About kaiserswest

A wife and mother to 3 amazing sons, and grandma to 6 (and counting) beautiful grandchildren. This is just a place where I can muse on things in my life and the world around me. I don't pretend to be a great writer or theologian, historian or blogger, but I'd love you to join me on this journey!

“..the ancient paths…”

I pinched a nerve in my shoulder and I am cranky. The pain is ridiculous. I normally do no meds, so for me to regularly ingest Ibuprofen, you know it’s bad! I read up on it today and total rest is the sole cure, other than surgical intervention – and that is not even on the table. I am not a fan of doctors in general, and to cut on me in particular. So rest it is. Ointments and anti-inflammatories are the suggested cures, along with massage, once the pain is not as acute. We will see. I guess this is one of those “only time will tell” scenarios. Joy.

So apparently I am in need of patience these days. So very true. LOL. I am a digital presence and enjoy digging into theories and posits on the web. And I have stuck my neck out, metaphorically, for certain other seekers on the web. This weekend, several who I felt I had connected to, turned tail and ran. I try not to judge. Truly. Years and years ago my oldest son accused me of prejudging a gal he was dating because she looked what I thought of as “trampy.” He told me she was a nice person, etc. (Of course, years later he did admit I was right in my judgement. Trampy it was). But it caused me to stop looking at book covers, and trying to read the book. And I have found such joy in embracing all sorts of people. They have added to my life and enriched it. I am glad I have learned a lesson in allowing “you to be you” and not trying to stuff people into my own box. My box is neat and tidy and very conservative. LOL. Perhaps not as much as some, but definitely more than most. Back to this weekend and my shoulder!!

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Our world was rocked this week. And it is only the first week of August. Yesterday, last night, and today there are explosions around the world; there are fires in the USA and the Middle East; the FBI raided offices and made arrests yesterday, documents were released yesterday; Germany uncovered a huge pedophile ring involving thousands; states set up fines for not complying with mask rules; the 4,000th victim was rescued by the OUR (Operation Underground Railroad) organization; public lands and infrastructure was protected; the US Government set aside $34 million for victims of trafficking; congressional hearings were in full force….I am tired just typing all this stuff and it is not a complete list!

One of the horrific things yesterday was the blast in Beruit. We need to hold them all in our thoughts and prayers. Lebanon is an amazing country and I have friends from Lebanon. Their culture, their faith, their spirit are all intoxicating. They have been in financial turmoil and Covid issues have almost drained their economy, as well. Now this has left over 800,000 people with no place to live. If you have not prayed for these people, please do. We may not agree with their government but the people do not deserve to suffer and no prayers are ever wasted.

In amongst all these happenings, I feel like there is an immense lesson for us all, and for me, in particular. We must stop judging. But we must fight for the truth. Our world is in turmoil and much of it is man-made by those who revel in power and care nothing for each person. The people in power want to keep our cultures tied down. They want us to stop seeing the humanity behind the mask. They want us to stop gathering together, because when we do, we share information. And what those in power want most are agreeable sheep. The election in November will be world-changing. Because as America goes, so goes the world. This is so very important. And unfortunately, we are being lied to daily, by the media. There is no truth. You can superimpose every newscast, one on top of the other, and the words are almost identical. They want their message to cover us all with doubt and lies and separateness. People joining together for prayer and companionship and love is illegal. But gathering together to burn bibles and crosses is perfectly okay. Check out the latest in Portland if you don’t believe me.

This past Sunday, over 5,000 people gathered on the California beaches to pray and sing and worship together, despite what their governor mandated. It was glorious to see. Because in the end, God wins. Always. And when people use God to further their own agenda, that’s when my stomach turns and that darned pinched nerve go crazy. And that is what happened with me this past weekend. And what is the lesson from that? It is an old one, and it is pretty common sensical. We cannot place our hope in man. There is only one place our devotion should lay and that is with God. Period. We cannot look to a President to save us. We cannot assume our government will take care of us. No. That is all on us and our faith and personal determination, discretion, and discernment. I prefer everyone on the beaches, holding each other up by praying together. I prefer an open economy and not imposing dress code laws in the guise of protecting the health of others, as in mandatory mask regulations. I believe in a free America. I am an adult. My brain functions. I should be allowed to choose to wear a mask or not. Just like all those who want to murder their unborn child want me to allow them the freedom to do that. Their favorite slogan is, “My body, my choice.”  I am heartily pro-life, and do not see abortion as a solution for anyone at any time, so their choice for me, is one of murder. But to expect me to wear a mask, and possibly goggles, and in my own home or vehicle, is just insanity. And if I stay 6 feet away, we are not even communicating. It is the flu. But it is also an election year. And all hell is breaking loose.

So with betrayals all around us, with Bibles being burned, and crosses brought to the fires and thrown onto the flames, what does a Christian do? Well, aside from allowing it all to enflame your nerves so you are in constant pain from the stress of it, you find your rickety, old, knees, and you pray – and you pray hard. It has been suggested that in the next 90 or so days until this election, more and more horror will be seen. We call them “false flags.” They are there to distract us from what is really happening. Hillary Clinton will be testifying on Capital Hill in September. Did you even know? Ghislaine Maxwell will be testifying. Documents are being unsealed. Indictments are being unsealed. Child traffickers are being arrested and child trafficking rings around the country, and the world, are being taken down. Did you know? And one of the biggest things is that two former Presidents are being exposed – one as a child abuser and for crimes against humanity, and the other for TREASON. Have these made the news cycle? Nope. We are coming to a fork in the road, my friends. We have to choose which way we will go. Will we follow God or man? Good vs evil? Freedom vs slavery? I don’t want my grandchildren to ask me what it was like growing up in America when it was free, do you? I am not exaggerating any of this. This is what is wrong – the average person just does not see the bigger picture. Guess what? There are more fires and explosions today! France is afire in its forests. What is happening? More people were arrested. More testimony in Congressional hearings. I am out of napkins and onions and potatoes! The world is spinning and life is happening. But are we aware? Making grocery lists and listening to people lie before Congress. So incongruous. Please think about it seriously, because in amongst the mundane of daily life, evil is flourishing. Our future depends on all of us just saying no to what is happening. Just saying no to evil and yes to truth and freedom. Worldwide. November will be catastrophic if good people sit back and do nothing. We no longer have the luxury of being silent. It is time we were heard. It is time to take our country, and the world, back from evil and allow love and freedom and goodness to prevail – worldwide. Please take this seriously, because it is the most serious election in our history. Vote. Take part. Or explain to your grandchildren what freedom once was.

 

“…in the darkness…”

I love this meme. I have saved it and posted it on social media a lot. Because truly, I am over politics. It is just maneuvering and pressuring and positioning. Most of the time, even good people who become involved with politics find themselves corrupted in some way or another. Even down here at the local level, and state level. Nationally it is almost impossible to be on that playing field without compromise of some sort. I am not unavowedly conservative. I think most who read this get that. It is definitely not a secret. And this meme explains why I am involved in all this stuff. Because injustice has become commonplace. Ill perpetrated upon an unknowing populace are everyday processes for our news media and most in government. What happened to inalienable rights? Did you know that when a law goes against constitutional law, it is unlawful and does not have to be obeyed? Governors and mayors who decree, under pandemic extension of powers, that we cannot gather indoors, at all, are violating the constitution. We have the right to gather. It is an inalienable right. Did you know the constitution is there to protect us from over-reaching politicians and their brand of politics? THEY WORK FOR US.

When I was working for a county agency, at the executive level, many elected officials came and went out of my office. I handled delicate matters and it required a certain level of access. Not anyone could enter my office suite. Even elected officials had to make appointments and be allowed into our area. But we were instructed that if an elected official was walking the hallways, we were expected to move against the walls to allow them unfettered walking. They were not supposed to have to ask us to move out of their way…we were expected to do so because they were elected. I was furious. They were guys who graduated from college and started slapping hands and making themselves noticed in order to be elected. A vast majority of elected officials have NEVER HAD A JOB.

We were also told that if an official did not serve at least two terms, they were not able to do their jobs. The reasoning blew my mind. I was told this: (1) It takes someone at least the first year to just learn where everything is, and where everyone’s offices were located. Where to park, to eat, to get to their office. Where the conference rooms are located. Who their staff was. And to find their way through the governmental properties where the legislation is quartered. Trust me, it is easy to get lost at just the County level. (2) It takes at least two years to learn what they were elected to do. If they are a legislator, it takes at least two years to learn how the process in their legislative body works. How laws are proposed. The vocabulary required for writing legislation (You do know they do not write these legislative acts, or laws, or proposals? No. They have professionals who do nothing but write legislation. Yep. Hoodwinked. Ugh).  (3) It takes them two years to understand how to put together something (that supposedly their constituency has asked them to accomplish) that goes before the body for discussion and ruling. Then there are all the subcommittees and who is higher ranked and who you need to take your legislation to, in order to get the nod to move it forward. Think of the movie, “Evan Almighty” with Steve Carroll. He is a newsman who is elected to the Senate. And God has other plans for him. But he tries to go along with a “powerful” senator, played by John Goodman. The nuances in that movie realistically portray government stupidity. It is how things are! They made it a comedy to not bother you, but it is truth couched in comedy. (4) Once their two years or so of rookie legislator is up, they can begin to meld into an effective legislator. They know the “lay of the land,” they understand the process, they know where to park and where the cafeteria is. And then they can begin to put forth their opinion, to vote on things with some knowledge. They have become more well-read in all things pertaining to their elected office. They have hired and fired staff. They are ready to begin their stint as an elected official. But in the meantime, the world has been moving. Before you know it, it is election year and nothing happens in that year except speeches, and television interviews and pruning before your constituents, claiming all the things you have done for them. So they need another 4 years to be effective at what they do. But you and me? Do we get 4 years probation for a new job? Heck no. If I cannot perform my job within a six-month or so probationary period, I lose said job. And that included the work I was doing, at the executive level, for a county government. I was asked to take a sexual harassment training course, and pass the online course, on behalf of a legislator. Why? Because he was too busy and did not have the time to do it. Irony? I helped write and administer the program (so duh, I would not fail when taking it) and the other ironic part? This legislator is one of the ones who went on TV and gave interviews on the importance of sexual harassment training and sensitivity. Yeah; right. And he was a career politician on about his 4th cycle in office. Sigh.

On and on that 2- or 4-year cycle goes. And that is why no one in government wants term limits. They’re comfy with how the system works; they conquered their part of the cycle and they are in a rhythm. The problem (one of a myriad) is that politicians become complacent and lazy and caught up in their own news cycle. There is not an original thought among them. And they become beholden to outside influences. Just going to dinners, or being given theatre tickets from XYZ Corporation. Remember the movie with Kevin Costner early in his career called, “No Way Out” in 1987? (I know, it was a while back! LOL!). In this movie his girlfriend (played by Sean Young) is killed by her other, high ranking lover, who happens to be a Senator (played by Gene Hackman). In the movie, Kevin is able to prove she was killed by Gene by tracing a gift given to him by a foreign embassy. The senator had given it to his mistress, who he had provided an apartment in DC for, and who lavished her with gifts, often from foreign powers. And above all costs, the facts had to be hidden. The senator’s aid actually dies, claiming he had done it, to keep the senator’s name out of it, but truth always wins. And if you think stuff like this doesn’t happen in DC, you must live under a rock. Think Uranium 1; think Fisagate with lovers exchanging emails trying to take down a sitting President; think Hunter Biden and all the other children of diplomats and legislators who are involved with Burisma Holdings. It is a swamp. And truly, if we dig, we can find dirt on almost anyone in government from our local mayors to state senators, governors, and on to the members of Congress. We have Supreme Court justices with their names on Jeffrey Epstein’s flight logs. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and just Haiti (not even going into the body count associated with those two). There is Obamagate. Yep. He spied on a campaign. He illegally spied. He let Benghazi happen, along with HRC.  On and on and on the dirt goes. It is sickening. And we have not even opened the box containing this week’s WayFair debacle with child trafficking. Thanks be to God we have a President who put that at the top of his list when taking office and has worked tirelessly to stop it. There is so much that is going to come out about Washington, DC and Hollywood. And it will be impossible to believe.

I have spent a few years, but most notably over the past two years, diving down some information rabbit holes that I never wanted to go down. (Ironically, HRC’s code name with the secret service is Alice in Wonderland). But I am glad I have looked and researched for myself. I am glad that I allowed myself to look and see and learn. I would rather not be uninformed and go through life living a lie, or with my head in the sand like an ostrich. I know things I did not know a few weeks ago. I know things I did not know growing up, which have permanently altered my world view. I wish I could ask for a refund from my university for making me study “facts” that were really slanted conjectures. I am very angry at Hollywood for destroying my memories, because so much of what they do is outright evil. I hate that I now know I have been brainwashed. It is called, “The Great Awakening,” and I think more and more people around the world are waking up to what our governments have been doing to us. And to the fact that the world is constantly in a battle of very basic things – good versus evil. That’s it in a nutshell. Something is inherently good, or inherently evil. Period. There really is no gray. If we allow gray, we slide into black and dark and evil. We must always be in the light of ultimate truth.

 

 

“Listen to the rhythm of the pouring rain…”

Life is a balancing act. Sometimes you can do it well, and people don’t even notice. They don’t notice how hard it was because you nailed it. LOL. Then there are those days where you look and feel like a drowned rat, and you feel done in. I get that; I truly do.

Today it is dark and pouring with rain. I normally wear flip-flops for months – as long as I possibly can – before the toes just get too cold and I know winter is around the corner. I get a tan line on my feet! Well, today I have my slippers on. Toes are cold. In and of itself, that is depressing. LOL.

Even the dog is sad, and was begging to be let outside in the pouring rain. I was able to deflect and gave him a good scratch, and he went back to sleep. Even the animals are sort of slumbering today. LOL.

So when I am sad or down, I love to organize and clean, or bake. I cleaned like a madwoman. I had help. A friend who is down on her luck and is a fantastic organizer and cleaner, comes twice a month to assist me. And I pay her. It is a win-win as far as I am concerned. So I cleaned my oven and stove. And I mean I cleaned it. I took it completely apart. But I found a cleaning hack – use Easy Off Oven Cleaner on everything. Take out your racks. Spray them with Easy Off. Stick them in a large trash bag. Ignore them for a couple of hours. Same with your cooktop grills and gas outlet covers. Stuff it in a bag, sprayed with Easy Off. Secure the bags and walk away from them for about 2 hours. Spray down the microwave. Let it set. Spray down your naked cooktop. Let it set until the foaming stops. Then just start wiping away grease and grime. It is so cathartic. I did the entire oven, too. Left it sprayed and cold and alone for 2 hours. In the meantime I’m scrubbing the cooktop cast iron and it is coming up so clean. The cooktop is shining. To get an extra shine, I finish off with window cleaner I got at Home Depot – you use 1 capful to a gallon of water. I use it on all my windows inside and out. And shining surfaces. It is a miracle – no streaks. Then my friend helped me pull out the refrigerator and clean behind it. Even the walls. We vacuumed the back and cleaned it; even wiping down the sides and the cabinets it is between, as well as the front. It looks so good. Next I’ll clean out the inside. That is for another day! LOL! So to help my sadness, ennui, or whatever it was, I cleaned. What do you do?

Today has been a miss-mash of pouring rain and glorious sunshine and clear skies. It is weird. So my energy directed me (with hubby’s prodding) to complete and file our taxes. Yeah; I am one of those who took advantage of the new tax day. Ours were so complicated that they scared me. But once I understood all the moving parts, it was fairly simple to complete, and I had done more of them than I thought I had. And so that chore is over and done with. Next up is planting some bushes that have been sitting where they belong through the rain, and use the sunshine to put them into the ground. And add some fertilizer to the surrounding plants that don’t look too happy. We are planning on it being a very colorful hedge some day. On the left is the purple leaf sand cherry and on the right is the burning bush. They are planted, interspersed with one another, at the street edge of our front yard. Should be interesting. The purple leaf sand cherry bushes are winning the growth race right now!

       

Chores are done. Even the laundry! Got clean sheets in the dryer! LOL! So I think my brain has exhausted my body. But when I slow down and think is when I get all maudlin. The world is just so insane right now. I am no longer a voting precinct co-chair, and my co-chair is not, either. And it makes me sad. But I just cannot agree to their restrictions without subsuming my rights. So their ultimatum was capitulate or your services are no longer required. So we both walked out. We both feel like our right to serve was taken away by the whims of one official. Not by popular vote. Not by legislative command or edict. But by one person’s opinion. And it is just not right. That is one thing.

My dad (93) and step mom (87) are both hospitalized (in different hospitals) with covid-strep-pneumonia. They were both in ICU. They are doing well. Both are sitting in chairs and out of the beds and both are eating well. My stepmom has a breathing thing in her nose; dad is fine and breathing on his own. They are tested daily for covid. Did you know that every test that is positive is counted as a new case? Even if it is for a person who already tests positive? Yeah. Did you know no one is in masks on the covid floor of the hospital, except staff? They have been in there for 3 days and Dad insists it is 3 weeks. Gotta love dementia. They are not allowed anything personal – no phone, clothing, books, iPads, magazines. A patient on the floor had to petition for his hearing aides because he is deaf!! And absolutely no visitors. In the dark places hidden in my brain, I feel like they are being kept at some gulag and will be disposed of when the hospitals have drained the last little bit of federal funding out of them. It is ridiculous. And I am angry at all of it. I just feel like we, as a culture, are being played. I’ll bet all the covid nonsense is gone by November 4th. All of it. Did you notice how no one is dying of the flu? Heart attacks? That swabs are being sent in that have not touched a person, and the results are coming back positive? Or people go to get in line (6 feet apart) to be tested and walk away because the line is too long or wait is too long, and yet they receive a notice their test was positive? C’mom, people!? Doesn’t your soul just itch with the idea something is not right???

I’ll just close with this: I think that most of us realize this is not the “new normal” and we do not accept an existence spent in fear, or distancing from loved ones, friends, and associates. We do not accept we cannot walk the beach or go to a concert or any of these ridiculous strangleholds those with some power are placing on our freedoms. Why is it okay to demonstrate violently without restrictions, but we cannot attend Church, or sing while we are there? Do you notice our right to worship is being trampled on? Do you notice we are being told what we can and cannot wear, and where we have to wear what “they” say? A woman was arrested for not wearing a mask. What is happening in this country? Do you get all your information from the TV? Do you think they are honest with you? That they news media is fully covering the issues? If they are censoring those with opposing views, doesn’t that tell you something? Have you looked at Hong Kong recently and seen their rights disappear? Watch out , my fellow citizens, or what you hold dear, the freedom to live as you choose, will be gone. The freedom to gather, to pray, to sing in Church will be erased. We are in an epic battle in this country and in this world. And it is for our souls. This election is all about right vs wrong, good vs evil, a democratic republic vs absolute and total tyranny. Hang on, it’s gonna get bumpy, my patriotic frens!

 

 

 

 

“… our flag was still there…”

Well, it’s the 4th of July this weekend. And to be frank, I was not aware it was this close. I had totally spaced on the exact date. Oops! Been busy but I am not sure what I have been doing. My brain is fried a little bit. LOL. The weather is finally feeling more like summer, and our flowers and plants look glorious.

I’m a die-hard Dahlia fan and the one above is one of my new ones. I just love the colors. I also planted peonies and one of them is blooming. It is a bright and glorious pink. I love peonies, but they make me sneeze and my eyes water. So I plant them where I don’t have to be near them, except to look at them from afar! LOL! I ran outside and took a photo of it…

And then I saw all these blooming beauties, and here are some more flowers. I am of the mind that you plant once and enjoy every year, so all these have overwintered and are still looking gorgeous!

And as I walked back inside, I grabbed quick photos of these little pots on our front porch area. I know it’s crazy, but I love that curly grass so much. It doesn’t bloom. It just curls. And for whatever reason, it brings a smile to my face! This year, two pots have it…isn’t it fun???

And you know what? Just being in the sunshine and clear skies, with wonderfully smog-free air, does your whole psyche good. This weekend is the 4th of July, as I said above. So many governors and mayors and people with their over-inflated sense of power are trying to take our Nation’s Birthday away from us. I say, if you cannot have fireworks, cannot gather on the beaches, or cannot have a big BBQ party, that is fine. But fight back! Hang your flags off your porches, fly a flag in your yard. You can always go outside and clang pots and pans in celebration, like we did as kids. We also celebrated with those twisty noisemakers you whirled around. Bake a red-white-and blue cake for America. Have fun with patriotic decorations. This year is so critical to remember we are America the Beautiful! America the Great! Home of the free, because of the brave! Celebrate with those near and dear (since we are limited by all these dumb restrictions). Remember why July 4th is such an important day. For all of us. Because this day marks the day in history when our founders declared their independence. They refused to be held down by an oppressive government. They declared that all men are free. They gave us a government that is “for the people.” I don’t feel like very many of these little despots who are closing down entire cities and counties and states even remember that they work at our pleasure – each vote matters!! Personally, I think it is time to drain the swamp (regardless of party affiliation) from school boards to the House and Senate in Washington DC. Before they steal this country right out from under our noses. The signs are everywhere, if you choose to see them.

So go outside in this gloriously sunny weather. Sunshine is good for what ails you…like viruses. Hold your family members close. Pray unceasingly for good to rule this world and evil to be rousted from all the dark hidey-holes! The only way to root out evil is to bring it into the fullness of the Light. Thanks be to God for your faith, family, and this wonderful place we call home. God Bless America.

“…for light or transient causes…”

The world is rocking out of control. And I do mean the entire world. If we are naive enough the think BLM and Seattle are only in the USA, we are living in a make believe place. We are all fighting. The world is fighting. It is good vs evil and freedom vs the new world order. Yeah, I know I sound nuts. But I am just skimming the surface. This battle is for the soul of the world. The soul that aligns with God. And it is not just about you and me – it is about the legacy we leave future generations.

And the media is complicit. I was watching my grandchildren’s new favorite TV show on Netflix with them. “Symbols will be their downfall” is a phrase used frequently by those of us who are trying to discern the truth on a deeper level. Well, this cartoon series had satanic, evil, and horrible symbology all over it. I turned away. But the problem is that I am not their mother or father. I am just grandma. I redirected to a craft, but they were sucked into the tube. They loved the show. And my heart just sank. Truly, what can I do? I am not their authority figure. I am the cookie and cake baker. I provide bubbles for the the backyard and sidewalk chalk. I give them construction paper, scissors and glue and we create dioramas and posters. I support their love of books and play. We make forts with our blankets and dining room table. They are happy here. I have helped school them a little during the plandemic; I even bought them materials to stimulate their brains when they were bored of zoom meetings that were out of control. (It was actually pathetic what they were calling class time). My lap is a frequent oasis and a place where they receive cuddling and boundless words of love. I love them deeply. But I am so afraid for their future. I do not want another CHOP or CHAZ or whatever the flavor of the month is, to be their reality. I want them able to chase butterflies and have sprinkler wars and get scraped knees trying to jump that pile of dirt with their bike or scooter or skateboard. I want them to be happy and carefree and to be children. But is that my fantasy and not the reality we are leaving them? How am I, how are you, ensuring the next generation gets to live free? That our great-grandchildren will be able to walk a street without fear? Where no one kneels to anyone, except God? Where we love one another, regardless of the melatonin in our skin? What can little, old, cookie baking-grandmas do to affect change? To ensure this American dream is not snuffed out? To ensure freedom is familiar all around this world? To bring peace to the world from my little corner of it?

For one, vote. Do not assume the silent majority will take care of things. This election cycle is the single most important one of my lifetime. All the HOUSE seats are up for re-election. So many Senate seats are, too. Not to mention local and state elections. Take the time out of your schedule to sit through candidate forums, to ask questions, to understand the process. To be involved in the change you want to see happen. The policies that affect us most are controlled by our participation in local issues. If Seattle or New York or Los Angeles during this plandemic and shut down are not a good example of that, you have not been paying attention. President Trump is supporting States’ Rights in every aspect. He is not throwing federal guns at these issues. He is allowing the local governing agencies to care for their own people, the way the Constitution intended it to be. How are those elected officials working out for you??? Our active participation is the single most important thing we can do to protect our way of life, to ensure this Republic continues to be a place of freedom, and not tyranny. Not locally, not regionally, and not federally. The only thing that stands between anarchy and the rule of law is our vote. We need to take a stand, declare that enough is enough, and remove from office all those who have led this country astray. All of them. Term limits. Vote them out. Some in our national legislative bodies have been there more than 60 years! It was never intended to be a profession. It was never intended to be a life long career. “Gentlemen legislators”! Go for your term, come back home and let your neighbor serve. That was the intention!! And it can work like that. Get these professionals who have never known a job, who own homes in DC but not their own states, and who have been there for decades, out of office! Give other citizens a chance. November 3rd is pivotal. And since there are so many ways to stuff the ballot box this cycle, how about (2) you volunteer to help? This will be my second presidential election working at the polls. This time I am the co-chair of a precinct. And I am looking forward to it. We work 3 days – a day to train, a day for the primaries, and then the general election. As a precinct worker, that is all. Three days. You can ensure your precinct is honestly represented. You can assure your voting place is free of fraud. You can ensure every vote is counted. It is a sacred trust to ensure someone’s vote is counted. And if everyone took part, there would be no fraud. None.

We have been participating in this great social experiment for more than 200 years. Now is not the time to hang out in quarantine laziness, reclining and tapping away on our keyboards. Now is the time to stand up for our right to vote, for our Republic to remain a Republic, founded upon the concept that was laid forth in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. — The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Those words are as inspiring today as they were then! We are not fighting against British overlords, we are fighting against evil tyrants who have had their way in this world for far too long. Evil needs to be vanquished. The light needs to shine in our Country once more. The very least we can do to ensure this ideal continues, is to raise awareness to others that this is a serious moment in our history as a country, and as a culture. The very least we can do to honor these amazing words written in 1776 for all men, for all time, is to vote to keep these words germane to our lives. To ensure no new world order comes in to obliterate history and the ideals of this nation. It is no joke. Spray painting on historical sites, or tearing down statues is not anarchy. It is a designed way to remove our history. To take our memories from us. It is to indoctrinate us into an emotional frenzy so that a new totalitarian form of government can come in, unimpeded, to save us from our emotional overload and start over. It is not anything that should be ignored or taken lightly. Look up the reality that is CHAZ or CHOP. (Do not rely on local news. Go online and find out the truth. Research for yourself, if you think I am crazy). Is that how you want to live? No protections? Armed guards, walls, oppression? Little city-states or castles run by some gang lord with ARs being passed out from the trunk of his Prius (that is on video!!)? Because they are demonstrating mob rule and tyranny, not the freedoms they espouse. Freedom is not obtained behind black boxes or masks that obscure identity. It is obtained by standing up, in real ways, for what you hold to be self-evident. To ensure that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it. And it is our right to ensure places like Seattle or CHOP do not become the norm. That the America worth standing for, flying a flag for, and dying for, is worth voting for! PLEASE VOTE. It is the single most important vote you will ever make. Seriously.

NOTE: You should not have to be fearful of flying a flag at home, or having the flag sticker on your car, or wearing Americana clothing, celebrating America. If you are, there is a serious problem right where you live. You can vote to change that. Honestly, it matters.

 

 

“the body is more than clothing…”

Stress. The new aging mechanism. Honestly I felt last week like the top of my head would explode off. I do not have high blood pressure, and in fact it is characteristically very low. So when it goes up a little I really notice.

I have posted how I am taking this course, “Filled with Less,” and yesterday’s lesson was on health. A portion of that was all about stress. One of the seminal statements for me was this :

“Know what you can control and give the rest to God.”

Boy, did that hit home. I am dealing with the fallout of my mom’s hip issue and not kidding, I had 7 phone calls yesterday from agencies asking for this and for that. I am printing, signing, scanning, emailing, copying…over and over. Luckily I was an admin assistant more than once, and have tackled and conquered paperwork – most of it legal and official – so I’ve got it in hand. I have files set up on my computer, and physical files, as well. But just the fact that there are so many little steps of minutia that I have to tend to is stressing me out. In addition to the fact that I am basically a retired, little old lady tending to her garden, new recipes, and laundry. This is sort of outside my wheelhouse these days. Part of the stress is getting dragged back into it. And the onus of this responsibility for my mom. I am her sole advocate. The only voice speaking up for her rights and her quality of care. It is not something I would suggest anyone take on lightly. I am so profoundly grateful the people at Alzheimer’s Resource Alaska gave me such sound advice. The conversations I needed to have with my mom were had – we discussed how she wants to be taken care of when she can no longer communicate her wishes. And that is where I come in. I am now her voice.

In the book of Luke, it states in chapter 12 that we are not to worry about what we are to eat, the clothes we are to wear because “life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.” Christ goes on to say, “Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you, by worrying, can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” Christ ends His discourse with the famous line, “O ye of little faith.” And that was a pretty direct hit. I know my Lord has my mom in the palm of His hand. I know He is watching over her. And even though it feels like a storm cloud is over my head, in my heart of hearts (nous) I feel God nudging me to calm and to peace, knowing He is in charge.

Weekend musings…

The photo above was taken Friday night, Saturday morning, about 1:00am as I was leaving the emergency room of a hospital 45 minutes south of my home. They had taken my mom there from her assisted living home, because she fell and broke her hip. The paramedics told me, while I was Face Time with them, that I would be allowed inside because I am her POA and she is incapable of making medical decisions. When I arrived, I was not allowed IN THE BUILDING. Absolutely NO VISITORS. Well, they make an exception if the patient is under 18 and parents must make medical decisions, or anyone older who is in danger of imminent death. Now I ask you, what is the substantive difference between a 15-year-old kid, in the ER who is frightened and in pain, and incapable physically, mentally, or legally to make a medical decision, and my mom, who is 90 years old, in end stage Alzheimer’s, who is incapable of making a decision of any kind, who is in pain and frightened? And here I am, her legal POA. They cannot touch her without my consent. To say I was angry and frustrated just skims the surface. We have had like 40 covid cases up here. 40. In total. And my poor mom, so confused, and hurting, having no idea where she is or what is being done to her, and there is no one familiar allowed near her. I am more than angry.

I do like that, with the covid thing, doctors actually have to talk to you. They have to establish communications because we are not physically there. On my drive home, I received three separate calls from two doctors and the admitting staff. When I left the hospital they did not think she had broken anything and would be going home within an hour or two. On the 45 minute drive home, I was told that not only did she break her femur (hip area – long bone in leg) that it was the type of break that required surgical repair. And that they had admitted her. Admitting called soon thereafter to go over all her information with me since mom could not even tell them her last name, nor did she even know where she was. Sigh. Doctor called me back and informed me the surgeon would call soon. And so would the anesthesiologist. I got home about 2am and crawled into bed. I was awakened by 6am with phone calls. I literally had 1/2 hour to get to the hospital. The surgeon and anesthesiologist both said the covid restrictions were stupid at this point and they were directing the head of nursing, who they said really run the hospitals, to allow me in. The chief nurse of surgery called me back and said I could come in – I had to be screened for covid, but if I passed, I could enter, as long as I remained masked. Well, I missed mom going into surgery by 8 minutes. And I had to sit in her room, with the view above, and wait. I did not know if mom would even know who I was, because anesthesia wreaks havoc with the brain of healthy people, let alone an Alzheimer’s patient at the end stage, and 90 years old.

There were, let’s say, major complications. Mom’s surgery itself went very well. I was allowed in to the recovery area, escorted by the surgeon himself. I met the surgical staff and they were very kind, and very apologetic. As they asked mom to wake up, she saw me and said, “Hello my lovely daughter.” Yes, I wept. She knew me. Thanks be to God.

I spent most of Saturday masked, watching mom as she was in and out of consciousness. Meeting with the surgeon and internist several times. I went home and collapsed into bed at 8pm, only having had 4 hours of sleep. I am no spring chicken and I do not do well without my 8 hours. LOL. I returned by 10am Sunday morning to find my mom eating breakfast and them preparing to discharge her. I was gobsmacked. I was shocked. The staff was shocked. Mom had made two rounds of walking around the entire Ortho floor, stopping to chat with other patients, constantly taking off her mask because she said it was stupid. (LOL. As a side note, no one cared if mom and I were masked in her room. They remained masked but said there was enough distance and we were fine. Most of the nurses said the entire process with covid and the CDC regulations were ridiculous, and changed almost hourly, it was hard to keep up. They often lowered their masks to below their noses because they restrict the air flow so much, they got hot and bothered doing simple care tasks). I knew mom was feeling well when she motioned to tweek the rear end of the cute male nurse who was trying to help her get dressed. I had to stop her! LOL! She is a sassy woman. The staff was in shock that less than 48 hours after falling and 24 after surgery, she was going home. They told me usually people her age don’t even get out of bed for 3 days. It usually takes upward of a week to get them mobile enough to leave. Not my mom. LOL.

Smiling mom, bruised and broken, and battered, getting ready to go home. She did not believe that was a photo of her! She is an amazing woman. This saga is far from over and details need to stay closed from public view for the time being. But she is a tough cookie. I will be there, when I can. The assisted living facility is closed to me, still, and she was so mad I was leaving her there (“I do not live here. I do not belong here. I do not know this place or these people. Take me home immediately” were some of her comments to me). I was assured she would be fine, and she tried to hold onto me as they wheeled her inside. I had to just walk away. Stupid covid crap.

They sent me this later on, showing she was smiling and comfortable. This is so not what I wanted for her. I hope she will use her new walker, since she refused to use the other one we got her. LOL. Her 4th fall. Pretty soon it’s a wheelchair if she is not careful!! Such a feisty woman with Alzheimer’s! I love her so much. Her light was not ready to be dimmed. Thanks be to God for more time with her.

I got home in time for a pretty amazing storm. Lighting, thunder, hail, rain. It was amazing to watch and be in! So now, today, I am somehow locked out of my email account and cannot access anything for 24-72 hours (nice window, huh?). Some days I hate technology. I think I will just watch the storm pass by from my rocking chair on the deck, drinking coffee and soaking it all in. God is everywhere. I need to remember that. As so many would say of this photo, “The Storm is Upon Us.” God bless.

 

“…sail away from the safe harbor…”

Just wow. This past week has been newsy and disheartening in so many ways. I try not to get too political here, but politics are part of life. Unfortunately. I am prayerful there will be peace. But I do think there will also be pain and an awakening to what reality truly is. And for so many, that awakening, in and of itself, will be very painful. This is not about a man being unjustly killed (and news stories are coming out that he is, in fact, a crisis actor and is still very much alive; that all this was staged for maximum effect to incite rioting, unrest, and to separate us). This is about disrupting our republic in the face of one of the most important election cycles in our history. It is about, essentially, good versus evil. And it is about getting priorities straight – we need to be hitting our knees in prayer for all our families, friends, this country, and the world. We are spiraling out of control and it will be stopped. I am just prayerful the stop won’t be too painful for anyone. And I am taking myself out of that equation. We all need to break away from the news cycle!

This weekend was pretty fun. We planted all the plants I have been collecting the past few weeks. They are off the front porch and in their pots. And in the garden beds. I also resurrected the tubers of Dahlias from last year. Of the dozen I put up for winter in the garage (well, my husband graciously did most of that) I only lost three. So I am very happy. We have now potted them. I have never done this before and am so hopeful the little shoots find their way to the sun and we get some Dahlias this year. One of them is a chocolate Dahlia and it did not bloom last season. It survived winter with lots of shoots and it is one of the holdovers I am very excited to see. I will share a photo of what it is supposed to be:

I cannot wait for that to bloom! And in addition to planting, we began our garage project. In doing this “Six Weeks to Sanity” program, we are being encouraged to declutter. Lots of facts about clutter were thrown at us and I just sat there, slack-jawed. I have been following the KonMari method and I have done my house once. I am slowly doing it again. The one area we did not tackle was the garage. Apparently only about 1/3 of Americans can park their cars in their garages. Most have 1-2 car garages. And of those, most Americans can park perhaps 1 car in their garage. That’s us. It wasn’t like that until a few months ago when we inherited some items from friends moving out of state. Now we have to organize and meld theirs into ours. And we need to glean down our things, as well. So we started on it this weekend. We made a dump run and deposited 350 lbs into our local dump. It did not seem like it would weigh that much, but it did. And the one member of the family who was ecstatic to make the drive in the truck? Our dog. He is so funny. Any excuse to go for a ride in the truck. And trust me, when you use those words, he knows exactly what you are saying!

His joy is pretty contagious! And he is so alert to every thing around him. Every single thing. Street lights, the people in the car next to us, the bird that flew by, the bug that got splattered on the windshield…all of it. And he is discovering that when we go through drive-throughs of almost any kind, good dogs get treats. He is really disappointed if they don’t! So much to my surprise, they gave him a treat at the gate to the dump! He was so excited! And now he will love dump runs!

One of the best parts of the weekend was seeing friends we have not been able to see since the shut down. Our state is completely open, with modifications. We went to our local restaurant where we dined for over 3 hours! We had so much to catch up on, and lots of that was human contact. We are huggers and it was glorious. I did not realize how isolated I have been, being kept away from friends. To sit and actually look at their face instead of reading a text, was just the best thing, ever. Not taking friends for granted is so important in this life.

One of the things in this course I am taking is to find your tribe. Find people who compliment you – they reflect you – you can trust with your heart, soul, and life. Those you can laugh with and cry with and support. It is so important. We have a few people in our lives I would consider part of my tribe. And the woman above is one of them. (Love you, Tina!!). And I am also being encouraged to find a hobby. I do not craft. I am all thumbs. But one of my goals is to find a hobby that will work with muscle memory so that I can pursue it as I age. So many have tried to help me, but I have failed them and myself, and am re-dedicating myself to learn to crochet. Or knit. I have such a hard time with one needle, I am not sure two would be any better. But I am determined to conquer something so many find so simple. My DIL here made me the most scrumptious shawl for when my shoulders get cold. I love it so much and wish I could do that, too. (Side note: My grandma would always complain her shoulders were cold. Said to me more than once that if she could keep them warm, even with bare feet, she would be warm. I used to make fun of her, and tease her, about her cold shoulders. Now, I am her. And she is looking down from heaven, giggling at me. I love you Grandma!!).

That is me above, nestled in my shawl. The material is so soft, I could sink into it. And the color is a wonderful mouth-watering purple. Oh such a simple joy! LOL!. I am determined, within this summer cycle, to accomplish this task of acquiring a hobby – if it kills me. LOL. My girlfriend above is determined to have me succeed so we can crochet together while our hubbies hunt and fish! And we can do it in sunshine or snow, which is real here. Because crocheting in a snowstorm, before a roaring fire, with a girlfriend to gab with, sounds like heaven to me. And it makes me more determined to succeed.

So even amongst the chaos and noise of what is going on around us, we can focus and hone in on the simple things in life. I am focusing on cooking from scratch and learning some Julia Child recipes (I love her). I am looking at acquiring a hobby. I am decluttering my house and even the garage. I am making white space in my life – where I leave things blank on purpose – to feel the space around me and to relax in it. And for that extra space to allow me to learn something new. To revel in new things. We can have clutter in our minds as well as in our homes. You know, we can all improve ourselves above and over who we are right this moment. What a glorious world that would be, if each of us did focus on improving ourselves. Even if that means making dump runs as we declutter, and burning dinner now and then as I master Julia Child – if we are working towards a goal we are moving. Life is movement. Keep on moving…

 

“…and the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.”

Another week, and more rabbit holes to go down. LOL. There is just so much out there on the world-wide-web. You could literally spend your entire day and not even touch the basics. It is overwhelming. Sometimes I think the internet is not really our friend. Electronics were supposed to ease our lives and make them simpler. I really find they take more time away from us. And sometimes our brains are not operating at their best when we just look at screens all day long.

This is, quite literally, outside my bedroom window. It is our strawberry patch. It is blooming from its winter slumber. Up here in the “Last Frontier,” Spring comes later. But when it comes in, it is glorious. The world slumbers through cold nights and days of increasing sunshine, until things just start popping. You will see a bloom or two on the trees lining the highway, and within days the entire forest is green. The leaves just pop open within 3-4 days of each other. It is pretty amazing how quickly it happens. And up here, Spring is not a long event. We usually hop pretty directly into those wonderful days of open windows, slight breezes, and lots and lots of sunshine. The plants here grow massively large. Flowers bloom over and over again. In rapid succession. We will have days where we have 20 hours of sunshine. For some, it is just too much sunshine. I, myself, prefer sleeping in total darkness. I always have. In CA I used to always wear an eye mask at night. I recall instances when my kids would come and stand next to me while I was sleeping. I could sense their presence. I would wake up and tell them, “Don’t talk to me. I can’t hear you. I have my mask on.” And they would giggle and say, “Mom, it only covers your eyes.” It was our morning funny.

This weekend my daughter-in-law and I did our annual plant hunting trip to the nurseries in the area. She had some trees she was looking for, and I am always on the hunt for perennials that are either full sun or partial shade – no inbetween in my yard! Ha-Ha. And the photo above was taken from the back lot of one of our favorite nurseries. I stood there and commented to her that I never want to take this land we live on for granted. I am blessed with views like this from our local nursery, which means this is a local view for me, too. How incredible is this? It is the Eagle River Valley and it takes your breath away. Look at all that green! There is still a little snow on the peaks, but we are barely past our last thaw and the green popping up. Give it a week or two and it will be green all the way to the top.

The photo above is from the same place, looking west. See all the homes nestled in those trees on the right? Yeah. Glorious place to live. This portion of our state is one of the most blessed. I am lucky to live here.

We spend so much time on our computers or in our cars, or just inside our homes and workplace, that we forget to breathe in the clean air and look at all the beauty that surrounds us. It takes discipline to walk away and walk outside. The temps here are finally getting to the point where a morning walk with the dog will work for me. And I am determined to hike some more trails this summer, and to work on my fitness level (which is severely lacking after a long winter’s slumber – I’m like the bears! LOL!). And right now we are in that phase of Spring where we get some amazing rain storms. The skies look incredible with the many types of storm clouds. And quite suddenly we will have a downpour. The day after a long rain, the plants have blossomed even more. The varied tones of green are incredible. The many wild blooms are starting to peek out from the long winter, too. Every day there is something new to see.

Psalm 65:12 “The pastures of the wilderness drip, and the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.”

I am trying to get to that place where I can distract myself from media. I know it is affecting my eyes, because distance vision is blurred so often. I read on my phone the usage report and I cringe. I justify it by telling myself, “Well, you don’t watch TV; you don’t use your laptop much, so it’s okay.” But is it? No, it is not. I do not think this much electronic usage is really very healthy. That might be the weirdo in me, but I think life was better when there was more paper and pencil and less of the iPhones and remotes. I get consumed with what is going on out there, and I need to focus closer to my own garden; tend to my own weeds. Both real and rhetorical…see what I did there? Ha-Ha. It’s my Monday!

I love to find flowers with intricate, tiny blossoms. This one above stole my heart. Well, it is purple. Ha-Ha. I was proud of myself this year because I grabbed a lot of other colors. I even bought some Dahlias that are not purple or pink, but actually yellow and one that is coral. I am diversifying the look of my pots and garden! And it is a lot of fun. Planting and potting and helping things grow does so much for our psyche. I think it is good to get away from the living room or desk and drink in some nature.

Tender blossoms need tender care. They need and require attention to survive. I only buy perennials, so they have to be able to stand temperatures of lows into the -40s. So even if these blooms seem delicate, they are pretty hardy plants! And when I see the handiwork of God in these flowers, my heart softens and I can leave the harsh realities of this world behind, even if it is just to water the garden or do some simple weeding.

And so today, as I begin my week in full, I am choosing to focus my energy on the things of beauty in this life. There is enough ugly to fill eternity (down below, where it belongs) that I know the Lord would prefer my thoughts be on Him. And so I am praying; I am tending to my home; I am turning away from my phone and computer and letting the joy of this season encase my heart with joy and peace and God’s love for us all. I will take note of His handiwork that is growing all around me. I intend to enjoy all the sights and sounds of this land He prepared for us. I will focus on creating that “white space” in my home, my yard, my mind, and my soul – allowing me room to grow and maneuver. Giving me the space for God to enter into all things. Clearing the clutter and Spring cleaning is something we all need to do. It is amazing where the cobwebs hide in our lives. Where the clutter in our hearts, minds, and souls resides. We have clutter in our homes and clearing that will also help us clear our lives of the unnecessary. Of the flotsam and jetsam of life. Just like cleaning up those corners where the dust bunnies live! I am still aware and in tune, but not laser focused on all this chaos around us.

There is a distinct advantage to living in the “Last Frontier.” It is quieter. Remote. Insulated to some extent. Fewer people and distractions. Nature all around you. Clean, fresh air. Lots of elbow room. Cooler summer temps. Glorious blooms and sights everywhere. It has helped me in my walk with God, to be able to be more focused. It is sort of forced upon you when the weather is nasty or you live miles from people. It has been so good for my soul. I think I’ll stay. Peace be with each of you in the glory of Spring, and this time of growth and the renewal of life. It is a glorious time to be alive, my friends.

 

“..the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

You know, it’s wonderful when, as we age, we realize we know so little. I have book learning – lots of it. My mind loves to travel and unravel, discover and learn, on lots of subjects. I am reminded of this saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” That’s me. I learn enough of something to feel satisfied but certainly not all-knowing or expert. But I like that I know a little about a lot of different areas. It has helped me grow as a person. And I love reading. It is one of my favorite pastimes. One of my favorite places is a library or bookstore.

Someone asked me recently how many jobs I have had. Dozens. Maybe more. But only 1 or 2 career jobs. The others were paychecks and time fillers. Places where I was learning – I would learn a skill and move on. So let me see: In high school, I did ROP. That acronym means Regional Occupational Program and what it allowed you to do was work in positions to expose you to careers. Like candy stripers to see if you want to be a nurse. Well, I worked in the ER as a nursing assistant and that was incredible. I was allowed to massage a beating heart in a patient who was dying. It ended up being incredible because he was actually saved! (Not by me). I was a physical therapy assistant. That was the best. We gave each other hot packs, ultrasounds, and massages after shifts. Even sat in the hot tubs. Loved that. My most memorable assignment was to do range of motion exercises on a guy who was 2-3 years older than me, and who attended the neighboring high school, who had been in a car accident and was comatose. It was surreal. They kept his room quiet and dimly lit, with the same temperature, which was warmer than the hospital in general. I was then assigned to a professional football team. I did that job off and on through college. I would tape ankles, help with therapies, wrap sore muscles, and the like. It was pretty fun. Then I also was a hostess and waitress at the local diner (Fiddler’s Three Restaurant). I worked at a floral/gift shop. I then signed up with a temporary agency and began my careers in business. I trained to type and file and answer phones. I was taught accounting and became a certified cost accountant. I was a certified receptionist on those ancient cord-boards for telephone systems (dating myself a little here). I also worked for my dad off and on until my mid-twenties doing office work and sales. I did professional presentations with slide shows and material demonstrations at hospitals all up and down the coast of CA, OR, and WA. I worked as an intern for the county coroner’s office, learning my Forensic Anthropology skills and practicum. I worked on anthropological digs in CA, NM, Arizona, and Mexico (Teotihucan was one site). I became a customer service rep for American Express, working with the businesses who accepted the card. Even going on sales blitzes in CA, AZ, and NV. I then worked for TGI Fridays as a management trainee. I learned the kitchen, the office, and all the details on the sales floor. My favorite thing was bartending. I think that job fit me probably the best. I could gab all night and get paid for it. LOL. I used to make more than $300/night in tips alone. I then went to work for Beckman Instruments as one of their pool cost accountants. I then promoted into the manufacturing side and was the secretary to the production manager. But the best was in the chemistry division. I loved it so much. And by this time I was married with one son. We decided I should stay home. So I quit and became a full time, homeschooling, stay-at-home mom. I did that until our middle son started high school, and our youngest son began kindergarten. Then I went to work for a county in our state, in the Recorder’s office. I worked with anything you could record – lots of titles and deeds and even was deputized to perform marriages. I did only a couple of them and hated it so much, they allowed me to not do that rotation. I then transferred to the welfare department, where I was the supervisor of an entire building of clerical staff, as well as the people who kept it clean, our security staff, and a day care center. I only lasted about 2 years because it was killing me. The time it took with all the personnel and their paperwork, as well as working with the public, required me to work on my days off. I had to get out and applied for a salaried position. I then promoted into the Human Resources department and there I oversaw all the EEO cases handled by the HROs. I assisted in record keeping and scheduling. I attended meetings upon meetings. I recorded and prepared union contracts and forms for state and national EEO programs. I sat on two County Commissions as staff. It was fun but exhausting. It was a salaried position, so the benefits were good. The company I kept was great, and I loved my boss. I finally quit to stay home with our youngest son to homeschool him, and am still here, at home. He is now 21 years old, and has embarked on a career as a welder. He is a 2nd year apprentice and doing very well.

So I guess I have done a lot. I am sure there are jobs here and there that I have forgotten. None of them meant much to me, when compared to schooling our boys and being a mom. And the ability to be me at home, coffee cup in hand! My father was annoyed I did not complete my degree (although I have enough credits for a master’s degree, but not enough in one area – which is hilarious to me) and become a doctor. He told me I was wasting my time, raising my kids, when I could be saving lives as a physician (his dream for me; not mine). And you know what? I think he missed the mark completely. The most fulfilled I have ever felt is when one of my kids learned to read. Or when we could discuss some point of history or science and I could see light bulbs going off in their heads, and I witnessed actual learning. It is like seeing your baby take his first steps. I got to do that every day with my three sons. I feel fulfilled and blessed as I watch the men they have become and the families they are raising. It is a blessing from God. Truly.

So yes. I have had lots of jobs. I have followed my intellect where it has taken me. And it has been varied, to be sure. Sometimes it has been drudgery. Sometimes it has been exciting and I have looked forward for my work day. But nothing, absolutely nothing, beats being at home with my boys. As I look back in my mind, I smile. So many funny memories. The boys tell me their favorite year was the one when we did a unit study for the entire year on the medieval era. Even as adults, married with kids of their own, they fondly recall that year and tell me it was their favorite. Everything we did was about knights and castles. About battles and the growth of technology. We made castles out of sugar cubes. We crafted trebuchets out of popsicle sticks and glue. We made swords. We went to museums. Our math was oriented towards life in a castle. They dressed as knights to sit around the table and learn. It was glorious.

I may know a lot of fun facts. Sometimes my family uses my brain like google or something. But I love how varied what I know is. Now I am learning new things. So many new things. And I am having to unlearn things that were fed to me, that I now know to be false. “History belongs to the victor,” as they say! Science marches on and some of the “facts” I was taught are now found to be erroneous. I sometimes think I am owed a return for all the stupidity I was forced to memorize in high school and college. It’s often hard to reconcile it all. And sadly, I passed some of this false history on to my boys, thinking I was sharing facts and authentic history. Some of it is good and will stand the test of time. Some, not so much. But it is okay. We become set in our ways and rigid when we cease to embrace the new, and to learn new factoids. I do not want to be caught in a rut. Many things will pass me by. Technology is one of the things that is racing by me. Labs and such I once knew no longer have some of the machinery I was used to. I am out of date about so much. And I am uncovering so much. It’s good to be fluid!

I think above and through all of this, I have tried to follow that small voice inside my heart, the nous, or center of where God and I chat and commune; where He speaks to me. And I do feel that I have done what jobs I have had, worked with who I was given to work with, and gained the skill set I have gained because God led me to where I am now. He allowed me time with my sons. He has graced me with a husband who let me do all these things. And I know I am blessed beyond blessed. And am still learning. God is good. We are all on a journey from dark to light. We can allow it to happen daily, and not wait until we are facing our mortality. Keep learning. Keep walking, from dark to light. Do not be afraid of the light.