April 30, 2007
April 25, 2007
It's a rainy day here in the Midwest - Nice for slipping back to bed! And, that's what I did for about 15 minutes. But, I have to spend the evening at work, and I have a lot I want to get done today. But, I enjoyed the open window and fresh breath of ozone for a little bit.
Samantha's flowers are in full bloom now and one can see the tulips dancing softly around the large stones that cover her little gravesite from all the way across the pond. And that is next to the mailboxes, so we keep a close eye on her.
Sitting at my desk with the curtains open, I can enjoy the view from the second story window. There's a pine tree next to the neighbor's building that is in full view of my window. I wonder why I didn't think of planting more tulips under THAT tree instead of the one next to my window that I can't see? Next fall I'm planting a hundred tulips around the other tree! Just now a dove flew to the ledge of my window checking out the light and pondering if she could get in here to make her nest. Too bad. Window in the way... Don't bump your head mama bird!
This is the time of year to wonder what that awful odor is outside near the front door. At the post office. Around all the bushes and flower gardens. Yep, it's that really strong fertilizer odor and it is not my favorite brand of perfume. I wonder if my son, Billy, uses such stuff in his landscaping. Billy and Katy have planted many flower gardens in Portland as part of their landscaping business. Now they have full-time "inside" jobs, but I know they love getting back out in nature when they can.
Have you been to Sandy's website to see her flower pictures and those of little Star? (See the left-hand side of this website to go there. Also, I've added the link for my friend Olive and her PEACEFUL website.)
Star is the most well-dressed doggie in the neighborhood.
I finally figured out where all the socks go? Not the washer! Not eaten by the dryer, but under my side of the bed. I toss my socks there at bedtime and the sweeper pushes them just out of sight. I found at least 10 socks there the other day!
SOS ladies. Good news! I found a way to invite you as contributing members. I'll be sending you an invitation by email and let's see what happens. I'm not sure what that means, but I think you can add to the website. I believe Juanita would like to be invited but I have to go find her email. If anyone wants on board, please email me through your email, or if you don't mind, you can send me your email address under comments at the end of this.
Hey, have you heard of the new airline that is promoting itself by offering $10 airfare to some parts of the country? It's Skybus. Jim called me from work to alert me, and I got a round-trip ticket to the west coast to visit Billy and Katy next September (my annual birthday trip) for only $60 RT. (Couldn't get $10 coming back, but $50 isn't bad!). Taxes was only $14! I paid a little extra for early seating, but I couldn't have gotten a nicer birthday present!!!!! The $10 tickets are very limited, of course, but check it out!
After tulips in my garden, what's next? Maybe I shouldn't push it. The only flowers around the apartment complex where we live (except for one with pansies at the entrance) are those I secretly planted last fall. Got any ideas?
Jim and I have been sorting photography supplies and creating our new studio. I was surprised at how much photography equipment we had! It's fun and exciting and we hope to start taking lots of great pictures this summer! I plan to do more on-location shoots, but this is the first time in a long time that I've had access to all my supplies and equipment in one place.
Take Care on the Journey (SOS)
April 23, 2007
Website link is
Take Care on the Journey,
April 21, 2007
Camera in hand, I walked out and did a photo-shoot of the flowers. We got a "Samantha Surprise" when the film was developed. Notice the rainbows across the bottom of the first two pictures?
Click pictures for close-up view.
"You Go! Samantha!"
Samantha is buried straight across the pond in front of the center tree. If the picture was clear, you could see the tulips almost in the center across the pond. The creek is just beyond the big center tree.
Hope you enjoyed our little walk today.
April 18, 2007
Of course, the biggest and almost ONLY news has been from Virginia Tech. I’ve had nothing to do but watch the grim details until I can watch no more!
Early on, I heard the profilers say there had to be more than the emerging initial information, and sadly, they were right. Now NBC has received a homemade video made by the killer himself. It’s gut-wrenching to watch. In fact, I don't understand why CNN and others put such disgustingly horrible film on air! But, if one does, they all have to! I wish someone had told me not to look at it! Please don't bother!
I have some of my own opinions about why this sick, sick man was allowed to go so long leaving these “signs and symptoms” as we say in nurse language.
Not to drag my thoughts out too long on this horrible subject, but I totaled up the number of years I’ve been involved with colleges and universities with immediate family members in college or employed by one, so I dare offer to speak with some ‘authority” on how they function – in public and in private!
While I do not have that coveted college degree, my immediate family has been enrolled in a college or university for a total of 31 years, and we have attended at least ten universities or colleges. My hard work as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) has provided funds for a total of seven college degrees including three Master's and one Ph.D.
The major colleges and universities we have attended include:
Southern College at Collegedale, TN
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI
St. Mary’s College, South Bend, IN
Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
University of Michigan, Detroit, MI
Pacific Union College, Angwin, California
Columbus State Community College, Columbus, OH
Franklin University, Columbus, OH
So, I can say with quite some certainty that colleges and universities are quite like aristocratic cats….Both have sophisticated cover-ups!
For almost 10 years, I was the local newspaper reporter for the town where we lived on the university campus. I was forced more than once, to ‘kill the story’ by my editor who was just as furious as I was about the situation. Don’t think news media can pull all the plugs and always report a fair story. Money and power talked then, and still does!
I’m predicting that in the coming years, because of increasing technology, public communication will change. CATS will sit on public pedestals! Public Officials will have to keep up and take notes! They will be forced to look at how they ‘control traffic’ and how it is controlled by others. They will not be able to sit behind closed doors and dictate crazy rules and misinformation!
The “reporter” in me watched with deep interest as the questions were asked during the news conferences in Virginia. Often, questions are asked at news conferences in a way to actually unofficially “report” news the reporters aren't allowed to officially report on the air. But, it didn’t take long for officials to realize what was happening and after that, questions were not allowed at news conferences. Did you notice that? I knew right then that something was amiss!
Coming home tonight from a little drive to another town, Jim and I noticed flags at half-mast all along the way. Well, all except one very conspicuous flag floating in the wind at full mast. It was in front of the United Methodist Church in Sunbury, OH.
Oh please, don’t get me started on the CATS at church.
By the way, I have new cards (already!) for the SOS (Sisters of Sunshine) Club. For those of you that I have addresses, I will send you some but feel free to remind me! Anyone who would like some to pass out to your friends, please contact me through your email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are FREE! Click HERE for the SOS website.
Take Care on the Journey,
"Leave the ways of techno-world behind when entering the realm of Nature.
Commune with the spirit ways of sunlight and hear the voices of bird, wind and stream.
Bring the outer peace within and calm the mind from daily paths.
Hold each other’s hand and let the whisper of wind call to your inner child.
Play in the gardens of Nature can cast song upon the winds of destiny. BAP"
Photo by Katie (click)
Take Care on the Journey,
April 16, 2007
Take Care on the Journey,
April 12, 2007
Hats off to anyone who makes their way here!
Here's 55 hugs and 5555 smiles. (55 being my lucky number!)
Here's the VistaPrint link where you can sign in and view the card in the cart and even order some if you want to. But, I'll send anyone FREE cards if you email me at the SOS email address. email@example.com (From your email, please. Clicking here won't get it to me.)
Okay, go to http://www.vistaprint.com
Sign with this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the word Cart in the upper right hand corner and see the card waiting there. Click Larger View and also check out the backside of the card! Being careful if you make changes to the card as it will stay that way if you put your initials there.
A candle in the palm of a hand. What could say it better?
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW OR EMAIL ME IF YOU SEE ANY REASON WHY I SHOULDN'T PUT THIS LINK ON THE WEBSITE. I'M STILL NEW AT THIS TOO.
Have A Sparkling Day!
Unlike Imus In the Morning, I'm back to work. My private duty baby is out of the hospital, so I'm working most every day M-F 4p-MN starting today. I like that shift because it helps me to be better organized. I'm working every other weekend at the nursing home for the month of April and that's this coming weekend. After that, it depends on who is the nicest to me. (And, we know who that is.)
When I turned on the computer this morning, the screen lights went dark. I thought of my friend Floyd. Hey, Floyd, I'm sure you checked the little buttons that control brightness. On my monitor they are under the front edge and not up there with all the other adjustment buttons. Whew, I'm not sure where the flashlight is, so I'm glad THAT was my problem!
We thought it was going to get warm this week, but while ago when I took Sheba out, I had the hood pulled up over my head and my back to the wind. Sheba lifted her nose to the wind and sat down on the grass stiff with ice. She loves the cold air and a windy day that must bring all kinds of pleasant odors from the city of Columbus. I had to offer her a "treat" to get her to come back in without being pulled inside.
Yesterday I finally got in the mood to spring clean. One of my favorite shows is where they remake a house or a room. I like to use their ideas when I can. I've added small lights inside my tall plants in the living room and even placed one behind the TV so it adds dimension and highlights to the plants sitting on that side of the room and the picture frames above. Of course, when Jim came home he went around and turned off all the lights wondering why I "forgot" to turn off the lights.
That's one difference between us. He loves to sit in the dark, and I want ALL the lights on. We compromise and I have certain lights that only get turned off at bedtime. Boy, does he enjoy that ritual of turning off all the lights. He does appreciate small night-lights, so at least we don't bump our heads and stub our toes in the night!
Back to housecleaning, I got the living room clean and changed around. Now I need to pick up all the stuff I moved to the back rooms as I was cleaning...You know how that goes. Sheba is mad at me because I sorted through all the dogs’ toys and discarded the most raggedy chewed up ones. Ching-Ching is downright pouting about it. Before all the dog-lovers fuss at me, you should have seen the pile of old toys. Both dogs cheered up when I spread what was left back over the floor for them to pick through. I thought CATS were bad.
Dryer is done. Dishes are calling, and Sheba wants out again. (Hope she's not sick!!!! These days we're all watching for every odd sign or symptom with our pets!)
Take Care on the Journey,
April 10, 2007
Take Care on the Journey,
April 9, 2007
Someone once said, "Never underestimate the power of a woman (scorned)".
I also offer, "Never underestimate the power of the pen".
Now for another great website that I discovered (by accident?) this morning... It's my POSITIVE message for the day!!! ...Click HERE. (You'll have to enter a name and email address because she wants to avoid SPAM.)
Take Care on the Journey,
April 7, 2007
The following quote is taken from:
- Our mision (sic) ...To nurture women as an affirming influence for Christian growth and as a result, positively affect the people in their lives.
- Our vision... A haven where every woman feels that she belongs. A place to be empowered spiritually, socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
- Our plan... Foster relationships with women through small groups, open events, with emphasis on recruitment and follow-up.
I just returned from a worship service at the Worthington SDA Church near Columbus, Ohio where I had been expecting some action on my request to have my membership transferred from the Berrien Springs, MI SDA (PMC) Church to Worthington.
* Red = Added after the first posting...Some very special family members have questioned and will question why I feel the need to attend church. They don’t think that I need religion, and they are right! I believe that for most, if you haven’t already found Your God, you won’t find IT within four walls. I want to be accepted by a unity of people where I can give back joy and peace. Where I can enjoy the socialization of a group of people who want to offer a safe harbor. Enough said.
About 10 days ago I got a call from the senior pastor of the Worthington Church asking if I was still interested in becoming a member….
“Why?” I asked. “Was there any question about my written request?”
“Well, I haven’t read your blog, but some of my church-members thought that you didn’t want to be a member after they read your blog.”
I should have suspected treason right there. The pastor hadn’t read my blogsite, but took the time to call and ask the question. We talked for 31 minutes (according to the timer on my cell phone) and when we hung up I thought he had an understanding of what the story on my site http://dustyangels.blogspot.com/ was all about.
This is where I post my personal ideas about life. Like the private diaries I've kept for my whole life. But now I share with the world. My book, "Dusty Angels and Old Diaries" chronicles the first 50 years of my life.
Right about now, my sister Sandra, who had SDA force fed and hammered into her with firewood and brimstone, will drop right down the comment section with a rebuke that will clear up any misunderstanding on anyone’s part. That will precede a scalding reprimand to me for any notion that religion and church are at all related, and she will suggest that my darkening the doorway of an SDA church again is grounds for putting me away at the funny farm.
Many who read my story, “I Went Back” thought I was being harsh with the Worthington SDA church as I wrote to compare the difference between how I was RAISED a SDA and how it is now with all the rules eliminated or completely changed.
The comments on my blogsite seemed to have forced a confrontation between the pastor and some (or at least one very effective church member), who took it upon themselves to decide that I didn’t want my membership there - or was it really the other way around?
It could have been ANY SDA Church I wrote about, but because I mentioned Worthington SDA church by name, several members from that church wrote comments after the story to complain about my comments - or to defend their loving membership and welcome me into the congregation.
In my story, I compared how the SDA services and church rules have been livened and lightened up over the years. The former strict dress code is non-existent. Strict diet rules eliminated. Admittedly, I was harsh on the senior pastor who seemed sincere and quite proud of his diverse church membership. But in a second story, I explained I meant nothing personal, and I complimented several things I do like about the church.
So, after I submitted a simple written request for my membership to be transferred from the Berrien Springs SDA (Michigan) Church to this church, I wondered how that request would be handled.
Then came the call from the pastor confirming I still wanted admittance into his church.
“We pride ourselves on welcoming anybody who wants to attend….We even welcome gays and drug addicts…. We’d rather have them here than on the streets”, the senior pastor explained. And, I assured him that would not bother me to see those kind of people in church.
But it seems a condition of my acceptance into church membership is that I ‘apologize’ to certain members who took offence to my stories on the website.
“I’ll introduce you to a couple members after you are accepted. You can talk to them.”
We had agreed that my name would be in the bulletin and voted for consideration today. While the church board may vote me in, the church membership has a first and second reading, and votes as a whole on names being accepted for membership and transfer. The second reading was scheduled for today as I assured the pastor that my work schedule would permit me to attend church today.
So, even though snowsqualls roared across the city on this Easter weekend, I gulped down an extra dose of cough syrup and kissed Jim good-bye. "I'm getting adopted today, I said.
I could be wrong here, but I got the feeling I was expected to make peace with those members who took offence to my "I Went Back" story. But I’m soft. I’m gullible.
I won’t tell Jim I had to say I'm sorry, I said to myself..
I walked in just in time to see the, “incoming” and “outgoing” names listed on the large movie screen at the front of the church.
My name was not listed. It was not in the bulletin that i held in my hand either.
Tears banged against my eyelids as I realized that I had been rejected. Shattered glass exploded in my head.
I held my breath as the senior pastor welcomed the new members and asked if any new members were in the congregation. The list was moved and accepted. Not until the man left the platform did I conclude that I had really been overlooked and perhaps betrayed.
After a stunned moment to collect myself, I got up and following the pastor out into the foyer, I introduced myself and asked why I was not on the incoming list.
Realizing that answer was not going to suffice, he offered that his secretary was on vacation. “To the Grand Canyon”, he boasted as if the Grand Canyon was excuse enough to forget that some old lady who wrote scathing stories about his church and his sermons wanted to become a member.
When that answer didn’t back me off, he suggested that maybe he could get my name up there today. “Maybe it’s not too late to do it now.” And then he politely ushered me back into the sanctuary where the choir’s soothing music precluded soft prayer and the children’s story.
But, was he bluffing or lying or both? I believe that he has no intention to satisfy my request today or any day.
Yep, the beckoning bonfire recommended by my born-again pagan (BAP) husband roars loudly in the background, and the pastor’s handshake feels like a lump of coal in my hand and in my heart.
My husband comments over the edge of the newspaper, “The open-arms policy seems to have their hands tied behind their back”.
Going back was hard enough. Going back again is stupid on my part.
If my name is up for adoption in two weeks, someone reading this please tell them to take it off. If Kevin or Dr. Jones or Bonnie feel badly, so be it. No one feels more badly than I do. I had a dream of being a part of a group of people who share my faith and exchange gifts of acceptance and love. I had great expectations. It’s Shattered Glass now!
Please don't write to offer excuses. Anytime someone says, "I forgot", there's always more behind the "I forgot" then they are saying. I'm not going back to find out what that is. I need to read my own book again!
My book, "Dusty Angels and Old Diaries" tells about the power of forgiveness and urges women to be strong. That includes learning how to take care of yourself and not go back for more hurt and rejection. It includes finding the power to forgive yourself and move on!
Last week, an old roommate from Laurelbrook School near Dayton, Tennessee called me on my cell phone right out of the blue. I was at work and couldn’t talk long, but she invited me for a girls-only weekend to enjoy the lovely forests, waterfalls and camping in the Tennessee Mountains. Her comment, “I’ve gone back to the church” has left me slightly baffled. I hope to understand her position better when we can talk.
*By the way, if you click the worthington sda link, then click the survey posted there, don't be shocked! After complaining about my website, they post questions like this for anyone to read? http://www.worthingtonsda.com The survey points one in a rather odd direction, and non-members (like BAP) are shaking their heads in wonder. If they need a survey done about what members believe these days, they could direct them to my website. I'll bet that survey comes down real fast.
Yes, I went back to church too. But, I’m not bragging about it. I’m running the other way as fast as I can.
Sunrise Services in a Gopher-hole, anyone?
Feel free to leave me a comment before you leave. (Click the word 'comment' below and another window will pop up. )Take Care on the Journey,
~Linda (A very heavy-hearted Linda)
April 5, 2007
Put on those dancing shoes...
If you've already read this once, I changed the title and the beginning.
I'm absolutely positive that depression permeates the earth! It must to be in the air we breathe, or maybe the water we drink, but it surrounds the population of this planet. Maybe even a few animals too, but we dismiss that as ‘road kill”.
I want to address this feeling most of us get once in a while that causes us to question our faith or to care less about a bad hair day (whichever fits). Few actually boast of feeling sad and morose. Most prefer to be left alone in the sad corner of their 'worry-world". Those who go around being grumpy and unhappy don’t have a large following of friends, and don’t attract much attention, even though they might wish they could!
While I have envisioned the “Great Escape” a couple times when I felt alone and afraid, today I’m talking about that nagging feeling of a restlessness and slight anger at the entire world for things not working out the way we wish.
I maintain that depression, if handled well, spurs us to do things that make us feel better. Hopefully, our mates and friends haven’t given up on us during the process!
Dessert after dinner. A new hairstyle. Favorite TV programs. Pet cats and dogs. (Some countries eat them.) Think about it. If we all felt incredibly happy beyond words, would we rely on these forms of attachment to make us feel special and/or happy?
Our actions constantly motivate us toward that path of total carefree contentment and encompassing happiness! For some, it’s the simple walk in nature to ease the hold of slight forbidding, and bring light into the world again. Others must pull themselves up by the bootstraps and force a cheerfulness they don't feel until they do feel better.
Most of us don’t have a clue about what is tugging us in different directions or pulling us down. Preachers say it is a lack of religion and/or God. Scientists argue it is something unseen. Psychologists believe it is how we were raised. Nurses insist it's in the pull of the full moon! The list is as long as we are intelligent!
We agree that most of us are living ‘in the moment’. Most of us agree that we can’t change the past, nor can we affect the future. So, why try to live for either one?
We live for the moment…Catering to a loving pet instills a feeling of belonging and contentment. A serious hobby creates a glow of good vibes. Playing music is comforting. Planning for a big vacation is rewarding. Refurnishing a room brings pride. Painting a picture feels peaceful. Shopping is fun! Watching movies. Playing games. Talking on the phone to a good friend is comforting. Reading a good book opens new worlds and erases time. Writing is healing. Helping others and volunteering buys satisfaction. Building a new house offers security. Opening up a savings account promotes a feeling of accomplishment.
I propose our life is made up of millions of ‘happy moments’ to bridge the gap of what is and what was.
Today I noticed four empty cans of Dr. Pepper (diet, of course) sitting on the table next to my favorite chair. Suddenly I thought to myself, “Linda. You’re depressed! Look at all these cans of your ‘comfort food’.”
After a quick analyzing moment, I realized I was actually reaching for those cold cans of drink because I’m suffering from a bad sore throat. The cold drink feels good to my throat and it’s easy – and comforting! (And, now that Jim is working all day, he isn’t picking up after me so much.)
But, more than all those excuses. Popping open a can of Dr. Pepper is an addiction like smoking or opening a bottle of beer to an addict. I’m sure of it, but haven’t found the urgent need to fight one more “bad-for-me” thing in this life!
Even my dog recognizes this ‘comfort sound’ of opening a can of pop, and she comes to me tail a'wagging to lie at my feet. (Of course, scratching her tummy with my toes might be in her expectations too.)
This morning I took pictures of some spring flowers around the apartment complex where we live. (I'm proud of the tulips because I planted them, and the groundskeeper didn't dig them up!) I wondered why I really did that. Of course, the thought was to post the pictures on the blogsite for others to enjoy. Of course, it made me feel good to plan something nice for my readership. But, what if I wasn’t going to share these pictures with anyone? What if I was the only person living on earth? Would these pictures make me feel just as good? Why not just walk out and enjoy the moment for myself, and not feel the urge to tell or share with anyone else? We want to share so we can be accepted. We do things that make us feel good; to climb up from where we find ourselves at this moment.
Maybe if we could analyze our every moment, we would be shocked at how much time is spent planning for future happy moments.
For those who still believe in a golden, glorious heaven to come, how about living in a place where you feel so good inside, there’s nothing you could do that would make you any happier? Would we be bored to death? Could we wish for more?
Do you honestly know anyone who is actually that happy? If you say yes, I believe you are lying to yourself and to me. (Or, a little unbalanced too…)
Those who sing loudly to themselves as they walk down the street, we label as crazy. Not normal. Retarded. Silly. Those who boast of having riches and happiness are ridiculed in private. Yep, we have to be depressed or we don’t fit in!
I've discovered the best way to "fit in" at work is to find fault and make fun of others. To find negative things to say about the boss or complain about the company. Joyful employees don't stay around very long! People expect 'normal' people to be unhappy about something!
I urge you to hang on to whatever happy moments you can find along this earthly journey! If singing in the shower makes you feel happy, then let it out at the top of your lungs! If planting a garden is part of your genetic makeup, then please drop everything and plant that garden. If listening to music and reading a good book opens up the happy part of your heart, make time for those moments and DARE anybody or anything to take that from you.
If sharing makes you feel good, why not share? If finding good things in life help make your journey more pleasant, than find good things!
Loving someone else and bringing them pleasure, is an act I believe was created somewhere in time to make us feel a part of the universe and somewhat related to that mysterious ‘heaven’.
Once I stood on the top of that mountain of Faith and Godliness and shared it with everyone I met. But it was like the new growth of spring. The small flower that blooms overnight. The birth of baby birds in a nest. The sight of geese honking in harmony as they fly overhead. All of this moves on into the next season…and I am left with the wilted plant, the baby bird that fell from the nest and the fading sounds of geese flying into the sunset. (And the unexpected return of winter to kill the joy of spring!)
My faith must keep me sure that the next season will bring it’s own rewards and time will remember that I enjoyed each moment and shared that joy with someone. Always reaching for something better to share.
Most of all, be gentle with those who must fight harder than others to reach the sky and feel the sunshine. I’ll bet that if you could see beyond the stony wall of grumpiness and fury at an invisible hell, it will be worth it all to have reached out with understanding and love.
Today I got two cards in the mail. One was from my sister, Allison, who usually makes contact at Christmas time, and one from a long-time schoolmate and friend, Johnnie. Who knew a few days ago that those cards would bring so much cheer today when I’m feeling sick with the flu and grumpy about the cold weather?
Remember that no one is as happy as they say they are, and all of us need a little push up the next step.
I hope this has not been too lengthy and has made a little difference to someone.
If you haven't done so, click HERE to enjoy the Springtime in Ohio video and dance to the HAPPY little tune I posted at my new spot on the YouTube. A FIRST for me.
PS...For an even better treat, view some others at the same site. Awesome tulip video's there!
Take Care on the Journey,