Thursday, July 31, 2008


While a bunch of us gear up for the next weight-loss challenge, I continue to do my almost best to lose weight. Since the last day of school, I've lost 20 pounds. Since the last official weigh-in, I've lost 7. Pretty sweet, I'd say. In total, I've lost 39 pounds since the beginning of January and 77 pounds since last winter.

I still have a lot of weight to lose, though. It is definitely a mental battle and I'm very grateful for the support I've received from my friends. It means a lot to me. I get judged enough by people, and having supportive friends that have kind of walked in my shoes really helps. God has not only blessed me with consistent weight loss, but also consistent support.

I'm still feeling pretty cruddy from yesterday. So, I'm just gonna lay low and maybe go out for a ride. The wash can wait one more day.

Have a good one, y'all.

Another night of music

Tuesday was another nice night at the Grand Ole Opry. There is a reading convention in town and the place was packed with teachers. I was sitting with some teachers from Texas. They were very nice. It was hot as hades up in the not-so-cheap nosebleeds, though. (The pictures might be easier to see if you click on them.)

See the third row just right of center? That's where I sat when I saw Charlie Daniels. I went up and down a lot of steps Tuesday night. It felt good to be somewhat agile on them. It was encouraging to say the least. Now, for the rundown. Btw., be warned, the pictures are crappy, I couldn't get the settings to cooperate, and I was wayyyyy up high.

First, was a veteran of the Opry, Jeannie Seely. I've heard of her, but never heard her perform. Her songs were good, but her wit was just as spunky.

After Seely was Luke Bryan. I really liked this guy. He did a really good job of balancing a good performance with his engagement of the crowd. It didn't hurt that he had a killer smile. (There were video screens to aid in the audience's viewing pleasure.) He was the first of nice big/tall guys with tight jeans on. I kept thinking about Snigs and how jealous she'd be. Heh.

I like watching the older Opry members/performers. Jesse McReynolds is a bluegrass biggie. He's been in the business performing and playing the mandolin for over 61 years. He has some furiously mad skills on the mandolin. Some of his grandchildren performed with him, too.

I am getting all giddy thinking about the next big, tall guy to wear really tight jeans (and a really tight t-shirt): Keith Anderson. Really, though, his eyes....*whimper*. He has a new CD coming out on Tuesday and I believe I will buy it. He opened up with THE SONG that stabs me the heart every time I hear it. You know, one of those songs that no matter how happy you are, you hear it, and dissolve into a tearful mess? Yep. He does have a fun song on the new CD titled, "Somebody needs a Hug". (Follow the directions on that website, wait for the hokey intro to end and listen to the acoustic version.) Come to think of it, I could've used a hug or two yesterday.

After Anderson, another gentleman of country music's past, Jim Ed Brown, came to the stage. He's a seriously funny guy. You will recognize him when you listen to THIS. I think he was one of my uncle's favorites. He told a joke that made my eyes pop out a little. He was saying how he loves applause (and who wouldn't). His comparison: "It's like making love to an old maid. Can't get enough of it."

The next group that performed was Restless Heart. Currently, the original five members are on a 25th anniversary tour. I saw them a lonnnnnng time ago (20 yrs?). They were musicianship. I wish they could have done a few more songs, though.

Ever hear THE SONG about the kid that cusses and dad realizing it is his own fault? Well, that is Rodney Atkins. (O.k. Snigs, this is for you: He was super-tall with super-tight jeans--bad audio, but nice viewing.) He sang a second "parenting" song (better audio) about advice to give a boy picking up your little girl for a date: telling the kid you'll be up waiting, cleaning your gun. It was funny to hear the lines of the song. I kind of wished I had a dad that said those things to prospective boys. Then again, the boys I hung around with I wouldn't let near my house. (Except for two of them....they were "safe".)

The night ended with Trace Adkins. Adkins is 6'6". I don't think a bull could run into him and survive (again, Snigs would have been mightily jealous--he even had his hair down). He sang his current HIT. He also sang a couple of songs from the new CD that will be released in the fall. They were really good songs. One song is about finding a sweet girl. /snark....part of a line? "Sweet like hidden tattoos." The other song provided a little glimpse into his past. I remember watching a show that talked about him getting shot by an ex-wife (in the chest, I believe). So, I knew he had a tough go in his younger adult years. Apparently before that, he sang in a gospel quartet. He said the song he was about to perform took him back to those years. I can't remember the title of the song, but it is a prodigal son type of song. It was beautiful. It reminds me that we are completely lost without forgiveness, whether we receive from God or someone we've hurt, or if we are the one providing the forgiveness. He seems so humble, too which makes watching him all the more enjoyable. I was truly impressed with him on The Apprentice, and Tuesday night confirmed it. He also had a wonderful "live" voice.

The really nice thing about watching the shows I've been to is that I think I've seen some pretty down-to-earth people. Back in the day, I used to always be around musicians. I've seen plenty who needed to get over themselves and some that were genuinely nice people. I know that is true for any walk of life, but to really connect with people in such an overtly putting-yourself-out-there business, you kind of have to be good with yourself. I haven't left one show thinking, "Wow, that guy/gal was a bit arrogant." They all just seem truly grateful to be where they are, enjoying the moment. I especially like watching the older performers. There is a grace about them. They have an appreciation for where they are and where they've been, and know it doesn't last all that long. Trace Adkins acknowledged that fact.

I wonder how many musicians depend on their fame or the appreciation of others to give them worth? What happens when that all goes away and they haven't found a way to give themselves worth in their own eyes?

Go figure

I managed to sleep through what sounds to be the mother of all thunderstorms overnight, but I woke up after the power went out.

I've been up since 4:30 a.m. Apparently, where I am there is a brown-out. The power has been out since around 4:00, so I am thinking I might be replacing the food in the fridge.

Guess I really shouldn't have the computer up and going, either. There is enough juice for a radio, clock, and computer---but, nothing else.

I think I'll just go back to sleep. At least that will keep me from thinking too much. Well, I should be able to sleep as long as the upstairs neighbors stop having loud sex (it was an all-nighter on their part). Guess, power outages are good for something.

I'll be back later. Have a good morning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thought this percentage would be higher

Found this at Jimbo's at Parkway Rest Stop. He's a funny, snarky Jersey guy. Go pay a visit.

I am 36% White Trash.
Not Too White Trashy
The white trash in my blood will not keep me from becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but it will keep me from a good haircut and any sort of fashion sense.

What a (shopping) trip

Last night, I talked myself out of doing wash and just chilling out in the condo, today. I wanted to keep the legs moving and go shopping for those pretty girlie shoes I've been wanting. So, I picked a mall that had a ton of stores, nice surroundings and no hint of thugs walking around it. I've read about some of the malls in the area having some issues, so I chose what I thought would be a good place. It was. I got a later start than expected, but I walked around the mall, got some ideas in my head, and then decided to get some lunch before I finished shopping. I hadn't eaten all day and was beginning to feel it.

Lunch was surprising. Well, not. I ended up with my "if-nothing-else-seems-good" choice of Chick-Fil-A.

Unfortunately, I felt a little upset and queasy for reasons I won't explain (wasn't the food), and left earlier than I'd expected. At least I got in some walking. Hopefully, I can find those pretty shoes in the near future.

I'm feeling a bit emotionally drained, today, folks. In fact, I'm pretty hurt and sad about something. I'll post the trip to the Opry house either later tonight or tomorrow. I'm not feeling "fun" right now. Kind of wish I had just stayed in and did my wash.

Whatever I want Wednesday

I will post about last night's adventure a bit later. There was a joke that cracked me up and lots of music that made me smile and yes, fight back those darn tears. I tried to take pictures, but they are a little muffed. However, I will post what I can. I plan on going out today to a mall to walk, walk, walk, and walk.

If you think of it, my sadly mistaken aunt and my equally sadly mistaken cousin (read: both greedy and vindictive) will be doing some stuff under oath that could potentially harm my father. Pray that their lies and schemes are thwarted. My other cousin, speaking on behalf of my father, will also being taking part. I have not been asked to do so as of yet, because of my obvious bias toward my dad.

He has an awesome lawyer. Just pray about that whole situation. It has been going on for almost a year.

My dad will give his deposition, tomorrow.

This song came to mind when I was thinking about my dad just now.

"You don't mess around with Jim"
Jim Croce

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The A/C is FIXED! A freakin' fuse was coming in between me and my Arctic-like comfort.

Off to get something to eat and then the Opry. Among others, I will see Trace Adkins and Restless Heart. There is a guy performing that has a hit right now....that makes me cry....a lot. Dangit. My mascara isn't waterproof, either. Grrr!

Yeah, my life is good boring right now, isn't it? Just think: This time next month, I'll be all anxious about starting school.

Over the next year, I think I might be doing the paperwork necessary to teach down here. Hopefully, I'll be in the position I wish I was in now, so that I can do it. Who knows? Maybe that financial miracle will happen and I won't have to go back to NJ, except to get my cats, my important papers and to throw out everything else...oh, and bring down my almost like new, hardly used desktop computer.

Now, I am off to do my hair (which will flop in ten minutes of being outside), powder my nose, and gets to steppin'.

I think the heat has scrambled my brain.

Well, when you have nothing to say....

You cat-blog!

I have no air-conditioning. I'm waiting for a guy to come out and fix it. "They" said he'll arrive between two and four, which means I have to be ready to go out (going out tonight) by 2 pm, because I won't have time to do it if the guy is here. And, if I have to leave before he gets here, I'm going to be a wreck coming back here by myself. It would be a little much to ask my cousin to meet me to walk me in tonight. Hopefully, the a/c guy will be gone before I have to leave.

Now, for the cat-blogging. (I miss my kitties.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

An idle mind....

It seems that I got Snigglefrits thinking. Two women with much maleness on the mind....never a good thing. Well, it is, but it is very distracting--in a good way.

Wanna see who won the caption contest this week? Click HERE!

And another headline getting on my nerves, today:

Less schools failing under 'No Child Left Behind', state says



When I woke up this morning it was soooooo quiet (this will be important later). When I looked at the time, I was surprised to see that I slept through my alarm. However, I did wake up in time to go to the movies. But, first, I had some retail therapy to attend to. I bought a pair of jeans one size smaller--among other things.

Now, the movie: The Dark Knight is awesome! If you go to see it, be warned that the movie has no opening credits and just starts after the previews. There are some pretty intense scenes and some really good twists. I don't want to give anything away about it, so you'll have to see for yourselves. The end of the movie seems to be a great beginning to the next chapter of the Batman movies.

So, I got back to the condo. That silence? The air-conditioning is broken. Uh, tomorrow is supposed to be a scorcher. Guess I'll be spending the day at the mall. Good thing I'm going to the Opry, too. I'll be nice and busy, and hopefully, I'll be the proud owner of a pair of hot looking shoes. I miss wearing hot looking shoes.

Seriously, though....see the movie. You will not be disappointed.

Oh, just a few things

1. Isn't it a given that McDonalds will do a profitable business at this stage in the company's existence? If so, then why do they insist on having stupid commercials that attempt rap? Rap is bad as it is when it is considered "good," but ad-campaign rap is just horrible. Actually, it makes me not want to go to Mickey D's....well, that and it makes me physically ill. However, I would visit if they were offering those glasses with the McDonalds mascots on them.

2. I saw this headline on a local news station's website:

Motorcycle learning classes take off as gas prices climb

"Well, dang. Ise gonna go take me some of them thar classes on learnin' motorcycling."

How about "Motorcycle skills courses take off as gas prices climb"????

3. There is a pretty big homeless problem here. In fact, I see a lot of them because of where I am staying. Now, when THIS happened, didn't anyone on the trolley have a stinkin' cell phone to dial up the cops for help?

I wonder what kind of tour they were expecting if they didn't immediately wonder why a homeless guy was jumping into the driver's seat?

A question or a few for the gentlemen

I was watching a show last night. I'd give the title, but I don't want hits from people looking for it. In this show a guy and his wife went to go hang out at the Playboy mansion and then they spoke to Heff about the guy's wife doing test shots for a possible for-real photo shoot.

Working up to the big day, the guy expressed his angst of people seeing his wife naked and wondering what reaction friends and family might have. It wasn't anger-ridden angst and his wife had a pretty calm attitude, but seemed determined to do it. Well, they did have the proper blessing and care for feelings warning given by the highly-paid counselor/psychologist--whatever.

Now, I know some of you are saying: "R.T., nekkid women are good."

People do what they do. However, my moral compass couldn't wash on this one. How does a man's wife do something like that and how does a man give the so-called o.k.? How do you share what you have vowed to keep sacred with the rest of the world?

I'm not the kind of girl a guy would "show off" (yet), but I think I'd feel kind of gross if my husband was like, "Go show 'em your tatas!" I lived with guys like that, and had a prospective new member to that band, during his interview, jokingly "demand" to see mine--clASS.

I guess one of the many questions I'm asking here is how can you respect yourself and your wife if you are allowing that bond meant for you to be sold to the highest bidder? Isn't what is meant for private be just that? Private?

I turned the show off; not worth watching. But, those questions lingered.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'll take one of him, to go, please.

The Mentalist doesn't look all that original, but I might watch just to see Simon Baker. I'm not into blondes, but I can make an exception in his case. Well, his hair is wavy, he has light eyes, and he has some scruff--major points in my book.

Simple Stuff

Tastes like chicken!

Hopefully, Ssssteve will approve of this week's Sunday dinner. I decided to just roast a couple of chicken breasts (garlic/chipotle chili powder/pepper/olive oil), baby carrots, red bell peppers, and green onions. I topped things off with some green beans and smashed red potatoes with olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, and a teensy bit of butter. I could go all week (and usually do) without using butter, but I must have it on my smashed or baked taters. To be honest, I was going to roast a whole chicken, but thought it would be a waste, since I don't really like dark meat. Boneless, skinless breasts are a little better in the fat area, too. I made enough for two, so tomorrow, I have leftovers for dinner and don't have to cook. Since I'll be engaging in female suburban warfare (shopping and a movie) tomorrow, I won't feel like messing around in the kitchen (well, unless it involves actually messing around) and would be very tempted to hit the fast food stops on the way home. That would decrease my chances of being very thin this time next year.

Mmmmm.....ready to eat!

Speaking of losing weight, don't forget about the CHALLENGE I posted the other day. I know Wyatt is on board, as is Joe Cool (Ssssteve's brother), and Big Bad Wolf. We'll begin the day after Labor Day. Whether you have 10 pounds or a bazillion pounds (like me) to lose, all are welcome. It really does help to have a little support.

**Btw, I know that's a huge piece of chicken, but I haven't eaten since yesterday. I did load up on the veggies, though.

Sunday Song

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

I have been having some struggles of faith, lately (nothing earth-shattering, but enough to make me itchy). At this point in my life, and in my relationship with God, I know not to give up, especially with how faithful He has been. I'd be an ingrate of enormous proportions. I know that there are times that I have to wait and be still. Honestly, though, I'm pretty weak at times when it comes to mental will (thus, the struggles). I know it isn't because I think I know better than God. I'm just highly human and impatient.

I've been praying about some things for almost two years, now (some things for as long as 16 years). It's not easy, and that is what I think I'm trying to say. One of the hardest things to do is to turn things over and to ask for God's will to be done. Even when you do and you mean it, waiting for God's answer is hard.

I hope you all have a restful and blessed Sunday.

"Prisoner of Hope"
Randy Stonehill

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A job hazard for criminals?

Have Dragon and Goldbloom been to Brooklyn?

(Be sure to watch the video.)

Sometimes I wonder....

I finally woke up in time to get to the movie theater with time enough to find parking. Folks, this was my third attempt this week to go see Dark Knight. So, I get to the movies....I drive around looking for a spot....for a half an hour. I drove around and around and around, there were people leaving and other people getting their spots. As the "New Jersey" rose up in my blood pressure and I started mumbling about a conspiracy and a few f-bombs, I decided to walk a half mile to the theater (o.k. a 1/4 mile). I figured that I still had 25 minutes until the movie started and all should go well. You all should be used to my lack of luck by now...the lines were really long, not moving anywhere (as given there is really slow customer service down here--I'm used to it, just didn't figure on having to plan my trip around it). Realizing that I would not get through the line and get to the movie in time, I mumbled one more well-placed f-bomb to myself and walked over to the Opry to get tickets for Tuesday night. That's when I had my attitude adjusted a bit--okay, a lot.

On my way to the ticket office, I saw a woman with her husband. She had a bandana on her bald head. That's when I was reminded that what I've been through and have been tested for (off and on) over the past four years could have turned out much different and that I could be sitting at home going through some heinous stuff right now. That's when I realized just how blessed I am and that I can just go see the movie another day. Getting angry over parking is so not worth my energy. (I'm sure it would have been pretty entertaining to watch, though.)

With my attitude adjusted, I bought my way into Tuesday night's Opry. I'll be somewhat high in the rafters, but it is time I tested my ability to get up and down steps without a railing. I was able to go up steps without a railing today here at the condo. On my long walk back to the car, I prayed about my attitude a little. Evidently not enough, because I was still in a rotten mood. However, I do realize just how blessed I am and it is something I need to work on more.

Maybe I'll try to get to the movies Monday....and at a different theater. I don't have to see the IMAX version to be happy.


Now, maybe if we had this kind of lawn mower when I was young. . .

My least favorite chore as a kid/teenager was to mow the lawn. We had a big lawn. I hated the smell of the mower and I hated when I had to stop to empty the bag that caught the clippings. The worst part was that because of mold allergies, I would cough and gag the whole time and the grass made me itch. Eventually, I just learned to make myself scarce. Hey, I was told the coughing, gagging and itching was in my head. (My grandmother's response for everything.)

So, I kind of sympathize with THIS guy. However, I think in the long run, calling a neighborhood kid or some landscapers would have been the route that saved the most money.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Caption Contest

Provide your witty and entertaining captions. I will post winners Monday evening. Have a great weekend!

THE WINNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. Insolublog: You're sure this is going to make me big bang with the American girls, right?

2. Noddy: Bluetooth technology has still to hit the streets of Pyongyang.

This week's winner is. . .

1. Wyatt: Unfortunately, Chang was hungry for more power an hour later.

Other caption contests:


All kidding aside, keep
Wyatt in your thoughts and prayers this morning.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A new challenge

It has been just about a month since the last day of school. Since that time, I've lost 19 pounds (6 since our last official weigh-in).

While I know I can lose the weight, I feel kind of alone. I need the pressure of a weigh-in. It must be the stress-freak in me.

So, I would like to issue a "challenge" to whomever would like to join. I don't know that we need to have a prize at the end, because our improved health and appearance are reward enough in my book.

So, what do you all think? I can keep myself somewhat motivated over the next month, but going back into the stress of the school year scares me. It will be all too easy to stop for a hoagie on the way home from work than to suck it up and have some steamed fish and veggies.

I propose a September through June period of time and either weekly or every-other-week postings of our progress for accountability. (I prefer a Saturday weigh-in.)

What do you all think?

I'm trying to hit my goal weight by June or July. Some of you will just be trying to maintain your goal weights as I'm sure you will have hit them by then.

This is about leaning on each other a bit to keep the weight off and to be healthier people. I want us all to be around a good long time. :)

Just one of those songs

I love Dwight Yoakam. Down here, I get to hear him on the radio quite a lot. Today, my favorite song by him came on, and it is just one of those songs you want to share with someone because bopping around in the car looks insanely dumb.

So, I'm sharing it with y'all.


I woke up early this morning to go to see The Dark Knight in an IMAX theater. I fell back to sleep, but when I woke up, I thought I had enough time to catch the next one. Well, that would have been peachy, except that I couldn't find a place to park close enough to the theater (and the movie was about to begin). Grrrrr! Then I went to another theater where I knew I would find parking, but I just missed the beginning of their next showing of the film.

After feeling like the world did not want to go to the movies, I went to the grocery store and bought some fruit.


I'll try again tomorrow morning. I think I'll shoot for the 9:00 am show, so that I make it to the 12:20. Hey, I know myself well.

Now to go find something to post about because I don't have what I thought I would.


Bedtime stories

When I was little, my mom always made sure she read to me. Sometimes she read from the Bible, Disney books, Golden Books, and some longer fiction as I got a little older. However, there was one book that got my attention more than Pecos Bill's adventures with his lasso: Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses. It is a book of poetry that I still have. Here is one of my favorite poems from it:

Foreign Lands
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.

I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.

I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping in to town.

If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,

To where the road on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is not good....

A man involved in a robbery turned murder was found not guilty despite being on tape and the fact that witnesses place him inside of the store.

THIS is just awful.

Respecting my elders

When I get older I want to be spirited like this:

And, I want to move like this:

I've been here a month?

As of tomorrow, I will have been here a month. I've been noticing that I am not homesick. I don't even miss cheesesteaks. If it was hockey season, I'm sure I'd miss the Flyers, though.

Here are a couple of lists of things I miss and don't miss about being in NJ.

Things I don't miss about NJ/Philly:
1. Rudeness
2. Watching the local evening news and getting whiplash from shaking my head.
3. My job
4. Eagles drama
5. Traffic congestion (taking a half an hour to go five miles)
6. My past lurking at every corner
7. A large majority of people not speaking English
8. Smug attitudes
9. The stress
10. Paying $845 for a tiny one-bedroom apartment that is at least as old as I am, with a perpetually broken air-conditioner.

Things I do miss:
1. My parents being close enough to really check on
2. My kitties--they help with the lonesomeness
3. Wawa
4. The elderly neighbor we call "Pastor." He always waves hello and good-bye to me from his wheelchair. I dare say he probably prays for me, too.
5. Ummm....can't think of ten things. Is that bad?

Back home, I never feel like I "fit". I never have. My grandmom used to tell me that I wasn't an Easterner. She used to tell me that I was Midwestern. I don't know what she meant by that. But what I do notice is that I need to be in a calmer, less stressful environment where people are kind of chill. Living life seems to be more important here than rolling over people to get to the "latest" thing.

I wish I could stay.

Whatever I want Wednesday

Allman Brothers
"Blue Sky"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guilty of being stupid!

Every now and then I feel the need to not feel like a loser. Dumb criminals help me feel better about myself. So, here are some people who make me feel not so daft.

You might want to check that gas gauge, idiots!

Let's say you and your buddies really want a recliner for the crack house. You think it will spruce up things a bit. It's just the right thing to detract from the flaking paint, baggies strewn on the floor, and crack pipes.

Lo and behold! While you are out purchasing your next fix, you see said recliner at the local Goodwill. You and your peeps pull in, get the recliner and take off like molasses out of a jar....why not like a bat out of hell? Because, you loser, you ran out of gas!


(H/T: NBC 10)

Don't rob banks your check can't cash.

Feel like robbing a bank? Here's a list of "don'ts".

1. Don't rob a bank the same way two days in a row.
2. Don't give cops a reason to stop you and run your tags/registration.
3. Don't use your personal checks as scrap paper to write your monetary demands on, as that might just be used as evidence....oh, and a way to catch you!

Well, at least he didn't run out of gas.

(H/T: UPI)

Perhaps some coffee would have been a better choice.

When I used to drink heavily, I always made sure I had a safe place to crash (or had a designated driver make sure I got home to go nighty-nite).

Some guys in Washington didn't plan their partying appropriately. According to cops, the drunken fools stole some items ideal for a good night's sleep and passed out. Unfortunately for the drunken fools, they left a trail from the store to where they were, a distance of about 200 feet.

The officers were quoted as saying that alcohol is probably to blame, but I think weed, stupidity, and the desire to imitate Goldilocks should be added to the mix.

(H/T: UPI)

Speaking of stupid:

For even more stupid criminal behavior, go visit Wyatt's blog to read about a guy who didn't think through on-the-job hazards.

A real post? What's that?

Anyway, I'm sure you won't mind some neat harpguitar. I was channel surfing just now and saw this guy playing the harpguitar. Pretty.

I'll try to think of something to post soon. I'm not feeling politics too much, as it just gives me a headache these days. I have reason to pray to not go back to NJ. It is because of someone who is moving back to NJ; however, don't want to post about it. I have someone that wants to come down and invade my condo, but I won't allow it. Don't worry. I purposely have no adventures planned this week, so nothing to report.

Enjoy the song.

Tom Shinness
"Fair Park"


GUESS WHAT!?!?!?!!?

Go ahead. . .guess.

Update on Deathlok

I wanted to come up with a good-natured, snarky title for this post, but I just couldn't. Go read Deathlok's update on what he has been through the past week and you'll see why.

Seriously. Really. Just, wow. (Also, please continue to keep him in your prayers.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Headlines and bloopers

1. Loud bar music makes you drink more
Hmmm...usually rowdy people listen to loud bar music; therefore, wouldn't it be acceptable to say that rowdy people people probably drink a bit more? That used to be my experience. I wish I was as smart as these people doing stupid studies that have absolutely no purpose.

2. Study: Shrinking newsrooms hurt quality
Again, another stupid study. What is hurting the quality in the newsrooms is the overarching bias and refusal to be objective and present both sides of the story. Kind of like the New York Times publishing an opinion piece from Obama and refusing to publish McCain's the editorial section...candidates for office....HELLO!!!!!!

3. Two-thirds of Egyptian men harass women
Yep. Guess who they blame....those evil women!

4. Scientists tap ocean motion is the motion of the ocean that matters.

5. Santa Claus congress starts in Copenhagen
Is it like a kangaroo court? A Mickey Mouse operation?
Are they comparing lists and talking about outsourcing?

And this folks, is why I should NEVER be allowed to have a job like this:

Reading the Word

The past few days, I've been reading my Bible a lot. For some reason, I keep going back to the book of Exodus; precisely, Chapters 14 & 15. I've also spent some time in Psalm 18.

What stood out to me was God's provision, protection, guidance, power, and God's answers to those who sought Him.

He's still that same God, even when the ones He is trying to help and show His love to act like idiots (me included). He's there to show us all of those things I listed above.

So, why do all of those things? Why answer our prayers? Why heal us? Why provide above and beyond what we could ever need? Well, the answer is stated over and over via those passages: For His glory. Meaning, God does what He does so that He's seen as He is...the end all, be all, great I AM. It is about showing us His love, but it is also about us, in turn, praising Him for all that He's done so that those who don't "get it," understand and are (hopefully) moved closer to God and a relationship with Him.

In Exodus 14, God uses Moses to part the Red Sea. When the Israelites were scared about the uncertain future they faced and the Egyptians on their tails, Moses reminded them in verses 13 and 14, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Wow! I imagine people giggle when I say that God keeps score and has my back. However, that God that provided a way out of Egypt is the same God that watches over my steps, today. And just like the Israelites and their angsty behavior, I get itchy and hyper. However, I need to be still and allow God to work things out in His timing, after all....His way is perfect. You wouldn't want to eat a half-baked cookie would you? Likewise, I don't want a half-baked blessing because I was impatient. That's not to say that waiting for what I pray for is easy. It is really hard. For example, I've wanted to come to Nashville for almost 16 years. In fact, I almost decided to finish college here. But, now is when God provided the way to spend an extended amount of time here. Why? I have no clue, but I am looking to see how He leads.

In Exodus 15, Moses spends about half of the chapter praising God for what He did in Chapter 14. Again, that goes back to why God does what He does. Would people put their trust in Him if He just kind of watched us through the eyes and heart of indifference? No. He also wouldn't receive the praise that causes people to reflect upon Him and His goodness.

The last half of Chapter 15 shows humans being humans: "Why are we here? Why did God lead us out of a comfort zone--no matter how bad--and give us less than what we had?" You know, the basic human propensity to whine and complain. However, they were reminded that if they stayed faithful to God and His laws, he would protect them and heal them (because that's what His laws were meant to do).

Psalm 18 was interesting to read. It was about God providing a battle victory. The writer of the psalm talks about being surrounded by all manner of evil and harm. As a result of his deliverance from that, he goes on to honor God and His presence in that situation. Verse 30 is worth noting: "As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust Him."

Again, we have areas that require trust and waiting.

Lately, I've been praying about some very specific things. Because I am who I am, I tend to develop a little anxiousness. The things I pray for mean a lot to me and are truly the desires of my heart. It is hard as a person who doesn't trust many people, to hand over the ownership to those things to God. However, if I want the desires of my heart, I have to give them over, allow God to do things in His time, so that He gets the credit and I am not saying, "Look what I did."

God is the same, never changes, and has more love and patience for us than can ever be imagined. At the same time, He also has the means and power to do anything we ask and to go beyond anything that we ask.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Dinner

When I was a kid, my mom, grandmom and I would go out to a steakhouse or pick up some fast food after church. I used to love the Sundays where we'd come home and my grandpop would be sacked out on the couch with his pipe hanging out of his mouth and his newspaper covering his belly like a blanket. After he died, I remember coming home and watching the Sunday afternoon movies and munching on my cheeseburger. Sometimes the movies were Hope & Crosby, Abbott & Costello, or Blondie & Dagwood. I loved them all.

The past couple of weeks that I've gone to church, I find myself thinking about the comfort of those days. Thus, the stew and this week's yummy dinner.

This week's Sunday dinner might not look all that special or even look very good, but the flavor....yummay!

This is a dish called mince and tatties (no neeps, sorry DBA). The mince (ground beef) is browned in sauteed onion, garlic, and olive oil. Once it begins to brown, some flour is added with a tiny bit of water (I mix it before it goes in) to thicken the juices. This part should be done over a medium heat because the juices need to cook down a little. The potatoes I used were a few small red potatoes with the skin on (my preference), smashed into submission with a little butter and some cream. The carrots are just my attempt to eat some veggies. I imagine I busted the fats and carbs I should eat for the day, but I needed it today.

About ten years ago or so, my Gradmother Helen (dad's mom) taught me to make this. Minus the garlic, it is her mother's recipe. It is Scottish and it is a source of comfort. Sometimes we need it, eh?

Lesson learned

Be careful what you ask for. . .

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Sunday Song

Isaiah 64:8
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

This vacation has been very good for my brain and my spiritual life. I'm learning to understand that I need to not be so hard on myself, and that I'm a work in progress: physically and spiritually. All I need to do is trust God to take the clay of my life and do with it as He sees fit for what He is creating.

The neat thing about life is that we are never stuck being the same. We can change and grow. We can become better or worse, as that is our choice. I hope I'm becoming better. While it has been very hard at times, I am slowly learning to submit myself to God's formation of my life. (You know how clay is thrown onto the potter's wheel? It's kind of like a trial or a period of waiting and then everything begins to take shape...formed into something useful for God.)

I don't usually provide the lyrics, but I am this week. They are just awesome. You'll find them beneath the video.

Have a wonderful Sunday, y'all.

"Clay and Water"
Margaret Becker

These days are passing over me
At the speed of light
And sanding here in their shadows
I'm silenced at the sight
Like water on the wind I sense the change to come
All that I've held in like teardrops run

I am clay and I am water
Falling forward in this order
While the world spins 'round so fast
Slowly I'm becoming who I am

Nothing ever stays the same
The wheel will always turn
I feel the fire in the change
But somehow it doesn't burn
Like a beggar blessed I stumble in the Grace
Reaching out my hand for what awaits

I will live
From my heart
And I will catch the lines of love as they come
Back to You
I know they'll lead
And into You
I know I'll lean

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Twenty-one years ago....

If you had told me that this is how I'd be spending a Saturday night this many years later, I would have laughed. The best part about spending my evening studying is that I'm happy to do it and want to do it. I'm glad I'm not the person I was a year ago, let alone the person I was 21 years ago.

Just like Chinese water torture, but dry

A couple of weeks ago we lost our power for a few hours during a thunderstorm. When the power went out, the smoke detectors reverted to their batteries (or bat-trees as my grandmom would say). During those few hours, I kept hearing the one in the bedroom chirp and chirp and chirp. All was well when the power went back on, but I thought to myself, "Gee, that'll suck when the batteries go low, because it'll chirp."

So, I go out to the store today and when I came back: "Chirp....chirp....chirp....chirp..." Could this have happened before I went out? I could have bought batteries and a step stool. Yeah, I forgot to mention that the ceilings are kind of high and there is nothing for me to safely step up on to change the batteries. Peachy.

Well, at least I won't be alone tonight, I'll be visited by the smoke detector's chirp every freakin' few mintues. Guess I'll have to go to the store again tomorrow.

I'd get my cousin to do this, but he's about five inches shorter than me. I'd stand on a chair, but they have bar stool type chairs (not safe). I don't even know what kind of batteries to buy, either.

A little annoyance, but a sucky one. I could call the fire department down the street....hmmm...

Never a man around when you need one. Geesh.


I don't have much for y'all, today.

Well, a couple of things...

I was in excruciating pain last night. I lugged around five loads of wash up and down steps and by the early evening, I was walking like an old woman and the nerves in the small of my back and legs were just kickin' my butt. By midnight or shortly thereafter, all of the pain was gone. I took Tylenol around 6:00 p.m., so that didn't do the trick. Someone must have prayed for me. Now, that heating pad I was going to buy this morning can sit on the shelf and wait for someone else.

I will be buying some chocolate and some Chinese food, though. I just gotta!

Be sure to enter the caption contests this week. We all have a bunch of good pictures just begging for your humor!

Catch y'all later. I need to go walk and shop and walk and shop and get the idea.

The comic above? Yep, nothing to do with anything--just thought it was funny.

Goodness gracious

Attention Europe!

Please, do not get sucked into the whirlwind created by the scores of people who work for Obama. Please, do not get caught up in the mindlessness our media has developed that leads to drooling and yelping Obama's name endlessly while gushing like a school girl pining for her first crush. They felt this way about Clinton, and well...

Obama is full of empty words, and has done absolutely nothing to show that he'd be a good leader. Sure, he reads speeches from text really well, but when he has to think on his feet....not so much, because he does not have a clearly set belief on anything. Truly. I listen to candidates objectively. Trust me, I don't like McCain much, either.

Flava flav sums it best in the "chorus" to THIS song.

Just spoutin' my beliefs as per the 1st Amendment, Blogger peeps.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Man down (but not out)

As many of you that have visited Wyatt's blog know, Deathlok is need of our prayers. I got a text last Sunday evening telling me to pray for him because he had been airlifted to a hospital in Philadelphia (one of the best, btw) for a blood clot in his brain. After I shook off the initial punch to the stomach, I prayed.

If you have read Deathlok's posts, you know about his belief in God. His faith is important to him, so your prayers will gladly be accepted and appreciated.

Be sure to stop by and wish him well. Positive thoughts go a long way.

Get well, Buddy! We'll be praying for you, your family, and your friends. :)

Fruit of the vine

I was watching a program today that was discussing the benefits of red grapes; precisely, the grape skins and grape seeds. You can take the supplements and extracts or you can consume a seeded grape in its entirety. (Seedless grapes have a little grape extract in them, though.)

I eat red grapes just about every day, especially since the weight loss challenge began, but I didn't know about all of the benefits. I thought, perhaps, I was just helping to satisfy my post-lunch sweet-tooth. I think I'll be eating them with more intent, now.

It seems that resveratrol is the secret weapon (along with the seed). It promotes good blood vessel health, cell health, helps with obesity, and apparently a slew of other things. I'm not an expert by any means.

Here are some links for you all to read for more information. Some discuss wine and some discuss the resveratrol itself. You could always do your own research, too. I'm sure I haven't found all of the information there is to read.

I care about my bloggy friends and their health. :) Eat your seeded red grapes!

Just a warning, y'all

Oh, and totally random and off topic....

I have been experiencing a serious craving for Chinese food. I have no clue where to go down here for good Chinese food. (I've been warned by my friend in Texas about her experiences of trying to find it where she lives, and I'm skeerd.)

I'd ask my cousin, but he's away. You just know if I end up with icky Chinese food I will be craving the good stuff even more.

Grrrrrr! (Yeah, that's my worst problem right now. It's nice, to be honest.)

To me, this is some sick irony

Let's say there were these two guys. These two guys decided to sell "lucky charms" as accessories for cellphones.

Let's say these "charms" ended up being made of tritium (radioactive material) that would "shine for more than 10 years."

So, you have the scenario. Now, think of the worst place on the face of the earth that someone could take advantage of trend and pop-culture obsessed people with radioactive cellphone accessores.

Did you come up with a guess yet?

The answer: Hiroshima

1. Do these two Japanese men have no shame or sensitivity to what generations before them experienced? (Yes, we had to bomb them. There was no way around it, but at the same time, I feel these men are stomping on the memory of those killed.)

2. This stuff was bought from Britain. What the heck are they doing selling radioactive material that is "27 times more tritium than is allowed under the law"? (Even if it is not seen as a certain threat to health.)

I don't know. This just disturbs me.

(H/T: Yahoo)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Caption Contest

No words needed for this one. Well, except for your witty and entertaining captions. I will post winners sometime Monday evening. Have a great weekend, everyone! (As always, your Photoshop entries are more than welcome.)

The winners!!!!!!

3. Wyatt: "Carpet Fresh take me away!"

2. Rodney Dill: "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"

This week's winner is. . .

1. Insolublog: The Empire writes back.

Other caption contests: