Sunday, January 30, 2005

Don't Take It Personally

This morning I spent a couple of hours at the club.  Started out on various machines for the first hour, then headed over to the pool.  Ahhhhhh.  I had it all to myself for 25 minutes.  Perfect.  Sat in the cuzzi for another five, then headed over to the locker room for a quick shower.

There was something about the women's locker room that brought to my mind the memory of the first vacation I ever took with Sam, Amy and Kari.  It was, without a doubt, the vacation from hell.  Sam wanted to take me to Canada because I had never been that far north.  Amy and Kari, who were 14 and 12 at the time, were not keen on the idea.  Canada was the place they always went as a family, when their Mom was alive.  They protested every day before we left and throughout the trip.

  Sam & Kari at Lake Louise Camp Ground, July 1992

We traveled in Sam's Dodge pick-up and 8' camper; Sam and I in the cab and the girls in the camper.  We left at 6 am on a Saturday and by the time we reached Lake Louise on Tuesday afternoon, the trip had already gone sour.  I found five "I hate Dona" notes left in various places in the camper.  Every day, Amy and Kari complained about how the trip was gay and what a stupid idea it was...blah, blah, blah.  They wouldn't even try to have a good time.  The camper had a toilet, but not a shower.  The campground at Lake Louise had toilets but no showers.  We asked around and learned a local grocery store within walking distance had public showers.  So we grabbed our stuff and headed over.  On the way Kari and I played a game of kick the stone as we walked along the asphalt trail (Kari was the author of those notes).

Amy, Kari & Sam.  Lake Louise in background upper right.

We arrive at the store and are told the public showers are downstairs.  Sam heads off in one direction (lucky dog!), the girls and I in the opposite.  I'm thinking to myself, God help me, as Amy bitches about the location of the store, having to walk, the lack of showers at the campground and why don't we have one in our camper?  Can it get any worse?  We reach the bottom of the stairs and as the public showers come into view, I start laughing.  Yeah,it justgot worse.  I turn to Amy and Kari; Amy's eyes are as wide as saucer's and her jaw is now on the floor.  Kari is unphased (at 12, she's too young to understand).  "Well I'm NOT taking a shower in there!" Amy announces as she stomps back up the stairs (at 14 she's at that age...the 'developing' age).  Remember the showers in high know, the really private ones?  When the sign said 'Public' it meant public, not private.  No doors, no stalls, not even a vinyl curtain; just two tiled walls lined with shower heads on both sides.  This is not what I had in mind to ease the tension between the girls and I.  Oh, lets just get everything out in the open, what the hell!

Lake Louise, Canada

Now, I don't know where Amy thinks she's going to take a shower, and I know she really wants one because the entire walk over that's all she talked about.  How dirty and grungy and filthy she felt, and how wonderful a shower will be.  I'm not all that thrilled about taking a shower in plain view of two adolescent girls...who already hate me, but what choice do I have?  I've gone two days without a shower and I am ready.  I grab a locker and Kari follows my lead, then we head over to the shower area.  We take the two showers nearest the door and about the time I'm wondering if the world is going to change just for Amy, she shows up at the bottom of the stairs.  She's pissed, I can tell.  Nope, the world didn't change.  Over the spray of water I can hear her ranting and raving about what a stupid town this is.  Oh well, I think as I turn my back to her.  This is a 'take it or leave it' situation.  Amy disappears, then returns with a towel wrapped around her and walks past Kari and I, still complaining.  She walks to the farthest end and turns on the shower.  Clearly, she's not too keen on being seen naked by least she and I agree on that.

We finished showering, dried our hair, and got dressed in silence.  All the while I'm thinking to myself what an earfull Sam is about to get.  True to her nature, Amy picks up the bitching session the second she sees her father at the top of the stairs.  As she carries on, I start walking just a little bit slower with each step.  Kari picks right up on my motive and hangs back with me.  We reached the asphalt path that will lead us back to the campground, and we start another game of kick the stone.  Amy's mouth hasn't slowed down, or stopped for a breather, and every once in a while Sam turns his head to look back at me.  And he gives me that "Help me" look.  When he does, I tilt my head to one side and smile at him.  Sorry, but I've already heard it and I had to shower with it's your turn.

The best advice I ever received are four little words I read in Cosmo a few weeks after the trip.  Don't take it personally.  It's not you, it's the situation.  Once I read those words, everything clicked in my mind.  It didn't matter whether I was a terrific person, it didn't matter what I did or said.  They would hate me.  But I always knew that someday Amy and Kari would grow up and become adults.  Someday they will both realize it wasn't me, it wasn't them, it wasn't anything we did or said.  It was just the situation we found ourselves in. 

I was right.  But that's another story.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

So Tell Me...

You've just found out your life will be made into a movie.  You get to pick the music for the closing credits.  What song will be playing?

Please use the comments function to give me you answer!!!  (Storm, what can I say?  You inspired me!)

I'll kick it off.  Roll With The Changes by REO Speedwagon (it fits, to a T)


Spring Has Sprung?

Taking ground view pics of snowdrops is a bit of a challenge.


Okay, so I walk outside this morning to start the Jeep, and the snowdrops have already popped up!!!!  NO!   Not yet, it's too early.  I love snowdrops, but if they come up now, they will be dead and gone by the time the crocuses come out.  This weather has everything all messed up.  

Found this in my gardener's journal tonight...I just had to add it.

Spent the morning at the office, rearranging part of it and finding the right layout.  Got the desk moved, and then measured everything and mapped out the windows, doors, and outlets.  Tonight I'll play with the layout using furniture cut-outs made of card stock before we start moving all the really heavy stuff.

And what goes around, comes around.  Got home and found a note from the Police Department hanging from the door knob.  Seems the neighbs are getting even with us for all those years their dogs barked non-stop, at all hours of the day and night.  I know Rum and Allie will bark if there are people walking around in the yard, and the other neighbs let their dogs run loose (all the time), and so naturally Rum and Allie bark at them.  But there is a huge difference between having to listen to outdoor dogs barking all day and all night, and listening to indoor dogs that occasionally bark when they go outside for a couple of hours.  Thing is, we never called the cops; we talked directly to our neighbs and asked them to do something about it during the know, when most people are trying to sleep.  Nothing happened, until the dogs died of natural causes.

Note from Police Department reads "Animal Violation - Complaint of dogs barking constantly & disturbing the neighbors.  Neighbors are extremely upset and would like the matter taken care of."  Hmmm, constantly as in day and night?  Maybe I'll take Robin's suggestion and bake them some cookies laced with Exlax.  That ought to take care of "the matter"!!!! 

Friday, January 28, 2005

Good Vibrations

Clearwater River, shrouded in fog, on my way to the office. (c) 2005 Dona L. Cox 

The day started off like any other, and pretty much stayed that way.  Except maybe for the fog.  Had the entire upstairs all to myself, all day.  David, the Port Manager, is rarely in the office these days.  And if I was worried about playing my music too loud, well, that should not be a problem.  David, it seems, likes his music loud...the other day the walls were vibrating!!!  Don't know what I was worried about.  I'm still keeping my fingers crossed to keep my office upstairs.  I really enjoy the quiet, even though I'm so far removed from the rest of the staff.  After spending six years in the reception area and hearing everything everyone said, I'm just not missing it.

I think the cloud in this photo looks like an angel, turned away, with its knees drawn up. (c) 2005 Dona L. Cox

Kari no longer works at the local animal shelter, she enrolled in college this semester...which she has done before; however, this time she's older, wiser, and now realizes Amy and I are right about getting an education.  Not just a piece of paper, but an education.  The real deal.  The DJs at KATW must really miss her.  Every time the new gal comes in, somehow Kari's name gets brought into the conversation.  I miss not hearing Kari every Thursday morning, even though she did stop by the station a couple of weeks ago.  The guys really got a kick out of that.  And at home, at times it seems strangely quiet in this house, most days I expect to hear either Amy or Kari walk through the front door.  But, they have their own lives now.   


where the angel cloud came from.  Love the sky, but all the wires really mess up the shot.  19th Avenue at dusk, heading west toward Clarkston (c) 2005 Dona L. Cox

We go out to dinner every Friday night, and tonight I saw Angela, the daughter of my old pool shooting partner, Diane.  She always recognizes me, flashes me a huge smile and waves.  She works at a local restaurant, following in the footsteps of her mother it seems.  Everytime I see her, I think about her and her twin Danielle as toddlers with their red hair, plaid shirts and blue overalls.  God they were so cute at that age!!!  Seems like just yesterday I was helping Diane with feeding, diapers, and just holding them when they were newborns.  Now the twins are 25, Kari's age.

Oh brother, I'm tripping down memory lane again!!!!


Graphics by Mary Englebreit

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Just Another Day

Woke up at 6:10 a.m. with Allie laying across my feet.  I can hear Sam in the shower.  Walk upstairs to the kitchen and fix a cup of coffee, then checked my e-mail message.  Found Ashley's Africa journal (see below).  Read it and left a comment; then added a link from my journal to her's.  Sam left for work at 6:25 a.m. and I got ready for work.  Arrived at the office a few minutes before 8:00 and worked on various projects through the morning.
At lunch I drove to Sherwin Williams to order the Tuscany wallpaper for the kitchen, but the sample book has been checked out and won't be returned until February 2.  We need the book to determine how much paper to order because of the 21" repeat in the pattern.  In the mean time I can start removing the "current"'s amost 20 years old.  
Ate lunch at Dairy Queen--the Ultimate Burger meal--was definitely not ultimate.  Someday I'm going to learn to stick with salads and wraps.  Back to work for a 1:00 meeting with Chris K from Orofino to get the paperwork started to close-out one of the grants.  I really try to give everyone a fair shake, but Chris K has stomped on common courtesy too many times, so the meeting between us was tense.  She's been with us just under two years and it's her way, or the highway.  Makes me wonder how in the world I ever got along for seven years without her.  How did I do it?
The afternoon dragged by and I left a little early.  Came home, neither Sam nor I are really hungry tonight, so we just had salads.  Seeing Ashley's journal reminded me that I've been wanting to scan the photos I took at the Judds concert in 1988.  So I got that done tonight and uploaded the pics to Webshots.
And now it's time for a nice hot bubble bath.

~~Find the gift of life in everyday.~~

A Journey of Hope

Today will be a good day.  This morning I logged on to check something, and found my favorite actress keeps a journal on-line, right here at AOL.  So now, I'm off to finish reading it.  Ashley Judds journal.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

It's Sad Isn't It?

Not nearly as funny as some of the other's in the gallery, but hey, what can I say?

Kelly pointed me to this fun website.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Good night, Johnny

You made me laugh, always.  I grew up with you in my living room, every single week night.  As a young child, I remember hearing your show in the living room as I lay in my bed, and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to stay up late so I could watch your show.  It was the laughter, you always made people laugh.  I wanted to know what you did, how you did it, and why.

I have so many fond memories of time spent with my family, with my Mom, with my Dad, because of you.  You brought people together.  You made us laugh.  Each night you helped us forget our troubles and our cares.  No one but you could get away with poking fun at the President every single night.  Your sense of humor, timing, talent, and adventure are unrivaled...untouched.

You will be greatly missed.  

Oh Boy...I've Got A Live One

A response to wangfuzhong2:

I checked your profile and see that you are an English professor.  Good.  Then you should fully understand what I am about to say.

In college my English Comp 103 & 104 professor utilized a rather fun approach to creative writing.  Each student sat at a computer, and at her word we began to write...about anything.  Grammer, punctuation, syntax didn't matter.  The purpose of the exercise was to stimulate our creative juices and just write.  We had five minutes, after which, we stopped and moved to the computer to our left.  She gave us a few minutes to read the prior person's words, then at her command, we had to pick up the other person's thoughts and run with it.  Whether we liked, understood, believed or even cared about the subject, she just wanted us to write about that same topic.  It was an excellent exercise to overcome blocks and allow us develop a broader sense of our own writing ability.  To stretch our imagination, and explore our own untapped writing potential.  An exercise to help us learn, about our world and our selves, as a group and individuals.  The exercise lasted the entire class, and she participated as well.

Those days in class were always my favorite, for many reasons.  And I miss that exercise.  Every now and then, someone else's words here in journal land will inspire me to write.  To pick up where they left off, to take the topic and run with it in my own words.  Just as I did back then.  I am a writer.  I write.

And so it would seem, that you too, have just become a part of the exercise.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Comment Added
A comment has been posted to the Journal:
Blue Skies...Gentle Breezes...and Storms
It's Like A Curse
Comment from: wangfuzhong2

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Thank You

To Robin, Gera, Kelly, Gaye...thank you for your thoughts. 

I spent the day with my aunt.  She is okay.  She is surrounded by her children and grandchildren.  People she loves are with her to help her through this.  No one has heard from Eddie's wife, so we don't know whether there will be a memorial service yet. 

Last night I received very sad news from my Aunt Joan.  I hung up the phone and thought about what she said.  I went downstairs to tell Sam, but he was asleep.  I called my sister, Chris, but she was asleep, so I spoke to my brother-in-law for a while.  I wrote an entry...then changed my mind and cancelled it

Sometimes it is easy to sort things out, to seek, to understand.  But try as I may, I can not understand this.  Yesterday morning, my Uncle Eddie, shot himself.  Recently diagnosed with cancer, he told only his wife, then ended his life.  Twenty years ago, his son hung himself.  Eighteen years ago, his daughter died from a drug overdose.  This is my mother's family.  This is my family.

Is it a weakness or strength that enables a person to put a gun to his head, or a rope around his neck, and then make that last move?

The news didn't hit me until about an hour ago.  I was going to comment in a friend's journal about the Bible and Rolling Stone, but needed my glasses.  My reading glasses were downstairs on my nightstand.  I walked down to get them, picked them up and it hit me.

I've never been close to Uncle Ed, or his children.  My memories of him are scattered and faint.  What I know of him is through my mother's childhood stories, and my Aunt Joan.  There were times he just disappeared for years, no one knew where he was, or when he'd be back.  Or why he left.  Eddie was always something of an enigma, the black sheep of the family.

Edward Lewis (9/11/1938 - 1/22/2005)

This is not the way to start a new year.  The last time a new year started this way was 1997, the year I turned 40.  It started with my maternal grandmother's funeral in January, and ended with my father's funeral in December.

However, in every cloud there is a silver lining and unlike 1997, this year is different because I now have positive influences in my life, providing needed balance.  For that, I am eternally grateful.  

Saturday, January 22, 2005

She's a Grand Ol' Flag

Torn and tattered, the days of service for this flag are over.  We must have had a nasty wind storm Tuesday night, because on Wednesday morning when I walked outside the flag pole was bent at a 90 degree angle and our flag was touching the ground.  I was running late for work, but that didn't matter.  The thought of just leaving it never entered my mind, I couldn't bear it.  I had to take the flag down.  At first the pole wouldn't budge, and I struggled with it.  I tried the slip knot on the halyard, with no luck.  Minutes later, after several rather unfeminine grunts, I got the pole loose and brought the flag inside.

This morning I folded the flag...hopefully the correct way.  It's been too many years since I was a Girl Scout and learned flag folding.  Later today, I'll take this flag to the local VFW for a proper disposal.

This flag has flown on the front of our home since the attacks on 9/11.  I already have replacement flag, but I need to replace the pole as well before the colors can fly again.  In a way, I feel kind of...melancholy, not quite sad.  Before today I never realized how the colors affected me. 

Now I do. 

Friday, January 21, 2005

I Feel Fine

Things are getting better. 

I knew there was a lesson in everything that happened the past two days.  This morning I realized that I need an outlet to release the stress.  I have worked myself into a position of intense responsibility and with that responsibility, comes stress.  The stress is not going to go away, and I need to find a more effective way to deal with it.  Coming home at night and sitting in front of the tv is not working for works for Sam, but not me.  Even the occasional glass of wine is not the solution.  I need to channel all that energy in a positive way, or I will explode. Thank you Gaye...your yoga idea brought needed clarity.  So, this morning I started a membership at a local athletic club.  It's a full-service club, with spinning, aerobics, everything...including a pool (YEAH!).  And for opening my account, I got a coupon for a massage; I am definitely using that...soon.  I have never had a massage.  Should be a real treat.   Yeah, that's the ticket...pamper myself.  More bubble baths, more manicures, more fresh flowers.  I need more softness and beauty in my life.

I guess it all boils down to of my many faults was staring me in the face, and I just didn't see it.  Fact is, I don't do enough for myself; hell, I rarely do anything for myself.  For what ever reason, I am always doing something for someone else, always thinking of some one else's needs, always helping some one else with their problem.  But I don't ask for anything, and I don't expect anything in return.  I give, unconditionally.  That has been going on for a very, very, very long time.  As a result, my emotional bank account ran dry while I was still writing checks (it's the accountant in me, and this analogy really says it all).  And, I'm not honest with myself.  I tell people I'm fine, when I'm really not.


So, I decided enough is enough. Things are going to change right now.  One step at a time, one day at a time.  No more masks, no more facades, no more minimizing my feelings for the sake of another person's.  For me it is a question of seeking the right balance...the balance between my feminine instinct to nurture and this driving passion I have to always be the best I can be.  To always please.   I can no longer neglect my self (see Robin...I'm great at giving advice to others, but I don't even listen to my self).  You just helped me see one of my other problems.  I need to take my own advice. 

I now have an assistant to help me at work.  I've needed one for at least five years, but budgetary concerns prevented me from taking action.  My boss, on the other hand, told me not to worry about the budget.  "We will make it work," she said, "because you need the help."  Can't argue with that kind of logic, or support.  It will take some time to train him, but he's already proven he is up to the task.  What a relief.

Oh man!  Whew...that felt GREAT!

Thursday, January 20, 2005


It was bound to happen sooner or later, and today was the day.  I had a work.  The worse possible place at the worse possible time.  It started yesterday and just spiraled downwards from there.  Thoughts of quitting entered my mind a couple of times...just walking out and saying 'Screw it...I don't deserve this and I certainly don't need it!'   But they are just thoughts.  Not my actions.

It was while I was talking to my boss, trying to sort everything out, that I broke down.  She said, "I know you are feeling under-valued right now,"...her words must have struck a chord.  For a few moments I lost my grip.  I know what my problem is, I feel I can't depend on anyone, because they usually let me down.  The times I have reached out, I met disappointment, so I stopped reaching.  I became an island.  I became flexible in a rigid world.  And now my emotions, my body, my mind, my psyche are paying the price.

So, I'm taking tomorrow off.  To mend, to heal, to reflect.  To unbend.   

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

From One Extreme...

Currently in Lewiston


54°F Fair Feels Like

We're having a heat wave!  Talk about strange.  Three days ago the hi was 25 degrees and it snowed, today it was up to 58 degrees.  What's up with that?  Sure, it's great to walk around without the heavy coat, but with the snowpack in the mountains, and this 'heat''s got all the makings for some serious flooding if the temps don't drop back down to the low 30s...soon.

Well, just checked the 10 day forecast and it doesn't look good.  Rain, rain, and more rain.  Temps in the high 40s and mid 50s. 

That's all we need...more floods.  We just got all the projects from the 1996 floods wrapped up and closed out.  That was a 100 year flood...geologists say its highly unlikely to have two 100 year events within a ten year period, but it's not impossible. 

Hope this is one time the weather person is wrong.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Kids and Dogs

A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift.




A friend is someone we treasure, for our friendship is a gift.



A friend is someone who fills our lives with beauty, joy, and grace



And makes the world we live in a better and happier place.




There is a miracle called friendship, that dwells in the heart. You do not know how it happens or when it gets it's start.



But you know the special lift it always brings. You realize that friendship is God's most precious gift!




Remember, everyone needs a friend, someday you might feel like you have NO FRIENDS at all, just remember this message and take comfort in knowing somebody out there cares about you and always will...


The Devil Made Me Do It

Would you pull over someone with this plate?



Church Bloopers..if you ever needed evidence of how important it is to proofread, then here ya go...

1. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

2. The Lutheran Men's group will meet at 6 PM. Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert will be served for a nominal feel.

3. The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

4. Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

5. The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."

6. A songfest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.

7. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

8. The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The Congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

9. Thursday night Potluck Supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

10. The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Adams.

11. Tuesday at 4 PM there will be an ice cream social.  All ladies giving milk will please come early.

12. The Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

13. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

14. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

15. Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

16. Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan who are preparing for the girth of their first child.

17. Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10.  All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

18. The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours."

19. Our next song is "Angels We Have Heard Get High."

20. Don't let worry kill you, let the church help.

21. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

22. This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

23. The service will close with Little Drops of Water. One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

24. Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

25. The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.


BONUS: Remember, if you pass gas in Church you must sit in your own pew.

It's a Beautiful Morning...

This is one reason why I drag my butt out of bed at 6:30 in the morning.

Except now I've got this hankering for cotton candy...or orange sherbet.

Kinda sappy, huh?

No, it's just the beginning of a special day...

  mlk2.gif - 1.9 Kmlkdrm2.gif - 3.2 K

Graphics by

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Baby It's Cold Outside

 Backyard from deck, looking west.

It snowed again, last night and this morning.  Just a light dusting, but it's been trying all week to dump something on us.  Mother Nature wasn't in an artsy-crafty mood this time, the flakes were just boring little icy patterns and not pretty.  Oh well, maybe next time.  And it is cold...26 degrees currently.  I can see two rose bushes have suffered from the cold so far.  They are the two I planted two summer's ago and it doesn't look like they will make it till spring.


But this is nothing compared to what hit Indiana a couple of weeks ago.  How are things going in your area, Cat?  Has the winter weather improved?

Flower graphics by Pat's Web Graphics 

Fashion and Drugs for Men

Best laugh of the day!!!   <--- You have to check this out!!!!   Especially the comment from bosoxblue6993w!!! OMG I'm in tears!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Alone Again...Naturally

Sam left a few hours ago on a business trip.  Tonight he drives to Spokane and leaves tomorrow morning for sunny Florida.  He's attending what is called TAPPI training.  Last time he went, in January 1999, he took me with him.  That year the training was held in Orlando, and I finally got to realize my life long dream to going to Walt Disney World.  We flew over a day early, and spent Sunday touring the Kennedy Space Center.  It was amazing and fun.  But the real fun for me started on Tuesday when I purchased a four day park hopper pass and spent the next three days at the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney's MGM parks.  I went alone, but I really had a blast.  It was definitely better than spending those days either at the hotel watching tv or shopping.  I can shop anywhere...but to be in Orlando, so close to WDW...I had to go!  I wanted to go!  Alone or not...I went.  It was an adventure, and every bit as wonderful as I had hoped.  I still remember the excitement I felt as I rode the boat toward the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.  I felt like a child again.  All day, every day.  Sam's training ended on Thursday, and on Friday we both went to Epcot Center.  It was a memorable trip.

Obviously, I'm not going with him this year because I must attend the annual Board meeting on Thursday when the auditor presents his report.  This year the meeting should be a good one.  Maybe not as exciting as last year, when we ended the year in the red in a major way, but thanks to our new Executive Director, we recovered all the losses and ended on a highly positive bottom line.  :D  Having the right leader at the helm always makes a huge difference.  I will never regret my decision to be part of the coup that got rid of the ineffective Director we had before.  It's all about matching the talent to the task.

We have an airport here in town, but most businesses opt to have their employee's fly out of Spokane, since it is less expensive to drive there than it is to fly out of Lewiston.  And people wonder why it is so hard to attract and entice the airlines to our town.  Our airport is serviced by only one airline, Horizon, but I have heard buzz that another airline is looking to begin service here sometime this year.  I hope so.  We need the jobs, we need to put people back to work so they can take care of their families.  I wonder if our local business leader's realize just how much they are hurting the local economy when they chose to fly out of Spokane. 

Stepping Out of the Darkness

For several months I have had a private journal.  About my life, my past actually.  Something I have kept hidden because I really didn't think anyone wanted to read it. 

I've always loved the printed word.  Whether writing or reading, I feel I am in my comfort zone when surrounded by words.  So as a teenager I decided to write a book about my life.  It became my life goal.  My friends all said I should, as their life experience was nothing like mine.  My teachers, and later college professors, encouraged me to continue writing.   At first I believed them, then I just thought they were being nice and saying what I wanted to hear.

Between 1985-1990 I wrote a book about my life.  I spent the next two years trying to get it published.  Unsuccessfully.  So I put it aside, thinking maybe it just wasn't time.  Maybe I needed a happy ending, which I didn't have.  The final chapter was my I wanted the book, my story, to end.

Last year, a friend of mine (ty R) encouraged me to re-open my book.  I'm going to have to start from scratch, unless I can locate the original manuscript.  This will not be easy, because a small part of me does not want to relive a lot of things that happened.  But I can not deny the compelling feeling I have stirring within, longing to break out, aching to open my wings, and fly.  This is my story - Metamorphosis.   

Of Mixers and Messages

I was just watching Paula Dean on the Food Network.  She's preparing a low-fat lemon cheesecake (it looked very yummy and I don't like cheesecake) and her adult sons are helping her.  While one prepares the crust, the other is mixing the filling.  When the mixer is finished, Paula points out a tip to her son and the TV audience.  She instructs him to set the speed to low, then slowly pull the beaters out, and that will clean the beaters off.  Well, duh!  I've known that forever.  That was the first thing I learned from my mother about using a mixer.  I thought everyone knew that trick.
Time and time again I forget how simple little things I learned as a child are not necessarily common knowledge.  And I realize just how naive I was back then, thinking that everyone knew the same stuff I knew.  It probably had a lot to do with the television shows we watched then.  Shows like 'Leave It To Beaver', 'Father Knows Best' 'The Patty Duke Show', etc.  The values were pretty much the same, and they reinforced the daily lessons we learned at home, at school, in life.  But, truth is, I guess not everyone watched or liked those shows.  I know that because of the behavior I saw on the playground and in class (or maybe they were just imitating Eddy).  Television did influence us...just as it does now.  Maybe that's why I really don't like watching television like I once did.  Overall the storyline and quality of most shows just leaves me feeling flat.  Unfulfilled. 
And sometimes, I worry about that and how TV programming today is affecting our youth.

"Nurturing innovative youth is key to creating quality change for our communities."

Friday, January 14, 2005

Installing Love

How to Install Love! <click   My young friend Gera has this as her entry last Wednesday.  I liked it so much, I'm pointing you in her direction.

Anti-Depression Kit

It's lunch time and I just finished meeting with the Budget & Finance Committee.  Each year I start off with one goal (several really, but one main goal) have a clean audit opinion.  The independent auditor presented his findings and report to the Committee, and next Thursday he will present same to the full Board at the annual meeting.  The report was excellent but I won't bore you with all that.  :)

So, what's with the title of this entry?  As the auditor was concluding his report the discussion turned to me.  I'm juggling numerous projects right now...let's just say my plate is heaping beyond capacity, and the committee expressed concern about the workload and it's affect on me.  To say I've been a little rough around the edges lately would be an understatement.  While I and my boss address their concerns, I notice one of the members digging into his jeans pocket, and he whips out a Zip-Loc bag.  Inside the bag I can see a penny, and a Hershey's Kiss, and I'm thinking to myself, What the....?  There is a brief exchange of looks between he and I...he's smiling and I'm puzzled.  He then tossed the bag across the table to me, and says with a big smile, "Here Dona.  This is for you."  I pick it up.  Attached to the Zip-Loc is a typed note:

    An ERASER so you can make all your mistakes disappear.
    A PENNY so you will never have to say "I'm broke."
    A MARBLE in case someone says "you've lost all your marbles."
    A RUBBERBAND to stretch yourself beyond your limits.
    A STRING to tie things together when everything falls apart.
    A HUG and a KISS to remind you that someone, somewhere, cares about YOU!

Each listed item is enclosed in the bag (I'm thinking I better keep an eye on that marble...don't want to lose that one).  Do I work for some awesome people or what?!?!    And who said politicians have no heart?  I know some who do.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bankers, Politicians and Mad Cows

Today was full of some rather interesting developments at work. This morning I sent an e-mail to those board members who sign on our business account, to advise them of my conversation with the banks and the Social Security Number issue.  This afternoon I had two of the four board members contact me to let me know my e-mail prompted them into action.  They are using their connections to the lawmakers in Washington, DC to express their concern about language in The Patriot Act and the SSN issue.  Both also contacted the higher ups at local banks, and gave me the skinny on what the "front line" people are told to say and do in regards to the SSN situation.  This could get interesting...stay tuned.  Working for elected officials and politicians does have some benefits.

On a lighter note, you know I work with numbers all day.  And accountants have been known to occasionally transpose numbers (like when 1234 becomes 1324, etc).  Accountants do this...but not me.  Nope...I rarely transpose numbers...I transpose letters...when I'm talking.  Take today for example.  I'm on the telephone with John, the Board President (one of the above mentioned signers) and he has just told me about his conversations.

"Good," I say, "that ought to cattle some rages."

As I realize what I have just said, John is on the other end cracking up.  And I have to laugh too, I mean, if you can't laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?

"Someone's going to be raging," John laughs, "but I don't think it will be cattle."

How did mad cows get into this conversation?  Cuz I opened the door and let them in.  Needless to say, John knew what I meant...he's known me for several years and this is not the first time...probably not the last either...that I have transposed letters.  I just pray I never do it at a really critical time, in front of an important audience.  The possibilities are endless and the outcome could be very embarrassing.   


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

These Dreams

It happened again this morning.  Lately, it seems to happen quite often.  The alarm goes off and I'm right in the middle of the best dream I have ever had.  It's one of those recurring dreams...and damn, is it a dandy.  I'm talking about waking up with a huge smile on my face dream.  I'm talking hit that snooze button one more time dream.  All I need is five more minutes....ahhhhhh.   Oh, yeah.  Umm, hmmmm.  I do not want to wake up....not yet....not quite yet.  Just let me be.....

But, that damn alarm keeps going off, spoiling everything with it's interruptions.  Fine.  It's now 6:35, and I'm awake.

Why can't I have this dream on the weekend, or my day off?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

If I Refuse...What Then?

Today at work I was reminded once again of the far reaching impact the events of 9/11 have on everyday life. 

I need to add a new board member as a signer on the business bank accounts.  Prior to 9/11, if the bank requested the signer's Social Security Number (SSN), I had the power to politely inform the bank that it was not our policy to request or provide personal information about our volunteer's (Board members).  Those days are long gone.  I spent the better part of this afternoon in discussion with several bank employees (at different banks), going round and round on the SSN issue.

Printed on my Social Security card are the words "Not to be used for identification purposes."  Plain and simple English.  Yet every time I turn around, someone wants our SSN.  The banks, the doctor, the hospital...the list goes on.  Why?  For identification purposes, they tell us.  Identification?  There is no photo on it, so how do you know it's really mine?  We compare it to your driver's license.  And that proves what?  That my state issued driver's license is legit?  Well, we need to confirm that you aren't a terrorist or that you aren't involved in terror related activities, and your Social Security number allows us to do that.  Okay, I have three problems right now.  #1 if my local banker/doctor/hospital is now a terrorism specialist, then who's doing their job?  #2 do you (the reader) have any idea how easy it is to get and print a social security card these days?  I mean, if its possible to print counterfeit cash, bogus checks, and fake I. D.'s, then doesn't it stand to reason that someone, somewhere can print bogus Social Security cards?  You see, as any genealogist can tell you, there are data bases filled with the SSN's of deceased individuals.  This information is available to anyone, on CD and the internet.  #3, I do not carry my SSN card on me, I keep it locked away in my safe deposit box (safe being the operative word here).

So, back to the conversation, where I am politely informed that the bank has no choice in the matter.  Because of 9/11, congress passed The Patriotic Act for our protection, and now SSN cards must be used as a form of identification on all signature cards.  My new board member, however, declines to share his SSN (I don't blame him).  He will happily provide his driver's license and passport, but no SSN.  The bank tells me, without his SSN, he can't sign on the account.  I see. So let me see if I have this straight.  You now have the power to tell me who I can and can't have as a signer on the business account.  It took every ounce of rational strength I had in me to remain calm and professional.  I was already stressed prior to these calls, mainly because I need local people as signers on the accounts, and I only have four board members who are local--everyone else is a minimum of 23 miles away.  And every check requires two signatures.  So, I'm running out of people, and now the bank...or the Patriot Act...has just compounded the problem. 

At least the bank employees and I do agree on one thing.  Nothing is simple or easy anymore.  Everything is complicated, which leads to more stress.  And we realized, after the anger and frustration reached a certain point, that if we allowed our feelings to go any farther, then the terrorist's win.  We would be at each other's throats, and that's what they want.  Today, the terrorist's didn't win; we stopped them.

Can't Leave Well Enough Alone...

I admit it.  I do it all the time.  Okay, I'll fess up.  I am one of those, wait...bloggers, who go back and edit previous journal entries.  I can't help it.  Something always happens, later, and I have to edit...fix...change...correct...whatever.  I just can't leave well enough alone.  Nope, I am not a "one kill" type writer.  I love to tweak things.

So, my advice to you, don't click on that little "alert" button on the upper right side.  Unless, of course, you want your mail box clogged with alerts for my ever changing journal.  :)

I suppose now the blogger police will be stopping by to advise me about acceptable blogging behavior...and my tweaking is considered by some to be very annoying.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

It's Like A Curse

She's a fool.  Sometimes she wishes her heart were made of stone; but she knows that could never be.  That is not the way she chose to live.  This life.

Her's is a heart of tenderness, of joy, of deep and profound love.  A heart capable of loving the entire world, expecting nothing, yet hurting at the same time.  With tenderness comes pain.  That's just the way it is.  For now.

In another room her husband waits, unaware that she longs for another's touch.  Unaware that another man's song has awakened her soul.  Oh, how the years have foolish she has been.  Has she thrown it all away?  Is she just wasting time?  Is he?  She knows the answers will reveal themselves, in time.  Just as they have always done.  In time.

She must be patient.  She must be brave, just as her love has told her to be.  She must listen to him.  He knows.  He controls.  He loves.  


~~All things are possible when we believe.~~

A Dweeb's Portable Friend

What a find!  Where have these things been...and why didn't somebody tell me about this sooner?  These USB Flash Drives are the answer to all my memory problems (well....the computer ones anyways).  Gosh, if only they made flash drives for humans. 


~~May today be filled with memories that warm your heart and carry you always.~~

Friday, January 7, 2005

This One's For The Girls

This One's For The Girls - (written by Chris Lindsey, Hillary Lindsey, Aimee Mayo)

This is for all you girls about thirteen
High school can be so rough, can be so mean
Hold onto, onto your innocence
Stand your ground when everybody's giving in

This one's for the girls

This is for all you girls about twenty-five
In little apartments just trying to get by
Living on, on dreams and Spaghetti-Os
Wondering where your life is gonna go

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls

This is for all you girls about forty-two
Tossing pennies into the fountain of youth
Every laugh, laugh line on your face
Made you who you are today


Yeah we're all the same inside
From one to ninety-nine



~~A dream is just a dream until you realize it.~~