Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day One - China

2:30 p.m. (approx 24 hours after waking up to get to the airport) Sunday October 19, 2008
Arrived in Shanghai, China and there was a HUGE line at customs. When I finally got through and found my luggage I walked out. It was then I was wishing Joni was a blond...she was a little harder to spot but I found her! I was so excited to see her but it was already 3:10 and the bus for Hangzhou left at 3:30 (the next one not leaving for another 2 hours) so we had to hurry. Burger King would have to wait until the return trip in 12 days. We lugged my bags to some random elevator that wasn't even working properly and shoved ourselves in with too many people and a motion sick girl. We rushed out and over to buy our tickets with 5 minutes to spare. Enough time to use the toilet (they even had a western style toilet at the bus station!)

We stored my bags under the bus and were on our way. The bus trip NORMALLY takes 3 hours. When a traffic jam stalls you for an extra hour however...yeah...
SO - needless to say, it was about 4 hours till we got to Hangzhou. Just in time to take the hour long bus BACK to Xiasha...where Joni's school and apartment was. We both looked a little rough at the end of this trip. We got to Joni's apartment about 8:30 and decided to "dine in" on some soup a friend had given her. We unpacked my bags and I'm happy to say she was pleased with all the goodies! We chilled out and then went to bed about 11:00 because we had class the next fact, a whole day full of classes. The first one starting at 8...a.m.

More of China to come...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Poor Always Among Us?

So here I sit...supposed to be blogging about poverty, when all that comes to mind is a recent conversation I had with a friend. The conversation started when he lamented that his colleagues weren't getting his humor. I told him that when I lived in Africa they didn't get sarcasm (which obviously drips from my tongue - if you know me you know this is true) and that it was a rough couple of years (from a humor standpoint). He wondered if the lack of sarcasm in Sub-Saharan Africa was a factor in agriculture and political stability.
He finally connected the two (okay MAYBE it was a bit of a stretch connecting the Sahara with lack of appreciation for sarcasm to lack of water, leading to no food.) but now that I think about it, I have to wonder. Why IS there so much poverty in the world? Why does it seem to flourish in some areas/countries more than others?

Perhaps sarcasm is not the answer to poverty, political stability, and food in Sub-Sahara Africa. Perhaps it all starts with caring about those in poverty, becoming aware of those in poverty, being so affected by it that you can no longer sit by and do nothing.

For more information about worldwide poverty check out

A little less talk and a lot more action? Check out

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Smalltown, America

As many of you know, I leave a week from Saturday to go to China. I'm visiting a friend who teaches English at a university. She asked me to bring a few items which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Velveeta (let's face it, we ALL eat'd miss it to if you were denied the ability to purchase it!)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

I love her priorities!

SO- I wanted to make sure she had enough. I bought four boxes of Velveeta, four jars of Joe T. Garcia's salsa (if you have to buy it you might as well buy the best!) and four bags of Reese's, two of the regular size and two of the miniature's (you know, just to mix it up a bit...).

I decided to do the self-check out because somehow I thought it would be faster and I wouldn't have to pretend to be nice to anyone (yeah, it's just been one of those weeks I guess). I put everything on the conveyor belt and began to realize how strange it looked. I was actually embarrassed to have four boxes of Velveeta and the same number of bags of Reese's. All of the sudden I hear this voice RIGHT behind me saying, "Looks like you're gonna have a good time!" I turned around and there is a fairly large man looking at me like it's Christmas and he wants a feast at my also looked like he was bringing his wife...
I kind of laughed and said yeah, my thought? Better for them to think this is all I eat than to engage in conversation that is sure to lead to drivel (if you've read my blog before you probably already know the outcome of this post). Then his wife chimes in, are you having a party? I decided to go for the gold and tell them EXACTLY what it was for. If you can't ignore them, might was well confuse them!
I simply stated that where my friend lived she couldn't buy these items. She was living out of the country and I was going to take these items to her.
NO LIE, the woman looks at me like it was a crime to not be able to buy Velveeta and then says, "She must be in another state!"
Okay so if you're like me you're totally laughing...although I give myself credit for keeping it all inside and a serious face.
I re-stated that she was OUT OF THE COUNTRY...she lives in another country where you can't buy these things. I'm buying these things for her...and taking them to her, where she another country. Once I figured this had cleared things up she begins to tell me about her sister who lives in California and can't buy Ranch Style Beans.
-I'm sorry I just keep laughing out loud and am having a hard time finishing this blog...-
So apparently her sister buys large boxes of them while she's here and then takes them back to California. I kind of faded out at this point and finished my purchase which was taking WAY too long and left.

I left with these thoughts, whether they be wrong or right.
Most people in Smalltown, America have no clue about the world beyond their own. I'm so thankful for my experiences and the ability to see so much of the world.
Maybe it all begins with small steps. These people had insight of what it's like in California, perhaps their next step is global...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do You Find It Funny?

Do you ever wonder why we find certain things funny? I'm sitting here as I type this watching that show America's Funniest Videos. At least I assume that's still it's name. I was flipping channels looking for something interesting to watch while I do a little Internet stalking...I settled for this show. I'll admit, it's mostly a dumb show but from time to time there is a funny video on there...tonight there are several. Now, I would go into detail about what was so funny but that's what made me think of writing this. (Okay like I ever need a "real" topic to write about-this may be the "fluffiest" blog you've ever read) What is funny? Funny is subjective. Isn't it? There are a few people I know that I would classify as funny.

Josh Warthen - this guy is hilarious...just try playing Balderdash with this guy. You may know exactly which answers are his, but they'll have you laughing so hard you won't care about the rest of the game. Josh has random humor. I remember him renaming both dogs we had in college. He would spend all night calling Scout by another name until the poor dog actually believed that was his name.

Brent Sorrels - (though I'll admit, with his wife they are a dynamic duo) can make me laugh at absolutely nothing. Maybe it's not so much what he says as how he says it.

Zain Hakeem - Most of Zain's hilarity comes via Sheri Hull. However I would have to say his theory on One Child Left Behind, while making some sense, has me in stitches every time I read it. Yes, that's right, One Child Left Behind. While I had full intention of posting a couple of bits or pieces I wouldn't want to butcher the masterpiece that it is or suck the funniness out of it in anyway. (*For the full theory shoot me an email and I can share it with you.)

This is not a conclusive list of those that make me laugh. I bring these people up because their humor is perhaps subjective. While I (and many others) think them quite funny or even hilarious, some people just don't get their sense of humor, some people just don't find them funny (I'm actually quite sure these people have NO sense of humor but, whatever...). While I'm glad there is such a variety of humor in this world to satisfy everyone's funny bone, I'm most thankful for wit, dry humor, and the occasional practical joke...

*Pending approval from Zain. After all, it's his theory...

Monday, September 22, 2008

And now's it's time for -Bizzare Thoughts with Mary Beavers

I have a couple of friends that are either doing the Internet dating thing or are seriously thinking of it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to bash it at all. It may not be for least not yet...but I have to say I have thought about it. I wonder, how specific can you be on those things? If I were to sign up there would be certain critera I would look for. Perhaps the most important would be his last name. I'm pretty sure at this point I would want it to be McGee. You have to admit it's a pretty cool last name. I'd prefer if he wanted lots and lots of see, some of my friends have had their children's names (so really none of them have had kids yet...but you know, future kids...or whatever) picked out for a really long time. I could only think of one or two names I liked. I always liked names that were a little different. That's when I thought of marrying someone whose last name is McGee...
Think of all the possibilities.

-Crazy Eyed McGee
-Long-Legged McGee
(or if we produce short kids) -Short-Legged McGee
-Knobby Kneed McGee
-Stinky McGee

And why limit it to looks or smells, let's go for personality:

-Smarty Pants McGee
-Bump on a Log McGee
-Funny Bones McGee
-Grumpy Pants McGee

When you think about it, the possibilities are limitless...

Oh, one more characteristic I'd be looking for in a potential match. He's got to be crazy enough to be crazy enough about me...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You Know You're FROM the Country When...

Okay notice I did not post the title as You Know You're Country's FROM the country people. I ain't cuntry (um that's a joke so I hope you all picked up on that).

So I was driving home tonight from Lifegroup and was almost home. I took the back road toward my apartment which looks very much like a country road. For those of you reading this and have never been on a country road (isn't this where I would insert the phrase, Bless your heart???) this is what it looks like. Imagine two sidewalks side by side...with no edges. Now, insert a pot hole in one of three places (your "side", their "side", and the middle) at least every 15 feet. Police have a very hard time discerning drunk people on a country road because you must naturally weave in order not to bottom out or ruin your tires. However, I digress. So I'm driving on this smallish road and I come over the hill for the last little stretch before some "genius" decided to widen the road 25 feet before it ends. I notice something on the side of the road. This is where my country skills come into play. (When you've grown up in the country your eyes are used to scanning the road and beyond so that you don't run into a deer, though my friend Nikki "swears" the deer ran into her...sure. I mean, I'm not the one who murdered the turtle. But that's another story.) I noticed that there was a particular slithery companion to my right. Now those of you that know me, know I HATE snakes...and when I say hate I mean abhor. They give me the creeps, always have and probably always will. When I was in Africa who saw more snakes than anyone? That's

So what do I do you ask? Well, I naturally swerve towards the snake. Did I hit it? It was only about 2 feet long. A fairly small snake. These thoughts cross my mind. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking, but the evidence of living in the city must be rubbing off because to answer your unasked question, no. I did not put the car in reverse, just enough to see if I hit it, peel out on it's coiled up body and back up to do it again and again until I was sure that I have killed it. This is what we country folks are taught to do. We've all seen our parents do it, my friend Janet's mom must have driven over this one dumb snake 15 times...if he didn't die from the tire crunching his body into the gravel he probably died from boredom watching her drive over and over him. Back and forth, back and forth, while we all stared. Even from a distance we knew what she was doing. You could tell the country people there...we all caught each other's eye and shook our heads...another snake...then do one of two things: Go back to what you were doing (we making s'mores at the campfire) or walk up to where the vehicle is and make VERY certain the snake is dead. Possible by poking it several times with a long stick.

Sometimes there's just not much to do on a Saturday night in the country...a snake on the road can certainly liven things up.

*Please do not play with live or dead snakes if you are unfamiliar with them. Even if you are familiar with them please...just drive to the nearest town with lights...they're sure to have a movie may cost more (depending on the amount of gas you waste on running down that snake) but I guarantee your date will be more impressed with the movie.

**no snakes were harmed in the writing of this story.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Can't believe I'm posting this...April 16, 2008

Two days ago I was at my friend Nikki's house and she was showing me
some of her clothes (that she never wears anymore) and I saw the
cutest wrap dress. I began to exclaim how cute it was and she told me
I could borrow it, in fact, she told me I could keep it and if she ever
wanted to borrow it she would let me know. I was so excited because it
had been so long since I had worn a dress or found one that looked
good. I immediately grabbed it from her hands and carried it with me
until we left. I knew I would wear it the next day (despite the
weather!). It's that stretchy material (very forgiving) with a fairly
busy pattern (ALSO very forgiving!) and I put on a brown camisole so
as not to be too revealing. I was also sporting a pair of aqua
undies...but really, do you need to know everything?

I put on my brown wedges that should not be worn to walk 6 miles of
downtown Cincinnati in...but looked pretty cute with the dress. Diana
exclaimed how good everything looked...Randy (my boss) exclaimed that
it looked good and he liked the material. Even Matt said he liked it.
I was feeling pretty good that day my friend...pretty darn good.

I went home for lunch...touched up my hair...added some earrings I
hadn't had time to put on that morning...and headed back. Dropped off
people's taxes at the post office and then made my way over to the
office. 3:45 rolls around and it's time to take the mail. Now, I only
have to walk approximately 1 3/4 blocks to get to the mailbox...mayhem
struck when I got to the corner of Austin and Trinity. I had a good
hold of my dress on the left side, because that was where the wrap was
the most exposed...the wind had other plans.

I had the mail in my right hand, holding my dress in the left...the
wind whipped up behind me and to the right...catching the hem of my
dress just right and flipping it up somewhere around my chin as far as
I can remember. I pushed it down quickly and glanced around only to
see an old man getting into his truck and his wife looking right at

I walked calmly to the corner, deposited the mail in the postal
receptacle and grabbed hold of my dress with two good hands. Relieved
to see the truck gone when I crossed back over the street, I headed
straight for my building. The wind was now laughing at me and trying
it's best to recreate the situation I found myself in earlier...I got
three steps from my building and a grin forced itself onto my face...
made it to the door and giggles rose up in my chest. I sat down and
had a good guffaw for at least 3 minutes...relating the story to my
colleagues as best I could... still makes me laugh, and I know now, next time I wear the
dress, to choose my undies more carefully...

God's Beauty

Written about a year or so ago on my way back from Ohio. I miss you Ohio people!!!
This story is not

There's always been something very fascinating to me about flying . I love it. Whenever I travel there are several things I like to do. First of all, I love to people watch in the airport. Where are these people going? Who have they been to see? Is their trip long or short? Have they just arrived or are they leaving?

The second thing I love about flying is actually flying. I love everything about it; like taking off. I love the way the plane gains speed, until you think you can't possibly be going any faster, and then suddenly, magically, the plane lifts off. It's front wheel first, then it's back wheels. Suddenly you're rising up into the sky and leaving the ground far behind. The plane begins to find its current and pretty soon all you see are squares of farms and homes and how tiny everything seems.

If I can manage, I always pick a seat with a window. I've never understood people who wanted the isle seat. I want to see, to feel, like I'm flying. I've always thought, if I couldn't be a human, I'd like to be a bird. I love looking out the window and wondering about the places I'm going or places I'd like to go. I like to remember places I've been and the feeling of new experiences and that sweet, sweet feeling of coming home after a long, long time.

This past weekend I spent with my friend Sheri in Ohio. We had a great weekend and I wasn't particularly ready to come home but my flight was already scheduled and I had to work the next day. So, I boarded my flight, found seat 14F and pulled out a book I had been casually reading.

Usually I will read until the plane starts to taxi, watch and feel the take off (grinning like an idiot because I love the feeling so much). Look around for a bit and then dig into my book, putting it down as we begin the descent and watching the landing. Pack my book and wait to deplane. This is usually my process. Not so on Monday, September 3rd, 2007. (Incidentally, 3 years to the date of my departure from Africa-this seriously has NOTHING to do with my story, I just thought it was interestingly coincidental.)

I got as far as pulling the book out of my bag and putting it in my lap. I didn't want to open it so I looked out the window at the guy checking the wings and doing the final cross-checks. I just couldn't gather up the energy to pick up the book and read until taxiing began. I stared out the window and cat napped a bit. We started to taxi and I could feel the excitement start. I began to encourage the plane. Albeit, quietly as to not frighten the passenger to my left. "Come on, you can do it", "faster, we'll need more speed, let's go baby, let's go!" "You got this now, take off, come on, up!" Then that stupid grin hit my face…we were flying. Actually flying, soaring through the air in a hot metal tube. I began to think how great it was that God allowed man to invent airplanes that we could see what it's like to soar.

I quickly became lost in my thoughts and my book lay forgotten on my lap. I cat napped some more, got my beverage and just kept looking out the window. I began seriously thinking of taking out my camera and getting a few pictures of the clouds, they were amazing, but I thought the strange girl next to me would think I had lost it so I left it where it was.

I began to take pleasure in how beautiful the clouds were. Some were flat like a lake of mist, others were mountainous and majestic. I felt like a hobbit who had wandered out of his hole to find the entirety of Elrond's kingdom at my feet. I started thanking God for all he had created, that he could design such beauty for me…but instead of feeling all mushy inside and relishing in God's love for me, I began to see the truth. Those beautiful clouds, the darkest caves in the world, the depths of the sea may never be seen by mankind. We may never see all the beauty God created. Why? Why did he create it if we weren't meant to see it? Because of simply this, beauty wasn't created for you or for me. Beauty was created for God. Everything God created was for Him and for His glory. Not for my enjoyment, not for my pleasure, but for God's enjoyment, for God's pleasure. But you see, we were created in God's image and so we appreciate beauty just as God does. The best part? God created beautiful things and God created us. We can revel in God's creation as beautiful because it reflects the very nature of God. No matter what, God will always be glorified. It doesn't take you or I to lift his name up and declare His praise. He's already done that. God's glory doesn't depend upon you or I acknowledging it. It just is.

God is beauty and he creates it. For Himself.

The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is robed, He has girded Himself with strength and power; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.

Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up the roaring of their waves.

The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea.

Your testimonies are very sure; holiness [apparent in separation from sin, with simple trust and hearty obedience] is becoming to Your house, O Lord, forever.

Psalm 93 (Amplified Bible)

I suppose I'll always choose that window seat if I can because I know that next flight, God has something else he wants to reveal to me about Himself.

More Stories From the Past -August 28,2007

I'd like to tell you about my morning..unforthunatley I'm a little hard to unersthand...

Okay kiddies...let me tell you WHY it's important to floss. First of all - who wants to see someone walking around with things stuck in that person's teeth? No one...but the second reason is as follows:

Flossing can prevent cavities...

Oh, we've heard it all our lives, at least those who were brave enough to make it to the dentist at least twice a year, (I know what you're thinking, some of us were dragged - never given the choice) but sometimes, when you're told something so many times-it still doesn't compute. Now women, I know what you're thinking, "I thought only men were prone to this, 'you've told me 15 times but I never heard you' syndrome". It's not true (okay well, it's mostly true). And I'll tell you why, I didn't listen. Perhaps I should restate that and say, I never heard.

I go to the dentist twice a year, I brush my teeth and use mouthwash but flossing was never a priority. Oh sure, I get something stuck in my teeth and I use floss to get it out. But I wasn't what you'd call a daily flosser. As you all know, I got a new job about 6 months ago.(Okay so now it's been more like a year and 6 months ago...) Of course insurance came with the job so I went through the task of switching everything around. I learned that while I had dental insurance, it wasn't the same plan, hence, a new dentist. Now, I've had the same dentist for about 3 years (not counting time spent in the bush of West Africa) and my sister-in-law is a dental hygienist so I was used to the routine. I loved my dentist (as much as anyone can love a man - or woman - who digs around in your mouth and asks you questions that require paragraph answers while shoving three more cotton balls in your mouth - just to even out the baker's dozen that are already there).

I'm not going to mention my new dentist's name, though he's a nice enough guy and did a good job. This story is not about the job he did...this is about my inability to handle the numbing procedure and learning to floss.

A few weeks ago I went to the dentist. My first visit to my new dentist. I just needed a regular cleaning and felt pretty confident that I would be in and out in no time. The girl cleaning my teeth was nice enough, she thought she was funnier than she was, but she did a pretty good job. She then asks if I'm flossing. "Sure." I tell her, cause I have been flossing, every time I feel like I have something stuck in my teeth, I floss. She kind of gives me a look and then keeps going. I'm thinking, "whew, that was close, but I guess I sure fooled her.". Think again Mary...she calls the dentist in for the final examination and to look at my x-rays. He starts with "oh my goodness" and 4 cavities later I'm wondering whose x-ray this woman got mixed up with mine. No such luck...I knew there were a few teeth my old dentist was "keeping and eye on" but for crying out loud FOUR?!?! The dentist asks me, "are you drinking cokes?" "no", "are you drinking sweet tea all the time?" "no", "are you flossing?" this one I couldn't quite avoid easily, but the answer was, "not really". He had to know, I'm pretty sure the hygienist tattled on me before he ever got into the room. Well, I was through for the day but had rescheduled my fillings

I got up this morning and got ready, came to work and worked until 8:50 and then I left for my appointment. I got there and they got me in the chair quickly. Now, I could go into hilarious detail about the events leading up to and following my procedure but, frankly, I don't have that much time. (Maybe next time, he only did half the cavities today, in two weeks I'll be going through all this again) Let's just say he used the needle I was numbed...and will probably still be feeling the effects of being numb when you all see me tonight. I couldn't answer the phone the first few hours I got back into the office because Cox-Springer sounded more like Cox-thpringer Finansal Advizors. I'm hungry as heck (because I ran out of time for breakfast this morning) and it's 12:30. I've spent my lunch writing this story because I CAN'T EAT ANYTHING. I'm afraid I'd bite my tongue off and not know it...

Why do I tell you this? Because flossing is important. It's strange what we'll do to prevent what we know is already going to happen. I'll have you know, I flossed every day after that first appointment until today, somehow I was hoping they would see the excellent job I had done by flossing every day for 2 weeks and decide my cavities had gone away. No such luck...Does that mean that I will stop flossing, you can bet your gums I WON'T! I've learned a valuable lesson...unfortunately, the hard way.

I hope you're all having a fabulous day and remember, before you go to bed tonight, FLOSS!

This was written about a year ago but I figured it was funny enough for you to endure. Consequently - the second visit to the dentist was worse than the first. Apparently when they hit a nerve with the anesthetic your face swells up like someone who's been in the ring with Mike Tyson (though my ear was still intact when I left the dentist office). All the more incentive to floss...hahahaha....yeah.

In Another Life

I am now fully convinced that in another life, perhaps with a different family heritage, I would be a thin person.

If you ask some of my friends, they will tell you I get a little weird when it comes to food. Just this past weekend, in fact, I was at a restaurant with a friend and he stared at me like I was crazy when I told him I would figure out how they made this butter if it was the last thing I did. I love tasting new things and trying to figure out the spices and/or herbs used.

Yes. I love food. I love cooking and baking food, I love eating and trying new foods. I come by it honestly. My mother is a fabulous cook. Her mother was superb. I can only imagine it goes back for generations. Although my father's specialty is pork chops and stewed potatoes with an occasional can of Ranch Style Beans (BLAH!) his mother was one of the best dessert cooks whose food I'd ever had the pleasure of tasting. Our family gathers around food. Perhaps that’s what makes it more special to me.

Some volunteers help us celebrate the 4th of July - Pig Roasting Time!

According to my friends my taste is diverse. For those of you that are like me - it's hard to find people who will venture further. (Okay, Janet is willing, Krista at least likes Greek, Nikki's getting better.) My best eating out friend is Andrew. And although I feel like our friendship is mostly held together by our love of Indian food, I'm okay with that. Still, you will find me testing the waters of my friend's appetites from time to time with a gentle suggestion that, a really good sushi place is right over there, or mmmmm Indian food sounds good doesn't it? If we get Lebanese you can watch the belly dancer...

Perhaps even more than eating good food (perhaps), I enjoy cooking good food. My family has labeled me the adventurous cook but I've held back even for them. Maybe it's the thought that Fall is officially three weeks away that has me thinking of baking, I don't know. Texas is hot until at least the end of September. Still, I'm about ready to dig out my Pumpkin Bread recipe. I also have some spicy Indian recipes that I've printed off and they are looking very tempting.

The Failes and I enjoy our varied cusine at a restaurant in Bolgatanga.

This post has absolutely NO purpose except that I love talking about food. Maybe it's even an invitation to say, if you love trying new things and would like to try, Indian, West African, Moroccan, or whatever kind of food let me know. We'll have a dinner party. Also if you have any great recipes that you love making in the Fall let me know. If you're looking for more specific ideas, my friend Kari has some fabulous ones on her blog

Yes, perhaps I’ll always struggle with those extra 30 pounds I’m quite sure the camera adds…but when I think of the alternative, of not enjoying food and friends, I can’t help but think it’s worth it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

This past week I recently heard Dr. Kevin Elko speak. For those of you who don't know Dr. Elko he is a nationally renowned Performance Consultant and Professional Motivational Speaker. (Matt Foley step aside!) He works with companies all over the U.S and is probably even more well known for his work with sports teams, specifically football (American Football that is). You can read his biography if you'd like I simply wanted to preface this story with his credentials so you don't think I'm listening to just anyone.

Dr. Elko told us; Your wealth is your time, not your money. This resonated with me. He said, it has to happen before it can happen (meaning visualize) and I got it. Then he said, You don't attract what you want, you attract what you are...I got worried.

About six months ago I was shopping in Hobby Lobby with my mom. We were looking at several different things and I decided to stop by the frames and see if there were any good deals. As I'm perusing the aisles a woman looks at me. I smile and keep looking at all the different kinds of frames. She must have thought this was an invitation to tell me all about her life. She starts out simply with telling me about the better deals at another store. However, before I know it she's telling me about her family. Her daughter who married a guy she doesn't like but that's okay cause they're getting divorced. Then moves on to her grandson who is apparently ADHD and has hair so long she thinks he looks like a girl. And did you know what her daughter decided to do? She's going to homeschool him...because he really doesn't do well at school. and let me show you a picture of him (this is no lie, the woman searches for a good 3 minutes and then pulls out an old school pic...what the hee haw am I supposed to say?). She mentions about four or five times the homeschooling part. I guess just waiting for me to tell her how horrible homeschooling is (he he he he....yeah....). I kept quiet the entire time. Politely; wowing, nodding and mhhming at all the right spots. Meanwhile my feet are plotting an escape route. She must have anticipated my next 5 moves! I take tiny steps to the left...she follows me...tiny steps to the right...guess who's there? I repeat this thinking it must be a fluke, then 1 or 2 large steps wasn't. If there was anyone who didn't understand body language it was this woman. My mom walks by twice and then moves on. It's been about 15 minutes at this point and I've stopped listening to what she's even saying. She finally wraps it up and then thanks me for listening to her. I tell her, sure. Say good-bye to her and the last 15 minutes of my life and find my mom. She asks me, who was that? LOL I have no idea! We shook our heads and then moved on.

About 3 months ago...
I just finished heating up my lunch and I brought it to the front to eat at my desk as I normally do when I bring my lunch. (Some days I go home and make lunch...) I had a bowl of salad and leftover chicken curry that I had made on Saturday. I see a lady looking around in the hall and I knew what was coming. People don't simply read the posted signs or walk down the hall and find the office they are looking for...they think, "hey, I'll just ask this lady who looks like she has nothing better to do than direct me where I should have known where I was going in the first place..." you follow me so far? Yeah, so this lady sure enough opens the door and asks, "Is there a bathroom on this floor?". My first thought is to tell her we don't have bathrooms in the building but have been using the outhouses in the parking lot graciously supplied by the road crew. However, I direct her to the end of the hall where she would have found the bathroom had she even bothered to look. I'm thinking this is the end of the conversation and she should be able to figure it out. But no, she then audaciously asks me, "what are you eating?" At this point...I'm trying to think if I've ever seen this lady in my life and if so...why is she here asking me about bathrooms and my lunch? I told her "chicken curry" hoping that the general *Weatherfordian bias against food of diversity will throw her off and she'll curl her lip and say, "oh" and keep on going...part 1 of my plan works and she gives a negative answer and giggles all the way down the hall. However, I didn't expect to throw her off as much as I did. She comes back down the hall after making use of our facilities and pokes her head BACK into the room and begins to talk again! She starts explaining about her rotator -cuff surgery and how she's had it twice and neither worked and now she's gained 40 pounds since then from the steroids but she's lost 23 but maybe she should be eating chicken curry too cause I look pretty thin (good thing I have a massive desk to hide 3/4 of my body) and she needs to lose some more weight...she somehow ends the conversation and leaves and I'm left thinking, "chicken curry makes you skinny?". At this point I realize that she has NO CLUE what chicken curry even is. The thought to chase her down and give her the facts doesn't even appeal to me because I know I'd be wasting my time. I let her go and probably sat there for a good minute or two in stunned silence as I realized I had let yet another stranger takes minutes away from me in useless conversation.

I don't know what this means for me as a person. If I attract what I am and not what I want then I obviously have a lot of changes to make.

*Mary apologizes for any generalizations made about Weatherfordians, but in her experience this is a true statement.

**Please also note that if you are a complete stranger to me and stop me in the store or at work to tell me about your problems or life in general I am now charging a session fee subject to varying rates depending on time and life dificulty.

Going Back in Time - August 21, 2007

I feel you need some background about the dangerous work I do. For those of you with access to may have read's funny enough to read again...

So, today, while doing some filing, I was almost killed. The harrowing thought even now fills my mind and body with dread. Many people are unaware of the dangers of filing. This blog is here to unveil those horrors...
Paper cuts
Dry cuticles
Smashed fingers
these are all things people think about when they hear of filing accidents...but I'm here today to tell you...there's one thing they don't want you to thing they hope you'll never find out...that the rare but exotically perilous, tipping file cabinet, is real. I hope you never meet it or even glimpse in it's direction...if you ever do, I pray you make it out alive...not many people do. I was one of those lucky few...
I was rearranging files because I was tired of shoving and stuffing them where they didn't want to go. I had had enough of the paper cuts and torn cuticles. I was on a mission to make my job easier. I worked with speed and agility, moving, rearranging, straightening. I was working backwards from Z and had almost reached the A section. I had two drawers open as to easily assist in moving the files when all of the sudden, while I wasn't looking, the drawer below the two already open began to slowly slide out...before I knew it the entire cabinet tipped toward me and the drawers began to reach the extension limit, my life flashed before my eyes quickly, it resembled the water bottle and binders that had been stacked on top of the cabinet that was now headed for my body. With cat-like reflexes I threw out my hand and became wedged between the wall and the tipped cabinet. Somehow, even my legs had become a brace. A small yelp escaped from my lips and Diana and Matt were at my side in a flash - like super heroes. Luckily I had already started to move the cabinet back into place...I'm not saying that I'm strong, or even that I'm invincible...all I know is that you can do impossible things when circumstances tell you otherwise...

About To Be Making Up For Lost Time

Finally, finally...Internet at home. Yes, that's correct. After two years in the same place I've decided to finally have Internet installed. What obviously comes next with this with extra Internet time? A blog. A drivel story about my life...and yet, here you are reading it. I feel as if I need to make up for lost time. Stories written in the past and no where to post. Pictures, processes and positively boring observations brought to you with a somewhat risible twist. May you find my life more interesting than I.