Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Musings: The No Theme Edition

Dear Reality TV:
I can’t figure out the attraction to Honey Boo Boo.   Somebody needs to taze that mother and shock some sense into her!  (For her fans, I mean that figuratively, not literally.)   I think that family only serves to give those outside the south one more reason to make fun of us.

Dear Voters:
I am weary of this presidential election.   Even though I fully believe it’s the most important election in the history of the United States, I’m ready for it to be over.   I don’t believe people understand the importance of this particular election.   Christians shouldn’t forget, ever, that it rains on the just and the unjust, and if this nation completes its journey to hell in a hand basket, no one will be exempt to what happens next.   We know that no matter what, God is in control; however, we may not like the reaping of what’s been sowed.

Dear Folks Who Disagree:
I realize that those are “fighting words” above.  There are none more blind than the ones who are fully invested in the deception.

Dear Winter
I’m already tired of being cold.

Dear Reader:
Do you ever wonder if storms such as Sandy or Katrina or Rita are God’s judgment?  Why or why not?

Dear God:
Please have mercy on every person in the path of the “Frankenstorm” Sandy.   I ask that you calm the storm, and redirect it, and above all, I ask that you spare lives.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vacation Photos

I can't believe that this time last week, I was packing my things, we'd reached the end of our vacation!   We'd been gone a week, and I was ready to get home.    I can't believe how quickly this week has passed by, either. 

Vine on Clingman's Dome

Our trip was wonderful, other than our first night in Bryon City, NC, where we spent the night at a “Bates Motel” type of dive, a very creepy place on a hill, complete with the Grandpappy of all Granddaddy long legs, no phone, an unlit shower, holes in the wall, and holes in the blankets…I mean…the blankets were so thin they were extremely holey!   When I opened my curtains for my “scenic view” I was promised online, my view was a solid dirt wall approximately two feet from my window.   Did you see me say, “no phone?” My room didn’t have a phone!   Granted, I never use hotel phones unless I’m calling the front desk because I need something…oh wait.   We definitely needed things!   The towels were much like the blankets! 

Cade's Cove.  (No, this isn't where we stayed!)

Why did we go ahead and stay there?   We made the reservations online, and we were just going to be there for one night.   It had good reviews.  I am certain now that all the good reviews were from the owners themselves!  But we had precious few options because we got a very late start, rolled into town late, and didn’t see much else that looked better.   I hardly slept a wink!   At 4 a.m., I woke having nightmares of killers being in the dark bathroom; after that, even dozing was out of the question.   I got on up, took my dark shower, and was ready to not only leave the hotel, but leave Bryson City, and I don’t believe I’ll be back…ever.   Thankfully, there was no Norman Bates to compete our visit.  We left before the sun came up.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Our scenery after leaving Bryson City greatly improved.  The above is from the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Have I ever mentioned I love the mountains?

There were plenty of scenes like this along the roadways and on the trails, too.  Notice there's no fall color on this particular photo.   We saw everything from pre-peak to past peak.  

If you will remember, last week Oklahoma had a huge dust storm.   On Friday, much of that dust storm had settled over East Tennessee, and gave the name "Great Smoky Mountains" a new meaning.   Even with a cloud of dust (which looked much like fog) the mountains were gorgeous.

Ole Boy on Balsam Mountain  
As you can see, the scenery was pretty sharp.
The trees were brilliant, too.  ::::grin::::
I don't know what kind of seeds these were...

I was a little surprised to see a butterfly on top
of the mountains.  This was from Clingman's Dome.

And this little guy was on Balsam Mountain.

Maggie Valley, NC was beautiful!

Cataloochee Valley

I thought this was pretty cool.   It's one of those unintentional shots.
I got a picture of me in the side mirror, and a shot of the scenery
behind me, while snapping a photo in the Cataloochee Valley.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Photo Book

This is the project I've been working on! It's a Shutterfly book, and in order to get it free, I had to have it completed tonight! I sure hope there's no typos! 

Photo books are the perfect gift for any occasion.

Embarrassing Details

Along our Great Smoky Mountains journey, we rode through Newport, Tennessee, in Cocke County.  From the best I could tell, it's an unfriendly little least the local Wal*Mart folks don't like to be bothered with questions.   If you ever stop there, I suggest you find your own shower cap!  But I digress.

The Newport Wal*Mart is set up much like the super center here, including the restrooms located in the same general area in the front of the store, with one exception that I didn't notice right away:  The men's restroom there was on the opposite side of the one here.   So, when I decided to go to the restroom before we got back on the road, I did what came natural...I automatically went inside the door on the left.'d think I'd notice the man at the urinal right away, wouldn't you?   Uhm-no.   I was looking at the feet in the stalls to see which one was empty.   My initial thought was that the lady in the first stall (who was, by direction of the feet, facing the toilet) had on men's shoes.   Then, I glanced at the "lady washing her hands" I had seen in my peripheral vision, only to realize in dismay that was no lady, and for sure he wasn't washing his hands.  

I was completely in the restroom...with the door closed behind me...before I figured all this out.  I'm sure it was only a matter of seconds before the realization-then-mad-scramble took place, and I heard the man giggling as I fumbled to quickly get out of there.  

On another day...we decided to take some back roads and explore the outlying areas of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.   We came upon a small town called Chestnut Hill.   It was a very pretty area with very green pastures full of cows...which turned out to belong to the Bush Bean folks.   We didn't realize that until we happened upon this:  

A country store...
We simply had to stop!

The visit turned out to be a little more than just a beany visit to a country was a cafe and a full scale visitor center with a bean museum.   Believe it or not, it was beany interesting.   I didn't have my big camera with me (who knew I would need it??) so these two photos are with my little camera, and that's why they aren't the best shots.


This was taken with my cell phone inside the museum.
We walked inside a giant can of beans...

Who would have thought a bean museum could be fun?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Great Smoky Mountains 2012

Roaring Forks

Roaring Forks

Roaring Forks

Roaring Forks


Ocoee Dam


Clingmans Dome


Elk in the Cataloochee Valley


Balsam Mountain

Just photos for now...
I am working on a Shutterfly project.
I'll have some vacation details later in the week!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thinking Back Thursday

When my daughter was 7, she played on a softball team.   One particular night, she didn’t want to go play, but I made her go anyway.   About the second inning, one of the coaches motioned me over to the dugout.   In my mind, Les was probably saying she didn’t feel well because she didn’t want to play.  When I got there, she was crying, and had one had over her eye.  I knelt down to talk to her, and she moved her hand and looked at me.   I was really glad I was already on my knees, because they got a little weak.   She had a knot under her eye the size of a grape, and her eye was already turning black.    Another little girl was swinging her helmet and smashed Les in the face.   Later, at Wal*Mart (still in her uniform) Les got all kinds of attention from everyone who saw her.

There is a hole in the bedroom door at my parent’s house that was once my room.   I was in college, and I do not remember why I was having a meltdown…but I was.   I slammed the door.   Hard.   So hard that the door somehow managed to go partially to the other side of the door frame…and stick.   I was trapped.   Six-year-old Les was going to help me get out and she took a hammer to the door, which I believe was my suggestion (only my idea and hers were quite different…and who knows what I was thinking?).   That was years ago.  I said I was going to get that fixed.  The hole is still there.   I can’t remember how I got the door back in place…but Les told me just today that I got what I deserved.   Haha!  I agree.

I think my temper is better than it used to be.   I hope it is, anyway.   I have not, after all, slammed any more doors….well, not hard enough to shove them through to the other side, anyway.   I don’t yell near as much, either.   Yeah, I was probably as pleasant as I sound.  I’m really glad God is patient with me…and my family, too.

A few of the (really big) things I said I’d never do or put up with when I was in high school, I managed to accomplish within the first four years of being out of high school.   Life is a really unforgiving teacher at times.  

Looking back over the years of foolishness, I realize that, indeed, God had His hand on me and showed me grace while still in my teens:

I climbed way up high on a rail road bridge…over the water and I can’t swim…with some friends one night.

I married a man I barely knew…and paid dearly for that choice.

A girlfriend and I got into a boat with a young, handsome  guy and two older men, at the young guy’s persuasion.   They took us to the middle of the river, where the young guy promptly jumped out and swam away.   The two men did not have good intentions.  I want to tell you that had I been alone with them (and I was stupid enough to have fallen for that “how about a boat ride “ trick, even by myself) I am not sure what would have happened!   Thankfully, my girlfriend was a smooth talker, and convinced the old men to take us back and we would be happy to meet up with them later…but that we had something really important to take care of first.    Both my girlfriend and I had praying mothers.

I think I won’t even tell some of the other completely stupid and utterly foolish things I did.   You’d worry about my sanity…as it is, I’ve told precious few people some of the things I got myself into.   I suppose it is better that way, don’t you?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Some Presidential Vote Notes

Some 58 million people tuned in to watch the first debate 2012 presidential election cycle between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.    

Some groups of people watched the same debate, and are polar opposites on who made sense and who didn’t.

Some minds were already made up before the debate. 

Some Christians will vote for a man and a party who supports things the Bible speaks strongly against.

Some Atheists/Agnostics will vote Republican.

Some will vote for Romney because he’s white; some for Obama because he’s black.

Some will vote only for the party for which they’ve always voted, no matter who the candidate is.

Some will believe everything they read/hear in the media without researching anything, and that’s true of both the right and the left.

Some people will pray for direction before choosing a candidate.

Some people think that God has no business in government. 

Some people will pray God’s will for America.

Some people will not vote.

Some people realize how important this election is, some do not.

I hope you are one of the “some” who prayerfully selects your candidate before casting your vote.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Musings: The Oct. 1 Already?! Edition


Dear Lady at Wal*Mart Eye Center:
I guess it wasn’t some of your better thinking to be holding my glasses while telling me that screw couldn’t become loose like I was telling you, as it worked its way loose in your hands.   I’m not so crazy after all, am I?

Dear Hair Salon Owner:
It was just an odd feeling to have met you only 90 seconds before, and suddenly be left with your business and your five year old child as you left to run an errand…of sorts.   I can’t describe what I was feeling as I watched you get in your car and leave…but  I couldn’t have left if I’d wanted to…not with your little one there.   There are just too many “what ifs” in this story…

Dear Muscles:
I can’t believe that sorry excuse for a badminton game caused you to be sore.   It was, however, lots of fun.   J

Dear October:
While I’m very excited to see you, I cannot believe you have showed up here so quickly!!   Why, it seems you were just here…a few months ago…but not 12 whole months!

Dear Fall Color:
Bring it ON!!

Dear Rainy, Dreary Monday:
You are a day that the Lord has made!  I will rejoice and be glad! 

Dear Shock Wave:
Please stop crashing.   You are seriously cutting into my time wasting.

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