August 29, 2008

Who Is Sarah Palin? A Birthday Gift to John McCain - Not Our VP.

Sarah Palin, Vice President of the United States ?

She might have been a beauty queen. She does have a handicapped child. She sounds like a spitfire. She's governor where few want the position and was mayor where even less wanted to serve. She was in the right place at the right time, but I believe that no way, no how, is she qualified to be only a heartbeat away from serving as the President of the United States as the vice-presidential running mate of presidential candidate John McCain!

By the way, Mr. McCain. I was the beauty queen of Laurelbrook School, Dayton, Tennessee in 1968. I have a step child with Down Syndrome. I have a sister who taught me everything I need to know about being a spitfire. I was an elected official for seven-years longer than Sarah has been Governor of Alaska, but I know when I'm being suckered!

News stories shout the news with words like, "McCain shook up the presidential race"... "In a surprising move..." "A surprise pick"... "McCain made history today"... "A hockey mom"... "Peanut -sized political past..." "A 44-year old mother of five kids..."

Don't mock us! We are not fools. The highest position in the United States of America does not belong to a woman whose highest claim to fame is that nobody knew who she was until noon today!

When I heard the news - leaked out before the official announcement - on the radio, I called my husband at work who always knows everything about everything. "Who is Sarah Palin - or some name that sounds something like that", I demanded.

He sat up in his chair, suddenly fully alert but at a loss to answer my pointed question. "I've never heard of anyone by that name," he responded as I heard the keys clicking on his keyboard and knew he would have the answer before I could order my Asian salad at McDonald's.

Sure enough. Before I could exchange the wrong dressing with my requested ranch dressing, my cell phone rang back. "Sarah Palin is the Governor of Alaska!" he almost shouted at me.

It sounded ridiculous at the time and suspicious even now. "The Governor of Alaska". Who is McCain kidding? I don't know what he was thinking, but perhaps that was the brightest idea he could think of as a 71st birthday present to himself. (His birthday is today.)

I have no doubt that Ms. Palin will crumble or be crumbled. I give her less than two weeks. Perhaps even by MY birthday (September 3) she will be on the outs. She may look the look and talk the talk, but the birthday candles get blown out after one makes a wish and the cake is quickly gobbled up by happy party-goers.

Perhaps I'm assuming my readers can read my mind. As a public official for two terms (1992-2000 - while Clinton was president) as Oronoko Township Clerk in Berrien Springs, Michigan, I know that you have to work hard to win and you have to have the spirit of a barracuda to stay in your position - and not let the 'good ole guys' beat you down.

Apparently, Ms. Palin has the strength to work hard and the spirit of a barracuda to get things done from what we hear about her past political experience. But, I believe that does not prepare her for the BIG GUYS in Washington! I respect her strength, but don't accept that this has prepared her to be the presumptive vice-presidential candidate.

That McCain uses his position and her unique abilities to throw her out to the wolves and offer us someone not qualified for the job - just because as a 'good ole guy'' and he can - is not right!

To THIS, I say, "no how-no way!"

Ms. Palin should get back on that plane and attend to the State Fair in Anchorage, Alaska! Keep your day job, but go home at night and read to your children. Bid your oldest son off to war and cuddle your baby while you can."

Take Care on the Journey,


August 26, 2008

Granger Chiropractic in New Albany, Ohio NEW

Drs. Greg and Heather Prenger and baby Jack.

Ohio Family & Sports Chiropractic
New Albany, Ohio

Many of my friends and family know that I've always preferred holistic care over modern medicine although being a nurse, I am knowledgeable and intrinsically involved in both areas.

A few months ago I told you about Granger Chiropractic here in New Albany and how thrilled I was to find this type of health care close to home.

A short time after I wrote that article, Dr. Granger sold the
New Albany Chiropractor part of the business to a young couple who recently graduated as chiropractors from Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida. They are also both graduates of The Ohio State University.

I've gotten to know Drs. Greg and Heather Prenger very well by now because I decided to keep going to the New Albany location - especially with gas prices going through the roof.

Drs. Greg and Heather Prenger are on fire for chiropractic care and healthful living! They bring a wide variety of services not only with chiropractic care but including nutrition, exercise and stress management.

I've been getting "adjusted" on a regular basis by either Dr. Heather or her husband, Dr. Greg and am happy to say how much better I'm feeling. They take whatever time is needed to evaluate my symptoms and adjust accordingly. Take it from someone who has been under chiropractic care for the last 30+ years, they know what they are doing!

The Prenger's business link to
New Albany Chiropractor, New Albany, Ohio is Ohio Family and Sports Chiropractic.

Dr. Heather has a personal website that has a link on my blog. Dr. Heather's website is also devoted to baby Jack and how they are providing him with the most healthy choices.

I couldn't close without mentioning the best massage therapist I've ever known. At the Ohio Family & Sports Chiropractic meet Greg or call to make an appointment for a relaxing, healthful body massage. Greg's website at the
Ohio State University is at this LINK.

We wish you the best as you start this journey of service to others and strive to reach your goal to "make Central Ohio the healthiest community in America".

Take Care on the Journey,


August 25, 2008

ATT Just Keeps On Calling

When I got home today there was a message from AT&T on the answering machine, "This is to advise you that your Internet service has been upgraded to Prospeed. Your next bill will reflect the increase."

Did I say anything about an upgrade in the last posting, "ATT You Have The Wrong Number"? The 10+ places I was routed to had only to do with trying to get a change of name called "billing responsibility" so our billing would all be under one name. How can I "upgrade" if I can't even get the service in my name? Huh? No, they wouldn't do a name change, but they say I authorized an upgrade/Something this is suppose to prevent...

Well, my day started on the wrong side of the bed even with my best efforts to be a positively nice person today. Before noon I had thrown hubby's lunch bag at him as he left for work (he got up late), yelled at the billing department of my chiropractor (I was mistaken about something) and snapped at the DJ on the radio for lying. I just hate it when they say, "Traffic and weather is next" when they really mean, "after 3 minutes of commercials".

So, for the last hour I've been waiting on hold (again!) in between talking to two sympathetic employees. I've tried to explain what I wanted on the 21st (name change) and what I got on the 25th (upgrade).

I've spoken to two "managers" (thanks Buffy) who apologized for for the 'inconvenience and bad mistakes". "We don't work that way," said the lady who promised to give me a $25 credit on the next billing because of the mistake of upgrading when I didn't ask for it. (She also says she changed our Internet back to what we had.)

The second manager completely shocked me when he said, "I've gone ahead and done the name change for you," as he apologized for "the inconvenience" of the last several days. Mr. 'Mission Impossible' did advise me to wait for the next billing period when all the services are billed under my name to request the combined billing package.

Somehow I don't believe any of them. The form that was emailed to me for hubby to sign on the name change indicated if they don't get it back by September 10, our service will be cut off. (I'm not going to even ask what that means.)

Now that Mr. Impossible has been so nice to do the name change in one mouse-click, I don't need to send the form back. On the other hand, I'd sure miss the Internet if they cut me off.

Hang on. What is this in the mail? WE GOT OUR INCENTIVE CHECK TODAY!
I was so busy with the phone company, I forgot to tell hubby!

I'm going to feel better before you read this and I do not want to post anything that might make someone else feel discouraged. But hopefully when life seems so irritating you could just spit, you will quickly feel better because, as some of you have indicated in your comments, you've also walked in my shoes.

Take Care on the Journey,
~Linda Home:

August 22, 2008

Laurelbrook School vs DOL

Many of you who read this blog have some interest in what's going on with Laurelbrook School and the Department of Labor (DOL) Dispute. I see the DOL (government) has been viewing this blog and that of my sister, Sandy, where we have mentioned Laurelbrook in our postings.

For the most recent update of the child labor dispute please click this link.

It seems the court hearing has been put on hold until March, 2009.

That's all for now. Have a good weekend.

Take Care on the Journey,

August 21, 2008

More of Linda's Flowers - Morning Glories

While some people pull and toss those pesky, wild, take-over Morning Glory plants, I gently nudge my sky-hungry vines up the trellis and give them a good soaking with clear cold water at least twice a day. They gobble up nourishment from prepared flower fertilizer once a week and show me how much they appreciate my TLC by climbing higher and higher and still reaching for more! Notice how dry the grass is? We haven't had a good rain in weeks! Oh yes, that's a tomato plant to the right of the Morning Glory vines. Most of them got black on the bottom, but the plant has a nice fragrance when you sit on the porch.
Click on photos for the latest photos taken August 21, 2008. Enjoy - and click on any photo for a close-up view. A YouTube version is added below. Hope it works!

Take Care on the Journey,

ATT You Have The Wrong Number

I’m on hold with AT&T – for the last 50 minutes! For the 10th time! Ahhh for the simple days before someone invented the on-hold message, “Thank-you for continuing to hold. Your call is very important to us. A representative will be with you shortly”.

I’m thinking that if someone came up with how-to learn a new language while waiting, or certification in CPR or a refund on the monthly bill for every minute one had to wait, there would be far less exasperated people running late the rest of the day.

It started with a letter from AT&T informing us that as a “special reward for your loyalty” we could get a great price if we would bundle our numerous communication devices we have through them. With up to $200 CASH BACK. And, this one wasn’t just for new customers!

The first time I called and miracle of miracles, there was no delay. I discovered the reason we don’t have the best “bundle” is because some of the services are in my name (cell-phones and wireless internet) and the others are in Jim’s name (landline phone and land-line internet). Of course they won’t ‘bundle” these without one of us giving up our name and letting all the services be in one name. That was three days ago and numerous 800-numbers ago!

Of course, they won’t just switch them over without speaking directly to Jim who is at work and not in a position to wait on hold for hours at a time. They finally agreed (three-days ago) to call him at work and get his okay while I was on the line. I waited until they came back on line and said Jim told them he couldn’t make an outside call. What? He didn’t need to call anyone! And, he knew I was going to be working on this, so why the confusion?

I hung up (from my ‘almost to the finish-line’ call) and placed a call to Jim at work. Yeah, slightly irritated. “So, why did you tell AT&T you couldn’t make an outside call? I was THIS CLOSE to getting the special offer!”

“My phone hasn’t rang in hours. I’ve been sitting here putting a report together. I haven’t talked to anyone,” he replied in his usual calm matter-of-fact voice.

As I said, that happened three days ago. I didn’t have any more time on my day off to spend on this foolishness.

This morning (my next day off) I started again. Pulling out the notes from three days ago. I called the last number that had been given to me. The guy pleasantly said he hoped he could help me, but alas, it wasn’t in his job description. He transferred me to yet another number - which is where I’m getting older by the minute as I wait.

YES! YES! She finally answers after over an hour wait.

PAUSE while I talk to this lady whose name I can’t pronounce.

I’m BACK… Miss Sparkles has informed me that she is very sorry but this request is “too complicated”.

“I have some responsibility, but you need advanced responsibility,” Miss Sparkles explains as she promises to be quick as she forwards me to yet another number. But before she clicks off, I scream (almost). “No wait! What number are you transferring me to? I want to make sure it’s on my list of places I’ve already been rejected.”

I quickly review my notes. 1-877-722-3755. 1-800-288-2020. 1-800-660-2626. 1-866-266-1292. 1-866-671-8016. 1-866-722-7500. 1-888-274-9056. 1-800-331-0500. 1-866-378-0041.

The number 1-888-274-9056 is a new one, but she assures me that if I want her to wait on the line, she will explain to this department what I need so there will be no confusion.

“Please tell me the words I should say in case we get cut off,” I beg and she repeats what she read to me earlier. I also give her our home phone number in case we get lost from each other and she can call me back.

“Tell them you need to make a change name of responsibility and after that you want all services combined with that bill,” she instructs clearly.

Guess what. The number rings and I hear a recording. “For Ohio, press 4”. I wait a moment in the silence that follows. “Are you still there?” I ask quietly.


So I press 4 for Ohio.

At least I’m not listening to a monotone voice assuring me that my call is important to them for hours this time. The gentleman who answers cheers my mind because he sounds like someone who knows what he’s doing.

I explain in the professional AT&T language what I need. Guess again! While polite and apologetic for my acute discomfort and frustration, says he cannot help me until my husband gives permission to put some services into his name.

“Is he there?” Mr. Politeness asks.

“No he works 5-days a week and he can’t stay at home just to be on hold for AT&T” I respond with a shaky voice that is close to tears. “They tried to call him the other day, but called the wrong number. Can you call and get his permission while I wait?”

He says HE can’t do that. “I’m sorry you’ve been bounced around like this. I don’t know why they didn’t give you the right number. You need to call 1-800-660-1000.”

“You know what. Just forget it. I’m not calling another fricken number. I’ll pay $50 a month more just to be rid of AT&T fools who have no idea how to assist a “loyal customer”. I don’t even want your “special reward”.

At that, Mr. Charming reached into his customer satisfaction bag of tricks and offered to send a letter that my husband could sign.

“Just follow the simple instructions and we’ll take care of this for you. We’ll fix this as soon as we get the letter. I’m sorry you are so upset. Is there anything else we can do for you?” he asks calmly and gentlemanly (from his cheat-sheet.).

“Anything else? You haven’t done anything yet. No thank-you. Just send the letter.”

Speaking of letters………. We haven’t gotten our IRS incentive check yet……….

Take Care on the Journey,



August 13, 2008

LPN to RN - Back to School Fun

I'm as excited as a 4th grader finding back to school supplies and some nursing supplies I'll need for my RN program that starts October 6.

My son suggested using the time before school starts to start reviewing a book or two from my first classes. My advisor gave me the name of the A&P book, but a quick check on floored me with the price of $141.00! Not to be discouraged, I found a "used' one for $4.00. With tongue in cheek, I ordered it figuring it would be the wrong thing or in such tattered condition I couldn't open it. (Like my 50-year old diaries.)

Well, the book arrived today. A nice sturdy HEAVY box - that was a good sign!

Low and behold. It's the real deal! In pretty good condition with 'footprints' of the previous owner all over the inside. One note says, "Is this picture for real?" Thanks whoever-you-are for all the helpful notes. Priceless!

Also, I wanted to find a "nursing' backpack and tote. I spent a couple hours searching Google to no avail. I found a lot of "nursing' as in baby, but that wasn't quite the area I wanted to go. Finally, I did find a site that sells promotional stuff and while most items had a 50 minimum order, I was able to get one small backpack with a nursing quote on it. I'm still looking for something like a rolling backpack or small luggage carrier on wheels that has a nursing theme on it. Jim says, "It has to be out there. There's nothing that someone doesn't make!"
Speaking of....Our backs are finally starting to get better. Our Chiropractors, Drs. Greg and Heather here in New Albany, never spend less than an hour adjusting and treating. My lower back gets the electrical stem with four patches that send little pulses of electricity between them to help open up the pathways and relieve inflammation for healing. Dr. Greg even adjusted my knees yesterday.
I wonder how many of you are staying up to watch the Olympics and find yourself getting reminded of it in the afternoons with a case of the "sleepies"? I'm the 'watcher' and give hubby updates every morning!
Okay. It's my annual announcement. I'm not shy about reminding everyone that my birthday is coming up on September 3. Not that people forget (do they?), but I do enjoy the week-long celebration. Everyone is invited to be happy and enjoy the birthday week!
That's all for now. Supper time.
Take Care on the Journey,

August 10, 2008

New Albany, Ohio. Summer Flowers

Sheba says, "Welcome. I may look pretty, but don't mess with my mamma!"

Sheba doesn't let total blindness keep her from being the Alpha dog!

I've posted photos of winter in Ohio here and on MySpace, but these are the beautiful summer flowers we enjoy around our front door. My favorites are the Morning Glories planted from seeds in planters (photo on left) so I have to haul buckets of water to them from the kitchen at least twice a day. Notice the small planters. I didn't expect them to get so big!

Here, they've climbed to the second story apartment, but the young couple who lives there didn't mind attaching a cord from their balcony so the vines could keep growing. Now they are even higher around the top railing! I'll post them here in a day or two when the blooms all come out. My favorite flower, the Honeysuckle, is pictured next to the Morning Glories. That plant was a Mother's Day gift from hubby. They've been carefully watered every day also.

Of course, the Rhododendron bush with its 55 large pink/purple blooms caused quite a stir the first time I counted them. Our magic number, of course!
Click on photos for larger picture.
Other photos show how close to nature we live although restaurants, banks and grocery stores are just through the woods. At least we have some space for the birds and small nesting animals. Rabbits, gophers, squirrels, birds, ducks, geese, the fishing birds, hawks and even a few deer down by the creek hidden behind those small trees.

Early Summer - Late Summer Same bed!

Jim says to remind him of this picture when the snow is several feet deep and the temperature is 12 degrees!

Take Care on the Journey,

August 9, 2008

Beloved Kitty Mitsy

Our friends lost a tiny little family member last week when a neighbor dog came into their yard and killed their sweet kitty, Mitsy.

Floyd and Tania are devastated at this needless tragic loss. We send our love and support and wish we could take some of the grief.

The story is on Floyd's website

We hope you will slip over there and leave a message of condolence and support.

Take Care on the Journey,



August 4, 2008

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

….But I Sure Did Expect One!

Saturday I called grandpa to wish him Happy Birthday. Ironically it was also the day of his wife’s memorial service. His sad voice responded to my “Happy Birthday, Dad”, with the awful news that his little dog had just passed away.

But, instead of dwelling on the sadness, he talked of his friends who were there to celebrate and share the tears. He had made peanut-butter and honey sandwiches for everyone and he was so proud that four cars of friends would accompany him to the memorial service.

I had promised to be there but sickness and vehicle breakdowns prevented the trip. He didn’t scold or say anything to make me feel badly for not showing up although he did elect a promise to make the trip “sometime real soon.”

His rose garden is fading fast. He says he can’t get around like he used to and a trip to the emergency room last week almost ended up in the hospital with pneumonia.
Sometimes our rose garden is alive and well. Sometimes it is devastated with plant-eating bugs, fungus that turn the leaves brown or root rot that completely wipes out our beautiful perfect garden and sends our happy world into a downward spiral.
(Can you see the angel outline in the picture of the dead flower? On closer inspection, it looks like a larger angel is carrying a smaller one. I found this picture on )

A long-time loyal friend found her rose garden destroyed with the beckoning of her boss into his office and the words, “Your fired”. She had worked there 18 years and was expecting this job to last until her retirement. Instead of reassignment, she was let go with no benefits and just recently found that she had been ‘blackballed”. She has a handicapped child. Her husband is in ill health and can’t work full time. Now they had no insurance and very little income.

Her birthday was also this weekend and I almost dreaded making her birthday call. I can’t give her another happy rose garden or fix her problems. I dreaded to hear the most recent news that I knew couldn’t be good. Sure enough, her special needs child had developed a problem that required surgery and he had bad reaction to the pain meds.

But she was optimistic that the Lord would provide – even now. She is thankful for her grandchildren and hopes I can make a trip there to see them soon.

Some months back, my sister called to say there had been an accident. She was making supper and hubby was cooking steaks outside. He went out to turn the steaks and never came back inside. She went out to find out why he was taking so long and found him on the ground.

Darlin. I fell and broke my neck. I’m paralyzed. Call 911.”

In an instant her world and her rose garden dissipated. He was rushed to the hospital where the doctor's didn't give kind care and no one helped her as she cleaned him up as best she could. Then she waited alone in a hallway for hours while they took him for tests. The good news is that he did regain most of his feeling and was able to return home in a few days, but the doctor said one wrong twist of his neck and he could be paralyzed for life. They live with that - always thankful for what they have now but never knowing how long it will last.

Today my garden is filled with the beautiful flowers of summer and one awesome Lady Diana rose plant. But, I remember those times in my life when it wasn’t so sweet.

I’ve heard many of the same gut-wrenching, garden-destroying words….

"We can't pay the bills this month."

”I’m sorry but I can’t live here anymore…”’

“You need a breast biopsy.”

“This is the Chief-of-Police. Could you come to the station?”

“I’m calling with some bad news about….”

“I’m sorry, but we need to do some more tests.”

"I'm home early because I lost my job today."

"Honey, I have something to confess..."

"You make too much to qualify for that."

A lovely warm-hearted friend of mine is also going through a very rough time. Her world was shattered with some words from the list above.

You feel all the emotions of a death. But there ‘s no memorial service or gathering of friends for support (except in small ways).

Perhaps you’ve been in their shoes. Even worse, you know your life is not what you dreamed it would be. Your spouse will never be the knight in shining armor. Your child will not be running for president. Your parents are never going to become the golden couple living in a 6-bedroom home in sunny Florida. The career that looked so inviting is now drudgery. Or, the career you planned never did come full circle. Pets die. Grandchildren are sick. Hard-earned money is gone before you get it. Collectors are calling; friends are not.

When my friends hurt, I feel their pain although it is not the same for me. I want to get rid of all the bad bugs, kill the fungus and dig up the root rot. But, we can't turn back the clock or fix the problems. We can offer a strong shoulder, warm hugs and unconditional love.

Or maybe your life is full of abundance and peace right now. I thought about that as I was making supper tonight. (Noodles and mushroom soup, sliced tomatoes from my friend Floyd's garden and brownies for dessert.) I don't know why the song, "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden" kept streaming through my mind, but the second line I made up, "...But I sure Did Want One!".

I hope we never forget the bad times of the past when things are going better. We always want the perfect rose garden in our life, but when life is good, we should be thankful for the past. Example,

I called a friend in Michigan the other day and spent the first 27 minutes listening to exciting stories of trips with the grandchild, class reunions, weddings and graduations. Not a thorn in their garden. The couple are older but in good health. Both are retired but working part-time. We spend time with them in an immaculate home, perfect lawn, wild birds at the feeders while she plays beautiful music on the piano as we eat buttered popcorn and exchange stories.
At one time, there was heartache in their home as some of the very words listed above were uttered in heartache. There were ill feelings between parent and child. In fact, for years one did not speak to the other. But, they did not give up and continued to believe in a Higher Power. They know it is a miracle of God and they praise Him for such harmony today.

Maybe this posting will encourage you to know that you have a Higher Power on your side.
You have a friend who walks in my shoes - and One who walks in your footsteps.
Roses always come back after the winter of rest and change.
The Universe hears your request and always gives an answer!

Take Care on the Journey,