March 31, 2009
Newspaper, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 13
How do you get your news?
I don’t regularly watch general TV news. I’m only half awake in the morning while dressing to the local radio news. I only pick up newspapers once or twice a week, so the uproar over the latest reduction in home newspaper delivery doesn’t really affect my knowledge curve.
I read the newspapers because they are there at my convenience. I can pick one up at any time. I almost have to make an appointment with myself to get my news technologically – aka braving the internet. Unfortunately, once I’m on there, I tend to stray. I end up checking email, visiting Facebook friends, clicking through MyPoints, logging my Sparks info, viewing my bank balance, and checking if Sprint has credited me the $317.00 they owe me, yet. What was once 30 minutes of newspaper reading is now 2 hours of computer bogged time. Provided I don’t get sucked into challenging my computer to a game (or 2 or 3) of Scrabble while listening to my itunes collection in random shuffle…
Life really does come down to how we spend our time. And having some modicum of disciplined self-restraint, I suppose.
I Corinthians 7:29-31:
I do want to point out, friends that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don't complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple - in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things- your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out. (The Message Version.)
PS. I’m sure so many of the reason I love newspapers are obsolete anyway:
I’m really gonna miss making balloon piñatas, covering my art work space, Girl Scout sit-upons and campfire starters.
Check with your local animal shelter. Besides hamster habitats, birdie boudoirs and rabbit retreats, if they’ve been using donated newspapers to line puppy and kitten cages, they might be running short. Consider donating rather than recycling.
In this issue: Media impact on Newspapers, Washington Post Mensa Invitational,alternative news sources.
Now posted: Loaves, Fishes & Holy Water and Ruling/Leadership; Slidell, LA, October 2008
Worth visiting: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/flash
March 24, 2009
Equinox, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 12
ME Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 12
Happy First Wednesday in Spring! (It officially began on 3/20 in case you're wondering.)
I remember the first time I heard the someone refer to something difficult as being "like trying to nail jello to a tree."
Seems that's the way everything's been going. Not only for me, but for the shop that replaced my windshield, the CT Scan tech who'd already had a tough morning by the time she saw me, and the overseer at last week's audit who agreed that we "have a huge problem."
Sticking to a plan and making things work has been just a bit more challenging than even I like, lately. I could use some good old-fashioned Knox gelatin to hold my life together. Or maybe some really good peanut butter….
Even in all the equinox chaos, I met another angel. This one's a long story, so I blogged it. Follow this link: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/~jaselin/archives/2009/03/wrong_place.html#more
In this issue: Rose Markwood Knox, March is National Peanut Month, Equinox & UM research with "jello".
Now posted: Half Day & Third Round Tour, Slidell, LA, October 2008
Worth visiting: www.ilovepeanutbutter.com
The Direction of Angels
You know me.
I’m a crisis manager. Huge problem – no problem.
I analyze the alternatives and find multiple solutions. If one doesn’t work, I always have a back-up. I don’t easily freak out, melt down or otherwise turn into a blubbering idiot when faced with unusual emergencies. Sometimes, three days later, when I decide to take a deep breath and slow down the adrenaline rush, I may get kinda weepy in a burnt out sort of way.
You also know how many hours, days and weeks I've spent at UMH with Jeff. I know the hospital very well. With all the parking construction, I guess I ended up in the wrong garage because I found myself exiting the car park elevators at the south end of Mott. At 6:30 am, it was too early for the information desk to be open, and the two separate employees in scrubs I asked for help were either truly totally clueless or just didn't want to be bothered on their way home.
I stared at the map, and tried to get my bearings. Nothing looked familiar. Suddenly, I was frustrated to the point of tears. I started to leave, went back, started to leave, went back, and started to leave again. I must have been looking pretty confused, because someone with a badge approached me then. She didn't know where I should go either, and told me that she'd only been there a week. But, she said she knew someone who would know, and then walked me down to the Mott Badging Station. When we got there, she said to the woman behind the desk, "I already have my Visitor Badge, but this girl needs help." That just surprised me, she was a visitor?
Because I was already shaky, I started to actually cry. Don't know if it was lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of being there knowing Jeff wasn't, whatever. I grabbed a tissue and the desk clerk wrote down directions and drew me a map. I knew how to get to Radiology from the cafeteria, and it turned out that visitor knew how to get from Mott to the cafeteria, so she offered to walk with me. On the way there she kept an arm on my shoulder and told me it was ok to cry. You know how that works for me... more crying.
Just as we got to the cafeteria she hugged me and told me that one week ago her 14 year old son hung himself. He'd been at Mott in critical care since then. "Saturday was a good day," she said, "Yesterday was a bad one." Right, and I'm crying because I'm lost! I shared with her that I have a mentally ill sibling and told her about the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. I told her they would have a lot of resources for her and most importantly a support group where she could meet other parents. She hadn't known about it and seemed glad for the information.
I asked her if she believed that sometimes GOD puts us in the wrong place at the right time and she smiled. I told her my theory on GOD-smacks, and we agreed that this was one of those "Hey, you! Pay Attention!" times. I told her I would pray for her and her son, and then my elevator came. I'm emotionally exhausted. I didn't get her name. I wish I had given her my card. I didn’t remember the name of the desk clerk, either.
When I got back to my office, it took a few phone calls and transfers but I was eventually connected to the badging station. I explained who I was, what I had needed, and asked if she was the one who had drawn me the map. She was. I thanked her, and she said that made her day. I also filled out an online commendation form. Because, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she had to have provided excellent customer service twice. Once on whatever day the Mott mom had needed her, because that Mott mom knew exactly where to take me to get me the answer I needed. And then, she did it again for a ridiculously sniveling, weepy lost woman.
The only amusing part of this day was that the radiologist insisted that I take the acrylic stud out of my nose because she did not know what acrylic was. When I explained it was plastic, she said she still wasn't sure if that counted as metal or not, so I placated her and took it out. I didn’t realize she was standing there waiting for the back of the stud, until she asked for it. When I told her there wasn't one, she wanted to know what prevented the stud from flying out of my nose when I sneezed. For simplicity's sake, I just told her it was gravity, and smiled to myself. GOD had put me back in my regular world, alright.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning...
March 17, 2009
Gems, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 11
I’ve met a few angels recently, although your definition of angel may be different from mine.
For me, an angel is anyone I can get excited for, someone who inspires me, someone whose path I may cross for an instant, a short time, or sometimes repeatedly until I finally figure it out.
An angel is someone who leaves me feeling like I have just seen GOD in action; sometimes, easily recognized as warmth shared from the depths of radiant eyes and a true, open smile; sometimes, not immediately recognized as true, repetitive care.
Last year I was introduced to, and fell in love with, green amethysts. I really liked the cool feel and the weight of the stone, as well as the watery, light, and slightly-off green color. I already owned some antique and some newer traditional purple amethyst jewelry; some passed down from my grandmother and some purchased by me. So, the contrast intrigued me.
Angels and gems, how are they connected?
Both are rare, holding high value in such different ways.
Both change in appearance depending on how they are treated.
And, both showed up at the Southfield International Gem and Jewelry Show.
It’s been an enlightening, and colorful week.
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2
Semi, and Accomplishments, Slidell, LA, October 2008
Green Amethyst Angels, Faith, Current
Green Amethyst Angels
I was standing at a display table at the Southfield International Gem and Jewelry Show, meticulously comparing three matched sets of faceted oval cut green amethysts.
A voice behind me commented, “Those are beautiful prasiolites. Where did you find them?”
I turned to find myself looking up at a tall young man. Smiling, I pointed to the table in front of me which had another six sets displayed.
“Ah,” he said, “Not that smart of a question, huh?”
“Of course it was a smart question.” I laughed, “You don’t know unless you ask!”
“I haven’t bought any of these yet,” he said as he pondered the boxes. “It so exciting to find new colors. I’ve been collecting for a while. Since I was 10 years old, I knew this was what I wanted to do.”
“A gemologist?” I inquired. “A lapidary?”
“Yes,” he answered with an incredibly contagious big bright smile.
By now, I had estimated his age between 16 and 18. “I think you’re going in a good direction. Good luck!” I said as I smiled back, and moved on.
A few tables later I found myself in front of 4 trays of loose individual prasiolites in assorted shades and cuts. “Just a moment,” I told my friend as we picked through the gems, “I need to go back and let that young man know there’s more up here.”
I wove my way through the crowd, tapped him on the shoulder, told him what I had found, and then turned around and headed back. Shortly after I returned to my sorting spot, my friend took off. That’s not unusual – it’s hard not to get distracted by shiny things at the gem show, so I assumed something caught her eye.
Not finding the shape I wanted in the shade I wanted, I looked around a bit after decided I was finished. I was a little surprised when I saw where my friend had gone. She was talking to that same young man.
When she came back I asked, “So, did you get his name?” (I knew she would have, that’s just how she is.)
“Yes,” she said.
“You should have given him your card,” I commented.
“I did,” she said.
“I think he’d make a great apprentice,” I offered.
“I told him that,” she said.
A few days later I asked my friend later what made her go back and offer her assistance to him:
"I just thought of a way to help and think that someone that eager to learn should be helped and nourished."
Yeah, she’s an angel, too.
i can take it.
and i can take it from you.
if it’s a disaster
i can repair it.
if it’s a problem
i can solve it.
if it’s broken
i can fix it.
i can make it better.
as long as it belongs to you.
if it belongs to me
it’s not repairable,
and will stay that way
unless you can take it.
and then take it from me.
March 13, 2009
Hopeful and mischievous
Uncomfortable and inspired
I know it will all be ok
If I can keep patience
If I can keep focused
Alaska vs. Dallas
Very different assignments
Neither of which
Are easy fits and
Neither of which
Are easily working out
But at least I’m thinking
About the opportunities
About the differences
About the place, and places
About the steps, and stepping
About the way, and ways
I might be more
I might matter more
In one space, than the other
Under one circumstance
Or under another.
March 11, 2009
Peeps, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 10
Hey! It's been raining for 4 days here in Michigan, which means it is now officially Peeps season.
While it true that normally there is absolutely no correlation between the two, for me there is an exception:
Both, Peeps and too much rain, make me loopy.
Just in case you're not too sure what you're looking at, there is a simple, yet brilliant, explantion for the photos taken with my cell phone at my desk at work:
I made an exciting discovery!
Both, fresh and slightly stale Peeps, will float in warm cinnamon orange tea, thereby accomplishing two things at once -
cute and sweetened tea.
Perhaps now would be a good time to confess to caffeine and sugar overload?
PS. The cup has a sweet message, too. "Live Boldy, Take Risks, Make someone say what the heck was THAT all about?"
Thanks for being my “peeps”!
In this issue: History of the marshmallow, Peeps, Just Born Candy Company, Peeps on a Mission
Now published: Job Data, Monday Night Devotion, True Love & Peeps
worth checking into:
http://www.cookingforengineers.com - totally techie food stuffs
http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com - the official Just Born Peeps Site
http://www.peepresearch.org/surgery.html - surgical details of separating typically conjoined Peeps quintuplets
I Asked GOD
The other night as I was starting to fall asleep I asked GOD, “What do I do when my prayers don’t seem to be working?”
I got a pretty clear answer, pretty quickly. “Seem?”
I had to get back up out of bed to write that down.
That was a pretty important answer, and I didn’t want to forget where it sent my mind.
Yep. This isn’t the first time I have wondered why my prayers did not seem to be working.
Many rounds have been prayed over and over, and nothing seemed to be happening.
I know I’m lucky, now.
I can look back and see that they were eventually answered.
Perhaps not on my requested time line or perhaps not in the way I intended.
March 10, 2009
True Love & Peeps
My husband was a man who would not even slightly hesitate to insert his entire arm into a cow’s uterus.
So, how a cute little squishy marshmallow chick could cause him to cringe, shake and gag was always beyond me.
However, as true love often does, he willingly made small sacrifices for me. One of the sweetest involved seeking out Peeps. Clandestinely poking holes in their cellophane habitats, he would hide the remarkable treats somewhere I was sure never to look. You know that cabinet that they put over the stove that only tall giant sized people ever use to store things?
He went to all this trouble for two very good reasons.
The first was so that the adorable candy creatures would be appropriately ever-so-slightly crunchy-stale when he ceremoniously presented them to me on whatever holiday it was we were celebrating.
And the second, was for the kiss he knew he would get after I finished squealing in delight.
March 03, 2009
Tea & Translucency, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 9
I had the blessed opportunity to share the pomp and circumstance of loose leaf tea and fine china with dear friends last weekend. Cinnamon Orange, of course, but decaf due to the company I knew I would be keeping. As it turned out, by the time the evening’s activities ended, tea hour settled upon us around 10:00 pm.
The fine china wasn’t my idea, but that of an enthusiastic parent. Still, passing dainty cups perched on seemingly delicate saucers to young ladies, ages 11, 13 and 16, made me nervous. I often forgo the fine china in favor of a standard variety household mug. Yes, out of fear of damage or spillage, and a bit out of laziness, not wanting to refill a smaller cup more often.
These cups, florals reflecting brightly in the translucent amber tea, changed the mood. Hurried, became settled. Fidgety became still – it’s hard to balance a tea cup and fidget! Pinkies were extended, styles compared.
Alice Walker said, “Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.”
I’d liken our event to more of a campfire gathering. No TV, no Ipods, no cell phones, nothing other than a family circled in conversation and questions. “Are they really that old?” “Is that real gold on the rim?” When the tea was finished, the bottoms of saucers and cups were inspected for clues to their origin. Just as the spiced tea warmed our limbs, discussions and learning warmed our hearts.
What is the good of having beautiful things if we will not use them in comfort and often? What is the worse that could happen? A broken cup, a shattered saucer, would simply present a learning opportunity; about the strength of china, the fragility of life, the necessity of friendships, and the importance of pomp and circumstance.
"... I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me..." Matthew 25: 35-45
In this issue: Achieving Goals, Strength and Translucency, Bone China vs. Porcelain
Now published: Presence of a Cook, Slidell, LA October 2008
Doesn't Really Hurt
It doesn’t really hurt
Until you figure out
What you’re missing
Where you should have been
Which opportunities are gone
And cannot be replaced
It doesn’t really hurt
Until you’re forced to
Stand right there
Watching from a distance
Knowing you’ll have to
Walk away soon
It doesn’t really hurt
For very long once
You’ve decided to
Turn away, never go back
Drive home to nothing
And stay there
And it doesn’t really
Once you’re back
In that quiet place
Safe, where you know
It won’t hurt