Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


We're off like a herd o' turtles for our Thanksgiving holiday. I wish you all peace, joy, love and laughter with your loved ones this Thanksgiving. I shall return before you can turn around twice and yell "CHEESE AND CRACKERS!" (uh, that'd be next Wednesday, ya'll). I'm blessed and thankful to have you come by and see me.

Blessings all,

Abbey

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Big Log"

Absolutely, without a doubt, an all-time favorite of mine. If only I had the imagination and forethought to write such lyrics. Following the video are the lyrics, along with a couple of interpretations that I scrounged for. I've collected lyrics and interpretations for you. Take a step into your imaginations . . .

"the best poetry is where there is room for the reader or listener to fit into ... this one has a lot of room ... "



BIG LOG

My love is in league with the freeway
Its passion will ride as the cities fly by
And the tail-lights dissolve in the coming of night
And the questions in thousands take flight
My love is the miles and the waiting
The eyes that just stare, and the glance at the clock
And the secret that burns, and the pain that won't stop
And it's fuelled once again
Leading me on - leading me down the road
Driving me on - driving me down the road
My love is exceeding the limit
Red-eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles
Distance and longing - my thoughts do collide
Should I rest for a while at the side?
Your love is cradled in knowing
Eyes in the mirror, still expecting they'll come
Sensing too well when the journey is done
There is no turning back - no
There is no turning back - on the run
My love is in league with the freeway
Oh, with the freeway, and the coming of night-time
My love, my love is in league with the freeway

Interpretations:
12-28-2004

what it means? to me? a classic about plant selling his soul, or whatever was in the pact, the two meanings ... My love is in league with the freeway (the freeway, is of course the way of the Devil, no law, etc, here the singer's love is in league- pact- covenant, agreement with it)

Its passion will ride as the cities fly by And the tail-lights dissolve in the coming of night. And the questions in thousands take flight (doubts, etc). My love is the miles and the waiting (futility). The eyes that just stare, and the glance at the clock, And the secret that burns, and the pain that won't stop (maybe a little regret, hence no turning back, driven so2speak). And it's fuelled once again (but it'd recharged, refueled, once again). Leading me on - leading me down the road (the spirit leads the disciple). Driving me on - driving me down the road (the road eventually ends, driven on down it). My love is exceeding the limit. Red-eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles. Distance and longing - my thoughts do collide, Should I rest for a while at the side?(this is, should I just end it?, suicide). Your love is cradled in knowing. Eyes in the mirror, still expecting they'll come (this would be the beings of light, an arrival everyone senses, though few perceive accurately - ''sometimes words have two meanings'' - "from stairway"). Sensing too well when the journey is done (a call to death). There is no turning back - no (once sold, it cannot be recovered, it's in the deal, fame now... but...). There is no turning back - on the run (a belief in unforgiven). My love is in league with the freeway (the last call to where his allegiance lies, and with whom his soul rests...yowza!!!). Oh, with the freeway, and the coming of night-time(the darkness). My love, my love is in league with the freeway.
. . but some more plausible interpretations . . . or combination of all three?
3-15-2006
It's pretty cut-and-dry. He loves life on the road. Even the monotonous drone of the tires and the weary rocking of the bus. It allows him to become interspective. His imagination is piqued by the myriad scenes passing by his windows and this allows him the freedom to create songs. His lover, on the other hand, sits at home and stares at the mirror, waiting for the tour to be over. It is a doomed relationship. She waits for him to come home, and then he waits to hit the road. So while he is out on tour, she decides to leave him. "There is no turning back... on the run." He doesn't like that she is leaving him, but such is life on the road.

6-13-2008
Well, a "log" is a book a trucker keeps to record his/her miles and what is being carried in the truck. So maybe this is a log of his travels down the road of life.

9-7-2008
This song speaks to the long, dark, desolate stretches between loves. Beyond the bleakness is acceptance, where the resolutness of leaving (on the run, fueled by secrets and hurts and thousands of unanswerable questions) merges with, and is indistinguishable from, the wide, open-ended quest(longing that does not rest) for new love.

Today's Verse from HEARTLIGHT

"To err is human; to forgive, divine." The greatest challenge the Lord has given me is to learn forgiveness. And in the instances where I have succeeded, with the blessing of His graces, I found it brought me into such a state of peace that it is hard to describe. It gave me a sense of closeness to the Lord that is more than I have ever felt in my entire life. It is something that, once tasted, you know that it is what you want for always. And so I give to you today's verse from Heartlight:




VERSE: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

~ Mark 11:25


THOUGHT: To me, this is one of the most challenging reminders of God's will in Scripture. I must forgive others! When I refuse, it cuts me off the stream of forgiveness that God so longs to give to me. While forgiving others is never easy, God has not only commanded us to do it; he has also given us his Son as an example of forgiveness. In addition, he has promised to empower us to be able to do his will by the power of the Holy Spirit. The real issue: Will we let go of our bitterness toward those who have wounded us and truly forgive them?

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to forgive ____ of the sin committed against me. Please block cynicism and bitterness from my heart. Please empower me to forgive as Jesus did. In addition, dear Father, please teach me what my commitment to forgive actually means in terms of the life changes I need to make. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.




Monday, November 24, 2008

Abbey's Listening To . . .

I LOVE THIS ALBUM!

On The Border was the Eagles third album, released by Asylum in March 1974, and was certified Gold on June 5, 1974. The first two albums were, in their (the band) own minds, had a more "country" feel. With On The Border, they wanted to break away from the "country" label that they had unintentionally earned, and gear their sound more toward rock.

Even though a couple of the songs were out-and-out rockin' ("Already Gone", "James Dean"), the first song that captured me was "Ol' 55". What I love about the Eagles is their ability to tell a story in the course of a 3-5 minute song. Their writing is of the strength that I can only hope to attain. In "Ol' 55", I am given a very vivid image of this young man, walking out of a house somewhere on the outskirts of a small town. It's is not quite dawn, and he gets into his favorite possession, his '55 Chevy and drives away. He's feeling great, "alive" as he says. And in the end, we find that he is driving home "from your place". Did he meet a beautiful girl in a cafe, a bar, where? Wherever he met her, they fell for one another as two lonely people are inclined to do, and went home to her place. The night spent with this girl, one you definitely get the sense of being tender, lovely and loving, left him feeling "holy" and "alive".


"You Never Cry Like a Lover" and "Is It True" are a two more examples of wonderful lyrics and composition, telling you the story of loving, yet failing, and perhaps even a permanent tear. The musicianship is totally tight as are the harmonies.

The Eagles' music is the typ the music that I love the most. It is that which tells me a story, has meaning, and more than anything, I feel most attracted if it fits into my own life. Sort of like Fleetwood Mac's Rumors. I was in a relationship that was four years old, it was falling apart (as were the romantic relationships within the group, thus the tone of the writing), and somehow, listening to this stuff over and over allowed me to get it out of my system. On the other hand, maybe it enabled me to dwell too long. I don't know.

What I do know is that when I downloaded "On The Border" from iTunes this weekend, and even after 30 years, I remember every lyric. Some songs had been long forgotten, as were the times relative to them, but it all came back and I am reliving my youth through this album. THIS is the Eagles that I love and adore! I'm going to throw in a review by Janet Maslin from Rolling Stone (5-23-74) for good measure, because she states it so much better than I.

Most of the ten songs here are in some way related to escape, or to the failures that necessitate it. But the Eagles' point of view toward their material varies so wildly that it's hard to believe even they take it seriously. "My Man," Bernie Leadon's gentle epitaph for a "very talented guy" (who seems to be Gram Parsons), is completely at odds with the jovial necrophilia of "James Dean," a strong and (I hope) slightly facetious rocker that hands it subject a rather abrupt kiss-off ("You were too fast to live, too young to die, bye-bye"). "Already Gone," which sounds like it's supposed to sound like "Take It Easy," is the most inconsistent number in the set, building a proud "victory song" out of successive cute digs at an abandoned girlfriend. The Eagles' California ethos (softly articulated in the album's most affecting number, "The Best of My Love") conveys their spirit of camaraderie which is more admirable than it is musically effective. The vocal work is shared throughout, sometimes even within the same song, and not always to the group's advantage. But even though Glenn Frey's singing best personifies the group's overall spirit, Don Henley's raw, strained sound in more interesting and less anonymous. "Ol' '55," a Tom Waits number sung alternately by Frey and Henley, emphasizes their stylistic differences, but at the expense of a single, more personal approach. And while Bernie Leadon provides an interesting synthesis of Frey's and Henley's mannerisms on "My Man," Randy Meisner probably shouldn't be singing leads at all.

~Janet Maslin, Rolling Stone, 5-23-74

This Day's . . .

Prayer does not equip us for greater works- prayer is the greater work.

~ Oswald Chambers


Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

~ 1 Samuel 30:4, The King James Version


When flatterers meet, the devil goes to dinner.

~ English proverb

Friday, November 21, 2008

Confusion in the English Language

Lovers of the English language might enjoy this. It is yet another example of why people learning English have trouble with the language. Learning the nuances of English makes it a difficult language. (But then, that's probably true of many languages.)

There is a two-letter word in English that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is 'UP.' It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends and we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP !

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on & on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now ........ my time is UP , so time to shut UP!

Oh ... one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?


U P

Now I'll shut UP.

Heartlight


VERSE: Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. ~ John 11:21

THOUGHT: If you have ever stood at the grave side of a loved one, this thought probably crossed your mind, too -- if you had only been here, Lord! Where is Jesus when we hurt? Why couldn't he be here to help us? There are a couple of crucial answers to remember. First, Jesus is with us in our moments of loss and grief. The Church is Jesus' Body and every act of kindness, support, comfort, and help is Jesus working to alleviate our grief. Second, while he may not have kept our loved one from passing from this life to the next, he has been the abiding and unbroken presence for each Christian who has died physically. Paul reminds us that when a Christian dies, he or she goes to be with Christ (2 Cor. 5:6-7; Phil. 1:21-23) andGod's loving presence is never lost to him or her (Rom. 8:35-39)!

PRAYER: Holy Father, please help me see Jesus' ministering presence in my times of loss and grief. Help me see him in the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit who abides in me. Help me see him in the acts of love and kindness your people do to help me. In addition, dear Father, please help me see ways that I can serve as Jesus' presence to someone else who is experiencing grief. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Visual Personality

How many of you have taken the visual personality test in the sidebar? I would love to hear your comments. I note that my good friend and fellow blogger "Bama Belle" is a sophisticat like me! Go ahead, have some fun for a minute or two, which about how long this will take you!

The Office Thanksgiving Luncheon

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not a big fan of "covered dish" affairs. Last year, the office Thanksgiving luncheon was held approximately two weeks after I began work here, and being new and virtually a stranger to just about everyone, I made an excuse and went out to lunch, alone, just to avoid it. There have been a few other smaller covered dish lunches, e.g., baby showers, and I participated in perhaps one the whole year.

Here is my problem with covered dish occasions. I have worked all of my life. And I have probably 3-4 occasions on any given day to visit the Ladies Room at the office. Can you imagine how many women, many of them "professionals", that I have witnessed exiting the stall and walking right out the door without washing their hands? This brings to mind a vivid image of that woman at home cooking in her own kitchen. Are the pots and pans clean before use? Did she wash her hands after doing No. 1 or especially No. 2 before handling the food that I'm going to injest? Did she drop a piece on the floor and go by the five-second rule, quickly retrieving it and throwing it back into the mix?

How about this scenario, which actually happened a few years ago. Everyone was bringing in their covered dishes, some needing to be heated. Our steward had set up a microwave oven in the conference room where the food was to be spread out buffet style so that people could warm their food before serving it.

One lady brought some delicious-looking crowder peas. I love crowder peas and there was even cornbread to go with it. She put the bowl of peas in the nuker for a couple of minutes, took them out and stirred them with a plastic spoon. She then used that spoon to take a bite to see if the peas were warm enough. She hesitated a moment and looked as if she were thinking as she chewed. She then stirred the bowl of peas again WITH THE SAME SPOON. This was a pleasant, older woman, but one you could tell was not overly concerned about hygiene, so I was totally turned off by covered dish occasions. You never know how people are going to treat your food in their home, out of sight of any health authority. Everyone saw what she did and the whispers were spreading fast, "don't eat the peas!" I implored everyone to take a spoonful and put them on their plate, but not eat them, just so the poor woman's feelings wouldn't be hurt.

I relented this year. And we just finished our firm's annual Thanksgiving Luncheon. I made fresh green beans and they were exquisite, if I say so myself. We had a smoked turkey and a smoked ham, plus dressing that were all prepared by a caterer. Everything else was brought in by the staff. There was so much food, and even a little spoon of each dish was more than one could put on a plate. Corn pudding, broccoli rice, vegetable casserole, mac & cheese, sweet peas casserole, Greek salad, oriental salad, green bean casserole, potatoe salad, rolls, tea; and the desserts, my goodness. We have one attorney who is a gourmet cook and she made her "famous" pumpkin cheesecake (YUM!), German chocolat cake, pumpkin and pecan pies, pound cake, cheesecake, coconut cake, cookies, homemade carmel squares, and on and on. I've forgotten a lot of things, but needless to say, the emails are flying with hints of siesta time and heading for the barn.

It really was a wonderful occasion and I'm happy that I didn't shy away from the gathering this year. I sat with two female attorneys that I've never had a chance (in over a year) to get to know, and a paralegal who is around the corner from my office. It was the best kind of fellowship, everyone happy, smiles everywhere, and lots of delicious food. I put the image of what may have occurred during preparation of any given dish out of my mind, and just enjoyed it. Hey, I'm sure I'm not gonna die from it!

One step for Abbey, one giant leap for mankind!

Beer Bottle Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How much is my time worth?

I have to rant and rave and get this off my chest. I should probably count myself fortunate because of all the visits that this girl has made to one doctor or the other over the last 4-5 years, I cannot say that I have experience much of a wait.

I made an appointment to see an M.D. this morning. I told nice young lady on the other end of the phone line that I wanted an early appointment since I work and didn't want to be too late. She asked me (yesterday) if I could come today at 8:00 a.m. I accepted the appointment and I was there at 8:00 sharp this morning. By the time I got someone's attention in the reception area, it was 8:15. I heard all about the two receptionists who had gone home ill early yesterday, and neither had shown up yet this morning. The female, who turned out to be one of the doc's nurses, searched around and eventually came up with a "new patient" packet.

By the time I completed the packet, it was 8:45 a.m. First one, and then the second of the two receptionists arrived. Both looked marvelous; why, you could have fooled anyone that they'd ever been ill at all. It was amazing!

I was called to the back office and shown into an examination room aroun 9:00 a.m., told to put on a gown, etc. The nurse returned, asked a few questions and left with "the doctor will be in in a few minutes." Oh Lord. I knew I was in trouble.

For the next HOUR, I sat and listened to the sound of someone's worn high heels, klip-klock klip-klock; and then faster, klip-klock klip-klock klip-klock klip-klock, back and forth they went, all around, never ending. Swirling somewhere in the midst of this most anal noise was the feint sound of a man's voice. Ah ha! 'Tis the doctor, surely it must be! Yes, it is him, but he comes not to my examination room but that of another. I hear cheerful greetings and laughter, the door closes and then just the humming of low voices. At long last, I hear a door open. Surely it is the doctor and he is on his way now. I sit up straight, as I have hung my head and closed my eyes and am close to drifting into some serious z's.

All for naught, for zee doctor does not come to me. I hear him talking and I'm listening intently. I believe he is dictating his notes from the just-ended examination. Yes, that's it. THEN, he shall surely see me next.

In the meantime, I hear a man who is shown into the room next to mine. The walls seem paper thin for this to be the office wherein such confidential exchanges are conducted, but nevetheless, I hear the man and he begins to speak. Ah, he is making a call on his mobile phone. Well, soon as zee doctor sees me, then he can see you, Mr. whoever you are.

Woe is me, I hear the doctor's steps and they move swiftly past my door and what? He has entered the room of the man who has just arrived. I check my watch for the ump-teenth time, and I say to myself AGAIN, ten more minutes and I will have been here two whole hours.

I am thinking of what I shall say when I do see the doctor. Shall I open the door this very minute and announce that I am leaving, that I have been waiting for two hours, two hours since the appointed time that I was given? No. I will wait. And then, I shall look at him when he enters and say what? Maybe, um, maybe I shall give a slight smirk of a smile and tell him that he owes me a discount for my time. No, I'll just be blunt. I'll let him know that my time is valuable and I have been waiting for an inordinant amount of time.

Suddenly, I imagine myself under his care. He has complete control over me and my body, my health and wellbeing. Do I dare to be abrupt and discourteous to him? Fear sets in and I know that if I am honest with my feelings, he may well not do his best job to care for my health.

So, like millions of Americans, I succumb to the poor treatment of a filthy-rich physician, who is taking his time, overbooking, or whatever the reason of which I am not a factor, and I say nothing. I smile and talk with him, and he is pleasant with me. We conduct our business and as he rises to leave, ever so quickly he says "sorry for the wait."

Sorry for the wait. Does that satisfy the economic inconvenience that we suffer? Does it satisfy the feeling that we are given that we do not matter enough to be given due consideration when we are given an appointed time? I dare say that if I had not been on time, or even not shown up at all, the likelihood of my insurance company and myself being billed for that time slot is extremely high.

Just one more teensy little area in the grand scheme of things that is totally screwed up, as it is all over America. So whatcha gonna do, Prez-Elect, about this problem we have here? Something MUST be done about our medical care situation, and I'm not just speaking of affordable healthcare, I am speaking of physicians being held accountable. Americans, we are at the mercy of the hierarchy, and that is anyone, anything that is above what we have and who we are.

This Day's . . .

The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter.

~ Phillips Brooks


I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

~ Revelation 22:13, The King James Version


When I dig another out of trouble, the hole from which I lift him is the place where I bury my own.

~ Unknown

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Change

This came from the Opinion section of the Amarillo Globe News, and was submitted by Guest Columnist, Norma White. I felt it was a fairly accurate summation of the feelings of most Americans today. It was obviously published prior to the election on November 4th.

You want change? Try these ideas
by Norma White

Each presidential candidate is giving his rendition of the changes he wants for America. Here are a few that I believe all Americans want.

  • Limit Congress from serving more than two terms. That is all that presidents are allowed.
  • Stop Congress from voting for their own raises. How did that ever get started?
  • Stop paying for lawmakers' high-priced insurance premiums. After all, they are only part-time employees. They might pass some law changes on the insurance companies if they had to find one.
  • Stop paying lawmakers their full salary after serving just one term, or at retirement. We need to get rid of that pension plan; they've let other companies get ridc of theirs. You were
    lucky to get 40 to 50 percent of your salary after working somewhere for 35 years, but they get 100 percent.
  • Make Congress pay into the Social Security system. They make laws for it. If they spent some of their own money, they might be interested in making it solvent.
  • Stop handing out aid to illegal aliens.
    If we did, then Medicaid and the food stamp program would have enough money to aid the aged and the poor.
  • Secure our borders.
  • Stop allowing babies born to illegal aliens in the United States automatic U.S. citizenship.
  • Stop the abuse of our benevolent welfare system. We feed children free meals three times a day until they are 17. Churches give away good, clean clothes. Companies buy and donate school supplies. Emergency rooms provide health care at taxpayer expense and the food stamp program is buying food at home. What are parents doing for their children?
  • Have a computer program that corss-checks Social Security numbers with fingerprints to stop fraud on many fronts. Use it on voter registration, too.
  • Stop bailing out mortgage companies and banks that give loans to people who cannot afford them.
  • Stop companies from paying CEOs and other executive outrageous salaries and bonuses while doing away with workers' pensions.
  • Stop all unnecessary spending so we will have the money for our nation's security, and to help needy and elderly Americans.
  • Stop permitting anyone to have a photo with their face covered on driver's licenses.

Whoever wins the presidency will not be able to make these changes. Only members of Congress can do this, as they are the lawmakers. I don't believe Congress is interested in changing anything; do you?


Monday, November 17, 2008

New Widget

There's a new widget on my sidebar that you might find interesting. My results are posted and you may want to take the test for fun and compare! Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

NEW! You Might Be a Redneck If .....

We have enjoyed the redneck jokes for years. It's time to take a reflective look at the core beliefs of a culture that values home, family, country and God. If I had to stand before a dozen terrorists who threaten my life, I'd choose a half dozen or so rednecks to back me up. Tire irons, squirrel guns and grit -- that's what rednecks are made of. I hope I am one of those. If you feel the same, pass this on to your redneck friends. Ya'll know who ya' are.

You might be a redneck if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, 'One nation, under God.'

You might be a redneck if: You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a redneck if: You still say 'Christmas' instead of 'Winter Festival.'

You might be a redneck if: You bow your head when someone prays.

You might be a redneck if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

You might be a redneck if: You treat our armed forces veterans with great respect, and always have.

You might be a redneck if: You've never burned an American flag, nor intend to.

You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a redneck if: You respect your elders and raised your kids to do the same.

You might be a redneck if: You'd give your last dollar to afriend.

Validation? What and Why?

A very close and admired friend of mine sent me a note regarding my blog and my comment about needing validation for my writing. He says:
Validation. There's that word again.

One question: If you enjoy writing and you enjoy writing on your blog, what does it matter if you are talking to thousands or talking to a wall? Just asking even though I already know the answer...
Here is what Merriam-Webster has to say about the word "validate":

1 a: to make legally valid : ratify
b: to grant official sanction to by marking c: to confirm the validity of (an election) ; also : to declare (a person) elected

2 a: to support or corroborate on a sound or authoritative basis b: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of

synonyms see confirm
"to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of" . . .

As a writer (amateur), I readily recognize that there are forms of writing wherein the writer neither seeks nor needs validation of his words, as in keeping a journal, or a personal diary. So, is my quest for "validation" a human flaw or failure; do I need accolades; am I an actor and this is my stage? Do I need someone to tell me my writing is real and my thoughts are legitimate in the eyes of the world? It's so damn deep that I'm not certain that I even want to go there.

Quite naturally, people enjoy accolades; they are sometimes few and far between and if that makes an individual feel good and special, what's the problemo? Yes, I am an actor of sorts and this is my stage when I am here, and maybe comments are akin to the clapping of hands after a good performance. And maybe I have confused myself by reading so many blogs and seeing hundreds of comments and associating those with validation and legitimacy, or even that their blog is actually interesting and mine is not.

I feel that my good friend is asking me to contemplate for myself the reasons why I feel the need for validation of my blog, as a whole, which was my meaning. I might ask him to give me the answer, since he professes to know it. Would you? Could you, please?

I always have something to say, and I do not endure silence very well. Ask my husband. He can be a very quiet man sometimes, and it will drive me nuts, especially if it lasts for days at a time. This is commonly known as "The Dance of Intimacy". TDI is not relegated to relationships of romance, it involves all kinds of relationships. Where is this piece going? Well, in this case, call me paranoid or insecure or needy, I don't care . . . in this dance of intimacy with my readers, I look for a response of some kind, just as I want a response from my husband or my friends, etc., whenever I throw my ideas and/or ideals out there, but it's just to comfort me and let me know that yes, someone has read my thoughts; they didn't go into cyberspace to be lost forever, never to be read, digested or contemplated.

To answer my own question: Yes. It is a human failing that I have, and it was instilled in me at a very young age via some very awful and unfortunate circumstances that a child of age three could never in this world understand or foresee.

My epiphany has come and gone, and I am on the right page as of now. But do not expect me to stay here long. Old habits die hard. I will forget all in short order. This is my story, and I'm sticking to it. Contemplate that.

Where's My Chips?

This Day's . . .

Christ’s life outwardly was one of the most troubled lives that was ever lived: tempest and tumult; tumult and tempest, the waves breaking over it all the time. But the inner life was a sea of glass. The great calm was always there.

~ Henry Drummond


Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

~ Galatians 1:10, The New International Version


I have never discarded beliefs deliberately. I left them in the drawer, and, after a while, when I opened it, there was nothing there at all.

~ William Sumner

Heartlight

VERSE: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel oflight. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:14

THOUGHT: While we wait for God's great victory for us to be fully realized, we also need to know that we are in a battle. God will win this battle through Jesus Christ. The final outcome is certain. Christ has already won the decisive battle. However, let's not be fooled; the evil one will do everything he can to deceive all people and confuse the lost. Let's stick with God's plan -- living his truth, listening for his voice in Scripture, and following the lead of his Spirit.

PRAYER: Holy LORD, please give me the ability to discern truth and resist the deception of Satan. Please empower me by your Spirit as I seek to live victoriously for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Are A Sadistic Society

Where does this human perversion come from? I am speaking of "sadistic" in the terms of we, as a society, want to see the vehicles involved in the accidents and know the gorrie details of them, along with murders, suicides, tortures, and other sick macabre. In response to a question posed on Elektric Blanket in response to the article "Human Propensity for Sadism", Dr. Know responded:

Buddha discovered that suffering exists. Suffering comes from desire. Suffering can be eliminated. The way to reduce suffering comes from following the 8 fold path:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

The middle way - no extremes

The human condition comes from wanting the extremes - the cravings. The need to be first. The need to have more than someone else. The need to be considered 'better'. The need to impose your thoughts and beliefs on another.

Buddha also said - do not believe me. Test it for yourself.
It's fairly clear to me that Buddha has some very good points there. Good also because I have thought some of these things myself.

Example: You are in a massive traffic jam on your way home from work. There are four lanes of traffic on the interstate, all heading in the same direction, yet you creep, stop and then creep a bit more, then stop again. Alas, you can see from afar the flashing, twinkling blue and red lights and you know that it is an "emergency". "Oh Shit!", you say, "an accident." There is no where to go, no exit between you and the mystically haunting blue and red flashing lights. You are not consciously aware of it, but you find yourself anxious, anxious to get to the very spot where the flashing lights sit, because you want to know, by God, what in the Hell in going on. Oh yes, it's not just a speeding ticket, that would be just the blue flashing lights of the police. No, this one has red lights, too. Therefore, it might be, must be, AN ACCIDENT.

As you make your way, start stop, start stop, for the next fifteen minutes, you finally reach the scene of the accident. Oh dear, there's a wrecker, and a firetruck, and oh my, an ambulance .... one, no two cars, gosh, one is on it's side .... oh my, people standing around, look where you're going, watch out, brake, don't hit that guy in front of you, slow down, you didn't get a good look, gotta see, gotta see what .... shit, I couldn't tell if it was a dark green or a black car .... and the interstate quickly opens and you accelerate to speed limit and make your way home. By the time you arrive at your destination, you rush in to find the first person you can find so you can tell your story, the story of the scene of the accident.

What has happened here is quite perplexing on the simplest of levels. You join hundreds of others in the art of "rubbernecking" ... slowing down to look and see whatever you can see. Society cannot bear the unknown; we want to know it all; and we believe we know it all, all of us. And we argue and rant and rave and get on each others nerves with our know-it-all attitudes. Secondly, we want to be THE FIRST, the very first to tell it, the bad things, the awful, grueling details, because we know that our listener will "ooooohhhhh" and "aaaaaahhhh" as we weave our tale and exaggerate here and there for effect. We are in the limelight, we have everyone's attention. My, doesn't that feel good?

It's not just Americans, it is people all over the world. People are the most curious of all animal/mammal creatures, and we have the upper hand because we have language, language with which we can describe in great detail all that we know about the macabre incident.

Have humans always had such a curiosity about bad things, the need to know, and the power of being the first to know and the first to tell it? Tell me about curiosity, because I am curious as to why people are so curious. Oh, and about that traffic. You're sitting in a jam of traffic because everybody is just like you. They want to know, they have to know exactly WHAT is going on and they want to see it, as much of it as possible. So they slow down, and it is a chain reaction of sorts. The very first few rows of cars hit their brakes, so the next two or three hit their in succession, and then the next, and the next, until way away back in the line of traffic, it finally comes to a dead stop, but the ones who first initiated the bright tail lights by braking? Well, they're gone; they're up to speed limit and on their way home by now, and you? You are at a dead stop, until the car in front of you creeps two feet, and you creep two feet before you brake again, and way away behind you, someone else is at a dead stop, probably cursing the day and the traffic and who knows what else.

Goodness, we humans amaze me so, sometimes I think I could just spit nails. Remember what Buddha said:


The human condition comes from wanting the extremes - the cravings. The need to be first. The need to have more than someone else. The need to be considered 'better'. The need to impose your thoughts and beliefs on another.
You ask me, what the most important feature of Christ’s character was. I will answer you: it was his confidence in the greatness of the human soul. He saw in a person the reflection of God’s image, and therefore, he loved everyone, whoever a person was, without regard to his life or character.

~ William Channing


“I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

~ John 16:33, The Revised Standard Version


Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?

~ Unknown

The Greatest Prank Call Ever

I know, I am way behind because I just heard this for the first time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Support Guy!

I recently read Madonna's brother's autobio, and the revelations that it contained solidified my feelings about Madonna. She is a control freak of the worst kind; selfish beyond belief; completely self-centered; and bears a childishness that take on many shapes and connotations. In the wake of her break-up with Guy Ritchie, I can only congratulate Guy for removing himself from the world of "Madonna, the star". After weeks of being separated from his children, who were based in New York with their "mother" (term used loosely), Rocco and David have been allowed to fly over to England to spend time with Guy. But the trip was not without the usual "control freak" stipulations placed on the visit by the children's mother. I can't go without noting that all three of her children were present for her "Sticky and Sweet" concert in New York last week, wherein Madonna used many expletives and dropped the "F" bomb numerous times. What a wonderful example for a mother. I pray that Guy wins custody of Rocco and David.

Laugh and the World Laughs With You

I believe in laughter and that it is contagious. My sense of humor takes up, at the very least, an acre in my personality. I'm getting older and I'll stick by the fact that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. Enjoy my humor, allow me to lighten your day and your load, even for just a moment. Pass it on. Make someone's day with some levity and laughter.




You're An EXTREME Redneck When.....

1. You let your 14-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.

2. The Blue Book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas is in it.
3. You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

4. You think a woman who is out of your league bowls on a different night.

5. You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.

6. Someone in your family died right after saying, 'Hey, guys, watch this.'

7. You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.

8. Your wife's hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.

9. Your junior prom offered day care.

10. You think the last words of the Star-Spangled Banner are 'Gentlemen, start your engines.'

11. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.

12. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.

13. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.

14. One o f your kids was born on a pool table.

15. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.

16. You can't get married to your sweetheart because there's a law against it.

17. You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.

God Bless Our Veterans and Service Men & Women

I'm feeling somewhat of a cunundrom in using the phrase "Happy" Veterans Day. It is a happy day for those who served our country and made it through their service to this country without losing their lives, although some lost limbs, eyesight, or suffer a multitude of lifetime maladies. On this day, I am "Happy" to express my deepest gratitude to our American Veterans, both past and present.

I love this country; and in spite of our inner turmoil and strife, we remain the greatest country on God's earth. I dedicate this day to soldiers from as far back as when this country was founded through and including the present day. I am in prayer for those who have lost their lives and for their families who are picking up the pieces and learning to live with this enormous loss of life, and for those who are currently serving our country in far away lands, in extreme conditions that we cannot fathom, who live 24/7 in harm's way, and who are brave enough and love this country enough to place themselves in the line of fire. For those behind the scenes, your jobs are as important as the troops on ground. Without you and this country's great technological advances, I am sure many more lives would be lost.

I know that I am leaving out some specific persons/soldiers and it is not intentional. My heart is with them all, whoever they are. May God bless and keep you safe, may He in his great mercy, protect you and bring you safely home to your families, and may the God comfort those families who have loved one's in service of this country. Your loved ones are the best of the best, the most generous of all, and certainly the most brave. God bless you and God bless America.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spoiled America

The following piece has been circulating via email for almost two years now. It began with Jay Leno speaking about Hurricane Katrina in his monologue, then was attributed to David Letterman somewhere along the way, but the truth is, it has been revised and edited many times and as a result, only the last line can be attributed to Jay Leno, yet the piece as a whole speaks volumes about spoiled America.

As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark.

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''

A. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

B. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

C. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

D. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

E. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

F. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

G. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to thehospital.

I. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.

J. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.

K. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

L. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

M. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy. Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world hasever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here. I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?

Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an "other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable" discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.

With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Fruitcake Lady

There's always fun with the fruitcake lady. Enjoy!

Where is Abbey?

Greetings,

The reasons for my absence of late are few, but most importantly, it has been a time issue. I want to be a conscientious blogger, but feel that my creative juices are not up to par. That is me being my worst critic. I needed some time away to think and just forget about trying to blog every day. I just don't have the time for that. My blog is not going away, but my posts may be every day for days and then nothing for days .... hopefully, those few that I see still checking will hang with me ... I hope so.

I feel I have a lot to say, but as many writers do, I am searching for the fine line where I know what I should and should not say.

I am sure that some will find my writing conflicting. On the one hand, I post scripture and spiritual comment. I am a deeply spiritual individual. However, I am also human and the posting of humor is a part of who I am. I cannot go for long without saying something funny, or laughing. Laughter is the greatest gift that I possess. I have a sense of humor that reaches quite far, and perhaps to some, crosses their self-imposed boundaries according to their interpretation of what is appropriate Christian behavior. I apologize if anyone finds my humor offensive. All I can do is tell you "don't read it".

I cannot imagine a world without laughter. I cannot imagine that the Lord sits on his mighty throne in heaven and does not laugh at us often, as well as our Savior, Jesus, sitting by his side and the two of them laughing together. Heaven is a joyous place, as we have been promised. So, making life joyous around me can't be all bad.

I will do my best to please, but you may not always agree. I can accept that. It's called "life". But I hope you at least enjoy some of what I have to say, some of the humor, and take to heart the serious scriptures and messages, for all of this comes from my heart and it is given freely with only the best of intentions (and I don't want to hear anything about that "road to hell").

God bless and looking forward to our future together.

Abbey