Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Here are some photos from this Christmas season as we have been preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ. 

I usually don't put outside Christmas decorations up, but this year was an exception.  The whole neighborhood had decorated and I felt I needed to make the circle complete.  They weren't much but it does make the neighborhood look good to see each house lit up in some way.  

I went full-fledge for a tree this year also.  My artificial tree had to be thrown out a couple years ago and I haven't had a tree the last couple years.  This year I wanted to have one mostly so my grandkids could experience their Grandma's house with Christmas memories.  I hope they will remember coming over and seeing the ornaments with their names and checking out the gifts underneath the tree.  I got the tree right after Thanksgiving and I think I got a nicely shaped one.  My grandson has helped me to water it when he comes over.

Once night when the grandkids were over we made some Christmas tree crafts.  It was their suggestion to put them in the tree.

The night my grandkids spent the night we had a visit from their "Elves on the shelf" - Jingle and Belle.  In the morning we found them worshiping the baby Jesus in the Nativity Scene, just like the three wise men who had come to worship the newborn babe.

The season would not be complete without a visit to the local Magic Tree or to a Christmas program.

This program was my cousin's preschool class singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "Jingle Bell Rock."   What a fun time!

What are some Christmas activities that you have done this year?

Don't forget the reason for the season~
Merry Christmas!     

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Who has the Right to a Parking Place?

I made a big mistake.  I went to Walmart on the Saturday before school starts. The place is full of college kids getting their groceries, dorm supplies, college needs, and other wants in addition to our local parents gathering their children's school supplies, new school clothes, and groceries for the start of the new school year.  For one who does not like to shop-  this is NOT the time to go.  But I survived, made my purchases, and proceeded to walk all the way to the end of the parking lot row to my car.  Along the way I noticed a dilemma that makes me wonder - who has the right to a parking place?  

Obviously, the parking lot was full. Cars were crawling along trying to find a place that would be reasonably close.  Drivers would scope out the shoppers leaving the store and follow them to their parking places, waiting for them to leave.  This created some traffic jams.

As I walked up the row to my car, a lady near the beginning of the row ( and therefore a premium parking place) was just opening her trunk to put her cart of purchases in.  A car stopped to wait for her and thereby get her parking place. Before too long there were 3 more cars lined up behind the first, all waiting on the woman to finish before they could move.

I reached my car and was putting my own purchases in my trunk when I noticed the passenger of the waiting car get out and walk up to the woman's car.  The woman was nowhere in sight.  Although I could not hear her, the passenger's body language of flinging arms at the cars waiting revealed she wanted the woman to hurry and pull out of the parking place.  

I want to know : Who has the right to a parking place?  Is it the car who occupies it?  Or is it the car who is waiting for it?  

The waiting car ended up leaving without the parking place. The cars behind then could move and soon the parked car pulled out.   This all transpired within 10 minutes from the time I left the store, so the parked car driver was not being unreasonably long. 

 So who has the right to a parking place? Would you ever get out of your car to tell someone to hurry up and leave their parking place? 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Visitor

Look who was hanging out in my yard with me this week! 
He sat still for me as I took his picture too.
A Hip Hop Bunny!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What is Up with That ?

I was working at the department store a few Saturdays ago and it was quite busy with people taking advantage of the sales and incentive campaigns.  I like it when it is busy because time goes so fast and I am never bored. 

I love to see what people have decided to purchase--it is almost like my own personal shopping tour-- I do not have to go look for things I want.  If I see something I really like, I just ask the customer where they found the item. After my shift ends I am then free to go get one for myself.

As I was checking a customer out, another customer comes up to me and tells me something that shocks me.  "There is poop in the aisle of one of the departments. I am not sure if it is human or dog poop."    What???  Oh my gosh.  Well, since there are no dogs in the store, I can only imagine that it must be of the human kind.   I thanked the customer for letting me know and immediately called the manager to inform them so it could be cleaned up.   Soon I saw the manager come walking towards that department with the custodial staff and a broom/mop and dust pan.  I assume they found it and took care of it-- but really

Who does this kind of thing???  Who goes in to a place of business and defecates on the floor?  What is wrong with some people?  

What is up with that? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Working Retail

I work a few hours a week in a major retail department store.  It is an interesting job that I like because there is always something humorous, quirky, tragic, interesting, pretty, weird, or [insert other adjective here] that amuses me.  But isn't that the way any time you deal with people?  We humans are such an interesting lot. 

As one of the gatekeepers at this department store, everyone who has to pass by me or by one of my co-gatekeepers.  We finalize the purchase transactions.  That's right - we take the money, check or  credit card and we put your merchandise into handy sacks to be carried out the door which is close by.   Even those people who decide not to buy anything have to walk by us as they make their way to the door and leave.

Working retail has its advantages and disadvantages.  As a person who is not that fond of shopping myself, I find it very helpful to help people check out their purchases.  I get to see all the merchandise and the sale prices close up.  If I see something I really like or need, I do not have to shop around for it.  I know just where to get it, how much it costs, and what department to find it in.   Sadly, the flipside of this is that I have spent a lot of my paychecks as I make them.    

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wealth can turn in a SNAP. Even if it takes 30 years

Paula, Paula, Paula....
 I feel for you. 
Things seemed to be going well and life was good. Oh sure, you hit a snag a year or so ago when it came out that you have diabetes.  As many have before you have, you got your bearings and began to embark on some recipe changes that would be better for your condition.  But your empire continues to grow with product lines, sponsors, and TV shows and appearances. You even got some new endorsements to teach others about diabetic lifestyles. 

But, wealth can turn in a SNAP.  Even if it takes 30 years.

And now your empire is crumbling, crashing, crushing.    Sponsorships, endorsements, and book deals are all jumping your ship.   Your TV show has not been renewed after next month.  Even your new lifestyle teaching endorsement has disassociated with you.  

I do not know what your financial status is or what your holdings are, but I do know that when one has much one generally begins to live a larger lifestyle - an affluent lifestyle.  A lifestyle where you do not have to worry about your daily needs.  A lifestyle where you spend money as you please on what you desire, without much thought.  Along with this lifestyle may come a certain attitude - one of invincibility, and of confidence. 

Oh, Paula..... I know this is not the end of the world, but it may be a change for you.  Perhaps your empire will be restored to you and perhaps not. 

1 Timothy 6:17-18
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

Life is so uncertain. We don't know what will happen that might alter our course- a car accident, a health crisis, a tornado, a job promotion.......   I don't want to put my hope in something that is not secure, in something that is changeable.  I wan to put my hope in the One who never changes.  I hope Paula has her hope there too. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


This is where I wish I were right now. In this beautiful countryside gazing upon Mount Olympus. This is taken from in a small Greek village of Trilofos.  The name literally means "three hills."   
My father grew up in this village until the age of 18 when he immigrated to the USA.  He returned to the area some 50 years later until he passed from this life. Dust to dust.... back to his roots. He is not buried here in Trilofos, but is nearby in another small town.  
It has been two years since I have been here and I wish I could go back.  Something calls to me.  Is it my heritage, my roots?  Is it my sense of family and loss?  This past year alone I have lost three family members to death .  Or does the beauty and history of the land cry out to me to visit once again.  If I had unlimited funds and uncomitted time, I would be there. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pyonghwa (Peace)

Lily              Julie              Chae-Young              Junho              Euna 

Lynn         Lucas         Jason        Younghyun    Clara    Arrina 

These former students of mine have been in my thoughts of late.   I had the privilege to teach these young Korean citizens during part of the year or so that they spent in the United States while their parents were visiting professors at the local University.  Some were fluent in English and some knew no English at all, but most could speak at least a few words when I first met them.  Each of these English language learners have returned back to their native land of South Korea, but they will forever have a special place in my heart.
When I see the news of North Korea's leader making threats of war and posturing his military, it makes me think of my young students who live so close.  Although I feel the North Korean leader is babbling rhetoric and idle threats, I also feel the world is in a precarious place and evil abounds. 

My students are not my only connection to Korea.  While I have never been there, my daughter lived there and taught there for five years.  It is a beautiful country.  She has visited the demilitarized zone which is the area surrounding the North and South Korean border.   It is heavily guarded by both armies.     So I pray that peace will prevail in the coming days and months; that wisdom will guide all those who are making decisions; and that God will give grace to my students keeping them safe and protecting them from all harm. Amen. 

While at the Demilitarized Zone 

Overlooking Seoul

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Goodbye Winter! (at least officially)

Most of our winter was mild this year, but in the last 30 days the tide has changed.  The temperatures are decidedly cold and we have had some major snowstorms. But today, March 20, it is the spring vernal equinox.  There is about equal amounts of daylight and nighttime. So...it is goodbye to winter and hello to spring!  And even though there is snow forecasted for tonight and tomorrow, I will only think about the flowers that will soon be blooming.

Thank you Winter 2012-2013 for your pretty scenes and your forced pause upon our busyness of life.  Thank you for the the precipitation that brought us out of drought status. 

(Photography by Kasey Laughlin)