Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The World Was Movin'.....

"And she was looking at herself.
And things were looking like a movie.
She had a pleasant elevation.
She's movin' out in all directions.
The world was moving; she was right there with it; and she was.
The world was movin'; she was floatin' above it; and she was." -Talking Heads

Monday, August 30, 2010

Southern Rain....

Finding a pair of vintage cowboy boots seems to figure into my life at rather critical moments. The times when my soul feels raw and gritty; I always seem to come across a pair of vintage boots in my size and at an incredible price. Look what I found yesterday in Bandera, TX.
"I've heard that into every life a little rain must fall. If there's any truth to the saying; Lord let be a Southern rain." -Cowboy Junkies

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eating, Praying, Loving

"A good rule of thumb is you can never have too much ice." -Luke
With the overwhelming, in-your-face, popularity of Eat, Pray, Love I felt compelled to jump on the band wagon. Ciara had sent me the book ages ago and I figured I would read it prior to the movie premiere. To be completely honest, I only made it half-way through the "Italy" section before I was invited to the movie. However, I did have the opportunity to read Elizabeth Gilbert's account of her first pizza in Naples. Her description was exact and precisely as I had remembered it. Eating a Neopolitan pizza is almost a religious experience. When she says she "is having a relationship with" the pizza...I completely understood!
The closest I can get to the experience in San Antonio is Il Sogno. Chef Andrew Weissman comes exceedingly close to "the real thing." I encourage all of you to experience pizza as it was originally intended in one of San Antonio's finest restaurants!
I am signing off for now. The Emmy's Red Carpet show is on and I am having a very hard time typing and actively analyzing the outfits. So far...LOVING January Jones! Happy Sunday dear friends. This week will be a very busy one, thank goodness. I welcome the "busy-ness!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to Square One and Not Ashamed

The inception of this blog is no secret. I needed to mend a broken heart and find my purpose again. I had to find a way to FORCE myself from traveling down Avenue Bitter, permanently and instead make a left hand turn onto Get Up Off Your A** Drive! This blog was step one, campaigning was step two, reading The Shack was step three, forgiving was step four, Bible Study Fellowship was step five, Children's Bereavement Center was step six, The Story was step seven, Janie Worth was step eight....

I am back to square one. It is time to sink or swim. And friends, I am going to fly. Getting back to this blog is step one, actively seeking a campaign (I think I've got one) is step two, taking my tears to the chapel at lunch is step three, Oak Hills Community Church is step four, Silent Auction is step five, Bible Studies are step six, seven AND eight....and I am so excited and humbled to see how many more steps unfold for me through His grace.

I am ready to do the work that needs to be done. I am ready to face the hard realities and shine the light in the shadows I have been ignoring for years. This life is a gift and it is my responsibility to God is to live it to the fullest. It is also my responsibility to live it honestly and with honesty....most importantly to myself.

The last time I was in "this" spot I could not have imagined the majesty that would enter my life. Through mascara stains and swollen eyes I look forward to the gifts that await me.

Today I celebrate Sara, Christine, Jace', Danica, Becca and Rupa for giving me the desire to smile and laugh even when I really didn't want to. I can't be with them and NOT be happy. Today they were God's gifts! And Lisa was God's texting angel. Though a new friend, she has been one who has put a smile on my face every day this week! I am so blessed!
I came across this blog through a blog I previously posted about. The theme is green these days, as you can tell. This blog is a little more practical and offers information that is relevant to green household living. To visit this website click here. And let's just admit it....the design is just precious and catchy! I love it!
"You must always know how long to stay; and when to go." -Patty Griffin
(This is one of, if not my favorite quote in all music.)

Happy Saturday friends. I am off to bed. I am excited to join a Single Adult Bible study tomorrow morning. It will be my first visit! Then off to Bandera, TX with Cory! Road trip! Then...Emmy time with my gals. A full and exciting day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Steaming, Heaping Pile.....

"Rory, you are a person of great heart and great character. And that combination will always win the day." -Richard
The composting is finally a success! A winning combination of dead leaves, plants, coffee grounds, fruits, vegetable, egg shells, compost starter, a little moisture, a big plastic storage bin, a drill (the BEST part), patience, daily mixing and lots of friendly advice has led to the infancy of beautiful, brown, earth-i-ness. I can't wait! I was so proud I called Ciara (my composting goddess) and she said, "You must be good at turning rotten stuff into good stuff!" My response was, "Let's hope both literally and figuratively!" I know most won't understand the simple joy of my compost bin but this week's success has brought me an inordinate amount of joy. During tough times, it really is the little things, isn't it?

Happy Friday, friends. Today was extraordinarily enlightening and filled with self reflection. As a result, I am exhausted and going to lay my head down and not think as I drift off into sleep to the sweet lull of...you guessed it...Gilmore Girls. May you all have dreams as sweet as Star's Hollow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ouch! My Gnome Hurts!

I am no longer an active participant in the world known as Facebook. For numerous reasons it is best I lay low and keep the account deactivated. As a result....this is my one and only forum. So....for my 10 readers (the only 10 of you I was allowed to enter as update recipients) I must warn you I have had Gilmore Girls on a CONSTANT loop lately. (This is code for "Tough Times!")

My bed+My cats+My Gilmore Girls=Panacea For ALL That Ails Me

Today, I treat you to three "Gilmore-isms" from Season One. I figured I would just start from the beginning. This time I am probably going to run through all seven seasons...three, maybe four times. I am seriously considering developing the trivia board game. Perhaps that is how I might make my first "cool" million.
"Gnome kicking says a lot about a man's character." -Babette

"One wrong man can always find a friend." -Richard

"It's not official until you are huddled in a corner eating your hair." -Lorelai

Goodnight dear friends. This week has literally "kicked me in the gnome," no one situation in particular, just a combination of a few rather large events. (And please know, no one's character is in questions...I just thought it was a funny quip and a great excuse to put a photo of a gnome on my blog!) However, it can only go up from here. I believe the worst part has passed. I look forward to the weekend. There is a lot of heart mending, soul searching and joy finding on the menu. Let's hope I take my camera along with me!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Like This Blog

One of the many nights I could not sleep...I came across this blog. Something Green can be located by clicking here. It is a wonderful guide for being the hostess with the mostest while still remaining true to your "green" roots! And for an extra bit of fun the pictures are inspiring! Enjoy......

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Can't Sleep

It is 4am and I am wide awake. This entire night has been disastrous! I was exhausted after a day at work and a decent work out at the gym. Around 9pm I settled into bed poised for blissful slumber. Instead, I found myself still awake at 11.30 mentally prying, hurling myself to sleep, to no avail. A friend called and asked, "Why can't you sleep?" I said, "Because I can't turn my brain off!" (That is ALWAYS the reason I can't sleep!) Further prompted, I was asked, "What are you thinking about?" The first thing out of my mouth was, "I am mad at Bill O'Reilly tonight." My friend chuckled. (Aunt Alfie-You can probably stop reading right about here!) Then I tried to think of other things on my mind, and wouldn't you know it, my mind went blank at that moment.

O'Reilly ruffled my feathers tonight (O'Reilly 1, Vela 0) by ranting on and on about Jennifer Aniston's new film, The Switch, in which her character chooses to become pregnant by artificial insemination through the use of a sperm donor. From what I can gather, she is a single gal, mid to late thirties, and wants the gift of motherhood so she (wait for it O'Reilly....gasp) MAKES HER OWN, VERY HARD DECISION, to become pregnant.

Given that it is 4am and I am a bit lazy and hazy with "the words" right now I am not going to articulate all the OBVIOUS points why Bill O'Reilly (just an over paid man with a really good parking space) has upset the WRONG woman in her mid-thirties this evening. Instead...I offer you a well articulated opinion I found on NPR's Facebook page as I rifled through Facebook at 4 in the morning!

Our conversation this week about children born through artificial insemination was very close to home for me.

I’m one of the tens of thousands of women who became a mother using a sperm donor.

With the high range of estimates finding that 60,000 American kids are born through donor conception each year – representing less than 2 percent of all births - I had hoped it was still too rare to draw the kind of Fox News debate that rages around issues like gay marriage. And so I’ve watched this issue become a hot topic in the culture wars with dread.

But that didn’t stop me from reading “My Daddy’s Name is Donor,” the report compiled by our guest Elizabeth Marquardt and her organization. It’s crucial for me to have the best possible understanding of the situation I’ve brought my innocent child into, so when it was first released, I spent hours reading every word, checking every number, studying every comment. And it confirmed that bearing and raising kids this way would be tough. But it also confirmed on every measure of dysfunction, a majority of these children turned out just fine.

As a consequence, I’m not sure why there are so many grave predictions for families like mine. And I reject the idea that most mothers conceive this way because they’re ignoring the difficulties. When I decided to have a child using artificial insemination, I knew I would have to find a way to deal with all those old fashioned folks who believe that a happy marriage provides the best home for raising children. That was especially tricky, because I was - and am - one of those people. I know what kind of challenges children face in single-parent homes. I was raised in one.

But I also know that being married when your child is born is no guarantee of a stable, two-parent home forever. Before I decided on artificial insemination, I pictured my alternatives: going on a mad hunt for husband with a one-item agenda and a stop-watch; or trying to convert a friend into a baby-daddy, a life-time partnership with no rules, blueprints or history of success. And even if that search panned out, I saw a 50/50 chance of ending up in the exact circumstances that faced my mother and so many other single and divorced moms: raising a child with a ghost dad.

For me – and for so many other kids I knew whose fathers weren’t around - what did the most damage was the emotional whiplash of having your dad there one day, and gone the next. On your 5th birthday, he’d swoop in for a weekend of ballgames, movies, gifts and pizza, and then do nothing for your 6th, a card for your 7th, a gift for the 8th, and back to nothing for the 9th. The suspense injects a little bit of poison into every celebration, every milestone, and every holiday.

If on one of those occasions, my mother had handed me a folder and said, “Listen, the reason your father didn’t show up is that - before you were born or even conceived - he signed this piece of paper agreeing to have no contact with me or with you until you turned eighteen,” that would’ve been better than what I had. And even with those issues, my mother provided a good home and raised my brother and me to be good and decent people.

I have faith I can do the same.

As an African-American child of a single mother, I’ve been hearing about the inevitable failure of my family and everyone in it for years. And thanks to endless web of relationships, I’ve gotten a front row seat to dysfunction that can develop despite the best of circumstances, and success that can grow, even under the worst.

Given what I know, I believe I can give my child a life worth living. And if I can do that, I don’t think it’s the government’s – or the culture warrior’s - business to tell me I can’t. http://www.npr.org/blogs/tellmemore/

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just Haven't Been In The Mood

I just can't get in the mood to sit down and blog! Ergh....inspiration...where are you?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On This Eve....

Tonight I opened an email from Max Lucado. I recently subscribed to his daily inspirational messages. This arrived on Sunday. I quickly glanced at it, thought it was too long, and closed it out.

This evening I was sending an email to my dear friend and guide, Janie Worth. I scanned my unread emails and found this message waiting for me.

On the eve of my 35th birthday, God could not have sent me a clearer message. I hope that each of you might find a sweet message that resonates with you. I have found that when I am most in need, God finds a way to send me just the right message....

by Max Lucado

It’s one of the most compelling narratives in all of Scripture. So fascinating is the scene, in fact, that Luke opted to record it in detail.

Two disciples are walking down the dusty road to the village of Emmaus. Their talk concerns the crucified Jesus. Their words come slowly, trudging in cadence with the dirge-like pace of their feet.

“I can hardly believe it. He’s gone.”

“What do we do now?”

“It’s Peter’s fault, he shouldn’t have … ”

Just then a stranger comes up from behind and says, “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help overhearing you. Who are you discussing?”

They stop and turn. Other travelers make their way around them as the three stand in silence. Finally one of them asks, “Where have you been the last few days? Haven’t you heard about Jesus of Nazareth?” And he continues to tell what has happened. (Luke 24:13-24)

This scene fascinates me—two sincere disciples telling how the last nail has been driven in Israel’s coffin. God, in disguise, listens patiently, his wounded hands buried deeply in his robe. He must have been touched at the faithfulness of this pair. Yet he also must have been a bit chagrined. He had just gone to hell and back to give heaven to earth, and these two were worried about the political situation of Israel.

“But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”

But we had hoped … How often have you heard a phrase like that?

“We were hoping the doctor would release him.”
“I had hoped to pass the exam.”
“We had hoped the surgery would get all the tumor.”
“I thought the job was in the bag.”

Words painted gray with disappointment. What we wanted didn’t come. What came, we didn’t want. The result? Shattered hope. The foundation of our world trembles.

We trudge up the road to Emmaus dragging our sandals in the dust, wondering what we did to deserve such a plight. “What kind of God would let me down like this?”

And yet, so tear-filled are our eyes and so limited is our perspective that God could be the fellow walking next to us and we wouldn’t know it.

You see, the problem with our two heavy-hearted friends was not a lack of faith, but a lack of vision. Their petitions were limited to what they could imagine—an earthly kingdom. Had God answered their prayer, had he granted their hope, the Seven-Day War would have started two thousand years earlier and Jesus would have spent the next forty years training his apostles to be cabinet members. You have to wonder if God’s most merciful act is his refusal to answer some of our prayers.

We are not much different than burdened travelers, are we? We roll in the mud of self-pity in the very shadow of the cross. We piously ask for his will and then have the audacity to pout if everything doesn’t go our way. If we would just remember the heavenly body that awaits us, we’d stop complaining that he hasn’t healed this earthly one.

Our problem is not so much that God doesn’t give us what we hope for as it is that we don’t know the right thing for which to hope. (You may want to read that sentence again.)

Hope is not what you expect; it is what you would never dream. It is a wild, improbable tale with a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming ending. It’s Abraham adjusting his bifocals so he can see not his grandson, but his son. It’s Moses standing in the promised land not with Aaron or Miriam at his side, but with Elijah and the transfigured Christ. It’s Zechariah left speechless at the sight of his wife Elizabeth, gray-headed and pregnant. And it is the two Emmaus-bound pilgrims reaching out to take a piece of bread only to see that the hands from which it is offered are pierced.

When God Whispers Your NameHope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, it is far greater than that. It is a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction.

From God Came Near: Chronicles of the Christ
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1985, 2004) Max Lucado