Category Archives: postaday2011

I AM MOM! No really…I AM!

Those of you who know me well, know that I tend to look at things differently.  For me Mothers Day is not a celebration of me, but a chance to honor my children!  For without them, how could I possibly be such a super mommy?   While I do not usually publish family pics, today is special so let me introduce my crew.

My youngest Tom, with G1 and G2 Rowan (left) Caleb (right)
 
Tom posted this on facebook tonight:
I love you and thank you for all you have done.

The love of a mother is beyond compare
One who dearly loves and is always there
From scraped knees
                                                       To falls from trees
                                                       A mother cares for all
                                                       From “I told you so”
                                                        To “That’s a no-no! ”
                                                       A mother answers the call

Heidi (DL)with Rowan a great Mom!

                                        Mothers cook, mothers clean, some even work a job
                          Even with all their strength, a mother still knows how to sob
                                    Mothers should be honored for all they have done
Every day of the year, not just one
There is nothing better than a mother’s love
For her time on this earth   thank  God  above
A mother’s love endures forever
Its unbreakable bonds no on can sever
No matter how much I have grown
My mother’s love is always shown
She has become a mentor and a guide
Within her always I am able to confide
No better payment for her I can find
Then to love her with heart, and with mind
To the one who bore me; I share my emotion
To the one who raised me; Absolute devotion
To this woman I express my joy
You will always be my “mommy” and I your “baby boy”

“Glaedr the poet.”

 
And here below are Ryan and Mary Beth, my son and future DL (by this time next week!)
Ryan and my future DL (wedding is one week from now!)

 So I celebrate my offspring and their chosen partners who by the way may officially be daughters in law, but in this family they are daughters!

It also gives me the perfect chance to show who I blame for my quirkiness, my  wit, my insanity, my screwy humor, cause while they simply received the “crazy” gene, it is much more exacerbated in them, and it is very very very infectious!

See where the smile and silliness comes from?

The Domestic Fringe -Fiction Friday “Bridges” by Christine King

“Bridges” Fiction Friday

Bridges
 
 
Jason got into his old green van with great care, turned the key, and slowly
backed out of the driveway. He wasn’t sure it would start but after a resistive grumble and shake it fired up. It was cold, way too cold for the end of April, but he didn’t think that was his problem. Not really. Not yet. He wasn’t sure where he was going but it had to be away. He just wasn’t sure where away was.
 
Jason Roberts hated to leave the home and street that had been his center, his haven for the last eight years. Lord knows he couldn’t afford to go anywhere with just a few bucks in his pocket. The first stop was going to be the bank where he would withdraw every cent he could. Probably no more than eight hundred dollars but it would have to do. That meant every bill he had would bounce. There went his credit rating.
 
At thirty-six years old he felt eighty. The bones of his lanky six-foot frame ached but he supposed that had more to do with the beating than the cold damp weather. At least he had gotten a few good hits in before they, whoever the hell they were, for some reason just took off, as though a whistle had sounded ending their shift. The three men in business suits just suddenly stopped, straightened up, looked at each other and walked away. Jay didn’t wait to see if there was a next shift. He crawled across the cement patio and using the back porch for support was able to stand up. His only thought was to disappear. Quickly. Money first -then try to think what to do. The police? No. Please God don’t let them have gotten to his bank records.
 
It was close to midnight fortunately there was no line at the bank drive through. He was lucky enough to actually get nine hundred out. Now where to go? It couldn’t be near San Antonio and he wasn’t sure how far the aged dodge would go before closing down service.
 
Heading west toward Uvalde for no good reason he tried to make some sense of the last six hours but finally decided he needed first to get settled in for the night. But where? Somewhere he would not have to show identification, somewhere he could not be tracked. Somewhere cheap.
 
Not sure why, he pulled off the road after a few miles. It just seemed the right thing to do. Taking side road after side road, and no idea where he was now, he just kept traveling finally leaving the road altogether. The beast, as he fondly thought of his current mode of transportation, moved along less a beast and more a worn out nag and every bump shook every painful bone and muscle.
 
He found himself moving toward an outcropping of trees visible on the flat terrain. Anxious to stop and turn off his headlights, which he imagined told the world, the evil world, his location, he parked. He felt obvious running with lights but the terrain was foreign and he dared not move in the dark with out them. Darkness and silence his friend. He felt alone and alone was safe.
 
Nestled within the trees and hopefully undetectable he leaned his head against the steering wheel, closed his eyes and tried to think but the blanket of exhaustion was too much. At least he had the sense to know it. Crawling between the seats to the back he grabbed an old blanket, laid his head on a jacket and sank into a dreamless black void.
 
The next morning brought the sun and the heat. He woke to a stifling smothering heat. Opening his eyes it took a moment to figure where his was, and why everything on his body hurt. Slowly the memory of the night returned. The problem was he did not know the why of it. Alarmed he was not as invisible in daylight he forced himself up to his knees and crept to the front seat. It looked quiet out there. Gingerly stepping out van he cautiously glanced around.
 
Other than this out cropping of low trees he was surrounded by scrub. The dull tired paint job, once a brighter green seemed to melt into the low shadows. No sun would penetrate this cover.
 
Well Jay, he thought, what the hell have you gotten yourself into? After a moment there did not seem an answer. Yesterday at this time he was an ordinary guy, living simply, keeping to himself. He was polite, worked hard and poured everything he had into his little house. Spending evenings reading and watching sunsets. He nodded to neighbors but had never really met or socialized with them. After all these years he didn’t know most of their names.
It occurred to him that he had become more of a hermit than he ever intended.
 
Hungry and thirsty he rummaged looking for whatever bounty might be there. Did he eat all of his lunch yesterday? Finding the bag stuffed into a back corner he found a granola bar and half a bottle of water, which he disposed of quickly.
 
Taking stock he deduced that until he knew more of what happened he could not contact his boss to say he would not be in today. Not that there was a phone within easy access. A no show sure to be terminated regardless of a spotless attendance record. There were too many people out there who needed jobs right now. He was also pretty sure he could not go back to his house or his town.
 
 
To be continued…
 
Copyright Christine King
May 6, 2011

HELP!  One of Those Critical Moments When Common Sense Hits and Words Must be Said…One of Those Critical Moments when My Light Hearted Muse Steps Aside and I am at The Mercy of My Poetic Muse

HELP!  One of Those Critical Moments When Common Sense Hits and Words Must be Said…One of Those Critical Moments when My Light Hearted Muse Steps Aside and I am at The Mercy of My Poetic Muse

Be what you know

You should be.

See your vision 

Of what that is.

Show what you know 

You should be.

Show your vision of what that is.

Live what you know

You should be.

Live your vision

Of what that is.

Not from what you have been told

But what YOU know from your heart and soul.

Now that is living!

One Third – 33 1/3% Not quite half full or half empty…

One Third -331/3% – Not quite a half full or half empty glass..

Full? Empty? Half? Third?

 

Jackie from Twist365…http://thejackieblog.com/2011/05/01/one-third-celebration/#respond pointed out in her blog today, that we postadayers are now one third along in our quest. What quest is that you ask, conveniently?
 
Why …THE QUEST! – our sacred mission, to bring to your eyes, minds and hearts and possibly nightmares, unsolicited declarations of our wit, our intelligence, our hopes, our fears, our skeletons, our not so hidden sins, our crimes against humanity, our Joan of Arc martyrdom of it all, our heroism, our cowardice, our illusions, our delusions. Our SELVES!
 
Yes and you get it everyday, without fail. For we are
THE POSTADAY2011 Squadron! You lucky lucky lucky readers,
 
Inner Voice: Get of the soapbox Chris…calm yourself…take a deep breath..and get it done!
 
K, so the idea is to post your own three favorites of the first third. This is really tough for me as I crack myself up regularly, rolling on the floor at my own genius. Or I do a sentimental piece that mercilessly decimates the gate keepers of my tear ducts and opens the dam for a satisfying, cleansing, good for the complexion, old fashioned cry.
 
Nuff said..now to list three and only three…nuts.
 
Humor on Dating….not always funny but thought provoking..no it is almost always funny.
 https://bridgesburning.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/dating-by-the-light/
 
Childhood Memories and Lessons
https://bridgesburning.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/the-house-that-built-me/
 
Humor on Sizing Matters Up
https://bridgesburning.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/size-does-matter/
 
You can figure out my dilemma can’t you? Now I have written these down, they are no longer my favorites. But if I picked something else, these would again turn into favs because I did not choose them.

DETOX & CLEANSE…WHAT???

DETOX & CLEANSE…WHAT???
 
So, it is fourteen days to my son’s wedding and no I am not ready …yet. But that is of little consequence, as I live my life not ready. I tried to change that a few times. You know the not being ready and stuff but I swear it is part of my genetic makeup. And I have faith that it will work out and it always does.
 
Now I am pretty happy with who I am and how I look. I love my body; the way I move, the way I think, the fact that I do laps most days in the pool, I have energy and I revel in the joy of life. And no I am not particularly attractive nor would I fit anyone’s idea of a perfect weight but that is also of little consequence. I am young, generally only date men years younger as that is where the mutual attraction seems to be, but do not think of myself as age discriminate.
 
That whole thing is not where I used to be in my head, it has grown and developed over the years. Yesterday my sis and I decided to look through the mall to see what kind of suitable dresses might be out there. One sales lady asked what I was looking for and I told her my son’s wedding.
 
Well she directed me to a rack and my response was …Oh no they are all too old looking. I’m only sixty-four. I don’t want old lady dresses! She darn near choked on her chewing gum! But that also is of little consequence. No Heimlich maneuvers were required and no sales ladies were hurt.
 
I decided a little Detox & Cleanse would be in order. Just to perk me up. Though I must confess that I have tried it before and lost interest after a few days. Losing interest in such things is also part of my genetic makeup.
 
I chose natural capsules of some sort: two twice a day for seven days and then one once a day for seven days because that works into my time frame for said miracle. It promises to; reduce belly bloat ( I did not know that is what excess adipose tissue of the abdomen was), reduce body waste build up (I thought nature sort of took care of that in the form of evacuation of..), support colon and digestive system (is that not the same as above?), support the livers natural detoxification process, make you feel lighter and more energized. Gotta say the last two points sold me.
 
So no dress yet. Actually a lot of things not done yet, but by all that is mighty my colon and liver should look great for the wedding!
 
Now I am off to swim and yes to do my taxes, as they are due TODAY!

Five Minute Friday: If I Knew I Could I would

Five Minute Friday Challenge: From the Gypsy Mama

For five minutes flat. You’re welcome to play along. The rules are easy.

  1. Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.
  2. Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.
  3. And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.{Pretty please turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}

I Would…

Wrap a blanket of comfort around the hearts of all who hurt, are in pain, are afraid. 

Give the gift of ridiculous humor to strengthen the weak.

Be a walk on comedian splitting the sides of the unsplitable.

Awaken the joy of just running for the sake of running in every one.

Have a cloud rule that on warm days everyone must lie down somewhere and guess the shapes of clouds.

That everyone we meet must be given a smile.

Leave a message for every blogger posting to know they are heard.

…times up!

Versatile Blogger Award..Thanks Kieran!

The Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks to Kieran!
The VBA is an opportunity to recognize fellow bloggers who we admire and enjoy.

Kieran Hamilton has included me on his list of fifteen to pass it on. Kieran is a very talented photographer in Edinburgh Scotland, my fav city in the world.
If I had to choose one blog of his to recommend it would be: http://sumpix.wordpress.com/#!/entry/607

Now the idea in spreading the good word to others is:
Link back to the blogger that gave me the award (check!).
Tell you 7 things about myself.
Choose 15 other blogs to pass the award to.
Inform the other bloggers that I’m passing the award to them.
So

7 Things about me:
1) I started blogging to find my voice. What I found instead is a wealth of talent, humor and education which has created a tremendous hunger within me to learn more.
2) Since joining postaday2011 I cannot sleep until I post.
3) I am still trying to figure out how to use all of WordPress doojibbies to make my site more attractive..functional..fun. It comes under techie stuff, one of my many Achilles Heels.
4) I am the world’s coolest Grandma and my two wee boys are still young enough to buy that when I tell them.
5) I have two budgies I rescued from an evil witch..no she is okay, but she was sending them to certain death. Dead Birds Walking. Max and Ruby.
6) I have good friends who are family, and family who are good friends and it never ceases to amaze me that they love me in-spite of it all.
7) I love my iPad even though it is the antiquated version of the one just released.

And the Award goes to: *Note to recipients: I hope you continue to participate, but if you are unable to for any reason please send me funds in the six digit range and remember you are still special. I have tried to list a fav blog but it is difficult!

1. The Good Greatsby. He’s is so addictive you may need an intervention. http://thegoodgreatsby.com/2011/04/18/how-to-outflank-a-firing-tips-for-preventing-your-impending-dismissal/

2. Colleen’s Chatter Blog I can’t get through my day without a dose of her any more than she can without coffee. http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/wobbly/

3. Merrilymarylee who takes me back to my roots in the south..well if I had any she would take me back there. http://merrilymarylee.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/sweet-nothing/

4. Mature Landscaping is a newer subscribed site and I am just getting to know her and her site but am loving it. http://www.maturelandscaping.com/2011/04/weathering-denial.html

5. Officeoddities is also a newer site for me and I am learning she has weird friends and TMI on shoe size.
http://officeoddities.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/sandwich-texts/

6. Ihaveabackbone is cool and funny and forgetful..or so she says. http://ihaveabackbone.wordpress.com/#!/entry/3251

7. Bended Spoon who has won this before I think but is too good to pass up.
http://bendedspoon.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/f-is-for-floccinaucinihilipilification/

8. Jackie Paulson with facts and wisdom. http://postadaychallenge2011.com/2011/04/21/amazing-facts-2/

9. Accidentalstepmom whose crew entertain me as much as they do her. http://accidentalstepmom.wordpress.com/#!/entry/1140

10. Joss Crowingcrone who is humor, poetry and photography and priceless.http://crowingcrone.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/ranting/

11. Penny at LifesaBeachjournal is another new find I am enjoying. http://lifesabeachjournal.com/2011/04/20/grumpy/

12). Val at Absurd Old Bird whose talents I am still discovering. http://absurdoldbird.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/writing-for-wombats-of-a-challenged-intelligence/

13) Judith at growingyoungereachday who shares her life experiences with us..and an interesting life it is.
http://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/

14). Elizabeth who truly is Mirth and Motivation. http://eof737.wordpress.com/

15). Fribnitsworld who challenges my beliefs and may inspire you to argument but I cannot miss a post.
http://fribnitsworld.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/wish-to-wander/

I can’t believe I have run out of numbers. My fifteen minutes is up. Nuts. So many more are worthy. Nuts.

When Heroes Die

When Heroes Die
 
A young girl dreams of a career in nursing after reading a book by Tom Dooley on his work in the jungle. (This is where I started to worry about lipstick melting in the heat, as discussed previously.) But I knew that regardless I would be working at his side someday, healing the sick and stamping out disease. Then only a couple of years later I read of his death in the newspaper. I was sad to have a hero die….deep inside I put the big lipstick worry aside and forgot my dream. I could not have forgotten all about completely as I did end up a nurse anyway.
 
He has been on my mind lately so I decided to do some reading. And yes he is still my hero, a man of great works. And the key word here is “man”. For no matter what great works we do we still have imperfections. And that is okay.
The worst thing any of us can do is believe that someone who does good is perfect, a thought which is often engineered by press, politics, church, business, ourselves, and on discovery of truth, that great work becomes less.
 
How many heroes have had the effect of their great works negated by expose?
Its time we recognize accomplishment without expecting perfection in others.
It’s time we recognize accomplishment without expecting perfection in ourselves.
Just ask, Churchill, Kennedy, Woods, Nightingale et al including every artist and writer who ever lived.
 
Dr. Tom Dooley
1927-1961
 
” He was genuinely loved by the Laotian people, who dubbed him Thanh Mo America, Dr. America. And this love was definitely returned by Dooley. For all his vainglory, and self-centeredness, he did set personal high standards for MEDICO physicians, and sought to make of his Operation Laos, a people to people project.” (James T. Fisher, Dr. America: The Lives of Thomas A. Dooley)
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
 
I who am fed, who never yet went hungry for a day,
I see the dead, the children starved for lack of bread.
I see and try to pray.
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
I who am warm, who never yet have lacked a sheltering home,
In dull alarm, the dispossessed of hut and farm
Aimless and transient roam.
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
I who am strong, with health and love and laughter in my soul,
I see a throng of stunted children reared in wrong
And wish to make them whole.
 
Listen to the agony of mankind
And know full well that not until I share their bitter cry,
Their pain and hell, can God within my spirit dwell
And bring America’s blessing nigh.
 
•Dr. Tom Dooley
 
 
 
http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/f/fisher-america.html

AFRICA CLICKS Suzanne Stevens Guest Blog

As you know from my previous guest posts, Susanne and Michael are a couple who have taken a year out of their lives to follow a dream.   Mike is my nephew.  As they post on their own website suzannefstevens.com I will post their experiences here.  Enjoy!

Sandwiched Between Creating Possibilities

by Suzanne F. Stevens on April 24, 2011

Filed in: Suzanne’s Perspective

 

Leah Ngini & Suzanne F StevensLeah Ngini & Suzanne F Stevens in Maasia Courtyard at St. Christopher’s School

Often when people think of the Sub-Sahara, they conjure up images of starving children, slums, and corruption. Although these images are real, in many places they only tell part of a story. The story they tell is the part of a society that is broken. That is not the complete story of Africa. Africa’s story is also found in communities where families insist on educating boys and girls. Its story is found when parents ensure they educate themselves on nutrition. Its story is found where parents try to provide their children with the best opportunities for education, and it is found where a woman finds a man that supports her and her dreams.

To hear this story, you would need to know a woman such as Leah Ngini, Executive Director of St. Christopher’s School, and namesake of the newly developing Leah Ngini Community Centre at Africa International University, in Nairobi, Kenya.  Leah’s spirit is contagious. Her purpose is focused, and her vision is realized. This is the third time I have been to Kenya and on my last two visits I had the pleasure of visiting a couple slums and orphanages. I always left with a hole in my heart not because the kids were so bad off, but because in spite of their circumstances they smiled and played and welcomed you with open arms. While I visited St. Christopher’s my experience was completely different. First, there were no kids, due to spring holidays. Secondly, this was a school that would be envied in the West. They thought of everything when they built this place from small toilets for the little ones, to themed rooms, to Maasai (semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania)and Eco-themed courtyards. It was a place to admire. The school was just finished in January 2011 after Leah had the opportunity to buy more land and extend it to include younger ages. She now educates kids from pre-school to Fourth Form.

I had the pleasure of listening to Leah speak in November in Toronto, Canada at a conference I was producing hosted by my foundation, Ignite Excellence, to raise funds for women leaders in Africa. To hear Leah speak of where she came from was truly inspiring. She was a storyteller that drew you in with every word. Leah is the third child of ten and is now in her sixties. At the time when Leah was born, it was not common for a mother to have ten children and for all of them to survive. When I met her mother, however, it was not hard to see, even at ninety-one, where Leah received her spirit and determination. Her mother ensured that her children were well-nourished and educated no matter what the cost.

I think if I asked Leah why she has been so successful, she would first credit her mother, for her dedication and fortitude. I think she would then speak of her late husband and of his commitment to her and their children. Then perhaps speak of her daughters and their insight and drive to keep their mother’s vision alive while ensuring the school operates at the highest standard.

Leah speaks of her husband with such fond memories and a glow in her eye when she admits that the school was her dream, but building it and expanding on it was realized only with his support.

Leah Ngini tells the story of the education, the obstacles, the opportunities and the possibilities she has experienced. She is part of a legacy of women who were committed to education.  Her grandmother ran away from her village so that she could go to school at a time when girls were not considered worth educating. Her mother made sure that Leah was able to go to school.  But even then, girls just went to school if they had nothing else to do, so it was no surprise that Leah became a teacher so that she could influence the next generation.

Leah seems to be a woman who was sandwiched between all that was good. The determination of a grandmother, the insight of a mother, the support of a husband and the pride of her children. Leah has a family business that focuses on educating the future children of Kenya. Leah would admit that she has a special place for education particularly amongst girls. Leah started a school where girls and boys studied together, and saw from the beginning that girls could do just as well as the boys, or better, and they did.  Today, St. Christopher Schools are visible around Nairobi, and their reputation for excellence is well known.

Daughters educated in law and accounting have proven to be quite an asset in the running of the family business. In meeting them both, you can see their spirit, insight and determination, and perhaps the most visible trait is their pride in their mother and their grandmother for being women that had a voice and an opinion and made sure people heard them.

This is the Africa I am coming to know: the one filled with possibilities and leaders that have a voice, and seem to use it with authority and grace.

Leah Ngini will be interview on wisdomexchangetv.com in July.  Leah’s interview will be located under business & education. She will tells a bit of her story, but more importantly the lessons she learned and the leadership lessons she suggests.

Visit www.wisdomexchangetv.com to hear women inspire us to stretch our vision of what we can do, and what WE can be. New interviews and Expert Perspective blogs will be updated regularly with the insights of the African women leaders of today for tomorrow.

Suzanne F Stevens
Chief Edge Optimizer
http://www.suzannefstevens.com
Nairobi, Kenya

 

 

Baptist Nuns..Once Upon a Time..

Nuns

Baptist Nuns…Once Upon a Time
 
Once upon a time in a land far away..no actually in this very city..I was a little girl. The dinosaurs had just died out leaving more room for people. For they were huge and took up an awful lot of room.
 
TV had just come on the market, ice cream cones were five cents, comic books were a nickel..I think, which is a lot like five cents, and when you got a quarter you were living high on the hog.
 
My house was on Spadina Road just down the street from St. Mary’s Hospital. Yes, my house…when the dinosaurs were gone, there was plenty of room for houses. My street has a lovely boulevard. Well it was almost lovely, marred just a little by a huge metal tower.
 
Anyway it still was quite a lovely street back then, new houses, big yards and. of course the boulevard.
 
In those days nuns lived at the hospital and in the early evening they would stroll down the street. I am not sure how old I was when I first saw them, maybe five, maybe younger.
 
It was love at first sight. Those flowing black gowns, long chains with crosses, the starchy white framing their sweet faces. They seemed to float all angelic like.
 
I knew at that very moment I wanted to be a nun! Over time I heard nun stories about them having to shave their heads and never have money but I didn’t care. I was going to wear the outfit! I was going to be angelic!
 
Of course they never seemed to wear lipstick and that bothered me a tad.
Not that I wore lipstick at five but I knew one day I would.
 
Oh and the other minor glitch? I was Baptist. I had no idea there were no Baptist nuns. Sigh…….