"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Monday, June 25, 2007


Seems one of my chicken-hearted anonymous Stuart detractors finds it great fun to leave snide comments on my Father's Day post since I blocked comments on the "Changing Of The Guard" piece.

Ah, the beauty of comment moderation...

But his or her most recent comment inspired me to write about the very thing he or she is ridiculing me for...namely, failure.

He or she infers -- and finds it "too funny"-- that (in his or her eyes, apparently) my stints at The Stuart Herald, The West Central Valley Voice,The Independent Eye, and my husband's stint in the Methodist Ministry, all failed.

Funny, but I don't see our experiences in those areas as failures at all.

My two years or whatever at The Herald were some of my most prolific years journalistically. I managed to write a weekly column every week -- no small feat -- and many people enjoyed my columns. I wrote about important issues of the day, and human triumph and tragedy,and even won third place in the Iowa Newspaper Association annual contest.

I was fired unfairly, and I believe it was the corporation that owned the paper at the time that eventually handed the paper back over to its owner because, indeed, IT failed to make a go of things.

The best part of being fired, of course, was that it fired me up to start The West Central Valley Voice...we grew the paper from scratch and in a very short time, sported a circulation of roughly 800 a week -- and all from our homes and in addition to our day jobs. We covered four communities like a blanket, and we scooped The Herald on every major story.

Of course, The Voice was never about making money...it was a moral victory and a journalistic labor of love like no other. The time it took to run the paper from the editing side, however, eventually took its toll on my health. And I had a choice to make...my health or the paper.

I chose my health.

It was not an easy decision. I loved The Voice. We all did. And we loved and are still very proud of what we accomplished in 2 1/2 years.

The Eye failed? Oh, reeeely? I dunno. More than 33,900 hits since its inception...and it's still up and running nearly a year later. Just because Suz and I decided it was time for us to move on and officially hand it over to Peg, does not constitute a failure. The Eye has evolved, and is still evolving...and growing by hundreds of hits practically every day.

As for the ministry...they crucified Jesus. Was his ministry a failure? I think not. We chose to leave the ministry for several reasons, but the lives my husband touched with his ministry were numerous. And you never really know how the spiritual seeds you plant grow. Yes, there were some tough times, and not everyone agreed with everything my husband said or did. I challenge you to show me a ministry where there aren't differing opinions and behind-the-pastor's-back murmuring. Such is life in the ministry, Methodist or otherwise.

Anyway, Anonymous, if your comments were meant to hurt my feelings, they did just the opposite.

Writing about my adventures in journalism and the ministry only makes me appreciate these life experiences even more. At least I've had the guts to take a few risks.

It's been a crazy ride. Wouldn't have missed any of it for the world.

Afterall, as someone once said...

"The only real failure in life is the failure to try."

Saturday, June 23, 2007



I feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

My friend/co-blogger Susan and I have officially handed over The Independent Eye to our esteemed colleague, Peggy.

If not familiar with The Eye, click on the link and check it out. Start back in the archives, back to the beginning-- Aug.13, 2006. Interesting stuff. If you love soap operas, you'll love The Independent Eye.

The Eye was a creative experiment, and we accomplished what we set out to do -- shine some light on some dirty backroom politics taking place in Stuart, IA.

Our blogging didn't erase the dirty politics, as evidenced by more recent posts by our pal Peggy. But like shining a flashlight on cockroaches in the middle of the night, it made it harder for the dirty politicians to survive without scrambling for cover.

And now, we pass the flashlight to Peggy for good...

Ahhh. Sweet relief.

You see, if you read enough of the comments, and the other back-and-forth, you will discover that the nasty-stupid-call-them-what-you-will underbelly of the Stuart populace didn't much care for me and Suz. We hit a nerve, crossed their territory one too many times. They tried to run us out by degrading us and our families, and while we continually beat them over the head with the truth -- and the truth HAS prevailed -- the bottom line is...you can't fix stupid.

Irritating, like hemroids, is the best way to describe some of the "anonymous" commenters we were dealing with. I believe I called them "a brood of vipers" in my final comment the other day...

Anyway, our friend Peggy is a bright, intuitive, "here's what I think" kinda gal, and a helluva good writer. And to top it all off, she lives in Stuart, and commands the respect of the vipers. She is kickin' blog butt and takin' names...and more power to her.

It's just time for me and Suz to move on. To let Stuart politics go.

So we officially passed the torch.

Peggy's been carrying the blog on her own, really, for some time now.

The vipers are happy, and so are we.

Susan and I are proud of The Eye...we created it, we designed it, we gave hours and hours of our personal time to it...and we ferreted out the truth and blogged it, much to the chagrin of our detractors.

The dirty Stuart politics will go on -- they have for eons -- but no longer do they go on under cover of complete darkness. The Eye, from its start, provided a much-needed checks-and-balances look atthe local political issues, and now Peggy carries the torch.

What direction Peggy takes The Eye is her business.

Suz and I said what we had to say, when it needed to be said, and we leave The Eye on our grounds, at our timing, in the most capable, talented bloggng hands in Stuart.

Here's looking at you, Stuart! It's been real!

Blog on, Peg!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Maybe it was the fact that I could not recall my user name and password to sign in to my own blog.

Maybe it was the fact that it is June 17 and I have not posted since March.

Or maybe it's the new diet program I just joined.

I dunno.

I feel compelled to update my blog and start writing again.

Let's start with the June 17th angle...omigosh! It's Father's Day!

John's big present is letting him sleep in and not be responsible for pottying the puppy (a new addition to our family since my last post.) I've also promised him a foot rub...he's working three jobs right now and those dogs are darn tired.

Of course, a Father's Day doesn't go by that I don't miss my father, who died 10 years ago.

Not that we were particularly close...

In fact, I always wished that Hallmark would come out with a special line of holiday cards targeted for dysfunctional families. You know..."You were never really there for me, Dad, but gosh darn it, I love you! Happy Father's Day!"

Something like that.

Maybe a picture on the front of the card sporting an empty 12-pack of beer...

Not that I am bitter.

'Cuz the truth is, all parents damage their children in some respect. However, I know, at the ripe old age of almost-51 that most Dads -- and most Moms -- do the best they can with the parenting skills they have in raising their children.

Hey,Dads make mistakes. And children, bless their hearts, are forgiving, loving little creatures.

No matter what, your Dad is your Dad.

And, no matter what, and despite his shortcomings, he deserves a day to be celebrated.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I love you.

You who are on the road
Must have a code
that you can live by

And so become yourself
Because the past
is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why,
if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh...
and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears
that your elders grew by

And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth
before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why,
if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh...
and know they love you.