September reflections

Its been a bumpy month in Rumleyville. I finished off the AV Fair with a flourish in August, registering a nice number of voters and even housing a meet and greet with my Congresman Buck McKeon. If i ever find the time and inclination I’ll write a book about those adventures. Coming out of the fair I was a bit achy but attributed it to the strains of the 10 day event. Its typical for me to need a few weeks to recover and not at all unusual to have a stck of medical bills to prove it. but thats a rabbit trail..

limping into September i had a few milestones to conquer first. the 20th anniversary of my brothers passing. They were 16 and on there way to school one morning with 4 of their closest friends.. by close I mean in proximity since it was a 5 passenger car and they had 6. Being young and stupid they were driving to fast music blaring and reflexes unready. From what I remember of the police report Frank hit the accelerator instead of the brake and well..enough said. I remember getting the call and hving to react fast. First i needed to grab my husband and tell him while trying to locate my father by phone. Its a bit foggy but I remember calling my church and my associate pastor and SS teacher talked to me and prayed with me. He offered whatever and whenever… I found my dad but by then my one brother had already died. I remember telling him he had just lost his son and he needed to get to the hospital for the other who was headed into surgery.

In the background my husband was packing an overnight bag for all three of us. (child A was an infant still) Somehow we got everything together and headed down to San Diego. We had hit our usual stop and I remember hubby asking if I wanted to stop at the gas station. We did and got back on the road within 10 minutes. I don’t know why I said yes only that I wanted to keep normalcy. I remember looking at the dash clock and recalling a verse in the book of Samuel. Its when God is speaking to young Samuel and telling him both Elis sons would perish that evening. I looked at my driving husband and said.. its over Brian just passed away. I later learned that was the exact time on the certificate.

That first month after was a very busy time. So many distressful things had to take place. I spent a lot of time down in San Diego with my Step Mother at the time driving around getting papers filed etc etc.. She was a rock at the time and very driven. I think she was trying to atone for her choices. I pray she is well wherever she is now. It had been 18 years since I have spoken to her as she and my father divorced within 2 years and it was bitter.

Frank and Brian were born the same day but were very different. Frank was a ladies man and the life of a gathering looking to fit in.
He also had a tender side that was very sensitive. Brian was much quieter and more deliberate in his actions. Of the two I always saw him as being more confident and more of his own person. While Frank was constantly reinventing his look trying perms and dreadlocks… Brian stayed constant. Frank wanted to shock and amaze. I will always miss them.

Next up within days was the annniversary of 9-11. Once again I was hit with waves of memories. Most poignant will always be the scores of men I witnessed that day holding there teenagers hands while walking them to class. I watched some of the specials and cried then got angry watching the new wave of terror attacks this year.  I will refrain from more commentary on that.

Next up another round of debilitating back pain. I have spent most of the month on ice packs and even tried a round of antibiotics-fail. I believe from experience it was cysts rupturing coupled with a kidney infection… but then it could have been stones?? I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter it just hurts. I think the worst of it is over though as I can now bend and turn. The last couple days I have even gotten back to my 3/4 mile walks with little discomfort. This weekend will be telling if I can make it through sunday morning and evening services. I certainly hop so as next week will be intense.

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Political silliness

There’s a snake in my boot! Or next to my commode depending on your sense of humor. I have learned in life to expect the unexpected… yeah profound I know.

Those that know me well know i have three passions, my family, my God , and my politics. I have been known to lose some of my diplomacy when any of these are challenged. I am also known to laugh a lot where any of these are concerned. The past week or so I have been challenged in all these areas and have had my share of hearty laughs in all three as well.

My family is a constant source of hilarity. I could write a book on the unexpectedness of marriage and motherhood. Included in my family is my appliances. While  I am not passionate about a toaster or hair dryer I am passionately convinced that they have made pacts to disarm me at unexpected turns. My spouse and children A-E inspire my protection as well as hair pulling. (mine not theirs) They are my gifts from God and I will steadfastly defend and love them.

My God, my Lord, My heavenly father is mine as well but I can share. I will defend his word and can be quite passionate when disparity is thrown. I have recently noticed political barbs suggesting that this person is more Christ like then that person. I often ask myself which christ they are referring too? Just like there are a multitude of religions so to are there a multitude of compartmentalized god tickets that folks pull out.  Christ did indeed say, ” Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” He also chased out the money changers with whips. SO in saying a person is Christ-Like to me that means they are not afraid to stand up for the truth and lovingly make enemies.

This of course segue ways into my politics…there is a myriad of reasons why people support a candidate. I passionately support those with conservative values and  my “agenda” of limited government, border security, and cutting of intrusive regulations and programs. I have favorites in the races but ultimately will vote for anyone But a liberal. I have no problem campaigning for friends ad have even helped those that are not my perfect choice because they are not liberal. I don’t ask that you conform to my views but it would be helpful.

Now what does all this have to do with a snake next to my commode… well nothing to a NORMAL person… but why be normal.. bwahahahaha I will say when attending an event at friend X home be sure to note the decor before getting too comfortable in the privvy.

Please note the snake was NOT REAL and NOT at my home.

Continue reading

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Cards and $2

I remember as a child opening up a card every valentines day from my Grandma Kitty with $2 in it. I remember as a chid every easter opening up a card from grandma Kitty with $2 in it. I remember as child opening up a card every birthday with $5. I remember as a young teen opening up a card on any holiday from Grandma Kitty with $2 in it. In fact my brothers and I waited every few months for those cards. They were like gold to us. Not because $2 was so valuable in worldly terms but because it meant grandma was thinking about us.

I remember one time meeting up with my San Fransisco cousins at Disneyland. There was 4 of them and 4 of us we sat at the kids table. We got to  talking about whatever as kids are apt to do and one of the cousins said I bet if we asked grandma to buy us Disneyland she would! We all laughed a little and then put in our piece about how grandma would buy us anything she could. Now grandma wasn’t rich and we weren’t foolish enough toyou believe she would REALLY buy Disneyland BUT, we did get that if she could she would.

I asked my youngest the other day to do something for me and I handed her $2 for it. (not because she needed to be bribed but because she had a teen activity she needed cash for. I can look back and recall other times I have randomly offered $2 to the kids for various reasons. my poor kids i bet they wish grandma had given $20 each holiday.

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Ovens and refrigerators

For the past week  or so i have noticed pooling under the  freezer door. I didn’t give it  any thought for 2 big reasons: 1. That door has the ice and water dispenser and 2. I have children. If the previous doesn’t make sense then you don’t have real  children. You either are childless or  you have robots. Whatever it doesn’t change much. I mopped up the spills and went on with my days.

It wasn’t until my youngest (child E) came in two nights ago and said “MOM! Come quick you have to see this.” She was giggling and i could hear spouse and child D in the kitchen so I  figured it  was some gag or something. (thats what i get for thinking) In I trotted and E pulled open the  freezer door and said, “Look, its melting” Sure enough there was icicles in the door shelves. My first thought, aha they are leaving the door open and the  ice is melting. Son D piped in with “yeah  everything is  melting mom” Then spouse added something about the refrigerator being off as well. Oh no a WWPA moment!

What does a mom do at 10:30pm when her refrigerator stops functioning? She tells the kids to move everything to the outside freezer that can be moved and looks to see what can be tossed. Thankfully I have a smart husband who hhad already started the process and then came up with the brilliant solution to move all the refrigerated stuff to the patio since it was only 24 degrees out and would keep. Whew crisis averted. Spouse unplugged and we all went to bed.

The next day (yesterday at the time of typing) I got up and started doing my research. I called my favorite used appliance shop and asked what the largest unit they had and the price. The kid quoted a price on a French Door model. I used the price, specs and model as a starting point for research. I carefully considered my options and went to same shop. I really don’t know why I bother looking elsewhere I always go back to  the same place. Anyway at 2:15pm I had purchased a brand new french door refrigerator for 70% off retail. Seriously! The story goes another retailer took delivery of the unit and discovered out of the box it didn’t work. They then sold to my shop which evaluated and replaced the broken sensor. Talk about a gift from God. The unit is larger and more versatile then my old unit and in the end cost half of what I spent 12 years ago!

SInce no WWPA is ever without broken appliances I opted to also purchase a new heating element for my top oven. In that unit only the top element worked and then only as a broiler (huge toaster) My bottom oven is jealous and I expect what was left of its bottom heating element will protest and quit. I would have replaced that as well but there was only one element in stock. maybe next week. Sibling rivalry! (snort)

All these repairs/replacements come on the heels of last weeks plumbing emergency and last months washer and dryer suicide pact. all in all par for the course for a WWPA’er.

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How many appliances can break before you break?

Do you ever wonder why your computer gives you the  blue screen of death?
Do  you ever think your vacuum has a mind of its own?
Have you ever said I don’t understand why ___ isn’t cooked its been in the oven forever.
Have you ever had a blender attack you? Or a toaster catch fire?
Maybe you have noticed your socks are consistently missing mates, or your stain fighting power has lost its oomph. Have you ever stopped to consider maybe its NOT you. Maybe its your appliances that are out to get you.

At the turn of the 21st century a group of super smart woman got together via the  web and started what will  go down in history as a revolutionary elite and super  cool group called  the WWPA. These women came from all corners of the country, and with a vast array of  experience and expertise. There was young and less  young, short  and unshort, skinny and not, childless and child-ed. There were those with varying degrees of sanity and educational background. What they all  had in common was there appliances were possessed. And by possessed I mean just that! There were toasters that spontaneously combusted, computers that locked and unlocked, blenders that flew off the counter and refrigerators that didn’t!

The WWPA has  grown a lot over the past decade. They have seen births and deaths. Together they have weathered terror attacks, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and floods. They have seen each other through surgeries and recoveries. Through marraiges and even divorces. But that one thread that has kept them bound has remained unchangeable Their APPLIANCES ARE STILL POSSESSED!

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Shopping carts and insanity

Did you ever see something so funny that you couldn’t really laugh.. someone struggling with stupidity so bad you couldn’t even go and offer help? one of those wow I wish I had a video camera right now moments? yeah well I had one of those this afternoon…

I was minding my own business trying to pull into a parking lot while talking on my cell phone that was on speaker since I forgot my headset and ,what to my wondering eyes should I see but some lady with a 99cent only purple and green shopping cart stuttering in the parking lot. And by stuttering I mean she was moving forward but the cart was stuck!

I don’t know where you live but around here everyone is a crook and since crooks love to steal shopping carts they put these electronic devices that work as boots and stop the carts before they get out of set range. Throughout retail parking lots there are signs posted WARNING of the danger and peril of going outside of set range. On the carts themselves is glaring warnings.. and even as you exit the store and go past those metal detectors there are signs warning of ill effects of daring to wheel your cart to far.. well apparently the gal missed all the flashing signs. Maybe she was illiterate I don’t know. But she hit that spot and well thankfully she didn’t hurt herself.

I would have offered a kind word if this incident had ended there. I really did feel bad at this point.. well in between bouts of giggling into phone. But the gal didn’t give up. I parked and watched.. oh and hung up on my call. They say if you don’t learn from history you are destined to repeat it. Somehow I don’t think this lady quite got that.

It started innocently enough she did the stutter. Looked down… bent down and checked wheels… stood up tried to push… stuttered looked down… bent down… stood abruptly and repeated. Hmm next up she walked around to the *back* of the cart and tried to pull…. nothing.. walked around to the handle lifted up and took a few steps. tried again… stutter (please note that each time she stuttered she in effect flung forward) bend, walk around, walk back, lift and walk. This went on until I couldn’t just sit there any longer. I got out of my car and went into the bank. Passing some men at the ATM I couldn’t help but share what was happening. We watched her carry her cart and do that bend and check thing. I left them jaws hanging and went inside. To my credit I only told one employee and only because she was near the door and could see the lady. By the time I had finished my transactions all the was left was an abandoned and locked purple and green cart.

The really funny part was all that the gal had was 3 small bags.

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The Good the bad the not too sure

Budget to the left of me, Budget to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight.

I was at a Womens Conference yesterday hosted jointly by my areas congressmen-Buck McKeon and Kevin McCarthy. Unfortunately I arrived late (grumble grumble) and missed the first half but I did get to visit the vendors present as well as hear Mrs Michelle Steel (highest ranking Korean Woman in the GOP) She was loaded with common sense. She serves on the Board of Equalization here in California and is a friend to any honest taxpayer.

During an intermission between speakers I meandered out to the quad area to take a look at the vendors present. I happened upon a table with flyers about an upcoming relay pre-bash. Hmm thats interesting. it wasn’t hard to decipher that it was actually promoting Relay for Life by the American Cancer Society. The display was sparse which could be because I was late but mostly consisted of a couple stacks of flyers about this pre race gathering a couple sign in sheets and a set of address request forms.  As is typical for me I listened in while the gal running the booth finished up with another women and caught the tail end of her conversation where she said just fill this out. The lady took a form and walked off. I was the only one there so I asked the most pressing question in my mind… “SO do you have any brochures with prescreening information?” No, okay “Are you offering any screening resources?” No. hmm. She began to speak. She told me I could sign up to be in a research study that tracks women for 20 to 30 years. She went on to assure me that while they took blood at first they did not test it or anything unless at some point I am diagnosed with cancer. She then went on to explain that about once every 18-24 months I would receive an email linking me to a 5 minute survey that I would need to fill out to stay in the study.

How cool is that I could sign up for a cancer study and give blood but never be tested for cancer. Dude where do I sign up!! When I asked the woman why they wouldn’t test me she said oh sign this so we can get more FEDERAL funding so that maybe they could start a study to screen people. I said “The country is broke there is no money, why would I want them to fund cancer research that didn’t involve any screening?” she looked confused. I asked her if she had any self check pamphlets… she looked blankly. I ranted for a while and realized she really didn’t get it. She was there to get people to sign up for a research study.. and to fill out papers petitioning for more funding. Thats it.. no education just do this so we can have more money.

I walked around the tables disgruntled for a bit and found to my utter delight the YMCA table. I have really come to appreciate the mission of the YMCA. And of course the fact that my local affiliate has indoor swimming pools for my enjoyment is a bonus. Anyway they were giving away fruit and veggie strips-of which I love!!! and had health tips etc. I clarified with the gal there how they were funded. They do not receive federal or even state funding. Although occassionaly there are donations from the county but they are not a given and merely a happy bonus. They are funded by private donors and corporations as well as by individual members dues. Which in my biased opinion is the way it ought to be. They are community outreaches funded by the community to benefit the community.. what a novel approach.

After leaving the table I headed back to hear the keynote speaker. As I said at the start of the post Michelle Steel was great and well worth the trip.

I left the conference and headed home to see my family and enjoy a relaxing Saturday afternoon. Clearly I was misguided. Its never dull in Rumleyville I came home and remembered all the engagements I still had. But, its all good because I had shanghai’d a vehicle. While I am very thankful to be a 2 car family its still a juggle to keep all 4 drivers happy and in motion.  Its not flawless but the teens are learning to adjust.. it is a bit daunting to realize that child C just finished drivers ed and once he gets his official behind the wheel appointment there will be 5 to juggle. But I am getting sidetracked…

Anyway after spending a couple hours at home eating lunch and trying to beat the heat I grabbed child C and headed to the bowling alley. He was to attend a friends 16th birthday party. Its been great fun getting to know the birthday boys family. They are a family of 6 who are missionaries to Senegal. They have been in the states for a little over a year and unfortunately to me will be leaving soon. Its been one adventure after another with them and I will deeply miss them. but again I am hopping down a trail. Anyway dropped son gabbed for about 30 minutes and headed out.

Spouse had been invited earlier in the week to a benefit BBQ and auction out at the Painted Turtle in Lake Hughes. This is a free camp for very ill and recovering children. It is all free to the campers and funded by private citizens and companies. I am not certain but from what I have seen there is no government funding. Anyway we headed up to the camp for the dinner. Wow and wow. The place was truly amazing. I got choked up from the moment I rounded the bend. To think of the children and families that benefited from this. They gave us tours of all the facilities. It was amazing how many hundreds of volunteers were needed to make the camp work. They gad quilting clubs that donated quilts and turtle pillows so every camper left with a piece of camp… even typing is overwhelming. Think the biggest blessing of the night came when one in our party asked the director how many folks had come and how it compared to previous years. She said well last year we sold tickets t0 280 this year about 480. In this economy with some of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. People are willing to give of there time money and energy.

Finally I ended my weekend in my favorite place in the world. My Church. I love that I can attend and hear sound doctrine several times a week. I am thankfull that we don’t just sign people up to study them. But we give of our time, energy and money. We screen regularly for needs in there lives. We offer hope and direction. Every week visitors come and the gospel is presented. We have a budget and we have grown up running things. We are funded entirely by private citizens. We don’t receive federal grants and aren’t accountable to a man but to God.

So while there is a budget dilemma on the right and on the left I don’t have to stand or sit idly. although with teen drivers in the house I do appear to be standing idly waiting for a ride.. not sure if thats a good thing…





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