30 January 2009

The Flu.

Everyone around me seems to have had it. I've been working and thought I had avoided it all together.

Until Monday. I am now in full blown flu mode and if you don't here from me again, I died. At least that's how I feel. bleh. I'm sure I'll live (I know it's not funny to joke about death) but right now, I just want to feel better. ugh.

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24 January 2009

Changing your stars, Part 2

Okay, so the sis and I had a phone conversation yesterday while I was on a break from work. She asks, "What brought on the changing your stars post?" Simply put, the four year old granddaughter.

As I was sittin gin the living room watching her play I suddenly realized I was her same age when I witnessed my mother and brother being beaten and left for dead. The same age! There was such peace knowing I had made big changes and decisions in my life to alter the course of hers. She will grow up in a non-violent environment. She'll never know, as will my other grandchildren, that people live in families where they hit each other and their lives are surrounded by the chaos of violence.

She may see so,e of that on TV, or hear about a school friend who's family is having trouble, but won't be one of her secrets.

So to all of you living in those circumstances, or something equally as challenging, know that you have the power to change things. Time out works, there is no need to strike a child, or any other member of the family. You can do it, just like I did and s'mee did too.

I am not seeking out shock and awe, or even comment about how strong I am. Or how bizarre I am (I already know that one!) ;-) It was just an awakening moment for me and I thought I'd share.

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21 January 2009

You can change your stars

A favorite movie of mine is "A Night's Tale". It's a good movie with a good message. No matter who you are, what your circumstances are, if you choose, you can change your path, your stars or the direction your life is going.

Tonight As I sat in the living room with everyone around me I took time to look around. I find peace in the view. My four year old grand-daughter is playfully rattling large papers with crayons. Earlier she pretended they were fall leaves in big piles to rolls in. She is safe.

I tell people the most important thing you can do for anyone is help them feel safe. Four years old. By the time I was four I had witnessed the beating of my mother more times than anyone at four should. I witnessed my brother, just a few months older than myself beaten as well as myself.

I vowed at five, yes five, I would never allow anyone to ever make me cry. I became rigid and strong from within. You could beat me, but I would not cry for you or anyone else. Through the next few years I was never safe. No one in my family was. I tell people stories from my childhood and they have one of two reactions. 1. I am really good at exaggeration. 2. I should write a book. Choice two was taken when Glass Castle was published. I read it without putting it down almost two years ago. Finally I learned there were people in the world who lived like I did.

Growing up in the late fifties and early sixties was an interesting time. As people look back they are referred to as the good old days. In a way they were. In my home it was a dream or idea I wished for often. We moved so often, there was no "home" and I knew if we would just move to one of those streets - you know the ones - the tree streets, Elm, Maple, or Oak street our life would be perfect. It was in the Dick and Jane readers. It was the life I wished for. However, it was not to be.

I told myself at twelve I would never hit my children. I kept that vow, except for the first daughter. Yes, she was spanked a few times, but she had as strong a will as I, and easily reminded me of my oath. We turned to a different method of parenting and improved life for all. I vowed violence would not be a part of my life when I became an adult. Not mine or any children I had. I also vowed I would not marry, unless, it was a choice made with commitment. A commitment that come hell or high water (which both has) we would not divorce. There was no way I would put a child in that situation. It was just not safe for a child to be raised in that world.

I will celebrate 34 years of marriage this year. 34 violent free years. 34 years of keeping my daughters safe. And myself. As I watched my four year old granddaughter this evening play, carefree and happy, I breathed a sigh of relief. I have changed my stars. I have chosen a new path. My legacy is to those who follow me, safety. Safe in a home where love abides and violence is only something you see on the news (if it's ever on at all).

Those of you who think you don't have control or you can't change where you are. You can. It's easy and hard at the same time. But it is certainly worth the work, and there's a nice return on the investment you make in the change.

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20 January 2009

Tom, when we want your opinion...

This article caught my eye last night. I have enjoyed several movies starring Tom Hanks. I have paid hard earned dollars to him by seeing a few of them and buying others. In fact, one of my all time favorite movies is "Big".

But just wait a minute Mr. Hanks. Read on, especially the two updates!

The important part of being American is the right to freedom of expression. You can express yours, and I am free to express mine. You do not have the right however, to tell people who supported a cause they believe in, un-American for that choice. That is unAmerican.

No matter what issue there will always be at least two sides. Usually there are four or five. My grandfather said it best "I may not agree with you, but I'll fight to my death to allow you state your opinion." That's what living in a democratic society is all about.

Now if you will, go back to doing your job which is entertaining the world. I don't tell you what movies to make, how to act, or if you maybe should try a few more comedies. Entertain me. Please don't confuse yourself into believing that you can change the world with your voicing an opinion. You get one vote. I get one vote. We all get one vote. Don't confuse celebrity with leadership.

Here's another great article on the subject. The comments are worth the read.

Update 2:
Here's the money quote: "Tom Hanks came out last week and called people who used their democratic vote, “Un-American,” and in this down economy he’s come up with a way to help you save money with a form of free speech that’s not only silent, but deadly to most entertainers.

Let’s vote these people out of the cinema, off our I-Pods and into a lower tax bracket with our wallets. Money is their god, Al Gore is their Pope, Barack Obama their new star and the Global warming scare is their church. To these people, money talks louder than words. Let’s stop funding the hate speech of people in the entertainment industry who insult Americans and then charge us for it.

Stand up and be heard with a closed wallet. If these people produce it, write it, direct it, act in it or even lend their voice to it, stay away from it.

It’s our rights as consumers to not buy things that are morally broken." Joseph Lindsay, Big Hollywood

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18 January 2009

Miracles. Are. All. Around. Us.

Some people say that there are no miracles any more. The Red Sea has not parted, angels don't appear in plumes of white, and money doesn't grow on trees. But if you take a moment each day, in your little corner of the world, miracles happen all the time. And, If witnessed them.

I've been reading the now Autoblog/CJane famous CJane Enjoy It since I learned there was a young woman blogging about infertility. I read about her over at Segullah's blog and was intrigued as we have a family of women who struggle with infertility. I preayed with her each month as she tried to conceive a child. A child so longingly wanted, just like my daughters pray each month. She conceived! She has a beautiful baby boy! (That's miracle number one!)

Then one day she pointed us to her beautiful sister's blog. She was posting there and her sister was posting at her brother's place and her brother was posting at her place. What fun. This family knows fun! So I peeked in at the Jolly Porter's place and at something called the NieNie Dialogues. They were both witty and family friendly and fun. NieNie's blog was so pretty, so well done. Nie, seemed to have it all together and perfection was just around the corner. It didn't catch me though and I still would click on hers from my bookmarked CJane.

I stopped at each blog on occasion but I really watched the news from CJane's porch. She kept us filled in on all the news that was fit to print via Happy Valley. Then in August CJane posted about a horrible accident. Then the miracles really started coming in - in waves. I read, watched and participated in those miracles. I am a huge believer in prayer. We all prayed. We raised money. We ran races. We went to concerts and baked cookies. All to help save Nie and her wonderful little family.

Just a couple of days ago another seemingly non-miracle happened. But to me, it really is another of the long string of miracles - Nie posted on her blog again! That's right. She has been to the brink of life and back again, and has accepted prayers on her behalf and on behalf of her family. She is a miracle. The whole family is in fact.

It is just an example of how God is alive and well. And how much prayer works on our behalf. I've said it before, and I'll mention it now. If you know someone, love someone, feel like you want to do something for someone and just don't know what to do - say a prayer for them. Let God know how much you love them and how they deserve blessings of peace and comfort, and that you know He's in charge and no matter what things will turn out right. They won't always turn out the way we want them to, but it will be right. And He'll be there for all of us. God is great. God is good.

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17 January 2009

What's happening in Gaza?

We hear the news, we see the pictures, and we wonder why?

Rather than explain it all and flub it up I am going to point you to one of my favorite bloggers. His name is Robert Avrech. He's a screen writer in Los Angeles, CA. He began blogging to ease the pain of losing his only son Ariel. He is a staunch conservative (in Hollywood? do tell!) and he is Jewish. He and his lovely wife have a long history that he'll share with you along the way.

Robert pulls no punches and you actually get the real story of the plight of Israel. It is not filtered through the liberal media and he throws in a lot of Bridgette Bardot to boot. I give you Seraphic Secret Bookmark it. Read the archives. Fall in love with his love story. And get the real back story on Gaza.

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11 January 2009

Cat blogging

I saw over at Lisa's place that she has me listed as a great escape. Well, it's been a while since I was a great escape for sure. With that in mind, let's see if we can find a great escape.

Cats. The ultimate representation of relaxation. If we could only learn to stress relieve like a cat. Angus gets 20 hours of sleep a day. Then he relaxes a lot.

And when he's not relaxing, he's thinking about it.

Stretching is a good way to relieve stress too.

Then, after all that relaxing, you should ponder your place in the universe.

Then, after all that, you'll be able to relax and sleep and dream of running free in the fields of life without a care in the world. Cats, they've got it down.

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09 January 2009

Baby shower cake - Ducks

A while back at the bakery we were swamped. I called s'mee and asked her to lend a hand. She, of course, said yes. Then the magic began. A lady had called and asked if we could do a shower cake for her. (yes, I've posted this on FC before- but there's more) She wanted rubber duckies on the cake.

S'mee said she'd do that cake and allow us to work on the five wedding cakes we needed to get done. We merrily worked away and then heard from s'mee "Do you think this will be okay?" What???!!?!! That is the cutest cake we've ever seen! Yes. It will do.

The customer was elated. I posted pictures on my flickr account. Then someone saw it. On Ask Meta Filter someone asked for a funny baby shower inscription. One answer isn't that it has a funny inscription, but it was the cutest cake ever and linked to my flickr photo.

As of yesterday... it has been looked at by Metafilter referrals 2300 times!!! Now that's one cute cake. And s'mee did it!

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08 January 2009

Did you feel it?

The USGS has a page called "Did you feel it?" It's for those of us who live in earthquake regions to report their experience during a recent earthquake. Well, tonight I got to fill one out!

It has been quite some time since we really felt a good shaker. Tonight was the night. I got to put on the form that the house swayed. Then rumbled, then swayed some more. There is no visible damage, but one of my big, as in 3 inch diameter big, marbles fell from its mooring atop the fireplace and bounced on the bricks and to the floor below.

Wow. I looked at the recent quakes site and the BIG RED square indicated we just had a 4.9 earthquake and it was centered just about 24 miles away as the crow flies. Whew! No we'll wait for a few aftershocks too. I still believe that earthquakes are better than a tornado any day!

They just upgraded it to a 5.0!

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06 January 2009

Stephanie Meyer would smile

This morning I had to go to the urgent care center. I have an issue with my right foot. For several years, I have had problems with the pinky toe and fourth toe hurting like crzy mad when I put a shoe on. Working has exacerbated the problem exponentially. Yesterday evening I found myself near tears going into the bank. I was limping and swore I would be at the doctor this morning.

I was. I was sent over to xray to get a nice inside photo of said foot. While I was waiting to be escorted back to the doctors office after the xrays were done I saw what would have made Ms. Meyers proud.

There signing into the appointment log was an elderly gentleman. He couldn't have been much younger than 80. He set his book down to sign in and then quickly picke dit up to find a seat. Once settled in he quickly turned to his bookmarked page. He was reading Stepahnie Meyers' book Twilight. I had to smile.

And then I wondered how I got so far out of this Twilight loop.

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