Be Kind

A lot of things have been on my mind for the past 24 hours, that’s probably why I woke up about every 45 to 60 minutes in the night 😦

I am tired of negativity and bashing for having differing opinions/thoughts/feelings as other along with arguing and name calling. I just want calm and peace…

I saw a friend copied and pasted the following and it spoke volumes to me:

As governors are trying to figure out how to ease back in to a new normal, please remember:

🛑 Some people don’t agree with the state opening…. that’s okay. Be kind.

🏡 Some people are still planning to stay home…. that’s okay. Be kind.

🦠 Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening….that’s okay. Be kind.

💰 Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes….that’s okay. Be kind.

👩🏾‍⚕️Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off….that’s okay. Be kind.

📝 Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job….that’s okay. Be kind.

😷 Some will wear masks for weeks….that’s okay. Be kind.

💅🏻 💇🏼‍♀️ Some people will rush out to get the hair or nails done…. that’s okay. Be kind.

❤️ The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be kind.

We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home. But be kind .

If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and be kind! Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental states than we were months ago. So remember, BE KIND.

And then the tears started falling for all the negativity I have been involved in…yes…I am also part of the problem. Not so much name calling as that brings up painful memories from my child hood ~ NO one should be called a name that is hurtful. And I’m truly sorry for any pain I have caused others all for wanting to be right, to be in control (who’s really in control?), to feel safe and cared about.

The bottom line is that right now, for this season, for such a time as this…this is our new normal…limited trips to the grocery store, no just hopping in the car to go to DQ to get an ice cream just because I want one or heading to Victoria to walk aimlessly through Hobby Lobby just for something to do and I am reminded to focus on what is important! Relationships, my children who aren’t children any more, my grandchildren some who are facing some tough times, our kidlets who are struggling and friends who are lonely, who are missing loved ones.
I think about all the places I have been, all the people I have met, all the different experiences I have had in my life and the thought comes to mind

For such a time. — Abiding Faith Lutheran Church

And again I got distracted ~ this time by the thunderstorm going through our area right now and little ones scurrying to be held and just like that I am reminded by a dose of reality…all that really matters is relationships and the here and now. Yesterday is gone, never to be done again and tomorrow may never happen so for today, for this season of life, for such a time as this…I’m going to smile and be thankful for all the blessings in my life…and there are many!!!

Have a great day! Find something that makes you smile and remember

God is Enough – Peace in the Waiting

Looking for the Positive & Rambling On….

It’s been awhile since I have written anything. The never ending cycle of my life…so much is going on and then again not much is happening in my world…being a Home Parent for 11 days, then resting & crocheting for 3 days, then 11 days of being a HP, then three more days of resting & crocheting.

Last Saturday night we attended a Drive In Concert at Sweet Home Hall…

Setting up for the Drive In Concert

We had a lot of fun…good ole fashioned country music, burgers and beer for those who wanted it. Three hours of visiting from a distance, listening to good music and seeing people having fun yet following the rules. I sure hope Sweet Home Hall does it again soon.

Two weekends ago we loaded the kidlets up in the truck and went for a drive and some essential shopping. First stop was gas ~ don’t want to run out you know. Then we took the kids to wave and yell HELLO to some friends…the only downside was the only downpour all day was when we were in their driveway so not much yelling between the kids and friends!!! But it was fun to see where they lived and we can’t wait to go back when we can have a real visit.

Then it was off to Walmart to pick up a prescription and HEB for some groceries…even got our first watermelon of the season. And it was delicious!!! Couldn’t believe we paid $5.98 for a watermelon…both Ron and I reminisced about paying 4 cents a lb so many years ago!!!! We did have to teach the kidlets that the best way to eat watermelon is sprinkled liberally with sea salt!!!!

And then the most important part of our essential trip…drive through Dairy Queen or as the kids say “The Place That Shall Not be Named!!” 3 mini blizzards and two ice cream cones later we headed for home!!! It was a nice 3 hour break from being home… all day, every day!!!

On another note…a friend of mine on Facebook posted this:undefined

And it hit a chord or two with me…so many people think their way is the only way and that’s just not true…we, each as individuals are as complex as we may be the same! And there is nothing that says we all have to be the same…yes, some of us may like some of the same things but I don’t believe there are two people on this earth that totally unequivocally are exactly the same, like the same things and not like the same things.

I get so tired of people saying stuff is 100% one way or another…I’m sure I will rock the boat or as someone told me yesterday ~ poking the bear with this statement…do I like everything about Trump…not at all BUT I do think he has done a lot of good things for our country. It’s like motorcycle helmet laws…do I think they are good…yes but I also think people should have the choice to wear them or not. Do I think someone would be stupid to not wear a motorcycle helmet while riding a motorcycle…you BET I do!!! But that doesn’t mean I stop liking or loving that person because we don’t believe the same.

The old adage…let’s agree to disagree and be an adult about things. And use common sense…which I know not everyone has or uses…heck I don’t use common sense sometimes…I know I open my mouth sometimes when I shouldn’t BUT I still do…then I have to deal with the consequences. And that’s the choice I make. That’s the choice each of us make when we choose to do or say or not do or not say anything.

When I sat down to write today I had lots on my mind but par for the course with children asking questions, the phone ringing because the boss had a question, having to stop and feed the kidlets my mind has wandered all over the place and now I can’t think of anything else to add…so check back soon to see what I am up to…I will try to not get into any trouble 🙂

Thoughts to a Friend’s Post on Facebook

My friend, Pamela Richards-Woodall, wrote the following on her Facebook page earlier today:


If I have offended you in any way I apologize!
Please examine your words before they pop outta your mouth!
Power of life and death are in the tongue!
If you personally don’t know why someone has issues with this or that, ask them privately! Don’t assume and expect to enforce your beliefs!
Just because you feel and behave a certain way doesn’t mean everyone else can or should. If it were up to me every man or woman who abuses another would suffer severely!! I’m sure you feel something that powerful too. We’re all trying in our own way to get through this crap!!
When we begin to push our own expectations on others we’re stepping on a fine line! I don’t wear a mask. Instead of pouncing on me try asking me why I don’t! Or apply that to a thousand different people for a thousand different reasons!
We are not made from the same mold!
This stupid virus has caused a spirit of fear and panic and ugliness to be unleashed like I’ve never seen in my life! I know fear! I grew up with it.
Terrified while being held down with someone holding their hand over my mouth so I couldn’t scream out in horrific pain as a 3 year old…a 5 year old…a 10 year old…all the while someone was raping me!!! And at times several times a day!
I also was forced to attend gatherings where folks wore masks and did horrible things!
We as a society need to rip off the stigma of #mental health as it’s truly pathetic of how we act towards anyone who exhibits mental issues. But oh lordy…if that person has cancer or a broken bone or a heart attack then its all different.
No it’s not!! Anytime we are dealing with an issue whether physical or mental we all hurt!!! We are not the virus police! And we need to stop it! If Jesus lives in you then share His love and compassion!
He does have plenty to go around.
While at the store earlier I saw many with fear etched in their face.
I desperately wanted to hug them and pray! No one smiling! Folks glaring! Hurt my heart deeply! So I have a meltdown in the car at the store!
Yes my husband can and would shop or do anything I need.
But why should I or any number of 1000’s who deal with any form of mental issues be treated any differently?!? I fully expect to see the numbers of folks who fight these issues skyrocket very soon. Sadly I am not hearing anyone talking about the importance of giving them support!
Believe me…I’d so much rather not have these issues but I do. Its embarrassing and I have to stay alert to keep shame off me! I am healed and being healed! God has and continues to bless me as I grow in Him! I would not be alive if it were not for Him! Yet I know there are so many walking around ashamed of their mental health issues because of others around them! May God have mercy on us all!!*******

She also wrote “Secrets in the Hollers” https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Hollers-Story-Pamela-Richards-Woodall-ebook/dp/B07D2MCVZL/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=secrets+of+the+holler&qid=1586289478&sr=8-2

Pamela Richards-Woodall and I met through our mutual friend, Barbara Fairchild. We have shared many stories of our lives with each other. We encourage one another when the other needs it, we pray for each other when asked and sometimes on our own. We, as many others have struggled with so many RED flags the past few weeks that just wave their ugly head in our faces and our hearts…it is not a pretty sight.

Pam’s words echo mine ~ this morning I had to go to Walmart to get my weekly insulin (on a side note so thankful for our job and having insurance…my Ozempic was $24.99 without insurance it would have been $976.00 for four injections!!!)..while in Walmart I went down the aisle where the Easter candy was to get a few things for our kidlets…a man, probably in his late 40’s/early 50’s, walked by me twice in each direction and the second time I asked him if he was okay or did he need something from me…he turned and said “I don’t think candy is an essential food item.” and walked past. I just stood and stared at him and felt myself go shaky…I quickly finished getting the other things I needed (I had a list and was sticking to it). I went and paid and the cashier asked if I was okay? I had uncontrolled tears running down my face. I mumbled something to the effect “yes, I will be fine, some people are just so ignorant!”

After paying for my stuff I went to my car. I got in, locked the doors and called Ron…I’m so glad he was available to talk. I told him I had an anxiety attack while in Walmart. I couldn’t remember the last time I had had one. I didn’t go into a lot of detail as I was trying to compose myself as I still had to stop at the grocery store. Ron listened, told me he loved me and we hung up.

I drove myself to HEB, took a deep breath and thought “okay, I can do this.” The first thing I saw was an Easter lily…not an essential item and not on my list, but I knew that Ron always buys me an Easter lily and I knew if he was with me he would tell me to pick one out…so I did.

I got the rest of the groceries on my list as well as a couple of pizza’s for dinner. If you’ve read my blog in the past few days y’all know things have been rough and I was thinking of easy things to do to make today a good day ~ WE ALL needed it. I made it through the store without shedding a tear. Well that is until I got to where I was paying for the groceries and the cashier thanked me for following the rules and not bringing all the kidlets with me ~ because BBYR is a non-profit we are tax exempt and I had said I was a home parent at BBYR she knew we had kids…I told her no problem, I try to follow the rules/directions…how else can I expect our kidlets to follow the rules and/or do what is expected of them. As the tears trickled down my cheek, she asked if I was okay. I said yes and then shared about the man at Walmart and me buying some jelly beans for the kidlets for Easter. She looked astonished that someone would say something to me…and then she said if she could, she would give me a hug…instead we put our hands up to the plexiglass and high fived each other. The bagger, a young man of about 20 just shook his head and said “I want a high five too.” So the two of them on one side of the plexiglass and me on the other high fived!! And laughed!!! And laughed some more.

That cashier doesn’t have a clue how much her little interaction meant to me. I came home, got the groceries put away, gave the kidlets their lunch. Today was hot dogs, beans and a cookie!! Thanks Tracy for picking them up!! And thanks Stephen for encouraging me to get the breakfasts/lunches that the school district is providing.

While the kids were eating lunch I got on Facebook and was scrolling through…that’s when I saw Pam’s post. I started to share it on my page but my response was getting way too long this this blog post this afternoon.

To add to some of what Pam said above about Mental Health…I remember when I was dealing with major depression, suicidal thoughts (for years!) and how some people would say “Just get a grip.” “If you were a REAL Christian your faith would take away my depression.” And once after being in the hospital for three weeks (I had come very close to committing suicide) and returned to church a supposed friend (I say supposed because I don’t believe a true friend could be so hurtful…asked me what was it like being in there with all those crazies!…I remember looking at her and thinking well I must be crazy to think suicide is the answer to my problems…

Was I crazy…absolutely not…I was a hurting, scared, human being who felt so desperate to think my husband and my children would be better off without me…was I ever wrong…if I had given into the hurtful words, thoughts and feelings I would not be the woman I am today…not only am I a wife and mom but now I also have the greatest gift of all…grandchildren as well as three fun, wonderful sometimes frustrating foster children who call me Mama Ali and Papa Ron (well they call Ron that).

Thank you Pam for giving me the platform to talk/write about my experience today and to stand with you to tell others…stop acting like people who deal with mental health issues are some kind of strange person or being. And as Pam said, if I had a broken leg or cancer people wouldn’t think twice about why I did some thing or another. I remember one time talking with Gayle, my Psyche ARNP and she asked me if I was embarrassed I had diabetes and I replied no. She then asked, why am I embarrassed I have depression. It is an illness just like diabetes. It just effects people in a different way!

Pam shared from her heart and I too have shared from my heart…now my question to you is what can you do to help stop the stigma of negativity towards those of us who deal with a mental health issue just as those who deal with cancer or a blood disease?

Focusing on What’s Important

As I wrote the other day…life has been a struggle for me and like in days and years past I let my emotions control my actions…I had a counseling session scheduled for today BUT yesterday in the middle of my angst I cancelled it ~ DUH…now more than ever I really needed that time to get refocused and calm my spirit. I did have enough sense to schedule another appointment for next Tuesday…NO I will not be cancelling it!!! Telling myself that as much as you!!!

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4:07, struggled through the day with tears, worry, anxiety but I didn’t take a nap thinking it would help me to sleep better last night…well it didn’t…I was up numerous times and this morning I woke up at 4:22!! I laid in bed for about 15 minutes and then got up…made myself a bottle of water (taking thyroid medication can’t have anything to eat or drink but water for an hour), combed my hair, put on some earrings, made my way out to the living room. Putzed around until our night staff person left shortly after 6:00a. Cleaned off my desk, put some more pages in my planner and then opened my Bible and devotionals.

I don’t know why but I am
ALWAYS
and yet you always meet me where I am…
and this morning was no different!!

I opened Pocket Prayers for Moms given to me by my bestie and this was the verse that was written….
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along with this prayer
Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of all, the almighty God and the everlasting one. Be near to me when my family faces change. When nothing feels steady, it is hard on all of us. Give me strength and courage in times of transition. Allow my family to see YOU leading the way. May the rely on you, especially when they feel uncertain. I am so grateful that even when everything around us feels unstable, YOU are there. YOU are our rock. I thank you and praise you for that. In Christ’s name. Amen

Just WOW!!

This prayer says it all…all that I’m feeling and thinking…there is just so much uncertainty in today’s world yet GOD remains steadfast and consistent…the things this mama needs to be for her family…steadfast, consistent, loving, kind and caring. I need to remember to extend the grace that I am so willing to extend to others to myself and our kidlets.

So many changes are happening, transition is the name of the game…transition from kidlets going to school to being schooled at home, from fixing one meal a day to fixing two or three and then being reminded to accept the help that is being offered…our school district, like so many will provide breakfast and lunch for all our kidlets. At first I told the principal “no, we’ve got the meals covered” and then our boss reminding me that by allowing the school district to provide breakfast and lunch five days a week it will relieve me/us of some of the pressure and thinking needed to be done.

WOW…yesterday was the first day we took advantage of the school lunches and it was wonderful…no comments from the kids that they didn’t want such and such. They ate and cleaned up after themselves. It was a good thing. And we have breakfast for today: pop tarts, apple juice and milk. Easy for everyone!!!

As I continued with my time with the Lord, I wrote…
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and then I got distracted by looking for something on Facebook
but it turned out to be just what I needed for me, for us today

As I posted on Facebook we don’t have any beer but that’s okay, I have my Coke Zero, I won’t make a coffee cake but I will make my pineapple angel food cake bars…topped with whip cream and since Tuesday is one of our “chore days” we will pass on the big chores for the day like cleaning the bathrooms (we have six in our house!!!) and vacuuming but the laundry will at least get washed and dried…maybe even folded and some school work will get done…and this mama’s goal will be to keep a soft tone…remember the

marshmallows…and I might even have some for a treat for the kidlets!

Thank you Lord for my time with you this morning, for the many reminders that have come my way today…even this one…

Let’s remember…today is in the Lord’s hand, HE is in control and though we may face some struggles we will get through this and through it all let’s remember to give

Catching Up

I’ve been pretty quiet the last few days…are you wondering why? I have been very under the weather…temps running 99.8 to 100.4 since Thursday. This morning it was 96.8!!! I was so excited. I have been hibernating in our apartment while Ron has been holding down the fort. I have gone into the main house when the kidlets were still in bed…setting up their homework and helping Ron figure out what to make for dinner. All through it all I have been so thankful for a wonderful partner…Ron Workentin is the best husband and daddy around.

I knew I was sick when I didn’t even have the energy to crochet…and if you know me, I love to crochet.

This morning I woke up feeling much better well except for having my earring stuck to my shirt. I gently got it out of my ear and then had Ron take it out of my shirt!!! Sometimes the littlest things are the big things!!!

Made myself a bowl of oatmeal and added some cinnamon to it…yummy. Then I turned on some worship music and paid bills…so thankful to have a laptop again…thank you sweet angels who gifted this to me…you are both a blessing to Ron and I and we are thankful to call you not only friends but family!!!!

I am so thankful that we don’t have to worry about our jobs. In fact, we are considered essential workers because we are foster parents. Ron and I talked about it…EVERY PARENT should be considered an essential worker!!! Without parents our kidlets would be lost!!!

And thankful for technology…was able to pay all our bills online, money is in the bank thanks to auto deposit.

Just so much to be thankful for. Even in the midst of so much uncertainty.

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What are you thankful for today?

April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s this year is a bit different…in years passed I have pulled a couple of jokes…like in 2011 when we were working at Lone Star Corral in Hondo, TX and I posted early in the morning that at 5:00p I was heading for home. And left it at that. I turned off Facebook. I started getting texts from friends in WA. Even got a phone call from my pal, Mary asking if we had gotten fired or quit. I did have to call Mary back and reassure her that no we hadn’t been fired or even quit…it was a joke.

But the joke was on me…the person who I wanted to see it was my boss, Bonnie…she never even got on Facebook that day!!!

Another year while working at a doctor’s office we “borrowed” a bunch of free samples from another office as our doctor did not believe in accepting “free samples” as he saw it as the drug companies trying to buy his business. We put pens, sticky notes, scissors, bags…you name it with a drug company’s name on it, we put it around the office…he wasn’t too happy but he didn’t get mad either. Another prank that didn’t go well.

There is always one thing I have issues with and that is when women or couples post on Facebook or Twitter that they are pregnant! AS A JOKE! In my eyes and in the eyes of many that is just not funny…as so many women/couples deal with infertility issues and yet some people still joke about it.

Today, in this season of life, in the here and now someone posted that Gov. Abbott, of Texas had stated that all students in Texas will be repeating their current grade next year since so many schools have cancelled classes for the remainder of this year…I will tell you I WAS LIVID. This very topic was something the home parents here at BBYR were just discussing yesterday as a possibility. Had the governor really thought that decision through?

I made a comment on the post stating how unfair that was to the students …. maybe not so bad for a kindergartner but kids in other grades, especially the kids who struggle so much already with school and adding distance learning which is hard on so many children and their parents and what about seniors in high school…making them repeat their final year. My mind was racing as I thought about all the repercussions that such a decision could cause.

And I thought…now that’s a topic to write about on my blog. I finished my comment and hit share…nothing happened and then a screen came up saying the post had been deleted. I went to my friend’s page who had posted the “announcement” and it wasn’t there either. I sent Dana a PM and asked her about her post. She messaged me back “she found out it was an April Fool’s joke.” I replied, “so not funny,” and she agreed with me…for such a time as this when so many parents and children are stressed and feeling overwhelmed what would possess someone to think saying something like that would be funny.

I found this meme…it is so true for today (sorry if some of the verbage offends you) but this is truth for today, April 1, 2020!

almond tits on Twitter: "April fool's cancelled this year cause ...

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I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer so ask that you share a funny prank you have pulled in the past to celebrate April Fool’s Day!!!

Response and Thoughts to a Friend

I was chatting with a friend today and she had tears seeping out her eyes. I asked if everything was okay….DUH, of course not, she is crying you fool!!! Later I sent her a message and asked if there was anything I could do for her…and our conversation went like this:


(My Friend) No worries. I’ma little better. I’m trying to keep perspective on the positive things. I was having a moment of being overwhelmed. Thank you for asking. Itll be alright. God is good.

(Me) I know the feeling…that was how I was last night about AZ and her school work. I’m going to stick to my schedule and what the kids get done, they get done. There is no way the teachers/principal can expect us as parents to do all the teachers are expecting and would do…that is asking for failure and issues between parents/kids which is not where we need to go. I think this is the time for us to be giving ourselves extra grace. If this really is how life is going to be for two more months or longer we need to take care of ourselves as moms/wives/women because if we don’t take care of ourselves there is no way we can take care of others.

Yes, thank you for that reminder and perspective. I need to remember GRACE on myself and to make sure I am taking care of me. Keeping as much as I can routine for me and our family.

That’s the discussion we had with AR & AZ tonight…that this is a hard time for everyone for different reasons. We have to have a schedule and to remember that we are not their teachers and their teachers are not us. Just like our Relief Home Parent does some things differently then we do things doesn’t make it right or wrong,..it just is.

And then I found myself thinking of lots of other things I wanted to say but kidlets needs called for my attention so we ended the conversation there.

We were off this past weekend…we spent a lot of time watching TV shows we had recorded. We got lots of rest and YET when we came back on duty on Monday my stress level seemed to escalate faster than the elevator at the Statue of Liberty and I couldn’t pin point what was going on.

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday watching the kidlets playing, talking with the other home parents here at the ranch…we are 9 adults with 10 kids onsite. AND I am so thankful that we are together in this social distancing/season of time that we are not alone. Our boss has been wonderful ~ keeping the main gate locked, must have code to get in, doing counseling for the kidlets via ZOOM/SKYPE, doing tele visits with doctors as needed and being available by phone, text and email. Though we are isolating ourselves we are truly not alone.

At one point yesterday I just wanted to cry. In fact, I laid my head in my hands and said “I don’t even know what to cook for dinner tonight.” Such a simple thing but seemed insurmountable. And it’s not like we don’t have any food … we have one chest freezer and one upright freezer full of meat, pecans, veggies, treats, did I say pecans, ice cream, pecans…yes lots and lots of pecans!!! We have a pantry full of canned goods, baking items and all sorts of food items…just needing and waiting to be cooked. But I still couldn’t think of what to feed these little chillins.

And I have much to be thankful for…we have our jobs, we are getting paid, we have the money to pay our bills, we have health insurance which makes my diabetes medication affordable, we are in reasonably good health and even though we are not near Jamie or Brandon or their families we are able to chat with them via text, phone, FaceTime and Facebook. And we know they are safe, our grandchildren are safe and their needs are being met.

We have much to be thankful for…some sweet dear friends gifted me a laptop…and with the help of our son, Brandon and friend Lee, I have gotten everything off of the laptop that was not a very good dance partner (the one that crashed) and put on this new to me laptop…in fact I am typing on it now!! I was so excited when I was able to get the pictures from the old laptop to the new one…One reason was because while we were gate guarding Ron took on the project of scanning the two totes (each 32 gallon sized) of pictures that represent our 44 years of married life, our parents and grandparents and the thought that they might not be saved was definitely a cause for some of my anxiety. But I have them all!!! And yes we will be making a back up of them!!!

One of my favorite pictures from a long time ago

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is this one of me in the first grade. My mom was so mad at me when she saw this picture because she had styled my hair and the cute little bow on the side of my head…I moved it 🙂 she was not happy…but I have come to love and cherish this sweet little girl!!

And this picture of Max…

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with his Pop Pop before he was a part of our lives, which allows me to see how much his siblings look like him and we are so thankful he is a part of our family!!!

As I write and watch and listen to our kidlets I am reminded that we really do have much to be thankful for…and so I want to encourage each of you to find something positive about today…it doesn’t have to be a BIG thing, it can be something as simple as I am thankful that I was able to make myself a cup of coffee and I had some of my favorite creamer to put into it.

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What are you thankful for today?