Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Things that make me happy!

-wind chimes ringing in their non-patterned pattern.
-the feel of the ocean wind on my face.
-the dark gray of clouds against the blue of the sky or the green on the trees.
-Christmas songs on the radio.
-big hugs from people I love!
-music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 25APR12

Simple Woman's Daybook:25APR12
Outside my window...I hear the cars passing by on the highway.
I am thinking...that I still  have a lot to do in order to be ready tomorrow morning.
I am thankful for...all the blessings I have in the form of friends who support and love me and put sad faces on my facebook when I don't feel well.
From the learning rooms...painting is my newest thing I'm learning.
From the kitchen...i made blackberry cobbler the other day.  Does that count?  It was DEE licious!
I am wearing..grey cut-off sweat pants and a really old Southwest Texas State University shirt. It is faded and has a few holes, but at least it has the name of the school right, yeah?
I am creating...this week, it was jewelry as one of my 'Pay It Forward' gifts.
I am reading...a book about two kids who grow up and become decent human beings. (what a description!)
I am wishing...and hoping and thinking and praying and planning and dreaming his kisses will staaaarrrttt!  had to do it y'all.  Don't forget to sing it out really LOUDLY!
I am hearing...the ticking of the clock on the wall.
Around the house...Pop is asleep.  I have a pile of clothes on the couch I need to fold and pack.  The kitchen is clean except for the floor and I'm one weary puppy gal!
A few plans for the rest of the week: I am going to do whatever I want from tomorrow morning at 9 or so 'til Sunday at 5 p.m.   I'm REALLY looking forward to this time off!  I think I'll have three bubble baths! <3
A recent picture of me.  Those glasses!! But if I didn't hang 'em on that string, I'd lose them all day long!

Uninvited--but welcome--guest at my tea party

It was Sunday morning at Rusca House Bed and Breakfast in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  I awoke early so I could knit and drink hot tea and enjoy the beautiful back yard garden.   As I sat knitting and sipping tea, this cat walked past me, then made a u-turn, hopped up on the chair catty-corner to me and sussed out what was in my cup.  I was quite charmed by the situation. It seemed--somehow--to be right out of Alice in Wonderland.

Thanksgiving Weekend, Galveston!!

I had a very relaxing, enjoyable time Thanksgiving weekend. Since Mom and Daddy were in Oregon for Thanksgiving and Aunt Nona was in Georgetown watching Jennifer play basketball, I decided to finally take my one-year paid vacation. The guy who sold me my vacation week was able to give me two nights at the resort for free, so I slept, and took bubble baths, and watched t.v. and ate in style. That first photo is from the kitchen in my unit. I took other photos of the rest of the unit, but they disappeared from my camera! Not sure why, but I guess it doesn't matter now since I have a new camera!
When I planned this vacation, I determined that I would do at least four certain things:
-Attend the inaugural Galveston Christmas Gift fair in the convention center.
-Watch the 4D Polar Express Movie.
-Walk through the Festival of Lights at Moody Garden, and
-Ice skate.

Of course I did all of them!

These really cool folded washclothes held my personal dishwashing liquid and salt and pepper. what a cute idea.  Never thought about the personal size salt and pepper, but I guess there would be no way to ensure that it wasn't contaminated.  and--I guess--in a way, it is nice to know that this stuff is just for me!

This adorable Boy Scout taught me how to fold my own personal American Flag.  This lesson was made possible by my donation of 1/3 of the money I spent at this holiday gift fair--$2.00.  Yes, you may go ahead and now refer to me as Loralee Fabulous Responsible Ford.
I forgot to mention to rockin' cool thing which happened as I was about to go into the Holiday Gift Fair.  I was about to descend the escalators when I saw a couple ascending the escalators on the other side.  I asked them if they had gone to the fair and they responded affirmatively.  By this time, they were at the top and i had started descending.  I asked them if it was worth the $ 5.00.   The man of the couple looked at the woman of the couple and she turned to me and said, "Come back up here."  Of course, I obeyed.  When I got to the top, the man of the couple handed me a yellow ticket and said, "Enjoy yourself!"  I thought it was a wonderful thing to do, especially since--I found out later--that it was a VIP ticket which was worth $ 25.  I had access to the VIP lounge which had punch, wine, cheese, appetizers and cookies.  I only had one bite of a cookie--the head off of a gingerbread man!  Nothing else seemed good, though I enjoyed looking at the Christmas decorations, talking to the wine lady (didn't drink any though) and looking at the fruit and vegetable art.  Really, Really cool!  The above photo is a parrot made out of yellow squash!!

A watermelon, carved into some flowers.

Not sure what it is, but it is pretty and made out of a white pumpkin!

Next came the lights!   I had a really cool picture of about 15 butterflies made out of Christmas lights, but it disappeared from my camera, along with those photos of my unit.

Oh!  I found the photo of the fifteen butterflies, except there is really eighteen! If you click on it--after you're done reading the blog, of course, cos you don't want to miss the video at the end!--you can see some really interesting details.

Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of unsweet iced tea with no sugar and no lemon!

This is me.  I am waiting in line, wholly ready to watch Polar Express 4D.  I was disappointed to find that it wasn't the whole movie, only some highlights.  It was really rockin' cool, though. I would not be averse to seeing more 4D films. In the Spring, I think Moody Gardens (in Galveston) is showing The Wizard Of Oz in 4D.  I'll have to take a trip down then.
Clearly, we can put the below photo down as a bad job.   I thought it looked cool, though, so we're keeping it!

About the 4D:  It was awesome!  The seats rumbled like we were on a train, and lights flashed like the front light on a train.  In the hot chocolate scene, we could smell hot chocolate, and--coolest of all--when we were at the scene wherein the train was rushing across that big ice pond, skidding everywhere with a crack chasing after it, and putting on the brakes, causing ice to shoot out from the back of the train, we felt a spray of cool water on our faces.  I think it came down from the ceiling, but it was such a surprise and a delight!  I loved it--except for the guy in the row behind me who was loudly complaining about what a waste of money this movie was going to be.  I do not concur with him, however.  It was AWESOME!!! Just sayin'.

The hot chocolate scene!

The gal sitting next to me had some rockin' cool shoes.  She didn't think they sold them in adult sizes, though. :(

Santa was sweet and let me take his picture.  It cost ten dollars to sit on his lap, so I decided to forego sitting in his lap and telling him what I want for Christmas.  You remember that my name for the weekend is Loralee Fabulous Responsible Ford, yeah?

Moody Gardens is famous for it purty flowers, especially during the summer months.  Thankfully--though it was a cold, cold night which required coats and hats and gloves and scarves--there were a few beautiful yeller flowers here and there around the Festival of Lights.  This was one of the last photos I took with my, now defunct, camera.   By the way, yellow flowers are my favorite!! <3

It was a lovely, lovely, lovely vacation!  I got to take three...count 'em...three jacuzzi, hot-tub, soaky, bubble baths!  YAY!

Dunno where I took this accidental shot, but the colors in it made me happy, so I decided to include it in this tableau...

...and, here I am, ice-skating!  YAY!

Hope y'all had as much fun as I did!

Another Ford Family

Because of the vehicle company, my surname is a household word. The last name 'Ford' isn't really popular, however. Out of a national population of almost 313,000,000, people who bear the last name Ford number only 205,000. And, really, as a grown-up, I have only met about maybe 20 people--other than family--who also share the name my Daddy gave me. Which is why I was ecstatic when--on my annual paid vacation from work--I met a whole family of Fords.
When the little girl told me her name was Victoria, I said with happiness, "My little sister is named Victoria! Victoria (omit middle name on the world wide web) Ford!" My new little friend Victoria gasped and said, "Really? My name is Victoria (omit middle name on the world wide web) Ford!"
"No!" "Yes!" and everyone was really excited that we have the same name. Anyway, they spent the evening (and I watched) playing the game of Life. It was fun and I liked the idea of *sorta* spending the first night on vacation with my family playing games.

Victoria and Denzel are playing the game of Life.

a bad photo (but Mom looks so beautiful in this one, so I had to post it) of Mom and Ricky, Jr.

Ricky, Jr., Mom, Ricky, Sr. and part of Victoria.  All these kids love the camera!

The other Victoria!


Denzel is doing his little dance on the catwalk!

The Fords, junior

Aren't they adorable!?! They were having fun posing!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving with the Wrights

For Thanksgiving this year, my family was unavailable. Mom and Daddy went to Oregon to spend the week with my brother, Douglas, and his wife, Boyd. My aunt was spending the holiday weekend cheering on her youngest grand-daughter in a basketball tournament. I had the pleasure of spending the day with the family of one of my college friends. We had a really nice time eating and playing guitar and visiting. The men might have enjoyed watching football, but I did not. My camera was working that day. However, three days later, it started to malfuction greatly, and today, it died completely. :( So, these are some of the last pictures I took with my Kodak Easy Share. I'm hoping to be able to afford this one in its place.
After the family supper, Rachel and I went back to her home. We watched--and sang along--to an awesome HD version of Beauty and Beast and an un-awesome (but only cos it was a live action film. Ever notice how weird and kinda lame live action is on HD) version of Lemonade Mouth. I like the movie a ton! The music is fun and then there is the fact that there is a red-head in it. Y'all know how much a fan of redheads I am. Rachel and I joked that the redhead was my boyfriend and the long-haired brunette was her boyfriend. Such fun! It was a great day.

Aunnie and her niece and nephew.

An accidentally art-y shot.

An adorable baby in an adorable hat!

Leah and her baby girl!

Three generations! <3

three girls from college.

Sunset on Thanksgiving Day--Beautiful!

Sunset on Thanksgiving Day--Beautiful!

Another sunset. Really interesting colors. Almost unreal.

Grandpa Todd and his grand-girl!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 20NOV11

Can you believe I haven't don't one of these blogs since the 24th of July?   I guess it is time for one, yeah?

Simple Woman's Daybook: 20NOV11
Outside my window...I am outside my window. Pop and I are sitting outside on the carport, waiting for our dinner to finish grilling.  We're having barbecue ham, corn on the cob and brussells sprouts.  When I bring it all in--and while I'm getting Pop dressed for bed--I'll pop a few rolls in the oven and we'll have a nice colorful meal!  But for now, he and I are enjoying the air getting a bit crisper and cooler, a few lingering crickets chirping, and the very, very end of the sunset.  By the way, the clouds are moving very swiftly over our heads.  Sometimes, it is just so amazing how nature works, yeah?
I am thinking..that I am really enjoying the approach of Autumn/Winter.  I'm hoping that next year by this time, I will be living somewhere that has Four Seasons!  But we'll see.  I'm staying here until Pop doesn't need me anymore, as far as I know.
I am thankful for...the many people who have been praying for me during this ovary/cyst scare I've been going through the past two months.
From the learning rooms...I'm learning how to use my new computer.  Every single brand is different.
From the kitchen...I'll be making the Ford family Thankgiving tradition 'Cranberry Salad' on Wednesday.
I am wearing...capris and a green blouse.
I am creating...knitted caps.
I am going...to try to be less selfish.  What a challenge, yeah?
I am reading...a book about some English lady who moves to the American West.
I am hoping...that I don't let myself down and spend the Four Seasons money on things that aren't either a) an emergency and b) moving someplace with Four Season.
I am hearing...crickets and the sound of highway traffic.
Around the house...nothing much!
One of my favorite things...playing my guitar.
A few plans for the rest of the week: preparing for my Thanksgiving/One Year Vacation weekend in Galveston this weekend.  Oh, and Thanksgiving Dinner with Rachel Wright and her familia.
A photograph for your consideration:

I took this picture last Saturday at the end of my work day. This kind of light is what I call 'otherworldly.'  I imagine that this is what the sky looks like if you live in Brigadoon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So, here is what is going on...

...an adventure, of sorts.  By the way, if you're squeamish about 'girlie' stuff, you prolly oughta hit the back button right about now.  Just so ya know.

Between 21Apr and 07Jun, I somehow managed to have four whole (actually longer than normal) periods.  Just in case it happens to be early in the morning and you  haven't had your coffee yet, I'll do the math for you.  That is four periods in 7 weeks.  Even you men who like to steer away from anything "female problem-y" know that  this particular number of periods in such a small amount of time is problematic, yeah?
In tears, I called my doctor after the third period started a mere 3 1/2  weeks after the first one began.  She didn't seem awfully concerned.  She told me to lay off the fish oil cos some studies have shown that fish oil taken together with aspirin can cause extra bleeding.  Of course, I obeyed. When--two weeks after the third one began--another one arrived, I continued freaking out.  My doctor suggested that we wait to see how it continued (since the length of time between periods was lengthening out) and I had an appointment with her on the 14th of July.  Again, I obeyed; however, I made certain that we discussed it when I saw her in July.
Since my periods had 'evened' out, she didn't think we ought  to worry.  She did--however--order an ultrasound.   It must not have been put as urgent or anything cos my appointment was not set until the 4th of October--nearly three months later.
So,  it was the day of my ultrasound and I drank the requisite 30 million gallons of water.  Of course, they were running behind! :)  I think she took me into the examining room about 45 minutes late.   It all seemed like a normal test until we got to the intrauterine part.  (I'd just like to say BLECH and OOOWWWW.) My tech began asking some questions which I answered and then asked "Why do you ask?"  She asnwered way too quickly for my comfort but then never did or said anything else suspicious.  I was glad it was over and I went on my way with a wonderfully empty bladder.
A few days later, I go a letter in the mail informing me that I had another appointment with the gynecologist in Houston.  When I first read it, I was a little concerned, but then I thought, "Well, this really can't be anything scary cos there is no way a letter can get here from Houston in a day and a half.  Plus,  the letter is dated the 3rd and my appointment was on the 4th.   And because I had a lot of audit  jobs scheduled for that week's day off, I called the VA and rescheduled for HALLOWEEN (mwahahahaha).
So, the next week, I had my normal quarterly appointment with my regular doctor.  Imagine my surprise when she informed me that the ultrasound had revealed an unidentifiable mass on my left ovary (or maybe fallopian tube or uterus--I honestly cannot remember what it was, just that it was a girlie part!)  I was a little shocked--to say the least--and I really regretted moving that appointment.  However, next Monday, I will see the gynecologist again and--hopefully very soon--he will schedule more tests to see what is going on down there.  I've heard rumors that I will be getting an MRI, but I guess I'll just wait and see.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to have a good attitude and not worry.  and I'm  praying.  I hope y'all are, too.   I will let y'all know when I  know.
Loralee Fabulous "All of y'all" Ford   :-P      

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inheriting Beautiful

For Mother, so she knows I recognize both—and love her still. 

It’s Time 
November 10th, 2002, San Marcos, Texas, 2:00 p.m.
I punched the 'play' button on my answering machine as I walked into the house at two o’clock that Sunday afternoon. A message from my sister, Lana, began playing as I hung my keys in their proper place by the door. “ Loralee, Mother was put on a respirator this morning at eleven o’clock. It’s time for you to head up here to Fort Worth.” I packed a bag full of clothes, filled the gas tank and grabbed some traveling money. By three o’clock, San Marcos was in my rear-view mirror.

She Was 
1943-2002, Everywhere 
She was always the epitome of beauty to me. Her thick, healthy, auburn hair fell down past her waist. She was lithe and lovely, feminine and free-spirited, and her perfectly photogenic face was decorated by a dimple every time she smiled. She was intelligent and talented. She wrote literature and painted. She healed and encouraged. She helped and loved people--complete strangers, even. She was amazing. 

Saying Goodbye 
November 10th, 2002, John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas, 8:00 p.m. 
When I arrived in her hospital room, Larry, her ex-husband, was there, diligently keeping watch over the woman he still loved. I could not stop the tears as I first glimpsed her lying there in her hospital bed. She looked like a machine. Tubes ran out of each arm, leading up to bags filled with liquids in varying colors. Metallic heart monitor leads snaked out from under her blue and white hospital gown. An oxygen mask was strapped over her nose and mouth. She lay motionless, except for her chest which--aided by a respirator--rose and fell in a marked cadence. She was fifty-nine years and fourteen days old, but because of her lifestyle and the fact that Death hovered over her quiet body, she looked more like eighty. Sitting in the chair next to her bed, I leaned over so that my mouth was next to her ear. I whispered to her, encouraging her to do whatever it was that she must do. “Don’t worry, Mother,”  I said. “Your sister, Lana, Jon, Amelia and I—we’ll all take care of each other. It’s okay if you need to let go.”  It was four hours later that she did, at twelve-forty-five in the morning on Veterans’ Day. 

Summer, 1980, Arlington, Texas 
I got to ride shotgun this time because Lana and Jonathan hadn’t joined us on our trek to the store. I was excited about getting to spend some time with her alone--just me and mother.  As soon as we drove into the parking lot, Mother noticed a lady whose hands were full of shopping bags, plodding away from the store. She pulled up alongside the woman and rolled down her window.  “Pardon me, Ma’am? I noticed that you look exceptionally weary. My daughter and I would love to offer you a ride home. Please, let us help.”  The woman agreed and I scrambled into the back seat, allowing her to climb into the more comfortable front passenger seat. 
Following the lady’s instructions, we drove the mile to her house. Just before the woman hefted herself out of the car, Mother went into lecture mode. “Now, I have a condition to the help I’ve given," she said earnestly.  "Since I’ve saved you these 30 minutes of walking time by giving you a ride, I want you to promise me that you’ll rest for the same amount of time. Grab yourself a cold Dr. Pepper and prop up your feet. Take a nap or—better yet—a hot bubble bath! Just make sure you do something for you, please?”  As she exited the car, this woman--a complete stranger even--promised that she would. 
I was in awe. I must have asked her why she helped the woman because she began explaining.  “Loralee, from the moment I first saw her, I could feel the weariness rolling off her in waves. I could do something so simple and it would make her day brighter. It was just so easy to help her. It cost me only a few extra minutes of my time and about twenty-five cents in gasoline. Loralee, please understand this fact—everyone is worth some compassion.” 

The Way Things Seemed 
1979-1987, Universal City, Texas 
I was raised in a Yours, Mine and Ours family by my military daddy and my step-mom. The four of us kids knew we were loved, but the instances when we received hugs or actually heard the words 'I love you' were few. It wasn’t this way when I visited Mother, though. The minute she spotted me leaving the airplane, her face lit up in a smile. Each time, I had barely come into her arms reach before I was enveloped in a bear hug and asked the question she often asked, “Has anyone told you today that they love you? If not, can I be first? If so, can I be next?” 
Life would teach me in later years that Mother’s more outwardly, showy kind of love isn’t always the best kind of love—or even the most honest kind of love. Back then, however--to a romantic  teenager--Mother’s love felt so much more real than the steadfast and quiet kind of love I received every day back home with Mom and Daddy. I wanted to feel her kind of love all the time. And more importantly, I wanted to be just like this beautiful, vivacious, charismatic and outwardly loving woman. 

Worth Waaaaay More Than Checks 
November 13th, 2002, Arlington, Texas 
We found mother’s braids in an old checkbook box stuffed in her daddy’s antique secretary. Lana wanted to throw them away, but I vehemently protested. At the time, I was thinking  “Locks For Love could use this hair.” There were two braids, each measuring between 10 and 20 inches long. It was in my plans—sometime in the next few months—to cut off my hair and send it in, also. I liked the idea of our hair going in together to the Locks For Love foundation to help make wigs for kids with cancer. This reason alone was a good one for not assigning her hair to the trash bin, but there was, buried way down deep—and not sorted through quite yet--another reason for keeping these braids. I wouldn’t understand for many months that these bits of braided hair represented a mother to whom I was not ready to say goodbye. 

Taking Off The Rose Colored Glasses 
September 28, 2002, Arlington, Texas 
The trip I made from San Marcos to Arlington seemed really long. Even so, at ten a.m., I was the first child to make it to mother’s home for our impromptu family reunion. The smell of cigarette smoke instantly sparked a headache as I walked into my mother’s cluttered home. I found her seated on her ragged couch in the living room, dressed in her leopard skin baby doll nightgown. Already, her hand was curled around a wine glass which sat on an end table. Within her hand’s reach were several familiar items—a blanket, a lighter, a crossword puzzle book with a pen affixed to its front, a well-worn romance novel, and a plate--3/4s full with the leftovers from last night’s meal. 
She asked for my help in getting ready which I gave without hesitation. I hadn’t realized when I’d agreed what it would entail. I helped her up from her couch and we slowly walked the fifty feet to the bathroom. It took five minutes. As we walked, she let me know that she didn’t feel strong enough to stand up by herself in the shower. So, when we got to the bathroom, she stripped off her nightgown and knelt down beside the tub. She looked weak and tiny and frail. Her ribs stuck out in such contrast that, in the right light, she looked like a continuous mountain and valley range. At one point, as I reached down to steady myself, my hand closed completely around her ankle. I felt horrified, but I strove diligently to erase it from my voice as we continued talking about work and school and what was going on in each other's lives. But, in my heart, I was crying with fear. 

Caravan: Gifts From Far And Near 
Summer, 1997, Six Flags Mall, Arlington, Texas 
Mother and I saw the older couple walking around the mall as we left the food court to head back to her gift shop. I was 28 that year, so I was fully accustomed to Mother’s way of greeting people--complete strangers, even--and making friends of them. It didn’t surprise me, therefore, when we made the slight detour on our way back to the shop. As we approached the older couple, I heard her say  “Sir? I just wanted to let you know that I think you have a beautiful wife.” Both of them beamed brightly as they thanked her and continued with their walk. Mother usually found ways to turn situations like these into life lessons. This day would be no exception.  “Loralee, it is so important to give people their roses while they’re still alive. Tomorrow may never come and we hear such an awful amount of negativity in our world. Just a few well-placed words may really brighten someone’s day.” 

Epiphany, Incomplete 
February 03, 2003, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas 
I was talking to Robert after our literature class one Monday Night. There was no sorrow in me. I had already come to grips with her death, I thought. I was just sharing, matter-of-factly, the little details of my life—like the fact that my mother had passed three months before. But suddenly and intensely—and for the first time, really—I saw her head on that threadbare blue and white pillowcase. With perfect clarity, I saw the ugly, charcoal brown hair, liberally sprinkled with gray. There was no trace of brown or red or blonde anywhere. There wasn't even any of the dyed red in it. Suddenly, I felt her death all over again. She was gone and I would never see her again. My heart, having just started to “heal” from the intellectual understanding of her death, broke again in what seemed like a much more solid and tangible and permanent way. She was gone. And each, every, and all of the wonderful things about her had to be gone, too, didn’t they? I was devastated. 

Seeing the Impossible 
June 1983, Terrell, Texas 
It was a Sunday evening and we were driving back from the Texas Greco-Roman Festival in Terrell. I sat in the back passenger seat behind my mother. A strong gust of wind blew a bit of her hair back toward me; so I grabbed it and examined it with care. The sun mixed in with her browns and reds and blondes. At that moment, I was completely certain that there was absolutely nothing in this big wide world which could compete with the beauty of my mother’s hair. Another gust of wind blew a piece of my hair out of my loosely made bun. It landed just next to mother’s hair. I sat there staring at the two locks of hair. Disbelief and awe warred within my 13-year-old insecure brain. My hair was the same color as my mother’s beautiful hair. As this thought sank deeper into my understanding, I smiled with joy. Did this mean I was beautiful, also—like my mother? 

Finally Understanding 
May 2005, Austin, Texas 
You are a jewel in the sight of God as you are a good friend to those who know you. You have something about you that makes others (complete strangers, even) feel intrinsic worth and that is a gift. 
W. A. Baker. 

Happy in Summerland 
June 5th, 2008, My Dreams 
I dreamed about her last night. She was the same, but different. Her hair was cut short like before, but she had let the dye grow out. It was just a regular sort of brown instead of that unnatural red she used to color it. When I arrived at her home for a visit, she was sitting outside under the trees, sipping a glass of something cold and enjoying the setting of the sun. It was a beautiful twilight—my favorite time of day. The sun was gone, but it was still light out. The sky was a beautiful soft blue with pale pink streaked through it. It was breathtaking. Somehow, everything just seemed right with the world. 
She was living in an old fashioned cottage that seemed much bigger on the inside than it was on the outside. It was cozy and comfortable and she had all her favorite things surrounding her—her brushes, her paints, and a laptop so she could write. The place suited her perfectly. 
We finished our cold drinks—mine was iced tea, no sugar, no lemon—and went inside to clean up. We were meeting some of her friends for dinner. She was smiling and comfortable and happy there in that home. She was dreaming of a peaceful, hopeful life again. She was so different from the woman I had known the last few years before her death. In my dream, I was so very thankful to see her happy and to be able to spend time with her again. But then I awakened.  And I remembered.  And I missed her.  And I cried.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


On Facebook today, I was perusing the photos of a newborn baby, Laikyn Reese.  She was born prematurely and she was finally released from the hospital when she was about two weeks old.  Once she'd made it home, her parents had a set of professional photos done.  One particular photo caught my eye.  It was the one wherein Adam, who was dressed in black, was holding his daughter.  Her head was in his palm and facing the camera and her body and legs were draped over his forearm.  Her little bottom was only about two inches from the crook in her Daddy’s arm. It is really a lovely photo.
Seeing it brought back a memory of my Daddy telling me that--when I was born--I was nearly that small.  He said he could hold my head in his palm and my bottom sat right there in the crook of his elbow.  When he told me that memory, he was smiling and it was clear that it was a memory which he cherished.  I also cherish the memory of him telling me of that day--greatly.
This picture is poignant to me for other reasons.  Did y’all know that I was born prematurely, also?  I was born somewhere between six and seven months gestation.  I imagine I was about maybe two weeks or so farther along than Laikyn was when she was born. I weighed six pounds.  I’m sure you can imagine how big I might have been if I’d gone to full term!
There is another ‘didja know’ in this story.  Didja know that many people in my family thought I was the child of someone other than my Daddy because of my early birth?  They believed that I was actually born between seven and eight months, thereby disallowing Daddy as my father because he was overseas in Thailand until January of 1969.  These ideas plagued me for many years.  In fact, when my mother told me that this ‘rumor’ was true, I was devastated.  I felt as if all the things that made me good in the world came from him and—if I wasn’t his child—then I was worth very little.  Of course, now I know that this idea of my worthlessness is absolutely ridiculous, but I was young and very saddened by these new ‘facts’ I’d learned.
At one point, my Mother told me that the rumors were true.  And who knows, really? It is true that I look like neither one of my parents, except that my hair is the exact color of my mother’s hair.  I was bothered by the fact that I don’t look like anyone for a long time.  Strangely enough, as the years pass, I have come to the conclusion that Mother was just telling a story—as she often did—and she started believing it.  The older I get, I see him in my forehead and--every now and then--in my face, especially on the days when I am tired.  Weird, huh? And I was teased my whole life (I can’t believe I’m telling y’all this!) with the following song—
o/’ o/’  Daddy butt, Daddy butt.  Lori’s got a Daddy butt! o/’ o/’   
Super embarrassing, I know—but it begs the question:  If he isn’t my Daddy, why did I have to endure that song for so many years?  It is true that I don’t exactly have the biggest backside you’ve ever seen, yeah?   Anyway, so there were things here and there through the years that made me wonder if Mother was wrong.   And eventually, it didn’t matter. I am Paul Ford’s daughter. I know Daddy loves me and I know he was my Daddy, no matter who donated to my DNA.
 But the thing about that picture of Laikyn—she weighed only six ounces less than I did when she was born at 34 weeks. I weighed exactly 6 pounds—or so I’ve been told.  Her backside was only inches away from Adam’s elbow and I was right there in Daddy’s elbow crook, according to him.  Why couldn’t I have been born between six and seven months, seeing as I was almost as small as Laikyn was? 
I realize this whole blog might be considered super silly by some, but I’ll tell you the truth:  I love the moments when I see Daddy in my face!  I greatly appreciate ANYTHING I see or realize that makes the idea of Daddy being my father more probable.   I know it doesn’t really matter, but—somehow—it does.  It matters that I belong to him, ya know? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good Memories

We had all just finished eating at the Texican Cafe. It was a Wednesday evening after Bible class. Abbey, Katie, Bryant, several of the Southwest School of Biblical Studies students and I had been together--talking, laughing, and eating. We had closed the joint down!
I walked out after everyone else did. Our large group had splintered into several smaller groups. Some of the students were standing together discussing one of the assignments that Rick had given them. Katie and Joel were talking about something and laughing. Abbey and Bryant were standing near me and the back of her heels were propped up against a cement parking bumper, making her seem a bit taller than her normally very short self. I can't remember exactly what they were discussing, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was about Harry Potter. It was clear that their conversation was riddled with the teasing and affection that accompanies close friendships.
I watched all of them for a few moments, smiling. Then, I look up at the beautiful black sky which was resplendent with twinkling stars--cos the Texican is the tiniest bit out of town. Then I looked back down at these groups of people whom I loved and whom I knew loved me in return and who were like-minded, (They love Harry Potter, each other, and God, but not necessarily in that order) and I thought, "I am the luckiest girl in the world."

Here are two of the people who often feature in my 'luckiest girl' moments.

Sur et Sous

I've been exposed to a lot of Spanish in my life because of where I have lived most of my life--Texas. I think I learned a bit of it by osmosis. In the last two years, I've been trying to learn Italian and French also. I haven't mastered either one of them yet, but I'm learning.
If you're a reader, you may remember when I discussed how easy it was to remember what "under" meant in Italian (Sotto) because--musically--that means something akin to "softer." I made some kind of mental connection between singing more quietly and being under something--like a table or a car.
So, I'm finally to this same section in French and I have found that my bit of Spanish knowledge is causing me problems. In French, 'Sur' means 'above.' In Spanish, it means 'South.' When I saw the first question using the word 'Sur' I chose the picture that had a cat sitting under a table. I was greeted with that annoying buzzing sound and a big red X across the picture of the cat under the table. Soon enough, I became aware that 'Sur' meant above or on top of something. I was baffled and--really--I still am. But what saved the day for me here in directional French was the word for 'under' which is 'sous.'
I have heard the phrase 'sous chef' previously but never really delved into the intricacy of its meanings. I opened up another page and looked up the meaning of "sous chef." It is 'Under Chef' like "I am second in command to the head guy.' So now 'under' and 'above' are cemented in my mind even though I can't quite get with the idea of 'sur' being above. Since 'sous' makes sense now, it helps 'sur' take its meaning in my head at the very least.
By the way, two asides: Didja know that 'dans' means 'inside?' and that 'chef' means head--like chief. So the the phrase 'head chef' is a little redundant! ha!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


One of my recent homework assignments in counseling was to make a family tree, of sorts. My family tree is often very confusing and convoluted for those who don't live it every day. I decided to make a chart and well, I PAINTED a chart for my counselor. I don't think it is very readable in this photo I took, but it was fun to do. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

I cannot seem...

...to rid myself of this anger I am feeling today. I had a good day but there was this underlying thread of anger over the words and tone someone used with me today. I am praying for peace over it. Will you pray, too, if you are a person who prays? I think I need all the help I can get. Thank you.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

To whom it may concern at Straight Talk,

First, I'd like to say that I have been enjoying the Straight Talk service for nearly a year now. I have had very few problems with y'all. I adore my little phone with its qwerty keyboard and 3.1 MP camera and all the other fabulous features. I have a great signal even though I live in a rather small town in the middle of nowhere. I am usually ecstatically happy with my little phone. I think it is clear to see that I'm a fan. However, right now--I am severely displeased with y'all. I phoned your customer service department a few months ago requesting that I be taken off of the "text in the middle of the night informing me that my minutes have been refilled" list. That request had been filled for several months--until this morning at about 1:17 a.m. in the morning. The fact that this happened AGAIN is completely unacceptable for several reasons.

1) I requested that it stop several months ago. That fact ALONE should be the end of the matter since I'm the customer, i.e. the one who pays a portion your salary via my patronage of your services.

2) You may say that I should just turn off the phone at night so that I don't hear it. Why should I? This is the only phone I have. What is some member of my family called with an emergency in the middle of the night and my phone was turned off? I use my phone--probably like many employees of your company--to keep in contact for both normal and emergencies reasons.

3) Speaking of emergencies, do you know what it is like to be awakened at 1:17 a.m. with a "phone call?" What do YOU think of when you get a phone call in the middle of the night? Very likely you immediately think, "Oh no! What is wrong? Something must be wrong for someone to be 'calling' me in the middle of the night--aka 1:17 a.m.! Who is hurt? Who is dead?" Your heart rate rises exponentially. If you are at all prone to heart issues, strokes, or panic attacks, you might be in the danger zone in the moments immediately following one of these middle of the night Straight Talk business phone calls. Seriously folks, there should be no business phone calls from ANY business--unless there is a pre-arranged agreement between vendor and customer--between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Listen, my MOTHER won't call me or allow me to call her from between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. unless it is an emergency. That is just basic, decent, common social etiquette.

4) In these "modern" times, a text message from a business is like a business phone call. I'd really like to know why in the world a business is calling and awakening me at 1:17 a.m. That is completely and totally unacceptable. It actually should be a practice that is abandoned--WHOLESALE--by Straight Talk. Not one single Straight Talk customer should be receiving business phone calls (i.e. texts) from you between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Once again--that is just a common and widely accepted bit of social etiquette. I am quite certain that you have--on staff somewhere--some wonderfully adorable computer nerds who have the skills necessary to write codes which requires these business calls (i.e. texts) be done ONLY during acceptable times. I know this can be done, Oh Straight Talk, cos computer nerds can do just about anything. They're like Daddies that way.

Seriously, this issue needs to be addressed--post haste--by your company. I certainly do not expect another phone call/text from y'all in the middle again FOR ANY REASON. If it happens again, I will have to very seriously consider spending my money elsewhere. I hope that y'all seriously consider making changes across the board in this practice of 'middle-of-the-night' business phone calls.

Thank you for your time. I seem to have plenty of it since I'm still WIDE AWAKE an hour after receiving your text--in the middle of the night.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Thought on Genesis 19

I am now in the late teen chapters of Genesis in my daily reading. I was reading the story in chapter 19—you know, the one about all the adventures Lot had when he lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. I’d gotten to the part where two strangers came to visit Lot’s fair town and he invited them to stay at his home for the night. They tried to refuse him, at first, but his continued urging made them relent and they accepted his offer of hospitality.

The Book says that he fed them a great meal and just before they were getting ready to head to bed, Lot and his visitors heard a large amount of yelling coming from outside the house. It turned out that all the men of the city of Sodom, “both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (19:4) had surrounded Lot’s house and were demanding that the two visitors be sent out to them so that they could "have relations with them.” (19:5)

Now there is a lot of clamor around ‘Christendom’ as to what it was these men wanted to do with the two strangers. I’m not really going to delve into that issue; however, I can state definitively that whatever they wanted to do was sinful because Lot pleaded with them not to act “wickedly.”

As most people are wont to do, the men of Sodom did not exactly appreciate being called wicked so they pressed their case even more vehemently to the point that they were squishing Lot against his door and almost breaking it--and him!
Fortunately for poor old squished Lot, the two angel visitors were keeping and eye on things and they reached out and hauled Lot into the house, threw a curse at the wicked men--blinding them, and then quickly shut the door behind him.

What amazes me most about this story is that the men of Sodom didn’t just quit at this point. You know, “Well, let’s take stock of our situation here. Lot’s gone back into the house and shut the door. It doesn’t look like he is going to be willing to send those men out here so we can act wickedly with them, and--WE'RE BLIND! Maybe we should just crawl back the way we came.” Nope. The Text says that those men wearied themselves trying to find the door so that they could get to the two strangers.

In case ya didn’t know, ‘Weary’ is an adjective that means “physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, or strain.” Normally, I’d admire someone who had a goal and worked diligently to achieve it. This time, however, these men became weary because they were trying to be wicked. Though BLIND, they grew exhausted in striving to do something evil.

I guess I really don’t have much of a point here. I was just so amazed at how stridently these men were working to sin. It isn’t as if they were just there in a group of friends and the sin was this really simple thing to do—like putting your hand out, accepting a joint and smoking it. Nope, their actions were equivalent of trekking through 2 miles of mountains, then running through a large and dense forest at top speed for an hour from federal agents, finding the hidden garden of 'herbs', cutting them down, making the return trip home, rolling the marijuana into papers, lighting it and smoking it. Their efforts were clearly on the side of wanting to do sin so much that they put themselves in physical harm to do it. YIKES!!

It sounds terrible, doesn’t it—putting your body in physical danger in order to sin? And while I imagine none of us often go to that kind of extreme—physically--in order that we might sin, I wonder if I or you or any of us ever realize that no matter the sin we do, we are wearying out spiritual ‘body’ to the point where we will die if we don’t straighten up and fly right.

You know, I can imagine what some of those men of Sodom looked like when they went home that night. I believe that their hands and knees were probably nicked and scratched up from crawling around in the sandy and pebbled streets. I imagine that they were covered in bruises everywhere from bumping into all the other blind, wicked sinners who were crawling around with them, unable to see where they were going. I even wondered if—maybe—some of their clothes were torn cos their fellow sinners got tired of waiting or perhaps mistook them for the two angels. Just imagine walking into your home looking that way! I know one thing—I don’t want to walk into the place of Judgment looking the same.

Just a little food for thought, y’all.
Loralee 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Things that are cool about Pop, #35

Me, to Pop, as I headed back to my bedroom to do a bit of cleaning: Goodnight! See ya later, Taterhead!"

Pop, heading back to his room to get ready for bed: You, too, Taterhead!

From the Cobwebs: Merry Christmas!

I found this note whilst going through boxes today. It was written on an unlined 3 X 5 notecard. It said:

Miss Ford,
I hope you pass college and have a Merry Christmas.

From: Jade
To: Miss Ford

Stinkin' cute, yeah? <3

Monday, July 25, 2011


I’m supposed to write every day—at least two paragraphs. I’ll tell you that I’m sitting down right now--across the room from Pop who is watching Bonanaza—ready to write, but I can’t think of a single thing about which to write, whether fiction or non-fiction. No poetry either.
It is funny how hard it is to write. I’ve been stuck on one story for prolly about three years. It is crazy. How hard can it be to just WRITE it already?!? I’ve pondered changing the style of the book. First, I should explain. The very first book I wrote in the Hunter series was created as a birthday gift for my friend, Lieh. I conceived of the book whilst in Jamaica doing mission work with her husband. He mentioned that they had planned a birthday party for her at the cement park outside of town on the Saturday after we returned.
I was devastated cos I had promised my elder sister that I would come to see them. She said I hardly ever came to see the kids and that they missed me. For whatever reason, I saw a picture in my mind of a big bird clutching me in his large beak and flying me from San Marcos to Spring (to see my nieces and nephew) and then back to San Marcos in order to catch the tail end of Lieh’s birthday part at the cement park.
I wrote it in poem form and I illustrated it myself. It was the best I could do and fairly good for a beginner. I was happy with the gift and never intended to do more than the one story. Then at Christmastime a year or two later, my younger sister invited me to a special birthday party wherein I was able to meet the governor of our fair state. It was a lovely party! The decorations were fabulous! The Christmas Tree was H-U-M-O-N-G-O-U-S!!!!
Looking at it, I wondered how in the world they managed to decorate it! It was about 16-feet tall! Somehow from that experience, I imagined a young girl whose mother worked for the governor’s decorating team. She was given small little tasks in order to help get the tree decorated. Though I know it isn’t logical, part of her job was putting the star up on the tree, which—of course—was a very daunting task for this little girl. She was so frustrated with her inability to perform this small task that she went out to the gazebo and began crying. Hunter the big bird with the huge beak was flying over Austin and heard her crying and flew down to help her solve her problems.
Then came the day I realized that the story hadn’t even begun yet. I was flying home from a family reunion in Lubbock when I met a young boy who had a certain kind of cancer which rarely allowed its victims to survive more than a year after the diagnosis. I was devastated. I decided Hunter (the boy) needed to be part of the story (actually, previously, the bird had been named Homer, but after I met Hunter, I decided a name change was in order—in order to honor this boy.) With the help of my friend Rachel L. , I decided that Hunter needed to be part of the first story in the Hero bird series. Hunter, the bird, could be going on a vacation whereat he would meet the boy who had cancer. I named the boy Ernest Wayne.
In the story, Hunter ended his vacation by flying Ernest Wayne up to Heaven and dropping him off in the bosom of Abraham. And—as he was flying home—Hunter, the hero bird, decided his life’s work should be helping little kids live good and happy and worthwhile lives.
A great idea, I think (thanks Rachel, for your part!) But somehow, I can’t write it. Writing in rhyming poem form is often very difficult anyway. So, I’m having a hard time. Recently, I have considered re-writing all the stories in prose form instead of trying to wrangle another poem out of such an important story.
I think the idea is important. There is definitely room for future stories and important life lessons can be learned from a series about a helpful hero bird. I feel like this is something I need to do, but I’m having trouble forging on. I wonder if I’m being my own worst enemy?
Anyway, that is what is going on in my mind. It didn’t end up being so hard to write two paragraphs today. ‘Course, y’all oughta know that was just another example of me writing in ‘stream of consciousness. If it is crazy, please forgive.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Learning to Forgive

I’ve been struggling with something today. I’m not going to go into a huge amount of details about it, but I will say that it revolves around ‘forgiveness.’ In the last week or so, someone in my life has treated me in a way which I thought was disrespectful and unnecessary, and—well, hurtful, really.
And—though it is over, I find myself still thinking on it. I’m still worrying about it. I’m still allowing myself to feel the hurt from it. In the intellectual half of my brain (and I’m being generous with the word 'half', I know!), I understand that I just need to let it go. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter that Mr. X was so pushy in trying to get his feelings across to me that he was not anywhere near to respectful to me. He was very hurtful, in my opinion. He made demands of me as I were a child and took a hollerin’ tone instead of sitting down and discussing it with me softly, but firmly. I’m pretty certain Mr. X would be able to express every inch of his displeasure with me in a more respectful and helpful manner.
I will tell you that I felt attacked! I felt that the “punishment” didn’t fit the crime, by any measure. I need to let it go, but it is hard for me to allow a person to get off—scott free!—from doing something wrong. And I’m not only talking about being upset when something was done wrong to me, but also when people do wrong to others and I witness it. I want everyone to acknowledge their part and repent and apologize. Of course, that is a pipe dream, prolly. I want to live in an ideal world but I don’t think it exists. But I digress.
During worship this morning, I was listening to the songs we were singing and I thought “Well, Jesus put up with a lot of people being hurtful or hateful or thoughtless to Him.” And he still went to the cross on the behalf of those people—and all the rest of us, too. I remember thinking “My interactions with Mr. X are nothing like what Christ has to experience when He was living on earth. I need to find a way to let this go, to forgive—even if Mr. X never apologizes. That is a hugely hard thing to do, isn’t it? I don’t know how Christ did it. But He did. And, I should at least try to follow His lead on this one, yeah? I’ve been praying for the ability to let Mr. X’s behavior go and throw away the hurt I have been feeling. Hopeful the results will come soon.
P.S. If you read this and want to make no comment, that is perfectly fine. If you read this and have some constructive ideas as to how I can learn to throw away my hurt sooner rather than later, I welcome it. If you wanna add my rebellious soul onto your prayer list, I welcome it, also.
P.P.S. In case you were getting worried, this post is NOT about Pop.
P.P.P.S. Thanks for listening.

Simple Woman's Daybook: 24JUL11

Simple Woman's Daybook: 24JUL11
Outside my window...it isn't foggy, but it is cloudy and it looks like we may be in for a rainy day. This is the first time I think I've ever done SWD when it wasnt' dark outside.
I am thinking...that I'm very confused and saddened about something and I wish I understood what happened yesterday.
I am thankful for...my friend Tony who is helping me get better.
From the learning rooms...I'm learning about World History from my "World History for Dummies" book.
From the kitchen...I had oatmeal with rainins and dried cranberries and dried something else.
I am wearing...a sky blue nightgown.
I am creating...some hats to sell on ebay or amazon.
I am going...try to be forgiving when I don't want to be.
I am reading...a story about some people in the 1800s.
I am hoping...that I can figure out how to take care of things financially.
I am hearing...Snow White going crazy cos Rose is here.
Around the house...nothing much is going on here.
One of my favorite things...English Breakfast Tea.
A few plans for the rest of the week: guitar lessons on Tuesday and Kelly will be taking me out for my birthday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Majority Rules? Sadly, it looks like it.

I was doing my daily reading in a book on politics that I have bought. I ran across this little section which says:

"The majority rules, but the Constitution controls. The Constituion restricts some of the effects of majority rule. If a right is protected by our Constitution, the majority cannot pass laws or adopt policies restricting that right. Our courts would declare such actions unconstitutional." (Politics For Dummies, 2nd Edition, page 15)

Reading that paragraph got me to thinking about the way the wind has been blowing in our nation lately. Religion is being forcibly 'hidden under a bushel.' And to be honest, it is more often 'Christendom' which is being hidden rather than some of the many others. Political Correctness has made our nation one which runs screaming away from threatened lawsuits instead of standing her ground. Whatever happened to the First Amendment?

"Article [I.]

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That means that everyone gets to practice the religion of their choice. That means that Islamic people can kneel facing west three times a day, if they wish. That means Atheists can say what they would like to say regarding the existence of God. It should also mean that Christians should also be able to believe in and discuss the tenants of their faith as well. But that isn't what is happening, is it?

If anyone tries to stop an Islamic person from kneeling on their prayer rug, then someone cries 'Foul!' The KKK may march and assemble and spew their hateful rhetoric, if they wish. That ridiculous Baptist group from up north can picket military funeral and spew garbage and they are backed up by the courts of our land.

However, we of 'Christendom' are forced to hide. No prayers at football games just in case 'someone' is offended by it. I'm offended when Atheist deny the existence of Christ and call me ignorant for believing in Him, but I don't cry 'Foul!' and insist that they be disallowed their right to express their opinion, do I? Nope. Cos I know what the laws are in our land. Do I like what they're saying? Nope. But they have the same rights I have.

We are forced to take down the Ten Commandments from our Justice Buildings. We are forced to take down Christmas decorations or call the season 'Winter' Holiday so as not to offend those who don't think much of Jesus of Nazareth. (Whether or not the season is really when Christ was born in a different story for a different day; however, it is being squelched cos people want Christ to be like children--not seen and not heard)

I find it all kind of ridiculous, but I also do not see it stopping. At the end of my lifetime, things will be much worse than they are now and I'm not sure there is anything I can do about it but to pray.

I want to address one more idea herein. Many, many people cry as loud as they can that the constitution requires "separation of church and state." What they mean by this phrase is that not one single thing touching religion can have anything to do with "The State." They think this means no prayers at football games or no Ten Commandments hanging from a courtroom wall and so many other things. I think they are wrong. Following is the one proof I will present in regard to this matter.
Here is the letter Thomas Jefferson wrote which included the phrase 'separation of church and state.':

Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.


The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson

This "wall of separation of church and state' had EVERYTHING to do with allowing United States citizens to practice and express their religious beliefs and NOTHING to do with taking the Ten Commandments out of Courthouses and stopping young Christians to pray before a ball game.

Anyway, enough of my rant. I'm just presenting some food for thought.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Well, it is ten a.m. I am striving to go through my list of things I need to do each day. I have done three and 1/3 of them. Bible Study, pray, eat oatmeal, and drink three of the large blue glasses of water each day. I’ve consumed one of the large blue glasses full of water, hence the “1/3.”
I have to admit that I don’t much feel like writing today. I slept very poorly last night and I have a terrible allergy headache. Since I moved here to South East Texas, it feels like allergies have plagued me more than they used to do. I awakened today with a roaring headache and even though I have taken the appropriate medicines, I am still in crazy pain. It can prolly be rated at a seven out of ten. You can imagine my annoyance. It is bad enough that I almost begin to feel nauseated every now and then. I’m not really a huge fan of pain that is so bad I feel as if I might vomit. I’m sure you understand fully. Unless you’re a weirdo. ;-P
I really can’t bring myself to the point where I want to finish writing this—thing, whatever it is I am doing. Complaining, I guess. And, in reality, my list only says “I am writing at least two paragraphs every day” so I am past that point, yeah? I’m going to go take a nap and hope I feel better enough (is that anywhere close to proper phraseology?) later on to write something more hopeful and happy and…

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hunter packs

First of all, I want to say that this half-story which will follow is not anything I planned. It is part of an "assignment" of sorts. In case you didn't read (or didn't realize cos I was vague) yesterday's blog, I have started some counseling. I'm taking a line from one of the papers I received yesterday from my counselor, but this line sums it up quite nicely--"I now recognize that my way of 'being' is not working for me." When I recognized it, I knew I needed to make some changes. I also knew that I didn't know how or didn't have the strength or didn't....whatever...to do it by myself, so I decided to seek out a counselor.
One of the things we discussed yesterday centered on what I thought were "important things." There are plenty of things, but I'm not going to go into all of them. Suffice it to say that I have 'homework' with this counselor. I actually think that is prolly a great idea cos I need every ounce of help and guidance I need, and, sometimes that help and guidance is going to have to come from inside me.
Anyway, some of the homework is actually DOING--even if only for one minute or two minutes or five minutes a day--those things which I think are important to me. Since I consider myself a writer, I wanted one of those important DO things to be writing. So, one of my daily homework assignments is to write something every day--even if it is only two paragraphs. In fact, on the "I am" list I have now is "I am writing at least two paragraphs every day." I will post each day's work; however, I might post it on my private journal page on another website (No offense, Blogspot. I just haven't figured out how to make one of my blogs private and keep the other ones public, so I just went to another blog 'company.')
Okay, so here we are today--20JUL11--and I am posting my first day's homework assignment. Today it is a piece of fiction. Tomorrow, it may be a poem or non-fiction. I just don't know how this will work out. Today's homework is just a 'stream of consciousness" piece of fiction. It isn't even a finished story. I don't know where the story would go, but if I feel compelled to finish it, I'll link any subsequent parts to this first one. Anyway, I told you all that just so that you know that what you are going to read isn't really anything planned out or scheduled. At this point, I ain't J.K. Rowling (I'm Loralee Ford) Anyway, here goes...

Hunter sighed as he placed his last t-shirt in the suitcase. This packing nonsense was for the birds. He wished he had a servant who could do it for him, like in those old Victorian novels. ‘Course if that wish was granted, he’d also have to put up with garbage like servants bowing and scraping and calling him “Sir” and “My Lord” and he’d have to remember which of his friends preceded him into dinner every night. What a nightmare!
Hunter walked back over to his closet. “Which suit should I take?” he thought. He knew there would be a “Dinner with the Captain” night on the cruise. Those nights usually required people to dress up in their finery. That particular night on a cruise was interesting because you saw people all dolled up ‘to the nines.’ Every other moment of the cruise, they were half-naked in their swimsuits with a towel hanging around their neck or they were dressed in their casual shorts and Hawaiian shirts standing in line waiting to leave the boat for a day’s excursion to whichever warm vacation spot the cruise ship had decided to visit.
He chose his navy blue suit, along with a tangerine dress shirt. He usually looked pretty sharp in it. It’d be fine for the Captain’s dinner. He zipped his suit up in a hanging bag and placed his dress shoes in the suitcase. “Ahhh! This is done.” He said with a sigh of relief. “No more packing.” He walked over to the dresser and opened his carry-on bag. For the third time, he checked in the inside pocket to assure himself that his plane ticket, passport, and cruise tickets were safely there.
“Now…” he said “…the real choice is upon me. Do I try to get two hours sleep? Or do I sit up and catch a few infomercials until my airport shuttle arrives?” He knew that his flight would be four hours long and that there would be plenty of opportunity to sleep on it. But, unless you had a window seat or were traveling with someone you knew—someone who wouldn’t mind you using their shoulder as a head-rest—the combination of sleeping and air travel was no fun. Fortunately, Hunter had assured himself of a window seat when he booked the flight. There would be plenty of opportunity to catch some zzzz’s aboard flight 217 from Austin to LA. His biggest problem would occur if he happened to be assigned a seat next to a “chatty cathy.” Sometimes he enjoyed making friends on airplanes. There were times, though, when he just wanted to stare out the window and watch the passing scenery until he fell asleep.
Even on those occasions when he wasn’t interested in sleep and was hoping to catch up on a book he’d been putting off due to work concerns, those “chatty cathy” types could be problematic. He wanted to turn to them and say “Can’t you see I’m reading, gal? I’m not really interested in the fact that you are going to visit your great-aunt Bessie who had six cats name Abraham, Delacey, Giuseppe, Casey, Thomas, and O’Malley! Let me read my book!” Of course, he never did it. He just wanted to do so—deep down inside. He couldn’t bring himself to be so rude. He knew his Mother would roll over in her grave if he did. He’d caused enough problems for her while she was alive. He didn’t want to continue the tradition now that she was lying quietly in her mahogany casket, buried under a ton of dirt.

He had five hours ‘til his plane was scheduled to leave. He could try to take a nap, but—on days like these—he was always afraid to go to sleep if he didn’t have the time to sleep a whole night before he needed to be up and going. He was always afraid that he wouldn’t awaken on time and he’d miss his flight. He certainly didn’t want to miss this flight. He hadn’t been on a vacation in five years and he had been looking forward to this cruise since his cube-mate, Rachel, had regaled him of tales of her cruise to the Mexican Rivera two years ago. That night on his way home from work, he went through the drive-through at KFC and picked up some dinner. Usually at night, he went home and fixed up a salad and a small meal. But he knew that tonight he wanted to spend every minute on his computer researching. Rachel had planted a seed when she waxed eloquent about all the adventure and fun she’d had exploring Acapulco and cruising around land’s end in Cabo. Hunter decided he wanted an adventure, too. All the way home he thought about where he’d like to go. Somewhere with beaches and warm breezes? Somewhere with cobble stone streets and historic buildings?
He still hadn’t decided when he arrived home and unpacked his $6 chicken meal. He fired up is computer and sat down with a notebook on his left and his meal on the right. The computer—of course—was front and center. It was the most important tool in this scenario. He’d had to research countries, look up flight schedules and rates, and figure out which cruise lines serviced the area he wanted to visit...
...perhaps to be continued?