Thursday, March 31, 2011

Taking Stock

As April is almost upon us, I decided to go back and take stock of how I was doing with my 2011 "To-do" list. I have not done everything on the list, but I am making progress. 

#1 was to eat at The Lady and Sons in Savannah, GA for my friend Teresa's 50th birthday. Since her birthday is not until November, I obviously have not done that yet. 

#2 was to make another CD of Christian music. So far, asthma, myasthenia gravis, and reflux have conspired against this. But I am still hopeful of doing that this year!

#3 was to do one or more watercolor demonstrations at "The Cricket Box." I did do this in February and had a great time!

#4 was to find some new recipes utilizing the things I CAN eat. I have created a couple of nice recipes that help bring variety to my limited diet. 

#5 was to learn 10 new 7 letter words. I have learned about 4 so far and plan to keep on learning!

#6 was to increase my charitable giving. I am working on increasing my customary 10% to 15% and am succeeding with that most of the time.

So far, I am making progress. One step at a time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Via Dolorosa

***Whine Alert***

I have been singing the Via Dolorosa at my church for the past 22 years. It is a special song to me and it means a lot for me to be able to witness once a year to my church family through this song.

Last year, I was not sure if I would be able to sing it. We had a new preacher and it was subject to his approval. Fortunately, he was OK with it, and I sang the song during Lent, as usual.

This year, I still do not know whether I will be able to sing it or not. I asked about it weeks ago, and still have no answer other than we may can "work it in."

I don't know how to feel. Despite some recent vocal problems, I think I still sound OK. I have given up the idea of even asking to sing more than one time a year. I am looking into opportunities to sing other places just so I can keep my voice in shape.

 I can't believe God would give me this gift and not want me to use it. Singing is what I do. It is what I have always done. It is a huge part of who I am.

So, I pray for my sore heart to mend and for guidance as to what I need to do to keep this gift in good condition so that I can sing to His glory.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Miz Oakes

This morning, I received an email informing me of the sudden passing this morning of my friend Joyalene.

I first met Joyalene when I was in handbell choir at church with her teenage son. But, we bonded some time later, after her husband left her, and filed for divorce. At the time, I was opening the church for morning prayer. Joyalene was having a very difficult time, and sometimes we would pray and cry together. She was of an age to be my mother, so I would call her "Miz" Oakes. Then she would mock glare at me and tell me to call her Joyalene. It became a running joke.

Even during life's difficulties, Joyalene was funny. She could crack me up with one look. And when she opened her mouth! Sometimes I would be sore from laughing so hard.

Joyalene loved her friends and family deeply. She was always supportive of me. I think she believed I could do anything.

"Miz Oakes", you will be missed.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Too Close

On March 4th, two criminals escaped from a Louisiana State Police Compound and began a 10 day, 4 state crime spree that hit way to close to home for me. 

After escaping near Baton Rouge, where a lot of my extended family lives,  they hitched a ride to Vicksburg. Then they carjacked a visitor to MY city just minutes away from where I live. And ultimately murdered him. I can't begin to express how angry it makes me that a visitor to my hometown could not be safe here. 

Then, to top it off, they are caught after crashing yet another stolen vehicle on the grounds of Fed-Ex world headquarters. My friend, Teresa, had left work there just minutes before this occurred. 

This has all been pretty jarring on top of other critical world events. 

Just too close to home. 

Friday, March 11, 2011


I just ordered my last year's birthday, Christmas, anniversary, and Valentine's gifts all rolled into one. The iPad 2.

I have wanted one of these ever since the first model came out. But, I like to wait for the second generation of a new gadget to come out before I purchase. And today, my long saved for iPad became available. And, in 10 days, it will be in my hot little hand!

Giftcards from friends and family purchased the case and paid the tax. Thanks Amy, Bryan, and Granna!

My e-books on my iPhone have given me my reading life back and I am looking forward to reading on my iPad. Large print books are nice, but difficult for me to hold. I will be able to watch movies on it. And I love to be able to look things up while I am watching TV. I may even be able to show watercolor demos to my art classes on it. The possibilities are endless.

So, I will be watching my mailbox like a kid on Christmas morning! Santa is coming.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


The meaning of this is pretty simple. If I were with you in person, I would want to give you a big hug. If your pain was nothing I have personally experienced, I would not want to trivialize your suffering with words. I have no real idea of what you are going through. I have not "been there."

If I have "been there", then I may try to offer words of help. What worked for me may work for you as well. But this still has to be done gently.

I would rather give you a (((HUG))) than risk invalidating your feelings or giving unneeded advice. 

So, please take this (((HUG))) from me today if you want or need it. 

Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...