For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Is This Christmas?

While shopping for gifts at a well known department store I saw some unattractive and unusual Christmas decorations. There were the typical birch branch reindeer, crystal pigs wearing Santa hats, purple hippos, and other animals that are rarely used in a nativity scene. Inflatable decor with an absence of air appeared lifeless in the store display. They were the worst decorations I had ever encountered. As I walked away I wondered is this Christmas?

The church I attend has a beautiful Christmas presentation that borders on a Broadway musical. I decided to watch a YouTube snippet of a recent production. While anticipating angels and Mary there were children singing a song about Rudolph.   Suddenly Santa appeared out of the balcony in a sled and everyone  was yelling for Santa. I was not sure if I was bordering on the Grinch, but I was perplexed as I watched Santa and his sleigh come down a wire to the dancing children. Stunned I wondered is this Christmas?

I went to a dozen stores and found the busiest location was the Dollar Store.  Customers were buying the tackiest Santa hats imaginable, and I even bought a pink satin purse card holder trimmed with fur.  As I fumbled through some tin trays a customer asked me if I was worried about picking a Santa tray that might be politically incorrect. Being politically correct was the last thing on my mind as I dodged customers and little children.  As the woman walked away  I knew she was a retired teacher, had bought tins for her twin granddaughters, her  Holiday itinerary, and the  baked items she was preparing for her family party. She did mention that she passed on the cheap card holders as I tucked mine out of sight. When I threw my loot into the car I asked myself is this Christmas?

We went to a prestigious neighborhood to view a house with a multitude of lights synchronized to a variety of songs heard through a radio station. It was fascinating and I loved the music, but is this Christmas?

I watched a concert by a well known orchestra that borders on rock.  They performed an abundance of  religious Christmas songs but I was distracted by the flying hair with guitars.  It still did not move me as I admired the skilled musicians.  Shouldn't this bring a tear to my eyes if this is Christmas?

Then there was the Christmas service which was beautiful.  However the girl in front of me  kept staring at herself in her camera phone while   applying makeup and admiring herself.   I was so fascinated with her grooming technique that I had little time  to enjoy the service.  A girl to the right of me had beautiful black stockings but a gloomy look on her  face apparently wishing she was somewhere else.  I watched others as they entered and exited in various moods.  The music was lovely but it was still difficult to feel the Christmas spirit. I felt cold and uninspired.

It was just a few days before Christmas and I didn't want to decorate.   Is it possible that shopping, cooking,  gifts, decorations, and preparing for the event mask the joyful feelings of the Christmas season?  Suddenly I remembered the simple Charlie Brown Christmas story that I used to watch every year.  I played the animated story and  thought about what was missing besides my youngest son James who stayed in LA.  Like Charlie Brown I had not allowed the Christmas spirit to touch me. It was there all the time.   I just needed to be reminded and let it be a part of me. I sighed and then smiled as I realized this is Christmas?
Unto Us A Child is Born
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the govenment will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ENVY - Am I Wrong (Official Video)

North by Northwest trailer (Alfred Hitchcock)

A great film by Hitchcock.  Do we have any movie stars that are as handsome as Cary Grant?  
Eva Marie Saint is charming, mysterious and beautiful.  

Merry Christmas to Chippy Chip

Merry Christmas Chipy wherever you are.  I know you liked to help open presents and always knew which one was yours.  Love you and miss you.

Righteous Brothers - UNCHAINED MELODY - GHOST

So sorry Patrick Swayze had to go.  He was from my hometown and neighborhood.  I still can see him in a swimsuit as a lifeguard.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mom's and All They Do

In my opinion there is probably no one in the world that will ever love you as much as your parents.  They never judge you, and support you regardless of what crazy things you may do.  They tell you stories, listen for hours when needed, share laughter and tears, love your children, and pray for you.  

Even as an adult there has never been anyone other than my mother that was so concerned with my welfare.  If I needed a coat she would say, "We need to find you a coat".  She has always loved shopping, but she never picked out anything for herself.  Instead she would find countless outfits that she thought would be great for me.  She always seemed to know what I needed. 

Her basic goal was to take care of my needs in general.  If I was down she encouraged me.  If I was worried about a test she would tell me how smart I was.  If I was disappointed about a friend or a boyfriend she knew the right thing to say. She never let me down.

When I told her I had a car accident during the ice storm, she said she wished she could help me.  
She wanted to come see me, and do whatever she could to help.   That's pretty remarkable for a
90 year old lady to still be your biggest fan.  Today is her Birthday, and I am the lucky one to have
had such a great mentor and friend.
Happy Birthday to a great mom and friend!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


A female friend confided in me that a male coworker had made a derogatory comment about her that was inconsiderate and hurtful.   I explained that this man had also hurt my feelings in the past.  I had concluded that he was lacking some ethical characteristics, but claimed to be a Christian.

She was disappointed that this man proclaimed Christianity, but fell short on integrity.  I had seen examples in him that did not exemplify the type of person that one would hope to encounter while touting the virtues of Christianity.

Being a Christian does not result in the perfect person.  None of us have all the desirable qualities. We hope that our friends, family, and coworkers do not hide behind a cloak of perfection only to show us a darker side.  There is always tomorrow, and the hope that we all become better men.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Robin Gibb (Bee Gees) Funeral A Final Farewell (1/2) - I Started A Joke ...

Mother Teresa Quote

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Getting Older

The taste of "sweet tea" was still in my mouth, and I decided to stop at  a fast food restaurant for a coke.  I told my mom that I wpuld be stopping and did she want anything.  "No, no, no, I do not want anything because I have plenty of Cokes and Dr. Pepper's in the refrigerator."

Nothing was open on Thanksgiving Day except for Jack In The Box.  My mom said, "How long will this take?"  I realized she had not been to a drive through restaurant in 20 years.  She immediately got testy and wanted to know what was taking so long.  I told her the two cars in front of us were ordering and then have to get their food. She got more agitated. "What are we doing just sitting here", she says.  It was taking a long time. She continued to complain and said.,"I think they are eating their food in the car." It made me laugh. My conclusion was once a Type A personality, always a Type A personality.  We never change even if we are almost a 100 years old.

Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) - official video

Quotes from "The Book Thief"

"The Book Thief" is an incredible story, and is beautifully written by Markus Zusak,  The narration is by Death.  The main character is a girl named Leisel,  and the story of her trials and tribulation during the time period of Nazi Germany.    

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.” 
 Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Shooting Bambi

My biggest beef with Facebook is allowing inappropriate pictures to view.  I know hunting is a sport and my dad took me on a few deer hunts, but I find the display of deer that have just been killed to be offensive.   

Should  I delete the friend or just keep scrolling?  Deleting a friend because of different views of life is immature and unrealistic.  However,  the disturbing thing about this photo is that it looks like Bambi.  It looks very young, small, and beautiful.  I realize I am in the minority on killing deer at all. Many stores sell corn to easily attract and kill the prey.  I love animals and I wish these types of pictures would not appear. It's Thanksgiving.  Let the Bambi's live!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Music by Jeff

This song is by Son #2.  It is equally beautiful to me.  I love hearing him, watching him,  and never wanted to miss any band gig mainly in Deep Ellum.  I remember missing one and being heartbroken.  He is a great guy with amazing talents.  These songs bring me to tears every time.

Peel Me A Grape by Cali McCord

Monday, November 18, 2013

U2 The First Time

The meaning of this song relates to a spiritual experience when I was 9 years old. I was a brown eyed, brown haired girl wearing a bright red dress. I was scared and shy,  but strong.  I had the most incredible life changing experience. When the song says "he threw away the key" I am reminded of that day.   I felt an incredible feeling of love and acceptance of God. It is hard to explain, and that is why I like this song. I do not believe the U2 song is about suicide as depicted in The Million Dollar Hotel, but a transformation that can only occur through God or what you believe to be a higher being.

I have a lover
A lover like no other
She got soul, soul, soul, sweet soul
And she teach me how to sing
Shows me colors when there's none to see
Gives me hope when I can't believe
That for the first time
I feel love
I have a brother
When I'm a brother in need
I spend my whole time running
He spends his running after me
When I feel myself going down
I just call and he comes around
That for the first time
I feel love
My father is a rich man
He wears a rich man's cloak
He gave me the keys to his kingdom coming
Gave me a cup of gold
He said, "I have many mansions
And there are many rooms to see"
But I left by the back door
And I threw away the key
And I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key
For the first time
For the first time
For the first time
I feel love

Read more: U2 - The First Time Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

November Memories

November is the month 15 years ago when you got sick.  It was devastating to get the call.  It was even more confusing when "Granny" (my mom) said you were sick from "bad fish".  I remember asking what kind of fish you had eaten and not knowing the real reason you were in the hospital.  As usual "Granny tried to hide the truth and make everything rosy".  That's the good trait about Granny.  She is always trying to play up the positive.  She never acknowledges illnesses and is probably why she is still alive.

You would be very proud of her because she has managed quite well and is able to live comfortably.  However, Granny is able to live on less money because she is very frugal.  I know no one else that has an electric bill for twenty dollars.

When I saw you in the hospital I was very concerned because you looked helpless. It was not bad fish, but a stroke.  I wanted to believe that the stroke would not be debilitating.  You were dizzy, but there were few  effects from the stroke.  A week or so went by and you went to rehab.  Honestly, I thought that was ridiculous.  They dressed you up in regular clothes and sent you to daily rehab.  You told me that you were having difficulty because you were very dizzy, and you did not look like your felt very well. 

The following days are a little blurry.  The next set back was you having another heart attack. The  term for your condition was congestive heart failure.  Your doctor kept explaining how parts of the heart had been damaged, but I never gave up thinking that somehow it could be regenerated like the tail of a lizard.  Time went on and Christmas passed although we refused to celebrate much of a Christmas even with the kids.  It did not feel right to celebrate any holiday with such an important family member so sick in the hospital. 

At one point they sent you home for a few days, but you quickly returned to the hospital. Funding had run out, but you were too ill to be at home. After three days you were back in the hospital.   While I was gone most of the family went to the funeral home to make arrangements for your impending death.  I was shocked that such a terminal decision was planned.   I never gave up on your recovery.  I kept asking about new treatments, but it was  obvious that your breathing was becoming labored.  When they put you in a car to drive around I realized that you looked miserable and wanted this to end. 

In February only a few days before Valentine's Day you passed away when no one was there.  That must have been sad.  However, your favorite expression, "I just want to be left alone" might have applied in this situation.  I know when you are sick you do not care to be entertained, talk, or hear noise.  I was out of town, but I asked if anyone had gone to look at you after death.    It must have been shocking for Granny to arrive at the hospital and you were gone.  I got the call at work that you passed on in the early morning.   I immediately flew home with relatives waiting to pick me up at the airport.  

Waiting for a funeral is a ritual that you want to be over.  You would have felt the same because we have a lot of the same traits. One funny thing  happened when we were ordering the blanket of flowers for your coffin.  The older lady at the florist said, "It's too bad your dad died near Valentine's Day because there are hardly any good flowers around."  Was that not an inappropriate thing to say to people planning a funeral?  I will never forget you saying that Granny's family was a bunch of misfits.  I thought so too and we laughed a lot about that.

Sometimes when I go to your home I will take Granny to see where you are buried.  She and I are not that interested in dwelling there.  Of course we go to the tombstone and see your name, but we walk away very quickly.  We leave with a feeling of regret that we  went there.  There is no solace or satisfaction in a piece of empty land.  We know you are in a better place.  Just like the resurrection of Jesus you are not there. 

P.S.  While in the coffin I  remember the gold wedding ring on your finger, and I grabbed your icy hand.  I do not know when the ring was removed, but I proudly wear it on my right middle finger as a reminder of you.   I love and miss you.
@[406109786138131:274:Underground Health]

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fire and Friends

It is in my later life that I have discovered the joy of friendships.  With really good friends you can discuss a variety of decisions and get some loving advice. True friends will tell you what they believe to be best for you, and there is no need to feel pressure to please them.  Friends provide an excellent sounding board for doubts, questions, and insecurities in your life.  Trust is essential in accepting and analyzing someone else's advice.  Remember that these words of wisdom are intended to help as you move through the victories and challenges of life.

I have spent many nights sitting by a fire with friends while discussing everything imaginable.  It is a great way to learn about life's journey as told by others.  There are few joys as great as this.

Staring into a fire is addicting. It is like gazing at the ocean .......There is no beginning as there is no end. 

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."
“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”

Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Sunday

I am at church because:
  • My parent expected me to go to church with no excuses.
  • My parents were God fearing and I feel the same way.
  • The music is fantastic and every Sunday is an amazing musical production.
  • My week goes better when I go to church. 
  • I have been blessed in many ways with what God has done for me financially, emotionally, and giving me amazing friendships.
  • I remain faithful because God has given his angels orders to protect His own. Psalm 91:11 For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go.
  • More and more I realize that Christianity and worship may become a thing of the past. I can worship without fear of persecution. 
  • It provides inspiration and helps me remain optimistic about the future and mankind.
  • All though others may fail you God never does. 
  • Keep the faith.

The Girl from Ipanema by Cali


Good Deeds

James traveling through NM on the way to CA
Are we rewarded for good deeds? James has had several people provide him a place to live in Los Angeles while in transition. He has been amazed people have been willing to help him in so many ways.  Are any of us enthusiastic to let someone stay in our house for weeks?  What about people who  risk their lives to help someone in need ?  Does the good Samaritan get something back in return?

The Bible discusses good deeds and how it is better to help others without receiving recognition. If you discuss the sacrifice does it nullify the deed?  I thought about all the times my parents had shown  kindness to others.  They kept a garden with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, greens, peppers and had an enormous fig tree.  They loved to give their vegetables to neighbors and friends.  They visited people that were ill in the hospital and took them cards, flowers, and sometimes gifts.  They were givers and full of joy when they gave.  There was no price tag on their deeds but just the simple act of kindness.

My oldest son John learned the concept of helping others while witnessing the lifestyle of my parents.   They also instilled in him the importance of going to church as they did me.  Sometimes when I hesitate to go on a chilly Sunday morning I convince myself that it is permissible to skip because I have many credits from faithful attendance.  I jokingly compare it to frequent flyer miles or rollover minutes.

John now practices what he learned from his grandparents.   He has maintained faithful church  attendance and is the first to volunteer his services to the community.  He is a handyman and can repair  just about anything. His gift of repair was apparent at a very early age.  He began collecting his own tools and working on projects around the time we received a decorative wooden horse that was given as a Christmas gift and he tried to duplicate.    Recently he went to Alabama on several trips to help families affected by flooding.  He gives his services freely through projects at church and work.

My doctor always asks about my mom and I told him she was still driving.  He asked what city she lived in so he could avoid the area.  I  told my mom I didn't think she should keep driving much longer.  Her reply was "I passed my driving test" and "The Lord takes care of everything".  Now how does someone question that response? This is a woman that changes spark plugs on a lawnmower and mows her own yard.

On one occasion she was having a garage sale.  A suspicious man came riding in on a bike and acted as if he going to steal or harm us.  I felt the threat and was shaking but my mother looked him in the eye and told him to leave.  She never showed any fear.  I was truly amazed.  She is such a strong woman.

I don't know if my mother has been rewarded for teaching children at Sunday School for 50 years, faithfully attending church, or doing good deeds but she has had a very remarkable and prosperous life.  She maintains a positive attitude and always believes people will recover if suffering from an illness. Most important in her life is church, friends, and family. Not a day goes by that she doesn't inquire about the three boys who are now men.  She wants to know everything that they do.   She never complains and never takes any over the counter drugs.  Not sure if the good deeds have kept her healthy and happy but she definitely excels in the frequent flyer status of life.  She is a wonderful example of how to live life to the fullest, and I'm willing to bet she has had a lifetime of rewards.
This is the day that Yahweh has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Yahweh by U2

Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don't make a fist no
Take this mouth
So quick to critisize
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
His love is like a drop in the ocean
His love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

Monday, November 4, 2013

Desserts.... ur Cake Balls

I was driving home in the dark and pouring rain, but could not get cake balls out of my head.  Someone had given me a little box of cake balls recently called "Sweet Ballz".  This yummy dessert was previewed on Shark Tank and now involved in a lawsuit.  

Mark Cuban was so impressed with the business venture that he  invested $250,000 during an episode of Shark Tank.

The cake balls had a nice presentation with two in a box.  One was vanilla frosting with chocolate cake and the other was all chocolate.  They came from 7-Eleven.  I remembered there is one down the street.  
Siri called and I asked if they carried cake balls. I could not manage to say Sweet Ballz and  called them cake balls instead.   The fellow answering the phone had a heavy foreign accent  and said they were out of them.  I did not believe him and decided to stop anyway.  

I could not find anything related to cake balls in the convenience store,  but I found the next best thing.  I 
found a package of Hostess cupcakes.  I used to eat them for breakfast.  After not having any Hostess 
cupcakes in years, I found them still delicious.  They were moist, chocolate, and unbelievably
rich with vanilla cream inside.  So who needs Sweet Ballz?

When on a sweet quest go for the gold and enjoy.  Sweet Ballz on Facebook.

Mumford and Sons - Come thou Fount of Every Blessing

“I will only add, God bless you.” 
 Jane Austen

Thursday, October 24, 2013

In My Life Beatles and Ozzy Osbourne Mixed.

A Tribute to Mothers, God's Best Creation

A Tribute to Mothers, God's Best Creation

Mothers are one of the best creations of God. She has amazing powers. She can multitask without complaining. She cares for everyone without any demands. Read here and marvel at the wonder called - Mother.

By the time the Lord made mothers, he was into his Sixth day of working overtime. An Angel appeared and said, "Why are you spending so much time on this one?"
And the Lord answered and said, "Have you seen the special sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 200 movable parts, all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that can hold three children at one time and that disappears when she stands up, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart, and have six pairs of hands."
The Angel was astounded at the requirements for this one. "Six pairs of hands! No Way!" said the Angel.
The Lord replied, "Oh, it's not the hands that are the problem. It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers must have!"
"And that's just on the standard model?" The Angel asked.
The Lord nodded in agreement. "Yes, one pair of eyes is to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head is to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair is here in the front of her head. They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a single word."
The Angel tried to stop the Lord. "This is too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish. "
But I can't!" The Lord protested, "I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can feed a family of six on a pound of rice and can get a two year old to stand in the shower."
The Angel moved closer and touched the woman, "But you have made her so soft, Lord".
"She is soft", Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."
"Will she be able to think?" asked the Angel.
The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate."
The Angel then noticed something and reached out and touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like you have a leak with this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."
"That's not a leak." The Lord objected. "That's a tear!"
"What's the tear for?" the Angel asked.
The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride."
The Angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything, for MOTHERS are truly amazing."
They have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without new shoes so their children can have them. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their loved ones get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a new marriage. They are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. Mothers come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes. They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a mother is what makes the world spin! Mothers do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Mothers have a lot to say and a lot to give.