Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Peaceful and Full-Filling Birthday

Yes, I did take liberties and purposely misspelled "fulfilling" in the title for this post. 

That's because one of the first things I did today was go to Denny's with a friend/neighbor. I totally filled up with their free (on your birthday) Original Grand Slam - for the uninitiated, that's 2 big pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 sausage links and 2 pieces of bacon. I bought my own coffee - I had to wash all of that down somehow! 

It's rare for me to eat that much so early now that my eating habits have changed. Two years ago, that would have been normal.

Three days ago, I was at IHOP with another freebie - a big stack (4 monster-size) pancakes. Last year, I joined their email club and this was my "anniversary" gift. I was allowed either their Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity selection, or any of their regularly offered pancakes - just no combo's. So I tried their Harvest Grain Nut stack. I had to bring 2 of them home and froze them for another time. 

Then they sent me another email for my birthday "gift." Yep, another free stack. I have about a week to use that up - thank heaven! This time, I'll try their double blueberry variety with blueberry compote topping.

The thing is, last year I discovered the online free food world! I normally do not "do" my birthday. But I am not stupid. If broadcasting my birthday to those restaurants, online, and giving them my email addy, brings me this joy and this many calories, then, shoot, I'm all for it.

I've also got things lined up, over the next few days, which include a free scoop or cone of Baskin Robbins, free drink from Starbucks, free shake (with purchase) from Arby's, free slice from Sbarro's, donut and coffee from Krispy Kreme (worth the drive I must make for this one), something from Ruby Tuesday's, and more. 

I have to "pass" on some of them, if the purchase and/or the drive, required to get the freebie negates the benefit - as I said, I'm not stupid. But I've got to tell you, this is fun.

I'm being very careful this year. I have my normal primary care doctor visit on 9/30, and must get a blood test a week prior. Right now, I am not, even though I'm 76 today, on any meds for blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes. I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible, so I might freeze some of my goodies and pig out on them after that blood test.

This year, I plan to "visit" a few more restaurants online, those I happen to like and those near me. There's no way of telling until then whether they have "deals" or not until I check them out.

So, if any of you are foodies, check these treats out - enjoy what life has to offer - especially if it's free!

A Zoo in Dire Need of Prayer

Locally, well, about 50 miles from my home in Las Vegas, there is a small zoo - Roos-N-More. It is owned by veterinarians. It is in distress. It has faced many obstacles, official county problems, and more, in the past few years. It is the only zoo in our area at this time.

They have only 5 weeks to comply with many conditions set forth by our County Commission. Some of these will not be too difficult to deal with. However, people who live near the zoo are complaining about noise (some from the animals, some from the desired visitors) and the smell (hopefully, all from the animals). 

A short while ago, they were closed while they complied with the requirement of public restrooms. They had to drum up donations but they managed to do it.

As a Catholic, I often pray to a favorite Saint. This isn't because I believe this saint is more powerful than, or equal to, the Creator or his Son. It's just because this blessed person led such a special life that I, and others, believe they have found favor with their maker, and hopefully, have some influence. 

Right now, I am aiming my prayers at St. Francis of Assisi, known to love all God's creatures, especially the animals.

I am concerned on two levels. 

I do not want to pray for what I want, or what the zoo owners want, if that is not God's will. So I must pray for what is His will. And I hope the zoo owners will be able to somehow deal with placing all those creatures in good homes, if they cannot comply and must close down for good.

I do want to pray for the well-being of those animals. That is the prime need. But it would be such a shame if such a loving enterprise had to shut down. Our area's children and even the adults sorely need such a place within an hour's drive. We all need to escape; we all need to see God's handiwork up close and personal.

By the way, here is the link to their website, so you can read all about the animals they do shelter.

Father, please hear the prayers of those crying for help for these loving people who are trying to help your creatures. They love all the animals who have come their way. And they happily share them with visitors. Please bless them with whatever they need at this stressful time. Above all, we pray that the animals, in particular, are not stressed in any way while we wait for your resolution to this matter. We trust in your wisdom.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Found the World's Best Flexibility Training Tool

Short and sweet - at age 75, I need to stay flexible, limber, agile. 

I have, in my possession, in my home, the world's best flexibility training tool.

It doesn't require electricity; it doesn't run on batteries or wifi; and it doesn't have any heavy mechanical parts or face-slapping elastic bands. 

It's called a cat. 

To avoid killing myself, breaking my hip, or twisting various parts of my body out of whack, I must quickly adjust my stride, my step or various other bodily movements to avoid stepping on a tail, a paw, a head or a belly. 

It is amazing how efficiently it works.

Proofreader's Theorem

I've spent most of my working life dealing with proofreading at some level or other.

Even back in the day when I was still doing some bookkeeping and payroll work, the work had to be double-checked - that is a variation of proofreading.

In the latter half of my working life, I worked for some government contractors. That, of course, required quite a bit of proofreading.

These days, I do, on a volunteer basis, our senior mobile home community's monthly newsletter. I've been its editor and publisher for over 12 years. Even though this is a rather casual newsletter for a casual readership, and I do not sweat small grammar errors, I do sweat factual errors.

So, I have 3 proofreaders. We have over 400 homes in our community and they depend on the accuracy of what they read each month.

Ok - so here's the deal. Over the years, yea, decades, of proofreading, I have learned the hard way that no matter how many proofreaders you have, there will still be an error or two that escapes everyone's scrutiny. It happens. All the time.

Now, I just printed all 400+ copies of the September issue, 6 pages (3, double-sided). I have this awful feeling of dread. All my proofreaders said "clean copy," "good copy," "nothing wrong."

That makes me very nervous.

Last year, the one time that happened, all the copies got into all the hands of the eager residents. only to find out that I had reported that our park management was in the process of "renovating the poor area." 

You can imagine how shocked my neighbors were to find out we had a poor area in our community.
True, we have lots of senior on fixed income - but not poor. You guessed it - it was supposed to read the "pool" area.

So, I'm crossing my fingers, toes and eyes, and saying a wee prayer, that this issue really is clean copy. 

So, my personal Proofreader's Theorem: Any work that passes the inspection of more than one proofreader will contain a blatant error evident to the first layperson who views that work. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Amazing Blessings in my Life

Happiness is in the mind. 

I was thinking tonight that in one way, compared to friends, former co-workers, even some relatives who do not bother with my "side" of the family, I have nothing.

On the other hand, I am so happy that I feel guilty enjoying the blessings in my life.

Yes, it's true that I do not have alphabet soup after my name - I never even began college - lots of reasons for that back in the day - reasons and problems that, at the time, could not be overcome. But at the end of my working life, I worked in a job that, in my girlhood, would not have even entered my dreams.

True, I do not have a landed home; my 37-year-old mobile home needs work. But the home is paid for and I only pay a low space rent and I have my own roof over my head. That, too, was never even in my dreams during the "terrible years" of apartment life.

And, yes, I might live here in Sin City. But it's also true that I have been blessed to live in four states, in four different climates and adjusted to them, and that in my wildest dreams, I never thought I'd ever be living in Las Vegas, NV. As for Sin City, we have an amazing, wondrous number and assortment of churches and other gathering places for folks of faith.

True, also, that I never had children - couldn't carry past 8 weeks. But I helped raise a few, and was blessed to be with one until a little over a year ago - watched him, and helped him, grow from a 10-year-old to the 58-year-old who passed away in my home. Amazing years.

I often wished for a piece of land where I could have any living creature who wandered my way. Instead, I have had a succession of fur-babies who have brought me sweetness while I, hopefully, gave them what they needed in exchange.

These days, I am thrilled with my upright freezer and how I have been able to happily fill it. 

Of course many of my friends have tons of family members - sons, daughters, grands, spouses, more. I have one brother left who is in another state and neither of us can visit. But I am blessed with a beloved variety of friends - local, distant, and even of the cyber variety - all of them loved by me and who give that love back in many ways.

And I am involved in charity crafting, a volunteer newsletter for our mobile home community, and lots more. My mind and my days can be as busy, or as simple, as I choose for them to be.

How can I ask for more than that?

Father in Heaven, simply, Thank you!