Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Goodbye For A Short Time

To the friends I have made through this blog, I will not be posting for approximately one to two weeks. Due to an illness in my immediate family, I am moving back to Mishawaka, Indiana on Thursday, March 1, 2007. I will miss the interaction with my online friends and community, but will be back. Please keep me in your prayers

Monday, February 26, 2007

I Am Getting Old - Part Seven

I know that I am getting old because I am more opinionated than I have ever been. I have been contemplating a question and I have never found the answer. The question is “Who is they?’. I am guilty of saying, they said or as they use to say. If a person asked me to prove my statement by telling them who they is, I could never answer. This is not a burning issue for me but comes to mind every time I hear or use the words, they said.

Politically incorrect is another term that makes me cringe when I hear it used. I use it in some of my writing, not because I like the term but it got the point across that I was making in jest. I searched the Web and this link gives a good definition and examples of political correctness. Wikipedia - Political Correctness

I must admit that I use politically incorrect words. Many times, I speak before I think about the words that I am going to say. It is not by intention, but a lack of thought on my part. The most recent example I can think of is using waitress rather than server. (As I typed the last sentence, the word waitress was highlighted. When I checked to see what was wrong with the entry, the options I had to use in its place were server or waiter. Waiter should not have been an option since it typically denotes a male waitperson.)

I understand the reasoning behind the term. I believe it is used to extremes in this day and time. I think the reason I personally have a difficult time with this is that I was not raised using politically correct words. My parents were not dumb nor do I remember any prejudices they might have had. Their parents raised them as mine did me and those “politically correct” words were not part of our vocabulary.

I did learn something today. I did not know this term was born in the 1900’s. Pardon my ignorance; I thought it was a term coined in the last 10 years or so. I also learned there are more opinionated people than I thought, not just me. Just goes to show you, I may not be getting that old.

Now I will climb down from my soapbox and move on to other things. See you in Part Eight.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Meme - Why I blog?

Inmatez Wife posed this question on her blog Memoirs of An Inmates Wife and provoked thought as to why I blog. This was my response to her:

I use my blog much for the same reason you do. I can express my feelings and work through issues in my life. An added benefit is that I get to meet new friends and learn about their life and in some small way feel that I have become a part of it. This is something I wrote in a piece and it sums up my blogging. "I wish there was someone here to talk to, I can’t afford a physiatrist."

Now I tag these people and ask them why do you blog?

Talj -
Talj's Photo A Day 2007
Ruth -
There Are A Million Stories In The Naked City
Gene -
Turning The Pages of Life
Ashley -
From London, With Love
Surjit - gurushadbad Knowledge Seeker

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Girlfriend and Sister's Week

This is an email message I received Friday, February 23, celebrating Girlfriend and Sister's week.

Girlfriend and Sister's Week

I am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the hairspray I use and the friends I have.

To the cool women that have touched my life

May God Smile on you today

Here's to you! National Girlfriends Day
What would most of us do without our sisters, confidants and shopping, lunching, and traveling girls?

Let's celebrate each other for each other's sake! TO MY GIRLFRIENDS!

If you get this twice you know you have more than one girlfriend. Be Happy!


It is good to be a woman:!

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Mother

This is for my mother, Ethelyne Inez (Becky) Reynolds, April 3, 1921 – May 3, 2002.

I never realized how strong my mother was until she passed away and I took a good look at our lives. She worked hard and was the glue that held our family together for many years. My father stopped drinking when I was thirteen and by then the damage to our family was evident. She never stopped loving him and stood by him through all the trials and tribulations of their life. She continued to work and she supported him in all that he chose to do. Even if it meant moving again and we did several more times. Divorce is a word that I never heard mentioned in our home. She stayed beside him until he passed away.

As she grew older, I had expectations of her that she could no longer fulfill. I expected her to do the things she did when I was growing up. I expected her to cook meals, clean the house, bake pies and cakes and all the other things she did. I did not see her as growing older, I saw my mother as she use to be. I began to realize how my mother felt as I aged and started to slow down myself. My expectations were too high for her to meet. I thought about these things for many months and knew I had to tell her what I had come to realize and ask her to forgive me for setting those expectations for her. To tell her that I understood why she could not do the things I expected of her. Although she had her share of illnesses, her health was okay in 2001 and she moved to Tennessee to live with my sister. I delayed telling her the things I needed to say. Thursday, May 2, 2002 came around and for some reason I knew I had to talk to her and tell her how I felt. I delayed once again and intended to call her on Friday morning.

A good friend of ours dropped by for a visit that morning. We sat at the kitchen table, talking and the telephone rang. I answered and my sister said I do not know how to tell you, but mother died in her sleep last night.

What I am trying to say by writing this is do not put off talking to a loved one when you know you must. Make it a priority to talk, do not delay for any reason, no matter how important you think it may be. Nothing is as important as telling someone you love how you feel and to say you are sorry or whatever it may be you have to say. Since then I have talked to her, even though she is no longer here. My only regret is that I did not say those things to her before she died. I know that she heard me and I have found peace in that.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Am Getting Old - Part Six

I know that I am getting old because optical mice are not my cup of tea. When I started using “personal computers”, the Compaq luggable was the only option available to me. It weighed too much to take anywhere and definitely did not fit the category of portable. You did not have to use a mouse, thank you very much. It was more like a big typewriter with a tiny screen to see your work. Anyway, as we made progress, I graduated to the top of the line. IBM had the market cornered then and our company used PS2 systems. That was a big step up for me.

Now back to the “mice”. I do not know whether to say mice or mouse but you know what I mean. The roller ball mouse worked just fine for me. They took some getting use to. Most people would move them around to fast or to far on their desk and the pointer would go crazy. I actually saw one of the people we were training, pick the mouse up, point it at the monitor and move it around with their hand to use it. I had to leave the room because I was on the verge of uncontrollable laughter.

In the last few years, they (whose is they) added a scroll button to the roller ball mouse. It works well and I have gotten use to using it now. It eliminates using the scroll bar on the screen. Then out came optical mice, no roller ball. Some of these are so small, they get lost in my gigantic hand. That is the kind of mouse I have today and it drives me crazy most of the time. I think the problem is EUD. For those of you who are young EUD is End User Defect, which is the cause of most computer problems people have, me included.

Anyway, I have not mastered the optical mouse. Most of them have a red light that stays on all the time and gets brighter as you touch it. What is up with that? For some reason beyond my comprehension, when I move the mouse, the pointer (cursor) goes crazy. It jumps to places I did not intend for it to go. This is a major problem since I manage to open windows or things I have no idea what they are or where they came from. I try to move the mouse pointer to where I want to click and sometimes I get lucky and it goes there. If anyone knows how to use these things, please let me know what the secret is.

I have never used a wireless mouse and frankly, I do not think I want to. Especially if it is anything like this “wonderful” optical mouse, I have now. Oh well this is progress and I wait with anticipation to see what the next invention will be.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Am Getting Old - Part Five

I know that I am getting old because I am. Seriously, this post does not have anything to do with getting older. It is just something I thought I would write about as I searched through the multitude of writing pens and pads on my desk. You see, I am addicted to them and all kinds of office supplies. This addiction began when I was much younger and to this day, I have been unable to resist the temptation to buy more. I could open a warehouse and sell office supplies; I have so many around me. From where I sit, I can see pens, pencils, Liquid Paper (a must have), tablets for writing (narrow rule of course), index cards (two different kinds), a pencil sharpener (just in case), 3M Post It Notes Cube and Flags, rulers, scissors, journals, paper clips, highlighters, Sharpies. Making this list made me realize that the only thing I do not have is a stapler. Who knows I may buy one today.

When I go shopping, regardless of the type of store I am in, the first place I head to is the office supply aisle. I am like a kid in a candy store. My eyes glaze over and I can hardly breathe. There are new pens on display today. I am choosy about the pens I buy. They have to have an extra fine point and black ink. I have no idea why I do not like blue ink, I just don’t. The barrel cannot be too small for me to hold in my hand nor too big. It has to be just right. In the past when I have found the perfect pen, I would only buy one. When it ran out of ink and I went back to buy another one, it was no longer in stock. I solved that issue by purchasing a pack of three or four pens. I have even gone so far as to keep the packaging so I could contact the manufacturer to get more of them. However, even I am fickle because there is always a newer pen on the market for me to buy. If I stop and think about it, I only need one pen to write with at a time.

Writing pads, tablets or whatever you call them, are another fetish of mine. They too have to be just perfect. They must be college ruled (narrow lines) and the pages have to be perforated so they do not leave a jagged edge when removed. I found one that actually has two little notepads at the top of the binding. One is for things to do and the other for calls to make. For joy, this one is my favorite.

After writing this post, I concluded that it is time for me to seek help for this addiction. I will be looking for a rehabilitation center as soon as I complete this. My only hope is that they can cure me, and think of all the money I can save.

Please know that I am not making fun of addictions, only of myself. Addictions are serious problems for people and difficult to overcome. I know because I am addicted to cigarettes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Am Getting Old - Part Four

I know that I am getting old but… For some reason and I do not have a good one other than I am insane, I looked at other “free blog sites” today. First, as my son says, there is nothing in life that is free. Some of the sites I saw have “free” accounts but are limited in what you can do with them. They conveniently give you the option to upgrade, for a price of course.

I took a chance on a couple of them, just for kicks, and setup accounts. BIG MISTAKE! I felt like I had stepped back in time to the Stone Age after using Blogger. My eyes are not as good as they once were and the color schemes on these sites were such that I had to put my face within inches of my monitor to read the menus. Even then, it was a lucky choice when I clicked on one of the words. I have not looked up the definition for the word SLOW but I am sure I know what it means and I have to say these sites are the reason that word was coined.

If I was lucky enough to get a post published, I could not find it or the blog to view. I know that I am somewhat older, but I am not stupid, I can read and I can follow instructions. After jumping through a million hoops, I finally got to where I wanted to go. When I viewed the post, my paragraphs were no longer there. There was just one great big paragraph. It took three edits to get it back to the original way I wrote it. I use Word to write my post and then copy and paste them. Maybe they hate Microsoft and Bill Gates. I cannot think of any other reason for the formatting not to hold. (I deleted those accounts because I will never do that again, I promise. Blogger please forgive me.)

I did find one site that was cool. It is a log site rather than a blog site. It was easy to use and I could actually find “my posts and poems” when they were published. My formatting held as well which was a big plus. Out of all the sites I looked at today, this was the best (after Blogger). I liked them so much I will give them a plug here. The url is
http://www.reallifelog.com . I am going to keep this account for a while, since it is different from Blogger. I have adopted a wait and see attitude about the site and if it starts to get crazy, it too will be deleted.

It is getting late and way past my bedtime, so I will end this rambling dissertation on Blogs and see what else I can find to write about tomorrow. There is always something out there.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I Am Getting Old - Part Three

I know that I am getting old because the children of today do not play the kind of games we played when we were children. I guess it is politically correct to call them children because that is what they are no matter how grown up they try to act. They have video games, their own television sets, DVD players, Xbox 360 and the list goes on.

I remember when we would take spools when the thread was all gone and use twine to string them together. We would play with them for hours and use our imagination to dream up games. We used empty boxes as houses to play in. Much like the shelter you see homeless people adopt today to stay warm and dry.

After dusk, we would catch lightening bugs. When the “light” came on, we pinched it off and used it for jewelry, believe or not. The smell was awful but we thought we were just beautiful with all those “lights” stuck on our hands, arms and even our forehead.

We played games like Hopscotch, Leap Frog, Mumbley Peg, Simon Says, Red Rover Come Over, Mother May I. We built stilts to walk on. Now that takes talent to balance yourself on them and not break your neck. We played dodge ball. Now I see where some schools are eliminating dodge ball from the playground because it is too violent. Give me a break. We survived and the children of today can as well. (This link will take you to the page where you can find information on some of the games listed here.)


We took old clothes and shoes to play dress-up. We like the children today, wanted to be older than we were at the time. Now that we are older, we want to look and feel younger than we are. We are never satisfied no matter how old we are.

I think that what the children of today lack is a good imagination. Parents of today are so busy working just to make ends meet, that there is not time left for them to help their children develop imagination. Working to make ends meet is a topic for another day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I Am Getting Old - Part Two

I know that I am getting old because cell phones are driving me crazy. I bought one of those pay as you go phones and I have yet to figure out how to use it. One of the biggest problems is my fingers. They don’t work to well anymore and are almost to big to navigate the keypad to change settings, see messages, set ring tones and all the other things you can do. Speaking of ring tones, I finally got the phone set to vibrate rather than ring. When it did ring, by time I figured out that is was the phone, the caller had hung up. I decided if I had it on vibrate, then when I felt it “shaking” or saw it "jumping" around on the desk, I would know a call was incoming.

Can you imagine what it would have been like when you were growing up (if you are my age now which is, well lets just say I am over 50 and leave it at that) if there had been email, the Internet and cell phones. Imagine how many visits to other people’s homes at holidays you would have missed. Think of how many letters, cards, thank you notes you would not have written by hand for that personal touch. Think how nice it would be to go to a restaurant, to the grocery store, the drug store, or any other place you can think of and not hear or see someone talking on a cell phone. Think how nice it would be if people did not drive and talk on their cell phone at the same time. Think of the accidents that we could prevent if we did not “talk and drive”. Think of the people who would not have to dodge cars in the parking lot while people “talk and drive”. I would compare “talk and drive” to “drink and drive” and I do not condone either. Have you ever driven behind a person talking on a cell phone? It appears to me that they drive much the same way as the person drives drunk. Sometimes, and I hate to say this, but their driving is worse than the driver who is drunk.

Are we in such a hurry, that we cannot wait until we reach home to talk to people. What do people talk about that much? Think of the silence there must be in their homes, because they have nothing left to say when they are face to face with another person. Think about the personal interaction with other people that we miss. Seeing their reactions to what we say, seeing the smile on their face at our words. Has the art of conversation been lost forever?

Our lives have become so impersonal in this day and time. It seems to me that this may be the reason people treat each other as if they do not matter. How we as a society have become immune to the way human beings are discarded as if they were garbage. How we look the other way to avoid the violence and ugliness in the world. We have lost the personal connection with others. Then we have the audacity to ask, what is wrong with this world today?

Enough of this serious talk, it is time to move on to the next topic. My childhood, even though it was many years ago, has been on my mind lately. So I think I will write about the games we played when I was a child.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I Am Getting Old - Part One

I know that I am getting old because things that never affected me have begun to. I never considered myself a prude nor a snob but I must be now. I cringe at the use of foul words on websites when I read them. I do not understand how people can use such foul language on the Internet and in everyday life. That is not true. I think it is because of the anonymity of the Internet brings to our life. People use that anonymity to hide their identity so no one knows who they are. Because of that, they take permission to write and say things they may not ordinarily use in their “normal” life. Then I may be wrong. Perhaps they are like that in reality. Alternatively, maybe they feel anonymous as a person and the foul language is a way to attract the attention they desire. Whatever the case may be, I find it offensive.

Another thing that makes me feel old is Internet slang. In a series of emails I exchanged with a friend, the letters lol kept appearing throughout them. I could not imagine what they stood for. Lots of luck and lots of love were a few of the phrases that came to mind. I finally asked what they meant and to my surprise, my friend said they meant, laugh out loud. Not only did I have a problem understanding, the spelling and grammar checker in Word has a problem with both lol and laugh out loud, the verb usage is incorrect. In addition, it wants to capitalize the first L in lol. Maybe Microsoft should update their spelling and grammar checker to include Internet slang with the definitions so people like me understand them. I have since “researched” slang and still do not understand it. lol A couple of other things that irk me about the spell checker is “Passive Voice” and use of contractions. I must rewrite sentences a million times before they go away. What’s wrong with using a “Passive Voice” or a contraction in a sentence?

Here is what this sentence, For crying out loud can’t people speak real words anyways. laugh out loud, would look like in internet slang. 4col cnt peeps spk r wo12ds anywaz. lol Looks to me like people spend more time trying to come up with these acronyms than it takes to write the real word they mean and some are actually longer than the word or words they replace. W.E.


Oh well there is one thing for sure, I will continue to get older and the world will continue to change. The other thing is that I am not sure I am ready for either. lol

The Oak Tree

I went to the Hallmark Gold Crown Store yesterday to mail a letter to my sister. Strange thing about Phoenix is that they do not have many US Post Office Mail Boxes sitting on street corners. There is a substation in the Hallmark store and that is where I go to mail letters and cards. Before I mailed the letter to my sister, I looked for a card to send to say I was sorry and forgive me. During the search, I saw a Hallmark Card, "The Oak Tree".

The reason the card drew my attention is that a friend and I are writing a poem about an oak tree. He made me a challenge to me. I would write a story about an oak tree and send it to him. He would write the first verse, I would write the second verse, he the third, etc., until we complete the poem. Finding this card is the second “coincidence” related to an oak tree.

The first occurred shortly after we started the poem. I went to my bank’s website and there was a picture of an oak tree with a heart carved into its trunk (that was part of our story). I sent him the picture of the tree. Finding the card was especially shocking since it had a poem on it and parts of that poem were like lines from ours. I have not decided if these two events are just coincidences or is God telling me something and I do not hear him.

On the front of the card, there is a picture of an oak tree on the bank of a river lined with trees and white clouds against the blue sky. This is the poem on the card.

"The Oak Tree" A Message of Encouragement.

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree's leaves away,
Then snapped its bark
until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
while other trees feel all around....
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing, Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see,
they are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found, with thanks to you,
I"m stronger that I ever knew.

The inside verse reads:
Especially now,
try to remember
that you're stronger
than any problem
you encounter
or any disappointment
life will bring.

Thinking of you,
believing in you,

caring for you.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I received an email from a good friend and it brings to mind what families mean. His niece had a virus of some type and it damaged her heart. She underwent surgery to remove the damaged tissue and the results are that she has lost 60% of her heart function. She has two small children ages 11 and 8. Her parents, (his sister was her mother) are deceased and he is the only relative she has left. He is going to change jobs and move to her home to take care of her and the children.

My first thought is how unselfish this man is. Then I asked myself, would I do the same? The answer is yes, I would. How would you answer?

It also brings to mind that many of us, me included, have issues with our family members that have not been resolved through the years. I think it is easier to allow those issues to remain unresolved than to find the courage to confront them. I believe that fear of making the first approach or fear of rejection stops us. Sometimes just plain old stubbornness stops us. Eliminate the old thing of they started this; let them be the first to make amends from the equation. Case in point is my mother-in-law who passed away carrying a grudge against her sister. She never told me or anyone else I know of what happened between them. At the time of her death, they had not spoken for over 25 years. Imagine all they missed during those years. Unfortunately, death is final and once a person passes away, there is no way for us to get back the years we missed or to tell them the things we have left unspoken.

Families can be disapproving of our lives and our choices, just as we are of theirs. They do not always support us in our decisions or lifestyles. We need to establish boundaries so these things are off limits in our interactions. We have to put aside the things that cause friction and remember they are our family and no matter what at some point in our lives we need our families.

My sister disowned me after our mother passed away. I do not know why or for what reason. I am guilty of not making that first step to resolve this situation but I can tell you that I am going to make that a priority in my life. Blame should not be a factor because it really does not matter who did what to whom. What matters is that we should value our families enough to try. If the issues are not resolved, you will know in your heart you tried to mend the divide and be at peace with yourself if it is beyond repair. It will make me sad if I cannot mend our divide because other than my son, my sister is the only relative I have remaining.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

God's Work

God works in mysterious ways. I believe that things happen for a reason in our lives. We just need to recognize that they are God’s work. Not long ago, I was on my way to have some copies made and I passed by a small dress shop, Oh Donna. Something in the back of my mind said you need to stop on your way back and I did just that. When I entered, I looked around for a few minutes and one of the sales clerks approached me. We started to talk and I told her that I was new to the area and had seen the shop quite by accident. She asked me where I was from and why I came to Phoenix. I explained to her that I came from Indiana because of martial problems and chose Phoenix because I had to get far away from my husband and that my son lives here.

To my amazement, she said the same thing had happened to her. We talked some more about the details of our lives and I was on the verge of tears. She said you need a hug, hugged me, and told me you will be okay. She asked if I had found a church and I told her no, that I did not have a car yet and it is hard to get around. She told me about a few churches that are within walking distance and said there was always someone who would be willing to pick me up and take me home. It seems as if the owner of the shop teaches classes at some of these churches for women like us, who have had to leave a marriage because of abuse. She teaches them how to deal with the grief associated with the loss of a part of your soul and not the marriage itself. I have been back several times to the shop and unfortunately the sales clerk I talked to has not been there. I wanted to tell her how much our talk helped me.

I believe this was an event that God intended to happen. You see the night before, I had talked with a friend about not meeting people, not being able to get my feet on solid ground and how alone I felt. I told my friend that I needed to someone to give me a hug and tell me everything would be okay. I was really down in the dumps that day when I went into that dress shop. I needed that hug even if it was from a stranger. That made it all the more important to me, because she understood.

I pray every night and ask God to show me the path that I need to take to get my life in order again and to guide me in the right direction. This event is only one of many that have been
God’s work.