Just Gotta…

This is how I feel right now…


Childhood Revisited

The Daily Prompt:

Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

There are so many things I wish had been different about my childhood…I have used these wishes to do my best to have my own children not have “issues” with their own childhood. It’s not always easy, and sometimes I fall short of the mark, but I do try!

One thing I remember about my childhood, or, more specifically, my teen years, was not being allowed to go to any school dances. Eventually I convinced myself I had no interest in those dances all through high school, including the prom, but I made up my mind that “someday” I would not hold my own children back in this respect.  And “someday” has arrived…

Just last night, I had the opportunity to make good on my promise to myself, as my oldest teen daughter was invited to her first school dance and I did not hesitate to approve her going to it. What I wish were different for her is my financial situation. My daughter is blessed with very wonderful friends who help her in so many ways, not the least of which was making certain she not only had a ticket to attend the semi-formal dance, but that she had a pretty dress to wear.

Up on the Rooftop…


Santa is real!

I told him I feel as if I’d like to shout from the rooftops the good news that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well… and he gave his permission for me to share our Christmas Story.

I would like first to share how I met Santa – he is a dear blogger friend of mine who lives in Spain and posted this to his blog: Dear Santa

My comment to the post can be found by scrolling down to where there is a picture of a red Ford truck – my comment is right after that.

If you don’t feel like looking for it, this is what I wrote:

It was encouraging to read someone else’s materialistic wishes, even if they were tongue-in-cheek…. I’ve procrastinated on even ‘liking’ this post (because it is the sort of post you cannot simply do so without adding a comment – or, in this case, a request)…because I have an awful lot of trouble asking for anything materialistic and I certainly don’t expect you to be able to grant nonmaterial wishes. So, the encouragement has led me to wish for this: the set of things my youngest children (the ones who live with me) have asked for that I cannot provide for Christmas… the camera my second-oldest daughter asked for, the new pair of ice skates my third oldest daughter asked for, the marching band jacket my oldest daughter asked for, and the archery set my son asked for. I am thankful for your post, as it gave me the opportunity to even just think what it might be like to grant their wishes, even if all that happens is you can wish for them to have these things, too.

Hugs to you, Santa Ralph 🙂


The day after I commented, I received this e-mail: How can I help Lyann ? There must be some way that I can get these things for your children on your behalf. I have a Paypal account. Just say what sites and what items. Hugs. Santa Ralph xx

I just feel like I need to share the news about this wonderful man who has helped so many people.

Since I’ve known him, he’s bought a new computer for a lady in Texas who is homebound, when her old one broke down…and he’s helped others with their heating bills and items they’ve needed but couldn’t afford. He’s told me to tell him if there is anything I need he can help with, to just ask, but until his Santa Ralph post, I really couldn’t bring myself to ask.

And he still had to “order” me to make a list: “Now Lyann V—–. What am I going to do with you. I have ordered Lori —–  from Dear Mrs Migraine to go into an online shop to pick out what she needs and email me a list or I will go in there myself in 10 hours time and order an elephant instead of the crochet whatevers. Now what about you and your kids. I will not accept NO. You are all too proud. I have some loose change and I want to help you. There are shops all over the internet. You have 10 hours as well to email me your shopping list and that’s an order from Santa Ralph……………………9hrs 59min 50 secs…….get cracking.

(Dear Mrs Migraine is another blog, by a blogger I now know, because of Dear Santa Ralph – she can be found here: http://dearmsmigraine.com/2012/12/06/the-newness-of-it-all/)

So, I made a list of items and sent them to Santa Ralph, and this morning he e-mailed me the shipping info from Amazon. Each child’s wish is being fulfilled – except Trin is getting an MP3 player instead of a marching band jacket, as the band ordered the jackets weeks ago. Rane is getting a camera, Zack is getting an archery set, and Eva is getting her skates.

Of course, Santa Ralph is such a dear, he wrote to me again:

Are all the orders okay for your children inc. pink guards J What about yourself ? I got Lori her elephant………no hooky thingies. Ralph x

(The “pink guards” are blade guards…and Ralph must really be Santa since he somehow knew not only that Eva would need new guards to go with new skates, but  that Eva’s favorite color is pink )

And the conversation continued:

Dear Santa,

The orders are wonderful – I think the archery set+ is amazing, and Eva’s favorite color is pink. I know Trin will love the MP3 player, and Rane will be joyous over the camera. All the children will be so very happy!

If you insist

…I happen to love elephants, and particularly Ganesha. I have often thought I would like a statue of Ganesha, as I have only a framed picture of him now.

My coach e-mailed me right after I got your e-mail about the order with the skates – Eva wears a shoe size 8, and the general rule is to wear skates a shoe size smaller…but Coach said she thinks Eva needs her actual shoe size. Will there be a problem if the size needs to be changed on the order? Coach said the model we ordered was perfect.

Actually, I just now received another e-mail from Coach, and she said the 7 should work: “Hope the 7s fit ok. Think it should work.” I love our coach!

What hookie thingie did Lori ask for? That sounds intriguing 🙂



Hi Lyann. This is Lori’s Post. The Crochet Dude item has a link to her hookie thingies. I don’t know the technical term. Where can I get Ganesha from. Will Amazon have one ? I know I’ll google it. I said I’d buy an elephant but it was for the wrong person. Let me know if you find one that you would like me to get you. I hope the shoes will be okay. I expect you should be able to change them. I expect the paperwork that comes with the skates will tell you.

I am pleased as punch for your children. Enjoy !!

Dear Santa,

I suspected the hookie things were crochet hooks! That’s cool there’s a special design to make crocheting easier on the hands. You are just amazing, Ralph! There is a very nice Ganesha site called Ganesh Mall at: http://www.ganeshmall.com/ and there are Ganesha statues on Amazon, too

For quite some time I have liked one particular statue that I have just never had the money to buy…if you insist upon getting me one it can be another. The one I’ve been looking at is: Colorful Ganesh Statue on a Base, 12 Inches High Item # : WCSGE095GM at http://www.ganeshmall.com/ganesh-statues/buy-ganesh-statue.html

I hope you are having a wonderful day, Santa Ralph!



Ganesh mall does not have an overseas payment facility only US/Canada drop down boxes. Have a look at the Amazon link


and see if there is anything there you like. I know Amazon works


From: Lyann V

To: Ralph W

You are going to make me cry again today, aren’t you?

Thank you so very much for the blessings you have bestowed, not only for my family but for so many others I know there are who could thank you.

You are truly a blessing to the world, Ralph and I am blessed to have you as a friend.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, too – you certainly deserve both 🙂


You are very welcome. Enjoy it. Ralph x


If you would like to choose. Ralph x

Companies have no right to complain that Amazon has monopolized internet shopping, when those same companies are not universally user-friendly 🙂

From: Lyann V

To: Ralph W

Subject: Re: Your Order with Amazon.com

Yep, you made me cry. But, it is very nice to be crying tears of joy!

Thank you, Santa Ralph…there is a special place on a table in my living room awaiting the arrival of a brightly colored Ganesha, which will henceforth always remind me of you 🙂

Hugs, Hugs, Hugs


Hi Lyann. You are making me cry now ! I have really done nothing. The love between all members of your family are worth a million dollars than 5 minutes in PayPal. Gifts are just a cherry on the cake that you are blessed with. I have done nothing. Have a wonderful time and the anticipation for the children is a touch of happiness for them. Ralph x


I wrote a blog post to thank Santa, and if you’d like to see that, it’s here: http://valdecor.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/i-believe/


The conversation continued after that post, when I wrote to Ralph expressing my desire to tell the world about him:

I really don’t mind you doing a post or leaving a comment in Dear Ralph or whichever way you want to play it. I also don’t mind if you use my name. I did a post a few weeks called I HURT !! I really thought that I shouldn’t do it but I had that pushing feeling that I had to do it. I bought a computer for Elisa who was very ill and her computer was dead. Because of it I since learned that other people spurred on by my post had bought items for others in need, such as a girl going to university whose computer died days before she really needed one and got an email to go to her local shop and buy  herself one and he would pay. People copy each other and being the season of good joy I don’t mind others copying what I did. Even one person is fantastic. Love and hugs. Ralph x

Thank you for letting me know that, Ralph – it will make it less stressful trying to thank Santa!
I’ll admit, I already told my coach all about you – I just had to let someone know who you are and how wonderful you are 🙂 I’m happy to know that it’s okay to share with the world the fact that it really is so much brighter with people like you…and with people who might be inspired by you to share the spirit of Christmas in some fashion.
Every little bit helps, and you helped my family a lot! And my coach said “it is the sweetest thing I ever heard.” You made her cry, too, dear Ralph. Well, I did, I guess, since I told her about you and Santa Ralph.
I remember the post you mentioned, and I also remember other people saying your actions spurred them to do something similar. This is a beautiful thing, but I wanted to make certain that spreading the news occurs on Santa’s terms, not my own 🙂
Again, you are a beautiful, wonderful, amazing person, Ralph….Santa Ralph….Genie Ralph….Dearest Ralph :x lovestruck
Hugs all around!


I have just begun Unit 3 of 10 units for the Capstone course required to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies. For this course I am required to research and write a 30-35 page paper on a legal topic of my choice.

Last semester I took a leave of absence from school, expecting to have surgery to repair damage done to my left hip in an auto accident and expecting to have plenty of time to recover from that surgery. Ideally, the surgery would have been performed in mid-August and beginning the semester that began November 7th would have been no problem. Unfortunately, the surgery was not done until October 29th, and now I’m struggling not only with recovery, but with writing anything substantial about law.

While the doctor has approved certain “training” that I am able to do now, it is nowhere near at all what I would normally consider “off-ice training” and the only thing that motivates me to do the approved training is that I simply cannot sit and do nothing at all about getting back to the rink. Today is Thanksgiving, and besides the usual things all of us say we’re thankful for, I am thankful that my coach is coming to visit me and work out a plan for what is obviously going to be a long recovery and eventual return to competitive skating.

I am also thankful that about a year ago I took a class which required me to develop a Big Idea: “What is a problem in the nation or in your community that needs changing and why? Do you have any “big ideas” for addressing this problem? This problem could be tied to your field of study or it could be something with more personal implications.”

My Big Idea last year was “to make legal representation affordable for more American citizens than it is now. My
working thesis statement [was]: While it would be ideal to dismantle the ABA approval system for law schools, a more direct approach to making legal representation affordable would be to eliminate any state’s requirement that law school students must graduate from an ABA-approved law school in order to sit for a state bar exam.”

For the paper I am working on now, this is what has played out thus far:


All lawyers are not created equal. Outside of the legal profession, it is not well-known that there are two types of law schools, and that graduation from one or the other type leads to dramatically different outcomes not only for lawyers, but for society as well. Most states in the U.S. require that law students graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to take the state bar exam and become a licensed attorney. Graduates of law schools which are not accredited by the ABA are not allowed by most states to sit for the bar exam and become licensed attorneys. The ABA accreditation system has led to an increasingly costly track to becoming a lawyer, with the end result being a legal system which is unaffordable for a majority of the U.S. population

This is my thesis statement:

If states were to set aside the requirement that law students must graduate from an ABA-approved law school, the cost of a legal education would be driven down, leading to a legal system that is more affordable for a greater number of people than the same system is now.

To support this thesis, I am going to have to present reasons why ABA accreditation is not relevant to legal education or legal practice. I will also discuss how changing the legal education system will impact society, and the particular change I have in mind is the ABA accreditation system as it stands now.

This is a touchy subject for lawyers and law students, past and present. The research I’ve done so far suggests my idea has substantial support as well as vigorous disagreement. The common ground is that the present system is not sustainable, and some change is in order. I believe abolishing the ABA accreditation system would be a good start.


This statement from your writing above is much closer to your real TS:

” ABA accreditation is not relevant to a [credible] legal education or legal practice.”

It isn’t about saving money. It is about a self-serving system that is over priced.


Thank You, Professor,
I actually had that same thought once I wrote that post. The thesis statement I proposed is actually only a part of research for the thesis statement you have pointed out. And I agree that the current system is self-serving and overpriced.
So, my thesis statement is: ABA accreditation is not relevant to a credible legal education or legal practice..
Thank you again, Lyann
So there you have it…the thesis statement for the paper I am currently working on is ABA accreditation is not relevant to a credible legal education or legal practice.
Thankfully, I kept a blog last year of the development of my Big Idea, so I have a springboard for the work I’m currently doing. Ideally, my surgery would have been done at a time that would not have caused me to be struggling to simultaneously manage recovery and research; I did, after all, plan to have plenty of time to rest and recover from surgery. But, things happen, and things quite often do not go as planned. I should be used to that by now 🙂
So, in addition to being thankful for the standard things we are all grateful for on Thanksgiving, and being thankful for the upcoming visit from my skating coach, I am grateful that I thought to keep the blog Ideally (you can check it out here) last year…it is going to be a great deal of help to me this year!

If I’ve got to just sit, better to be studying than watching TV 🙂

I’m a lot more thankful for the blessings in my life than I appear to be here!


I AM grateful for this day 🙂