Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Day's . . .

I especially love This Day's Smile!!

Did you never run for shelter in a storm, and find fruit which you expected not? Did you never go to God for safeguard, driven by outward storms, and there find unexpected fruit?

~ John Owen


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

~ Isaiah 55:8-9, The King James Version


We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't.

~ Frank Clark

Christmas Dimentia

Thank you for this, Renae!

Abbey's listening to . . . .


I can recall where I was at the exact moment I first heard "Nights in White Satin". I had moved to California and was living in an upper furnished, two-bedroom apartment in Bellflower - yes, BELLFLOWER, a burb in southern Los Angeles County. I had flown with my best friend, Carol Ammons, from Texas with two suitcases - one with clothes and the other with all the kitchen utensils I could fit in a suitcase! LOL! But I've digressed . . .

This is the first "concept" album that I can recall. Start to finish, it is a unique journey that is a never before heard musical production that, in my mind, completely befit the tone of each path traveled. The London Festival Orchestra provides wonderfully flowing interludes between songs that connect them seamlessly. While "Nights" and "Tuesday Afternoon" were and are probably the most memorable, I absolutely adore "Sunset" and "Twilight Time".

Several years ago, The Moody Blues appeared at Red Rock, and if I'm not mistaken, that dvd is available for purchase. It was an awesome concert in the midst of a gorgeous backdrop. I recommend hecking Amazon.com to purchase this must have recording, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This Day's . . .

To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.

~Pearl S. Buck



Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

~Proverbs 18:12, The New International Version

Anger Management

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know.

I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered, saying "Hello." I politely said, "This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn Carter?" Suddenly a manic voice yelled out in my ear "Get the right f......ing number!" and the phone was slammed down on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

When I tracked down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits. After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled "You're an asshole!" and hung up. I wrote his number down with the word 'asshole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an asshole!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller, ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic 'asshole' calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller, ID Program?" He yelled "NO!" and slammed down the phone. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an asshole!" and hung up.

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot but the idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number. A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole (I had his number on speed dial), I thought that I'd better call the BMW asshole, too.

I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?" He said, "Yes, itis." I asked, "Can you tell me where I can see it?" He said, "Yes, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd., in Fairfax. It's a yellow Rambler, and the car's parked right out in front." I asked, "What's your name?" He said, "My name is Don Hansen," I asked, "When's a good time to catch you, Don?" He said, "I'm home every evening after five." I said, "Listen, Don, can I tell you something?" He said, "Yes?" I said, "Don, you're an asshole!" Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too.

Now, when I had a problem, I had two assholes to call. Then I came up with an idea. I called asshole 1. He said, "Hello." I said, "You're an asshole!" (But I didn't hang up.) He asked, "Are you still there?" I said, "Yeah," He screamed, " Stop calling me," I said, "Make me," He asked, "Who are you?" I said, "My name is Don Hansen." He said, "Yeah? Where do you live?" I said, "Asshole, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd., in Fairfax, it's a yellow rambler and I have a black Beamer parked in front." He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers." I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, asshole," and hung up.

Then I called Asshole 2. He said, "Hello?" I said, "Hello, asshole." He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..." I said, "You'll what?" He exclaimed, "I'll kick your ass!" I answered, "Well, asshole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now." Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 34 Oaktree Blvd., in Fairfax, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover.

Then I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down in Oaktree Blvd. in Fairfax. I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax. I got there just intime to watch two assholes beating the crap out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better. Anger management really does work.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This Day's . . .

God framed the history of the world in view of the coming of Jesus Christ. In the very beginning He chose a family whose line of descent should run directly from Eden to Bethlehem. This family God took into covenant with Himself, and the promise of the covenant was that of its seed Christ should be born in the fullness of time. This covenant-line runs through the whole of the Old Testament as the golden thread runs through the beautiful fabric. Everything centers in this covenant-line. It unifies the Old Testament. It is the cord upon which the pearls of history are strung. Keep this in mind, and it will explain a thousand mysteries and perplexities in reading the Old Testament.

~ David Gregg

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

~ Mark 1:4-8, The Revised Standard Version

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Office Policies

Dress Code:
1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.
2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.
3) If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.
4) If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work .

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.

Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin boa rd under the 'Chronic Offenders'category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.


Lunch Break: (Love this one)
* Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.
* Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.
* Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

The Management

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ten Commandments - Tennessee Style

(1) Just one God

(2) Put nothin' before God

(3) Watch yer mouth

(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'

(5) Honor yer Ma & Pa

(6) No killin'

(7) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal

(8) Don't take what ain't yers

(9) No tellin' tales or gossipin'

(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff

Now that's plain an' simple. Y'all have a nice day.

Rude Awakening

I awoke last night with that "urge", the one that makes you say, "aw geesh, I gotta pee again!" Well, I thought I was awake, and at this moment, I still am not quite certain. I've dreamed that I was sitting on the toilet relieving myself and woke up in wet sheets. Stop laughing; I was five years old at the time! But I do dream vividly and when I need to pee, I dream in my sleep that I need to pee.

So, it's not wonder, however odd that I rose almost immediately and every so quickly, when I normally lie there and ponder "to go or not to go". My feet hit the floor and I began those steps to the bathroom. I was immediately taken with the thought, the one that fires through your brain at lightning speed, and it said "something's not right". I recall seeing blackness, instead of the dim light from the window peering into the bathroom, which leads me in the right direction.

As immediate as that thought zipped by, I hit a brick wall. Not really a brick wall, but whatever it was, it was solid, hard and immovable! I flew in the air and hit the floor, landing on my right shoulder. I had instantaneous pain in my left foot and knee, and that was followed in less that one second by a wrenching muscle spasm in my right calf. All this created the reaction of drawing my legs up and wincing in pain.

Dawg cried out "Baby!" and flew out of the bed, turning on the lamp as he moved. He was scared out of his wits, and I can see why, I would be too, and I was. The picture of me drawn up in a ball, lying on my side, writhing in pain frightened him. I was trying to massage the right calf and stop the spasm, clenching my teeth and trying to say "I - got - a - a - muscle - - spaaa - sm!" All while he was straightening out my left leg, examining it most likely for a protruding compound fractured bone.

I never opened my eyes until the spasm subsided, and when I did, I was 10 feet from where I thought I had landed, and I realized that I had walk smack into the armoir that is on the opposite wall from the foot of our bed. I know better; I know where my bathroom is, which is why I think I might have been sleep-walking. Have you ever run into a solid obstacle walking at a full pace? It is amazing that the human body has such strong forward momentum, but it certainly does and I'm here to tell you, it will be the most stunning experience you can imagine, followed by a state of utter confusion. It probably resembles some mindblowing drug trip, but I can only imagine.

My vivid dreaming is becoming a health hazard. Last Saturday night, as my husband tells me on Sunday morning, I hit my hubby twice. I am a jerker. I shake, rattle and roll in my sleep. One day, I'm going to have a sleep study done, but where was I? Oh yea, hubby reached over and rubbed my tummy to calm me and I said, "I'm sorry; I was trying to protect Buddy." When hubs told this to me, I began to cry.

Buddy was my brother, the one that was shot and killed in 1985. He was raised by my birth mother, along with a half-sister and brother, and a man who was the devil incarnate. I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness this devil of a man brutalizing my brother, whipping him under a table on one occasion.

I had just discussed with my therapist how great things were going, and she had commented in kind. We had thought we'd back off for a while. And then this. When hubby told me what had transpired, I began to cry. "When will the demons leave me alone?"

Was last night's episode another "warning" of some kind that I need to get that sleep study and see if my malady is treatable? Gosh, I hate the thought of lashing out in my sleep, especially against the one I love so much, or of hurting myself, not to mention the buried memories that creep in at will and of which I have no control.

No real point to this story. It's more journaling, of sorts, and I don't mind sharing it with you. I am, after all, human. And we all have crosses that, against all will, we must bear.

I'm good, shoulder's a little sore as it the knee, but I'll live. I'm meeting up with my local gal pals tonight for margaritas and Secret Santa. I'm all gussied up, as one of my girlfriend's would say, and looking forward to a Christmas dinner with good friends.

May I borrow $25

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door

SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?
DAD: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the man.
SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'
DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.
SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?
DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.
SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.
SON: 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?

The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door..

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down , and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked.
'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.
'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. 'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled. 'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied. 'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This Day's . . .

I have an acquaintance who, after her ex-husband was tragically killed, saw numerous "psychics" who told her many things about her and her former husband, how they still loved one another, he was at peace, the face you saw in the shower was him, blah blah blah. I discussed the spiritual or Biblical condemnation of such "mediums" with her, and her response was, "if there were prophets in Biblical times, why can there not be prophets today?" At long last (two years later), I have the answer.

I spent money going to a psychic after talking with her just out of curiosity. They are professionals at what they do. They know how to hone in on something you say, read your body language, and lead you into giving them information that they use to twist into their "psychic reading", telling you what you want to hear. In fact, the psychic that I saw had a client with her when I arrived and she directed me toward her den to wait. Upon her coffee table lay a book: I believe it was "How To Win Friends and Influence People" or something like that . . . I flipped through it and found numerous passages about how to con people highlighted. So there you go. The only book that is factual on this subject is The Bible, as it is on all of life, here and in the hereafter. God bless you.


The Christian life is never static. One must either grow in grace, or there will be backsliding and deterioration.

~ Henry Ironside

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
~ 2 Peter 1:20-21, The New International Version

I have room for one more friend, and he is everyman.

~ Woody Guthrie

Twenty Nine Lines to Make You Smile


Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light!


TWENTY NINE LINES TO MAKE YOU SMILE

1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.

4. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

5. Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

6. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me

7. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

8. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

9. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are just missing.

10. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

11. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.

12. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

13. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

14. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

15. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

16. Being 'over the hill' is much better than being under it!

17. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.

18 . Procrastinate Now!

19. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?

20. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

21. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

22. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

23. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

24. He who dies with the most toys; is nonetheless DEAD.

25. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.

26. Ham and eggs...A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

27. The trouble with life is there's no background music.

28. The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.

29. I smile because I don't know what the hell is going on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What's your question . . .

My question is: Why did this hospital allow this patient's hospital stay to go for over two years and rack up over a million dollars in healthcare expense, paid by YOU, the Taxpayer, before they finally spoke up? Why did they not ship him back to his own country. Would have been a lot cheaper . . .


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Firearms Refresher Course

'Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.'
~ Thomas Jefferson


FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights Reserved.

11. What part of 'shall not be infringed' do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don't make more.

24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.


Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amazingly Simple Home Remedies

Thank you for the cheese, Jen! It's delicious!

Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.

Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.

You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD -40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES; NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS

Two Cents Worth

As I rode the elevator up to my office this morning, two of my co-workers and I were chatting about the raincoat worn by one of them, which led to my comment that I never buy fashion that is not on sale. One girl said she wished the price of a lot more things would decline like gas prices. My immediate thought was the sign I saw last night at Wal-Mart that reflected the price of $1.51/gallon.

Realizing that this is WAY too deep for me or most anyone to understand, I just have a few thoughts about "the economy". We hear so much everday, everwhere we go; its on television, in the newspapers, in group conversations, magazines, and even the check clerks at the stores are commenting apologetically as we hand them our little plastic card to pay for our purchases. In perusing verious department stores in recent weeks, window shopping for possible Christmas items, the price of merchandise is flooring.

I don't understand the logic here. Retail complains that people are not spending, yet the prices, even the sale prices, are so inflated, it's no wonder people are not spending. As I said, I never buy any fashion items unless they are on sale, and even the sale prices, to me, are so absurd that I will often pass on a purchase.

We now see gas prices at a low that we have not seen in many years, yet retail prices escalate. I don't understand. I suppose they are trying to make up for the lack of sales by gouging buyers on what they DO spend money in their stores. I think they'll find they're shooting themselves in the foot, however.

Where Christmas is concerned, I used to purchase gifts, always, and my mother has always done the same. She felt as I do that money is terribly impersonal and that one should have the surprise of a real gift that was chosen especially for that individual. I never in my life thought I would see the day that MY MOTHER would give the international gift of money for Christmas, but that is what it has come to. I love to shop for my loved ones, but we are also giving money or gift cards. And in the end, it really doesn't matter what the gift, it is the reason for the season, but I'm talking about this only as it pertains to the economy.

Did you see the series finale of "Boston Legal" this past Monday evening? It was hilarious, as always, Denny pulling his stunts and with such innocence. But the premise behind the episode, a large Chinese law firm buying Crane, Smith & Pool was timely, and intentional.

During the flights to and from Texas over Thanksgiving, I was reading this month's edition of "Vanity Fair", an excellent publication, by the way. There is a lengthy article in this edition regarding China, and one may recall Sen. Hilary's comment about arguing with "our banker" (i.e., China). And the article so states that China is America's banker. "Boston Legal" was on point with regard to this reality, one of the things I've always loved about that show - the way they mix in current events (politics, economy) with some light humor. The United States is so far in debt to China that it is now a reality that China may, in years to come, take over the United States economy. They're buying financial institutions for mega millions and billions right and left. I know this for fact. I know a friend of a friend who is in the business of brokering such deals and is making a killing. Instead of going into a long dissertation on this subject, I recommend that you do your own research, and include in that reading of the aforementioned article in the December issue of "Vanity Fair".

The news media is covering the economic situation non-stop. I began having nightmares about a week ago and realized that watching and reading the doom and gloom was having a subconscious effect on me. Thankfully, I was able to discern the seed of those awful dreams. Too much negativity was causing the nightmares. Recall the non-stop coverage of 9/11? It is true that when one bombards themselves with so much negativity, it will affect your mental well-being. I suggest people educate themselves just enough to know what is happening (and I think we've all gotten the jist of it by now), keep current, and then move on to something lighter and try to lead as normal a life as you can. After all, this is really out of your hands, and you cannot, or should not, worry about that which you cannot change.

This is where the spiritual rock on which I stand comforts me, personally. I pray. I pray morning, noon and night. I give my worries over to Him and move on. I have a family, a job, friends, a whole life that exists around me in my little corner of this world. I still believe in the trickle-down effect. A smile usually begets a smile, a laugh usually begets a laugh, and so forth. I would never insinuate that there are not people out there, even in my own town, who are suffering the ramifications of the economic crisis. I pray for them. I give where I can. I try to pay it forward. And I practice logic where my personal finances are concerned. I am cautious, but not panicked. Back to that trickle-down effect - panic breeds more panic, and it is this writer's opinion that this is one of THE major effects on the stock market and the economy.

I've lost quite a bit in my 401(k) in the second half of 2008. I lost a lot after 9/11. But you know what? After 9/11, it came back and I saw 25-30% profits on my investments. And I believe, and have been advised by the experts, that when it comes back (and it will), we will see these profits again. So, my money has stayed and will stay where it is until we recover, which the "experts" have also told me would be mid to late 2009.

Hang on, be patient, try not to worry, pray, be positive. You can't take it with you, and you can't control it. Recall the Serenity Prayer? It goes something like this:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot hange; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Abbey's Listening To . . .


I have had a very long and deep friendship with a fella that we (he and I) refer to as Sid (Not-so-Vicious). We exchange emails regularly (even though we live across town from one another and he visits relatives the next street over OFTEN - I know he'll see this! - and never stops by), talking of what the latest good read is or what new channel we have found on the XM/Sirius line-up, our lists (greatest songs, greatest musicians, greatest concerts, greatest books, and so on). Sid wrote to me today that he found a new DirecTV channel that was airing this concert, which I have also had the privilege. And thus, I had the itch to write about Diana.

I can't say much that hasn't already been said about Diana Krall. She's cool, she's unrestrained and mellow, and her voice reminds me of a perfect diamond with all the sharp edges and smooth cuts perfectly connected forming a most beautiful gem. You just can't help but gaze in wonder of it. I was introduced to the great Ms. Krall by my husband about ten years ago and it was love at first listen.

The "Live in Paris" performance was so relaxed and so damn groovey that I felt like it was just she and I in the room. In her backup was a bearded bass player and I'm always fascinated by a big bass musician. Their fingers had to have gone through the most brutal conditioning, and the guy that plays with her on this is definitely feeling the groove. A great jazz ensemble plays off one another and you probably won't find two performances that are identical. It's all about feeling and emotion, and Diana Krall is a master of digging it out and giving it to you in a way that perfectly fits the intention of each song, whether it be sensual, playful, bossa or sadness. Quite simply, I adore her voice and her style. In case you didn't know, Diana accompanies herself (expertly and effortlessly) on piano. I can see her in my mind with her long hair hanging over her shoulders, she whisping her head to throw back one side to reveal her beautiful face, where you see a slight grin as she sings, then laughs aloud at the break, her left foot tapping to the beat as her fingers move effortlessly up and down the 88's. She is one talented lady.

Among my favorites on this cd are Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" and a song called "A Case of You". Not so incidentally, Diana was awarded the Grammy for Best Jazz Album for this piece of work. You can't go wrong, whether you are listening to any of her work on cd, "Steppin Out", "All For You", "The Very Best Of . . ."

Not to wonder why it blew my mind when I heard she was married to none other than Elvis Costello. Somehow she seems too beautiful for Elvis, but then I've seen odder couples in my life. She's on my list of "gotta see" - sort of like that list some people have of things they want to do before they die. My fettish is seeing my most fav musicians play live before I die . . . I feel blessed to have crossed off the few that I've seen, so I won't leave the world feeling I've left this end loose.

Smarta$$ Answers

I just can resist passing on some humor for the day!!

SMART @SS ANSWER #6 -- It was mealtime during a flight on Hooters Airline. 'Would you like dinner?' The flight attendant asked John, seated in front. 'What are my choices?' John asked.'Yes or no,' she replied.

SMART @SS ANSWER #5 -- A flight attendant was stationed at the departure gate to check tickets. As a man approached, she extended her hand for the ticket and he opened his trench coat and flashed her. Without missing a beat, she said, 'Sir, I need to see your ticket, not your stub.'

SMART @SS ANSWER #4-- A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store but she couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, 'Do these turkeys get any bigger?' The stock boy replied, 'No ma'am, they're dead.'

SMART @SS ANSWER #3-- The cop got out of his car and the kid whowas stopped for speeding rolled down his window. 'I've been waiting for you all day,' the cop said. The kid replied, 'Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could.' When the cop finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way without a ticket.

SMART @SS ANSWER #2-- A truck driver was driving along on the freeway. A sign comes up that reads, ' Low Bridge overhead.' Before he knows it, the bridge is right ahead of him and he gets stuck under the bridge. Cars are backed up for miles. Finally, a police car comes up. The cop gets out o f his car and walks to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, 'Got stuck, huh'? The truck driver says, 'No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas.

'SMART @SS ANSWER OF THE YEAR 2007 -- A college teacher reminds her class of tomorrow's final exam. 'Now class, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury, illness, or a death in your immediate family, but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!' A smart-@ss guy in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, 'What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?' The entire class is reduced to laughter and snickering. When silence is restored, the teacher smiles knowingly at the student, shakes her head and sweetly says, 'Well, I guess you'd have to write the exam with your other hand.'

Two bonus extras: A blonde goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. She says to the clerk, 'May I have 50 Christmas stamps?'The clerk says, 'What denomination?'The blonde says, 'God help us. Has it come to this? Give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptists.'

A woman is standing nude looking in the bedroom mirror. She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's darn near perfect.'

He never heard the shot....


Christmas Tree

THIS IS A CHRISTMAS TREE, NOTHING ELSE.

This is NOT a Holiday Tree
This is a Christmas tree.
It is not a Hanukkah bush,
It is not an Allah plant,
It is not a Kawanza shrub
It is not a Holiday hedge.
It is a Christmas tree.

Say it... CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas
Yes. CHRISTmas - celebrating
The Birth of Jesus Christ!!!
If this offends you...too bad.
Get over it ~

This Day's . . .

The goal of the missionary is to do God's will, not to be useful or to win the lost. A missionary is useful and he does win the lost, but that is not his goal. His goal is to do the will of his Lord.

~ Oswald Chambers


Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

~ Daniel 12:3, The New International Version


WOW! " . . . like the stars for ever and ever." Imagine.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Good Thoughts

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat.

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends . . . B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.

One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless 'you' do.

Your mind is like a parachute . . .it functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! It isnever too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love thepeople who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you might not get them back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives and problems that we may not even notice that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we forget what's right and wrong. Sometimes we just don't realize what real friendship means until it is too late. I don't want to let that happen so I'm gonna tie mine to my heart so I never lose them.


A Convert Still Learning

Life is a daily lesson. We're always learning, but the lessons I learn about my faith, which is Catholicism, are always the most enlightening and powerful. I received this today, and NOW I understand why the Priest folds the napkins on the altar so carefully following the Mass.

WHY DID JESUS FOLD THE NAPKIN?

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!"

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus head was folded up and lying to the side.

Is that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes! In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table until the master was finished. Now if the master was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers and mouth with that napkin and toss it on to the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, "I'm done." But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant knew that the folded napkin meant, "I'm not finished yet." The folded napkin meant, "I'm coming back!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'M SICK YAWL!

Returned home last evening from Texas. It's always good to go "home" and be with Mom and Daddy, but hubs came down with the crud the day we left, and now I have been hit with it as well. While he is now on a Zpac and on the upside, I'm slowly sinking in the abyss of the incurable common cold, resigning myself that I cannot control it and must ride the wild wave til the end. I feel like absolute hell, but I'm so dedicated to my job (regurgitate), that I have worked through the entire day without breakfast or lunch. Soon as I'm up to it, I'll be back with photos from the trip and a short story or two. In the meantime, please pray for me and hubs that we get well soon! Oh my, the boss just went by and said "don't infect us, go home!" Who can argue with that?

Blessings all,
Abbey

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


We're off like a herd o' turtles for our Thanksgiving holiday. I wish you all peace, joy, love and laughter with your loved ones this Thanksgiving. I shall return before you can turn around twice and yell "CHEESE AND CRACKERS!" (uh, that'd be next Wednesday, ya'll). I'm blessed and thankful to have you come by and see me.

Blessings all,

Abbey

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Big Log"

Absolutely, without a doubt, an all-time favorite of mine. If only I had the imagination and forethought to write such lyrics. Following the video are the lyrics, along with a couple of interpretations that I scrounged for. I've collected lyrics and interpretations for you. Take a step into your imaginations . . .

"the best poetry is where there is room for the reader or listener to fit into ... this one has a lot of room ... "



BIG LOG

My love is in league with the freeway
Its passion will ride as the cities fly by
And the tail-lights dissolve in the coming of night
And the questions in thousands take flight
My love is the miles and the waiting
The eyes that just stare, and the glance at the clock
And the secret that burns, and the pain that won't stop
And it's fuelled once again
Leading me on - leading me down the road
Driving me on - driving me down the road
My love is exceeding the limit
Red-eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles
Distance and longing - my thoughts do collide
Should I rest for a while at the side?
Your love is cradled in knowing
Eyes in the mirror, still expecting they'll come
Sensing too well when the journey is done
There is no turning back - no
There is no turning back - on the run
My love is in league with the freeway
Oh, with the freeway, and the coming of night-time
My love, my love is in league with the freeway

Interpretations:
12-28-2004

what it means? to me? a classic about plant selling his soul, or whatever was in the pact, the two meanings ... My love is in league with the freeway (the freeway, is of course the way of the Devil, no law, etc, here the singer's love is in league- pact- covenant, agreement with it)

Its passion will ride as the cities fly by And the tail-lights dissolve in the coming of night. And the questions in thousands take flight (doubts, etc). My love is the miles and the waiting (futility). The eyes that just stare, and the glance at the clock, And the secret that burns, and the pain that won't stop (maybe a little regret, hence no turning back, driven so2speak). And it's fuelled once again (but it'd recharged, refueled, once again). Leading me on - leading me down the road (the spirit leads the disciple). Driving me on - driving me down the road (the road eventually ends, driven on down it). My love is exceeding the limit. Red-eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles. Distance and longing - my thoughts do collide, Should I rest for a while at the side?(this is, should I just end it?, suicide). Your love is cradled in knowing. Eyes in the mirror, still expecting they'll come (this would be the beings of light, an arrival everyone senses, though few perceive accurately - ''sometimes words have two meanings'' - "from stairway"). Sensing too well when the journey is done (a call to death). There is no turning back - no (once sold, it cannot be recovered, it's in the deal, fame now... but...). There is no turning back - on the run (a belief in unforgiven). My love is in league with the freeway (the last call to where his allegiance lies, and with whom his soul rests...yowza!!!). Oh, with the freeway, and the coming of night-time(the darkness). My love, my love is in league with the freeway.
. . but some more plausible interpretations . . . or combination of all three?
3-15-2006
It's pretty cut-and-dry. He loves life on the road. Even the monotonous drone of the tires and the weary rocking of the bus. It allows him to become interspective. His imagination is piqued by the myriad scenes passing by his windows and this allows him the freedom to create songs. His lover, on the other hand, sits at home and stares at the mirror, waiting for the tour to be over. It is a doomed relationship. She waits for him to come home, and then he waits to hit the road. So while he is out on tour, she decides to leave him. "There is no turning back... on the run." He doesn't like that she is leaving him, but such is life on the road.

6-13-2008
Well, a "log" is a book a trucker keeps to record his/her miles and what is being carried in the truck. So maybe this is a log of his travels down the road of life.

9-7-2008
This song speaks to the long, dark, desolate stretches between loves. Beyond the bleakness is acceptance, where the resolutness of leaving (on the run, fueled by secrets and hurts and thousands of unanswerable questions) merges with, and is indistinguishable from, the wide, open-ended quest(longing that does not rest) for new love.

Today's Verse from HEARTLIGHT

"To err is human; to forgive, divine." The greatest challenge the Lord has given me is to learn forgiveness. And in the instances where I have succeeded, with the blessing of His graces, I found it brought me into such a state of peace that it is hard to describe. It gave me a sense of closeness to the Lord that is more than I have ever felt in my entire life. It is something that, once tasted, you know that it is what you want for always. And so I give to you today's verse from Heartlight:




VERSE: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

~ Mark 11:25


THOUGHT: To me, this is one of the most challenging reminders of God's will in Scripture. I must forgive others! When I refuse, it cuts me off the stream of forgiveness that God so longs to give to me. While forgiving others is never easy, God has not only commanded us to do it; he has also given us his Son as an example of forgiveness. In addition, he has promised to empower us to be able to do his will by the power of the Holy Spirit. The real issue: Will we let go of our bitterness toward those who have wounded us and truly forgive them?

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to forgive ____ of the sin committed against me. Please block cynicism and bitterness from my heart. Please empower me to forgive as Jesus did. In addition, dear Father, please teach me what my commitment to forgive actually means in terms of the life changes I need to make. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.




Monday, November 24, 2008

Abbey's Listening To . . .

I LOVE THIS ALBUM!

On The Border was the Eagles third album, released by Asylum in March 1974, and was certified Gold on June 5, 1974. The first two albums were, in their (the band) own minds, had a more "country" feel. With On The Border, they wanted to break away from the "country" label that they had unintentionally earned, and gear their sound more toward rock.

Even though a couple of the songs were out-and-out rockin' ("Already Gone", "James Dean"), the first song that captured me was "Ol' 55". What I love about the Eagles is their ability to tell a story in the course of a 3-5 minute song. Their writing is of the strength that I can only hope to attain. In "Ol' 55", I am given a very vivid image of this young man, walking out of a house somewhere on the outskirts of a small town. It's is not quite dawn, and he gets into his favorite possession, his '55 Chevy and drives away. He's feeling great, "alive" as he says. And in the end, we find that he is driving home "from your place". Did he meet a beautiful girl in a cafe, a bar, where? Wherever he met her, they fell for one another as two lonely people are inclined to do, and went home to her place. The night spent with this girl, one you definitely get the sense of being tender, lovely and loving, left him feeling "holy" and "alive".


"You Never Cry Like a Lover" and "Is It True" are a two more examples of wonderful lyrics and composition, telling you the story of loving, yet failing, and perhaps even a permanent tear. The musicianship is totally tight as are the harmonies.

The Eagles' music is the typ the music that I love the most. It is that which tells me a story, has meaning, and more than anything, I feel most attracted if it fits into my own life. Sort of like Fleetwood Mac's Rumors. I was in a relationship that was four years old, it was falling apart (as were the romantic relationships within the group, thus the tone of the writing), and somehow, listening to this stuff over and over allowed me to get it out of my system. On the other hand, maybe it enabled me to dwell too long. I don't know.

What I do know is that when I downloaded "On The Border" from iTunes this weekend, and even after 30 years, I remember every lyric. Some songs had been long forgotten, as were the times relative to them, but it all came back and I am reliving my youth through this album. THIS is the Eagles that I love and adore! I'm going to throw in a review by Janet Maslin from Rolling Stone (5-23-74) for good measure, because she states it so much better than I.

Most of the ten songs here are in some way related to escape, or to the failures that necessitate it. But the Eagles' point of view toward their material varies so wildly that it's hard to believe even they take it seriously. "My Man," Bernie Leadon's gentle epitaph for a "very talented guy" (who seems to be Gram Parsons), is completely at odds with the jovial necrophilia of "James Dean," a strong and (I hope) slightly facetious rocker that hands it subject a rather abrupt kiss-off ("You were too fast to live, too young to die, bye-bye"). "Already Gone," which sounds like it's supposed to sound like "Take It Easy," is the most inconsistent number in the set, building a proud "victory song" out of successive cute digs at an abandoned girlfriend. The Eagles' California ethos (softly articulated in the album's most affecting number, "The Best of My Love") conveys their spirit of camaraderie which is more admirable than it is musically effective. The vocal work is shared throughout, sometimes even within the same song, and not always to the group's advantage. But even though Glenn Frey's singing best personifies the group's overall spirit, Don Henley's raw, strained sound in more interesting and less anonymous. "Ol' '55," a Tom Waits number sung alternately by Frey and Henley, emphasizes their stylistic differences, but at the expense of a single, more personal approach. And while Bernie Leadon provides an interesting synthesis of Frey's and Henley's mannerisms on "My Man," Randy Meisner probably shouldn't be singing leads at all.

~Janet Maslin, Rolling Stone, 5-23-74

This Day's . . .

Prayer does not equip us for greater works- prayer is the greater work.

~ Oswald Chambers


Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

~ 1 Samuel 30:4, The King James Version


When flatterers meet, the devil goes to dinner.

~ English proverb

Friday, November 21, 2008

Confusion in the English Language

Lovers of the English language might enjoy this. It is yet another example of why people learning English have trouble with the language. Learning the nuances of English makes it a difficult language. (But then, that's probably true of many languages.)

There is a two-letter word in English that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is 'UP.' It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends and we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP !

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on & on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now ........ my time is UP , so time to shut UP!

Oh ... one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?


U P

Now I'll shut UP.

Heartlight


VERSE: Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. ~ John 11:21

THOUGHT: If you have ever stood at the grave side of a loved one, this thought probably crossed your mind, too -- if you had only been here, Lord! Where is Jesus when we hurt? Why couldn't he be here to help us? There are a couple of crucial answers to remember. First, Jesus is with us in our moments of loss and grief. The Church is Jesus' Body and every act of kindness, support, comfort, and help is Jesus working to alleviate our grief. Second, while he may not have kept our loved one from passing from this life to the next, he has been the abiding and unbroken presence for each Christian who has died physically. Paul reminds us that when a Christian dies, he or she goes to be with Christ (2 Cor. 5:6-7; Phil. 1:21-23) andGod's loving presence is never lost to him or her (Rom. 8:35-39)!

PRAYER: Holy Father, please help me see Jesus' ministering presence in my times of loss and grief. Help me see him in the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit who abides in me. Help me see him in the acts of love and kindness your people do to help me. In addition, dear Father, please help me see ways that I can serve as Jesus' presence to someone else who is experiencing grief. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Visual Personality

How many of you have taken the visual personality test in the sidebar? I would love to hear your comments. I note that my good friend and fellow blogger "Bama Belle" is a sophisticat like me! Go ahead, have some fun for a minute or two, which about how long this will take you!

The Office Thanksgiving Luncheon

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not a big fan of "covered dish" affairs. Last year, the office Thanksgiving luncheon was held approximately two weeks after I began work here, and being new and virtually a stranger to just about everyone, I made an excuse and went out to lunch, alone, just to avoid it. There have been a few other smaller covered dish lunches, e.g., baby showers, and I participated in perhaps one the whole year.

Here is my problem with covered dish occasions. I have worked all of my life. And I have probably 3-4 occasions on any given day to visit the Ladies Room at the office. Can you imagine how many women, many of them "professionals", that I have witnessed exiting the stall and walking right out the door without washing their hands? This brings to mind a vivid image of that woman at home cooking in her own kitchen. Are the pots and pans clean before use? Did she wash her hands after doing No. 1 or especially No. 2 before handling the food that I'm going to injest? Did she drop a piece on the floor and go by the five-second rule, quickly retrieving it and throwing it back into the mix?

How about this scenario, which actually happened a few years ago. Everyone was bringing in their covered dishes, some needing to be heated. Our steward had set up a microwave oven in the conference room where the food was to be spread out buffet style so that people could warm their food before serving it.

One lady brought some delicious-looking crowder peas. I love crowder peas and there was even cornbread to go with it. She put the bowl of peas in the nuker for a couple of minutes, took them out and stirred them with a plastic spoon. She then used that spoon to take a bite to see if the peas were warm enough. She hesitated a moment and looked as if she were thinking as she chewed. She then stirred the bowl of peas again WITH THE SAME SPOON. This was a pleasant, older woman, but one you could tell was not overly concerned about hygiene, so I was totally turned off by covered dish occasions. You never know how people are going to treat your food in their home, out of sight of any health authority. Everyone saw what she did and the whispers were spreading fast, "don't eat the peas!" I implored everyone to take a spoonful and put them on their plate, but not eat them, just so the poor woman's feelings wouldn't be hurt.

I relented this year. And we just finished our firm's annual Thanksgiving Luncheon. I made fresh green beans and they were exquisite, if I say so myself. We had a smoked turkey and a smoked ham, plus dressing that were all prepared by a caterer. Everything else was brought in by the staff. There was so much food, and even a little spoon of each dish was more than one could put on a plate. Corn pudding, broccoli rice, vegetable casserole, mac & cheese, sweet peas casserole, Greek salad, oriental salad, green bean casserole, potatoe salad, rolls, tea; and the desserts, my goodness. We have one attorney who is a gourmet cook and she made her "famous" pumpkin cheesecake (YUM!), German chocolat cake, pumpkin and pecan pies, pound cake, cheesecake, coconut cake, cookies, homemade carmel squares, and on and on. I've forgotten a lot of things, but needless to say, the emails are flying with hints of siesta time and heading for the barn.

It really was a wonderful occasion and I'm happy that I didn't shy away from the gathering this year. I sat with two female attorneys that I've never had a chance (in over a year) to get to know, and a paralegal who is around the corner from my office. It was the best kind of fellowship, everyone happy, smiles everywhere, and lots of delicious food. I put the image of what may have occurred during preparation of any given dish out of my mind, and just enjoyed it. Hey, I'm sure I'm not gonna die from it!

One step for Abbey, one giant leap for mankind!

Beer Bottle Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How much is my time worth?

I have to rant and rave and get this off my chest. I should probably count myself fortunate because of all the visits that this girl has made to one doctor or the other over the last 4-5 years, I cannot say that I have experience much of a wait.

I made an appointment to see an M.D. this morning. I told nice young lady on the other end of the phone line that I wanted an early appointment since I work and didn't want to be too late. She asked me (yesterday) if I could come today at 8:00 a.m. I accepted the appointment and I was there at 8:00 sharp this morning. By the time I got someone's attention in the reception area, it was 8:15. I heard all about the two receptionists who had gone home ill early yesterday, and neither had shown up yet this morning. The female, who turned out to be one of the doc's nurses, searched around and eventually came up with a "new patient" packet.

By the time I completed the packet, it was 8:45 a.m. First one, and then the second of the two receptionists arrived. Both looked marvelous; why, you could have fooled anyone that they'd ever been ill at all. It was amazing!

I was called to the back office and shown into an examination room aroun 9:00 a.m., told to put on a gown, etc. The nurse returned, asked a few questions and left with "the doctor will be in in a few minutes." Oh Lord. I knew I was in trouble.

For the next HOUR, I sat and listened to the sound of someone's worn high heels, klip-klock klip-klock; and then faster, klip-klock klip-klock klip-klock klip-klock, back and forth they went, all around, never ending. Swirling somewhere in the midst of this most anal noise was the feint sound of a man's voice. Ah ha! 'Tis the doctor, surely it must be! Yes, it is him, but he comes not to my examination room but that of another. I hear cheerful greetings and laughter, the door closes and then just the humming of low voices. At long last, I hear a door open. Surely it is the doctor and he is on his way now. I sit up straight, as I have hung my head and closed my eyes and am close to drifting into some serious z's.

All for naught, for zee doctor does not come to me. I hear him talking and I'm listening intently. I believe he is dictating his notes from the just-ended examination. Yes, that's it. THEN, he shall surely see me next.

In the meantime, I hear a man who is shown into the room next to mine. The walls seem paper thin for this to be the office wherein such confidential exchanges are conducted, but nevetheless, I hear the man and he begins to speak. Ah, he is making a call on his mobile phone. Well, soon as zee doctor sees me, then he can see you, Mr. whoever you are.

Woe is me, I hear the doctor's steps and they move swiftly past my door and what? He has entered the room of the man who has just arrived. I check my watch for the ump-teenth time, and I say to myself AGAIN, ten more minutes and I will have been here two whole hours.

I am thinking of what I shall say when I do see the doctor. Shall I open the door this very minute and announce that I am leaving, that I have been waiting for two hours, two hours since the appointed time that I was given? No. I will wait. And then, I shall look at him when he enters and say what? Maybe, um, maybe I shall give a slight smirk of a smile and tell him that he owes me a discount for my time. No, I'll just be blunt. I'll let him know that my time is valuable and I have been waiting for an inordinant amount of time.

Suddenly, I imagine myself under his care. He has complete control over me and my body, my health and wellbeing. Do I dare to be abrupt and discourteous to him? Fear sets in and I know that if I am honest with my feelings, he may well not do his best job to care for my health.

So, like millions of Americans, I succumb to the poor treatment of a filthy-rich physician, who is taking his time, overbooking, or whatever the reason of which I am not a factor, and I say nothing. I smile and talk with him, and he is pleasant with me. We conduct our business and as he rises to leave, ever so quickly he says "sorry for the wait."

Sorry for the wait. Does that satisfy the economic inconvenience that we suffer? Does it satisfy the feeling that we are given that we do not matter enough to be given due consideration when we are given an appointed time? I dare say that if I had not been on time, or even not shown up at all, the likelihood of my insurance company and myself being billed for that time slot is extremely high.

Just one more teensy little area in the grand scheme of things that is totally screwed up, as it is all over America. So whatcha gonna do, Prez-Elect, about this problem we have here? Something MUST be done about our medical care situation, and I'm not just speaking of affordable healthcare, I am speaking of physicians being held accountable. Americans, we are at the mercy of the hierarchy, and that is anyone, anything that is above what we have and who we are.

This Day's . . .

The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter.

~ Phillips Brooks


I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

~ Revelation 22:13, The King James Version


When I dig another out of trouble, the hole from which I lift him is the place where I bury my own.

~ Unknown

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Change

This came from the Opinion section of the Amarillo Globe News, and was submitted by Guest Columnist, Norma White. I felt it was a fairly accurate summation of the feelings of most Americans today. It was obviously published prior to the election on November 4th.

You want change? Try these ideas
by Norma White

Each presidential candidate is giving his rendition of the changes he wants for America. Here are a few that I believe all Americans want.

  • Limit Congress from serving more than two terms. That is all that presidents are allowed.
  • Stop Congress from voting for their own raises. How did that ever get started?
  • Stop paying for lawmakers' high-priced insurance premiums. After all, they are only part-time employees. They might pass some law changes on the insurance companies if they had to find one.
  • Stop paying lawmakers their full salary after serving just one term, or at retirement. We need to get rid of that pension plan; they've let other companies get ridc of theirs. You were
    lucky to get 40 to 50 percent of your salary after working somewhere for 35 years, but they get 100 percent.
  • Make Congress pay into the Social Security system. They make laws for it. If they spent some of their own money, they might be interested in making it solvent.
  • Stop handing out aid to illegal aliens.
    If we did, then Medicaid and the food stamp program would have enough money to aid the aged and the poor.
  • Secure our borders.
  • Stop allowing babies born to illegal aliens in the United States automatic U.S. citizenship.
  • Stop the abuse of our benevolent welfare system. We feed children free meals three times a day until they are 17. Churches give away good, clean clothes. Companies buy and donate school supplies. Emergency rooms provide health care at taxpayer expense and the food stamp program is buying food at home. What are parents doing for their children?
  • Have a computer program that corss-checks Social Security numbers with fingerprints to stop fraud on many fronts. Use it on voter registration, too.
  • Stop bailing out mortgage companies and banks that give loans to people who cannot afford them.
  • Stop companies from paying CEOs and other executive outrageous salaries and bonuses while doing away with workers' pensions.
  • Stop all unnecessary spending so we will have the money for our nation's security, and to help needy and elderly Americans.
  • Stop permitting anyone to have a photo with their face covered on driver's licenses.

Whoever wins the presidency will not be able to make these changes. Only members of Congress can do this, as they are the lawmakers. I don't believe Congress is interested in changing anything; do you?