Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bloggy Book Club

This month's book choice was The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.
Nicholas Sparks is a very Bestselling Author and his latest book is no exception...

The book cover states...

For over a decade, Nicholas Sparks has captivated readers with stories that explore profound mysteries of the human heart, establishing him as one of our most cherished novelists. Now in his new book, he restores our belief in destiny-delivering a stunning tale about a man whose brushes with death lead him to the love of his life.

The Lucky One tells the story of U.S. Marine Logan Thibault and his journey after three tours of duty in Iraq. It is a lovely love story between Logan and a young woman, named Elizabeth who he meets under unusual circumstances...

I enjoyed this book however...I grew frustrated with the choices different characters made during the course of the story...because of that feeling...I predicted the ending much to soon!

The other thing I did, that may be unique only to my weird personality, was visualize a movie based on the book, as so many of his books become movies...with that in mind the ending will make a huge cinematic climax...predictable and a huge visual cinematic climax as well! As with all of his books that I am familiar with someone dies. I guess his true blue fans will love this but I was hoping it would be a different story. He is a wonderful story teller...I just wish I hadn't seen this ending coming from a mile off!

I have my copy of the book and the book on tape to give away if anyone would like them...just leave a comment and they are yours!

Blog about this book November 30!

Friday, November 28, 2008

TGI...F...OMG it's Friday!!!

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!!!
I am late with my friday foto...I forgot!
Here are some pictures of my Hubby and I celebrating his birthday with a day at the zoo/Busch Gardens!
I hope everyone has a great weekend!

We had fun on our little kiddie ride...I am too chicken to go on scary rides!

Cute baby gorilla.

Here is the Daddy...he was huge!

Enjoy your weekend....I have a to-do list a mile and half long! Check out Candid Carrie for more!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Losing Season Contest is over...I was going to let it run through the night but somehow my poll died...

I checked and I had it set correctly but it died none-the-less. May it rest in Peace...stupid poll thingy!

However...Each entry was wonderful... but we did have a clear winner!

Please stop by and congratulate her.

I will donate $50 to her favorite charity and blog about said charity as well!

My Turkey Weighs 26 lbs!

Everything reminds me of the fact that I have gained 20 pounds...old pictures, my clothes that don't fit and even the damn turkey!
The turkey actually weighs 6 pounds more than the total of my weight gain! Good for that turkey...not for me though!
I finally had my "Come to Jesus meeting" with myself and I joined Weight Watcher online last Wednesday! I had hoped that I would magically just wake up my old self but that has not magically happened...however everything ...I mean everything, seems to taste magically delicious!
So my "Weighs Ins" are on Friday...I was going to start weight watchers after the holidays but I knew if I did there is a very real possibility I would have a weight gain of an entire Turkey!
I would love to blame this on menopause but while some of it is...most of it is poor choices and lack of exercise...but I will admit that my metabolism has changed drastically since the onset of the big "M."
Well, (insert kick-ass drum roll) I have lost four glorious lbs! I may gain it all back on Thanksgiving Day...although I have already planned what I will eat so, I am hopeful!
My Oldest son who is a runner...he runs eight miles almost everyday...
in passing said "Mom, you should run a 5k."
He thinks I don't know he is challenging me..."Puuulllleeasse, I invented this routine , son!"
I, so far can run for a solid minute without walking...
5k....Here I come!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Bob!!!!

Happy 51st Birthday, honey...I hope your day is special...because you deserve it for all the wonderful things you do for us all!!! I love you!
Let's ditch work and do something FUN!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm Back...

I'm back a bad rash!

I am telling this sad little story, at the risk of becoming the poster child of menopausal women so I might win a Holiday contest/giveaway hosted by Adventures in Juju Boo, The Love, the lemons & the Laundry! I don't even know what I am possibly winning in the humiliating of myself and family members! But, this is how I roll!

Thanksgiving...The one where Mom drank a bottle of wine!

It, this sad little tale really started much earlier...when I was about 36. It was a work day, when in fact I was at a bank and I had just opened some kind of account and was walking to the teller line to have the teller handle the deposit. All of a sudden...I felt like my skin was on fire and that my whole body had just been dropped into an oven. Without thinking...I said "Oh my God, how hot is it in here?"
It was then that I looked at these 20 somethings dressed like Eskimos...who looked anything but hot! The young girl smiled and said "I'm freezing"
I smiled right back and said "I'm not!" Then I noticed the knowing smiles coming from the 20 something crowd and they looked at each other nodding...and I think I heard the music from Queen play softly...Another one bites the dust...and another one down.
Also, around this time I started having really bad headaches...that no one knew what was least none of the fancy Doctors I was asking...
I mentioned casually to my Mom that I had been waking up drenched in sweat almost ever night... and that I had quietly convinced myself that I had malaria since the only person who I knew who did this was my Dad who had contracted malaria while in Vietnam!
My Mom was quiet and spoke softly..."Maybe you should see you Doctor and have them take blood work... "
I said "I knew it! I have malaria!"
"No" she said "I think you maybe having the change of life!"
"What...that can't be!" I said.
"It could be and it is a very long process" my Mom said. Symptoms would come and go for me for a long while.
So...when I was 42, I was thinking that I might want to have another baby...not biologically but rather adopt but I hadn't convinced my Hubby of this...whenever he said "No!" which was often...I would get a little more depressed.
I remember just before Thanksgiving of that year walking into his office and the two 20 somethings who worked there...greeted me. One of them had just had a baby girl and the other one said "Ronda, you should have seen Bob with the baby yesterday!"
My heart lifted...he held a baby! This is too good to be true...I thought surely I could convince him of the fun and joy of having a baby again...that is until she said what came next!
"Yes, Bob said he can't wait until you have grandchildren!"
To this day...Bob and I disagree on what he could have possibly doesn't matter all I heard was "My wife is too old to be a mother, again!"

This was just days before the Thanksgiving that will live in infamy in our household!
I was feeling really wounded and I probably should have just cancelled but our oldest was coming down from college and bringing the sweetest girl in the world to our house, this sweet girl would later become our daughter-in-law! My mother, father and grandmother were all expected and it would be a household full...of witnesses!

I wish I could explain my feeling but you just have to experience this one for yourself...I sincerely wanted to murder my husband...but knew that my children would be hurt by the death of their father...especially my daughter. So...killing him was not an option!
If he had been sorry he hurt my feelings that would have been something but instead he continued to treat his wife like she was insane...which makes no sense to me! So...this person whom I wanted to kill...wanted to cook turkey with me in my kitchen! I would have all these silent arguments going on in my head...and out of no where I would look him in the face and declare..
"Lot's of women my age have babies!" He would look all startled and say something benign like... "Do we have oregano?"
People kept arriving...and I would be all two faced...I would hug them and then go back and forth alternating between ignoring and yelling at my destined to be murdered husband!
Finally, seconds before my parents and my grandmother arrived...I had worked myself up into an emotional tizzy and because it was hot in the kitchen...I screamed..."Oh my God is it hot in here?" Someone made a joke about it being just you Mom! The entire room fell could cut the tension with a knife...My poor father walked in...and said while looking at my Hubby...
" she giving you a hard time?"
I burst into tears and left 15 people standing in my home and I ran to my bedroom and slammed the door...I cried uncontrollably! I don't think I have cried that hard ever!
I could hear my Dad saying.."What did I do?"
My mother, my grandmother and my daughter came in the room and I just sat on the bed and cried... I felt old and used up! I felt like my body was completely betraying me!
I told them I didn't know what was wrong with me...My Mom just held me while I sobbed!
Finally, my grandmother said...Maybe a glass of wine would make you feel better! My granny said this...which cracked me up! I yelled for my oldest son who was conveniently 21 at the time... when he came in I said "Go get me a bottle of wine...any kind, any brand...just go get some!"
So...for the first thanksgiving I drank wine with one else did but I didn't care!
That was the last time...My hubby and I cooked Thanksgiving Dinner together!

This menopause has been a long process for me and just sucks!
But...I am happy being a grandmother! This Thanksgiving...I am most thankful to be a grandmother and my poor lucky- to- be- alive Hubby still doesn't think he said anything wrong!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bloggy Break...We Were On A Break!

Last Day for My Losing Season Contest...I have two great entries so far...

Okay...I can't help but think of Ross and Rachel of "Friends" when I read my post title!

Ross yells..."We were on a break!"

So...if you are not a fan of the TV show "Friends" ...I am just totally weird to you at this moment or maybe if you are a fan of the show...I am still totally weird to you at this moment!
I am going to take a little break from I have been using blogging to avoid (Yes really!) some work issues!

I am still reading My Losing Season by Pat Conroy and it is just a big surprise that I have enjoyed this book so much. First, it's his memoir, second he attended Citadel and thirdly he played basketball for Citadel! I would have thought that would be the trifecta of "not interesting" but I would have been wrong!

I have thought about the many times in my life that I have lost... whether it be in sports, or in love, or in pregnancies but for me the real tragedy is how many times fear just kept me out of the "game!"

So, I am having a little contest in which you may blog a story about a time when you lost. But, in that losing you have gained something bigger! The winner who will be selected by a poll which will open
Saturday, November 22 and close...Wednesday, November 26!
The announcement will be made on Thanksgiving Day!

Post a story written now or in the past, let me know and link it to me! Also, let everyone know what charity you would like to blog for...this will let others be aware of some important charities out there! The deadline for entry is Friday, November 21!
I will donate $50 to the winning charity!
Here are two entries so far...I will keep adding to this post!

Candid Carrie's My Dearest Madeleine Rose
Hippie Family's Giving to Give
Journey of Faith- A Path to Motherhood The Story Behind the Title

So I won't be blogging this week...but I will be reading your blogs!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Growing Pains...

As a child I was told that Santa came to my house first on Christmas Eve because we were his favorites...later I realized my parents enjoyed sleeping in on Christmas Day. But...every Christmas Eve my Mom would take us out to look at all the houses decorated for the Holiday and every year when we got home...we would discover we just missed Santa! My Dad would describe in vivid detail what happened, as I got older and older he had less and less details.

This traditional set up worked well for me when I married as My Hubby celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day like the other " red headed step-children" Santa tolerated. This allowed Christmas for "My family" on Christmas Eve as "the Chosen" family, Santa clearly adored!
This continued until 1979 when our first child was born...My Hubby insisted his little family celebrate on Christmas Day...and it meant I could continue to be with my family on Christmas Eve. My Poor Hubby's family has seen us once or twice as they live in Virginia and we just don't travel much during the holidays. traditions have gotten complicated...for extremely good reasons! All my children are married or very nearly married, as in the last Born's case!
We don't all attend Christmas Eve worship service together anymore as we don't attend the same churches anymore. We don't go looking at the Christmas lights together and then over to my Mom and Dad's although, all the kids do show up at my Mom and Dad's. We do see each other on Christmas morning...although I suspect that will stop soon as Carter and Katie will rightly begin their traditions with their parents. We no longer see movies together on Christmas day because with extended family members we were saving seats for 30! Oh, People do hate that!

It is hard sometimes for Empty Nester's...I know a lot of people are thrilled to be a couple again and we are, too! But, the holidays are the times I literally ache for my children...not so much who they are now...but for their little selves who filled my heart with such joy!
Don't get me wrong...I love my life now...but at Christmas, I do miss the little Baer children and all of our traditions... but they are too big to sit on my lap and read to!
Visit Carrie she has a great give-away involving family traditions!
Also, My Losing Season Contest could win $50 for your favorite charity!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blog for Your Charity!!

My Pay-it Forward winners need to send me their don't have to play but you do need to receive!

Rhonda from A day in Rhonda's Life who is just getting ready to go on the vacation of a life time!
Candid Carrie who has a wonderful Zoo life...literally... a lot of beautiful animals live there as well as her beautiful children.
Lizzy of Hot Tub Lizzy who has a guy who is so romantic and two beautiful daughters who are also funny like their mother!

Don't forget my Thanksgiving Loser Contest! Blog about a time where you lost something and it meant something to could be anything! But in that losing you gained something meaningful! The deadline for entries is November 21st. I will post a poll that will close November 26th and the winner announced November 27th, Thanksgiving Day.
I will donate $50 to the winner's designated charity!
So...enter something you have already written or post something new and tell your readers about the contest and about the charity you are writing for...this will give your charity some exposure...if they have a web page include that information as well!
Our first entry is by Candid Carrie and it is a beautiful one at that...
My Dearest Madeleine Rose
Our second entry is entitled Giving to Give by Hippie Family and it is very heartwarming!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cupcakes...two to go..go!

Okay...I know you can't help but look at the cutest- boy- in- America! But...tear your eyes away and check out that fancy mixer! That beauty was given to me in 1977 for my wedding to the Mister! It has made a lot of cupcakes...especially these last three years! My grandson loves to bake!
Stop looking at those dirty dishes...dishes can wait...when I have my grand babies...we bake!

Decorated by cutest-boy-in America!

Cutest girl reaching for icing on the cupcake...she is fast!

After all these years...I can do almost anything one handed!
Visit Candid Carrie for more friday fotos!

Mind Wandering...

Let's's already Thursday...what am I thinkin'?
The economy has me is a wonder anyone would want to be President right father said "I wouldn't take the job!"
Which reminded me of this fab coaster my friend Karyn gave me for my desk that reads...
No truer words were ever written.
I need a vacation... I need for my accounts receivables not to be in 90 days...which is about to force my accounts payable into a very dark place!
Speaking of dark places...I can't watch most of these reality shows like Celebrity Rehab...I last maybe five minutes and then while cringing...I switch the channel! The one I do watch though...I can not explain why... Tori and Dean! I sit there mesmerized...the Hubby thinks I am crazy!
Anyway...back to a vacation...Anyone going to BlogHer convention in Chicago next July?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Be or Not To Be...

Yesterday I blogged about meeting a Muslim woman I will call Helen and how she was very patient in sharing her faith with me.
I had talked to my Mom about it. My Mom mentioned this to her sister, my Aunt. My Aunt has a neighbor who is Muslim and he is very nice to my Aunt...she is a widow and he seems to be concerned for my Aunt's welfare...I guess they would be neighborly with each other. (I hope they still are with each other) He mentioned an open house at the Mosque he attends and invited my Aunt. She called me and asked if that might be something I would be interested in going to...I said that it was. It was this past Saturday.

As Saturday morning came and I was trying to pick out what to wear...I thought back to how Helen was dressed...long, loose and flowing pants and tops. She wore long sleeves and her head and hair were completely covered. She wore traditional hijab headdress and she told me when she left her home she wore a veil. She explained that it was for modesty and to follow Muhammad's instruction's. I wanted to wear something modest...I found a long pair of brown pants and a denim blue long sleeved painters smock top. I wore socks, when normally I would have put on a pair of flip flops. I was conscious of the fact that when I entered the mosque I would be taking my shoes off. I knew that they would want me to wear the head covering which is wrapped around your neck and head. My Aunt had said already she wasn't wearing that...but I felt I should out of respect for their place of worship. I wanted to wear my own covering...but none of my scarves matched my blue and brown ensemble...I did find something that matched...a Bali batik sarong given to me by my friend who is a nudist! This just made me laugh...So..I am laughing and ironing a sarong that my nudist friend would barely I could put it on my head! It had lovely shades of blue and brown and Hubby was not impressed with my outfit!

I drove to my Aunt's and we rode together, in her car to the open house at the Mosque.
We pulled up into the parking lot and the building, resembled a church building and what could have been an attached school or daycare type building with playground area as well. It looked very normal...I wasn't sure what I was expecting! I had talked to my Aunt in the car ride over about the book that I read (The Faith Club) and what I had hoped for or was looking for. My Aunt told me her neighbor wouldn't be there but a friend of his was and that he was expecting us and would answer any questions I had.
I hadn't thought of speaking with a man...I just wanted to speak with a woman but as we entered I didn't worry at all. There were so many kind women who approached us and greeted us. One in particular asked if she could show us around and we said that would be kind of her. She showed us the men's prayer room and the women's prayer room, as the sexes pray and worship separately. When we came to the larger room she asked that we take our shoes off and then there were young girls with boxes of scarves and they asked if we wanted Aunt said no and I said I had one but did not know how to wear it. I took out my sarong and this very sweet girl wrapped it over my head and asked me to hold the left side of it while she wrapped it around my neck and over my shoulder. I asked if my hair could show as I remember Helen's did not and she smiled and said it would be okay!

We entered the Mosque and there were tables lined in the shape of a rectangle with women and men together with paper and literature on each table. My first inclination was to go to the table with women around my age but my aunt spotted this man that her friend said we should talk to...this turned out to be the new Imam who had just been hired.
We sat down and I was uncomfortable from almost the first moment we sat down.
It just seemed very wrong to be sitting at a table with two men and I was so self conscious about my head covering NOT staying on. I asked the same questions that Helen had answered but I just didn't get the same authentic answers...I also was told that it was Western Media's fault that Islam had a bad image and that Sunni and Shia had gotten along fine until we invaded Iraq. Now...I am a liberal Democrat... and I am not a big fan of the Iraq war..however...I don't remember a lot of peace in the middle east...whether we were in Iraq or not. There are reasons that Shia and Sunni do not get along and they have nothing to do with Western Media! I also asked whether he considered Christians hindsight maybe I should not have asked but... anyway more men came over until it felt a little like we were surrounded. One of the men who spoke English very well started quoting scripture from the book of John in the bible...implying that Jesus was just a human. It wasn't what he said but the way he said the words and how he fake smiled at me that upset me. Clearly this was about proving me wrong. I let him speak...and when he was quiet...I said I wouldn't argue Jesus' humanity with him...I did believe that Jesus was fully human. He smiled and said something to the others like..."she said Jesus was human!" I then said "He was fully human and Divine...this is what I believe and I am Christian." The men were just staring at me. I asked "Does this mean that we can not have respect for each other's faith?" They assured me that we could and that Islam meant Peace...and that we, those who are Jews or Christians would be considered people of scripture not infidels. The men left the table then and did not come back. It was over...I suppose, I had offended them.

As we were leaving my Aunt said she knew of a charitable organization made up of Jewish, Muslim and Christian women that might be a better idea for me. So, I will try again.
Later, I had a long walk with Hubby who sometimes reminds me why I find him so darn cute...he listened to all of it ...and then said "God will make a way for this if it's to be!"
I have decided I can't just interrogate people... or make them feel interrogated. I have to have a friendship with them based on mutual respect and then when they trust me...they will share their faith. I have to be patient and wait for that to happen. If it's meant to will be!

Why Can't We Be Friends?

As I said yesterday...I have met a woman who is Muslim and have attempted to form a relationship with her of some kind.
I had read the book The Faith Club and it inspired me to want to have that kind of relationship with women of different faiths. I have never had friends other than Christians and I want to have friends of different faith backgrounds.
I knew I lived near a local Mosque but I don't know anyone who is several weeks ago a man walked by me in the grocery store...he looked like Jesus. I mean the way he dressed and wore sandals...he was Muslim and while the Hubby stood beside me I told this man about the book that I had read and that I had hoped to meet two women of different faiths than mine. I asked him if he knew of a woman who wouldn't mind me asking her questions about Islam. He turned out to be the Imam of that local Mosque and he said his wife would be glad to speak with me and I gave him my phone number and he gave me hers. One week later...she and I met at her home.
My Hubby and I had gone to a reception that day and it had run longer than we had expected. So, because of the late time and the fact that I didn't want to be late to meet her...we came straight from our previous engagement. That would mean My Hubby would drop me off and then he would need to pick me up. We met the Imam outside his apartment building and I told My Hubby that I shouldn't be later than a half of an hour! He watched me walk away with the Imam. Boy was that sentence a mistake! Turns out during the reception My Hubby had turned my cell phone ringer off...and I was not a half of an hour instead more like two hours!
My poor Hubby called me four times...while thinking of me sitting in a chair with a bag pulled over my head and a video camera taping me! He went over and over in his head what he was going to tell my brother the cop!
It is so funny to me now...but he really was worried and then ashamed that his imagination was terrifying him and then scared for me. All that completely went away when he saw me and then it turned to "I am so mad at you Ronda... I am going to kill you!" He felt a little sorry when I said I did not know my phone had been turned off!

I haven't talked about this in the blog because I just don't know what to feel about it yet....I spent two wonderful hours speaking with this woman about her faith and I was thrilled she was so patient...we have exchanged emails. She explained in great detail the five pillars of Islam and the importance of Mecca. She was very patient and kind. I was so excited and hoped she and I would be great friends! However, my feeling now is that she probably isn't interested in a friendship but rather in giving me the information to prevent me from spending an eternity in hell...which don't get me wrong I am grateful for but I really do think I am okay!
She never seemed offended when I asked questions ...and as I said she was very patient! I was very impressed with her faith. She has emailed me and asked that we meet so she can return the book (a copy of The Faith Club) ... I am disappointed because I don't think it will go further.
I haven't any feelings of judgement for her however I have felt a little judged by her at times!
My hopes in going to the Mosque (which was not the Mosque that they attend) was that I would learn more and I did. It was an open house to learn more about Islam...I thought that sounded perfect! It just wasn't the best of experiences...more about that tomorrow!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friends, Faith, Pay-it-Forward and Losing!

This weekend was busy for me and quiet...odd combination. I had made some commitments but all them I was looking forward it didn't seem like drudgery! As I have aged, I am doing less of the things I do not enjoy because I feel pressured to do them. I have stopped being the always available friend...and lo and behold I wasn't the friend they thought I was but I do own more of my own time. Also, the friends I have left share a mutually fulfilling relationship! What that means is we are equally yoked! I do for them and they do for me, too! For a long while I had a lot of friends who I did many things for but the street only ran one way...I stopped and they went away!

I had read The Faith Club, a book about three women who develop a friendship based on their desire to be sensitive to each others faiths. These three woman of Muslim, Christianity and Jewish faiths build a bond of friendship that grows during their time together. With this in mind I have met a Muslim woman and spent time with her discussing her religion and I visited a Mosque on Saturday. I am still thinking about how this is happening and even if it is possible for me to find people who would be sensitive to each others faith without trying to convert each far I haven't felt very hopeful!

After my visit to the open house at the mosque...My Hubby and I walked in a park near our home...we have made a commitment to be hikers/walkers! We went to a nice party on Saturday...busy weekend but we did things we enjoy rather than what we feel obligated to do.

I am playing pay-it-forward the first three people who comment get a small token of my affection! You may play or not it is up to you! I won at Zander and Me and the video is priceless if you would like to see it!

Also, I am having a Thanksgiving contest for Losers!
Write of a time you lost something you really wanted or hoped to win and what the losing meant to you!You may also tell about a charity you hope to win the $50 for and I will put up and poll so encourage people to vote for you!
Our first entry is Candid Carrie and it is beautiful!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Sunday Salon and more....

The Sunday Salon

I finally finished Eat this Book by Eugene H. Peterson which he describes as a conversation in the art of spiritual reading ... I have to say it wasn't much of a conversation! I found this book to be boring and I made myself finish it as it was for a class I attend. I found very little I disagreed with although there were a few items... but mostly I just didn't care for this book.
***update*** I got home from my Sunday School class and after our discussion of this book, I feel like I should add that there is a chapter in this book that I did like very much and it was probably the "meat and potato" of the entire book! It speaks of spiritual reading and I have to say I did enjoy this part of the book and found it important to me and where I am at in terms of my faith. That said...I still found this book a bit boring.
I just three minutes ago...finished Gilead by Marilynne Robinson author of Housekeeping and The Death of Adam, which I have not read. I liked Gilead, it is a story about a congregationalist minister named John Ames who is writing his "begats" for his young son. While reading his memories of his family life and other minutia you feel his sense of urgency because of his illness.
I felt it was beautifully written. This book was given to me by a friend who loved it...I find that most endearing...when you find a book you just want to share with a friend or loved one!

I am reading My Losing Season by Pat Conroy...I have had it on a book shelve for about three years and so...since I made the decision to be a reader...I am reading again! Pat Conroy is a wonderful author...I had read The Prince of Tides and Beach I am familiar with his fictional work but My Losing Season is a memoir and it is very interesting!

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks is the Bloggy Book Club choice for November!
If you would like to be a's so simple read the book of the month, Blog the last Sunday of the month and tell us what you thought of the book. This month is November 30th!

If you would like a chance to win $50 for your favorite charity check out My Loser contest!
Blog about a time when Losing meant something to you and mention what charity you are competing for and why and tell people to vote for you!
I will announce the winner Thanksgiving Day! You have one more week to enter and then I will link all your stories and then make up a poll!

Our first entry is beautifully written as always by Candid Carrie.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

friday foto finish

My baby is engaged!
He has picked the best girl in the world to be his bride!
This may sound cheesy, even velveeta cheesy but we are the luckiest family I know!
We love you Ryan and Lauren!

For more friday fotos visit Candid Carrie!
Enter my contest for LOSERS
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Good Morning Losers!

...and I mean that in the nicest way!
I am reading Pat Conroy's memoir My Losing Season. This is a great read so far...
So...I have been thinking about losing and being a loser! It isn't fun to lose or at least I hate to lose...
Does anyone enjoy losing?
I have a good friend who didn't win something huge in High School, like cheerleaders or Homecoming friend can't even emember what is was!
But she hasn't forgotten her Mother's words...
my friend is sobbing on her bed, her life in ruins and fearing she would never be able to show her face in the the hallways of high school again!
Her Mom comes in and tells her what will become her and later my philosophy on losing!
She tells her that in losing she will have richer friend who was 15 at the time...thought... Great...not only am I a loser but my Mom is crazy! friend and I always call each other when we have these character building experiences! Over the years we have built up a lot of character!
I bring this up because...I really am enjoying this book and I recommend it!
But... also I know many of you did not support my candidate and while I am not sorry my guy won...I am sorry you are hurt! I think about the times I worked hard for a Presidential candidate to have him' s hard! I know this is hard for John McCain who I do respect and admire!
In the spirit of Losers everywhere...I am having a contest about losing...write about a time where your losing actually meant something to you! I will let the readers judge and I will donate $50 to your favorite charity...just not a charity that hurts anyone! I mean really.... charitable hurting!
First link back to me and leave a comment saying you want to play and what Charity you hope to win for! I will announce the winner on Thanksgiving day! Please pick a Charity that I can give to online and I will print the receipt and then mail it to you!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama and Joe Biden

**As busy as he is and still he writes to me...**

Ronda --
I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first. We just made history. And I don't want you to forget how we did it. You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change. I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign. We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next. But I want to be very clear about one thing... All of this happened because of you.
Thank you, Barack

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Dear Children...

I am old enough to remember a time in our country when there were separate bathrooms for Blacks...I am so glad that you will never have that memory. You will have this night...for this night our country has elected our first African American President but more than that...a great man who will be a great President!
I am so proud of the three of are people who care and who believe in your country!
Thank you for voting and for your excitement! You have made me so very proud!

May God bless our country and I am so proud to be an American!

Our God is An Awesome God!

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."


I pray God's will for our country!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pack Rat...NO MOre!!!

****My kindest son...made me remove his image.***

My two sons helped me clean out my attic before we moved to the house we are currently "aboding"...we became the cliche Empty Nester's who downsize! Hi, I am Ronda and I am a recovering pack rat and this picture is a reminder to me about how silly I can become if left unmonitored!
I worked for Barnett Bank for nine years and I really did enjoy working for this company...the training was top notch and they had great benefits...those are things like insurance, profits sharing, 401k and bonuses! Most companies, mine included don't offer these things anymore! But, I do digress often...
and usually (...) follows it...!
We got the word that Barnett Bank was being sold like everyone else...speculators on the news! Barnett Bank and Nations Bank had stopped selling their stock leading to the news organizations stating that we or they were being bought. Turns out it was the evil "they" was buying "we" and it was very sad! It is a long process as the Bank doesn't want to lose their you spend many hours telling your customers everything is fine while you watch your friends and co-workers lose their jobs....slowly, behind closed the customers might notice missing bodies, if it happened all at once.
The process of dismantling Barnett Bank took about six months...I went out to lunch one day and I came back and they were taking the sign off the building...I guess the pressure was too I stood there like a very small girl and cried and cried ...big snotty tears!!! A kind man came over..carefully because really what kind of normal woman cries when a sign is taken down...and he asked if I wanted the letters! I stopped crying and said "Yes!" like it was a normal thing to do! So for ten years I kept those letters in my attic because I just couldn't find the right place to display them.... finally My Hubby, and two sons persuaded me to just let them go and then the two sons did the kindest thing for their slightly deranged mother...they took this picture!!!
I love you Rob and really are the kindest young men!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blessed and Grateful!!!

Big Brother walks his little Sister up to the houses...I don't think there is anything cuter!!!

Friday night ...Trick or much fun! We had a Gator Cheerleader and Darth Vader visit...just the best!!!

I am thankful to God to live in this great country! I do not take any of my blessings for granted...I walked with my Hubby on Saturday 6 miles round trip to vote at our local library, a library I might add that is beautifully filled with books, movies, magazines, computers and newspapers. We waited in line for an hour and I was so excited to see this many people caring enough about their country to vote! After, we voted we walked to a small restaurant that is owned by a man who was an executive chef to a restaurant that was in the twin towers...It is now my favorite restaurant! My Hubby and I walked home and then watched our beloved Gators ...okay...I fell asleep but Hubby watched!

We got up and went to church because I have the freedom to worship in my country without fear of persecution...Hubby and I had lunch out with two other couples who are just a joy to be around! Sunday afternoon...we went and listened to Jimmy Buffett who gave of his time for a free concert for our political candidate!

I am proud to be an American and I am Christian...I don't profess to be a Christian...I am one by faith!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November Bloggy Book Club

I decided to pick a romantic novel for this month....

November's Bloggy Book Club Choice is The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Blog with us on November 30,2008
Halloween Give-away winner...jill jill bo bill!!! Email me with your address!