Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From The Archives


I think this is my neighbor. Grrrr.........

Girlfriends, Listen Up!


Alright ladies, it's that time of year once again!!! I think we need to be reminded of a few things. So my sisters, PLEASE, raise your big toes and repeat after me below....

The Open Toed Shoe Pledge

As a member of the Cute Girl Sisterhood, I pledge to follow the Ruleswhen wearing sandals and other open-toe shoes:

I promise to always wear sandals that fit.

My toes will not hang overand touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free.

I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.

I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

I will shave the hairs off my big toe.

I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back intoplace hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr.Scholl's if my feet need him.

I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, lowprice of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk properly when standing in a pool of sweat and I would hate to take someone down with me as I fall and break my ankle.

I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swelland begin to look like Vienna sausages.

I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when sheasks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good.

I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they are actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

I will promise to go to my local nail salon at least once per season and have a real pedicure (they are about $35 and worth EVERY penny).

I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear... nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Time To Stop the Denial

Folks, I plain don't feel good and that's simply put. I don't know what I'm doing or not doing, and I will be 3 weeks post-op tomorrow. Evidently, I need a very detailed consult with my doctor, which is actually scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

I'm not up to keeping up the regular blogging right now, but please don't dessert me!!! It would really hurt my feelings if I lost the very few blog friends that I do have!

Keep me in your prayers, as always!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Allison Krauss, and the Legend, Robert Plant and T Bone Burnett

The al.com review of the concert can be seen below, but first, I'd like to give you my thoughts. The BJCC upper level was blocked off, and the first loge was full except for the very back of the arena. My only complaint is that when I purchased my tickets, and paid the upper price, the venue map indicated the concert was "in the round", and it indicated I was on the floor and center of the stage. HOWEVER, for some reason, BJCC changed the layout and the stage was at one end. Our section ended up being on the left side (Section A) and we were fairly far back. With my neck surgery, it didn't take long through the opening act to realize that I was not going to be able to endure stretching my neck up in order to be able to see the stage. So, we noticed empty seats in the first loge in the rear and we moved. Although far away from the stage, we could sit, see clearly and nobody was in front of us. And I sang to every song on the CD, which I have just about worn out! The best word I can think of to describe my feelings during the concert is "mesmerizing" . . . at times I would close my eyes without thinking, soaking up and basking in the music, only to realize I didn't want to waste precious time when I could be watching as well.

Robert Plant and Allison Krauss' voices fit like a hand in a glove. Much to my surprise, and as the below review indicates, the normally poor acoustics at BJCC seem to dissapate, and the voices resonated clearly and acutely. Allison hit some notes that I didn't know she could handle, and it sent chills through me. She and Robert "got down" on some really funky rock songs, with her wailing in harmony to his lead, that were just awesome!

Gee (my new name for hubby) and I came away from this concert feeling it was one of the most enjoyable that we've ever seen. To be in the same aura as the legendary Robert Plant was a dream come true. Robert has not lost his vocal abilities, hitting every note right on target . . . no "pitchy" (as Randy Jackson would say) in his performance. Like fine wine, he has grown finer with age. I think all of "Raising Sand" was covered, as well as a couple of Led Zepplin songs that were rearranged (quite pleasantly) and some of Krauss' own independent material.

I have to say, Plant moved and jived with the music with what one would expect of a man of 60 but who still "has it" in the sex-appeal department. Maybe it's because I am older as well, but I found him down right sexy! And Allison, you're a beautiful soul and your voice is a precious, beautiful gift from above! My photos are the best that I could manage from the distance, but at least I have them. Now, on with the al.com review. . .


This team's a dream: Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, T Bone Burnett at BJCC Arena
Posted by
Mary Colurso -- Birmingham News April 27, 2008 5:00 AM

Review rating: Five out of five stars

It's an odd collaboration that, on the face of it, really shouldn't work. The New York TimesHighlights from Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's concert here included "Please Read the Letter," Killing the Blues," "Fortune Teller," "Nothin'" and "Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson."Few would think of teaming Alison Krauss, an angelic, exacting singer and bluegrass-folk fiddler, with hard-rock pioneer and passionate yelper Robert Plant.

They have vastly different energies and attitudes, not to mention a 23-year age difference.

But producer T Bone Burnett has a peculiar genius: He sees, hears and conceives things that others could hardly imagine. He's out of the box. He's ahead of the curve. Heck, he's the creator of his own musical geometry.

Krauss and Plant? Perfect, in Burnett's hands -- and perfectly wonderful on Saturday during a 9 p.m. concert in Birmingham.

The two stars, just a few shows into their tour, played for two hours at the BJCC Arena. Burnett -- long, lanky and looking like a character from "Deadwood" in his black duster -- was part of their five-member band.

In case you hadn't heard, Burnett helmed a Krauss-Plant CD collaboration, "Raising Sand," that was one of the top sellers of 2007. It continues to stir up interest in 2008 and is the impetus for an international trek.

On disc and on stage, Krauss, 36 and Plant, 59, lent their talents to a wildly diverse selection of cover material, from a gypsy-tinged Tom Waits ballad ("Trampled Rose") to a bouncy Everly Brothers song ("Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)").

Much of "Raising Sand" has a low-key, hipster vibe -- all smoky voices and shimmying shoulders -- and Burnett reinvents each song with cool, clever arrangements or bold changes in instrumentation.

In general, the principals don't operate as traditional, melody-swapping partners; they alternate as the frontman or frontwoman.

At the BJCC, Krauss and Plant started their set with the opening track of the disc, "Rich Woman," and sent the audience home with its final song, "Your Long Journey." They played nearly everything else from "Raising Sand," as well, shuffling the order of 10 tunes and blending in signature songs from their separate careers.

Krauss provided a pitch-perfect rendition of "Down to the River to Pray," from the soundtrack of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" This a cappella version, sweet and haunting, swelled to fill the arena with spiritual conviction.

Plant took the lead on radical reworkings of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" and "The Battle of Evermore," massaging a gentler, earthier tone into those formerly piercing, fast-moving hits. He also took "When the Levee Breaks" back to its soulful blues roots.

Some technical wizard must have worked a bit of magic at the arena, because the BJCC's sound was clear, clean and resonant -- exactly as a listener would wish it.
This made it possible to distinguish contributions made by the excellent musicians backing Plant and Krauss: guitarist and band leader Burnett, guitarist and pedal steel player Buddy Miller, bassist Dennis Crouch, drummer Jay Bellerose and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mother

First, thank you, to my blog frans for the encouragement and hanging with me when my posts are rather nonsensical and infrequent. Blame it on meds, pain and lack of sleep! I DID get a good night's sleep last night. I didn't take a nap yesterday! However, by the end of the day, after being out of pain meds for 48 hours, I was a fairly whooped dawg!





This is a photograph of my Mother when she was approximately two years old.











Mother arrived a week after my surgery and stayed 8 days. I used this time to bask in her loving presence, and to have some good, quality time - just the two of us. I want to focus on a couple of the stories she has told me before, but I asked her to tell them again because I love hearing them.

First, Mother has a deathly fear of the water. She was school age and there was a big family reunion at an uncle's home. Nearby, there was a fairly full creek and some of the kids decided to go down there to swim. They took off their clothes, ALL OF THEM, and got into the water. My mother was wading around and could not see that there was a steep drop-off beneath the water. She went into it before she could catch herself, and she didn't know how to swim. She said that she was going down for the third time when a cousin finally grabbed her and pulled her to safety.

They immediately got out of the creek, she was scared silly. They put their clothes back on, which became damp from the wet little bodies that donned them. On the way back to the house, she rode on the rack that used to be on the back of old cars where one might place luggage. She laid in the sunshine, hoping against hope that her clothes and her hair would dry before they got back to the house. Well, it didn't and there was some harsh scolding, and then thanks to God that she had not drowned!

Back in those days (my mother was born in November, 1931 so she is 76 years old), it was not uncommon for country-folk to spit out babies for years on end. My mother has uncles younger than her, and some just about her age and then the age of her older brother, my Uncle Loyd. My little mama was the only girl in the bunch. I roll with laughter hearing the story of how the bunch of them used to chase a pig in Mammy's (that's my great grandmother) yard. When they managed to catch the pig by the tail, the boys would hoist my mother, who was about age 4, onto the pig and she'd try to ride it! Hearing the tale of the multiple times each of them caught the pig, mounted only to fall off again, and then all rolling with laughter, brings such wonderful feelings to my heart.

It was a day when life was simple. Children had no "toys", no television, and certainly no iPods - nothing near the thought of such a thing even existed. No, they made their toys from scrap lumber and junk they found around the house. I have to mention as well that back then, my mama was always dressed in a dress. So, I can see her in her little dress, white socks and Mary Jane's, running those short little legs off and playing until she was plum tired out.

My mama is a very petite woman. She is 4'11" and she weighed 90 pounds when she and my Daddy married in 1953. She was affectionately given the name "Little Mama" by my brother-in-law years ago when he married my sister. And keeping in line, he also gave my Dad the name "Big Daddy", which to a man, is a huge ego bolster. He loves to be called "Big Daddy".

My mother said that she received only two spankings in her life from her Daddy. The first was when, again she was a toddler, she was told NOT to go down the street to her other grandparent's house. It wasn't that far, but it was pretty much out in the country in those days (in Old Hickory, Tennessee), and they feared someone snatching her or a wild animal, anything. But, Little Mama was intent on going and thus she did. When she returned home, my grandfather and my granny were looking all over for her. Their house was built on the side of a steep hill, not unlike some of those here in the south, and the porch was supported by posts and with the slope, a man could stand straight up underneath it.

When she heard the calling and calling her name, she knew she was in for it. So she headed for shelter underneath the porch. As she tells it, "there could have been spiders, snakes, anything under there, but I was more afraid of my Daddy being mad that I didn't even think about that." She finally was found and to use her words, "My Daddy took a keen switch after my legs" and she never did that again!

The second time he spanked her (I'll bet it wasn't much of a spanking), they were all sitting at the dinner table, one on each side - Papa Keith, Granny, Mama and Uncle Loyd. My mama was sitting opposite Papa Keith and he told her, "Betty, you need to eat your cornbread." Before she thought about it, she said, "I don't want any cornbread!" Papa got up and walked around there, gave her a good swat and she said that never again in her life told her Daddy she didn't want anything if he told her to eat it.

I love these old stories, and she made me laugh and she laughed at herself as she told them. I could tell she was enjoying telling the stories. We were sitting on the patio reading in silence, and I thought, "my mama is here and we need to talk and share our time getting closer (if that's possible)". So I put down my book and I said, "tell me some stories from when you were little," and thus she did. I've heard them before, but I wanted to hear them again, and I'll want to hear them again and again. I want to never forget them and tell them one day to my legacy.

Mama left on Wednesday morning this week and I tried so hard to be brave. My mother is the strongest woman I know and I tried to be strong, too. I was fine until she got in the car and LG was preparing the back out of the garage. I felt the tears welling and I bit my lip, but they came anyway. She looked at me and I could read her lips: "Now, stop that crying!" I just smiled and waved as she was driven off to the airport.

This is a photograph of my oasis. We built a room onto the upper part of the house last year (I live in a split-foyer), and had the patio (concrete) extended underneath the room so we would have a place to sit, even if it was raining, and read, relax, talk, whatever. We had the new chairs built by a local man just recently and they are really comfortable. I usually have a couple of palms, but with my surgery, I haven't even begun to plant flowers or purchase greenery, except for two hanging baskets, which LG put up for me.

So, if you think about me on any given day during my recovery, you can picture me here, reading my books, the newspaper, maybe talking to a friend or one of my kids on the phone. Keep those good thoughts and prayers going for me. I see the doctor on Tuesday and am so anxious to get a good report on my recovery!

Peace,
Abbey

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Globalization

What is the truest definition of Globalization?

Answer: PrincessDiana's death.

Question: How come?

Answer:

An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, riding in a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whisky, (check the bottle before you change the spelling), followed closely by Italian paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles; treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines.

This was sent by an Austrian, using Bill Gates's technology, and you're probably reading this on your computer, that uses Taiwanese chips, and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and trucked to you by Mexican illegals.....
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That, my friends, is Globalization!

Cereally Ocifer, Not One Drink!

Courtesy of my friend, Mommy2boys ~

THINGS THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO SAY WHEN YOU'RE DRUNK:

1. Innovative
2. Preliminary
3. Proliferation
4. Cinnamon

THINGS THAT ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO SAY WHEN DRUNK:

1. Specificity
2. Anti-constitutionalistically
3. Passive-aggressive disorder
4. Transubstantiate

THINGS THAT ARE DOWNRIGHT IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY WHEN DRUNK:

1. No thanks, I'm married.
2. Nope, no more booze for me!
3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.
4. Taco Bell ? No thanks, I'm not hungry.
5. Good evening, officer. Isn't it lovely out tonight?
6. Oh, I couldn't! No one wants to hear me sing karaoke.
7. I'm not interested in fighting you.
8. Thank you but I won't make any attempt to dance, I have no coordination. I'd hate to look like a fool!
9. Where is the nearest bathroom? I refuse to pee in this parking lot or on the side of the road.
10. I must be going home now, as I have to work in the morning.

12:53 a.m. And All's Well!

So here I am in the first hour of a new day and I cannot sleep for the life of me. I took a nap from around noon until 4:00 and suppose that is interfering with my sleep pattern. I took some drugs, but they're not helping. So you get to listen to my midnight oil! Remember that group? I loved that song, something about a burning bed ... whatever!

T.V. was the pits tonight, so we opted for our dvd of The Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon from 2003. Let me tell ya ladies, I get goose bumps all over my body when I watch Derek Trucks play. I gave up my fondness of long hair on males YEARS ago, but Derek is absolutely adorable, with his long ponytail, his sweet young look, and his very smooth way of playing the guitar. This guy plays with his fingers, no picks, and does a mean glass slide as well. Derek began playing guitar when he asked for a guitar at the age of six. He was touring and playing with bands by the time he was 9 years old, and his father was his manager. How cool is that?


The thing I love about ABB is that their songs are timeless and they make sense! Not like a lot of the trash you hear nowadays. LG said, "well their songs are 30+ years old, honey". Well duh! That's my point. They are timeless. They write about good times, bad times, good love, bad love, highs and lows - they write about the common man and life. They do a great rendition of an old Sam Cooke song, "A Change is Gonna Come" that just tears me up. It's truly the story of my life.

We'll be seeing Krauss/Plant on Saturday night and I'll have my camera (hope they don't disallow photos!). I am so excited and already mentally running back and forth through my closets in an effort to choose an "outfit" ... I love that word ... I remember my daughter and her girlfriends when they were teens and they had to have a new "outfit" for a date with a new guy or something ... it was all about the "outfit"! LOL! So, without going and buying something, I'm trying to come up with something not too dressy, but stylish and appropriate for a concert. I love to dress up! Look for photos next week, unless I look to fat in them, in which case, I'll crop my face and that's all you're gonna get! I'll be resting ALL DAY Friday and Saturday in preparation for the concert. It's the only way I'll be able to go. I might not "get down" like I usually do, but nevertheless, I'll bust a move or two.


Next weekend, we'll be at Oak Mountain seeing The Derek Trucks Band and Santana. I'm more excited about DTB than Santana .... and I got great seats in the first section so hoping to get up close and personal with Derek via my camera! I had this idea of trying to get backstage to see him on the pretense that we went to high school together, but since I'm roughly 20 years older than him, I don't think it will fly, do you? And then I'd probably get tongue-tied and not know what to say. If I could just relax, I think we could have a great chat just about the music .... what a pipe dream.

Okay, about American Idol. This whole season has gone haywire! The fan base has gotten all screwed up and some really great talent is getting the boot! The guy with the dreadlocks, I cannot remember his name, respectfully sorry, but I think he's still on because all the girls think he's so cute, and he is, but he has no versatility. Carly was absolutely ROBBED tonight of her chances! I was furious! Brooke does not have near the talent, nor does dreadlocks or David A. David is not versatile either. He has a nice voice, but his sound is the same week after week, no matter the genre. Carly brought the house down and had so much fun with "Jesus Christ, Superstar" that she had me up dancing with her. It was astonishing when they announced that she was leaving. I was so proud of her grace and poise when learning that she was leaving. Believe me, some of these talents that have been booted are still going places. There are the likes of Randy Jackson, his connections, Clive Davis and many others who will scoop them up in a New York minute. Oh, not to forget the Aussie guy getting the boot last week. Another outright robbery! That should not be happening. If this keeps up, I don't know how, but somebody is going to have to fix the way these things are voted on. It's extremely disappointing.

My grandchildren are doing great in their baseball/softball. Hannah's softball team at Penhale Park is undefeated (8-0). Hannah is playing first base and has obviously paid a lot of attention to her coaching, as evidenced by that foot on first base and her being stretched out to the max and catching a ball for an out! She's awesome, and what a hitter - to the fence! I was really proud when the coach from the other team walked by me and said, "I've been hearing a lot of good things about her." Whew! I was beaming with pride! She has found her niche and she LOVES her softball. Bailey is playing in the pitching machine level this year and he's doing very well. He has his strike-outs, but then he has his really great hit's too. I think he's batting probably .500 or better. He gets swapped between pitcher's mound and third base. His little heart is REALLY into sports and he absorbs everything. Riley is in his first year, coach pitching. He also plays first base and does a fine job. He got the game ball his first game for catching a pop fly. He's not a bad hitter either. I have to give credit to their dad who has worked tirelessly with all of them over the last two years in preparation for this entrance into the world of America's Greatest Pastime. He's done a wonderful, wonderful job and that's what it takes.

Okay, I'll stop and try to go to bed again. Yawl have a good day today. I'll see ya when I see ya ... I'm not on any clock tomorrow, if you know what I mean. Pray that the pain and muscle spasms ease up ... I'm growing weary of this whole deal. I want to be well, I want to go back to work and live a normal, pain-free life!

God bless,
Abbey

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

HBO - This has gone too far!

I do not find Bill Maher the least bit funny, nor entertaining. He is one of the most offensive and egotistical men I have ever seen on television. I implore you to sign the petition in protest of his offensive diatribe against the Catholic Church, the Pope and the people of this faith. This man has never had anything worthy to say, in my view, and our forefathers are surely turning restlessly in their graves at such misuse of our freedom of speech. I will never believe that they imagined nor intended this freedom to be taken such lengths.



Meet Jersey Girl. She is the newest member of our family and she is absolutely precious, precocious, and lots of fun.

I took these photos as my son's house last Sunday. The horses are a mystery to her. She knows they are a LOT bigger than her, and she runs up to the fence and barks that precious little puppy bark and then turns and runs a safe distance, where she stops, turns around and sits to look back and see if they are reacting to her, which they're not. Animals are so fun to watch . . .






This Day's . . .

What is Christian perfection? Loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

~ John Wesley


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

~ Colossians 3:15-17, The New International Version

Wisdom from Heartlight

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
~ Proverbs 10:12, King James Version

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The National Anthem

5 little girls singing the National Anthem in harmony at the United Spirit Arena before a Texas Tech basketball game in Lubbock, Texas. If this doesn't make you stand up, put your hand on your heart, and bring a tear to your eyes, then nothing will! Outstanding job, ladies!

GREETINGS!!

HI EVERYONE!

It is 7:02 a.m. and I have been up since 5:30. I don't have one particular think on my mind, so I'm just going to write whatever pops out of my brain in my effort to get it cranked up again.

Most of you know that my surgery went well. I had a lot of anxiety pre-surgery and that was strange for me. I was feeling like, "this might be one too many". Odd, I always tell the doctor before they wheel me in, "just make sure that I wake up." I had to pray about this surgery a lot, and I arrived at the hospital with my rosary beads in hand, having already been reciting my rosary on the way. St. Vincent's is so on the ball, and everything had been done, paperwork, blood work, everything - prior to my arrival, so once I was there, I was called immediately and the process was quick. I handed my rosary to LG and gave him a kiss and my love and away we went.

In the staging area, a black priest was walking around and when he looked my way, I caught him eye-to-eye. He saw my longing, I believe, and walked over to my gurney. I told him that I was Catholic and he asked if I wished to receive an anointment, and of course, that is exactly what I was seeking. Another prayer answered. I felt so much better having received my anointment with oil that all my fears dissipated instantly.

The nurse anesthetist came and talked with me, then the anesthesiologist. Then the NA pushed a little something into my IV to "relax" me. By the time I was wheeled into OR, I was downright giddy. I don't know what it is, but they always seem to push that stuff that knocks you out instantly on the sly. I don't get that, but in my giddy state, I felt the NA standing above and to the left of me. I turned my head just in time to "catch" her holding that syringe low and pushing the meds in. I got this huge grin on my face as if to say, "ah ha! I caught ya!" The oxygen mask came down as I lay there with the grin of the cat who caught the canary on my face and I was out like a light!

My mom has been here one week tomorrow, and tomorrow she will return home to Texas. It has been such an enormous JOY to have her here. Just having mommie close by does a heart good, even at my age. I have shared some of my most heartfelt emotions and stories with her, and we have talked about her childhood, me soaking up all of those stories to pass on to my children and grandchildren to keep the legacy alive. Yesterday was very enlightening. We were discussing how hurtful people can be in what they say to you and about you. My mom is a very Godly woman, and she just popped up: "I was reading the Book of James before I cam out here and it has some very wise things to say about the tongue. You should read it." I told her I wanted her to find it for me, and she did. I began to read those verses, and was absorbed into the Book of James immediately. I couldn't put it down. James was speaking directly to me and to some issues in my life that have been hurting me an awful lot for months. I keep telling you that God sends His message to you when you least expect it. And if you are always open to Him, you will see it when it comes. It was a wonderful blessing that my mom gave to me yesterday. I love her so, so much.

My allergies are cranking up which makes the source of my pain seem greater. I overdid a couple of days and have tried to recoup from that to no avail. I suppose when mom leaves tomorrow, it will be just me and I will lie away the day if that is what I feel I must do. The weather is so beautiful that we have spent many mornings drinking coffee and reading our respective books while sitting on the patio, or we may exchange conversation in between bouts of reading. I love this time of year and long to be working in my gardens. But, LG has divided and transplanted my cana bulbs and my yellow rose bushes that he hesitantly cut back at my insistence a while back are already bursting with buds. The two redbirds and single bluebird that seem to "live" in my trees are back and keeping us entertained. I bought two beautiful hanging baskets for $6 each at Sam's and picked up two pots of something, I don't know what, but the blooms are lavender and are said to bloom "all season" at Wal-Mart. They are hanging thanks to LG and we had new patio chairs (4 of them) crafted by a local man and they are absolutely comfy! He made them out of treated yellow wood, so they should last a long time. They are much more comfortable than the Adirondack chairs. The water fountain is up and running, the ficus and other plants that were brought in for winter are back out and my paradise, such as it is, is ready to enjoy. The hot tub/spa has been drained, thoroughly cleaned and refilled. Soon as I get the doc's approval, I will be making good use of it to work on those back and neck muscles. In fact, I have a few blog girlfriends that I would love to have over for some wine, fruit and cheese, along with a sit in the spa with some good conversation. It's on my agenda, girls, just give me some time to get there!!

My son went to Mississippi and purchased his pup and named her Jersey. She is a Belgian malanois (Google it). She is precious, now 9 weeks old. He is a police officer and has a K-9 unit but no dog, so he got her as his personal pet and is already training her to the smell of marijuana. It is pretty interesting. He has a small quantity of the stuff in a bag with several different "toys" that soak up the smell. He gets them out and plays with her. Last week, he put a little of the mary jane in a film canister and hid it. Guess what? SHE FOUND IT! His, my son's, uncle has been a crack addict for 20 years and it broke my son's heart. He is so against drugs and breaking the law, which I think is why he chose to be a police officer in addition to a firefighter. I suppose the uncle addiction was a blessing in that it showed my son what drugs can do to a person and a family. He won't even go to his grandmother's anymore because the uncle is there and his grandmother has been an enabler and co-dependent all these years, instead of practicing tough love to help him. Another story that I have put behind me.

Anyway, Jersey is our newest family member and she is an adorable pup. She will grow to be about 30 pounds and will be his company and his protector when he is on duty. That makes me feel a lot better, too.

I've been writing for 30 minutes now and I'm t-a-r-d - TARD! Thank you all for your friendship and sending the good thoughts and prayers up for me. It does make a difference. Hewy, if you read this, you should know that your Gnome has been hired away by Travelocity. I saw him on t.v. roasting marshmallows atop a volcano in Hawaii, and then diving off cliffs in Mexico. Oh dear, what will you do?

Talladega is Sunday, so you know what I'll be doing! WOO HOO! Go Junebug!!

God bless,
Abbey

Monday, April 07, 2008

A BRIEF RESPITE

Dear Visitors,

I'll be away for a short while. Please check back in a couple of weeks, when I hope to be back online. In the meantime, keep Jesus close in your heart, say your prayers every day, pray not just for your friends and loved ones, but also for your enemies, for peace, for the lives of the unborn, for the repose of the souls of those who have gone before you, and most of all, that by God's grace, you will have a forgiving heart.

Peace and God Bless you all,

Abbey

This Day's Smile

An old error is always more popular than a new truth.

~ German proverb

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Abbey's Listening to . . .

I have several in mind for today, and since it's Saturday, it's time to load up the carousel! These are just for starters . . .





SUCCESS

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

~ Bill Cosby

Just sign me,
GUILTY!

Omazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound

Friday, April 04, 2008

a la Liz!

I adore this lady!! What spunk .... I will feel the same way when I'm old....


Read the story from People Magazine.

The Truth About Feelings

The Truth About Feelings
~ by Jon Walker

… And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ ….

~ Philippians 1:9-10 NIV

Submitted now for your consideration: Pamela, a loving wife, a nurturing mother, a prayerful Christian. This morning, her husband, Richard, left a tender note on the bathroom mirror, inviting Pamela to join him for lunch at their favorite restaurant.

Pamela eyes the clock throughout the morning, anticipating meeting her life-long love at 1 p.m. She’s excited and feeling extraordinarily loved by her husband, so she leaves for the restaurant early in order to buy Richard a small gift. She splurges more, buying two balloons, which float up from the ribbon wrapped around the present.

As she pays for the gift, she looks in her purse and notices she’s left her cell phone at home – again. No matter, it’s 12:30 and in a few short minutes she’ll be with Richard, giving him her undivided attention. Who needs a cell phone in moments like that?

Pamela arrives at the restaurant first and patiently waits for Richard to arrive. What she doesn’t yet know is that Richard has been in a horrible traffic accident and was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:24 – about the time Pamela was tying the balloons to the bow, buoyantly anticipating the approaching romantic rendezvous.

The point to this sorrowful snapshot is that our feelings don’t always reflect the truth. Pamela is soaring high on her feelings of love, even though her husband is already dead. The truth is bearing down on her, and it will immediately alter her feelings when it hits – but her feelings are not yet in line with the truth.

Imagine Pamela as she waits for her husband, and he does not arrive. She’s forgotten her cell phone, so she waits. After a while, she becomes annoyed; after 20 minutes, she’s irritated and hurt. Her feelings still do not line up with the truth. After 40 minutes, she begins to worry. This just isn’t like Richard. Maybe something has happened. She asks to borrow the restaurant's phone, and she calls Richard’s office, but is transferred to his boss. He says, “Pamela, we’ve been trying to reach you. There’s been a terrible accident ….” The truth and Pamela’s feelings collide.

The fact is, God gave us feelings. There’s nothing wrong with them. As one of my friends often says, “Feelings are just feelings.” Sometimes they reflect the truth; oftentimes they don’t. They can provide positive insight, such as when our fear warns us of nearby danger, or they can give us social discernment, like when we realize we’re falling in love.

But your feelings do not define the truth. Only God defines the truth. You may feel worthless, but the truth is you are uniquely created by God, who loves you deeply. You may feel like you can walk on water, but the truth is you can only do that if Jesus calls you from the boat. You can’t; God can.

Just as the Apostle John tells us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-3), Paul teaches us to discern the truth through knowledge and deep insight, not through our feelings. He writes, “… and this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ ….” (Philippians 1:9-10 NIV)

Eugene Peterson, in The Message paraphrase of the Bible, translates it like this: “… You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush ….” (Philippians 1:9b-10a MSG) Otherwise, you end up in a life “shaped by things and feelings, instead of God.” (Colossians 3:5 MSG)

Your feelings are from God. They are a gift, and there is no need to avoid them or be ashamed of them. Yet God never meant for our feelings to be the gauge that measures your life and how you live it. Your feelings are not designed to define you or interpret the situations you now face. Only God’s truth can define you, and only God’s truth can pass judgment on the circumstances of your life.

The great and best Good News is this: God’s truth is a person – Jesus Christ, our Lord. What does this mean?

· You are not your emotions – You are not defined by your emotions. You are defined by God. You may feel worthless, but God says you are wonderfully and fearfully created in his image. You may feel like you’ve failed God, but God says you are accepted in the beloved and that he loves you no matter what you’ve done.

· God uses your feelings – God may use your feelings to reveal a piece of your heart that you need to turn over to God; he may use your feelings to draw you closer to him. Paul speaks of feeling like a wretched man, and that draws him deeper into the grace of God. Your feelings of hopelessness in a situation may be what God uses to show you that you’re hanging your hopes on the wrong thing – because he is a God of hope, and it is a hope that will not disappoint.

· Your obedience is based on the truth, not feelings – The facts may appear daunting, but it is up to God to interpret the facts, not you and your feelings. God calls us to be obedient to the truth, not the way we feel. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says that if you don’t love someone, act as if you do, and your feelings will catch up.

PROHIBITION

If you were around in 1919 (just before prohibition started) and came upon the following poster.........

Would you quit drinking?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

VERSE:

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that yeshould abstain from fornication.
~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3


THOUGHT:

Sanctified surely does sound "churchy," doesn't it? It means to be special, reserved for God's use and glory, and not common. We are to be an uncommon people! This is especially true in steering clear of sexual immorality. We're to stay far away from it, honoring God with our bodies (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20) while celebrating God's plan for joyful sexual fulfillment in marriage(Proverbs 5; 1 Corinthians 7:1-7).

PRAYER:

Father God, please protect and empower me as I seek to resist sexual temptation in my sexually charged culture. I want to offer myself to you as a holy sacrifice, pleasing to you and a blessing to your people. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

DAILY WISDOM:


Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
~ Proverbs 20:22, King James Version

Another Hospital Story

First, I'm a big time people-watcher! I love crowds for that very reason. If I'm in a busy place, I'll just pick a spot, chill out and watch. Airports, I think, are the best places to watch people. You see all kinds. But in this exercise of dignosis of and preparing to fix what ails me, I have had more than one occasion to spend time at the hospital.

Today, I went for pre-op testing. Let me say one thing first - the hospital where I am being treated has me for life! The staff there has been nothing but the sweetest and most courteous, not to mention funny, that I've ever experienced in a health care setting. The lady who did my workup today talked and chatted up with me like we'd known each other for years. She was so nice! In fact, every person I have dealt with has said "Have a blessed day" when I left. It is simply awesome and inspiring. Try that - "Have a blessed day." It feels good ...


However, there was a very, very sad thing that I witnessed this morning. I had signed in and was waiting to be called. As I sat in the large waiting area, I saw a tall man, maybe 50-ish, dressed in a sports jacket and not bad looking, walk up to the desk accompanied by a staff member. She pulled phone from under the desk, but it had no receiver. She went into a back room and returned with a receiver and plugged it in for him. I overheard this man tell her how sorry he was to put her to so much trouble, and she was so kind to him, reassuring him that it was no trouble at all and to let her know if he needed anything else.

This same staff person was the one who checked me in and I learned the very, very sad story of this man. It seems that the man had traveled all the way from Tennessee in the car with his wife driving and two children in tow. The wife stopped ON THE INTERSTATE and made him get out of the car, and then drove off. The man has a heart condition, which is why they were coming to Birmingham, and the wife drove off with his medicine, too!

Thank God, a police car drove up and brought the man to the hospital. He was trying to get to some special clinic and he had money in his pockets, he just needed the phone to call a cab. The staff person said she was about to go to the cafeteria and get something to eat before coming to her station, but something told her to go on to her desk. When she got there, this man was just standing there and looked absolutely forlorned. She said, "Sir, can I help you?" He just about cried and said, "yes, will you please give me a hug?"


I hope that this poor man made it to where he needed to be. It simply broke my heart to see this and hear what happened to him. May the Lord shine His light upon this man and care for him and his needs, whatever they may be. And I'm not going to say what I'd wish for the wife, because it just would not be Christian of me. I'm still to angry to pray for her, but when I do, I'll also have to ask God to forgive me for the bad thoughts I've had about her today. That has to be the most cruel thing I've heard of someone doing to another human being in a while, especially in a marital relationship.

Thank God for your lives; there is always someone out there who is more troubled and has more problems than you do. And God bless them all.

Abbey

To All My Crack-Pot Friends

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house." The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"

"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for th e good in them.

SO, to all of my crack pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Frenetic Wanderings


Abbey's Listening To . ..

This one takes me a very long way back, to a surrealistic time of youth and when thoughts of one's mortality had no meaning or importance, life was carefree and one only knew anxiousness for what the next day would bring . . . how very wonderful to reminisce with Van Morrison. A few years back, I frequented The Blue Monkey for a while, which most of you will recognize as the basement bar/club at the rear of Cobb Lane. I adored that place and spent many evenings sipping chocolate martinis in the back where the piano room was located. I cannot recall, forgive me, the name of the gentleman who played the piano and sang, but he had to have been a huge fan of Van's. He played and sang a lot of Van's songs with such gusto and excitement, and I loved singing along and dancing with his rendition of "Moondance", which is close to my heart. Where have all the faces and places of good times gone?

FLOODING IN IRELAND

If this doesn't tug at your heart strings nothing will. We've all seen the faces of those ravaged by the floods of Sri Lanka, New Orleans, and now in Britain & Ireland. This 'award-winning' photograph of the recent flood waters rising in Ireland captures the horror and suffering there. Keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.


Special thanks to ljmwriter.

This Day's . . .

Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God.

~ J. I. Packer

I cry to God Most High, to God who fulfils his purpose for me.

~ Psalm 57:2, The Revised Standard Version



Build your nest in no tree here...for the Lord of the forest has condemned the whole woods to be demolished.

~ Samuel Rutherford

Motivational Thought For the Day

This little animal is called the Naked Mole-Rat and is from Africa.


So if you are having a bad day and feeling sorry for yourself, remember: You could look like a penis with buck teeth!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

WHO IS SHE?


CREATION or EVOLUTION?


A little girl asked her father: "How did the human race appear?"

The father answered, "God made Adam and Eve; They had children; and so was all mankind made."



Two days later the girl asked her mother the same question.

The mother answered,
"Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved."


The confused girl returned to her father and said, "Dad, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Mom said they developed from monkeys?"

The father answered, "Well, Dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family, and your mother told you about hers."