Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten Things I Discovered Today



One- Friends will be encouraging when you really need them to be.

Two- Encouragement can come in many different ways. Today friends gave me physical hugs, blog, text, and phone hugs, prayers through text, in person and on their own personal time. Love pouring from all directions.

Three- My brother does not know how to fill out paperwork at the doctor's office. His wife must normally do it. ( I went with him to meet with a surgeon today)

Four- Some receptionists at some doctor's offices are RUDE and slow. But some NURSES are awesome!

Five- Didn't discover this today but I was reminded that O'Charley's has the best Grilled Chicken Salad on earth mainly because it is loaded with candied pecans and strawberries.

Six- When doctor's communicate effectively it helps eliminate some of the worry and stress before a surgery.

Seven- I found a new water at Publix called sparkling Ice. I'm in love with water now. It's carbonated and comes in a variety of flavors. I'm drinking grapefruit right now!

Eight- Very pointed high heel shoes make my calves look slimmer and shapely ( in my own mind) but are so uncomfortable after wearing them a few hours.

Nine- I want to mother my brother when he has a major problem arise. Since mom is not here I guess I'm trying to do what she would have done.

Ten- Putting Freon in a car when the air hasn't been working for several weeks is an awesome thing.


Blogger's note: for those of you who don't know my brother has not been well and needs your prayers. He will have surgery Monday. A biopsy will be done and we are believing for a benign tumor. God is great and we are trusting Him in all things.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little Ramblin' A Little About Me




I missed my family reunion Saturday. I was sick and suffering from a swelled up head and sore throat but in truth I really wasn't motivated to go. As relatives pass away the numbers get smaller and it's kind of sad to go when so many are missing.

I remember even just 6 or 7 years ago it seemed the place was packed. Ever heard of Pendergrass Georgia? Talmo? Well that's where I go every year of my life for Christmas, the family reunion and various other events. Pendergrass is known for having the world's largest flea market. Literally it is huge and takes hours and hours to walk through. The treasures you can find there are amazing. I bought a leather recliner last year for an awesome price and it's still reclining.

My family who live there are very near to Athens the home of the Georgia Bulldogs. Yippee. Obviously I am not shaking my pom poms for this team. (Yikes I better hide I could be killed for saying this). Actually I am an Alabama fan because my parents loved them. They so hated the Bulldogs because our North Georgia family were consumed with the team and that pushed them right into the arms of legendary coach Bear Bryant and his Alabama boys. So that's where my loyalty remains. Love them and love that they haven't lost a game this season!

I've spent many years traveling the roads from here to there and believe it or not even after 500 trips I didn't learn to drive flawlessly to Pendergrass until I got my GPS a few years ago. I know it's sad but a sense of direction and short term memory are 2 qualities I have never possessed. For example, today just so I could remember to pick up soap and dry cleaning I wrote it on a large sticker and stuck it to my purse before I left this morning. Tell me I'm not alone in this please!

Anyway back to the subject. Traveling there for years my brother, parents and I always had a good time. We listened to the old, old country music, I'm talkin' Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, George Jones,  Loretta Lynn. Remember I was a small, small child at this time so don't age me by the music. But I will say I still have a great love for country gold.

We slept on the back ledge of the car and no seat belts! The car was filled with smoke and we played games until sibling fighting began. When that happened we were made to sit on our hands and keep our mouths shut the rest of the way.

North Georgia and the people who live in Pendergrass, and Talmo have given me a lifetime of memories that I will carry in my heart the rest of my life. Talking about those times causes to me think I'll keep on making those memories for years to come. Bittersweet memories are good too.

The picture above is Hurricane Shoals, the place several of our family reunions have been held. It's a beautiful place with lots of history.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What's A Girl Worth To Him?





The Past

Life’s about making everyone happy. I try but fail miserably. And do they let it slide like I do when they mess up? No way. They make a point to let me know just how bad I loused everything  up. I only hear the negative not the positive. The thing is I never try to hurt anyone it just comes off that way sometimes. It’s as if when it doesn’t turn out the way they want it to then I have purposely let them down.

I bury this anger, resentment and bitterness. A hard shell builds around my heart causing numbness. I wonder what would happen if I did let it out. I have on occasion and an explosion erupted. Explosions are not good for a relationship so I continue to bury my feelings.



Fast forward to about 4 years ago.

 It finally sank in that my God loved me. Oh I knew He gave His Son to die in my place but I struggled to live a Christian life. I was missing something. The missing piece was the love. I didn’t have it for the Father and I wasn’t clear on His unconditional love for me.

Upon really getting a grasp on this truth, my worth and value began to take shape in my soul. I was created by Him for a specific purpose and I was His child precious, beautiful , holy and righteous in His eyes. I was still imperfect to the people around me but my attitude changed from “I need you to accept and love me” to “I’m me and you can love and accept me or not.” The chains that held me bondage most of my life were broken and I saw myself as one who had the choice to say “no” if I wanted. And I didn’t even have to give a reason for saying “no”. Wow! What difference the love of God can make.

When I began to be filled by Him instead of trying to be filled by the people around me I walked taller, more confident, spoke without wavering, and no longer straddled the fence. I knew what I wanted and went for it.

Living abundantly is not about wealth and riches, although that may be part of the blessing, but it’s about being me, the real me, the me I was created to be.

What’s a girl worth? She’s worth God’s Son, and that makes her priceless.

Tell me your story in the comments. What's your worth?

I'm linking up with Tamara Out Loud. She got such a huge response to her post What's A Girl Worth that she decided to do a link up here to give us a chance to write about it ourselves. Please consider going here and reading our stories.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Will Have You As Mine


I control all things, every human here on this planet. I am the only love you need and I will have you. My hypnotic voice draws you in and once there you cannot leave. There is no way to escape my power, and plan for your life. By the time you have fallen under my spell of delicious enticement it’s much too late. You are entangled in my world forever. You will do as I say, when I say it. There are consequences to be paid for those who step out of the circle of my power. Those who have attempted were found, convicted and sent away to a prison that has been compared to hell.

You may not be drawn to follow me after reading this ad. You will be frightened by these words but the alternative is much, much worse. I provide a home, food, clothing, a job and an all consuming love for those who follow me. The other option is unthinkable. Come to me and join the Company. Believe me when I say life will be more bearable here with me than it will be out there without me.



This gives you a little more insight into the character Alec from my latest Sci-Fi story. You can read the other entries here, Is There Life Out There?  The Secret's At the Cemetery,  Rachel's Grace,

This week’s assignment was to write a personal ad, looking for love. It could be from the perspective of a character, or one for you or someone you know.

 





Thursday, September 22, 2011

Women and Bears

My trip to Gaitlinburg and Pigeon Forge with my sister-in-laws and mother-in-law was a blast. A hilarious blast! While Control Freak drove us home, I sat in the front holding on to the seat. We rounded the mountains right on the edge and I feared Bug Hater would grab Control Freak's hair pulling it out causing her to go off the side. Bug Hater was even more terrified than me and yelled from the back seat constantly "watch out", "slow down", "he's putting on his brakes!". She offered to drive but none of us would have had the nerves to handle it. Bug Hater doesn't like to drive far past her front door so we were sure the Blue Ridge Mountains just wasn't the right place for her to begin getting her feet wet.

Big Mama didn't drive home because she didn't feel well. She got in the very backseat and when she wasn't puffin' and talkin' she was sleepin' and snorin'. Sweet Talker shared her wisdom all the way and no kidding she really has a lot of it. And where most women won't or don't give their wise secrets away, Sweet Talker shares in abundance. I love her for her willingness to talk through all the twists, turns, close calls, yelling, snoring, and phone calls.

On the way down one of the mountains cars began slowing down and we came to a stop. Control Freak said, "There's something going on up there. Julie roll down the window and get your camera ready."

As we moved closer we saw people out of their cars standing near a tree. Some had cameras, some pointing up and all looking up in the tree. I had my camera ready and as we drove by very slowly this is what we saw.




Yep it was a mama bear and two cubs. As we drove by the mama bear was on her way down and  people stood by taking pics at the bottom of the tree! I suppose they didn't watch the documentary about a mama bear protecting her cubs when she feels they are threatened. Control Freak needing to tell someone what to do made sure to yell out the window," You better get out of there! That mama bear is gonna attack to protect her babies." Then we drove on by.

This was an amazing experience for me. Wildlife just living life right out loud for everyone to see. Reminds me that I should be living my life for Jesus right out loud for everyone to see. This is my heart. May I go about life allowing Him to live, love and laugh in and though me. Out loud. No hiding who I am.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Where Is The Happy Me?


The heavy patchwork quilt made of soft cotton lay against my numb body. The colors of bright pink, light olive green, dark evergreen, mauve, and clean crisp white that once stood out to me now seem drab and dull. Colorless. This covering that once brought comfort gives nothing now.

The chuncky chicken salad sandwich with mayo, salt and pepper on the night stand might have made me hungry once upon a time but now only a Big Mac with special sauce, a large order of greasy fries and a large creamy vanilla shake will do. But it will only do temporarily. It won’t be long and I’ll be searching for the Snickers and M & M’s picking out the brown ones, savoring the red, blue and yellow. Never giving the milk chocolate a chance to melt in my hand but only in my mouth.

I need a hot shower. It just takes too much energy for this task. My body feels like it weighs 1000 pounds. At the rate I’m eating I may just get there before long.  I can hardly hold this head full of rocks up off the pillow. My legs drag as I walk to the bathroom, the only place I can carry myself, and only because I have to.

Everything I see around me is lifeless and gray. HD television offers the same old stuff; that stack of books can’t hold my interest, people irritate me. Conversations consist of me shaking my head, as if I’m listening to the mindless chatter that creeps in one ear and out the other. I spend a lot of time pretending to be the happy me.
 The me with the clean smell of Dove soap from a fresh shower. The me that likes a green salad with tomatoes, oranges, red cranberries and candied pecans. The me that loves conversation with friends and a good cup of fresh brewed Maxwell House coffee.  The me that longs for the feel of the pages of a crisp new book in my hands. The me that laughs out loud at the Cosby Show and Andy Griffith. The me that snuggles under the quilt that belonged to my mother and is warmed by the love of it. Where is that me?
~~~~~~~~

Then I utter the words.

Help. Me. God.

In time the thick dark covering that hides me from the world is lifted.

In time.

And I wonder why I didn't ask sooner.




Don't forget to pop over to Grace Full Women and check out my lastest post Why Do Bad Things Happen and How Do I Respond?.

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I'm Linking up with Women Living Well. Pop on over and check out this great site for women.

I'm also linking up with Write on Edge where some of my fav bloggers hang out.


And I'm new to linking with Just Write. You can find out more about them here.























Friday, September 16, 2011

Rachel's Grace


Your assignment this week from Write on Edge was to write a piece where you explore the first broken heart for your character – or for you. You can read the beinning of this Science Fiction story here and here.

 Just for a little background: Rachel lives on planet Aster. She wonders if there is life elsewhere. in the universe because her life on Aster is so horrible. Before her father was murdered he told her the secrets that might lead her to this another world.  Rachel doesn't remember all the details but intends on finding out.

Alec, the villian, has made Rachel as one of his wives and impregnated her as an experiment. The details of the experiment have not been disclosed yet. Mason is the man she loves but he cannot get to her because Alec keeps close guard. Today we find Rachel giving birth to her precious baby girl whom she has already named Grace in Part 2.


The operating room was cold, sterile, steel, white and lonely. Rachel lay there lethargic. How long had she been here? She heard Alec say,” Do a C-Section I don’t want any harm to come to the infant.”

Doctors, nurses behind masks, mumbling, murmuring. “She’s a fine specimen.” “Take some blood now before the subject goes to infant care.”
These weren’t words referring to her beautiful Grace. Grace isn’t a specimen, a subject, she’s a baby! Rachel couldn’t get the words out. She could not speak.

A cry, a baby’s cry! Oh Grace you made it!
Tears of joy streaming,
arms aching to hold,
 eyes waiting to see.
More murmuring,”Looks healthy and passed all the initial testing.”  Then she heard Alec’s voice again,” Go ahead and take her to infant care, categorize her, and on the birth certificate make sure I am listed as the father leave the mother blank… for now.

Rachel lay there screaming in her mind, “I’m her mother! No don’t take her, let me hold her. She’s my little girl! Please God make them bring her back.”

In a few moments Alec came over to the table holding a bundle in a white blanket. “Do you want to hold the infant?” Rachel nodded her head with slight movement. Alec placed Grace in her arms.
She looked into the eyes of 
the love of her life,
her forever love
love that fills emptiness,
Grace.

And then she was gone

=======================
Blogger's note: This is the third part to a science fiction story I began writing in July. Grace does not die she is being taken away by the villian in the story Alec. You can read the Part 1 and Part 2 at the links listed at the beginning of the post. Go ahead and try it, I think it'll spark your interest.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Did The Unthinkable Because of a Computer!




He sat at the computer every night after dinner, every Saturday and Sunday, almost every waking moment. I hated the thing. It had stolen my husband from his family.

The time I realized this monster was truly my enemy was a night that will go down in infamy with our family. I was on the phone with a good friend. We were having a deep conversation about”something important”. I was sitting on the stairs talking softly so the rest of the house wouldn’t hear what was being said. A pair of eyes glared at me from the kitchen. He was spinning in the computer chair waiting for me to get off the phone. High speed internet was still a thing of the future, dial-up was the only option. This required I get off the phone, which I wasn’t ready to do.

The hole he stared through me got deeper and deeper until I exploded. I threw the phone at him, while screaming, “Take the thing! I’m so sick of that computer dominating everything in this house! You’re on it all the time and now I can’t even talk on the phone!” I’m really not sure of my exact words but this is close.

After that I grabbed one of his golf clubs and threw it across the room! Yep, I really did it. Haven’t you ever wanted to do something so mean? But who really does that? It was at this point that I stopped myself and realized I was having hormone problems. Yes it was PMS. Although some believe it is in our heads I know for certain it is a very real change that happens to me.

With a few deep breaths and apologies on both sides our argument was over. However I ended up at the doctor’s office the next day recalling the events of the night before. Turns out he diagnosed me with PMS syndrome and gave me Prozac. Throwing golf clubs is really out of character for me so we both knew something was or had changed with my body. Medication in combination with a lot of prayer got me through the worst part of it.

Very seldom do I have a blow up anymore and I love my computer especially since I can use it and the phone at the same time.


This week’s prompt over at Write on Edge,  is to recall those early memories of being online. But please do not use the phrase “I remember…”
Also? No laundry lists. Try to focus on one small memory and share. Tell how it impacted your life and what it meant for you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 CWO Featured

Hey Friends,
Follow me over to Christian Women's Online Network where my article commemorating 9/11 is one of the featured articles today. You can find it here. If you like it please go ahead and "like" it. While you're there look around, there's a great assortment of blogs and encouraging articles and forums. I'm now a Staff Writer at CWO so it's a new home for me. Hope to see you there sometimes. Thanks for all your support.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Surgery

A sweet friend of mine had surgery today. I dropped her off at the hospital this morning. I was slightly nervous because she had never had any surgery before.

Leaving her was hard because it was obvious she did not want to be in this strange place with strangers caring for her. But what could I do?

The only thing I could do was pray: Father I haven't had to pray for her very often but today I feel a real need because I am nervous. She's alone or probably feels that way so just let her be at peace. Give the docs wisdom and let everything go perfectly. Let my faith be strong in You so I can go about my day knowing she will be just fine because You are there with her.

I went about the day without worry, in peace, trusting He was watching her and making sure she was perfectly cared for.

4:00 rolled around I went back to the hospital. The nurse gave me instructions for her post op care and then they brought her out. She was very groggy from the anesthetic and would be until tomorrow.

Upon getting her home I helped her into bed, gave her a fudge pop and a few sips of water. Now she's lying beside me sleeping soundly.

Lola is safe and sound and now because she's been spayed her health will be better than ever.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What If You Won?




There’s something to be said about the exhilarating feeling of opening the door of a casino. You have money to burn and you dream of winning big. So big that you’ll pay off the mortgage, the credit cards, the doctor bills.  You will be a hero by the time you’re done with this place. When you get home your husband will bow down and call you “Queen”.

Your girlfriends that came with you have all gone off in different directions because you, you had to work on your plan.

-----------------------------

So you’re walking around, scoping out the scene, looking for your lucky table, when you see her.  There she is, the little old lady running a Blackjack table. She will be nice and friendly so this is a good place to start the night. As you sit on one of the stools, she glares at you as if you are an idiot. “Are you betting or not?” she growls.  Fumbling around you finally place your bet and she begins to throw the cards down.  You notice it seems to bring the little old  lady pleasure when she says, “Busted.”  It’s a dead give away by the big grin that stretches across her very wrinkled face. After a while, you feel you should spread the happiness to someone else, so you leave this table before she passes out from the excitement.

As you saunter around in your new low-rise jeans, t-shirt and heels you are feeling pretty confident about your appearance. After all how many 45-year-old women can pull off this outfit and look good in it? Then as you turn the corner, you see her. Yes, it’s HER. You know the one. She’s got the low-rise jeans too but no mushroom belly.  Oh and her t-shirt seems to be a lot perkier than yours.  The long blonde flowy hair that bounces as she flirts with the guys surrounding her makes you wish you had gotten the extensions you had been considering last week.  You turn around and go the other way because it’s just too crowded over here with HER.

This experience has to get better. You go to the slots and pull the handle repeatedly. Win a little and lose even more. You’re thinking that gambling really isn’t what it’s made out to be but the environment is exciting and you’re going to see a great show tonight with the girls. Still mindlessly pulling the slot machine, you sit there, and then suddenly you hit the jackpot! The lights flashing, the sirens begin screaming, you are a winner! You won 500 bucks playing the slots.

After you claim your winnings, it is all you can do to keep yourself from going over to the little old lady’s table and gloating. However, because you have class and she has gone on her break you will not do that. Maybe you’ll drop by and dangle some of your money in front of HER. You can just picture her following you around like a little puppy. Ok, come on back to reality. She has the guys, the body and probably money too.

As you pack up to go home you ponder about how to spend the money you won. Savings account? Pay off a credit card? Or maybe you’ll just buy a pair of jeans that fit, have a good cup of Starbuck’s and take the family to a movie.

I wrote this a while back for an online magazine. I thought of it when Write on Edge challenged us to write about jeans this week. I love this topic cause I love jeans. I'd like to win $500.00 but unfortunately this never happened although I can pull off some low-rise jeans and a t-shirt.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Could You Make a List Of Things You're Thankful For?

Yesterday this would have been hard to do. Today it's easy. It's a ashame that I need to be in a certain mood to find things to be thankful for isn't it? Yeah I know you agree.
Well I'm there today, good attitude and all so here's my list:

1- I'm thankful I had my house cleaned today. It's kind of a stress reliever to know I don't have to do a deep cleaning.

2- I'm thankful for my husband who told me a few days ago that I was still a pretty woman. I needed that.

3- I'm thankful for my two kids. My son makes me laugh and my daughter keeps me straight. She called and wanted to know if I had been on the treadmill. I said, " Not yet." "Have you been on it this week?" Sheepishly I replied, "No." At this point she began her regular lecture about my health and how she needed me around so her kids could know their grandma, etc. ( She thinks way ahead. She has no children yet nor is she considering it for another 3 or 4 years) I'm getting on the treadmill soon.

4- I'm thankful for good friends. I had lunch with a special long time friend today. There's nothing quite like it.

5- I'm thankful that while I was in Publix today and my phone rang 13 times yet I did not hear it, that my daughter did hear her phone when it rang. The Hound and The Bride were out of gas on the side of the road. She took them gas and saved the day.

6- I'm thankful I can have sugar free chocolate. Bought some Russell Stover's sugar free mint patties and I am eating them without guilt.

7- I'm thankful for Lola, Gabe and Georgia, my dogs. Lola is the English Bulldog, Gabe the Sheltie and Georgia the Pomeranian. Quite a mixture and one day I'll tell you the story of how I ended up with them.

8- I'm thankful for this blogging community. I can be myself and it seems to be OK. I haven't run into the judgement I sometimes hear about. Actually I've been welcomed with open arms by most. Debbi from Photos and Facets , Susan from Coming East and Emily from My Pajama Days have been particularly encouraging along with so many more.

9- I'm thankful for my laptop, Ipod, cell phone, Wii, HD TV, blow dryer, recliner, dishwasher, coffee pot and SUV. I know I have been blessed and I am a girlie girl who really needs these things to help me along in life.

10- I'm thankful for new friends. Heather, Joni, Darlene, Tammy to name a few.

11- I'm thankful that I can talk to God anytime day or night about anything. I don't have to hide who I am or what I feel. He knows everything single tiny thing about me yet His love never fails. God is well aware of my past, present and future yet never leaves nor forsakes me. There is no one else like Him.

There's my list. Where's yours?


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Orphaned

This week Write On Edge asked us to write a memoir piece beginning with the words, “I miss my childhood”.


I miss my childhood because I wasn’t an orphan back then. It still stings to hear others talking about family holidays with their parents. I guess that sounds selfish but while I am trying to make new traditions that feel awkward and forced, others are enjoying the same traditions they’ve always had.

My mom carried on with most of our basic traditions after my dad passed away even though it was difficult for all of us. She was the backbone, the one who held us together. We continued to have Christmas Eve together with my brother’s family, all of us at her home. Even with the empty chair at the table we continued on with celebrations.

 Momma died, still hate to use that word, six years ago on December 5th. Christmas was a bomb needless to say. No tree, no decorations and few gifts. We made it through but it was the worst Christmas I have ever experienced.

I became an orphan at 41. Sounds strange I suppose but that’s what I was. That’s what I am. That’s what I will always be. I’ve come to grips with it and in no way begrudge anyone else the blessing of parents. Sometimes I’m envious that I don’t have what others have. I get angry when women talk about their mothers using bitter, sarcastic even hateful words. My thought is, “You’ll regret saying that one day.”

I’ve fallen short with my own family while setting new traditions. In trying to plan new things it usually doesn’t pan out the way I want it to. Maybe my heart isn’t in it. I know what some of you are thinking, “Get it together woman. You’ve got a family of your own to think about.” Yes I know that. I’ve told myself that for years.

Depression is a hard thing to kick even when you know you have others counting on you. In fact knowing that makes it even more overwhelming. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries of deaths are all hard days and I still struggle. The anniversary of my dad’s death was yesterday. Someone asked me, “It was 12 years ago shouldn’t you be over it by now?” I replied, “Well since you haven’t lost your dad I guess you don’t know what it’s like but I still remember what happened to him on this day every year.”

I’m not writing this to get sympathy or pity but it’s therapeutic and healing to get out into words what I hold in my heart. Many thanks to Write On Edge for pushing me to write about the hard things, the buried things when I otherwise probably wouldn’t.



Friday, September 2, 2011

Blogging Changed My Life


I sit in my favorite recliner, laptop propped just right, staring at a blank Word document. Many ideas running through my head but none seem to be right for this particular writing prompt. I just checked my stats and they are really low from yesterday and today. I’m thinking I need to come up with something fantastic. Unfortunately I just don’t have anything fantastic today.

Less than a year ago I would never have been thinking about such things. I wasn’t even familiar with the concept of blogging. My life was rather simple but I needed to find a part time job and I wanted to do it from home. My sister-in-law told me about an online company she freelanced for doing various jobs so I signed up.

I looked at the different areas of online work available and found the only one I was interested in was freelance writing. Why, I don’t know. Up to that point the only published writing I had done was a few poems placed in the county paper by my elementary teacher when I was eight years old.

My writing experience as an adult was limited to weekly Bible studies I wrote for the women’s classes I taught. But I put a bid on one freelance job that felt right. Remember I have no clue what I’m doing here. Can you believe that the job I bid on had already invited me to bid on it before I bid on it?! Does that make sense? It boils down to this, I got a freelance writing job contributing to an online women’s magazine once a week. Immediately it turned into a weekly column called Moore On Life. Not that I’m that good but I believe things happen for a purpose to lead us down the path for which we are intended. This was the beginning of my new journey.

My next job was writing a biography for an Italian family. I interviewed a couple who lived through the Depression and World War 2. It was written as a children’s book so their grandchildren would always know their family heritage. Amazing story and it created in me a love for American history that I’ve never had before.

There were other jobs from this online source but once I began blogging it consumed my time. I have spent hundreds of hours researching the internet trying to discover how to build a successful blog. I’ve read tons of blogs over the last months getting to know bloggers. My husband does not know what has happened to me because I am a computer junkie now. It takes a lot of time but I so love it.

I write all this to say my life has been changed since I entered this world of internet and blogging. I am learning to balance my time, make friends, and how to be myself to the world. Accepting that what I have to say doesn’t matter to most people has been hard at times. However if I have the chance to influence a few people that should be enough right? I truly want that to be enough for me.


Prompt from Write on Edge
This week, with Labor Day and the end of summer rapidly approaching, we asked you to write about a season of change for your character or you. It can be literal or metaphorical.



Check out my other place Grace Full Women. Inspiration from God to women.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10 Really Good Movies




1- Secondhand Lions. A tale of 2 elderly, eccentric uncles (Robert Duvall, Micheal Cain) with a hidden fortune on their property. Their young nephew Walter gets dumped off for the summer by his mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and he hears of the action adventures his uncles experienced when they were young men. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and plenty of dogs, which you know I love. Wonderful family movie.

2- A Beautiful Mind. Russell Crowe stars in this true story of a brilliant mathematician with mental illness who receives the Nobel Peace Prize. Lengthy movie, thought-provoking, nominated for many awards. I finally saw it a few weeks ago and it now rates as one of my all time favorites. Watch this when you can set aside some time without distraction.

3- Everybody’s Fine. This movie hit home for me because our family has had similar circumstances over the last few years. The story revolves around a widower who is trying to hold his family together after the passing of his wife, who was the glue for him and his adult kids. Robert DeNiro, quite possibly one of my top 5 fav actors, gives a stellar performance in a role like I’ve never before seen him. Drew Barrymore plays one of his daughters who helps him past one of the most tragic times in his life. You do not want to miss this one.

4- A Rumor of Angels. This is a tender story of a wise old woman and a traumatized young boy who witnessed his mother’s death in a car accident. Vanessa Redgrave stars in this bittersweet movie that did not get rave reviews mainly because of its spiritual content. I enjoyed it because I do believe in a hereafter and the comfort that it brings. I do not necessarily believe it the way the movie describes it but I was ok with the presentation for a fiction movie.

5- The Blind Side. Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw in the story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family. Great family movie, one scene not suitable for children.

6- All the Twilight movies. You know the vampire/werewolf/teenage girl love story saga? Love them all!

7- Meet the Parents. Okay I had to put a comedy on the list and this one I love. I have watched this one umpteen times. Ben Stiller and once again my man Robert DeNiro. hilarious!

8- Gran Torino. Clint Eastwood as a disgruntled Korean War vet who sets out to reform his neighbor, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal his prized possession: his 1972 Gran Torino. A story of friendship, death, gangs and racism but this movie gives a taste of the real world.

9- The Bucket List. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two men dying of cancer who set out to fulfill a list of things they want to do before they die. In the process they become the best of friends. This movie draws one into thinking about mortality and living life to the fullest.

10- Independence Day and Men in Black only because Will Smith is hilarious and aliens are an interesting concept. I mean I like both movies but Will and aliens are a winning combo at the theater or on DVD.

It's your turn. Got any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Facebook Fans Whoo Hoo on Thankful Tuesday!




Today is Thankful Tuesday here at Pics! I asked my Facebook Fans to tell me what they are celebrating. So I have my Pom Poms up in the air and I’m shaking them like crazy because we have so much to CELEBRATE here at Pic, Prayers and Pom Poms! Here we go:





1-    I’m so excited that I have 30 Facebook fans. I know it’s not huge but I am thankful for my faithful friends who "liked" me this week. These are peeps who want to thank and praise God for the great things He has and is doing. And maybe I'm kidding myself but maybe they want to read my blog too.

2-    Chelle has so much she’s thankful for: “ Woo Hooing because we serve an Awesome God and He’s showing up and showing out in my life. I am so humbled by everything He is doing and wake up every day breathless to see what is going to happen.

3-    Jennifer says,” I am a big FAN of what God is doing in & through your life!!! WooHoo!!!"  Thanks my sweet friend. I’m a fan of what He’s doing too!

4-    I celebrated time with hubby and wrote a post about it here.

5-    Me again. I thanked God for second chances and my niece Jennifer Amened it!

6-    My new friend Joni says, “Thanking God for the storms......I lean on HIM more and trust Him as He is my anchor!” I praised Him cause He’s faithful.

7-    My niece Christina (Tina) says, “I am thankful for this baby and that he is so healthy and hasn’t had no complications through this pregnancy and thankful for Taylor and my mom and thankful to still have my dad and thankful for my whole family and that I’m still here and thankful that I’m loved!!!” You are loved my dear.

8-    Chelle comes back again and celebrates some more, “I am thankful and blessed to see another day and to be able to share the love of Jesus with others. I am surrounded by wonderful friends who have become like extended family and I able to practice pouring into to others and change lives. Thank you to Jesus for letting me know I was someone worth dying for…” Oh my gosh does that not speak volumes! Pom Poms people!

9-    Last but not least Chelle, whom I’ve yet to meet personally but intend to spend some time with very soon gave me great encouragement when she said, “Woo hoo for Pics, Prayers and Pompoms!! “ Yeah!
10- I'm thankful for Shining Lighthouse Ministries.

That’s what this is all about on Thankful Tuesdays. Join the rest of us as we pull out our symbolic or literal Pom Poms and cheer for anything, anyone, and thank God for His many blessings.

If you’d like to receive regular updates from this blog look in the right side and find the subscribe button and either follow or subscribe by email. Just do it and join in the CELEBRATION!

Oh how I’d love it if you’d join in the fun on Facebook. Just sign in and search for Pics, Prayers and Pompoms, then “Like” my page.  Am I asking too much from you? We’re building community here folks with all likeminded people, it’ll be worth it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Celebrating Togetherness Through Big Brother TV

life.com


I'm a reality TV fan. Is that sad or what? However it promotes camaraderie between The Train and myself. He watches Big Brother 13 and Survivor with me. It's amazing how reality TV brings us together and makes for great conversation.

Train: Hey I watched a fight on YouTube between Shelly and Jordan today. Wonder if they'll show it tonight?

Me: Oh I want to see it. I hope they do. Well if they don't I can see it on Youtube too.

Train: I saw an interview with Jeff after he got kicked out of the house. Connie asked him why he thought he got voted out. He said, "Cause I'm Big Jeff." He was joking but I hate it when he refers to himself in the first person.

Me: I do to. It's weird. Did he say why he really thought they got rid of him?

Train: He thinks they're all jealous of his success playing the game.

Then the two of us settled down and watched another episode and I actually got to see the fight between Shelly and Jordan, the fight between Shelly and Jeff. And the fight between Shelly and Adam. Wow was there anybody Shelly wasn't fighting with or lying to last night? Nope not really.

But we love it that Porsche is stepping up her game just like Jeff told her to. If you don't watch or missed it Jeff put Porsche on the block and said he did it to give her the chance to play the game insinuating she'd not been playing up til then. Hey Hey Jeff she played well bud when she won the Power of Veto and left you on the block instead of using it on you. Even under your intimidation and prodding she stood her ground.

Then we watched as Porsche also won Head of Household this week but released Pandora's Box on the house. Although she won $5000 it brought back pairs. Pairs will play the game together, win and lose together for one week. Bad, bad timing for this to come into play.

Celebrating today time with my honey. Love is full of surprises and I never thought I'd see the day I would watch 26 episodes of National Geographic documentaries about WW2. And. Like. It. Even more surprising is the Train enjoying Big Brother with me! God does work in mysterious ways doesn't He?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Only In His Mind...



As he lay in the hospital bed I watched as he drew in a deep breath as if he was smoking a cigarette. I had seen him do this thousands of times over the years, but this was a hallucination. The pain medication had taken him to a place he loved, a place of indulgence with cigarettes, beer, and all his favorite food. His imagination took him there because he had not been allowed to go for weeks since his colon ruptured.

My father was a strong, virile man, my hero. When this awful tragedy happened I watched as he became a weak, frail man who didn’t know the world around him. And this day he was no different. He was enjoying his imaginary game so I played right along.

“Hey can you get me a chocolate milkshake?” I shook my head and said,” Are you sure about that?” He took another long draw from his Winston and said, “Oh yeah, it will feel good on my throat, I’m so thirsty.” Knowing he could not have anything pass between his lips I told a lie, something I didn’t do very often to my daddy, “Ok, next time I go to McDonald’s I’ll bring back a chocolate milkshake.” That seemed to satisfy for the moment and he replied, “Thanks sweetie and how bout gettin’ me another pack of cigarettes too?”

When I left his room that day I did not know it would be the last conversation I would have with him. The next day he was put into a drug induced coma and passed away a week later. He is in heaven waiting on me now.

We found two cigarette butts in his heavy marble ashtray at home. I keep them in a Ziploc bag, in a box, in my closet, in my mind, in my heart…




This was originally written as a response for The Red Dress Club but I am submitting it today for a new prompt from The Dare To Share link up Loss over at the The Lightening and the Lightening Bug.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Set Free



Dark, nothingness, self destruction.

Help, love, acceptance.

Hope, confidence, wholeness.

Celebration! LIFE! Freedom!



Prompt from my friends at  Write on Edge. Great challenge to write a story in a tweet. 140 characters.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mother/Daughter Look Alike

The lovely Fox (daughter) and I took a trip to Charleston in July. We wanted to see if we looked alike so we took some crazy pics of ourselves. this is the result of the best time we've ever had together! This is also Day 2 of Shamelessness, Act A Fool.

I know feet aren't something everybody likes to look at but I like nice looking feet. These are nice feet don't you think?
 Here we did our eyes. Similar in many ways huh? Even the shape of our eyebrows. The Fox can raise one eyebrow higher than the other when she laughs real hard or smiles real big. I can't do that.
Trying for noses here. We knew they were very different before we took the pic because she has her daddy's nose only it's more womanly,,, does that make sense?
Now I know we don't look very smart here but we were trying to see if our lips were the same. I'm not sure if there's a resemblence because it's hard to tell with all the puckering going on.

Hands. I love hands. However after viewing this pic I discover just how wrinkled my hands are. So I am in a regular routine of handcare now. I'll take another pic in a few weeks and we'll see if they have improved.

After a very long day of touring Charleston and acting crazy with the camera the giggles took over and I could not stop laughing. Then The Fox got started and this was the result. We're pretty good with a camera don't you think. I mean in hysterics and still taking pics!

So do you think we look alike? Do your kids look like you?








Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Didn't Know She Knew


This is my response to a  prompt from Write on Edge. I have several memories that I could have written about but most I can't put on paper at this time. This is the one I felt I needed to write about for now.

This week we asked you to explore your worst memory.
What was it? How did it affect you? What would you have done differently, if anything? We wanted you to imagine the act of writing it would free you from it.
Some of you have memories too personal to share. We understand, and we are grateful for those who are sharing with us.We are a supportive community here, and I am sure that will continue as we read and comment on your pieces.


She told me she remembered. I didn’t know she knew.

My daughter shared with me about the time she sat outside the bathroom door crying. Me, I was inside in a bathtub full of water. The door locked, the water hot, the steam billowing up, the mirror fogged.

I longed for another place and time. I wasn’t sure where that place and time was but I didn’t want to be there.

I longed to disappear into the air just like the steam. Invisibility would be best for me.



How heartbroken I was the day she told me she knew why I was in that room of despair and defeat.

I admitted that her fear was real. I did not want to go on. I lay in that tub contemplating if I could actually do it. Time lingered on and she said she waited. She knocked. I don’t remember. She asked me if she could come in. I don’t remember. Memory slips during depression. I do remember  why I didn't do it. She and her little brother were my reason for living.

My little girl was frightened she would lose her mommy that day and I was unaware of it. The memory of that day is vague but the memory of her tears as she recalled how scared she was at the time is fresh in my mind and heart. I am sorry for the pain I caused but I am thankful she finally shared it with me just a few years ago. We found opening up, being real and transparent is when healing begins.

My beautiful daughter is now 27 years old, a middle school teacher and in the process of working on her doctorate two nights a week. I am proud of what she has accomplished but I am in awe of who she is becoming. And I know hard experiences like this one helped make her the strong, compassionate woman she is today.
As for me I have found my identity and finally realized God's love for me is real and alive inside my soul. This is the truth that makes me whole. Does depression ever creep up on me sometimes? Yes but I know truth. I take meds. I have friends and family who know where I've been, some have been there too, and they accept me anyway. This keeps me sane.
30 Days of Shamelessness, a challenge from Lance My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.

I am not ashamed that I like the television show Little House on the Prairie. It was one of my favorites growing up.



Me, brother, Mama and Daddy would eat dinner and gather in the living room for television almost every night. My brother and I laid two kitchen chairs down with the backs propped up like a ladder and used then as a contraption to lay on in the floor. No remote in those days kept one of us close to the TV set so we could change it to one of the 7 local channels. If my memory serves correct Channel 2 hosted Little House on the Prairie.



 I loved Mary Ingalls. As a child I thought she was  beautiful with her blond hair and blue eyes, a far cry from my mousy brown hair and hazel eyes. She inspired me for many years as she became blind, got married, became a teacher, had a baby, lost the baby and still carried on through crisis after crisis.

I might have been in love with Charles Ingalls for a few years. He was gorgeous, strong and took wonderful care of his family. I always saw him as the hero all the years I watched. And I saw him cry. When Charles cried I cried. It never failed. That man could bring me to tears then an can bring me to tears now as I watch reruns. I love him still.





Although Laura was the main character of the show and I liked her somewhat she just never floated my boat. I'm not a tomboy type and she was. She could be on the whiny side and I don't like whiny, unless it's me that's whiny. One thing I did enjoy was her relationship with Pa. It reminded me of my relationship with my dad. He would have done anything to protect his little girl and she loved him to the ends of the earth. Same with me and my dad. I miss him.

Nellie, Willie, and Mrs Olson I disliked  because even as a child I could not stand to see the materially privileged hold their wealth over the heads of the less fortunate. Truth is the Ingalls were more fortunate in many ways as they had love, acceptance, truth, faith, kindness and real true heart. They never even knew they were missing anything. Where love abounds there is wholeness.

OK so I like Little House On the Prairie and I am not ashamed of it. What are some of your old favorites? Come now don't be ashamed tell me.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wedding Day with a Glitch or Two




The Hound’s wedding day was a success. However there were a few glitches.


1-     I forgot to order the bride’s bouquet. Luckily after a few phone calls I found a florist who said she could have it done by 3:30. Awesome! The wedding was at 4:30.

2-     As I was blow drying my hair at 2:45ish I got a phone call. On the other end was my hubby. The conversation went something like this:


You’ll never guess what happened?


Don’t tell me you had a flat tire!


How did you know? I did. I saw a big piece of metal in the road and ran over it.


Why?


I didn’t mean to run over it! Anyway I’m on the side of the road. I’m gonna try to make it on time.



What! You better make it on time. I’ll come get you if I have to, no I can’t I have to get to the florist first and get the bouquet….



3-     Understand the wedding is at 4:30. I am frantically trying to remember what I am supposed to be doing while blow drying my hair and praying, “Please God get him there, get him there.” He got there.

4-     3:40 The Hound, The Bride and me jump in the car and head to the florist. We make it on time, grab the bouquet and head to the courthouse.

5-     4:00 I talk to my sister-in-law and she tells me the courthouse I planned on going to was not in the place I thought it was. This is a common thing that happens to me often. She gave me directions.

6-     4:03 I am flipping out again. My sense of direction is not "on target" so I am questioning where I am going and whether I will get there by 4:30.

7-     4:06 The Fox calls wanting directions and because I am so frantic I’m not sure I even know where it is so I can’t tell her. She freaks out, “Its 4:06 and you can’t tell me where to go to see my brother get married?!” After a few choice words between us we hung up. I called hubby and had him deal with the irate Fox.

8-     4:20 We pull in to the parking lot, go inside, have a seat and wait to be called.

9-     Finally we are called. We go into an empty courtroom and find the judge waiting to get started.

10-  The Hound and The Bride stand before a very kind judge who performs a perfect ceremony that ends with a heartfelt prayer.

The courtroom became a warm family gathering celebrating a wonderful couple who intend to spend eternity together. We could not have asked for a more perfect wedding than this one. It was God given and God ordained.

I am thankful that He can turn frantic into calm, cold into warmth, harried into peace and time into more time. I’m thankful He can take a woman who forgets to do last minute things and make her messes right.

The wedding was small, intimate and beautiful and that’s just the way it was supposed to be. Pompoms are in order here.