Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simple Pleasures - Daydreams



After a tiring day at work, I light some candles and submerge myself in a tub of hot, soapy water.

While Tony Bennett croons in the background, I close my eyes and pretend to be on an exotic island somewhere with no cares, no aches, no responsibilities and no needs. Just me, clear blue waters and sugar white sand.

Of course, Mr. Right comes strolling along at some point, looking hotter than grass fires in July, and, of course, he can't take his eyes off me, and of course, we sit and watch the sunset together and drink lemonade and marvel at the magic between us and wonder how we ever lived without each other and....

Ah, daydreams. Don't you just love 'em?
_____________

I'm linking to my twin sister's Simple Pleasures party.
Click on over. I'd love to hear yours.



Project Simple Pleasures2

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Got Dust? Get Some Rain.


The azalea bush outside my office window was dusty and limp the day the rain finally came. Watching its leaves bounce beneath the cool drizzle, I marveled at the power of water. Within minutes, the dry, drooping bush was upright, refreshed and clean. A momentary change of environment had produced monumental results.

The same is true for Christians. We often find ourselves dry and drooping as we struggle with right and wrong, good and evil. We're in the world, but not of the world, Paul said. Our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. Indeed, it's a daily wrestling match that leaves us tired, limp and dragging.

But just like the azalea bush after a cool, refreshing rain, a moment in the Master's presence and our drooping souls are revived again.

I enjoy reading "The Message" version of the Bible, and the 23rd Psalm is one of my favorites. I hope you'll find springs of refreshing today as you read each uplifting line.

Psalm 23

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
I'm not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
_____________

Please join me at Spiritual Sundays for some cool, refreshing rain.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wanted: Dating Tips for the Elderly

Do they have books on how to date when you dated 100 years ago and you sound like an interrogator whenever you DO go on dates?

"How long have you been divorced?"

"How long were you married?"

"How many marriages have you had?"

"Any serious relationships since you divorced?"


"Do you have children?"

"Any living with you now?"

"What type of work do you do?"

"Got plans for retirement?"

"Do you drive fast?"

"Do you drive slow?"

"Have you ever been arrested?"

"Any contagious diseases?"

"Is your hair real?"

"Have you ever done drugs?"

"Are you on drugs now?"

"Would you be willing to take a polygraph?"

Sheesh.

It's just not as simple as it used to be.

Or maybe I'm....

                                 just  not....

                                                        as interested.

Tips welcome.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Show and Tell Friday - Charlie Girl

I'm joining Cindy's "Show and Tell Friday." 

Charlie is the newest member of our family. A mix of German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd, she's a barrel of laughs, and a bushel of fun. She can also be messy and stinky, unlike most things showcased at this party. :-)

For some reason, she finds enjoyment sleeping in odd positions. On this particular day, she was going, going and gone. She never even blinked as she made her descent.

Simple Pleasures - "Dubble Bubble"


Blowing Bubbles..... makes me feel like I'm 10 again.
__________________________________

I'm so excited to link to my twin sister's blog today as she hosts her first blog party: "Simple Pleasures." I can't wait to hear what YOUR simple pleasures are, so pop in and join us. (Just don't pop my bubble!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

H is for HAPPY

I'm so HAPPY my twin sister steered me toward Mrs. Matlock's blog a few weeks ago, and that I stumbled into her Alphabe-Thursday class.

Yes, I was late—arrived on the letter Y—but I didn't get any licks in the office, and I had oodles of fun.

I'm totally excited about Rainbow Summer School coming up, and I'll try really hard not to be late.

Camping Isn't For Wimps

Every year when the weather turns hot, the traditional American camper loads up his camping gear, abandons the comforts of home and heads for the Great Outdoors.

Once there, he pitches his tent and spends his twilight hours around campfires—roasting wienies, incinerating marshmallows and talking with his next-door-camper about the latest in knapsacks, tent pegs and camp stoves.

After the wienies are consumed, the camper retreats to his wigwam in the wilderness, crawls inside his sleeping bag, counts falling stars and falls asleep to the sound of coyotes howling on the not-too-distant horizon.

Regardless of how many bee stings the camper incurs, he’ll do it all over again next year.Why? Because like every other camper in the known universe, he is a glutton for punishment.

Call me a wet sleeping bag, if you will, but I don't think there is any such thing as a really good camping trip. At some point, you're going to be hot, stinky and miserable, and there isn't anything you or your fairy godmother can do about it.

If summer finds you considering a camping trip, please study my list of observations (and a few choice tips) before loading up and leaving town:

1. Good campsites don't exist. The ones that did exist are now parking garages the size of Montana. If you find a site that's reasonably flat, get out and unload.

2. Bugs are the bosses at campgrounds. You can run, but you can't hide. No matter how many bug-be-gone candles you burn, you won't extinguish the head honchos of the Great Outdoors. Bring a king-size fly-swatter and plenty of first-aid.

3. Campers are never clean, and if you become one, you won't be clean either. Whither thou goest, dirt will go. Wherever thou lodgest, dirt will lodge. Thou food shall be seasoned with a pinch of soil…a touch of ash…a hint of soot…a powdering of perspiration. Don't bother taking any soap.

4. Camping isn’t synonymous with activity. In between hotdogs, there isn’t much for campers to do, besides sit in lawn chairs, listen to crickets chirp and count mosquito bites—which, of course, keeps them busy for awhile.

5. Modesty isn’t an option while camping. Your underwear will be viewed by one and all, hanging from low-lying limbs, car antennas and myriad fence posts. Keep this in mind before embarking, and bring the best you own.

6. Campers laugh a lot. They have to laugh to keep from crying. They’re generally nursing nasty sunburns, poison ivy or brain concussions from colliding with tent poles in the middle of the night.

7. Campers have character. If they don't have character upon arrival, they have it when they depart. It’s just what happens when adversity arises without easy access to Wal-Mart.

8. Campers go to bed early. They’re worn to a frazzle from chasing flies off the picnic table all day.

9. After sunset, campgrounds are the darkest places on planet Earth. Take plenty of kerosene and renew your faith in God before departing.

10. Camping isn’t for wimps. If you turn out to be wimpier than you thought, do the honorable thing and admit it. The only thing more pathetic than packing it in and finding a motel, is a wimp in denial trying to outmaneuver mud slides and monsoons.

The way I see it, Mother Nature is some kind of wonderful, for sure, but if you really want to ENJOY her breathtaking bounty, bring along a Winnebago.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Simply Splendid

I'm linking to Scenic Sunday today. Click over and enjoy the views.

My twin sister and I recently strolled through the arboretum near my neighborhood, and I was captivated by the beauty there. Here are a few of my favorite shots.









Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rejoice. Regardless.


Every morning before daybreak, a little bird sits outside my window and chirps, and chirps and chirps. He doesn't wait to see what the day will bring, he just lifts his beak skyward and celebrates the dawn.

The psalmist David said, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” He didn’t say, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us get up and see how we're feeling, and then we’ll decide whether or not we'll rejoice and be glad in it.” He just said “Rejoice and be glad.”

If it's raining, rejoice and be glad. If it's hot, rejoice and be glad. If it's cold, rejoice and be glad. If it's icy, rejoice and be glad. If tears plagued you in the night, leave them on your pillow and let them be.

Yesterday is over. Tomorrow might not come. Indeed, today—this very minute!—is the only time you have for living. Lift your beak skyward and celebrate the dawn.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oh, Give Me A Home

BEFORE


AFTER

Since buying my home two years ago, it's been a labor of love, turning it into a warm and inviting haven of rest. No matter how far my feet may roam, nothing feels better than coming home.
_________

Linking to Cindy's Show and Tell Friday. Click on over and see what's showing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Z is for.....ZA


Za is slang for pizza, and it can rack up some really high points on the Scrabble board. My twin sister and I used to play Scrabble at her house til dawn. We now play online Scrabble, which means we play our turn whenever we're good and ready, but it isn't nearly as much fun. Boohoo.

On another sad note, I hate that I discovered Mrs. Matlock's alphabet class on the letter Y, but I did, and now it's over. All good things must end, I suppose. Another big boohoo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Circus Afternoon


A friend called Sunday afternoon and suggested the circus. I hadn't planned on a circus, and I hadn't been to one since my daughter was a young girl, but I dropped what I was doing and headed that direction. It was a fun few hours of colorful clowns, brilliant music and mind-boggling feats. Ah. Teamwork and dedication. Powerful tools indeed.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Only Diligent Drivers Need Apply


When I lived in North Texas, one of my neighbors had car problems on a regular basis. Rarely did I look across the street and find his hood down.

His car reminded me of many Christians I have met: Unreliable. One week, they’re doing 100 mph. The next week, they’re parked at home, hood up and dead.

To hear them tell it, they want to serve God, but life is hard. Their kids are sick. Their spouses are mean. Their dogs are mangy. Instead of allowing everyday dilemmas to strengthen their resolve, they pull off the road and put it in park. It was good while it lasted, but their spiritual engines are now caput.

Proverbs 13:4 says, "The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."

Without question, if we're going to win the race that is set before us, we must be diligent in our quest. Flat tires. Pot holes. Fender-benders. Those everyday dilemmas should only slow us down, not shut us down.

True, some of us might cross the finish line with hub caps missing and horns that no longer honk. But none of us will cross the finish line on the back of a wrecker.
________

Linking to Spiritual Sundays, where oil changes are FREE!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Y is for YONDER

I don't know about y'all, but here in the South, we say "down yonder," "up yonder" and "over yonder."

"Yonder" can mean a block away, 100 miles away or in the same room: "Have you seen my other shoe?" "It's over yonder."

The more you say "yonder," the weirder it sounds.

I don't know where "yonder" originated from, but as soon as the bell rings, I'm going to go ponder the word "yonder" and see what I can find.
_______

I'm a brand new student in Mrs. Matlock's class. Today is her Alphabe-Thursday, and the letter is Y. Click on over and join us!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Water Wall - Outdoor Wednesday






♦ AHHHHH! ♦

(My offspring, cooling down on a hot summer day.)
____________________

Click over to Outdoor Wednesday and see what's going on outside.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What's In Your Hand?


Lori Rose was my gift today. She requested my friendship on Facebook and related how our paths had crossed over 30 years ago.

She was a 15-year-old new convert, fresh out of witchcraft. I was a young woman, offering what gifts I'd been given back to the Giver, in hopes of changing a life. Lori purchased my music, and I traveled on—to another city, another state, another congregation.

One sentence in Lori's message gripped my heart and still makes me cry: "You will never know the impact your music had on this previous hard rocker."

As tears dripped off my chin, I wrote Lori back and told her how much it meant, knowing that my small seed had produced good things in her life. I felt humbled, and grateful, and blessed. Little Me in the hands of Big Him. I hope Lori felt what my words couldn't say.

If your gift seems insignificant and small today, don't bury it in the ground. Place it in the hands of the Giver, and watch it grow.
_________

"And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
He said, Bring them hither to me."
Matthew 14:17

Sweet Summertime


Summers in Southeast Texas are almost unbearable. I don't recall dreading them in years past, but maybe I did. Or maybe I'm just getting old and cranky.

Either way, the only thing that gets me through the hot and steamy summer months is scoops of cold, creamy ice-cream.

YUMMY!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day


On this Independence Day, 2010, I'm grateful for my country and for brave soldiers who risk it all (and those who've given it all) to keep us free. Abraham Lincoln once said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

I celebrated our nation's birthday with family, hamburgers, French fries and watermelon. Can't get more American than that.

Let freedom ring!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Out of the Box?

During my years of traveling as a singer, I started a collection of coffee cups. They reminded me of people I’d met and places I’d seen.

After marrying and settling down, my parents—avid travelers themselves—kept the collection going for me.


A cup here, a cup there, and before I knew it, I had more cups than I had cabinets. Something had to be done.

Not wishing to part with any of them, I found a sturdy box and started a weeding process of sorts.

My favorite cups—the ones I enjoyed drinking coffee from—would stay. The other cups—the prettier, more fragile ones—would go in the box and be stored in the garage until further notice. I didn't want to risk getting them chipped.

And so it was.

I ran across the box a few days ago. It had been years (and a few tears) since I’d seen the cups, and I wanted to see them again.

There was the one I purchased in the early ‘80s from Macy's in New York City. The one from Kentucky with special memories attached. Ones from Colorado, California, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Washington. So many beautiful cups, just like I left them years ago.

I was sad they weren’t being used, but they weren’t. Carefully, I restacked them inside the box and closed the lid. After returning them to the shelf, I walked away wondering what kind of vessel I am in the Kingdom of God.

Am I just a pretty vessel, stored in a box in God’s garage somewhere, too fragile to be of use? Or am I a willing vessel—his favorite cup, you might say—the one he reaches for every morning, knowing that I'm ready and able to do whatever he asks of me, no matter the risks involved?

Sobering questions, for sure. In the box? Out of the box? The answer is up to me.


“Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 8:8
________________


♦ Linking to Spirtitual Sundays, where faith lifts are free. ♦

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dreaming Alone


Not much going on at my place. Just me, the candles and the rain.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to share such lazy evenings with Mr. Right, snuggling on the couch and eating homemade cookies.

But Mr. Right hasn't knocked on my door yet, so I'll enjoy the silence and dream of things to come.

Hope your holiday weekend is blessed beyond measure.