Friday, May 29, 2015

I Saw It on Facebook

When I was growing up, there was a little chipped ceramic dish on the wall with the first stanza of the Serenity Prayer on it:   

God grant me the serenity 

To accept the things I cannot change; 
Courage to change the things I can; 
And wisdom to know the difference.

For most of my life, I thought this sounded like a good thing, but never truly considered exactly what it meant.  Then about twenty-three years ago, when Christ drew me back to Him and I started to grow in the Lord, it began to make a lot of sense and became part of my daily prayer life. 

When I saw this on Facebook, it reminded me of the most important lesson in my day to day life that the Serenity Prayer taught me:  I cannot control or change others, but I can with God's help control and change me.  Change my outlook, change how I handle situations.  Perhaps most important, since I had gotten to the point that I flew off the handle at anyone, about almost anything before I came back to Christ, it taught me not to react.

A reaction is knee-jerk, instantaneous.  You react before any thought takes place.  You react before you can breath  a prayer.  While a quick reaction while driving can save your life, in personal relationships, a reaction is often over-the-top. More than the situation calls for.  It also tends not to include the other persons feelings at all.  

So, more and more, my prayer became "Lord, help me not to simply react, but to respond."  A response takes longer.  A response allows time to think, time to whisper a prayer.  A response quickly considers fallout and another's feelings.  A response can ask a question for clarification.  Overall, responses tend to be calmer, quieter than reactions.  

Do I get tired, stressed, overwrought and sometimes revert back to reactions?  Sure, I do.  But now days, I blow up at someone maybe once a month, not three or four times a day. People who see me blow up, may shake their heads and wonder about me, maybe even doubt my religion.  But God, those closest to me, and I know the vast difference from where I was to where I am.  Truth is, no one, not the head shakers, nor I, will be perfect this side of Glory.  We all are works in progress.  

Do you tend to react, or to respond?  Would you say you have or have at one time struggled with anger issues?  If so, how does/did your anger manifest itself?  (Me:  yelling, cursing, slamming things).


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I Loved Every Minute of It

Going into this past weekend, I wasn't expecting much.  My son was working out of town, no one had any outdoor events scheduled due to bad weather in our forecast.  All I thought was, at least I can rest. 

Friday evening was wet and boring.  But after the week I had, I needed some boring.  Saturday I slept late and did a post.  Then I made a list and went to the store.  On my way home I got a call from my boy, Bubba, asking me where everybody was.  I told him that his Daddy & Bug probably walked up to Benny's, and then it dawned on me how he had worded that.  I tentatively asked him where he was, and he said "at your house"!  You can't imagine how thrilled I was to hear that!  He told me they had fish and wanted to fry them and hang out here.  And that is exactly what we did!  We all ended up building a fire outside, playing horseshoes and washers until almost two in the morning.  And I loved every minute of it!

The down side was, none of us made it to church the next morning.  There was a fair amount of rain again. I watched movies on TV and simmered a pot of red beans all afternoon.  Just a good, restful Sunday! And I loved every minute of it. 

Monday morning rolled around.  I slept in a little. Mixed up batter for peanut butter cookies.  Later in the afternoon, I FINALLY got to get in the pool!  Most of the time it was too cool or the weather too bad.  I cleaned it and then I spent an hour just relaxing and praying.  I like to pray in the pool by myself.  So quiet and serene.  The sky above me.  I prayed for the families and the descendants of those who sacrificed so that I could enjoy this wonderful weekend, here in this country, on my own land, living how I see fit.  As I prayed it really struck me all the different types of people who serve, for so many varied reasons.  It moved me to the verge of tears. It was a special time and I loved every minute of it. 

Throughout this weekend, I often thought of my son, who I cherish so much.  And of my father, his namesake.  Of how they look so much alike.  Of how they never got to meet, to know one another.  Of how much Bubba would have loved him.  Of how proud he would have been of Bubba.  

I want to share photos with you.  Let you see for yourself, how very much alike they are.  

My Daddy

My Son & Baby Ruth

Well, what do you think?  Do you see the same strong resemblance I do?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekend Coffee Share

Yay!  Finally a Saturday morning where I was able to sleep as long as I wanted to and no alarm went off. Come on in and get up a cup of coffee, if you want any this late in the morning.  Right now the sun is shining and it's a beautiful Texas morning.  Lot's of rain in the forecast for the rest of the holiday weekend.  After I chill with my coffee, I've got to do some grocery shopping. 

This past week at work taxed my poor brain, but it was a good week.  We are moving forward with a new plan for processing and building our routes.  We might hit a kink or snag here or there, but overall, I think it's a good plan for us and our customers. When the dust settles over this change, I have a few ideas I want to see implemented.  Got to write up a proposal of sorts for my boss to review and get the conversation started.  In February I started an internal audit of our sales tax exemptions.  Just about to have that project wrapped up.

I heard a local news station talking about this holiday last night on TV.  They said this was the recognized start of summer - actually that is June 21st.  The said this was the biggest boating weekend and did a piece on boating safety.  Number one problem is running out of gas.  But they never said a word about what Memorial Day is. 

People, Memorial Day started as a day to lay wreaths and garlands upon the graves of those who gave their lives in service to this country, protecting her borders, her people, her freedoms.  Honoring them for this supreme sacrifice.  In 2000, a resolution was passed asking us to pause at 3:00pm local time "to remember and reflect upon the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all".  Please don't let this day go by without in some way large or small remembering it's meaning! Me, I try to take flowers to the Veteran's memorial in our town and/or put flags on graves of family members who served. For an excellent post from a Vet's perspective: Got a Letter in the Mail!  

Seems, once again, I've monopolized the conversation.  Let's get another cup. So, what has work been like for you, lately?  How do you honor our fallen hero's on this day?  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Saw It On Facebook

I adored this as soon as I saw it!  For one thing, it reminded me so much of Punk & Janie's camp at Bush Lake.  The camp was rustic, sprawling and comfortable.  Flaps & screens all around to allow the the air to come in the warm weather. Battery powered fans to cool you as you slept.  A wood stove and piles of blankets to warm you in the winter. Many of our best times ever were at Bush Lake and that old camp house.

It also makes me think of the saying Daddy used every single time anyone asked him how he was, "Never felt better or had less, in my poor life."

And it applies to me and Pete now.  Our home would be considered a hovel by many.  Damage it sustained due to Rita that didn't show up for quite some time. Bad spots and holes in the floor here, there and yonder.  Drafts and leaks.  But it still feels like Home. God kept us safe then, and I know He is going to find a way to help us prepare and get into Our New Home!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you I can't visit for long. Hubby has a big day planned for us.  I put over 17,000 miles on my car each year just commuting back and forth to work. Pete's disabled and can't do all the things he used to do. Back when I was still driving my old Taurus, twice I had trouble and when I phoned home he had to tell me he couldn't come, couldn't help me and I'd have to call someone else.  Thankfully, both times Bubba was working in or near town and was able to help me.  But it must of been the hardest thing Pete has ever done to tell me that!  He'd always been there in my hour of need, before.  

Plus, after he pays my car note each month and our car insurance, there isn't much left over for repairs.  He does that and pays his medical for the most part.  I pay other bills and buy groceries, medicines, etc.  And together we pay our electric bills.  So, he figures that as long as I am still working, he needs to keep me in something that has full factory warranty, and gets the good gas mileage. He has just accepted that we will always have a car note at least until I retire. Part of the warranties on my 2011 Chevy Cruze are about to expire and he has decided it is time to trade up to a low mileage 2014 or 2015 for the same monthly note.  

Now, I totally adore my car.  And I would never ask for anything else in the foreseeable future.  But I see the reason of his thinking.  So, he swung by when he was out and about yesterday and told his guy what we were looking to do. They have a large inventory to choose from right now and told him it was indeed a good time to do it and they should be able to accommodate our desires and our needs.  

So, I had to set my alarm clock on a Saturday!  And I have to cut my coffee time short, because we have an appointment to go try to pick out my next new ride.  

Come back tomorrow if you feel like it.  Bubba is home and I'll be cooking one of his favorite meals after church: meatballs, rice and gravy.    We'll all have plenty of time to visit then.

Weekend Coffee Share is a blog hop brought to you by Part Time Monster.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How I Like My Music

During the A to Z Challenge and my Musical Memories, I offered a sampling of a song or playlist each day in the entry. Now, I'm just  a fifty something redneck, but I truly thought that the Spotify app would be well known to most everyone who ventured through.  

Some of my comments made it clear that was not the case. In retrospect, I should have talked about Spotify in my theme reveal or in a separate post before the Challenge began.  So, I am making reparations now.

Spotify is the best music app or program I have ever used. And I've tried a lot of them!  The only one that is well known that I have not used is Pandora.  To me, Spotify, even the free version, is better than all the rest for one simple reason: I can make the playlists I want.  No unwanted songs, no artists I don't like popping up.  And this is great for me!!  There are very few artists who's whole albums I like and on Spotify I can cherry-pick exactly what I like and what I want!  And I can combine them in any playlist I want to create.  

There is a free version and a paid version.  The paid version you can listen to offline, and has no ads.  The free version has ads and you have to have an internet connection.  There is an app you can download, and there is a web-based version that requires no download.  There are apps for your smart phones as well.  So once you create your playlists you can listen to them almost anytime and anywhere. 

Best of all, the artists or whoever owns the rights to their songs get paid!  This is not a piracy app.  More songs and artists are added every day.  For example, I have a Jim Reeves album we bought back in the 60's.  At first, I couldn't find these wonderful songs anywhere.  But in just the last few months, they added the entire album!  

Check it out for yourself and see if you aren't as pleased as I have been since I started using it several years ago:  Music for Everyone.  And when you get your account created, check out my playlists or friend me.  I'm user 1220192312.

There was no compensation received for this post.  It is simply a post about an app I truly enjoy.  If I ever do make a compensated post, you will be notified of that fact in a similar manner. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Weekend Coffee Share

Well, hello!  Come on in. Yes, the coffee is still on, although I have already drank most of it.  I'll make more we we need to.

Forgive the mess.  It's been a hectic week!  Pete had a virus all week. Nothing seemed to help.  He saw his doctor on Thursday and he didn't give him anything to help.  Then, that night he had such awful abdominal pain!  He almost called on ambulance.  I stayed up until 1:30 to make sure he was going to be alright.  He called me a little after noon at work yesterday and said he was going to get a ride to the hospital.  I met him over there as soon as I got everything done that had to be done.  Thankfully, just a virus and he wasn't dehydrated.  (He listened to his wife this time!) They did give him some meds to help him cope.  We got a bag of $1 MickyD burgers on the way home.  

I couldn't sleep in this morning like I like to do on Saturday, as Bug needed to go to the public library to do community service for a class at school.  Since she's just fifteen, I had to run her there and come back.  Will get some things done here, make a grocery list and pick her back up when they close at 1pm.  Promised I'd take her shopping.  So will be a long afternoon.

Pete is still resting.  So please don't turn the stereo up. It's getting hot in here to me.  Let's turn the A/C on and get another cup of coffee.  Sorry, I have run out of creamer. But I do have milk.

Do you have any Mother's Day plans?  I don't really have any. Neither of us have a living mother. (Mama, Hazel)  Bubba has to work today and won't be able to come home this weekend.  It's his birthday!  Can you believe he's 26 already!  Seems it was just yesterday I had him standing on my lap, dancing him to "Wooly Bully".  

I may make church tomorrow, or I may sleep in it.  As a mother, I feel it is my prerogative.  Rest, perhaps some time in the pool if rain doesn't prevent it, and maybe a visit with my sister is all I have planned.  All I really need, for Mother's Day.

Please feel free to drop by again next Saturday for coffee! Just please don't come too early.  After all, it is usually my day to sleep in.

Weekend Coffee Share is a blog hop brought to you by Part Time Monster.  This is my first time to participate, but I plan to make it a weekly event here at Caneyhead.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I Saw It on Facebook

To my adorable new followers, let me explain.  Last fall I started making "I Saw It on Facebook" posts about once a week.  What I do, is share a picture I snagged from Facebook and then I expound upon why I liked it, here on my blog.  They are mostly humorous, but may sometimes have a more serious message.

You've got to admit, the cartoon is hilarious when you first read it.  The repentant sinner is hidden away confessing his sins, but his sins have preceded him to the confessional.

But when I start to thinking on it, there are so many troubling aspects of this cartoon.  Let me point out a few.  

First, everyone really needs to remember that once you post something on the web, no matter how private you have your settings, there are a million ways for it to spill over into other areas;  get into the hands of someone you never intended.  Employers and law enforcement are now using social media to check up on employees, to screen applicants, to get leads on suspects.  And it's all legal because YOU posted it!   Makes no difference if it is on your blog or social media or an online forum.  Once you put it out there, you can't get it back!  This is the uncomfortable aspect, that can cause you shame, ruin opportunities, damage relationships or land you in jail.  

The second is more of a moral aspect.  Too many folks these days are trying to stand with one foot in the world and the other on Holy Ground.  They want to party like the devil on Saturday night and go to church on Sunday morning.  Maybe not literally, but certainly figuratively.  They want to boast of their latest exploits with their peeps, bros and hos and then walk around everywhere they go like they live a life above reproach.  This is the hypocritical aspect, where you live a double life, never truly find satisfaction or acceptance.      

And that leads me to the third, a spiritual aspect. The third is simply this:  God has always had a direct "Facebook" feed on your life.  Every "post" is laid bare before Him. He knows who you really are.  And He loves you in spite of it!  Enough to let His Only Son pay the price for those sins you boast about and the ones you try to hide even from yourself.  And you don't need any person's approval or any priest's intercession.  All you need, and all that God requires, is that you admit to what He already knows about you.  That you confess you do those things.  That you repent (deeply and sincerely regret) those things.  Ask His forgiveness for yourself.  He will hear and He will forgive! For when He looks at the bill for what you owe for sin, He sees it already paid in full! Stamped paid by the blood of Jesus on the cross. Then thank Him for his love and forgiveness!  Submit (yield) your life to Christ and invite His Holy Spirit to dwell inside you.  He will protect you, lead you, guide you and help you become the person God has always wanted you to be, the person that deep down you always wished you could be.  This spiritual aspect determines your serenity and peace here on earth and in eternity.

Has something you posted online yourself ever come back to bite you?
Are you the same person in public that you are at home?
Do you know Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Musical Memories - Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2015

My theme was Musical Memories:  The Memories that music brings rushing back.

This was my 4th year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  My 1st year to assist by being a Minion.  To me, it was the best year yet!  On so many levels.  With that said, there were a couple of things that really bugged me.

The first being, that there were a couple of blogs I found who had themes I was really enjoying; really looking forward to their next post.  It seemed other people were as well. Yet, for some unknown reason, these blogs just quit posting about 2/3rds into the Challenge.  Bummer!  Life happens, and sometimes the creative well just runs dry.  Yet, it was still a huge disappointment to me.

My second gripe is that the further down the list of participating blogs that I got in my visits, the less commenting I saw.  Some of these posts were awesome! Some were as passable as the majority of posts in the challenge were.  Granted, a few weren't offering much.  Still one of the key points of the Challenge is to get out, visit and share.  Why were these blogs and posts not getting their fair share of that?  I think for these reasons.  As the Challenge wore on, folks just got tired or behind or so caught up in some themes that they just weren't doing the recommended five new visits a day.  Occasionally, I couldn't do my five either, but then I'd do ten the next day.  When I caught a chance, I might do 20.   It is my hope that next year, perhaps visiting five new blogs each day can be reinforced more throughout the Challenge by mentioning it more often and encouraging frequently for all to do so.

Next, I want to talk about being a minion.  I joined Stephen Tremp's Team and dubbed myself Ensign B of Tremp's Troops.  I had a lot of fun setting up a matching aviator for the challenge.  Being a minion did add a responsibility to me for each day.  Yet, it was nothing overwhelming.  Stephen simply asked us all to visit five blogs a day.  He polled our group on whether we wanted five new ones a day or to keep the same five throughout the challenge.  We settled for keeping the same five, although he did tell us if we had one that we just couldn't relate to, he'd gladly re-assign us.  I was lucky in my five!  I thoroughly enjoyed each one.  The only hard part to being a minion was when I'd stumble across a blog I had to report.  Yeah, one of our jobs is Challenge police.  If we found a blog or link that was purely for capital gain, we were to report it.  If we found a blog or link that did not display the AtoZ Badge, we were to report it.  If we found a blog that was not posting A to Z or that had fallen behind and had not posted explaining why, promising to catch up, we were to report it.  Most of the reasons didn't bother me. After all, the Challenge is not about selling something, displaying a badge is a simple enough requesting and it wouldn't be the A to Z Challenge if we didn't post A to Z. When I came across a blog that simply stopped posting, it made me sad.  Some had a great theme or their last post had been awesome!  I couldn't help but worry about them a little. Wonder if everything was okay in their world.  The A to Z team does try to contact the blogger before their blog is removed to find out what is going on and encourage them to continue.  And for that I am grateful.  Would I be a minion again?  Absolutely!

Now for things I especially loved about the Challenge this year.  I loved the newspaper!  If you haven't been reading, check it out here:  The #AtoZChallenge Daily.  It was a fun way to see the posts people were talking about on twitter.

I thought it was wonderful that a survivor T-shirt was created this year!  I already have mine and wore it to work last week. You can find the link to get yours at the A to Z Challenge blog.

Themes. I liked that most everyone had a theme.  Themes make it easy for new visitors to know what you are posting about.  There were so many great themes!  Lots of writing themes of every kind.  Many music themes.  Books, movies, TV series.  There were themes on gardening, cooking, fashion, history, dreams, morality, memories...such a wide and varied variety!

I had more favorite themes, but alas, they didn't all finish the Challenge.  I want to highlight two of my favorites that did manage to survive till the end.    

Etcetera is a blog by a young woman named Jane.  Jane is an all out Joan Crawford fan.  She made Joan the subject of her theme.  She brought the actress to life for you with facts, inside stories, pictures and videos.  If you are a Joan Crawford fan or a fan of Old Hollywood, I highly recommend this series to you.

My other favorite that made it to the finish line was The Old Shelter.  Sarah is a beautiful Italian woman who has done detailed research on the Roaring Twenties for an upcoming book.  For her A to Z Theme, she shared the fountain of information and insights she has gleaned from her exhaustive research with us.  Giving us a glimpse into a past that is almost 100 years ago now.  

Now, my thoughts on Life & Faith in Caneyhead and the Challenge.  I was thrilled so many found my theme interesting enough to keep coming back day after day. Thank you all! Some days saw an awesome number of visits and comments. Again, I thank you all!  Without even making an effort on my part, I saw my followers on every medium rise substantially. I certainly want to thank each of you as well!  I had so much fun sharing the tunes with you and recapturing to the best of my abilities the memories that they bring back to me.  I was delighted to have so many turn around and share their own memories with me!  And reassured that I'm not as strange as I sometimes think I am, as it seems music evokes many strong and detailed memories in a lot of people.

Last, but never least, I thank our founder, co-hosts, and fellow minions for all the work, encouragement, attention, time and effort you poured into this event.

Did you make it to at least five new blogs a day?
Are you planning to keep reading A to Z posts?
What was your favorite blog or theme this year?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Turn Out the Light's, The Party's Over

Every honky tonk, dance hall or bar I ever went to ended the evening and last call with Willie Nelson's "The Party's Over".

    But, while our Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2015 may be over, that doesn't mean the party has to end just yet!  Keep your eyes on the A to Z Challenge blog, for there is still more to come!  You can go over there and sign up to post an A to Z Reflections post on May 4th.  It's your reflections about and on the challenge. And then we will all have fun comparing notes and experiences!

Unless you are a super hero, I'm sure you haven't made it to all the blogs on the original 2015 sign up list yet.  So, you can still visit new blogs and bloggers.  Or maybe, you didn't get to catch every entry on a blog whose theme or posts you adored.  Well, now you have time to do that!

As for Caneyhead, I want to thank everyone who visited and commented on my Musical Memories posts!  I certainly enjoyed writing them.  And I hope you enjoyed reading them.  To my new followers on one platform or another, I hope post A to Z Caneyhead will still entertain you.  

I don't think the Musical Memories have ended.  They will still arise from time to time and find their way here.  And I also have a recurring theme called I Saw It on Facebook, where I post a picture I saw there and expound upon why it struck a chord with me. Other posts can be as wide and varied as the state of Texas itself.  As this is a personal blog where I share glimpses of my life, what makes me laugh, my beliefs and opinions, and my faith in Jesus Christ.  

P.S. - For the first time ever, there is an A to Z Survivor T-Shirt available!

Order your's today, if you haven't already! Buy the time you read this, I'll probably have mine on!

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