thursday thirteen

It is 2018. I have not done a Thursday Thirteen since 2012. I just reread some of my old ones and was impressed with how they allow a graceful catch up. So, in the spirit of catch up, here we go. 1. After coming back from Arkansas for an extended stay last year, I was hired as a business coordinator at my present job. I enjoyed the work and it looked like a promising move. While we were on holidays in April, everything changed. People were hired and fired with abandon, it seemed. I came back to work at what seemed like a different company. My whole job shifted enormously, and I was basically nothing more than a receptionist – an un-busy receptionist. I began to loathe the job because it was so boring. A few weeks ago, I was brought onto the sales team. I have a very small... Read more →

thursday thirteen

2009, Valerie, Michael, Diane, Daddy, Stacie 1. I did a very foolish thing by not refilling a prescription. I've been out of it for about a week and a half. Bad, bad idea. Evidently it helps keep me sane. 2. I'm extraordinarily cranky and edgy. 3. I would kind of like to stab a few people with a fork. 4. Some people simply need a high five. In the face. With a chair. 5. Need those pills. I will get myself fired without them. 6. Went to the pharmacy. Took three pills right there at the counter. 7. Should be able to control the spastic tongue soon. 8. Wish I got paid for the hours it felt I worked today. 9. Did I mention it was a hard day at work? 10. I'm known for my smile, kindness, patience, positivity and good cheer. Literally. I hear it all the time.... Read more →

thursday thirteen

Greetings from Alberta. 1. I am home again, having had a wonderful trip to Arkansas to see the southern family. Deborah went with me, her first trip to Arkansas since she was four. Her highlight was spending lots of time with her biggest sister Stephanie. 2. I saw my precious grandchildren. I didn't just "see" them, I babysat them while Stephanie and John Mark took a little vacation to Cancun. (Sucks to be them, eh?) Babysitting Roman and Avery was amazing. I got really familiar with and fell more deeply in love with them. It was truly awesome. (Memaw, Deborah and me, 2000) 3. There were a couple of unexpected turns during my trip that left me feeling extraordinarily blessed. My grandmother, the last of my grandparents, got very ill and the family was "called in" thinking she was dying. Because of this, I got to see extended family I... Read more →

thursday thirteen

I love Thursday Thirteen. It's a great way to catch up. 1. I've been kind of sad/contemplative/nostalgic lately. I've been busy scanning pictures from the days before digital photos. I've got a lot done, but still have a ways to go. Anyway seeing all those pictures of my little people, . . . Now they are so big. It's enough to make a mama weep. A couple are grown. A couple morphed into a different species. And one is still a child. In a way it seems like a few days ago that Stephanie was born and in other ways it seems like a totally different life. Time keeps going. 2. As I looked at all the photos, over and over I saw evidence of Debbie Tannehill. She gave us sooo many clothes for the girls and all three girls wore them. Thank you, Debbie. You are such a good... Read more →

thursday thirteen

Hello Fine Folks. I've been away. Not really away, just away. You know, here but not here. That's clear enough, eh? So here's some random info about my being away. 1) Last week I was sicker than a dog. Remember when I was terrifically sick in February and nearly threw up my toenails? We'll I got that "bug" again. Nearly died, was sure it was the end. Even had the kids convinced my liver was shutting down. That was between heaves when I was trying to garner sympathy. I asked if my eyes looked yellow, because it looked like my skin was yellow to me, and Rachael answered that yes, my eyes looked yellow. To which I replied, "Figures. Now my liver is shutting down." 2. This time I had a huge mental breakthrough (you thought I was going to say breakdown, didn't you?) after I got well. I realized,... Read more →

thursday thirteen re avery and roman

1. I have a new grand-daughter and can hardly wait to meet her. Avery Claire was born on September 1 and weighed 8.4. She is beautiful and perfectly charming -- all babies related to me are. 2. I will be with Avery and Romie Boy all of October. Isn't that special? I can't wait to play I Spy, have a picnic, bake cookies and go for walks with Roman. We will have so much good bonding time, because that's what Beppies do. 3. I can't wait to hold Avery and sit with her in the porch swing. She'll be one month old and plenty old enough to think I'm the softest Beppie going. 4. Roman was traumatized (in Beppie's sense of the word) in a church nursery recently. Not his church's nursery, but another one. Now he's afraid of his old fun, familiar nursery. 5. I'd like to visit the... Read more →

thursday thirteen

This is one of the ladies we work with at the Seniors' Home. When I get old I plan to wear a worn out cowboy hat and sit like this. 1. Rachael is at camp. That means two less eyes are rolling whenever I say something. I do miss the little dear though. 2. As you may have guessed, while she's gone we're re-doing her room. Her room style is not in my zone so it's a tough project for me. 3. I'll post pictures of her room as soon as it's finished. 4. 90% of American currency has traces of cocaine. In some urban areas, 100% of the bills have traces of cocaine. That's this week's trivia for you. 5. That statistic only surprised me a little. At the prison when I was going through training I learned that I shouldn't freak out if my belongings show traces of... Read more →

thursday thirteen - no prom with carl

1. I cannot believe summer is already in the back-stretch. School starts in a couple weeks and I'm kind of sad about that. I noticed this morning as I was leaving the house that my iris leaves are browning. I need many more hot hot days. I love the heat. 2. Deborah is at camp. I haven't heard from the little doll. Obviously she's having a great time and not missing us. No surprise there. 3. With Deborah away, we've been updating her room. The painting is done, but I'm struggling pulling together a "pow" affect. We may have to settle for it just looking fresher instead of being pow-wy. I've got another 24 hours to make it pow-wy, so maybe I'll pull it off. It's hard to tell right now. 4. I read an article recently about old-fashioned values. By this article's criteria I am stinkin' old-fashioned - I... Read more →

thursday thirteen

1. These are some pictures from our long bike ride last week. Didn’t we pass some lovely terrain and homes? 2. The picture of the girls in the canola wasn’t taken on the ride. I try to get an annual picture of them in a local canola field. 3. Hannah Bear is at camp this week. This camp is nine days, several days longer than any she’s been to before. We went to see her last night. It was such a joy seeing her smiling, enthusiastic face. 4. Did I mention that all three of the girls have jobs? Paper routes. We think it may be too much for Deborah. (She always has someone with her.) On paper delivery days she complains quite a lot. We think it’s too much responsibility for her. She’s got a couple chances left. 5. While Hannah is at camp, Gordon is kindly painting her... Read more →

thursday thirteen

I hope you've missed my Thursday Thirteens. My friend Shelly inquired about the lack of Thursday Thirteen posts. I was thrilled to learn someone actually missed those wonky Thursday posts. I usually think of 13 things to say around Friday night. Hence TT's recent infrequency. 13 things going on around here: 1. The prison journaling course is going very well. In some ways, better than I even hoped. One of the ladies that's been in the class since it started is getting discharged next week. Tomorrow instead of "class" we're having a party with pizza and ice cream cake. They, and I, are so excited. I got her a really nice journal for her going-away gift. I'm taking cards for every other lady to write prayers of blessings for her. I think she'll be pleased. She's requested a continuing relationship while she's in the half-way house. The chaplain gave me... Read more →

invisible beauty

My children are back in school and I am happy and gleeful. They are in new schools this year and so far it's been a wonderful experience. I drive them. I was spoiled as they have walked to school for the past three years. No more. I leave with them every morning at 8:15. But it's good for me. It jump starts my day and I've been very productive. This morning I read a quote from Helen Keller. "The best, most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." It got me to thinking about the invisible great things in my life. Here's a list of invisible beautiful things in my life (in no particular order). 1. prayer; talking to God 2. sensing God's presence 3. love 4. commitment 5. discipline; self-control 6. knowing God is in control 7. joy... Read more →

winston churchill quotes

1. The more knowledge we possess of the opposite point of view the less puzzling it is to know what to do. 2. You cannot deal with the most serious things in the world unless you also understand the most amusing. 3. When the cliche' "familiarity breeds contempt" was used in an argument against him, he thundered, "I would like to remind you that without a degree of familiarity we could not breed anything." 4. Never good with math, he called it, "the dismal bog of sums." (I love that.) As the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he nearly brought financial disaster on England, making one bad decision after another. Out of that position he said, "Everyone said I was the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer that ever was and now I am inclined to agree with them." 5. We are worms but I intend to be a glowworm. 6. When... Read more →

heroes and mentors

My 20th Century Heroes and/or Mentors - A very diversified list. They are in no particular order. 1) Mother Teresa - what a selfless woman she was. 2) Coretta and Martin Luther King, Jr. - the personal sacrifice they gave for racial equality. 3) Rosa Parks. Would I have the guts to just say "no" like she did? Probably not. But I want to be that courageous. Without her, the Civil Rights movement in the US may not have materialized, at least not then. 4) Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during WW2. He was a bold, persevering, compassionate leader. A leader less than he probably would have fallen to Hitler's advances. He had a brilliant wit and command of the English language that I greatly admire. 5) Julia Cameron - she, as far as I know, is not a believer (as I mean it), yet she mentored me... Read more →

tv from my childhood

Television Shows from my childhood - shows we actually watched. We had one channel, Channel 5 out of Ft. Smith. If the weather was just right, we might turn the antenna -- a big heavy antenna that stood beside the front porch -- toward Tulsa. If we were lucky we could pick up Channel 7. But Channel 7 didn't grace us often. 1. Petticoat Junction. I'd love to see this show today. It was about a lady who ran an inn and her three daughters. It had something to do with a train too. I can't remember too much, but I remember the train tooting at the beginning of the show and the steam rising. 2. Lawrence Welk. Saturday nights, 6:30. Stacie and I would dance to the big bands. 3. Gunsmoke. 4:00 pm. Only if Daddy wasn't around to forbid our watching TV. If he caught us watching TV... Read more →

sounds great right now

Here are 13 things that sound wonderful to me. 1. a retreat by the ocean 2. a retreat in the mountains 3. a family holiday to Hawaii 4. having all the house projects completed 5. a nicely manicured backyard with no mosquitoes 6. soaking in the sun in that nicely manicured backyard with no mosquitoes, enjoying the singing of birds, the gurgling of the fountain, the scent of the lilacs. heavenly. 7. visiting Ireland with Stacie and Diane 8. holding my grandson Roman, inhaling his scent and listening to every grunt 9. a weekend in Jasper with Gordon 10. a date with Gordon to the Cheesecake Cafe 11. a granite counter top. way too extravagant for me, but lovely still 12. a visit from a relative 13. lots of hanging out time with Stephanie and Christopher. Read more →

more school memories

1) In third grade I sat close to the door. When the second graders would walk by and look in, I'd turn my text book to the glossary where the writing was small and difficult looking. I got a thrill out of making third grade look hard. I relished the idea of scaring them. 2) In first grade I couldn't find any panties one day so I raided Diane's drawer. Diane was 8 years older than me, and at that time, much bigger. Unfortunately I wore a dress the same day. During jump rope at recess, I jumped right out of Diane's panties. 3) One summer during hay season, Daddy did some work for a man (LD Kennerson?) and the man sent some fine gifts home to me. I got two beer steins, a liquor carafe, and a porcelain tea pot. I was thrilled and proudly displayed them for all... Read more →


Quirky Things About This Family 1. Our dishwasher is our "recycling bin." 2. Gordon wanders around the house while he brushes his teeth. Always. 3. Rachael runs - always runs - to the bathroom during the night. 4. We have found many many "treasures" in other people's garbage. That bites to admit, but it's true. I personally stay out of others' garbage, but my kids and husband have brought home many cool things. 5. When the kids are whining, but she got to do it, that's not fair, I counter with, "That's because she's my favorite." It's wonderfully effective in making my kids smile and change the subject. 6. Hannah puts on her pajamas right after school even though she plans to play outside. 7. Deborah has a wart the size of Memphis on her knee. She cries at the mention of having it removed. Gordon calls the wart "Deborah's... Read more →

things i'd do differently

13 Things I’d Do Differently Given a Second Chance 1) I wouldn’t date in high school. 2) And I sure wouldn’t have sex in high school. 3) I would be nicer to my sister, Stacie, as a teenager. 4) As teenagers, Stacie and I would help each other have the good sense to do the things we should. 5) I would go straight to college from high school. 6) I would finish that degree. 7) I would go to East Texas University where I had a full scholarship for Business and Journalism. 8) Supposing all the above never took place, but still playing the game of Second Chance, I’d be a better wife to Kent. I didn’t realize how poor of a wife I was until I was married to Gordon. Age is wondrous at showing us our folly. 9) Once divorced though, I would never remarry and never date.... Read more →


I smiled when I read these funnies today. I hope you smile too. 1) As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I can get in touch with my inner sociopath. 2) I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia. 3) In some cultures what I do would be considered normal. 4) My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgment. 5) I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no personality at all. 6) I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain. 7) All of me is beautiful and valuable, even the ugly, stupid, and disgusting parts. 8) I am at one with my duality. 9) Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself with imaginary fears. 10) The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that... Read more →


Things I love about winter. 1) The snow illuminates the outdoors at night. I can see outside my window almost like a yard lamp is on. In the wee hours of the morning, I always notice how the light is reflected off the snow creating light for the middle-of-the-night bathroom visits . 2) I cook lots of soups, chilies, and homemade bread. They are easy, very hearty and so very soothing on a cold cold day. 3) Warm evening drinks 4) Christmas festivities 5) Reading on the sofa in the evening with a throw draped over me 6) Spending more time in the family room. In the winter I always spend more time in the cozy family room. I'm not drawn to it in the same way other times of the year. 7) My girls are Canadian indeed. My soul smiles as they build snow forts, ice skate, and whatever... Read more →

you probably don't know...

Some things about me that you may not know (probably don't know) and that may raise lots of questions in your mind. I am a very nice person and my background isn't as shady as these things may suggest. Be amused. -I've had seven surgeries. Not bad for a healthy person, eh? -I had a warrant out for my arrest in Wyoming. -I have been threatened with jail two times; once in my hometown, once in Vicksburg, Mississippi. -I smuggled Bibles into Vietnam and China. (Me in Vietnam, 1991) -Oh yeah, I was threatened with jail in China too. The officer was carrying an AK47. I got caught smuggling Bibles. -I've thrown-up in many public places and not always in a bathroom. -The muscle that controls throw-up doesn't work on me. -The most scared I've ever been was when Stephanie nearly drown when she was four or five. I didn't... Read more →

i love fall

Things I love about fall: 1) the colors 2) the smell of decomposing matter 3) crisp mornings 4) bringing out the flannel pajamas 5) back to school 6) apple pies 7) fresh vegetables 8) fall decor; pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn 9) the crunch of leaves 10) shorter days 11) candy corn 12) warmer clothes 13) the return of soups and chili Read more →

follow-up four

1. Hannah loved her mirror, hugged me, and thanked me just like I predicted she would. 2. Gordon and I had a wonderful conversation with the principal this morning. I've been basking in God's grace all day. It was phenomenal how well things went. I know the Holy Spirit was present. 3. Regarding the teacher who humiliated Rachael, she apologized to Rachael for her insensitivity and told Rachael she didn't mean to hurt her. 4. I will thank that teacher next week for talking to Rachael. Read more →

10 things

1. I joined a writers' group. I hope to have fun, fun, fun. 2. I made soap the other night. Note to self and anyone else who plans to make soap: There is a GREAT BIG difference between fluid ounces and ounces in weight. I had never thought of that, but now I KNOW in no uncertain terms. 3. I had a huge confrontation with a teacher at the kid's school. She rebuked my 11 year old for her panties showing on the swing. In front of Rachael's male teacher, she said to Rachael in her snarky sarcastic way that I'm all too familiar with, "Rachael, it's not like we want to see the pattern on your panties." Rachael was humiliated. My head about popped off in anger. That's because we have so much history with this woman. All I wanted from her was to recognize that it was inappropriate... Read more →

a random 12

1. We're having a cool spell. It's dreary, gloomy, and many would say it's kind of nasty. I like it though. I like blue skies more, but I appreciate the variety. We might even have some spittin' snow soon. It won't stick around though. We will have a lovely fall. 2. I quit my wicker furniture job and now just work in the fabric store. 3. I like putting in my few hours each week, but my real enjoyment is at home. I am domestically inclined. I love it. 10 - 15 years ago I would have rolled my eyes in disbelief had someone told me there would come a day when I'd love this quiet peaceful life of serving my family. 4. I encountered some ghosts this week. I thought I'd been largely delivered from the sin of pride, but I am now fully aware that it is still... Read more →