To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “2010

Summer Solstice (via Life of Bon)

A year ago today, I posted this entry and was so happy to hear it had been Freshly Pressed.
I thought today it might be worthy of a repost. For all you Summer-lovers, enjoy your day –
and all the seasons!

Summer Solstice A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined toward or away from the sun, causing the Sun’s apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun’s path north or south come … Read More

via Life of Bon

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New Year, New Beginnings… Part II

2010… it’s hard to believe it’s already over! Once again, it’s time for me make my year-end picks. I must pick my word of the year, and a meaningful new banner picture – something that I can look at for an entire year without getting sick of it. For those of you who missed it last year, here’s the link to New Year, New Beginnings Part I.

Even after a full year of looking at my banner pic, I’m sad to see it go. The below collage was made from all things I love, and I think the visual description alone pretty much says it all. Five little things at a glance that describe me.

Banner picture for 2010

For every year since the start of my ‘new life’, I’ve donned a single word that seems to most closely correspond with what that year meant to me. This whole word thing started pretty innocently in 2008, when I reflected back and chose the word Monumental. 2008 was the year I grew a backbone, or I’d like to think part of one – and walked that plank in search of a new life. The word I chose for 2009 was Colorful. 2009 was the year of mistakes growing for me. The chance to experience many, many firsts and new things, as well as learning truckloads about my own self.

On to my word of 2010. Drum Roll Please…

Serene. Isn’t that nice? I even like the way it looks. True, it doesn’t pack a punch like Monumental does. It doesn’t make the mind wonder what the hell I’ve been up to like Colorful does. It’s simple. The way my year was. Simple, easy… predictable. And, predictable can be a very good thing.

There’s also something else – something I honestly hadn’t contemplated until after I’d already chosen my word. As a young girl, I decided I didn’t like my name. My fix was, much to my Mother’s chagrin, ‘changing’ it to one of my own choosing. My choice was Serena. I was often asked ‘oh you mean Selena?’ ‘No’, I would say, ‘Serena.’ I could never explain exactly why I loved this name, and I even used it as my own signature until a teacher told me I couldn’t do it anymore. I was crushed! Such a beautiful name that was just slightly beyond my reach. Of course I grew out of this ‘phase’, but even in reflecting back, I remember how good the name made me feel when I used it as my own. (I also used to go around with a bright yellow turtleneck attached to my head, pretending I had long flowing blonde hair… but that’s another story. I blame all that on the Barbies.)

I like to think that after this year… I’ve finally found myself. Because, I actually feel ‘Serene’.

I believe I’ve finally found Serena.

I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all of you. May it be a year of good health, prosperity, peace and unity for us all – God bless.


Define IRONY…

Well, actually it came by way of the 5 o’clock news this evening.

There’s a strangeness that no one can quite put their finger on. In a suburb right outside of my lovely town, a little girl was photographed. By a stranger. Playing in the snow. Zipped up tight to her nose in fluffy coatings and wintry garb. That’s right folks, a picture was taken.

Let me say first, I’m not trying to make light of any sort of potentially dangerous situation, particularly that which involves a child. But I’ve gotta say, there are some things with this ‘story’ that just don’t jive well with me.

The story as told by an 8-year old girl starts with her playing down the street from her house, and looking up to see a man taking a snapshot of ‘her’. She ran home to tell her mother. Mom is then broadcast all over the evening news rolling her eyes and saying “the thought of a sick, perverted man having a picture of my daughter infuriates me”. Every. Ten. Minutes. Well yeah lady, I have a daughter. That particular thought would infuriate me too.

But.

Let’s say for the sake of argument – there was this man going down the road with his wife driving (the little girl reported he was in the passenger seat – with no description of the driver) who decided to take a few rare southern snow pics, like I had the urge to do my own self today. The little girl (or other children) just happened to be in the general vicinity of where the camera was faced. Hell, it’s happened to me many times – I’ve just never been ‘accused’ of anything. But then again… I’m female. Hey, somebody had to say it…

Through many years of photography, I of course have my own photo library. Rather than a subject who happens to be laced, zipped and velcroed all the way up to their nostrils in the dead of winter – I’m quite sure a few of mine are on a public beach (Gasp**) in bathing suits! Certainly they weren’t the intended subjects of the frame – but what if they had been? This is what it’s come to. Yes, this. Here and now.

I must give credit to my Dad and his eagle-eye on this subject, as it was he who called and brought me up to speed on the said situation-at-hand. Yes, it’s pretty bad when you can’t be your normal self anymore. To be forced to avoid situations we’ve not only been accustomed to all our lives but have been raised to admire, respect and enjoy. Now we have to worry about staring a little too long, if at all… whether anything we say might be perceived as a prelude to an abduction… not to mention the subjects that might happen to be in the general vicinity of our cameras… need I even go on? And if you don’t worry about it… well you’d better worry about it. I don’t wish to downplay the possibility of a legitimate threat on this particular story. What I wish to up-play is the fact that we can’t snapshot a timeless moment anymore, without the fear of consequences.

Because this is where we are.

But Bon, where on earth is this irony you speak of? You really mucked this title up – wayyy off!!

Here we go, folks. In between sessions of Mom rolling her eyes and speaking of Joe Pedophile staring at photos of her little girl – a lighter, more airy segment flashed up where us viewers got the chance to see submitted photos of the snow aired on tonight’s edition of the local news. How sweet and funny they were, too – most submitted anonymously. Anything from snowmen, to sledding, to children playing, to pets playing, to…. hey BACK UP just a minute. Did you just say children playing????

IMHO the persons behind each of these two segments had to be on two different wavelengths, in two different buildings. In two different cities. With no communication tools. Ahem, you get my drift. Speaking of drifts…

Just be careful where and what you point those cameras at.

Story as seen on WBTV news


A White Christmas for the southeast

Really, Charlotte… snow??  Yes!! We actually got our white Christmas after all!!

Imagine that.

According to National Weather Service statistics, the Charlotte area hasn’t seen the likes of a white Christmas in 63 years. Since the NTS doesn’t count anything below an inch on the ground Christmas day as a ‘white Christmas’, 1947 was the last recorded date of snowfall on Christmas – which totalled around 5.5 inches on that day.

View from my third-floor treehouse this morning.

The forecast has made headlines for days now. Not just us, but many of the southeast area states of the US did in fact receive a packet or more of snowfall for Christmas this year. Our such packet didn’t arrive until after sunset last night, but it came nonetheless – and it’s still coming! Heck, it’s still snowing in Georgia this morning, and it was snowing in Myrtle Beach around 7am. It’s funny though… there doesn’t seem to be any bad roads out in the immediate vicinity. The accident rate is low so far, and the parking lots and roads look clear. It’s almost as though God brought us lovely snowfall that we can enjoy and get around well in. What a blessing!

My balcony got a little snow as well. So far my geranium, fern and palm tree don’t mind a bit!

This morning I was reading the probability ratings for various cities across the US (as well as different parts of the world) on the ‘probability’ of snow on Christmas. I found it hilarious that Charlotte, NC ranks right alongside Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ – all three sporting a whopping 1% probability rating. I heart Wikipedia (umm, except for that leakage thing)… so go ahead, see if your city is on the list and what it ranks. Wiki factoids and probabilities for a White Christmas in your city

Where I usually type my little blog… this morning I very much enjoyed a memorable wintry view.

It’s funny to see all the facebook statuses and pictures posted last night and into today from friends and family. The snow seems to have lifted spirits everywhere, especially households with small children who enjoy getting out and playing in it. Snow on Christmas has just put a whole different ‘air’ out, so to speak. Lighter, brighter and more joyful souls abound everywhere… dare I say, I can almost feel a renewed sense of hope for the new year to come? Whatever the case may be… it is very refreshing.


Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head

The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing, the poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my side ’til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever and love me I pray

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there

No, I didn’t write it. But how tender a person that did! It all but takes you right up ON that manger, doesn’t it? An almost secret view, if you will. My most favorite Christmas hymn has always been O Holy Night… but the lyrics to Away in a Manger are probably the most meaningful to me of all the Christmas hymns.

This year I hope Christmas brings peace, tranquility and much love into the souls of us all. May everyone enjoy and appreciate good family and friends. May we all secretly do one special thing for another this year and sit back and contemplate the smile it might bring. May any sadness that exists within your heart be overridden with joy. May everyone share an abundantly overflowing cup of love this Christmas.

And above all… always remember that little baby who started out laying in a manger.
The One who started…

Christmas.


A Real Country Christmas

I received the below story via email this morning. The preface warned that the story was a little on the long side, and it is – but a great read nonetheless. I found the story not only moved me to tears, but more than worthy of posting as a blog subject. Hope you all enjoy.

Now this is what a country Christmas is all about…

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities.  But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.  It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve.  I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas.  We did the  chores early that night for some reason.  I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.  I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in.  It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.”  I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.  We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens.  Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house.  Something was up, but I didn’t know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job.  I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.  Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand.  I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me.  I wasn’t happy.  When I was on, Pa pulled the sled  around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed.  He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said.  “Here, help me.”  The high sideboards!  It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever  it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?  Finally I asked.  “Pa, what are you doing?”  “You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked.  The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road.  Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.  Sure, I’d been by, but so what?  Yeah,” I said, “Why?”

“I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.”  That was all he said and then he turned and went back into  the woodshed for another armload of wood.  I followed him.  We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.  Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon.  He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.  When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.  “What’s in the little sack?” I asked.  “Shoes, they’re out of shoes.  Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning.  I got the children a little candy too.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a  little candy.”

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence.  I tried to think through what Pa was doing.  We didn’t have much by worldly standards.  Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most  of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.  We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?  Really, why was he doing any of this?  Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.  We knocked.  The door opened a crack and a timid voice said,  “Who is it?”

“Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”  Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in.  She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.  The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly  gave off any heat at all.  Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour.  I put the meat on the table.  Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.  She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time.  There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best – shoes that would last.  I watched her carefully.  She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started  running down her cheeks.  She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said.  He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile.  Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood.  I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.  In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.  My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul.  I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference.  I could see we were literally  saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared.  The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time.  She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you.  The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again.  I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true.  I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth.  I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others.  The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left.  I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.  Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave.  Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.  They clung to him and didn’t want us to go.  I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals.  We’ll be by to get you about eleven.  It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.”  I was the youngest.  My two brothers and two sisters  had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles.  I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you; I know for certain that He will.”

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold.  When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something.  Your ma and me have  been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square.  Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do.  Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again.  I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.  Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities.  Pa had given me a lot more.  He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best and most memorable Christmas of my life.

My wish for you all is to have a real country Christmas!  It is, after all, what we do for others that makes CHRISTmas such a wonderful blessing…


Christmas Memories

I watched a special on 60 minutes Sunday night called ‘The Gift of Endless Memory’ detailing rare cases of persons that can literally remember every single day of their life since their memory started registering. The medical term given is Superior Autobiographical Memory. I, along with others who watched it, found the story fascinating.

My own memory is nothing of the sort, of course. That said, it is that time of year when certain memories of Christmases past will pop in and out, some being stronger than others.

Like my uncle giving me a pair of black patent leather lace-up boots, oh how I loved those boots – I was no more than five. Another Christmas and uncle presenting me with a stuffed dog that was just as tall as I was at the time. Riding in the cold on my new bicycle, complete with new front basket with faux flowers. Our dog Archie running wild through the house with a red bow on his head – on the one day a year that he was allowed inside briefly, Christmas Eve. Opening a gigantic box from Mom, thrilled to find it filled to the brim with new books. My cousins as babies, each sporting a little bald head at the time in their adorable Christmas outfits. My mammaw and our calico kitty, Skitz – her touching each of her paws and saying ‘you just don’t match’. Baby girl sitting in her little black corvette with an upside-down smile, frustrated with sidewalk driving at the early age of 3. Bountiful meals and family time at Nanny’s and Nana’s houses. Baby girl walking into a sliding glass door thinking it was open, landing her smack on the floor. Mammaw being barely able to breathe one Christmas eve with her refusing to go to the hospital. Opening a small box from ex-hubby containing my wedding rings he’d had reset, thinking I was the luckiest girl in the world. The smells of BBQ weenies and sausage balls wafting through the air. Years later, hanging with boyfriend’s family enjoying their hearty laughter. Helping baby girl decorate her Christmas tree at her first new apartment…

I look so very forward to the future, and making many more memories along the way. I wish the merriest of Christmas blessings for you all…


Four short days away

It shan’t be long now! Hope everyone’s ready (or at least almost) for the big day.

The weather here has been so unseasonably cold for December that no one even knows what to expect anymore. I’ve watched the forecast diligently, and for two days now I’ve seen this:

Could it be, could it be – ohhh mama (said with my best Elvis sneer) could it really be… snow on Christmas? A light dusting to brighten the holiday itself would be nice. But I’ve got some traveling to do, and we all know how Southerners mix with snow and ice – kinda like oil and water.


DeNiro and Hoffman

It’s not often that I watch television. When I do, I can count the shows I watch all on one hand, which aside from Survivor, consist of a little Nat Geo, History and Discovery channel. Last night, I got a real treat – I mean this one was really off the charts for me.

I was finishing wrapping presents and happened to have the tube on in the background, volume low – when I heard the David Letterman show come on. If I’m not already in bed, this would normally cue bedtime. Then they announced who the guests were.

Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman. I’m a huge fan of both.

You may have seen the set of movies that the pair star in together often referred to as ‘The Fockers movies”. Meet the Parents came out in 2000, Meet the Fockers debuted in 2004, and released at theaters just this month was The Little Fockers. If you haven’t seen any of the movies and are a fan of the two, the movies are a must-see, one of my favorites. Here’s a trailer to the 2004 Meet the Fockers, in which the two sets of parents meet and ‘come together’. It’s an awesome cast including Ben Stiller and Barbara Streisand.

In Letterman’s entire career, DeNiro has never been on his show which made it even more special. Much to my delight, the entire hour ended up being theirs. As they introduced the pair, they walked out together and the audience went wild. The applause went on for what seemed like several minutes, which Letterman respectfully allowed. It gave me chills! Hoffman seemed pleased the entire applause, DeNiro laid back being his normal cool self. Once they started talking, it took about ten minutes for DeNiro to ‘warm up’ to Dave’s questions, again, first time ever on the show. Hoffman made jovial of everything which really seemed to help things out in that area. They talked about movies like The Graduate, TootsieRainmanCasino, Goodfellas, Raging BullTaxi Driver and Godfather. I’m a big fan of the mob movies, always have been since I was a girl in school. Needless to say, most actors in this genre of filmmaking far surpass A-okay in my book – there’s too many of them to list (DeNiro and Pacino being my all-time faves).

It was a monumental show last night. This video showcases a few moments of the broadcast, only five minutes or so, but enough to give you the gist. Yeah, I’m starstruck once again. These guys have just never gotten old to me… and never will.


BP (no gas here)

Been feeling junky for the past few days, mainly my throat. Since I wanted to make sure I was well for Christmas I decided to pay a visit to the doc yesterday after work. I’m glad I did.

My blood pressure was once again off the charts, and it turns out it was high the last time I was there too. Yesterday it was 151/100, and I had been there for a while so it’s not like I’d just walked in out of a traffic jam. Stage 2 hypertension is not something I feel I should have since I’ve been managed by a beta blocker many years now, but I guess it happens. Sooo, now I get to be on two medicines for bp. I’m just glad it was caught.

My ever-wise daughter: “Oh my gosh, Mom! You have GOT to be more peaceful and calm down. You need to try some relaxation techniques. Meditate. It really does work! Just sit in candle light and do some really deep breathing for 10 minutes every night. You can’t keep being so wound up!”

I got a quick visual of myself getting stuck in a pretzel position, and it struck a funny bone in me. Then I got to thinking maybe she’s actually onto something. Honestly, I know she is. Stop being so wound up. Don’t sweat the petty things. Don’t pet the sweaty things. Yeah, that’s it! Here’s an old dog trying to learn a new trick again… I’ll be sure let ya know how that works out for me.


Cold

I honestly cannot think of anything this morning but how cold I am. It was 12º when I got up and it’s not expected to even reach freezing today. I’m starting to wonder if I really live in the Carolinas. I came (not so happily) bouncing into work sporting a newfound cold, twenty-plus layers and knockoff uggs. Today I came complete with Tussin CF®, Chloraseptic® and Afrin®. And hey, it’s warm in here! I am set.

Couldn’t miss today, anyway – the company Christmas luncheon is at noon. Oh, how wonderful it feels to say that word – Christmas! Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas. Seems as though I’ve heard the word more this year than ever before, and I love it! So we’ll get catered in today (12 degrees this morning, good day for catering in, wouldn’t ya say?) by an awesome caterer, and enjoy some good team-building time. And errr, food. Did I mention the caterer was awesome?

So I gotta go there – my pet-peeve for the day/week. Yeah, we’ll make it for the week. How about those smartass know-it-alls in life? You know, those people who have the need to knock anything you say either down, top it with their own (new and improved) version, or generally insinuate a less than intelligent status on your part. Sometimes I grow weary of ‘petting’ them – of being nicey-nice in order to smooth things over when something is said that falls into the category of know-it-all. Of being ever-agreeable so as not to appear argumentative. I’d love to do a case-in-point, however that would pretty much lay everything out on the table and somehow I can’t bring myself to do that. Sometimes though, I wonder why I don’t just come right on out and say what I feel, and not worry so much about how it’s perceived. Once in a rare while I’ll turn those tables… and it actually feels good.

It’s becoming increasingly tougher to teach this old dog new tricks anyway.

Photo owned by Lord of the Rings® Trilogy, New Line Cinemas

Tricksters, tricksters!! They’re all tricksters… all of them!! 😆


Christmas, weekend and beach thinking

In reverse order.

The Christmas season has officially begun for most, but for some reason my mind seems to remain stuck on a warm, tropical setting. Instead of Christmas shopping this weekend, I’d rather be packing for a several-day stint at the beach for New Years. I can’t get it off my mind, and anxiously await the week before to at least see how the weather’s looking for the New Year.

I’m going to give my best attempt at finishing my Christmas shopping this weekend. I’m sure they’re will be a few extras to get next week, but even getting the majority done will be a huge relief. In the meantime, I’ll catch a few new oceanic documentaries that my love dvr’d recently for our viewing enjoyment. Uh-oh, here comes that tropical feeling creeping ’round again…


I Saw God Today

Once in a blue moon, a song comes along that makes a such a big impact on me that I must share it and the lyrics. George Strait is a master at such songs. This particular one doesn’t need a description… the title represents it very well.

Really, when you think about it, it’s amazing what all we can see God in within our everyday lives… if we only pay close enough attention.

Here’s a video – you’ll have to overlook the typos, but I did admire the fact that whoever did this compilation adores daisies as much (or more) than I do. Unfortunately, you do have to watch (listen) to it on youtube since it’s copywrited music… but that’s becoming par for the course. It’s my hope that all of us are able to see God in our own day today… blessings to everyone for a warm and wonderful weekend.

Just walked down the street to the coffee shop
Had to take a break
I’d been by her side for 18 hours straight
Saw a flower growin’ in the middle of the sidewalk
Pushin’ up through the concrete
Like it was planted right there for me to see

The flashin’ lights
The honkin’ horns
All seemed to fade away
In the shadow of that hospital at 5:08
I saw God today

I’ve been to church
I’ve read the book
I know he’s here
But I don’t look
Near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should

His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

Saw a couple walkin’ by they were holdin’ hands
Man she had that glow
Yeah I couldn’t help but notice she was startin’ to show it
Stood there for a minute takin’ the sky
Lost in that sunset
Splash of amber melted in the shades of red

I’ve been to church
I’ve read the book
I know he’s here
But I don’t look
Near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should

His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

Got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She’s sleepin’ like a rock
My name on her wrist
Wearin’ tiny pink socks
She’s got my nose, she’s got her mama’s eyes
My brand new baby girl
She’s a miracle
I saw God today.


Mary Elizabeth

She is finally at peace. Born Mary Elizabeth Anania, her sunrise was July 3, 1949; sunset, December 7, 2010. Elizabeth passed away on a Tuesday at her home in Chapel Hill, NC after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.

Although I might not have agreed with some of her political stances, I admire and respect the lady for reasons different than what one may expect.

  • Her family meant everything to her. Through the years she managed a very elegant balance between her home life with her husband and children, her professional career as an attorney, then later becoming her husband’s chief policy advisor during a presidential bid.
  • Her courageousness and perseverance was inspiring to all who have fought a disease and those who continue to fight.
  • She maintained such grace and poise after their oldest son Wade was killed in a car crash (age 17) in 1996. I cannot imagine what strength it must take to go on after the death of one of your own children.
  • She lived her private life on a public stage. Yeah, I’m gonna go there. The level of humiliation she must have endured after her husbands indiscretions came to light had to have been gut wrenching. I simply can’t think of any other term to describe it.

In September 2006, Edwards released a book, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers, focusing on the death of her son and her illness. In May 2009, she released a second book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities, further detailing her illness, the deaths of her father and son, the effect of these events on her marriage, her husband’s infidelity, and the general state of health care in America.

On December 6, 2010, Elizabeth’s family announced that she had stopped cancer treatment after her doctors advised her that further treatment would be ‘unproductive’. The cancer had metastasized to her liver, and she had been advised she had several weeks to live. Her family members, including her estranged husband John, were with her. It was on this day she posted her last message on Facebook:

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.

Elizabeth always felt that Wade was an angel, and that one day she would be able to see him again. Somehow I feel you’ve already found Wade, dear Elizabeth. May you rest in peace now.

Factual source: Wikipedia


Sunny Beaches

Have I mentioned how cold it is here in the Carolinas? I have a friend down in Florida who is simply beside herself with all the freeze warnings going on there. Her status updates include talks of hot chocolate and such – it’s cute, really. If I haven’t already mentioned it, baby it’s COLD outside! The sun’s scheduled to show it’s pretty little face today warming us up to a toasty  36º. I’m starting to wonder if I’ve started my next life in, shall I say, Minnesota or something. At the very least with my cohorts up in Ohio. Seems like every year gets a little colder and harder here (gosh-darned global warming, go away).

Last night I donned the flannel sheets and a blanket atop the comforter. That was literally the best move I’ve made all year. Man, did I sleep good last night! My little Camille was right with me and even chose to stay in bed this morning while Mommy rose from the casket got up to get ready for work.

I know to give credit for pictures, really I do. Just peruse my many blogs and you’ll see all the credits issued for any photos other than my own. So you can imagine my surprise when out of all the pictures I have ever posted (most of them being my own) I had an asshole person with no life call me out last night on the very one I forgot about, on non-other than my own ‘about me’ page. I think I was cordial enough in my response back, no matter how tiny I thought such a person might be in real life form. The so-called possible copyright infringement occurred on the short blog I wrote titled “Fallin’ Back”. It was a generic picture of the backs of a man and woman with hats on sitting in chairs along the shore of a beach. Again, the one picture I failed to give proper credit to (which, had I done so, would’ve been to the wrong credit being that I came about the picture through a TRAVEL AGENCY…) Silly me. In any case, the picture is down, but an asshole person in severe need of a life can’t touch my Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffett video positioned a wee bit down on said blog.

Spoken in true indian fashion… it was a good picture. I must also mention that I’ve found it still resides on several websites as of today. But in proper Bon form… as I wish for no harm to be brought upon any small animals or marine creatures… I have promptly and justly removed it.

However.

For your viewing enjoyment, I’ve taken the liberty of replacing it with my very own less-than-5-minute Bon-sketch this morning. Hey, I have to get some kind of laugh outta this. Use your imagination… and your mind may just drift right on out to paradise. 😀

Copyright  © 2010 BM

 


Happenings

The weekend is over, and back to reality we go. I probably haven’t gotten this much rest over a weekend since, well – ever. I forecasted exactly this type of weekend for ole’ Bon, and it’s truly been appreciated.

Saturday night we braved the crowds at Christmastown, USA – aka McAdenville, North Carolina. People come from out of state to see the former little ‘mill-town’ that has been decorating for 55 years now. There’s a certain way visitors need to enter in order not to sit in 2-hour or more traffic – the likes of which our hearts literally broke looking at on the way out. Since so many people do come from abroad, the interstate (I-85) is jammed up way past the Lowell-McAdenville exit. The most efficient route is to turn left from (I-485) Wilkinson Blvd. exit, and enter the Christmas lights to the right.

My favorite house… especially since Christ still Rules.

Later that night, we made our New Year reservations at the beach again. I can only describe last year as magical, and I can’t imagine anything less this year. Fluorescent armbands/headbands and adult beverages shall adorn the balcony, errr beach, whichever mother nature chooses to allow. It’s an awesome hotel, the rates being SO affordable out of season – and only 2 blocks from a very cool pier. I have a genuine feeling that it’s gonna be awesome, no matter what the weather holds.

I decorated a couple of trees at work Friday. Yeah, they’re only about a foot tall each, but they serve the purpose. Gotta usher in the ole’ Christmas spirit to the office one way or the other!

Hope everyone has a happy, warm and blessed week. 🙂


Mi amore

I’m eagerly anticipating the weekend more than I can even say. I don’t have anything planned – no places to be at or people to visit. Just a couple of free days to spend with the man I love so very much. (Sigh) If I were to allow myself, I could easily get lost in writing about how I feel about him. I’m so thankful for a second chance at love and happiness in life, and realize how very lucky I am to have found him.

A friend and I were talking about love and relationships in general the other day. It’s funny how when you’re in the beginning-to-mid stages of a relationship, your own ‘me time‘ is important to have. ‘Me time‘ is essential to a healthy relationship. Here’s the thing – for quite a while now I’ve found that during my me time, all I think about is when I’ll see him again. Oh I know, I’ve got it bad. You just hush now, Bon.

Happy weekend, everyone – and blessings to all.


Hot water

My goodness it’s been busy at work. Not only are the orders piling in (much to our delight) but there’s been a g’normous hand-job that the whole company has been in on (okay, not that kind, for those of you out there thinking it). It’s got to do with the Special Olympics, and it consists of over a million labels. And man, is our Team getting it done.

Oddly enough, those of us my age and older are finding out that certain things ail us after a day of manual labor. Things like aching backs, necks and feet (the foot complainer would be me). After I came home, I afforded myself a long hot bath. The ultimate in home relaxation, I always say.

Oh, and ahem… along with a nice glass of wine.

It gave me some time to breathe deeply and think, instead of sitting in front of the darn computer like some zombie. To contemplate my blessings and thank God for them. My wonderful family – I’d list them all but the circle is small just like my friends, so you know who you are! My loving guy, who is going back to work on what he hopes is a permanent basis, and is so excited about the opportunity. The overtime I got today, though it wasn’t much, every little bit helps for sure. The sweltering water that surrounded me at the time. The fact that it’s Wednesday, the day my favorite show Survivor comes on (and it looks to be an exciting episode). And that means… tomorrow is Friday Eve. 😀

Ever feel rushed, or like there’s not enough time in the day to get things done?

‘To live is so startling, it leaves time for little else.’ -Emily Dickinson


Eleven-thirty….

The last day of the month. I continually ask myself just where did this year go? Tomorrow, I’ll dig out the little Christmas tree here at work and decorate it. It seems as though I only put it away a couple months ago.

Ever known a Pot Stirrer? I think all of us knows at least one, perhaps more. The person who thrives on creating and feeding havoc. An individual who insists on being the one to ‘release the cracken’ (insert trademark here). Well, it’s been released all right… or should I say busted and ‘leaked’.

I know there are varying opinions out there on this, and I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m with the majority who believes in federal prosecution. I mean good grief, you just don’t see the other countries government or dictators secrets being busted wide open. Sure, I believe in freedom of speech as long as it doesn’t compromise our safety. Newsflash – pissing people off compromises our safety. Okay, that’s been festering for a couple of days… thanks for letting me get it off my chest.

The heat’s running continuously, it’s rainy and it’s COLDDD. I know it’s the time of year for it, but I still don’t have to like it. Chillish temps and undesirable-looking landscapes make for a grumpy Bon in the morning. Why, even the lake screamed Delores Claiborne up at me during my morning commute. How many months again until Spring? I’m off to search for that app.


New week

A weekend that was absolutely awesome makes it ten times easier to come back into work on a Monday, I don’t care what anyone says. I mean, consider the alternative – having had a really crappy weekend and having to return to work? No. I’ll take the weekend that was as sweet as a fresh-baked blueberry muffin, thank you.

Both K and I got to spend time with our daughters over the holiday weekend, and it was a great time to be had. Two terrific girls decorating a Christmas tree, well – I can’t think of any better way to kick off the Christmas season! The weather was cold enough to warrant a fire in the evenings… just perfect.

Looking out my window this morning, I’m reminded that the barren land across from our business will soon be occupied. The for sale sign is gone and the deer-laden pasture has been purchased. My sweet little scenic view from the huge window beyond my desk will soon be adorned with just another building.

Dear Lord: can I take it with me please?

I’ll close with a final snap of my beloved furbaby underneath her Keefer’s tree. She slept underneath it the entire night, even after the lights had been turned off. Of course, I had to get my own out after we got home. It’s not decorated yet but at least has lights, which is all she’s really concerned with anyway. 🙂