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Fractured Prism

Welcome to the Fractured Prism. This is my domain (I love the sound of that, kind of like my kingdom), where I will share reflections of the many facets of my life. At the very least, I am a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, homemaker, teacher, counselor, and grant writer. Through the years, I have been professionally cut and polished or just accidental fractured into thousands of pieces and have thoughts about them all. I have found that I am writing for many reasons but mostly to share my small bits of wisdom. Come back often because each reflection will be different. My ultimate goal is to have a place where grant writers, grant reviewers and funders can network. So if you are into grant writing or grant reviewing please leave your name and email. Linda Beason

Peer Reviews

The peer review section is provided for those who are interested in being peer reviewers. I am not sure that all the contact information is current but you can always call the office and get current information.

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Category: Random Ramblings

Hurricanes, Fires, Bombs…the review must go on!!!

Grant reviewing season is winding down and I finally have a little free time to get back to blogging.  It was quite a year as I did many reviews for different departments and spent a lot of time in one of my favorite places —Washington DC.  As a reviewer this year, I survived fire drills, bomb threats and hurricanes but all with good friends and fellow reviewers that I have met through the years.   It was not easy work as I think reviewing gets harder each year.  In order to get the money to the right applicants, the funders ask for more and more creditability (and rightly so).  The criteria for each competition grows as do the Competitive Priorities.  However, reviewing is still one of my favorite pasttimes…love the challenge of getting the money to the most deserving!

One of my favorite reviews this year was the Promise Neighborhood.  This review had sufficient time for careful reviewing, was extremely well-organized, paid well and over all provided a good environment for working.  The staff was very respectful of reviewers.  Clearly one of my top rated reviews!

Going to start searching for upcoming reviews…let me know if you find any new reviews.

 

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Categories Not Working

Not too good at this blogging software and my guru brother has not had time to help me so for some reason my categories are not working.  Everything is in every category!  Hope to get that fixed this week!

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Federal Funding Update for Youth Programs – Your Call to Action!

PLEASE READ!!!!  These are wonderful programs that we need to keep.

On Saturday, February 19 the House passed H.R. 1, its funding proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2011.  The House’s proposal includes $100 billion in cuts compared to the President’s FY 2011 budget. The proposal includes zeroing out the following youth programs: Mentoring Children of Prisoners, YouthBuild, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Community Grants, Teach for America, and State Grants for Incarcerated Youth.  It also significantly cuts the Corporation for National and Community Service, Juvenile Justice programs, Head Start and 21st Century Learning Centers.

For a complete list of cuts and reductions, you can click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/_files/ProgramCutsFY2011ContinuingResolution.pdf

The steep cuts set up a potential marathon spending battle with the Senate that, if not resolved by March 4th, could result in the first shut-down of the federal government in more than 20 years. 
What Will Happen Next:
According to Youth Today, “Who delivers the message will also matter. It will likely fall to champions of youth programs in the Senate to hold the line on any spending. ‘The Senate’s going to need to buck up, and it’s our responsibility to help them buck up,’ said Seth Turner, senior director of government affairs for Goodwill Industries. ‘Anybody being quiet is going to get creamed’.”
Since the House passed H.R. 1, focus will now turn toward the Senate. It remains to be seen how the two chambers will reconcile their differences. However, youth organizations must ensure that ALL Members of Congress understand how important it is to protect programs serving at-risk youth.
The National Alliance recommends programs  MAKE A LOT OF NOISE, so Congress understands that current allocations are simply not enough to serve this vulnerable population and to address the effects of the recession.  Additional youth advocacy organizations suggest:
Contact the youth/children staff members in your Representatives’ AND Senators’ Washington, DC offices. Call THIS WEEK.  Use a sample letter or sample talking points as a model. For example, BBBS.org or EndHomlessness.org.
If you’ve already called, that’s okay – call again! Now that there is a specific bill passed, you have something to respond to.
Report any responses from you or your networks to your national advocacy groups so your voice is part of many.

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Love All My Broken Hearts!

Above all else, guard thy heart for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Today is “Wear Red for Women” day.  I discovered this while watching TV this morning and was dismayed to discover that I had nothing red with me.  A vague memory surfaced —my daughter gave me a beautiful red dress pin last year and as I was packing for this trip and I had caught a glimpse of it in the corner of my suitcase and wondered why it was there and not in my jewelry box. I didn’t have time to take it out- so this morning I rummaged around and there it was, bright and shiny.  I proudly pinned it on, proud that I could pay tribute to my own sweet survivor.

 Several years ago on a cold winter night many miles from home, we got a call that our daughter was in the hospital.  We quickly gathered our stuff and started the trip home on a long lonesome road with little traffic and practically no cell service.  I was alone in my car and about an hour out, I got a patchy call and thought I heard “heart attack” before I lost signal.  I told myself that wasn’t possible and went through all of the possible scenarios…appendix, gall bladder, anything but a heart attack.  This was my strong, vibrant daughter, still in her forties.  A heart attack wasn’t possible…or was it?  Her father had survived a heart attack the year before…

 It was indeed a major heart attack and the symptoms had nothing to do with chest or arm pains.  The worst of the pain was over before the ambulance arrived and the EMT crew (as they nonchalantly ambled along) diagnosed it as “indigestion”.   In contrast to the nearly unmistakable “classic” chest-splitting, gasping-for-breath symptoms, many heart attacks (especially in women) present symptoms that are often mistaken for indigestion or muscle aches.  Women can have very atypical symptoms such as dizziness, light headedness or fatigue.  Women also have a habit of getting help for others but not themselves.   

 Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women, and patients are getting younger.   If your family has a history of heart problems, you should always be aware and go for heart scans.  Our family has luckily been able to put all our broken hearts back together.  Father, husband, daughter, brother and son…

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Prayer

Dear God, if you wanted me down to it, well here I am.  If you wanted me on bended knee, here I am… but I am still asking, why?  This can’t possibly be about me because I am not that important.  But she is.  She is the kindest and most giving person I know.  Her whole life has centered round your existence.   Where is the sense in all this? 

I am hoping this is your way of showing us all that prayer works.  The heavens have to be flooded with prayers for this special little sister…all the way from the darkest depths of Africa where she slept on the cold ground to help strangers in need to her Texas home.   

Please keep her safe.

Matthew 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: – she said if I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. Jesus turned -and- when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.  Believe the impossible –

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Old Friends

Met an old friend at the new Walmart yesterday and barely recognized her.  Then she smiled and I recognized the smile immediately.  She said, “This Walmart is like the sea… you can’t see the end of it.” And I laughed.  I love her quirky sense of humor, why did I lose track of her?  Caught up in the push and shove of life, we lose people who are just an arm’s reach away and forget how unique they are.   Think I will give myself a Christmas gift and get in touch with her.

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Changes

The grand old lady loses the leaves that she put on as Dad died.  The seasons change.

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Mangles

Grief seems to silently collect like dust around you when your guard is down or it can savagely leap out from strange corners when you least expect it.  For the last couple of weeks I have had the “mangles” (don’t look it up in the medical dictionary, it is just my word for things being all out of sorts).  Feeling my age and then some.  Among other ailments, I have a hurt foot and had to cry to get past the doctor’s efficient scheduling girl for an appointment.  It will probably quit hurting as soon as I get to the doctor’s office.  But in the interim, grief has grabbed me around the throat because it knows I am weak today. 

I took this picture from the window of my Dad’s hospital room when I was so clueless.  Surely it has some meaning…

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The Old Cowboy

This is a true story I have heard many times from my good friend and grant writing business partner, Diane Morton.  She has a unique way of writing and always makes me laugh.  I asked her to share this story because I can’t convince her to start her own blog.  I hope you enjoy the story as it tells a lot about Western Oklahoma and a long tradition of honoring the dead…whoever they are.

Now, just do not go saying, “who cares about an ‘old cowboy’?”  When it comes to the “old cowboy,” the Moad family has a heap of love.  When I was a young girl about 7 or 8 years old, my Grandma (Moad) Hibler, and her daughters would gather me, my sisters and cousins all up and state, “It is time to decorate the family graves”.  (I have come to believe that only females have the honor of decorating as none of the men or boys ever participated.)  Being so young, we thought of it as an adventure and fun day. From the moment of arrival for performing the yearly ritual, the adults carefully prepared snacks, water, and last but not least, the wreaths.  Grandma always stated that she did not want to leave out the “old cowboy”!

The first stop was Red Hill Cemetery where our first mistake was stepping on a grave.  If I remember right, we jumped from the car and all the “hollering commenced”.  We had all committed the unpardonable sin.  “You stepped on a grave!!”   Right then, Grandma started teaching us little heathens the first law concerning cemeteries.  She told us that now that poor person was wondering who had stepped on their grave and become restless.  Needless to say, this is when the nightmares started.   

Before a wreath or flowers could be put on the grave, we were told the reason of their demise: Poor Lora Moad died in childbirth; Marquis Moad died in a horrible car accident in Arkansas; and little Karren Sue died of leukemia. 

We little girls were standing around all sad and anxiously awaiting the decorating time to be over, when out of my own mother’s mouth came, “Diane, Karren Sue would be your age and she was only about a year old when she died”.  I thought to myself, this is really sad.  Then, the words of horror happened, “I used to take you by her mom’s and let you nurse her until she dried up.” 

“My gosh, YOU did WHAT???   Dried up from what???  Childhood!!!”

After we decorated all the relatives and friends in Red Hill, it was off to Kiowa Cemetery and the “old cowboy”.  The granddaughters were all curious but none of us had the courage to ask.  Grandma was already in her sentimental/cemetery mood and tears were falling.  This is where her parents were buried. When Grandma’s parents married, they had to take on three of her mother’s children because she was dying of cancer.    Her mama had come from Pennsylvania and her dad was a U.S. Marshall.  She talked about the “night riders” coming in the night to try and lynch a prisoner.  She told how Aunt Addie (her sister) had been murdered by her husband and how the family members chased him in an old coupe.  When they found the coward, he had killed himself.  “Good enough for him,” she would say.  Next, was Uncle Willie who had lost his arm in a cotton ginning machine.  Uncle Tommy had the flu and died. Her dad had gone out to the barn and built his little coffin.    These stories have left their impressions to this day. 

Curiosity became too much and we all wanted the story about the “old cowboy”!  Grandma said first things first.  Decorating the grave was the first and most important thing.  I have seen that woman pluck a flower from a wreath of the family in order that the “old cowboy” had a flower for his grave.  We girls were thinking this has to be our own family’s version of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne, etc.  “Well, girls this is the old cowboy” and we answered, “Yes, we know.”  “He rode into Kiowa (a small rural community), fell over and died.” 

“WHAT???” 

“No one ever knew his name.  The sheriff sold his horse and saddle and gave it to the undertaker to bury him.  He needed a place for his final rest and the Moad family donated this grave site right in the middle of all the family.  We should never forget to decorate his grave as he has become a part of our family.” 

Guess what—the “girls”…Kaye, Sherry, Donna, and I still go to the cemeteries (we have added several more) around Memorial Day and go through the yearly ritual recalling how Grandma taught us at an early age to honor and remember our deceased relatives.  Grandma would be proud, never once have we forgotten the “old cowboy”.   

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The Ghost Train

I live near a small, rural town in Western Oklahoma.  All around are rolling green hills with dirt as red as the blood of Chief Blackkettle’s people and horses when Custer came to call.  On that day, they say that the Washita River ran red with the blood of hundreds of slaughtered horses.  Today the river winds peacefully through lush fields and past towering drilling rigs.  (more…)

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