Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weary, Worn, Wink Woman

I suffer from insomnia, and it occurs more often when I undergo an undue amount of stress. Normally, I deal with the extra stress by working out, but this week, doesn't look hopeful for a trip to the gym, maybe on Thursday. I've gotten to slumber around 1:30AM and toss and turn all night, checking the clock about every 30 minutes until finally I drag myself out of bed at 5AM.

I have to pick up someone from the airport on Thursday, I've never driven there to pick anyone up. I don't know exactly where it is, people tell me to just follow the signs. I'm also going at night and I suffer from night blindness...this is the main reason for my stress. I thought about asking someone else to pick up this person from the airport so that I could relax, but this person would perceive that action as a type of negative thing and I really don't want that to happen, considering this person is staying at the house for 3 days.

Did I mention that I'm really stressed, really tired and really ready for this week to be over?

Durango Texas: Another Sleepwalking In Texas Incident


Testing Your Goals -- Against Toxic People

Last time I said I would reveal a test that I used to make sure the goals I have for myself belong to me and are not the expectations of others. This week will be an extremely trying one, as the most toxic person in my life will actually be spending a few days at the house. This toxic person was very dominant and forced his expectations onto me. I allowed myself to think for a very long time that I was doing the things I was doing because I wanted to. It wasn't until I dropped everything and went back to college, that the facade came tumbling down. Knowing that he could no longer impose his will onto me, he sought out to put down all my efforts to succeed in my true goals. It's hard to realize something like this, when the toxic person doing this to you, is supposed to love you.

1. Why do I want to have this, do this, or become this?
2. How will achieving this goal contribute to my grand design?
3. How will accomplishing this goal make a difference?
4. What will my life look like if I don't achieve this goal?

What I've learned that if the goal isn't really mine, when it gets difficult, I'll give up and quit. Every goal will cost you something; time, money, energy. Next time, I'll show what I did to figure out what kind of resources I had available to me.

A Rainy Day in Wink, TX

The sun didn't emerge this morning in Wink, TX and take the moon's place, he's still hiding behind ominous grey clouds. Precipitation commenced on the way to my occupation, the temperature decreased, the wind rushed through the leaves on the trees and I desire to go back to my lovely abode, crawl into bed with slippers on, sip on some hot tea and fall into a sweet repose. The morning reminded me of some lyrics from a Cold Play song; "Then there was rain, The sky wore a veil of gold and green...Time is just floating away."

With phase two of Annie's room complete; phase three requires more time to put puzzles together, frame them and hang them on the wall. I managed to complete the backyard weed eating and I will work on the front yard after work today, if the rain ceases. If the rain doesn't end, then I'll catch up on laundry.

Why all the hubbub? Two reasons, my ex hubby arrives on Thursday and then my grandma Ann comes in a few days later, as the ex hubby departs. Overall, the things around the house needed doing anyway, now I just have a really good reason to stop procastinating!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Annie's room --Part 1 Complete

We started last night after returning home from Odessa and didn't get very far. Annie's room over the past 8 or 9 months accumulated quite a bit of eccentric junk. Papers, trinkets, odd toys, beads, pebbles and a whole host of other odds and ends. The collection had to be sorted between what she's keeping and what's she's disposing of. That seemed to take forever...or at least a couple of hours. Once most of the eclectic treasures were removed and others kept, we were finally able to focus on getting the old curtains and bed down. Annie has decided that she'd rather have a love seat instead. Her room was originally done in sunflowers and Anne Geddes pictures and dolls. Annie never was a doll kinda girl...she preferred stuffed animals and bringing in rocks, dirt and grasses from the outside, so it only made sense to go with some bamboo.

We took down the old curtains that have been hanging in the room for the past 8 years and put up some green and purple ones. Annie picked out the colors and they really do look quite fetching. We then moved the love seat from my bedroom and covered it in animal pictured sheets. After that, we attached bamboo to the back of the love seat with copper wiring which Annie salvaged from an old radio. After that was accomplished we then made a canopy from a deep brown curtain sheer and attached that as well with copper wiring. The effect was quite nice and Annie now has a canopied love seat. She added some plastic snakes and a large stuffed snake across the top of her window. We're now moving onto phase two which means more things to dispose of and finding a few more accessories to decorate.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

HGC Diet Update, Fort Worth Rejection and Change in Plans

I usually blog on Thursdays about my continuing weight loss, but I knew I would be seeing Dr. Anna on Saturday and waited until today to do the update. Dr. Anna looked extremely pleased when she saw me today, (I was wearing my size 6 jeans) and gave me her biggest and sweetest smile. I stepped up onto the scale and found out that I have eradicated an additional 7 pounds and my BMI is now 25. From the beginning of the diet, my BMI was 33...that's a significant drop. According to Dr. Anna's scales, I now weigh 122 lbs. I also purchased MesoDerm, it's a skin firming lotion that you apply twice a day. I've taken some before pictures and in a few weeks, I'll take some after pics. I haven't decided if I'm going to post the pics or not...I'm showing quite a bit of skin.

The clinic also purchased a new fraxel laser for skin repair. Alma (my laser technician) treated a lady a couple of weeks ago for really bad stretch marks. She was supposed to be there today so her progress could be checked, but she was a no show. Her results won't come to full fruition until about the third month. I don't see Alma for skin repair, but for laser hair removal. I'm working on a 3/4 Brazilian hair removal, this has been my fourth appointment, I started the process back in March.

Well, you can imagine my surprise when I get home and find out that this sweet little invitation for a visit to Wink, that I extended to some good ol' boys in Fort Worth was rejected. The reason was fear of commitment. I don't know exactly to whom they were committing, but I find it all rather funny. The reason for the invite had to do with Mister Twister's attitude about a little town he'd never set foot in.

Originally this morning, I had planned to do some weed eating in the back
yard...it's atrocious. I usually keep up with it pretty well, but this year for some reason I'm having a bit of difficulty. Weedeating has been postponed until tomorrow morning, after the two dozen burritos, because of the extreme heat. Instead, Annie and I will be attempting a redecorating of her room. She's had the same room style since she was a year old and now she's eight. She's picked a jungle theme, but we're not doing any painting, just some clever accessories and new curtains.

A Very Long Productive Day in Wink Texas

I've got lots to do today, but the first thing I was supposed to do today was sleep in. Sleeping in for me usually means getting up around 7AM; during the week my usual wake up time is 5AM. I always like to get at least one day to catch up on sleep; Sunday is out of the question because I have to get up really early and make 2 dozen breakfast burritos for the softball tourney.

At 5AM this morning my sleep came to an abrupt halt when I heard my 15 year old son yelling "MOM! MOM! MOM!" from his room. At first, a bit dazed and confused, I didn't know if I actually heard the cry for help or if I dreamed it. I rose from bed, stumbled to the hallway, flicked on the light and at the end of the hallway right outside my son's room...the big, fat, hairy, scary tarantula stalked. My son suffers from arachnophobia, I walked briskly down the gloomy hallway...stood about a foot from said spider, peered into my son's room and found him standing on top of his bed, almost in tears. He related to me, that he stepped on the spider on his way to get something to drink...it felt weird beneath his foot. He said he got a queasy feeling and almost passed out.

We knew we had the unwelcomed visitor last night, but unable to locate it, we fell into a restless slumber, hoping that the sunrise would shed a better light on the situation. Ms. Hairy Scary didn't wait until daylight, but she should have...in my son's frantic state, my need to catch a few more winks, I trampled said spider, instead of capturing her and releasing her outside, like I usually do.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Toxic Co-worker at West Texas State School Pyote

I prefer writing about Wink ghosts, fun Roy Orbison weekends and weight eradication via the HCG diet; BUT I must take a moment to reveal a very toxic co-worker at the West Texas State School in Pyote. I've blogged before about toxic people and having scripts ready in advance on how to deal with one...how to become a toxic avenger.

This particular woman (and unfortunately from my experience, most toxic people happen to be women) has a unique way of pulling you into her toxicity. She acts very friendly towards you and everyone, building your trust and confidence in her. She then will start to speak just a tad bit negatively about other people...you know, a not so harmful comment...to gauge your feeling about a particular person. She normally does this when the other person maybe gone for the day, allowing you to feel a bit more comfortable discussing the person that's gone.

Then her plan becomes even more devious, because when the absent person returns to work...Ms. Toxic of West Texas State School will immediately run to said absent person and tell them that "you" can't be trusted. This particular course of events has been occurring all school year and it has become quite tedious to deal with.

About 3 months ago...Ms. Toxic approach myself and another individual, requesting that we document issues that we have with our boss. She went as far as to say that she's doing her best to have him removed from West Texas State School. She must have thought I would fall for this underhanded crap, but I didn't. I stared straight into her eyes and with great purpose stated, "I don't trust you. I expect you to take what ever information you get; to use for your personal advantage, to cause harm to others and to put yourself in a better light with West Texas State School."

Her approaching me ended. I went as far as to inform my boss of her devious plot and warned him that for some reason she has a vendetta against him. We haven't been able to ascertain the reason behind the attacks, but we are clearly aware and on the lookout for sneaky, underhanded, vicious attempts to under mind and discombobulate our staff.

Lately, since her attempts at being underhanded have been thwarted, she's resorted to creating fabrications. Her latest attempt portrayed the school secretary wearing shorts so revealing that you could see her bum! That day, the secretary was wearing a pair of capris...which only reveals your shins and ankles. I think that the reason for this latest attack is because Ms. Toxic is very fat, almost obese even...and the school secretary is very slender and quite pretty...which leads me to believe that Ms. Toxic is extremely envious of the school secretary's good looks and beautiful body.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Totem ~~Rush First Class Saddletramp

I couldn't find a Youtube video of Rush singing and playing Totem, but I did enclose a link so that you can listen to the song.

"I believe in what I see
I believe in what I hear
I believe that what I'm feeling
Changes how the world appears."

Chapter 5 of Ghost Rider explores the idea that due to our beliefs and feelings we shape our experiences. I completely agree with Neil. Take for instance some of the boys I teach at West Texas State School in Pyote...angry young men; their experience takes the shape of disillusionment and hate. His animosity only appears towards stranger, unable to comprehend why him and why not them.

Neil does visit his brother and sister-in-law, and truly enjoys his time with them. He also pays a visit to another couple and comes to the conclusion that solitary hiking can also soothe the soul. He experiences another uncomfortable moment with a flirtatious woman. He gets the feeling that he has an aura of tragedy about him which attracts the opposite sex. During the course of writing a letter to an old friend, Neil realizes that no matter where he goes, he has a sense of having a "deep dark hole" right beside him. He ponders reincarnation when he encounters two seals that follow him on the water, only coming to the conclusion that he's too much of a rational scientist to truly believe. Chapter 5 ends with a strange visit from an owl outside his hotel window. He makes an allusion to Poe's The Raven, and acquires an eerie sensation. He remembered from the Margaret Craven novel, I Heard the Owl Call My Name; that the owl symbolized Death approaching for the one who heard it.

Making It Real...Setting and Achieving Goals (Even in Wink, TX)

I read a book recently that stated this: "The most successful people have their goals written down, and they review them every single day." For some reason, I just don't believe that. Sure, I think you should write down your goals, give yourself a purpose and something to shoot for, but come on...you're that forgetful that you'd actually have to look at them every single day? I think not.

Scribing your goals to paper does two things: You're making a commitment and you'll be more in tune when opportunities come along that help you achieve your goal. There's no mystery...no fortuitous blessing...no ancient secret passed down through the generations; just good old common sense.

Recently one of my friends in Wink, Texas inquired about 2012. "Is the world really coming to an end?" I'm exhausted with this, and since I'm a preacher's daughter...people assume that I have the in. I responded that it is only the end of the Mayan Calendar, that I'm sure someone in America is brilliant enough to create a calendar that proceeds past Dec. 21, 2012. In fact, I believe the calendar in my kitchen extends to the year 2014...I assured her that we were all safe.

I mentioned the 2012 thing because there are a few people in Wink that I know who are actually buying into the notion that the world will end in 2012. They've cashed in their retirements and are going willy nilly. I asked, "What if it's not the end?" Their response, "Oh, but I have to have faith that it will be the end." It's too bad that they're not willing to have faith in the continuance of life.

I'm going to assign these 2012 doom predictors as toxic people. They're surely negative, expecting the worst to happen...truly fatalistic. As for me...I will continue to push forward with my goals. I made several down here in little ole Wink, TX. I concentrated on two aspects: Physical and Career. My first was to be in the best physical shape of my adult life by the time I turn 40 (that's in about 3 months). My second goal was to figure out what I wanted to pursue a master's in and then get after it.

I'm well on my way to accomplishing both goals. Next time, I'll let you in on the test I've made to prove that these goals were truly mine and worthy. Some of your goals won't pass this test, and that's okay...what that reveals is they weren't your goals...they were expectations that others had of you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rush - Marathon West To Alaska at West Texas State School

"From first to last
The peak is never passed
Something always fires the light
That gets in your eyes"

My hubby and I separated when my daughter was 4 ...she is now almost 9 years old. The first nine months were not so bad, her daddy was only about an hour away and they saw each other every weekend and sometimes during the week. The following summer, her daddy decided to move back to Denver, CO...taking him 14 hours away by car. This distance only made it possible for the two of them to see each other a few times a year, and this took its toll on my little one.

On one of our trips back from Denver, we stopped in Vaughn to fuel up and use the facilities. A man waited with us outside the little girl's room. The door opened slowly and a little girl about my daughter's age emerged and fell immediately into the man's arms. He swooped her up in a loving embrace...I observed my daughter watch this couple and winced with pain...when I saw her tiny eyes become teary. I knew that "they" reminded her of "them".

In chapter 4 of Ghost Rider, Neil experiences grief in the every day occurrences of life. A simple act of a family traveling together, a song or even a particular bird...brings his thoughts to dwell on Jackie and Selena, causing him to remember the "lost ones". Neil has some good moments in chapter 4; his eyes meeting the eyes of a pretty woman and feeling a spark, witnessing a family of black bears and riding down HWY 99.

I'm sure after the grief fades, anger will take it's place. I observed that in my own daughter...self-loathing, despising those around her that had fathers in the picture and utter despair. Neil realizes that it takes time and a recreation of his world for him to be able to do more than just survive.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Roy Orbison Festival 2009 --Wink, TX

The Roy Orbison Festival in Wink, TX started Friday evening with the Pretty Woman Contest. Shelbi Richardson, the pageant winner and a senior this year wore the crown beautifully. After the pageant, local Orbison impersonator, Walt Quigley, opened for the Truly Lover Trio. I myself didn't attend any of these events as I was saving all my strength for the parade on Saturday. Annie and I arrived just as the parade started Saturday morning, and was a bit disappointed that only a few of the antique cars showed up. All in all, it was probably the smallest Orbison parade I ever recalled seeing. After the parade we crossed the street and headed to check out the vendors. The flea market had been canceled so we were just left with a dozen or so vendors which the majority were locals. My daughter's favorite experience was of course the dunking booth. She paid to throw some balls and then
she begged to sit in the booth to have some balls thrown at her! I'm pretty sure we spent about two hours at that particular event. Pretty much, you toured the museum, ate a hot dog, dunked a kid and waited until the evening's concert, unless you meandered over to the park where a softball tourney was being played. It was the first of it's kind for the festival and I'm told that it was a huge success which means more than likely it will repeat for next year. The evening ended and brought on the Stage 3 Band, featuring Wes Orbison on bass. I found out tonight, that Wes made his debut about 20 years ago in Wink when he was just a kid. The Truly Lover Trio then performed and they were pleasant. There were a few dancers, but for the most part people just sat and enjoyed the cool evening breeze and some time to unwind with some good music. Friday evening's rain as well as the early Saturday morning rain threatened to dampen the festival, but by 9AM...all the rain had dissipated and the day's events went on without a hitch! Overall, Annie and I enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to next year's event.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rush - Prime Mover - Live 1988 North To Inuvik at West Texas State School

The point of the journey is not to arrive--Anything can happen.

Friday, not only did we finish chapter 3, but we witnessed 2 boys graduate with High School Diplomas. Why is this a big deal? Remember where I work...West Texas State School in Pyote...these boys are living proof of the cycle of poverty, leading to criminal lives spent in and out of prison. Okay, some of them were just in the wrong place at the wrong time...and got real unfortunate, but most have family members who have traveled the same path...taken the same journey and the boys that graduated on Friday...the first in their families.

Neil pulls an excerpt from In a Far Country, by Jack London...basically when a man journeys into a far country, he must change and adapt to his new environment...forgetting his old ways and ideals...reshaping his path, ditching the hardened ruts. This process isn't easy and sometimes hurts, but in order to survive and not die, one much change what's inside.

"You can drive those wheels to the end of the road

You will still find the past

Right behind you."


Thursday, June 18, 2009

HCG Diet Update Weight Eradication

Okay, another week has passed and I'm still on round two of the HCG diet. My goal for this round is to eradicate 10 more pounds, which means I'm only shooting for about 1 - 2 pounds per week.

I'm now doing two a days for the workouts. The first hour consists of stair stepping for 40minutes, resistance 8, cross ramp 20. Then onto what I refer to as the birthing chair. I now do 100 reps, ankles raised in order to force the inner thigh to work harder. 4 sets of 12 leg presses, 4 sets of 12 thigh raises and 4 sets of 12 butt kicks.

I break for about an hour, eat a little bit, drink some water...cook dinner for the kids, wash dishes, wash clothes...that kind of thing then head back to the gym.

Second hour I work on arms and tummy. I posted my original work out and have added a few more to the mix. 4 sets of 12 butterfly press...hold weights out, arms extended, keep arms shoulder height parallel to the floor and bring arms to meet in front of body. 4 sets of 12 incline vertical press. 4 sets of 12 arm extension, pull handle from the machine across chest, both arms. 4 sets of 12 pull from behind head to moderate extension in front of head (that one's hard to explain).

On Thursday evenings, I try to end with about 20 minutes in the steam room applying organic coconut oil to help keep skin elastic and moisturized. Well, back to the gym for that second hour :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What a Fool I Used to be Rush Presto, 1990 at West Texas State School

"If I could wave my magic wand
I'd make everything all right

I'm not one to believe in magic
But I sometimes have a second sight
I'm not one with a sense of proportion
When my heart still changes overnight"

The boys and I finished Chapter 2 of Ghost Rider this week and something truly supernatural occurred...the boys wanted to read to each other out loud! One may volunteer, but not everyone in the class...thus showing a genuine interest not only in Neil, but in the music of Rush. Prior to reading chapter 2, I played the above song...asked the boys to listen and then pick any color, words or graphic that came to their mind and express it in their journal. This type of free expression doesn't manifest itself often in these kiddos. Most find themselves alone, involved in gang activity or abused...often I am the first person with whom they will form a positive bond with. We have our ups and downs...I get called bitch often, but upon the day of release...their eyes tear up, give a sheepish smile and hold out their hand out to me...

In chapter 2, Neil relates his desire to be the fool he once was, unfortunately, everything that allowed him to be the fool he was...is gone. Fool doesn't come across with a negative connotation, in this sense Neil merely suggests that not being exposed to extreme pain and unbearable heartbreak allows us to trust openly and fully.

There are some humorous anecdotes, like filling the motorcycle with diesel instead of unleaded...causing the bike to go dead for a few hours...to the maybe hooker treating the young waiter badly on his first day.

Neil continues to share memories; the day Jackie gave him the BMW, his many rides with Brutus and tours with Rush. Neil displays a genuine interest in birds and describes the time on Barbados with Jackie before she dies.

Neil's house is sold in this chapter by his friend Sheila's husband. He was very thankful that these people stepped up and helped him through the tragedy. This experience transformed Neil's idea that 'Life is great, but people suck' to 'Life sucks, but people are great'.

Neil continues to create a world that his baby soul can survive in. He relives the accident taking Selena's young life, rebreathes the memory of Jackie's slow demise and recounts every idiotic thing he's ever done or said. He understands that he lacks forgiveness for others or even himself.

"Fortune is random --- fate shoots from the hip

I know you get crazy, but try not to lose your grip"

Neurotica, 1991

Monday, June 15, 2009

Coming Back to Wink Doesn't Mean the End of My Dreams

When I moved back to Wink in 2001, someone blithely stated to me, "Well, I guess you couldn't handle the real world...you must not have any more dreams."

I examined that statement, and clearly this person didn't know anything about me. I hadn't failed in the "real" world and I surely hadn't ceased dreaming. I thought about the many adventures, good and bad, of my life and a smile spread across my face. In my life existed an abundance of wonderful places, people and events, so much so that I felt fortunate.

Rocked a dying baby in Belize to bring him comfort...he gave me empathy and compassion. Managed the International Friends Show in Houston...caught a glimpse into other cultures and peoples. Rafted down the Hiwasee River in Tennessee...gained a release from my fears. Sang my heart out in the musical Hair in New Orleans...willed myself a permanent escape from my inhibitions. There are so many more people, places and events that they are too many to enumerate.

It doesn't matter where you are or where you've been...you can dream a bigger dream. Your vision will ignite you with passion, infuse you with purpose, renew your commitment and motivate you to action.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Continuing the HCG Diet Update...Preventing Saggy Skin

I couldn't bear to post an actual picture of a person with extreme saggy skin after weight loss. Yuck! I've lost now a total of 30 pounds since January of this year. I have experienced some skin sagging and of course I'm now dealing with stretch marks. I just finished an hour work out and have decided to head back to the gym for another hour to do a bit more weight lifting and spend some time in the steam room applying organic coconut oil.

This is a really great website for suggestions on dealing with saggy loose skin.

Lose the weight gradually. Although you may be impatient to drop the pounds, a gradual weight loss at about a pound or two a week can prevent the saggy skin from forming.

Make time to weight train. Many people who try to lose a large amount of weight have a tendency to focus on cardio exercises. Yet, if you weight train as well, you are going to build muscle and keep your body firm.

Stay well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water over the course of your diet can maintain the skin's elasticity.

Eat muscle building foods. Protein menu options and healthy carbs, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can help you build muscle and prevent saggy skin.

Try a skin-firming lotion. As you begin to lose weight, use a lotion that contains ingredients that are going to help keep your skin firm, even as you drop the pounds.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Neil Peart's lyrical response to his self discovery journey.

Pack up all those phantoms
Shoulder that invisible load
Keep on riding North and West
Haunting that wilderness road
Like a ghost rider

Carry all those phantoms
Through bitter wind and stormy skies
From the desert to the mountain
From the lowest low to the highest high
Like a ghost rider

Keep on riding North and West
Then circle South and East
Show me beauty but there is no peace
For the ghost rider

Shadows on the road behind
Shadows on the road ahead
Nothing can stop you now

There's a shadow on the road behind
There's a shadow on the road ahead
Nothing can stop you now

Sunrise in the mirror
Lightens that invisible load
Riding on a nameless quest
Haunting that wilderness road
Like a ghost rider

Just an escape artist
Racing against the night
A wandering hermit
Racing toward the light

From the white sands
To the canyon lands
To the redwood stands
To the barren lands

Sunrise on the road behind
Sunset on the road ahead
There's nothing to stop you now
Nothing can stop you now

Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about summer school, the central reason for my enthusiasm revolves around the featured class room novel, Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, by Neil Ellwood Peart.

Neil Ellwood Peart is a Canadian musician and author. He is best known as the percussionist and songwriter for the 70's rock band, Rush.
Neil experiences the loss of his daughter, Selena and his wife, Jackie within a year. The devastation he feels leaves him an empty shell of a man without a purpose to live. He realizes that drugs and alcohol provide only temporary relief from the constant aloneness. This realization translates into hitting the road on his motorcycle. Neil has no doubt that he'll survive, but wonders what kind of person he'll be once it's all over.

I had to use the art of persuasion to get this book into the class room, because the normal genre of literature for this setting has been the war novel. This year the titles included; Beowulf, Red Badge of Courage, My Brother Sam is Dead, Rifles for Watie, and All Quiet on the Western Front. Even the rough and tumble boys I teach were getting a bit annoyed with the repeated genre, and pleaded for something different.

I was discussing my predicament with my good friend Robbie. I related to him that I wanted a coming of age book, chock full of self-discovery, hardship not centered around war, something the boys might be able to empathize with. He quickly suggested Neil Peart's book. I was on a mission...how to persuade my boss to allow this book into the class room.

The main character rides a motorcycle...my boss rides a motorcycle...coincidence? I think not...ripened fruit ready for the harvesting! It didn't take long, with a little of Rush playing in the background, pictures of motorcycles...my boss was sold!

The book contains 456 pages, very few illustrations and as I passed it out this morning there lingered some animosity in the air because of it's girth. I do what I always do with this surly crowd...ignore it. Direct confrontation is a really bad idea, normally you need to apply a smile, pretend to have a hearing problem and continue on.

After the grumbling ceased...I began reading the first chapter. Not a sound could be heard except the lull of my voice resonating throughout the room. Every eye glued to the page in front of them, attentiveness abounded...the boys were hooked.

We read through chapter one, where we found out about the death of his
immediate family. We discovered Neil's shell like existence of no longer having a purpose to live. We learned that Neil had some spark in him, a baby soul that he needed desperately to nurture. Neil used a metaphor likening his infant soul to an unsettled baby requiring consoling by taking a ride, hoping that the motion will quiet his unrest.

Neil had come to a point in his life that he didn't "like" anything anymore. Chapter one ends with Neil seeing these two rocks jutting out of the water that had always reminded him of ducks. He then realized that he "liked" these rocks. He decided that he has to recreate his world, one that his little baby soul would be comfortable living in.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Pygmalion Effect

My Fair Lady, a truly wonderful musical second to Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, has a quote from Eliza that stirs my soul. She makes this comment to Pickering, the professor's friend: "You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she's treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treat me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will."

I touched on this phenomenon just the other day. Countless times each day we communicate our expectations to the people around us. I know that without realizing it, I've sent cues to others about what I expect from them. I think I got real messed up when I had started listening to this talk show on my way to and from work everyday. I listened to Dr. Laura and took to heart what she said about everything. She basically said we have no way of changing anyone around us. For the most part that's true, but her fatal flaw in her prescription was also stating that we just have to accept the behavior if we want to continue to have a relationship with these people. I disagree.

I believe that our expectations can shape behavior, if this weren't the case, wouldn't we just all let our kids do whatever they want? I mean, we do have expectations and we give our children feedback. Why not do this with the adults in our lives as well? Sometimes putting the expectations out there may end the relationship, and that's probably a good thing.

Just recently, a person in my life changed some travel plans which caused hers to overlap with mine and thus not allowing my child to participate in her planned activity. The same thing happened last year and I was forced to choose instead of being able to participate in both events. I had a feeling that the same thing might happen again. So, I should have said when I found out about her trip and when it was planned; "Okay, you told me you're leaving on this date. I've marked it on the calendar. I'm planning my own trip on this date. You know when it is and when I'm coming back. If you change your date, and it interferes with my plans, please don't get upset and demand that I change the date of my trip or cut my trip short."

Then I began to wonder if, because I expected the possibility of a repeat performance...did I cause her to behave this way? Did my poor communication with this person lock her into poor performance? I truly believe that our expectations gets us exactly what we get. That's something to ponder...

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Flower Garden Takes Time to Grow and So Must Seeds of Hope

When I lived in Colorado the climate was perfect for Spring flowers. I truly desired an enormous flower garden with fountains, butterflies and splashes of color. Now that I live in a harsh dry environment, it's nearly impossible to grow anything supple and vibrant with color. It takes a lot of patience, constant care and hope.

Seeds, with tender care and nourishment will grow into wonderful flowers. Our lives are just like those seeds, they need to be nurtured and cared for. Words can be used to build, to empower, to protect, to promote and to prosper, but words can also cripple and destroy us and others. It's not enough to just stop being negative, we also should try to be positive.

I used to think that being abrupt and blunt, was just straightforward honesty. I appreciated the frankness and refreshing truthfulness in some people. Sometimes, I find it extremely difficult to remain positive and to respond in a polite manner. Imagine though, that every word is a seed that will produce what it is. Seeds of hope, produce hope. Seeds of discouragement, produce discouragement.

I remember things that were hurtfully spoken to me as a child. Although it's been many years ago, those words still tug at my heart and make me feel a bit of a twinge. Words do have a tremendous amount of power that work beyond the first time they are spoken. I haven't always been successful in speaking kind words, sometimes I've been hurtful with my words also. I've adopted a principle that I truly try to follow:

Never say anything about yourself or another that you do not sincerely want to be true. Speak life and hope.

Sometimes we accidentally reinforce what is negative or ineffective in another person. I recently had a slight tiff with a person in my life. Experience with this person has taught me to expect bad behavior. I've been using the direct approach and being calm and rational, but have I been reinforcing this person's bad behavior? How can I reinforce the behavior I want? Maybe my script to deal with this person should of went something more like this:

"I understand you're disappointed with my choice, but I know that you love me and wouldn't intentionally try to hurt me or my family. Just like you know the things that I do aren't intended to hurt you. I'm sure that your change in plans weren't done with the purpose of overlapping with mine, but they have. Maybe in the future you could prepare ahead of time so that our plans don't interfere with each other. That way my children can participate in the activities you have planned."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Theme From Twin Peaks by Queen Kong

Feeling A Bit Nostalgic For My Daddy& His Lullabye To His Baby Girl

The Vietnam War, or conflict if you're being politically correct; sent many man faraway from home, my daddy was not an exception. Luckily for him and me...he served his tour in Frankfurt, Germany. Mommy and I went with daddy to Frankfurt, I was only 6 months old at the time, but I've heard plenty of great stories from daddy.

I've bragged about the running ability of my eldest, he gets that talent from my daddy's side of the family. My uncle Jimmy and 3 others took the Mississippi state relays back in the 50s...I've been told that Uncle Jimmy could run a mile right at 4 minutes. I tell you this because of an endearing story my father told regarding guard duty one night. He didn't get along with one of his commanding officers and was assigned the dreaded guard duty. Daddy made a plan to confuse and con fuddle the commanding officer. There were four check in points along the route with some distance in between, daddy schemed that he could run from each check in point, cutting across fields and be at each and every point as the dreaded commanding officer arrived.

As daddy relates this story, there's a gleam in his eye and a mischevious grin. First check point, daddy salutes the officer and sends him on his way. Daddy dropped his pack and took off running for the next point. He made it there in plenty of time, before the CO arrived. Daddy saluted the CO. The CO took a second glance, but continued on his rounds. Then daddy took off for the next check in point. Daddy made it to that one before the CO and was standing at attention saluting when the CO arrived. The CO was pretty certain that he had seen Mohler previously, and hesistated. "Mohler, weren't you at the last check point?" "No, sir!" responded my daddy. The confusion was definitely setting in. By this time, daddy, hysterical in the process of story telling, is having a hard time sputtering out the rest. You guessed it, daddy did make it to the final check point just seconds before the CO arrived. Daddy said the CO couldn't even salute him...he was so miffed that he just motioned for the driver to move one.

As Father's Day approaches, I'm often reminded of the good naturedness of my own daddy and know without a shadow of a doubt...I love him very much. The above song was the only version I could find...Daddy used to sing this lullabye to me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wink...The New Twin Peaks?

It's been suggested that Wink is the small dusty desert version of Twin Peaks. This all came about from the retelling of an unusual dream shared between myself and my brother. My brother posted a comment about the dream, restating it as much as he could remember. Right after he made the comment, and right after I posted his email to me...his computer crashed. Was this just a mere coincidence? OR a warning?

I talked to him a few mintues ago...he was able to use Vista and capture a previous restore point. Once he got the computer working again, he went down to the local Walmart and purchased a super duper Anti-virus program. He was very proud of himself that he got the computer working again.

He said the last thing he did last night before the computer crashed was post the comment about the dream...then he asked if I thought that had anything to do with it? I reassured him that others had posted to my blog without a problem, that surely he didn't catch the virus from me? He said, "No, you don't get it...do you think because we talked about the dream...that's what caused it?"

I laughed, and said, "Surely, not!" In the background you could hear his wife saying, "It's happened again! The computer isn't working."

Family Road Trip to Dinosaur Valley, Fossil Rim and Joy Land

This is the day before the legendary family road trip, I'm thinking we'll be on the road for about 14 hours in three days. That's not bad, considering we've done 14 hours in two days traveling out to Las Vegas, New Mexico.

I did some map questing and have found the route I'm likely to take. I-20 East, exit 380 to FM Road 4, get on HWY 281 to FM Road 2481 and finally hit 205. It seems a bit confusing, but as long as I'm in the general area I should be able to find it. Anywho, I like stopping and asking for directions, gives me a chance to meet the locals and contribute to the local economy.

The idea to visit Fossil Rim came from reading Durango's blog. This is a perfect get away for us, my daughter considers herself to be the premier animal whisperer.
She's always rescuing stray animals, watching the Animal Planet, making bird's nests from Willow branches, bathing our cats and dogs, and even making custom outfits for our dog, Shelby.

Dinosaur Valley will also be a treat for us, because that's another hobby that my daughter and I share. I used to collect rocks, arrow heads and dream of finding dinosaur tracks; brushing away the dirt to reveal the hidden treasure. She has followed in my footsteps and finds these things interesting as well.

And the teenager? Well, since he's gotten his driving permit, he's excited about getting to drive! I'm sure that once we get there he'll find something to interest him, maybe like the local girls. I know that he likes Joy Land.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Is this thing on?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Moi, A Man Hater...I Think Not

Recently, I was accused of being a man hater and that I needed to seek counseling for my problem. To which I replied, "I'm a woman, I like men. If that means I'm not "lady-like", then I guess I'm just not a lady! At least I'm honest." That is actually a quote from a favorite movie of mine, Tombstone.
Josephine said that to Wyatt, because he thought she was different. Wyatt was intrigued by Josephine because she was an independent woman, self-sufficient, exuberant, and full of life. Her happiness and joy came from within herself; and although she made many mistakes, she intended on having a full and complete life without the usual constraints of most women from her time. Josephine was a beautiful woman and did what she had to in order to survive. While some were vexed by her independent, honest and abrupt behavior, others were clearly mesmerized:

She was a woman who was ornery and frustrating to some but fun loving and thoughtful to others. She exhibited a dependency toward gambling and displayed a habit of wrapping hundred dollar bills in rolls of toilet paper but, despite her oddities, she was a woman with whom Wyatt Earp chose to spend over 47 years."

Josephine is featured in the book, Women of the Western Frontier in Fact, Fiction and Film. She made many mistakes throughout her life, some will even state that she and Wyatt weren't happy all the time, and there are questions of validity of pictures that are supposed to be her, but the gist of it all is this; I am not bound or inhibited by what I am. I will grow to my full human capacity. Every path will be open to me and I will not apologize for my strengths.

Finally, a quote and poem from my favorite author:

"Strong women- precious jewels all- their humanness is evident in their accessibility. We are able to enter into the spirit of these women and rejoice in their warmth and courage."

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,

The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou

Wink Texas Ghostly Tales Continue

I mentioned in a comment to Durango that something even spookier occurred that evening of the Thunder Road excursion. The young lady who bravely sprinkled baby powder also related this story:

"Between the years 1910-1926, Wink, a bustling expanding oil town, experienced a great migration of people wanting to invest and become wealthy. One of those migrates, a young man, his wife and their baby daughter, settled on the outskirts of town on HWY 115. The young family erected a moderate home and the inexperienced business man and father set about the business of growing his wealth. In the
beginning, oil shot through the air, people made money hand over fist, investments reaped plenty." This is where the story becomes a bit convoluted, but this man as well as plenty of others experienced the depression and succumbed to losing his fortune. "Fear and trepidation set in as the man drove home that evening, afraid to tell his wife that they had lost everything. He fatefully decided he couldn't face his family and have them look upon him as the failure he'd become. He arrived home that evening, paused in front of the little house, rested his hand on the tall tree from where the rope swing swayed gently in the breeze. Sweat beaded up on his forehead, rolled slowly into his eyes, blurring his vision momentarily, but the axe finally came into focus. With purpose, he gripped the axe handle, felt the smooth wood and steadily trudged towards the house. Upon entering the homestead, the man set about the grisly business of killing his wife and daughter. Overwhelming grief settled in, and he hung himself from the tree using his daughter's rope swing."

The story continued with, "if you go down that road late at night and you see three owls, the man's disturbed spirit is out seeking revenge." Revenge for what...I wasn't sure, but not only did we see an owl, but a large white cow stood passively in the middle of the road. Our headlights beamed making the cow's eyes glow red. It truly was eerie and all that occurred before the tracks and baby powder.

I returned home that evening, exhausted and still a bit excited from the night's events. Since we just moved to Wink, my little brother and I were sharing a room and a mattress on the floor. He was already asleep as I crawled into the makeshift bed. I had a nightmare and awoke, I looked over to my left and a white figure was sitting up next to me. I covered my head with the blanket and proceeded to scream. I believe my brother was also screaming which caused my parents to come flying down the hallway to our room. Once the lights were turned on, and my parents were able to calm us both, they returned to bed. I laid there next to my younger brother and admitted that I had the strangest dream...a man dressed in white, wielding an axe, entered our room and said that we were not going to get out alive. My brother's eyes widened to large saucers...he said, "I had the same dream."

I know it seems to be an unbelievable story, but my brother and I have discussed it and both of us even today, vividly remember the dream. What is even odder and unfortunate...the young lady who related the story of Thunder Road...took her own life a month before graduation in the year of 1987.

Monday, June 1, 2009

HCG Diet Round 2 Weight Eradication

Previously I posted results from a diet I started about a month or so ago. Today, I checked in with Dr. Anna at the Body Focus Laser and Longevity Center in Midland to get my official results. According to her scales I had eradicated only 14 pounds instead of the 20 I originally thought. She gave me a scornful look and asked if I had followed the diet exactly as I was supposed to. I admitted no, that some days I did eat foods that weren't allowed and that on some days I did eat only the foods that were allowed, but more than 500 calories.

"Miss Joely, you must follow the plan. You did not reset your hypothalamus or get your metabolism jump started."

As she was scolding me, I quietly pondered..."hm, I just finished a big lunch at Red Lobster and had a slice of key lime pie. I'm not weighing in the morning. My shoes are heavier than the ones I wore the first time I weighed in." Dr. Anna continued on with her reprimands, then she measured my BMI (body mass index) and it registered 28%. That measurement put a smile on Dr. Anna's face because my previous BMI was 33%. That's 5% eradication of body mass!

Now we're onto round two of the HCG diet, and I've promised Dr. Anna that I'll be a better dieter and stick with the food plan. I confessed that I have trouble with eating the meat, so she suggested exchanging the meat portions for a boiled egg.

Dr. Anna has mixed feelings about my results, but I'm pleasantly pleased. Today at Target, I grabbed two sizes of capris from the rack. One a size 8 and the other a size 6. I went to the dressing room and tried the 8s first; lots of room in the waist, roomy in the thighs. I then tried on the 6s; snug, but zipped them up...:)