Monday, July 2, 2018


Happy Independence Day week!   With the holiday falling mid-week it seems that it has turned in to a week long celebration.  Some people, like my own family, got together this past weekend.  Some will gather on Wednesday (the 4th of July), and some will celebrate next weekend.  

This time of year makes me think about our country a lot...  I mean, shouldn't we all?   It's the time of year when we remember how the United States of America became a free country, no longer ruled by the Brits from across the ocean.  Back then, it was a wild land. I can't even imagine the toughness it took to survive the terrain, the weather, the sickness, and then the brand new laws of the land. 

Those who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence were so smart in their vision.  They set up a democracy, and they knew freedoms were important.   They also knew laws had to be created to keep everyone safe and civil.   Starting a new country!!  How huge a task!! 

Of course, they never could have totally foreseen how our country would grow.  They could never imagine the advances in transportation and technology.  The advances in medicine - and in weaponry.  Therefore in my mind, although the Declaration and the Constitution are both amazing documents, they were written with the minds of that time (great that they were) and unable to fully answer the needs that would come along as time went by.   So, ta-da... amendments were added!    Now, I'm no American history scholar, and in fact, when I think back to my school education about the US, I think it was rather lacking (maybe it was just me)...  it was not taught with excitement, and certainly not made personal.  As an adult looking back now I know it was one-sided. I think I have learned more over the years by reading books on my own.  

This year, as we celebrate our independence from England, we also need to think of our DEPENDENCE of each other in this country.  We couldn't live as we do in America without each other!  Our country is founded on welcoming those hungry and in need, those wanting a better life.   That's how it started and it is how it is today (even though some want to change it.)   Democracy needs to have many people working together, using their particular talents, sharing in a love of the land...  wanting ways to make it consistent, and equally wonderful.     The founding fathers did not say "you are on your own"... "good luck, and do what ever you want to do". 

So, we don't celebrate Independence Day alone.  That just wouldn't be fun.  We don't decorate just for ourselves.    We don't like to watch fireworks all by ourselves.     The love of country is for us ALL, to celebrate together.  It's the time to think back on how we got to where we are now.  It's time to think of the GOOD we all feel about America.    It's important we do that....because it's easy to only think of the problems.  It's easy to get upset about all the politics.   That is for sure!!

But this week, all this week, let's focus ourselves on the DEPENDENCE we ENJOY with each other!   We all make up America.      We.All.Make.Up.America.  

Monday, June 25, 2018

Taking a minute for QBing.

Monday morning quarterbacking...

Hot hot hot!   Here in the lowcountry we are having a 'hot spell' and I think it's time for a temperature break!  Don't get me wrong, I like heat.  I will take a hot summer day over a cold winter day anytime.  But each day for a couple of weeks now we have had 'accessive heat' and warnings to stay indoors during the afternoon hours.   Just being outside for 15 minutes is challenging with these temps and the humidity,  and therefore it makes it impossible to do yard work or gardening without getting drenched.   I'm not happy when I can't get out and piddle around in my yard.

Last week I spent each morning indoors, helping with my church's Vacation Bible School.   It was a joy!  There is something wonderful about seeing the world through little ones' eyes...and hearing the Bible stories as told to them.   I was a 'crew leader' and had five  4 and 5 year olds in my crew.   I led them station to station each day:  opening, craft time, Bible story telling, games, snacks, music, and closing.   Those little ones made my heart sing!  They reminded me that we all start out with such enthusiasm,  are little sponges learning so much,  singing and dancing each day, and giving hugs.   

Being with children helps balance out life. 

Because as we know, the adult issues of the day, and in our country right now, are so disheartening. 

I'm watching the morning news right now.  A grandmother is trying to find her toddler granddaughter who was taken at the border and put into a detention center.   HOW can anyone think this is okay?? 

Tomorrow here in SC we have run-off elections.   I pray people take the time and vote their conscience.   Human rights over self.  I know a couple of people who seem to vote only if it will help themselves.  They don't see the big picture.  They don't realize that lifting others up, improving everyone's lives, will make it a better place. 

Can I also say, that some of the voters do not have a faith centered life?   I feel without knowing God's love and His teachings, then living takes on a different path.  Ego-driven.   Dog eat dog.   It makes me very sad.  

But, what makes me happy?   My daughter & her hubby took the twins to church yesterday!   The boys are 7 1/2 months old, and I know it wasn't easy for them all to get out of the house and to a worship service.   And, they didn't make it through the whole time (one of the boys got a little fussy)...   BUT I am proud that they tried, and I hope they keep at it.   I am sure the others in that congregation were happy to see them, and to even hear a little noise.    Jesus said to bring the little children!  

Do you have Independence Day plans?   This year the 4th of July hits right in the middle of the week.  So, we plan to have a family get-together on the weekend before.  I guess the holiday will be stretched out this year...some celebrating before, some on the day, and some the weekend after it.    Whenever you celebrate, take a small part of the day to talk about what it means to live in the land of the free! 

Good summer reads?   I just finished a book and am ready for another one.   I guess I should go pop on "" and see what is suggested there.

Daughter #2 wedding plans are set.  We are in the months before it that we wait....   some things just can't be done until we get closer to the date.    The soon to be newlyweds are watching their house be built right now.  Framing is done and the roof is on.  I think it's on schedule.   Lots of inside work is next - which is good since the summer heat is on!!

Time to run...     I have a busy day ahead.  Lots of errands.   Doing some prep work for the little grandsons coming this weekend.   Excited!!   I miss them each week when I don't seem them.  They change so quickly right now.  This Mimi sure loves those boys!!  

Stay cool everyone...  stay safe.   Vote tomorrow if you live in South Carolina!    


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My two cents...

My two cents...

Fact:  People from Central America are leaving their very poor and dangerous countries because they fear they can no longer live there in safety and with a chance for a better tomorrow.   They search... and they think where can they go?   They hear that the United States has been a land of opportunity, of freedoms, of hope, and that the U.S. has accepted those looking for a better life in the past.   In fact, some already have family members there, working, and sending money back when it's possible.  The U.S. is glimmering to them!  It offers hope. A chance.   So, they take the trip to the U.S. border which can take months. It is dangerous. It is rough.  But, they do it. 

They are people willing to work.  They are escaping a land where there is little chance to work and earn a living.  They want a better life for their children.   So, they make the tiring trek.

Now, with the change of 'policy' of this current administration ALL of those who are arriving are looked at as criminals, and those who arrive as families are being separated.  Parents are locked up.  Children are too, and then sent off.    Our country, a land made up of mostly European immigrants a few generations ago (who came for the same reasons as the first paragraph), grew and grew and grew...  people came and settled. Families spread out all across the country.   Land was purchased.  Businesses opened.   And, we are huge now!!  It's really quite unbelievable how the United States of America has gotten SO BIG - and yet we are really still quite young.  Our forefathers set up this country to offer opportunity for all - and it did.   They set up a system to offer so much to people coming here from other places.

Forward to today.   Now....  We have come to worry that we can't handle any more people in this land of millions.  We fear that they are all 'bad' people.     So, here are some questions I have...

Why did we get to this place where some feel we need to close our southern boundary?  Why could our great grandparents come for the same wonderful chances here but now others are limited and looked down on?  Is it because they come from poor countries?   Is it because they don't speak English?   Is it because we stereotype them as ALL bad people trying to take our jobs?  Sell us drugs?  Beat our system? 

Why can't we reach out to the leaders of those Central American countries to help them become more viable as a country, and to offer livable places and better lives for their citizens?    Why can't we realize it's a 'world issue'?  When will we see that what effects someone in another land will also effect us?

Why can we not see that separating children from parents is creating children who are insecure, who  lose values, who grow up without family life?    The whole next generation will suffer because of this. 

The small picture is an individual family torn apart.  A child crying because he or she misses their parents and are alone and scared. Parents broken apart inside because they can not hug and love their child.  The big picture is a society that loses heart, that becomes a selfish country.  We isolate ourselves from the beauty of ALL of the people of the world.  We become cold.  Closed minded. 

This may remind you of another time, another country, another leader who tried to do this.  Another egotistical, narcissist...

Think about it.

One more thing.  Every American who had ancestors who came here for religious freedom, and who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ, should welcome those arriving here.  Jesus reached out to people who were hurting, who were poor, who were lost.   He taught over and over again that we are on earth to love each other and to take care of our neighbor.   It is our mission.  

My two cents.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

CMA Fest and more...

Catch up time!

*  First, my CMA Festival thoughts...

My seventh year in Nashville for the 4 day festival is over.  It just gets bigger and bigger every year.  More stages and more events.  More people!   So, here's the thing: you can't get close to doing everything that is offered - and you have to pick and choose, and you have to allow plenty of time to get to where you are going.  

 The biggest daytime stage is the riverfront stage... along the Cumberland River.  It's a beautiful spot and it gets the biggest names (except for the superstar names that perform at night).   Due to increased security everywhere it takes longer to enter the area.  Everyone had to carry clear bags this year, and go through an x-ray machine.  I found that carrying my red blanket to sit on, which I have used for 6 straight years, slowed us down. It had to be unzipped so it didn't look like a bag.   It's the way of the world now - or at least in America.  Security tightened going into all the venues.   Sad, but I felt safer for it.

After the first long day I felt like I'd never make it through all four days! ha   It was hot, humid, crowded... and we walked everywhere.  That was good and bad.  I love walking... and I love that all the activities are close enough to walk. 

Some of my highlights:     The Brothers Osborne fan party!  It included a close up acoustic set from the brothers, and a meet & greet.  And,  I won a meet & greet with Thomas Rhett!   That was very cool!   And... I did a hand grip/high five with Keith Urban as he went down the aisle during his concert time at the stadium.  I love the guy - what an amazing talent!!   I felt like a teeny-bopper - star struck fan - but I don't care.  It WAS exciting!!

My list of artists I saw perform is long,  but, so is the list of who I wish I could have seen. As I said earlier,  with seven stages and other events going on all at the same time it is impossible to see it all.   New artists, the older ones, classic country, new country, etc.  It's all there!   

The honky tonks on lower Broadway rocked the whole time too!  Most of them had stages on each floor... with different bands on each one all the time.   Morning to night.    The caliber of talent in them was amazing too.   SO MUCH TALENT IN NASHVILLE!  

Nighttime at the Nissan Stadium each night is a lineup of the top names.  Again the list was long!   Each night finished up around midnight, although Luke played til 1:00am on the final night. Yes, I headed back to the hotel before he came on because it was already 11:45pm and I was tired, and I knew I had a long day of driving the next day.   You just can't do everything! 

Quick thoughts:    swollen feet.   sweaty.   fewer cowboy hats seen.  More baseball caps.    Friendly people everywhere.   Fans from around the world!     Amazing logistical event.     I saw NO crazy, out of hand people.      Temporary tattoo.      Award show red carpet.      comfy bed - thank god.    Free stuff.   Drink water constantly.    Live music, music, music!!

Will I go for number 8??    Probably.   It has gotten more expensive each year.  And I admit each year I pay for  seats at Nissan Stadium that are up close, in the Gold Circle area.  Row 9 !!   But it's amazing experience... and there is a great feeling of unity and love of country music by everyone there.

*  Back to reality - gotta get back to see my grandsons soon.   I miss them!!    Maybe this weekend...

*   Father's Day weekend on tap!   My dad is back to his apartment at Brookdale.  I'm glad because he feels comfortable there and is reunited with his dog.  He needs more assistance and pain meds for now. 

* Also coming up:   I'm helping at VBS at church next week.    My bestie and some of her family are coming to the beach soon!   4th of July celebration the weekend before the actually day.    Then on to Lakeside.   I see this every year: summer is busy and it goes by too quickly!!

* I voted in yesterday's SC primary.   It amazes me how SO many people talk and complain, and are discouraged by today's politics but don't vote.  The numbers were low again yesterday.   You gotta vote people!!!  

*  Funny story...   when I checked in to vote yesterday I realized I had not updated my driver's license and still had my old address on it.  So, I told the lady working at the check-in table that it was an old local address but I was probably still in the system at "49 Red Squirrel".   And I was.   Then a few seconds later a man next to me came up to check in also and gave his address as "49 Red Squirrel"!!!!    What???   I turned - and said "hello!  I am the person who used to own your house!"   Crazy!  Small town life. ha   See, when we sold the house, my grandboys had just been born in Raleigh, so I was not able to meet the couple buying our 49 Red Squirrel home.  In fact, hubby had cleaned out the house - and had only met the wife of the couple.  Yesterday, she was sitting in the car - so I went outside after voting,  and met her, chatted awhile... and found out they both love the house.  It really made me feel good to know!  I loved that home. 

* Speaking of politics... I watched the David Letterman "No Introduction Needed" cable show yesterday... it was the one where David had President Obama on as his guest.   I had watched the episode with Tina Fey a few weeks ago and enjoyed the show very much.  Anyway, the Obama episode just once again made me miss that man in the top office so much!   What a difference from what we have now.   Part of yesterday's show was also about Rep. John Lewis and the civil rights movement.   I recommend everyone pull up that show and watch.  We need to be reminded sometimes.   We need to keep our troubles in perspective and see what we as a nation have gone through.   We need to see what African Americans have gone through.   We need to be more compassionate to people.

*  I have an eye appointment with a specialist today.  Why?  I have one eye extremely near sighted, and one eye extremely far sighted.  My regular eye doctor did not want to prescribe new glasses without first sending me to see if a specialist might be able to correct the difference better... I guess through surgery.  Hmmmm.    That's what got me in this condition.   Years ago I had lasik surgery done - one eye for up close, and one for distance.  Both eyes have changed...   going in opposite directions.  Crazy, right? 

I better get myself showered and ready to go to it.   It's about an hour or so away.

I hope you are enjoying your summertime...

til next time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Monday morning QBing on Tuesday

Good morning all.   I hope you had a very nice Memorial Day weekend.   I hope you took a little time to think about the Americans who gave their lives in war for our country.   Too many young men and women.   God bless their families for the sacrifice.

*  I'll start today's post with a request for prayer.   My 91 year old dad fell the week before last.  At the time when he fell he was checked out but nothing serious was found.   He continued to feel pain after the fall, so he went to the hospital for x-rays and tests, and it was found that one of his lower vertabrae was cracked and a few pieces broke off.  Of course he went in the hospital over the holiday weekend so he has been given medicine for pain and a back belt to give him support.   He is still there and is able to sit up in the recliner in his room.   Today the doctors who have seen him should decide on a course of action.   Surgery has been ruled out.   My dad lives in an assisted living facility, in his own apartment.  He has a dog.  He wants to get back there soon.  So, I'm hoping and praying that once swelling is reduced, and pain is managed, he can get back there.

A prayer for healing would be appreciated.    Thanks.

*  Often when I sit down with my computer to post here I have the morning news on.  I do now.   I try to limit my news intake because it can be such a downer.   But I like the CBS News This Morning because I think they are more about the news and less about the opinions.  Not as much fluff.    Still, every news source has producers and news directors who decide what event leads each day - and what is important to talk about - and for how long.

What is important to you?  

For me:  the immigration issue because parents and their children are being torn apart, and separated.    We need to take care of the children better.

The Uber emergency number button on the app!   Yes!  I have worried about my daughters and family members who use Uber often.  Especially when they are alone.  This is a great improvement.

*  June 1  - 3 is "Moms Demand Action" for gun safety "Wear Orange" days.    Did you know?  Google it and you can find out  info about it, along with locations of rallies near you.   Wear orange AND tell people why you are.   Be an activist.   The time has come for the silent majority to wake up.   Speak up - and vote.

*  Guilty pleasure:  The Bachelorette!  I admit it - I watched the first night last night.   It was the introduction of all the men hoping to get to know Becca and perhaps become her mate.  I know... I know.  It's so outrageous, and wrong on many levels.   But, these people voluntarily go on the show, and put themselves out there.    The group of men who stepped out of the limo (well, one rode in on a bull; one came in driving a mini-van)  were a bit creepy.   It's an odd group.   I think I liked the very first one out of the limo the best.... I can't remember his name.  He is an ex-football player, who now runs a charitable organization.  He seemed the most 'normal' but time will tell!   ha!!!

* Another guilty pleasure:  reading.   I picked up a book I normally would not consider just seeing the title.  But, it has a sticker on it that says "One of President Obama's favorite reads of 2017." That caught my eye.   The book is called "The Power" by Naomi Alderman.   It is about an electrical power discovered within women that when used right turns the world upside down and puts females in control of the world - for good and bad.    I'm halfway through and I am anxious now to see how it ends...  will women misuse their special power, and will this power take away their compassion??     This book could be a very good Book Club read because I think it can bring a really interesting discussion.

*   Starbucks vs.  Dunkin Donuts?     Which is your favorite?    Hot coffee vs. iced?    

*  This weekend there were American flags everywhere!  We hung one up on our house.  Our neighborhood displayed lots of them at the entrance.  Our community even put flags up in the mediums of the main road through town.  Flags everywhere!   Memorial Day is a BIG day for displaying flags!   A very patriotic day and weekend!!    I have to admit that this weekend I thought about the flags more than I normally have in the past...    because, as you know,  some pro football players have felt the need to kneel during the national anthem while facing the flag, and because lately it seems our flag is at half-mast most of the time due to mass gun violence.     I think the flag represents our origin and what we have gone through, and it represents UNITY.   50 stars of equal size representing 50 states in neat order together - on one patch of blue.   One star is not bigger or brighter than the others.  One stripe on the flag is not bigger or more special than the others. Red and white - together. 

I think it's a symbol of what we strive to be.   The flag has flown through the tough times and the good.   It also represents our hopes for the future.  Unity.   One and many.   Flying the flag shows we love this land, even when those who live in it don't always agree with each other. 

*  Curious:   How many of you own Alexa??  Do you use Alexa daily??   If so, how?

*   I'm counting down....        to my next trip to see the grandboys        to the CMA Festival...
... to helping with VBS            ... to my bestie coming to visit at the end of June       ...  to the annual trip to see family at Lakeside     ....  to my daughter's bachelorette party weekend.

Those are some of my summer plans.   How about you?

Whatever you do, stay safe - and HAVE FUN!     




Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday morning quarterbacking

Good morning blog friends!

It's Monday morning so I guess it is appropriate for me to do a little Monday morning quarterbacking.   Consider this post a look back on a few things and events and my thoughts about them....for what it's worth.   

*  I have to start with the shooting at the Santa Fe, Texas high school.    Is it just me or does it seem that this latest school shooting, which took 10 lives, did not get the news coverage as the ones before it?   I know the Parkland high school students were outstanding in speaking out and in raising awareness, and in creating a national march day.  But, where are they now?  We need those young voices to keep speaking out!  

I also think that so much is happening in the news right now that networks can only devote a small amount of time to the Santa Fe shooting.  Of course there is still all the Trump craziness and the daily new info about the campaign season, a Russian connection, etc.  But, also now the volcano eruption in Hawaii continues to get worse and is covered by the news as it should be.   The day after the school shooting was the royal wedding.  I'll have more on that in a minute.   Most of the networks had already sent crews over to Windsor for it, and had allocated lots of airtime to it. 

Another school shooting.   That's how it is viewed now.  Nothing new - unfortunately.  

I have written posts before about my hopes for changes in the gun laws and availability of weapons here in the US.  So, I won't use this space for it again.   But, I will say that I read a comment from a friend about our need to make gun owners (often the parents of the shooters) more responsible, and to be liable...and to be severely punished when their guns are taken and used in crimes.    It sure makes sense to me.

I continue to vow to you that I will not tire of this important problem in America.   Children are dying.    What can you do?  Here is an easy one: wear orange on June 1st - and let people know you are in orange because you want change, and you want better laws when it comes to gun ownership.

*  The royal wedding!  I was not counting the days down til the wedding.  But, I did wake up Saturday morning in time to turn the TV on and watch it live.  I'm glad I did.   It was a beautiful ceremony.  The liturgy was very similar to what I know, and the music was exceptional!   The sermon message was right on - all about love!   I felt  the wedding was a beautiful mix of heritages...  and an example that love brings us all together.

*  Trump.   I purposely have not written much lately.   I feel like I would just be a broken record... because it's the same thing every day.    BUT...     that being said, because it is the same thing with him day in and day out, for the life of me I can NOT figure out how anyone can still like him as our president.   We can disagree on policy and we can disagree on America's place in the world, but truly...Trump the man??   A liar.  A narcissist.  A womanizer.   An embarrassment.    How is that acceptable?    

I admit that I prefer not to be around people who still support him.   It has put a strain on some family and friend relationships.

*  My statement above leads me to the next topic.  Christianity.   Living life as a Christian, a followerer of Jesus.   I know I fall short on it, when I have trouble being around those who see politics so differently from me.   Jesus did not separate himself from those in need, or from those who were different from him.  In fact, he did the opposite. He spoke to them, and taught all of us about forgiveness and His grace.  

I sit in the pew each Sunday and hear the Word, and I know those around me are each unique... but we are all God's children.   But, even within our church walls we have had many disagreements and separations.   A few years ago we had a group leave due to an issue with the preschool administration.   And then we had a huge fallout due to individual beliefs about same sex marriage.    There was major hurt all around.  So many members left and found new places to worship.  It surprised me that people on all sides of the issue left!  Those who didn't believe in gay marriage left.  Those who do accept gay marriage left thinking we were not progressive enough.    It was devastating.  My friends and fellow church members left.   I felt they 'gave up' and I still struggle with what happened.     Our church now, those who stayed,  is still struggling over it today.   

I'm hurt. I'm bitter.  I'm disappointed.   I'm watching the struggles of other members who stayed too.  BUT....   BUT  it is my home.  It is where I have experienced Christian joys.  I put my faith where it should be...  in the fact that God is there. "Where two or three are gathered..."  He is there.  

I do NOT believe that God causes these things to happen.  I do not believe that God wants us to hurt.   But, He never leaves us and wants us to never give up.  I sit in my pew and look up at the cross and put my hope there.  

*  Lighter note!   I just received an email that I got a spot to attend the Brothers Osborne Fan Club Party while at the CMA Fest!  I love them and am excited!!   They have gotten so 'hot' that a lottery was needed to pick attendees - and it was for single tickets.  I can't even bring a guest.  But, that is okay!  I will go by myself - and enjoy it!!! 

The CMA Fest is getting close!  I also bought into another fan party for an up and comer named William Michael Montgomery.   (I can bring a guest to it!)   I will certainly get my country music fill there...   I love it, morning to late night.  Amazing music everywhere - from the honky tonks, to the fan parties, the daytime outdoor stages, and the big headliners at night.   

*  Family updates:  The twins are 6 months now and are more and more adorable each day!!!   I head back tomorrow to spend a couple of days with them.     Daughter #2 is traveling parts of Europe right now with her fiance.   She had business in Prague and then took some extra time to vacation and sight-see.  I hope they continue to have fun - and stay safe!

*  The daughter #2 wedding is going to be a bit smaller than the royal wedding!  ha   We continue to make decisions and make plans.  We tasted cake samples last Saturday and we walked the venue grounds.  It is slowly but surely coming together!

As the Mamas and Papas sang:   Monday, Monday - can't stop that day!   I must end this now and get on with my Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing my church quilting friends this afternoon - and then this evening I am celebrating with my fellow handbell ringers at dinner out.

Enjoy your Monday!!


Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday morning in May

Good morning world! 

Happy Monday - in May!  It's a lovely time of year, isn't it?  I love this month with the weather so nice and with lots of exciting activities going on for many.   People are celebrating graduations and weddings.   People are getting outdoors and enjoying nature and getting some exercise.   Birds sing.  The breeze is sweet.  Flowers bloom.  

* I love doing yard work and gardening!  I love pulling weeds.  I love spending time outside planting and watching things grow.    So, of course, I did ALL of that and I overdid it this past Wednesday. I was 'in the groove' and going full speed pulling out weeds, and trimming bushes, filling bags full of yard debris.   But my 61 year old body didn't much appreciate all the work.    Wednesday evening I felt the ache, and the past couple of days since, I have heard my screaming back.  Slow down!!   You did too much!   Unfortunately, I know all too well that a back out of alignment, zapping my leg,  and swollen from hard work and mistreatment needs time and rest to heal.   Grrrrr       That is where I am now.

* How was your weekend?   I played with the flute choir at a beautiful BIG Southern wedding on Saturday.   How big you ask?   10 bridesmaids, 15 groomsmen, a flower girl, and a ring bearer!   How southern was it?   I saw many, many gentlemen in their seer sucker suits and bow ties!  Women were beautifully dressed in springy dresses, with hair and makeup done perfectly.   Southerners know how to do it up!

* Speaking of weddings... daughter 2 is coming here this coming weekend.  We have cake tasting scheduled and will make decisions on what she and her fiance want on their dessert table.  We also hope to meet with the wedding planner and walk around the new venue, Brookgreen Gardens.   Brookgreen is absolutely beautiful - but it is spread out. We have different spots to choose from for the ceremony and the reception.   I have lots of questions. 

* Update on the twins:  they are 6 months old now and are starting in on some food.   Daughter 1 has introduced pears with success.  Today she will try prunes.  Hmmm.    I told her to have her camera ready because the prunes may create some funny faces!!

*. The political TV ads have started here for the midterm elections.  I have seen several different Republican candidates' commercials.   Our current governor (McMaster) took over when Gov. Haley went to represent the US in the United Nations.   He has ads running that show Trump endorsing him, which just really throws me!  Seriously?  He thinks that is a positive thing?      As in the past I will vote mostly Democrat and my vote will never leave the area due to the way our Electoral College works.  It saddens me.  I'm all for having getting rid of the Electoral College so that I can actually have my vote count.   But, I vow anyway to vote for all newbies.  

* Hey you!   Please vote this time, okay??     We need you.

* I love my church.  Yesterday our handbell choir, which I am a member of, finished off our season with a wonderful piece, composed shortly after the Columbine High School tragedy, to honor those killed -  and to stir us up.  Violence in America.  Columbine was the first major school shooting, but we have had TOO many since.       Our music yesterday started with the the St. Francis prayer for peace.  It was impactful and moving.  Oh music!  It can be so beautiful!!

* I'm watching a segment on "CBS This Morning" right now about smart people dressing the same way every day.  Wow.  Interesting!   Too many clothes options can include some bad decisions, confusion, and people focus on what you are wearing and not what you say.   So, I think my clothes 'uniform' will be plain colored shorts, a solid shirt...and flip flops!  ha   

* Here's something interesting.   I went to the eye doctor's this past week because I hadn't been for five years and I knew my prescription for my glasses needed to be updated.   I have always had severe nearsightedness.  But twice over the years I had one of my eyes lasiked for better distance vision.   Guess what?  Now I have one eye still very nearsighted - and the other one has changed and is too farsighted.  The eyes are so far apart that I have been referred to an eye specialist.    Oh joy.    But, hey - at least I can see!!

*  Aging is not easy.    I've always heard that.  I know it now.     But, you gotta keep on keeping on... live each day!   Find the joy!

*   Are you watching "American Idol?"   I have been watching, but I have had a tough time stomaching Katie Perry (sorry Katie lovers).   Some times I feel Luke's pain as he sits there and tries to think of something 'different' and country-sounding to say.   Last night was elimination night.   I finally decided to go online and vote.  My two survived the night.   I guess my vote does count somewhere! 

Gotta run.  Happy Monday! Happy May! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Random dreaming... Love. Acceptance. Sharing. Giving.

Random thoughts.    Staying silent is easier sometimes.  I know many who believe that.   I constantly struggle with how much I should speak out...and WHY I should speak out.  Apathy on issues vs. commitment to a belief?  Keeping it off social media vs. using it as a positive avenue?  Staying quiet about politics today vs. believing each voter makes a difference?   Should I, or should I not?!?

Saying that, bear with me if I speak out (perhaps too much) in this post.  Some of you will agree with me and be in "my camp" and some of you will be upset by my out-spoken opinions and get annoyed and will think I should not be expressing myself like this on line.

Believe me. It's a constant struggle I have with myself.   But, my heart and my faith tell me that I have one life to live and that I should give it my best. I should speak as a Christian. I should be true, tell no lies, live my life as an open book.

So, tonight I speak of things that matter.

Love. Acceptance.  Sharing. Giving.

I admit it.  I don't understand a lot of people.  I don't get how some people can see things so differently.  I try, oh I try, to accept that we are all allowed our own beliefs.  I know we all have a different history, and a different raising, and we have different circumstances and experiences.  We all are individuals.  That's what makes life interesting.  Right?  I know it in my brain.  I just don't always accept it in my heart. 

But, there is a core 'thing'... a fundamental love that we must all feel.  Right?  It's a need to be of value to ourselves and to others.  We each have a uniqueness that must be honored.  We each have a hope for wanting a life that is full, satisfying, and beautiful.   Without it we hurt each other, and we put ourselves before others.  I think it's the basis of most problems...  we try to be better, and we try to find reasons to put others down.  It's certainly nothing new.  Throughout history there have been caste systems and man-made levels of importance.  There has always been one person or group keeping the others down.   There have always been struggles for many others to get ahead, to be better, and to achieve more.    The complex world we live in now bombards us all the time with so many, many ways to be divided, and to care about only other people that are like us.   Or even worse: only me, myself and I.  

We hear messages that put us against each other ALL THE TIME.  Politically.  Socially.  They are for ratings - and they are for business building and money making.  Endless hours our media now opine about politics.   Constant omplaining.  Lying.   There is not a lot of room or airtime for civil debate on issues or acceptance of differences.

It worries me.  It frightens me.   I think that many of us in this country have been swayed to live in a way that they don't trust anyone anymore, and in fact they think that others are out to get them.  It is put into their minds through marketing and the psuedo-news media... and yes, unfortunately, our leaders in government.  We have become a nation scared of each other and now we feel we need to protect ourselves.  We want to make sure we get OUR fair share because we think someone is always trying to steal from us.

  And  so, really, perhaps I do understand what has happened, but I am still disappointed how these  people think now-a-days.  I wish they could be stronger and true to the core needs of all...

Love. Acceptance.  Sharing.  Giving.

How can we get closer to it?   As a Christian, I believe we are 'commissioned' to go out and do just that.  Love, and accept.  Share what we have and give joyfully.   Jesus taught us that that was what God wanted for us to do... we are to love our neighbor as we love yourself.   But even for those that don't follow these teachings, it seems to me 'common sense' that loving, accepting, sharing and giving will bring a peaceful and happy life.  So, why not go for it?

 We need to stop putting others down (me included), especially those we consider different by color, or sex, or financial status.  We need to train our brains to be positive and to be open minded.  It means we accept people as they are.  Turn off our judgey thoughts.  Maybe we need to put on the rose-colored glasses for awhile.  See this world in a better way.  Stop being frightened.    Share our resources and give because giving is good.

Maybe we should NOT think about how we can be better than others, or think that we deserve more than others, and stop the feelings that we have a 'right' to things before others do. 

I think back to my birth... which happened to be from white parents in middle America.  I was born into a religious family, with stability, and I lived in a single dwelling home.  I had no choice into it... but I certainly know I was fortunate to have that kind of a start to my life.  I also know not everyone had what I had from birth and it was not a choice they made.    They too want...

Love. Acceptance.  Sharing.  Giving.



Thursday, April 26, 2018

End of April update

Hello!  How's everybody doing?   It's almost the end of April and I haven't had much time lately to post on my blog.  But, here I am...

* Last weekend I was more or less in charge of our church's annual garage sale.  I say that because it pretty much runs itself since we have done it for quite a few years now.  We have great church members who step up and help out.  Each year we pick a few local charities and take the money raised and give it back to them, to help our community.   It's a good day all around!  Lots of shoppers who get deals, money raised, and then the leftovers are given to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  

Even though it runs smoothly it is time consuming. Thursday and Friday were setup and pricing days.  Plus I went to a few church members's homes to pick up items that they could not bring in.  Thanks to hubby for helping me with that!

*. I'm still going back and forth to spend time with my grandbabies and to help out their mama.  The boys are growing and are much more settled but the mere fact that there are TWO keeps it a busy household!  My daughter is doing a great job with them!  She has them sleeping through the night and next week they go in for their 6 month checkup.  I'm pretty sure the pediatrician will tell her to start introducing food and that will help even more.   They really are good babies!  I credit my daughter more than she knows!  She has learned SO MUCH these past months, and has survived the early months with two preemies, on little sleep, as she healed too. 

The boys are in a fun stage right now - discovering each other, giving lots of smiles, squealing to communicate, rolling over.   It won't be long til they start crawling.   Every day is a new adventure and it's fun to watch them learn.

* At the same time, we are planning a wedding!  Daughter 2 had an interesting week!  The wedding planner called her to say that their were major issues happening at the venue.   Daughter had booked the Litchfield Plantation home, and the grounds around it.  It's a beautiful setting, overlooking the marshes. Guests would arrive driving down the Avenue of Live Oaks with spanish moss.   BUT...  with the problems, the wedding planner encouraged daughter 2 to find another location.  It seems that the plantation home is owned by 2 people who live in the neighborhood, and the HOA has been paying the mortgage on it.   But, there have been disagreements and the mortgage has not been paid for awhile - so the home will soon go into foreclosure!  Lawyers are getting involved.  It's not good.   How very sad!    There are 10 weddings already booked for the fall there and now the wedding planner has to tell all the brides what is happening. 

Thankfully, the wedding planner called around and found other venues to consider.  So, daughter 2's wedding will now take place at the very beautiful Brookgreen Gardens near us!!   We are lucky that it is available and that we were not left high and dry, without any option.    We had not ordered the invitations yet.   So, basically we just need to make a few phone calls to let some of our vendors know the wedding is at a new location.

*  Tomorrow night hubby and I are going to a Nashville Songwriters Roundtable event.  4 songwriters will perform a short acoustic set each and will talk about some of the songs they wrote or co-wrote.  Some of the songs have been recorded by big names in country music and became hits.  The event is to raise money for a charity but it's an amazing opportunity to  be "upclose and personal" with these writers.  I'm a huge country music fan so I am really looking forward to it!!

* Speaking of country music... the CMA Fest is only a month and a half away!  I am in a group on Facebook - a group of people who are going.  Some are first-timers but some, like me, have gone for many years.  For us, the ones who have experienced the festival before, there is a lot of grumbling on line about the lack of some of the biggest names on the schedule.   It seems that in recent years more and more 'summer festivals' are popping up around the country.  We have one right here in Myrtle Beach.  The big names are booked for those festivals...  but not the CMA Festival.    Historically the CMA Festival was a time of year when the artists 'gave back' and thanked their biggest fans.  (It used to be called Fan Fair.). The artists play for free.  A portion of the proceeds is given to music education in schools.    But it seems more are performing where they get a paycheck.  I'm sure their record companies and agents have a lot of say about it, and do the booking...   but it's disappointing for us CMA Fest regulars.   And, of course, the price of the festival continues to go up.  

* So, in general, am I getting more impatient??    I have posted on FB about the crazy drivers here, and the fact some don't seem to know the rules of the road.  But, perhaps it is ME who has the problem?!?   Reality check!  I need to chill on the road, and I need to realize many drivers have their own issues.  Perhaps driving slow and in the wrong lane is the least of their problems!   ha!!!

*  Sum-sum-summertime!  It's almost here!  My favorite time of year!  I'm planting flowers, and spending more time outdoors already.   Are you?  What is your favorite thing to do?   I love having a book and a glass of wine on my deck.   I need to walk more.... in general.  So, I'm hoping to make it a daily thing come summertime. 

* I am only home for a couple of days... so if I want to get walking I better sign off. I have much to do!  I have a hair restoration day tomorrow.  I need to run errands today, make up layette baskets for the hospital, plant some hosta plants I ordered that have arrived, and I have a flute choir session this evening.  We are going to record a few of our pieces to make a demo CD.   (Gee, I should really practice and limber up the fingers ahead of it! )

Enjoy this time everyone!  Today is awaiting...    

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Just little ole me.

Hi everyone!  I'm back - after many adventures and special days.

Happy Easter!  I hope you had a wonderful Holy Week finishing up with the celebration of our risen Lord!  

On Saturday we had family over to our home.  Daughter #1 and family made their first road trip here with the babies.  A 3 1/2 hour drive and the boys did really well.  They also did great staying at Baboo and Mimi's house, and meeting everyone.  No crying.  Such sweet boys!  I'm glad it went well so that they all come back soon.  This Mimi is proud!

Mixed in to the weekend was a major challenge for my hubby.  He had a kidney stone attack and had lots and lots of pain.  I have never experienced stones (thank God) but I understand it's as rough as childbirth pain.  We made an ER visit, and he got some pain pills.  He was all set up to have a procedure done to go get the stone out on Wednesday, but passed it on Tuesday night!   Yeah!   Kidney stones are strange things.  Such a mystery on why some people develop them and others don't.  Hubby has had them before and diet changes don't make a difference.   He just gets them.   Poor guy.

Easter:  Did you watch the live production of "Jesus Christ Superstar"  Sunday night?    Oh my!  It was wonderful!  I was so impressed by the singing, the dancing, the set, the emotion it provoked.  Very well done!  Daughter #2 and I saw a live version in Charleston a few years back and Ted Neeley, the man who portrayed Jesus in the movie, was Jesus in it.  I loved it BUT I think John Legend did an amazing job. The whole cast really.   If you didn't see it Sunday night, perhaps you can pull it up on line.

Speaking of online...   okay, am I the only one who thinks it's a bit crazy that people are so upset that Facebook info was 'stolen'?   I mean, come on...   I love Facebook but I have known since day one that you don't put up any information that you are don't want being public knowledge.   I worry more about store websites getting credit card info, etc.  but Facebook?   Those who get into it can get your name, your birthdate, and can learn about what you like and dislike.   Duh.   Have you not noticed that after a post about a subject, then commercials pop up that have to do with it?   Facebook knows my age so the ads tend to lean towards products for my phase in life.   I laughed when I saw bladder control panties commercials!    Now, when it comes to trying to sway you politically...  which I think it really what this is all about, I again say REALLY?    Duh.   I am pretty secure on my social and political beliefs so maybe my account was not used.   I certainly didn't get Trump-favored ads.  Ha!  They knew it would have been useless!    I guess there is a segment of people who are gullible and are swayed...    but not me!  

The bigger question or concern is about the amount of lies that is out there all the time.  Finding truth is harder than ever.  We used to be able to turn to the news networks and feel comfortable that we were getting info straight.  Not anymore.   I have a friend who worked for a Sinclair TV station awhile back and she has been warning us for awhile about their power and grip on the affiliates. 

As someone who used to work in media (eons ago) I still believe that most reporters are doing their best to give accurate information, without a slant.  If bosses are mandating reporters and anchors to say things that seems biased, then they need to speak up.  I know - the fear of losing their job and being blackballed is real and scary.   But, saying nothing about it is wrong.  It's a tough situation for news people today. 

Sinclair owns a lot of stations around the country.  Fox stations - but other ones too.  You can easily google and find out which local stations are owned by them.  Maybe you should watch a different news source.  Just saying...

Speaking of news and facts:  The crazy, disgruntled woman who went to Youtube and shot some people...  she is not white, and doesn't have an easy name to say, but that does NOT mean that she is part of a bigger terrorist group...or that she didn't have a right to be in our country.  Again, don't go where it isn't!   Her family was concerned because she was unstable and contacted police.  Again, warning signs were there and she slipped through.   Sad.    But, I'm so thankful that nobody innocently died from her gun.

I continue to go back and forth to Raleigh to help with my adorable grand babies.   They are 5 months old now and thriving.  Those smiles they give to me melt my heart!  I am experiencing pollen twice this season tho.  We had it bad here at home a few weeks ago - and now everything is popping in Raleigh and my car got covered in pollen parked there the past couple of days!         Better than snow tho....       lol

It's been a crazy spring.   Snow and snow up north.   Temps going up and down everywhere!    Wacky.  But Spring can be that way.   So, stay healthy everyone....  

until next time...

peace to you.

Friday, March 23, 2018


Happy Friday to all my readers!

I hope you are ready for the weekend ahead.   I mean, who doesn't look forward to the weekend?   Right?   Here are a couple of things I have coming up over the weekend.

* I'm walking in the North Charleston March for Our Lives tomorrow.  It starts at 3:00pm with the march, and then it will have speakers and music at the end of it.    Want to come along?  Let me know.  If you live elsewhere, then find your local march.  Do it for the kids!  Do it so we can make schools a place of learning, and for sports and the arts.  It should not be a place where our kids and grandkids fear for their lives.  Schools should be safe havens.   Home, church, school. 

* Sunday is Palm Sunday - or also Passion Sunday.   I'm looking forward to the happy start of Holy Week on Sunday.  Waving the palms and singing joyfully.  Of course the week goes from joy to total darkness on Friday, before the joy again of Easter and God's expression of total love for us: the showing that physical death is not the end.  Bringing Jesus back from death and conquering death.  The promise of eternal life.

This year the spring blooms are lining up with Easter Sunday.  The azaleas are opening and by next Sunday our area should be full of beautiful colors of nature!  Another sign that life comes back!

* Did you watch Anderson Cooper's interview with Karen, the playboy model who had the affair with Trump?   If so, what did you think?   I watched.  She seemed pretty believable to me.   And, really though, what does it matter?   We all know Trump was an abuser of women, or cad, or whatever you want to call that type of male.  He used his position and power to have sexual encounters.    But, he is our president now.    And...he is not our first president to be a jerk.   People love to point out that both Kennedy and Clinton were womenizers.   And, there were probably thousands of others in political positions who were also.      I'm wondering... do people really even consider a candidate's personal moral values when voting?  Does it matter?            It still matters to me.   In fact, I think that how a person treats ALL people (peers, the opposite sex, those with different opinions, etc.)  means something to who they are in their core - and I think it will reflect in their decisions.      Oh, and then they lie about it -and try to cover up that it even happened.  And in doing so it becomes a 'he said/she said' on air media spectacle.   Demeaning.  Lowering value.  Wasting time.       Yes, it matters to me.

* I attended a series at my church about forgiveness.  This past Wednesday was the last class.   Each class started with a short film of a real life situation and then told of how the victim learned about forgiveness.  True forgiveness.    And, sometimes how the abuser/criminal also felt the forgiveness.  Thankfully, so far in my life, I have not had a major terrible event happen to me by another person where I feel unable to forgive.   Nothing major.  But, almost daily small things are done, or not done, that create hurt... and my/our reaction says a lot.  Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting it.  But, forgiveness means realizing we ALL make mistakes.  We all do things, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, that wrong someone else.   It's really hard to forgive at times.  But as I rationally know, and the class reminded me, we are not to judge - and we have God's forgivenness for the asking.     It's a process.   Forgiveness is freeing.   Forgiveness is an expression of love.

*  Switching gears...        Facebook.     Are you going to stay with it?   I have heard from a couple of Facebook friends who have decided to leave it due to all the information stealing, and the political underhanded messages.    Yes, it is upsetting.   Hopefully, the information that was taken from accounts will not be used to do personal harm.   I think from what I hear on the news it was mostly used to try and change our presidential election outcome.     I think when my account was looked at, those behind it saw a very assured person, who will not be swayed by false messages.  Seriously, there was NO WAY I was going to change my opinion of the candidates - and more importantly about my moral and ethic beliefs.   So, I'm not leaving Facebook.  I still love the sharing of family and friend pictures. I love the positive messages I read.  I love getting local news.  I love the funny jokes.   I might be naive but I think I am independent enough that I will not "go with the crowd" or just believe anything online because it is there.    Saying that, I will also NOT become cynical. I will not fear being on social media.  I will weigh the value of technology to the concerns about it.

*   Friends.   How many do you really have?   How many people do you consider "real" friends?  And what makes a true friend?     I can count on one hand those who I consider true, positive, life-long friends.

Gosh, reading that back sounds sad.  It wasn't meant to be.  I mean - I have many wonderful, caring people in my day to day life that I consider friends... people that I like to be around, that can make me laugh, that share a lot of what I believe in.   But, there are just a few who "get me" and even if they don't always, still accept me - no questions asked.    Maybe it goes back to forgiveness.

*  Which of course makes me think of MANY songs about forgiveness.  Since I started this class, and since I have been driving back and forth from Raleigh each week listening to music, I have heard lots of songs about forgiveness.   Don Henley sings about it in "Heart of the Matter."   Of course Tim McGraw sings about it in "Live Like You Were Dying"... the lyrics: And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter, and I gave forgiveness I've been denying.     Really, so many songs out there are offering or asking for forgiveness.

I think I have reached the end of this post.  So, forgive me (get it?)  for bringing up heavy issues on this TGIFriday.   Some days are like that.    Enjoy the weekend. I'm ready for it!  Bring it on!!

Peace and joy to you. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Just me... reporting in.

Another week has gone by...     so it is time for another post.

* March Madness has started! Are you watching?  Have you filled out a bracket?  I have found that filling out a bracket is the best way to get excited about all of the college basketball during this month, and to have a reason to root for the teams as they progress.  How do you pick teams?   Obviously, you can pick from how they are ranked, but then you have to go out on a limb and pick a few underdogs.  I tend to pick SEC teams, and Carolina teams (not Clemson... ha) and schools that my daughters went to (go College of Charleston!)

* I am so proud of the students from Parkland that have started a movement!  And, I'm proud of all the students across the country who have joined in, and now have awareness and compassion about school safety and gun control.   So often we hear about the young being apathetic about issues and politics.  But this has hit home to them.  This is about their world.   I don't know about you, but I never EVER worried about my personal safety and feared for my life when I was in school.  Now, hearing that young elementary children have to 'train' to go into lockdown for fear of shooters is just so very sad to me.  I can not even imagine what that does to a little one.  So scary.   It's not fair to put them through it.  I think we need other, better solutions.  That's why I plan to march...

* I will be at the Charleston March for Life, Saturday, March 24th.   Thank you to my hubby for agreeing to go with me.  It's important for me to be there.   I ordered a shirt and got an email today saying that it is on it's way...but, guess what?  By mistake I ordered a KIDS large, not an adult large.  It might be snug, but I hope I can wear it.

* Doing it for the kids....and my grand kids.  I still can't believe I have two grandbabies!  They are the most adorable little guys in the world!   I'm marching for them.

* Daughter #2 (in birth order) just completed her training and is now a yoga instructor.  I'm so proud of her for her commitment to it, and for finding something that makes her mentally and physically fit and chilled.  She has a stressful life right now - her job, and planning a wedding, and starting to have a home built - and yoga is the perfect way to keep from going crazy! Like her mama, she likes her wine too - and it also helps!  ha

*  My son-in-law is a busy, hard-working guy, and therefore he doesn't check into social media very much.  So, he probably won't read this... but, I just want to say thanks to him.  He has 'allowed' me to spend the last 4 months living at his home, on and off.  Mostly on.  I am helping with the twin babies, my sweet grandsons, and I know he realizes my extra hands are needed, but he has accepted me there.  He may get tired of me being there at times, but he hasn't made me feel that way - at all.  For that, I thank him.  I mean... I'm his Mother-in-law.   lol

*  More family stuff:  I'm excited my sis is coming to visit over Easter weekend!  I'm also excited that daughter #1 (birth order) and son-in-law are planning to bring those above-said adorable grand boys here that weekend, for their first trip traveling anywhere.   It will be fun to have everyone together! 
The boys were born on Reformation Sunday.  I'm still holding out a little hope that maybe they can be baptized on Easter Sunday... no pressure to the parents, but it would be a lovely time to do it.  Easter is all about new (eternal) life... and the assurance of it.  No better time to welcome two more to God's family.

* Switching to another kind of family:  the country music community.   My countdown has started to this year's CMA Festival in June, in Nashville!!  I'm excited for it this year just as I have been every year!  I never get tired of it.  It's such a wonderful four days of live music on many stages!   More every year!  Soon the big name night-time lineup at the stadium will be announced. Will Keith be there?   Tim??   Fan club parties are also getting scheduled and announced.  Every year we have done something different and special!    We enter the random selections for Meet and Greets and small concerts.  We go to fan parties, and take tours.   Great music, great experiences, great food, great time with family! 

* Update on bathroom renovation:  ALMOST DONE!    Hallelujah!

*  Sad to see Toys R Us stores going bye-bye.  It just seems strange that you can't run to the store to pick up a baby gift, or a kid birthday gift, from there anymore.   More and more stores are closing up  due to internet shopping.  But, it's the way of the world.  And, I admit that I shop on line more than I go to a store too.   Question: what are we going to do with all the empty store buildings??

* I have a hair appointment tomorrow and I am in the mood for something new and different!  I'm thinking strong highlights and lowlights.  Lots of variation - maybe different layers too.   Wish me luck!

Have a good week everyone.    Be happy - be grateful - be filled with peace. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Will you walk the walk?

I talk the talk pretty well. 

I know what I believe and I can tell you.  I can support my beliefs and I feel comfortable in why I do.   As I have aged I have felt more and more clear about certain issues.   I have become passionate about...

putting children first.

tightening gun laws (the ones on the books and adding some new ones).

having equal rights for every single American.

and helping those who need help - without judging.

If you follow me on Facebook you have seen many posts that I have shared about these issues.

I remember when the first Women's March happened right after the election of President Trump and feeling so sad that I was not there.  I believed strongly in their right to peacefully march, to 'show up' and express the need for a better America.  I felt the same dismay after the election that they did.  I knew complaining without doing something positive is just a waste of time. So,  I watched TV all day, feeling proud of the people there.  I actually knew some who participated.  Friends.  Not crazy people.   Compassionate and giving their time.

On Saturday, March 24th lots of people will again be marching and this time I will join in.  "The March for our Lives" is going to happen in many cities around the country.   I plan to attend the one in Charleston.  I have ordered the t-shirt.  I love the fact that this one got organized by the youth. I am inspired by them.  I applaud their activism!  Some were pulled in because they experienced the horrors of an unsafe America first-hand.  But, some are joining in because they don't like the direction this country is going.  They are the future.  They are going to make it happen!!  

So, I will walk the walk!  I am going to 'do something'!  

If you would like to join me and live nearby, let's go together.

If you live elsewhere, let me know you too will be walking.   I'd love to hear from you. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

This and that.

Good morning!  TGIF! 

Here are some rambling thoughts going on in my head...

* Why do construction projects always ALWAYS take longer than estimated?   We are having our master bathroom remodeled and it was 'supposed' to be done last Friday.  Well, that didn't happen.  And now we have been told it will be mostly done today.  Hmmmm.   I find that hard to believe by the amount of work still waiting to happen.     Maybe next Friday??

* I am very happy that it is March!  Spring is just around the corner.  Here in South Carolina the trees have blooms, and all the azalea bushes are just about to pop.  I can very anxious this time of year to run out and by new flowers for my pots. I want to get my hands in the dirt and make the yard pretty again.   But, even here, it is too early.   In fact we have a few night-time lows dipping in to the 30's this coming week.  So, I wait.

*  Grandbabies update:  They continue to be more alert and I noticed this past week that they are trying to reach out to toys. They don't have the hand coordination yet but I can see the effort and it will happen soon.  They also want to talk!  Oh - it's cute, but also frustrating to them, as they concentrate and work their mouths.  They intently watch my face and try to make the same sounds I am making.  Again, soon it will happen and soon they will be little chatterboxes!  It is so fun to watch their development! 

* This is not new, because I remember being a new mom:   but, doesn't it seem that being a mom is joyful, stressful, tiring, invigorating, and unexpected?   My daughter is going through what I think ALL moms experience to some degree.   Emotions go up and down.   Wanting to be a great mother and do the best you can is tough.  Some times it just takes trial and error.   Some times it means doing what you think is right and turning off the other voices.   And, it takes confidence and time...

*  I hope the gun control issue keeps 'hot.'   I hope finally, this time, people will not let weeks go by and lose intensity about it.   I saw in the newspaper yesterday that our congressman Tom Rice met with constituents at a coffee shop last week and he was specifically asked about his NRA stance and if he would support banning military style (rapid fire) guns - and he said no.   So, bye bye.   He won't get my vote. 

*  Tomorrow I am going with my handbellers from church to an all day handbell workshop. It happens once a year and there must be 40 or more groups that come together - to learn, to ring, to experience this awesome and loud (lol) event!  We take two small group classes along with spend time as the large group.  At the end of the day we have a short concert for family and friends.  It's a long day!  An early wake-up call (5:00am)  and then not back home until 7:00pm or so.

*  Okay - I admit it.  I'm watching "The Bachelor".   Monday is the three hour finale.  THREE HOURS!  I hear that something 'different' is going to happen.   I'm kind of hoping that IF Arie chooses one of the ladies and wants to ask for her hand in marriage, that she turns him down.  Has that ever been done?   It would certainly be a twist.

*  I am anxious for my engaged daughter to get past her busy time at work.  She's a CPA and is working long hours as tax deadlines are just around the corner.  But, once she gets 'freed up' a bit I look forward to working on wedding plans more.  I also look forward to our time at the CMA Fest, which is in early June again.  It's less than 100 days and the country music artists are starting to announce fan parties, etc.  Soon the schedule will be released on who will perform each night.  It's always an amazing line-up!

* Seriously... will there be anyone left working in the White House?    I worry that nobody will want to work there and many positions will be left empty.   We will have Trump, Pence, and Sarah Sanders left.  The three stooges.

*  Stay safe all my friends up north getting the wild weather today and tomorrow!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The circle of life

Thursday has become my time to catch up on my blogging.  Today is Thursday.  So, it's that time again.  I wrote a post last Thursday and was a bit surprised that nobody responded about it.  There wasn't a single comment.  I don't know if anyone read it or not, but it was therapeutic to write...and isn't that what blogging is all about?  

So, today... what do I want to post about?

I think today is a day to write about the circle of life.   (Cue "The Lion King" music.)

As you all know I have been spending lots of time with my daughter and her new baby twin boys.  I have written about it here already, and you know that I am already in love with those cute little guys.  We have made it through the first months, when it was all about feeding them as preemies. It was about keeping them alive... and helping them gain weight and grow.    Now they are becoming little people and it's a joy to watch them smile, and to interact with us.  It's just the start.  So many wonderful months and years ahead!

These are my first grandchildren.  I am not particularly young to have just become a grandmother.  Not at all.  I realize that. 

I am blessed to have no major medical issues right now so I can get down on the floor with the boys. I can hold them and rock them, and I can help out as needed.   I hope it continues because I enjoy it very much!  I love being Mimi!

Here's the thing:  I really can't believe I am the age that I am.    Sometimes I wonder: how did I get here?   

In general I'm holding it together pretty well.  But, sometimes it is hard to look in the mirror.  Sagging skin and wrinkles.  My upper arms have loose skin ALL THE TIME.  My skin is dry.  I can't seem to moisturize enough!   My hands are looking old.   And wow - when my roots start to grow out, my hair looks like it's much more gray than any other color.  The texture is different. 

I'm not saying anything prophetic.  Anyone my age or older understands what I am talking about - I know that.  But, dang, sometimes it is hard to face!  Right?

And, I don't want to be vain about my looks.   I know life changes us physically.   I just heard a saying:  the days can go slow, but the years go fast.  It's true.   I love the country song about "don't blink" because you might miss something.  And,  that 'you're gonna miss this' because each stage of life is beautiful, even when you don't always realize it at the moment. 

But, seriously, how did I get this age??? 

Life is wonderful.  Every part of it!   I have a little sign in my bathroom that says "Live your life and forget your age."  I try and be that way.  I try and stay relevant - and I try and stay connected.  I know that thinking and acting old makes a person old.

The outer part may be changing.  I try not to let it bother me too much. 

First I was a daughter.  Then I became a mother.  Now I am a grandmother. 

It's all about enjoying that circle of life. 


Saturday, February 17, 2018

I'm tired of this. Aren't you?

I don't know what it is.  I can't let go of the fact that we had another school mass killing and nothing is happening.   Before I go on, don't worry people... I am not 'obsessed' and I am still living in reality.   I think I am sane and rational.   Some of you may not agree! ha!!

But, I just saw on TV the man who was the principal at Columbine 19 YEARS AGO on that day when two young men went in and terrorized the school and killed innocent teachers and students.   Guess, what?  We were shocked and we cried on that day.  That was 19 years ago.  More people were just killed on Valentine's Day in a Florida school.   Yes, the number is bigger than Columbine.  And, in between then and now we have had mass killings in other schools, in movie theaters, at music concerts, in night clubs, and more.

Here's one thing (of many) that I don't get about it.  When a mass killing happens we ALL feel terribly sad and the news channels cover it non-stop.  For a few days.  I use Facebook a lot and the posts pop up all over it about sending thoughts and prayers out to the victims and their families.  It happens time and time again.

I have tried to think of HOW we can get beyond just that.  HOW we can make schools safer.  HOW we can make living in America safer.   WHAT can I do?   WHAT can we agree on?   Will people sacrifice a bit of their personal freedom for a greater good?  Will America EVER be safer??


*  We will never be like we were 'back then' in simpler days.  We live in a diverse country more than ever and have varying hopes and dreams.  But, we can not go back to the 'good old days'.  There is no back to the past.

*  Our forefathers never envisioned the technology we have now.   They were smart and they started this country off with some amazing 'rights' but they had no clue that we would be this advanced in communication technology and in gun power and warfare.  No idea. 

* Guns are apart of daily life in America.  I mentioned this earlier, but I grew up in a home that did not own a gun.  My parents never talked about needing one for home security.  Their parents were rural people.  If they had guns for protection, I never heard them talk about it and certainly never saw a pistol or rifle. No gun cabinet.  Nothing.   My parents never ever felt I needed to learn to shoot a weapon.

Some of you reading this DID grow up in homes with guns.  So, please keep in mind, it is hard for me to 'get it.'  I don't understand hunting in today's world.  The days of needing to shoot an animal to get food to survive is over.  I actually had a person tell me he hunts to get lean meat. So, he spends money on a rifle, ammo, a hunting license, hunting attire - all to get lean meat.  I think you can buy lean meat in a supermarket.   I don't get how it's a celebration to 'get a kill' and to display the dead animal with blood dripping from it's mouth. 

* Mental health is a huge issue in America!  Again, our complex world - our busy schedules, and our societal stresses may add to it.  But, some mental illness is an affliction just as cancer is.  We must treat it as soon as it is diagnosed.  We must remove the stigma.  We must spend money on treatment just as we do on cancer or any other medical issues.

* Nothing happens overnight.  Change is slow.  Sometimes it takes generations to change.   The desire to 'throw up your hands' and give in is real.  But, then good change will never happen if we don't try.

* A little bit of change is better than no change.  One life saved is worth a little bit of change.

*  Each person CAN make a small change. Each person has a voice.  Each person is unique and important.

* Today's Congress will not help us.  Congress is stuck. Broken.  Paid off.  

In back and forth streams on Facebook, and in face to face discussions, I have heard all kinds of reasons we are where we are with the problems in America.  I have heard illegal guns and drugs are the reason.  I have heard bad parents are at fault.  All those bloody video games!  Kids seeing movies with killings all the time.   Desensitized.   I have heard mental illness is hard to diagnose and even tougher to treat.  I have heard we don't have God in our lives anymore.    Yes. True.  Yes, yes, yes, yes.

So, I go back to this; do we throw up on hands?   Do, we say this is who we are?   Do we then allow the mass killings to keep occurring and then just keep being sad?   Thoughts and prayers...

Little ole me thinks we can work towards safer schools - and really safer communities.  But, it will take some sacrifice from us all. It will take money (everything does) and it will take speaking out, having patience, and a positive attitude about it.   You with me?

Let's tell our leaders ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  They will need to find new employment unless they are not with us on this.   We need to hire more trained mental health and social workers (and pay them properly) and we need to require ALL children in ALL schools to be part of ongoing programs on how to live with others, how to be compassionate, how to meditate and calm the mind in stressful situations.  If children are identified with mental issues we MUST give them more and special care. No more slipping through the cracks.

We must also tell our leaders that our databases and the government agencies MUST get better and work together.   Again, it takes skill and MONEY.   We saw this week in Florida how horrible the effects are when even one person gets lost in the system.  

Now - I bring up guns.   First, I have heard in the past few days from a couple of people that legitimate gun shops sometimes do not really do background checks.  And, of the ones that do - some are practically done within 5 minutes.   Different requirements are state by state.  That is just wrong.  Stupid really.  We must have punishments - licenses taken away from gun store owners.  Jail time.  Whatever it takes.  Do away with all the gun glorification we have in this country.  Remember how it used to be with cigarettes in America?  For decades smoking was cool!   It took a long time to turn around the mindset of the young but we have.   We can do that with guns too.

We can not rely on our hard working police officers to do additional work on enforcing gun laws that are on the books already. We need more people (which is money too of course) for enforcement.   We can have 'gun turn in' days - for money.   Have them every month!  Why not??  I know... oh Marla, so many guns are out there, it won't do any good.   Back to my earlier response: change is slow.  It takes a long time to turn a big ship around. BUT, every single gun turned in is one less out there with the potential to be used to kill someone.

We need to stop fear-mongering.  Oh, it's out there.  If you listen long enough you think that everyone is out to get you.  That there are no good and honest people in our country anymore.  We are told we need a gun just to drive down the street.   Hey people!  It isn't true!!   As Luke Bryan sings "I believe that most people are good."   Good people just need to get together and not fear each other. 

Offer govt tax credit for anyone who puts an alarm system in their home.

This one is easy:  Make the military style automatic weapons illegal to buy!  Duh!  If someone is found with one purchased, both the owner of it and the seller go to jail.  We need tough, scary punishment.

Okay, okay. Right about now (if you are still reading) you are screaming at me "What about my rights???  I live in America!  It's a Constitutional Right!!"   "Don't take MY gun!  I'm responsible. I'm not going to kill anyone.  Dag-nab-it, I am my own person Don't tell me what to do!!"

All that is true.   So, all I can say is - stop thinking only of YOU.  Stop for a minute and think about those who have already been gunned down - the innocent people - good people - just like you.  Stop and think of the children gunned down in schools.  Sandy Hook.  How can we ever forget that?!?!

Remember YOU can sacrifice a little to save children!  You can do the "right" thing.  You can consider the "right to live" instead of the "right to bear arms".

If someone says to me one more time "there's nothing we can do...."  I think I will cry.   Again.



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hello from here!

Hello from my 'crazy life'...    it certainly seems that way right now! 

Don't worry. It's all good. 

But, I am living these days out of a suitcase.  I am spending half of my weeks at my daughter's home and I am helping out with my precious grand-twins.  They are past their 'preemie start' and are catching up well.  They were born October 29th but were considered 'full term' on December 5th.  So, with the adjusted age, the boys are in their third month.  They have gained weight well, and are focusing on their surroundings, including this Mimi's face!  They smile back!  They have happy times!   They are at the age to finally start training them...  we have moved them into 'nap areas' and they are getting used to a darkened room, and time to take a snooze.   Once awake, its a diaper change and then a bottle... and "tummy" and play time.  Lots of smiles then...and baby cooing.   Two babies still really requires two sets of hands.  The boys are not always on the same schedule, and at times when they are it can be very hectic! 

The other half of my weeks are spent back at home.  I'm getting back into my music hobbies and am making it back to church.   I'm also around to enjoy Friday night date night with my hubby.   It's a tradition for us.

Right now we are having some work done in our home.   So, everything is 'out of place' for a while.  The washer and dryer are sitting in the living room - not connected.  Our master bath has been torn apart down to the studs. We are getting it redone, top to bottom.  New cabinets, new tub, new shower, tile, lighting, etc.   We also had old flooring pulled out of our main hallway and the kitchen area.  New tile is going in there too.    Dust is everywhere.   I'm feeling a little bit like a Chip and Joanna Gaines project!  I just hope our people get it all done as fast as they do on TV! 

The other part of my crazy life right now is the planning of my younger daughter's wedding.   We just found out that Saturday, October 20th is THE busiest day around here in the fall for a wedding!!  I live in a place considered a destination for many weddings.  We have beautiful spots, and weather... and it's a vacation place for many.  So, I have been scrambling and making calls to reserve some things for it.  Thankfully, I kept my older daughter's wedding notebook, filled with all the paperwork and contacts we used in 2015.   Yesterday I secured the DJ for the reception, and the salon that will do the hair and makeup for the bride and bridemaids.  I also booked a block of rooms at the nearby Hampton Inn.     Now.... let's see: we still need to get a florist, and test cake options... and the food - and the liquor...and...    

So, like I said above IT IS ALL GOOD !  

I'm trying to get back into reading again. It was put by the wayside for three months while the twins were so tiny.   I have a few books ready to be cracked open.  But, does anyone have a new favorite to pass along?  I miss my Book Club. I haven't been to a meeting since the boys were born.

I also need to do yard work!  And, yes, I love yard work!  It's February but it's going to be almost 70 degrees today so I plan to spend some time outdoors.  There is debris to pick, some trimming of dead limbs, and I want to blow off the deck and driveway.

* I'm watching the CMT Countdown as I type this morning.  I have missed my country music.   Gee, I guess I need to introduce the boys to some soon!  ha    Actually, I want them to know all kinds of music, as do their parents.  Both parents love music and I know it will be an important part of their growing up.   Yeah!

*  Politics.   Nothing to say except the disdain and disappointment continues.  

*  Younger daughter is almost done with her yoga training and will be certified as a yoga instructor.  It's been a big undertaking and has involved quite a few weekends away at 'school.'   She is also getting into her busy tax time as a CPA.  I think her life is crazier than mine!  And, yes, she is planning a wedding too!   

* Hubby had successful shoulder surgery.  He is in PT now.   The rotator cuff was cleaned up, and a bicep tendon had to re-attached.  He is frustrated not being able to lift anything for awhile, and he is a workout fiend.  No weights.  Certainly no bicep curls!!  He is not a happy camper when he can't get a good sweat going.

* Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles!  It was a great game, and a wonderful football season!  Yes - I watched.  I did not ban the NFL from my viewing!!  What can I say? I love watching football.  

Which takes me to where I will end this meme.   Let's NOT judge others.  Especially when we have not walked in their shoes.  Or, have been raised as they have. Or, have felt injustices.  Or, have been put down because of a color, or a sexual identity, or for their birthplace.   Give value to their pain.   Don't dismiss it. 

And, on that note...   I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!    Spring is one week closer!  

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This and That

Hello everyone!

I'm back home for a few days so I have the opportunity to pause, to sit down, and blog...

Some of my thoughts:

* I'm HAPPY to be home but I do miss my adorable little grandsons!  I will be back with them this Sunday afternoon.  We have a new plan...I will drive to my daughter's after church and help out each Sunday evening through Wednesday noonish.  Then back home for the second half of the week.  It's a good way to wean myself off their care and get back into my regular life.   I will be home for the weekend to hang with hubby, and to get to church.

The grandboys seem to still have some reflux issues and are often fussy after having a bottle.  That's a bit frustrating.  The main goal these days is to get them content during their wakeful times.  Until then, it's a dance/challenge/work to keep them from crying.  Their eyes are focusing well now, but they haven't figured out how to use their hands and can not sit up on their own.  With a bit more time and maturity,  they will be able to play better.  That will help.

I have said this already:   I now know that having twins is more than DOUBLE the work!  Rarely are both napping at the same time for any length of time to get anything else done.  It's tough on my daughter.  No down time.   When I think back on having one infant, it seems like a breeze compared to constantly tending to two. 

* The upcoming Olympics.  Are you excited about them?  I think I am more worried than excited.  The South Korean location concerns me.  The world politics scare me.

So much has come out on abuse - steroids, other performance drugs, and now sexual - all to WIN.  Is winning worth that??     In life, is winning the be all, end all?? 

*  Speaking of politics... was I?   lol      I debated whether or not to watch last night's State of the Union address.  I usually do watch each year, regardless of who is the president.  But, I ended up turning off the TV and not watching any of it.  In general, the State of the Union Address has become a 'show' and I have gotten really tired of all the applause - and I don't like the 'pawns' (people invited to sit in the balcony) to make a point.

More than anything though, this president has shown how low he can go, and how when NOT reading a teleprompter, he reveals his true colors.  I don't believe anything he says.  And... even then, what he says goes against my beliefs.  From the beginning I have been offended by the "Make America Great Again" slogan.  1.  American IS great!   2.  Every era has good and bad issues.   3.  The slogan sounds pompous... sounding like we are ONLY concerned about America, and not the people in other countries.  With communication and technology today, we are a GLOBAL world!  We need each other. We should CARE about the good of all, everywhere.

I still believe a President should be a role model.  He is NOT!  He is embarrassing. Our poor youth have so few honorable people to look up to anymore.  Wait. I take that back.  They do... those who give back, and those who use respect in words and actions.   Again, our president is NOT that type of man.    I believe we need to stress that politics should not just be about personal financial gains... it is so much more! It is working together to help everyone together.  To give equality... in the workplace, in the health world, in nature. It's reaching out - and doing it because it is RIGHT to do.

*  2018.  Sometimes I am surprised it's a new year.  We have lots planned in the months ahead.  The highlight:  our 2nd daughter's wedding!   It will be in October.  A beautiful time of year here (as long as no hurricanes come around!?!  eeek!)   She said yes to a dress a few weeks ago.  A venue has been picked. We have the pastor...the wedding party is picked.  Things are moving along!   It will be beautiful!

Also this year:  the CMA Festival in June.  Of course!!  The annual Lakeside week, which will also be a celebration/bachelorette time for my niece - she is getting married in January.  August will bring my daughter's bachelorette weekend. 

*  This is  the award show season!  Do you have a favorite?   Have you seen any of the nominated movies?  I have not.  What did you think about the music at the Grammy's?   Is it just me, or does it seem that rap has taken over the Grammy show?  I also wonder if there still is a genre called "pop" or "contemporary".   It's rap, soul, country (yeah) - at least during the televised show.

* Hubby just had surgery to have a bicep tendon reattached to the bone.  Thankfully he didn't need rotator cuff work.  I hope this surgery will end his constant pain.  He has lived with it a long time.  I have discovered A LOT of people have had shoulder surgery!  Since posting about my hubby I have heard from SO MANY others who have needed similar surgery.   Man, when you get to this age, body parts wear out - and get torn, and ache.   Crazy!!!  

*  I got home and found all my plants had gotten zapped by the cold and the rare snow we had while I was away.   Yesterday I spent time cutting off all the dead and brown.  Spring can't come soon enough.  I wonder what may come back and what will need to be replaced.   PS: I love Spring!!

Time to get today going...

I hope to see you back here soon.    I have missed blogging.   Have a GREAT day!