TA DA! and TA DA! again…

A two-TA DA! evening – quite a way to end the weekend!!  Not time-for-sleep end as I still have a transcript due in the morning, but the challenging  part of the weekend is successfully completed.  Top that off with a fun conversation with a special  niece and a “night-night” phone call with my ErinLee and if I didn’t still have to work and it wasn’t past midnight, I’d crank up some music and dance around the kitchen 🙂  because two TA DA!s is pretty all right!

Isn’t that just the way things go sometimes?  I’ve been studying lots, loving my current classes and as my favorite Auntie Arlene said, these classes are right up my alley.  I’m dealing with words – this week all the ologies and isms that come with a class titled Theology for Today.  Add to that my General Survey of the New Testament class and I’m in my element!!  Reading, studying, learning and best of all writing – working hard in addition to life in general, and then to be well rewarded for these efforts with great feedback from fellow students, a maximum grade on a tough paper, and finally 100%, the second week running, on the theology test due each Sunday night.

I’m feeling very blessed and believing  that, as challenging as it’s been to add  this education track to an already complex life after so many years, these successes may indeed be confirmation that I’m on the right path.  And that is an even bigger TA DA!        … Bonne  soirée


Pickin’ Up the Trash

How’s that for a post-Thanksgiving title?  Literally, though, I awoke to the unpleasant surprise that an animal had not only gone after my trash, but pried the cover off, despite the bungee cord attaching it to the can and to the porch railing, tipped it over, ripped open the bag and spread the contents all around.    And while this occurred in the night, I didn’t hear a bark or growl from either of my ferocious guard dogs, not even Shadow, who sleeps in the back porch with the mission of guarding the back entrance.  Makes me wonder …

So dressed for the “wintry mix” that was falling, I picked up the trash I had thrown away over the last week and a half.  The bag didn’t get to the road on Wednesday because I missed the deadline.  Yes, folks, where I live if the trash isn’t up to the road by 6 a.m. on pickup day, at noon, the pickup guys slap a big orange sticker on it and leave without it.  I have yet to figure out how they know if it’s out there by 6:00.  Does our county pay someone to drive around and take notes?  Photos maybe, and then relay that information to the pickup guys? I don’t get it.  Sounds like one of those “rules for the sake of rules” things to me.

At 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning I was working at my computer and apparently not thinking about trash.  Thus there was a bag in the trash can just waiting for whatever animal strolled in overnight.  Possum, coon, feral cats?  Who knows?  Seeing as Shadow the ferocious guard dog didn’t sound an alarm, I didn’t see the intruder(s).

The point?  In this greatest nation on the planet, we sure throw away a lot of stuff.  With Thanksgiving and Black Friday dominating the news, we’re seeing evidence of plenty and the grab for more.  I know “commerce makes the world go round”, am involved in it myself as both buyer and seller.  But the magnitude bothers me.  With all we have are we a thankful nation, instilling the value of appreciation and thankfulness in our children?  Hard to tell.

Just looking at my trash says I am, no doubt, a consumer, minimal compared to those with children at home, perhaps, but still, I was out there this morning, picking up trash.  And it gave me lots to think about.

How about you?  If someone rifled through your trash, what would they learn about you?  And if some animal spread it all over your front yard, would you be out there fast, before anyone could see?  Pickin’ up the trash – food for thought ….



Playing catch-up? Very often these days, I seem to be in catch-up mode; tonight is no exception.  With algebra going fairly well, but still time-consuming, and daily life with all that entails, things are good though the pace is frenetic. What keeps me grounded?  My faith, for sure, and the things I’m looking forward to – elder daughter will be with me in a month; I cannot wait to hug that child, though at almost 25, young woman is more appropriate.  Her sister, almost 24, is in the midst of a fairly large life event -buying a  first home; lots of excited phone calls back and forth.

With  these young women on opposite coasts and us all trying to stay involved in one another’s  lives, the time between hugs seems far too long.  My solace is that I must have done something right along the way to have two beautiful, intelligent, articulate, independent, successful young women who still count their mom as confidante and advisor.  I am so blessed and in no time at all I’ll be hugging my ErinLee and enjoying her laughter, and two months after that I’ll be hugging my Meghan Lee and hopefully visiting in her new home.  Great thoughts to keep me moving forward.

A fabulous Amma massage today certainly helped me relax and my return to a regular yoga class to readjust my form and move back toward the top of my game – all great things on the road to taking the best care of me so I can take the best care of all with which I’ve been entrusted. Be well and live on the upside of life, no matter how things appear.   Off to algebra for me.  À bientôt…


In Over Your Head?

That was my thought at 7:00 a.m., trying to figure out what I’m doing in an algebra class.  How, if I’m challenged by navigating the course web site, will I navigate the course?  Oh my…

“Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.” I don’t know who said it, but it works for me 🙂

So I may be in up to my chin but over my head would never do.  Challenged?  A bit boggled temporarily perhaps?  Those of you who know me have heard me say that words matter. Say you’re in over your head and you probably will be.

So what do you do when you find yourself, like me, facing an algebraic door?  You swallow the panic, take a deep breath, sit up real straight – maybe even stand up – and tell yourself, “I’m looking algebra straight on and I am going to get it; I will win.”

Here we go again, another speech.  You bet!  Speak your victory loud and clear.  I’m speaking mine right here this morning, August 22, 2009, in front of the world via the Web.  By December 18th, end of this semester, at 50+ years old, having survived brain cancer and two brain surgeries, I’ll be the most logical I have ever been, a virtual master of basic algebra, a conqueror of facts and I’ll be dancing around my kitchen singing, “HALLELUJAH, I’ve passed Algebra with flying colors!”

In the meantime, Tom Petty has a song that I adopted as my personal anthem years ago in the face of oppression  – sing it with me, sing it with him, hey,  just sing it!  Here’s the link, stand up and sing  I  Won’t Back Down.

Couple that with a favorite  verse from Scripture and you absolutely have it made.  In over your head?    Not on your life!!!

Stay tuned….


Second Chances Part I

This will be quick, just to throw the thought out there – how many second chances does a person get?  I’ve sure been blessed with my share.  It’s kind of like a cosmic Do-Over though I choose to believe that they come from a very specific place, Person, if you will.  I believe in the God of second chances and I am living proof, quite literally.

As I have to go out the door in a moment, that’s it for now.  But work this around in your brain and heart and we’ll talk again.

How many second chances have you had?  Do you recognize them for what they are?  How have you used them?  How will you use them?

Stay Tuned as we dig into this thought.                                             au revoir


An Angry Man

I was screamed at, flipped off – with both hands, no less – and called a name I really hate!!  All  by a guy with at least three small children watching him and in front of a store employee!   Mentioned the incident to my ErinLee and sure enough, a similar thing happened to her the same day in a grocery store across the country.  Did I provoke?  No, I motioned for him to move his truck so I could get around him and be on my way and the three vehicles behind me as well.

I haven’t even said that he hopped out of his truck and was moving toward mine while  flipping me off and growling obscenities.   My mind flew back in time and I was ready.  I quickly hit the door lock, checked my window – how far was it open – and calculated, “He’s coming at an angle.”  In those few seconds I figured if he kept coming I could use my truck to back him up and give him a little vehicular hug if he chose not to back off with me moving toward him.

I hurt for those children, knowing the stats on boys raised in abusive homes;  not just the boys, but their future spouses as well.  And his daughter, if one of those children was a girl – what would she look for in a husband someday?

An angry man setting the stage for generations to come.  It’s everywhere;  if you pay attention in your daily encounters you’ll see lots of anger.  Road rage, ErinLee hollered at in the grocery store, name-calling, scowling faces.  It’s all around us.  It is said that  anger flows from hurt. If so, why are we in so much pain?

How are you?


There Was a Time …..

There was a time when the night before Ash Wednesday would have my attention more for what was happening at Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Rio than for any spiritual meaning.  Tonight is different.

I’ve had an interesting week and am feeling very blessed!  I was given insight into a situation that had been on my heart and the message was very positive and hopeful.  I’ve once again had the opportunity to participate in a big way in making a difference in some one’s life and there is nothing that compares to the feeling!!!  I’ve also had a situation that could have been fairly upsetting, but instead I’ve seen the miracle in it and am giving thanks.  And I mean miracle, plain as day.

I believe I’ve mentioned my current Bible study and it gets into the whole concept of miracles, what’s real, what’s not, what can we ask for and what can we claim.  It is so timely in my life.

I’m coming up on the three-year mark of what  I believe to be being healed of brain cancer.  Three years ago at this time I was enduring unbelievable headaches, pain beyond description, even for someone who had suffered intense migraines for decades.

I’ll not recount it here, as it’s a life event that occurred and is in the past.  Lent and Easter of 2006, though, were intense times and many lessons have been learned and many memories made since then.  I said then and have lived it since – no health challenge is going to define me.  Shape perhaps, maybe even refine or hone some of my beliefs, but defined by a physical challenge?  No thanks!!

So embarking on this Lenten 2009 journey of leaving behind SHOULD and its ensuing guilt,  I’m a very grateful, very thankful, very fulfilled woman, living daily in wonder at the blessings I have and see all around me.  Everything peachy?  Not quite, but compared to where I’ve been, things look pretty good.  The French refer to la vie en rose; I’d say it’s all in how you choose 🙂  Adieu……