Thursday, October 20, 2016

Got Something Tonight

In 1948 my mom was the first woman bus driver in Collin County Texas.  Her first cousin, Lucille, owned her own store in the little farming community of Chambersville before WWII.  As my BFF, Reba Jane, (Lucille's daughter and my third cousin), puts it, 'Our moms were ahead of their times.'  They surely were.

Lucille always appeared pretty even tempered.  Reba Jane and I ran Lucille's well dry of water making mud pies one day.  We had had a wonderful day playing in the water.  Crook, Reba Jane's dad, came home from work and found the well dry.  He lit out after us two girls with fire in his eyes.  Lucille came to our rescue opening a screen on a window and sending us running.  By the time we were called back in Crook was calm.  We did get a scolding but that was it.

My mom on the other hand could be a real hell cat if she got her dander up just right.  Remember, this is the woman that single handed picked and brought in the first bale of cotton one fall.  No simple feat while feeding a family, driving a bus and picking cotton in between.  Yep, Mom was made of some tough material.  One day on the school bus as we were making the afternoon rounds she saw a lineman installing telephone wires to a neighbor.  She stopped the bus, swung open the door and asked the lineman how far he was running the line.  It stops here was his reply.  Our house was about 1500 feet beyond where the line was to be installed.

Oh, my.  That poor lineman had no clue what was about to happen.  She told the man we had a radio phone.  She then noted very sternly this neighbor that had never had a phone was getting an electric phone.  Mom told the man to either bring the line down to our house or pull our phone out.  Mom did not care about orders, equipment or any other logical reason the man could not run the line to our house.

"Mame, I'm only here to put this line in and have orders to stop here" replied the bewildered lineman.

"You either come and take the phone out or I'll yank it out myself.  Then I'll throw the damn thing in the front yard!", Mom shouted.  Seems it was less than a quarter mile to our house.  Mom finished the afternoon run taking the school bus full of startled kids to their respective homes.  We returned to our house with no phone.  The poor lineman had taken our phone.  I do not remember how soon the phone line was run to our house.  Mom had made her statement. That was the mid 1950's.

Mom made lots of statements.  Like when she was having to mop floors at TI because they had run out of supplies to build a certain type of device.  The young male techs that were new hires were laughing at her and the other women as they did the mopping.  Wrong move, guys.  One of the 'big wigs' of the company came by and said, "Well, hi, Mary, how are you doing."  Again,  he did not know what he was stepping into at that moment.  She let him know she was not pleased to be mopping at 64 years old while those boys were standing and laughing.  Next day the boys were mopping and the ladies were watching.

Well, I am pretty sure Mom would have been told she was harsh by a certain presidential candidate.  He probably never had to train man after man after man to be a supervisor over himself.  I know many women that did that very thing to boys with no more education than the woman.  I was told more than once that a woman could not do a particular job simply because I was a woman.  Like my vagina would preclude me from developing film.  Yes, really.

So, Mr. Trump, my mom was a harsh woman because she lived in a harsh world.  She raised three other girls besides me.  We are all harsh women.  We get things done.  We step up and do hard stuff.  We sacrifice, work, raise kids, teach Sunday School, cheer at soccer games, babysit, be den mothers, help build businesses and we vote.  My sisters, Reba Jane and I will proudly vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton because she is tough as nails.  She doesn't whine when behind in the polls that 'things are rigged'.  In other words she takes it like a woman, not a spoiled, pouty brat.

Peace out sisters and brothers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just Me

I am a United Methodist Church member as was my mother, her father and generations before.  Followers of John Wesley's approach to Christianity.  In tracing my husband's lineage, his niece discovered a connection of his side of the family to Francis Asbury.  The multiple-great-grandfather was a Methodist minister in Tennessee under the leadership of Francis Asbury.

The Wesley tradition is deeply woven into my makeup.  My BFF, Reba Jane, and I traveled the same spiritual path as children.  Reba Jane was really much better at living her faith even then than I was.  She was good to the core.  Still is.  I on the other hand have been anything but good.  I have not lived a faithful life.  There had always been faith but not the witness that should have been.

Quick tempered and mean spirited out bursts would be how many co-workers would describe me.  Impetuous, headstrong, going off the deep end would all apply to me.  While reasonably intelligent, I never learned to channel these abilities consistently.  There you have it, an imperfect person.

Yet there are people that still choose to be around me.  It always surprises me that anyone sees much to want to be around.  For what ever reason folks so choose, I am eternally grateful.  Grateful for friends that overlook the worst in me and choose to see the good.  The joy of seeing so much good in people, so much love and even when we do not share the same political views.

It brings me to a blog that I follow.  Here in the US there is a presidential campaign going on, in case you are living under a rock and have not heard.  This is being a particularly venomous campaign.  Not unlike campaigns of old in the US.  The divide in the country has spilled into the United Methodist Church.  As for that blog I follow, here is a connection to one post that nudged me to remember that George W Bush and Hillary Clinton are United Methodists, too.

George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton
Former President G. W. Bush and candidate Hillary Clinton at
Nancy Reagan's funeral  Credit:  Courtesy of David Chalian/Instagram
The issues of abortion and sexual orientation now threaten to split the "united" church.  Whatever the outcome I will still pray.  I will still worship that which I identify as Creator.  I believe that Being, Essence or whatever reaches all persons through different ways, different people, different spiritual practices and journeys.  After all, who am I to tell the Great I Am what to do and who to love or with whom to connect.

Peace and blessings,

Monday, October 17, 2016

Glow Party

Yesterday was the day for celebrating a 16th birthday for only bonus granddaughter.  There had been preparations for the last few weeks.  Stuff like this from pinterest:
When a girl moves up to Middle School and has lots of new friends to get to know, what better way to do it than with the coolest party in town...! Almost one hundred 11-year olds, dressed to the nines in neon and anything else that might glow in black light, partied and danced and, dare we say it,…                                                                                                                                                     More: I made stuff like the hanging streamers with glow lights attached.  there were glow sticks, makeup and all sorts of posters and glowing dishes.  Son and Wife did a great job on all kinds of effects.

We used balloons in ways not originally intended.  We had wanted to have glow sticks inside balloons.  But there was no place that would do that.  So we have now learned that if you buy the packages of balloons for $2.99 for 6 you still get to pay $0.99 each to get filled with helium.  Should have just bought the helium canister myself and we could have filled however we wanted......

We had the 30 balloons inflated and needed to transport in our Cmax.  Yep, Hubby, me, 30 inflated balloons, 1 rolling bag, one 55 gallon container filled with decorations, 3 hula hoops with attached streamers, and a cart to carry all the stuff into the venue.  Wish I had a video of our getting the balloons into the car with all the other stuff.  Oh, and one 36" x 48" birthday poster......... to not get wrinkled.  Pretty funny.

My body was exhausted as was Hubby's by the time we returned home at around 1 AM on Sunday.  Exhausted but so pleased to have been included in the Bonus Granddaughter's celebration.  After all how many grandparents get invited to a glow party?!?

Monday, October 10, 2016


Watched the debate between the two candidates tonight.  Not sure why.  Guess I wanted to see if The Donald would try to make any moves on anyone.  He did not.  Guess none were beautiful enough to attract him.  Well, except his daughter.....  Why would a human even say something like that?

I will vote for Hillary but I really wish she had not even run.  That was nothing but a mud slinging match in the making.  All of the philandering, etc. was just more fuel.  I delete emails.  None of mine are classified.  The problem with Ms. Clinton is not her ability but the baggage that just will not go away.

Long before The Donald ever became a political being I did not like the persona he projected.  He treatment and demeanor toward people came across as a privileged,  self aggrandizing ass.  I actually called it the Trump syndrome.  During my working years I saw similar traits in many of the 'men in power'.  They saw nothing wrong with anything they chose to do.  They had their kingdoms and they were the lords!  It was yes sir or you were replaced by someone that would say yes sir.

There were tons of really nice guys with whom I worked.  They treated coworkers with respect and dignity.  I fear I as a female was not always nearly so respectful of coworkers as the Terry Smiths, Chris Masseys, Mike Davis, John Dillons and many many others were.  These men may have used locker room language, probably did at times.  But there was an air of decency about them that one could sense.

Then there were the Trump Syndrome guys.  There was not doubt they saw people as things to be used for their own pleasure or betterment.  Their egos were to be fed at whatever cost.  One such man eventually became the president of the small division for whom we all worked.  His insistence of building only boards at cost for the backpanel division in a large part led to the demise of the company.  His general manager encouraged doing additional businesses types with no success.  Bob O'Connell should have been the president and Bob Shutz should have had his Trump syndrome excised.

As with everything, the men (and some women like me) are not all !00% saints nor 100% sinners.  Trump's "locker room banter" while being interviewed, what was he trying to accomplish?  Impress Billy Bush?  Only Trump knows and that is just one more example of the total syndrome.  Powerful people are driven people.  Falling victim, choosing to become consumed by their own self.  It appears they can do anything, say anything and get by with it.  You know, like Alec Baldwin talking trash to his daughter.

I fear that the Trump syndrome will take the country down, not just a company that employed 1200 people.  And before you say, 'What about All That Bill Clinton Did?"  I get it.  He was impeached by one house of Congress.  So why would we want to elect another man just like him?  Just asking....

In closing, I am really tired of all the attention on sex in politics.  I say the first requirement for political office of any type should be castration .......  That would sure as hell narrow the field.

Blessings and peace.  janice xx

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Talking to Myself

Talking to myself is a common occurrence.  Not sure why I do it but I will correct myself.  "Now look what you just did."  Talking to my self in the third person, even.  That probably means I am crazy or something.  "Let's see, where did I put" whatever I am looking for at the time.  And speaking as if I am multiple beings.  Yea, crazy is probably an accurate assessment.

So is blogging sort of like talking to one's self?  It is when there are no comments.  Well, except the one I leave myself on the Google + prompt.  Well, actually, even when I talk to myself there are times I answer myself.  And I hate it when I do not understand what I just said to myself.

"Janice, it is time for bed.  Tell the folks good night and get to bed."  Fine, just let me read one more post from overseas......

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Pretty sure Webster would have used 'Janice' as a synonym for out of shape.  Between the first knee surgery in 2012 and the second one in January 2016 exercise greatly diminished.  Especially after the move away from a yard and home to maintain.  Sure, for a while we walked a mile each day.  To do that meant climbing a hill no matter which direction we walked.  We live at the top of a hill.  It took 30+ minutes for us to make the mile loop.  Then I tripped and fell.  Bruised the daylights out of my body.  Everywhere.  That was in early September 2014.  From then till January 2016 there were several more falls.  Three of the falls including hitting my head with two requiring stitches.  It reached the point I was afraid to walk.  Simply stepping outside could mean another fall.  We thought I was just becoming more clumsy.  Never occured to me that possibly the left knee could be causing problems with balance, etc.

Almost 9 months ago the pesky left knee was replaced.  Therapists helped me rebuild the muscles.  Then the trip to Europe only 8 weeks following the surgery pushed me even further.  After a little time to rest from the trip, I built up the daily step count hitting over 10,000.  But that was too much too soon.  I backed off to 5,000 to 7,000 steps.  During those months most of the steps were bike peddling. Now, most days 2/3 of the steps are walking inside the 4 story parking garage.  The remainder of the steps will be on the stationary bike.  The first week after the surgery I could barely make the bike light up with my peddling speed.  Last night I averaged 81 RPM over 12 minutes.  The setting was for endurance building.  The highest resistance was 6 out of a possible 10.  The 6 was up a notch from the comfortable 5 I had been doing.  By the time I went to bed the FitBit ZIP had recorded over 9,000 steps.  Muscles are a little sore today but no pain.

Pain will get worse unless iced or rested for a few days.  I learned that lesson.  Soreness will work out with continued exercise.  The other lesson learned is not to push to the next level too soon.  I'll stay with the 6 resistance till I do not notice the change in resistance.  Then it will be time to step it up to 7.  BTW, the surgeon said the stationary bike was the best for building resistance and caused less stress on the knee as it continues to heal.  But the rear of an old out of shape lady gets grumpy sitting on that tiny seat for 45 minutes which is how long it would take to get 7500 steps on the bike.

Saturday I walked on grassy, sloped areas,  walked 1/2 mile in about 10 - 11 minutes and not even a hint of stumbling.  Walking no longer frightens me as it did at the start of the year. Now, it can feel good most days just to walk in the garage or over to the office.  Stamina has improved and overall I feel so much better about myself.  The ZIP tells me have several steps to go for today so I had best get to moving.  Hope you have a good evening and are able to get a few steps in, too.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

just another day in paradise

Yep, that is what they say.  Just another day in paradise.  Paradise looks like sunny skies with a nice breeze.  A husband that is having fun playing with rope.  He is measuring it into 100' lengths.  He has some project in mind.  He is done and just sat down on the sofa next to my chair with a plate of nachos to share.  That may not sound much like paradise to some but I know it is.

Let's not compare because there will always be those with more and those with less.  Let's do consider Aleppo, Haiti, Iraq, Korea, etc.  War, hurricanes, war, more war and so much death.   Then there is just the daily living of those in the 'civilized nations'.  One can feel so helpless in the midst of all this happening across the world.  Unfortunately this is not a new condition.  One could throw donate some cash to help the hurricane victims and others in need.  That may buy a meal or two for some.  That certainly beats doing nothing.

It is time to go get my steps done for the day.  In an air conditioned exercise gym.  To return to the apartment that is safe, cool and ready to have a meal prepared.  Yes, I live in paradise.  I am fortunate to be having just one more day in paradise.  Hope your day is going as well as mine here in paradise.