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!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I wrote that yesterday was a heat wave. I was wrong. It wasn't. The temperature got to 72 today!

I got a ride to the grocery store, and sat on my porch to read the paper and crochet and eat! Storms forecast for tonight and tomorrow - 100% chance of rain, then back to freezing. Party tonight 6-10 (church folks like last year) canceled - too many out sick.

Too late to arrange to go to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve concert. This is the 9th one they've had, and I've attended 5 of them - missed the 1st in 2003 because of eye surgery, missed another because it was Sunday and no way to get there, missed last year's because of the aforementioned party. They are early: 6-about 8:15, held at The Alabama Theater, and a sell-out or almost. I've always bought a "nose-bleed" seat (the cheapest but the sound is the best). The ASO fashions the concert on the ones held in Vienna, Austria, ending with the "The Blue Danube" waltz and the "Radetzy Polka". You can find wonderful versions of those 2 songs on youtube.

At least with the rain, the neighborhood should be quiet!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Uh-oh!

Today is a "heat wave"! The temperature is mid-50s. Still chilly wind, and damp air (storms forecast).

I wish our mayor and city council members were forced to ride the city buses. They spend so much money for "consultants" for things that have either been voted down (such a domed stadium - the 17,000 seat arena we have is rarely filled), or for other projects that would be fine if more of us could get to and from such places.

The bus people get the blame when NO ONE can do anything without money! There is no dedicated funding here for public transit.

The 1st "uh-oh" today is that it took me an hour and a half to go somewhere which should have taken about 30 minutes. I scheduled paratransit to go a store. The driver was on time and had no other stops before dropping me off. The transmission on that bus was acting up, so she drove to the bus yard (which was on the way) to get another bus. The 2nd bus stalled right after she rounded malfunction junction downtown. She got it rolling again, but almost hit a concrete overpass rail in getting the bus off the travel lane. She radioed for a supervisor and for a mechanic. After she dropped me off, she was to get a lady in a wheelchair. The bus that the mechanic brought ran fine, but the lift wouldn't work, so I know another driver had to pick up the other person. The dispatcher did at least let me get my ticket back.

The 2nd "uh-oh" is that the store I went to was Michael's Arts & Crafts. I bought about $200 worth! But at least I paid less than $100 (had you going there, didn't I!) ... because of a gift certificate and because all but 3 small items I bought were on sale! It's hard for me to pass up soft 100% wool yarn that's 40% off in price! I bought that as well as other beautiful yarn and some other things, a few which were 70% off (wintry things: snowflakes, etc.). I make a lot of hat/scarf sets, some shawls, some baby blankets, and so on. I will gradually be posting pictures of things I make, which I will sell, on my other blog.

So now I've got even more yarn to knit (some) and crochet (a lot)! If you'd like to buy some of the things I make, let me know!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Still Cold!


It's getting old staying inside, so with the thermometer on the front porch showing 40 (a heat wave!), I put silk long johns on under my slacks, added a tank top under a turtle neck long sleeve pullover, socks and Crocs, gloves, a fuzzy beret, and a windbreaker with a hood, and left home for almost an hour. Three of the 4 front steps were still icy, so I put a bath towel on them to get to the driveway. I left the towel on the car(less) carport, knowing I'd need it later. I walked the equivalent of a block or 2 to the Family Dollar store and bought a few goodies. My new phone has a camera, so even though my neighbors' yards have been clear of snow since Sunday afternoon, my yard still has snow! Here's a picture of my front yard, and the SE corner of the back yard. Brrr!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yucky Snow and Ice!

My yard is about the only one that still had considerable snow all today. My house faces north.

To the east is a vacant building (formerly fast food) so is mostly parking lot. The back yard of the house to the west, which back yard and the west side of my lot joins, was almost completely clear of snow mid-afternoon, as was the back yard of the house slightly behind me (our back yards meet at an angle). The front yards of the houses across the street from me (which face south) were also almost completely clear of snow mid-afternoon.

But all of my yard that I could see (no windows on the east side, but that side is surrounded by the house, and trees on 2 sides) still was almost completely covered with snow. I have a screened-in front porch, with 4 steps to the driveway. About noon, I leaned out a little and brushed the snow off, then threw down a bath towel, gingerly stepped down 2, and by using a "grabber", got my newspaper (the carrier puts it right at the base of the steps). The back deck also stayed covered with ice and snow.

Worship was changed to 3 p.m. only today, but neither the folks I ride with, nor I, attended. There are just too many hills in this area, as well as a lot of areas that never get much sun. I'm sure there was plenty of black ice. I've been reading the paper, working the word puzzles, knitting, crocheting, eating, and singing church songs.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Are Weeds - Flowers?

Is it a weed, or is it a flower?
Insidious invader? Oh, don't look so sour!
Dandelions yellow and low to the ground -
I love to see them everywhere, so pretty, sunny, and round!
Nandinas and lantana can take over, and spread,
But they're lovely when contained, maybe bordered in a garden bed.
I love the sweet honey that bees make from clover.
The white, red, and purple makes a useful ground cover.
And the nectar from honeysuckle covering the fence -
Sure it can take over - long vines that grow dense.
Some plants keep soil from eroding. I've seen mangrove trees.
Don't dredge and fill for condos, but let the beaches "be".
Some plants that are called real flowers can still take up a yard.
You plant and prune and still they die, even when you've worked so hard!
Ivy climbs. Its tendrils grab, covering trees and walls,
But it, too, stops erosion, like a green cascading fall.
You dig and plant and twist your back. You ache, and land in bed.
I'll relax on my swing and enjoy my weeds - pink, green, yellow, and red!

- by Netagene - Mother gave me some of her old "Birds & Blooms" magazines, so just before midnight (a couple of hours ago), I wrote this. And yes, I DO love it when my yard has a lot of dandelions - I DO think they are beautiful - and clover and ivy, and honeysuckle on the back fence, though I did have to have the nandina dug up because it was starting to spread too much and I had not the eyesight nor the energy nor the money to put a "wall" of bricks to enclose it. -

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Housework versus ...

When Mother calls, she usually asks what I'm doing. This morning I told her, "Reading the paper and working the puzzles in the paper - how can I do housework when there's so many puzzles to work!!!" (And crocheting and knitting to do! I always have some "WIP": right now - a baby blanket, a chicken-in-a-basket tea cozy, and a couple of scarfs ...) I work the search word puzzles, the scrambled word puzzles, and the crossword puzzles; once in a great while I can figure out the cryptograms; I've never been able to work Sudoku! (I wasn't good in algebra either; in my mind, numbers and letters don't mix!)

The house will be here when I'm gone ...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Music to God!

Thinking about singing and how sometimes my voice is so bad that I don't like to hear it, even though I was in school choruses from about the 4th grade on through junior college. I am mostly a 2nd alto, but because I learned to read music, sometimes I'll sing lead or tenor as well as alto, depending on the pitch.

Many years ago, Luther Blackmon, a preacher for the church of Christ who I guess did not have what is considered a good singing voice, said that his voice sounded like "an alligator eating Post Toasties".

Also, at the Eureka Springs church in metro Tampa, Florida, was a woman, who like most of us there, loved to sing. I remember that she could carry a tune just fine, but her voice was so grating that it almost hurt to hear her - and hear her, we did because with the quality of her voice, which of course she was unable to help, did not blend and could easily be picked out in a crowd of singers.

But to God? Well, we are commanded to sing. If it's beautiful praise to God, who am I to question it? " ... I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" - I Corinthians 14:15.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tall Pines

I wish I knew about how tall these pines are! Both were made with my phone camera, while standing on Mother's front porch. Her house is on the high side of the road, and the porch is about 15' above the ground. As you can tell, you can't see either the bottom or the tops of some of the trees. The lighter one is facing South and the darker one (with a bit of the house eave) is facing West so is more of a silhouette.

A Day with Mother

This is the first picture I made with my new phone, the first time I've had a phone with a camera. I got to spend 8 hours today with Mother. She is 93. You can compare this to a picture I posted January 27. The recliner is one that has an electrical switch to raise and lower the seat, making it easy to get in and out of. To the lower right of the picture is the floral tapestry case that has her Bible. She uses a simple wooden walking cane (on her left). She is holding a search words book. Mentally she is still sharp; physically she is very frail. Her hair is "glow in the dark" white, and she has blue eyes. At her biggest, she was about 5'6" and maybe 150 pounds; she is now real bowed over, and weighs about 90. I fixed a pack of Knorr pasta alfredo to which I added some canned chicken and cheese for our lunch. We both worked some search word puzzles, and I crocheted some and worked some scrambled word puzzles and some crossword puzzles. We had a wonderful time!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Reminder for this time of year

Rather than re-posting, I hope you will go back to what I wrote on December 10 & 18 of last year. December 25 is NOT the Lord's birthday, and it is a sin to celebrate it as a "holy day". I do not, and hope you do not, either. We are to study the Scriptures, and not to add to it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Music!

Other than not doing much housework - LOL! - I've been to 3 musical events this week.

Last Sunday at 3 p.m. was the free handbell concert (http://embellishments.org) at the Museum of Art. Neighbor Anthony (sighted, he drives!) and friend Shane (legally blind) and I went to it. There were only 15 ringers but they sure put out a lot of music!

Tuesday night was the party of the local chapter of the American Council of the Blind. For the 2nd year, it was at The Club on Red Mountain. For those of us with usable sight, it is about the most gorgeous view of the city at night - you can see all of downtown and more! But the weather was freezing and the wind there will almost blow you over! Each member can invite one guest, and I try to invite someone different to each of our events, so again, I invited Anthony. Besides food, we also sing, and Ken (our prez - his site is mightpipes.com) plays a Q-chord. Sort of his signature song is a parody of "The 12 Days of Christmas" (one written by Alan Sherman, of "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadda" fame). Various ones sing sometimes, and we all join in. Besides Ken, 2 others who are totally blind also play instruments and sing. Pam plays guitar, and Lynn plays folk harp. One year I bought a bunch of real good kazoos (I think the site is simply kazoos.com), and we had a blast tooting them! They work real well on "The Grinch Song". This time, unbeknownst to anyone, when we started singing "Jingle Bells", as soon as the chorus started, I pulled out a bunch of sleigh bells ... then later in the song - a kazoo - and ended with a slide whistle.

The final concert of this week was last night. I take the newspaper (glad I again have sufficient sight to read it) and always look for free and inexpensive things to do. I'd told Anthony, and he called me about 6 and asked if I was ready to go. I told him I wasn't going. He urged. We went. The concert was at the library nearest us, and was Keith Williams (he also has a site). He's 40 and won his 1st guitar concert when he was 7! Talk about some smooth, beautiful, relaxing jazz guitar playing! Usually those library concerts last an hour, but he was allowed to go for 2 hours! (And they had munchies: spiced cider, cookies, brownies, pretzels, etc.)

And in the words of one song he played, "What a Wonderful World"!

My Last Day at Work

I am not much for parties, and I let it be known at work that I did not want a going away party. I had worked there a little less than 5 years, so was not retiring. Of course I ride VIP (the local bus company's name for their paratransit service, which is door-to-door). I also let it be known that if, on my last day, there was a party for me, that I would walk out, and walk the 2 blocks on the busy highway (no sidewalks) to the nearest fixed route bus stop. My co-workers knew me well enough to know that I would do just that. I wasn't real sure if I'd show up for work on Monday and Tuesday, November 29 & 30 or not. I DID go to work that Monday, and got the hardest work done so that my replacement (a lady transferring from another department - I told her she may be going from "the frying pan into the fire") wouldn't be hit with that first thing while trying to learn the things.

I planned to at least stick my head in the door for 5 minutes on Tuesday, the 30th, but have my driver wait, then get back on the bus. I had permission to ride Jeff's whole morning route (he works a split shift) and spend some time at the bus yard. As usual, I had a little gift for each VIP employee (about 48 people: bosses, admin, 8 schedulers, 4 dispatchers, and drivers). I buy gifts in January when they are marked way down, and had bought a bunch of beautiful 4" faceted plastic snowflakes, which supposedly was to hang on a tree, but I put one on a ribbon and wore it as a pendant. I put the snowflakes in Christmas cards. A few said they'd hang it for a sun catcher, and others - on their car rear view mirror.

The weather was real nasty that day, so I didn't even have Jeff stop at my work place. I had a wonderful time though, at the bus yard. I always do. I've gotten to know so many in the almost 5 years I've been riding VIP. I am not a hugger, but I got more hugs in those few hours than I could count! So my "last day at work" was real nice!

Paying "Uncle Sam"

This is a more personal note than usual. Shortly after I became legally blind (October, 2003), one of my ophthalmologists, who is now chief-of-staff of the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital, filled out the paper work for me to get Social Security Disability Insurance. Even though I was able to get another job a few years later, I was still making less money and thus was always on that SSDI. When I turned 66 earlier this year, I was automatically rolled to regular Social Security. Last tax time, I had gone over the limit a little, so it was if I had worked for free for maybe a month the previous year. So I decided to quit this year - and did so on November 30. The finances still may be such that I worked "free" a month or so. But I can't see doing that. With God's help, I'll make it even though Medicare takes a chunk out of my Social Security. Of course it also may come down to my not "supporting my habits" ... buying diet Dr Pepper, and yarn!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Saying "Amen!"

God says that we must worship in spirit and in truth.
We're actively to worship, not bench-warming or aloof.
Some people are more vocal in class or singing praise,
While others nod in silence - agree in different ways.

But one thing really gets me (some people don't hear well),
And that's when people mumble in what they have to tell.
Some microphones are cordless, but worthless unless used.
Some men don't use correctly, and others - simply refuse.

What if some man teaches error - might lead someone to sin?
If I can't comprehend the speaker,
I'd better not say "Amen!"

- by Netagene, written in a few minutes just now - Even when my hearing was better, it bothered me when men at worship (or anyone anywhere) didn't speak distinctly or into a microphone. Why have a mic when you are not going to use it, or use it properly? Maybe I'm a bit more sensitive (?) to that because of having been a DJ and performed some, and having worked switchboards. One "pet peeve" is when someone would give a number as "four sixteen" rather than "four one six". If you are writing as the person is speaking, then you'll write "4 - 6 - " ... then you'll hear "teen".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A New One!

I just set up a new blog, although right now it's not quite the way I want it to finally be, and of course nothing is there except the title and one post! Check it out though, and check back once in awhile. I know it's going to take awhile to get it really up and going! It is http://netagenesnicethings.blogspot.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Won't Change

"That's just the way I am. I'm just too old to change."
Actually, I'm not interested. I'm not going to rearrange
The way I think and do, no matter if it's best.
I kid myself I'm happy, while in my cozy nest.
Some things I've heard these years may be the truth, or lies.
I'd rather stand in place, than study, find what's wise.
I'll take another's words, and let them sink on in.
It's easier to accept, even though they may teach sin.
I know some of God's words, like baptism is what saves,
But I learned it's faith only, and I'll take that to my grave.
And once saved, always saved - that really sounds so good!
But "take heed, unless we fall" is in God's holy word.
My path may take me wrong, but I'll follow it all my days.
I won't heed what I hear, and I won't change my ways.

- by Netagene, written in a few minutes today, just before posting this - I hope you realize that it's as if someone other than myself were saying this!

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