Sunday, March 29, 2015

Matted and Framed: 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, March 29, 2015

Outside my window …  A chilly morning turned into a really nice day. 

I am thinking...   about my next birthday in a couple of months.

I am thankful... For a beautiful day.    

In the kitchen...  Leftovers.
From the Workshop...

Finished up this watercolor of tulips this week.  I haven't listed it for sale yet.  The painting turned out really well, but not the presentation.  I think that's a big part of the problem of lack of sales.  I can only do so much with my inexpensive cheap digital camera (though I am thankful to at least have that).  Also, to mat and frame my art properly is more expensive but looks so much more professional.  Changes that sell are going to have to be made.  I'm just not sure how yet.

I am reading...  I'm nearly finished with Dream Thieves.  Not sure what I'm going to read next.  I may pick up the books I was reading before.
I am looking forward to...  Finishing up my miles for the month so I can get some rest.

I am learning
…  patience.  And, no, I don't like it.

Around the house...  Nothing this week but the normal.
A favorite quote for today... 

"That was during my academic career...them two semesters." - Greg Burgess

"The closer you get to seeing your dream realized, and the closer you get to seeing the Word of God fulfilled in your life, the greater potential for pain and change." - Rick Renner

One of my favorite things...  bicycling; and I'm ready to get back to it.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Tuesday is the Community Band's Winter/Spring concert (finally!).  Other than that, everything else is pretty ordinary.
A peek into my day...  Leah M. and I took a different route on the Ladiga Trail today.  We started at Germania Springs Park and walked two miles to the turtle pond and back. 

And now for something totally different...  

From Twitter:  @DrScienceCat tweeted:  "RIP, boiled water You will be mist."

From Facebook:  Minion Fans shared:

From Facebook:  D.Milner shared:


Friday, March 27, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Break"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.

Whether it's breaking in a horse or breaking in a pair of shoes, the word break brings to mind images of conformity.  I'm going to ride you hard until you break down and conform to what I want. 
I think life does that to us all to some extent, but it seems to happen constantly to a chosen few.  What is it about a person that sends signals that they need to be broken?  How broken does one have to be?
It seems a shame that a woman my age still struggles with identity--still struggles with so many things trying to break me down to an impossible mold and standard.  I don't think that when the Bible says in Psalm 51 that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit that this kind of broken is what He meant.
I've heard people refer to breaking as "putting someone in his place."  I've been through that enough.  God should determine my "place," not other's whims and ego trips.  I've been broken down and broken down and ground to nothing.  I don't need any more breaking, thank you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jelly Belly: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

This coming weekend is Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. Do you celebrate Easter in your home? What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child?
I don't have any "at home" Easter traditions as of yet.  When I have my own home in which I can celebrate any way I wish, I will.  However, I do celebrate Easter and Who Easter is about by attending and participating in the worship service.  The only Easter tradition I know of from my childhood is dressing up.  We didn't go to church, but we dressed up for the day.
Me and my Dad:  Easter '78 or '79

George Weinberg is quoted as saying, 'Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.' Agree or disagree? Share your own thoughts on the word hope.
Proverbs 13:12 says "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."  I think that one abandons hope when he feels that hope has abandoned him.  I struggle with this constantly.  Every day I want to give up hope.  Every day I want to quit.  Every day I have to find a reason not to give in to the despair of deferred hope.
Weigh in with a yay or nay on the traditional Easter candies. A solid milk chocolate bunny? Cadbury Creme Eggs? Peeps? Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs? Jellybeans? Coconut Cream Eggs? Of the candies listed, which one would you most like to find in your Easter basket?
Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs definitely.  The rest I don't care for.  Peeps taste like sugar coated newspaper.  Cadbury Crème Eggs make my teeth hurt just looking at them.  Never had the coconut cream eggs and jellybeans aren't my favorite.  I think I had some kind of childhood sadness associated with chocolate bunnies.  When I see one, I literally have to fight crying.  The thought of eating one makes me sick to my stomach with dread and sadness.  I have no idea what that's about and I'm not sure I want to know.
No sweetie, I'm going to leave you alone.

When did you last feel 'like a kid in a candy store'?
Sadly, it's been a while.  Been a long while.  Too long.
What's something you know you do differently than most people? Does that bother you? Does it bother other people?
I do most everything differently from others.  I've spent a lot of my life adapting so that I can do what everyone else can do, just in a different way.  I don't do everything "correctly," but if I get the same results, what difference does it make?
Palm Springs CA, Palm Beach FL, or the PALMetto State...of the three mentioned, which sunny spot would you most like to visit right now? Which have you visited at one time or another?
Not visited any of these places.  Would like to be in Palm Springs, California right now.  Quite frankly, I'd like to be anywhere in the pretty parts of California right now.
If you could change the length of a day would you lengthen it or shorten it? Tell us why.
I wouldn't necessarily lengthen the hours in day, but I would like to lengthen the daylight hours.  Let's have 16 hours of daylight for activity and 8 hours of darkness in which to sleep.  This would be most beneficial in the winter months.  More sunshine, less depression, more productivity.  Hard to be productive and chipper when it gets dark at 4:30 p.m.
Insert your own random thought here.
I think we're finally going to have our band concert.  It's scheduled for March 31st.  I hope weather holds and we get this done.  I'm ready for a break.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Winter Jam: 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, March 22, 2015

Preamble:  I've been participating in the Simple Woman's Daybook since my 40th birthday.  In fact, it was my first blog entry in what is now The Iron Diva.  I enjoy going over my week and sharing tidbits that don't really fit into a post of their own.  Mrs. Peggy has made some changes to the Daybook format, but none of them really fit.  They are more suited to moms, which are the majority of the community (so it's not a complaint).  So, if she doesn't mind, I'm going to make changes of my own, hopefully without compromising Mrs. Peggy's format.  One change I'm going to make is combine "I am thinking," "I am wondering," and "I am pondering".  To me, they are the same thing and finding separate answers is often difficult.  I'm combining "I am going" with "A few plans for the rest of the week" and "I am hoping" with "I am looking forward to" for the same reason.  I'm also going to change "I am creating" to "From the Workshop."  Auntie's Workshop is the creative center that I normally share from, so that just made more sense.  Plus, I want to be able to show things in progress or new techniques I'm trying.

Also in the mix will be a new category called "And now for something totally different."  This is where I can put other things that don't fit into the other prompts, such as Titters from the Twitter, Auntie's Rants, or just weird or fun stuff I want to share.  Hope you enjoy.

Outside my window …  A dreary, rainy, bone-achy day.

I am thinking...   About going to the doctor.  I talked a few weeks ago about pain in my left wrist making it very difficult to play or stitch.  Well, the wrist part has gotten much better, but the thumb hasn't.  My playing wasn't to my liking today and the pain was excruciating.  My next appointment is in August, but I don't know if I can wait that long.  

I am thankful... For a pretty good week.    

In the kitchen...  Nothing new.  Still working on clean, less boring meals.
From the Workshop...   I'm in the process of creating another quilt-ghan...

This is a screen cap from one of Eleanor Burns' online quilt block parties from last year.  This was so adorable that I decided to see if I could make a crochet version of it.  Because it won't be an exact copy of the placement and pattern, I can't simply trace this on graph paper.  I'm going to have to build it as I go, then write it out later.  I've got several flower patterns I want to add to the project.  I've also got a butterfly, bee, and bird pattern I think I want to applique to it also.

This is what I have so far.  It may not look like much, but I have got a good start on building the fence.  I'm hoping to finish the whole project by the next senior citizen's dance on April 10th.

I've also got a couple of paintings and other projects started.  I'll show them to you next time.

I am reading...  I'm more than halfway through The Dream Thieves by Rick Renner.  I think switching to that book was a good choice.  This book has been a great help to me already and I'm not even done with it yet.
I am looking forward to...  Ending March with a bang!

I am learning
… I do much better if I write things down.  I'm not even talking about remember things (though writing does help with that).  I talking about getting things accomplished.  Not necessarily a "to-do" list, but a "get started" list.  I feel like I have some sort of purpose that way, even if the list is very simple and/or incomplete.

Around the house...  I'm not even going to say it.  It's raining, so maybe this week...  
A favorite quote for today... 

"To let go of your dream and to let the fire in your heart go out would be the greatest tragedy you could ever experience.  It is the equivalent of letting go of your uniqueness, your specialness, your individuality, your calling, and your gifting." - Rick Renner, Dream Thieves, pp. 1-2

One of my favorite things...  Bartlett Pear trees in the spring.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Band practice Tuesday; our spring concert is rescheduled for the 31st of March.  I'm ready to get this done.

A peek into my day...  I was invited by my friend Brenda to attend the Winter Jam concert with her family Saturday night in Birmingham, AL.  Oh, my gracious!  This concert was off the chain.  I'd only heard of one of the artists featured (and didn't really listen to their music) so, these bands and singers were all new.  I was blown away by not only the content of the music, but the production quality.  This was no cheesy, flannel graph, hokey, let's make Jesus as boring as possible concert.  I mean, just look at this:

Everybody get out your cell phones.

Lighting and video.



This is Skillet's drummer on a hydraulic lift that also spun around. 
Holy cow!  I'd get dizzy trying to play on that thing.
Although each act varied in style, the central message was the same:  Jesus loves us, made us unique, and longs for us to be all that He made us to be, instead of a carbon copy of someone else.  A hard message, but one I needed.  Awesome night!

And now for something totally different...  

From Facebook:  D. Raulerson posted:  "Just got 30 minutes of cardio trying to pick up an ice cube off the breakroom floor."

From Twitter:
Greg Burgess:  "I like cream corn."
Me:  "...and I cannot lie."

From Twitter:  @JeffBryanDavis tweeted: "It gives me great pride and joy to announce that I, Jeff B. Davis, at 12:20am, just discovered a forgotten box of Thin Mints in my freezer."

From Facebook:  D. Dunn shared:

From Facebook:  R. Tompkins shared:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Green Around the Gills: 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 song, book, or movie title containing the word green?

Early Morning Blues and Greens by the Monkees
Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, "Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect." Would you agree? Are you a believer in luck?
No, I am not a believer in luck.  That would mean that everyone doesn't have a chance at success or happiness.  Believing in luck gives one the excuse to be lazy and not even try.
Spring water, Hot Springs, handspring, spring fling, spring break, spring fever, offspring...which 'spring' word best applies to something in your day, week, or life right now?
I'm not sure.  We've had fabulous spring weather the past few days, and I've tried get out in it as often as I can.  I'm really enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells from being out on the Ladiga Trail.  We're supposed to get a couple of days of rain, then right back to sunny skies, so I'll relish every outside moment I can get.
What's something you do to make yourself look or feel more confident?
I feel more confident when I can infuse humor into a situation.  For example, I go through spells every once in a while where my musicianship is "off" to the point where I want to quit playing and go in a corner and cuss.  If I can bring in humor and laugh it off and get others to do the same, I feel more confident that the storm will pass and I'll be able to play with some semblance of  precision again.
It's National Celery Month...are you a fan? If so, what's a snack or dish you enjoy that calls for celery?
The only time I care about celery is when I see my mom chop it up to make cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I've never been a big fan of celery, but I do need to try to eat more of it.
What's one thing you wish you'd learned sooner?
How much time have you got?  I definitely wish I'd learned money management sooner.  The Dave Ramsey Show started in 1992; two years AFTER I started doing my own stupid stuff with money and creating my own big pile of financial doo-doo.
Would you like to own a second home? If so where would you want that home to be?
I would like to own a first home.  Owning my own house is one of my ultimate dreams.  I've fantasized about it.  I've blogged about it.  I've even got a board on Pinterest with some of the things I want in my dream house.  The task of getting there seems daunting, but hopefully it will happen someday.
Insert your own random thought here.
I really need to get back to pampering myself like I used to.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quitting My Bracket: 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, March 15, 2015

Outside my window … After days of nothing but cloudy, rainy skies, sunshine pours through the windows.

I am thinking... about what a friend asked me recently.  She simply asked me, "What's your plan?"  I had no answer for her.  All I could tell her was what I wasn't going to do, but had no idea what I was going to do.  Yeah, I know that's not a plan, but what can I do?  I can't plan for other people's reactions and moods.  I can't plan for sick days, depression, and bad weather.  I've got to figure out something.

I am thankful... For sunshine.

In the kitchen...  Heck if I know. I need some kind of emergency contingency plan for when I have a bad day.
I am creating...

African Starling:  5x7 Watercolor on paper.
This was a door prize for this month's senior dance.

I am going...  hmmm...I'll get back to you on that one.
I am wondering... If I should just quit.  I dropped my posting to MyFitnessPal already. Seems counterproductive to depress oneself by continuing to record all my hard work yet showing no results.  I quit trying to post my food and calories.   It had me so obsessed with getting the numbers right that I always ate way too much or way too little. 

This week was one of the worst weeks I've had so far this year.  With the dreary weather came a spilling over of depression that I just couldn't handle anymore.  All I did was sleep, eat, and try to workout or get some work done in between.

I feel so stuck.  I've got so many problems I need to work on that I can't keep up with it all.  My finances and health and all that go with them are in a wreck, but working on one seems to damage the other.

I keep exploring my personal issues, but still can't get to the root of why I keep choosing death over life, despair over hope, self-loathing over self care. 

I'm tired of my mantra being "maybe next year."  Pretty soon I'm going to run out of next years.

I'm not sure about quitting entirely.  I just want to quit what isn't working.  I'm just not sure what is working.  I'd think I'd rather die trying instead of quitting.  I don't know.
I am reading... Since this week was so horrible, I decided to temporarily drop the books I was reading (or not reading) and pick up something else.  I'm reading Dream Thieves by Rick Renner.
I am hoping... that I have a better week.

I am looking forward to... Being able to fit a standard sized towel all the way around me.

I am learning
…  There is strength in numbers, even if that number is one.

Around the house...  I think I can officially put some spring in the corners now.  I know, I keep saying I'm going to, but when the mood hits it's cold or raining.  The only day this week rain is predicted is Wednesday.  So, there's my shot.
I am pondering...  What my life would have been like had I not had access to the internet and social media.  Scary thought.

A favorite quote for today... 

"I'm a Christian too, but man, I've got a couple of flaws.  I try to go with all the commandments, but on a good day I'm 7 out of 10...on a GOOD day" - Steve Harvey

"I can't keep up with all these little nit-pick things that offend people. I ain't got time for it.  If [you're] that offended, stay home." - Greg Burgess

"It's always 'Can I stay out till 12 o'clock?'  I say no 'cause ain't nothin' open after 12 o'clock except the ER and legs, and you ain't going to be signing up for either one of them." - Todd Chrisley

One of my favorite things... Watercolor paints.  My favorite brands are Grumbacher and Van Gogh.  If the tubes don't get too much air, they last a long time.  I still have most of the paint I bought when I started sixteen years ago. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Running errands, band practice, workouts, and I've been invited by some friends to go to Winter Jam Saturday.  I haven't been to a real concert in more than 20 years.  I'm excited and honored to have been invited.

A peek into my day...  The beautiful sunshine drew me out to the Ladiga Trail for a walk. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Plan"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.

I'm so sick of making plans.  I've grown weary of lost causes.  Why plan if it's all going to crumble around me?  Why plan for success if I'm going to be surrounded by saboteurs?
God's plans are what's best for me, but I'm having a very hard time knowing what they are.  I think I know, then I screw them up.  Then, it's back to the drawing board for me.
I wished I'd been like my classmates who know from day one what they wanted to do and be when they grew up.  I thought I knew.  I even got a degree in it, but here I sit with no chance of going into that field the conventional way.  I'm sure it's because I didn't let God pick and plan my major.  Same with graduate school.  I knew what I had planned to do, but lies from my advisors curtailed those plans and dreams.  By the time I found out the truth, it was too late.  I was already in student loan debt and at the end of my studies.  I couldn't borrow more money to do what I really wanted.  Besides, it may have not come out right either.
I'm near the end--the end of all that I own, the end of all my dreams, the end of all of my patience and sanity.  I have gotten nowhere and see no way out.  Everything I care about will now fit in my Honda Accord.  I have nothing significant to show for my life but nearly 43 years of failed plans.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's Like a Whole Other Country: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

What's the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word 'spring'? Which phrase best describes the season of spring where you live right now (today)-sprung! almost there, or still waiting?
Butterflies are the first thing that come to my mind.  We are almost there.  The temperatures are perfect, but it's so cloudy and rainy.  We had some sun today, but I ended up sleeping through it.
Bed, couch, stapler, garage door, computer mouse, recliner, flashlight, door knob...which household item containing springs most needs replacing in your home? Speaking of springs...did you ever own a Slinky?
None of those really; I'm good.  I did own a Slinky as a kid.  I got bored with it thought because we didn't have any stairs to walk it down like the commercial.  When I taught preschool, we had a ball walking plastic Slinkys down the school steps.  That's the fun of a Slinky--stairs.
March is Women's History Month. Share a favorite quote by a woman.
"Once a man shows you who he is, don't make him have to show you again." - Maya Angelou
What's a question that looms large in your mind right now?
How?  I've got so many things going on, some many things I feel like I should be doing, but have no idea how to go about it.
Are you a sugar freak? By that I mean how much do you love sugar? With all the bad press sugar gets these days, have you made any efforts to reduce the amount of sugar you consume?
Yes, sugar is one of my drugs of choice.  Bad press or not, my father was diabetic and I'm not interested in following in his footsteps.  The hard part is getting away from the hidden sugar in food.  The obvious sugar is the least of my worries.
Would you rather have less work to do or more work you enjoy doing?
I'd rather get paid better for doing the work I'm already doing that I love.  I'd rather people quit asking me to do work I love, then not paying me for it.  That happened a lot last year.  Could have paid off a debt with the money I lost.
Ever been to Texas? Of the top ten Texas tourist attractions which would you most like to see-The Alamo, The San Antonio River Walk, The State Capital, Dallas World Aquarium, Padre Island National Seashore, Houston Space Center, Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Six Flags Fiesta Texas,  Moody Gardens, or Galveston Island?
No, I've not been to Texas, but I really like to go.  I once ordered the free Texas tourism guide with hopes I would get to visit the state, but never had the opportunity to go.  I want to see the Alamo and the San Antonio River Walk.  The Houston Space Center sounds like a fun trip also.
Insert your own random thought here.
This has been a rough week so far.  At least I got a painting finished.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Old People Problems: 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, March 8, 2015

Outside my window … It finally looks and feels like SPRING!

I am thinking... OK, we've now moved the clock up for daylight savings time.  Now, can we LEAVE IT ALONE? 

I am thankful... For a good finish in the Parker Pancake 5k yesterday.  I wrote about it here.  I'm also thankful for a good worship service this morning despite the stolid congregation.

In the kitchen...  I made chicken salad yesterday.  I haven't made it in a while, but it turned our OK.  I think next time, I need to add more ingredients to it.  I just made the basic recipe.
I am creating... Still working in the Workshop.  I've got a couple of projects to finish this week.  I'll have pictures for you next Daybook.

I am going...  to finally add weights and other things to my workout.  I have no idea what I did to my left wrist, but it's been bothering me for more than a month.  I've been afraid to do too much lifting with it since bass playing was agonizing.  It's well enough now so that I can get on with lifting.  I'll start with my lighter weights until I see how it's going to hold up.  I'll most likely have to wrap it so the pressure and vibration from riding my bike doesn't hurt.  We'll see how it goes.
I am wondering... If I will ever get this knot out of my back?  It's been there for a while.  It was very painful at first; now it's more annoying than painful.  Good grief, I sound like I'm 90!
I am reading... Still working through The Interceding Christian by Kenneth E. Hagin  and  The Blessing of the Lord by Kenneth Copeland.  It was a slow reading week.
I am hoping... that our leaders hurry up and pick a new day for the Community Band's spring concert.  Yes, they did call it off this week due to weather.

I am looking forward to... My next 5k on April 11th.  This 5k benefits the College of Nursing at Jacksonville State University.  My niece, Crystal, graduated from that department and is an excellent nurse.

I am learning
…  I learned at the Pancake run yesterday that I can comfortably run outside in cooler weather if I need to.  It was 23 degrees when I left the house.  It was just above freezing when the race started (I think).  I wore layers and gloves and I never did get cold. 
Around the house...  Same old, same old.  It's supposed to rain all week, so prettying up the porch and washing the car is out of the question.
I am pondering...  I substituted at the preschool this week.  This was one of the bulletin boards:

This is what I'm pondering.

A favorite quote for today... 

"I love to hear a banjo, which is essentially a guitar strapped across a snare drum." - Rick Burgess

"Sermons shape people, relationships transform people." - Will McGee, College Pastor, FBC Jacksonville.

One of my favorite things... Whose Line is it Anyway?  The show is in it's third incarnation (well, 5th if you count Improvaganza  and The Green Screen Show) and I'm enjoying it.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Looks like the weather's going to keep me from being out much.

A peek into my day...  Enjoyed a walk on the Ladiga Trail this afternoon.  The weather was fabulous.  Now, just a quiet evening.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Will Run for Pancakes [Thursday Thirteen...Sort of]

...Sort of

Today was my first 5k of the season:  The Parker Memorial Pancake Run.  I decided to do this because 1) I'd never done it before and wanted to try something new (b) The missions project the proceeds benefit was a worthy cause and 4) I get a free pancake breakfast afterwards. 

My finishing time was 58:46; a pretty good time to start the season with.  However, for the first time ever, I finished a race dead last.  The time the chick lied on her time card and how they conveniently LOST my time card at the 2013 Gamecock Gallup making me last does NOT count.  I was NOT last; she was. be fair to myself, most races I participate in have a good number of walkers and slower runners I can have friendly competition and banter with.  This race did not.  When the starting horn blew, everyone took off and I was left in the dust.  I gave the guys at the start line the warning that I'd see them in about an hour.

At first, it was a little disheartening to be by myself and so far away from the end of the pack.  I could have been really bummed about it and not done my best, but I didn't spend the winter walking and running all those miles to get to my first race and wimp out like a wuss.  So, I set my pace, cranked up the music, and enjoyed myself.

As the miles went by, I started thinking "hey, there are benefits to being last."  So, in Auntie style, here are my thirteen good reasons for being last in a 5k race.

Yes, I know it's Saturday and it's supposed to be Thursday Thirteen, but the race wasn't until Saturday.  Read them again on Thursday if it bothers you that much.  :)
  1. You get your own police escort through the entire race.
  2. The bottled water they iced down at the beginning of the race will actually be cold by the time you get one.
  3. Finally someone has to wait for YOU.
  4. You literally get to stop traffic.
  5. Gives the race coordinators time to double check the race results for accuracy.
  6. The other runners have time to stretch and catch up with their friends at the finish line.
  7. The bathroom is empty by the time you need it.
  8. You get to hear all the songs on your mp3 player.
  9. You get the see the faces of the crazy people who finish and run the race again backwards.  No, they ain't right and yes, I heckle them.
  10. The people manning the race thank you for doing the race--or are they saying "thank you for finally getting to my station so I can be done"?  Well, either way, I appreciate it.
  11. You don't have to hear people griping about not meeting their PR--which is the sum total of the time for your FIRST mile.
  12. You don't get knocked down by the other runners going through the water station. 
  13. You don't get a medal, but you come away with a fun experience and the joy of finishing ahead of everyone on the couch.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Gather"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.

Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
-Lyrics by Robert Lowry
WARNING:  This may take longer than five minutes...
Lately the Lord has put me in the path of several of my Christian brothers and sisters who have given up gathering in fellowship with family of God.  It wasn't my place to ask why, though a few gave reasons unprompted.  Whether it be from pain or disinterest, knowing they are going it alone hurts me.  I've been praying for reconciliation and healing for them.
Hey, I've been there a couple of times.  I know how easy it is to get hurt and offended.  Church would be perfect if it didn't have people involved.  It would also be very lonely and boring.
I gave up the gathering during my years of undergraduate school.  I could lie and say I was too busy with school to attend, but the truth was that I didn't go because I had my knickers in a knot.  Those were some of the darkest, loneliest, and most painful times of my life.  Those were the times when suicide wasn't a mere passing thought, but a call to action that failed each time.  So I simply took to slowly trying to eat myself to death...
I warned you...
Several years ago, I had to make a very painful Church transition.  It would have been easy to stay home, eat popcorn and watch Whose Line is it Anyway on the 'net, but that wasn't the answer to the pain I was enduring.
Neither I, nor the Bible is saying that one can't go to heaven if he doesn't go to church.  However, it's very hard to enjoy the trip alone. 
So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25, The Message
As I said, I've been there.  People hurt each other, whether intentional or accidental.  However, we who are followers of Christ are a family.  Every family tree has its nuts and squirrels and every sheepfold has to fight off wolves.
OK, enough generalities; let Auntie give you some advice:
  • If you don't gather because of offense or hurt:  First, pray for the offender.  Second, if the hurt is so grievous that you can't yet be in the presence of the offender, gather at an alternate meeting.  Why?  It's much easier to make staying away a habit than regularly attending.  It's easier to keep a fire going than to start a new one from scratch.  Third, seek godly counsel from someone not involved in your hurt. That way, you won't be "gathering to yourself teachers, having itching ears"(II Timothy 4:3).  In other words, don't get advice from someone who's going to simply tell you want you want to hear.  Good counsel can help you sort through whether the hurt was intentional or not.  Praying helps you make godly decisions based on the truth of God's Word, rather than our own pain.
  • If you don't gather because of sin, strife, or corruption in leadership:  First, pray; always pray.  Second, wipe the dust from your feet and move on.  Don't "cast your pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6) and don't "give offerings to the dead" Deuteronomy 26:14.  There are so many more good gathering places than bad ones.
  • If it's simply a matter of personal preference, as in "they ain't runnin' this place to suit me:"  Put on your big boy/big girl panties and suck it up.  I've had this conversation with many people over the years and I've had to have this argument with myself a few times.  My answer is always the same:  First, why are you bringing this to me?  I don't have any pull or say so in anything and I don't really want to hear it.  Second, if you don't have the balls to go to the person you're mad with, reconciliation is not what you want;  division and keeping strife stirred up is all you want.  Therefore, you are the problem.  Proverbs 6:16,19 - "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him...he that soweth discord among brethren."
No, this stuff isn't easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it and churches and Bible studies would be full.  Take it from someone who's been there, it's worth it.  A word of caution:  There's no such thing as the perfect gathering this side of heaven, so please don't hunt for it.  You won't find it.  Auntie's not getting on to you;  I miss you.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
II Corinthians 3:17 (King James Version)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Dusting of Grammar: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

'In like a lion, out like a lamb'...does the first part of this saying describing March weather ring true where you live?

Does that answer your question?

March 4th is National Grammar Day. What common grammatical error bothers you the most? 
Adding apostrophe's where they dont belong grinds my nerve's.  See what I did there?
What bothers me is that people don't care about proper grammar and mechanics anymore.  Errors are going to happen.  Typos are going to happen.  However, to not care enough to correct them is inexcusable.  OK, cue the music.

William Arthur Ward says- 'The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.' Which one are you?
I work hard to be a realist/optimist.  Seeing the positive side is much healthier to the psyche than harping on the worse case scenario.  However, pessimist is my default setting and I'm working to change it.
What's something you need to 'march forth and conquer' this month?
Oh lawd, don't get me started.  I know that my blog is about my struggles in my journey to health, but I fear y'all are getting tired of hearing about struggles.  You're ready to hear about victories.  Quite frankly, so am I.
An ongoing debate around you dust first, then vacuum or vacuum first, then dust? Of the two routine household chores, which do you dislike the least? How's that for wording? 
I vacuum and dust when needed.  I usually need to vacuum more than dust.
According to, the ten most photographed sites in the U.S.A. are- Cinderella's Castle in Orlando, Southernmost House in Key West Florida, The Space Needle in Seattle, The Site of the Boston Massacre in Boston, The Bellagio Lake/fountains in Las Vegas, The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Coit Tower in San Fransisco, The Art Institute of Chicago, Niagara Falls, and snagging the number one spot-The Guggenheim Museum in New York City. How many on this list have you photographed? Which on the list would you most like to visit and photograph?

Out of all those listed, the Lincoln Memorial is the only one I've personally photographed.I took this photograph in 1990 on a band trip to DC.   I would really like to go back and take the DC tour again, plus I'd like to see Niagra Falls.  Other attractions not on the list I'd like to visit and photograph:  the Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Bryan-Denny Stadium...oh wait.
Fifty years ago Monday (March 2, 1965) The Sound of Music premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in NYC. Have you seen the film? Do you own a copy? On a scale of 1-10 how much do you love it (or not)? Ten=best movie ever. If you're a fan, what's your favorite scene or song from the movie? 
I've not viewed the entire movie.  I've tried several times to watch it, but never made it far enough to even know what the movie's plot.  Sorry, but I'm not very fond of musicals.  Quite frankly, I've never made it past "The hills are alive with sound of..."  *click*
Insert your own random thought here.
Yes, this is selfish, but I pray that the weather forecast for tomorrow is wrong.  Our community band is having their winter/spring concert Thursday night.  There is a slight chance of freezing precipitation.  Our part of the country freaks out when freezing-anything is mentioned.  I would like to have large attendance and a successful concert. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Live Long and Prosper: 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, March 1, 2015

Outside my window … The first day of meteorological spring looks dreary and not spring like at all.

I am thinking... about things I can't write about here. 

I am thankful... that the week is over.  It wasn't the best of weeks.  So, let's try this again.

In the kitchen...  I'm at that point again where no matter what I eat, it's wrong.  I don't know what to eat anymore.
I am creating... I'll be heading back to the Workshop this week.  I took the month of February off to rest and regroup.  My business wasn't very successful last year, so I'm hoping this reprieve has stirred up some better ideas.

I am going...  to try harder.
I am wondering... If I should stop doing the Five Minute Friday posts.  I haven't done one for a while because the word prompts seem to bring out more pessimistic depressing writing from me; longing for things I cannot have or remembering things I wish I could forget.  No, I'm not blaming the word choice; I can make it whatever I want.  I'm simply saying that my mind isn't going in the right direction with them.  Yes, it's cathartic for me but may not be adding value to the reader.
I am reading... I finished The Daniel Plan.  See my review here.  This week, I plan to read The Interceding Christian by Kenneth E. Hagin (part of my correspondence course curriculum) and start The Blessing of the Lord by Kenneth Copeland (I may be in this one a while).
I am hoping... to have an awesome week, to have a good fun run at the 5k on Saturday.

I am looking forward to... The community band concert on Thursday.  I'm looking forward to good weather and getting out on the porch. 
I am learning
…  or should I say, attempting to learn, to pity those who overtly oppose my efforts to get well and make something of myself.  It's a shame that people would rather hurt others than do what it takes to help themselves.
Around the house...  a little straightening up and working in the workshop.
I am pondering...  on how to stop being a bully magnet.  Unfortunately, being an adult doesn't make it stop.
A favorite quote for today... 

"My folks came to U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien." - Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

One of my favorite things... Star Trek.  I became a fan of Next Generation in college.  That led to my "discovering" the original series.  I liked Deep Space Nine, but got tired of Chakotay getting naked in Voyager and never watched Enterprise (Scott Bakula?  Really?).

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Other than running a few errands and the 5k Saturday, I don't have anything spectacular planned.

A peek into my day...  It wasn't an "eating stupid for breakfast" day like last Sunday, but it was still a very hard day.  Everything was such a struggle today.  Instead of going walking like I'd planned, I went home and slept.  I've got to do better than this.