Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 300 - Our Clothes Should Not Define Us!

OK I'm going to talk about THE subject I've been weight.  I know I've got a problem.  The right thing to do is to redo my weight loss program I started eleven years ago.  When I do this, its balls to the wall and nobody else matters.  Somehow I get great satisfaction out of helping others but for myself NOOOOOO!!!  So please forgive me but I"m going to put myself first starting August 1st and I'm going back on my weight plan.  I have been so poor that I haven't put money as an investment in my health. 

So I was thinking the other day....I'm willing to pay a deductible for health insurance but I'm not willing to pay less than the deductible for a gym membership....whats wrong with this picture??!!! Isn't the gym membership health prevention/insurance anyway?? Ok I got hit in the head with the epiphany rock and I'm waking up from my coma and I'm going to do it. 

So don't be mad when I can't cook or return phone calls or return e-mails or be happy or well you get the idea.  Something happened to me this weekend that restored my faith in humanity...particularly men.  I stopped at the gas station to use one of my gas cards and the pump wouldn't work.  I had called the card company to verity that I still had $38 on the card.  The pump would take the card info when I swiped it but then it would only let me pump $1 at a time.  So I went inside and the clerk said that there was something wrong with my card.  (a lie) I gave him my other card.  Same result.  So I turned to the people behind me in line and asked if anyone knew where the closest Hess Gas Station was beside this one.  And a red-headed man with a white handkerchief bandana who had rode in on a Honda motorcycle gave the clerk cash and paid for my gas!  I insisted on giving him my cash or one of the cards but he refused. 

The reason I mention this is because when I was "skinny" with long blond hair, this would happen often.  Men opened the door for me, smiled at me, spoke to me in passing.  Now that I've regained my weight, this NEVER happens to me.  It reinstored my faith...if a red-headed man thought enough of me to buy me gas, why can't I think enough of myself to make the time to work out.  TV can wait.  No more homework....

It made me think of this time of year when parents are taking their children this weekend to save on the "tax free" discount to buy school clothes for their kids.  I would always go with my Mom and my sister and because I was bigger than normal (really not that big compared to obesity levels today) my sister returned home with clothes and I rarely had more than one pair of pants.  As my doctor once said, "Your hips were made to have children!"  Not what an adolescent girl wants to hear. 

So grandma affectionately made three pair of knickers. She bought and selected the fabric.  I thought when seeing the fabric that it was beautiful...big roses.  She made knickers or as my mother used to say bicycle pants.  So I wore these proudly to school until the kids made fun of me for such "big roses."  One adolescent red-headed male said they looked like drapes. (Maybe that is why I love the Sound of Music ;))

Knickers are defined as the british word for women undergarments that aren't bras.  Traditionally knickers means the heavy, knee-length white pants worn during fencing. They just remind me of golf personally.  People think I'm a golfer because I wear saddle shoes.  Which goes to show you that again I'm not defined by my clothes.  It is not that I don't like golf, I don't have time nor the money.  Would love to though....but right now I'm spending my money on the myself and the gym.  I'll be lifting epiphany rock weights at the gym!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 298 - A Woman and her Purse

So for some uncanny reason I awoke like I had taken a three year nap, ready and rested at 5:48 AM this morning. Since it was Sunday I decided to take advantage of this event and drive to the beach to take photos of the sunrise.  One of my favorite things to do.  As I stood waiting for the ball of light, I snapped some photos.  I put my new ear pods to my  iPod in my ears and listened to Celine Dion sing "I'm Alive."  It was true, I was alive and I felt great about it.

Flagler Beach, Florida
I moved left to get different angles of the silhouetted palms and sea oats.  The pain in my right ankle began to scream ANTS!!!! I tried to get them off me.  As the sun became brighter, I noticed what had been there all the time but was covered by the grass and the darkness of night.  A purse.  I took it to my car knowing what I had just been through myself having my purse stolen.  I had recently had to recover EVERY BIT of ID I had as my son who borrowed the car did EXACTLY what I asked him NOT to do!   Please, make sure you lock the car as I have my purse in here.  He drove to college, came to pick me up at my college class and when I got in the car, the first thing I did was check...I thought he was playing a joke on me.  My purse, all 12 credit cards, over $65 cash, drivers license, voters registration, baby photos, momentos of poems given to me by ones who loved me, social security card, library card, college ID....Proof of insurance...GONE.  GONE...GONE.  I started panicking.  I tried not to hyperventilate.  My son had the nerve to tell me to "calm down."

Tomoka Oaks
So I made him go with me EVERYWHERE and be with me the ENTIRE time I spent on the phone with credit card companies to shut down the cards, overnight new ones.  We went to fill out police reports at the campus and at the city.  We went to get a temporary license, a new college ID (they were so great to do this as this at least proved who I was; without this I couldn't have gotten back on my feet so quickly).  I was able to shut down the cards to narrow the spent amount to $300 for my credit card companies and I lost the cash.  The two guys who have been on video but haven't been arrested (go figure) bought Valentines Day flowers and 3 foot stuffed teddy bears to their girlfriends...I hope someday they find out they used my credit cards to buy them gifts....great way to say I love you, right?

I took my son to the Social Security Office with me.  I drug him along to the DMV and the clerk sympathized with him saying, "He looks like he is really sorry."  No sympathy here, I had no money to pay anybody for the new ID I had to buy and no debit cards to get cash from my bank. I had no cash for gas to drive around to these places.  I had to borrow money from my boyfriend.   I said, "He should be."  As I told him EVERY TIME HE took the car.  Remember to lock it.  I even said on this particular day, I should call him because I didn't remind him to lock the car this one time... and I left my purse in the car.  Then I thought, he's twenty years old and I tell him EVERYTIME, so I'll trust him this one time.  SHOULDN'T HAVE.

So the point of this is I KNOW what that's like, so seeing this purse, I thought I'd try to find the owner, call them and they could come and pick it up.  NO phone number in there.  Drivers license, 6 credit cards, $53 cash, check book with unused checks (address available but again no phone number).  I called the owner's State Farm Insurance agent, got his cell phone number, left a voice mail.  Called the Roadside Assistance number in her purse and thought I could have them call her, they couldn't track it down by her plan number, they needed her VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).  Called one of her bank cards, they said the only thing they could do was shut down her cards.  I politely declined knowing what this is like.  I still can't pay my old bills online anymore.  I had to recreate brand new IDs and passwords to pay them due to being a theft victim.  It was impossible to get her number in a short period of last thing to do.  Plug her address into Onstar and drive to her house.  So I did just that...She lived over 20 miles away.

I had visions of explaining what had happened to me and hearing how grateful she would be knowing how hard it is now in Florida to prove that you are who you are.  There are stories in the paper daily of senior citizens who have to get their marriage certificates and birth certificates and found out they weren't US citizens after all.  There parents had brought them here illegally.  And other horror stories too numerous to mention.  I had visions of maybe getting a reward for being honest and doing the right thing.  So I knocked on the door.  No answer.  No car in the driveway.  I guess I'll put the purse in the mailbox with a note with my phone number and this blog URL so that she can write about it.  I saw that her medical and dental insurance said she worked for a semi-local newspaper.

As I returned to put the purse in the mailbox, the door opened and two dogs that came up to my hips jumped past her and the "puppy" promptly started sniffing me and then stuck his nose up my butt LITERALLY.  Wow!~  That was the first time I was rewarded in THAT manner.  I was so shocked that I simply said the first thing that came to my head..."He just stuck his nose up my ass$%@*!"  So the vision of sugarplums that were dancing in my head of how great this reunion of a lady and her purse would be...were muffled.

I remember once being told that a man should NEVER EVER, even if directed, NEVER EVER look in a woman's purse.  Always bring the purse to HER and let HER look through it.  I hope she will forgive me for looking through her purse to try to find some phone number to reach her.  As I have forgiven her for not being able to control her "puppy."

And I hope she truly is grateful for not having to go through what I went through.  It was hell on earth.  I told my son that night after not screaming at him once...."I want you to look into my eyes.  I am angry with you.  I am really really really angry with you.  So angry that I can't even yell at you as the rage is so great I would probably act on it.  So I'm controlling my anger and just want you to know this is the most angry I have EVER been at  you."  I had not raised my voice once during this whole trying time.  He apologized and we hugged.  I have recovered everything but the poems and my photos.  I was out over $125 by the time I had finished paying for a new Federally Approved Florida license I didn't have to buy until 2017 and the cash I lost.  I learned the power of forgiveness and the power of doing the right thing so that your children can witness strength during adversity.

I learned from being on the "other" end of finding a purse, that your checks should have your phone number on them, or at least somewhere a phone number on an Emergency Contact Card.  And NEVER EVER ANSWER THE DOOR IF YOU CAN'T CONTROL YOUR PUPPIES.  I have to laugh and remember what the Brits said during World War II...Keep Calm and Carry On. I have and I Shall.  What a beautiful sunrise this morning...I'm ALIVE!!!  I didn't need the hidden purse to show me this, it was there all the time like the purse hidden from the sunlight.  I just have to remember I'm ALIVE daily and be better for it.  Ohhh and the reward???? As I've blogged about previously...the reward is in the good deed and the feeling that comes from it.  This is the highest reward...thought I'd shed some was there all the time...but it may have been a little dark.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 297 - And the Trumpet Shall Sound

In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed
. ~
1 Corinthians 15:52  

So it's a holiday in the USA and we have the day off.  And I was touched today by the fact that my newspaper carrier brought my paper today (Wednesday) knowing I can only afford the Sunday delivery until I get back on my feet.  After two and one half years of school, working is not like making money, working is paying back loans.  I still am grateful but know that without that 90 day period, I can be let go at any moment and be right back where I started...unemployed.  I'm thankful for him and I noticed his kindness..

As I read the paper, there was a great article about paying attention in the editorial by Danny Tyree proposing that we should have a "Pay Attention Day"  proposed to July 6th, two days after July 4th so that we could remember it.  He writes:

We need a National "Pay Attention!" Day to help us get our heads out of the clouds (or other less hygienic locations). You can't stop and smell the roses if you're too preoccupied to acknowledge the existence of the flowerbed.

I just think we should all make an honest effort to notice one or two new things each day.

Try to learn the names of your co-workers' children. Remember your congressman's name. Notice your sister's neighbor's new lawn decoration. Learn the name of a singer outside your own generation.

The rewards could be life-changing. You might learn to impress a customer by anticipating his needs, pick up a bargain that was advertised only in a shop window, give better directions to motorists, remember an apartment vacancy to tell your brother-in-law about, be less of a wallflower in discussions of current events, find opportunities to volunteer in the community, detect a skin cancer early "»

Okay: July 6, then. National "Pay Attention!" Day. Mark it on your calendar. Make it the first day of the rest of your life. You'll notice the difference.

Danny Tyree welcomes reader e-mail responses at and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades."
A lone U.S. Army bugler plays Taps at Arlington 
National Cemetery. DoD photo by Mass Communication 
Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley 

He mentions how we just don't observe what is going on around us. It is so true with young and old.  Imagine fighting  Overseas and having this type of "Awareness Amnesia." It would (I didn't say could) cost you your life.  So on this day, I'm paying attention....and with grateful wishes, thanking the men and women who have served, are serving or will serve so that the average American like myself can not-have-to-pay-attention.  And to those men and women who come home to be buried as one with American soil, I'll hear the trumpet play TAPS and will be changed forever as they rise imperishable.  And my eye will shed a tear in that twinkling of tim