The Adoption Option

I grew up with a mother who loved having company and always had open arms to adopt the needy or the orphaned.  Our home at holidays, and really any time, was open to friends and often to complete strangers who did not have family with whom to spend the days.  There was (and still is) always room for one or two more at Mom’s table, and so I took advantage of the extra space this past Easter and invited M., my new friend from a previous post.

With the exception of street corner panhandlers (okay, and yes, even them), my heart breaks for people in need, especially if they are experiencing a pain or need that I have felt in my own life, a trait I likely inherited from my dear mother.  Throughout my life, I have oft passed a few bucks–and once my last $20–to a stranger in need, or purchased a pack of ciggies for a bum who was digging through the dirty ashtray for butts.  I am at my best when I transfer focus from the cares and insanity of my own life to someone else whose struggles may be worse than mine.   Helping others makes me happy! Continue reading The Adoption Option

On Fire and Going Nowhere!

I marvel at the callousness and lack of caring exhibited by what seems to be the majority of the American public.  So absorbed in their own pursuits are they that a stranger in need is either invisible to them or perceived as nothing more than a serious obstacle, an inconvenience as they race forward to God knows where.  While driving to work the other day, I observed a Volkswagon Bug in the lanes going the opposite direction.  It was smoking and bursting into flames while it’s owner, a thin blonde woman, stood in the median frantically gesticulating to attract attention and warn oncoming traffic.  Did one person pull over and stop to help her, to offer assistance or moral support?  Not that I saw!  Frustrated and annoyed that someone else’s crisis might delay them from their destinations, they jockeyed for positions and then drove on by.  Honestly, I’m surprised no one honked!

Holiday Shmoliday

So, it’s Easter.  I was looking forward to dinner and visiting with my family–Mom, Dad and son.  I don’t know what his problem is today, but he’s pissed off at the world and cranky and last minute backing out.  Typical of my volatile son this is, but still I am saddened and concerned and frustrated.  Why is it that holidays seem to always bring out the “best” in people?

Unexpected Friends

Many times over the years I have angrily shouted at God, “Why me?” and, just as it did last night, the answer always comes from a most unlikely source at a completely unexpected time.

At work, I am the supervisor of approximately 15 associates. Relative peace reigns most of the time, but occasionally an associate comes along that puts me to the test both personally and professionally.  About three months ago, a college student whom I’ll call M. began working in my department, and from the start I had a sense that he would test me or push me to the limit in some way.  My instinct was not wrong.

A month into M.’s time at the store, I was called into the Store Manager’s office.  M. had made allegations that I was targeting him and that he was being discriminated against because of his religious beliefs.  I was shocked and not shocked at the same time, because several days prior when I had asked him into the office for a discussion, he had bluntly asked me if I wanted him gone and told me that another associate (a known drama causer) had placed this idea in his head.

Fortunately, I have worked with my Store Manager for 5 years.  She knows that I care about my associates and would not purposely single out one and torture him.  Still, she did share with me that I should work on tailoring my approach to individual associates’ personalities and needs.  I took her advice to heart and promised to be more careful of my interactions in the future.  Because M. felt uncomfortable with the idea of a mediated discussion with the two of us present, the Store Manager asked me to give her in writing my responses to his allegations so that she could present them to him in an effort to resolve the situation.  Following her second discussion with M., she gave no report to me leading me to conclude that all was settled, but I was cautious and sensitive to his concerns when speaking to him after that.

A month passed, and one day M. failed to show up for work without calling to inform us.  I called his cell phone but was immediately transferred to voice mail.  A few days later, I received an e-mail that he had applied for leave due to a serious illness, and the Store Manager informed me he was in the hospital.

When M. returned to work after about a week, he was pale and shaky.  I expressed concern and asked how he was feeling.  I sympathized with him that it must have been difficult being so ill and with no family around.  M.’s home is a state away.  He is in town to attend the University.  Respecting his privacy, I did not ask M. why he had been in the hospital and he did not offer that information…until the following night.

As I was passing by inspecting the floor that night at clean-up time, I asked M. to make sure the lower shelves of the tables were recovered.  He immediately doubled over appearing to be in pain, reminded me that he had just been in the hospital, and told me that he could not bend.  Feeling like an idiot, I quickly apologized and asked the other associate to get the bottoms.  M. then busted out in peels of laughter and said, “Gotcha!”  He could bend, and he would get the bottom shelves.  Relieved, I laughingly scolded him and went about my business.

Later that night, when I approached the area where M. was working, he asked me if I would like to know why he had been in the hospital.  I responded that I hadn’t asked because it was his private business, but that he could tell me if he wanted to.  Wide-eyed, I listened as he shared that he had gone to the Emergency Room because his anxiety had gotten out of control–he told me he suffers from depression and anxiety–and they had transferred him to a mental facility where he had been basically locked up and unable to call anyone.  I almost cried for him right there.  How frightening, and such an unwarranted abuse of control over someone who was in a fragile state.  We talked some more, and I shared with him that I was well acquainted with mental health issues–myself and several members of my family.  We said we’d have lunch sometime and share horror stories.

That evening, I could not let go and stop thinking about this young man’s plight.  I determined to let him know that I would be there for him if he ever needed help again so that he would not be forced to turn to a system that has no understanding of mental illness and only fears it.  The next day at work, as I dug through my purse for one of my business cards to give to M., I silently thanked God that because of my suffering I am able to understand and help others who are hurting.  I told M. to use my number any time of the day or night, and he in great appreciation responded that I could not possibly know how much it meant to him.  He said, “I have no one here.”

Crusty Oatmeal Bowls

Lucky me, I’m gonna spend my Sunday afternoon scraping and washing crusted oatmeal from every bowl in my kitchen.  Yes, there are a few in my bedroom too, since I eat my morning oatmeal while checking the news and my Facebook feed on my computer.   Every time I conquer an oatmeal bowl mountain, I promise myself that I will rinse and wash the bowls daily so I won’t build another mountain, but here I am again.  Maybe I’ll make a cup of Zingiber Ginger Coconut tea and sip and reflect for a few minutes first.

Don’t judge me, just love me!  Haha!

Dirty Oatmeal Bowl Mountain
Dirty Oatmeal Bowl Mountain


Dirty Oatmeal Bowls Everywhere
Dirty Oatmeal Bowls Everywhere




Doctor’s Office Blues

We’ve all experienced it, that punched-in-the-gut feeling you get when you’ve been betrayed or when someone or some situation hurts you deeply.  It’s like a sickening cloud that moves back and forth between your head and your stomach and you can’t escape it.  One of those clouds is threatening to control me at this very moment.

I have a very close relationship with my doctor.  He’s seen me through many of life’s ups and downs, and he’s one of the sweetest, kindest men I know.  My access to his care and advice is only a phone call or an e-mail away any time of the day or night thanks to a paid membership in a concierge medical program, which I pay in addition to my health insurance.   Although the extra fee is a struggle sometimes, we all enjoy the benefits of this membership.

Conversely, my relationship with my doctor’s staff–nurses, medical assistants, office manager, etc.–and the service that I receive from them has been much less than could be expected.  Many times over the past several years, messages I have left for the doc have not been delivered, prescriptions have not been sent to pharmacies in a timely manner, and referrals for procedures have taken longer than they should.  With my membership, I am entitled to same day and next day appointments with the doctor, if necessary, but his staff has tried to put me off many times, even when the doctor has personally told me to tell them to get me in a certain day and time. Continue reading Doctor’s Office Blues

If You Aren’t Angry & Frightened, You Aren’t Paying Attention

During my recent staycation this September, I revived a Twitter account that I had opened and quickly abandoned years ago.  Coincidentally (or not) my return to Twitter coincided with the timing of the recent budget votes and came just days before Senator Ted Cruz’s lengthy impassioned anti-Obamacare speech on the Senate floor.  One or two tweets from me about my opposition to Obamacare and I had retweets galore and followers aplenty almost overnight.  They followed me.  I followed them.  Soon I was hooked–swept into the world of Obamacare, the debt crisis, the Common Core debate, the right to keep and bear arms and other issues of government overreach.

I am a conservative–fiscally and socially.  Why?  Because I believe in God, The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights.  I believe in the vision of our founding fathers–limited government and freedom from tyranny and from religious persecution.  For many years now, I have become increasingly concerned, and yes frightened, at the overreach of our governments both the federal and those of the various states.  I am sickened by the knowledge that while the people of this once great country sleep, ignoring the big picture and consumed with the details of their own personal lives, our government quietly intrudes further and further into those lives, takes away our ability to choose and grabs more and more power, working toward rendering us dependent and impotent to fight back. Continue reading If You Aren’t Angry & Frightened, You Aren’t Paying Attention

“D” is for Depression…and other stuff

It is now the eve of day nine of what has so far been the happiest, most restful and yet productive vacation I have experienced in a long time, maybe ever.  And what’s this?  Someone or something wants to rob me of my joy!  The clouds roll in and I can feel the darkness.  My bed calls me, and I fear sleep may be my only escape.   A brief nap and I’m awake again, out of bed and fighting for my life.  Seriously, can’t I have just one more day or two or three without the clouds and without the fight.  It has been so peaceful.

Ironically, I had lunch with a girlfriend this week who I hadn’t seen in years, and she confided in me that she is depressed all the time, that she just sits for hours and stares at the wall.  She shared that she hates leaving her home and had almost cancelled our lunch date.  As I I responded that I was so glad she had decided to come and that I understood and also struggled daily with depression, I reflected in the back of my mind on what a joyful, wonderful week I had been having, wondered at the fact, and silently thanked my Heavenly Father.  Conversing with my friend was a mixed blessing–nice to have someone to share experience with but not wishing my own experience on anyone, and hoping against all hope that I was on the permanent upswing.



Green Tea: Metabolism Boosting Gold?

I’m always looking for easier or better ways to accomplish difficult tasks.  At present, the most difficult task I am facing is losing 100 plus pounds.  The other day, I happened upon an article on my home page,, entitled No time to work out? Try these 7 tricks to boost your metabolism that grabbed my attention.  Hopeful but a bit skeptical because I’m not one to buy into fad diets or false promises, I clicked on the link and received a pleasant surprise.  This is a great article–short and to the point and full of helpful tips.  Some of my takeaways from the article, realistic changes I believe I can make now to help boost my metabolism and therefore attain my weight loss goal:  Drink more ice cold water, eat more lean protein, drink a few cups of high quality green tea every day, and try to sleep at least 9 hours per night.

What about the suggestions that I am unable to make work (at least not right now)?  In the past, my all or nothing attitude would have defeated me before I started.  An older, wiser me now realizes that some benefit is better than no benefit and has learned to be content with what I am able to do.  I don’t own heavy weights and am not in good enough shape to do a quick, high-intensity workout.  Spicy foods don’t work for me–not the temperature going down nor the indigestion afterward.  And, I only eat organic produce when it’s available and affordable which is almost never.  Four out of seven I can do.  That’s not too bad.  I’ll add the weight training once I have the first four mastered and am in a little better shape.  For now, I am happy sitting in front of my computer sipping a cup of Teavana’s Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea which better be worth its weight in metabolism boosting gold because it is almost as expensive. 🙂


Metformin, My Bicycle and Me

Thanks to my son and in spite of the rain and all the recent articles I have read that question whether or not exercise is actually a factor in weight loss, I dragged out my poor, neglected bicycle yesterday, pumped up its tires and went for a ride.  It has been so long that I honestly believed I would be lucky to make it two or three feet before I had a heart attack or a stroke and came crashing to the ground.  It was a beautiful day, started out with a soft rain, and when the rain ceased a light cloud cover and a soft breeze took its place.  My son was easy on me and supportive, allowing me to set the pace.  Having a gentle encourager made the effort so much more bearable.  I would never have made it without him.  I have gained so much weight since I last rode that just pumping up my tires and bending to put on my athletic shoes had me breathing hard and ready to quit. Continue reading Metformin, My Bicycle and Me