Saturday, March 31, 2012

A to Z April Challenge

 
 

I just finished up a challenge to myself to blog every day for the month of March...I did miss a few days, but I was pretty consistent.    I am now joining an ABC challenge for the month of April.    (There are actually scheduled days off, so I should be fine!)

Here is an abbreviated set of suggestions for a "winning" challenge (I don't think Charlie Sheen has signed up for this challenge).   However, when I signed up, there were already over 1500 participants.   Whew!  
  • Keep your posts simple and short
  • Get a theme…helps readers to remember
  • Post every day: This one is obvious, or you'll be taken off the linky list. I think.
  • Pre-schedule:  Feel free to write posts in advance so you concentrate on visits.
  • Check Calendar:  Here
  • Turning off word verifications increases comments, not spam.
  • Visit blogs:  Start with those below you on the linky list so everyone gets love. Aim for at least 10 new blogs a day.
  • Comment love:   Comment unto those who comment unto you
  • Relax, have fun:  It is not just about quantity, it is also about quality.
 I haven't chosen a theme...though I may.  I'm getting a late start because I just found out about this challenge today.  To visit the official site, just click the banner above.   

What's in a Name?


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The above graphic is not a new advertising campaign for my blog!   I’m merely testing fonts for a new header.   As I was testing them, though, I thought about how ashamed I once was of my name.   As a child, I really hated telling people my name…Margaret.  That’s really not a child’s name, is it?   Incidentally, I met a girl at the veterinarian office today, a cute redheaded, freckled child of about 10 or 11, whose name is Margaret.    These days, I don't hate my name.

Margaret means pearl…I’ve mentioned that before… I am a gem, a treasure, a precious thing;  the word “pearl” has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable.
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Raindrops....


It was raining today...
I decided it was a good time to snap pictures of my Azalea Bush. 


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And my pecan leaves

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Disgruntled

Absolutely nothing I wanted to get done this week is getting done.

Grrrrrr

Just an uphill gravel road.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Musings

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Dear UNA:
Thank you so much for a week off!  

Dear Facebook “Friend”:
I enjoy reading some of your “inspirational shares.”   However, when my whole wall is your 47 shares of quotes, quips, and cartoons…well, it makes me want to change your status to “Hide all.”

Dear Other Facebook “Friend”:
Why do I have 74 game requests from you?   I promise I'm not going to change my mind and start playing this game.

Dear Junk Room:
I fully intend to wipe you out this week.   You ain’t pretty and it won’t be fun, but when I’m finished with you, I will have my very own “studio” and a new bedroom for the kids…  

Dear Self:
Will you really want the kids sleeping in your new “studio?”   You know, if you don’t put a daybed or a futon in there, it won’t be an option!

Dear Spring:
Please don’t pull a fast one on us and frost over all the beautiful blooms and buds…

Dear God:
I give thanks to You, for Your love endures forever.   I praise You for the splendor of Your Holiness.  (2 Chronicles 20:21)  

Dear Gentle Reader:
The above Bible quote “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever” is an impromptu song David sang when the ark of the covenant was restored to Jerusalem, and it was sang again by men appointed by Jehoshaphat before they whipped the Ammonites and Moabites, a battle which was over quickly, but it took three days to carry off the spoils they won in the war.   If you’re going through a “war,” sing praises.   The battle is not yours; it belongs to the Lord.  Praise Him!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Late Sunday Entry...

Have you noticed the tiny little daisies lining the roads these days?   I took this picture at on the Natchez Trace today....and I played with a few filters and effects....I kinda like it.


I've been thinking for a while about writing a book.    The last chapter is already written:   I win!   There is just no way that God intends for us to fight obesity alone, nor could it possibly be His will that it is such a struggle for so many of His children!  I know there are people who won't agree with me, but I think there is true freedom for us.  Freedom where we do not have to depend upon our own power to succeed, or struggle to obtain, nor is it something where we repeatedly try, try, try, riding on a never-ending roller coaster of emotions and failure.   There is no justice in that, and the God I serve is a God of justice Who loves me.

It may be a foreign idea to some that we can have something good for which we didn't have to fight, but that's what salvation is...Christ paid the price for my salvation, and my freedom.   Why am I struggling with this?!    If you decide to hang on to the notion that you have to do something, some program, follow some diet,  I hope it works for you, but I have "done something" most of my adult life and I have gotten nowhere.    Well, that's not exactly true, I've gotten further down the road of obesity.    Friends, there is freedom.   

If you are struggling with this issue, or any addiction issue, and you look back over the years of trying, fighting and depending on our own willpower, and you are still finding it a struggle, I invite you to join me in reevaluating the situation.     

Reevaluation starts NOW;
Stay tuned.
  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Flowers Again!

I've spent two days working on a 57 second video!  These are photos that I shot at UNA this week.   I almost waited too late, you can tell that the flowers have had better days!  There's no sound...I don't know of a 57 second song.    




After uploading this to YouTube, I see where I can make improvements for the next video, like slowing it down just a little, and using a better font.  I only hope it doesn't take me two days to make the next one.  ha!

I just may make a real entry tomorrow, with real words and thoughts and ideas...who knows! I might even make sense. When I get into bed at night, sometimes I have the very best blog ideas...by morning, they're all gone.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flowers, Flowers!!

Tulips at on the UNA Campus
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Definitely Springtime in Alabama
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....After the sprinkles all day....

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Playing with black and white

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Dogwoods are in full bloom

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Wisteria in my back yard

I almost waited too late to get any good tulip and wisteria pictures this year!   
Petals are all over the ground, and were falling like raindrops as I was snapping. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An Unpopular Truth

Yesterday, I read Bristol Palin’s blog entry to President Obama.   It was well written, and she made some very valid points.   Mainstream media headlines, of course, are saying that Bristol “attacks” Obama.   The comments made about her blog in Huffington Post (not on her blog) are nothing but derogatory, insulting and downright mean.   Odd that everyone defended Sandra Fluke when Rush Limbaugh called her an ugly name, she even got a phone call from the prez himself, but when Bill Maher says much worse about Bristol and her family, many people only add insult to injury. 

These days, the only people it’s ok to “bully” are Christians and Republicans.  It reminds me of a scripture from the Bible:  “And this is the condemnation, that light came into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that does evil hates the light, nor does he come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”   (John 3:19-20)

Before anyone blows a gasket, I am not suggesting that Republicans are the light of the world.  Christ is the light of the world.  As we all know, some Republican politicians, as well as Democrats, come with a boatload of personal issues.   On this particular post, I am referencing the differences between the major political parties on issues such as abortion and the definition of marriage; not necessarily taxes, economics, or governmental policy. 

People can be ruthless when one dares to disagree with their way of thinking on the major issues of the world today.   If you take a public Biblical stand against homosexuality, premarital sex/adultery, or abortion you better have your armor on, because you will have just invited war upon your own head.   Too many people who know/believe the truth keep silent because of the fear of backlash.  But, if you do stand up for the truth, no matter what others say, don't apologize for it.

The Bible has lost its authority in the hearts of mankind.   I suppose, if one chooses to live life in a worldly way, it’s easier to believe that there is no God of the Bible, because if there’s no God, there’ll be no judgment.   I think people forget (or perhaps don’t know) that they don’t clean themselves up, they accept Christ, and He does that for us.  He sets us free.  Then again, many don’t want change, they want the darkness.

This post reminded me of a song the Staplers used to sing at the Pentecostal Church on Tuscaloosa Street in the 70’s.    Of course I didn’t find them on YouTube, but I did find DC Talk.


Life was filled with guns and war
And all of us got trampled on the floor
I wish we’d all been ready
Children died, the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold,
I wish we’d all been ready.
There’s no time to change your mind,
The Son has come, and you’ve been left behind.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday, Monday...

If you’re looking for a funny entry, you can find that HERE and skip this post.

Otherwise, I don’t think you’ll find anything funny in my blog today, just me being serious.  At times, I write to who I think may be reading this, attempting to remain neutral, and generally end up not saying too much of any significance.   My daughter reminded me this weekend that I blog for myself…I think I may have forgotten that somewhere along the way.   So today, I’m musing just a little more in depth than most Mondays.

My Monday Musings usually have a diet reference to it.   Unfortunately, it’s rare for the “diet” to make it past Tuesday, and very rare indeed for it to make it past Wednesday.   I am clueless why the one thing that causes me such angst and frustration is the one thing I choose to do over and over and over.   I’ve tried all the diets, the gimmicks, listened to the tricks and tips, heard the comments, dealt with the insults, seen the look in the eyes of old friends who haven’t seen me in a while…I know it’s not pretty, but it is what it is.

I am now facing another warm weather season in worse shape than the last warm season, after having promised myself that “next year will be different” for the twenty-hundredth time.    Next spring, next summer, next holiday, next Christmas, next time…but it’s always the same story, instead of going down, the scales go up.   It’s very disheartening. 

I may blog about it daily this week…I may not…rest assured I won’t make a commitment to blog about it indefinitely.   I just don’t want to spend that much time dwelling on it.   This problem has already stolen most of my adult attention, and I am tired…so weary…of dealing with it.  

I’m not pitiful, nor am I depressed, but I am confused.  I do not understand why so many of us have this problem…but I do believe there absolutely is an answer.   I truly do not know what that answer is…

Today…today I will just work on not over eating, that’s all.    I won’t consume time and energy thinking about/evaluating/obsessing over/counting every morsel that goes into my mouth.    

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Doggy Adoption

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Last July, Ole Boy and I lost our beloved Peppy, our temperamental and territorial mound of round hound.   Our hearts were broken, and that’s not an exaggeration.   Our house felt so empty, and the busy schedule we’d followed with Peppy and his diabetes regimen was suddenly stilled.  

A short while later, we adopted a puppy from the Florence Lauderdale Animal Shelter.  He was long and comical, and he brought not only smiles to our faces, but smiles to our hurting hearts.   He’s been such a joy.   He’s incredibly smart (very easy to house train), great with strangers and with children.   I had forgotten that dogs could be that way!    In no way does this lessen our love for Peppy…we both still miss him.   But Roscoe has been the best little companion!
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Notice his green paws...he was "helping" mow grass!
When we got him, the vet estimated his age to be around four months.   That means that Roscoe is around a year old, most likely born in March of last year.    Since I don’t know his birthday, I’ll have to go with this:

Happy Birth-Month, Roscoe!!

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Mr. Nosy Green Paws


If you are thinking about getting a pet, I implore you to first visit your local animal shelter or human society.    There are so many wonderful animals just waiting for a home and a person to love.   I promise you, if you walk the floors of a “dog pound” you will find a set of sad eyes that will tug your heart strings.  In one of those pens is a puppy or adult dog (or a cat or kitten) who will be forever loyal and shower you with love...and bring joy to your home…we are sure happy we adopted.




Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Fun

Guess who came to see me tonight?
Miss Olivia...Samara's little sister...

We had a good time until she got tired.
Then, only Mommy would do, but Mommy wasn't here.
She stood by the door, hand on handle, yelling "Mommy!  Mommy!"
She was quite unhappy!
Before too long, though, Mommy showed up,
And all was right in Olivia's world again.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Doodle Me Friday

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have too many original bones in my body.   Below is a doodling idea I got from some stickers I bought.   This is a photo of it because my scanner is no longer working...I don't know if the quality would be any better if it were scanned anyway.  


My doodling preferences may explain my new purse....

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 There was a wall of color in the purse section of Burke's Outlet.
I snapped pictures of my three top choices, send them to my
coworkers for a vote on which one they liked best...
the one I liked best won!   So I bought it!

I hope your Friday is peaceful!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday!

Egads!   I missed posting yesterday.  I’m going to forgive myself for missing a day, and I almost certain that no one noticed.   I might have even gotten away with it had I not just admitted it.  By the way, according to my spellcheck, “egads” is not a word; according to Google, it is.  
Spring blooms around my house
There are many people whom I consider my friends, I even have people I consider very good friends that I’ve never met in person.   Sometimes, there’s just a connection there, and a wonderful friendship is formed.   Over my life, some of my friends have moved away and we’ve lost contact, but every once in a while, distance doesn’t break the bond.     My childhood friend Tammera is such a friend.   I’m very thankful that she has been so good to keep up with me over the years, because I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the best keeper-upper. 

UNA Flowers
Another great friendship was formed over the last few years, and she too, moved away.   For me, making a connection with another person is fairly rare, and when it happens, I don’t like for it to be uprooted.   But it was…uprooted…life happens, and she and her family live far away from Alabama.   She called me a few weeks ago and told me she’d be in town this week, and we planned a night for us to just catch up.   Last night was that night, and we spent a few hours over dinner talking non-stop.   It was so great to see her…when I got home, it was getting late, and when I got into bed, I remembered I hadn’t made my daily post.   I didn’t even care. 

View from my parent's back yard.

At the restaurant, there was a lady sitting a few tables from me, right in my line of vision.   I knew she looked vaguely familiar.   I figured if I asked her name, I’d figure out who she was, but I didn’t, of course.   When she and her husband were leaving, she stopped by my table and asked me if I was Gina.   I told her that was my sister…she was Gina’s third grade teacher!   Considering that my sister is in her 50’s now, that’s been a day or two!   She was still a teacher when I was at that school, but she never taught me.  I was impressed with her memory (even if it was just a little faulty).

Have a good Friday Eve!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday's Last Minute Entry


I’m watching The Biggest Loser.   I always like to eat watching that show.   I’m always talking about dieting.  I’ve talked about it for years, but I never lose any weight.   I just wonder:   Do people like to read details of people on diets, the good and the bad?  

I’m a little AADD and OCD.   Just a little.   But enough to be hinder me in certain things I’d like to do, like complete an art project.  I'm a doodler. Not a Yankee Doodler, a Rebel Doodler.  But I never finish!  I can be very frustrating to myself.   Would anyone like to see something I doodled?  

My memory is shot, too.  I can’t remember if I ever had a good memory, or if I just thought I did.

Alabama’s Super Tuesday is today.   I really don’t like that I have to tell what my “voting preference” is…surely there’s a better way to do it.   When I am not familiar with the names, should I eeny-meeny-miney-mo it?   Probably not, so I usually leave those choices blank.

I think they’re going to cut The Biggest Loser short to show a premiere of some Jessica Simpson/Nicole Richie/Elle McPherson fashion reality show.   Bleh!

Hump Day tomorrow, y’all!
I hope it’s a good one for you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Musings...The "All About Me" Edition

Dear Body:
Whoa!   What happened?   You’re letting one measly missing hour slap you around?!  

Dear Brain:
Quit thinking about what you look like, and concentrate on becoming a more positive you. 

Dear Ego:
Thy name is Pride.  You have stopped me from doing many things in my life...and you're trying desperately to stop me from going to my class reunion this summer, all because I don’t like the way I look.  

Dear Panic:
Oh, be quiet!   You have 4.5 months to lose some poundage.

Dear Diet:
Your presence is requested until Body, Brain, and Ego can make a lifelong habit of you.

Dear Face:
What is going on with your skin?   What?    You say 48 years does that to a person?   Cut it out!   I think I’ve finally figured out why I want to start humming “Puff the Magic Dragon” when I look in the mirror…puffy eyes and draggin’ skin.   But where's my magic youthful skin potion?

Dear Memory
Why can't I keep thoughts in my head for more than a minute?   I’ve had some pretty good ideas…if only I could remember them!

Dear…
Uhm…ah…Never mind.  I can’t remember.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sundays and Answers

I can’t believe it’s Sunday night already.   I definitely feel as if I’ve lost an hour today.   I don’t usually have issues with the time change, but I didn’t sleep well last night which didn’t help…nor did a nap!  

I was telling five year old Samara how smart she was last night, and she asked me if I thought she was smarter than me.   I asked her if she thought she was smarter than me.   She answered without hesitation and with a little giggle, “Yes!” 

She may not be so very far from wrong.   Answers from children are just so logical sometimes… they answer from the heart, and from the obvious factors around them.    Answers from the Bible are not always so clear.    I’ve thought about the answers I got on my question about prayer, and frankly, too much thinking wears me out.

For example, Psalm 37:4 tells us:   Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.   Does that mean He gives us what we desire, or He puts His Godly desires in our hearts?

In answer to my question about God hearing the prayers of the unsaved, a Facebook friend pointed out two verses:   I Peter 3:12 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; and Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.  

I also considered the comments from Deb “He makes exceptions as He pleases,”   Seriously Though’s own experience of answered prayer in an “un-converted state,” and Betty’s reminder that He’s sovereign and does what He wants…all true.  

Thanks to everyone who took a few minutes to give me your thoughts!   This is not a burning question for me, as I am God’s child and He definitely hears me.   I had just wondered about whether or not He hears all prayers.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Evening Post

It’s Saturday evening, and I haven’t made my daily post yet!   It’s not like there’s a prize at the end of the month if I succeed in posting every day, but I’d like to complete the challenge…considering it is my own challenge!

Today at Lowe’s, I snapped lots of picture of flowers…until I finally drained the battery in my new little camera, for the first time.   Can you believe that battery lasted 3 weeks?    Anyway, it was sunny and bright, and every picture was blurred!   That’s what I get for cheating and snapping “tame” flowers, yes?   Why is it that flowers are so hard to snap in focus in the sunshine? 

My beautiful Samara is spending the night with me, so I must get on with the girl’s night in!

Have a safe Saturday night!



PS:   Like my new Spring Motif?
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These tulips, and the header above,
I snapped at UNA last spring.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Five...Five Silly Random Thoughts

Finally Friday!


·       Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s just none of my business.  

·       Yesterday’s answers to the Question for Believers has given me something to think about.   I’ll address the answers this weekend.  Thanks to all who took a moment to reply.

·       “Address” is a silly word for what it means.   I’ll write about the answers this weekend.

·       Springing forward…I hate to lose an hour, but I love the extra light at night.  I love the extra hour in the fall, but don’t much care for it getting dark at noon around here.

·       What is it about certain things we don’t like that makes us keep coming back…like a train wreck?  Train wreck blogs…



Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Question For Believers

Friday Eve!   It’s going to be a stormy one…but at this time nothing scary severe is brewing.   I’m very thankful for that.  

Yesterday’s No Negativity endeavor went fairly well, I think.   There was that one moment last night when I snapped at Ole Boy…but all in all, I passed the challenge.   For some reason, I was a little blue by the time I got to church.   It crossed my mind that instead of exploding, I must have imploded with all my niceness…but the mood didn’t last long.   Being nice and positive doesn’t kill you!  

A Question for Believers….

Several years ago, I was listening to Charles Stanley on the radio talk about prayer.   He said something that I didn’t quite agree with, and I’ve thought about it a few times over the years…and I still don’t agree.   He stated that the only prayer God hears a sinner pray is one for salvation.   I would think if that were true, then he couldn’t hear anything that was going on in the world, unless it was coming from or happening to one of His children.   I think He’s much more aware than that...and that He knows everything that's said and done.   What do you think?   Does God only hear a prayer for salvation from an unsaved person?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One Day at a Time: It's all I can do, anyway...

Regarding yesterday’s blog, I am not striving for perfection…I’d fail immediately.  I am working on changing the things I can change…and it won’t happen in a day.   Possibly, my biggest problem will be not being negative toward myself. 

We are directed in the Bible to love our neighbors as ourselves.   In fact, Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind was the first and great commandment, and the second was like it, to love our neighbor as ourselves.  (Matt 22:37-38)   Just in case you missed it, that means we are to love ourselves as well.

You may not have any trouble with that…I hope you don’t.   I struggle with it, just as I struggle with my weight, and I am not sure if the two are intertwined.   What I do know is there is healing for my soul.  For yours, too.

It’s not like I don’t have negative thoughts trying to crop up already, and it’s very early in the day.   Doing something like this makes you very aware of your thought process.  

Plus, I have my trusty co-workers to help me…since I’ve made it public, they are watching!   Haha!  

Have a great Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Negativity

A Challenge for Tomorrow
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Negativity Free Zone
Will you join me?
I remember my mom saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”   Last night, I had the thought that I wouldn’t say anything negative about anybody all day.   I made until around 8:30….that’s a.m. by the way.

Tomorrow, I pledge a Negativity Free day for me.   No negative comments from my mouth (or my keyboard) about anyone or to anyone, not even myself!

That includes politicians and celebrities
They are people, too.
Supposedly.

When you get mad at someone, do you have conversations in your head…telling them all about their transgressions?    Maybe I’m the only one who does that.   None of that head noise tomorrow, either.   I will capture those thoughts when they come knocking, before they take up residence inside my head…because at some point later, it will most likely come out of my mouth.

Words are powerful.

No Negativity covers complaining as well.
I hope I don’t explode by the end of the day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Musings...


Dear Self:
You might consider wearing your glasses more.  Admittedly, block letters are a little hard to read, but that was a BAR cake at Sam’s, not a BRA cake.  

Dear Lady Talking Loudly on Cell Phone to Your Mother:
Did you realize that everyone in Sam’s heard your angry conversation with your mother?  As you stomped down the aisle yakking away about “her” (whoever she was), people were stopping and watching the spectacle that you were.   By the way, when you’re angry, you get your words mixed up and say things like, “It was her, Mother!  She went around back because she has a gate to the key!”   I wonder if she keeps it on her keychain?

Dear Coupon Lady:
It took you 15 minutes to check out at WalMart with all your comp pricing and coupons.   I wonder how much money you saved, and I wonder if it was worth the hassle of all the clipping and price comparing.  I don’t want to spend triple time in the checkout lane, but I’d love to save some bucks on my groceries.

Since I don’t ever see crazy looking people at WalMart, does that mean I’m one of them?

Dear Diet:
Grrrrr   Only 1 pound?   Well…I guess I did eat too much over the weekend.

Dear March:
I’m so thankful you are a short working month!   Come on, Spring Break!!

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