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!”

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Update on Dad and the Five Stages of Grief

(My dad is the second one from the right. The oldest is my uncle Wilson, the next my uncle Cecil, then my dad, then my uncle Drew. They were handsome boys weren't they?) Several of you have asked how my dad is doing....well I guess I have not updated you in a while so I thought today was a good day to take care of that. Radiation is over for now....maybe. We had a CT scan yesterday and have a doctor's appointment on Weds. with Dr. Jahraus at the Cancer Center. Chemo was ended when he spent 8 days in the hospital getting blood. With all that said and done...his hair is almost gone...he just has tufts where it used to be. His eyes are sunken and he has no energy at all. He sleeps til 10:00 in the morning...and goes to bed by 4 in the afternoon. He does not talk a lot. He watches TV...and when you do get him to look at is a blank stare. I miss my father. My dad was a vibrant fun and amusing man....this man in my house right just a mere shell of the man I have known all my life. He does not know what day it is. He does not know what year it is. He still recognizes people....thank goodness for that....but to me it looks like he has quit. I guess I am a fortunate one...Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has written about the five stages of grief and to be quite could be the stages of a person dealing with a loved one with a terminal illness. She says that,"at some point in our lives, each of us faces the loss of someone or something dear to us. The grief that follows such a loss can seem unbearable, but grief is actually a healing process. Grief is the emotional suffering we feel after a loss of some kind. The death of a loved one, loss of a limb, even intense disappointment can cause grief." Dr. Ross says that "sometimes people get stuck in one of the first four stages. Their lives can be painful until they move to the fifth stage - acceptance. The first stage is denial and isolation. I guess as a daddy's girl I have been hanging in a denial stage of all the things that are wrong with my dad.The second stage is Anger. I have been angry during my dad's illness....angry at the doctors, angry at my mom, angry at Frank, angry at my dad...even angry at God. The third stage is bargaining and oh yes,I have even found myself making bargains with God here. I have promised God all kinds of things...if he would just heal my dad. The fourth stage is depression and I have not been there yet. I hope I can be fortunate enough to skip that stage. Stage 5 is acceptance. It is what it is! My father is 83. His brothers died before they were 65. He is the only living sibling of 6. He is living on borrowed time to quote him. When he says that it makes me laugh...morbid thought...but he is so funny when he says it. Keep praying for my dad, my family, and me.....this is a difficult time for us. I appreciate all the prayers so far...and all the ones that have yet to be spoken.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jazz Fest Meets Aquapalooza!

Alexander City is a small town with big plans....there are two very exciting venues that are coming up and I just had to share them with you so you would not miss out on them. First of must join us for Lake Martin 's biggest musical event of the year! The 19th Annual Alexander City Jazz Festival is scheduled for June 12th and 13th. The free two-day event will be held at Strand Park downtown Alexander City on Friday night and Lake Martin Amphitheater on Saturday. I will be there on Friday night up near the stage...dancing my fool head off.


6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Kent DuChaine

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM Sunpie Barnes

9:30 PM - 11:00 PM The Radiators


6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Robin Hill Band (friends of mine and awesome)

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM The Gourds
10:00 PM - 11:30 PM Susan Tedeschi

The Alex City Jazz Fest is free to the public.

Where else can you hear this much music for nothing. All it will cost you is some gas to get here.

The second big event is called AquaPalooza....Alexander City, Alabama will be the (sweet) home of AquaPalooza this summer when the World's Largest Boating Party comes to Lake Martin from July 24th to 26th. Sea Ray has announced that Ambassador-level dealer Russell Marine of Russell Lands On Lake Martin in Alexander City will host the 2009 Signature Event, the biggest and most exciting of all AquaPalooza celebrations. AquaPalooza takes place near Kawliga (the wooden Indian of Hank Williams fame). While you are there you can venture over to Children's Harbor and see Hank's cabin. BTW the Kowaliga area of Lake Martin, which is just a short drive from both Birmingham and Atlanta, and offers nine marinas and 18 boat ramps.The big draw for this event is a concert by Alan Jackson. I am not a huge C & W fan....but saw Alan Jackson several years ago in Montgomery and became a huge fan. He is one of the most genuine and awesome performers you will ever get a chance to see.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blackened Catfish at Cecil's

In the book or e-list called 100 Places to Eat in Alabama Before You Die you will find a wonderful place called Cecils Public House. It is located at 243 Green Street in Alexander City, near the First United Methodist Church. It is housed in what used to be an old Doctor's Office. The Doctor's Office is a historic old house with a wrap-around porch. The Doctor himself was legendary....Dr. Cameron...he practiced til he was like 100...(just kidding...but he was old.)...Anyways, Greg Cecil opened the house first....filled it with charming antiques and upscale dining arrangements and the town loved it. It was somewhere nice to go when you wanted to have a special meal. Stacey Jones was his manager....and when Greg and his wife moved to the beach....Stacey bought the restaurant...and began a catering business too. If you are ever in Alexander must eat here...just to meet Stacey. She is a trip...but the blackened catfish....that is a culinary delight and it will make you want to come back again I promise! You may be surprised to find blackened salmon and perfectly seasoned steaks in a place called Cecil's Public House but that’s exactly what home folks and visitors will discover here. If you come down the week of Father's Day...on a Friday night or Saturday night you will be treated not only to a great meal...but also some great is our annual Jazz Fest. Friday nights version is held in town and Saturday nights version is held down at Kawliga at the Lake Martin Ampitheater overlooking the lake. The talent this year is do come...if you don't have anything better to do...look for me on Friday night...I will be there with bells on...dancing in front of the stage!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Pray You Enough

My sweet friend Rhonda lost her mother suddenly back at the first of the year. She has a very tight family and it has truly been difficult for her....and her family to get through this mourning time. I am struggling with the illness of my father...and am watching him slowly waste away to nothing before my very eyes...and feel useless because there is nothing I can do. Anyways, Rhonda sent me this email today...and I felt I just had to share it with all of you out there in blogland....some of you may be hurting...or may not know that tomorrow things may be different than they are this and remember to always pray enough.

"Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate,they hugged, and the mother said, 'I love you, and I pray you enough.'
The daughter replied, 'Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I pray you enough, too, Mom.' They kissed, and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?' Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?' 'Well...I'm not as young as I once was, she lives so far away & has her own busy life. I have some challenges ahead, and the reality is - her next trip back will be for my funeral,' she said. 'When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I pray you enough.' May I ask what that means?' She began to smile. 'That's a prayer that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.' She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more.'When we said, 'I pray you enough,' we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then, turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Then, she began to cry, and walked away.

They say, it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but an entire life to forget them."

So I encourage you my friends that I know...and ones I have yet to family and my loved ones to:


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Girls - The Bow Heads

Kat and Jill have been friends since they were born. It was a simple thing....Jill's mom was my friend....I am Jill's godmother...Deborah was my daughters second momma....when they were 4 and 5 the bow head girls pictures started. We took the first one at Jill's fourth birthday....and they lasted until they were out of high school before they finally said, "NO MORE!" But...once when they were 4 and 5 I was at Gayfer's Dept Store (it is now Dillards) the foundation department being fitted for a bra. I had the girls with me....Deborah was in another area of the department. The girls got very quiet...and then the sales clerk and I heard this angelic giggling....but we could not find them....when we did...they were sitting on the platform in the bridal fitting room....looking at themselves in the three way mirror. On their sweet little heads was a Quad X sized bra....nude....a cup on each head...and the strap was attached under their chins. The whole department was was I. Of course, this was in the days before cell phone cameras....and I was not the camera nut I am I did not have my Nikon in my purse. The only picture that the one in my memories....and those of the sales clerks. It was one of those Master Card moments....Priceless!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Musical Monday on Memorial Day

Today is Musical Monday for me and I plan to share a song with you today that moves me to the max,….but first I have to comment about what today really is and tell you a little something about it. Today is Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. This holiday was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I …it was at that time that the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May, though several southern states still observe an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flander’s Field,” Moina Michael conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later Madam Guerin, a visitor from France, learned of this idea started by Ms. Michael and upon returning to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy Program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans.

The sad thing about Memorial Day is that a traditional observance of this special day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. To some people Memorial Day weekend is a time for a quick trip to the beach, a picnic, a barbeque, a day on the lake, anything that is relaxing and fun….after all it is a day off from work for some. There is nothing wrong with that. I live in a town of a little over 20,000 people. It is a small town….last year I sang “God Bless the USA” at the service at Memorial Park…..remember a town of 20,000 people. The program lasted less than an hour….and there were less than 100 people in attendance and 25 of those were involved in the program. THAT is sad! Yesterday, I attended another program….in another town….a small town….but less than 30 people were there. Thirty people….remembered. So let me leave you with this today….have you remembered to pray for the families of those who gave their lives? Have you remembered to thank a living veteran….for giving you the freedom to enjoy your day? If not…take a moment…and just close your eyes…and thank your lucky stars you are living where you are today! Enjoy my song choice for the day and visit Jori and Diane to see what their Musical Monday idea is….

Musical Monday

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Freedom Isn't Free Is It?

I attended a Memorial Day service at a local graveyard in Waverly, AL today….where the names of all the fallen were read….and the children placed flags on each and every grave. It was very emotional time for me. My husband read a poem called “Freedom isn’t Free.” I found the poem so very moving. The only thing missing from this presentation in the cemetery was the playing of Taps. I must say I am glad that was the way it was because there is something about the sound of Taps that literally rips me off the frame. Every time I hear the tune I cannot stop from crying. It is a song that hurts my very soul. I came home from Waverly and began seaching the web to find that poem so I could share it with you in my post today. The poem was written by a student! I hope this young person’s views of freedom touch your heart today….and make you thank every veteran, firefighter, police officer for what they do for us each day and remember that Freedom always comes at a cost.
Freedom Isn’t Free
By Cadet Major Kelly Strong USAF JROTC
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

For the past 9 days in Riverside, CA, volunteers have been reading the names of all the veterans who are buried in the cemetery there. Nine days….24 hours a day. How awesome is that? People who care enough to give up some time to read names out loud….for men and women who gave up their lives so we could be free….so they won’t be forgotten. I personally would hope that in between your barbeques and picnics that all of us would take a few moments to remember and honor such souls and to give thanks for the freedoms and spiritual gifts which they have afforded us and which we as a people so often take for granted. I want to give my personal thanks to every veteran and enlisted person….right now….for all they have done….and will continue to do. I love my freedom. Thanks for giving me this great gift!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Senior Prank '09

The seniors struck the hallowed halls of Benjamin Russell. Sometime after we all left yesterday....somebody came into the school and took every desk out of every classroom with a Math Science Master Lock and put them in the hall. When Trina got here this morning shortly after six she found a sea of desks as far as she could see. Poor Trina....she had to crawl across the desks to get to her room and then across them again to make coffee for this morning. My phone rang at home around 6ish and when I opened my message there was a picture of the hall of desks with a blurb telling me to be prepared to crawl when I got here. the time I got to school I just had to dodge desks. Most of them had been put back into rooms. We all sat around drinking our coffee and laughing at this cute little prank...but then I found out some stuff was broken (accidentally) during the move....and a marker was the prank lost some cool points. You have to admit....we have a large campus....and for kids to come and pull every single desk out into the hall....cover the suveillance cameras....and pretty much not touch anything else....did add some brevity to an otherwise bleak school year ending. I had to laugh....and I laughed out loud. Kudos seniors for an absolutely brilliant trick. you will go down as the first class to pull such a monumentally outlandish prank. Hats off!

An Invitation

This is a redo of a post I did in 2007. I had just been introduced to the blog world and had no followers or no one ever saw this post. I felt like the last official day of school for my students was a great day to bring it out and dust it off for old times sake. We all love to get invitations. I know I do. I love to be invited somewhere...I love to dress up....make special food for the event....anything....just to be invited. Today, I want to talk about a different kind of invitation that I was lucky enough to get when I was younger. My invitation was to learn. When I was 36 months old, Ms. Meabold invited me to learn about Jesus in Sunday School. She portrayed him as my faithful friend, a loving father, a miracle worker and I believed her. She invited me to sit at her feet and listen to wonderful Bible stories that she read to us each Sunday. I learned and I loved every minute of it. When I was 48 months old I went to Opportunity with my mom. She worked there....the only invitation I had there was not a pleasant one...they made us take naps....something I had not done since I was a baby. At 60 months I entered the world of Vedado Park Kindergarten....and again an invitation was extended for us to read, draw, create, make friends. I did just that and loved my time in the neighborhood school. At 72 months I got my first big girl invitation. It came from Joyce Freeman. She invited me to be all I could be. She opened up a whole new world for me in first grade and I loved school and I loved her. Second grade at 84 months was a different ball of string. My teacher was beautiful.....on the outside. She was not pretty on the inside. She did not get to know us....she did not invite us to learn. She was pretty busy getting ready to get married and did not have time for us. If she had...she would never have sent me home one day alone to get a signed form I had forgotten. I forgot it because my mom was in the hospital and I was staying with friends at their house. The form was at my house....but she did not know...and she did not care. I did not feel invited to grow in this classroom. Third grade brought Ms. Lohr. She was an invitation waiting for a place to happen. I would have died for her as a third grader. She wanted us all to read, write, create...and we all tried our best. Yep, 96 months was a good time for an invitation....108 months rolled around there was Mrs. Hays, 120 months brought Miss Reynolds into my life...and 132 months brought yet another teacher I loved, Mrs. Carlson. She lived down the road from me and was such a great teacher. She made everything exciting....but then she got sick and the substitute uninvited us all. It was a bleak rest of the year. When 148 months arrived I found myself in a whole new setting....we changed classes, we had more than one teacher and I was terrified. Could I cut it in Junior High? Beth Ruggles was the first teacher to invite us to expand our minds. Her English class was great....but Math and Science did not come with the year was extremely confusing. 55 years later....753 months have passed by....There have been many invitations throughout my college, at work, in life....sometimes I have taken them...other times I found myself RSVPing with a "No thank you " reply. I find myself the giver of invitations now. I have been handing them out for the last 23 years. Sometimes the students will take them and we will have a wonderful adventure. Other times they turn me down and it is a hard year for both of us....the thing about an invitation is...if you don't accept will never know what you might have missed. I like the words to the song Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls from the movie City of Angels...."I don't want to close my eyes....I don't want to fall asleep...." because I might miss something....and that something could change my life. I wish I could help my students understand this lesson I have learned during my 55 years of breathing. Don't not try something new or out of the might miss an extraordinary! So today, I invite you to open your eyes, heart, mind, and just let go and breathe life in. It may be a bumpy ride and things may not always go like you want them too....but let me tell is an adventure!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Big Love

What a night we shared,
One of many that have been
and are yet to be.
Our bed was so warm and inviting
Inviting us to cling together,
burn together, lie together,
with unbridled passions
that flow through us.
If my death were to come now...
I would leave here smiling
for once, for one brief shining moment,in the span of all time,
I was you!

I wrote this poem for my sweet Frank several years ago....for our first anniversary and I never gave it to him. While I was cleaning up my classroom today, getting ready for summer, I found this stuffed inside a folder with totally non-related papers and just had to share it with you....and with him. When my world comes unglued...and I feel I can't go another step...he is always there to pick me up, dust me off, and set me on my path again. He truly is one of the good guys and I am blessed.

Awesome T-Shirt Give-Away!

The Perry Family is hosting a giveaway from Crazy Dog at Crazy Dog These are some of the best T-shirts I have seen in a long time and you definitely want to get in on this giveaway. Sooooo...if you love T-shirts get on over the the Perry's blog and enter. I have put one of the T-shirt samples on this page so you can get an idea of what they have to offer. They have several different categories to chose from like:
Cheap T-shirts
Cool t-shirts
Funny t-shirts
Girls t-shirts
Graphic t-shirts
Hilarious t-shirts
Junk Food t-shirts
Novelty t-shirts
Offensive t-shirts
Saint Patricks Day t-shirts
Spotlight Products
Video Game t-shirts
Vintage t-shirts
custom t-shirt
movie t shirts
retro t-shirts
Be sure to tell the Perry's that Karen sent you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

End of the Year Teachable Tuesday

Today is the last Tuesday for the year and I have to admit I am so glad. Tomorrow starts final exams for all students. Today, Seniors were given their exams for 3rd and 4th block. They will be finished tomorrow. We have some that will be back with us again next year. It has been a frustrating day. I had a graduating senior tell me today that he felt sorry for me....sorry? I asked...why? He told me he felt sorry for me because I am stagnant. I never move on....I smiled and told him....he was so wrong....I move on every year....with every student I have taught. I move on with them....because they carry part of me with them....I am like a river....flowing continuously....adding other rivers to me....growing....I have never been stagnant in my life......and then...poor Sam, across the hall came into my room crying. The day was more than she could handle. Teachers have been snapping at teachers, students have been hateful, ugly, and disrespectful. I don't know what has been going on....but this is the worst end of the year I can ever remember in the 23 years I have taught. But enough of that. Today's quotation is:
"You learn something every day if you pay attention." by Ray LeBlond. What a powerful statement. You can learn....but you have to pay attention first! So as my seniors leave the hallowed halls of BRHS and the juniors become next years seniors....and the underclassmen move up the ladder of time....I want to leave them for the summer with this thought. Pay attention guys...and learn!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Musical Monday

Musical Monday

Musical Monday is a brainchild of Jori and Diane's. This month they have chosen movie titles but I have a mission today and therefore I am going to hang onto songs that move you another Monday. I will start the movies songs next week. It is the end of the school humor me please. My song today is one that being of Irish heritage really touches my soul and after watching the season finale of Extreme Home Makeover last night....I am reminded that we must lift we rise up! So...tell me, what song moves you today?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Summer Preparation and Giveaways

Wow....I have one more week until summer. I can't believe it is finally here. Summer to me is better than lasts longer. I had a parent tell me last week at a bridal shower....that teachers make way too much money for what little time they work...and in her opinion had a high opinion of themselves...I almost choked on the finger sandwich I was chewing...number one. I get paid a salary. I chose many years have that said salary divided up into 12 monthly installments so I could keep my insurance benefits in tact....and number two...where did she get off telling me I made too much money for what little time I work....she is a nurse...who works on seven and off seven....and makes way more money than I do...with a bachelor's degree in my master's in education.....and do that on and seven ummmmm....let me figure this out....6 months! I steamed on that one for a few days....and then remembered....summer is just around the corner...and then...this morning I got up and found my good teacher buddy Trina has a give away going...whooo hooo I thought....a candle called Butt something....interesting...she swears it smells like coconuts....and a great read....coozies....all I need for a day at someone's pool....or someone's lake house.....or if worse comes to back yard with the sprinkler on. All that will matter that school is out....all my tests are graded....all the projects are finished....and I can start going to the school a couple of days a week later...August will be here soon enough....but for right now...let me just bask in the face that it is summer...the sun is going to come out...I am going to get in it....and on Thursdays....I am going to be a frugal fashionista and I am going to post Thrifty Thursdays for my friend Leigh....I am going Thrift store shopping with Mary...I am going to travel a bit with my buddies...I am going to write a few songs....I am going to sing a bit...but most of all I am going to that when August gets here...I will be ready to go again. Have a great weekend to all. Don't forget to enter Trina's giveaway. Oh...and tell her Karen sent you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gray Skies are Gonna Clear Up?

I thought Thursday was a bad day....and today I was reading Last Shreds of Sanity and discovered that bad days are out there for us all. I live in Alabama....with my husband and parents(whom I am taking care of)....this blogging friend lives in California....and her brother is right here in Alabama...and needs help. He, like many others who are affiliated with schools, was axed this week...and he also lost his second job. I wish my readers would visit the link I left above and read Baby Roca's Mama's story about her brother. I would die to know I was so far away from my brother...and could not help. Heck....when I was growing up in South Florida...and my grandmother was so sick....I quit school to come and help take care of her. I am all about some family. If I can't do anything else....I will pray for them. It is everywhere....I got my retirement statement this week....they took 300.00 of my money....but I lost 327.00....and I play it safe with gambling on the stock market for me....and then there is my friend Brian...he owns a Chevrolet, Dodge and Jeep dealership. He has a wife and set of twins to support...and they closed a large number of dealerships in Alabama...I was glad to see that Brian made it through the first round safely....but so many did not....dealerships that have been around longer than I am is sad to see what is happening. I have students who draw checks, WIC, food stamps, medicaid, etc...for children they have had....and even that is in danger. Ever since 911 we have been struggling....the terrorists hurt more than some buildings....and wrecked more than some families lives...I truly believe that they were the beginning of this downslide...and I don't know about you....but I don't want this great country to fail....I want it to be strong again. I went from asking you to read a post about someones soapboxing about America....what can I say....I believe it is all tied together....and I want my country back! God Bless You all this weekend! Stay Safe...and spend time with the ones you love.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Black Thursday

Today is the day I dread the most. It is the day that pink slips and RIF (Reduction in force) announcements are given out. I hate this day....and today is no different than the other 23 of these I have experienced. For a few of those 23 years I experienced the feel of a pink slip first hand. It is one of the most degrading feelings I have ever had. When you already have an issue with low self-exteem....a pink slip is not an ego booster. I worked hard to get my teaching degree....I went to school with three kids, (sometimes in tow - going to summer kids college) and managed an office on the side....many nights I fell asleep studying....and for what? To get a degree....and then be pink slipped. My daughter, Kat was pinked in February. Her system got a jump on the program....her only comment was that the blasted slip of paper was not was just plain ole white. She was rehired in we can breathe easy for another year. Today, Miss Johnnie, one of our janitors...a real sweetheart...just left my room...she was the time she left...I was too. Scott, the math teacher next door also was pinked...and I just gave him the names of the Superintendants from surrounding counties and told him to! To top off pink slip principal resigned too. He will be the principal at Valley High next year. I am sad. I have not always agreed with him....but I have respected him and he has always been there for me when I needed to be put back together. He is a sweet and endearing man. is now fourth block and the day is almost over. I am glad...tomorrow I will deal with the aftermath of pink slip day. the words of the immortal Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow I'll think of some way . . . after all, tomorrow is another day." Tomorrow is....the school bell will ring, teachers will teach, students will be students, new faces will come in the fall, old faces will be forgotten by some, there will be a new principal....and life will go on. Obla di....obla da!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don't Worry - Be Happy....Yeah Right!

The end of the school year is dwindling down...and I find myself stressed. So I picked up a magazine in our school library and found this little ditty I just had to share with you today...about being happy.

One of my least favorite songs is Bobby McFerrin's refrain, "Don't Worry, Be Happy". Dr. Phillip Humbert recently had the opportunity to observe people's reactions when a highway was closed because of an accident ahead. As he waited, he watched as some listened to radios, a few began tossing a Frisbee, other's seemed to be working or reading, and others opted for a quick nap. But, there were also a handful who were clearly agitated and angry. Pacing about, swearing, and upset, they decided that the best response to this event, which none of them could control, was to be very unhappy. He was reminded of Abraham Lincoln's comment that, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." I had to agree with this so far. I was stuck in a three hour delay on I-65 just outside of Warrior, AL several years ago. My singing partner and I were on our way to Nashville. We didn't get angry...we simply rolled down our windows, cut off the air conditioner in the car and then played our guitars and sang. After a little bit...people were actually requesting numbers from was a riot. When traffice started up was kind of sad to see our audience go. Anyways...Dr. Humbert shares with us the following Top 10 Tips to increase happiness in your life:

You have to decide to be a happy person. As Lincoln observed, most people, most of the time, can choose how stressed or happy, how troubled or relaxed they want to be. Choose to be happy.

1. Watch and Read less news. As a recovering news addict, I know this can be difficult because the stock market fluctuates, politicians politic, and sports teams compete. But, most of the time, you don't need the stress. So, just don't watch. I think it was Henry Thoreau who noted that if you've ever read about a train wreck, you understand the principle and don't need to know any more about it.

2. Practice the Attitude of Gratitude. We all have so much to be grateful for. Just thanking the many people who assist us, encourage us, teach us and open doors for us could take all day!

3. Take Time. My dog has taught me much about loyalty, about noticing the sights, sounds, and smells in the yard, about being relaxed and about play. Eat when you're hungry, nap when you need it. Get your ears scratched whenever possible!

4. Laugh everyday. Hear a joke, tell a joke, laugh at yourself, laugh with your friends and family and co-workers. There are very few medicines as powerful as laughter, and I don't think you can over-dose, although it is addicting!

5. Love well. Express your affection, appreciation, friendship and warmth to those around you, and they will almost always respond in the most amazing ways! Be generous--it pays great dividends!

7. Work hard. This one comes as a bit of a surprise, but there is tremendous satisfaction in being competent, and joy in completing our assigned tasks. One of the great sources of happiness is to do work that is worthy of you, and to do it well.

8. Learn something new, everyday. To be happy, most of us must also be growing, expanding, learning and challenging ourselves. Read, listen, adapt and stretch to accommodate new ideas and new information.

9. Use your body as it was designed. Walk and run, stretch, throw things, and lift things. Dance! Exercise is good, but so is making love, mixing up a batch of cookies, or exchanging backrubs. You have a body and it can be either a source of joy, or a source of aches and pains. Your choice.

10. Avoid toxins. I prefer writing positives (things to do) rather than negatives (things to fear), but reality says there are negative people and there are bad chemicals, stressful noises, and unsafe places. Don't go there! Avoid poisons whenever possible. It seems to work out better that way.

Dr Philip E. Humbert is an author, speaker and personal success coach. Dr Humbert has hundreds of tips, tools and articles on his website that you can use for your own success! It's a great resource! Visit him on the web at: And, be sure to sign up for his great newsletter! I did...and find him most encouraging. I don't know that I would want a daily dose of positive...and happy...but a good cleansing dose a couple of times a week does the trick. So, with that said...Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teachable Tuesday

One of my favorite quotes/stories is about a starfish. I love starfish and the first time I heard this story my pastor told it. It made me stand up and take notice and I have carried it in my heart ever since. You see, I was one of those starfish that someone found floundering on the beach...and threw back. There was a teacher who made a difference. For that I am grateful.

"Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.
The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

So, today ask yourself what kind of difference you can make in someone's life...and make it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Musical Monday - What Moves You?

Musical Monday

It is musical Monday again. You need to go by and check out Diane or Jori's site for contest rules and the latest give away. The song I chose for today is one that I totally rock out to in the car. I love this song. It should be my theme song. I sing with the Praise and Worship Band at my church...and when this song came my way...I found I could not keep still. I wanted to shout and shake the shackles off! Enjoy my song!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Mother's Day Gift

When Frank came into my life so did another daughter and son-in-law. Amy and Stephen have been a total delight to me. Amy has become my dear friend and has allowed me to share in her life without baggage. She is an amazing cook. I love to visit with them....what she can do in a kitchen is unbelieveable. She loves Ole Time favorite store. She is a good reading buddy AND she is willing to share books with me...we have similar tastes in reading and we both have a fascination for the Queens of England. We talk books, we play Wii together, she loves fairies(and secretly so do I...because I love hunting them for her), she is funny, she is a red head (and I am partial to them), she is so much like her father....that I can truly say I am blessed to have been given another daughter. I wish I could have known her when she was younger and I wish I could have shared in her life from the start...but I didn't. It was not my season to walk the same path with her....but I have been given this season to share in her life and for that I am blessed. It is not everyday that a mom is given another precious gift of a daughter (or son). I am a fortunate Mother's Day approaches....I have been given a wonderful gift of a very special red haired daughter.....who makes my family and life complete.

Friday, May 8, 2009

In My Daughter's Eyes

I was married for over 20 years the first time. It was not always easy....and I had many internal battle scars when I finally got the courage to walk away. It was not all bad though...something good came from this see I have the most wonderful daughter in the world. She is not only my daughter...but one of my dearest friends. She has been my friend since the day she was born. I can't imagine life without her...but...that is not what this post is about. Many moons ago...when she was very young, Kat made me the ultimate Mother's Day card. I still have it and read it every single day. The front of the card...had a picture of a mom and little red haired girl....with a tree, bird, and flower. The construction paper was bright pink...of years is almost white....and the words are almost gone....but I have them buried in my heart...When you open the card...there is her precious sentiment. It reads, " Moms are great, moms are grand, moms are everything but a man!" This card was my empowerment card. When her father and I separated and then divorced...I made sure I took I would always remember...just who I my daughter's eyes. If I never get another Mother's Day card in my whole life...this card...this card....made an impact on me. In my daughter's eyes....I am special! Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's in the blogging world. I hope you realize....just how special you are.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


We have a winner. Now all I need is for her to email me a snail mail address so I can get the package packed up and shipped! The winner came to me via Leigh of Bloggeritaville. The winner is Kelly! Her blog, which I have visited and love is called...A Girl Named Kelly Kelly. Congrats Kelly! Thank you to all of you who stopped by and signed up. I think I enjoyed this giveaway concept so may plan a summer one. Good luck next time!

Wonderful News for a Stormy Wednesday

I am so very excited. Today was my father's last radiation treatment. He is through and none the worse for the wear. His chipperness has returned in a diminished capacity...but there. He still has hair...just not as much as he used to have. I want so to run my fingers through his hair like I did as a child....but the last time I touched his hair I brought a handful back with me...and it was a freaky feeling. I know my mom will be glad to be through with radiation....everyday...five days a week...gets old fast. She loves early morning appointments....and after his hospital stay....they lost that slot and had to go everyday at 2:00. That timing element curtailed their rambling a bit. His appetite is returning somewhat...although slowly. He bought some green beans, new potatoes and tomatoes at the Avondale truck farmer. I snapped them all (we will be eating beans for a while), and cooked them, the potatoes, some fresh squash, porkchops, cornbread, and sliced up tomatoes and onions. He ATE! I was tickled to see him put the veggies away. I will cook them for him everyday if he will eat them. So life at the Korb house is returning to some resemblance of normalcy and for that I am glad. The stress of the cancer treatments took their toll on all of us. It is not fun to see someone you love lose their hair, their appetite, their personality...everything! I realize that my dad is 83 years old and things will continue to arise and we will deal with each one as it comes. It is a good thing that God is on our side. I would hate to know we had to face this alone. I want to thank each of you who offered up a prayer for my dad's healing. I love this man. I love all of you! I stand before you today to let you know that prayer works. PTL!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Teachable Tuesday Moment

According to Stephen Brookfield, "We teach what we like to learn and the reason many people go into teaching is vicariously to reexperience the primary joy experienced the first time they learned something they loved."

I have to agree with Brookfield. I am a prime example that God has a sense of humor. I hated high school....and where do I go every guessed high school. I did not experience the primary joy of learning something I loved until college....but when I made such a difference in my life that I knew right then and there....that I had to share it with high schoolers. You see, high school should have been a time of wonderment for me...but it wasn' I want to change that in the minds of my own students. I want them to remember things from high school fondly...and thoroughly. I don't just teach by the book....I am a firm believer that life lessons are the greatest tool there can be. I am a storyteller by nature. I love weaving a good tale together and capturing an audiences attention....and holding it in the palm of my hand. I am a stand up comedian at kids love my antics....these are the things they will remember long after conjugating Spanish verbs has faded. My job as a teacher is to give my students they can fly...and give them delight in learning. I too want to reexperience the primary joy...every single day....I teach what I love....I teach kids....and I am blessed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

200th Post Give Away

Today is my 200th post and I am doing a give away as a way of thanking everyone who has stopped by to visit my site over the past year. My blog and blogger buddies have become very special to me. You guys who read me rock! So...because I want someone to win I have entry easy...if you are one of my followers then you already have a shot at my Pamper Basket....just leave me a comment and tell me you stopped by today. Want another shot? Post a link to my contest on your blog site and encourage your readers to stop by and enter. If you post on your blog, leave me a comment and let me know so I can stop by and check it out. That earns you two more entries...for a total of three. If you are not one of my followers and decide to become one...that gives you a shot at the Pamper Basket too. The Pamper Basket is full some books I picked up at BAM this weekend for to read, A few CD's to sooth the savage beast in us all, some exotic coffee, a pair of coffee mugs(one for you and one for your BFF), some candles, some bath stuff, a set of personalized notecards...just for you, and a few other surprises thrown in. It is a fun basket and I hope lots of you will stop by and sign up to win it. The sign up period is going to be from Monday, May 4th, through Wednesday, May 6th, at 9:00 cst when I will draw for the don't be left out!

Musical Monday

My favorite song for today is South City Midnight Lady by the Doobie Brothers. It reminds me of a time in the past when I was first finding out just exactly who I was....and if I even liked myself. When I hear it now...I think of L.A. and smile.

Like my choice of songs for Monday? If you do then follow the link and hear some more good music choices. Who knows you might want to make your own Musical Monday choice.

Musical Monday

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Turn, Turn, Turn

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

In 1946, Frank Capra made a low-budget movie called “It’s A Wonderful Life”. It is one of my favorite movies of all time and my very favorite Christmas movie...along with Miracle on 34th Street. This movie told the story of a man who spent his life in a small town, never really realizing his dream. His dream was to travel the world and get away from the small town. His dreams were always put on hold due to other problems; problems with his family (they were poor) problems with his job at the family’s small business. He was a kind and gentle man and was always looking out for the other guy, willing to help. As his life wore on and his problems mounted he became despondent and finally decided to take his life on Christmas Eve. Now it seems that God was watching over him and sent a guardian angel to protect him. After an encounter with the angel, he complained about his failures in life and wished he had never been born. Well, it seems that the angel thought that this would be a good way to save him, so he granted his wish and the world was as if he was never born. As he and the angel wandered back into town, he noticed things were different. The town was not the nice place he remembered. His children didn’t exist and his wife and mother didn’t know him. The people he had helped out in life with loans were despondent and down on their luck because he hadn’t been there to help them. His little brother, whom he had saved from drowning when he was very young and who went on to become a navy pilot who saved a troop transport ship full of men during WW2 and won the Congressional Medal of Honor, was not alive because he had not been there to save him from drowning. And, those men on the troop ship also died because the brother never lived long enough to save them. Nobody in town knew him. Nobody cared. It was then that he realized that he had touched many people during his lifetime, a lifetime he considered a failure. Its funny, isn’t it when you think about what the world would be like if you weren’t born. We just don’t think about all the people we touch in life. We are too preoccupied within the confines of
our own little world.

Well, this week I was reunited with an old student. One I taught my very first year of teaching 23 years ago and discovered...if you do the math, that I have touched a lot of people in my life. I have been a teacher of high school students for 23 years. Do you realize how frustrating that can be? But do you also realize how rewarding that is? So much is said today about heroes and all around us the world is clamoring for heroes; firemen, policemen, soldiers, which are all very heroic occupations. But I think that teaching our children is a very heroic endeavor, an endeavor that many times goes unnoticed. There is no finer calling in life than to teach a child. We don't make much money....but the rewards come in smiles, hugs, and the successes of our students. All successful people can usually point to a teacher who has influenced their lives and I’m sure that each and every one of you can think of a teacher who helped you in life. I have taught over 100 students a year....x 23. Do the Math...that is 2300 students I have touched in my tenure as a teacher. Some I may have touched subtly, others, like the one I ran into this week, I touched profoundly, but you know up until I saw this former student I never have sat down and thought about just how many lives I have influenced? I have always made my students work for the grade they got in my class. I never wanted to be known as a crip class. I never wanted to be the class that students signed up for to get an easy "A". I wanted students to leave my class knowing something. My former student is an OBGYN in upstate New York. A Doctor! How cool is that. He has been published in medical journals. He knows how to write well because I was tough on him. What a waste it would have been if Josh had never become a doctor because he took what I gave him and passed it on to young interns doing their residencies...and the circle is unbroken. We all touch people's lives.

Pete Seeger took the words to the Ecclesiates verse above and made it into a song that was very popular during the Vietnam era. The Byrds were very successful with the song in October of 1965. It was a time of great turmoil...yet the song was very reassuring. We are all born....when we are supposed to be when we are supposed to and die when it is our time. Everything that happens in our lives has a purpose. My purpose it seems is to teach...and therefore touching lives forever. What is your purpose? Do you know? Can you see how you touch people's lives daily? If you don't....then you need to look harder...because it is right there under your nose. For every good thing that happens to us in life....there is a bad thing, true....but the opposite is also true....for every bad thing...there is a good one. You just have to be willing to search for it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Filling My Bucket

I was visiting my friend Xazmin on her blog site and found a wonderful entry about bucket fillers. I just had to share it with you today because it left such a profound feeling with me. "Have any of you seen the phrase "the bucket filler" floating around blog land? I too have seen it here and there and wasn't quite sure what it was." I am glad I read This is the Year daily, along with several other posts, and I am always delighted by the wonderful humor, emotion, honesty, tales, recipes and many other posts and comments that I read each day. What I didn't realize was that each one of you has been filling my bucket on a daily basis!

The bucket filler was started by a blogger named Jan whose blog Xazmin just recently discovered and loves! Xazmin loves I had to go and check her out myself. But that is how blog reading read about someone else's stuff...and your readers go and read it. But, that is beside the point...."the bucket fill revolves around the idea that we each have invisible buckets. Our buckets are filled when we have positive, uplifting interactions with people. By the things they say, or by their actions. When our buckets are full, we are happy.

We also all have invisible dippers. They can be used to fill the buckets of others, or to dip into and lessen the buckets of others. Unkindness and negetivity empty our buckets and diminish our happiness.

Perhaps many of us don't try to empty each others buckets, but at the same time maybe we find it uncomfortable to make the effort to fill the buckets of others. This tradition is an effort to overcome that difficulty and help us each receive the joy to be found both by having our buckets filled and by filling the buckets of others."

Xazmin did not toss the bucket to me but in her post....she did challenge me to be a much better person....and be more uplifting! "So, I too forthe entire month of May plan to do my best to fill your buckets! I don't know if there are any particular rules or protocols for this assignment, so I'll just roll with it! Each day I will share something that I hope will add a little more to each of your buckets. It may be a thought within my post, or it may be a post in itself. Either way I hope that each day you leave my blog feeling uplifted, and that your buckets are each a little fuller!

So for my very first "bucket filler", I'd like to share a quote from William James:

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

I truly believe that my life does make a difference to everyone I come in contact with. My thought is...what kind of difference? Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Holding On and Letting Go

Ty Herndon does a song called "A Man Holding On." It is about a man who loves a woman....who lets the first verse...she lets go of her inhibitions. In the second verse....she lets go of the relationship with her husband. The third verse is about a daughter who is getting married. Daddy's girl is letting go. The last about a woman dying....and letting go for the final time. I wanted to share the lyrics with you today...

Two young lovers with their bodies on fire
Aching to swim that river of desire
Leaving innocence there on the bank by their clothes
A man holding on to a woman letting go

There's a man with a bottle on the other side of town
Swimming with the memory that he can't drown
Lord it ain't sunk in that she ain't coming home
Oh a man holding on to a woman letting go.

His heart is telling him to hang on for dear life
Cause deep down he know she's letting go for good this time

There's a daddy walking his daughter down the aisle
Fighting back tears and forcing a smile
Over twenty-two years he watched her grow
A man holding on to a woman letting go

In Hill Valley home there's a feeble old man
And he's holding on to a fragile old hand
And the angels are coming to carry her home
Now he's a man holding on to a woman letting go

Two young lovers with their bodies on fire
Aching to swim that river of desire
Leaving innocence there on the bank by their clothes
A man holding on to a woman letting go

it has become kind of my theme song as I deal with my father and aunt dealing with lung cancer. I have discovered...that in my dad's is a daughter holding on to her father letting go....and in my aunt's case...I am feeling like a daughter letting go while her mother's letting go. It makes me sad many days to realize...that time does draw to an is just a matter of time. We are not guaranteed a specific amount of days in this lifetime....the thing must live each day with gusto....cause it may be your last. Make your days and life count. Smell the roses and spend time with the people you love the most. You won't regret a moment of it. I promise.

A Tale of Woe and A Plastic Horse

When I was a child my mom would take me to Woolworth's 5 & 10 store. I loved the smell of this place. It did for me then what the smell of shoes does now. I would have my twenty-five cents allowance and I would be allowed to get whatever I wanted. I would spend a good bit of time pouring over the little cheap plastic things...trying to decide just what I wanted. What I really wanted cost five whole dollars....I wanted a big plastic horse. I wanted to collect them...I wanted them all....the palamino, the white one, the black one, the brown one...the Appaloosa. Every week I would look at them lovingly and wish I had enough money to buy one. Every Christmas and Birthday I would ask for one of these plastic horses...only to be denied by Santa and the parents....year after horse. *Sigh!* How I wanted that horse. One day...I turned around....and I was the mommy....and my daughter and I were in my home Davis's 5 & 10...and she looked up and said, "Mommy, I want one of those plastic horses....can I have it?" Her sweet little face was so full of want, need, and love for that horse. I had to make it happen for her. I picked up the box...and the little stinker were now ten much for inflation....and I put it in her tiny little chubby hands...and off we went to pay for it. When we walked out of the store....I was a hero. My daughter had her plastic horse....and in my own mind....I was thinking....hum....just wait til she goes to bed....the horse will ride again....this time...with me at the reins. LOL. Sometimes...we just have to live vicariously through our children....especially...when we had unfulfilled dreams as a child. For a few short lazy afternoon in South Florida....A 30 something year old to experience life...with a plastic horse....and IT WAS SO GOOD!