Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April's Bloggy Book Club

April's Bloggy Book Club Choice Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta

Read and Blog April 26th.

Galway Bay...A Great Novel

March's Bloggy Book club choice was Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly and it is a beautifully written historical novel.
From the prologue

We wouldn't die and that annoyed them. They'd spent centuries trying to kill us off, one way or another, and here we were, raising seven, eight , nine of a family on nothing but potatoes and buttermilk. But then the blight destroyed the potato. Three times in four years our only food rotted in the ground. Nothing to eat, the healthy crops sent away to England. We starved. More than a million died- most of them in the West, which is only a quarter of the country, with Ireland itself just half the size of Illinois. A small place to hold so much suffering. But we didn't all die. Two million of us escaped, one reaching back for the next. Surely one of the great rescues in human history. We saved ourselves, helped only by God and our own strong faith. Now look at us, doing well all over the world. We didn't die.

Honora Keeley Kelly
born 1882. Told to her great-granddaughter Agnella Kelly,
Sister Mary Erigina, born 1889, and
reported to the author, Honora's

The prologue had me...I hadn't even read the first page and this quote pulled me into the novel.
The statement... "Two million of us escaped, one reaching back for the next." just seemed so sad and beautiful at the same time!

Galway Bay is a novel about one family's epic journey from Ireland to America...it is a journey of great tragedy and sadness but shows what incredible strength and resilience people can have. This novel spans six generations from the Great Starvation to the Civil War...it is beautifully written and inspired by the author's family history.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bloggy Book Club...Not!

It's time for Bloggy Book Club...only I am not finished...so embarrassing getting sort of...caught...not prepared! I have just had too much excitement this month!!!
Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly is a great book and I am still reading it and I will blog when I am done.
It took me about 10 hours to notice that when I changed my post title yesterday from Life is Precious to Life and Love ...I didn't change the IS to an ARE...so maybe blogging isn't such a good idea when you are this busy!!!
I am visiting my grandmother!
My Mom is also home from the hospital!
Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Life and Love are Precious!

My mother had surgery on Thursday morning, it was scheduled, expected...needed.
I thought I had given myself plenty of time for my daughter and I to arrive just as Mom would be taken back for surgery... so Dad wouldn't be... alone. I should have given myself another 15 minutes for finding the elusive parking spot and then the process of checking into the hospital and walking to the surgery waiting room because...I was late.

My father was not alone, as his preacher sat beside him...but he did appear alone in thought...sitting straightly...feet planted firmly on the floor... hands clasped in his lap. He looked like what he was...a Naval officer. Suddenly my strong father...someone I had on many occasions been afraid of...seemed so small. I knew he was praying...maybe pleading!
He saw us...and his face lit up...which even for me, a 50 year old woman...made me happy that my Dad seemed happy to see me.

I am not talented at many things but I am good in a difficult circumstance...life has prepared me.
I know how to wait... and how to entertain... and be entertained! Within minutes, we were all laughing and telling stories...competing for punch lines. The two hours went by as quickly as I could make it!
At this point, Mom was out of surgery and finally in recovery...the lady at the desk handed my father a pager... similar to the ones restaurants give you...just before they say it's a 45 minute wait! When the pager goes off...he would know her room number! My Dad said we would all go eat and it was his treat...My youngest sister had arrived at this point...so the four of us followed the signs to the cafeteria.
All during lunch my father had his finger tips touching this pager, glancing at it often...one time he asked me to hold it...making it a point to say..."Hold this for me for a minute!"
Barely...a minute later...he took back the only tie he had to his wife ...holding it with two hands!
My Mom was in recovery for two hours and she did fine...so did Dad!

While...I was with my father... my cell phone rang and a friend told me a mutual friend had fallen and hit her head and was in ICU...and would I call our Pastor...which I did. I prayed for my friend... and also for her husband...now waiting in a waiting room! I prayed he didn't feel alone.

**Update on my friend...She is out of ICU and while she will need surgery...she won't have any lasting complications from her fall! :)**

Thursday, March 26, 2009

26 Years Ago...We Were So Blessed!

Dear Rachel,
I prayed for you...I sat on the floor in the kitchen at night and prayed and cried for another baby... quiet so your Dad wouldn't hear.
I wanted another baby so much. I hated that I envied other mother's their sweet babies and while I was excited about all your older brother's milestones, I knew it took me further and further away from all the baby memories we had shared.
We had decided to stop trying and just embrace our family of three...I didn't think I could go through another miscarriage. Your Dad while sad...honored my decision. And then...like something out of a movie...on our 5th wedding anniversary...
I totally surprised your Dad when we found out I was already pregnant with you...an answered prayer as far as I was concerned! I often describe you as the heart and soul of our family...always loving, loyal...so very tenderhearted.
I love that you set goals for yourself and attain them. I love that you love God, politics, The Florida Gators and Britney Spears.
I am proud of the young woman you have become and while I won't take the credit for you...I will say you are exactly the girl I prayed for... although... I had imagined you with darker hair!
I love you and I hope you had a wonderful 26th Birthday!
Love, Mom
P.S. I owe you Chicken and Yellow Rice w/ peas on top!

Visit Cute Candid Carrie for more friday foto!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Shelf Life of Boobies are Not as Long as You Might Think!!

Okay...here goes... this is a warning for the next sixty seconds...or longer if you read very slowly...there will be the words boobies and boobs used in my post!
IF...you are offended by this...Don't Read this Post!!!
IF...I gave birth to you...Don't Read this Post!!
If...you married someone I gave birth to...Don't read this post!!
If you gave birth to me or had anything to do with the birthing of me...Don't Read this Post!!
If you attend my church...Don't Read this Post!!
If anyone is still reading this post...

I went to Pilates and I do apologize for always posting about Pilates all the time... but I pay more for it a week than for my groceries...so let's just say it's a big part of my life!!

I had an epiphany while sweating and praying that Jesus would take me home before the end of my class!

There is this instrument of torture there called the barrel and the instructor usually becomes so frustrated with me she just shows me what she wants me to do...because I am a Moron!!
But...this time she verbally instructs...

"Put your tummy on the barrel letting your boobies hang off the side!
So because I think like a 12 year old boy...I start laughing!!!

Now Old Ronda which is Young Ronda probably could have done this but New Ronda which is Old Ronda struggled...(you understand that, right?)

So...I do manage to haul myself onto barrel and then while placing boobies (teehee) on barrel...it occurs to me that my boobies are now boobs and they move independently of one another meaning that I end up with one boob hanging off barrel and the other on the barrel!
One went South and the other North...
this makes me laugh harder...it's okay...

Old Ronda which is Young Ronda would have laughed, too!!!

So...I did what New Ronda which is Old Ronda had to do...I take my hand and I lift my wayward boob off the barrel and try again!!
For more Wordful Wednesdays visit Angie

Monday, March 23, 2009

Deep Thinking The Human Condition...

I just finished reading S.A. Odunsi's book, Deep Thinking the Human Condition...not a light read by the way!
This book is the first four chapters in a series of books yet to come. Odunsi lets the reader know upfront that he feels Social Science, of Western Academia has a monopoly as designated problem solver and that they have failed to solve some of the world's most serious endemic problems.
He makes the argument that Social Science has failed to teach people to function in a way that facilitate economic development in the third world and eliminate "pockets" of persistent poverty in the developed countries. He states that Social Science has made no real progress and provided no real return on investment which has resulted in an acceptance that endemic world problems as a matter of fact.
I would like to say that this book would open up healthy debate...but it will not...those who agree with the author will and those who don't won't! The author feels that Social Science has a monopoly on how to handle the problems of poverty...he leaves completely out the topic of any organized religion or... disorganized religion for that matter. Whether flawed or not in their thinking many feel morally obligated to "feed the poor" or "comfort the sick" and this is not as he states a result of social science but rather a teaching of all major religions.
I have been to Honduras and have seen the influence of the Catholic Church...this is not Social Science but rather religion at work!
The argument that social science has not had any return on investment made me laugh out loud...Can you imagine him stating this to Mother Theresa?
I do not argue with any of his statements...but I didn't hear any real answers to any of his criticisms...he is right...The poor are still among us!
I guess if I were concerned about the poor...I would do something about it...something! If I were concerned about the money being spent on the poor... I would write a book!
This book was a difficult read...not just for content but it is written as a text book and as such is just not that interesting. If it were written differently...I think mainstream America would read it...as it is just Western Academia will...and as the author states they are already doing it wrong!
**First person to comment who would like a copy of this book and who will blog about it...I will mail them a copy!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gee...I Miss The Travel Channel!!

Dear Travel Channel,
I just watched about ten minutes of
Bridget's New Show and may I just ask...

Are you freaking kidding me?
So...I do read from her bio that she has a B.A. in Communications and a Master's in Communication and yet she still talks in a breathy little girl voice!!!

I have to ask...
Why does she act like her brain is much smaller than her boobs?

You may put Miss Bridget opposite Monday night Football!!!!

Please bring back Samantha Brown!!

Sincerely, Ronda of Ronda's Rants

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Air Riley

Our Golden Retriever Riley has completely recovered from her surgery but while her incision was healing...she kept scratching it and at times would make it bleed!
Our Vet suggested a T-shirt which we thought was cute...Riley wasn't thrilled with her new fashion accessory!
She continued to try to scratch it anyway she could...
When you have an itch...you want to scratch it!

Happy Friday and visit Cute Candid Carrie for more friday fotos!

In Sickness and Health...I am on the Couch

I was sick about two months ago...I was on the couch most of the time...barely moving...it was Yuck! I slept on the couch because I didn't want the father of my children, love of my life and man of my dreams sick!
My Hubby is sick...

I am on the couch...I do not know how he sleeps with all the noise he makes!
I love you Hubby and I hope you feel better soon...my back hurts!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

She Loves Turtles and Fish!

My Grand Daughter loved seeing the turtles and fish at MOSI...she would have loved to get in the pond with them!
For More Wordful Wednesdays visit Angie!
Go have some fun!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Scary Man

Hubby and I fed people last night at the I am Hope Cafe. There are nine of us ranging from age 86 down to someone in her 30's on my team. I have a great team of people. We are all different but our love of God and our belief that all his people deserve to be fed unites us.
We fed 70 people, this number varies from night to night but it consistently seems to be growing!

We are busy...really busy...it is intense moving for about an hour and half. I am in awe of people who serve and work in restaurants daily...it is hard work! For the most part everyone you come in contact is grateful, humble and non-scary!

Scary Man was sitting in the back by himself staring at me as I walked towards him...he had a know-it-all-smirk on his face. I kept coming.
Big smile on my face as I said "Did you get enough to eat?" His reply kept the smile awkwardly frozen on my face.
"What are you smiling about?" "Did you call the Good Shepherd like I told you to?"
This conversation while real or imaginary never happened between me and him.
"I don't remember you asking me to..." I replied while noticing how pissed off he was getting by my response.
I then broke the cardinal rule...I touched him without asking for permission. I touched his shoulder and said that I was sorry. Many asked to be hugged, as they are treated as invisible and this interaction between us and them is the only "normal" interaction they have for the day.
Scary Man hadn't asked to be hugged...in fact Scary Man didn't even want me to talk to him.
I knew I was in trouble...I immediately apologized and walked away to get Hubby in case something developed from my mistake.
One of my team members noticed my expression and came over to me, he is 86 years old and I love him dearly, as a black man he has experienced prejudice but he has made it a point not to let anything that has happened change his love for his fellow man. He is kind and humble...and very brave. I told him what happened and he hugged me and went straight up to scary man who happens to be thirty years younger and about two feet taller. I was now running to get the Hubby.
But...it was unnecessary as our team member with his kind and humble attitude got him to go outside and sit quietly.

Scary Man was the last to leave...and every time I looked up he was staring at me...I tried hard to not let him frighten me or dampen my joy of being there but it was hard to not let that happen. He was outside as we took the trash out and he worried my Hubby to the point of him not letting me leave his side.
Scary Man sat outside on the bench, alone and the epitome of rage.

I thought about all the bible stories I learned as a child about Jesus healing the lame and the sick and I asked God to heal this man.
I prayed again this morning for Scary Man and for all those he may encounter.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Good Morning!

I don't have anything to say nor the time to say it but I did want to say...

Good Morning!
May your day be blessed! I am off to Pilates!

Ronda from Ronda's Rants

Thursday, March 12, 2009

friday foto Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley arrived from Betty's...and we brought him outside to feed the cat fish that live in our lake out back...our ever declining lake. Florida is in a severe drought...too bad there isn't a stimulus package for that!

We had hoped the weather would be warm enough for the beach...but not quite yet!
So instead we took him to the Museum of Science and Industry or MOSI for short.

Stanley is such a poser!

Hubby and Grand daughter in the wind machine...she loved it!

Grand Daughter took very good care of Flat Stanley...she is such a little Mama!

Stanley lent us a hand in the tug-of-war!

Not much of a hand...I have to say!
Thanks Rhonda we had a fun time with Stanley and next time we will take him to the beaches of Florida...which are amazing!

Stanley is headed first class all the way to Angie!

For more friday foto visit Cute Candid Carrie!

Here is Why I don't Twitter or is it Tweet?

I don't twitter or tweet...no offense to anyone who does...I frankly, am sure my life is just not that interesting enough to have twitter updates!
Here's the evidence:

4:30 am I am wondering how in God's holy name my Hubby doesn't wake himself up with all the racket he calls breathing!

6:00am (which is really 5am thanks to stupid daylight saving)

I am Taking Miley out before I get a chance to pee because she seems really anxious to go...wondering why an altered two year old dog can't hold her bladder longer than a 50 year old woman who has had three children naturally!

6:15am I am peeing.

6:20am Thank God for coffee...
the smell,
the taste,
thank you Hubby for using your talents to make coffee!!!

6:30am Discovered Miley didn't make it through the night and peed on my tile floor in hallway and I am now cleaning up pee on floor!

7:00am I am watching news...

7:05am I am now not watching news. Ignorance is bliss!

7:06am I just found lint in my belly button!

7:30am I am checking my accounts and I think my relationship with Math has held me back with budget issues...and diets!

8:00am I got nothing!

10:00 am I am going into the Torture chamber...I have Maria for Pilates today! She tortures people for a living and I think she likes it...
What kind of a woman pays to feel this kind of pain!

11:05 am Maria told me I did really well today...and I felt giddy from the compliment...I think I am suffering from Stockholm syndrome!

11:15 am I have to RUSH...Go home, shower and drive to St.Pete to pick up check that will allow me to stimulate others economy!

2:00pm I am leaving Bank of America...somewhat sad...I just closed our accounts there due to better interest rates at other bank and our customer's bank with other bank, as well so I won't have to deal with "holds from hell!" I suggested the bank may want to change it's name to Bank of China...she wasn't amused! I am sad though... it's my last tie to Barnett Bank!

3:00pm I just ate three bags of 100 calorie snacks...again the Math thing messes me up!

5:00pm I briefly tried the news again...Did you know it never changes?

9:00pm Lost is on my last nerve...it's a repeat! I wouldn't be watching this show at all except the Hubby is hanging in there! This show is a mess...

10:00pm I am reading Galway Bay until I fall asleep...

This is why I don't twitter!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have a " AWE Filled" Day!

My winner for SITS Girls Spring Fling Give-away is Teri at Let Me Think on it! She will be the proud owner of the soundtrack from Slumdog Millionaire.

I hope she is as excited as the first time my beautiful grand daughter saw Build a Bear!
Actually, I wish everyone that kind of day!
Happy Wednesday! Visit Angie for more Wordful Wednesdays!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Quickly as I Am Late Again!!!

Okay...Love Spring...hate daylight saving time! I want my ripped off hour back! I am late to everything now!

But...I love SPRING FLING at the SITS Girls!
Enter here for my drawing of the sound track of slumdog millionaire...I haven't seen the movie yet but I love the music!!!
Visit the SITS Girls for Springtastic giveaways!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Hello...I feel like I haven't blogged in awhile...so busy!

Thanks for all the great captions to Friday foto picture...I let Hubby and The Only Daughter choose the funniest one.....(drum roll reaches crescendo...)
Karyn wins! Her comment was witty and showed she is a regular reader referencing my humiliating experience involving the gym and a squat! She wins a $10 gift card to Starbucks!
Blogstalker won a very honorable mention with both Hubby and Daughter commenting that they feel Blogstalker is of the male persuasion...Visit HIS blog and let me know what you think!
If you want to see all of the funny comments go here!

I am taking Jill Jill bo Bill's advice for being more generous and going through all closets and cabinets...our youth group at church is having a garage sale...and I have some stuff to give away!

Hubby and I checked out three movies from the library...
Cinderella Man...excellent!!!
Gone Baby Gone...also excellent
27 Dresses...Pretty Good!

I just finished reading Big Russ & Me by Tim Russert and I loved it! I love politics and he was very active in politics but it was his interesting relationship with his father that was very enjoyable to read about!

I will mail this book to the first person who wants it!

Hubby and I had mentioned we were looking for used bikes to ride to my dad as we had given ours away to a couple of men who were down on their luck and needed transportation. So...my dad bought us two bikes and fixed them up and brought them over for us...
My Hubby and I at 51 and 50 (Me) haven't had Dad buy us a bike in a couple of years...it felt like Christmas...it was really very sweet!
Thanks Dad!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

friday foto ...Give the Picture a Caption!

I do not know who took this picture or what My Hubby and The Only Daughter are doing but...the picture cracks me up! Frankly...it's a miracle anything can make me laugh right now!
For a $10 gift certificate to Starbucks...give this picture a caption...make either me, The Hubby or The Only Daughter laugh and you win!!!
Happy Friday!!
Visit cute Candid Carrie for more friday fotos!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

HELP!! I Have Fallen in a Squat and I Can't Get Up!

I thought you might like to see the progress on my Pilates body!
Yea...Elle magazine was so impressed they put me on the cover! Maybe ...just a little air brushing and ...face makeup!!!

Pilates is hard! The Russian lady who teaches/tortures me is convinced I am the most uncoordinated person she knows...and I concur!

I went to the YMCA with my grown-to-big-for-her-britches daughter and she was helping me work out...she never dreamt she would be helping me up off the floor!
She asked me to do a squat with a ten pound weight and my quads were hurting from Pilates...so I go down and CAN NOT get back up!!
I tell daughter...I can't get back up and she repeats ..."You can't get back up!"
Which causes me to start laughing...I am a 50 year old woman caught in the bottom of a squat and I can't get up! This poor man who no longer wishes he works at the YMCA comes over to me and I am laughing...but he thinks I am in trouble...which clearly I am. "Are you okay?"
Let's review...
I can not get out of a ten pound squat! I am squatting there...laughing... while a concerned employee and laughing daughter watches!
Madonna...watch your back girl...clearly you have some competition!
For more Wordful Wednesdays visit Angie!

Greed versus Generosity...it is a Choice!

If one more person says to me..."We are in this problem because of all those people who bought homes they could not afford!"

The problem is a little bigger than that...it wasn't just young people borrowing money for homes that would later not be worth what they bought it for or that mortgage lenders knowingly put them in homes they knew that they could not afford! Although, that's some of it. It's not just that "flippers" bought homes for sale like they were on the stock market floor.

I would like for one moment for you to just add up what you pay per month for Insurance...this includes life, health, car, disability and home insurance!
That is quite the sum isn't it? Insurance companies are just one example of soulless corporations that answer only to stock holders...(that's people just like you and me) and the corporations only requirement is to make money for the stock holders...any way they can!
I can give you example after example but it all comes down to greed...every one's greed...all of us!
We also like all the things we have and will pay a huge monthly fee to make sure these "things" are taken care of...some of us even have storage units because our homes are too small for our things, that we also pay a monthly fee to insure!

The news has made me feel sad lately...even President Obama hasn't made me any happier with his speeches!
I have found a few things that have made me feel more in control and more contented...
It isn't new to me but fear had made me forget.
I am trying to be generous and I can do it with out spending a dime!

I give of my time at the kitchen that feeds people once a month...I get hugs and smiles and real "Thank yous!" I spend three hours of my time a month there and the joy it gives me is not something I can measure!

I am trying to use the library more often as we are budgeting and I LOVE to read! The librarian mentioned that there have been big cuts made to their budget. I came home and looked at my book collection on my two big mission style bookcases, the ones that I am quite proud of! I counted my books and looked inside the jacket covers and mentally tallied the sum I had spent on books. I don't regret the money spent...I love to read and at the time I could afford to do it but rather I regretted them sitting on my book shelve and others not having the opportunity to use them! I decided that I would give most of my collection to the library and give the others away as I read them...I will not just keep them on my book shelve. I donated 65 books to the library and my book shelve is still full. I felt wonderful doing it...and I still do!

I am looking for other ways to be generous...any other ideas?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March...Bloggy Book Club

First...an update... Sara Nelms did not win a spot but I thank each one of you who voted for her and I ask that you keep her name in your memory because some day this sweet girl will be a star!
If you are interested in the winners go here!

Bloggy Book Club choice for March is Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly and it is a historical fiction novel set in Ireland during the potato famine.
It is about a family's epic journey to survive that takes them to America. A natural disaster that takes three crops of potatoes out of four years crops, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn it into The Great Starvation that kills a million people in a country smaller than the state of Illinois.

I chose this book because of the excellent reviews done by Tiffany of Lattes and Life and Elizabeth of Thoughts from an Evil Overlord and because I needed to read a book about survival!
The news is depressing these days but I know our country is made of good people...America was built on people who would not die but would survive in a new land...not just Irish but many immigrants who would work hard for a better life...America offers this even now!
Also, I love Ireland and have fallen in love with this country at first sight!
So, in honor of upcoming St. Patrick's Day...I choose Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly.