Friday, December 31, 2010

A Journey Into Another Year


Our tradition began back in the early 1980s when The Soldiers & Sailors Monument down in Indianapolis was due to have some repairs done on it that would last at least a year.  This meant that 1983 (I believe that was the year) would be the last time when there would be another Christmas tree made out of a combination of this tall structure and some strings of lights for at least one Christmas.

This was also the year when other things kept us from making it down to Indianapolis to look at the lights until New Year's Eve.

And so we (my folks and I) went that year to drive around Indianapolis after we had driven around Anderson and Pendleton.  

This would bring about leaving home in one year and returning in another.

Unless health and/or weather kept us from it, we've kept this tradition all of these years--except it's just my mom and me now.  Sometimes, we would take along an extra person or two, but it was mostly just a kind of immediate family tradition.

The weather is cooperating this year, and, so, we'll, once more, be making our journey into a brand new year.

We don't always go to the same places, but it's always the same tradition.

A very nice, thoughtful, and loving way to approach a brand new and clean slate.

Although we bring to it our memories (both happy and sad) of years past and our hopes for the future of the upcoming year, itself, and years to come, 2011 is a virgin at this time awaiting us to make love to it and bring out its best, with the help of God and others!

We need to be preparing to take our journey soon, so this message will be short with lots of love, prayers, and positive thoughts sent your way for January 1 and beyond...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughts On Crime

Just a little bit ago, I read this news story online and wrote the response to it that is listed below.  Unfortunately, it exceed the character count that would allow it to get published, but that's no problem, as this is what blogs are for!  Notice that I've mentioned an attorney in it by the name of Stuart V. Goldberg, because I very strongly believe that he really has a clue when it comes to criminal justice and would definitely call for an alternative to the decisions being made concerning this 16 year old girl.

I think that a close examination of this story will show that the motivating factor is greed--and I'm not just talking about whatever greed this young lady had going on that led her to do something like this.

For starters, I'm betting that she has been--and, possibly, still is--on one of those so-called wonder drugs such as Ritalin.  Greedy Big Pharma has been promoting the screwing around with the brains of younger and younger children in an increasing way for at least the past three decades.

It's a miracle that MORE kids aren't out committing crimes with all of that cognitive brain damage going on due to widespread brain-poisoning.

It doesn't matter HOW long her rap-sheet is, she should never be tried as an adult for the simple reason that she ISN'T an adult.

If society spent as much time helping troubled kids as it does looking to punish them, juvenile crime would be W---A---Y down.

It's a feather in the cap of a D.A. to charge a child as an adult--a great investment for the future, whether the future is personally running for office or for endorsing another person who is.

Did I mention that prison is a for-profit business?  A lot of people benefit financially by having a prison around--and they benefit even more when it has to be enlarged in order to accommodate more inmates (especially, long-term inmates).

There are crimes that don't really need long prison terms, but long prison terms are given anyway.  There are also crimes that either can be better handled with alternatives to prison time or else shouldn't even be considered to be crimes.

So, we have a case of too many people who are either in prison for too long of a time or else shouldn't have ever been taken to prison in the first place.

I agree that there are people who need to be incarcerated somewhere because they're a danger to others if they're left to come and go as they please.

I also think that there are alternatives to prison that should be used when those alternatives are better solutions to making up for the crimes that have been committed (e.g. working off their debts).

However, as long as prison is profitable in a bigtime sort of way, the alternatives will seldom be explored.

Also, as long as there are people from various sectors profiting from damaging the brains of children under the guise of helping them, there will always be children whose cognitive skills are impaired to such a degree that it will be easy for them to get on the wrong side of the law.

I'm not an attorney.  I'm simply a writer with a B.A. in  English and a few months of post-graduate education.  However, I'd like for you to keep your eye on one amazing attorney from Chicago named Stuart V. Goldberg.

He's a defense attorney and has a very good head on his shoulders when it comes to the law.

The world would be a much better place when it came to crime if more people thought as he did.

Although I don't know whether or not he would totally agree with everything I've written down to the letter (though, again, he might), he and I seem to be on the same page in a lot of ways when it comes to criminal justice, so I would like to present him to you as somebody to check out if you really want to win the war on crime!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Multi-Purpose Move

Pinky and Bud will be here a little later to help me to rearrange my living room into something more manageable.

Had Plan A taken place (my sunroom in place my now), things would have been a whole lot easier, as I could have designated it a sorting room (not to mention moving out the furniture that I'd planned on moving into it on a permanent basis).

However, a combination of finances, weather, and scheduling prevented Plan A from taking place (on back-burner until spring), so I have no sunroom.

Therefore, Plan B is now in place.

Plan B is to manage to transfer things from one room to another.

The end result of Plan B:  
The organization of my living space into actual living space and sorting space where (when complete) never the twain shall meet.

The downside of Plan B as opposed to Plan A:  
Having less space in which to work.

Enter:  The Multi-Purpose Move

Move, in this case, is used both as a figure of speech and the literal act of moving.

Here's the game plan...

In a matter of minutes, I'm going to be moving some things out of the way of other things.  This is so that I can move what needs to be moved to other areas.

When I start to do this, there will be a kind of trade-off.

For one thing, I'm moving this table holding a small stereo that is now in my kitchen into the living room.

Of course, it will need to be placed in another part of the kitchen until the living room is ready for its entrance.

The spot where this table now is will be freed up to hold things that I'm temporarily removing from the living room.

When finished, I won't be able to get to my microwave for a little while until the hope chest gets moved into the living room, so I'd probably better fix some rice pronto.

Going to do that now, so brb...

I have now returned--for a little while, anyway...

Before getting too far into Plan B, I'll have bags/boxes/other containers of things needing sorted going over to the door separating my home office from the rest of the south side of my house--which means that I won't be able to get to my computer until the various containers have been moved into the sorting space that I'm creating on the southwest side of my very large living room.

Since I do want to be able to have access to my computer once more, this will give me extra motivation not to procrastinate when it comes to getting this little show on the road.

The same is true when it comes to wanting to have access to my microwave along with my conventional stove and oven.

Anyway, my computer has been acting as if it needs a vacation, so I think it will be glad to be completely shut off for a few hours.

While I'm away from my computer, I hope that you'll be checking out AJville (which is here)and signing my new guestbook.  If any of the links you see in the right and left-hand margins catch your eye, feel free to click on them and see where they lead.  Also, please check out this blog-entry to find out more about what I've been up to lately--speaking of which, have you read my Christmas newsletter series lately?  As you can see from going here, I have plans to keep up this new online tradition for many years to come!

Other than inviting you to have a little creative fun with this cool interactive game (just reading some of the questions and answers is entertaining enough, even if you decide not to actively participate), I'm going to be signing off here and will soon be taking a mini-vacation from Cyberspace for at least the next few hours.

Will catch you when I get back...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toilet Paper Tales

 Note:  This was actually supposed to be finished and posted on December 27, but I ended up falling asleep and not getting back to finishing it until well into the next day.  Why was my original intent to have it ready on December 27?  Just read on, and you'll eventually find out--and I hope that you enjoy getting there as much as I've enjoyed getting you there...

I've found that there is a lot that can be said when it comes to toilet paper (and/or a reasonable--or unreasonable--facsimile).

Let's start with the concept of an unreasonable facsimile.

This story must have taken place in the early 1930s, as my mom was somewhere between ten and thirteen when this happened to her.

She and her best friend, Fanchon, were playing in the woods when nature came calling in the worst way.

Back then, they didn't even use modern day toilet paper at home.  Instead, they used pages from a Sears Catalog.  Some people back then used corn cobs.  I suppose that some people living in cities  and larger towns used toilet paper just as we do here in the 21st Century, but this was a country village called Cunot in Owen County, Indiana, so it was either cobs or catalogs at that time--and, if you got caught in the woods, you just grabbed up some leaves to take care of business.

What my mom didn't realize until it was too late was that some poison ivy leaves were mixed in with the more appropriate ones she had chosen.

Not only did her bottom get itchy, but, also, other parts of her body such as her face, as she had touched her face at some point before she realized what she had on her hands.  She began scratching, and the ivy poison began spreading even further.

Each year, she always looked forward to going to an event called The Quincy Picnic, but she was now in no shape to go and had to stay home.

My folks met in Anderson in 1946, as both of them had gone there to work at Delco-Remy a few years before.  They married on February 8, 1947.

On weekends, they would drive down to Cunot to spend time with my mom's widowed dad and her oldest brother, George, who still lived on the farm.

Electricity was starting to arrive in that area, and they would look to see which households were hooked up to this new-to-the-area modern convenience and which were still using old-fashioned lamps.

Each time they went down, they could see the number of houses with bright lights burning increasing.

This, of course, will tell you something about Cunot in the early 1930s--which is that it not only didn't have air-conditioners in any of the homes there but, also, that it didn't even have the power it would take to run an electric fan.

Therefore, it was also hot and humid both indoors and out--which intensified the discomfort from the poison ivy--so you can bet that my mom was a lot more careful in the future when choosing just the right leaves to get the job done!

As for action in a wooded environment, I'm only a lemonade vendor and not a fudge maker, so I've never had to worry about finding just the right leaves.

I've always been pretty fussy when it comes to post-fudge-making clean-up.  My motto (not an original with me but one I've "adopted") is that the job isn't finished until the paperwork is done.

As a kid, I tried to avoid the gross experience of ending up having a candy-coated hand by making the stock for toilet paper shoot way up through gross overuse.

I'm not just talking about continuing to make stockholders in toilet paper companies more than a little happy as I do to this very day.  I'm talking about giving myself a mummy hand before tackling the job and repeating the experience at least once or twice more.

Somehow, I didn't have a clue that the combination of a little less paper used per time and an increase in flushing would spare me what was a commonplace occurrence (though, somehow, the toilet generally managed to swallow everything without an issue--but how it did that, I don't know except that it must have been a miracle).

I remember a time when I came home from school in fourth grade, and nature was calling my name shortly after I came indoors, inspiring me to head for the downstairs half-bath.

When finished, I noticed that the toilet paper was stacked almost to the top of the bowl--but I got this really bright (or so I thought at the time) idea re: what to do about that.

Instead of leaving the lid open, I would simply close the lid.  Then, there would be no place for a flood to escape and spill onto the floor, and everything would go nicely down the correct path to our septic tank.

I closed the lid and flushed the toilet.

Good!  It sounded as if it were going down.

Now, it was on to washing my hands.

With the water running, I wasn't able to hear the difference.  However, after I'd turned off the tap, I noticed that the toilet was making weird sounds as if it were gargling.

Then, I heard a sound like a waterfall and noticed water spilling out onto the floor.

Even though I had closed the lid, I didn't take into consideration that there was a space between the toilet seat and the rim of the toilet, and this was from where the water was now escaping.


My grandparents, Uncle Jim, and my cousins were now living with us, and they had made a kind of day room down in our basement.

I hurried down there hollering, "PLUNGER!  PLUNGER!  THERE'S SOMETHING FISHY GOING ON!"

This turned out to be the mother of all floods, as it didn't contain itself to the floor of the bathroom or even just outside the door.


This time, it formed brooks that went who knows how many different directions, though the one I was aware of was meandering into the living room.

Somehow, the mess got cleaned up, and I tried to be more careful with my toilet paper use after that--though it definitely wasn't the last time that I stopped up a toilet.

My "adopted" big sister, Pinky, and I get a lot of mileage out of the idea of toilet paper and have done some pretty crazy things with a toilet paper theme.

Pinky and her brother, Bud, traveled out to Arizona to visit their sister, Lou, and her husband, Bob, a few years ago.  Now, they're both pretty fluent and frequent when it comes to lemonade making, so they decided to poke fun at this trait by collecting a sheet of toilet tissue from every public restroom they visited on their trip, labeling it with date and location.

My folks and I found that to be pretty amusing, and this was what started our talking about toilet paper on several occasions.

On Sundays after church, we would generally go to a popular restaurant southwest of Anderson called The Red Brick Inn, and, somehow, the subject of toilet paper came up in our conversation.

All of the iced tea I'd been drinking (bottomless glass) had inspired a lemonade making session within me that led to the little girls room.

While in there, I got this wild idea involving making some headwear for myself out of toilet paper and seeing how long it would take for one or more people at our table--or even others in the restaurant--to notice it.

It didn't take that long.  I even encouraged Pinky to get a little bit crazy and creative, but she decided to (pun intended, perhaps) pass on that one.

We decided to take a Sunday drive after that with me at the wheel.

I'm one of these people with a hobby of traveling the backroads, finding places of interest, and sharing them with everybody later.  At other times, we all just go looking for interesting stuff together.  This trip, I believe, was a combination of both.

We ended up including an area close to Geist Reservoir in our travels, and I ended up turning down this street--only to realize that it wasn't a street but, instead, a private drive.

When we got to the top and dead-ended in front of this fancy house, one of the owners came out to find out what was going on--as in "What's this strange car doing in my driveway?"

I explain to him that we were just driving around and I'd mistaken his driveway for a public street--and, all of the time, he was giving me this weird look.

Anyway, as we backed out of there, I caught my reflection in my rear view mirror and realized that I was still wearing my toilet paper hat.

No wonder the guy had been giving me this, "And what have YOU been smoking, young lady!?!" look.

Finally, I want to tell you about a very, very special incident involving toilet paper.

My mom and I went to a certain chick party a few years ago--actually, many more years ago than it seems to us--when somebody passed around a roll of toilet paper and invited all of the ladies there to take some (our decision re: how much).

Some of us took a sheet or two, some of us took quite a bit.

We were to find out that the winner of this game would be the one who had taken enough toilet paper to come the closest to measuring the middle circumference of a young lady named Paula:  a very pregnant young lady named Paula!

Now, the little one (Kazanna) who was riding around inside of her at the time is a high school junior, married to the love of her life (Austin), and they're expecting their first child (a son named Hayden) around February 24!

Time really has a way of flying!

Not long after this fun baby shower, December 27 arrived--and so did Kazanna!

You should see her now!

Happy Birthday (one day late) to Kazanna!!! -- And happy arrival day in just a matter of weeks to little Hayden!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Starting A New Tradition

Once upon a time, I sent out Christmas newsletters via snail-mail and got rave reviews of the same.

I continued to do this up until recent years when I was starting to slow down considerably.  I would eventually end up in the hospital to learn that I had some health problems that were causing this.

While I'm still not up to the way that I once was, I'm starting to get back at least some of my old energy and am now trying to make up for lost time.

The only problem is that--while I'm trying to catch up with myself--new things keep happening.

Shortly before I went into the hospital, I wrote something along the lines of how what I really needed was for time to stand still so that I could have all the time I needed to catch up with myself.  Then, once I had gotten current, life would go on right where it stopped for me, and I wouldn't have missed a thing.

Since I have a healthier body now--having gotten rid of a three-bug MRSA infection that, likely, would have killed me had I put off getting help much longer and having a name for my condition (lymphedema) and how to treat it--both my mobility and energy-level have greatly improved.  

One thing for sure:  I know that I can lift my legs enough to get into bed and stretch out for some real rest now.  That was taken from me for quite awhile, and I kept thinking that I would be just fine if I could just lift my legs enough to get them onto the bed and stretch out along with losing some weight.

My mom finally asked me if I wanted her to call the hospital or the funeral home!

I believe that the human body has a natural way of healing itself and should do so as much as possible.  However, there are times when a little extra help was needed, and this was, obviously, one of these times.

Anyway, back to my original train-of-thought.

First off, don't get the idea that I was in this really awful shape all of these years and nobody noticed.  It was just sort of a gradual thing--but it ended up escalating in a period of a few months leading up to when I finally went to the hospital.  I had no insurance, so I was thankful when I found out that a foundation would be taking care of the financial part of most of my care.

Anyway, that's all she wrote on this story for now, as it will be part of Chapter Nine of the book I'm writing.  On with the story of my new tradition...

I'm happy to report that I'm back to sending out Christmas newsletters again--but, this time, in a different way.

For people online, I simply send them the newsletter itself and/or a link to a blog-entry where I've written it.  For my snail-mail loved ones (several who are also online with me), I now send a card but will also include a link to a place online where I can be found.

This year, I have the perfect place set up here at AJville.  Everybody has received a url to it.  Of course, AJville connects to other places--and one of those places is where I'm starting a brand new tradition.

What IS it?

It's how I've decided that I'm going to compose a total of 12 Christmas newsletters--one for each of the twelve days of Christmas.  I'll display each one at one blog and will provide links to them at another.

The blog-entry I'm using for display is pretty neat.  Part of it even looks like a Christmas tree with toys under it.  Here it is!!!

Anyway, this pretty well sums up my new tradition--along with some related ones that I'm going to share now.

I've always thought that it would be great to have my home decorated in some way all year 'round--and have done that here and there, of course.  However, I'm going to actually make out a schedule and see how well I'm able to follow it.

This is it:

I'm doing a newsletter for each of the twelve days of Christmas--and leaving up my Christmas decorations through January.  In February, I'm decorating with a Valentine's Day theme.  In March and April, it will be a spring and Easter theme.  The spring part will remain after Easter until Memorial Day Weekend.  From Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, I'll be decorating in an extra-patriotic way.  From the rest of September through Thanksgiving Day, I'll be displaying various autumn decorations.  The day after Thanksgiving, I'll be starting to decorate for Christmas--and the year starts all over again...

At least, this is how I see things happening at this time.

Anyway, I'm going to sign off and post this now. . . 

Friday, December 24, 2010

One More Distraction Returns On Christmas Eve -- YAY!!!

In just a few hours, an old friend will be returning to my place:  my TV!!!

Hopefully, I'll still be able to get things done such as writing my book, organizing my life, and so on and so forth--but I'm sure that I'll be spending time relaxing and watching those wonderful holiday movies that are on here, there, and everywhere at this time of year.

Two out of  twenty-five of  The 25 Days Of Christmas isn't bad.

I'm not sure how many months ago it was when I came into the living room and noticed that the TV wasn't on.

I'll generally have it on something like CNN when I'm not watching anything in particular and just popping into the living room occasionally when taking a break from The Internet.  This way, I can catch something of interest that might be going on.

Anyway, that one day (I think it was still summer when this happened), I came in and saw that the screen was dark.  I tried to turn it back on using the remote.  After that, I tried to turn it back on using a power button on the back right side of my set.  Nothing.

"Nothing" also pretty much described the contents of my bank account at the time, so I knew that I wouldn't be getting this appliance fixed for quite awhile.

Even when my bank account wasn't bone-dry, there were other things needing attention, so my TV was put on the back burner--or should I say, my TV remained where it was but was either hibernating or totally-dead.

I decided that I wanted to watch at least some of the wonderful Christmas movies that are shown at this time of year, so I worked getting the TV fixed into my budget.

It was supposed to have been, possibly, fixed as early as Monday--and Wednesday at the latest.

Of course, this would be under normal circumstances.

During the holiday season, mail and shipments take more time.

The part finally arrived sometime Thursday afternoon--from Georgia.  Glad it wasn't coming from China or I might be waiting until after the first of the year.

It should be delivered by or before five on Christmas Eve.

Even though the ABC Family Channel's 25 Days Of Christmas is just that:  25 days, there will still be plenty of Christmas movies being aired on various channels (including ABC Family Channel) through at least the end of the year, and, at times, even beyond.

This year, everybody getting snail-mail Christmas cards is going to be getting them after Christmas, but that's okay.  December 25 is actually the first day of Christmas, and the celebration goes on through The Twelfth Night.

Even during this time of financial and health struggles, we still have a lot to be thankful for, and this is the time when we're, once more, reminded of the glad tidings brought to our planet in the form of a newborn baby who would grow up to be unforgettable!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


If you enjoy reading, you've come to the right place, as you'll find a couple of neat links on this page:

Book Report will keep you up with the book I'm writing--just little behind-the-scenes notes and information...

The Sugar Fork Creek Storyteller is a blog sharing things I've written--along with an occasional literary item by a guest writer.

   I believe that you

will enjoy the journey...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happening Hang-Outs

Just in case you're looking for me
Here I am at:


Dear Diaries...

I have some blogs--including this one--that I treat like diaries.  That is, they're used for recording everyday kinds of stuff.  Here are three of them.

AinsleyJo1952 -- Started On My 58th Birthday is the only one of the three where you have to have a paid subscription in order to read more than a few words of it.

Not to worry, though!  If you do take out a subscription, you can quit if you're disappointed in the site--and there's plenty more to read there besides my words.

In fact, you can bring in some pretty decent money writing and otherwise interacting there and/or bringing in new subscribers.

I'd love to have you checking out this blog--especially, using this link to it so that I would get credit should you decide to subscribe (Rest assured that it doesn't automatically subscribe you)--but I know that money is tight these days.

Anyway, the next two are free for the reading.

Begun On Birch Bayh's 81st. Birthday isn't a political blog (though I might mention something political from time to time).  I just thought that this would be a catchy title for it, since it was the 81st birthday of our former U.S. Senator (not to mention the dad of another longtime U.S. Senator).  It's just another blog where I talk about what's on my mind in the way of current affairs.

My Helping Hand Journal is the blog that's my personal take on Invisible Youth Network and its goals, activities, etc.

Here's hoping that you'll find what I write in these diaries--along with the diary that is part of this blog--to provide enjoyable reads.

Here, There, & Everywhere!

This is the future home of a linking system that will take you a whole lot of places where I travel in Cyberspace.
I'll be working on this over time.

In the meantime,
here's a link to a very important and helpful place:

Welcome To My World!


My name is Ainsley Jo Phillips, and I would like to welcome you to AJville, a special, little spot I've created in Cyberspace that has the potential to grow and grow over time!

For quite some time, I've been wanting to create a site that would simplify my life in Cyberspace so that I could become more organized and effective.  I've decided, at this point, to make AJville my portal into such a site.

I hope that you have at least as much fun exploring this place as I have had making it.

Remember that this is a work-in-progress, so keep on coming back to find out what's new...