Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Last call for Relay

So, Relay for Life is this coming Saturday and it's my last request for sponsorship.  So many of us have had our lives touched in some way by cancer and though at times it may feel like we will never find a cure, we can't give up!  We have to keep working for a cure!  So, my challenge to all of you is that if your life has in some way been touched by this horrible disease, please click on the link below to give a donation.  Even a dollar or five dollars makes a difference!  I'm not sure how close to my goal I am , as I have given the team captain several donations by hand and they are not yet reflected on my site.  But the beauty is that if you click on the link, you can donate right over the web! 

So, I challenge everyone who reads here in the next 48 hours to make a donation to help fight cancer and I thank you all in advance for what you are going to do!  Remember that no contribution is too small; every penny counts!  Just think; the worst that can happen is that you just may help save a life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Just a short story today as I spent all day yesterday in the ER with the Brit.  He is feeling better today, thankfully.

JJ  came downstairs today with an envelope, which he asked me to open.  On the envelope was a white dove and when I opened it,  onthe front of the card  spelled out was "The Bible" in his little handwriting.  Inside the card was a picture of scripture and he had signed it, "Love, JJ and God."  I fussed over it and thanked him profusely and then he said, "You can keep the envelope too mom, because it's a dove and a dove is God's favorite bird.  That's because doves eat flies and flies don't do anything special, except poop on our food."

Not sure he learned that last part in Sunday School.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Down Time

Had a very quiet day today, which was nice for a change.  I had the day off work for the most part, though I was in for awhile this afternoon to take care of a couple of things, so the day started out with dozing in until about 8:30.  My hero, the Brit, made sure both kids got out the door for school, so there was no need to rush around this morning, or for me to take JJ to the bus.  Once the house was quiet, I curled up on the couch with a book for the next two hours, before heading out to Curves and to run a few errands.

Aaron had a birthday party to go to after school, so he rode the bus home with the birthday boy and should be calling in the next hour for us to come get him, so the house was mine until elementary school got out at 3:30.  Typically, I would tend to spend a quiet day off work cleaning or doing laundry, but decided against that today.  After all, the kids will be out of school in under two weeks (Where did the year go??  Aaron will be in 7th grade in the fall!  Sheesh!) so any down time is pretty much out now until the end of August.

It takes a few weeks around here for everyone to grow accustomed to the summer schedule, the kids included.  They are used to the structure they have been in since September, and even leading a life of luxury for almost three months takes a little time to settle into.  Then once we get used to it, it is nearly time for school shopping.  Go figure.

I just finished reading the latest Yada Yada book today and though I loved it, I'm always a little sad at the end as the next one will probably not be out for a year.  When I first discovered the series last year, it was wonderful because I read all of them, sans the newest, right after each other.  I relate to Jodi Baxter so much in her spiritual struggles and the rest of the characters come to life on the pages as well.  As I finished that book off tonight, I started one that my sister's pastor wrote called "Stripped".  My sister lives in Henderson, right outside of Las Vegas, so you can imagine the amazing stories that take place within this book.  Only fifty-something pages into it and I am already in awe of what God can do in the most unlikely of places.

Have a good weekend, everyone, in the event I don't see you again until after it!  Be safe over the Memorial Day holiday!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just a Mundane, Wonderful Day

Not a whole lot to say, but today was an exceptionally nice day.  The Brit was off work today, so once I got off work, we met for sushi and wound up sitting right next to a friend I went to college with and his mother.  Dave directed "Steele Magnolias" when I did it with the Alumni Association and that was one of the two best times I have ever had on stage.  I was blessed enough to be cast with five other women that I had known for years, thus putting the friendships that needed to be portrayed on stage, already firmly in place.  We laughed, we cried, we cut up a lot during rehearsals, sometimes to the point that Dave would just throw his hands up in the air and walk out of the theater laughing.  It was good to catch up with him today and reminisce about old times.

After lunch, the Brit and I decided to go refrigerator shopping, which turned into a "maybe we just finally need to have the kitchen remodeled."  The people we bought the house from five years ago, put new cupboards, counters and a new floor in the kitchen...and for some reason chose to build it like a galley.  The room itself is a good sized room, but the working kitchen is all built into one corner.  So, we stopped in to speak to some folks about it tonight and they'll be coming to do measurements next week and then work us up some possibilities and the dreaded estimates.  We love this house, but the we nearly didn't buy it because of the kitchen.  It will be nice to see about finally getting it together and fixing its issues.

After getting home early this evening, I grabbed the ipod and headed for a walk around the park.  About halfway around, my neighbor from up the road, pulled up beside me, asking if I would call her the next time I decided to go walking.  She and I are just getting to know each other.  She has been going through a rough patch, and I've been an ear she can bend.  We've discussed relationships, God and health and I like her more and more each time I speak to her.

We are very blessed to live in a neighborhood full of good people who look out for each other, exchange baked goods at Christmas and chat back and forth on warm spring or summer evening.  The day we moved in five years ago, we met our neighbor across the street  because she showed up on our porch with a plate of brownies.  We were convinced we were in Mayberry.  It just reminds me of summer evening in California in the seventies where my parents would sit on the front porch with their next door neighbors, while the kids would all play together.  It's comforting to know that sometimes, you are fortunate enough to find a little piece of yesterday still intact thirty years later.  There aren't too many things we can say that about anymore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Just me thinking out loud here...don't throw anything

There are stories in the Bible that I love to ponder, question and wonder about the little details that are not mentioned in the story.  But then again, I may view the Bible a bit differently than some people do.  Yes, I do believe it is the inspired word of God, without a doubt, but there are some things I place more weight on than others.  The prime example is "Did Jesus say it?"

I admit to placing much more stock in something Jesus is documented as saying, especially when paralleling the Old Testament to the New Testament.  I believe that much of the Old Testament is a historical account and a showing of the times.  Let's face it, there are things in the OT that are no longer done in this day and age.  For example, there were slaves all over the place but we no longer find slavery an "acceptable" thing to do and it isn't.  But if you want to take every single word in the Bible at face value, you would have to say that you believed in slavery and my guess is that if you do, you don't want to say that out loud.

Another belief for me is that you can find any passage in the Bible you desire to suit your current need.  Someone looking on whether or not it is biblically appropriate to seek revenge on someone who has wronged you, can either see "turn the other cheek" or "an eye for an eye."  We can read whatever we want to read into scripture.  The Bible contradicts itself on several occasions, but come on, it was written by how many different people??  Biblically, did Judas die from hanging himself or from falling and having his insides burst open?  Matthew gives one account and Acts gives another.  In Googling for answers, there are those who explain it as he hung himself, the rope broke,  and then he fell and his insides burst open. Okay, so that is one way to put the two accounts together, but is it correct?  Only God knows for sure what happened.  So again, we can read into it whatever we want.  The point is that Judas knew he had betrayed Jesus and took his own life. 

If I could go back in history and meet any one person, I would love to meet the woman who committed adultery in the book of John.  I love to speculate on this story and about what it can possibly mean for us today. 

This woman is caught in the act apparently, and dragged before Jesus by "teachers of the law and the Pharisees."  My first thought was, where is the man she was cheating with?  After all, it does take two.  Did they just leave him alone because he was male, or did he go and hide some place and just leave her to take the heat alone?  Seems pretty low to me.

I have to wonder too, if the teachers of the law and the Pharisees were all men or were there women present as well, ready to cast stones upon her.  As a female, I'd have to think that there would be a part of me very sympathetic towards another woman who had sinned and was facing death.  But either way, here are all these self righteous people standing there with stones in their hands, wanting to kill her for her sin.  I can only imagine how she must have felt.  Ashamed.  Afraid.  Waiting for the first infliction of pain on her body and then knowing that more and more pain would follow until she could feel no more.  Can you imagine the terror?  Was she trembling or standing tall in defiance?  The Bible doesn't say, but it is very clear on Jesus' position.

He knelt down and stated that anyone in the crowd who has never made a mistake, broken a rule, told a lie...anyone who has never sinned  can throw the first rock at her.  He was stating that only the person in the crowd who had never even had a sinful thought could raise a hand to hurt her.  This is one of the single most powerful pieces of scripture for me, because no matter how many ways you can interpret different passages in the Bible, this one is cut and dry for me.

Jesus knew that he was going to take every sin of the entire world onto his own shoulders and die for them.  He knew that there was nothing so bad, that his sacrifice would not wipe it away and in that moment, he was telling us how to treat each other.  Not just for that moment but forever.  He was saying, "Look at your own heart before you accuse another and only if you can find no fault with yourself, can you judge someone else."  I would venture to say that there is not a one of us who can look at ourselves and know that we are perfect.  In the darkness of night, when no one can see us, God knows everything we have done.  We can't hide from it.  Oh sure, we can hide it from the rest of the world.  We can keep our guilt and our dark secrets locked away in our hearts and never utter them aloud, but God knows them.  And he knows that there is not a one of us who does not have sin in their heart. 

There are other places in the Bible where adultery and its consequences are treated much more negatively, but to the best of my knowledge, the passage in John was the only time Jesus made mention of it.  I'm not saying that adultery is right, because it is not, but I am saying that Jesus was telling us not to judge one another on our sins.  And because Jesus said it, I put more stock into it.  His heart was pure love; he was God made man.  Please understand, that this post is not about adultery.  It's about judgment and forgiveness and making sure that we take good, long looks into our own hearts, before we speak stone cold words of judgment.  Even when Jesus tells her "Go and sin no more" he knows that is not possible.  Oh sure, maybe she never again committed adultery, but not sinning at all was just not do-able.

I just think that this passage shows us the level of God's forgiveness and grace.  It is one of my very favorites and when I get to Heaven, I hope I get a few minutes to talk to her.

Monday, May 21, 2007

There is something to be said for being able to plan

I got weighed and measured at Curves today and got my nose out of joint because I didn't do as well as I thought I should have.  I sulked my way around the circuit the first time, grumbling to myself about all the sacrifices I've been making and the walks around the park I've been taking and how dare my body not cooperate with all my hard efforts! 

It's amazing how we can work ourselves up to feeling righteous indignation, isn't it?  Very easy to do it when we don't examine ourselves too closely, and our sense of being "right" is enough to keep us from that self examination.  What was I talking about again??  Oh! Right, Curves.  For a minute there I thought I was someplace else.

Anyway, once the workout had taken the edge off my anger, I got down to the nitty gritty of the last couple of days.  I mentioned singing at two dinner banquets for an organization last Thursday and Friday night.  Well, unfortunately, one tends to eat at banquets as well.  Now, I tried to prepare for this by really watching my intake during the day both days, but let's be realistic, I have no idea how the food was prepared, or what ingredients were used.  At home, I am in perfect control of this.

Thursday night was not too bad, relatively speaking....or maybe it was.  The dinner theme was a BBQ and it was very good.  BBQ chicken and ribs; I had two small thighs and two ribs, a little potato salad, some fruit and literally one tiny dab of the peach cobbler, because I love me some peach cobbler and I had to have a taste.  But then there were also rolls and bread which are my hell and damnation to eating better.  I stay away from it at home, but if we go out and they bring warm rolls or bread to the table, I am a goner.  So, I think I had three dinner rolls.  Hell and damnation.

Then, after the part where I had to sing, we were all invited downstairs for an ice cream social.  Great.  Fabulous.  Just getting over the stress of singing with a sound system that did not play the backup tape loud enough while singing in front of a group of complete strangers had me feeling stressed and ice cream sounded like a plan.  Ugh.  I did refuse the second scoop when it was brought around, but the damage was already done.

Friday night, the dinner was not as good, but again, no clue how it was prepared.  Seafood Newburg over rice, potatoes(didn't finish what I took as I didn't like them), salad, damnable rolls again, some kind of chicken (didn't finish it; didn't like it) and prime rib, which I did not take as I've been really good about staying away from beef and I barely miss it at all.  Dessert: chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  Stupid banquets.  After singing, guess what?  Left over ice cream!

Saturday was clean up day at the church and lunch was provided: hot dogs, pretzels and dessert.  Went out to dinner Saturday night and Sunday night....and let's just say there is really no big surprise why my loss was not what it should have been.  Without the fatal four days proceeding it, it probably would have been a lot better.  Any one of those four days meals would have been fine, but not all of them.  So it is back to being strict and doing what I know works. 

It's definately a day to day struggle, but I have no doubt that the end result will be totally worth it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

TGIF...I think

So tonight is night numero two of this conference-I-am-part-of-the-entertainment-thing.  Did not get home until nearly 10:00 last night, just in time for CSI and please don't let Sara die.  Since waking up this morning, things have just not stopped and I'm tired.  Here's a sample.

Worked from 8:30-12:30 and had just tons to do today.  Barely got it all finished in time.  Left work, as despite feeling tired a wee bit out of sorts, I still needed to do the Curves thing, so I did.  Left there and came home to try to straighten up home that three men were left alone in last night for six hours.  Walked up on the porch and realized I needed to water my flowers and my plants, so:

Filled huge watering can full of water
Realized that the water made me want to pee, so went upstairs to deal with that.
Took care of nature and then realized that the sink in the bathroom needed to be cleaned.
Cleaned sink in bathroom as well as little bench and toilet.  Grumbled over why smashed up crackers were in the corner by the trash can.
Walked out of bathroom twenty minutes later and glanced in kid's room.
Took the next 45 minutes to clean up their room, from legos to towels and clothing on the floor. 
Checked in the Brit's and my room and hung up dress from last night. 
Decided to go ahead and start laundry, so piled all clothes from our hamper into portable laundry basket.
Did the same in the kid's room.
Took towels that I just hung up in the bathroom (previously on kid's floor) and threw them in portable laundry basket as well. 
Dragged baskets along with handful of ink pens found in kid's room downstairs (I had wondered just this morning where all my pens went!).
Remembered that I was going to water the plants, but decided to start laundry first.
Carted laundry down the next flight of stairs to basement.  Started a load.  Went back upstairs, forgetting to grab something out of freezer to cook for men for dinner.
Picked up watering can to water plants.  Phone rings.  Quickly set watering can on table  and water sloshes everywhere.
Answer phone.
Get off phone and finally water plants and flowers.
Clean up kitchen; put away dishes from last night, wash dishes, wipe off counters, stove and table.
Deal with piles of mail that are lying around and throw away broken picture frame.
Take vacuum upstairs to clean up there and especially to pick up smashed up cracker from bathroom floor.
Go back down to basement and switch loads of laundry over.  Remember to get dinner out of freezer.
Come upstairs and get dinner ready to roll.
Iron (Iron??) dress for tonight's event.
Read about Monkee talking about knitting (you can do it!)
Finally eat a little bit of cantalope.
Go upstairs and get dressed for tonight's event.
Apply fresh makeup
Put peas in pot to start cooking them.
Next step is putting Brit's potatoe in the microwave to cook.

But they say I only work 20 hours a week.....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Royal Blood

JJ: Mom, do you have a birthmark?

Me: (unsure and looking at my mother) Not that I know of.  Does everyone have one?

Nana: I have one.

JJ: Where is it?

Nana: On my butt.

JJ: Can I see?

Nana (laughing) No!

JJ: (Reaches around to back of his head to the bottom of his hair line) Mine is right here.  All kings have them.

Me: So, you're a king now?

JJ: Yup

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Short and sweet

I'm pretty tired tonight but I always feel guilty not blogging during the week, so here ya go.

Because I didn't blog over the weekend, I failed to say "Happy Mother's Day" to all you moms out there!  I also forgot to say "Happy Birthday, Brit!" as Sunday was his birthday as well as Mother's Day.

My mother-in-law, after a years wait, finally had hip surgery today and all went well.  I know that health care in England doesn't cost them a penny...or a pound rather, but she had to wait an entire year in pain before finding some relief.  I'm just glad it is over, that it went well, and she can now get on with her life without being in constant pain. 

Today was busy.  Grocery day, laundry day, did some gardening out back, grilled for dinner and finally by 8:00, I could settled in to watch American Idol.  Hard to believe that next week another season will be over!  I don't watch tons of television because I generally have other things I either need or want to do, but I do get very wrapped up in AI each year.  I'm predicting that Blake will go home tomorrow night as I have said all along that Jordin and Melinda should be in the finals.  Let's see if I get that one right.

The rest of the week is shaping up to be equally as busy.  The oldest son has therapy tomorrow night, then Thursday and Friday, I'm singing at banquets with a friend. So for now, off to bed!  Good night to all!

Monday, May 14, 2007


I'm a little iffy on doing this post, but I've had it planned all weekend.  The reason being is that my dear friend, Lisa, had to put down her eighteen year old kitten on Saturday.  Lisa, I'd love to have a picture of Teddi to honor her here, but that it up to you.  The rest of you, send her warm fuzzy lovin' please.

I had promised Monkee that she would have a proper introduction to my six kitties.  I may not do this in consecutive days, but I will get the ball rolling tonight!

This is Hannah, aka, Baby Hannah or sometimes Hannah Banana...or as my mother calls her, "I hate that cat." 

I met Hannah when she was brought into the veterinary hospital where I once worked, and she was a tiny, strangley little kitten with all kinds of issues.  We fed her by syringe in the hospital and she was soon nursed back to health and before I knew it, I was bringing her home.

She's quirky as I like to call her.  If she wants petted and you are not accomodating her petting need, she will nip you, which is why my mother hates her.  Hannah hates to hear anyone yelling, even if I am only calling up the stairs to the kids to come down.  The first chance she gets, Hannah will race up onto me and try to nip me, all the while talking as if to say, "What's wrong?  Why are you yelling?  Tell me!"

A couple of weeks ago, the Brit and I were watching television and two of the other kitties were fascinated with something on the front porch as they were perched on the back of the sofa in front of the window.  We figured we had a stray cat outside and just let the cats have their fun gazing at it.  It never occured to us that they weren't growling or making other horrendous noises as one would expect when encountering a stray.  An hour later, I got up to head into the computer room and noticed that the two felines were still completely enthralled at the window.  As it was dark outside, I walked to the front door and switched on the porch light, affirming that there was a cat on my porch.  An instant later, I realized the "Stray" was Hannah.  I was amazed that she had never left in the porch during her little adventure, but now we have to be careful as she is always trying to escape.  When she does slip out, all I have to do is open the door and tell her to "get in here" and she runs right in.  Quirky.

She has very healthy habits and loves to finish off a yogurt for the Brit.  She has an incredibly loud purr and can amuse herself for hours, chasing shadows, her tail, or a favorite toy.  She is one of my two who love to carry a favorite item in her mouth and then walk around the house with it meowing loudly.  When I ask her what she has, she immediately drops it and runs to me for some lovin'.  She's quirky but she's mine.

Oh and guess what I have out back on my porch??


Friday, May 11, 2007

One last time

Okay, I am going to address this once and only once and then I am moving on.

The past week, this blog has been exploited and not used for its intended purpose.  The purpose of this journal is for me to stay in touch with family and friends and for me to journal about my life, and my feelings about my life.  End of sentence.  This blog has been in existence for over a year and has experienced no issues until lately.

From what I can best piece together, I emailed a question to someone that I consider a friend who I do not usually email.  At the bottom of my emails is my blog address, so the fact that the blog got out there was an innocent mistake on my part, but from that moment on, the fault of anyone's wounded feelings or misplaced anger is not mine.  If this blog was forwarded to the folks who have started their own church, that was a decision made by someone else.  If the purpose was simply to stir up the pot once more, then people succeeded in doing that.  Whether that was the right or wrong thing to do is not for me to say.

I don't really see any other reason for forwarding this blog address other than to stir things up.  If people were using the blog for its intended purpose all of a sudden, then why not just pick up the phone and call me to see how I am and how my family is.  No, that was not the case.  The purpose of passing on my feelings to those who do not agree (there's a shocker, now right?  We are all aware of the fact that we don't agree or we would all still be worshiping in the same building.) was to get people riled up because I wrote about things from my perspective. 

I pay for this domain name and for this space to use as my journal.  So, I own it.  It is mine, so if you are going to flame me in my "house" so to speak, you can probably expect me to defend it.  I would venture to say that if I walked into your house and started spewing out insults, you'd do the same, as you should.  My feelings are mine and this domain is mine.  It seems simple enough.

In eight months, I have not mentioned the split in the church until someone who shall remain nameless, decided to drudge up an eight month old entry and take issue with it.  Maybe it's just me, but that seems a little nuts.  They decided to take issue with the feelings I was working out in my journal about a healing service.  A healing service did stir things up for me and I worked through my issues here, on my property.  I went back to read that entry after receiving the flaming comment, and took note that I did not call anyone names nor insult anyone.  I was trying to work out what the purpose was of a unity service, if unity was only the intent one way.  When I mentioned the word "hypocrisy", the sentence began with "From my point of view".  I was not slanderous nor judgmental.  I simply spoke of how things looked from my side.  When I stated at the end of that entry that " I want to be able, with a clear heart, to wish them all the best and every blessing in their new church."
I meant that and now am able to feel just that and have been feeling it for the better part of eight months.  The healing service did indeed help me heal, though I was unsure if it was possible to begin with.  By God's grace, that's what happened.

I feel I blogged responsibly about my feelings and I take a great deal of effort to not mention names in here, other than first names in order to keep things as private as possible.  I am so incredibly over what happened at that church a year and half ago, it's unbelievable, thus the reason it has not been blogged about for eight months.  Believe me, if it was still forefront in my mind, there would have been much more said about it.

I have thought long and hard about the issues that have transpired this last week and the decision I have made is that if anyone chooses to flame me again here, I may or may not respond to it, but either way, I will ban the IP address from being able to leave comments again.  I've already done that for the last commenter. It's not what I want to do, however, I also don't want to have eight month to a year old battles on my blog.  I have much bigger fish to fry.  I have a family to care for, and a church to help grow, and my health to be dealing with.  I have a relationship with God that deepens every single day.  I have knitting to do for heaven's sake and cat hair to clean up!  I simply have not the time nor the desire to deal with this any longer.  I have moved on and it's time everyone else does too...on both sides.  As I told the visitor I had the other day who was from the "other side", disagreeing does not have to make us enemies.  It was so nice to hear this person agree with that statement and we discussed how everyone, on both sides, needed to get over it.  

I hope you all stick around and read if that is what you want to do, but if you are just waiting for me to go off on a tangent about the split, I have not had that need in eight months, until someone rehashed it here.  So, if that is what you are waiting for, you'd may as well move on now.  If that isn't what you're waiting for, then welcome and I hope you occasionally find something here to make you laugh or smile.

God's blessings to all. 

I wish you all the best.  I truly do. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Random Wednesday

So how about we hit a few updates, shall we?

The Knitting

The knitting is still happening but the current project is top secret.  With MDSW last weekend, and sitting down for an hour or so in the evening to knit, I have been reminded once again how much I love this hobby.  I am a mediocre knitter at best, but I can knit a mistake free scarf, hat or prayer shawl and even occasionally churn out a felted purse.  But I just love the yarn, the smell of it, the feeling of it in my hands as they work the needles with the stitches.  It's a pleasure that I never could have imagined having.  The feeling of creating something with my's nearly an unrivaled feeling.

The weight loss

This is still going well, though I have given up the scale for the time being as I was a becoming obssessed with getting on it not only every day, but several times every day.  But I am at Curves three days a week and the  two off days, I have been walking.  I feel incredible and clothing is getting looser by the week.  The eating healthy foods and only eating bad foods occasionally has become a habit now and I rarely have to think about what I'm doing.  It's nice to have that control.

The Cats

The cat pictures and stories are coming, I promise.  I have not forgotten.  I'm just having issues getting decent pictures of my two black baby boys.  I gotta tell ya, I love all six of my fur kids, and though the two boys are a little nuts and a wee bit goofy, they hold a special place in my heart.  Their little personalities are so simple.  They just make me happy.

Visited by an old friend

I had a visitor at the church today that I can not begin to tell you how nice it was to see this person.  Sometimes when I feel like I'm seeing so much negativity, so much of it turns around just by having a warm and simple conversation with someone I have always liked.  We discussed agreeing to disagree on certain things, but that doing so should not make us enemies.  It was nice to be on the same page.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Keeping it Real

My friend, Maryam, has voted me one of her "real people" bloggers and her friend made her real bloggers the little award you now see on the sidebar.  I try to keep it real here and to call them as I see them, so thank you, for the vote!  Very much appreciated!

You're only getting two posts in one day as I've been tagged to list my top five favorite locations to eat, locally.  We only go out to dinner about once a week and for the most part, I despise chain restaurants, so I'm hoping I have five as this place is loaded with chains!

1. RC Chings:  Last year, I discovered I love sushi and if you want sushi, this is the place to get it.  They do a steady business but it's not generally packed.  Great service and fabulous sushi.

2. Next Dimensions: Great atmosphere and incredible crab cakes.  Their honey mustard salad dressing is also out of this world.

3. Always Rons:  Another crab cake worth having.

4. Though it's a chain, Buffalo Wild Wings is a great place to take the kids for a simple meal where I can see the boys with wing sauce from one end of their faces to the other.

5.  Now I'm stuck.... well, actually, though I don't go there often (maybe once or twice a year if that), The Plum downtown is wonderful for lunch.  They are only open for a couple of hours each day, but they have great sandwiches and a cozy atmosphere.

So, there is my top five this evening.

It's What You Make of it

Did you ever have a discovery day?  One of those days when things you have heard your entire life suddenly makes sense.  I had one of those days today.

Today started out with a curve ball I was not expecting and though it would have been so such simpler to respond to vindictiveness with more of the same, I elected not to do that in the long run.  The fact of the matter is that I cannot change people; I can only change how I react to them. 

I had a whole 'nother post here only moments ago, but God changed my mind.  Frustration was running deep and I elected to go for the mile walk around the park to try to burn some of it off.  So, I grabbed my ipod and headed out the door.  That was all it took.

Once I stepped outside, God was everywhere; in the clear blue sky and the breeze that flitted through the trees.  He was in the sparkle on the lake and in the little ducks who were either swimming across the lake or nesting near the bushes.  He was in the trees that are finally growing full and green.  My heart was suddenly so much lighter and my spirit happier.  Tunes wafted through my ipod such as "My Savior, My God", "Oceans", "Great is Thy Faithfulness", "Morning Star", and even "So You Had a Bad Day."  It was interesting that God found it fit to throw that song into the shuffle mix. 

God is working on my heart all the time; teaching me patience and enlightening me to such things as the fact that I can't change anyone.  He can, but I am powerless to do it.  I can't help how anyone reacts to anything, only how I react to them.  But I'm not taking the bait.  With God at my side, I can rise above anything and for that I am eternally thankful.

As I came down the hill nearer to home, I found my thoughts praising Him for a remarkably beautiful day, for a body that is on its way to health, for a heart that is able to forgive, and that is open enough to hear that still small voice. 

It's all good.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2007

Wow!  I can't believe it is over already!  I start looking forward to it around March and then the day finally arrives, and after so much anticipation, here I am blogging about it after it is over!

The day started early here; 6:00 am.  Robyn met me out front at 7:30 and we piled into The Beast (The Brit's Chevy Suburban) and headed to get gas and then out to the Park and Ride to pick up Lisa, Deanna, Kelly and Barb (Kelly's mom).  Though driving The Beast makes me a little nervous, it handles well and I love the fact that all seven of us can ride together!  Then it was off to the Howard County Fairgrounds for the festival!

The fairgrounds are incredibly busy for this event and people were just piling through the entrance.  The two things I love about this festival, other than the wonderful girls I get to attend it with, are the animals and the bargains.  We headed first to the booth where I got the wonderful price on Alpaca wool last year and sure enough, 2.95 a skein again this year!  I only bought one bag this year, though that has nothing to do with the fact that I have never knitted up last years Alpaca yet!  As always, this vendor has the longest line of the day, but well worth it!

From left to right, Barb, Kelly and Lisa, waiting in line to pay for their bargains.

The animals are always such a joy and this year we even got to see lambs!

       Five week old lambs

Even littler lambs, though no one was available to ask how old they were.

After paying for the yarn, Lisa had a great spot for me!  I love angels, and though I don't much collect them anymore for lack of room, I had to have this little gal:

She's knitting purple yarn!  Is that me or what?

And do any of you remember last year when I spoke of the woman who so closely resembled her Llamas??  Well, the photo is not the greatest as I decided against asking her to pose with her pets, so I had to pretend to take a picture of Lisa.  So, the llamas:

And the owner:

You really can't tell how long her neck is in this
picture due to the sweater, but trust me on this one...

We stopped for lunch and Shelley was so in the mood for her lamb gyro:

         She is so going to hate me for this picture.

And Deanna was positively beaming all day, because guess what??  She got engaged!  Sorry for not thinking of taking a picture of her beautiful ring!

                                     Beaming Deanna

We made a point to wander into the building that contained the awards for the show so far and we experienced some incredible work in knitting and photography.  But this little guy was sadly missed when the awards were being handed out:

                                    Best hair-do in show

So by the end of the day, besides a shirt, a mug and a pair of circular needles, I had purchased this:

From left to right: wool/mohair/silk blend (I love the color!) alpaca
and alpaca. Imagine that.

What I wish I could have brought home...well, to my other home that I don't own yet, but would like to one day, which is really more like a my alternate reality, was this:

                      The adorableness of Alpacas

And this:

               The fluffy silkiness of an Angora Rabbit

So all in all, a great day, with great company and mucho knitting finds!

Approximately 364 days until MDSW 2008!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

And now back to your regular programming

So now that I think all the drama is over for the moment, let's get back to business. 

Well, wait a moment on that as I have one more thought to stick out there that doesn't really pertain to the churches, but it was brought on by the craziness that occured here a couple of days ago.

Why is it that so often people care what other people think? 

I read a lot of blogs and have made friends out in the blogosphere, and unless the blogger is talking about something really nasty, like promoting animal or child abuse or some other horrible criminal act, I don't care what they think.  I actually enjoy reading other people's opinions on life.  While it is nice to find things in common with other people, if we didn't have any differences at all, not only would that be dull as rocks, but we wouldn't learn anything new either. 

I've reached a point in my life, where other than my closest friends, I don't care what other people think.  I am who I am.  I don't put on pretend aires for anyone and I have way more important things to do other than to obsess over the fact that someone I don't know all that well maybe doesn't like me.  I'm too busy nurturing my relationships with God, my family and my friends to bend over backwards for someone who is unhappy with me for some reason.  Now if I have truly done something wrong to someone, I'll be the first to apologize, but my opinions are not wrong.  That's why they're called "opinions".  Obviously, someone else may not see things the same way I do and I have no issue with that.  We can agree to disagree and be done with it.  No one can change my experiences, nor would I want them to try.

Anyway, yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking part in a bus trip to "Sight and Sound" to see "In the Beginning".  This was the third production I have seen there and by far my favorite.    It was beautifully done and very touching and God was present in that theater.  Aside from the story itself, Sight and Sound uses many live animals in their shows.  We even had a skunk this time as well as horses, camels. alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep, dogs, birds, ducks, etc.  Much fun and very blessed day!

I really would like to head up there on day with no show on my agenda.  Amish country is beautiful and there are so many little shops I'd love to visit.  The sight of horse drawn carriages never gets old to me and I often think about all the stuff and gadgets we have and wonder what it would be like to get rid of many of them to lead a more simple life.  Hopefully, sometime soon, the Brit and I will make this journey to do some exploring.

Sheep and Wool the day after tomorrow!  Whoot!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

An interesting comment

I had realized recently that this blog was getting a lot more hits from the Hagerstown area and now it appears that somehow this blog address has gotten out to members of the other church; the church that formed during our split a year and a half ago.  Fact is, my blog address is at the bottom of my emails and at times I forget to remove it before sending off an email to possibly someone who was once "on the other side." 

So, tonight I have received a comment in response to the
To Heal or not to Heal post from September of 2006.  The comment reads as follows:

What happened happened. No forgiveness needed on your side; its the other side that has forgiven you for your rude, untrue comments. Its not true that we did picked up our "toys" and left just because we were defeated. We did not want to stay in a church where the Word of God wasn't considered infallible by all. To stay would be the same as agreeing with what happened. Its a shame what happened with your pastor and i do hope that things straighten out. But lets not act like children and put things on here for your "enemies" to read. Very immature and sick. Maybe you need to keep your unchristian like comments to yourself.

First of all, let's be realistic.  The word of God in our church was considered infallible by all.  The other side's complaint lied with the ELCA.  The word of God, the Gospel, has always been and continues to be taught and preached at our church.  In that building, that was never an issue.  I think you know that.  The pastors that we have had in that church since then, ELCA pastors, have continued to preach the Gospel, straight from the source, the Bible.  Again, that has not changed. 

There is no body of Christ, nor any affiliation or denomination, which is perfect.  All are run by human beings and where the word of God is not infallible, people are.  We are not God.  I am not bold enough to even begin to imagine what God thinks about some issues that are in our world today.  I am not Him nor do I have the capacity to think as He does.  I know He is a forgiving God and that by His grace, I am forgiven, as are you. 

Next issue, I have no enemies, nor did I ask you nor anyone else to read here.  However, if you have been reading here, you will see in more than one post, that I have stated that this is my journal and therefore, my opinions.  You have them too.   We all do.  I have also stated numerous times that I am not censoring this journal to accomodate anyone.  It's like a television channel; you don't like  what you see, then turn it off.  I'm not going to defend my opinions by listing all of the "Rude and childish" things that the other side said and did before the split nor am I above knowing that things were done by both sides that could be considered "unchristian-like".  Again, we are all human beings and it is our nature to say and do things that are not always right. 

My "unchristian" like comments, as  you view them,  are not being placed anywhere but on MY journal, therefore, I don't feel the need to "keep them to myself." That would defeat the purpose of a journal now, wouldn't it?  These are my comments, my views, my opinions.  If you don't like them, don't read here.

And finally, thank you for your well wishes about our pastor.  I hope he finds the peace in God that he needs to heal and that God is able to heal he and his family, if they just place their trust in Him.  It is sad what happened. 

I hold no ill will towards those that left and do not think of any of them as my enemies.  The reason the split hurt so badly and so deeply for those of us who are still there is because many of those that left were or are our friends.  There is hurt on both sides and I know that, but any time I have run into anyone who left the church, I have spoken to them, though there have been times that someone who left saw me and avoided my gaze altogether, and then no, I did not pursue a conversation. 

A friend of mine said, a year and a half ago, when I told her of this situation, "
Honestly, it is so sad that Christians are best known for shooting their own wounded".  

So sad and so true.