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My Least Favorite Chore~

253 – Pegs on clothes line

Laundry. Oh, how I hate it! Why is it that it's NEVER completely done? It seems like I wash, and dry, wash and dry……..over and over. I have one husband , two sons, five dogs, assorted chickens, a tank full of fish, a cat, a terrapin, and a tarantula. I homeschool, and I have a chronic auto immune disease called lupus. I try to keep up with the cleaning , organizing, and laundry, but it seems determined to run me over, and flatten me out. I swear that clean AND dirty clothing breeds when you toss it somewhere to be folded and, I am almost positive that the piles I had sorted grew while I was at the ER this past weekend.

My gallbladder decided it HATED me, and I've spent most of my week on the sofa, so you can imagine what the laundry situation has been like around here for the last couple of days. Ugh. There it sits, in the laundry room. Silently mocking me everytime I go by. I keep trying to remind myself that on the great score board of life, points are NOT being tallied up and counted against me in the clean clothes department. My children will not grow up with damaged psyches because they did not have all their socks done every day.(I hope.)

But you know how it is. Mothers want to do everything perfectly. It's who we are. It's part of the job description. We try to take care of everyone, and everything, and sometimes we do fail.

Every day I just keep telling myself that as far as life goes, spotless houses, and fabulously finished clothing are NOT the most important things in life. And like most things in life, "It came to pass. " It didn't come to stay.

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Don't say 'Stupid.' around me

Words that I can't stand`

Stupid.
I hate this word because I believe that all people are capable intelligence. At least intelligence of some kind. Maybe you’re not a book genius, or a math genius, or the kind of genius that will save the world by curing a disease. But perhaps your type of intelligence is knowing when someone needs a hug. Or being able to sense when to be quiet so the other person can talk. Perhaps you have a learning disability or a medical disability that prevents you from doing all you wish you could. But there are more ways to be smart than just knowing the square root of some obscure number.

Impossible.
As in”You have lupus. You will have to have a heart transplant, because even with these drugs, your heart will fail in about 3 years. Feeling better is impossible.” Or “Your son was born with so many problems , he will never walk, talk , or be normal. It’s impossible.” My son and are both living examples that impossibilities CAN be possibilities!

ANY kind of racial slur.
I grew up in the South . And there are some people here who are still very racist. The prejudice runs very deep here for some families. They teach it to their children and their grandchildren. But I refuse to be poisoned by this attitude. Or to allow my children to be poisoned. People should be judged on their actions, words, and deeds alone. Period. Color has absolutely NO bearing on why people are the way they are. One color is not superior to another no matter how you slice it.

Profanity.
I hate turning on a television and trying to watch a show anymore. It’s almost as if you’d be better to turn on the mute button and just watch that way. I mean seriously, when there are more bleeeeeeeps than regular words, as in “You bleep bleep bleepity bleep. I’m going to bleep bleep bleeep bleepity bleep. ” Really? Ugh.

Labwork.
As in “We need to redo your labwork. ” Or “Your labwork came back and it wasn’t good. ” I have lupus which means I am used to being stuck with needles, x-rayed, medicated, nauseous, nearly bald, terrible body aches, fevers, hospitalized, and bedridden. But I still dread those words the most, I guess. “Need more labwork!”

I could think of a lot of words or phrases that really rub me the wrong way.

Gossip, calling people names, a lot of modern slang, and just the casually rude way people talk to one another these days.

Words have great power, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. I can forget things that were DONE to me, fairly easily. But I remember into infinity the things that people have SAID to me. Something about hurtful words just sink deeply into our psyche.

So think before you speak, each and every day. You never know what a difference it can make. For good OR for evil.

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Don't Act Your Age~

Numbers

Age is just a number,

or that's what people say.

But it's more like it's a label,

and we use it to relay.

How we are "supposed" to be,

not who we REALLY are.

People then just see the number,

they don't look at our hearts.

I could be 12 or 20,

or even thirty three,

but that doesn't tell you anything,

you won't really know about me.

I could be 8 or 80,

I could be twenty five.

but that's just the years they measure,

not how much living

I've had in life.

So don't judge me by the number,

I've given as my age,

Judge me instead, by the way I act,

while standing on life's stage.

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Independence~

Can’t Fail Cafe, Emeryville, CA, 9:30 pm

I am a really independent person. You know how little kids go through that stage, "No! ME do it!" , when they're about 2 ? Well, I never did grow out of that.

When I was really young, I shadowed my dad every where he went. I went with him to the hardware, the welding shop, and the parts store. We worked on old cars, welded junk up, fixed washing machines and worked on just pretty much anything you can think of. He taught me how to change the oil, fix a flat, and how to listen to a motor to hear what's wrong with it.

When I was 13 I got my first job waiting tables. By the time I was 14 I had bought my own truck and had TWO waitress jobs. At 16 I was the day manager at the restaurant where I worked, as well as the chief cake decorator. And I loved it! I loved the busyness, and the responsibility of it all. I loved knowing that I was capable of being in charge, and capable of doing most of the things completely on my own.

It's a great feeling to feel independent. And one we take for granted entirely too often.

Not very long after I got the day manager's job I got sick. I had been feeling not well since a bout with mono a couple of years before, but this time it almost seemed as if the mono had come back, and had brought a few of it's friends to party along with. So, you can imagine , I wasn't at the top of my game.

It wasn't until 2 years later that we would finally find out I had lupus and that was why I had been so sick. It was a big shock to my system. No, not the finding out I lupus . But the finding out that I could no longer be that independent person I once was. I can't work now. Sometimes I don't even have enough energy to walk across the room. I can't drive everywhere or even all the time. If it's a long way I tire out too quickly. If I have a dizzy spell or one of the headaches that comes along with this , I might not be able to drive back home. Sometimes I can't cook for my own family, do laundry, or clean the house, so multi tasking is different now. Now if I have hugged a little boy, done some math homework, and played legos, I have really accomplished something for the day. And I don't mind asking for help with those kinds of things!

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About Me~

The Song of the Saw~

The Song of the Saw~

I see him stand,

tall and strong,

as the tree he has felled,

used to do.

Studying.

Working out the notes

he will play.

A limb, here or there,

this branch , or that.

The machine comes alive,

in his hands.

And they pass strength to each other.

The chords he plays,

are no less powerful,

for the difference of his instrument,

brings a symphony just the same.

I will hear the music echo,

in the crackle of the logs,

he cuts to bring us warmth.

And I will remember, always,

the song of the saw.

by Jeanette Woods

for Mark

Copyright Jeanette Woods 2010

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To Be, or Not to Be……

involved in sports, that is….

Spring has Sprung

I don't watch organized sports. I don't watch football, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, hockey, ice skating, bowling or even ping pong. I live in the Deep South too, so when people find out that I don't watch sports , they act like I just said I don't believe in Jesus. Cause here in the South, it's kind of the same thing. You know you go to your respective places of worship on Sunday morning, and then you go to your homes to support your other objects of worship on Sunday afternoon. I'm not knocking sports, per se, I guess I just don't "get" it. The whole idea of it. People go out in the cold, the rain, the heat, and among HUGE crowds of maniacs who are either drinking, overstuffed with tailgate food, or both. They pay exorbitant amounts of money to watch grown men pummel one another and slap each other's behinds. And if their team doesn't do well, they raise one another's blood pressure by screaming at the ref or the opposing team.

We got our fill of organized sports when our oldest son decided he wanted to play soccer. He started when he was 4 , and for the first two years he got excellent coaches. The third year he also had an excellent coach, but the attitudes of the parents and the other coaches just blew us out of the water. Keep in mind these were 7 and 8 year old kids. Here is a sampling of the ranting we heard during just one game. A parent from the opposing team in regards to my child "Run him over! Kick him while he's down! Kick the ball out of his hands!" From the opposing coach to one of the other players "What's wrong with you? Can't you do anything right?" One of the other parents to the ref, "Are you stupid? What kind of a call is that?" From several people, parents, and coaches, "Ya'll can do so much better than that. That' s just lousy playing. What do you want to be, a bunch of losers?"…….and on , and on it went.

When your seven year old tells you that he doesn't want to play anymore because it's scary instead of fun, or asks you why grown ups are acting that way, it's time to reconsider the world of organized sports. We decided that there are enough negative events impacting our children as it is. So now if they want to play ball, they just go out side and play with each other. No bad sportsmanship allowed. I guess there are probably quite a few people who think I'm denying my kids a valuable learning experience, but the question is "Are those REALLY the types of lessons I want them to learn?"

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Today's Question Is…….

Do You Tell it Like It Is, Or Do You Hold Back?~

cat got your tongue?

Ooooooh. Are you SURE you want to know? Ha. I have talked about this before. I have a serious defect. I was born without that filter between my brain and my mouth. So, if I think it, it just flies right out. My husband just looks at me sometimes ….with either awe, or astonishment, and says , "I can't believe you just said that!". I never know whether he's embarrassed or proud. But I seemingly can't help it. I've always been this way, and as much as I've tried to change it, as I get older I sometimes wonder if the world couldn't use a little bit more of the tell it as it is sort, rather than the tell me what I WANT to hear sort.

Seriously. People are WAY too worried about what other people think of them these days. Especially the younger set. I swear going to the mall is like walking into a cloning machine. All these kids (boys AND girls) all dressing alike, walking alike, talking alike, and seemingly thinking alike. I know being different is apparently some kind of terrible disease these days, but I wish it would become contagious. Oh, there are the few "outsiders" . The ones who don't really care what's "popular". It's scary to think that those who are "popular" now are probably the "leaders" of tomorrow. And they don't seem to have an original idea between the lot of them. Individuality is supposed to be a good thing. Thinking for yourself. Even if that opinion is not the "norm". Or the "popular" thing. I don't think difference should be ridiculed. At least not just BECAUSE it's different.

I am so glad my parents raised me to have a mind of my own. To speak freely and without fear! Now if I can just remember that sometimes….just sometimes……I can edit my thoughts………

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What I Love About My Home Town

 

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I live in a small town. Not small as defined by the modern idea , but genuinely small. 1,800 people ……small.

The kind of small where the doctor who delivered you is still your family doctor , 33 years later. The kind of small where there is one hospital, one bank, one restaurant, but 12 churches. I was born here, and have never lived more than 25 miles away from here my whole life.

I was never like a lot of kids from small towns. I did not dream of leaving there as soon as I graduated and “finding” life somewhere. I knew that I would marry a small town boy and live right here. I knew I wanted to live life as Alan Jackson sings it……. “Little Bitty”. I know growing up here, some people just couldn’t wait to escape. Small towns, small minds they said. And I suppose it’s partially true. I know that if something happens at one end of town, we know about it less than 5 minutes later. I know that the only reason you buy a newspaper in our town is to get the picture of your kid shooting the winning basket. NOT for the news, because by Monday, we have already heard or seen everything considered “news” in the paper. And I know , too, that everybody’s “personal” business is talked about in the open, or whispered about behind closed doors. That can be a big drawback. But it can also has it ‘s positive effects. I knew growing up, I had better not be “running around” with the “wrong” people, because there was NO hiding it. I knew I could walk up the road to the neighbor kids , 3 miles away, and no one would bother me, because all the people up the road would watch out for me. I knew the policemen, the sheriff, the mayor, the principal, and every pastor of every church , and knew that if I did one thing out of the way EVERY body would be talking about it within the hour! Talk about incentive to stay on the straight and narrow. So, maybe the same things that I love about our small community , are the same things that would cause most people to look elsewhere for their ideal area to live in!

Where we live has a lot of things going for it. Sure it’s we don’t have a huge shopping mall, or dozens of eateries to choose from. But we do have something else. We still have neighbors who know each other’s names. A church with a pastor who knows your children. A community who takes up collections for those with medical or funeral expenses. We have families who have lived in the same houses for generations. You can walk down the street and know everyone you meet. You can say that you know their parents or even their grandparents. Maybe it ‘s too claustrophobic for some, but for me, I wouldn’t want to live any other way.

P.S. We have something else great going for us in our home town. We have the only field of diamonds in the world, where you can keep what you find. Check us out! Murfreesboro, Arkansas and the Crater of Diamonds State Park

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Water Torture~

Uggh. I remember now why I didn’t finish the antibiotics from the last round of bronchitis that I had.  AND I remember why eating lettuce when you are nauseous is probably NOT a very good idea.  Needless to say lettuce coming out of your nose while you barf is not fun.

You know, I guess that is probably one of the suckiest things about lupus.  Not only do you deal with the sickness of lupus itself, but you also become way more susceptible to other sickness like bronchitis and colds and junky winter flus.  I have had bronchitis twice in the last month.  I had the actual flu before that, even though I took the flu shot.  Plus, every medicine they give you to help causes your stomach to go into revolt.

I am usually a super positive person, and I am still trying to hold my head up! But all these factors just kind of pile up on you .  Then you just get bogged down.  I guess it’s kind of like that water torture thing they talk about.  You know , where you’re tied down and they drop one drop of water on your forehead every minute or so.

Doesn’t sound like a big deal does it?  But you can’t wipe it, and it just pecks you there , right there in the middle of your forehead, and then runs down into your eye, or across your nose, where you can’t do anything about it.  And just when you think , “Oh, good. That one’s gone!”  It’s time for another drop to hit you on the forehead again!  That’s what living with lupus is like sometimes.  You get over a cold, or the flu, and just as you think “Oh good. That’s gone!”  Something else rolls around.

Okay, I’ve had my gripe fest for today!  I know it will get better, I may just not know when.  Sooooooooo, for today , I may head back to the sofa, and my comfy cushions.  Hope everyone is holding their head above water today! Thinking of everyone!  (Hugs) 🙂