Saturday, November 22, 2008

Coping Advice

A list helps me cope. I break the big project down into stages and put a timeframe on each stage. Same with either outlining (road mapping) a new manuscript or writing chapters. I learned that coping technique from my husband who is a builder. He sets deadlines on paper for himself and his subcontractors so everyone knows what's expected and when. He insists everyone stick to the schedule. He was the one who said, "How do you expect to get anywhere without a roadmap?" I then applied that philosophy to my writing, and I've stayed on track.

I'm confused. I don't know who Beth is, and I don't know how this post ended up on my blog. I didn't post it. I do make a lot of lists, but this post is not mine. Beth, whoever you are, how did you get into my blog?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What to do?

I am on medical leave from work, and have been since early in October. I guess I had some kind of brekdown, and I ended up on the psych ward. People there were great. People listened and responded as if my ideas had merit. That is an honor I dont't get at work. One principal has been told (by HR most likely) that I don't want to return to work for her. My other choice is to take a .6 position, which will barely pay my house and car payments.

I'm considering an early retirement. I'd like to work again. I have a lot left to give. I am praying that God will show me the job that is right for me. Please join me. I do most heartily believe in a supremacy which can influence my life.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Guilt, guilt, and more guillt

I wrote a blog a few days ago, in which I discussed what I thought my marriage meant to my husband, and how I understood our relationship. Today my daughter made a point of telling me "You really trashed dad." Well, my love, don't you think he trashed me pretty good when he threw me out and walked away? My heart will never recover from the betrayal and heartache of that moment. I have a right to be hurt and angry and a right to express it.

He got what he wanted. He wanted to NOT be with me. And that's what he got. Good for him.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sarah Palin

I didnt think I would like her, until I watched Tina Fey "humanize" her by poking fun and teasing. Tina did a lot of good for me in terms of seeing Sarah as someone to take seriously. "Ir'a ovwe. Ir's over. It's over! Praise God in Heaven, this election is OVER!!!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

we made it through

and at times I wondered if we would. I got through about 50 telephone polls. I did not vote for incumbent Senator Mike Carrell. Too bad he did not see fit to answer my email. If that was petty of me, then that is my right as an American to not vote for someone for whatever reason. Besides I don't like his signs.

I threw away my vote. I did not feel "good" about either major party candidate, and I voted Libertarian. So there. At least I voted and I have the right to bitch my heart out re those who ar enow in power.

Here is something I found in an old book of Shakespeare's plays:
"Mt workj is something I do, not what I am. What I am is far greater than anything I can do.

As soon as I kow where I will be working when I go back Dec 1, I will have new business cards made, and I will include that phrase. It is a lovely sermon summed up in two sentences.

Lately I have been able to xstitch again. Still working on the second to last Christmas stocking, but eager to begin a sweet little teapot for a friend.

I attended a different church Sunday: The Episcopal church. It was great and I loved it. I felt I had "been to church" for the first time in many years. I think I will try it again next week.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Here we go again...

It has been 38 years since I was old enough to cast my first ballot. I hope in those years I have made wise choices.

This week I have been noticing: The more I hear about Dino Rossi blasting Christine Gregoire (our 2 gubernatorial candidates), the more Christine's name stays in my mind. Maybe he shouldn't be using her name so frequently in his negative campaign. To me, he uses her name so much, that is what I remember, not the trash he is talking about her. I am finding the same to be true about our presidential candidates. C'est l'vie say the old goes to show you never can tell. I'll run down to the Lake City Community Center tomorrow and cast my ballot, since I've lost my mail in ballot. I lose a LOT of things. This house is like a black hole. Somewhere in this house, are thousands of unmatched socks...every sock anyone has ever lost is here somewhere.

This house loses things that matter. Especially things that matter to me. I'm going to bed. Who realy cares?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Someone Understands Me!!

`Deepak Chopra. I know you've heard of him. I heard of him yeas before I cared. I am currently reading Power, Freedom, and Grace.

As a member of the United Methodist Church, I have been encouraged to question authority (including the Bible, which some like to think of as the Ultimate Authority, only I don't), to question the Party Line, and to develop our own Theology.

Long ago I decided that God is the Universe. And that every particle that is in the Universe is part of God, including me and that tree in the front yard. This is exactly what I have read in the second chapter of Chopra's book

Meanwhile, God, or the part of God that I am (the tiniest particle) is letting me down. I felt so relieved when I made the decision to take a disability retirement, and Social Security agreed with me that I am disabled. Now I don't know what I am supposed to do. I don't know how to take care of myself orf keep my family happy. We're fine, as long as I am a source of income. Just as my husband wanted me to be for him so many years ago. I wouldn't play the game for him. I think I am not supposed to believe in this. I grew up in the sixties when women's roles were changing and women had a choice of having a career outside the home. I didn't want one. I wanted tobe a mom and a wife and be appreciated for that. Instead, I was constantly pressured to get a job and support my husband (in his words) "in the condition to which I want to become accustomed." What I heard was: I want more money and you can provide it. He spent my retirement on a fuciking boat which he had to sell in orde r to go to (his volunteer choice) Korea so he could "get me away from my family." BIG RED FLAGS: these are signals that a man is likely to be abusive. He does not allow his spouse to participate in family decision making, and he does his best to separate her from her support system. What a lug nut.When I can think about it unemotionally, i am grateful he decided he didn't want to be married anymore. I thought marriage was a partnership not a maninchargeship.

Well, I'm not done crying for the day. This is a man who is so damnned honorable he wouldn't allow his daughter's boyfriend to wear a cap with a marijuana leaf on it, altho he smoked weed himself, with me. He got what he wanted. And he got married again as soon as he found someone willing to take him.

This honorable, righteous man stomped on his wedding vows and ground them into the dirt. What a guy.

Trusting others has always been a downfall for me. It doesn't pay off to trust anyone. People always come back and disappoint one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Taking Cre of Myself

I wonder why it is so difficult to take care of myself? I completely buy into the whole _ put your own oxygen mask first before the child next to you - but it seems so hard to put into practice. I am off work for the next month as I adjust to my new meds and my new diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I don't think I am crazy. What I notice, though, is that I will suddenly burst into tears and intense depression and feel so worthless...and useless. I can't imaine anyone wanting me back at work. I know I have not been giving my job all that it requires, and I feel badly about that. I also have tried to blame the system and the district and sometimes the people I work with, but that hasn't helped at all. I feel guilty to be home on medical leave. This isn't like a year ago when I was recovering from open heart surgery andphysically couldn't get through a day. I feel good, physically, and i am having a nice time being home. It makes retirement look all that much better. I'm done working, I think. I may be what the miliatary used to call a "ROAD" --Retired On Active Duty. Still collecting a paycheck, but mentally retired.

I am playing with the grands, and writing a book for the Texans, I am practicing Chinese calligraphy, I am writing and doing watercolor.

But I feel so darn much guilt! I hope this gets better in time. I hope I can come to accept this point in my life. I know I am no good to my school if I am bursting into tears or abject depression at the drop of a leaf.

I pray a lot. In fact, I am writing an article titled, "I am a United Methodist, So Why Am I Praying the Rosary?" The Rosary inspires me, and it helps me to feel a spiritual connectin to a power greater than myself. I think I will finish the article and see who I can submit it to.

I need to go shower now.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I don't know how to tell
If a person is real or
Playing with me.
At this old, advanced age,
It seems like I should be
able to read people better.

Loneliness is like wearing sunglasses at night
it distorts what is in front of a person.
I just (it seems so simple to me) want
to be loved and to have a person to love.

But Trust is elusive.
Like a lightning bug,
it flickers and flits away
I have my jar,
Holes in the lid,
ready to catch it
and keep it close and alive,
But my jar remains empty.
There is no Trust
Flickering near me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

They Made It! One year and counting...

The twins' birthday party was sure nice. Cassie is such a good mommy. She made sure every child present got to "help" the babies open their presents. I never thought of things like that when I was a young mom.

I should be able to post some of the pictures that were taken at the party. The way the girls eat their cake helps to define the difference between them. I sat in a corner and drew pictures. Georgia's husband, Edward, fixed the focus on my digital camera and he took a lot of pictures. I have not been able to suck them out of the camera and into the computer yet, though. Let's see if I can post some of these. Remember, these little doll-babies have identical DNA, but they still are individuals.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some New Amusement...

My LOL name is Snuggles Phisher. I wish I knew how to post the link so you can find your own LOL name. I am just not that clever. Find another LOL name.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Words to Live By...

Sometime Courage is nothing more than being able to whisper at bedtime, "I'll try again tomorrow." --author unknown

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Little Survey - July ??, 2008

Blog Entry A Little Survey Dec 21, '07 2"20 PM
for everyone

1. You can only answer Yes or No!

2. You are not allowed to explain anything unless someone messages you and asks!

3. Repost this on your page.

****************Here we go!!

Kissed someone on your friends list? No

Danced in front of your mirror naked? yes

Ever told a lie? yes

Tripped on mushrooms? no

Done ecstasy? No

Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? Yes

Been arrested? No

Kissed a picture? Yes

Slept till 5pm? No

Had sex at work? No

Fallen asleep at work? No

Had an actual snake? No

Ran a red light? Yes

Been suspended from school? No

Totalled car/motorcycle in an accident? Yes

Been fired from a job? No

Sang karaoke? no

Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes

Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Yes

Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes

Kissed in the rain? Yes

Sang in the shower? Yes

Sat on a roof top? Yes

Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? no

Broken a bone? No

Shaved your head? No

Slept naked? Yes

Blacked out after drinking? no

Played a prank on someone? Yes

Had a gym membership? Yes

Felt like killing someone? yes

Made your Partner cry? no

Had sex more than 9 times in one day? No

Had mexican jumping beans as pets? no

Been in a band? no

Shot a gun? no

Played strip poker? No

Donated blood? No

Video taped you having sex? No

Still love someone you shouldn't? yes

Have a tattoo? yes

Any piercings, other than ears? No

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I just caught one.

In the Headline of my last post, I incorrectly used the lowercase "i" when I should have used a capital I.

No one gets on my back about this stuff worse than I do!

Mistakes...I thought I made one once, but I was wrong

Cassie pointed out to me today that she has found numerous errors in my recent blog posts. That isn't like me. I hate spelling errors, and I hate even more substituting a sound-alike letter for a word. It's lazy and inappropriate. I c u r bzee. Don't give me that crap. If you are going to write to me, then please write the words you want to say. I will think highly of you.

Another issue I'm having is keeping my fingers on the correct keys. I struggle with this constantly. I think I get going toi fast sometimes. I understand this happens to a lot of people, but I strive for correctness in my written work. I hate making mistakes in my writing.

This is all about me. What I like, what I want, what I do correctly or incorrectly. Another thing I hate is a Friday night tv show called "Numbers" in which an e is replaced with a number 3. That's wrong!!!!! Don't do it that way. I don't think it is clever at all.

I also had an issue with "xmas" until I learned that the "x" actually meant the cross upon which Christ was crucified and so meant "Christ."

NOw you all know how I feel about things, so let's shape up out there.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

But how do i add a group? just found a blog I thought I would like to add to my list, but how the heck do you do that?

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Kissing Mouse Part 1

Part 3

Early the next morning, Daddy got up and got dressed to go to work. Before he left, he poured a cup of coffee and peeked at the Kissing Mouse. “Cute little Mouse.” Said Daddy.
“Daddy, guess what Mousey did last night?” cried Jack. Then Jacky told mom and dad the whole story of how Mousey had wakened him so he could let Francesca back in the house. “Naughty Francesca!” Mama scolded. “You know better than to try to sneak out during the night. I et is wa!” Mama scolded “You know better than to try to sneak out during the night. I bet it was good and cold out there!” Francesca was little bit ashamed of herself because she knew she had done a wrong thing. But Francesca was not afraid, she knew her family would always lover ner, no matter what she did.
Daddy finished his coffee and put on his hat. It was time to leave for work. Before he could go very far, the Kissing Mouse ran up Daddy’s sleeve and gave him a kiss on the chin. Daddy lauhed because it tickled.
Then Mousey ran into the living room where Megan and Erica ere plaing on the flor. The little mouse rant to Megan and kissed her little chubby hand, then climbed up her arm and kissed her arm at every step. Megan laughed and laughed. Then the Mous
The Kissing Mouse
© 2008
Sherry Benic

ran to Erica and did the same thing, kissing and tickling with his tiny little moujse feet. He sure was a busy little Kissing Mouse.
After a while, Yaya came over. When the Mouse saw Yaya, she scampered up her arm to her shoulder. Now remember, it was on Yaya’s shoulder that the kiss turned into a mouse. This time, there was little and a burst of stars and hearts, and the mouse turned back into a kiss.
The End
Later that night, after the family was all tucked in their beds and fast asleep, Francesca woke up.
Now, Francesca was the little dog, and sometimes she was naughty. On this night, Francesca pointed her nose in the air and sniffed. He smelled something different from the usual House smells. She smelled the nighttime air! Someone must have left a window open. Francesca poked her nose out from under the covers. Very quietlyshe wiggled her whole head out. Then her front paws and her long, little body. The last part to come out from under the covers was her tail. Francesca tried wagging her tail very quietly. It worked!
She tip-toed across the floor and into the living rom. There it was! An open window. Francesca jumped up onto the back of the couch and pushed her nose throught the open window. If she pushed a little harder, her head pushed the window open a little further. Pretty soon, Francesca could wriggle her shoulders through the open window. An inch at a time, she pushed out the window, then jumed down into the soft, wet grass.

The Kissing Mouse
© 2008
Sherry Benic

Meanwhile, in her little dump truck, near Jacky’s bed, under her washcloth blanket, the Kissing Mouse’s whiskers began to wiggle and twitch. She opened one eye. Her whiskers were teling her something was wrong! Mousey concentrated on her wiggling whiskers, then climbd out of the dump truck and ran over to Jacky’s bed..
Mousey pulled herself all the way up to the mattress where Jacky was sleeping. He bounced over the mattress and planted a great big kiss on Jacky’s forehead. He was such a little mouse that his bouncind didn’t move the mattress at all. Jacky didn’t even know he had been kissed, because even a big kiss from very tiny mouse does not feel very big.
Mousey had to kiss Jacky five or si times before Jacky finally woke up and rubbed his eyes. Mousey jumped up and down and pointed down the hallway to the living room. Then he got down on his hands and knees and acted like a dog, and pointed down the hall again. Jacky was still sleepy, but he understood tht Mousey was trying to tell him about one of the dogs in the living room.
So Jacky ushed the covers off of himself, and climbed out of bed, and followed Mousey down the hall. In the living room, Mousey pointed to the open window and ran to door. Jacky thought to himself, the window isn’t open very far. I bet Gracie (the big dog, couldn’t climb through there. But Francesca could!
qJack went to the front door and very quietly he pulled it open just a little bit. What did he see on the front step? It was Francesca, sitting all huddled up in a little ball, and
The Kissing Mouse
© 2008
Sherry Benic

shivering like crazy. “Oh naughty Francesca,” said Jack. “You sneaked outside and you got very cold. You come back in the house now, ok?”Francesca jumped up and licked Jack’s face because she was very happy. Then Francesca rand down the hallway and jumped back into bed with mommy and daddy/ After a few minutes she stopped shivering and went back to sleep.
The Kissing Mouse
© 2008
Sherry Benic

The sun was shining in a bright blue sky while Jack and Yaya played in the grass. Jack was throwing pretend kisses to Yaya. He would kiss his hand and pretend to throw the kiss across the yard to Yaya. His grandma, yaya, was pretending to catch the kisses in her hand and put them on hr cheek. Sometimes Jack would tease yaya and tell her, “Oh oh, yaya, you missed!”
Jack threw another kiss to yaya. When she pretended to catch it, Jack called out, “oh oh Yaya. You missed. That one landed on your shoulder!” Yaya looked at her shoulder and Jack shouted in surprise, “Hey! That one turned into a mouse!” When she looked at her shoulder, Jack’s grandma saw a tiny little brown mouse looking back at her with big, dark eyes and a little pink nose.
“Oh My Goodness!!” Grandma yelled, surprised. The funny little mouse jumped up a little bit and kissed yaya on the cheek. None of Jack’s kisses had ever turned into a mouse before! Suddenly the mouse wiggled its whiskers and twitched its tail, and ran down from Yaya’s shoulder to the grass. “It is a Kissing Mouse, A Kissing Mouse!” shouted Jack.
“It sure is!” Yaya shouted back. The funny little mouse ran up the porch steps and slipped into the house. “Come on, Yaya,” Jack yelled and ran into the house to follow the little mouse.
They found the mouse all curled up in Jack’s dump truck, sound asleep. “Cover him up, yaya” said Jack. He needs a little blanket.” Yaya went to the cupboard and

The Kissing Mouse
© 2008
Sherry Benic

looked inside. She found some little washcloths and gave one to Jack. “Here, Jacky, this is just the right size to cover up a tiny, sleeping mouse.”
Very gently Jack put the washcloth over the little kissing mouse and tucked it in around him. Jacky kissed his finger and touched the mouse’s little head with his kiss. In his sleep, the little mouse smiled. “What name will you give to your mouse, Jacky?”
“Ummm, I will call him Mousey,” said Jack.


Last summer, Jack fell in love with gardening. I don't have a real garden; I have a patch of weeds encosed within a stone barrier. Jack and I would go shopping and pick up plants we liked, then bring them home and put them in containers on the back patio (as opposed to the front patio, which we don't have). We planted geraniums, petunias, impatiens. This year, I am going to fill a pot with sand and put in nasturtium seeds. The best nasturtiums I ever grew were seeds dropped in a sandy corner near the sidewalk. I know they do not thrive in rich soild, although that will contribute to lovely leaves. I think it will be interesting to see if we can grow nasturtiums. I can't think of those tender little flowers without remembering a military neighbor out at McChord. She alays referred to them as "nasturniums." Which does sound like it should be the name of a flower. In an effort at sumi-e painting several years ago, I did my own rendition of nasturtiums, which I present for your pleasure here today.

Forgot Something

I see that I forgot to add the example of marital discord, but really, didn't I cover that in one of my facts about me? Yes, I thought so.

I love to do a Meme. It's all about Meme.

I have never been tagged before, and now thanks to One Step Sideways I have a bit of work to do on the blog where I never blog.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. (I don't know how)
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. (okie dokie)

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. (again, I don't know how)

4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. (finish laughter from #3)

5. Present an image of martial discord from whatever period or situation you'd like. (as you wish.)

And now, 7 Facts about me:

1. I am a published writer and artist.

2. I have a cat who can hawk up hairballs on command.

3. A very bitter friend who liked to try to mess things up for people, shared with me that I had the 2nd highest IQ in high school, then told me before the ceremony that I had won the Creative Writing Award.

4. I have a discreet tatoo, slowly becoming a long-stemmed rose; and only my ears are pierced.

5. My mother and dad fought so much I sometimes wished they would divorce and I could go live with Aunt Helen and Uncle Floyd.

6. I dream of writing a children's story that will be accepted for publication.

7. I'm fat; I know what causes it, but I don't cure it.

In the spirit of the meme, please read the fine print: If you are reading this, then consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Precious

These babies are the reason I didn't just cash it all in last October. Of course, The Texans are part of the same reasoning, but we generally don't discuss their names or show their pictures. Bottom Line: I'm not done with these children yet, and I feared that giving up to the Heart Surgery would leave too many things undone. There must be a reason God brought me through it all. My doctors keep telling me I am a Miracle, and I don't quite "get it." Unless because I was found to have 5 serious blockages inside my heart, but never had a heart attack or a stroke or any other problem. I was having the Open Heart within a week of finding the blockages. I did use a lot of nitro during that week. For what it's worth, I took off most of that week from work.

At this time I am angry with both my school district and my surgeon for allowing me to go back to work aftr only 8 weeks, with no restrictions. I couldn't do it. I seriously did not have the energy or ability to manage five days of work every week. Someone should have been looking out for me. Someone was: my good friend, Dr Bob, the psychologist who shares my office at one of my schools. Bob told me repeatedly that I was doing too much too soon. Instead, I ended up taking the last month of school as medical leave in order to destress, and relieve my anxiety.

Teaching is NOT an easy profession. It is highly demanding. And I work in a school in which every parent thinks he/she owns the school and has the right to make outrageous demands at any time. I want to leave that building.

But, I digress by leaps and bounds. I began by saying those little cuties up there are the reason I did not give up and ask God to take me. I remember some moments of feeling deeply connected on a spiritual level to God/the Higher Power/the Universe. I firmly believed at that time that if I asked to die, I could have. But I thought of the grandchildren, and I couldn't do it.

My life is not what I hoped it would be. I thought my husband and I would joyfully watch our children grow and accomplish wonderful lives. I believed that until the day he said to me, "I can hardly wait for the kids to grow up and be gone so we can do what we want to do." If I remember correctly, he was the partner who threw out my birth control impulsively so we could have a baby. And suddenly he was telling me that he didn't want these children we had created. I have never been as lonely without that man as I was while I was married to him. I want to watch the children be silly and I want to share laughs with someone who loves them to distraction. I hope God has that someone in His plan for me.

My children and my grandchildren are the reason I live today, and they are the focus of nearly everything I do. I hope when you look at them, you can see what I see.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Me as a Superhero!

My Frustration

It wasn't until I scanned this that I realized the eyes looked odd--kind of lop-sided. The changes I made when I inked over the drawing did not come through well. However, this was a quick pencil sketch, and overall I am pleased with it. I wanted to recreate the Gerber baby with my own precious little grandchild. This is Erica. the older of the two by one minute. Sometimes Erica looks a little bigger than Megan; she usually weighs just a few ounces (4 or 5) more than Megan, and she was slightly larger at birth. These little cuties barely hit the ground at the picnic yesterday. It was nice to see that Cassie put them down in the grass where they could explore their world. We couldn't help but smile, remembering how Jack would cry when his bare feet touched grass at the same age.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The elusive drawing that recalls a summer day

August. So hot, so humid, everything sticks. Walking feels more like wading in this heavy air. The road in front of the house is blacktop.
Even so, dust clings to everything. Everywhere else is green and lush, summer at its zenith, trees fully leafed, flowers fully bloomed, and for the children a sense that time is fully stopped, hanging in the air.
But it is morning and the heat has not yet stilled their thirst for adventure. Through the house, the end of the road beckons.
"Mom, can we have a picnic lunch?"
"I guess so. What do you have planned?"
"We're going to ride our bikes to the end of the road."We're going to watch the planes."
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper are dropped into brown paper bags. Apples. School thermoses filled with Kool-Aid. Potato chips. Mom packs a mean picnic.
Today, though, when tennis shoes meet bike pedals, the children turn the other way, a blue Huffy and a red Schwinn roll down the driveway and turn left onto the old, pot-holed road.
No traffic today. Mid-morning, mid-week, mid-summer, and not many cars have a need to travel down this country road. Across the way, deep in old Mrs Goike's pasture, cows drowse. Next door, the Goike house is closed up. The Goikes and their five kids away on vacation. Down at the corner, Mrs. Goike's dad pokes at his garden with a hoe. He waves at the children as they ride by.
Waiting for two cars to pass, they cross 21-Mile Road to the next leg of Sugarbush. Here, the trees grow close to the edge of the road, their branches sometimes meeting overhead. The sugar-beet fields that gave the road its name no longer exist. The air is a little cooler here, under the leafy canopy.
The bikes pass the Little Store, windows boarded over now. When they were younger, the children ran here on errands for mom. Now they pass the house where Stella and her brother Doug live. Their mom is really nice, but the kids woder why she doesn't stand up straight. She walks all hunched over like a witch. It will be many years before they hear of osteoporosis. Their dad is kind of scary and mean. As she rides by, the girl thinks of brown beer bottles.
Shirley's house sits in its yard on the right, like an old white hen on its next. Nothing moves. Somewhere a bird calls out. In the distance a dog barks.
Kathy's house is at the end of a long, long driveway. Her older brother is big and blonde. Kathy is so quiet and shy it is hard to be friends with her.
A little farther on they pass Kingsbury Drive, and now the trees thin out and finally end. All around is empty field. Out there, in all that field, is the end of the runway.
The ditch running alongside the road is dry. Here the children drop their bikes and settle into the cushion of the long grass. Cross-legged, they open paper bags whose tops have already begun to disintegrate from the grasp of sweaty hands.
In the distance a jet engine roars to life. Shining eyes focus on the far end of the runway. The jet shimmers in the haze and gathers speed. As it moves closer and closer, wheels lifting from the tarmac and folding into its belly, then roaring overhead into the sky.
"That was a C-5!" shouts the boy. He knows them all.
The girl doesn't care. She cringes at the noise, revels in the speed, and takes a bite of her sandwich.
This is how they pass the morning. The boy bounces with the joy of each take-off. Planes fascinate He dreams of being a jet pilot. She dreams of the places the planes are going.
It is a moment in their lives--a moment of fullness. Later they will stuff the remains of their picnic back into the paper bags. They will ride their bikes back home.

Sugarbush Road

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Little More

I had lunch today with a teacher friend. We had such a fun gossip; I completely enjoyed myself. That salad at Applebee's was wonderful. And I just love this friend. She is so funny and sharp.

I am thinking now, that I am feeling so mujch better than I was a month ago. Taking the month of medical leave was the right thing to do. I do blame my surgeon: he should have provided me with some restrictions. I tried to do too much too fast after my surgery. A four-day work week would have been an appropriate restriction to help me stay rested. Also, my schools should have reduced the demands on me for a period of time. But then, principals have so many things to take care of, they can't be responsible for their staff, too. They just don't have time to care about anyone who gets paid to be there. Their first priority (and I know this from 21 years of observation) is always to stand on their heads to make parents happy.

I don't care what the Twit (last post) thinks, I know I am a pretty woman, and intel-
ligent. Probably more intelligent than most men I ever have dated. I could name a few, and I win, hands down.

But somehow, as I grew up, I learned not to trust myself, but to believe that everyone else knew more than I about what was best for me. So...if a man told me something, I believed it was true. NOw, I understand that is not necessarily true, an I like men a lot. I especially like their physiology. I like their voices--the lower timber and the souondof their laughter. I'm sorry I work in a field which has so few men. Well. Enough.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Time to check in with myself. I may have lost a pound, but I am not counting on that. My nerves are shot. I cannot get through a week without needing pepto bismol or kaopectate. It really wipes me out. On the plus side, I can proudly tell Oprah that I have not eaten within 2 hours of bedtime, and I have moved in some way every day. Some days I made it to Curves, other days I did the treadmill, anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. This week it was 20 and my hip and leg are in a lot of pain. Perhaps I should cut down to five minutes per day, every day, and build up more slowly. I have cut out nearly all fast food and Ihave had no booze in weeks. I call this progress. I feel better.

I feel better enugh that I don't know why Im still single. I did meet a gentleman last week, through an online dating service. Understand that I use the term "gentleman" very loosely. The only thing this dude had in common with a gentleman was gender. His first comment to me was that my breasts were not quite as large ashe hoped they would be. Mea culpa. He did not understand bra sizing at all. Next was the inspection of my home: "How can you stand all this clutter?" "I don't look at it." Moral: where were you when your mother was teaching you manners? So far I am incredibly impressed with this man. He did say that his ultimate goal was marriage and he didn't want to bother if that wasn't my goal also. I see this twit as a control freak. He wants marriage so he can force his wife to meet his demanding appeites. I told him he needed to be looking into a bdsm site for a potential bride. Without going any further into this whole thing...I think he is too arrogant to recognise himself here. And yet...there was something kind of appealing about this poor little dude: a deep vulnerability and need to punish himself and humiliate himself. For what, I wonder? I find myself thinking of him the same way I did the Drunk. If only the right someone loved him enough, he could be healed. He needs deep, ongoing psychotherapy This little guy is so self-absorbed, he doesn't even know when there is another person in the room. Forunately for me, he decided I wasn't right for him. I am so proud of standing my ground and not giving in to his odd appetites. Mind, this guy will show up in one of my stories one day. He is 'way too interesting to pass up.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time for a New Post

I haven't done much since I last posted. I knit a little bit on a baby sweater--one I vaguely thought I would give to Marci for her new little girl, and I began a baby blanket, but haven't worked my heart out on anything at all. Friday I took my sketch pad to DD's house and sketched one of the twins. It came out surprisingly well, and I want to work on it some more, but DD can't remember to bring it back down here to me. If I had it, I would scan and post it. The little "Bless their Hearts" are busy girls these days, not content any longer with sitting quietly in their car seats. They have discovered Movement. Megn, the younger by one minute, and the one who hid behind Erica for most of her gestation, can sit up, and has pulled herself up to stand, unassisted, she loves to sing, and her favorite song is 'Mamamamamamamamamama". Erica gets up on all fours, then isn't sure what to do next. She never stops grinning. In fact, the only time I've seen them fuss is when their food is moved out of their sight. They truly follow in the family dedication to eating. Both girls get a little goofy when big bother Jack comes near them. They grin and chuckle, babble and wave their arms and kick their feet. He is already their hero. Now, I remember what kind of a little sister DD was to her brother, and I feel a little sympathy for what Jack will have to deal with -- and twins, yet!

When little twin boys lived across the street from Jack, Jack referred to them as "Robby and the other Robby". Those 3 little boys were such good friends that it broke our hearts to see the family move away. I hope St Louis is enjoying them. They called me "Gamma" from the beginning. I loved it. They would come running when I pulled into the driveway, and give me big hugs.

Jack will be coming down this week. He has had his older two cousins from Oregon here for a week, and has been the center of attention. The girls are 13 and 15; I am tickled that they call me Gramma Sherry. I feel like the Universal Grandma wherever I go. And I understand my mission: to give every child a smile and a few minutes of non-judgemental attention. That includes the little twits who roll past me in Target on their heelies. I hate those heelies. Kids come out of nowhere and startle me.

In other news, Houston has two new landowners today: my son and DIL have bought a home. i've seen pictures, and I can hardly wait to get there. It is truly beautiful. That home would cost close $300,000 out here, but they paid less than my little rambler is valued at. I'm amazed. Steve has repeatedly suggested we all relocate to Houston, but I'm scared of Houston. You can't go anywhere without fearing for your life on the freeways. I don't think I could adapt to driving there. And I don't know how else I would find a job and get to work.

On the plus side, it would be so wonderful to be altogether and have family gatherings, and let the cousins get to know each other. I could picture the six of them forming a little gang of desperados. The heat would dehydrate me so badly I might lose weight.

Speakin of losing weight: I have been good about my Opra/Bob Fit for Life or whatever it is. Yesterday I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, and the day before hat I went to Curves. I'm mad at Curves; I hope that worries them. They are changing the structure of our local club. I emailed them a long, scathing letter about it, and so far they have been too intimidted to respond. My son, the lawyer, says they probably can change everything in spite of the contract I signed. That pisses me off even more. Who do they think they are? Years ago I took aerobics from a local woman; she was great fun, and fashioned her classes so they fit everyone. I think she is still around. We ought to create our own club and let Curves go down in flames.

I didn't think I had much to write today, but look at this. And keep watching: "The Kissing Mouse" is a short story that will be coming soon. I'm off to the treadmill, aka grindstone. I love not working!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Success

I've had several days since I joined Oprah's Best Life campaign, and I have been successful at restricting my calorie intake and avoiding fast foods; I've also been able to not eat for at least 2 hours every evening before bedtime.

I'm feeling pretty good about these things. I never drink, so avoiding alcohol was not a problem for me.

Yesterday I saw my psychiatric care provider, and today I met with my doctor. Both have given me a big Thumb's Up. Both remarked about how much more relaxed I am looking. Obviously, not working agrees with me. (So does the new gentleman I have met) I have not made it to Curves since last Saturday morning. I have to get a handle on that exercise. In fact, I am going from here straight to the treadmill.

The son of a good friend is a computer tekkie. He spent 3 1/2 hours here today, killing bugs in my computer. It was worth the money. He is a very nice young man. I would gladly refer him to anyone who is having computer issues.

Back later!

Monday, June 16, 2008

End of the Day

I shopped almost til I dropped today. I hope that was enough walking! I was so tired by the time I got home, and Abby was fussing at me for her treats. She loves these Dingo Denta-treats I found at WalMart and also at Target. They are white, bone shaped, and are supposed tohelp her breath. She loves them. So does her cousin Francesca. I ended the day with a long phone call with a very nice man. It is kind of exciting to maybe have a new person in my life.

I was very careful of my eating today. I'm keeping to my contract with myself and Oprah and Bob. I am sure looking forward to finding some change in how my clothes fit.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day Three

I wonder if I need to give up my diet Cokes? I hear caffeine is a buster if one is trying to lose weight. It does seem to upset my stomach, and I've had enough of that kind of trouble, thank you very much.

I found a wonderful blog that I would love to add to my list; unfortunately it looks like it will have to wait until my DD has time to help me out. I'm so hopelessly NON-Tek, I'm amazed someone even let me have a computer. I'm like that old joke: "Do you still have the box your computer came in?" "Yes." "Good, now pack it all up and send it back. You are too stupid to own a computer."

I have high hopes for this day. I need to run to Target to pick up dogfood (my dog will be grateful). I'll get on that treadmill again, and I'll get some salad greens in the house. I can do this. I AM doing this!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day Two

In spite of no sleep all night, I got up around 9ish, got dressed, and headed out the door for Curves. By the time I got there it was 9:40 and I was due to meet my Saturday Sisters for coffee at 10:00. So I did a partial circuit and cut my workout short, thinking I would make up some time later today on the treadmill. I got home, and had the worst chest pain I've ever had. I never had pain like this before my heart surgery. I was pretty sure it was acid reflux, and Tums were not handling it. So I drove myself over to Urgent Care, where I received a lecture about never driving myself anywhere if I have chest pain, especially with my history. I was told I should have called the paramedics and gone to an ER. They did an EKG on me, and Dr said it didn't look quite right, so they called the paramedics who took me down town to Tacoma General. I probably got there about noon. They ran labs, gave me an IV, and let me take a nap. When the labs finally came back, the doctor (I really liked this man) said after that many hours of chest pain, the labs should have shown something, and since they didn't I was going to be discharged with a diagnosis of: chest pain of unknown origin.

Yep. State of the art medical care. I persuaded the doctor to prescribe Prevacid for me, which controlled my acid reflux for many years before my insurance company decided I didn't need it. My doctor's viewpoint is that I need to know the difference between a heart attack and reflux. I didn't know whethr to put a nitroglycerin under my tongue or eat another handful of Tums. The pain was at a 10 when I first arrived, and I hd tears in my eyes..I was so scared of what might be going on. It now is 11:30 and i am home. I picked up my prescriptions, grabbed a junior bacon cheeseburger at Wendy's, and I guess I'll get back on the train tomorrow.

I still have pain in my chest. OH! They weighed me, and the biggest news is that I now am Officially 300 pounds. I am happy about that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

To My Credit

I sat here and dithered, and finally decided to do 5 minutes on the treadmill before retiring for the night. It was such a comfortable, easy gait, i ended up doing ten minutes. It seems to have stirred up my heartburn, but I'm sure I will sleep well knowing I have moved today.

Living my Best Life

RE: Opray, June 13, 2008.
This looks like an opportunity to turn a bad luck day into a good luck day. Not that I really believe in luck. Bob Green's Best Life Challenge:
1. Get moving
2. Quit eating two hours before bedtime
3. Get hydrated (6 8-oz glasses of water per day)
4/5. restructure your eating: nutritious breakfast; cut out alcohol.

Well, I downloaded the contract, and I read it before I signed it. I am in the habit of getting over to Curves pretty regularly, and I can really tell the difference when I don't make it. Those days I am stiff and I ache all over.

Those stories featured on her show tonight are inspirational. I want something that will inspire me for more than tongight. I had open heart surgery at 314 pounds. The heart surgey was dangerous enough, but at that weight, I am a miracle of survival.

I am a Child of God, created in His Image, an imperfect human being, striving for happiness in this lifetime, striving to achieve what God has planned for me.

I will try to keep a journal here of my progress. This is about keeping my diabetes numbers appropriate, increasing my ability to move, and increasing my energy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Affirmation

Yesterday, with my therapist, I worked on my personal affirmation. I want something I can say to myself to help ease the pain when I am beating myself up too much. There is a perfect quote, something Gandhi said, and I cannot remember it. I am Sherry, a Creation of God, who knew me before Time. I am created in His Image, with many imperfections. I do not have to be perfect to be loved by God, and I am not defined by the people I work for. I am defined by those who love me and who are willing, through God's Grace, to forgive my failures and imperfections. I lay my imperfections at His feet, an offering.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cozy Mysteries

What is a cozy, you ask? Generally, it is a mystery set in a "cozy" setting, such as a small English village, a manor house, a train...a setting in which the suspects are gathered in a generalized location and are easy to watch and easy to contact. I think Agatha Christie invented the cozy with her Miss Marple series, and with Hercule Poirot to a lesser extent. The dastardly murder takes place off-scene, so the reader is saved the gore and grisly details, and are left with the puzzle to solve: was it the butler? the gardener? Mr Abernathy's second wife? Cozies have many red herrings, and the denouement at the end is most fun if it is a surprise and the last person the reader expected.

The Cozy genre is very popular in today's market. I belong to a Yahoo group called "Cozy Armchair Group," in which many readers and a number of authors share their thoughts and opinions on various mysteries currently in print. As I read others' opinions, my opinions become a little more finely developed. I have decided, for example, I don't like mysteries solved by cats and dogs with human cognitive thinking. That's just silly. Judging by their following, many other people really enjoy them, so it's great for those people that there authors who write those books. I have favorite authors, and I will read nearly anything these authors write: Joanne Dobson, for example, writes literary-related mysteries. I like the illusion that I am learning a little something about another subject while I am unraveling the puzzle. Another author, Barbara Michaels, also writes in this vein. Many of her mysteries have dealt with specific subject matter including Egyptology, vintage clothing, jewelry, and I absolutely love the smidgen of supernatural sprinkled into her stories. Unfortunately for me, she also writes as Elizabeth Peters, and has set a series of books in Egypt with a heroine many years ahead of herself as a Modern Woman. These books have become so predictable they aren't fun for me anymore, and these are the books that seem to sell best for her, as she throws most of her effort into grinding out more. (I realize this is heresy to her true fans--for this reason, my address will not be published.)

I like small village settings, especially England or New England: these setting provide the most likelihood for characters and resentments that can lead to mayhem. I like to have a plot that somehow transverses time...through an old journal, or the discovery of antiques, but somehow connects present time with time past.

Heroines these days, our amateur sleuths, have become cliched: they are shy young women who suddenly rear up on their haunches and take on the world. Not realistic. What about a protagonist who remains meek and mild? but still manages to unravel the details? I often find a love interest whose main role is to tell the protagonist to stay out of things and mind her own business. Wouldn't it be fun to have a hero who encourages the heroine? Someone who actually helps our sleuth? Someone who believes in her?

Another cliche these days is the title that is a terrible pun. While these punny titles do catch my attention, they don't induce me to buy. One of these days, I will be writing my own cozy, and I intend to break a couple of rules. It is a matter of getting around to it...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mental Health

I met with Human Resources last week. I don't think I convinced them two schools is too much for one person. On the other hand, they did agree to give me medical leave through the end of the school year. My buddy, Bob, has been telling me since January that I went back to work too fast after the open heart surgery. I believe him. As I see it, I had no time to ease back into routine and get used to working again--I jumped back in with both feet at a dead run. The bottom line is that I am not keeping up, I am aware of making mistakes, forgetting things, and feeling so much anxiety.

I even had a coworker tell me it was "time to step up" by which she meant, I assume, that in her opinion I was cured and needed to get with it. Not true. The fact that I am walking upright, doesn't mean everything is back to normal. At no point did any administrator suggest we might ease the workload slightly. When my two principals worked out my alternating day schedule, my workload actually increased. While I was able to keep up with it, I enjoyed feeling so productive. I was visiting five or six classrooms a week, and running four or five groups per week. I also mad an attempt at keeping a daily log of all that I was doing--that ended up feeling like even more work...extra and unnecessary paperwork to prove to someone unknown that I am actually working.

One principal is never around to notice when I stay until 5:30 finishing things, but she sure did nail me for taking an extra 10 minutes at lunch the other day. Maybe I should have interrupted the teacher's math lesson to talk to her about a student, but instead I took time and caught her at lunch. Of course, lunch is supposed to be duty free, according to WA state law.

I do wish I could just work with the kids. I don't know how to set that up. I know the person to ask for help, if ever we had an opportunity to talk and share ideas.

So...I am job hunting.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Working my way back to good health

Today my dear Son in law went with me to pick up a treadmill. Someone on one of my daughter's groups, was giving it away to anyone who would take it out of their house. It is a mid-range treadmill, electric, and folds for storage. I do work out 3 days a week, and I want to walk. I enjoy walking. BUT my back starts to ache so soon, that I can't walk very far. On the treadmill, I have something to hold onto to help support my back. This beautiful machine even has a place to put a book. Forget tv, I want to read whenever I can, and I am so delighted that I will be able to do that and walk. Going to Curves every other day is great and has me feeling so good, that I want to do something physical on the in-between days. I have been told that muscles need 24 hours to heal between workouts. This seems like the perfect solution!

I had my Jacky over here yesterday. First we went to Walmart and he picked out a small backyard pool, and then we looked at 2-wheel bikes with training wheels and he found a spiderman bike that was just his cup of tea. So, new pool, new bike, new helmet and elbow & knee pads, new Lightning McQueen shirt and a pair of shorts he can wear when he is 20, and a tanktop for me, and some Tums. My insurance company doesn't like me to take Aciphex for reflux, so they won't let me get a reflill. I feel like I need to throw up and I can't eat (that could be due to an event at work the other day, too). And after I use the hair color, my roots will be natural blonde again.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, Jack told me "Dat was some awesome shopping yaya. Good job!" He had every reason to be happy. This little boy says the most encouraging things. When I put on a new nightgown one night, one he hadn't seen before, he exclaimed, "Wow, Yaya, I weawwy weawwy wike dat one@" "Dat is so pwetty@"

One day I had strung a string between to cupboard door knobs, and clothespinned some roses to dry. He was so excited when he walked in the kitchen and saw that, he could hardly contain himself. He jumped up and down and told me how pwetty it was and how much he wiked it. It has been there about six weeks now.

Before I picked him up yesterday, he and mom and dad had gone to a company barbecue where he played hard in a mini-waterpark out in the sun. Then we spent the afternoon blowing up the pool and playing in it out back. Of course he had to ride his new bike, while I walked along trying to keep up. As many times as he circkled back to check on me, he probably rode five miles. Last night we went over to his house and had pizza. He climbed up on my lap and put his head down on my breast and went soundly asleep. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day. Our temps were in the 80s yesterday. We had snow at the end of April. As Popeye would have said, "Large weather we're having."

The babies are on the move. Megan has begun low crawling (my Army pal told me that is what it is called). She also was holding her bottle last night. Erika, a whole minute older and at birth the slightly larger of the two, is fairly content to lie back and wait for people to wait on her. Last night Mama reached to pick her up and she became so Excited. Her little arms and legs were waving as hard as they could. These little dumplings weighed barely 8 pounds altogether at birth and now are over 15 lbs apiece. They are absolutely mahvelous, dahling; just mahvelous.

"And that's the way it is, on May 18, 2008, in Lakewood, WA."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wonderful Women

Pat: met in 7th grade, and stayed friends for...40 years. Pat and I shared an interest in art; we had a lot of classes together in junior high, and went to the same church. From Pat I learned there was Sunday School for kids my age. We joined MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) and shared weekend retreats, many secrets about the boys we liked, and sometimes feeling unpopular. Pat was well-liked by everyone. AND her dad was principal of our high school.

Kathy: Also met Kathy in seventh grade; probably 1962. After all these many years, we reconnected this past year because of our 40th high school reunion. No, that doesn't work out mathematically. If I met Kathy in 1962, and it is now 2007, but we graduated in 1967...THAT is 40 years, and Ihave known both Kathy and Pat for closer to 45 years, I think. My strong areas were art and literature. Not math.
I always liked Kathy. Unfortunately, Bob made Kathy's life a living hell in school. It was terribly unfair, and I am ashamed that I never spoke out against what Bob was doing to her. He bullied her and browbeat her, plain and simple. I was so afraid of being 'tarred with the same brush' that I never spoke up. I wish I could change that now. I am deeply grateful that Kathy is part of my life now.

Anita: I met Anita when she was a PTA mom at the school where I worked. When she showed up at my church one Sunday, I invited her to teach Vacation Bible School with me. We became close, and she is my sister in so many ways. Neither of us has extended family here in the area, and have adopted each other. Anita put her arms around me the day I learned my mother had died. Many times she has allowed me to shed my tears on her shoulder. And although he is not a woman, her husband Greg has always made me feel like I had someone looking after me.

Gisela: A beautiful German woman, the mother of the man I loved more passionately than any other (except Elvis). Gisela accepted me so that I felt almost part of her family. She was a wonderful, giving woman with a tremendous heart. She gave up her life and home in Germany to marry a soldier and raise his children here in the US. It was such a sacrifice; I can only imagine what it might have been like for her. I know that to her stepson, she was completely his mother. He doted on her and almost worshipped her. She deserved it.

Liz: a work friend who greets me each day with a beautiful smile, and always treats me as if it is a treat to have me working with her. Liz, you are amazing.

Kirsten: a Daughter In Law who is a gift from God. She brings joy to me when I see her with my son, and I see the love between them. She is so tolerant and patient with him, just as she is with those amazing children she has borne. Not much of a talker, but warm and loving in everything she does.

Cassie: my daughter, and my dear friend. I hate how much I have come to depend on my daughter. I want to still be the mom, the strong one who can fix anything, but more and more I lean on Cassie to do the fixing for me. She is so smart and level-headed; she never dithers, but gets straight to the heart of things.

Kathy: the therapist who allows me to cry and be as imperfect as I am. Never judging, but always reminding me to be kind to myself.

Chris: a warm, huggy friend who takes care of me. When I feel afraid, I know I can go to Chris and she will tease gently, offer me a tidbit of wisdom, and remind me that I matter.

Charlotte: as a boss, as a principal, Charlotte is strong but not overpowering. She has a gentle way of telling me when I need to step up.

Tina: another principal, another boss. Tina has had a lot of adversity to overcome, I think, to be in the position of principal. The school she is in charge of is a hard one. I find I may not always agree with the things she does or the decisions she makes, but I respect her position, and do my best to do a good job for her.

All of these women have touch my life over the years. There are many more I have failed to mention. On this Mother's Day, I would like to mention my mom, Gladys, who said to me once, "Sherry, if you love me, please never name a child after me." Mom always hated her name. I don't believe she had a happy childhood. At this point, I should mention her sister, Aunt Helen, who was the Best of the Best. To this day, I completely believe that Aunt Helen prayed for me and is the reason I have made it this far in life. She was my Other Mother; I often wished I could live with her. I always felt unconditional positive love from Aunt Helen. I am so sorry that mom and Aunt Helen are gone. They have left a hole in the world, and in my heart.

Your True Love Is a Cancer

Why you'll love a Cancer:

Cancer's loyal and sincere heart makes your own sensitive heart melt.

Caring and devoted, a Cancer will take the lead in pursuing you - and not give up!

Why a Cancer will love you:

You're laid back enough to deal with Cancer's little mood swings and freak-outs.

A fellow homebody, you know how make Cancer comfortable and at home with you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yahoo Messenger

About a month ago I discovered Yahoo Instant Messenger. Since then, I've met some interesting people and spent a lot of hours enjoying the company of some nice guys. Today, Sunday, I am debating about going to church. I haven't been there in months. It is nice to know God is waiting when I decide I am in need. The attraction of the computer and the IMs is a lot more fun than sitting in church trying to read the song words off the wall where they are projected.

It is a mystery to me why that is better than holding the hymnal in my own hands at the precise distance needed from my eyes. We have a "new" praise service that leaves me kind of cold. Many of us had attended the Walk to Emmaus, a weekend course of study sponsored by the Upper Room Ministries. We could never persuade ur choir director to attend, and his choice of music reflected that: old, ponderous, formal, stultifying, unimaginative. Ultimately he was replaced by someone young and energetic and inspired.

I am a person who likes to think. The newer service doesn't give me time to reflect and savor the experience of worshipl I prefer what I have been accustomed to all these years, and that is what we have at the 11:00 service. I have half an hour to decide and get ready to go. What is it going to be? I guess I'll go. I miss my friends.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Grandma's Purpose

Since I became a grandma six years ago, I have thought a lot about just what it means to be a grandparent. A child needs a place to be him/herself. A place to learn without judgement or too many restrictions. A place to get his/her bucket of self esteem filled so full that it will never empty out, no matter how large a hole gets poked in it. I hope my home is a place where Jack and his cousins/sisters will be able to be without getting yelled at, without getting in trouble. After a while, I do mind tripping over fire trucks and stepping on 'narbles'. On the other hand, Jack lets the dog in and out, makes sure she is fed, hides her milkbone treats, and splashes water all over the kitchen floor while he does the dishes. When he goes home and I pick up after him, my reward is the memory of him looking up at me and saying, "Yaya, I just wuv you." When he spends the night he snuggles up so close to me. Sometimes we put Mickey Mouse (who he used to refer to as 'Mick da Mouse') in the DVD player and sit together on the couch. I stitch ('Yaya, are going to needle dat?')and we watch cartoons together.

Yesterday he made his own "chokwat milk" and heated his PB&J in the microwave. He is so independent. It makes me feel proud to see him unafraid to try things. He has so much confidence: so much more than I have even now at my age.

A little bragging here: my children are wonderful parents, and my grands are delightful, talented, funny kids. They think there is nothing much better than pulling the needle through the fabric as I cross stitch. And they think I am wonderful.

The most important thing a grandparent can do is to love without criticism.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Getting Better

After a month of coughing, I am beginning to feel healthier. Apparently mucinex really does help, just like it says on tv. We had 3 days of inservice training this week. I was confused, and missed one of them. One of my principals does not accept that still am recovering. Seems like I can't do anything right for her. I have talked with my annuity guy. It looks like working another 3-6 years is a must. I would prefer to find a man who financially comfortable who wants to spoil me. How likely is that?

This is a pleasant Saturday morning. The cable man is supposed to show up today and figure out why my screen is so fuzzy and why the sound has that buzz in it. Also, the housekeeper my friends hired at Christmas is coming back to do her final 4 hours of housework. Who could ask for more?

I had Jack for a while last night until about 7ish. We had to go to Target where I successfully resisted looking at toys ( "I don't want to buy one, Yaya. I just want to wook at dem.") We bought some 'grilly cheese' for him and some cookies. As we walked in the door, he was tearing the wrapper of his grilly cheese and rushing to the microwave to heat it, 3 seconds at a time.I allowed him to defrost a pb&j a couple of days ago, 3 sec at a time so it wouldn't get too hot for him. So I guess he learned that is how to do the microwave.

In Houston at Christmas, I had the Apple draw a picture of Bob the Tomato and Larry Cucumber for me. Jack noticed it on the refridgerator and asked about it. This week he traced his hand and taped it on the wall, with about 47 pieces of tape. A day or so later he used watercolor markers to make a pattern resembling a tic-tac-toe board with many different colors, and he taped that on the wall, too. It reminds me of his mom: when she was little, she cut out and taped to the wall a picture of Mr Rogers, her hero. She put him in the dining room. I think it is so cute.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

All the Lonely People

The Beatles sang about "All the Lonely People" a long time ago. One can see lonely people everywhere these days. They're all talking on cell phones. Seems like we don't have time to be together with others, physically, but we desperately crave a connection with someone else. A friend chided me once about my cell phone. She said, "why do you even have a cell phone if you aren't going to turn it on?" My answer was that the phone was for my convenience, not for others'. I turn it on when I think I need to: to make a call, or to be available for my daughter. I was in Barnes & Noble's coffee shop one afternoon, and observed two women sitting at a table together, both talking on their cell phones. Seems to me that is a lovely way to insult a companion. "Sorry, the person on the phone is so much more important to me than you are. You can wait while I finish this conversation."

That brings up a pet peeve: when I am standing in line at a counter, and the clerk answers the ringing phone and makes me wait. Since when is the phone more inportant to a clerk than the living person who is next in line? Technology is reducing us to nothingness.

I belong to a number of groups on Yahoo! I find they help to fill some moments in my days. I want to be connected with others. Granted, I could get up on Sunday and go to church, but I don't. I don't like talking on the phone, either. The tv is always on in my house. The sound of it helps to mask the emptiness of the place.

People far away hear/read stories of my grandchildren, and I pretend they care as much as I do. I long for a companion who will be interested in what I want to say. Through two failed marriages, I felt lonelier, married, than I do now.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I have found this to be true:

Ladies in My Circle Pass this on, to your Ladies circle.

When I was little, I used to believe in
the concept of one best friend,
And then I started to become a

And then I found out that if you
allow your heart to open up,
God would show you
the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you're going
through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going
through things with your mom.

Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you
delight in your children and their activities.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt,
joke, or just be.

One friend will say, 'Let's cry together,'
Another , 'Let's fight together,'
Another , 'Let's walk away together.'

One friend will meet your spiritual need,
Another your shoe fetish,
Another your love for movies,

Another will be with you in your season of confusion,
Another will be your clarifier,
Another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life,
On whatever the occasion,
On whatever the day,
Or wherever you need them to
meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back,

Or to hold you back from making a complete fool
of yourself .
Those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman,
But for many, it's wrapped up in several..

One from 7th grade,
One from high school,
Several from the college years,

a couple from old jobs,
On some days your mother,
On some days your neighbor,

On others, your sisters,
And on some days, your daughters.

So whether they've been your friend
for 20 minutes or 20 years,


Pass this on to the women that God has
placed in your life
To make a difference.

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
- Matthew 21:22

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Conversation

Me: Where are your socks?
Him: I'm not wearing any socks.
Me: I see that. Didn't you have socks on when you got here?
Him: What?
Me: When I picked you up, weren't you wearing socks with your shoes?
Him: When you picked me up?
Me: Yes. Didn't you have socks on then?
Him: When?
Me: When I went to your house and picked you up.
Him: What?
Me: Where are your socks?
Him: Where are my socks?
Me: Yes, where are they?
Him: I'm not wearing any socks.
Me: I see that. Did you take them off?
Him: What?

This is a conversation Jack and I had a couple of days ago.

Also, What was in dere, Yaya?
Me: That was donuts.
Him: I want a donut.
Me: I bet you do. You love donuts. But they're all gone.
Him: I want you to go to the store and buy some donuts. And den you will say, "Do you want a donut, Jack?" And I will say, "Yes."

It's a small thing, to think I could carry on a logical conversation with a four-year-old.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What Sharon Means

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I just cringe...

Friday morning I was sleeping peacefully, alert enough to be waiting for the alarm to get me up. The phone rang instead; it was the secretary at school calling to ask me if I was going to work that day. I called her back after a brief moment of thought, and asked her to put me in for a sick day. I've been fighting this cold, and going in to work each day, and had worked late the day before, so I felt justified. Actually, I felt "just-as-if-I'd" hit a brick wall. I just couldn't go anymore. I realized recently that when one school closed three years ago, my two schools absorbed all of those children. In my job, I am working with 3 schools' worth of children.

Something will have to change. Looks like I'm going to have to take responsibility to be the catalyst that causes change. My district doesn't care. They will continue to take advantage of me as long as I permit it.

Attributed to George Carlin

GEORGE CARLIN (His wife recently died...)

Isn't it amazing that George Carlin - comedian of the 70's and 80's - could write something so very eloquent...and so very appropriate.

A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men a nd small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don't send this to at least 8 people....Who cares?

George Carlin

Saturday, January 12, 2008


"I can’t subscribe to a deity who is circumscribed by human thought, whose borders are as narrow as our own. That kind of god frightens me as much as the idea of one so immense and powerful that to know of it would bring instant annihilation. I prefer to admit"
I hope Pauline won't mind that I have lifted some of her recent post and pasted it here. She always gives me pause for reflection and deeper thought. I choose not to subscribe to a God who is known by others. If you/someone knows what God is thinking, and what God wants...this is not the God I can follow. If God is, indeed omniscient, omnipresent, (I can never remember the third 'omni' I was taught) human can possibly "know" anything about God's thoughts, needs, wants, etc.

I often think of a conversation with my father many years ago. He taught me to question: "Daddy, how could God make the whole world in just 6 days?" "Well, Sherry, we don't know how long a "day" was then. We don't know what the Bible meant when it said "a day." From my dad, I learned not everything is meant to be taken literally.

He also talked of a conversation he had with his friend, George Stephens. George had said, "There may not be a God, but I choose to believe." I, too, choose to believe. I'm only human, and it isn't given to me to understand. That's what faith is about. I'm willing to believe, and will continue to seek better understanding. I struggle with the issue of church attendance. I don't enjoy sitting in church as part of an audience while the pastor performs her sermon of the week. Worship, to me, has to be much more personal than being in an audience reading the song words off the wall (where they are projected because our church Needed State of the Art technology). Can I add here that I enjoyed holding the hymnal in my hands and connecting on a personal level with the words I was singing? Worship for me happens when a first grader comes to my office, when I am at the drive-through, at any given time when I am in personal contact with another person. NOT when I am reciting in unison with another hundred people. How do you worship?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Every single time!



Pictures of all the stockings I have done:

I'm entranced...

Cassie put a diaper on one of Jack's bears, and found one of his tiny onesies to dress the bear in. That seems to have captured Jack's imagination. Since then, he has fed his bear, put him down for naps, and came over yesterday with Mr Bear riding on his shoulders. He taught me how to wrap the bear in a blanket, put a cushion in the little rocker and put the bear there to rock. He came over this morning for a bit, and was upset when he thought he had left bear in the car. Daddy had actually brought bear in, so a crisis was averted.

It is darling to watch him mother this bear. He is very tender, and his voice gets all high and babyish. He has such an imagination! I noticed today that he always made sure bear was taken care of before he took off to do other things.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hate Mongering

Nearly every day I receive an email of some kind urging me to hate Muslims or illegal immigrants, or non-Christians. Stop sending me this crap. I'm not interested. I don't give a red rat's ass if my not forwarding your email means I am not proud of who I am, or if it suggests that I don't love God. And spare me the icky poem-prayers about soldiers in Iraq. I am teaching their children, and pray for them. Right now, a nameless person is trying to browbeat me, via email, into hating illegal immigrants. I am allowed the freedom of my own opinion. If it differs from yours, suck it up and deal with it. Lonely, back off.I thought you were the enlightened hillbilly. Apparently I was wrong, and a redneck is a redneck.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jack's Stocking

This is the 4th of all the stockings I have stitched for my grands. Two to go for the twinnies.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


It may be a New Year, but there is nothing happy about it as far as I am concerned. I deeply dread going back to work tomorrow after all these weeks of recuperation. I am angry with my school district, who I believe is responsible for putting me in the hospital in the first place, with a job and case load that were ridiculously out of bounds for one person. My union hasn't been much help, either. My district only seems to listen to legal threats.

Right now, I have a cold, my chest is congested, and my breast aches at the incision site. My nose is stuffed up. My head aches like crazy. I don't see me calling in sick after all this time off...And, joyfully, I am cleared by my doctor to go back to morrow with "no restrictions."