Photos of Brady

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Monday is in the books, and I for one am glad. As Mondays sometimes are, it was hectic and busier than normal. The county I worked in yesterday has an office in the courthouse we give tests in. Actually it is the jury room, and evidently yesterday was jury selection day for a big jury trial they are getting ready to have. There were people everywhere. Our alternate office is the city courtroom, and they were having court there. That took us to the lower floor where our next option was a wash as well. Thank goodness the librarian took pity on me and let us work there until our office was available. The only other alternative was to pack up everything and go back to Headquarters. Just before lunch we got word that we could move everything back upstairs to our office. At any rate, it was a long day.

Today is trash day here on our country road. I already have it ready to take to the "curb", figuratively speaking. There aren't curbs on a country road, but you know what I mean if I say that. I have a 50/50 shot at remembering trash day. Most of the time I get halfway down to the car with my lunch box, briefcase and crochet bag before I remember it. Last night I gathered up everything and set it by the front door. Not much chance of getting the door open without noticing.

I have no Brady updates, as they have been passing the flu around out there for several weeks now. I usually try to go out once a week to see the little guy, but it has been three weeks now. I am having very serious grandbaby withdrawal. I have determined to see him this week sick or not. He will be half grown by now. My son told me he turned over last week. I can remember how excited I was when my two did that. You would have thought I had been handed a million dollars. Rich I may never be in the money sense, but I am rich beyond measure in matters of the heart.

Have a wonderful day, and I will see you tomorrow.....here on my country road.


Monday, January 30, 2006


I had plans for a productive weekend, but I woke up in the wee hours of Saturday morning to the sound of rain. While we have had little if any rain to speak of this fall and winter, it was a surprise to hear the meteorologist finally got it right. It is a wonderful feeling to snuggle down in a bed warmed by an electric blanket knowing you have several more hours to sleep.

When I woke up a few hours later it was still dark. The rain had increased in intensity and since the sky was a leaden gray, it appeared to be earlier than it was. A quick check of the clock had me throwing back the blankets and scrambling out of bed. Normally I am down at the supercenter to get groceries no later than six thirty a.m. It is quiet at that time on a Saturday morning, and I can shop unencumbered. Once I looked out and saw the rain falling, the dark gray day, fog rolling in and the wind beginning to blow, I made a command decision. I put on a pot of coffee, my flannel robe, and sat down in my recliner with the remote.

It is wonderful to have a lost weekend. Two whole days where you don't have to go anywhere, do anything, or want to. I spent a lot of time on the computer, did some baking, finished a book, and watched movies. Late afternoon I did a little laundry and housework, but the recliner was calling my name. I found a good movie, and crocheted. The cat curled up on my lap, as I had a throw over my legs and she is partial to it. Does it get any better than that?

Rain fell all day. Water stood on the ground, the fog continued to hover in the trees of the big woods, and I was happy to be indoors. I locked Chicky up early, as she was cold and wet. She has a nice warm cat bed in the garage, but she would rather I take her down there before she settles in for the night.

I had a quiet evening and turned in early. I had taken a book to bed, but fell asleep with it in my hands. I woke when it plopped on the floor, shut off the light, and went back to sleep. Yesterday I had another quiet day. I didn't even get dressed until almost noon, and most likely wouldn't have then if I didn't have a dinner to go to at moms. The rain stopped and the sun peeked through the clouds. It turned out to be a nice day, but I didn't stay long. Dinner was wonderful. Late afternoon I came back home and took a nap.

I love weekends where there is no plan, no reason to get out, or any desire to do so. While I still don't have any groceries, I am well rested and ready to start the week. I hope your weekend was a good one, as it is kick ass Monday. Up and at 'em!

Until tomorrow,


Friday, January 27, 2006


Over the past few months, my outside cat Chicky has fallen into a nice routine. She is such a good cat, and is a loving companion. Paddy, my inside cat has finally come out of the shell she was in while Scrappy was here. He kept her scared all the time, and she stayed hidden in my back bedroom. For months after he left, she was still afraid to walk about the house, looking for him at every turn. She will sit on the back of the couch or the wing back chair to look outside now, and sleeps on the bed by my legs. I have taught her how to play, and she will chase her favorite toy, a little stuffed mouse that came out of Davey's Happy Meal once, bringing it back to me time after time.

I have noticed Paddy watching Chicky out in the yard as she comes and goes. When I come home each evening Chicky will poke her head in the front door, which usually results in Paddy hissing at her. Last night, I came home as usual. After unlocking the door, Chicky took a tentative step into the kitchen. My arms were full, and I couldn't move fast enough to catch her before she got inside. I expected paddy to growl and hiss at her like she usually does, but they just sniffed and eyed each other while I unloaded my briefcase, crochet bag, and lunch box.

I grabbed a can of cat food and called Chicky, who followed me out to the garage where she sleeps. I fed her and got her settled before locking her in for the night. Who knows? I learned my lesson having two cats in the house. It is only big enough for one. I have tried to find a loving home for Chicky, as she is such a sweetheart, but no luck. So for now, we have an uneasy alliance between the two.

Nice to end the week on a good note. Have a wonderful Friday, and enjoy the weekend.
Until tomorrow,


Thursday, January 26, 2006


It has been an interesting week. I have learned new things, both useful and enlightening.

Did you know that cows can smell from a distance of five miles? I have always thought that it was the sound of the farmer setting out the feed, or the motion of a farmer putting hay out that drew a cows attention. While those things may be true, and more than likely bear more weight to a cows actions, the fact remains that even if a cow was deaf and blind, they could still smell the feed from five miles away. Amazing.

The second thing I have learned this week is that pigs roll in the mud to keep cool. I have seen them rolling in the mud, but always thought they just like it. It is a common assumption for most folk I suppose, and I have certainly observed them rolling in the mud on days that weren't overly hot. At any rate, another little known fact for those not accustomed to country life.

The third thing I learned this week came yesterday while talking to a good friend. I have been struggling with a situation that has caused me no end of heartache, and we were discussing my options. I had tossed and turned in the night, weighing the facts as I know them, but I always came to the same conclusion. Just before I went back to sleep, it dawned on me that I was a hypocrite. When you are guilty of something that offends you in someone else, it is not good. Satisfied that I had at least come to some peace about the matter, I slept the rest of the night. In talking to my friend about the whole mess, I was able to see things from a different perspective, and it gave me much needed clarity. Normally I deal with things on my own. I am not used to sharing my shortcomings with others, but in this instance the words just tumbled out. Good friends don't condemn, and I felt the freedom to be honest.

Of the things I have learned this week, the most valuable lesson was about myself. Facing yourself squarely is a good exercise, and sharing a burden with a friend who truly cares is a blessing. Today I have both peace and resolution, and amazingly enough my heartache is gone. The best way to have friends is to be one. Lessons in the school of life. Last night I slept like a baby.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Smalltown is about as out of the way as a rural town can be, and yet we seem to be a melting pot. Over the past ten years, we have new residents from Russia, China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Germany, to name a few. For the past several months, we have had an influx of men from Jamaica. They are being hired as electrical journeymen by a local company. They hire them, help them get a CDL license, and put them to work. Most of them have worked in Jamaica as electrical linemen, and are here on work visas.

For some reason, there was one man who could not pass the written tests. All of the other men had passed and were working already, but until he passed he could not work, therefore couldn't earn money. Yesterday we weren't very busy, so I took a seat beside him and read the 50 questions for him. The language was a problem, and on almost every question he would mark the exact opposite of what the answer should have been. When I asked him what the study book said about whatever the question was, he knew the answer. It was a simple enough thing, and when we graded his test he had only missed four questions. His face lit up like a Christmas tree.

When he left the examination station, he came over and shook my hand, thanking me again and again. It is very gratifying to see someone succeed. It just takes a little extra effort sometimes. The other journeymen I had told you about several months ago that had come from the Philippines are still working in the area. Every now and again I see them at the local WalMart store. They always have a big smile on their face and wave hello.

You just never know who you are going to encounter when you leave the house in the morning.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I have a friend who is going through a bad time. Her situation is really heart wrenching. I have logged a lot of time listening to her, sharing her heartache, and wondering how on earth I can be of any real help. When you aren't in the middle of the crisis yourself, things are always crystal clear. I can see what I would do, and have to hold myself back from giving advice that could ruin a good friendship, simply because it isn't what she wants to hear.

Years ago when my brother John was going through the seminary, he was telling about a professor he had in a class dealing with counseling. His point was that no matter what the person you are counseling said, no matter how bad, terrible, or heinous the situation was, you had to keep yourself from saying, "Oh my God!" Good advice. I have always remembered that, and have often thought the person I am sharing troubles with may be silently screaming the same thing. Gives you pause.

We all want to help. When someone comes to us with a problem or a heavy heart, it is a compliment. One has to be careful about that. Just because we have an understanding heart doesn't necessarily mean that the advice we give will be heeded or that it is right. Actually quite the opposite is true in my experience. I have learned that saying nothing at all is the best way to go. It can save both the friendship and your sanity.

The story I always remember when someone comes to me hurting is about the lost doll. A father had given his little girl permission to go play with her friend for the afternoon. She had strict orders to be home at a certain time. The deadline passed, and the little girl didn't come home. The father was worried at first, then angry that his daughter had disobeyed him. As he was leaving the house to go get his daughter, he saw her coming down the sidewalk. She had her head down, and it was clear that she was distraught. When he reached her he asked her why she was late and what was the matter. She said that her friend Molly had lost her doll.
"So you are late because you helped look for the doll?" he asked.
"No daddy. I'm late because I helped Molly cry."

I love that story. Most of the time there is no action, no words that need be expressed. People want someone to listen, and help them cry. If I say anything, it is that I am so sorry, and that I will be there if they need me. When I am upset that is what I want. Be a friend that will sit with a friend, listen, and help them cry. A hug is all you need to be a good friend to others.

As I tossed and turned in the night thinking about my friend, I said a prayer for her situation. I felt peace, and know that when I see her this morning she will have that same peace. The quandaries and conundrums of friendship. It isn't what you say, it's what you don't.

Have a wonderful day,


Monday, January 23, 2006


Saturday morning I noticed that I had a message on my answering machine. When I rearranged my office a few months ago, I moved it under my desk on a shelf where it would be out of the way. The only problem is that I rarely see there are messages until a few days have passed by. The price I pay for an uncluttered desk.

Jeralene had called Friday afternoon to tell me that there had evidently been a misprint in the newspaper about the new name of our country road. Instead of Belshe Drive, which is the name of a street in Smalltown proper, it will be Shady Lane. Since the name is pleasing, I suppose that is the end of their petition drive.

I visited mom and Rocky, and the neighbors Dave and Patty Saturday afternoon. Since Jeralene had only called me with the news, I shared it with everyone. I got mixed reviews. While everyone likes the name, it is still unclear why we have to undergo this process again.

I concur, but I also know that it will do no good to storm the doors of City Hall. Jeralene was unsure when this change would become effective, so I cannot begin changing my internet accounts, billing address for utilities and such, and sending the news to family and friends. While that is a pain, and I just went through all of that when my email address changed, the worst thing is that I just ordered four boxes of checks.

At some future date, I will become a resident of Shady Lane. Of course I will keep you posted about events as they develop.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, January 21, 2006


Good morning from Smalltown!

It is a dull gray January day here. We finally had some rain last night, and the wind blew in some colder temperatures. As I was laying in bed hating to get up, I decided that the best way to spend this kind of a day was to warm it up with some good home cooking.

I plan to make some 15 bean soup, some buttermilk corn muffins, and a big batch of homemade cinnamon rolls. That should give the house a wonderful fragrance, warm it with the oven, and fill the empty spaces of my hungry stomach. While I do have the regular housework and laundry chores, I plan to do some writing, talk to my best friend Diane in KC, and talk to my daughter Jennifer in Connecticut. It has been a week since I saw mom and Rocky, so I need to scoot down there too. All of a sudden, my nice warm fuzzy homey weekend sounds really busy.

Often the way it goes.....here on my country road.
Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, January 20, 2006


Many of you have emailed me asking about Vicky. I am happy to say that she was released from the hospital and is now at home. Although much improved, the challenges are still huge. She has lost her sight. Whether from the medications or the oxygen, they aren't sure, but the result is the same. Her spirits are high, and of course her faith is still steadfast. She continues to be a blessing to those who pray for her illness, and her family and friends. Basically she is bedfast, and while no longer on the ventilator, she has to wear an oxygen mask to aid her breathing. I know that Vicky and her entire family would appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers. Each day is both a blessing and a struggle, and knowing that good people are remembering her gets her through.

My other friend who had a breast cancer scare had surgery last week to remove the tumor. She returned to the doctor yesterday and got the good news that the tumor was benign. Although it is the type of thing that eventually reoccurs and turns into cancer at a later time, she has a good doctor that is going to keep a very close eye on her.

Both women know that people from all over the world are holding them up in prayer. I thank you for your faithfulness on their behalf, and know that God will bless you beyond measure. Please continue to remember our good friend Ellen in her situation. She is an inspriation to all of us.

Happy Friday,


Thursday, January 19, 2006


It has been quite a while since I have given you an update on Napoleon. He is still down at mom and Rocky's house, although he disappeared over the weekend for a couple of days. One evening after he had gone to roost I heard him honking and screeching all the way up here. Normally that means that something has scared him or is after him.

Mom told me later that the owl is after him again. I pondered that all day yesterday. Why an owl, who is so much smaller, would devil Napoleon? It isn't like the owl will be able to fly off with our big blue friend if indeed he is ever able to sink his talons into him. I am thinking it is merely a situation where there is opportunity and greed on behalf of the owl, or the owl could be a bully.

I do not pretend to have a firm understanding of the animal kingdom, bird fowl in particular. I don't even understand my cat very well. I have always been a dog person, and they are a bit more predictable and readable in their behavior. As long as Napoleon lives among us, the owl will be a problem. He lived here first. Whenever the owl scares him off, Napoleon stays hidden for a day or two. We don't know where he goes or what he eats, but he did come back Monday night.

In appearance, Napoleon continues to become more beautiful with each passing day. His tail feathers are getting longer and the eye feathers are more plentiful. When he was staying at my house, he had only one or two eye feathers. Now he has two dozen or so. He is stronger, and his wings more powerful. He can take off from the ground and land high in the big oak tree at moms house with little effort. This is surprising, as mom keeps him full of cat food, veggies and fruit, muffins, donuts, and other sundry tidbits from the kitchen.

His temperament is something else. Actually he is a real hoot. While he has that regal arrogance that peacocks are known for, he loves to be around people. I suppose he adores being, well, adored and admired. His strong sense of curiosity will be the death of him I am afraid. While he still loves to fan his tail and strut his stuff for the outside cats and little dog at mom and Rocky's house, he has settled down quite a bit. Now I think he just likes to freak out the cats. Amber, the little dog, is totally unimpressed.

Life goes on. Napoleon has been with us seven months now, and it is still amazing to me to see him walking around....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, January 18, 2006


For three days the wind has blown. I live in what is left of a little pine tree grove that my grandpa planted for grandma forty years ago. The white pines have grown into huge trees, and when the wind blows hard, they make lots of noise. Normally I am comforted by the sound. A gentle breeze sounds like a sigh when it travels through the boughs of a pine. Hard wind always sounds like a tornado is moving through. My bedroom is on the end of the house, next to the largest of the pines that border Bobs field. I have tried to sleep for the past several nights only to be kept awake listening to the wind in the trees.

There is a small windchime collection hanging from the eave of my front porch. Since they are somewhat protected hanging under the eave, it takes a pretty strong wind for them to make any sound. They have been in constant motion day and night, and only the trains passing through drowns the sound. Normally I don't even notice them. The train whistles or the chimes, that is. I guess that because I was awakened by the wind I also noticed there were more trains passing through and the sound of the chimes.

Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind laid. Silence. When I drifted off to sleep, I slept hard until the alarm went off this morning. I suppose those of you who live in the cities would be kept awake by the sound of silence we are used to here. For me it is a wonderful sound. Or in this case, lack thereof.

I am going to go pour a cup of hot coffee, and listen to the sound of silence.....here on my country road. Have a wonderful day.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


My country road has been named many things over the years. I wrote a story early on about the various names, and why the powers that be thought it should be changed. Once again we are facing a battle over the name of our little road.

Saturday morning Bob and Jeralene called me. They of course, are my neighbors across the field and live in the house at the bend in the road. Bob is a salesman, and since he is out among the townfolk on a daily basis, always has his finger on the pulse of town politics and is privy to what is going on. Evidently there has been a committee formed to rename some of these small country roads from the 911 addresses we currently use. It has taken all of us several years to get things changed over to the numbered address, and are used to it now. To make it worse, the proposed name is stupid. Where the committee came up with Belshe Drive is beyond me. There have been no Belshes living here for years.

Long ago, our country road was named Poplar Drive, for the tall poplars that lined it. Bob and Jeralene would like to start a petition to name it that once again. Many of the poplars still stand, tall sentinels of the little road we call home. Although there are only five families that this would effect, none of us were asked by the committee what we wanted the name to be changed to. So, there is a movement afoot to halt the march of so called progress. If they won't let us keep our 911 address, we want to reclaim Poplar Drive as the name of our country road.

Change is never easy, and progress is sometimes unnecessary. We shall see what the next few weeks bring....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, January 16, 2006


It is wonderful to be able extend my favorite part of the week by an extra day. Since today is a holiday and I could sleep late without setting the alarm clock, of course I woke up at 4:15am and couldn't go back to sleep. That leaves me the opportunity for a cat nap this afternoon.

I know a lot of you read my blog from work, and probably won't be there today. I wanted to post something for those of you brave souls who are working and want something different to read. It has been a quiet weekend here on my country road. Of the five families who live here, I have seen no one out and about. Several of them have had the flu, and I am assuming that they are still fighting the battle. I stayed quiet myself, watching movies and working on an afghan I am making for my friend's daughter. It is with a great deal of pleasure that I can say it is finished except for washing and packing for mailing.

Today I am sorting through a mountain of paperwork for taxes. Once finished, I can clear my desk for finishing the editing of my book. It is time I finish that and get it to a publisher. It is my one unfinished project, and the most important.

I hope that your day is a good one, that you enjoy whatever you have chosen to do, even if it is nothing at all. Those are the best days.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, January 14, 2006


It is with great joy that I can report to you that Vicky is doing fine and may be able to leave the hospital this weekend. She will remain bedfast, but can at least be at home where she can enjoy her daughter, friends, and family. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers on her behalf, as well as the family and medical staff.

Vicky remains an inspiration to those who know her, as well as all who hear about her steadfast faith in the face of such overwhelming odds. I know those of you who have been praying for her have been blessed as well. I know her daughter will be thrilled to have mommy back home again.

Vicky reminds me of another such friend, who most of you know. Miss Ellen, who has also been waging a long battle with cancer. The tremendous will to live, the sense of humor and grace in which she fights through every minute of every day, and the joy and appreciation of her life is an inspiration. I would ask you to be faithful in your prayers for each of these fine women. When things get tough, all I have to do is remember their situations and my worries dissipate.

Enjoy the blessings of your life today. We have a big beautiful full moon tonight, and as always, I will be watching.....here on my country road.

Happy weekend,


Friday, January 13, 2006


I am not a superstitious person, and don't believe in luck. There are however, a few things that make one pause. A black cat running across your path, for example. Friday the 13th, for another. I was excited about the full moon tomorrow night until I sat down to write my post this morning and saw what the date is. What the one has to do with the other is murky, and having just gotten out of bed, my brain isn't working at full throttle yet. I believe I was thinking of how eerie horror films are when the two events coincide.

At any rate, all day it will be Friday the 13th. While I don't hold to the bad luck associated with it, most of the people I work with do, as well as the applicants I will deal with today. I will go through the day as usual, and hope that I don't have to listen to too much folk lore and stories about the strange happenings others have endured.

As a rule, country folk are very superstitious. Everything that happens is a sign of something and portend of things to come. When anything happens out of the ordinary, it is taken as an omen. Normally I listen to these things with a half an ear and take them with a grain of salt. It is highly entertaining at times, and as I am always looking for blog material, I listen. Whether the chickens went wild and ate cousin Billy Bob, or thirty years ago old Hattie Peterson left the house to walk to town and was never seen again, the stories will abound today.

I hope that your Friday the 13th passes without event, and that at days end you are looking toward the three day weekend. Enjoy the full moon tomorrow night. It has been a beautiful silvery beacon in our night sky....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, January 12, 2006


Yesterday I asked you to pray for Vicky as she waged a battle to live. The doctors removed all of the life support Tuesday afternoon, and didn't expect her to make it through the night. When the doctor entered her hospital room yesterday she was still alive and able to communicate. The oxygen in her blood has risen into the eighties again. Only 100 people in the United States suffer from the rare disease she has, but undoubtedly none has a greater will to live.

I would ask you to continue to remember Vicky and the family in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the medical staff. Doctors from the Mayo clinic are flying in today to assist with her case, and there are decisions to be made about her care going forward.

In a world that seems out of control, miracles still happen. There is a plan. I will keep you posted about Vicky and her progress. The doctors and medical staff are inspired by her faith and determination to live, and are dedicated to her care while she is on their watch.

While the family knows she is still terminal, and that each minute of every passing hour is a gift, they also know they have been given a miracle.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, January 11, 2006


One of my coworkers was called to the hospital yesterday where her 44 year old sister is fighting for her life. Vicky was taken by air evac to a larger hospital Monday, where she was placed on a ventilator and life support machines. She has been suffering from a rare disease all of her life, and for the past several years has had numerous brushes with death. Vicky has a small child, and has clung to life to see her raised. Her faith is tremendous and sure, her will to live very strong, and most likely what has cheated death to this point.

Yesterday afternoon Vicky was removed from life support. The family is with her, and a prayer vigil is underway. I know that those of you who read my blog believe in prayer, and will offer one both for Vicky and her family. The medical team has done all they can do. Her body is just too weak and too ill to go on. I would ask that you pray. She has made it through the night, and each passing moment is a miracle.

Vicky has been both an inspiration and a witness to all who know and love her. In a hospital room, surrounded by medical staff, her family, and I am sure angels of the Lord, she is waging a battle to live. I will keep you posted about her situation, and know that your prayers will be appreciated and welcome.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Last night I spent a little time researching the people who read my blog. They live all over the world, which is indeed amazing to me. I have had some email from those who are unsure of how I came to live here in Smalltown, Missouri. So for those of you who missed my first post, I am reprising it today. It was originally posted August 12, 2003. All of the early posts can be found in my blog archives.


Thirty-one and a half years ago I left my childhood home in Shawnee, Kansas to make my way in the world. This was not unusual, as teenagers leave home every day to attend college, travel, begin a career or get married. For me it was the latter, and as is the case with many teenage marriages ours was an unmitigated disaster from the beginning. The choices I made put into motion a chain of events that changed my life and those of everyone in my family and circle of friends forever.

When I entered a hospital in Sacramento, California to deliver my first baby, complications arose which placed my life in jeopardy. I woke up five days later to find my mother and stepfather at my bedside- my husband was not. As soon as I was recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital and could pack my things, we embarked on the long journey across the country to the little town in Missouri where my daughter and I would make our new home. God's country, my mother called it.

It took several days to make the trip, but as we turned off of the highway into Smalltown I looked back- toward everything I had known. Lifting my daughter to my shoulder I was suddenly afraid of all that lay ahead. I was young, alive, and had a daughter to raise. Hope bloomed.

My journey began thirty-one years ago this week, as we turned down a country road.....toward home.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, January 09, 2006


I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. I also believe that I am blessed beyond measure and have a steadfast faith. I know that I know that I know. After reading my blog for two and a half years, you know that when I get a lap full of lemons I head to the kitchen to make lemonade, which I will pour into that glass that is always, in my opinion, half full. I am an optimistic, yet honest and realistic person. While I believe in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I know that it will take hard work, not luck to find it.

When I get out of bed in the morning, I am ready to meet the day. The first thing I do after making the coffee is sit down and write my blog. It isn't a chore, but a joy. Normally I sit down, put my fingers on the keyboard, and words begin to flow. It is like having a nice conversation with friends. Rarely, like this weekend, I hit the wall. Words fail me, my heart is troubled, and I wander aimlessly around the house. I am a person of communication. As long as I can communicate with those I care about my world is balanced and alive. Since my relationships at present are long distance affairs of the heart, the hardest thing for me is silence. Both in friendship and in love, communication is my lifeline.

Saturday I talked to my best friend Diane. Although she lives in KC, when she calls it is like sitting in the same room with her. We laugh, cry, catch up, and talk about everything. She is the one person in life who knows all of my ups, downs, good points and warts, and loves me anyway. I have always said she is more like the sister I never had, but she is my forever friend. I don't think there is anything I could say to change that. We are kindred spirits. Although I felt an emptiness of heart before she called, talking with her for hours was good medicine.

Today is the first day of the work week, and as you know I refer to it as kick butt Monday. That will get me through, and hopefully help me punch a hole in the wall I can't seem to get over right now. Do you have a friend you haven't talked to in a while? Did you used to have wonderful conversations about everything and nothing at all? Did you look forward to hearing from them because it simply made you smile and your heart happy? Were your burdens lighter because you shared them? Pick up the phone, send an email, reach out and touch that person. Life is short.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, January 06, 2006


Thank goodness today is Friday. There is nothing like a short work week to wear a person out. This was not a normal week for me, and once I get out of my routine and am not in control of the events, it all goes south. Monday was a holiday, which I spent crocheting and cleaning the house. I also had unexpected company, which is always a wonderful and welcome surprise. Tuesday I went in early to work, then drove to Springfield for a couple of medical appointments. Since I got there early and they were able to accommodate my schedule, I was done in no time and drove home. I was able to go to work in the afternoon and got home at the regular time. I have been trying to get a new program up and running, and am teaching other people, so it is wearing on the nerves. Wednesday was a regular day, but Thursday we were both short handed and had vehicle maitenance so were late getting to the station. It is my furthest office, across the curvy backroads the scenic river country is known for. That brings us to today.

Friday is a good day. Of course aside from the obvious, which is the last working day and prelude to the weekend, (yea!), it is Chinese day. I don't pack a lunch on Friday. For one thing, we have a van full of people, coats, bags, and lunch boxes. Secondly, after carrying my lunch all week, I treat myself to the Chinese take out. Although it is a little town an hour and a half away, it is very good food. I gave the owners, who are from South Korea, their driving tests, so they always greet me with a big smile.

Added to the mix, my love of fortune cookies. I always take two, just in case I don't like the fortune in the first one. I am a tender hearted romantic at heart. Although I have wintered much disappointment in the relationship department, I still believe in happy endings. Enter the little slip of paper inside the cookie. For some reason it is like opening a gift. I have saved those that mean something to me, and they are taped to my computer monitor. Before you count me out as a twit, here are a few examples:

Just before Matt came to look me up- Friends long absent are coming back to you.

When I started writing my book I got this one- The world is always ready to welcome talent with open arms.

Before Matt took me to Hawaii, Mexico and Central America- You will step on the soil of many countries.

When troubled over a broken heart- The heart is wiser than the intellect.

Here in Smalltown there is a saying:.
Even a blind sow finds an acorn once in a while.

We will see what gem of wisdom I find in my fortune cookie today. I hope your day is a good one, and that something wonderful comes your way. The biggest presents are usually the little everyday things. A smile, a touch, a happy heart, hearing from a friend.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, January 05, 2006


I haven't written about Napoleon for a while, so thought I would update you on his progress. He is eeking out an existence at mom and Rocky's house. That is if you can call eating better than I do "eeking". That poor peacock is going to be too fat to fly up to roost before long. Mom fans the doors all day long hauling out first one tidbit and then another for him to eat. I swear if you go out the door without something to eat in your hand, you would be in danger of a flogging.

He has become quite uppity- even more so than his usual royal and persnickety self. Most of the day he struts around guarding the various feeding stations that mom has set up for his eating pleasure. Since the stray cats also like to eat there, they often get the benefit of Napoleon in a snit and shaking his beautiful tail to scare them away. He is such a hoot.

Last week Rocky made him a shelter of sorts. Rocky's old farm truck is parked in my brother's lot, and Napoleon likes to sit up on it and oversee his domain. I suppose he also feels protected and safe up off the ground. At any rate, Rocky has a tarp to block the wind and rain, and lots of good old oak leaves to make a bed for our big blue friend. He seems fond of nestling in them when the wind blows in rain and cold air. Mom said that Napoleon watched Rocky work on his new digs one whole morning, and as soon as it was done and Rocky had cleared the area, Napoleon hopped up in it and began to explore his space.

For now we are enjoying warmer weather, so I am not sure if he is using it or not, but there is a cold snap coming. I can assure you that I will keep you posted on his progress, as he goes into his seventh month.....here on my country road.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Telling the story of Dog reminded me about a coworker I worked with several years ago. We worked on the same crew, and every morning we picked her up at her house. As she came out to get in the car, she walked right by their cat. Although she never said anything to the cat, or acknowledge it in any way, she was faithful to be there each day. This went on for several months. One day I asked her what the cats name was.

"Kitty, I guess," was the answer.

How sad. When we pulled up one day and Kitty wasn't there, I asked her where she was. She told us that Kitty had been gone for several days, and they didn't know where she had gone to. Days turned into weeks, and weeks to months. It seemed funny not to see Kitty each morning, and my heart felt sad that a cat with no name had disappeared and no one knew where she had gone or what fate had befallen her.

As winter gave way to the first days of spring, we pulled into the drive as we did every workday morning. On the top step of the front stoop was Kitty, sitting in the sunshine and looking very contented. I noticed that as her master made her way to the car, she paused and spoke briefly to the cat. When she got into the car, I commented about Kitty being home. It was good to see her looking so well. The family seemed pleased to have Kitty back again, or maybe just to know that she was okay.

When the family moved a year later I had been promoted to supervisor and worked on a different crew. When my boss told me about the move, naturally I asked if Kitty went with the family to their new home. It seems as though Kitty stayed with the house, and was adopted by the new family. Normally I would think that sad, but Kitty has a family that loves her, and last I knew, she was thriving under their care.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 03, 2006


During the Christmas season, more new pets are given as gifts than at any other time of year. Since I was blessed with a vivid imagination and a creative mind, I am always interested in hearing the names that people choose for their new family member. Whenever you call your pet or introduce them to visitors in your home, the use of their name is usually followed by an explanation of how they got their name.

Last week while my daughter was here her dad came over to visit. We were all sitting around my moms kitchen table having pie and coffee, and he was telling a story about a dog they have up at the feed mill where he works. During a lull in the conversation, I asked what the dogs name was.

"Dog," he said.

While this didn't really surprise me, having lived down here so long, it sounded funny. Everyone laughed, and Hank explained that the dog isn't theirs to name, so they all just call him Dog. He hangs around the feed mill, sleeps on the bags of feed to get out of the cold, and delights in being fed snack cakes and lunch remnants from the employees and customers.

Evidently Dog belongs to a man who lives several miles away from the mill, and for some strange and unexplained reason, he travels the long distance to go to the mill. Who knows why or how he began the first journey, or why he chose the mill to visit when there are obviously many other places in between there and his home. However, he is an honored guest when he comes. He will stay several days, then disappears again.

For some reason the story made me sad. Although it warmed my heart that a bunch of mill workers had taken Dog in and feed him, he has no special name. I suppose you can say no harm, no foul, but it seems to me that Dog has earned a special name.

Since everyone concerned is happy, I guess Dog will go on with the uninspired name he has. Just another riveting story about life in Smalltown.

Until tomorrow,