Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

Wow... what a crazy few weeks!!  My poor blog just keeps getting pushed further and further down on my list of things that need my attention.  I've really missed talking to myself  as much as I used to.  Time was, I'd post nearly every day.  Now I'm lucky to get in a couple of postings a month.  And it's election time!!

Today's post comes to you courtesy of my friend Michael, FKA The Crotchety Old Man.  Yesterday, he paid a lovely compliment to my blog, by passing along a blog award.  It's called Mrs. Sparkly's Ten Commandments Award.  We all know I love Things That Sparkle!!  Isn't it lovely?

Now, I'm not sure where the Ten Commandments thing comes in.  I mean, I do my best with THE Ten Commandments, but sometimes I struggle.  I hope by accepting the award, that Mrs. Sparkly doesn't show up somewhere with a new list of ten more things I must or must not do. But then again, maybe I need to shake things up a bit and try something new. Who knows.

One of the fun things about blog awards, is that the creator of the award usually has a task for you to do when posting the news.  Mrs. Sparkly chose seven questions for me to answer about myself.  Here we go!

Describe myself in seven words. Only Seven? So much more to say....
What keeps me up at night? That blasted Dunahoo insomnia DNA - awake for no reason at all. Worrying that I will oversleep the next morning. (If I go to sleep right now, I'll get five hours of sleep.  Okay, If I go to sleep right NOW, I'll get four and a half hours.  Wait.  If I go to sleep RIGHT NOW.. you get the picture... yawn....)  
Who would I like to be?  Hmmm.  I can be all Wise and Knowing and say that there's not really anyone else I'd rather be, because no matter how perfect their life appears, chances are, there's a lotta crap underneath the surface.  And it may be even worse than the crap underneath my surface.  If I could look like anyone it would be Kate Middleton.  If I could sing like anyone it would be Amy Grant.  If I could be a musician like anyone it would be Yo-Yo Ma, or that wicked guitarist from Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, or an amazing percussionist like my brother. If I could be business smart like anyone, definitely Steve Jobs. If I could be loving, giving, wise, and forgiving, then, of course, Mother Teresa.  But I guess I'm just fine with being me.  After all I Am Greemaw to my sweet grandbabies, and that's about as good as it gets!  
What am I wearing right now?  Departure (My brother's Journey Tribute Band) t-shirt and jeans. 
What scares me?  Creepy crawly things, especially spiders.  Being restrained or confined.  No MRIs or crowded elevators for me, thank you!  Incorrect use of apostrophes.
What are the best and worst things about blogging?  The best thing about blogging is being able to go back and read the older posts.  My daughter says this is narcissistic.  I say it's senility.  I enjoy reading the older posts, because chances are, I have already forgotten about whatever it was I was doing that day that I felt was worth blogging about.  So it's kind of like a diary. 
If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be?  But there are so many things...
Slankets, yes or no?  Yes. Many.  
Tell us something about the person who nominated you.  I don't even remember how Michael and I crossed paths. (There's that senility thing again)  Either I found his blog, or he found my blog, and we started following each other.  How funny that of all the bloggers in cyberspace to *meet*, we actually reside in neighboring towns.  We're politically polar opposites, and have varying degrees of differences in our viewpoints about a lot of things.  Over the years, I have learned the value of having friends who share differing views - it broadens my horizons, and  helps me to think outside my formerly very-small-minded box.  Those are the friends who make me think and evaluate why I have the opinions and beliefs that I do. There will always be points about which Michael and I will never agree, but in the past, when I was blogging more often, he was very good about keeping me on my toes and keeping me accountable for my thoughts and words, and I enjoy that.  In turn, I like to think that I have helped him to see that not "all people like me" are like "most people like me".  Check out his life and his blog over at My Glass House
Nominate five other blogs for the award: Sad to say that I don't keep up with blogs like I used to.  I went and got myself a boyfriend who morphed into my husband, and there's just not nearly as much time in my day as there used to be. 
The Road to Self Reliance (My brother's awesome blog about sustainable living)
There you go!!!  

Monday, June 18, 2012

MVP - Crystal Thornton!!

Congratulations are in order today for one of my favorite young couples!  Paul and Crystal Thornton welcomed their little athlete into the world in the wee hours of the morning!

Wilson Holland Thornton weighed in at 8 lb, 15 oz, and was 22.5” long.  A fine specimen indeed! I expect we’ll see him on the soccer field in a few weeks practicing his kick shots.  One day earlier, and he’d have been the best Father’s Day and Wedding Anniversary present ever.  At least the first quarter of the championship game got underway last night (the 17th) , with the final buzzer sounding around 3:39 this morning, marking the end of a 9-month winning season!!

No doubt, MVP belongs to Mom Crystal, who played the entire season with grace, beauty and conscientiousness... (and crossed the finish line without anesthetics)... and STILL manages to look so gorgeous in their first family photo!!!

Congratulations Paul and Crystal, (and grandparents Randall and Elaine, Gordon and Frieda) and Welcome Baby Wilson!!!  Can’t wait to watch you take on the world!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Unexpected Blessings!

Because the construction business isn’t a hustle-bustle of activity these days, my husband has been thinking of other projects that he can do to stimulate our household economy.  His talents run deep, and there’s really not much he can’t do.  He recently completed a project for his sister Jenny, placing a roof over the deck on the back of her house.  The hot Georgia summers rendered the western-facing deck virtually unusable, and the exposed bank of windows in her family room overlooking the deck drew in so much heat that it was nearly impossible to keep the room cool.  Now that the roof is in place, the deck has become a cozy, shaded outdoor living space, and a ceiling fan keeps it nice and cool.  When she was ready to decorate her new space, Jenny asked Steve to design and build custom-fit flower boxes.  In no time at all, the boxes were carefully installed, filled with flowers, adding a further touch of ambience to the outdoor room.  

Earlier this week, while mulling over potential income opportunities, he hit upon the idea that perhaps other people would enjoy having superior-quality handcrafted flower boxes of their own, and decided to whip up an inventory and see if there would be a market for them.  He and his son spent an entire day measuring, sawing, drilling, and nailing the cuts of wood, and like pieces of a puzzle, they fit together perfectly, creating a finished product anyone would be proud to own.  Steve’s creative mind started  buzzing with other home-enhancing products he’d like to build, and the concept of Hillbilly Chic was conceived!!  (Watch for him and his unique products at upcoming festivals!)

Jason was headed to Atlanta, so they decided to check out different places in the area where they might be able to set up a little booth and give folks the opportunity to purchase the boxes.  Staging is an important part of marketing, so it was agreed that filling the boxes with brightly colored flowers would be a good move.  The guys had their eyes on my own personal collection of wave petunias.  My own personal collection of wave petunias that I have been feeding and tending, and that have exploded with growth and blooms. 

Not willing to sacrifice my own gorgeous flowers, I decided I’d run up to Lowe’s and pick up a few plants to use in the staging process.  Strolling through the garden section at a nursery or home-improvement store is such a pleasure for me.  My own green thumb is pretty much limited to what a can of Miracle Grow can do for my wave petunias.  I do so love looking at the intricate designs of the blooms, the varying colors and textures of the plants, and fantasize about the gardens I would love to design and maintain.  Then a wave of reality hits me, and I remember that I have neither the time nor the financial resources required for an HGTV-worthy back yard.  Not to mention a severe lack of talent to grow anything other than dandelions and briers, (and the occasional wave petunia.)

As I chose the blooms for the project at hand and made my way to the register, I must have still been in a fantasy-induced fog.  Or maybe it was that the sun was shining directly on the little card-swiper thingie.  At any rate, I inadvertently touched the “cash-back” button, and found myself holding not only my store receipt, but a fresh, crisp 20.00 bill.  Having cash in hand is truly rare for me, as I pretty much use my debit card everywhere I go, and depend on change from the sofa or the abyss of my purse for the occasional pack of gum or postage stamp.  So, enjoying the feeling of a little cash in my purse, I left the store to load the flowers into my car.  As I was stepping into the car, I noticed my receipt had fallen onto the pavement.  Normally, I would pick up my litter, but I had spent far too long fantasizing, and needed to hurry on home.  Besides, my car always seems to be a rolling litter receptacle as it is, so one less receipt in the floorboard would be okay.  Right?

Bad decision.  You’ve seen the signs that say $300.00 fine for littering?  Well, I didn’t get charged $300.00 for littering, but the next day, I realized my decision to not pick up my receipt did indeed bear a cost.  I remembered that I had neatly folded my 20.00 bill inside the receipt.  I searched through my purse, all the pockets, the nooks and crannies, all the slots and compartments of my wallet, just hoping that maybe it wasn’t my receipt on the pavement, and maybe I really did stash it securely in my purse.  Phooey!  It wasn’t in my purse.  I remembered exactly where I had parked, and exactly where I saw the receipt on the pavement.  Could it be possible that it was still there?  I seriously doubted it. Someone had a lucky day and found 20 bucks in the Lowe’s parking lot.  But then again… the bill was folded tightly, so perhaps nobody would even notice it.  And since few people stop to pick up trash in the parking lot, I thought there may indeed be a slight chance that I could find it blown up against the curb.  Since we had to stop there anyway, I decided to chance it, and took a short walk around the perimeter of that section of the parking lot.  I found an empty beer bottle, a dirty napkin, a Styrofoam cup, and several other crumpled receipts, but not mine.  

As I walked through the parking lot, it suddenly gave me great joy to think that someone found an unexpected blessing.  I said a little prayer for the person who found it, and hoped that the person really needed the $20.00, and that it would truly make a difference in their day.  Maybe they had to go to Lowe’s because a little something had broken and they didn’t really have the money to fix it.  Maybe it was a young mom who needed a box of diapers… but had to have a part for her broken washing machine.  Maybe someone had to leave the store without the item they needed, because they didn’t have enough money to pay for it.  By the time I got in the car with Steve to come home, I was confident and even rather excited, that the $20.00 I had lost would be a blessing to the person who found it. 

Now, I can be very thrifty.  Sometimes even cheap, if you will.  I love coupons.  I will argue with the cashier at Belk about my 10% discount (much to the embarrassment of my husband!)  So for me to lose $20.00 like that – basically just walking off and leaving it, since I saw the receipt on the pavement – would usually really tick me off.  But for a reason I was at a loss to explain, it made me happy.  I tried to put myself in that person’s shoes, knowing how happy I would be if I found $20.00 with nobody around that it could possibly belong to.  So, once again, I said a little prayer for the person, and enjoyed the rest of the evening. 

Imagine my surprise and delight the next morning, two days after losing it, that I noticed a tightly-folded receipt on my desk.  A tightly-folded receipt from Lowe’s.  When I opened up the tightly-folded receipt, tucked safely inside, was a fresh, crisp 20.00 bill!!! 

My prayer was answered… just not the way I thought.  You see… I really didn’t have an extra $20.00 to be losing in a parking lot.  (A 20.00 bill that came to me quite accidentally in the first place, when I pressed the wrong button.)  So, in essence, it was a twofold blessing.  I experienced true joy over the idea of someone being blessed by finding the money that I really couldn’t afford to lose.  I prayed for the person to be blessed, and then I my ownself experienced the joy and blessing of finding it!!  I had never lost it to start with!! Who would have thought that the beautiful flower boxes would set into motion such a sweet event!  Sometimes what we see as a not-so-good thing can turn into a good thing, and can remind us to remember to be thankful in all things. 

Lessons learned – secure my change immediately, always pick up my trash, and if I ever find money that someone else has lost, say a prayer for the person who lost it.  Times are hard, and sometimes losing money can really hurt. 

Yes, it was wonderful to find the money.  But the most astounding thing was the joy I felt even when I thought it was lost.  An unexpected blessing, indeed.