Monday, September 22, 2008


We are now nine days post Hurricane Ike. He came, he roared, he blew a lot of stuff around, and left a lot of destruction in his path. Very rude if you ask me. But I must say that it was a rather impressive storm --- started out in the Atlantic and made a path of destruction all the way here. And he was a big monster - not necessarily in category, but in size.
This was my first hurricane and unfortunately if I stay in Houston, not my last! I'd like to think that we were decently prepared, but Ike showed us that there is always room for more preparation. We were very blessed and quite fortunate. No major damage to my home and we were only without power for two days. There are still nearly a million people in the area without power and some even without water. Many trees, fences, roofs, buildings, signs, and businesses all around us were severely damaged. It was widespread and crazy to witness with my own eyes. I have never seen such things in my sheltered life. And yet I know there will be more to come in the future. I hope that complacency will not rebound. I know that this city was spared much worse - and those of us who are not as good as we should be are hopefully grateful to have ridden the coat tails of the righteous.
School should resume tomorrow for most areas. The kids have been out for a week and two days now. An unexpected vacation that didn't feel anything like a vacation. We have been under a city wide curfew and many stores are still closed or open for short periods only. It was a very disconcerting feeling to walk through the only open grocery store the evening after the storm. It seemed everyone else was there as well in a panic. People grabbing up all the items they could - regardless of whether or not they really needed them! Most shelves were barren. There were no refrigerated items, no frozen items, no produce, no bread, little if any water, no ice, and few if any canned items. People were standing in long lines with short fuses. There were long lines at the handful of gas stations open --- long, long, long lines. And long lines down most streets as people were waiting at non-existent traffic lights trying to remember four-way stop etiquette. It felt much like what I envisioned it would be - only this time I couldn't turn the channel.
It was tough living without tv for two days as well. Sad to say, but true. Didn't realize I was that dependent. Actually I don't think that I am, I just don't like not having the option of being able to turn on the sooth-saying box. I found myself glued to the tiny transistor radio - broadcasting continuously the local news channel.
The days just after were very zombie-like. Perhaps a little bit of shock happening. I was stressed - the storm itself was indescribable. The days after were also stressful just because things were so far from normal. The day after there was actually another storm that came through preceding a cool front. Normally that stormed would have scared me and been considered "really, really bad", but after the hurricane it was a walk in the park.
I'm glad to say that for the most part our pan-"ike" has receded. I can now purchase milk, bread, eggs, and even a cold drink at the grocery store (at least between the hours of 8 and 8). My phones work on demand now and not every once in a while. I can watch tv at my leisure and can even turn the channel when I'm tired of seeing the continuous clean-up this city is experiencing. I'm very, very, very grateful for the blessings we have had during and after this un-nerving natural disaster. Very grateful for safety, friends and family, a great home, and especially --- air conditioning!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Be sure to eat your protein

We finally made it to Wyoming this summer. It had been four years since I had seen my grandmother. My daughter finally was able to meet her. It was a good trip. But what do you do when you know it is the last time you will ever see someone? If you are in my family you certainly don't think about it. Don't hug or kiss the person either. At pat on the back is okay though. Smiling and saying you wish you could have stayed longer is good. But don't acknowledge the truth and definitely, DEFINITELY don't talk about it.
My grandmother is now 90 years old. I never imagined she would make it that far and I'm certain she didn't either. Her health is balanced precariously on a razor sharp edge... with only one way down. Balancing is all that is left for her to do. Part of keeping her healthy has to do with the food that she eats - and it is well known that in order for the body to heal, to regenerate, and to hang in there... you need protein. Lots of protein.
I certainly would rather have my grandmother stay around for another 10 years. I don't believe that is in the forecast for her. I also believe, however, that she will never give up. Her relatives who have passed on, St. Peter, and perhaps The Almighty Himself will probably have to come and drag her over. More power to you Grandma!!
I didn't hug her or kiss her. I didn't speak of these things or many things as I was at a loss for words. I knew in my heart that it would be the last time I saw her... my head knew it too. I did however, look firmly, in a very connected manner, into her eyes. I wanted to memorize them. I wanted our spirits to acknowledge each other. And then I told her the only thing I could - "be sure to eat your protein". Which interpreted means: I love you. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I will miss you. But I know that you will soon be in a far better place, with far better people. God will bless you and give you peace. I look forward to seeing you again one day. I hate to leave, I don't like goodbye's... I will never forget you.
My sister moved back to Wyoming last week. I am happy for her because she is happy. I know that she was never happy in Texas and for many reasons I can understand. I have mixed emotions about her departure. Happy for her, but sad. Watching them leave in their train of u-haul trucks and trailers was a surreal moment. Bittersweet indeed. I chose not to say goodbye to the kids. I don't like saying goodbye to kids. I figured the littlest ones would tug at my heart the most. But surprisingly it wasn't them --- it was the oldest. That Spencer will always have a special place in my heart. Darn boy.
So for the second time this summer I said goodbye to people in my family --- not an enjoyable activity. But I know it is for good. And to my sister I say "be sure to eat your protein".

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Little known facts...

I want to earn a master's degree... I just have no idea in what.
I like ketchup sandwiches.
I still like ABBA and Neil Diamond.
I want to repair and build airplanes... big ones. Maybe work for the NTSB
I don't enjoy flying.
I Still have my blankie.
I miss the smell of rain on sagebrush.
In general, I don't like people.
Generally, I don't like children either.
Don't enjoy social work at all... hmmmm... wonder why....
I love animals. Except monkeys... don't like monkeys - too creepy.
I have visual disturbances that are difficult to explain, but are the reason I am not a doctor.
Thunderstorms don't scare me. But I won't run when there is lightning.
I think far too much. Though my thoughts are not my own, they run rampant much of the time.
I have had one friend for 26 years. (I have other friends, but that's a record!)
My body is showing signs of aging, which is impossible because I'm only 18 or 19 years old!
There are days when I see my child and stop short of saying "who are you and why are you bothering me?"
Other days I see my child and think "wow, that's a really cute kid! ow... my heart is melting a little."
My high school's 20 year reunion is this summer. I would cringe, but I didn't graduate so it's not my reunion!! ha!
I did earn a GED and a BSW so I'm not a total failure. But that's just my ego talking anyhow...
I try and try, but the awareness and present-ness is a slippery slope.

love the Wal-mart

I read an editorial in a newspaper recently that people are complaining about the building of so many new Wal-marts. I don't know if the naysayers have seen the gas prices recently, but I'm very pleased to have a Wal-mart so close by now --- okay, so it's only 2 miles closer than the other, but hey... a dollar is a dollar. And don't you just love a brand new Wal-mart - clean shiny floors, new un-sticky carts that roll quickly and quietly in the correct direction, and friendly fresh employees whose spirits have not yet been broken. Everything is so neat and clean, bright and shiny, updated and modern. I even love the "green" aspects - those magical lights that come on in the freezer section only when you come near. It's the simple things that bring joy. Silly naysayers - instead of taking the time to write and send a letter to the editor, they could be basking in the wonder that is the NEW Wal-mart.

Wordy people

I've been trying for some time now to find a publisher for my first book. I've sent my story to random places and am finally getting responses. Not necessarily the responses I want, but kind and gentle ones. Which I suppose are better than mean ones. Those Editors (their secretary's I'm guessing) are saying very sweet things about my book --- using words like enjoyable, endearing, compelling, attractive.... But... Don't you just hate the buts.... feels like it erases all the pleasantry's beforehand. They are too busy or currently publishing only "Hannah Montana" or only educational books.
But alas, I shall continue on... I know that one day this book and the others in the series will be published. "No room in the Fridge" was truly inspired and I know it will be read by many one day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gassy and bloated

That's what I think of gas prices and the oil execs behind them. And that's the nicest thing I could think of. I just don't understand... I have never seen such exorbitant jumps in prices on a daily basis for no reason at all. I know everyone is feeling the stress and pain. It makes no sense.
Only 10 years ago I remember rushing to the local grocery store gas station to fill up on .78 cent per gallon gas. You could go anywhere and do anything as long as your car was running. Never even thought about flying anywhere because we could just drive. And I loved a good road trip! Now I can't even afford to go see my grandma because of the price of gas. Flying only marginally factors in because the costs are relatively equal. TOO MUCH!!!!
I know that to keep inner peace we must be accepting of what is... Well, this IS is just WRONG!!! Talks between oil execs. and the powers on capital hill are just big lie fests. No one in charge is taking charge. Is there any one in charge?? I have my suspicions... And the media is not helping... they announce that prices will go higher and guess what? they do! I think oil companies and gas stations take advantage of the "if it's on the news it's true" philosophy. And people are just so media-numb that we sit back and take it. I would like to see what would happen if every news station reported a dramatic price drop...
Well, I am driving less. Combining trips out of the house, planning out my routes, etc. I've even been biking more - getting my legs prepared for longer jaunts. I'm glad I purchased that bike trailer a few years back... now I can haul the kid and the groceries (what I can afford).
I know this kind of thought is not of secret nature or peaceful tranquility... I'm trying to be present and aware, but every time I go to the gas station I'd really rather be elsewhere...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where to begin...

I suppose I'm a bit behind the times. This is my first experience with blogging... should be quite interesting. I love to write, but hate to journal. I guess blogging isn't really either of those things so it should be a pretty decent relationship.
Does anybody know why there is always one shoe out in the middle of the road? Just one, never two. And the owner... do they not know they are missing one shoe? And how exactly did it get there? Angry driver didn't have a weapon so they threw a shoe? Person walking along and the shoe just gave out? Left to the side of the road like an old tire?
Perhaps a content warning should be displayed... the things in my mind could traverse to odd places. Read at your own risk.

I am aware and present.