Every few feet I saw a "doll".
I had to go downtown the other day to pay my water bill. Truthfully, I could have mailed it in, but the office is only a few blocks from my job, so I usually take it in in person. I reveled in the flowers which were still in bloom and the berries hanging from the trees, but did a double take at all of the dolls hanging from the street lights and signs. Each carried a paper telling which organization had created them. All the organizations were competing against each other for a prize and recognition.
Our children compete.
As a teen, more years ago than I would like to admit to, I competed against others in my age group in a poster contest to win a sponsored week at Hudson Bay in the Youth Temperance Camp and won. I was so excited. It was fun and my grandmother carried around the news clipping until the day she died. There weren't many times I had the opportunity to compete because I was not blessed with athletic skill.
Competition in school is good for our children. It helps to motivate them to do better. It also motivates them to go to school. When teacher's grade on the curve, it encourages the students to study harder so they can be at the top of the curve.
Competition improves sales, services, and products.
Competition in business helps the consumer to get better services and prices. Some stores even match sales prices of others. When workers join forces in a team to improve their product and compete against one another it creates bonds and helps inspire workers to maintain better attendance and work habits.
Competition helps us grow.
Competition does not necessarily mean we must compete against one another, but we can also strive to better our own record. Set the timer for 1/2 hour and have everyone in your home work to try and clean up an area of the home. When the time is up have pizza or play a game. Look at how much was accomplished this time, and follow up next time to see how much better the job can be done. Competition is fun and healthy. Give one another feedback on easier and less time consuming ways to complete the task. Tell each other how good the job was done.
We can compete with ourselves by adding more reps to our exercise routines or eating healthier. Find ways to be competitive with yourself and you are the winner. Take care & God bless.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Every few feet I saw a "doll".
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I invited Jeanne to church. She invited me to go with her to take a "color tour". Our church has a pot luck every third Sunday of the month, but we passed it up to catch the wonders of the season in the best light of day.
Nature fills your soul.
Pot luck will fill your stomach, but we feasted our eyes and filled our souls on the beauties of nature. For an hour she took me through the back roads of two small towns on the outskirts of our city. Every where we looked God had placed something beautiful and impossible to resist. We parked along many quiet dirt roads and encountered very few people. I have near 100 photos of gorgeous trees, beautiful still streams and lakes, osage oranges (remember I wrote about them awhile back), horses and quiet paths. I am still in awe of all the beauty that I have witnessed today. Getting in touch with nature has done my heart and mind good.
While we traveled I had a conversation with God that went something like this:
It truly is a mystery.
Do you ask what kind of child you've made
Who sometimes faces life afraid?
Your daily prayers murmured in my ear
I send you the prettiest pictures you've ever seen
Shades of orange, red, and evergreen.
There's a love I share with you each day
Don't leave me out of your work or play
Put your chores aside and come outside
Let me be your tourist guide.
There's a profound love that I share
With my children every where
It shouts from tree tops far and wide
Put your chores aside and come outside.
nature by God
by Judy Sheldon-Walker
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Why we own homes...
I watched a comedy skit awhile back which was quite funny and entertaining. It's theme was about the reason we have homes and the reason we buy bigger ones. The answers were basically the same: storage for our "stuff" and storage for more "stuff". The comedienne described people as being preoccupied with "stuff". It was funny because it is true, but another underlying truth hit me.
Our homes are just structures unless we invest ourselves in them. I have lived in a home where my husband just simply stored his "stuff". It became a convenient place for him to get a meal, a night or day's sleep, a bath, a change of clothes, and then be on his way. Family birthday's and holidays came and went without his noticing. Our children's sizes and grades changed...
Fill your home with love.
My point is that a house is just a structure, but isn't is up to us to fill it with so much more? Love, memories, prayers, laughter, lessons, tears, good living, and playing belong in our homes.
She revisited the projects in New York.
When I was married to my children's father, we lived in New York. My two youngest were born in the south Bronx in city housing. Since leaving New York when my youngest daughter was nine she has yearned to see New York again and through careful planning and scrimping managed to go back to visit. She went to the 14th floor where we had lived and knocked on the door of the pastor and his family that were our neighbors. They talked to the current tenants who lived in our old apartment and they let her in for a tour.
She volunteered to stand in the corner.
Baby girl, as I call her, though she now has babies of her own, had a picture taken of herself standing in the corner. She treasures that photo and told me that some of her best lessons were learned in that corner. I got a good laugh from that. She's my girl and I'm glad she took away more from our old address than just "stuff". She wouldn't let me share her photo. :-)
Take care and God bless.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sin is heavy.
After an argument that got particularly ugly the other day I felt like the man pictured, like I was carrying around a huge weight. Sin is like that. It does not have to be your sin to become heavy either. The sin of those who have hurt you become a weight upon your heart also to the point that harboring the pain increases your blood pressure and causes stress upon your heart.
Forgive us as we forgive others.
The reason it gets to be so heavy is that we must forgive those who wrong us. Jesus taught us to pray
"Forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us..."
Luke 11:4. In Matthew 6:15 and again in James 2:13 Jesus states
"But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
So when we nurse our hurts they drive a wedge between us and our heavenly father. When we are wronged it hurts, but it is nothing that Jesus cannot understand. He bore the sins of the entire world as he suffered and died for us. Even as He was being crucified by the angry mob He lifted His voice to His father:
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34
Jesus taught the disciples to forgive.
There are many examples of forgiveness given in the Bible. In Luke 7: 41 and 42 Jesus told of two men who owed money; one 500 pence and the other 50. They approached their creditor and neither had money to pay. Both were forgiven. Jesus asked Simon which man would love the creditor more. He answered the one who owed more. Jesus loves the sinner. He died for the sins of man. Cannot we forgive them, especially since He forgives us? We are to follow the example set before us by Christ. I am truly grateful for forgiveness and pray for God's help in forgiving.
Take care & God bless.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Our pastor, Jeremy Hoover, preached an inspired sermon today which makes me truly grateful. The main reason I go to church is to be spiritually filled, and he has always graciously assisted us in this area. I know that in order to exist in this world and remain on the right track, I need to focus on God. Listening to his word is one of the best ways to help us maintain a closeness to Him and to his children.
Don't let daily commitments keep you from your walk with Christ.
Our pastor asked us to make a stronger commitment to following Christ explaining to us that obedience is learned through suffering (suffering was not given to us to separate us from God but to draw us nearer to him) Hebrews 5:8. Often times we pray to God wanting him to deliver us but not wanting to relinquish control of all areas of our lives. We think God should correct our problems, but what if we are the problem?
After the service I read the back of one of my bulletins. It contained a truly beautiful poem by an unnamed author. It is so moving that I wanted to share it. Pretend for a moment that my pictured cup has a saucer sitting under it. It would be overflowing. Right? I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I did:
I've never made a fortune and it's probably too late now,
But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow,
And as long as I go along life's way I'm reaping better than I sow;
I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed.
Haven't got a lot of riches and sometimes the goings tough,
But I've got loving ones around me and that makes me rich enough
I thank God for His blessings and mercies he's bestowed;
I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed.
O, remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin;
But all at once the dark clouds broke and sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I've hoed;
I'm drinking from my saucer, 'cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage when the way grows steep and rough,
I'll not ask for other blessings. I'm already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads;
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
On the bleakest day
Your smile warms the way
More than sunshine
On the brightest day.
While we're apart
You're in my heart
The vision of your smile
With me all the while
What is the first thing a photographer asks us to do? Smile. It takes considerably fewer muscles than frowning. It brightens our faces and actually sends messages to our brain causing us to feel happier.
Smile when you answer the phone.
Try it with a friend. Ask them if they can hear your smile, and you can. It cost nothing and gives so much!
The smiling avatars are so cheery!
I scan through my comments and look at your bright smiling faces and feel instantly like I am surrounded by friends. It is encouraging and supportive. If you want to confuse your enemy, smile at them. You might actually win them over.
Take care, G♥d bless & keep smiling. :-)
Photo sources: Smiley face poster, girl, couple
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
"Let’s clear up the bad rap that has been hung on eggs. Not only has new research indicated that eggs have very little effect on blood cholesterol levels, but eggs are a nutritional powerhouse providing at least 18 different vitamins and minerals." - Nutrition in an Egg Shell.
It seems that earlier research conducted on eggs was misleading, and in fact eggs provide us with an economical way to provide our bodies with several nutrients from one source. In Let's Cook it Right by Adelle Davis, a well known nutritionist, we learn that we should be eating eggs and cheese daily.
Adelle gives very specific instructions on cooking both cheese and eggs correctly to maintain the most nutrients:
- Do not eat undercooked eggs.
- Do not cook cheese or eggs at too high a temperature as the protein becomes tough and some of its health properties are lost.
- Unless cooked on low, add the cheese just prior to serving, such as in the last minutes of cooking.
- Avoid browning the cheese.
- When cooking vitamin B2 is destroyed by light, so keep eggs and cheese covered as much as possible while cooking.
- Keep boiled eggs on hand to use in sandwiches and salads.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I'm not sure which this is, but there is a lot of controversy going on over the issue at Northwest.com
When I received an email from a good friend of my husband and I regarding the marketing of an Afro American doll being called a "lil monkey", I immediately took a dislike to the reference. For me to tease my children and grandchildren and call them monkeys or tell them to stop "monkeying" around is totally different than a large toy manufacturer calling a doll made in the likeness of a black child a "lil monkey". Am I and others like me over reacting? Are those who side with Costco being insensitive? Why is it that they only carry/ied this doll in a black image?
If it is not meant to be a racial slight would they not carry a Caucasian variation? One thing that has always annoyed me is when my or others feelings have been downplayed and cast aside as being unimportant. Do we imagine injustice because we want to feel slighted? I don't think so.
To me giving birth was the single most important experience of my life as I wrote in my article; and although I have had three more children and several grand children since the first will always be the most memorable:
"People have babies every moment of every day, but none of that occurred to me at that moment. This was my moment. The pure ecstasy was unmatched by anything I had ever experienced in the past or since. I counted his fingers and toes and took in his beauty, until the staff wheeled him away to examine him."to read more click here. In my article I include the product code and telephone number to get the doll removed from stores near you and also the Snopes excerpt on this incident. We will not be equal until all are treated equal.
Take care & God bless.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tiger almost destroyed the chair!
Ms. Cookie has long been trained not to scratch furniture, but her son, Tiger tore up the back of this chair last year, when he was a kitten. Batting hung out of a gaping hole in the back of the chair. It also hung from beneath the chair. It was truly an eye sore and an embarrassment, but still comfortable. You can see how bad it looked in my previous post. Although there are scratch posts placed strategically throughout the house, "Knucklebutt" (my husband's nickname for Tiger) preferred to scratch the same chair time in and time out. I lugged the chair outside and placed it on the deck.
I moved it out of his range.
I was embarrassed to have such a pitiful looking chair sitting outside, but common sense told me that with my work schedule causing me to be away from home for twelve hours on some days, this chair did not stand a chance against my yellow fur ball. Then while buying groceries one day at Walmarts I found a remnant of plastic for $2.22. It was the type of plastic used to make a table cloth. It had flannel lining and measured 36" X 54". Gauging in my mind the size of the two cushions in the chair, I quickly calculated that this length should suffice.
Anyone can cover this type of chair!
If you can neatly wrap a present, you can perform this act. See how I tack the front of the fabric down in the front temporarily to cut slits by the legs. Smooth the fabric down and tack it in place. Even with the help of my cats I had it covered in less than half an hour. My husband came home as I was trying to chase the cats off the chair for the umpteenth time so I could photograph it. (I thought I would post an how-to on ehow.) Then my husband caught me moving the chair back outside, and asked what I was doing. He likes his chair now. I think it looks outdoorsy. :-) But he loves our cats and thinks it makes them happy. I like contented cats too. Had I thought about it, I would have painted the wood before covering the cushions. Wouldn't that look sharp?
Ehow already had a number of instructionals for this topic, so I never posted it, but Ms. Cookie and Tiger are grateful for resourcefulness. It is now their favorite chair.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Do you enjoy taking discarded items, or a little of this and a little of that and creating something brand new? If you are itching to make something and would like some new ideas, besides ehow.com (there are loads there), go to www.CreativeHomeArtsClub.com/ browse through their latest magazine online and register for their contest.
The above pictures were borrowed from their site. The magazine includes hundreds of projects from sewing, crocheting, beading, stamping...
Oh, back to the contest. You can win $750. for first prize, $500, for second and $150 for third. Ten honorable mention winners receive $25.00 and will be published in the magazine and on their web page.
The contest is for a hand crafted toy, crocheted, knitted, or by any technique you desire. Take a photo. Send it to:
12301 Whitewater Dr.
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Check out the site. Get some ideas and get crafting. If you are dying to get your craft on display, hurry. The deadline is November 10, 2009! There's no reason one of my creative friends can't be the lucky winner. I know you've got it in you.
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