The Lunch Lady

See full size image

Lunch Lady

  I never realized that the lunch lady had so much power until this morning. We were all ready to go this morning, everything ran like a swiss clock, everyone on target, on task and on time.  I was upstairs getting ready to put the finishing touches on my hair and in comes my middle son.  He looked concerned. Oh oh – we may be late.  When my middle son is very excited he has a manner of speaking that I call a stutter however it is really not a stutter in the real sense, it is more like he is pushing air out of his lungs and out of his mouth and it takes him a while to get it out and you just have to wait until he pronounces the word. So he began by telling me that he went to eat hot lunch the other day for the first time and the lunch lady told him that it cost $2.00. I looked at him. He looked at me.  And I said, and the problem with that is? He said that this is the first time that he has eaten hot lunch in the cafeteria and she charged him $2.00. I said well isn’t that how much hot  lunch costs? He didn’t hear me and he began again that he had only eaten in the cafeteria one time and she charged him $2.00 and that all the other times he brought his lunch. I said yes and that is why she charged you $2.oo. I continued you are not on the free lunch program so you have to pay for lunch. He was pushing the words out and even though his mouth was moving no sound was coming, he struggled.  Mom, you don’t understand! I said ok dear I am trying to understand so let me tell you what I think you are saying, so listen to me for a minute ok? He did. Now what I am about to say I said would have worked had I been talking to a fully functioning adult (well maybe, and I hope) however he is 11 and not a fully functioning adult. I gave it a shot anyway. So I said if you go to McDonald’s and order something to eat they charge you right? He said nothing. So my mind said ‘aha I am getting through’ (silly mommy) and I said in all of my best mommy concerned high pitched-ness in my voice – that is why the lunch lady charged you for the lunch. He began to cry, his eyes were red, his face had a reddish tint to it and he was walking away saying I didn’t understand him. I said come back honey, I am trying to understand. I hugged him and then I asked him to tell me again. He said the same thing and ended by saying that the lunch lady isn’t fair. I said, well did you pay her the $2.00? He said yes.  I said well, I am sorry mommy doesn’t understand, I will call the school when I get into the office and find out what the problem is and perhaps I can talk to the lunch lady. He stopped crying and went downstairs. I was confused. 

 We all 4 piled into the van. I dropped off the oldest and then drove to the elementary school. They were listening to their music. I had a headache.  When it was time for them to get out of the van, I mentioned the lunch lady one more time. I said, so sweetie, I am going to call the school and find out what happened. He said ok and then added ‘oh mom, I gave her $5 and she didn’t give me any change!’  Caution caution warning here it comes…….. I said oh really? I thought you said the hot lunch was $2.00? He said I know, but she didn’t give me any change except a $1.00. I said a dollar?  I thought you said she didn’t give you any change? Then he said, ‘ well not a real $1 but a play $1.’ I said, where can you use that? He said ‘at the school kid store.’  I then asked my daughter, have you had a problem with the lunch lady and she said, ‘yes because when I give her change she never gives me any money back.’ I said, well perhaps it is because you gave her the exact change. I said how much is your hot lunch sweetie? She said, ‘I don’t know.’ I asked both of them what is the lunch ladies name and they both said in unison, ‘I don’t know. ‘ I said have a good day. When the van doors closed I laughed out loud. I never knew that the lunch lady wielded so much power in the lives of those who eat in the cafeteria. She lurks behind the counter waiting to pounce upon innocent children and take their money and not give them any change back and finally she refuses to tell them her name!!  I woulda’  sounded like a lunatic had I not interrogated my bright children a little while longer.  They worked me up so much that I had a headache.  As always with children listen, listen and listen and then listen again before you act a fool with another adult over something they said or they did.  So, now what I need to do is chat with the lunch lady and find out about this missing money!  For my sister, I will do that next week.

Imagine how many parents go to school believing everything their children tell them. They may have some of the facts right however it is still just a further indicator that these critters aren’t cooked yet. To all the lunch ladies in the world I stand on record as apologizng for these children that we allow to bother you daily with what I suspect are some of the best dog eat my homework stories or in your case dog ate my lunch that I was supposed to bring from home but forgot because I was too busy playing.

I woke up this morning and heard Joyce Meyer talking about dying to self. She explained the whole process of a seed being planted into the dirt and how it has to die before it becomes a plant. I thought wow so the seed that dies eventually cracks open and out comes a little shoot which has to push through the darkness towards the light that it feels. The light is not yet seen by the shoot coming through the dirt but it knows it is there. This pushing and pushing removes the dirt ever so slowly and it may take weeks before the shoot even breaks through to the light and to the fresh air. But when it comes out it has to grow, it has to get longer and stronger and it has to know when to bend and when to extend and as it does, it becomes a plant. Whatever the plant is it will become IF you water it, fertilize it, nurture it and feed it, it will be a plant that can produce flowers that produce more seeds or it can become a fruit tree or an oak.  The seed has to die. We have to die in order to be what the good Lord created us to be and this kind of death is really hard because it tears at the flesh and the flesh doesn’t want any change. The flesh wants to be comfortable even when the comfort level may not be a good place to be. So why not try to get through the dirt into the light.  Amen. 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”



Did I tell you I have great kids!  (smile) Well they are great; however, they can really work a sistah’s nerves. That sistah would be me. And they are kids. Little people who are not yet finished cooking. So that being said, oh and I might add, I love them with all of my being. They can be selfish and can be a little irritating and they can be confusing and confused.

Let’s see –  the day I was having my extreme chest pains and walking around the house waiting for my ride to take me to the emergency room no one really seemed to care. My daughter was laying on the floor in the living room on her back reading a book. My middle son was sitting in the chair with his foot propped up on the footstool watching television. My oldest son was standing in his room looking out at me.  Again let me paint the picture: I was bent over clutching the left side of my chest and barely walking.  Okay?  So then my middle son realizes that I am standing there (you know the t.v. is hypnotic) he asks, ‘mom can I go over my friend’s house?’ I looked at him with a little bit of disbelief and said ‘come on! can’t you think about somebody other than yourself! I am about to have a heart attack here and all you can think about is what you want to do!’  He then looked totally perplexed and said ‘oh, what’s wrong with you?’  Then my oldest son said ‘awww man, can’t you see something is wrong with mom?’  My daughter never got up from the floor. She continued to read. I then yelled to anyone to turn the television down and then I hobbled into my oldest son’s room and sat down. He came in and sat next to me and asked me if I was ok. I was teary. When my ride came, he didn’t have enough gas so we had to take my van. I hobbled into the van. He never came around to help me. He just looked concerned.  Oh well, that is another blog for another day. 

When I get home today at 7 p.m. they were all playing basketball.  I went upstairs exhausted and immediately saw a beautiful red rose in a cup of water. It even smelled good. I smiled. My daughter then came in from her basketball game and gave me a handwritten note where she tells me she loves me, she wants me to feel better and she picked this rose just for me.  My middle son gave me a big ole hug and kiss and told me he loved me and then he began reading his book out loud. Earlier this day, my oldest son’s school had called me to tell me he was tardy for his class after the lunch break 3 times and he had to go to the support room. The support room I came to find out, is a place where the kids are detained and they have to either sit quietly or write sentences. He sat. When I asked him why he was late he told me in his own 14-year-old way that the reason he was late was that they took him to the tennis courts. Yes, right – if you are staring at these words that is what I was doing except I was staring at him. What? He repeated this statement slowly because apparently I can’t understand him. I then asked who is ‘they?”  He said his classmates and I said why are you allowing them to take you anywhere and why didn’t you tell the teacher and why not yell?  Of course these were all logical questions and to him they were nonsense. He didn’t say nonsense he just responded with ‘no I didn’t do any of that.’ I asked him why? He said ‘I don’t know.’  I then explained to him very basically the crowd mentality and what that means. He kinda got it, but not really. I then asked him what about the other 2 times he said I don’t know why I was late. I said it will never happen again and I took away his privileges to use his cell phone for the evening. For him this is torture because he has a young girl that he likes and they talk every evening.  I ended by telling him I loved him and responded in kind. I told him that I am proud of him and that he needs to begin to make choices and he has to think about things and this is one of them. Friends.

When I went to check on the kids who were outside I looked and saw that my oldest son was standing at the end of the driveway looking down the street. I hollered at him, clearly irritated and asked him what are you doing? He said I am making sure the little girl gets home. I said oh that is nice. You see my daughter and her friend were playing outside and the little girl was walking home about several houses down. So, he was standing there watching to make sure she went into her house safely. I said to him, you are a good son. He smiled.

Yes I really do have three great children – irritation and all.

Yolande Barial, Inspirational.

3 days

The last time I blogged was 3 days ago. So much has happened and I have learned so much.   At last I typed, I had learned another lesson about resting through a pulled chest muscle. I also learned that when one blogs about something so serious one should let the people in your life know before you write it. Yep, my sister read my blog and before I could tell her about it she was on the phone calling me in tears. My bad!!!  She is the toughest of all of us kids and yet the most sensitive.  So, after I apologized and assured her that I was ok and promising I would never write anything like this before I touched bases with her – she felt  little better.  I checked in with her several times that day and the next day and the next.   I felt bad that I did this to her and yet it was a lesson about the sensitivity of the written word and when it should and should not be written. It made me think about all of the celebrities that constantly have their personal business thrown onto the kitchen table for the world to come and sit and read and have their morning coffee or their evening martini.  What must it be like to be a child of one of these celebrities and to read some horrendous thing about their mother or their father and to be ridiculed by their classmates at school or in the dormitory having their parents infidelities in business or in relationships be outed? Where does a child go with all of this pain and this humiliation. After all, the one who has caused the pain may or may not really have done it. It could be just one of those tall tales that gets re-told and re-told and then when it is printed – becomes the truth.  We should think about what we write.  Writing to retire at 55 – this is one lesson learned.  The bigger lesson I learned is that she loves me and I love her. And that is a good thing.

I spent the next 2 days doing my best to relax. Between being mom taxi and when even a 3 hour span of time presented itself – I slept. My chest is not as painful as it was several days ago, yet I am tired.  Not mentally just physically. I spent Saturday and Sunday driving up and down the freeway being super mom taxi. Today when I finally made my last run and drove into my garage, I announced to my kids that the taxi was done for the evening.  And I meant that.

Sunday is my favorite day. The families’ newest addition, a little boy, was baptized today. It was so much fun. He is such a cute little baby and so welcoming, friendly and he has the biggest and cutest baby-eyes you ever want to see.  We went to Oakland for the baptism, back to my old catholic church and it was awesome. The priest that spoke this morning, left an impression on me and I am sure many parishioners. He spoke about being a leader. He talked about the fact that the best leaders are people who are able to be led. They are people who have sat in the audience and heard a message that either they believed or they did not, either way they were able to listen and to learn from the person listening.  He spoke about sheep that will lead when given the chance because they have been led by a good shepherd and have learned how to lead. He was saying that a good leader has to be able to relate to the people in order to impart any kind of information/knowledge or pearl(s) of wisdom to those they are speaking or writing.  Now this is such a simple concept; however, it is one that I have known yet never been able to articulate.  Now I can. Father explained, that the leader must learn how to follow. He must be able to control himself, to represent himself and to be able to be an agent of himself. He added that education is being able to empower yourself to represent who you are.  He was speaking about John 10:27-30 and Revelations 7:9, 14-17. He mentions in this passage that it speaks of  a white cloth being washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. Now just think about that!!

I just put these thoughts out there because they are still running through my mind.  The thoughts are not finished running the race is still going on in my mind. I am contemplative.  Plus tomorrow being my first back to work since March 24th is always running in my thoughts.

The Bible is an amazing book. Whether you believe that it is the actual words of the Lord, if you believe that these men just made all of this up or whether you don’t believe that it is the truth – one thing I believe we can all agree on is that is an amazing book.  What it requires when reading any book is that you suspend what you see and know to be real and just for a few hours allow your mind to get into this book and let it take you where it will take you.  The same applies when watching a movie. Avatar for instance – we all know that it is just in the mind of the creator and yet we love it. We want to believe that what we see and we feel when we look at this beautiful piece of work is true. So, we allow ourselves to go with it and the amazing thing is that our minds take hold and fly and love the movie and its possibility.  So, I use this same logic and apply it to the Bible.  Take it and read it and allow your mind to suspend what you think it knows and get into his word.  If done sincerely a message will be revealed to you. Maybe not today, tomorrow or next week but in HIS time he will speak what you read into reality.  Every day – another lesson.

God Is

Good morning,

Yesterday I woke up with a tightness in my chest.  I took 2 Rolaids and took the kids to school, took grandma to work, went by the post office where my P.O. Box is located (which was closed – the post office is really cutting back), the tightness in my chest was more uncomfortable and my lower stomach area was a little painful. I decided I was hungry. On my way home, I stopped at Mimi’s for breakfast – french toast, eggs over easy, bacon, orange juice and coffee and my book – Max Lucado’s 3 books in one. This book was about God and our angels. I then drove home. Put on my pajama’s and crawled in the bed. My chest was killing me by then.  I took some medicine.

The phone rang, I answered and attempted to get up. The pain shot through my chest and I actually moaned out loud. I was nervous. I went and picked up the kids from school. Came home and called Kaiser’s advice nurse. He and the doctor came on the line and told me, after asking a lot of questions, that I need to go to the emergency room. I called a friend and we went. I was told not to drive myself.  It was around 4:40 pm when we arrived at Kaiser, Modesto.

Emergency Room – I walked in because he had to park the van, and apparently from all of the stares I received, had come in the wrong way.  I realized from talking to my girlfriend this morning, who has worked in hsopital emergency rooms, that what I did was violate some kind of protocol.  I came in the wrong way, I was walking, I didn’t look sick and every one of the ladies that were there were on some kind of notice because of this violation.  I was walking , holding the left side of my chest and the ladies just all looked at me and when I said I need to check in. The first one I saw told me, you came in the wrong way. No expression, no sympathy.  I said ok, but I need to check in. She said are you having some kind of emergency? I said with tears in my eyes, yes I think I am having a heart attack.  The 6 ladies just looked at me. No emotion. My girlfriend told me that these blank stares were because they thought I was a young woman and not some 49 year old woman about to have a heart attack. She said that I don’t look 49. I said oh. The one lady, who I think was in charge of them, came around to sit me in a wheelchair. No emotion from her and not even a question. She wheeled me to the ‘right side’ of the hospital and told the guy who as checking in people, that I came in the wrong way and “she needs to be checked in”.    

O-Kaaay, by then my friend came in the ‘right way’ and was standing with me. Then the check-in guy acted as if I was NOT sitting there. Big blue wheelchair and holding my chest.  The check-in guy began to ask me questions and as far as both of us could tell, he wasn’t even listening to me. So, I stopped talking and asked him are you listening to me?  His head kinda’ shook (probably to get the marbles in the right places in his head) and then said, ‘ok what are your symptoms?’ I said, ‘you weren’t listening when I was talking, so are you sure you are listening now?’  He was looking at me and typing – I doubt he was really listening. Oh well. I was then directed to sit down and wait to be called in to the ER. From then on, I dealt with professionals.  The nurses in the ER were nice, friendly, they smiled, accommodating, attentive, asked questions and listened to my answers. The doctor was the same and friendly and concerned.  His concern was that he thought I might have a blood clot in my lungs. I had an ekg, blood work, chest x-rays and a cat scan. It turns out that there is some abnormality. No heart attack. No blood clot. The doctor thought that when I was exercising I pulled a muscle in my chest and the pain will subside over time.  I was given  ibuprofen  and vicodin. I arrived home around 10 p.m.

My daughter was the only one up that night when I came home. She is always the only one waiting up for me when I leave the house. She waits until I get home before she goes to sleep. She asked me how I was, I told her that everything is ok and that I just have some pain in my chest caused by pulling a muscle in my chest.  We did our usual good night ritual. I kissed her and told her goodnight. I closed the door and came into my room. My chest was hurting. I turned on the shower and then I heard crying. I went into her room and she was crying. I asked her what’s wrong and after trying to talk through her tears she said ‘I am sorry that I was so mean to you.’ I said ‘oh honey, don’t cry and thank you for the apology.’ I told her that I loved her and everything was going to be ok.  I kissed her and told her to stop crying and dried her tears and she laid back down and went to sleep. This morning she woke up, got herself together and then while I was getting dressed I heard a knock on my door. There she was standing there with a cup of coffee! Oh my…I smiled and told her thank you and told her I loved her.  I asked her what made her want to do such a nice thing for mommy? And she said I thought you might want a cup of coffee. I already had a cup of coffee. I thanked her and told her I always like coffee! I told her I was proud of her. She smiled and left.

All I know is that God is good. I have great children and good health. Slowing down and enjoying the moments is a good thing. I do indeed do way too much and I guess God is telling me yet AGAIN that I had better slow it down cause I have 3 little people counting on me.

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

The Commonwealth Club – SF


authors Teresa LeYung Ryan, Scott James, Elizabeth Block speak about promoting creatively at the Commonwealth Club

Teresa, Scott & Elizabeth – The Commonweatlh Club, San Francisco

I was a cheerleader for my writing coach Teresa last night, Monday April 19th.  She was among 2 other authors that were on  a panel to discuss Self-Publishing. Teresa LeYung Ryan was on a panel with Scott James, and Elizabeth Block They were at The Commonwealth Club, The Commonwealth Club is the oldest and largest public affairs forum whose mission is to be the leading national forum open to all for the impartial discussion of public issues important to the membership, community and nation.

Kevin O’Malley was the host and he is the Chairman of the Business and Leadership Forum at the Commonwealth Club and co-producer with Paula Henricks who was the moderator and is the president and founder of Cinnabarbridge Communications  of this self publishing series.

What did I learn? The most important thing is to be true to who you are as a person and as a creator of your work. I learned to always strive to be uniquely me.  I learned that every person has their own style and that to be able to be the first at anything is always a good thing. Why? Because then those that follow have to be better than you.

I also learned that I have an amazing social network of friends and colleagues that are a lot like me.  People who write and create just because if they don’t, they will shrivel up and just be.  I learned that to retire at 55 I am on the right track of developing my own unique voice and in so doing this platform allows me to figure out exactly what my mission statement should be for Yolande. This mission statement needs to be reflective of my values and my morals and it needs to express the richness of my father and mothers union that created me and my brothers and sister.

I will find that hook that makes Yolande with an e and not an a at the end – special. I will articulate that one day soon. I can feel it in my bones.   

Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

What’s Love Got to Do With it?

Tina Turner is a woman who I admire. Now I can only speak from the perspective of someone looking and listening from the outside of a relationship.  She loved a man who said he loved her.  He beat her. She had a gift that he didn’t give her.  Hers was a gift that was given to her and for her and the quality and the manifestation of the gift is seen as hers alone.  Her gift was not only the gift of voic,e it was also the gift of letting go.  She had that gift and exercised that gift to leave even when you love. She knew that there was that something deep down inside her that told her where she was at was not the place where she was meant to be.  She knew that she had to leave even if she left with nothing but her name – she left. 

Today is Sunday and as you know it is my favorite day. The pastor spoke about walking through the red sea on dry land.  What the spirit told me in the pastor’s message was that if you allow the Lord, he will hold back your pain, your struggle on either side of you and if you allow HIM to lead you HE will.  He will continue to hold back your struggles, your pain and allow you to walk through the sea on dry land. Untouched by any splashing water or even slipping in mud (wet dirt).  HE will allow you to walk through your pain and to not get wet.  He will protect you IF you stretch out your foot and do the walking.  The walking directly into the storm that you have to go through and not around requires a belief that this too shall pass. It requires a belief in yourself that the possible and the impossible are only possible if you take action.

Ms. Turner stretched out her self and knew that the only way to get away from her pain her struggles she had to go through and she did. She went through her struggles and came out on the other side.  The land was dry, there was still quite a bit of desert to go through; however the Lord provides.  He provided for the Israelites and He provided for her.  I know she believes in Buddha; the deity may be different, however the belief in a higher power requires that you relinquish your will and do His will and He will provide.

My God provides for me and for my children and will make manifest my ability to financially support my children by the age of 55. I will retire. The love of a man can come and go, the love of a woman can come and go and the love of children can come and go.  What does love have to do with it indeed?  It is not love of and for others it is love of self. Without that love of self, love has nothing to hold on to. Commit to being a person fully committed to loving yourself and in so doing others will either come on board and love you or step off and move on away from you. Either way it is for your good because He does all that He does for the good of them that love the Lord. I love the Lord.

Yolande Barial, Inspirationally and sensually written with you in mind.