"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Angel Wings

We love our pets, don't we? We sure do. Cats, dogs, horses, birds - whatever the case may be. So when one is no longer with us or has died, I think it is probably pretty normal to miss them and think of them often. I know I do.

I have had many dogs throughout my life and I have loved them all. I suppose I really couldn’t pick a favorite. I just love dogs.  But there is one that has continued to visit me in my dreams as I sleep. Now I know for sure this dog was not my favorite; though she did go everywhere with me when she was alive.

She was a small, black Pomeranian/Japanese Chin mix. She was tiny, smaller than most cats. And she definitely had a personality all her own. But mostly, she just liked to be left alone. I had a dream about her just the other night, and it reminded me of a dream I had had about her, shortly after she died.  I mentioned this dream in the book I wrote about my father’s life, because it so perfectly described my dad’s wit. Below is the excerpt from In the Slipstream:
Dad also has a great sense of humor. He can be very witty and often times he comes up with just the right quip at just the right time.  One afternoon Matthew, Dad, Mom, and I decided to take in a game of golf at a local golf course.  Dad became an avid golfer after he retired.  When we finished the 9 holes, we sat down at the club house patio to have a cold Pepsi.  We were visiting as Mom was adding up scores....Dad asked what his score totaled and it was a pretty nice number. Then as Mom commented on the outcome of my miserable score with the intentions of making me feel better, I quickly spoke up, "Ssssshhhh, don't say that too loud." I got a good laugh from everyone.

Conversation soon changed to the dogs that were playing on the lawn around us and I was reminded of my little dog, Bear that I recently had to put to sleep.  I started telling them about the dream I had just had of Bear coming back to life and flying in with angel wings.... Dad quickly quipped with a smile, "Ssssshhhhh, don't say that too loud."  It was so, so funny, perfect delivery and timing; and Mom and I laughed until we both had tears.  I still laugh at that each time I think of it.
Ok so I love that! I laughed again as I prepared this blog post. It is simply a warm-hearted memory for me. I decided to post this little story because of the dream I had last night. The new dream is a continuation of the old. And that makes me smile.

But actually I woke up crying with the more recent dream. I guess because it really made me miss my little Bear-Bear – that was my nick-name for Bear. Funny how we find nicknames for our pets that are shorter if it is a long nickname and we pick a longer nick-name if the pet has a short name.

Anyway, in this dream, we were at a family gathering, sitting around outside in lawn chairs visiting with one another. I noticed running toward me was a little scraggly white dog. Upon the dog drawing nearer, my youngest sis exclaimed, “It’s Bear-Bear!” just as the little white ragamuffin jumped up into my lap. And don't forget, Bear was black! Not in this dream!

What was so funny was that Bear was still an angel!  Only this time she had turned white and her fur feathery – just exactly as you see angels depicted in old paintings.

I woke in tears missing my little dog. But later when I became fully awake, I smiled.  Are our pets ever really gone from us? I guess so, but oh what joy they offer us in life and nostalgic, warm-hearted memories as the years continue.

 

 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Again

I turned on the radio this morning, while I made the bed. I like to listen to the "morning show" every once in a while (not always) after I am done with my morning routine.

Usually, I only listen for about 15 - 20 minutes and then I shut it off to get on with the rest of my day. I was just about to turn it off when the DJ's said something about a Brad Paisley song. Now, I am not a big Paisley fan, but something they said kept me from pushing that button to "Off". Maybe it was the title: New Again. Maybe it was that I thought they said it was a new song from him - it isn't; rather it was recorded in 2009, but I had never heard it before.

Again, being Brad Paisley, I could have easily turned it off, but something kept me. And when I heard the beautiful and extensive guitar intro, I knew I was hooked. I had to listen. I'm glad I did. It was so beautiful!! You guessed it - it had me in tears! What can I say? I have mentioned the fact before that I cry at good talent. But even more, the words to this song are meant to be heard.

When the song was done playing on the radio, I googled it to see when it had been released and if there was a music video. I was surprised to see Paisley and Sara Evans had recorded it in 2009 for a Christmas album. I did not know that.

There are several fans that made video's of this song using clips from Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. I have never allowed myself to watch Biblical movies made by Hollywood. Now a cute little Christian movie, I will watch. Or a Biblical movie produced by Christians rather than Hollywood, I will carefully watch. But I just don't want to view a distorted version of the Bible, so I don't watch Hollywood films that claim to be about the Bible; even this one which Gibson claimed to be accurate.

I'm glad I heard the song today, though. I really don't know if it was used in the movie, but like I said there were lots of people that made videos combining the two.  It is beautiful. I don't think the video I posted is the "official video". I don't know; usually it will be labeled as such, and this one was not. But I posted it anyway. I hope you will take a moment to listen. I don't think you will be sorry.




So while I am not particularly a Brad Paisley fan (think: I Want to Check You for Ticks) I absolutely LOVE this song. He is one of the best guitar players there is and Sara Evans voice is incredible. May I never be so judgmental that I "throw the Baby out with the bathwater". That Baby was born to wash us clean. And that is each and every one of us who has accepted His indescribable gift - whether we like them or not. I had heard Brad was one who had been "made new"...after hearing this, I believe it.

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."
~2 Corinthians 9:15


Friday, November 28, 2014

SYOTOS

No more winter doldrums. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family. It went smoothly and comfortably. I was especially thankful that I didn't have to cook this year. I simply wasn't prepared. We have too much going on working on our house. And my niece and her husband did a beautiful job with our family Thanksgiving. It could NOT have been better.

I did wake up with a song on my mind this morning, though. I'm not sure why. I have noticed that a lot of people have been posting tributes to their lost loved ones on Facebook this week, and of course the holidays always remind us of the ones that have gone on before us. I suspect that is why this song is on my mind today. 

It seems there are some that think there should be a time limit on grief; and that people should not continue to post about their loved ones. Apparently, some have even been told it is "time to move on". We all grieve differently. No one has the right to put time limits on anyone.

For me, it isn't about holding on to grief, it is about keeping a memory alive. Everyone loves to post about their children's accomplishments, and life situations, don't they? Well for some, this is all they have to keep their lost loved one at the forefront - a way to keep a continuation of a life lost too soon. It is a comfort and a means to be able to inadvertently say, no one has been forgotten. Certainly, we can't do that with silence.

Some might find this song melancholy, but it is one of my all time favorite songs by one of my all time favorite artists. I have not heard it in some time, but it simply won't leave me today.

It is Toby Keith's Crying for Me, better known as Wayman's Song. It is written and sung for Toby's good friend, Wayman Tisdale. To keep it short, Wayman was a basketball player in the NBA and also a jazz bass guitarist. More than that, he was a wonderful human being who lost his life to cancer far too early. This is a wonderful tribute, sung with a whole lot of love.

I hope you will enjoy the video below and really, really listen. It's ok to remember those we have lost; we know we will "seem them on the other side".  But don't ever let anyone tell you that it isn't ok to keep "Cryin' For Me". And that has nothing to do with doldrums.




“It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.”         
~ Charles Dickens
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Roll On Winter Doldrums

I finished all my work outside for the evening - stacking firewood, feeding the horses and then feeding the new cat - just as my neighbor pulled into the driveway. He was dropping a few supplies by for some work he is doing for us; so I stopped for a moment to visit with him. I must have sounded a bit forlorn, because he quickly asked me, "Is everything alright?"

"Yeah", I just as quickly answered, but I didn't know what my answer should be, any further than that. I didn't really know why I was out of sorts, and I felt bad that my neighbor had picked up on it. Shame on me!

Anyway, I finished a few more things outside after he left, then decided I needed to come in, sit down at the computer and blog about my love hate/relationship with winter. Maybe the new snow was my attitude problem. As I walked into the house I said out loud to myself, "But in a way, I kind of love winter! How come I feel like this?"

No matter. I didn't need to figure out any of that just now. I had checked my email before going to my blog and there was a message from my son. No words; just a music video to listen to. I read the title. It was a song by two of my favorite artists, performing a song by another favorite artist of mine from long ago.

I smiled...just reading who I would be listening to warmed my heart. My son knows me. Just the thought of him thinking of me when he saw this video and then caring enough to send me the link chased my winder doldrums away....at least for a little while. And it has kept everyone else from having to read about my love/hate relationship with winter. Instead, enjoy Neal McCoy with Trace Adkins performing a song by one of the best country music artists ever, Charley Pride.



 
 
Yeah, it made me cry...the lyrics, the melody, the talent, the trio, the thought, the kindness...childhood dreams...reliving the memory....maybe, it "made me feel like a child again"....
 
And then I smiled; and listened again and again. I listened to the instruments, I listened to the words, I took in their voices. I listened with my eyes open, I listened with my eyes closed....try it..."torn overalls, cane pole and old straw hats"..."childhood dreams I grew up on." "World spinning around, too fast for me, I need a place to dream." Ah, summer...big fat sigh..."barefoot and fancy free". I'll enjoy winter, tomorrow...Right now, I'm going to listen one more time to my kind of music. :-)
 
Neal with Trace singing Charlie. That's a whole lot of Pride, right there. It doesn't get any better than this. ;-)  Roll on!
 
Thanks, Son!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

We Voted

I pulled the sticker off of my sweater. I didn’t want it to leave a stain by being left on too long. I paused for just a moment to read it, though of course I knew well what it said.

“I Voted.”            

I smiled as I wadded up the patriotic sticker into a little ball to throw it into the trash. Such a simple thing, yet such a BIG thing that we take for granted far too often.

But looking at the sticker also triggered a sweet memory for me. It seems like forever ago now. My husband and I had just voted and we had taken our young son with us. We always went everywhere together as a family. Yes, even when we voted.

After we finished and we got back into our tan, Ford Taurus, my husband rolled down the window, and placed that little voting sticker right there at the base of the outside mirror. My son, from the back seat, watched him do it. I don’t know how long that sticker stayed on our mirror; it was months, if not years. It may have even still been there when we finally traded off that vehicle. I know! It seems like the weather would have worn it away, but I don’t think it did. The sticker held up for some time.

Years later, (and I do mean years!) my son and I voted together in what I believe was his first time to vote.  I always love voting at the polls, and try to make sure I always do. It is a very meaningful experience for me. Sounds corny, I know; but it just is – meaningful.

Anyway, this time my son had driven us to the polls, and I was in the passenger seat. When we were finished and got back into our vehicle, I smiled, (probably through tears, knowing myself the way I do) when I watched my son, roll down the window, and place his voting sticker on the driver's side mirror of our Bravada. He never said a word; but looked over at me and smiled.

Pretty cool! I love generational stuff, but it gets better.  Some time later, I was taking my folks somewhere in our Bravada. As my dad walked by the driver’s door to get into the back seat of the car, he pointed at the sticker, tapping it as he walked by. As we settled into our seats, I told him the story of how that sticker came to be on the driver’s side mirror – our son, imitating his dad in what has become a silly family tradition.

I will never forget the look on my dad’s face. “Grandpa” was more than pleased - he was moved to emotion. And while I know the voting aspect of the story was important to him, I knew without a doubt, the son following in his daddy’s footprints was the headliner of this story for my dad.

Teaching your kid’s what is right and watching them follow through in their actions – it doesn’t get any better than that.  Well, maybe only made better by sharing it with someone who understands and taught their kids what is right, too...meaningful. Very meaningful.
 
We Voted.

God Bless America!
We vote!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Combined Talent

Every once in a while, good talent makes me cry.  I simply find it so beautiful that we find gifts as displayed in this video.

I love Ricky Skaggs. Always have. So great to see him still doing what he does best.

I love Jay Sekulow. I have so much respect for him and all that he stands for and works toward for America.  I only recently found out about his talent in the area of music.

I had never heard this song before...shame on me...I know. I am pretty much strictly country in what I listen to.  Shame on me.  I know!

But these two men - that I love - brought me to tears with their combined talent.
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wake Like a Lion


I don't seek out controversy. I really don't. But there is a part of me that seems to find it. I don't know what to do about that. I enjoy studying and learning, and I care deeply about my faith, the church, and politics. Hmmmm...Well there you have it - that's gonna bring controversy.
Of late, I have been deeply concerned about the direction some segments of the church are taking. I have written about it in depth. Not here, as I have wanted to keep this blog for the most part "non-controversial". My last "controversial" post probably would have been the "emergent church" series that I wrote.
This week, some news made the headlines that vindicated me somewhat in some of my opinions about the direction some segments of the church are taking. I didn't need that news, and neither did it  surprise me. What did surprise me was the support from Christians I saw via the internet that stood in the opposite way of what I had expected. I was absolutely shocked by the numbers and the comments. Even more than that, it literally made me sick to my stomach. I wept and I wept. I am not going to go into the controversy here. I wrote about it sometime ago, on my other blog. I may repost it there for those who have that mindset. I won't trouble the rest who read here who simply have stopped for a hopeful moment of enjoyment.
This morning, a devotional that I read fairly regularly brought much needed encouragement for me. Isn't that like our Lord? He knows what we need, just when we need it. Now don't get worried! The author of this devotional is Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein who is a Messianic Jew and the founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. I enjoy the Hebrew perspective and literal translation he brings to his devotionals. With that being said, as we read this, we must remember, we will never have perfection on this earth until Jesus returns again, and we are washed holy only by the Blood of Jesus. I like this morning’s devotional, though, because it gives us no excuses. It is a call to action. That's where my belief lies. We are here to act.
I thought you might need some encouragement this morning, too. We share what we enjoy, don't we? But no, I am not advocating following Jewish holidays. Relax and enjoy. Then, get to work. ;-)        
 
Rise up like a lion, in the Spirit of the Lord!
 
 
Continuing to continue...


Wake the Dawn


October 17, 2014


Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. — Genesis 2:3
 
Today marks Simchat Torah, which literally means “rejoicing in the Torah.” As we celebrate the completion of the annual Torah readings, we immediately begin the new year of Torah readings. Because this is a non-working holiday, today’s devotion was prepared in advance for you.
 
We begin our new year of readings with the Torah portion, B’reisheet, meaning “in the beginning,” from Genesis 1:1—6:8, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 42:5—21.
 
This week’s Torah portion begins with the story of creation. At the end of six days, God looked at all that He had created and declared that it was good. Next, God rested on the seventh day. The Bible says it like this: “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
 
In the original Hebrew, however, the verse is a bit more difficult to understand. Literally translated it reads: “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work which God had created for it to continue to make.”
 
What exactly does that mean?
 
The Sages explain that when God created the world, it was only the beginning. God created humans so that together, they could continue to create the world and mold it into a perfect place. This is what the verse means in Hebrew by “the work which God created for it to continue to make.” God laid the foundation. He created everything necessary to continue the job. However, it’s up to us to finish the work as partners with God.
 
Earlier, when man was created, God declared, “Let us make mankind in our image . . . ” (Genesis 1:26). Who was God talking to? The Sages explain that God was talking to all humanity. It’s as if God were saying, “Let us create humans together. Let us work together to create this wondrous being called a human being and develop all of the latent potential which I have placed within him or her.”
 
Every day we have a mission and a partner with which to accomplish it. Our mission is to make ourselves and the world a better place in any way that we can. Our partner is God.
 
The premier book of Jewish Law begins with instructions as to how to go through our days. It begins, “Wake like a lion!” The Sages explain: “A person must wake the dawn.” We need to begin our days with enthusiasm. The dawn shouldn’t wake us up; rather, we should wake up the dawn with enthusiasm to start our day.
 
The word enthusiasm comes from two Greek words— en Theos — which mean “in God.” When a person feels that he or she is with God, that person is motivated and inspired. This is how we need to begin every day – with the knowledge that we are with God, as His partner, accomplishing a most important mission.
 
Ultimately, it’s not so important when we wake up in the morning, but how we wake up. We need to start each day with the kind of passion, enthusiasm, and determination that can chase away the darkness of the night and bring the morning light.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

Monday, October 13, 2014

Remembering Isaac...

Remembering today and always...

 
  

SYOTOS, Nephew!

In Memoriam:

http://rememberingisaac.com/

http://jan-butterfliesandrainbows.blogspot.com/2010/10/touched-by-laughter.html


Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;   ~Titus 2:13 KJV



 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Me? Blog?

“Me? blog?” Those were the first two words I ever wrote in the blogging world. I barely knew what a blog was at the time. I almost can’t remember how many blogs I had read before I decided to partake. I was late on to the scene, I know that. Probably about ten years late. No surprise there, fads and trends usually always leave me far behind.
 
I have noticed on my blog roll, that I am about the last one that even still bothers to write. Maybe that will change as the colder weather arrives and people have more time indoors. Or maybe blogging is a thing that has run its course and it is starting to go by the wayside. I don’t know. I don’t think this is the end of my blog. I like to write; it relaxes me. I don’t think it is the end. But I am beginning to feel all alone out here…at least in my little corner of the world.

There is good and bad to this new fashioned (now apparently becoming outdated) thing called blogs…where did that word ever come from…who knows? I don’t. I would guess it is a mashing of the word “bibliography” and “log” as in” log book” or something like that. Whatever! But it has been a great way to stay in touch with people and see what they are doing in their lives. It can be kind of like getting a letter in the mail; albeit a letter that is shared with who knows how many people. But it has been a good way to see and share photos, as well as a fun way to connect with people…much as Facebook, I suppose. I actually did Facebook, before I ever blogged. In fact, I believe that Facebook prepared my "psyche" for blogging…it enabled me to feel comfortable and convinced me that somehow it really is ok to share thoughts with people one doesn’t even know. I suspect that is true for a lot of people. When a norm changes in society, it is always done gradually. While not meaning to give a negative example here, the analogy of the frog in the hot water fits from what I am trying to say. Throw a frog into boiling water, and he will jump out, put the frog in water of a normal temperature, and turn the heat up slowly and the frog will be boiled to death. That is how our society changes, it must change slowly for people to accept the change. But I love blogs! We simply wouldn’t have found them so acceptable - say in the 40’s or 50’s. That is all I am trying to state. This does, however, lead me to the downside of the blogging world.

The downside of blogs is that one can get so much incorrect information. Now granted the personal blogs are mostly just opinions, and thoughts and ideas about any number of things. But there are also blogs that are opinions that are being written as fact. Especially concerning, are the political blogs, or the ones about faith. Well really, disconcerting is any blog that claims to be a resource about a particular topic that is in reality only the author’s opinion.

I know there are some people that do not condone blogs because they can be too egocentric and focused on self. I suppose there can be some truth to that. But I don’t view any of the blogs I read in that manner. And really that should be a personal conviction; not a directive from any one person to another. There is certainly nothing in Scripture that tells us not to write about our lives.

My pastor has often stated, “Don’t get into that blogging world.” It is just not healthy. (Not an exact quote, but simply the main idea.) And he is absolutely right, if one is looking to back up facts, or statistics, or a belief system from blogs. His concern was that there is too much wrong information out there influencing people incorrectly. And he could not be more correct about that. I am certain he wasn’t talking about the personal blogs that simply share their lives, recipes, and photos of their families. But when one writes to change an idea, influence opinions, or present ideas as facts, it is then we need to be concerned.

Honestly, it is my belief that blogs are an important reason for so much of the distortion in Biblical teachings, church doctrine and inconsistent dogma permeating the church today. People that don’t study the Word properly read something on a blog and somehow it becomes a fact in their lives. They believe it because they found it on the internet, without properly validating sources. This idea seemingly written in innocence spreads and spreads and pretty soon we have a little sect built out of someone’s personal idea that may be contrary to Scripture. I am 60 years old, I have been a Christian a long time and in all those years I have never seen such a myriad of differences in our faith as we see today. I believe the internet and blogs are partly responsible for that.

I think this is true in the political world as well. Someone writes incorrectly about something that may have happened or something someone may have done, and then with an incorrect spin of facts, careers can be built or destroyed. Values can not only be influenced, but totally changed, by things that catch fire and run rampant with an incorrect ideology or statement.

While the internet can be a great place to get information, it is also a very dangerous place. We all know that. Blogs have definitely influenced our society. There are just no two ways about that. I mean it is difficult enough getting accurate information from supposed trustworthy news sources, but add personal blogs to the mix and it is nearly impossible to keep facts pure unless one is to do their own research. And even then, one must be very careful in the sources they choose to use in their research. Facts must be footnoted and the footnotes must be from a valid, trustworthy source, or they have no meaning at all.

I have always tried to be very careful, to check facts from more than one source if I am reading something that claims to be truth.  I make sure that the sources I check are a site that I trust and know to be accurate. I am certainly not going to trust a site that makes any kind of blanket claim, if they have a monetary stake in the game. If they stand to make money off their claim, then I want to research that even further and deeper.

When I am blogging (or Facebooking) I try never to link to an author, or post a quote from an author (for example) that I know is mostly wrong in their beliefs, or agendas. Even if I happen to like one thing they say, no way am I going to post something from them that would cause someone else to go to their works (book, movie or blog) and thereby be misled with the rest of the person’s ideas that maybe dangerously inaccurate. I take very seriously that which I share is not something that will mislead someone in anyway…especially when it comes to the Word of God or something shared in the political realm. Those two things are very important to me, and in fact I believe should not be separated from one another, as the trend seems to be these days…but that is for another post. I am not talking about the separation of church and state here. That is another example, however, of something that has been totally misconstrued in these later years of our nation…but like I said…that’s for a whole other post.

As well, I tried to be very careful about the books, I kept in my bookstore. I simply did not want to share anything from any author that held inaccurate beliefs in the way of faith or religion. It was probably my undoing, but I did not want to be one who was helping to spread all the incorrect doctrines that are permeating the church today. Those false beliefs have since become even more rampant.

Anyway, I am getting off track again. Back to blogs…what a curious thing in our society! Certainly blogs have been a way to share news, and ideas and hobbies and faith. Just about everything can be and has been shared in the blogging world. Most of that is good. I just don't know how careful we have been to keep that which is truth, strictly truth. For a lover of truth, (which I truly am and always want to be) my first two words in the blogging world say it all, “Me? blog?”

I only want to be careful, in what I read and what I write, when I decide to write facts. I hope others are careful as well. I want to enjoy many personal blogs for a long time to come. But more than that, I hope the blogs that seek to do harm in our society are exposed for what they really are.
 
Me? blog? I hope, only in and for truth.
 
 

 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Love You, Blake!!

“Somethin’ bad’s about to happen. Somethin’ baaaaaaaad….” I smiled. I found the lyrics appropriately humorous and wondered if Blake was the one behind the selection of this song. Something Bad is the most recent hit of Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert. And sitting at a Blake Shelton concert just moments from his appearance, I found the choice of song amusing. It had Blake’s sense of humor written all over it.

Then one more tune; an increasing intro; the roar of the crowd; and there he was to the obvious delight of a "Ten Times Crazier" audience! Alrighty, then! Gonna sit back, relax and enjoy it all, now!

He was funny. No big surprise, there. He IS funny! He was personable. No big surprise there, either. He is very personable. He clearly loves people. Actually, there wasn’t anything that surprised me about his concert, other than the fact that it was better than I ever imagined it would be.

We didn’t have the best seats. But I didn’t care; I was just glad to be there. We were blessed to get tickets in the first place, as the show had sold out in only 11 minutes. The computer had randomly picked the seats for us, months ago, so no one could blame anyone for the seats we ended up with! We were just glad to get tickets!

Sitting as far up as we were though, I was comfortable. We had "end seats" which I was very thankful for, because I can tend to start to feel a bit claustrophobic when pressed in. We were so far to the left of the stage that I couldn’t see the screen, but I didn’t care about that either. When I wanted to view the screen, I simply got out of my seat and took a few steps to the outer aisle, where I was able to stand alone and just enjoy the show. For me, and all my little idiosyncrasies, it really couldn’t have been better. J

Blake sang most of his biggest hits – there might have been a few that didn’t make the play list, but I couldn’t pinpoint them right now. I was particularly glad to hear him do Ol’ Red, Austin, and God Gave Me You.

The thing about Blake is that he has personality that just won’t quit. He is witty and funny, while at the same time sincere. He is obviously compassionate and has a concern for people’s feelings. I am pretty darn sure he has no misplaced ego. His good-natured, down-to-earth attitude, is just flat-out contagious and that is all there is to it. He simply knows how to entertain; but more importantly he knows how to connect with people, simply by just being who he is.

I guess the biggest surprise of the evening for me was the fact that he chose to sing Over You. I have blogged about this song before. It is one of my favorites. My surprise was due to the fact, that though Blake and his wife, Miranda, wrote the lyrics together, Miranda is the one who recorded it. They wrote this song for Blake’s older brother, Richie, who had died in a car crash when he was 24 and Blake was 14.  Blake didn’t think he would be able to get through the song during a performance, so they had decided Miranda should record it, instead.

It was particularly moving for me that he chose to sing this song at this show. His performance was incredibly beautiful and heartfelt. It was obviously still difficult for him to sing, even more than 20 years after Richie’s death. This song was toward the end of the evening and he had sat at the end of the stage on a stool for a few of these final tunes. I was glad I had chosen to stand to watch the big screen for this performance. The emotion written all over his face could be read in a few tears that glistened from the corner of his eye, but his voice was clearly in check as he sang the moving lyrics.

It was certainly the quietest song of the evening. Of course it made me cry. Good talent often brings me to tears, but when there is raw emotion involved, I am undone. I smiled through tears, when a man way up in the audience (even higher up than us) yelled out: “I love you, Blake!” No one cared, and most of all me. I sensed the emotion and sincerity, in both the artist and the “crasher”. For me it was beautiful. Without a doubt, whomever it was that had yelled "I love you" so that Blake might hear, understood the meaning in Over You, and he was also man enough to be able to express his feelings...in front of 14,000 people. Is it ego-centric to believe that he may have been a relative of mine? (not kidding)! ;-) At the end of the song, Blake said a few words, and then pointed up in the direction of the “crasher” as he said: “I heard you, buddy; and I love you, too.” I was UNDONE! And so very glad I had pulled myself away from my seat, out of sight where no one would see the tears streaming down my face!

For me that was the epitome of the concert. That’s what it is all about…at least at a Blake Shelton concert. I saw and felt the mutual respect and appreciation between the artist and the crowd. Blake knows how to capture the crowd, just by being Blake.
 
Daddy’s always right.
One of the most emotional moments in country music (in my humble opinion).  ;-)

At one point, Blake joked about the concert needing to be on TV. He said he needed to sing a song that would get everyone on their feet, “lighting their matches” which would "now a days" be cell phone lights. The song he sang was Home. It truly did “spark” the passion and action of thousands of lit cell phone lights. That was another highlight of the concert for me as I watched the audience, basically from the view the artists saw as they perfomed that night. It was amazing to see all those lights swaying to the melody of that melancholy tune. It was clear that this moment touched Blake and emitted emotion in him as well. He kind of lit up, himself. I could see it in his eyes, as I watched the big screen....all by myself, in a room filled with thousands of fans.

"Incredible..." I heard him say. And as he walked away from the mic, I am pretty sure I saw mouthed words that repeated, "Just incredible." He was only saying it to himself, not so anyone else could hear.  Nope, there is no misplaced ego in this man.

Of course he came back for an encore which was a foot stomping, Footloose and then he closed with God Gave Me You, which was appropriate as he thanked his fans; appropriate, because I really believe he meant it.
 
We love you, Blake!  Nothin’s bad about that…



Songs that I think I remember that he sang in no particular order:
  • Over You
  • Austin
  • Honey Bee
  • It's All About Tonight (opening song)
  • Hillbilly Bone
  • My Eyes
  • God Gave Me You
  • Footloose
  • Drink On It
  • Ol' Red
  • Boys Round Here
  • Doin' What She Likes
  • Neon Light
  • Some Beach
  • Who are You When I'm Not Lookin'
  • Sure Be Cool If You Did

I know there were others. I just can't remember which ones. Not sure he did:
  • Over

...and here is Home - one of my favorites.
 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Whiskey It Is!!

“I will not feed him. I will not feed him. I will not!!!”  The last thing I need around here is another cat. I am trying to grow birds, for crying out loud! It’s that time in my life that I want birds, instead!!  NO more cats!!

So I kept telling myself all summer long. But he/she/it kept crying out to me.  Ok…well maybe just some water…It’s hot outside. He needs water, at the very least. Just some water….and a little milk.

It satisfied him. After he drank all that he wanted, he left to go play with the rabbits and whatever else it is he does.

I had noticed in recent days that the rabbits (which are also strays that wandered in) and the cat seem to be the best of friends.  They all hang out together, sleep together, play together – seemingly love and count on each other.

A couple weeks later, I heard the mournful meow again. My little buddy - that I most certainly do not want - is back, I thought. He needs milk and he needs water. Throughout the summer, this soon became a pattern. He only showed up when he seemed to be desperate…maybe when the hunting had failed, or the sprinklers had not left a puddle from which he could drink. He only returned about every two weeks, but I couldn’t help myself; when he made his appearance I always offered water and milk. On one drizzly day, I offered moistened dog food. It was all I had, and he seemed extra hungry that rainy day. I carefully placed the dish under the car, allowing him to remain dry from the rain while he ate. As well, this place from under the car was where he had always called out to me. I knew he felt safe there.

Eventually, he didn’t run as I approached, but only remained watchful to be certain that I didn’t come too close. Today, he actually ran to meet me when he saw that I had heard his call.  And as I offered the milk, he let me pet him as he drank.

Well doggone it, I guess I have another cat. My first inclination of that fact was one day when my family had dropped me off from a road trip we had taken together. When my sister pulled into the driveway there was "kitty" and "bunny" playing alongside the fence.

“Who’s cat?” my sister asked.

Ugh…I thought, hesitant to answer. “Mine, I guess.” I had begrudgingly answered.

“What’s his name?”

“I didn’t name him.” I had responded. But I had almost told her that his name was “Whiskey.”  I caught myself from saying that thinking my folks would not understand - I did not want them to think I was promoting “strong drink”.  It wasn’t that at all. I knew that the name "Whiskey" had just popped into my head when asked, because of something that had happened years ago. When we were still in our old house, we had a stray that we had dubbed “Moonshine.”  It was a symbolic thing for me. Moonshine, was made in secret, sold illegally, probably at night from what the name reveals. That just seemed to fit the little black kitty that seemed to appear when he thought no one was looking. Moonshine…it fit.  And so it was when asked about this cat, which had showed up in a similar set of circumstances, the name “Whiskey” was what popped into my mind. I have never named my pets the same name of a previous pet, so I just came up with something close when asked what the newest stray cat's name was.

Whatever! I have always been told I have a mind that works in mysterious ways.

So Whiskey it is! Catchy title for my post, too! Bet that will get the attention of some of my blog readers. J
 
And doggone it all…I am starting to love Whiskey - the cat.


I am starting to realize Whiskey is probably a girl. Calico boys are very rare.
She/he/it actually came to me today, purring and rubbing her head on my hand after this photo -
for probably 5 minutes or so.
Yep! I have another cat!
 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kissing Summer Good-bye

I've been neglectful of my blog lately. I see I am not alone; all my friends' blogs are not very active either. It's summer time and that is to be expected.

But in looking over my posts today, I found that many of the previous posts that I had written during past autumns are being viewed again. I guess that is to be expected, as well. Posts about fall and end of summer have certainly been noticed and read, or re-read. As 9/11 approaches, certainly Alan Jackson's song Where Were You will be googled time and time again. I'm glad my post shows up under that search. I like that post being brought around again as that anniversary approaches. Likewise, the new views at my old posts serve as a reminder that summer is at the end of her days, and fall and winter will soon be upon us.

I usually do an accounting of all that I did in the summer months...I don't feel like doing that this year, but I will do a rough run-down - more for myself than anyone else, I guess. ;-) Suffice it to say, that once again there has been no camping, no fishing, no swimming, no vacation.  That's ok. Those activities haven't been on my list for some time. Where as those things used to be very important to me, and actually marked my days of summer, I find that I haven't done any of them in recent years simply because they are no longer a priority for me the older I get.  And I guess the lack of concern for them means I am really getting old. If not old, at least out of energy. There are not many "typical" summer activities on my list at all.

To remind myself of what I have been doing all summer long, I ususally view my photo albums. That wasn't much help, this year. The albums being somewhat bare, simply confirmed I haven't done much of anything in the way of traditional summer activites.

But on a better note, I saw Tim McGraw in concert; I went to a beautiful wedding; and I attended two family reunions. I spent time with my ponies, and took one road trip, early on, to Montana. Though entirely too brief, I had a fantastic visit with someone I hadn't seen in 30 years. That visit will be a highlight that I cherish as top of my list.

I don't think I attended any parades this year, which is something that is very unusual for me. And we only watched the Independence Day fireworks from the comfort of our own backyard. That was nice, but there was one of us missing.

I had an annual lunch with a couple girlfriends from my youth. I attended two funerals and allowed myself tears for both - more than once.  Yes, tears belong in the "better note" list - relieving, comforting, uniting tears.

I helped in picking out a new rig or two, as well as someone's living quarters. I always enjoy shopping for things like that. I mean it doesn't get much better than spending someone else's money, does it?

There were two or three rodeos, and two or three days at the fair. But somehow, the fair just wasn't the same. Am I getting old? Nah, not that old! The rodeos however, were top notch, as always.

The garden suffered for lack of care, the yard suffered as well, though I feel I did my best for the time allotted me, as well as sustaining energy of which there seemed to be very little. The fields suffered...the house needs staining...the barn didn't get built. It's all ok...It simply makes it reallllllly easy to kiss summer 2014 good-bye. 

 
 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

In A World Gone Crazy As This

To me, there is something so beautiful and peaceful about country music that I feel no other genre has to offer. I suppose everyone could present their case for the type of music they love, but I love the story telling of country...the love for God, and country and a "down-home" lifestyle.  I don't know; I guess it kinda represents who I am...or at least who I wanna be... (minus the drinking, of course.) ;-)

Meanwhile, back at mama's....




A little cash on the radio????   ;-) That just might be the understatement of the year in Tim's case. 
Enjoy!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bon-Bons and Soap Operas - Maybe Tomorrow

It is very quiet here today - extremely pleasant; a moment of slowing down. I want to write. I feel like writing, but I remain a bit unfocused and challenged by the busyness of the last few weeks. So this post will probably seem rambling…maybe even out of touch…random…just rambles.

The past reentered the present in an overwhelming way…joyful, yet heart-wrenching. Glorious, yet convicting; amazing wonder that is inexplicable, yet fulfilling…that shouldn’t be a surprise – it is the way of life. Sometimes, things are not the way they seem. You don't always do your best at 30 years old, and someone forgives you, is proud of you, loves you anyway. Humbling to say the least. One can only do that if they have Jesus.

The lady “who sits around eating bon-bons and watching soap operas all day”, finally finished a major project this week with better than anticipated satisfaction. I got fed up with the mud and muck in front of the stalls during winter, and created a paddock footing that actually works!! I actually got to see it in action already, too! After the torrential drenching we had a couple days ago, there was water all around the pastures, but no flooding in front of the barn or stalls. Phew!!!  Not such a big deal??  You try moving all that rock and gravel in mostly 90 + weather at 60 years old!  J  I’m better than I thought. Most of my projects fail…not this one!  I am happy, happy, happy!

The fields are awash, with no sea green waves this year…ugh!  Heartbreaking, but it happens from time to time. I shook my head at a neighborhood farmer a few years ago…now I understand why. His is the example we should follow.

My garden is in complete heart failure this year…I knew it would be this way…I should have passed for this season. It would have been the better way. My grandpa always said: “A job worth doing, is a job worth doing right.” I always admired his example in that. Yep; I should have passed on the garden for this season. I knew I wouldn’t do it well. But I will commit to excellence, next year.

Quit my job due to a busy life. I am glad God offers me the opportunity to do that.

There are decisions to be made. Some will go kicking and screaming, if they go at all. I only want to guide and direct where God shows me, but attempt to keep my will out of all of it. Funny how things that are none of my business affect and impact me so greatly.

Sometimes it seems no one thinks a thing about the one that gives his all. I am proud of my son. He is better than me. When I grow up, I want to be like him.

There is a Smokey Bear and he has beautiful stories to tell.  One day, I will tell one.

I continue to enjoy Facebook during my breaks…you know, when I am not eating bon-bons and watching soap operas.  But I am a fish out of water. I use it to keep up on political commentary and world events. There is no quicker way to get news. And such news there is!! Why anyone wants to bury their head in the sand is beyond me. Compelling, gripping, Bible prophecy fulfilling...but shhhhhh, don't say a word! It is not expedient to have an opinion or carelessly state it. I do anyway. And I puzzle at the offense. I am sure “friends” just "block" me. That’s ok. Can't say as I blame them. I am not talking to them anyway. I wonder what would Jesus say at the format we are afforded, but have refused to use due to political correctness?  There is still plenty of time for silliness. I participate in that as well. It is good for the soul that is awash in busyness or despair.

“Never again” means never again! I will not hold my piece. It is the way of it.
 
The childhood dream didn't work out; and God graciously showed me: "What was I thinking!!!!" I love my home and I hope to never give up my horses.

Said good-bye to two very dear old friends this summer. Thought about memorializing them on my blog, but there have already been too many. I memorialize them in my heart. Col! I salute you! Selfishly, I cry: "Come back, Shane!"

I don’t know why we choose the world. One would think in a world where everyone strives to be different and unique, one would choose to be different and unique.  It is far more difficult to choose the narrow way.
 
The bunnies win.

The mowing continues…
 
hashtag: makeastatementthatcounts (Please note sarcasm, which is why I didn't actually use a hashtag)

Oh, and McGraw is coming!  But so is Jesus!!   No comparison; but reprieves are allowed. ;-)
 
Ok…time to regroup - back to those bon-bons and soap operas.*
 
In the midst of it - life!

 
*For those that don’t know, this is an old-fashioned expression for a spoiled, rich lady…I don’t actually watch soap operas…but I do eat bon-bons...and I am actually very rich....spoiled just for today...and maybe tomorrow for just a bit. ;-)
 
" Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ;" ~ Titus 2:13

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's The Soil - Spending Treasure

A wave of nostalgia washed over me. For a moment, things felt just like they did way back then.

The tall pines that lined the driveway had not changed. The house, though not the same, sat nestled in the trees that were the very same trees that had embraced the old house that had been there when we were kids growing up.

I’m pretty sure I have not been to visit this place since our childhood. But just for that moment everything felt like it did all those years ago. I like that.

I had been to town with my folks and as we returned down the familiar, but ever-changing street, we were driving slowly – counting the deer.

“There’s DG,” I said, waiving as I said it. “Oh look! He is motioning for us to pull in!”

As I pulled into the driveway, now nicely paved, (many years removed from the dirt drives and gravel roads of our past) I admired the cleanly kept yard and beautiful log home, that DG had built after buying this place from his dad.

DG gave Dad and Mom a big old smile, and my heart smiled, too, as I thought about all the years that had been kept between the three of them. They love each other, I thought, and that smile DG has is still very much the same.

DG was one of my brother’s best friends growing up and he and I had gone to school together since first grade. I hadn't kept in contact with him, but my folks and DG were never out of touch.

I think I have written about DG before. He has the most beautiful garden I have ever seen anywhere, hands down, bar none. What ever the expression is! I have never seen a garden like DG’s and it is the same every year!

It was clear why he had motioned us to stop. He had vegetables for Mom and Dad. As he started to gather them into a sack, he told us, “I was just coming down to your place! I’ve got these vegetables for you.”

“DG”, I exclaimed, “you have the most beautiful garden I have ever seen anywhere! I don’t know how you do it! I wish mine looked like that.”

“It’s the soil,” he modestly answered. And I knew that was at least in part true. The soil in this area is rich and dark – almost like a finely roasted coffee bean – the dark ones that I always prefer to select.

“I know.” I replied, “But there is more to it than that. Nobody else out here has a garden like yours!” You’ve got this down!”

“Nah,” he smiled, “it’s the soil.” And my heart smiled again. This is exactly the DG I knew all those years ago. Humble and unassuming; never one to toot his own horn. The memories flooded over me again. He’s kept it, I thought. He has kept the way we were raised, the values and attitudes with which our folks all raised us when we were all neighbors and friends in this little community where we grew up.

Nostalgia washed over me, again…this is how it was then, I thought to myself. This was our neighborhood, and this is how we behaved. I remembered we were all taught "humility" was an important trait for us to uphold. We respected people like that. It was the way we were supposed to be. I remember it! I had almost forgotten how good that is. I think now days it would be much more common to have to sit through a lecture on all the things one had done to make ones garden so fantastic if that compliment had been offered to some people now days. But this was our neighborhood, and here it seemed - at least in this moment - things hadn't changed.
 
As I backed out of the driveway, the memories flooded over me again. And it felt as if I were back there again; 50 years ago. It all was the same, again…just like it was when we were kids - for just a moment in time things were rich and deep and old-fashioned. It was the neighborhood I cherish.

Yeah, it’s the soil, I thought to myself; where a whole lot of good was raised.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Call to Prayer

Have you heard about the call to prayer for our nation? Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham's daughter) has written a beautiful letter to be circulated to request and organize a call to action. We used to see calls like this a lot more often than we have of late. But I am quite certain we have never needed it more.
 
I'm equally certain most of us pray every day for our nation. But this is a call for collective prayer. It is urgent and it is overdue. I think it would be so like the Lord to call us during the week of our national holiday. Please pray.


In a letter to Pat Robertson, Anne Graham Lotz wrote:


June 20, 2014

Dear Pat,

As you may know, my husband is in declining health. I am no longer traveling and speaking as much as I have for the last 26 years since I am staying home to care for him. As a result, I have had time to be quiet and listen more to the whispers of the Spirit. He has revealed things to me in the stillness that I'm not sure I would have heard in my former busyness.

One of the things He has impressed on me is that we are living at the end of human history as we know it. In light of this, He has given me some practical assignments. One was to be the Honorary Chair for the National Day of Prayer 2014 this past May. He gave me the message I was to deliver, which was from Joel 1...the Day of the Lord is at hand. It was a message warning that judgment is coming.

Just recently, He has given me another assignment, which is to call His people in our nation to prayer. This assignment came indirectly from a Syrian pastor through a National Day of Prayer attendee. In obedience, I am blowing the trumpet...sounding the alarm...issuing a national prayer initiative entitled 777: An Urgent Call to Prayer. The Call is for God's people to pray for each of the first seven days in the seventh month ­ July 1-7. Then on the 7th day, July 7, we are to pray and fast for 7 hours. The purpose is...
  • For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the evil that has come into our world.
  • For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives.
  • For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening. 

I'm asking you to partner with me, and send out the word to everyone on your email address list, or who follows you on facebook or twitter. I will be sending out an eBlast this week and next, which you can access at http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/events/urgent-call-to-prayer. Please feel free to use it, and place your name in the paragraph that includes mine to make it more personal for your constituents:, Feel free also to forward this letter.

I will provide a prayer I have written for each of the 7 days to help unite us in one spirit and one voice as we cry out to God. Those who receive the eBlast are invited to sign up for the daily email prayers. Please be assured there is no other agenda in this initiative. This is not about promoting anything or anyone. This is all about calling God's people together to pray, before it's too late, and judgment falls on our nation. 


Please let me hear back from you as soon as possible. Time is short.
Urgently,

Anne

Blow the trumpet...sound the alarm…for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God... Joel 2:1, 13
  • Pray! in the 7th month, July
  • Pray! on each of the first 7 days of July
  • Pray! and fast on July 7th for 7 hours (of your choosing)
 
Commit to pray 777: http://www.annegrahamlotz.com/events/urgent-call-to-prayer/
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/churchandministry/anne-graham-lotz-urgent.aspx

Monday, June 23, 2014

Revisiting the Dream

So what would you do if all of a sudden an old dream from your childhood was suddenly dropped in your lap…like say, 50 years later? You would at least revisit that dream, wouldn’t you?  I mean at least on a superficial level.

Suppose after a day or two, the realization hits you, that the dream is not going away. But even more than that, the dream is actually currently very attainable.

Then, after even more careful analysis, what if you find the dream actually makes sense? Good sense. And in only a flash of a moment, suddenly the current satisfaction of your life has changed. Maybe that had been slowing taking place, and one simply hadn’t come to the realization, yet.

So it was for me this week, when I went on a spur of the moment drive, Sunday evening.

I met a loved one for dinner, and he handed me a real estate flyer advertising a home I had been in love with since my childhood.  I had spoken with him of my childhood dream, and he knew I would appreciate seeing this. The 1907 Victorian home on the hill was for sell. What is more, it was very reasonably priced.

Somewhere along the time frame within those 50 years, that home I viewed as "the mansion on the hill that the rich people lived in” became affordable to me!  Now a thought like that will certainly get ones attention.

“Let’s drive by”, I said with earnest excitement.

“Not gonna stop”, he replied matter-of-factly.

“That’s ok; I will come back after you take me to my car.” 

And so I went back. I walked around in the yard a bit, trying not to be disrespectful in my wanderings. Oh my goodness, the view! The yard! The windows!! A 4th floor attic, the flyer stated!!!  DREAM home!  Dream location!

Ok, so I am dreaming in type before I have even spoken with my husband. That is probably not too smart...but it's only a dream. I'm simply thinking out loud. What I do know is if my husband catches this dream, it is a done deal. He has a way of making happen that which he believes should happen.

For the record, there is no other place on earth that could call me from my present home like this has.  I love our home, and it has long fulfilled another childhood dream.  The truth is, I have never wanted to leave here. But things are changing. My son is gone. I am experiencing the empty nest syndrome. (Not doing very well there, I'm afraid.) I am taking care of 10 acres mostly by myself. It has become too much work. I can no longer enjoy it. If not for the weekly trips into town, I would find it entirely doable. But I just feel like I can’t do it anymore. The joy in it is dissipating. I have been realizing it slowly…trying to keep up with the arduous tasks that just never seem to end….and I am not talking simply about the tasks at my home.

I have to ask myself… “Am I running away?”  Maybe - but I would like to bring that which distracts me from my current home with me.  That way everything would be in only one place. That dreadful drive that I hate more than hate itself would be over. And if I only had to do the drive once a week, from a distance further, that would be much better than the 3 or 4 times a week that I do now. Certainly not saying this part of it would work out. This part involves much more than my passing fancy or thought.

And if that part of my thought process didn’t happen, I would still chase the dream. I could still make a weekly trip down that dreaded highway, I have reasoned. But there wouldn’t be quite so much.
 
Of course, I would miss my horses; but right now, I feel like that is all I would miss. I could conceivably board them out, probably just minutes from my new home.  The house is on a hill with magnificent views of a place that I love, but there are no HIGH, scary roads to get there. A few minutes to town; a few minutes to the country! I could go to work within 3 minutes of my home, if I so chose! The home and yard are cared for with impeccable attention. Further and probably the most key issue - I firmly believe we could lower our payments in the process. This is almost frightenly doable.

As we age, we won’t be able to keep the beautiful place we have now forever, anyway. The acreage will become too difficult to care for properly. This all comes a bit premature, but not by much. The attainability of it is almost mind-boggling. It would be wrong not to pray it through; tragic, to ignore the possibility that this may be a direction the Lord does indeed have for us.

If nothing else, I am enjoying reliving the dream of my childhood, and shaking my head that something like that could actually happen. I am going to make an appointment to view. And then if I like what I see and he is able to catch the excitement, I am going to make another appointment for my husband to view.
 
It might be a bit too big of a home for people our age, but there could be at least as many years there as we have had here. That would be worth it. I always said I would one day retire in that city. Two dreams in one. What more could one ask?

I think I’m ready.

“Restored home,”- the flyer states. “Beautiful woodwork, hardwood floors, round porch with balcony; claw foot tub and pedestal sink”.  Character within its walls.”  I knew that from the first time I saw it all those years ago.  The dream deserves a visit.
 
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Will Take Eight!

Do you ever read those articles in the local paper that feature one of our successful, outstanding citizens? The article is usually in the “Lifestyles” section and I believe it is called “Snapshot”. I usually always stop to read these exposes and typically, I enjoy them.

Anyway, the paper prints a photo of the person featured and then asks a series of questions, printing their answers. The questions are not always the same. Naturally, many of the questions have to do with topics in direct correlation to the person’s occupation or whatever it is for which they have been chosen to be interviewed. But there is one question that is always and consistently asked of each interviewee, and that is “How many hours of sleep do you get a night?”

I have always kind of laughed about this. Almost every person, without fail, answers with a number less than 8 hours. There are a few really wise people that will answer 8 hours. But it almost seems like it has been some kind of competition that would reveal the less hours of sleep one gets in a night, the more successful one must be.

I believe I have read some state they get only 4 hours of sleep on an average. And of course there are a lot of 6 hour responses. I just want to say “WHATEVER! How many naps do you take every day?”

I’m not saying they are fudging their answers…I mean who am I to say? I require at least 8 hours every night! And sometimes I prefer 9! But that’s just me. One could probably assume from that, if based on everyone else’s response, that I am not successful.  WHATEVER! I just want to get a good night’s rest!

I find the older I get the more difficult that is. I don’t fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow anymore. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night with pain in my hip or back. I’m always up at the crack of dawn, whether I was able to meet my 9:30 pm retirement deadline or not. But I do like to sleep.

I am not one for daytime naps. My husband and son would argue that. They think I always fall asleep the minute we are driving somewhere of any distance in the car, and without fail they tell me I fall asleep the minute we all sit down to watch television and the movie begins. I guess that is true.  But generally speaking I don’t like naps. They leave me feeling more exhausted and out of sorts. And then I always feel like I have wasted precious hours when I could be getting something accomplished.
 
The other day, however, I purposefully laid down for a nap. I slept two hours! And then the day after that, I laid down for a morning nap at 10:30 and slept for an hour; and then I laid down again in the afternoon for another hour nap. Yikes! What is that all about?

I slept again, yesterday, just after sitting down to O’Reilly at 5:00 pm. "I haven’t been feeling well," I rationalized. Every muscle in my body has been aching for a week!  Well, a good deal more than the usual aches and pains, that is. "I’m reallllly not feeling well," I realized. I’m out of sorts! Sniffles and sore throat for 3 or 4 days, now; extra sleep has been a necessity! I really don't feel well!! I have been thankful for the rainy days, so that I had an excuse to not work outside. I guess the Lord knew, too.

But anyway, I woke up to hacking in the middle of O’Reilly! "That feels like a cold!" I told myself in wonderment. So I went to bed early.  Woke up in the night, with a cough burning deep in my chest; that’s when it hit me knowing that I know, “I have a cold!!”

I fell back to sleep, pleased that now I had an answer to why I hadn’t been feeling well this week and sleeping so much. I awoke this morning feeling not a bit refreshed, but with a headache, and cough and a stuffed up head. "Oh yeah, it’s a cold," I realized. Sometimes I guess I am a bit of slow learner.

I guess I will never be one of those successful people that only require 4 - 6 hours of sleep if it takes me five days and extra sleep to fully comprehend that I have a cold.
 
I will take 8!

Ahhhh, sleep now. ;-)