Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kseniya Simonova's Amazing Sand Drawing

If you haven't seen this video yet, you should watch it....amazing!


The Potter's Hand

The Potter's Hand

Standing and waiting, as broken as the day
Head bowed low, I’ve even no more to pray
Having done all, I’m silent and still
As I yield to the Potter as clay on His wheel.
Damaged and marred by the world’s cruel drought
Aware that even I would have thrown me out
Weary and willing, I now yield control
And in the Potter’s hands, finally I’m whole.
~Margaret



The Shoals, Alabama

Friday, November 27, 2009

Carol of the Bells

I love this video!




Movie Review

I mentioned in a previous post that I had a home work assignment in my Advanced Composition class of doing a movie review....and here it is, The Brown Recluse first ever Movie Review:

    Jim Carrey’s whacky and extraordinary extroverted antics have dominated every movie in which he’s starred. By the age of ten years, he was a seasoned attention-getter, performing for anyone who would watch him. He even mailed a resume to The Carol Burnett Show. In junior high, if he could make it though the school day without an eruption, he was given an opportunity to do stand-up routines for a few minutes at the end of class. In typical Carrey fashion, “A Christmas Carol” was energetic to the point of hectic from beginning to end.  

    Director Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), who also wrote the screenplay, showcased his special effects genius, weaving the animation so well that one can sometimes forget it’s animation and not real actors on the screen. Rated PG for scary images, this Disney production is currently showing at the Carmike Theater. It is offered both 2D and 3D, though there is a $2.50 surcharge for 3D. In this adaption Charles Dickens Christmas classic, we have all the staples of the classic “A Christmas Carol” in the roles of Carrey, who plays the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, and Ebenezer Scrooge so diversely it’s easy to assume its four different actors. Each ghost has a journey for Scrooge; each journey is a growing experience. Rounding out the cast is Gary Oldman, Steve Valentine and Daryl Sabara, all taking on various and diverse roles. Robin Wright Penn voices the role of Belle.

    The movie begins with an ill-tempered Scrooge interacting rudely with his employee, Bob Cratchit. His nephew comes to invite him to Christmas dinner, which Scrooge declines with a snarl. Later, at home alone, Scrooge is visited by the chained ghost of his deceased partner, Marley, who tells him that he will be taking three trips with other ghosts in an effort to keep him from ending up chained for eternity like Marley. Each trip will be an eye-opener and life-changing experience for Scrooge, as he slowly begins to fully understand how his obsession with money stole his happiness. The audience can appreciate that Scrooge doesn’t want to go any further on the journeys when he understands what it is he is supposed to learn, anxiously wanting to get on to the next trip to get it all over with. But he is taken further still, until he has learned each lesson exhaustingly, and sometimes frighteningly, well. 

    With his life friendless and meaningless because of his own mean-spiritedness, Scrooge is taken on three journeys by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future, as Marley had told him. He is well aware that he is to learn something on each journey, and seems willing to learn; however, he learns more about himself on each trip than he had anticipated. Scrooge can be a little daunting to watch because he seems to personify malevolence. Until, that is, the viewer is introduced to him as a young man (yet another Carrey role) and we can see that he was not always the dour miser associated with the name. It is a little surprising to see that at one time, Scrooge laughed and loved. As the story progresses from childhood to a young adult, the viewer watches as Scrooge begins to realize all that he gave up, and how he ended up being the pathetic man he is in the present. He learns that money didn’t give him anything; instead, his greed for riches took people, love, and laughter from his life, leaving him a bitter and lonely man.   

    The animation is phenomenal and Jim Carrey’s performances are brilliant; for these two reasons teenagers and young adults may find the movie worth watching when it comes out on video. If you want to see a good Christmas movie with the children, this one is not it. At times, the animation twists and turns so much it is as dizzying as it is dazzling. The first ghost we are introduced to, which is not one of the Past, Present or Future ghosts, is akin to a horror movie character. On one of the journeys Scrooge takes, his life seems to be in real peril when he is shrunk to the size of a mouse, and chased through the streets, again paralleling a horror flick. Zemeckis’ screenplay was probably written for teenagers and young adults, which is a shame because teens most likely won’t be enthralled with this adaptation. Even with his “Whiz-kid” special effects, Zemeckis missed the mark on this one; little children should be able to enjoy “A Christmas Carol” and not be frightened. The movie would have been better rated PG 13. Overall, I give this movie one thumb down.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Award

Because of OCMist (Linda) at Corgi Country, I have gotten this KreativBlogger Award. (Thanks Linda!)








And here are the "official" rules of the Kreativ Blogger Award: 1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award. 2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. 3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. 4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know. 5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Blogs. 6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate. 7. Leave a comment on each.


Seven things about me that you may not know...

• My daughter is going to have a baby. I don’t talk about that much.

• I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in over 10 years.

• I don’t usually share a lot of highly personal things.

• I have a huge collection of colored pencils, watercolor pencils, gel pens, magic markers, stickers, pads, etc., and sticky notes…I have lots of sticky notes! I can spend a lot of time perusing the aisles at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I can do the same thing at Office Depot.

• I have owned a guitar since I was 15 years old. I still don’t know how to play it.

• I’m not a real good housekeeper, but I’ve been blessed with a husband who’s pretty good at it.

• I have very strong beliefs based on Biblical truths. I do not mind stating my opinion politically, philosophy or theologically. And since I try hard to never lie, if you happen to ask, be prepared for my true feelings.


The seven others….I’ve been out of the blogging loop so long that I don’t know who has the award and who doesn’t…or even if I know 7 other bloggers at this point…so I’m going to have to take a raincheck on that until I can do a little research!







A Winner

We do have a What Is It winner....but I have to ask:  Gina, would you have known what that was had I not said "you've seen it before and you liked it?"   lol   Probably.


It's a cicada!   Found him on the ground. 
Picked him up with a stick.
He's too ugly to do anything else with!


Put him on a tree, and this started happening,
much to my surprise!


 Slowly coming out of his (her?) shell
This is the actual photo I enlarged!


 I thought something must be wrong, I wanted to help.
Apparently, this is normal.


 Finally made it out....wings were wet.


 Finally!  All done!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday







This is a little game some Journalers in JLand used to play...before we were bloggers, and before AOL tossed us out on our ears!   This is a very blown up section of a pretty interesting picture.   What do you think it is?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Six Word Saturday



This is my first time to play Six Word Saturday...
and what a happy day for me to start!

Watching the Lions Advance
 Another Round!


UNA advances to the third
round of playoffs next Saturday...

Roarrrr Baybeee!

To see the other Six Word entries,
click HERE.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Hope in a Tree

The Hope in a Tree

Our lives, my friends, are like the mighty tree,
Standing study and strong against the wind.
Limbs and leaves are like you and me,
We must sometimes learn to bend.
When storms of life come rolling about,
Feeling battered and bruised we stand.
Though life is filled with turmoil and doubt,
We must hold to God’s firm hand.

For the mighty tree, when storms cause aches,
Is never like the slender reed.
The tree won’t bend, so therefore breaks
And a fractured heart will bleed.
The storms of life can shatter a soul
Like the tree ravaged by the wind,
Yield like the reed to the intense flow,
And hold to the hand of a Friend.

When I consider the mighty oak
Toppled by the wind,
It wouldn’t bow, that’s why it broke,
I cry for the loss of a friend.
Weather-beaten by storms, I'm tried,
And often feel life’s broken me
But hope is found, for Jesus died
Hanging on a splintered tree.

~Margaret

Deibert Park


TVA Reservation


I am Not a Survivor

No Survivor Am I


My worth isn’t measured by my current condition,
Opinions of others, or my present position.
Though my foot may slip, I am not incomplete,
My failures are never my final defeat.
By God’s grace, I’ll dance though the fire,
Knowing by faith I’ll not drown in the mire.
A survivor is never what I shall be
But a powerful overcomer for others to see.
My suffering, I’ll know, was never in vain,
Seeing someone’s miracle brought out of my pain.
My destiny isn’t sealed by today’s situation,
My current position is not my final destination.

~Margaret~

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Hell Page

Warning...Graphic Poetry ahead.

Proceed reading at your own risk.


photo hosting
The Prayer From Hell

The most desperate prayer God can’t hear,
Though accompanied by horrific fear.
The most hopeless, futile prayers will wail
From the fiery pits of Hell.
This agonizing heat is brimstone bred,
With a never ending sense of dread.
When in Hell, there’s no way out
Of darkness, torment, grief and doubt.

Nothing soothes the miseries of Hell,
And there’s no rivers, lakes or wells.
Grinding teeth and screams will sound,
But peace of mind will never be found.
Screams and shrieks and howls and wails
Forever emit from the bowels of Hell
And there, God won’t hear your hopeless pleas
Violently weeping down on your knees.

For your most desperate prayer God won’t hear
Though accompanied by terrific fear
Your most hopeless, futile prayers will wail
From the fiery depths of Hell.



~Margaret






Monday, November 16, 2009

Literacy Autobiography

     By the time I was in the first grade, my dad decided that my older brothers and sisters and I didn’t need to be watching television. When a severe storm knocked down the antenna and blew the tubes out, he made the wise decision not to replace it. (This was in the day of the large console TV’s, no remote control, and only 13 channels to peruse, changed by a dial on the front of the set.) It would be many years before he bought another one, and I went through my elementary school years with the entertainment of a vivid imagination and a good selection of books. I remember hours of reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mysteries, the Hardy Boys series, and the cases of Barclay “Brains” Benton and Jimmy “Operative Three” Carson. We also had Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and a whole selection of books, the names of which have long left my memory. How I loved Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, books I read over and over again. It was so easy to get lost in one of the books, sometimes letting my imagination take over and becoming one of the characters, but always and discovering, exploring and traveling through the words that were written.

     The first time I became enthralled with a book was in third grade. My teacher read us Little House on the Prairie, and it began in my love for Laura and Mary, and all the characters in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, even to this day. I don’t remember Mom reading to me as a child though I know she worked with me, teaching me a little about reading and writing, because I knew how to write my name before I started school. (Margaret is a long word for a four year old to spell and write!) I do, however, remember how she would regale us with stories of her childhood, and I remember how I would listen to her tell the same stories over and over! My mom came from a very poor share-cropping family, and the ways of her childhood seemed so foreign and fascinating to me.

     I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I spent much of my classroom time in my own private fantasy land. It was during this time that I began to notice the delightful world of rhyming words! It was so easy for me to write a poem, and I began a love affair with words, which will, I believe, last the rest of my life. One of my favorite poems I named "Snow on a Winter's Eve."  It was born from daydreaming in a ninth grade math class. While the poem is about snow on a winter’s eve, it was written on a hot day. I looked out the window at the green grass and trees, and as usual, my mind wandered, words and rhymes began to come together, and I began to write:

Alone with the cold in the whiteness of moonlight,
And the shimmering wetness of the snow flight.
The pine trees are softly covered in snow,
And the moon has a silver glow.
Standing alone in the cold white mist
Watching the fields as they’re snow kissed
A lone wolf howls in the faraway distance
Like that of a creature needing assistance.
A dog runs by leaving his prints
The snow gently falls and covers the dents
Just like it was made for this special duty
Never once without grace or beauty.

     My attention span is very short, and my mind worked much faster than I could write (before the world of the personal or laptop computer). Though to be honest, I never really thought about writing down the stories I concocted in my imagination. I dreamed of being a songwriter, but not being able to sing or play an instrument halted that aspiration. My senior year was when I was first introduced to writing in a daily journal, which was mostly like a diary, only we were graded on the material. There was never a time that I didn’t like reading or writing, but there were many years when I didn’t have, or make the time, to do a lot of reading, and practically no writing. These days, I usually have two or three journals that I write in occasionally. There is also the world of Twitter, Facebook and Myspace that allows me and millions of others to write our thoughts and details of current events to share with others.

     I largely ignored my writing ability during my twenties. I was busy with life, college, working and raising a child by myself. I didn’t read much either, except the occasional love story, most of which I felt I could write better, or at least just as good. I also had the audacity to think that I could write better poetry than some of the famous poets of the past. (Now, of course, I certainly let others make that judgment.) One constant that always remained in the midst of my thinking that I could write a better book than the ones I’d read was the fact that I never did write the book! But my affection for the written word never waned. I only pushed my talent aside, not my love for it. Over the years I have kept a few journals, writing stories of the events of my life, or events happening around me. And I have always written poems, many of them long lost and forgotten.

     Though I didn’t realize it as a young adult, church, family and heritage play a large part in who I am, and I have reached a stage in my life where I love writing more than ever. I don’t read a lot of books, but I do peruse and keep up with many blogs written by others. I have many books in my bedroom that I read a little at a time. I have several books on those same shelves that I have read and will probably read again. And I have handwritten notebooks everywhere, full of my thoughts, ideas, events, and notes.

     I am blessed and very thankful.

Monday, Monday



Hi5, Xanga, Tagged, Blogger Comments @ 123glitter.com
So, another Monday, another diet. Last week’s diet last until Wednesday night. No excuses, I wanted to eat, so I did. Didn’t even fight it. I won’t think about that now. Today, I’ll only think about today.

I named my compulsive eating compulsion. Weird, huh? CeCe… for compulsive eating compulsion epic. So this morning when I left the house and had an urge to stop at Jacks and get a biscuit, fried 'taters and large sweet tea, I said, “CeCe, why exactly do you want to start your day this way?” She didn’t answer. It did, however, make me stop and go over my reasons for wanting to start my day with more fat and calories than I need for the whole day. I didn’t stop. I also didn’t eat candy from the secretary’s desk. You may think I’m crazy, but hey! CeCe didn’t make me start out defeated!


I got some Bazooka bubble gum from the secretary, though. It’s been a long, long time since I had any, and I need bifocals to read the little cartoon! Does getting old have any advantages?


Speaking of today, I don’t have any pictures because I forgot to upload any.
 

John 3:16
For God so loved even me

That Jesus hung upon a tree
Submitting Himself to cruelty
Ensuring my place in the Heavenly
To live with Him eternally

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekend...

It has been a stunningly beautiful weekend.   Both days, Ole Boy and I got out and enjoyed the sunshine.  We usually go to the early service at church, and then we have the whole day free.   Not, of course, that we go just to get church out of the way...but it is very convenient. 


Alabama is known as the Cotton State.   Here's why:

It's hard to believe Monday is staring me in the face...but it is.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Bridge


Gatlingburg


The Bridge

It was a harsh and stony pathway, but I knew the way was straight
It seemed so dark and hopeless, but I had to keep my faith
Trudging up hills, climbing rocks and ragged hedges
It took all the strength I had just to dodge the jagged edges

Slipping and sliding down the mountainside, voicing my complaint
My strength was gone, my courage failed, I was fighting not to faint.
I’ve made it to the foot of the hill, now the valley I must face,
Tired and beaten, so weary and worn, how can I run this race?

If I stop to rest, will I give up and die? Will I make it on my own?
This path is my life, now I clearly see how I’ve reaped what I have sown.
I’m at a river in this valley low; a raging, evil tide
“Help me God! Please help me, God, get to the other side!”

The fog began to lift in the midst of my despair and my fright,
My prayers were answered as I walked on, a bridge came into sight.
Cautiously I crossed the narrow way, for the water raged below
How this bridge had suddenly appeared, I surely did not know.

Looking up I see the mountaintop, where Peace and Love abide
It’s such a relief to have crossed God's bridge and be on the other side.
Halfway up I turned and looked, and cried at what I saw
My rugged bridge had been The Cross, where Jesus bore it all!

~Margaret~


Gatlinburg



Friday, November 13, 2009

Finally Friday...

Something I should have said yesterday:
"Pull your pants up! For heaven’s sake, your belt is around your thighs!!!!"
(If I was one of these boys’ professors, I wouldn’t let them in my classroom until their pants were properly positioned.)

Today, three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the National Guard will be landing on campus for training and transportation of the ROTC cadets. Should be some interesting pictures, if all goes as planned!

In the meantime, here are a few other pics....


Joe Wheeler State Park


The Fungus is among us!







Later!
M

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday


It’s such a lovely day here in the Beautiful South (God's Country)! Clear blue skies and pleasant temps….and it should be this way all the way through the weekend! Wonderful November weather!


A little hummer in my backyard
from September


A Seagull at Deibert Park








Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Autumn Breeze

Autumn Breeze


God made colors, and then applied them
Greens and golds, amber and maroon
Cascading leaves create empty limbs
Unlike the greens of June

Lawns are gardens of crimson and gold
Evergreens laden with needles and cones
Colors are brilliant and equally bold
Holly bushes become berry thrones.

An orange sun sets in purple skies,
Casting shadows from the trees
The immense Harvest Moon begins to rise
As Summer yields to the Autumn breeze.

~Margaret~
Circa 2000

Wednesday....



Hi5, Xanga, Tagged, Blogger Comments @ 123glitter.com
My dad, sister, brother, stepson, niece, brother-in-law, sister-in-law...and many others I know and love, are veterans...some are currently serving.    I salute them, as well as all the other veterans.

I watched biggest loser without eating one morsel!   Nor did I eat afterwards.   So...in view of that, I'm carrying over the Tuesday diet until Wednesday.

Heard at the office today: 
"I live in a constant state of High School with my mother." 



Stopped on the curve of a road to take a picture of this little guy.  He walked right up to my car and sniffed, and let me touch his nose.   I was impressed with me until I found out he's a family pet.   lol




I've been perusing...actually I've been scanning...blogs.    I didn't realize how many food blogs there are.   I'd like to find a few good, interesting blogs, without a lot of swearing.... they are hard to find!    I like bloggers who share things, those who let you get involved with their lives a little.  

I made this little signature tag.   I kinda like it.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday....

I got a phone call from a charity asking me to donate clothes to the hungry. I hung up on them. Anyone who can fit into my clothes isn’t hungry!   (not really!  saw this in an email.)

Did pretty good on the Monday diet yesterday…so good, in fact, I’m carrying it over to Tuesday. I had lost some weight due to being sick last week, but I quickly located it.

TV tonight is the Biggest Loser. It’s a rare occasion that I watch TV, but I like to watch that show…pull up my rocking chair with my chips and dip, my peanuts, ice cream…. and watch those folks work it, work it!! Tonight, I will endeavor to just watch and not munch. Must be watching too much exercise…makes me hungry! I need to get back on the treadmill, but I just dread that so bad. (which, obviously, comes my nickname “Dreadmill” for the thing.)

i5, Xanga, Tagged, Blogger Comments @ 123glitter.com

Random “me” thought: I hate to be ignored. Seriously. Yet when I get mad at someone, usually the first thing I do is stop speaking to them.


I just sent out an email intended for one person to the whole campus…with semi-confidential information. Could not be retrieved. Went to the President, and all the VP’s, and my boss, and my bosses boss, and so on and…. Argggg!!! Went to see the bosses boss, and she took it pretty well. But boy, is my phone and email box suffering the repercussions of that!  OOOPS!




 That's all for now...








Monday, November 9, 2009

Random Monday

So, it’s Monday. I started my usual Monday morning diet. It’s past 11 a.m., and I’m still doing good!! There comes a point in a fat chick’s life when she has to admit that her pants aren’t shrinking.


I went to see A Christmas Carol in 3D yesterday. Had the little ones, Devon, 7, Ashton, 6 and Samara, 3, with me…I think it was a bit much for a three year old, thankfully she was more interested in looking at people and eating popcorn than keeping the glasses on and watching the movie. I got a little dizzy when the movie first came on. Maybe I’m too old for fast-flying 3D? Jim Carrey was brilliant. He’s usually too much, but then I have to consider that this was animation using his voice. If he’d actually been the character, somehow, he’d be overkill. He is definitely psychedelic. Have you noticed that often times the animated characters look like the actor? It’s that way in this movie, some of the characters…look like Carrey.

I went to the movie because it was a homework assignment.  I have to write an offical movie review.   This is an advanced composition class I'm in, I've really enjoyed it.  This is the second time I've had to watch a movie for this class. I so rarely go to movies! Most of them are pollution; and truthfully, this one was as well. And ding-dang expensive! Near $7 for popcorn. 3D movies have a $2.50 surcharge, so a matinee for three kids and me was $38.00. Seriously. It. Was. Not. That. Good. Can’t think of many movies that would be.

I’ve been listening to Stephen Davey’s series on Job. Wow. He is like David Jeremiah when he delves into Bible stories. I’m seeing Job in a new light. Very interesting. OnePlace.com is a good place to find some good Bible teaching. I think most are Baptist, but I won’t hold it against them. lol Lightsource.com is another great place to listen to good Bible teaching.


It’s nearly lunchtime! I hear the Student Center has some gross meatloaf today…I think I hear Taco Bell calling my name.



Later~

I went home...had two pieces of leftover pizza.   Pan.  Pizza Hut.  MmmMmmGood Am I still on a diet?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where did October Go?

The first week of November has slipped by, hardly noticed except for the Christmas items out in the stores.   I can't believe it's so late in the year.   Earlier, while wondering where October went, I realized it got rained out.   The South has had a much needed break from all the rain.

The first weekend of October, I went to Florida.   I took one picture...well I took 4 or 5, but they are mostly the same thing.   It rained on us...there was one sunny day, but I missed it...hence the "no pictures."  

Third week in October, we went to Gatlinburg.   Got some pics...


Saw some color....



Beautiful blue skies


Why they're called Smoky Mountains..sunrise in Cade's Cove

Saw an elk
Actually....lots of elk

Ate at one of my favorite restaurants...The Old Mill


  
I was sick.  Got better.   Went to a ballgame, nearly froze.   Have a sore throat again.   It was our last game, and we were undefeated.   "Were" is the key word.  We lost.   We were number 1 in the nation, too.   Roar Lions!   We're still in the playoffs.  We may win another championship yet!   Obviously, purple and gold are our colors.  

Monday morning is staring me in the face.   Weekends go by so fast, and I swear (I'm not supposed to swear)...I promise Friday afternoon was long than all of Saturday and Sunday.


Margaret means pearl.  I'm going to reference that a lot.




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