Tag Archives: opinion

Nomination

 

I haven’t had a good post in quite some time. Today is as good as any. Since the challenge I’ve been on a temporary hiatus. Funny how I disappear randomly for weeks, or months at a time. You faithful blog buddies are here to welcome me back time and time again. Thank you for being here.

I was nominated for the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award by my blogging buddy, Tamara. What a HOOT! I’ve always thought of myself as inspiring but never really thought anyone else did. Thank you, my friend. I really needed this little push of inspiration to get back to it.

As I mentioned I was on hiatus. I spent the months of May, June and July studying my ass off (really wish I could say I lost some of that, but I didn’t) to pass the state insurance test. YES, I passed it. It is a process and I’m not sure what is next, but the wheels are turning. A new adventure is in store for sure!

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Here are the questions Tamara has posed for me to answer. I will be as truthful as I can.

1. If you were an animal, what would you be? Well I used to think I’d like to be a dog. In fact when my sister and I were young I was always the pet dog. Funny I just remembered that. Now I think I’d rather be a cat. A cat does whatever a cat wants. But I also love zebras and they are just so perfect. I would like to be perfect.

2. In what way has this pandemic changed your perception of the world? I’d like to say that it has brought people closer together and given everyone a new sense of hope. Unfortunately it has only proven how crazy people are and not only that, but disrespectful, inconsiderate and selfish. Sure there are good people still out there, but the bad far outweigh the good.


3. Have you ever lived abroad? If not, would you consider it? Have I ever live abroad? I am a broad. Oh abroad…. Ha ha ha. In my finite mind I live abroad every single day. I work virtually with people from all over the world. It may not seem like it to others when I tell them about my job, but I get to experience different cultures from the comfort of my office on a daily basis. Would I consider living abroad? I don’t know. Never really gave it much thought until right this moment. I always wanted to go to Africa and save people, but hubby says, “NO, we are not doing that!”

4. What are your personal contributions towards reducing your carbon footprint? Okay so I feel like a dork because I really didn’t know what this question meant. I needed an example so I looked over to my smiley friend Janet. Let’s see, we live quite frugally. We don’t eat out, we prepare all of our meals at home. We shop once, maybe twice a month, we recycle everything, we compost, we garden, we preserve the fruits and we can the vegetables that we harvest. We plant trees and other flowers for the birds and bees. I’m always game for these kinds of things. Save our planet.

5. If I were to visit you in your town or city, what adventures would we experience there? Well you wouldn’t want to miss a pontoon tour of the largest purple martin roost in North America. Then there’s Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Garden and the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team at Segra Park.  Or right in our back yard you could pick all the figs and pecans your little heart desires.  There are also grapefruit trees that are growing and many different vegetables in the garden.

That puts an end to my questions.  Hopefully I will be back to chat again in the not so distant future.  If you’d like to play, link your post in the comments section below.

As always with these awards, there are rules attached:

  1. Introduce the person who nominated you. Tamara
  2. Answer the questions they have asked you in their post. (see above)
  3. Nominate and notify a bunch of other people. Actually nine people. Which basically makes these awards modern times’ chain letters.  (I feel like I can’t do this right now because I’ve been out of the loop for too long, maybe when I get back in the groove of things.)
  4. Give them new five questions they will have to answer. 
    1. What’s your favorite childhood toy?
    2. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who is it?
    3. The mountains or the ocean for inspiration?
    4. What’s your favorite time of day and why?
    5. What do you want to be remembered for?  What’s your legacy?
  5. Provide the link of the award creator of the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award ←

Thank you Tam!

Until next time,

Cheers

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,

Zebras are Your Favorite ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

 

Dear Barbie

You wanted to take this last letter and celebrate the love of zebras!

These are some of the items found on your bookshelf.  Tall Cool ☺ne would be happy if you would dust them.

 

Cats can always be found hanging around in the office. There’s Chow Maine having a rest.

Oh you interrupted her when you took her picture.  Don’t mess with a cat when it’s sleeping.

 

Coffee time is always best in an extra large zebra cup!  Cheers!

 

This is a cross stitch made by your sister when she liked you. It hangs in your office next to your desk.  You wonder if she still does cross stitching.  She was very good at it.

 

Back in the day you used to call it “Buxton Chrome”!  Zebra Duck Tape ~ because almost anything can be fixed with duck tape…

 

Would you look at that? Another cat. Oh wait that’s not a cat, that’s a puppy.  Fernando, the transgender — he thinks she’s a puppy. 

 

You couldn’t bring yourself to tossing the cup away even though you can’t drink out of it now because of the crack. It makes a good pen holder (AKA clutter collector).  You hate that Starbucks got rid of the On-Line Store. 😦

 

More random pictures in the office. 

 

Very cool shower curtain.

 

Stuffed toys, or as Tall Cool ☺ne calls, the dust collectors.

 

Hats, well because they are fun to wear!

 

 

This is a wooden handmade zebra. One of the places you worked gave it to you.   That’s just a few of the random zebra items found around the office. It’s a fun hobby but you need another room if you are going to continue to “collect” stuff.  And you know who probably won’t go for that. Speaking of, here’s a song:

 

That’s it for the zebras and that’s it for the a-z blogging challenge.  Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of blogging survey.  And try to keep in touch with all of the cool people you reconnected with and made new friends with.   Until next time. 

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,

 

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!

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.

 

Love Letter ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear Barbie:

Do you know what a love letter is? An expression of love in written form. You are loved. Tall Cool ☺ne loves you so much. Look at that little note you found while trying to find the perfect picture for this post.

The frankest and the freest product of the human mind and heart is a l♥ve letter.

~Mark Twain

Something of substance. Something you can hold on to. It’s not an email or a text message that is going to be deleted with the next update.  People do that all the time on social media.  They share memes telling this one or that one how much they love them.  Unfortunately it’s usually after someone dies.  If it’s not important every day, why make it important when someone dies? 

Don’t conform to this world.  Make time to let the ones you love know how much you love them.  You are loved Barbie… so much. You love so many people and you do what you do.  Send them the old fashion handwritten letter.  They love that.

People are busy and people don’t have time.  So are you. Everyone has the same number of hours in a day.  It’s sort of like that saying it’s not the years of life you live, it’s the life in the years you live.  It’s not how many hours you are busy, but what is the business you are filling the hours with?

Continue making time to tell the people you love just that.

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? Shout out today to John for listing the perfect song to add to my blog today.  I’m trying to visit five new blogs each day but it’s not easy. 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 select a few that you may not normally visit. Good luck and have fun.

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.

Journal Master ~Letters from the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021


Dear Journaling Master:

This entry kind of feels like cheating because you used journaling in a previous A2Z challenge, but it seems only fitting that it be used again. For real, your hand written journals date back to sometime in 1982. You’re gonna keep them FOREVER!

Most of them are crammed into a plastic tote. Do you remember when you used to try to put them on a bookshelf in chronological order? You are so anal sometimes. But they took up way too much book space. It was the journals or the Stephen King collection. Too bad for you, Steve’s book display is a little more attractive than your hodge-podge of journals.

You have thought about getting rid of them. What purpose do they serve other than taking up space? But whenever you think of destroying them, you have nightmares and it scares the shit out of you like cutting your hair. It feels like part of you would die.

After-all, one day you may want to read through your trials, errors, tribulations, satisfactions, fulfillment, and success. Or not, who knows? For now the journals stay.  Besides, journaling is a way of escape, a stress reliever, a problems solver. Grab a pen, grab a cup of coffee☕, open up a fresh blank page and let your journey begin.

Until next time,
your constant and faithful,

What do my fellow journal keepers do with your journals? How do you store them? Are they in neat little boxes? Do you keep them? What are your thoughts and ideas about keeping old journals?

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.

Theme Reveal: Letters from the Heart

LETTERS FROM THE HEART ♥ (a letter to myself)


Has it been a year already? Where does the time go? I thought for a long time about whether to just be spontaneous and wing ding it every day or be a little more disciplined and go with a theme. Control won over and I’ve decided this year’s them for the A-Z Blogging challenge is going to be LETTERS FROM THE HEART.

I hope you will join me for this challenge and I hope to find the time to read many of my fellow bloggers posts as well. We all have the same number of hours in day and I know it’s precious, so I am going to do my best to keep my posts short and sweet.

Enjoy the trip my friends. I’ll be seeing you soon.

Cheers,
Your Crackerberries

Theme reveal

 

 

 

Aging Gracefully

B Being Bold

C Controlling Situations 

D Doing Chores

E Examining Faults 

F Fixing Faults 

G Gardening 

Helping those in Need 

I Ignore Negativity

J Journaling

K Kids

L L♥ve Letter

M Marriage

N Needful Things

O Opportunities for Growth

P People

Q Quiet Time ~ not what you think 

R Reflections of What Made You Who You Are

S  Salting the Wounds

T Thanksgiving

U Understanding Truths 

V Vicious Life Cycles 

W Weekly letters 

X Xtra Xtra Read all about it 

Y You are not the Christ 

Z Zebras are my favorite

 

 

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?

Survivor

 

 

Completely forgot about the Reflections part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  Now that April is over the writing on a daily basis doesn’t seem as important as it was while keeping up with the challenge.  I wish we could do it all year. Or maybe do a monthly check in. I’d like to say thank you to all of my readers who followed my daily posts for the April blogging challenge.  It was nice to have the support and encouragement and I appreciate every one of you.  For me it was nice to check off another year √!  This makes six for me. 

 

I was quite surprised to see that there were only 510 bloggers who signed up.  WOW … I kept thinking there was something wrong with my excel sheet every time I opened it to jump over to visit someone’s blog.  It’s a shame there was not more of a turn out.  Maybe next year. Maybe we should plug the challenge all year long?  

 

I know I’m going to try to blog more and keep visiting more of the people from the list.  I’m also going to try to recruit people from my own blog to come next year.  We should all try to do same. It is hard to promote someone else, especially when we want the attention ourselves. It’s a great big world out there and blogging on a personal level has become lost in the commercialization and advertisement and propaganda.

 

If you need some fancy artwork for your web or anything check out  Jeremy Hawkins.  He did all the artwork for the challenge and he has a  Neat Shop — Very Cool Stuff

 

Stay real folks and stay safe. 

Social Blogging


Now that April is over the writing on a daily basis fell on the wayside. Not that I don’t have anything to say, I do. I have been trying to get caught up on all the other things I let slide. So many projects and activities I want to do. Cooking and playing in the garden and planting flowers, and building rock walls… and then of course there is work. Doesn’t my boss know how much my job interferes with my hobbies? (I’m just kidding) – I’m grateful to have my “work-at-home” job, especially in this day and age.

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to all of my readers who followed my daily posts for the blogging challenge. It was nice to have the support and encouragement and I appreciate each and every one of you. For me, it was nice to check off another year (this makes six to date if anyone is counting). I’m really going to try to post more often throughout the year, be it here or on Joe & Ella’s Journey or in Crackerberries Kitchen. As long as I’m writing something, I’m happy. How about you?

So my rant for the day is all the freaking idiots out there who can’t follow simple instructions. People blame the politicians for the things that are going on. Okay fine, but you know what, we live in a free country. It was our right to vote, and democracy put those politicians in office so if you don’t like it, next time you should get out there and vote. And if you did vote and still don’t like it maybe it’s time to get yourself involved. 

We may not like the way things are being handled but it is our responsibility to abide by the laws and the rules that are being put in place. This shit ain’t never gonna go away if we don’t follow instructions. I don’t like it any more than the next person. But we do have to follow the guidelines set in place if we are going to get through this and maybe have some kind of new normal put in place.

We went to Walmart over the weekend. They now have the aisles set up with tape on the floor going in certain directions similar to the painted lines in the parking lot. They have tape barriers where lines form for the people who don’t know the difference between two feet and six feet. People still can’t follow the instructions. They can’t go down the right aisles in the parking lot whatever gave people the idea they would do it right in the store?  It was crazy, people were looking at each other, who were looking at the arrows, like it was something they had never seen before.  They were like a swarm of flies buzzing around a pile of shit not knowing which way to go.

What pisses me off to no end is when I wait my turn and someone waltzes right in front of me like I didn’t exist.  I was at the yogurt cooler waiting to get my Oikos …there was an elderly couple arguing about something. They finally agreed to disagree and each one picked different yogurts and put them in the cart (ingenious), then sauntered on their way. Before I could take a step up to the cooler, some idiot with ear-pods and his hat half-way backwards on his head stepped right in front of me. He was wearing a mask over his mouth but not over his nose. He also needed to pull up his damn pants.  He decides to take five minutes to text his girlfriend about what yogurts were available in the cooler. If I could have hit him without getting in trouble, trust me.  I would have laid his ass out flat. I fantasied about knocking the hat off his damn head giving him a wedgie with those boxer shorts up around his scrawny little neck. Just because they are wearing a mask they feel that they are invulnerable and can do whatever they want. So annoying! Especially when they aren’t even wearing the mask right. Hey dumbass, the cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

I’m tired of seeing stupid posts on social media platforms about how smart everyone thinks they are. OMG really? Instead of just sharing what someone else is sharing, try researching a little. Ever hear of snopes.com? They have been around longer than any social media platform. People are crazy out there. They will take any tidbit of information, twist it and turn it around until it’s something that makes them look smarter or makes someone else look bad. It’s a terrible world we live in full of crazed killers, drug addicts, as well as unscrupulous companies out to make a buck at any cost, and a government that doesn’t give a damn. I stole that from Snopes… but am I right? Maybe only half the world is made up of those types of people. The other half is made up of gullible imbeciles who believe the rest of the world. Oh Chicken Little, the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

Anyways, that’s my rant. I think the virus has turned people crazy. Unfortunately I fear it’s only going to get worse. If I had a solution believe me I would share it. I think our leaders, as misguided as they may be, are doing the best they can with the people they have helping support them. We have to do our part and abide by the rules and regulations being put in place. If not for ourselves, for those less fortunate: (i.e. the elderly, people in nursing homes, people who are at a higher risk due to being HIV positive, having Asthma, just a weaker immune system, etc).  Have some compassion for others.

Until next time,
Cheers,

ZaRex





If you grew up in Maine in the 70’s you know all about ZaRex. Generations of New Englanders have enjoyed ZaRex since its introduction in the late 1930s. Zarex flavored drink concentrate has been a New England favorite for over 50 years.

It was a simple mixture: 1 part syrup + 7 parts water for a sweet, flavorful drink. It could be mixed with lemonade, or soda water. It was especially popular on snow cones (shaved ice in a paper cone). ZaRex fruit punches were especially popular at birthday parties.  The colored mustaches of children running around after drinking ZaRex was quite comical.

It appears that it is not being produced at this time but I will definitely keep watch. You can too here  BRING BACK ZAREX.   If you hear about it ….do let me know where to find it.

 



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.

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. 

Xavier


Do you know Xavier? Me either. This morning when I woke up he was in my head. I knew where he was, I knew everything about him. I knew so much about him, that when I made my sleepy-eyed way out to the coffee maker, I had it all planned in my mind how I would talk Tall Cool ☺ne  into getting us a little Xavier. A new pet was in store for me. I was going to research the web and find me a baby raccoon.

Like so many times before, I get up and start writing down the details of the dreams that keep me awake half the night, and I think they make so much sense. Like so many times before as I was writing it down, plotting my case, I realized just how crazy my idea was.

Xavier means absolutely nothing to me now. I cannot even begin to remember the thoughts that were on the tip of my mind when I first woke up this morning. Even though they were explicit in my dream, now they are gone.  Why the heck would I want to take on the responsibility of Xavier?

Why does that happen so often when we wake up in the morning? Those dreams we have are so vivid and real, be it good or bad.  When we are fully awake they fall just below the subconscious, gone, never to return. Xavier came to me in my dream so that I would have something for the challenge today.   Xavier was the question to the answer. That is all. Do you ever have the answer come to you in dream?





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.

Wicked Ways of the Wandering




An Apt Pupil once told me that A Good Marriage was the ticket to The Bazar of Bad Dreams. Blockade Billy tried to find hope in a Bag of Bones, but his wife Carrie left her Children of the Corn for dog, Cujo to eat during the Cycle of the Werewolf. Through a Cat’s Eye there is a Cell just beyond Desperation. Delores Claiborne may have been in Different Seasons of her life when she fell asleep under a Dreamcatcher and woke up in Duma Key. Fortunately Everything’s Eventual and at the End of Watch it’s Finders Keepers.

At Four Past Midnight From a Buick 8 they will find Full Dark No Stars and Gerald’s Game plays out at the Hotel at the End of the Road. No one leaves happy and everyone leaves their Hearts in Atlantis. It will cause Insomnia Just After Sunset and trust me, it’s no Joyland. Not King’s, but LT’s Theory on Pets that is the real Lisey’s Story. The Lawnmower Man is just another one of The Langoliers. Misery doesn’t come without Mr. Mercedes and he’s driving in Maximum Overdrive.

Nona thinks she wants Needful Things but it’s just a bunch of Nightmares & Dreamscapes The Outsider told her she would have if she visited Pet Sematary. She signed up for Quitter’s Inc. and thought The fifth Quarter would bring Revival but she met Rose Madder who was just another Sleeping Beauty. The Shining Skeleton Crew took The Stand and in The Institute The Girl who Love Tom Gordon is standing alone at The Dark Tower. The Dead Zone is not really dead but The Eyes of the Dragon will haunt The Dark Half if there is anything left.

By the time Uncle Otto’s Truck comes to take us Under the Dome Umney’s Last Case of  the American Vampire will be the Word Processor of the Gods and the Woman in the Room will cast everyone out to The Wastelands.

Just a fun little trot through one of my favorite author’s tales. Do you know who it is? I could not come up with a title for K. Can you? X, Y, and Z doesn’t count because those days have not played out yet.



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.

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.