Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grace



Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
We have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

-John Newton, 1779

Friday, November 20, 2009

Live in the Moment


The following pictures are ones I found "in the moment".  I literally live every day in the moment by capturing little segments of my life on film.  Each one brings back memories of the people I was with, things I was doing and how I felt when the shutter clicked.  I see beauty in the unexpected.  Sometimes a leaf on the ground is just as pretty as a sunset.  I find inspiration in the world around me.  God's given me a love of photography and I practice it whenever possible!



Captured on the way home from work.



I liked this tree.



It was a stormy day but there was a break in the clouds, which revealed the sun. Pretty neat!



Before the portrait.



If I remember correctly, these flowers only bloom once and then are dormant again until next year.  Talk about living in the moment!



Don't you love covered bridges?



Do you see the double rainbow?  I love rainbows.  Sometimes I refer to them as "freaks of nature".  :)



I love clouds.  They can be anything the imagination makes them to be.  On this particular night, there was a really bad storm blowing through town.  This wall of clouds brought heavy rain!



Simply beautiful.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wisdom To Ordinary People


 Blue Mountain Beach, FL (8.04.07)

I stumbled upon these verses the other night. There's so much truth to be gained! I love how the Contemporary English Version makes it easier to read and understand. I'm definitely going to have to revisit this passage once I'm better and my brain isn't quite so foggy. I pray you are blessed today as you read these verses. May they bless you from the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes! (All emphasis below is mine.)

 "The Law of the LORD is perfect;
it gives us new life.
His teachings last forever,
and they give wisdom
to ordinary people.

The LORD's instruction is right;
it makes our hearts glad.
His commands shine brightly,
and they give us light.

Worshiping the LORD is sacred;
He will always be worshiped.
All of His decisions
are correct and fair."
Psalm 19:7-9 (Contemporary English Version)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ricolaaaaaaaaaa

I'm sick.  There, I admitted it.  My body's been giving me the signs that it was under attack for a few weeks now, but I've been in denial. (Kinda like the river in Egpypt. ha)  I hoped I could will it away with positive thinking.  But alas, some kind of crud has caught up with me.  It went straight to my chest --- hello, bronchitis! 

I went to the store last night and stocked up on "drugs":



Ricola cough drops are great, but I constantly hear the guy from the commerical in my head, "Ricolaaaaaaaaaa".  I've been taking double doses of Vitamin C.  I don't normally take vitamins, but perhaps I should start?? 

 I also got some OJ and grape juice, both high in vitamin C.  For some reason, the grape didn't taste too great.  I forced myself to drink a glass before bed. 

 I love Sudafed!  It really makes me feel better, however, I don't know what's in it that makes me stupid.  I've been doing the stupidest stuff the past two days.  My mind feels foggy.  It's really odd and frustrating. 

I haven't tried the Zicam yet.  I love their swabs though; have worked miracles before! 



I didn't realize until I got home, but when I looked on the receipt, it says, "Cashier Confirmed - Age Over 18".  I laughed.  I'm commonly mistaken for a teenager, so I guess I looked older yesterday.  Craziness.

I sure hope I get better soon.  I can't wait to get back to the YMCA.  I miss working out, but I'm useless when I'm like this.  I hope you all stay well!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Assume You Know It All


"Glory Revealed" (9.25.09)

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track.  Don't assume that you know it all.  Run to God! Run from evil!  Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give Him the first and the best.  Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.  But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline; don't sulk under His loving correction.  It's the child He loves that God corrects; a Father's delight is behind all this." ~ Proverbs 3: 5-12

Monday, November 16, 2009

Eye Spy Something Supercilious*

When I got a computer again, I gave myself the challenge to write a post each day.  You wouldn't think it would be that hard, but some days are challenging; like today.  When nothing out of the ordinary happens or worth talking about occurs.  What's a girl to do?  How about make fun of myself? 

You see, I'm a goofy-goober. I know that. We all know that. I do stupid things all the time and sometimes I even tell others about them.  Actually, I talk about my follies a lot, but I'm a writer; it happens. 

My tongue has hurt all day long.  It feels like I burned it, but I don't remember eating anything hot today.  I couldn't figure it out until I was eating a Dorito a moment ago and then I realized what happened!  I like to lick off the seasoning of the chip before eating it; weird, I know.  This repetitive motion is the culprit!  Sad but true.  Thus solves the case of the 'burnt' tongue.



*Supercilious actually means: "haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression", which has nothing at all to do with my post.  I just like that word.  It sounds like it should have a "silly" definition, but alas it's actually quite ironic.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rockin' Around the Pre-Thanksgiving Tree


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I know, I know, it's too early to be talking about Christmas; but is it really?  Believe it or not, it's about six weeks away.  In my family, we always put up the tree and such Thanksgiving weekend, but a month doesn't seem long enough to enjoy the festive decorations.  Since I've had my own house, I've left everything up well into January, but that just puts me in the "Is she crazy category?"  Though, one might reason two weeks into November would warrant questioning my sanity.  But here's the thing.  I love this time of year.  I love fall.  I love the cooler weather.  I love how everything and everyone seemingly comes alive.  So, why not enjoy it just a little bit earlier? 

I created a playlist on iTunes for Christmas music and away I went.  It took a lot longer to get everything up than I had intended, however, there was a bit of a learning curve on some projects.  One in particular I doubt I'll ever do again, but it's pretty neat, so who knows.



I used this r-e-a-l-l-y long strand to add some festivity to the upstairs.  However, this was NOT easy and about half way through I nearly gave up.  But I was also half way done, so I push through the rediculousness to get this project completed!  What do you think?  At least, I had the fore-thought to double it up before beginning!



My friend SJB made this Nativity family for me quite a few years ago.  She's one of the most creative people I know!  Whenever I pull this family out of the box and slowly unwrap the tissue paper, I just smile and think of my friend.



I had a wee incident along the way.  I had finally unraveled the tangled cords and was on my way outside, dragging (first mistake) the cord behind me, when all the sudden it got stuck on something.  I'm sure any rational human being would have gone to investigate, but I didn't think through what I was about to do and yanked on the cord instead (second mistake).  The next thing I hear is *pop*, *pop*, *pop*!  I look behind me and there on my new tiled kitchen floor lay several bulbs that bit the dust!  Once I got everything cleaned up, replaced the broken bulbs, then I was back in business. 

I've actually never really decorated outside; wanted to, but wasn't sure how.  I do have a Reindeer stake that I uh, well, stake into the yard.  I'll have to show you what that looks like later.  I got the lights hung around my door frame and for some reason, the thought of when the Israelites "painted" their doors in blood for the Passover came to mind.  Not sure why, interesting thought though.  I was talking to my mom later about what I'd accomplished today.  She said, "You mean the lights are on now?"  "Sure," I said.  "Don't you think it's a little bit early for that?"  In my defense, I was thinking Thanksgiving was this coming weekend.  So, I unplugged the lights.  :)



My parents gave me this fancy nativity for CHRISTmas last year.  I couldn't wait to use it this year and found the perfect spot on the hearth.  However, there's a shepard boy that I wasn't able to find room for.  (hahaha  No room at the inn!)  Ahem, sorry, I walked right into that and couldn't resist.



I love my "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree!  It's actually not that small at 6.5 feet.  There are so many benefits to using a fake tree rather than a real one, including, but not limited to: very little clean up and the fact you can bend up the branches for particularly heavy ornaments. 




Or in the case of my friend Pooh here, I had to create a "seat belt" to keep him from falling out of the tree.  Ornaments are like walking down memory lane.  I found different ones from friends and family alike.  I always try to write on the bottom who gave it to me and what year.  Thanks in part to my Mom and Sister, I tree is a lot fuller this year! 

For the most part, I'm done.  Though, my method of decorating much like many things in my life, I use the KISS method: Keep It Simple Stupid.  :)  Less is more in my book.  I had a lot of fun today.  Hope you get the chance to celebrate Christmas just a little big longer too!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

When Passion Becomes Worship



When I see a sunset like this, I can't resist attempting to capture God's glory!  Photography has always been a passion of mine.  But taking pictures of sunsets has become an act of worship for me.  I feel most comfortable when behind the lense; in the "zone" if you will, loving on God by appreciating his "artwork".  Whatever the subject, I find beauty in the unexpected.  I believe that makes God happy.

Sunsets are a daily reminder that my Jesus LOVES me!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aunt Mer

November 13, 2006.  The day my life changed forever.  The day I became an Aunt. 


He's a week old here.  I spent as much time with him as I could.  I would go straight from work on Friday's and stay until Saturday night.  When he was so little, my sister would swaddle and lay him down in the crevice of the two sofa coushions.  He earned the first of many, many nicknames, "Crack Boy."

From the moment I laid eyes on this precious miracle, I've been utterlly, head-over-heels in love with him.  My love for him has only grown as he gets older.  He's not even "mine", so I can only imagine the love a mother has for her baby, let alone the love the Father had for His Son! 




About the time he was four months old, I found myself doing ANYTHING to get a laugh out of him!  I'd make funny faces, sounds or gallop around the kitchen like an animal of some sort.  My sister taught him sign for "more".  Sometimes after one of my jaunts for laughter, he'd sign more.  Gotta love this kid!  I firmly believe he helped me get over myself enough to let go and have fun; no matter what.  To this day, I'll say and do crazy things (like putting a bucket on my head, he's aloways loved that) to get him hackling.  He has a great sense of humor!




Little roly poly was six months here.  One day, while everyone was visiting my parent's, I plopped him down in my Mom's prep sink on the island.  He liked it and stayed there for a while... until he figured out how to turn the water on!  Always the curious child!




He's eight months old here.  He and I clocked some SERIOUS hours on the porch swing.  On the HOT summer days/nights, my sister would set me up with a fan.  On the cooler days, we'd wrap ourselves in coats and blankets.  Whatever the weather, I'd make myself as comfortable as possible (all the while knowing within minutes my hiney would fall asleep) and settle in for the long haul.  When he was tiny, tiny, my Mom starteding singing, "This Old Man" to put him to sleep.  Knocked him out in two rounds flat!  However, a girl can only take so much This Old Man before she goes insane!  So,  I started singing worship and praise songs to him and for Jesus.  Toots (one of the many names I've given him) would fall asleep after a bit, but I just kept on singing.  It was my time to worship and give thanks for such an amazing little boy.  I'd pray over Toots and ask Jesus to watch out for him as he grew. 

I was telling Rudy (another one) stories about when he was a tiny, tiny baby recently.  When he talks about himself as a baby, he always calls himself a "tiny, tiny baby", so we do as well.  I told him all about how I'd rock and sing him to sleep on the front porch swing.  Not too long ago, I was rocking him for night-night and starting singing my version of Jesus Love Me (different than what my sister sings), he popped right up and said, "Aunt Mer, that's not how you sing that song!"  "Well," I told him, "that's how Aunt Mer sings it, remember?"  He nodded his head and settled back in.  He was asleep within moments.




One of my favorite things about being an Aunt is I can get away with stuff.  haha  I, like my nephew, love to go exploring in nature; getting in the muck of things, feeling everything first hand.  This day, he was wandering about bare-footed, which is something he'd never done before.  We wandered to the creek behind my parent's house.  I waited to see what he'd do, and just like a little boy, he immediately got into the water!  That boy has tough feet, I tell you!  He was very adventurous; walked up and down the creek several times, all the while holding onto my finger (just in case).  Independant, yet dependent.  I think under normal circumstances my sister might have freaked out a little bit, but like me, she's always looking for a good photo opportunity!  Trust me, this boy isn't lacking in pictures of himself!  But, I'm so thankful.  It's amazing to go back and look to see how much he's grown up!  I recently got a new computer, so I only have tiny, tiny and recent pictures of the Toot.



We all went to the beach this summer on a family vacation.  We weren't too sure how Toots would react since he did NOT like it the first time he went (nine months old)!  But a lot has changed since then.  He LOVED it!!  He has a sandbox at home, but this was the largest "sandbox" he'd ever seen!  He literally 'swam' in the sand, went rolling down the hill, and finally came to a rest in the above pose.  What a beach bum!  He loved it all - though the waves frightened him - and rightly so!

I've been telling him "I love you" since the day he was born and FINALLY this summer at the beach he said it back to me.  My heart melted and I fell in love with him all over again.



Here's a recent picture of Rudy; taken before he went to Bible study with my sister.  Apparently this is his new fake smile, but it looks pretty real to me!  His other Aunt taught him how to wink at a very young age, so that anytime he got in front of a camera, he'd wink at you.  What a little ham! 

Two is a fun age.  There's so much to see, learn and discover.  He had a language explosion this year too!  When I talk to my sister on the phone, he'll come on and we'll have an actual conversation.  I don't always understand he says, but I get most of it.  I love spending time with him, no matter what we're doing.  One of our favorite things is to rough-house on the den floor.  He's enjoyed treating me like a human jungle gym since he was tiny, tiny, but now that he's older, one or both of us ends up hurt (usually me!)  We roll around on the floor, tickling, playing with all his John Deer toys, and giving him "tummy yummies" (raspberries on the tummy). 




Rudy was a fireman this year for Halloween!  This boy LOVES to pretend!  He has such an amazing imagination!  Last I heard, he had imaginary neighbors who go by the names: Jon Jon, Trailer, Toothbrush, Bingum, and Truck.  Sometimes they go on adventures together; sometimes one of them is sick and Toots has to take care of them.  Very creative.

I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, no question about it, LOVE being an Aunt!  I can't believe Rudy turned THREE today!!!  Just doesn't seem possible!  I'm so thankful to have him in my life!  I don't know what we did without him for so long!   


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shoes

Remember when I said I wasn't your average girl?  This "unusual" behavior extends to my shoes collection, if it can even be called that, as well.  There are really only seven pairs of shoes I routinely wear.  I perfer comfort over fashion.  Which is why I don't have a single pair of high heels in my closet.  I'm already 5' 10", is there really a need to make me taller at the expense of hurting feet?  I think not. 

In thinking about this rediculous post, I thought it would be embarrassing fun to have illustrations along the way.   If nothing else, you have proof when you turn me into "What Not To Wear".  My sister always says, "Stacy and Clinton would NOT approve!"  Let's start the runway show, shall we?  (I've been watching a lot of "Project Runway"):



 
I call these my "wedding shoes", because quite obviously, I wear them to all the summer weddings.  I got them at PayLess quite a few years ago (like 10+) and they are rediculously comfortable!  I've gotten many compliments over the years; perhaps people were being nice and didn't know what to say?  haha  However, as you can tell, I think it might be time to retire these.  I know my Mom will be happy! 





I prefer not to spend a lot of money on shoes, though for as long as I keep them, perhaps I should invest a little more into the cause?  I got these at DSW about five or so years ago.  I paid more than I wanted to for these, however they are Tommy Hilfiger so I knew I was paying for the brand name.  They were scavenged from the "dot" section which made me feel better.  But this is really the only "dressy" shoe I own.  I know, it's sad.  Admittance is the first step right?  At least, I'm aware of my problem!  :)


 

Back when Birkenstocks were realy popular (late 90's), there was no way I could afford a pair (let alone now), so I found a cheaper solution!  Land's End offered essentially the same shoe but for only $24.95 (if I remember correctly).  Sounded like a great deal to me!  Well, here it is, more than a decade later and these sandals are still going strong!  Very comfortable and maybe even a little stylish?  You be the judge.


 

My friend MHH first introduced these lovely gems to me a while ago!  They are Mush flip flops from Teva.  Trust me, they are THE most comfortable pair of shoes you'll ever own!  (Isn't that right, KP?)  Because they are so mushy (no pun intended), they will wear out quicker, but they are worth every penny!  Let your fingers do the walking right to Teva! (or click that link)


 

We've come to my controversial pair of shoes... CROCS.  Yes, they are ugly, but boy are they comfortable!  These shoes have been ALL over the place!  They've even been all over the streets of Seattle, Washington and my feet NEVER hurt!  Ever.  What other shoe can offer such enticing promises?  Do you currently own a pair like that??  Please let me know!




You've heard me refer to my "tooting" shoes before?  Well, here they are!  I actually bought these specifically to wear when I work out at the YMCA, but I wear them now to work as well.  (Yay for getting to wear whatever I want to work!)  Tennis shoes are one of the only shoes I will pay more for - though you'd think with them being so expensive they'd be more comfortable!  Just sayin'! 



Now that you know my past history, how about a look into my future?  I've been wanting slippers for a while now but never found any that I really liked, for the price I wanted to pay.  I found these at Old Navy recently.  I read all the reviews and figured I'd give them a try.  They arrived yesterday!  From the moment I slid my feet in, they were so cozy and comfy.  My feet were sad to leave them when it was time for bed.

I recently bought this pair from Land's End for what I consider to be a good deal ($24.95).  I'm hoping they are comfortable.  (I know I keep saying that word, but it's so important!) 

These look sporty yet functional.  I've been looking at shoes like these for a few years now, but they've always been too expensive!  However, lovely Land's End has them on sale right now for $19.99.  Plus, there's an offer for FREE shipping (no minimum purchase) until November 17th -- Code: EVERGREEN; PIN: 2425.

Thus concludes my silly post about shoes.  I hope you've enjoyed the "runway show".  Seriously, please comment if you are currently wearing comfy shoes!  :)  Please share!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Water's Edge

You found me today
When I least expexted it
A stranger in an unknown world
Wearing masks and playing make believe

The room was filled with happiness
A Holy union had been created
Dancing, laughter and stolen kisses
It was all too much
I had to get away

Making my way along the soggy path
My eyes immediately filled with tears
No, not yet!  Where can I go?
I then spotted the lake

Nearing the water's edge
I discovered the gaggle of geese and the playground
You also gave me a song, "All I Need is You, Lord"

What a sight I must have been!
All dolled up; crying, singing, praying and swinging
I just needed a moment to get away
No more pretending

Written September 20, 2009


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Promise

I am not your typical girl.  I don't enjoy shopping.  I don't wear makeup.  I rarely wear dresses.  I don't wear jewelry.  I've never had my ears pierced.  I've only had one pedicure in my life (thanks, Kristina!).  I'm very low-maintenance, easy-going, not-easily-flustered, wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) kind of girl.  That's not to say I don't take care of myself, I just do it in a "Mer" kind of way.

I've been a "tom-boy" through and through my whole life.  When other girls were playing dress up or Barbie, I was playing with Transformers and G.I. Joe's.  Granted, most of my friends back then were boys.  Man, I lived on the best street EVER!  It was a cul-de-sac and there were a ton of neighborhood kids.  My friends and I would create ramps and jump our BMX bikes over them.  Or my friend Steven and I would fill up his sandbox full of water and play it in!  (We used to get in trouble for doing that!  But it was so much fun!)  Good times.  

Somewhere along the line, it became unacceptable to be who I've always been.  That is, I would get made fun of for doing things differently than others.  Though, I've been made fun of all my life; so this was nothing new.  People have consistently tried to change me to fit their perfect mold.  But they quickly realized, "God broke the mold when He made me!"  I don't conform.  I never have, probably never will.  That's not to say I'm a rebel with a cause or anything like that.  I'm just me.  Through and through.  Me.

Though, I'm still figuring out who "me" is.  I continue to amaze myself on a day-by-day basis.  It's like I've been one way for so long that to change seems too daunting.  Dare I say the "I" word?  Impossible.  But through Him ALL things are possible.  In Mark 10:27, Jesus says, "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God." (ESV)

Did you read that last sentance or just skip over it?  "For ALL things are possible with God."  Amazing, huh?  Honestly, my finite, human mind can't even begin to wrap understanding around that concept!  The neat thing is, I don't really have to get it, as long as I trust that He does.  Imagine the possibilities though.... if ALL things are possible with God, then couldn't we perform modern-day miracles as the disciples did back in Bible times?  Could the sick become healed?  Deaf, hear?  Blind, see?  The possibilities are endless!

The thing is, we are so BUSY being BUSY that although these opportunities might present themselves to us now, we blow right pass them!  Believe me, I'm guilty of it too!  It's funny... actually, let me rephrase that.  God's funny.  On the way home, I was thinking about what I'd write about today. I decided I'd talk about how un-girly I am, but I recently started becoming more girly; slowly, but surely.  But as soon as I began to write, God took over and directly me in another way entirely. 

Do you remember that song from Sunday School, "I Am A Promise"??  It popped into my head while writing just now.  I learned this song a long, long time ago!  It just goes to show you never know what kids are actually learning! Check out this video I found.  It's priceless!



Isn't that great?!?  (I cracked up laughing when they did the chorus line kicks!)  So the lesson of today:  Don't sell yourself short!  Remember you're a great big, bursting bundle of potential to do anything with Him!

Monday, November 9, 2009

No-Bake Cookies

Wanna know a not-so-secret, secret?

Would you like to have a "famous" Quintana recipe?  This is one of our favorites and I thought I'd share it with you!  This used to be my "go-to" recipe to bring to functions, but for some unknown reason, I'm COMPLETELY incapable of yielding a positive outcome on these cookies anymore!  I don't understand.  I know I've followed the reciped correctly.  (I realize I do have trouble with that somtimes. ha)  They are either over-cooked or under-cooked, never (rarely) just right!  So, I hope you have better success!  Please let me know how they turn out for you!


No-Bake Cookies
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
4 Tablespoons Cocoa
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
Optional: 1/2 Cup Coconut and/or Raisins (personally, I leave both of these out!)

First, lay out a sheet of wax paper on counter top (usually about the length of your arm).  Second, boil together: milk, sugar, butter and cocoa until thickened, usually about 5 minutes.  Third, remove from heat and add oatmeal and peanut butter.  (I find it best to stir near or in the sink, as it can be messy.)  finally, quickly drop spoonfuls onto wax paper before mixture hardens.  Typically cookies will set up within a few minutes.


I was going to include a picture to be like REAL SIMPLE, but I quickly realized so matter how I arranged the cookies, they just looked like a pile of poop.  :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tears

Absolutely nothing worth writing about happend today.  Sunday's are chore day.  I'm doing laundry.  I vacuumed the house.  I cleaned the kitchen, again.  I stripped the sheets off my bed and put new ones on.  Though, I have to say, that was comical.  I flipped my mattress (by myself) and it got away from me and took out a lamp.  Literally.  I picked it up off the floor, plugged it back in and... nothing.  I can't figure out why it won't work anymore?  Oh well, I have another, just switched them out.  So yeah, I considered not posting today.  But in telling my mom about my quandry, she said, post it anway.  So, here I am, talking about nothing in particular again.  :)

Actually, I was watching Extreme Home Makeover from last week.  I love that show, but it ALWAYS makes me cry.  I'm an emotional girl, that is, God made me sensitive.  I tear up at Hallmark commercials and the like.  At the beginning of the show, Ty Pennington always shows a video of why this family has been picked.  That gets me everytime. 

While I was sitting watching this family's story unfold, tears were filling my eyes.  Suddenly, I had a tiny inspiration to try and capture what that might look like.  I know you must think I'm crazy.  Why not capture this emotion as well?  For some unknown reason, I enjoy taking pictures of my eye.  This one below turned out the best.



I wonder why tears fall from the center of your eye?  I wonder why that's the tipping point?  I'm sure there's a logical and scientific reasoning behind it.  I found this, which doesn't explain why it happens, but it's still interesting:

"Tears flow from tear glands into your eyes through tiny tear ducts. The tear glands are located under your upper lids, and when stimulated, produce tears to form a thin film over your eyeballs. Every time you blink the film spreads over your eyes to keep them moist and free of dust and other irritants. Whether you are awake or asleep, happy or sad, this salty fluid is always flowing from the tear glands.

Besides protecting your eyes, the tear glands produce more fluid when your eyes are irritated. These extra tears are called reflex or irritant tears. And, when something makes you happy or sad, your tear glands will produce emotional tears. Used tears then drain down into two tiny openings on the brim of your upper and lower eyelids at the inner edge of your eyes, which lead to the nasolacrimal tear ducts next to the bridge of your nose. From there, they are channeled into your nasal cavity where they are swallowed or blown out with other nasal fluids. If there are too many tears, they will overflow your lower lid and run down your cheeks." -- Why Do We Cry


Thus concludes your Bill Nye the Science Guy lesson for the day.

Great Day, Boring Post

Today (which is actually today's yesterday), but I didn't get to post until now so it's still my today, since I haven't slept yet.  Wow, that was confusing.  Let me start over.

Saturday was a really good day.  Before I went to sleep on Friday night, I set my alarm to wake up about eight hours later.  But then I picked up this new book I'm reading, "How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else" and had trouble putting it down.  When my eyes could no longer stay open, I got up out of bed and turned my alarm off.  I knew that was a potentially bad decision, but how often do I get to just sleep until my body is well rested?  Not too often.  After some crazy dreams, I finally got up at 12:52 today (Saturday).  Crazy, I know.  In my defense, I didn't go to bed until around 2:30.  Though, that still means I got ten hours of sleep.  Ahh, whatever.  That's not the point.  In fact, I don't even know why I'm writing about this.  Moving on.

While putting away my clean dishes, I realized I was tired of being frustrated at the way I store things in my kitchen.  Over the next two hours or so, I took most everything out of the pantries and started over.  I was given a lot of things when I first moved in (as I had nothing).  And now that I'm starting to buy more things on my own or just acquire more; it was getting out of control.  I love my kitchen but some of the storage space just doesn't make sense.  I put the things I never use in there.  Next time someone is having a garage sale, please let me know.  I'll donate to the cause.

I was listening to a Church of the Highlands sermon by Joe McGee while I cleaned and organized.  I don't know if you've ever heard of him or heard him speak, but boy that man can bring the Word.  I can burn you a copy of his sermons if you're interested, just let me know.  It took me a while, but boy the final result was amazing.  Though, hours later, when looking for a container to put leftover dinner in, I had trouble finding something to use.  Maybe I need to rethink some of the placement of items.

OK, I feel like this post is super boring.  I don't have some big revelation or anything, just rambling about my day. 

My friend JWW came over for a girl's night.  I made dinner and dessert; which, both were fabulous!  I'm not just tooting my own horn either.  I mean, I'm a good cook, but these were incredible!  People joke with me as I'm seemingly incapable of reading a recipe.  Somehow I always mess something up.  The same was true with the dessert, though thankfully, it really didn't matter.  We had "Fast Fruity Delight".  It was quite delightful as well!


I used blackberries.  Yummy!



Mmmmm Mmmmm Good!



We had dinner first though, Saucy Mexican Chicken.  It was super easy to make and was incredibly delicious.  *pats myself on the back*  If you'd like the recipe, just let me know.



...served over a bed a rice.

After dinner, JWW and I played a game of Scrabble.  We love to play Scrabble together; wish we could do it more often!  I started the game with "Zap", 28 points, but it stunted the growth of the game for quite a while.  We had a lot of fun and JWW won!! 235 to 197.



We were going to play Dance Praise (exactly like Dance Dance Revolution, but with Christian music), but we ended up watching The Proposal instead.  Funny movie!

Whichs leads me to now... 1:31am and because I slept most of the day, I'm not sleepy for bed now.  Hmm.  Guess I'll find something constructive to do, like go read! 

Friday, November 6, 2009

"As Long As We're Being Honest"

TGIF! 

I didn't necessarily have any work to do today, so I figured I'd be proactive and find something to do.  I realized I hadn't gone through "Shipped But Awaiting Payment" invoices in about a month or two, so I was way behind.  I forget to work on those, since everything else is forefront in my mind.  But on slow days like today, it's the perfect time to immerse myself in Accounts Receivable Land.  It always takes a lot of research to make sure people/companies have or haven't paid us, then follow a bunch of other steps from there.  Again, I'm not going to bore you with all the details, but let's just say, it took me 8 hours to wade through the muck.  But, I got a lot done and feel as though a lot was accomplished today.

I was texting my friend KP around lunchtime telling her my day was pretty boring and I didn't think I'd have anything to write about yet.  She said, "Yet is the key word.  LOL it's only 1 your time."  How true she was!  I actually got so busy, I didn't go to lunch until 3pm! 

While I was out, I ran a quick errand for envelopes to CVS.  I remember thinking the girl behind the counter looked kinda sad.  I was eager to make my purchase and go eat lunch, but instead I had a funny conversation with her:

She asked, "How are you?" 

I answered, "Honestly, tired.  How about you?" 

She said, "As long as we're being honest, I'm ready to go home." 

"Oh really?", I answered, "What time do you get off?"

She said with a huge sigh, "5".

I said, "I don't get off until 6, if that makes you feel any better."

"No, not really," she said. "Where do you work?"

I always hesitate when I answer this question, because I always get the same reaction.  Disbelieve.  Dumbfound.  Double-take.  Blank stare.  I begin in vague terms, "In Vestavia for a really small company."  But I quickly realized she was thirsty for more details, "I know this is going to sound crazy, but I work for SUPERMAGNETMAN.  We sell magnets literally all over the world.  From ity-bitty to large ones for all types of applications."  She starred at me, like a deer caught in headlights with her mouth slightly agape.  In my head I heard crickets chirping.

She recovered fairly quickly and asked, "What about car magnets?"

I said, "Well, not technically, we can sell the sheets of rubber which you could use on your car."

"But, do you sell the ones with writing for your car?", she asked again.

Realizing she hadn't listened to a word I'd said, I stopped gathering my purchases, "You know, I think I have a business card here.  Why don't you check out our website for yourself.  If you have any questions about anything, my emails on the front."  I don't think she was expecting that answer as I got another chorus round of crickets.

As I was walking out the door, I smiled and thought to myself of the interesting situations I get myeslf into.  Sure, from the very beginning I could have given the same old boring answer, "I'm fine. How are you?"  But then I would have missed out on that odd fascinating unique interesting conversation.  Personally, I've always had the mentality of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).  Why pretend to be something you're not?  Sure, I'm not always myself, but I do tend to give the unexpected answer, which leads to different moments of possibility.  I figure it's a moment in some strangers day when they had interaction with someone who actually cared what their response was. 

I knew the moment that sentance left her mouth, "As long as we're being honest", I'd be writing about the time I spent with her for today's post.  I find it interesting what opportunities God will drop in my lap when I'm looking for them.  My Mom says I've never met a stranger; which is true, although interestingly, I'm also quite shy.  So, there's a fine line between the two. 

I suppose the lesson for today is, expect the unexpected.  You can't make a difference by never stepping outside of what you know to be comfortable.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pete

In my new quest to write something everyday, I find myself looking for things which I can write about later.  (Beware: if you hang around me, you'll most likely be blogged about.  Just saying.)  My day seemed fairly uneventful, that is, until we received a shipment from China for one of our customers; then all heck broke loose.  Since my boss is on a business trip, it's up to me to run the business.  Which, under normal circumstances isn't that big of a deal; just stressful at times.  However, this shipment allowed me the opportunity to be all things to all people (that's the best explaination).  I won't bore you with all the details, but I feel a great sense of accomplishment that the boxes were shipped out and our customer is happy with all the details.  I wore many hats today and was proud that everything was handled well and in a timely manner.

Every afternoon, I drop off our orders to the post office in Vestavia.  I've come to enjoy these outings, even though I usually have to stand in line for a while.  But the post office always has such odd strange unique interesting individuals, so I do a fair amount of people watching.  Plus, it's quite fun to walk in and have all the workers look up (at some point), smile and say, "Hey, Pete!" 

OK, I have to explain where "Pete" came from, but I promise you, it's one of those things you just had to be there.  One of the ladies working there and I would talk and goof off while she worked on my international packages.  I always tried to bring a smile to her face with a joke or funny story.  Well, one day, I told her my "Pete and Repeat" joke.  (Have you heard it?  Pete and Repeat got in a boat.  Pete fell out.  Who was left?  Get it??

I realize it's not actually funny.  In fact, I realize it's hardly even a joke, but the funny thing is it took Mavis days and days to finally get the joke.  I must have retold it to her countless times.  The other workers tried to help too, but she never got it.  A few weeks later, I walked and she said, "Pete, I get the joke!!"  Since that day, she always called me "Pete" and the name stuck. 

Mavis retired recently and I was sad to think that "Pete" would go away too, but the other workers (Hello: Bobby, Alcia, Terry and JoAnn!!!) carried on the tradition.  It just makes me happy to walk in people know my name (even if it's not really my name).  Though, funny story, Bobby told me that Alicia asked about me earlier and wondered where Pete was.  Bobby said, "You know, I think she thinks that's actually your name!  I wanted to correct her, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember your real name!"  So yeah, Pete is here to stay! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Infinite and Beyond!

Some days I have to think really hard for topics to write about, other days... well, I tend to attract adventures.  I thought today was going to be a normal day, but we ran out of a stock item and I needed to go to storage to get more.  I've only ever been twice and although I was trying to pay attension, nothing compares to the actual experience yourself.  I wasn't exactly sure where it was located; though I knew the general area.  Once in, I had the code, but wasn't exactly sure what building.  (I guessed right.)  Once parked, I got a dolly and again, wasn't exactly sure where I was going.  I didn't know for sure what floor I needed nor how to get there.  You can see how this was going to be a comedy of errors from the get-go, right? 

Not knowing which floor to stop on (though there were only three choices), I guessed 2 and nothing happened.  Very confused, I tried 3, got off the elavator and this is what I saw:



Uhhh yeah, this non-descript walls didn't help my confusion.  I did notice the door there said 590-something.  "This can't be right," I thought.  I got back on the elevator (once I manuvered my dolly; not an easy task) and pushed 2 again.  When the doors opened up, I saw my car!  "Oh no", I exclaimed, "3 must be the right floor!" 

(It was about this time I realized two things.  One, previously when I hit 2 and nothing happened, because I was not-so-obviously already on 2.  Two, I needed to document this journey into the unknown.  Comical things tend to happen to me.)

I continued down the hallway, hoping for the best... only to come to another hallway, with another set of non-descript walls, but I kept going.  I finally saw the door with a number range which looked promising.  (I forgot to take a picture!)  Once I pushed througth the door, I saw this:


Although this looks hopeless as well, the good news was there are now numbers on each "garage" door, so I knew I was geting close!  I found our unit at the end and went to pull the key from my pocket to unlock the door.... when I realized.... it wasn't in my pocket!!!  I frantically checked all my pockets, my jacket pocket, on the dolly, but NO KEY!



LOL  This is the face I made when I realized I didn't have the key!  (Everytime I see this picture I crack up laughing.  It's good to laugh at one's self, right?)  I said, "OK, God, please let the key still be in my cup holder!"  I calmly started to walk back through the maze of hallways, when all of a sudden, a sense of urgency sprang up in me and I began sprinting down the hallways!  (*enter Chariots of Fire theme song*).

I got back to the car, unlocked the doors and WHEW, there was the key!  "Thanks, God!"  I honestly didn't think I lost it - my name would have been mud if so.  I figured I'd just forgot it, when trying to remember everything else.  Indeed, that was the case.  So, back on the elevator, through the maze of hallways, to our locker.  Once I got the door open, a familiar yet daunting task was ahead of me...



...where O where would the magnet hooks be? 



Thankfully, I found them immediately and set them on the dolly outside.



Not knowing if we needed anything else, I locked up the door and took a final picture of myself, relieved and happy that I survived my first solo trip to the storage unit.  To infinite and beyond!