Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Day's . . .

I especially love This Day's Smile!!

Did you never run for shelter in a storm, and find fruit which you expected not? Did you never go to God for safeguard, driven by outward storms, and there find unexpected fruit?

~ John Owen


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

~ Isaiah 55:8-9, The King James Version


We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't.

~ Frank Clark

Christmas Dimentia

Thank you for this, Renae!

Abbey's listening to . . . .


I can recall where I was at the exact moment I first heard "Nights in White Satin". I had moved to California and was living in an upper furnished, two-bedroom apartment in Bellflower - yes, BELLFLOWER, a burb in southern Los Angeles County. I had flown with my best friend, Carol Ammons, from Texas with two suitcases - one with clothes and the other with all the kitchen utensils I could fit in a suitcase! LOL! But I've digressed . . .

This is the first "concept" album that I can recall. Start to finish, it is a unique journey that is a never before heard musical production that, in my mind, completely befit the tone of each path traveled. The London Festival Orchestra provides wonderfully flowing interludes between songs that connect them seamlessly. While "Nights" and "Tuesday Afternoon" were and are probably the most memorable, I absolutely adore "Sunset" and "Twilight Time".

Several years ago, The Moody Blues appeared at Red Rock, and if I'm not mistaken, that dvd is available for purchase. It was an awesome concert in the midst of a gorgeous backdrop. I recommend hecking Amazon.com to purchase this must have recording, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This Day's . . .

To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.

~Pearl S. Buck



Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

~Proverbs 18:12, The New International Version

Anger Management

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know.

I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered, saying "Hello." I politely said, "This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn Carter?" Suddenly a manic voice yelled out in my ear "Get the right f......ing number!" and the phone was slammed down on me. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

When I tracked down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits. After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled "You're an asshole!" and hung up. I wrote his number down with the word 'asshole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, "You're an asshole!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller, ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic 'asshole' calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller, ID Program?" He yelled "NO!" and slammed down the phone. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an asshole!" and hung up.

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot but the idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale" sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number. A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole (I had his number on speed dial), I thought that I'd better call the BMW asshole, too.

I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?" He said, "Yes, itis." I asked, "Can you tell me where I can see it?" He said, "Yes, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd., in Fairfax. It's a yellow Rambler, and the car's parked right out in front." I asked, "What's your name?" He said, "My name is Don Hansen," I asked, "When's a good time to catch you, Don?" He said, "I'm home every evening after five." I said, "Listen, Don, can I tell you something?" He said, "Yes?" I said, "Don, you're an asshole!" Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too.

Now, when I had a problem, I had two assholes to call. Then I came up with an idea. I called asshole 1. He said, "Hello." I said, "You're an asshole!" (But I didn't hang up.) He asked, "Are you still there?" I said, "Yeah," He screamed, " Stop calling me," I said, "Make me," He asked, "Who are you?" I said, "My name is Don Hansen." He said, "Yeah? Where do you live?" I said, "Asshole, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd., in Fairfax, it's a yellow rambler and I have a black Beamer parked in front." He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers." I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, asshole," and hung up.

Then I called Asshole 2. He said, "Hello?" I said, "Hello, asshole." He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..." I said, "You'll what?" He exclaimed, "I'll kick your ass!" I answered, "Well, asshole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now." Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 34 Oaktree Blvd., in Fairfax, and that I was on my way over there to kill my gay lover.

Then I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down in Oaktree Blvd. in Fairfax. I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax. I got there just intime to watch two assholes beating the crap out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better. Anger management really does work.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This Day's . . .

God framed the history of the world in view of the coming of Jesus Christ. In the very beginning He chose a family whose line of descent should run directly from Eden to Bethlehem. This family God took into covenant with Himself, and the promise of the covenant was that of its seed Christ should be born in the fullness of time. This covenant-line runs through the whole of the Old Testament as the golden thread runs through the beautiful fabric. Everything centers in this covenant-line. It unifies the Old Testament. It is the cord upon which the pearls of history are strung. Keep this in mind, and it will explain a thousand mysteries and perplexities in reading the Old Testament.

~ David Gregg

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

~ Mark 1:4-8, The Revised Standard Version

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Office Policies

Dress Code:
1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.
2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.
3) If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.
4) If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work .

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.

Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin boa rd under the 'Chronic Offenders'category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.


Lunch Break: (Love this one)
* Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.
* Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.
* Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

The Management

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ten Commandments - Tennessee Style

(1) Just one God

(2) Put nothin' before God

(3) Watch yer mouth

(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'

(5) Honor yer Ma & Pa

(6) No killin'

(7) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal

(8) Don't take what ain't yers

(9) No tellin' tales or gossipin'

(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff

Now that's plain an' simple. Y'all have a nice day.

Rude Awakening

I awoke last night with that "urge", the one that makes you say, "aw geesh, I gotta pee again!" Well, I thought I was awake, and at this moment, I still am not quite certain. I've dreamed that I was sitting on the toilet relieving myself and woke up in wet sheets. Stop laughing; I was five years old at the time! But I do dream vividly and when I need to pee, I dream in my sleep that I need to pee.

So, it's not wonder, however odd that I rose almost immediately and every so quickly, when I normally lie there and ponder "to go or not to go". My feet hit the floor and I began those steps to the bathroom. I was immediately taken with the thought, the one that fires through your brain at lightning speed, and it said "something's not right". I recall seeing blackness, instead of the dim light from the window peering into the bathroom, which leads me in the right direction.

As immediate as that thought zipped by, I hit a brick wall. Not really a brick wall, but whatever it was, it was solid, hard and immovable! I flew in the air and hit the floor, landing on my right shoulder. I had instantaneous pain in my left foot and knee, and that was followed in less that one second by a wrenching muscle spasm in my right calf. All this created the reaction of drawing my legs up and wincing in pain.

Dawg cried out "Baby!" and flew out of the bed, turning on the lamp as he moved. He was scared out of his wits, and I can see why, I would be too, and I was. The picture of me drawn up in a ball, lying on my side, writhing in pain frightened him. I was trying to massage the right calf and stop the spasm, clenching my teeth and trying to say "I - got - a - a - muscle - - spaaa - sm!" All while he was straightening out my left leg, examining it most likely for a protruding compound fractured bone.

I never opened my eyes until the spasm subsided, and when I did, I was 10 feet from where I thought I had landed, and I realized that I had walk smack into the armoir that is on the opposite wall from the foot of our bed. I know better; I know where my bathroom is, which is why I think I might have been sleep-walking. Have you ever run into a solid obstacle walking at a full pace? It is amazing that the human body has such strong forward momentum, but it certainly does and I'm here to tell you, it will be the most stunning experience you can imagine, followed by a state of utter confusion. It probably resembles some mindblowing drug trip, but I can only imagine.

My vivid dreaming is becoming a health hazard. Last Saturday night, as my husband tells me on Sunday morning, I hit my hubby twice. I am a jerker. I shake, rattle and roll in my sleep. One day, I'm going to have a sleep study done, but where was I? Oh yea, hubby reached over and rubbed my tummy to calm me and I said, "I'm sorry; I was trying to protect Buddy." When hubs told this to me, I began to cry.

Buddy was my brother, the one that was shot and killed in 1985. He was raised by my birth mother, along with a half-sister and brother, and a man who was the devil incarnate. I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness this devil of a man brutalizing my brother, whipping him under a table on one occasion.

I had just discussed with my therapist how great things were going, and she had commented in kind. We had thought we'd back off for a while. And then this. When hubby told me what had transpired, I began to cry. "When will the demons leave me alone?"

Was last night's episode another "warning" of some kind that I need to get that sleep study and see if my malady is treatable? Gosh, I hate the thought of lashing out in my sleep, especially against the one I love so much, or of hurting myself, not to mention the buried memories that creep in at will and of which I have no control.

No real point to this story. It's more journaling, of sorts, and I don't mind sharing it with you. I am, after all, human. And we all have crosses that, against all will, we must bear.

I'm good, shoulder's a little sore as it the knee, but I'll live. I'm meeting up with my local gal pals tonight for margaritas and Secret Santa. I'm all gussied up, as one of my girlfriend's would say, and looking forward to a Christmas dinner with good friends.

May I borrow $25

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door

SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?
DAD: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the man.
SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'
DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.
SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?
DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.
SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.
SON: 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?

The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door..

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down , and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked.
'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.
'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. 'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled. 'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied. 'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This Day's . . .

I have an acquaintance who, after her ex-husband was tragically killed, saw numerous "psychics" who told her many things about her and her former husband, how they still loved one another, he was at peace, the face you saw in the shower was him, blah blah blah. I discussed the spiritual or Biblical condemnation of such "mediums" with her, and her response was, "if there were prophets in Biblical times, why can there not be prophets today?" At long last (two years later), I have the answer.

I spent money going to a psychic after talking with her just out of curiosity. They are professionals at what they do. They know how to hone in on something you say, read your body language, and lead you into giving them information that they use to twist into their "psychic reading", telling you what you want to hear. In fact, the psychic that I saw had a client with her when I arrived and she directed me toward her den to wait. Upon her coffee table lay a book: I believe it was "How To Win Friends and Influence People" or something like that . . . I flipped through it and found numerous passages about how to con people highlighted. So there you go. The only book that is factual on this subject is The Bible, as it is on all of life, here and in the hereafter. God bless you.


The Christian life is never static. One must either grow in grace, or there will be backsliding and deterioration.

~ Henry Ironside

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
~ 2 Peter 1:20-21, The New International Version

I have room for one more friend, and he is everyman.

~ Woody Guthrie

Twenty Nine Lines to Make You Smile


Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light!


TWENTY NINE LINES TO MAKE YOU SMILE

1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.

4. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

5. Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

6. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me

7. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

8. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

9. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are just missing.

10. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

11. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.

12. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

13. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

14. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

15. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

16. Being 'over the hill' is much better than being under it!

17. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.

18 . Procrastinate Now!

19. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?

20. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

21. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

22. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

23. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

24. He who dies with the most toys; is nonetheless DEAD.

25. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.

26. Ham and eggs...A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

27. The trouble with life is there's no background music.

28. The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.

29. I smile because I don't know what the hell is going on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What's your question . . .

My question is: Why did this hospital allow this patient's hospital stay to go for over two years and rack up over a million dollars in healthcare expense, paid by YOU, the Taxpayer, before they finally spoke up? Why did they not ship him back to his own country. Would have been a lot cheaper . . .


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Firearms Refresher Course

'Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.'
~ Thomas Jefferson


FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights Reserved.

11. What part of 'shall not be infringed' do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don't make more.

24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.


Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amazingly Simple Home Remedies

Thank you for the cheese, Jen! It's delicious!

Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.

Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.

You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD -40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES; NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS

Two Cents Worth

As I rode the elevator up to my office this morning, two of my co-workers and I were chatting about the raincoat worn by one of them, which led to my comment that I never buy fashion that is not on sale. One girl said she wished the price of a lot more things would decline like gas prices. My immediate thought was the sign I saw last night at Wal-Mart that reflected the price of $1.51/gallon.

Realizing that this is WAY too deep for me or most anyone to understand, I just have a few thoughts about "the economy". We hear so much everday, everwhere we go; its on television, in the newspapers, in group conversations, magazines, and even the check clerks at the stores are commenting apologetically as we hand them our little plastic card to pay for our purchases. In perusing verious department stores in recent weeks, window shopping for possible Christmas items, the price of merchandise is flooring.

I don't understand the logic here. Retail complains that people are not spending, yet the prices, even the sale prices, are so inflated, it's no wonder people are not spending. As I said, I never buy any fashion items unless they are on sale, and even the sale prices, to me, are so absurd that I will often pass on a purchase.

We now see gas prices at a low that we have not seen in many years, yet retail prices escalate. I don't understand. I suppose they are trying to make up for the lack of sales by gouging buyers on what they DO spend money in their stores. I think they'll find they're shooting themselves in the foot, however.

Where Christmas is concerned, I used to purchase gifts, always, and my mother has always done the same. She felt as I do that money is terribly impersonal and that one should have the surprise of a real gift that was chosen especially for that individual. I never in my life thought I would see the day that MY MOTHER would give the international gift of money for Christmas, but that is what it has come to. I love to shop for my loved ones, but we are also giving money or gift cards. And in the end, it really doesn't matter what the gift, it is the reason for the season, but I'm talking about this only as it pertains to the economy.

Did you see the series finale of "Boston Legal" this past Monday evening? It was hilarious, as always, Denny pulling his stunts and with such innocence. But the premise behind the episode, a large Chinese law firm buying Crane, Smith & Pool was timely, and intentional.

During the flights to and from Texas over Thanksgiving, I was reading this month's edition of "Vanity Fair", an excellent publication, by the way. There is a lengthy article in this edition regarding China, and one may recall Sen. Hilary's comment about arguing with "our banker" (i.e., China). And the article so states that China is America's banker. "Boston Legal" was on point with regard to this reality, one of the things I've always loved about that show - the way they mix in current events (politics, economy) with some light humor. The United States is so far in debt to China that it is now a reality that China may, in years to come, take over the United States economy. They're buying financial institutions for mega millions and billions right and left. I know this for fact. I know a friend of a friend who is in the business of brokering such deals and is making a killing. Instead of going into a long dissertation on this subject, I recommend that you do your own research, and include in that reading of the aforementioned article in the December issue of "Vanity Fair".

The news media is covering the economic situation non-stop. I began having nightmares about a week ago and realized that watching and reading the doom and gloom was having a subconscious effect on me. Thankfully, I was able to discern the seed of those awful dreams. Too much negativity was causing the nightmares. Recall the non-stop coverage of 9/11? It is true that when one bombards themselves with so much negativity, it will affect your mental well-being. I suggest people educate themselves just enough to know what is happening (and I think we've all gotten the jist of it by now), keep current, and then move on to something lighter and try to lead as normal a life as you can. After all, this is really out of your hands, and you cannot, or should not, worry about that which you cannot change.

This is where the spiritual rock on which I stand comforts me, personally. I pray. I pray morning, noon and night. I give my worries over to Him and move on. I have a family, a job, friends, a whole life that exists around me in my little corner of this world. I still believe in the trickle-down effect. A smile usually begets a smile, a laugh usually begets a laugh, and so forth. I would never insinuate that there are not people out there, even in my own town, who are suffering the ramifications of the economic crisis. I pray for them. I give where I can. I try to pay it forward. And I practice logic where my personal finances are concerned. I am cautious, but not panicked. Back to that trickle-down effect - panic breeds more panic, and it is this writer's opinion that this is one of THE major effects on the stock market and the economy.

I've lost quite a bit in my 401(k) in the second half of 2008. I lost a lot after 9/11. But you know what? After 9/11, it came back and I saw 25-30% profits on my investments. And I believe, and have been advised by the experts, that when it comes back (and it will), we will see these profits again. So, my money has stayed and will stay where it is until we recover, which the "experts" have also told me would be mid to late 2009.

Hang on, be patient, try not to worry, pray, be positive. You can't take it with you, and you can't control it. Recall the Serenity Prayer? It goes something like this:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot hange; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Abbey's Listening To . . .


I have had a very long and deep friendship with a fella that we (he and I) refer to as Sid (Not-so-Vicious). We exchange emails regularly (even though we live across town from one another and he visits relatives the next street over OFTEN - I know he'll see this! - and never stops by), talking of what the latest good read is or what new channel we have found on the XM/Sirius line-up, our lists (greatest songs, greatest musicians, greatest concerts, greatest books, and so on). Sid wrote to me today that he found a new DirecTV channel that was airing this concert, which I have also had the privilege. And thus, I had the itch to write about Diana.

I can't say much that hasn't already been said about Diana Krall. She's cool, she's unrestrained and mellow, and her voice reminds me of a perfect diamond with all the sharp edges and smooth cuts perfectly connected forming a most beautiful gem. You just can't help but gaze in wonder of it. I was introduced to the great Ms. Krall by my husband about ten years ago and it was love at first listen.

The "Live in Paris" performance was so relaxed and so damn groovey that I felt like it was just she and I in the room. In her backup was a bearded bass player and I'm always fascinated by a big bass musician. Their fingers had to have gone through the most brutal conditioning, and the guy that plays with her on this is definitely feeling the groove. A great jazz ensemble plays off one another and you probably won't find two performances that are identical. It's all about feeling and emotion, and Diana Krall is a master of digging it out and giving it to you in a way that perfectly fits the intention of each song, whether it be sensual, playful, bossa or sadness. Quite simply, I adore her voice and her style. In case you didn't know, Diana accompanies herself (expertly and effortlessly) on piano. I can see her in my mind with her long hair hanging over her shoulders, she whisping her head to throw back one side to reveal her beautiful face, where you see a slight grin as she sings, then laughs aloud at the break, her left foot tapping to the beat as her fingers move effortlessly up and down the 88's. She is one talented lady.

Among my favorites on this cd are Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" and a song called "A Case of You". Not so incidentally, Diana was awarded the Grammy for Best Jazz Album for this piece of work. You can't go wrong, whether you are listening to any of her work on cd, "Steppin Out", "All For You", "The Very Best Of . . ."

Not to wonder why it blew my mind when I heard she was married to none other than Elvis Costello. Somehow she seems too beautiful for Elvis, but then I've seen odder couples in my life. She's on my list of "gotta see" - sort of like that list some people have of things they want to do before they die. My fettish is seeing my most fav musicians play live before I die . . . I feel blessed to have crossed off the few that I've seen, so I won't leave the world feeling I've left this end loose.

Smarta$$ Answers

I just can resist passing on some humor for the day!!

SMART @SS ANSWER #6 -- It was mealtime during a flight on Hooters Airline. 'Would you like dinner?' The flight attendant asked John, seated in front. 'What are my choices?' John asked.'Yes or no,' she replied.

SMART @SS ANSWER #5 -- A flight attendant was stationed at the departure gate to check tickets. As a man approached, she extended her hand for the ticket and he opened his trench coat and flashed her. Without missing a beat, she said, 'Sir, I need to see your ticket, not your stub.'

SMART @SS ANSWER #4-- A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store but she couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, 'Do these turkeys get any bigger?' The stock boy replied, 'No ma'am, they're dead.'

SMART @SS ANSWER #3-- The cop got out of his car and the kid whowas stopped for speeding rolled down his window. 'I've been waiting for you all day,' the cop said. The kid replied, 'Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could.' When the cop finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way without a ticket.

SMART @SS ANSWER #2-- A truck driver was driving along on the freeway. A sign comes up that reads, ' Low Bridge overhead.' Before he knows it, the bridge is right ahead of him and he gets stuck under the bridge. Cars are backed up for miles. Finally, a police car comes up. The cop gets out o f his car and walks to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, 'Got stuck, huh'? The truck driver says, 'No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas.

'SMART @SS ANSWER OF THE YEAR 2007 -- A college teacher reminds her class of tomorrow's final exam. 'Now class, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury, illness, or a death in your immediate family, but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!' A smart-@ss guy in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, 'What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?' The entire class is reduced to laughter and snickering. When silence is restored, the teacher smiles knowingly at the student, shakes her head and sweetly says, 'Well, I guess you'd have to write the exam with your other hand.'

Two bonus extras: A blonde goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. She says to the clerk, 'May I have 50 Christmas stamps?'The clerk says, 'What denomination?'The blonde says, 'God help us. Has it come to this? Give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptists.'

A woman is standing nude looking in the bedroom mirror. She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's darn near perfect.'

He never heard the shot....


Christmas Tree

THIS IS A CHRISTMAS TREE, NOTHING ELSE.

This is NOT a Holiday Tree
This is a Christmas tree.
It is not a Hanukkah bush,
It is not an Allah plant,
It is not a Kawanza shrub
It is not a Holiday hedge.
It is a Christmas tree.

Say it... CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas
Yes. CHRISTmas - celebrating
The Birth of Jesus Christ!!!
If this offends you...too bad.
Get over it ~

This Day's . . .

The goal of the missionary is to do God's will, not to be useful or to win the lost. A missionary is useful and he does win the lost, but that is not his goal. His goal is to do the will of his Lord.

~ Oswald Chambers


Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

~ Daniel 12:3, The New International Version


WOW! " . . . like the stars for ever and ever." Imagine.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Good Thoughts

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat.

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends . . . B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.

One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless 'you' do.

Your mind is like a parachute . . .it functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! It isnever too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love thepeople who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you might not get them back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives and problems that we may not even notice that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we forget what's right and wrong. Sometimes we just don't realize what real friendship means until it is too late. I don't want to let that happen so I'm gonna tie mine to my heart so I never lose them.


A Convert Still Learning

Life is a daily lesson. We're always learning, but the lessons I learn about my faith, which is Catholicism, are always the most enlightening and powerful. I received this today, and NOW I understand why the Priest folds the napkins on the altar so carefully following the Mass.

WHY DID JESUS FOLD THE NAPKIN?

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!"

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus head was folded up and lying to the side.

Is that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes! In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table until the master was finished. Now if the master was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers and mouth with that napkin and toss it on to the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, "I'm done." But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant knew that the folded napkin meant, "I'm not finished yet." The folded napkin meant, "I'm coming back!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'M SICK YAWL!

Returned home last evening from Texas. It's always good to go "home" and be with Mom and Daddy, but hubs came down with the crud the day we left, and now I have been hit with it as well. While he is now on a Zpac and on the upside, I'm slowly sinking in the abyss of the incurable common cold, resigning myself that I cannot control it and must ride the wild wave til the end. I feel like absolute hell, but I'm so dedicated to my job (regurgitate), that I have worked through the entire day without breakfast or lunch. Soon as I'm up to it, I'll be back with photos from the trip and a short story or two. In the meantime, please pray for me and hubs that we get well soon! Oh my, the boss just went by and said "don't infect us, go home!" Who can argue with that?

Blessings all,
Abbey