Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Titters from the Twitter (and Other Places): December 2014

This will be the final installment of this series.  But, fear not, the humor will not end.  I will include this as part of the "random thoughts" section of the hodgepodge or daybook prompts. That way, the jokes will be fresher.  There's just too much goofiness not to share it at all.  Enjoy!

12/04:  From Twitter:  @honesttoddler tweeted:  "They put a big tree in the middle of the living room and said 'don't touch.' Didn't work in the Garden of Eden and it's not gonna work here."

12/04:  From somewhere on Facebook:

12/09:  From Facebook:  K.Tierce shared:

12/10:  From Facebook:  S.DiBiase shared:

12/10:  From Facebook:  E.Renfroe shared:

12/17:  From Twitter:  @DaveRamsey tweeted:  "We LOVE our customers. But the customer is NOT always right. 2% of the public should be institutionalized. Behave."

12/19:  From Twitter:  @JeffBryanDavis tweeted:  "Until North Korea releases its stranglehold on American cinema, I’m referring to kimchi as 'Freedom Slaw.'"

12/19:  From YouTube:  Rick and Bubba uploaded:

12/27:  From Twitter @bridger_w  tweeted:  "I had a rock in my shoe so I took off my shoe and removed the rock from my shoe. I'm not waiting until 2015 to change my life for the better."

12/28:  From Twitter:  @JeffBryanDavis tweeted:  I'd be a bad NFL coach. I dislike standing, and if you ever sneak up and pour icy Gatorade on me I will destroy you in grand fashion.

12/28:  From Facebook:  Nerdgasm shared:

12/30:  From Facebook:  K.Tierce shared:

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 40: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

Share a favorite moment from your Christmas holiday celebration.
Taking Communion at our Christmas Eve service.  The way things had been going, I really didn't want to, but I'm so glad I did.
What would you say has been the biggest news event during your life so far?
Oh gosh, I don't think I can pick one.  So many things have happened since I was born.  I came into this world during Watergate and have been through the Challenger disaster, 9/11, the O.J. Simpson trial, and most recently, the suicide of Robin Williams.  There's not just one that stands out.
The Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala. What say you-like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either?
I really like rich reds like this.  I would like more of it in my wardrobe.  When I do have my own house, I want my dining room or kitchen and my powder room painted that color.  It's also the color of my dream vehicle.
Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great grandchildren? Explain why.
Since I see no prospects of marriage or children, I'll have to pick ancestors by default. 
Share one life lesson learned in 2014?
Don't do life the way you've been doing it.  Try something else.
What was your best or favorite purchase made in 2014?
I haven't purchased much this year, so I'm not sure. 
What is one thing you're looking forward to in the new year?
Doing better in every way.
Insert your own random thought here. 
Wow, day 40, we actually made it.  That's something to be thankful for in itself.

I'm thankful that I can end the year with a loss...a good kind of loss.
Me and the parents of the bride.
I went to a wedding this evening.  One thing I can be thankful for is the fact that I was invited as a friend; not simply as a ride for someone else the family wanted there.  May the couple have a blessed marriage full of laughs and all that.

Happy New Year Ery'body!

#59 Empty Shelf Challenge 12 [101 in 1001]

BookThe Purpose Driven Life.

Author: Rick Warren

Info: Copyright 2002 by Zondervan

Where acquired: Acquired from a friend.

Why:  I have attempted to read through this devotional several times, but never finished.  I decided to use the last 40 days of this year as a challenge to read the whole thing. Maybe it will help me better prepare for the new year.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags):  # # # #

What it's about:  We've all asked the question "Why am I here?" and wondered if our lives serve and real purpose.  Warren takes the reader on a 40 day journey to find life's true purpose.

Favorite Quotes

"Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn  on earth is how to love.  It is in loving that we are most like him..." - p. 123

"Many who claim to believe the Bible 'from cover to cover' have never read it from cover to cover." - p. 188

"Whenever you feel apathetic about your mission to the world, spend time thinking about what Jesus did for you on the cross."  p. 294

What I Liked:
  • The daily reading/devotional format appeals to me.  That way I can take in the information in small doses and have time to think about it.
  • The questions at the end of the chapters and in the appendix were great to help me focus.  I'm hoping that someone will want to do this as a group study and these questions would be great discussion starters.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The book used a lot of end notes.  I'm used to authors citing Bible references within the text or using footnotes.  Having to flip back and forth for references was annoying.  It wasn't a deal breaker, just annoying.
  • I didn't agree with some of the concepts in the book.  But, I guess the day I agree with everything someone writes is the day I stop thinking for myself--which won't happen.
To sum up

Although this book was a frustrating journey for me, I would highly recommend it to anyone.  Even the strongest of us struggle with identity sometimes.  This book is a great help in dealing with that struggle.

This review concludes the Jon Acuff Empty Shelf Challenge.  Hop on over to join my Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge.

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge

Have a bookshelf, Kindle, Nook, or Audible queue full of books you were just chomping at the bit to read when you got them, but you haven't even opened (or clicked on)?  Is your account at the public library full of check outs that you rechecked to the limit, but never finished?  Is your list full of "want to reads" with very few books actually read?  Yeah, me too.

Last year, we were challenged by Jon Acuff to fill an empty shelf with read books over the year.  Well, I say this year, we need to empty a shelf full of unread books as we read them.

Just as with the empty shelf challenge, I will most likely review the books I read.  I'm not saying everyone has to do that; I'm just wordy and like to share.  To keep each other accountable and encouraged, share  your progress in some way.  Maybe in the comments section of this blog post, or on Pinterest.  Whatever works for you.  I'm looking forward to the fun.  By the way, we are not about quantity, but quality.  I got a little frustrated at Acuff's challenge because people were reading dozens and dozens of books.  I read 12.  That's still more than I read the year before.  This is a fun challenge, not one more stressor for your to-do list.

Alright, off you go then...

Reviews for this year's books:

Book 1     Book 11     Book 21
Book 2     Book 12
Book 3     Book 13
Book 4     Book 14
Book 5     Book 15
Book 6     Book 16
Book 7     Book 17
Book 8     Book 18
Book 9     Book 19
Book 10   Book 20

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

#99 - 40 Days of Gratitude: Day 39 [101 in 1001]

This was my first year as a member of the Anniston Runners Club (ARC).  One of the benefits of the club is a reward system for certain mileage milestones.  Mile-a-day, or MAD is, of course, as the name indicates, completing one mile a day.  Two-a-day rewards for averaging two miles a day.  The ultimate is the 1200 club.  One earns an ARC jacket for completing an average of 100 miles a month for a year.

My first month was pretty good, I finished 29 miles.  OK it's a mile or two short, but I can make that up.  Not quite.  Spring and summer proved to be hard seasons for fitness.  I fought illness off and on for months and mileage was low.  My lowest was 13 miles in April.  By fall, I had a lot of catching up to do, but I did it!  October and November were my biggest months with 50 miles each.

Today, I finished miles 363, 364, and 365.  BOOYA!  Well, more like "owya!"  This wouldn't have been the day to complete this, but I wasn't going to risk not being able to get it done tomorrow.  We've had rainy, dreary, dreich  weather for days, and my joints have been screaming for clear weather. I don't have arthritis or anything, but the body can only take so much yucky, dark days.  These were three of the slowest miles I've done this year, but they are done. 

Thanks be to God for the strength to complete this challenge.  Thanks to Anniston Runners Club for the challenge.  Thanks to my friends for the encouragement.

Here's to an even better mileage new year in 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 38

Praise the Lord, my car is now back in working order.  A thermostat and two radiator hoses later...oh well, at least I got a scarf finished during my wait:

This is made from one of the skeins of yarn I got for Christmas.  Finally, I've made something for myself.

I had one round left on it when the mechanic finished with my car.

Now to figure out what to make out of the other two skeins.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 37: The Simple Woman's Daybook

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

For Today:  Sunday, December 28, 2014

Outside my window … Rainy and yucky skies with promises of nicer weather tomorrow.

I am thinking... my goals for 2015.  I want to make specific measurable attainable goals instead of just hoping to survive whatever comes my way.

I am thankful...
  • I'm thankful for ride to and from church today.  If it the forecast hadn't called for all day rain, I would have ridden my bike to church and gotten a ride home.
  • I'm thankful for great Bible discussion in my Sunday School class this morning.  We are studying the book of Ezra.  I've read it, but never done anything in-depth on it.
  • I'm thankful for a fun (and tasty) lunch with friends.  

In the kitchen...  Regrouping and trying to menu plan for the week.

I am wearing... bedclothes.  (I've never figured out why they ask this question.)

I am creating...
Finished the hats I was talking about last time:

I've got several crochet and painting projects in the works. 

I am going...  to my mechanic tomorrow.  Hopefully the repair won't take long and I can run a few errands and get out to the trail.  I'm three miles away from finishing my Mile-A-Day goal for Anniston Runners Club.
I am wondering... where I can find a bed tray.  It would make typing in bed much easier. 

I am reading... I'll finish up The Purpose Drive Life Wednesday.  I'm preparing for what I plan to read in the coming year. 
I am hoping... the tears stop...or at least I have a better reason for them.

I am looking forward to...
getting out on the trail again.  I've not spent much time outside in the fresh air.
I am learning
… what the root of some of my self-sabotage is.  I'm not sure this is the right forum to share it.  I know, sometimes I do rants and extended dissertations, but I'm not sure about it this time.
Around the house... taking down Christmas and getting the office back into some kind of order.
I am pondering...  what kind of training I need to do this winter.  For me, race season starts in March.  I want to be ready.
A favorite quote for today... 

"Holy living consists in doing God's work with a smile." - Mother Teresa, qtd by Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life, p. 231.

"Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine." - Dr. Mark Hyman

"I'd be a bad NFL coach. I dislike standing, and if you ever sneak up and pour icy Gatorade on me I will destroy you in grand fashion." - Jeff Davis, Comedian

One of my favorite things... a new spiral-bound notebook to start the new year. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Getting the car fixed, subbing, hitting the trail,  getting back in the Workshop.  Updating media. 

A peek into my day...  

This is my last Daybook post for 2014.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I'm planning on continuing this prompt next year.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 36

I'm thankful for a new fun project for the new year:

I'm also grateful for answers.  These are painful answers, but they will help me in the long run.  I'm not sure if I should share them here.  I don't want this gratitude journal to turn into a rant.  Give me a few days and I'll talk about it.  K?

Friday, December 26, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 35

Well, once again I am thankful to God for His protection.  I was taking my roommate to run errands in Jacksonville when the unpleasant odor of boiling antifreeze assaulted my nostrils and steam was coming from the hood.  Oh #@%&*!  I got the car home without the temp going too far into the red zone.  Hopefully, it should hold up to the trip to my mechanic Monday.

I'm thankful for the chance to start a new challenge with y'all.  This week, I'll be finishing up Jon Acuff's Empty Shelf Challenge.  For 2015, I'm hosting the "Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge."  Details soon to come.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 34

Today was a quiet Christmas.  I spent it resting when I wasn't working on projects.  Speaking of projects, I'm grateful for a couple of gifts I got from my friend Michelle last night.
I love the colors in these skeins of yarn.  I hardly ever take time to make something for myself, so that's what I'm doing with these.  I see a couple
of scarves and a maybe a hat.  Hmmm....

I've never seen these before. They are mini canvases on tiny easels; approximately 4 x 4 inches.  It's going to be fun finding something I can paint that's that small. 

It's great to have such fun gifts to work with.

I'll keep y'all posted on what I end up making.

Well, let's see what tomorrow holds...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 33

I am thankful for the first ornament gift I received since starting over.  Thanks, Bob and Angie
I am thankful for the gift of shinny Christmas apples.  Yummy.  Thanks, Celeste.

Today started with me dreading the Christmas Eve service at church.  I'd actually been dreading it for a while.  Last week, I tried to worm my way out of it, but our Worship Pastor wasn't going for it.  After that, my plan was to do my duty and play, become as invisible as possible, go home, say hi to all my roommate's family who are at the house, go in my room, and go to bed.  I'd even planned to refuse communion (Eucharist).  I wasn't trying to prove a point, or wage a protest, or garner sympathy, or draw attention to myself; I simply knew my heart wasn't right.  My heart was too heavy.

Look, I know that Christmas is about family--and rightly so--but I didn't know where to fit.  I'm not used to being wanted and included.  Sorry, it's been my experience since childhood, and yes, I'm sick of it too.  Unlike then, now I will not push for inclusion; that garners pity and resentment rather than love.  In other words, I know it ain't about me.

On top of not being in the best of mental states. the migraine-like tendrils of a post-menstrual headache set up shop around my right eye.  Thanks, Mother Nature, can I choke slam you now?  I did have enough sense to stop in the church parking lot and have a talk with the Lord about all this before I went inside.  I really didn't want to take the black exclamation point above my head into this celebration.

It tried to follow me anyway...

Not only am I late but when I sat down to play, I found out the hard way that one of my strings was more than 1/2 step WAY out of tune.  It was so bad it would have made baby Jesus cry and the heavenly host throw tomatoes.  Tune-as-you-go time.  That's what I get for being late.

On top of that, Christmas carols are notorious for having eight cords to the word. Look, I can't explain how I can play such complex improvisational runs all year long, but putting Christmas music in front of me turns me into a deer in headlights.

Anyway, I can never stay sad very long when I'm around other musicians and singers--we're all too silly; me being the worst of the lot.  It wasn't long before we were all laughing.

After the carols, Pastor Derek gave a brief message on the Christmas story.  I spent most of it praying about communion.  I asked God to help me get myself together enough to join in family Eucharist.  He did, and it was wonderful, and yes, I did get all tore up about it as usual.

The service in itself was plenty to be thankful for, but afterwards, a family invited me over to their home for dinner.  I had a great time.  Even though my headache didn't go away, I still drove home with a smile on my face.

And two Excedrin tablets later...with visions of fried chicken dancing in my head, good night y'all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 32

Today, I can be thankful I finally found the right pattern to correct the bucket I made the other day.

Not the same pattern, but I think it's just as pretty.

There are so many good things trying to happen around me.  If I could just touch them--cram them into my heart and head, I would feel so much better.  If the dull ache of loneliness and having no gifts of value to offer to those I love would just cease to be important, I could manage.   As I get closer and closer to Christmas, I am finding less and less to be thankful for.  I really wish I could be away from the internet and away from people during the months of February, May, November, and December.  I'm tired of whole months of the year being devoted to telling people, especially women, who they are not.  My study and recovery have revealed plenty of character defects to deal with, plus others have stepped up to the plate to add to the list.  I really don't need any more.

I may devote this next year to us studying who we ARE instead of hearing a constant barrage of who we are not.

Monday, December 22, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 31

After a rough week that's leading into the final push of the holidays...

I am thankful for the early Christmas present of the blessing of some things I needed.  God continues to try to bless me, yet in my mind I keep trying to reject it because I don't feel I've earned it.  I'm glad that God is so patient.

I am thankful that after today's weigh in that the damage was not that severe:

I'm thankful that I only have 3 miles to go to meet my mile a day goal for Anniston Runners Club.  Now, if I could get over whatever's ailing me so I can get in those miles.  I've had sinus drainage and laryngitis that sounds like I've been gargling concrete, plus just a general puny feeling.  I think part of it's mental.  I should feel much better after Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 30: The Simple Woman's Daybook

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

For Today:  Sunday, December 21, 2014

Outside my window … All is dark and still on this shortest day of the year.  The good news is that now the days will slowly start getting longer.

I am thinking... over the past year to see how I can do better in 2015.

I am thankful...

I'm thankful for an awesome blessing I received today.  I'm also thankful for:

I am thankful for the opportunity to honor my dad's memory through one of the poinsettias that decorate our church for Christmas.

I am thankful that a small thing like pocket change can turn in to a big offering to help others and teach them about Jesus.
In the kitchen...  Just trying to figure out how to survive Christmas.  There's already junk in the house.

I am wearing... bedclothes.

I am creating...
Working on a couple of hats; one is a pattern I've never tried before, one I'm going to have to make up myself.  I've been watching Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day program online and have several crochet quilt ideas to go with the others I traced out earlier.

I am going...  to the thrift store to see if I can find some clothes, especially black pants.
I am wondering... about how love really works.

I am reading... I'm still reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and Laugh Again by Chuck Swindoll.
I am hoping... beyond hope.  I am hoping to see my hopes realized so that I can have a new hope. 

I am looking forward to...
the new year.
I am learning
… that sometimes silence has lease.
Around the house... just a little tidying up.
I am pondering...  I'm still pondering on how to enjoy the holidays. 
A favorite quote for today... 

"The Gospel is only good news if it gets there on time." - Pastor Derek Staples

One of my favorite things... canned chicken noodle soup.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Subbing at the school, surviving the holiday, and creating in the workshop.

A peek into my day...  

So grateful that I have someone and something solid to believe in.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 29

Took today to do some catching up.

I am thankful for finding humor in my own mistakes:

Umm...anybody got a bucket they want to spruce up?  I was going for a child sized hat.  Nope, definitely too big for a child.  This hat is actually way too big for me (and I have a large head), so I can't even selvage it for an adult.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.  Back to the drawing board, Auntie.

Friday, December 19, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 28

If you've been reading along so far, you know that earlier I blew demolished a tire and replaced it.  Well, that still left me with three old tires and a doughnut tire for a spare.  Thanks be to God, I was given a new set of tires and a front-end alignment by some friends.  Just for the record, I didn't ask, beg, or hint that anyone do this.  It was a total shock to me.  Still is.  Now I have four new tires, and as soon as I find a rim, a real spare with the one tire I purchased instead of a doughnut that shimmies at 45 mph.  Praise the Lord!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 27

In looking through some old photos today, I find myself grateful for such wonderful memories.

This picture of Mr. Eddie West, God rest his soul, brings back my early days as a musician.  Mr. Eddie taught me to play on that very bass guitar.  I'll tell you that story sometime.  We named it "Big Woody"--the heaviest bass I've ever seen.  It was like an oak tree with strings, but I built my chops (and back muscles) on that beast. 
1990:  My first (and so far only) trip to the gulf.  The Marching Southerners did an exhibition show in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  The trip was a whirlwind, but it was beautiful.

My Dad,  ML Maddox.  A good memory if him at Christmas time when we lived in Piedmont.

One of the first--if not THE first afghan I ever crocheted.
2006:  My sister Ida's wedding.  One of the best family celebrations we've ever had.  Plus, I still brag on the fact that Ida made her own wedding dress.
Great memory from my teaching days.  Love my Thunderbabies!