Thursday, January 30

A friend of mine does the Addiction and Recovery Ministry at this church. First Baptist Church of College Hill - Tampa, Florida

Wednesday, January 22

Sunday, January 19

And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the play offs!!!! We are going to the Super Bowl!!! Go Bucs, Go Bucs!
Autobiography

I have to do one for a class I am taking, and so I will put parts here.

My first memory was of riding a tricylce around a house that had a lot of tombstones in front of it. Did I know they were tombstones then? I'm not sure, but I can see them now sitting there in the front yard. My tricycle was read and I could ride it around the side walk that went around the house very fast, but I had to be quiet because there were people in the front room of the house and they were very sad. I mustn't shout or laugh loudly. My aunt walked me through the front of the house past the people, some of whom were crying, back to back where the bedrooms were. We were going to take a nap, but we would ride our bicycles first by holding our legs in the air and peddling as fast as we could for as long as we could. Then we would take our nap. This memory is of a time I lived in an area of Oklahoma with my Grandmother's Brother and his Wife. The name I remember was Aunt Nell and Uncle Granvil. They had a business selling headstones.
I was born in 1960 to Stanley and Patsy Dean Snyder. My father was a Marine stationed in San Diego, California. He was a handsome young man from Kentucky and he met my mother in a bar. She was wearing pink. My mother had been married before and had given birth to two children, a girl Sherry who was born with problems in her hips, and a boy Billy. She divorced her first husband while he was in prison. Right before she married my father. It is my understanding that she had two other children (boys) in between my Brother Billy and me, but not a lot of people know about that. My mother told me, but she never told my father and my older sister doesn't seem to know much about it either. My mother told me they had black hair and were adopted by a preacher.
My mother and father's relationship was a turbulent one. I have heard different things from different people over the years, and in this paper I will attempt to be as honest as possible. I will change the facts as needed and based on who I give to read this. I would never let my father know that I would ever put down on paper some of the things I plan to share here. There are other things, I would not want my husband or children to know, but I am writing this for an anonymus person. Who are you? I don't know, but I know that there are a lot of things that need to go down here, and it ALL is going to go down here. Will I be able to finish this paper for my Portfolio class that I am going to write it for? Maybe not. Maybe after writing today, I will stop and do an outline, write the basics for the class and then continue on for myself. I will put in on my web log. Most of it. Not that parts that can affect anyone living, or hurt someone's feelings. That is not the reason for this. The reason is that it needs to be documented. The why's and the where's of who I am. So I will continue.............

Tuesday, January 14

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you;
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating others could destroy overnight;
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give your best anyway.



In the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

-Mother Teresa


Wednesday, January 8

Hillsborough House Of Hope
Northoftampa: Tireless helper heeds a call: House of Hope
Okay, I have all kinds of news.

First of all, Patty the girl that came to stay with us over the holidays waiting to go to a new Christ based home, has now gotten in the new home. As I have mentioned before, it is called the Hillsborough House of Hope. I want to tell you, that that house is gorgeous, and those ladies are blessed to have such a nice place! The other woman got out of jail yesterday, so now there are two there, Patty and Rose and the house mother that lives there. So that's all good news.

Secondly, I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but I had found a friend of mine from 7th grade online. I actually initially found her using Classmates.com, but I didn't want to spend that money, so I was able to find out her new last name for free.............I then called directory assistance and got a phone number and went from there. ANYWAY...............I am from California originally and she still lives there except farther south than our home town of Bakersfield.............LOLOLOLOL. But her and her lovely family were in town this week and they came by our house, and we all went to Celebration Station and had pizza, and the kids played, and it was wonderful!!!!!!!!

I just had such a good time, and it was so good to see her. Her husband was a really neat guy as well, it was just great.

So..............Happy days for me huh????

I have started back to school as well. Had my first class last Friday and will be going again this Saturday! I do have 60 credits now though, so it won't be too much longer!

Sunday, January 5

I have been involved in helping a friend of mine start a house for ladies. Patty, who is still with me, will be one of the first ladies in the home. The following is an article the have done on my friend. Please email me and tell me what you think!
Giving her golden years
She thought retirement would be for reading or traveling. But her heart told her otherwise: She was meant to help others.
By ELIZABETH BETTENDORF

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 3, 2003


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BAYSHORE GARDENS -- In the same sweet voice one might use to offer lemonade, she admits she's not "some do-gooder woman."

But Margaret Palmer, steely, southern and preoccupied, says she's finally doing what God "made me to do."

At 76, trifled only by a hint of bursitis, Palmer still walks the walk.

Stories spill out about the women she's counseled in prison, the ones who keep hitting the streets and returning, over and over. Knee to knee with them, she has prayed for good to replace grim.

Once known as CHAT ladies -- short for "come hide away and talk" -- Palmer and a brigade of volunteers from a local Bible study class began an informal women's ministry in the mid 1980s at the Hillsborough County Jail.

She'll speak of the women she knew there, in that place with no air-conditioning or heat, where cell doors clanged shut like death knells.

Palmer's been at it for 18 years now, and she's learned something troubling: "When many of these women leave the jail, often they're more afraid of the unknown than going back to the streets," she says. "Sometimes they have nowhere to go, and the streets are the only option."

Sometimes reality is even more harsh.

"A lot of times a pimp or drug dealer will find out when a woman is being released," she says. "Even if the woman doesn't tell them, word travels fast. Then they track her down, and she goes right back to her old life."

Palmer is the force behind a new Christian residential program for women recently released from county jail.

She and about nine volunteer board members run a small, not-for-profit organization that holds the remaining $75,000 mortgage on a modest house they bought earlier this year.

Refusing to call it a halfway house, she has christened the two-story dwelling House of Hope. She wants to keep its location secret -- because a chance to start over means no pimps, no drug dealers and no loser ex-boyfriends. It opens Tuesday.

The idea sprang out of depression.

Five years ago, Palmer realized she had reached an age when most people are content to simply have fun, but she couldn't bear the idea of idleness. A commitment toward activism burned inside her.

She had raised two children, supported her husband through three terms in the Georgia Legislature, worked off and on in radio news, theater production and event planning, found God and volunteered dutifully. Her prison ministry had brought hope to many women.

Palmer just kept wondering if there could be more. "I went to see my minister, who said, 'Margaret, has it ever dawned on you that maybe it's time for you to be doing something that you really ought to be doing?"'

Then she knew: Palmer began recruiting volunteers and talking to law enforcement experts about the feasibility of a residential program that might really change women's lives.

"Margaret has a very compelling mission and is also a very compelling person," says Claudia Sellers, an insurance executive and volunteer executive director of House of Hope.

"She is answering a calling so late in life, at a time when most people are winding down. I have never seen a woman so full of energy and joy."

House of Hope is plain-faced and old enough to have a big front porch. It's hidden in a tree-lined residential neighborhood on the edges of downtown. Three churches -- Hyde Park United Methodist, Bayshore Baptist and the Lutz-based Grace Family Church -- have offered support.

It's been prettied up on a shoestring. One church member has loaned his carpentry and painting skills. Others have helped make it welcoming.

With a $500 budget, a group of five women friends -- walking partners, previously -- have sewn floral curtains and throw-pillow covers, arranged donated furniture and covered the twin beds in matching comforters and shams.

"We're not church-going or religious people, but we respect what Margaret Palmer is doing," says Georgia Arner, who lives in the same Apollo Beach neighborhood as Sellers.

Adept at sewing, decorating and rummaging through bargain bins, they refused the initial $1,000 budget and offered to get by on half "so the house could use the money for other things," Arner says.

House of Hope will serve only three women at a time. Palmer believes in full attention on a small number of women.

Because the program is religious, enrollment is voluntary, but admission will be competitive, "sort of like getting into Harvard," says Sellers.

The women will be expected to hold full-time jobs and will live under the watchful eye of an on-site residential manager.

Over the years, Palmer has made friends in the right places. Experts with backgrounds in nutrition, parenting and job skills will offer the women counseling. She has asked the three churches to each adopt a woman: "That way they can help take care of her clothing and personal needs."

Palmer and her husband, Tom, have been married 55 years. They live Canterbury Towers, a retirement community on Bayshore Boulevard, where meals are provided and they can ease into onsite healthcare if they need it and "never be a burden to our children."

The view of Tampa Bay from their apartment is magnificent. For all of this, Palmer is grateful. But she is not content to sit and look out the window.

"This had long been a dream and I knew there was a need. God finally opened the door and pushed," Palmer says.

"This is not the way I expected to spend the decade of my 70s. People ask me what I plan to do during these years. I had thought I would read and travel a lot. Now I have this house and a big mortgage. When I look at the figures, I say, 'My God, what are you doing?"'

She already knows the answer: Exactly what God wants her to do.

-- For more information about the House of Hope, call 839-6118.

Margaret Palmer
AGE: 76

MARRIED: 55 years

HUSBAND: Tom Palmer

CHILDHOOD HOME: Columbus, Ga.

VOCATION: Gives hope to women in jail

LATEST PROJECT: House of Hope, a residential program for women newly released from the Hillsborough County Jail

HOBBY: Reading historical novels

HOME: Canterbury Tower, Bayshore Boulevard

FAVORITE VIEW: Hillsborough Bay, from her window

Saturday, January 4

I was just reading my old stuff from 2000. Weird
Want to see me live? LOOK HERE I have been having tons of fun with this new camera!!!
I'm going to Ross today and try to find some new dresses so I will at least look kinda (not so fat) cute going back to work the 6th. We have tons going on here today................we are trying to get the new TV, DVD/VHS hooked up along with the DirectTV thingy in our room.

I have to get the girls' hair done by someone, because I don't like to do it if I can avoid it. Give me boys anyday!!