Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Choice is Yours

Every now and then something will show up in my newsfeed over at Facebook that, quite honestly, leaves me a bit baffled.

Take the following quote, for instance.

Ironically, this very quote - that chastises people to not judge the poster of the quote - is, in itself, tinged with not only judgment, but also narcissism (in a self-pity kind of way).
"Don't judge me. You can't handle half of what I've dealt with."

How exactly do the people who post such an update know what other people have or have not experienced? How do they know which specific life experiences other people can or cannot handle?

Please don’t negate someone by assuming their life has been more carefree than yours has, or that they are unable to deal with various experiences. Just because an individual doesn't talk about the trials they've personally been through does not mean that such things haven't happened. 

Everyone has trials in their life; they may not be the exact same trials as yours; but they have, nonetheless, experienced their own share of difficulties.

Additionally, everyone can make the choice to stay stuck in those trials (or in the memory of such trials) -OR- they can choose to walk through the trials and then move on; taking what they have learned and using that to make them a stronger and better person.


While I’m at it, there’s something else that has been puzzling me for a while . . . what's with the current trend in automatically assuming that a simple difference of opinion or a different way in approaching things is not only judging but also hateful?

For example, take this quote:
"Haters will hate."

Again, just because someone has a difference of opinion doesn’t automatically equate that person to being a hater; at least, it shouldn’t.

There’s an insecurity and a defensiveness that accompanies such attitudes that so eagerly label people that have different opinions and outlooks as "haters."

Shouldn’t our lives and our opinions stand on their own? Do we always have to be accusing those who disagree with us as being judging? Do we always have to be labeling them as haters?

True strength and confidence comes not in labeling other people with derogatory terms and flinging needless accusations towards those that disagree with us, but in simply living one’s own life with sincere joy and purpose.

And that’s my prayer for y’all today . . . that you live your life in Our Lord’s Peace and Joy, and that you look to Him for your sense of self worth; not through angry degradations towards other people. One way will continually strengthen you; the other way will continually embitter you. Which do you want?

Thanks for reading, y’all!
Be blessed,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wake Up, June - You're Dreaming Again, Darlin'!

Tex tells me that I have a June Cleaver complex.

I probably do (although, just between you and me, I'm probably making way better strides than I should in taiming that particular anality).

There ya go; y'all heard it first here, folks.

Tex loves NASACR.  Absolutely LOVES it.  I asked him last night how long he had been watching NASCAR.  He didn't know for sure; but he does remember seeing some races when he was still a very young boy.

He's not so much into the Nationwide series as he is the Sprint Cup series . . . so he does his NASCARing on Sunday afternoons (just in case y'all wanted to know this information).

It was back in December of last year when he first started mentioning February 24th and the Daytona 500 . . . the beginning of the 2013 racing season.  Considering that the 2012 season had only been completed for about a month at that point, I had to laugh.  The man definitely loves his NASCAR.

For the curious, his favorite driver is #24 Jeff Gordon.
For the ultra curious, my favorite driver is #48 Jimmie Johnson (although, admittedly, I'm usually doing other things during a race - cooking in the kitchen, surfing the web of world-wideness, couch- snoozing . . .).  I do watch a few minutes here and a few minutes there; especially if something involves Jimmie or Jeff.

Back to June . . . the woman, not the month.

I mark important dates on my calendar.  Such electronic scribblings also include things that are important to Tex.  NASCAR is definitely important to Tex; so, back in December when he first mentioned it, I marked the Opening Day of the Sprint Cup Season on my calendar.

I also decided I wanted to make some snacks for him to munch on during the race.
After thinking about it for a while and getting his input ("something cheesy"), I decided to make home-made cheese crackers (you know . . . those tiny square cheesy crackers).  I also wanted to make potato boats made with salsa, ground sausage and cheese (and, of course, potatoes).

This is where my mind started assimilating June Cleaver.

Oh, I could just picture how the entire day would go!
Tex and I would go to church; and on the way home, we would stop at the grocery store so I could pick up the necessary ingredients (the rain and wind of the previous few days had prevented me from triking up to the store during the work week).  We'd come home, I'd start the various culinary preparations and Tex would soon leave for softball practice (another sport season that's beginning this week). 

I'd be wearing a lovely floral apron that never got dirty, and the kitchen would remain immaculate throughout the entire process.  The puppy girls would even don little white kitchen-assistant aprons and would gleefully help me in various ways.  Sun would be shining into every corner and crevice of the house; the natural illumination would be wondrous to behold.

After practice, Tex would come home, the crackers would just be coming out of the oven to cool (in perfect timing, doncha know - great timing is so very essential) and I would be cooking the sausage that would later be used for the potato boats.  The kitchen would still be immaculate.

Tex would turn on the tv, go to the recorded programs and select the race (we *always* record the races; just in case there's something going on that prevents us from watching the race live; such as yesterday's softball practice).

We'd munch on cheese crackers for part of the race, and later we would happily enjoy our potato boats as a snack / dinner as we watch the rest of the race.

Oh, Norman Rockwell would have been so proud.  Had he been able to, he most likely would have taken pencil in hand and begun to memorialize the happy home right then and there.  But, uhm, not only do dead people tell no tales, but they also paint no pictures.  'Tis a pity; I rather like the idea of Mr. Rockwell painting a picture of Tex watching NASCAR.

Wake up, June - you're dreaming again, Darlin'!

Shall I tell you how the day *really* went?  Yes; I think I will.

We wake up (so far, so good).

Skipping ahead a couple of hours . . . we arrived at church and took our seats. 
Skipping ahead a bit more, Tex's phone started vibrating.  Yep.  Work.
Tex is on call 24/7/365.  So.  We packed up and left for home so he could drop me off and then head for work. 

That meant that we were not going to stop at the grocery store on the way home from church.
Fiddle.  Faddle, even!

While at work, Tex received a text that softball practice had been cancelled, and he called me to let me know and to also tell me how much longer he thought he would be at work.  He also told me how beautiful of a day it was.

Since it was such a beautiful day, I called Tex back to tell him that I was going to trike up to the grocery store to get the ingredients for our Norman Rockwell Racing party (hey - who says it takes more than two people to have a party?!).

Shoes.  Check.
Helmet.  Check.
Trike. Check (it always helps to have a trike when one wants to go triking).
Purse.  Check.
Sunglasses.  Check
Grocery List.  Check.
Wallet.  Check.
Visa Cards.  Uhm . . . WHERE are my visa cards???

SO!  I called my husband (again) and told him I wasn't going to the store afterall and the reason as to why not.  He told me he was going to be leaving work soon and that we could go to the store after he got home.

In the meantime, I searched for those goofy cards (not just my personal visa card, but also my business visa card as well.).  I searched.  And searched.  And searched.  I even called the grocery store and asked them to look through their lost and found.  Nothing.  Zip. Nada.

When Tex came home, he looked for the cards, as well . . . and got the same results.

By now, it was probably around 4pm . . . probably around the time that I had originally envisioned Tex coming home from softball practice and my taking the cheese crackers out of the oven.  We go to the store, buy lovely ingredients and come home.  Tex turns on the race, and I get to hustling in the kitchen.

I hafta tell y'all - I had a ball making those crackers!  It was my first time do so, plus I also got to use a pastry cutter tool for the first time as well (having received such implement as a Christmas gift). 

By the time the crackers were finished, the race was half-over, there was flour all over my sturdy blue canvas apron and the kitchen was beginning to look a bit haggard.  Oh, and the puppy girls?  Lizzee was snoozing in the living room, in front of the TV, and Echo was doing her best to get in my way because she was on the look-out for edible morsels that might fall from the counter down to the floor. 

During all of this, Tex had munched on nuts and potato chips (and in a rare throw of a chocolate fix - THREE chocolate bars!!!).  But, he said he still wanted some crackers.  The man not only has a two hollow legs, but hollow arms and torso, as well.

After the crackers were baked, cooled and eaten, I got started on the potato boats for dinner.
Uhm, yeah . . . we started eating those just as Jimmie Johnson (while in the winner's circle) was hoisting the trophy he had just won, after winning the race. 

And my kitchen?  You really don't want to know; trust me on this.

So much for June Clever hanging around yesterday.

All-in-all, it really was a nice day.  Unexpected things happened, and we rolled with them. 

I will probably always envision the future outcomes of things from a June Clever mindset.  That's ok.  I also know that it's not reality; and sometimes I just have to laugh at myself for such imaginings in the first place.

BTW, here's the before and after pictures of the crackers (and we were both pretty pleased with how they tasted!):

Oh, and my visa cards?  No worries.  I cancelled them today and ordered new ones.  Also, no inappropriate activity was found on neither of them.  That's a major praise report!

Lastly (but definitely not least), I also want to say that Tex and I have been praying for everyone who was injured in Saturday night's race.

Thanks for reading, y'all!
Be blessed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love, Sharmie

Over on Facebook, I'm seeing a lot of profile pictures and covers sporting various Valentine's Day themes, along with different posts about this holiday of love.

Even though, it's two days away, I'll write about Valentine's now; as Thursday promises to be a very busy day for me.

Last year, Tex and I were on a very tight budget . . . and we were also anticipating the last payment to be made on our truck.  It was also a busy time for us.

In trying to make a decision about whether or not to buy the first Season of "Law & Order / SVU", I piqued, "Why don't we just buy it as our communal Valentine's Day gift?  LOL

Kinda weird for a Valentine's Day gift . . . but we were both ok with that; and so that's what we did.  (We eventually bought all the other seasons, one-at-a-time - all except for last years' DVDs - we're still waiting for its release).

And for the ultra curious, we are now in our 4th season of "Star Trek / The Next Generation" . . . one season at a time.

Last night, we decided that we *really* need to replace our travel coffee mugs. Really, we do. It’s time to lay the current ones to rest and to move one.  I imagine we'll be making these purchases sometime soon.

A few minutes later, sitting in the passenger seat as we’re traveling down the interstate, I piped up, "Why don’t we deem the new coffee mugs this year’s Valentine’s gifts to each other?"

There ya go. Romance just sloshing all over the place.


My practical, functional nature shows itself at the strangest times.

But. Tex agreed; and so that’s what we shall do.


I think one of the reasons I’m so pragmatic about Valentine’s Day is that I don’t see it as strictly and only a romantic holiday.  I also hope that couples are expressing their genuine and heartfelt love for each other often and in various ways and not just one day a year.

I see Valentine's Day as a day of all types of LOVE - not just Storge & Eros, but also of Agape and Philia.

I was the little girl who was always so excited to make her own Valentines and who couldn’t wait to give them to her classmates - because I truly did love them, and I wanted them to know that.

And, I still feel that way.  A few decades later, life is a bit busier and sometimes more complicated (sometimes of my own doing; sometimes, simply because of life) . . . but, I still look at Valentine’s Day as a day of Love for everyone.  In fact, perhaps, everyday should be Valentine’s Day . . . afterall, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do - to LOVE one another?

Don’t get me wrong - I’m definitely appreciating all of the cute Valentine’s Day photos and posts over at Facebook, and I’m enjoying all of the ones with romantic slants.  I'm celebrating and encouraging the excitement that my friends are expressing over early gifts and whatnots from their spouses or "special ones".

BUT. *For me* - romance is only part of the equation.   

Sure, this Thursday, I’ll be making lasagna for Tex . . . it’s one of his favorite meals; and that is one way that I can specifically show my husband how much I love him.

But, there’s many more people in the world other than my husband. I hope that I remember to show love to others as well; in wonderful, unique and myriad ways.

What about you? How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Thanks for reading, y'all!

Be blessed.