How to Get Organized

1.  Decide which room you wish to work on.

2.  Pick a shelf or drawer from that room.

3.  Empty out all the contents of the drawer.

4.  Look it over and realize why it is so disorganized and messy.  Most of the stuff doesn't even belong in that drawer.

5.  Take the items out that don't belong.  Carry them to the rightful drawer in another room.  This is very important to our task at hand.  It would be foolish to throw anything away.  Another way to look at this is just reshuffling items.  Move the stuff from one place to another.  It's actually quite efficient.

6.  Put everything back in the now clean drawer.

7.  Feel good because you accomplished something.

And, that is just what I did today.

I'm feeling pretty darn good.

Except that now I have another place to clean out.

HMMM, where shall I put the stuff this time?


A Tale of Two Books

We just returned from an overlong stay in Canada on a home exchange.  We had LOTS of extra time, so I got quite a bit of reading and listening to books on tape done.

Among those were two books - vastly different, yet also very similar.

First, I read BORN A CRIME:

That was followed up by: Hillbilly Elegy

Their cultures were entirely different; one in Africa, one in the South.

 Each of these books was about young boys growing up and coming of age.

Both of these young men had the decks stacked against them to begin with; both were born into horrendous poverty.

Both came from backgrounds of abuse, fighting, poor education.

Both seemed destined to stay in the circumstances like their families and relatives and friends before them.

BUT, the thing that saved them both from their horrible situations was a strong-willed, caring woman.  A woman who cared, who saw the value of education, who wanted more for the boy and could see the need to get out of the ghetto and slum.

For Trevor Noah, the saving woman was his mother.  I have the greatest admiration for his mother; a feisty, strong, independent woman who never babied her child, but let him suffer the consequences of his decisions.  Yet, she was always there, teaching him he could achieve more.

Noah is now a successful late-night comedian.  He achieved the unthinkable, and it is in large measure thanks to his mother.

For J D Vance, the strong woman was his grandmother; his own mother was a drug addict and he lost count of how many times she had been in rehab.  But, his grandmother was determined to not let him fail.  She was a foul-mouthed, noisy, brash woman, but she loved her grandson.  J D Vance is a law-school graduate of Yale University.

So, each book takes place in different worlds, but the outcome was the same.

SUCCESS - due to a never-give-up WOMAN.

Oh, the power of a strong, caring woman.  It's impossible to overestimate that incredible power.


The High School Graduate

He's gentle.

He's kind.

He speaks softly and smiles a lot.

His cat is so fond of him and wants to be with him and in his room.

Technology is something he loves and he spends a lot of time with gaming, phone stuff, camera stuff.

Shuffling between his mother's home and his father's home is something that he just does naturally and without stress.  They both are good to him and love him unconditionally.

He doesn't mind hanging out with his parents.  One day, we went for a walk, and he was willing to come along and to just sit by the pool with the adults.  It was sweet.

It wasn't a given that he would graduate, but he did.  Everyone was pleased and proud, as they should have been.

He has struggled with depression and self-esteem, but during his Senior year positive things happened to him, which was good.

He is a good kid.

He is gay.

And, he is my step-grandson.



It has been so great being here in Virginia with Kristi and Bobby and Will.

Class of 2017 from Murray High School - Congrats, WILL!

And, also, Jordan and his family!

Joining in the celebration were Anna, Immie, and Oliver!  What cute cousins!

Bobby and Kristi are the best hosts.  They are so thoughtful and accommodating!

It has been fun.

Can you tell that no one is really jumping in, except Jordan?  Ha Ha, but before this picture, they had all been in the pool!

Interestingly enough, we are always so eager to get home and don't like to stay more than three nights, but we will be here a week.

Hiking Crabtree Falls.  Oh, I love my kids and husband!  Family; that's where it's at!

And, it has been great!

Just back from a four-mile hike of the Ravanna Trail.  It was great just walking and talking with Kristi.
Allen walked the first mile with us.  (Trying out my new hairstyle - a ponytail!)

Thanks to the best Kristi daughter ever!  And, to her awesome husband.

Cousins Coincidence

Dixie texted; she wanted to meet us for lunch. Dixie is Allen's 2 or 3 COUSIN; who knows, but anyway, they are related.  She is won...