Thursday, April 30, 2009


Saturday--the first day of the weekend. The day I don't have to get up at a certain time, go sit at a desk all day and make sales calls, figure quotes, and write up orders. The day that holds so much promise and potential. I want to get all my housework done, errands taken care of, have time to myself, and also spend time with family and friends.

But, most of the time I end up getting discouraged because I have a lot to do, don't know what to do first, then don't get much of anything done at all! Just last Friday I was adamantly saying how I just could not go to the beach the next day with a friend. Too many things to do, and no one to take care of my dog. She called me on that--she asked if I was really going to accomplish anything. THEN, she found someone to watch my dog for me.

So, this past Saturday I found myself on the beach in Gulf Shores Alabama. I was lazily lying back in my beach chair, my bare feet enjoying the feel of the sand as I buried them, then raised them up, watching the sand slide off of them. My red painted toenails peeking out of the sand. I used my feet to make piles of sand and dig holes. I love the feeling of my feet in the sand.

All the while, I was feeling the wonderful breeze that kept the sunny rays from making me feel too much heat and be uncomfortable. I watched and listened as the water came rolling in towards the shore, building up into a wave. I tried to guess when it would crest and crash and then be gone. Then it was just water flowing in to meet the sand and then rush back out to once again become part of another wave. I don't think I could ever get tired of watching and listening to this pattern being repeated.

When I am sitting on the beach, the rest of the world seems far away. And the things I usually tend to worry about just don't seem so important. I don't think I ever look at the ocean without thinking about the awesomeness and power of God. I think about how amazing it is that He spoke all of this into existence. About how He designed the sun and moon and tides to all work together.

At some point, the thought entered my mind that some people have never had the opportunity to witness this miracle. I thought about how blessed I was. I thought about how I would love to be able to share this experience with some of the children and adults that I met while I was in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan----wow! It wasn't many Saturdays ago, from this very Saturday (April 18th) that I was in Azerbaijan on a mission trip with 10 other people, including my brother. Not too long ago I was a world away!

Saturday March 21st. I woke up at the Ambiance hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan after arriving there the previous evening from Montgomery, AL via stops in Atlanta, New York, and Istanbul. After breakfast we toured this city that overlooks the Caspian Sea. A city with a tower called the Maiden tower, that comes complete with a legend about a young girl being, of course, locked in the tower. A tower that was most likely built during the 12th century, or before. After that we visited a 17th century Zoroastrian worship place, that once had natural fires burning, due to underground natural gas in the area.

Later that day, everyone in our group was to meet with their local team members and interpreter to head out to their assigned villages. Since, the group my brother and I had been assigned to would not be ready for us till the following day, we headed home with some other team members to spend a night with them at their interpreters house.

It was a small apt in an old broken down looking, gloomy building. Though it was decorated with the colors of the laundry was hung out to dry on many balconies. A cinderblock building that had big, heavy cement stairways and walls. The water in these apts was only turned on for about an hour each morning, and then later in the evening for a short period of time. To make sure water was available during the "off times", there was a room, containing a sink and toilet, that also had a washbasin and other various containers filled with water.

Our host, after dropping us off at his apt and making sure we were settled, had to head out to work for the afternoon. He asked us please keep quiet and not to go outside the apartment. Maybe it was not such a good idea for people to know he had Americans staying in his home? Or to draw attention to himself, as speaking about religion is pretty well frowned upon in their country. That was my first Saturday in Azerbaijan

The next Saturday, March 28th, found me in Aliabad, Azerbaijan, close the Russian and Georgian borders and very close to the beautiful Caucus mountains. I was staying in the home of a man named Zaur Baleav. A man who I had read about before I ever went to Azerbaijan. A man who spent 9 months in deplorable living conditions in a jail cell for holding religious meetings on his own property.

This Saturday morning, we were able to attend a Baptist worship service in a small chapel on the property of another pastor, Hamid Shabanov, who also spent time in prison for preaching. Most people in this area speak Georgian, and so the preaching and singing were in Georgian. I sat in the wooden pew of this modest, chapel and listened to women singing hymns of praise to God. Knowing that they were risking their very freedom for doing this.

After worship service, we were fortunate enough to be the guests at a send-off party for a young man going off to serve his time in the Army, as is required in this country. It was a large affair with about 100 people, who were friends and family of the guest of honor. The Azerbaijani people have a reputation of being very hospitable and they lived up to their reputation this day. We were welcomed and did not feel like outsiders or intruders during this special occasion. We were treated to authentic Azeri foods, entertained with Azerbaijani music and dance, and even joined in on some of the dancing.

Later that evening, I said good-bye to my new friends from Aliabad, Pastor Zaur, his wife Nunuko, and their daughter Natia and boarded a bus that would travel through the night and bring me back to Baku early Sunday morning. That was a Saturday I will always remember.

Not all Saturdays will be memorable for places visited or things done. Some Saturdays I will just need a break. Some down time. I will hang out on my old, comfy couch, snuggled up in my favorite throw, with remote in hand. Some Saturdays I will be dusting and scrubbing bathrooms or doing some type of yard work.

But, I realized, while lying on that beach and thinking of the opportunities I've had in recent Saturdays, that I do need to make more Saturdays memorable. I don't need to sleep away an entire Saturday, when I'm not even sick. I don't need to spend the entire day doing housework either.

I need to make Saturdays more of a priority. I need to get more things done during the week so I can enjoy my Saturdays. They need to be spent with family and friends. They need to be spent seeing more of God's creation and enriching my life.

So what am I doing this Saturday?

Well, I will start off my day being one of the hostesses at our company’s annual customer appreciation golf tournament. It will be fun to meet with customers I have never met in person before, or only get to see once a year at the tournament. Afterwards I will be joining in the fun and excitement of my grandson's second birthday.

It is a Saturday that was planned for me by others, but it will be a fun Saturday. What will you be doing this Saturday?

Friday, April 24, 2009


When I was a young mom, I was particular about how I dressed my daughter. She wasn’t a real prissy girl, so I didn’t get carried away with lots of frills and bows & lace, except maybe at Easter and Christmas. But, I always liked her to look cute and coordinated. And of course, she had to look presentable when we went out in public.
Maybe its just because Cam is a boy-----or maybe because I'm a grandmamma now. Or maybe both. But, I just got the biggest kick out of how I let him go out of the house the other day.
It started like this. I had come home from work and we shared an ice cream sandwich snack.
Then, with ice cream on his face, and a wet diaper, we headed to his bedroom to remedy these things. In the middle of his diaper change, he decided he needed his Elmo slippers on, since they just happened to be at the end of his changing table.
Ok--why not? So, I put the big ole fuzzy red slippers on his feet with Elmo smiling up at me. But then I couldn’t get his shorts on over the slippers. That's ok--we weren’t going anywhere. He didn’t need his shorts on.
So--I put him down on the floor and he decides we need to take his diaper outside to the garbage can, instead of in his diaper pail. He really just likes any excuse to go outside. But, of course I'm thinking he just loves being a helper. So--off we go to the garbage can in the back yard, Elmo feet shuffling along, being grandmamma's big helper
Well, once we got in the back yard, he could hear our neighbors, across the street, playing basketball. He immediately grabs up his Thomas the Tank Engine ball and heads to the gate. Pointing across the street and looking at me with those eyes just begging me to take him across the street to play with the big boys.
Ok--here he is -----at the gate. Chocolate face, no pants, big red house slippers that have eyes and a nose on them. I am not wearing shoes. But he's reaaallly wanting to go across the street and play ball. He is not going to understand having to go inside, wash his face, ditch the Elmo slippers, and then put on pants and shoes. He doesn’t even have a clue what he looks like. He just wants to play ball!
Well- we do live in a little cul-de-sac. Not much traffic. These are our neighbors.What was it going to hurt? Really? So-----off we went across the street to play ball. But, not before I dashed inside to grab my camera off the counter!

It's A Little Quiet At The Office Today

I just got done clipping my toenails. At work. At my desk. With my feet up on my desk. In front of my co-workers. I sure wish I'd brought my toe nail polish today. I could use a touch up.

....oh--but I dont have time for that, cause I need to make some sales calls!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Something I Just Feel I Should Share

Last night I was flipping channels and saw that the new movie about Natalee Holloway was just ending. I thought it was kind of unusual that the movie came out right when I decided to write about my trip that took place 5 months ago. I don't want to seem callous in writing about our adventures because of the timing of my writings.

Also, it is a collection of memories and comments by several people--and there were references that could seem callous. But, I am going to write everything as it was said & written at the time of our trip. So--in case anyone is unclear or wonders what my feelings are on the subject of Natalee Holloway's unsolved disappearance, here goes..........

Even though I am the mother of a 20 year old daughter, I just cannot even fathom what Natalee's mother has gone through. I cannot imagine the range of emotions or the physical and mental pain this has caused her. My heart goes out to her. She deserves to know exactly what happened to her daughter and she deserves to know that justice has been served. I pray that she will know both of these things.

As a resident of the state of Alabama, it made the story more personal. I have driven through the area where she lived in and went to school. It is very sad that her life is not now being lived to the fullest as it should be.

Do I think some people dropped the ball in the investigation of the case? Yes. Do I think there were some strings pulled and some things overlooked, maybe on purpose? Yes-that's my opinion. Did I agree with our governor's call to boycott Aruba? No. If we boycotted every place that had corrupt legal systems or politicians, or people in power that purposely overlooked things they shouldn't, then there would have to be a mass exodus from many cities in the United States, I fear!

For some reason, I just felt the need to explain my feelings, since I am going to be writing about what a good time we had in Aruba, even though a movie about Natalee Holloway has just been aired.

I had no time to add to my" Aruba Adventures" over the weekend. And--I left my notes at home, so I cant work on it today. But--here's a little peek into the upcoming adventures. Isnt this a lovely picture of the California Lighthouse?

Friday, April 17, 2009

I was gonna write about Azerbaijan, but I dont have my pictures together yet.

I have been sick lately, and although I've had plenty of random thoughts, I haven't had much time to write them down. Back in November of 08, I was fortunate enough to visit Aruba with some family members and a dear friend. We kept a journal of each day's adventures. I promised that I would officially document our trip, so I am going to dedicate some blog space to this. We laughed ourselves silly on this trip, and it might end up being a "you had to be there" kind of thing, but the story must be told..............

For most of the travelers on this trip, the story begins at the Montgomery airport. I was very proud of myself that I made it on time. This was important to me, since I was traveling with my mom and I owed it to her to be very much on time. Especially after I almost made us miss our flight to Hawaii and my sister had actually caused her trip to Europe to be delayed by an entire day! So--I was on time---all was well. We were going to ARUBA!!! J. set the tone for the day by telling the Delta agent that she had packed her best panties for the trip. Funny--- he felt the need to do a security check on her luggage, while everyone else's luggage was just tossed on the conveyor and sent on their way without much concern.

On the plane, we were called out by the Flight Attendant as being loud and having too much fun. She said she was jealous that we were going to Aruba. I think J. invited her to come with us. Come to think of it, I think J. invited the ticket agent to come with us too. Wait a minute---I think when we called American Express to see how many points it would take to fly to Aruba, she invited that person to come with us too! At some point, J. asked for the flight attendant's microphone. I'm wondering if she was going to invite the other passengers to go with us also! But, the flight attendant said she didnt need a microphone, and at one point asked other passengers for duct tape. For our mouths.......??? The Flight Attendant was filling out some paperwork and one of the passengers said she was writing us up and we were going to get sent to the Principal's office when we got to Atlanta.

Our other traveling partner, D., left from the Lawton airport. She had her own little adventure just trying to get to Atlanta to meet up with us. D. arrived early and got in line to go through security. It just so happens, that in this small airport, without a lot of traffic, that about 75 members of the military, with their backpacks, were going through security to get on their flight to Atl. on the first leg of their deployment to Iraq. They were ahead of D. and the line was moving slowly. D. heard the boarding call for her flight, but didnt think much of it. The flight couldnt leave without all these soldiers. Pretty soon, D. is actually being paged to board her flight. But, what could she do? She had to wait her turn to get through security, just like everyone else. Finally, she realized that these men were on a later flight than hers. She was told by a ticket agent that she was supposed to go ahead of the other people in line, since she had been paged. At this point, a female TSA agent gets in the middle of everything and says, "Oh No! She's not getting bumped up in the line." She says that D. should have arrived earlier. D. mentioned that she did arrive early, but could not help it that the soldiers were even earlier for their flight and got in line ahead of her. The TSA agent was adament about D. not cutting in line. D. said, "Look. I just want to get to Aruba". Thankfully a nice soldier let D. go to the head of the line. (Poo on that Agent!)

When we arrived in Atlanta, we went to find D., who was telling her story to another passenger and had her pointy finger in the air as she was saying , "RUDE!!" in her best BonQuiQui impersonation, which was very good by the way. D. was not happy and said that when she got back to Lawton and "fount her" (agent) she would "cut her, oh yes she would!!" "RUDE!" I'm not sure J. asked Bonquiqui to come on the trip with us too, but in her honor, we quoted her the rest of the trip. "Oh, is that what you had sed?"


We arrived in Aruba on a bright and sunny Thursday afternoon. We were staying at a Time Share condo, and most of the weeks go from Thursday to Thursday. We got our luggage up to the room, and then decided to go check out the resort area and look for a place to eat. Now, remember, this was in November. And, even though sometimes the weather is quite pleasant at home in November, we were still traveling in jeans and had them on while doing our exploring.

As we passed through the pool area, we saw people just finishing up a day of soaking up the sun and relaxing by the beautiful and inviting pool. I dont think I saw anyone who was wearing much more than a bathing suit and a cover up. They were all settled into their tropical vacation. I guess we looked a bit out of place in our jeans. I guess it was evident that we has just arrived. This became apparent to us as we passed by someone and heard him say, "There go the Thursday people!"

Stay tuned for more as the Thursday people become enlighted about the ways of the island.
(And maybe I'll finally figure out how to put the pictures in where I want them!! )

Monday, April 13, 2009

Playing with fonts & colors too.

He was playing a really cool game of "hit the helium-filled balloon all around the house with a hair brush". He was amusing himself with this game as his mom and I got ready for church. I decided to take a picture of him playing with the balloon, but as soon as he saw the camera, he quit playing and came up close----to help me get a picture of him. Thanks Cam!

Playing with posting pictures.

Cameron got a cute helium-filled balloon from the Easter Bunny. There are pictures that show off the balloon a little bit better, but they also show off the washer & dryer with dirty towels sitting on top.
I wont be sharing those pictures.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Want A Telepathic Typewriter

Did you ever watch the movie "The Tommyknockers" based on the Stephen King novel? I remember devoting an afternoon to watching this mini-series. Probably curled up on my couch in some comfy clothes I wouldn't wear out of the house (well--except to quickly go check the mail or take the garbage out). And of course I was covered up in an afghan. Even if it was summer--I had an afghan. Its my security blanket. So--I turn the fan on , if necessary, and cover up with my afghan.

So--there I was all settled in for an afternoon of mindless entertainment. Only, at the end of the movie I felt very jipped----I wasted my time on THAT mess???? I was not happy with the ending. I was not happy about how the first part of the movie slowly introduced the characters and the plot, only to seemingly run out of time and have to hurriedly explain everything, and be over in the allotted time. I did not like the explanation. I just did not like that movie.

But, this isn't about that movie. This is about something I thought I remembered about the movie. A part where the female main character is a writer who develops a supernatural power. She is able to lie in bed and think about what she wants to write, and her typewriter types it all out for her at that same time she is thinking it.

Would that not be cool? Cause, for some reason I do my best "writing" at night. During the day my thoughts are random and scattered. Anyone can tell you that if you ask me what time it is, I'm gonna tell you how to build that clock! And make a short story long........ That's me! (I think you are seeing that already!)

Anyway--at night, lying in bed, I seem to have my thoughts all collected and I compose eloquent letters and other writings. I can prove my point very clearly. Or--maybe, since it's at night, and I'm in bed, I'm just DREAMING that I am doing so well!

So--I'm trying to decide what to write about for my second day as a blogger. My mind is everywhere and I think of that part of The Tommyknockers movie. I decide to do a google search and see if my memory is correct on that part of the movie.

Instead I got sidetracked ---No big surprise. And I just wanted to share with you what I found out about Tommy Knockers. Never heard of this before in my life!

First off --the definition of a Tommy Knocker: Tommy Knockers are the spirits of departed miners that help miners find ore. It also states that the Tommy Knockers can be very spiteful creatures if they don't like you, so some miners would leave a bit of their lunch for the spirits.

But- here is what I really thought was interesting--the origins of the Tommy Knockers Folklore--- the Tommy Knockers were first heard of when the Cornish people (from Cornwall, England --Celtic people) came to America to work in the mines. Seems the Tommyknockers are the equivalents of Irish Leprechauns. But--here is the really interesting part----
The Cornish believed these wee little men were the souls of the Jews who crucified Christ and were sent by the Romans to work as slaves in the tin mines. This belief was so strong that the Tommyknockers were allegedly never heard on Saturdays, nor at times of Jewish festivals.

You just never know what you will find when you start googling! I had contemplated writing about Easter and memories of my dad. Who would have thought that the Tommy Knockers would take me around to mentioning the Crucifixion of Christ!

I still never found out if that telepathic typewriter deal was a part of the movie!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What's A Blog To Do?

I find the idea of blogging quite fascinating. People sharing fun and amusing stories about their lives, their struggles, their dreams, their achievements. Or maybe a new recipe, or how to cope being a mom. Or dad. A blog about great travel adventures. A blog about a great business opportunity.

The idea of blogging has my attention. Kind of like a swimming pool in early summer. The air is warm. The sun is shining. The pool looks so clear and inviting. But, do I really want to get wet? Even though it is warm outside, will the water be cold? I think I will feel just fine after I decide to just go for it and jump in.

I ask myself—what do I have to add to this great world of blogging? What has been some of my greatest obstacles for starting a blog? Deciding on what the title should be!! And then what to write about! And do I want everyone to see what I’m writing about??

Well- everything I have written so far, has been written with me still not knowing what I will name my blog, or if it will even have a theme! But, during this time, I have decided that I WILL go and put myself out there. I will make a commitment to just jump in and see if I will decide to swim around for a while.

I’ve had several friends encourage me to start a blog. Don’t they know I love to write & talk! If they send me e-mail with one small question or comment, it takes a novel for me to reply! Maybe they have been encouraging me to blog to save space in their e-mail inbox! And, if they don’t decide to join me for my swim---that’s ok. I would certainly enjoy the company. But, if not, I’ll just take this time for myself.

Well- this is my first blog entry, in a blog that is STILL unnamed. And still doesn’t define a theme. Maybe that is the theme. Maybe it will just be random thoughts that pop into my mind. Maybe others will be interested. Maybe not. But that’s ok.

Ok..... I've decided on a title. And I'm jumping in! If I splash you when I jump in, you will get a taste of my corny ?humor? Hope you dont mind!