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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

sure could use a lil good news...

I think everyone should, at least once, sit under the teaching of my Sunday school teacher, Mr. Keith Williams. I love to remind him that he has been my teacher off and on since I was in 9th grade...yes, that's right... for approximately 2o years, Mr. Keith has been my Sunday school teacher. There's a reason I keep going back...he's good. He's always prepared. He's interesting.

Over the last year, Mr. Keith has periodically brought in stories of Good News that he comes across during the week. Sometimes the Good News stories are directly related to the lesson for that day, sometimes not, but the Good News stories are always uplifting and encouraging. It's nice to hear a little good news, right?

If you frequent the network or cable news channels, you already know that Good News is a rare thing in our culture. Take the missing-child-in-a-helium-balloon-story, for example....what seemed like Good News initially when it was discovered that the child was safe and sound, turned out to be a hoax. Well-meaning Americans who followed the story, praying for the child and his family, were essentially conned. It's no wonder when I hear Good News, I wonder if it's just too good to be true.

On a little side-note...I ran across THIS Good News story today. Check it out sometime....

Anyway...back to my point...

Something happened to me this week that really got inside my head, causing me to think about the basic things in life. See, on Tuesday morning I met my good friend Gequetta at the gym...

Bright.

And.

Early.

5:30 AM-bright-and-early to be exact.

We finished up our workout around 6:45. By the time I drove back down the mountain, stopped for gas, and treated myself to my favorite coffee at Kangaroo's gas station, it was a little after 7 AM. I had to meet Alice and Jen for our Tuesday morning staff breakfast at The Strand downtown at 8, so I decided rather than going all the way home I would park at The Strand and wait for them.

Guess what happened next. Yes, you guessed it. While I was waiting on Alice and Jen to get there, my eyes got sleepy. That's what my niece Lauren, now almost 16 years old, used to say as she fought sleep riding in her car seat, "my eyes are sleepy".

There's nothing wrong with a little power nap after a 5:30 am battle with the stairmaster, right? Right! So I in my little Honda Accord just reclined back the driver's seat and headed off to the funny papers.

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

What'tha!!!!!

Though my blurry vision and foggy brain, I saw two of the cutest little old men you have ever seen banging on my window. With concerned and curious eyes, the shorter of the two said to me as he peered inside my car, "Are you ok?". Awwww! They were worried that something was wrong!!! How Sweet!

I laughed.

I explained.

I embarrassed.

Myself.

Alice and Jen arrived within mere minutes of The Great Awakening, and when we waltzed in the local ROMEO club (Retire Old Men Eating Out), it felt as if all eyes were on me and my half-up-half-down-i-just-took-a-nap-inside-my-car-ponytail. All I knew to do was wave and smile. The ROMEO club went silent for a moment as some smirked and waved, then I'm sure, they continued with whatever it is they discuss each morning over coffee and eggs over-medium.

How good was that? I ask you! Just tell me!

When was the last time someone took a break from their morning coffee and gravy biscuits to check on your health and safety?

More importantly, when was the last time you (or I) interrupted your schedule, routine, or train of thought to be kind to another person? That's real love. We can say it all day long, but until we do it, it's only words.

Good News! There are people in this world who will take a few extra steps to help another person.

I think it's no news flash that those gentlemen happened to be of The Greatest Generation...I'm not surprised. That's just how they roll!

It's my goal this week to be the Good News to others.

To be Love.

To be Real Love.

To be Christ's Love.





FB friends click HERE to watch video.

Monday, October 12, 2009

girls playing with fire...we have skills:)

















There are certain skills that every girl should have to be able to make it the world. I should know... I didn't achieve 35 and single without certain skills. Of course, there are the obvious and traditional skills ....sewing on of buttons, baking of chocolate cakes, do-it-yourself mani's and pedi's, finding steals on the clearance racks, completely making over a room in your house with a little paint.

Some skills are not traditionally "girly," yet they're equally necessary...perhaps even more necessary. Skills which should be developed, if not mastered....checking of the oil in your car, testing of the tire pressure, walking away from a car salesman when he won't accept your offer, recognizing a slick mechanic who says you need new tires, using drywall anchors to hang heavy pictures on your walls, this list could go on and on and on...


I developed a new skill this week. I started a small bonfire. Well...I helped to start a small bonfire. On Saturday evening I visited with my good friend and general partner-in-crime Alice at her house where she had recently constructed the neatest little firepit in her back yard.


Neither of us had ever attempted the task of igniting a small bonfire, but we were determined despite the fine mist of humidity that was falling all around us. We stacked the logs and used various and intentionally un-named objects for kindling, and before we knew it the fire began to pop and crackle! How Cool!


We sat around the fire and enjoyed roasted hotdogs, baked apples, and yes, you guessed it...smores:) Yum....


Conversation was good around the bonfire too, but I could never divulge our girly-secrets. Perhaps we have the fire-building skills of a guy, but we're definitely still girls:)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Smile:)

Dear Jesus,

You are so good to me. I'm sorry I ever doubted You on this one. Seriously...I don't know what I was thinking.

I asked You a few times for Somebody Special. One or two came along, but nobody special. I didn't think You...well, I didn't know what to think, really. I didn't understand Your way of doing things when it came to that.

You asked me to sell everything and move to an isolated mountain. So I did. They all said I was crazy. More than one of them said this was my way of "checking out and giving up". They just didn't get it, but You did and so did I. You wanted all of me.

Now here I am....I can't stop smiling. I can't hardly believe it. Yes, he's special.

The way he is toward me has even taught me more about You. See, he loves me like I am...the good and the bad. He has high expectations but knows how imperfectly human I am. He's trustworthy. I know You are all these things on a higher plane, but it's good to have the example calling my phone every night.

I don't know exactly what You have in store in the future, but the present is just SUPER!

Will You please bless Terry Taylor extra today? Maybe even let his Bama team win 99 to Zip....ahh, well, let's not get crazy here....




Facebook friends click HERE to see video:)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

football revisited...

I love Auburn, but I'm not just CRAZY about Auburn football. I guess it's because I'm a self-proclaimed geek, but I try to keep it all in perspective.



I am crazy about some Saturday games that involve my sweet buddies Jaxson and Grayson! Today kicks off their football season, and I can hardly wait to see my favorite Valley Cubs! Grayson is on the PeeWee team (had graduated past the Midgets and Widgets, lol) and Jaxson is on the Jr.B team.



Wanna revisit their season from last year? CLICK HERE.



Stay tuned for highlight from today's game:)

Friday, September 11, 2009

...people will be in awe of Him...

"I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him." Ecclesiastes 3:14.


...people will be in awe of Him...

...God works...

....God works so that people will be in awe of Him...

Did you catch that? God works so that people will be in awe of Him.

I am in awe of Him. I am in awe because I can't quite make my mind wrap around the idea that the Creator of all that was, is, and ever will be knows not only my name, but also the number of hairs on my head.

I am in awe of Him because He knows all that I do and don't do, and he neither blesses me to reward me nor withholds blessings to punish me. He gives and takes away out of pure love for his children.

God is working. I can see it in my work, in my church, in my family, and in my relationships. He is so real and so is His hand. Just as scripture said it will be, because of His work, I am in awe of Him. I am so thankful that I can hardly contain it.

What's even more wild is that while he knows the number of hairs on my head, He sees at the same time the struggles in your life. He knows what you need and is meeting that need this very moment. While He's meeting your need, He is watching your children and grandchildren, protecting them moment by moment. While He's protecting your grandchildren, there's a surgeon praying for wisdom and a steady hand as he makes his first incision, and God is guiding his hand. While God is guiding the surgeon's hand, there's a drug addict who is unaware that God is keeping his heart pumping so he can have another chance at life. While God is keeping the heart pumping, there is a wife who is grieving because eight years ago her firefighter husband gave his life for others...God is rushing in to comfort her right now. And while God is rushing in to comfort the grieving wife, there's a Christian in prison somewhere in the Middle East who needs hope, so God brings a scripture to the prisoner's mind and puts a song on lips. While God works in the prison, He is also...

God is working.

Isn't He awesome?

who.

am.

i?

fb readers click here to watch video

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Prince of Peace

I'm going through a blogging dry spell. I don't know why, really. I have so much to be thankful for in life, so perhaps I should revisit my previous posts on gratitude.

Today I am thinking about how much I love my "family" I find in the praise band at church. I feel so blessed to part of such a talented and special group of people, but most importantly, I am humbled to freely worship my Prince of Peace.

Here's one we're singing today. It's one of my favorites. (FB readers click here to listen)


Sunday, August 16, 2009

i am happy

Today, I am happy. So how can I keep from singing?




Facebook readers click here to watch the video!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

jaxson, you're sneaky!

video

Dad and nephews Jaxson and Grayson at Little River Canyon. They were supposed to jump together. All for one, one for all, right? Wrong. Jaxson is sneaky, I tell you. I love that he gets in position, even swings his arms as if he is about to make the plunge, then PSYCH! I also love that he remembers that I am filming the stunt and looks up at me before he jumps. Kid, you're killin' me!

Facebook readers click here to watch the video!

Monday, August 10, 2009

i detect fall...


embarrassed children

Today I was thinking about a little book I read a couple of years ago at the beach. The book cover is doused in water spots and the edges are tattered. I planted myself under that beach umbrella covered in my SPF 2000 and read the thing cover to cover.

I'm referring to Mitch Albom's for one more day, a facinating story of a washed-out profressional baseball player who, on the very verge of suicide, is given the opportunity to spend the day with his mother. Here's the catch...the mother had died eight years previously. "...What follows is the one 'ordinary' day so many of us yearn for, a chance to make good with a lost parent, to explain family secrets, and to seek forgiveness. Somewhere between this life and the next, Charley learns the things he never knew about his mother and her sacrifices. And he tries, with her tender guidance, to put the crumbled pieces of his life back together."

Now that you have the back story, here's the part I was thinking about...

"I didn't mean anything by it, Mom," I whispered.

"By what?"

"Being embarrassed. By you, or your clothes or...your situation."

She rinsed the shampoo from her hands, then directed the water to Rose's scalp.

"A child embarrassed by his mother," she said, "is just a child who hasn't lived long enough."

Wow. The child embarrassed by his mother is just a child who hasn't lived long enough.

Well said, mom.

I would add...A child who bullies another child....A child who disprects his teacher...A child who fears the opinions of her peers...A child who is afraid to try...
I really don't recall ever being embarrassed by my parents. I do wish that I could do some things again...this time a little differently. I'm trying to do some things differently now, so perhaps in the future I won't wish for just one more day.

I think this little novella should be required reading for everyone.

It changed my life.







Sunday, August 9, 2009

my romance...

My Romance
Look at the way the flowers bloom for you,
They want to show you their beauty Lord
Running waters dance,
You and I romance.
Unto You be all the glory!
Angels dance around You
The earth it sings about You
Open up the heavens Lord
Let your kingdom come to earth
Unto You be all the glory!
My praises all surround
You My soul can't dance without You
Open up the heavens Lord
Let your kingdom come to earth


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Here's what i'm thinking...
  • words can be so very hurtful. it doesn't matter if the person speaking knows better or not.
  • speaking the truth can be difficult
  • hearing the truth can be more difficult
  • love seems simple, basic, innate. but really, pure love is deep, wide, and complicated.
  • forgiveness blows my mind
  • God's love covers a whole multitude of sins
  • God knows how to balance perfect justice with perfect grace. that's why He Is.

Someone, via texting, asked me if i thought i was dr. phil.

I think no.

dr. phyllis maybe:)

nite...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

i don't quote oprah


I don't quote Oprah.

I'm not one of her disciples.

I don't even watch her show, anymore.

So please don't go getting your bloomers up in a wad over what I'm about to say...

...drumroll please....

I heard Oprah Winfrey give a word of advice one time that I try to live by.

Paraphrased, Oprah once said women should change their hairstyles every year. Even if it's just a small variation...wear it a little shorter, let it grow a little longer, add some layers, brighten the color. Just change it up a bit.

I try to do that. Change my hair up a little bit every year or so.

Earlier this week I went to see my good friend and hairdresser Gequetta (No, she's not black. Yes, she's white. Yes, she's lived on Sand Mountain her whole life, but no, her parents have not.) I purposefully got to the salon early so that I could peruse the hairstyle magazines. As I flipped the pages of one magazine after another, examining each photo of the hottest and trendiest do's, I found myself saying, "I've had that. I've done that. That one's ridiculous. I've already had that one. I've done that one twice...." I hated everything in the magazines. There was nothing new in there.

I realized that the metaphorical bubble of my youth has burst. Styles I wore years ago are coming back. I've always heard that would happen but I never thought it would happen to me. I'm young. Surely, it's not time to recycle my generation's fads and fashions.

Today I splurged on a manicure. When I wrote my check to pay, the little Vietnamese lady who did the manicure checked my identification, clearly studying the information thereon, and commented with a quick "hum."

Me: Hum? What's wrong?

Her: You '74. Me '75.

Well, how in the world am I supposed to respond to that?

And so the mental dialog began. What in the world was she trying to say? She can't believe she's almost as old as me? She's wondering how I stay looking so young? She thought I was as old as her mother? She thinks my crow's feet are deeper than hers? What? Just say it, little girl!

I can't believe I was so baffled, and furthermore, I can't believe I'm writing about it.

But I am.

And I. Am. Over. It.

Really, I am.

Sigh...

Goodnight everyone.

I need my beauty sleep:)

Friday, July 24, 2009

My-big-fat-better-than-average-life...

Lately I've made a special point to notice one of my facebook friend's status updates. The first one that caught my eye read...

"I read somewhere that if you lick some one's elbow when they aren't looking, they can't feel it. My husband didn't believe it. I told him to close his eyes so he wouldn't see me lick his elbow, and then asked him if he had felt it. He was amazed and said 'No'. I hadn't licked his elbow. He now believes the story is true:)

Then she wrote this on her status...

Today, I was chatting with a friend who had a mirror behind her. She got up and I could see myself in the mirror. I waved to myself. I waved back:)

I finally asked her where she comes up with this stuff. She directed me to mylifeisaverage.com. If I were completely shameless, I would tell you that initially, I thought to myself My Life Is A Verage...hmmm...what is a 'verage'...??? Duh. Average. Not A Verage. But I do have my pride, so I will just keep that information to myself.

Anyway...you must check out My Life is Average. In a nutshell, this is a website where people submit short stories and anecdotes which describe the average and mundane events of their lives. It has just cracked me up at times.

My life feels average, too. Sometimes.

Like for the last 2 days, the remote for the television in the living room has been missing. I have turned the house upside down looking for it. Secretly, I love the fact that it's missing and I hope we don't find it for a while. Since the remote has gone missing in action, it seems that our one and only resident at TWH has been a little more productive. But that's just between you, dear reader, and me...right?;) The remote will turn up...someday...

Another average moment...this morning I let the boys, Barclay and Gilbert (my funny doggies), out of their pen so they could run and play. After about an hour had passed, I went outside to check on them. Barclay, the mischievous Spitz, was laying under a shade tree in the backyard, chewing on a tomato.

Now, I don't have a garden, but my neighbor does. I began to ponder how he got his paws on that tomato. Either A.) He picked it himself and took off like the bandit that he is, or B.) the little old southern lady had had enough of his help in her vegetable garden and threw the tomato at him...in that case, I know Barclay was happy to fetch the red ball for her, refusing, as usual, to return the ball to the throw-er. Either scenario is completely possible, and either way, Barclay got his dose of lycopene for the day, I suppose...

My life is average.

Not really.

My life is waaaaay better than average.

This morning I was walking on the treadmill. Just thinking.

Thinking about all I needed to do today. Thinking about how tomorrow I will be going to watch my nephews play in the All-Stars tournament. Thinking about how sweet those boys are. Thinking about how much I love all of my nieces and nephews. Thinking about how I wish that I lived closer to them and could see them more. Thinking about how exciting it was to know they are playing in the state tournament. Thinking about how much I really, really, hope they win. Thinking about how I really, really, really, really hope that I don't jinx them (I haven't been to many games this season...). Thinking how I can't wait to hug and kiss them like a crazy old aunt.

Before I knew it, I was crying!!! What in the world!!! Right there in BodyVision, on the treadmill, at 6 o'clock in the morning!!!!

How cool is that, I ask you!!! What a good life...my biggest worry is whether or not I will jinx my nephews' baseball game!

Of course, I'm concerned about healthcare reform and the ongoing socialism-a-zation of the United States. Yes, I'm afraid things are going to get bad in the country. Of course, I often wonder if I will get cancer...again...

But these things can't consume me nor my thinking. I would rather think on the blessings of baseball, and family, and friends, and the Giver of all good things.

Thank you, Jesus, for the abundant life and peace of mind that You give!

Monday, July 20, 2009

he asked You for life...



Psalm 21
1. Lord, the king finds joy in Your strength. How greatly he rejoices in Your victory!
2. You have given him his heart's desire and have not denied the request of his lips.
3. For you meet him with rich blessings; You place a crown of pure gold on his head.
4. He asked You for life, and You gave it to him-
length of days forever and ever.
5. His glory is great through Your victory; You confer majesty and splendor on him.
6. You give him blessings forever; You cheer him with joy in Your presence.
7. For the king relies on the Lord; through the faithful love of the Most High, he is not shaken.


I wish that I were a Bible scholar and knew exactly the string of events that prompted King David to write these words. Did he write this psalm while reminiscing over his encounter with the late-great-giant? Perhaps he wrote it while exhaling in God's forgiveness...so relieved that the Lord granted mercy once again? Perhaps he was celebrating after his season of grief following the death of his friend or even his own son. I don't know, but maybe it doesn't matter anyway, right?

The fact is, David had asked God for life, and God gave it to him.

He knew he was blessed.

David knew joy and cheer simply from being in relationship with God.

Surely David knew that any kingly majesty and splendor donned upon himself was only because God willed it with His own power.

He relied on the Lord and the unfailing love of the Most High.

"He asked You for life, and you gave it to him..." That verse just blows me away!

It reminds me of John 10:10....grab your Bible and look it up!

Being surrounded by bad news, sickness, disappointment, and seemingly hopeless situations, this psalm tells me how to have an abundant life...count my blessings, savor my relationship with Christ, trust God's will, rely on God's love, ask for the life he wants for me!

I don't expect a windfall, but I am confident that my needs shall be met. I don't expect my frustrations to disappear, but I am confident that my joy shall be complete. And that's good to know.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mission New Orleans

It's been a very, very busy summer for me lately...last week being no exception. I went to New Orleans with 52 other people from my church. There we were involved in various volunteer community services projects. Our group was divided into 4 groups including a construction crew, sports camp, kids day camp, and puppet ministry. I don't have very many pictures....there wasn't a lot of time for photography!

I was on the construction crew...scary thought, right? We worked on rebuilding the sanctuary at Gentilly Baptist Church.


Gentilly Baptist currently meets in their gym every Sunday and continues to minister to their community. They have a goal of being back in their sanctuary in August...not too far away!
Mr. Jimmy Traylor was our crew leader. He is a very kind and patient man. And I mean patient! I asked him a question or two during the week! Below is our pastor, Jeff Mann, sanding the trim on the sound booth that we constructed. My pal Kim Galloway and I actually cut, hung, finished, and painted the sheet rock for this! Who knew....but, in the words of Mr. Keith "you can't mess up sheet rock..." I believe it!





H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Prepare for Eternity) Puppet Ministries is a group of adults and teens from our church who write and perform puppet shows to share the good news of Jesus Christ. These are not your ordinary hand puppets, I tell ya! I think they performed 3 to 4 shows per day in New Orleans at churches, parks, a juvenile detention facility, and children's hospitals.

The drama team performed the "Everything" drama at the end of each puppet show. It is very, very moving portrayal of the negative things life has to offer as it relates to the life and relationship Jesus offers. Their performance gives me chills everytime I watch! Love it!!!

On our last night in New Orleans, the entire group went to dinner at a Cajun restaraunte called Mulate's. They had live cajun music and a dance floor. Our youth entertained us all with their "Celebration Dance". We have the best group of kids! They worked soooooooo hard all week and you never heard a negative word from them.

Here is a picture of a light pole in the courtyard of our hotel. Our group all happened to be standing behind it, so someone snapped a picture. Duh.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

After Dinner Conversation...

video

Baby Aubriana enjoyed her Cinnamon Apples for dinner tonight. After dinner, she engaged us in some most enlightening conversation! She's gonna be a talker, she is!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Freedom for Iran

Freedom is stirring in the souls of this generation of citizens in Iran. I hope and pray that in their quest for justice and freedom, they find it. May they find freedom from an oppressive government and religion, and may they seek The True Freedom, Jesus Christ.

I have found a couple of interesting blogs which appear to contain personal and startling insight into the revolution in Iran. Check out Iranian Woman and Winston...

God bless these Iranian citizens, and God bless these United States!

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19th


I have exactly seventeen minutes to finish this post....it must be published on June 19th. Today is my mother's birthday. If she were still alive, she would be 58 years old today.
Having pondered for several days over what to write for her birthday, I'm blank. Completely blank. I could gush, but I won't. I could even write something that would make some of you laugh, but I'm tired and suspect I would exceed my time constraint.
I bought some flowers today to take to the cemetery, but I decided the heat is just too scorching and the flowers would hardly live through the noontime sun. So I'm keeping them. On my nightstand. So I can enjoy them. Myself.
And remember. Good times.
And plan. Good future.
And pray myself to sleep. Good Mom, Great God.
Goodnight:)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Little Basketball Guy



We have a new baby! De'jon arrive yesterday morning at 3:27. He weighed in at just under 7lb. He is so sweet. Mommy is doing great. I believe we have a basketball star here...his hands are huge! Watch out NBA, we have a hot recruit for ya!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hope for Every Bad Mood

I've been chronically in a bad mood for about 2 weeks now. Don't ask me why. I don't know why. I have just been in a bad mood.
I know. It's not nice.

I knooooow.

It's not attractive.

But what can I say?
It's the truth.
I've been in a bad mood for a couple of weeks now.

No, I'm not depressed.

I'm just in a bad mood.

I know one thing that's put me in a bad mood...my cell phone. At completely unpredictable times, it sounds really "static-ey" and the person on the other end cannot hear me. It is soooo annoying, and it drives me nuts!

So today I went to the Verizon store. Remember...I'm in a bad mood already, so I'm fully ready for some confrontation with the first person with a name tag who crosses my path. I go in and "check in" which mean I must log on to a little touch-screen computer and sign up for trouble shooting. They put my name up on a tv screen, listed in order according to the order we "check in". I am #4. Great. Just great. How long will the wait be? An hour? Two?

"Feel free to look around while you wait (smile, smile, blink, blink)" the happy little door greeter says to me. Don't get too close, little girl, or I just might snatch you bald!

Look around while I wait.
What choice do I have, really? There are no chairs in the waiting area. Ugh.
While I wait, I observe the manager-type person instruct a waiting customer to go home and call Verizon's customer service line. Wait a minute!!!! Aren't there live customer service people here? This is a Verizon store, for Heaven's sake!
Next I saw the same manager-lady put another customer on a land line phone and made him call customer service. Something's wrong with this picture. Bad.
About 40 minutes later, a straggly-hair, hippie type with major yankee/smoker-voice called my name. I walk up to her station. She asks me what she can do for me today. Let me just tell you, sister. I proceed to tell her about the problem with my phone, when, about halfway through my second sentence, she interrupts me to ask my phone number. I tell her my phone number. Then she asks me again...what's wrong with my phone. Again, half-way through my second sentence, her phone rings, she says to me, "excuse me please," and answers her phone.
I just stand there and look at her. Hello....Lady....I'm a real live customer. Can't you put the caller on hold??? Hello...Smoker-voice lady....hello!

She sees me staring at her, so she motions for me to give her my phone. She piddles with my phone while she "yes's, no's, and uh-huh's" the caller on the phone.

Lady, you better get off that phone or I'm gonna jump over your counter in about 3 seconds...

A the count of 2 1/2, she finally hangs up the phone.

"Mam, it looks like your phone is still under warranty, so I can get you a new one. I will take about 5 minutes," she says to my great surprise!

Oh, thank you lady. You don't know it, but you were about to get punched, and I really am not in the mood to get arrested today.

My mood was a little better then. I was really expecting to have to question and complain to get a new phone.

New. Well, the phone she gave me wasn't exactly new. It was certified refurbished. Like-new.

Okay. I'll take it. Would rather have had brand-new-never-been-opened, but I'll take this one.

I finally drive home, check the mail, and GUESS WHAT!

There's a $50 check in the mail!

YIPPEE!!!

I recently had a routine test performed at the hospital as ordered by my oncologist. The hospital required $175 payment for the co-pay on the day of the test. Last week, I got the statement from my insurance which said that $123 was billable by the hospital, $0 paid by insurance, and that I owed $0 to the hospital...which says to me that I overpaid the hospital. I haven't had the opportunity to call the hospital yet, but that situation was also boiling in my brain and had been contributing to my bad mood.

Thank Heavens it worked out! The hospital did do the right thing and I didn't have to punch a single person!

Yippee!

Good Mood is back!

But here's my question...

If just a couple of good things happening can put me in a such a good mood, what would happen if I truly did just focus on the blessings in my life?

More importantly, what would happen if I refused to dwell on the little irritations in life which are totally out of my control?

How much energy to I put into feeding my bad moods versus fueling a positive outlook?

I hate to ask the age-old question, but...is the glass half-empty or half-full?

My glass is completely full.

Running over, in fact.

There's hope for every bad mood.

Indeed.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Luv us some Bling!


Sometimes you just gotta get away. Even if it's only for a few hours.

Last night seven ladies piled up in Mrs Renee's vehicle and headed to the big town. We enjoyed a some PF Chang's and a lot of giggling.

To my knowledge, nobody cried. Unusual, I suppose, for a group of this many ladies. Friends. Sisters. Ok, now I'm about to cry! Not really.

We all had on our bling-bling shoes just like we liked them. Toes painted and shiny!

You like???

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Little Men @ Little River















Today I went to Little River Canyon with Dad, Kathy, Jaxson, Grayson, Erica and Alyssa. I think the boys had a fun day swimming and playing on the rocks. It's difficult to believe this beautiful place is practically in my backyard!

video

Monday, June 8, 2009

ONE TWO THREE

Dear Mom,

They were right, I suppose. They, the experts and the experienced, said it would be this way.

They said that grieving would be mere survival during year ONE. "The year of firsts," they called it. First Thanksgiving, first Christmas. My first birthday without you to send me our favorite Pink Tuscanini roses. The first time I needed information that only you would know. There were more firsts than I care to remember. What a nightmare!

Then they said that year TWO would be the year I would wake up from the nightmare and realize that it's all real. This is it. This is how it's really going to be. Things are not going to return to normal, and things will never be the same.

Yes, year TWO was difficult. I just "didn't get it". It didn't make sense. You had been healthy as far as I knew. You never hurt anybody. So many people needed you. It was your time, and nothing on earth could have kept you here. Still, I just could not get my mind around the concept that God took you and left so many who seemed to possess no socially redeeming value.

Year TWO...anger...disgust....

At some point during year TWO, fortunately, I regained some focus. I come to realize that life is brief, and I wanted my life to make a difference.

Priorities shifted.

Doors opened.

I stepped out.

Yes, year THREE is exactly as they said it should be. Those waves of intense sadness still come, but the deep valleys are shorter and further apart than they were at first. Things still aren't the same, and they never will be the same, but times can be good again. Finally I can take all the erratic emotions and focus their energy into positive things. I think you see the positive from Where you are, and at times, I even feel you cheering me on.

Oh the times lately where I so wanted to tell you what's happening...

I bought some doggie clippers and let the girls here at the house give Barclay and Gilbert their summer cuts. Oh my, those dogs look pitiful! They're cool now, so I suppose that's what matters!

I'm letting my hair grow out. It's probably been since high school since it's been this long. You know Gequetta, right? Well, she still does my hair for me, and she always tells me I'm too old to have long hair. What do you think? The other day, I went in to let her touch up my roots and she said- can you believe this- "The next time you come in we're coloring your hair all over!" Why, I asked. "Because you've got gray hairs everywhere!" What!!! How many, Quetta? Get this....she announced right there in front of everybody, "There's too many to count!" Oh! I was mortified! But that's what makes a good friend and beautician, one who tells you the truth, right? I still think she's wrong about me being too old to have long hair....jealous.

I'm still going to the gym early in the mornings...most mornings, that is. I wish you could see some of those old Pawpaws in there. It would crack you up! There's this one old man, who, if he has asked me once, he has asked me 25 times, "Why don't they make a pill that exercises your muscles? They've got a pill for everything else!" Funny. He wears is gym shorts pulled up under his armpits, has his tight T-shirt tucked in, and has his tube socks pulled up tight nearly to his knees. He's dedicated...you've got to give him that!

What do you think of Michelle Obama? Oh wait, don't tell me. I'm sure I already know.

Yes, it's been THREE years today. I can hardly believe it. In some ways, it's all so new and fresh that it seems like only yesterday. On the other hand, it has been THREE very, very long years, so June 9, 2006 seems like forever ago.

I'm hoping that year FOUR will be a year to exhale. You know what I mean, right? So if you can pull some strings on your end, feel free.

Feel free.

I suppose you already do feel free. Indeed.

I love you and miss you.

Still want to be just like you!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Remembering D-Day

I saw this story on Fox News last night and thought is was just beautiful. I could never write a tribute that could hold a candle to this gentleman's recounting of June 6, 1944. As you watch this story, say a special prayer for him along with all of our brave soldiers who are serving around the world today!




God Bless You, Mr. Seltzer!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

know-what-I-mean-there-Vern?

video

Who in the world is "Vern"?

This man's name is not Ernest and I doubt he has ever been to camp. As far as I know, he has never been to jail (but parents don't tell their children everything, now do they?)!

That's Dad and me. We went for a little 5K walk Wednesday morning, and this video is his post-walk report. He failed to mention that he about killed me...I just about couldn't keep up with his long skinny legs! I think I took two steps to his every one! Nevertheless, I'm pleased with our time...just under 50 minutes if you didn't catch that in the video (ehem..cough, cough). If you've ever climbed what I call "Chavies Mountain", you will know that time is not too shabby!

Fun times!

Speaking of fun times, tomorrow I plan to lay by the pool and swim with my 4 favorite kiddos...Lauren, Savannah, Jaxson, and Grayson. Stay tuned for a swimming update. I'm sure some form of drama or excitement will develop within the next 24 hours!

Oh...don't forget about the Freedom Fest 5K Fun Run/Walk in Rainsville on Saturday, June 27. You can download a registration form at rainsvillealabama.com.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

cute...how does he do that?

When I am uninspired, this always makes me smile.

I haven't quit...

...I've just been rather uninspired lately.

I haven't updated my blog in two weeks, so I thought I would take this opportunity to put in a shameless plug. Well, it's not shameless, not exactly.

I have BBQ Plate tickets for sale for the Rainsville Freedom Festival which will be Sunday evening, June 28, 2009. They are $6. The Freedom Festival is in the city park...packed with live music, stuff of the kiddos, food, and a huge firework finale. You don't want to miss it.

Also, I am on the committee to organize the First Annual "Freedom Fun Run/Walk" 5K Road Race. It will be held on Saturday, June 27 @ 8 a.m. beginning and finishing at Broadway Baptist Church in Rainsville. I need all my friends and family to participate! You will get a GREAT T-SHIRT and race bag with goodies, food, exercise, and FUN! You can download the REGISTRATION FORM HERE. Runners, joggers, walkers, and strollers are encouraged to participate!

This is my blog for today....;) bamaslammer...

Hoping and praying that some inspiration will fall down, or bubble up, or something....soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

nifty! nifty! Look who's...WHAT'THA???

You're Sixty!
You're Sixty!
You're Sixty Years Old Today!!!
Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Like Skype!

I like Skype.

How else could I talk to my former exchange student from Germany today, for 24 minutes, face-to-face, for FREE!!!

The whole web-cam concept is a tad creepy, though isn't it? It's like my image (and voice) is captured in real time, transmitted via a wire into the wall of my house, and within mere seconds lands on a computer screen in Germany! GET OUTTA HERE!!! FAR OUT!!!

I totally DIG IT, though! Don't you?

For anyone who might remember Alina...she seems to be doing great. She has her own "flat" near the "university". She stays there during the week and travels a short distance back to her mother's home on the weekend. She has about a year left of learning at the university before she will have her Bachelor's....the she plans to get her Master's. From what I can decipher, her degree is in communications/marketing/business....something of that nature.

She has a boyfriend, Chris. He is 31, but according to Alina, he doesn't look or act that old. They met at the restaurant where she works as a waitress and he worked as a bartender. He has since finished college and has moved a distance away, so she only gets to see him on the weekends.

When Alina lived with me, she was just dying to get her driver's license. See, in Germany, one is not eligible for a driver's license until age 18. Even then, it is very expensive, and I think you must take an actual driving course prior to being issued the license (perhaps that's one lesson we could learn from our German brothers and sisters, no?).

So today, I asked Alina if she ever got a car. She just cracked up, I tell ya! Yes, Alina does have a car. Her grandmother passed away a couple of years ago, so Alina inherited her car. Evidently, the car is a most unattractive and memorable shade of blue as Alina told me that everybody recognizes her blue car. She proceeded to draw me a picture of the car and held it up in front of her webcam so I could see it...it looked like a tiny VW or something. She said it's very small, unlike American cars, and that her head touches the ceiling! She just laughed and laughed, but also said the car was just fine for her.

Oh, meeeee..... that girl is something else.

Skype....

I like Skype.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Queen Mum, lend me your ear...

For my Generation X'er peeps out there! Can you feel me???

If I complain about the Queen of England, will HE come visit me? That would be a dream come true, no? That Prince William--he's a cutie! That's fo' sho'!!!


Perhaps I should gripe about the time I was sick on my 30th birthday. My good friend Gequetta and I had concerts tickets to see Him (if you can believe that--- but it's true, I promise!), but I was too sick to go. If I whine loud enough, maybe he would come for a visit, or at least refund my ticket price! That would come in handy about now!

Quetta and I also went to see HIM, but he looked more like THIS. Now, that was a fantastic concert, it was! No complaints whatsoever! I've loved him since the 8th grade, and I will always will!

Another time, we saw Him in concert with Him. At first I wasn't looking forward to seeing the old guy, but he turned out to be fabulous! Braids and all!

Now here's something I'll complain about...I've never, ever heard this arrangement! Who's been holding out on me! I mean, seriously! I'm pitchin' a fit. Kicking and screaming because this is not on my ipod!

JonJonBonBon...do you hear me crying? Seriously...if the Queen Mum can send her grandson, perhaps you could at least send Richie with an autographed pic, right?

...sigh..................


Saturday, May 9, 2009

pretty


Pretty.
(click to listen...)

Friday, May 8, 2009

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.”
-President George H.W. Bush

I do like broccoli. I like it better cooked than raw, but I do like it nonetheless. But after reading THIS, I think perhaps the former president was on to something...:)

Ollie Ollie Rooster...



You know life is good in small town America when your 11 year old nephew is throwing strikes from the pitcher's mound. When it was our turn to bat, these guys in blue chanted from the dugout...
Ollie Ollie Rooster,
Sittin' on a Fence,
Cheerin' for the other team,
Makin' No Sense!

Makin' no sense.

Somehow, it did make sense. Little boys and baseball, chanting rhythimically in echo of a single high-pitched leader on the team, seemingly with not a care in the world.

Ahhh....

I wonder what these little guys will encounter in their lifetimes. Perhaps they will create new forms of technology. Maybe they will travel at unheard-of speed.

What if they fight for my freedom.

Or heal our diseases...

Or spread the Gospel...

Or become the next "greatest generation"...

I sure hope so, don't you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

indescribable timing...

I love Wednesday nights.

Band practice at church.

I just love it.

I am fortunate to be a singer with an awesome group of people. I feel out of my league most of the time, but still, I look forward to practice. Easily every musician in the group could be working professionally in Nashville or on Broadway, but I am so thankful they choose to use their talents for God here at home. They are incredibly talented, yet equally humble.

Band practice is just plain fun for me. Tonight, for example, we got so tickled about something during practice that I wet my pants just a little bit. Sorry people...I know that's a lot of personal information, but it happens to everybody sometimes. I soooo needed a good hard laugh. It was wonderful.

Here's something even more wonderful that happened tonight. God showed up. Now, don't get me wrong. I know He's everywhere, always. I know He created everything and it's through Him that we live and breathe. Sometimes, however, I believe that God just loves us so much that He would bless us with His presence in an unmistakable and rather humorous way.

We were working on the Chris Tomlin song Indescribable. I had a brilliant idea after we sang the second verse which begins with the lines "Who has told every lightening bolt where it should go?" I look over at David, one of the fantastic keyboardists, and ask if he can make a thunder-sound with his key board. "Yes," he said as he began to press buttons.

"When we sing the part about lightening in the second verse, you should make it thunder really loud," I said.

David began to experiment with the "thunder" on the keyboard as we all ooh'd and aaah'd. We started the second verse again, and David "thundered" at the perfect time. It was so loud and deep that the walls of the sanctuary seemed to rattle. We all had chills, I tell ya.

We stopped singing for a minute. David tried to replicate the sound, but could not do so. "I don't think that was me," he said.

In a few minutes, we heard another huge crash of thunder as the rain came pouring down outside. It was almost like God said to us, you want thunder, I'll give you thunder! You could never imitate ME with your little keyboard!

I just love it! What perfect timing God has. The thunder came almost on cue and it was so beautiful it gave me chills. Perfect, perfect timing it was!

I think of the occasions in scripture when it seemed God demonstrated His perfect timing. Countless times with the Hebrews with the Exodus. What about Jesus' first miracle in turning the water into wine? The raising of Lazarus? Raising of Jesus from the dead on the 3rd day just as was prophesied?

That comforts me when I worry...God will work it (no matter what it is) at the most perfect time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oh how Tweat!



More of our tax dollars at work... Take a Look!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

As soap is for the body...

As soap is for the body, tears are for the soul (Jewish proverb)...

After Brother Jeff's message tonight, I felt compelled to go to the alter at the close of the service. His message was not particularly stirring or convicting tonight, but I just had some things I needed to pray about. As I knelt, I saw the most beautiful thing...tear-stains on the alter.

The tear-stains were most striking to me. There weren't just one or two. There were many, many. Big, cloudy water spots sprinkled the hardwood steps leading up to the stage in the sanctuary of the church.

If only they could speak audibly, surely these tear-stains would tell of why they fell on the alter. They are the fossils of souls being cleansed, sins forgiven, and sacrifices offered. They are evidence of God meeting with man, again and again. Some of the tear-stains must memorialize some one's grief. Some flowed from conviction, and others flowed from physical illness. Of course, some tears flowed from thanksgiving and utter joy. All of the tears that stained the alter, however, streamed from hearts stirred and hungry to commune with The One and Only, the very Creator of emotion itself, Jesus Christ.

I used to hate to cry. I'm an ugly cryer, if you know what I mean. I turn red. My eyes swell up.

I don't mind crying anymore.

Tears are a special part of being human.

Tears are temporary, so we better enjoy them while we can.

"...And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away..."








Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh! My bones!!!

It's Monday morning. I think maybe I'm about to OD on ibuprofen because I feel like I've been hit by an 18-wheeler. I hear the bathtub full of Epsom Salt calling my name, so I've gotta make this quick ya'll...

Ok, here's the low-down on the race weekend....
I left for Nashville Friday morning, stopping in South Pittsburg, TN to meet up with my friends Miriam and Nicole (both former coworkers, physical therapists). This is the farm where they have a therapeutic horseback riding program in the summer for handicapped children. Neat, huh?

This is Miriam with one of her many horses...

We finally made it to Nashville around 2p.m. where we headed straight for the Nashville Convention Center where I was to pick up my registration materials. They had the registration process flowing like clockwork, so that was really fast. Next we went through the "Expo"...vendors were set up to advertise and sell their products. I spent some money...hat and sunglasses (which came in handy for the race) and guess what else...yep, you guessed it! A little purse. I need a new purse...

Oh, I forgot to mention...just so you know, it cost us $12 to park at the expo. And yes, we still had to walk a little piece to get there. Gee-wiz!

We left the expo and decided to eat supper before checking in to our hotel. We at at Applebee's. I had a difficult time finding something on the menu that had a moderate amount of protein and carbs without too much grease or too much fiber (ahem, prevention of any possible stomach problems on race day...). I ordered the chicken fajita roll-ups with a baked potato.

Finished supper....off to find the Music City Sheraton. We drove and drove. We suspected Jerry had given us wrong directions to our hotel...called the hotel...and guess what....yep, you guessed it again....Jerry gave us wrong directions...bless his heart.

Finally made it to the hotel.

Here's me modeling my new hat and glasses while Nicole fixed my time-tracker-thing onto my shoes...will get to that in a minute...


The little orange sticker on my shoe is what they used to track your time. It has a little metal sensor inside of it. It marks your time at the start line, 5K, 10K, 10 miles I think, and finally at the finish line. You can see my race number 31176. I believe there were more than 32,000 participants in the race.

I got out of bed at 4 a.m. on Saturday after a night of tossing and turning. Got ready. Miriam and Nicole drove me over to the Opryland Hotel where I met up with friends Jerry and Shelly. I had purchased a ticket at the Expo to ride the shuttle from Opryland to the start line. When I was sitting on the bus at 5:15 a.m. and noticed the temperature was already 68 degrees, I knew it was going to be a long, hot day. I was a little nervous, a little excited. Just tried to sit there and remain calm.

Here is Shelly, Jerry, and me outside of the Opryland hotel about to board the shuttle. Shelly lives in Bridgeport. Jerry lives in Rainsville.
We got off the bus at the start line. Don't ask me where the start line was. I have no clue.

Made the trek up to the starting area. Visited the porta-potty. Long lines at all porta-potties. Long lines. Already stinky at 6a.m.

Visited with Jerry and Shelly for a little while. Watch all the people. Whole lotta people. All shapes and sizes of people. All ages. Did I mention there were a lotta people???

We said our goodbyes and headed for our corrals (roped off areas with assigned numbers). They were in 13, I was in 31. Corrals were based up the predicted finish time that you wrote down on your registration. Thus, the longer the time, the higher the corral. There were 32 corrals in all. I had predicted my finish time to be 3 hours 45 minutes.

The race started with wheel chair racers, elite women, and elite men (they started before 7 a.m. I think). I could not see nor hear the start of these races, but Miriam took some excellent pics for me. I would like to share them with you...

Intense, right?
Corrals were released about every 2 minutes. As one corral crossed the start line, all the others moved forward toward the start. My corral was finally released about 8:10 a.m.

The race was on. And it went on. And on. And on.
...and on...
And it was hot.
About mile 2, there was an incline as the racers say. In my dictionary, it's called a "big hill". In fact, the big hill was about 1 mile long. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Just before mile 3 my heel began to sting and burn like crazy.
I prayed.

Lord, please let the lortab kick in. Please let the lortab kick in. Please let the lortab kick in.

I was afraid that I wasn't going to make it.

The lortab kicked in. Thank you, Jesus. My feet never gave me any more trouble.

I paced myself with the hoola-hoopers. Yes, that's right. Hoola-hoopers.

There were a group of about 20 or so ladies (looked like college-age girls) who hoola-hooped and walked at the same time. They were just ahead of me. Surely, I thought, I can keep up with the hoola-hoopers.

I did keep up with them. For about 5 miles. Then they were gone. They were hoola-hoopin' it on down the line, I tell ya!
I don't remember a whole lot about the actual route, to be honest. The main points were...it was hot. Really hot. It was very hilly. Really hilly. They had water and sorts drink stops about every mile or so, but I was really thirsty most of the time.
I talked to a few people along the way. One was a lady who was about to graduate with her doctorate in nursing. It was her first half-marathon too.

I talked to a lady named Annie. Her real name was Amelia Ann, but in the past few years people had started calling her Annie. She was 77 years old and from California. She had 6 children. Some of her children were running both the half- and full marathons. She was really nice. This was her second half-marathon.
At some point along the way...maybe mile 9...I was just soooo mad. Why on earth did I pay to do this? It hurt sooo bad! My legs and hips and shoulders! I was holding ice on my neck and shoulders because the muscles were cramping up. Ug! I was just soooo mad!
Then I got over it.

I just had to think....It's just walking. Just walk. One step at a time. I am not going to die. And if I do die I will get to see Jesus and my mother. But I'm not going to die. Just get finished.

Mile 10. Only 3.1 to go.
Will we ever see 11? Yes, we did.
Mile 12. Will we ever see 13?

It took a while to get there, but we did.

Mile 13. The finish line must be just around the corner.

Made it around the corner...

No finish line. UGH!!! It's gotta be here somewhere!

Then I hear Nicole calling out to me. She's about 10 yards ahead on the sidewalk. Keep going! Keep going! The finish line is just around the next corner!!!

When I got to Nicole, I took off the elastic belt/pouch thing I was wearing to hold my phone and other essentials, and I handed it off to her. That thing felt like it was smothering me!

I finally turned the last curve, and there it was! About 50 yards away. Miriam jumped out in the road and started taking pictures. I jogged the last little stretch, giving fake smiles to the race photographers at the finish line.

I don't suppose the smiles were completely fake. I was thrilled to have finished the race and proud of myself. But boy oh boy was I tired!

I got the finisher's medal. I took me 4 hours and 26 minutes.

But I finished.

And not last.
Here's me approaching the finish line and getting the medal.
By the way, the finish line was at the stadium where the Tennessee Titan play.
Walked on to the refreshment area. Found a shade tree and got under it.

Drank some water. And some more water. Ate a bagel. And and oreo cookie.
Started the trek to the car. Here is Miriam, Nicole and me on the walking bridge over the Tennesse River. It was so windy, we had to hold on to our caps.

Stopped somewhere at a Longhorn Steakhouse and had the yummiest salad, steak, and baked potato. We also ordered a dessert with 3 forks. CHOCOLATE!!!!! I think I had burned off the calories. I brought more than half of the steak and potato home with me and finished it off Saturday night.
Look at this...
Will I do it again? We'll see...
Ok, that took longer than I meant for it to. Now where's that Epsom salt...
THE END.
period.
.
:)