Because all experiences are valuable.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I hear this song a lot on the radio. Every time it gets to me. It embodies so much that I am about that others often can't understand. We don't always live up perfectly to what we believe in, but generally... I am about only the sincere, and no secrets. Shame is pretty pointless.

Reid was just reading me part of his big history paper on world religions. Maybe it is for English, but that seems odd. Anyway, Buddhism...right thought, right occupation, right action- all that. You can't argue with that. Who could argue with that? Don't do things you can't stand behind. Then there is no need for secrets for the most part.

Then I saw the video. Gets to me more...

Here it is, Secrets, by One Republic.

Behind the Sacred Heart Lies the Door

Oh my, I have been absent a long time. I must say that my cell phone troubles have been vexing me. Two weeks ago I lost my phone. I believe I threw it in a dumpster while getting rid of some trash that was in my car. I had the phone in my hand most likely. Although Frank was around, and climbed in the dumpster to look for it, it was not to be found. (It was on silent). So a few phoneless days over a weekend and then the decision to spend the $$$ to upgrade to a smart phone.

It seems to me that the more elaborate these phones get, the more trouble they are. I mean, the features and upgrades are significant and delightful, but it comes at a price. So the first one of these mini wonders I was given (well, in exchange for 200$) was apparently a lemon. I thought maybe it was just me, but after a dreadful week with the thing, thinking hey, there is a learning curve here and Reid would say I am known for my operator error on those sorts of devices (seriously, I tried to scroll the screen on his ipod), I went back to the store. The customer service gentleman said mine was defective, It happens...they are technical things...so they gave me a new one and a new SIM card. Promptly and cheerfully at the At&T store. Now it seems to work like a dream, but I cannot tell you how much time I wasted on annoying mundane chores like putting in phone numbers, only to have to do it again. The SIM transfer only captured about 25% of the data.

I had some pictures I wanted to blog about on the old new phone. I had to text them to someone, who then emailed them to me, as the phone wouldn't do it. So, IDK, the inspiration was then somewhat dead, but I still think the pictures are amazing, and if any pictures speak for themselves and tell a thousand words, it is these...taken while doing some early Christmas shopping just before Thanksgiving...so I will just post them, and let you write your own bizarre story with them. That can be fun, too! You cannot, cannot make this stuff up.  This message is just so wrong...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today and yesterday (Sat and Sun) I spent over 10 hours working on statistics homework and a major statistics project, so...I'm just going to post a poem here that I also just posted on Facebook. I am tired and sickish, having one of my attacks of pancreatitis. So No food for me. Hopefully tomorrow's long day and anatomy lab won't overdo me. I can usualy sip coke to keep my sugar up. Isn't it funny coke doesn't bother me? You'd think it would be acidic, but I guess that's the thing, pancreatitis isn't because of acid.  

I made my first power point ever, with some assistance from Reid- the powerpoint master. It was easy and so fun to do, though it has its little quirks just like word, where you have to fool it into doing what you want. And I lost my phone as many of you know, so I had to get a new one, and these complicated new phones have a learning curve. But I like it so far. I just have lost all my phone numbers. This new one will sync, so that shouldn't happen again.   and without further ado...the poem...


there was a sonnet, a denouement, something french was said.
it was as if I believed breathed drew from within myself every word
after that the pasture was less green, the fence was longer
each time having to walk all the way around became a chore
of carrying two large wooden pails for water and no Jean Valjean in sight.

what is the point of making, crafting, forging, these breaths like bellows
a steam engine propelled by the whim of tiny vesicles
neurotransmitters whose names sound like an angry Scottish woman
sweeping her tired broom at the very corners of memory,
in this room I fast until I can eat again without pain,
in this play I sing all the songs until my epic death, Act III.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

So Many Give So Much

Today is Veteran's Day.

I'm proud to live in a town that still puts on a Veteran's Day presentation to honor our Veterans.

I never thought, after high school when I moved away from this town, that I would ever live here again. It seemed like that would be a failure. Every birdie leaves the nest. I never understood the desire to stay in the same place where you went to school, seeing the same people at the grocery store, going to football games at the same stadium. But now that everyone in my family is dead, except one sister, there is indeed a comfort to being here in the town where my mother and sister are buried, and so many friends remain. It has been a joy rediscovering them.

Today, Reid participated in a Veteran's Day Memorial Celebration. Our town has a permanent memorial park.

Now that marching season is over, Reid is playing in
the symphonic band, playing tympani.
In my opinion, tympani are really cool. So big and coppery colored. And you get to hit them really hard with big strokes. I guess he gets to do that on most drums anyway.

There he is, listening to the Mayor speak. There were a great many participants, from Boy Scouts, to patriotic homeschool choirs, from the VFW and American Legion, to Marine Colonels.

Such a large number of members of my family fought and died for our country.
I wish I had some good pictures of my father from his time in the military.
It was strange to realize, as the mayor spoke of the opening of the Veteran's Memorial in 1995, that I was there on that very day, listening to my mother sing with the Cumming Chorale.

At the founding of the park, town members could donate a flag pole, and their loved one's flag, and the name of the local veteran would be inscribed on the flag pole.

My sister had died just a few short years before, serving in Japan.

Naval Lt. Brynda C. Drane. My mom purchased a flag pole in memory of my sister. Shortly thereafter my grandfather died. He was my mother's stepfather, her own father, Lt Charles Steide, having been killed flying one of the last missions into Germany over Italian airspace. My grandpa Bob, also proudly served, losing most of his liver to schrapnel and jaundice that hospitalized him in Europe for almost a year.   

      The last person added to the flag pole was my Mother's uncle, John Smith. When my last Great Uncle dies, maybe I will have him added as well. There are now over 100 flagpoles in the park, and my sister's is number 10. Right next to her flagpole is another gentleman I knew and loved, former Police Chief Gabe Dukas. Who kept his big round policeman's eye on me all through high school as a favor to my mom, and he did it with good humor and love. I remember if he would see my car at Dairy Queen downtown, he would stop in and ask me if I was behaving...that was small town life then.

Reid didn't even know about any of this. After the ceremony, I asked his band director, the talented Mr Mashburn, if I could snap a picture of Reid next to my family's flagpole. He obliged me. Reid was like, what? I have family members represented here? When we took the picture, he asked me if it were okay to smile.

Yes, Reid, your Aunt, and your Grandfathers, and your Great Uncle would be proud to see you smile, and play the tympani, and stand tall and respectfully in your uniform, on this Veteran's Day, and remember them.
Smile big, because that's exactly the life they wanted you to have, and exactly why they chose to serve as they did.

Bless all Veterans on this and every day, Lord.       


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dollar Fifty in Late Charges

I kinda hate online classes. I feel like I am completely teaching myself. What is that quote from the movie Good Will Hunting?
"See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a f***in' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!"

That is kinda how online classes make me feel. I'm dropping a lot of money to educate myself. I see that this might work for some people, but for me, I'm paying 10K a semester for the expertise and teaching ability of the Professor!!! Anyway...I feel good I'm getting the hang of the online thing at least. It is Saturday, the online class week ends Tuesday, and I've done all my work for the week except take the weekly test. Sigh. One more thing finished.

Oh, my, the things to do never end, do they?  Time to go take my Halloween lights down and pack them all up. Then....time to get out the Christmas ones, before the cold sets in. Love to you all!! Come have hot chocolate with me?

Check these out!!!! I am so totally making these soon. Wonder what occasion would be appropriate?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

They Got Their Cool by Osmosis

I know I have neglected you all for a week. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and the fact that it landed on a Sunday...well, there went Sunday! It was lucky that Reid was out of school on Monday and Tuesday following Halloween, because it allowed him to actually enjoy running around like a teenage boy should with friends, sleep in, and still have time to catch up on his chemistry work, as he promised me he would (and did).

Saturday the 30th was the biggest Marching Band competition of the season, and now the season is blissfully over. I adored the show this year, Luna FX, but I just didn't have one more all day Saturday from crack of dawn to two am, competition trip in me. And I was getting behind in my studies as well. Big chem test again tomorrow. The semester is winding down though, only about four weeks left. Naturally, this means everything must speed up as we cram in everything we haven't gotten to yet. Funny, but true.

A hysterical Reid story for you from last night getting pizza. Yesterday was an insanely long day for me. Anatomy lab stretches on forever sometimes, then rushing to get Reid as the library had closed and he had to sit outside in the cold drizzle. He is waterproof, and sitting in the drizzle is nothing compared to the rigors of drumline...but no Mom wants to know their kid is waiting in the rain. So the entire time I was driving to back homeward to get him, I was tutoring a fellow Chemistry student by phone. About 40 mins of explaining what a polar molecule is, why a molecule can have polar bonds but not be polar. Why CH3 is nonpolar, but NH3 is polar, why NH4+ is an ion, etc etc. Now this was stuff from the last test that she just didn't really get, and needs to understand to build on for things like colligative properties such as osmosis. I was happy to help. I love to teach. But it was just again, never a second to spare. Grabbed Reid, still tutoring by phone, went to get pizza. Sent two long texts to friend still explaining about ammonia and ammonium, etc...

Reid was gracious and understanding. He usually likes to have my attention when I pick him up, but he is in chemistry in high school as well. (OH! Guy made a 90 on his latest chem test at Gainesville College, yay Guy!) (Guy also finally posted another blog post, another yay!) Reid entertained himself by sideways watching a really cute girl at a nearby table, who was also with her mom and entertaining herself by checking out Reid.

When it was time to go (after I entered a wad of sales receipts into my checkbook that were flotsam in my purse) he said he was disappointed she had already left.

Reid said, "I was going to write my cell number on a napkin and just drop it on her table." I laughed and said, "Reid, she was with her mom, that's not really appropriate."

With perfect comedic timing of a half a beat but no more he fired back, "She can have it, too."

I love that kid. He rendered me mirthfully comically speechless.

We love to repurpose costume parts. Guy's vest gets used a lot. I repurposed my Mad Hatter vest from DragonCon. Mask is from New Orleans. Vive La purple Joker coats, as a friend said.

I love Guy's flair. I really do.

Reid on the jumbotron screen at the Georgia Dome at the SuperRegional competition

Reid (right) and Connor.  Class AA Champions!