and yet not in long enough stretches that I can do anything really productive. (or maybe I am just to tired by this time of day to think straight.... The outcome is still the same.) Is there a point here? Oh! Right! When I get sick of the monkeys laughing at me because I can't come up with enough words to fill in the blanks(An anagram computer game.) I have been "killing time" looking at new blogs.

I know there are hundreds of thousan ds of blogs out there........ So why do I keep finding blogs about unhappiness and discontent?

Okay! Through-out a big share of my life, I could see myself being the author of most of them. Maybe this is one of those "If you don't remember history, you are condemed to repeat it" messages. Nope! That can't be it. I have made tons of mistakes, but ninty-nine percent of the time, they are either totally new mistakes, or at least have a new twist on an old mistake.

What purpose then, does hanging onto the past serve in our lives. "I am still not going to be your friend anymore, because I can't forget that time in second grade when you played tag with Jenny, instead of playing on the swings with me! So just take Jenny with you on your all expensed paid vacation to Europe. I'm staying home to wallow in my own personal misery. That'll show you two!" Am I the only one that has let the past interfer with my current happiness?

Let's not forget how important the past is in current relationship fighting. What would any of us couples fight about if we actually put the past transgressions of our loved one away, and REALLY moved forward into a more in-tuned future? (Disclaimer here: Things like (my) Mister sharing from years ago, can't be counted, as I was hearing these things for the first time.) After being with someone for a while, arguments seem to take on a life of their own. The first few spats are pretty mild, and end quickly. A few years into the relationship, and it seems that five minutes into a discussion, something is triggered and instantly you are into a full blown fight, based on the patterns your previous fights traveled, without the warm-up; straight into kill or be killed, take no prisoners mode. Surely someone out their can relate to that? No? I guess I was thinking, that since it would end up there eventually, I might as well save some time and get right to the jugler. There are other ways of reaching a conclusion? Mmmmmmmm.

The biggest reason I can think of for staying rooted in the past, is to try and block out that you are un-happy with the present, and you are not sure what to do about it. I am a big believer in "if you don't know what to do, do something, anything, and doing so will help direct you towards the thing that you need to be doing." If doing nothing isn't working for you, what do you have to lose by doing something?

Is there something in your past that you need to let go of to make way for a more contented present? If there is, remember the notion that for a true change to take place, you have to fill the void of what you are getting rid of. If you daydream about yesterday, go to the library, (see, you don't have to spend money)and check out some magazines that might help you jazz up today. If there are parts of yesterday that you just really have to have back into today, be pro-active on getting them back. If this isn't a real possibility, (No matter how much surgery one has, you really can never look nineteen anymore.) do the work, mourn the loss, and move on. Happiness is a state of mind...... Look around you, and I am sure you will see people that you think have it made that are miserable, and also people who's life circumstance breaks your heart that appear very happy and content. The second group of people are the ones we need to study and imitate, until we can practice it on our own. Who will be your mentor today?

Monday, July 17, 2006

I guess I needed to get this out there..................

I had decided that I wasn't going to post a blog today...... Moi, with nothing to say? I know none of you will believe that statement,but still.............

Instead I hit the "next blog" button, and up popped a newly started blog. The post was from a woman that had just left a long-cheating husband of twenty years, (of marriage and cheating) with the statement that she had no idea the cheating was going on, and thought they were happy. (Don't we all LIKE to think we are happy?)

She then went on to say that three months after kicking her husband out, she met a wonderful man, the total opposite of her husband. Now, (five months total time)she is deeply in love, and looking forward to a wonderful life with him, and her two children.

After typing the rather lengthy comment (that follows) I figured I did need to post a blog today, and that I was led to her post as a way of getting me to post this one. There is that "getting what I need" thing again. So, poor thing that she is, new to blogging and all, I hope I didn't blow her away with my thoughts. Do you think I came on too strong? We all know I was really talking to myself, and this is what I said...............

I too was cheated on, (with only 8 years invested not as many as you had) and I am glad that you are finding that there is life afer ditching a scum-bag.

A word of advise, if you care to read on..... If not, delete now...

Go slow, enjoy the newness of your relationship, and don't rush through the good parts trying to get your security back.

If you married right out of high school (as I did the first time) you might not have yet discovered who you are on your own, or who you might like to be. Not that you can't find that out with a man in your life, but sometimes we put those we love ahead of our personal needs until we are not getting any of our personal needs attended to.

Figure out why you didn't know that your husband had been cheating on you for years, right under your nose. This will teach you a lot about yourself.

Finally, make sure you and your new love are always on the same page. Why do I say this?

I am in my third marriage (I hate claiming marriage # 2...... Still think someone else was living in my body the entire time..... Could I have really married such a looser?)

#3 is a nice guy! Took me close to 40 years to figure out that I was good enough to have a nice guy in my life instead of cheating losers. With all the good things that we have going for us, we still go through rough patches. Current one...... My guy is so nice, that he finds it hard to speak up to get his needs/feelings/ etc... met. Instead he expects me to see his unhappiness, figure out what is causing it, and fix it for him. I am such a darn good caregiver that for many years this is just what has been happening, but I am growing weary of the responsibility. Not because I no longer want to love, care for, and make him happy, but because it takes two people participating to have a good relationship, (what we both truly desire)and if only one person is activly participating, "we" is really just "me."

So, things are a little rough for him right now, and it is all I can do to keep myself from rescuing him yet again. Yesterday, he finally told me about a couple of things that had been bothering him. One happen 7 years ago, and one 5 years ago! He is now trying to get a handle on the fact that if he doesn't tell me when something bothers him, I won't know it, and we won't be able to deal with it and move on. I guess this is because I have been doing such a great job at guessing...... Or he was willing to take whatever I gave him, and now is starting to think he deserves more. (Which he does!) Whatever the case..... I am very excited about his breakthough, and am praying that I can stay out of it enough to give him the time to, first figure out what he really does want, and second, learn to speak up for himself for as long as it takes to get his needs attended to.

Thanks for letting me take up so much space on your blog. I guess I needed to put all this on paper. Maybe I can copy this and share it with all of my readers.

Best wishes for a happy blessed future!

Well, I guess you can see that I was able to copy it and am now sharing it with you.

Keep (my) Mister in your prayers, as he continues on his brave journey of self-discovery. And pray for me that I am able to keep my mouth shut and let him travel his path the way HE needs to. This will be hard for me......

Sunday, July 16, 2006

RANDOM AND ODD...............................

Remember I told you I was going to swipe
Julia's "Stuff Portrait Friday's" assignment?

Well, here is my idea of a random/odd picture.

Your job is to write a caption to go along with the picture.

Have fun.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Some things I REFUSE to give up.......................

Yesterday, my computer was giving me fits. I can deal with it being slow from time to time but so slow that I can feed someone their entire breakfast while waiting for it to pull something up is a bit much don't you think?

Anyway, as I was waiting (and waiting) for the computer to publish one of the comments I wrote yesterday, sitting with the computer on my lap, elbows bent, forearms pointed up towards the ceiling, hands open. wrists slightly bent, fingers open and extended....... (In other words I was visually choking the life out of my @#&*^%@$ Computer.) My youngest offered this advice:

"Why don't you give up blogging mom? That will free up lots of time for you."

First let me assure you I did NOT transfer my choking stance to her pretty little neck. BUT..... The look I shot at her literally backed her shoulders deeper into the sofa, as she tried to fend off the blow. Before I could send a second wave of daggers, smart girl that she is, she managed to squeak out the words, "Sorry! It was just a thought."

Give up blogging? Can there be any possible way that she could mean this, considering she has am much fun listening to me read mine and other's blogs outloud to her. She must have been delirious from lack of sleep or food or something.

Give up sleep, sure I can and have done that. Food, no problem. Showers, lucky for those I live with I draw the line there, but I have shortened them, and forget shaving. It doesn't show that much with a tan anyway.

As busy as I have been lately, I am firm in my resolve that there are two things that I will not give up. Those things are blogging, and running. I have had to modify them some, but both remain top priorities in my life. Why?

Because I spend the biggest part of my day providing care to others, and these two things are things that I do just for me. They are how I recharge and nurture myself. Once upon a time, these things would have been the first to go. Now I love myself enough, and know that doing loving things for myself is a great way to be sure I have enough left to give to others.

Sure, the dust bunnies and animal hair have taken up residence in the corners of the rooms, and my floors aren't clean enough to eat off of, (Who out there can make that claim to fame?) but everyone is clean, well fed, and content. Disclaimer here...... I am sure the dogs would like to be taken on more walks, but again, what dog wouldn't?

I am sure that everyone would agree, there is never enough time to do all the things we want to do. So what? This part of my life is just that, a "part" of my life. Down the road my life will change and most likely my priorities will shift along with those changes. That is called living life/going with the flow...... I think it is pretty cool that I am learning to do that, finally, after all these years.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A labour of love.......................................................

This post is compliments of the Robert Genn, twice weekly newsletter. Yup! I swiped it from him, total plagiarism, but with his permission as you will read.

A day or so ago, I received an anoyomous comment from someone stating they were inspired by my blog to maybe start one of their own. The letter below is to spure them on to that end.

It very well covers the reasons one writes in the first place, and the benifits they get once they do write. Robert is an artist by trade, I am not. (You should see my stick people....... Never mind you want to keep your vision don't you?) Anyway, life is art, and there are many ways to express art without a paintbrush. Understanding this, A friend ask me if she could sign me up, as she thought I would appreciate how Robert's views can be related to most aspects of life. If any of you want to be signed up, just let me know and we will get it done. If you havn't guessed, the stuff in green are his words. Enjoy!

July 14, 2006

Dear Patty,

Yesterday, as Dorothy and I were scrambling up and down a Cariboo creek, an e-mail came in from Karen Dawson of Burlington, Vermont. "I wonder," she asked, "if you would be willing to talk about your writing process; how it feels to be committed to two essays a week, and how, or what dimension that commitment adds to your big picture.

"Thanks, Karen. Imagine a magic box with a screen in the lid through which you could talk regularly and share exchanges with like-minded members of a worldwide community. My Toshiba laptop is that magic box. (Today, as well as splattered with paint, it's all sandy and sticky with the bloody bodies of sacrificial mosquitoes.) Indoors or out, this box is a studio window and a vital instrument of my private tutelage.

The writing of notes, letters and journals is good for creators. Writing is learning. Writing shares joy, delight, triumph, struggle, disappointment and disaster. The free exchange of ideas and processes helps us to think about what we are doing and where we're going. This mutuality is part of our self-education. In a lifetime of painting I've learned that subjects taken for granted need often to be revisited and re-examined. And like all of us, I have minor epiphanies and esoteric insights. As if they were mosquitoes, I swat them down into this magic box. Sometimes, as you've probably noticed, the stuff gets a bit weird.

I generally write the letter the night before you get it. I most often write what's on my mind. If I'm up some creek and I'm stuck for a theme, I look in my inbox--as I did just now. At other times I dig around in our own Resource of Art Quotations. As soon as a letter is completed, it goes out to fourteen of our "letter reviewers." These volunteer editors don't have to respond, but when they do, I almost always take their advice. Then the letter gets sent on to everybody. Right now, at the rate of four letters per second, it takes about fourteen hours for our dedicated server to personalize and send every one. I'm aware that many subscribers print the letters out and pass them around. Many are copied to blogs, e-mail lists, school curricula, club newsletters and print media. Because many of the concerns of artists are universal and timeless, I have the feeling that a few of these letters may be around for a while. That thought alone keeps me going.

Best regards,


PS: "All education must be self-education." (Robert Henri)

What do you think?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Can violence EVER be a good thing?............................

Reading the latest post of Has to be me along with some of the comments, got me to thinking. Her post is about the recent bombings in Mumbia, and one of the comments refers to the actions President Bush has taken in response to the violent actions of other countries. Where is your line regarding when it is okay to respond to violence with violence?

One thing that has ALWAYS bothered me was when I witnessed (or in the moment slipped and did so myself) an adult say to a child, "Don't hit!" At the same time they are reaching out to slap a hand/ bottom/ etc... Definitely sending the wrong message with that behavior. And yet I have also cringed to see a youngster slapping his parent over and over repeatedly, and while fending the blows the parent is repeating in a calm (how do they do that?) voice, "Now ______, Use your words..... It isn't nice to hit someone." It might not be nice, but kiddo would probably agree it sure does feel good to be on the giving side rather than the receiving side. Do mom and dad really think all the other two and three year olds are going to politely say, "Use your word.....blah, blah..... to hit someone."? So what is the right answer to that one folks?

I personally, having been on the receiving end of hitting more times than was good for me, tried to strike a balance and save the physical contact for dangerous situations that called for an immediate message. "Yup! It might hurt when I paddle your butt because you were running into traffic, but it would hurt a lot more to get hit by a truck. You're just gonna have to trust me on this one until you are a bit older and have better understanding." Some things one doesn't get a second chance or a do/over, so the message has to be sure and get through the first time.

I try and stay far far away from discussing politics. I vote in every election, from small local ones to big presidential elections. I believe it is one of the rights our those before us have fought so hard to defend. I will even go out on a limb here and say I did NOT vote for President Bush, and I personally disagree with many of his actions. The problem with thinking someone else could do a better job than he is doing, is that NONE of us really know the entire story/events behind his or any other president/leaders actions. I believe we know what they want us to know. Maybe knowing it all would compromise national security? Maybe it would simply make our leaders look bad to other countries? Maybe it is a combination of a lot of things. Most of what we do know, I would rather not have been exposed to (Can anyone say "I did not have sexual relationsons with that woman." I did vote for Clinton, and do appreciate some of what he did while in office. This in no way means I want to and/or should know about his bedroom habits or how his wife feels about his bedroom habits. Stay tuned to see if wife Hillary accepts the nomination for president. Will I vote for her? NO IDEA! But at least we already know most of the dirt they will be slinging about during her campaigning.)

Since most of us are never going to become elected officials, and therefore not be privy to the entire story, we need to take more of a grass roots approach. No matter where we live, and what form of goverment we live under, we can all chose to love one another, and pray for peace. It might seem like these simple acts are insignificant in the face of all the violence in the world, but what if each little prayer and kindness were coming together like bits of lint in the dryer vent or a rubber band ball. Each time one of us offers up love and prayer for another this positive force gets stronger and stronger until collectively we DO make a difference. It could (and I believe already is) happen, and at it's worse the expression of heart felt love and prayers will never never harm anything. From this perpective, we have nothing to lose, and the potential of everything to gain!


It is easy to love and pray for someone/thing we care about. For one week, pick something/someone you don't like and consiously send loving prayers in that direction.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Okay Folks............. Need some assistance here.............

My buddy One 4jc has started a story post, in which visitors are ask to add a line to the story. Take a second and pop on over there and add a line. How fun it will be to see how the princess will fair with the help of other people's ideas.

Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Interesting yesterday.............

One of my Hospice resident had a seizure yesterday, right in the middle of the Price Is Right! Must have been too much excitement. No! I am not making light of the situation, just blowing off some stress I guess.

We have this really cool wheel chair for him, it is called a tilt-in-space wheel chair and it does just that. We can tilt him back into a reclining position, or he can be totally upright. It also has a big tray that helps him to stay in the wheel chair and holds his dishes at the perfect height. Anyway, he was up in his chair, with his back to me, and I was out in the kitchen making lunch. All of a sudden I noticed he was shaking the tray. Here I have to say that some of my residents have limited verbal skills so it is not abnormal for them to bang on something to get my attention. Continuing to make lunch I called over to him, "What do you need ____?" No response, but the tray kept shaking, so I went over to see what he needed and it was apparent he was having a full blown seizure. My first thought was to call 911, but when one is on Hospice, you are to call them and not 911.

It just so happened that the young man that I hire to weed my garden had just arrived so I called out to him to get me the number for Hospice. Poor thing, he had no idea where the number would be, but found it anyway in the time it took my brain to realize that he would have no idea where I keep the number. Smart child!

Within minutes the nurse was on the phone, and was instructing me what to do. Now here is the cool part. There would have been no way that I could have gotten the resident out of his wheel chair and into his bed by myself. Normally I am home alone during the day, but it just happened (NO! NOTHING JUST happens)that my son was over doing some work for me and as I said so was my weeder. Between the three of us we were able to get the resident into bed and resting comfortably, and all seems to be well this morning. See how ALL of my needs are met without my even knowing that I am going to be needing. Amazing!

The events of yesterday reminded me of a very vidid memory from my teen years. I was with my sister, visiting a friend of hers, when the friends neighbor came running over, screaming, with a limp blue lipped toddler in her arms. Seems the child had choked on something and wasn't breathing. This woman totally paniced and all she could think to do to get help was run to the neighbor. Thank goodness she brought the child with her as she was so scared that she could only scream and babble. (The friend was able to dislodge whatever the child had swallowed and the child was fine by the way.)

This picture has always stayed with me, and I always worried about how I would react in the face of an emergency/crisis. Most of the things that happen to my children over the years were taken care of with owwee ice, (stitches needed a time or two for good measure) so I never really got tested with my children. I guess the closest I came to a real emergency was once when I was doing home care and a client passed out on me while sitting on the toilet in a tiny bathroom. (He wasn't going. He had dementia and I was working on getting him to remember where the toliet was so he could find it when needed. We had walked in there and he was taking a break.) As I am holding him to keep him from falling off the toliet, I called out to his son to call 911 in what I hoped was a calm voice. Probably not, because in my panic, I couldn't even remember the son's name so I'm going, "Um. Excuse me. Um, Could you call 911 please. Um..." Then I am trying to decide if I could get him off the pot and out the door to the hallway without hurting him as there was no room to lay him on the floor of the bathroom. All the time I am bargining with God to fix this for me because I really hadn't been paying attention during CPR, and I didn't know if he was a DNR, and..... All of a sudden the guy takes a really big gasping breath and starts to come out of it. He gets transported to the hospital, they can find nothing wrong, he comes home, and I'll be darned if he doesn't do the same thing to me the following week. Only this time the family says, "Can't we just wait to see if he comes out of it before we call 911?" Like I'm a doctor! But he came out quicker and I didn't have to force them to dial or have the guy's death on my shoulders.

So how is that for an exciting post? How are you in a crisis situation? Do you think it makes a difference who it is, and/or how much blood is involved, or do you think your reactions would be consistant no matter what the details? Just wondering.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Just do it.................

Have you ever not done something, because you spent too much time planning? I don't have time for that, money for this, confidence to do that, not brave enough to tackle this, on and on until we have ourselves painted into a secure little corner, not having any fun and/or excitement.

Why, when we think about what might happen if we simply jump in and do something, do we always picture the negative? I know when I am hesitant about participating in life, it is always because of some perceived horror that could/might happen. What I should be focusing on is that I am risking loosing out on something great by not participating.

My career for example....... If I had not been backed into a corner finacially, I would never have went back to school. Now, I can't imagine what my life would be like had I not done so. I would have missed out on so much love, laughter, and learning. More important, I would still be searching for that sense of contentment that comes from knowing you are doing just what you are suppose to be doing.

Back when I used to have time to daydream, I would try and imagine how I would come to have the important things in my life if I had traveled a different path. IF..... I had not become a therapist, received a pay cut, joined the massage class to make extra money, I would not have met (my) Mister. Since I feel he is a part of my destiny, how might we have met instead? I never come up with a plausible senerio before becoming bored with the game and simply being grateful for the fact that he is a part of my life. Even when I am upset with him, I know that having him in my life allows the possiblility of learning valuable lessons that I would otherwise not have exposure to. How great is that?

Now for the disclaimer...............

If the above post sounds a little disjointed, it is because I just did it. No plan, no thought, just followed the directions to start and not worry about what came out. In order to keep with the lesson, I am forcing myself to publish without re-reading or re-thinking. How did I do?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Love at its finest..................

Everyone knows that I am big on believing that I don't always get what I want, but I DO get what I need. The last day or two, I have been crossing paths with people's declarations of their love for another, and it has really helped me put into perspective my actions from last Thursday evening. Bet you'd NEVER guess what I did?

Give up?

I fired (my) Mister, and won't let him participate in my business anymore. I perfer to say he is on (forced) sabbatical.

I think I may have mentioned one or two things in the past that have hinted at his unhappiness. He is not the kind of guy that will ever come right out and say anything that he perceives as being negative, perfering instead to take a passive-aggressive stance. In fact, in discussing his termination, his take on things was that since I say, "I know him so well," I should have read his behavior and known that he didn't want to be involved to the extent that I was asking him to be. Really? Well guess what?

Deep down, I did know. I just wasn't sure what to do about it. I tend to have tunnel vision when I have a goal in mind. Things were going so well towards the goal of getting out of debt and getting money in the bank for retirement, that I opted for not looking at what was happening to the other goals in my life. Even though I say I can do anything I set out to do, I really didn't think I could do this thing by myself. (Diclaimer here...... I am still getting lots of help and support from my youngest bless her heart, so I am not doing it totally totally alone.) Bonus for me......... The business continues to run smoothly without (my) Mister's assistance, and this has been really empowering for me. It might seem silly to some that I am paying someone to be here so I can get one full night of sleep per week, and go to the grocery store, while (my) Mister is here as well. One can't put a dollar value on happiness and I am hopefull that having his free time back to relax and/or do whatever he wants to do with his time will bring some of the missing joy back into his life. It might take me an additional six months to pay off the debt by having to funnel some of the profits to pay for staff, but in regards to the big picture, this is nothing.

Meanwhile......... Poor Mister is feeling a bit lost, in regards to knowing what to do with his free time. My first intinct is to rush in and fix this for him. God knows there is plenty to do around the house that has nothing to do with the business, (Can anyone say, "doggie door?") but he really needs to find his own priorities or he will continue to be unhappy and unfullfilled. It is really hard to watch someone you love stuggle with change!

I have to take this opportunity to say that (my) Mister did a great job of supporting my dreams, and helping me to get the business off the ground. Now it is time to fly solo, and I am ready. It is far more important to me to have a happy Mister than a business partner. Since I had to make a choice, I chose the best choice for me. I hope that it will also turn out to be the best choice for (my) Mister when all is said and done.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Go with the (current/)flow...........

I was talking with a friend the other day about human energy, and how we can flow with another's energy, or we can fight against it. This is akin to right fighting, and we all know I have some experience with that. Lately, I have been stepping back to observe the life energy around me, letting it flow as it may without trying to control it, and overall have been extreamly pleased with the results.

Take, for example, our new resident. It had been reported that she had agressive negative behaviors. I even witnessed a couple of them the first twenty-four hours she was in my care. Instead of jumping in and "fixing" her, I stepped back and let her "be" her. Guess what happen? She fixed herself! (Not that I am saying she was broken and needed fixing/to be different than she was. Read on.) By this I mean given an environment of unconditional love and exceptance, she was able to stop using her energy as a defense against the perceived threats in her life, and her energy became calm and peaceful, and loving. She began to mirror the energy that she was receiving. (Which makes me think that she had simply been mirroring the energy she had been receiving all along, and the Hospice social worker is looking into that.)

Maybe you have witnessed the same with a small baby. Baby becomes upset, mom tries to calm him/her. Baby gets more upset, mom begins to get more upset, baby gets, etc... When my oldest was an infant she would go through this crying hour EVERY single night. Being a new mom, I tried everything to get her to stop. Looking back on it, I was probably adding to the problem with my need to "fix" her. What I finally ended up doing, was putting her in her crib and running the vacume so I couldn't hear her screaming. After about five to ten minutes she would go to sleep. I always felt so guilty about doing this, but figured it was better than losing my temper and shaking her. As it turned out, once she began to roll over she stopped doing this nightly screaming thing. I deduced that the crying was her only way of getting rid of her pent up energy so she could relax and go to sleep. Once she had other avenues of using up her energy resource, she naturally transitioned to using those instead of the more stressful one. (By the way, twenty-seven years (As of July fourth) later, she is still a bundle of energy, and has trouble relaxing..... Just like her mother!)

I am sure that you can think of many other examples of ways in which figting another's energy created problems for YOU. The key then, is to learn to recognize when we are doing so. As with all of my "advice" comes the disclaimer of "saftey first," but beyond that is there really, really, really, only one right way of doing anything? What if we say "NO!" to that question and see what happens? Maybe we wil be having so much fun with the tickle game that we don't notice the shirt is on backwards, and the shoes are on the wrong feet. Maybe we will get to go for a walk at lunch time, and discover that our assistant could indeed figure out AND fix the problem with the presentation projector. Maybe a luke-warm relationship will start to spark and sizzle again. What do we have to lose except excess stress and tension? Pick something/someone, and give it a try.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Here we go again.................

I wrote a post on Monday, but for some reason it disapeared, and I didn't have the time to start over then, so I will do so now.

I wanted to let you know about some posts from the blogs that I frequent, as I was reading them, and they were all shouting out to be shared. They are listed in no special order; all of them have something you give you. Read away, and enjoy!

1. One 4 jc's post, dated Friday, June thirty. If you ever had a crappy boss, you will love this one.

2. Has to be me's post, also dated Friday, June thirty. This one brought tears to my eyes, and provides a valuable lesson in true love and hanging in there to help someone for as long as it takes.

3. Sy's (the cat) post, from Tuesday. Remember to read the comments (esp. mine) and try and come up with one to add.

4. Julia's post from Thursday, June twenty-nine. Her stuff portrait Friday's second picture. It is a random/odd photo, and the reader is suppose to come up with a caption for the picture. The photo is a hoot, and the captions are a wonderful example in how we all look at the same thing and see something just slightly different. I plan to post my own random/odd photo for everyone to caption, just as soon as I find the perfect one.

The dogs are barking to get in, (Nope! Still no doggie door.) so I will let you get on to checking out the posts. Hope to write again soon.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A day in the life of.............

Imagine........... After sleeping in as late as you want, someone had a warm shower ready for you,as well as a heated towel for when you were finished. Not only do they was your hair, massaging your scalp, but they rub yummy smelling lotion all over your body, and help you put on clothes that bring back happy memories; listening as you share the same memory over and over, giving you their full attention each and every time.

After you are clean, dressed, lotioned, and perfumed, they have some of your favorite foods already prepared for your enjoyment, and make sure you understand that it is okay to just eat what you want, and that you don't HAVE to eat or drink anything you chose not to.

As you are finishing your breakfast, your personal hairdresser arrives, and treats you to a special hair cut, and blow dry. Though you don't recognize yourself in the mirror, the style reminds you of "one you used to wear," and the person in the mirror has a blouse just like one you used to have, which reminds you of the time you wore that blouse. Add to this everyone around you is telling you how pretty you look, and your grin can't help but spread ear to ear. Especially when you discover that in addition to getting your hair done, you are also being treated to a manicure.

After your hands are tended to, you are treated to your favorite lunch; cashews, Bushes baked beans, ice cream with fresh strawberries,and ice water with just enough sugar in it to make it "the best water" you ever tasted.

Your glorious morning ends in a long leisurely nap on a down pillow, covered with a down comforter. Wouldn't you be calm and serine? Our new resident sure was.

At least for today, gone was all the agitation, wandering, and aggressive behavior. In it's place was a happy content person that waved me excitedly over to her when I returned from my run, (bonus for me, getting that in!) to ask me if I knew someone by the name of "Day," and when I told her no, she patted the chair beside her to get me to sit down so she could tell me all about her close circle of girlfriends from high school.

After dinner, she and I took the dogs for a short walk, and played a little catch with a big purple (her favorite color) ball for some arm exercise. She spent the rest of the evening happily reading a large print Reader's Digest out loud to me. Every once in awhile she would say, " Well I don't understand that. If we are suppose to understand that, we all need new heads. Well I guess everyone will just have to read it for themselves," and then went happily back to reading outloud.

I am not sure who is happier with this outcome, her or me!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

To whom it may concern................

Below is the letter I sent registered mail this morning. Except for the dogs, I have deleted the names. I hope the letter is well received.

July, 1, 2006

Dear Mr. _______ ,

Yesterday, my dog Ben got loose from our house, at one-fifty in the afternoon, and it took my daughter four minutes to catch him and bring him home. When she returned to the house with Ben, she told me that you had taken a picture of him on the loose. For this reason, I am connecting you to the recent report of complaint I was notified of by a sheriff from the department of Animal Control. This letter is in regards to both of these events.

I would like to offer you a sincere apology for any trouble my dogs have caused you. I am very much aware of the leash laws, and it is not, and has never been, my intent to let my dogs run loose. I offer no excuse, but an explanation.

As you are aware, I care for senior citizens in my home. Because of this, many people come in and out of my home. If someone comes to the door and comes in not knowing that the dogs will take advantage of this and escape, out they go. I am currently providing care for five residents, four of which require assistance with mobility as well as other aspects of daily living. It is not always possible for me to leave a resident unattended the minute the doorbell rings. If the dogs do get out during the day, I cannot leave the house to retrieve them, as I am the only caregiver at home and cannot leave the residents unattended.

I would also like to say that since we have been neighbors for close to eighteen years, I am a little disheartened that you did not feel comfortable enough to discuss this problem with me in person. It is certainly your right to go straight to the authorities about this matter, and in no way am I upset that you did so. If my dogs have damaged any property of yours, or anyone, I would be happy to correct the damage as needed. Had I known you were so concerned, I would have taken increased steps to assure the dogs not bother you sooner.

After talking with the officer on June twenty-second, I posted signs on my doors for visitors to wait until the door is opened to enter. When someone comes to the door, I put the dogs on a leash inside, and then open the door. Today, someone came in without reading the sign, and Ben ran out. I have also contacted the city and utility company to request they come to the door before accessing the back yard. so that I might check the gate after they leave to assure it has been properly latched. It is my hope that people comply, but I cannot guarantee that they will always do so, as today‘s incident demonstrates.

It would be easier, and a permanent solution to your problem, to find new homes for my dogs. I feel that this needs to be a last resort because my dogs provide a valid service to my business as pet therapy for my residents. It is this reason that I put up with the nuisance that they can be at times. All of my residents benefit greatly from having my dogs around, especially the residents with dementia. When nothing else will calm them, placing a dog on their lap does the trick. Brushing and feeding the dogs gives one of the resident a purpose to her day. Tossing doggie treats for the dogs to catch, is the one thing that is guaranteed to bring a smile to another resident’s face. These may be insignificant things to you and I, but for someone that is homebound interacting with the dogs is often the highlight of their day.

I invite you to offer suggestions as to other ways I might keep my dogs from getting out in the future. For the same reason, I will be sending a copy of this letter to Animal Control. I would welcome any suggestions either you or they might have in addition to what I have already done, and short of getting rid of the dogs.

I understand that it is my responsibility to keep my dogs in compliance with the leash laws, and I will continue to work towards that intent. I am also aware that it is your right to continue to surveillance my dogs actions, and/or take me to court. Please know that I have no hard feelings towards you for exercising your rights. All I can do is take things as they come and deal with things as they present. I have learned the hard way that there are some things that you can only do your best, and if your best isn’t good enough, you face the consequences as they come and keep moving forward.

Thank you for listening to my explanation, and again I invite you to discuss this matter with me, at your convenience in the future.


Patty Blah, Blah,Yada

Not much of a picture due to confidentiality, but it shows that our resident is starting to feel at home, and Emma is earning her keep. She needs a little sign around her neck that says, "Will be pet for Emma cheese," but why? She gets plenty of it without a sign.

EVERYONE except me slept throught the night. I battled insomnia, so at two am I gave in and got up and wrote a letter. Yup! Ben managed to get out for a total of four minutes yesterday. (My youngest, being MY youngest, checked her watch.) In that short time, the neighbor took a picture of him. Now that I am totally sure it was him (I know I love the little stinkers, but maybe everybody doesn't.)I wrote him a letter of apology. After I proof it, I will post it so you can tell me how it sounds.

With gratitude for answered prayers, (and sleep!)I leave you to enjoy your day! Posted by Picasa