To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

About Me

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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Mother doesn't like her picture to be shown anywhere, but I had no luck cropping this. Since I wrote about the white cane, the universal symbol that the bearer either does not see or is legally blind, here's the only picture I have of myself with the cane. This was made last October. Mother is 92 and still mentally pretty sharp. I am 5'3" and was leaning over to be closer to Mother. Her hair is almost glow-in-the-dark white!


LADY with the LONG WHITE CANE (Freedom Cane) is somewhat my "signature" poem. It has pretty much been around the world and read and used in various places. For awhile I was almost totally blind, but thanks to God and good doctors, I again have a good bit of usable sight. I resisted getting O&M training (O&M: orientation & mobility, i.e: white cane navigation) through state voc rehab, but finally relented. I had been put in touch with a lady about my age, who had resisted a cane at first though now has a dog guide. Early 2004, Carol said, in a brainstorming session to which she invited me to participate at Lakeshore (, that once she agreed to a white cane, that she felt free, that the cane allowed her to safely go more places than she could otherwise.

Who's that coming down the walk?
It's a lady with a long white cane.
She could stay in and feel sorry for herself,
But independence is her "game"!
She might stumble when she walks, but at least she walks,
A bit unsteady, but she won't fall.
She's liberated by that cane that she swings in front.
In her mind, she walks proud and tall!
Someone blind with no cane might stumble and fall.
"There's a stupid drunk" is what you might say.
But someone blind with a cane for all the world to see
Says, "This cane gives me freedom every day!"
So if you're newly blind, and don't want any aids -
You'd rather folks think you are drunk or lame,
Just listen to me 'cause I've been "where you are".
I am the lady with the long white cane.

- by Netagene, in 30 minutes on April 1, 2004 -

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Didn't plan to post so many today, but since I don't feel like doing much ... here's another dose for ya'. I've got most of author Henry Kisor's books, and was happy that he has not 1 but 2 blogs! Reading today on about trains, and the one just previous to that, about his being deaf, reminded me of "A Little Bit Fine" that I wrote April 29, 2007. (Yes, I have a slight hearing loss, including having hearing aids. Groan. Whine.)

A little bit deaf, a little bit blind, a little bit fat, a little bit fine!
Some things I have, some things not - the things I have, better use what I've got! Got some hearing. Got some sight, got some energy. Better do right!
Gonna be fine if I exercise. Use residual hearing - the same with eyes.
Polarized glasses, visors, too, and help for my ears so I understand you!
Sit close together. Sit nearby. Sit next to me - conversations high!
Touching works fine. Brain's intact. I'm mostly OK. Not much I lack!
Handicapped? You talking to me? There's other ways to hear and see.
Eye surgeries and hearing aids - I see and hear a little. I've got it made!


"Traveling Light" is the title of a book by Max Lucado. In one sense, "traveling light" is a verb and an adverb that has to do with going on a trip and taking only the necessities, no excess baggage, nothing that would slow you down. We all know people who have so much emotional baggage that we don't want to be with them! Think of the seed that fell on thorny ground (Mt. 13:3-8, 22). The cares of the world were too much, or as we say, the person had "too much baggage". "The person with the most toys, wins" isn't true. The opposite is true: "You can't take it with you". Job said (1:21), "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart". We are told that in running life's race, we are to "get rid of every weight and sin that hinders us" (Heb. 12:1).

"Traveling light" is also an adjective and an noun - a lantern on a miner's hat, a candle when the electricity fails, the sweeping headlight on a locomotive, headlights on a car - so that we can see where we are, where we are going, what's ahead, and so that others can see us, either as an example of the way to go, or where not to go if we fall. The Bible says a lot about light. We are to follow Jesus, "The Light" (John 1). His words are a light to guide us (Psa. 119:105). We also are to be lights, and are not to hide our light (Mt. 5:14-16; Luke 12:34-35). We sing about light: "Stepping in the Light", "You can't be a Beacon if your Light don't shine", "This little Light of mine".


- by Netagene, June, 2003 -


Rather than walking a block, waiting in the chilly drizzle for a bus that might or might not run on time, riding 4 miles to the nearest doc-in-a-box, then return, my sister had me there when the doors opened at 8 yesterday. Nice staff, nice (and cute) doctor. Said with the weather change (2 recent weeks of temps rarely above freezing, then 60-ish, then rain), they are having a LOT of walk-ins with clogged drains - I mean brains. Got a potent pill to take for 10 days, said stay home, back to work Tuesday because I should be feeling better by then. You never know who your friends are 'til you're down. Don't even feel like holding a crochet hook or doing much reading! Just thankful I live in the USA! And thank you for reading my musings! Rather than being totally gloomy, here's the shortest poem I've ever written, sometime in 1988!

You looked pretty GOOD when I met you.
You looked ever BETTER as we went along,
But you are just all wet
If you think that I regret
That I found you look the BEST now that you're gone!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Both of Daddy's parents lived well into their 80's. Mother's dad was 91. Mother is almost 93. Daddy fell - died just before his 88th birthday. One doctor asked me of what did Granny (age 102!) die. I almost told her all the butter, eggs, cheese, pork, etc., finally did her in! Most were still fairly mentally sharp. I rarely give in to feeling bad - but I didn't make it to work yesterday or today. I'm not contageous, just feel like someone squeezed my head in a skin 2 sizes too small. If I were a cat, it would help if I could upchuck a hairball. Anyone have a plumber's snake to clear the goo from my throat? I may have to give in and get a ride to a doc-in-a-box in the morning. Store brand mucinex seems to be helping some, but slowly. Maybe you can relate to this that I wrote last Fenruary.

You've heard of hostile witnesses. You've heard of reluctant brides.
Well, when it comes to doctors, I'd rather hide.
I'm not in a courtroom or wedding, don't want jury duty or marriage again.
It's just that I've met several doctors who don't really want you to mend.
I am mostly reluctant to go there, and a bit hostile when I depart.
They often don't get to a problem's root. I wonder - do they know where to start? Are they bribed by pharmacy companies?
Do they push meds that make you more ill?
Don't they often treat only symptoms?
Don't they oft say you're just "over the hill"?
Not many in my family have been sickly.
Most medicines have been natural cures.
Maybe that's why my kin has been healthy -
Why both sides of my family endure.
My family's "problem" is longevity. When we die, it's usually from old age.
Our physical house finally crumbles, as we pass to our eternal stage.
The side effects of some medicine is sometimes worse that what it is for!
I think stress and unhealthy living can cause a body to get sick to the core!
And I have met a few doctors who think "God" is their first name.
They may be good in a laboratory, but with people, I think they're insane!
Maybe that's why I don't like most doctors, plus I know I'll die anyway,
So just help me stay mostly pain-free, and we both will have a good day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Since I posted some things I've crocheted, I'm debating about setting up another blog and learn how to maybe sell a few things I've knitted and crocheted. I've seen some such blogs on line. Because I never know how long I'll be on the bus, especially on the way home from work, I usually take something to do.

Speaking of hobbies, here's some others things I've made - well, not actually made, but painted. With lack of depth perception, it is often time consuming. The place I've been several times is called Painted by U. You can look up the site ( There are stencils and such, but I prefer to draw things free-hand. It may look like a 4-year-old did some of it, but it's mine!
The couple who give me a ride to worship has beige with grapes as their kitchen motif, so that's what I painted on the 6" tile; the thing with the blue flower is called a "pencil holder" but could be a small vase or drinking glass; the switch plate is now on my hall wall, next to a similar picture I painted at Sips 'n' Strokes. I plan to do more of both the ceramics and painting.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Here's another one I made up. The yarn is 100% wool, a close-out sale of only the one discontinued color. I lost the last wool cap I made, so this was an excuse to crochet something else. I made it a couple of months ago, and have already worn it a LOT! I also made a scarf and mitts. With a little variation to make it fancier, I hoped to enter it in the "Vanna's Choice" contest, but the last date to enter is February 1 and I'm barely started! By the next contest time, I should have something ready to enter! I'd rather use my own design than a pattern I bought or found free on line!


This being a holiday and I am home, so figured it would be a good time to start on the CAL ("crochet-a-long") from the Gourmet Crochet blog. The designer comes up with some gorgeous things! I usually have at least 2 WIP's (work-in-progress). This CAL is for an afghan of squares and rectangles and she posts more on her blog every day or so. Daddy's mother taught me to crochet when I was little, and I learned that I can still do a lot even with poor eyesight. I have some Caron One Pound skeins in rose on hand, and some of the matching rose ombre, so that's what I'm using. Of the first 2 squares, the first was almost the size specified. The 2nd was almost 2" smaller! I've ripped out twice, and the 3rd time, by making bigger chain stitches, got it closer to the same size. Here's a couple of afghans I've made. The yellow is one that I made up and was much prettier than the picture shows. I gave it to friends who helped me some when I was out of work. The granny fan is from a kit. I was able to sell it at a consignment shop.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


"... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou are with me ..." - Psalm 23:4

I walk through - I do not stop in - the worst of times, but I am not afraid because God is with me!

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13

Thursday, January 14, 2010


This week, I read "An Inconvenient Christmas" by Joseph S. Bonsall, one of the Oak Ridge Boys. You know that I do not celebrate Christ's birth at any time. However, the small book makes some good points. The family in the book runs into several snags leading up to December 25: delayed mail, car trouble, fire. Nothing happens as hoped and planned. There are moans about what an inconvenient time for the mail to run late, or the car to break down, and so on. The widowed grandfather then mentions how on that "first Christmas" nothing was convenient either - walking and traveling by donkey to another city, with the woman expecting a baby at any day, having to pay taxes to a government you do not like, staying outside with animals rather than in a cozy room ...

The story also reminded me of what Gloria and Bill Gaither wrote about their song, "Because He Lives". Gloria found out she was expecting another child when things weren't looking so good for them or for the country. They wondered how they could even think of raising a child in such an unstable world. What an inconvenient time to have another child! Then they thought of Christ's birth, and how things really haven't changed. Thus, because Christ lives, we can face tomorrow!

In Acts 24:25, "As [Paul] reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."

If you are waiting for a "convenient season", there will never be one. Something will always be in the way: the weather, you have company at your house, your leg is broken ...

Remember the story of the man who planned to build bigger barns to store his abundance of goods? What did God tell him? Read Luke 12:13-20.

You know we are not promised tomorrow. You know what God's Word teaches about obedience to God. Why wait?

Today is the only "convenient" time you have to obey God. "... now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2

- by Netagene, written today -

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Jabal raised livestock.
His brother Jubal was the "father" of those who played musical instruments.
Their half-brother was Tubal-cain, an instructor in brass and iron.
I wonder if Tubal-cain made the musical instruments that were played.
And it's interesting that the first music mentioned in the Bible is in the lineage of Cain - Genesis 4:16-19.

King David was the "sweet psalmist [singer] of Israel" - 2 Sam. 23:1.

In Heaven, will there be sermons, prayers, Lord's Supper, or collection? What will there be?

When I awake, sing sweetly to me.
When the sun is up, sing brightly with me.
When I am happy, sing with me.
When I need to relax, sing gently to me.
When I am sad, sing croons to me.
When I want to celebrate (1) - graduation, a new job, etc. - sing joyfully with me.
When I go on a trip or move away (2) - think of bands on a ship dock - sing me on my journey.
When I need to learn something (3), put it to a tune and sing it to me.
When I am upset, sing softly to me.
When I feel like crying, sing the blues with me.
When I win a battle (4), sing sing triumphantly with me.
When I am imprisoned (5) - literally or figuratively - sing with me.
When I am safe from my enemies (6), sing with me.
When I am worried and cannot sleep (7), sing to me.
When I angry, sing to calm me.
When it's raining, sing to me.
When I worship (8), sing praises to God with me.
When I am married, sing with me.
When I birth my child, sing lullabies with me.
At night time, quietly sing me to sleep (9).
When I'm on my death bed (10), let the last thing I hear on this Earth be your singing to me as I listen for the Heavenly angel chorus on Heaven's side to welcome me.

God writes the songs (Deut. 31:19) ... God sings (Zeph. 3:17) ... and God gives the songs (Job 35:10).

Sing to me.

Some verses - I'm sure there are more - 1: Lk. 15:25-27; 2: Gen. 31:26-27; 3: Deut. 31:19-22; 4: Jud. 5:1-3; 5: A. 16:23-25; 6: 2 Sam. 22:1; 7: 1 Sam. 16:14-23; 8: Psa. 104:33; 149:1; 9: Psa. 42:8; 10: 2 Chr. 35:25; 11: Mt. 9:18-25.

- by Netagene, June 27 - 28, 2008 -

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Years ago, a good friend in Florida had cancer that had metastasized. I stayed overnight with him some. One evening, another couple and I went to his house. We all played and sang country, bluegrass, and folk music for 2 or 3 hours, and had a great time! George, who had to take morphine 2-to-3 times a day, did not have to take any morphine for the 2 or 3 days following our little party. He could also go to sleep, and sleep well, if I put in a bluegrass music tape to play right by his bed. While it did not cure him, the music and laughter, of which he was a part (he played guitar and banjo, and sang), made him much more comfortable and in much less pain in his final months. It has been only in recent years that people have discovered that what God wrote hundreds of years ago about music and laughter - is true. Look up - and read - 1 Samuel 16:14-23, Proverbs 15:13, and Proverbs 17:22.


More musical things! I've heard the sentence: "Music soothes the savage beast". Here is the actual quotation, taken from It was written in 1697 by William Congreve in "The Mourning Bride".

"Musick has Charms to soothe a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I've read, that things inanimate have mov'd,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform'd,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound ..."


I started listening to WMNF, Tampa, shortly after it went on the air. I eventually became a volunteer DJ there, doing a 2-hour bluegrass show once a week for about 13 years. Occasionally I filled in on other shows. Thanks to my exposure on WMNF, I was one of the emcees at several bluegrass festivals and one folk festival. I got to meet Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, et al. I went to a lot of jam sessions, and did some pickin' & singin' with little pickup groups playing coffee houses, county fairs, and even the state fair. We didn't get paid, but did get passes and meals. I played autoharp, rhythm guitar, sang harmony, occasionally sang lead, and usually tossed in some comedy. I loved it! not the exposure per se, but simply the fact that it was so much fun and such a stress-reliever! Shortly after moving back here in 1996, I landed a 2-hour Saturday spot on an old AM station, which had been a top-40 station when I was a teen. At the time, it was in the throes of death. Here's a picture of me at the controls of WMNF in 1993. I had sun-burned lips, a "Far Side" T-shirt ("Know Your Insects"), and was holding the "Will the Circle Be Unbroken II" CD set. Do I miss all that? The music at the New Year's Eve party made me realize just how much! Playing and singing at home alone just is not the same!

Friday, January 8, 2010


If all anyone has to talk about is the weather, then they must have a pretty boring life. Today I have a boring life! Wednesday, though cold, was gorgeous, with cloudless blue skies. Yesterday, we had snow forecast. I know this is nothing to you in the North, but we rarely have snow and ice so we are never prepared. I made it to work and stayed my 8 hours. Luckily I have a driver so made it home fine. The driveway was a bit icy, the steps WERE iced, but by walking on the grass, using my cane, being careful, I made it. Temperature never got above freezing. We had sleet and some snow. Three ladies in the office left at noon, another left at 4. The boss left about 4 to go home to get some sleep, knowing he'd be out all night. Our crew was out all day and would be out last night, putting de-icer on the roads. One of the men not on the crew was going to stay all night to answer the phones. The governor sent word about 3:30 that state offices would not open until 10 today. It was too late for me to reschedule my morning bus so I would've had to leave home as usual about 6 a.m. I planned to go to work today but the thermometer on my porch showed 10 degrees at 5 a.m., and with 15 mph North winds, the wind chill brought it to about 5 below 0! I called dispatch and canceled my buses for today. Just too risky navigating my front steps and the driveway. Maybe I could have sat in a cardboard box and SLID down the driveway to the street! I lived in metro Tampa, Florida about 30 years. You know where I'd like to be right now! Stay warm, y'all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Because Mobile and Baldwin Counties get a Mardi Gras holiday (Mobile, not New Orleans, has the oldest Mardi Gras celebrations), state employees in other counties can take one personal day. I took mine today. My cousin came from Arab, AL, to take Mother to the eye doctor, so we three spent the day. Dr. Mark Bearman at Vision First ( is the first ophthalmologist I saw on December 18, 1998 after my left retina imploded on December 15. I went back with Mother to speak to him for a minute, and of course got a hug. Afterwards, Joyce, Mother, and I went to Cracker Barrel for a late lunch, in part using a gift certificate that Angela, an on-line friend who's a Christian in Dublin, Ireland, had sent me. Mother's 92 and mentally still sharp. She got in a couple of zingers today! She may be old, but mentally she is not slow! We had a great time! I was gone from home from about 11:30 until about 6:30!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


One lady at the New Year's Eve party
had the good sense to take her camera. Here's one of me, which she had labeled "Mama Maybelle". When I get permission from the others to post their picture, I will add to this.


Reading author Henry Kisor's blogs today reminded me not only of his books, especially his story of riding Amtrak's "Zephyr", but of the trips a friend and I (we met at church August, 1959) made on Amtrak when I was off work due to 15 eye operations. The longest trip we made was to California - round trip about 9,000 miles. He had a broken foot and I had my white cane. We left here Nov. 6, 2004 and got back Nov. 25: Birmingham - Wash., DC on the "Crescent", to Chicago on the "Capital Limited", to Emeryville (Oakland area) on the "Zephyr", San Jose' - Seattle on the "Coast Starlight", to Chicago on the "Empire Builder", then to DC and home. A cousin and her husband lived near SJ and we visited them a few days (we drove to Gilroy, the "garlic capital of the world" - you can smell it in the air! I got to tour Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael [fantastic place! Glad I don't need a guide dog but glad to know such is available], and we all toured the Winchester House), spent 3 in Seattle (weather was nice, I walked to the Space Needle but didn't go up, enjoyed Pioneer Square), auxiliary engine quit in Minot, ND (20 degrees on the platform) so we limped into Chicago so late that a lot of people missed connections, thus we spent 2+ days there (weather was gorgeous and I walked a few places) at Amtrak's expense. I wrote this in about 30 minutes on Nov. 9 while on the "Zephyr", about something that happened while we were on it. I'm long overdue for another train ride.

From the dirty rail yards in the Windy City
Through the canyons cut by the rivers' run,
Beaver dams and eagles' aeries -
Snow-topped Rockies shimmering in the sun.
Folks in the middle see both ends of the train
As it esses up the mountain slopes.
There's pasture lands with cows and horses,
But what you expect to see are mountain goats!
Engines in the lead and the middle and the end -
Helper locomotives chugging "I think I can"
Make long freight trains look like a "pushmi-pullya"
Through beautiful areas of steep, rugged land.
There's one more deer who's gone to "deer heaven".
The conductor said it had a ten-point rack.
Big buck in the headlight of the Number Five train
Picked the wrong time to cross the track.
That deer caused some trouble, some disconnections.
The engineer finally brought that High Iron to a halt.
Some employees crawled under to fix the problems.
God was with 'em on that trestle with no cat walks.
The "Zephyr" flies like the breeze she's named for
Between Chicago and Emeryville.
But that wind has to stop when there's an obstruction -
When the wild life becomes "rail kill".
Feeding and caring for lots of people
For 2,000-plus miles is sometimes a pain.
God bless the engineers and all the operating crews
And the service crews on all the Amtrak trains.

Friday, January 1, 2010

12:10 a.m. JANUARY 1, 2010

Last August, I bought a ticket to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve concert at The Alabama Theater. But I learned a month ago of another NYE event. So I lost my $30 ticket, but I attended a much better one. Rather than being with 2,000 strangers, many in silk and furs, in a nose-bleed seat in a dark theater downtown from 6-8 p.m., I spent 4+ hours with casually dressed friends, in a well-lit room, with food to spare since we all took some. I got home right at midnight. Eunice & Lorene were able to be there only a few minutes. The rest? 4 men and 4 women. Harold brought his harmonica and Appalachian dulcimer. Boy! Is he good on both! I took my autoharp (mostly in tune). There were some games, though only Rook was played (Joyce, Chester, Marilyn, & Steve). Marlene was mostly cooking. Shane was looking up lyrics & such on his laptop computer. Things got quiet after Steve asked the blessing - you can't talk with your mouth full! Then we got out church song books, and sang ... and sang! I mostly sang lead so Steve could sing tenor, though he told me to take tenor on "Were You There when They Crucified My Lord?" - but I get shrill when I get high, as I'm mostly an alto. We took turns choosing a song. We sang 25 or 30 (not counting the few secular songs with dulcimer and autoharp earlier)! I wish I'd taken my tiny digital recorder! Even with my singing, I think we sounded pretty good. We closed with Steve reading the poem I just wrote, and Harold leading the closing prayer. Since I had to get up as usual at 5 a.m. to go to work on the 31st - the boss did let us leave at 3 p.m., I started fading about 10, but it's going to take awhile to come down from this "high"! What a wonderful way to start not only the new year, but any day! Thanks to God for friends!