Friday, August 29, 2008

Michael at Age 50

This is what Michael Jackson looks like today, after many cosmetic surgeries.





This is a computerized version of what Michael would probably look like had he not undergone all the plastic surgery. I think I like this version best.


The Wedding Test

I was a very happy man. My wonderful girl friend and I had been dating for over a year, and so we decided to get married. There was only one little thing bothering me ...I t was her beautiful younger sister.

My prospective sister-in-law was twenty-two, wore very tight miniskirts, and generally was bra-less. She would regularly bend down when she was near me, and I always got more than a nice view. It had to be deliberate. Because she never did it when she was near anyone else.

One day her 'little' sister called and asked me to come over to check the wedding invitations. She was alone when I arrived, and she whispered to me that she had feelings and desires for me that she couldn't overcome. She told me that she wanted me just once before I got married and committed my life to her sister. Well, I was in total shock, and couldn't say a word.

She said, 'I'm going upstairs to my bedroom, and if you want one last wild fling, just come up and get me.' I was stunned and frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs. I stood there for a moment, then turned and made a beeline straight to the front door. I opened the door, and headed straight towards my car.

To my surprise, my entire future family was standing outside, all clapping! With tears in his eyes, my father-in-law hugged me and said, 'We are very happy that you have passed our little test. We couldn't ask for a better man for our daughter. Welcome to the family.'

And the moral of this story is:
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Always keep your condoms in your car.

Home Movies - Chapter Six

Fast forward ten years. It is the 1960's and I am 16 years old. Mom and Dad asked me what I wanted to do for my sixteenth birthday, which is a milestone in every child's life. All I wanted was to go to a hockey game and eat at Zuider Zee. Zuider Zee was a place that looked similar to Captain D's, but it had a big, old-fashioned windmill on the front of the building. I loved that place. We ate there frequently; it was probably inexpensive. All of us loved the popcorn shrimp. It was really shrimp with a little breading, not like that crap you get today that is all dough and no substance. Mom and Dad obliged me.

At that time, we had a farm hockey team and for about two years, we rarely missed a game. My sister and I had a friend, Carol, and her father was a chiropractor. They had money and she was spoiled to the max. She was a big girl and she had the big mouth and big gall to go along with it. No slight intended, but I notice these attributes in a lot of big girls/women - they seem to overcompensate their size by increasing their boisterousness, being bold and confrontational, but also usually the loudest and the life at the party.

Between the three of us, we all had our pick for which player we "loved". After the games, we would race down to the long, wide hallways beneath the civic center where the door to the hockey players' dressing room. We waited anxiously until they came out and through these visits to the dressing room, we collected their hockey sticks, and they would autograph them for us and we thought that was just over the moon. I have pictures of myself with some of the players. I'll need to add them to this later.

My bedroom was adored with a wall lined with hockey sticks hung on nails. I even had a puck or two. I had my pictures of the hockey players as well. Carol was especially in love with a player named Doug. Doug was married and all of the wives of the married players would sit together and we'd gaze at them and talk about how damn lucky they were to be married to these guys that we adored. And they were all knock-outs in the looks department. Doug's wife was gorgeous. She as a petite brunette and I could only imagine myself being in her shoes, sleeping with Doug, being his wife. Silly folly that young girls thing about sometimes and now, it's kind of embarrassing to admit.

Doug's birthday came up and Carol devised a plan. She bought him birthday gifts and put them in a basket. She had found out where he lived and it was a second-floor apartment near Wooflin Village. We drove to the apartment and found the right one. There was a high window near the ceiling that was open next to the front door. We listened and didn't hear any movement inside. Carol sat the basket down, rang the door bell and we ran like giggle turkeys to the car and tore out of there. Of course, she never knew if Doug appreciated her gifts. She would never go up to him at the dressing room after a game and say, "hey Doug, I'm Carol. I left the birthday presents for you!"

My Dad was and still is in the car sales business, so when my sister turned 16, 18 months before I did, my dad surprised her with a 1962 MGA. It was very cool. A sports scar right out of the shoot. It was burgundy and had a white hard top as well as the rag top. I envied that car so much and couldn't imagine what I might receive on my 16th birthday. I used to beg and beg, and plead and bargain with her to let me drive it. My sister was that way, though, and there's no hard feelings about it, but she took care of her things and she wasn't inclined to share with me. Just like her navy blue Mary Jane's. Where I was running and playing on and had a hard stride in my walk, tearing up my shoes, or at least driving the heels down lopsided in no time at all, my sister was delicate as a flower in her steps. Her shoes and her clothing were always immaculate. Bell bottoms were pressed with a very distinct crease using spray starch, as well as the button-down shirts that we wore with the shirt tails hanging out, and matching ribbons in our hair.

My grandmother, as I've said before, taught us both to sew, so we were making our bell bottoms and vests (another fad of the day; and akin to hippie-dom) early on. We would lay out our patterns on our bell bottom pans and we'd cut the bells extra large, like Cher. Hip hugging pants and wide belts topped everything off. To this day, I love that look.

But as I was saying, I was forever begging my sister to loan me her Mary Jane's for a date, or to allow me one little spray of her favorite perfume, which was "Ambush" .... oh, we loved Ambush. My sister saved her allowance and when she had enough, she would purchase something that she really loved, like her perfume. Me, I wouldn't let money stay in my pocket long enough to burn a hole in it. I was out buying 45 rpm's of the latest music just as soon as I was given my allowance. Music was my passion from as early as I can recall.

I remember being maybe 3 or 4 years old, riding in the back seat of my grandmother's black Lincoln, and "Corina, Corina" playing on the radio. Isn't that amazing? It is to me. My mom and dad had this pink radio alarm clock, a real oldie but goodie now. In fact, I saw one in the corner diner in San Francisco across the street from our hotel when we were there in June 2007. Anyway, they set the station on I suppose what was the top Billboard songs played and when the alarm went off in the mornings, it would also wake me and I'd lie there and listen to the music and pick out my favorites. I looked forward to waking every morning to that music. I loved music and it made me happy.

As a sixteen year-old girl, I had been in love with The Beatles, especially John, for six years. The Viet Nam war was raging and so was the Revolution. War protests, sit-ins and music - they were a group, not one without the other two. With the Revolution came revolutionary sounds in the music industry and I ate is up as fast as it was churned out. Already a devout Beatles fan, I was also now hungering for the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Grand Funk Railroad, Strawberry Alarm Clock and the great Jim, Janis and Jimi.

Albums were five or six bucks back then. I took babysitting jobs here and there, and even worked at the civic center concession stand during concerts to earn money which I immediately spent on vinyls (albums). I wish I knew where that collection ended up. Back then, it was nothing to trade albums with a good friend for a few days and listen to something they had the pleasure of owning and allowing that same pleasure in return.

Dad especially hated boys with long hair. And long hair back then, in my school and in the boys that I dated, meant those longer bangs that swept to the side and some sideburns. They weren't allowed to have hair over the collar in school. No matter how nice the boys were, how well they dressed, how mannerly they presented themselves, Dad would not accept a single one, much less, shake their hand. It was awful, and it was embarrassing. He pressed his mighty thumb down on us and at the time, felt that through strict control, he would protect us against the evils of men, drugs, rock and roll, hippies, and the world. Perhaps that is why the rebellion was inevitable.

A Very Special This Day's . . .

In the wake of the mysterious disappearance of little Caylee Anthony of Orlando, Florida, and the recent news that indicates she is most likely deceased, This Day's Thought, Verse, and Smile seem to have come from Heaven. I dedicate these thoughts and words to that most precious angel of all, the child of God, and mostly to Caylee. Though I have hoped against hope for her to be found alive, I feel in my heart that she is with our Loving Father, which anyone who has followed the case, surely must believe is a far better place for this special little angel.

God sometimes snuffs out our brightest candle that we may look up to his eternal stars.

~ Vance Havner


The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

~ Romans 13:12, The King James Version


Sin is like seed- to cover it is to cultivate it.

~ Unknown

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Color Quiz

Jen at dust bunny hostage sent me this Color Quiz. It was really fun, and I did it three times before I realize I wasn't waiting for the counter to get to zero before choosing the second set of colors. When I finally did the test correctly, the results were more accurate.

Abbey's Existing Situation

Authoritative or in a position of authority, but liable to feel that further progress is rendered problematical by existing difficulties. Perseveres despite opposition.

Abbey's Stress Sources

Wants freedom to follow her own convictions and principles, to achieve respect as an individual in her own right. Desires to avail herself of every possible opportunity without having to submit to limitations or restrictions.

Abbey's Restrained Characteristics

Willing to become emotionally involved as she feels rater isolated and alone. Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense, though she tries to avoid open conflict.

Abbey's Desired Objective

Hopes that ties of affection and good-fellowship will bring release and contentment. Her own need for approval makes her ready to be of help to others and in exchange she wants warmth and understanding. Open to new ideas and possibilities which she hopes will prove fruitful and interesting.

Abbey's Actual Problem

Feels restricted and prevented from progressing; seeking a solution which will remove these limitations.

Abbey's Actual Problem #2

Feels insufficiently valued in her existing situation, and is seeking different conditions in which she will have greater opportunity of demonstrating her worth.

You can take the Color Quiz yourself here.

One Minute of Prayer

This is the scariest election we as Christians have ever faced, and from the looks of the polls, the Christians aren't voting Christian values. We all need to be on our knees. Do you believe we can take God at His word? Call upon His name, then stand back and watch His wonders to behold. This scripture gives us, as Christians, ownership of this land and the ability to call upon God to heal it. I challenge you to do so. We have never been more desperate than now for God to heal our land. This election is the scariest I remember in my lifetime.

2 Chronicles 7:14 ... “If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

During WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped.

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America . The United States of America and our citizens need prayer more than ever!!! If you would like to participate, each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, for peace in the world, the upcoming election, that the Bible will remain the basis for the laws governing our land and that Christianity will grow in the U.S. If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along.

Someone said if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have. Thank you and God Bless You!!!

This Days . . .

A victorious Christian life is not a superior brand of Christianity reserved for the elite of the elect. It is the normal Christian life for every Christian.

~ Ronald Dunn


Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.

~ Romans 12:11, The Revised Standard Version


We live by demands when we should live by priorities.

~ J. A. Motyer

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quote

Sent to me from my good friend, Sid, this quote was on today's date in his Day Planner:

"Twixt optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll:
The optimist sees the doughnut,
The pessimist, the hole."
--McLandburg Wilson

And you may sign me,
The Eternal Optimist.

Chinese Eye Exam


If you cannot decipher the above, then try pulling the corner of your eyes as if you were Chinese. Then see your general physician if you have any additional questions.

The Last 100 Days

This is almost ten minutes long, but it's pretty good viewing. This gentleman hones in on a LOT of key people, companies and topics that are in line with my thoughts about Barrack Obama.

Pop Power

What it do to my brain cells?






Monday, August 25, 2008

HEARTLIGHT

I can't seem to stay away . . . weathermen have captured the local stations and so I came to read email. I had an enormous revelation when I read today's Heartlight. I am known, historically, as a very impatient individual. Ahhhh, but as I read, and you will below, I DO have patience afterall. I have faith in what is to come and I am keeping busy while I patiently await what the Lord has promised. I could almost believe that I wrote the thought and prayer. Be blessed, everyone.




VERSE: But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patiencewait for it.

~ Romans 8:25

THOUGHT: I'm not good at waiting. But, my hope in the Lord gives me patience that is beyond my human tendency. As much as the Lord has blessed me, I'm fully confident that I can't even imagine the good things he has in store for me. So while I wait, I try to stay busy; busy loving my Father in heaven and sharing his grace with others.

PRAYER: Thank you, dear Father, for the patience that I possess as I await Jesus' coming is beyond my normal inclination. Bless my efforts at leading others to know Jesus and to find salvation in him. Bless my faith so that it will be strong and endure my waiting. Bless my life, not with things, but with godly character so that my life can be a light to others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Abbey's Listening to . . .

Never too ill for music, this is one of the finest cd's that we own. LG and I sat on the patio yesterday afternoon, a perfect blend of gentle breeze, sunshine, our special little hummingbird feeding thirstily, with the sounds of Classic Yes playing for our pleasure as we read and absorbed the ambiance of the afternoon.


Here is a short review that I found and it encompasses my feelings about the album succinctly:

Compiled by Chris Squire (in case you're wondering how "The Fish" made it this far upstream), Classic Yes was Atlantic's initial attempt to distill the band's best music. Subsequent compilations have swelled to four discs (Yesyears), been abridged to two (Yesstory), and further compacted to a single disc (Highlights), any one of which offers a bigger selection than Classic Yes, but not a better one. The key to this ollection is in the title: this is the band's "classic" music. Anything prior to The Yes Album is cut out, no attempt is made to salvage snippets from Relayer or Tales From Topographic Oceans; Drama and Tormato are dispensed with. What remains is what made this band great: the science fiction and fantasy-laced epics, the tangible wizardry of their arrangements, moments that crystallized the magical power of music, and two unreleased live tracks from 1978 that find the band tethered to the realm of mortals." The logic behind the live tracks is pretty simple: "Roundabout" and "I've Seen All Good People" are two tracks that missed the original LP cut, so live versions of them were included with the LP as a bonus 45 rpm single. With the advent of CD technology, these two songs were appended to the disc and the whole thing was digitally remastered in 1994 (which is the version to own). It's only a minor complaint, though, and one easily overlooked in lieu of the music that made the first cut. Squire's picks are undoubtedly the right ones: "Heart of the Sunrise" to start things off, "And You and I" in all its ten-minute glory, "Starship Trooper" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" from their third album, and "Long Distance Runaround" and "The Fish." Classic Yes remains the place to start if you're interested in the band or just want to hear their best music in one sitting.

~ Dave Connolly, All Music Guide
I had the pleasure of seeing YES live at the Long Beach, California Arena in 1976. To this day, I can safely say that I have never been to a concert that has left a lifetime impression as this one. The thing about YES is that the songs are mystical and positive. Certainly and hence the name of the band, YES. Remember John Lennon going to the Indica Gallery where he first met Yoko. He climbed atop a white ladder, picked up a magnifying glass hanging from a white tether, held it to the ceiling where he saw the word "YES". He said that it was the first thing he had seen that said something "positive" to him. It certainly gained his attention, and so did Yoko.

I want to note, that in the 1976 concert that I attended, Rick Wakeman captured my heart. To this day, Rick is a genius of a keyboardist, and my being a trained keyboard player, took note of that second. But first, in 1976, Rick was there in Long Beach (which concert was "in the round", by the way and not a bad seat in the house, mine were excellent), and with the stage slowly turning on its axle, I was completely mesmerized by Rick Wakeman. Rick is a very tall man. He was dressed in solid white with bright gold embellisments down his sleeves and the sides of the legs of his jumpsuit, which was adorned by a white belt, equally embellished with gold. His blonde flowing hair accentuated the Adonis, as did his slow and serious attention to his task. He was stunning and a gorgeous man. It was love at first sight for me. Visually, I was completely focused on Rick and his keyboard for the bulk of the concert. My fantasies were merely piqued by the music that accompanied the little dreams that were spun in my own mind that night.

I have held that image in my mind for 32 years, and when we recently purchased a live dvd of the band that was captured at a reunion tour a few years ago, I was dismayed when I saw Rick Wakeman. Years of alcohol and some drug abuse has taken it's toll. Of course, he is no longer a young, strapping man, but a man of 60+ years. His hair is still shoulder-length, but thinning, yet still as golden as that of his youth. He was attired in the altogether opposite of the spectrum - black shirt and slacks. And he was fairly shadowed by the lighting in this concert. His physique belies the image that I have held for so many years, but for me and my rose colored glasses, nothing grows old or changes. I couldn't help but sit and watch and hope for the camera to focus on him, time and again, because I wanted to see him as he is today. Why? For all I could do was sit dumbfounded that my rose colored glasses had lied to me yet again. I felt bad for him and for the toll that the years had taken on him.

It is a splash of ice water, reality. We're all growing older by the millesecond. But the memories that we have made and hold in our hearts, the images that are forever embedded there, are not for woe, but for fondness in reflection. And so, I reflect on Rick Wakeman, and the rest of the band, as I do all things in my life, with fondness of thought and warmness of heart. I feel blessed to have had this experience with the band called simply YES.

Under the Weather

I'm literally under the weather and figuratively, I'm also under the weather, ya'll! It's pouring like a horse doing his biz [sic] on a flat rock out here. And lucky me, I have a bug that has taken over my tummy, and he must be a real bugger because I have pretty tough innards that love the spiciest of foods. Anyhow's, I am not up to blogging today. Just a note to dust bunny: THANK YOU for the award and I'll pick it up and pass it on soon. You're a treasured friend!

To Sid: I finally finished "Catcher in the Rye" - like you, I'll never forget Holden Caufield! Do you think he was ever cured? I've now begun "East of Eden" and it's my kinda novel! You'll be proud of me when I finish your list, won't you? God bless you and hope you're feeling better.

Hewy: Thanks for visiting and leaving the notes. I don't know what it is, maybe because you're the most popular guy around here, but I always feel special when you stop by. Think good thoughts, good thoughts! God bless you and g'luck!

Back to ya'll soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

TA-DAAAAAA!

A good example of why I am not in the Olympics!

video

Friday, August 22, 2008

Interesting Things in "This Day's . . . "

If there is anything in your life more demanding than your longing after God, then you will never be a Spirit-filled Christian.

~ A. W. Tozer

AMEN TO THAT!!

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, The Revised Standard Version


You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Colonoscopy Adventure

I had that "mandatory" procedure recently, and it came out good, by the way. Someone who thought I'd appreciate the following sent this to me today, and I do, indeed, appreciate the humor. I only wish my wit was as keen. This pretty much sums it up and quite accurately, with a little levity thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

This is from newshound Dave Barry's colonoscopy journal:

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis. Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this is, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.

'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me. 'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald. On the subject of Colonoscopies... Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1. 'Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!

2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'

3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'

4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'

5. 'You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married.'

6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'

7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'

8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'

9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!

10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'

11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'

12. 'God, now I know why I am not gay.'

And the best one of all.

13. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'

Thursday, August 21, 2008

OLA! BIEN TEXAS CHALUPAS!

This is one of probably hundreds of recipes that my Mamma has given me over the years. It's funny, I have them all in a Boston brand shoebox in the closet. That's where I keep them so I always know where they are. Some are covered in grease stains, spilled concoctions, smeared and almost illegible, but I cannot part with a single one. This one is called the Mexican Chalupa, Texas style. It makes a LOT, so if you're planning a party, why not do a Mexican theme and serve this really delicious entree!

Mexican Chalupa

1 - 3 to 4 pound Boston butt
1 lb. pinto beans
1 small can Old El Paso chopped green chilies
1 medium onion chopped
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste


You will need a very large soup pot. Soak pinto beans for about two hours. Trim fat (as much as you can) from Boston butt and put in the pot with the beans. Add water until it covers the meat. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to medium, cover and cook for about 3 hours, or until Boston butt pork falls away or shreds easily.

Remove butt and put on a cutting board. Shred all of the meat, eliminating any fat along the way. You will probably have to shred and add as you go as it makes a good pile of meat. Once all meat is shredded and returned to post, bring up to a boil and let cook uncovered for about one hour. Stir occasionally to be sure meat and beans are not sticking. You want the juice to thicken before serving.

Serving (all items are according to taste)
Flour tortillas - medium size
Grated cheddar cheese
Salsa
Chopped Lettuce
Chopped Tomato
Guacamole
Sour Creme

Either wrap several tortillas in foil and place in 350 degree oven to heat, or heat 2-3 on a plate in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Place one tortilla on a dinner plate. Down one side of the tortilla, spoon beans and pork, top with cheese, salsa, lettuce, tomato, sour creme and guacamole (all as desired). Fold over the other side of the tortilla and dip small amount of additional beans, pork and juice, top with cheese and chow down!

Chalupa freezes very well so don't hesitate to put leftovers in a tightly sealed bowl and freeze for up to 6 months.

If you've never made homemade Guac, here's my recipe:

Guacamole
2-3 ripe (soft) avocados (I like the light green if you can find them)
1 teaspoon lime juice
4 oz. sour creme
1 med tomato (finely chopped)
1/2 small onion (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon Tobasco (or to taste)
Salt

Peal and remove seed from avocadoes, place in a bowl. Using a potato masher, mash avocado until finely chunked (not totally creamy). Add remaining ingredients and stir with a metal spoon. Cover and refrigerate (after you have sampled and are satisfied that it's totally perfect!).

Bon Appetite!

HEARTLIGHT


VERSE: And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

~ Luke 8:21

THOUGHT: I love the simple truth that Jesus uses. You want to be known as a part of Jesus' family? Obey his Father's word and live his Father's will!

PRAYER: Bless me today, dear Heavenly Father, with the clarity to see the opportunities you have placed in my way to live in obedience to your will. However, dear Father, I don't want this clarity to be a fleeting thing. Help me be more aware of the opportunities you place in my path every day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Have My Needs

MEMEs, love'em or hate'em .... I blogsnatched from my fran Jen .... this was kinda different and I liked it so thought I'd give it a shot. Go to "Google", type in your name and "needs" after it and hit "Search" ......

Abbey needs . . . a loving home! I hope that three is a charm!

Abbey needs . . . to be snatched up soon, before it deteriorates further! I knew it! They were keeping something from me ... what is it? Do I have that not-so-fresh scent? OMG!

Abbey needs . . . to pee so bad! Hold on a minute - Whew! That was close!

Abbey needs . . . a nap! Stop fussing over me, I hate it when you do that!

Abbey needs . . . your votes! Vote as many times and as often as you like. I have no shame!

Abbey needs . . . a HOLIDAY! Can ya hear it, it's Madonna and she's singing our song "Holiday, if we took a holiday, took some time to get away, oooh yea, oooh yea ... it would be SO NICE!!"

Abbey needs . . . to give Star some quaaludes during Sprout's "Good Night Show". Star's asleep at 8:50 pm and up again just after 9:00! I think we're SOL, they don't make those anymore, do they? How 'bout some benadryl? I hear that works ....

Abbey needs . . . a witness! Can I getta witness? Yo, can I getta witness! She's some kinda wonderful, yea yea yeaaaaaaa yeah!!

Abbey needs . . . your prayers! Always, forever and ever, Amen.

Abbey needs . . . some fine wine! Throw in a handsome guy and a towel and we're smokin'!

Abbey needs . . . A "FUREVER" HOME !! Abbey needs a family who will give her love and patience, time and understanding. Abbey is well worth it - This beautiful girl will be your best friend forever!


Note to Self:

I know only one person who owns a Mac computer.

A Little Levity

A lady approaches a priest and says to him, 'Father I have a problem. I have two female parrots but they only know how to say one thing'.

'What do they say?' the priest inquired.

'They only know how to say .....Hi, we're prostitutes, D'ya wanna have some fun?'

'That's terrible!' exclaimed the priest, 'but I have a solution to your problem. Bring your two female parrots over to my house and I will put them with my two male parrots who I have taught to pray and read the Bible. My parrots will teach yours to stop saying that terrible phrase and will learn to praise and worship instead.''Thank you' the woman responded.

The next day the woman brought her female parrots to the priest's house. His two male parrots were holding rosary beads and praying in their cage. The woman put her two female parrots in with the two male parrots and the females immediately said: 'Hi, we're prostitutes, D'ya wanna have some fun?'

One male parrot looks at the other male parrot and exclaims:'Put the beads down Frank, our prayers have been answered!'

As I Stumble on My Way to Heaven

God has given us a great many challenges, but as Christians, we know that God has never given us more than He knows we are capable of handling. We all stumble and fall, but we pick ourselves up, shake off the dust, and we try, try again. Yes, there are the life changes, I believe there are 7 of them, but I cannot quote them all - job change, marriage, moving to a new locale, and others. I more or less categorize those as "regular" occurrences that we face and we adapt, eventually.

But there are others that are much more difficult, for me personally. The first one is FORGIVENESS. This has been probably the single most difficult thing that the Lord has asked of me. It has caused me great consternation, frustration, denial, refusal and disappointment in myself. I don't know how or where it first occurred. I only know that one day, after I had welcomed the Lord and Jesus fully into my life, that I was faced with the opportunity (notice I said "opportunity", rather than "problem") to forgive someone for something that was so personally hurtful that I could never imagine myself forgiving this person. And, I was not successful at the outset. Forgiveness, or learning to Forgive, takes a LOT of prayer, focus, sincerity of heart and mind, and trust in God. I have not mastered God's task given to me with love, but I have Forgiven many times in recent years, and I have found it completely liberating and spiritually fulfilling. I can feel the Lord and the Holy Spirit flowing through my body, and I know and feel His pleasing eye and smile shining down on me because I have done well. It doesn't get easier, but it has not grown harder either. The feeling that one derives from truly forgiving ones enemies is something that every Christian needs to experience and live. It's addicting, it feels so divine and wonderful. Forgiveness is nothing shy of a deep expression of love.

The second most difficult thing that I have not been quite able to capture in my mind is the ability to completely give something over to God and then forget about it. I know people who are able to do this more easily than I, and although envy is a deadly sin, I envy that they have that capability. This is at the forefront of my spirituality. It is a daily exercise, attempting to give a problem to the Lord and then truly forget about it, trusting that He is going to take care of it for me. I have been successful a few times, but I am a worrier at heart, and it is extremely difficult to change one's way of thinking, a lifestyle of thinking that has existed for one's entire life. Perhaps I should be praying that the Lord remove my worry, give the worry to Him and then forget it. Maybe then I will succeed in giving more of my troubles to him, releasing myself from the binds of them. That is a revelation that I had just as I was writing this. The Lord does work in mysterious ways and you never know when He is going to speak to you. But I always recognize his voice, and I am quick to give thanks for the blessing of His taking the time to talk with me, and His love for me, just one person on this earth. Today, I will begin my quest to turn my worry over to Him and to release it.

Lord, hear my plea today, that I will have the strength to give all of my troubles to you, and that my trust in You will further grow and solidify, that I need not give them another thought for they are now yours for Thy Will. I thank you, Loving Father, that with Your help, I am growing every day in your Light and Love, and that I have learned to Forgive and be set free from the bounds and chains of hard feelings and anger. Lord, stay with me, believe in me and guide me all the days of my life. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

THIS DAY'S . . .

One Christian who has been tempted is worth a thousand who haven't.

~ Martin Luther


He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

~ Deuteronomy 8:3, The New International Version

It takes a long time to become young.

~ Pablo Picasso

Abbey Is Listening To . . .

This post is dedicated to my newest Sister in Christ, Jen, from Prayerfully Yours. I feel the power of God working when, first of all, I literally stumbled onto Jen's website, and second, I am learning of the commonalities in our lives, most notably for this post, our deep love for The Beatles. Jen, this one is dedicated to you.

I don't feel that I can choose a "favorite" anything when it comes to The Beatles, other than my deep affection for John Lennon. John, as I have written before, was a genius. He was complicated to the inth degree, intelligent beyond comprehension, creative and completely uninhibited. I will not judge his spirituality, although admittedly, there seemed to be none, other than he belived in karma and destiny, which is one of the greatest arguments in the Christian world.

"Rubber Soul" bears the song "In My Life". I have chosen this song as one to be played at my funeral. I am quite serious. I want everyone to know who I was and what I felt. The simplicity, yet deep meaning of the song captures it beautifully. From an interview with John in 1980:

"It was the first song I wrote that was consciously about my life. [Sings] "There are places I'll remember/all my life though some have changed. . . ." Before, we were just writing songs a la Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly -- pop songs with no more thought to them than that. The words were almost irrelevant. "In My Life" started out as a bus journey from my house at 250 Menlove Avenue to town, mentioning all the places I could recall. I wrote it all down and it was boring. So I forgot about it and laid back and these lyrics started coming to me about friends and lovers of the past. Paul helped with the middle eight." ~ John Lennon, Playboy, 1980.

I can't leave without giving you the lyrics to this beautiful song of songs.

In My Life

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sleeping At Your Desk?

FIVE BEST THINGS TO SAY IF YOU GET CAUGHT SLEEPING AT YOUR DESK:


NUMBER 5: They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen.

NUMBER 4: 'This is just a 15 minute power nap like they raved about in the time-management course you sent me to.

NUMBER 3: 'Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-out. You probably got here just in time!

NUMBER 2: Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?

NUMBER 1 And MY all time Favorite best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk:
(Raising your head slowly) '... in Jesus' name, Amen

One of the miracles of the grace of God is what he is able to do with the torn nets of lives surrendered to him.

~ G. B. Duncan


Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

~ Psalm 31:5, The King James Version

Today's Thought and Verse are extremely profound. I am the voice of experience telling you that, once you surrender yourself completely unto Him, your life will be forever an altogether different and happier existence. The Lord stayed by my side for two decades when I went on with my wreckless whims and life, and He protected me against all harm or danger. If not for Him, I do not believe I would be here today. The Lord brought me Home to Him, and I have committed my life to Him. The unending joy that I feel is something words cannot describe.

The Old Phone

THIS WAS ONE OF THE 'GOOD OLD DAYS' WHEN PEOPLE REALLY CARED ABOUT EACH OTHER.

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was nothing she did not know. Information please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my Mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone!

Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the Parlor and dragged it to the landing climbing up; I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. 'Information, please,' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. 'Information.' 'I hurt my finger,' I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. 'Isn't your mother home?' came the question. 'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered. 'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked. 'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.'

'Can you open the icebox?' she asked. I said I could. 'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said the voice. After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, ‘Information Please,' and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring Joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?' She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, 'Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.' Somehow I felt better. Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please.' 'Information,' said in the now familiar voice. 'How do I spell fix?' I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, 'Information Please.' Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 'Information.' I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please tell me how to spell fix?' There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by now.' I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time.' I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.' I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. 'Please do,' she said. 'Just ask for Sally.'

Three months later I was back in Seattle a different voice answered: Information.' I asked for Sally. 'Are you a friend?' she said. 'Yes, a very old friend,' I answered. 'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.'

Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne? 'Yes.' I answered. 'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.' The note said, 'Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean.' I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today? Why not pass this on? I just did....

Lifting you on eagle's wings. May you find the joy and peace you long for. Life is a journey ... NOT a guided tour. So don't miss the ride and have a great time going around. You don't get a second shot at it. I loved this story and just had to pass it on. I hope you enjoy it and get a blessing from it just as I did.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Home Movies - Chapter Five

First grade. Who could forget it? Me, for one, but I do have a few select memories that I will share. Like the fact that it was the year that I first began to wear glasses. They were those awful plastic frames and the top which covered your eyebrows was colored. I had white one time, but mostly my mom chose blue because my eyes are blue. It's wasn't a big a social stigma to wear glasses back then. In fact, I thought I was rather sophisticated for having them.

We had moved to a rental house on Ridgemere, off the main drag through Amarillo, which is also the famous Route 66. Yes ma'am, my first school, Forest Hills Elementary, was located on Route 66. My first grade teacher was a very tall woman with read hair, and also wore glasses. Her name was Miss Hall.

My attraction to the opposite sex seems to have begun quite early. I say that because I do not recall the names of any girlfriends in my class. Not one. Zilch, nada, none. But, there were two boys I recall very well, and they fought over me for my attention. One was Eddie and he may have even been of the Spanish persuasion, I'm not sure, I just recall that he was rather tan and had dark hair, but I thought he was really cute. And he really was the nicest boy you could imagine. But then, there was Johnny. Johnny was what you would call a "bad boy". He was always getting into trouble and even at six years old, this bad boy was tough as nails and stirred some kind of curiosity in me that I certainly didn't understand. Heck, I don't understand my curiosity with "bad boys" even now! Is it in the gene pool? Perhaps. I know my birth mother never liked a man unless he had a bad reputation, which was her ultimate human failure in life. But I digress.

One day, Eddie would be so kind and nice and my heart would just melt. And then, Johnny, who was blond haired and blue-eyed, by the way, would shove his way in and spoil it all and I couldn't seem to resist the curiosity that tugged at me. Do you know what Johnny did to show me how much he cared for me? It was a really grand effort to steal me once and for all away from Eddie. He brought me a pair of daisy clip-on earrings! The petals where white and the center was yellow. WELL, I just happened to have worn a yellow print dress to school that day with a matching belt, and I couldn't very well at six years old wear EARRINGS, so I clipped them onto my belt and wore them proudly all day long.

I remember poor Eddie looking so lost and forlorn and it hurt me to hurt his feelings. I remember Johnny gave those earrings to me, then he grabbed my hand and kissed the top of it and ran off in embarrassment. I told my mama that night that a boy had kissed my hand. She and my daddy teased me over dinner and I remember being proud and embarrassed at the same time. But that's all that I remember about that. LOL!

The other memory I have of first grade is "play period", which term was changed later to "recess". They kept the boys and girls separated by an imaginary line in the dirt on the playground. The girls had to play with girls and the boys had to play with boys.

To get the boys attention, us girls would climb up on the monkey bars and then swing and hang upside down so's our dresses would go over our heads and the boys could see our panties. Those boys would stand on that imaginary line, never daring to cross it, but instead crossing their arms and snickering back and forth between one another as we'd swing around the monkey bars, giving them glimpses of our underwear. Then we'd just g-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-gle like crazy! I think if the teacher saw us, she'd scold us, but we were pretty sly. I did get in trouble one time and had to stay in while the rest of the class went to recess and I could see them outside the windows playing and having fun. It was the longest 30 minutes of my entire life. Especially because I had to pee like the Dickens but was scared to death to leave the classroom where I had been banished until further notice. So much for first grade.

HEARTLIGHT

What peace, what calm, to remember even in times of trial, that there is a better day coming. Every day of your life, there is a better day ahead. That is called "Faith". The Lord has told us, and we believe, we have faith that He is the way, the truth and the light. Let us remember and pray for those who do not know the gift of Faith, those who have not yet found Him, and those who feel that their tomorrow is as hopeless as their today. May the Lord help all Christians to reach out to those who do not know Him, in whose hearts He does not dwell, and whose mind does not feel the peace and calm in the arms of our Loving Father. May the Lord, in his mercy, guide us and draw us nearer to those in need of His Love.



VERSE:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

~ Romans 8:18


THOUGHT:

"Life is hard. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something." This line from the movie "The Princess Bride" is poignantly accurate. But it is not eternally accurate! Better days are ahead, and they are better than anything we can dare imagine. As the old song says, "O that will be, glory for me ... when by Thy grace I shall look on His face, that will be glory ..."

PRAYER:

Please, Almighty God, give me the courage and the vision to anticipate from afar the ultimate realization of grace that you have waiting for me and to truly believe that you are working to bring me home to you, and to that glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

THIS DAY'S . . .

Pain and suffering are not necessarily signs of God's anger; they may be exactly the opposite.

~ John Blanchard


“Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children- how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’”

Deuteronomy 4:9-10, The Revised Standard Version


Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.

~ Unknown

Abbey's Listening to . . .

Many, many moons ago, in a far away place, HEART crashed into my world with "Little Queen". In those days, and I'm talking the decade of the 1970's and on the West Coast, musical artists regulary burst onto the scene with one rocket of an album (if you don't know what that is, kiddies, Google it) and my friends and I would play that album endlessly. "Little Queen" was one of those albums. It was different, the sisters Wilson were unique and had the voices of bona fide hard rocking female singers with pitch-perfect harmonies. And it doesn't go unnoted that Nancy was a fabulous show-woman with her guitar, her long slender legs kicking in the air or standing wide-stride while rocking out on her guitar. The cover of this album is one for the history books. I've had other HEART albums, but I related deeply as a kindred spirit from the outset. Gypsies, avant garde dress, intriguing and beguiling, and completely unhibited, which allowed the full emotion of every song to reveal itself. There's no holding back here. It's raw, edgey and wonderful. You have to agree that they were quite striking in their own rights. Even now, 30+ years later, they can both still harmonize and belt out "Barracuda" or "Heartless" with the same on-target notes and rocking sensation that they did in the late 70's, or send you on a magic carpet ride with the beautiful ballad.



Therefor, my tribute today is to Ann and Nancy Wilson, and that first great album that I ever heard from them, "Little Queen". Beautiful ladies making beautiful music.

Friday, August 15, 2008

HEARTLIGHT


VERSE: For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.

~ Hosea 8:14

THOUGHT: In prosperity, God's people left the LORD and followed their own gods and practiced their own morality. Except neither was "their own." The northern tribes of Israel simply became like the pagan people around them -- practicing the same detestable immoral lifestyles, forgetting the poor and the alien, cheating the widows and the powerless. God wanted them to know that he knew what they were doing. The Almighty wanted them to realize that he would act and bring justice. The Sovereign LORD wanted the northern tribes of Israel to realize that they have sown their own destruction, and even though they cannot even fathom its possibility, God made sure it was coming because of their hardness of heart and their refusal to live with character. Their destruction is a great reminder to us that our name of Christian, our claim to be God's chosen people and his holy priesthood (1 Pet. 2), doesn't matter unless our lives portray his character, our heart displays his compassion, and hands do his will.

PRAYER: Father, forgive us, for we sin. Father, forgive me, for sinning and looking the other way at social, judicial, and racial injustice. Empower me, dear LORD, empower us, to truly be your Holy Nation, bound together by our faith in Jesus and not by our race, age, nationality, political preferences, or social economic status, connected by our praise of your glory and exemplifying to the hate-filled world the grace that comes from knowing you as ourFather. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

THIS DAY'S . . .

This day's thought is a beautiful poem that would also serve as a beautiful prayer. I loved it the minute I read it.


Father, I wait thy daily will; Thou shalt divide my portion still;
Grant me on earth what seems thee best, Till death and heaven reveal the rest.

~ Isaac Watts


Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret- it leads only to evil.

~ Psalm 37:8, The New International Version


Formula for handling people:
1. Listen to the other person's story.
2. Listen to the other person's full story.
3. List to the other person's story first.

~ George Marshall

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Abbey's Listening to . . .


For those of you who are not familiar with this cover, it is Pink Floyd's "The Division Bell" cd. From this recording spawned Pink Floyd's "Pulse" tour in 1995. I also have the double-cd and the DVD of "Pulse", and in my opinion, this was, hands down, the most awesomely orchestrated, mesmerizing, musically and visually exciting concert of the century. I sometimes find myself in a particular mood that calls for a dark room, my large flat-screen television, the "Pulse" DVD cranked up on surround sound. Don't bother knocking, cause the room is rocking, so you can just come on in.

I am completely in awe of David Gilmour. He's a master of the guitar, and his voice has not changed much since the early days of Pink Floyd. He was quite the hottie back then, and even now, as an older man, I still find him sexy. Funny how, when I was in my 20's, I could look at a 50-something year old man and never the thought "sexy" enter my mind! I suppose as we grow older, and our peers grow older with us, our tastes "adjust" as well. I no longer look at young, muscular men and think "sexy". All I think is "wham bam, thank you ma'am". But I have digressed, miserably.

Back to David and the band, if you were not privileged to see probably the last concert ever of Pink Floyd, the band, purchasing this DVD is an absolute must. I recommend Amazon.com, which is the only place I could locate it when I wanted to purchase it. It was never released in the USA, so I managed to get a brand new, in the wrapper DVD from a guy in Finland, yes Finland. And it wasn't all that pricey - maybe $17.00 for the cd and five bucks shipping. It was worth a whole lot more. And I suggest equally as enthusiastically that you purchase the Pulse cd. You won't be disappointed.




THIS DAY'S . . .

Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayers and worn with thanks.

~ Thomas Goodwin


For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

~ Romans 8:18, The King James Version

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Family Portrait


My sister sent this to me yesterday. I don't believe I've ever seen it and I was as happy as a clam to get it. I love old photographs. And I've been going around for the last few years trying to gather up whatever relatives would give to me, or allow me to copy. If you've read any of my "Home Movies" chapters, and if you have not already figured it out, it is a true story. It is my story. And these are some of the people that have played lead roles in my life.

The central figure in the photograph and who played a huge role in my life is my grandmother. After looking at the photograph for a long time, and thinking back to my writings about my grandmother, I believe I did her justice. You can see the well-dressed and poised lady that I described; the lady with the waves on top of her head that were created by inserting "wave clips" after washing her hair. Her hair is gray, as it turned before she was 30 years old. She had beautiful skin, that's one thing I will always remember. This past July 28th, my grandmother's birthday, she would have been 106 years old. She passed at the age of 78 in 1980. I visit her grave often and keep the flowers changed with the seasons. I still talk to her, and I won't ever get over losing her.

The other four people in the photograph are her surviving children. Other than these four, she had carried twins who were still-born, both girls. Beginning at the left and going clockwise are Anna Reedus, Bobby Dale, Carlos Victor, and Ila Emogene. Agewise, Ree was the oldest, then Emogene, Carlos and Bobby was the baby.

In "Home Movies", this is the grandmother who took me to my "Uncle Bo's" house. That would be Bobby Dale. Ila Emogene is my birth mother. She just celebrated her 80th birthday on August 4th, but I suppose our family also ages well because she looks to be about 60-something. Yes, that part of my life is pretty complicated and wrought with emotional issues that won't ever die. I wish they would. The most ironic thing, though, is that Bobby Dale, in this photograph, looks just like my son. It amazes me how many photographs I have seen where they look alike. He could have been Bobby's son.

Emogene was a beautiful girl when she was young. She had very striking features. Long fingers and fingernails, long legs, good teeth and a beautiful smile, tiny waist, great hair .... if I had been a young man back then, I think I could have easily fallen for her.

Anna Reedus was my most favorite aunt in this whole world. I think she reminds me of Hepburn in this photograph. She never went out without what she called her "war paint", which was her make-up, complete with very red lipstick. She had a distinct widow's peak (which my granddaughter also has), and she was one classy lady, that one. A real head-turner. She was also a gourmet cook and everybody, I mean, all of us young folks at least, loved to go over to her house because she'd always have something really great and different cooking. She loved to drink beer, a little too much sometimes, but she was a wonderful and loving lady with a heart of gold. We spent many hours there and yes, we'd be imbibing right along with her, laugh, hear her stories of days gone by, tell jokes, just having fun. She and Emogene were very close.

My uncle Carlos had the luck of getting the big ears. God love him. He's 78 years old, was in a really horrible auto accident in 1996 and has been crippled ever since. He's a hoot of a guy. He loves a dirty joke and his sense of humor has never wained, in spite of his disabilities. He was a little bit of a carouser. He liked to smoke and drink and chase girls. He wasn't a mean person ever, but his vices got the best of him sometimes when he was young. He took the Lord into his life after his accident and I believe he's happier now than he has ever been, again, in spite of his disabilities. I love him like crazy, him and his wife, my Aunt Mil.

Bobby was the baby. My grandmother married Paw when she was in her teens and he was 25 years her senior. She had Emogene, Carlos and Bobby by him. Paw already had about six kids of his own, their mother having deceased. A couple of the girls were older than my grandmother. Bet that was a strange ordeal way back then. We're talking the roaring 20's now. Every one of Paw's kids adored Bobby. I suppose I should just call him "my daddy" cause that's who he is. He and his wife adopted me and my sister as I described in "Home Movies". He's my Daddy. He's larger than life. We had our differences, hard times, harsh words, and then I grew up and realized what a treasure I had. I've already told him that I'll be taking care of him and Mother when they can no longer care for themselves. They won't have to worry about anything, I'll see to that.

Auntie Ree passed in 1991 of cervical cancer that metastasized into her brain. She had'nt had a GYN examination in over 10 years and when I took her to the doctor, she wanted me in the room when they did her sonar. Turned out to be cervical cancer. I helped take care of her until she passed. It was hard. She went through radiation, and she had emphysema anyway, so it was just hard times for the duration. She's buried near my grandmother, so I visit her grave when I see my Grandmother. Daddy's pretty healthy. He's taken good care of himself, as has my mother. Uncle Carlos is disabled and diabetes has set in. I don't know how long he'll be around. Right now, they are dealing with my cousin's ordeal, the one that I wrote about with the brain tumor. He's not doing well, I'm afraid, but that's more sad news and a whole 'nother story.

Just take one photograph of your ancestors and then think about all of the life that you have had around each one of them. It's absolutely exasperating to think of it. For life to be so short, we sure do put a lot into it, don't we? I have literally thousands of memories of all of the people in this one photograph. And I don't want to ever forget them. In fact, I thirst for more and it seems with every photograph that I turn up, I remember more things - places we went, a joke, a laugh, a dish that was prepared, a cry, a hurt, but most of all, that I was surrounded by love. That is what a family is - LOVE.

Job Change!

I changed jobs on Friday again. For the last company/team cook-out, management decided that due to liability issues, we could have alcohol, but only one drink per person. I was fired for ordering the cups…



Monday, August 11, 2008

If My Body Were a Car

If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model.

I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull ... But that's not the worst of it.

My headlights are out of focus and it's especially hard to see things up close.

My traction is not as graceful as it once was.

I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather.

My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.

It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.

But here's the worst of it --

Almost every time I sneeze, cough or laugh.....

Either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires ………

Happy Birthday to Bay!

We had an awesome weekend. It way Bay's birthday on Saturday and he invited the Dawg and me to go bowling with he and his best friend, sissy, little bro, and his folks. Mom and Dad gave him the option of a big (and expensive) party, or a more low-key thing and BIG gifts . . . Bay's no dummy. He decided that he wanted to invite his best friend over to spend the night, go bowling and out to dinner, and then back home for the BIG prizes. His best friend gave him a football that had been autographed by a bunch of the Auburn football team. Right up his alley!! He thought that was the best thing he'd gotten.

When we went bowling, the kids had one lane and the adults had to other. I started off with several beautiful gutter throws. And we didn't know that they had "bumpers" that they could put up for the kids. Thank goodness the old guy came over and offered because Bay was zero all across the board and the others had scores. Once the bumpers went up, they had an awesome time. Dawg gave me a "secret" instruction and do you know that I bowled three strikes in a row and everybody was cheering because I got a "Turkey"! Now, what is a turkey, I asked. Everyone said it was when you throw three strikes in a row. Duh! But, do you get extra points or what? I must have because the score didn't add up right.

Dawg had an especially good time, probably because he was winning. He'd throw strike after strike, or at least pick up a spare, and then he'd do his little dance for us. He's a real hoot. It was so hilarious. I don't think we have all laughed that much in a long while. We've decided that we're going again, regularly! I'd like to do that, is it called "cosmic" bowling? You can tell the bowling balls all glow and that they must use black lights .... talk about going back in time!! WOO HOO!

We all attended Mass and then went to Bay's favorite place for dinner. Yes, you got it. 2 Pesos AGAIN, which was packed because of a concert at Oak Mountain. Not to fear. I called over an hour ahead and we were seated ahead of a ton of people who all had that "WHAAA?" look on their faces. And Bay wanted to go there because he wanted to wear the sombrero and have the waiters sing to him. It's only natural that the kids get a big kick out of that. We got lots of pictures, which I don't have with me, but I will post some this week, I promise.

We were so tired. Dawg and I actually slept until 8:30 yesterday! Amazing! We did a Lowe's trip. Picked up some blocks to trim around the garden in the back, some mulch, and I finally got me a hummingbird feeder, but you won't believe this. Everybody is out of nectar! I went three places. Finally, I decided to make my own sugar water, drop a little red food coloring in it and hang it.

The weekend ended with a spectacular (if I say so myself) dinner. I grill ground beef patties outside, and then added them to a large pan full of sauteed onions and garlic and brown gravy mix. I made white rice, fried okra and fresh turnip greens that were probably the best I've ever made. And I made sure that there were plenty of leftovers for today!

We're thinking "swimming pool" next summer so we measured and decided where it will go. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works out. The membership at the club where the grandchildren go is so expensive and they would be able to just walk over and swim any time. All of the kids and grandkids would enjoy it, and Dawg and I would like to have something like this for the two of us, and so we could entertain friends in the summertime. Water aerobics is low impact and would be great for my neck and back problems.

All is well in la-la land, and we're as happy as two clams. Thank the Lord for our blessings and our happy lives. It takes work, but all the work pays off in the end. I wish that everybody could be as happy as me and my family. God bless you all and have a blessed week.

THIS DAY'S . . .

Make this simple rule the guide of your life: to have no will but God's.

~ Francois Fenelon


He who forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter alienates a friend.

~ Proverbs 17:9, The Revised Standard Version


Satan, like a fisher, baits his hook according to the appetite of the fish.

~ Thomas Adams