Topeka And the Westboro Baptist Church

He and I, the Brother-in-law and Gena decided we would drive over to Topeka today because it is there and we love adventures. That is the only reason. I kind of wanted to go Amish shopping but we were getting a late start and it was an additional 1/2 hour drive so Topeka made sense. We exited the highway for the Kansas State capital…not up on a hill with gold domes like Iowa but quite an impressive building,


Not quite sure the history of the Indian adorning the top but whatever…



A couple of other statues…



Not quite sure why Lincoln and not Bob Dole, but okay…whatever…



…and then someone brought up the Westboro Baptist Church and weren’t those bigots from Topeka. I’m not quite sure what I was really expecting but it wasn’t this







And across the street in the run-down neighborhood of the church home



That is it. it speaks for itself!!!

Until next time…..

Feeling safe with mature friends….

I have 58 1/2 years of maturity under my belt.  I’m sure there are those that I know who would definitely challenge my maturity level at times, for instance, my daughters.  We have a message thread between the three of us that is open all of the time.  I love it because if one of us has a thought or wants to share something, the thread is open to just put it out there.  Last night I laughed and giggled and cried over an innocent comment that I made which had a couple of different connotations that they both picked up on.  It was like the pressure valve was opened and this one little comment sent me into hysterical laughing until tears were running down my face.  It was a moment which made me love them and cherish them beyond words…the connection, the shared sense of humor, the shared familiarity and knowing that I would love them as adult women even if I hadn’t given birth to them.

Then there are the two old best friends.  I have no siblings; but, I have them.  At times, the maturity level of these two could come into question.  I speak of them together but they have never met.  Next to my immediate family, they are the two most important people in my life.  I trust them with my life, obviously, considering they both have keys to my skeleton closet.  With both of them, I can have a conversation leaving out key words and not finish sentences because we are in sync.  We share our life traumas, our insecurities and our joys.  I want to know what is going on in their heads that they aren’t saying and they know how to pick and pick and pick into my psyche to get the actual truth out of me.  They care…they ask questions…they have the same inner timing…..timing is everything!

This blog post is dedicated to these 4 women in my life.  They need to know that if one of them is damaged, my car does not drive safely.  I’m pretty sure they all know that they have my heart but it doesn’t  hurt to put it into words because we all like to know that we are loved!

Until next time…..

Seriously, Jenny?

Almost 5 years ago, Jenny moved to Kansas City.  Winter always brought those heartfelt texts from her.  It’s not snowing here, mom…it’s 50 degrees today…you guys should move here!  Ahem.  So we did.


Jenny’s aunt-in-law posted this on her Facebook page today.  HAHAHAHAHA It’s the very same picture I posted a couple of times on my FB page representing the public and my perception, as a dispatcher, of what they all were doing!  My 66-degrees  house, sleet outside, going outside requires wearing my heavy winter coat, expecting snow south of Kansas City chuckle.


Thanks to whoever gave me these socks for Christmas or my birthday one year!!  I’M NOW WEARING SOCKS!

…..and Jenny…very cruel joke!

Until next time….

Longing for Dick


It was while commenting on Doobster’s post, Art Imitating Life or Life Imitating Art, that I realized that the unthinkable had happened.   It’s true.

Doobster made me look back, and I thought of the men in my past.


And George.

And Ronnie.

Now I find myself looking back fondly. Longing for Dick.*

I'm gonna be sick.  Google, why'd you do this to me? I’m gonna be sick. Google, why’d you do this to me?

I wish I were kidding.

Often, I’ve realized that if the GOP hadn’t gone completely over the edge into fanaticism, that I’d be a Republican.

Google Me This Google Me This

Because, you see, I remember when Republicans were not crazy. When they were a valuable part of the strong government that built our country into the envy of the world.

When they were not out only to protect their rich buddies. When they knew how to govern.

When they could compromise. More importantly, when compromise was the goal…

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Today my dad would have been 98 years old…


When he died back in 2001, I felt that grief that takes your breath away…that pain which reaches so deep into all of your muscles and nerves that you are pretty sure you will never feel alive again.  His death was the most important thing that has ever happened to me.  It changed me from the person I thought I was to the person I am.  I called upon all of the stubborness and determination and a little of the eccentric personality traits learned from him to change myself from being a victim of my life to being in charge and having chutzpah (which I like to refer to as balls) to stop the insanity.

After the initial grieving, I was relieved that his life was over – I knew my dad and I knew that my dad was ready to go.  I now know that he suffered severe bouts of depression.  He verbalized many times to Phil and to me that he wanted out – I know and knew that he really wanted away from my mother…but I will not crucify her in this blog…this is about my dad.  His mind was finally quiet…it was over…and this is exactly what he wanted.  My love for him was able to allow me to be happy that he was finally dead!

We all have those outline bullet points or the A.1.a. in the outline of our life or the events which we always refer to as before this happened or since this happened.  My dad’s death is the capital A in my life.

Onward and Upward.

Until next time.

There are those who may hate me for saying this…

I just said to him the other day that for the first time in 30 years – I’m not dreading winter.  Don’t assume that means I’m looking forward to it.  I loved snowfall while living in the country.  One of my favorites things is to be outside – bundled up – when those giant snow flakes are falling..especially in the country with the snow pack and nearly total silence – you could almost hear the snow.   But this is the first year that the forecast of snow shouldn’t send me into an anxiety attack and depression because this year I don’t have to know what is happening out there on the roads, call helicopters, worry that an emergency worker is going to be hit by a car, answer the question – How are the roads – from people who have lived in Iowa a lifetime and know how the roads are when it is snowing.  But here’s the problem.

When hearing about the snowfall forecast for Iowa and seeing the footage on the news of the snowfall in Minnesota, I have a sense of missing something.  After acupuncture a couple weeks ago, the chiropractor told me that I need to learn to channel the anxiety – instead of letting it overwhelm me, I need to find a constructive/non anxiety producing thing to do like play with Legos to give my hands and mind something to work on when I start feeling anxious.  It is such a strange feeling to have the memory and 30 years of habit and now nothing!  This lack of action actually causes me anxiety…I should be doing something…there is almost a sense of loss.  I had no idea I would feel this way.  Toward the end of my career, I was so overwhelmed with stress that I hated my daily life.  Would I want to feel that way again.  A resounding NO…but I do miss the adrenaline rushes.  I know that if I were back at the console for 5 minutes, I would easily fall into the angst and overwhelming stress immediately…but, I apparently need to find something to do to get back on track…to feel relieved, relaxed and hopeful…

Kim Balmer – this is no way reflects on the rewards of retirement.  Our conversation today about a day in October of 1997 just helped me figure out what I was feeling.

Until next time….

While sitting in the bathroom today…

(No worries..I’m just going to talk about the thought process), I noticed dirt in the little crack between the tile floor and the shower…this is after I had mopped it not an hour before. I had the thought that I should get a bucket and sponge and clean it on my hands and knees to get it clean…which sent me to trying to remember when the last time I had even thought about that let alone doing it…maybe in the 90’s. I don’t even have to scrub the bathtub because we don’t use it. I don’t know how long it has been since I smelled unscented pine sol or spic and span. I did use some comet on the old porcelain sink in the new house before we replaced it..which reminds me of washing white clothes in chlorox…oh, I still do it occasionally but I totally do it in the dark with a closed door because apparently it is bad for the environment and kills germs and bacteria! I got “the look” recently when I admitted I use chlorox cleanup in the toilet. I mean seriously people, no part of my body touches the toilet bowl and I only use the water in it for one purpose. It’s said that the fumes will get me…but I maintain that if I’m still sniffing old magic markers, bleach is really nothing!

Until next time….

You know how garbled and insane dreams can be…in my humble opinion, these dreams just mean

that there is work to be done.  I shared a post on Facebook last week which spelled out, what I believe, the purpose of dreams and how dreams can help us determine what is going on inside the little cells.

I know I have come a long way in weeding out the disfunction I grew up with…I have never been one that just sits back and says, well that’s who I am…live with it.  I didn’t like a lot of things “that” person thought or felt so I started very early making the decision that I was going to figure out how to change those negative aspects of who I was.  It’s not like a down deep hatred of myself; it is more a dislike of the way I think and how those thoughts made me uncomfortable in my skin…and the resentment I lived with everyday.  We are what we think and I did not want to just accept that I was always going to be inferior and rebellious in my soul without knowing why…searching for the truth.  I, like everyone else, accepted lots of other peoples beliefs about myself and tested out a lot of different theories until I found the path that I believe works for me.  That path still has many roads to the east or west that I trudge down until I find the main path to where I want to be.

This morning, I’m dealing with family.  Not my immediate family but the family I married into.  35 years with this family and I’m still struggling to figure out how they tick and why they tick at the speed they do.  I shunned and was shunned by my Green side because of the horrible resentment built up between my father and his siblings…way too much dislike for a young woman to have to live with and make it mentally okay because my dad was my hero.  This particular roadblock worked itself out due to one cousin’s love and acceptance of me.  Me – Nina – not me the daughter of my father.  He and his family accepted me for me – the pain that tore everyone apart is still there but they like me for me.  It was breath taking and I still tear up when I think of the acceptance.

I started out my married life with a lot of baggage where families are concerned and thought I finally had a family.  In naivety, I thought everyone else’s family was normal with no baggage.  I tried so hard to do just what I thought was acceptable and what I thought would gain their love and acceptance to be like one of their own.  But this family came with generations of baggage too…and I frequently had my feelings hurt because I got one message face to face only to learn from someone else that they said this or thought that about me.  If you have been there, you know it is pain on top of pain and finally  withdrawal from the angst.  I felt a lot better…it is so much easier not having to put on that heavy armor!

I had a dream last night about my Green side which gave me another insight into figuring out that I need to pursue and forgive all of the ill feelings that have been on my back for several decades.  I am not willing to give up more of myself; but, I am willing to meet in the middle.  We all have our crosses to bear, so to speak, and I’m in a place now that I can plant that cross where it needs to be and keep working through my dreams.  Upward and Onward.

Until next time….

I had my very first acupuncture yesterday…

and if you are considering acupuncture….there is no reason to fear the procedure.  I admit I was a bit hesitant but I was having such severe anxiety – especially when I turned off the light at night – that I decided to go for it.  He has been having some leg pain which wakes him up several times a night – with our anti-medication mentality, he decided he was going to try this route.  After 3 treatments, it was a grand success.  Last night on our walk, he said who would ever believe that sticking a bunch of pins in you would cure anything.  I still don’t completely understand it either.  I know the theory of this ancient chinese cure but it just doesn’t seem logical – thus my hesitation.

Dr Piva in Pleasant Hill did the work.  After relaxing on the cushioned table with a pillow under my knees he started inserting the needles.  The first two went on the bottoms of my feet.  I didn’t feel the first one, the second one felt like an instantaneous pinch…3 total in each foot and ankle, one midway up on my legs, one in the center of my stomach, 3 each in my hand and wrist and one in the top of my head.  He said I’m going to leave you for an hour.  I’m not going to tell you what to expect….we will talk about it when you are finished.  My first 10 minutes or so were filled with – this can’t possibly work – but I started relaxing…I felt like there were actually twinges or movement – not painful – just unexplained…these feelings would move on – at about the 20 minute mark I lifted up my legs and arms just to see what it looked like…I was starting to relax…I heard a nurse laugh in the hallway and realized that I had fallen asleep…this happened again and the third time was the nurse’s return to remove the needles, swab with alcohol and wait for Dr Piva to return.  He is such a gentle, soft-spoken man…I felt very comfortable.  He didn’t know if I would need a second session – he totally left it up to me.  If I start having unexplained anxiety, perhaps another treatment would help.  He also recommended I get some legos or a non frustrating game and channel my anxiety when I’m laying in bed… I’m a believer…who would ever believe that sticking a bunch of pins in your would cure anything!!!

Until next time…

We broke down and turned on the furnace….

We’ve been waking up to 63 degrees in the house…usually I turn a space heater on in the livingroom and it gets it up to a balmy 67 or 68….but it is 63 tonight and the temp will only drop from there. It’s been great having lower electric bills!

We spent Halloween evening with the regulars at Ice House auction. The owners, Bill and Julie, are becoming a couple of my favorite people…He and I have volunteered to work their concession stand every Friday night since the first of June. Occasionally, he ends up helping ring and tonight I did the front office check in and cash out. We do it because we have a great time and it is a good way to meet new people and because I love to find treasures….anyway…He loves old clocks…and tonight to thank us for our help, they bought us an old Seth Thomas clock. He looked it up on line and found it is an 1800s clock…probably 1850 to 1855. Awesome!!!

A week ago, we helped out with a Saturday morning auction…kind of a big deal, a collector was selling off his Indian artifact collection. Everything from arrowheads to Indian tools and beads…I didn’t have a lot of interest in it, just there to help out….but I sat In the back and watched and had a stirring of emotion, especially when the tools were held up and you could see the detail of the handiwork on the rocks that had been ground down and made into tools, I felt sentimental knowing that hundreds of years ago a man had a need and used what was there to make what he needed to survive. Similar feeling to exploring the colosseum in Rome, knowing the history, touching the stones and “imagining” all of the other generations of Romans who had also touched them.

Moments that put life into perspective. In the big picture, we are nothing but a grain of sand.

until next time….