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bread on the water works!

Saturday, December 26, 2009
'Cast your bread upon the water'... then something along the lines of it will come back to you multiplied? ...sounds Biblical, but don't know the precise location:
I'm sure we could 'google-it' and get chapter and verse. But my interpretation (totally unqualified scholar that I am with things from 2000 + years ago) is that the good you do comes back... maybe not in ways you expected, but the 'secret' to That is to Not Expect.

So: A Big 'Thankyou' to all the people who thought we had fallen off the edge of the planet (like those ancient maps from the 1500's where the cartographer would note 'there be dragons here' when they got to completely uncharted territory, whole oceans and continents 'undiscovered' by the WASP population). I had not sent out holiday greetings in a couple of years to lots of folk I used to be so connected with, who somehow got dropped from regular (if infrequent) communication.

The investment in copying and postage paid off. Paul has enjoyed hearing from people who have called to say 'it was sooo good to get your family news...'

Wish I had been smart/forward thinking enough to include a phone number and email address with the annual Sanders Family Gazette, since the world (specifically daughters) largely left me in the dust with their ability to communicate electronically... I don't do the text thing: Man! How Tedious!

But I do want to hear from folks and promise to send 'friendly letters' (remember eighth grade letter writing exercises?) and cards, notes to those who will make the effort to keep in touch... for the rest of you... just keep reading the blog...

Counting Blessings

Friday, December 25, 2009
Though the things I am thankful for are too numerous to actually enumerate, there are lots of reasons...
Waking up knowing both my girls are here, under the same roof.

Francina and roommate Frannie came down from Decatur yesterday, early afternoon. (Then the crazy people went shopping: had a last minute project that caused them to get out in the worst traffic in town... better them than me: since I had not even started gift wrapping and could not put it off any longer.) We had pizza and went to an early church service at 4:00.

A good problem to have is that our congregation has gotten so big, we cannot all meet at one time. We normally have two services on Sunday morning, and there was such a crowd for Christmas Eve last year, we would not all 'fit'. I guess the planners were hoping the early rising crowd on Sunday mornings would be the early shift for Christmas Eve, but there was not an empty seat in the house at 4 o'clock, and expect the 6 o'clock was full too.

Paula had to work till 5:00, so it was after 6:00 before they left TN, and got here about 10:00, reporting it rained hard the whole way. But they (including the Gwen, the wonder dog) arrived safely... and we continued the 'tradition' Francina insisted upon of opening a gift before bed.

I apparently over-estimated the size of the stockings hanging on the mantle, and have 'way more stuffers than will actually 'stuff', so I can either get out the tape and wrapping paper again, or just give it to them in the K-mart bag. But I Will be able to walk into the closet not stumble over over-flowing bags of stuff becasue they are taking it All with them

We are here. Together. I am thankful.
Even in the dark outside, and I am pretty sure it is still raining buckets:
'I know the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and God is good.'
Right here in the wee hours of Christmas morning, waiting for dawn in the season of hope.

'thankful' for a remarkably dull life...

Thursday, December 3, 2009
I don't have anything to report, but it you want to appreciate how dull your life is, you should take a look at Paula's blog for today. Look at www.theadventuresofstinkysweet.com, and scroll down to the 'december' page, look up the one for Dec.3, telling you about all the fun she did not have at work on Tuesday.

Gives you one/40 more things to be thankful for, don't it!!??

Today in Kindergarten...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I have been perusing the production of the primary blogger in the family, and see that there seems to be some sort of issue directly related to people who do not participate on a regular (daily) basis.

So here I am, with other things that need doing, putting in my keyboard time.

I (accidently) had a sub. teaching job today. I was sitting in my pj's at nearly 8:00 this morning, checking the email situation, when the phone rang. I was so sure it was not sub offer, I answered to discover a need for a para-pro. sub. in a classroom at the one elementary school in town I have never been in. It's a fairly new school, up on the north side of town, so (not meaning to sound prejudiced or biased:) I knew it would be a relatively agreeable situation.

When I got there I found that there had been a sub. in the class the day before, who had apparently turned the job for today back into the computer-search system, which explains why I got a call so late in the cycle. (The computer usually starts calling, looking for replacements at 6 am, and will continue to call until all the slots have been filled, or 9:00 which ever comes first).

The teacher was telling me that the school board has decided to let all the first grade and Kindergarten para-pros go the end of the year. Maybe a few will stay on, depending on education/longevity to serve as 'floaters'. The pre-K paras. are paid with lottery money, so their jobs are apparently safe.

All this means that the administrators will continue to sit behind big, wide desks on their big, wide behinds in the brand new $50 million admin. building, collecting their big, fat checks while completely isolated from the classrooms and educational needs of the community. There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

I am thankful I am not looking work. I am very thankful I am not thinking about looking for work as an educator. I've long believed that substitute teaching is probably the most thankless job on the planet, with a very close second being a school bus driver.

And don't even want to think about the direction our educational system, therefore society is headed in. I am very thankful mine are 'all growed up', or as my elderly friend used to say: 'saucered and blowed'.

A number of years ago I made the surprising discovery the world economy is based on 'greed'. It is sad to see our public schools in the situation they are, and looking even more dismal for the future, and see what administrators are paid... while wondering what they actually do. I know there is some risk involved in being willing to be 'the buck stops here' guy, but when the people on the front lines, in the classrooms trying to instill character and values, in addition to basic educational skills in the next generation are not getting the support they need: it's a sorry situation.

Leftovers 'orphans'

Monday, November 30, 2009
You know how you used to hear about people who would decide they did not want to be pet owners, and take puppies when they got grown and past 'cute' out and dump them? Or cats when they would reproduce excessively and just leave a litter of kittens by the roadside to face certain death? Folks who leave unwanted domesticated animals out in the country, to fend for themselves: That's Not me, but I do have a confession to make...

When I went to Florida on Friday, I took the pumpkin pie I knew No One here needed to eat, and left it. Not exactly abandoned alongside the road, but hopefully found a 'good home' with a caring family. I did not precisely open the door and shove it out, drive off in a cloud of dust, saying 'good riddance', but admit to somewhat drastic measures to try to whittle down the temptations of Remains of the Day. And am sure that the adoptive family will be very caring and compassionate. (Thanks: D, R, S, W & P for hospitality, and kindness by 'taking in' orphaned pie.)

The recipe is not necessairily what might be considered nutritious, but is so close to 'healthy eating' I took a copy to share with the group when I went to WW on Sunday aft. If you are careful with your shopping, it is mostly air, and does have quite a bit of 'fiber'. Should you want more info., available upon request! Or just come by at Christmas, when I am sure I will be repeating by request.

Leftover Leftovers...

The turkey story is pretty funny:

I had purchased a small, white-meat breast/turkey roast weeks ago, when they were on sale, and put it in the freezer, awaiting a holiday. So I got it out last Sunday afternoon, thinking if it sits in the fridge several days, it will be thawed and ready to cook for us to enjoy on Thanksviving. Sounds like a great plan, right?...Turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy (without body parts), casseroles: squash, sweet potato, traditional-always-on-the-table items like apple salad and celery sticks stuffed with olives-creamcheese.

Then I got a call Monday morning before I was due to be at Publix for a short shift of grocery bagging: "You Won The Turkey!" I had put my name in a box for a raffle drawing several weeks ago, not even knowing what the 'prize' would be, at the Red Cross office, after I gave a pint of blood. I thought: whatever it is (usually a trip someplace!), I surely deserve to win after saving someone's life! But did not know what they were actually giving away for the month of November. When the receptionist called and told me the 14 pound turkey was waiting, I am sad to report that I said a bad word. Then asked her to go ahead and take it out of the freezer so it would start thawing. Paul went to pick it up, and left it in the sink for me to deal with, so I put it in the fridge when I got home from Publix in the afternoon.

Though nobody actually wanted to be 'in charge' (and us in the presence of a Trained Professional!) and take responsibility for the roasting of the bird, it was consumed. Mostly. I made vegetable soup with the stock from the carcass on Sunday, and Paul made a truckload of turkey salad on Saturday. (I think he is already tired of eating so he obviously over-estimated how much he could consume!)

Hindsight made me realize I could have donated that bird, but I was so stunned it never occured to me at the time. In the unlikely event this should ever occur again, I hope I will have the presence of mind to think of the 'less fortunate' and be willing to actually look this particular gift horse in the mouth! (Or back end of the bird where all the extra parts are located, but who wants to dig around in there to find something you will just throw away?)

My mom's neighbor had a sort-of recipe she told me about, something she had kinda invented, aapted, to use up leftover turkey when they family is getting tired of looking at the Remains of the Day. I don't recall if it is something you serve over toast/rice, or a casserole with enough additions to disguise the fact that the bird is back on the table again.I have been thinking about it, and hope I can find it in my recipe box. She called it "Goodbye Turkey". That's most appropriate!

11-27-09 Leftover Thankfulness

Friday, November 27, 2009
So: thankful for what?
All that stuff that goes along with citzenship and the constitution.
People in the military who have served in the past, for well over two hundred years, and the ones who serve today.
Really thankful for American history.

Being Cheerfully Unemployed: Though I worked a big eight hours at Publix this week, as a bagger-geezer doing carry-out two mornings. When they called to ask if I could work, I thought it would be nice to make some pocket change, but said 'four or five hours on my feet is all I can tolerate', so I got 2 four-hour shifts - and it was just about all my feet could tolerate!

Thankful for a holiday that celebrates Thankfulness: I had invited a number of singles to come and have lunch... and was pleasantly surprised to have two accept. Aa couple of friends responded with interest, calling to say they would like to come and have turkey with us: so...

Thankful for friends too! It was good to see you and enjoy eating and visiting Ann and Linda.

Thankful for all the ones who were invited and did not come, since they obviously had other people, family close by to enjoy visiting and eating with. So to all those who did not show up: we missed seeing you, and I am appreciative of the gift of friendship.

Thankful for a full fridge: Do you want to stop by for leftovers? (just a joke - I have already 'farmed' most of it out!)

11-17-09 If it hurts so much, why do you keep doing it to yourself?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I have been working as a substitute 'para-pro'/teacher's aide for past two days, in elementary schools on opposite sides of town. I am astounded at the difference between the two.

The class on Monday was almost as far north as a five-year-old can go and still be in the school system. I was so impressed with how organzied and professional that young woman was. She is a great teacher, has the classroom under control and really seems to know what to do/how to to manage two dozen children.

The class room today was the most chaotic, disorganized experience I have had since I started back in the 'monkey herding' work just over a year ago. Part of the problem is that the teacher is a long -term sub., replacing someone who is out on maternity leave till January. The other part is she can't manage - in no small part, due to the environment the children are coming from and the lack of discipline and experience the four year olds have had thus far. I predict she won't make it till Dec. 17, and might have a complete breakdown if her aide is out again before then.

I have another job tomorrow at the Only high school in town I would consider going into. And fully expect it will be a good day, with students who will not give me any problems, likely with so much work assigned they won't get finished, and therefore won't have time to be trouble...

All this to say how thankful I am the people I was personally responsible for turned into functioning adults. And even more thankful that they are not trying to muddle their way through the public schools in the situation they are in now. I can't imagine how that young woman I was with today must feel: thinking that she has to 'tough it out' because she needs the money. I know that filling in as a 'long-term' subsititue pays better than the 'day labor' I have been doing in a haphazard fashion, but not at the risk of mental stability.

The stars are shining, the world is turning, God is Good.

11-09-09...more Thankfulness...

Monday, November 9, 2009
I usually get calls several days a week with 'offers' to substitute teach. I am apparently in such great demand that Paul reported I got a call on Saturday afternoon... which has never happened before. In reality, they are more likely just desperate for people to come in and 'hold the fort'.
The computer generated 'sub.finder' system starts calling at 6 in the afternoon, till 9 p.m., then again at 6 a.m. till all the slots get filled, or 9 o'clock.

Most days I don't respond to the requests, having something else already on my schedule: I don't quite know what it is that keeps me so busy I do not seem to have time for a 'job' or working, but I have only actually taken three sub. teaching assignments since schools started back in August.

I got two or three calls on Friday, all of which I refused. But then I started thinking: I don't have anything else going on, I think I will call and see if I can find some 'day labor' work. So I called the computer and got one of the jobs I had turned down earlier.

The recorded message said it was work in an 'early intervention' classroom, which I assumed to be something like a head-start program that would assist disadvantaged kids to get up to speed. I went to an elementary school in a low income area of town. When I got there, the secretary said that there were already two aides in the classroom... which was 'odd'.

Then as she walked me down the hall, she commented 'all these kids are autistic'. I thought: have I bit off more than I can chew? The children were four to six years all, mostly all non-verbal, with other problems as well, like ADHD, behavior issues, anger problems, one was deaf and learning to 'sign'. Wow.

One of the para.pros sat at the computer all day, or had the ipod plugged into his ears, I assume because the teacher was out and not there to keep them all busy/supervised. But the other para. was very involved, interacting, attempting to instruct, though much of the time is devoted to intervention and behavior management.

It was not a bad day: interesting and educational.

What I really learned is that I am very Thankful for healthy children. Appreciating the blessing of having kids that matured into independent, fully-functioning adults. I cannot imagine the heartache a mother must feel to gradually realize that a child will always, always need assistance.

11-03-09 a little thankfulness...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Paul's surgery on Monday, the 2nd went well. He was orginally scheduled to have the pacemaker (that is apparently also a mini-version of defilibrator, somehow micro-chipped and programable to give him a little 'shock' when needed) for Tuesday, the 2nd, but the surgeon, a very small, pleasant Indian woman, found it more convenient to do on Monday...

It was done under local anesthetic (but not if it were me), and apparently he was cheerfully offering all the OR staff hockey ticket discounts the whole time. It took a little longer than expected, and they got started a couple of hours later than we had originally been told, so it was mid-afternoon before he was finally in a room, and visit-able. He was in good spirits, and continues to be, though is of course very sore where the little device (they say about the size of two silver dollars) is in a 'pocket' under the skin on his upper left chest. Before he was discharged midafternoon on Tues., the dr. said she could tell his heart was already doing better, so I guess the device is doing what it created/designed to accomplish. He declined even having the Rx for darvocet filled, so apparently can define the pain as 'discomfort' rather than misery.

Now snoozing in his recliner, I don't really expect he will, as instructed, wait till after next Tuesday (when he has followup dr. appt. scheduled) to: take a shower, start driving, return to work. But apparently came through the surgery well, and feeling good. So he is hopeful that this will give him a bit more energy and stamina to do the things he wants to do.

Francina cooked him a cholesterol laden meal (just exactly what he 'ordered') last night before heading back to Decaturas she had to be at work around noon today. Paula will have lunch here, then leave for Chattanooga, home, hubby, work on Thursday. Always good to have them back 'in the nest', even though temporary.

I know lots of people have been thinking of and offering up prayers on little wings, so Thanks! to all those folks who have had us on your minds and in your hearts.

10-31-09: Happy Halloween, or not...

Saturday, October 31, 2009
I am going to be the resident 'face painter' at the Botanical Gardens' "Kids Fest" today. Debating about really getting into the proper mood by dressing up: I could put on a bandana and eyepatch, say 'arrggghh' a lot. Or put on the clown costume that I think everyone in the family except Paul has worn. Or put on Paul's shorts that come down past my knees, with some of his red suspenders to keep them from puddling up around my feet.

I've been to Decatur and South Carolina this week. Went up on Wednesday to spend the afternoon on a beautiful fall day planting pansies. Francina and I dug lots of sad, pitiful stuff out of planters on the patio where she works, and put in perennials and pansies. They are definitely more colorful, especially now that they are not full of cigarette butts, where people have used them for ashtrays. I don't know how well they will do over the winter. Maybe the 'upside' of global warming, will be mild weather that won't completely decimate our efforts.

Then, when she got off work, we went to see The Wild Things... based on the Maurice Sendak book that we memorized years ago, when we read it every night... along with being able to quote the first twenty pages of The Cat in the Hat. I tend to get so caught up in being amazed by the special effects (how do they do that?) that I usually leave with the feeling that I need to go right back in and see it again: to actually follow the plot that I missed entirely, due to being fascinated by the technology, instead of paying attention to the story-line.

On Thursday, I went up to SC to visit my penpal in Greenville, a man who served in the Army with my Dad. He had been on the Upstate 'Honor Flight' to DC back in early September, and had photo albums of the trip to Washington. This was not his first time to visit the WWII and other war memorials, but was his first time to fly. What a treat! He was delighted to meet the captain of their charter flight, (who was a female) and see the inside the cockpit.

I met Mr. Homer several years ago, when he called the house in Quitman, trying to find Capt. Fluker. He wanted to invite him to go with a group of vets who were planning to attend the dedication of the WWII memorial. Mr. Homer is in his mid-eighties. Listening to him makes me think about all the things we take for granted: When he went to war, and returned, they travelled on cramped troop ships that took about ten days to cross the Atlantic.

I went with a group of veterans on an Honor Flight from Columbus in late September. There are usually 100 vets per flight, plus medical team, and chaperones to assist the vets during their travels. I was the 'guardian' for a 93 year old man, who was actually born and raised here in Midland, in another century, when it was a farming community. We left Columbus about 8:00 a.m., flew into Baltimore, spent the day touring the mall area, and Arlington cemetery, got back to a huge, flag-waving, horn-tooting welcome about 10:30 p.m. Though we were all exhausted from our very long day, that was really overwhelming. When you think that most of these guys did not return home until all the celebrating at war's 'official' end and partying was over, long after the parades and dancing in the streets: this was their 'Welcome Home' party.

Still makes me a little weepy thinking about: dedication, sacrifice, honor, the price of 'freedom'. Feeling very thankful. And Blessed. I've already filled out the paperwork to go on the next trip, when they plan to take more veterans in April. Interested? http://www.honorflight.org/, connect with a local/regional group, get an application for 'guardian' and go! Or if you know a WWII vet, you better get them on the next flight... check the site for future trips.

Making an incremental difference in the world...

Thursday, October 22, 2009
I am walking for Alzheimer's' on Saturday, October 24. Having been a 'worker-bee'/volunteer for several years, behind the scenes useful with activities like 'professionally-trained, helium-filled balloon expert tye-er' and 'commemorative T-shirt hander-outer', I decided to be a Real Contributor. I actually wrote my donation check and left it at the St. Luke Respite Care, when I stopped by to visit and got 'recruited' several weeks ago. Choppy attended their three-day-a-week group for several years, originally under great duress, though I think that she eventually began to interact, enjoy socializing with other participants and staff. I know they found her to be occasionally witty, and amusing, as they all laugh when reminiscing of her time in their presence.

Then it occurred to me, the first of this week, that I should offer friends and relatives of Choppy the opportunity to support Alz. programs and research. So sent out email to people I thought would be interested, and possibly respond. (Thanks again to all who have said 'the check is inthe mail!') It's not too late, though I would have to mail your donation to St. Luke UMC, for them to funnel into the local chapter office, (or you can send: http://www.alzheimersassociation.org/ in memory of 'Choppy' Fluker). I'm usually opposed to supporting corporate type fund-raisers, but my family has been so impacted by this, I can't not do something.

Thought I could look forward to a pleasant jaunt walking in the fall sunshine on Saturday morning, casually meandering along arm in arm with the St. Luke Strollers, then find I have the 'opportunity' to work a day at Publix. Martin (co-worker, full time guy) is taking what will likely be the last of his vacation days this weekend, so my skills are in demand in the Floral Shoppe. I rarely find myself on the Publix schedule: worked nearly twenty hours several weeks ago, one day in produce/floral, but most of that time as a 'bagger-geezer', which I find physically very difficult. "Why", you are wondering, "do you keep doing that?" I wish I knew...

If I do not work at least once a month (even as little as a couple of hours - just long enough to clock in and out) I will get dropped from their computer payroll system. So I am still an employee, though hanging on by the thinnest thread. Sorry - I wish I knew why I continue to dangle.... all I can say is that I really, really enjoy the floral work, and am reluctant to completely let go.

I believe, with time, the economy will begin to recover, and that some of the people who work there, part-timers, will start getting more hours. I also believe there are places that have been forced to cut back on employees and will not re-hire, after seeing the workers they have kept, when forced to double up/take up the slack have shouldered the extra burdens 'adequately' for some jobs to be left unfilled. You can mantra the quotes like: 'tough times don't last, tough people do', but I feel like our society is making some permanent changes, in the same way you 'eat an elephant' or 'turn around a battleship'... is it for the good? Hmmm.....
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
'Soup' for the spirit to ponder...

I can't say I don't dream, because 'the experts' say Everyone does, but I can say that I have almost no memory of what goes on when I sleep. I willingly admit that one of my major concerns with this 'aging process' is sleeping poorly: having to get up multiple times in the night to wander around the house, check non-existant e-mail, make another cup of 'sleepytime' tea, read for hours, detour to the bathroom from all that tea!
I had a dream recently, and think it worth reporting. Actually wondering if I can find someone who might 'interpret' in the Old Testament sense. I am sure it means something, but haven't quite yet figured out what I am supposed to learn.
This was my dream as I remember it: except for my daughter, all the other people involved appeared to be from India or southeast asia, so we must have been in a foreign country. We were surrounded by masses of people who we struggled to communicate with, and I think part of our problem was due to language limitations....
We were in a large complex of buildings, trudged up stairs to an upper floor. Not a modern shopping mall, but more haphazardly built, where one corridor somehow leads you into another area overflowing with merchandise. In part of the building that was more like a stall in a market or bazaar, we were looking at items, handling things, perusing, and decided to make a purchase.
I started to take money out of my pocket to pay, but my daughter handed over cash first. I said: 'Let me pay', and tried to get them to return the folding money and change.The young worker had already put the cash in the box or drawer, and when she handed it back, only gave paper money. When I questioned her, she said she was not allowed to give back change, that as soon as it was handed to her, it became property of the shop-owner.
I was SO indignant.
The owner was standing close by, probably to observe her every move, (thinking his attentiveness would keep her honest?) and immeidately came over when he saw there was conversation and would likely be a problem.
I tried to make the owner understand that those young people he was employing and training to run a business were being taught how to be dishonest, they were using him as a model for cheating customers. I was convinced that they would take this business practice with them the rest of their lives, and eventually pocketing the change he thought he was keeping. I knew he was training them to be cheats and it made me so angry that he would deliberately demand his workers be untrustworthy. He kept telling me that since the money was in His possession, it was obviously His Money, unwilling to see the Big Picture. The fact that I was willing to replace 'his' money when he returned it to my daughter, with some that was mine would not persuade him to let go of what he already had in his till.
As I have pondered this, it reminds me of the fable about the monkey who put his hand down in the narrow-necked jar to retrive some food, made a fist around what he desired, and therefore had his hand stuck because he was so greedy he refused to let go of the prize within to free himself.
It made me think... about how kids learn as much (or more) from what they SEE parents, grandparents, teachers, other adults, their 'models' for behavior actually DOING, as they do from all their instructions, lessons, what all those people TALK about, and tell them is the 'right way'.
This is very much a generational thing: Emulating the Elders, and applies to me, you, kids a hundred years ago and a hundred years into the future - we all go through the process of looking to those older, and theoretically wiser, as models for how to speak, act, live...
If you can figure anything out about this, please let me know...

One of the things I get from this is that we are called to be faithful in little ways, to be consistently willing to tend to the small things in our lives. We all walk past pennies in the parking lot, won't pick up a nickle or dime someone else had dropped on the sidewalk as not being worth the effort, since you can't actually buy anything for that insignificant amount in our society.
But consider that most of the workers in the world get paid less than one dollar a day for their labor, and families all over our planet actually manage to subsist with such limited resources. Not with the frozen convenience foods, microwave ovens, and delivered pizza we enjoy, but they do provide for their families.
Do you know anything about micro-finance, and what a remarkable impact it is having in third world countries? Check out www.kiva.org.

A cold Sunday night: what happened to 'fall'?

Sunday, October 18, 2009
It's the middle of October... I know it's not winter, but I was so sure I would be miserable when I left the house early on Saturday morning to spend another day practicing my servant-ship in Hamilton: after I got dressed, I went back and put on another (under) layer and wool sox. Good move. Especially since I had decided I should stay until the last candle was blown out Sat. night, and it was both cold and dark when I finally got home at nearly 10:00. It was really touching, but also a very long day.

I felt obligated (and more than a little guilty) to do all I could to be a useful worker-bee on Sat. as I knew I had no intention of going back today. Being at church is very important to me feeling 'fed', and I felt like I had put in ample time behind-the-scenes in the kitchen. Especially after finding myself up to my soggy elbows in the dishwater following the spagetti supper. Pasta noodles floating around in the suds was pretty yuck. Like swimming in a farm pond when you can't see what else is in there with you :(>

A beautiful day here in middle GA: a little windy, but classically clear fall sky, with occasional hawks/raptors riding the thermals, searching for those lower down on the food chain. I had been sadly slacking on my usual daily walking, so put in some miles today, pondering and praying. Checking on my fall garden: the onions are up after all the rains in recent days, and the radishes are looking good. No sign of the beets or carrots, but I hope a few sunny days will provide some evidence of sprouts to go along with the cauliflower and broccoli starts I planted a month ago.

your second serving of a soupy substance...

Friday, October 16, 2009
I feel like I am performing, on a stage, under a spotlight (or magnifying glass), and not sure I am fully capable of coming up with words worthy of appearing in print, especially having gotten started on this so late in the day.

I've had people tell me I should consider 'writing', but somehow have the feeling it was because A) I keep corresponding whethere anyone responds or not, and B) obviously verbose.

Today: I set the alarm for 5 a.m., though not necessary because that unspeakably early hours is normal for me to be wide awake, thinking of what I could be doing if I would get up and going. I'd agreed to be back at a retreat center in Harris County, to be a 'worker bee' in the kitchen, to assist with preparing and serving meals. It obviously takes a lot of behind the scenes volunteers to make these things go smoothly. And likely compared to lots of other more worldly jobs where tedium is terrifyingly interrupted by periodic emergency/crisis/fire drills.

I've been trying to be really diligent and conscientious about what I put in my mouth, carefully keeping a food diary (which I threw out the window on the way home!) I have not been so badly influenced since raiding my kid's Halloween stash, one of whom would still have stale candycorn and lint-covered Snickers at Easter! Never knew such fine, sincere, upstanding, law-abiding Christians could be such a bad influence on my good intentions... but tomorrow is a new day, new opportunity to walk the straight and narrow way (which I could probably do a whole lot better if there were not so many homemade sweets calling my name, in urgent need of Quality Control Testing!)

I did not really want to go, though I made the commitment months ago. Tried to find someone who would graciously allow me to weasel out of the weekend, but no one would even return my calls, so I pretty much knew I was stuck. It has been good, sweet, a blessing to serve this group of men who are taking the time to seek, search, desiring to devote their lives to being living proof of saving grace and mercy. So I will set my alarm for 5, and go again....

your first serving of 'soup'

Thursday, October 15, 2009
I have enjoyed reading the news from Chattanooga, the blog of Stinky Sweet (mostly the ONLY way I get info. from TN that is not 'fowarded' from an un-named source), and have been badgering the author to: 'teach me, teach me!!!'
Well, here we are: me writing, and you reading. I am hoping to come up with some major (or minor) philosophic points for us to ponder, but they will likely not be particularly profound.
When the author of StinkySweet was here last weekend, I was pestering her about needing 'tech. support'. She said I first had to come up with a name/title for my blog. So: I am sure the book about 'Stone Soup' was required reading for eveyone who checked out books from their elementary school library.
When you think about the story, you realize it was a demonstration of how we can accomplish great things when we just put a little cooperative effort into reaching goals. You also might consider that the people in the village inadvertently, unintentionally, accidently provided for others when they made contributions to their own betterment (as in serving a Greater Good). And then you may even think: hmmmm, what they basically did was to 'make something out of nothing'.... which is actually what I am thinking may happen here...


I am writing mom step-by-step instructions on how to post, so I am doing it as I write to make sure I am seeing the same things she will see and telling her what she needs to know.
This is my sample...
we are working on it.
She is so good she might be posting by later today!
Check back!

analyze me!

I also put her blog in Google Analytics because I am so fascinated by who visits and I want to be able to report in to her on who is coming to see her site and how they got there. So please, share the address and check back often as we get this baby set up!

well hello there.

Hello everyone...this is Paula. I am such a famous blogger that I got my mom hooked too (kidding about the famous part, not kidding about the mom part.) This is her first entry - I am trying to set up her account and layout so I can then give her a tutorial on how to use this thing. Maybe once she gets it, she can post for me when I am in the woods next time. Check back with us soon and hopefully we will have this up and running with MOM posting, instead of me.