Category Archives: Written blogs

I Love to Laugh!!

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Has it been a week already? Man, that flu just wiped an entire week+ off my calendar. I’ve been down for the count for 10 days now. I’m getting a little better, but still not good enough to subject you to seeing my face on the screen. ☺

Looks like I’ll be posting my vlog/blog on Thursdays for awhile now. I’ve been helping out at a store, and Wednesdays are the day they need me the most. I liked doing the vlog on Wednesdays (hump day), but for the time being, Thursdays will have to be it.

On to the purpose as to why we are meeting here.  🙂 Our childhood movies bring back such great warm-fuzzy moments for us, don’t they? Like there was the time when I was about four and my family was watching Winnie the Pooh in the theatre, and my father fell asleep. When it was over, my mom placed a gentle hand on my dad’s leg to wake him up. If you know my dad, you know what happened next. He bounced up out of his chair and vigorously marched toward the screen. When he actually “came to”, the giant theatre screen was 8 inches from his nose. He turned around to find his family, but alas, we were all scrunched down in our chairs, not exactly wanting to claim the crazy aisle-walker. (If it happened now, I’d be proud to claim you, Dad! ☺)

One of my favorite childhood movies was Mary Poppins. I even have a collectible Mary Poppins spoon, to commemorate that night when Dick Van Dyke became permanently etched in my brain as a lovable half chimneysweep/half penguin. Like Uncle Albert on Mary Poppins, I love movies that make me laugh. “Long, and loud and clee-ah!” So I’ve included one of my all time favorite videos here, for you to have a good laugh today. Over a year ago, our friend Tim Thomas showed it to me, and it’s still the funniest I’ve ever seen!

Tell me about one of your favorite childhood movies, or a share something that made you laugh “long and loud and clee-ah!”

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“But I’m not perfect enough!”

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In case you missed my weekly vlog and were wondering where I was, I was skiing in the Alps and broke my pointer finger and couldn’t type. No, that’s not it. I was on a tofu diet and couldn’t find the strength to type. Nope, try again. Justin Bieber came for a visit and I couldn’t pull away from all his adoration. No, that’s REALLY not it! In all reality, I decided to take a Christmas break. Not nearly as glamorous as the other three, but it’s the truth. I had company, and was filling in at a store that needed extra help and was really busy, blah, blah, blah. I’m sure your season was just as crazy. Now, I think I’ve got this nasty flu that’s going around, and I just couldn’t find the gumption to scare you all with my flu-face!

Something that really caught my attention during Christmas season was my pastor’s sermon series on Jesus’ genealogy. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? ☺ Actually, it really was. Hang in here, and I’ll tell you a little something about it.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was working at a Christian radio station. I was the Girl Friday, doing everything and anything they needed, including a Friday shift on the air. Pastors and laymen would come in and tape their show in our production room. One of my favorites was a young guy who played piano and sang during his program. One day, he asked if I would sing with him. Now, I had always sang in choirs and small groups ever since elementary school. But I cringed at the idea of singing a solo. So I told him “no”, with the excuse I wasn’t good enough to sing on air. I thought I was being humble. ☺ But he was sad. He said something about not waiting until I was perfect. It didn’t matter to me what he said, because I was confused at his response.

Now I get it. And here’s where Jesus’ genealogy comes in. Rob Duford, pastor at Orlando North Church, pointed out that women were mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy only four times. And three of those four were…ahem…a little risqué in one form or another. There was Bathsheba, Tamar, Rahab and Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Bathsheba was the one bathing on top of her roof when King David saw her. David had her warrior husband killed, took her as his wife and a bunch of other sordid details. (I think she may have enjoyed the attention.) Tamar pretended to be a prostitute and had a baby with her father-in-law after her husband died, so that someone would take care of her. Rahab? Well, she really was a harlot…a prostitute. Then there was Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Rob says that the author of the genealogy intentionally included those women–and only those women–in there. Why? Could it be because the God-inspired author wanted to send a message that we don’t need to “be perfect” before coming to Jesus? He wants us all, warts and all. The Creator of the universe wants little ‘ole me! With all my insecurities and a bunch of other stuff. (No, I’m not going to start listing them here—haha!) And He wants me all the time–not just at Christmas or Easter. What a profound and comforting message. He’ll take me as I am.

What about you? Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough at something or for someone? Let’s hear your comments! 🙂

Favorite Food Finds!

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Well, I meant to come to you with a vlog today, but apparently some evil cat has been walking all over my computer again, and messing with the computer’s innards—which is always a mystery to me. How can a cat, simply walking across my keyboard, destroy my video-making Quick Time Player, turn on 16 programs, open up 4,699 spam emails, Tweet 36 messages through Hoot Suite and Skype a man named Stan in Alaska?

Anyway, my simple word program is still working, so I’m coming to you via a simple blog today.

This past week, my friend Jennie Bishop invited me to join her for lunch at a little café in Sanford, called The Corner Cafe. When I stepped in, the guy who looked like he could be in charge, greeted me and asked if it was my first time there. I said yes, and he took pleasure in explaining how each sandwich, soup and salad was created. I could tell right away this food wasn’t just made. Mike, as it turns out, is the owner and chef. And Mike was right. His food is good.

As a matter of fact, his onion soup is so spectacular; I thought I’d share it on my vlog/blog. But that’s not the only reason I’m sharing about The Corner Café today.

Mike does something that I sorely miss in my life. I live in a big city. I used to go to a big church. It seems like the bigger life is around me, the more I feel alone. When I walked into The Corner Café, I felt like I was welcomed into a family. I returned about four days later with my hubby and Mike remembered me. That may not be surprising for some of you folk who live in smaller communities, but I can walk into the same Panera three times in one week and no one remembers I was even there at all. Mike chatted with other patrons and called them each by name. His twenty-something-year-old employees were equally friendly and respectful. This personal touch struck a chord in me where I knew something was missing.

Okay…the onion soup. I LOVE a good bowl of onion soup—and if the restaurant skimps on the cheese over the top of it, well, a buzzer goes off in my head, telling me they just lost a customer. At Corner Café? Oh my, I can’t explain it, but I’ll try. Even though it was still 90 degrees outside, I gave the onion soup a try. It was in a yummy bread bowl, with plentiful melted cheese dripping over it’s top and sides. The soup’s texture was thicker than usual, but not too thick—just enough to make you crave more. And no salt was added, but it’s flavor made every taste bud in my mouth stand up and do a little dance.

So all this food critique got me thinking. When I meet face to face with an AMAZING piece of culinary delight, I take note. I have a list of my favorite foods throughout the world. Most recently, I added The Best Fish-n-Chips Ever, on our recent visit to Ireland. So why not share this with you, my beloved vlog-viewers? And best yet, YOU can share with me all your favorite food discoveries! So I’ve started a list below. All you need to do is add to it. Think of your favorite salmon, pizza, hot dog, hamburger or chocolate cake or whatever. And then give credit to the restaurant and where. (Maybe some other time we’ll make a list of favorite HOMEmade foods and who makes it.)

The Top 100 Favorite Food Finds in America and Abroad (not in any certain order.)

1. Onion Soup—The Corner Café, Sanford, Florida
2. Fish-n-Chips—Strandhill Pub, Strandhill (outside of Sligo), Ireland
3. Ice cream—University of Wisconsin dairy department (yes, it’s true!)
4. Salad—the Summer Salad, right here in Orlando, at Crispers
5. Clam chowder—Mike’s on the Waterfront, north of Boston, Mass.
6. Steak—Florentine steak; can’t remember name, but was a tiny restaurant in Florence, Italy
7. Frozen custard—Abbott’s, Rochester, NY
8. Crème Brulee—Bellagio, Las Vegas
9. Bread—Bubble Bread, The Bubble Room, Sanibel Island, Florida
10. French Fries—I really hate to admit this, but McDonalds. So far, no one has beat a fresh batch, right out of the grease. ☺

Bonus addition:

Best privately owned restaurant: Bridgeport Inn, Bridgeport, California (right outside of Bodie State Park)
Best fast food restaurant (I know this sounds like an oxymoron that there are ANY “best” fast food, but there is actually a tie!): In n Out (throughout the west) and Culvers (Wisconsin/Minnesota areas)

Okay, what about you? What are your favorite finds? I’d love to hear from you!

Proven: Girlfriends are good for our health!

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I just spent two luxurious hours with my friend, Carol. Yes, I deliberately choose the word “luxurious” to describe my time with her. Synonyms for “luxurious” are: comfy, deluxe, and splendid. Let me add my own: rich, fun, refreshing, relaxing. After meeting with Carol, I’m a better person.

I’d like to give credit where credit is due, but I don’t know where the following article came from. I read it somewhere, printed it off, but there is no name that goes with it. But here’s what it said.

“In an evening class at Stanford the last lecture was on the mind-body connection—the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that man could do for his health is to be married to a woman. Whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious. Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality girlfriend time ‘helps us to create more serotonin—a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being.’ Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.

Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged. Not true! In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!”

WOW! There’s a pretty good reason for going to lunch with your gal pal! I know I’ve always felt better after lunch with a friend, but now I know why…it’s natural, and yes, even scientifically proven! Hmmm…”scientifically proven” in my opinion is just another way to say “God-created” or “God-ordained.” After all, God is the one who created us, so He’s naturally the one who created women to benefit from needing and helping each other.

(I want to make a side note here: That quote up above is not about guy-bashing. I love my hubby, and I really do appreciate men and what they have to offer in the world! But just like I have to appreciate their drive to “hunt”, I love the fact that we can appreciate our “girl fellowship.”)

So here’s to my girlfriends, near and far. You know who you are! I appreciate each and every one of you: the 3 hours lunch dates, the 2 a.m. emergency talks, my Red Tent girls, the friends that make me laugh, or the ones who say I make them laugh, the ones who bring me closer to God, the ones who are honest with me even if it hurts, the girlfriends who stick by me when things look dark, those who cry with me, and of course, you my facebook and vlog friends!

Let’s “provide that support system” and leave a comment! And then we’ll do lunch. ☺

Testing Times

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This is a test. In the event of an emergency, go directly to the kitchen and eat Oreos.

Just kidding.

Is this a test, God? If it is, I don’t want to fail.

Due to a whole lot of STUFF going on, I’m having to take off this Wednesday and next Wednesday from my vlog. Some of the “stuff” is rather challenging, so please keep us in your prayers.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask.” (Me, God, me! Please, can I have some wisdom?) James 1:2-4

“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” James 1:12 (The Message) There’s more than one huge overwhelming “testing challenge”–6 to be exact–to be praying about. I accept your gift of life, God.

Thanks for your prayers. We really are in trying times. I need wisdom to do what God knows is best.