Monday, June 30, 2008

The Law of the Garbage Truck

A friend sent me this story:

One day I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled, and waved at the guy. I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your
car and sent us to the hospital!" This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, The Law of the Garbage Truck.

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.
Proverbs 15:1 (Contemporary English Version)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Small Group

Let me tell you about my small group. I belong to the BEST small group at my church! It consists of adult men and women, married and single, who meet on a regular basis to study the Bible and share prayer requests. Our group of about fifteen has been together for around ten years. Some folks have moved out of state, but our number remains the same as new people continue to be added. The nicest compliment is when a new person or couple decide to become a part of "US" and make a return visit. This just happened again during our last meeting.

Our meetings take place in individual homes. Several in the group volunteer their houses on a regular basis.

One person keeps up with celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries with a card from the group. It's a source of pleasure when a card comes through the mail demonstrating group love. Whenever anyone in our group is in need, help is rained down upon them--in prayer and in more tangible ways.

We always begin with food; isn't that the BEST way to begin? One lady is the coordinator, and she does an excellent job of asking for volunteers to bring whatever fancys them. We tend to have fruit, cheese and crackers, and desserts, although we have had corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick's Day. Everyone takes part; no one is overloaded. The host/hostess provides the coffee, paper goods, and cuttlery. Everyone sets up the goodies and all pitch in to clean up. We've never run short of good things to eat because my group is truly a generous group.

Then we have our Bible study. It usually applies to our lives and how we can better serve God. We read the Bible, have a few questions and illustrations, and discuss it. Oftentimes, someone will make the remark "I needed that!"

We have fabulous discussions; anyone who wants to sit quietly may, although I've yet to see that happen! Even a first-time visitor will share; it's amazing. The acceptance that my group presents is something to experience. All are welcome; no one ever seems to feel uncomfortable.

We end with prayer requests. One person types the list up and makes enough copies so that everyone has one. We work down the list and update previous prayer requests. This keeps all informed as to the happy/not-so-happy experiences. The main idea of the list is so that each person can carry it with him/her and pray on a daily basis. We have seen many things that cause us to praise God for His goodness because of this prayer list. Finally, one person leads us in prayer.

Then, we linger as long as we like. Some need to leave and do so; some choose to remain and visit.

Do you attend a small group? Is it like mine?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Space Walk

Have you ever wanted to go on a space walk? How about without any spacesuit or oxygen? How long would you survive? This quick quiz takes only a few seconds to give you the answer.

As you see, I would last 1 minute and 23 seconds. Click on the black square to find out, and PLEASE return and comment your results.
How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer TV

With summer, comes some weird reality television programming. One network offers a program where contestants are humiliated and bruised. Wipe Out and I Survived A Japanese Game Show are perfect examples. No, I will not watch; the commercials are enough! Like American Idol, (which I have watched, but not this season) America's Got Talent allows some painful performances. Surely those untalented contestants could/should have been weeded out. The Baby Borrowers might be a good lesson learned for teens who feel that having babies is an easy task, but at whose expense? Real babies are involved! Animal Cops highlights animal abuse. (In the course of the program, animals are rescued, so there is some redeeming quality and a happier ending.)

I simply am not able to watch abuse, even if the end of the program has a happy ending. I'll admit that I'm a wimp. Cops and robber shows have actually given me nightmares! I can't understand child abuse, wife abuse, animal abuse, or just plain meanness.

Therefore, I no longer will watch programs that contain abuse, and I do not choose to read about it in newspapers, magazines, or books. That said, I'm glad that there are such things offered for others to watch and/or read about, in the hope that with exposure, comes some relief for the victim(s).

Are you able to watch these programs?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Definition

What, in your opinion, is the definition of a “reader.” A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what it is? … Or, more specific? Like the specific person who’s reading something you wrote?

A reader is someone who loves to read. I define myself as a reader. If I were placed on a desert island without a book, I'd be most unhappy. On the other hand, if my husband were on a desert island without a book, it wouldn't bother him a bit.

Now, my husband can read, but he doesn't have the love of reading.
When we were first married, I was a young, just-turned seventeen year-old. I owned no books; I had always used the public library. But, there was no library close to our first home. One morning, I got so desperate for something to read that I read the cereal box--every word of it!

The love of reading is a gift my mother gave to me. Just before my fifth birthday, she took me and my twin brother into the local public library. The rules were that if you could sign your name in script, you could obtain a library card. I could print my name; she'd taught me that, but I had a rough time writing it. My twin brother signed his name with no problem; I struggled, but in the end, I managed to put little connecting lines between each letter so that it looked scripted. I got the precious library card! Card in hand, I remember turning the corner of the room, seeing all those books available, and being told that I could read "any book" I wanted. I determined then and there to read them all! Now, that's a reader!

Are you a reader?

Must Be Desperate Times

If you are interested in buying a home that comes fully equipped with a wife, click here. eBay to the rescue!

Note: the listing has been removed from eBay, therefore, I changed the link so that you can still get the story!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Mornings

Today is Wednesday, and my husband is playing golf. Golf is so important that I must plan our schedule around Wednesday morning golfing sessions. Let a person TRY to suggest an appointment for a Wednesday morning, and he'll growl, "No. That's when I play golf!" Imagine! He's not even a doctor!

I can never understand why anyone would golf. Exercise? All while riding a golf cart. Why making a small, white round object fit into a not-much-larger hole in the ground should be a satisfying way to spend a perfectly good morning, I cannot comprehend, but Johnny has been "practicing" this hobby for over twenty years.

Ever so often, we buy new, guaranteed-to-shave-off-strokes, specialized golf balls or a club. Johnny will play that Wednesday, and when he returns home, I'll ask, "What did you shoot?"

He'll reply, and the number seems never to go down. However, he'll claim that the new golf balls or club is wonderful and worth every penny!

Any suggestions on ways to lower that golf score? He'd love you forever.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Faith in America Is Alive and Well

Did you hear last night's evening news on NBC with Brian Williams? He reported that a major survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life revealed that more than half American adults find religion very important in their lives, attend religious services regularly, and pray daily. The poll surveyed 35,000 and found that seventy-one percent believed "absolutely certain" in God.

I'm pleasantly surprised not by the results of the poll, but that NBC would deem it newsworthy. It felt good to hear something positive. God Bless America!

How about you? Do you think faith is important?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blondes Don't Always Have More Fun

How do you recognize
a blonde antelope? Click on the window.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Nose Tells Me . . .

What is your favorite smell? When I was a child, one of my favorite things to smell was a match, just after it was blown out. I still enjoy that.

My family went to Hershey's Park, PA where the smell of chocolate permeates the air for miles around. Closer to the factory, it is quite pronounced. As we walked through the door of the factory, I began to fill my lungs with the delightful odor. However, my sister frowned and said, "Uh, that smell!" Not her favorite.

I've heard some people say the smell of fumes (as gasoline is being pumped into the tank) is a delightful odor. I don't care for that one.

But my favorite smell is the smell of newly mowed grass! Driving along, I have been known to roll down my window on the hottest of days if I see yardmen riding their machines.

What smell delights your senses?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Please Don't Feed the Bears Ducks

I'm a fortunate woman; I live on a lake. In fact, this is our second home on a lake. When we were planning to move to the first lake home, my mother argued, "Why would you spend the extra money to live on a lakefront property? You don't swim. You don't fish. You don't go boating. What will you DO with a lake?"

"I'll look at it," I answered. And I have. Every day for the past thirty years, I look at the lake and say out loud--or think to myself, "Isn't it beautiful? Lord thank you for allowing me to live here." (sigh)

Today, I noticed about twenty-five baby ducklings, being led by Mama Duck out of the lake into my neighbor's backyard. She sat there, breaking bread up into baby duck bite-size pieces and tossed it toward the brood. I'm certain that she thinks that she was helping these ducklings, who were chomping away at a rapid rate. But they don't need her stale bread; they have plenty to eat. God provides for them. Have you ever seen a skinny duck? Why, the ones around here can barely walk! And, we all know that what goes in, must come out--and it's slimy!

How do you feel about feeding ducks?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Florida Rain

We're experiencing thunder storms most every afternoon. It's the Florida way of keeping tropical. The morning skies are brilliantly blue with a few white, fluffy clouds, but by mid-afternoon, that sky gets pretty dark, the thunder begins, and the rain pours--for an hour or two. Then, it's all clear and dry again. Sometimes, it rains at night. With the rain comes booming thunderstorms.

The thunder gets quite loud and scary; windows rattle! When my children were small, to allay their fears, I taught them that God made the thunder, the lightning, and the rain. We would always be thankful for the rain that made such pretty flowers and washed the beautiful green grass.

One night, my two-year-old boy awoke and climbed into bed with his father and me. We heard a few drops of rain begin to hit our metal awnings. Ping. Ping. Ping.

Allen said in a hushed voice, "Rain!"

"Yes," I whispered.

"God makes rain. Fank you God for the rain."

"Shh. Yes, God makes rain." I kissed his little head.

"No make funder, God! he growled."

Sweet memory.

What do you think about when you hear thunder?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Flavors

Think about your favorite authors, your favorite books . . . what is it about them that makes you love them above all the other authors you’ve read? The stories? The characters? The way they appear to relish the taste of words on the tongue? The way they’re unafraid to show the nitty-gritty of life? How they sweep you off to a new, distant place? What is it about those books and authors that makes them resonate with you in ways that other, perfectly good books and authors do not?

In a recent blog I said, "It's difficult for me to enjoy a book with run-ons and sentence fragments. A good read must have believable characters, the plot should flow, and finally, the ending should satisfy with a sound conclusion. In addition, I want to read material without R-rated language or scenes." We all use the same alphabet, with the same twenty-six letters, yet some can put those letters together in a way that makes memories.

Classic authors have something to say that makes it worth my time to read. However, I confess that I fill my days reading contemporary authors.

When I was younger, I enjoyed a good plot, and I still do. John Grisham has a talent for telling a story. I've read most of his writings.

In addition to a story line, I prefer authors who have the ability to write strong characters, such that when I finish reading, I know them, and I want to visit with them again. Liz Curtis Higgs has written a trilogy that is awesome.

Angela Hunt is an author who soars. She fills all of the above criteria. More than that: just when you think you've figured out the direction of the book, you turn the page to yet another twist in the plot.

What do you look for when you're choosing something to read?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'd Like to Hear from You. Really!

I'm new at this blogging, so bear with me. Several of my friends and family members have blogs--mostly people younger than me, and I've read quite a few of them. When I first began to read blogs, I did not leave a comment--even when I had an opinion--which is most of the time! I felt that comments might bother the blogger, and that I would be a bit out of place. "Is it really the right thing to do," I wondered. Once in a while, however, I gave in to the urge to express myself and I left a comment.

When one person, mentioned how WONDERFUL she felt because I'd left a comment on her blog, I really didn't understand her excitement. I began to grasp the worth of commenting. Since then, I've commented all over town! Sometimes, I've felt a tad guilty at hogging all the action since it appeared that not too many others left comments. I've asked a few bloggers about letting up, but they've confirmed that I should continue.

Now that I have my own blog, I realize how empty it is to have so few leave comments. It feels as if my stuff isn't being read. On the other hand, I love getting remarks left; it encourages me and makes me happy to be included in a discussion.

Several people have actually written me an email after looking at my blog! I am shaking my head; isn't it easier to leave a comment? Or perhaps they don't know that just clicking on the word, "comment" will open up a little window that will enable them to tell me what they think. Fewer keystrokes.

This is your chance: PLEASE leave a comment and tell me why you usually do/don't leave comments.

Book Review - The Elevator by Angela Hunt

I'm often asked to recommend a good book. First, my definition of a good book is one that is well written. It's difficult for me to enjoy a book with run-ons and sentence fragments. A good read must have believable characters, the plot should flow, and finally, the ending should satisfy with a sound conclusion. In addition, I want to read material without R-rated language or scenes.

I've never gone wrong with an Angela Elwell Hunt book. Her motto is to "Expect the Unexpected." I've read twenty of her diverse novels. Each time I read an Angela Hunt book, I'm sure that she cannot possibly surprise me with yet another new twist, but I turn the page and blink! Angie does not disappoint.

In one of her latest, The Elevator, set in Tampa, Florida during an approaching hurricane, three women become trapped in an elevator. You'll meet: a betrayed wife, seeking revenge and carrying a gun, a mistress with new knowledge, determined to confront her lover, and a cleaning lady, afraid of having her horrible secret revealed. They soon discover that the one thing they have in common is--a man! I can't reveal more or I'll spoil it for you.

Although I did not want to put this one down, I found myself reading slowly to savor every word. The ending is impossible for any reader to guess. Try it, you'll like it!

What's your opinion? Which author do you prefer?

Pink Smoothie

This treat looks yummy and is healthy for the kiddies too! Thanks to Beauty from Chaos for the easy summer recipe!

Smoothie Treat
Take about 11 large frozen or fresh strawberries; place in blender.

Add one cup of milk or o.j. Add 6 ice cubes. Blend until all smooth.

For a variation add yogurt instead of milk, honey, bananas, or blueberries.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is Johnny's kind of (action!) film, but I prefer romantic comedies. Thinking that it would be a waste of money, I declined when my generous son and daughter-in-law invited us to go along with their family to the theater. Instead, I sent my husband, who came home with a down-turned mouth.

"Boring," he declared. Too much time with the map, too much dialogue about the hunt, and too many episodes of driving through college buildings.

I got the best deal, as Johnny brought me home some popcorn!

Have you seen this film? What did you think about it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Booking Through Thursday Monday - Book Clubs

A combo of two suggestions by: Heidi and by litlove Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

I've been a member of two book clubs--both met once a month, at night. The first consisted of a group of English teachers; we met at the home of the leader/instigator, ate dinner, and then discussed the book. Usually, she would spread a few books from the NY Times best selling list on her coffee table and make short observations about each. Although our hostess encouraged everyone to make suggestions, she selected the next title to be read. Likewise, our hostess led the discussions; however, we had good participation from all members.

I widened my reading by participating in this group and even when I did not agree with an opinion, I felt enriched by the discussions. It enhanced my reading experience.

My church held the second book club. The leader, a person chosen by default, selected the books to read. Discussions were less defined, with some members content to just listen. Several times, a member would state that she had not read, completed, or obtained the book; what a downer.

We focused on Christian Fiction, and once again, I widened my enjoyment of reading by discovering the wealth of new authors available. Ever since the age of five, when I got my first library card, I have loved reading, and it has increased with both of these book club experiences.

What has been your book club experiences?

New Sport

They have a cheese rolling tradition in Britain. Click on the window to witness 2008's sporting event.

Watch for the circle of cheese, rolling down the hill, while everyone goes after it. I can't figure out why they run UP the hill, though.

Cheese sandwiches, anyone?

Say, should we start a cheese rolling tradition here in Florida?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

He's Number One!

Johnny gets the vote from me for #1 Father. They say that the proof is in the pudding; we have two grown children, a daughter, Debi and a son, Allen. Both are people of whom we are proud: Christian, law-abiding citizens of this world. Both are parents: Debi has four children and Allen has three, and both have brought their children up in the same manner. All seven grandchildren have accepted Christ as their savior!

Johnny worked hard to earn a living for his family. At one time, he worked three jobs! He knows how to laugh and have a good time; people like him. While the children were quite small, Johnny took us to church (didn't make us go or send us). Each evening, we'd have family devotions--even when teenage guests spent the night. Talk about rolled eyes!

One of the most important things that this #1 Father has done in his lifetime, is to love the mother of his children--me! For almost half a century, I have been secure in the love of this good man, and I say that he is #1. Who gets your vote for #1?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cheap Gas--Can It Be Found?

When attempting to find gas for your car, it's frustrating to look for bargains, since it seems none exist. However, I have a tiny bit of good news for you, wherever you live. Just click on click on your state, plug in your zip code, and you will find the cheapest gas in your area! Happy Day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I just got this information from Heather's blog:

Alexandra, a journalist/reporter with the Wall Street Journal, spent weeks crafting an article about Flamingo Road Church. What an honor! Extra! Extra! Read all about it, here!

The Power Of Laughter

Free Clipart Picture of Red Lips in a Smile. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart
In the July issue of Ladies Home Journal an article declares that a person can laugh his/her way to better health, to more energy, to less stress, and to stronger relationships.

I fell in love with and married a hot-tempered Italian who was in the Navy. One day, newly married, Johnny and I had a BIG blow-out fight (words, never fists!). He yelled, "That's it! I'm leaving! Send my mail to the base!" and he stomped out the front door.

I flung myself across the bed and sobbed and sobbed. I would crawl home in shame. Seventeen and already a failure at life, with a broken marriage!

However, an hour later, Johnny returned, licking a chocolate ice cream cone! He had walked around the corner, found an ice cream shop, and cooled off. That's the way his temper works--white hot, then cool.

The next time we had a big fight, and he screamed, "That's it! I'm leaving! Send my mail to the base!" And he stormed toward the door.

I hollered, "Make mine vanilla!"

He fell to the floor laughing, we looked at each other laughing even harder, and from that moment on, I knew the power of laughter.

Does humor make you forget to be mad?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Blue Monday - All You Need to Know

My favorite color is blue, so I thought, "Why not have a Blue Monday?"

Every Monday, I'll have a blue post, and I'd like to invite you to participate. To participate all you need do is:

1. Post about something blue on your blog. It can be pretty, ugly, funny, old, or new as long as it's blue.

2. Leave a link to this blog on your post. You can copy the link from my sidebar. Look for the "Blue Monday Code," and simply paste it directly onto your post.

3. Return here and link in with Mr. Linky by leaving your name and the Permalink to your post. To create a Permalink, once your Blue Monday post is up, click on the post title and copy all the stuff in the http window. It is a longer address so that people can find your post even later in the week--whenever they get a chance to visit. For those who just can't wait, Mr. Linky will be up each Monday at midnight EST.

Do NOT link in until after your post is up.


Many people place the Blue Monday button on the top of their post so that visitors can easily spot it. Another Blue Monday button can be placed on the sidebar of your blog. (Directions: Just put your mouse on top of the Blue Jay Blue Monday button. There's one on my post and another on my sidebar. Right click and drag it onto your desktop. If you have a Mac, click and drag onto your desktop, without lifting your finger off the mouse. Now, you have a button on your desktop! You can load it onto your blog.) Some choose to place the link within the Blue Jay button.

Leave a comment for me; I guarantee that I'll visit and leave one for you. Visit other Blue participants by clicking on their links and leaving comments.

Check back to make certain that you have visited all the Blue participants. If it's too much for one day, come back later in the week. (That's why the Permalink is so important.)

Sound like fun? Gather up your blue items, and we'll play together. The following is my first post, offered here to give you an idea, but don't be boxed in by this. Create your own ideas!


This figurine is my contribution. I've had it forever, and I love the muted colors. The sweet faces of the boy and girl show their love. She's looking demure with her eyes cast down; he's cutting his eyes to the right, trying to get a peek at her while he hugs her. They both have a gentle smile.

I don't remember where or when I got it. It's about three inches and says, "Designer's Collection, Genuine Porcelain" on the bottom. The date listed is 1980, and it was made in Japan. I know it's not expensive, but that doesn't matter to me. I've loved it for a long time.