Friday, January 31, 2014

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

This month's titters from the Twitter (and other places).  Enjoy.

01/01 - From Facebook:  S.Maddox shared - I find it funny that people will take vegetables and form them into the shape of meat, but no one's ever taken meat and tried to market it in the shape of a vegetable. "Hey, look at this carnivorous broccoli! It's made out of bacon!"

01/08 - From Twitter: @JonAcuff tweeted:  My friend just told me, "The Bachelor is a real life documentary about love." I told her, "We can't be friends anymore."

01/08 - From Instagram:  JonAcuff:

Can we please agree that this is cannibalism?
01-09 - From

01-09 - From  "Tonight's show brought to you by Nosecandy Weight Loss Centers - do a bump and lose that rump." - Geoff the Robot on Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson (#CBSCares)

01/10 - From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted:  "Day 1 of owning an ant farm is awesome. Day 12 is like a space base with only 3 survivors who you're pretty sure killed everyone else."

01/11 - From Pinterest:  A.Raulerson pinned:

01/15 - From Twitter: @JonAcuff tweeted:  With each passing day, the fear gets smaller, but deep down I know the Columbia House Record Club is still out there trying to send me CDs.

01/15 - From Facebook:  James Spann shared:

If you're from the South, you get it.  #Snow

01/24 - From Twitter:   @bgrhubarb tweeted:  "A new study claims comedians are psychotic. Okay, now let's diagnose the adults who sit in the front row and yell about their birthday."

01/26 - From Twitter:  @bgrhubarb tweeted - Airport security suspect explosive, find haggis - The Scotsman: Good job security people!

01/26 - From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted: I want to see an episode of Hoarders where they tell LL Cool J and Samuel L. Jackson that they own too many Kangol hats.

1/27 - From Facebook:  R.Tompkins shared: 

01/28 - From Twitter:  @bgrhubarb tweeted - BREAKING: DirecTV subscribers lose The Weather Channel over fee dispute. Luckily, subscribers will keep windows, which they can look out of.

01/30 - From Twitter:  @CraigyFerg tweeted:  So my sinus infection seems to be over but I'm afraid that, out there somewhere, are forty pounds of snot...waiting...waiting...

01/31 - From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted - If you ever feel cocky about your twitter following, remember that , who died in 1963 and is somehow verified has 381,560 followers.

Five Minute Friday: "Hero"

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

Hero(ine) - a man/woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities.


When I think of a hero, I think of a person rescuing someone from danger, whether physical danger or some other life or death situation.  Heroes don't all wear capes or have extraordinary powers.  Many are just regular people are at the right place at the right time.

It's wonderful that this is the word for the week.  I had in my mind to do a "recovery heroes" series on my blog this year.  I want to write about those heroes who have helped me along the way on my journey to total health.

I wish I were a heroine for someone.  Not for praise and honor, but just to know that what I do makes a difference to someone.

My favorite fictional heroes are Batman and Wonder Woman.

I want to be Batgirl for Halloween.

Dean Cain was my favorite TV Superman.

Adam West is the only on-screen Batman I acknowledge.

Is it Pat Benatar who sings, "I Need a Hero"? (Nope, looked it up.  It was Bonnie Taylor) Sometimes I feel like I need one to come rescue me from the mess I've made out of my life.  I suppose I need to buck up and be my own hero!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Looking Down From the Bottom: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.

It's  been said that one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. Do you think that's true? Do you find that an easy exercise most mornings? What's something positive you told yourself today? If you missed that boat, what's something positive you could tell yourself tomorrow?

I believe it's true.  Proverbs 23:7 says "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."  Some mornings it's easier to be positive than others.  The thing I've been telling myself lately is "no pressure." 

There will be karaoke at the next party you attend...are you in? Or will you be faking a sore throat?

First of all, it would be a pleasant surprise to be invited to a party, much less one with karaoke.  So, if I can, I'm going.  If they have songs I know, sure I'll enjoy the fun.

January 29th is National Puzzle Day...what's something you've found puzzling recently?

The job market.  'Nuf said.

Jigsaw, crossword, acrostic, logic, sudoku, word search...what's your favorite kind of puzzle, and when did you last work one?

I like crossword puzzles, but I haven't done one in a long time.  Maybe I need to add finishing a crossword puzzle book to my 101 in 1001 honorable mentions list.

Recently a writer by the name of Amy Glass ruffled feathers with a post she wrote saying she looks down on young women with husbands and kids and she's not sorry. Among other things, she says women will be equal with men when we stop saying house work and real work are equally important. You can read the whole piece by clicking here.

What say you? Do you think men and women are equal in the 21st century? Why or why not?

God created us all equal. Humans created compartments of inequality for their own comfort and to prove their supposed superiority.  I do not agree with the author's comments about being a wife and mother being the "path of least resistance."  I do, however, think that mom's bashing single people is just as wrong as what this chick is doing.  And, yes, I get tired of every blog being a mommy blog or a single pining for her "Prince Charming" to rescue her and lamenting that he's not here yet.  Please, someone, just show some strength here.

This girl's post makes me wonder about what kind of mother she had.  Kind of sad.

What's a product you've noticed in the grocery store that you'd like to try, but haven't yet?

Nutella.  I don't know what it is, but it sounds good.
Kale - Not sure if you can put it raw on a salad or not.
Tofu - I may look up some recipes and try it on my vegetarian trial week.
Couscous - I like rice, so this could be good.

The author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was born this week in 1832 (January 27th).  Which character from his celebrated novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, would you most like to meet, and why? Here's a link to a character list if you need help on this one.

Never read the book nor seen any of the movie adaptations of it.  The whole story sounds like a severe acid trip.  No thank you.

Insert your own random thought here.

We've had a rare snow/ice storm here in Alabama, so I've had to stay indoors.  I'm trying to relax and enjoy the days.  I realize that for a while, I've been putting so much pressure and stress on myself that it was harming me, both mentally and physically.  Yes, there are things I want and need to accomplish.  But, I cannot do them on my own.  I must do my part, but also rest in God and trust that He will do His part.  It is also not up to others to determine whether I'm working hard enough or not.  They are not here with me every day, nor are they all knowing or all seeing.

The snow made me smile the first day, and even the second day.  But today I want it gone!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Help Wanted: 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:  Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Outside my window … Cold, cold, and more cold.

Praising God for…  Answered prayer.

In prayer for... my career/job path.  Also in prayer for several friends who are ill or injured.

I am thinking...
about how to perform more simple acts of kindness.

I am thankful... for the upcoming warmer weather.

In the kitchen...
  Wanted to have my loaded omelet for breakfast, but am fighting nausea (not sure why), so I'm not eating anything right now.
I am wearing... Sweats.

I am creating...
watercolor paintings. 

I am going...  to Sav-A-Life, to get my taxes done, and hopefully to the gym. 

I am wondering...
why some companies institute insane hiring policies.  I applied for a job online where I had to take a personality test.  The questions made NO SENSE and had no right answers.  I was given no results of the "test," and, of course, wasn't even called in for an interview.  I don't even understand the point of the test; it doesn't determine if I know how to stock toilet paper on a shelf or not.  Sheesh!

I am reading...
Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud

I am hoping...for warmer weather (yes, I know this is getting redundant, but it's COLD).

I am looking forward to... Getting back out on the trail with my bike.
I am learning
… if God's not in it, it ain't worth doing.

Around the house...  Staying warm.  Want to get my living quarters back to the serene place it used to be.

I am pondering...  more creative strategies for job hunting.  I do know this; the pressure laden, stress-filled, fear infused way I've been doing it the past two years is NOT working.  I'm a good worker and there is good job out there for me.  I will find it...or it will find me.

A favorite quote for today... 

Ecclesiastes 3:13 - And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 5:19 - Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

One of my favorite things... Earl Grey Tea.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Workouts, more job hunting, choir practice, WWF at Celebrate Recovery, and any other mischief I can get into.

A peek into my day...



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Get 'er Done!: 101 in 1001

I was reading stalking sweet Joyce's blog over at From This Side of the Pond (yes, the Hodgepodge lady).  I saw where she and several other bloggers had done a list of 101 things she wanted to do in 1001 days (about 2.75 years). Hmmm.  Sounds like a good idea. So I took up the challenge.

Picking was difficult because I had to try to choose things that didn't necessarily require another person (though that would be more helpful if I did have some of my crazy friends in the mix).  This is not a "gotta do" list under pressure; it's a freeing list to try new things, stretch my boundaries, broaden my horizons...Ok, enough with the fluffy talk.

In no particular order:
Time frame:  February 1, 2014 - October 29, 2016

As I finish each item, I will cross it off the list and if I blog about it, it will appear as a clickable link.
  1. Finish the Bible Correspondence Course I started ages ago.
  2. Learn how to use the GPS my sister gave me years ago.
  3. Attend a taping of the Rick and Bubba ShowGot a job where I'm working the same hours the show is live.
  4. Attend a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson *
  5. Make 1000 pairs of baby booties for Sav-A-Life. (108/1000)
  6. Make 100 Christmas stockings for Operation Holiday Stocking. (17/100).  The organization says that don't need any more stockings, so I will repurpose these.
  7. Run a 5k in 45 minutes or less. 
  8. Run a half marathon.
  9. Use up all the yarn in the closets.
  10. Get down to my goal weight AND STAY THERE.
  11. Go to a fancy restaurant or event that requires dress up.
  12. Buy a fancy outfit for said event.
  13. Go to an Atlanta Braves baseball game. (Completed 05/30/16)
  14. Learn to play tennis.
  15. Buy a new(er) car or truck.
  16. Pay off all my debts and do my debt free scream on the Dave Ramsey Show.
  17. Publish something...even if I have to self publish it.
  18. Give my Celebrate Recovery Testimony in a church NOT in my home county.  (Thus item #2)  *
  19. Move -- preferably to California (Thus item #2).  (Moved in May 2014)
  20. Totally redecorate my living quarters...wherever they are.
  21. Have a real spa day:  mani/pedicure, massage, facial, hair, the works.
  22. Buy a kilt (red tartan).
  23. Buy a black leather jacket with fringe like I've always wanted.
  24. Wear a 60's batgirl costume for Halloween. (Thus Item #10)
  25. Go to a University of Alabama football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  26. Learn to dance.
  27. Go on a clothing shopping spree somewhere other than a thrift store.
  28. Workout with someone I admire.
  29. Bike ride the entire length of the Chief Ladiga Trail. (Completed 05/30/15)
  30. Have an arts/crafts exhibit/sale.
  31. Go to Walt Disney World & Epcot.
  32. Go on a missions trip.
  33. Go to a comedy concert.
  34. Blog about the completion of the major portions of this list.
  35. Go to another Celebrate Recovery Summit. *
  36. Knit a pair of socks.
  37. Get my ACE fitness certification.
  38. Do a mud run.
  39. Play at a Marching Southerners reunion and get closure.  (Completed 11/21/15)
  40. Find meaningful work. (Completed 06/29/15)
  41. Update all my Doctor and Dental check ups (thus #40)
  42. Have good pictures taken.  Not just, "Hey dude, can you take my picture with this crappy digital camera?  Yeah, you've got to snap about 16 photos to get one good one.  Thanks."
  43. Go to a farmer's market.  Went to our local farmer's market and the vendors were extremely rude, didn't offer much, and complained about the market's organizer the whole time.  Not a pleasant experience at all.
  44. Learn to scrapbook and complete one. If not, make one on Shutterfly--I've never done that either.
  45. Go on a train trip.
  46. Stay in a Bed and Breakfast.
  47. Go on a mini retreat to Cheaha State Park.
  48. Buy a full-sized keyboard and reteach myself to play.  Was given a keyboard but haven't had the guts to turn it on and play it.
  49. Learn to make hand painted greeting cards.   (Completed 04/09/16)
  50. Read a Jane Austen novel.  Started Pride and Prejudice but never finished it.
  51. Learn to shoot a gun and get a pistol permit.
  52. Go deer hunting.  Guided instructional hunt, of course.
  53. Go on a picnic.
  54. Take a photography class.
  55. Get my passport.
  56. Start a podcast.
  57. Watch a sunrise or two.
  58. Learn to horseback ride.
  59. Participate in Jon Acuff's Empty Shelf Challenge. (Completed 12/31/14:  12 books read - Links to book reviews here.)  Did my own Full Shelf Challenge (Completed 12/31/15:  21 books read.)  Also did my own Bookworm Challenge (Completed 12/31/16. Read 26 books)
  60. Go to the zoo.
  61. Take a Bob Ross painting technique class.
  62. Get paid for playing music.
  63. Take a trip on the interstate--thus #2
  64. Get paid for writing something.
  65. Pay for the person's order behind me in the drive through. (Did this one a couple of times.  It's fun, and usually the person behind me passes it on.)
  66. Get a paid speaking engagement gig.
  67. Get a tattoo.
  68. Take a ride in a limousine that doesn't involve a funeral.
  69. Visit a friend in another state.
  70. Do a photo a day blog project for 30 days. (Completed 05/31/14)
  71. Learn to quilt.   (Completed ... sort of.  Read the post and you'll understand)
  72. Play music for someone I admire (and they like it).
  73. Go on a zipline.
  74. Learn how to make Rosie Johnson's homemade lemonade.
  75. Buy a rattlesnake mug--might drink Mrs. Rosie's lemonade from it.
  76. Go blueberry picking.
  77. Go to the batting cages.  No point going by myself when there are no pitch machines.
  78. Learn to surf.
  79. Go on a cruise. 
  80. Complete a coloring book.
  81. Do the "Table, Plate, Chair Challenge" for one week. (Completed 02/14/14)
  82. Learn a new hair style that I can do myself.
  83. Create an inspiration notebook.
  84. Finish an A to Z blog challenge. (Completed 04/30/14)
  85. Go to a circus or state fair.
  86. Visit my Dad's grave.  I haven't been there since he died.  (Completed 07/26/14)
  87. Restart my craft business.  (Restarted 05/26/14)
  88. Go to the library at least once a month for a year. (Completed December 2014)
  89. Learn to make the elements of an English tea.
  90. Take a stroll and/or play in the rain.
  91. Make my age in salary or better.
  92. Set up an artificial tree and decorate it for each season/holiday for a year.
  93. Go to the beach and learn to build a sandcastle.
  94. Have a fun day at a water park.
  95. Buy a video camera and learn digital video editing.
  96. Visit a dairy.  If possible, milk a cow.
  97. Eat vegan for a week. (Completed 02/28/14)
  98. Learn to do chin ups.
  99. Complete Anniston Runner's Clubs MAD, 2 a day, or 1200 club challenge--or all three. (MADCompleted 12/30/14Completed again 12/30/15  Completed yet again 12/30/16)
  100. Inspire someone to make a list of his own.
  101. Celebrate finishing this list and start a new one.
Honorable mention:
  • Fly a kite
  • Learn to do a cartwheel
  • Get good enough at hula-hooping to make it all the way through a song.
  • Go to Noccalula Falls and do the tour. (Completed 05/19/14.  Went again 07/13/14)
  • Go skinny dipping (no photos please--and no cops either).
  • Learn to ride a motorcycle.
  • Go skydiving.
  • Slow dance with someone I care about.
  • Fall in loveBuy a dog.  Buy a drumset.
  • Eat sushi...once.
  • Tip a server $100.
  • Get a new cell phone with a data plan. (Completed October 2015)
  • Get cable.  Did a free trial of U-verse and hated it.
  • Perform random acts of kindness every day the week of my birthday.
  • Be a secret sister/pal for someone for a year. (Completed December 25, 2015)
  • Drink champagne at New Years.
  • Learn to do a handstand.
  • Write my will.
  • Learn to draw.
  • Go kayaking.
  • Start a ladies' Bible study.
  • Try comedy at an open mike night.
  • Relearn sign language.
  • Relearn Spanish.
  • Learn to play the violin or cello.
  • Volunteer for a Habitat for Humanity build.
  • Go to a Monkees Convention.
  • Get Photoshop and learn to use it.
  • Finish a crossword puzzle book.
  • Learn to play poker.
  • Finish a Sprint Level Triathlon
  • Go to an aquarium.
  • Attend Greg Proops' podcast. 
  • Have a technology free weekend.
*UPDATE:  (04/29/14) About #4.  Yesterday Craig Ferguson announced that he would be leaving the Late Late Show in December.  So, if someone has some pull and can get me to the show before then, let me know.

UPDATE:  (January 2015) About #4 - Sadly, I did not make it to see the show before Ferguson left.  :(

UPDATE:  (July 2015) About #18 & #35 - I am not a part of this program anymore.  Read here for the explanation.

OK, so I didn't finish much of the list.  Cut me some slack.  I got a job in the midst of all this and didn't have time (or money) to do very much.  Working on a new list.  Maybe I can do better next time.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five Minute Friday: "Visit"

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

I want to visit so many places.  God has given us such a beautiful world that I would like to see more of.
  • I'd like to visit New York and see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the 9/11 memorial site, and go to Time's Square and meet the Naked Cowboy (relax, he's not really naked).
  • I'd like to visit Scotland, wear a kilt, eat haggis with tatties and neeps, see the castles and cathedrals, and see the awesome drumlines at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Festival.
  • I'd like to visit San Antonio, Texas, see the Alamo, and take the river walk.
  • I'd like to visit New Orleans at Mardi Gras and try the wonderful food and see the outrageous costumes.
  • I'd like to visit Bryant Deny Stadium for a University of Alabama football game and Turner Field for an Atlanta Braves game.
and oh so many other places I'd love to visit.


Just a sample of the awesomeness of the Edinburgh Festival
UPDATE:  I did get to visit Turner Field during the Braves last season there.  Read about it here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hello, My Name is Inigo Montoya...and I Have a Jherri Curl: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.

It was decided on Sunday the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in this year's  Superbowl. So when was the last time you bowled? Not where you thought this question was going is it?  Do you like to bowl? Are you any good?
The last time I bowled was about 2 years ago with a group from Celebrate Recovery.  I like to bowl, though I'm terrible at it--I think my bowling average is like 35 or something.  I just don't like that I only get to go every few years.   The only people I know who bowl regularly are part of a league.  My bowling is not good enough for that.  Sorry, but going by myself is no fun.
Should sports stars be role models?
To reiterate what I said in my very first Hodgepodge post.  I think everyone should strive to be good role models, not just athletes.  I think sometimes athletes, like actors or musicians, get put on too high of a pedestal.  We often forget that these are real people too with real pain and real flaws.  Now, don’t get me wrong, if someone is deliberately acting a fool and does not even remotely want to change, they need to get themselves together.  Someone who makes a mistake and is working to try to correct it needs to be encouraged, not berated.
January is National Oatmeal month...are you a fan? How do you like your oats?
I used to really like oatmeal, but something happened the last time I bought some.  It didn't taste good at all.  No matter what I put in it, I just couldn't eat it.  I may try again this summer when the fruit is fresher and I can try some new flavors.  For right now, I'll stick with grits for a warm, creamy breakfast.
Oatmeal.  Reminds me of a joke.  "Aren't you getting tired of Wilfred Brimley telling you what the right thing is to do?" - Mike Warnke
What is one book on your reading list for 2014?
Real Christianity by William Wilberforce.  I was given this book years ago and never read it. I'm taking up Jon Acuff's Empty Shelf Challenge in hopes of reading more books this year.  BTW- if you want to follow my progress on this challenge, I'll be posting updates on Pinterest ( and, most likely, writing reviews here on my blog.
What would you like your future self to say to your present self?
"Don't stop before the miracle happens!"
When scrolling through the TV guide, what is one movie title that makes you want to stop, grab the popcorn, and watch for a while?
That's easy.  The Princess Bride.  I absolutely love that movie.  "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.  STOP SAYING THAT!"

What are two style trends you hope never come back into fashion?
Bell bottoms and Jherri Curls.  Ready for the World's Oh Sheila anyone?  They've got some serious Jherri Curls in this video.
Insert your own random thought here.
On the subject of fashion.  Today, I watched the makeover episode of The Biggest Loser (thanks  I don't know a thing about fashion, but I learned something from fashion consultant Tim Gunn during this show.  He purposefully did not put the contestants in the same types of clothes they wore when they were overweight.  He and the hair stylist didn't want them to see just a prettier version of the same overweight person. 
This makes me think about my own journey.  I'm in a size I haven't worn in ages.  I've been that size for almost year and I still look at those clothes in my closet and think that's too small.  There's no way I can wear that--although they do fit.  I think when I get to the point that I can go to a real store (not a thrift store) and look for and pick out what I want, my mentality will change.  I am thankful for what I have, but still...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five Minute Friday: "Encouragement."

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
I thought I'd first give a short blurb about how the Five Minute Friday works:
  1. Check what the prompt is on Lisa-Jo's blog (link above).
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.  No extreme editing or backtracking.  Just pure free writing.
  3. Link over to Lisa-Jo's site and invite friends to join in. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url but your post url } Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  4. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!
The word encouragement sparks a feeling of courage.  When I'm encouraged, I feel courageous enough to do anything.  Encouragement is a super power.
Then there's the word discouragement.  Have you have someone try to "dis" your courage or pee on your happiness?  Don't let them!  God said to daily encourage each other.  Hebrews 3:13 - But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
I want to be more of a minister of encouragement.  I want to give people courage to do and be all that God has put them on this planet for.  I want to be that kind of cheerleader for myself as well.
What encourages me?  God's Word, the joyous encouragement of others, music, things that bring me joy are very encouraging.  Making progress, no matter how small will encourage me through the coming year. 
I will not let others "dis" my courage and I will not destroy my own courage.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tried it Mikey: Round 01

The fitness challenge for December 2013 encouraged us to try some new workouts.  Well, December was a very hard month for me and I failed miserably, so I'm going to extend the challenge into 2014.

Workout:'s Indoor Cycling Workout.

Where bought/available:  Available for free on YouTube (see below)

Why:  I was looking for a different workout with my bike during the cold days.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 smileys):  JJJ

The Good: 
  1. Simplicity:  The instructions are very simple: pedal faster/slower, move your resistance up/down; basic cycling stuff.
  2. It a good workout that does work up a sweat.
  3. It's free.
The Bad:
  1. No music - their workouts do not include music in order to keep them free, so I understand.  I just like music with my workouts.
  2. Standing - some of the workout has standing pedaling.  I can't do that without fear of knocking me, my bike, and the trainer over.  So, I just crank up the tension on those parts.
  3. Short - The workout is only about 20 minutes long and they haven't made any longer cycling workout videos yet.

Skiing on Sunshine: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.

Are you a force to be reckoned with? In what way?
I have decided to start looking up what these idioms mean before I answer.  A force to be reckoned with is defined as, " someone or something that is important and powerful and must not be ignored." 
Are you kidding me?  Please don't think I'm being negative here, I'm not.  I'm just not sure if I should think of myself that way about anything.  That sounds like someone who is mean and hateful; a bully.  No thanks.  Sure, I'd like to not be ignored as easily as I am, but I'm not to keen on this alternative.  
What are two things you love about the wintertime? Or, if love feels like too strong a word, what are two things you 'like' about winter?
Christmas and...well...
Pomegranate, kumquat, persimmon, kiwi, and guava are all fruits said to have health benefits, particularly during the winter months. Do you have a favorite on the list? Are there any on the list you haven't tried?
I've only eaten kiwifruit (which I do like).  Haven't tried the others yet.
I passed a local church yesterday and noticed they had this on their outdoor sign- 'When all else fails, do the right thing.' Your thoughts?
I don't get that.  Of course it would help if I knew the context of what it meant.  Do they mean, "after you've tried everything else and found it lacking, try Jesus Who never fails"?  Or, do they mean something else.  I don't know what to think about it.
Someday soon...hopefully
Do you ski? According to one list I've seen, the top 5 ski destinations for 2014 are-St. Anton Austria, Whistler Canada, Cortina Italy, Tahoe USA, and Zermatt Switzerland.  Of the five listed, which would you most like to visit? We can make skiing optional if that helps the non-skiers with their answer.
I've not yet learned to ski, but when I do, Lake Tahoe USA sounds wonderful.
What's the last thing you looked for online? (Besides my blog!)
Workout videos on YouTube.
What saying, slogan, quote, or motto have you seen lately that inspires you for the new year?
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt
 Insert your own random thought here.
I've taken the past couple of weeks to really try to focus on what I want the rest of the year to look like and how I want to get there.  The best way for me to get there is to enjoy things one day at a time and extend to myself the grace God has extended to me.  I'm leaning to distinguish between grace and excuses. No excuses, but LOTS of grace.
I've also been thinking about a challenge issued by Joyce over at From This Side of Pond (yes, the same sweet lady who gives the Hodgepodge questions).  It's called  101 in 1001, which, if I understand it correctly, is 101 things I want to accomplish in the next 1001 days (Joyce, am I right?).  As soon as I have my list.  I will post it and link back to it here.  No pressure on me, but something fun to look forward to working on.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five Minute Friday: "See"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
I spy with my little eye something that is...FLAWED!  Every time I look in the mirror, I look at all that is wrong with me.  My vision is that of an inspector looking for any "spot or wrinkle" to pounce on.  My inner dialogue...well, and my outer monologue... is that of a brutal taskmaster who says, "Look at you!  What a waste!  What's wrong with you!  Fix this! Fix that!  Get yourself together!  Time is short!  Hurry, hurry, hurry!"  The pressure is overwhelming.
My own warped vision has put me in a very dangerous depressive place mentally.  It gotten me to see only the bad, the flawed, the not good enough.  I think my own warped seeing has been what's caused me to sabotage my own healthy efforts.  No, I don't think it is; I KNOW it is.  "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."  (Proverbs 23:7). 
It's going to take some change my mind.  It's going to take momentous mental energy to on purpose see the good, the little areas of progress, to actually enjoy the journey instead of  constantly saying "I'll be happy when..."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Is it Spring Yet?: 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:  Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Outside my window … After several days of below freezing temperatures we had a "balmy" 45 degree day.

Praising God for…  Provision.

In prayer for... the upcoming year.  I want it to be a zillion times better than 2013.

I am thinking...
about where do I go from here and how do I get there?

I am thankful... that I have a warm place to live

In the kitchen...
  Nothing, it's late.  I have no idea about tomorrow.  I'm so bored with my own cooking, but I've got to keep it healthy. 

I am wearing... Green sweater and black pants.

I am creating...
I've been trying new crochet patterns...

Braided Scarf

Vintage Lace Afghan

I'll be painting tomorrow. 

I am going...  to bed in a few minutes.  Tomorrow, I plan to go to the store and to walk at the track with a friend.

I am wondering...
With what’s going on with me.  I drove to Anniston today to run some errands and I was absolutely out of my tree!  I've never been this nervous, unfocused, and panicky while driving to familiar places.  No one else on the road was driving crazily; it was all quite calm and normal around me.  I hope this isn't the start of a trend or an illness.  I'm not in the mood!

I am reading...
Read a great blog post from Jon Acuff.  I'm pondering what it means to my life.  This quote cuts right to the heart of the matter:
But here’s something I feel like God asked me once when it comes to regret:"
Am I not more powerful than regret?”
That’s a simple question, but at the heart of it is a problem. When you are afraid you might make a mistake you act as if God is not in the business of redeeming mistakes. You act as if you could make a mistake he could not handle. You act as if God is smaller than your mistakes.
I am hoping...that the answer finally comes.

I am looking forward to...
 SPRING!  and, no, I don't CARE if it's January!
I am learning
… that time is short and my list is very long.

Around the house...  Staying warm.

I am pondering...  is it too late for me?

A favorite quote for today...  "Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish being mad about gas prices." - Bill "Bubba" Bussey from the Rick and Bubba Show.

One of my favorite things... Ernie Ball Power Slinky bass guitar strings.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Not sure.  I know what I want to do, but not sure if I can do it.

A peek into my day...


Cup 'O Soup: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English.  Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse or just general uselessness (go here to read more about how the words were chosen).  Here are the words/phrases they'd like to see banished in 2014-

selfie, twerk/twerking, hashtag, Twittersphere, Mr. Mom, T-bone, ____on steroids, the suffixes-ageddon, and -pocalypse added to anything and everything, from the world of politics the words-intellectually/morally bankrupt and Obamacare, and from the world of sports the words-adversity and fan base

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
The phrase "couldn't care less" should be eliminated.  Most people don't use it right anyway.  They usually say "could care less," which is a misuse.  Most of the words on the list are OK; it is what the words represent that make me wish they would disappear (e.g. Obamacare and twerk).
What one unfinished project nags at you begging to be completed in this new year?
The Bible correspondence course I started several years ago.
When did you last have a bowl of soup? What kind? Homemade or from a can? What's your favorite soup?
I made vegetable soup about two weeks ago.  I could sure go for a bowl of soup right now (we've had several days of frigid temps here in Alabama).  My favorite soups are Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and the egg drop soup from The Golden Dragon; one of our local Chinese restaurants.
Snowed in, snowed under, snow job...which one most applies to your life in recent days, figuratively speaking.
WARNING:  This is where Auntie will now vent.  Snow job, definitely.  First off, I had to look up what snow job meant.  From the online urban dictionary:  "An effort to deceive, overwhelm, or persuade with insincere talk, especially flattery."  This is something that is especially troubling to me lately. Last week, I was asked by someone in an organization I occasionally assist if I wanted to go to a conference in February.  I said no. They said, "well, you're a leader, so you need to go."  Oh, this is the week I get to be labeled a leader?  I'm labeled as dog crap the rest of the time.  What gives?  (this was not something I thought, I actually said it)  Now, to be fair, the person who asked was not the culprit; the person he was asking for was the culprit.  His answer, "Well, the only thing keeping you from being a leader is you."  Do what?
As I said in a post from December:  I don't know if I have administrative gifts or not.  I've not been given the opportunity to find out.  Anytime I've been in a leadership type role, those who know they are such gifted overran any opportunities I had to assert myself or to be a part of the decision making process.  So, I just kind of go along to get along now.  It's like this, don't tell me I'm a vital leader in your business/organization then take away any power I would have to be a leader. 
The snow job comes in when I'm flattered about my gifts and talents because the real leadership wants me to do something.  And no, I don't mind doing what I do--that's fun.  BUT don't make me a "leader" when it is simply to make you look good, but never allow me to be a part of the real leadership process.   
What's the funniest movie you've ever seen, or at least one of the funniest?
Muppets from Space was pretty funny.  I watched it with my preschool classes about 35 times.  I need to buy myself a copy and watch it again.  I haven't seen it in a while.
In general, would you say you're clumsy?
Not really.  I'm not accident prone.  It's just that on the rare occasion that I have a misstep, it tends to be catastrophic and painful.
Elvis Presley was born on Hodgepodge Day (January 8th) back in 1935. Are you an Elvis fan?  What's your favorite Elvis tune? If that's too hard, which Elvis tune do you dislike the least?  Click here for a list of his songs.
I'm not really an Elvis fan (no, I promise I'm not in Al Queda).  In high school we played the song All Shook Up during our halftime show.  That's about it.
Insert your own random thought here.
My one word for the new year...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

One Word: Metamorphosis

One of my fellow Five Minute Friday contributors, Annie Rim posted this question on her blog:

If you could choose one word for your coming year, what would it be?

I think my one word for 2014 would be "metamorphosis."  The definition of metamorphosis is "a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism; any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc."

Of course, the best example of metamorphosis is the butterfly's transformation from caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly.  I feel like a caterpillar that's been in the cocoon far too long.  It's time for the inward transformations I've been making to break out and soar.

I'm taking the first two weeks of the year to evaluate, regroup, and set specific strategies for bringing my inward transformation to the outside.  As I said in my post "Reflect:"
I would just like the image that is reflected back at me to be the image I see of myself inside.  In the mirror, in my external life, everywhere.  I want a better reflection staring back at me.  Not one of what should have been, but one that is all that I really am and really meant to be.
Notice I said specific strategies not "New Year's resolutions."  Resolutions statistically only last until around Valentine's Day.  The only benefit of that is the gym will only be crowded for about six weeks.

Look, let's be real.  I've put more than five years into my recovery, dealing with the internal crap in my life.  I've put in several years of exercising and trying to learn to eat right.  I've been job hunting (in the midst of a temporarily failed business) for nearly two years.  The results of all this effort are outstandingly mediocre.  SOMETHING HAS GOT TO GIVE!  The beauty of the butterfly has got to emerge.  It can't stay locked in the cocoon forever.  Let's get 'er done!

So, If you could choose one word for your coming year, what would it be?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Fight

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


I used to fight for things, good things.  I fought for the right to at least try to do things that others could do.  If it didn't work out, at least I got the opportunity to try.  That was worth the fight.  I used to be tenacious.

What has happened to my fight?  Sure, I'm still fighting this health battle, but much of the rest of my fight is dwindling.  Two years of unemployment, a failed business, and seemingly impossible circumstances have turned me into a weenie.  For a while I wouldn't watch movies that I hadn't seen before because I was afraid of the possible conflict in them.  What's with that?

I am working to get my fight back.  I am striving to recover the bulldog tenacity that propelled me through high school, college, busted friendships, bad jobs, and good jobs that had to end.  I'm not giving in to the "you might as well quit before you even start" attitude.  It doesn't matter if others have tried and failed; I am not them.  I am me.

Something I learned yesterday:  I am ridiculously in charge of my life.  No one has the right to dictate my life except God Almighty.  In the end, HE will be the One I answer to for how I spent the time He gave me, on one else.  I must continue to fight!


I Timothy 6:12 (KJV) - Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Nu Thang: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

Times Square is the setting for the infamous ball drop signaling a brand new year....when did you last 'drop the ball' on something?
Aw man!  I was so hoping her first question would be a positive question.  Here to hoping.  Let's see, well, considering I'm not perfect, I make mistakes all the time.  I'd say that although I'm making progress, I've dropped the ball concerning my health.  I'm not where I was, but I'm definitely not where I should be.
What is one thing you resolved to do in 2013 that you actually did?
I finished the "Couch to 5k" running clinic and ran my first 5k.
Jack London is quoted as saying, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." Agree or disagree? Why? 
I think inspiration and motivation are everywhere, but I must be looking for them to see or hear them.
What was the best thing you ate in 2013?
Something new?   The Raquel Salad at Baja California Grill here in JackVegas.  Something I've eaten before and really enjoyed again?  A barbeque salad from The Rocket, also local.  I don't get those very often, so when I do, I savor every bite.
Share an anti-resolution...that is, something you plan to keep on doing in the new year.
Maintaining my sense of humor.  Cultivating my gift of healthy sarcasm.  I'm going to keep writing, keep working out, and keep rocking!
The Pantone color of the year for 2014 is radiant orchid.  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 don't know who or what Pantone is (their "about us" page was no help), so I have no idea why their color suggestions matter.  Do I like the color?  Oh yes.  Purple is one of my favorite colors and this shade is gorgeous.  While we're on the subject:
Finished up this set today. Don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the set is a dark orchid color.
In three words or less sum up your 2013.
Hallelujah, that's over.  (That's a LOT nicer than the first thing that came to mind.)
Insert your own random thought here.
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:12-14 (The Message Paraphrase)