Saturday, January 28, 2006

Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain

It rained today. It was so nice!

Yesterday there were a few drops of rain, and I could smell the rain in the air for the first time in months. This afternoon, I napped to the wonderful sound of rain.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Flack Jackets and Funerals

On the Tulsa morning news just now, I heard that in addition to the current "Make My Day" law which allows OK residents to protect themselves with deadly force inside their own homes, OK will soon have a "Stand Your Ground" law which will allow people to use deadly force in public places if they feel threatened, even in places like supermarkets. The wild west returns.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Fabulous Truck Art

I do not know the origin of these photos - artist, company that owns the trucks or photographer. So, I am unable to give credit where due. These photos and descriptions arrived today in email. They're worth sharing.

Truck Art

There are 7 pictures of semi-trucks and trailers decorated to look like the sides are missing and the products they are hauling are painted on the sides and back.

The first one looks so real, it seems like the bottle is coming out the side of the trailer.

The second is of a canvas tote bag.

The third is of Pepsi cases and they are all stacked on the ceiling, and the bottom of the trailer is empty.

The fourth is of another truck with the windshield facing toward the rear and there has been a driver painted in the drivers seat looking back over his shoulder to appear like he is driving backwards.

The fifth one is of an aquarium with fish swimming in it.

The sixth one is of a bookshelf with books lined up in it and a post it note with an advertisement on it.

The last one is for Pringles Hot & Spicy potato chips. The inside of the trailer has the appearance of having been through a fire, telling us the chips are super spicy.

Friday, January 20, 2006

You mean so much more than you realize.

If you're thinking of hurting yourself or ending your life, think again. The hurt you leave behind lasts a long long time. YOU ARE LOVED. The loss of you in the lives of those who love you would leave a hole they could not repair.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"Can We Have Letters of the Day?"

Today was the 2nd day of clinical for this semester. I'll have six weeks of Med/Surg two days a week, then I'll rotate through three other areas two weeks each. At the start of the day, I was thinking (again), "Now WHY am I doing this?" At the end of the day, I was stopping by ICU to see an old friend and by HR to pick up an application (to work as a nurse aide as needed on weekends).

Today started out cold with the temperature at 32F. By the time I left the hospital it was almost 70F. A day like this needs hammock time! So, I came home and opened up windows, got a snack and was about to go out to the back yard when three of the neighbor kids appeared at the door, calling to me through the open window in the door.

"Deb'rah! Deb'rah! Can we have letters of the day? Can we have letters of the day?" There were three kids this time. "Sure you can. What letters do you want?" Since they couldn't agree, I suggested they each pick a letter. They chose 'J', 'K', and 'S'.

I got my cup of soup and joined them outside. The 'K' girl started spouting off 'K' words as fast as she could. The 'J' girl said, "I'm bored," and went next door to see what was going on. Then, the 'S' girl and the 'K' girl looked through the newspaper for words starting with those letters.

They all lost interest after about ten minutes, so I was ready to say goodbye and go back inside. But, we talked another minute when I suggested an idea they liked ("Maybe sometime you can cut out pictures from magazines and cut out the letters they start with."). One said, "Could we glue them on paper???" Sure! Of course you can. Then, that one wandered off.

The last one asked me to get a book and let her look for 'S' words. I said, "I'll get a 1st grade book, so it will be easy." She's in 2nd grade. She said, "Could you get a 3rd grade book, so I can learn to read 3rd grade books?" Cool! Sure!

So, I got a couple of books and we went to the front yard. The other two joined us again. They sat on the front steps and I stood in front of them, as in a classroom, and read the book to them, making a big display of showing the pictures. They alternately listened and jumped down and ran around the corner of the house to tell secrets.

Before the story was over, not even five minutes, the older sister of one of the girls (a tough-acting girl who dropped out of high school several years ago and swears a lot) started screaming at her sister to come home and screaming at the other two girls telling them their mom wanted them to go home.

That behavior seems so bizarre to me. It's always an, "If you don't ..., I'm going to beat your ..." kind of a threat. There's not any respectful behavior from adults (or want-to-be adults) to the children ... none that I see anyway.

It's just so weird. What was the sudden emergency that required someone to scream at the kids and threaten them when they were in plain view of the adults right next door? I've offered a number of times to help the older sister study for the G.E.D. exam, but I think she might be a little too 'tough' to let anyone help her.

I hope someday there is someone in her life who she can trust enough to allow to help her. I hate to see people's lives going nowhere just because the people around them made the same less-than-optimal choices. It's pretty clear that I am not that person. She has too big a chip on her shoulder and I don't know the right language (figuratively speaking) to be of any value to her.


Speaking of life beyond the circle, I have a lot of clinical work due in the morning (along with an 8-11am class, an 11am-12noon class, and a 1-4pm class), so I'd better get moving. I want to always keep learning, so I can keep moving the edges of my circle wider and wider and wider.

Happy reading to all, and to all a good night!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Microsoft Is Now Claiming Ownership of the Content of Personal Blogs???

Wow! Be sure NOT to use Microsoft's new weblogging product, MSN Spaces. According to datacloud, the fine print says Microsoft OWNS whatever you post on your page!

Monday, January 16, 2006

What's the Letter of the Day????

When I arrived home after the parade and turned into the driveway, three little neighbor girls from three different houses came running up to my car. "Debwa, Debrah, Deborah! What's the letter of the day?!?!?"

I got out of my car and said, "What would you like it to be?" The letter of the day on Saturday was "S". Saturday was the first letter-of-the-day day.

I like shows like Sesame Street that get kids thinking about phonics and letters and sounds. So, when a six-year-old neighbor trailed along while I walked my dogs Saturday afternoon, I started talking with her about the sounds of letters. It all started with the "S" on the stop sign. She didn't know what S-T-O-P spelled. She didn't know what a red octagonal sign with the word STOP was . So, I talked about stop signs and we sounded out the letters and put them together into the word STOP. After that, we thought of words that had an "S" in them and said them aloud.

For today's "Letter of the Day", they chose the letter T. They thought of words with a "T" sound in them and they looked for "T"s on nearby cars, on a drink bottle, on an egg carton, and in an old newspaper. They thought of all the words they could think of that included the letter "T" and then one said, "Can we have TWO letters-of-the-day today?" I said, "Sure! What other letter would you like?" She chose the letter "H".

After that, they asked to play in my front yard and asked if they could write on my sidewalk in chalk. I said okay. A little later, I came out to find "I love you"s written on every square. That was nice. To me, it means that they feel valued and respected by me, maybe even cared for. I never allow them into my house or my back yard, but when they come over and ring my doorbell and ask me to read to them or to bring my dogs out, I'll usually go out with books or dogs, or both, and sit with them in my front yard.

When I took the dogs and books out today, there were about five kids in the front yard. They played with the dogs and helped me pick up trash. (People throw trash into my fenced in front yard. I don't know why. Chicken bones, cigarette butts, empty drink bottles and cups and fast food containers. My guess is it comes from the house next door where the driveway is also full of similar garbage. I don't like it, but there's not much to be done, since it happens when I'm not looking and people would surely not admit to doing such a thing.)

The camera is broken :(, so I couldn't take any digital photos of the words on the sidewalk, but I found a throwaway camera in the house and took a photo of each of the kids with their messages. After that, they selected a Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle story from one of my books, and I read it to them. Before the story, one of the two went home. Three remained. Two started listening to the story, then one went to play with the other. By the end of the story, only one was listening. That one left, and I was back to my own events.

Back inside, I repaired my kitchen faucet! It's been without water for what seems like ages, but I wasn't ready to pay someone to come fix it. Yesterday, when I went to have my car worked on, my mechanic's plumber-friend was there. I described the "no water in the kitchen sink" problem, and he told me what to do. It was SO easy! Yippee! No more washing the dishes in a dishpan with water from the bathtub!

This past week was the first week of 2nd semester. I think it will be okay this round, because my work schedule has changed, and I might actually have time to do my school work in a timely fashion. Now it's up to me to stay focused and do what needs to be done each week! There is a lot to do and a lot to learn this semester! I wonder if I can come up with enthusiasm like those kids had today. That would be neat. It might be a little odd, but neat. "Teacher! Teacher! What's the assignment of the day???" Of course, I already know the answer to that one. "It's in the syllabus." Oh yeah, right. Off to the books! :)

Martin Luther King, Jr Day Parade

I've heard that Tulsa, Oklahoma has one of the biggest MLK Day parades in the country. Does anyone know? This one was pretty long. I went planning to take photos of all the groups. Unfortunately, my camera quit working mid-shot soon after the start of the event. I tried two more sets of batteries, but nothing worked. This is not good! The camera is a Cannon A-80. Has anyone else had this problem? I've really enjoyed the camera up to the moment it died today. I hope it's not an irreversible problem.

I love doing photography. I'd be happy to be the event photographer for parades and parties and weddings. I've done it in an unofficial capacity, but never as my profession. I especially enjoy faces, expressions and interaction between people.

I wonder what MLK Day means to most people? I know the people along the parade route were mostly African American. At any point along the route, there were probably fewer than five fair-skinned faces mixed in with every hundred darker-skinned faces. The parade had more of a mix, as a number of corporations and employees participated as did churches, school groups and diversity groups.

Before the parade, I was driving around through the surrounding neighborhoods trying to find the free community breakfast. I never did find it. But, it was neat seeing people walking to the parade route. There were lots of families and groups of friends. It would be neat if more people went to event parades that celebrate equality, diversity, inclusion, and acceptance.

The mood was happy except for one young woman who started yelling at me for speaking to her child. (A very small child was sitting alone in the grass crying. I looked around and saw no adult within 15 feet, and none were looking his way. I bent down to ask where his parents were. The 'adult' who came over to me had 'a attitude'. She said, "He may not look like me, but he's with me!" Okay. Okay! She was definitely not in the spirit of the occasion. I just walked away.) I also spoke with a high school senior and her mom. The girl is going away to college in the fall.She hopes to go to Howard University to study premed. Her mom is hoping she'll choose a school a little closer to home.

I never did see the end of the parade. After two hours, I left and came home. I saw one person I know (marching). I guess the other groups I knew were wayyyyy back at the end of the parade. I think I'll choose my viewing spot at the start of the parade route next time instead of at the very end.

... The Light Will Soon Return

From a mural in Flagstaff,AZ. Thanks to MaryBeth at
The Desert By Day.
(Click the image to see a larger photo of the mural.)

Saturday, January 14, 2006


***It is not enough to find your passion,you must dive straight into the fire of your fear,and hold it,until it transforms you...**

Fantasy Weekend

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday.

We want you to feel at home here in our luxurious resort. Notice the wall of windows overlooking a pristine bay backed by snow capped mountains. The day is warm and sunny. The trees are green. Flowers are in bloom.

Bicycles and rollerblades are available for your use. The stable has horses of every color, size and temperament. You may ride bareback, western, English or in a carriage. If you prefer to watch the races, we have box seating for you with only the finest accouterments.

Light aircraft tours are available for viewing the glaciers on the mountain tops. Snow skiing and sledding are available on the slopes. Boats await you for water skiing or scenic tours on the bay.

All food is fresh, whole and healthy provided by our 5-star chef and his staff of 10. We do have a chocolate fountain for dipping your strawberries and pineapple chunks. Thick, moist, dark chocolate cake and dark roasted coffee are also available for those special moments.

The rooms have surround sound high fidelity music of your choice. Movies, books, journals, newspapers and high-speed internet connections are also available. The bath has a tub large enough for complete floating relaxation and 15-head walk-in shower. All towels are half an inch thick and softer than cotton. Shower shoes and thick, terrycloth robes are provided.

Fresh flowers will be placed in your room daily. A masseuse awaits you at the spa. Please enjoy our string quartet in the dining area and blues band in the club. If there is any way we can be of service, let us know. Your pleasure is our goal.

Your friends will arrive this afternoon? We will prepare their rooms. Have them tell us their requests (comments!) and they will be fulfilled.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pray For Rain

Grass fires. Oklahoma is burning.

There are fires both east and west of Tulsa. OK has not had rain for a long time. There are burning bans everywhere.

Two hundred twenty homes and businesses have burned in the rural areas. People are starting to have 'allergy attacks' (maybe due to smoke in the air?). This last bit is anecdotal, since it's not from anyone medical, but rather from conversation with others.

I woke up coughing within the last hour and took a decongestant. I hope there is rain soon.

On a different note: Level Two begins in less than four hours. The next semester of the four semester program begins soon. The coursework seems a bit daunting. I need to focus on one day at a time and attend to what is before me each day.

Pray for rain.

530pm Monday Jan 9, 2006 Update - Two things:

1)This email arrived today from a friend in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
"The fires have gotten within 5 miles of my home, so I have been told. So far they have burned on the east, south, and west of me. Sometimes I can smell the smoke and twice we could see it in the air. Sinus infection is what I am hearing the most about. Several herds of cattle have been trapped by the flames. I have friends on the police department and volunteer fire department that try to keep me informed. I pray a lot."

2)I told my mom about midday today about the fires and the need for rain, and how it hasn't rained in OK for almost 100 days. Now, a few hours later, there are thick clouds covering the sky, moisture in the air, and a forecast for rain for tomorrow. (Yesterday there was no rain forcast for the next week or so.) Maybe my momma has been praying up a storm. Literally. I could believe she has a special direct line to God. Thanks to all of you who do think of others and pray or send good thoughts or energy or meditate on good things. We're all in this (world, life) together. It means a lot to know people care. Thanks for being there.

And, a p.s. about school. I'm cautiously optimistic. :) I think it (this semester) is going to be okay. At any rate, the 1st day went well.

Fire update: Jan 14, 2006 midday
The snow provided a brief respite, but fires continue to burn thousands of acres of land along with homes and businesses. While OK is without rain, the Seattle area is experiencing its 27th day of rain. And, according to
KinK over at JL, parts of CA are washing away, too. At the same time, the weather reports say the east has rain and the northeastern states will get snow. Can't we all just share? I'll take your rain. You take my sunshine. What do you think? If only it were that easy.

Fire update: Jan 15, 2006 10pm
The fires continue. Several factors have increased the fire risk:
Temperatures up to 70F
Wind speeds up to 40 mph
Humidity down to 15%
Just counting the Tulsa area, there were fires in nearby communities north, east, west, and south. One fire was stopped 50 feet from a house at the edge of a neighborhood. Another was started by people who threw out firecrackers into dry grass and then drove away. I know the people in the Pacific Northwest would gladly take our dry weather for their endless rain. I know we'd be happy to take their rain.

The Case of the Disappearing Teaspoons

Thanks to Joel for this interesting link:
The case of the disappearing teaspoons: longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons in an Australian research institute