Save Money If You Can

Grab that link above if you need to save some money or if you ever wondered what Amazon did with those returned things.  Lots of us are needing to find some deep discounts this year as we buy presents for our family and friends and I found this and thought it might help someone out.
Right now, I'm just hoping I can end up getting our Christmas tree up and nativities out on display.  I think I have 34 now and it is always a pleasure to see each of them again.  You see, we had a plumbing leak a couple of months back and we're in the middle of recovering the house from it.  New shower replacing the tub we used to have, new commode, new sink in a lovely stone tile.  In the living room, tape and bedding redone and painted, then new carpet in living room and down the hall.
But then I think of Mary.  She went with her husband, even though she was far along in her pregnancy and rode a donkey.  I really can not imagine it!  She was quite a young lady and Joseph was quite a young man for sure!  I guess she had clean cloths and some little soft blankets packed in the bags that they surely carried, but no Luvs or Huggies, etc!  Surely Joseph helped her deliver the baby or some aged ladies who heard her cries came and helped her birth the baby and clean her and him up.  But, it was definitely so far from what we would think of just the basic necessities.  Of course in that time, life in general was much more simple and raw than what we know today. But, now, look what we think is the basics for a proper Christmas....its something to think about.

Thankful for my eyesight!

We went to visit our daughter who lives and works as a doctor in Albuquerque, NM and finally see her beautiful new home. It is beautiful, spacious and comfy, with many unique features.and I'm so happy for her and her husband, John!  (So I have my husband, John, my son John, my son-in-law John and my grandson John.  It can be confusing!)

While she was working we went on a drive out to a community called Los Poblanos. The focal point of the community is the Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. The crop they focus on is Lavender. We got to see the field, but the harvest had already happened so it only looked like green bushes. We hoped to eat at the restaurant, but they only allow visitors for dinner and you must set your reservation in advance. The actual Inn and immediate surrounding area is restricted to only Inn guests. So, we didn't get to see much there but if you yearn for some "down" time in a beautiful setting, this might be the place for you to stay! We went in to the farm store where they sold lavender plants and, teas >>>> See them here!<<<<, soaps,lotions,candles and other things they make from the lavendar oil and condiments they use in the restaurant and that was interesting.

Then, we decided to drive around in the community and found these gorgeous $M homes in that phenomenal setting where the mountains are their backdoor view!
 Click here to see some of those beautiful homes

Thinking about an Autumn get away?  
Maybe this resource would be hlepful for you...

Check out this website and have an Awesome Autumn at these Great Destinations!

Vacations Made Easy

Finding me

Having tea with a best friend....sharing what's on my heart........                                                                                                    
I feel like I've lost myself.....Do you ever feel this way? Well, I've decided I'm going to ask myself some questions that might help me find myself.  Even though we've all heard that the best way to reply to a question you don't want to answer is to answer with a question, sometimes answering questions reaveals the answer.  (So, maybe you can use these same questions I'm going to ask myself to help you find yourself if you ever feel like you've lost yourself.)


Where did I come from?    I started this life journey being the born into a lower socioeconomic family.  Daddy was trying to find his place in this world, after returning from the fight in Europe when he married my mother who had a young special needs son. For about 15 years Daddy was restless and he'd find a job and work it for a while, and then, we'd pick up and move to somewhere else and he'd find another job. My mother, being an adventurous person, liked the traveling sometimes.  We'd live according to what the pay was at that job, my Mother doing her best as a wife and mother as my brother, sister and myself joined the family.

She was glad, though, I think, when he decided to put roots down in a small little east Texas town. Over time, our family became a pillar of the little community because Daddy was a successful business owner and Momma was involved in the community by getting us plugged in to the local churches and leading in projects like providing Christmas for the needy.  She knew that better education would help herself and many others to step up in society and became an Adult Education Teacher after she got her own GED.  She saw the value of the American government system and became an election judge.  We didn't become rich, but we were no longer poor people.

So, where did you come from?

Well, that's just a start and I'll add to this as I ask myself other questions.........

Where did I go?    I went to church.  It's where I met most of my friends and my very best friend, Jesus.  I went to gospel concerts at the awesome Houston Music Hall and saw the greats - The Happy Goodmans, Florida Boys, Oakridge Boys, The Galileans and The Rambos.  Inspired, I and four of my friends formed our own quartet group and went around and sung at a lot of "singins" in our matching blue dresses in the surrounding small towns!  The local radio station found out about us and offered us a weekly spot, free of charge!  Those were such fun times!

I went to work on a public job in the summer when I was 14 because I wanted to have some spending money.  I had to talk Momma into helping me out on it because I still couldn't drive leagally.  The place I went to work was in another town 10 miles away and I needed her to take me and pick me up at the end of my shift.  It was a dairy queen type place.  Inside, there were four booth tables and a soda bar.  Outside there were car hops waiting on cars that parked all around.  I still remember the first day there.  The first thing the boss had me do was clean out a huge freezer. He had started defrosting it and I remember there was lots of frozen food in it that I had to take out before I cleaned it with hot soapy water, which took several hours to do.  I bused the tables after customers left them and swept the floor several times. Then,  after we closed on that first night, I had to mop the dining area and the kitchen area where the floor was real dirty.   I think he wanted to see how tough I could be and made that first day really hard for me.  I showed him I was determined, but I was one tired puppy when Momma came to pick me up at about 10:30. In the next few days, the boss taught me how to take orders, fix drinks and shakes, make a perfect icecream cone with the perfect little swirl on top and work with the car hops.  There was a little window where the car hops brought the orders to and put the order sheet under a bell and rang it. The boss let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I'd better be "johnny on the spot" to receive those orders and get them in to the cook and then have all the drinks, malts, etc on a tray ready to add the food to it as soon as it was done and get it to the window for the car hop while still waiting on customers inside too! The boss was known to be a rich man so I think he had other enterprises too, but this dairy queen was his "baby" at the time, so he taught me personally how he wanted things done.  He had a daughter who was about 16, spoiled and beautiful. She seldom helped out but would come up with her friends, usually boys, and they would sit in the booths and laugh and eat as much as they wanted and have a great time.  She loved to entertain herself and her friends by pulling tricks on me that made me look really stupid.  My take away from that summer job was wealth and beauty were of no value if it made you haughty and mean spirited.  I got my driver's license when I was 16 and then I went to work at Shauny's BarBQue after school most days, weekends and sometimes lunch hour during my school day.  One Saturday, my brothers showed up at that job and told me to get in the car and that our daddy had been in a fire and gotten badly burned. I will never forget that 16 mile trip, going literally 100 miles an hour down the freeway with my brothers headed to that hospital.  I rushed into the ER and saw my daddy sitting there in a wheelchair with his burned skin falling off his arms as he raised them to me and said, "Beck, don't cry....I'll be OK"  But I couldn't hug him and I didn't believe him. The burned skin on his arms looked much like old tatterted rags hanging on an old clothsline swaying with the breeze. He didn't seem to know how badly he was burned or how horrible he looked, with 55% of his body burned and most of it third degree.  He was transported right away to the Galveston Hospital Burn Unit.

I went to Galveston to live with my Aunt, along with my handicapped brother and my mother, so we could be near Daddy.  Momma would spend most days with Daddy at the hospital and I would spend those days taking care of my brother. After a few weeks, my mother decided to check into the Sunshine Center she'd heard about that was a days school serving young adults (my brother was 24) with developmental disabilities.  At first they said no because he had epilepsy with seizures, but Momma asked if they would accept him if I came along with him to take care of him if he had a seizure there and they agreed to it!  In those days, handicapped children were not educated in public schools so this was going to be an adventure for both of us.  It was a bright and beautiful place which is still there.  The slogan there is "Because disability does not mean inability" (http://www.sunshinecenterinc.org/) , and that is how the instructors approached their job, giving those young adults sight of a brighter future.  It was somewhat like what is called life skills programs in public schools for handicapped students now.  I remember a  room with beautiful sewing machines where the girls learned to sew and a shop where the boys learned to build things with wood and where Stephen built a little stool with a marble type top.   In the dining room the students learned nice table manners. All the instructors were kind and encouraging, but I was especially inspired by that shop teacher; his patience and kindness to the students and the way he pushed them to achieve more than they had ever known they could.  After months in the hospital there, Daddy was dismissed and we went back home.  Daddy was very disabled and had a very "long road to hoe" before he was back on his feet.   I'd grown up so much in those months and I knew that someday I wanted to make the kind of difference in handicapped children's lives that the teachers at the Sunshine school in Galveston were making.

Well, that's just a start on answering "Where did I go?" but I'm not trying to tell every path my life took but the pivotal ones that helped me know the next step to take.  ll have to add more about this at a later time.........
I hope all of you readers will begin thinking about this question about yourself.  Would love to read your comments below.

Did you hear about Greta Friedman Dying?

My mother has mentioned this picture many times. She's said "I'll never forget that day! People were in their homes, stores and streets hugging, kissing and rejoicing with people they knew and didn't know!" "The Kiss" is a photograph that portrays a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a woman in a white dress on Victory over Japan Day in New York City's Times Square on September 2, 1945. It became an iconic picture symbolizing the end of World War II and Momma remembers seeing it in newspapers as it spread across the nation. 

The woman in the white dress was Greta Friedman and she died this past week at 92 years old. Who she was and who he was stayed a mystery for many years. They were not and never became romantically involved, but the mystery of who they were and why he did it did get solved!
Read these articles. They tell all about it!


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2187071/Times-Square-Sailor-nurse-kissing-iconic-WWII-photograph-reunited.html

http://nypost.com/2012/06/17/the-true-story-behind-the-iconic-v-j-day-sailor-and-nurse-smooch/



BrainyQuote

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. - Maya Angelou
A word fitly spoken (right word, right time, right place) is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.  How many apples of gold have you ever seen?  Well, this is really not about a golden apple showing up on your table.  It's more about the saying, "The instructor becomes a teacher when the student shows up".  If someone you are trying to instruct is daydreaming and longing to be somewhere else, is distracted by a life event, or has their hearts closed and is not ready to receive the instruction, unfortunately, that someone will not learn from you. 



Those Good ol days

Ever think you were born in the wrong century?  That's how I feel when I watch the Road To Avonlea.
There was no confusion about what a woman was and what a man was, like there is now.
Families ate together and talked to each other. 
Farming was respected and farmers were respected leaders in a community.
Statesmen were expected to be honest and represent those they served.
Everybody in a large family were important.  Everybody mattered.
Children grew up, adults grew old and everybody still mattered!

Road to Avonlea: Season 1

I CANNOT STOP!


My dear friend, Mary is right on!  Here’s what she posted a couple of years ago:
When I was a young child, I wanted to be older. I went to school where there were multiple classes in one room. I loved that because I could do my work and then listen to the other classes being taught to the older students. I loved learning. When I was 5, I wanted to be 6. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to drive. Then I couldn’t wait until I graduated. Then I couldn’t wait to get married….you get the picture. Now that I’m 63, I’ve accomplished many of my dreams, simple as they were. I’ve married, had my babies, watched my children grow up, probably with some of the same dreams. I’ve watched my grandsons grow up and most likely will see great grand children before I depart this world.
I guess what got me on this train of thought was a visit from a dear, old friend today. I’ve known him since I was 18 and he’s considerably older than me. I wonder what his dreams were as a child. Probably some were the same as mine. He lost his wife several years ago and remarried. He didn’t give up on the dream of a home and someone to love. He lost a son but that dream can’t be recaptured. His life just goes on and I wonder if he still dreams. My life goes on and sometimes I feel like I don’t have any dreams left. I guess I had better get busy and think of some more dreams. Whether it be losing weight, finishing some of my projects…….I must not stop dreaming.

The Chinese Piano House

A friend posted a picture of this house on facebook because it reminded her of another friend, Kathy.  I understand why: Kathy’s family are all  extremely gifted in music – singing and playing instruments; they can play an array of instruments and sing an array of melody and harmony parts and Kathy has the know how to advise on sound settings in concert situations.  Sweet Kathy is the specialist in keeping the “harmony” in the family, I believe.  We’ve shared some very special times together and they’ve had a significant part in encouraging my son on his road to becoming the successful musician he is today.  As only true friends can do, they have also stood by our family through some very grave experiences in our lives and they will always be very dear to us.
 “the most romantic building in China”.
“the most romantic building in China”.
Anyway, I wanted to know more about  The Piano House. Here’s what I’ve learned: It is in Huainan, Anhui province, China and was designed by the students of the architectural design faculty of Hefei University of Technology with the designers of a company called “Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project Co”.  Inside of the violin is the escalator to the building. This building was built for music lovers and acts as a performance and practicing place to music students from the local college in Huainan City, east China. But it has a dual function – it also serves as the local urban planning exhibition hall for the developing region, displaying various city plans and development prospects in an effort to draw interest into the recently developed area.