Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum: I smell.......nothing.

Dear Yankee Candle:
Why did you have to go and ruin a good thing?  I spent a small fortune on my favorite candles of yours, just to find they have no scent.  The large jars, for some reason aren't fragrant at all anymore.  Not even a little.  However, there is a new candle jar - supposedly the same scent but admittedly according to your clerk - these newer candles are "a little stronger".  A little?  It's the same size jar, but more expensive (because $25 or $27 a jar wasn't expensive enough...?).  Why is this?  I don't understand.  When I buy a Cranberry Chutney or Pumpkin Pie candle, I expect my house - or at least the room the candle is in, at a minumum - to be fragrant.  And yet....not even a little.  So very disappointing.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ben, the two of us need look no more....

Our house has an area we refer to as "Kidtown".  It's a "teen suite"  with a den, bath, bedroom and closet - but we're utilizing as a kids play area.  The closet has all their toys, the den area is their video game set up, able to fit a room full of kids, and then of course the bedroom would be if there's a bunch of kids sleeping over and they don't feel like sleeping on the pull out sofa (though that's typically where they end up!).  But when we first moved in, one of my Father in Laws (multiple marriages on G's side) was staying with us up there so the kids weren't able to use it really.  He just left in the beginning of July so they're now really getting to enjoy it.

Now, rewind to before we moved in....before we knew the FIL was going to move in.  The kids had been hounding me for a rabbit.  No. I was no way going to do that.  And we already had hamsters and they're sort of grumpy....and I don't love guinea pigs because they bite a bit too.  So I had told them they could get a rat.  They make excellent pets, they love to be handled - they're relatively clean and seriously - how cute are they!!!  And "Kidtown" is the perfect place for a not terribly smelly, but their responsibility pet.  (Considering I take care of the cats and the dog - oh and their fish....).

So, they remembered this idea this week.  And they have been relentless about getting one.  Besides, Princess Petunia got money for her birthday so she can afford it - and T has money too so he wanted to split the expenses.  How can a Mom say no?  Well, when a Dad says no....G wanted no part of it. 

But relentless the kiddies were.  And G relented and said okay.  Besides, I was on board anyway - and who's going to take care of the rat anyway?  Me.

So we came home with not one...but two rats!  They're very social and best in pairs.  Both males - no babies in this girl's house!  But the kids love them!  They're very friendly, love to be handled and held and really so very sweet.  One is gray, the other is white.  Their names are Snake and Flake.  My son picked Snake for the irony of snakes eat rats, so he thought it was a good choice.  And my daughter picked Flake, short for Snowflake.

I'm pretty darn psyched personally because I've always wanted a rat. 
They really are so flipping cute!  I have to share pictures...soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's been a whirlwind of fun.....

So, I'm chillaxing at the moment. 
It's been such a busy summer so far - and yet still very relaxing -- but then again, I feel like I haven't stopped!

I'm thinking back to a post I wrote last year about "sitting in the morning sun...." and all the things I'd said I wanted in a new home -are the things I've got at the moment.  Right down to my Cracker Barrel rocking chairs.  I'm feeling very content and blessed to be here.

This past weekend we had Princess Petunia's 8th birthday party.  Tons of fun.... all she asked for was to have karaoke there because it was a disco themed party, and fortunately I've got a score of a DJ who's very inexpensive and very good -- so the good times definitely rolled!

This coming weekend we have a family reunion where we are guests, and then we have a bbq slated for my house on Sunday because it's my father's birthday.  He's in from Florida and leaving to go back next week (I think??) so we're going to have a little cookout for him on Sunday.

Tomorrow, the kiddies and I are off on a road trip!  I'm off with them the next three days before they go to their respective cheerleading and basketball camps next week.  So while the weather isn't exactly beach weather, it's definitely good animal watching and adventure weather.  So I've got a few tricks up my sleeve for the next few days coming up.

But for the moment, it's coffee in my cup... the unusually cool breeze through my hair, and the birds chirping.

Good morning!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Words and music....words and music.

I was browsing YouTube and thought I'd share some of my favorite songs that I haven't heard in so long, that I almost forgot about them.  Check them out - you just might find a new song to like! And of course, in typical fashion - I'm presenting the rawest of acoustic versions for you because truly, a song is in it's purest and simplest form when it's stripped and just honest.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Life is like a box of chocolates....you just don't know what you're going to get

Cats vs. Dogs
Boys vs Girls
First born vs Baby
Athletic vs Book Smart
Jock vs Nerd

There should be no blanket association or labels for people. We can associate different behaviours and the way people act;we can blame it on birth signs, the cycle of the moon in the month, hormones, over indulged, gifted, neglected, middle child....the list goes on and on.  There are a million things that we can say to justify our need to define others.  By defining others and outlining their flaws, we feel better about ourselves and our own flaws that we try to suppress.

But the truth of the matter is that we're just all different.  No two ways about it.  There can be no passing of judgement, no titles handed out, no lines in the sand drawn because someone doesn't act in a way that someone else is used to  - or deems to be acceptable to what their idea of "normal" is.

We weren't born with textbooks outlining our quirks and moods - just as parents aren't given guides as to how children are -- or are not -- going to behave.

There is no "normal".  We're all abnormal in our own way and that is what is perfectly normal.  I think the beautiful thing about perfection is that there is nothing truly perfect.  It's life's imperfections that make life perfect...the beautiful disaster of it all. 

 We all have misgivings in things we say or do from time to time in life.  That's what makes us human.  Our flaws and mistakes are what make us unique and special; the hope is that we learn from those mistakes so we don't repeat them and we grow as time goes on.

That is why you can't have blanket associations for individuals.  A child who may be book smart may not opt for college and may work with his hands; a naturally gifted athletic child may decide to turn away from sports to do something else; a mischevious child may turn out to be the straightest arrow as an adult.  Who we are at 10 is different than 20, is different than 30, is different than 40.

We are constantly growing and learning and evolving who we are....and that is probably the most perfect part of life. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Man: A figment of God's imagination....

Last night I started watching the 20/20 special on Heaven.  (We have it on DVR because naturally we were too tired to finish, so I'm looking forward to watching the rest of it tonight.).  I watched the first hour which showed the Christian, Catholic, Evangelical, Islamic and Jewish perspective on what Heaven is, and how you are to get there.  They all sort of varied a bit on what you will find once you arrive - but of course, I suppose that's subjective to a certain extent.  We all have our own personal visions of what Heaven is or isn't.  What I found interesting is that most religions, even those who conflict on who their personal Saviour is -- all agreed that you should be a good person in life to gain entrance through the pearly gates.  All except the Jewish religion, who believes in what I thought was sort of the most practical, at least from a parental perspective - and that's you should be a good person period, not just because you're doing it to gain access to another lifetime.  That should just be a bonus.  (Sort of like what we say to our kids - don't behave just to get the promise a reward; behave always and you will be rewarded because that's what happens when you behave.  At least that's what I tell my kids anyway...)

Be that as it may, what I find the most confusing are the more radical Christian views of not being allowed into Heaven unless you accept Christ as God's son.  Now, you'll have to forgive me - I'm much more spiritual than I am religious; I tend to have a relationship with God on my own personal level and I prefer to not follow a school that is laden with hypocrisy in any form so I take what I like from all religions and apply them in my day to day life.  I practice being a good person, using probably the most basic principles of all religions (where they're all sort of the same anyway, right?) and leave all the other stuff behind.   But I find it interesting that when asked the question on how people who don't practice Christianity would allow entrance to Heaven the basic answer is "well, everyone has the choice to accept Jesus..."   Surprisingly, the most honest answer was from Joel Osteen who is so very polished and artificial - yet his kneejerk answer didn't have quite that finesse when he said something to the effect of "I can't pass judgement, only God can make the final decision".

And there folks, is my point.

We can all agree or disagree as to who is the Saviour, Messiah, or any other prolific figure in one's religion.  But we all agree that God is God.  And he is the MAN.  Jesus, well that's his son -- so I'm a little confused as to why there's so much discrepancy about getting to Heaven if you don't necessarily believe Jesus rose?  And I understand the whole "Father/Son/Holy Spirit" where it's all encompassing, but prior to Jesus rising - we all agreed that there is GOD. And doesn't HE get the final say? So why is there so much controversy about whether you get to Heaven.  So long as you believe in God, you should more than likely have access to the afterlife - but that's just this girl's opinion.

Speaking of which... the whole Heaven vs. Hell thing -- while I totally believe when there's Ying there's Yang, and every action has an equal and opposite reaction (Religion & Science truly can go hand in hand..!), I have to say that I'm starting to think that there really isn't a Hell.  I hope there's a Heaven, and I believe that there is at minimum another dimension that we aren't able to preceive here because after all, we are all energy and energy never dies; but the truth of the matter for me at this stage of the game anyway, is that I don't believe there is a Hell.  While I'd like to think that awful people in this world who do terrible things are banished to eternal pain and suffering, I just don't think that's the case.

I think God is a loving and kind God.  I think he is a forgiving God.  And whether we like it or not, I think God forgives us all -- even those of us who might not deserve his forgiveness.  Because after all, that is what God and Jesus and Mohammad and Elijah and every other prophet that every other religion has - would more than likely do.  I truly believe that God does not forsake in the afterlife, even when we have felt forsaken in the present one. God is not angry or wicked, he is not vengeful.  He has compassion and love for us all, even those who have lost their way. 

And I don't know what kind of religion that would be a part of, outside of my own personal thoughts.  But it will be interesting to see if my perspective changes any after watching the rest of the show.  Though I highly doubt that it will.

What are your thoughts on Heaven?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Call me... on a line, you can call me any day or night...

Back when I was a kid, the quote was "video killed the radio star".
While it seemed to be true...the truth is - fortunately, not quite.

The new quote of this generations is "social media killed the telephone call".
And this my friends, is very true.

Gone are the days of the long phone calls with my girlfriends...no one wants to actually talk anymore; if you can't get your point across in 140 characters or less, clearly it's useless information.  We make plans via Twitter, Facebook, EVITE, and God knows what other social forum out there.  We don't send thank you cards -- we post it.  Or text it.  Or Facebook it. If you didn't get it on the social status feed, oops - sorry!  It either didn't happen, or you just weren't quick enough to find out about it.  Hit refresh.

We don't even get emails anymore -- or at least I don't.  My emails are all sales related, work related - or spam.  I don't even get the chain "meme" emails anymore.  No one says "hi, how are you" or anything anymore.  I remember when "everyone" (the collective name for the powers that be that we don't really see or hear -- but their opinon matters and they are clearly the end all...) thought that emails were going to be the downfall of the future, as it was often composed of abbreviated words and acronyms; no one would actually write "ha ha ha" when they could just write "LOL".

Imagine the horror they must feel when they see the young kids writing things on social media such as "yesssssssss I loooveeee thattttt".  (Which, to be truthful I must be getting old because I don't see the point to drag all those letters out.  If you spoke the way that's written, you'd be the most annoying person on the planet - maybe even more so than Kim Kardashian or Kendra Wilkinson  - and that's a tough thing to pull off.  But I digress....)

How sad is it that if you don't see the caller id when a call comes in - you don't recognize the voice that's calling; and forget about it if they're calling from a number other than their own. 

I don't know about you, but I miss my phone calls.  They were my social interaction without having to leave my phone.  We'd catch up after a girls night out or a family party... we'd call to express condolences if a friend or family member passed; we'd call just to chat about the rain.  Now, it's all about texts. 

And here's what I don't get; we'll have texts that are conversation strings.... why don't we just call each other?

Listen -- I love when my phone rings; it's like getting the mail.  It's fun and you never know who will be on the other end with interesting things to say.  So if you know me in real life my friends -- call me!!