Aug 29, 2014 - General    No Comments

Happy Birthday Jeffrey

Well today has arrived, a day 29 years ago that I looked forward to with anticipation, joy and trepidation. Today is Jeffrey’s birthday, he was born 29 years ago and it was a truly joyous occasion. Marred only by the fact he was born with water on his lungs and had to spend 5 days in the neonatal unit.
Jeffrey has always been an old soul, from the very beginning, he was bright, curious, but there was always a look in his eye like he had seen it all before. He would say things that were jaw dropping, like the time he told me he missed Jesus.
I said, what do you mean you miss Jesus; he said you know, that time before I was born and Jesus played ball with me. I miss that.
That almost caused me to drive off the road, when we would drive by the fire station he would tell me he wanted to be the one that worked on the fire trucks. I asked him why he didn’t want to be a fireman; he said that he wanted to make sure the fire trucks always worked so the fireman could be on time to save people.
He was always so smart it was maddening at times, due to the fact he had no interest in school yet could (and still can) speak intelligently on a variety of subjects.
I am so proud of the man he has become; he is intelligent and continually educates himself on current events and politics. He is a truly amazing father, there are times I just watch him with Tessa and am in awe. He has such patience with her, teaching her so many things. Manners, patience, perseverance, helping her with her homework and so many more things.
He comes to my rescue as well; making sure my car is in working order and helping cook family dinners.
So, today, Happy Birthday to you son, I love you beyond measure; you are my heart, my joy and make me proud to be your mother every single day. I am humbled God entrusted me to be your mother.

Aug 25, 2014 - General    No Comments

Growing Up Owasso

As I sit getting a pedicure it seemed like a good time to write. At this moment and time my feet are encased in heated towels and my calves are being massages with hot stones. I have very literally gone to heaven.
Recently I have become a member of a Facebook page dedicated to sharing memories of growing up in Owasso.
You see, we are a unique people, Owassoans, we are loyal, fiercely so, to our city, our fellow graduates and especially the ones who taught us so much.
The posts are bringing back so many memories, Mrs Dunn, one of my favorite teachers. Not only did she foster my love of Shakespeare, she taught us real life skills.
She taught us etiquette, yes, in that small town in Oklahoma we learned which fork was which. We learned proper posture, we walked with books on our heads. Mrs Dunn used to say today you are in Owasso, Oklahoma. Tomorrow you could be dinning at the White House, I want you to be prepared.
Mrs Richie who saw I hated math taught me to balance a check book and told me that I would indeed use math in every day life.
Mrs Farrimond who recognized I loved words more than people at times, was the first to encourage me to write down every thought I had. She told me I was good at it and needed to pursue a career where I could write.
I do believe I shocked her by reading the English lit book at the beginning of the year. Yes the whole book, not just one story, which she discovered after assigning a story the 2nd week in. Telling is to read the story on page 200, and answer the questions in the back. I flipped right to the questions and began answering them.
She was in front of me in a flash demanding to know what I was doing. I said answering the questions, she said I said read first. I said I already did, the look on her face was priceless, she snatched that book up, flipped to a random story and began to ask me questions. I answered every one correctly. She did this 3 times, then she handed the book back, walked off and said I can work with this.
She was so completely awesome, I wish I could tell them all how much they all meant to me, the atmosphere of learning and fun.
I miss Owasso so much at times and long to return, however I know my Owasso does not exist in this world. It was a moment in time that can never be recaptured.

Aug 23, 2014 - General    No Comments

Whatever

Let it go, that is the theme of the day, so many things to let go of, shaking it off and moving on.
I have God, I have coffee and I have the truth, that is all that matters, oh yeah and my amazing children, granddaughter, cousins, nephew one aunt and uncle left, life is good.
I marvel at the goodness that is left in the world, in the face of all of the brutality that is happening in the world, I find myself surrounded by incredibly, genuinely good people. I often say that I am very fortunate at work; I have never sat by anyone I could not get along with. In fact end up being real friends with them; it is awesome to me the people that God puts in my life.
This time at work is no different; we do our work and manage to laugh all day long at some of the silliest things. Sometimes we have a serious conversation and work out some of the things in the world that is weighing on us at the moment. I am fortunate indeed to come into contact with the people around me.
I do not believe in coincidence, luck or happenstance, I believe in the divine and in destiny. I believe I am put into the places and situations I am for a reason, sometimes the reason is clear, others I may never know until I get to ask God in person. By then I may not care, I’ll be too busy, lots of people to hug, praises to sing and golden streets to walk.
Last night another family dinner went down, everyone was here except Alex; he was tired and begged off. Lots of laughter, food, conversation and a general feeling of togetherness. He was missed; I hope he makes the next one.
Tessa spent the night and we watched a movie and two cartoons, her newest cartoon love is Clarence, I don’t know who laughs harder, her or me.
Today will be cinnamon toast and chocolate milk, coffee for me, gotta go, we are hungry. Have a great Saturday, remember, only you have the power to determine what bothers you, what you let go and what you keep.

Aug 14, 2014 - General    1 Comment

My Opinion

My most prized possession is a letter from 1959, May 3rd to be exact. It is a letter written by my grandfather to my grandmother, he was working in the oil fields and they were parted by miles, but not by their hearts. I thought about scanning it and posting it for my family to see, however, some might not be so happy to see what it is in it. I do believe I will keep this one to myself; perhaps I will take it with me to the next family reunion and let people read it. Not touch it or anything, but they can read it.
In the letter he talks about how lonesome he is without her, you see, he never saw her flaws, others did, but he never did. To him, she was simply his Lela; he was her world, which completely imploded the day he left this earth.
Since the announcement of Robin Williams’s death I have been doing a lot of thinking, reflecting, on what really matters on this earth.
Robin Williams seemingly had it all, a thriving career, children that loved him people around the world adored him. Yet with all of that, it could not penetrate the darkness that enveloped his mind.
I will be honest here, I used to think all people who committed suicide went to hell, cut and dried right. It’s what the church has always taught, not just the Catholic Church, all churches have taught that.
Having said that, there are cases where I don’t believe that to be so, allow me to explain. When a persons mind is filled with clouds and is not behaving clearly, we say they are not in their right mind.
If someone is not in their right mind, can they really know what they are doing in that moment of desperateness? My mom had Alzheimer’s; she was not in her right mind a lot of the time towards the end. During one of her moments of lucidity she told me she wanted to go home, I knew what she meant, she wanted to go HOME, to the Lord. I said I know, you will, she looked at me and said I don’t know anymore, I feel it, when I’m not right. What if I do something I shouldn’t? Will I go to hell? The look on her face would have broken the hardest heart in the world, I told her that God knew what she was going through and would not hold it against her if she happened to do something when she wasn’t clear. This reassured her, and I know without a doubt it is true.
God would not hold it against someone what he or she did when they were not in their right mind.
Now comes the judgmental part of me, I believe this for the truly, deeply depressed humans. Not the ones who do it because they are about to be ousted as a misogynistic, womanizing “pretender of the cloth”.
However for the ones that are deeply effected by depression, there is forgiveness, and a welcome home. That is simply my thought on the whole issue, for better or worse that is what I believe.
I firmly believe that God welcomed Robin Williams with a giant hug and gave him the peace he sought on earth.

Aug 10, 2014 - General    No Comments

Soap Box

Real letter in Dear Abby:

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a divorced man, “Chris,” for four years. He has a son who is 16. On the weekends Chris has his son, I become the “invisible girlfriend.” Sometimes the three of us will go to a movie or out to eat, but I am never welcome to spend the night.
Chris and I have talked about living together, but never in depth. Unless I bring it up, he never says anything about it. When Valentine’s Day came around, Chris asked if we could celebrate it a few days late because he was scheduled to have his son that night. I was heartbroken because even a Valentine dinner for the three of us was out.
I am beginning to think there is no future with Chris. He seems fine just dating and seeing me every other weekend as someone to hang out with, but not to commit to. Suggestions? — DISMISSED IN DENVER
DEAR DISMISSED: When you started dating Chris, his son was 12. It seems to me that what he has done is put his parenting responsibilities before anything else, and I respect that.
If romance and marriage are what you’re looking for, I suggest you stop asking Chris about living together and ask instead about whether the two of you have a future. Chris has been treating you like a friend with benefits for four years. The pattern is set and it isn’t likely to change by itself.
Me again, so this dad is doing it right, he is putting his son before his girlfriend, and this woman has issues with this. Wow. That is all I can say, wow. I say kudos to this father for putting his son first, for being a father who is worthy of the name. Father. What this woman wants is a devoted boyfriend, to only her, and if she wants that, she deserves it, however, this man is not the man for her. He is, rightfully, devoted to his son, who did not choose to be in this world.
I want to make this clear, the woman is not selfish, she is simply with the wrong man, I have no idea why she has been with this man for 4 years. She knew up front that his son was going to come first; I cannot imagine he would not have been upfront with that little tidbit. Not with how she describes their four-year relationship, she should have moved on within the first month. I say that because she will never be what she wants to be to this man, number one, she will always come in second. When his son gives him a grandchild, she will become even less of a focus for him, she needs to find someone who will give her the kind of attention she craves.
I think this man is awesome; it is a rare thing in this world where a man puts his child first before a woman. I see it all the time, this woman could have her pick, my BBFF is one of those rare men who puts their child first. He is to be commended for the way he takes the role of dad to the highest level. He gives me hope for fathers everywhere. My son is another; he is devoted to his daughter, and puts her first over women. These two show what it is to be a devoted father, it’s easy to be one when you are married to the mother of the child, you have two parents in the household sharing the responsibilities. When there is only one parent in the household the work and responsibilities and also the joys are there just for you. Going it alone is not the easy road (not that parenting is easy for the married either, just focusing on single parents because it is what I know the best) keeping the course and focusing on your child (or children) is a lonely row to hoe. However, it is worth it, the sacrifices, the nights where you have to do all the work, caring for a sick child, or three at once. When they are adults, and well adjusted, because you made the sacrifices you made, letting them know they are number one, are so worth it all.
For my single parent friends, stay strong, keep the course and never allow society or anyone pressure you into making decisions that would adversely affect your child.

Aug 9, 2014 - General    1 Comment

Happy Birthday Michael

Today is one of the days of the year I don’t look forward to, I wish I did, I should, if things had been different today would be a joyous celebration. Today Michael would have been 30, my son would be turning 30 today, instead he is in heaven with God.
I still remember when he was born, it wasn’t an easy labor, it was a scary one, his heart rate dropped and they had to do an emergency C-Section.
The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck three times; once they got him out he did start breathing. He was beautiful, perfection, all ten toes, all ten fingers and a head full of hair.
We took him home and life was so very perfect, no remnants of the scare when he was born. We played with him, bathed him and fed him, I sang songs to him, his father made up songs to sing to him. I sang Wham songs, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go was our favorite, I would hold him and sing and dance around the house and he would belly laugh. It was glorious, I had 12 weeks of pure, unadulterated joy, he was everything a mother could want.
So on this day, the day I was given such a glorious gift, I celebrate his 12 weeks, I celebrate that God gave me the 12 weeks I had with him. If this had been a different time in history I would not have had any time with him. I will always cherish the time I had, the laughter, the joy, the singing and dancing.
Happy Birthday Michael, I know my mom is making you a cake and you will have the best birthday with your grandparents, great grandparents, throw in one great Aunt Effie and you have a perfect day. I will miss you until the day I join you, then we will celebrate your birthday together.

Aug 3, 2014 - General    No Comments

Thoughts

I awoke this morning to thoughts of perhaps seeing Guardians of the Galaxy again, then decided not to, as I have a lot to do around here to get ready for the upcoming work week. It makes me sad to have responsibilities that keep me away from my hobby, intergalactic space travel, but alas, being a grown up does have its price.
In other news, the original Red Dawn is on television right now, Wolverines! I have an incredible urge to run around the house yelling Wolverines! However, I have kept myself in check and resisted that urge.
I had a glorious week off from work, doing nothing but hanging out with my favorite seven year old. We went bowling, ice-skating and to the pool, we watched her new favorite cartoon every night before bed, while having a snack. I woke to smiles and laughter every morning; I am really going to miss that little girl now that our week is over. I hope I can do the same next summer, a week of being no one but Gigi, I will carry the memory of being able to do this with me for the rest of my life.
Of course I will still be picking her up from school every other Friday, that is not going to change. We will still have fun when I do that, but this was special, I have not gotten to take the week off just to take care of her. What great fun, being a grandparent is so different from being a parent. Everyone should get to experience this in his or her lifetime.
Next week I begin my new tour, we choose every month in this department, it is a little unsettling, because I have learned we also change desks. This makes no sense, it is disruptive to the workday, this plan has massive of unproductive time built right into it. Time the company is actually losing money, who thought of this??? Major Telecommunications Corporation I work for, you need to rethink this plan, it is insanity and not cost effective, nor productivity effective.
On the upside, I did not have to move my desk, as I was gone, my favorite Jose moved my desk and called to tell me where my new seating is. Good thing, I go in at 6am tomorrow morning and would have been wandering around trying to find it. Once again ineffective use of my time, someone really needs to look into this.
I will leave you with this one thought: Wolverines!

Aug 2, 2014 - General    No Comments

Lord Love a Duck

I was just transported to a different galaxy, where a raccoon can be genetically modified and a tree can save lives. It is no secret I am a fan of comic books, it should be no huge surprise when I cart myself off to the nearest movie theater to see the new movie based on comic book characters.
Guardians of the Galaxy did not disappoint my inner geeky girl, she was squealing and hollering at the screen during the whole movie. Thank goodness it is an inner voice, as the other patrons would not have appreciated the noise.
The perfect actors were cast in all roles, it would be hard to imagine anyone other than Zoe Saldana in the role of Gamora, once again she has cemented her complete awesomeness in the geek world. How many Sci-Fi movies can she star in and be completely believable in every one of them? I think it is a moot question, as she is killing it in all of the movies.
Chris Pratt is perfect as Peter Quill, the half human, half alien, abducted as a child, hero.
For anyone who sees the movie, please tell me what you saw in the Collectors exhibit. I know what I saw; I want to know if anyone else saw it as well.
This movie is not only worth the price of admission; it is worth going to see again, and again. So far the only movie I have seen many (i.e. countless) times is The Avengers, I seriously love a deranged Loki. I can’t seem to help myself, I am still convinced if I see it enough times I will be assimilated into the world Joss Whedon created.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a rip roaring good time, after a teary start, we are whisked away on the sounds of pop songs from the 1970’s. What a ride it is, so much so, I immediately downloaded the soundtrack in the parking lot of the movie theater.
Run, do not walk to see this movie, even if you are not a comic book nerd, like myself, you will love this movie.

Jul 27, 2014 - General    No Comments

So Much To Say Today

You never know what you had until it’s gone, that saying irritates me. How can one not know what they have? Are they living in a world so selfish that they can’t see what is right in front of them? Why do people feel the need to throw away everything for something that is fleeting?
I cut my teeth on science fiction; literally, the first television show I have the most vivid memory of is Star Trek, the original, just in case there were questions regarding my age. A follow up on that were old horror movies on Saturday afternoons, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff were the order of the day. I was transported to a different place, a different time. Both futuristic and in the past, different planets, different continents, it was a unique way to grow up.
I learned so much from watching these shows, differences were to be celebrated not feared, what some see as monstrous, others see as miraculous. Fear incites atrocious behavior, and being a blood-sucking creature is bad.
Being human has its downfalls, we are fraught with frailties beyond the physical, what we don’t understand we ridicule and sometimes literally beat to death. What a horrific way to live, constantly fearing what one doesn’t understand, what is different.
I, for one, don’t understand it, when I was in elementary school I didn’t think I was human due to what I had watched at an early age. I didn’t think like everyone else, I craved the unknown, I wanted to be different, I knew I didn’t want to be one of the villagers killing the “monster”. When all along the monster was inside of them, the villagers were the monster, as I got older I realized that as a human I have the ability to not become one of them. I had the ability to make a choice, to become something else, someone else, embracing differences.
Yes, I was the weird kid in school; never quite fitting in, I read a lot, A LOT, as Tammi can tell you. I have always said whatever popped into my head; I have learned to temper that with a little common sense. I wore what I wanted, I didn’t follow the crowd, I was a fully functioning human at a young age.
I wasn’t bullied, because, well honestly, I was a little scary, ok, more than a little, I could take up for myself and didn’t put up with anything. I didn’t care what people thought about me and didn’t care what they said about me.
I honestly don’t understand why parents are not teaching their children to stand up for themselves against bullies, and I don’t understand how I have digressed into this topic. However, while I am here, people, teach your children fortitude, teach them that their differences are to be celebrated and teach them to stand up for themselves, where they can. I am not speaking about children who have disabilities, I am talking about the children that are for all intents and purposes, “normal” I use quotation marks because I really have no definition of what normal is, but in this instance I am speaking to the ones that have no physical limitations, no emotional limitations and are not fighting a learning disability.
For the parents of the bullies, what is wrong with you? You know your kid is mean! They had to learn it somewhere, I am guessing at home, since that is where I learned to stand up for people who have a hard time standing up for themselves. My grandpa taught me that, take a stand, don’t allow anyone to run over you or anyone else.
Isn’t that what this country was founded on, taking a stand? Standing up for the “little” guy and ourselves?

Jul 24, 2014 - General    No Comments

Eat Some Worms

I was standing in the kitchen when I had a sudden memory of my grandmother, I was about 4 or 5 and I wanted something in the kitchen. I don’t remember what, but knowing me, it was probably a cake she had just made. She told me no, I told her she hated me, nobody loved me. She stopped, turned, looked at me and began to sing, Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I’ll go eat worms. I just stared at her, then burst out laughing and skipped outside to presumably find worms.
There is no one that loves us more when we are at our most ridiculous like family. I have since sung that song many times and it has always brought a smile to my face.
The more I look back, the more I know how my grandparents and great aunt Effie formed who I became in those first years they raised me. Yes, raised, I didn’t simply grow up; they raised me to become a responsible adult. A contributing member of society, a proud American, a vocal Christian and someone who stands up for those who can’t stand for themselves.
Someone who doesn’t back down from life, who faces the challenges head on and makes difficult decisions. I look at society today and wonder where the parents went? When did raising children to become adults go away? Where did these parents come from that believe children are born knowing all they need to know? Do they not realize if they don’t teach them morals, dignity, grace under pressure, how to think for themselves, no one will?
I take Tessa to places and am blown away by the way parents do not watch their children at these places. I am also blown away by the bad manners of these parents as well, their parents were also lacking in the skills necessary to raise adults, apparently.
My grandfather taught me such a strong sense of what it means to love this country, while my grandmother taught me how to wither someone with just a look, and that food meant love. My great-aunt Effie taught me that in all things love really is the answer. Whether it is to admonish someone for bad behavior or to simply helping a stray animal.
They were the first three adults in my life; the things I learned from them are standing the test of time.

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