Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lily Pad Safe Havens in Houston

Photo Courtesy

One Houston resident who left her home shortly after the storm hit said, "A drizzle can cause a flood here in Houston."

This is possibly why so many residents didn't leave. They'd lived through many floods, but never one like this.

The National Weather Service had to add a new color to charts indicating a higher level of rain fall. White has been added for 24+ inches.

Much of the Houston area is colored with this new 24+ inch color.

Photo by Mary Vee

Houston's Mayor Turner stated: "I don't care if there is no food or water there, I just need a safe place for people to go.

He asked libraries, multi-service centers, any facility to offer a lily pad haven for people who cannot flee the city.

The people need more than a lily pad.

Conflicting information funneling in downpours to the residents of Houston made decision making processes difficult. One British woman said, "Had I know this much water would rise I would have never risked the safety of my children."  

Another woman said, "I thought it would be just a drizzle." With the storms Houstonians are accustomed to, this thinking is not unheard of. 

Disaster warnings are getting better, but understanding the severity may not be. When was the last time the local siren was ignored. In my area the siren is for tornado. In Hawaii the siren is for Tsunami. These sirens are in every state, ready to warn the people of coming disaster/danger. But how do we know when one is more than we are used to experiencing?

Along this same line there is a church in every community. A place not only of worship but a place to inform people. To let them know of what was, what is, and what is to come. One warning is strongly sounded, Jesus will come back. There will be a time when it is too late to believe in the One who has provided a way of escape. 

There will be no lily pad. No 9-1-1. 

Consider speaking with your local church. They are there to answer your questions.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Golden Ring of 2017

What an exciting day. All you party poopers get on board! YOU ARE INVITED TO GET excited about the 2017 solar eclipse. 

I am sitting at my desk, at this very moment, with the sun in my eyes. Give me a second to slide my chair.  Good. 

I am a solar-powered person. I am a vibrant, speedy worker when the sun is up. But, when the sun goes down, seriously, I lose motivation.

Not today.

Not on the day of the eclipse. Not during that hour or so when the sun will "turn black". 

This is such an exciting day, only because we get to witness a rare event in our lifetime.

Okay, I know this post is going up on Tuesday, but I am writing it on Monday, so rewind your clock to yesterday and relive it with me.

My one daughter and her friend are driving six hours south and planning to stop at some cornfield to be in the zone.

My son is adjusting his commitments to drive north to a rest stop to be in the zone.

Friends from church are driving west instead of flying to where they want to be so they can be in the zone.

During one eclipse, I won't say which one, hubby was in the Air Force in one of those C whatever planes being transported to provide medical help in Turkey when the zone happened to be over Greece...just the time they flew in the zone. He said they crowded around the window to see.

Oh my goodness.

I had previously made a commitment for a mini writing retreat before I knew of this all important date and as a result won't be in the zone. Gack!  It's almost football season, we know how important it is to be in the zone...and I am not there! I'll be close but...yeah, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

This is still the morning, and I have great hopes that the zone will actually include me. I will be outside using proper eye protection and hoping to snatch a photo of the eclipse. And if I do, I will  add any updates to this post once I have news to report. 

I would like to witness the golden ring of 2017.

Not every rare event can be witnessed in a lifetime. I wasn't there for the creation of the earth, the great flood, didn't see Jesus when He walks the earth. I didn't step on the moon, say the first words into the telephone, witness the first spark of electricity through wires, or fly in the first plane. 

How exciting to witness a big event like the solar eclipse of 2017. 

The golden ring. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Man From Africa

Photo Courtesy
I don't know which African country this twenty-something man was from. For this post, it may not matter. I would have liked to have known, though, to show him respect, and that I cared. 

He was new to the store where I shop. From first glance I'd say he was shy. At second glance, I decided he was being polite to a lady who was talking a lot. You know the polite body language: the smile, the nod, the periodic eye contact while still doing the job. 

I assumed the words he chose to say while working were the suggestions he received in training. Having sat through my fair share of those training sessions, the experience seemed to go that way. 


I decided not to talk on and on about whatever and bore him with chatter about this and that. Good grief, some customers may as well break out the 8-track tapes (now there is an old saying. That was even before my time!!)

When my turn came, this young man did a great job ringing up my order, he smiled, and I said hello. He rang up several items AND THEN said, "So what is your career?"

Wow. That was a question I did not expect. Good grief, I could have given a seminar to answer that question. But. I restrained myself. I simply said, "I am a writer."

That was when the magic happened. He stopped. Looked up at me with eyes that showed he was genuinely intrigued. "What do you write?"

Ugh! My plan! He asked questions that would spark long answers in any writer. BUT. Again I kept to my plan to not talk this man's ears off. I said, "I write mysteries."

Now this would have been a great place for him to end the conversation. He could have thought: well, I asked polite questions. My boss should be happy. I can finish this order then move on to the next.

He instead said more. "Tell my about your most recent book."

Go ahead and laugh. No way could I answer that question in only a few words. I explained the story line in about fifty words. Talk about restraint!! He looked up again and said, "So, where do you get your book ideas from. Dreams?"

Okay. That last question indicated he had heard that answer before. When I said, "No. They don't come from dreams. This particular story involves a physical problem that a family member has and it has a chef. I have a family member who is a chef. Both components could be verified using our own experiences."  He looked surprised, totally expecting the dream answer.

He said, "Do you happen to have that book with you? Could I see the  book?"

What his eyes and words communicated was a genuine respect for the writing career. Maybe once upon a time he wanted to be a writer. Maybe he likes books. Maybe...he  thought writers were people to respect. Whatever... it made me feel good.

What he didn't know was I respected him, too. I have done the work he was doing. I know how hard it is. He did the job well and was genuinely friendly to people. He is an asset to our community and we are blessed to have him.

Now that I think back, this conversation had a lot of great key components. None of them planned. He asked a question, my answer sparked his interest. The answer was not long, just enough to get his interest. He asked more questions. The responses were kept to just what he asked, which resulted in his curiosity to ask more.  This...friends...is how we tell people about a living God who loves them. No, the topic this time was not about God, but maybe another time. 

This post has been brought to you by the one word-ShortSimpleToThePoint

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New School Rule Causes The Children to Be Hungry

With all the allergies kids have today, schools are faced with a new problem: what to do when a child forgets his or her lunch.

Even up to the 2016 year schools offered a peanut butter sandwich to a child who forgot their lunch or had no money left in their lunch account.

Unfortunately, there are children with peanut allergies. A child with a severe peanut allergy can have a serious reaction if even near anything that contains the product or has been made in a factory that makes peanut products. 

Also, there seems to be many children who are now allergic to milk products. Since the school is not sure if a child might happen to have a milk product allergy, staff cannot give one who forgot his or her lunch any milk.

The current list of food related allergies has grown quite long.

So, for the safety of the child who has forgotten their lunch, some schools in the state of Arizona no longer provide food for these children. The whole day.

Horrible, you might say?

Well, to add fuel to the problem, the schools, feeling bad about this decision, have asked teachers to donate part of their salary to fund lunches for the children who forget their lunch or who have no money left in their lunch money account. 

Four different on-line sites report starting salaries for teachers in Arizona to be $34,000 or less. 
www.teacherportal.com | www.teachingdegree.org | azcapitoltimes.com | www.12news.com

These teachers are also expected to supply their classrooms with supplemental materials. 

Arizona teachers are said to be among the lowest paid teachers in the U.S. in the sites listed above. 

So the choice has become this: the children who forget their lunches go hungry or the teachers must pony up part of their salary and have less to feed their own family because the district doesn't have the money.

Good grief. Talk about a conundrum. 

Somehow I have a feeling Arizona is not the only state with this issue.

What are your thoughts. Ideas. Suggestions.

This post has ben brought to you by UnsolvableProblems

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ever Wonder How Today Became National Night Out Day

Have you ever wondered how one day out of the year becomes National Night Out Day or National Raspberry Cream Pie Day or any other special celebration day? By the way, today is National Night Out Day and National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, so take your special one out tonight and enjoy a piece of raspberry cream pie. Yum.

Well, near as I can figure these celebrations not only keep our economy from recession, it also helps us remember. 

Sometimes we're remembering 
something yummy
someone special
someplace we've been
a cause
someone we love
a first
a graduation

all sorts of things worthy of remembering

This week, hubby and I are remembering the day we walked down the aisle and said our wedding vows. He had the silkiest soft black hair that day. Sadly, time stole those gorgeous strands, but he still has dreamy brown eyes. 

God has blessed us over time way more than we could ask. A home. Kids. A garden. Stability. Solid marriage complete with jagged edges. Adventures to some really awesome places. Good church. Friends. 

We've had our fair share of troubles. Homeless for a time. Cancer. Theft. and more.

But even in those storms God was by our side. He has been our tower of strength. Our peace. Our comfort. Our joy.

To help hubby remember this all important day, I put a reminder on the calendar. (I put the same reminder up for the kids and my birthdays. He never misses a one.)

Now I wonder if you can figure out the color I used in my wedding. The hint is in this blog. Go ahead. Take a guess.