Friday, November 30, 2018

Xtraordinary #FunnyFriday

Welcome to November's Funny Friday!! Every month, a blogger submits a photo, with no explanation or back story, and the participating bloggers create captions or thoughts, the picture brings to mind. It's all done in hopes of bringing some laughter your way. 

Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.
1. Husband to Wife: Well, if that isn't a sign from God that you're a terrible driver I don't know what is. 
Wife to Husband: It's a sign that I'm an excellent driver. 
Husband: Uh huh. 
Wife: An extraordinary driver, to be exactly. 
Husband: Uh huh. 
Wife: An exceptionally great driver, if you will. 
Husband: Uh huh. 
Wife: One could even say, I'm an exemplary driver. 
Husband: Alright. You planned this, didn't you?! 
Wife: Shrugs and smiles. 

2. Passenger: Why are you getting over?! The lane is exed out. 
Driver: Dude, x marks the spot. 
Passenger: That's not how this works. 

3. Son to mom: Mom! Mom! Get over into that lane! 
Mom: Why would I do that?! 
Son: There's an x marking it. That has to be where the treasure is. 
Mom: There's no treasure there. 
Son: We'll never know, unless we look. 
Mom: I can't really argue with that logic. 

4. GPS: Merge right. 
Driver: Don't think that's possible. 
GPS: Recalculating. Please take the next left in two hundred feet. 
Driver, looking: Into the lake? I don't think so buddy. 
5. Anyone else see signs saying not to do something or not to go somewhere ,and your first reaction, is to want to live on the wild side?! No?! Just me?! 
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Baking In A Tornado  
The Bergham Chronicles            
Cognitive Script       

Friday, November 16, 2018

Turkey Turkey Goose #UseYourWords

Welcome to November's Use Your Words challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
turkey ~ indian corn ~ traditions ~ packages ~ family

It was submitted by: 

So, when I opened the e-mail with my words, I instantly knew what I was going to write about, the very moment I saw turkey. I just needed to figure how to fit them all in. So, bear with me...

This time of year is magical for me. I think it is partially because of the weather, but it also the holidays. As you know from other posts, I don't have a ton of traditions, so we are making our own traditions, as each holiday passes. 

One tradition that my dad and I did have, was delivering packages of food to families in need, at the holidays. We volunteered with the local food bank, and we would box the food up, and deliver them. I loved it. So, I have carried that tradition into our own family traditions. We don't deliver the packages, but we do man the turkey drive location, and help gather up donations. Local churches and organizations handle the deliveries. Though, I am sure if my dad were here, he would jump right in and start deliveries. 

This year, is going to be extra special for me. I am sure it will also be extra hard. It is my first Thanksgiving without my Dad being alive. We are going to be out on Saturday and Sunday, collecting donations, so the can be handed out next week. This year, I have the great honor of being able to donate money to the Food Bank. I know my Dad would absolutely approve of me spending the "extra" insurance money this way. It is something he would do. Plus, I am hoping to make an even bigger impact, and Gigi and I issued a challenge, and have offered to match donations dollar for dollar, up to $2500. Fingers crossed we reach that goal amount! 

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to live their life. I promise you, I am truly just winging it. I am clueless, and just do what feels right in the moment, because I have no clue what I am doing. There is one thing I have discovered over the course of my life.... Helping others, helps you more than it ever helps the people you help. The happiness I feel inside, when I am helping in some way, is amazing. It is one of my biggest sources of happiness in life. So, if you can, and are willing... Volunteer at a Turkey Drive. You will feel so uplifted, it will make up for the craziness of this world. It will soothe your soul. Every turkey drive I work, I have numerous moments, where something is said by someone donating food, or by someone who will be receiving the food, that literally heals my soul a bit. These moments of just pure love for humans and acts of good. I restores my faith in the world, and renews my hope, that in the end, kindness and love will defeat hate. 

Also, if you don't want to volunteer. I totally understand. We all make our own impacts on the world. If working a turkey drive isn't for you, I am sure you have some other way you make the world better, and I thank you for that. I am so grateful for every good deed that is done in this world. It is those good deeds that help love and goodness win. 

So, if you are keeping track, I only need to use Indian Corn. There, done. I kid. I kid. So, when I read it, I instantly remembered a story from my childhood, and I decided if I could not work the words into my post, I would just add the story to the end, and here we are.

When I was young, I called Indian Corn by the name Painted Corn. If I had to guess, I would say it is because it was colorful. Well, I remember telling a lady at our church one Sunday, before Thanksgiving, I hoped I could help paint the corn for the decorations one day. She commented that a painting of corn would be a lovely decoration. So, I told her I did not want to paint a picture of corn, I wanted to paint the painted corn. She eventually figured out what I meant. She then told me how people do not paint the corn, that it actually grows that way. I was amazed. I did not know corn could grow any color other than yellow. I really thought people painted the corn kernel by kernel. 

I honestly do not know if Gigi has ever seen Indian Corn. I am now on a mission to find some, and show it to her. I want to see her reaction. I wonderful if she will think it is painted?! I will let you guys know over on my Facebook page

I hope you all have a beautiful week, and a very happy Thanksgiving, if you are celebrating it next week. I hope you all have an over abundance of things to be grateful for!! Don't forget to check out the rest of the Use Your Words posts. I will meet you there!!

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Monday, November 12, 2018

Dear Gigi: Family Gatherings #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to November's Blog with Friends round-up!! (Full disclosure, I almost typed September instead of November. Can you believe it is already November?!) This month, a group of us chose the theme of Family Gatherings, to create posts based on. The posts can be any type of post. You may get recipes, short stories, shopping advice, poetry, crafts, DIY projects, and any number of other things.

As many of you know, my father passed away in September. I am just starting to feel okay again. It has been a very hard journey, losing in, and trying to grieve, while still going on. I think having to help Gigi handle the loss, has made it a bit harder on me. She loved her Papa Charlie. It is weird how when people are alive, things seem important, and then once they are gone, those things do not even matter at all. 

When I think about family gatherings, I mostly think about my childhood. Primarily Thanksgivings and Christmases, spent with my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. They are some of my greatest memories. When I was still fairly young, we moved away from my family, and holidays were never the same after that.

I never seemed to get quite as close to my mom's family, as I was with my dad's. I regret that a bit. Family is important to me. Even my family I have only met once or twice, and even the family I have never met. At the end of the day, they are my family, and that matters to me. 

I am a firm believer that people have two types of family. The family that shares the blood connection with you, and the family you choose. Whether you choose them through friendship or marriage, they become your family. I think it is entirely possible to have a stronger bond with the family you choose, than with the family you are born into. There is nothing wrong with that.

I just want my Gigi to know, that all family is important. Your blood family and your chosen family. Life is short, and even if you are blessed with a long life, it is still short. I think it is important to live life fully, and make as many memories as you can. One of the best ways to make memories, with your family, is to have gatherings. Holiday gatherings, Summer gatherings, birthday gatherings, just because gatherings. Just make sure you get together.

Gigi, once you are older, and you go back an read the blogs I have written, I hope you pay close attention to this post. I am going to share with you, so recent revelations I have had, thanks to the clarity Papa Charlie's death gave me.

1. Holidays are important. You will have some holidays you love more than others, but any of them can (and should) be a reason to get together with your family and friends. Don't always expect other people to organize gatherings. Organize some yourself. Communicate with your family. Let them know you want to get together. Potlucks are awesome, and often that can solve the food part of a gathering, and food is a great thing to have. Pick a holiday, and make it yours. Maybe you can host the yearly Fourth of July gatherings. July 4th is a week after your birthday. So, do a combination birthday celebration and July 4th celebration. 

This advice goes for everyone. I  know hosting a get together can be stressful. Just trust me on this, once the planning is over, and the actual get together starts, the stress will most likely vanish. I doubt you will ever regret getting those you love together. I can tell you for a fact, if someone you love dies, you will regret all the family gatherings you could have organized, but never did. I wish I had had so many more celebrations with my dad. So many missed opportunities to make memories.

2. Say you are taking my advice, and you are hosting a family gathering, and the stress is becoming overwhelming.... Ask for help, delegate, keep it simple. A family gathering does not need to be a major event, to be wonderful. Just getting together with those you love, catching up, and enjoying food, makes for a wonderful get together. Of course, if you are able to go a bit big, and not stress over it or go broke, then go big. For as long as I am alive, I will happily help you in any way.

I think this is important for all of us to remember... If the stress of organizing a get together, is becoming too much, as for help. That is what family and friends are for. I know, I personally, would be happy to help our with a family gathering. Just the reward of making memories with my loved ones, would be worth it. Sometimes, we tend to take on too much, and we let ourselves stress out, rather than asking for help. So,  next time... Ask for the help. We live in a tiny house, and having a bunch of people over, just isn't possible. If another family member, were willing to host at their home, I would happily help with getting all the details to fall into place.

3. Family is everything, but not every family member is a healthy influence. So, you have to be wise. Keep the family that positively affects your life, close, and keep the rest at arm's length. I have realized that just because you are related to someone, does not make them good for you. I have also realized, that you don't turn your back on family. You just get wise about how you treat them. Follow your heart, and when in doubt talk to your parents. Gigi, no matter what, your father and I will always have your back.

Just remember, people change. Sometimes, the changes are for the better, and other times they changes are bad. Keep your heart open. Also, keep in mind what I said... Some family is by blood, and other family is by love. Both are important. Both will shape your life. Both should be included in gathering.

4. Not all family gatherings need to be planned out in advance. Sometimes, you will find that some of your best memories, are from gatherings that happened at the spur of the moment. Embrace those gatherings, just as much as you embrace the gatherings that are planned to the tiniest of details.

I strongly recommend embracing opportunities to make memories with your family, whether they are impromptu or planned, whether they are small are large, and whether they are for specific events/holidays, or simply just because.

5. Drama. It happens. My best advice is to not fuel fires. Let drama die. It may seem important now, but the biggest likelihood, is that you will come to a time when you realize it was pointless drama. Do not let pointless drama, keep you from having the best possible relationships and memories with your family.

I cannot stress this one enough. One thing I did learn from my Daddy passing away, is that I spent way too much time, dwelling on things that did not even matter. Focus on the love. Focus on the positives. Spend your energy on making good memories. Don't sweat the small stuff.

6. Do not just make memories, but make traditions. Traditions you can enjoy, and traditions you can pass down to your younger family memories, and maybe even to your own kids one day. Traditions are awesome and they are fun. So, make them. 

I wish I had more traditions to hand down to Gigi. The good thing is, I can start making them now. We can create them together, and she can keep them going with the future generations. 

If you take nothing else from this, take this.... Family gatherings. Have them, enjoy them, and make memories.

There you have it, my take on Family Gatherings. Now, go see what the rest of my fabulous blogging friends have created for you. 

Find the rest of this month's Blog with Friends posts here:

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

Dawn of Spatulas On Parade

Melissa Robinson of My Heartfelt Sentiments

Lydia of Cluttered Genius

Friday, November 9, 2018

Next Chapter #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to November's Secret Subject Swap. This week, nine brave bloggers chose to submit a secret subject for another blogger to craft into a post, and were assigned a secret subject of their own.

My “Secret Subject” is: "Finally I found you", you hear whispered from a familiar voice behind you. Your heart quickens, your palms become sweaty, your knees go weak and wonder how this is even possible...
Finish the story of who is behind you.

It was submitted by: (Jenn, I oughta hug you for this!)

I turn around and see my father. How is this happening? What is happening? He died. He is gone. He has been gone for years now. Yet, here he is. Not the one hundred pounds of skin and bones, I saw at his funeral, but the strong, handsome dad from my childhood. There is a beautiful, young girl at his side. I look at her. She looks so familiar. Her chestnut curls frame her beautiful face. I look from my dad to her, and back again. Suddenly, I know her. I have seen her before, but she was tiny, when I saw and held her. She was not even a full pound. My daughter, my Kateri. 

Suddenly, I realize where I am, and how I got here. They reach out their hands to me, and I take them, and we walk hand in hand, into my next chapter.

Well, there you have it. My secret subject, and my take on it. Make sure you head over to see what subjects the other bloggers received, and how they handled them.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Kindness Matters #WorldKindnessDay

One thing this world needs more of, is kindness. A group of us bloggers, decided to create posts for today, to highlight World Kindness Day, and the importance of kindness. There are a few things I can easily talk about, and one of them, is that kindness matters.

If you are in the United States, today is voting day for you. I hope you all choose to vote today, and have your voice heard. I hope as you vote, you keep a few things in mind. One, is who is genuinely best for the job. Not just who is affiliated with the right party, in your opinion. Two, is that politicians aren't above the law, and they should not act as though they are. Three, is the importance of good character and kindness. Four, is that politicians don't just represent you, but the represent every American. It is important to vote for candidates that care about your quality of life, and the quality of every other Americans life.

So, yes, on this World Kindness Day, I hope you vote. I also hope that you choose to be kind. Not just today, but every day. Choosing to be kind, or extra kind, on World Kindness Day, is great. I just hope you choose to live every day, as if it were World Kindness Day. Kindness matters every day. The world would be a much better place, if we all chose to live each day, as if it were World Kindness Day, and we were celebrating it.

Being kind should not be difficult. It should be the natural thing. In more complicated moments, where you really need to choose between reactions, I hope you remember how you would want to be treated, and choose to treat others the same. Treat them with the same kindness and care, you would prefer to receive.

Gestures of kindness, do not need to be huge. They can be as small, as smiling and saying hello to someone you pass on the street. There are so many different ways you can show kindness to people. Pay for some one's coffee, at a coffee shop. Paint and hide rocks, with positive sayings or fun pictures, for other people to find. Give a compliment to someone you pass by in a store. Pick up garbage you find on the street. Return some one's shopping cart for them, as you pass them in a parking lot. Draw some one's attention to something they drop, as they are walking. 

Sometimes, it is the little things, that make the biggest impact. There are plenty of stories on the news, that show the very worst events in this world, and humans at their worst. If more of us chose to be kind, we could fill the news with stories of people at their best. I have heard stories, many times over the years, about someone changing their mind on doing something bad, because someone was kind to them, and it changed their mood. We need to all try to be that person, that helps someone change their trajectory for the better. 

I know many times it seems we cannot make a huge impact, as we are only one person, but we need to remember all of the awesome events of history, that were done or started by one person. As a wise man once said, "Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects." I try to always remember this. Many years ago, I dropped out of law school, because I felt I would never make much of a difference. Now, I realize that I could have made a difference in some lives, and I wish I had stuck with it. 

So, I simple want to ask you all, to never doubt that you can make a difference. Just please, make sure your difference is a positive one. 

Please, if you can, vote today. Let your voice be heard. Many have died, just so we can all have our freedoms, like voting. I honestly do not care who you vote for. Follow your heart. 

I hope you all have your life touched by kindness today, and every day, and hopefully you can do the same for others.

We cannot let hate and evil win. We need to all fight it daily, with acts of kindness and love. 

I hope you are all having a fabulous week. Yesterday, we had Gigi's first every parent teacher conference. I am happy to report that she received an excellent report. I am so very proud of her. I have a few posts coming up, that involve her in a major way. I cannot wait to share them with you.

Now, take a look at the rest of the blogs, featuring posts about World Kindness Day!!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Diane of On the Border
Dawn of Cognitive Script


Welcome to June's Blog with Friends!! Each month a theme is chosen and then participating bloggers use the theme, to create their own un...