Friday, January 3, 2014

How Would You Spend the Lottery?

A few weeks ago, my (newly) 18-year-old daughter was excited that on the first day she could buy a lottery ticket, the jackpot was an unheard-of ungodly amount, like $300 million or something. Of course, I bought a ticket or two myself.

My late mother frowned on gambling, and considered the Lottery gambling. My comment to her once was "Anything that takes my mind off my problems, and makes me smile thinking of spending this money can't be bad."

My thinking on how I would spend that money hasn't changed, much, anyway. With any big payout (over $100 million), I would first pay the debts, then I would establish a trust for each of my kids. They would get money as long as they held a job. I don't care what job, they just need to work. I would hope they would work a non-profit, but that would be their decision.

I would take a big trip--like 3-4 months. Rent a place in Italy or France and just relax and drink some good wine and eat some good food. Maybe bring some friends for a while. Poke around shops. Buy another bulldog. Some me-and-Joe-and-kids time.

I would establish a scholarship at UNC for a high-school kid who had decent-enough grades to get accepted, but worked all through high school. In my house right now, none of my kids are eligible for any need-based scholarship, and (because of our values) were forced to work during high school, interfering with the time they put into school. I don't delude myself and believe that if they didn't work, they would have done better in school, but the argument is that they could have. Anyway, paying for their college in full has been a bit of a stretch for their dad and me, not so much now, but in the retirement we could be putting away. Choices, you know? So, the scholarship would help someone, or more than just one student, who has worked, earned decent grades, and would put a hardship on their family to pay for school. If the Lottery were large enough, I might establish the same scholarship at University of Kansas, but maybe not.

I would figure out how to have an account that would hold enough money that The Lord's Diner (a "restaurant" in Wichita serving a hot meal to anyone who comes in) could buy food from the interest. The Lord's Diner is a great concept, and I appreciate that it is staffed by only a few people, and everyone else is a volunteer. It was begun and initially funded by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, but nearly everyone in Wichita has a night to serve: churches, both Catholic and Protestant; businesses; schools; sororities and fraternities;--you name it, the group has most likely signed up for a stint working.

I might buy myself a new car, but maybe not. I do love my little Caroline-blue Beetle.

So, what would you do with a Lottery windfall?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I cannot believe that it has been over 2 years since I posted an entry here. Many things have happened in my life and in the lives of my family, but by the grace of a good and loving God, we have been made into stronger people, and, I think, a stronger family. However, I really missed the writing, as well as some of the interaction I was experiencing here. I wonder what happened to some of my internet acquaintances, and hope their lives are productive and peaceful.

I am still reading, and will share books from time to time. I still make quilts, and have learned a lot and will post pictures. But, I think that I have found a purpose for this blog, and I intend to rant. So, to get a better feel for me, here is a bit of history: I was born in North Carolina into a typical (read prejudiced) family. I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, where I was surrounded by good and loving people.  I went to a fundamentalist Christian high school, where I learned more about how to be a bad Christian than I did how to be a Christlike disciple. I always felt disliked, or at least overlooked, by my extended family, other than one set of grandparents. Because my immediate family rooted for NCSU and Norm Sloan, I (again, praise God!) followed Dean Smith and the Tar Heels, and eventually matriculated there and finally graduated from that esteemed institution. No one in my family, except Uncle Marlin, congratulated me for getting into Carolina. My mother cried. I was baptized as a young teenager, and while there have been years that I didn't attend church, I have never not believed in a loving God and a Savior full of grace I don't deserve. I met my husband in Germany, and finally he agreed to marry me, and I moved to his home state, Kansas. He is Catholic, so we attend the Catholic Church. Churches/institutions in my life might change, but it is the same God over me, and I am comfortable with that. My parents were Republican bigwigs, and their political cronies showed me what a terrible, terrible waste of energy and money this nation's political machine can be. After being disenchanted there, and seeing things occur in the White House over the past 20 years, I have become apolitical. I will talk more about that later. My father says I am a Liberal now, but I disagree. My college friends will definitely disagree! Because I feel bad about being apolitical, I rarely read the news in any depth. It depresses me and makes me sad for my country.

So, when I rant, and you say "Where did that come from?!", look at my history, and see if you can find a place where something makes sense. I have a hard time doing it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm Back!

So very, very much has happened since I last posted: I lost my mom, the Tar Heels won, the Tar Heels lost, I got a job, we have a new president, and this past weekend, some wacko shot some people over what may be political hatred. I just have to comment. Plus, I wanted to keep a list of the books I have read like I did in 2009. So here goes. I will be posting somewhat regularly about different things. I still haven't decided what I want this blog to be. Maybe this is the year it evolves into what I want it to be.

First, books.

So far this year, I have read: A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Finch--a book club pick), The Reversal (Michael Connelly), heart of the matter (Emily Giffin) and My Reading Life (Pat Conroy). Finch's book was OK-very Victorian and not all that compelling a main character. I was much more fascinated by a secondary character, Lady Jane, who was able to maintain her social status while behaving outside of the norm of women of that era. I would like to know more about her, but such was not the case.

The Reversal was classic Connelly--I enjoy his writing so much. Nothing new and special, but extremely enjoyable all the same.

heart of the matter--I am confused by Emily Giffin's books. I like them very much, but they are marketed like chick lit, but they are so much better than what that term implies. This particular volume was marred by the removal of the next to the last page, wherein the cheating husband reveals his remorse (why would someone remove that page?). Anyway, I liked it and will continue to read her books.

Pat Conroy is someone I have resisted reading for a long, long time. Mostly because I felt conflicted about the movies made from his books. Also because any interview I listened to that included him sounded somehow, I don't know, sanctimonious? Self-centered? Maybe it was just my age ("The Great Santini" was released when I was in middle school---lots of talk about it from my peers made it unwatchable for me; "The Prince of Tides" seemed a bit trite--somehow, Barbra Streisand in a Sosuthern novelist's story seemed, well, wrong!). For whatever reason, I wouldn't read him. Finally, I picked up South of Broad, and found Conroy's writing to be beautiful, simply beautiful. Unexpectedly beautiful. Although I heartily disliked the story (it seemed as though he began he story about one thing [the main character's reaction to his brother's suicide] but changed to telling a story about one of the friend's sexual status and subsequent death from AIDS, and then remembered that the story was about the brother's suicide and quickly added the backstory to the suicide). But the description of Charleston: I felt like I lived there. Prose like that is hard to come by. Anyway, I checked out My Reading Life from the library (no pages ripped out! Yay!). I had to read a couple excerpts out loud to my husband (who grunted quietly at them). I absolutely loved his discussion of Gone With the Wind, and think I may have to reread that one (for the third time, but my first as an adult). He has made me order some Anne Rivers Siddons' books from Paperback, and I look forward to putting those in my (huge) pile of books to be read. However, his discussion of his love of books and language in his chapter on the Old New York Book Shop is what swayed me to his other books. If Conroy really feels that way about books and words, then maybe South of Broad wasn't really meant to be a novel, but he had to make it look that way for his publisher. I have ordered a couple more of his books to add to my stack; I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My First Visit to the Dean Smith Center for a Ball Game

I had been to the Smith Center before--saw Rod Stewart there (whew!-in a red leather suit!--
Whew!), visited my daughter at basketball camp there, went in simply to look around. But I had never seen the Heels play there. That was all about to change...

My friend Moneypenny was visiting her folks during February. I got a phone call from her asking if I wanted to go to the dook game. Knowing that we had already played dook at cameron, I knew exactly what game she was talking about. After hyperventilating for a minute, I assured her that if she got the tickets, I was there!

Her friend gave her the tickets. I bought an airplane ticket. It was a done deal. I didn't tell anyone in Raleigh except my sister, Jaymi. I flew in on Friday, and my friend Moneypenny picked me up from the airport. We had a lovely dinner at a beautiful restaurant in Cary, and then we were up and running the next morning. I was up at 6:00 a.m. to get dressed and drive to Wake Forest to see my niece Morgan before she left for school. After a lovely breakfast and delightful company, I drove out to my parents' home and surprised the heck out of them! They had no idea I was anywhere near the state, and I had a short, but great, visit with them. I get tickled every time I remember how surprised they were.

Finally, it was Sunday--the day of the big game. My sister and brother-in-law drove to Chapel Hill with my other niece for breakfast. Breadman's is ALWAYS a great choice. Moneypenny and I met up and shopped a little on Franklin Street, pointing out the changes since we were in residence. Then we trekked down campus to the Smith Center. We waiting in line to see the new museum (which was incredible, but too little history--a lot of current players' items and stats). Then, the game.

We arrived during warmups, which is always fun to watch. Everyone cheered as players came up from the locker room to warm up. I got a photo of Danny Green waving to me! We sat about 10 rows behind Michael Jordan (great seats!). Everyone booed as the dookies came in, especially the former players, I mean, the coaching staff. As the seniors were introduced, each got a round of applause. The most touching thing, to my mind: Marcus Ginyard is redshirted, so he will be back next year as a fifth-year senior. His recruiting class is graduating (on time, I might add!) this year. All the graduating seniors were on the floor enjoying their moment, when one of them (I think Mike Copeland) went to the bench and led Marcus onto the court. Then the game started. I think they scored first, but we led most of the way. I felt pretty comfortable after the 15-minute mark of the second half.

Postgame Senior speeches were fun and touching. Psycho T, the stoic, don't let anyone get in his way, cried during his final appearance at the Smith Center. It was adorable. I cried, and I am not even his mom! It was really wonderful to see ALL the players recognize the time and money and energy their families put into their basketball career.

What a great tradition we have. I know others feel the same way, and I know we all think that "our" tradition is more special than any other. It is, because it is ours. All the people in that gym had one thing in common, even the dookies: we love the game. And that game belonged to the Heels, all those before and all those to come. God bless those Tar Heel Boys!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Books, Book Clubs, and More Books

I have finally been invited to join a book club! I went 2 months ago to my first meeting (The Guernsey LIterary and Potato Peel Society), wherein I did NOT get to read the book (although I bought the book and will read it later). This past week was my first meeting for which I read the book, Away, by Amy Bloom. I loved the writing of Away, but did not much like the story. If the writing is that prosaic, I like the story to either be too unbelievable or very believable. The Hobbit (completely unbelievable, but beautiful) and Sophie's Choice (believable, and horrible, but beautiful) come to mind as examples.

As you can see by my sidebar, I love to read. I love books, and I love bookstores and libraries. I am grateful that my love of reading has been passed down to at least 2 of my children. Both of my daughters love to read, and hopefully my son will discover the joy as well.

This month, the book club will be reading The People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks. It looks interesting, and I will post after I have read it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Winners Again

Well, my beloved Tar Heel boys did it again last night--beating the blue devils in Durham. And for most of the game, they looked darn good doing it. Why is it that we, as fans, get so wrapped up in this? We have absolutely nothing, NOTHING, to do with winning, losing--we don't know these boys, will (most likely) never meet these boys, gain nothing but bragging rights (to what?!), waste hours thinking about or researching or writing about the game/rivalry, spend money to watch or commune during a game, and for what? The opportunity to align ourselves with winners. Or, in my case, with a premier program/university. If you have read my previous postings regarding Coach Smith, then you know the influence he has had on my life and my outlook on the world. That is where I come from.

So, here's to you, boys! Let's do it again in March. Show them who's boss.

God Bless those Tar Heel Boys!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Quilts

This is Austin's quilt that I made for him for Christmas.

This one is for Taylor for her Christmas. It is classic Winnie the Pooh motifs.

This is a quilt I began about 7 years ago and have just gotten it quilted. I am binding it (soon) and will put it on my bed.

I really like the way this turned out, even though I amde so many mistakes on it.