Wednesday, March 05, 2014

From Ashes to

The homily I heard today is one I have not heard in a very long time.
It was "rules".
The service I went to was on a military post...

 Here was the gist as I heard it:

Confession is an bi annual review of your life.
If you can get there more often, great.
Otherwise, take the time and work through it.
This is the perfect time of year.

Have you been lurking and peering where you shouldn't be?
Has the Internet been a downfall
with the thought that "it doesn't really hurt anyone to look"?
Have you taken yourself out of a state of grace
 by being lazy with your practice of coming to see God?
Have you been snide in what you think of others
 even if you don't say it out loud?

If you can say yes,
then you have taken yourself out of the state of grace
that enables you to receive Christ in His full presence.

Back to work!

Frozen (and I don't mean the movie)

Does anyone else get the sense that we have been frozen in the US?
Not just the weather,
Which we have been having more then our fair share of,
but the savings rate?

I gamble a bit in the stock market.
That is exactly how the market feels to me.
It is risky business.
There are machines that seem to manipulate the market faster and faster these days.
Really, a four hundred point fluctuation in two days.
At our ages, we should not be taking many chances.
Still, it is what I feel compelled to do in order to keep ahead of inflation.

My husband has chosen to stay with savings accounts.
His entire IRA accumulation made $3.72 last month.
Let me put that in perspective.
This is his set of IRA accounts from the last 16 years.
That is enough to buy just a squeeze over one gallon of gas.
That is 1% of our electric bill last month.
Burrrr in so many ways.


Back to thinking about the spring and planting.
Have you ordered any seeds yet?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Doctor visit

No, nothing is wrong.
In fact my doctor said,
"Fifty-six, no meds, no real complaints, low blood pressure.
Except for the extra 100 pounds you are carrying,
you are perfect."
We both laughed.
My bloodwork will be done Monday.

Off to the new Army wellness center.
I'll be doing evaluations there.
Have to get as much out as I can
since the Army will be shrinking fast
and services will go away quickly.

Life is good now.
Worked through the PTSD
so nightmares are fewer and fewer.
Children are both happy, healthy and working hard.
The harsh part of winter is almost gone.
I have been slowly
adding and subtracting the to the things I like to eat.
Portions seem to be my downfall now.
I'm down about 5 lbs,
but I have been working on foods more then portions.
Well portions and Chocolate.
Anyone know of a very small, real chocolate candy I can buy
without buying 100 of them?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Moving forward

I have been attending a Church on and off for ten years now.
As I come out of my stooper, I am coming to see I need more nourishment.
Traveling to each of the ministries, looking for a spot, I find the same people- at everything.
They are either a couple or a widow over 70.
Last night I sat at a table, hoping, this might be the meeting for me.
Across sat a woman about my age, who had recently retired as well.
She had a cool program in her hands.
My heart fluttered.
She got up and presented it to the group.
Noooo, it just costs too much and no one would come.

At the end of the meeting I asked her more.
She said it was her last ditch effort.
She had been in the  parish for twenty years and
considered the time as her travel through the desert.

That was the sign.
Off to the next town to find a new Church on Sunday.
I cannot go another ten years without nourishment.
I wonder if she'd like a ride.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Edward Jones and USAA

Had a tussle with a financial manager yesterday.
I have had my money at EdwardJones for the last three years.
Met a young man who seemed to have his act together.
He put my money In Some good mutual fund and sent me on my way.
My old self was deeply involved in tracking my investments, but
With all that is going along, a break was much needed.

The money has done well.
The young man was polite and put up with my curiosities.
The one year expected, turned into several.

He was promoted to a new place in the company and moved.
He did try to get ahold of me, but my son was returning and my life was on stand still.
The unexpected part was opening my statement and seeing
A new manager was in his place.

Tending to be old school, our philosophy has been to do it ourselves
Or find someone we trust.
The person whom we trust.

My money was transferred yesterday back to USAA
We will be back to going it alone with a bit of guidance.
If I don't know the guider, I might as well not pay the fees.
Back to hitting the books for me.
Leaving my homework undone and trusting has raised my net worth
But stolen my energy for such things as well.

I don't get it.
I know this generation is into the social media
But there is something to be said about personal relationships.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It is good to take down the flag

Our flag went up in August.

Our grandchildren play in the playhouse under it.
The turkeys, deer, coyotes and dogs ran around it.
The flag flew through wind, rain, full moons, snow,
sleet and generally crazy Kansas weather.
It was illuminated by the beating sun and the solar light.
The barn light lit it when the solar light failed.
The car carrying our granddaughter and daughter in law drove under it as often as possible.

People who played on the lake saw it.
Helicopters from post flew over it.
And golfers on the course judged the wind by it.
Leaves turned and fell near it.

Now it is folded.
We will put it in a case with the flag he flew in Afghanistan.

It will always be a reminder of Aunt Mary's and James' service.

Monday, November 04, 2013

"I" am Grandma Bowen

 This is my mother in law as a young bride.
There is some "talk' about how they met,
popcorn at a dance was involved,
but they married and had a family.

They struggled, financially, until they retired.
At that point they just enjoyed each other.
I hate that one of the last pictures I have of her is
with this sort of frown.
She did worry
but I remember her as loving the kids
and doing the best with what she had.

Although those who lived closer often complained about her,
she is a strong model for me as a grandparent.
She always encouraged our marriage and children.
She wrote often to us early on
and just wanted to say she supported us (in her own way).

Yesterday I was going through my things.
I found a piece of jewelry we had given her in the 1990's
In Chinese it says, "Grandma Bowen" 祖母梁宝荣

During this month of remembering our dead
my prayers often move to Grandma and Grandpa Bowen
Their life lessons are still with us.

Hard to believe she is gone and now I am Grandma Bowen.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fall is slowly fading into winter
The trees, once so dense with leaves,
are shedding quickly.

 The ones close to the flag honoring our son who is serving, are still quite full.

 The native grasses begin to glow red and orange.
It is my favorite time of year.
 My grandchildren bundle.
 And play.

It is good. 

 A few years ago I questioned continuing.
and now the answer seems quite clear.
Our house is warm and full
of love
even when our loved ones are so far away.

I borrowed the baby pictures from my family. 
They are theirs.  
Please ask their permission if you want to borrow them since you are not their Nana :>)
OK- I should have asked as well….