Old Age

“I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— “ Philemon 1:9. How do you plan to spend your old age?– John Piper from Twitter

I just realized I don’t have to leave for 30 minutes, I have not posted in a month, and not much has changed in the past four weeks.

My therapist feels I need a vacation.  My son wants to go to the Disney Water Parks.  I want to run.    The first one costs- a lot.  The second costs gas and food, we already have passes.  The third is free (sort of…).

Merf- thank you for your uplifting text messages- only you could possibly respond positively to the thought of sleeping on Army cots.  Thank you for being my sister!  At least we know to duck and cover. Although we had Disaster Preparedness 101- last night’s  storms were creepy.  Green skies tend to creep me out- maybe all those reel-to-reels we watched.  Florida storms are just creepy. NY storms are much better.  AZ storms people just seem to ignore.  Hey look, a storm is coming- but they never quite come in- never mind- getting off topic.

Christine, I see why you didn’t answer, yes, I totally forgot you were going on the Quizzing trip!  I’d like to see Ethan get back in to that.  Of course, I’d like to see Ethan get back in to reality as well, but he keeps me laughing (mostly). He came home from school mortified yesterday that the woman doing morning preaching time said SPERM.  However, last night we watched a Simpson episode that made reference to something similar- and he couldn’t stop laughing.  OK to say something sexual at home- not OK at church.  Oh dear God please don’t let my son be another FUNDIE.

Speaking of which- I was debating with a Christian man on FB- who feels it’s a sin to drink beer and have a Bible study.  So I’m drinking a glass or two (or possibly 3)of Moscato, reading a Bible study, and my Bible.  #NotASin.  This guy then compared it to crack.  I don’t know that crack per se is mentioned in the Bible, but alcohol is.  My first argument was legal v. not legal.  Then this mam pointed out that marijuana is legal is some places.  Ok- I agree it is, it’s also an herb- so let’s compare marijuana to alcohol- I still feel marijuana should remain illegal, but he did have a point.  Although I personally could not function, let alone read my Bible stoned on weed.  Wine, or beer, is different.  I grew up believing the Bible said ALCOHOL IS A SIN.  It wasn’t until I was much, much older that I learned it does not say that.  That was Baptist DOCTRINE, not Biblical doctrine. Well, that’s my little rant for now.  I don’t think people realize what we do to others, our children- our friends- ourselves- when we incorporate half truths in to God’s Word to meet our own agenda.  It’s damaging.  I will not raise another child believing alcohol is a sin.  I want him to learn moderation.  Know when to quit.  And know you are not going to burn in Hell for that nice Zinfandel with that  nice Shrimp Scampi.  Wait… isn’t eating shrimp a sin?…. wait… isn’t OVEREATING a sin?  6 things the Lord hates, yea 7 are an abomination… Ok all you overweight people- cast the first stone.

Stepping off my soapbox- Brion graduates next week with his MSW.  This Momma is proud.  He did it!  It’s more than I’ve ever done- or probably will do! He’s awesome!  Although I miss my daughter terribly, I have to say she was always the smart one- she is incredibly talented – and I miss listening to her sing!!!  I don’t think she knows how much I miss her.  Sometimes funny things (well only funny to me-possibly to my sister) happen and she is the only one who would ‘get it’.  Getting back to Brion- really excited for him.  Growing up in Salamanca, his life really could have taken another direction.

Moving on- I have to mention Alice here- Even though we really don’t get along- even though she’s one of the rare diamonds in the world who really ‘get it’- I have to thank her for her support these past few weeks.  Even with her physical pain, she is as clear headed as ever.

Funci- I’m not sure adoption is in my future- isn’t it funny- it’s all I thought I’d ever do is raise children and be a wife- While I believe in the institution of marriage- with the right person, I can’t even imagine doing this all over again.  It’s just too easy now- Ethan will be 14- in two years working and driving-  All I want to do is run- and sadly work seems to be interfering with that- Ethan’s school is too, but that’s another story ha ha  I admit though, I would have to really think about ever homeschooling a child again- what a long strange trip that was…  your youngest is in college- no wait- your youngest is now in diapers!!!  ha ha!  and of all three of my kids- only one was ever kicked out of school – twice- in the same semester- oh Ethan…who would have ever thought?

Which brings me to my John Piper quote from Twitter.  How do you plan to spend your old age?  With the clients I work with, this is a very serious question.  Social Security is not going to support you.  I cannot believe the number of senior citizens who must apply for some type of welfare benefit.  It’s really sad.  Most of them, yes, have worked!  But you try being 70, single (divorced or widowed), and live off of $700 to $1,000 a month.  The ave. senior gets $16 a month in food stamps.  There is a 5 year waiting list in Florida for section 8/ low income housing.  They aren’t taking any new applications. Medicare comes right out of most of their checks.  These people break my heart.  I know a lady in her 70s looking for work to help pay her bills. Car care, car insurance, rent, utilities- so how are you spending your old age? Most of these people have no family for support, either.  It’s really sad the state many of our senior citizens are in.

How do I plan to spend my old age?  Should I live that long… I plan on spending it with someone.  Someone who runs.  Isn’t that sad, that’s my first priority? ha!  But the rhetorical question is- eventually you stop raising children- in my case my marriage fell apart, you retire- then what? – and you find yourself sitting in your apartment reading Twitter, and this John Piper quote comes up-How do you plan on spending YOUR old age?  First, I need another tattoo….

In one week I’ll be in Rochester- then I’ll worry about old age. Putting worrying about old age on my bucket list- at the bottom. Now about that tattoo…


Three weeks?

Happy Easter!

He is Risen!  and to those who are in the know… HE LIVES!  Thanks Merf for that memory this morning.  Never will an Easter go by that I don’t hear Clara singing that.  See Merf, church isn’t all bad now is it?! LOL Love you sister!

So it’s been 3 weeks already- my goodness… and in just over a month I’ll be in Rochester! That’s my happy place right now.  When I booked, all I was thinking about was Brion’s graduation.  I did not realize it was Mother’s Day as well.  What a better way to spend Mother’s Day than with your Mother! Ha!  Although I’m hoping for some Brion time I won’t hold my breath.  Mother, please, and Ginny, do NOT wait until I’m there to figure out who is taking me to the airport!  Thank goodness Cathy was able to do it last time!

Today was awesome.  Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. (Dr. Suess!)  For Easter I asked Ethan what he wanted to do, movies or Gatorland.  First he picked movies, so that’s what I had planned.  But, Ethan, being just like his mother, changed his mind, then couldn’t make up his mind.  Yup- insert eyeroll here.  We ended up at Gatorland.  We had the best time.  Only the Hursts being there could have made it better!  Funci if you’re ever in central Florida, you all need to go there- Ethan and I were walking and remember how many times we walked the Allegany State Park.  We thought Sarah should have been there taking pictures.  There were these birds that stalked us, a bird that stole Ethan’s bag of hotdogs (haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!), and watched gator wrestling. Where else can you pay $3.00 for 4 hotdogs to feed alligators?!




Ethan also tried to make friends with this snake.  It was the prettiest orange color.  No snake that pretty could be poisonous, right??!  It was after a tree frog.  I would have never noticed, but Ethan spotted it.  We watched the snake watching the frog for quite awhile.  Until Ethan decided to give the snake a good poke in the tail. The snake moved so fast it almost fell off the railing.  Wish I had the camera on video.  It was rather funny.  Although, yes, I did speak to Ethan about poking snakes. It was pretty though…


Ethan wrestling a gator…  I bought a ticket to do this as well, but backed out.  I decided no way was I facing that fear today!  On a side note there is a snake exhibit.  Having lived in AZ for two years, I did learn a thing or two about rattle snakes. So this girl about 8 was looking at a black snake saying, “o00 Mom look at the rattlesnake!”.  I guess you’d have to have faced a few rattlesnakes to find that funny.  After having a baby rattlesnake near my toes once… well that’s another story. But clearly, it was not a rattlesnake.


Two Paths!


This is the wooded area that we thought the Hursts should have been with us on.  It took about half an hour to walk through this swamp.








Getting back to Easter, church service was great.  But it always is at Living Water.

It’s funny now because after living in 4 states in the past 5 years, I always wonder where we’ll spend our next holiday.  Where will we wake up next Easter?  Which is funny too because Ethan said (completely out of the blue!!!) this morning, “Let’s move to Montana.”  Now I’ve never been, he’s never  been- but I did ask why Montana. His answer- I don’t know.  I just feel we should be there.  I’d say not a chance, but I also said I wouldn’t do another rez and ended up in AZ for two years and still miss it very much.  Good and bad -I learned a lot about myself in AZ.  It’s a beautiful state.

Now Mother, if you’re wondering, Rochester is still the plan, however it does take time, and money to move.  I haven’t really started searching for work yet, but hospice is everywhere- but I love this job.  The agency just got in to two more states, just not NY, YET!  Further, the best laid plans of mice and men…. and: Man proposes God disposes.  But yes, I’m still homesick, I’m still not happy in FL, and no, I do not WANT to return to NY, so of course that’s exactly where I’ll end up!  Funny, no?!

The last three weeks have been a little quieter. However, with one twist.  I wasn’t going to mention this, but it’s a part of our life at the moment.  So, to those I didn’t tell (and Christine, you can always call ME!) Ethan’s new pediatrician (who is the coolest guy) has referred Ethan to a dermatologist for a possible melanoma on his back.  Now Ethan, being Ethan, keeps telling people he’s dying of cancer.  It’s his way of 1. just being himself, 2. being 13, and 3. whistling in the dark.  There are so many freckles on this kid who would ever notice?  (but yes I still have guilt I missed it!) There is a funky mole.  I called to make the apt but the secretary never faxed the referral and by Friday the offices were closed.  Hey, I’m in the south, they play Christian radio in McDonald’s.  I’m not complaining, I’m just saying- if it’s not a tourist attraction, nothing is open on Sunday or Christian holidays lol

In the past three weeks I’ve had 3 client no shows, a new record, had one client try to give me some Puerto Rican coffee to take home,  and one PR client tell me I was now ‘familia’ and was welcome back any time.  It seems small- but when you have a family who is reluctant to have you come in the first place- tell you that you are now family- it’s special.  My Hispanic clients seem to enjoy my attempts at Spanish.  I also attempted to leave my first VM in Spanish. Also in the past three weeks, I found a website called astudyofdenominations.com.  It’s pretty cool. Part of me wants to be Catholic now.  It seems so easy.  Do what you want, and repent once a week.  Now before any Catholics are offended- I mean that tongue in cheek.  I could be Mormon too and move to Utah. Or go to Ohio with my Amish friends… They have church every other week.  But when they do have church, it’s all day.  Hm… so many options.  I have no idea how I got off on this tangent… SQUIRREL!!!

There is one more thing-  I took Ethan to a place called Fun Spot.  It’s a small year round amusement park.  It’s cute.  While he was riding the go karts- I sat at a picnic table and was on my phone like most people are these days, when I smell cigarette smoke.  I looked up and this woman had sat down across from me and was puffing away.  I don’t know what she saw on my face, but she looks at me and says, “What the hell is your problem?”  Picture an overweight 60 something year old woman with flabby arms wearing a tank top waving a cigarette around and a beer in the other hand.  She was clearly intoxicated.  I looked at her and said, “Your cigarette stinks.”  She let loose with a string of profanities- and when she was done yelling at me, I simply said, “If you didn’t want to know what my problem was, you shouldn’t have asked.”  ( I still think this is very good logic.)  She cursed some more, but did leave the table, beer, cigarette, et al.  Now, I said this as nice as I could.  But if you don’t want to know what someone’s problem is- don’t ask!

On a final note, getting back to Ethan… Ethan was suspended from school for three days.  He wrote the F word on a calculator.  Not ON the machine, but in the digital area with numbers.  Remember in high school when we would do te 4311 thing for HELL?  And we thought we were so cool…well he figured out how to write the F word on his scientific calculator.  (Kudos for creativity!) however, I think a three day suspension was way too harsh.  It’s not like he brought a knife to school… or a bottle of whiskey (ha!)… or was even in a fight-  I think the school over reacted.  Yes, I followed up at home, but I did talk to Ethan, viewing all sides of the argument.  Yes, the school had the authority in this case, yes we will respect that authority, Yes, we should try not to use that word… but suspension?!

If you’re still reading this- I know most of you are tired of reading/hearing about my running… but I did run 16 miles last Saturday which put me at 40 for the week.  I met a man out running- I’ve seen him many times, and he finally stopped and introduced himself.  His name is Carlos and he’s training for his 9th marathon next fall.  He’s 76.  Although he did encourage me to keep running, I’d ‘get there’. LOL this from a 76 year old!!! and guess what?!  When Ethan and I got to church this morning, guess who the Usher was -handing out communion?! Yes. Carlos.  Too cool. We had a good laugh over it.

Happy Easter dear friends and family!  Merf was so cool to Facetime with you while we were at Gatorland!  I hope Mitchell wasn’t too scared!


Two Paths for a Reason.

Good Morning.

It’s Sunday, March 6, 2016.  I have to keep telling myself yes, we’re really already into March. Wasn’t it just New Year’s?  I didn’t realize much that others read this, so I’m grateful for that.  This originally started out as a sort of news letter for friends and family while I was in AZ.  I’m glad others read it, and I do appreciate the feedback.

As for ‘going home’…  the first time I met the pastor of our current church- she asked me what I was running from.  We had this conversation about ‘always running’.  This is true.  I also said I’d never live in NY again.  Also true.  Anyone who knows me knows how I’ve always wanted to live in Florida.  I’m here and I hate it.  I’m very lonely here.

Having said that, back on New Year’s Eve, I made a resolution list.  One- make the Half Fanatics Club- which I did, but they put me on Moon level Neptune, and I feel I qualify for Saturn. Don’t ask, I guess.  It’s a running thing.  I emailed them to see what I’m missing here… 4 half marathons in 29 days… It should have been 5, but I couldn’t find the will to do my Gaspirilla in Tampa.  The depression was biting hard.

So back to my list. 1. Qualify for HF. 2. Not cut my hair. (not happening- can’t take it- my curls are choking themselves to death) 3. No fast food (harder than you think! Last summer I tried it for 30 days and couldn’t do it…  I still will get Mcd’s mochas- but no food.  I did make one exception- chick fil a waffle fries- but have yet to eat any!)4. God’s Will for my life at all costs. 5. Patience.

So to elaborate on the last two… I’ve become a very aggressive driver in this city traffic lol you kind of have to be.  Funci- I can safely say I’ve over come my fear of city driving- still get panicky at times, but I’m doing 4 and 5 lane traffic without much trouble.  Other than I tend to rail on my horn and yell at people.  Does some of that come naturally from being from NY??  Also that’s the patience.  I take Ethan to school in the AM and getting out on a left hand turn against 4 lanes- well, I don’t think Ethan was learning good things from that ha ha, so I promised to be more patient in 2016.

As for God’s Will- It’s really hard to submit to this.  It wasn’t until I finally said in prayer- I will go wherever God would have me go- that I finally felt a huge burden lifted.  So, if you’re not spiritual you might not get that.  Looking back and now- I’m not sure it has anything with going to NY per se, but actually finally saying  Yes, Lord, if that’s your Will- I will go.  Before we left for AZ I clearly told God I would not work on an Indian rez and ended up working in AZ for two years and miss it dearly.  NY is home.  Sort of.  Home is where your heart is, and sometimes I think my heart is in AZ.  But I cannot fathom moving back there- I can’t seem to explain to Ethan that it wouldn’t be at the school- it would be starting all over again.  Moving to NY is too, but we have friends and family there.

Which brings me to loneliness.  I went to a therapist! yay!    Almost cancelled several times.  It’s really hard to say “I need help.  I’m sad and it’s not going away.”  I’ve been sad before but have always bounced back.  Buying new shampoo or perfume would cure anything.  Not this time.  I met my therapist and I like her very much.  She insists I have depression, clinical depression.  Although I tend to think it’s more anxiety, I’m not arguing.  She also talked about client fatigue.  While not a ‘real’ Dx, there’s no ICD 10 for it, she was telling me it happens to people who work with people full time.  Here’s an example:  Sitting in the office, therapist asks me the first thing that comes to mind- I said, “I’m lonely.” instant tears.  yup. I bawled my little heart out.  and next?  “I can’t help these people.”  I met two women in one week who both held my hand crying.  They are lonely.  Both women (living in separate counties) live alone, are seniors, have NO friends or family around, and very little social contact.  Both women broke down in tears when I discussed depression.  Yes, part of my in-home assessments are addressing client’s depression.  Most people deny it.  Some, like these women, just break down.  I know now.  I get it.  It’s so freaking hard.  So how do people end up so alone?  They are widowed or divorced, kids are long gone and don’t keep in touch, language barriers, and trust me when I say, people in Florida are not friendly.  It’s very, very transient here.  Snow birds come and go- tourist turn over is in the millions, yes millions, yearly, and people generally keep to themselves.  I’ve lived here 4 mos and only know my neighbors well enough to say Hello.  I’ve tried talking to people, but people really aren’t friendly.  Just in the past two weeks two apartments have vacated and others moved in.  I’ve tried looking for smaller churches, but even that isn’t much fun when even the church people don’t say hello. Good grief.

So- I’ve joined a divorce care group for Wednesday nights, but there’s only 5 left, still it’s something.  Plus counseling.  I get to see the real Psychiatrist on Tuesday for an eval.  I found a park near me and took Ethan up to walk around.  It’s not the ASP, but it was OK.  We saw a baby alligator. 12764908_10153293633046927_3437660235233146333_o

Meet Mr. Smiley.

And last night I broke down and spend (a lot) of Money and took Ethan to Medieval Times.


We had a great time.  I’m just trying to really save for our next move. I got caught off guard when we came here with expenses and don’t want that to happen again.  Also, I don’t want to leave all our stuff behind again.  Although I can’t imagine me and Ethan driving a U-Hual LOL.  That does make me laugh, because I can exactly see us doing that! Road trip! Well, maybe not…

Part of my problem too was I was exhausted.  Since Jan 1, I’ve run 8 races- although some people don’t consider 5Ks and 10ks ‘races’.  *insert eye roll*.  Ethan and I had horrible colds for almost two weeks.  One week I was assigned 21 clients, then 19, then 14 more.  It was a lot! Not complaining, I LOVE my job- but I spend hours a day driving, and driving, and driving.  I do try to coordinate the driving between clients, but sometimes it just can’t be done. This past week was much slower, and while tomorrow will be hellish, the rest of the week is fairly quiet… for now… but sometimes quiet isn’t good either.

Ethan was suspended… shocking I know. He wrote the “F” word on a calculator at school- not ON the calculator, but in the digits of a scientific calculator.  We used to type 4311 and think we were cool.  I don’t think a 2 day suspension fits the crime.  Yes, I’m dealing with Ethan at home, he’s lost all electronics til he returns to school on Wednesday, but suspension for the F word?  Good grief.

So- this seems a bit lengthy, but it’s good therapy for me.  I feel like I’m talking to you all as I’m sitting here.

And on a final note- The TICKETS are paid for!  It was a hard decision, because I could just use the money to MOVE up there- but like I said, I want to be better prepared this time- Ethan and I are flying home on May 5 to May 10! YAY!   Very excited about this.  Hoping to have a couple job interviews lined up.  We shall see.    Lilac festival, Brion’s graduation (can you all say Master’s Degree??!)  and hopefully some time to visit with friends…. yes, Christine?  I don’t want to miss you again!!!  Already looking forward to a mocha at Equal Grounds. Yum.

It helps to have things to look forward to.

Two paths for a reason- I’ve always taken the one less followed…



Hello again family and friends.

It’s been a long week.

Ethan and I had horrible colds- I’ve been exhausted from work, although I love my job very much- my foot issues- finding the cyst in my left breast- and personal crap- well, it’s been a long week. (not to mention being told you may have osteoporosis… yuck!)

It doesn’t sound like much when I type it, but it leaves out the personal crap which has been very painful, trying to get my Florida license plates- AZ will not release my registration- that’s been a battle since Sept.- dealing with Ethan falling behind in school, you get the idea.  It finally just all crashed a week ago.  I get paid to manage other people’s care, but who will manage mine? ha ha.

It’s very lonely living in a state like this, no pun intended.  I’ve been going to the same church since June and still know no one.  I love the worship and preaching, but I also miss the small town feel of silver haired old ladies and pot luck dinners.

It a word, I’m homesick.  Ethan and I have lived in 4 states in less than 6 years.  That’s a lot.  It seems everything I prayed ‘not’ to do, I’ve done.  Although I’ve always wanted to live in FL and said I’d never go back to NY.  I hate Florida.  And now, I’ve decided to head home.  It’s not like I haven’t prayed in earnest about this decision.  I’m not sure entirely what it looks like yet, but I’ve never felt such a burden off me, as when I finally said, on my knees in prayer, Ok  God- I’m broken.  What do YOU want?  The peace was immediate.  The answer- well, I’m planning on returning to NY.  AZ was on my mind.  I had that tucked away for some time now.  But I feel at peace about going home.  I don’t know that this is what I ‘want’ or ‘feel’, but I cannot deny the answer.

When I first moved to FL and went to Living Water Fellowship- I met the Pastor’s wife, Debbie.  She asked me what I was running from.  I found it odd, because that’s exactly how I’ve felt for so long.  Like I’m always running- being called? sure, but still running.

Being home for Christmas made me realize just how much I missed my family.  I felt bad that Ethan didn’t get to go skiing.  He loves to ski.  So far Ethan has been homeschooled, in an Indian Boarding School, and now in a little Christian school that uses the horrid PACE program. Yikes!  Although he seems to have learned a few words in Spanish…

I didn’t run my race Sunday. I had a half marathon and I did a bunk, no refunds.  I don’t  feel too bad about being out the money.  My heart wasn’t in it.  I ran 14 miles on Saturday and it felt good- but it’s hard to run when you’re sad.  I don’t know if depression is the right word, but I think it’s close.  My heart has been sad.  How do you mend a broken heart?  Time?  I don’t know, giving up Noah broke my heart, and the twins, but in a different way.  They had a happy ending!  Foster care is hard like that! Bizzy broke my heart… but in another way altogether.  The broken heart from foster kids seems to turn in to a nostalgia.  Bizzy I just miss.  It’s hard to have a daughter not speaking to you.  I miss her sense of humor- jokes that nobody else could possibly get but her.  But having a sad heart- this is a new and different pain for me.

One of my ‘memories’ on Facebook was a post from Kerry Honey from 4 years ago.  I still miss my friend.  I can’t stand the thought that a childhood friend is really gone.  I can’t imagine how Gigi goes on every day.  How do you lose a son, one as awesome as Aaron was, and get up every morning?  My heart is sad and I can barely make it through my evenings.

My heart is sad for my clients.  I just feel I can’t help some of them.  I try.  I really do.  But sometimes I just can’t.  There’s times that there really isn’t much that can be done.  I do my best to help. Sometimes you know things aren’t going to change… what do you say?

Are you all depressed yet reading this?  One thing someone showed me recently was a John Piper daily Bible study.  I have the app on my phone.  I have been reading him daily.  The past 8 months or so, I’ve really been rethinking so much about things I’ve been taught.  It’s really hard to be a certain ‘religion’ well, it’s easy, self-righteousness is easy! but I’ve realized over time, much time, that there is so much more to the Bible than ‘church doctrine’.  I hope this makes sense.  I had a client who said she didn’t go to church anymore because the only clothes she had that fit were pajama bottoms.  I told her to find a new church.  I know people stroll around Wally World in their pajamas, but what if it’s really not by choice?  What if it really is all they can afford?

God tells us to count it all joy.  That’s a really hard thing.  I’m trying to do hard things, but hard things are just that- hard!  It is not easy being a single parent.  It’s not easy being alone.  It’s just not easy.  It hurts.  I have yet to find a Bible verse that tells me life is easy.

So back to decisions.  I always wanted to live in Florida.  For years.  You all know this – but living here is not vacationing here.  After 9 months I have yet to afford going to even one theme park.  People aren’t the friendliest- it’s a very revolving community- people come and go so quickly!  but they really do- snowbirds are just that- I live in a community, and do not know one single person’s name.  I’m homesick.  My decision is- to do the hard thing, the thing I least want to do, but that thing that gives me the most peace.  It will take time, money, and planning.  Been there done that?  yup, time and time again.  Over Christmas I prayed and prayed for direction.  I felt God speaking to me that 2016 was going to be my ‘waiting’ year- and my year of ‘patience’.  Why is it when we talk to God we’re praying, and when God talks to us, people think we’re schizophrenics?   There, a little humor.

My plan for now is to save money, line up some job interviews for May, and move.  I do keep in mind that Man Proposes, God Disposes.

I also see a new tattoo on my horizon.

Sorry, if this seems a little preachy.  It’s not meant to be.  But I’ve been asked a few times what is going on.  I’ll be honest.  I’m homesick.  I finally- finally- feel broken enough to go home.



What a long strange trip…


Greetings Family and Friends.

It’s been so long since I posted. Well over a year.  And what a long strange trip its been!  My promise to blog monthly certainly fell through. I remember when I started this- I was so in to it! Then I tried to hard to post even monthly- then nothing for ‘well over a year’.

I can’t even remember much HTML ha ha!

Ethan and I are now living in Kissimmee, FL. Don’t worry about planning on visiting us- who knows how long we’ll be here. I feel some people rolling their eyes here. I know, I know. After all the moving and 4 states later, yes, I’d like some stability. Yes, I’d like to ‘settle down’. But what do you do when you’re quite sure what God has shown you, and then it doesn’t work out? I’m still baffled over this. I thought last December that God had truly shown me something. But I find out not quite two months later that it didn’t work out. How painful is that? Painful enough for me to start this stupid blog again. How can you fall asleep, although Nyquil is my new best friend, and wake up even more sad? I thought Joy came in the morning? Maybe it’s explained it the next chapter…
So- Ethan and I do not care much for Florida. It’s a great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here. I love my job. My agency is in a few states, so we could certainly move again, although that takes so much money and time. UGH. I’m tried of starting over. I don’t want to be patient any more! (whine whine whine)
I’m beginning to think we need to retreat to NY. SIGH. I miss my family, I miss my friends. I know (Christine) you think if I missed everyone, I’d call more. But my number hasn’t changed either!

I really miss our Friends in Arizona too. Ever feel like your life is just spinning and spinning? Stop the world I want to get off!!

Meanwhile, I have a story- Merf you will appreciate this. SO I just ran my 5th Half Marathon. It was the Donna26.2 in Jacksonville, FL, although I did the half. I’ve never stopped to use an outhouse before (AKA The Porta Potty). I drank a Starbucks Mocha before the race, and good grief, I had to go LOL So I get in there, and let me say this, when my right hand gets cold, it’s useless. I’ve been diagnosed with Reynaud’s (among the zillion other things that the docs are wrong about ha ha), so my hand is ice cold and not moving too well. I’m cold, and sweaty. (Ever try to take a running bra off after a run?) well, now try to take knotted shorts and tights off, in a port a potty, that you realize the door is broken on. Yes, yes it was! It was staying shut by a wire. So now I’m trying to hold the wire, and get my shorts and tights off a cold sweaty me, with one hand. I’d provide more details, but I think you get the idea.  When I see you in person (some day?) I’ll provide more details!

I finished 20/ 154 in the Survivor’s Category; 75/330 in Female Age Group; and 1,267/3,589 overall.

My time was the slowest of all my half marathons. I was a little disappointed in myself- well – a lot disappointed. The one person I wanted to comfort me wasn’t available to me- I shouldered my pain alone. I will give myself some credit, the whole outhouse incident took some time. I walked a lot! I went in to it with a bad cold and fever. (Which Ethan now has and is missing school today for- he’s that sick, and yes there’s school here today.) I know I haven’t talked to you Christine in awhile but I seem to have some micro fractures in my right foot, I’m fairly certain there’s one in my left foot now too. (I can hear my mother reading this screaming- and what about your U/S?!) The race when up on the expressway, so the ramps I walked. I’m so out of shape! Oh wait, I just ran a half AND a 10K last weekend, so I guess I’m doing OK. (yeah right)

ON the plus side, for you naysayers, to add to my weekend of grief, I have decided to do a no-show for my half in Tampa this upcoming Saturday. I already qualify for Half Fanatics at this point. So I’ve already met one of my 3 goals for 2016 (the major goals anyway), but it’s at the lowest level. I will run my next two Halfs in the following weekends and be at the Half Fanatics level that was/ is my goal.


Onward through the fog- It’s been a long 14 months. Ethan and I are mostly settled in. Part of me says not to buy any more furniture, it will be too hard to move! I really am homesick. I think it’s only getting worse. And yes, mother, I am concerned about you and Ginny. Working in the job I have now, which I love, has really opened my eyes to long term planning and Eldercare. Sometimes I contemplate the good of having a life that fits in your car. On the other hand, sometimes it just sucks.

Daryl has been here visiting and is leaving for NY in a few weeks. It was really odd renting out a room to your exhusband. However, kindness and compassion win out ( I suppose). It was a lesson in charity. Not as in a hand out, but again- kindness and compassion. It was great to have the help with Ethan, driving him to school in the morning when I’m headed north (school is south). It saved me about 20 miles a day. I had a client who had her husband’s x-wife over staying with them for the holidays. She’s a very compassionate lady and I was glad to have known her and learned from her acts of charity (love). However, it’s time for him to go. It is possible to wear out your welcome LOL Although having someone drive you home 3 hours straight after you ran a half marathon and are running a fever did have its merit.

2016 is starting off to be the year of kindness and compassion.

Back on New Year’s Day I told Ethan that this year’s word was Patience. God put it on my heart over Christmas that I was going to learn Patience this year. So far it’s not working out LOL yes, I say that tongue in cheek. When we pray for patience we get trials to learn that Patience, so never pray for Patience. (So maybe it is working out)

However, I will continue to hold on to God’s Promise- God’s never fails. As painful as it is, I will continue to believe His Word to me.

Merf and Leslie- my two sisters, what are the odds of 3 sisters in 3 states all ending up as runners? Maybe someday we’ll all race together.

And yes, Mother, I will schedule my U/S today. PCP apt on Wed. and will schedule my Dexa scan and go from there. I’m also done running until the 27. I’m doing a bunk on my next half. I’m out a little money and pride– but think it’s the best choice.
It was nice catching up with you all.

This isn’t a blog, it’s my newsletter lol.
I miss sitting in the dorm with the boys writing up my blog/newsletter.

(Carol, did you ever get in touch with anyone from the school? I think about you and all your support!)

I’m still in touch with a few of the kids from AZ on Facebook. Part of me wants to find another domestic missions trip… part of me thinks Ethan needs some stability. We’ve lived in 4 states since he was 7.  How many 13 year olds have traveled across the country 4 times?  I think he’s ready, I’m ready, (for stability lol) but I will not presume anything.

Love to you all.


That was One. Long. 5K.

or… better yet… when is a 5k NOT a 5k?

I’ve been excited about doing another 5K for awhile now.  What better way to put all your hard work in one place and check your progress, then to run a race?

I signed up for a 5k.  I signed Ethan up.  I signed two students up.  I found a school driver/chaperone.  I got the proper papers signed.  People helped pay for it.

The big day has arrived?  Well, that’s debatable.  I was sure I saw age groups on the website.  There weren’t even bibs. #bibchat  No, no bibs.  Really?  Ok.  No timing.  It was whoever had a 5K bracelet on and crossed the finish line first, won.  Whoever had a 10k bracelet and crossed first, won.  Same for walkers.  That was it.  So, that wasn’t too big of a deal, at least the kids would get a feel for their first 5k.  You’d think.

They never marked the route. 

They didn’t really have a start time either.  No gun.  Just a woman with a microphone who all the sudden yelled, “Run, Just run!”  then “go go go”.  hunh?  You’d never seen a group of people looking more confused.  People just sort of took off in all directions.  I caught up to my son at the .8 .  I was really proud of him, he was doing great!  I wouldn’t see him again for almost 3 hours.

The 5K was not marked.  Nothing was marked.  I never saw anyone turn.  I managed to stay just behind a couple people for awhile.  Til I realized #MapMyFitness, my phone app told him I’d run 3 miles… um, what?  So do I stop? Do I turn around?  I figured ok, I’ve gone this far, run my heart out, set a new record, just do the 10k, and consider it a good weekend run.  Coming back, I caught sight of the girl I was following.  Had I not caught up to her somewhat, she was about 2 blocks ahead, I would have never found my way  back.  I was really nervous I’d lose her.  Coming back was great.  My two students ran out to greet me.  That was awesome.  It really made me feel good.


Me being silly, thrilled to be back. I was SO NOT READY to run over 6 miles. Remember I was trying to PB a 5k time for myself. So I ran hard my first 3 miles. Then I tried to keep from getting lost by following another runner who was clearly faster than me. I was exhausted! Pleased that my students ran out to greet me. #happy

I asked about Ethan, but he had not returned.  We made a few jokes about it.  But inside, I was concerned.  I figured if I missed the turn, he would too.  Also, he would take whatever path I took.  The wait was on.

After about 20 minutes, I found the director and got a phone number from her.  They had two cars on the street watching for people who couldn’t make it, and bring them back.  Some guy named Eric agreed to go look for Ethan.  After a long 15 minutes they hadn’t found him.  The race was about 1:45 in now.  Eric agreed to look again.  One of the students parents were there, they went to look.  Our driver went to look.  The other student and I started walking and asking everyone we passed if the saw Ethan.  Nothing.

I finally went to the police doing traffic control for the race.  They called people.  I went back to the race.  We waited.  Nothing.  The police at the race got a description and put it out on the radio.  They even had probation looking for him.  Nothing. 

A friend of mine who lives in Winslow came over to wait with me.  As she was coming over, I went in the bathroom to collect myself.  By this time, I was really upset.  Visibly shaking.2:30 and no Ethan.  As I was coming out, Ethan walked in the car dealership where  the race was.  What a feeling.  Indescribable.  I didn’t realize just how upset I was until I was hugging him.  He hugged me back by the way!  He was so relieved to be back.  What happened was this:

He was following me.  He saw me run back down a parallel street, but didn’t want to cut over and ‘cheat’.  He ran way passed the 10K turn around, NOT MARKED!, turned around, (he was near a major Route 40 exit) and ran the other way.  Some how he kept running and ended up on the other side of the town, at least a FULL MILE past where the race was.  He saw a man who was running, and the man came over to him (how dangerous is that?!) but they discovered they were both lost.  The man’s name was Paul.  Paul got them directions and brought himself and Ethan back to the race.

Part of me wants to know WHO WOULD BE SO STUPID as to NOT MARK A 5k?  This wasn’t a difficult task.  They had plenty of water stations, but not ONE SINGLE PERSON to MARK THE WAY?  It isn’t a new race either.  This was their 7th year.  (YES 7th).

It was for a good cancer.  Cancer.  All cancer.  They had a raffle, food for sale, etc.  Once  we found Ethan, we had a great time.  Ethan even won two raffles, an olive oil pitcher set (don’t ask, it’s Ethan), and a $10 Chick Fil A gift card.  One of our students won the 5k. So that was cool.  He got a fancy water bottle and two Chipotle coupons.  Then we went to the tourist trap Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Az

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Not my best photo, LOL! But I had just run…october 124

What was funny, is we ran in to Paul and his wife here. (above)  Paul actually took this picture.  I thanked him again. 

After that, we all headed to Sonic.  It was a great time over all.  Other than losing Ethan, we really had a fun time.  It was a great trip.  Now that we’re back and it’s over, we are laughing about it all.  Especially the lady yelling RUN, JUST RUN.  (yeah, run where lady?)

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I have no clue what they were doing!

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My head’s leaning back… lol my neck looks so funny!

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Our driver, great young man who works here. He was getting up close and personal. Pretty funny!

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Fun times, exhausted, drained, tired, but hey, I ran my first 10k. This is the statue on the corner, Take it Easy, by the Eagles

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Lighten up while you still can don’t even try to understand Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me Come on, baby, don’t say maybe I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me …

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Take It Easy, The Eagles

relax with me, it’s all over.

At least til I find another 5k. 

Glückliche Oktober! Late, but here!

Glückliche Oktober!  Since my Amish friends won’t be reading this, I thought I’d still give a nod in their direction.  I owe them a letter.  Ida has not, as of last week, had baby number 3.  I love getting letters from them.  Since some of you reading this have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to skip this first paragraph.  To Christine and others, I just wanted to let you know, baby number three isn’t here.  Although in the letter they did promise to mail me some whoopie pies.  Since they carried through on their promise last Christmas and mailed me Jello, I will be expecting them shortly.  I mailed them a print out of the story on the two Amish girls who were kidnapped.  My friends seemed very upset by it in their letter.  I’m sure they know by now that the girls are now safe, but I will send them some articles.

Onward… Hello everyone!  It’s a little late, but here is my monthly update. Not too bad for me.  First off, Carol C., THANK YOU for your donation!!!  I think I’ll use it to take the boys to Pizza Hut next Sunday.  They will love it!  I need to get a group picture for you, Open Arms CWehurch, and some others. The 6th graders only sleep at my end, this year they are included in with the younger boys at the other end for activities, etc.  There are only two 8th grade boys and two 7th grade boys, counting Ethan.  So far they have all gotten along quite well.  There is a really different feel in the dorm this year.  There seems to be more peace and unity.  Overall we have more students this year, but the kids seem to really interact much better.

Carol, some one asked me in a letter exactly what this is all about, etc.  I’m not sure who the woman was, I misplaced the letter.  So, if anyone asks you, maybe I can try to sum it up here, and you can print this out for your group?

Sun Valley Indian School is a private, non-profit, Christian, Native American boarding school.  (Yes, they DO still exist!!!)  The student body is around 40 right now.  If you work here, you have to live here.  There are three dorms, 3 separate living areas, and a unit that sort of looks like a Motel 6.  The Motel is where most of the ‘singles’ live.  Our staff is from 20 to over 75.  We have many older adults here that can keep up with the younger folks!  These people amaze me!  The administrator herself I believe is in her 70s and she is one sharp lady.  We are about 20 min. or less as the crow flies from the Navajo Indian Reservation.  We have mostly Navajo students, several Apache, and one white.  Guess who the white kid is?  If you want to know more, go back a year ago to my earlier posts.

So moving on, what do I do here? Well, I live in the dorm for now.  That may change at some point.  Ethan is not happy about it, but we’ll see. I’m the school nurse as well. I also teach two classes, which I enjoy, 7th and 8th grade health.  I also am supposed to be handling the donation store, but am quite behind in that endeavor.  I don’t mind doing the store, it’s just finding the energy to get down there.  Our day starts at 8am, unless it’s a run day for me, then I’m up and gone by 6 or 6:30 depending on how long I want to run  Yes, Christine, I’m still running.  (I can almost hear you rolling your eyes! I mean that in a funny way!)

Speaking of running, I’m signing up for a little 5K this coming Saturday.  It’s in Winslow, as in Standing on the Corner in Winslow, AZ.  Yes, that Winslow.  I’m taking Ethan and two students with me.  I’m rather excited about it.  It’s only my third 5K, but I’d like to beat my time of 29:01 on my last 5K.

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One of the students I’m taking to the 5K.

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One of our dorm boys, also finished number 1, and I’m taking him to the 5K as well.

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Can you see Ethan in there? Doesn’t he fit right in?

As for running, here are some pictures of the Cross Country Team.October2014 430 October2014 435 October2014 446 October2014 535 October2014 639

Over all I believe the cx team took first for JV and Varsity.  JV out here is about 4 to 6 I think and Varsity is 7th and 8th.  Our school only goes from K to 8.

Moving on…

I have to mention to my Mother, no the braces picture was not photoshopped as you thought…


Ethan and I have braces, no that’s not photo shopped!

Of course if you say that to Merf she’s going to call me and tell me.  Yes, we had a good laugh over it.  This picture was actually taken in the hen house.  Yes, we have a hen house.  We also have sheep, a goat, a llama, and rattlesnakes. Well, we don’t really ‘have’ rattlesnakes, they just keep turning up.

Today we went to see the baby chicks, there’s about two dozen of them, they are so cute!  I picked up a hen and she defecated down the front of me.  I can’t say that’s ever happened to me before.  I had a sudden urge for baked chicken.  While I couldn’t bring myself to butcher one of the hens, a couple here (the maintenance man is from Allengany!!)  just recently butchered the rooster.  I sort of felt bad, but not too bad, he was getting rather nasty.  He was sort of going after people in an unpleasant sort of way.  Alright, he was just mean.

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Frizzy hair and all… remember I’d been up since 6 and had already run 10 and walked at least one… plus 2 hours in a corn maze and an hour at a playground… Over 40 is fun, said no one ever!

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fun times!

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I look ridiculous but all in good fun!

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Love this photo, our IT guy and a student. They’re eating lollipops in case you were wondering!

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Staff workers. He does maintenance and she does a little bit of everything! I hope I’m so active at 75!!! These two just got engaged. Very happy for them!

Yesterday was a school outing to a corn maze. That was a lot of fun, but I should have thought, running around a maze with kids for 3 hours, after spending my morning running ten miles, was probably not a good idea!  I was so tired! October2014 803 October2014 810

At our XC meet, I was taking pictures and notices something move by my foot.  It was this guy:

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He was only about 5 inches long.  Baby rattlesnakes are much more poisonous than adults, so I’ve read.  As he moved, I crouched down quickly to see if it was a rattler or a bull snake.  I saw the black tip on the tail and called the IT guy over.  He called the maintenance man right away.  Remember, we had kids running. The little snake had gone into a bush to hide.  They really are very timid.  However, we had to make sure no kids got near the bush.  I feel very blesses and protected not to have stepped on him.  I had my usual sandals on.  I can’t even imagine how badly that would have hurt!  Not to mention disrupting the XC meet… not to mention getting bit on my foot and not running for A LONG TIME! but rattlers are shy, and this little guy just wanted to get away and be left alone.  Once he was in the bucket, he tried to shake his little tail at us.  It was so cute!!!  He was tiny! but still, I don’t want him around!

Here are some pictures from a walk Ethan and I went on:

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Love this… might need to frame it.

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cows at sunset

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Cows in the distance

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Might have to frame this as well, do a series on the wall

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Monsoon season, storm moving in, but got very little rain this year.

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monsoon season in Arizona…

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clouds are amazing before a storm

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overlooking the area just before the school, we’re up on a small rise where I run

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overlooking I40

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calm before the monsoon. We really didn’t see much rain this year, so far. Other areas of AZ had terrible flooding.

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The chicken house.

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goofy child! last pic before his braces!

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Ethan feeding the ram. We just call him Ram. Ram loves the fresh grass, of which there is very little, so it’s quite a treat for him. He also likes chocolate chip cookies, the ram, not Ethan. Well, I guess Ethan likes them too. Love how Ethan’s hair is glowing!

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Me and Ethan… Ethan and I? choose your grammar. Great walk! warm summer evening, cool breeze… camera time!

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Our ram is so ugly he’s cute. He comes running when he sees/hears us. We try to give him fresh grass when we can. He’s all alone in his pen, poor guy.

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always have to get a fence picture

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Not much else going on.  Ethan needs a haircut, but when doesn’t he?

One of the students asked me, “Miss Gail, do you have eyebrows?”.  I thought that was classic.

I run, I work, I read.  I am taking some classes on Coursera.  I took an online PyschTech test, just to see if I could pass it.  I did.  I knew little about Psych nursing, but I did OK, the newer meds I just don’t know well, but if I’d had them, I would have done well.  Guess I was just getting a feel for where my future lies!  I think I’d like mental health nursing.  I see where there’s a need for nurses in correctional facilities, but I don’t have the phlebotomy.  Anyone want to put me and Ethan up for a few months while I take classes for my certification?!  ANYWAY…  being here has really made me excited about nursing again.  School nursing is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done!  It’s right up there with Hospice Nursing, and Foster Care.  I’d love to do Foster Care again… I need a little boy to adopt! Mother, I hear you moaning… I am only 44!  There’s women my age having babies!  I just want to rescue one from the system…  and do this all over again?!  LOL maybe…

What’s next after here?  Which way is the wind blowing?  Ethan wants to stay here for 8th grade, but I told him I wasn’t sure.  Let’s get through this year first, right!?  The future is wide open.

I am fairly certain I’m going to do the Grand Canyon Half Marathon.  There is a young lady who teaches here and runs a bit.  She’s already done a HM and is willing to do this with me.  Although Nancy, if you’re reading this, I’ll pick you up at the airport in Flagstaff??!  MAY 8th, 2015…  Grand Canyon HM.  I’m excited! Something to look forward to!

Wow, 11 pm.  Haven’t been up this late in awhile!  Guess I’m not getting up to run in the AM!  I’ll run after work with the kids.  That’ll be fun.  Sort of.