Sunday, December 26, 2010

This Week's column

Breathe in Christmas
Christmas decorating hasn’t been as exciting this year as in years past.

The outdoor lighting has been minimized; it seemed more of a hassle than enjoyable. But part of this year's décor includes a few simple window candle lights.

At night, I turn off the lights in the house and let the warm glow of the window lights and the lights on the Christmas trees fill my home.

I noticed one night while watching Masterpiece Classics on KET that this gives my house a nice old-time Christmas feel.

Surrounded by the antiques that fill my home year round and the flickering glow from the lights, my mind was transported back to Christmases of decades past. The Victorian feel of the show I was watching probably helped that mind set.

Then my mind wondered instantly to my affection towards the novels of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and the like. I thought of what Christmas might be like if it were truly by candlelight, under the deep night of a sky uninterrupted by streetlights and electric hums.

On many nights I cuddle up under my UK blanket with my trusty Labrador curled at my feet and just sit at the window and watch it snow in the glow of the window light.

If I had a fireplace I would have used it to hear the slow crackle of the fire and feel the warmth flow through the room.

I thought of a time when a simple piece of fruit or a handmade gift brought joy to those on Christmas morning. When the day truly was more about being with the people they loved the most rather than the elaborate nature of a gift.

Popcorn and handmade ornaments filled the tree and the fresh smell of evergreen welcomed the morning. I can almost smell the popcorn popping over the fireplace now.

It wasn’t a race to get to as many places as possible. And when families did visit, it wasn’t for a few short hours. They stayed together in each other's homes and the time stretched for days rather than hours.

Even though the temperatures have dropped outside, the more I continued to think about it the warmer I felt.

With the advances in technology and the speed of life, we often find ourselves as a culture thinking the best times are now. Sure, I like modern convenience the same as the next person. But at Christmas it would be nice to sit back, enjoy the moment and slow down a bit.

I find myself so busy with the “things” of Christmas that I don’t have time to reflect on the true meaning. To some that means family, for others the celebration of the end of a year leading into the new one.

But Christmas for me is about something more.

For me it’s about the birth of Jesus and everything he means to me. I get so caught up in getting the right gifts, making sure the house is decorated, getting the cards mailed and going to parties that I don’t take the time to stop and reflect why I am celebrating the holiday to begin with.

So I’ve tried to make a pact with myself to take some time during this season to just sit and be still. To quietly reflect on the reality of a birth that changed my history.

To sit in the warm glow of the lights with a warm cup of coffee and a dog curled at my feet, enjoy the feel of the past and reflect on life and what Christmas means to me.

My wish this Christmas is to take a moment to breathe in the spirit of Christmas. To slow down and not get caught up in the business and stress of the season.

Everyone do it together now. One, two, three ... breathe. Doesn’t that feel better?

Have a merry and calm Christmas

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This week's column

Farewell to a furry friend
He came into her life as a young dog, first belonging to her son, who had always wanted a black lab named Vader.
A lab golden retriever mix, he always had been an anomaly, afraid of water. He even sunk to a bottom of a pool once, requiring someone to jump in and rescue him. His swimming instincts never worked quite right.
When her son was home from college one weekend they sat down for a friendly game of cards. As a joke, her son put Vader up as a bid during one hand. She won decidedly; in return Vader was hers for keeps.
He became her BGB — that’s best good boy. A smart dog, he could put a dog biscuit on his nose and flip it up into his mouth. He loved going “bye bye in the car” and riding with his family.
Vader also had his quirks. The food bowl had to be in the perfect spot before he would eat out of it. It if was in the wrong spot he would sit by it and bark and whine until someone moved it for him. Did I mention he was a bit rotten?
For 13 years Vader was a great companion for my mom. She would sit and talk to him and probably tell him more than she would her closest friend.
Sadly, a few weeks ago Vader passed away. He had gotten older, riddled with fatty tumors and arthritis, until finally his age caught up with him.
It wasn’t like losing an actual person, but he did become a part of the family, always in the background keeping watch.
While at home for Thanksgiving it was the little things I missed about him.
Vader’s spot during meal time was under the table, and I usually would have to either prop my feet on him or find somewhere else for my feet to rest. This time, when I sat down to eat, I actually had a place to put my feet.
He also used to sit and wait for me to finish my Diet Coke when I was there. He loved to take the plastic bottle and chew off the top. He never ate it. He just liked taking off the top for some reason.
I even missed aggravating him. You see, it was often I who moved the food bowl just to hear him fuss.
While not a human member of the family, he was a furry one who will be missed. It’s weird coming in their door with Vader not there to greet me.
They still have Dad’s dog, Jack the Wonder Dog, but I think even he’s missing old Vader a bit.
Dogs quietly come in and out of our lives, but each leaves a special mark. The cuddly face that warms your heart in the sad moments, the funny things they do not realizing how entertaining they are or just the comfort they give curled up beside you on the couch or at your feet.
They hold you close to their heart and treat you like you are the most wonderful thing they’ve ever encountered, or at least a close second to peanut butter.
Mom claims she’ll never get another dog because the emotional attachment is too great. But I’ve heard that story at least three or four times before.
Vader Dog , as I often called him, will be missed and will never truly be replaced.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

As Seen on TV Holiday Gift Guide column

If your family’s like mine the gift exchange at the family Christmas party can be a bit frustrating. Getting together with family is always good but sometimes the pressure of finding the right gift can be a bit challenging.
If this is what you see in your future for this Christmas I have a suggestion for you. Reading that back sounds a lot like an infomercial. Please read in a loud obnoxious announcer voice.
My family used to draw names for Christmas. Last year we decided to spice it up a bit and have an “As Seen on TV” gift exchange. Most of us went to a local store to get the gifts instead of going with the two for one deals with outrageous shipping on TV.
We played it a bit like a white elephant and were able to steal each other’s gifts.
There was a plethora of useful, semi-useful and completely useless gifts.
It was so much fun we are trying to think of a new theme for this year. Thinking of a theme can be a fun new way to look at the gift exchange. Especially, if like us, there’s nothing you really need but still want to get into the spirit of giving gifts to your loved ones.
There were a few hot items people sought after in the exchange and my poor uncle was the unfortunate one to open all the good stuff, only to have it stolen shortly after opening it.
My grandmother had been talking about one of the Perfect Slice Brownie pans for a while leading up to Christmas. When it was her turn she made a beeline for it. Of course, she kept it the entire night because no one wanted to steal anything from our grandmother.
A Pet Zoom, Slap Chop, Mighty Putty, Jupiter Jack, Liquid Leather and the ever popular Snuggie were exchanged.
I was very happy to wind up with a combo gift. I got the Big City Slider Station and a Titan Peeler. That’s right, I said Titan Peeler. It’s just as amazing as it looks on TV.
But wait, there’s more!
During the exchange my aunt was so distraught to find out I didn’t have an Ove Glove that she sent me one in the mail a few days later. I have to admit it’s pretty good too.
So my advice is to get creative with the gift exchange and make it fun. That way it becomes less about the gift and more about the fun of being together.
This year we’ve kicked around a book or DVD exchange. When asked which one he preferred, an ever helpful uncle only answered “yes.” There’s one in every family.
So, if your Christmas gift exchange is getting a bit drab, be creative and spice it up a bit. Oh, a cooking spices exchange. That’s another good idea and can create yummy cooking too.
See, the theme possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just a few of my thoughts

Thanksgiving is a cultural ritual Americans partake in every year. We prepare meals, watch a parade, eat, watch football, eat again, go shopping and eat some more.But how much do we really know about this holiday? Do we stick to the stories we were told in grade school or have we ever thought there’s more to the story — a story more intense than can be told to 8-year-olds?Before I delve into the difficult stuff, let’s start with some fun facts.
According to, an estimated 38.4 million people traveled 50 miles or more from home during the 2009 holiday.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Minnesota is the top turkey producing state with a production of 45.5 million turkeys in 2009. The National Turkey Federation estimates that year 88 percent of Americans ate turkey at Thanksgiving. It the average weight of a turkey purchased is 15 pounds, that means more than 682 million pounds of Turkey were consumed in the U.S. in 2009. That’s a lot of poultry.
The first Macy’s parade was held in 1924 and Snoopy has appeared in the parade more times than any other character.
The Detroit Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day each year since 1934, except during war time.
And yes, tryptophan is real.
Now to the Pilgrims.First, they probably didn’t eat turkey. The only written account of any meal with the Native Americans recounted eating deer. No mention of our feathered friends.Another problem is that history seems to place all the fame on the pilgrims. Sometimes we forget that the Wampanoag Indians are the real heroes of this story.The pilgrims were starved, stealing from the Indians and scrapping for all they had. By the time the feast passed down as Thanksgiving occurred, there were only 52 colonists left on their settlement. The Mayflower originally set sail with 102 people.Squanto of the Pawtuxet tribe and the Wampanoag Indians had been treated terribly by earlier explorers, some enslaved and others killed by disease.But they came to help anyway and taught the pilgrims how to survive.While peace remained for a short while, eventually the gratitude disappeared and colonist continued to take and take and take and drove the Native Americans farther and farther away.We tend to forget that the pilgrims not only scavenged, or stole to put it more accurately, to survive but also considered cannibalism to survive the winter. We forget that the natives of the land were the ones who came to their rescue, teaching them planting and harvesting techniques.While a story of cannibalism, disease and war isn’t necessarily a pretty tale for young school students, we do need to remember that history is real and despite the measure taken to make it look “pretty,” sometimes it is far from it.This Thanksgiving, while sitting around our 690 million pounds of turkey, take time to thank God for the gifts of the year. It is something we should do every day and not just one day a year.But also, take time to do what those early Native Americans did. Help others. That may be one of the best ways to honor them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

This week's column

Gaga gag me
Can anyone tell me what in the world has happened to the musical taste of the young today?Why do people today like musicians with poor lyrical standards who cover up their lack of talent by over-the-top stunts and crazy performances? Yes, I am referring to the bad romance herself, Lady Gaga.And please, Usher, do you really have a song called “OMG?” What has happened? And a bigger question is why have the youth of today and, even worse, the music industry bought into it.Don’t get me wrong. There are some talented musicians out there, but the ones with no talent seem to be getting all the accolades.I started thinking of this question the other day when the class of 13-year-old girls I teach talked about studying and passed around study tips.I told them I once heard that if you listen to Mozart or Sting while you study you will remember what you studied because their music was written mathematically and somehow stimulates the memory.You won’t believe what they asked.“Who’s Sting?”Who’s Sting? Are they kidding? I told them he was a singer and mentioned he was with The Police.“The E-town police,” they asked.See my frustration.I couldn’t imagine why they wouldn’t know who Sting is but would listen to a performer’s whose lyrics say “Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah Roma-Roma-ma-ah Ga-ga-ooh-la-la.” That doesn’t make any sense. It’s like we’ve reverted to the days when someone put the bomp in the bomp ba bomp ba bomp.Maybe this is how “The Macarena” became so popular?It just seems like the crazier, more perverse or dumber a song is the more popular it becomes. Good songwriting has been replaced by a tempo mix and a wild outfit.Maybe we have Michael Jackson to blame. He started the showcase musical phenomenon, but he was one of those rare talents that could do both. Not everyone can.It could be that I’m getting a bit older. I truly don’t mean to rant. The music is just maddening.It also seems that every musician — and I use that term loosely for some — has some sort of cause or message, but it’s nowhere to be found in their music.Music used to say something. Every generation’s music says something about it. What does today’s music say?Songs used to be about good songwriting. Look at Simon and Garfunkel — great music that’s beautifully written lyrically and musically. But have you ever watched them perform? Kind of boring, but great music. They didn’t need all the craziness because their music in and of itself was good.There are some musicians out there who are still great songwriters, but it seems like they are drowned out by all the “pop” noise. We call Gaga creative and leave the real creativity on the shelves.It’s like listeners have succumbed to the American Bandstand motto of musical taste — it’s got a beat and we can dance to it.But music is more than that. The music you like says something about you. So I guess the real question is, what does your iPod say about you?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Week's Column

Distractions of history or defining moments
The news can be distracting at times. But sometimes it needs to be.
When I sat down to write this column a fire was raging in Sonora. I would start to type and then I’d hear more.
My concentration was busted while doodling on the paper on my desk and listening for news of how the fire was going.
It made me think about past events in my life where I was glued to the television, radio or newspaper just to see what had happened. Moments everyone stopped to concentrate on the same event. Distraction from our life but a focus on things that are larger than we are.
Moments when thoughts of self disappeared and the world became interested in something as a collective.
When tragedy strikes, distraction from self is evidence of belonging to the community at large. The memories of these types of events that cause the distraction are ingrained in memories for life.
My first memory of that was when President Ronald Regan was shot. I can remember watching it on the news for days and seeing the replay. That was way before cable had multiple news channels, Internet news and news at the speed of satellite.
The next event I remember consuming my thoughts was the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. At one point I wanted to be an astronaut; the U.S. v. Russia space race was of great interest to me.
I can remember sitting in the school library to watch the launch and then seeing what happened. The news would show it over and over again trying to diagnose what happened.
Locally, I remember following coverage of the Carrollton bus crash. The story broke my heart, and I wanted to know as much as I could about it.
In another memory, I sat down with my dad to watch the 1989 World Series and remember the abrupt interruption and coverage of the earthquake in the days that followed.
There were many late nights during the first Gulf War, watching the reports come in from the war front. I’d watch the coverage of scud missiles firing through night vision photography.
I also remember the tragedy of the Oklahoma bombing. I was home from work that day for some reason and saw the shocking coverage. I cried for days.
A recent and shocking national experience was Sept. 11, 2001. Who can forget that? I would watch and watch hoping to hear about more survivors. The haunting images of the planes and ash filled aftermath are as clear in my mind as if it happened yesterday. We stayed glued to the television at work and I rarely turned the television off at home.
Then the second Gulf War began, and news came quickly with reporters embedded everywhere.
These moments of historic distraction, though tragic, connect people. They stay in the memory, impossible to erase.
What moments in history have defined your lifetime and stick in your memory? Was it Pearl Harbor, D-day, the JFK assignation, Martin Luther King Jr., the day Elvis died? Go online to and comment on this column to let us know what things have stuck in your mind as history’s distractions unfolded in your lifetime.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This week's column

Family fun at the beach
I just got back from a trip to the beach at Gulf Shores with my family. As any adventure with my family it was a fun and humorous adventure.
Our days consisted of going to the beach, eating, hitting the beach again and then eating again. I think I ate enough seafood to last five vacations. It was all good, but a crash diet will soon follow.
The Original Oyster House, Shrimp Basket, Mikee’s and Sea and Suds were fish escapes. Cafe Grazie and Villaggio Grille were great Italian, and Cosmo’s was a fun place. I almost forgot Hope’s gourmet cheesecake, yum.
At Cosmo’s they love dogs and had a bulletin board in the back of the restaurant with photos of guests’ dogs. Yes, Boo and Duke’s pictures were left there, and I brought them back cute bandannas bought from the restaurant’s gift shop.
Duke probably could have made the trip, but Boo would have jumped in the ocean and swam all the way to Mexico. He loves the water a bit too much and wouldn’t have known when to stop swimming.
My cousin’s kids were the source of much humor. They are cute kids who enjoy being around “grown ups.”
One morning one of the little boys got up, went into his grandmother’s room and said, “Woman, get up and make me some breakfast.” Coming from a 6-year-old, that was cute. His twin brother was my wave jumping buddy.
My cousin’s daughter would randomly start dancing in her chair at dinner. I’m not sure what you’d call her dancing, but it looked like a cross between popping and a seizure. She cracked us up.
The eldest of the kids is growing up way too fast. They went shopping for school clothes at the outlet malls. He wore one of his outfits to dinner one night and, as a pre-teenager, looked like a budding teen. I think he even purchased some cologne.
Other humor came from my dear sweet mother who decided to go out and play in the waves with my cousin’s kids. One wave knocked her down, and she got so tickled she couldn’t get back up. She just kept rolling and rolling and rolling in the water. The kids are still laughing about it.
On a very cold night I went out crab hunting on the beach with the kids. I think they picked the coldest night to go because the sand was freezing and my feet were numb when I got back to the condo. We searched a long stretch of the beach and found only 10 that night. I think the crabs were smarter than we were and stayed someplace warm.
Many crabs, dragonflies and fish also found their way thrown on sunbathers in the daytime by the mischievous kids.
Unfortunately the trip brought the tragic end to my camera. While trying to get a picture of a stingray in the ocean, it started towards me, and in my retreat to the shore I dropped my camera in the ocean. It was only there a few seconds, but it was enough to kill the camera. That wasn’t the end of my clumsiness at the beach. I also found the perfect shell to make a necklace out of, but it had a little oil on it. I went to clean it in the sink and, as my usual luck, dropped it down the garbage disposal.
There were still a few tar balls on the beach and some oil caked in seashells but not enough to affect anyone. The condo manager said that business was down 65 percent since the oil spill. With all the eating out I think our family may have single-handedly revived the restaurant businesses.
Hardin County was doing their part to help business. I saw at least 26 other people from the area in Gulf Shores while I was there. It remains a popular fall break destination.
Being harvest time, my dad didn't get to go, but I brought him back some fresh seafood so he could enjoy part of the experience as well.
I miss the beach. I could sit out on the balcony and watch dolphins, hear the ocean roar and soak up the sun. The milder temperatures were perfect for me because I’m not a fan of hot summer weather.
No more combing the beach for seashells, no more playing in waves and no more fresh seafood.
I had the great joy of sharing my beach experience with my family and got to hang out with some great kids that are full of fun, humor, love and joy.
Things like that are best enjoyed with family and friends and with them it becomes a richer experience. I’m glad they let me tag along. ,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This week's column

Too much fun and not enough sleep
My normally boring, humdrum life was interrupted last weekend, in a good way.
I teach a class of 8th grade girls on Sunday mornings at my church and we had a weekend gathering at my house.
The evening started with lots and lots of food. We had enough pasta to feed two armies. The food fest continued throughout the evening with various forms of junk food and candy.
They are a good bunch of girls that enjoy sitting around and talking as much as anything else.
My dogs also enjoyed their visit. Duke, my corgi, got more attention than any dog really needs, and Boo, my rambunctious chocolate lab, even got to come in once in a while for small amounts of time when he wasn’t wound up.
These girls overflow with joy and excitement. It’s almost contagious.
They introduced me to some pop music, most of which I had to admit I never had heard of. They talked about their friends, school and the daily trials of a 13-year-old.
We also played a few games. One of which was truth or dare. One of the gals kept picking dare, which resulted in making her face up like a clown, a strange hairdo and forcing her, a U of L fan, to wear a UK sweatshirt.
You’d think she’d start picking truth after a while, but I guess to a 13-year-old, truth can be more dangerous than a dare.
At around 1 a.m. they decided to watch a movie. Now, I’m not normally a night owl, so I was already half asleep at this point. About an hour into the movie I had to wimp out on them. We had to get up at about 7 a.m. the next morning to be somewhere so I knew I had to get some sleep so I wouldn’t be a grumpy stick-in-the-mud the next day.
I heard the next morning that they headed to sleep at 3 a.m. but they did more talking than sleeping.
We all got up the next morning to do the Clarity Solutions for Women Walk for Life. I expected grumpy faces that would gripe the entire time. I got just the opposite. They got up ready to go and excited for the day. After little sleep, they still had enough energy to walk way ahead of me and get to the destination way before I did.
We hung out at Barnes and Noble and had a fun lunch together, and then the girls went home. Boo and Duke both spent the rest of that Saturday pouting because they missed their new friends.
It took me at least a week to recuperate from staying up late one night. It was one of those “I’m not as young as I used to be” moments.
My point in writing this isn’t just to describe a class overnighter. It’s to encourage you to be active and involved with the lives of young people today.
I, in no way shape or form, am considered “cool.” I don’t have an exciting life. I don’t even have cable. You don’t have to be hip or cool to interact with teens. You just have to show up.
Teens today have more hurts and worries than I could ever imagine having when I was their age. They don’t really need someone who’s “cool.” They just need someone who cares, and anyone can do that.
Take the time to listen to them, they can even sometimes be insightful. You might learn something.
Invest yourself in the lives of teens; they are our future.
And judging by the teens I hung out with last weekend — Mallory, Anne Alyse, Riley and Qarman — our future looks bright.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This Week's Column

'Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.' - William Cullen Bryant
It’s time again for my annual column dedicated to how wonderful fall is. I spend more than half of the calendar year waiting for its arrival.
I tolerate the cold of winter, take some joy in the spring and suffer through the summer — all in anticipation of the coming of fall.
A week from today it finally officially arrives.
Everything about this time of year is incredible. Our amazing creator saves the most beautiful hues of his color pallet for this season, and I feel blessed to live in a part of the country that gets to enjoy the beauty of it.

As I look out the window I already see some of the trees in the parking lot beginning to put on their fall colors. It’s almost as if the entire experience of this time of year is candy coated in golden tones.
With fall comes the feeling of being a kid again. It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a hayride, roast hot dogs and jump into a pile of leaves. No excuses are necessary. Not to mention the appearance of caramel apples and pumpkin spiced everything.
Fall also means it’s time for football and all the greasy deliciousness of game time junk food. Nachos, chili, wings — need I go on. Going to a local high school game or attending your favorite college team’s games is always enjoyable in the fall. It’s too hot in August and too frigid in the winter, but games in late September and October are perfectly delightful.
With the coming of fall there’s also a chill in the air. It’s not so much you actually feel cold, but just enough that a sweatshirt is necessary outdoors. After the warmth we’ve experienced this summer, the arrival of fall is a welcome sign to even the most dedicated summer souls.
When fall arrives, I pull out the apple- or spice-scented candles to enjoy the scents of the season too. The scarecrows and mums take their places on the front porch, and the flowers that I couldn’t keep alive in the summer are tossed away to make way for the fall décor.
It’s also harvest time. An army of combines and grain trucks can be seen across the landscape, picking crops. The fields are emptied and sleep through the winter until the spring planting time arrives.
Some of the most beautiful fall scenes involved a combine in the field with the backdrop of a beautiful sunset behind it.
I’m sure everyone has their favorite season, but In my mind, fall tops them all.
I could go on about this time of year and gush about its splendor.
Already I can smell the chili cooking, feel the cool fall air and smell the sweet autumn-spiced scents just thinking about it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This week's column

When sitting down to write this column, for some reason I have a thousand whys circling in my head. It’s almost like a “Seinfeld” episode rattling around in my brain.
Some of my whys are funny and some deep questions. But I ask you … why?
Why do I have a land line and a cell phone? How many phones do I really need?
Why does Friday always seem so far away and Monday always seem too close?
Why did that lady in England throw the cat in the trashcan after petting it? That’s just weird.
Why did I cry so many times last week hearing the stories of Vietnam veterans?
Why can’t I remember what I did yesterday?
Why does my computer hate me?
Why can I not remember much of what I learned throughout my education but I can remember all the words to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire” theme song?
Why is my co-worker, Robert, already talking about ghost stories when Halloween is still a few months away? I don’t like ghost stories.
Why are some people mean to children? I just don’t understand that one.
Why did the lady I called with a billing question this morning give me nothing but attitude? Where’s the customer service?
Why does coffee no longer wake me up during the day, but if I drink it at night I can’t sleep?
Why can’t I get “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire” theme song out of my head? "In West Philadelphia, born and raised/ on the playground is where I spent most of my days ..." Now it’s in your head too.
Why do all the foods that are good for you not taste as good as the foods that are bad for you?
Why do kids have to grow up so fast?
Why do fools fall in love? Oh, wait, that one’s already taken.
Why does my dog think I have to be awake in the middle of the night with him when there’s a thunderstorm?
Why did George Lucas have to ruin the “Star Wars” movies with Episodes I and II?
Why did I dream the other night that I interviewed the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger was in a wheel chair?
Why is it that I can easily eat in excess, and we can’t feed the starving children around the world?
Why can’t I seem to finish writing my book?
Why can’t UK be good at basketball and football?
Why is it always so cold in the newsroom?
Why in “The Empire Strikes Back” do they start pronouncing Han Solo’s name wrong after he’s frozen in carbonite? That’s always bugged me.
Why do people say Wal-Marts?
Why do the girls in my 8th grade Sunday school class want to bring the 1980s back? Seriously. The music was good, but the fashion? It wasn’t that good the first time around.
Why can’t I dance?
Why do joy and sorrow both end with tears?
Why are The New Kids on the Block still called “kids” when they are all in their 40s?
Why don’t people burst out in song in the middle of the day like they do in musicals?
Why are you still reading this column?

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Week's Column

It's so hot that...
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been pretty hot around these parts lately.
It’s been hard to cool off for anyone. Just the other day I found a neighbor’s dog hanging out in my pond to cool off. It was 7 a.m.
There’s not a lot to consider funny when it’s this hot out, especially with no rain and farmers' crops in danger. So, to find some humor in the heat, I searched the Web for some “How hot is it?” jokes.
Many I found were not the type of jokes that are fit for the paper, but here are a few that could be printed.
I’m not saying they’re all hilariously funny. They’re just what I found, and they might leave you a bit cold. Da da da ching. That’s a rim shot, in case you were wondering.
So, how hot is it? It's so hot ...
Today I saw a chicken lay a fried egg.
Potatoes cook underground, so just pull one out and add butter.
Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs.
Cows are giving evaporated milk.
A seat belt buckle could be used as a branding iron.
When the temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly.
The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
You break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.
All the corn on the stalks started popping and flying through the air.
All the water buffalo at the zoo have evaporated.
Campbell Soup Company has changed the directions on its cans to "just pour and eat."
The chocolate factory became a milkshake.
You can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.
Your electric bill is higher than your house payment.
You start putting ice cubes in your water bed.
You realize asphalt has a liquid state.
You keep your refrigerator open just to feel the cool air.
By walking for three seconds you lose 100 pounds.
You keep humming the song, "Heat Wave."
You cancel your Hotmail account because you didn't like the name of it.
Your dream house is any house in Alaska.
You’re not even sure how hot it is because your heat thermometer only goes up to 120.
I hope you brought the champagne glasses because it is toasty out.
And then there are the "It's hotter than" jokes.
It's hotter than ...
A $2 pistol on the Fourth of July.
A firecracker lit at both ends.
Georgia asphalt.
High noon in Death Valley.
A hen laying eggs.
How about ...It's so hot I could spit fire.
Or ... It's hot enough to cure tobacco.
And, finally ... It’s Africa hot.
I’m not sure I know what any of that means, but I’ve heard people say a few of them.
Maybe this will give a little comfort for the crazy heat.
Or, you could just get back inside, pump up the air conditioning and drink a tall glass of lemonade. You deserve it.
After all, with the weather these days, you can break a sweat getting the mail.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This week's column

Oh, the things we do
I recently finished writing an article about the health risks of wearing high-heeled shoes and began to wonder why we, as women, do these things to ourselves?
Seriously. Do we realize all the things — sometimes painful — we do to ourselves just to look halfway decent during the day?
There’s plucking and waxing — and I don’t care how you do it, ripping hair off of someone’s face doesn’t feel good. Then there’s the crazy stuff we do to our hair: perming, curling and ironing. How many of us have been burned more than once by a curling or flat iron?
Shaving one’s legs is no picnic either, and one really must develop some skill in doing it just right, especially in the shower.
The torture of all tortures has to be shoes. High heeled shoes are complete torture to the feet. And let’s be honest, they also make us walk funny. First there’s the clomping noise we make as we cross the floor and then the awkward steps we take to try not to break something while balancing ourselves so we don’t fall over. In reality, no matter how tall they make us, is that really attractive?
Let’s not forget the diets. They come in every shape and form and most of us have tried them all. When they don’t work we do tortuous exercising to get a quick result. If we stop and think about it, that isn’t always the healthiest way to treat our bodies.
And some of the fashions we attempt to wear — they’re not comfortable. Skinny jeans only really work on skinny people, which reverts back to the crazy diets.
Throughout the history of fashion, very few trends for women have ever resulted in anything resembling comfort. The flip flop may be one exception and a welcome escape from the high-heeled shoe.
Curling eyelashes, coloring hair, makeup — it all takes effort. Then there are those who go to the extreme and have permanent makeup and cosmetic surgery.
And who are we doing all this for? Do we do it to make ourselves feel better or to make sure we remain attractive to men?
Men have it a bit easier, don't they? Yes, they go on diets, too. But how many women out there have gone on a diet the same time as a man, who, with minimal effort, loses 30 pounds when you’ve barely lost 10? And what about fashion?
Sure, occasionally men have to tuck in their shirts, but how much effort does that really take? For a woman to be considered dressed up, she has to do most of the above — plus put on a fancy outfit. Men just have to throw on a pair of khakis, put on a belt and tuck in a shirt and suddenly they're considered dressed up. Most of them don’t even bother with a tie anymore.
Does this mean I think men should try to do the crazy things we do? Even if just to sympathize? No. That would just be weird.
This column isn’t an attempt to bash men. It’s just me venting frustration about all it takes for a woman — well, most women I know, anyway — to feel attractive.
Will the realization of the torture we inflict on ourselves make me or any of the rest of us stop doing it? Probably not.
I’ll still fire up the flat iron every morning to straighten the kinks out of my hair, suffer through my current diet and pluck whatever needs to be plucked. After all, I do want to feel like a lady at the end of the day.
It would just be nice if there were a few less-painful ways to feel that way.
I'm thinking now would be a good time for a pedicure just to recuperate.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This week's column

And in other news...

While recently watching a television commercial that parodied Facebook updates calling them "breaking news," I wondered: What would life look like if random status updates from "friends" on Facebook made up the sum of a person's day?
By using actual status updates posted by my friends, a day in my life might go a little bit like this:
I am still in the bed. Do I have to get up? I watched heat lightning on our porch last night along with music and popcorn saying, “Moon, you are so full and so close, I could almost reach out and touch you.”
So, let's see how this day goes without any sleep last night. It should be interesting.
I’m making lists, checking things off and doing the cross fit "thang" again today … I’m scared.
After two cups of Venetian coffee and half a Diet Coke, I'm still sleepy. The doctor just came in and they are keeping her another day, but I got a kitty.
There was crying in baseball last night. Owen got stung by a bee. But there's no laughing in journalism.
I’m somewhere in Tennessee listening to '80s on 8 on Sirius radio. Only five and a half more hours to go, but sitting in the Seattle airport gets me ticked off.
The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing, which is why Mickey is a butterfly killer.
I officially watched every episode of “Star Trek: Deep Space 9” twice and am now exhausted and ready for a break.
A friend’s fortune cookie said, "good news will come to you from far away," which is why she’s having a yard sale, because you know she rolls diva style.
Looking at the five-day forecast and the biggest number I see is 85 — cold front — but remember some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.
I’m in a food rut and never making popcorn ever again.
I can’t get Randy Travis’s “Diggin’ Up Bones” out of my head, and no, I don’t know why it’s there in the first place.
I’m wishing I could be a little kid again; life was so much easier and fun.
You know you're getting old when it takes the whole week to recoup from the weekend.
Hollie Sexton wears a raspberry beret and walks in through the out door.
I thought yesterday was the most beautiful day outside ever. Then I saw today.
I climbed into the lion cage today. No big deal, but I went rogue a long time ago.
It was such a fat day of disappointments but what a beautiful day. Oh, and there's a snake in my boot.
I just finished my column and it's a random bunch of nothingness, but I hope you enjoy it …Oh wait, that one’s mine.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This week's column

My grandfather's things...
Last week my grandfather, Richard Baughman, passed away.
As the family gathered, I and my cousin's 11-year-old son, Chase, found some things my grandfather had tucked away in drawers and boxes. Some were sweet, some were significant and some were just a bit curious.
Papaw was a man of great faith, heart and constant humor. This was evident in the collection Chase found.
He has lists tucked in every Bible, book and drawer of people he had prayed for all his life. Bible tracts scattered throughout, which he used when he would share his faith with others. His faith was his passion, and it was one of the things I admired most about him.
We found a name badge from the days when he was a meat cutter at Kroger. We found random newspaper clippings — why he kept some of these clippings we may never know, but they must have been things he wanted to remember.
There were a few articles written about him. One was about his retirement from Kroger and the beginning of his many years volunteering at the hospital. Another was about the many hours of cardiac rehab exercise he logged.
In one box were medals from his military service during World War II: a bronze star, a good conduct medal, and ribbons from European and North African campaigns. He did not display his medals; they were tucked inside a drawer. His service was never about him. It was about his country.
We also found photos and other mementos from his service in his box of treasures.
Chase spent a lot of time with those treasures — antique items he’d never seen before that caught his fascination.
There were cards made for Papaw or given to him by loved ones. Some were homemade cards, given to him by his daughters and granddaughters, that had yellowed with time.
They were special to him.
Among the collections that held significant memories were bits and pieces of his humor. We found a plastic finger with an electric chord attached to it called an electric nose cleaner, some plastic vampire teeth and a few other goofy things.
There also were tons of watches, the time on them now standing still. It seemed he never threw one away.
Chase found pocketknives, including one with his dad’s business name on it. Random items such as stamps, coins, pins and other items were discovered, as well.
For Chase, three of these items reminded him most of Papaw: the electric nose cleaner, the Army medals and the Kroger name tag.
The nose cleaner reminded him that Papaw, or Poppy as he called him, was always funny. The medals showed his support for our country, and the Kroger name tag was a remnant from the place where he worked for so long and where so many people came to know him. He was famous, you might say.
Regardless of what the items are, they all are pieces of his life before we knew him and during the time we were fortunate enough to experience his love and charm. Pieces of who he was: a great man who left great memories and a legacy of faith, humor and love to his family.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This week's column

Mind games and a life well lived
The mind. Throughout our life we count on it for reason, knowledge, memory and everyday bodily control.
The mind can help people sort out problems, learn new things, remember critical life events and keep us moving on a daily basis.
We take pride in our abilities and all the mind accomplishes — great plans, productivity and progress.
As we grow older, the mind also can be cruel. Bits of memory seem to fade into oblivion, never to return. Things once learned are lost as if they were never studied. Reason gives way to paranoia and it often loses control of the body.
This is the life of someone suffering from dementia.
It not only affects their mood but also their personality, social skills, interest and ability to perform simple tasks. Sleep is disrupted, hallucinations occur and violent behavior often erupts.
Basically, the person you once knew disappears.
Recently I’ve experienced watching someone go through this. A man who had lived more than 90 years in good health suddenly is struggling with his own mind.
There are brief moments when he resurfaces again, especially in his humor — small glimpses of the man he is, still deep inside. In those brief moments the family can laugh again; it is those moments that give them something to hold onto when dementia has its cruel hold on him.
It is difficult for his family to watch someone who was once so vibrant, so active and so social deal with dementia. They are not seeing the man they’ve known all their lives as husband, father and grandfather. He’s almost a stranger to them with the face of the man they love.
But to live more than 90 years and only recently reach these difficult times is amazing. To have served with distinction in World War II. To have had a faith to raise a family strong in their Christian beliefs. To have been known to all those around him as a man of good character and humor.
Those things the family can cling to, knowing he has had a good life and is loved not only by his family but also by the many lives he has touched.
The memories of recent times will not be the lasting ones. The memories of the other decades of his life will be.
The jokes, the one song he knows (“Old Joe Clark”), the stories of his youth and war. The physical strength he had to go through heart surgery and live many years beyond what most others would without much complication.
But most of all his love — a love for his family, a great love for his country and a love for his God.
The pain and confusion of dementia will be just a fleeting moment in light of an amazing life lived.

Friday, May 28, 2010

This week's column

Just let them be kids!
Recently I saw a segment on a morning news show about a dance competition in Los Angeles where 8-year-old girls were, for lack of a better expression, bumping and grinding on stage to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It.”
The girls were dressed in outfits similar to what strippers might wear and performing very adult dance moves.
Before I go any further, I should say the girls were very good dancers. But the outfits and style of dance were completely inappropriate for their age and now, thanks in part to that morning show, the video has gone viral and can be seen all over the world via YouTube.
I intentionally did not include a link to the video because I don’t think these girls need to be further exposed.
Why can’t we just let little girls be little girls?
In what warped world do parents think they have to dress their darling daughters in skimpy outfits and let them dance like they belong on a pole to win a dance competition for 8-year-olds?
Eight-year-olds should be playing with Barbies and dressing up for tea parties or playing ball in the yard.
Which leads me to a second question. If the competition is so stiff that shock value is what makes an 8-year-old dance team win, does an 8-year-old belong in that competition?
Have we completely taken away their childhood? When do they get to be kids?
Parents and others defended the outfits saying they were skimpy so they would not restrict body movement and to allow the judges to better see the movements. Seriously?
I’m sorry, but those types of body movements should be restricted for 8-year-olds. If you are a good dancer, and these girls were, an outfit doesn’t restrict movement. I’ve seen good dancers do amazing dance routines dressed in much more.
I appreciated one comment I read on a Web site that was posted by a 17-year-old who has participated in dance competitions for years. She appreciated the dance skills of the girls but said the outfits and movements to the songs were inappropriate.
Her plea: “They aren’t even teenagers, yet. They are 8. Please keep them innocent.”
And that came from a teenager. I agree with her.
Granted, when I was a little girl, I sang and danced along to all my favorite pop songs. I listened to Olivia Newton John on my mom’s record player. (Yes, I said record player.) But my mom didn’t put me on stage in a skimpy outfit or encourage risque dance moves and later post the video on the Internet. The Internet!
Don’t these parents know that now the whole world can see their little darlings?
Now that the video has gone viral, it is open season for viewing by pedophiles, which grosses me out beyond words.
I beg you, please let your little girls be little girls.
As a former childhood educator, I can't even begin to explain how this type of treatment can negatively affect a young girl’s development and body image.
I think we need to see more little girls in pigtails instead of fishnet stockings. I just don’t know why people are in such a rush for these little ones to grow up so fast and introduce them to such promiscuous ideas so early in their lives.
Treasure these young girls while you can, and protect them.
That’s just my two cents' worth.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This week's Column: Enough, Jonathan Sullivan!

Did you ever notice that the simple utterance of a phrase can make you feel old? While some are words that are intended to show respect, you just don’t want to admit you are at an age that necessitates that respect.
For example, a high school kid at my church in the youth group, Jonathan Sullivan, insists on calling me Ms. Owsley. It makes me want to turn around and see if my mom is behind me. Ms Owsley? When did I become Ms. Owsley?
The first few times he did it I let it pass, understanding his mom probably told him to show respect to adults around him.
After a while I finally told him he could just call me Becca. That is the point when his attempt for respect turned into annoyance. I noticed he would say Ms. Owsley and grin because he knew it bugged me.
He knew it pushed my buttons and, like any teenager, he used the formal utterance of my name as a way to bug me.
It is strange how things like that can bug you. Like when you get ma'ammed. You like it when young people show respect towards someone, but when they say it to you somehow it’s weird. You think “whoa, am I old enough to be called ma’am?”
I want people to call my mom and grandmothers ma’am, but me? I guess I have to come to terms when the fact that I am now a ma’am. When did it happen? Was it when I turned 30 or 35? When?
It’s amazing the things that make us feel old.
Back pain when you’re younger usually means you did something active to injure it. You can at least pinpoint what you did to hurt it. As you get older, you can wake up with back pain and may have no real reason for it. You just got out of bed that way. As I write this, I have a heating pad in my chair to ease my current random back pain.
Everything pops and cracks these days.
And what’s with the music. Why is it suddenly I can’t understand a word they are saying in music today. Sometimes I’m not even sure they are using actual words in their songs.
And when did they start playing '80s music on the oldies stations? Seriously? I don’t think Sting, M.J. and Cyndi Lauper can really be classified as oldies just yet. I hope not at least.
But back to Jonathan and his habit of calling me Ms. Owsley. I asked him what I could do to get him to stop calling me Ms. Owsley. He said if I wrote a column about how it bugged me he would stop.
So here ya go Jonathan, no more Ms. Owsley. It will be one less thing that makes me feel like I’m getting older.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Exhaustion that's worth it

This was my column that was supposed to run in the paper today but the wrong one ran so I thought I'd put it in my blog....

As I sit to write this column I am tired and worn out yet energized. I know that needs some explaining.
This past weekend, I helped with my church youth group’s Disciple Now weekend. We combined with 13 other churches with more than 200 middle school and high school students for a weekend in-town retreat and camp experience.
I was assigned to a house with nine 13- and 14-year-old girls. This is where the tired part comes in. They kept me up later than I was used to, talking and watching movies and several episodes of "Hannah Montana." If you haven’t been around kids that age very much, they either don’t talk much or can’t stop talking. We had a few of both in this group.
They were a bunch of good girls and a lot of fun.
During the weekend, we went to three church services at three different churches, attempted an amazing race that got rained out and ate lots and lots of junk food. This is why I’m a bit worn out. We carted these kids back and forth and all over the place.
The excitement for our amazing race across town fizzled when it started pouring down rain. The girls ran into one location and when they got in the car they were done with the race experience. In their words, they were wet and yucky and had enough of the rain.
Out of all the teens we had at many different houses, we didn’t have a single discipline problem. They were exceptionally good kids.
On Sunday morning, the youth had an opportunity to get up in front of their peers and talk about their experience. This is the energized part.
When a teenager gets up to talk, you never really know what to expect. You don’t know if they are going to go on about the prank they pulled on their friend, the food they ate or give short responses like “it was fun” or “I liked the music.”
While they did talk about the fun stuff, they focused on the meaningful experiences during their weekend. Some spoke of not wanting to go at first but realized they were meant to be there.
Others talked about being comforted and having a new feeling of belonging. Some talked of wanting to go out and make a difference, to be intentional about knowing who they were becoming.
In all, they all seemed to have a desire to want a deeper relationship with God.
When teens go to camp, they often talk of a “mountain-top” experience that fades quickly after they returned. These teens were not only aware that the fade can happen, they spoke of trying to make efforts to keep it from happening.
I have to admit, as I heard them speak, I couldn’t help from letting the tears fall. These are kids I have seen grow over several months and even years. To see their development and maturity blossom touches my heart. To see them not just get up and talk about the fun stuff but to authentically express their hearts and spiritual experiences, it was a joy to behold.
Many people ask me why I spend so much time working with youth. This is one of the reasons why. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for them.
Watch out world …here they come.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thoughts on God and cheeseburgers...really it makes sense when you read it :-)

Recently I have been rereading "Desiring God" by John Piper for my devotional time. It brings to my attention that I delight in way to many things other than God. If I focused more of my thoughts and energy on Him, then I wouldn't be concerned at all if I miss an episode of my favorite TV show or wonder who's done what on Facebook. If I would spend so much less time on these things and keep my focus, worship, mind and heart on God, how much more joyous would my life be. If true joy comes from God then why am I so caught up and wasting my time on such trivial things? Just the thoughts I had after reading tonight.

And...I found out today that a hamburger with pimento cheese on it may sound kind of gross but it was actually very yummy...random thought for the day :-)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lazarus come out

I heard a lesson about Lazarus this morning and a video was shown that I don't think told the whole scope of the story. Jesus plainly says in scripture "this sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."
The video seemed to infer that Jesus was surprised in his ability to raise Lazarus and was a bit scared. I think Scripture plainly states that Jesus knew exactly what would happen and spoke with authority, His authority as God for Lazarus to come out of the tomb.
The lesson stressed the friendship of Jesus and Lazarus as the focus of this scene in Scripture. But it was about a lot more than that. As stated above from John 11:4 this was more about the glory of God as displayed in Jesus. Although Jesus loved that entire family as friends when he heard Lazarus was sick he waited two days for him to die. He could have went to heal him when he was sick but waited to show the power and Glory of God in raising Lazarus from the dead.
Yes, they were friends but this story (as in all stories in Scripture and the stories of believers ever since) is about the Glory of God. Let us not forget the power of the Almighty as we struggle with our own views in humanity.
Let us voice with the same assurance as Martha saying "Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ,the Son of God who was come into the world."
To God's glory, the point of all things.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

ding dong the mouse is dead....

Today started with the disposal of the mouse I wrote about in the last post...yuck. I have to say I believe in the division of man's work and women's work and that is most certainly man's work.
After the unfortunate disposal of the mouse I had a lovely lunch with a bunch of friends. One of my friends recently had a beautiful little baby girl and we were invited to lunch to celebrate her. It was delicious and I had waaaayyy to much fancy cake for someone on a diet. Million dollar coconut cake and chocolate rasberry...yum...the coconut was spectacular.
The rest of the day I cleaned,went down to the farm to visit the folks, did a little shopping and now I'm going to make a necklace, hang out with the dogs and watch Battlestar Galactica (original not the remake that ruined it :-). See...I told you I wasn't sure this blog would be very interesting. My days are usually filled with boring hum drum activities with the occasional hint of excitement.
Tomorrow is church. I get to help with the greatest bunch of youth on the planet...well at least I think so. I work with all of them but on Sunday morning more specifically with seventh grade girls. They crack me up. Tomorrow I'm bringing grapes as a treat. Don't ask me why but they get excited about's the little things that excite them.

This week's column

I think the phrase “you learn something new every day” holds true for most days. In fact, I learned something very interesting the other day.
I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Curious George last week, and before you think I’m some sophisticated person who regularly reads the WSJ, I will confess that I read it because it was posted on a friend’s Facebook page and it sparked my interest.
The article not only talked about how the funny little monkey was created but how H.A. and Margret Rey, the authors and illustrators of the character, escaped from Nazi-occupied France.
In their escape, while on a train to Lisbon ,officials were suspicious of them and thought they were spies. When their satchel was searched all that was found was manuscripts of children’s books, including an early draft of “Fifi: The Adventurous Monkey,” who would later become George himself.
Because the contents were so trivial the Reys were released.
The art of the books is now on display at an exhibit titled “Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey” at the Jewish Museum in New York and will soon go on tour to other museums.
I was engrossed in the story, but then again, you have to remember, I am a history nerd and eat this stuff up. I found yet another story about the Reys in a March issue of Pulse that gave even more interesting details to their life story.
I read the Curious George books to countless kids and never knew the story around their creators. The article even said that George’s many escapes drew a parallel to their escape from the Nazis, and the colorful backdrop of the illustrations speaks to their new American home in contrast to French art of their life in Paris.
It made me conscious of the fact that everyone has a story. From famous children’s book authors to the person down the street, everyone’s life has storied significance.
Nine times out of 10, when someone is interviewed for a feature story they will say, “But I’m not really that interesting.”
It’s after pen is put to paper and they see their story written in black and white that they realize their lives really do have some interesting aspects to them.
Some are elderly people who have had a series of interesting things happen in their lives, some have battled many obstacles or illnesses, and some are children who have interesting talents or have taken on responsibilities. These are stories of faith, stories of perseverance and stories of happenstance.
Life is a series of stories weaving in and out of lives, connecting to some and passing by others.
Any life has a story to it. Some lives have books written about them, some have movies made about them, some are featured in the news and some simply go on, living out their stories in day-to-day life.
So take the time to stop and talk to people in your life or even, in a non-creepy way, the person standing in front of you in the grocery line. You might get as engrossed in their stories as I did in the story of the Reys.

Friday, April 16, 2010

So...I started a blog

I thought I'd give this blog thing a shot. I'm really not sure anyone will read it but who knows...someone might find it interesting.
Tonight starts with the discovery of a second mouse in my house. Ugh...and no one but me around to get rid of it after I caught it. I've lived here for three years and this is the first time I've had mice.
Does that bother anyone else out there? It bugs me. And the thing is I have two dogs roaming around in the house that seem to be completely useless when it comes to scaring off a tiny little mouse.
That's why I could never warm up to the movie Ratatouille...I mean it was a food. It wasn't a cute, happy movie in my was gross.
So tomorrow will be filled with cleaning and disposing of grossness and a hope that it is the last of them. I mean it's spring time, aren't they all supposed to be headed outdoors to play in the fields?
Tonight also finds guilt. I think I yelled at the poor little guy at the McDonald's window tonight. You see, I was very tired after a long day at work and a women on a diet who is having her first hamburger in weeks doesn't really have the patience for someone who can't function without their cash registers. See, I knew what the meal that I ordered cost and didn't think the tax would be three times as much as it should be. But convincing the little guy at the window to actually use his head to add instead of trusting a computer screen was beyond his reckoning. I probably didn't talk to him very nicely and was way to tired to convince him further of his mistake and just took my overpriced meal with me instead of haggling over a buck fifty. But I still feel guilty for being less than nice.
I try to live my life in as kind a way as possible because I feel, as a Christian, it is important to live out my faith. When I have little episodes like tonight...I feel as if I failed in that respect. I know of all the people that passed that drive through tonight many probably acted worse than I did, but I still feel a bit bad about it.
So tonight, I head to bed tired, a little guilty and thinking about getting a cat to take care of the mice.

So how did I do on my first blog?