Sunday, March 30, 2008
Likewise, I have some big daffodils blooming. I never noticed how big they were before. Remember the little yellow ones a few posts ago? Smaller than a quarter? Well, here are some little whites, also about the same size as a quarter.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Grandma introduced me to Mr. Common Sense early in my life and told me I would do well to call on him when making decisions. It seems he was always around in my early years but less and less as time passed by. Today I read his obituary. Please join me in a moment of silence in remembrance, for Common Sense served us all so well for so many generations.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer an Aspirin, sun lotion or a bandaid to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. Duh. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm a Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. And say a prayer for all of us.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
For the first 50 years or more of my life, I was always the helper, the fixer, the chauffeur, the care giver. For most of those years I was the youngest by at least 40 years, often more. If somebody needed to have something done, if I didn’t volunteer, someone volunteered me. If anyone had to go someplace, guess who drove? My grandparents raised me, by example, to be a helper, a good neighbor, to look out for those who were unable to do for themselves. I tell you this not to brag, but to explain how hard it is to sit back now and let people do for me. And “asking” someone to do something for me is almost an impossibility. You would think having spent so much time in the wheelchair I would have gotten better at asking, but, no, in fact it has pushed me even harder to get up on my feet and do it for myself, whatever it is. The brain is still 25 and is shocked daily to find that the body is not going along with that concept. Well, crap!
Twenty three years ago I moved down the street to a tiny house in the woods that is really kind of isolated for being in the town limits. I can see only one neighbor’s house, the one across the street, and even that one nearly disappears in the summer when the leaves come out. A few years ago I was able to see my neighbor’s house that is behind me thru the woods. We both had to have our pine trees cut down – pine bark beetle. It seemed so strange to be able to see a house back there. Today, as the new trees grow up, only the roof is visible, but I can hear Frank when he is mowing his grass.
I guess I can thank George W Bush for bringing Frank into my life. Even though we had been neighbors for years, we never “formally” met until I decided to explore the Democratic Party, turning my back on the party I had been raised with from my birth. Frank and his wife have become wonderful neighbors. I could not ask for better.
Last year, in March, I posted an article about being blessed with having Frank for my neighbor, and posted my first dirty pictures on here – pictures of my freshly tilled garden. It had been a dream of mine to have my own garden for years, and now that I had the time, I didn’t know how my body would be able to do it. I had purchased a Mantis several years ago thinking it was small enough and light enough to handle. A friend put it together for me and there it sat in my barn gathering dust. I had almost given up that dream when along came Frank with his cultivator and voila! I had a plowed garden just waiting for me to plant my seeds!
When I came home from a meeting yesterday afternoon, there was a message on my machine from Frank asking if he could come and till my garden. It was still kind of cool yesterday, in the 50s, and he thought it would be a good day to get the job done. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 70s. He didn’t expect to have to take the axe to a huge root that had worked its way up almost to the surface! Bless his heart and aching muscles! What a job it turned out to be. I felt so guilty watching him battle with that root!
I did talk him into trying out my Mantis, so now it looks at least slightly used! Much better to have some dirt on it and not just dust and cobwebs! I confess, I did try it out in a tiny area after Frank had plowed it up once, just to see if I could do it. Well, I can’t say I can, but I won’t say I can’t just yet. I will have to try it again. He did agree, once that root was out of there, the Mantis was fun to use. Well, maybe he didn’t use the word fun… I forget exactly what he said…
I know lots of people who just sit back and expect the rest of the world to do things for them. They have no problem asking for whatever they need – or want. I am not one of those people. I am posting this so Frank will know just how much I appreciate all he does for me. Just knowing he is my neighbor gives me a sense of comfort. Just to know I could actually ask his help is a wonderful thing. Thanks Frank!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
And, of course, the ones that have been blooming since December... I hope you enjoyed my babies! I just realized, I have at least a dozen white bushes, and not one picture of any of the white camellias. Well, duh! And, I have company so I have run out of time....
Saturday, March 22, 2008
We all have heroes, some of us have many, some only a few. Some are part of our everyday lives, relatives, if we are lucky, neighbors, teachers, people with whom we have had real life contact. Some of our heroes are examples we probably will never meet. But all of them become our heroes because they inspire us to be better than we might otherwise be, to do more, to push a little bit harder, to overcome the things in life that we perceive as hurdles, to be better people. I have, in the past, mentioned some of my great inspirations, starting with my grandmother who raised me. But today I want to honor a couple of women I have never met, will never meet, but they inspire me to get up off my lazy butt and keep pushing, even when it means pushing the walker to get from point A to point B.
As some of you know, the only “sport” I faithfully follow and can quote the stats for is the Iditarod. It is a grueling dogsled race across some of the world’s most beautiful and awesome terrain from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, and it takes place the first couple of weeks in March. Now the true athletes here are the dogs. The people are just along for the ride… well, and to feed them, rub their little feet, and protect them from angry moose. Over the years I have become friends with one of the mushers and have learned much about the care of the dogs. Anyway, I will share a newspaper article about this year’s last place winner in the Iditarod. Now if that sentence did not make any sense, let me explain – anyone who travels 1,100+ miles across the Alaskan wilderness with a team of dogs, is out in the snow and ice for more than a week (the first place winner usually makes it in 9 ½ days) is a WINNER! You can say what you want… you try it and tell me you are a loser after traveling 1.131 miles by dogsled in 2 weeks. See what I mean? Anyway, this year’s Red Lantern winner was a 62 year old woman, Deborah Bicknell, my newest hero.
“The second time proved to be the charm for Bicknell, who returned to the Iditarod in 2008 after enduring a day-long adventure last year lost in a blizzard and drenched by a slip in the Kuskokwim River in the heart of the Alaska Range. This year, Bicknell helped a couple of other mushers — Liz Parrish and Molly Yazwinski — and wound up getting the honor of being last across the finish line when Yazwinski scratched and Parrish’s stronger team surged ahead.”
Bicknells’ eight-dog team trotted under the burled arch about 8:30 p.m. Monday to an enthusiastic crowd of dignitaries and fans, where she blew out the widow’s lamp, which is left lit while there’s a team still on the trail. It took her 15 days, 5 hours and 36 minutes, almost six days slower than winner Lance Mackey. “I was planning on not being last,” the 62-year-old daughter of a longtime mushing family said. “My dog team is better than that.”
This is an unusual event in that it doesn’t really have losers, whether you are first or 78th, as Bicknell was. Eighteen more teams started the race but couldn’t make it to Nome for one reason or another. It’s true that anyone who finishes the Iditarod has accomplished a feat in itself.” You can find the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News archives or at Iditarod.com.
Bicknell is right up there with Dee Dee Jonrowe, age 54, who did not do as well this year as she has in the past. She was 15th. A few years ago Dee Dee ran the race just a few weeks after coming off chemo for breast cancer in 2003. Dee Dee is a longtime hero of mine, and I have written about her before.
Here is a picture of Dee Dee with Susan Butcher (1954-2006) who was a 4 time first place winner of the Iditarod who later worked the check points even when her leukemia was making it hard for her to function.
Heroes. Role models. The kind of people that make me get up and keep going even when I am not sure how I can possibly go another foot further. These are the women who will push me (or shame me?) into keeping up the fight. Good thing, too, ‘cause the birds need seed! Gotta make that Wal-Mart run today! Glad I can take the Toyota and don’t have to harness up the cats!
I have borrowed these pictures either from Anchorage Daily or Iditarod.com.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
See how they have grown????? I have finally found a time when Mama is off getting breakfast! Baby picture time.!!!