Sunday, May 29, 2011

dream on...

How wonderful it would be to be at the beach, under a sunny watercolor sky, a colorful beach umbrella, the sounds of the rolling waves, the expanse of ocean, the laughter of children, the squawks of sea gulls...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Town

On this beautiful day, I had to take my MacBook to the iStore downtown. I took the long way to get there, driving the length of Main Street in stop and go traffic because I wanted to. Downtown Greenville is so lively, a happening place, and there is always something going on. This weekend the city is hosting a cycling competition. I left my computer with the competent young guys in the store so they could do a minor repair and walked toward the bridge to hang around. On the corner were three high school boys sitting on a bench with a poster that read "Free Conversation." How cute is that! I can't think of anything I really don't like about Greenville.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Opinion from the front line

Over the years, I have had to answer many phone calls from people in desperation. It is part of my life work. Among the troubles I have heard, I'll bet half are related to prescription drug dependency, especially Lortab. This medication is liberally given by all medical practitioners, and I often think if they knew the dark side of that white tablet, they would think twice before writing the prescription. Before I go too far into its evils, I will say that not everyone who uses them become addicted. Some people can take them successfully. And once a patient explained to me that they are cheap - that is if bought at a drug store and not on the streets - and that they help with mood as well as pain. Unless first taken recreationally most folks have their first experience with opioids, compliments of a doctor, after a medical procedure that causes some pain. From there it doesn't take long for some people to get hooked. The search for more and more "pain pills" can turn their lives into an out of control madness. Then they call us at that desperate place asking for help in the form of detox. From my vantage point, I think it would be nice if the manufacturers and "pushers" of these drugs could have a fund from their profits that would treat people who get addicted. Wouldn't that be the responsible thing to do? Why wash their hands of it all? It isn't all about pain. Consequences must be considered. These are dangerous, life destroying drugs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Easy Summer Meal

At ten o'clock this morning, I had done all my kitchen duties for the day. I knew it was going to be a hot one, and I planned ahead by making a pasta salad for supper. The first I heard of them was probably in the late sixties when we basically substituted cold cooked macaroni in what would have otherwise been a potato salad. Now it can be a full meal with our protein of choice, an assortment of vegetables, and enough of a tasty binder to keep it loosely together. Whatever we like. For today's version I mixed some tuna, on hand raw cut up veggies (broccoli, celery, red onion, red pepper, sliced mushrooms, finely grated carrots for sweetness and color), sun dried tomatoes, frozen tiny peas, grated parmesan, Italian seasoning and salt. For the dressing ingredients I added lemon juice and apple cider vinegar (because it is good for us), olive oil, and mayo. You can keep it simple and use a bottled dressing. Then I stirred in some cooked (and cooled a little) bow tie pasta. I love a good cold pasta salad.

Monday, May 23, 2011

In the long run...

My next door neighbor and I were discussing our high school reunions that will be coming up soon, fifty years for each of us. He is from California and I am, of course, from the opposite coast. Day by day, a lot can happen in fifty years. And who at the age of seventeen ever thinks they can live to see fifty years into the future! We talked about how the perception of success has changed over the years, each reunion year perhaps looking at it in a different light. When we were young, enough money for a nice home and beautiful children were certainly measures of success. Then maybe a high paying career or recognition for achievements noted success. Now, with sixteen percent of his class already deceased which he says is the national average, and people underwater with mortgages and having to live with family members, my average neighbor says he now can say he is successful. He is still intact and standing! My side of the US has certainly fared better, but like most of us I have had many challenges. Most of the time, I was able to come out of them still standing, also. Each one of us can at least take that good successful feeling to our respective class reunions.

Friday, May 20, 2011

An Interesting Guess

Tomorrow could be a really big day according to a fellow in California who by studying time and numbers in the Bible has arrived at an interesting conclusion. I'm not sure if he is calling it Judgment Day, the day of the rapture, or the end of the world, but by tomorrow this time, we should know if he is right. I prefer to go with what Jesus actually said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." (Matt 24:36) Nevertheless his prophecy is getting a lot of press, and maybe that is good as it will cause people to think. One thing we do know is that in time, all of those events will happen. Even so Lord quickly come.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Really Weird Cloud

What does it look like? The aol guy? A man running? A bear?

Friday, May 13, 2011


My childhood friend here in Wilmington has a back yard that is on water, maybe it is an inlet of the intracoastal waterway. It attracts a lot of birds, but her favorites are a pair of swans who paddle by frequently, often bringing their new babies (cygnets) with them. But swans are territorial, she says, and today they were miffed because another swan couple was in the waters, having already received their snacks from my friend. The lifted up and ruffled feathers of the favorite pair - as in this picture - shows their discontent.

A dying breed

So far so good on this my second and final night in Wilmington. When I heard how sick my uncle Marty was, I really wanted to come see him. After all, at the age of ninety five and a half, there aren't that many years left. But after having his diseased gall badder removed the old fashioned way that is considered major surgery, surviving a large loss of blood and post op cardiac problems, I am thinking he may make it. He has done remarkably well. What a kind and thoughtful man he is, too. The nurse said he responded to her questions with something like "If it is not an inconvenience" and even in his weakened state shows concern for other people. Today he left ICU and was transferred to a floor bed. My cousins and I saw that he made the transition successfully, was kept warm, drank some water, got his glaucoma drops ordered, and when we left, he was lying quietly with a smile on his face. We also had to tell the staff that he will not complain. In difficult situations, we see the true character of a person.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wisdom from Mother

A Happy Mother's Day to all of us Mothers. It may have been started for commercial reasons, but since it is the most important job in the world, why not have a day that recognizes it.

I think the best thing my mother gave me was the frequent reminder to have fun. While other mothers were giving their daughters rules on how to conduct themselves on dates and when to be home, mine sent me off with a wave and the words, "Just have fun!" Since she had raised me right, she knew there was no need for any last minute advice. Through the years, the admonition has served me well, and I think I have found more fun in life than people who had stern or serious parents.

When going through a troubling time, Mother often said, “This too shall pass,” therefore I learned to think the same way. The little saying helps me keep things in perspective, because after all, nothing lasts forever, neither the good nor the bad.

She sometimes quoted, “I complained that I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” It is a reminder that things could always get worse and to deal with what I have.

Mother believed that we should always have something to look forward to, and I have learned that if I do, it really makes a difference in my attitude !

Thank you, Mother, for your legacy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Picking Strawberries


There was a big field of them on a highway and I stopped to take a peek and a pic.On closer look we can see how one has unfolded from the bud as if it is made of a fine paper. Inside we see the beautiful symmetry of the pistils and stamen.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's not that social

Those cute, harmless, little lower case letters, t and f, leapt into global cyberspace this century and rocked our world. And frankly I am wondering where social ends and intrusion begins. Yesterday I was looking up a hotel on the web site Trip Advisor, and up pops the face of one of my “friends,” a co-worker I rarely see. “Amy has been here. Ask Amy about____.” Facebook has its good points but I find it just a little too creepy. Way too much personal info is out there. And twitter? “Follow us on twitter!” everyone is asked to do by various media sources. Why, I ask. It is getting to be a bit overstimulating.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


A beautiful flower.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Psalms

I am hoping to pick up more biblical knowledge and insight before my trip to Jerusalem in November so I have been reading through the Holy Book. Right now I am stuck in Psalms and don’t want to leave. It is such a wonderful collection of expressions of human experiences and emotions. David and the others wrote about desperation and distress, thanksgiving and praise, fear and hope, pleadings and gratitude, comfort and deliverance, pain and joy, heartbreak and repentance, strength and weakness, estrangement and redemption. No wonder it is suggested reading to people who are hurting.

In Psalm 73: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 139 with its phrases such as “You formed my inward parts. You wove me together in my mother’s womb” is especially awesome. I am going to have to revisit this book later if I am going to achieve my goal.