Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
There is still a little friction at times:
Fred in the basket
That's my basket!
This settled without fur flying, but it was pretty tense for a while.
Fred in some of his quiet moments.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
paraphrase, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
When I decided to add another cat to my household, I thought I had carefully considered all the pros and cons. One that I didn't consider was that two cats is not destruction doubled, it is cubed at the least. Bella is not a morning "person." She likes to ease into the day and is really ready to rock when I get home at 3:30. On the other hand, Fred appears to be, so far anyway, an all day "person." Ready to rock at the drop of a mouse. That means in the morning, we have lots of turmoil, with Fred trying to play with Bella and Bella reacting strongly.
Then there is the fact that Bella is a dainty, graceful, 5 1/2 pound female who never (or rarely) misses what she jumps for, balances on the narrowest ledge, and has done little damage in the house.
On the other hand, Fred is a klutz of a teenager and utterly fearless when it comes to trying leaps, often falling flat on his face, back, whatever with a loud "thump." Put them together and you have havoc.
The only casualty so far is a ceramic lamp that got knocked off the table with damage to the decorative parts of it and a bent harp. That is only because many of the things I have in the living room are wood or cooper, and the cooper is all antique so another dent doesn't even show. I have my great grandmothers mantel clock stuck to the shelf with museum putty and hope it is as good as advertised. I guess I will have to do the lamps that way also until they get over (hopefully) this initial stage of low grade warfare.
But with all that, I have never laughed as much in my life and I am not the least bit sorry that Fred has come to liven up our lives. It will keeps us from getting stodgy.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Fred is a real lap cat. He thinks no lap should be wasted, and last weekend when my Aunt Mackie stayed with me, he would sit on her lap for a while and then move to mine. Bella just lay in her chair and watched it all with wide eyes. A couple of times when he would leave my lap she would come over and sit for a minute as though she was reminding everyone that she had first rights to this particular lap.
I have had one battle fought over my body, in bed. I just pulled the duvet up over my head and let them sort out who would lie where.
I would take some pictures, but they move too fast.
Fred is afraid of the funniest things. I have a litter pan cover that looks like a planter with a fake plant on the top. He kept trying to jump into it and falling, so I took the plant out of the top and put it on the floor. He stalked it for about 30 minutes before pouncing on it and it is now his favorite thing to hide in. I think he is pretending to be a tiger, although I never saw a black tiger with a white blaze on his nose.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I was beginning to worry about how I was going to get him back in the bedroom before I left when he obliged by walking in to his food dish. So I shut the door on him, to his somewhat vocal objections.
I think this is going to work!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
After I got home from church I went in and although he hissed at me when I got too close, he couldn't resist the feather on a stick I had and he played with me for a good while. But no more ear scratching.
Bella keeps going to the door and trying to put her paw under it--I am unable to determine just what that means!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Then, although I had a plan about what I was going to do when I got home, I didn't follow it, which caused much more confusion.
I had planned to take him directly to the guest room where there was a litter pan, toys, food, water, the curtains all pulled open so he could see out, etc. and leave him there to recover from the trip. But he was so distressed that I made the mistake of letting him out of the carrier in the sitting room. Bella immediately came up to investigate and he went up to her to touch noses and she hissed and spit at him. Smart boy, he just backed up from her, but they then spent the next several hours glaring at each other across the room in the living room. I was afraid to try to pick him up to put him in the guest room because I got hissed and spit at by both of them if I even went near them.
So, come bedtime, I took Bella (with a litter pan) into my bedroom and closed the door, letting him have the house to himself.
Things were no better this morning, but fortunately about 9:30 he decided to explore the guest room and I was able to close the door. When I checked on him an hour later, he was curled up on the pillows in the sun, napping.
I have gone into the room several times during the day and sat in the chair and read for a while. The first time I went in he ran and hid. The second time he jumped off the bed and watched me. The last two times he stayed put, and just watched me closely. I guess I have to get him used to me before I will try again with Bella who is being a witch. If I stay in the room too long with him, she comes to the door and starts scratching, he goes to the door and they hiss at each other through the crack at the bottom.
I think he is not as socialized as Bella was, of course, she was only about 2 months old and he is six months old. So I guess a strange house, a strange person, and an unwelcoming cat would be enough to put anyone out of sorts.
I think he has been named. June commented on the way back yesterday (she went along for the ride), that he looked like Fred Astaire because he was dressed in his tuxedo and spats. So I guess he is Fred--not the poetic name I was dreaming up but more and more he does seem like a Fred.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock has a tradition going back many years concerning All Saint's Day. On the Sunday before All Saint's, the children of the parish gather after church to make banners commemorating those who have died during the previous year. Then at the All Saint's Service and on the Sunday closest to All Saint's Day, the children carry these banners in procession with the choir (sometimes a rather amusing event), and the banners are hung around the sides of the nave. After the Sunday service, the banners are given to the family of the departed.
This is Daddy's banner from All Saint's Day 2004, They took my description of him as a gardener quite literally, hence the many flowers and veggies, along with the tools of his trade.
This is Mother's banner from this year. It has books and flowers on it. It was carried in the procession by Natalie Pettit, the granddaughter of a friend of mine. Natalie is six and not a very outgoing child, and Joan (my friend) was delighted when Natalie said she would carry a banner this year. She made two practice runs before church. Since the banners go in in alpha order she found out at the last minute that she would be the first one. The banner kept waving in the breeze and she kept tweeking it back into place, it was all I could do not to laugh, she was so intent on keeping it facing forward that she forgot to be scared.
As a part of the service the names of all those remembered including those from years past were read by our Vicar, more than a hundred of them. He did it perfectly, each name got the same amount of time and emphasis and he did not hurry through any of them, the last one was read the same way as the first.
After the service we had a reception in the gallery with food and wine (for the adults) and punch for the children and the drivers.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
You may have read or heard on the national news the story of the local TV anchorwoman who was brutally beaten in her home. After clinging to life for several days, she died Saturday evening.
I don't claim to be a friend of hers, although I would have liked to. I did have several encounters with her over the past couple of years that lead me to believe that she was an extraordinary young women. In the summer before my mother died, I began to go to our 6:00 p.m. Sunday Eucharist service, which is followed at 6:45 by Compline. Compline is the last prayers of the day and at Christ Church they are sung by an a cappella choir with sometimes heart wrenching beauty. One of those Sunday evenings, as I was leaving after the service, I noticed a young woman who had been sitting directly behind me that I did not know. I introduced myself and welcomed her. She introduced herself in turn and it was Anne. She was filling in at 5:30 for the regular Sunday evening anchor and had dropped in for Compline on her break because she had not been able to go to church that day.
I continued to see her occasionally at Compline and she came into the Bookstore a couple of times for cards or small gifts for co-workers.
Anne was one of those people who make immediate connection with you. She was full of life and promise having just been promoted to a morning show where she did all sorts of weird things with unfailing humor and laughter.
So today, along with many other people in this small community Arkansas, I grieve for her.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Well I didn't get off the train yesterday and I did not click here. I immediately backed up vital programs and then started trying to get the thing off. After running the two programs I had installed for removal of such things with no success, I called a friend in the computer business. He came by Wednesday morning and ran a couple more cleaning programs with no success. He then called other people who gave him other advice, but in the long run, Thursday afternoon we gave up and reformatted the hard drive.
I don't ordinarily come into the store on Friday since I have a volunteer and I decided to just leave everything until Monday. However, about 10:15 my volunteer called to say that she could not find the key to the cash register. It was not where it was supposed to be and she had looked every where. Since I was just getting ready to head in her direction I passed by the Bookstore and opened the cash register with my key and made another search. We have yet to find the key. Everyone claims no knowledge and I was the last one to see it because the Sunday volunteer had left it in the cash register and I found it Monday morning and put it in the drawer. So add that stress to the computer thing.
Monday morning to began assembling all the softwear I had to put back on and spent all of the day doing just that. I put the last piece on this morning, restored my backed up data, and am sort of back into business. Unfortunately, Outlook cannot "locate my email server" so I have no email, but that is minor compared to almost a week's worth of bookkeeping I have to do and a bank deposit.
Right in the middle of that I got a statement from one of my book suppliers noting that I had a rather large balance that was 120 days overdue! The invoice numbers on the statement matched nothing in my files so I called them and spent 45 minutes going over purchase orders and invoices, only to have the person I was talking to finally say she didn't know where the information on the statement came from and I should disregard it. I told her to send me a fax saying that--I have had dealings with their accounts receivable department before. Unfortunately, this suppliers is one I can't quit on, they are my supplier for Episcopal prayer books, liturgical supplies, etc. and while I could get all those things somewhere else, not with the 46% discount I get from them.
The strange thing through all this I still love being here. I think it is because even with problems, they are mine to solve with no one second guessing me or trying to tell me how to do it.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I called 911 to find that I was not the first to report it. I then started thinking about getting out of the house. Of course, the first item was to get Bella in her carry case before I spooked her and she went under a bed somewhere. That accomplished, I started getting clothes out, but before I could do more than pull on my jeans under my robe, there was a knock on the front door. It was policeman telling me I had to leave. He said I could take my car so I just grabbed Bella, the clothes I had gathered up, my purse, and got in the car and left. I went to cousin JS's house, where we stayed until after lunch when I finally got to come home.
I learned from a neighbor that it took the gas company almost 3 hours to get there, which seemed a little extreme for me, even on a Sunday. Don't they have emergency on-call lists?
Then we had a some good news. Victoria Lillian made her appearance at about 4:30 p.m. weighing in a 6 lb 2 oz, even though she was several weeks early. All appears well but they were going to keep her in the NICU overnight to evaluate her breathing.
In the midst of all this, one of my other niece's, was in the hospital with a problem that required some surgery. Since she has just moved to a new town and knows no one, I am flying out this morning to keep her company while she recuperates. That means Bella will have to go back into the dreaded carry case two times in that many days.
I have packed her food, dish, and some toys in a shopping bag and she has already taken the toys out twice. So I have just left them on the floor until we get ready to leave for the airport.
Fortunately I have a volunteer who loves to work in the Bookstore and she will cover as much of my absence as she can. I went in last night and got the bank deposit ready for today and did as much as I could on a Sunday evening. I ended my day with Compline which is sung at 6:45 on Sunday evenings at Christ Church. This always soothes my spirit and I was able to come home and finish packing and sleep last night without worrying unduly about anyone.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I noticed that the great ditch across my front yard has sunken in places, which means I will have to get someone to bring in some dirt and fill it in a little. I may be able to move enough dirt around to take care of the problem. I have transplanted some clumps of Bermuda grass onto the bare dirt from various places in the yard hoping it will cover it. If not, I guess I'll have to sow a little rye grass to keep it from washing away this winter.
The Vestry met Monday night and I have now moved, in the words of our Vicar, from being "unpaid" to being "underpaid." Since I was the one who set the salary, I don't feel particularly underpaid, it is what the Bookstore can support. It is interesting, tho, how now being paid for doing the job changes the dynamic. Before this happened I had a comfortable bank balance and could order anything I thought would be nice for the store. I now have a budget and I have to watch the bottom line pretty closely. It does make me more conscious of what I buy. So far most of my purchases have sold, if not rapidly, at least eventually. I just put in a big order for books for Advent and Christmas and I still have to get some Christmas cards.
I continue to look for a sister for Bella, she hates being home alone. When I come in after work, she is usually lying against the front door waiting for me, particularly if I am later than usual.
The breeder I got her from doesn't have another female right now but expects to have at least one new litter later this year and has said I can have the pick. So maybe I'll give Bella a Christmas present!
Monday, August 11, 2008
It is predicted that this state of affairs will continue through today and into tomorrow. The high temps in the 80s instead of the 90s and 100s we have been having feels like fall is already here. Of course, people who don't believe in global warming think this is proof. Those of us who think there is probably something to believe about all the scientific hype and who have read up on the subject, realize that global warming causes climate change-- up and down. Somthing to think about while enjoying this cool break. Because it will get hot again.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
She had her head and one leg through the handle and was dragging that pair of socks around trying to get out!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day
Not only did they use it, they edited it! Talk about arrogance.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I worked late at the bookstore and was coming come in a rainy twilight when the clouds in the west broke and the setting sun peaked through. Just as I came over the top of a hill I looked out to the east over a field with a tree line at the back to see a rainbow. It appeared to be rising up out of the trees and did not go high enough to actually form a bow, but there it was in the dusky rainy early evening, God's promise to the world "and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh."
I would imagine that promise is a little hard to believe for the people of this state who have been flooded out of their businesses and homes--with 3-5 more inches of rain promised for today and tomorrow.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I quickly grabbed the portable radio, Bella's carry case, my purse and a telephone and we piled into the walk in closet in the guest room. It is the most inside room in the house and hence the safest place to ride it out. I have a stool in there and lots of pillows, blankets, etc. that are stored there. I put Bella in her carry case and we got set to wait it out. For the non-cat people reading this, cats freak out when their house blows away around them and frequently are never found, so I wanted to be sure she was closed up. The thunder got closer and closer and there was one particularly close lightening/thunder episode and then it was over and on its way toward JW and her family. I was not too worried about them, they have a safe room in the garage and use it when necessary. It was a little scary when I heard that the storm was moving right up route 107 which goes by their house.
Right at the end of our storm, the lights went out and that was when I discovered that in my haste I had forgotten to bring a flashlight with me. So we sat in the total dark for a few minutes. I felt a little pat on my ankle and put my hand down and Bella had her front paw stuck out through the grille door on her case and was patting me.
When we came out and I turned the TV on, I found out that there was significant damage in a neighborhood very close to my cousin and I called them to be sure they were okay.
I also discovered on the TV that the storm that had just gone by us was out in front of the main squall line and we had more coming in another hour of so. In fact, it was after midnight before things calmed down enough that I felt comfortable in getting undressed and going to bed. Then just before 5:00 this morning I was waked up by the sound of thunder and we had another little session.
We had 3 inches of rain in my area, and a lot fell on those areas of the state that are already under water. There was significant damage in a bedroom community about 20 miles to the west of Little Rock and in a neighborhood in Little Rock fairly close in. But thankfully no serious injuries or deaths. That can be attributed in a large part to the fact that the radio and TV stations do such a good job of warning people.
So since March 1, Arkansas weather has been:
Makes me wonder why I live here--but not for long. Mild winters, long hot summers, warm, welcoming, friendly people, low housing cost, a growing economy, and a dropping unemployment rate. I could do a lot worse!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Spring has arrived in Arkansas, both officially and weather wise. It is hard to believe that the tulip magnolia that was covered in snow only two weeks ago is in its full glory in spite of heavy rains and wind. The little purple flowers that the lawn man calls "winter weeds" and I call spring flowers are thick in parts of my yard. He wants to cut them or spray them or something lethal, but I told him to leave them alone. It isn't as if I had real grass out there, and when you look down on them from the porch it is like a purple carpet.
With all the special services at the church for Holy Week, bookstore sales have been doing very well. I have all the Easter items on sale and have sold nearly all of it, even some of the very tacky things that I thought would never sell.
The NCAA is in town for some of its basketball games and everyone is going wild trying to make a good impression so they will come back again. So March madness is in full swing and I for one am glad. I am too cautious, however, to plant anything yet, I will wait for April 15 as recommended by the Extension Service. That doesn't stop me from drooling over various plants at the garden center and I may be forced to buy something and nurture it on the sun porch until it is safe to put it out.
Friday, March 7, 2008
The very old native holly at the other corner of the house is full of berries this year and the contrast with the snow is beautiful. I suspect it was planted when the house was built in 1957 and it continues to thrive even though it was planted too close to the carport and my neighbors have a privacy fence that crowds it on the other side. The beauty of native plants is that they manage to adapt to the circumstances.
I am sitting at my computer looking out into the back yard where the show is still falling, slowly at times, but right now very heavily being driven by a north wind so that it looks like real winter weather. It is supposed to taper off but it has started sticking to the streets and the temperature has dropped to 32 degrees and going further, so tomorrow is going to be difficult if you need to get out, which I do. I have a volunteer work day planned at the bookstore and I really hate to have to cancel it, particularly since I am not sure who is planning to come. I guess I will just have to play it by ear.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Because of the office atmosphere around me, I decided to retire again, making it retirement #2. I started my own business and found that it is true about being a small business owner, you can work half a day--and you get to decide which 12 hours that will be. So after several years of that, when Daddy died, I retired again, #3.
I soon realized that I would not survive without some intellectual stimulation and let one of my former clients talk me into coming back to work for her on a contract basis. That worked well for several more years, but this year while doing the annual mail out for the membership directory, I realized that I was sick of dealing with all the incompetent people that doctor's hire to run their offices, so, although I have not broken the news to my client, I have just gone into retirement #4.
As most of you know, back in December I took on a volunteer job at my church, running our book/gift store. It had gotten into a financial and physical mess over the past several years and was in danger of going under. The deal was five hours a day weekly and a little time on Sunday around the 10:30 service, for which I have a couple of volunteers that take one Sunday a month. Of course that rule about part-time work kicked in and I have been putting in 8 and 9 hour days, but I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have recruited more volunteers, done a complete physical inventory, and unloaded some of the worst of the gift items to various charity thrift stores, 75 stuffed animals went to various children's home, hospitals, some to the police to carry in their trunks for traumatized children, etc.
I have the bank balance back up where I don't worry about paying bills, and have discovered some rather sizeable credit balances with two of our main book distributors so things are looking up. I have begun to buy some jewelry and unique gift items. I went to the annual convention last weekend and sold lots of stuff, had a good time, and met lots of people. I haded out 75 business cards with all the contact info on them and have already had two people call with requests for special orders (an area where we make a lot of money).
So I am on career change number 5--anyone out there who can beat that?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
As sung by Bing Crosby
Last night I was sitting at my computer checking email, with the radio tuned to a local "golden oldies" station when I heard this song. It has been running through my mind ever since, although in my mind's eye it seems to be Rosemary Clooney singing it instead of Bing. (I realize I have just dated myself pretty well for those of you who don't know my age.)
And I started counting my blessings:
Besides the obvious ones, a warm house, plenty of food, clothes for all occasions, etc. I have some more intangible blessings that I sometimes overlook.
My closest parental relationship through life was always with Daddy. I guess part of it was from being the oldest, the only girl, and the fact that I never married so that "home" was always wherever Mother and Daddy were. But after Daddy died, when I started caring for Mother, we became closer than we had ever been, and that made it possible for me to let her go when her time came, with no regrets about what might have been.
Although most of my family is scattered across the country, I have a brother who when he saw a national news story about bad weather in Arkansas called me to check on me.
I have a church "family" that knows my name. Don't ever discount the importance of the fact that non-family members know who you are. If you name something, it is yours. I never realized how many people at my church knew who I was until Mother died. I got cards from people that I could not put faces on without referring to the church photo directory. And now that I am working in the bookstore, I encounter people on a daily basis who know who I am.
And speaking of the bookstore, how many people at my stage of life get the opportunity to try new things--and I have two new challenges. I am managing a retail operation that in its best times paid a fulltime manager and still came out in the black. My goal is to get it back to that stage, although with the changing economic climate, I don't know how successful I will be. I will at least get it cleaned up and inventoried!
And I have the chance to try my hand at editing some fiction, something else new for me. I guess every reader thinks they know how it should be done, and I am getting the opportunity to see if I really do.
So as we begin the holy season of Lent, I am going to follow the calendar supplied with my mite box because it will certainly help anyone count their blessings. See calendar at: http://www.christchurchlittlerock.org/Outreach%20Calendar1.pdf
Sunday, February 3, 2008
We have been having fairly typical Arkansas winter weather the past couple of weeks. One day with a high of 73 and then the next day we barely got above freezing. It was cold Thursday, warm Friday and Saturday, it is raining today and supposed to get cold again tonight. I like to lay my clothes for the next day out before I go to bed at night and at least three times lately I have had to redo it the next morning because of the change in the weather.
We having a raging controversy going on here about a U S Department of State employee whose wife is in a permanent vegetative state and he claims that the State Department has not kept promises made about medical care. She had a heart attack and fell down in the street in some underveloped African country. Her brain was deprived of oxygen for quite a while due to the circumstances of the attack. They used a special treatment in South Africa and then again when she got back to Arkansas that supposedly brought her out of the coma, but her insurance would not continue paying for it because they said she was not actually improving.
Anyway to make a long story short, the employee says that he was promised free medical care (to listen to him for life!) when he was hired by the State Dept. What no one (including this man) seems to understand is that the medical program of the State Department covers employees and their dependents overseas, but in the US they have to have health insurance. Also, State Department coverage for things when you come back to the US is for "service connected disabilities" and that does not mean the heart attack you had in Timbucto. It means injuries sustained from a bomb thrown at the embassy, or injuries sustained in an automobile accident when you are on travel orders, or illness from being stationed where some weird disease breaks out.
It drives me crazy the way our culture has decided that "the government" should take care of everything and protect from everything. Whatever happened to personal responsbility!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
On Sunday she finally figured out that she could jump from the window sill to the mantel. It is pretty high and that jump is sort of around the corner of the chimney, but having made it once, she has done it over and over. The first thing she did was explore and check out everything I have on the mantel. Then, deciding there wasn't enough room to lie down, she proceeded to kick a pair of bronze candlesticks off. When she started getting too familiar with my great grandmother's mantel clock, I decided to move it. That gave her ample room to lounge, which she is now doing, waiting for me to tell her to get down.
Nothing in my house that is high has anything on the top. The bookcases have bare top shelves, the filing cabinets in the office have to be empty, and now the mantel is partially denuded.
But the cutest thing was this morning. Since I have been going to work at the bookstore 4 or 5 days a week, she has been alone more than she likes. Actually, being alone at all is more than she likes. This morning, when I started to leave I didn't see her anywhere and I figured she was sulking somewhere. But as soon as I opened the front door, she came out from under the chair by the door, with her favorite mouse in her mouth--packed and ready to go.
I had to put everything down and play with her for a few minutes before leaving. She has now moved from the mantel to my lap and is kneading my arm on the inside of the elbow making it very diffcult to type.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I knew I was in trouble when I saw the parking lot, I had to park at the very end, about as far from the entrance as you can get. Ordinarily I don't consider that a problem, but Saturday was very cold and windy and the walk into the store was not pleasant. Neither was the shopping. It was very crowded and everyone was driving their carts at top speed and I nearly collided with two or three people just trying to navigate through the pharmacy department.
But it wasn't until I finished my shopping and started to the check out that the real trouble began. They had many checkout lines open but you have to be very careful or you end up in a "20 items or less" line, or a self-check line, both of which I could not or would not use. I finally spotted a line with one person just finishing and only one other in line and I zoomed up to take my place.
The person just infinishing was trying to use a card of some sort, credit or debit or possibly even food stamps, but every time he put his PIN in, the computer would refuse it and print out a little strip of paper the cashier would hand to him. I assume that was supposed to save him the embarrassment of having her announce to the world what the problem was. He kept insisting that the number he was using was correct and swiping his card and going through the whole thing again. After about the third time, I looked behind me to see if I could get out and find another line only to discover there were three people behind me and no way to leave the line without making a huge fuss. Finally the cashier called in a supervisor, who did little to help the situation, just going through the swipe, PIN input, print out the little sheet several more times.
It was only after about the third or fourth time with the supervisor that she finally did what she should have done in the first place, she cleared the sale from that position and took the poor man off somewhere to sort things out.
Then the man in front of me decided to pay for his puchases with the exact change which involved digging in his pockets, his wife's purse, etc. to find the exact coins. I was tempted to hand him my change purse but decided that would only probably delay things more.
The only thing that could have made it worse would have been that I had something that didn't have a bar code but I guess that has been saved for another trip, because I finally got checked out and headed to the car. When I got there some idiot had squeezed into a non-parking space next to me, making it impossible for me to get the driver's side door open. So after loading my groceries, I had to get in the passenger side and climb over the gearshift to get into my seat. Of course, just as I managed that, the person came back to his truck!
Trying always to look on the bright side of things, I suppose I should be thankful that at the advanced age of 71 I can still climb over the gearshift!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
1. In my mind I have a grand voice, a la Kiri TeKanawa or Maria Callas. In fact I have a small, well trained boy soprano type voice well suited for choral music, but in the choir or in church or anywhere I am singing, my inner ear hears grand, glorious notes soaring ever upward!
2. In all those years (30+ ) that I was traveling around the world to new assignments, I was secretly terrified every time I took off for a new place. I never admitted that fear to anyone, but many times only the fear of embarrassing myself made me continue with the plans for the assignment. In the beginning it was only a fear of something new and different and that was easily overcome, but for my last few assignments it became real fear of survival, particularly after I had to leave Bogota because of kidnapping threats against me. To read your own name in a intelligence report is pretty gut wrenching!
I never thought of myself as particularly courageous over all that, I was of course doing something I wanted to do and could have stopped at any time, but looking back on it sometimes I am amazed at what I survived and still kept doing it! Coups, earthquakes, pestilence (yellow fever and cholera epidemics in Nigeria), narcotrafficantes, civil war, mortar attacks, CODELS (congressional delegations), and TRAFFIC!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I spent New Year's Eve with friends. We began by walking the labyrinth at Christ Church, in candlelight with soft music in the background, all with our individual prayers for the new year.
The origins of the labyrinth are lost in the mists of time (I guess one of my new year's resolutions should be to abandon cliches), but in modern times many churches have them. They are a way to concentrate your attention in prayer or meditation. Several years ago when Christ Church restored our then "gym" into now "Bowen Hall," we decided to have a labyrinth painted on the floor. It is open on Friday evenings for anyone to come and walk it for whatever mental exercise it brings to the surface. For me, sometimes I never get my mind to focus on any one thing, but lately I have found it easier to concentrate on meditation or prayer. Maybe because my life has become simpler and more focused on me.My prayers last night were for peace in the world, especially the Middle East, and in thanksgiving for my family and friends.