Monthly Archives: October 2011

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Things are just getting started and I am already in desperate need of a coffee break…For the next 15 days I will be up to my ears in banquet planning, ordering, organizing, decorating and overseeing of certain responsibilities having to do with 8 nights of banquets.

I am also moving forward with a dream I have had for several years…I have rented a space in a local antique center.  I move in tomorrow… I had decided that it would be best to wait until the first of the year and then a premium space came available.  With timing being what it is and location being everything.  Having total support and encouragement from my hubs, I have decided to take a huge leap of faith.  I move in tomorrow!!!

Wish me luck and a coffee break!

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Filed under Made in America, postaweek2011

Trick or Treat in a Trunk…

Trick or Treat in a Trunk

It is the bewitching hour, at least in our neck of the woods. Tonight our neighborhood hosted a Halloween hay ride for the kids…Trick or Treat in a Trunk.

We live in a ranch style community where the houses are scattered throughout the neighborhood.  Also it is typical for the houses to sit a good 100-200 feet from the road.  Needless to say we are not trick or treat friendly when it comes to the tradition of walking from house to house.

However, we have a wonderful lady who organizes neighborhood events for most of the holidays.  I believe this is the third annual Halloween hay ride and trick or treat in a trunk.  The event  is gaining popularity.  Tonight there were 2 trailers filled with  kids and parents enjoying the cool fall weather that rolled in Thursday evening while being driven from house to house.

Trick or Treat in a Trunk

Sometime last week a flyer was delivered to all the houses with the hay ride route and instructions for participating.  You could either drop your candy off at the starting point or wait for the hay ride at the end of your driveway.

We chose the later and filled 40 candy bags in anticipation of the revellers.  We parked the truck at the end of the driveway and waited.  We had several neighbors stop by and give us the update as to where the trailers were in the route.  The evening was cool.  There was music from a party drifting through the air.  And then the sound of the tractor as it rounded the corner.

Trick or Treat in a Trunk

This was our first time to participate in the Halloween hay ride and trick or trunk event.  I think I had as much fun as the kids.

The best part of the evening was it was all over in 20 minutes.  The other benefits of trick or treat in a trunk are; our little dogs didn’t bark the heads off for hours on end I didn’t have to run to the door every 15 minutes.  Also it is an almost unwritten rule that you should say something about the cute and not so cute outfits.  Tonight I made one general comment to how cute everyone looked, doing my part to recognize the effort that went into getting dressed up and to the hayride on time, without really having to put much effort into it.  All in all…Trick or Treat in a Trunk is a treat in my book.

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Filed under Life in Texas, postaweek2011

Monster Mash..they did the monster mash

Halloween 2011

Have you ever done the Monster Mash?  I know a couple of people who really “kill it” when it comes to decorating for Halloween!

My Sister and Bro-n-law are the ultimate Halloweeners.  Can I say that?  Well, I just did.  They begin decorating for their annual Halloween bash in July.  The entire house is transformed into a very spooky place.  I visited them several weeks before the big day and I was…well let’s just say…not going inside her house by myself.  They do an amazing job!  They pour out their creativity into every nook and cranny.  Every year it gets bigger and spookier…they really should charge admission.

You tell me…Creative? Yes!  Scary? Absolutely!!  Worth Admission?  You betcha!!!

Halloween 2011 Zombie Graveyard

This video is not at her house, she just shared it with us several years ago and it is one of my husbands favorite videos to watch around this time of year.  It makes me laugh and then I do the monster mash

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Filed under family, Music Moves Me

Weekly Photo Challenge…Opportunity

This weeks WordPress weekly photo challenge is Opportunity.

What is an opportunity?  According to Merriam Webster; An opportunity is a favorable juncture of circumstances.  A pleasing connection at a point in time where a condition or event determines another.

My mind immediately focused on the many opportunities that present themselves each and everyday… more precisely missed opportunities.

How many opportunities have I missed?  I hope not too many.  I do try to think of others needs before my own.  I am not claiming to be a Saint but I do try to live my life with JOY!   Remembering to follow Jesus first and put others before myself.  A life filled with JOY doesn’t have too many missed opportunities.

I believe that I have daily opportunities to reach my hand across the chasm of the unfamiliar and make a difference in one persons life.  A genuine smile, a warm handshake, an available shoulder to lean on, a listening ear, a hand to hold and a genuine heartfelt conversation.

How many times a day do I pass by someone who for the smallest random act of kindness would change their day, their week, their life?

I do not think that I can interact with every person who crosses my path in a day but I can take the time to positively interact with someone.

For this weeks photo challenge I am submitting a music video.

How many missed opportunities are there everyday?  How many times do we unconsciously make a positive impact in someones day just by our random acts of kindness?  I hope the random acts of kindness out weigh the missed opportunities in all of our lives.

Slow down…take your time…look for…the next opportunity…to make a difference…in someones day!

Nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity.  ~Marie von
Ebner-Eschenbach

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Heirlooms…family treasures or pumpkins

Do you have family heirlooms?  You know things that have been handed down through the years…maybe your Great Grandmothers wedding ring or a rocking chair that has rocked generations of babies to sleep.  How about a writing desk that is worn from years of letter writing or even better, letters.  Hand written letters, love letters from a young bride to her army husband counting the days until their first child is born and he returns home.

I have a few family treasures… I have a hand embroidered tapestry made by my Mother while she was recovering from back surgery 45 years ago.  I have a handkerchief that belonged to my paternal Grandmother, a plain wooden hand mirror that was my maternal grandmothers.  A few handwritten recipes from family members, a handful of jewelry that has more sentimental value than monetary and a quilt from my husbands Grandmother that was given to her the night the family home went up in flames.   What are your favorite family heirlooms?

Heirlooms..family treasures or pumpkins google image

There are other heirlooms in our lives.  The wonderfully delicious home-grown  fruits and veggies that have not been genetically altered.

“The definition of heirlooms is less cut-and-dried. With seed-grown plants, only open-pollinated varieties are considered heirlooms. Unlike hybrids, open-pollinated seeds will reproduce true to type, meaning the offspring will display the same characteristics as the parent plant, and seeds can be saved from season to season. Since a conclusive definition for heirloom seeds and plants doesn’t exist, I turned to Peggy Cornett, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, for her interpretation of the term. “I consider plants heirlooms if they were once significant in gardens but are now rare or even extinct in cultivation,” says Cornett. “For example, there are many cultivars of iris or phlox or daylilies from the early 20th century that are nearly impossible to find.” Seeds are generally considered heirlooms if they were introduced into cultivation at least 40 years prior to the current date, though some heirloom experts consider seeds heirlooms only if they were introduced prior to World War II.”

You probably have heard of heirloom tomatoes…they have been all the rage for several years.  They are not the pretty perfectly round evenly red tomatoes found at the local grocery store. You know the ones that taste like cardboard.

The heirloom tomatoes are gnarly at best.  They are misshapen, have uneven color, bumps and cracks but the flavor is all that matters.  Intensely earthy with a wonderful balance of sweetness and acid, they are dense and meaty.  They are so delicious you can eat them like an apple.

Have you heard of heirloom pumpkins?  They are the pumpkins that are odd colors, squashed, bumpy, warty, striped and sometimes magical but always interesting.  They are my all time favorite…the less than perfect but always beautiful heirlooms!

Check out your local farmers market for a few of these beauties..I hope they will bring a smile to your face.

Here are a few of the varietal names; muskee de provence, rouge vif d’etampes, full moon, long island cheese, carnival, jarrahdale and fairytale.

What ever you consider a family heriloom…you should treasure it!

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Filed under family, gardening and other green things

More than a couple of bucks….NUGENT: Can’t buy me love

more than a couple of bucks... google image

More than a couple of bucks…thats what it’s going to cost.  Cost for what?  For your vote!
 

I have been sitting on this post for a couple of months.  But with the Presidents job speech behind us.  The economy stagnant.  The current unemployment rate hovering at 10%. And the political mud slinging debates heating up.  I thought now is as good of time as any. 

Nugents article in the Washington Times, Saturday April 23, 2011 left me wondering, IF politicians and the like can raise 2 billion dollars for 2 political candidates to run for office what is stopping them from raising 2 billion dollars for more worthy causes. 

What exactly does it take to raise 2 billion dollars?  Does someone just pick up the phone and call Warren Buffet and he puts a check in the mail?  No it takes people, planning, phone calls, organizing, caterers, white tablecloths, world-famous chefs and fancy food and an elaborate setting.  It takes people who have money and who have the desire to see their political candidate succeed. 

I am just thinking that if this much effort is spent to raise money how much more could be achieved if the same effort was poured into creating new jobs or cutting the budget.  How much better off our country would be. 

If this kind of money is just lying around why are we laying off teachers and fire fighters?  Why are children going hungry?  Why are the elderly having to choose between buying medication or buying groceries?

It’s a free country and people can do what they want with their money, however spending 2 Billion dollars to get elected to a political office is just plain wasteful in my opinion.  But, if people have this kind of money to give maybe they should think about giving to a charity or organization that is trying to help those that the politicians seem unable to help.  I don’t directly give to political candidates but the companies who provide the goods and services I consume do give.  And I am watching how much they give and who they give to this time around. 

My political voice is my vote.  But louder than my vote is the voice of my wallet.  The real question to this President and those who desire to be President…How will your plans and promises affect my bottom line?  It’s going to take more than a couple of bucks and a few empty promises for this girl.  It’s going to take more than the onslaught of political campaign promises, debates, commercials, yard signs and mailers. It’s going to take more than a couple of bucks

NUGENT: Can’t buy me love
Votes of America’s wallet-watchers aren’t for sale

As a free market addict who believes capitalism is the most powerful force for quality of life ever devised by man, I believe the price of a product or service is generally set by what the market will bear.

However, when it comes to the incessant political campaigns on the national level, the amount of cash required is staggering. Our politicians spend as much time and money campaigning as they do trying to convince us that they are working hard on our behalf.

Reports say that President Obama’s campaign for re-election may raise and spend $1 billion. He won’t be alone. The GOP nominee will likely raise the same amount of cash. And I thought $4-a-gallon gas is outrageous.

It won’t be long before you start to see what a billion dollars buys. The tsunami of political television and radio commercials will soon begin to flood the airwaves. The amount of political junk mail that will pack our mailboxes may even be enough to postpone the economic collapse of the U.S. Postal Service for another year.

And not a single dime spent on crafty political advertisements will convince me to vote against my political gut instincts and values.

I’ll vote for the gal or guy who says Washington is much too large, spends way too much money, taxes far too much and unfairly, who advocates for a balanced budget, has owned or worked for a successful company (not including law firms), and who believes health care and retirement is an individual’s responsibility.

The billions that will be spent on the upcoming political campaign are not targeted at me. The money will be spent trying to convince so-called moderates to cast their vote a certain way.

Ironically, even the billions spent on campaigns will, in the end, not matter nearly as much as the money in the wallets of the voters.

Americans vote with their wallets. If their wallets are flush with cash, they generally stick with the same political horse. If their wallets are lean, the incumbent is in big political trouble.

And that is the millstone around President Obama’s neck. Out on the campaign trail, his golden tongue may wax eloquently that the economic malaise of high unemployment and even higher underemployment is the fault of President Bush, but that is a tired, out-of-tune ditty.

Young people rallied around Mr. Obama’s message of “hope and change” in 2008. With a large percentage of college graduates returning home to live with their parents because there are no good jobs to be had, the idealism they had in 2008 will succumb to harsh economic realities. This too spells trouble for the president.

The GOP candidate faces a split party – stalwart Republicans and Tea Party activists. The nominee’s job will be to unite the party while at the same time, spending hundreds of millions courting moderates and telling them happy days will soon be here again.

There is a powerful undercurrent of economic reality that Americans feel. Everyone knows someone who has been laid off, can’t find a job or who is underemployed.

Even a billion dollars will not be able to convince Americans otherwise. Their wallets speak loud and clear.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC  Re-posted with permission

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Filed under Blog Re-Posts, Made in America, postaweek2011

Music Moves Me…Bring it on Home

Reportedly an improptu 2003 performance with Van Morrison, Tom Jones and Mr. Jeff Beck. 

Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired. 

Similar Posts:

Music Monday – Matchbox 20 (nrhatch.wordpress.com)

Sir Thomas John Woodward, OBE(born 7 June 1940), known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. Since the mid 1960s, Jones has sung many styles of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel– and sold over 100 million records.

Geoffrey Arnold “Jeff” Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist. He is one of three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page are the other two). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.

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The Colors of Nature…Blue Crabs

The Colors of Nature
 
“Colors are the smiles of nature.”

Leigh Hunt 1784-1859, British Poet, Essayist

Blue Crab
“All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.”

Marc Chagall 1889-1985, French Artist

Colors of Nature…Blue Crab

“Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a source of delight.”

John Ruskin [English author & philanthropist, 1819-1900]

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Filed under Nature, postaweek2011, Snapshots of Life

Controlling Emotions…

 
happy face

control your emotions...google image

Do you control your emotions or do they control you? 

When you are in a hurry and someone cuts you off in traffic, do you control your emotions or do they control you?   Do you get frustrated and blow the horn and begin to plan your revenge?  Or, do you think the other person may be in a bigger hurry because they are late picking up the kids from daycare?
 
Do you control your emotions or do they control you,when the internet is running slow and you are trying to finish your blog before your self-imposed cut-off time?  Do you shout at the computer screen and bang on the keys? Or, do you stop and think maybe a new exciting update is about to roll out.
 
 Do you control your emotions or do they control you, when you have spent hours cooking a meal and the entire family has made other plans for dinner?  Do you feel unappreciated and vow to never cook again?  Or, do you stop to think that maybe you should have checked with the family to see who would be around for dinner?
 
When you go out to dinner and the wait staff is less than attentive, do you control your emotions or do they control you ?  Do you find yourself getting exasperated and mentally deducting percentage points from the gratuity?  Or, do you stop and think that maybe they just took an order from a large group with lots of special requests?
 
In years past I was this frustrated, impatient, self-centered, exasperated, horn honking, key board banging, “why is this happening to ME” person.
 
Now I embrace the delays that happen in my life.  I look at the long line at the grocery store as a way to observe my surroundings or chat with someone waiting in line or even flip through a magazine or two.  When I get stuck waiting for a train to pass I call a friend.  When I spill something or drop something I try to see the humor in it.  When someone cuts me off in traffic, I pray for them. 
 
Am I saying that I am always patient and understanding?  Of course not, but I do my best to control my emotions.  And when my emotions get the best of me I try to regain my composure as quickly as I can. 
 
I am of the belief that things happen for a reason.  I believe every situation is an opportunity for growth and personal development.  In one situation I might be the teacher, in the next instant I am the student. 
 
You can’t control what happens to you but you can control your reaction. Put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion. Proverbs 29:11

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Filed under encouragment, postaweek2011

Wordless Wednesday…Tastes like Chicken

Wordless Wednesday…Tastes like Chicken!  Question is…Which one?

Wordless Wednesday…Tastes like Chicken

Where’s Mugsy when you need him?

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Filed under postaweek2011, Weekly Photo Challenge