Monday, July 20, 2009

another week whizzes by

Another week and another weekend have passed. It was a not a non-event week. I worked on some commissioned pieces (portraits.)

The week started kind of rocky. I went to town to put some money in the bank. I was on my way when TJ called me. Her brother (51 years old) called and he was in the hospital. He was very cryptic and told us he would tell us all when we came up. I finished my business in town and came back for Tj. We went to the hospital to see James. The news was bad. He has cancer. They didn't know where yet, when wee were there. They were running tests to find all of it. He told us that they did tell him a time frame based on what they did know, but would not share with us what it was. I respect his wishes in that. He was on the 6th floor/Oncology unit.

While I was there at the hospital, I went down a few floors (2nd floor/Cardio) to visit my sisters mother-in-law who was there for fluid around her heart and high blood pressure. I talked with her and prayed with her before I left her room. While there, Mom called and asked if I would visit a lady from her church that was on the 4th floor. I went to the 4th floor and visited and prayed with her before leaving her room to head back to the 6th floor.

The rest of the week slowed down a little bit.

Saturday, we went to see Chris. The jail has limited visits on Saturdays to one per inmate. Saturday was the day before Chris's 23rd birthday. His fiance wanted to see him as did the family. so we coordinated to be there at the same time and all go in as a group. That way, we all get to see him and no one is excluded. TJ and I were giving him money into his account to use for incidentals. It has been an education, of sorts, for us, these last two years he has been in jail.

I used to think, (as I discovered many other Americans thought,) that inmates, while having limited freedom, were getting a free ride on taxpayer dollars. This is not so. Yes, we are paying for the facility to house them. Yes, our tax dollars pay for the utilities and the meals. I suppose that there is a system where the cost of incarcerating some prisoners can be offset by considering the cost of them being free in theft, vandalism costs, and loss of life. For what it costs, spread across the population of taxpayers, it could be considered a good investment.

However, I found other things that surprised me. The inmate has to pay for DR visits and other medical treatments. Inmates pay for incidentals such as writing or reading material, when it is allowed. In some jails, (the one Chris is in is one) all outgoing calls from inmates must be collect. They cannot use calling cards. These calls are limited to 15 minutes and cost the callee $4.95 for the full 15 minutes.

There are many other things that inmates must pay for out of pocket. Since the inmates are not paid, per say, for work in the jail, all the costs must come from families. So, our birthday gift will be used for a candy bar hare and there, a soda occasionally, or a colored pencil or paper so he can write home.

The ride up and back was fun. We left MS and headed up the back roads to Beattyville. We planned to stop along the way and get the money order for the gift. Well, in the 50 miles between here and Beattyville, there are no stores that sell money orders. Once we got to the jail, I dropped off TJ and the kids and headed to the booming town of Beattyville to find a store that sold MO's. I eventually found one, purchased it, returned to the jail, and had enough time to walk in and wish Chris a happy birthday and exit.

Sunday was good. Church was good. Fellowship was good.

Monday, July 13, 2009

the weekend passed (so fast)

It seems the weekends come and go so quickly. It was a decent weekend. We had a great service Sunday at church. Rev. Allen preached for us. He is in his mid 80's and still full of fire. It was a good time.

TJ had a bad back/hip/leg weekend. She spent much of the weekend tethered to the bed. I think the only way she could spend more time in it is if I tied her to it. Then she would hurt herself trying to get loose. The bed is the most comfortable place for her to sit. The problem with that is that (by design) the bedroom is off the main traffic area of the house. when one goes to bed, one wants that cave like experience. One does not want to be bothered. Her being tied there by her pain is worse by the fact that it is out of the mainstream. No-ne sees her unless they are expressly looking for her. She looses the casual contact.

We have one chair downstairs that is semi-comfortable. We will work on making it more so, so she can get back into the traffic areas of the house.

We shall see.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Cort shakes

Cloe (if you read TJ's blog) is now in her terrible two's and repeating everything said to her in a two-year-old way. She is like a little mocking bird, which she will repeat if you call her one (see.)

She says all kinds of things in her own way, and as TJ says, sometimes when she does learn to say it correctly, it isn't really an improvement.

One of the recent things she tried to repeat and got it all mixed up was 'short cakes.' TJ called her short cakes and Cloe promptly repeated, "Cort Shakes."

When she was much younger, (if one could ever be much younger then two) she would get aggrevated and we would distract her by talking to her. She would dutifully listen and try to talk back. As she has gotten older (Gasp .. two) she has gotten better about the proper repeating. She still say "bass tootin" instead of 'Rasputin.'

Once, when she was aggrevated while we were going to church, she got stuck on saying 'mommy.' I said, 'Rasputin,' and she tried to repeat it. It became the last resort (or first laugh) when we were driving. I know that one day, she will be in kindergarten talking about Rasputin. I can't wait for that call from a worried kindergarten teacher.

Until then , "bass tooin cort shakes."

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

my favorite holiday

Independence Day is my favorite holiday.

We went out for a fireworks display in a field. The fireworks were fabulous. There was family, food, and fun .. and rain. But that was okay. The rain did not dampen my spirit for the holiday. I celebrated my freedom by doing what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, where I wanted to do it, and how i wanted to do it.

Today, I heard someone had said something about how our freedoms were really earned during WW II. Now, I am not going to dispute the importance of WW II. However, our freedom was won way back in the Revolutionary War. It was then that this great nation was formed and fought for its fledgling freedom. Wars since have protected that freedom. There is little difference between gaining something and keeping it when a battle is involved. The speaker then went on to expound about our religious freedoms and how he cherished them. Then he said something about other religions in a less than flattering sense.

Some people just don't understand freedom.

Years ago, when I was younger and a comic book reader, I read in a Captain America comic, Steve Rogers (CA) said, "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it."

This is how freedom works. If I seek to take away your freedom in some area, I must yield my freedom in that area as well. My right to proclaim my religion comes at the cost of allowing others whom I may or may not disagree with, to proclaim theirs as well.

You cannot both hide behind civil liberty and deny it at the same time. Your right to disagree with me is standing on the foundation of my right to disagree with you.

Many want to proclaim freedom, their brand of freedom.

Freedom isn't freedom until you offer it to someone else without reservation. Freedom for one is tyranny for all.

Feel free to disagree.

Friday, July 03, 2009

huh ?

One-One was a race horse.
One-Two was one too.
One-One won one race.
One-Two won one too.