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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005  
Ambulance Chaser of the World

I've finally decided what I plan to do after I retire. What sounds like a plan to me is Jesse Jackson's job, which seems to involve going everywhere and butting into the business of others and getting publicity for it. Then I'll be called in to be a consultant, spokesperson, and commentator for all kinds of things AND get to travel. Now I just have to figure out who will pay me for it. Possibly I'll have to create a group that will sponsor me for all this perhaps like the Rainbow Coalition does him.

10:14:00 PM

Tuesday, March 29, 2005  

We had our spring parent-teacher conference this evening - my LAST ONE! Only one set of parents came to see me which was fine. I spent my time working crossword puzzles, visiting with other teachers, and downloading a living will.

10:54:00 PM

Sunday, March 27, 2005  
Memories and Restaurant Review

Sally and Mae came to Mother's Friday. They rode around and visited other relatives and had a good time. I went over Friday evening for dinner and conversation both of which were quite enjoyable. What amazes me is memory. Mae has trouble remembering what someone says to her minutes later but can quote poetry she learned decades ago. She and Mother recited several poems accurately and with expression, such as "Psalm of Life," "The Raven," "The Village Blacksmith," "Abou Dem Adhem" (which I'd never heard of and thought they were saying "a boob in Adam"), the last part of "Thanatopsis," "Invictus," and others. Impressive, isn't it?

Sally ate with Butch and Janelle at the Hickerson Hotel restaurant in Charlotte Friday night and said it was great. They had a Greek meal and have dinner the last Friday of each month by reservation. They are booked up way in advance, too. Sally and I went there for lunch Saturday, which was my first time to eat there. It was wonderful. The atmosphere is restful and creative, and the food is delicious. I'll be eating there quite often when I am a lady who lunches after my "graduation" in July. :-)

11:34:00 AM

Saturday, March 26, 2005  

Because my cousin Sally requested it, the answers to this week's quiz are posted in the Squawkbox comment place now. Last week's answers are posted with last week's quiz. Sally likes instant gratification and can't wait a week to find out the answers, so I guess I'll start posting them when I post the quiz. What do you think about this?

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - How do Harry and Sally first meet? [aha, I know this one!]
2. TV - Who played Easy Reader on The Electric Company? [this one, too!]
3. MUSIC - What was the name of Bob Dylan's 1971 novel? [I should remember this but I don't.]
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What was the first arcade game to allow players to enter their initials on a high score board? [no clue]
5. BUZZ - What did the artist-at-that-point-called-Prince write on his check when trying to be released from his record contract?
6. FAD - According to the late '90s comeback, what body part should you talk to?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - Who pledged 200 million dollars to bring the Internet to low-income libraries?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What term is used to describe the highest register of the male voice?
9. HISTORY - What country besides Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire made up the Central Powers during World War I?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What plant in the iris family is the source of saffron, used in flavoring and coloring foods?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What 1911 event was the first long-distance auto race on a closed track?
12. WILD CARD - What two peaks near Enchanted Gorge, California, were named in 1895 by mountaineers paying homage to the Odyssey?

2:48:00 PM

Sunday, March 20, 2005  
Photo Album

There are some pictures Earl took when I went there to see John Prine in Paducah. These include downtown Clinton in front of the pool hall where we met his cousin Bobby for breakfast and that park overlooking the Mississippi River. He took them in the fall on a cool day.

5:22:00 PM

End of Vacation / Beginning of the End

I've really enjoyed spring break and look forward to this full-time. This has actually felt like it's been two weeks. Sometimes that isn't the case. I do dread going back to work but will be back into it and enjoy knowing it's my last two grading periods ever! I have good classes and a great schedule, so I'm ending on a positive note. I'm looking forward to carving out a life based on my own schedule at my own pace. It would be helpful to have more money coming in, but I can get part-time jobs for that, and it might be interesting to check out other options. I can work 100 days for half my salary for any state agency. I'm going to check into this if there is anything local I can find but not before I take time off to clean and organize my house. I want to get that done and to enjoy not working for as long as it takes. Then I'll see what I can find that isn't teaching. I've put that book on the shelf and am ready for other things. Something will turn up. Actually, one already has. When I had a reflexology appointment last week, they offered me a very part-time job there for one day a week, so I will be working at the Dickson Vitamin Center (Feet and More) on Hwy 46 next to Lily's Chinese restaurant and the Sherwin Williams paint store. This will help me afford supplements and reflexology. Stay tuned! :-)

11:49:00 AM

Friday, March 18, 2005  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - Where does Xander Cage have his nickname, XXX, tattooed on his body? [who is he?]
2. TV - What British comedian's show did Frasier's Jane Leeves act in before coming to America?
3. MUSIC - What is Sly Stone's real name?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What did New York Yankee pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich admit to doing during the 1972 off-season?
5. BUZZ - What former talk show host filed a lawsuit in her son's name when the National Enquirer called him a brat?
6. FAD - What performance artist was publicly encased in ice for 60 hours in November 2000? [how much money did he get for that and who paid it? not that I'm considering something like that even though I will need some money when I retire]

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What Missouri-bred humorist said, "Man is the only animal who blushes, or needs to"?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What virus threatens the populace in Richard Preston's book The Hot Zone?
9. HISTORY - What title was held by Dag Hammarskjold when he was considered a peacemaker of the 1950's?
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What are yearlings, knobbers, and brockets?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What year were baseball players allowed to offer their services to the highest bidder?
12. WILD CARD - What is the Travelodge mascot, taken from the emblem of California at a time when the company had facilities only in that state?

Answers will be posted in the Squawkbox comment box below when the new quiz is posted at the end of the week.

6:50:00 PM

Thursday, March 17, 2005  
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I forgot it was St. Patrick's Day until this afternoon when someone mentioned it. Not that I do anything in honor of it since I'm not Irish although that might not be a good reason since many people decide to celebrate it anyway. Sorry, I veered off there.

8:39:00 PM

Saturday, March 12, 2005  

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - Who played Debbie's fiancé in Bachelor Party? [who's Debbie?]
2. TV - Who guest-starred on Ellen as the love interest who lured Ellen out of the closet?
3. MUSIC - What former Ozzy Osbourne neighbor once recorded a remake of "Crazy Train"? [mind-boggling]
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What Star Wars actor plays the voice of Colonel Christopher Blair in the Wing Commander CD-ROM trilogy?
5. BUZZ - What country's spiritual leader ordered the death of author Salmon Rushdie?
6. FAD - According to GI Joe, what is half the battle?

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - What earnest author wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - Who is the only person to have won an Emmy for acting, writing, and directing in the same series?
9. HISTORY - Which untiring American inventor accidentally invented flexible rubber in the year 1839? [and the changes it wrought!]
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - How many temporary - or "milk" - teeth are there in a child's mouth?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What challenging innovation did the NFL owners vote down in 1998 for the seventh year in a row?
12. WILD CARD - What action originally signified that both persons' hands were empty and free of weapons?

10:45:00 AM

Friday, March 11, 2005  

New pictures of Brendan are in the album. I took them Tuesday when we went to Bellevue Mall. I also posted one from the first time he went to show how much he's grown. He hits the ground running to "play with the children" as he says. He can say anything and speaks in sentences. He also knows his alphabet and repeats it so seriously and emphatically that it's hilarious. Those toys that say the alphabet were influential as well as his enthusiastic and entertaining mother. They are sweet together ... and funny. I'm lucky to have the grandchildren and children I do. :-)

10:58:00 PM

Thursday, March 10, 2005  
This 'n That

Are any of you familiar with Anecdotage? I've been reading some interesting anecdotes about many people. Here's one about Dan Quayle and another about McDonalds.

Dan Quayle & the Potatoe Incident

Some time after Dan Quayle's embarrassing spelling bee incident (in which he incorrectly advised a contestant that 'potato' was spelled with a trailing e), he addressed his critics:

"I should have caught the mistake on that spelling bee card," he admitted. "But as Mark Twain once said, 'You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word.'"

Quayle, it was later pointed out, had in fact been quoting President Andrew Jackson...

"I should have remembered that was Andrew Jackson who said that," Quayle declared some time later, "since he got his nickname 'Stonewall' by vetoing bills passed by Congress."

Ironically, Quayle was wrong once again, having confused Andrew Jackson with Confederate General Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson - who had aquired his nickname at the first Battle of Bull Run.

["George W. Bush's Secret Service name is 'Tumbler,'" Conan O'Brien once declared. "That's because 'Bumbler' was already taken by Dan Quayle."]

Quayle, Dan (1947- ) American politician, U.S. Congressman (1976-1980), U.S. Senator (1980-1988), Vice President of the United States (1988-1992)

[Sources: Esquire, Aug. 1992]


One day S. I. Hayakawa was dismayed to learn that a large American fast-food chain had opened its one hundredth restaurant in Japan, his ancestral home. "It seems," Hayakawa declared, "a terrible price to pay for Pearl Harbor!"

6:33:00 PM

Tuesday, March 08, 2005  
Spring Break Appointments

Well, my appointment with Dr. Ross went much better than expected. My triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, liver functions, and weight were all around the same or less than in December. Imagine what they'll be when I actually do what I'm supposed to!

I got quite a bit done today - cat food and Frontline from the vet, appointment for car service, grocery shopping, reflexology visit, and on to Brentwood for my first counseling session for this PTSD I've been having for a while now. I really like her and believe she can help me. Since I'm off for two weeks and will have more trouble scheduling visits, I'm going back Thursday and twice next week. This should help me take care of myself more. I want to be not so mental when I retire, so I won't hide out in the house all the time. There are preparations of all kinds for this retirement!

9:25:00 PM

Monday, March 07, 2005  

I watched The Story of the Weeping Camel, which won an Oscar for best documentary. It was about generations of a family of herders who live in the Gobi Desert. I hadn't realized how colorful yurts are inside - really pretty. A mother camel had a difficult birth for her first colt and then rejected it. After trying everything they could, the family sent for a musician to play the Mongolian horse head fiddle in order to perform a ritual. It worked. The music got her to accept her colt. It was a wonderful glimpse into their lives - so much so that I was disappointed when they got a television.

I googled yurt and want one. I'm thinking that would work out for me to live in when the kids have to take care of me. We can put one up in their back yards. I like the feel of them.

12:15:00 AM

Sunday, March 06, 2005  

Two of the reasons students are fat in America has to do with school lunches and cuts in PE programs. One of the teachers who used to work for a food distribution company said that prisons get better food than schools do. We get the worst of them all. Almost everything is pre-prepared and contains weird chemicals as well as sugar, fat, and all kinds of bad stuff. Then at home many of them eat fast food and sit around playing computer games and watching TV all the time. We need to do something about this because diabetes and heart trouble have become epidemic with adults and kids.

I know about this since I've done it myself for the last several years. Dr. Ross (internist) has warned me about it and told me to eat a low-carb diet and to exercise. I'm going public admitting that I need to do this, so maybe it will shame me into it. I go back to see him Tuesday when he'll fuss at me.

Mother and I have appointments with our dental hygienist tomorrow in Green Hills. We're planning to meet Melissa and Brendan for lunch. If Brendan is holding up well, we'll go somewhere for him to play. He talked to me on the phone tonight and said, "go play with the children." That is what we call it when he plays at Bellevue in the play area.

Brian, Melissa, and I are also working out plans to visit Kathy. The girls are reading the Lemony Snicket books with a vengance. I gave Kelsey some for Christmas and her birthday and then sent some more to them recently and will give the rest of them to Kari for her birthday next month. Kathy said she heard another one was coming out soon. To even things out, I'm sending Luke money to get a game for his Gameboy or their GameCube.

Grandchildren are wonderful!

10:33:00 PM

Saturday, March 05, 2005  

These seem hard to me - only got 3 of them.

from the Pop Culture Edition of Trivial Pursuit ...

1. MOVIE - In Sister Act, what is Deloris Van Cartier's (Whoopi Goldberg's) pseudonym when hiding in the convent?
2. TV - What ill-fated 2000 show featured a bumbling P.I. named Vic Nardozza?
3. MUSIC - What movie soundtrack featured a track titled "Zed's Dead, Baby"?
4. SPORTS & GAMES - What NBA legend faced off against Bruce Lee in the 1979 film Game of Death?
5. BUZZ - How old was Celine Dion when she met her then 38-year-old husband-to-be?
6. FAD - What was Jennifer Walters's occupation before she turned into the superhero She-Hulk? [I never even heard of this]

from the "Know-It-All" Edition ...

7. PEOPLE & PLACES - Whose home town in Austria named a stadium after him?
8. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - What was the first film in which Timothy Dalton played the role of James Bond?
9. HISTORY - Which Constitutional Amendment allowed Gerald Ford to become the first non-elected vice-president? [I actually know this one from teaching US History]
10. SCIENCE & NATURE - What is the maximum height of an astronaut in the US Space Program?
11. SPORTS & LEISURE - What game allows a player to use the Nizmo-Indian or Nizmo-witch defense? [no clue whatsoever but some of you will]
12. WILD CARD - What can you expect, according to Irish lore, if a rooster crows at midnight on Christmas Eve? [don't know but "when the rooster crows at the break of dawn, look out your window and I'll be gone ..." everybody sing!]

12:06:00 PM

Wednesday, March 02, 2005  

I got this in an email today and like the idea.

Remember this motto to live by:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving

safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in

sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used

up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

4:48:00 PM

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