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Friday, January 31, 2014

FREE FOR A WHILE

Finally, today, two days before the big thaw, my driveway and ramp were shoveled. I can get outside now.

This morning I carefully walked out onto the front porch (snow and ice covered) and took a photo of my driveway covered with snow. I posted it on Facebook and said I thought my street could be a new movie title: The Forgotten Street. Sounded good to me!

The driveway at the house directly across the street was half shoveled. She is in a wheelchair most of the time, but can still drive. Maybe a neighbor helped her out, I don't know.

A few small areas of the pavement were becoming visible on the street due to four cars traveling up and down the past few days; certainly not from being plowed.

About 5pm this afternoon, the Municipal Court van pulled up out front and two people began shoveling her driveway across the street (to finish it up). Then they came over to my house and cleaned off the porch, exit ramp, and driveway. I can see concrete again! The foot tracks out front are from a diligent mailman who doesn't seem to mind this weather; he's always cheerful.

I figured I might have to wait until Saturday and the 49 degree weather that has been predicted to see any relief from the feeling of being snowed in. Prayer works! And maybe Facebook helped too!

I have to go out briefly tomorrow, and Sunday, and Monday. It will relieve the cabin fever I've been feeling for the past 10 days. More snow has been predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, but until then - I'M FREE AGAIN! My vehicle will take me out and about until the next snowfall.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DON'T ENVY

A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed at home. He wanted her to see what he went through each day, so he prayed: "Dear Lord, I go to work every day and put in 8 hours of hard work, while my wife merely stays at home. I want her to know what I go through, so please create a trade in our bodies". God, in His infinite wisdom, granted the man's wish.

The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman. He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home ... picked up the dry cleaning, took it to the cleaners and stopped at the bank to draw money to pay the electricity and telephone bills.

He drove to the electricity company and the phone company and paid the bills, went grocery shopping, came home and put away the groceries. He cleaned the cat's litter box and bathed the dog. By then it was already 1:00 pm, so he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, and sweep and mop the kitchen floor.

He rushed to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home which he had to sort out in a gentle 'motherly' fashion. He set out cookies and milk and got the kids organised to do their homework, then set up the ironing board and was able to watch a bit of TV while he did the ironing. By then it was 4:30 pm, so he began peeling potatoes and washed greens for salads. He prepared the chops and fresh vegetables and got everything ready in time for an early dinner.

After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed. At 9:00 pm he was exhausted and although his chores weren't finished for the day, he went to bed where he was expected to make love, which he managed to get through without complaining. The next morning he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and said: "Lord, I don't know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day. Please, O please, let us trade back!"

The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied, "My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You'll just have to wait 9 months though, because you got pregnant last night!"

Monday, January 27, 2014

GENEROSITY


The generosity of others is sometimes overwhelming and surprising, but gratefully accepted.

We had another snow storm and my driveway rarely gets shoveled and my street is seldom plowed (always last on the city list). The yard looks like it's six inches deep in white stuff. Since I can't see the ice underneath all that snow, I didn't want to risk trying to drive in this weather.

I emailed the pastor at the church about something and he then offered to find someone to pick me up so I wouldn't have to drive. I received a phone call from the pastor Saturday evening and he said he would come pick me up personally. What dedication!

I was ready on time and his car made it to the end of my driveway through the snow on the street. He told me that the church was having a free dinner for the congregation after the service and I could stay and he would find me a ride home.

After the service, I went downstairs where the dinner was being held. An acquaintance from the genealogy society saw me and invited me to sit with her. Because of the bad weather, attendance was down today, but there was a LOT of food. The pastor made the announcement that we could all eat like it was Thanksgiving, because there was plenty to go around.

The meal of chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, chicken and noodles, and rolls was very good and filling. The desert table was filled with goodies, but I only had one piece of chocolate cake.

After the meal, they held a short congregational meeting, then I went upstairs to sit in a more comfortable chair to wait for a ride. A gentlemen walked by to get his coat from the coat rack and asked if I was waiting for someone, and I replied I was just waiting for a ride home. I told him the pastor provided a ride to the church. I had met him during the service since he was sitting near where I was sitting. He offered me a ride home and I graciously accepted.

His vehicle was an SUV with 4-wheel drive so he was able to make some tire tracks in my driveway. I made it to church and back home just fine, through the generosity and kindness of others.

It is a very friendly, community-minded atmosphere at the church and I feel quite at home there. I hope next Sunday the weather is better for traveling on my own. I am so ready for spring and warmer weather!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PROGRESS BEING MADE

I have done my research, made phone calls, and checked my information again. I have chosen a cataract surgeon and made an appointment for my initial consultation. Next month I will be on the way to improved vision in that pesky left eye.

I checked with my regular eye doctor and he approved my choice and is writing my referral letter. The good news was finding out that my health insurance is accepted by the new doctor choice.

I didn't feel like going out yesterday, when the roads were all dry. My bad. Last night it snowed AGAIN and the driveway was covered. I decided to weather the storm and put on my boots and layers of clothes to help me in the 14 degree temperatures at noon today. I walked slow and made it to my truck, warmed it up, put it in its 4-wheel drive and made it the approximately six blocks or so to the grocery store.

I got my bread, milk, and ice cream so I am ready to be hibernating again for the next four or five days. (Can't run out of ice cream in this house! My dad got me hooked on ice cream when I was a teenager. He used ice cream as his substitute to quit smoking in my teen years. I never gave up the habit, but I never smoked.)

It is extremely cold outside and the driveway and walkwayare not shoveled, but I am warm, dry, and happy inside until next week. I'm sick of snow, ready for springtime and warmer weather. The temperatures and polar vortex are giving us a most extreme winter and I'm sure not looking forward to more of these conditions.

COME ON SPRING!

Monday, January 20, 2014

EQUALITY FOR ALL

Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. His most famous address was the "I Have A Dream" speech. He was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968.


The Stone of Hope was opened to the public in West Potomac Park, Washington DC, on August 22, 2011.

Martin Luther King's DREAM still goes on. There is still to much racism and bigotry in this country today. ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL in the eyes of God and under our U.S. Constitution.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A MESSAGE

Someone is trying to tell me something.

I don't know who or what the message is - yet.

But, I'm sure I will learn soon enough.

Saturday night at 8:10pm I was watching TV and through the window I could see it was snowing pretty steady outside. It was quiet in the house (the TV sound wasn't up too loud) and all the sudden I was startled by a loud noise.

The sound came from the living room wall area on my left; the kitchen is on the other side of that wall. I walked over to the wall and saw my picture had fallen, not the frame, just the glass and the photo - my prize Bengals print. I saw the photo and the glass resting on the back of the bookcase that was against the wall under where the print was hanging. The glass was not broken and the picture not damaged.

The bottom of the frame just came apart for some reason - the print hung on that wall for about two years.

As the glass fell from its frame, it hit the frame hanging directly below it, breaking that frame. The glass and picture in the smaller frame - a Steelers photo - was also sitting on the back of the bookcase, unbroken. I was able to retrieve all the parts without any problem.

The only thing broken were the two frames. The pictures can be reframed, and the glass reused. But I sure am wondering...

The Bengals and the Steelers photos are of my two favorite teams. But neither team made it to the playoffs for the Super Bowl in two weeks.

Who was it from the great beyond that was sending me a message? And what is the message?

Time to get some sleep; maybe the answer will come to me in a dream. That can happen, it has in the past.

Friday, January 17, 2014

GETTIN' BETTER

It is Friday and things are getting better. The medication worked and I can get a shoe on my foot today, a loose shoe, not tight boots yet. The pain is about 95% gone and I'm sure in a couple days I'll be back to walking like I was before...carefully.

My next quest is working with my Medicare insurance company in search of a cataract surgeon who is on their approved doctor list, and someone I can feel comfortable with. I have a couple months to complete the search. I would rather take my time and get it right, than accept the first name pulled out of a hat. I have spoken to several people who've had the surgery and gotten opinions and input.

The weatherman predicts snow off and on all day, so I'm going to enjoy my Friday and look forward to the weekend to relax. The kind of week I've had creates tension and now is the time to sit back and release the tension and heal the body and mind.

Weather permitting, I'll even go back to church on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I OFFICIALLY GOT OLD

Today I learned the meaning of officially getting old. If you read TOE TO TOE, you know I've been having trouble walking this week. I finally got to the doctor's office today, only to learn I had gout in my right foot. I've never had gout before. I did some research on gout and learned that it is cause by too much uric acid in the body.

This is puzzling because I don't eat red meat, which is one cause; and dairy is a deterent and I eat/drink a lot of dairy. We could not get a handle on what might have caused it, because I don't drink ANY alcohol (another cause). One cause I found on the internet was heavy precipitation and low temperatures can also be a contributing factor. It sure has been wet and cold out lately.

I was given six pills to take, 3 a day for 2 days, and it should be better by Friday. If I'd even had a clue that this was a possibility, I would have been at the doctor's office last week Friday. Healing begins.


After my doctor's office visit, I had my annual eye exam scheduled. I was still moving slow, but I got there and went through all the preliminary tests. When I finally saw the eye doctor, I knew I had a problem and explained my latest complaints. Then I was hit with the shocking news. I must admit that it threw me for a loop.

The growing cataract on my left eye was in full bloom after three years, and the small cataract on my right eye which was just a minor bud in the scheme of flowers last year, is also in full bloom causing me to be referred to a cataract surgeon.

Next month I will go for my first consultation to review my options and make choices. To me, gout and cataracts are things old people get. So now I am officially OLD.

Monday, January 13, 2014

TOE TO TOE

I've been out of touch since last Wednesday night. I had to make a condolence stop at a funeral home Thursday and could hardly walk. So I have been home with my foot propped up alternating between ice packs and heating pads. About the only time I get up is to let the dog out or grab a quick bite to eat.

The area between my second phalange and my metatarsal bones (which I like to call the bunion area) was injured (where the blue meets the pink area of the big toe in the picture) and caused the toe and metatarsal area of my right foot to swell so I can't get a shoe on. It was very, very painful constantly; until yesterday when the constant pain eased and the constant throbbing set in.

Hopefully, I will be able to get a loose shoe on by Tuesday, but at the rate it has been healing I'm getting doubtful. The foot is one of the hardest areas to cast or splint, so I will just keep hobbling around until I can walk a little better without so much pain.

At least I have loose slippers, a cane or a walker, to aid in my quest for healing. Slow progress is better than no progress.


Friday, January 10, 2014

MALE OR FEMALE?

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

"House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa."

"Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz."

A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora") because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

(THIS GETS BETTER!)

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("el computador") because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time, they ARE the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A BOOMERANG


When I was in high school and my first year in college, I used to sit and write poetry. While cleaning out some old papers, I found some of those original handwritten memories. I thought I'd share.




When a bit of sunshine hits you
After passing of a cloud
When a fit of laughter gits you
And your spine is feeling proud,

Don't forget to up and fling it
At a soul that's feeling blue
For the minute that you sling it
It's a boomerang to you.

When a cloudy day has left you
With an outlook of dismay
When you feel the world's against you
And hope seems so far away

Just look me up and I will do
The best I can to cheer you
I'll make you laugh and then you too
Will feel the world is with you.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

ELVIS' BIRTHDAY


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELVIS!

We have our own local Elvis right here in town. He sings and passes out scarves just like the real Elvis did. Freddie(Elvis) is one of my Facebook friends and I hope to see him singing again this summer. I took this photo at the Relay for Life event at the high school.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

GET UP

How do I know that my youth has been spent?
Because my get up and go, got up and went.
But in spite of all that, I am able to grin
When I think where my get up and go has been.

When I was young my slippers were red,
I could kick my heels right over my head.
When I grew older my slippers were blue,
But still I could dance the whole night through.
Now I am old, my slippers are black,
I walk to the corner and puff my way back.
The reason I know my youth is spent -
My get up and go has got up and went.

But I really don't mind when I think with a grin,
Of all the places my get up has been.
Since I retired from life's competition,
I busy myself with complete repetition.
I get up each morning, dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the obits.
If my name is missing – I know I'm not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast, and go back to bed...

Or I sit here and type things to fill this blog.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

ACCOLADES

In my blog article of December 31st, I mentioned my wall of certificates, so I thought I would mention a few here.



In April of 1999, I received an award from the AP news service for my contribution regarding a news story from Fayette County. I had written an article about an event, including photographs, which I sent to the Associated Press, because it involved people from out of state, Texas for one.

The AP published the story and I was later contacted by attorneys from Texas for copies of my article and photos for use in their legal matters regarding the incident.

The letter shown was addressed to my former editor, because my award was (per protocol) mailed to him on my behalf. I was doing some good news reporting in those days and was proud to be recognized by a national organization.


I also have a Certificate of Appreciation from the former director of the Fayette County Travel and Tourism Bureau for my work with that entity.

The award in the middle of the photo is my writing award from Brown Publishing Company (used to own the Record Herald newspaper) for their annual News Writing/Photography Contest. In 1998, I wrote an article about tree topping which won in the Enterprise category.

On the bottom is my Certificate of Appreciation from the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency (from Fulton Terry, Director) for my work on the county committee during the Y2K Challenge preparations for January 1, 2000, representing the Record Herald (while working there).

2013 was a bad year for me. I just read where 2014 is the year of Karma Collection. I'm hoping that some of the GOOD karma I have exhibited in the past will propel this new year on a better path with more spiritual and emotional rewards for me. Even years have always proved to be better for me, especially Mondays, since I was born in an even year – on a Monday. Here's hoping and praying!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

SNOW, OLIVES AND SWISS CHEESE

I'm a fan of Dr. Oz and on one of his shows he talked about olives and swiss cheese were good for the body. I LOVE both olives and swiss cheese, even together.

The new year started off snowy here. We had about six inches of snow that fell overnight and besides being beautiful, it is also annoying for driving. Living on a cul-de-sac means we are one of the LAST streets to get plowed (if we ever do get plowed). The city crews spend more time on main streets and side streets, and some residential areas are left by the wayside.


I was going to go to a meeting Monday night, but I could not find out if the meeting was canceled due to the weather. I didn't go because my driveway had not been shoveled yet and the street was slick.

At 5pm last evening, two people showed up and shoveled three driveways on my street (mind was the last one). I was glad because there was more snow predicted for overnight again. We did get a dusting along with heavy winds that blew the snow all over.

This morning I had to get out the broom to sweep off the back porch carpet which was full of snow in order to walk to the door to let the dog out. The screened in porch does not keep out the rain and snow.

It was 7 degrees out when I got up this morning, so I have decided that I would stay inside for a few more days and keep warm. The sun will not be melting any snow today. I've been wondering what to have for lunch, so I think I'll just watch TV and eat swiss cheese and olives and maybe I won't feel like a bear in hibernation.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

MY SEARCH FOR A NEW HOME

In 1989, my mother and grandmother were members of the Grace United Methodist Church here in town. I started attending church with them and also became a member that year.

I was raised in the Christian Church in my youth and later my family attended the Presbyterian Church in Cleveland. I was raised with good values and acceptance. No prejudices. I don't like bigots or racists.

I attended church regularly until I started working for the State of Ohio when I hardly ever had a Sunday off work. After my mother died in 2005, I was put on the inactive membership roll of the church.

In May of this year, I read about the Methodist Conference held in Tampa, Florida where they took a vote of the delegates regarding acceptance of the LBGT community. They voted against it.

In the news recently, there was a story about Methodist Pastor Frank Schaefer of Norristown, Pennsylvania. He performed a wedding ceremony for his son in the State of Massachusetts in 2007. Nothing was said about it until now. I guess politics stirred things up, and one person in his Methodist congregation filed a complaint against him when he/she learned of Schaefer's son's same-sex wedding.

His jury of Methodist pastors condemned him for his actions and when Schaefer refused to renounce what he did for his son, Schaefer was defrocked and stripped of his pastor's credentials in the Methodist Church. That incident got me thinking – long and hard.

I made a decision, based upon my feelings and beliefs. I typed a resignation of membership letter and delivered it to the pastor of Grace church on Thursday, December 26. When I spoke to him, we discussed my reasons, which were outlined in my letter. He said the denomination was in great turmoil right now over this issue, and he understood why I made my decision. He recommended I go talk to the pastor of the Presbyterian Church here in town, which I did the next day, because our views would be more in tune.
I learned from talking to the pastor there that their denomination was all accepting and reminded me of my young adolescent upbringing.

Sunday, December 29, I attended the church service at the Presbyterian Church and felt more at home. More like the services I was raised with, and when the Doxology and Apostle's Creed was recited by the congregation, I was able to say them from memory, from my past.

I'm sure I will return to visit them again next Sunday, in search of a new home.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014