Sunday, November 13, 2016

Week 47, 11-13-2016

Thoughts and Quotes: Today I have two quotes and one thought.

When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening.  That’s where your true power is.
                                                                        Karen Salmansohn

In the simplest terms, a leader is one who knows where he wants to go, gets up, and goes.
                                                                                                John Erskine 

This week has been all about the USA election. People close to me know that I am, have always been, and will always be a Republican. My entire working life was in the private sector, so perhaps that's why I see things as I do. 

What disturbs me is the reaction of our young people who voted for Hillary. I don't remember that the Republicans revolted, burned flags, sprayed graffiti, smashed car and business windows, set fires, interrupted traffic, or worse in the last two elections. Did they? Am I having a Senior Moment or has our permissive, no-one loses society changed the very fabric of America? And I actually do have an open mind. I didn't think Bush the Younger was a good president. His No-Child Left Behind program hasn't succeeded, so far as I know, and the worthless war didn't get high marks either. 

Anyway, it's history now and I pray that we'll all be pleased with the outcome in the future. I think Donald Trump fits John Erkine's description, so that makes him a leader. Time will tell what kind of leader.

Do you know that there is a website so we can finally have transparency in the government? Take a look. You can see what's happening. You can apply for one of the upcoming 4,000 jobs, resulting from the change in administrations. You can even share your ideas. Scroll down, and you'll find the link. I've already expressed my ideas. Wonder if anyone reads them? You have the right to express yours, as well.  Has this ever happened before? Did I miss something? I love having a place to keep updated on what's happening and also a place to express my views, regardless of whether anyone reads them.

The Pepper Report: His wound was looking much better, but Thursday afternoon he scratched it, making it bleed, and I could see that he was in pain. I can't stand to see an animal suffer, so off we went to the vet. He got a shot for pain, a shot of antibiotics, and a new very stiff collar, which so far he has not been able to remove. 

Poor Pepper

He's so unhappy. He looks at me with those sad eyes, as if he's asking how I could do such a thing to him. He's such a baby now. He wants to be on my lap all the time. Sometimes I even let him sleep there, because it seems to make him feel better. I have to move this footstool over beside my desk chair when I'm on the computer, so he can be near. Not easy using one hand on the keyboard and one on the kitty, but I'm learning. He dips the edge of the collar into his wet food and smears it around the inside of the collar, so I'm pretty much spending my time as a collar cleaner and kitty cushion. At least I can read paperbacks, which I can hold with one hand, so I've read one Lawrence Sanders book and I'm part way through a second. His McNally books are my favorites, but I find him to be high on the list of gifted writers no matter what he writes. 

Brother Jim saved the comics section from last Sunday's Joplin Globe for me because he said that it reminded him of Pepper. 

On the bright side, Tuesday was a very heart-warming day. Growing up, I had five brothers who drove me crazy, but as adults became my best friends. I'm very proud of the men they became and would like to share a day I spent with one of them. 

As you know, our brother Sonny was involved in a fatal auto accident at the beginning of this year. As he requested, we scattered his ashes over his property, which he called Sonnyville. As there is no headstone, Brother Jim and his wife Becky (my Lil' Bro' and Lil' Sis') commissioned a memorial paver for him at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, and I ordered a brick for him at the Botanical Center in Springfield, Missouri. 

Pittsburg, Kansas, is just across the Missouri border near Joplin. Jim and Becky live in Webb City, a suburb of Joplin. I bought my car in Joplin and there was a recall on my wiper motor. I called Jim to get directions to the university so I could take a photo of the paver while I was in the area. Instead, he offered to pick me up at the car agency and take me there. This post is a tribute to my Lil' Bro' and Lil' Sis' and the wonderful things they do and the lives they lead, and a glimpse into life in middle America.

Here's our day:

Jim and Becky attend church at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Galena, Kansas. It was right on our way to Pittsburg, so we stopped so I could see the church.

When I saw the red doors, I said that someone must be an admirer of Elizabeth Arden (here) and he told me that it's customary in Episcopal churches to paint the door red, signifying that you've now paid off your mortgage. Wow! What a great way to celebrate.

I call this a Leave It To Beaver church, because it's very much like the old days when the parishoners really felt as if the church truly belonged to them and they made it successful. There are no paid employees of the church. Everyone is a volunteer, right down to the priest. You'll see as we go along.

The sanctuary is not large (and please excuse my lack of knowledge of correct terminology in the Episcopal religion).

Though a small church, everything is first class. Beautiful windows.

There are carved pews and padded cushions for comfort.

The organ. There's also a moveable organ and a piano in the community room. Of course, the organist is a volunteer.

The community room.

The kitchen. A parishioner who has a bed and breakfast helped make decisions. Notice the dual standard stoves instead of a commerical stove, and the grill and commercial type sink.

A parishioner in the business, did the cabinetry at cost.

In the hall outside the kitchen. I thought this was fun.

One of the parishioners made this from litter he picked up.

Another parishioner created this mosaic in the entryway of the community center.

And this one at the side entry.

The church is constructed in a U-shape, with the sanctuary and the community center as the legs. A storage room has been converted to an additional bathroom with a shower which accommodates wheelchair users. The main water heater is electric, but there's an additional water heater which operates on gas, like the kitchen stove and grill. Jim explained that this is in case of an emergency, like an ice storm with loss of power. I said, "Oh, so the parishioners could use this as an emergency shelter", and he said, "Not just parishioners, but anyone in need". Of course the parishioners did all the work themselves.  See, I told you it's a Leave It To Beaver church.

The space between the sanctuary and the community center has become a prayer garden.
Jim filled the feeders for the birds and the feral kitties while we were there.

A columbarium has been installed to the left of the community center. And yes, a parishioner volunteered the equipment and labor to dig the hole for the base and pour the cement.

As we were leaving the community center, I asked about the use of a stack of egg cartons on a table. Jim said, "Oh, I need to take those". I asked what he did with them, and he said that he gives them to people who have chickens. So the parishioners save them for people they don't even know. How sweet is that?

And what do Jim and Becky do for this church? For starters, Jim contributes to the maintenance, as he is experienced in plumbing, electrical, handyman chores, etc. He  has been the treasurer for  seventeen years. He says that it's rather like being appointed to the Supreme Court. Sometimes he's a reader. Becky sends greeting cards for birthdays, get well, sympathy, shut-ins, etc. She was instumental in the creation of the prayer garden, and does most of the maintenance.

Another interesting fact about Episcopal churches is that they do not use any artificial flowers or greens. 

Off to Pittsburg and lunch and another example of the wonderful heartland people. We were seated at a table out in the center of the restaurant. We had ordered, but had not been served. Two young men in uniform came in and sat at a table behind us. I flagged the waitress immediately and told her that we'd like to pick up their tab. The reply? Too late, someone had already asked for it.

Becky is a professor and counselor at Pittsburg State and Sonny's paver is in the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater. Becky wasn't on campus that day - continuing education, so I got to visit her office.  I assure you that this is an office like no other you have ever seen.  No wonder she's so close to her students. They must feel as if they're going home to mom or grandma or a favorite aunt when they walk through the door.

Photos from students

The granddaughter who painted this is now attending proms.

Becky has been chosen teacher of the year numerous times and counselor of the year for the entire state of Kansas. 

More about Becky and Jim: They have a candlelight dinner every night. If you're imagining a white tablecloth with a couple in formal clothing and red roses and champagne on the table, forget it. Becky might be in slacks and a pullover and Jim in jeans if he's been mowing the yard. Yarn placemats might replace the white tablecloth and zinnias from the garden in place of red roses. Iced tea, of course, instead of champagne. The view out the window won't be the lights of a high-rise skyline, but potted plants and a bird feeder on the deck. It's not the details; it's the act. In my books, this is class. And they still have date nights on birthdays and anniversaries. They have a beach vacation every year and visit a new island every five years.

They have a garden every year, flowers too, and cherry and apple trees. Becky cans her beans, makes pickled beets, jellies and salsa, which she shares with everyone. Before the neighbors moved to senior living, they were often the recipients of a hot dinner, especially on holidays. Becky chooses three people every year for her Card of the Month Club. Those chosen get a greeting card each month, tailored to their specific likes or needs. Jim is retired (Becky is a child bride) and does a lot of the cooking. He restores old cars and does all the yard work and the property is large. Becky has created a remembrance garden at the back fence for the pets who have gone to kitty or doggie heaven, along with a bench for sitting and reminiscing.

I'm honored to have these two as relatives and love both of them very, very much.

Now on to the Veterans Memorial

There's a replica Viet Nam wall

An amphitheater with a reflecting pool

And an eternal flame

Some of the pavers are inside the amphitheater

And some are in the entry court

Sonny's is here

The following day I went to the Botanical Center to photograph his brick. I requested the White Garden where the memorial sidewalk leads into the Hosta Garden.

You can see photos of the White Garden in my archives on Week 31.

Back to Teas and T's next week.

Tip: Don't forget to make a wish on the full moon Monday night. It's either the Full Beaver Moon or the Full Frost Moon. It's the time to set your beaver traps, but I might be setting kitty traps instead, because Pepper's feral sister needs to be spayed. Frost Moon might be appropriate - frost is expected.







  1. Hi Patsy, here in Montreal, even when our sports team wins, a group of people raise havoc and need to be apprehended. I never understood violence, and don't approve of it, as all it does is create hate, more violence, and often, war.

    I can speak of many here in Montreal, as I live here, were getting tired of seeing the negative TV ads during your election where the candidates were attacking and badmouthing one another. I am just happy not to have to see them anymore.

    Your photos are beautiful, Patsy, the church is beautiful and the memorials are very touching. It is so nice to see the parishioners working together and I love all the work they did. The kitchen is lovely!

    1. I can't begin to tell you how weary we were of the campaign ads. Hopefully you had only to put up with the ads for president. In addition to those, we had to hear all the nastiness spewed from the mouths of state and local candidates AND some propositions, as well.

      I wish everyone in the world read your uplifting posts, and maybe we'd end negative campaigns, AND protests AND violence AND maybe even wars. Keep up the good work.

  2. Your wonderful tribute to two of your family members was a delight to read. The church and the work of all the volunteers is to be applauded. A beautiful post.

    1. Aren't I lucky to have them? And I'm the recipient of some of those great jellies, pickled beets, etc. Their garden is always beautiful and an inspiration, while I, on the other hand, manage a couple of tomato plants if they reseed themselves.

  3. Hi Patsy my Girl!

    First of all, I was "concerned" about Trump being elected - but I am keeping an open mind and I do have hope. I have always been impressed by his that says something to me. I think if he takes this office very seriously and listens to the right people around him, things may be okay. Again - I have hope. And I do hope we can become united again!

    Second, poor poor Pepper! Such a sweet baby. I love that cartoon. It does seem perfect! Lol Hope he's better soon!!

    Lastly, thank you for the wonderful tour of your bro and sis's church and beautiful city and area. I am SO impressed by that church and how they run things. And your family seem like such amazing people! I bet you're very proud of them. They are wonderful role models for us all!

    Blessings on the rest of your week my sweet Friend. xoxo

    1. They have to drive about thirty minutes to the church, but think it's worth it. I agree. For me, however, it would be two hours each way.

      I know people are concerned about Trump, but let's give him a chance. I feel sure that he'll take the office seriously. He doesn't need to be president to further his fortunes. I even heard that he's not taking a salary.

      Sometimes I think he's dumb like a fox. Hillary spent $1.3 billion. The Donald spent $795 million - over 1-1/2 times as much. With his outrageous comments, he got loads of free air time.

      The border: he says Mexico will pay for the wall, then talks about deporting 11,500,000 illegals. If I were the president of Mexico and was told to pay for the wall or get all those people dumped across my border, I'd pay for the wall. Perhaps this is his strategy? Who knows? We'll just have to wait and see. I'm sure he's not serious about sending everyone back.

      I realize that Wisconsin is a traditionally blue state, but I applaud you for trying something different, considering the unemployment many rust belt states have been suffering. Our country prospered from manufacturing, and now it's difficult to find anything made in America.

      Keep the faith, my dear. Keep praying for our country and everyone in it.

    2. Forgot - sometimes things aren't reported accurately. Remember all the talk about how he was racist because he said that a Mexican judge wasn't capable of making decisions? I finally heard why that started. He said that the Mexican-American judge could be influenced in his Trump University litigation because of his comments about building the wall. I agree. Look at all the work that goes into jury selection.

      Remember how it was reported that Sarah Palin was dumb because she said that she could see Russia from her front porch? That was actually said by Tina Fey on SNL because Sarah said that from some parts of Alaska you can actually see Russia.

      And don't forget - Trump was a Democrat most of his life.

      Like I tell Pepper - It's going to be okay.

  4. I think it's well worth their trip to that lovely church. They seemed to have made such a wonderful parish family and they are such productive members!

    I am taking it all to heart. Keeping an open mind - and just sending lots of prayers that God knows what He's doing and there is a reason for everything. Time will tell...
    Blessings sweet Patsy! xoxo