Category Archives: Pondering

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge ~Letters from the Heart

 

Reflecting on the end of a challenge. One door closes another one opens. What was good? What was bad? What was ugly?  What can be done different? How can things be better?  

 

THE GOOD

Through my Letters from the Heart series I’ve learned a lot about myself.  Other years I’ve participated, but not really participated. It was nice to reconnect with some past bloggy buddies as well as making some new friends. This year I put a little more effort into getting to know my fellow bloggers and what they stand for.  Networking, because isn’t that what blogging is? Bonding with the homogeneous.

As the years pass, as we write and interact with others, we change. Our writing changes, our moods change, our habits change.  Hopefully for the better.

Statistically speaking, I had visitors from 25 different countries, which I think is really cool. I received more comments than I could keep up with and trust me that count is not high.  I found that if you reciprocate, you tend to get more comments.

THE BAD

I really had it in my head to visit every single blog from the Master List. I didn’t do very well at this.  I found myself drawn to certain blogs which I loved.  It happens. Blogging is a clicky little world and you can’t avoid clicks. We all have the same number of hours in a day. What do you want to use those hours on?  I choose to spend mine on things that I enjoy. Unfortunately it didn’t leave a lot of time for exploring and finding new blogs. A few times I did visit blogs that I wouldn’t normally visit, but really didn’t find them enjoyable.  I left comments but for the most part if I didn’t get a response or at least and acknowledgement that I visited, I did not return to the site.

THE UGLY

Which brings me to the things I disliked.  Some of the website links were not user friendly.  A few of the websites I visited I found it to be a chore to actually find the A-Z challenge. Once I maneuvered my way to the actual post it was fine. But still it was an inconvenience that took valuable minutes out of my day. Others neglected to even post at all. If I visit a blog and can’t easily find my way around, if there is no indication that it’s part of the challenge, or  if I can’t find where to leave a comment, chances are I’m not going to visit again. Also if I visit more than once and have to enter my name, email, etc. every time to leave a comment, I probably won’t comment a second time.

DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW

What to do different? I had intentions of participating in the Road Trip. Unfortunately what I need to do is focus on areas where I need to improve before taking on another commitment. I think I jibber-jabbered about how we all have the same number of hours in a day, and we get to choose what we do with those hours. One of the things I noticed through the challenge this year is it’s much more enjoyable when you form a relationship or bond, per say, with some of your fellow bloggers. It’s important to reciprocate when they take the time to make a comment. I plan to take my own road trip.  I want to go back through all of my comments, not only this year, but all of the previous challenges, and respond to every comment that I neglected. Wish me luck.

COLLABORATION

How to make things better? Free advertising. I’ve included a few of my favorite bloggy buddies’ buttons to the right of the site. If you would to share yours send me your info. I’m at yahoo (everyone really is). We are the world of information. Knowledge at our fingertips.  What do you want to share? (Crackerberries discretion of course). I think that’s what this world needs: more sharing and just being kind. And if you think of it throughout the year, pop in on some of the bloggers you hooked up with and just say “HI”.  A random comment or nod might just be what someone needs to make their day.

That’s my take.  What’s yours?  Have you thought about what your theme for next year will be?  Be sure to leave your reflection link or blog link in the comments. I promise to do my best to come visit you and leave a comment back.

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Drink Up

Okay so a little zebra left from the last post…I can’t help it I love zebras and wine!


A’lil Hoohaa’s monthly photo blog challenge

Did I really need to push myself into another challenge? Probably not but this looks like it only happens once a month and if you’re not pushing yourself well you just aren’t living on the edge enough. Plus My Blogging Buddy was talking about how much fun it was and so I had to check it out. On top of that the theme is right up my ally. (Or is it down my ally?)  Who cares?  Let’s  DRINK up!

The Beer Den where you can sip and shop.

We try to visit this store once a month.  Of course whenever we go we always tend to spend more money than we should.

 

Beers for the aisles

As you can imagine, everything looks so good you’re having a crafted bubbly. Usually one of everything ends up in the cart.  Sometimes we get home and find two of something and didn’t notice the other one already had slipped it in.  Great minds think alike I guess.

 

Chocolate and Wine

I can’t remember where it was that Tall Cool ☺ne found this but OMiGOSH I wish I could freeze it into a Cho-CO-Wine-sicle!

 

Men with beards are cool  ~   Men with mullets drool!

This was at the entrance of the Beer Den and I just thought it was funny.

 

Sunday morning brunch

 

Every Sunday brunch is good for a cocktail. This is one of our favorites.

 

An acquired taste

I made these Moscow Mules once and they were quite tasty. Only problem is finding the ginger beer. When we are able to find it, it’s kinda pricy. So I found these and they are okay, but a Moscow Mule is definitely an acquired taste.

 

 

Tasty

These are what I like when I’m working in the yard.  So this was actually taken after all the work for the day was done.  I was chilling before getting the firepit stoked up. I love a bon fire.

 

 

Tall Cool ☺ne

There he is, my sweet, wonderful husband! God I love him.  We were fishing and everybody knows you can’t go fishing without a beer.  Right?

 

This is my first attempt at this photo challenge.  Hopefully I did okay.  I’m not a photographer… but I do enjoy taking pictures and adding them to my blog. My real passion is writing.  If you want to see who the real photographer in the family is just follow this link. 

 

 

I sure hope you enjoyed my pics and descriptions.  If you like sharing photos I encourage you to leave your links here or go to the this linkydink and share them there.  It’s my first shot at it so I’m still learning. 

 

Cheers, 

Crackerberries

 

 

 

Y = You and You are NOT the Christ ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Impersonator:

Y is for you, and you are not the Christ. Oh, but to have just one day to be the Christ! Can you imagine all the wrongs you’d right? Of course you wouldn’t do it the way Christ did. Dying on a cross for sinners? Heck no! You’d just snuff ‘em out with an enchanted twitch of your nose or a few hocus pocus words with a swirly twirl of your magic-wand-pen.  No second chances, sinners, you’re gone! Ha ha …now wouldn’t that be fun?

Sometimes you try to play God, point your finger to the ones who are doing wrong.  You try to put things in motion  to turn out a certain way. Sometimes you do things to make other things happen to get you the desired result. How do those times turn out for you? Never very good right?

Remember cutting the Cedar tree limbs because the road was blocked? The neighbors told you they took care of the road. (Course they lied, but you still had to exert your rights). Cops came told you NOT to touch the trees, even though they were on the right of way. “The Jones (not their real name) have a lot of entitlement in these parts.” Shit you not, the officer said so himself.

God took care of it all in the end, but if you had just left it alone instead of exerting YOUR rights, you wouldn’t have so many run-ins with the neighbors.  You also would not have the sheriff’s department giving you a “friendly reminder” every time you decide to start a new project! That name has clout in the these parts…don’t you forget it. You’re a Yankee and the South is gonna do it again (that’s a whole other topic, don’t get started!)

Do you wonder if other people think about having that kind of power? Wonder what it would be like to be the Christ for one day? Isn’t that why writers write? To live in a little bit of fabricated world to set aside the real world humdrums even for a short period of time. That’s why you write when you are writing to entertain yourself.

Even in a good short story with that kind of power you couldn’t handle it. You probably wouldn’t be able to handle three wishes. You’d screw up the first two, then have to use the last one to wish that you never had them in the first place. It’s better to live by these instructions.

1. It is all in God’s hands, you are not the Christ.
2. Any questions, refer to #1.

Thanks for playing along. This was just a silly-willy kind of letter. You were convicted a lot in that last Bible study. It’s good to be humble.  He’s got it all planned and mapped out for you if you just follow His prompting. Don’t try to do it on your own. You’ll mess it up and then you know what happens? 


Your constant and faithful,


I don’t know about you guys but I am ready for a break. Omigosh so many things that I’ve not done around the house. Tomato plants are dying to be transplanted (literally). I sure hope we can all stay in touch if not daily, weekly maybe or monthly. It’s really been nice to have you loyal bloggies come around for a visit.

Xtra Xtra Read All About It! ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

 

 

Dear Barbiella:

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the things you have planned or not planned work out like you had no idea they were going to work out? Be honest here. When you put down Xtra Xtra read all about it on the Theme Reveal List, you had no clue what you were going to write about. You just figured something would come to mind and you would get it done.

Perhaps you were going to use this post to list some of the favorite blogs that you have been trying to keep up with throughout the challenge.  

o Music
o Vacation
o Projects
o Cartoons
o Life musings

 

Perhaps you were going to have the news about the new opportunities that both you and hubby have at your places of employment. You are both waiting for that yeah or neigh to go through and maybe you thought  you could brag about those opportunities.

Perhaps you wanted to sing praises about your son and all of the awesome opportunities he has at Disney and Universal. Can’t wait to go on the new ride.  

 

You weren’t really sure until about 8:30 PM last Friday evening when you got the news. (You need to write these things down so you remember them in chronological order!) It’s still kind of a secret because all of the important people have not been told. But in your defense none of the important people read your blog anyways so you need not be concerned that they will find out here.

So you are gonna be a Granny! Isn’t that exciting?   Today is about CELEBRATION! YOU are finally going to be a Granny-mamma! How AWESOME! More to come at a later date.

Your constant and faithful,

 

The end is near … on the last three letters XYZ.  Don’t give up now. You can do this.  Try to get yourself a copy of the Master List so you can continue to visit other blogs throughout the year.  Buy a TSHIRT if you haven’t already.  Make some comments or share your linky-dinks on the social media platforms.  Have some fun.  Enjoy the ride…ooh Road Trip coming up.

Weekly Letters ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Cool Heel:

Cool heel is a joke, but for real, one of your heels is cold all the time lately. You don’t know why, but it won’t warm up. Maybe you need to get a cup warmer and set it on that during the day? Ha ha.

Did you know December 7th is National Letter Writing Day?

You know it’s funny, you have been writing yourself this whole month and not paid much attention to writing any of the weekly letters you normally do. Saved some money in postage. Your S☼nshine mentioned he hadn’t seen a letter lately so you did sneak in one to him, and your pregnant daughter (secret revealed) over the weekend.  It was strange as you were composing the letter like you were still writing in second person point of view. It’s a little bit of a challenge writing in the first person again.

The weekly letters are the reason this theme came about. They are as much fun as this month’s challenge. Even more fun (especially) when you get a letter back. Most people are not letter writers and don’t write back.  But it’s peculiar when people don’t like to get a letter.

Something to keep in mind. Perspective. Everyone has a different stance on things. Writing how you feel or what you think may not be perceived by someone else the same way. What you find happy and exciting, others might see as depressing. Sad but true. No way around it. [Matthew 7:6] Be careful what you share and who you share with.

And one more W thing… What do you season a WOK with? Do you season a WOK?  Why is your WOK always getting tarnished with rust? Can anyone help?

Your constant and faithful,

Vicious Life Cycles ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbarinie:

It sucks that you picked vicious life cycles as today’s topic. Sometimes you have to face it. Life is not all skittles and beer or rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes life wants to push you down and fuck ya stick it you where the sun don’t shine. Not so much life, really, but people in your life or situations that come about that involve people in your life. You know like the ebb and flow of the Atlantic tide.

Vicious life cycles are something like generational sin. It goes on and on until someone decides to stop it. Not that they can because you have tried to right the wrongs. Just because you speak it true, won’t make it real. You cannot control how others will react to your desires. You are not the Christ (coming up in a future post).

Vicious are the things in life that you want to change, you try to change, but you don’t have the power to change them. So what can you do?


1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. In a day/week/month/year it won’t matter anyways.
2. Realize all people are messy. They deal with the same things you do.
3. Show grace. Everyone needs to be shown a little clemency.
4. Know when to just shut up. Remember what Thumper said in Bambi.


Practice these few things and that will be the beginning of stopping the vicious life cycles you find yourself in with people. Just know life is not always going to be smooth as velvet 🧶

Go have a good day now.
Your constant and faithful,

Can you believe we are on our last week of the challenge?  How’s everyone doing?  Having a good time?  I am going to be bummed to see it end.  How about you guys?  Are you going to keep at it and continue blogging on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?  How do you fit it all in? Just curious.

Understanding Truths ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbie

Understanding Truths, what does that even mean? Remember the truth or dare game you used to play as a kid? It was always intimidating after the question was asked knowing you had to be truthful or take the dare. Who knows what that dare could be? Kids had a funny way of making each other participate in silly and stupid things. And to be honest, how did they know if you were telling the truth or not.  Ever since the ballerina incident your conscience always got to you.  

Tall Cool ☺ne always says, “Say what you mean and mean what you say”. He is very literal. It’s hard for you because you write.  You write for effect and sometimes things need embellishment. You should work on articulating without trimming when communicating … you are not writing a story.

Point to mention, this new venture at work entails a full background check ~life time. Crazy, huh?  You are pretty good at knowing what is in your past since you’ve journaled about every little detail. While trying to get the documentation for one such incident from the court, the person on the other end tried to tell you it wouldn’t show up when they did the background check. Hello? Person on the other end of the phone, you’re seeing it, what makes you think “they” are not going to see it?

Why do people have an issue with truth? Do they think that if they don’t talk about it makes it not true? Do they think if they speak what they think is true that’s what it will be?  This is where Understanding Truths came to land on the list.



Just a quick look in your bible’s index and there are over 58 references to the word “truth”. Probably the most important one is John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” If you ask Him, He will give you all the truth you need. You don’t need to understand anyone else’s truths.

Learn about some truths here … today (4/24/21) only

 

That’s all for today. (Oh and you have a secret… )

Your constant and faithful,

 

Salting the Wounds ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear Salty Dawg:

Salting the wound is making an already unpleasant situation worse. As much as you want to share your little orange notebook entry for today’s letter, you know it’s not the right thing to do. Sometimes you just gotta know when to let people go. Sometimes you can’t fix the wrongs they feel in their life. Sometimes it’s not you. Sometimes you have to accept that you have done all you can. Sometimes they won’t let bygones be bygones.  Sometimes you need to let them go, scissor ✂them out of your life. Stop trying to fix them.

You probably should have picked Starbucks or Sunshine or summer or Sometimes… here’s a song by one of your favorites.  Perfect for this post…..


See ya,

                   

 

 

Quiet Time ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear Barbie:

As you mentioned yesterday people are part of your life. While thinking about what to write in regards to quiet time, two very special people came to mind.  Your sister and your friend Rach.  A lot could be said about the quietness between you and your sister, but instead, we are going to dedicate this one to Rachel.  She knows a whole lot about quiet times.

Read about Rachel’s Quiet Time here.

What are your thoughts?  Do you know someone like Rachel?

If you have any Questions ❓ for Rachel feel free to send her an email.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

I don’t know about you but this has been so much fun writing and getting to talk to you guys everyday.  I really hope we will stay in touch.  If not every day maybe once a week, or a month?  I need the encouragement so I’ll help you if you help  me.  ☺

People ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbie:

People are part of your life. They come and go in your life all the time. Some people are part of your life forever and some for a short period of time. People are funny human beings with different characteristics that make you love them or not like them so much at all. Sometimes you can chose to have people in your life and other times you don’t get that option.

In you’re opinion you are lucky to get the opportunity to work from home and not have to meet people face to face on a daily basis. Others might disagree, but you have a tendency to tell people exactly what you think (you are working on this and doing a good job, but still have a long ways to go).  You think a lot of people are a few cans short of a six pack.

This challenge has brought many new people into your life and it’s a blessing to be able to learn about so many new things and the opportunity to visit new cultures, fresh ideas and different opinions. You would like to mention some people (old pals and some new faces too).

Our smiling Janet is taking us on a round trip through San Francisco.
Curious Cathy is sketching us pictures and sharing Looney Tunes cart☺☺ns.
John single-handedly is counting down the top 40.
Tamara always has a fresh new perspective to ponder.

How could I forget Karen where I can always go home to Maine?
Iain shares the background of characters from his State Trilogy.
Pradeep is taking us through Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore.
Arlee (founder of A-Z) taking us for a river ride.


There are so many more people to mention and should but then it wouldn’t be short and sweet. Make sure you visit the master list and pick a category you wouldn’t normally look at. Go see what they are up to. Make a nice comment! You have more people to meet, so what are you waiting for.

Cheers,

Well folks we only have two weeks to go.  How is everyone doing?  Are you planning to keep at it after the challenge is over?  I for one definitely want to keep writing.  It brings me such joy.  We still have the After Survey, Reflections and then the Road Trip…that will be fun.

 

Opportunity for Growth ~ Letters from the Heart #atozChallenge

Dear Fortune Hunter:

What in the world will you come up with next? Opportunities for growth? What is it that you want to grow in? That chocolate cake is a great opportunity for thigh and butt growth. Pretty sure that’s not what you were talking about when you put that on your theme reveal list.

You were probably thinking more of growth being on the spiritual side. That Bible study you have been working on It’s All Under Control has helped a lot. The struggle is real, my friend and you will deal with it on a daily basis. Control is not your friend.

At the time of writing this letter you were a little convicted for letting an opportunity slip by. One of the crew members on Tall Cool ☺ne’s Crew was given the chance to move up on the crew and take a new position with a small pay increase. He just had to show some effort that he wanted to do it by going to get a permit and then doing some training to get a certain license. (All paid for and done at work.) His response was “The little bit of money is not worth my time and effort”.

This convicted you a little because it was similar to a response you used when a new opportunity came up at work. The opportunity you gave up was a new position that offered an increase in salary and flexible shift.

While writing this letter you just talked yourself through it. The thing that is different between the crew member and you is about 35 years. You have to take courses on your own time. What do you want to do with your free time?  It is not paid for by the company until you pass the test. Then you are not guaranteed the position. Also not sure that your hours would be the same.

Maybe you will regret not engaging in the opportunity. One door closes, another one opens. Sometimes you have to know when to say no. That, my friend, is opportunity growth.



Until next time,
Your constant and faithful

[Side-note: this is the short version. You promised your readers you would keep these posts short and sweet. The full version can be found in that cool Orange 🍊 journal you bought for yourself just for this project]

Ignore Negativity ~ Letters From the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021


Dear Sunshine:

Today’s submission couldn’t have come at a better time. You beat yourself up all day yesterday for being an unproductive member of the blogging society. You even read a couple of blogs and didn’t post a comment or like them. Shame on you! You slob, do your job. That will teach you to stay up late, drinking and partying half the night on a school night!

Speaking of one of the other blogs, lets give a shout out to John over at The Sound of One Hand Typing! He enlightened your musical knowledge. Tall Cool ☺ne has a song. It’s included with today’s contribution for your listening pleasure.


Pay attention to ignoring the nay-sayers. You are doing better at not getting involved in the controversial posts and conversations you see on social media. Your next step is to ignore them completely. Don’t read them, don’t write about them in your journal, stay away from them completely. No good comes of it.

Let’s use the COVID vaccination as an example. People are taking about it and have lots of opinions on yeah or nay for vaccinating. You were contemplating it and could go one way or the other, didn’t really matter to you.  After reading Steph’s post on Corona , it put your thoughts in different perspective. Tall Cool ☺ne, your kids, your parents, your friends, everyone around you has got the vaccination or is scheduled to so it was time to get on board. As of writing this post, you have your first booster scheduled (good for you).

Ignore the negativity. It serves no purpose.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs?  I’m trying to visit five new blogs each day but it’s not Have you ordered a t-shirt yet?  Have you found all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and select a few that you may not normally visit. Good luck and have fun.

Helping Those in Need ~Letters From the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021

Hello, Hello, Howdy and Hey-hey whaddaya say?

Your letter today is going to be short and sweet because Tall Cool ☺ne decided since it was Thirsty Thursday you guys would pretend you were back in high school and instead of him going home after Rockford Files he stayed, and you guys played… into the wee hours of the night (or morning). You are getting a little too old for that on a “school” night and it’s gonna be a long day on three hours of sleep.

Today’s offering is about helping those in need. You might interpret that to mean helping homeless helpless people. Not today my friend. Help is support for anyone who needs it. Just because you work at home don’t think there are not opportunities to help. It comes in various ways.

It can be as simple as a smile 🙂 over the phone ☎️ and if you try really hard people can hear that smile 🙂 in your voice. A gesture 🤙, a peace sign ✌️, a tip of the hat 👒, a nod of the head 🙃, even a like 👍on a social media site or other places you interact with people virtually.

Helping is a gift. Not everyone has the personality to be a helper…some are antagonists. Avoid them at all costs…just kidding, those are the ones who need the help the most. Remember that the next time someone comes along that you would rather avoid. Be the one person in their day that shines.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

What is A2ZBlogging? Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

Gardening ~Letters from the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021

 


Hey Bob:

(That’s just a little inside joke. When you call your mother, that’s how she answers the phone. ☺♥)

When the list was made for the “theme reveal” your letter about gardening was meant to be just that. Out in the garden, planting green beans, and cucumbers and tomatoes and all those fun vegetables that you and Tall Cool ☺ne love to eat through the summer and then can/preserve the abundance for later consuming.

After the past few days of self-reflection, gardening has taken on a new perspective. Think of it in a metaphorical sense. Maybe you need to go weeding.

Sometimes what we see as good and pretty is actually destroying what is healthy. For example the wisteria in the back yard is beautiful when in full bloom. The scent is a little over-powering but the flowers are gorgeous.  Unfortunately the plant itself is invasive. When Tall Cool ☺ne cut it back (to your dismay) azalea, camellia and gardenia bushes were revealed.

 

 

Sometimes giant pretty things need to be destroyed to reveal healthy little things.  What is in your life that needs weeding? What looks big and pretty that is covering up small and healthy?

Food for thought.

your constant and faithful,

 

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs?  I’m trying to visit five new blogs each day but it’s not Have you ordered a t-shirt yet?  Have you found all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and select a few that you may not normally visit. Most of all, have fun! ♥

This is A2Z #atozchallenge

My Haiku

This is A to Z
Blogging trial for companions
Some missions crazy

 

Wanna Play?


Blogging companions on a mission
To find a word or commission
Fashion a familiarity
With whom that hold a similarity
In writing a composition, without communication
Of a fifth symbol in ABC classification
Straightforward writing with a ballpoint
Collaborations with a buddy to a midpoint
Satisfy with forward mark of your opinions promptly
… who’s following?



This is part of the #AtoZChallenge2021 for the letter E. Think you can play along? Go for it. Just reply in the comments section with a link to your post for the day. Good luck.

Examining Faults ~ Letters from the Heart



Today, for your listening pleasure I’ve included a song from one of your favorite bands. This song always brings forth some sort of self-examination.

Dear Barbie:

These letters we are writing to our older self are not only to humor you in your old age, but to help you in the now and present time. Isn’t is easy to look at someone else and pick out everything you see wrong with them? It’s E-Evil 👿 and easy to find fault with someone else. It takes a strong person to admit their shortcomings to themselves, let alone share them for everyone to see. Everyone should take a few moments every now and again to examine their own faults. The first part of fixing something is recognizing it’s there. So let’s go through the list, shall we?

→ You are as impatient as the night is long.
→ We already know you leave the cupboard doors open from a previous post.
→ You interpret a situation, then become irritated when the person doesn’t respond the way you think they should.
→ You snore.
→ Your hair is everywhere.
→ The piles of clutter are out of hand.
→ You take on more projects than you can handle by yourself and get upset when Tall Cool ☺ne doesn’t want to participate.

Ok let’s not beat you up too much. That’s a pretty good list to start. Very good, now you can ponder over that list, and tomorrow we will take a look at fixing some of those faults.

Galatians 6:4 ~ Let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another.

FOR MY FELLOW A2Z BLOGGERS:

I got my  A2Z Blogging T-Shirt yesterday so I can sport it today.  YAH for me.

Anyone reading who want’s to sign up for the challenge do it today, because the master list closes tomorrow. 

I’m trying to do some of the BONUS CHALLENGES for fun, are you?  

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

What is A2ZBlogging? Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

Be Kind Always


February 17, 2021

Dear Self:

I would like to remind you to always be kind. Don’t make fun of people’s ignorance. Do you remember that time when you went to the Catholic Diocese for a meeting a long time ago? The receptionist had an awful looking bruise on her forehead. Your co-worker said she felt so bad for the woman because it appeared to be skin cancer. You believed her. Until just this moment you never realized that your co-worker was making fun of your ignorance. You shared in the laugh about it for a long time after it happened but now you realize how dumb you were because it was Ash Wednesday. Do you forgive her? 

Self, I want to remind you that just because everyone doesn’t subscribe to the same practices as you do, it doesn’t make them any less significant to the person who is participating in it (even if it is wrong—don’t judge). I want you to find the good in every person you meet or come in contact with. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Even bad people have something good about them. Try to find that.

Stop worrying about trying to find the perfect words to express yourself. They are not always going to come out right and people are going to interpret things different than you expect them to. You know what you mean when you put it on paper and if they take it the wrong way, that’s on them, not you. If they have a problem let them bring it to your attention. Don’t concern yourself with trying to fix everything and everyone. You are not your mother.

One more thing, that pile of laundry is not going to fold itself. I know you have these letters you want to write to yourself.  That is all fine and good and important.  I’ll be looking forward to them 20 years from now. But, you still have chores to take care of, so move your ass.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful
crackerberries

{Previous letter}

Twenty Years from Now

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. I’ve missed blogging. Funny how life gets in our way of doing the things we enjoy most. I’ve been praying a lot, asking God to lead me on my next blogging adventure. Sometimes if we are quiet and patient and wait, the answer will come. Sometimes it is right under our nose, but we don’t recognize it.

Today starts a new journey for me and my faithful followers. I’m calling this season, “Letters to Self”.




February 16, 2021

Dear Self:

I feel like I haven’t been a very productive member of society lately. With this whole Covid thing we don’t get out as much as we used to. I am definitely not the social butterfly that I remember myself being.

I’ve been spending a lot of time writing letters to family and friends. Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Mom thinks it takes up too much time and it is a lot of writing. She’s right, it does and it is, but I enjoy it so much. I started thinking more about it, and wondering how I might be able to use my gift and share things with others, even the people I don’t know.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith, or ministry let us use it in our ministering, he who teaches, in teaching, he who exhorts, in exhortation, he who gives, with liberality, he who leads, with diligence, he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8   I have this gift that has been right under my nose all these years.

Every day is a gift and what better way to take the gifts that we are blessed with to bring glory to the Kingdom of God? In the past I’ve not used my gifts wisely. Today is a brand new day. I write this in hopes that you, -myself- will read this twenty years from now and be a different person. I’m being generous with the 20…hopefully it doesn’t take that long to be wiser, smarter, more patient, all the things I struggle with now.

My blog has been on hiatus for quite some time. I have missed my daily musings. As I sat down to start this project I reviewed some of my posts in the past. Some of them are mean, disrespectful, and not very nice at all. I considered removing them. But then I realized that that’s not going to change anything. That is who I was and if I take away the person I was, it’s nothing to show for the person I am or the one I want to be. That is all part of the growing and learning process.  I have to remember where I came from to appreciate where I am now. And where I am now is part of the growing process of where I might be twenty years from now (God willing).

I had a dream the other night. Elvis was in my dream.  He was coming to tell me something. He was the young Elvis before he was overcome with the fame and fortune and drugs and alcohol. I idolized Elvis. I wanted to be just like him. I even danced around and lip synced his songs. I’m not sure what he was going to tell me, but he was there to tell me something. Before he could a train came and I woke up.

A lot of things can be learned from dreams. Joseph had a dream and when he shared it his brothers sold him as a slave. Nebuchadnezza had so many dreams it caused him not to sleep. I know what happened to Daniel when he shared the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezza’s dreams.  I will skip the fire pit, thank you very much.

God gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with Him. {Daniel 2:21-22}

I don’t know where this project will take me. I am living by faith not by sight. I know that I have a desire for my writing to be my legacy. I want to be remembered for something important. If my musings help one person find their way to Jesus, I’ve fulfilled my desire. In the meantime, I’m a writer, so I will write as long as these little fingers will strike a keyboard. And self, if you get this, twenty years from now, I’d love to hear your response.

Until next time,

your constant and faithful crackerberries

The Small Joys in Life

 

I decided not to neglect my blogs anymore. Writing is one of the sure things that bring me joy. I’ve not spent a lot of time doing it lately because I have let other things get in the way of my joy. Funny how we do that sometimes. We worry about our spouses, our jobs, our children, or our parents. Perhaps the worry is for our pets, or the bills, maybe even the housework (okay not the housework; no one said that, ever).

We live in this world of instant gratification. Sometimes we forget the value of the simple things that might not seem like much, but they really are important. That first cup of coffee in the morning. Being cuddled up on the couch in a pair of worn jammies. A journal and a pen in hand. The cat laying close by. The warmth of the sun shining through the window. A good morning greeting from a child. So many positives to be thankful for.

Our neighbors have begun putting up Christmas decorations. I love seeing the red bows pasted on the window sills of their house. It reminds me of the season.

The leaves have covered our lawn. I’ve raked them no less than three weekends in a row. Today I look out and see that the trees have dropped leaves and covered the lawn yet again. We compete with the squirrels to find the hidden treasures underneath all of those brown crunchy leaves. This year the pecan trees brought forth a huge harvest. My mouth is watering for the famous Captain Morgan’s Pecan Pie. 

With the holidays upon us I consider the people who struggle during this time of year. The struggle is real because I experience it too. I have such high expectations of what the holidays should be. I set myself up for failure so often because when they don’t turn out the way I portray them in my mind, it turns into a huge disappointment. It depresses me. Sometimes I start my depression even before the holidays arrive. Tall Cool One reminds me I am not in control (sometimes I hate that truth). I am learning to just be thankful for the things I have and the things I can control. It is a slow process but a sure one. It is a reminder… joy is an attitude. What are the small things that bring you joy?

Vacation



As the lazy, hazy days of summer draw near, for most students summer vacation has started early. I am reminded of the infamous English assignment at the beginning of the school year. “What Did You Do Over Summer Vacation?” It was one assignment we could pretty much bank on every year from the third grade on. I remember thinking my essay was going to be boring. All the other kids did way more fun stuff than me. They went to Disney or Daytona Beach or the Grand Canyon. I spent my summers at my Mimi and Papa’s house in Norway, Maine. No internet, no cable TV, no air conditioning, no swimming pool! Heck there wasn’t even a color tv until I was about 13 years old. How could a kid today ever survive that kind of summer?

One summer, after direct instruction from my grandfather not to, I went in the garden barefoot. I stepped on a rusty, old spike. (Ouch). It went right through my foot. For the next week or so, I spent soaking my foot in a bath of hot, purple water. That was kind of a drag. Another summer I peeled the whole top layer of skin off my back after swinging too close to the tree on a tire swing. Again, my Papa told me not to do so. He took the tire swing down after that and put up a regular swing. Of course this was at the instruction of my grandmother. That was fun. I could stand up on the board and pump my legs so the swing would go really high. In fact, at one point, I had it so high it went right over the clothes line. Those rope burns on the back of my legs only lasted a few weeks. It was all cleared up by the time school started.

Ah, yes the fun days of summer. Bee stings, cuts and bruises were typical. We’d drink iced tea or lemonade that was so sour it would put a pucker on your lips. We’d pick fresh vegetables from the garden and have cucumber and mayonnaise sandwiches out at the picnic table in the afternoons. At night, we would run through the tall grass and catch fireflies to see who could make their Mason jar light up the brightest. We’d take white handkerchiefs and wrap them with rocks then toss them up in the dark sky just to watch the bats dive bomb them. Now that was entertainment.

What would kids write about now? “I spent my summer in quarantine” or “I spent my summer posting videos on YouTube”.  Do you think they would take the time to hand write an essay? Would they even know what cursive writing is? I remember disagreeing with my son about his math homework fifteen years ago. He would always insist that it was okay for him to do it in pen.  He told me that when you are left-handed, writing with a pen is much easier than with a pencil. When I was in school, math was to be done in pencil, English in pen — blue or black ink, no exceptions, and always in cursive. Red ink was unacceptable, ever. My, oh my how things have changed.

I hope kids will have fun and memorable summer vacations just like I did when I was growing up.  Now that I think about it, mine were not boring at all.  Those kids that got to do all that fun stuff are the ones who really missed out. Mine were the best vacations ever. 

2 Timothy 3:1 … in the last days perilous times will come. We are closer than we know.








Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Tame The Tongue

 

Remember the old adage “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Too many times I’ve said something and then wished I hadn’t. Open mouth, insert foot. Most times it’s been both feet. Words are something you can never take back. Once they are spoken they are out there for the duration of whenever that other person decides to let it go. Sometimes they never do.

We should use our words to encourage and motivate, build up and praise, compliment and applaud one another. How many times do we take the opportunity to say “hey good job on that project you completed”, or “wow that’s a nice coat you’re wearing today” or even just “thanks for being here today”? In my workplace it’s hardly ever. (Not that they can see a smile or a coat I’m wearing, but that is just an example.) More times than not people are complaining about having to be at work, or the weather, or the customers, or each other…and we work from home!

I can’t say I haven’t had my share of tongue flapping. Proof is in my earlier blogs. I could flap my jaws like nobody’s business. James 3:8 No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart. I’ve grown a lot in my last twelve years of blogging. I cannot say it’s been an easy road. Wisdom comes with experience and if we don’t learn from past mistakes, we are not growing at all. 

People always have an opinion. Opinions are different than words. We are all entitled to our own opinion. What some people do is take their opinions and convolute them into something that they believe is truth. Sometimes those truths are not real and people who spread these words hurt other people.

Example: Terry and Toni work the same shift on the same team. Every day Toni clocks in fifteen minutes later than Terry. Terry starts noticing this and decides to clock in fifteen minutes later than his scheduled time. Later that week Terry’s boss comes to him and asks him to stay fifteen minutes over to make up for coming in late the day before. Terry is pissed. Instead of asking questions to find out if there is an underlying reason why he had to make up his time but his teammate Toni never does, he starts spreading rumors about Toni and why she comes in late every day. The rumors he spreads are false and hurtful to not only Toni but Toni’s family.  What Terry didn’t realize was Toni only took a 45 minute lunch to allow her that extra fifteen minutes in the morning to take her children to daycare.”

It’s just a silly made up example, but those types of things happen every single day. People make stuff up about someone they don’t know anything about and rumors start to fly. Look at politics. I’ll be honest , I don’t. My favorite author started making his views about politics known, and quite honestly, I think it’s disgusting. I feel bad for all of the people who are in politics and I pray for them…both sides.  They have it hard. I know we are entitled to having our own opinion, but if it involves putting someone else down, keep it to yourself. Tame that little beast in your mouth.

Take the time to build up, encourage, compliment. All good things. That’s what the world needs more of.   Galatians 5:16, 22 Walk then in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of your flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

That’s all for today my friends…. until next time.

Cheers!


Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Sending Salutations

Sending salutations is one of my favorite pastimes. In the day and age of instantaneous communication with a phone jack attached to the side of most people’s head, the days of the old fashion hand written letter are falling to the wayside. It gives me great joy to take the time to write a letter to a friend or a family member. Those gems found in the mailbox are rare commodities, similar to finding rolls of toilet paper on the shelves at the supermarket. It pleasures me to know that it puts a smile on the receiver’s face. Even if it’s a small card with a few words of wisdom or just a line of encouragement can brighten someone’s day.

There are many benefits of letter writing. It boosts cognitive abilities. You are more likely to remember something if you write it down. Receiving a letter can summon feelings of nostalgia. When you write a letter typically you write about things of the past and it might be familiar to the receiver of the letter. These little notes could be quite comforting.

Writing letters can invoke creativity. From choosing the pen to the paper to the words you write, the salutation is something personally created each stop of the way. For some, letter writing is a fulfilling hobby and the receivers look forward to that special handcrafted letter.

Letters provide something tangible to hold onto, such as a keepsake. Unlike an email that gets lost in the mass of junk emails, a letter can be saved as a treasure in flowery box or tin for future readings.

The next time you are bored and wondering what to do while being quarantined, dig out your pens and paper and send a salutation to someone. They will not only be surprised, but they might even write you back.


Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Respecting Relationship Boundaries



Boundaries are anything that help differentiate one person from another. Age, gender, social status, skin color, vocabulary, where we live, even our emotional state can provide a certain protective boundary. Sometimes boundaries are misunderstood.

We all want relationships. The most basic need in life is for relationships. We want input and teaching from others. We want to learn different things and share the knowledge we’ve learned. We want friendships. In desire, everything comes with a price. We give a little, we take a little.

Standing up for our boundaries can be misconstrued. Sometimes people will think we are being rude and insensitive. Trespassing on other people’s boundaries carries consequences. If I do this, I know this will happen, if I do that, I know something else will happen. From a young age we learned these basic instincts.  Don’t touch the hot stove or you will get burned.   

Attitudes and beliefs are what we accept as being true. There are some people who want us to change our beliefs and attitudes to what they believe and accept as being true. Perhaps some family members, friends, relatives, or even neighbors to name a few.  People who refuse to respect the boundaries we have set ooze negative energy and leave us feeling worse whenever we’re around them. Be on guard for these toxic personalities. Quickly set boundaries and let them know what will and what will not be tolerated. 

Do you have anyone like this in your life?

• Lie on a regular basis
• Take advantage of your kindness
• Don’t respect your boundaries
• Manipulate you in order to get what they want
• Put you down
• Don’t encourage you to pursue your goals
• Don’t consider other people’s feelings or needs
• Feel entitled
• Are frequently angry or aggressive
• Rarely apologize
• Blame others and don’t take responsibility for their actions
• Drain your energy
• Have a lot of “drama” or problems, but don’t want to change
• Think the rules don’t apply to them
• Talk, but don’t listen

People might be angry or offended by our choices even though we aren’t setting boundaries to be mean or difficult. Boundaries are a way to protect ourselves and maintain individuality as well as sanity. Stay safe and be sure to practice social distancing virtually as well as while you are out in public. When boundaries are not accepted, sometimes we have to accept that we are better off without the toxicity in our lives.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.