Monday, September 30, 2013

Go West Young Man: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Monday, September 30, 2013

Outside my window …  cloudy skies full of the blessed hope of rain.

I am thinking...  about packing it all up and heading west--job or no job.

I am thankful...
that MAYBE my ridiculously long illness is over.

In the kitchen...
  you know, I really need to go to the grocery store, but it's going to rain.

I am wearing...
t-shirt and shorts.

I am creating... I'm in the home stretch of the baby blanket I've been working on.

I am going... not sure.

I am wondering... how to get it together.

I am reading...
The Art of Prayer by Kenneth Hagin.

I am hoping...
for even more little pockets of secret delight.  Those bring me joy.

I am looking forward to...
a good week.

I am learning
… that guilt is not of God;  conviction is.

Around the house... Kitchen duties, putting away laundry, tidying up.

I am pondering...   still pondering on how to be a better blessing to others.

A favorite quote for today...  “Even if you look good–because women at 40, 50, 60 are working out and y’all look good–but you can’t wear the pants that say ‘Juicy.’ Stop that!” - Sinbad

One of my favorite things... the King James Version of the Bible.  I really like other versions, but KJV is still my favorite.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Errands and Community Band tomorrow.  Choir practice on Wednesday.  stitch night at Yarns by HPF on Thursday, CR on Friday.  Of course, all plans are subject to change.

A peek into my day...  I've got a new fitness challenge going for the upcoming month.  You'll find it here.
 
If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook (http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/) . Thanks for stopping by. 

This One's For the Girls Challenge: Week 01

Photo courtesy of
Amiel Weisblum
Did you know that October is national breast cancer awareness month?  According to the American Center Society, with the exception of lung cancer, breast cancer takes the lives of more women than any other cancer.  With that in mind, this month's challenge is for the "girls."

Exercises for the chest and upper body are great for building strength and better posture.  Plus they have the added bonus of helping to lift a sagging bustline.

Now gentlemen, don't zone out on me.  Although it is rare, men do suffer from breast cancer.  Also, the exercises and challenges are good for you as well.

So, the first week of this challenge is a simple no weights or equipment workout.  Yes, I know October 1st is tomorrow, but we always say we're going to start stuff on Monday, right?  Try to do this three days this week in addition to your other exercise routines.  It does not include a warm up or cool down.  Let me, and the folks at fitnessblender.com know how you like the workout.


Video courtesy of fitnessblender.com


Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Minunte Friday: "True"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
Five Minute Friday

The prompter for this post started out with a lot of sugary sweet sentiments about motherhood.  I think it's wonderful that her being a mom "defines" her and is "in her DNA."  Apparently, not all of us women are I am not so blessed.  There have been a lot of pissy comments flung around me concerning this subject, so I'm not in the best of minds.  This is not written in a spirit of meanness, but out of the depths of great pain that I am dealing with right now  Please forgive my bluntness, but here goes...

GO!

Let's take a little quiz on truth shall we?

TRUE OR FALSE:  is it true that motherhood should define a "real" woman?  If so, I think we need to refine our definitions.  I love children, but apparently I'm not called to wifery and motherhoodness.  So am I defective and need to be returned to Wal-Mart?

TRUE OR FALSE:  Is it the sole responsibility of a mother to impugn guilt upon her children so thickly that the child even feels guilty about being born?  "But I carried you for nine months."  Sorry, if I'd have known then what I know now, I would have exited a lot sooner and not pissed you off for so long.

TRUE OR FALSE:  Does it take biology to be a mom?  I've helped raise many children, none of which were born to me.  I have treated them better in 6 hours of school than some of their mothers have ever treated them.  I would have adopted many of them if the mother had just given the word.  By her treatment, she didn't want them anyway.

TRUE OR FALSE:  Is "Mom" the only definition of the Proverbs 31 woman?  I think not.

TRUE OR FALSE:  Is the only hope of a successful life for a non-mom (or as one "family" magazine put it, the woman who choses the "non-family lifestyle"--WTC?) rescue from a male or a government handout?  If so, I'm getting out of here!

TIME'S UP!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eating Beans on the Front Row: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Shout out to From This Side of the Pond for the Hodgepodge questions.

 
What's one thing that's still the same about you as when you were young(er)?
My love of music.  It's really strange because I wasn't a musical child growing up.  I showed no aptitude for music at all and sung the "daycare version" of every song (enthusiastic, but loud and off key).  Not until I was a teenager did I show any musical prowess at all.
What's more important-history or science? Why?

"Jhona's Paradise" painting by me 
I think both are important.  We need to know accurate history so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, or so that we can recreate the successes of the past.  Science helps us to think analytically.  Science also gives  us a glimpse into the creativity of God.  I think about the intricacies of a flower.  My photographs try to capture them and my paintings can never capture them all, yet its Creator knows them all.

Lima, kidney, string, garbanzo, black or pinto-your favorite bean?
Sugar snap peas or snow peas.
What's something people come to your town to do?
Attend college at Jacksonville State University.  People also come here to join the Marching Southerners.  If they're smart, they get out of Dodge when they graduate.
When was the last time you were in a meeting? Sum it up for us in five words or less.
The last meeting I was in was a church business meeting.  I cannot sum it up in five words or less because the words I would use are not fit to print.  Thank you and amen.
What special event would you like a VIP pass to attend?
I don't know if this counts, but I would like to sit on "lesbian" row at a taping of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.  Relax, it's not specifically for lesbians, it's just a set of front row seats where pretty girls (and some unsuspecting guys) sit.  They just call it that as a joke  Yeah, I know I don't qualify to sit there, but I'd be able to actually see what was going on if I did sit there.
I would also like VIP seats to an Atlanta Braves game...really, I'd like front row VIP seats to a lot of things.  I've gone to many concerts, Gospel meetings, and sporting events and not sat close enough to really see (or get good pictures of) what was going on.  Would be nice for a change.
What's one piece of advice you'd give a writer?
If you're pleased with what you write, other people's opinions really don't matter.  Yes, you want people to read your work and like it, but putting too much of other people's expectations and not enough of your own heart into your work makes for a miserable (and dull) writer.  That is why my first blog was a failure.  It was a very edited, fearful, timid version of who I really was.  Not good.
Insert your own random thought here.
Can't think of anything, so I'll share a song that's been in my mind:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mystery Ick: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Outside my window …  cool temps and the threat of rain.  We need a good soaking rain, so I say have at it. 

I am thinking...  about the upcoming Autumn and Winter and how to stay upbeat.  Autumn's easy; winter isn't easy at all. 

I am thankful...
that God takes care of me.

In the kitchen...
  want to make orange chicken.

I am wearing...
tank top and shorts.

I am creating...
working on a baby blanket for a friend.  Working on another for Sav-A-Life.  Trying to create as much as I can while I've got time.

I am going... was going to Community Band then to the gym, but I'm feeling poorly again (insert cuss word of choice here).  I'm staying in the cave for the rest of the day...maybe the rest of the week.  :(

I am wondering... what’s wrong with me?   I walked more than 4 miles Sunday evening with a friend and felt great.  Yesterday was fine until mid afternoon.  Had to lie down for a few minutes, but was OK after that.  Today, I made it to a little past lunch time and had to lie down for the rest of the day (I'm still in bed).  I haven't even worked out yet today, so I haven't exerted myself to even be tired, much less weak.  This is ridiculous and totally unacceptable!

I am reading...
Finished reading the Love Comes Softly series.  I'm still in the throws of reading The Art of Prayer by Kenneth Hagin.

I am hoping...
that I can get well and stay well and that permanent employment comes soon.

I am looking forward to... ??

I am learning
… that the body/mind/spirit connection isn't always a good thing.  If I could just keep a good mental attitude, I think I could overrun a body that doesn't want to cooperate.  I used to be able to do that.  I've got to do better.

Around the house... rest.

I am pondering...   on how to get in a better place financially so that I can see all the doctors I need to see.  I haven't seen a dentist for more than 5 years.  I need new glasses.  I haven't had a complete physical since I've been an adult (blood work doesn't count).  I haven't been to the "ladies doctor" for almost 10 years. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  I think it's good that I can't run to the doctor for every little thing; I'd lose my heartiness and ability to endure, but some of these "things" aren't so little anymore.

A favorite quote for today...  "Don't stir up sh%t unless you're prepared to lick the spoon." @WomenSouthern Twitter Page

One of my favorite things... Improvisational comedy (Whose Line anyone?)

A few plans for the rest of the week:  to get COMPLETELY well so that I can get stuff done. 

A peek into my day...  move along folks, nothing to see here.
 
If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook (http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/) . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Minute Friday: "She"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
Five Minute Friday
 
GO!
 
"She, she told me that she loved me and like a fool I believed her from the start." Lyrics to a song by The Monkees
 
She sells sea shells by the seashore. - Ancient tongue twister
 
Who is she?  Said in movies and TV to the beautiful, rail thin girl/woman that "happens" to walk by in a scene.  What's with that?  I want to see "who is she" said about a plain girl with massive intelligence who "happens" to walk by in a scene.  Even the Big Bang Theory doesn't have that.  BTW--I hate that show (sorry Sheldon fans).
 
Man, this is hard.
 
The "she" that people love.  That is who I want to be.  But I'm still not really sure who "she" is.  There was a hodgepodge question a couple of weeks back about when was the first time you really felt like a grown up.  I haven't yet.  "She" is a real grown up.  I still feel like a college student trying to find her place in society. 
 
Man, this is too hard.
 
TIME'S UP!
 
CRAP!
 
 
 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are You Ready for Some AUTUMN?!: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Shout out to From This Side of the Pond for the Hodgepodge questions.



When did you last sing happy birthday to someone? When were you last sung to? Does that embarrass you or do you enjoy being the center of attention on your special day?
I usually do not get to see my friends in person to sing Happy Birthday, so I usually e-mail or Facebook post them this song.  So the last time I did that was yesterday to my friend Stella.  The last time I had it sung to me was on my 41st birthday.  It's taken me 41 years to finally have a birthday that I enjoyed, so I don't have a good understanding of whether I'm actually supposed to enjoy the attention, or feel selfish because of it.
Name a famous or 'infamous' person who shares your birth month and day. Is that someone you'd like to meet in person if it were possible?
To be honest, when I researched Googled it, there were only 3 names I recognized.  These are May 30th babies:
  • Mel Blanc:  the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and all the Looney Tunes characters we grew up with.
  • Wynonna Judd - famous country singer.
  • Colm Meaney - Actor who portrayed Chief Miles O'Brien on Star Trek the Next Generation and Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
Actually, I would like to have met all three of them.  I still enjoy Looney Tunes cartoons and would love to have talked to Mel Blanc on how he made all those voices.  I want to know the secret of any singer/musician like Wynonna who actually makes a living on her talents.  I'm a fan of Star Trek, so to meet Colm Meaney would be a treat (unless he's a jerk).
Update 04/22/14 - I found two more May 30th babies;  rapper CeeLo Green and professional wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts.    
Someone hands you a box tied up in a lovely bow...what are you hoping to find inside?
  • Money
  • Gift Cards
  • Keys to a new pick up truck
  • A plane ticket to L.A. (or a GPS and a gas card with enough on it to drive there)
  • Late, Late Show tickets for two weeks worth of shows
What is something you can guarantee about yourself?
I'll always do my best to make you laugh...or at least smile. 
Talking about art and beautiful cities here...'The Last Supper' in the Santa Maria della Grazie Abbey in Milan, Italy or 'The Mona Lisa' in the Louvre, Paris...which would you most like to see up close and in person? Why?
Why not both?
Your favorite dessert?
Ice Cream
This coming weekend marks the official start of autumn (in the northern hemisphere)...what is something you do to get ready for fall?  What is one thing you're looking forward to on your fall calendar?  Spring or fall-which do you prefer?
I turn off the air, open the windows, and break out the box fans.  When the cooler weather is more consistent, I'll buy some pansies for my planters.  I start thinking about Christmas crafts (they take a while to make).  I start playing my favorite schools' fight songs.  I'm looking forward to running more 5k's since the weather will be cooler.  I like both spring and fall.  They are the two most beautiful seasons in the south.
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm trying to just chill out and rest today.  Whatever sickness I had is trying to return.  I got really dizzy in the grocery store Monday.  I checked my BP; it was normal.  I had a good bit of energy at the beginning of the day yesterday, but by mid afternoon, I was so weak that I had to lie down for a couple of hours.  I'm sure it's nothing serious, but the various symptoms have occurred off and on for almost a month and it's extremely aggravating.  I've got too much to do to keep doing this. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Never Can Say Goodbye

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." - L.P Hartley, qtd by Craig Ferguson
 
Ever since I marched snare drum for Jacksonville High School and heard the Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners play for the first time, I've been in love.  The rest of the drumline laughed at me when I said that I would go to JSU and march in the Southerners after high school graduation.  I was so taken with the prospect that I gave a up a band scholarship from Alabama A&M.  In 1990, I realized my dream of being in the Southerners.  However, I was in the Pit (what they now call "Auxiliary Percussion"), which wasn't bad, but my parts was very limited.  For several shows, I only had one note on a siren whistle, but I was just happy to be there. 
 
In 1991, I planned to play again and even went through band camp and practices, but dropped out before the first game.  Schoolwork, a band director (among others) who didn't know his butt from a hole in the ground, and other circumstances gave me pause.  No blood, no foul.
 
During the spring semester of 1992, the colorguard coordinator (I will not reveal his name to protect the guilty) offered a class for anyone who wanted to learn to spin and eventually march in the fall.  Heck yeah; let's do it!  I took the class and did very well.  I learned different spins and tosses.  It was slow going at first and I did break a light in the practice room once, but I did eventually catch on and got up to doing 1 1/2 and double tosses.  When spring session was over, Mr. Coordinator said that I had done well and that as long as I practiced during the summer to keep what I'd learned fresh, I should have no problem at tryouts during band camp.  I practiced as much as I could, so, by the time band camp started, I was ready.
 
I did every spin I knew.  Gave single, 1 1/2, and double tosses; moved, grooved, and dropped it like it was hot (well as hot as I could).  I was chosen for the guard...as an alternate.  An alternate is a fancy name for a gofer in a guard uniform.  In other words, an alternate pays for the equipment and uniforms to make it LOOK like she's in the guard, but really isn't.   There would be no spinning, no jazz runs, no nothing.  I could very well understand many of the others in the class being chosen over me-- many were not beginners and could spin sabre and riffle.  What I couldn't understand was why Mr. Coordinator chose little girls fresh out of high school who hadn't taken the class and DID NOT EVEN KNOW HOW TO SPIN.  When he asked them to toss, they threw the flag in the air, ran away from it, and let it fall to the ground.  Seriously?  Yes, seriously!
 
When I confronted him about it, Mr. Coordinator's answer was that although my spins and tosses were on the mark, he didn't like how my body looked.   Say what?  It looked the same as it looked when I was taking the class, which wasn't a problem then.  Yes, I was very large, but I knew what I was doing!  Good grief!

OK, OK, I've been here before; having to fight my way into something.  So, I thought, Go ahead, make me an alternate.  I'll hang around and keep working at it, and keep showing you that I am good enough.  You'll have no choice but to put me in.  Nothing was going to stop me, until....

A few days later, we were sent to be fitted for our custom made uniforms.  The way it worked was that the people making the uniforms worked as a team.  One would measure and call out the measurements to the others who would trace out the construction for each individual's uniform.  This seemed to work well, until they got to my measurements. My 29 inch inseam was no problem, it sounded normal.  But they got to my 56 inch waist and lost their flippin' minds.  The lady taking the measurements said, "Oh honey, I'll just write the rest of yours down and give it to them so you won't be embarrassed."  Embarrassed?  I was in the freakin' Marching Southerners!  I had every reason to be proud that they even let me in the same room with them  She took the measurements over to ones drawing it out.  Let's just say the scene wasn't pretty.  There was a lot of head scratching, cussing, and giving me the "go to the bad place" look.  It shut down the whole operation.  Then it hit me; the embarrassment wouldn't have just been on me, the guard and all of the Marching Southerners organization would be very embarrassed if I went through with this.  It became painfully clear that Mr. Coordinator was right to be concerned.  After we got back to campus, I went to the band office and resigned,  I went back to my dorm room, flopped down on bed, and cried myself to sleep.  I never attempted to be a part of the Southerners again, not even when I went to graduate school.  In fact, until I got into recovery a few years ago and did some deep soul searching, I had completely blocked that whole period of time from my mind--like it never happened.

Over the years, there had been many opportunities for me to go to games, participate in reunions, and  see the awesome halftime shows, but I couldn't do it.  Too painful.  The pain is not just in what happened, but why it happened and the fact that I gave up and never tried again.  That's not me.  Even after a situation is clearly dead, I'll keep plodding on hoping to resurrect it.  This was so different, though.  The other times I had to fight, it was because of things I couldn't change;  I couldn't change my race or gender.  I couldn't hide my eyesight problems.  But this?  This I could change, wanted to change, ached to change, but didn't. 

I finally went to a Jacksonville State University game a week ago--their first home game.  During the game, I was happy; we were winning.  Halftime was absolute torture.  Everything in my mind screamed Why?  Why did you quit?  Why didn't you fight?  Why didn't you get ahold of your health and lose the weight?  Why can't you ever be good enough?  You could make yourself good enough if you just tried.  See the girl in the front tossing a double?  That should have been YOU 20 years ago!  You're only 41; If you'd get your butt in gear, maybe...  And on and on it went until I thought my head would explode.  I wanted to run, cry, upchuck, and die all at the same time. 

So, what do I do now?  I'm not sure.  Throughout my recovery, I've tried to let this go, to move on, to put stock in a bright future, and let the tormenting memories die, and this time, stay dead.  But I have been unsuccessful. I believe that this is unfinished business for which I need to make amends to myself and to the Marching Southerners.  I need closure.  But how?

Driving and Crying: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Monday, September 16, 2013

Outside my window …  cool morning breezes twirling my windchimes.  This respite from the heat makes me want to spend a lot of time outside.

I am thinking...  that I seriously need help...and not in a good way either.

I am thankful...
that I actually finished a 5k Saturday and lived.  I'm also thankful that the University of Alabama won their game against Texas A&M despite the horrid calls from the officials and the constant "Manziel cam."  Barf. 

In the kitchen...
  I need to go to the grocery store and restock, but nothing seems right.  It seems lately no matter what I eat (or don't eat), I'm making no progress.  I'll have several days of good clean eating, then all hell breaks loose and one meal of indiscretion sends me right back to step one.  Feels like all my menu choices are "damned if you do" and "damned if you don't."

I am wearing... workout clothes.

I am creating...
A couple of paintings, wreaths, and baby blankets.

I am going... stark raving MAD!
 
I am wondering... what’s next?   I'm also wondering how I can stop this torrent of emotions that seem to have taken me over.  If I didn't already know that antidepressant meds would turn me into an emotionless robot, I'd swallow a handful of them right now.  I wish this were just post sickness blues, but it's much, much deeper than that.  I can't stop it.  I can't change it.  And I really don't want to eat it away.  Hey, if you expected a perfect example from me, you're reading the wrong blog.  I'm still very human.
 
I am reading... I'm still reading The Art of Prayer by Kenneth Hagin.  I'm also rereading Janette Oke's Prairie Romance Series (Love Comes Softly).  I've not read it in a long time.  It's been very enjoyable to relive the adventures of Clark and Marty Davis.

I am hoping...
 that this will be a better week for me.  That I can give something of myself this week, but at the same time refill myself and see some of my own needs met.

I am looking forward to...
a tear free day.  I haven't had one lately.

I am learning
… that I am a terrible example to others.  I must work harder.

Around the house... Catching up on blog posts, putting away laundry, cleaning, plotting and planning.

I am pondering...   on how the church in general has turned on its head.  I may have said this before, but some recent (and not-so-recent) events have brought it back to the forefront of my mind again.  Without a long drawn out dissertation, let's just say it seems that I would be a more acceptable woman if I threw my purity aside and ran off and got pregnant out of wedlock.  It used to be that chastity and sexual purity were honored in every denomination of the Christian church.  After all, every youth message I got in my teens were on two topics:  "Get Saved" and "Don't Have Sex."  OK, I am saved and I'm not having sex, now what?  So sorry, the youth pastor playbook only allows me to minister to those who aren't saved and have the potential of becoming sexually active.  You're already saved and, let's face it, nobody as fat and ugly as you will run the risk of premarital sex (or even marital sex), so you'll just have to suck it up.  In my 20's, the tide shifted.  According to the playbook, a woman this age should be married and become a dandy little homemaker and mother.  Umm...I went to college (TWICE), haven't even dated anyone, and now I'm trying to find a good job.  We're so sorry the playbook is for young married couples and young professionals.  And what do you do for a living?
 
Throughout my 30's and now into my VERY EARLY 40's, it's gotten even worse.  Now single moms (out of choice, not out of circumstances beyond their control--divorce, death, abuse, abandonment, rape, etc.) are honored, well taken care of, and highly respected.  But I followed the rules, I got saved and didn't have sex.  How old are you?  41Aren't you married YET?  Well, noAre you a lesbian?!  No.  (Sorry, my lesbian friends, but I have had to answer that question simply because of my age and marital status.)  What's your employment status?  Highly qualified, but still searchingHmmm...let's check the playbook.   The playbook is for families and children only.  That's our focus.  Your ministry needs are not important.  Now, go play bass like a good girl.
 
Surely I can't be the only one...can I?  I don't know whether to keep crying, or throw up!

A favorite quote for today... “The courtesy flush is the mark of a gentleman." - Craig Ferguson
 
"Honest discourse died when culture decided that if your beliefs are different than mine it means you hate me." - Jon Acuff 
 
On the question of have you ever considered 'playing for the other team?': "Come now, if a man doesn't find me worthy of a date, much less marriage, surely any self-respecting lesbian has better taste than that!" - Me

One of my favorite things... grits.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Crawling out of the cave sometime today.  More writing.  Finishing up craft projects.  Reading.  Community band Tuesday.  Choir practice on Wednesday.  Stitch night Thursday, CR on Friday. 

A peek into my day...  here’s a picture from the 5k I completed this weekend.  The theme was superheroes.

 

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook (http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/) . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five Minute Friday: "Mercy"

GO!

A commonly used "southernism" is "Lord, have mercy."  How often to I say that and mean it?  How often do I truly lean on God's mercy instead of my own efforts  Not enough, I'm afraid.

Other things the word "mercy" brings to mind:

Jesus said in Matthew chapter 9, "I desire mercy more than sacrifice"

The phrase "show no mercy" is ringing in my ears.  I think I've given myself too much mercy.  I was doing so much better when I was harder on myself.  Seems like my life was going in the right direction.  I started giving myself a little grace, then a little more grace, then everything seemed to tumble around me.  I must work harder and get myself together.

A song from Women of Faith's album Extravagant Grace comes to mind.  They sing a song called "Wonderful, Merciful, Savior."  We sang it at my home church one Easter.  I listen to it often.


The group MercyMe comes to mind.

I'm running to the mercy seat...

TIMES UP!

Five Minute Friday prompts are found here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What Did We Learn on the Show Tonight, Auntie?: The Weekly Hodgepodge.

What's the best thing about growing older?
For me, the best thing about getting older is that since I am not a child anymore, I do not have to do things the way someone tells me I have to do them or because someone said that was the way it had to be done.  I also don't have to heed anyone who tells me what I can't do.  I'm not turning into a rebel; just a person who's tired of worrying about what other people think of me.  Getting older is also wonderful for me because I can finally be a kid!
 When did you first feel like a grown up?
Quite frankly, I don't feel like a grown up yet...and not in a good way either.
 Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?
Red Velvet cake with cream cheese icing.
What's the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
I ran out of gas on highway 21 once and a really nice guy helped me out.
 What's something you learned from your grandparents?
I only knew my maternal grandfather.  We didn't spend a lot of one on one time together and he died when I was eleven years old, so....
Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11...what's something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?
Work on moving to a different corner of the world.  I know that answer sounds snarky, but I believe that's the only way I'm ever going to have any real personal peace and contentment.
Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace.
Let the Peace of God Reign by Hillsongs is one my favorite "peace" songs:
My favorite "peace" Scripture is Philippians 4:6-7: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
 Insert your own random thought here.
Gosh, I've got so many things swilling around in my mind.  Some good, some bad, some weird (what else is new?).  I've been thinking a lot about how to get to my sweet spot:  that place where I truly feel like I'm in God's will and that my life is on an upswing.  I feel like I've been intensely holding my breath all my life.  I'm looking for little pockets of secret delight that help me enjoy where I am until I can get where I'm supposed to be.  
Something else I've been thinking about lately.  It may sound like a very selfish thing to some people, but my fellow musicians will understand.  I would like to have my musical ability verified.  No, I don't mean I want a little blue check mark on my bass guitar or painted on a drum head (Twitter folks get that joke).  What I mean is, I've always been told how good my playing is by people in the church.  There's nothing wrong with that, but let's be honest, in most churches, they are happy to have anyone who can remotely play or sing.  I would like my skills verified by professional musicians.  If they don't think it's good enough, it doesn't mean I'll stop playing.  It just means I'll probably never get paid to do it.  If they do think it's good enough, it would give me more confidence to seek out a way to make some extra money at it.
Hodgepodge questions are from here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Minute Friday: "Red"

GO!

The color red means different things to me.  It's one of the team colors for several of my favorite sports teams (the Alabama Crimson Tide,  Jacksonville State University, the Atlanta Braves).  Red is also one of my favorite colors to paint with.  You can add so many things to red and get other gorgeous shades.  Red and white make pink, red and blue make purple, red and yellow make orange, red and green make brown...ok, ok, enough of the preschool refresher course.

Red can have some not so great meanings to me.  I see red sometimes when I get angry.  My eyes turn red at the change of seasons.  But I like red lipstick and fingernail polish.  Red is one of the best colors for me to wear.  So, it's not all bad.

The song phrase, "Sin had left a crimson stain.  He washed it white as snow." means the world to me.

Painting with red.  I love to paint red roses, red cardinals, and shiny red apples.  Red means Christmas decorations.  Red is my favorite Kool-Aid flavor.  :)

I want to decorate with more red.  My dream kitchen and powder room will have red walls.  I want to plant big red roses and amaryllis in the yard.  I like red.

TIME'S UP!

Some of my creations using the color red:


Crochet Peppermint Coaster


Crimson Tide Door Wreath


Watercolor:  "Red Hat Society"

Five minute Friday prompts here:  http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-Friday

Auntie vs. the Bicycle: Round 2

As you will recall in round one, I was blessed with a bicycle, but had a little trouble trying to ride it outdoors.  If you don't recall, feel free to click the link and read it right quick.  Even with all the issues with my first attempts at riding, I really enjoyed it and wanted to find an alternative.  So, I got on the internet and did a few searches.

I found out that I could get a stationary trainer to ride the bike indoors.  Hmm, sounds like a plan.  I can ride inside all I want and when the occasion arises, it's easy to detach the bike so I can ride outside.  There's a bicycle shop close by, so I stopped by there to ask about a trainer.  They had one...for almost $300!  And that didn't even include the $30 stabilizing block to level the front tire (what fool is going to ride without one?).  Back to the 'net I go.

Well, Amazon.com to the rescue.  I found a stationary trainer WITH the stabilizing block for less than 1/4 the price of the other one (including shipping, thank you).  Now, I am very persnickety when it comes to ordering anything unfamiliar online.  Even if the price looks good, I scour the reviews for any potential problems.  Other than the reviewers saying it was noisy, there weren't any apparent problems with it.  So, I ordered one. 

While I waited for the box to arrive, I looked up some websites about spinning and cycling and got some great information.  By the time it arrived, I was pee-in-my-pants excited (I'm already thinking one woman 80's disco spinning party).  I opened the box, took out the contents, and looked at the instructions, and looked at the instructions, and looked at the instructions.  The pictures on the instructions were black and white, blurry, and absolutely no help.  The written instructions weren't much better.  I knew I was in trouble when saw that they had spelled tire with a "Y" (tyre?).  Luckily there were video instructions for this very trainer on YouTube.  Ah, now it makes perfect sense...until it got to the part about replacing the quick release skewer with the skewer the trainer came with.  Rut-roh!  When I figured out what a quick release skewer was, I also found out that not all bikes have them, including mine.  Double rut-roh.  That little tidbit was nowhere near in the product description or the reviews.

Fortunately, there is another bike shop even nearer by.  I muscled as much of the bike into my trunk as possible, put the trainer in the front seat, and headed off (praying that the cops wouldn't find my Honda "pickup truck" a hazard).  I told the guy at the shop that I needed a back tire with a skewer.  Instead of just putting on a new tire and charging me who knows how much, he tried out the bike on the trainer as it was.  Turns out that the coupling on the trainer fits the bolts on the bike's back wheel just fine without any modifications.  Since I didn't have to buy anything, I tried to give the shop owner some money for his troubles; he would only take half of what I gave him.  Classy.


So, I packed part and parcel back into my makeshift pickup and headed home to set up for my first ride.  My intention was to only go for a 15 minute ride.  Well, let's just say after the song "Born to Be Wild" got me started, and "Crank it Up" started the sweat machine, I forgot about the time and rode for 30 minutes, changing gears at different times to see how they felt. 

When I got off the bike, I felt great...all but my derriere.  Anyone who says that cycling or spinning is a low impact aerobic activity never did it with a trunk without enough junk, if you know what I mean.  :)

I've been on several rides, and can't wait to do more.  I've got to get my playlist ready for the 80's disco spinning party!

Auntie: 2,  Bicycle: 0

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wa-wa Moments: The Weekly Hodgepodge.

What's something you're never too young or too old to enjoy?
A good book.  The very young can enjoy a book by having it read to them.  The very old can enjoy a book by reading to the very young.
Share one happy memory from your high school years.
Homecoming 1989:  The marching band went to the bottom floor of each of two main school buildings and played out fight song.  The students loved it.  The teachers?  Not so much.  :)
A nationwide strike of fast food employees took place in the US last week...they're calling for higher wages and the right to unionize.  Your thoughts?
Hey, at least they have jobs.
September is National Honey Month...what's a favorite dish you make or eat that calls for honey?
Don't have one.  I don't eat honey. I like it; I just don't eat it.
If you notice someone with a tag sticking out, a button unbuttoned, a shirt inside-out, or some leftover lunch between their teeth,  do you say something or do you keep quiet?
It depends on who it is and what the problem is.  If it's someone I know well, I know whether to say something.  My friend Marie and I are alike when it comes to tags being out.  Leave it alone, it makes my neck itch.  If your slip is showing, or you've got a button open that shouldn't be open, Marie would say "Your shimmy's shinnin'.'" 
What's a movie that always makes you cry? Or at least makes you feel like crying?
The Miracle Worker (the original one).  The very end when Helen finally understands what words are.  It's beautiful


Mary Had a Little Lamb was written in 1830, and published in Juvenile Miscellany in September of that same year. Now for the fun part...create your own four line rhyme using that same tune.
Some glad morning when this life is o'er.....oh wait, I'm thinking about the Marching Southerners again.  I'm just not good at this game.  WHUP TROY!
Insert your own random thought here.
Can't think of anything....so let's just DANCE!
 
Hodgepodge questions provided here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Finishing Up and Starting Over: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Monday, September 2, 2013

Outside my window …  early morning rains made the day humid, but everything looks clean and refreshed.

I am thinking...  about my next art project. 

I am thankful...
that my long crochet project is now finished.

In the kitchen...
 had a nice salad earlier.  I’m not sure about dinner yet.

I am wearing...
tank top and shorts.

I am creating...
Finished the crochet top.  HALLELUJAH!  Setting up for a couple of paintings.
 
I am going... Going to visit with my mentor/hero later.  Going out to run errands and such tomorrow.

I am wondering... what’s the next good thing that’s coming my way. 

I am reading...
The Art of Prayer by Kenneth Hagin.

I am hoping...
that I can find an inexpensive way to swim train this fall and winter.  I wonder if the YMCA in Anniston offers a swim pass as opposed to a full membership? 

I am looking forward to...
a better week.  I’ve been sick with something for the past 9 days.  I timidly say that I’m on the mend.  The last time I said that, I relapsed and ended up in bed.

I am learning… that I can accomplish a lot 15 minutes at a time.

Around the house... Kitchen duties.

I am pondering...   on how to be a better blessing to others.

A favorite quote for today... “You don’t like college football?  How long have you been in Al Queda.”  - Me  (Roll Tide!)

One of my favorite things... cool coffee mugs…like this one.  (Yep, I still want one)
A few plans for the rest of the week:  Errands tomorrow.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to community band or not.  Choir practice on Wednesday.  May actually make it back to stitch night Thursday, CR on Friday.  I may take that 1-20 journey from Pell City on Saturday (y’all pray now).  If I get some good news, plans might change.

A peek into my day...  here’s a picture of the crochet tunic I just finished.

 
If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook (http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/) . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)