Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Hillbilly's Take on Communication and Depression


 Here's my Hillbilly again, getting serious this time with some good advice.

I guess that if I was going to give this blog post a title, though it is really not the main theme, it would be the question – what could have been?  

The other day, I was thinking about back when I was young, single, and still dating.  Like most, I had my first love, (puppy love), and first broken heart!  With that, I grew wiser and leery of having a steady girlfriend.  In fact, I began just dating this one and that one without getting too serious with anyone.  

During that time, at a church revival that was advertised as a young people’s meeting, we had a lot of young people come in from over a fairly large area of Missouri.  Due to that, I met and spent some time with a young woman, a few years my junior.  She was cute, sweet, funny, and had the biggest dimples I ever saw.   She got my attention, and ---  I got her phone number, address, etc.  Being a young, romantic hillbilly, a couple of weeks later, I made her a paper that looked like a check and made it payable to her for 10,000 kisses.  Hey, don’t laugh too hard!  It worked!  It led to some dates and a lot of kisses!  In fact almost immediately, we were being drawn together.  

So what happened?  Well, since we lived quite a distance apart, we were not getting to see each other every day or even every week.  The last day we got to see each other on a planned date, she was distant and didn’t act like she was enjoying being with me.   She wouldn’t tell me what was wrong.  So, I decided that she was no longer interested in me.  I moved on!

A few months later, I began dating another girl.  We were just beginning to get somewhat serious, when another congregation had a young people’s meeting.  We attended.  I had warned my girlfriend that we might run into a couple of girls there that I had dated previously.  We did!  They got together and sat right in front of us.  

Then next day, my girlfriend had to work but I went back down to help out with the services.  Afterwards, the girl with the 10,000 kiss check wanted to talk.  We did so for about an hour.  Basically, she wanted to know what had happened to us.  I told her that after how our last date had gone, I had decided she had found someone else or just didn’t want to be around me anymore.  

She then went on to tell me that she had just been upset, because her mother and stepdad had been arguing and it had looked as if they were going to separate.  We went on to talk in what I can only say was a friendly but poignant conversation for both of us.  After that weekend, I never saw her again.  

When you look at what went wrong between us, it is what goes wrong with so many relationships --- the failure to communicate.  If she had let me know what she was going through, I would have understood and tried to console her, let her talk, or whatever she needed.  As it was, she held it in and gave me no chance.  I then took her attitude as rejection.

Communication problems or poor communication cause huge problems in every facet of our lives.  In marriage, business, etc.  Good communication is so very important.

Recently, Cynthia spoke of her problem with depression.  Imagine what it could be like, in our marriage, if I wasn’t aware.  What if she was hiding what she was going through and I thought any problems we had were due to her lack of feelings for me?  What if she was going through these things and felt that I was uncaring?  

Obviously, problems could occur.  I have seen couples divorce that I would have thought would have been the last to have problems.  On the other hand, I know a couple, that if I had been a betting man, I would have bet you that their marriage wouldn’t have lasted 5 years! They were both ridiculously hot tempered and stubborn. But they have been married for around 34 years now. 

One of the steps they have taken in their marriage, is that once a month, they have a night planned where they sit down and have a serious discussion about anything or things that the other one might be doing or not doing that is bothering them.  They converse.  They let each other know their feelings.  

There might be a lesson there for us all.  In a time where everyone is always texting one another, talking to each other on facebook, etc., maybe we as couples need to just sit down and have an old time, heart to heart conversation.

From the Hillbilly’s Corner!

My Hillbilly is my best friend, so it's easy to share my feelings with him. Have you known couples that split because they failed to communicate?



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Friday, March 15, 2013

No One Invited Me, But Here I Am

There's a link party going on, and I wasn't invited. For those of you who don't know, a link party involves a bunch of bloggers writing on the same topic or general theme and posting a  link to their post on the same page. Each blogger is also supposed to invite other bloggers to join.

Well, no one has invited me yet, so I'm just jumping in on the meme without anyone's permission. Okay, no one's permission is really needed if a blogger wants to write about the topic. In fact, having stumbled on to the link page, I'd be welcome to add my link if the page hadn't already closed before I got there.

You know how I hate to be pushy. Really I do. I'll just quietly have my own little party without trying to actually join the link party.


And yeah, the whole linky thing already closed, so there's that.  Oh, well. Here we go.


1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago I was dating the wrong man. Fortunately I broke up with Mr. Wrong before I met My Hillbilly. The day before. Really. I'm going to credit God's providence with the timing. I broke up with Mr. Wrong on a Friday, and The Hillbilly introduced himself to me on Saturday.

2. What 5 things are on your to-do list?
Repair Jill's necklace.
Make jewelry that has been ordered.
Take pictures of jewelry that has been made and get it up on Etsy (does that count as one or two?).

White Swarovski pearls, mint green crystals, and silver-plated beads.

Grade papers before I have to turn in report card grades on Thursday.
After grading the papers, record the grades in the computer gradebook. How did teachers ever figure out grades before computers? I have parents who want a weekly update of their kid's grade. I can't imagine being able to do that without the computer. When I was in school, back when the world was young, we had to wait until the end of the quarter to find out our grades.

3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
Popcorn
Ruffles brand potato chips and onion dip made from Lipton soup mix. All washed down with Pepsi Throwback
Anything chocolate
Those energy bars you buy in the bakery department at Costco.
Little chocolate donuts.

4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.
Get a lifetime pass to Disneyland and stay in the Grand Californian!

Source: expedia.com via Cynthia on Pinterest


Buy a family compound so that we and all our children could live on the same piece of land, and the grandchildren could come visit whenever they wanted, but their parents could still have some privacy.

Wait...how big a millionaire? Just one million? I guess I'm finished.


5. Name some places you have lived.

I'm a California girl all the way through.
Born in San Diego
Moved to Santa Ana, CA, 5 miles from Disneyland
Manteca, CA (Don't worry. No one else ever heard of it either.)
From there I drifted south for a while:
     Ceres, CA
    Turlock, CA
     Hilmar, CA
And then finally turned around to get closer to my mama in Manteca and ended up here in Salida, CA.


Well, that's the end of the party for me. I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about me. Next week, I'm going to let The Hillbilly say a few things, but I'll be back too; don't you worry.

How would you answer any of these questions? Where were you 10 years ago, anyway?
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Wicked English Teacher Can't Stand it Anymore!

It's Wicked English Teacher Wednesday, and I have just one question:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?


Okay. I'll quit yelling. Here's the problem. Y'all keep mixing up "your" and "you're." You've got to stop it this instant! I'm going to tell you what I really think. You know the difference; you're just too lazy to take the time to add an apostrophe and an E. There! I said it.

Let's take a quiz to prove it:

Fill in the blank with either "your" or "you're."
1. _____ going to have to learn to take pride in _____ work, or The Wicked English Teacher is going to throw it all in the trash!
2. The Wicked English Teacher has been missing for a while, but I'm sure _____ happy that she has returned to correct the mess _____ making of the Internet.
3. If _____ writing doesn't improve, The Wicked English Teacher is going to take a red pen to all _____ status updates.
Answers are at the bottom of the page.

You do know the rule. "Your" means something belongs to you. "You're" is a contraction for "you are."

This is all your fault. The fault belongs to you.
You're going to have to pay more attention. You are not paying enough attention.


Okay. Here's the thing. It was bad enough when it was just random status updates and tweets. Now the problem has even moved in to some of my favorite blogs. That's right! Blog posts written by really good writers whom I respect and admire.

Today I read this on the blog of a woman whom I love like a daughter and who usually doesn't make this type of mistake: "So... what your saying is..." Girl! I know you know better. Just because you're chasing a toddler and nursing a newborn and working a full time job while also writing your blog is no excuse for sloppiness. Do not disappoint The Wicked English Teacher again.

In addition to status updates, tweets, and otherwise excellent blog posts, this error is markedly common in those "inspiring" or "cute" pictures/quotes that get passed around on Facebook. You  know the ones:
Your blowing my cover!

a true friend doesn't care if your rich

In addition to being more syrupy than inspiring, these misspelled admonitions give me a headache. You people need to stop sharing these horrible things even if you do have true friends in your life..!

Now let's go back to that quiz.

Quiz answers:

1. You're going to have to learn to take pride in your work, or The Wicked English Teacher is going to throw it all in the trash!
2. The Wicked English Teacher has been missing for a while, but I'm sure you're happy that she has returned to correct the mess you're making of the Internet.
3. If your writing doesn't improve, The Wicked English Teacher is going to take a red pen to all your status updates.


Okay. I'm glad to finally get that off my chest. I hope you've got this straight once and for all. Now go, and annoy The Wicked English Teacher no more!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Meanwhile, Back at the Junior High

Here at the junior high school, one of the elective classes is being a student aide for a teacher. I have one such aide who helps me with things like grading tests and stapling papers. This young man also happens to be a student in my class of gifted and advanced students.

Gifted students are....interesting.

This particular student cracks me up. He never intends to, but he does. He's just so earnest!

For your enjoyment I offer you: Tidbits from my student aide:


He was quite overjoyed when I allowed him to become my aide. His first question was, "Don't you think I should have my own key to the room?"

No. No I don't.

When he sat down to grade papers the first time, he asked, "Now, I can just grade these however I want, right?"

No. No you can't.

I like to put stickers on tests when a student gets 100%. So he asked if he could have stickers to do that too. Finally something I could say yes to. I gave him a package of happy face stickers, and he went off joyfully.


A few days later he saw me putting stars on some papers. "Stars? Why don't I have stars?"


Ummm....because you have happy faces?

I set him up with his own little table in one corner of the room where he could come in and do his work. After the first day, he asked, "Can I make a sign that says 'Student Aide's Office'?"

Sure, kid. Knock yourself out.

Aren't kids fun? I really enjoy the crazy things they say. Has a kid entertained you lately? Tell me about it in the comments.
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sharing My Craftiness

I've never thought of myself as a "crafty" person. My mom is very artistic, and so is my daughter. I'm the generation that got skipped.

When Alyssa recommended that I start making stamped metal jewelry as an additional source of income, I discovered jewelry making. She'll be the first to tell you that she did not recommend that I make beaded jewelry; she specifically said stamped metal. But who listens to her?
Stamped and hammered copper with Swarovski crystal hearts in birthstone colors of my children.
Stamped and hammered copper with Swarovski crystal hearts in birthstone colors of my children.

Mixed metal necklace stamped with names and baby feet
Mixed metal necklace stamped with names and baby feet

When I started looking at the jewelry supply web sites, I fell in love with the Swarovski crystals. I have stamped metal jewelry listed on my Etsy site, and I enjoy making it, but I LOVE the beaded jewelry!

Here are a few of my newest favorites:




Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, semi-precious stones all in one bracelet!


I've got a lot more finished, but I need to take pictures. I'm not especially happy with any of the pictures I've taken; they never seem sharp enough. I'm not sure what I need to do to improve them. If you've got suggestions, I'll listen.

I'm still working on my comeback from depression and fighting off a pile of fatigue and lethargy. I'm really grateful to those of you who are sticking with me.

I'll be back in a day or so with some quotes from my student aide, a kid who just generally cracks me up.




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