Tag Archives: Family

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.

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,

 

TGIF – Thanksgiving ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbie

Can you believe there are only six letters left after today? Whatever will you do? Today’s letter is about thanksgiving. Not the holiday (although it is Tall Cool ☺ne’s favorite) but thanksgiving in general.

As you read through the past letters in your little orange journal, you find a few revelations that have helped you understand and get past some of your silly stubbornness. Let’s just say you still have a long ways to go. But aren’t you happy you took the time to write to yourself? At the end of this month you are going to owe yourself 26 letters! (Ha Ha)

Seriously though, when you forget to give thanks for the simple things, you tend to look for things that you don’t have. When you do that it snowballs into a great big battle of discontentment and disappointment. It’s actually been quite nice writing to yourself here on your blog because you have such great people who respond. Thanks, blog buddies! ☺  I really appreciate all you do!

When you look back and see what you have or what you don’t have, it’s usually the daily little things that mean the most. Does that make sense? It’s the trivial things that are huge if they aren’t there. The first breath you take when you wake up, indoor plumbing, the flick of a switch that brings light to the room, a hot cup of coffee, that little piece of Bible scripture that starts the day,  a wink from Tall Cool ☺ne when he peeks into your office each morning, the purring of the cat cuddled up on your neck, the good morning texts from your kids, the bunnies, birds, butterflies and squirrels in the yard, a glass of wine at the end of the day… The list is endless if you just take the time to think about it. It’s the small daily things that count as big in the end. Be sure to give thanksgiving every day.

Have a great day!

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs?  I gave up trying to visit five new blogs each day– my bad I’m sorry. But if you visit me I do my best to visit you. Have you ordered a t-shirt yet? I really hope Jeremy creates a SURVIVOR TSHIRT for completing the challenge. Are you finding all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and see if there is a blog you may have missed. We are on the final stretch now.  You can do it!

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.  ☺

Marriage ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Woman:

You sure know how to challenge yourself with this years A to Z Blogging Challenge. Marriage? You really want to write about marriage?

A bribe to make a housekeeper think she’s a house holder.                                                     ~Thornton Wilder

An institution which is popular because it combines the minimum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.                                  ~George Bernard Shaw

Neither heaven, nor hell… simply purgatory.                                                                                                ~Abraham Lincoln

Another topic with potential of stepping on toes and being controversial.  Why you picked marriage for the M topic we may never know.  Here you are, trying to come up with something witty and sound like you know what you’re talking about when you don’t have a clue.

Here’s what you’ve learned:

  • Don’t put anchovies on pizza
  • Fruit does not go in beer
  • All potato salad is the same
  • No matter how you slice it, cake is not pie

There are other things but it’s too early in the morning, you’re brain has not had enough coffee.  You just asked for a tip from Tall Cool ☺ne.  His words of wisdom: Don’t get married until you know everything! 

Tomorrow we’ll talk about needful things.

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.

Kids ~ Letters from the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021


Dear Mom: (it sounds like “mum” when you say it).

You say anchiladas instead of enchiladas, selsa instead of salsa, sireen instead of siren, dooryard instead of drive-way, and the list goes on and on. But this letter is not about your accent and how you say things the wrong way. It might be more fun because writing about kids is could be a little contentious.



Between you and Tall Cool ☺ne you have four kids: three boys and one girl. NRMZ in order of age. Our Nice, Radiant, Motivating and Zealous children.  One of a kind, our group of kids. They are grown adults. You don’t get to see them as much as you would like to.

Everyone says they live their lives for their kids, and every choice they make is for the good of their kids. You don’t think so. It’s hard to write about kids because someone’s feelings might be hurt, or someone else might judge you based on what you say.

It is hard to live up to the standards that people have for each other. You try to lead your kids to make good choices, what you think is the right choice. As much as you want to take care of every little issue that they have, sometimes you have to let them figure it out on their own.

When they call and say “Mom, I don’t know what to do.” That does not translate into “Mom, tell me what you would do because I know you have my best interest at heart and I can always count on you to lead me right.” Even though you think that now, they are not going to listen to you any more than you listened to your mother. You still aren’t listening to your mother, so don’t expect more from your kids than you can do yourself.

You think that one day all four kids, NRMZ with spouses and children in tow, are going to come to your house for a nice Sunday dinner. You have been talking about this since before you and Tall Cool ☺ne were married. Tall Cool ☺ne keeps telling you it’s never gonna happen. You can’t help having a dream, a wish, a hope.

This letter should have been about kangaroos or karaoke. Kids are too hard to write about. You love your kids. As much as you don’t want to admit it you want to control situations and relationships. You need to get over that and just let them be. They are not you and they do not see things the way you do. Enjoy their company and phone calls when you get them.  Stop mingling in trying to make everything like the Brady Bunch. You are not Carol Brady.

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? Did you get a TSHIRT?  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.

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.

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! ♥

Lost a Friend

As the Blogging A-Z Challenge draws closer, it brings on a bitter sweet kind of feeling. I love the challenge and the opportunity to get back to writing. But this year, I am going to miss the comments from an old friend. Berta always had something nice to say. She even commented in a constructive critical way on the posts that she didn’t agree with. She was always there to offer words of encouragement, letting me know how much she liked my writing and how I had to keep at it. I’m keeping at it, Berta.

Whenever we spent the night when she was babysitting, Berta used to say “Bye” instead of “Good night”. She’d say if we didn’t wake up, she wanted to make sure she said “good-bye”. Last week she went to sleep and didn’t wake up. She was a trooper for sure but that seventh round with cancer finally wore her out and she was tired. God brought her home.

I think about those old adages: You never know how much you miss something until it’s gone. Appreciate it now because tomorrow is not promised. You never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. We take so much for granted. Not just material things, like the GREAT TOILET PAPER SHORTAGE of 2020, but relationships, people … too many times we take people for granted. Relationships are a precious thing.

I have made so many mistakes in relationships. Let me tell ya, reconciling broken relationships is not as easy as saying what you think or feel at the moment. Kind of like losing weight is not as easy as eating a whole bag of jelly beans in one sitting. I’ve had some come to Jesus moments with taming my tongue, and I’m still restraining, I can assure you. But when someone you’re close to dies, you kind of think about the other people or relationships in your life that you’ve messed up, and haven’t take the time to fix. Or at least I do.

I wish I could right all the wrongs. I wish I had inserted my foot before the times that I opened my mouth. I wish I didn’t hurt people with tactless things I said or wrote. I can’t change the past. What is done is done. I can only press onward and forward. I hope one day to look back on all these posts and see how much I have changed from being the cynical controversial writer, to a more respectful humble journalist. This is my legacy. When I die, I want my writing to live on, and I can only hope it will be kind and noteworthy.

In closing, God has made each one of us. We all have a special gift to bring glory to the Kingdom. We should use those talents accordingly. We should never take for granted the blessings God has graced us with (people, relationships, l♥ve).

Thank you Berta, for always being that kind and encouraging person who pushed me onward with writing.  Thank you that no matter how hard and lonely it was while I was writing, I could always count on a comment from you when you were able. Thank you for always taking the time to read my posts. I am sorry that I never told you how much that meant to me.  I will never forget you.

Until next time,

~Barbie

 

Yesteryear

The year is 2011. The morning is young.

2:18 AM Chow Maine thinks she is in combat and starts doing laps around the perimeter of the bed.  Four laps around and then pouncing from one pillow across the headboard over to the other pillow, and then leaping to the floor with a loud plop.  One would think she weighed 40 pounds.

2:37 AM    Tall Cool ☺ne has had enough. He gets out of the bed.  She runs out of the bedroom; he closes the door saying something about a stupid cat.

3:01 AM I can’t take her scratching and clawing at the door any more — it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.  I get up with the flash light, open the door and she peaks around the corner as if to say, “Want to play?”  I go out to the kitchen over to her dish. “Come here!” She thinks she is going to be fed.  I scoop her up, carry her back to the bed.  Chow Maine does a little kneading with her claws and settles in under the covers, purring.  I am just about to the land of “La-La” when she is out from under the covers, across the bed with a loud thump on the floor.

3:32 AM Grrrrrr, she is driving me crazy!  I get up and she immediately runs out of the bedroom.  I throw a sweatshirt toward the door at her hoping to dissuade her from coming back.  Tall Cool ☺ne snickers and says, “She is just going to keep doing it”.  I get settled back under the covers and start that deep breathing that comes just before sleep and …

3:55 AM Bow Wow, Wow, Wow; it is Foxtrot.  He has a deep southern drawl type bark that almost makes me think that he is saying, “I really don’t want to put too much effort into this barking thing but I feel like I should bark.”  He has the Sam Elliot of dog barks.

4:09 AM I lay there thinking, he won’t bark that long, he’s not real loud.  He will quiet down in a minute. He does. I’m back in that mode of falling asleep. Suddenly his brother, Charlie starts:  Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, and ruff!  He has that high pitched beagle in a big dog bark that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  He has the Pee Wee Herman of dog barks.

4:28 AM I drag myself out of the bed and open the window and yell for the two meatheads to be quiet, not in such a nice tone either.  Charlie, the daring one, tests me and barks a couple more times.  This time I yell just at him. Minutes later I am back under the covers and I am wondering why bother because it’s almost time for the alarm.  But sleep seems to come easy and just as I am sauntering off, plunk right in the center of my stomach.  Chow Maine is back… How the heck?

Sleep is one of those things that the value cannot be truly appreciated unless it is interrupted.  Years later, the dogs have found their place over the rainbow.  Chow Maine is still making her rounds reminding us how precious sleep is. Once we are up, she finds a resting place for the day, usually on the couch where she can bask in the sunshine.

Sleep is something I do not take for granted. As I think about this  I am convicted by how many things that I cannot place a value on because I have not been without them.  Food, water, shelter, clothing; all things I take for granted every day;  simple things like toilet paper. There are so many people that don’t have simple things. The things  that I take for granted every day. Things like being able to take a shower and wash my hair, a washer and dryer so that I can clean my clothes.  Maybe my deprivation from sleep was a wake up call.   Are there things I can do without?  I don’t think toilet paper is one of them and I know that sleep definitely is not.  Chow Maine reminds me of this each morning.     But …. I wonder……

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. 

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.

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.

Lost Love Letters


I’m sure everyone is thinking about  LOVE for the letter L. I’m no different. Love is the one thing we can give away freely. It costs nothing.

Lost love letters is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind. When we were in high school Tall Cool ☺ne and I wrote tons of lve letters back and forth to each other. Sometimes I think it would be neat to read what some of those notes had inside them. Then I think better of that. We are older now and priorities are different.

I’m thinking of love letters lost in a different concept.  Lost love letters doesn’t necessarily have to be from an admirer. Love is something you share with a family member, a friend, or maybe an acquaintance from work. As I think about the title, lost love letters, I think about the lost loves of people to whom letters I used to write.

We are a messy group of individuals. I recollect how many people have come into my life only to turn around and be gone from my life. Sometimes it makes me sad. But then I realize that God will put someone else in their place.

Lost love letters are just like people who come and go in our life. They are there for a season, then lost, but not forgotten. Who do you think of when you think about a lost love letter?




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. 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.

ICONIC



So when I think of an icon, I think of those little squares on my phone that I have to press to open an application. Sometimes I hate those things because they often ask me for a password that I can’t remember. When I think of iconic I think of something considered important. The definition of iconic out of my eleventh edition Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is this: “a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians.” How ironic that the word iconic was brought to my attention on Good Friday. (Thank you, Michael)

I wanted to take a look and see what the world considers iconic. As I was scrolling through the history of pictures tagged to be iconic it struck me oddly because anything and every depending on who you are could be considered iconic. The definition for iconic changes as does the times we live in.

One thing that never changes and that is God’s love for you. Good Friday is iconic to remind us that our amazing Father sent His One and Only Son to die on the Cross for us. Not just for me, not just for you, but for everyone and anyone who accepts His gift. A gift so great that every human should want to accept it. Some people may not choose to accept the gift He offers so freely. Do not be ashamed of the things you have done. He will wash away your sin like a blanket of new fallen snow. He’s knocking at your door. Can’t you hear Him? Let Him into your heart.

May God bless,






Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. 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.


GREAT


Today is a GREAT day. Twenty nine years ago, baby number #2, my s☼nshine came into my life. A baby boy! It has been a journey for sure. I can’t say that it was all unicorns and sunshine, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Together we have gone through many trials though his 29 young years. I’m sure he has gone through many of his own that I quite possibly have not even heard about. He suggested to me that I use the word GREAT. He also included the snapshot for my post today.  Happy Birthday S☼nshine!  He is enjoying his birthday in the great outdoors.

Great are the minutes and the hours and the days and the weeks and the months and the years we get to spend with our children. Great are the opportunities we have to teach our children. Great is when we never, ever take them for granted.

Great is the time that we get to spend together talking with each other virtually. Great is sharing pictures and comments and games with each other when we cannot be together. Great is when you wake up in the morning and see a message from one of your children just saying “morning mom”.

Great is what we get to make with our days, and our time, and with our children. Any time and opportunity we have together can be great if you have the right attitude. Enjoy your children. They are GREAT!





Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. 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.

FLASHBACK

Think about last year right around Labor Day weekend, or maybe even Christmas time. Flashback to the things we were doing, activities we enjoyed, trips we took.  Think about the  visits to the grocery store that seemed trivial just such a short time ago.

Flashback to the days of walking into the restroom and seeing the sign that encouraged employees:  ‘Employees must wash their hands before returning to work’. I remember seeing so many people in these rest rooms that never paid attention to the signs. I guess they thought because they were not employees it didn’t pertain to them. 

Flashback to the days when toilet paper and paper towels filled at least a whole isle at the grocery store. The days of going in and picking up the weekly supply. The days of not having to stand in line and wait to be let in the store.  The days of not being allotted one package to each customer as if we lived in a communist country.

Flashback to more important events. Fellowship on Sundays and hugging fellow believers. Visiting your elderly parents at the nursing home without concern of spreading a sickness to them. Sunday afternoon dinners with your grown children and having all the grand kids run around the house. Just plain getting together with family and friends for cookouts and fun times.

My flashback is September last year … I seriously hope we get to do it again.



Flashback to a time when our world once was different. What are we going to do to make sure things don’t get worse? Do your part. Listen to our leaders. Don’t ignore what is happening.





Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. 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.

The Christmas Sweater

bearThe Christmas Sweater

          Christmas eve for some is when we dig out all of our stuff: Christmas decorations, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas recipes, Christmas cards, Christmas movies, Christmas books, and my personal favorite, my Christmas sweater. Some people spend a lot of money on Christmas shopping; buying Christmas gifts and outfits to dress up in for Christmas parties and food to make Christmas candy and Christmas cookies.  As I searched for my sweater and after not finding it, I realized I had given it away when we decided to sell all of our stuff to go over the road.  I was sad and mad that I had given my favorite sweater away.  Then I found the scarf that Bear used to wear at Christmas. Our blind dog in the picture above.  I started to really get sad and thought about how depressing Christmas is for a lot of people.

Then I recalled a story about two brothers named John and James.

John, the older of the two, and James played on a little league baseball team many years ago.  Even though the two played on the same team they both were in competition with each other always trying to be better than the other one.  James could hit a home run like it was nothing, and John could pitch strikes all day long.  James couldn’t run and John couldn’t catch, but the coach always did his best to help them each excel at what they did best.

One Saturday afternoon the game was at the bottom of the ninth and the brother’s team was down by two runs.  There were two men on and James was up to bat.  John was coaching at third base.  If James could hit the ball far enough into the outfield he could have plenty of time to run the bases and make it home.  He stepped up to the plate and the crowd was cheering him on while others were making fun of him because they knew he couldn’t run that fast.  He whacked that ball as hard as he could, and it flew right out into the bushes at the edge of the outfield.  “Run! Run!” everyone was yelling.  James took off running, tagging first base, and the outfielders were searching frantically in the bushes for the ball.  “Run! Run!”  James kept on running and tagged second base.

The crowd started yelling more and clapping.  “Throw it!  Throw it!  Run! Run!”  John saw that the outfielders threw the ball into the short stop.  “Run, James!  Run!”  John waved James onto home plate.  James was running and the short stop threw the ball and James was running so fast and the ball was coming so fast.  Instead of the ball going into the catcher’s glove it hit James right in the head and knocked him out cold.  After six days in a coma, his parents took him off the life support and he died without ever waking up.

John grew up always feeling responsible for his brother’s death.  Even though he married and had children of his own, he missed so much of their lives because he spent more time in the bottle than he did at birthdays and other memorable occasions.  Eventually his wife divorced him and he grew into a lonely, grumpy old man.

One Christmas Eve, John was by himself as usual, when a knock came on his door.  It was one of his grandsons.  Ironically it was the one named after his brother, James.  He came in with a book in one hand and a thermos in the other.  “Grandpa, I have to share something with you before it’s too late.”  The old man gruffly said, “I don’t want to hear it.”  But James was persistent and he took two mugs down from the cupboard and filled them with hot chocolate from the thermos.  Then he opened his Bible and he spoke.

“One night there was a bright star which guided three men who were the three wise men to the birth of Jesus, who later in life became a carpenter and a fisher of men and souls.  He had twelve apostles who spread the Word of Christ.  But on one black day of hatred, envy and death, He was crucified.  He shed His blood for us to purify and save us.  He rose and is now in Heaven seated with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  He did all of this because of His great love for us.”

“Grandpa, everyone says you’re a mean old man because of what happened to your brother.  What happened to him is not your fault and Jesus loves you and forgives you.  You don’t have to feel like it’s your fault, just talk to Jesus and tell Him how you feel.”

Of course John, being the grumpy, old drunk that he had grown into wasn’t going to listen to what anyone had to say and he kicked his grandson out of his house and told him if he was going to preach to him not to bother coming back again.  That night, John died in his sleep.

There is a lot more to that story, but that is enough to make one contemplate what they are holding on to this Christmas.  As I started to write out my Christmas wish on Facebook for those I didn’t have addresses for to send a Christmas card, I thought about whom I had to forgive and who I needed to speak a kind word to.  There is so much stuff that gets in the way of our lives that sometimes we lose sight of the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas.  It is not about the stuff.

This little baby boy born in a manger came to live a sinless life only to die a brutal death on a Cross in order for us to have eternal life.  We celebrate His birth for that.  When we get “wrapped up” (no pun intended) in all the other stuff, when we forget to forgive someone, when we over eat or over drink or over spend, when we get so involved in things, we lose sight of what is important.  This year when you come together to celebrate Christmas think about why you are doing it and remember what the celebration is all about.

(I know I’ve shared this story before.  I wrote it in 2011 and every time I read it, it brings a tear and a new prayer in my heart. I hope it does the same for you.)

Merry Christmas!

Reflections on Reality and Relationships

djdustu

Hello fellow bloggers, writers, and readers. Today as I sit down to write my daily challenge I’m facing the same sort of nearing the end of the journey roadblock jitters that I confronted last year at this time. I don’t want the challenge to end because I feel like I won’t be inspired enough to make myself write daily. Time to face reality and accept the fact that this challenge was just a jumpstart to a life style change. Kind of like dieting. Ha, no such thing. If you want it to work, it’s not a diet. It is a lifestyle change. That is what real writing, blogging, reading is. That’s what real relationships are. A lifestyle change.

As I reflect on my past posts, I see pride, embarrassment, shame, sadness, humor, spiritual growth. I think about relationships I’ve had and lost over the years. I’d like to take the blame for the failed relationships, but the truth of the matter is, they dissolved because I’m not one to sugarcoat the truth. I say it like it is and I say what I mean and mean what I say. I’ve persevered through ridicule, humiliation, hate and discontent, yet I’m still here blogging away. Why? Because it makes me happy to write. Because I get satisfaction when someone recognizes and shares in the same trials of pain or happiness that I have.

Reflecting on relationships for me always brings regret into consideration. I often wonder why so many relationships have failed. I’ve tried reconciliation with many relationships to no avail. What recourse should I take when the reaction to my request is not what I expect?

Relationships come and go throughout our lives. People we meet at church, in the neighborhood, people we’ve known all of our lives. The one thing that I can honestly say about any relationship is they are work. They don’t just flourish without care and consideration. Family relationships are the hardest because they are always there no matter what. Those are the ones that get hurt the most because we tend to think that very thing “they are always there no matter what”. One day they won’t be there. Don’t take any relationship no matter how trivial, for granted. If there is someone out there that you appreciate and are thankful for them coming into your life, thank them, let them know.

I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of my readers, followers, and fellow bloggers. It’s hard out here sometimes. Yet you persevere. You keep on keeping on. I appreciate you and your devotion. Have a great day and see you tomorrow!

R

Beers and BBQ’s

bean fire

 

“The beers’ on ice, the tea is extra sweet and the grill is smoking. Plenty of burgers, hot dogs and chicken for everyone so make sure you come with a big appetite.  Save room for dessert because your grandmother has made an apple pie, banana pudding and strawberry shortcake and a whole table full of cookies.” 

My grandfather could get us all excited about anything, even the simplest things like a BBQ.   My grandmother said he could lure a hibernating bear in with the smell of his cast iron pot of beans.

We never knew who would show up for the afternoon cook-outs.  We just did whatever we were told: go get the ice from the big freezer in the barn and restock the buckets of beer, go in the cellar and bring a few more jars of bread and butter pickles that were canned the year prior.  We always had plenty to keep us busy and out of trouble. Grandfather always said idle hands were the devil’s workshop.
 
I always watched to see who would show up.  Sometimes it would be the rich people from the other side of town just coming over to make fun of what my grandfather was doing.  Most times it was just relatives and good friends.  They came, arms filled with bowls of potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelons and many other mouth-watering treats.
 
Today the first visitor was a bony older man with wispy, thin white hair.  I didn’t know it then, but that was the first and only time I saw an albino person. He was dressed in white from head to toe; white shirt, white pants, white shoes and he even wore white gloves.  My grandmother told me that he dressed that way because he worked on type writers and it was very important that he keep clean so when he went to work on them, there would be no dust or anything to ruin the keys.  I think she made that story up. He was just so strange-looking and I never noticed him eat a thing.
 
An hour later while making a trip to the barn to fetch some more ice I saw a little girl named Cecilia.  She always wore ragged old clothes to school, and she looked like she didn’t own a comb or a brush.  Everyone made fun of her and no one wanted to be her friend (me included). At one point she caught lice and after that she never had any friends.  She was with a man somewhat skeletal in stature, with a drawn in face.  He wore a green Army coat and his hair was stringy but combed back with some sort of Brylcreem or something similar.  He was a strange cat that would walk and stop every few feet. He would put his index finger up to an imaginary chalkboard and he would seem to be carrying the numbers of a complex math problem. He was quite interesting to watch, but I didn’t want to be caught staring so tried my best not to.
 
As I was stuffing my third hot dog into my face I saw Bobby.  He was known around town as the freak of freaks.  He had Tourette syndrome and would go off at a moment’s notice on a tirade of explicit language filled with vehement.  I thought it was funny. He walked around town always in a hurry and occasionally he would look back and brush away the imaginary people he thought was constantly following him.
 
My grandfather welcomed every one of these eccentrics.  He offered them the comfort of his home and did not judge them for their idiosyncrasies.  I thought they were a wayward group of minorities and I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. They were just weird.
 
Later that day after everyone went home, Grandfather asked me what I thought about our special guest.  I didn’t know what he was talking about.  “What special guest?” I scoffed.  “We didn’t have any special guest!”
 
“Oh, but we did,” my grandfather spoke with such wisdom.  “Today, Jesus visited our cook-out.”
 
“No-saar!”
 
“Oh, but yes, He did, more times than I think you realize.  You see, he was the man with the wispy hair, the little girl who didn’t own a comb, the counting man, the man who spoke obscenities’.”
 
Isn’t it interesting how people can exist in the background of our survival and we can live our lives not even acknowledging them or giving them the time of day?  They stick out in our mind and we remember them, not for anything great that they have done, but for who they were.  Nevertheless, we shy away from people like them because they are not like us.  They are different.
 
Our human nature is to crave attention and appreciation.  We all crave to have a pat on the back or an occasional “Atta-boy”. The people mentioned above got plenty of attention, but not appreciation; laughed at, pointed at, ridiculed, made fun of, mocked.  Most likely not the attention they craved. 
 
My grandfather spoke with such wisdom.  “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly entertained angels, that’s Hebrews 13:2,” he recited from memory.  “Obedience to His word will gain us much wisdom and knowledge.”
 
I can’t wait for the next BBQ!

 

The Challenge

B

Thanksgiving — Day 6: F-Words

f-words

Day 6 of Seven Days of Thanksgiving
F-Words
Day #6: Seven Days of Thankful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: the act of giving thanks; a prayer of gratitude to God.

For Thanksgiving, a little ditty with some F-word fun,
Have faith and give thanks to the Father, Holy Spirit, and Son.

Don’t forget about your family and friends,
Forgive a debt and make amends.

Do something fruitful; feed the famished,
They’ll be grateful, and may even feel lavished.

During this fellowship, please try to remember
Life’s hard for some in November and December.

Realize some people are bearing a façade,
Don’t find fault, it’s never been outlawed.

The fact is, some people have issues, and are fearful,
Do them a favor and don’t ask, just be cheerful.

Ignore the temptation of the family feud,
Let them say what they want, it’s best to be shrewd.

Count your blessings for freedom in all your activities,
And please do enjoy all of your holiday festivities.

Thanksgiving — Day 5: Koinonia

Twelve Days of Thanksgiving
K is for Koinonia
Day #5 of Seven Days of Thankful Thanksgiving

koinonia2

Thanksgiving: the act of giving thanks; a prayer of gratitude to God.

Koinonia: community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy. Koinonia can therefore refer in some contexts to a jointly contributed gift.

Let me be honest with you; I had a hard time with this word. It left a bad taste in my mouth. When I first learned about Koinonia it was not like it was explained to me. Church uses it as a way to get people to come together in small groups because Koinonia is the way Jesus wanted people to be. Unfortunately, and I’m saying this from my own experience, Koinonia is all well and good as long as you are in the small group and participating. As long as you are in their face, Koinonia is great. But the minute you miss a meeting or become AWOL, your Koinonia is over.

I know the old saying of “You have to be a friend to have a friend”. But in my experience I’ve found that more people will let you be their friend, more so than they want to be one. I’m sure you have experienced it. Most people would tell me I have to give them the grace that they need, but I don’t look at it that way. Don’t use the need for grace as an excuse to be a lazy friend, relative, companion, etc.

Koinonia can be a wonderful thing in its context. “Jointly contributed.” It’s not one-sided and it’s not out of convenience. It’s not all about the church either. I have more Koinonia with my un-churched friends than I do with the Christ followers. It’s what you have when you come together with family and friends during the holidays, and you share with each other.

Who can you extend the act of fellowship with this Thanksgiving? Don’t wait for someone to come to you, go to them.