Friday, December 18, 2009

An Imagination of My Own Understanding

My Renovational Thoughts
Friday, December 18, 2009
  • Still working on the blue hair (fixed it!, Thanks Emmitt Smith, haircolor for men!)
  • Warming up down in Austin, today...for now
  • Still want to see more Christmas lights, they make me happy
  • Bingo...those people are SERIOUS! Daubers and all!
  • Love Holidays! 
  • Prayers please! Melanoma Sucks! Don't want other family to deal with it! (I will be there and take your backside to the place it needs to go if that be the case! No arguments, you know to whom I speak!) I will stoop as low as to get the breakfast group in on it! Love ya! You are the only one I have and I love you!
  • If you get pissed at my ponderings, I love you anyway, and you CAN delete me! Hugs!

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
     My focus requires a great deal of imagination. Daily, first thing in the morning, I have to become focused on what God may require of me. Don't know about y'all, but there are times when I have to just imagine. 
Main Entry: imag·i·na·tion 
Pronunciation: \i-ˌma-jə-ˈnā-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin imagination-, imaginatio, from imaginari
Date: 14th century
1 : the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality 2 a : creative ability b : ability to confront and deal with a problem : resourcefulness c : the thinking or active mind : interest 3 a : a creation of the mind; especially : an idealized or poetic creation b : fanciful or empty assumption
     First, I am going with the definition of perception. I have to come up with a mental image for something I cannot readily see (in a form quickly conjured by my mind's eye). I have to become focused to "perceive" God in my reality. 
      Once, I was told by a principal that I was hired because on the playground I needed no megaphone! That may have been a compliment, maybe not. Just go with it, I did. My belief is that she was merely making reference to the volume at which my voice carries. Now, for the second definition, I must continue to grow the talent God bestowed upon me. And, danged if it is NOT volume of voice! Still have the capacity, but I must learn its appropriate use and time.
     My writing sometimes falls under definition 2c. Now, the baking and decorating of cakes: hell, I am all over the spectrum on that one! Sometimes for carved or dimensionl cakes, I am totally at the will of the knife! Then at times, I sketch. Then, rarely, I follow directions. Anybody out there know that impulse?
      What do allow to be(come) from your imagination? 
PLEASE comment! I love to read what you think in regard to my posts!
Merry Christmas to y'all and to y'all "Don't let the bed bugs bite!"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Facebook: To befriend, or not to befriend...That is the Question!

Just saw The Blind Side today. Walt and I actually got to go to a movie! It was terrific. Humor, sad moments and HOPE! For me, it is right up there with Facing the Giants, and Remember the Titans.

My Renovational Thoughts
Thursday, December 17, 2009

  • Blue dye on silver hair...not cute, at age 43!
  • Weather can be a great excuse to wear a great hat! (Covers bad color!)
  • Is it supposed to be this cold in Austin, Texas?
  • I need photography classes!
  • What are some people seeking when they reach out to a person on FB?
  • Saw a great cupcake trailer at Zilker Park tonight! Want one...someday!

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
     I adore Mark Twain. He said what apparently could no longer be held in check. I hear tell that his wife had to clean up some of his work. Today he most likely would not have been subject to such editorial judgment. If Mark Twain had a page on Facebook, whom would he befriend? Would people befriend him due to his charm, his wit, his "friends?" How would ol' Samuel have looked upon people who contacted him from his childhood, his not-so-long-ago past, from his future? Well, look at what I just found: look at the comment about keeping his tongue in check! Got my answer to some of my queries.

     In NO WAY, do I liken myself to Mark Twain. Questions just exist between my ears. During my renovation time of the day, I work things out in order to maintain or gain serenity. I am a big fan of Facebook, thus far (I reserve the right to change my mind!). I can keep in contact with the family brave enough to venture out on that technological limb. I can reconnect with former classmates and discover what wonderful people they have become. Then there are those who actually send a request in my direction. Bewildered, I, with GREAT hesitation, press the "add" button. As soon as I do, feelings creep up from my fingers into my arms and then rest atop and between my shoulders. What could those people possibly want in keeping up with this Jones? Looking at that, I just that? Some people need something about which to concern themselves; that is usually for conversation sake alone. Hungry? Have they simply not "et yet?" Am I about to be a pick with which they will remove flesh from their teeth?

    Some people need something about which to concern themselves; usually for conversation sake alone. Hungry? Have they simply not "et yet?" Am I about to be another pick with which they will remove flesh from their teeth?
     So, in a working moment, I look up another person who has been viewed by friends, foes, and plain ol' gawkers throughout the facets of his life, Willie Nelson.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.
Willie Nelson
There are things you have heard before, that you have been told before, and yet, that one time it all comes together and you just get it! It's like you have just heard it for the first time and you are so on that band wagon. Well, that was the way Willie's quote (though the thought is not original, it is still in his way)
Lesson learned today: I am truly indifferent about those who were not able to stand during the roughest winds which blew through the last ten years. I have been blessed with God, love, disease of all things fermented, cancer, financial devastation, and family and friendship of likes I never dreamed! I belong right where I find myself every day. Amazingly, today, I am NEVER alone. I can give of myself. I now look for the positive in things which in the past would have meant devastation for me. Don't get me wrong, life still sucks on some days. Always has, always will. But, today, I have a way to work it out, to check my pockets and find a grateful heart and happy thoughts - not resentments. Thank you God. In answer to my title question, it really doesn't matter anymore! I'm good!
Thanks for reading and have a great day!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tomorrow Was Right On Time This Morning!

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.
John Wayne (1907 - 1979)
My Renovational Thoughts
(and I made that word up this morning!)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
  • Learned this morning that blue-hued black hair color turns silver hair...BLUE!
  • Waxing my upper lip is NOT an enjoyable task
  • Why does your underarm hair grow faster than all other hair, other than facial?
  • Why does the hair on your head become silver before that on your legs?
  • Why does weight loss HAVE to result in more WRINKLES?
  • Why does the dog actually ask to go out when I don't want to take her out?
  • I must REALLY love my husband, 'cause I despise ironing! Told him that, too!
  • Oh, back to the other day: When pronounced down here De Salle sounds like deh-cel. Bugs the tar outta me! 
  • Pecan pronunciations also bug the tar outta me. My papa told me that a pee-can was used on the trains! I say Puh-khan. Just sharing! Wink-Wink!
  • Then there is CARAMEL...I say car(think automobile)mull.
Likin' John Wayne's quote above. Kinda lookin' for some Twain this morning, but the Duke spoke to me first. Yesterday I had to write my way out of a self-imposed pit. Gotta stop that!
However, I am glad that tomorrow arrived on time this morning. I am a big fan to new beginnings and being able to fix something or fix it up some. As you could tell from the list above, I was fixin' myself up. Gettin' ready to travel up to see my family next week. 
I had allowed the move to Austin to frighten me as far as being away from my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and nephews. We all lived next door to each other. Well, as next door as you can be at a quarter mile apart (but, on the same land). I so love my family and really did/do not know how to be so far away from them. That to is a learning process. One I give to God daily (or by the hour). Just had a thought...I, for one, am very glad that God does not charge for His services. Geesh, daily or by the hour, I'd be more broke than I am already! 
Guess we all have to learn to live without some people in our lives. Circumstances are all different: death, divorce, distance, disdain. Man, those all begin with a "d." Hmmm, must think about that for a while. But, if there is distance, we can make it work. Technology is a big help. 
Timer is going off. Sending cupcakes off via Fed Ex tomorrow. Hmmm, I wonder who is gonna get cupcakes on Thursday???
All for now, I will be attending a study this evening and will have more to share in the morning.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Give, Receive, Give Thanks, Give Back - Do Not Sour

"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it." - Albert Einstein

Could not get this out of my head today. Here is but one way in which I renovate myself.

First, I needed the correct definition of philanthropy. From my handy-dandy online dictionary, Merriam Webster, this is the definition from which I am working:

Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural phi·lan·thro·pies
Etymology: Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthrōpia, from philanthrōpos loving people, from phil- + anthrōpos human being
Date: circa 1623
1 : goodwill to fellowmen; especially : active effort to promote human welfare
2 a : a philanthropic act or gift b : an organization distributing or supported by philanthropic funds

If someone, or a group, give/s out of the goodness of their respective being, then it is considered an "effort to promote human welfare" be it an act or a gift. Okay. That is understood. 

Now, I need the definition for abuse. Here is what dear ol' dictionary had to say:

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French abus, from Latin abusus, from abuti to consume, from ab-uti to use +
Date: 15th century
1 : a corrupt practice or custom
2 : improper or excessive use or treatment : misuse <drug abuse>
3 obsolete : a deceitful act : deception
4 : language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily
5 : physical maltreatment 

Looking at the transitive verb, to abuse, I find that with the offer of good acts or gifts, some of those in receipt, will abuse a system by their intent to misuse, misrepresent, or excessively  participate. 

Here is what I am trying to work through my noggin'. From the back (what I have seen), the sides (what I have heard), and the front (ability to think things through) to the blessed middle where I can make the connections to keep from just blowing my cool.

Long, long ago in a school classroom, far, far away, I met a youngster who was just in tears. It was the week before Thanksgiving holidays.  When I asked him what was wrong, he told me (I will nutshell it for you) that he had already given his parents the only thing he had that was able to be pawned to pay for previous heat in the house. They were very short on food and ate two meals a day at school. The parents were unemployed at that time and receiving public assistance to the max for their household, which consisted of four children and two adults. He was not concerned about his x-box thing-y. He was concerned about how his family would eat during that entire week from school. A little much for his shoulders, don't ya think? By the way, he was still in grade school and he was the oldest child. He was at the end of his little rope. 

Of course, the school was already in advisement of that situation (and that was not the only family going through a hardship). Good people everywhere do what they can, when they can. Some times people and places become tapped out! 

Back long ago, in that very classroom with the concerned child, there also lived a student who knew to ask about the Santa list and the clothing closet. His absolute disdain was shown in a violent outburst when he realized that his mother had misrepresented the family's situation on the application; thus resulting in a denial. He was ticked at his mother, but more so at the school. This boy, too, was in grade school.  In addition, he was also the youngest of several children. He grew up with the thinking he with which he acted. Needless to say, this child did receive and made quite a haul for Christmas. More than I could have afforded with my teacher's salary. 

Now, these fellas were floating around in my mind this morning after I heard a young, married mother mention her desire to apply for the program Toys for Tots.  Knowing the young lady, I just about choked on my tongue keeping it in check. She also is receiving and doing so aloud material items of fair value...thus leaving the money a bit short for the child's toys. Tongue, bitten through!

Deep down, I know what the premise is of the program. So I JFG'dI (thank you Monique) and found the above link.  What began in 1947, as a way to provide for needy children, The Marine Corp used their own to collect, mend and distribute toys to children. (Under the definition of needy, came the term "poverty-stricken." which led me to destitute, meaning lacking in possessions and resources.) 

Well as the years went along, The Marines changed the toys from used to new and here is the reason:
"From Christmas 1980 through the present, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys.  Three factors dictated this change.  First, the Secretary of Defense’s Total Force Program, introduced in the 1970’s, assigned Reserves a greater role in America’s defense posture.  As a consequence, Reservists had to dedicate every minute of weekend drill time to honing and polishing combat skills.  No time was available to refurbish toys.  Second, public awareness of the health and safety aspects of toys that developed during the ‘70s made distribution of used toys legally inadvisable.  Third, distributing “hand me down” toys does not send the message Marines want to send to needy children.  The goal is to deliver a message of hope, which will assist in building self-esteem and, in turn, motivate less fortunate children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.  A shiny new toy is the best means of accomplishing this goal." (from

If the intent to motivate children into productive and responsible citizens, a sense of gratitude must be instilled. However gratitude, and how to show it, comes from the family home (a family home can be made of more or less parents and more or less children). My concern is that the parent I heard make the remark about applying for the program is not in need, not destitute, and the child does not go without...AT ALL. The child has many grandparents and receives many things throughout the year. My concern is that the thought process of the parent that material things are owed to her will be passed on to her child. This is where possible good intentions for giving goes sour. 

I do not wish to become sour. And, I use this post to vent during my renovation process today. I have learned that I still need to give of myself, to and for those in need. If I what I give in material form is misused by the receiver, that is between that person and God. 

My lesson, let go..let God. Go sit in the pink chair and meditate to hear what God wants of me. If any time I am to give of self, do so willingly. However, do not give more of self (physically, emotionally, or financially) than possible; especially when that giving would take me through the gates of hell. I may go with another right up to the gates, but never through the gates. I am grateful for the learning which took place today and for the friends who responded with input.

I encourage the giving of self, please continue to so in the spirit which God intended. Don't let the users in the world destroy His good work. There will always be a child who worries about the next meal, the heat in the home, and the roof over his head. When I reach out, I show that child how to be a caring responsible part of society. And I shall model gratitude.

The other child has another road on which to travel and it is not my job to fix it. I may make connections and do what I feel is the right thing. When I act the fixer, I rob that child/person of the learning experience into which s/he is headed, and I make a mountain of resentments for me.

Brighter thoughts tomorrow! Thanks for reading.

Renovation of Thoughts

A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much.
Homer (900 BC-800 BC)

Good Monday to you all! Busy weekend for me. Baked, iced, cleaned and time to begin it all again! Love it!
Will make the sleigh cake differently next time! Needs to be hollowed out! And Petit Fours won't work on the cake! Lessons learned!

As I still work toward building my business in the Northwest Austin area, I find that with all of the change of having moved from Wise County, Texas, to Williamson County, Texas, it also brings on change of thoughts. Living in the city is a process. Being a country girl since age 11, this move to city life, at 43, is somewhat of a daily project. For cryin' out loud, the leaf blowers down here used those machines to blow the loose leaves from the trees! Then they proceeded to move the leaves to Timbuktu with same said machines. Can't a gal get some sleep. Don't they know I was up 'til 4:30 the night before working on icing! And, the reason it was quiet from upstairs for the first two weeks, people just moved in this week. Oh well, I haven't been turned in for dancing around the apartment to "Hillbilly Bone" by Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton (just be glad I did not insert a video of me dancing - HAH!). Listen here

As I posted last week, the driving around has been a bit different, too. Back in high school, I was "The Blue Streak" (dubbed such by Monty N. and others) due to the truck I drove and the speed at which I gained  mileage. Here, a few decades, tickets, and a lot of insurance money later, speed is not my thing! Gettin' there is! Here's to the 45 mph side/access roads, which are called "feeders" down here. And, then there is a De Salle road. I pronounce it like the explorer's name, but I can't even write the pronunciation phonetically...let's just say, I now sound like a "foreigner." Makes traveling and directions a bit tougher!

Not to conform, as that is the one thing I could never do well...that word still gets stuck in my gullet, there are some things I can change. By the way, my God has a sense of humor with acceptance greater than my own, so I speak and write pretty much as the thoughts are in my head. I have learned that (been told, actually) not to worry about what others think...they have delete button and they can "de-friend" me if they don't like it. (Thanks Monique and Denise!)

The word I choose to represent that through which I am meandering (thanks Daddy for that term!) I must renovate. And I choose the second entry for this transitive verb! (Hah! Transitive - to move, another blog entry)

According to Merriam-Webster (online):
Etymology: Latin renovatus, past participle of renovare, from re- + novare to make new, from novus new
Date: circa 1522

2 : to restore to life, vigor, or activity 

In order to restore my life, my vigor, and my activity, I must change my thoughts...some. I am always going to be the me as I was intended by God. Well, that me managed to find herself under a rug and the loss of oxygen was life threatening.  

Upward and onward ( I have never used that phrase, LOL)! After a blessed kick in the pants, and some very special people I can renovate my EVERYTHING. There is a book, Fortunately by Remy Charlip, in which in order to get to a party, the main character goes through a few "unfortunate" mishaps. The book inspires me to look at the mishaps as part of the path which I must travel to get to the party! I love parties!

All of the unfortunates in life can lead to the fortunates if I am willing to listen, learn, and work. I hear tell that if I can keep my mouth shut long enough my ears may hear something important. Keeping my mouth shut is a trial, but I learn to listen. Stories of the past, from family and those I meet daily, assist in my learning. Working allows me to exercise my mind, to grow and to improve my new found talents. 

Homer's quote backs up that, regardless of my actions, there will come a time I will be no more. So, what to do, what to do...well, I want my existence to leave a mark (in a positive manner). Let the training begin. Stretching out the brain cells, the cognition of my being and though I feel like a 360 pound person (used to be, not now) running a marathon...a little too much jiggling...NOT gonna happen, I will at least work out today.

What I want to do is to make the move from my country home to my city apartment all a part of "okay." That means work on my part. Work is not just a physical act, it encompasses thinking. Now, from time-to-time, thinking can be painful. The painful part of thinking is when I think I am in control. I am not. Hard to imagine, yeah, right, but I must relinquish control on a daily basis in order to maintain my being. Growing up, I thought I was supposed to control everything...that is what grown-ups do, right? Well, yeah, and that is what gets them into trouble. Key thing here is to whom does the control belong? God. 

So, I begin today with "Thy will be done, not mine." Simple and from my own mouth this time." Let my work honor You, God. And, let the mark I leave, be a good one." (And, as Ralphie dreamed of his essay, I want an A+++! -still looking for approval...Damn!) Good thing God gets me and my humor! 

Thanks for reading this morning!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My reading today...

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.
Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Today, my favorite reading came from none other than a cookbook! Some people consider themselves readers only if they read novels. Not so. Ludic reading comes to a person when enjoyment is gained from reading anything. From bumper stickers and comic books to newspapers and how-to manuals, reading is there for the lot.

As for the bumper stickers, I have decided that I need a rather large one which reads, "Please go around...I am new here!" Seems like every time I am behind the wheel here in Austin, I am ultimately in some poor driver's way. Indeed they are on their way to some place very important and they must reach their destination in good time. But alas, they end up behind one who is, for the most part, LOST! When I am lost, I find that 45 mph is an acceptable rate of speed. I am avoiding that thing called Mopac and all toll roads. Once, I found myself on Mopac and I became...oh, what is the word, FRANTIC! I ended up two counties away from the intended destination. Add nightfall and generously spot the area with heavily condensed fog, and you get...ME, driving 45 mph, can't see upcoming signs, bawling or just about to do so, and a lot of background noise..oh, wait, those would be HORNS! So, to all those charming people with working horns, I do apologize.

As for the manuals, love my cookbooks. They soothe my lost-driver's soul! Just make my horn-hustled way back home and climb the stairs, to cozy up with some coffee or HOT-tea and a relaxing cookbook. See, after all of the hub-bub, I can turn bad into good. The oven contains a delicious aroma of gingerbread cake to be layered with cranberry filling and adorned with orange cream cheese frosting (Paula Deen). Then if the gingerbread men aren't snarfed down with my coffee, they will encircle the cake as makeshift soldiers guarding the moist delicious cake to be raffled off tomorrow for a benefit.

May have to make it again for the home bodies...Walt would not want to miss this one!

Happy reading what makes you happy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ministry Ponderings

I just read Jane Els' blog of which she mentioned her ministry of "blessing vehicles." That would be a great thing, but definitely not up my "driveway." Right Dad?! Could have used her ministry years ago!

Now I am thinking. And yeah, it does hurt a bit. But, I was thinking that my ministry of late is the food I cook and deliver. I have seen people smile. I have seen them laugh. Ok, and not at my food. But, to walk into a place and see smiles makes me feel good. So, if I get something from that is that a ministry or is it selfish?

A ministry does not have to be boring, troublesome, painful, tearful, or fearful...right? Feel free to comment here.

I am not a new Christian, but I did not learn to give my will over to God be exact May 6, 2007. I believe it was around 9:00 pm. (Note: I still struggle on a daily, and, depending on the day or issue, hourly basis.)

Back to the ministry...I received a call from a lovely lady, Barbara, to whom I had delivered a lunch. Her day had been so busy that she did not get to eat that lunch until she got home after work. But, she called me and left a message that the lunch made her feel special. I was so happy about that. And, it was not the selfish kind of happy. Something very small that I was able to do had made another person feel good. God allowed that! He gave me a gift that enables me to make other people feel something good, something positive.

I am trying to never say no to trying to learn for His purpose. Now, He is leading me to the avenue of cake decor. That I had believed was only for talented people. You know the kind. People like my brother, who is an artist and musician. Like my mother, who has always been the cake decorator, quilter, seamstress. Like my dad, who no matter the numbers could always understand the math and then there was his platting by hand which is so incredible. Like my sis-in-law, Sonja, who can accomplish a master's degree, raise a family, compete in triathlons, teach, keep up with family, and still scrapbook. I had always felt I had nothing to offer God.

God quickly doused that fire of doubt and blessed me with the love of food. Not just the eating part, but the cooking of it as well.

So, today I grow that love into learning, creating, and delivering. Today I grow the learning into making things I never thought I could.

Today I grow.