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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hope Lives

Just saw a post that 49% of persons polled believed "America's" best days are in the past.  Really?  So the best days were during the civil war, or during the Great Depression?
Rogers cousins, circa 1929.  My dad is back left and Aunt Sissy in front of him.
How about WWI and WWII?  Better days?
My uncles on leave from WWII for their brother's funeral.

Post card sent by one of my uncles to my Granny.

Young men from the small farming community where I lived as a small child were killed in Korea.  The Vietnam war and the protests at Kent State that resulted in the death of 4 students and 9 wounded, one with permanent paralysis.  That took only 13 seconds on May 4, 1970.

John Filo's iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio, a fourteen-year-old runaway, kneeling in anguish over the body of Jeffrey Miller minutes after he was shot by the Ohio National Guard
That was happening while this dear friend(below) was standing in a bunker in Vietnam fighting for America's freedoms.  People in both pictures were the same age.  And I was the same age, too.  Only difference is I was a young home owner and had just left working for a company supplying the radios used in Vietnam.  Sure, good for me, but not for those in the trenches.

Picture carried by dear friend in his billfold since his days in Vietnam.  Lest we never forget.
Yes, that is me standing in what would be the kitchen of our  home.
I am one of the 36% that chooses to believe in people and an America that exceeds the past.  Just as an uneducated observer, I note that when we speak of a better America it usually involves families and communities that shared and cared.

Here is a litany of pictures of the why of my belief.  

Gene and his dad.  See the love

Our son being held by Gene.  More love.
Our son and his three sons.



And love to all who need, not all who deserve.

Here are the loves of my life.  And see the love in Oldest Grandson's eyes.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Newton's Law With A Side of DNA

This weeks Spin Cycle subject is Apple Trees as in family tree.  There are some great stories from several women.  Most of these women and the way they see the genes of families in their children.  Some recount stories of aunts who have acknowledged the connections.  Pop on over to enjoy the other stories.
Second Blooming

My three sisters and I are the culmination of Rogers, Jones, Chandler and Mantooth genes.   Then we four sisters mixed these genes with other strings of DNA.  That is good, cross pollination. 

My sisters and I celebrating Christmas, 2010, by showing team alliances.  I am considered a traitor as a Cardinal fan.

Now in the above picture of my siblings and me there are what we always called the Chandler eyes.  Here is my Grandma Chandler (Mary Margaret Mantooth).  Looks like those may be Mantooth eyes.
Grandma Chandler in her wedding attire, circa 1917.
How many families have the redhead picture made at the family reunions?  That does come from our Granddaddy Chandler, himself a redhead.

Granddaddy Chandler's mom was half Irish.
Early 1990's Chandler descendant redhead picture.
My red is now mostly grey.

So my mom's side of the family gene pool gave us distinctive eyes and red hair.  Momma had brown hair but definitely the eyes.
Momma, Suzie, Margaret and Daddy, circa 1942.  Bunch of hotties and cuties!

As with many families our tree is not apple but some sort of nut tree.  My father's antics have been highlighted a time or two on my blog.  As I looked for a couple of stories, I realized I had not blogged on some of my favorites.  They will come at some point.  Let's just say one aunt thought nookie was a new flavor of ice cream like tuttie fruitie!  And both aunts 'helped' me with a blind date.

An incident that occured while visiting with my second cousin is a great example of family mutual habilities (habits and abilities put together).
Danielle is my aunt's granddaughter so she is the "next" generation after me.  She, her husband, Gene and I were sitting at my sister's table just visiting.  At one point Gene shook his head, stopped the conversation between Danielle and I.  "Janice, you are changing subjects.  Danielle is not going to understand anything."  Danielle looked surprised and noted she had followed every thing I had said.  Seems we both share the Attention Deficit gene that causes subject jumping.  Oddly enough, our husbands just looked at each other and shook their heads at the same time.  They are not related, just caught in the same Rogers' descendant web!

And the best thing is not just that I see traits in my sisters and my grandsons but the genes are in cousins, nieces, nephews and and into the great greats.  My grandsons have looks that can be traced to my dad's mom who died when he was only four.  Middle grandson showed me the crazy thing he could do with his thumb.  When I did the same thing, it freaked out my son.  Seem he never realized his old mom was double jointed like Granny Mary and now Middle Grandson.

I love heritage of looks from generation to generation.  There are mannerisms, accents and actions that can be recalled in the flash of an eye.  What joy to reconnect with a departed loved one by simply watching a nephew walk into a room and see one's Dad in the walk and facial expression.  Thanks, Gretchen for suggesting we look for all the apples or nuts in our families.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The feelings remain unnamed.
Fear with a brush stroke of excitement.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Reality vs. Realty

Life change that is coming our way
requires removing the smallest letter
From reality.  And that is the letter
that can stand in the way of all progress.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

We All Have A Story To Tell

A circle of women that I joined about 6 years ago met this last Thursday.  The program was based on how God speaks to each of us.  Not a one of us had seen a burning bush that talked nor had received a winged angel visit.  Yet when asked to share a way we felt God had worked through us almost all had something to share. 

Before I go further with the story let it be noted the women ranged in age from mid sixties to early nineties with most 80   As the stories unfolded it was obvious these ladies have engaged in very loving,  giving lives.  These were beautiful stories of women reaching out to the lonely, sick, dying, abused and strangers. 

One lady shared how working at a food pantry posed an unexpected challenge.  A family came in needing food but were feeling shame for seeking help from a food pantry.  She felt God's guidance as she was, I am sure, just herself, a caring person.  The family relaxed and was willing to receive the much needed food.

Today volunteers from across the community gathered in the gym at our church.  With a theme of strike out hunger, over 600 men, women, teens and children worked in assembly lines and shifts.  By 3:00 PM 187,000 meals were packaged and boxed.  Other groups were gathering donations from local stores where the customers were making food donations.  Earlier in the week over two tons of food, roughly 3,200 meals had been picked by Ozarks Food Harvest.

An ongoing group worked over the last few weeks installing more ramps in the community.  I suspect this group along with other volunteers help have installed 75 to 100 ramps over the last six years.  Last year for the focused day of mission outreach, the church constructed the walls of a Habitat for Humanity home.  Volunteers had the home completed within two weeks.

With the need for a new floor in the dining room of a local women's shelter, a group of workers spent yesterday prepping the floor.  Today the new flooring was installed.  Without the use of a dining room, a nearby church allowed folks to come there for two meals.  In addition we provided a spa for the women and games for the children.  These women were able to select a hand crafted shopping bag that had been made by the women of my church.

The bags did not remain empty.   These ladies presented a coupon for a shopping trip through the cosmetic department set up just for them.   The 'cosmetics department' had everything from facial cleaners to makeup, nail polish to cosmetic bags, dental care and even hair care products for colored hair.  There were smiles galore on those faces.  Through the paraffin hand treatments, the lavender scented foot baths and touchless massages, theses women's souls had been fed.  And so had the souls of the folks who had served these women and children.

Tonight after months of planning, coordinating, prayers and a whole lot of just plain hard work the shelves of food pantries have been restocked for awhile.  Now it is up to some sweet lady to convince a man or woman there is no shame in seeking food for themselves.

For those who would say we are enabling lazy people I answer with this.  God calls me to give to those in need.  Nowhere do it require me to judge the people on how they receive the gift.  That is between them and God.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Favorite Quote

"Those that do the work, well, they work.
Those that do not do the work usually complain about the results."
Janice Adcock 
I came to this conclusion after years of doing projects for everything from church to community, family to friends.  After having spent weeks making a video as a surprise for my mother's 90th birthday celebration her response was not what I had expected.  Her response was an unsolicited negative critique of every error I had made.  
Pictures in the hundreds had been scanned.  I spent hours on the phone with relatives getting dates. Emails were traded getting other cousins' pictures and information.  Gene recorded a narrative that I timed to match each sequence.  My computer went "blue screen" multiple times during the processing of all the data. 
But it came together on the big day.  Over 100 people watched the video as my mother's family history was traced to the beginning of the Texas roots.  My mom's life up to within a week of the party was documented.  Applause filled the room as the video ended.  When the party was over, Mom said, "I could not hear what was said.". Then she started her litany of all the misspelled names and wrong dates.  Really?  Maybe thanks without the critique.
This is not unique to my mom.  I have been approached in restaurants about the lack of women ushers on a women's recognition day at church.  Really?   And where were you when we were getting this all together?  You know, when I had asked for input! 
Those two incidents happened within a  couple of months.  That is when I came up with the quote.  Several times I have shared with others who have met with complaints after working so hard on a project.  Constructive critiquing is essential for improvement.  Griping just to have something to say, not so much..  Now I really work at not complaining about something that was accomplished while I sat on my rear.  And the real quote has the word bitch instead of the last four words.
For more wonderful quotes visit the Spin Cycle folks.  They have some great quotes this week!

Second Blooming

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

OMG!! Geek Gardening

Things are falling in place for "big projects" coming over the next 17 days.   Sure, there are still lots of little details to cover but there are now many people that have volunteered to assist in these tasks.  I mean like one wonderful gentleman walked up to me at church Sunday.  "Do you need some of us guys to so the cleanup for the UMW luncheon?"  Without hesitation I answered in the affirmative.  Within 10 minutes Larry had 3 other guys that will bus the tables and clean the dishes for between 120 - 140 people.  An eighty something lady called this morning and will be there on Friday to sort flatware.  I think I can breathe again.

This morning with the "gotta get this done within the next 5 minutes" being behind me, I decided to read my newest issue of Gardening How-To.  This issue is actually picked up by clicking on a connection in my email notice.  The magazine has a new format so it took a minute or so to get all the navigation down for zooming in and out.  Turning pages is actually easier than a hard copy magazine as clicking a mouse is easier for arthritic fingers.  And I have almost no fingerprints left after using too many cleaning products without gloves.  I digress.

I go merrily clicking through the articles and come to one on mountain bluebirds.  There is information on where to see them, what they look like and the next bullet had the little music note symbol next to it.  I click on the symbol and sure enough I am taken to a link that lets me listen to not one but 5 bluebird voices.  You can go to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and enjoy the songs, too.  Click here, scroll down and suddenly be listening to bluebird voices.
Mountain Bluebird from
To learn more of the bluebird and be transported to the mountains visually click  Wild Lens 'Bluebird Man' project.  I love geek gardening.

Monday, April 15, 2013


In an instant,
Less than a heartbeat.
Joy vanished 
leaving only smoke.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Just read one of the blogs I have bookmarked.  Becky of Suburban Matron wrote of a mud run in which her husband had participated.  One of the water pits had an electrical charge.  This is definitely the type of thing my dad would have done, cause someone to get shocked.

As a child my mom's dining table would be extended to full length most Sunday's.  It was not at all unusual to have about 20 friends and family for Sunday dinner, the mid day meal.   Every now and then before the guests arrived my dad would pull out the "shocking machine", a crank ringer from an old telephone.  As folks arrived for dinner, Daddy would pull them aside and clue them in on the planned joke  One poor, unsuspecting person would be left out of the "joke".
Not the original but like Daddy's shocking machine.

Once all were seated for the meal, folks would put their hands on the next person's knee all around the table.   Well, except for the unsuspecting person.  That person would not be touching anyone else.  Daddy would crank the old ringer that no longer rang.  It did still send an electrical charge that pulsed through the "conductors", the bodies of the people seated around the table.  The unsuspecting person was the end of the line.  That poor soul would receive a shock.  He or she would jump or scream and all others would erupt in laughter.
Similar to coil of leak shock

Gene, my husband, tells that in his country elementary school, the boys used a metal trough as a urinal.  This urinal was located in an outhouse.  Using an old model A coil attached to battery and a switching motor, a few of the boys would turn the trough into a live wire.  Any unsuspecting boy going in to simply take a leak was in for a "shock".  Science plus mischievous boys equals Phineas and Ferb.


My shocking experience was less fun as there were no jokesters present.  Living in the country, scraps of food were poured into fields for the livestock.  Reaching across the barbed wire fence I poured gravy into a field.  What I had not noticed was the small wire just inside the fence perimeter.  A stream of gravy is a very good conductor for electricity and my bare feet were the perfect grounding mechanism.  I quickly moved away from the electrified fence as surely as the cows would if they touched it!

The biggest scare I ever had in relation to shocks was when my son was about two and a half years old.  We were remodeling several rooms in our home.  While I tried to keep things policed off the floors, it was a challenge with workmen in and out.  This was before the days of plug protectors.  One afternoon after the workmen had left I was in the kitchen.  Suddenly all the power in the house blew with a pop.  A sound had emitted from the playroom.  I ran to the room to see my son standing next to an outlet with a metal wire connector.  He was unscathed but frightened.  When I asked what had happened he said he had put the wires in the plug.  I almost lost it just thinking how close I came to losing my son. Little boys must go through lots of guardian angels.  


Friday, April 12, 2013

Love and Change

Gene just hung up from a conversation with our son.  We have know for a couple of weeks he is changing jobs the first of May.  More travel for him means the need for more assistance in child care from us.  A previous call was contact with the Manor to say Gene's mom is doing better today but still in sad shape.

These two things together are working toward a really big change for us.  A change we are trying to envision in our limited minds.  A change driven by love of our child, his family and their needs.  An argument against change driven by our love of Gene's mom and her needs.

Love and change
sort of like
A rock and a hard place.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


The challenge this week for us folks participating in Gretchen's Spin Cycle is "inspiration".  Being an almost  OCD personality, a list can be very inspiring for me.  So here goes!

  • My family inspires me to be better than I was yesterday.  To be kinder, more patient, more active, more available and more fun.
  • Watching the dynamics of young families either at church or reading about them in blogs gives me inspiration to work for a better future for them.
  • Reading the mission oriented magazine of United Methodist Women, response, fills me with inspiration.  Seeing the works of so many good people, seeing the needs and plight of so many good people inspire ideas for ways I can be a part of the good works of love, hope and faith in action.
  • Watching an elderly, 90 year old woman joyfully report that she has cut over 1,000 9 inch squares since the first of the year.  The squares are used by a local organization to make quilts for the homeless in our area.
  • Watching a child take a first step inspires me to be less fearful to try new things.
  • Sunsets, mountains, nature, whales, well, in short God's creation.
  • Enya's music.
  • New inventions inspire me to think out of the box.  What I miss about the work I did for 20 - 30 years is not being around cutting edge technology on a daily basis.
  • Complainers.  Now that may be strange to some but complainers can inspire me to look into a "problem". I have learned a lot about every thing from acoustics to taxes and weaponry.  I have, also learned there really may just a person needing some attention!  And that can inspire me to te good work of just being there and listening.
  • The "middle of the night awakened by something time" is almost always ripe with inspirations.  You know that time.  When you are soundly asleep and suddenly you are awake, thinking and mind running wild with ideas to inspire others or answers to problems.  Being a person looked to for ideas, answers and leadership, the middle of the night seems to be the best time for my friend, the Holy Spirit, to have my attention, to guide and inspire my faith actions.
  • Quite time for reflection followed by time to converse with others is inspiring.
  • Experiencing other cultures!!!!
Ok, that is enough inspiration from me.  But if you need more, click on over to the Spin Cycle for others' take on Inspiration.
Second Blooming

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Songs for Aging People

For the first time in possibly a couple of years I tuned in a radio station in my car today as I was running errands.  The songs were full of love or some had angst, mostly songs of young love and young angst.  I enjoyed listening to the lyrics.  Along the way I began to try and thing of songs for folks of my age.  It Was A Very Good Year came to mind.  I am sure that there must be many more as my generation is not the first to get old.

I am trying to think of what would be a subject matter worthy of song.  Old love is not like the songs of young love all full of emotion and passion.  The songs of butterfly kisses from daughters do not apply to my age, either.  So I will need to think on this for a while.  I know that spending time with my son and grandsons is wonderful.  Jeeping with my honey is pretty fantastic, too.

There has to be a happy song for old people.  A song about the joy of living and not always worrying about what folks think.  A song about cutting up with grandsons.   Songs celebrating the joys of a full life and watching the little child become a man and father.  Then seeing the man return to childhood joys sharing a carnival ride with his dad as well as his sons.

Yes, there are still plenty of things to sing about in old age.  Things that are not just about looking back.  I noticed on vacation that as I would look at the countryside or ocean the rear view mirror would obstruct my view.  Nope old folks songs need the past to simply be a framework on which is built the joys of now or the anticipation of the future.

Monday, April 8, 2013


All you had to say was, "Annette".   No last name was needed for this eye catching, beautiful child.  As she grew up on the Mickey Mouse Club, she became an idol and role model for many of my generation.  She took us from the Clubhouse to dating and surf boards.  She even shared her first car with us, well, at least in pictures.

Her star eventually faded as so many do.  Then the bad news came, Annette had MS.  Her star became invisible due to this disease.  She is now released from a body that betrayed her.

Here is a video I found today while surfing the web looking for Annette.  I relived my childhood and adolescence as memories were recalled.  Now I think I'll dream about cool cars, petticoats and good looking boys for just a few minutes.

ANNETTE FUNICELLO Annees Vinyl by 50srealm

By Lee-Loo

Tall Paul & Luau Cha-Cha-Cha 1958

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring and Change

With life changes on the horizon, my garden is coming to life in what may be my last year of seeing the colors of spring from my easy chair.

February brought the petals of the Lenten Rose.  The leaves of this plant remain green almost all year long.

March was a struggle for the daffodils due to warm days followed by snowy, cold days.

The beginning of the purple and pink blossoms of the creeping phlox just started at the end of this month.

April finds the rose bush sending out shoots along with tulip and lily leaves pushing through the soil.  With all the rains and consistently warming weather soon I will find all sort of plants coming to life.

My son is pretty sure his old mom is going to miss this yard.  I have no doubt I will miss the yearly eruption of plant life.   I will miss the little touches we worked diligently to create:  three small fountains; raised beds that were "double dug" by hand and pick axe;  a pond;  a knot garden of sorts.  A plan of perennials and shrubs that give blooms from February through hard frosts in the late fall.  Yes, I will miss these things that document a large part of the work of my free time.

My quite area meditation fountain awaiting warm weather
But I have left two other homes in my lifetime.  I still remember the room that was covered in wallpaper of animals.  That was the room to which I brought my precious newborn son on August 18.  I remember the trees we planted, the flower and vegetable garden we made, the house we had built from plans we selected.  We moved from there in 1975 and I still remember the good things.

The second home was the home in which we raised our son.  I remember the months spent renovating multiple times, adding a bathroom for him and the wallpaper he selected.  It was foil wallpaper and I promised God if I could just get that one room done I would never buy foil wallpaper again.  God help me get it hung by giving me patience and I never bought foil wallpaper again.  I remember the day my son found a puppy and begged us to keep it.  He won.  And I remember consoling that same child the day the dog died cause someone had poisoned Snowy.

I remember watching my son leave for his trip to Philmont, the Orange Bowl, first date and Boys State from that front door.  Watching him play hours of basketball with his two best buds is a memory that I pray will always be with me.  I remember watching through tear filled eyes as his dad help load our son's new Ford Ranger to leave for a college 400 miles away from that home.  We left that home in 1993.  I left a flower bed my son and the two best buds had built for me.

Yes, I have left two homes full of wonderful memories and some bad memories ones, too.  I have survived leaving the dreams built and realized in those homes.  Now to think of moving again for one main purpose, to be closer to that same son and his children is certainly exciting.  There will probably be mostly container gardening.  That is good as it becomes more difficult to have time in the spring to visit our son and double dig flower beds.  I think I have reached a point in my life that sitting in a folding chair watching soccer games, drum competition, swim meets, track meets will be every bit as joyful as planting.  And, actually, I will be planting, seeds of love in the hearts of another generation.

My arch enemy, henbit, which I will not miss!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

Yeah, Still Have the Crud

This morning I awoke both myself and Gene with loud coughing.  Then I noticed the pounding headache.  It was 6fricking15 AM.  Thought if I would just get up, get some clothes on and move around maybe I would give all the gook in my head a different direction to, well, gook around.  I changed from PJs into work cloths and started doing a little cleaning.  Why?  Cause we were hosting friends over for dominoes tonight.  The headache eased a little and a lozenge eased the cough.  "This may just work", I thought.

I finished cleaning bathrooms and moved to the kitchen to mix some homemade roll dough.  That is the moment I remembered the undefinable hard goo I had noticed in the bottom of the fridge as I was putting away groceries.  Knowing immediately it would need to soak, I had poured some water between the vegetable drawers.  That was day before yesterday.  So, today, before being completely embarrassed by the now watery,yucky goo puddle, I began the task of cleaning the fridge bottom.

Cleaning my refrigerator is a task that requires agility, concentration and flexibility.  I am certain these acrobatics are the result of a sadistic design engineer in the bowels of GE 30 years ago.  The disassemble of the refrigerator to reach the bottom is not a task I relish on a good day.   The removal of multiple shelves and drawers should not be as difficult as it is.  But friends must not be exposed to the goo.

The one sealed snack drawer and supporting shelf were simple enought to remove.  The glass shelf did try to jump off the counter but I successfully caught it mid fall.  One of the three bottom drawers came out relatively easily.  The two remaining drawers refused to be removed this morning.  I was forced to bring a roll of paper towels over and wipe the soupy goo out as far as possible with just the one drawer out of the way.  The middle drawer finally took mercy on me and allowed me to slide it aside so the middle section could be reached.  With the addition of more water and cleaner, I managed to get all of the softened goo off the bottom.  Well, except for one place beside the one, non-budging drawer.  Damn it!

By that time all the bending, squatting and contorting had successfully relocated the gook.  Unfortunately it had moved from my sinuses into my throat and stomach.  I was coughing, gagging and dry heaving.  It was getting ugly quickly.  So I stood still for a couple of minutes only to have the room begin spinning.  Once the room moved from 75 rpm to about 33.3 rpm I accessed the situation.  Still needed to get all the perishables replaced in the cold, make rolls and cook dinner for 6,  I gave up on the the little sliver of goo.  In the process of putting the draws and shelves back they all got "a lick and a promise" .  The sealed snack shelf was lopsided of course, so I re-installed it blessing the engineer all the while.

I managed to get the stupid shelves and drawers back together and perishables in the cold.  Still coughing and stomach rolling I grabbed a bag of crackers and cup of hot tea.  I plopped in my easy chair and wrapped up in a favorite throw.  No yeast roll dough had been made.  The trash can full of goo soaked wet paper towels sat in the middle of the kitchen floor.  And I thought, "how am I going to cook and enjoy friends tonight?'  I put the heating pad on my neck that was a mass of tension by then.  I'll give myself till 8:00 AM, about 30 minutes, to see if I can get on top of this nausea and still have some fun tonight was my thought.

Nope, the tea and crackers did not settle down anythings.  8:15 AM arrived and I started making calls.  Yeah, you do not want to be with me, I still have the Crud.  And one sliver of goo that I could not reach.

Word for act of cleaning a refrigerator?  Identifutilation

Word for act of cleaning a refrigerator?  Identifutilation

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I am really lazy again tonight.  I managed to make it through most of the meetings and contacts today.  But by the time I returned home, made calls, received calls and checked some emails, I was done.  So with Gene being otherwise involved I watched some TV.  Well, until these fleshy things covered my view holes.  A loud snorting noise startled me awake.  I looked for Gene but realized the sound had emitted from me.  As well as the sliver of droll on the right side of my chin.  And now just a few hours later all I can do is yawn.

According to the internet a yawn is a reflex of inhaling air and (get this) stretching your eardrums at the same time.  Say what?  Is this yawning/eardrum stretching thing something you knew about?  It is news to me.  And there is even a word for yawning and stretching your arms at the same time, pandiculation.  Really.  Someone decided there needed to be a special name for yawning and stretching at the same time.

What other things we do as humans and animals do that need special names?  And does the word have to not even look anything like the actions we are naming?  Sure, what the heck.  Since one of the reasons researchers have found to be a reason we yawn is we are bored, I'll give this action thing a try.

  • Putting on socks and shoes.  Toediculation.  No, that sounds like some nasty foot sex fetish thing.  I'll come back to that.
  • Answering a phone.  Hidiculation.  Okay, the "dicula" makes me thing dirty thoughts.
  • Driving a car.  Motorvation
  • Answering a phone while driving a car.  Hidiculation motorvation
  • Typing a blog while watching TV and sitting in an easy chair.  Flatbuttation
  • Listening to sports radio.  Yawn.
Borrowed from 

Wednesday Worries

Not really worries, just commitments and co ordination efforts that must be made concerning the two major and one semi major projects.

The Strike Out Hunger mission blitz on April 20 is about 300 people short on volunteers for packing 120,000 meals.  The food for both overseas and locally.  As I will be leading a different portion of the blitz focus on the same day, I cannot be one of the 300 unless I suddenly can clone myself.  Geeze, no, the world does not need two of me.  I will be organizing the spa for the single moms of Caring People and the abuse and violence sheltered women.  A second individual will be leading the portion of this that serves breakfast and lunch and entertains the children during the spa time for moms.

Fiesta De La Primavera is our women's mission spring celebration this year.  We will have Latin American food, a South American speaker and a Cuban dancer.  In addition the local volunteers who have gone to the Nicaragua, Honduras and Cuba work areas will be at the luncheon tables.  Displays, videos and decorations will complete the feel of a fiesta hopefully.  Gonna be a long week prior to May 4.

Lastly on May 16 the UMW Sunday is looming in our minds.  As the worship team has final approval of our part of the service there is a meeting tomorrow for that with the associate pastor, the UMW president and me.  I can tell it is time for me to step back for a year or so and get a second wind on this portion of my commitments as my idea well is running dry.

Throw in Gene is being a mentor so he is a little stressed trying to make all the meetings.  He finds it rewarding to be around the young adolescents.  Sort of the same shot of energy I get from being with the toddlers.

One day at a time.  I think I will just mentally drift back to New Orleans' Frenchmen Street for some jazz.  Or maybe put on a vinyl of Pete Fountain!  That will take care of any worries I might still have.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Am I Wanting for the Rest Of My Life?

One would think that I would be all grown up and know what I want.  But apparently even at 66 I am neither fully developed nor sure of what I want.  I am feeling and sounding better after several days of a head and chest cold.  So while Gene attended a meeting this evening, I watched one of the Shrek movies.  (Told you I was not completely developed.)  One of the lines was something to the effect of he had a perfect life and was not happy when he had it.  He made a deal with another character and lost everything dear.

Sitting alone and thinking about that line I knew that was part of what I am feeling about moving.  Things are pretty sweet here.  Friends, really good friends.  Doctors, very good doctors.  A comfortable home in a comfortable neighbor hood.  A loving and accepting church family.  Due to aging, there is little other family left in the area.  The walk in shower with a small lip in our master bath is just right.  I could do without the excessive henbit every where in the back yard.  And the algae in the water feature.  And the moles/voles that reek havoc in my garden and yard.  But the former items out weigh the latter most of the time.  Except when I step in one of the (&$*EW mole/vole trenches and twist my ankle.

The problem is this.  I am afraid.  Afraid that if I do not move soon I will become entrenched as my mom and in laws did.  And then I will fight moving to a proper place when the time comes.  I am afraid to become too comfortable and cause unnecessary burdens on our son.  I am afraid of staying and I am apprehensive about leaving.

Two dear friends years ago would talk about moving elsewhere.  Both like me were brought to this area by their spouses.  One wanted to live near the ocean.  The other is sure the Arizona weather would be easier on her body.  I felt afraid they would leave me here, alone in Missouri.  Ocean girl and desert girl are still here.  Not sure that either will move from their Missouri homes.  And the older we all get the deeper the trench is.  Those high sides make it hard to see any other way than the trench in which we live.  The trench can feel like a comforting blanket or arms wrapped around me.  At the same time the trench can become a menace that is smothering me in its close dankness.

One thing is for sure.  I do not want to live a life so entrenched that I feel smothered.  A life that is so day in and out the same that it is a rut to nowhere.

Nope, I just want to have more time and money to do this with Gene:

Following fellow Jeepers through Florida small towns, 3-17-13.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter and April Fool's Day

Due to a spring cold, I did not leave the house for this holiday.  Pretty much just stared through a medication haze at TV all day.  And the joke continues today, though much improved, the deep voice and some coughing continues.  I am working at not using any meds today as they put me to sleep.  Even non drowsy ones leave me lethargic.

So much for whining.  With Gene's mom having fewer "good" days we are beginning to look, again at relocation.  We have worked over the last few years to resolve issues of updating our 20 year old home.  One would think that having a roof over one's head would be enough.  Sadly in our nation that is not enough.  And as I look on line at available homes near the area we are looking to relocate, I find myself being just a picky. 

I want a walk in shower, not a bathtub in a master bath.  My list of wants betray my selfish habits.  The list shows just how spoiled I have become to my wants instead of needs.  Of course the reality of being a senior citizen does make a shower more safely accessible than a tub.  But to find the senior amenities one gets sent to a retirement community with meals, etc.  We are not ready for that either.

Over the next year I may take you on this next chapter of our life.  It is one of the chapters that presents adventure, adjustments and compromise.  Who knows what else will happen.  For now weeds need to be pulled and a garden pond needs repairs.  Those are in addition to life's daily commitments.  With only one child and his children, I long to be closer to them.  Lunch with two of my sisters would be a doable day trip.  Yes, change is in the air and it is a little scary.

And, no this is not an April Fools joke.