Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fall vacations

It's that time of year. David and I usually take a vacation about the first or second week of October. This year we are going to spend our fall vacation very much similar to the way we spent the spring one, sitting around the house and pretending we are getting things done. My friend Joyce has gone to Panama Beach, Joan has gone to Garden City (Leitchfield Beach, SC), and I am here in the dust dunes of Meadors' beach wondering where my feather duster has gone. I have one goal for next week--to dust enough so that Lydia, Cora, and Geron can come to visit. David has one goal, too, to get the taxes finished. Let's face it. If Aniel are old, we're ancient! Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thank you, God

I don't know all the details, so I may get something wrong. I just know that today around 12:30 pm Geron and Lydia called to tell me they were taking Cora back to the ER at the Children's Hospital there in Chattanooga. They took her to her pediatrician yesterday because she was spitting up quite a bit, and he sent them down there for tests. All tests they did yesterday came back in the normal range. The ER doctors told them to go back to their pediatrician.

That was yesterday. I didn't know a thing about it. Today, they took Cora back to their doctor, since she wasn't better. She had developed diarrhea, in addition to the spitting up. Her heart rate was elevated, both yesterday and today, and their doctor thought he heard a heart murmur. He wanted her checked by a cardiologist.

They were on the way to the hospital when they called. I got on line and asked a bunch of you, some I haven't seen or talked to in quite a while, others I see frequently, to pray for Cora. You did. Thank you for your prayers.

When the doctors at the hospital examined Cora, they found no signs of a heart problem. I don't believe it disappeared--I believe God healed it. Their regular pediatrician is a well-respected person in the medical community in Chattanooga. He knows what a heart murmur sounds like, and he knows when something looks or sounds wrong to him. He wouldn't have sent them downtown if he didn't think Cora's condition warranted it.

All I can say now is thank you for praying, and thank You, God, for hearing our prayers. Thank You again for Cora. As one of my friends (Sandra F) said, God has a special purpose for Cora. I believe that.

Love to all and God bless.

How was my weekend?

One of my good friends asked me yesterday how my weekend was. I can tell you pretty quickly. David and I went to Chattanooga. We saw Cora. I held her, a lot. David looked at her, a lot. Geron, Lydia, David, and I went out to eat three times, with Cora. Lydia and I went shopping, with Cora. The four of us went to church, with Cora.

In church, Cora would sit so still when she heard her daddy's voice, either singing or speaking. She was supposed to be asleep, but I think she was listening. One time during the children's sermon, Geron was giving out little box banks to the children. He asked if everyone had a bank. Cora raised her hand--he didn't see her, though. (It may have been a stretch, but it was very timely.)

We love Geron, Lydia, and Cora. A lot.

Love to all of you, and God bless.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Paper Dolls

When I was a little girl, maybe 50 years ago, I loved my paper dolls. I used to spend hours in my room playing with them, especially designing dresses for them. Daddy had brought home a bunch of old deposit tickets (not used, blank!) from the bank after they printed new ones, and I found the backs of the tickets were just exactly the right size for drawing paper doll clothes. All the dolls had names and personalities. They were even in families. My cousin Sally had paper dolls, too. She took more of a practical interest in hers. When one of them would have a torn arm or leg, Sally would make casts for them out of wet toilet paper. She also gave them tsetse fly enemas. I didn't grow up to be a designer, but Sally became a nurse!

What prompted this trip back into childhood, you might ask? Or then, again, you might NOT ask. I got an email yesterday from Dover Publications. They used to send me a teacher's preview of materials they considered educational once a week, and I would run off color pages, etc, for my "kids". This particular email was about their new books, including something I had never imagined, Dalai Lama Paper Dolls! Love to all, and God bless.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Forgiveness is a funny thing, no, I mean that, really a funny thing. Just recently amidst the daily emails I receive were a couple of jokes. Actually, there were a lot more than a couple, but these two looked like jokes some former coworkers of mine would enjoy. The first one I forwarded yesterday to my former boss. It was a jibe intended for folks who take life too seriously, a list of funny little bits such as 47.9% of statistics are made up on the spot. He and I had often laughed about things like that together, and I thought he would enjoy them. He did, and sent me an email back thanking for me for sending them his way.

The second one came today. It was a story on Mikey's Funnies about a family going camping. The husband had taken his blackberry with him. A former supervisor used to email me from meetings on hers--she said once that was a sign of how boring the meeting was, when she was sitting there checking her email during presentations. I figured she would get a kick out of this one, especially since the wife in the family referred to husband's blackberry as his crackberry. It struck me right away as odd that I would even think about sending this email to her, since we haven't communicated since I "left office". But I went ahead and sent it. I haven't heard from her yet.

I believe that was God's way of telling me it was time to let go of the past and get on with my life. Is there someone in your past you need to forgive? Or at least reach out to? Life is too short to keep these things smoldering. We need to go ahead and go forward. I'm glad I did. Love to all, and God bless.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Things that make me smile, and things that make me laugh out loud

First, smiles: Three entries from the weekend. The first one was at Susie B's wedding. Susie is my precious cousin Libby's baby, who has finally tied the knot with a great guy, John. Following the wedding ceremony, meal, cake cutting, and first dance by the new couple, Susie came over and got Dexter, her stepfather. Some of you know Dexter. He is a super fellow, pretty spry for his 80+ years. He has just started walking with a cane. Susie pulled him out on the dance floor for the traditional father/daughter dance. He and she hadn't been at it very long at all when Susie's older brother, David, cut in. After David's few spins, brother Jim was there to cut in. Then came brother Mark, and finally, brother Mike. It was so sweet watching them all cut in on each other to dance with baby sister. Even more special, it symbolized the special place each brother held in his heart for his little sister.

Entry number two: While I was enjoying my meal at the wedding, I felt a little hand "scratching" my arm. I looked over and saw Amber, age 5, Libby's newest granddaughter. I asked Amber what she was doing, and she replied, "bothering you." She and Gracie, her younger sister(almost 4), were distributing "goodie bags" to the other children at the wedding. They got the idea from Annie's wedding last May. Faye, their mama, told me that when they were shopping for the goodies, the cashier mentioned that someone must be having a birthday. "No, a wedding!" they said. "We're taking goodie bags to the other kids at the wedding." The cashier thought that was a great idea, so we may have started a new tradition.

Entry number three: At the Plum Tree Sunday, Madison, the granddaughter of Tron, the chef, and honorary "grandma" Yen, showed up at our table to thank me for the ballet barre, mat, and video we had brought for her last week. Yen told me how excited Mad had been about learning to "dance ballet". She had worked at it all day on Saturday but had some problems, since she doesn't know her right foot from her left foot yet and couldn't quite follow the steps on the mat. When Yen tried to show her how to follow the directions, Mad said, "No, get off! Your feet are too big!" Yen finally painted one of Mad's toes blue and one pink to match the feet on the mat, and she did better after that. Mad said she couldn't dance yet, but I believe she'll learn pretty quickly since she is a really smart little girl.

And now for things that make me laugh out loud: Jane S had a birthday yesterday (incidentally, it was also our anniversary!), and I journeyed to Casa to join the ladies for the celebration. If you know Jane and the other ladies, then you know I was anticipating an afternoon of laughing out loud. I woke up Monday morning trying to think of what I could get Jane for a gift, something fast, quick, and funny. Then I remembered the onesies I had bought for Cora, especially the one that asked, "Does this diaper make my butt look big?" I went to Family Dollar and bought a package of really large granny panties. When I got home, I got out my marker and wrote on the seat of one pair, "Does this butt make my panties look big?" I was already LOL when I finished that part of the present. It was one of the hits of the party, when used as decoration (J hung the panties on the railing by our table).

Another one: I got a catalog recently with a picture of a "boyfriend" pillow. I also made Jane one of those (very simple, mainly just stuffing and safety pins involved). This was another hit, especially when the waiters came to sing to her and put a sombrero on her head. As they were leaving, a waiter picked up "boyfriend", handed it to her, and suggested that "he" try on the sombrero. It was a real Kodak moment, as boyfriend circled the table to have his picture taken with the ladies. We were pretty much ALL laughing out loud at that.

As the person who cuts in on our phone line, cable TV, and computer says, over and out. And I'll add, love to all, and God bless.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Baby Dojo

Thursday morning I got to go to Friendship International to help with child care. Friendship International is a program several churches in our area set up to help welcome newcomers to America--in particular, female newcomers who would ordinarily be sitting in their houses all day with little to do and no one to talk to, since their husbands are at work and they haven't made any friends here yet. For the most part, the women appear to be young Japanese with small children in tow. This past Thursday, 8 of those children, all under the age of 1 year, ended up in the room I was supposedly staffing.

Thank goodness, there were two Japanese women there to work with me. Not only did they speak some English, they also had "worked" at Friendship before and knew the ropes. And they also spoke Japanese, which was helpful when the mothers were leaving the babies with these strangers. Of the 8 babies, only 2 had bottles, and neither were the least bit interested in taking those bottles. What they were most concerned about seemed to be, where has my mommy gone!

The 8 babies took turns crying for the 2 hours I was there. We would take them out of their carriers, then put them into either an exersaucer or a swing, or occasionally prop them on the mat to play with toys there--like they wanted to play! We usually ended up rocking them, one at a time, which took one helper out of commission until she had that child soothed. Some of them could then be put in a swing or saucer at that time. One little one could not be soothed, and she was returned to her mommy. (When mommy came to pick up the diaper bag, we told her to be sure to try again next week.) Another one was only satisfied as long as one of us was rocking her. Eventually she fell asleep in my arms, but she wouldn't let me put her in a crib. Another person took over, and the little lady was asleep in that woman's lap until Mama came.

All in all, it was a good morning. I will gladly show up again next Thursday to try it another time.

You may wonder where I got the title for this blog--I overheard one of the Japanese workers talking to a mother about the "dojo", and I thought baby dojo was a pretty descriptive term. Love to all, and God bless.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Where Were You?

A lot of folks are asking each other, Where were you on 9/11? (I had just walked into 2 Street from FHS, where I had spent an hour in the file room, and was met with the news.) That sort of question has been asked a lot over the years. Where were you on 9/11? Where were you when the shuttle blew up? Where were you when Reagan was shot? Where were you when men walked on the moon?

I have memories of all those things. (That, folks, shows how old I am!)

The "where were yous" go back farther. I remember when Martin Luther King was assassinated--I remember our house mother at Georgetown College's fear that the students at KSU would come over and attack our dorms. I remember when JFK was assassinated. I was in class, and a student who was cutting a class, sitting in his car in the parking lot, came runing in to tell the folks at the principal's office the news. At first they didn't believe him, but pretty soon the radio on the intercom was all we heard. I remember Mrs. McKechnie, my Latin II teacher, saying, "I don't know how you personally feel about prayer, but this is one time when it is appropriate to pray in school." I remember the Cuban missle crisis and stocking my school locker with canned goods, a blanket, and deodorant in case of nuclear attack. I remember when Kennedy was elected, how all the Protestants were worried about this Catholic president, and news footage showed nuns dressed in their traditional black and white habits coming from the convents in droves to vote. I remember newspaper headlinees of Castro coming to power in Cuba. I remember watching Queen Elizabeth's coronation on black-and-white television with our neighbors in Eminence, before I started school.

David's memories for historical events go back farther than that. He remembers when Israel became a nation, in 1948. Even though he was three at the time, his mother wanted him to know what a significant day that was. Our parents could tell you where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the nuclear bombs in Japan, where they were on both V-E day (victory in Europe) and V-J day (victory in Japan). They knew where they were when they heard FDR had died from a stroke. They remembered Pearl Harbor vividly. Some could remember the fall of Wall Street in 1929.

More important than where we were on 9/11 is where we are now. I just read a great editorial to that effect and will close with that.


By C. McNair Wilson

Where were you, when they raised the price of freedom?
Where were you when our family disappeared?
Are you glad you weren't there?
Did you lose a friend that day?
Are you as changed today as you felt on that Tuesday or did you change your
We all changed our minds, but did it last?
Are the changes we now live with making our lives safer, better?
Will we need to change more and are we willing?
Do you like taking off your shoes at the airport and not carrying water or
Is it worth being safer in the air?
Are we?
What cost Freedom?
What price Liberty?
What have YOU done since 9/11, 2001?
What will you do?
Have you changed?

Watching TV that morning, I saw a man in a suit and tie, carrying his
briefcase come out of the fog or the dust storm of the fallen Towers and
walk right up to a news crew and say, "There's a reason why my life was
spared and I'm going to spend the rest of my life trying to find that

Do you hear him?
Do you know the reason he was spared?
Are you aware that the reason for his life has been the same since the day
he was born?
So, too, there's a reason you were born--did you know that?
There's a contribution your life can make. Are you ready to make that
Are you ready to be a contribution?
Will it take an attack on your life to get your attention?
Are you aware that whatever your circumstances, you are NOT covered in dust?

What will your contribution be?
You can make a small change today and a bit more tomorrow.
Did you know that if you pick one area of your life to expand on, to improve
on just 1% a day, that in 70 days you would be twice as good as you are now?

If you haven't started the change you wanted to make, you can start now. You
know it's only too late if you don't start today?

Did you know it took three months to completely extinguish the fires at
Ground Zero?
Did you know they never even discussed not finishing the job?
Can you, today, brush off the dust and start making your contribution?

Did you know the rest of us need you?

Copyright 2006 C. McNair Wilson. Permission is granted to send this to
others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.


Love to all, and God bless.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Week that Wasn't

This hasn't been much of a week after Tuesday at about 7 AM(that's when Everett left). I think this is the sort of week that all retiree's have, one when going to choir practice or the grocery store is the only time you get in the car. Heck, it's the type of week where getting the mail is the event of the day!

I'm in a real rut, but you know what? I think I like ruts. This week I've gotten up every day, made my bed, fixed breakfast, caught up the laundry, talked to folks on the computer, read the paper, watched some TV, played some spider solitaire, reloaded my mah jongg game, done a little Christmas shopping on line--nothing for any of you, don't worry!, been to Kroger's on Old Ladies' Day, cooked (or at least planned--some of it wasn't cooked) supper every evening, been to choir practice, washed dishes, knitted, watched TV, and right now, David is asleep in the living room to the tune of the History Channel. Highlights of the week: finished sewing together a cap and booties I finished at the hospital when Cora was born, finished some knitting for Cora (including sewing it up), and almost finished a pair of booties for Allyn. I went shopping at Salvation Army once. Beside Kroger's, that's the only store I was in.

Now we did have a good Labor Day weekend. David and I pretty much stayed home on Saturday, went to church on Sunday, ate at the Plum Tree, straightened up the tiniest bit. Ann and Daniel showed up late Sunday evening, around 9. David fixed a dish he calls hamburger curry. It's basicly his goulash recipe plus two teaspoons of extra hot curry powder, and on rice rather than macaroni. Monday at lunch, we ate the same dish, warmed up. We ran out of rice and found it it's just about as good on whole wheat bread. Ann let me spoil Daniel and her at WalMart a little which was fun. Then they left, and we spent some time wondering why Everett wasn't here, since he had left Chattanooga at 11. It was 6:30 when he made it to the house, due to a stop at a book store and heavy traffic on I-75. (That's about 2 1/2 hours longer than I took on Friday to drive the same distance.) We enjoyed a quick chat with him--he had laundry, and David went to bed early, since he had to work on Tuesday. It's quality, not quantity of time, that counts, and we had pretty good quality of time with all the kids.

And folks, that's the way it is around here. Love you, and God bless.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Real babies don't go bow wow!

Patrick McManus wrote a great story once about a pet pig he had as a boy. He actually wanted a pony, but he had a pig--the title of the story was "Real ponies don't go oink!" If you ever have a chance, read it.

This morning David and I were lying in bed and talking about the past week. I can keep David pretty well entertained lately with Cora stories. I heard this little noise outside the house that sounded vaguely familiar and started to get up, but then recognized what it was--a dog, not the baby. Funny how much your life changes in a week! David was the one who told me, "Real babies don't go bow wow."

But real babies do have some similarity to puppies, you know. Maybe you have had a new puppy at your house--you know those little squeaky sounds they make? Real babies make the same sounds. Have you ever seen a little puppy right after it finished feeding? Eyes closed, milk running down its chin? Real babies do that, too. And you know baby puppies' little fat tummies? Real babies have those. At least Cora does.

There is nothing any sweeter than a sleeping Cora, unless it's a waking one. The little arms start stretching, the feet draw up to the tummy, the shoulders start squirming, the head turns, the little mouth opens wide, yawns, sneezes--eyebrows raise, corners of the mouth turn down, turn back up, maybe a "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrip" in the nether regions--Then the cries may start. You talk to her very quietly, pick her up, carry her to the changing table, lay her down. The arms flail, the eyes open and look around. Off comes the diaper, the warm wipes, a clean little bum, a clean diaper--pick her up again. The eyes are open now, looking around. The little mouth opens, searching for something she remembers having once before. Then you hand her over to the mommy and the feed starts. In the middle of the feed, Cora backs off, lies there very peacefully, another "rrrrrrrip". Again with the diaper business. Back to the feed. This time when she finishes, it's swaddling time. Once she is completely wrapped, arms and legs snug as a bug in the blanket, it's back to her bed. That is, IF you can get her away from Mommy long enough.

That's pretty much how the last six days went. I hope yours were just as great. Love to all, and God bless.

By the way, if you want to see a picture of Cora in all her beauty, check There are plenty of links there.