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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.
Friday, April 28, 2006  

As if they knew about the quote I stole and posted yesterday, the horoscope people wrote this about me. So who am I to argue with the zodiac? (unless I disagree with it, of cours)


You're nice. That's not to say that you're too nice, or that you're a pushover, or that you're saccharine sweet. No, you're just nice, and you're nice to your fellow humans and people appreciate it. They like to work with you and they like to play with you. They like to talk to you and they like to walk with you. You care and they share and things work out nicely. Terrific. Just make sure that people are nice to you back. You've earned it!

1:18:00 PM

Thursday, April 27, 2006  

No, not the murdered-to-conduct-a-funeral kind of bees, but spelling bees. The kind my mother was county champion of and my granddaughter excelled in. They are popular in movies lately. I saw the documentary Spellbound and took it to Kathy's for one of our movie bonding experiences. The girls really liked it, and it gave us some inside jokes to share. I also took March of the Penguins which upset us because of the hard lives Emperor penguins lead. They always have some for me to watch, too. I've seen many Disney movies, Lemony Snicket, Napoleon Dynamite (which I'd seen and have a copy of - hilarious to me as a high school teacher and recommended by former gifted students), and others as we progress in age. I haven't seen The Bee Season but plan to as well as this new one Akeelah and the Bee that has Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne in it. They've been promoting it recently, and it looks good.

Now to combine an actual spelling bee and Napoleon Dynamite, here's a link to this funny video clip. If you haven't seen Napoleon Dynamite, you won't get it.

11:34:00 AM

Quote from Son's Blog

Brian posted this on his LiveJournal, and I decided to steal it and use it here.

Kindness is not without its rocks ahead. People are apt to put it down to an easy temper and seldom recognize it as the secret striving of a generous nature; whilst, on the other hand, the ill-natured get credit for all the evil they refrain from.

-Honore De Balzac (1799-1850)

10:40:00 AM

Monday, April 24, 2006  
Birthday Boy

We celebrated Brendan's 3rd birthday at the Field of Dreams Park in White Bluff where Brendan and I have gone to play before. Brian and Melissa brought picnic food, and Melissa made the cutest birthday cake with wild animal toys on top to look like the carousel at the zoo. They have a membership and go there quite often. Unfortunately, when I was making sure I packed everything that Brendan had brought with him to spend the night, I forgot my camera. I can't believe I'll have no pictures of his birthday party now. I thought about it just as I got there and knew I should have put it in my purse the night before.

It was a small party with Mother, the birthday family, and me. It was a pretty, sunny day, and we had lots of fun.

9:26:00 AM

Saturday, April 22, 2006  
No Rest for the Weary

I met Melissa in Bellevue this morning to keep Brendan while they (mostly Brian) went to one of those geek conventions and Melissa baked Brendan's birthday cake. When Mother asked Brendan what he wanted for his birthday, he answered, "Cake." Priorities, right? We went to that wooden park in Bellevue, The Red Caboose Park, for almost three hours. Brendan was adventurous but not fool-hardy, which is the way to be. He had so much fun playing and being with the other children. It's interesting some of the conversations I've had so far at these parks with parents and grandparents. I think we'll go there many more times. I also want to go to the zoo now that the new giraffes are there. I enjoy the Nashville Zoo anyway, but this is quite an addition.

We went to Mother's and got to visit with my cousin Emily who spent the night. After she left, Mother, Brendan, and I did some shopping and ate dinner out at a place where we could eat at picnic tables. I finally got Brendan to sleep around 10:30. He was so tired and sleepy that he got upset with the foam letters because some of them wouldn't stick to the sides of the bathtub. We watched a movie and then I rocked him and sang this song I made up about sleep. He fights it so hard and doesn't want to give in to it at all. It's a short song with few lyrics. Here are the lyrics, and it's sung to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey." "Sleep is not scary. Sleep is not sad. Sleep is our friend and cannot be bad. It helps us feel good the very next day, so we can sing and laugh and play." Songwriters don't have to worry about me as competition!

I'm up checking email and posting something here while I wash his clothes. Don't ask. It's what I do. Besides, he got incredibly dirty in the park (sandbox and ground) and also spilled chocolate milk on his shirt at lunch. Can't send him home with dirty clothes!

11:47:00 PM

Friday, April 21, 2006  
Religion & Politics

I don't know if any of you watched Meet the Press last weekend, but they had an Easter Sunday discussion about religion by various authors and leaders. I really enjoyed it. Everyone discussed topics reasonably without interrupting each other which was refreshing. Here is the transcript of the show if you have a chance to read it. I'm posting a few excerpts, too, that I especially like and agree with. What do you think?

SISTER JOAN CHITTISTER of the Order of St. Benedict and author of Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir said: We have to choose now with whether or not we want religion, that is this thing that binds us together, that is somehow or other genetically wired in us, that, that Aristotle talks about, that all the churches talk about. Or do we want denominationalism. What church, what religion do we want? Do we want the religion of the Crusades and the Inquisition and the witch burnings and segregation and slavery and the oppression of women and Puritanism that led to Prohibition, that didn’t last because it was somebody’s creed imposed on everybody else’s creed? Or do we want the religion of the peace movement that Jesus talked about, and the labor movement and the civil rights movement.

This new Puritanism is this notion that somehow or other, by failing to honor honorable traditions, that we’ll be a better, holier people. It didn’t work before, it’s not working now, it’s not going to—it’s not going to take America into the future.

TIM RUSSERT: Jon Meacham, when you hear the phrase “Christian Nation,” “Christian Society” what comes to mind?

JON MEACHAM, managing editor, Newsweek magazine, and author of American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation: That it’s not the case, that we are not a Christian nation, that there’s no such thing. As it says in Hebrews, “We seek—we have no lasting city, but seek the city which is to come.” The idea that we are a Christian nation, we are God’s chosen people, has often been used to cloak and to justify some reprehensible social behavior and I think Lincoln was right when he said, “We, we’re not God’s chosen people, we’re his almost chosen people.” And I think that—I think everyone’s temperatures will go down, their blood pressures would go down if we realized that every political discussion, every political fight does not have to be a religious one. If you go to what I consider to be American secular scripture, Federalist 10, James Madison said, “We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic. Let religion be one force among many as we work these things out and let’s let the soul’s journey go forward as it will.”

TIM RUSSERT: Rabbi Lerner, you wrote this in your book, “Most of those on the Left ... feel queasy even thinking about allying with spiritual and religious progressives. ... Many on the Left, to be blunt, hate and fear religion.” Why?

RABBI MICHAEL LERNER of the Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in California and author of The Left Hand Of God: Taking Back Our Country From the Religious Right: Well, there’s a long history of this, first of all, because the left emerged in the struggle against feudalism and sided with the emerging capitalist class and adopted a world view that said that that which is real is that which can be verified through senses or measured. But there’s another more immediate experience, and many of the people on the—who have come into liberal or progressive movements have had the experience of being in oppressive, hierarchical, patriarchal, sexist, homophobic or racist churches. And that experience has led them to, I think, draw the wrong conclusion, namely that they’ve said, “Well, this is all religion.”

They forgot the voice of Martin Luther King Jr., where the left was strongest when it was speaking from a religious perspective. In other words, they, in, in a way, bought what the political right has succeeded in doing: convincing people that religion only means right-wing politics. So they focus on a wedge issue, like abortion or stem cell research, one of those, those kinds of issues, homosexuality, and they forget that the Bible also is calling every 50 years for a redistribution of wealth, every seven years to forgive all sins. Where are the fundamentalists on that? Well, the fundamentalists are suddenly forgetting about the word, the exact word of God, when it comes to financial redistribution of wealth to the people in the, in the society, but they are very exacting over their narrow issues.

And the left then ends up—those people who fled from repressive forms of religion identify all religion that way and don’t understand that, in fact, the aspiration to connect to the holy is a central need of human beings, a central aspect of reality that must be validated. That’s why we’re creating this Network of Spiritual Progressives to not only challenge the religious right, but also to demand a space in the liberal and progressive world for a spiritual consciousness.

10:38:00 PM

It's Here!

The Honda Fit has arrived in the US! I have done some figuring and think I can get one maybe before my birthday in October. I plan to get the Sport because it has security and sound systems I want. Since I'll be driving the car until it dies, I will get the style and features I want. I've never had a red car before and am considering getting that color or the blue. I've had blue cars and like them but don't want another silver one. Here's the latest information about them. Commercials will begin soon. Oh, and it was an alpaca instead of a llama.

11:06:00 AM

Sunday, April 16, 2006  
Happy Easter! And Passover!

6:22:00 PM

Car Fit

Based on the research I've done so far, I'm probably going to get a Honda Fit. It seems to come out ahead of the others in tests and a llama can fit into it. At least that looks like a llama on this site. I'm going to make myself wait until next year to get it, though, when it's financially better for me to do it. Not easy when you have the new car fever, but I must be strong! So unless there's a miracle or 750 people decide to give me $20 each, I need to wait. Deferred gratification is a middle-class value, so maybe I can manage to do it. Until then I'll go test drive all of the cars, talk to the bank and credit union, find all my ducks and see if I can get them in a row, and wait. (sigh)

6:14:00 PM

Thursday, April 13, 2006  

I have the new car fever. You know how it is when that happens. I tried to go from a Honda to a Ford product (a 1999 Mercury Mystique or Mistake as I refer to it). Not only was it difficult to learn to like the car, but it is impossible to bear going to a domestic service department, especially Graham Ford. The Honda service department at Jenkins & Wynne where I took my other Hondas was #1 in the country. Imagine going from that to what has to be the worst. Misery, torture, and woe. So ever since I bought it, I've wanted to go back to a Honda or at least a Japanese car. I think I could like one of the others even though I've never owned one.

A couple of months ago, I read about a Toyota Yaris which was the European Car of the Year. It sounds great, gets good gas mileage, and is cute. I also like what I've read about the Honda Fit but don't like its name. It's called the Honda Jazz in Europe which is better. Then there's the Nissan Versa which has some options I really like. I'll deliberate about this for a while and eventually go to a dealership and drive them and then make a decision. They are new here, but do any of you know anything about them?

11:55:00 PM

New Blog

Be sure to check out our new collaborative blog Observations from the Knee-Deep South and leave comments! Please! Click here.

Remember to check Scaryduck and friends collaborative Blog Pie, too. It seems to have become a cooking blog, too. Very entertaining as you'd expect.

12:20:00 PM

Wednesday, April 12, 2006  
License Plates

This is the year we got new license plates. I like the design, color, and hills. Our license plates used to be in the shape of Tennessee with the first numbers reflecting the county by population. For example, there was a 1 for Memphis/Shelby County, a 2 for Nashville/Davidson, and a 3 for Knoxville/Knox, with the numbers continuing up to 95. The counties past the most populated would change sometimes according to the latest census. Dickson County was 39 for a long time. I liked those and wish we could still do that.

This new one has a barcode above the county name which has all kinds of information about us on it. That concerns me some, but I'm trying not to get paranoid. There's also a spiral security thing on it for some reason. Here's an article about it and a photo of how it looks.

10:46:00 AM

Tuesday, April 11, 2006  
Collaborative Blog

OK, I can tell you about the new blog now. Two of us have posted and more will follow! It's called Observations from the Knee-Deep South. Here's the link. Now you know. Please read and comment. It's the nice thing to do.

5:30:00 PM

Say What?

I just read an article online about an interview with Madonna's father-in-law. This is part of it:

Reports of a rift in the marriage circulated recently, especially after Madonna didn't include her film director husband in her thank yous after winning a Brit Award in February.

My question: Madonna won an award? Surely not for acting? How could that be? What was it for? Most affected English accent by an American pop diva?

5:18:00 PM

Sunday, April 09, 2006  
New Blog Coming Soon

Four of my friends and I are creating a new blog which I'll tell you about as soon as I can get all of them to get on board with it. We're five women with accents and of various ages. All of us are teachers. Two of us (Rachel and Tina) are poets and fiction writers, too, so expect some poetry from them. All of them are fascinating, witty, intelligent, and wonderful friends!

Rachel has recently retired from teaching English and Creative Writing at DCHS but teaches at Nashville Tech and conducts training seminars at Teksid. Her son Ethan is guidance counselor at Stuart-Burns Elementary.

Tina teaches English and Creative Writing at Creek Wood in my former classroom and has two sons. She's involved in community theater at the Renaissance Center and has been in several productions as well as been stage manager of others. Her sons are also involved in the theater there.

Jackie is a storyteller who presented her show at the Renaissance Center. She lives in Pittsburgh now with her husband Ed and daughter Chloe. She used to teach at Carnegie-Mellon and still teaches at some community colleges but is going back to school to become certified to teach high school. She'll be one of the few high school business teachers with an MBA.

Molly, the youngest of us, teaches English at Dickson High School and is a yard sale expert. She and her mother are involved in that one that goes on for miles across several states. Molly has had interesting jobs she might mention on the blog.

So stay tuned! I'll let you know when we have something for you to read and give you the link to it.

1:16:00 PM


Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, grass is growing, rain is pelting, wind is blowing, tornadoes are destroying. It's spring. Tennessee has been on the national news and the Weather Channel because of the tornadoes. My family, friends, and I have been fortunate not to have any damage. Thank you for the emails and calls asking how we are. It feels good to know people are thinking about us. :-)

1:09:00 PM

Friday, April 07, 2006  
Hail Froze Over

Hail is an odd thing, isn't it? I've read how it forms and all that, but it's still really weird. Ice pellets from the size of grapes to softballs falling hard out of the sky and bouncing when they hit the ground - just odd.

If you've been watching the news or live here, you know we've been having storms - tornados, hail, rain, wind. My friends, family, and I are OK, but many people lost homes and lives. Here's a photo I took from my carport while my cat Brigit was hiding under the kitchen table. Hail is very loud on a metal roof.

And another one from a different direction.

11:57:00 PM

Monday, April 03, 2006  
From the Net

On Wednesday of this week,
at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning,
the time and date will be

01:02:03 04/05/06

That won't ever happen again.

11:36:00 PM

Is Nothing Sacred?

Not that I watch it any more, but now there are plans to turn the Miss America Pageant into a reality show. The ratings dropped for the pageant which was last held in Las Vegas and aired on County Music Television, so now in an effort to bring up the ratings and perhaps make her "our" Miss American since everyone will have a chance to vote for her, the "reality" begins!

Being able to vote hasn't helped make W feel like my president, so good luck to them.

11:19:00 AM

Sunday, April 02, 2006  

It's too soon to tell yet how I feel about Daylight "Savings" Time, but now that I'm not working perhaps getting up an hour early won't bother me so much. I don't like for them to keep messing around with the time, even though it's an artificial construct used to manage our schedules. Well, it is and it isn't, I suppose. The sun, moon, and seasons do indicate a pattern that caused people to make calendars and timepieces. It all has to do with what time the sun crosses over us and we have no shadows. Then it's noon, and we go from there.

I am not mad.

5:38:00 PM

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