Friday, July 31, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Try."

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.


Try harder!

Try, try again.

Give it the old college try.

Do only, there is no try.  (Yoda)

The word try has been given a negative connotation.  If you ask someone if they are coming to an event and they answer "I'll try," you can be assured they're going to be conspicuously absent.  But is there really anything wrong with trying?

Real trying does mean to put in the effort to attempt to accomplish something.  Flippant trying is a mere pipe dream with no action.

I have many things in my life that I'm trying to succeed in.  There are no guarantees, but I will continue to try, and do.

Trying something also means to put it to the test.  As I continue to try, I will put myself to the test.  Hopefully, I'll pass with flying colors.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Just Do It [Thursday Thirteen]

Childhood can be hard on even the strongest of humans.  With dysfunctional families, bullies, or childhood ailments, making it to adulthood can be pretty rough.  Throw in physical education (PE) and even the strongest athlete in the school can be reduced to cowering in a corner in the fetal position in a hot minute.

After seriously working on my health for several years and now working in a fitness facility, I got to thinking about the mentality that makes the best of us cringe at the thought of physical exercise.  So, today's list is thirteen lies I learned in PE.

Before I begin, I must issue a caveat (or two).  This list came from my experiences with PE teachers, coaches, and self-appointed fitness gurus.  I have had some good PE teachers, and one of the best science teachers at my high school was also the girl's softball coach (and a Lionel Richie look alike BTW), so I'm by no means putting everyone in the same box.  But let's be real, PE can be one of the most traumatizing classes a child must endure.  By the way, this is NOT an endorsement for First Lady Obama's "I hate fat kids" campaign.  Her approach only makes a child's hatred of PE WORSE.  Yes, I said it, and I'm not taking it back either.

OK, see if any of this is familiar:
  1. All competition is a matter of life or death.  Look, I'm a sports fan (Roll Tide) and enjoy friendly competition.  However, because many PE teachers are also coaches for school sports, they forget about friendly competition.  The class isn't going for a metal or state championship.  PE is supposed to teach kids the joy of playing various sports, but it wasn't.  This attitude is why I can't shoot a basketball and dribble better with my left hand than my dominant hand.
  2. Colored socks are bad for your skin.  We were told that the dye in colored athletic socks would absorb into our skin and give us gangrene or something.  I was so scared that I didn't buy colored sports socks until THIS year.  (I graduated high school in 1990 if you would like to do the math).  We were also told that our forever white socks HAD to be cotton for the exact same reason.  Just for the record, my white cotton socks are what caused me to have blistered sweaty feet.  Haven't had a blister or sweat sopped socks and shoes since I got rid of them.
  3. The myth of the African foot.  No joke, we were taught in PE that a
    black person's foot was structurally different from a Caucasian.  Supposedly it made blacks better sprinters and whites better distance runners.  By the way, this is still being taught in some circles.  I don't know where they learned this line of bull, but I bought it hook, line, and sinker for years.  It was actually a preacher, not a coach, who pointed out this error.  Reverend Fred Price said, in effect, "If it's true that black people's feet a built better for sprints, why are all the marathons won by some dude from Kenya running the race with no shoes on?"  Think about it.  OK, so I'm black (mostly) and I'm not a good sprinter or distance runner, so...
  4. No pain, no gain, but injuries are sign of weakness.  This was decades before CrossFit.  The two worst injuries I suffered during PE were being hit in the face with a ball and either breaking or dislocating my right index finger.  Both occasions were punctuated by the shrill of a whistle and the teacher yelling at me to suck it up and get on with it (two different teachers at two different times, mind you).  Yes, while blood was pouring from my nose and my finger was swollen to twice it's size, I'm being yelled at for holding up the game.  This is where I learned the lovely art of self doctoring...which is why my index finger is still slightly crooked.
  5. You can either be intelligent or athletic, but not both.  Apparently, in the eyes of some coaches, there is really no such thing as a "student athlete."  You're either a student or an athlete.  I have a vivid memory of one coach who also taught World History (name withheld to protect the guilty--but if you went to my high school, you'll know who I'm talking about) actually sat by and allowed a couple of his players in my class to blatantly cheat on a test.  Hey, if I can see you cheat, anyone can see you cheat.  Yes, he knew.  When we got out tests back, they high fived each other and Coach told them what a good job they'd done. (?!) These guys were very smart and didn't need to cheat, but apparently ball practice was more important than studying.  If I could do band practice until after dark and still get my studying done, why couldn't these clowns be expected to do the same with sports?
  6. Poor man vs. rich man sports.  Kids in my neighborhood were sold the myth that the boys could only play basketball, football, and maybe baseball.  The girls?  Softball, volleyball, or track.  Nope, no tennis, swimming, golf, etc.  Those are for the rich kids on the other side of town.
  7. If you can't play well, don't play at all.  Hard to play well when I don't know what the heck I'm doing.  Teach me; don't yell at me, teach me.  Again, what happened to fun?
  8. Sit-ups will make you skinny.  We all know by now that 1) Crunches work your abs better than sit-ups and 2) Spot reducing does not work.  You lose weight all over and the largest tire deflates last.
  9. She'll play with you; I told her to.  Have any teachers ever paid attention to what really happens when they force kids to play with someone they don't want to play with?  The "undesirable" is hated and bullied even more.  Look, I WAS the kid no one wanted to play with, so I know what I'm talking about.  When I taught, I didn't do that.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't allow the children to be mean to each other, but I didn't pick their playmates.  You know what happened?  The children found common ground and played together, even the supposed least desirable one.
  10. Just do it...because this chart says you can.  If standardized tests are
    an indication of teacher performance, why isn't the physical fitness test an indication of the same?  The standardized tests say "Teachers need to do better" while the physical fitness test says, "You need to do better."  No, I'm not saying that my PE teachers were solely responsible for my poor health.  I'm saying that I wish we'd been taught how to enjoy movement, proper nutrition, and stress management.  Wait, shouldn't you have gotten that in health class?  Yes, but if we did, I don't remember it.  I never passed the physical fitness test.  When I've reached my fitness goal, I plan to get someone to give me the test so I can pass it as an adult.
  11. Barf your way to health.  Way before The Biggest Loser some teachers and coaches had already developed the philosophy that if one wasn't crying, puking, and sweating buckets, he wasn't working hard enough.  Sad, and scary.
  12. Your sister was an athlete, why aren't you?  My sister, Ida, who is
    eight years my senior, played softball at the same  school I later attended.  By the time I entered the halls of Jacksonville High School, those in the athletic department who knew Ida expected me to have the same athletic prowess.  However, they were sorely disappointed...and let me know so.  So, I joined the band and became my own type of athlete.  Get over it.
  13. You can't.  Yes I can.  Maybe not then, but I can now.  Just watch me.

OK, so I've griped, now what am I going to DO about it?  I'm not sure, but I'd like to help both kids and adults enjoy movement.  I've been reading up on the subject.  I'm hoping for opportunities to learn more and implement what I'm learning.  I don't want any child to associate physical activity with torture, nor do I want them to value themselves so little that they do not see the need to care for their health.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Finding the Good in Life: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were- Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life. Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?
Allowing myself to rest and reset is the hardest.  After years of feeling like I had no right rest and relax because I didn't have a "real" job to "make" me tired,  my body doesn't even know how to truly rest.  I've got to figure this out;  I'm done with being tired all the time. 
Finding the good in life is probably the easiest (if by "good" they mean "humorous.")  I can find humor in darn near any situation. 
How would you spend a found $20 bill today?
I'd probably buy new underwear or go to the thrift store and look for clothes.
Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet...which 'trip' have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.
I've dealt with another person's attempted guilt trips.  I'm beginning to turn a deaf ear to it.  As stated before, if your goal in life is to guilt me into eating food that will kill me so that you can feel better about yourself, you have a sad life indeed and you do not care about me; you hate me and want me dead.  And, yes, I've said this to the person's face and it's like water off a duck's back.  Pitiful.
If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?
If I had better hand-eye coordination and better balance, there's nothing I wouldn't be able to do.
As July draws to a close, let's take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you...been swimming? enjoyed an ice cream cone? seen a summer blockbuster? camped? eaten corn on the cob? gardened? deliberately unplugged? watched a ballgame? picked fruit off the vine? taken a road trip? read a book?  Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list?
I would love to do all of those things, but reading is the only activity on the list I've done.  I probably shouldn't have an ice cream cone, but I would like one.
The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What's your question?
"What makes you any different from all the other slimy politicians I'm sick of hearing lie to me?"  By the way, I would ask the Democratic and Independent candidates the same thing.  I hate politics and no matter what party is in charge, I never have a voice and I hardly ever get what I vote for.  I wish the politicians would go home, get real jobs, and let some real statesmen who actually care about the state of this country and who know how life really works take over.
What's your most listened to song so far this summer?
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm getting ready for the annual Woodstock 5k in Anniston.  This will be my first experience as a sweeper for a race.  I'm working on my outfit now.  Hopefully, I'll have pictures to share next time.  Speaking of next time, according to Mrs. Joyce, she will be out of pocket next week, so there won't be another hodgepodge for until August 12th. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Ten"

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.


Dear Dad,

Thank you so much for taking time out of your overly busy schedule to come to your kid's game today.  Although I must ask; why did you come?  The kids hadn't played five minutes before you were out of the gym and on your cell phone in the hall, or worse yet, outside on a nearly 100 degree day.  So, you'd rather stand in the blazing hot sun talking about business that could wait rather than see your kid play which couldn't?  I'm sure it's not big deal to you to miss this moment with your child, after all, business before pleasure right?  No need to see the hook shot the kid's been working on at basketball camp all week.  No need to make your kid feel loved and wanted as long as you can afford his camp fees and his expensive athletic shoes, right?  I'm sure the anger he may feel at your missing nearly all of his game is just a phase he'll grow out of.  Don't fret yourself over it.

Quite honestly, it would have been better for you not to  have shown up at all.  To act like you care, but spend the actual time on what you really care about is much more damaging. 

Hey dad, just a little advice; the business will be there:  your kid is only 10 once.

Love, A Concerned Observer of Idiot Behavior

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nothing But Hot Air: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.
Praise the Lord, yes!  Living where I do without air conditioning could prove deadly.  I did grow up without air conditioning, but we spent a lot of time playing with the water hose, swimming at the river or city pool and drinking A LOT of ice cold Kool-Aid.  The most recent episode of dealing with extreme heat was a post from two years ago:
I mentioned on my Facebook page that I nearly spontaneously combusted in the gym this past weekend.  I got so hot that I had to stop, sit down, and cool off to keep from hurling (literally!!).  At first, I thought it was so warm in the room because the "seasoned saints" had asked the air to be turned down (they always say they're cold).  Then, I thought it was just me because I was wearing a t-shirt instead of something sleeveless.   I went back Monday (in a tank top); more of the same, but I did finish.  Yesterday (in a tank top), I got through 2 minutes of my usual 30 minute run and started feeling pukey and had to stop. I still thought it was me.  Turns out from what the other patrons are saying, it isn’t just me.  If they can’t (or won’t) fix it, may I suggest closing the blinds to the big windows during the day to keep the room cooler or SOMETING?  Look, I love The Biggest Loser as much as the next person, but I’m not interested in joining the upchuck-your-way-to-fitness crowd.  Sheesh! 
OK, I know this is not what she was talking about, but this came to mind when I read the question.

What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?
  • My recovery.
  • Getting closure on a piece of my past that won't go away.
  • My finances, but since I've started work, I'm on my way to being able to work on that.
Your favorite light and airy dessert?
Whatever fruit is in season. 
When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?
Probably when I had to take a steroid shot a few months ago for a sinus infection.  Had some great sleep, plus I felt like I could bench press a Buick. 
Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.
Airhead, and I shan't elaborate.  I'm being nice.
Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?
I've not been there and I'm not sure if it's on my must-see list.  Though, a bike ride there sounds fabulous.
What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?
Well, since I wasn't cool, nothing I said would be considered such.  However, my friends and I who were fans of Perfect Strangers would say, "And now we are so happy, we do that dance of joy!" whenever something good happened (or just to be dorks when nothing of particular interest happened).  Runner up is the phrase "Don't do that." from The Monkees.  (Remember, they had a resurgence in the 80's),

Insert your own random thought here.
Not sure what to write today, so I'll share a quote from what is currently off the shelf: Beth Moore's book Get Out of That Pit.  "Listen carefully:  If you belong to Christ, satan cannot destroy you.  The best he can do is to convince you that you're destroyed.  No, beloved, you're not." - p. 62

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Baby Pictures: 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, July 19, 2015

Outside my window …  Hell hath no fury like Southern summers.  Whew, doggie!

I am thinking...   of having an Auntie's Day Out with my grandnieces again.  My "Mini Me" asks me about it every time I see her.

I am thankful...  that this horrible weekend is over.  Other than going to church and worship team practice, I spent most the weekend in bed.  I was nauseated and as weak as lukewarm dishwater. 

In the kitchen... nothing.  I've got to get to the store for some tasty healthy food.  I'm craving honeydew and cantaloupe.
From the Workshop...  I've got several service projects going involving giving to our military.  I should have some photos to post next time.

By the way, if you're interested, the Flip Flop Coasters I posted last week are for sale.  Message me for details at
I am reading...  Finished The Grizzard Sampler by Lewis Grizzard.  The Review is here.   The other books are still in progress.  I'm adjusting to my new schedule better now, so I should have more time to read.
I am looking forward to...  Work.  I'm also looking forward to finding some real in-your-face relationships.  Virtual friends are proving to be very capricious.  It's very easy for one to say he cares over social media and flee for the hills when reality hits, but I don't want to be like that.  I'm certainly tired of drawing that kind of friend.

Getting consistent sleep is on my list of things to look forward to. I'll have one good night followed by several fitful nights.  I don't think it's my early work hours; it may be the heat.  The temperatures around here have been in the 90's with 100+ degree heat indexes and nights are simply the leavings of the hot day.  Yes, I've got air conditioning and fans running, but I'm one of those weird people who can't sleep without covers.  I know, but I've never been able to break that habit.
I am learning… As stated above, I learned that social media friends are too fickle to be trusted very far unless it's someone I also know face to face. 
Around the house... I've been working on getting my bedroom to stop looking like an okra patch.  It's actually not that bad, but being too tired to straighten it up makes it worse.

A favorite quote for today... 

"I don't like pampered children, and I don't like papered dogs. I want a dog with character and personality; one who had to turn over a trash can once in a while just to keep food in his stomach.  And I like a dog who knows enough about where puppies come from that he can choose his own mate and take care of business without waiting for some high-hatted human to 'arrange' a canine tete-a-tete for him." - Lewis Grizzard

"Giving Northerners unbuttered instant grits is an old remedy for getting rid of tourists." - Lewis Grizzard

One of my favorite things...  Favorite color:  Red

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Work, rest, catching up on reading and craft projects.
And now for something totally different...

Anyone ever used the photo kiosk at the local Wal-Mart?  I did.  It was only the second time I've used it, but this is the first time my photos had to be "inspected" before I could pay for them. 

Salesperson:  "That looks like a professional photo."

Me: "Excuse me?"

Salesperson:  "That looks like a professional photo.  Do you have a copyright notice for this picture?"

Me: "Sir, that is my baby picture.  It's more that 40 years old."

Salesperson: "Do you know who took the picture?"

Me: "I have no idea.  I was six months old."

Salesperson:  "I'm sorry, but I can't sell that photo."

Me:  "Do what?"

Salesperson:  "I'm sorry, ma'am, but I can't sell that photo."

Me:  "You mean to tell me that I can't pay for my own picture that has already printed?"

Salesperson:  "Ma'am, our policy keeps us from risking a copyright lawsuit from the photographer."

Me:  "The people who took that photo are DEAD!"

Salesperson:  "I'm sorry ma'am, I would sell it to you, but they have cameras on me and I don't want to lose my job."

Me:  "I don't want you to lose your job either, but this is ridiculous!"

**Hands salesperson 35 cents for the one photo I could print and left before I said the cuss words that were going through my head.

Another thing that ticks me off about this exchange is being told that I could just print the picture at home myself.  OK, my choices are spend 35 cents (that I did have) to print the picture with Wal-Mart or spend more than $20 (that I did not have) for a printer cartridge plus however much the photo paper will cost.  Am I missing something here?  Dave Ramsey would be pimp slapping people right now.

Look, I know places have to be careful for copyright infringement (or do they?), but can people not have the right to exercise some common sense?  A lady in line said to me that they wouldn't let her buy a picture she had taken with her own camera because it looked "too professional."  I guess when I upgrade my digital camera, I might as well stock up on cartridges and photo paper. 

By the way, I wonder what they did with my baby picture?

From YouTube:  Southern Women Channel posted:

From Twitter:  @JeffBryanDavis tweeted:  "The only time I ever regret being single and living alone is when it’s time to rotate the mattress."

From Facebook:  R. Torres shared:

From Facebook:  T.Walker shared:  (Pardon the language but most of us have thought the exact same thing)

From Facebook:  Nerdgasm shared:


Friday, July 17, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Free" [Extended Mix]

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.


That song was the first thing that came to mind when I read what the prompt was.  Kind of sums up my mood.  Now comes the "extended mix" part.
Tonight I received my seven year chip from Celebrate Recovery (CR).  Sigh.  Seven years of recovery and I'm still fat, addicted to food, and angry.  Seven years and I am still the worst example the program has ever seen.
What went wrong?
At first, CR was everything I needed.  Working through my past issues was necessary to my growth.  The freedom I experienced translated into a slimmer waistline...for a while.  Whenever I felt myself slipping back into old habits, I would seek counsel.  The answer was the same every time, "It works if you work it.  You just need to go back and work through the 12 steps again."  So, if there was one available, I'd sign up for a 12 step study, if not, I would ponder and answer the questions on my own.  I completed all four participant's guides at least six times...or was it seven.  I searched and dug and prayed and cried trying to get to the center of the maze of self-destructive behavior; each time thinking I'd found it.  I hadn't.
Earlier this year, I embarked yet another journey through the 12 steps.  I started on the first book.  The more questions I answered, the sicker I felt.  Oh God, not again.  The thought of digging up more dirt on myself and others made me feel like hurling.  I've already been back there more times that I can count.  I've rehashed every bad life experience that I could possibly think of.  I've opened up all the old wounds, felt the pain and depression again and again, forgiven and tried to put all that behind me, only to be told I need to uproot all that crap again in the name of "recovery."  Somebody tell me how this is helping again?  I shut off my word processing program.  That's it, I refuse to do this again.  All this is doing is forcing me to continue to live in a broken past that Jesus died to deliver me from.  All this is doing is triggering me to binge to punish myself for the bad things I did or for the bad things I allowed others to do to me. 
After seven years of this, none of my meals are based on present hunger, but on past pain.  Every bite is punishment or a pacifier.  Each laced with the phrase, "How dare you."  I don't know how to eat in the present.  I eat out of the mentality of a terrified nine year old, an angry teen, or a rejected adult. With each day, the pain grows deeper. The life that God designed for me--the life I see in my mind's eye--is still way out there somewhere out of my grasp.  I get to gaze upon what freedom looks like, but I do not get to experience it myself.  I'm still fighting, still working out, but it's only a matter of time.  I feel like a terminally ill patient who doesn't have to good sense to go on and die.
So, am I knocking the program?  How can I, when there are so many other people who have been set free.  After seven years of recovery, six (or seven) 12 step studies, 4 failed sponsors, 2 Summits, several one-day trainings, and countless hours of meetings, you would think that I would get it.  I haven't.  The program has not failed me, I have failed it. 
My time at the Journey training gave me a ray of hope.  As the miles between Tulsa and Weaver grew, the hope went with it.  I went back changed to a life that I cannot change alone.  But alone is what I am.  I have failed that program too.  How do I measure that failure?  I suppose when I'm told that I have a support system and when I share my heart, part of that support system tells me "So what?" then I have seriously failed.  My life is marked by "so what"-- you do not matter; you're feelings do not matter;  you are just not doing something enough.  Kind of like, "Get yourself together because we don't care."
I said I was done with this kind of life.  Apparently not. 
Freedom isn't free, but I've got to get some. 
All I can do is tell all the people at CR and Journey that I'm sorry.  I'm sorry for wasting your time and resources.  I'm sorry for being such a horrible example of you and to you.  I'm sorry for impinging on you lives and adding no value.  I'm sorry for failing you.  Until I can be a better representation I will keep silent and stay away.  Again, I'm sorry.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 10

BookThe Grizzard Sampler.

Author: Lewis Grizzard

Info: Copyright 1994: Atlanta GA:  Peachtree Publishers

Where acquired: Checked out of public library.

Why:  I'm a fan of Grizzard's writings and this happens to be the only one of his books at Jacksonville Public Library.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

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

What it's about:  After Grizzard's death in 1994, Peachtree Publishers put together a compilation of entries from the series of books published under their name.  These entries take on subjects all over the road.  From politics to blue jeans, dogs to beer joins, Grizzard covers it all.

Favorite Quotes

On T-ball:  "A grown man who would argue with an umpire at a baseball game involving toddlers is a sick man." - p. 16

On church fans:  "But there were other uses for church fans besides fanning away the Devil and the dog-day heat.  You could swat away noisy children and flies with church fans." - p. 68

"The first cheerleader to catch my eye during my freshman year of high school was a dazzling fourteen-year-old redhead from a well-to-do Newnan family.  She whirled with the best of them, and she did seem to show some spark of interest when I hit her with my classic opening line, 'Do you think professional wrestling is fake?'" - p. 157

"My grandmother was a snuff user.  She used to send me to the store to buy her 'medicine,' as she called it.  Then she would sit for hours with her Bible in her lap and a dip behind her lip.  I knew it wasn't medicine.  If it had been, no one would have kept it in their mouth that long." - p. 204

"I don't like pampered children, and I don't like papered dogs. I want a dog with character and personality; one who had to turn over a trash can once in a while just to keep food in his stomach.  And I like a dog who knows enough about where puppies come from that he can choose his own mate and take care of business without waiting for some high-hatted human to 'arrange' a canine tete-a-tete for him." p. 208

What I Liked:
  • The humor, of course.  Like The Rick and Bubba Show, Grizzard's humor is akin to sitting on the porch with family telling stories. The humor is down home Southern, and I like it.  I found myself frequently laughing out loud.
  • This "best of" format gives a good sampling from some of Grizzard's best work.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Some of the material did not include the points of reference included in the complete work drawn from, so some passages made no sense.
  • Of course, I do not agree with some of the author's opinions, but as I've said before, the day I start agreeing with everything someone says, I'm in trouble because I've stopped thinking for myself.
To sum upFor someone who's never read Grizzard's work, this sampler is a good place to start.  For the avid fan, this book is a reminder of what kindled the fandom.  I read most of the works sampled in this collection almost 20 years ago.  Now, I'm ready to reread them and belly laugh all over again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Word Crimes: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  What can you give away? Will you?
Well, I give throughout the year, but I won't be giving away anything specific tomorrow.  I would like to donate blood, but so far, the days I've seen the donation bus are the days I've felt puny.
Do you have a mantra? Please share with the class if you feel comfortable doing so.
"When in doubt, don't"  When I don't listen to my heart, I get burned.
Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?
I try to shop for groceries once a week.  I have certain things I buy all the time, but the special items are what I need a list for.  
Is there a TV show you're embarrassed to say you watch? You're going to tell us what it is, right?
I don't have one I'm embarrassed about watching, but I am embarrassed about what's been done to it.  One of my favorite shows is Extreme Weight Loss.  I love the inspirational stories and the transformations.  Now, they've added a new element called "Love Can't Weight."  It's about engaged couples who need to lose weight before the wedding.  It would be OK if it focused on the things that the show is known for, but it's more about wedding planning and drama than health.  I skipped through to the end on the first episode and haven't watched any of the others. When they get back to the real show, I'll watch again.  Until then, I guess I'll watch something else.
A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter-that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless.  Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?
Oh please!  There's always someone who pees on creativity.  First, Irregardless isn't a word, so eliminating it isn't necessary since it wasn't a part of my vocabulary anyway.  The other words?  Wouldn't it depend on the context whether these words are overused or not?  Yes, we should expand our vocabularies, but come on.  I think this article is a little ostentatious, not to mention annoying to read with all the ads and "click me" boxes.  How about a list of made up words like irregardless in need of deleting?  Play the video, Al.

So apparently dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It's called 'The Granny Hair' trend. Your thoughts?
No.  Just.  No.
A while back Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they've read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let's try. What's one of the most beautiful sentences you've ever read in a piece of literature?
"The first cheerleader to catch my eye during my freshman year of high school was a dazzling fourteen-year-old redhead from a well-to-do Newnan family.  She whirled with the best of them, and she did seem to show some spark of interest when I hit her with my classic opening line, 'Do you think professional wrestling is fake?'" - from The Grizzard Sampler by Lewis Grizzard
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm not sure what to write about here.  I'm still adjusting to the new job.  I like that life has gotten busy without being too much.  Maybe I'll write something more salient next time. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Closet Cleanout: 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, July 12, 2015

Outside my window …  Clear blue skies that fool you into a false sense of security.  However, it's hotter than a Billy goat's butt in a pepper patch out there!  With temperatures over 90 and heat indexes near 100, I've been staying inside as much as possible.

I am thinking...   Why do people ridicule one who is hurting because he is hurting?  That makes no sense to me.  Only when the struggle is mental do people react that way.  Never have I seen someone berate a person with a broken leg for revealing his pain and asking for help.  Yes, I know I've talked about this before, but I can't shake it.  It just keeps happening to me.

I'm considering clearing most of the clothes out of my closet and dresser.  Many items do not fit well (if at all) or are old and worn out.  To see them in the closet looks like I've got plenty, but when you look at what's actually fit to wear, it's quite pitiful.  I'll have to hit the thrift stores since I still can't budget for too many new things. yet.  I almost want to get rid of my progress wear because I'm also frustrated with it.  I get to the point to where I can almost get into the pieces comfortably, then I regain weight and have to start over again.

Speaking of clothes and shoes.  I went walking with Leah M today.  I was telling her that my left foot was bothering me.  I was considering getting a couple of cheap insoles for my left shoe, until I took my shoes off and got a good look at them.  There's nearly no tread on the bottom.  Goofball, my foot hurts because my shoe is worn out.  Good thing I got two pairs of shoes at Christmas time last year.  I've got one to fall back on until I can buy a new pair.  Man, I have got to get this weight off once and for all so I can quit wearing shoes out so fast.

I am thankful...  For my new job.  I'm thankful for my body adjusting to my new time schedule.

In the kitchen...  We've had a leak in the kitchen, so I've had to make do. 
From the Workshop...   


I am looking forward to...  Fall.

A favorite quote for today... 

On his southern accent in Driving Miss Daisy. - "If Dan Akroyd is a Southerner, my butt's a typewriter." - Lewis Grizzard.

"'Naked' means you ain't got no clothes on.  'Nekkid' means you ain't got no clothes on and you're up to something." - Lewis Grizzard

"Whatever else you do today, you find somebody to be nice to!" - Ludlow Porch

One of my favorite things...  My favorite holiday:  Christmas

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Work.  Catching up on my walking/running miles.  Adjusting to this new schedule was kicking my butt.  I think I've got a handle on it now.

A peek into my days... Not much going on this week.
And now for something totally different...


No need for me to even rant on this, the screen capture says it all.  If you want a good rant on this, read here.  Erika Kendall says it much better than I ever could.

From Twitter:  @GregBQuotes - "We're up to our rump in idiots."

From YouTube:  The late Lewis Grizzard on Southern vs Northern language.

From Facebook:  Nerdgasm shared:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Hope"

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.

Proverbs 13:12 says "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."   It is a hard life when every hope seems deferred and hope has to be reclaimed over and over again.  If it weren't for the Word of God, I wouldn't be able to reclaim it.

Is there a time to give up hope?  How long?  How many times should one endure failure until he gives up hope? 

Why give up hope?  Perhaps because of putting hope in the wrong things.  Perhaps holding on to unrequited hope is too painful.  Perhaps...just perhaps.

When I was kid, it seems that at every turn I was told not to get my hopes ups.  Maybe I should have listened to them.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Slippery When Wet: The Weeky Hodgepodge

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

When did you last 'swim against the tide'? Explain.
**Puts hands on hips.** Nobody goes against the Tide.  Football season's coming soon and we'll show you...oh wait, that's not what you're talking about.  Sorry.  :)
I think how I spent Independence Day was a form of swimming against the tide.  I'd had a very busy day on Friday and was exhausted.  My plan for that day was to relax, recharge, and stay home so I would be well rested for our celebrations at church on Sunday.  People were not happy that I spent the holiday the way I wanted instead of the way they wanted.  That seems to be a running theme in my life lately.  It's been hard to make the conscious effort to take care of myself, but I know that I can't function well if I don't.  Many people don't get that.
What's the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?
That's a hard one because the true nature of "self-help" is just that, solving a problem without any help or accountability.  None of the books I read really delve into that, unless you count Women, Food, and God (which is one reason I didn't care for the book).  Even if the books I read appear to be self-help in nature, they really aren't.  All of the good books I've read encourage the reader to rely on God and to get accountability from trustworthy people.  None of them asks the reader to be a hermit.
Just a side note:  I'm on if anyone is interested. 
"Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness." (Sir James Goldsmith).  Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because I think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.
I don't even like the term "tolerance." There's no love in tolerance; only a mere putting up with.  Forget tolerance.  Let's love as Christ loved.
What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?
I was a daddy's girl and tried to copy him when I was little.  I remember daddy shaving in the kitchen.  He would put shaving cream on my face and take the blade out of his razor for me to "shave" with. 
How did/do your own children's summers compare with your summers as a child? If you're not a parent, answer as it relates to what you've observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.
My parents were too busy trying to keep food on the table to even think about a vacation.  I find it sad that nowadays parents can't be more creative with summers other than spending money they don't have to take their kids somewhere they don't want to go, just to outdo their neighbors and turning their child into a spoiled snob.  Social media is full of them.  "Hey, we went to 'destination X.'  Aren't we better than you?  Of course you don't know that we're going to mortgage the house and sell a kidney to pay for it, but outdoing you is most important."  After all, relaxation and growing together as a family isn't as important as the appearance of opulence.
Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?
The gulf.  I would like to be on the sandy white beach listening to the waves of the Gulf of Mexico, feeling the breeze on my legs,  building a sand castle.
Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it's title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.

Let the River Flow by Darrell Evans

The River of God by Andy Park

Insert your own random thought here.
I'm really enjoying my new job at the Y.  One of the benefits of the job is access to the facilities.  I was going to wait until I'd been there a while before I did that, but my supervisors said to go for it. 
I tried the Silver Sneakers class today.  Yes, I know, I'm not "silver," but it's actually a great low impact class with a lot of strength and coordination elements.  I had a great time and the class was very welcoming.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

SELF Ain't a Cuss Word! [Auntie's God Breezes]


That word sends shivers up the spine of the average Christian.  You could get away with cussing in church faster than you can say that you did anything for yourSELF.  Red-faced orators hammering into their listeners "self=selfish," thinking they're helping, when actually they have inflicted great harm on many.  This type of thinking is what causes well meaning people to tell someone who is depressed that they could snap out of it if they stopped thinking of themselves so much, when truthfully for those of us who deal with depression, ourselves is the LAST thing we want to think about.

The first rule of the Journey Training I attended was "Take care of yourself first."  That was such a foreign concept to me.  Wait, I thought I was here to get myself together so I could better serve others by being less selfish.  After decades of hearing that I was never to think of myself at all, much less first, I felt ill to even think of doing such a thing.  Why?  Why would they put us in that kind of conundrum?  Wait, I know, take care of yourself because no one else is going to take care of you.  That's got to be it.  Ok, that's plausible since that's been my rule of life for as long as I can remember.  Maybe it's a warning:  "We're not here to care about you; we're here to teach you how to better care about us so, in turn, your sorry selves can care better for others and quit being so selfish."  Ah, I feel about 6 inches tall.  Much better.

Or is it?

Let me ask a few questions:
  • Is it selfish for a farmer to feed his family with some of his harvest?
  • Did you know that many medical discoveries were from people who were "selfishly" trying to find a cure for their own or a loved one's ailment?
  • Is it selfish for a mom to feed and nourish herself so that she can give healthy milk to her nursing baby?
  • Something I learned from my friend Dellaine:  Is it selfish for the airlines to tell you that in the event of a loss of cabin pressure, put on your oxygen mask before you help others with theirs?
  • Is it selfish for a food service worker to have a full tummy before he serves on his shift?
If your answer to these questions is yes, I can't help you.  If it is no, keep reading.

OK, I get that, but is this concept even scriptural?
Leviticus 19:18 - Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
Matthew 22:37-39 -Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Romans 13:9 - ...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:14 - For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
James 2:8 - If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.
Hey, I'm not the brightest crayon in the box, but I'm sensing a pattern here.

Jesus was the ultimate example of this.  Often in scripture, His early morning solitary retreats to pray and fellowship with God are referenced.  This wasn't some religious exercise in piety; Christ was taking good care of Himself so that He could take the best care of others.

Look, this isn't natural for me either.  It is deeply ingrained in my mind that I try to avoid anything that looks like selfishness to the point of self detriment. 
Proverbs 18:9 (Amplified) - He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.
Something else Dellaine showed me.  Continue to exhale in pulses without inhaling.  What happens?  Your exhale become weaker and weaker until you can't exhale anymore without inhaling.  Now do the same exercise in reverse.  The same thing happens doesn't it?  You are either completely full of yourself or completely empty of yourself.  Neither is healthy or sustainable. God created us to be balanced.  Getting out of balance is a detriment to all aspects of our health.  

During the first weekend training session, following that rule was extremely difficult.  I'm not used to taking care of things for myself without getting permission.  At first, I asked for permission to do simple needed things like going to the bathroom, getting water, or taking a seat.  The answer was always the same, "You don't need to ask permission.  The first rule is to take care of yourself first."  Even after I stopped asking permission, I would still give glances to a leader before I did anything.  I would get the glance back that says, "You know what to do."  The second weekend session was better, but the mentality was still there. 

It's all about deserving.

We don't have to earn the right to take care of ourselves.  The minute God called us to serve others was the day we got permission.  He knew that we couldn't serve well if we felt drained and empty.  Fill up, then draw out and distribute.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Five Minute Friday: "Favorite"

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 always remember my favorite things."  I have so many "favorites" it isn't funny.  I think I have so many that it cheapens the word favorite.  On Twitter, everything is a favorite, whether it's just something that made me laugh, or a comment I simply agree with.

Are we allowed to admit to having real favorites?  As a teacher, I had favorite students.  It doesn't mean that I didn't like the other students; it just meant that some kids stood out more than others for various reasons.  Now, I never said that to any of the children and tried never to treat one better than the other.  Some kids just clicked with me more.

Parents are never allowed to say they have favorite children, but they do.  Ever read the story of Joseph in the Bible?  Yeah, that's favorite child taken way too far.

As one who was not the favorite...anyway, not going there...

I have so many favorites.  How can I write about any of them without producing exhaustive lists.  I can't.  And that would bore you to tears.

This is bogging down, I'd better share a song or something.

I looked over at other posts on this and they were so poetic and full of colorful imagery of favorite events, people, sights, sounds, smells.  Mine is reeking of taking a beautiful word and peeing all over it.
Though writing is very cathartic from me, the goal of my blog is also to add value to you, the reader.  Without value, y'all flee to the hills in search of something better.  In a sea full of Mommy Blogs, mine should stand out.  So, if you will indulge me, I will attempt this again...
Calloused fingers slide easily across coarse metal strings.  The high energy sound of one of my favorite praise tunes, "Freedom" by Darrell Evans, bounces around the walls of First Baptist Church as the group of fellow strugglers from Celebrate Recovery clap, smile, and take in the words and music.
My Dean Flying V is light on my shoulders this night, my tiredness from a full day is faded, and my hands find new pathways to produce the sound I want.  One of my favorite local praise bands, Audience of One, called me in as a last minute replacement, but the atmosphere isn't last minute, rushed, or stressed.
The joy of playing music is one of my favorite things.  It draws out of me power, strength, and emotion that stays buried for a while.  It all has to go somewhere.  Slides, thumps, and quiet melodic riffs express my outrageous love for my Savior and for my fellow struggler.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

National Emblem: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you're not American,  feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country) What is your favorite thing about the day? Your favorite food on the 4th? Do you fly a flag at your house? Fireworks-yay or nay? Any special plans this year?
I'm not sure if I'm doing anything special for the 4th.  The Community band is not playing at the city celebration and fireworks display this year and the only other celebration to which I have been invited is too expensive.  I may have a hotdog and some potato salad, but I'm not sure.  My church is having its Independence Day celebration on the 5th.  I'm looking forward to that.
What's something you recently got for free?
Well, a friend bought me lunch Sunday.  I'm not sure if that's what you're talking about.  I don't do couponing or anything and a good bit of the "free stuff" offers on the internet are usually bogus, so I don't get many freebies.
The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount many on the list have you seen? What is your favorite historical American monument, and why?
I saw the Washington Monument from afar on a band trip to DC, but I've not had the honor of visiting the others.  I'm not sure what my favorite would be, but I would really like to go to New York and see the Statue of Liberty.
When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they've perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?
Neither.  I hear enough news to know what's going on, but I'm not going to be constantly pummeled by bad news. The crimes against humanity perpetrated by ISIS are horrible beyond recognition.  I don't care what political or religious beliefs one holds, taking the life of another human for failure to convert is wrong. 
We're talking plain ice cream...vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.
Share a song you love containing the word 'stars' in the lyrics or title?
O, Holy Night.  Yes, I know it's not the Christmas season yet, but I listen to Mylon Lefevre sing this carol year round.

And, of course, for this season, our national anthem.

Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic.

     J   - Just started summer.
     U -  Unbearably hot.
     N -  No more open windows.
     E -  Elated for fall and football season...Roll Tide.
Insert your own random thought here.
OK, this isn't very deep, but I've been thinking about how in the world people can get up before sunrise, do an intense workout, and still go to work and stay awake all day, every day.  Nearly all of my weekday workouts are in the afternoon or evening.  My only morning workouts are on Saturday (unless you count playing bass guitar on Sunday).  That way, I can load up on the Ibuprofen and take a nap to get ready for the next day.  What's wrong with me?