Where Antelope Roam

Working on Gratitude
February 4, 2017, 3:06 pm
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Hi there again!   I know it’s been a while since I wrote… I’ve been working on my gratitude attitude.

As I say that I realize today would have been my mother’s 84th birthday… it’s been a year… since I saw her.    We celebrated her birthday.   I think she was glad we were all there to celebrate with her.   So, today, I’m grateful.

Grateful for the gift of spending one more birthday with mom.   Grateful that all my siblings and I could be there.   Grateful for the memories of mom.

Memories such as:  watching with her and my younger siblings for the school bus that would spirit my two older sisters away for the day.   Of watching through the plate glass window in wonder as the sun crested grandpa’s dairy barn.   Of me and mom times even when that meant I had to go to the dentist… mom and I would go to Dart’s Restaurant as a special treat.

Summers with mom…often meant special lunch meat (not bologna) bought from the small downtown grocery, pop and chips for lunch.   VBS… mom director… Bible stories told with great creativity… though I daresay, she was more careful with her words after the story of Adam and Eve prompted an unhappy parent to call to find out why she was naked behind the piano.   (no… she really wasn’t naked… Adam and Eve were ….lol)..  vacations in the UP where we’d all go with her and Mr. Tuttle as they’d search the roadside grasses for new wildflowers to see and we’d enjoy the summer breezes coming off Lake Michigan.

Years of teaching piano to school children at home… where some of her own children learned more by listening to her teach them than actually doing the work ourselves… then the times when she taught at Grinnell’s in town…and we’d get to come in and wait in the mall for her to get off… of going to Coney Island and getting a coney dog… or  A& W for rootbeer…of overcoming shyness and anxiety by playing the piano at church while she played the organ loud enough to cover my mistakes…

Holiday memories were some of the best…  Easter dresses made each year… one year identical dresses and hats in different colors for each of us girls.   Memorial day when we’d watch and wait for the band to go by the house with all the living veterans of past wars…. mom coming out on the porch to watch… July 4th was the same.. as we watched the floats go by then go up to the school grounds for the carnival… mom made the best potato salad… mmmm… Thanksgiving and Christmas were always special as mom went all out for the meals.   We often had others who would join us for those meals… of course, one cannot forget the games mom would play with us all, particularly as we got older… Boggle… she could find more words and longer ones than most of the rest of us… Skipbo… Uno… then of course, Trivial pursuit… geographically, it seemed the answer was always East Yemen…. I didn’t even know where East Yemen was… let alone why it was an answer…

Christmas was always special in another way as well…. mom was in charge of the Christmas programs at church…. some years, there was an all out, all character Christmas story told… other years it was a musical concert…regardless of what genre it took, it was always special.

I have memories of coming downstairs in the morning finding mom at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and her Bible open and trying to be as quiet as I could.  (one did not talk to mom first thing in the morning until she’d had at least one cup of coffee)….  of mom teaching Bible to teenage Sunday school classes as well as Bible studies many older women in the community attended.

These are just a few of my memories…lest you think I’ve chosen not to remember any bad memories… I have those as well… and am grateful even for those because those times taught me how to persevere even when life was not idyllic.

Until next time, love God, love others and … Happy Birthday, mom….. thanks for the memories..


Actions Speak Louder Than Words
January 10, 2016, 3:25 pm
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So, this was another saying I learned from my mother.   Though as with the last one it was pretty standard fare for kids growing up in my generation.   This was usually brought out when we tried to hoodwink our parents into believing something that was not true.

This morning,hubby and  I worked in the nursery at church…. man, I LOVE working in the nursery.   Kids are so honest.   I worked during the morning service but because I also play the organ I didn’t get there before all the kids did.

As I came in the door, there were several kids there.   One little girl’s face lit up as she saw me and ran toward me.   Aww man, talk about squeezin the heart strings!     One little girl was new and rather pensive when she saw me.   She didn’t know who I was or whether I could really be trusted…. so she just stood there and watched me for a while.

When I work in the nursery, I like to get down on the kids’ level which usually means sitting on the floor.   So, as is my custom, I got down on the floor and started pulling toys out of the toy box.   The little girl who’d run toward me started playing with the toys I’d pull out and we carried on quite an animated conversation while the other little girl just continued to watch and listen to us.   Every once in a while I’d catch her eye and throw her a question.   After a while, she decided I could indeed be trusted so she started playing with the toys and interacting with me.

Recently a post came across my Facebook feed that cited a study on why good employees leave any position.   The gist of it was that when there is a large turnover in employees, it can usually be traced back to the manager/supervisor/owner.  It made a lot of sense to me.

Perhaps you’re wondering what that has to do with my working in the church nursery…

I’m so glad you asked.    Just like the two little girls in the nursery, we all need to know that we’re valued by other people for who we are not just for what we do…. particularly with those we have close interaction – be they family, friends, co-workers or management.

Most of us as working adults spend 90% of our day in the work place outside of our home.  We want to know what we’re doing makes a difference and that it’s worth our effort to come to work.  Not only do we want to know that what we do makes a difference but that we have value to someone else. My late father-in-law put it this way.   We all need to be needed.

Though many of us must work to supply the basic material needs of life, we want to know what we do is important to those with whom we work, particularly management.  If a manager never or rarely interacts with the people he calls his team on a personal, face to face basis, the “team” is doomed to fail in it’s asserted mission.

Intracompany communications such as emails (which are really impersonal) have their place but can leave “team members” feeling disenfranchised and valueless if used too often and/or in place of face to face communication.   Managers who manage primarily by impersonal communications do not realize the message they are sending to their team.   This is a case where actions DO speak louder than words.

A manager who refuses to interact and get to know his team personally is telling them they are not important to the outcome of the mission much less to him.   If an employee feels this way, they will NOT stick around for very long unless forced to by extenuating circumstances.  Then the manager may get adequate results but not the excellent results they might have gotten had they expended some effort.

All of us are like the two little girls in the nursery.    We either feel connected and ready to interact on the “team” or we feel pensive and uncertain about our relationship and /or where we might fit in.

If you’re a manager/supervisor or in any leadership capacity at all anywhere YOUR  success depends upon how well you communicate value to your people.   Think about it.

Until next time, love God, love others and remember Actions Speak Volumes!


The Best Laid Plans of Mice and men.
November 12, 2013, 10:14 pm
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Hubby says I’m not a planner… well, that’s sort of true.    When it comes to projects around the house, I just want a general direction to go and then I want to get at it and get it done… sometimes that works… sometimes it doesn’t.

However, when it comes to taking trips, I do plan… I just can’t take off on the spur of the moment.  I want to know when we’re leaving, when we’ll arrive and what we’ll do after we arrive.    Sometimes that works… sometimes it doesn’t.

Well, back in June or so, hubby informed me we needed to take a trip to see his uncle in the Los Angeles area.   Okay… that’s good.  Financial Peace principles to the rescue again!    I had the category  “vacation”  in our budget already… we’ll just ramp up  what we put into that “envelope” and save the money so we can pay as we go and not have anything to pay on a credit card…So far, so good… Now we get down to the nitty gritty and set plans to leave…

We had to plan it so that we weren’t needed at our respective jobs… I had just started a new job when he told me… so I was a little concerned about taking time off so soon… he was working on parts for a new carnival ride… hmmm…. we finally set a time and shot for it.

Because our vehicles are mostly short range vehicles, a.k.a. don’t leave home too far with them… we rent a car when we go long distances… which we did for this trip.  Our target day and time for leaving (or maybe I should say my target time) was Saturday around noon… good?  Of course, good!  My reason for traveling on Saturday was so that we could make it to a town in time to have a good night’s rest and be able to get up and go to church on Sunday….travel or not, I like to be in church.

Here’s where the plan starts falling apart.   Daughter’s car not working well on Friday… hubby and daughter get up early on Saturday, run to salvage yard to get parts and work on it… long story short, we left home about 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning.   We were less than 10 miles from the rental place when the emissions light came on, so we called their roadside service people who recommended we return the car to the rental place.    We did so reluctantly because we really liked the model we were first given.    Much to our dismay, we were not given the same model as before.. though we did get the sporty version…. it was okay.   Disappointment builds character.

We left the rental place, drove 4 1/2 hours and stopped and went to church in Grand Junction at Pear Park Baptist Church.

After enjoying the service and then lunch we continued our journey into Utah.   It started out pretty well, then we started going down through the mountain passes between Green River (yeah… wasn’t there a mouse or something that went to Green River on a train???)  and Richfield.

As we drove, we could see snow coming over the mountains and into the valleys as the sun shown through it.  That was rather fascinating but my fascination with it didn’t last long as we continued on and the snow started sticking to the road…

Now mountain passes in sunshine are one thing… mountain passes in snow are quite another and quite honestly… not my favorite thing to do… and I know this may surprise you but they’re actually not even on my Bucket list.  We had hoped to get down the road a ways before we had to stop for the night but it wasn’t looking too good.  I was nervous.  Then all of sudden we were over the summits (we went over two or three 6 – 7,000 ft summits)  and the snow quite literally quit.

By 6:00 o’clock though we were both extremely tired and decided to stop in Beaver, UT where we sought accommodations at the Comfort Inn…Ahh… now we could relax.     We were given a nice room with a Jacuzzi in it and because Hubby had complained of his back hurting quite a bit during the drive (he has chronic back pain)  I thought the Jacuzzi was just the thing for him….the nice thing about it is we didn’t ask for it but it was offered to us…  I think God had this planned for us…. this was a good ending to a very long and tiring day.

Until Next time, love God, love others and remember… sometimes part of a trip is the journey of getting started!

The Monsoons are upon us…
July 28, 2010, 6:51 am
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she cried in dastardly delight while he looked on with mystified stupefaction!

Okay…. so, I don’t know what all that means but I just liked the sound of it.    You now know where DD gets her flare for the dramatic!  Ha!

Actually, the monsoons are upon us.   We’ve had a (for us) unusually wet summer.  This is almost August and things are still fairly green with just a tinge of brown coming around the edges now.    Of course, my front yard which is not really grass but kochia, has all turned brown since I mowed it last.   Sigh… that’s okay though. 

We’ve had a really busy week.   This week is VBS at church.  We have VBS in the evening and we’ve had a great attendance!  Last night we had 97!  Woohoo!   Our VBS goes Sunday night through Thursday night.  This helps because our VBS is usually the week before the county Fair starts with all the 4-Hers getting everything ready… so when we were going through Friday night, Friday’s attendance dropped off dramatically!

Of course, the other reason we have VBS at night is because most of our workers have a daytime job.  So, we’re all a little on the tired side right now and looking forward to Saturday when we can rest! 

Well, that’s all for now…Until next time, love God, love others and enjoy the weather God gives you!

We were eating….
March 5, 2009, 9:34 am
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supper when movement caught the corner of my husband’s eye out the window.   “Oh shoot!”  he said.  I asked, “what’s the matter?”.   He said “I just saw a calf go past the window….”  I said, “really?” and got up and looked out the window.

Sure enough as I looked out the window, it was not just one calf but several that I could see and they were headed for the distillers… If you don’t know what that is and chances are unless you know anything about feeding cattle, you may not.  Distillers is the byproduct of ethanol production.  They’ve discovered it is a source of high and concentrated protein for cattle.   So, we have a pile of it south of our house and yes, when the wind is blowing just right, it can smell a little like a brewery … or so I’ve been told, never having been near a brewery.

Well, dh and I put our shoes on, collected Odie to help and went out to find out the problem.   When I got outside with Odie there were about 20-30 head surrounding the pile of distillers.. Now, did I mention that cattle really like distillers… it’s kind of like candy to them.  So, Odie and I tried to shoo them away from it… very hard to do… in the process of doing that I also discovered it is not wise to try to walk through the pile.   It’s the closest thing to quicksand I’ve ever been in.  

Finally, I pulled my cell phone out and called RM to come help.  She rides a bike like nobody I know and knows how to wield it well enough to round them up.   DH and I had gotten about 50 head down the lane and back into one of the corrals.  However, we discovered there were approximately 300 head out.   Apparently, one of the gates to the corral had been worked open by the cattle.   These are teenager calves… not a lick of sense in any of ’em… 241.  Well, by the time we got everyone rounded up and back where they were supposed to be,  going to church was not going to be possible.   We all smelled like the corrals, not to mention all the dust kicked up causing havoc with our sinuses.   It was a fun night, to be sure… NOT.

So, there you have… until next time, love God, love others and pursue those relationships!