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all certified (or certifiable?)

Sunday, March 27, 2011
I found out that I was scheduled to work yesterday (Sat.) and Mon., after I signed on to go to CSU to take a free ARC CPR class to get recertified for rescuing. I hope I don't ever have an opportunity to use it: but think I am mostly prepared/ready if the occasion should arise, especially since we were all reminded that we are covered by the states' Good Samaritan Law. So I went in at 7, left at 8:30 after having been there for 90 minutes, taking a 3 1/2 hour lunch break. The whole time I was gone, was wondering why the employer is not interested in having workers trained to provide assistance for this type thing? I'm the one who made the suggestion years ago that they could let employees take an hour of paid time to go to the Red Cross and donate a pint of blood. Of course, they would be willing for you to do things that make them look like good corporate citizens,and are all about having employees volunteer to support United Way, March of Dimes walk, Partnerships in Education, etc., but not at the expense of taking an hour that you could be working. Just heard a sermon this morning that was a great affirmation of my below the radar 'Laundry Minstry': so the person who goes in the kitchen at church every week and takes the dirty towels home to wash, dry, fold and return finally feels like someone notices there are always clean towels in the basket that are apparently used to mop the floor. To say nothing of those forty (yes: 40) tablecloths from a big dinner the church sponsored about a month ago that had been languishing in garbage bags for a week that I took to the laundro-mat and spent fifty dollars in quarters washing and drying to fold and return clean, ready to re-use. Worst part was all the folding! :( note to daughters: Someone is always watching what you do, and thinking: your actions are much louder than your voice... I am starting to sound like my mother!?!

funny? yes. embarassing? probably

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I went to the coast yesterday to visit a friend. On the way across the state, I stopped when I noticed gas at a convenience store for fifteen cents less than it is here. Traveled down some pretty remote country roads, through some really pretty farm land before getting to I-16, then on to where it interesects with I-95.

Got to where the friend lives in a Methodist retirement center southwest of Savannah in Richmond Hill community, with plans to spend the night on her couch (in my trusty sleeping bag), did a bit of riding around, spent the night and started back home today.

I was obviously not paying close attention to the gas gauge: the little thing that beeps when you are getting seriously low came on, as I was tooling along with great plans to make it back to that curb store where the (relatively speaking) 'cheap' gas was 24 hours earlier. I got more and more anxious (plus of course, needed to pee) when I kept going and going and going without seeing anyplace to buy gas, and the Low Fuel beeper kept beeping and beeping and beeping. With me wondering if it would actually still 'go' on the batteries if there was no petro. in tank... up and down and up and down those steep hills near the Oconee through the middle of the state.

I saw a bunch of guys in yellow DOT trucks and was pondering stopping to ask for a gallon, but said: naaa - I can make it, then topped another hill with no curbstore in sight, and continued to fret... came to another intersection out in the middle of nowhere, with no curbstore in sight, and continued to fret... passed a golf course and thought: hmmmm - they use gas in their weedwhackers and lawnmowers, and said: naaa.... I can make it, then continued to be antsy and anxious. Came to another intersection, with no pumps, and finally made a U-turn and went back to throw my foolish self on the mercy of the groundskeeper at the golf course. The guy in the pro shop laughed and said there is a gas station about a mile up the road, but gave me a gallon anyway.

And said: 'don't pay for it, just pass it on'.

The moral to this story is: there are definite limits to the benefits of frugality.

And when I did get to the CS that was really several miles away, gas had gone up 6 cents since yesterday. But I did FILL it UP. And thankful for not having to be frugal/foolishly trying to save pennies.

VTWE #21

Monday, March 21, 2011
I told a fellow church-goer/retired minister/friend some weeks ago that I was interested in being a 'worker bee' for the Valley Walk To Emmaus retreat this past weekend. After he put my name in the pot, I discovered me volunteered as the Head of the Worship Team... which is not at all what I expected, much preferring to be a little ole' below-the-radar indian than a Chief. But since I had served in that area for both the men's and women's retreats in the fall, apparently the person who makes those decisions felt like I was experienced/well-trained enough to just throw me in and see if I could swim.

I'm here to tell about it, so I guess we managed to muddle through fairly well.

It was long weekend: those who were serving 'behind the scenes' to make the event run smoothly for the 'pilgrims' when they would arrive on Thursday evening, were to be on-site by 1:00 on Thursday afternoon. I did not get the job description/book/binder of instructions with all the particulars for my area until Thursday morning, so I felt pretty anxious and stressed going into the weekend. But I found out what I was responsible for, what supplies were needed, and began putting everything in place for the 'pilgrims' to arrive in the evening.

I had excellent assistance, ample support from other workers, Logistics coordinator, and my Faithful Friend (who actually volunteered herself, instead of me being the one twho usually ropes her into projects). So it all got done, without the pilgrims realizing how many people were doing the work to make their time there in the woods such a rewarding, enriching experience.

At the end of the weekend, when the pilgrims were sort of 'commisioned', in a sense of returning (Go Ye Therefore...) to the Real World - going back out into their community, heading home to families, back to business in a literal sense - they were presented with the opportunity to tell what the weekend meant to them in terms of growth and how they would apply that experience. It was very sweet, often wet and teary, to see full-grown, well-fed, big, hairy men become moved, mould-able, transformed by what they had experienced.

When we were on the way back to Columbus late Sunday afternoon, nearly brain-dead from insufficent sleep and running on chocolate (my preferred form of caffiene) for three days: we talked about the questions the men responded to. 'What this weekend means to me' would have to be the blessing that I received when I had opportunity to be a witness to/serving during such a life-changing event. Seeing those men whose hearts were touched and lives were changed, knowing they will go back into families and the marketplace and what they will take with them.
Very gratifying knowing I had a part in that.

Over the weekend, when the servants were given an opportunity to secretly, anonymously walk around the outside walls of the chapel as the men were lead in worship, and saturate those men with prayer. Mine was for them to experience something that they would take home and live out with their families. For their hearts to be filled with the desire to raise up a generation of leaders, teach their children what they will need to grow into adults with integrity and character they will need to lead a nation, change our society and turn us around.

If you would like to feel like your heart,soul, spirit has been in for a 'tune-up' and renewed, you should talk to me about going on the Walk to Emmaus.

what would you do? (WWJD?)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
After I took the S-i-l to her Dr. appt. on Tuesday, I wanted to run by the church to take some clean towels back to the kitchen. When we drove up in the parking lot, there was a woman standing in the misting rain on the curb, appearing to be waiting for someone/something to happen. A church staff member came out of the building as I pulled up and said the woman on the curb needed a ride to a store down the street (where I just conveniently happen to be employed and planned to drive by) so I said I would provide the transportation, if she would take clean laundry into the kitchen.

The woman got in the car, explaining her car was broken, and started telling us that she was going to try to find her friend at work and ask to borrow enough money to pay for the family to spend the night at Motel 8. I told her I would provide the money, and would take her whereever she needed to go.

She had me take her to the motel, I went in to give my $25 to the desk clerk, and she admitted that she really needed $35, so I coughed up another ten. I got my receipt, and was walking out when she then asked me if she could get a ride to the nearest Waffle House to get her three daughters some sausage biscuits for breakfast.

So we did, and left her there. And immediately started counting out blessings on the way back to the house. I am still counting, and realize they are really too numerous to begin listing, but here's the Short List:
I am thankful for a roof over my head, without worrying about how to pay for it.
I am thankful for no concerns about where the next meal is coming from.
I am thankful for a car that will take me anyplace I want to go, and the ability to refill the gas tank when needed.
I am thankful for a man who provides, and has never mistreated me.
I am thankful for having financial security, no anxiety over money.
I am thankful for health.
I am thankful for healthy happy daughters who have a sense of success and accomplishment in their daily lives.

Now I know that even though she told me she was working and had received/deposited a paycheck, she could not access the cash for another 24 hours, to be able pay her motel bill, she also told someone else at the church that same story last week. So there is more, much more to the story than I am privy to, even though she talked continually the whole time we were in the car. And I'm not sure how much of the information I got was accurate/truthful in the telling.

I decided to not feel buffaloed or b.s.'d, but choose to feel like I happened along, was in the right place at the right time, to help someone in a pinch. Especially with young dependent daughters who were waiting for mom to come back and provide for their needs.

crazie weather: what seasons is it, really?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Spring? Winter? 34 degrees? 68 degrees? Who knows? Al Gore? Did he invent this nutty weather?

I planted some starts of little English Pea plants about two weeks ago out along the fence in the garden area, hoping they will climb and make some tender peas for me to go out and eat standing in the backyard. The Little Red Hen has no intention whatsoever of sharing if they should produce.

And IF they don't: I have two packets of seeds of English peas I hope I will get planted this afternoon, on this bright, crystal clear blue sky, sunny day. Of course there is that chance that I am planting too late, and they will get hurt from too much heat when the days warm up into the 80's and beyond. Or that I am planting too early, and they won't do anything, like the time I planted carrot seeds and they took two years to decide it was time to grow... out in the garden right now, even though I did not plant the first carrot seed back in the fall - so anything that looks like a carrot has been waiting in the dark, wet cold earth for well over a year.

road trip to south GA.

Friday, March 4, 2011
I went to south Ga. this week, a pretty quick trip, that was actually pretty pretty. The yellow Carolina jasmine is blooming bountifully out in the tree tops. And the volunteering, nusiance Bradford pears that have been spread by wildlife are glorious. Sad that so many spring things put on such a fantastic show for about five days, then seem to vanish into the landscape for another 51 weeks, becoming nearly un-noticeable until they put on their finery next spring.

Things are quiet in Quitman - and getting quieter. Half the stores in town are empty. Smilin' Jack left a hole that will not be soon filled...The only businesses that seem to thrive are eating establishments... and since the only place I spent any money was at the postoffice, I was not very helpful for boosting the economy.

Went to Valdosta to visit KST and the auntie who is having a birthday today. She enjoys telling that she was born on the only day that is a 'command': March Forth!

Got a little shrub-whacking done in the back yard. It has been neglected for a Long Time, and getting things under control is going to be monumental. I think I need to be looking at the project through a carboard cylinder, like kids making binoculars out of toilet paper tubes at pre-school, for the work there to not appear be so overwhelming that I throw up my hands in defeat.

so.... what happen' to spring?

It was gorgeous last weekend: and now the forsythia is in full amazing bloom, looking like a huge mass of teeniest little yellow butterflies hovering between the tree trunks out in the bare woods, brilliantly yellow against the dull grays and browns of bare trees and fallen leaves. And a ba-zillion bulb plants popping up in the leaf mulch that have suddenly brought forth bright blossoms: 'smiley-face' yellow of daffodils, spikes of lavendar, white and pink hyacinths, tiny little demure white bell-shapes of snow-drops...

And weather that will drop down to freezing over the weekend? On the very day that I decided it was safe to retire my wool sox back to the bottom drawer and change over to ankle socks? I had to come home, drag out the warmwoolies and put on another layer just to go for a walk!

I had an unusual 1/2 day of sub. teaching today that I accepted over a week ago, thinking: this will be a cinch. Which it was not. I was the sub. for the para-pro., but the teacher had a sub. also which means they were both leaving school early. And I am thinking: why did the school leave a class room full of kids with a para-sub? I thought they would not leave a classroom 'unattended' with just an aide in there??? sound strange to you too?