Thursday, March 31, 2005

Rest in Peace Terri Schiavo 


Sunday, March 27, 2005


Greetings! Salutations! and just plain HI!

I hope you are having a wonderful Easter so far! Mine has been pretty darn good!

I left town on Friday after attending the noon Good Friday service at church. The service was centered around the 7 last words of Christ. (That is actually a little misleading as it was the 7 last sentences of Christ.) I had never been to the Good Friday service before, so I wanted to go before heading to my sister and brother-in-law's house.

After a very nice and uneventful drive, I got to my sister's just in time for dinner. We went to this place that has Southern homestyle food on a buffett. It was very yummy and we all ate too much! We came back to the house and relaxed watching some television.

Saturday my sister and BIL let me sleep in while they ran to the grocery store to get supplies for our Easter dinner. After doing things around the house and getting cleaned up, we headed to town for a few errands, stopped at the Sonic for a snack, and then came back for a lovely nap.

We woke up and Rick made us a "chicken pie." It was very tasty! Afterwards, we watched "American Pie" and "Meet the Parents" before turning in. Believe it or not, I had not seen either of those before!

This morning finds us waking up slowly and watching "CBS Sunday Morning." Marti is currently making us some biscuits and I'm thinking about changing out of my pajamas - but that's still under debate!

Later we are going to play some games, watch some more movies and enjoy Rick's ham and smashed taters! Woo Hoo! I love hanging with my sister and BIL!! (I've just got to work on getting them a BIL!) ;-)

Whether you are Christian or not, I hope you look at today as a reminder about rebirth and renewal. I hope you are able to spend the day as you would like, be that with your family or doing something on your own.

I wish you the absolute best on this lovely Sunday morning.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Queen of the Social Security Office 

I lost my Social Security card a couple of weeks ago. BLEAH! :-p What a pain in the ass to get a new one! So after much procrastination, I finally designated this the official "Get a new Social Security Card come hell or high water" day.

I rolled out of bed, threw some clothes on, grabbed my book and went down to the Social Security office. I got there 15 minutes before the office opened and there was a good 30 people in front of me. I sighed and resigned myself to a big chunk of my day being spent in this office.

I sat down and got engrossed in my book (Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones"). I was brought back to the real world hearing a man saying, "Miss! Miss! Are you OK, miss?" I turned around and saw that one of the Security Guards was holding on to a young woman and trying to prevent her rigid body from falling. I quickly turned the chair next to me around and the Security Guard lowered her down to the chair. After making eye contact with me and seeing that I would take care of the girl, the Security Guard went back to his post to call the paramedics.

I was thinking back on my very limited medical knowledge and trying to see if I could figure out if she was diabetic, having a stroke or having a petit mal seizure. I was talking softly to her and I looked down at the papers she had in her hand and saw that her name was Shaundra. I was rubbing her back and calling her by her name as I tried to explain where she was and what was going on. After a few minutes, she began to speak. I asked her if there was anybody we could call. She declined saying there was nothing anyone could do. She just had seizures from time to time. The Security Guard approached again after he got off the phone with the paramedics. She told him she didn't need them to come as there was nothing they could do. The Security Guard told her they were coming anyway, just to make sure she was OK.

I continued to talk to the woman and finally thought to introduce myself. "My name is Joan, by the way." "My friends call me Queen." she replied with a sweet smile. I continued to talk to her about things having nothing to do with what just happened because I sensed that she was mortified that this had happened in front of so many people. I asked her about the fragrance she was wearing and couldn't help but chuckle when she said it was called "Lick Me All Over." She pulled out the small bottle from her purse and explained that she also liked a fragrance called "Wet Kisses."

Finally the paramedics arrived and they checked her out. She was fully out of the fog that seizures tend to put you in and answered all of their questions quickly and correctly. I was silently E.S.P-ing the EMT's to notice that she was there alone and was holding car keys in her hand. She and the paramedics went into a back office and I didn't see either of them again.

I silently sent up a prayer for Queen. I hope that someone noticed that a seizure prone person was driving so that she is never able to hurt herself of someone else as a result.

Take care, Queen. Know that some random woman at the Social Security office really does care.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A Gift from Isabelle 

I woke up this morning feeling very groggy. I almost talked myself out of going to church. However I might be going out of town for Easter, so I wanted to make sure I made it to church for Palm Sunday.

I got to church kind of late and sat at the back in a chair. A few minutes later a woman holding a soundly sleeping toddler came in and she sat next to me. This child was so beautiful! She was that gorgeous color that is created when your Momma is white and your Daddy is black.

During the service the newly created Children's Choir performed for the first time in front of the congregation. After they did their debut song, they were joined by the Adult Choir and sang "When You Believe" from the movie "The Prince of Egypt." It was so beautiful that there was not a dry eye in the house and the whole congregation sprung to their feet when the song was over.

I looked down and a tiny little slip of a girl was standing in front of me smiling. She had brown hair that was cut in what I used to call a "Prince Valiant." She had a glowing face and a beautiful smile with a lovely missing tooth. She presented a piece of paper to me and I asked, "For me?" I took it and thanked her and she ran back to where she was sitting.

On this paper are several stickers of horses. Two of them have feathers in their manes. One has a first prize ribbon on it. Still another is eating an apple. Amongst all of the horse stickers were happy face stickers. The best part was a very carefully written "Isabelle" in brown magic marker.

We went into the closing prayer and song and I could not stop crying. What a beautiful and unexpected gift I had been given! After the service was over, I went over to where the girl was sitting and thanked Isabelle again. I was starting to ask her if I could hug her, and before the sentence was out of my mouth, she had her arms up and ready to embrace me. Her Mom introduced herself and in turn introduced me to her partner, who is Isabelle's other Mom. I told this couple what a beautiful job they were doing raising their daughter, thanked Isabelle again and made my way out of the sanctuary.

...and to think I almost didn't go to church today and receive this beautiful and wonderful gift!

I hope your Sunday is going wonderfully and that you are receiving unexpected gifts as well!


Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Beauty of Music 

It wasn't until after I moved to Atlanta that I realized what a "hub" of good music it is. I remember getting here and being so excited that this is where the Indigo Girls were from. Yes, that's true, but it's the up and coming artist that make Atlanta's music scene to me.

I can't remember exactly where I was when I first heard Beth Wood. I believe it was a night at Eddie's Attic. I thought she was kind of quirky since she took off her shoes to sing and opened her mouth really big when she sang. However, I instantly fell in love with her music.

My friend R and I were always at her shows when she was in town. We were somewhat noticeable being the duo of a tall white woman and a short black woman that always seemed to be where she was when she was in Atlanta.

Beth wrote a song about Jeff Buckley called "New Blood." Before I had heard her give the background of the song and then sing it, I had not heard of Jeff Buckley. The beautiful song and Beth's reverence for Jeff's work sent me out to buy his album "Grace," which is one of my all time favorite albums.

"My Miles Davis Kinda Blue," was a song that Beth wrote about her missing CD of Miles Davis' "Kinda Blue" and where she imagined where her long lost CD had journeyed. I hit such a jackpot with Jeff Buckley, that I went out and bought Miles Davis' "Kinda Blue" and it is another of my all time favorite albums.

I was looking around on Beth's website recently and saw that she was going to be playing in both Chattanooga and Atlanta! The Chattanooga location was a place called "Charles and Myrtle's Coffeehouse." I figured that since this was most likely a small venue, that I would make the 1 1/2 hour drive to Chattanooga and see her by herself with just her guitars.

"Charles and Myrtle's Coffeehouse" is actually the location of a Unity Church called "Christ Unity Church." It is a very small, very cozy place that used to be a house. Beth was set up in front of the fireplace with a mike, and flanked by her two guitars. There were maybe a total of 15 people there. It was so incredibly intimate - like friends sitting around and listening to their incredibly talented friend sing. Beth was so kind and sang 2 of my request.

At the break between sets, the people at the table next to me asked me about what I knew about Beth. I gushed about her to them until Beth herself came up to speak with them. They were so impressed with the fact that she gave her all for this humble group of 15 when she has played for crowds hundreds of times bigger.

I am going to go see Beth again this Thursday when she plays here in Atlanta at Eddie's Attic. At this show she will have a full band and will be playing for roughly 200+ people. She will slip her shoes off before the show and open her mouth wide as she sings with the same intimacy as she did with a humble group of just 15.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand


Raise a pint of something green and enjoy the day that everyone everywhere is Irish!


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Andrea's out of ICU!!! 


I just got off the phone with Andrea herself! They moved her out of ICU yesterday evening!!!



Sunday, March 13, 2005

She Saw The Humanity 

I don't know if the rest of the country was as affected by the shootings here in Atlanta and the man hunt for Brian Nichols, however most of us here in the Atlanta area were pretty shaken up by it.

I turned on the news this evening and they showed 7-10 minutes of the press conference with Ashley Smith, the last woman that Brian Nichols held hostage before he surrendered.

This woman went through an absolutely terrifying experience, but still was able to see the humanity in Brian Nichols. Most people in a similar situation wouldn't be able to do that. How admirable this woman is to be able to see beyond the man who killed 3 other people in cold blood, and see the human that lay beneath.

She spoke about how they talked about their families and things that had happened in their lives. She told how she read to him from the Bible and "The Purpose Driven Life." She related how this man just wanted to eat a good meal, watch some TV and sleep.

I'm sure you remember a few years back when the big catch phrase was "WWJD?" or "What Would Jesus Do?" Well folks - I believe what Ashley Smith did during a harrowing 10 hours she spent with Brian Nichols is your answer.

Brian Nichols was accused of a horrific rape that brought him into Judge Barnes' courtroom. He killed Judge Rowland Barnes, court reporter Julie Ann Brandau, sheriff's deputy Hoyt Teasley and Federal Agent David Wilhelm. He critically injured sheriff's deputy Cynthia Ann Hall, pistol whipped Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter Don O'Briant, and mugged several people and carjacked several more people. Finally, he held a gun to Ashley Smith as she returned home early Saturday morning and held her hostage until she was able to get away and call the police. Shortly thereafter, he surrendered. However, despite the harrowing fear that Brian Nichols put in the hearts of the citizens of the Atlanta area, and the incredible sorrow he gave the victims of murders, Ashley Smith saw his humanity.

With it being so near Easter, I can't help but think about Jesus Christ seeing the humanity in the people that tortured him in the last hours of his life. He even went so far as to say, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do." From what I heard, Ashley Smith did not ask us to forgive Brian Nichols. However she did remind us of his humanity, and in my opinion, that is definitely something Jesus would have done.

I think this is pretty accurate! 

With a tip of my hat to the lovely ErinB at Ladybugeeb...


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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Shaping up to be a good Saturday 

Andrea appears to be progressively getting better and better. She's been off the ventilator for 2 days and is cognizant and alert. She's going to have another dialysis today and they are hoping it will be her last. She got to have a grape popsicle today, which is the first thing she's hand in her mouth since last Friday. She doesn't like grape popsicles, but she said it was the best one she's ever had!

Thank you all for your continued prayers and good thoughts for Andrea and her family!

Not to be unkind to my snowbound friends, but DAMN! It's a beautiful clear as a bell day and about 66 degrees!!!

Also, I think they have caught the guy that shot all of the people here in Atlanta!

So, yes...it is definitely shaping up to be a good day!


Friday, March 11, 2005

This hasn't been the best week... 

You know, I started not to write anything today because I feel like I've done nothing but whine or be sad or negative lately. However I'm still trying to learn to feel my feelings as I feel them and not mask them, so this is my attempt to do that. I have to trust that those who love me will understand.

Along with finding out about Andrea being so ill, I went to a Memorial Service for the wife of a friend of mine from church. Talk about mortality whacking you upside the head! As I was sitting in the Memorial Service, I couldn't help but sit there and pray that I would not be attending something similar for Andrea any time soon. In addition, I was thinking about my own life and if I were die tomorrow. If I died tomorrow, would I have made a difference to this world? I can't die tomorrow because I don't feel like I've ever truly been in love before! I'd really like to experience that and what it's like to be in a good healthy relationship before I die.

I also had a session with my therapist that really kicked my ass this week. Ultimately, I know this is a good thing, but it sure didn't feel good while it was happening!!!

However, amongst all my "thumb sucking" and whining about this week, there is hope. I talked to Andrea's husband last night and Andrea is breathing on her own and generally looking a lot better. She's still in ICU, but I think the plan is to have her in a regular room by Monday. YAY! Please continue to send her and her family your good thoughts and prayers. Her poor husband sounded so tired when I talked to him!

I hope you have a good weekend whatever it is you end up doing!


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Update on Andrea 

Although they had a heck of a time stabilizing Andrea enough to have the surgery, she came through it without incident.

After the surgery she was taken back to ICU and put on a ventilator. Andrea's Mom is an ICU nurse at another hospital and she is satisfied with the care she is receiving.

Thank you for your concern and wanting to know how things were going. Please continue to keep Andrea and her family in your good thoughts.



Monday, March 07, 2005

This is my friend Andrea and her sisters and one of her brothers. Andrea is the one holding the puppies. The picture was taken Christmas Day, 2004. Posted by Hello

My friend Andrea 

My friend Andrea is currently going through some severe health challenges and is currently in ICU. She is going to be having surgery later this morning.

Please send up a prayer and/or a good thought for her if you would. Her family and I would truly appreciate it.

Very sincerely,


Saturday, March 05, 2005

An Assignment from Carmi 

On Wednesday, my friend Carmi over at Written Inc. challenged his readers to head outside and take a picture of how March was greeting them. I finally did as I promised and the below pictures are the result.

I hope March is treating you good so far, wherever you are!


This is my beautiful Shelby Cat. Posted by Hello

I love my windchime. Jef got it for me for my birthday several years back.  Posted by Hello

The view from my computer chair on a lovely Saturday afternoon. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Old Habits Die Hard (But Die Already, Would Ya?) 

When I was growing up, I was a very good girl. That's not to say that I didn't act up or do silly things, but much more often than not, I was a very good girl. I learned early on that if I was a happy,smart and mature girl, that I would get praised, but otherwise I was a bad kid and if I was a bad kid, then people wouldn't like me and would leave me. These people could be my family, my friends, or just people that I encountered casually in my everyday life. Therefore, it was very much etched into my brain that if I wasn't always the happy, smart and mature girl, then I would be alone.

My childhood growing up was not the best. My Dad was verbally abusive, smoked pot incessantly and rarely worked. My Mom was distant, incredibly unhappy, and was scared of and mad at the world. There were times when we were homeless. There were times when we didn't know where the next meal was coming from. My sister and I did not get the opportunity to grow up together due to some really bad judgments on my Mom's part. My Father touched me inappropriately. When my parents finally divorced when I was 13, my Father was in and out of my life like a very unstable yo-yo. There would be long periods of him being gone and my not knowing where he was, followed by his showing up and wanting to make up for all the birthdays and holidays that he missed completely in one fell swoop. Just when I was happy to have him back in my life, the verbal abuse would commence again. What was really interesting was when he found God and then he was able to use the Bible to substantiate all of the verbal abuse he spewed at me.

Meanwhile, I put on the mask of being a happy, smart and mature girl.

The happy, smart and mature girl grew up and tried to become a happy, smart and mature woman. Sometimes I was successful at portraying that, sometimes I wasn't. However I learned that if I made people laugh and did everything I could for everyone else at the expense of myself, often people would overlook the times that I was unsuccessful at being the happy, smart and mature woman. If I smile and act like what's going on in my life is no big deal, then hopefully other people will, too.

The happy, smart and mature woman that I was trying so hard to be was dealt a few blows that really cracked the veneer of my facade. My Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metasasized to the brain and I quit my job to try to take care of her until she died. I moved to Atlanta and became involved in a friendship that was very co-dependent. I became friends with my Dad and was really starting to enjoy hanging out with him, when he passed away. My friend that I was co-dependent with moved away. I lost my job that I worked at for 7 years.

Through all of the above things I've mentioned, I tried so hard to be happy, smart and mature. I rationalized all the bad things that happened by saying things like, "Everything happens for a reason!" and "If I hadn't of gone through those things, I wouldn't have learned whatever lesson I was supposed to learn!" and "That which does not kill you makes you stronger."

The paradox is that all of those things are true, and at the same time, all of those things are total bullshit. However it took my getting in therapy and getting on some medication to finally realize that it's OK not to be happy all the time. It's OK to ask for and get what you need. It's OK to go through an unhappy or unpleasant situation and say, "You know what? That really SUCKED and I'm UPSET!!!" There will be people that won't be able to handle that and they might leave. However that is not a reflection on me. Those have all been really tough lessons for me to learn and put into practice and it's still hard not to fall back into picking up the mask of being the happy girl.

The perfect example of this has been recently. I have really been working hard on trying to get a job since after the holidays. I had an interview with a company I really liked, and they haven't called and seem annoyed when I them call to follow up. I went through testing and a tough interview for another job and was called back in for a simple typing test. On the day of the test, I woke up with a fever. I called to reschedule and they advised me that was not going to happen. I got a temporary job working for a retail store helping them set up a new store. I worked my ass off and worked diligently at making a good impression. I had an interview to become a permanent member of the store team, and was not chosen. Meanwhile, I send out resumes daily and I have papered other retail places with applications and so far this has been with no results. To add insult to injury, I have been sick - sick enough to really need to go to the Doctor, but with no insurance and no money, that is not an option.

What do I do? I act like everything is OK. That all of the recent disappointments are not that bad. When talking with friends who are almost as anxious as I am for me to get a job, I easily slip into, "It's OK - something else will come along and it's no big deal." or "Yes, It sounds like I'm coughing up a lung, but I'll be alright."

Well, it is a big deal and it's not alright, damn it. 13+ months of unemployment has been really demoralizing. I am trying so hard not to feel like a total failure, but sometimes it's REALLY hard. I'm trying so hard to pick myself up and dust myself off, but it's tough when you are running a fever and can barely breathe.

Now, before someone goes and calls some crisis intervention line on my behalf, know that although I'm currently "unmasked," I'm OK. My health is getting better and I'm making strides to try yet another plan on my path to employment. However, I'm also needing to exercise the "muscle" that knows that it's OK to be upset, pissed off and sick and tired of being sick and tired. If I don't, then those negative feelings will come back to haunt me in a far worse way than just "feeling what I feel when I feel it" would.

If you have read this far, thank you for allowing me to use this forum to let off some steam. I know that I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning feeling better as a result. In the meantime, I hope you will keep me in your thoughts and prayers that the right and perfect job will be found soon and that my health gets increasingly better.


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