I ran across my elementary school report cards. Memories, good and bad.

Ellen talks too much, Ellen doesn't talk enough.

Ellen should read more, Ellen needs to leave her books at home.

Ellen needs to participate in discussions, Ellen needs to leave the people around her alone.

Ellen needs to do her homework, Ellen needs to be more organized.

Somehow, shy little Ellen morphed into MzEllen

Few people who know me now would recognize the shy, quiet (and very skinny) girl who was too shy to talk, to participate in games, to have a discussion.

1st grade...I got a new best friend. On her first day, she told me that she was a "n-word" and that's why I told my dad. He spanked me and told me not to ever use that word. Then he asked me who told me that's what she was...well, *she* did. She happened to be Native American, but that's not what she told me.

In 2nd grade, every student took an IQ test. Mine was high enough that they made me take it again...and then once more. Nobody "got" that the shy little thing that wouldn't talk...could be that smart.

3rd grade...ah...this is where my organization (or lack thereof) got me into trouble. It's also the age where kids start seeing "differences" and separating into cliques. And I didn't have a clique. If I was shy before, it got way worse here.

Anyway, those old, yellow report cards represent where I was, WHAT I was...where I am now.

Those social cues I just didn't get, the ability to stay in the "inner circle" - wanting to at least be able to fit with "that crowd," if only for a little while. Maybe not even fit...just be worthy of having them say "hi;" just a little word.

Those report cards, with the hand-written teacher notes on the backs. What made me change? Maybe I'm still shy, I'm just determined to not let it beat me?

I don't know. What I know is that I'm not one of the "farm kids" anymore. I don't have to take an IQ test 3 times.

I still cry when I remember that

I remember the awkward

1) we stayed at the KOA in Oscoda, MI.

This morning I got an email from them, asking me to rate the stay.  I said that the sites were great, bathrooms were clean and bright...but I wish they had told me about the train that runs right next to the campground.  In the middle of the night.

2) For me, camping is the death knell of eating primal.  it should be easy...cave-folks LIVED camping.  But no.  S'mores, hobo pies, hot dog buns.  I am SOOOO off the wagon.

3) Tom played miniature golf.  Well, we all did, but Tom brought up the idea.  He did really well and I'm not sure if it's because a) his vision is getting better or b) he's getting used to seeing the way he sees and is accommodating or c) the rest of us just suck that bad.

4) Gary and Anita (my cousin and his wife) and her son and DIL stopped by the campsites and the Lumberman's Monument to enjoy and eat.  We need to start inviting cousins to the camp out.

5) Next year, it's Dave's turn to pick.


At least trying to come back.

Oh!  the class I'm in is so much fun!  I was not real excited at the beginning of the year, but it's really, really good.

I'm back to weight watchers.  Been doing low carb, but "feel" healthier on WW.  Plus, they've revamped everything and most fruits are "free" - fruit is what I miss on low carb.  So away I go.

Reading "The Roots of Obama's Rage" - it's more psychological than political, but if the author is correct, it's going to get ugly.

Still reading "50People Every Christian Should Know."

Tom will be home on Wednesday.  Life goes on.

We're preparing to send Tom off to college again.  I've adjusted very well to having the house to myself.  The drawback is that I don't need or want this much house.

Snow removal, furnace repair, water heater replacement (even with huge and gratefully received financial gifts) and roof repair and driveway repair coming up and...and...and...

I'm tired of being a single (alone, not single-family-dwelling) homeowner.

I've breezed through the websites of a couple of apartment  of complexes that look altogether tempting.  My house payment/rent would go down, my heating bill would drop by $100, my electric would be non-existent.  No more paying for garbage pickup, snow removal, lawn mowing.

I would have to pay for a storage unit/place for my camper, or make arrangements to leave it at my dad's house during the non-camping season, so I'd only have to pay storage for part of the year.

Just thinking...if I'm going to be in Grand Rapids, I might as well take some of the pressure off.

This day I am thankful that my kids are both going to be under my roof this night.

I am thankful that I have known love in return for the love I have given, whether or not my offered love will be taken up again.

I am thankful that over the years I have discovered what I need to do in order to become as healthy as I can become.

I am thankful that I am able to see that I need to become the woman that I need to become.

I am thankful, on this Christmas Eve, that the Father sent His Son to die for the sins of the world, that He called me, that He is taking care of me.

That His plan for me includes that which is best, according to His plan.

My nephew's wife is pregnant, after five years of marriage and a lifetime of being told she wouldn't be able to get pregnant.

She's about three months along and I just found out that she's bleeding.  The baby's heartbeat is good and strong, her husband was just deployed on a sub for a few months.

Please pray for Karen, Rob and baby.

Earlier this week my mom dislocated her artificial hip (again).  This time they did surgery (her second major surgery in 6 months) and they ended up not having to replace the whole joint, just the socket.


I just got a call from Dad - they're giving Mom 2 units of blood (I'm not sure what the numbers mean, he said it should be 12 and it's 7).

Her good leg is now her bad leg.  So she can't put more than 20 pounds on her bad leg and her good leg can't support her at all.

The good news is that she's consented to be transfered to a rehab center close to their home, rather than insisting on going to a home when she's released.  The social worker said that the rehab center will be able to keep her there until she can walk with a walker (which means that they'll be working on the "bad" leg [now her good leg] which hasn't been worked on because she was using her good leg [now her bad leg] and the walker.

So, in the long run, this could get her walking with a cane *sooner* than she might have been otherwise!