Friday, August 28, 2009

Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones..........

We all said it as kids, or at least heard someone else say it. Maybe one child yelling it across the schoolyard playground at another child. Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Hurt Me.

But, that was just a defense, wasn't it? Really those words did hurt. We just felt it necessary to put up a front and let everyone know that we were just fine. There was probably a hint of hurt in our voices as we sang that little phrase.

Sometimes words can hurt just as much as sticks and stones. They can leave emotional scars just as sticks and stones can leave physical scars.

I know physical scars can sometimes fade. If not, my knees, shins and elbows would be nothing but scars from falls, skateboard mishaps and bicycle crashes. Emotional scars can fade sometimes too. But, the memory of what caused the emotional scars do seem to stay with us longer than the memory of what caused that skinned knee or elbow.

People use words as weapons. People use words to hurt other people. To belittle other people. They can be very effective weapons. Some people just have a talent for wielding them and hitting their target dead center.

I have always tried to not use words in that way. As weapons. To hurt someone in a fight. Because they are something, that once said, can never be taken back. You have tarnished the relationship you had with the person forever. It will never be quite the same.

I also know that if someone can feel angry enough to want to hurt me with words, that they will do it again. That they will use words as a weapon again and again. Even if they are sorry afterwards

I have tried to remember that if I use words to hurt someone, that I will later regret it. That it will make me feel bad.

I also know that using negativity with someone, intentional or not, is just as hurtful as purposely using words to hurt someone you are angry with.

Especially with kids. Kids should not have to hear negativity all the time. There should be another way to present an issue in a more constructive way. Negativity weighs a person down. And negative words cannot be taken back, just like the hurtful words spoken in anger. That is something I need to work on.

Although I try not to use words to intentionally hurt someone, I realized that I sometimes use words to punish someone or to make someone realize how serious I am about something. If they hear me use words in this way, then they will know that I mean business. And they will take heed.

But, that doesn't really work either. And it only makes me feel bad for saying words I cannot take back and wish I didn't say.

Words hurt, just like those sticks and stones. Words cant be taken back. That is true. Remember that the next time you are about to let that word roll off your tongue and go flying at someone else.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

I know something that someone else would like to know. Well- they might not like to actually know , but would like the information. It would help them understand one little situation. It would take away one frustration and time consuming ordeal, but it doesn't solve anything in the end. Its something I'd want to know. In fact, I've been in a similar situation. So, I know I'd want to know the information whether I liked it or not.

Only problem is, I don't really know the person who would like to know the info. And this person wouldn't like to hear it from me. It might make this person uncomfortable to know how I know the information.

I'd like to be able to tell this person but the situation isn't right. And, although I have been in a similar situation, and want this person to be able to have this information to use it accordingly, I also wonder if I want to tell my information partly for other reasons. For self-serving reasons. To let another person involved know that I know.

That's not a good reason to tell someone something. I want to be better than that. Sometimes, don't you wish you just didn't know????

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless/Wordful Wednesday- The Doggie Repairman

Pluto didn't bark or wag his tail and walk around on his leash anymore. Pluto needed new batteries. I was going to put new batteries in it, but the Camster decided he needed to fix it himself.

This was some tough work! You can tell he's serious about it. He's all stretched out laying on the ground. It helps him to work better.

HMMM.......wonder if this other doggie over here needs some fixin' ?????? Since I have the screwdriver out and all.

Bingo's looking a little worried. He's hoping the Camster doesn't decide he needs some fixin' too!

Monday, August 24, 2009

On a Quest to find Tales from The Grave

Hey there. I am on a little fact finding adventure and its getting kind of interesting!

Last week I headed over to the cemetery to take pictures of Hank Williams grave/memorial . I was thinking about making Hank the "H" for my Montgomery Daily Photo ABC's of Montgomery Blog.

Anyway-so I get over there and notice to the right of Hank's Memorial, are two neat, long rows of headstones all the same size and style. They have the cutest flowers all perfectly manicured in front of them. I'm wondering if these are new grave markers, because I have never seen them before. I walk over to take a closer look and see that they are marking the graves of young men who were members of the French Air Force. And most of them died on 13th of November 1941.

Now I'm really interested. What happened to cause the death of all these French men on the same date, or shortly thereafter? And why are they buried in Montgomery, AL, so far from their homes? So far from their parents , who left messages to their brave sons, engraved on headstones.

I walk down a little further and there , the names start to look a little different, and I notice that these are graves of members of the Royal Air Force. With almost all the dates of death showing as the 13th of November, 1941.

I really need to find out the story of these people and why they are buried here!

I headed back to my computer and started doing a search, but could not come up with anything. I looked up information on the cemetery and found out that the main part is maintained by the city of Montgomery, but the annex, where these graves are located, is privately owned a department of the State of Alabama. I decided to go ahead and e-mail the contact person shown for the main part of the cemetery to see if he could point me in the right direction.

This morning I got an e-mail from him giving me the name , address, and phone number of a gentleman, whom he said could help me with this information. This man has a French sounding name. And he lives close by Montgomery.

I was feeling a little hesitant about calling someone I don't know, but certainly want to find out the information. Not long after I received my contact information, a customer walked in, who I know lives on the same road as this man with the French sounding accent. I asked the customer if he knew of this man and he did! They live across the street from each other!!

I was able to find out that this man was about 80 years old. He is from France and was a navigator on bomber planes that flew missions over Germany during WWII. He came to the U.S. to teach Navigation at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, AL.

So, now I all I have to do is get up the nerve to make the phone call!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Around The World And Back In a Weekend

I've been away from this blog for a few days. I've been traveling to cities all around the world. Yep---in just one weekend. And you can too..........

I dont remember how. But, somehow, about a month ago, I ran across a blog, who's blogger posted a picture almost everyday of his home city in Turkey. He would give a brief description of what was going on or what the scenery was in the picture. I just thought it was very interesting. I decided to follow this blog.

Last week, I noticed that he followed someone from Sheki, Azerbaijan, which certainly interested me, because of my mission trip to that country recently, as well as getting to have a tour of Sheki on one day of our trip.

Ok--sometimes I am a little bit slow. Or maybe I've just been so busy lately, but at first I didnt see that there was a theme going on with these two blogs, as well as other blogs that they followed.

But, finally I did realize that these blogs are a part of City Daily Photo. A whole network of bloggers from cities all across the world who post one picture a day of their home city.

What an awesome idea! I LOVE to travel. To experience the people, architecture, landscape and customs of a different country and culture.

And, although I have no training and very little skill, I love to take pictures.

So, since I posted here last, I have been busy traveling the world through these different blogs. And I also took the time to set up my City Daily Photo Blog to share pictures of my city.

You are invited to come by my Daily Photo Blog and find out more about my hometown. And, please take the time to look at the blogs of any cities around the world that you may be interested in.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eating Ice Cream for a Good Cause

On the way home from work yesterday, I decided to stop by the grocery store.

I flipped open my phone, and turned it on to call my daughter. It had been turned off because my battery was really low. I've heard that there are actually people out there who put their phone on a charger every night.

I've found when your battery gets to the point of making that little warning noise (quite irritating while trying to talk!) , you can just turn off the phone for awhile and the battery magically gets a little bit of charge back in it. I can make a low battery last for a few extra days like this without putting it on the charger.

Guess I kinda push my cell phone battery to the limits like I do the last little fumes of gas in my car. But, that's another story. And,well, yes I do happen to miss a call or two when my phone is off.

Yesterday, I had missed not only a call, with voicemail (from my daughter) but also a follow up text message telling me, "check your voice mail".

So, of course I didnt check my voice mail. I called my daughter immediately, thinking there was an emergency.

"Oh, hey mom. Did you check my voice mail?"


My daughter: ..... "Oh, well, um.... ", said kinda sheepishly. "I was just reading on Facebook that Dairy Queen will give a donation to Children's Hospital if you buy any size Blizzard today." (this last part said like she was doing a radio advertisement for the event)

Me: Oh really? (oh- so -nonchalantly)


We are both "Fans" of Children's Hospital on Facebook, as her son (my grandson I call "The Camster" in a lot of my posts) was at Children's Hospital the first two months of his life. I am so grateful that Children's Hospital was available for us during that time.

So, I say, "That is very nice. What a nice thing for them to do."


Me: "Ok--I am gonna go in the store now. I'll see you in a little bit. Bye."

Well, YES!! ----OF COURSE I drove through DQ and got Blizzards to bring home. One Oreo Blizzard and one M & M blizzard. And two balloons too! YAH! & YUM!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Where's my maid? Where's my yard boy? Y'all are FIRED!

About 4 months ago, I wrote a little post about Saturdays. And how I should make the most of my Saturdays. So-----what have I done so far today?

Well, first off, I did not keep up with housework during the week. So, I have a room to clean, and some laundry to do. I have a car that is desperate need of cleaning out so that I don't have to be reminded of all the junk food and frozen coffee drinks I've had the last week. OK-OK--the last two weeks ("or so" said in a mumble)

I need to get my grass cut. But my lawnmower is not working. That is a whole different story, involving my neighbor. ahem! Wow--if I'd started this blog when I first moved in this house two years ago, you'd know my neighbor quite well by now. IRGH!!

Anyway--I digress--just as I have been doing all morning, knowing I need to get my housework done!!

So--in about an hour, my friend is gonna call. Wanting to know if I've decided to buy a new lawn mower or if I am gonna borrow my mom's lawnmower and just see if mine can be repaired. She's gonna help me haul whatever I decide on getting!

As much as I've paid others to cut my grass for me, while mine has been in and out of commission, I could have ALREADY bought a new lawnmower. sigh!

OK--so here I go-----I'm gonna get some laundry started. I'm gonna get dressed. Then my friend and I will meet for lunch and I will decide my lawnmower business.

Then I just hope to goodness that I will have the ambition to get the yard work done. Oh--and clean my room too. OK---Off to salvage this Saturday!

Hope you are having a great one!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I'm a dork . I know it. I admit it.

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes.

Tears of happiness.

Over an e-mail.

Well, yes, I am a dork, but maybe in this situation, I'm
just an extra sensitive person.

Remember my other post where I talked about how fun and
exciting it is to find a real piece of personal mail in my

Well--something else that is really exciting is to receive
an e-mail from my friend in Azerbaijan

We have not exchanged actual addresses to send mail to each
other. It might not be such a great idea. No sense doing anything
to cause the family any potential problems.

Problems? Yeah- I get the feeling that the police in their
village would look for just anything to cause problems for this family.

Why? Well- you can read about it here or here. and fyi-- he's out of prison
and back home now.

And--well, my brother and I kinda got caught up in our own little bit of trouble while over there. (ps--I'm Wolton Kalie )

So--naturally ---I count it a blessing whenever I get to hear from
one of my friends in Azerbaijan!

And--blessings bring tears of joy to my eyes!!!

I am a very blessed dork! Amen!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is what I've been stewing on---Glad I let it out!

Boy, is God giving me the perfect opportunity this morning to work on not being bitter or holding a grudge! To trust in him & that He will provide for me.

For about 17 years I have worked in a sales position for the same company. This company has branches in 6 different cities across three states. There has always been an average of about 4 people in my office, though at times there have been three and other times five sales people. Even though this is a sales position, our salaries or bonuses have never been based on individual sales. It has always been a combination of our office as whole and the other branches also.

Yes, we have always had a daily print out to show our individual sales figures, and that has been something I have always used to gauge my progress. But there has never been a lot of stigma attached to any one individuals figures, because we have worked together as a team.

Because we have worked together as a team, we have always had unwritten rules of courtesy. If a co-worker was at lunch, and his customer called and gave me an order, I would give it to my co-worker to write up. And vice- versa. If I quoted material to another salesperson's customer, I would give it to the other salesperson, in case we got the order. Sometimes, if a salesperson went through extra steps and measures to take care of another person's customer, we would just let that salesperson write up the order. No big deal.

This worked out well, because we could feel OK about being out sick or on vacation and know our customers would be in good care. They wouldn't be slighted by a salesperson saying, "I don't have time for this customer, I don't get commission off this sale."

I have wonderful customers, who through out the years, have asked me, "Now don't I need to make sure I get you when I call back so that you get the commission for this?" Or some variation of that question. My reply has always been something like this: "Of course I would like you to call me back, but if I am not in the office or not available, you can talk to another salesperson. We do not get individual credit for orders." I understand that my customers are busy. And sometimes they want to take care of their business of ordering from me, and then move on to something else. I don't want to delay their work, just because I am at lunch, at an appointment, or with another customer.

Well, now a lot of things have changed and it is causing me to have some hard feelings. First, off, the company has decided that part of the basis for deciding our year end bonus, will be our individual sales figures. Well, that really shouldn't matter too much, because, like I said earlier, we have always had an unwritten rule of courtesy and also have a good idea about who a customer usually tries to call first. And we honor that.

So--what is the problem? A new sales person who has come in the last few years. He's doesn't play by our courtesy rules. If I am at lunch and one of my customers calls, he will write up the order in a heartbeat. Especially if it is a large order. If it is small,he might give it to me to write up. He checks the fax machine and will take large orders off of the printer, and disregard the small orders for someone else to write up.

And ever since we have been told that our individual sales will count toward our year end bonus, this person has acted even more in a way that is not consistent with the courtesy we have always shown each other in this office. There have been several occasions where I quoted a customer, and even had the quote put officially into our computer quote system. Then, when the purchase order has been generated and faxed to us, he has taken the order and written it up himself. He did not bother to ask if anyone quoted the material. Knowing that if the purchase order had prices on it, then the customer got pricing somehow!! This has happened on a couple of very nice size orders of mine.

Unfortunately, I also think that there are other underhanded things he is doing, but do not know for certain. And I do not like feeling that way. And I do not like the feeling I get knowing that am working with someone who does things like that.

I know times are tough and I understand people have to provide for their families. I am all for someone wanting to be ambitious and successful. But not if he or she has to do it by stepping on someone else's toes , not displaying a good character and sometimes being out and out sneaky. It disappoints me to think this person would act this way, because we have to work so closely together. And outside of this issue, we actually talk and will do things for each other.

I did confront this person when I found out he had written up some orders I quoted. And I have made comments that I know make him understand that I have not appreciated the fact that he wrote up certain orders instead of giving them to me. Another salesperson has had to do the same.

But, it doesn't really do any good. In fact, it has become the office joke that he is an order hog. Some days it just bothers me more than others. I guess it was just bothering me this morning. In fact, my feelings were a little hurt by the customer that called him and gave him the order, when I was not available. But, it is not my customer's fault. This customer is one of the main ones that was very concerned about making sure I got any individual commission on orders.

I am just not the kind of person that feels comfortable now, going back and telling all my customers, "Hey--remember when I said it was OK for you to talk to other sales people? Well- could you stop doing that?" I'm sure they would understand. I just cant do that. I'm just not like that. So-- I better learn to deal with it, right?

I tell myself not to worry about "getting my fair share". That no matter what, God is going to take care of me. I tell myself to not worry about what this person is doing or how he is doing it, because in the end, he has to live with himself. I tell myself to just do a good job and God will bless me with good things. And to not stress and worry too much about this new inter-office "less than honorable" competition that seems to be going on. And most importantly, to not get wrapped up in it , and do things that will make me unhappy with myself.

OK----now that I've rambled on and let it all out, maybe this will help me to deal with things better. I'm not as upset as I was earlier, so that is a good thing.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice
Ephesians 4:31 (New International Version)

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of ChristRomans 14:10 (New King James Version)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordful Wednesday- A Letter in the Mailbox

Isn't it fun to get something in the mail that is not a bill or a sales -flyer? Maybe a colored envelope with your name and address actually handwritten. Or a postcard with a fun picture and a personal message that you get to see right away. And a stamp that someone took the time to personally add to the envelope. It is even more fun when you recognize the handwriting on the envelope and you cant wait to open it and see what is written inside.

I communicate so much by e-mail and Facebook these days, that I dont send or receive many personal items through the Postal Service and my little white mailbox . I even receive e-mail invitations. These have become socially acceptable, and I have made up a colorful and clip art- adorned "invite" to send out myself a time or two.

So, to go to the mailbox, open it and find an envelope, hand-addressed to me by a friend, hidden among all the sales papers, is like finding a little treasure or prize.

One envelope I always look forward to seeing, actually has my name and address typed out and is from an organization. But, when I see that envelope I know I have a letter inside from Riashi, the wonderful little girl that I sponsor through Compassion International.

Yesterday I got one of those envelopes. It didn't have a letter inside, but it did have an updated picture of this beautiful little girl who lives in Bangladesh. I was so excited and surprised to see how much she has grown since I first started sponsoring her.

I have saved every letter that has been sent to me from Riashi. She does not write the letters herself, they are written by a social worker at her Project home. She does however, add a drawing that she has made on her own and then colored. I love those drawings.

Last night I took all the letters I've received from Riashi, and each one in a protective cover and then into a folder. I want to share the letters with my Sunday school class, as I have asked them to prayerfully consider helping me to sponsor another child. I want them to see , through this child's letters, what she gets to experience by being a part of a Compassion Project. And how blessed they can be to be a part of a child's life in this way.

I realized last night, that as much as I enjoy getting letters and pictures from Riashi, that she may enjoy getting letters from me as well. Last night, while writing a letter to her, I remembered how much fun it is to sit down and write a letter, instead of just typing an e-mail. The last few months have been filled with many things going on in my life, and I forgot to slow down long enough to write a letter.

But. today a hand-written letter will be on its way to Riashi. I hope she will be half as excited to receive it, as I am going to be when I see my next letter from her in the mailbox and have to open before I ever step in the house . Until then, I pray for this beautiful little girl who's life I feel very fortunate to be a part of in some way.

Have you ever considered sponsoring a child through Compassion International? Please go to their website and find out more about how you can do this. You will be greatly blessed!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

my brother--a legend in his own mind

Tribute Tuesday-----just in time to honor a request from my brother. While discussing my blog in an e-mail, that I received this morning , he had a few suggestions. "write more about me. like, have a j.t. tuesday thing where you always write about your famous brother on tuesday. starting today."

So--here goes. A tribute to my brother JT. My "little" brother, who came along and took away my spot as the baby of the family. I think I tortured him relentlessly because of this. Well, at least till the day that he actually got bigger than me and could hit back.

My brother, who one minute I could pin down on the floor and not feel bad about torturing, but at the same time wouldn't let anyone else mess with. Did I mention my brother could be quite the pest and he was a skinny little fellow back in his younger days? He'd pester someone till they came after him, then big sister would have to step in when he took off running.

But, our relationship wasn't always about fighting, even though our mother has many stories of having to discipline us for arguing over one of us touching the other, getting in the others space, or heaven forbid, just looking at the other.

I remember many a rainy day making tents in the living room with blankets and chairs, with my brother. We even spent entire afternoons setting up those little red, green and blue plastic cowboys and indians. Strategically placing all the little green army men was fun too.

When I really got into playing Barbies, he always wanted his GI Joe to play along too. (Is this the kind of stuff you wanted me to write about, dear brother??) Sadly, I rarely let GI Joe get in on the action.

During Jr High and HS, if I ever had a question about a band or a song that I liked, my brother was the one I turned to for information. He had (and still has) a great love and knowledge of music and a record collection that was amazing!! He even went down the road of "rock star" and played in several bands through the years.

This year my brother turns 40! The BIG 4-0! Wow! In some ways he is still that little aggravating pest. He just has a knack for it. No one is spared. My heart goes out to his wife and children for what they must endure. (wink)

But let me tell you. I am very proud of the man (husband, father) my brother has become. He traded in that long hair for a much shorter style. (not that there is anything wrong with long hair--but thank goodness he got over his mullet stage!) He traded in playing in rock bands in bars for playing praise music at his church. And several of the songs are his own special lyrics and music. Last year he was ordained into the ministry and is working on become a full time missionary with International Commission.

I hate to break it to him, but I will not be writing a "JT Tuesday" every week here. But, he will be featured in upcoming posts about our trip to Azerbaijan. Lets just say that I was very much impressed with my baby brother's knowledge and faith, as well as his ability to share this faith with others.

And, maybe, from time to time, like when he does things like he did with this crazy photo, I will have another JT Tuesday. Just for my favorite brother.

My brother-----he knows people!

Can you believe he used to be a skinny lil ole runt?

t This was taken after he officiated my niece's wedding ceremony. Thankfully he didnt wear these during the wedding, but she sure was brave in asking him to perform the ceremony!