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

About Me

My photo
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!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

AGING (again!)

This is children's outlook on the inevitable ...

In "Family Circus", July 12 this year, 2 little boys are lying on their backs on the grass. One asks the other: "So, what are you plannin' to turn into when you grow up?"

In "Frazz" a few years ago (thanks to a post on "Frazz" creator Jef Mallet's blog for this):
Mr. Spaetzle: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Child: "I don't know. Thirty?"
Mr. Spaetzle: "Thirty?"
Child: "Isn't that what Frazz is?"
Mr. Spaetzle: "He is. Whether he is grown up is open to interpretation."
Child: "That's it! I want to be open to interpretation."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AGING

I'm not a "bag lady". I'm just an old bag!
Or call me a crone or maybe a hag!
No more am I young or a "cute little thing".
It's been a long time since I was "sweet 16"!
I still look good in my mind's eye,
But what I see in the mirror makes me moan and sigh.
I knew I would age, but it's really a shock
That my face looks like a crag of old weathered rock.
It's shapeless and wrinkled and colorless, too.
Is this what happens? Will I just fade from view?
I like who I am, and mentally I'm glad
That I can handle what hits me, even the "bad".
I thought I'd age gradually. I knew Youth wouldn't last,
But no slow morphing - my looks changed fast!
I never was tall but it came as surprise.
When I recently measured, I was an inch shorter in size.
And my hair is all mousy, and now mostly gray,
But I'll keep it long, at least for today.
My hands are skinny, my feet ugly and plump.
My tummy looks pregnant. Over all, I'm a frump!
When I dress up, you hardly can tell.
I dress clean and neatly, but I rarely look well.
Since "round" is a shape, then I'm in fine form -
Yeah, like hurricane clouds or a winter storm!
I've no choice but to age, and I'm not into pain.
Whining about it is a sorry refrain.
So this closing thought as I near the dark night:
Everyone will be beautiful in Heaven's sweet light!

- by Netagene, about myself, in only a few minutes, February 12, 2008 -

AGING MOTHER

I am still "practicing" for when I quit my job next month, and of course hoping I can make it on my Social Security and a bit of savings. I'm taking 3 days off work this week (yesterday, today, and tomorrow), and one thing I'll be able to do more of is spend more time with Mother. She's 93 and physically frail but mentally mostly all there. Some of her "slips" are not much worse than mine!

I got to spend about 9 hours with her yesterday, just the 2 of us at her house, and I had a wonderful time! It's something to think about if I ever make it to that age. Here's how it went:

First the "bad":
It upsets her that most of the time, she is unable to attend worship, even though the church house is less than 2 miles away. She does read the Bible a lot and, as we say, she's "studying for her finals".
She said that now that she cannot drive (she quit driving 2 or 3 years ago), she understands my frustration at not being able to go anywhere, anytime. (I became legally blind 7 years ago and obviously had to quit driving.)
She was repetitious several times, about several things.
She complained some about a lot of people (including me)! She was "no respecter of persons"!
She complained some about how many pills she takes every day.
She complained that her knees hurt and squeak. I told her once that maybe she needed to get a ride to Jiffy Lube; another time I asked if she wanted me to get the WD-40! We both laughed about that.
She complained some that people seem to have forgotten her, and that she'd like some phone calls and visits.

But by far, our visit was good!

Like me, she has a screened-in porch. The weather was beautiful, and we sat there and talked (I had some crocheting as usual) and watched the birds (mostly cardinals, sparrows, and mourning doves) and squirrels. She went outside to the muscadine (or scuppernong) arbor and walked around some, but at least this time she didn't fall!
She worked some search word puzzles, while I worked a crossword puzzle.
We both reminisced about bygone days and people.
We shared kitchen chores in fixing grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.
She is re-reading "Tuesdays with Morrie", which I loaned her. She loves it, as I do, and even though it's about Professor Schwartz in the 4 months before his passing, Mother said she wishes she had such an upbeat attitude! (I've already written a couple of things about that true story; you'll just have to find a copy yourself and read it!)

Because I'd been up off and on so early, about mid-afternoon, Mother noticed I was nodding. I was on the couch, so I lay down. A little later, Mother put a blanket over me and tucked it around my feet! ... always a caring mother!

(We had a storm that hit yesterday about 3 a.m., which woke me up. I had to set the alarm on my cell phone so I'd be up in time to call bus dispatch and cancel my trips, up about 5:15 to do that - the electricity was out about 4+ hours, then a little after 6, 2 others who ride the same bus I ride but are picked up later, calledto ask if I was on the bus or knew where the driver was ... well, you get the idea.)

About 8 p.m., my nephew brought me back home. How blessed I am to still have Mother!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Addition

I just added another blog to my list. It is the one written by Jef Mallett, the gentleman who draws one of my favorite cartoons: "Frazz". Jef and his wife Patty share blog duties. Jef's post on Thursday, October 21, is about something that could be in "News of the Weird", one of the "truth is stranger than fiction" stories - about a crocodile that caused an airline fatality! (This happened August 25 - according to a "crocodile blamed" on-line search.)

"Frazz", like Jef himself, participates in triathlons. Jef himself just ran the Detroit marathon and qualified for the Boston, which seems to be the king of marathons (or whatever you call it). Frazz is about 30, educated, a grammar school janitor, dates Jane Plainwell, one of the teachers. There's a variety of students and teachers in the cartoon.

If you look up the regular site (not the blog), about a month ago, the site seems to have been compromised and for now, probably isn't safe to look at. But I take the local newspaper, and "Frazz" is one of the first I look at. (And thanks for the comment as to where you can see "Frazz" on line.)

The other blogs I list are, IMO, also good (duh! otherwise I wouldn't list them)! I'm glad I found the Dublin taxi driver's blog (John posts a lot of interesting pictures as well as commentary). Tim in Tampa, who happens to drive for the company I worked for years ago, also is interesting though his language is not always so clean. Henry Kisor's photography site (as well as his other blog) always has some beautiful pictures; he's also written several books which I've read, both his true ones and his murder-mysteries.

The other sites are interests of mine. "Posh Cakes" is the site of a good friend of mine, a self-taught cake decorator. Stephanie is also executor of my will, and is the daughter I wish I had. You'll be amazed at the decorating she does! She is married to a man who does construction work, and they have a son who is married (2 grandchildren), and a daughter in junior high.

One is the site for where I attend worship, and another is a huge site about the Bible. The ACB site is the American Council of the Blind, of which I've been a member for a few years. The HLAA is the Hearing Loss Association (I have a 40% loss in one ear, a slight loss in the other, and have hearing aids which I rarely wear because most of the time, I'm not interested in hearing the often inane jabbering!)

Another is for the Lakeshore Foundation, the only official paralympic training site in the world. As a legally blind person, it would be an excellent place for me to go, though right now I can't afford the dues. (It is a bit similar to the Y.) I have acquaintances who are totally blind who go there regularly to exercise, including swim. The Lakeshore Field House is also where I've seen the wheelchair athletes (one my "about me", I list "Murderball" as one of my favorite movies, a documentary of some of the guys who train at Lakeshore). They also have a program called "Lima Foxtrot", using 2 of the alpha-words for the military, and where a lot of wounded vets come for rehab and training. Anyway, Lakeshore is an amazing place, and people can go there and simply watch, free, any time. There is also a rehab home - I don't know what you call it - there, which doctors often send people for therapy for a few weeks' stay.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday, October 23rd

Rather than posting again, I hope you'll read the nice comment posted on what I wrote a week ago, about leaving. Sweet! (I've been on the porch as usual, crocheting, as usual, while the weather is still beautiful! Chemo/skull caps and soft scarves this time.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pickin' up Speed to Leave

I'm on the countdown to quitting my job. When I turned 66 last May, I automatically went from SSDI to regular SS. I don't mind working at all, but the bus rides over the last almost 5 years are getting worse. Of course having the 2 incomes has been a wonderfulness! So I'm hoping that I've got enough backlog to live on come the end of next month.

I WILL miss my morning driver and some of the other riders. Jeff's been my driver in the mornings almost the whole time I've worked at ALDOT.

Today my boss (the district office engineer) called a meeting of the 4 of us admin assistants who were at work today, and delegated the others which of my chores for each to learn, or get better at, because the State will not hire a replacement until I leave, so I won't be there to train anyone. I know that most private industry businesses DO, but not the State. Once they start the new hire process, it can take several months. Doesn't make sense to me.

Of course I don't plan to sit idle. I'm already looking into volunteer work, though have found none yet. Also, one of the other bus riders told me this morning that likely I will be able to set up a day or 2 a week at the big clinic near downtown (he's one of the phlebotomists), and sell things I crochet: chemo caps and such. The clinic is on several bus lines. He's going to set it up for me to meet the person in charge of that. That would be wonderful if that works out!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Death

I seem to be on a gruesome roll lately - just kind of in the doldrums I guess. Read what I posted on October 4. I started this poem about 2 months ago, finished it a few minutes ago. Even now, I'm not sure that it's completed. So for what it's worth, maybe it will make us think.

My skin and bones is what you'll see
In a box, but that's not me.
I won't speak and I can't hear,
But I'm alive; that's not me there.
That's just my sad old dwelling place,
Where I lived while in Life's Race.
I grew tired some time ago.
Seems friends and kin had turned to foe.
Wishing I could stay in bed -
"Why get up?" is what I said.
God's breath in me still raised my chest,
Though it got hard to do my best.
But God saw fit to keep me here -
His plan to me was not so clear.
So for awhile, I tried and tried.
I prayed a lot and sometimes cried.
Frustrated when I'd try to teach
God's Word to some, but could not reach.
My friends must choose; I've sown The Seed.
It's up to them: ignore, or heed.
Yes, I do hear, but not the same.
I can't reply, but glad you came.
You see my body lying here.
It's fine if you don't shed a tear.
I hope I've not caused you to sin
With something that I did "back when",
But in my life, you found some good -
I walked "The Walk" as best I could.

- by Netagene -

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I witnessed

Well, I sort of witnessed ... I walked half a block to the fixed route bus stop a little before 5 p.m. to get the bus to the church house. My sight is such that I see only straight ahead, and that with one eye only, and even with glasses, don't see at distances well, so I turn a lot when I hear things.

While waiting, I heard a car in the parking lot of the shopping center behind the bus stop. The car stopped about half way between me and the building, and driver - I could tell it was a woman because she had on a long skirt which the breeze swirled - got out, as did someone from the other side. The other person had on a white shirt and dark slacks, so I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman.

These 2 looked like they were shoving each other, and kind of dancing around, sort of like 2 boxers. They sort of chased each other a little near the car, then the one with the white shirt on walked away real fast, and the driver got back into the car. The walker headed toward the building, then it looked like the driver tried to hit the other person (I later learned that was also a woman). The walker dodged, and the driver came at her at least one other time. The walker made it onto the sidewalk at the front of the building, and the driver pulled along side her and parked the car by the curb, got out, and they looked like they were going at it again!

About all I could see very well was when they were in the middle of the lot and closest to me, then I could see the one walking and the car aiming toward her.

A minute later, another woman (told me her name was Mitzi) drove close to me and asked if I'd seen what was going on, then she said, "Oh - you have a white cane". I told her about my usable sight, told her a little, and that I was about to call the police. She said that she just had, as she was in her car real close to where the other driver had pulled to the curb by the stores. She said, "The one in the car was trying to run over the other one!" So this lady and I saw the same thing.

Before the bus came, the police arrived. A few minutes later, Mitzi came back. She said she told the police what she and I both had seen, and that the driver had spoke up and told the officer that this other woman (Mitzi) had tried to run into her friend! ... then she changed her story and admitted she had tried to run down the other woman (who probably is no longer her friend). Mitzi said that she was told she could leave, and the officer was arresting and handcuffing the driver. She said she didn't have to give either her name and number nor mine. Mitzi may have saved someone's life.

(One of the cleaning ladies we had several months at work was a prisoner who lived in the area work release center for the state Department of Corrections [which all our cleaning ladies have been]. She told me she had shot and killed another woman, but "I'm not sorry I did it, she deserved it, and I'd do it again!")

Then the bus came, and I went on to evening worship.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Contortionist!

Le'see ... I'm 66, a little bit fat, sometimes a bit stiff. Today I had to leave work about noon as I had an appointment near downtown. Felicia was my driver, and was in the paratransit bus that the company got several months ago, with bright fancy colors and logo. The seats are not comfortable, as they seem to be tilted forward just a little, as well as are "short" from the seat back to where the back of your knees are, so it feels like you are about to slide off. I make sure that I wear my seat belt, though a shoulder harness and some kind of handle would make me feel safer. Wearing rubber soled shoes also helps to keep me from sliding forward.

I prefer the window seat because the aisle seat, with a wimpy armrest, makes me feel like I'm going to fall sideways onto the floor. The seat belt buckle was in bad shape, but I got it on and fastened. BUT when Felicia got me to my designation, I could not get the seat belt to unlatch! Part of it would move just a little but not enough to release. Both Felicia and I messed with it, with no luck. I thought, "Uh-oh, the lady I had the appointment with just might have to sit with me on the bus", but that really wasn't an option because paperwork was involved, which would be in her office.

Felicia called dispatch (on the phone, rather than the radio so that others would not hear) to ask permission to cut the seat belt. She never got through to a dispatcher, so went into the building and asked the receptionist if there was a maintenance person available.

I could not get the one end of the seat belt to stretch, as it had tightened a little (I hate for seat belts to do that!). I knew that I am too big to slide toward the floor to get out of the seat belt - and even if I made it a little, I'd probably cut of my breathing and get stuck hanging there!

While she was in the building, I tried something else. The seat belt was near my hips, and of course from then on to my feet, things get smaller rather than larger. (I'm not Dolly Parton or Barbie, but you get the idea.) There was no one in the seat beside me, and while the armrest on the aisle could probably easily break, I decided to take a chance. I held onto the back of the seat, then managed to twist sideways a little, with my back toward the aisle, hoping the armrest would hold. Then I twisted some more, and twisted one hip, knee, and foot in almost unnatural positions, and voila! got one leg up and over the seat belt. The other leg wasn't as hard to free, but still took some twisting.

As I started to get off the bus, Felicia came out of the building - and wondered how I unbound myself. She probably was looking forward to having someone stab and slash at the obstinate strap! ("Take that! you cheap fiend!")

The driver who picked me up to come home was about 45 minutes late, had a couple of others on board, and still had more stops, so I rode for 2 hours before getting home, even though the office where I was is only 15 miles from my house. (Yes, I had crocheting with me!)

But at least I worked 4 hours, got things accomplished where I had the appointment, had 2 nice drivers, and made it home before dark.

P.S. One friend emailed me direct, saying he'd like to have seen me do "the twist and the limbo"! A friend in Ireland asked me if our buses have CCTVs on them (no, they don't) because the buses there in Dublin all have that (and captured her falling on one).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Going Places

While it is nice that the newspaper editors often print letters that I write, sometimes their editing of such letters completely loses what the letter is about. That happened to me in yesterday's paper. I know that I can write well, as I've had many things published (regrettably, not for pay!). I had one article printed in the monthly newsletter of WMNF, Tampa, where I was a volunteer DJ; one or 2 in the monthly newsletter of FoFF (the Friends of Florida Folk [music); some things used in church bulletins and on church web sites and other web sites; a few poems and articles published in the "Braille Forum" (the monthly magazine of the American Council of the Blind); and for over 7 years, I edited and wrote for the weekly bulletin of the church I attended.

So it was with amazed irritation that a letter I fired off on October 2 had the first paragraph reworded so that the meaning was totally different. For once, I wasn't griping about our bus service; I was fussing about all the "grand plans" for metro Birmingham and ... well ... here is what was printed in yesterday's (yes, the BIG Sunday paper! - not hidden in some obscure place in a week day paper):

"In reading the newspaper recently, I noticed that many of the events in metro Birmingham had one thing in common: They highlighted the failure of public transportation."

Here is my original first paragraph:

"In reading today's paper, I noticed that most of the plans for metro Birmingham have one thing in common: better public transportation failed. Why?"

I know that bus management is doing the best they can with the funding they have, but as was in the business section of the paper recently, help to build a better metro transit system is never a priority. It's as if those of us who must ride the bus are not worth anything, yet we pay taxes just like everyone else. Grrr!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We are SAVED by ...

Some people believe that only believing that Jesus is God's son will get a person to Heaven, but if faith alone would do that, even devils would be there! (James 2:19)

In Wednesday night Bible class, we've been studying I John, and are near the end of that book. John writes a lot about faith and love. I decided to write down some things by which the Bible says we are saved. I may have missed a few.

We are not saved by one thing alone, but by a combination of things.

1. Faith – John 3:16; see also Hebrews 11 - note that everyone listed here in what has become known as the “Roll Call of Faith”, did something that God told them to do;
2. Hope – Romans 8:24;
3. Works – James 2:24 (faith is a “work” – see John 6:28-29 – the works that God tells us to do, not our own works; see also Matthew 7:21-23);
4. Christ – Romans 5:10; 6:8-10;
5. Grace – Ephesians 2:5;
6. Mercy – Titus 3:5;
7. Baptism – Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Peter 3:21

And it doesn’t end there, because we must add to our faith (II Peter 1:2-10), and we must grow (I Peter 2:2).

Also remember I Corinthians 10:12.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

... to Chris. My son is 43 today. My husband worked in the analytical lab at W.R. Grace & Co. in Mulberry, Florida. We lived in the county seat of Bartow, and Chris was born in the Bartow Hospital. Chris and his family live in Tampa, Florida. You can see him at www.signsbychris.com

Monday, October 4, 2010

Where there's a will

Sometime last year, a friend gave me the name of a lawyer who does wills, as well as big corporate things. I got with him by email and fax mostly, and put a down payment on a will. Besides an executor, he also wanted a "second" in case the person I chose could not handle things. I have a good friend who I wish was my daughter. She agreed. I couldn't think of anyone to be my "second", so a week ago, she and I met personally with the lawyer. He is a "hoot"! We both really liked him. He and I have several acquaintances in common (I hesitate to call them all "friends")! His office will be my "second", so I had to stipulate in the will how I want any money that may be left, to go. Some I designated to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, Birmingham Regional Center, with the majority going to the church I attend.

The lawyer asked if I had a Living Will and a Medical Power of Attorney. I do not, so he told me a week ago, that he'd throw that in, and for us to return today.

Each time, I ride the fixed route bus to town (12 miles takes an hour), she meets me there because the bus doesn't go close enough to his office, then later, she brings me back to the city bus' station. While we are out, we also go to eat, and maybe do a bit of shopping. Last week, we ate at Dairy Queen, a treat since there's none close to either of us anymore. Today, we ate at El Palacio. Of course it was also nice to take the day off work!

I've had my complete funeral and burial paid for, for a few years, and now my will, etc., is also completely paid for. So with a will, POA, and my funeral and burial all paid for, I guess I can die now! (Is that gruesome or what!)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

PITFALLS to HAPPINESS

1. GREED - Luke 12:15-21; 18:24-25; Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:3-4; I Timothy 6:9-10.

2. ENVY - Proverbs 14:30; 23:17; I Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:19, 21, 26.

3. PRIDE - Proverbs 6:16-17; 16:18; James 4:6-7; I Peter 5:5-6.

Happiness is easily attained if we put Christ first - Philippians 4:4.

This is the notes that preacher Steve Murrell had on the overhead for his sermon this evening. It's a lot to print out the verses, but I may do that later. (In the meantime, you can look them up - www.biblegateway.com is a good site, and easy to navigate.) So many people look to "things" to make themselves happy, just like some people who are shopaholics.

A Little Better? Naaah ...

I posted a couple of mug shots last month. This morning, about 8:30 and with the temperature about 60 ... as compared to a month ago at 7 p.m. and with the temperature near 100 degrees, I aimed the digicam lens at myself again. Here's one from that late hot afternoon, and this cool morning. I had my hair trimmed a couple of inches yesterday, and bangs cut - $4 plus tip at a nearby barber/beauty school. I think I look a little better, but then I'm behind me and I don't see well anyway!

Friday, October 1, 2010

SCARVES

These are not fancy like the crocheted hat! They are made from Caron's "Dazzleaire", which is 80% acrylic and 20% nylon. The yarn is a "bulky" weight. The scarf pattern is on the skein band. It calls for 2 skeins, but I changed it, using only 1 skein, so rather than getting a scarf about 9x80" with fringe, I'm getting a scarf about 6x50 with no fringe. I also plan to make one shawl, which will take about 4 skeins. Because of the nylon, and that the yarn is not tightly wound, it is real soft. The pattern also calls for an "M" hook. The yarn is sort of new, and I caught some on sale, so bought a bunch in several colors. I hope to sell a few, and already plan to give some as gifts. Here's pictures of the ones I've done so far. I don't usually use black or dark colors because of my eye sight, but I started with the lighter colors, memorized the pattern. That the yarn and hook are real big, helps. Wanna buy one? I'm sellin'!

FANCY HAT!

The lady who cleans our office is a prisoner who lives in the Alabama Department of Corrections' Work Release Center, close to where I work. These ladies are close to being paroled. Demetrias is the 6th since I've worked at ALDOT! She has been with us about a month.

She asked if I'd make a cap for her. I showed her a few pictures and patterns. Of course she chose one I'd never made, but if I hadn't thought I could do it, I wouldn't have showed it to her. It is a free pattern from Lisa Naskent's site: www.crochetgarden.com

I told her that under the circumstances, I'd charge her for only the yarn, which was about $4. I used almost a full 6 ounce skein of Caron's "Simply Soft". It had to be solid white, because that's all the prisoners can wear.

The pattern wasn't really hard, but it was tedious and time-consuming. Except for the top few rounds, each round took close to 15 minutes. I gave it to her today. I couldn't get her to model it, so I put it on. It stretches a lot and can be pulled lower and more snug than I have it. If this were knit, it would not be nearly as thick. It is made to look similar to knitted ribbing and cables. If I'd used wool, it would be real warm. She wanted the main part about an inch longer, and for me to omit the brim.

WELCOME to my NEW FOLLOWERS!

Thank you all for joining me! Some of you I know personally. One is my number 1 paratransit bus driver who often starts my day with a much needed hug. Love ya', Jeff! Another is my "son" but not by birth, just by friendship. Shane is a few years younger than my natural son. We met on the fixed route bus 6+ years ago shortly after I became legally blind. Like me, he also is LB but with a good bit of usable sight. We count on each other when we want to hop the big bus and go grocery shopping on Saturdays sometimes. Because our sight is different, we help each other. Jeff is our morning driver to our jobs. Another is my "daughter" but not by birth. Stephanie and I met when we both worked in accounting at the home office of a company that, at the time, had about 250 grocery stores. I trust her with my life! She bakes and decorates cakes (that's one of the links at the end of my blog). Love ya', girl friend!

To Terminal Man (aren't we all "terminal"?) and Linda (seems like I somehow found YOUR blog once!) - a big welcome! I hope you enjoy my poems, pictures, and occasional rants! And even if you don't always agree with me, which will happen and happens even with the best of friends, the world would be real boring if we all thought alike! Please introduce yourself, and let me know how you found me. I won't post what you write to me if you'd rather I don't.

Thanks again!

Followers