Don’t sweat the small stuff…..


The healthcare facility where I work has a great little cafeteria for the associates and visitors.  The associates call it the “dining room”.  I don’t eat in it much as it is southern, home cooked meals, full of flavor and calories……..

Not good on a girls figure.

But the other morning I woke up hungry and knowing I would be leaving work early I didn’t want to prepare my breakfast and lunch for the day; like I do every other morning.  I decided I would grab something from the “dining room”.

I walked in and greeted several people and inspect the breakfast fare on the steam table.  I decided on scrambled eggs and coffee that morning.

The lady to my right says, “I sure am going to miss this every morning.”

The man to my left replies, “For sure!”

Like most healthcare facilities, large or small, our little, rural hospital has been struggling for sometime.  With the decrease in insurance reimbursement and the increasing number of people that are “self-pays” we’ve been having a hard time making ends meet (for lack of a better description).

Our faithful administrator has struggled with making some tough decisions that impact our “facility family.”

The two people beside me, buying breakfast; are two associates that are directly impacted by the struggles.  The decision was made to close the unit they work on, effective December 15th.

The lady to my right says, “I’m thankful for my good health and my family.”

The man to my left says, “Yeah, our spouses and our kids.”

She says, “Absolutely!”

He replies, “Thankful for the small stuff.”

She looks with her eyes all bugging out and replies, “Small stuff!!!  Heck, that’s big stuff for me to be thankful for, everything else is just small stuff!!”

I paid for my breakfast and pondered on this conversation as I walked back to my office.

How many times have I “sweated” the small stuff thinking it was big stuff??

I’m not saying I’m not thankful for the big stuff, but I’m so guilty of taking the big stuff for granted.  Not worrying about the big stuff, thinking the big stuff will always be there.

I sometimes put to much concern in the small stuff when really it’s not the small stuff that REALLY make my world go ’round.

Don’t get me wrong, the small stuff is nice and makes me comfortable and I’m thankful for that, but I should concentrate on being more thankful for the big important stuff……….

My daughter and her family; my sweet little diamond.

My son and his sweet Jessie.

My family and friends.

My good health and a heart that can forgive and love.

I’m so thankful for this big stuff.  This is the stuff that makes my world go ’round.

So, I tell myself to be ever mindful of the big stuff and to be thankful every day for all the big stuff in my life.

I’m thankful for, but won’t sweat the small stuff………..

Ok, so your dressing was dry………put some gravy on it.

Your “Reeses Brownies” were a flop and went in the trash.

Big deal your Chocolate Pecan pie tastes more like chocolate than pecan……….who doesn’t like chocolate?

That stuff works itself out.

But the big stuff……………I’m thankful for the big stuff and I wouldn’t want to be without any of it.

When was the last time you were thankful for your big stuff??

Remember…………the small stuff has a way of working itself out…….don’t sweat it ! 🙂

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“Mr.Turkey”


“Mr. Turkey”

I hear the turkey gobbling
he’s running for his life,
he’s this years gift
from the butcher to his wife.
The wife is so excited
Mr. Turkey is awfully plump,
he’ll roast up nice and pretty
for the family Thanksgiving sup.
His life’s been spared
a few years in the past,
but this year is different
he’s gotten really fat.
He still has his wings
but can no longer fly,
the limbs he once roosted
are now far to high.
He’ll try a disguise
with the mud and the muck,
the butcher might think
he’s a big sitting duck.
Maybe walk by him
without a second glance,
Mr. Turkey will run
if he’s given the chance.
The butcher can see him
it doesn’t look well,
his beard is to long
and so is his tail.
Mr. Turkey jumps……..
in a full out run,
the butcher is crazy
he’s pointing his gun!
Mr. Turkey is frightened
scared half to death,
he’s not wanting
to be this years catch.
What was he thinking
by getting all fat,
running is hard
and he’s not very fast.
Mr. Turkey can hear
the wife as she cries,
“Shoot him honey,
he’s to fat to fly!”
He heads for the hills
looking for cover,
he’s surely not wanting
to be Thanksgiving supper.
Hell to the na!!
he’s run outa time,
Mr. Turkey has come
to the end of the line.
His life’s in the balance
there’s no where to run,
on the edge of a cliff
and the end of a gun.
He still hears the wife
as she continues to cry,
“Shoot him honey,
he’s to fat to fly!”
Decisions, decisions
he makes it quick,
taking his chances
he jumps from the cliff.
What was he thinking
he falls like a rock,
but spreads his wings
and lands with a plop!
Looking around
a bit dazed and confused,
he jumps and runs
before the butcher can shoot.
The wife is crying,
“Shoot him, shoot him he’s getting away!”
Mr. Turkey is safe
another Thanksgiving Day!

Winds of Change


It’s a cold, dreary, rainy day in Oz.  A good day for a fire.

I stick my head out the door to gage the temperature (what do I wear today??); it was still and quiet, didn’t feel to cold to me. 

I thought, “Ah, this is not so bad.”

Then a big gust of wind came and the temperature changed.  I hustled back inside saying, “Brrrrrr, where did that come from?”

I walk around and open the blinds; I stop for a minute at one of the windows and I see the leaves dancing in the air, choreographed by the blowing wind.

Slowly, I watch the leaves settle back to the ground.  As I turn to walk away, from out of no where, without notice, in a split second; the leaves were lifted from the ground and began a new dance.

A shift in the wind had caused the leaves to move in a new direction.

They start dancing haphazardly; you know, swept up, scattering; then spiraling up in a funnel like form, then gradually just slowly floating along down the street.

I stand at the window and watch until the shifting winds died down and the leaves settled in a new place.

As always when I’m alone, I begin to think how I’ve felt like those leaves……in the past few years.  For 17 or 18 years my leaves have floated along rather quietly.  Oh, there was a swirl here or a swirl over there, but for the most part there’s not been much change in the wind.

Then from out of no where there was a change, my leaves began to scatter, swirling all around, not knowing which way they would go, leaving me confused and a little frightened.

Without notice the wind would stop and my leaves would settle back down…………but not for long. In a split second, the winds would change and me leaves would be going in a different direction.

The winds have shifted and my leaves are scattering.

In a split second the winds changed and it’s blowing my leaves in a different direction…….yet again.

It’s very frightening, but the bible says the Lord takes care of the little birds; so He will surely take care of me as well.

His breath is the wind.

Strong or soft, he can shift it in a split second.  Scatter our leaves and swirl us around.  And though we may feel like Dorothy being dropped in Oz (which I do most of the time), He is in complete control of the winds.

In a split second…….

Without notice……….

He can shift……..

He can settle…….

He takes care of the little birds, so……………………

“I will not doubt, I will not fear.  I will keep my faith and He will not fail me.”

‘Tis the Season to be……….


Like every other person on the face of this planet, the commercialism of Christmas drives me NUTS!!

It seems as soon as Labor Day is over, Wal-Mart clears out the Garden Center and moves in enough lights, garland and glass balls to fill several 18-wheelers.

Poor Mr. Jack-O-Lantern and our fine feathered friend Mr. Thanksgiving Turkey; they don’t have a fighting chance to even bask in the lime light of their one single day!

Ok, I’m not that big a fan of Halloween….I don’t give out candy….I know, I know!!  But it does come around once a year and the kids all dress so cute 🙂

It doesn’t break my heart we don’t spend months prior to this day to promote it.

Besides; the money spent on candy could probably relieve the hunger in our country for several weeks.  Just sayin’………..

But Thanksgiving……now that’s another story and it deserves a little more respect; after all it is “Thanks” “Giving” or “giving thanks”.  A day to give thanks for family, friends, good health, a job, our freedom and my list could go on and on.

But what do we do????

We can’t wait for Thanksgiving, because the next day is………..Black Friday!!!

What????? 

You all know what I’m talking about.

Seriously……..that’s what it seems like the day is about.

You haven’t put the last bite of dessert in your mouth yet and the tables cleared and the sales papers are out.

The strategy begins!!!!

Where to go first, who has the best deals, and do we have coupons?  The lists are made, the items are circled and the plan is mapped out.  Your group may even have to split up to utilize your time and get the best deals.

It’s still daylight outside, but you have to get to bed because you have to get up at 3 a.m. to be at the store by 4 a.m. (or earlier).

This is insanity!!!!  And people say I’m crazy…..go figure.

My mother use to do all this.  She’d be one of the first people at Wal-Mart.  The first thing she’d do is get her place in line by the plastic wrapped pallet that had the object of her desire, then whoever was with her would hold her place and she would go off in search of a lawn chair or folding chair……….

She knew she was going to be there awhile.

She usually always got what she was after, but I always wondered was it really worth all that.

I never understood how people could spend a day being thankful and then the next day take some one down, in the middle of an aisle; scratchin’ and bitin’ over who would get the last Game Boy (my mother did have a little tiff over a Game Boy one year……there was no scratchin’ and bitin’ involved……thankfully).

My daughter and I would strategize; but we both like to sleep late, so by the time we made it to the stores the places had been trashed.

We don’t do that anymore……….let the crazies have it. 

We’ll stay home and sleep.

This year we’ve decided not to exchange Christmas gifts.  My daughters idea, and I think it’s great!!!

As my children get older and our family expands and extends, it’s hard to get everyone together.  We will all be separated on the actual Thanksgiving day, but will join together on the Saturday following to celebrate my son’s 21st birthday and to give thanks for all the blessings in our life’s.

No strategizing, no rushing, no hustle, no bustle; just one full day of Thanksgiving.

‘Tis the season to be……………….thankful :-).  Gobble, gobble!!!

 

Mini Me’s


Each morning I wake up; stagger to my bathroom, wash my face and put my contacts in my eyes.

Without them I don’t see very well.

I take a look at my reflection in the mirror and wonder which of the “mini~me’s” I will see today.

Like Polly Pocket miniatures line up on a shelf there are many “mini’s” that make up me.

Will I be the “Lioness” today and roar and claw at everyone I see?  That mini’s dressed in red and ready to pounce off the shelf at any time.  I work to keep her tame and under control.

Perhaps the “Diva” that stands in her stilettos, hands on her hips, dressed to the “T” with her hair and make-up perfect.  Her name is “Vanity” and she’s constantly whispering in my ear about age, wrinkles, side effects of menopause and my damn weight.

She too, I have to keep in check……….she makes me kinda crazy.  She likes to appear often.

Stead fast standing is “Super Mom” in her jeans and tee.  She’s flexing her arms and showing her “guns”.  She’s capable of raising kids, keeping house, working, teaching at the gym and loving her family.

Here lately she stands on the shelf quietly, not needed as often as before her empty nest.  Occasionally she appears for a day or event; but her presence is always there.

There in the shadows is my “Wallflower”, she emerges in large crowds of people I don’t know, in small crowds of people I don’t know, she sits across the table from one person I don’t know. 

I always thought she would fade away as I got older……….but I have realized she is with me forever; her anxiety, sweaty palms and insecurities.

My favorite mini is “Gypsy”, the wild, free spirited mini that stands on my shelf barefoot, dancing and twirling while she sings her favorite songs, her hair is loose and wild, she loves the beach and doesn’t have a care in the world.  This mini makes me smile and I wish I could be her all the time.

I laugh at the “Rachael Raye” wanna be, as she stands poised with frying pan and apron.  Knowing she can barely boil water………..but she gives it hell when she gets a wild hair to jump out of hiding and whip up a Thanksgiving dinner.

I feel sorry for the individuals that fall victims to her attempts.

Then there’s my “Don’t give a Damn” mini, she sits around in ratty clothes, no make-up, dirty hair and could care less about anyone or anything.

I have to keep an eye on her, she can sneak up on me when I least expect it.

I watch my “Denise Austin” mini march in place and pump her arms with enthusiasm.  There are days I want to take her down and make her tap out.  I just don’t want to be that mini sometimes.

Thankfully she’s persistent and we make it to the gym or the walking track together everyday or so.

There is one mini that stands out from the rest.  She has a quiet spirit with a crooked halo and broken wings.  Her presence tries to instill love, happiness, forgiveness and grace.  She nudges me to do the things that are right and fair.  She tells me to be honest, to love hard and turn the other cheek. 

Though she may be a little tattered her mini is stronger than the rest.  She stands in the center and desperately tries to guide the other rebellious “mini’s”.  Her broken wings outstretched, she engulfs the other “mini’s” and pulls them in. 

I look at all my “mini’s”  on that imaginary shelf wrapped up by a mini tattered angel; thankful she scoops them up everyday and drops them down the front of my shirt.  Together all the “mini~me’s” make one single me and leading that single me is a mini, tattered angel with a crooked halo and broken wings.

It’s not easy, but she does the best she can.

Forgive and Forget


To forgive is amazing.

To forget is grace.

Releasing the bitterness is a blessing.

It takes a power way beyond my human heart to conquer all three.

A strength and love so understanding it’s not comprehendable. All transgressions removed unconditionally.

All alone I am not able to do this. But there is a divine intervener that can work through me………..if I allow Him.

Do we not give Him heartache everyday?

Does He not forgive us and love us unconditionally?

I believe He does.

I believe through Him all things are possible…………if we allow it.

No regards to what other people think or say.

Through His power and love I can be amazing and forgive.

I can have grace and forget.

I will be blessed by releasing my heartache and bitterness.

I will start a new day built on the strength of unconditional love that no one understands.

Free Speech


Don’t ya just love Social Media?

Giving us the unequivocal ability to freely express ourselves night or day, with no limitations on how much or how often we feel the need to “express”.

Freedom of speech without uttering a word.

I compare this grandiose freedom to the 1960’s bra-burning, Women’s Rights movement.  An era and movement, where there was no actual bra-burning, except in the “Freedom Trash Cans” during the Miss America Protest; that said, “I am women hear me roar!”

An era were women wanted to be heard and not just seen.

This new era of “bra-burners” known as, bloggers, tweeters, FaceBookers, Instagramers, podcasters and YouTubers have a whole new audience.  An audience of on-line forums, open discussions, video sharing, minute by minute updates (if you choose), and collaborative information sharing.

We are on the leading-edge of a whole new type of “demonstrations”.  We have the ability to demonstrate our right of free speech from the safety and comfort of our own homes. 

No worry of violence and riots.

Our biggest fear is someone hacking our web-sites or pulling our plugs and losing power; of which would be detrimental to some of us.

We can be demonstration followers and commenters without anybody knowing who we are or we can boldly let everyone know our names.

No one can tell us what to say or how to say it. 

Our only limitations are the limits we put on ourselves.

Everything is a topic for demonstration or debate; Monday Night football, American Idol, Dirty Dogs, ObamaCare and the Pope.

One of the best things about this freedom of speech is, as the leader we have the ability to block, delete or hide anything we don’t want seen.  We are the controller of our free speech.  And as is; our free speech can be harmful or helpful; we choose the path to take.

Words can be incriminating; spoken or unspoken; but the freedom remains ours to choose.

I am thankful for my freedom of speech and will continue to exercise my freedom in the most expressive words I can pull together.  Being ever so thoughtful as to not violate any one persons dignity or privacy.

However……………don’t underestimate me, do me wrong or piss me off; my words can be a double edge sword.

No disclaimers or copyrights required or needed…………

Blessed


The morning is quiet and crisp.

A slight chill in the air.

Here in Texas the weather is unpredictable (kinda like my Oz). One day you wake up it’s 87 degrees and you wear shorts and sandals.

Then…….BAM!!!

You wake up and it’s 43 degrees and you’re blowing smoke vapors!!

Makes getting dressed interesting.

It’s that time of year I go out for an evening walk in my local park and pass the Three Wise Men and the Baby Jesus; they’ve been greeting me since before Halloween.

I’ve never understood this……..

For some reason; as long as I can remember, the first good chill always felt like the signal to me that the holidays we’re just around the corner.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and a New Year.

That chill came this past week.

As I walked yesterday evening in the cool, crisp air, I didn’t mind the Three Wise Men and the Baby Jesus greeting me. I felt the holidays upon us.

The holidays sometimes make me blue and I don’t think often enough about how blessed I am.

As I sit quietly this morning, my mind is active (thankfully) and I began reflecting on the past week.

My mom had a much needed surgery this week and it was my job to stay with my sister who doesn’t get around as well as she used to.

We spent a week visiting, laughing, eating dinner and watching T.V. together. We don’t get to do this often and I am blessed to have her in my life.

Mom bounced through surgery like a 20 year old (she had a hip replacement) and will be home today. What a blessing to be strong and have her good health.

Last night as my sister and I are watching T.V. and visiting, my daughter sends me a video of my precious little diamond. My sister and I watched that precious miracle talk, coo and laugh at her daddy.

It squeezed my heart; she’s changing so fast.

My daughter a true blessing to me; blessing me with that little diamond.

And technology ~ for all the parents and grandparents around the world, I am truly thankful for the ingenious blessings of SKYPE, FaceTime and iPhones, that allows us to be there when we’re really not there!!!

I was blessed just this morning to open my eyes, put my feet on the floor and send and receive “Good Morning” texts (again the blessing of technology).

So many blessings to be thankful for; large and small. If I were to write them all down I would run out of ink and paper.

And today is no different than any other; today I am blessed with another beautiful day and the ability to count all the blessings I have.

Don’t wait ’til the holidays to count your blessings……

Today your blessed…….

Have you counted your blessings today?

“Weirdness”


“We are all weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone who’s weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness together and call it love.” Dr. Seuss

Lost and Found


Lately I have found it difficult to conger up anything to write about.

My usual topics about the happenings in my life in a realistic or metaphoric manner.

The good, the bad, the ugly.

More bad than good sometimes, but…….oh well, to each his own.

I’ve been in a state of contentment lately. A place I haven’t been in a long time.

I had forgotten what it was like, to be in a state of happy relaxation.

Oh, I relax at the beach or visiting my little diamond, but always had that feeling of “misplacement” or “something’s missing”.

My happy was missing; lost.

But I didn’t know my happy was missing; lost.

A few days ago, snuggling and watching football on my couch, I noticed how relaxed I was.

Lying there still; there was no tension, no elephant sitting in the middle of my chest, no weight of the world on my shoulders.

I was content to lay right were I was, in my happy relaxation.

Does it mean, now that I’ve found my lost happy, that I will lose my ability to write?

If I don’t have drama and turmoil, will I not find words to express the good things in my happy relaxation?

Why do I find it so easy to write about the bad and struggle to write about the good?

Is it that I was so use to the bad, that I’m uncomfortable with the good?

As I laid there, I realized my mind was quiet.

WHAT???

No worries, no thoughts running rampant, no fears.

I thought to myself, “What’s up?? You must be coming down with something?”

My mind is never quiet.

But I fear if my mind is quiet, my writing will be quiet as well.

Was my writing a temporary tool to help me through tough times??

I will believe my mind is just resting, preparing for my next writing adventure.

Like an artist with a blank canvas waiting for the first brush strokes of paint, to fill the whiteness with the black of the sky and carefully place the stars.

There is no rushing the beauty of creating.

I saw the most beautiful night sky the other night; its blackness so clear and bright, opened wide releasing thousands of sparkling stars.

The black of the sky is my canvas and the stars are my words.

I’m confident the words will return; quietly in my dreams or deafening in my insomnia; as they so often do……..

Filling my black sky with thousands of sparkling stars, anxious to be released.

In the mean time; I’m content to be quiet……..

in my welcomed state of happy relaxation.

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