Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Musings: Fog and Francis Edition

Dear Pope Francis:
I believe I would be a little insulted to have been on that list in the first place.

Dear Time Magazine:
Out of all the people in the world...that's your list?  Miley Cyrus?  Kathleen Sebelius?  Assad/Rouhani/Obama??

Dear Friend:
Sometimes I don’t always reply to your last email, but I “liked” it in my mind.

Dear Co-Worker:
You asked me why I thought I had to wear tights with my new boots…so today I wore socks.   My boots are eating them.  Yes…by the time I got to my office, they were down around my toes!  A slight exaggeration, but you get the point.

Dear Fog:
I don’t know how thick pea soup is, but I understand that on mornings like this morning, you are just that thick!

Dear Pea Soup:
What are you?  Do you even really exist?

Dear Careless Driver:
Get off your phone, turn on your lights, and pay attention!  Do you not see that you’re driving in pea soup-thick fog?


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Six Word Saturday: The Changing Vets Edition


One More Reason to Change Vets


I should probably stop here...six words, you know...but if you want the back story, here it is:


A couple of weeks ago, I had Mr. Gibbs “fixed.”   I had already decided I didn’t care much for the unhelpful, often unfriendly staff, but I did like the veterinarian.   They told me to bring him in before 8 a.m. and pick him up after 3:30 p.m., which jived fairly well with my work schedule. 

The vet called me around 10 a.m. and told me he was out of surgery and resting comfortably.   Less than an hour later, he called back and said Gibbs was ready to go, I could pick him up anytime.   I kinda laughed and said, “He doesn’t like that cage, does he?”   He said, “Noooo, he sure doesn’t!”   I told him I hadn’t scheduled to be off the afternoon, and I couldn’t just take him home with no one to watch him.   He said it would be fine to leave him there as scheduled.

When I went to get him around 4, the lady at the front desk couldn’t tell me whether or not he’d had anything to eat or drink, or if he’d been out to do his business.   The conversation went something like this:

Me:        Has he been out?  

Her:       We thought you’d do that when you got here.

Me:        He’s been locked up all day.  You all haven’t walked him?

Her:       :::Blank stare:::

Me:        Has he had anything to eat or drink?

Her:       :::Started a long, memorized spiel about him just waking up from anesthesia and it being very important to start him very slowly on eating and drinking:::

Me:        The doctor called me before 11 a.m. and said he was awake, alert, and ready to go.  It’s after 4 now.  I’d hate to think he’s been here all that time with nothing to eat or drink.

Her:       I wouldn’t like that either.

Me:        Well, has he had anything to eat or drink?

Her:       :::Speaking into walkie talkie::: “Get Gibbs ready to go.”   (She then went to get him and brought him to me.)

Me:        Can you find out if he’s already had anything to eat or drink?   Can he have a snack on the way home?  

Her:       “I’m sure he can have a snack.”  :::Shoved some papers into my hand:::  “Read those directions carefully.”  Turning to another lady in the lobby, “Mrs. Johnson, are you ready to pick up Fido?”

At which point, Mr. Gibbs took a whiz on her floor.   As I was leaving, I said over my shoulder, “He peed over there.”    I probably didn’t keep the glee out of my voice.

Friday, December 6, 2013

What the Crap?

UNA Snow
Depending on how you use it (…or just about any way you use it…) “crap” is probably a cuss word.   Swearing, that is.   The Bible says “do not swear,” (James 5), but I don’t think he’s talking about cussing in that chapter.   Not that I’m advocating cussing!  That would be crappy of me, especially since I charge dimes and quarters at work for folks who cuss….yes, I’m that chick in the office with a cuss jar on her desk.  After this post, I think I’ll have to drop a few coins in the jar my own self.   Crap!

Snow in my front yard
It’s a nap-crappy day out today in the Shoals, cold and wet, but we have it good compared to those north of us.   They are threatening us with the possibility of frozen precipitation, but I have found over the years, if they are predicting it, we usually don’t get it.   Sometimes sneaky sleet gets us…and we don’t have a lot of warning.  For some reason in the south, if the words sleet, snow, or ice, are in the forecast, it’s a law that you must congregate at the local grocery stores and wipe them out of milk and bread…toilet paper…whatever, even if the next day is going to be 50° and no snow or ice will survive!   Crap-silly, isn’t it?   Can’t say I don’t follow the snow rules at times.    
Frozen falls...Rockpile, TVA-The Shoals
In the south, snow and/or ice can be a crappy thing.   No native southerner really knows how to drive on snowy roads.  In order for snow to stick on our roadways, it seems there must be a layer of ice first, so in essence, we are really driving on a bed of ice.   Southern cities typically don’t have the equipment to handle major snow and ice, and no one I know owns any snow chains.  It’s a near-guarantee people will be in ditches when it snows, and that can be pretty crappy.  I don’t think we’ll get any really crappy weather this weekend, so I’m not planning to fight the crowds for bread or milk today.   Good thing I’m not in need of either.

Cardinals in my back yard
The crappy question for today is:   How long will it be before there is a major uprising against Obama’s Crappy-Care?  I keep waiting.   It was a crap shoot getting decent insurance at a good price before it became “affordable.”  It’s one of those wait-and-see type situations.  I wish I had faith that it would all work out, but I think the plan is, well, crappy…and I have no faith in the current administration.
Ice Forest, Southern Tennessee

If you’re still reading, I’m sure you’ll be relieved that I’ve come to the end of my crap-talk.  I hope your weekend is far from crap-tastic!   (Get your bread and milk just in case…and double check the toilet tissue supply.)  

More UNA Snow:
Snowy Lions in front of Willingham

The Front of Bibb Graves

The fountain...in a blizzard!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

I really thought Miley Cyrus was saying “I came in like a rainbow” in her new song, Wrecking Ball.   She’s not.  I rarely listen to secular music, but I live in the real world, and I can’t help but hear things…like her song.  Unfortunately, I’ve also seen part of the video.   Now, I can’t hear the song without a mental image of Miley naked.  I hope I never hear that song again!   If you haven’t been subjected to her video, close your eyes if you are ever in the line of fire. 
Maybe it’s just me, but you want your advertising to be taken seriously, don’t say the word, “ginormous” once, much less four times in your ad.  The only thing I remember about that commercial is how silly the word is, and I do not know what product they were trying to sell me.
I saw a guy riding his bicycle around campus a little while back.   It had no seat on it.  Do you hear what I’m saying?   There was a bar where a seat should have een, pointed directly at the center of his posterior.   If he were to slip off a pedal…well, have you ever heard the expression, “Ripped him a new one?”  Yeah, pretty sure that’s what would have happened. 
Ole Boyism:
Me:  If we have to have a democrat in office, I think Hillary would have been a better choice.
Ole Boy:   She's already served two terms, how many more do you want to give her?

Have a great Friday!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The General





When the perishable puts on the imperishable,
and the mortal puts on immortality,
then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
…But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57

This weekend, I opened a Gaither Homecoming CD and listened to it for the first time.   I bought it last November and planned to give it to my Aunt Margaret for her birthday.   But, I forgot to give it to her.   I thought I would give it to her this year…but I didn’t know where it was, and in the hustle-bustle of the party planning for my dad’s birthday, the thought slipped my mind again.  She loved southern gospel, as do I.

I don’t believe I was named for my aunt, my dad’s sister.  It’s my understanding that Dad just liked the name, "Margaret.She and I shared a common dislike of the name, though I’ve grown to like it more over the years.   Margaret means pearl.   My aunt was definitely a pearl.

She was called “The General” by her family.  She was always planning a trip here or there.  When she instigated those many vacations, she did her research, planning what to do and see.  She enjoyed life, and she enjoyed our family being together.  She was always considerate towards those around her…making sure we were comfortable.  She was generous not only with her time, but with her things as well.   She gave to those in need.   She was a woman of profound faith…she didn’t worry (and would fuss a little at my mom for worrying).   She was a pearl indeed, a most precious gem of gems.   

She and my dad had become very close over the years since retirement, and they were often plotting a new vacation, or a chance to visit.  They shared a "love" of coupons and vitamins and herbs.  My extended family likes to get together…we don’t do it near enough…but The General sure did her part in visiting.  Just a few short months ago, Ole Boy and I, along with my parents, my sister and her husband, took a trip to Branson, Missouri.   Aunt Margaret, as always, had a suggested itinerary…and as always, a very good one, at that.

I had a connection with her that perhaps came from my answering for her repeatedly over the years, only to realize that someone was addressing the “other” Margaret.  She laughed at my corniness, the crazy comments I would interject into conversation.  When I said the password was “BR549,” she knew immediately where that originated.  She loved me because I was family, but she liked me, too.   She made sure that I knew she did. 

Two weekends ago, we celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday.   His birthday wasn’t until Wednesday, but we celebrated early on the weekend for the convenience of those who would travel to help celebrate.   Aunt Margaret’s birthday was two days before Dad’s.  They liked to get together each year for a birthday dinner…but this year, Margaret wouldn’t hear of sharing the party, even though her birthday came first.

Aunt Margaret and Uncle Junior left for home on Monday, November 18, her birthday.  There was an accident, and the Lord saw fit to call her Home.  I imagine that there was a grand reunion, and perhaps the very best of birthday celebrations.  On that day, she stepped out of time and into “right now.”   Right now, she is visiting with our Lord Jesus, my grandparents, and friends and family that went on before her.  Right now, they are happy, pain free, healed and healthy, and in the presence of the Lord they served so diligently here on earth.  Right now, and forevermore, oh, the music I am sure they are enjoying…far better than the CD I never gave her. 


Mom, Dad, Aunt Margaret, Uncle Junior
He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces…
Isiah 25:8

I will miss her; her beautiful spirit, her laugh, her presence.  She was loved.  My Uncle Junior joined his beloved wife just a few short months later.   They were very dear to us...treasures to our family.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Testing the Waters

This is just a little test run on my blog.   It seems that Blogger has taken my now expired custom domain and added .blogspot.com to it and redirects back to here.   If you're confused, you should be in my shoes!

Anyway, Dear Reader, if you'd be kind enough to comment if everything works as it should, I would appreciate that, and might even start blogging again.

And for those of you who subscribe, if you could click the link that should open my blog, and comment that that all works as it should, again, I would be most appreciative.

~M

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Update

If I happen to disappear over the next day or two, I successfully transferred my blog here:
http://brownrecluse2.blogspot.com/, but I am still trying to save my custom domain.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where Am I?

Good Morning.

So...I hate Google today.  Yesterday, too.

It appears that sometime today or within the next few days, this domain will cease to be.

I now have to decide what I want to do...keep blogging, blog elsewhere...I don't know yet.

If I have any news/photos to share in the mean time, I will post them HERE.

If you're interested, that is.

I'm mad.  Really.





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Who Stole My Blog?

It is a great possibility that I will lose this blog tomorrow.    Google can't get it's crap straight and has informed me that because I have not enabled the "auto-renew" feature for my domain, it will be suspended.   However, there is no "auto renew" option anywhere that I can find, and I have searched high and low.  And I'd like to point out that it has auto-renewed for the last five years.

This happened to me earlier this year with another blog that I didn't really care about so much because I hadn't spend the last five years writing in it like I have this one.

To say I'm upset about it would be an understatement, but I do not have any recourse.   I updated everything I could and I even gave them a second payment source.   But they are telling me that as of tomorrow my domain is suspended.   I cannot find anywhere/anyway to fix the problem.

Stupid Google.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peace in Troublesome Times


World events…and the present unrest in America…can be scary, and it’s easy to forget that we do not have to live in a pit of depression or hopelessness.   Jesus cares for each of us individually, and we don’t have to fear in these troublesome days.
...I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me.   You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.    Ps 40:17

I really like the 40th Psalm.    I like to be reminded that He thinks about me.   Me!   Me?   Yeah, me.   You, too!
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. (vs 2)

Ah, yes!    I just love knowing He is my deliverer and He takes my hand and lifts me from the horrible pit, and not only puts me on solid ground away from sinking sand, but he also sets up my path in a firm and permanent fashion.

Trust...we simply must learn to trust Him.





Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man (or blessed am I) who trusts in Him! Ps 34:8

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man (or myself).   
(Ps 118:8)

 

Just one more:
PS 143:8  Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.


Keep your eyes on Jesus, He is your peace.




Monday, October 21, 2013

MONDAY MUSINGS: THE FORGIVENESS EDITION

Dear Past:
I don’t know why I would revisit you…you didn’t do me good the first time.  History repeating itself is not a good thing!

Dear Forgiveness:
Why, oh, why do you elude me?

Dear Unforgiveness:
I will fight you every step of the way.  The truth is that I really want revenge, but I will cast down those thoughts, and I will win because Jesus will continue to remind me that I am not battling flesh and blood.  One day, I will not even want to slice that person to shreds with my words, and slap her face if she tries to defend her actions.   One day...could it be today?


Dear Strangers in Golden Corral:
You, us, and two other couples...we all arrived for breakfast when they opened for the morning...and we could seat ourselves.  Out of all the empty seats in the house, why did you choose to come and crowd us?   I forgive you.


Dear Self:
I bet you wish you hadn't eaten with abandon the whole time you were on vacation last week, yes?   YES!  I forgive you.   It's time to change your ways...which is another word for repentance!  Stop relying on yourself and remember where your help comes from...and it's not yourself.

Dear Gibbs:
Seriously?  That is no way to welcome me home...doing your business on the living room floor at 5 a.m.   I forgive you...but I am not sure I trust you as much as I did just one week ago!!!






My obviously homemade video of Dry Falls...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Flashback

(A repeat of an (updated) previous entry)

Middle Age Ain’t All It’s Cracked up to be...I now have trifocals

What are the perks of middle age, anyway?   There must be some, or none of us would do it, right?   Hitting middle age brings about symptoms called “peri-menopause” (translation:  "Men, oh, beware").  Apparently, it is at this phase of our lives “middle age” becomes “middle rage” because our moods can get vicious volatile in the way of a happy relationship.    Or any relationship.  Your relationship with your kids, your husband, and your dog can change.   You may even notice a difference in the way the local grocery store cashier reacts to interacts with you, especially if the store is out of the right type of chocolate chip cookie.   It certainly isn’t your fault, by the way, that folks are suddenly driving you completely nuts, and you have to deal with it by knocking a few woolly warts on their heads.  (Use extreme caution doing this to people you don’t know, or co-workers who may strike you back.   Or grocery store cashiers.  Plus, I am fairly certain that “I’m menopausal” is not a viable criminal courtroom defense.)

According to my body research,
Peri-menopause symptoms include:

Hot Flashes
Sleep Problems
Mood Changes
Bladder problems


Did I mention perks earlier?   You can forget certain perks…like your chest.   Won’t be any perkiness there, unless you’ve gone the way of silicon, and to be truthful, I have my doubts about perky silicon.    And let’s not talk about what the doctors want to do to said perky-less chest.   On my first smashomammogram, I lost whatever innocence I may have had left.  It was an eye-opener.   A WIDE eye opener, wide in surprise that a boob could be that smashed that flat and not blow out.

Men have to deal with these things, too, only they call it Mid-Life Crisis.  (I don’t think certain parts of their anatomy are smashed flat in a vice-like contraption, though.   They couldn’t handle it anyway; they would squeal like little girls have to be coma induced.)   I don’t know too much about men’s symptoms; Ole Boy never seemed to hit MLC mode.  Perhaps I was too busy with my own changing moods and fiery flashes that I forgot to notice.   Or, I was possibly too drowsy from my lack of sleep due to my middle-of-the-night bathroom treks. 

And my eyes!!    Three pairs of glasses: bifocals, trifocals and computer glasses, and I still squint!   Or, I have to switch out all three pairs for one task!   And there are times when no glasses are better than any of the three.   I have been known to put on two pairs at the same time…NOT because I was having a senior moment...but because I couldn’t see!   And it worked….which led me to the sad realization that it might be time for another vision test.  

There are perks to middle age, I know.  Benefits that don’t have anything to do with body aches, bladders, weight gain, hot flashes or moods swings, like taking your vacation at any time during the year, not just around school schedules.   To be honest, I’ve had it pretty easy compared to horror stories I’ve heard.   Besides, if my moods are any worse than they used to be, Ole Boy is too scared hasn’t mentioned it.   


Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When I'm Listening


When I’m Listening

When I stand in reverent wonder,
Atop mountains on an autumn day,
Though it’s not a voice like rolling thunder
I hear what my Redeemer has to say.

I close my eyes to better hear it,
The gentle rustling of the autumn leaves.
A warm, sweet whisper joins my spirit,
A sound like the wind blowing through the trees.

Embraced in hues of gold and red
Surrounded by His grace
My heart listens carefully to what is said,
As the gentle breeze caresses my face.

Vibrant leaves catch the wind
Floating about in majestic glory
His voice tenderly blankets me like a flawless friend,
Whose love is an unending story.



His whisper tells of how He planned for me
Before creation was spoken
Even when time was yet to be,
His plans would not be broken.

His promise is full of hope and love
And shines like dew drops glistening
His voice spans the air as wings of a dove
And speaks to me when I’m listening.



Photography is from my beloved Great Smoky Mountains.
Poetry and photography property of www.AmusingMargaret.com 


This video is amazing.    
Even if you've seen it before, it's so worth watching again.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Musings: The Forgiveness Edition

Reading some Facebook comments this morning, I came across a name that took me back to elementary school.  The name, when I see it, never brings good memories, and today was no exception.  Perhaps I hold unforgiveness…I am not sure…maybe it is just that I remember.   Memories exist, and they pop into my mind every now and then, especially when there’s a reminder.

 Unforgiveness, I’ve heard it expressed,
Is like drinking poison and hoping someone else gets sick.

She’s long gone from this world, this first grade teacher who made my first year of school a nightmare.  I would not have wished bad things for her, even if she were living to this day.  My second grade teacher was much better, and the rest of my years at Underwood Elementary were pleasant enough.

My third grade teacher, whom I really liked, was the principal when my daughter was enrolled.   She handled a situation involving my daughter very badly, in my opinion, and I wrote her a scathing letter….and copied the superintendent of education.   Did I over-react?  Possibly…but she did, indeed, handle a delicate situation rather coarsely.   She also discussed it with the grandmother of the little boy involved, and when I saw her (the grandmother) in WalMart shortly after the incident, she told me that if I had any problems with her grandson to contact her, not the school.  The grandmother is gone from this world, too, but the memories still remain.

What does one do with bad memories?  Granted, my “bad” recollections are nothing in comparison to the memories of so many hurting people.    But a hurt is a hurt, and memories do exist.   Unforgiveness doesn’t have to be attached to the thoughts, but how can you be sure that you aren’t just remembering, but that a little unforgiveness is lingers?

My spell check keeps trying to tell me “unforgiveness” is not a word.
It is now.

One of the toughest forms of forgiveness is that of our own actions, inactions, bad choices, stupidity…forgiving ourselves for our past.  And whether we know it or not, there may be people holding grievances against us for some callous thing we said or did, and we don’t even realize we’ve hurt someone.

Today, I’m choosing forgiveness.   Every fiery dart aimed at me today will be met with a shield of forgiveness.  Grudges are never worth hanging to, and especially when it gives something “bad” even the tiniest bit of power in my life.    

It’s a beautiful Monday.   
May you find forgiveness in your heart 
for whatever bad memory haunts you.
And may it be as easy as a walk in Deibert Park
Photos below....




  
   

Deibert Park, Florence, Alabama.
All photos belong to AmusingMargaret.com


Another entry on forgiveness you may enjoy HERE.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

It Just Doesn't Care

::::Groan::::

I’m back to wearing Maypop jeans.   My Maypops.  Jeans that may pop anytime.  Addiction doesn’t care that not so long ago, these tight jeans were a little loose. 

Who knew that getting back on the wagon after a fall would be much more difficult than the first time up there?  Addiction doesn’t care that I’d rather be riding in the wagon than walking this road.

Addiction screams in my head until I give in, then it promptly chastises me for being weak, and tells me how worthless I am.  It doesn’t care that I beat yourself up with guilt. 

 Orlando...I think...definitely Florida.

Addiction doesn’t care that no matter how I try,

I can’t make a humorous post about addiction.
So, I’ll just have write a positive post.

When I wake up in the morning, I wish that I wanted to act right, but I really want to eat.  It’s the sugar in me…and addiction doesn’t care that it takes my focus off of God and onto myself and my need desire to feed.

Central Florida Zoo
I’m about to get angry at addiction, not that addiction cares.   But as a child of God, I do not have to lie down and continue to give into the sin and shame of gluttony.  I am not a slave to sin, and it is for freedom that Christ set me free.   Addiction doesn’t care that it gets in my way of remembering all the good things, the promises that I have available.   I don’t have to continue to walk in addiction, when Freedom Road has an address with my name on it!  That’s right, addiction, I have a home on Freedom Street, not skid row!



Addiction doesn’t care that God longs to change me, if I will let Him.  I am sure He is teaching me things as I struggle; it’s up to me to learn and stop struggling, to be still and know that He is God.   Addiction doesn’t care about me, but God does.
Deibert Park...love the reflection!

Forgive me as I post, yet again, the poem I wrote in 2009…because it’s something I need desperately to remember.

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,

For my current position is not my final destination.

Have a great weekend!!

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