Sunday, November 30, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 09: 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, November 30, 2014

Outside my window … Dark but pleasant.

At FBC-J'ville
I am thinking... about Advent.  Earlier this week, I asked my friends if there was a "non-family" way to enjoy advent. They suggested reading devotions and making an Advent wreath. Today was the first day of Advent and I was gung-ho about trying to celebrate it alone, but after hearing our College Pastor bombard us with all the "family" things we should be doing for Advent, I tearfully gave up. 

I am thankful... That although they had enough volunteers at the church to serve Thanksgiving dinner, I had a good holiday anyway.  I'm also thankful for another great walking/ running mileage month.  I got in another 50 miles!

Today, I'm thankful:
*  For naps.
*  For some much needed peace and quiet.
*  For no practice today so I could have the above.
*  For music that keeps me sane.
*  For the privilege of donating blood (even if my veins don't cooperate.
My veins didn't cooperate,
but they gave me a shirt
for trying.  :)
In the kitchen...  Food has become punishment again, so I need to reboot tomorrow.  The MyFitnessPal website is keeping me from going totally crazy, but after such a good week last week, I'm frustrated with my lack of balance and focus.  Yeah, I know there's tomorrow, but I don't want to tomorrow myself to death--literally.

I am wearing... bedclothes.

I am creating...
 I'm in the home stretch of a Heidi Bears pattern for a frog.  I can't wait to show you.  I'm also finishing up some orders from the Workshop including this Elf Christmas Tree Skirt.

I am going...  Nowhere but back to sleep soon.
I am wondering... about my emotional level.  Things are depressing me and sending me to the tissue box more easily than before.  I'm also more angry and pessimistic than I've been in a long time.  I don't like this at all.  I'm sure it's pent up emotions from past stuff, but I thought I'd dealt with all that crap.  Most of my anger is direct at myself, but I'm always with me so...  SighWill I ever stop being a basket case?

I am reading...  Front Porch Tales by Philip Gulley.  The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and Laugh Again by Chuck Swindoll.
I am hoping... for help, health, and sanity.  I'm hoping for a good week and all that it means.  I'm hoping for some face-to-face fellowship time with people this week.  I'm hoping to get all my projects finished so I can take some more time off.  I want to be fresh for the new year.  I hope to finish my Mile A Day challenge for Anniston Runner's Club.  I only have 33 miles to go!

I am looking forward to...
the lighting on the square in Jacksonville.  The community band is playing, so we should have a great time.  There's also no rain in the forecast!
I am learning
… that in friendship, if you are the one who must always acquiesce or compromise, your friend isn't a friend; he/she is a bully.

Around the house... Getting my room ready to be workout central this winter.
I am pondering...  on the devotional I'm doing.  I've attempted to read The Purpose Driven Life several times, but never finished.  I'm determined to concentrate, answer the questions, and actually finish this.  it's hard though.  Many of the questions that should bring me joy to answer and improve on aren't.  I'm feeling more overwhelmed, stressed, and depressed.  Good grief, Charlie Brown!
A favorite quote for today... 

Rammer Jammer Yellowhammer!

"Listening to someone complain about her husband not putting up their Christmas tree yet. Apparently, both of her arms are broken. "  - Me

"[Today] if somebody says something to you about how much you're eating or 'Ooh, what happened to your diet?' PUNCH THEM IN THE THROAT." - Daniel and Kelly from

One of my favorite things... Craft videos on YouTube.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Playing at the Lighting on the Square tomorrow.  Substituting at JCA Tuesday.  Hopefully getting in a lot of outside walks and bike rides.  This week is supposed to be fabulous.

A peek into my day...  I hope no one on earth is having to go through the mental hell I'm going through right now.  May God somehow use this to help someone else, it nothing else, but to show them how NOT to be.

#59 Empty Shelf Challenge 10 [101 in 1001]

BookGod is Not Mad at You.

Author: Joyce Meyer

Info: Copyright 2013 Faith Words

Where acquired: Checked out of public library.

Why:  I heard someone say that we Christians tend to give those who do not believe as we do lots of grace.  Once they become a follower of Jesus Christ, we give them much less grace and we give ourselves none.  I think this is where our misguided impression that God is angry at us comes into play.  Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to this same type of thinking.  Meyer usually writes in a way that seems to reflect just what I'm thinking and why I am thinking it.  Hopefully this book will be no different.

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

What it's about:  I'm sure we've all heard red-faced preaching about the wrath of God.  What is God's wrath and to whom is it directed?  Is He a loving Daddy with rules that guide us on the path of righteousness and fellowship with Him?  Or, is He an angry Father ready to crush and punish any hint of disobedience?  How do we untangle what the Bible says from what our own minds believe or what we've been taught?  Meyer strives to untangle the mystery. She says,
The single most important goal of this book is to unburden you of the baggage you have carried into your relationship with the Lord--hurt, bad teachings, flawed views of a father, a works-based faith, wrong fear of God and other things that are heavy items of baggage that steal our joy. - p. 116
Favorite Quotes

"...when I believe that God is angry with me because of my imperfections, no matter how much He loves me and wants to forgive and restore me, I will not receive it because I don’t believe it." - p. 9

"I believed that God loved me in some sort of general, impersonal way, but I did not know the fierce, fiery, all consuming love that God has for His children." - p. 11

"Many new covenant believers still live under the old covenant, or they mix the old with the new.  They have some grace and some law, but in reality they have neither one." - p. 179

"Grace is God's power available to you free of charge, enabling you to do with ease what you could not do on your own with any amount of struggle and effort." - p. 193

" don't have to sacrifice your future in order to pay for your past." - p. 196

What I Liked:
  • The message of the book is balanced.  Meyer doesn't preach a happy-go-lucky, floating on a glory cloud, life is easy message--what we call "greasy grace."  She mentions issues and struggles and the fact that this life isn't easy, but she also makes it clear that establishing a proper relationship with God is the foundation of dealing with life.
What I didn’t like: 
  • I understand that no one book, except the Bible, can answer everything, but while this book answered a lot of questions, it left some of mine unanswered.
To sum up:  My main takeaway from this book:  God is not mad at me.  My longing to please Him should be out of a heart of worship, honor, and love, not out of being terrified of retribution for failure.  I still have a long way to go.

Want to join the challenge?  Click the empty shelf photo on the right to learn more.  It's not too late!

Titters from the Twitter (and Other Places): November, 2014

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

11/02:  From Anniston Runner's Club's Facebook page:
11/03:  From facebook:  T.Walker shared:
11/04:  From Facebook:  E.Wilson shared:
11/04:  From Twitter:  @GregBQuotes tweeted:  "Every year I hear, 'Well, it's the wrong strand!'  Have you ever heard 'We got the right strand!'  Never. Never!…well crap." On Flu Shots.
11/04:  From Twitter:  @sdmadd1 tweeted:  "Why wasn't there an amendment on the ballot today prohibiting messing with the freakin' clock!? "
11/06:  From Facebook:  T.Harper shared:
11/09:  From Facebook:  E.Renfroe shared:
11/11:  From Twitter:  @tomaslennon tweeted:  If they update "Cats in the Cradle" -- the dad misses everything because he's updating Adobe Flash Player at every stage of the kid's life. 
11/11:  From Facebook:  S.Maddox shared:  Just heard the best name for a country music star on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: "Billy Ray Truck Knuckle." 
11/19:  From Twitter:  @UpComedyClub tweeted:  “White pants should be worn [by men] on two occasions: One, never. And two, if you're selling ice cream.” - Greg Proops
11/22:  From Twitter:  @pourmecoffee tweeted:  "Just finished a brutal yoga class, and by brutal I mean delicious and by yoga class I mean pork biscuit."
11/26:  From Facebook:  D.Raulerson shared:  "I have difficulty sleeping at night because I lay awake stressing over life's mysteries, like how exactly does paper beat rock."
11/26:  From Twitter: @PowerLifting tweeted: 

11/27 (Thanksgiving):  From Facebook: R.Tompkins shared:
From last year, but I want to post it again:  "[During your holiday meal] if somebody says something to you about how much you're eating or 'Ooh, what happened to your diet?' PUNCH THEM IN THE THROAT." - Daniel and Kelly from
11/26:  From YouTube:  The Southern Women Channel posted:
11/27:  From Facebook:  E.Dryden shared:
11/28:  From Twitter:  @sdmadd1 tweeted: "What's the opposite of homemade sin? Storebought sin? Do they sell it on Black Friday? If so, somebody bring me some. I'm fresh out."

Saturday, November 29, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 08

The first week of this photo blog is "in the books."  I am thankful to have made it through the first week.  Hopefully, I will find even more to be thankful for in the coming weeks.  It's getting a little difficult.

I spent most of today in the workshop working on Mr. Frog.  No, he's not quite finished yet, but almost.

The story won't be told here, but I've been a University of Alabama Crimson Tide football fan since I had to choose a side in high school.  Up to that point, I didn't care.  I am, however, thankful for the laughter and fun from today.  I was invited by my friend, Karen, and her family to watch the Alabama vs. Auburn game aka "The Iron Bowl,"  aka "The War of Auburn Aggression."  Yes, my team won the game (Roll Tide!), but even if the team had lost, I still would have enjoyed myself.

The funniest line of the night was from Karen's brother, Scot's girlfriend (forgot her name again).  She was drinking this Dos Equis beer (BTW--I had a Coke, thank you).  I'd heard the commercials for them with "the most interesting man in the world," but I'd never seen the actual drink.  Look, I'm an admitted Jeff Foxworthy-brand redneck; the fanciest beer I've ever seen is a can of Budweiser that hadn't been crushed on someone's forehead, run over by a pickup truck, or had cigarette butts pushed in it.  So, I said "Dos Equis?  That's mighty fancy, ain't it?"  She said, "Dos Equis doesn't use GMO hops.  If I'm going to drink a beer, then dammit, it's going to be a healthy one."  #Facepalm  A la Greg Burgess of the Rick and Bubba Show "#OhHellYeah."  I'm going to be laughing about that one for a while.

And on that note, I will say goodnight and Roll Tide!

Friday, November 28, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 07

After all the Thanksgiving fun, I slept in this morning.  After my morning coffee and study time, I got back in the workshop.

I am so thankful for adventures.  Did you know that stitch creativity can be an adventure?  Some patterns are old favorites I can just whip through since I already know their eccentricities.  New patterns with familiar techniques are fun, but there's not much adventure to them.  Then comes along a new pattern with new techniques.  I'm working on a Heidi Bears crochet pattern for a frog.  She uses a series of  pentagons, hexagons, and knitted cords to shape the item.  Never encountered that before.

For some reason, the easiest part of a pattern gives me the most trouble.  This pattern includes a number of knitted I-cords.  I-cord is short for "idiot" cord.  In other words, any idiot should be able to make this cord. 


Let's just say that I'm no idiot, but at first I felt like one.  I started, messed up, restarted, messed up, restarted,  breathed cuss words under my breath, etc, for several attempts.  Then, I decided to get online and see if I could crochet this thing.  There were simple instructions for it.  I tried it and it looked a hot mess full of split yarn.  So, I switched to different yarn and tried knitting it again, and shazzayum, it worked.  I got through about 4 of them (I've got to make 12) and had to quit while I could still feel my fingertips.  But I'm thankful that when I begin again tomorrow, I can complete this.  Hopefully you'll get a picture of the finished product tomorrow.

After the nonsense of Black Friday died down, I slid into Wal-Mart to pick up a few things (including a much needed windshield wiper blade) and check my blood pressure.  I am very grateful for the technology available in my pursuit of health.  However, technology can be flawed.  This was my BP today:

Fair?  How is 126/69 a "fair" blood pressure?  For the love of Mike! 

For reasons best left unsaid, though the day was a pretty good--or shall I say "fair"--, it was a very stressful one.  On the way back to the house, I drove over to my favorite pretty spot in Weaver, over on Cane Creek Circle.  I wish I knew someone who lived over there so I could actually get out, walk around, take better pictures, and actually enjoy the scenery without the fear of getting shot at.  Anyway, sunset over the creek was refreshing.  Then, back to the workshop I go.

I'm thankful for the beauty and diversity of quilts.  As someone who's sewn some butt-ugly baby quilts (sorry kids), I found it a great comfort when I learned how to convert some of the patterns to crochet.  In 2015, I'm planning to make more quilt type crochet afghans.  I'm getting ahead of the game by making some tracings and planning some projects out.  I spent the last part of the day getting that very enjoyable task done.

From Sewing With Nancy.

Yeah, I know this was CR night, but with the day I've had, I knew I didn't need to be around other people.  Hopefully, I can get back to routine next week. 

After another hard day, I am so very thankful it is over.  Good night, y'all.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 06

After two horrible days, I needed a good Thanksgiving holiday.  My original plans for the day changed because the Episcopal church didn't need extra help this year.  I was quite disappointed.  When I called the church earlier this week to confirm times, the secretary said though they didn't need the help, I could come eat anyway, but I didn't want to do that.  I wanted to help more than I wanted to eat.  So, scrap that.

My friend, Leah W, and I decided we were just going to pitch up at Huddle House and have a gab session--a good enough plan in itself.  However, a couple of our friends from church invited us to hang out with them, so we accepted the invitations and made a day of it.

Melissa, Jimmy, Leah
Stop One:  I'm thankful for my friends Jimmy and Melissa (his finance me--err--fiancĂ©) and his family for such a fun welcome to their Thanksgiving gathering at Asberry Baptist Church in the Roy Webb community of JackVegas.  I felt very welcome, and there was plenty of laughter and food.  Oh man, the food!  I almost had to waddle to the car.  I pulled back just in time. 

Stop two:  Leah was puppysitting her "granddog," so we stopped by her place for me to meet "Chewbacca"--well, and for him to go pee.  I've often said that dogs and babies always love me.  Chewy was no exception.  At first, he sulked in his dog crate and wouldn't come out.  After he figured out I'd throw his ball to him (within reasonable slobbery limits) I immediately became his new best friend.  Today, I am thankful for puppy love.

Stop Three:  I am thankful for friends whose main focus is not what and how much I eat, but how much real "forever family" time we get to spend together.  Enter Robert and Brenda D, their two children, Amber, who is grown and soon to be married (bless her heart), and 9 year old Noelle, plus Amber's intended, Tyler.  Yes, we noshed on a scrumptious pasta dish, but the laughter and silliness did not stop.  It's my fault.  I started it by not figuring out how to handle their steep driveway.  Since Brenda had to park my car and Robert had to un-park it, I knew I wouldn't hear the end of the bad driver jokes.  Amongst the fun was mine and Noelle's rousing games of Uno.  She beat me 3 times before I finally won a game.  I quit playing while I was ahead. 

Thank you, Lord, for such a great day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 05: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it's also National Game and Puzzle Week...what game have you played most recently, and who were you with? Have you worked a puzzle of any kind in the past week?
I play Words With Friends with several of my friends and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? with computer opponents on Facebook.  I think the new crochet pattern I'm working on would be considered a puzzle.  Any pattern that is 38 pages long and produces a piece smaller than 1500 square feet is a puzzle.  I'll post a pic if I ever finish it.  :)
What is one place you were thankful for this year?
My new living quarters in Weaver.  So happy to be out of JackVegas' government housing.
Take a nap, watch football, go for an after dinner walk, or hit the stores...which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving day? For those of you playing along who aren't in the US, answer as it relates to any big holiday meal.
Taking an after dinner walk. Well, actually, getting in any kind of workout if possible.  I don't get a break from recovery just because it's a holiday. 
Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home cooked meal?
Any kind of dinner on the grounds at church.  Although the fellowship should be the most important part, the food is always great.  With the diversity of a congregation comes a plethora of various dishes.  Now that many congregations are finally trying to get healthy, there are more healthy options to choose from.  Praise the Lord and pass the hummus.
What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?
The Snuggie.  I saw a hound's tooth one I wanted, Roll Tide.  Yeah, I know they look stupid, but they also look WARM.
Christmas shopping? Have you begun? Finished? Will you shop on Black Friday? How do you feel about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day? What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?
Unfortunately, this looks like yet another year where there is no budget for any Christmas shopping.  Maybe next year.
What are you most grateful for that adds beauty to your everyday life?
The art God allows to create every day.  It's still a wonder to me that I should be so blessed. 
Insert your own random thought here.

Today started out like yesterday, only worse.  The good news is that I didn't use food to compensate.  The bad news is that as I sat in my craft room working on a project, I vacillated between crying and wanting to go back to bed and stay there.

It's not just the time change that's eating at me.  Like the question asked above, another year has gone by and I'm not able to be the blessing to others I should be.  Also, I'm in the beginning stages of a new Bible devotional.  Like the last couple of books and devotionals I've studied,  finding issues I need to deal with and answers to some of my problems should have brought me peace, but it hasn't.  I am, however, thankful that God is using these studies to change my thinking and to continue to take more responsibility for my past and present rather than blame others--in other words, putting the anger and tears in the right place.

JackVegas Wal-Mart

I'm very grateful for yarn therapy.  I picked up a skein for a project today and noticed Wal-Mart has added some new colors and brought back some of my favorite ones.  A therapist is expensive; yarn is cheap.

I took my roommate to a doctor's appointment.  Along with the out-of-date Sports Illustrated  magazines on the huge coffee table were multiple copies of Diabetes magazines.  I tend to avoid this stuff like the plague, but I picked it up and read it.  Now I know I was right to avoid it.  Instead of being an encouraging guide to conquer the disease, it glorified it.  Just look at the cover:  "Diabetes saved my life"?  Do what?  No, Diabetes endangers your life.  Look, if you have Diabetes, please don't be offended.  But, part of my health journey is to get as far away from this ailment as possible.  It (and cigarettes) took my dad's life.  Now it is starting to run rampant among members of my family who are making it an acceptable part of life--holding it up like a rite's passage of blackness or something.  If trying to get healthy makes me look "too white," then so be it.  Nobody cares what color you are when you're in a casket before your time.  So I will be thankful that this is not a part of my life.  Hopefully, I can keep it that way.

Making a couple of pit stops on the way home allowed me to take pictures of more of God's beautiful landscape paintings:

At the Mapco in front of the J'ville Wal-Mart

At the Dollar General in Weaver.  Caught this one just in time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 04

Today was one of those crappy days I wish I could undo by going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head.  I chose food over God to deal with my bad feelings.  I had a very hard time finding anything to be thankful for.  Then, along comes my buddy, Caleb. 

Caleb is my roommate's 14 year old great grandson.  He has the same kind of ridiculous sense of humor I do.  He was working on his homework when the comedy banter started.  A Facebook post from his mom:
Studying history at Mudder's:
Caleb-Amerigo Vespucci
Shannon-The guy America's named after. He's Italian. Didn't he event spaghetti?
Caleb-No, the meatballs.
Shannon-Wasn't he a soprano? He was on the Sopranos. ...
Me-Okay, NEXT.
And on it went for more than an hour...and it just got worse.  We laughed until we cried.  I laughed until I snorted.   God mercifully used this kid to wipe my bad day away.  Thank God for his mercy.

I'm also thankful that we've got some help in the Community band.  Several players from Weaver high school are helping us with our Christmas concert on JackVegas' city square next week.  A new guy also joined us in the percussion section.  He assumed the Alpha Male role since he must have thought I was one of the children (?!), but I hope he comes back anyway.  I need all the help I can get.  Despite popular belief, I can't play all the parts alone.

Thank you, Lord, for turning my mourning into drumming tonight.

Monday, November 24, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 03


I am thankful for the love of Auntie's babies.  My Madison ("Honey Boo-Boo") invited me to Thanksgiving lunch at Jacksonville Christian Academy today.  It was great to see her and we had a great time. 

After I left the school, I went for a leisurely stroll on the Jacksonville end of the Ladiga Trail.  No hurrying or walking for time, just meandering and taking pictures.  I am thankful for the beautiful day God gave today.

At the train depot.  Yes, I went to the potty and signed the guest book.

I need to look at these on the yucky winter days.