Seven Days. Seven B&W Photos… Challenge #2!

Fun!! I have been challenged


 Miriam Hurdle at

The Shower of Blessings

to participate in the…


Seven Days…Seven B&W

Photos Challenge! 



This challenge is to post seven black and white photos…no people, no explanation …photos of everyday life…for seven consecutive days. You will need to challenge one new blogger each day!


This is my Day #2 Photo…


truck one


Today I challenge…


Have fun!!!




Visit Miriam Hurdle’s wonderful blog…


Seven Days…Seven B&W Photos… Challenge #1.

Fun!! I have been challenged by…

 Miriam Hurdle at

The Shower of Blessings

to participate in the

Seven Days…Seven B&W Photos Challenge! 


This challenge is to post seven black and white photos…no people, no explanation …photos of everyday life…for seven consecutive days. You will need to challenge one new blogger each day!


This is my Day #1 Photo…


Top of the Rock, Big Cedar Lodge


Today I challenge…


Have fun!!!



Visit Miriam Hurdle’s wonderful blog…

Pro football player displays superficial behavior. Our authentic heroes emerge.

football one

Professional football players are certainly not my heroes and never will be. On 10/3/2017, we saw the authentic heroes emerge in Las Vegas. I will not forget the images of the brave people who dodged repeated gunfire to save lives…often the lives of strangers. They continuously exhibited enormous courage amid chaos.


Just seven days prior to the indiscriminate massacre in Las Vegas, a pro football player portrayed the opposite behavior of a hero. Odell Beckham, a wide receiver for the New York Giants, made a total fool of himself in front of very large numbers of football fans on Sunday, 9/24/2017. I cannot comprehend that Beckham is paid millions to show immature behavior like…


After making a touchdown, Odell Beckham hiked his leg as if he was a dog urinating. Disgusting. Mockery. Self-Centered. Foolish. Totally ridiculous.  Superficial. Not a team player. 


football five

Is this behavior what we want our children to emulate? I should hope not.


football four


Has Odell Beckham apologized? Not really. Not that I’ve heard. He had a meeting with New York Giants owner, John Mara. The team owner let Beckham know that the celebration would cost him a fine of $12,154. This was the second time in 2017 for a Giants player to be fined after a touchdown celebration. Rookie tight end Evan Engram was fined for grabbing his crotch in the Giant’s loss to the Lions in week #2 of the season.


Odell Beckham evidently did not  apologize for his behavior, but he did state that he was disappointed. Beckham was simply disappointed because the Giants received a 15 yard penalty for his  celebration. Beckham might have missed the point…even after the Giant’s owner stated that he was not happy with the celebration display. I suppose that Beckham thinks that he is beyond reproach…above the crowd.


football three


Fashion or Comfort? Excuse Me!!! What’s So Bad About Elastic?

 clothes be comfy

The combination of zippers and buttons and jeans are getting on my last nerve.

I mean…come on now…is it really necessary for me to figure out a way to fit into skinny jeans and zip them at the same time? Let’s not even mention completing the task of buttoning the button. I could possibly figure out a way to attach the button to the other side with a giant safety pin. I imagine that I would be invited to be on the Shark Tank with such an invention…in sterling silver… of course.

Take a minute and think about the comfort level of zipped and buttoned skinny jeans. If you weigh 110 lbs and do not like chocolate eclairs…you may not even need to consider the comfort level estimator challenge. If you weigh 155 lbs and dream about lasagna with a side of spaghetti followed by chocolate mousse…you might should take the comfort level challenge…NOW!





And remember…it is quite fine to not be comfortable in skinny jeans with zippers and buttons! You are far more beautiful when you are smiling! Trust me…there are not smiles when you are in pain!



Comfort Level Estimator Challenge:

***The challenge is strictly a product of kindergartenknowledge…no research needed…personal experience is of paramount importance!***





Comfort Levels:

#1. When wearing skinny jeans, you can pull them on without even using the zipper or buttons. Yes…they are the right size. No pain here.

#2. You had to try on five pairs of skinny jeans to find the exact fit. However, you did find the perfect fit. Again…no obvious pain.

#3. It was a bit difficult fitting the skinny jeans over your thighs. Thanks to elastic like material…you finally stretched them over those thighs. No worry. Surely, surely…they will stretch out. Slight pain when walking. More pain when walking up stairs. Sitting may not be a good idea.

#4. You might need help with the thunder thigh issue. Take a friend to help you pull the material. Remember about the elastic like material. Sigh of relief. They are up. There is a malfunction with the button. The zipper issue requires a second friend. Choose a strong friend. You better have soup for dinner. Pain level: advancing at a fast pace.

#5. Move up three sizes. I know, I know…it is so very disturbing that jean sizes are not consistent. Blame it on the manufacturer. Three sizes up and the thigh problem has disappeared. The skinny jeans look like “extra comfy” and “move easily” jeans…the kind you would wear if you needed to move furniture around while doing cartwheels. Pain level: serious because of the embarrassment.

#6. Nothing to do but go back down two sizes. At least, the size is smaller. You can let the size label hang out. Your helpful friends have gone to get a snack at the food court…just when you needed them. Two sizes smaller and there is no way that you can ever pull them over your rather small tummy…once was small tummy. Well…these skinny jeans are a different brand. That is why the tummy problem. Surely. Without your helper friends, you cannot pull them to your waist…it was hard enough to pull them over the thighs. You are out of breath. You need a drink of water. Your hands hurt from the push/pull workout. Pain level: complete and total exhaustion.

#7. You realize that skinny jeans are just not worth it today. Maybe they are not worth it this year. Note to self: throw out the fashion magazines. Face reality.


Pain level: None. You accept the truth…  you may be ready for the elastic waist pants…the kind grandmothers wear.


elastic waist pants


And most everyone loves grandmothers!







Seems Like Yesterday. To Love A Child Is To Love Forever.

Toshiba Digital Camera

Our son…Justin.


Today…October 4…marks the day that we lost our son thirteen years ago. Another driver lost control in a rainstorm and hit our son’s truck. How can it even be possible that so many years have come and gone? How can it be possible that I still remember every moment of that day when the accident happened…etched in my memory like an engraved picture on glass? Careful…be ever so careful with the picture…be very careful with the words…always be very careful with the memories.

I do my best to keep his memory vivid in my mind and I am certain that my husband does the same. It is easy and natural for me to talk about Justin. Recently, a friend mentioned what it was like when she left their first child at Kindergarten. Someone else continues the conversation with how they felt when their child took the big step into that big school. Since our son is still an important part of our lives, I talked about how I was so emotional about leaving him at school…in fact, I could not even say hello to the teacher.

The moment might have been the first time ever that I absolutely could not talk! Everyone laughed, but one friend said….“Justin was such a sweet boy”. A very nice something to say, but the emphasis was obviously on the word “was”. The conversation subject was quickly changed. I felt like I had never had a little boy go to school for the first time…I felt as if I was supposed to push those thoughts back into the recesses of my mind.

However, memories don’t work that way. I realize that some people are uncomfortable with the mention of a lost child…a child who is forever 26 years old…a child who spent so many happy years with us. We were so thrilled when he was born…just like we were thrilled when his sister was born. Some of our happiest times were to see them together…playing and laughing…even with a five year age difference. I suppose that I don’t want others to forget about our boy named Justin.


~I want to think about how much Justin loved our farm.

~I want to think about how he could name every type of tree…every plant on our land.

~I want to think about his inherent ability to express himself with the written word. 

~I want to think about how he could play the guitar so easily.

~I want to think about the songs that he wrote and sang.

~I want to think about how he liked to hike and explore.

~I want to think about how much he loved Austin and how the uniqueness of Austin fit his personality.

~I want to think about his independent spirit and ideas.

~I want to think about how much we loved him, how proud we were of his abilities and his dreams.

~I want to think about his gentle ways, about his calm demeanor, about his friendships.

Justin was our son. Justin will always be our son. Justin will forever hold a special place within our hearts. 

A place to learn that life is not about you. Life is really about others. Imagine that!

I began learning long ago that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. - Booker T. Washington

It might come as a surprise to some of us, but the more we allow ourselves to be totally absorbed by our own personal agenda…the more people will shun us; the more people will not trust us; the more people will lose interest in our beliefs. Putting ourselves first in the majority of our endeavors leaves us without the oars and the anchors needed to navigate life. The basic acceptance of others…the acknowledgement of others is critical to our growth as a contributing member of society.

Dr. Everett Piper is the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He wrote the profound letter that I include in this post to his student body in 2015. I read it then and agreed with every word. I read it today and I totally understand his frustration with the sense of entitlement displayed by some young adults. Some older adults are similarly afflicted with popular entitlement issues, self-absorbed visions and a lack of conscience. 





Dr. Piper’s letter to the student body…


Dr. Everett Piper, President

Oklahoma Wesleyan University


“This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of…

1 Corinthians: 13.

It appears this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them, and thus, makes them feel bad about themselves is a hater, a bigot, an oppressor and a victimizer.

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins–not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization.

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the hater card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-   centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important rather than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time  you feel guilty and we don’t issue trigger warnings before altar calls.

 Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feelings you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather that blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn  that you need to grow up.

This is not a day care. This is a university.”


not a daycare



You are entitled to life…you are not entitled to the gift of character. You earn character. Use your talents to benefit others…to bring hope to others.


Reach out to others as if your total life depended on it. In reality, your life does depend on your selflessness…not your self-centered behavior.


Instead, it could be possible that we should strive for self development…the need to be truly a good person, the need to fully be alive with joy and commitment, the need to find a deeper meaning to life.


1Cor13-4-7 V3 reduced

Why it is obvious that you learned to drive in Texas…so true!




***I first read this list when a friend posted a similar version on Facebook. Oh my goodness…I really think that the list might be accurate…and I learned to drive in Texas!!***

15.   Please say “the fast lane” for left lane instead of the term “the passing lane”. It’s not that complicated folks! Slower traffic stays in the right lane.

There are Texans who are in a hurry on the left.



14.    You believe the courtesy wave is not optional. You are just saying “Thank You”! If someone allows you to pull in front of them…a friendly wave is really required. No kidding!





13.    You call the little road to the side of the freeway “the access” road or you might call the “access road”…”the service road” or you may simply call that exit  “the feeder” because it feeds to that other little road to the side of the freeway. 





12.    You feel like you are the only one who knows how to drive in the rain. Look to the right. Look to the left. Think about them. They may have stayed home every time it rained for five years.


Through A Car Windshield During Starting Rain Storm


11.   Your normal commute time is 30 minutes…on the rare occasion there is snow…commute time=3 hours. You might as well stay home and watch Ellen.


snow and trees



10.   You see the speed limit sign as a gauge to driving 5 to 10 mph more. Texans interpret that a 70 mph sign really means 75 to 80 mph – please don’t use that defense when you get pulled over.


slow down



9.   You get a little excited when you see this sign on the horizon:



Yea! Clean bathrooms, snacks, gifts, candy, hot food and beef jerky coming up. And don’t forget the samples of fudge! A favorite…peanut butter!




8.   When you drive through the Hill Country, you better keep an eye for “deer crossing” signs. Texas leads the nation in vehicle/animal collisions. When you drive in rural areas, use extra caution for Bambi!

7.    You drive friendly on side roads and then it turns to Texas Motor Speedway on any freeway. It’s all fun and games on the country back roads but when you are on the freeway…remember…BE STRONG!

texas-motor-speedway_gbkm24vb6ngr1eofk8grhesfp (1)



6.    You are the one that plans ahead when traffic merges, but others will not. If you are that driver who will ask for courtesy to merge at the last minute…expect the ugly stare.


5.    You know how to pronounce street names and town names  that are certainly not spoken the way they are spelled. 


pronouncing names


4.    You know if you have to choose between shady or close when choosing a parking place…Shady Wins in Texas. Because if you do not park in the shade and if you have leather seats…I cannot even explain how sorry you will be for sitting down.


3.    You’ve developed a sixth sense when driving in Texas because no one seems to use turn signals. Your mind reading skills have sharpened! You can sense when someone wants to merge, or exit, or especially to pass.  “Wait! This car is slowing down. I guess they want to turn here.”  What signal? You expected a signal?


2.   You are not caught by surprise by Texas roads that can have two names. Yes! Some roads are called one name toward the east and another name toward the west or perhaps two names at the same time. Example: Northwest Highway and Loop 12 in Dallas.


street signs


1.   You understand the color of the signal lights. Red means stop and yellow means “Let’s go people!”. It’s not a game of chicken or a race to see how many cars can get through the yellow light.  Red = Stop, Green = Go!




Be careful wherever you live…don’t ever take chances when on the road and follow all of the driving rules!



However…when in Texas…don’t drive too fast…don’t drive too slow…and don’t forget to wave “thank you”!!




Worry. When does it overcome you?

imagination one


Worry can invade your life like a freight train barreling down a railroad track. You have no idea where the train is going. You do not really want to jump on board the speeding train. However, something draws you to the open door of the boxcar. There just might be a happy ending at the train’s destination. Yes! There lies the answer! No worries on the train to nowhere.


If you choose to NOT jump on board, the sky might darken.

If you choose to NOT jump on board, your life might fall apart.

If you choose to NOT jump on board, you might become downtrodden with illness.

If you choose to NOT jump on board, you might lose all of your closest friends.


Thank goodness…you will be rid of the albatross riding on your back if you jump on board. That albatross of worry that has begun to take over your life is heavy. Worry takes away your energy. Worry takes away any hint of your determination. Worry takes away the very basis of confidence.


worry one

I know what worry can feel like. I am a classic example of a worrier. Sometimes…I am able to keep worry out of reach. Sometimes…worry takes over and causes me to be enveloped by anxious thoughts. My imagination can easily turn into mighty negative thoughts. That is when I slam on the brakes in my mind…anyway…I try to stop the worry. At least, I am aware of the problem and do work at being  positive.


Staying positive has been a struggle since I had the stroke on August 8. No kidding. It is difficult to look on the bright side when your health makes a totally unexpected turn.




worry three


Psychology Today recently published the following article on worry…

“6 Ways to Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Change”


According to Psychology Today, these are the six things that can keep people from wasting their valuable time and energy on worry


1. Determine what things you can control. Prepare for problems and you can better control your reactions.

2. Focus on your influence. You can influence people and circumstances. You cannot force things to go just the way you want them to go. You need to change your behavior in order to have the most influence. As the article states…you need to be a good role model. You must set healthy boundaries.

3. Identify your fears. What are you afraid will happen? Are you thinking of a catastrophic situation? Do you doubt your ability to cope? The article states that even in the worst-case scenario…you are most likely stronger than you think. Acknowledge this ability.

4. Differentiate between ruminating and problem-solving. Change the channel that you are listening to in you brain. You must understand that your thoughts are not helping your situation! Focus on getting up and starting to do something else. Be more productive.

5. Create a plan to manage your stress. Exercise. Eat healthy. Get enough sleep. Make the time to manage your stress. Find ways to relieve stress such as a hobby or spending time with friends. Eliminate any unhealthy coping skills. Unhealthy…complaining to others and drinking too much.

6. Develop healthy affirmations. The article states two important phrases as reminders to take action or calm down…“I CAN HANDLE IT” and “MAKE IT HAPPEN”. These two thoughts can keep you from wasting time on things that you can’t control!


worry two









Halloween Arrives Again…Costume Searching Time…Help!!!

Halloween fourteen

Halloween cookies have made their way to the shelves at Target. Cookies by the dozen. By the hundreds. Don’t freeze any of those Halloween cookies or cupcakes for me. Ever! Ok…maybe I am weird, but I think they lose something after they have been frozen for over six weeks. Or maybe I just think it is way too early for Halloween shopping. I am still looking for some more summer sandals. I am so off schedule!!! This happens to me every holiday!


But really…I am just not ready for Halloween cookies or cupcakes or costumesTHE THREE C’s OF OCTOBER!


And the most challenging C OF OCTOBER is COSTUME! At least…to me!!!



Halloween eighteenHalloween fifteen


A few of my favorite finds for costume ideas for everyone again this year…well…maybe they are ideas for children. But…Peter Pan didn’t want to grow up…so why should you?



Halloween one

Pizza Guy On The Way!


Halloween eight

Little Red Riding Hood Catches The Wolf!


Halloween five

I Still Can’t Resist A Gumball Machine!


Halloween nine

Future Picasso!


Halloween seven

Raggedy Ann and Andy…So Sweet!


Halloween six

7-11 Time!


halloween three

Lego Power!


Halloween two

Ninja Family!


Halloween four

My Most Favorite! 



So…there you have it…a few fun Halloween costume choices for 2017!!!  Remember…sometimes it is really fun to be a child again on Halloween! 

Sweet Anticipation for a Baby Boy!


Silverstein quote


Anticipating someone.

Anticipating something.

Anticipating a someday.

A someday with immense

joy and dreams and love.

Anticipating our grandson.

Anticipating seeing his face.

Anticipating holding his hand.

Anticipating the moment we see 

Our daughter and son-in-law 

Realize what love really means.



be so happy