May 23, 2011

What FB Means To Me....

I hear so many people gripe about Face book.  I have seen a few articles about how bad Face book is for relationships. People are always saying "I don't care what you had for dinner".   While all that may be very true, let us not throw the baby out with the bath water.  Face book can only be as bad for relationships as the people in them are bad.  Get real!  Take some responsibility!  And I may not care what you had for dinner, but I may like to see it so that I can get an idea of what I will fix for dinner.  At any rate, I have the power to control what I see and don't see, and CERTAINLY what I do and don't do.  Come to that, it's much easier to drop a person out of your life on Face book than it is in real life.  No "Face book made me do it" excuses will work here. 
Face book makes it possible to us to keep up with family and friends who are far away.  We can see pictures of their lives now.  Grandchildren, vacations, whatever they put on there.

Keeping in touch with people you grew up with whom you may NEVER see again in this life.

Examples of this:

One Saturday in January, 2011, I had decided to clean out the furnace room in my basement.  I came across an entire basket of old 8 cassette tapes.  I had the computer on and was on Face book.  Several of my friends were also cleaning and putting up songs that inspired them to HIT IT, and I was actually enjoying myself as much as was possible.  In the basket, I find a cassette tape of a band made up of several guys from my hometown. 

Flashback:  The scene is a bar in Milan Missouri, the time is approximately 2 am.  I am standing, visiting with the band, waiting to get out.  The bar tenders are yelling "OK PEOPLE!!  YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO HOME, BUT YOU CAN'T STAY HERE!!" and trying to get everyone out of the building.  Parking lot was perfectly fine, as I remember, and there might be a crowd there till the sun came up, but out of the building NOW was the general sense.  Suddenly I feel something slipped into my purse, which was as big as my hair in those days, and I turn around to see one of the members of the band with a sheepish smile on his face.  "Check that out when you get to your car, before you leave", he grinned.  I said OK and hurried out to see what my surprise was.  My surprise was a cassette that this band had made.  I was touched and thrilled, and I put it on straight away and listened to it all the way home.

It was listened to a lot for many years, had wound up in this basket of cassettes and had been waiting right here since April of 2001.  I acquired this tape in, are you ready??????


 Now it is 24 years later.

The band member (name of this group was MEANSTREAK) had moved away years ago and I had never seen him again.  But guess who I had found and friended on Face book?

Now, normally, and by "normally" I am talking pre-Face book, this would have just been a nice little trip down memory lane.  That I would have shared with no one, probably, because the only people it would mean anything to were either dead or thousands of miles away.
I got right on his page, this old friend, and posted on his wall:
I'm cleaning out my furnace room in the basement and guess what I just found????????
(cautiously) What?
idk, but message me your address and I will send it to you!!  It's the one you gave me for free that night!!
Then followed a flurry of messages between us, with him providing his address, and saying how excited he would be for his son (his son, who I would have never even known existed without face book) to get to hear it, and how he had nothing left from those years, so naturally this meant a lot to him.  It still worked, too, so his son got to hear what his dad was up to all those years ago.  Totally worth it!

Still think it's a waste of time?

My father's family all hail from a small town in the very corner of Missouri named Southwest City.  It is right where OK, MO and AR all meet.  (Yes, they do.  Do not argue this point.  I can take you to the cornerstone, just look closely at the map).  It is about 40 minutes from Joplin and I have family and friends scattered throughout that area.  Both of my families cover most of this state. 

Last Sunday Joplin was hit with an EF4 tornado.  I got up from a nap ( A NAP!!!)  and the Weather Channel happened to be on as I walked into the living room, and under a banner that said BREAKING NEWS, they were reporting live from Joplin after a tornado.  The little weather channel guy was standing all by himself, sobbing and trying to keep his back to the camera. He couldn't speak.  The camera was trying to focus in on what he had just seen/heard that reduced him to helpless tears.  They seemed to be afraid there would be an explosion at St. John's Hospital (by far the most popular in Joplin, just sayin').  I was frozen in my living room trying to think what to do.  I grabbed my phone and immediately logged into Face book.

Without Face book, I would not have known, for days at least, whether my family and friends in that area were ok OR how bad the damage really was.  Without Face book, I would probably just have gotten into the car and headed down or sat, slowly losing my mind, by the phone, hoping that they had service in that area.  Or maybe I would have camped in front of the tv, trying to recognize faces.

Whatever you use it for, however much it gets on your nerves, as much as it can be abused, I have to come down on team Face book.  My world is better with it than without it.  A lot better.

May 18, 2011


Check out this information.  When you have a blog, you also have a page for statistics that will show you how many people clicked on your page that day, where they came from as far as what site they came to you from, and also a map to show you where in the world your readers are located.

Don't get excited, it doesn't actually track your identity as far as I know.  I mean, I am not the government.  Never think it! ( I am not saying they track your pages, I am not saying they don't.  I let you make your own decisions.  Just never count out the fact that even if they are tracking your pages, someone would have to go through all the data they collect in order to figure it out.  I think we all know the odds of that happening in our government, don't we?  hee hee hee)  But back to your ID's, I didn't set it up that way because, well, honestly I don't care that much about your identity unless you interact with me and I get to know you, in which case I hardly need that information anyway.
So, these are my stats from today so far.  People in these countries have clicked on my blog today:

United States  119
Australia             2
Germany             2
France                2
United Kingdom  2
Ireland                2
Russia                 2
Singapore           2
Canada              1
Cameroon          1

Pretty interesting at the very least.  Now, I can account for the 2 in Germany, probably, but beyond that they either get here from other blogs that I follow and comment on or they find me be searching specific words.
Also, I have to admit, I'm pretty sure that a few of these countries probably have government employees that check on lots of things everyday, just to keep up on what's on the down-low, if you get my drift.  Let us not forget that I am almost positive I am on a Domestic Terrorist Watch List, due to my patriotic postings, mostly on FB.  I am proud of that and invite anyone to check out my blog at the smallest whim.  You never know what you will find, and if you suffer from paranoia, you could spend days wondering what is in "code".  LOL
Nothing is in code, my dears, but I hate to discourage government employees for actually working.  Besides, it keeps them busy and out of my hair, and I'm paying for it anyway.  Might as well get my money's worth!

So, does anybody know where Cameroon is?  I didn't even realize it was a country, but then I've been behind ever since the conglomeration of what I knew as "Russia" became 12 or 13 different countries....that is how far behind I am and you know what?  I figure why learn them now?  They will probably just change again and all us old folks can just keep calling it Russia, then when we are interrupted by some young person currently in the "know", we can just shrug and say "whatever"....  It worked for my grandparents and I plan to stick with the program.  If you are still curious about Cameroon, google it.  It's by Nigeria and at least 1 person there today took a chance and tuned in.  Probably for a prayer, but who knows, maybe they are looking for a gun to buy also.  Prayers and guns are a winning combination, known the world over.  NOW.

The other way they can find your blog is by searching keywords.  This is pretty hilarious in my case, most of the time.  And that was just the times I believed them.  Once it said someone found my by typing in "digging out ass".  It was one of those times I chose not to believe.  But it was probably right because I had just done a post on Digging Out after the blizzard, so maybe it was true.  At any rate, I'm sure whoever it was didn't stay long.  At least that is my hope.  Just as you never know what you'll get when you come here, you never know who you might run into here......
So far, so good.

May 16, 2011

Listen to Adam, guys!!

For years and years, when my male friends would talk about some girl/woman who they admired for her physical beauty, usually on full display, I would say something along the lines of "She is someone's daughter.  Someone's most treasured child.  They probably pray for her all the time."
And my male friends would reply "Why do you ALWAYS think that???"
And I would ask "Why don't you EVER think that????"
And they would blush, look at the ground, scuff their toes on the floor, and such filth would cease to flow from their mouths.
To be fair, these "treasures" were often making very good money from all the "admiration", as is their right, within certain boundaries, in certain zoning parameters in certain cities.
With that said, I could kind of excuse it before we all had children.  After that, I brought out the wooden spoon.  If no wooden spoon was available, I used my hand, flat against their chests.  They (usually) took it like the men they were. 
I thought maybe "it" (maturing, viewing children as children instead of sex objects) only happened to women.
It is my great pleasure to tell you that  I was wrong, and now I have proof!!
Please take the time to read the following article, which is very short.

Adam Carolla has written a book.  May I just say how refreshing it is to see this man again now that he has had children?  I remember him from a pretty horrible MTV show that he did with Dr. Drew, called Loveline.  From what I can remember, I was appalled at the show at the time, and that was when I was still young.  From what I can remember, Dr. Drew shone as the thoughtful and practical "good guy".........but I would not have guessed, at that time, (or perhaps that "age") that Dr. Drew was such a wuss as to call someone to change a tire.  In his own driveway!  That is just embarrassing, and would be even to me, a mere woman.
For shame, Dr. Drew.  Even I can change a tire, sir. (slapping you on each cheek, with leather gloves)

Just to prove it, I can tell you that it is possible to put a tire on backwards, making your car seem to just "lock up" at the very moment you think everthing is all right, even if it is 3am.   That is something you wouldn't know if you had never even TRIED to change a tire.  Just to be fair I will 'fess up to the fact that probably, if you have changed a tire and put the new one on backwards, by that time a cop has stopped, and rather than know how to change a tire, he knew how to call a wrecker, and how very nice the wrecker guys are, at least in Platte City Mo.   I mean, you can hardly even blame them for laughing.  It is pretty funny.  It is quite possible that two girls would have figured it out on their own, without all the "help" from a certain city cop.  But that's neither here nor there.  We didn't get raped or anything either.  I guess it all evens out.

Not to get on Dr. Drew's case, here.  I have a lot of respect for him still, and have learned a LOT of horrible facts of life from his Celebrity Rehab.  But I must say, now, at this time, (or perhaps at this "age"), he does not strike me as a man who can change a tire.  He is the first one on the list to call for a herione addict or a crackwhore, but not to change a tire.  How sad.

What is this world coming to????

And who would have ever thought Adam Carolla would turn out to be one of the adults, let alone a good man?  You can tell he has had children.  I am hoping he had at least one daughter.  At any rate, I am certain that his mother, at least, must be VERY PROUD!

I can only hope he will get the attention of men everywhere, inspiring them to put down the hair color, forget about tanning and be men instead.  Otherwise, I don't even know where this is all going to end up.  It's about to scare me to death as it is.

Now, that is what I call hope!

St. Theresa's Prayer

So many times we associate prayer with wants, needs, bad things.  Switch it up sometimes and just enjoy the moment.  Believe that there are no mistakes but that a plan is in place.  It can be hard sometimes.  I like this one for times when nothing has gone terribly wrong lately, or even it it has, that I am not alone or lost.

Here is a short history of St. Theresa, who was very young but had a very strong will.

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God..

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing,

Dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.


May 14, 2011

Blowing stuff to Kingdom Come!

Last week I went to a women's self defense course held at the Middle of Nowhere Ranch near Harris MO.
To begin with, it is indeed in the middle of nowhere, among the rolling hills of northern MO and situated on a dead end road.  If you are from the country, you immediately get a comforting feeling.  I have known city people to get scared so far from what they see as "everything", poor souls.  Fortunately, we were all country girls.  In fact, I was a little late because there was a cow out on my way there and I stopped to tell a farmer, who knew exactly whose cow it was, and this is why you should want to live in the country, my friends.  You may not have a lot of privacy but that's only because everybody knows you and your habits, and that, more often than not, will help save your property and maybe your life.  Even if you are not a cow.
We spent the morning going over how to be aware of our surroundings, how to protect yourself and hearing stories from the instructors on actual situations they had been in, what they did and what they could have done differently.  In the afternoon, we got to shoot.
We shot all manner of guns, from hand guns to shotguns to a sniper rifle and an AK-47.  It was a very good course to get familiar with different kinds of guns and to see what it was like to actually shoot them.  Going in I was certain I would do better with the smaller handguns, but was surprised to see how well I did with a 44 caliber.  For those of you unfamiliar with what that is, it would be the gun that Clint Eastwood carried in his role as Dirty Harry.  They are long guns, and heavy.  I was afraid I would get knocked back from the kick, but I did not.  Well, I should probably mention that there was an instructor bracing my back with his hand between my shoulder blades so that I did NOT, in fact, get knocked down from the kick.  But it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared, and I was thrilled to death to see that I hit the target in the range that would kill a man every single time.  He still would have died. Eight times.  I didn't waste time feeling inadequate because I tended to hit a little to the right every single time.  I was thrilled to know that I could shoot a gun at a man coming at me and not have to worry about missing!  With the smaller guns, even the 357 caliber, my arm moved and I missed a lot more. 
I was very disappointed with this information for the simple fact that I want to get a conceal and carry permit and the 44's are simply too big to put in a purse, let alone to wear on your person.  The smaller guns would have fit perfectly.  Who knew ? This is precisely why you want to shoot different kinds of guns before you spend the money to buy one. 
I passed on the AK-47, believing that if things ever get THAT bad, I might as well just give up.  The shotgun was a little disappointing, only because I have shot a LOT of blue rock (clay pigeons), and this was very much a course for beginners.  It was perfect for beginners, though, because there was an instructor there who loaded the shell (and only one at a time), told you where to point the gun and then follow it and shoot.  For those of you unfamiliar with shotguns, instead of a bullet, they spray little lead balls all over the place in the general direction that you shoot.  Most children shoot a shotgun first, for the simple fact that if you get even the least bit close you will hit what you are aiming at.  It is pretty hard to miss with a shotgun, but it can be done, which is why, if you are not concerned with the "rules", you always load two shells so you can shoot again if you miss the first time.  The third time I told somebody to shoot again, somebody finally told me that they couldn't, because it was against the rules to load more than one shell.  Like I said, it was perfect for beginners.  And I must say I had really enjoyed seeing some of the younger girls shoot.  It was really fun for everybody.
The best thing for me was the sniper's rifle.  I forget what he even called it, but this baby was SSSCCHHWWEEEETTTT.  It barely moved when you shot it, and honey, I hit every single thing.  It had a beautiful scope, which always helps, and a little tripod thing on the front so you didn't have to actually steady it yourself.  Should the occasion ever arise, I could shoot one of those ALL DAY LONG.  Accurately.  God only knows what one of those would cost and they certainly are not easily to conceal, but I could make exceptions for one of those.  It wouldn't surprise me if the scope cost almost as much as the gun.  Totally worth it, too.
They happened to have some guns for sale at the Middle of Nowhere  Ranch, and I was just elated to find a little 22 pistol with pearl handles!!  This was exactly what I had wanted, due to how cute it was and how small it was.  It was also very reasonable priced.  But that was before I shot the other guns, and after that I realized that not only did that cutest of all little pistol only hold two shots, but it was way too small for my hand and I would probably not be very accurate.
Did you know that 85% of people shot with handguns survive?  Yeah.  I decided that this information would probably only add to my confidence if, God forbid, I should ever be in the position to have to actually shoot anyone.  It also would be quite a comfort if I was ever in the position of being shot back at, for that matter.  Who knows what could happen, but with those kind of odds, I say let the chips fall where they may. 
I highly recommend taking a course like this.  This one was called Refuse to Be a Victim, was only for women "because if we let you bring your men, they would tell you how to shoot and you might get mad, and this way you can learn a little on your own, and then when you get home you can do it however you want".  In other words, they thought of everything.  I found it very empowering.  Some of the women said their husbands told them that they could teach them to shoot, and were surprised that the Cyclist was so supportive.  I put this down to the fact that the Cyclist and I have never so much as asked each other anything about our respective bank accounts.  But it was very reasonably priced at $35 for the entire day, and that included lunch and all the ammo.  Very reasonable.  If only I could have gotten a conceal and carry permit for that same money it would have been perfect.  It was perfect for what it was.
The Cyclist was thrilled to death, if a little jealous of the sniper rifle action I saw.  He can't wait to go shoot guns and then once I know what I want for sure we are going to go shopping for it.  I plan to call her Lady Madonna, which fits in with the whole protection theme, and I am SO hoping that she will have pearl handles.  Wish me luck.

May 9, 2011

Mother's Day, Keepin' it Real

My mother's day got off to a real interesting start. 

Without going into a lot of detail, I was at the end of my rope by 9 am.  The reason that I was at the end of my rope is twofold and really nobody's fault but my own:

1) I have gotten really bad about going downstairs because the boys spend so much time there.  The combination of dog, testosterone, and dust has become too much for me and I am going to have to seriously "hit it" on my next "high energy day".  I pray it hits on a weekend because I only have a couple of vacation days left before July.

2) I have gotten slack in making the boys eat at the kitchen table.  Please remember that these are children number 3 and 4, plus the fact that I spend most of my time these days wandering from room to room looking for stuff I can't find....Plus I was really tired the night before from blowing stuff to Kingdom Come all that day.  More on that later.

My solution for not finding stuff upstairs is yelling downstairs and asking the boys where the lost stuff is, due to reason number 1 stated above.

So, it's Mother's Day, I am trying to fix a brunch so I can feed everybody before we embark on our afternoon plans, and I can't find any plates.  No clean plates, no dirty plates.  Now, I distinctly remember having used plates the night before to fix some kind of frozen food that neither of my grandmother's would have even considered "real food", but boys of the new millenium are thrilled to eat.

Naturally, I look around upstairs, and find no plates.  So I yell down to the Grand Finale telling them to bring me the dirty dishes.  They yell back that there aren't any dirty dishes down there.  Right. 

So I yell louder, (Did I mention what a beautiful day it was?  ALL of our windows were open), asking where the plates are at.  They yell back that they "don't know".  Right.

Everybody knows that you only get 3 strikes, and the Grand Finale is no different.  We all knew it was time for them to get real, but did they move before the third strike?  No. They did not.

Which is why I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to any neighbors who heard some woman yelling (as if they wouldn't know it was me) that WHILE WE MAY ACTUALLY OCCASIONALLY "LOSE" A PAIR OF FINGER NAIL CLIPPERS, BOYS, OR A SCREW DRIVER, IT SIMPLY IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR US TO "LOSE" THE PLATES WE EAT OFF OF!!!"  And then, just to seal the deal, because I was already wanting to just go back to bed, I threw in the old stand-by threat that always, ALWAYS works, because I could hear that the video game was still going and I knew in my heart that neither one of them had moved a muscle, "IF I DON'T HAVE ALL THE DIRTY DISHES UP HERE IN 2 MINUTES, I'M COMING DOWN THERE!!!"

This is the threat they hate more than anything.  It never ends quickly or well when I go downstairs.  Muaaahahahahahahahaha.

Immediate sounds of plates and silverware being gathered up.  It sounded like they had even put the dirty dishes in the sink.  This fact, sadly, and I probably shouldn't even admit this, made me proud.  I know it's not much but it is progress.

At least I didn't have to actually go down there.  That would have meant throwing the fit where you ask them if they were born in a barn and then I would have had to spend the entire day making them sweep and dust.
I thought it went much better this way.  It was Mother's day, after all.......

Hope you had a good one, and if not good, at least memorable.

May 6, 2011

Guardian Angels

I am continually amazed at the "help" I get from what seems like the oddest places.  I think everyone gets help like this, the trick is just to notice sometimes.

Whether you actually believe in Guardian Angels or not, I believe angels are everywhere.  Not necessarily the kind with wings that shine with a light and speak for God, although that wouldn't really surprise me too much anymore.  In fact, I have to wonder if I would consider that more or less odd than those people I saw the other night on TV with split tongues and plastic ....additions?  things.....implanted under their skin to make them look like lizards and stuff.  If you did that to someone else, what do you suppose the charge would be?  I'm pretty sure it would land you in prison. But these people wanted to do that to themselves.  Which is their right in this country.  Ok, now I'm wandering again.  Back to Angels, who, if I know God, will put one of those lizard-people in place to help me with something next week.  He does that to me all the time. I'm pretty sure I'm currently supposed to be learning "humble".  Don't ask me if that was a joke.  It was and it wasn't.  Just stay tuned and mark my words.  It's happened to me MANY times. Now back to Angels.

It can be a random person holding a door for you when you are struggling to get into a store with a couple of infants.  In seats.  That weigh about 25 lbs. each.  Maybe more.  It always seems like more if it's raining.  Or dark.

It can be the supporting squeeze on the shoulder from the person behind you (whom you may or may not know)when you are in line at Wal Mart and you have two toddlers who decide to have simultaneous melt downs and you are 4th in line for the checkout. 

It can be someone who offers you a job, sets you up on a date that works out ( I freely admit this is more rare), or moves in next to you.

It can even be a sales clerk who intercedes between a mother and a teenage daughter and saves someones eyes from rolling right out of their joints.

You may not believe this, but it can even be someone who breaks your heart or betrays you in a way you think you will never get over.
Yes, it can!

Case in point:  I have a real life Guardian Angel right here on earth.  This person has been in my life for decades and has time and time again treated me like a child/sister/daughter in a way---and this is key for me with my pride and all----in which I have never been embarrassed or tried to resist.  And might I add, they have never steered me wrong.  Their concern has only ever been for my own best interests. 

My angel is.... how can I put this.... used to being obeyed/in charge and has a way of taking control of situations, so that it seems as if it's the most natural thing in the world to.........obey.   There are very few people in this world for whom I will fall into line.  But this Angel makes falling into line feel like the most natural thing in the world.  They have a gift.

So, today I mention to the Angel that I have signed up for a self defense course tomorrow and will happily spend the day blowing some stuff to Kingdom Come!  The Angel immediately draws a  pistol out of their pocket and asks if I want to take that.  Yeah, you read that right.  No self consciousness at all in just pulling out a gun at the drop of a hat.  I have gotten used to this over the years.  It used to make me want to shut doors and "hide the evidence", so to speak, and act in all manner of suspicious ways.  But not now.  I've come a long way, baby.

"No, it's too short, I need a longer stock so my wrists don't ache".

So the Angel says "Come by the house and I'll get you some more to pick from".  I go to said house and am treated to a small collection of lovely firearms, (all legally registered), and a little practice session with the one I pick.  9mm all the way,  Because I'm worth it.  (I hope you are getting a kick out of my using phrases taken from products usually marketed to women here, because I think it's hilariously ironic.  Cigarettes and hair color, respectively.  If women listened to advertising they would indeed be lost, no?  We lose a lot of the good ones that way.)

This gun is light, has smooth action, and doesn't make my wrists ache at all.  Believe it or not, when you get older your wrists are going to betray you, honey.  In all the worst ways.  Mine have lost their strength and ache all the time to boot.  WHICH is why it's important not to pick a gun too quickly.  And to take Aleve every day.

Listen to me.  You will need to know all this information sooner or later.  It will happen to you.  When it does, I expect you to be able to defend yourself and your children.  There will be none of this standing around crying waiting to be rescued for my readers, understand?  That scenario is not for us.  If that is your plan, you need to get with the program or find yourself some other blog to read.  Please.  I cannot abide whining.  There really is no reason for it and it is *very* unattractive.  Don't do it.  Just say no.  (Not a product marketed to women, but an equally useless and expensive program that they used a woman to promote.  Poor Nancy.  She should have pointed a gun at their head and just said "no".  Very politely, of course.  You would be surprised how much easier it is be to be very polite when you are holding a gun.)

Be ready with the knowledge that you are equal to the task.  Get a gun and get to know it.  Know it so well you get used to feeling secure when you are lost in bad neighborhoods late at night after you took a wrong turn.  Can you imagine this?  It can be you.  It will be me.  

Wish me luck!  Me and 99 other women are going to train to make the world a safer place today.  I cannot wait! 

This is just the latest way my Angel has guided me.

What about you?  Have you seen any Angels lately?

May 4, 2011

On Letting Go...

"Letting loved ones go".  What a phrase.  It actually sounds like you have any choice in the matter and you do it voluntarily.  HA!  It's more like you have your heart ripped out and shredded, then handed back to you and told to carry on the best you can because laying down and dying is not an option.  Do I sound bitter?????  If I do all I can say is I'm working on it.  I can also testify that the "letting go" part?  You actually do have to do that.  Eventually.  It happens gradually, but not without you noticing.  Finally the guilt for living without them starts to wane, which in turn opens up some space for the guilt you will feel for having the nerve to continue living without them.  Eventually you start to feel like maybe you made the right choice after all, but usually you qualify even that with the good that came to someone else because you kept on keeping on.   Personally I told myself I had to do it for my kids.  This "sacrifice" made it possible to stand the "guilt".  But that's just the way it worked for me.  I certainly am no expert, at least so far.

Once again, I am publishing a piece I can take no credit for originating.  (After this I promise to get back to acutally putting myself out there).  It was sent to me as an email after my mother passed, and it gave me more comfort than I could ever express in words of my own.  Death is a part of life, the price we pay to get in, so to speak, always with us and yet often not discussed.  This helped me to see the bigger picture, and to view what felt like "the complete and total end" as "just one stop on a long journey".  I think this is a lot closer to the truth.  I also believe most people believe in life after death, but at the time that does little to relieve your pain.

This poem is such a beautiful way to picture it.  It brought me peace and I hope if you need it now or if you ever do, you can remember where to find it.  Whatever your beliefs, I hope they include your lost one's loved ones joyously receiving and welcoming them because I am positive that is exactly what happens.  No, I have science(!) to back this up either.  If you haven't figured it out yet, life for me is largely a matter of faith.  And for that I thank God at least one time each day.  I wish you peace and strength in your dark times, whenever they may happen.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”
”Gone where?”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: ‘Here she comes!”
And that is dying.

Vintage Iverna Yacht at Full Sail, 1895 Fine Art Print

May 3, 2011

Epiphanies Abounding

Without getting too personal, I just have to say that it has come to my attention that many people who  have been living through very tough times are now experiencing healing. 

Sometimes this takes strange twists and turns, but things seem to be coming together, and for many people.  Every step toward healing counts, and those steps don't have to be the physical kind.  Celebrate each and every one.

I have noticed in my own life that these things tend to happen in spurts, so to speak.

At any rate, you might want to take a moment and count your blessings.  I certainly am.

Whether you have reached the top of your personal mountain or the depths of your personal hell, whether you are finding strength in anger, resignation or plain old fashioned stubborn "keepin' on", more power to you.  Find your strength and apologize for ever doubting the awesomeness that is you.  Treat yourself better.  Get off the merry-go-round that always brings you pain and then just keep walking forward.  The world won't end.

Why are we always so surprised that we can do that and the world doesn't end? 
Because we have enormous egos.  And quite melodramatic imaginations....

But we are only human and besides that, we earned them,.

I don't know if it's the planets aligning or if maybe those 10 inches that the earth moved on it's axis during the Japan quake could have something to do with it.  It happens this way sometimes.  I'm just pointing it out.

Listen to the still small voice inside and then believe, whether you are scared or not, just believe.

Hope lives!

May 2, 2011

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

This is for one of my friends who is Jewish and has been going through some very frightening times.  I have been praying for her to find her strength and for God to protect her.
The link above is a place where you can look up all different prayers from all different religions and even different periods.

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

O Lord, You have been our refuge in every generation.
Before the mountains came into being,
  before You brought forth the earth and the world,
  from century to eternity You are God.
You return man to dust;
  You decreed, "Return you mortals!"
For in Your sight a thousand years
  are like yesterday that has past,
  like a watch of the night.
You engulf men in sleep;
  at daybreak they are like grass that renews itself;
  at daybreak it flourishes anew;
  by dusk it withers and dries up.
So we are consumed by Your anger,
  terror-struck by Your fury.
You have set our iniquities before You,
  our hidden sins in the light of Your face.
All our days pass away in Your wrath;
  we spend our years like a sigh.
The span of our life is seventy years,
  or, given the strength, eighty years;
  but the best of them are trouble and sorrow.
They pass by speedily, and we are in darkness.
  Who can know Your furious anger?
Your wrath matches the fear of You.
Teach us to count our days rightly,
  that we may obtain a wise heart.
  Turn, O LORD!
How long?
Show mercy to Your servants.
  Satisfy us at daybreak with Your steadfast love
  That we may sing for joy all our days.
Give us joy for as long as You have afflicted us,
  for the years we have suffered misfortune.
Let Your deeds be seen by Your servants,
  Your glory by their children.
May the favor of the LORD, our God, be upon us;
  let the work of our hands prosper,
  O prosper the work of our hands!

Adapted bedtime prayer for adults

All I did was copy and paste this from Facebook.  It's everywhere today, the day I woke up to find that Usama Bin Laden has reportedly been shot and killed and then buried at sea by THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
I couldn't resist passing it on, and I have no idea who thought this up, nor do I take any credit for originating it in any way.  I'm just passing it on and marking this day in my blog.  No telling what will happen next in this world, but today I feel America is united in a good way.  Sadly, it's the first time in a long time I have felt that way.  I have some extra hope today.  Enjoy this if you haven't already seen it.
Now I lay me down to sleep, one less terrorist this world does keep.

With all my heart, I give my thanks, to those in uniform regardless of ranks.

You serve our country and you serve it well, with humble hearts, your stories tell.

So as I rest my weary eyes, while freedom rings, our flag still flies.

You give your all, do what you must...with God we live and God we trust.