Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day at the Hospital

I picked Mom up at 7:00 a.m. to reach Unity Hospital and see Uncle Johnie before he went in for carotid artery surgery. Bill met us there in his car. One of the ladies from my church was at the information desk and directed us to the prep rooms. My cousin, Joe Glasgow and Gerald Belts (my uncle's neighbor of 31 years) were with him when we arrived. We prayed with him and kissed him before they wheeled him away. We all had breakfast in the Unity Cafe before Bill left for school. On the way out, Bill and I went by Pastor Larry's office. He is hospital chaplain. He was surprised to see us!

While sitting together in the surgery waiting room, I became aquainted with "little" Joe. I had been best friends with his father, Joe, when we were kids. Joe and I were both born in 1948 and enjoyed playing together at family reunions. I also spent a week with him at Falls Creek when we were 14 years old. Joe grew up to be an electrician but died several years ago. I miss him! His son, Joe, shoes horses all over the county. He's as sweet as his Dad was and has the same Oklahoma drawl. Before leaving the hospital, Joe told us that Uncle Johnie said he does not want Taps played at his funeral. He wants Revellie (sp?) because he doesn't intend to sleep. He will be ready to wake up!!

Dr. Weins came in two hours later and told us that Uncle Johnie was doing extremely well. Dr. Weins remembered doing Mom's surgery and sat down to talk. He is a Christian who attends Immanuel Baptist Church and has been on several mission trips. While looking at this young, handsome doctor, I was thinking about Bill Maher's comments on TV last night. He said, "Christians are lunatics, and that we are all selfish and belong in mental hospitals." What a loving, tolerant statement to make when people don't agree with your progressive ideas.

When my uncle recovered, the nurses asked me and Mom to stick around so that we could answer any questions they needed. We were glad to do so, and Uncle Johnie seemed so glad to see us. When he fell asleep, we left and I arrived home about 3:30 p.m. I'll take Mom back to the hospital tonight. Bill is teaching another on-line class, so he won't be able to go back.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Keri, Happy Birthday!

Today is Keri's birthday. She was a very special baby because she was the first grandchild on both sides, and she was the first baby girl in the family since I was born. Besides that, 8 boys had been born in the hospital before her on that Sunday. The nurses were cheering! Keri, you are still special. You are the "go to" lady when people need something organized. Cal Baptist still flies you from Chicago to California when they need help with their special project teams. You are gifted, and you have never forgotten that God gave you your abilities. That keeps you sweet and humble.

I was reminded yesterday of how God takes care of the smallest details of my life. I showed my doctor a "bug bite" next to my left eye. He told me it would go away soon. Four months later, I showed him my "bug bite" which had increased in size. He shrugged and said, "The longer you're in the water, the more barnacles you get." I wasn't pleased! I went home and started putting Clearasil on it everyday to hide the pink color and prayed. Guess what? This week, that "bug bite" is completely gone. I keep touching it to make sure it hasn't come back.

Two years ago, I bought some sweat pants with a matching shirt at JCPenney. They were such a pretty blue and so soft that I asked Bill to get me some more last Christmas. The store was completely out, and I couldn't find any online. Yesterday, I went shopping and as is my practice, I prayed. I found a chocolate brown pantsuit that actually fits me for half price at Dillard's, and then I wondered around JCPenney. Yes! They had my sweats back in stock and they were half price!!! I didn't hesitate. I bought two sets! The ice storms can come. I'm ready!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

It's a jeans and sweatshirt afternoon. It's 68 degrees! Yesterday, I made cinnamon rolls, and we enjoyed our breakfast on the screened patio which reminds us that the weather can change back and forth during the fall months. It's great to turn off the AC for awhile.

Last Friday, Noel called and chatted with me about new landline phones. I ordered the same ones that he and Janice have. I want the (free) third phone for the family room because I can't remember to carry my cell phone with me around the house. And, I don't run as fast as I use to. Smile. Then, on Saturday, Noel did some research for me and checked on the best humidifiers for winter. Our old one gave up the ghost! I'm glad he subscribes to Consumer Reports and knows so much about electronics.

Last night, David called. After being apart for years, it's so cool to be able to just chat! He had been to a rodeo in California with Galen's family. The announcer told lots of jokes, so he passed this one on to me: The woman downhill skiier who won gold medals at the last winter Olmpics had to give her awards to Obama. Why? Because no one could go downhill as fast as he can! As far as politics go, I don't trust the Democrats or the Republicans. Too much government always becomes corrupt. History shows us that everywhere! Kirk still sees it in Haiti.

There were two new visitors in my Bible Study this morning - a lady, and a young college student who wanted to attend with his parents. We discussed the fact that God is not only our creator, but desires to be intimately involved in our lives. I listened to an interview this week with Captain Scott Smiley, who has just written a book entitled, "Hope Unseen". He had been a man of faith until he lost his eyesight. His wife (who is gorgeous) and friends prayed for him without ceasing. He realized that without faith in God and the people around him, he could never lead a quality life again. Since then, he has learned to surf solo, and to jump out of airplanes. He is also the first blind person to be kept on active military duty with serious responsibilities. God is so good at making lemonade out of lemons. We have to quit thinking of ourselves as "victims" and begin to look for the victory! God makes us accountable, and that is a good thing! We all run from God at times. When we stop, He wraps His arms around us in love and all the bitter pain inside us subsides.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


My mother made each of her 7 children a memory book from the time we were born until we were adults. She saved everything! There are recital programs, newspaper articles of our achievements and pictures of everyone in my life - including boys who hung around me that I didn't much care for. I also found report cards for my own children that I had sent her from St. Vincent. Keri and Kelli, you did very well! You were in a British private school (St. Joseph's) and ranked 3rd and 4th over all in your classes. Guess what? Your best grades were in English, vocabulary and spelling. Kirk, I found a valentine that you made for "mummy". Very British and sweet!

Speaking of memories, Bill and I saw the funniest movie this afternoon. "It's You Again" The plot is about women who were jealous of each other in high school. Often the "loser" turns out to be the winner. It also points out how some women never grow up and get over being jealous. You know a bunch of senior citizens were at the theater because we all stayed to listen to the closing song. Darrell Oates and John Hall sang, "Your kiss, your kiss is on my lips; Your kiss, your kiss is what I miss"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pretty Red Geraniums

I thought my red geraniums were finished a month ago, but I'm glad I was patient with them!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Days Have Arrived

The temperature is gradually getting cooler and rain is expected this weekend. I love summer, but I'm ready for the change of seasons. I am teaching part-time, but my schedule has stayed busy. On Monday afternoon, I took one of the Key Lime pies I made to my friend, Lorna. She received a kidney transplant from a young donor who was killed in a car accident. Lorna is so humbled by this event. She told me that she had read in her Bible that "to whom much is given, much is required" and she wonders what that will be. Lorna doesn't need to worry, she already gives so generously to everyone she meets! I also learned that because the two kidneys she has are still functioning at 20%, the doctor did not remove them in case her body rejects the new kidney. The third kidney was placed in the front part of her abdomen.

I was asked to substitute on Tuesday afternoon. Those young men are crazy! During class, one of the student's cell phones rang. The student sitting next to him began to tell him off because phones are to be turned off during class. Suddenly, the student who was berating his friend heard his own phone ringing and everyone started laughing. When he looked at the ID, he noticed that a student across the room had called him so that it would ring! I admit that it was pretty funny, and I had to laugh as well. Another incident happened before class began. One young man showed his excitement that I was subbing. When he put his face next to mine, I covered my mouth because I thought he was going to kiss me! He started laughing and said, "No, teacher, watch!" He went to the other men in the class, touched their foreheads lightly and kissed the air. Apparently, that's what they do to their mothers! So, I relaxed and let him touch my forehead. I learned something yesterday, and received the honor graciously.

Afterschool, I drove to Mom's to take her some lotion and some cheese crackers. When I arrived, she was baking cupcakes and my Uncle Johnny had come directly from the clinic to report on his condition. He will have coratid artery surgery next week. He has a 50/50 chance of survival and wanted to talk about his wishes. He told his docotor that he believed that God planned his birth and his death, so he should not take it personal if the surgery does not go well. That made me smile.

I thought that my geranium plants were finished blooming for the summer because they were dormant for about a month. I was wrong. They are beautiful once again and I am still learning lessons in being patient. The tomato plants were wonderful this year. I harvested at least 4 dozen or more.

Fall is here, and I'm excited about the holiday season. I feel sad when my mailbox is empty, so I look forward to seeing the colored cards again.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ok State Fair/Disney on Ice

I posted a picture below of Mom and myself in front of the Oklahoma State Fair Arena in OKC. I didn't know if Mom would be up to it, but she was very excited and took her walker that has a seat. Actually, she loves ice skating and wasn't going to miss Disney on Ice. Bill and I had seen Disney on Ice in Tokyo, but it seemed very different in English! We arrived at the fairgrounds around 11 am and found parking easily with the handicap plaque. I had called for tickets and had them waiting for us. Once inside the fairgrounds, we found a table under a tree and enjoyed Dan's Indian Tacos. After lunch, we wandered to the merry-go-round. After buying tickets to ride, we learned that adults can't ride, and there are no refunds! So, we deicded to use the tickets to play a game. We learned that games are $5 cash - no tickets! The game operator commiserated with us and shot the breeze for about 10 minutes. He is an American who runs a guesthouse in Jamaica during the winter, and works for the fair during the summer. I finally decided to give our carousel tickets to some little girls who smiled and thanked us.

From there, we went to the auto show which was in a large air-conditioned building. The three corporations showing were GM, Ford and Toyota. The big SUVs are $50,000. They don't tempt me, but the Mustang was a little beauty at $36,000. Of course, it is 6 cylinder and is still very sporty. Maybe when I grow up, I'll get one! Mom loved the air-conditioning, so Bill and I left her to look at blue ribbon draft horses. While wandering around the bulding, we observed two OU vets spaying a dog. They were performing the operation on a platform that was enclosed by glass and there were TV monitors showing each step. They were taking out an ovary when we stopped to watch.

After watching the operation, it was time to get Mom who was having a great time talking to people at the Auto Show, and go to the arena for the ice show. Her biggest splurge was buying popcorn in a Disney bucket for $10. We couldn't find sugarfree ice cream, so Bill promised to stop at Braum's on the way home. We did, and she got a double dip cone. It was so much fun watching her enjoy herself!! We all bought ice cream to take home.

This morning, one of our Saudi students went to church with us at his request. To be honest, I was shocked that he actually went. He seemed to enjoy himself, and I know that he was surprised to see everyone being so friendly and hugging each other. He also loved the drums, guitars and piano. Bill and I have been asked to play a special on the third Sunday of each month, and this was it. Bill played, "Jesus, Your Name Is Power" and "He Is Able" on his recorder. The people going to Bulgaria this week gave a presentation. Each year, several of our members take medicine and school supplies to the gypsy children. Our church also feeds the children of Shawnee in the park on Saturdays. It breaks your heart to see how parents misuse their money and don't feed their kids!

Last week, I was experiencing pain in my right leg. It hurt so much that I couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep. I took Tylenol and started praying. I had no idea what was causing it and couldn't think of anything that I had done differently. After one week of suffering, the pain has vanished completely. Last night, I was thanking God for my healing and can't believe that I enjoyed a day at the State Fair. The pain may return, but I learned long ago, that everything is easier when God sends His angels to minister to me! Am I a wimp? I guess so, because I hate pain.

State Fair/Disney on Ice

Friday, September 17, 2010


Last Sunday, I taught a lesson to my Bible Study class. I always learn more than my students, and feel that it is a waste of time for them if they don't learn also. I read a quote to my class that said, "God cannot be discovered. He reveals Himself when we are ready." I thought about that a lot this week. This morning, I opened the French doors in the dining area so that we could look out at the park during breakfast. As I sat eating my frosted shredded wheat, I became entranced by a huge gold cross that was brilliantly lighted on the far side of the park. When I told Bill what I saw, he thought I had really lost it! I stood up and insisted that he sit in my chair. As soon as he sat down, he could see the cross! I was so relieved! The sun was bouncing off of a metal container in such a way that it truly resembled a huge lighted gold cross. It was beautiful! We both realized that what a person sees is often from their perspective. If you don't have the right perspective, it is possible to miss many things in life. Bill had the good sense to change his position and try to see things through my eyes.

We have a new teacher at our school who is very young, and seems to personify the way America thinks. She is tall, slender and blond. She goes to the tanning salon several times a week, is an admitted shopaholic and is planning to buy a very expensive SUV. Recently, when she hurt her leg, she let everyone know that her family doesn't have health insurance. She doesn't want to pay a deductable. When we asked about her children, she told us that she always gets free care for them because she has no money in the bank, and the government will take care of her also. I was reminded of the lady at the job service center in Springfield. She told my sister-in-law, Janice, that she would rather continue getting unemployment, because there are so many people who need a job more than she does. People use to hide these attitudes, but now they are "cool". The rest of us work, pay our bills, and invest. For some reason, I'd rather be on the giving end of life, rather than the receiving. It's so much more fun! And that's my perspective.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking Care of Myself

After posting a few pictures recently, I realized that I have to start taking care of myself before the holidays arrive. Yesterday, Bill met me at the pool after classes to swim a few laps. It felt so good! Lance, our trainer, was happy to see us back. (He has begun taking courses to get his RN degree.) Of course, when I got to school this morning, a teacher had brought in a freshly baked strawberry cake. It was difficult, but I refused to touch it.

The holidays really are almost here! Yesterday, when I went to check the mail, there was a package. It was the church choir Christmas music. However, we have lots of birthdays to celebrate before then. Selah Brooke just turned 3 years old. She called me to say thank you for her gift. I had so much fun buying an ice blue sweat suit with a hood to match her eyes!

Classes are going much better this session than last! Verbal Skills is very interesting at times. My students cannot pronounce "beach". I spent some time explaining what they don't want to say! Also, one of the boys kept saying a word that begins with "sh" everytime he made a mistake in his workbook. I had to stop and explain that word and asked him to say, "Oh No!" instead. I know he will continue to use the word he wants in private, but at least he can use his manners in a public classroom. My class is never boring!!

I have been praying for some special things to happen for a long time. I have just begun to realize that God can't answer my prayers until other people believe with me. Without faith, God can't do anything for us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday, Sept. 14th

Bill and I are empty nesters once again. We woke up at 4 am on Sunday morning to take Chinami to the Will Rogers Airport. As expected, we all cried as we said good-bye. I'm the world's worst at saying "good-bye"! After going through security, Chinami kept looking back and waving. I wrote several notes to our Japanese friends in Yokohma which she gladly agreed to deliver. After making sure that the plane for Chicago had departed, Bill and I drove back to Shawnee and ate breakfast at IHOP. We finished in time to drive to the church for Bible Study. The lesson focused on how the Christian world view differs from secular humanism. I was surprised at how little some people know. I have made it my mission to know what other people believe, and am so secure in what I believe that I have no fear. My Muslim students are always surprised to learn that I have observed prayer service at a mosque in Chicago, and twice in Instanbul, Turkey. Lately, I have heard liberal people calling Christians stupid, non-intellectual and wimpy. Those same people are extremely intolerant and certainly don't know my Christian friends! Christians are those who know how to think outside the box and outside this world as we know it. That is being free. A true believer is also one who continues to "love".

Sunday afternoon I took a long nap, and then Bill and I watched, "Dr. Zhivago". The music is beautiful, the scenery pastoral, and the message timely. The Russian Czar was not exactly a nice person, but the socialist revolution wasn't the answer either. I will never forget seeing how bleak life was in East Germany before the Berlin Wall was destroyed. (It probably wasn't a good idea to wear our Disney World sweatshirts.) Idealism seems to lose when pitted with reality. Human nature has never changed through the centuries, and we don't learn from war. However, we as individuals can make a difference when we recognize our selfishness and share who we are, and what we have with our neighbors. God can change our hearts and make us generous. The government can't do that.

Noel sent me an article by email this week. He said I was right about the "diverging diamond". It really is a diamond. (Sorry, Steve!) And, the city of Springfield is the first to take the risk and try this European method.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekend Happenings

It has been such a nice weekend, knowing that Session #9 is finished! I refused to work full-time next session and had a small showdown with the administration. When looking at the proposed schedule for next week, I noticed that I had been given 3 hours in the mornings of very low level students. I can handle 2, but that 3rd hour ----well, forget it!! Our director told me that I had been given those hours because I was the only one that could get results and had never received any complaints in evaluations. I was flattered, but told him that he would lose me completely if that schedule stood. Teaching students fresh off of the plane is very stressful. It has been worked out for me to teach low level reading and writing, but teach upper level verbal skills the first hour. Whew! Now, I'm looking forward to going back to school next week.

Friday evening, I made stir fry and rice. Knowing that dish is one of Mom's all-time favorites, we invited her to join us and we played Mexican Train. I bought a sugar-free apple pie for dessert. During the game, Chinami told us about her lunch date with Jin. He had given her a bracelet which she was wearing. Life is so beautiful when you are 19 years old!! She will remember Jin forever.

This morning, Bill took Chinami to the Indian Cultural Heritage Center while I made a trip to the mall. Chinami had purchased a Bible on her last shopping trip, and didn't realize that the King James Version was not in her best interest. Waldon's Bookstore was very gracious, and helped me find a NIV with a nice leather cover. From there, I went to the Bath and Body Shop. I bought several replacement liquid soaps for my kitchen and bathroom. I also bought some Cherry Blossom lotions for Chinami and myself. I learned that they are the number one selling fragrance at Bath and Body Shops in America.

After a quick lunch, we picked up Mom again, and we all visted Uncle Johnny's ranch. It is so peaceful and beautiful! His four horses came running to the paddock when they saw us. I will be posting pictures of his Missouri Fox Trotters. My uncle is 91 years old and was still able to saddle a horse, and mount. After training the horse for about 10 minutes, Chinami was invited to climb on. It was her first time to be on a horse. We wandered around the property awhile and checked out his pear trees which will be ripe in another month. In the distance, we could see cows grazing and one of his llamas. It was fun to see my mother enjoy the horses so much!! She told us how to rub them under their necks and told stories about her days of herding cows on her horse named Pet when she was a child. I'm very glad that she can spend her final days in Oklahoma. Mom enjoyed California and traveling the world, but this is her home!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Sorry, Steve! I blew it in one of my recent blogs! You told me that the round- about in Springfield, Mo. is called a diverging diagonal interchange - not diamond! (Maybe I just love diamonds. Ha!) Springfield has the only two. I have driven the one on Kansas Expressway and the other one on National. I didn't feel comfortable on either one of them!

Galen, thanks for your comment on my spelling. Misspelling Thursday was especially bad after teaching my preemies how to spell the days of the week! Sometimes I blog too fast. Chinami has a special program on her computer which checks typing speed. She clocked me last week at 75 wpm. Our family gets that from Dad! Remember the old Remington typewriter?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Yesterday, our school gave early final exams and had graduation so that our Saudi population could go to the mosque today. I am soooo glad that Ramadan is finished!! Maybe my students will be able to stay awake and not be thinking about their stomachs growling. One of the young men asked me how my God tests Christians since we have not been asked to fast during daylight hours. I told him that my God has already tested me and knows that I have a heart that is not good. There's no doubt about it that I do something wrong everyday. I'm so glad that Jesus covered my bad heart with His blood so that God can't see it. My student was fascinated! Perhaps it's because he plans to drive to OKC tonight and find a disco club with his friends.

During graduation in the afternoon, Chinami gave a beautiful speech and took time out half way through to cry. I noticed that several of the young men had tears also and told her that they were going to miss her. She has a special friendship with Jin, a Korean student who is just out of the military. He asked me today if he can take her to lunch tomorrow.

One of the funnies this week was when a teacher told her class that St. Gregory's is a tobacco free campus. A student looked at her and asked, "Where can you get tobacco free at this college?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Silver Dollar City and a Ruckus in Tecumseh

After classes this afternoon, Chinami and I drove to the post office to check the mail. There must have been at least 15-20 police cars parked across the street! I asked a lady if she had any idea what was going on. She informed me of the robberies in 3 towns and the shoot out in our local pharmacy. She informed me that one suspect was in custody and another was on the run. I turned on the news when we returned home, and learned that the other suspect had been apprehended on Hwy 9 near Thunderbird Lake. So much for quiet little Tecumseh. Between tornadoes and shoot-outs, it's becoming very exciting!

Bill, Chinami and I picked up Gramma on Saturday morning and drove to Springfield. We arrived just in time for homemade tacos and ice cream with fresh strawberries with Noel and Janice. After lunch, we all sat around their dining table and had another visit with Galen, Sondra and David via the computer. They all looked great! About 3:00 p.m. we left Gramma with Noel and Janice and headed to Branson. We stayed at the Ramada Inn where the Oklahoma Pontiac Club was holding their convention. Beautiful antique cars! After finding our rooms and unpacking the car, we headed for Silver Dollar City for the 50th Anniversary Gospel Sing. We found seats early in Echo Hollow which holds over 4,000 and was packed!! Chinami enjoyed her first funnel cake while enjoying Jeff and Sherry Easter and family. Their four year old daughter sat on the drummer's lap and played the drumset for one of the numbers. She was really good!!

On Sunday, we went back to Silver Dollar City and listened to Sons of Silver Dollar City. They were singing one of my favorite song, "Jesus Didn't Throw the Clay Away". I was talked into riding on the Flying Swings. I closed my eyes and felt the wind on my face when I started to feel a little dizzy. Ha! Chinami wanted to ride the Galleon, and I opted out of that one. While there, we went to the Saloon Show which was hilarious, and listened to the Kelly's. They were so good that we bought a CD. They are brothers and a sister who play the guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, and violin. The harmony is great! Chinami listens to it over and over because she loves their version of "Revive Us Again". The Kellys also play several Irish numbers. Sometimes I feel like I must be in Ireland because St. Gregory's plays all of the most famous Irish songs every Tuesday and Wednesday. Other days, the college chimes play numbers from the old musicales.

Yesterday, we drove back to Springfield to have breakfast with the family at Ziggies. Steve has informed me that round abouts in Missouri are called divergent diamonds. I still think they are dangerous, and we are all trying to figure out how they will work when snow comes.

We are still very concerned about Noel's health, and pray for him to find comfort and help. His cheerful disposition and peaceful spirit can only be a result of his strong faith. Noel, you are a wonderful role model for us all. As I heard a fellow say just today, "Those who don't believe in God, will do so someday and it may be too late." It made me sad to think that there are those who are missing so much peace and happiness. Chinami prayed in English for the first time this week at dinner. It was straight from the heart - nothing memorized. So pure and beautiful!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday Again

Working full-time and being a Mom is a lot of work at my age! Tuesday, Bill took Chinami to the hospital after classes for a tour with Pastor Larry. Since she will be attending medical school soon, she found it very interesting. Unity Hospital is one of the top regional hospitals in Oklahoma. New technology has been installed in every room. I didn't take the tour because I was having my hair cut. We all met for a hamburger at 5:30 p.m. before I rushed Chinami to OBU for "Friend to Friend". It began raining, so Bill and I drove together to pick her up at 9:00 p.m. She absolutely loved meeting other college students, playing games and eating snacks.

Wednesday, the school took the students to the mall. Chinami bought medical books on anatomy and children's diseases. Her sister is already studying to be a doctor, so she plans to share them.

We will be going to Springfield and Silver Dollar City for the holiday weekend. Mom is going with us and will stay with Noel and Janice due to warm weather. We plan to stay at the Ramada Inn. Noel said he will have a nice lunch for us when we arrive on Saturday. He's a great cook, but I hope he just brings in Chinese or something simple.

We just learned at our faculty meeting yesterday that our next OKTESOL conference will be in Tulsa at the Ramada/Park Inn near the airport. We've always gone to OKC in the past. That will be in November.

My classes continue to be very interesting!!! All of my students are in their twenties, but you would never know it! They write me love notes on the white board, and want me to draw smiley faces or stars on their work. Sometimes, I feel like I'm teaching first grade again.

The school hired a new teacher today. She was a high school student at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. It was strange to be talking about all the people we both knew in Kenya. Rosslyn Academy often held conferences at Rift Valley Academy so it is very familiar to me. Africa is a very beautiful country in spite of the poverty. Speaking of poverty, Kirk had another great visit to Haiti and is working with the President's lawyer to get a license for the new orphanage. I'm very proud of the work he is doing.