Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Making new friends and having fun!

This is another shameless plug for my favorite activity, but it is because I want all my friends to experience the joy and join in the fun that is known as square dancing! It has been almost 40 years since I first set foot in a square dance hall (the story is here) and I have loved it ever since. There is a lot to love!

For one thing, it is a good, healthy activity, cardiovascular exercise, and studies show that similar activities help keep the brain sharp. But unlike many other types of exercise, it is low impact.

Square dancers are some of the friendliest people you could wish to meet! If you are interested in making new friends, it is very easy at a square dance club. And, contrary to common belief, they are not all "old people". You can find folks of all ages that enjoy square dancing. Another great thing about the people is there is no need to worry about getting hit on by a bunch of drunks! Drinking before or during a square dance is forbidden by the official code.

Looking for romance? Well, results may vary, but there are three couples in our club alone who met at square dancing! Most clubs welcome singles, and these singles do mingle....! :-)

It is a thrifty activity, too. For a small monthly club membership fee (ours is $6 per person) you can enjoy all the club dances and other fun events. Our club is noted for the great potluck buffet we provide at halftime. What a great value!!!

Many clubs offer lessons, and many are free or very reasonable. If you are interested, this is a great time of year to take lessons! Look up Square Dancing in the Yellow Pages or Google it to find local clubs. Ask if they give lessons and how many members are in the club. They will probably love it if you come visit on a dance night!!!

And.... NOW for my BIG SALES PITCH!!!

The Swinging Rebels Dance Club of OKC will be offering FREE lessons starting the Thursday after Labor Day! The lessons will be from 7-9PM at the Warr Acres Community Center, NW 42nd and Ann Arbor. So Oklahoma City area friends, please come join us! I guarantee you will be glad you did! :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It is with great sadness ...

... that after 32 years of excellent daily customer service:

... and I repeat; after 32 long years, Mom's Taxi Service is preparing to close up shop.

John finished Driver's Ed this past summer, has his learner's permit, and he will be turning 16 in the next couple of months!

Exciting times for him! (Scary times for me.) But it is a very important step in his life!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hope Flowers

The first time I planted flowers in my front yard was an autumn that Andy was fighting to recover from one of his many surgeries. It also was the first time awareness hit that he and I might not have many more years left together, and I was not sure if he would even live through the winter.

It is always good to have some hope to cling to, something to have a bit of control over. So I planted dozens of daffodil bulbs, thinking and hoping that Andy would be home from the hospital to see them bloom in the spring. I called them my "Hope Flowers," because I was hoping for a bright future. Or if nothing else, I would have something pretty to look at if... he...... NO! STOP!!! I didn't want to think about the other possibility!

He lived to see the daffodils bloom twice. The second time he only was able to see them because, for some reason, they bloomed in February that year; on the very last day of his life. Yet still, all these years later those flowers remain a symbol of hope for me each year that they bloom, and the wind whispers to me of undying love as it rustles through the leaves.

I have continued to work on the flower beds ever since that first year, and Shelby, John, and more recently Arthur have helped me with a variety of plantings. Here is my flower garden this summer. The different blooms represent love of the past, beauty of the present, and hope for the future. For me, hope, like love, never dies.

~ ~ ~

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shelby's triumphant return to college

Last year was Shelby's Freshman year at Oklahoma State University. I don't think anybody is really prepared to begin the university experience and, even though Shelby is a smart kid and an excellent student, she was no exception. By the time she finished the year she was exhausted and discouraged. Her GPA was acceptable, but not what my straight "A" student was used to. Plus, like most college students, she hated never having any extra spending money.

"I had no idea that college was this hard! It is really HARD!!"

I think a lot of it is, not only are the kids not prepared for how difficult the classes are, they also are not prepared for all the freedom that comes with living on campus. There are no parents to set curfews or make them eat healthy, so they end up burning the candle at both ends and burning out! Shelby eventually confessed that she had spent many a night hanging out with her friends as late as 3 AM. When she came home for the summer, she literally slept for three days straight before she even thought about what she wanted to do during the summer.

What she ended up doing made my head spin! When my daughter decides to make changes, she never does anything half-way.

She was hired at The Home Depot to work between 30-40 hours a week. On top of that, she signed up to take two courses at the community college so she could bring her GPA back up to the level she wanted. But even with all that, she managed to get a lot of rest and have a lot of fun! By the end of the summer she had passed her courses with a 4.0, and had enough cash to completely redo her college dorm room.

"I'm going for a more sophisticated look this year," she explained as she picked out a chic multicolor comforter, matching room accessories, and black and white photo posters.

Then, something exciting happened that she had not anticipated. At the end of the school year, Shelby had applied to be an "RA" (Residence Assistant) for the dorms. Originally, she was told that she did not get it. But three weeks ago the college called and offered her the position! What this means is she will have extra spending money after all, because an RA gets free room and board on campus!!!

I am very proud of my daughter! Not only is she living on the top floor of the dorm this year, she is on top of the world. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jesus, Soldiers, and Aliens

OK, this is a bit of a rant, and I may be opening up a can of worms by posting this. But, I received an email the other day that did not sit well with me, and is still niggling in the back of my mind.


How ALL phones SHOULD be answered!

GOOD MORNING, WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , a Christian nation of the free and the home of the brave. How may I help you?

'1' for English.
'2' to disconnect until you learn to speak English

And remember only two defining forces have ever Offered to die for you,
Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, The other for your freedom.


The message that Jesus died for my soul is not what bothers me. I love Jesus!

The part about the American Soldier does not bother me. My late husband was a Vietnam vet. I have a son and a step-son that have served in the military. I support our troops and am eternally grateful for the sacrifices of those in uniform.

What bothers me is from what I've learned, Jesus did not speak English, either. Would he have turned his back on me in Nazareth? And the American Soldier has fought and died for our rights, one big one which is the "Freedom of Religion." Yes, I am a Christian, but do Americans really have religious freedom if our nation is identified as a specific religion?

I decided to do a little research and found the following Biblical quotes about aliens. Now, please note, the above email made no reference to any difference between legal or illegal aliens. I guess another reason the email sits so wrong with me is I am the great-grandchild of Polish immigrants that did not know English!

Some quotes from the Bible about Immigrants:

“But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.” Exodus 20:10

“Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” Exodus 22:21
“Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt.” Exodus 23:9

“Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:10

“When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34

“You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 24:22

“The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the Lord: The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.” Numbers 15:15-16

“The priest is to make atonement before the Lord for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made for him, he will be forgiven. One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether he is a native-born Israelite or an alien.” Numbers 15:28-30

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:17-19

“Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.” Deuteronomy 24:17-18

“When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.” Deuteronomy 24:19-22

“When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Then say to the Lord your God: ‘I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them.’” Deuteronomy 27:19

“Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.” Deuteronomy 27:19

“The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow.” Psalm 27:19

“If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I have your forefathers for ever and ever.” Jeremiah 7:6-8

“This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” Jeremiah 22:3

“You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance,” declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 47:21-23

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.’” Zechariah 7:9-10

“So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the aliens of justice, but do not fear me,’ says the Lord Almighty." Malachi 3:5

“Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say , ‘The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.’” Isaiah 56:3

“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise except for the foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’” Luke 17:15-19

“From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” Acts 17:26

"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:19-20

“All those people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” Hebrews 11:13

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Introducing Mr. Comfort!

I have a new best friend. His name is Mr. Comfort.

I have not met him in person yet, but I might call him up one of these days. He is the mascot of a new company. The old company was called ARS.

Yes, I think I may need to give him a call. I won't have any trouble remembering his phone number. You see, the number is 222-2222.

If all this sounds a bit cryptic to you, you can read the whole "Miracle or Coincidence" story here:

It's nice to have friends in high places. :)