......revelations of one woman's reality of life, love, and all things hopeful...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I hate chickens...

...unless they're grilled or fried or barbecued...

But I love Facebook. A childhood friend, LaRonda, recently found me on Facebook, and I am happy to be back in touch with her. How many Sundays did we spend at each other's house after church when we were little? Countless. She was THE BEST piano player. She had the neatest little playhouse in her back yard. She even had a canopy bed. I especially remember her funny little giggle/cackle laugh. What great memories! But I do have one memory that is not soooooooo great...she had pet chickens.


What in the world!

Who ever heard of such!

So one day I was at her house, and we were outside playing in the yard. I don't remember exactly how it happened, but somehow we were suddenly in the presence of the pet chickens. I remember trying to be so brave and not freak out, but evidently LaRonda sensed my fear. She proceeded to pick up the biggest, ugliest 'ole white chicken in the yard and hurl it right toward me. All I could see was those gigantic, flopping wings and the monstrous claws coming right toward my face.

Don't ask what happened next. I think I have permanently blocked the conclusion of that traumatic event from my memory.

Nearly 30 years later, I still hate chickens.

I hate chicken trucks. I hate chicken houses. I hate the fancy chickens in cages at the DeKalb County VFW fair. I hate ceramic chickens in country kitchens.

But I love Facebook. And I love LaRonda.

...and I forgive her...sigh.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My New Nano...

It's hard for me to ask for something for myself. I don't know why really. It's difficult for me to find the balance between a healthy work ethic and not-so-healthy self-reliance.

Working in a new job is teaching me about "making do" on much less income, both in my personal finances and in managing the house account here at TWH. I used to have a comfortable income so that when there was something I really wanted or felt that I needed, I just bought it. Things have changed as far as my personal spending goes. Even in managing the house account for TWH, I must plan menus down almost to the penny in order to truly be the steward of the finances given generously to this ministry. And all of that is good. In fact, I don't think I could be any more content in my life as I am this moment.

I've been walking everyday and I started wearing my old MP3 player. It's a little generic MP3 player that I bought years ago. Somehow in my move I lost the software and cable needed to import new music into it. I need a new ipod I thought. So I risked being a brat and shot an email to my dad containing a link for an Apple "ipod Shuffle" which is a basic little MP3 player, similar to my old one. "Dad, will you buy me one of these. I think I need one. Of course I like pink," is the message I wrote in the email.

That's all it took.

He replied back "what is your address and I will have it shipped to your front door." Whoa!!! Wow!!!

Well, it was delivered to my front door in about a week. And guess what...he didn't just send me a "Shuffle". He upgraded to the "Nano". That's big ya'll! It's like ordering a tricycle and getting a 4 wheeler! It's like ordering fish sticks and being served Lobster (I've never tried lobster, by the way...). Or maybe it's like hoping to win the primary and being elected President. Now, I know that "bigger and more expensive" isn't always better, but in this case, it is better.

All I had to do was ask.

Thank you, Dad.

But here's what I figured out...again...

All God wants us to do is humble ourselves and ask.
He may not always provide a Nano when we ask for a Shuffle. He might not even provide a Shuffle when we ask for a Shuffle. He might provide a harmonica so that we can learn to make a different kind of music, the kind that He has been desiring to hear.

How many times do I fail to ask God because of my own pride, all the while He is holding the treasures he desires to provide but is only waiting for me to ask?
He just wants us to pray.

A scripture that comes to my mind...
What man is there of you, whom if his son ask for bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:8-11

I really like my new nano. I'm glad I asked...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dreams do come true...Dolly came to town!

My camera died Saturday night. I am so bummed out. I've tried new batteries, double- and triple-checked that I have the batteries inserted correctly. I can't find the book that came with the camera to trouble shoot, but it will turn up I am sure. The good news is that I did purchase the 2-year service plan (and I still have the receipt! yipee!!!!!) so I will be taking it back to WallyWorld tomorrow. Soooo....I don't have pictures to post YET.

I did get some pictures of Dolly, but I nearly was kicked out of the park. I just couldn't help it...I felt that if I paid so much for my ticket, Dolly wouldn't mind if I just snapped a few shots really quick. A few is exactly what I got before an usher firmily instructed me to put my camera away.

  • The weather was just fine. Not too cold. It was a little misty, but not a true rain. My new purple rain boots served me just fine.
  • We stayed in the apartment of Karen, a friend of Alice's in Atlanta. She was out of town. The apartment was a one bedroom/one bath so it was a little cramped for 5 ladies, but we "made do". It felt a little bit like a 7th grade slumber party, so it was fun.
  • We got to the concert about 6:45 and got a really good parking place. We walked a short distance to the amphitheater. The amphitheater was really nice. Our seats were center stage but a little too far away for our liking. Sooooo...about 4 songs into the concert, Alice took charge and set off to scope out better seats. We ended up in some great seats just to the right of the stage, and there is where I got some great shots! I had hoped that the yukky weather would keep some people away...lucky for us it did and we sat in their seats!
  • Jennifer's childhood dream came true with her attending a Dolly Concert. Awwwwww!
  • Yes, her most famous attributes were on display.
  • No, there were no other acts performing at the concert. Dolly's band and back-up singers hit the stage at 8p.m. The band and back-up singers were, by the way, just fantastic. Dolly pranced on stage about 10 minutes later, opening with "2 Doors Down".
  • Dolly wore a glittery white pant suit the first half and a glittery gold mini-skirt the second half of the show.
  • Dolly played many instruments through out the show including the guitar, piano, fiddle, banjo, piano, dulcimer, harmonica, and fife. I might be forgetting some, but just know it was a bunch...
  • She sang both old and new songs. She did a bluegrass/gospel medley which was great. She also sang a couple of a capella songs with all the band members (about 12 men and 2 ladies) which was beautiful.
  • She must have had the best sound system money can buy. Her voice was just crystal clear. It was amazing to me how smooth her voice is after singing for all these years. I read somewhere that she is 62 years old.
  • I bought a T-shirt. Maybe when my camera is back among the living I can show you.
  • I don't think I have ever been in the presence of so many gay men. Evidently gay men love Dolly too.
  • The concert lasted about 2 1/2 hours.
  • Yes, I loved it. Yes, I would go again.

That's all I have to say about that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Packed for Adventure

My boots and long-johns are packed and ready for the adventure that is to begin about 10 hours from now. Dolly Concert. Some have asked me who will be in concert with her...I have no idea. I just know it's an outdoor event and the forecast continues to call for cold with scattered showers. Perhaps we will have to watch Dolly through a bubble - I know she won't be exposed to the elements. Not that I think she should be exposed to the elements....I mean, in her own words, Dolly says it costs and lot of money to look that trashy!

There is an upside to the yukky weather. I'm hoping that the weather will deter people from concert and we will get closer to the stage....sigh...

This whole trip was spearheaded by our social worker at TWH, Jennifer. Now Jennifer is about the most conservative girl I know. Dresses conservative, talks conservative, married to a conservative preacher. She's the first one in our group to call sin sin, not in a self-righteous way, but just in no-sugar-coating sort of way. The most shocking thing about our Jennifer is her obsession with Dolly Parton. I don't mean she likes Dolly a lot. I mean OBSESSION. And she's not in her 60's by the way, she's 28 years old. A 28-year-old college educated woman with an obsession for Dolly Parton. That's interesting. So this trip is a childhood dream come true for Jennifer, and I am so excited to be there to witness it. I just hope we don't catch pneumonia!

If flash photography is allowed, hopefully I'll have pics next week.

And yes, I know Auburn lost again last night....double sigh...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hello, Dolly!

It's just a little more than 24 hours until the Dolly concert in Atlanta! The concert is outdoors and unfortunately, the forecast is cold and rainy for Friday. The concert is on no matter what...rain or shine!!! Expect a full report...and please, don't be jealous!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Enforcer came to town...

Savannah Rhae stayed with me for a few days last week. We had a good time and I am so glad that she came to visit. Savannah still calls it like she sees it, not unlike she has done since she learned to talk, thus her nickname "The Enforcer."

Savannah, Erica, and I played hand after hand of the card game "Phase Ten." She really liked that game once she got the hang of it. After I blew up a tad after losing one two many times, she looked at me and said "Well now I know where Jaxson gets it! He hates to lose! He gets is from you!"

I do hate to lose.

Call it like you see it, NaaNaa!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Prepare to Spread the Wealth...

Well this is just great.

Just watched former Sec of State Powell endorse the democratic ticket on Meet the Press.

Maybe everyone needs to invest in the purchase of fruit jars and shovels. I prefer to hang on to my few little pennies and perhaps somewhere in my backyard would be the safest place.

Perhaps that's not a Christian attitude.

I'm going to church now...


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Call me when you get there...

I'm really not good at goodbyes, so I just usually say "I'll talk to you later, call me when you get there!"
So, I guess I'll use my standard goodbye-line tomorrow. Maggie and Amy are leaving TWH to return home with family. Maggie came to TWH about 1 week after I started here in January and Amy was born August 4th. It's been a wild 8 months but a good 8 months together. I will miss them both, but I am happy to see the gains Maggie has achieved here at TWH and thankful that she is leaving with a healthy baby, a new spiritual life, and a restored relationship with family.
So Baby Amy...call me when you get there...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rub-A-Dub Barclay

Erica has taken on the roll of doggie groomer in the house. Barclay got a really good bath yesterday, and Gilbert had his scrubbing Tuesday. Whew! They needed it too! Funny, stinky little dogs!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, I bet you can't do this...

Kids...here's what your parents do all day while you are at school...

Had a picnic lunch at lovely Union Park in Fort Payne with Alice and Crystal.

Silly broke out....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Condie, I like you...

I happened to catch Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the Today Show yesterday morning. She told of her mother's experience with breast cancer, and I enjoyed hearing her speak of her relationship with her mother. Certainly I am not an expert on Condie, but I've never observed her to be anything but classy. I like her.

Check out http://www.christianitytoday.com/tc/2002/005/1.18.html to read an article from 2002, before her obtaining Secretary of State. It's an interesting article which reveals some of her life history in regards to her family, faith, education and profession.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Chris Gray!!!

Happy Birthday to my good friend Chris Gray on Tuesday! Chris is a professional musician who has recently retired from the business. Now he works in his auto body shop full time. He faithfully works with the lights and sound at church. Sunday night, he hosted his own birthday bon fire at his house. It was a great party! I hope this day marks the beginning of a most perfect year for sweet Chris Gray!

Another Slimfast update and other details...

Well, it's not really a SlimFast update since I'm not really drinking SlimFast anymore...but for anybody who reads regularly, you know I started out in September on a SlimFast diet. I've pretty much stopped the SlimFast altogether because I felt like it was just waaaaay too much dairy. SlimFast was, however, a decent kick-start.

I'm hovering at around 13 pounds lost since Labor Day. Slow and steady....

The pictures above are the post-it notes on my bathroom mirror. 2 Peter 1:5-8 has been the passage that Bro Jeff has taught in Bible study on Wednesday nights for the last several weeks. It has been a mind-transforming thing to focus on memorizing this scripture...especially the parts about self-control and endurance which must surely be key in putting to death any sin or stronghold in your/my life. The other "3" is "a whole 'nother story" that perhaps I will write about later. Having the reminders visible are very helpful to me in my journey to Slim-Fast!

Still drinking the black coffee. And water.

Still walking. Up to about 2.5 miles per day.

Still drinking my herb-drink from the Herb Shop in Rainsville. Also started a detox program with products from the herb shop. Whoa-Nellie! That's some powerful stuff but I will spare you the details! Just know I can see and feel a difference in my body.

We still have 2 girls (Maggie and Erica) and 1 baby (Amy) in the house. Maggie and Amy will be leaving us Saturday. Our executive director, Alice, is working on the application for 2 other girls, so perhaps we will have 2 other girls soon.

I spent last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Nashville/Franklin, TN at a convention to get my annual required continuing education credits for speech therapy. I'm not working anywhere right now as a speech therapist, but I am keeping my license current so that I can practice at any time. It was a good conference (as far as conferences go, I suppose) but it confirmed to me that I am currently doing what I am supposed to be doing.

That's the latest...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No Cavities!!!

Luckily for me, Dr. Vizzinia is quite unlike Steve Martin in "Little Shop of Horrors"!

I went to the dentist today and am happy to report...No Cavities! That makes me happy!

I will lay down in peace...

In a world filled with chaos, it's good to witness true peace. Just ask Baby Amy.

"I will lay down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make Me dwell in safety." John 4:8

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"These things I have spoken unto you that in Me ye might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Valley Cubs Prey upon Golden Eagles...

Yesterday I traveled to Jacksonville for the boys' games. Jaxson said before his game that this would be the toughest game of the season. Not to my surprise, we won both games! After the games Stacy took us all to dinner to celebrate. It was a very good day.

Next week is fall break for Alexandria. We are planning for Savannah to come stay a few days with me. I can't wait!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We have a new girl! Finally!

After having only one girl in the home for more than a month, I'm happy to tell you that we have a new resident. Erica came to TWH on Monday. She is very, very, very sweet and is a very interesting person. She is 19 and is expecting her little one April 1, 2009. We have spent the week getting official business taken care of, scheduling appointments, and putting in job applications.
Maggie and Amy will be returning home to south Alabama in 2 weeks. I will be sad to say goodbye, but I am happy that Maggie has been successful in our home and is returning to her family with a new and healthier perspective on life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

On the debate...

I don't' know who won. I've already turned off the television before the pundits begin their rants. But here's my initial thoughts, observations, and questions...

  • It's no secret or surprise who was more comfortable in their own skin during this debate. But I don't really care who was the most comfortable to be honest. It seems to me that for a person to be completely confident in such serious issues, there may exist an unteachable, closed, and rather reckless core character issue. The incredible honor and responsibility that encompasses the position of POTUS and VP should cause the potential candidate to tremble at times, in my humble opinion.
  • Both candidates quoted lots of "facts", perhaps Biden more so than Palin, and both seemed to do a good job of blowing the whistle on the other ticket. I will be interested to hear within the next week just how many facts will be proven or disproved (is disproved actually a word?).
  • NEWS FLASH: The candidates are fundamentally different, not unlike their presidential running mates. Big Surprise, right? Is this election in the hands of the "undecided" population? Who are the "undecideds" anyway?
  • Palin seemed to be a promoter, partner, and encourager-of and believer-in McCain. Biden seemed to use OBama as more of a .... I don't know the word I'm looking for...perhaps as a means to an end in his personal agenda.
  • Did anybody hear when Palin called Biden "OBiden"? I know it was a slip of the tongue, but that was funny to me.
  • I still love Palin's shoes...I believe I saw red high heels again!
  • That nappy hair on Biden's neck still grosses me out. I repeat, haircut dude!
  • Piper Palin is still my favorite little kid.

That's all I've got on this pitiful post....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Slimfast update and other details...

It's been a month since I started the SlimFast diet. So far, I'm down about 10 lbs. I suppose that's a healthy amount. At that rate, I will have met my goal within a year. There are other habits that I've been trying to incorporate into my life that I think are more helpful than the SlimFast, to be honest. In fact, I think the SlimFast more or less satisfies a sweet tooth that keeps me from overindulging in the real sweets.

Some of the other simple habits I'm trying to incorporate include:
  • no eating after 6 p.m....usually pretty easy unless I'm down in the dumps for some crazy reason, but I'm trying to mentally get control of that behavior!
  • 2 to 3 cups of black coffee (well, I do use Splenda) everyday. Dad...you will be satisfied to know that I'm finally a coffee-drinker, but it took me almost 35 years to get here. And, by the way, all you coffee-o-holics, you folks never told me coffee helps to curb your appetite! I mean, a Diet Mountain Dew was good for an afternoon pick-me-up because it has a gazillion tons of caffeine, but it doesn't do the trick for the appetite the way the black coffee does. Now, I think it's important to notice the "black" (I would much more prefer milk and sugar flavored with a little coffee but that defeats the purpose) part of this habit. I've been reading about benefits of the black coffee is that it does contain good antioxidants which are beneficial. I am positive, like with most good things, consumed without moderation this coffee-habit has the potential to backfire on me. Moderation...
  • I bought a dietary supplement (vitamins and fiber) at the herb shop in Rainsville which is supposed to be a good weight loss aid as well as helpful for decreasing risk of heart disease. It is a powder that you mix with water and drink 10 to 15 minutes before your 2 heaviest meals each day (about 8 to 10 oz, so it's not much). I can definitely tell that I feel full with much less food and don't get hungry so much between meals. It has an orange flavor, not great tasting but I have had to drink worse things before (anybody who has had a major surgery may know what I'm talking about!)
  • Walking, walking, walking. I hate it but I guess it's got to be done. I'm walking about 40 minutes and am up to about 7 laps at the track (1.75 miles).
  • I've been reading what the Bible has to say about endurance, because that's what I lack when it comes to diet and exercise. On Wednesday night, our pastor has been teaching from 2 Peter 1:5 and following about adding to our faith, knowledge, goodness, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. (Hope I didn't leave one out...). Well, the Bible says a lot about endurance. I'm no seminary professor, but I definitely know endurance involves pain now and pay off later, usually for a cause much greater than your- (or my-) self. I also know that our God is the God of encouragement and endurance - check out Romans 15:5 - , so I'm praying He will encourage me to endure....stick with the pain now for pay off later.

Well, that's all I can think of about the SlimFast diet....

A few other notable comments...

Some of you blog-readers met our little resident Omzavious this summer (2 year old little cutie-pie who lived with us for several months and captured every one's heart to crossed his path). I hear from his mom often and they are doing good it sounds like. I actually talked to him on the phone tonight. I just melted! I wish I could just kiss his little face off! I so want to take a little road trip to Geneva County and see him, his baby sister, and his momma. It sounds like they are in church and his mom is working. She is planning to start to community college in January. Please say a little prayer for them.

Does everyone know I'm going to see Dolly Parton in concert in Atlanta in a few weeks? I'm not a huge Dolly fan but she is a legend no doubt. Our social worker here at The Way Home is crazy about Dolly, so there are 4 of us girls taking off to see Dolly. There's been some talk of passes onto her tour bus....we'll see... We were supposed to go see her at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta back in the Spring, but we got scammed in our ticket purchase and did not get to go. This time, we already have tickets in hand and paid for.

Planning to watch the big VP debate tomorrow night. To be honest, I'm holding my breath a bit for my gal Gov. Sarah Palin. I'm nervous...

I'm looking forward to this Saturday. The Alexandria Valley Cats will take on Jacksonville in peewee. It's supposed to be downright vicious. I'm taking our girls (we have 2 now with 1 baby) with me. Jaxson told me that he's been wanting to hold a tiny baby...not sure how or why he got that in his mind, but I think we can make that happen for that little feller!

That's my post for today! Chow!