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.