This blog is basically just a collection of my "random thoughts". I must warn you, though. I have been told that "I write like I talk", so if you don't understand what you are reading... chances are, if you met me... I wouldn't make much sense to you! Feel free to comment if you care to. Or not. I'm good either way!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Instant Yard

I want a beautiful yard so badly!! I want lush green grass to sink my toes into and beautiful plants & flowers to admire! I want a yard that looks like this....
This "yard" is at Callaway Gardens. It is in the center of what is called "Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden". Just look at those beautiful flowers and trees!! And that beautiful green grass!! My yard is almost the exact opposite of this one, but I have a pool. The pool is a beautiful "blue" and is so pretty to look at, but my yard needs a major overhaul!!

I wish there were a such thing as an "Instant Yard". It would consist of something like...throwing some seeds out there, watering them, and POOF!!!! Instant Yard!! Complete with lush, green grass, plants & flowers. Oh... I would be GLAD to "maintain" it!! I just need to get it started!!! 

But, from everything I read online, it isn't so easy! "Instant Yards" don't exist. Well..... if I were Bill Gates or Oprah, then.... I guess they would! I could just hire someone to come in and.... "POOF!"... Give me an instant yard! But.... since I do not have the funds to even come close to Bill or Oprah, then.... I am stuck trying to figure out how to do it on my own. My funds are more equal to Jed Clampet BEFORE he struck oil!! (Well, maybe not quite that bad!)

And having "funds" is only half the problem!! My thumb is BLACK!! Not "green"! I have no idea as to how to even begin such a project as aquiring a beautiful yard! I need to find a guide called... "Beginner's Landscaping on a BIG TIME Budget!"

Hmmmmm..... maybe I'll check the library.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Mouse is Broke

Not too long ago, if I had written that sentence... "My mouse is broke."... you would have thought that I had a pet mouse (you know... one of those tiny little creatures with the long tail, that eats cheese and goes.. "squeak!") .... that was "broke". Now, in 2010, when you hear that sentence, you automatically know that I am talking about the "mouse" that I use with my computer. Weird, huh?

Haahaaaa... I just "googled" ... (another word that didn't even exist not too long ago!) .... the word MOUSE in "Google Images", and guess what I got?? Photos of both computer "mouses" (or is it, "mice"?)... and "mice" (the tiny creatures that God made.) -- Funny!

Here's a photo that I found of both TOGETHER!!














Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone.... Oh wait.... Maybe it's 2 "mice" with one stone?? I don't know.
All I know is MY "mouse" is broke!!
.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

45, Going on 30!

It feels so wonderful when someone thinks that you are a LOT younger than you really are! That happened to me today at the preschool where I help teach. Today was "Muffins With Mom" day. All of the kids in my class had either their Mom or Grandma (or both!) come to eat muffins with them. I was sitting next to one of the Grandmas and this is how our conversation went....

GRANDMA: "So, how do you learn what to do with these kids? Are you 'self-taught' or do you go to school for it?"

ME: "Well, I've been working with kids on and off for over 25 years now. I was 16 when I got my first job in a Day Care."

GRANDMA: "25 years!!! How can that be? Aren't you, like.... 30?"

ME: "Haa haaa!! Nooo! I just had my 25th Wedding Anniversary!"

GRANDMA: "How old are you???"

ME: "I'm 45."

GRANDMA: "SH*T!!!!" -- (Then, she apologized and I just laughed! It was so funny!)

She continued to go on and on about how she couldn't believe that I was as old as I said I was. It made my day, that's for sure! Of course, this was the first time that I actually realized how long I have been working with kids!! 25 years is a LONG time!! And it's actually more like... 29 years! YIKES!! I'm getting OLD!! .... Wait! No, I'm not! .... I'm only 30!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wonderful Anniversary Weekend

Hubby and I had a wonderful weekend celebrating our 25th at Stone Mountain Park. I have been trying to think of a way to blog about our trip without making it boring. I hope that I succeed in doing that! If not... forgive me, please.

FRIDAY -- Leave home at 9:00am.... Arrive in Stone Mountain at 11:00am....Drive past my high school...Stone Mountain High... See lots of trailers!... Drive past Hubby's old workplace.... Drive through apartments where we first met.... Notice name change.... Parking lot seems smaller.... Trees are gone.... Dumpster is gone.... Stopped at Post Office to get a stamp.... Drove thru little town of Stone Mountain... Empty..... Sad.... Improvements to be made sign.... Yay!.... Drove thru old neighborhood.... House looked good.... Yard didn't.... Drove by the neighborhood pool.... Noticed "cover" over it..... Wondered about it..... Stopped for lunch at "Joe's Crab Shack"..... Noticed bad smell..... Ate outside on the patio.... Had to wear a "bib".... Wasn't too happy about it.... Food was pretty good....Crab legs, shrimp, sausage, corn & beer.... Called hotel.... Room wasn't ready.... Drove to Park anyway.... Got in free!.... Looked forward to seeing the "Memorial Lawn" where we got married.... Was disappointed to see that they were "renovating" it..... Drove over "covered bridge" to the island.... Walked around the island.... Hubby proposed, again!... I said "Yes!".... Got a beautiful new ring!....I love it!!.... He was nervous..... So sweet!.... Called hotel again..... Room still isn't ready.... Drove around the Park some more.... Drove to hotel..... Finally checked in.

"Lake View" room with a balcony.... Comfy bed.... Big, flat-screen TV.... Time for my gift to Hubby.... A book about our 25 years together.... He cried and loved it.... Yay!.... Walked around hotel.... Found the Spa.... Found the indoor & outdoor pools & hot tubs....  Found the restaurant.... Decided to eat dinner there later.... "All-You-Can-Eat Seafood & Prime Rib Buffet"!.... Changed into swim suits.... Tried out the indoor hot tub.... Lounged by the outdoor pool.... In the sun.... Listened to some fun music.... Cooled off in the pool.... Back to room.... changed for dinner..... Ate dinner at 7:00pm.... With the "Tag People"..... Food was excellent..... Crab legs, shrimp, prime rib..... Dessert.... Ate too much!.... Wanted to sit by a firepit outside.... None were available.... Went back to room.... Called it a night.

SATURDAY -- Woke up early, of course.... Watched approaching nasty weather on weather channel.... Breakfast at 7:30am..... HUGE breakfast buffett!!!.... French Toast, eggs, sausage, yogurt & fruit.... YUM!!... Spa at 10:00.... Frustrated because Spa messed up our appointments.... It all worked out, tho.... Hubby got a "Therapeutic" massage.... I got a facial.... Hubby liked his.... I loved mine!!.... Weather was nasty..... Decided to go see a movie.... Drove to the Mall of Georgia.... Thought we were seeing Kenny Chesney in 3D at the IMAX theatre..... Turned out to be a regular theatre.... Kenny was AWESOME!!!!.... Felt like a real concert!!.... Hubby thought it was better than a real concert!!.... Drove to "The Corner Pub" in Decatur, GA.... Got to see Luke, our long-time friend.... Ate Gumbo at the "Gumbo Cook-off" that they were having.... Had a few beers.... Loved the cool bar!.... Great seeing Luke!.... Drove back to hotel..... Too rainy for the Laser Show.... Bummed.... Checked out the hotel "lounge".... Not so nice.... Called it a night.

SUNDAY -- Woke up early, again!.... Breakfast at 7:30.... Waffles, omelet, & yogurt parfait..... YUM!!..... Took a walk.... Spa at 10:00.... Couples massage...... GREAT! ..... Time to go home.... Bummed..... Had a wonderful time!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Offline for a few days

Hubby and I are celebrating our anniversary by taking a short trip this weekend. YAY!!
~ Blessings

I Still Remember...

On this day, 23 years ago, at almost this exact time (5:40pm)... I had just gone thru my first .. (yes. I said... "first", because there was a "second"!) ... C-section. I was scared to death, but felt at ease when the doctor made the long awaited announcement ..... "It's a GIRL!" Those words were music to my ears because I was so afraid that I would have all BOYS!! I could rest easy now, because I knew I had a least ONE girl!

But... the celebration came to a screaching halt when my new baby girl (Dtr. #1) was rushed out of the operating room because she wasn't breathing. I didn't even get to see her! Hubby didn't know what to do. He didn't want to leave me, but knew he needed to follow the nurses to find out what was going on. I was left in the operating room, wondering what was going on while the nurses drugged me up even more than I already was. I was a young 22 year old "new" mom and had no idea how hard the next 12 days would be.

Dtr. #1 had been born with fluid inside of her chest cavity and her lung had callapsed because of it. Tubes were inserted into her sides to drain the fluid. She was 8lbs/15oz and would be the biggest baby to occupy the NIC Unit for 12 long days!

Finally, she was able to come home and has been thankfully healthy over her 23 years of her young life. She is a gift and a blessing from God and we love her so VERY MUCH!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Quiet Place

Each morning, I start my day out by spending time with God. I call it my... "Coffee With God" time. I like to get up early --- I'm talking 5am! --- before the rest of my family awakes. I start the coffee pot, feed the dog, let the dog out ....(well, first I have to turn on the "bunny lights", so the bunnies will scatter before I let my bunny-killer-of-a-dog, loose!)... then, with coffee in hand, I come here, into my "office" ... (it's really a converted dining room that I made into my office / scrapbooking room, but I don't really scrapbook anymore, so now it's just my "office".)

I have a whole routine that I go through each morning. First, I write in my journal (the actual "book" kind. Not the computer kind.) Second, I light my "Jesus Candle" (it's just a regular candle, but that's what I call it.). The flame of the candle is a reminder to me that the Holy Spirit is here with me. Third, I open up my "prayer journal" and silently read and pray over all of the prayers that I have listed in my journal. When a prayer is answered, it gets checked off and dated in red so that I will know that it has been "answered". (There are MANY red checks and dates in my prayer journal. Thank you, Lord!) Fourth, I log into my email and check to see if there are any prayer requests that have been added to the church prayer chain. If so, then they get added into my prayer journal along with any other "new" concerns that I may have for the day.

After I am done praying, I take out my two devotional books that I read each morning. One is called... Babes with a Beatitude, Devotions for Smart, Savvy, Women of Faith. And the other one is called...Once a Day, Every Day For Women. This one is actually my favorite, but both are good. Before I read my devotionals, I pray to God and ask Him to help me hear His voice through what I am about to read. I also ask Him to help me understand what it is that He wants me to learn from each of these devotionals. I keep a notebook on my desk that I write down what I believe He wants me to hear and learn. Whenever I have the chance... I love to go back through it and read HIS messages.

I also have several devotions that come to my email each day. One is from the Upper Room and one is from Rev. Mark Brown, called Journey Into God's Word. It is actually his daily blog, but his writings are WONDERFUL!! (if you are on Facebook, you can follow him there or you can Google him.)

I started this post with the idea of sharing today's devotion from my "Once A Day" devotional book. The title of the devotion, is the title of this post --- "A Quiet Place". When I read it this morning, I knew immediately that this would be what I would write about today. I didn't realize, tho, that I would write so much about my quiet time with God! But, once you read this devotion, you will see why I did. Here it goes --- Enjoy!

A Quiet Place

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. -- Mark 1:35 NKJV

In the first chapter of Mark, we read that in the darkness of the early morning hours, Jesus went to a solitary place and prayed. So, too, should we. But, sometimes, finding quiet moments of solitude is difficult indeed.
We live in a noisy world, a world filled with distractions, frustrations, and complications. But if we allow the distractions of a clamorous world to separate us from God's peace, we do ourselves a profound disservice. Are you one of those busy women (or men) who rushes through the day with scarcely a single moment for quiet contemplation and prayer? If so, it's time to reorder your priorities. Nothing is more important than the time you spend with your Savior. So be still and claim the inner peace that is your spiritual birthright: the peace of Jesus Christ.

The more complicated life becomes, the more we need to quiet our souls before God. -- Elizabeth Elliot

In the center of a hurricane there is absolute quiet and peace. There is no safer place than in the center of the will of God. -- Corrie ten Boom

A TIMELY TIP
Be still and listen to God. He has something important to say to you.

Well, ... you can see why I really felt strongly that I needed to share this devotion and write about it. I have highlighted my favorite sentence. It is so true!! We tend to forget this because of our busy, busy lives. God just wants us to spend time with Him each day in quiet peace. If we are not still, we will never hear His beautiful voice! ~~ My prayer for those of you that read this, is that you will find the time each day to have your own quiet time with God. ~ God Bless!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dog Dreams

I think it's funny to watch my dog dream. Sometimes he barks... (with his mouth "closed", which makes it even MORE funny!). Sometimes, his legs move and twitch as if he is running. Sometimes, he even growls. One time, he "yelped" in his sleep! Too funny!!!
I like to try and imagine what he is dreaming about. Could it be that he is chasing those bunnies that get in the back yard? ... (and sometimes catches, I might add!) Could it be that he is chasing one of his MANY balls that has been thrown for him to "fetch"? Or, could it be that he is feeling the need just to RUN?
I wonder what would make him growl, since he rarely, ever does? Maybe he's protecting our house from an intruder, while we're not home! (Ya, right! Like that's ever going to happen!.... He's a GOLDEN RETRIEVER, one of the friendliest dogs on the planet!)
And the "yelping"?? Maybe he dreamed that he bit his tongue while he was chowing down on one of those rabbits that he caught. Ouch! (and YUCK!)
Whatever he's dreaming about.... I sure do enjoy watching him! I make everyone else be quiet, just so he isn't disturbed and will continue to dream. Then... I end up waking him up with my laughter!!
Here are some photo's that I found of dogs sleeping. Wonder what they are dreaming about??


AND..... Here's my dog (Jackson)... in his favorite napping spot -- my couch!

Monday, April 19, 2010

25th Wedding Anniversary

TODAY is the day! Twenty five years ago, I married the man of my dreams!! I was 20 years old and he was 22. We met on Thanksgiving of 1981 and married on April 19, 1985.

We got married in Stone Mountain Park, on the grassy area in front of the carving by a judge who was also a family friend. The wedding was small and very LOW budget! But, hey.... we are married, and that is all that matters!

I had wanted to have a bigger wedding, in a church... but, neither of us had a whole lot of money (and neither did our parents!), and the more we tried to plan a big wedding, the more headaches and problems we had. So... we scratched that idea and went with a more affordable & practical idea.  

It was Hubby's idea to get married at Stone Mountain Park. It turned out to be a beautiful day, too! We did not ask permission to get married there. We just did it!! We, of course, invited our families -- which were both small, anyway -- and a few close friends. Then, we had a reception (aka: Party!) later at a club house of an apartment complex that my mom worked for. More people came to it.

It was a late night, and I was exhausted after being so sick on the days leading up to the wedding. (See yesterday's blog post on 4/18/10) I was surprised that I lasted as long as I did! I have one picture, where you can tell that I was faking the smile on my face because I was about to "fall out" from being so tired!

The past 25 years have, of course, had their ups and downs.... as most marriages do. But, I can honestly say, that there have been MANY MORE UPS than downs. The man that I married has provided me with all that I could ever want .... and more! He gave me two beautiful daughters, as well. Now, I am anxious to see what God has in store for our next 25 years!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

25 Years Ago, Today.....

I was sick as a dog on the day before my wedding! Yes... on April 18, 1985.... instead of having fun and enjoying my last day of "singleness", I was in the bed with the FLU! Luckily, I was on the tail-end of my sickness, and not the beginning of it.
I don't remember much about this day, other than my mom asking me.... "Are you sure you don't want to post-pone the wedding?". Me.... "No!!! I'll be fine!" I had a high fever and could hardly move because my body felt like it had been hit by a freight train, but I was NOT missing my wedding!!
Even tho it was not a big fancy wedding, a lot had still gone into it and I didn't want to let anyone down. PLUS.... Hubby's mom and grandmother had flown down from Pennsylvania to be there. My aunt & uncle had driven up from Florida, and others had gone out of there way to make sure that they could be there.
I had really wanted to get married on April 18th because 18 is my favorite number, but... it turned out that April 18th, was a Thursday and that wouldn't work. So, I had to settle for .... Friday, April 19th.
I guess it's a good thing that we didn't get married on the 18th, because I was so sick. As it was, I STILL had to crawl out of the bed to go to my wedding! I held up well, tho.... considering.

You've probably already figured out what tomorrow's blog will be about!   **SMILE**

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why Do I Even Bother...

with NAIL POLISH..... that is. Not two minutes after I think it is dry, I mess it up!!! I mean really?? WHO do I think I am, a DIVA??? No. I am far from it! I rarely paint my fingernails. I DO, however, keep my toes polished in the summer. (I keep them hidden in the winter!) But, we are going to a friend's BIG 50th BIRTHDAY BASH and I wanted to "dress up" a little --- by polishing my fingernails, of all things! It's weird, I feel like I can't TOUCH anything! I feel like I am FRAGILE or something! Maybe that is how a "Diva" feels. I wouldn't know, because.... like I said... I am not one.

But, wait a minute... I wonder what the definition of a "Diva" is?? Let's look it up on http://www.dictionary.com/. (I love that site!) Maybe I am one and just don't know it!!

According to Dictionary.com.... a DIVA is --- a distinguished female singer; prima donna. It;s origin comes from the word DIVINE. Other words that describe a "Diva" are: "distinguished woman singer", "goddess, fine lady".

Hmmm..... I kinda' like the GODDESS description! Hee hee!!

Sleeping in.... NOT!

My body is weird! I can not figure out why I can NOT sleep on days that I don't have to get up early. This happens to me ALL the time! On days when I set my alarm so that I will get up for work, I am sound asleep when the alarm goes off!! But... on days that I don't have to be up early and I don't set my alarm... I am wide awake EARLIER than on days that I need to get up for work!! It's crazy!!!

My alarm is set for 5:00am. -- I know it's early, but I like to have an hour or so to myself before the rest of my family wakes up. BUT.... on days when I don't have to be up early, I don't set my alarm in hopes of actually sleeping in! Well... that hasn't happened in a VERY long time!

Today, for example, I don't have to go to work, so.... no alarm was set. I woke up at stinkin' 3:30AM!!!!! I just don't get it!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Love for Houses

I love to watch the HGTV show - HOUSE HUNTERS. My favorites are the episodes where the families (or singles) are looking to buy a BIG HOUSE. I don't really watch the ones where the home buyers are looking to buy a tiny condo, in a big city, for a bazillion $$$!! The big houses are more fun to look at. I love to try and guess which house they are going to choose, and of course I TALK to the TV like they can hear me! .... "Choose #3!".... "Why did you pick THAT one?".... "Why are you being so picky?"

For as long as I can remember, I have ALWAYS loved looking at houses and houseplans. I think it come from the fact that I grew up living in apartments all my life. When I was little, I loved the house on THE BRADY BUNCH that Mike Brady "designed". (Hey, Mike! How come your beautiful house only had one bathroom for 6 kids?? And... why would you design a house for a family of 8 (or is it 9, with Alice?) with only 3 bedrooms?? (or 4, if you count Alice's bedroom.) I also loved my Aunt Doris' house because it had STAIRS and it was BIG! While my mom and dad visited with my aunt, I would wonder the house and pretend it was the house on the Brady Bunch. I was always Jan. I loved her hair!!!

When I got a little older, I would design my OWN houses. I wish I still had some of my designs. Of course, they were on paper (That stuff made from trees that you can write on. It's a rare thing these days, I know!) Today... if I were to design a house, I would get a "Home Design" program for my computer. (Actually... that was one of the first programs that I bought when I got my first computer!)

I used to buy Home Design magazines all the time, too! I had stacks & stacks of them and would look at them and DREAM. It wasn't until Hubby and I built our first home 11 years ago, that I finally threw them out. ---- Now, I miss them!

I am starting to get the "new house itch" and I'm thinking about our next home. Of course, what I would LIKE to have and what we will be able to afford (someday) are two different things. But, hey.... a girl can still dream! Here is a list of criteria's for my "Dream House".....
  • 2200 sq feet or more
  • 4 bed / 3 1/2 Bath
  • Country Style or Craftsman Style
  • Main Floor Master
  • Foyer
  • Fireplace
  • Great Room (Kitchen open into family room)
  • 1/2 Bath on main floor
  • Full Basement
  • Front Porch
  • 2 or 3 Bedrooms upstairs, each with it's own bath.
  • Bonus Room or area upstairs
  • Large laundry room, with a window if possible
  • 2 or 3 car garage
I'm not asking for much! But.... like I said... A girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pet Peeves #5-8

In an earlier post (4/9/10), I blogged about starting a list of my pet peeves. I vowed to add to this list as I thought of more. So, here it goes....

5. DOG OWNERS WHO LET THEIR DOGS RUN FREE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD - On my way home today, just as I was exiting the hwy to where I live, I noticed a dead dog... (I know. It's sad!)... right there on the side of the hwy. It looked very much like one that lives in my neighborhood, which isn't far from this hwy & exit ramp. My immediate thought was to think how this could have been avoided IF it's owners had just kept it in their yard, or on a leash.
 Unfortunately, the county that I live in does not have a leash law. This is due to the fact that it is still considered a "rural" county. Yes, there is still plenty of undeveloped land here, but.... the county is growing fast with more and more neighborhoods being developed.
 What I don't understand is that if the dog owner's LOVED their "pets", then they wouldn't let their "pet" run free and risk the chance of it getting run over by a car!! DUH!!!!! It's not hard to comprehend! We have lived in this same neighborhood for over 10 years and have had a dog the whole time we have lived here. One of the first things that we did when we moved in, was to put up a FENCE so that our beloved "pet" would be safe and also wouldn't disturb our neighbors by going into their yards.

That's another problem.... I do not feel SAFE walking in my own neighborhood because of these so-called "pets" that are running loose! Once, while I was walking my dog ON A LEASH, another big dog ran out of it's yard and attacked my dog!!! Then... the owner had the guts to think that my dog provoked her dog!! UNREAL!! The nerve of some people!


These "pets" also get into our trash if we put it out too early!! So.... I have to remember to take the trash cans to the street right before I leave for work. Any earlier, and the trash cans are dumped over, and trash is dragged from one end of the yard to the other!!


Ok... I'll "shut up" on this one now! Sorry! It gets my blood boiling!!

*** 4/23/10 -- Just wanted to add that... yesterday, I saw the dog that I "thought" was hit by the car. He is fine, and I am glad :)

6. BAD DRIVERS - This fits a wide range of drivers, but I felt it needed to be added to the list. For this category, I would like to include the following:
  • Those drivers who drive faster than those of us that are already going slightly over the speed limit.
  • Those same "fast drivers" who weave in and out of traffic.
  • Those same "fast drivers" who, as YOU are passing a "slow driver" (aka: one who is actually going the speed limit), drive up fast and get on your BUTT until you move out of THEIR WAY!
  • Those drivers who do not know how to MERGE!!!
  • Those drivers who refuse to let YOU merge!!
  • Those drivers who do not use their blinker!
I may have to add to this particular list at a later time. I am sure that I am leaving out something!

7. RUDE PEOPLE - There is no reason for one person to be rude to another. There just aren't any excuses AT ALL! (If you think of one, please let me know! I'd be curious to hear!) I don't care how bad of a day that you are having, please do not take it out on innocent people around you!

8. PEOPLE IN AUTHORITY THAT ENJOY TELLING OTHERS WHAT TO DO - I would also call these people... "People that are on a POWER TRIP". Just because you are someone's boss or you have any kind of authority over someone else, does not give you the right to flaunt your authority, or belittle those that are under you. Now, that I think about it... this would fit nicely under #7 - RUDE PEOPLE, as well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Invisible Dishwasher

I don't know about you, but my dishwasher seems to be invisible to everyone else in my house, but me! I see it just fine. It even calls my name when it needs to be filled or emptied! But, for my family... it disappears! That is the only answer that I can come up with since they can't seem to find it. It's funny how it is right next to the sink, and they can find that with no problem!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Grits and More Grits

Yesterday, Hubby and I attended the "National Grits Festival" in Warwick, Georgia. I've lived in Georgia all of my life and had never heard of this tiny, little town. I still don't know WHY they celebrate GRITS, of all things! And no... I am not talking about Girls Raised In The South, either!! I am talking about the very, southern food that is typically eaten for breakfast. I have never been a fan of grits. Who wants to eat something that tastes like DIRT? (That's my opinion of how it tastes, at least.) My apologies to those of you that like the taste of it (or...  of "them". I'm not sure.) And while I'm thinking about it..... I realize that people eat "grits", but do you eat a "grit"? To me.... the word "grit" DOES make it sound like you're eating DIRT!! ~ Again... my apologies.

Okay... now you are probably wondering why I know what DIRT tastes like. Well, it's not that I ate dirt on purpose!! But, I do believe that every kid has had the not-so-pleasant experience of eating dirt! And if you haven't.... well.... eat GRITS (or a "grit") and you will know what DIRT tastes like!! Again... this is just my opinion.

Anyway... here are a few photos from the Grits Festival that I want to share. We really DID have a good time and if you like to eat GRITS (or even if you don't!), I suggest that you not miss it next year!


Care to take a swim in this HUGE "bowl" of grits??


A couple of the MANY winners of the "Miss Grits" contest rode in the parade in style!


Grandma and Grandpa Grits

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's All in the Presentation

According to Dictionary.com the word PRESENTATION means: The act of presenting

Today, I witnessed my almost 19 year old daughter give her daddy an awesome presentation on why HE should take our family of  four to Orlando's Unviersal Studios for the opening of the World of Harry Potter. Her technique was AMAZING! She should get all A's in any of her college classes that require her to give a presentation on something!

Here is a link to a website that I found that gives some tips on "how to give a great presentation". (She could have written this article!!) Beside each "tip", I have written in green how she used each particular tip without even knowing it!

According to http://www.to-done.com/2005/07/how-to-give-a-great-presentation/ you should do the following --

- Speak slow. --- I can't say that she spoke "slow" because she was so exicted!
- Talk to individuals in the crowd. --- The "crowd" would be her daddy.
- Think before you speak. Take pauses. --- She did!
- Drink lots of water. --- I can't say that she did this, either.
- Get a good night's sleep. --- I'm sure that she did, without knowing that she needed it!
This all just came about today as she learned about a great "package deal" that Universal has!
- Avoid the urge to go out drinking the night before. If you do, moderate yourself. ---
Nope. I know for sure she didn't do this!
- Eat. --- She had a chocolate bagel. Does that count?
- Breathe. --- She was breathing.... hard, out of excitement.
- Visualize a positive outcome. --- Yep! She did. She's determined to make it happen!
- Hang out with the other speakers (if there are any) and ask them questions and for advice.
I guess this would be me. She hit me up with the idea first and I said... "You'll have to
convince your father!"
- Prepare Your Support Materials - Use pictures to get your idea across. ---
She had the website pulled up on the computer, ready to show him!
- Think positive. --- I think I covered this one above. She's determined!
- Tell stories. --- This would be where she reminded her daddy that we hadn't been on an
Orlando vacation in quite a few years.
- Keep your intro short and strong. --- Her "intro" was having an open beer ready and waiting
for her daddy when he walked in the door!!
- Keep it slow and steady. --- Again... I can't say that she did this.
- Pause to let strong ideas sink in.--- She did.
- Smile, joke and laugh if appropriate.--- She did this VERY well!!
- End strong. --- Her ending was... "I expect an answer by tomorrow".
- Be prepared for interruptions and questions. --- Yes. There were questions, and she (of course)
had an answer for them all!

There were more tips, but I only posted a few. Feel free to check out the website above for more... or if this works out and we DO get to go on this trip... you might want to skip right to having the open beer ready!

Pet Peeves

Original date written -- 4/8/10

As I was driving to visit my mom today, and as the rain came pouring down... the thought of this blog entry came to my mind. WHY?... You ask. Because one of my biggest pet peeves is people who do not have the courtesy to turn their lights on when they are driving in the rain!!!

It is about a 20 minute drive to my mom's and as I drove, I began to think of other "pet peeves" that I could add to this first one. (I won't mention that I was writing these down as I drove .... in the pouring down rain! ...OOPS! Already did!)

This list below is just the beginning of a list that I am sure that I will add to. So be on the lookout for updates! This list is also NOT in any particular order. They are only in the order of how they popped into my mind! The first 4 are the ones that I thought of as I drove to see my mom.... in the rain.

First of all.... WHY are they called PET PEEVES?? ... Hmmm.... that might deserve some research at a later time!

1. PEOPLE WHO DON'T DRIVE WITH THEIR LIGHTS ON IN THE RAIN --- I am not sure why this bothers me so much! Obviously, I CAN see them! But, it just "erks" (not sure if that's a word or not, but it's one that I use!) me to no end!! But... for one thing... it is a Georgia State Law that you MUST drive with your lights on in the rain. And... for a second thing... it's just the polite thing to do so that other drivers can see you. It's NOT that hard to remember to turn them on! The rain should be a reminder!

2. PEOPLE WHO SHOW TOO MUCH "P.D.A." --- Don't get me wrong... I love to see people that are in love. But... there is limit as to how much of that stuff you need to do in public! A quick peck on the lips is fine. A hug or embrace is fine. Holding hands is fine. But, any more than that requires a BEDROOM!

3. PEOPLE THAT CLAIM THAT THEY KNOW GOD, BUT DON'T GO TO CHURCH --- I understand that a person can believe in God and live a Godly life, and not go to church. But... really???... How well can they really KNOW GOD?? Trust me! I am no expert! But, from everything that I have been taught... in church... you can not grow in your faith and truly know God without taking part in and participating in church. I truly believe that it takes worshiping with other believers and also fellowshiping with other believers to truly be a follower of God.

4. PEOPLE THAT LITTER (AKA: LITTERBUGS) --- I have to admit that I haven't actually "seen" anyone do this in quite a while, but it must be still happening because where else is all the "litter" on the road coming from?? Of course, I do realize that some of it may come from the back of pick-up trucks as the result of the trash flying out of the back as the truck drives down the highway. --- Now, that I'm thinking about it... could this be the pick-up driver's way of getting rid of his trash, but not "actually" littering?? Haahaa... I think I'm on to something!!

TO BE CONTINUTED....

My "Foundation"

Original date written -- 4/7/10

As I was watching Glenn Beck last night on TV talking about Obama's "foundation"... (No. I'm not going to go into how I feel about him!!)... I got to thinking about my own "foundation". Exactly, what is my "foundation"?


Let's start with my Daddy. ~ He was born here in west Georgia in a moderate sized city known for it's many textile mills. His mother and father (my grandparents) were both from southern Alabama. My Daddy was a very affectionate man, as was my grandmother. I never knew my grandfather. I know that my grandmother -"Ma Ma" (... pronounced "Maw Maw", but this is how she spelled it!) went to a Methodist church and I assume that my Daddy did too, but I am not sure. Ma Ma may have gone alone. I never learned anything about God from my Daddy, but I did go to church with my Ma Ma, when I was little. I do know that my Daddy had a good singing voice and grew up singing at a small, local theatre with my aunt.

My Daddy played football in high school and then went into the Navy for a couple of years. He and my mom met and married after that. He was always a hard-working man. He started out his career in the finance business, but then moved into working blue-collar type jobs which suited him better. He never made a lot of money, but provided as best he could for our small family.

He was always a very friendly and funny person, too. He loved to tell jokes and make people laugh.

Health-wise.... my Daddy was NOT healthy. He was overweight. He had heart problems and diabetes. He died of a heart attack at the early age of 53, when I was 18.

So.... going back to my "foundation".... what did I get from my Daddy?? --- Besides his blue eyes (*smile*)... I believe that I am an affectionate person because of him. I have also been told that I have a good singing voice, so maybe I got that from him too! I am a Christian because of my Ma Ma. (She was the only one that ever took me to church!) I guess you could say that I get my love for football from my Daddy, too!!

I think I get my "friendliness" from my Daddy, as well. I enjoy people and even tho I am no good at telling jokes, I do like to make people laugh. (Although... they may be laughing at ME!!)

Next... is my Mommy. Although, I no longer call her "Mommy". Now, she's just "Ma". She was born just north of the city that my Daddy was born in. It was (and still is) more of a "town" than a "city". Her parents (my grandparents) were both from this same area.... or not far from it, in other small "towns". My mom was never as affectionate as much as my Daddy was. I don't remember her telling me that she "loved me" when I was little. I don't remember getting hugs from her either, like I did from my Daddy. I could have blocked them out. I'm not sure. I have a long, not-so-good history, with my mother that I won't get into right now.

I never knew my mother's father, but I have always heard how wonderful a person, he was. He was a "rural mail carrier" for the small town that they lived in, here in west Georgia. My mother's mother - "Mama Lou"... (Yes, there's a story behind that name!) - was not a very affectionate person. I suppose that this is why my mother really wasn't. Mama Lou was a very "needy" person. My only memories are of her either lying in her bed, or sitting in "her chair". She didn't do a whole lot. She always had someone to take care of her.

My mom has always been very artistic. She has always had a love for crafts and for painting. She always had some sort of "project" that she was working on. She loved to sew, as well. Her career was always in the apartment management field. She did that for over 30 years, until she was forced to retire at about the age of 60. She has always been a very "giving" person, too. If she had it, she would give it! (and is still that way!)

My mom has always been a very "friendly" person, too. She always made friends easily. She has also always loved to talk!! She could tallk the ears off of a donkey, if he would let her! - LOL!

Health-wise.... my mom is NOT a very healthy person! She has been overweight my whole life! (The picture here, was taken before I was born.) Not just "overweight", but obese. She has too many health problems to even name! Five years ago, it caught up with her in the result of a pretty bad stroke. As a result, she now lives in a nursing home at the age of 78 and needs a wheelchair to get around because she is too weak.

So.... what did I get from my mom?? --- I get my artistic abilities from her. I am not as talented as she is, but I do love creating things by hand. I also like to sew and quilt, but I'm not as good at it as she was either! I have to admit that I am not the "giving" person that she is. I tend to be more selfish of my time and my "things"! (I probably get that from Mama Lou! LOL!) I do try to be a "friendly" person, like my mom has always been, and I guess I could probably talk the ears off of a donkey, too! Thankfully, I am NOT obese. I am, however, overweight. I do work hard at trying to take care of my body and lose the extra weight. It is just being stubborn and won't leave!!! I will say this.... my mom is my inspiration to take care of my body and not get to the very, unhealthy condition that she is in!!!

All in all, I think I am a well-rounded person and my "foundation" is a very good one. I have much to be thankful for.

Day two of .... "The Purge"

Original date written -- 4/6/10

I'm not sure how much "purging" I will get done today. I need to just clean my house today. First on my list is to work out on the Wii.

I do believe that God gave me a message this morning regarding "holding onto things", which goes right along with what I wrote yesterday about how I have a hard time "letting go of things". In my devotional book -- "Babes With Beatitude" -- God helped me to understand that.... anything that I can't do without or that I have an addiction to, means that it is an "idol" in my life and therefore could be put before God. I need to seriously think about the things in my life that I think are so "precious" to me. Are they really more important to me than God?? If I had to choose between them and God... which would I choose?

This is the thought that I need to have as I go thru the "things"... (aka: CLUTTER!) .... in my house and decide what I can get rid of. I know some "things" are things that I really can't (and shouldn't) get rid of. But, I do need to seriously think about why I feel so strongly about holding on to so many "things".

I think I just discovered something. --- The answer is that these "things" are just that... THINGS! And they really are not more important than God.

*** It's now 2pm and I have been busy all day cleaning my house. I got a lot done, but there is still more to be done. I took a break about an hour ago to lounge by the pool.. *smile*.. for a bit.

Until tomorrow....

Day one of ... "The Purge"

Original date written -- 4/5/10

This is my Spring Break week and I really want to take advantage of the time and get rid of some clutter!! I have WAY too much stuff and I need to get rid of some of it. I wouldn't call myself a "hoarder", but I am a clutter-bug! I have trouble getting rid of things. I find myself emotionally attached to "things" and can't get rid of them.

For example... I love books and I have a hard time getting rid of my favorite ones that I have read. Why? Because I liked them so much, I just might go back and read them again. --- NOT!!! I know deep down that I won't. But, I still have a hard time getting rid of them!

Then, there is my scrapbooking stuff. I have quite a bit of it, even though I did go thru it recently and got rid of some of it. I keep telling myself that I will get back into that time consuming hobby, but in reality... I probably won't. I also think of all the money that I invested into my scrapbooking "stuff" and have a hard time getting rid of it because of that reason, too.

Most of what I have in my house are things that are sentimental to me and I have a hard time letting go of them. But, when I think of how much "neater" my house would be if I would get rid of some things, I get excited.

I better go and get started while I am "excited"! Maybe if I blog about my accomplishments, it will help. ~ More to come!

*** Well, it's now 11:15am, and I feel like I haven't accomplished much at all, even tho I've been working for 2 hours, here in my office!! I have done some detailed cleaning and some "going thru" and "throwing out", but it doesn't feel like I've done much at all! Now, I've got to stop and go take a shower and hit up the grocery store. Oh, poo! First I have to figure out what meals I am making this week!! UGH!! ~ Hope to get back to "Day one of the Purge", later!

*** It's now 4:20pm, and I just got thru spending another 2 hrs working on my office! Still have a ways to go, but at least it looks better and I can actually SEE the floor!! Of course, the foyer is now full of stuff that needs to go to other locations in the house! Haahaaa!! ... That will be tomorrow's first priority! (I hope!)

My Baby Is Not a "Baby" Any More

Original date written -- 4/3/10

Once again, I am writing about parenting my "adult" children. Technically, they are adults. But, since they are new at being adults... it's hard to know how to parent them. Sometimes you feel you need to give them advice, but since they are "adults", they don't think they need your advice. It's so FRUSTRATING!

For instance... today, I heard "Mom, I'm not a baby.", when I tried to warn my almost 19 year old about the storms that would be coming later in the afternoon. She's traveling 100 miles away today with friends, and I thought she might want to know about the weather conditions. I guess NOT!

All I can do is pray for my kids and keep offering advice when I think they need it, I guess. I'm sure I treated my mom the same way at this age, too... and I'm sure she was just as frustrated as I am!

Time Machines

Original date written -- 4/2/10

Sometimes I think that it would be wonderful to have a time machine. I would use it to stop time and go back in time. I'm not so sure that I would use it to go forward in time. I might not like what I see and then I'd have to come back to reality and be totally stressed knowing what the future would be! I don't need that! But, going back in time would be so cool! There are so many events in my life that I would love to go back and experience --
Since my dad died when I was 18, I would love to go back and spend time with him again.
Of course, I would love to go back and enjoy being a kid again. No worries. Just fun!
I would also love to go back to when each of my girls were little. Those days went by way too fast!!

Now, I have Cher's song... "If I could turn back time"... in my head!! LOL!

If I could stop time, then I could get more done in my day. (Yes, this goes back to my earlier post about "needing more time, but already having it") If I could stop time, I would make it so everything (and everyone) else stopped, but not me. I could have all the time I needed to get things accomplished and then be able to enjoy the rest of my day and not be thinking and stressing over everything that I didn't get done!

I am realizing that I spend way too much TIME on thinking about TIME!! And as I do this... I am wasting TIME!! What's wrong with this picture??

Adjusting isn't easy

Original date written -- 4/1/10

Well, I have advanced to the world of wearing "progressive lenses" (aka: bifocals!). They now call them progressive lenses. But, they're the same thing!

I am having trouble adjusting to them. I hear that it is normal, though. But, I'm not sure. How much time do I give myself before I decide that I CAN'T adjust to them and give up! Right now, my eyes & head hurt! I just want to stick them right back in their pretty little container (well.. actually, it's kinda' plain!) and go back to taking my reading glasses on and off in order to read close up.

I really only need glasses to read. These "progressive lenses" have regular vision (basically, just glass!) on the top and then "progressively" get to 1.50 on the bottom, which is actually too strong! My comfort level for reading is 1.25, but the doc said that 1.50 needs to be on the bottom so that the 1.25 will be at the level that I need for reading. HOW COME THE 1.25 IS SO HARD TO FIND?? I can find the 1.50 and the "glass" part with no problem!

Guess I need more time to "adjust". For now.... I'm taking them OFF!

Too much thinking and not enough doing!

Original date written -- 3/31/10

I often think to myself.... "I have so much to do, but I don't have enough time to do it all"! But, this isn't really true. The truth is that I have plenty of time to get the many things done that I need to do! I just "choose" to not do them. I'd rather be doing other wasteful time spending activities such as.... playing on the computer (like now!) or watching TV. I have this huge list of things in my mind that I want to get done, but I can't seem to even make myself write them down (I'm a list maker!). That is pretty sad! I think that if I write them down, then I will see the list and become more overwhelmed than I already am! Somehow, I think that if I write them down, then I will be more organized and then I can get them done. But... here I sit. Agonizing over how much I have to do and how I am not getting it done! How stupid is that??? --- Ok. I'm getting off he computer now to go do something!

Walking with Jesus

Original date written -- 3/30/10

I love reading devotions each morning. God speaks to me thru them and it is such a wonderful way to start my day! This morning, as I read one that I get in my email called... "Journey Deeper into God's Word" by Rev. Mark Brown... God reminded me of this:

As I walk around each day, "doing life" (as Rev. Mark wrote), I don't do it alone. Jesus is with me, and I must walk at a pace that keeps Jesus at my side. I must not run ahead of Him or lag behind Him. If I walk "with" Him, then... when I come to an obsticle in my path or a fork in my path, Jesus is there to guide me as to which way to go or to lend a helping hand at moving the obsticle that is blocking my way. Or.... He will be there to show me that the path that I am on is a dead end and I must turn around and go a different way.

Now, I am thinking that if I was walking with Jesus, then He wouldn't take me down a "dead end" path. But.... sometimes, He might do that so that He can "teach" me. For He uses my mistakes to help me learn.

Thank you, Lord, for speaking to me this morning. Thank you for walking with me each day. Forgive me when I forget that you are there to guide me and for when I stray off of the path that you have laid out for me.

I love you, Lord!!

The Fruit of the Spirit

Original date written -- 3/29/10

I won't write about "why" I chose to write about this topic. God knows why, and that is all that matters. I got the definitions below from my Believer's Bible Commentary, by William MacDonald. I go to it often for help in understanding verses.


Galatians 5:22-23 --- "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)

Love is what God is, and what we ought to be.

Joy is contentment and satisfaction with God and His dealings.

Peace could include the peace of God as well as harmonious relations among Christians.

Longsuffering is patience in afflictions, annoyances, and persecutions.

Kindness is gentleness, perhaps best explained in the attitude of the Lord toward little children.

Goodness is kindness shown to others.

Faithfulness may mean trust in God, confidence in our fellow Christians, fidelity, or reliability.

Gentleness is taking the lowly place as Jesus did when He washed His disciples' feet.

Self-control means literally holding oneself in, especially regarding sex. Our lives should be disciplined. Lust, passions, appetites, and temper should be ruled. We should practice moderation

Numbers

Original written date -- 3/29/10

I love working out on the Wii Fit! Since I have been working out on it, I have really noticed a difference in how my body feels! My weight has gone down a little, but I think the way that I feel and the way my clothes fit, its more important than the "number" on the scale. I am going to just keep working out and not worry about the "numbers".

Where does my help come from?

Original date written -- 3/29/10

I have these lyrics stuck in my mind this morning and I can't remember what song they are from! -- "Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord." -- I'm not even sure if that is how the song goes! Haahaaa! But, I like what it says. I have to remember that when I am struggling with a situation, I need to look to the Lord for help. I can not do it on my own. --Philippians 4:13 says... "For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." I love that verse!

In my devotional book this morning, I read that when I am hurting, or feeling lonely, or sad... I can go to God and snuggle in His loving arms for comfort. I love that visual!! I can just imagine myself all curled up in His lap, like a little girl curls up in her Daddy's lap.

I love how I feel when my hubby's arms are wrapped around me in a hug. It is such a comforting feeling. A "safe" feeling. That's how God hugs me, too... if I let Him. I can feel that same feeling of comfort.

Thank you, Lord, for your warm hugs and comforting arms! I love you!

Parenting isn't easy, no matter what age

Original date written --- 3/28/10

As a parent, you go through the "terrible two's" and the "preteens" with your kids and you think that once you get past those stages, it will get easier. WRONG! I am quickly learning that even as your kids enter adulthood, it gets tough once again. You want them to be adults and solve their own problems, but on the other hand... you want to "fix" the problem for them.

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