2012 is Moving into 2013


We are facing many changes in our lives in 2013.  How we meet them will determine what this year brings to each of us personally.

A review of 2012 is breathtaking.   We have seen devastating weather including Hurricane Sandy, horrendous school shooting, the endless presidential debates resulting in an amazing presidential election, the Arab Spring, the London Olympics, several loved public figures died including Andy Williams, Andy Griffith and Whitney Houston, a guy jumped out of an airplane 128,000 feet, the United States stopped investing space and retired the last space shuttle.  Young Gabby Douglas took the gold in gymnastics in the Olympics with energy and enthusiasm.

In the midst of tragedy, there is always triumph!

The Mayans thought the world would end on December 21, 2012, which proves how wrong all the people who predict the future can be.  Of course, there is three days to go until we know for sure if they were right or wrong – but I’m sure they were wrong.  Which brings me to the subject of 2013.  What will happen in the coming year??

For sure there will be tragedy.  I am thankful that we don’t yet know what that will look like.  Without doubt there will be wonderful events of victory, triumph and overcoming tremendous odds.  The question is, ‘How will we respond to each event?’

What do you want for the New Year?  A new car?  To change eating habits resulting in lost weight?  To save money?  To give more to your church or favorite charity?  To write the great American novel or a hit song?  To find a spouse?  To improve your marriage?  To  travel on a long awaited vacation?  To get a new job?

Already many people are saving more money than ever before.  Many have quit buying stuff and are sharing their finances with those less fortunate.  Many are traveling to areas that encountered devastating weather and are giving their time and finances to help them recover.  A great number are planning on starting a new diet after the first of the year.

What do you want?  Really want?  Don’t be afraid to succeed.  Share it with us and go for it!!

Cyber Shopping, Cyber Talking, Cyber Learning, and Cyber Burnout!


After frantic Black Friday in the stores, buying boots that looked great in ad and returning them the next day when sanity also returned, I turned to the Internet.  I found what I was looking for, but I had trouble with the purchase and had to go to the chat room for assistance.  They helped me – and then I didn’t know for certain if the ‘buy’ had gone through.  After sending them a customer support ticket, I finally decided to go ahead and re-enter the credit card and – viola!! I received the e-mail confirmation.  While I didn’t have to fight crowds to get the products, I did experience frustration none-the-less.

The last internet purchase I made was a refurbished lap-top.  It has sound problems with the microphone providing a banshee like wail whenever I lay my hand on the front of the keyboard or try to talk to someone.  I called the provider and they put me through to tech support.  He told me to turn off the microphone, which I did.  The wailing stopped.

To add insult to injury, this morning when I opened my computer, I had a cyber class on blogging that I had forgotten about.  I went to the JoinMe sight and Skype and turned on the microphone and the screaming began again.  I tried to fix it – but to no avail.  I am now on the second computer but, it too, has a mind of its own.  The Office application has a glitch.  As I am typing, the letters decide they have a better place to be than in the word that I am typing.  They jump to the new sight and when I look up; I realize that I have made unfamiliar words inserted into an entirely different thought.

So, now I am in my blogging class and the topic is Cyber Monday.  Help me, Lord!  I remember a kinder, gentler time when I had a Rolodex (not to be confused with Rolex)  and a file cabinet, a phone and a car.  My own mind was the computer and things worked amazingly well.  I didn’t have access to all the things I do today, but truly, it was less stressful.

So, here I am, after a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, struggling to be thankful for cyber-anything.   Thinking back longingly to a time when Christmas Shopping was fun and didn’t start until December.

Cyber-burnout is really just a state of mind.  I have to know that if I didn’t have the internet I wouldn’t have blogging class with friends in Rockford, Illinois, or a Skype friend in South Africa.  I wouldn’t be able to see my grandchild in Madison, Wisconsin, or write to an audience of people I don’t even know and will, most likely, never meet!

After reconsidering, I am thankful for the Internet and the amazing way it allows me to communicate with the world.

Thanks, Al Gore!!!  (lol)

A Tale of Heartbreak and Ingenuity


When I was a girl, I would visit my grandparents at the farm in the summers.  There are so many things about it that are stamped on my memory and I want to share the story of the house and its origins.

The farm-house was old even then.  There is a romantic story of how it came to be.

The homesteader built a small two room house into the side of a tall hill.  It was snug and large enough for his needs with a dug out room in the back for storage.  He put a porch on the front, but most of his building skill went into the barn.  It was a magnificent building.  It had a set up for milking the cows and an ample haymow for storage in the winter.  The rest of the barn was set up with mangers for the horses and pens for the calves that he fed when he separated them from their mothers.  He had a separator that he set up and automated with greyhounds.  He would put the milk in and the hounds would go round and round so that the cream would be available to sell at market.  Eventually, he sold the homestead to an enterprising young man named Oscar.

In another location, a man busied himself building a wonderful two-story house.  He was preparing it for his mail-order bride.  He spent hours on the Victorian style building and had completed the basic part of the house.  He was decorating the eaves with intricate cut-outs and was nearly finished when the word came that his bride was arriving that week.  In order to have the surprise complete, he sent his brother on the anticipated day to fetch her.  He worked feverishly.  Night fall came and his brother had not returned with his bride, indeed, he never did return.  He took her for himself.  Broken, the man abandoned the house and became a hermit living in a cave.  Oscar also purchased this property.

With ingenuity that we no longer see, Oscar took the Victorian and moved it.  He used a team of oxen to manuever it to the top of the hill and carefully located it on the other house. As I looked at the property, I was in awe that it could have been accomplished.   He connected the two buildings with stairs, added a side porch and moved in.  Later he moved to town with his family.

First my parents and then my grandparents rented the farm.  This is where I spent many wonderful hours of my childhood.  There is a creek and seven cold springs on the place.  A deep canyon had been cut by one of the springs.  A log had fallen across the happy little  stream.  When I visited, I would go there and sit by the hour on that log, singing, dreaming, and talking to God.

In the house, my grandmother was a true homemaker.  Her tall  cabinets always shone with varnish and polish. The beautiful African rosewood clock sat atop them, faithfully chiming the hour.  The old oak table was often heavy with homemade food and fresh vegetables.  At night, after the dishes were done, we would all sit at the table and listen to the radio and play canasta.

Although it is long ago abandoned as a home, my grandparents still live there in my heart .  My dog, Stubby, waits outside the old screen door for us to come.  The chickens and other animals populate the landscape with the sounds of peace broken only by the guinea hens who don’t know how to be peaceful.  In here, in my heart, it is still alive and beautiful.

There is much more to tell, but I will cherish it in my heart until the time is right to share.

Being Successful in the Face of Fear 101


She came into work early with her heart in her throat.  She had talked to one of her clients last night and things were falling apart.  Anna wanted to put that phone call off.  Her fear must have shown because when her boss walked by, he paused and sat down at her desk.  “What’s up?” he asked.  She grimaced.  “I think that the deal I have been working on is unraveling.”  He looked at her and smiled.  “I know that’s hard.  You have worked hard, but my rule is this, ‘if you have to eat a frog, do it first thing in the morning.’  Then the rest of the day will not have a cloud hanging over it and you can be productive!”  Anna laughed.  She turned to the phone and as she picked it up, she asked her boss for some salt and pepper.

Anna had learned an important lesson.  When we face our fears and do the hard things early in the day, things improve quickly.  The relief of having the difficult call behind her gave her the release to have a day that was highly productive.

Does fear freeze you?  Are you afraid of making cold calls?  Are you afraid that someone is going to tell you no?  Do you have unrealistic expectations?

Truth is that only 5% to 20% of the new activity actually sign up, so a ‘ no’ is just one step closer to the yes that you are seeking.  And here is more good news, all the people you meet and develop a relationship with today are the people who may say ‘yes’ tomorrow or refer someone to you that will rock your world.  ‘

Anyone for frog legs?

What are you afraid to do???  Let’s talk.

Blue Moon 101 or Why Do We Call It Blue? and Other Trivia


August 2012 we will have two full moons in one month.  We like to name the moons such as the Harvest Moon, the planting moon.  Now you and I know that it would be a rare occurence for the second moon in the month to actually be blue, but it is a romantic notion nonetheless.

On the internet, I found different reasons for it to be called the Blue Moon.

At Green Answers, they said:

A blue moon, the second full moon in the span of a month, originally was called blue around 1883. This was right after Krakatoa erupted, sending ash into the air. There was enough that the moon looked blue through all the dust. This is how we got “once in a blue moon,” whose name was later switched with harvest moon, to get what we now call a blue moon.

The Answer Bag  (http://www.answerbag.com) contradicts with this:

My dictionary of idioms says this:

“The allusion to the moon being blue goes back at least to a 1528 rhyme:
Yf they say the mone is blewe,
We must beleve that it is true.”

Etymonline gives:
“Blue moon emblematic of ‘very rarely’ suggests something that, in fact, never happens (cf. at the Greek calends), as in this couplet from 1528:

Yf they say the mone is blewe,
We must beleve that it is true.”

So now that we have that out of the way, I looked to see what else is called Blue Moon and there is quite a list.

There is beer, roses, wisteria, cup cakes, quilts, ways to apply nail polish, lamps, pumpkins, goddesses, bread, margaritas, cakes, perfume, glass, foliage, candles, hibiscus, cocktail, phlox, and a book called ‘Blue Moon Rising’ by Simon Green.

But for those of us in the Encore Generation, we remember the blue moon through a wonderful old song written by Richard Hart in 1934.  It was later used in the musical ‘Grease.’

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone,
Without a dream in my heart,
Without a love of my own,
Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for,
You heard me saying a prayer for,
Someone I could care for,
And then there suddenly appeared before me,
Someone my arms could really hold,
I heard you whisper “Darling please adore me,”
And when I looked to the moon it had turned to gold,

Blue moon, now I’m no longer alone,
Without a dream in my heart,
Without a love of my own.


And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked the Moon had turned to gold

Blue moon
Now I’m no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue moon
Now I’m no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

 

For me, it comes down to something rare and unexpected as in ‘once in a Blue Moon.’  There is some nostalgia in and longing.  It indicates things rare and precious.  “I only get to see my good friend once in a Blue Moon.’

What does Blue Moon mean to you?

The Top Reason to Grow Old


Growing old makes no sense.  It is unreasonable.  I still feel like I am a happy, healthy thirty year old on the inside – so ‘whatsup’ with the change in the outside?  I look in the mirror and sometimes I see my Mother.  Sometimes, I see just an older version of me.  Sometimes I am shocked by the reflection and step outside of myself and consider the stranger that stares back at me.

Apart from the exterior, there are many things I like about being in my ‘encore’ time of life!  I like the freedom of relationships.  You don’t have to like me.  I know that I will survive your rejection.  I can tell a man of most any age that I love him and it just says, “I love you too.”  There are no innuendos and no concerns that he will suddenly want more than I meant.

I am thankful as I advance in years as not all people grow old and I believe that it affords us wonderful perspective.  .

I have time.  Time to reflect and play.  Time to sit and watch the clouds and feel the heat from the sun on my skin.  Time to listen to nature and to other people.  Time to write – love that!

My grandchildren amaze me with their abilities and thoughts.  My grown children are a source of pride in their accomplishments and character.  They live too far away – or I do.

My true friends are few but I value them and they value me.  We have walked past the ones that were for a season and those who are users.

I can travel if I want, but mostly I love being home and enjoying the peace and quiet companionship of my dear husband.

Everything is more intense.  The things that I have little or no control over seem to be moving at a more rapid pace including political divides, corporations like Monsanto that have high-jacked our food supply and led to the genetic modification of so many things, the patent office that made GMO possible, and so much more.  Our grandchildren have much to deal with and I fear our legacy isn’t a pretty one.  .  I still have a desire to impact things for good.

My husband of thirty-two years is more precious to me every day.  He doesn’t say much but the silence is filled with love.

But the top reason for growing older is the closeness that I feel to my Creator and the love that I feel for everyone I meet.  I used to look at others and judge their clothes, their financial condition and their failures – now I feel an overwhelming love for them and find myself praying for complete strangers.

I am truly free and I love living!

Freedom Isn’t Free


Freedom is a complicated subject.  We are only free as long as we see that there is a high price paid for freedom and that we have a responsibility to maintain it.  

When my children were in their teens and still at home, they had certain criteria that affected their freedom.  When those criteria were met, they had more privileges.

As a wife, there are limitations to my freedom if I want the relationship to be one of happiness and contentment.  It assumes faithfulness and truth.

The men and women who fought for our freedom in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and every war since have paid an enormous price for our freedom.  My uncle Jack was a ball turret gunner in a plane that went down over Belgium in WWII.

The Civil War and the life of Martin Luther King paid for the freedom of those who had been enslaved.

As a citizen, my freedom is contingent on my attention to the people we place in office and to be aware of what they do after they get in.  It is always based on my exercise of my voting privileges.

Have you ever noticed that people who aren’t free want to trap you in the same web that enslaves them?

A drug dealer wants you on drugs.

An alcoholic invites you to have just one more.

A thief will work to get you to steal.

A gang member will have an initiation that will ensure that you are guilty of crimes before you can be a member.

A smoker is all too willing to share a cigarette with you and teach you the ‘how to.’

A person driven by lust will try to get you hooked on it as well.

Advertisers want you hooked on prescription drugs, fast food, cigarettes, and a myriad of other products that are designed to keep you buying their products.

We have the freedom to say anything in this country and on the internet, but there is some speech that is designed to put us in bondage like pornography.

The ultimate price was on the cross when Jesus Christ shed His blood so that we could choose freedom

We are reminded of the rights and responsibilities that we have in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[76]that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long-established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Our future freedom depends on our actions today.

I am gratful to God for all the freedoms that we have in this country.  We are still the greatest nation in the world.

 What freedoms are you grateful for this week of celebration of the independence of the United States?