Friday, June 28, 2013

Paula Deen

There was a black guy and a white guy.

They were debating over whether God was white or black.
The white guy said that there was only one way to find out and that is to
So they go up on a hill and they pray, and pray, and pray.
Finally they hear a voice say, “I am that I am.”
The white guy jumps up, and says, “Aha, I told you he was white.”
The black guy jumps up and says, “What do you mean? That didn’t prove
“Yes it did. Because if he was black he would’ve said I is what I is.”

If the last line of this old joke sounds familiar, it's because it was said by Paula Deen during her Today Show interview in which she was defending herself against accusations of racism.  Apparently, a quoting a racist joke seemed the best way to make her point.
As a conservative Christian,  most of the folks in my immediate circle have come to Paula's defense about one little word said "25 years ago."  Guess what?  I've never said ni**er.  Ever.  You know why?  Because I don't curse and that word is the highest form of cursing.  It sickens me.  Only 25 years ago?  Sorry Paula, 25 years ago, we all knew better.  You only said ni**er 25 years ago if you were a raving bigot. 
Right around 25 years ago, I was telling people that if they used that word, or "colored" in reference to people of color, I would minimize their exposure to my children.  Kids can say lots of unpleasant things as they test boundaries but had either of my boys used the word ni**er, it would've earned them a slap across the face.  Thankfully, that was never needed.
I read Ms. Deen's transcript, wherein she talks about having used the word ni**er to describe a man who held up a bank at which she worked and she "wasn't feelin' very favorable toward him."  So I guess, that explains it?  Not in my world it doesn't.  In my world, that word has to be a part of your vocabulary for it to come out of your mouth.  Out of the fullness of our hearts, our mouths speak (Matthew 12:34.) 
Let me share a personal experience, a few years ago my son was attacked and seriously injured by an African American young man.  I never referred to his attacker as a ni**er.  Not when I was on the phone with him and he was unable to string a sentence together.  Not when we were in the emergency room and he fell apart.  Not when he kept asking me where his truck was and we were driving in it.  Not when I realized he had no memory of his grandfather's funeral.  Not for the entire three weeks it took him to be able to work again. 
Her deposition shared her love of the old South and the experience of black servants serving white people in a beautiful setting.  That isn't a beautiful setting in my mind, it's the picture of cruelty beyond my comprehension.  It's like saying one loves images of the country side through which rail cars filled with Jews were traveling during World War II.  Not, it's more sickening, because it is a part of American history.
In the transcript, Ms. Deen states that all the men she knows use the word ni**er.  I say she knows the wrong men, in fact, I'd say she knows very few real men.
Are all of these corporations wrong for dropping Ms. Deen?  I guess we all have our own opinions and we want to call upon forgiveness and grace.  Of course, criminals who apologize still pay a penalty, do they not?  And her penalty is an interruption in her multi million dollar business. 
If you want a glimpse into Paula Deen's heart, read her autobiography where she describes herself as "a bawdy lady?  F**k yeah!"  Does that f-word offend you?  She talks about a years long affair with a married man.  She's not a nice lady.  She's not a sweet old Southern grandma. 
She's a nasty, immoral and apparently, racist woman.
By the way, she repeats her self-description as a "f**king bawdy lady" in her deposition. 
I think she's made it quite clear where her heart is.  Forgive her?  Sure.  I didn't need her to ask.  But that doesn't mean she will have my support in the form of my money.  Someday, maybe Ms. Deen will share the testimony of repenting before Christ for all of the deeds, attitudes and words that have grieved Him.  When that day comes, I might just become a follower.
A final thought, since Paula Deen so loves images of the old south...

Rhett Butler to Scarlett O'Hara:

"You're like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole but is terribly terribly sorry he's going to jail."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

1.  Fell asleep at 8:00 last night, up at 4:30 this morning.
2.  3 graduation parties and one baby shower this weekend.
3.  Promised the staff at work chocolate chip cookies, need to bake 'em now or I won't have time.
4.  I don't feel like pulling weeds.  Is it Fall yet?
5.  The Mr. sent me flowers at work yesterday, first time ever!
6.  I had the bed linens change by 5:30 a.m.
7.  Muggy out already.
8.  Middle age means wearing shorts even with chubby white legs.
9.  The Mr.'s on shut down, yippee!
10.  There's a very good chance I'm going to unplug from the computer a whole lot during the summer.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Real fathers

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.
Pope John XXIII

Friday, June 14, 2013

A True Story

So this morning I jumped out of bed in a panic as I remembered that I was the only nurse manager working today!!  My two co workers were both on vacation days as was my boss.  Yikes!  I shot a quick e mail to my boss that I had forgotten everyone else was off (one of my peers is the early start at 6:30) but I was getting going and on my way ASAP.  I got to work at 7:30 and went straight to the staffing office because the nurse staffing coordinator is also on vacation. 
I called every unit to let them know I was there if they needed anything.
I rounded through the entire hospital letting everyone know to give me a call if there were any problems.
I did payroll reconciliation, staffing for all three shifts today, tomorrow and Sunday.
I created staffing sheets to be posted for the off shift.
I checked in with all of the doctors, created and forwarded the weekend admission/discharge and staffing projections.
I completed the budget productivity report for the first half of June.
I checked in on all the units again.
I reviewed interviews for nurses and disposition ed my recommendations to human resources.
I called everyone in the directory to sign them up for open shifts for the next three days.
At about 2:00 p.m., I sent an e mail to the other nurse managers updating them on my (rather impressive) progress during my day on my own.  I told them to enjoy their days off and their weekend.  No worries, I have this all in control!  I didn't even take a lunch!  My left shoe fell apart, I didn't leave to go buy a new pair!  I can't leave the hospital unattended!  I had a pair of tennis shoes in my car which I put on with my dress casual business wear!
Did I mention my sister had a meeting at my hospital this morning?  Did I have a cup of coffee, shoot the breeze, go out for a bagel with her?  No!  I am responsible for the entire hospital!
At about 2:15, one of the managers I was covering e mailed back that one of her staff was willing to work a double.  "Turn off your email!"  says I!  "I've got this, stop working and enjoy your day!"
"But, I'm in my office."
"Huh?"  says I.  "I thought you and Wendy were off today!"
"Nope, she's in her office too.  We were just saying how quiet it's been today."
Good grief! 
I'm exhausted.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Retirement plans~

We've been shifting into high gear financially so that when the time comes, we are ready for retirement.  This has meant that I've had to seriously consider the "some day" plans I had and decide if they were worth keeping on the list and working into our budget.  Most of them were not. 
I've heard people say that as one gets older, one doesn't need as much.  I'm finding that to be true and to be unfolding quickly in my own life.  Little things like going to the movies don't capture my attention, dinner in restaurants just isn't as satisfying as at our own table.  The Mr. has promised me a new diamond for our 30th anniversary in a few years and just last week, I looked down at my hand and realized, I don't need another ring. 
We have Mac to get through school and then he'll be out on his own.  Empty nesters with simple desires, that's what we'll be. 
Bit by bit, we've planted our yard with perennials and every year our outside budget gets a little smaller because of the progress we've made.  I can't think of any furniture I am hoping for and as for my home, all of the daydreams I have involve little more than paint and maybe some cute new curtains. 
And then, as though to confirm His hand on us, the other day the Lord brought a reminder to me.  Driving to work, the pastor I was listening to spoke about ensuring financial stability by giving to God.  No, this isn't news to me but it immediately caught my attention.  Yes!  We need to invest more in the kingdom!  That was the missing part of the puzzle, the mysterious something I couldn't solve that had me a little worried about our future finances.  Just give it to God, all of it, everything penny.  It's all His anyway.  Sometimes I forget that.  Instead of looking for places to cut corners or developing the discipline of saving or trying to navigate investment and retirement plans, we will put that money into ministries that will reach the world.
That, friends, is a retirement plan that is recession proof.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Saturday, June 08, 2013


1.  Feeling very tempted to shorten my hair significantly
2.  I need to get my salad garden planted.
3.  I have many many ideas about the front of my house.
4.  I am pretty much sick of cramps.
5.  Every morning on my way to work, I fight the urge to drive to Fairlane manor and spend the day hiding there.
6.  CRAMPS!  Sorry, I just needed to vent a bit more.
7.  I am not a fan of hot weather, but I wouldn't mind a little less November in my June.
8.  The Mr. bought me an orchid.  Good grief, what am I gonna do with an orchid?
9.  I have needed hairspray for two weeks and can't find the motivation to go to any store that carries hairspray.  Now, if garden nurseries carried hair spray, I'd be all set.
10. Relative to numbers four and six, I am giving Clary sage a try.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Lavender Oil

You can follow our clean-eating journey on my other blog, link to the right.  But dietary changes aren't the only thing I'm learning about and experimenting with as I move closer to 50 than to 40 years of age.  There are ways we need to start curbing our finances to bring the opportunity for retirement closer.  And there are other health concerns that our generation (those of us living in the world today,) may need to consider that have not been on the minds of previous people.  GMOs, processed foods, chemicals from every direction and not enough years gone by to know what the effect will be.  And, dealing with it all in a way that makes us healthier, not that adds more potential danger. 
Along these lines, I am blessed to be one of a group called The Scarf Sisters (link also at right,) and among them, a friend we call Mrs. Mac.  She has shared home remedies and natural responses to common problems that have made it easier for me because she's done the leg work :) 
Which brings us to my latest interest, essential oils.  Last weekend I took advantage of this electronic information age that I often dislike and ordered lavender, Clary sage and orange oil along with sweet almond as a carrier oil.  Mrs. Mac, among others, recommended trying the lavender for my lifelong insomnia.  I saw a physician about my lack of sleep a year or so ago, it was decided I needed additional testing but that there was some kind of neurological hiccup causing it since it's been going on basically since birth.  I was given a short term prescription of a sleep aid to try to knock me back on track, no luck.  I've taken 100 mg of Benadryl over ten hours and never fallen asleep.  I never followed up on the additional sleep studies because frankly, I'm not sure what I'd do with the information?  The end game would be identifying which medication would fix the problem and I don't know that I want to add medication to my life if I can avoid it.  Although it's taken me a while, last night I finally tried the lavender oil idea.
Following the information online, I mixed about ten drops of the lavender essential oil (essential lavender oil?) with about an ounce of sweet almond oil in a small glass bowl.  I put it in the corner of the shower so it could be picked up in the steam and after my shower, I used the mixture as a body moisturizer.  When I went to bed, I used a cotton pad I had soaked in the lavender oil mixture and put it in my pillow case as a sachet.  If it seems like that a lot of lavender, well, I spend a lot of time wide awake! 
I do realize that my wakefulness is strongly tied to a brain that won't stop so I was careful to breathe deeply, center my mind on Jesus and peacefulness and turning off the thoughts that are stressful or even energizing in a good way.  Results?  Interesting!  Yes, I slept.  It is not my worst insomnia time, that's linked closely to my cycle so the true test is coming soon.  There are three categories of sleep disturbance:  trouble falling asleep (yes,) trouble staying asleep (yes,) early wakening (yes.)  I did not fall asleep quickly, I did not stay asleep and I woke up early after my lavender therapy.
Number one, I believe that using lavender to help with sleep is not going to be like taking a sedative.  My mind and body will need some time to respond fully to the properties of the oils and fragrance so it will take a while to have a real grasp on the efficacy of it.   However, I fell asleep in about an hour and during that hour my mind was quiet and peaceful instead of racing and fretful.  I often have heart palpitations while trying to fall asleep and I did not have them last night.  I still awakened several times but I was able to breathe in deeply and slowly and fell back to sleep pretty quickly.  When I woke up, I did feel rested.  And my skin is very soft :)
I know many people have great success with lavender for sleep so I'm confidant this will be a healthy addition to my life over time and if not, I'll let you know what I've discovered.  Some basics I've learned in my few days of essential oil use?

  • It's not as expensive as you might think.  A small vial of essential oil will go a long long way.
  • You need an essential oil and a carrier oil.  I ordered sweet almond but you can Google "carrier oil" and get a long list including olive oil.
  • There are essential oils you can ingest and those you can't, pay attention to what you're ordering and make sure it suits your needs.
  • Essential oils have a very "natural" and pure scent which I have always loved.  If you've been to a spa, you know what I mean.  It is not the perfume smell you find with commercial scents. 
  • People with allergies and sensitivities may or may not react to the fragrance of essential oils, don't rule them out but proceed cautiously.

Sunday, June 02, 2013


It's 8:40 p.m. on Memorial Day evening.  The Mr. has already gone to bed after a late night on Sunday visiting with his cousins.  4:30 a.m. will come early for him.  Donny is happily chewing on a steak bone and I've just come inside.  It started out as a cool and sunny morning and proceeded to a cold and rainy day.  I was a little disappointed, I had just a few finishing touches planned for the yard but the weather drove me inside.  
Anyway, I just came back out.  I let the dog out one last time for the evening and decided to take one final look at the progress of the weekend.  I should've taken my camera out for a few rain shots but I was too distracted with appreciating the uninvited rain.  The flower and plants, which always look a little sad immediately after planting, are already perking up.  They remind me of little faces turned up to receive a cool drink.  The dirt that got tracked across walkways and driveway is washed away and the ground has that well soaked and healthy look, do you know what I mean?  The Mr. and I ran to the store earlier this afternoon for a few bags of soil with the hopes that the skies would clear up for a bit and while there, we picked up something that wasn't on the list.  It's a lighthouse.  Yard art I guess?  Supposed to be solar lit but I'm not sure there was enough sunlight today to activate it.  I'm not usually one for statues and the like in the yard, but when I saw it in passing, I went back to look again. And again.  And then I showed it to the Mr. who felt just exactly like I did and into the cart it went.  We had plans to pick up a shrub for the berm to replace the one I transplanted but the lighthouse was "planted" in the spot instead.  So I have been standing on the back porch being very glad that we brought that lighthouse home.  It reminds me of our Michigan vacations Up North, our anniversary trip to Traverse City where we visited lighthouses on the peninsulas.  And of course, it reminds me of that old song...and I thank God for the lighthouse...
I tip toed across the wet driveway and between the raindrops to check out my reading patio and found the rain hadn't blown under the awning there.  So I sat for about ten minutes with my jacket wrapped tight around me and thought to myself, the rain is good.  The only time it isn't good is when it brings the destruction of floods.  Today it came to water the plants that I would have had to water myself.  How silly of me, to want a sunny day that requires paying for water instead of welcoming the gift of rain!  A little late perhaps, but I welcomed it this evening.
Donny was sitting under a tree in a tiny sheltered spot of dry grass watching the rain fall as I sat on my reading patio doing the same.  We headed back inside to wind down our day, with another peek at that sweet lighthouse. 
Now the quiet house is cleaned and straightened, dinner dishes washed and everything in its place.  Tomorrow we go back to work and maybe the sun will be shining, the irony of a day off in the rain not lost on me despite my late found pleasure in it.
I know when I sit on the back porch with my coffee, that lighthouse will be there.  And when we come home, there it still will be.  I hope every time I look at it, I remember that there is a Light in the gray rain that seems to change our plans, but really spills life into thirsty places.

I held on to this post until I could get enough sunshine for a good picture of our took me a week!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

On the yard list~

Last week during the hour we had without rain!
1.  River rock for the berm
2.  Fountain (old one didn't survive the winter)
3.  Container garden for veggies
4.  Hang blinds on back porch
5.  Hang blinds in garage windows
6.  New flag for front and back porch
7.  Lights around my reading patio
8.  Hanging baskets of flowers or ferns
9.  Landscaping around the deck, forsythia?  lilacs? hydrangeas? peonies?
10. Plant the flat of moss roses I already bought