Monday, November 30, 2009

The end of 2009 approaches.

Approaching the end of another year! This has been an eventful year to say the least. My mother's death in April followed by Ron's diagnosis of cancer in August and his surgery in September. It was hard to see another empty chair at the Thanksgiving table this year. I remember when we had a table full of cousins and aunts and uncles. Every Thanksgiving meal was followed by a touch football game in the back yard.

So much has happened this year and yet life goes on. It doesn't necessary go on the same way as before but we try to keep smiling and appreciate every moment we have. I heard something yesterday that kind of struck me. It was something like "Remember, in the game of life, no one comes out alive." That makes it even more reason to live the life you have while you have it. It's worth asking yourself just how you want to be remembered. I want to be remembered as someone who liked to laugh, knew how to love and was generous in spirit. Now I'll keep striving to be that person.

Last night Ron and I took a drive around town. We drove over to our old grade school where we first met when we were six. We talked about how some things appeared smaller than we remembered but then again we were smaller too. I saw the house I lived in until I was 12 years old and noted how different the neighborhood looks today. I can’t help but yearn to go back in time when I see the old neighborhood and can almost hear the voices of family and friends like the cute little boy from the next block over…with his brown hair and eyes to match. He was our paperboy and always commented on the light illuminating from my bedroom window on his early morning paper route. I was afraid of the dark and my overhead light was left on to counteract my fear of the boogie man.

I don’t know that I would necessarily wish to live my entire life over again. I have wonderful memories but to relive the pain of loss again would not be for me. Instead I choose to keep the good memories and have long since let go of the bad. We shouldn’t spend too much time looking back when there is life ahead yet to live.

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile..

A little something for breast cancer awareness! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yesterday Ron and I skipped Black Friday and went to the movies instead. We saw The Blind Side. The theater was packed and we unfortunately had to sit on the front row. Not easy for two people wearing bifocals but it was still worth it. The movie was really good. Amazing what that young man was able to accomplish and it really shows you the power of a simple act of kindness. What an example to follow. I think we all have the ability to touch lives each an every day but I'm not always sure we recognize the opportunity when we see it. The real test is whether we take those opportunities when we do.

The next movie on my list of must The Road. I am curious if they are able to do the book justice. That won't be a small task. On Ron's list is the Jim Carey movie Scrooge. He wants to see it in 3-D. I've never been to a 3-D movie so that might be fun. We are still wanting to check out the new Warren theater and sit in the balcony where you can have dinner served to you and drinks. Talk about comfortable seating......I have actually been to a movie there (and it was great) but Ron hasn't experienced it yet. It is a little pricey for a movie but the experience was worth trying.

My dog sitting ends today. The "girls" have been pretty good. Lucy is still limping around on her back leg but doesn't yelp or anything. It comes and my aches and pains. Guess she's feeling her age too! All in all it has been a good holiday. Time now to get ready for Christmas! Tuesday night is our golf cart parade at work so I'll hit the ground running on Monday. Last minute details etc. I sure hope the weather cooperates.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

The magical shopping day....the day after Thanksgiving. It was reported that there were people camping outside the Best Buy beginning Wednesday just waiting for the doors to open this morning. What a sneaky ploy by retailers....lure em in with a limited supply of the advertised item. My son-in-law told me that Best Buy only had a total of 6 of the advertised televisions available. There sure are going to be a lot of disappointed early birds!

I don't like shopping enough to fight the crowds today. I'd rather pay more to be less stressed. I guess it is just a matter of priority. Basically, I'm too lazy for the mob scene.

We had a relaxing Thanksgiving yesterday. My brother was full as a tick and very happy. Jamie and I didn't go into diabetic comas...managed to keep the blood sugar under control, which is a pretty good feet considering the occasion. We even took a long walk after dinner.

I'm dog sitting for twin #1 but as usual one of the dogs seems to have injured her leg. It seems to be her hip and she is favoring her back foot. She puts weight on it at times but seems to be avoiding it when possible. She hasn't whimpered or acted like she is in constant pain so I think she'll be ok until her mommy and daddy get back. I suppose it could be arthritis. She is getting a little long in the tooth.

I don't have any plans for today but I think I'll get Ron to go to the movies. There are 2 that I'm wanting to see. I want to see "The Road" and "Blindside". I guess I'll see which one is showing here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I took the day off today. I've got a list of errands to run including a trip to the salon for a haircut! Then it is off to Walmart to fight the turkey shoppers. I have spent a lot less time this year planning the Thanksgiving dinner than years past. Maybe it seems like less of a challenge since this year I'm not cooking a turkey. A change my brother will not notice but I'm afraid Ron won't be too happy since he is a traditional sort of guy. I hate to disappoint anyone but this year I just don't feel like cooking a ton of food when there will only be 4 of us eating.

The weather couldn't be better and I'm off to take a bike ride. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! Eat lots of pumpkin pie......

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


For the past 30 years I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my entire family. My mother passed on the duty to me when she turned 60 years old. For the past 30 years my brother Mike has stressed and worried that he wouldn't get fed. Every year he starts calling me about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving to check and make sure I'm going to cook. Every year I assure him that he won't go hungry. I remind him he ate last year and the year before and the year before that and he has yet to go hungry on Thanksgiving. His next question after "are you still cooking" is "will there be something for me to eat"? Mike has a phobia about chickens and to him a turkey is just a chicken on steroids. He won't go near one let alone eat one. So, for every holiday I make sure there is a ham or roast or something cooked specifically for him. And..every year I assure him that this year will be no exception. For about two weeks prior to a holiday he gets very concerned that I will get mad at him and won't cook. I tell him I may get mad at him but I'll still feed him. We have some very interesting conversations my brother and I. One of the side-affects of his medication is that he repeats what you say. I'm used to it but sometimes it does get a little annoying. I feel like I'm hearing an echo. The other thing he does is when you answer the phone he is already have way through the conversation. No hello, no this is your brother, he's just in mid thought and you have to catch up.

But I love him! I love his wonderful heart and his kind spirit. He never talks to anyone without "blessing their heart". Those aren't just words to him either he is deeply sincere. In spite of all his health problems and his personal struggle with mental illness he cares more for others than himself. He loves deeply and his loyalty knows no boundaries.

So of all the things I am thankful for today he is on my top 5 list! He teaches me every day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words!


'Mass suicides...Cows going over the edge...tonight on Channel 3 News...'

A little too much McLogic?

Still dead huh?

Load the kids up with burritos and come on!

Must have been McNaughty!

Dorothy & Edna

Dorothy: ''That nice George Johnson asked me out for a date. I know you went out with him last week, and I wanted to talk with you about him before I give him my answer.''

Edna: ''Well, I'll tell you. He shows up at my apartment punctually at 7 P.M., dressed like such a gentleman in a fine suit, and he brings me such beautiful flowers! Then he takes me downstairs, and what's there but a luxury car...A limousine, uniformed chauffeur and all. Then he takes me out for dinner... A marvelous dinner... Lobster, champagne, dessert, and after-dinner drinks.Then we go see a show.. Let me tell you, Dorothy, I enjoyed it so much I could have just died from pleasure! So then we are coming back to my apartment and he turns into an ANIMAL. Completely crazy, he tears off my expensive new dress and has his way With me two times!''

Dorothy: ''Goodness gracious!... So you are telling me I shouldn't go out with him?''

Edna: ''No, no, no... I'm just saying, wear an old dress.''

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I had a really busy day today. I'm not complaining because I'd rather be busy than twiddling my thumbs.

Last week I did a search for a woman I knew when I was a little girl. Unfortunately I found her obituary and learned that she had died about 3 years ago. She was our neighbor when I was in grade school and I used to babysit her little girls. They were just adorable and I was crazy about them. Well, I found the girls listed in the obituary and learned the married names. Through a people search I located both of them and wrote them a note. Tonight I got a phone call from the oldest girl. It's so strange because I only think of them as little girls and yet there is only 5 years difference in our ages. We are all going to get together during Christmas. I can't wait to see them again. It has been 40 years since I last saw them.

I tried a new diabetic recipe tonight and it was so delicious I just knew it was too good to be true. had no adverse impact on my blood sugar what-so-ever! Sometimes we do get lucky! Tomorrow I go to my last class on diabetes. They have been very helpful in learning how to control this disease. I'm doing great, blood sugar under control, lost 15 pounds and am feeling great!

Life is good!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name........

Titles for blog posts are a real challenge for me. Sometimes I come up with a clever title but then feel the pressure to write something that will live up to the name. It’s like when a mother names her kid Precious and then the kid turns out to be a holy terror. If she had only named her something like Maude or Mabel it would have lowered the expectation. I once knew of a little girl named Charisma……now talk about pressure. Just how much charisma can you expect from a 5 year old? I personally was always leery of naming a daughter Tina as I have always pictured girls named Tina as small and petite. There were two Tina’s in my 5th grade class. One was so little we called her Tiny Tina…….the other…..well, let’s just say Tiny was not an accurate synonym for her. I also think about little babies and names that they have to grow into, for instance the name Harold. I’ve never seen a baby that looked like a Harold. The name that really struck me recently was a newborn named Huck. At least the only Huck I can think of WAS a little boy so that helps. Now Ron’s real name is Ronald (which doesn’t sound like a baby name either) but there are so many versions of Ronald it works. When we were in grade school he was Ronnie. Of course it stuck and he was Ronnie all the way through high school as well. He didn’t break out into the adult version until he was in college where he became Ron.

When I was pregnant with my twins (before I knew there were 2 babies) I had already picked out the name Jamie for a girl since her dad was named Jimmy. But the day I learned I was expecting 2 babies instead of 1 really threw me into a spin. First there was the feeling of guilt that for 8 ½ months I didn’t know the child even existed and had only been dreaming about her sibling. Second, I had to come up with 2 more names, a boy’s and a girl’s. I didn’t want rhyming names but was ok with the first letter being the same. On the ride from the doctor’s office to my dad’s store I named the little stowaway Julie, after a very dear friend. But, another boy’s name just wasn’t rolling off my tongue. My original boy’s name was Michael David after two of my brothers. The second name was a struggle. My mother had always told me to test prospective baby names by yelling the name out the back door as if you are calling your child in for supper. My second name choice was Mark Alan….not for any reason except I like the name Alan. Since I knew Michael would probably be shortened to Mike I went to the back door and yelled Mike…Mark….hmmmmmmm not so good. It made me sound like a hair-lipped dog. But to save my soul I couldn’t come up with another choice so I just kept praying for girls. Hooray… worked! However, what I didn't realize was that no matter what you name your kids there is a good chance they won't like it anyway. Jamie has always accused me of naming her a boy's name. Julie just says, with a noted hint of sarcasm, "How original". I should have just kept the names they assigned in the hospital, #1 and #2. Ohhhh, that's like Dr. Seuss, Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Then they would have had something to complain about!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How To Give A Cat Medication

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour a shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek, and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the darn cat from across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie the little sucker's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down..

14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get family to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give A Dog A Pill.....

1. Wrap it in bacon.

2. Toss it in the air.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gutter Guy

I love this time of year and the falling leaves but they sure make a mess in the gutters. That's why I use "Gutter Guy". Gutter guy comes complete with ladder and the guy who gets on the ladder and reaches in the gutters and removes the offending leaves! And....just look at his happy face. You can tell he loves his work! What a good sport too! He doesn't even flinch when his work is interrupted by the annoying picture taker. So if your gutters need cleaning I highly recommend "Gutter Guy!

and next on my list of people to call..... "Leaf Man"

When was the last time you watched the Wizard of Oz? I watched the entire movie Saturday night and that was probably the first time since I was a kid. I love it! It takes me back to about age 7 and how I would cover my eyes when those flying monkeys made their presence known. Those are still some scary looking critters. The acting is so good that it is no wonder the movie is timeless. I just wonder if those flying monkeys get the same reaction our of kids today or have today's children been exposed to so much stuff they hardly flinch. all time favorite show when I was a kid was Peter Pan with Mary Martin. The show usually aired once a year and I so looked forward to it. One year I decided I wanted to be Peter Pan for Halloween. God love my sweet mama....she always did such a good job making Halloween costumes but for some reason she just didn't get the hang of Peter Pan and I just hated it when your friends had to ask what you were supposed to be. Mom evidently couldn't find green material or green tights so I ended up in a red outfit...with leftover blue seam binding trimming the arm holes and skirt hem. No Peter Pan hat either...she found a straw hat with a feather in it. Uggggggh.......I didn't look anything like Peter Pan. I resembled more a color blind elf. Now my friend Karma always dressed up as a hobo..(before politically correct costumes) She would cover her face with cold cream and then put coffee grounds on her face for whiskers. She would wear her dad's shirt and a pair of old pants and then carry a stick with a bandanna. I assure you no one said, "Who are you supposed to be?" to her!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chrstmas shopping seems to be early here in Oklahoma. I went with my daughters to Okla. City today and the malls were full of people. No signs of the recession to be found. Of course I don't know if everyone was spending money or just window shopping. We certainly did our share to help the economy. I was on a mission to find the girl's birthday presents today and I am happy to say we were successful. I don't even try to shop for them anymore so I just let them shop and I pay the bill. It works out great for everyone! I'm usually finished with Christmas shopping way before now but this year I haven't even started. Maybe I'll get inspired soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Love and Sorrow

Swallows: Here his mate is injured and the condition is fatal. She was hit by a car as she swooped low across the road.

Here he brought her food and attended to her with love and compassion.

He brought her food again but was shocked to find her dead. He tried to move her...a rarely-seen effort for swallows!

Aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again he cries out with adoring love..

He stood bsdie her, saddened of her death.

Finally aware she would never return to him, he stood beside her body with sadness and sorrow.

Millions of people cried after seeing these photos in America and Europe and India..The photographer sold these pictures for a nominal fee to the most famous newspaper in France.

All copies of that edition were sold out on the day these pictures were published. And many people think animals don't have a brain or feelings????

You have just witnessed Love and Sorrow

........Felt by God's creatures.

My daughter just called to inform me that she has been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Her first reaction is shock and anger. I know how she feels but I’m a person who just says here’s the problem and now what’s the plan? I’ve never spent much time in self-pity because I see it as a waste of valuable time and energy. This is a trait not always appreciated by others especially if they are coming to me for consolation and sympathy. I’ve always looked at things and realized that no matter the problem it could always be worse. Lifestyle changes are required to manage diabetes and that is hard for many people to accept. But it is doable! You just have to make up your mind to do it.

Working in a children’s hospital for kids with developmental disabilities has really taught me about keeping perspective. We see children and families with life long challenges every day. These children and parents would give anything if someone told them all their problems could be controlled with diet and exercise! No matter what challenges come my way I don’t have to look far to see how it could be worse. As a mother I wish I could take every bruise for my children but as a person I know that my greatest growth came from the mistakes I’ve made and the challenges I have faced.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Candy With A Hole In It

The children began to identify the flavors by their color:

Orange ...................Orange

Finally the teacher gave them all HONEY lifesavers.
None of the children could identify the taste..

The teacher said, 'I will give you all a clue.
It's what your mother may sometimes call your father.'

One little girl looked up in horror, spit her lifesaver out and yelled,
'Oh my God! They're ass-holes!

The teacher had to leave the room!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why are Americans Afraid of Universal Healthcare?

That's a question I've pondered for some time and one I've been asked by my friends in the UK and Canada. They say that we Americans seem to be fear our own government. The same establishment that we elected freely. It doesn't make sense. I thought our government is the very thing that sets us apart from other countries.

Our constitution describes our government as being "for the people, by the people." You are the people - we are the people. With that said, why are we afraid of the government having any congtrol? Isn't this the government that is "for the people, by the people"? Who better then to take care of the needs of the people? Certainly we don't think the HMO's and PPO's, huge for profit corporations, are going to be more trustworthy than those who are "for the people, by the people."

Some people argue that they want to choose for themselves who takes care of their health needs. But really, who does the choosing? For most of us it is our employer who decides what company, and what price, is available. But that's only if you are lucky enough to have an employer that provides any choice at all.

Then there is the argument that countries with socialized medicine have horrible systems. Are there horror stories? Yes. Are their long waits for services? Sometimes. But private health has horror stories and waiting lists as well. No system is perfect. No system that involves humans that is..."by the people".

I don't see how a government that proclaims to be "by the people, for the people" can not ensure that all its people have access to basic health care.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Magic Kingdom

You know how there are things in everyone’s past that they aren’t particularly proud of or wish to admit. Those parenting moments for instance when we didn’t necessarily use our best judgment. Well, one of my less than stellar moments as a parent occurred when my girls were four years old.

When my children were young they were not good little travelers like some children who are instantly lulled to sleep by the purring of a car engine. Oh no, my children never slept in the car not even as babies. Due to this fact it goes without saying I wasn’t that thrilled when my husband decided he wanted to take a family trip from Oklahoma to California with our pre-school age twin daughters. I started out with the greatest intention to remain optimistic but we had hardly left the driveway when I realized my optimism was not based on known fact. We had barely reached the end of the block before the fighting began. Twin one snatched something away from twin two and twin two being unwilling to tolerate such a blatant disrespect of personal space and property retaliated by biting twin one on the arm like a starving wolf cub. As soon as twin one became of aware of the blood drawn by twin two she began to scream at a decibel rate equivalent to the sound of a jet leaving the tarmac. At this point all I could think about was that we had 1,342.46 miles of road trip ahead. By the time we reached Amarillo, Texas a mere 286 miles from our house, I had begun the downward descent into a catatonic state. My husband, not wanting to have to raise two little girls on his own, made an executive decision to abandon the Magic Kingdom in favor of a shorter route to Arlington, Texas and Six Flags Over Texas. As he exited Interstate 40 and turned south I looked at him with more adoration and love than I had shown on our wedding night. Using Pig Latin to communicate we concocted the scheme to pass off Six Flags as Disneyland seeing as how our two passengers couldn’t read anyway. I fully intended to tell them the truth when they had children of their own and after they had traveled say 500 miles to visit Grandma at Christmas time.

We arrived in Arlington sometime that evening. The girls didn’t know California from Texas so the disparagement in travel time didn’t raise their suspicions. We checked into our motel to get a good night’s sleep before going to the “Magic Kingdom” the following day. I hadn’t been asleep 3 hours when I was startled into consciousness by the sound of gagging from the next bed. I barely opened my eyes before twin one began throwing up all over the bed immediately followed by the convulsive heaving of twin two. Holding back my own urge to expel the contents of my stomach I managed to get trashcans for all and cold rags on necks. By now I figured the “Magic Kingdom” wasn’t going to be on our itinerary but I didn’t count on the one-track mind of a four year old times two. It was apparent that if we didn’t go we were going to witness a full blown fit that would make Super Nanny run for the hills.

So, bright and early armed with ice buckets stolen, I mean borrowed, from the motel and wet rags we ventured toward “Mickey’s Magic Kingdom”. Fortunately, the girls didn’t get sick again but we had to battle temperatures I’m sure were not being experienced in Anaheim. Texas in July is about 110 in the shade. We stood in lines for rides with water misters spraying overhead only to have the water evaporate long before it hit our scorched and searing flesh. The girls kept asking where Mickey Mouse and Snow White were hiding out and their father’s creative answer was to tell them Mickey was in jail for DUI (my husband was a police officer) and that Snow White was on an extended vacation. Fortunately there were a few Looney Tunes characters skulking about so that seemed to satisfy the kids.

The girls requested toy swords at the souvenir stand and on our way to the parking lot we had them pose in front of the Six Flags sign. It had a picture of Bugs Bunny waving a sword over his head so we thought it would be cute to get a picture of our own sword waving children. The shot was snapped and our vacation to the "Magic Kingdom" came to an end.

Long after the trip was a faint memory and my children had been in school for a couple of years they happened upon our vacation snapshot of them in front of the “Disneyland”…..sign. I heard a wail from the other room and was soon confronted by two enraged second graders demanding answers.

All I could think of was who’s idea was it to teach them to read anyway?

Wine and Apples

Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top
of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because
they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes
take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but are easy to
get. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when
in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right man
to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to
the top of the tree.

Now men . . . men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes,
and it's up to women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn
into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Morning Humor




An 80 year old woman was arrested for shop lifting. When she went before the judge in Cincinnati he asked her, "What did you steal?"

She replied, "A can of peaches."

The judge then asked her why she had stolen the can of peaches, and she replied that she was hungry.

The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can. She replied, "6."

The judge said, "Then I will give you 6 days in jail."

Before the judge could conclude the trial, the woman's husband spoke up and asked the judge if he could say something.

The judge said, "What is it?"

The husband said, "She also stole a can of peas."

This is the true story of a Garage Owner in the Southwest New Mexico
He was sick and tired of thugs breaking into his garage shop to steal tools, etc. So he came up with this idea. He put the word out that he had a new Mexican Lion that would attack anyone that would break in or climb his fence.
Would-be thieves saw the "Lion" from a distance and fled the scene.

The dog is wondering how come my head is so hot and my butt so cold!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Out of the box

On the Oprah Winfrey show Wednesday the show was about women stepping out of their boxes. Another way of putting it is getting out of their comfort zones. “Four strangers from around the country who are bonded only by their desire to break their routines, overcome their fears and step out of their boxes” came together to take on this challenge.

All of the women had different stories from overcoming the pain of divorce, losing a job, being plagued with personal fears or just feeling as if their cup was empty and they had no more to give. These women did everything from roller derby skating, parachuting out of a plane and finally running naked into the ocean.

I was impressed by everything these women were able to do. I’ve been thinking about whether I could challenge myself to step out of my own box. Now, I know without a doubt I will NEVER jump out of a plane, I’m pretty sure I won’t roller derby, and I will absolutely never run naked on the beach. (So far I’m not stepping out very far) Hmmmm I have a pretty big box.

The Oprah show is now inviting women to write in and tell their stories and sign-up to step out of their box. You have to be up for anything. I haven’t come up with anything myself. Nothing I’m willing to risk life and limb to do. I have many fears but don’t know if I really want to overcome any of them at this point in my life. I have a fear of heights (so I just stay off ladders) I have a fear of public speaking (so I write in a blog instead) and I don’t go naked even in my own house where I live alone. Hmmm now when I was younger that was negotiable.

I've never been a dare devil or a risk taker. For awhile I had thoughts about breaking out of my comfort zone but just never got the courage. When I was young I pushed myself to sing in public but I was always terrified and though I was never booed off the stage I gave it up because it just wasn't fun for me. I loved being part of a chorus but solo performing wasn't for me.

I tried my hand at acting for awhile thinking it would help me overcome my fear of public speaking and it sounded like so much fun. But again, my stage nerves got the best of me and I couldn't project my voice above a whisper. (Not good for those in the back row of the theater)

So, here I am now, safe and snug and sealed up tight in my box.

What box would you like to step out of? Any fears you want to overcome? I’m just curious if I’m the only one content to stay in my box.

AND.... A few Random Thoughts for the Day

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die. 

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. 

There is great need for a sarcasm font.

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. 

I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

Bad decisions make good stories.

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. 

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again. 

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever. 

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away? 

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste. 

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. 

My friend's 4-year old son asked him in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How does one respond to that? 

I think the freezer deserves a light as well..

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lights than Kay.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In the News

Anyone see the news last night? How leaked copies of an election victory speech written for Sarah Palin reveal she planned to greet her husband as the country's 'first ever Second Dude' if the Republicans won.

And how her concession speech was blocked by running mate Senator John McCain.

"A new book about the former governor, Sarah from Alaska, recounts how her team clashed with that of Senator McCain on stage in his home town of Phoenix, Arizona, over making the speech - with McCain aides resorting to switching off the lights to prevent her from speaking"

Now why didn't someone think of "switching off the lights" a long time ago. I think I knew a long time ago that the lights were on but no one was home!

I've been following the following story for awhile and this is the latest update. I'm anxious to see how this unfolds because clearly the man was being robbed and was definitely defending himself but now finds himself charged with murder. I believe he went way too far but does he deserve to go to jail? Any thoughts?

The pharmacist who fatally shot a robber was ordered Wednesday to face a murder trial.

Nov 4 A judge ordered pharmacist Jerome Ersland to face a murder trial. The ruling came at a preliminary hearing after the judge watched two surveillance camera recordings of the shooting May 19 at the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City.

Ersland, 58, of Chickasha, is charged with first-degree murder. He gulped as the judge ruled. He once had expected to be cleared at his preliminary hearing, writing the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation in July that "justice will prevail shortly.”

District Attorney David Prater told the judge Ersland’s actions were "nothing less than an execution.” Defense attorney Irven Box argued Ersland should face trial only for first-degree manslaughter.

Ersland shot robber Antwun "Speedy” Parker once in the head then five times in the chest and abdomen. Parker was 16.

Parker and an accomplice, Jevontai Ingram, then 14, tried to rob the store of drugs and money at the direction of two longtime criminals, prosecutors allege. A pharmacy employee testified Wednesday one yelled at Ersland, "I’m going to shoot your ass.”

Prosecutors say the pharmacist went too far when he fired the last five shots because Parker was unconscious, unarmed and no longer a threat.

Ersland contends he was defending himself and two female employees from a masked robber who was still moving.

Box said he expects Ersland will be acquitted at trial particularly because the recordings show the other robber tried to shoot the pharmacist in the face. "Evidently he’s got no bullets, or it malfunctioned,” Box said, "I still don’t think there’s 12 people in this county that will find he’s guilty. … (Parker) was still a threat.”

Much of the testimony Wednesday focused on whether Parker was moving when he was shot the last five times.

Prosecutors put into evidence crime-scene photos that showed fallen merchandise was on top of Parker’s right arm and against his body and a blood pool beneath his head was undisturbed.

The state’s chief medical examiner, a renowned expert on blood spatter and a police detective testified that and other physical evidence proves he could not have been moving.

The medical examiner, Dr. Collie Trant, testified the five shots to the chest and abdomen were in a tight cluster. The pathologist testified those wounds would have been farther apart if Parker had been conscious because the victim would have moved after the first shot to the torso.

Tom Bevel, the blood spatter expert, testified blood drips would have been on the floor or Parker’s shirt if Parker had tried to get up after the head wound.

The security camera recordings do not show Parker after he is hit in the head. They do show Ersland standing over where Parker fell, firing the final shots.

The recordings also show the pharmacist chased the first robber out of the store after Parker was hit in the head. The pharmacist fired the fatal shots into Parker after returning to the store and getting a second gun.

Police detective David Jacobson said Ersland has given inconsistent statements to police and to news reporters about the shooting. The detective said Ersland told police he shot Parker five more times before chasing the other robber outside because Parker "wouldn’t go down.”

Jacobson also testified that the pharmacist claimed to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from killing people during combat in the 1991 Gulf War. "He had dreams about it,” the detective testified.

The detective testified Ersland also said he had been injured in combat, that his vertebra had been blasted. The detective said a review of Ersland’s military records show his claims about combat are not true.

Records reviewed by The Oklahoman show Ersland spent the war in 1991 as the pharmacy chief at the military hospital at Altus Air Force Base in southwestern Oklahoma.

Ryan Porter, another police detective on the case, testified the security camera recordings prove Ersland did not consider Parker a threat after Parker fell down.

The detective said Ersland "walks right by ignoring” the robber as he goes to get a second gun and also "has his back to” the fallen robber for several steps.

After the preliminary hearing, the district attorney questioned why Ersland has given repeated statements inconsistent with the facts if Ersland thinks he is in the right. "Why lie? Tell the truth,” Prater told reporters. "I’m not sure what was going through his head.”

Of the shooting, the prosecutor told reporters, "You’ve got someone lying on the floor on their back, unconscious, with their arms out to their side and their palms up, and they’re clearly unarmed, and you walk up and stick a gun about two feet from their chest and you put five bullets into their abdomen, that’s an execution.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

There is a website devoted to caring for abused animals and if you go there and click the purple sign that says "click every day" it helps the organization get free food for abused and neglected animals. They have been having trouble getting enough people to visit their site so if you could pass it on it would really help!

Bursitis....anyone have any experience with this little gem? I've had problems intermittently for several years and it has come back with a vengeance this time. I think my excessive bike riding has set it off. How annoying! I have to stop riding my bike for awhile to try and get the inflammation to subside. Anyone have any home remedies to share? I'm open for suggestions.

I'm so enjoying our good weather. We've been in the 70's for the past several days and it is supposed to last through the weekend. Great time to get those holiday lights on the house and ready for Christmas. I don't have any to put out but if I did I'd get them out now.

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and then it will be Christmas. I love this time of year and the time shared with family and friends. We are only going to have 4 for Thanksgiving this year and we are considering going out for dinner. It would be a first as I always cook the holiday meals but I'm really enjoying the possibility of just being a guest this year and someone else doing the cooking. As we get older it is sometimes necessary to change traditions. This will be the first holiday without my parents and maybe a little change would be good. This is the time of year when I really wish I had grandchildren. Children really make the holidays special.

Here is a link to a great song by Toby Keith. He wrote it in tribute to Wayman Tisdale one of Oklahoma's legendary basketball players and a friend of Toby's. I loved the song!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It was a great weekend. The weather was perfect and I managed to get a lot of fall clean-up done in the yard.

Last night Ron and I got into one of our many debates. Not really a debate. He thinks I get too loud and too passionate about what ever we are discussing. I'm sure he is right. I came from a loud family and being the youngest if I didn't get loud I didn't get heard.

Ron and I don't see eye-to-eye on anything and no matter how I try to refrain from showing my shock and awe over some of his views I'm not very good at keeping my feelings disguised. I asked a question last night concerning gun control or specifically gun safety. I have always wondered what the resistance is to using safety locks on weapons. I asked Ron if he had ever heard the argument against them. What I think I heard was how it is resistance to being told by the government to use them. My feeling is that if you are of legal age I don't care whether you lock your gun or not. If you shoot yourself in the foot so be it. But....I feel differently if you have children in the house. I think you should be required to keep safety locks on your weapons. I guess I'm not opposed to government getting involved the same way they did with child safety caps on medicine (which don't always work I realize) or laws requiring children be in car seats and buckled in. Ron then said well then why don't we regulate no sharp pointed scissors in the house, no knives, etc. That's probably when my voice got louder. I was immediately frustrated.

I just don't understand anyone's opposition to attempting to protect children. But...maybe I'm missing the big picture.

Unfortunately, Ron's very conservative views and my liberal views collide on a daily basis. I will admit he has more tolerance than I do. I really get frustrated!