Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Better Use for the Excess?

BHO's campaign has raised and spent approximately 640 million dollars. Though receiving much less, John McCain's campaign and Hillary Clinton's run also raised a many millions. Most donations have reportedly come from individuals, but quite sadly, much of it has come from the very institutions that many of us working Americans have entrusted with our 401Ks, but that's another story.

But just think...what if that money had been used for the good of others instead of trying to influence our votes? What if it had been used to build shelters and pay for staff to take care of the homeless mentally ill instead? What if the Salvation Army received even a small portion? What if a few million were donated to treat severe illnesses in children? Or to seek better energy sources? Or to teach illiterate adults to read? What a waste!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Brrr . . .

It's getting cold here in the Upstate of South Carolina. Tonight the temp is expected to dip down close to freezing. I didn't need a weatherman to tell me. The wind has been loudly whipping around this afternoon forcing leaves off trees and bringing in increasingly cold air. Brrr... I cut some zinnias for one last bouquet and brought in a fern that has been hiding protectively behind a shrub. The cats feel the chilly change and want to curl up on my bed. I find myself craving soups and hot tea to warm first my hands and then the rest of me. Winter is on its way.

Autumn Leaf

October 27

The trip to Wilmington was not just about the deVane gathering. It just happened to coincide with what is becoming my annual pilgrimage to the Motherland, the place that feels more like home to me than any other place on Planet Earth. Sixty-six years ago today, two other young lovers married, the auburn haired beauty generations down the deVane bloodline was my mother. She always loved October and described it gloriously in her dramatic style, the rich colors, the crispness in the air. Through the years she claimed it never really got cold until after their anniversary. I took notice and agree. Yesterday we drove down to Wrightsville Beach via the lovely Airlie Road and hung out near where the old Lumina once loomed over the ocean, the place where the tall good looking Bob, newly arrived from the midwest, broke in on the Southern girl that June night on the dance floor. It was love at first sight, and four months later the handsome couple married, the day before my daddy went off to war. "No two people ever loved each other the way we did," Mother avowed forever. Two years ago on an October night, my mother died, her love for my daddy intact throughout their turbulent times. I think she would have liked it that her earthly life ended in her favorite month. Now we can trek to Wilmington and to her beloved Wrightsville Beach in remembrance. My mother would have loved the beach yesterday, the shimmering hues of blue in the ocean, the tans and grays of the sand, the soft breeze, and the parade of beautiful people passing by. It was at its best.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Orange Butterfly

Fluttering around the lantana at my aunt's Wilmington home were many of these pretty butterflies. I had to get a picture. The web says it is a gulf fritillary.

Land of the Longleaf Pine

"Here's to the land of the long leaf pine,
The summer land where the sun doth shine,
Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great,
Here's to 'Down Home,' the Old North State!
"Here's to the land of the cotton bloom white,
Where the scuppernong perfumes the breeze at night,
Where the soft southern moss and jessamine mate,
'Neath the murmuring pines of the Old North State!
"Here's to the land where the galax grows,
Where the rhododendron's rosette glows,
Where soars Mount Mitchell's summit great,
In the 'Land of the Sky,' in the Old North State!
"Here's to the land where maidens are fair,
Where friends are true and cold hearts rare,
The near land, the dear land whatever fate,
The blest land, the best land, the Old North State!"

The Official Toast of North Carolina

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Web of Family

Today was a reunion of deVanes, all being descendants of a Noble young Frenchman and his bride who voyaged to America about three hundred years ago. The legend of their journey from Scotland was one passed down through the generations; I had heard the revered story many times from my mother and grandmother. The most interesting part was how Marie the young wife managed to trick the ship's captain into thinking she was a boy. For some reason, she was unable to travel with her husband so she bound her breasts, disguised her womanhood, and posed as Thomas's page for the voyage. They arrived, settled, and prospered in New Hanover County in North Carolina. Today's reunion was held not many miles from where it all started, at Moore's Creek National Battlefield, a flat piece of sandy land with a few old live oaks and pines heavily draped with Spanish moss. It was a pleasant enough occasion for a group of people who mostly did not know each other and would never see each other again. A couple of attendees had computers set up with as much genealogical data as they could get but seeking more. Many brought scrapbooks or photographs to share. The main point of discussion was which lineage we were from, John or Thomas III, and were we of the Florida or the North Carolina deVanes. Pretty interesting how so many diverse people could trace their American roots back to one young couple who adventurously traveled from their home across the Atlantic to begin a new life in an unknown land. Noonish we had a Southern style buffet dinner followed by a speaker, a park ranger dressed in period blacksmith attire, and then a hike through the battlefield was offered for the interested and able. The damp gray morning had turned into a blue sky type of afternoon, but I sat it out anyway. (Really most girls just aren't that into battlefields.) Mostly I talked to my aunt and we caught up on what was going on in our family. But I enjoyed my hours there, the distantly related kin, the connection with a past era, and the reinforcement of half of my heritage.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

work, work, work

I am so thankful to be able to work but sometimes I wonder why I knock myself out doing it. At my age, one would think I would be ready to kick back and do my selective piddling. is always fun to get money put in my bank account and feel that I have earned it, but is that all? And it's rewarding for me to feel that I at least have the potential to make a small difference in someone else's life, and am part of working America, but is that it? Today I asked myself if I am addicted to the constant stimulation, the endless conversations, the puzzles of people's lives, and situations that may create laughter or bring tears to my eyes. I think, yes, that may just be the glue that holds it all together.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Taking it personally

I have been wondering how America funds all of its programs at home and across the world, from social security to the wars to compassion programs to expenses in unnecessary government agencies. America has less than five percent of the world's population yet is a - or the - superpower. Subtracting babies, children, the aged, the disabled and the unemployed, and the approximately 30% of the able who do not pay taxes, it is no wonder we are having problems. While it feels that we pay a lot of taxes, how could we come close to paying enough? If the US depends on me and 150 million others to foot the bill for all that is budgeted, financial chaos and ruin seem inevitable. I don't mean to be pessimistic, just logical. It is a big responsibility for us middle class taxpayers. ...duh

Friday, October 17, 2008


Along the path that went from the where the race started and ended to the bridge where the runners crossed Panther Creek were these tall pretty plants, some sort of weed, that were going to seed. I stopped to look at them and there was one ladybug hanging on to the rough coat. She didn't seem to mind that I was taking her picture.

Jacob's Cross Country Meet

Yesterday I went up the mountain to Tennessee to see Jacob, a ninth grader, compete in a high school meet at Panther Creek State Park. The leaves were changing, the weather was beautiful, and I was excited I was able to be there to watch my grandson run. He did fine, but he and the rest of his team were beaten by a better prepared Morristown West, the guys wearing maroon on the left. Jacob is in navy, near the adult, leaning over.

And here with his dad when it was over.

Seen on the back of T shirts at the meet

Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.

My legs will only take me so far. My heart will do the rest.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sound Familiar?

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
9. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
10 You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

William Boetcker, 1942

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obedient Plant

It has been close to twenty years ago that a nurse friend/co-worker brought me a bucket full of some plants that she warned might take over my yard. I planted them in the backyard of my Lexington house, and when we moved, brought some to this new house that we have now lived in for eleven years. They haven't taken over; in fact, due to my neglect, they barely survived. But since there has been enough rain this year, they are alive and even blooming. When they truly thrive, they are really beautiful fall blooming perennials. I would be honored for the obedient plant to take over.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Moon and Sun in the Afternoon

Driving out of downtown Greenville about 6:45 pm today, I saw an eerie sight. It was daylight and the sky was blue with wispy white clouds. There in full view through my front window was a big white disc, the same color as the clouds, hanging like a pendant against a soft light blue angora sweater. At first I wondered...what is that? Has the sun turned white? But no...the sun was behind me, glaring in my rear view mirror. Then I saw that the disc bore the faint unmistakable markings of what my daddy called the rabbit in the moon. I watched it during my twenty-five minute drive hoping I could get a picture after I reached the house - as if I expected the ever changing sky to keep still. By the time I got home and located my camera, the darker colors of evening were swiftly setting in and the moon was - though full and beautiful - looking like its ordinary self and reflecting light. I checked it out on line and learned this sort of celestial happening is not common. Pretty cool...


Lately I have been really getting into crossword puzzles. Maybe it is just that time of life where I don't have much pressure, or else it is a way of sticking my head in the sand. At night I have been challenging myself with the ones saved from many old Sunday papers that have been folded and patiently awaiting my pen. Looking back, I remember how my grandmother anticipated the time when she finished her morning duties and could sit down with the puzzle page of the daily newspaper. She could whip right through the cryptoquote, but was more pensive about the crossword puzzle, eventually solving it. I can see my young daddy now, sitting on the couch on Sunday afternoon, his long legs crossed and glasses on his head, studying the clues. Sometimes he would engage me with a question about a French word. I loved to sit close beside him and watch him think. He always wrote big capital letters in the squares so I learned to do the same. Years ago when I was at work and feeling frustrated about something that I quickly forgot, I picked up the paper, saw the crossword puzzle and with astonishment, found that I could focus on it and tune out the irritation. Prior to that moment of enlightenment, there was nothing my poor ADDled brain could focus on with such intensity. I am sure the fact that I can focus on the task of completing them is one attraction, but I also like it that I am following in the foorsteps of my predecessors who loved me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Today's Thoughts

Today we saw An American Carol and I thought it was very good. I laughed from the beginning and also teared up at times, surprised at the patriotism it inspired in me. The liberals won't like it and may find it offensive, just as I find offensive the types of "entertainment" that denigrate morality, promote sorcery, and abuse the name of God.

Even more clear cut evidence about the direct line between A CORN and B O and the recent financial nosedive and chaos - some might call it "change" - is hitting the news, some media outlets more than others of course. At least we now know what he did as a community organizer. A CORN, which B O has worked with most of his adult life, has been guilty of the most massive organized voter fraud in American history, but oh, there is so much more. Thanks to conservative bloggers out there trying to get the truth out, I learned that A CORN is "undisguised authoritarian socialism" that seeks to destroy America from the inside. Here is one web site that explains it. I wish I were able to condense the info. One thing I know is that everything about BO stinks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Can you smell it?

A sweetly scented gardenia.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Side Effect of Nursing

In a nursing article, one of the problems mentioned was "high body mass index" of many nurses. A funny, politically correct way to say that many of us are bigger than we need to be! But it is true. Sometimes this is attributed to overeating from stress, but I think it also because of the constant supply of energy that we need via a steady blood sugar level. We need to maintain the mental alertness and physical strength to get up and go whenever the need arises. And besides, it seems there is always some sort of food around, and I am not talking carrot sticks. So yes... maybe being overweight - or dare I say fat - is an occupational hazard. I guess I should warn my students.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Healthy Ions

Tonight as I read my emails and type, I hear an occasional rumble in the sky along with the sweet relaxing sound of falling rain. Earlier today I was reading about the positive and negative ions in the air, how positive ions can cause irritability, depression, headaches, respiratory problems, and so on, and how negative ions can improve our mental and physical health. Pretty interesting I thought. That may explain why sometimes a group of people will all be feeling the same way, grumpy or sleepy or dopey or...what were the names of those other dwarfs? Other times the same group can be having a happy time together. Maybe we were all being affected by the ionization in the air. "They said" that negative ions (and therefore the feel good things they do) are more plentiful at the beach or near waterfalls or after a rainstorm, such as the one tonight. As I fall asleep tonight to the classic sound of rain, I now know that I will also be exposed to healthy properties in the air.

Now I see it...

I have wondered why any American would even consider BO for the highest office in the land. Now I am beginning to see. Except for those dumbo sized ears and false look of concern, visually he is a bland stick figure in a suit. He is glib and has been described as cool. However that level of cool is what a sociopath (antisocial personality disorder) looks like, and believe me, it is not an admirable trait. His rhetoric, his speeches are basically empty, vague and without substance. Therefore he is blank enough for people, especially the superficial and the lazy, to project onto him what they like. They can superimpose their beliefs or hopes onto this individual who desires to "change" them into a fairy princess and their world into a utopia. It is a bit like a shared delusion. Kind of a sad time for America.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bring it on...

Last night when I came home from work, I turned on Fox News to see if I had missed any newsworthy event while I was at work. And I had! I was thrilled to see a one hour report on Barry Hussein Obama's close connections with people who despise America. I hope some of the other networks will have the guts to do the same. From birth...a radical mother who embraced fascism. I ask...Why did she have a child with an Arab Kenyan? Why did she not prioritize raising her son? Why did she choose the Indonesian husband over him? Children with this sort of rejection and abandonment often develop anger, and his anger no doubt became hatred toward whites, and Jews, and even blacks. There is too much at stake in America to leave any question unanswered, to have any part of his life off limits.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Debate Comments

Thoughts on last night's debate:

Sarah Palin treated Biden with respect. During the presidential debate, BO was not respectful of McCain.

Sarah Palin's sunny outlook was refreshing.

After the debate, some web bites were basically saying, See Biden cry. Shame on them.

The moderator tried to hide her bias but still should not have been allowed to moderate.

Biden kept talking about what he and BO had voted for. Hellooo...your running mate hasn't been around that long.

Biden said that Cheney was the most dangerous vice president ever. News flash!! BO is the most dangerous to America presidential candidate...ever. For real.

I was glad they both stood by the traditional definition of marriage.

Why did Biden keep grinning at Sarah?

Sarah is woman enough not to get offended when the moderator called her "Dear."

I was glad to have energy addressed as much as it was. It is terrible that so much of our money is being siphoned out to countries that hate us.

Maybe Sarah ought to check the pronunciation of nuclear.

To believe that mankind is solely responsible for changing the weather, warming the climate is arrogant, presumptuous, and delusional.

The political process is complicated, and people in those important positions really need to know what they are doing.

You go girl!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


There has not been enough time for me to pull away from my duties and focus on writing a post for my blog. Let me first say that I am quite thankful to have a job and especially doing something I like. I am also thankful for the roof over my head that the job provides. But topics to ponder or expound on have quickly fluttered in and out of my brain and now I wonder what they were. Looking back over the past few days, I know that our country's elected officials have been of concern to me and to most of us Americans. I feel like a big searchlight is on and many are like roaches who are scurrying out of its glare. The poop has hit the fan. Their jobs are service jobs, just like mine, but mine is not a free ride into wealth. I must not only show up every time I am supposed to, but I also must actually do the work I am paid to do. I expect - now I see I have been unrealistic - for the elected officials to do the same. I do not bite the hand that feeds me and I would hope the politicians, and I say that with a certain amount of disdain, would do the same. I want them to be trustworthy and knowledgeable and have the country's best interests at heart. I want them to be at least as good at their elected jobs as I am at mine. Let me say here that I believe SC Senator DeMint is doing a fine job because he is still a moral person. I am a part of the great middle class, a good citizen, a taxpayer, and I am beginning to resent the belittling comments that some politicians are rendering against us that show they clearly do not understand us. They have been away from home too long and their free ride clearly neeeds to be one to take them back.