September 24, 2021

Saturday 9: Cardigan

Hey all. Sorry I have been MIA again this week. It's been a combination of being busy, not really having anything going on that I felt was worthy of blogging about...and the fact that I've sort of been distancing myself from social media. If you're a friend on Facebook you've probably noticed that I'm not on there very much these days, either. I'm finding that it's not only better for my peace of mind, but there are so many other things I can find the time to do if I'm not staring at the time-sucking blackhole of a screen.

I did decide to venture back out for the Saturday 9, which is always a fun time. Thanks, Sam, for the music and fun!

Saturday 9: Cardigan (2020)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) When she's feeling low, Taylor Swift compares herself to an old cardigan, forgotten under the bed. Do you store anything under your bed? Or do you try to keep that area clear (except for dust bunnies)?  I have some exercise equipment stored under there. I don't think there is anything else...except whatever Daisy may have drug under there. My knee doesn't really allow me to get down there to look so it will remain a mystery until we move the bed or I get someone else to look.

2) The lyrics begin with a reference to a new phone. Do you foresee yourself getting a new phone before 2021 ends? Or are you happy with the one you've got?  No, I just got a new one in July.
 
3) She sings that her lover haunts all of her "what if's." Have you recently wondered, "what if?" What were you musing about?  No, I don't think it helps anything to spend time on the what-ifs. It's not like I can go back and change anything. Better to learn to be happy with the life I am living.

4) Taylor Swift admits that she rewinds after concerts by, watching Friends reruns. What do you do to relax?  Putz around on the computer, read, talk a walk, watch TV, or go thrifting.

5) Thinking of TV shows, Taylor appeared on a 2009 episode of CSI. That series was about crime-scene investigators who use forensics to solve murders. Do you enjoy crime shows?  They tend to be my favorites.

6) Taylor grew up on an 11-acre tree farm where she learned to ride. Her mother was a horsewoman and hoped riding was a passion they could share. When she was 12, Taylor admitted to her mother that she really wasn't that into it and wished she could spend more time on her music. Her mother was supportive. Tell us about a tough conversation you've had that turned out well.  The first one to come to mind is when I had to tell my parents that I was going to get married instead of going back to college. My dad wasn't generally what you'd call understanding or compromising, so I was dreading the conversation. He stunned me by saying, "If it's what you want, I'll support you."

7) She enjoys good, old-fashioned mysteries, especially those by Agatha Christie. Are you currently reading a book?  No.

8) In 2020, the year this song was released, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek died. The search for a new host has caused interest and even controversy. Would you enjoy the job?  I don't think so. Too many armchair critics.

9) Random question: Of Superman's three superpowers -- tremendous strength, the ability to fly, and x-ray vision -- which would you choose?  Flight.

September 19, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Not Quite 5000 Questions, Part 2

Good morning! I am still alive and kicking even though I've been MIA for a week. No real reason...just busy and nothing "blog worthy" to write about. Until yesterday. Yesterday this happened:


I got to spend the day with my biological father and my half-sister. If you've known me for a while, you know I only learned the man's identity two years ago and I met him for the first time last summer. I only saw him twice more until yesterday as he spends over half the year in Texas. Even when he and his wife come back to Pennsylvania for the summer, they spend part of the time visiting his wife's family in Maine. It was only the second time I've seen my sister, as well.

It was great to get to spend time with them just hanging out at my father's home and getting to know each other better. My sister and I really do have a lot in common. And I don't know, but when you look at the three of us...I think you can tell we are related. 



Now, on to Sunday Stealing. Thanks to our hostess, Bev, for finding the questions and hosting the link up every week.

And a tough bunch of questions they are this week!

Stolen from 5000 questions

1. If America is one nation under god then are atheists citizens?  Yes, and so are Muslims, Hindus, and everyone else. What too many don't understand is that the Founding Fathers intention was a place where everyone was free to practice their beliefs and speak of them openly without influence or hinderance of the government. They did not intend that you could not be guided by your beliefs in the public arena. I suspect they would be appalled by the behavior of both "sides" these days.

2. Is there anything that you believe should be banned for any reason?  That's a tricky line to walk. There are things that should be banned...things that bring harm to someone...things that are crimes. However, then you open the door to more and more things that harm someone, but not another...and if it doesn't harm one then that one is going to be upset about a ban. And you'll end up in a big mess eventually. Kind of like we are right now.

3. How often do you eat too much?  Not as much as I used to. I've lost over 20 pounds this summer. Still, probably far too often when confronted with a favorite food.

4. If you died tomorrow, what mark would you have left on the world?  On the world? Probably nothing. On my small corner of the world? I hope I've made a difference in peoples' lives by showing kindness, compassion, and love; by working with people others often overlook or avoid (dementia patients and those with developmental disabilities); by trying to introduce a positive, happy mood into most situations; basically, by sharing and modeling the love of Jesus to those I come in contact with.

5. Are you a city person or a country person?  I'm definitely not a city person. I wouldn't like living in one. Visiting is fine. I love the country, but I don't know if I'd want to live there these days if it was isolated. Are rural suburbs a thing? That would be my space. I like having some space and land, but I also like to have a few people around and I'm used to my conveniences like food delivery and such.

6. What annoys you the most about yourself?  My tendency to procrastinate.

7. Who was your childhood hero? 
My grandmother.

8. With nearly 100 channels why is NOTHING ever on?
  Because most of it is pure drivel that glorifies the worst of our behavior.

9. Would you adopt a stray kitty wandering through your neighborhood?  Sure! I might need to rehome my husband afterward, though. He is so not a cat person.

10. Which Lord of the Rings movie has the best ending?  It's been so long since I watched them that I really don't remember.

11. What are you missing in your life?
  Real vacations! The beach. More money in the bank account.

12. What could you make a sculpture out of that's in the room with you right now?  I don't know. Maybe the exercise bike...or the bottles of wine in the rack...or pillows and throws...books?

13. Do you believe in the lost city of Atlantis?
  Not really as it's described in legend, but I do believe there was probably a real city that somehow inspired the legends.

14. Have you ever read The Little Prince?  At some point in the far distant past, yes.

15. What fantasy book would you like to see made into a movie?  I don't read fantasy books so I really don't have a clue. The books I would like most to see made into movies are James Rollins' Sigma Force series.

September 13, 2021

Currently...

The weather isn't looking too shabby. It's a little cloudy this morning, but Alexa assures me the day promises only partly cloudy weather and a high temperature of 83. A little warmer than I like at this time of year, but a good day to spend the afternoon in an air conditioned bowling alley with one of my clients.

It's supposed to be in the 80s all week so we've held off on closing up the pool just in case anyone wants to get in a last swim before the water gets too cold.

I'm listening to/watching Fox News at the moment. Yesterday Tim found Police Woman on the Tubi app and we watched several episodes of that. It was interesting to see some of the people who were on it in their younger days before they had shows of their own. The guy who played the dad on The Wonder Years had a small role in an episode and then in a later one I recognized the actor who played Hunter in the 80s series. I knew he had been a pro football player, but not that he had been such a cutie in younger days.

I'm reading nothing in particular as far as books go. In my Bible reading I'm in the book of Isaiah. Man, the things God had to say about Israel sound awfully familiar. 

I'm praying for the healing of those with Covid. It is really ramping up around here at the moment. My phone was blowing up on Friday with prayer requests for church members who have been diagnosed with it. Fortunately, none of them are terribly serious and none are in the hospital. We also learned yesterday that our niece in Louisiana has tested positive. So far she only has cold-like symptoms. Her kids are upset, though, as they'd just gotten back to school following the hurricane.

I'm also praying for continued health as I'm hoping to visit my biological father and half-sister this Saturday.

I'm thankful the anniversary of 9/11 came and went without any further tragedies. I know everyone was worried and with good reason, so it's a relief that nothing happened.

In the kitchen there is nothing going on today. I have my all day client today and then at supper time I have a meeting with a potential new client. Tim is going to be late getting home today so he's okay with that.

I'm celebrating that Tim seems to be sleeping better and says he doesn't hurt anywhere near as much as he has been. He began using CBD oil and taking Relief Factor and Pure Nature supplements last week. 

I'm a little irked that he started them all right away at the same time rather than staggering the starts, so we don't know if any single one of them is what's doing the trick. Knowing that could certainly save us a ton of money. All three are pretty pricey with the CBD oil being the most expensive.

Making me laugh...





















Happy Monday! Have a great week!

September 12, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Not Quite 5000 Questions

I'm joining in with the Sunday Stealing crowd again this week since I am at home, having chosen to stay home from church today. I want to go visit my biological father and half-sister next weekend and given the number of texts I received this week asking for prayer for church members who tested positive for Covid, it seemed a prudent choice. By the way, none of those diagnosed have been hospitalized or have serious symptoms (they are also elderly and don't usually attend services so I haven't been exposed), but my father is 82 and has heart issues. I don't even want to take him a cold.


Anyway, on to Sunday Stealing...

Stolen from 5000 questions

1. Who do you take for granted?  I'd like to think the answer is no one, but I'm sure the truth is that I take some things about everyone for granted at times. If there is anything the times we are living in have shown us, it's that tomorrow isn't guaranteed for any of us. Still, I'm sure I don't always consciously appreciate or show appropriate appreciation for things that those closest to me do.

2. Short, knee, or ankle skirts? (if a man, have you ever worn kilts?)  I'd rather not wear skirts or dresses at all, but since I'm attending a church again I'm wearing them a little more (okay, a lot more) often. I usually wear something that falls just below the knee and occasionally an ankle length one. 

3. Do you wear a hat? No. I think hats are great and other women look amazing in them, but I have ALWAYS hated how I look in a hat. I guess the Kentucky Derby is out for me. Boo.

4. Who's your favorite cartoon character?  It's a toss up between Donald Duck and Goofy. If you're asking about my favorite comic strip character...I guess it would be Snoopy, though I used to love Opus from the Bloom County strip back in the 80s. 

5. Does break dancing impress you?  Not really as an art, but I am in awe of anyone who can move that way.

6. Are you a miracle?  Of course...and so are you. Every life is a miracle made in the image of God.

7. Have you ever eaten tofu?  Yes. I can't say I'm a fan. I can tolerate it when it's mixed in or cooked with something else, but I don't really care for it.

8. Does the moon have an effect on your mood?  I've never really noticed it having any effect on my own mood, but when I worked in the dementia unit I definitely noticed the effect it had on the residents. All the behaviors they normally had were multiplied by about 10 when there was a full moon. My theory is that if the moon has an effect on the tides then it probably, most certainly has an effect on people since they say we are something like 75% water.

9. Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree?  I've never read them as they aren't really the sort of story I'm interested in, but even if they are pure fluff, I'd say they have value in that they inspired thousands, if not millions, of children to read. Besides, I don't think anyone likes to read heavy, serious stuff ALL the time. You need a little lighter reading that's just for entertainment now and then.

10. What are you doing next Wednesday?  Working.

11. Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive?  I don't know. I suppose he was just one of those larger than life figures (like Princess Diana) who's death comes as a shock and feels like a personal loss because of how much they were in our awareness. I guess some people just don't want him to be gone and hold on to the hope that he's alive. Or maybe he's hanging out with Big Foot and Jim Morrison on a UFO and all the naysayers are right?

12. Are your hands cold?  No. It's 80 degrees here today. Ask me in January and they will probably be like ice.
               
13. Have you ever given blood?  Yes, but apparently my blood flows so slowly it's hardly worth their effort. The last time I donated they told me not to bother unless there was a shortage of my type. Leave it to me to get rejected by the blood bank.

14. What SCI-fi books do you read?  I loved the Dragon Riders of Pern series when I was a teen, but I very rarely read any sci-fi as an adult. It's just not my thing.

15. Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity?
  Yes, I am a member of Kappa Delta Sorority.

September 10, 2021

Keeping a Promise to Never Forget

September 11, 2001...the day the world as we knew it changed forever. The day 2,996 people got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, kissed spouses and children goodbye, and headed out the door. None of them knew what the next hours would hold. None of them knew it was their last day on earth. For some, the end came instantly without warning. Others must have endured pure terror in their final moments. Still others made the decision to act heroically and did all they could to try to save the lives of others. It was the day the rest of us learned that evil could come to our own country. 

Back in 2006 to commemorate the 5th anniversary of 9-11, the blogger D.C. Roe organized an online project involving 3000 bloggers, of which I was honored to be a part of. The idea of the project was to step away from all the sad memories and instead give a face to each person that died. Each blogger was assigned the name of one of the lost and told to honor the life, not remember the death.

I was given the name of Jon Richard Grabowski. It was difficult to find any information other than obituaries and accounts of that horrible day, but eventually I found comments and memories left on other sites by people who knew him and a picture began to form. 

On September 11, 2001 Jon was a 33 year old, who by all appearances, had the world by the tail. He was promoted to a vice president of information technology just the week before the attacks. He was married to the love of his life who said he was her soul mate and the one who could always make sense of the world for her. His coworkers and friends remembered him as warm, friendly, and a bit mischievous. He wasn't yet a father, but he was a husband, a son, a brother and had his whole life ahead of him.

As I did research and stared at the photo of the handsome young man with the soulful eyes, he became real and I cared about him personally. He was no longer just another tragic statistic. I made a promise in my post back in 2006 that I would never forget Jon and that I would always honor his memory. That is why every single year since then I have shared his name, his photo, and the little I know of his story on either my blog or on Facebook, sometimes both.

So, this is Jon. Look into his eyes. Remember his name and his story. Remember there are 2,995 more faces who left us too soon.


Jon Richard Grabowski, 1967-2001

Today, when I look around at this country it sometimes feel like the terrorists are winning. We are deeply divided on nearly all points. We are fighting with each other. Every day the news (and social media) is filled with hate and violence. The face of this nation and the world has changed drastically over the last 20 years.

Do you remember how it felt on September 12? When we were all united as Americans? 

I want to ask you to do something today. Just for this one day can you put aside your differences? Can you look at that "Trumper" or that "damned liberal" and try to see the human being behind the label? Can you stop screaming that one life or another matters more than another? Can you stop hating someone because they choose not to get vaccinated or because they did get vaccinated and wear a mask? Can you for just one single day honor those who gave all that day by treating ALL lives as important...the black lives, the white lives, the law enforcement lives, the Christian lives, the Muslim lives, the unborn lives...even the Democrat and Republican lives? 

Ask yourself if you'd want Jesus to hear what's coming out of your mouth or see what you're doing. We don't have to love everything about everyone or support and believe in the same things they do, but Jesus told us to LOVE them...even our enemies. He said if we don't we are no different from anyone else. We are all created in God's image and not one of us is any more important or valuable than any other. When you look at someone try to see the echo of God in them. 

Life matters. It is a gift and we are not guaranteed one second after this one. So cherish it. It can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

And remember.

Jon, I hope you are dancing with the angels.






September 6, 2021

Currently...

The weather is absolutely gorgeous! Sunny and 75 degrees with a nice breeze. Tim and I went to the annual craft fair at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds. 180 vendors were claimed to be there. I didn't count. 

We had a nice time. I spent, way too much on a couple of fall decorations, a fishing Santa figure for my collection, and some yummies from Pampered Chef. We both picked out a sort of windmill/sculpture thingy for the yard (it's unfinished metal so we can paint it how we want) and Tim finally listened to all of us who have been begging him, and talked to a man who seemed very knowledgeable about CBD oil. He ended up getting a bottle with a pretty high concentrate to try. I'll let you know how it works. We also enjoyed yummy bowls of mac 'n' cheese with barbecue pulled pork, coleslaw, scallions, and french fried onions. Soooo good!

I'm listening to/watching a marathon of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies that Tim has on. We've seen Commando and now Collateral Damage is on. Our tastes in movies do not match up, but if we watched my picks Tim would be asleep within minutes.

I'm reading the same book I have been, Forgiving What You Can't Forget. I haven't chosen my next just-fun book yet.

I'm praying that Colton's runny nose is just a runny nose, a cold, or allergies. He is really not feeling too well, but no fever. Megan felt sure it was just allergies or a cold, but she ran into Colton's teacher today and she said that while they are quite strict about wearing masks in his class, Covid is spreading in the school. He was also around his other grandfather the day he came home from the hospital. Hopefully, he didn't pick up something there and bring it home and pass it on.

I'm feeling thankful Tim had agreed to go to the small group kick-off with me last night. I signed up to go to the one meeting at the pastor's home. I thought it would be a good chance for Tim to meet the man and some others and see how different these folks are from our previous experiences with churches. 

Unfortunately, not all of the groups could start this week so they postponed it until next week. I'm hoping Tim will still be willing to go and that maybe it will lead to him coming to church with me. Life can be a bit difficult at times when you aren't both on the same page concerning God and church.

I'm cooking absolutely nothing at the moment, but later Tim is going to grill a couple of T-bones I picked up and I will toss a salad and fry some potatoes and onions. That's as close as we're getting to an end of summer cookout.

I'm celebrating the arrival of fall, fall colors, and pumpkin-spice flavored everything! Yes, I am aware that the true first day of fall isn't until the 22nd. I don't care. Fall is my favorite season and I shall enjoy a full 3 months of it. As far as I am concerned, fall begins when the kids go back to school. I got the house decorated inside this weekend and tomorrow I will put a few decorations outside.

I'm laughing at

Must pet all the doggies!!




Once you see it, you can't unsee it.


Truth.


You'd think, but Tim works with a guy who's wife had the wrong
leg taken off. I am like, ask me 1000 questions, write all over
me with marker (they do that)...whatever it takes to get it right!


Saves on groceries.


Tim tells me no more pets all the time so I 
find this really funny.


Oops!

It's UPS and FedEx. Seriously.


Press conferences will never be the same.


Reallllly hoping this is photoshopped. 


If even Jesus is worried it's time to head to higher ground.


Nothing, Mr. Freeman, that's worth mentioning.


Pretty much.

 

September 4, 2021

Sunday Stealing: Not Quite 100 Questions

1.What's your favorite TV channel to watch in the middle of the night?  I don't watch TV in the middle of the night, but if I did I'd probably watch the same channels I watch during the day.

2.Which decade do you feel the most special connection to and why?  I think the 80's. That's when I graduated from high school, went off to college, got married, moved to Florida, had my first child...  It was a pretty big decade.

3.What is your favorite oldie/classic rock song?
  Piano Man by Billy Joel.
 



4.What Disney villain are you the most like and why?  I hope I'm not like any villain, but for the sake of an answer...the big, bad wolf (or was that Looney Tunes?) anyway, I'm like him. I like bacon.

5.Have you ever been a girl scout/boy scout?  No

6.If you were traveling to another continent would you rather fly or take a boat?  Before Covid-19 I'd probably have chosen to go on a ship. I love to fly, but all that time relaxing on a ship would be nice. Right now, though, I don't really want to do either. I see those videos of people freaking out on planes and I don't want any part of that. And the ships? Nah...it'd be my luck to end up quarantined onboard. Plus, I know someone who recently went and they were only allowed to get off the ship for an hour at any port they entered and they had to be in assigned groups with someone from the ship's staff leading. The worst part is that they learned the cruise line KNEW that was the case beforehand and didn't let anyone know or give the people back the money they'd paid for excursions. Can you imagine going to Greece, Malta and other Mediterranean locations and not be able to explore when you reached a port?

7. What are three of your favorite dog names of all time?
  Elvis, Daisy, Hemmingway.

8. How do you feel when you see a rainbow?  Blessed. It reminds me of God's covenant with Noah.

9. If you were in the Land of Oz would you want to live there or go home?  There's no place like home!

10. What is the first word that comes to mind when you see the word:

Air: plane

Meat:
ball

Different:
strokes

Pink:
Cadillac 

Deserve: earn

White:
wash

Elvis: Presley

Magic: marker

Heart: land

Clash: Rock (the Casbah)

Pulp: Fiction

Feel free to join in the fun here!

Saturday 9: Cardigan

Hey all. Sorry I have been MIA again this week. It's been a combination of being busy, not really having anything going on that I felt w...