March 31, 2006
Leaving Paradise, the Year-Mind
The stony shore of Laupahoehoe taken in 2003 on the Big Island of Hawaii
In the old days, the time after a death or tramatic event was marked by a month-mind, for a year then there was a year mind...
I was telling a friend this morning that my Pastor reminded me that leaving Hawaii was a tramatic experience. No matter if it was the right thing to do... I still miss it terribly. I was looking for a poem I wrote about it when we first got here and found this peice about my missing the 'aina
It will haunt me forever. Those that I have met both Hapa and Haolie, that for one reason or another have come to the mainland to live seem to have similar feelings, that no matter how good right noble and rewarding life is here, something is missing... The Aina the land and all that goes with that.
I was having lunch with our neighbor of ours that is heading off to Kenya this summer for two months of work at a Bible School. I told her of a Pastor that we met during our travels that had spen much of his life there and how he was changed from the moment of his arrival. I quote that post belowI understood... As we shared, the similarities and the differences I could hear in my mind's ear the roar of tropical rains coming towards you, like a giant thing pouring down and the sweetness of the smell of the air, when this was through...Traveling through the bush, viewing the great land, thundering herds of animals, the tribal people, hearing Swahili in his sleep... I could relate to every word, and the knife twists in my heart for him and for me....
There is a place
called the Great Land
Where the ancient people
gather to celebrate the rains
Killimanjaro's mighty shadow
Snow shrouded beauty
Holds his heart with
an eternal longing
There is a Island
Hawaii- Water of Heaven
Where the People of the Journey
gather to dance before all nations
Mauna Kea's mighty shadow
Snow shrouded splendor
Holds her heart with
the longing of the exile...
I still feel like this, as I miss those things that were dear and try to keep the hard things that assailed us truthful in retrospect, today marks a milestone that I can look at and say "it has been a year..." and grief passes...as the Welsh say "for every grief the ointment of time" How true it is...
Oh Hilo, if I forget thee....
Hilo Big Island of Hawaii photo courtesy of Blue Hawaiian Helecopter Tours
March 30, 2006
No Woman Is An Island
tiny tidal island in Hilo Bay Canoe Launch Hilo Hawaii....No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. John Donne
I am about to lose my mind if not my job... I am an island here. A large object standing in the flow of corporate traffic. I hear the phones ringing and people discussing work and I am sitting here uninvolved. I no longer get emails, phone calls, or stuff in my in box... Its rather un nerving for this recovering workaholic. I feel like a horse that nerviously sweats out of fear of the unknown my skin is crawling and when people walk by and see me surfing the Net, monitoring my stocks (I have actually made enough money this week to cover the days I missed for the surgery, but by day trading on the companies time, which makes me nausious) I actually did my taxes online this week, spent two whole days on this project. I am glad that I had the time to do this but I really feel odd about the whole thing.
There is no one here to discuss this with. I had work assigned until friday last when the project was taken off my desk and I was not reassigned to any other work. I was hoping this ment that I was being moved to a new position. Now as this second week grinds down to a close I find myself slowly going out of my mind...
Is it the gal who sits two rows away but talks so loud that you can hear her on the other side of the building, or is it the young man just behind me, a Airforce Vet that did two tours in Iraq and is PTSD... God bless him but he runs his mouth with silly talk and his Ipod with various things from Pink Floyd to bits from Family Guy and commercials like the "bucking chicken" of pushing the envelope Burger King fame, in a lame attempt to provide a humorus sound track to our intermanible day. We got a email talking about "saying and playing things that are not politically correct and disturbing the neighbors with all of this extrainious noise.... I wanted to send a screaming email back to HR..."Darn it, you have me trapped with these people, and I am not doing it or involved with this trash...Get me out of here....!" Guilt by association gets me going like nothing else does.
Lord, help me I am trapped in Animal House. We have come to our collective ends of our rope. Our big boss is out this week and is rumored to be transfering to one of the two new accounts to run that. He has divested himself of this motley crew I dont blame him... He's a nice guy and this would try the paitence of a saint.
I nearly passed out when they brought some big shots in and they waltzed through our area as we were all surfing the net, and Airforce Guy had the Stones blasting.. I was about to place a short position on my favorite gold stock. I closed the window to look professional and by the time I got back, I had missed that opportunity cause when I signed back on I had missed the high point and now it has dipped below viability... Blast!
And so it goes. I have a a really great opportunity here if I can stay here long enough to grab it. About a month after I started here they hired a guy away from Walmart to run our fledgling International Division, last week we met at a getting to know you meeting and it turns out we have a lot (an understatement,)of mutual water under the bridge I have worked for and or with nearly a dozen people he knows well. He looked at my resume with shock and awe. He has no budget and no work that I really can do for him at present as I am pretty much a foot soldier have no degrees in Logistics or Freight Management, but I know how to work and how to deal with US Customs and the Port of Los Angeles, so... He is waiting on the Feds to award us a liecense as a Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier. We actually have work lined up once this happens. Seems that this port deal of the past few weeks has slowed things down. In a way this is good and something that we in the freight biz have wanted to be looked into for a long time. But it makes it hard for me.
3 PM I just received a email from a General Manager that is in charge of the "Talent Pool" and how he is going to try to expidite the process of getting us all settled into a spot. I emailed him right off to thank him in advance... I feel like a lost soul in this place... He sits two rows over and I heard him chuckle. He is a lost soul himself... We shall see how things go...
I am not whining, I feel very fortunate to be here... But situations like this create a needless anxiety and stress. If there is anything that pushes my buttons is being sidlined and forced to watch as others do... whatever... I doesnt matter what. That feeling of being left behind touches a part of me that has been sore my whole life. From being the least favored child to being the workaholic that was never promoted... it is the story of my life, and I choose to not allow this to go on much longer. Now I have a name and I will stay on this guy "thisplace" until I get settled into something, fired for stock trading, or laid off. I am not a quitter but status quo is beginning to feel like a martyrdom by pinpricks if there ever was one.
March 28, 2006
The Longing for Green Grass
Oh God , You are my God
and early I will seek You
My soul thirsts for You
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Because Your love is better than life
My lips will glorify You
And I will praise You
As long as I live
Praise song based on Pslam 63
In this part of the world not so many years ago I hear there was a song about "Green Grass Time"... Spring. The cows and other livestock were better able to graze and the pasture ponds and streams filled with spring rain runoff. That longing is within me. I long for a change, for the bareness of winter to pass and the new leaves of spring to appear.
My vision is doing ok, but is still mostly not clear. I am getting used to the fuzziness which is not good yet I know that the healing is going to take time.
And I have a lot of that on my hands. I have nothing to do at my job and have so little supervision. I can pretty much do what I want. Today it was file our income taxes both state and federal for 2005 before lunch. I am relieved to have that done. I found out last night that Woody has made exactly zero moves towards finding us an accountant and I wasnt going to go another year out of order with they IRS... They frown on this so if I filed something, it was better than an extension or no return... Hey I am getting 313 dollars back what more can you want? Once I have time I will file an ammended return with all of the missing numbers...
I feel like its damage control all of the time with Woody... He doesnt understand, I can see it in his face. He just isnt coping very well.
"Faith is the soul's adventure" I carry this though the deep valley, it was a year ago that my home in Hawaii was being packed up, and we were preparing to venture forth into the unknown. As I looked at the tiny amounts that we earned and how God sustaied and provided every step of the way. I miss Hawaii every moment of everyday but know that this place is where He wants me to be... The door is open wide to the future.
But I am antsy and long for the spring... like the cows and the sheep here on the edge of the Ozarks who have been eating dry rations and hay for 5 months. Its time for a bit of freshness in this dry and weary land
March 27, 2006
proteas Hana Maui
Lord, You made
All things good
and in their time.
the cycle of living
the season of change
all are a part
of your wonderous plan
which we fail to understand
Lord, there is a danger,
Solomon called it
"a fullness of food"
the crisis of expected comfort
a sleepiness of satiation
that lulls me into misplaced expectation
Please do not allow boredom to slay
my appetite for adventure
Suddenly it comes
like a summer storm
a trial that shatters
and stumbles you
and you think that this
is all the future holds
I forget the fullness of life
in the moment of adversity
Lord I am guilty
of this shortsightedness
this loss of Passion
and failure of Vision
Please do not allow
the trials of the moment
to quench my thirst
for abundant living.
March 26, 2006
Ecclesiastes 7- Wisdom Strengthens the Wise Man
tree tunnelEcclesiastes 7
A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth.
It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility.
For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
Wisdom along with an inheritance is good And an advantage to those who see the sun.
For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.
Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider-- God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.
Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?
Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?
It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them.
Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.
Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you.
For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others.
I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, "I will be wise," but it was far from me.
What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it?
I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness.
And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.
"Behold, I have discovered this," says the Preacher, "adding one thing to another to find an explanation,
which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these.
"Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices."
March 24, 2006
Aspire to Inspire
A truly inspiring view The Maui Gold Coast
here is another great post by Dr. Robert Rohm, the motivational speaker.
ASPIRE to INSPIRE before you EXPIRE!
I believe all of us have seeds of greatness within us. Because we were created in the image of God, He has left His "fingerprints" all over our lives. Our ability to think, reason, create, discover, and much, much more, proves that each one of us is special and unique. Rest assured that you are no mistake! We all face difficult challenges from time to time, but one thing is true; every life has great worth and incredible value.
Though our time here on this planet is relatively brief, each of us should aspire to do what we can to inspire and help others in the limited amount of time we are given. No one is an island unto himself. Whether we realize it or not, our lives all touch many other lives. We should do everything in our power to inspire, help, and encourage others as we journey together in this thing called "life".
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, once said, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." As I read that quote, it touched me deeply.
In those few words, President Roosevelt reminds us how important it is to try to do something to better our lives and circumstances. Sure, we may fail in the process, but to try and fail was better than not to try at all. How many people never attempt great things because they are afraid they might fail? I once heard that the fear of success is greater than the fear of failure! I find that odd, because I know from first hand experience, that the results of failure cannot compare to the rewards of success.
Most of us have heard about how the Apostle Peter got out of the boat and walked on water. But, then, after a few steps, he became fearful and began to sink. I have heard many sermons about that story. Most of them have been about how when Peter focused on the waves around him which represents the circumstances of life he began to sink and cried out for help. I do not think I have ever in my life heard one sermon about how the other eleven disciples sat in the boat while Peter was the only one who was willing to take a chance. Isn’t it interesting that what is recorded in the Bible is that he was the one who tried and failed? But, even though he failed in the short term, I believe he succeeded in the long haul.
I am also reminded that the great Babe Ruth, who is remembered for his many home runs, is also one of the all time leaders in striking out. You see, greatness always comes with a price.
The "grey twilight of life" that former President Roosevelt talked about is a sad place to live indeed! It represents that medium place that knows neither victory nor defeat.
When I was in high school, I remember a coach telling one of my fellow teammates that he was only showing mediocre ability. My friend looked at the coach and said, "What does mediocre mean?"
The coach answered by saying, "What you just did was not bad, but neither was it good. It was just sort of in the middle."
Not meaning to be a smart aleck, my friend said, "I thought when you told me I was being mediocre that you were telling me I was like pudding. Isn’t mediocre a brand of pudding?"
I will never forget the coach’s amused response, "I think you are getting mediocre mixed up with tapioca!"
Even though the coach thought it was funny, my friend still had to run laps!
As you continue in your life, seek greatness. Aspire to new heights that you have never before attempted. When you do, you will inspire other people and yourself as well. All of us are facing that moment we will expire, but in the meantime, let’s do all we can to make this day, this trip, this journey, and this life, all it was meant to be!
March 23, 2006
Tolerance for Whom?
sacrificial platform... Hawaiian's who follow the old religion still leave offerings of fruit and flowers to the pagan god of war Ku... no restrictions are placed on these folks except the line is drawn an an important and somewhat unknown practice of Hawaiian religion...Human sacrifice... There are many ways to sacrifice a human, read below how the much touted religion of peace called islam exercises tolerance.... Afghanistan says fate of convert up to the court
Man could face death penalty if he refuses to return to Islam
Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Updated: 6:13 a.m. ET March 22, 2006
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan said on Wednesday the judiciary would rule on a man facing death for converting to Christianity after the United States and three NATO allies with troops in Afghanistan urged respect for religious freedom.
An Afghan judge said this week a man named Abdur Rahman had been jailed for converting from Islam to Christianity and could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.
Sharia, or Islamic law, stipulates death for apostasy.
"We in Afghanistan have the prosecutor who observes the law and the court that executes it. Whatever the court orders will be executed as the court is independent," said Mahaiuddin Baluch, an adviser on religious affairs to President Hamid Karzai.
The case has raised alarm in the United States and Europe and is sensitive for Karzai.
The president depends on foreign troops to battle Taliban and al Qaida militants, and foreign aid to support the economy, but also has to take into consideration the views of conservative proponents of Islamic law.
Asked about the international outcry, Baluch said: "Everybody has the right to express their view."
The United States, which counts Karzai as a key ally in the region, raised the case with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday, calling on Kabul to uphold Afghan citizens' constitutional right to choose their faith.
"We hope that the Afghan constitution is going to be upheld and in our view, if it's upheld, then of course he'll be found to be innocent," said Nicholas Burns, the U.S. State Department's third-ranked diplomat.
Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini has said Rahman would probably not be executed.
Fini, whose country was one of the four with troops in Afghanistan to speak out about the case, told Italian television late on Tuesday he had indications the Islamic punishment for apostasy would not be imposed on Abdul Rahman.
“From what I’ve been told, and I have no reason to doubt it, the death sentence will not be carried out,” said Fini. He gave no other details.
Campaign to withdrawal Italian troops
Earlier, Italy called in the Afghan ambassador in Rome, two Berlin cabinet ministers spoke out and Germany's top Catholic cardinal demanded Rahman's freedom. Canada said it was concerned and urged Kabul to meet its human rights obligations.
Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga wrote to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, now campaigning for re election, and urged him to withdraw Italian troops from Afghanistan unless he won assurances from Kabul over Rahman's safety.
Abdullah said his government had "nothing to do" with the judicial case, but added: "I hope that through our constitutional process, there will be a satisfactory result."
The Afghan embassy in Washington had received "hundreds of messages" from Americans about the case, Abdullah said.
"I know that it is a very sensitive issue and we know the concerns of the American people," he said.
One political analyst in Kabul said the case might hinge on differing interpretations of the constitution.
Afghanistan is a conservative Islamic country and 99 per cent of its more than 25 million people are Muslim. A court sentenced two Afghan journalists to death for blasphemy three years ago but they escaped and sought asylum abroad.Afghan convert may be unfit to stand trial
Prosecutor says Christian facing possible death penalty may be mentally ill
© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Updated: 10:27 a.m. ET March 22, 2006
KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.
Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country’s Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.
But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness.
"We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," he told The Associated Press.
Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo a psychological examination.
"Doctors must examine him," he said. "If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."
It was not immediately clear when he would be examined or when the trial would resume. Authorities have barred attempts by the AP to see Rahman and he is not believed to have a lawyer.
A Western diplomat in Kabul and a human rights advocate — both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter — said the government was desperately searching for a way to drop the case because of the reaction it has caused.
The United States, Britain and other countries that have troops in Afghanistan have voiced concern about Rahman’s fate.
The Bush administration Tuesday issued a subdued appeal to Kabul to let Rahman practice his faith in safety. German Roman Catholic Cardinal Karl Lehmann said the trial sent an "alarming signal" about freedom of worship in Afghanistan.
The case is believed to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan and highlights a struggle between religious conservatives and reformists over what shape Islam should take there four years after the ouster of the fundamentalist Taliban regime.
Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death. The state sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has called for Rahman to be punished, arguing he clearly violated Islamic law.
Many demand severe punishment
The case has received widespread attention in Afghanistan where many people are demanding Rahman be severely punished.
"For 30 years, we have fought religious wars in this country and there is no way we are going to allow an Afghan to insult us by becoming Christian," said Mohammed Jan, 38, who lives opposite Rahman’s father, Abdul Manan, in Kabul. "This has brought so much shame."
Rahman is believed to have converted from Islam to Christianity while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.
He then moved to Germany for nine years before returning to Kabul in 2002, after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime.
Police arrested him last month after discovering him in possession of a Bible during questioning over a dispute for custody of his two daughters. Prosecutors have offered to drop the charges if Rahman converts back to Islam, but he has refused.
In this world, a Christian dies every 15 minutes for their faith. We hear about Darfur, Sudan and the 500,000 dead and the 2 million displaced, but what they dont tell you is that this is not a recent problem. For nearly 20 years Sudanese Blacks, particulary those that were Christians have been systematically slaughtered and the women and children enslaved... because they were Non Arabs and Christians and the slavers and those that profit from it are Muslims.
Nations behind the Islamic Curtain account for the largest amount of religious persecution in our world today. You might think that Communist China with its huge abuses against people of faith is foremost but it lags behind the islamists and their brutal repression of those that do not follow that religion. In Indonesia, Thailand The Phillipines and Malaysia, whole villages are wiped out by islamic fanatics and democratic governments are threatened by this so called "religion of peace and tolerance" It is illegal to own a Bible and religious books or religious articles like a crucifix or a rosary. It is illgal to discuss your non islamic faith and a capital offense to proslityze or pray with a muslim.
We are called to "be tolerant...." "of whom, of what???" I ask and so should you...Sharia, or Islamic law, stipulates death for apostasy
This quote from the article is a fact, there are no exceptions. death is what the god of islam requires of a non believer. No Tolerance there. We in the West need to wake up to this and understand that these people want us DEAD. And that they are the enemy of every value we hold dear
Franklin Graham son of Billy Graham was on Fox News's Bill O' Reilly show, along with the head of the National Council of Evangelicals and even Mr. Bill castigated them when they criticized islam, later they had the head of the Southern Baptist convention on and he told it like it is that there is a war on and we need to be aware that the propaganda being fed to us is a lie. Islam is like Communisim, it is the enemy of our way of life, and there is no such thing as a "moderate" muslim... if they are truly following their faith, they want us to convert or die by the edge of the sword, that is what they teach and that is what they believe.
Dont believe the current notion that islam cannot be defeated. What they dont know and that we Believers know is that converts are born of the blood of martyrs. The Communists were defeated by the very people they sought to suppress, people of faith. As the islamist try their best to keep Christ out of their nations, He will make a way to reach the hearts and minds of the people. As this happens we need to continue to rally to the cause of religious freedom for all people. We need to ask our government to pressure islamic states to allow people to practice their faith as they will, and not to hinder them. Human Rights are basic values that all people deserve. Any religion that thawarts that is evil in my book and should be discarded. I will not cease to speak out that islam is not a "religion of peace" and that tolerance is for all people, not just the politically correct. And we all need to remember to never take our rights and freedoms for granted. Not all people enjoy them and they should, we need to speak for those that cannot speak for themselves and not forget them. Just as goverments, cardinals and kings are speaking for this Afgani man today, and may God deliver him for the hand of his oppressors....
link Human Rights Watch
link ASSIST ministries
March 21, 2006
Tech Toys for Dummies
Country Road Carroll County Arkansas. The simple life in the country let me shrug off the electronic chains that bind me!
"Hoku, you have to go to bed"
"Woody, I cant I am trying to get these podcasts to load, and they wont. Did you give me this thing to just drive me crazy?"
"No, where are the instructions?"
"There are no instructions, this is supposed to be so simple that it doesnt need instructions... Ha!"
"Thats pretty dumb,Woody replies "what if there is a problem?"
"We have a problem," I shoot back... "The stupid Itunes and our computer hate each other and I have to system restore every hour on the computer to unfreeze the thing"
"Dang," Woody exclaims, "This is worse than the phone problems"
Worse than my phone... I still have my Palm Treo 650
I only use the phone part and that not very well. This phone was purchased in Hilo and therefore not configured for the Mainland networks, then once we settled here in NW Arkansas, and I was able to give up my Hawaii number, the phone was reconfigured...Ha! The Palm system hates my computer or rather my computer hates everything attached to it and looks upon USB thingyies at parasites... Oh nuts I dont care anymore that I spent a bundle on this thing, I need a new phone...
So what does Woody give me for Christmas??? a baby pink razor phone....NOOOOOOOO.... I get this....
more toys... Now mind you I was thrilled. But this lovely thing does not come with instructions for care and feeding, or info where you can download data... in fact the tech head in my cube at work was joking that if you needed an instruction book like as not you were mentally deficient. So how hard is it????
Its pretty darn hard... My computer is no doubt to blame for both the Palm issues and now Itunes. All of my music that I downloaded in the computer had to be reformatted, so it was no easy task to put music into the thing... but figure out how to download podcasts? Yikes. So I have struggled with this for a week. I finally got some downloaded then when I went to recharge the Ipod, bang, the podcasts vanished...victims of automated updating...
What is a girl to do? I cried and went to bed. But I lived to fight another day and think I have some of this figured out.... and yes I found, on the Apple site a place to download the 75 page manual for the thing...
So now they tell me, just after I bought "Ipod for Dummies"
I am going to put the Palm Treo 650 on Ebay once I get a new phone. I also have another PDA I am going to try to sell. I would just rather keep a notebook than have a PDA I just dont do very well with eletronic gadgets... I need to keep it simple, everytime I take on a electronic timesaving device, I spend more time just managing the time saving device. Uggh!
Where is Kim Kommando
when I need her????
March 20, 2006
The First Day of Spring
butterfies are free in this photo taken last Spring near Beaver Arkansas
The weather today is totally at odds with the date. After days and days of lovely spring warmth its bitter cold out and snow SNOW is expected...Never mind I love the snow and I did warn the kitties to "not give up their winter coats just yet as the locals expect that this was a possiblity..." Well but Mak and Nani were a snuggled up in the "sleeping nest" our big bed. Its a tad crowded but we make the best of it for the house chilled down and wouldnt take no for an answer. The weather guesser on TV called for snow and the ever strange "winter mix" (I have vegetables called this in my freezer) I have friends in New York that call this "rain that sticks"
Work today at "thisplace" was interesting. Two people with more seinority moved to new but temporary positions in another department. One man is fighting to hold on to his job for another two more years till he can retire and the other is the unfortunate guy who lost his roof in the tornado last week. He is very glad to still have a job and is ok with this. I am glad for them. There are three more of us "in the bull pen" extra people with time heavy on our hands, but I feel ok today that I can hang here for a bit.
Woody is doing ok He's selling a few cars but its pretty slow right now. He freely admits that working is better than not but its a touch boring... I can forsee things picking up once it warms up and since they are grossly understaffed that he should be able to do rather well. Once the weather warms back up he will see more traffic for certain.
Vision is still like this photo, a bit fuzzy but not bad and is improving somewhat will be having a checkup this week. for any of you that may be considering this proceedure I would highly reccomend it. I love not having to deal with glasses and to wear make up again!
March 19, 2006
Ecclesiastes - Chapter 5 and 6 The Vanity of Gain and Honor
Misty Pastures Near Cave SpringsEcclesiastes - Chapter 5 and 6
Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
Do not be rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words be few.
For a dream comes through much activity,
And a fool's voice is known by his many words.
When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;
For He has no pleasure in fools.
Pay what you have vowed--
Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your *excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field.
He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;
Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.
This also is vanity.
When goods increase,
They increase who eat them;
So what profit have the owners
Except to see them with their eyes?
The sleep of a laboring man is sweet,
Whether he eats little or much;
But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.
There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun:
Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
But those riches perish through misfortune;
When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.
As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return,
To go as he came;
And he shall take nothing from his labor
Which he may carry away in his hand.
exactly as he came, so shall he go.
And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?
All his days he also eats in darkness,
And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.
Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor--this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent among men
a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.
If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, "Better the miscarriage than he,
for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity.
"It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he.
"Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things do not all go to one place?"
All a man's labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied.
For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living?
What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind.
Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is.
For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man?
For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?
March 18, 2006
A lunch on the town... the only place to get lunch out in downtown Pineville MO and only on tuesdays and thursdays. Two Boomers semi retired, talking story....Woody at Toms BBQ and dog cart at city hall, Pineville Mac Donald Co. MO
We need to privatize Social Security, so we can be sure to get what we are paying into...These Boomers are going to bankrupt the system. (Republican Spinmeisters on the revamping of Social Security)
The costs of healthcare are going to skyrocket due to the capacity being streached by hordes of Baby Boomers creeping into old age... (Democrat Spinmeister on the reforming of medicare )
These were the "me" generation, the most selfish generation that ever lived. Few have saved, fewer have long term pensions or catastophic health insurance, they are the least prepared to retire than any previous generation and frankly those of us comming beind them are not very happy that we have to clean up their mess...( Young blogger that commented on a blog I read a few months ago)
Baby boomers are politically powerful and confident of their abilities, and they prize their mobility. And they’re about to become the biggest threat on the highway... Deborah Vanna for MSN Money, the rest of the article below
This nation is suffering from Boomerphobia. We are afraid of our parents and ourselves for this is the largest demographic block in the nation, with clout and a get'er done attitude. The Sandwich generations ahead and behind them are "terrified" .
And the government and media are exploiting this to the limit. In this article on MSN money today, the fears of massive accidents cause by doddering drivers is being overblown. Take a read...Think our roads already resemble a survivalist obstacle course? Get ready for 2025, when an estimated 40 million baby boomers will clog the left lanes of America, blinkers flashing, one foot trembling over the brake.
Though motorists older than 70 drive far less frequently than other age groups, they already account for an outsize proportion of fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The death rate per mile traveled for drivers over 85 is four times that of the 30 59 age group. The only group more dangerous than senior citizens is teenagers. Senior drivers have special trouble judging speed and distances, which causes an inordinate number of rearend and lefthand turn accidents.
And the older drivers get, the bigger the risk they pose. A 2002 Florida study found that seniors older than 85 pose a sharply higher risk. The state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles found at least 20% of the state's 250,000 drivers older than 85 suffered from dementia. The report also said that crash rates for drivers with cognitive dementia were 7.6 times higher than other drivers.
But people 65 and older are the fastest growing demographic in the United States, and, by 2030, a quarter of all licensed drivers will be in that age group.
Boomers are expected to live longer with better health overall than their predecessors, meaning more of them will be confident about driving greater distances and clutching their car keys well into their 90s. That’s the fear of some traffic safety experts.
"There's good news and bad news with the boomers," said Dr. Bella Dinh Zarr, national director of traffic safety policy for AAA, the nonprofit motorist club. "They are much more eager to do things their own way and take risks, but the good news is if we give them the tools to gauge information about their health and driving skills, they will take action."
In America, many seniors fight to stay behind the wheel despite the effects of aging on eyesight, mobility and reaction time. The lack of public transportation in many areas, especially rural ones, keeps many seniors fighting to stay behind the wheel.
"In many parts of America, if you don’t drive you are out of luck," said Elinor Ginzler, director of livable communities with the AARP, which represents more than 34 million seniors. "In America, the car is an important symbol of vitality and independence."
In Los Angeles, 86 year old Ivada Parker still takes to the freeways in her Toyota Corolla to visit her children more than half an hour away in outlying suburbs. She grew up driving in Los Angeles, and driving city streets doesn't faze her, she said.
"It's easier to drive than to walk," she said.
But faced with the coming onslaught of seniors expected to hit the highway, lawmakers nationwide are seeking to tighten restrictions on senior drivers.
Currently, licensing laws vary dramatically in each state. At least 20 states have special provisions, such as vision or writing tests, which 65 and 70 year old drivers must complete before renewing their licenses. Some states have confidential procedures that allow friends, family or medical professionals to report seniors they think shouldn't be driving.
Other states are considering graduated licensing laws for seniors, similar to ones for teen-agers in some states. In Connecticut, for example, drivers aged 65 or older can be on a two-year or six-year renewal cycle, and they usually have to appear in person.
This paranoia is totally misplaced. They want to put the scarlett letter "G" for Geezer on everybodys car who is 60 or older when in fact the most dangerous group of drivers in the world are young 15-30 year olds particularly males althought the stats show that females are catching up, but we dont do what they do in some European countries, hang a "Student Driver" sign on the back of the vehicle, and we should... The stats are well known that young, inexperienced drivers are the cause of a larger percentage of accidents than older drivers, but this isnt the only mis conception abounding in the race to blacklist the older generation.
I live in a large retirement area and I am amazed at the number of these folks that are still working well into their 80's. For example, have 4 assiting pastors at our church, 77 to 90 that are on the go three full days a week. I see Seinors here working in offices, in markets and shops and pumping gas. At "Thisplace", my day job we have a number of employees 60plus that are pulling down salaries and are the backbone of a number of the accounts here. They have seen the freight biz from the old days to the age of the internet and wont be stopping anytimes soon... part of it is having the good insurance, and the other things is of course the money and community they receive. As one guy put it,"I am no way no how ready to be put out to pasture..." And while we do see some erratic driving its more often younger people than the older ones, people new to the twisty winding roads of our mountain home...
I think of my friends Claudia and Mike, and our neighbors, Gene and Ginger, they, like Woody are the faces that I, a baby Babyboomer, see...Claudia and Mike are Engineers working in Honolulu now after a long struggle to get established in Hawaii. Gene was semi retired but is teaching here locally, Ginger was a small business owner when she and Gene lived in California, and I see the wheels turning in her mind all the time, and would not be a bit surprised if she wasnt thinking about her next business, and Woody, well we do need the money but Woody needs the challenge weither he understands this or not, He made a deal yesterday and felt so good about it...he needs this job for himself as much as the money...
Rather than being a drain on services they will create services and shore up Social Security with their earnings, as they fill out a shrinking work force. Insted of a burden they are a blessing, Insted of being a Liability they are an asset.
So what is with "Boomerphobia"? It is fear of the unknown or rather as I think fear of the known... Fear of a generation that didnt take "no" for an answer and pushed the limits of everything. Fear that as these flower children have come of age in truth, that they will turn the tide of the status quo and change the face of America yet again. Its going to be interesting, and nothing to be afraid of...
March 17, 2006
The Wearing of the Red~ 2006
The Far Valley near Garfield AR
This is a beautiful land, and as the trees are leafing out, the Ozark valleys and mountains are as green as the Emerald Isle. But like Ireland this has been a troubled land as well. The local Native Americans were driven out, and those on the infamous "Trail of Tears" passed through here... The French sent missionary Jesuit brothers, who abandoned the work here in favor of the descendents of Englishmen who settled this area with hardscrabble farms and ranches who worshiped as Methodists and Baptists and those Catholics that remained were set upon and oppressed.
Then came the Great Unpleasantness, the War Between the States that divided families and killed off a generation of young men. The Union gave land to Northern sympathizers, furthering the division between neighbors. Then Jim Crow, and the few African Americans that lived here as free men found themselves in worse straights than ever, and more division and strife. Our generation can remember those High School steps in Little Rock and the forced de-segregation. Today, The prosperous region here in the northwest part of the state, with its wealthy mega companies, and mansions rising out of the subdivided family farms, its growing diverse population with pockets full of cash from selling out in high cost markets as well as minds filled with innovative new ideas are changing the rural face of this area and pushing out the former rural inhabitants...
But... That isn't what I wanted to write about. I am re running this post that I have run for the last two years on this day. It was widely commented on then and now that I have a number of new readers I would say this same thing again, with an added paragraph for an update. ... Its so important, on this day when the worst of people tends to come out...Poor St Patrick a rolling over in his grave...The Wearing of the Red
Today is St. Patrick's Day. I admire Patrick. The legend is that Patrick was a young Roman aristocrat that was captured by the wild Irish tribes and hauled away as a slave. He escaped a few years later, and returned to his family. Some time later he converted to Christianity. Burdened for his fellow captives and his captors he returned to Ireland and preached, and was well received. So well that the island was converted to Christianity in a generation. His work may have well saved Western Civilization as the monasteries that were established there were central in the preservation of learning and history in the early part of the Middle Ages.
But I am not wearing Green today. Not because Im not Irish, I likely am. One has only to look at my fair green eyed Mother, or my family tree of Southerners, cotton growing, share cropping, hard scrabble farmers all. Likely Scots Irish Ulstermen that came to this country in the early 1800s for a better life...
And not because Im not Catholic. Im not wearing Protestant Orange, nor do I follow in that mindset. I feel that England abused the Irish, just as we have abused the Hawaiians and stolen their lands, but there is no turning back the clock. Its done now. Fighting, bombing and other violence wont change the hearts hardened by hatred.
Im not wearing green today because it has become the background color of secular progressivism. Secular Progressivism is a scourge upon our land.
By using "green" and the reasoning of "saving the earth", the worst acts of internal aggression have been attempted or actually perpetrated against the people of this nation. "The world is over populated and women should "have a choice..." So abortion rules the land, and over 40,000,000 children have been murdered... We have a Press that is so blatantly biased against people of faith and traditional values that they feel no threat as they drag people through the mud, and distort the truth... We have a segment of the political machine that, in the name of "Green" and the environment, have oppressed communities, stripped people of their property and livelihood, and distorted eviromental issues to meet their agenda instead of telling the truth so that the real issues can be addressed. The enviroment is important, but people are more important.
I am not wearing green today because it has become the color of fanatic religious fundamentalism. It is the color of the flags of the militant islamists that would destroy the very Nation that I love and the freedoms that give purpose and meaning.. Human dignity and worth... That are the God given birthright of every man woman and child on this earth.
Im wearing Red today. Red for the blood of martyrs. Those that died for what they believed in. Those that were murdered for what they believed in. Solders that die in service for their country right or wrong the cause... Duty and sacrifice are always noble.
Red... The color of the blood of Heros...
Im wearing Red today for the innocents...Children killed before they draw breath, Children killed by adults, children killed in war as bystanders and as solders themselves... Bystanders caught up in events that were not of their making... On trains, on planes, in office buildings, sleeping in barracks, Olympic compounds and cruise ships. People in their homes and in the market. Young people in night clubs and riding on buses... Misguided children with bombs strapped to their bodies, thinking this is a sure way to god, to fame, out of poverty and shame....
Im Wearing Red today... For the Underground Church, for the Women living under Islam, for every child that goes to bed sick and hungry in a world that is so full of food and stuff that should we ever put or differences aside we could all be fed and healthy.
Im Wearing Red today, because it is the color of the Blood of The One, the only one that has the power to set to rights the evils of human affairs and make this world the place it was meant to be....
March 16, 2006
The attacker, photo taken by local resident light was generated by a lightning flash!, Photos on this post courtesy of The Hometown Channel.com
I thought that I would post a few potos of our local disaster. I am still amazed at how violent the storm was and how much damage that it did. We hear now that the twister was a F3 on the Fujita scale, thats a big one
Hail at Pea Ridge dropped about 4 miles from my house
there was baseball size hail just a short distance from my home. We had pea sized and it wasnt as hard, sort of mushy
New construction. I understand from a co-worker that escrow just closed on this house. That would be horrible.
This is a housing tract out in Centerton near where my co-worker lives. The twister jumped over his block and landed on the next one. Thankfully no one was killed or seriously injured
Our new high school's ball field, field house was destroyed and the stadium was heavily damaged
We are all now concerned that rebuilding will take a long time. My seatmate was calling for estimates to fix his truck and roof and the repair bills are out of sight and the lead time was streaching into months, there was so much damage. Woody has had several families bring in damaged vehicles to the car lot as the insurance deductables are so high that they are choosing to use those funds as part of a down payment on a newer car or truck. This of course is good for Woody and I am glad that he is getting so many chances to try to sell smething. So far that situation is going well and I hope that he is able to stay there as long as he needs a job.
My job situation is stable but I feel like a disembodied spirit. I dont have any duties assigned to me. They took all of the work off of my desk this week and gave it to a gal that will be staying on with the account. I was feeling really odd about it but there are a lot of opportunities comming along and should I want to take advantage of them I can.
My eyes are doing well. I was in to see the doctor and I am in need of more tear production so I am using a bottled solution and we shall see...(no pun intended) There is a feeling that we may have an "under correction" where my vison is still not as good as it could be so we shall see how things go in the comming days.
Misty Pasture photo by Bentonville resident Carol Tavener
March 15, 2006
Rushing mountain stream...Rain water runoff streams are one of the beautiful things about Hawaii, but with the continuing untrammeled development that is occuring in the state, more disasters like the one on Kauai'i will be more and more common. Iao Valley Park Maui
We are all still getting over the tornado of Sunday night, my worst weather nightmare regarding living in Arkansas, but this was my Hawaii nightmare and one of the reasons why we chose not to move to the island of Kauaii, flooding. The rain swollen mountain strams of Hawaii are a part of the natural wonder of the islands, especially for those of us raised in cities in the dry American West. But you have to remember as you look at them that this is natures way of channeling the incesant rain that falls on the windward sides of the islands. Mt Wai'ale'ale', the extinct volcano that forms the core of Kauaii is touted as the "wetest place on earth" with an average rainfall of 700 inches. There is continous percipitation over this area translating into huge amounts of run off. This year has been an exceptional wet year for Hawaii and the result is overloaded streams and dams...
Dams??? Yes, as people are moving to the Islands more homes are being built and they are damming these streams up or diverting them. Its foolishness, and as we can see dangerous to do this. As more homes are built there is less soil to absorb the run off and fewer trees to hold down the soil...The oldest of the major islands, Kauaii is erroding at such a rate that it may be a fraction of itself in 10,000 years. May not seem to mean much to most people but 10,000 years is a breath in geologic time. It translates into rapid destruction of this "Garden Isle" one of the most beautiful and fragile places on earth. Hawaii dam bursts, causing huge flood
One body found, 7 missing as wall of muddy water, debris released on Kauai
Floodwaters from the Wailapa stream ripped vegetation from the ground on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Photo taken by Jan Tenbruggencate / The Honolulu Advertiser KILAUEA, Hawaii - One person was killed and up to seven others were missing when a rain-weakened dam failed on this western Hawaiian island, sending a wall of muddy water, trees and debris down the mountainside and prompting fears about the safety of other dams.
The water cut off access to and from thousands of rural houses and luxury condominiums along Kauai’s rural north shore. At least two homes were swept off their foundations and several hundred feet of the island's main highway were washed out.
"Sounded like a 747 jet crashing here in the valley, all the trees popping and snapping and everything," said John Hawthorne said. "It was just a horrendous sound, and it never quit."Search crews recovered the body of an unidentified adult male. Up to seven people were missing and residents said one family whose home was swept away is missing several children.
Gov. Linda Lingle, who planned to tour the area Wednesday morning, signed a proclamation Tuesday extending state disaster programs and services to the residents affected by recent rains and flooding.
The governor also made personal and commercial loans available to people whose homes or businesses sustained damage, and authorized the use of National Guard troops to assist civilian authorities in disaster relief.
State officials were assessing the safety of other dams in the Kauai hills, which are dotted with private earthen dams such as the one that broke open.
‘A growing crisis on Kauai’
Ed Teixeira, state vice director of civil defense, said in Honolulu that officials were worried about erosion caused by floodwaters.
"I would characterize this as a growing crisis on Kauai," he said.
The Kaloko Reservoir dam gave way about an hour before dawn without warning after days of heavy rain.
Emergency crews work to clear tons of trees from Kuhio Highway on the island of Kauai, where floods overwhelmed drainage systems and blew across the road. Photo taken by Jan Tenbruggencate / The Honolulu AdvertiserThe dam, about 40 feet high and 1,800 feet long, captured runoff from small streams. Authorities estimated that about 1,400 acre-feet of water poured out of the reservoir, which is enough water to cover 1,400 acres a foot deep, or more than 60 million cubic feet.
"You couldn't see anything, you just could hear it," said Kilauea resident Kristen Kurtz. "Now they're seeing all the damage. It's crazy."
Late Tuesday, road crews began clearing mud, trees and other debris from the highway by the truckload until work was stopped so water could be released from Morita Reservoir, state transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.
Edwin Matsuda, an engineer who heads the state's safety programs, has said nearly all of Hawaii's dams were built early in the past century before federal standards existed or the advent of the state’s program for assessing dam and levee safety.
Peter Young, the chairman of the board for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the department is trying to determine when the Kaloko Reservoir dam was last checked.
Fears that other dams will fail
Officials feared Morita Reservoir's dam, located downstream from Kaloko, might also fail. Two schools were being used as emergency shelters.
"Everybody's on edge," resident Victoria Stamper said.
Roy Matsuda, lead forecaster at the Honolulu office of the National Weather Service, said Tuesday that a storm had dumped 5 to 6 inches of rain on Kauai in the past 24 hours.
An exhausted Katie Carlin, of San Mateo, Calif., arrived Monday night with her husband and two young children only to find they were unable to reach their hotel room in Hanalei because of a flooded bridge.
"We're trapped," she said. "It's small potatoes to what’s going on here, but I just don't want to spend another night in the car."
March 14, 2006
Evening sky above Bella Vista AR
Well, God spared us, the house seems to be fine from the storms, and its cooled off. My seat mate here at "thisplace" wasnt so fortunate. He and his wife and their dog huddled in a closet at the tornado jumped over them and mashed up house on the next block. His pickup truck looks like someone wacked it with a baseball bat. I am so glad hes ok some people are not.
I was able to go to work, and found that things are slowly moving in such a way that I will soon not have a job, unless I can get transfered out of here. So I am hopeing to get some more internal interviews and get a real desk. My freight that I had been working was given to a gal that is staying on with the account and it really bothered me more than I thought that it would. I invest myself much more than I realize. And I feel so territorial too as a result of years of having to cover my butt. So we had a bit of a meeting and I feel better about it. After all I am supposed to be keeping this job by holding it with loose hands. One of the guys here had a similar outlook but it all got to be too much for him and he quit last week just couldnt take the pressure. the pressure of the unknown...
I am happily working on my plan to open a jewelry repair business, looking at stuff and working on the money end of things with the market going up I am cashing in a few things so I have some free cash. Very excited about this thing. I so want to work for myself. This being dependent on someone is for the birds.
I found myself getting angry this morning, but I had to catch myself... I was not the victim of an angry wind... I am well as well as John and the kitties, I really cant complain no way.
March 13, 2006
Tornado warning tonadoes forming over Caldwell Arkansas
Sunday March 12 11 pm
a tornado warning continues until 1115 pm cst for benton county...
at 1036 pm cst...weather service doppler radar continued to track a dangerous thunderstorm with a history of producing tornadoes. this storm was located 5 miles southeast of gateway...moving east at 40 mph.
this is a dangerous storm with a history of producing tornadoes! if you are near the path of this storm...take cover now! if no underground shelter is available move to an interior room on the lowest floor. mobile homes and vehicles should be abandoned for more substantial shelter. avoid windows!
lat...lon 3649 9407 3637 9398 3638 9385 3651 9385
Live report. A long tonadic system just passed through here pounding us with hail nickle to baseball size (in Pea Ridge by the battlefield)The wind was unbelieveable all day long and about 9:30 pm bombastic lightning and the hailing began. Several tonados touched down in towns that are familiar to some of you that have been reading this blog these last months. Gentry, Holiday Island and Garfield. One really bad one out in Centerton where friends live and frankly I fully expected one to break over us. I run in to tell Woody who is laying on the bed and ask him to help me to round up the cats, as the tonado warning is screaming on the weater station and he says nothing to me but just looks at me like a deer in the headlights...
"I dont see why you are so concerned? We live in the hils and tonados dont come here."
I said a few unpleasent things to him about his inability to lead and next time I will leave him to get smashed by the storm, me and the cats will get in the closet.
I am so mad at him and feel like I just want to pop him one... Bella Vista will have a tornado a mini one in my front room!!!
Its calm now... There are reports of injuries and another twister out at the crossing near where my job is... that would be the limit, if "thisplace" gets hit... I wont be able to see if we have damage until morning.... more tomorrow.
Lets see if I can calm down enough to go to bed I have a big day tomorrow
March 12, 2006
Ecclesiastes 4 -The Value of Companionship
Ozark Mountain Farm Near Cave SpringsEcclesiastes 4
Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun:
And look! The tears of the oppressed,
But they have no comforter--
On the side of their oppressors there is power,
But they have no comforter.
Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead,
More than the living who are still alive.
Yet, better than both is he who has never existed,
Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
The Vanity of Selfish Toil
Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
The fool folds his hands
And consumes his own flesh.
Better a handful with quietness
Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.
Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:
There is one alone, without companion:
He has neither son nor brother.
Yet there is no end to all his labors,
Nor is his eye satisfied with riches.
But he never asks,
"For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?"
This also is vanity and a grave misfortune.
The Value of a Friend
Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Popularity Passes Away
Better a poor and wise youth
Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
For he comes out of prison to be king,
Although he was born poor in his kingdom.
I saw all the living who walk under the sun;
They were with the second youth who stands in his place.
There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king;
Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him.
Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
March 11, 2006
Breath of Spring
Field Flowers Beaver Arkansas
Its been warm enough to leave the window open at night and flowers are peaking up everywhere. Its so amazing that it was just a few weeks ago that we had ice and snow. The last few days I have had the house opened up and we are wearing shorts.
Its also comming round to a year now that we left Hawaii. Seems that everyday Woody says something about the final days that we were there, it was hard but we did have a good time too...
It also means that we are farther along in the resettling process and now we have a point of reference to say "this is where we came from... now where are we going?"
I cant speak for Woody... as he said tonight, he cant hardly speak for himself, this is not a strong point for him, I dont think he's ever given the future much though at anytime in his life...Its always about the now with him and I know its difficult...
I know because I was once this way myself... What changed was getting help, and I wish he would go to counselling,but I have stopped asking about it and just pray about it now. As for me, there just isnt time to spend wondering about "why I didnt get the HSN job..." Woody says that made a huge impression on him how hard I worked for that and didnt get it...I told him that sometimes its not about getting whatever we are working for sometimes its just about doing it,whatever it is...
I feel this way about the situation at the Grapevine with our little business. Twice as much product left not paid for as was paid for so we are closing the booth down and keeping the jewelry part open. The product that we bought we are going to keep selling out of a locked case in the front of the Mall untill its gone then we will likely stay with jewelry only and perhaps eventually start the jewelry repair business. To some of you this will seem to be a retreat to what I wanted to do six months ago, but as I see it I couldnt have really done it before because I had no venue to receive repair work, now that I have a place to meet people publically I could get a flow of work. We wouldnt have considered it if there hadnt been this "failure"...Or the situation at "thisplace" which can end at any time... or getting my vision fixed which I wouldnt have done without thisplace and the insurance they provided me...
Its all about the journey, and I am slowly learning that sucess or failure that nothing can be discounted. God seems to use every little bit squeezing out a future like He created water in those rocks in the Sinai for the Israelites.
Speaking of that it my two weeks of homemaking I unearthered and hung one of our households great treasures I will photograph them and post the pics this week
Springs arrival heralds changes... I cant wait...
March 10, 2006
The Night Ranger~Reprised
My brother at 18, young, gung ho and ready to go where ever his country sent him. I have not spoken to him in five years and do not know where he is...maybe one day we will reconnect but until then...Happy Birthday
That years of silence pass
No words are needed,
For we both know
how things lie
We are rebels
The children of rebels
Seeped in self absorbed
collusion with chaos
Prefering constant upset
to a workable relationship
You sowed the wind,
and reaped the whirlwind.
This is how
you wanted life.
AND the highway,
for what purpose is
making your bed
if you cant lie in it as well?
The hearts you have broken
Mother sister, wives and son
Are your own heart
from a driven life
Now past the rage
You have embraced the madness
we both forswore...
To this end
we are strangers
my brother and I
who shared a mother's womb.
Linked by blood
and a mutual rage
we share a bent towards
Dedicated to my brother "The Night Ranger" on his 43nd birthday. If you are reading this then you know where to find me...
March 09, 2006
The Emptiness of Words
Hilo Palms Wailoa Park
I am finding a emptiness in my words... I think its the feeling that things are over the top in the media..(if it wernt for EWTN I would toss the tube...) What is good is "bad" and what is "bad"is "good". Its what the writer of Ecclesiastes says "All is emptiness and vapor in the wind..."
Woody and I had the day together, what will be a rare weekday as long as I work at "thisplace". My vision varies from perfect to "had one too many drinks" fuzzy. I did drive and it was a tad bit scary. But we will keep trying. We went to Brio Brioso, a local South American Grill that has a great lunch buffet. Was a nice birthday treat. Did a bit of shopping and ran home. The weather was strange, a warm wind blew strongly from the time I woke until now and yet we have had no storm break and sadly no rain, which we need badly.
I have been so very glad to be home for this past two weeks and see that I could be happy at home here. I went to a morning prayer meeting that was wonderful and I know that I would find plenty to do in the homemaking department. I wouldnt get bored.
I have been writing a lot of letters and doing a lot of praying in addition to finishing the unpacking and tidying up. I remember when I felt this "emptiness of words" in Hawaii and emersing myself in personal contact really helps this as I think is a symptom of depression. Building your life takes time, and I need to be paitent.
March 07, 2006
The Snowy Bloody Day
Not much snow on the ground in this photo, but on that day 144 years ago today, a frigid cold, and icy snow had fallen crusting the ground and making what was to be one of the most brutal and family destroying theatres of the war between the states. When I drive out there I hear the sounds of this cruel battle, one of the worst in the war because most of the participants came from the four state area. Many families were devided in this border state conflict that, with a Union victory paved a way for securing the West allowing concentration of forces in the eastern theatre
Snowy Bloody Day
In icy frozen silence
Worn boots tramp
through the crusty sharp
late winter snow
Ozark stones cut
bloody holes on
bruised and frozen feet The rugged terrain of the round top area Pea Ridge National Battlefield
More hardened still
the hearts of they
the brothers, cousins
in blue and grey
fighting for this strip of land
the frontier in the WestThe Confederate Line Pea Ridge National Battlefield NW Arkansas
Three full days
Of freezing silence broken
by cannon fire, soilder screams
dying men unaided
but by primal means
by brutal friendly fire Primitive surgical theater Pea Ridge National Battlefield
Local families still recall
the brutal winter of 62
how the fallen were gathered
in the wake of battle
like frozen apples
War's bitter fruit the only struture from the period still standing near the battlefields... The Confederate Infirmary was located here
March 06, 2006
Another Year for the Luckiest Girl Alive
Maui Surf Maui 2005
Every year on my birthday, I think about how God has been merciful and has allowed me to see another year, and what a year it has been.
Home this week for continued rehab from the eye surgery. I found that things were better today,but by the end of the day things get really fuzzy. Scared that when I go back to work I will get stuck at work and end up having a scary drive home.
So I hope to have time this week to work on fixing the house up a little more, sort of tuning it up, clearing a bit more of the cartons that are stacked up out in the garage. Once done I want to start getting ready to have my jewelers bench set up...It might take a year to get all in readiness but I do want to be working out of my home.
Woody is pretty supportive of this and also seems to be doing well enough at the car lot that he might be well able to support us and we dont need me to have a big job outside of the home. In the mean time I am willing to go forward as long as I can at "thisplace" my erstwhile day job...
Was listening to EWTN to "Reflections" by Fr Leo Clifford OFM. I love seeing his little 15 minute gems that are filmed in my beautiful Hawaii. Today he spoke on God's will, and used as his text Matthew 21:28-32, probably the least known parable of Jesus but one that I really relate toThe Parable of the Two Sons
(and Jesus said,) "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?"
They said to Him, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.
I thought a lot about this and realized that my efforts to forgive and strive for the grace to forgive is pleasing to God. The unwillingness of the other night repented of is the right road and perhaps In time I will accept the fact that my loving Father knew that all of this would happen including my situation with Woody, the misery with the church in Bellflower and of course, my feelings that I have that I have broken the sixth commandment in dealing with my Mother...His only Will is for my good and my unwillingness to forgive the parties involved is something I must just keep working at...my Catholic friends have told me that this is how you end up in Purgatory and that I do need to find a way to release it to God and let go... I will keep that in mind...
I am in prayer, spending large blocks of time these days its a way to rest the eyes and do something positive, as well as spend the extra time I have this past two weeks as well as possible...
As I also said at the first I am so very fortunate. When I think of all that has gone on and how it could have ended up, I know that I am truly blessed...
March 05, 2006
Ecclesiastes 3~ God Has Made All Things Beautiful In Their Time
Glorious Sunset Panama City Beach FloridaEcclesiastes 3
Everything Has Its Time
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
The God-Given Task
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor--it is the gift of God.
I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.
That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past.
Injustice Seems to Prevail
Moreover I saw under the sun:
In the place of judgment,
Wickedness was there;
And in the place of righteousness,
Iniquity was there.
I said in my heart,
"God shall judge the righteous and the wicked,
For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."
I said in my heart, "Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals." For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Who* knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
March 04, 2006
If We Could Only See
tropical valleyIf Only We Could See
Evening brings the gray of dusk,
Beyond the shore, the sea of rust,
Soon everything will turn to dust.
If only we could see.
Not now, not then, the ideas gone,
With only what you thought when young,
Nothing's finished when the day is done.
If only we could see.
Now shaking hands to clutch the last,
But nothing is there from days gone past,
To the dying ocean the last line is cast.
If only we could see.
With determination and will,
And tripping heart that will soon be still,
You struggle against pain to peer over the sill.
And laugh for a time,
At the circus you find,
Just beyond the long winding hill.
If only we could see.
Copyright ©2006 Joe Norris
March 02, 2006
The Great King, Kamehameha I. Considered to be a great man by certain Hawaiians, the truth is that he was a maurading terrorist that used the weapons he gained from the English to subdue the rest of the Hawaiian Islands, by ruse or by force. A pagan, he ordered the giant Pu'u Kohola Hieau built to honor the war god Ku. At the end of the 3 years it took to build, the dedication was celebrated by the human sacrifice of over twenty thousand hawaiians many of whom were impressed into service to build the structure. Reveired as a god, he is nothing of a god, he is like this hollow bronze statue, gilded with gold but underneath a common criminal...
Every year at about this time, I think about how, as a boy, in rural Jackson, TN, Every year at this time each class in our school, would be taken, by grade to go to the JR High to see a traveling drama group that staged plays and puppet shows. He was enchanted by the fairy tales that came to life and added color to this very sensitive and imagintive child's life. I so looked forward to this event year after year untill I was 10 when I was invited to go "behind the scenes" and see how the productions were put together. I was intrigued and disapointed at the same time. The life like puppets were controled by strings, and the beautiful castle where the princess lived was a hollow shell, only paper nache' and glitter and the front half...
This can be the way life can be for many people in the church. We need to be concerened about how things look and how we seem to others... and be hollow on the inside... better to be a bit less perfect and full and genuine. Let us be wary of being hypocrites and concerened with apperences, and be open to what God is getting us ready to do...and forgive those that may have inadvertantly deceived and disapointed others...
Exerpts of the Ash Wedensday message given last night by Rev David Fleming FUMSBV
Last night at the service, we all received paper that we could write down things that we wanted to repent of or just leave behind in this Lenten Season... I wrote down many of the things that have haunted me as far as the church is concerened... particularly how the church I served in 10 years ago still haunts me to this day with the profound hypocracy and abuse that it allowed to continue...Things I was unaware of until it blew up in my face. Once I heard this story... the pathos of this man that I have come to adore as a brother in the faith and trust more than I thought I could trust a clergyman... I scratched line after line off that page...I cannot let it go, cannot forget and cannot seem to truly forgive..
Which makes my religion as hollow as Pastor David's puppet stage of so long ago...
One day I must give this up, but as Woody and I made the rounds of Doctors appointments today, I heard his voice shake as he described the pain of watching my life come unraveled before his very eyes and he could do nothing to stop it. As friends fought over who was right, and wrong...and our firm conviction that the catalyst for this churches meltdown was a crime against a teen in the youth ministry. Now ten years later, every family that was in a position of leadership, every friend that we knew then, this seemingly strong family is scattered to the four directions, most not praticing their faith our their gift, children in rebellion and a swath of disasters in the wake of a disasterous decision to cover up a mans sin as to maintain the organizations image.
This sort of thing is the worst that can happen. My name was dragged in the mud by people that I loved and thought loved me... and that situation even followed us to Hawaii where a friend we made there, knew what went on at that church. Sad... and as painful and obvious to the victim as a amputation.
I am sure that this is the place in my life where this will end for me. I may have to go and deal with this in a clinical setting, or maybe discuss this with one of the several pastors at our church. I dont know. I feel that God is preparing me for a return to the ministry, but that wont happen untill I can lay this painful past down and let this go. I pray for this day, and dont want to go on with this much longer. As long as I carry it, it keeps me from being as full and whole as I need to be and I will reamin a front only castle, pretty to look at, but hollow underneath...
March 01, 2006
The Imposition of Ashes
this is the Chapel of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word in Irondale Alabama. Familiar to viewrs of EWTN as the location for the daily mass, I show this to demonstrate what my world looks like right now through my eyes. Taken in harsh TV lighting the blurriness and glare is very similar to my current state of vision...
I also want to honor the man seated on the front row, brother Jack, a lay worker at the network that was there for every service and came out of retirement to work for EWTN. I hadnt seen him in the service recently so called to find out if he was ok and Jack had passed away a few weeks ago in his sleep. May God grant him eternal rest. He was a delightful man and was very kind to Woody and I while we were there in November
They call the ceremonies that occur on this first day of Lent the "Imposition of Ashes" to remind us of the griefs of this life, of our mortality and the sufferings of our Lord... Lent is something that is new to me this giving up and doing without... I have always lived as a "Ressurection Christian", and that my faith was about abundance and not my sacrifice as much as His sacrifice... Both god the Father and Jesus son of the Father...
But I have a different veiw this year. As I enter this second week of partial vision I have laid it and the ensuing impediments that this brings on, on the altar as a sort of Lenten fast. I cannot read watch TV, or spend much time in the sun. I cant see the words that I am typing on the computer now and doing with out the daily reading of your blogs is a loss that I truly feel. I miss you like I miss my friends that are near by. I cannot work or certainly drive (heaven forbid!!!)and am not very useful here at home either. So the kitties and I sit around and listen to EWTN and CDs and I do write some in the morning.(Woody says that like my typing my handwriting is very good for a semi sighted person... Years of practice I suppose
But I have hope. The "Smokiness" this sort of visual sensation that I am living in a smokefilled bar is fading. I have less blurriness in my distance vision and I think in a few days it will be much improved. Over the next several months my vision will fluctuate and I dont know how that will affect my life, work and other things but its again a imposition that I can give to God... for this is a blessing of His that will surly bear good fruit in due season.