If You Don’t Read My Work, It Doesn’t Hurt My Feelings

Unhurt feelings

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Often when I mention my blog, people tune me out. That’s okay. Many times when I invite people to read my blog, they smile and say, “That sounds cool, but I don’t have time to read,” and then they tell me about something else they read on Facebook. It’s okay.

If you don’t read my posts, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.

I write for myself and for those who do need the messages I compose.

I write for the opportunity to share my experiences and the lessons learned in daily events.

I write for other educators and farmers. We have the toughest careers there are. Someone has to get our message out there.

I write for the moms and dads who find joy and frustration in the role of parent and hopefully provide comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in our parenting struggles.

I write for those who suffer from self-doubt, worry, and guilt. We need to let that stuff go and hopefully my posts help others (as well as me) move on from that negativity. Continue reading “If You Don’t Read My Work, It Doesn’t Hurt My Feelings”

A New Sheriff in Town – Defining What the Position Means

New Sheriff in Town

I have been doing a lot of thinking about lessons learned and it has been harder than I thought because I had done my homework on the issues and/or problems. I gathered data and information for a couple of years and set a course of direction to move the agency forward.

PastorSheriff_3_t_w600_h475.jpgLessons learned – “means an event or events that were not anticipated or a plan that failed for some reason unknown and you learn the hard way.” (Mike Bonham’s personal definition)

I think that, personally, I have a lot of goals for this agency and it seems to be taking too long, but in reality we are on track. I believe that this is in part because I really want the citizens of the county to be proud of their Sheriff’s Office, but the focus should not be ME, it should be the OFFICE as a whole.

png 1 Lesson one – People try to make it about the Sheriff. And I get it; I’m looked at as the leader. (Still hard) 

png 1 Lesson two—I push hard, the employees and myself to move to perfection and to hit the goals that have been established… (Slow down we will get there.)  

png 1 Lesson Three—With so many projects and initiatives, some can get lost in the push. My hope in is having a handle on prioritizing:

  1. Health and Welfare of the employees
  2. Biggest impact on safety and security for the citizens of the county.
  3. Keep spending within Sheriff’s Office Budget

 

Like I said, this has been a lot tougher assignment than I thought it would be. Thanks for the challenge.

The following I released after a 60 day review:  My hope is you can see the consistence and planning.

Bonham 1.jpgI took office in December, this week and we reviewed the first 60 days on the job.
We wanted a “no drama” transition from the leadership of Carl Fowler, who served as interim sheriff.
We Intensified communication — internally and externally — as we have marked the first 60 days.
We have used Facebook, and a soon an updated website, YouTube videos to push information. We credited the media blitz with leading to the arrest of a fugitives, as a direct results.
“We’re looking for ways to distribute information. It’s a work in progress.”
We have stepped up efforts to arrest dealers, save users who overdose and educate the community.
But, my office has yet to engage the medical community in an effort to reduce abuse of prescription narcotics.

What’s to come:

• Crisis Intervention Training:  to prepare all deputies and staff with intervention methods for dealing with citizens suffering from mental illness crisis. Three staffers will complete the 40-hour training, scheduled in May.

• Increased community outreach with a town hall meeting in Linn and other events. The restructured Community Services Unit , the chaplain program, and the Jr. Deputy program.

• Restarting the “Reserve deputy” program, which allows retired law enforcement officers to volunteer. They must have the same training as full-time officers and can work in a range of activities.

“I’m just pleased to report that we’ve hit the marks on our first 60-day plan. “This is not to say we’re done.”
It is the staff that have been working quickly and professionally to meet my expectation. Turnover has remained low, with only minimum changes — retirements and resignations — since I took office.

“The deputies and men and women of the sheriff’s office have been working hard and I’m proud of these accomplishments. We will continue to work hard to produce a professional, competent and compassionate law enforcement agency the citizens of Osage County can be proud of.”

By: Sheriff Mike Bonham

Guest post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.

mike bonham 2

Osage County Fair 2016

 

P.S. Last July my children met Sheriff Bonham at the county fair, when he was still running for office. After he shook my five year old’s hand, my son asked, “Why does he want to be the sheriff?” I told him, “Mr. Bonham wants to keep us safe.” My son’s reply, “Okay, I guess we can vote for him.” 🙂  Sheriff Bonham has worked hard to keep lines of communication open with people of our county and safety in the forefront of his tenure. Thank you, Sheriff Bonham, for your willingness to share your personal lessons learned this year. Best of luck to you as you continue to meet these goals and protect our community.

The Beauty of Acceptance – Wise Words Wednesday

Accepting Beauty

Have you ever been to a point in your life that you only see the negatives? Were all you thought about was what you didn’t have, but wanted to have? Where you picked out everyone else’s flaws because you weren’t satisfied with yourself?

Well I have, and let me tell you what I was doing. I was wasting my life. I was missing all the beauty in my life and losing out on my precious time. You see, I never saw the beauty in what I had. I missed out on some amazing talents, time with my family and memories with my kid. I saw what others were achieving and hated it because I wasn’t doing something exciting with my life.

It wasn’t their fault. They were ACTUALLY DOING something with their life, and I was just crying about mine.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the back-church pew on Saturday night telling God how much I disliked Him for putting my family though hell that I realized it wasn’t Him. He wasn’t the one making my life seem awful. Negativity was something that I felt I needed to survive. In all honestly what I needed was hope, faith, and courage. Seeing the beauty in life is something many miss. Getting up early just to watch the sunrise and listen to the first sound of the birds can be relaxing and an amazing time to meditate on the day’s happenings. Watching the wind blow through the tress doesn’t have to be a sign of rage and anger anymore. It is the voices of all my loved ones gone from this earth talking to me.

Amy K 1I now sit in the back pew at church and thank God for what He has faced me with. I know that He will never hand me more than I can handle. Having faith in Him took the weight of the world off my shoulders. Seeing the beauty in these gave me the hope I needed to become a stronger woman, wife, mother, and friend.

Now I know that to some they are like, “Duh! Get your head out of your butt and look at what you have.”

In all honestly, after having that dark cloth blinding you for so long, it takes some time to see the real color of the life you live. Not everything has to be black. Why not have your world colored by the joy, the beauty, the success of others? Surrounding myself with others who are positive gives me more courage than I could ever have dreamed of. You see for me, I was heading down a dark and lonely path. Shutting out all those that cared about me. It has taken a lot of work and I’m still not perfect, but I am making progress.

By: Amy Kemna

Guest post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.

P.S. I have seen so many amazing transformations in Amy the past year that I just had to have her tell her story. Amy, you are beautiful, and I am thankful for your friendship and willingness to share your thoughts on how wonderful life can be when we gracefully accept God, our imperfect lives, and ourselves. 🙂
– Melanie A. Peters

Refuse Corruption – Wise Words Wednesday

Refuse Corruption – Wise Words Wednesday

Corruption's Refussal

“Seriously, everyone is doing it.” “No one cares of I do it.” “Really, what will it hurt?” “They are all bad. Do you really think we can change them?” “It’s just on the news. Does it really affect me?”

While these are all fine questions, they are also means for corruption to enter into our lives. Accepting corruption fertilizes its growth and feeds its power. “Refuse to let the world corrupt you.”

The morning news makes me angry. They infuriate me with their story choices.

Why is it so necessary to start our day hearing and seeing violence, destruction, and upheaval among the human race?

I guess it sells ads and gets ratings, but maybe it is corruption’s way of daring us to become complacent or uncaring.

Well, this is your Intentergy double dog dare to not become complacent and uncaring!!!

(This does not mean I let my kids watch the police brutality videos or the clips of the bombing victims in Syria.) 

Here is my challenge for you.

png 1 Do not allow the media to desensitize you.

png 1 Do not allow yourself to think you are above the law or regulations established for the protection of our communities.

png 1 Do not allow corruption to be an accepted part of your daily routine.

png 1 Refuse to turn away from those in need.

png 1 Refuse to let your light of kindness and decency be diminished.

png 1 Refuse to let what others think change who you are or what you believe to be right.

png 1 Be the change that this world needs. Do not let corruption take hold.

png 1 “Refuse to let the world corrupt you.”

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I believe we all have the power to overcome corruption. We just can’t overcome it all alone. Refuse to let the world corrupt you.

 

 

 

 

Misunderstanding the Distance – Wise Words Wednesday

Misunderstanding the Distance – Wise Words Wednesday

Misunderstanding the Distance

Misunderstanding creates painful separation. The most painful part of that separation comes from the fact that it could have been prevented if communication had been clear.

Misunderstanding is bred from hastiness or failure to fully witness what is being shared.

Recently, a student submitted the wrong document for his assignment. I entered a zero in the grade book, wrote a comment for him to send the correct assignment to me (so that I could give points for his actual paper), and emailed him a message about the assignment. He did not come to our next class. He did not respond to my email. Two days later he replied to my comment in our online grading program, “What was the problem with my work? I turned it in. What do you want?”

Clearly, he was angry because he did not understand what the problem was. I replied by copying and pasting my original message and a smiley face.

He never replied. At our next class, he was present and said that I had not explained the assignment. I pulled out the sample document I gave the class, showed the page in the text with the sample we shared, and redirected him to the PowerPoint with the notes and assignment that was shown in class. His response, “Oh, I forgot.”

I was hurt that he accused me of not providing enough information to foster understanding. Never would I want to provide a lesson that created misunderstanding. That is the worst distance between student and teacher. Continue reading “Misunderstanding the Distance – Wise Words Wednesday”

Makes Me Scream – Monday Motivation

Makes Me Scream – Monday Motivation

Makes Me Scream

“If I have to hear her ____________, ______________, and ________________ one more time, I’m going to scream.”

A super successful weekend is followed by an exhausted Monday morning. Friday was game night with the kids. Saturday we helped host an amazing benefit for a terrific cause. Sunday we attended church and I had the opportunity to speak to some super smart kids at the local National Honor Society Induction. It was awesome!

What to write about on a rainy, exhausted, Monday morning? My lesson plans for today provided just the prompt to get me going.

On a chapter about writing with appropriate parallelism, Question #8 made me laugh but then made me nervous. What if my students wrote their responses to this sentence about my teaching? What if my husband had to fill out this sentence? Man, that question just made me want to scream.

“If I have to hear her ____________, ______________, and ________________ one more time, I’m going to scream.”

What is it that makes you scream?

My scream would sound something like this:

“If I have to hear her back out of her commitments, show her disregard for others, and refuse to let go of the past one more time, I’m going to scream.”

png 1 I know what you are thinking…”Where is the motivation here, Melanie?”

Well, the motivation comes from this… What if we turned this scream of angst into one of joy?

“If I hear her ____________, ______________, and ________________ one more time, I’m going to scream from excitement!”

If we can shift our tone and keep our goals in line with our intent, positive motivation will call out to us. Heck, that positive motivation might just lead to cheers of joy and accomplishment in our lives.

If I had to identify my motivators for positive proclamations, they would have to include:

“If I hear her admit she is talented and beautiful, share something great she had done, and demonstrate compassion one more time, I’m going to scream from excitement!”

Seriously, I would do a cartwheel!

What makes you scream with enthusiasm?

As you make your way through this Monday, don’t let the angry frustrations set you off or mess with your motivation. Redirect your responses to resound with appreciation, pride, or congratulations. Be the one screaming excitement for those around you. Your cheering will do just that…bring cheer.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I really do want to scream sometimes, but I prefer to wear my positive pants.

P.P.S. Question #9 “The instructor has already explained ______________, __________, and ___________” is one that makes all teachers scream. 🙂

Save the Date

Angel food Cake – A Tradition of Grace

Angel food Cake – A Tradition of Grace

Graceful Tradition

 

Angel food cake has always been a dessert I enjoy. For my birthday I often request it or gooey butter cake for my treat. When spring or fall suppers roll around at our church, I usually bake one or two angel food cakes for the dessert table and country store. This was a tradition shared by Miss Grace, one of the sweetest ladies I ever met.

Grace was a petite woman with a huge heart. She grew up in Loose Creek, less than 10 miles from the home where she and her husband Albert raised their 11 children. Miss Grace was kind and devoted. She was steadfast in her faith and worked until a job was done. She was a picture of simple dignity.

Miss Grace passed away a few years ago and her loss was a huge hit to her husband, children, grandchildren, and our parish family. The first spring dinner after her passing I made my usual angel food cake. As I dropped my cake off at the country store, one of her daughter-in-laws hugged me and said she was so glad to see an angel food cake on the table. That cake reminded her of Grace.

Up until that point, I did not realize that I shared Miss Grace’s angel food tradition, but I fully20170326_065239.jpg recognized the importance of keeping it going. This spring I made two cakes. One was for the country story and one was for the dessert table; they were both for Miss Grace.

I like to think of Miss Grace, in her angel wings, smiling down on my efforts. It makes me really happy to know she is there with Albert, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at our parish functions. This tradition of grace is one that I look forward to perpetuating. I hope you have a graceful tradition that enhances your life.

When you find someone or something in your life that is worth making into a tradition. Make that tradition happen.  Share your traditions with others. Energy and intent provide validity and vigor to your practices and makes life worth living.

png 1 Please share your traditions. What do you do to help keep your family and friends’ celebrations alive? How do you preserve the impacts of those you have encountered? What is your Tradition of Grace?

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. We can’t all make angel food cakes. We need some other desserts. What would people say if all we had to sell was angel food cake? I call dibs on angel food cake for the fall supper.

 

 

 

The Muscle Called Courage – Wise Words Wednesday

The Muscle Called Courage – Wise Words Wednesday

The Muscle Called Courage

Courage is the toughest measure of character to exercise. Bravery comes in many shapes and forms. Any chance we have to demonstrate courage is a  chance to strengthen our resolve for doing what is right.

When I was a freshman in high school, I wanted to get along with everyone. I would work in a group with anybody. One day I was chosen to be in a group of guys who had absolutely zero interest in doing the Spanish lesson. To entertain themselves, they stole the eraser from a pencil on the desk behind us and started batting it back and forth. I didn’t say anything at first. I just kept trying to get them to vamanos back to the crossword puzzle. Eventually the eraser hit me in the face and I threw it across the room. That was a bad choice.

I hit Senora in the head!

My group could not contain their giggles. My heart was in my throat. Continue reading “The Muscle Called Courage – Wise Words Wednesday”

Why is it “easy as pie”? Pies are stressful!

Why is it “easy as pie”? Pies are stressful!

Not just a pie

Pies are easy to eat…they are not as easy to make.

With spring comes the start of church picnic season. My small, country parish has our spring chicken dinner this weekend. Each family is asked to bring homemade bread and baked goods for the meal and to sell at the Country Store. I enjoy baking and eating the desserts, but sometimes making them takes away from their sweetness.

Making the crust is a great stress reliever. First you kneed and roll the dough and get out all your frustrations, but then you have to get that beautiful crust into the pan with out making any holes in it. (Stupid holes!) Once the crust is filled with fruity goodness, you have to make your top crust look just right, because you know the ladies working the dessert table are going to judge you on your crust designing skills. (Judge lest ye be judged, ladies!)

The dessert table ladies aren’t the biggest concern though. What if your pie isn’t pretty enough for Pumpkin Pie 17.jpganyone to buy at the Country Store? Continue reading “Why is it “easy as pie”? Pies are stressful!”

Worms in your Ice Cream

Worms in your Ice Cream

wormy-ice-cream-2

After taking my kiddos to their annual well visits, we headed to the local frozen yogurt shop. This place is so cool! Not only can you make your own frozen yogurt sundae or shake, but you can also sing karaoke or tie-dye a t-shirt.

With my help, each kiddo selected chocolate frozen yogurt, of course and then dashed to the toppings buffet. There were lots and lots of toppings. There were healthy, fresh fruits, not-so-healthy sprinkles, candies, cookies, marshmallows, and syrupy toppings. It was a sundae lover’s dream. I was surprised by many of their choices but said nothing because I didn’t want to hinder their excitement. After their bowls were filled to the brim, they had the shop owner weigh their bowls and headed to our table.

It was then that I went to make my sundae. Of course this distracted my little sweeties from eating their own frosty treats and all three had to follow me around and learn from my expert sundae building skills.

Sadly, they did not like my choice of peanut butter yogurt. They loudly protested when I added nuts, but when I made it to the fresh fruit, they realized there was no fresh fruit in their bowls. Things went sour from there. Continue reading “Worms in your Ice Cream”