Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Headed to Wales

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We left Dublin early on the 18th headed for Wales. Our first three and a half hours were spent on a ferry crossing the Irish Sea. It was a pleasant journey. We sat in the very back and enjoyed each others company. A few napped and some of us listened to our IPODS and played with our DS Lites. I was one of those. When we arrived in Wales we were met by our new coach driver. I was missing Greg already. The new guy was a little cheeky and made a lot of women bashing statements. Did he not realize he was outnumbered? The Welsh countryside was gorgeous. Our first stop was at the town with the longest name in the world. We stopped there for a bathroom break and to get our passports stamped. BTW...the town with the longest name is: LLnfairpwilgwyngyllgogerychwyrndribwukkiantysukuigogogoch. What a mouthful. After this stop our next stop was at Conwy. We ate lunch, did banking business, and toured the castle. It was a precious town. A lot of internationals came here to summer by the shore. The harbor was laden with boats. It was a picture perfect town and we enjoyed the time in Conwy. AFter this stop we traveled on to Snowdonia Glacier Park. Snowdonia was awesome. The tallest mountain - Snowdan still had snow in the upper peaks. It was so beautiful here. I would love to live in this area of the UK and just write. It was the perfect get away for the artsy community. A photographers dream.

Dublin on March 17th, 2009

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What a day! What a ride! I love Dublin. If I ever get a chance to go back I plan to...without a tour. On my own. I want to do what I want to do and go where I want to go. Dublin....sigh....

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dublin on St. Paddy's Day

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We spent St. Patrick's Day in Dublin. It was an unreal experience. I have never seen so many people in one place at one time. You could barely move for the crowds of people. The Today Show was in Dublin on the 17th as well. I stopped and posed for one of their cameras....don't know if I made the cut. We toured the city early that morning with our local guide, Patrick O'Reilly. He was a retired police officer and what a character. He had the coolest caterpillar eyebrows. I loved him. After our tour we went to find a place to watch the parade. It was amazing trying to wiggle our ways into the group so we could see. After the parade we ate lunch at TOGO's. It was nothing extraordinary...just a sandwich. We went back to Molly Malone to meet the group to go see the Book of Kells at Trinity College. After touring Trinity we headed for the Hard Rock Cafe at Temple Bar. I need a pin from Dublin. Hard Rock was the happening place...every nut in the city was in the restaurant....dancing....and singing....and being loud and obnoxious. We shopped some more then headed back to Molly Malone to meet up with the group for supper. Supper tonight was at the Portabello. We had a delicious roast with potatoes meal and a strange apple pie thing with a mango drizzle. I love apple pie....but that one was hard for me to eat. Back to the IMI to pack up and get ready to leave for Wales in the morning. I love Dublin. I love Ireland and will miss it when we leave it in the morning.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

44 Things About Me

My friend Laura tagged me on facebook with this little lovely....and since I was drawing a blank today about what to write...I thought what the is something good....


1. Do you like blue cheese? NOPE

2. Have you ever smoked? YEP, BUT I AM PROUD TO SAY I NO LONGER DO SO!

3. Do you own a gun? NO.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? LEMONADE


7. Favorite Christmas movie? MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET - THE ORIGINAL ONE

8. Favorite thing to drink in the morning? DIET COKE

9. Can you do push ups? NOT IN THIS LIFETIME.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? MY WEDDING RINGS AND MY MOM'S RUBY RING.



13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? MY WEIGHT

14. Middle Name: LEIGH

15. Name 2 thoughts at this exact moment? WHY AM I SO COLD? WHAT AM I FIXING FOR SUPPER?

16. Name 4 drinks you regulary drink? TEA, COFFEE, WATER, DIET COKE

17. Current Worry? FINANCES

18. Current hate right now? I DON'T HATE


20. How did you bring in the New Year? WITH FRANK AT THE WILLIAM'S HOUSE IN WAVERLY.

21. Where would you like to go? SCOTLAND, MAKINAW ISLAND, VERMONT, AND ALASKA.

22. Name three people who might complete this? 3 VERY BORED PEOPLE!

23. Do you own slippers? YES.

24. What shirt are you wearing? A GREEN SWEATER

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? NO! THAT'S TOO MUCH LIKE THE INSIDE OF A COFFIN.

26. Can you whistle? NO

27. Favorite color? BLUES

28. Would you be a pirate? YES


30. Favorite girls name: KATHRYN AND AMY

31. Favorite boys name: DREW

32. What is in your pocket right now? NOTHING

33. Last thing that made you laugh? A MOVIE

34. What vehicle do you drive? AN HHR

35. Worst injury you have had? DISLOCATED KNEE

36. Do you love where you live? IT IS OK.

37. How many tvs do you have in your house? 3

38. Who is your loudest friend? AMANDA AND JO

39. Do you have any pets? YEP

40. Does someone have a crush on you? FRANKO

41. Your favorite book(s)? TOO MANY TO LIST....SORRY.

42. Do you collect anything? I USED TO COLLECT LIGHTHOUSES.


44. What song do you want played at your funeral? KANSAS - DUST IN THE WIND.

Friday, March 27, 2009

ASP - Tazwell

Have you ever heard of Appalachian Service Project? Well, neither had I until about 8 years ago. One of my daughters best friends, Mary Rachel, went on an ASP trip and when she returned she was on fire. The next year, Kat and I went. I will never be the same again. You have to understand me....I do not like being dirty. I like clean....but I then I found myself...roofing a house in the hot West Virginia summer. My head team leader, Willie, was an experienced builder....and a man. He had roofed before. I did not do heights. What a pair we made. I grew very close to my team every day. We would leave for the job early in the morning....and listen to James Taylor as we drove through the quiet mountainside. What a glorious time. Our family was the Wiedenhofts. We adored them. It was Grandmother Wiedenhofts birthday while we were there and Rod baked her a cake. She was delighted. I don't think anyone had ever done something like that for her. Our last day in Tazwell....we went for an afternoon ride through a place called God's Thumbprint. It was breathtaking. So, besides getting dirty...what exactly is ASP? Well it is a project that occurs in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky where groups of people come and do emergency home repair on houses. The groups that come to work actually pay for the materials, bring their own tools, provide litte goodies for the host families, and learn that God can use everyone anywhere. I know I learned how much he could use me. I left Tazwell...a new person. I knew that I was a survivor....and that God could do great things through me. If you ever get a chance to go on an ASP trip I promise will not be sorry. It will be the greatest thing you will ever do. BTW....I still don't like getting dirty...I have a heck of a collection of power tools, and can actually build a deck, roof a house, and work under a house....without screaming over cobwebs.

FYI - Just thought you might like to know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Appalachia Service Project (ASP)!

It all began with one man's simple vision: to match high school youth groups with families in need so their homes could be made warmer, safer and drier. In this first issue of The Front Porch for 2009, you'll read how that man -- Rev. Glenn "Tex" Evans -- founded ASP and helped its roots grow deep during the first decade from 1969 to 1979. The theme for this momentous anniversary year is Putting Faith Forward -- because even now, as we look back and rejoice at the amazing work accomplished by Tex and ASP over four decades of sweat and toil -- and love and compassion, we realize there is still much to do! The communities we serve here in Central Appalachia have poverty rates that are three times the national average ... and today we can only afford to help ONE out of every 10 families that apply to us for home repair assistance. Read more about how ASP is making a difference and how you can help!

Dublin via Blarney

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We are headed to Dublin today via Blarney Castle. I can't wait to see the castle and shop at the Woolen Mills. The countryside between here and there is so lovely and green....everything you would expect Ireland to be. We will get into Dublin tonight and be there for the St. Patrick's Day celebrations tomorrow. I cannot wait to share the Dublin views with you tomorrow. Hope you enjoy Blarney....and remember.....if you kiss the Blarney gain the gift of gab.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ring of Kerry

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Today we took a Jarvey ride into Killarney National Park with Kevin and Seattle Slew. We saw Ross Castle and other beautiful sites of the area. We then joined the rest of the group and headed to the Ring of Kerry. The Ring ride takes a good half day to complete. We saw the Atlantic Ocean from Dingle Bay, we saw a bog village, bog pony, and had a great time during the trip. The weather was lovely - brisk and breezy. What more could you ask for. I hope you enjoy my little presentation.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Killarney Day 1

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Killarney, Ireland

Sunday, we took a Jarvey ride into Killarney National Park. It was so much fun. A Jarvey is a horse drawn wagon.....our driver, Kevin was precious. We were pulled by an Irish draft horse named Seattle Slew....sound familiar. One of the stops was at an old castle which I am showing on this page. To the right of the castle was a beautiful lake with swans floating on the the water. There was a fine Irish mist in the moor and it was a perfect day. What a great way to celebrate Sunday....God's day.....out in the world experiencing all His glory. After our Jarvey ride we headed into the Ring of Kerry. Our first stop would be a bog house in the bog village. At the bog village they harvest turf that is used for cooking and heating. It has a distinct smell....kind of comforting....kind of choking. We also visited the Red Fox Inn while we were there and had a touch of Irish coffee. Yumm Yummm! It does not taste anything like it does in the states. It was so good. Shopping for some quick souvenirs and then back on the bus for the next leg of our trek through the ring. There were so many cool places to see and to visit. I can't wait to fill you in on the rest of them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Dad is Sick....and I am Sad!

I came home from Ireland a sick father. I was already worried because I left him here and did not stay home and take care of him....but I came home to a man who looked like a prisoner from Shindler's List. I slept most of Sunday, trying to get well.....and on Monday called in sick and Frank took me to the doctor. My mom took my dad to chemo in Sylacauga. Dr. Roberts diagnosed me with ear infections, sinisitis, bronchitis, tonsilitis...and every other itis known to man-kind. My mom showed up....sin my father.....about 4:30. He was at the hospital....and they were going to admit him when they had a room available. He was dehydrated, his blood count was low, and his creatin level was high. I could not have felt more that I could not go with her...because he did not need to be around me. To be honest....after 58 years of marriage.....she is the only one who can take care of him. He is not up for grabs there. She has always been extremely possessive when it comes to taking care of my dad. Anyways, at 11:00 last night they finally got him into a room. I have to wear a mask to go in and see him and can only stay a few minutes at a time. He looks so sad laying balled up in a fetal position on his bed. It makes me want to cry. They are giving him blood and liquids to try and build his blood count back up and drive his dehydration down. After they get him on the road to mending....they will treat his cough and the other things that are wrong with him.....but for right now....he has a long road to hoe. Keep us in your prayers....and hope that he begins to bounce back from this black hole he seems to have fallen into. God Bless You Everyone!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Day From Hell.....

Ok, so most of you know I left last Friday going to is the beginning of the rest of the story. Day 1 we left Atlanta airport at 11:18 Eastern time....which meant...I got up at 4:00 Central time to get to the airport and through security within the time frame they have alloted for you. Our first ray of opportunity occured around 7:15...when they were able to put us on an earlier flight to Chicago's O' 10. There were six of us....and we all got to be bumped we took it. Off to Chicago we went.....arriving there....about an hour and half before we should have.....but with the same layover....4+ hours. We discovered about 2...that the plane we were supposed to be on.....was running late....2 hours. Whew I was so glad we were on the earlier flight. Finally our boarding time was called and the next leg of our journey began. There would be a 5 hour time change on the next leaving Chicago at 4:50....was now actually 9:50. We flew through the night and arrived at Heathrow at 5:15 in the morning.....leg 3 would be at we ate some breakfast and changed some money to Euros and Pounds. They eat beans with their eggs. We ate breakfast at was a posh little health food restaurant....but beans with eggs....was gross. Finally our flight was called to Dublin...and we marched over to the gate for we entered the AerLingus compound....Marian....remembered she did not have her camera....and took off back to where we had been sitting....we began to sweat bullets hoping she would make it back before the plane took off. One of the last of three to enter the plane was Marian...smiling with her camera.....and leg 4 began.....we then headed to Shannon....and landed around 12:30 only to find out that our luggage did not make it with us. With so many changes it is a miracle any of us got luggage. Tori, Mary, Marion and I are without luggage. Dakota and Rachel have theirs....lucky stiffs. We have now been traveling...over 24 hours....and we are all zonkered. Satyen Kells, our tour guide met us....and off we headed to Killarney....our destination for the next couple of days...we had to pick up the other Alabama a hotel where they were waiting....and then take a long bus ride to Glenna House. We arrived, checked in, ate supper - pork, french fries, and beans.....what is with the beans?....and I took a shower and headed for bed. Luggage arrived at the hotel around 9:30. We were so glad to see it. Tomorrow is another day.....and 3....Sunday....we will be doing the Ring of Kerry tomorrow and taking a Jarvey Ride. I can't wait....head on pillow....and I am out. Come back for tomorrow's episode of Ireland.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ireland Here I Come!

I am leaving for Ireland, Wales, and England in the morning. I am so excited. We will be gone from March 13 - 21st. A group of six is going with EF tours. This will be my second time to take this particular trip. It is one of my favorite tours. We will be in Dublin on St. Paddy's about the ultimate rush of Irishness! We will be visiting Kilarney, do the Circle of Kerry, kiss the Blarney Stone, shop, see Buckingham Palace, see Westminster Abbey, see the Tower, the Bridge....Abbey Road (my personal choice), I will sing, more than likely, with the buskers in Covent Gardens....this is also where Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady) sold flowers....we will see Piccadilly Circus....I was sad when I was just a place...there was no tight rope walker or such. I did see some circus freaks...people with weird colored hair....dressed funny....and went to a head shop....that really sold 'schrooms. I thought I would die. I got to go to Madame Trousoues (my spelling stinks). The food is interesting....from the fish and chips to the spotted dick....I tried it all. I was not crazy about the Indian food - it turns out that the national food of England is Indian food.....and I loved going to the vault of the original Hard Rock Cafe. I actually played Jimmy Hendrix guitar in the vault...along with Eric Claptons first one. It was an awesome rush to sit on Hendrixes couch, hold his guitar and actually get to play it. We will be visiting Stratford on the Avon and Shakespeares homeplace. I love this thought.....I am a Shakespeare major. From there we will see Oxford....and Snowdonia Glacier Park. The only bad part about this the 24 hours we will spend trying to get there. Oh it is not actually 24 hours....we leave to Chicago...that takes....1.3 hours. Then we leave there....4 hours later...and fly to London.....that takes 8 hours....but not really...there is a 6 hour time change....and 5 hours after we arrive in London....we fly to Dublin...and then to Shannon. Coming back...we leave from London....and fly to Dulles in Washington....then to Atlanta....the whole shabang is 12 hours. I won't be blogging next week...unless I get to an internet cafe or something.....but I will be thinking of you prepared to be bombarded with Ireland tales. Have a great Spring Break Week. God Save the Queen Mum!....Tut Tut...and all that jazz!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HI! I Am Hayden and I Think I Love You!

On January 2, 1999 we all gathered in the hospital for what was to be the greatest day of our lives. My son and his wife were expecting their first child….a son. Now, Eric’s wife had been married once before and had two precious girls…..Taylor, the youngest, was born Down’s Syndrome. It was ok….and the two of them did not worry about a recurrance….Roulie’s first husband had a first cousin who was Down’s Syndrome….we didn’t….so everything was great. Eric was elated as the day progressed and he anticipated delivering his boy. Time came for the joyous moment….and Hayden made his appearance. Never have I heard such lungs. He was very outspoken about everything. He was precious….he was so tiny….he was……NO! It could not be….Hayden was Down’s. The shock that followed was devastating. I wanted to make it better for my son….but it wasn’t there. I could not fix this. I did not even really know what it was…..all I knew….was that precious little guy laying in that baby bed….had me from hello. I could not wait to hold him. I knew things would be different….but I knew God was in control. I went home and looked up as much information as I could find on Down’s Syndrome. What I found was that “Down syndrome, Down's syndrome, or trisomy 21 is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British doctor who described the syndrome in 1866. Often Down syndrome is associated with some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth as well as facial appearance.
Individuals with Down syndrome tend to have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate developmental disabilities. A small number have severe to profound mental disability. The incidence of Down syndrome is estimated at 1 per 800 to 1,000 births, although these statistics are heavily influenced by the age of the mother.
Many of the common physical features of Down syndrome also appear in people with a standard set of chromosomes. They may include a single instead of a double crease across one or both palms, also called the Simian crease, an almond shape to the eyes, shorter limbs, poor muscle tone, a larger than normal space between the big and second toes, and protruding tongue. Health concerns for individuals with Down syndrome include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, acid reflux disease, recurrent ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunctions.”
That was 10 years ago and I cannot imagine our lives without Hayden in it. He is a charmer. There is never a dull moment that is for sure. I would not take anything for this little man with Down’s Syndrome. If you are walking in my shadow or shoes….research the topic. Don’t let it rule your emotions. Let your emotions experience the pure joy of unconditional love….with a Down’s baby…that is what you get….love no matter what. Who could ask for more? Hayden came into my life and I have never been the same. Happy Weds.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chemo Day 3

Chemo Day 3 wasn't. It did not happen. It was a wash! We did not have a good weekend. By Friday my dad looked like a concentration camp refugee. His eyes were slowly sinking back into his head. He never complained....except to say he was tired. On Saturday....he did not eat much....and went to bed for a 3. He was still not awake on Sunday morning when I left for church at 7:30. When I got home on Sunday I had some exciting news for cousin Sherry was coming to see him. I just knew that would be a good pick me up....but instead...he was grumpy....because he wanted to go to 12:45. Sherry arrived at 2...and he DID seem to perk up some. She stayed about an hour....and then my friend Mary came over and we did some video tape footage of my dad. He was very charming as he told his stories and sang his little song - (It is actually Little Jimmy Dickens song)....but my dad has modified to fit his life and everyone who hears it loves it. The song he sings is called "Ole Cold Tater." He actually enjoyed himself for the next couple of hours and was over, he was in the bed and sound asleep. When I left for school on Monday at 6:45...he was not up. Monday evening was not much better....he looked so tired.....and was in bed again before 7. Today was chemo day....but it could not happen. His creotins were too high and his blood count was too low.....and to top that off....the chemotherapist is gone! I put a call in to the radiologist oncologist and he explained our problem. There is no other chemo man now my dad will have to take chemo somewhere else. Tears began falling....and selfishly....I teach had an arrangement with my go to chemo and relieve my mom....and not have to miss days from class....anywhere else...and I have to take a day off. I am an only child. Dr. Jahraus recommended B'ham. I asked him if we could not consider East Alabama...and Dr. Graves group. He said he would put in a call to her tomorrow....but we missed a chemo what now? Well...we now have to meet with Dr. Graves group....if they can fit us in....and work from there....basically start over....Radiation continues each day here in Alexander City....and that too adds a potential problem...Radiation is 5 days a week....and if we have to go out of town....we have to schedule chemo around radiation another town....and the circle continues. I felt so useless today. I can't fix this. I can't make it work out. I had to sit down on my porch, have a good cry, and give it over to Here it is God! Do what you will with this are constantly cleaning up mess in my life. Thank you for loving me and my family. Amen!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Long and Boring Day!

My day is to be sung to the tune of the Beatles song, "The Long and Winding Road." It goes something like this. The Long and Boring Day....that makes me insane. Will come around each year....before they graduate in May. I want to just shed was a boring day! I had to proctor the AHSGE - or the graduation exam today. It is the most boring thing to do in the world. The Administrator...reads the directions....verbatim....and I do what he/she tells me to do. The first eternity of the morning....was the demographics section. You would be surprised at how many kids don't know how to bubble in their names, and other information. While the Administrator reads the directions to the kids I walk around the room and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. If not...I am to show them the error of their ways. After demographics....we begin the first section of the test.....this is not a timed thing....but at the 90 minute mark.....they take a stretch and bathroom break. The Admin cannot leave the room unless a school official stands in for them. The proctor (that was me) gets to walk big boys and girls to the restrooms...and then escort them back to the testing site. Then....we our case...that did not happen. At 11:00 we still had 5 of them had only done 2/5 columns. An official administator came and took them to the consolidation we could release the rest of the kids to regular classes. Regular classes....that is a joke too. I have 2nd block I will only see my first block Spanish II kids on Weds. and Thursday. The rest of the week I will see my third block Spanish II and my fourth block Spanish I classes. It is the end of the grading period....but we can't give tests...because we are testing. What a glorious week. I dread this week each year more than anything I can please say a prayer for me....that the kids survive this week.....and that I survive this week too. I keep telling myself....that Spring Break is almost here....and there is no place like home.....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Sign of the Rainbow

Today is Sunday. It is a Sunday when we mess with time and my body hates that. I am not particularly fond of springing forward because I am so much better at falling back. Last night in a rather distressful fit of sleep, of lack thereof, I had a terrible dream about bad weather. I woke up several times to check outside only to find that all was right with the world. During the last clip of my dream there was a tornado involved.....and when the sun rose after the night of terror.....there is was a most awesome rainbow. I love rainbows. I love to see them after a particularly frightening storm....because when I see them I know what they mean. In Genesis 9: 12-17 God gives us an assurance or covenant that he will never destroy the earth by flood again. So when the waters start to rise just read the following verses and remember..."12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth." Next time you see a rainbow, understand that you have just had a personal message from God. How cool is that?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Granny McCain

Let me tell you about my Granny McCain. She was a straightrazor toting woman. She lived with my little Grandmother on my momma's side of the family and lived to be just shy of 100 years old. I come from a long line of longevity. Anyways, one summer several of the grandkids were visiting Grandmother Prophitt. Granny McCain had a trunk in her room that was full of goodies for little girls to play with. Clothes, hats, shawls, gloves...they were all there hiding in the chest. Amanda, Terry, Linda, and I were all there....and we wanted to get into that chest. The only problem we had was that little Grandmother had told us we could not cross the threshold and bother Granny McCain. So we stood at the door like little children outside the candy store....with begging in our eyes...trying to get her to ask us in.....She was eating chocolate. It looked like Hershey squares and we wanted some of the that moment...even more than the we asked her sweetly, "Granny, can we haf sum choclate?" Equally as sweet she held out two squares a piece. Granny was a few fries shy of a happy meal because she had dementia. AND....I need to tell you....that at this very moment...I was the oldest child....and only 6...the youngest was 3....and the chocolate....wasn't chocolate....least of all not Hersheys. It was Ex-Lax. We each ate two squares of a laxative....and my grandmother only had one bathroom in her house at the time. It was not a pretty sight. We were all very sick and my poor grandmother had to take care of all four of us. To this day...I do not like Hersheys bars.....nor Ex-Lax.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Zen of Sarcasm

I love sarcasm....especially when I am the one dishing it out. My friend Trina sent me an email today with some priceless comments and since this is Friday I thought I would head into the weekend with some funnies for you all to chew around.
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either Just pretty much leave me totally alone.
2 . It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
3. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
4. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.
5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
6. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.
9. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
10. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment. 11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
12. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.
13. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
14. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
16. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
17. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
18. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
19. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
And I must add a couple of my own sometimes in life it just is what it is....remember that....Oh yeah...and if a man speaks in the forest where no woman can hear he still wrong? Well Duhhhh! Have a great weekend to all and to all a great Friday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Can Bee!

Several years ago I went to a conference done by Mamie McCullough. What a speaker she was. I left the place flying high....literally. If you ever get a chance to see her....GO! Anyways, her topic was on being the best you can be....being what you want to be....being you....and she told a little story about bees I just felt like I needed to share with you. Did you know that scientists can prove that it is aerodynamically impossible for the bumble bee to fly? The body of the bee is too heavy and its wings too light to sustain flight. But the bumble bee chooses not to be influenced by science's negative viewpoint and flies anyway. When you look at the bee, thing this thought, I CAN BEE what I want to BEE!......But you can't stop have to BEElieve it and DO IT! Today, Thursday, March 5th 2009....I say Bee All that You Can Bee.....Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Fishy Tale

I come from a long line of storytellers. My dad has three brothers and they all could weave some of the greatest stories ever told. Oral tradition is how literature as we know it came to be. I love to listen to someone tell a good story. One particular story sticks out in my mind and I just have to share it with my readers today. My uncle, Cecil, was the greatest of all storytellers. He told this story one evening after fishing all day and I believed it until I was a lot older. Gullible, thy name is Karen. Anyways, back to the uncle was fishing off the beeline in South Florida one day. He had been having a lot of luck and had run out of bait. When he realized he was running low on bait he started looking around for something he could use as bait so as not to interrupt the catching of fish. In some reeds to the right of him was a small snake that had caught a frog and was fixing to devour it. My uncle took his pole and thumped the snake on the head, stunning it temporarily. He then reached down a took the frog. He had a moment of remorse for the snake so he pulled his flask of Johnny Walker our of his hip pocket and sprinkled a little in the snakes mouth. He then cut the little frog into quarters and continued fishing. He caught four more fish and was about ready to call it a day when he felt something tug at his pants leg. He looked down, thinking he had snagged a tree limb, but lo and behold there was the little snake with five more frogs laying on the ground. The snake obviously had a taste for the Johnny Walker.....and my uncle had one gullible niece. It was a great story....and one of my favorites from my uncle Cecil. The sad thing about oral that one day....the teller is gone....and the story lives no more. Fortunately for my uncle.....that is not the case. I remember the story and have told it several times to eager listeners. It still gets the same response....little children sit in awe and wonder and adults laugh with glee. Thanks uncle Cecil for sharing your talents with me. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Up On a Soapbox!

Here I am....up on a soapbox....I will probably get a nose bleed from being so high up....and you guys should know up front that I hate heights....but I have to do this. I am sad....very sad. I just had a fellow teacher come into my room, crying. She is a good teacher....and works hard with the kids. She has been teaching for almost 15 years and is a dedicated teacher....and at the end of this year...won't be hired back.....and that is so very very sad. She is not going to be hired back....because she is one of those teachers who fell between the cracks when No Child Left Behind hit the world of education. She has a teaching degree from an accredited university.....but when all was said and done....not enough hours to be a Highly Qualified teacher. So she had to take a test....called the Praxis. She has taken it now three times....the problem is that the Praxis tests on all areas of science and she only teaches Physical Science. She has missed passing the test each time by less than 10 points. is time to take the test again in a week....and if she fails it....she will be released from her contract. That is a travesty. We say we want good teachers teaching our children.....yet we are throwing a good one away...because she is struggling to pass a test. This teacher I am sure is not the only one.....there are a lot of us oldsters out there that this may apply to.....the difference here is that this teacher is my friend and I admire her tremendously and right now my heart is breaking for her. I am a member of our local state organization...AEA (Alabama Education Association)....she is not....but she still came to me to see if we could do something.....and I got all our people involved checking it out. There has never been a case where a teacher has challenged No Child Left Behind so no one knows what to do. I just know that this stinks out loud. Yes, I realize that she could have taken the test numerous times and possibly passed it but in her defense I too have test fright. I don't do well on standardized tests. Had I not had a Masters degree and taken the earlier versions of the teacher tests I too would be in her shoes. In the world of education there are many injustices and this is just another one in the pile. You definitely don't go into this profession for the money....I didn't. I had some kind of warped sense of wanting to save the world. I am one of those social worker teachers. LOL. And no matter what the little posters don't go into this job for June, July, or August. Those are just months when we go to training for the job we have for the other nine months. Our school begins at the end of July with a week of teacher training and then the students arrive the first week in August. I usually spend two - three days a week during the summer in my room getting it ready....painting bookshelves, cleaning that the kids can write on them during the school year. I had a parent tell me once that they thought I was way over paid for what little I did. I offered to trade jobs with her for a day.....or better yet...let her come and shadow me for a day.....she took me up on it. She is my biggest fan now. We, teachers, do not set out to Leave a Child Behind....something happens sometimes along the way....and it just happens. It is not always what has happened in school....a good bit of it deals with the baggage they bring to school with them each day......but whatever....a good teacher is going down....and I am sad.

Chemo Day 2

Good morning to all. Today is chemo day 2 and I am nervous once again about how my dad will feel. Both he and my Aunt Shirley took chemo on Tuesday of last week. My dad seemed fine all week. I actually even found some of his short term memory alive and kicking again. He remembered several things I never dreamed he would pull out....whoooo hoooo! Anyways, day two is dawning very bright, crisp, and cold. I made the decision to let my mom (Miss Antsy) take him and stay with him.....and then I will go out during my planning period for a while and relieve her. I learned last week that there is no need for two of us to just sit there. The nurses at the chemo dept. made me leave my cell phone number....they obviously know my mom. If this works then I can save some days out. I hate to miss school so much. It makes me feel like I am letting the kids down on their learning. Spanish substitutes in our system don't when I am out it is videos with worksheets or busy work. Sigh....wish me luck....hopefully today will go well.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Forgive Me?

My church is doing a series during Lent called," Through the Eyes of the Cross" and today was on forgiveness. If you read my blog from early this morning, then you know I had not slept a great deal and was so tired sitting there listening to the preacher talk…..yet, I could not seem to keep my mind off his topic….forgiveness. Jesus hung on a cross….a perfect person….and asked God to forgive the world… why is forgiveness such a hard thing for me?Well let’s talk first about what exactly this difficult word means. Forgiveness to me is, plain and simple, giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me. I mean come on lets face it….it is absolutely impossible for us to live on this planet without getting hurt, offended, misunderstood, lied to, rejected, or all of the above. The most important lesson that we all need to learn is how to respond properly when it does happen to us.

All through my life I discovered this morning that I was not clear on what’s actually involved with the act of forgiveness. I learned today that forgiveness is not saying that things are hunky dory now, and then going back into an abusive situation. Just like it is not letting someone off the hook by saying, “You didn’t do anything wrong.” I had always been taught that forgiveness is, was, should be….unconditional love with no boundaries. It was that kind of forgiveness I could not handle….well it appears that that is not what forgiveness is about. I don’t have to deny to myself that the hurtful situation exists, and I don’t have to pretend that no one hurt my feelings, and I don’t have to stick my head in the ground and not see the existence of a hurtful situation. Whew…I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders this morning. How cool is this information….and here I have been going around feeling like a bad person….because I could not pretend the situations were there…even when I had asked for forgiveness.

The Bible gives us a great deal of instruction when it comes to forgiveness but I guess the one that struck closest to home this morning was that we are to forgive….because we have been forgiven by God (Ephesians 4:32). Busted! I can’t expect people to forgive if I don’t forgive…and again….Jesus forgave me…on a cross…dying for stuff I had done….not him. Ouch. Could I do that…..I think not. As much as I wish I could stand here and sound like Super Christian Forgiver….I can’t!

Now…I also learned today….and not as a happy camper…that we are to forgive others to gain control of our lives from hurt emotions (Genesis 4:1-8). Ouch. Now there Kevin went and walked all over my toes. Actually, I believe he called me out in church. I felt myself blushing like a fog light on a light house. Then he slayed me with Hebrews 12:14-15 when he said, “we forgive so we won’t become bitter. I cut my eyes around to make sure everyone was not looking at me. I stayed in a mentally abusive relationship probably 22 years longer than I should have….because I thought it was what was right, what God expected of me, what everyone else expected of me….and became bitter at the end. I finally realized that if I did not leave….I was going to lose my mind. Everything I believed as a Christian was shattering… one day….I packed a few things up….and moved on…..the problem is….I just never could forgive him. I wanted him to change and come and get me….and when he didn’t….I was angry….and refused to forgive.

Today…at the altar of my church….I finally let it go. It was sweet release.You know, there are times we don’t feel like forgiving those who have wronged us. It is easier to just move on and pretend we have dealt with it. But are Christians people who have a non-forgiving nature? I certainly hope not! If you can’t or don’t forgive….you WILL become a very bitter person, and you know bitterness has been linked to stress-related illnesses. Is not forgiving worth your health? By forgiving others, we become free, both spiritually and emotionally. Hallelujiah. I could not sleep last night….and today I know why….God wanted me to be pliable….and ready to listen to His word….and listen I did. If you are reading this….and I have ever hurt you….please forgive me. If you are reading this and you have hurt someone else….ask for forgiveness. I promise you, you will feel a whole lot lighter. I am not saying this is easy....and that I have arrived. I certainly haven't. I made one small step today....I still have some giant strides to take....but after today I am willing to start walking!

Bless you all real good!

Six Things That Always Make Me Smile

Ok, it is 2:48 on Sunday morning and I cannot for the life of me sleep. With sleeplessness going on I decided to read some blogs I missed earlier in the day. I love to read My Last Shreds of Sanity. Today she did a blog on six things that always make me smile and the first one caught my attention. Sarcasm was her number one choice and I personally love it. So, in the weeest hours of Sunday morning. When I truly have nothing to smile about because I cannot sleep. I decided to come up with my six things. I hope you enjoy them.

1. My cousin Missi's husband Clay when he does his rendition of the Lollipop Guild from the Wizard of Oz. It makes me grin for hours.

2. The bow girls. I smile everytime I see pictures of the Jill and Kat with birthday package bows on their heads.

3. Sunset at Mallory Square in Key West, Florida is definitely a smile award winner. I can't think of many places more beautiful.

4. Young love.....that turns into mature love. My parents celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary in just a few days. I can't imagine spending 58 years with the same person.

5. Frank makes me smile everyday. Watching his sometimes crazy antics, watching him study, watching him period.

Last but certainly not least on the list of things that always make me smile would be.......
6. Blogs I Follow and That Follow Me. I smile everytime I see the number increases.

Ok...enough is enough. I will see you again later in the day I hope. It is now 3:09a.m., I have played Pogo, I have blogged, I have caught up on my blog reading, I have watched some CSI Miami and if I am going to be at church at 7:30, with a quick stop at the market for communion elements, I best call it a day. Happy Weekend!