Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Converting Bears

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher, and a Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University in Marquette . They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experience.

Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first. 'Well,' he said, 'I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb. The Bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.'

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next.. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he claimed, 'WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus..'

The priest and the reverend both looked down at the Rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in really bad shape.

The Rabbi looked up and said, 'Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.'

Sunday, April 26, 2009

First of the Week

Sunday is ending and I am waiting for my hair to dry so I can turn in. I wanted to stop a minute and say hello.

I've been doing those album all week and I'm sorry for taking so long. However, I want them right and to tell the story. So, it will take me the better part of the week to get over 300 photos posted. I'm sorting them into individual albums by event so I can fill you in as I go. I hope you enjoy the photos. There are some really beautiful shots coming of the Charleston carriage ride.

Also, I know I apologize for my haggard photos. I do look horrid without my glasses and my hair every which way but I always think it is humanizing for people to see you in a variety of situations and states. We tend to show our very best side all the time and never let anyone see us mussed up. But then, we don't really get to know anyone that way.

What you see in my albums is me, in all the finery and foolishness. Believe me when I say I hate those nasty shots where they were doing my hair! LOL, but you had to be there. I knew when they were doing them they were terrible and I wondered if I'd be able to post them. But sometimes, letting people see the real you is a good thing.

Everyone has been so wonderful and expressed so much concern for me during this period following my husband's death. I thought it would be a good idea for me to at least show you that I'm not a complete basket case and that sometimes, for intervals I laugh. I can't say I'm happy but when surrounded by my friends and family, I don't feel as if so much of "me" is missing.

Overall, I had a wonderful but not perfect, marriage and my husband truly adored me, often foolishly so. That kind of love leaves a gaping hole that I suspect is impossible to fill. I do not think I shall know another person who can love the way Jerry loved me. He never wavered in that, ever. I never doubted it. But I did not deserve that kind of adoration.

Knowing you are loved is a security of sorts that you don't understand the strength of until the giver is gone. The world is frightening without that stabilizer.

In light of my state of mind these last three months, I thought seeing the photos would at least let people know that I'm trying to climb out of this dark hole I've been cast into. Will I ever be happy again? I don't see it. I'd be content with not feeling as if a knife is in my chest.

Good night, my friends. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Kiss those you love before you go to sleep. And tell them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Updating the Albums

Friday at last and I'm just about to turn in. I've spent the evening playing with Miss Cheyenne and we've had a blast. She went home about two hours ago. I worked today and it has been a stressful couple of days since I got back. I am glad it is has ended for a few days.

I've been updating the photo albums with my vacation photos. Be sure and read the description at the beginning of the albums. The story of my trip is posted there. It is fun putting this together but good heavens, I have over 200 photos! My aunt and Roselyn were taking photos and I even took a few. I've decided I want a camera just like my aunt's Sony. What a great camera. A real pleasure taking photos. If you are curious as to which are which, my sister's photos all have the date on them.

I've tried to keep the photos in order according to the date and the events of the day. I may be off on some things but the story line is still there.

I'm ready for another vacation but have to wait until the last of May to do that. Kayla's Graduation is the 29th and I am looking forward to a day at the beach, a Gulf beach, that week.

I will try and post a review of The Shack as soon as possible. I haven't finished it but I will in a day or so. I'm bogged down in it.... hate that when it happens.

Good night to you all. Hope you enjoy the photos.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

I said on my previous blog I'd be back Saturday. That was an error. I meant I 'd be back Wednesday! Here I am!

Lovely short trip and I have lots of photos I'll be uploading soon with details of how the time was spent. Had a lot of fun but the weather was too cool for the beach. It is o.k. though, because we had a great time doing other things. Since the weather was perfect for sightseeing and finding interesting restaurants, we did.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Headed for the Coast

I'll be away for a few days after tomorrow. I fly out on Saturday to South Carolina and won't be home until sometime Saturday night. My aunt and uncle have taken a condo at Myrtle Beach for a few days and invited me to spend the time with them. Since I'm having such a difficult time at the moment, it is probably a good idea to leave it behind for a bit.

I don't know if I'll have a way to blog while I am gone but will catch you all up when I return. I'll take my camera and takes lots of photos. I just want to spend some time somewhere warm and sunny.

I have a counselor's appointment tomorrow and then I have to pack things up. If I don't get back here before I leave, hope you all have a great week.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What Kind of Friend Am I? Hmmm

I got this from Cheryl's blog. Jilly and I used to do a lot of these on Yahoo. I got them from here then. We've been a bit more intellectual on our blogs since then, I think. LOL
Your Friendship Style is Philosophical
You take every friendship you have seriously, and you spend a lot of time analyzing your friends.
You've thought a lot about what it means to be a good friend, and you hold yourself to your standard.

In return, you expect your friends to be loyal, honest, and real. You're somewhat picky about who you're friends with.
Fighting with your friends bothers you more than most people. You can't stop replaying arguments over and over in your head.

You and an Empathetic Friend: Try to understand one another. You approach life very differently, but you're willing to listen to one another.

You and a Gregarious Friend: Are a better match than expected. You understand and appreciate your Gregarious Friend's energy.

You and an Independent Friend: Get along pretty well, but you can't help but think your Independent Friend needs to learn better manners!

You and another Philosophical Friend: Are friends for life. You can get lost in your intense, interesting conversations... and maybe even change the world together!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Short Expose of an Outing

Mike on Sunday afternoon and had some sandwiches. He didn't like being photographed during the process. He went home afterward. Later that afternoon, we decided we wanted to go for a Sonic Burger. We debated if we had to dress up or not. My aunt felt she had to at least wash her face. I was not sure what to wear. What do you think?

No, I think this works fine. I am very patriotic and well, I feel quite the style maven. I believe the chocolate stain on the tee shirt is an added statement.


My uncle was suitable shocked.
But when we explained that we were going to feed him, he perked right up. He was game.

He drove us. I was in the back seat trying to get a good shot. Not too difficult when you're traveling with seniors.


These clouds looked more interesting than they came out in this shot.


It had been raining off and on all afternoon but these guys were beginning to gang up.
Serious concentration was required to navigate the half dozen block to Sonic.


Uh, there was one wrong turn but fortunately, we corrected and simply came out on the other side.
This is another interesting cloud shot. I thought. Well, the Donut Bank sign is where we made the wrong turn so at least something interesting came of the shot. These folks make the best blueberry muffins you ever put in your mouth.



We arrived at Sonic safely and found a parking spot... among the many available. Not everyone was finding Sonic of interest today. The clouds continued to mass and menace.

We ordered and after our order go to us, the clouds exploded with thunder and massive amounts of water. The sound in the car kept me. . . us relatively quiet. Once I was full, I forgot to take anymore photos!


Snow Monday

Just flurries. I came home from lunch and stopped to dash off a post. I don't know if I will get back on tonight. I have got to find a way to do some of the things that need doing around here. It is just cold and gloomy and all I want to do on those days is hibernate but in my present state of mind, that isn't a good idea. I must stay busy or my mind becomes overwhelmed.

We didn't go to church last night. Instead, my aunt and uncle and I decided to just visit and have a quiet evening so they could leave early this morning to drive home. It is a long drive and the weather was not promising. I think they will escape the gloom south of Nashville. It could drop down that way but it looked like it wouldn't move that far south to me.

We did go get Sonic burgers for supper. We at at the drive-in. For those who don't know what Sonic is, it is a drive-in burger joint like those in the old movies. You order and they bring your food to your car. You can take it away or eat right there in the car. We ate there. The rain poured down in torrents and was deafening on the back of the car. It poured off the roof right onto the top of the car over my head. It was a lovely sound with rumbling thunder in the background but conversation became impossible and when we finished we left to go back home. The rain had stopped by the time we pulled into the drive.

I took some photos while we were out. Some clouds in the distance were nice. I'll have to post them later today I think.

Hope you all have a good day.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Overcast

The weather started very pretty this morning but now we have clouds and thunder with a few sprinkles tossed in the mix. My aunt and uncle are still here. They will leave tomorrow morning. By the way, I put the photo in the album of Mr. Buttons, my aunt's dog. Jilly notice it previously and I have just got around to it.

Church this morning was difficult. I don't know why it is hard. I read Riete's blog about how she also had a difficult time at church. I can't say what is causing this. I just know it is nearly unbearable. And you're supposed to feel better going to church but I don't. I feel worse.

I got my tickets paid for to go to Myrtle Beach, S. C. I am looking forward to it. My sister, Roselynn, is going to join us on that Monday. She is dropping off my nephew to the Marine base and it isn't that far from where we will be. That will be nice for her and nice to see her.

I've really got a lot of things I need to do. I was looking around and the house just needs things done. The yard is a mess, there is too much junk sitting around the house and in the garage. I have more to do than I think I can handle. I will be trying to utilize other people but it will still be a lot of work.

I hear the rain falling in earnest now. The sound on the awning is nice. I should lie down. I told my aunt the reason you are always so tired on Sunday afternoon as opposed to other days of the week is because God ordained it as a day of rest and if we don't take if voluntarily then, he'll just make us exhausted so we have to. LOL. So, I feel tired and need to lie down.

Hope your week goes well. I have a four day work week this week. I am off for Good Friday and that is a freebie = Paid holiday. Yipee. Then, I work another week and am off to Myrtle Beach.

Pray for me, folks. The depression is not getting better. I know the signs and it is very difficult. I battled this before and it is a serious problem for me. So, put me on your lists if you will. I am hoping the change in season will help me but right now, I simply want to find a cave, a nice dark one, to curl up in.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Descent

Went to the counselor. He thinks I'm worse. {shrug} I don't know. I feel pretty much the same to me. He said what I was feeling was still grief but that now I'm showing signs of depression.

I don't know.

My aunt and uncle came in and we went to my church's fellowship rally. Oddly enough one of the pastor's wives prayed for me and as she prayed she prayed for depression. . . which I just found out about myself this afternoon and had told no one except my aunt and uncle. They had not talked to anyone either.

O.k., so maybe I've been descending into depression.

I just don't know. I'm on my way to bed now. Tomorrow I'll do family stuff and maybe the sun will be brighter. The young minister titled his message The Beauty of a New Day.

That'd be nice.

DEA Agent

A bit of humor in my email from GCFL.com

A DEA officer stops at a ranch in Montana and talks with an old rancher.

He tells the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs."

The old rancher says, "Okay, but do not go in that field over there," as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes, saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the federal government with me." Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the farmer. "See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish, on any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?"

The old rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life, chased close behind by the rancher's prize bull. With every step, the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get "horned" before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified.

The old rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence, and yells at the top of his lungs, "Your badge! Show him your badge!"




Friday. In the Study. Studying.

WARNING! This post can probably be called a gripe session. If you are offended or think you may be offended, leave quietly now and no one will get hurt.

I stayed home today. My stomach has been a bit cranky since yesterday. Just lots of grumbling and all that accompanies a stomach bug.

That isn't the only reason. I'm not doing well at all. I don't know what is wrong. I get upset over the least thing. I fall apart watching things for no reason. I see the counselor today at 3 and must get dressed soon.

I don't think I know why I am doing this. I am hurting so bad and I feel very frightened a lot of the time. I don't know how to fix it since I don't know what I am afraid of. I'm not afraid of my anything tangible. It is this hovering fear that simply stops me in my tracks at unsuspecting moments. I have to go to the bathroom or close my door at work. If I stop thinking for a minute it creeps up. At home, it is harder because I am idle more. I can't find ways to escape. Ultimately, I have to redirect my thinking and focus on something else. I get illogically upset if things are out of place or missing.

I sat and listened to a young preacher online last night. It was a very good message and he was a very good preacher. It was the Elevation Church. He preached about The Dip. You may know it better as the valley or the place where everything goes wrong. It was really good because I had not thought about some of the reasons that these places occur in our lives. I really found it enlightening. I can't say it made me feel better but it did remind me that it isn't always something we do or don't do that puts us in those places. I was aware of the concepts he presented and I did "know" it. I've even said as much myself but sometimes, in the crisis, someone else has to point out what is happening to you.

I still don't understand but maybe I will. Yet, I don't like this hollow feeling in my chest or the pain I get at unexpected times. I don't like feeling alone or friendless or abandoned.

I am flying to Myrtle Beach, S. C. next weekend to spend about four days with my aunt and uncle and friends of theirs, well, and mine, too, I guess. I've known them since I was about 15. They're really nice people. I know it will be fun and good for me to get away. I hate being away from my sons but since I don't really see them much I don't guess it matters.

David is working and I am so glad. I hope it goes well for him. I just wish so much he'd get his diploma. Jerry and I had such high hopes for David. He is smarter than he thinks but he doesn't seem able to even see it or try. I have no influence there. I've decided not to even bother anymore. I know he can do a lot better than a sales clerk at Sears. He is in church much more now and seems to really want to work on that more. I am happy for him. I don't think he ever really sees that he does better at everything when he is faithful. Still, they don't really care what I think and I get told so in no uncertain terms. So, I have decided to offer no further assistance there.

Mike thought he had a job but they changed their minds. He was upset. I don't know what to do to help him. I have told him if he will work on the yard this summer I will pay him instead of his having to go to the plasma bank for the next three months. He says he will but we will see. You have all seen the photos of the railroad siding so you know it is a jungle. I offered that job to David last summer when he was unemployed but he wouldn't do it. So, this year, the offer is Mike's. I don't like his selling plasma all the time and I think his arms need a rest for a few months. And Mike needs the exercise. Pray for him. He has a hard time staying focused on tasks and I will be at work when he is supposed to be working. It is hard work and will take months to do by hand.

I do think I will have him stack the logs and such and see if anyone wants firewood. A woman my sister works with said they needed firewood badly as that is how they heat their home. My sister told her that the girl's boyfriend could come and get all the firewood they wanted for nothing. They could even chop down the trees! Then girl ask her, "Is it already cut?" My sister told her they would have to cut it. Apparently, that was too much work for free firewood. Idiot. I guess she hasn't gotten cold enough yet. I was cutting firewood for our wood stove when I was 15! With an ax! Daddy bought it in logs, cut in two foot lengths. We had to split it with an ax. Usually, he was too drunk on weekends to even pick up an ax. So, I cut it. I cut it whenever I was home from school and we needed wood to heat the house. What lazy people are living today. When the boys turned down manual labor jobs I told them both they haven't gotten hungry enough yet.

You know, I think I've just decided to start charging people to give my money away. From now on, if someone wants $20 they will have to do something for me. I think it only fair since I am having to work one hour at a highly skilled job to earn about that much, they should put in the equivalent in what they would earn at a specific job. Unskilled labor here is about $7 an hour. So, it takes three hours to cut the yard, you get $21.

So, by that logic, if it takes four hours to clean a section of siding, you get $28, etc. I believe two sections can be done in a week of four hour shifts, starting early in the morning so there won't be a lot of heat build up. He can be done by lunch and I can come home from lunch to see what's been done. I bet after one day he will think selling plasma is easier....

I should make a chart of wages for each job.... Then, when someone comes to ask for money, I can hand them the wage chart and let them pick! WOW what a great idea!

I can promise you I will end up cleaning the siding and cutting the yard after two weeks. I always do. Neither boy will come and help, not for love or money. Anyone out there with sons like that? I was astounded by this character. I always helped my Mama because I loved her and couldn't stand to see her doing things that she wasn't really supposed to be doing. I came in from school once and she was trying to chop wood! I got so mad and told her she was never to do it again. She didn't have to, I did. I think that that day I cried while I chopped wood.

O.k., enough of this. Honestly, I will do what has to be done. I always have with very little help from anyone. And thanks to Jerry I can afford to pay to have it all hauled away if I can get it to the street. After it is cleaned, maybe I will be able to keep it cleaned. We'll see.

I'm going. I have stuff to do before I go to the counselor's appointment. Mike came in a little while ago and said, "Mom, you look like crap!" He never says that to me! So, I think a tidy up is in order. He has gone to shop for a mower.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Over the Hump. . .

Mid-week is here. I am so tired this morning. End of month is always this mad rush right up until 5 p.m. I went home and finished the puzzle as you probably know by now. I was glad to be done with it. It was very satisfying to put in that last piece. And it is such a lovely scene that I just stood and stared at it. I turned off lights before bed and stood looking at the windows of that train. What an imagination I have!

Now, I'm getting ready to take a lunch break. I am going to lunch with Mike. Rather, he is going with me since he has no money. But I like doing things for them, you know. It is only money and once I am gone they won't have much by memories. I might as well make them good ones and if a Big Mac will give them that, so be it. We talk at meals. Mike never stops talking really. He is a continuous sound. Either on the phone or with someone he meets. It is why he can't live with any of us.

Everyone keeps asking how I am. I think the counselor is right. I'm a very good actress. I feel as if my chest will explode all the time but I go about my business and do my job, go home and go through the motions of living. I don't really think very much about anything from one minute to the next. I still can't remember things either. Every day feels very empty and I find myself aimless, not really wanting to walk across the room, let alone take the garbage out. I had to do that last night.

So, I really don't feel less hollow. How am I? Nothing has changed. I can pretend really well for a few hours but then the walls just close in and I'm back to January 29th, waking up, rushing around the bed, calling to him, breathing, listening, watching. It never really goes away. I just get better as throwing up the facade.




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