Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This Morning......

So I had an interesting conversation with my son this morning. He pointed out to me that lately I have been a bit neurotic, a lot OCD and a rather large, pain in the butt trying to micro-manage not only him but everything in the free world. His 19 almost 20 year old face was perplexed and I could tell that he was clearly irritated with my fixations on the cleanliness of the house, his where abouts and my constant and total exhaustion. It really got me to thinking.

This is not unlike other moments in our life when he and my other kids get frustrated with the fact that I repeat myself a thousand times, catch myself walking into a room only to absolutely forget why I was there or to lose complete track of what I am saying in the midst of saying it. From their perspective, I am sure they are already picking out skilled nursing facilities to put me in.

Sadly, I remember feeling these exact feelings towards my own mother. My patience with her was very low when I was in my 20's and 30's or as I like to call them, "my know it all years." It drove me to distraction that my mother called me 100 times a day to see what I was doing, that she repeated herself over and over or that she couldn't remember where her keys were, her glasses were or what she was saying in the middle of a sentence. I remember honestly wondering if she was in the early stages of Alzheimers. Now though, I know she wasn't. She was just a mom with a full plate and many years of information fighting for space in her brain.

Kids have no idea what parents, but mom's especially, hold in both their hearts and minds. Sometimes the two are very closely connected even if anatomy tells us differently. Mom's are usually the center of the home and the place where all security, information and need is tossed with the knowledge that Mom will handle it. If Mom is the only parent in the home, she also becomes Dad and is solely responsible for everything both good and bad that happens. It is a daunting, sometimes unforgiving and unappreciated role, because it is simply taken for granted that Mom can do it all....mentally and physically. And most of the time....we can, but not without the consequences of things such as looking for our glasses when they are perched on our head or frantically looking for our phones as we are talking on them. This is always followed by the eye roll and obvious questioning of our mental health from our kids.

At any given moment my brain is running at full tilt thinking of all the things I have to do for the kids, for the house, for David especially. I have to think about and worry about bills and finances and then throw in the problems of the people I love, things others come to me with and the many small things that are just everyday life and there is a lot that fills my heart and my brain daily. Sometimes I am exhausted and ready for a nap before my feet ever hit the floor in the morning. Then there are those things that kids simply have no understanding of such as parents worrying about their kids health, their futures and their safety. That is not something a parent can turn off, although there are times we surely would like to. Our kids are our hearts and until you have a child, you never understand that tie that will bind you until one of you leaves this earth. Add in the speed bumps of health, family issues, doctors appointments, holidays, jobs and the scheduling that keeps us going from one daily event to another and it is a complete miracle that a mothers head doesn't explode at least once, on a daily basis.

Yes, I forget that I have asked you if you have fed the dogs for the third time, but I can remember every medicine David takes, the exact dosage and the date and hour of his last seizure. Yes, maybe I am OCD about my house. Why? Because I can control how my house looks, but I can't control that someone I care about is hurting, that I may not always be able to provide a roof for my children or that if my car quits working I can't afford another one. Yes, maybe I say lets clean together, cook together or watch a movie together....A LOT.....because I day very soon you will be gone and so will this moment in time. And yes, maybe I want to know where you are and what you are doing because it gives me some peace in the moment and sometimes that is really all this mother needs.

So yes, I am neurotic, OCD and micromanaging as hell! I am not however crazy, psychotic or ready for the home. I am simply a mother with a mothers brain.....and someday God willing, you will understand.

Friday, July 31, 2015


So, I have been torn of late being on Facebook. It is truly hard to scroll through the comments and feel as if the world as I once knew it, has been pulled from under my feet. I question, "Is it me who has suddenly lost my way, or is it the world?" It brings to mind many questions that I thought I used to know the answer to, but now I am not so sure. What used to be yes or no, right or wrong or a definite "this" over "that," now all seems muddled in political correctness and what people "want" over riding what is actually "right."

As an adult with some years without political correctness, social media, the race card or the "Me Generation" influencing my every movement, thought and every waking hour, I think I have the ability to see how skewed and upside down this world has become. However, for those who were born with a cellphone in their hand and social media giving them their opinions, they have nothing to compare the atrocities of today to, therefore....what I find appalling, they simply view as their status quo. It scares me, and not just a little bit.

This generation has the ability to have knowledge in the palm of their hand and at the click of a button, but they have no ability to think. We have become a mob mentality society and we have lost our common sense. We are appalled to the point of ruining someones life for killing a lion in Africa, but we have no issue with human babies being aborted up to the 9th month right here in the United States and their organs being sold for money. Why?

It is okay to say that black lives matter, but it is disrespectful and racist to say that white lives matter too. Why?

You are a homophobe and practically black balled if you post a Straight Pride photo on your Facebook page, but applauded and held in high esteem if you wave a rainbow flag. Why?

Christianity and Christians are losing their rights and in many cases being persecuted for their beliefs. Clergy are being told what they can say and how they can say it so as not to "offend" others. Yet, satanists, Muslims and atheists are not held to these standards. Why?

A black person kills a white person(s) and it is pretty much business as usual. However, a white person kills a black person and the media is all over it. Black leaders band together and black communities begin to riot and tear up everything in their view. Why?

We spank/discipline our children and we risk SRS involvement and losing our kids, and yet true child abuse victims run through the system over and over and ultimately are returned to their abusive situations until they finally end up dead. Why?

When did it become okay to disgrace, defile and destroy the American flag? What's more, it is acceptable to put pictures of such behavior on social media. Why?

The examples go on and on but the question remains the same. Why?

Why are people no longer treated equally regardless of race, creed, color or sex? Why do we seem to value animal life above human life? Why is it wrong for a person to work hard and take care of their family, but okay for those who can work but don't, to live off the government at tax payers expense? Why is it okay to ignore the Constitution, our soldiers and our Vets, but okay to take care of those living illegally in our country? Why is it okay to openly worship Allah, satan or bash Christians, but God's name is found to be offensive? Again I ask why?

Since I have laid out the why's, I will end this by asking two more questions and leave the answers up to you. are we going to fix this? And....when are we going to say.....enough is enough?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Gay Marriage, Gay Kids and the Whole Gay Issue

You may have noticed of late that I have been conspicuously absent from the blogosphere. Life, illness and.....did I mention LIFE, have all been taking over and blogging time has been non-existent. OR maybe I was just tired of posting quantity vs. quality. I am not sure but I was burnt out and I felt my voice and my thoughts were being drowned out by the constant noise that is our current world.

Then today, gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states. This is on the heals of the Confederate flag debate, the Charleston shootings and Obama claiming the White House to be "his house." It's a lot and my mind is reeling. Of course I have an opinion on each and every one of those issues, but today I felt the need to write about only one of them.

I have been forming words in my head about this issue for awhile and I am sure some of my readers and even my friends and family may have strong opinions about what I have to say. It may even compel you to chastise me, unfriend me, block me or even hate me. I hope not as I am still the same person I have always been, I am just trying to find some sane in all the crazy and I guess I am once again, taking you along for the ride. Buckle up!

My mother was a nurse who graduated nursing school in 1956. Back then in order to become a nurse you had to do a period of time working in all specialties of nursing. She told me that when she did her time in psychiatric nursing....way back then, many of her patients were gays. That's right! That was their mental ailment. At that time, homosexuality was considered a mental disorder and often those who bucked the system and allowed the world to know their true sexual orientation, ended up in psychiatric care. Homosexuality was viewed as immoral, predatory and yes.....a mental disorder. At that time it was not so much a religious issue but it was viewed more as how we view bi-polar disorders or schizophrenia today. (Funny little side note: Diagnosis's such as cerebral palsy and autism were also considered "diseases" which ended people up in institutions and mental hospitals.) Why? Because they were not viewed as mainstream "normal."

Move ahead to the last decades of the 20th century..... and the medical field started realizing that homosexuality was not a medical malady. It was not a disease that needed treatment, but rather a human trait much like the color of someones skin or their ethnicity. Homosexuality was not in fact a choice that someone made spurred on by environment or mental status, but homosexuality was the way someone was born. Like heterosexuals are born to be attracted both physically and mentally to the opposite sex (we simply can't help it), homosexuals are born to be attracted both physically and mentally to the same sex (they can't help it either). And quite frankly, knowing the world we live in, the harshness of peoples opinions and the actual abuse that has been thrown at homosexuals, who would actually choose that life if they had another choice? 

I have in the past commented on homosexuality, but not until recently have I really thought about it. This is likely because I didn't think it really affected my life. I was wrong. In my world, in my small town, in my church, my friends group and even in my extended family, they are there. Some have sat back quietly trying to live their lives as inconspicuously as possible not wanting that small part of their life to be how the world judges them. Others, tired of hiding who they are for the sake of family, friends and in some cases their own safety, are boldly stepping out and finding their way in the world. I am seeing parents....good Christian parents....struggling to come to terms because they find out that their child is gay and they are walking a precarious line of trying to support their child while dealing with the backlash and judgment from family and friends who see "sin" instead of a child.

I know of kids right in my community even in our enlightened age, who have struggled with not only trying to understand why they aren't like the other kids, but having to deal with abuse and bullying from both other kids and adults. This has led to suicide attempts and both self abuse and self medication just to deal with something they have no control over and yet feel like they are somehow bad because of. No child should have to feel like that. Yes, this issue affects me and I think it affects us all. So today, when gay marriage passed, I thought it was time to say something.

How do I feel about gays, gay marriage and the such? As I said, I have gay friends and family. They are no different than myself. They get up in the morning, go to work, take care of families and live their lives. Many go to church, volunteer in their communities and a few have even proudly served their country. Believe it or not, I even know a couple of gays who are even more conservative than I am. Most want nothing more than anyone else. They want to live their lives without the world judging them. They want to fall in love, get married and have families. They basically want to be treated just like you and I do. No fuss, no muss and you know what......I am good with that! 

Now some of you out there I know.....just ran for the smelling salts. Others of you have grabbed your bibles and are now praying for my soul. To you, I say thank you. I need all the prayers I can get, but not over this. The Bible may not condone homosexuality, but there are many things that the Bible does not condone like divorce, lust, gluttony, lying, adultery, premarital sex and here's a biggie....judgment! And yet, many of you who stand aghast at me now, are not without at least one of these sins on a daily basis. The difference between these sins and homosexuality is: God did not make us so we had no choice but to divorce our spouse, force us to lust after others, eat everything in our sight or lie. He did not make us so that we would cheat, force us to judge or make it so that we had no choice but to have sex outside of marriage, but.........He did make gays, just who they are, same sex attraction and all. So I ask, if being gay is a sin along with all the rest of the sins, then whose sin is greater and who but God has the right to judge that? I do believe that along with all the things the Bible tells us not to do, one of the greatest messages it brings forth is that we are to love...not another.

All this being said, I do take exception to those gays who feel the need to constantly fill me in on their sex lives and remind me that they are gay. I have always been of the mind that I won't tell you about my sex life if you don't tell me about yours. Gay or straight, what you do behind closed doors is absolutely none of my business and who you do or don't sleep with is not a prerequisite to how I view you as a person. I am also not fond of those who feel that gay pride is somehow more important than straight pride. A while back I mentioned to someone that I thought straight pride was just as important as gay pride and I was told that my statement verged on hate speech. Not cool. Perhaps though, we need to forget gay/straight pride and just have American pride or human pride. The very fact that we need to have divided pride in who we love speaks volumes about both sides.

The gay issue and gay marriage is not going away, especially not after today. So I ask those of you who view gays and gay marriage as sinful to remember that Jesus Himself was not fond of stone throwers and perhaps if we spent more time worrying about our own sins and less time worrying about others, our hands and hearts would be too busy to worry about who was sleeping with or marrying whom. I also ask you to remember that homosexuality is not a disease and that who people love and have sex with is only a fraction of who they are as a person. In fact, I would almost bet that there are those of you who have known, liked and even respected gays in your life and never even knew they were gay. So if you found out that they were attracted to their own sex, slept with their own sex or married their own sex would that suddenly change who they are in your eyes and how you felt about them as people? If your answer is yes, then that says much more about your sin than it does about theirs.

Also, please remember that there are families out there affected by this issue every day. They shouldn't be, but they are because the world says if you have a gay did something wrong, they did something wrong and somehow your family deserves to be judged by family, friends and even complete strangers. I can imagine nothing harder for a devout Christian parent than to find out their child is gay. Not because they feel that their child is somehow a pariah, evil or a sinner, but because no parent wants to see their child suffer....and in the world we live in, few can come out without the world judging them, abusing them and hurting them. No parent wants that for their child for when your child is in are you. In my opinion, there is no greater Christian, than a parent who is given a child by God, who stands behind that child in the face of family and friends in support of that or straight. To my friends with gay kids....I stand in awe of your strength. marriage passed and Lisa wrote a blog. Some would say that today was a pretty good day!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Other Side of the Moon (In Memory of Jerry Newhouse)

I have said before, I come from a large extended family with many cousins, second cousins and so on. As a family, we are close when we are in the same space, but when we pack up and leave that space, we go back to our separate lives. Don't get me wrong, we care about each other and through social media, we keep in touch but through distance and years, the opportunities to share space only come along sporadically. This has always been the way we have done it, as all of us are scattered all over the country, but with time and age, I am starting to realize what we all might be missing.

Yesterday I got a text from the daughter of one of my first cousins. It let me know that my cousin Jerry Newhouse, had just passed away. My heart sank as it felt as if someone had just squarely punched me in the gut and taken all my air away. His death was not unexpected as he had been battling cancer off and on for several years. In the past weeks he had grown weaker and his cancer had grown stronger making the prognosis inevitable. Still though, we hoped. We prayed that there would be a turn around....that final Hail Mary play. It didn't come.

I spent the rest of yesterday thinking about my cousin and how he had touched my life. This was something I had been doing a lot of lately.

Growing up, us first cousins saw each other seldom. Since Oklahoma was home base for all our get-togethers and reunions, those were about the only times we got together. There was always the initial awkward, getting reacquainted time and then within minutes, we were all best buddies....playing in the yard, taking walks on the road or just hanging out by the barn. We bonded, we hung out and then we said good bye until the next time. Some of the kids would visit each others homes during the summer and some of us became avid pen pals, but sadly.....that was the extent of our closeness growing up.

In the late 1970's, my grandfather became ill and was hospitalized. It was touch and go for awhile and my mom decided to pack my brother and I up and go to Oklahoma City where my grandfather was hospitalized. We ended up staying with my aunt and uncle and their three boys in the city. I remember feeling a bit out of my element at first with all these boys. Their youngest son was younger than me and the other two boys were older. The house was filled with "boy" stuff and I had no idea what I was going to do. Immediately though, my cousin Jerry who was about nine years older than me made me feel at home. He gave me free reign over the family record player and introduced me to the group ABBA. With nothing else to do, I played that record a million times over. He and the other boys teased me constantly in a good natured way and in the evenings they sat around and taught me how to play a multitude of card games. What could have been an excruciatingly uncomfortable time for all of us, turned out to be a lot of fun. As Grandpa became stable enough for us to go home, I felt really sad to be leaving these cousins behind. Knowing this, Jerry came up to me as I walked out the door and said, "We have decided to make you our honorary sister." I can't begin to tell you how special that made me feel.

After that, I saw Jerry and the boys from time to time at the occasional reunion and family funerals. Then about 1992, I decided to head to Oklahoma for a few days. Life was closing in and I was confused about many things and I simply needed a change of pace. I stayed in my Grandpa's old house on the farm with my aunt. There was something about that farm that just made me feel at peace. Although I had never lived or grown up there, it felt like home.

At the time Jerry was the judge in the little town of Hinton and on hearing that I was at the farm, he came out for dinner after court. We laughed and talked around the table until Aunt Margaret shooed us outside so she could clean up. I remember us sitting on the picnic table in the yard and him asking me point blank what was going on. I had not said anything about anything being wrong and I was caught off guard by his directness. It caught me by such surprise that the words just came flying out. I sat there and told him what I was going through, what I was feeling and my inability to get my life figured out. I felt about ten years old as I fought back the tears all the while wondering what he must be thinking of me. Then as direct as before, he said to me, "Okay, you know what the problem is, now how are you going to fix it?"  He was direct, but there was no judgement and no disrespect.

The question silenced me. All the words stopped. Then he put his arm around my shoulder and said, "As your honorary big brother, I say you have the answers to your questions. I have every faith that you know exactly what to do and where to go from here. You just have to believe in you." Those words were the first time I really felt like someone saw me as an adult and had faith in my ability to act as an adult. He didn't try to give me answers. He knew that deep down, I already had them. I didn't figure out all the answers that night, but his words definitely gave me the confidence to put myself on the right track.

He then talked a little about what was going on in his life. Like all of us he had hit rough patches and yet he was weathering the storms well. Then out of the blue he said, "See the moon?" It was an amazing moon that night. It was full and it illuminated the dark country sky. Looking up at it, he continued, "Do you ever wonder what is on the other side of that moon?" Honestly, I had never thought about it. He continued, "It is beautiful. How can we have any real problems when we get to look at something like that?" We sat there for awhile just looking up and then he said, "Someday I will know what is on the other side and if it as pretty as it is here tonight." Those words stuck with me and seldom have I seen a full moon that I haven't thought of Jerry saying that.

After that night, we did keep in touch by phone on occasion and email from time to time. When his mom (my aunt died), I went to her funeral and visited his dad once when he was sick. When Tim died, I spoke at his funeral. I remember looking into the faces of those who were there to honor my husband and there sat Jerry. It touched my heart.

In the last few years, we have communicated some by email but most of our communication has been through his daughter as she did social media and he did not. I kept up on his health through her and he kept up on my life through my blogs.

His health began to start declining about two years ago. Then his daughter became engaged and it became his mission to walk her down the aisle. That beautiful day came for both of them and he got to give his baby girl to a man who he knew would love her and take care of her. It was a day that I know gave Jerry both great joy and great peace.

Since that day, the cancer in him progressed. For awhile he tried to aggressively fight it with surgery and chemo. The doctors then told him that best case scenario he had just a few years. From that point it quickly went to months, then weeks and then days. In the last few weeks as he was released from the hospital and able to go home under hospice care, he and I texted. I sent him pictures and he would reply when he was up to it. We knew it was coming. I was bracing myself and yet all the while, trying to get comfortable in denial, but the reality won out.

Today I read his obituary and I realized that there was so much I didn't know about this man. He was a lawyer, a judge a VISTA with Americorps and a social worker. These last few years he had been helping those in need. I couldn't help but think as I read it, that he had been helping those in need most of his life. As his last contribution to this world, he was leaving his body to science for cancer research. That made me cry.

So this cousin who had such an effect on my life not once, but several times over the gone. I wonder if he knew how he had helped me and what being his honorary sister meant to me? I don't think I ever told him. I truly regret that.

Now, tonight as I look up at the moon, I am listening to ABBA and thinking of you. I am smiling through tears, because I know, now you know......what it looks like....... on the other side of the moon.

Monday, March 2, 2015

And Then There Was One

Kids! Sigh......

It has been a bit since my last blog post and apparently it has been long enough that a few have started to notice. In the last week I keep getting asked the same thing over and over again....."Why aren't you blogging?" Why? Please refer to the first word of the first line. Kids!

When we bring the little buggers into the world, we simply fall in love. Everything they do from their first smile to their first poop is magical. The way they drool, squench their nose or even fart makes us over the moon proud and we are powerless not to fall in love even more with every passing second. I have long been of the mind that God has a sense of humor and one of His biggest jokes is giving us our children as babies, because only He knows, that if He gave them to us as full on teenagers.....most of us would give them back within a week. 

As these kids grow, even though they try our patience at times, we are enraptured with their first words, first steps and first kisses. These things alone seem to counteract our view of the tantrums, moments of stubbornness and flat out refusals to listen.

By the time the kids hit their teen years though, the cuteness has worn thin as attitude, hormones and outside influences start taking a hold of our precious little angels. Suddenly the parent/child relationship starts looking more like a battle of Us against Them. Us being the ones who are so uncool, so out of touch and so stupid that they are amazed we can dress ourselves and Them being cool, technologically savvy and wise beyond their teenage years.

In my experience, their brilliance lasts until the real world punches them in the throat and they suddenly realize that parents have a little more going for them than just being their own personal ATM. The day that a child wakes up and realizes that their parents weren't uncool....they were simply busy being a parent, nor were they out of touch...they knew a whole lot more than they let on and in fact.....were quite smart....juggling a household, bills and kids and making it look easy...that is they day the Us against Them ends and we as parents can breathe a sigh of relief and know we have done our job.

I have gotten to this stage with three of the five. Of course I had little to do with how great the older two turned out, but I like to think I helped. Do they have all the answers? No and the beauty is.....they know it. Realizing you aren't as smart as you thought you were is a huge sign of maturity. However, I still have two to get to this point. Thus my lack of blogging. Keeping my sanity, dignity and self respect while working to the end goal of raising an honest, respectable, respectful human.....can at times, be trying. Doing it on your own.....well that can be overwhelming.

Sometimes as parents, we have to stand back and let go. Our wisdom may tell us they aren't ready, but there comes a time when their life becomes their choice. We are there.

And then......there was one. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

January...the Non-Month, Flu and Punxsutawney Phil

A friend of mine who has been sick about as much of January as I have been, verbalized yesterday what I have been thinking for a couple of weeks. Yesterday started her New Year. Mine too! In fact, I need to keep this in mind as in the last three years, January has SUCKED for lack of a better term. Truly it has! In the last three years, in January I have been horribly sick at least two weeks of the month and everyone else in the house has followed suit. Throw in ER trips and last year, multiple hospital stays with David and I am of the mind that January should just be a non-month in our house. Next year I  believe my family and I will just hibernate through January and start 2016 in February! Sounds like a plan to me.

This years flu has been particularly nasty and it really doesn't want to let go. Even after all this time, I can still overdue and find myself in bed with a nasty headache, nausea and fever. I am at the place where I feel good enough to do stuff (in fact stuff is driving me crazy), but shortly my body will send out warning signs that I must rest. Because of this, my sleep patterns are off due to the uncharacteristic naps I feel I must take......and I am still working my way back to actual eating. I can tell everyday that I am getting better, but it is simply not fast enough. My last go round in the ER I heard the doctor tell another patient that with relapses and recovery time, this stupid flu is taking a full month to six weeks to get over. Uggggghhhhhh! I am at the 4.5 week mark so I should be feeling ALOT better soon....right?!

All this being said, I am ready for spring. I am ready to throw open my windows and let fresh air in the house. I am also ready to clean like a fiend to kill any residual germs that are still calling my house their home! The weather teased us a bit last week and gave me a couple of days of open window time, but not nearly enough. I am ready for laundry on the line, curtains billowing in the breeze and the smell of freshly cut grass wafting through the air. Sadly, according to that damn groundhog, I have six more weeks to wait for spring. Stupid rodent!

Well there you have it. I hate winter, flu and January. Apparently I am not alone. I am also not too terribly fond of that darn groundhog Punxsutawney Phil! Of course he is going to see his shadow. He's FAT! That being said, I will take his prediction as a positive and give myself six more weeks to completely recover. By then.....hopefully January will be nothing more than a distant memory.

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Something In the Water

According to Carrie Underwood......There must be something in the water. The song is beautiful, spiritual and a hit. However, here in Mulvane America, that something in the water is neither beautiful nor spiritual and it is definitely not a hit if the Mulvane facebook page You Might Be from Mulvane, KS if....... is any indication of the feelings of Mulvanites.

To be fair, Mulvane has had a sketchy past with their water at best. As a resident of this little utopia for the better part of 40 years, I personally know that there have been times after a big rain that you would turn the water on and it would run brown with what we like to tell ourselves was mud. The water has at times smelled bad and tasted worse and I remember one time my mother spent a week about to lose her mind with a smell in our kitchen. It was at the sink and she thought something had gotten in the pipes or down the garbage disposal and rotted. She cleaned, she scoured and she even took apart the pipes. When she found nothing and also found she couldn't reassemble the garbage disposal, she called a plumber. As he stood there looking at her disassembled sink and pipes and she explained why she had done it, he just shook his head and laughed. Why? Because he knew what every other long time citizen of the town knew. It wasn't her was the water! 

Before bottled water was a thing, we drank the water when necessary....but only when necessary. There were times when we would get notices to boil all water before using and other times where we voluntarily boiled the water because with the smell and taste, we knew something icky was going on.

Through the years, the city would get the occasional complaint if the smell got too bad or the water was too discolored and the city would always reply with the information that it was because of the water source and not because of anything the city could help. We all then just put on our big kid pants, held our nose, drank the water and quit complaining.

Over the years, the water has gotten better at times and then fallen back to worse. Since I know very little about water, I did a little checking. Mulvane citizens are allowed two kinds of water and well water. Well water is just that. It comes from an on property well. Many with in ground water sprinklers, pools or gardens have wells and many of them were dug years ago. The city has no access to these wells and therefore, after the initial cost of digging the well, the homeowner basically has free water. The main problem with wells is the initial expense and the possibility of ground water contamination. Because of this, drinking well water is NOT advised.

With city water, it is just that. It is water that the city owns and distributes to the town. The price of Mulvane water is not cheap and if you have a pool, garden or sprinklers, in the summer time your water bill can rival your electric bill (the two happen to be on the same bill by the way.) Our current city water comes from another town called Augusta and is piped in, treated and then piped on to residents and businesses. When Augusta first became our water source, there was a decided difference in the water. It was clear, it didn't smell and it tasted good. The side effect of this good water was a raise in our water rates. Then, the water started going down hill, while the rates continued to climb.

When we as a town voted for the casino which the city told us would be a boon for our economy and make many things better in our community, we had high hopes for everything...including the water. After all, you couldn't have a casino, restaurants, an arena and a hotel and have nasty water, so surely...... The revenue has at times been good, but apparently we traded $$$ for water. Since I am not a casino type person, I have never been out there but, those that I know have, say the water is good, clear and dare I say.....drinkable. So why the casino and not the town? Apparently it has something to do with the way it is filtered and the pipes going to the casino. Hmmm

Meanwhile, us town folk are having ever worsening city water issues. The other night on the Mulvane fb page, the water issue came to a head with residents getting frustrated and irritable to the point that fur was flying. It all started with one resident saying that her niece had been diagnosed with a kidney stone and the doctor had told her he had seen many of these of late from Mulvane residents. His diagnosis on Mulvane water? Too much calcium in it. I tend to believe this as I know of several people myself from Mulvane who over the last few months have ended up ER bound with kidney stones. I would say that is a pretty painful side effect of drinking city water. This one post about Mulvane water, led to the gates of frustration flooding open and people letting loose. Stories of babies bathing in the water and getting hives, people having stomach issues after drinking the water, dingy laundry, clogged filtration systems and local businesses having complaints on the water were flying every which way. So apparently.....Mulvane has a water problem. Sadly, up to this point, we as a town had become so complacent with the issue over the years that we had actually quit complaining.......until that fb post. 

It suddenly was as if a light bulb went on for all of us at the same time. Hearing these stories and realizing that it wasn't just that the water smelled or our laundry was never really clean, but people were actually having "real" health issues from this stuff, made many of us stop short and see that this is not just an annoying problem but a real and urgent issue that needed to be addressed. In that evening, Mulvane people did, what they do so well. They rallied, made a plan and decided on a course of action to fix this issue. Why should we be paying a big chunk of money every month for water that we really can't even use and maybe even causing us health issues?

If the city was used to a complacent community where this issue was concerned, things might be changing. We need to know some answers about why our water is so bad. So far there has been finger pointing and excuses, but no real answers. Why is the casino water so much better than town water? Why do some people in town have better water than others when all our water comes from the same source? Then, after we learn the real why's, we need to have some solution options. After all, knowing why your water stinks, tastes awful and is making people sick doesn't fix the problem.

The city seems to be listening as they are adding city council meetings to their agenda and giving open forums to Mulvane citizens who want to speak. Why wouldn't they? After all, they have to use the water too. People are asking for independent studies to be done on their water so that we don't just have the word of the city as to what is floating around in our water and for now, bottled water and filtration systems reside in many a Mulvane home.

Yes, there is something in the water here in Mulvane. It is a huge issue and we would really like to know what it is and how to fix it. If you are from Mulvane and want to know what is going on with the water issue, there will be a city council meeting Thursday, January 22nd at Mulvane City Hall at 7:30 pm. Our water is on the agenda. You can also keep up on what is going on with the Mulvane water issue on fb at Better Water for Mulvane.

Stay tuned. I am sure there will be future updates and maybe..... we will find out just what is in the Mulvane water.

Monday, January 5, 2015

'Tis the Season

I love this time of year. It is so full of promise. The holidays have been survived as has the first half of the school year. Just a few weeks of cold, maybe a sprinkling of snow and then it will be spring. I can practically hear the birds chirping and see the sun shining in my fantasy of this bright new year. It all looked so cheery and bright until.....the first sneeze from upstairs. It was quickly followed by the coughing bout from the basement that could be heard all over the house. Finally, I hear the mad dash up the stairs into the bathroom, toilet lid thrown up, and then I realized......the only thing different about 2015 as opposed to 2014 is....the flu finally found us. took them all at once. Double sigh.....

In all fairness, I'm really not that surprised. I mean after was bound to happen as many trips as we have made to the ER in the last couple of weeks. On our last trip, you could practically see the germs partying in the waiting room. There was a collection of hacky coughs, runny everything and people hovering over trash cans and puke basins. I grabbed masks and bathed both myself and David in hand sanitizer, but I felt even those measures where no match for the germ warfare going on in that small space. Then there is also the fact that Z and his lady love are constantly out and about, never thinking about what communicable disease might be hiding in every crack and crevice of life. While they have been brought up in a germ conscious society, at 18 are they really thinking about getting sick when they share food, drink and God knows what else? Of course not! Bottom line is.....all our bodies are probably fertile breeding grounds for everything from the flu to the plague, so really there is no shock that this targeted us. The only real surprise is..... that it took this long.

As I type this, the sounds of coughing, sneezing and the occasional whimper or hurried foot steps to the bathroom are what fill the quiet of my night. I find it difficult to close my eyes for fear that I will be jolted awake by the sound of my name being sickly yelled out to run bring aspirin, a drink or God forbid.....clean up a bathroom. I also do little sleeping with David sick down the hall. I fear him throwing up in his sleep as he sleeps mostly on his back. We have already been down the aspiration road and I don't wish to travel that path again.

I guess I really shouldn't complain. It has been a couple of years since the flu bug really hit my house full force. Last time I was one of the casualties and it took me forever to find my way back to 100%. This year I hope to stay least until everyone else gets it out of their system. It is very hard to take care of others when you feel like warmed over death yourself. Not to fear though....I have brought in an arsenal of Lysol, Clorox wipes, Gatorade, ginger ale and vitamin C. This house isn't going down without a fight.

So as I lay here, praying that the worst is over soon, I think of spring days, warm breezes and anything that doesn't sound like someone puking! 

Happy Monday everyone!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

St. Peter....One of "Those" Christians

It wasn't long ago that I was having a discussion with an individual that I was not well acquainted with. Talk turned to church and my going to Mass. This individual then scowled and  said....."Oh you are one of those Christians." It did catch me a bit off guard and I said "Yes, and even worse....I am one of those Catholic Christians." It was an attempt at humor to lighten the moment but the individual truly found that to be even more distasteful than just being a Christian.

I really didn't think much more about this incident. Then the last two weeks on EWTN (the Catholic TV network) there was a two part movie on called Imperium: St. Peter. Saturday nights EWTN plays some extraordinary movies and this was one of them. The movie was about Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, and it takes place from the time of Jesus death up to his own. St. Peter was played by Omar Sharif and I have to say, it was an amazing portrayal.

Peter and the other apostles and followers of Christ were living in treacherous times after the Crucifixion of Our Lord. Christians and the very thought of this "new" sect called Christianity caused great fear among all other beliefs.....even the Jews. It was a time when belief in God and now His Son could earn you death. Many times throughout the movie the words, "You are one of those Christians," was said and it brought me back to that day when I was called, one of those Christians. Two thousand plus years and Christians must still face ridicule for their beliefs. How sad Our Lord must be.

So what makes Christians such a target for the rest of the world? Likely the most important reason is our belief that Jesus was born, lived and died for us and our sins. The fact that we have faith in words given to us by an Omnipotent being and that we live our lives knowing that death is not the end of our journey but only the beginning. Truly, our faith in the unseen and untouched is enough to put a non-believer over the edge. If I am in the mood to push a point, my favorite saying is: "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary and for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible." This covers miracles, faith and the reasons Christians live as we do. We need no explanation. Our faith has us covered. This statement can send a non-believer of any persuasion into a diatribe of frustration because to them.....everything must have a reason and must be explained. Follow it up with "Everything does have a reason and purpose, we just may not be ready to know the reason and purpose," and this can completely unravel them. Why? Because for many outside Christianity, their beliefs are based in self and man. If man created everything and they are in charge of their own life and destiny then there must be an understandable reason for everything. To believe that God has the power and they don't is contrary to everything they choose to believe. And our belief as Christians infuriates them to the point of distraction.....just like it did in St. Peters time.

Some are turned off by Christians because of the proposed hypocrisy they see among Christians. Many Christians have been accused of being Christians on Sunday and something very different the other six days of the week. Also many Christians have been condemned for taking literal translations of the Bible and using them for their own agenda. Obviously much has changed since biblical times and how we treat women, adulterers and those that do wrong in society is much different than it was 2000 years ago. The fact is though, Christianity is a goal. It means to be Christ-like. It doesn't mean to be Christ. Christians are humans and works in progress. Perhaps there are those that are only Christ-like on Sunday's but that is them trying. Maybe there are those who put their own twist on the bible, but at least they are reading it. At least they are putting the effort in. Humans will always struggle because we are human and because we were blessed/cursed with free will. For some that free will has been their salvation, for others.....their free ride into hell. Perhaps though, those outside Christianity need to remember that Christians are just humans and as humans, we will fail many more times than we will succeed. But as Christians, we know our failings and we have complete faith that if we ask forgiveness from God for our failings with a sincere heart.....we will be forgiven.

I long ago brought my Christianity to the simplest of forms, as simple just works for me. I am not a biblical scholar and quite honestly if the bible hadn't been translated into newer more understandable language, I would be lost. I have brought the rules of my life down to....The Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule. The Ten Commandments because those were given directly from God to Moses and they are the basis of everything we do in life. I believe if you follow them, then you are following God's word to the tee. As for the Golden Rule, it is the very basis of everything Our Lord taught us. Love your fellow man.Treat others as you want to be treated. Be kind. It is all there.

Perhaps that is too simple, but it is what works for me. Truthfully though, this simplicity has gotten me in hot water from, believe it or not.......other Christians, as they don't feel that some current societal issues are explicitly covered in my simplistic view. I think if they look deeply though, they are. It is not my job to judge. It is my job to be as Christ-like as possible and Christ did not work on judgement. He worked on forgiveness. Those that society felt were an abomination, He forgave and brought them to Him. The best way for me to bring others to Our Lord is to teach by example. To live my Christianity through love, kindness and respect for my fellow man. The judgment, well I leave that to God.

So here it is. I am a flawed human who is not without sin. Christianity though, is a gift. In my way of thinking, if a man like Peter could be full of human failing, deny Christ not once but three times and still be forgiven, then there is hope for me. Peter was chosen by Christ and in the end was one of Our Lords staunchest supporters. In a day where Christianity was dangerous and carried a death sentence, Peter defied mans law, chose God's law and by doing this died as Our Lord did, through crucifixion. His life and death made him not only a martyr for Christ and all Christians everywhere, but it earned him the seat at the head of Christ's church and ultimately....sainthood.

Yes, I am proud to say.......I am one of those Christians!