Summertime…..

Here we are, on the cusp of summertime and so begins the rains.  We’ve been lucky thus far that its rained only at night so far; but I’m sure the normal afternoon monsoons will start soon.

My son & I have been looking at new places to live and we may have found one.  We shall have to wait and see if all goes well.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks with us finding, then viewing, then finding more places and viewing, in a seemingly endless cycle of disappointments.

What has made these trips worse has been the fact that my ear infections have progressed to the “worse” stage and my vertigo is strongly asserting itself into my life and causing me intense dizziness to the point of severe nausea.  Not even sea sickness bands or tablets have provided any relief at all.  It’s a nightmare.  My only hope is that next week, when the ENT places tubes in my ears, it will help.

My son passed his driving test today, so he’s finally street legal.  Finally got an appt with the advisor at the college.  Looking good for the scholarship to pay for it and we’re working toward being settled into a new place before he starts in August.

Today’s prize was that everything seemed to be going our way.  I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Ha, ha.

The places we looked at today:  first one a total bust.  Bad neighborhood, duplex, small and not a good place for the pups to live.  Not happy with it at all.  The second place was nice.  Spacious, nice flooring, good neighborhood, quaint, great fenced back yard for the pups and we both agreed we like it.

Cons:  Needs washer, dryer, microwave and  chicken wire for the fence.  The fence is a nice wooden one; but my baby, Honi, could slip right between the slats, so we’ll have to put up some chicken wire, about 2 feet from the ground up, to prevent her from escaping.  There are 6 foot privacy fences on both neighbor’s sides.  Not a bad little place.  I can see the potential of me building up the landscape in the back yard.  The yard is just big enough for us to let the pups out for their thing and for any BBQ we may want to do out their.

However, with all the things I need to do for the place, which isn’t a whole lot, I look forward to doing them.  I also need to do some more packing.  I’ve gone and reduced the number of storage tubs I’ve had in the garage and added a bunch more stuff to the donation boxes.  My craft room will be my biggest challenge; but I’m up to it.

I’ve been looking at storage solutions, room ideas, decorating ideas and more, just wanting to change things up a bit.  I look forward to the challenges.  Of course, my son has many friends who have volunteered to assist us with the move and I am grateful that they’re on board with helping us out.  I definitely couldn’t do it without them.

Last Friday, we went to see Incredibles 2 with one of my son’s friends.  Not bad for a sequel.  It’s great how they will only produce quality stories. I’ve heard that Cars 2 is crap; but since I didn’t care for Cars to begin with, I never watched the other 2 they put out.  Anyway, we laughed so hard at the humor and cheered on the supers before going home satisfied with the movie.

My partner at church will be gone for the last two weeks of July and first two weeks  of August, so I’ll be “THE” AV gal.  My son will take care of the sound portion and we’ll work as a team.

This past week, I watched as our drummer, (the man who had a stroke back in October, whom my son was subbing for) playing like his old self.  So great to see where God took him in his health care journey.  We are all so grateful that he is back in the band and my son will be his “sub” when he can’t make it in.  Such a blessing.  God is so good! ❤

Our Pastor was able to come back to church on Saturday as well.  He’s been out the last two weeks with stomach issues that seem to be resolving.  YEAH! We have an associate Pastor working with us the rest of the summer with our band in order to give our Pastor a break.  Another blessing in our lives.  God is so Good!!!

My love of this church family is so overwhelming.  I absolutely adore them and look forward to the days when we get together.  I cannot think of a better family dynamic than ours.  We pray together, we share our lives, we cry, we laugh, we love, we learn and we worship the Father, all while singing the praises of the great I AM.  We are small; but mighty.

On this journey we call life, don’t forget Who put us here and how much He loves us.

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Graduation, Schools and Guns

My weekend started Friday morning with Graduation rehearsal for the boy.  Once that was over, I took the girls out for lunch and a movie to celebrate one of their birthdays.  We saw Deadpool 2 and had a great Italian meal.  I then headed home to get my son and take him to dinner with his grandparents.

Once home, I prepared for the morning and headed to bed.  We had the first scheduled Graduation of the day over at the college stadium, which began at 10 am; but arrival was 9 am.  We got up and out to make it to the 9 am arrival time.  My son looked so handsome in his cap & gown and the service was actually pretty smooth and timely.

After the ceremony, photos with friends and family, we headed out to eat at a local place for lunch with “the birthday girl” and her family to celebrate both of their achievements.  Her father paid for it all their 6 and we were a group of 6, 12 people. WOW! He told me that he was more than happy to pay it for all I have done for his daughter.  I was so deeply touched by this beautiful gesture.  I am truly blessed.

We spent the afternoon with my parents and after they left, we were both sacked, so I went to bed and the boy to his room to do whatever.  My son let me know before I went to bed that he was having about 10 friends over the next day. UGH!

Sunday morning was a rush to the store for provision and a cake.  I’ve been so busy this weekend with things, that today was the first day I heard of the terrible events in Texas on Friday.  My heart is saddened and I am so sorry for the loss and heartbreak these families are suffering.

I know that I have previously written about schools and guns.  I know I have shared my point of view.

I believe that if we enforce the laws we have, things like this could be harder to happen.  I also think that David Hogg, who calls himself a survivor of the Parkland, FL shooting in February, is in serious need of some mental health treatment.  I think this NOT because he was there; but because he calls himself a survivor, even though he was at home during the attack.  In my mind, that is like saying my dog is a rape survivor because no one has ever raped her.

Remember, the above statements are ONLY my opinion and I’m not at the nearest media outlets spouting outrage and propaganda.  I don’t have twitter and I hardly post anything on my facebook page; but scripture references and family/friend photos.

With all that being said, the fact that Mr. Hogg is tweeting propaganda, lies and making up statistics is shameful.  People believe his lies and shameful, insulting accusations of our political leaders.  A bill doesn’t become law over night, despite what Mr. Hogg may think.  The system is flawed, only because the laws on the books are not properly enforced.  It’s easy to blame others for our failings.  It’s easy to point fingers.  What isn’t easy is taking responsibility for our own failings.

Unarming the public is not the solution.   I shared previously about the unarming of citizens overseas and how they are now being prosecuted for their facebook posts.  When one of our freedoms is taken and nullified, the rest are sure to follow.

This is a mental health issue.  The shame and stigma of mental health issues is pathetic and if we’d stop shaming kids who have these problems or putting them on drugs in elementary school, we might raise a better generation of children; but what do I know?  I’m only a mom, a blogger, a disabled veteran and a woman.

What I see, though, is my sons friends parents who are uninvolved it their kids lives due to overworking, no interest or just don’t give a crap.  I see kids so starved for love that they call me mom, run and hug me whenever I am near and genuinely love me; because I care about what they are involved in.  I care about what they’re doing outside of the band room and ask.  I care about their days.  I listen.  Sometimes I give advice, sometimes a shoulder to cry on.  Most of all, I give them my time.  And, I genuinely love them.

My opinion is just that.  I don’t have the solutions.  I don’t know how to help these lost souls.  I wish I did.  I can only pray that something is done to fix this and that no more lives are lost.

Prom and other such adventures

So, my week started last Sunday night when I had an epiphany about the rental house.  It’s a scam.  Popped into my mind and after checking it out — I called the realtor  who has it listed online for sale, found out it’s a BIG scam and we’re grateful to God that we lost no money.  Such a disappointment.  It’s such a shame that so many people in this world are out to hurt others any way they can.  😦

My son only has two days of school this week and then an exam next week.  He picks up his cap & gown on Thursday and has rehearsal for Senior Awards afterward.  We attend awards that evening and await graduation next week.

The week has been busy.  Haven’t found an affordable place to move yet.  Went with my girlfriends for breakfast on Thursday morning and we prayed about it.  Grateful for each one of them in my life.  That afternoon, I went to the beach with the kids and it was so cool.  We were in the water and heading back to shore, when all of a sudden, I stopped them and made them stand still as a school of sting rays swam around us.  It was so awesome!  Close enough to touch.

Friday was haircuts and preparing for prom.  I sewed pants and hemmed a dress, then spent Saturday morning making boutonnieres and corsages for that night.

We left home at 4:30 pm, in the pouring rain, to pick up my sons dates for the evening and headed over to the Broadway Palms for dinner before I took them to the Yacht Club for Prom.  Thankfully, the rain stopped before we left from dinner.  The kids had a great evening and went home, printed the beautiful photos and brought them back for pick up.

Such a happy thing for them.  So love my “kids” and so proud of them.

I’m saddened that the year is coming to an end; but proud of them for graduating from high school.

Onward to living their dreams.

 

Making Lemonade

My entire world is turning upside down; but I’m making lemonade!  So, let’s start with all the things that have happened in the last few weeks.

We’re winding down the school year and the school play went fairly well, considering the fact that there was a scene within it that was as close to a pole/lap dance as you can get, performed by an under aged girl, that made the teen boys blush and the men avert their eyes.  So shameful.  The only part of it that was any good was the music, which part of the Jazz band played and did very well.  The singing was horrible, no acting at all and had no plot line than anyone could follow.  UGH!

Then, the choir had their last performance of the year, along with them singing and performing the closing scene of “Pitch Perfect” choreographed and all, to include the breast grab.  Shocker!

This past Tuesday my son performed his last concert and NOTHING in the least bit shocking happened.  He played with the Jazz band, Concert band and Woodwinds.  He then performed a mallet piece with his two best friends and a tenor drum solo, which received much praise and ovation.  So proud of him.

Two weeks ago, my landlord put in a new air conditioner that has been needed for the last two years.  Friday, I received a rent increase notice to help pay for the unit and the taxes on the house.  Bummer!  Since I lose Ian’s “child support” this month, we can’t afford to live here anymore, especially with another rent increase, so I did a search for rentals in my area and my price range. At first I found nothing, however; I did another search and found a great place.  So, I made an appointment to view it on Saturday morning.

Friday evening, we had Band Awards.  My son received the Outstanding Musician Award as well as the Louie Armstrong Jazz award, which is given on the National level, for high school students.  What an honor.  My mom attended the presentation and afterwards, we went out to dinner.  It was a nice night.

We had church last night and had gone over to see the house for rent earlier in the day.  We loved it.  Smaller than what we have; but we need to get rid of some junk anyway.  I contacted the owner and we’ve negotiated the terms of the lease and we’re giving notice here and will move next month.  We have graduation in 21 days, so we will be busy packing up and getting rid of stuff.

Thankfully, I have a group of fine, young band members who are helping us to move the heavy stuff.  These kids are great and were eager to help anyway they can.  So blessed.  I have God to thank for all these things, too!  After receiving the letter on Friday,  I began to pray about it all.  He has let me know in so many ways that He is orchestrating this for us.

Today, I FINALLY got to see Avengers:  Infinity War.  All I can say is WOW!  Great movie.  Not happy with the ending; but we’ll see where it goes from here.

Get this!  We left the movie and crossed the road in front of the theater.  I’m a disabled veteran and apparently not moving fast enough for some guy in a car.  He rolled down his windows and proceeded to curse me out for moving so slow and because I am apparently too fat.  He told me I should go back into the pizza place and eat some more, tubby.  I laughed at that statement and he proceeded to get out of his car.  I looked at him and asked if he were going to beat up a girl.  He put his “larger than I am in the fat department” butt back in his car and curse as he sped off through the parking lot.  I turned and saw 4 men had approached behind and beside me, in my defense.  God Bless Them!

All I can say is people are strange.  All I did was cross to the parking lot.  I had the right of way.  SMH.

FFCC Championship

So, for the last 5 months, my son has been practicing for Indoor Drumline Competitions.  His last performance was this past Saturday, April 7th.  They placed 2nd in their division in the state.  YEAH!  So proud of them.  They worked so hard and I couldn’t be happier for them.

The day began like many other competition days with the loading of the trailers.  This time, though, my son stepped off the ramp the wrong way and sprained his ankle.  Not fun.  He did, however; perform on it, swollen and all.  We later went to have it x-rayed and no break.  YEAH!

They performed at 12:30 pm and awards were at 9 pm.  We spent the rest of the day watching the rest of the groups perform.  My parents always come to watch my son perform and they love spending time with him, which makes me happy for them all.

Several of our friends showed up, too.  Such a great day.  Well, except for the sprain, oh and the fact that I started getting a sinus and middle ear infection.  UGH!  First my left ear filled with fluid, then the left side of my throat and neck.  By the time we left that night, the right ear was plugged, too.  Doctor appointment on Tuesday confirmed this.  Feeling better today, though and food has a taste and smell other than black pepper, so life is good. 😀

The week has been busy, too.  The music department has been forced to participate in the school musical, which is a disaster.  Three weeks of three day rehearsals, the show  premiered on Thursday evening.  Tone deaf kids sang flat notes and danced in a crazy, uncoordinated bird style.  However, the band sounded great, especially since it was professional level music.  The most shocking part of the play was when a teenage girl performed a chair dance that rivaled a stripper at a club.  I could hardly believe it.  I have to say, the saving grace of that dance was the gal was slim with no shape or breasts to speak of and had nothing to “fall out” the front of her dress.

They perform again tonight; but I have church, so I’m dropping my son off on my way out.  I feel sorry for the band members.  They sit on stage the entire show and so does their director.  They, too, can hardly believe that the performers are doing such a bad job.

Why, you may be asking, has the play only had minimal rehearsals and horrible choreography and singing?  The man who is running it.  He has forced the band director (his first year) and the choir teacher (her first year) to participate in this disaster, gave minimal notice, horrible direction, and no choice.  He then told the audience (for nearly 20 min before the show started —  LATE) that it was the first time they’d been able to collaborate together.  SMH.  What a putz.

Monday, we’re having an Indoor Drumline and Color Guard party to celebrate victory for the season.  The school year is rapidly coming to an end.  Next up, last concert of year and the band banquet.  Following up with the prom and Senior Awards night and then onto graduation.  YEAH!

Here we go…..

 

Black Panther

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THIS MOVIE ROCKED!!!!

Incredible acting, incredible story, incredible action, another Marvel hit!

As a “comic book” girl since my youth, I am so happy to see another great, well scripted and put together hero come to the silver screen.  The Marvel franchise has put another notch in their belt with this hit.

I awaited this movie with great anticipation, as I have every Marvel movie since the first one, and was  not disappointed in the least.  I don’t care what any other reviewer says, this movie was awesome.

The beautiful landscape, the action and adventure, the plot, all kept you intrigued from beginning to end.  I laughed, I cried and I cheered.  This movie not only introduced us fully to another great hero; but was full of GIRL POWER to the max!!!  IMO, there is nothing better than a movie that not only empowers women; but gives little girls women to look up to.  These women allow little girls to have big dreams that they truly CAN do anything.

I’ve always been a comic book nerd.  My heroes in comics were Wonder Woman and Black Widow.  I watched Linda Evans on the screen every week playing Wonder Woman and loved her.  I also watched Isis, Shazam, Batman and Superman as well as the Super Friends.  I loved these shows and devoured comic books of my beloved Black Widow like a junky.  LOL!

I looked up to these heroes and let them inspire me to be more.  It’s one of the reasons I became a Marine.  I wanted to be a super hero.  I remember my first email address was “blackwidow@” and my father making fun of it.  He didn’t understand that she was my idol and inspiration.  It’s okay, though, he didn’t have to understand.  Before joining the Corps, I’d only known one woman Marine and she was such an incredible person and inspiration that it was like knowing my own super hero.  She died young, only 40 years old; but I knew she was a hero and that is what drove me forward.

I’m currently reading a book called, “Girls with Swords” by Lisa Bevere.  One of the things Lisa points out in this book is that women need to be empowered; because the enemy (satan) knows that woman will crush him beneath her feet as stated in Genesis.  We are mortal enemies.  It’s the reason women are being pushed down; but our time is coming.  We will defeat him.  We will rise up and we will beat him down.  It is only a matter of time.

Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Women were made to be a partner with man.  We were not meant to be kept down.  We were made to fight at his side, to defeat the enemy.  Only together will we be able to bring him to his knees with our Father.

I truly believe we need to work together to give our children knowledge and power so we can stop drug trafficking, flesh peddlers, and rapists or anyone who puts us down as humans, stopping us from being courageous warriors.  We are in the fight of our lives.  Knowledge and power will prevail.  We need to stand together and say, “NO MORE!!”

I highly recommend this movie to all.  It is great and inspiring.

Best Laid Plans

This has been a crazy week for us.  The boy had rehearsals all week long.  He had a performance on Friday evening, after which, we planned to see the movie, “Black Panther”.  I even pre-purchased the tickets at the theater, so we could go from the school upon our return right to the movie.  Well, as we were running late, and just came off stage at 8:30 pm and still had to watch one more school perform, I decided to call the theater and ask them to assist.

After explaining the situation, the theater has left 6 vouchers for us to use today in their office.  So, today, I am bringing the kids to the movie and we’ll get to see it.

Yesterday, they performed for the Edison Light Parade and we could not go to the movie.  They had great weather for the parade, met at the stadium at 4:15 pm and those bands participating in the parade spent that time dancing and blowing off steam until sunset when the parade kicked off.

They returned to the High School at 10:22 pm and were good and tired.

Between preparing for various MPA performances and Indoor Drumline, we’re busy until the first weekend in April.  After that, just prepping for Graduation.  I’m going to look at a new place for us to move to for less than I am paying now.

God only knows where this life is taking us.  I’m just along for the ride. 😀

Movies, Madness & Mayhem

So happy that it’s fast approaching the new year.  I can only hope that life will keep getting better and better.

Went to see “Greatest Showman” last night with my son and a few of his friends.  Loved it, even though it is not even close to being a biographical story on P.T. Barnum’s life, it was, however; a great movie.  The music, singing and dancing were excellent.  I’d go see it a 2nd time for sure.  From beautiful clothes and scenery to the great acting, it was a beautiful movie.  It definitely was inspirational in that it encourages us to chase our dreams, no matter what anyone else thinks or feels.

As for the Lord and me, we’ve been trying to communicate to no avail.  I’ve been praying, asking and seeking; but I’m getting confusing replies and I’m sure that it will become clearer to me as time goes on; but at present, I’m hitting a few walls.  I’ve had two dreams on point, though they confused me greatly, I’ve received several picture clues as well; but I think I’m blocking them.  I’ve received several “MY plan, MY will, MY way” scriptures and I’m just hoping that I’ll figure it all out in time.  I think my upset from last week has me shut down on some levels and I have to let that go and continue on.  My heart is hurting; but I will carry on with the faith walk.

As for they mayhem, well, the dog is driving me nuts.  His bladder control problems are wrecking havoc all over the house and I just want to scream.  I know it’s not his fault; but it is messy and driving me nuts just the same.  I mop the floors daily.  As soon as I finish, I’m positive he waits until just then and he does it again.  UGH!

I’ve just finished John Bevere’s book, “Holy Spirit”.  Awesome book.  Loved it.  Can’t wait to start my next one, “Girls with a Sword” by his wife, Lisa Bevere.  I’ve listened to both of them speak on YouTube and am very impressed with their teachings on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I’m trying to grow closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my faith walk.  I can only hope to get to the level these two people have reached.

I am currently sharing the job of Audio-Visual duties with another at my church.  Since we no longer have any children for “Kids Church”  I’m not teaching.  We have only 3 youth, who go to AWANA at another church on Wednesday night, so I don’t have duties for them, so I’ve been at a loss.  My dear friend has been doing the AV for years and I had the opportunity to do it for her a few weeks ago since she was unavailable.  Well, I so enjoyed it, I told her I’d love to join her in this duty.  She was overjoyed and I now feel I have renewed purpose in my church life.  So, we’re switching out weeks as needed.  When I have Indoor Drumline duty the end of January and twice in March, she’ll take it and other than that, we’ll have every other week.

I love to serve.  I like to feel useful and I know that this will be the best thing for me after the boy goes off to college.  YEAH!

Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us all!

Grinchmas Party!!!!

Today was my son’s “Grinchmas” Party with his friends here at the house.  Since it was a half day, I picked them up after school and made lunch.

For lunch, I made a spiral ham, mac and cheese, green bean casserole along with spinach-artichoke dip, veggie dip, lentil hummus and various desserts. The kids loved it and they had a great time.  Gifts were exchanged, watched the Grinch movie and laughed their butts off.

One young man, who we’d be trying to figure out what to get him, was very hard to purchase for, so I made him a bunch of “gag” gifts, which we gave  to him first and then his actual gift.

The gag gifts:  A belly button lint cleaner (a pipe cleaner I’d bent to look like a toilet brush 1″ long.  A redneck raincoat (black trash bag), air guitar strings (empty plastic bag), a money clip (paper clip with a penny glued to it), two #2 pencils (with brown, spiraled pipe cleaners on top like the poo emoji), a pet cloud (5 cotton balls glued together with eyes), a natural blow dryer (balloon) and a little bag of pot (plastic pot from a kids kitchen set).  He LOVED it.  Such a great kid and a super fun time he had.  Plus, he loved the other gifts we got him as well.

I am so blessed to have such wonderful young men and women in my life.  They certainly made for a great afternoon.

Yesterday, I was freaking out.  My USMC ring broke.  It’s made with both yellow and white gold and the white gold “eagle, globe & anchor”, which was attached through the middle of the gold ring, broke off.  I had no idea where it was.  I searched for hours.  Drove me nuts!  Couldn’t find it at all.  Tore apart the garbage, looked in the disposal, under the bed, in the sink drain, etc.

I climbed into be last night and there it was, laying under the pillow.  So grateful for finding it!!  Took it to the jeweler today and it will be ready tomorrow.  YEAH!  I’ve had it since 2009 and I felt devastated when I thought it was lost.  Now, I’m celebrating that it can be fixed!!!!  They no longer make it, so I’d have been so distraught over it’s loss.  😦

There are not a lot of things that I have that would make me sad; but not having my ring would be one of them.   It’s a sentimental thing and not a material thing.  Back in 1994, I’d had everything from my child hood to that present day stolen from a storage unit in KY.  I was upset; but the things that were missing that hurt me most were the pictures in my photo albums.  To this day, I’d give anything for them to be returned.  I don’t put much value on material possessions.  Even though I had about $20,000 worth of stuff stolen, collector items that were valuable, it was the pictures and journals.  Oh well.  Can’t get them back.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

 

Giving Gratefully

My daily devotional was about giving with a loving heart.  It never occurred to me that you would give with anything less; but after reading the entire thing, I can see that some would feel less than happy to give.

Me?  I’m a happy, loving giver.  I see something that I know someone will like and I get it and give it, so that I can see their joy that I was thinking of them.  Some people feel they have to give out of obligation.  Not me.  If I don’t have it in me to give a gift, I don’t.  Though, I am mostly a giver, no matter the circumstances.

For example:  I’m preparing for a “Grinchmas” Party on the 22nd.  It’s the last day of school before break and a half day.  Since it’s a half day, I’m making lunch for about 7 kids and I’ve shopped to find the perfect gift for each of them.  I’m decorating the house “Grinchy” and have not only planned the meal; but games and a movie.  The kids are looking forward to it.

The gifts were carefully researched with their likes in mind and I have to say, I do not believe anyone will be disappointed.  At least I hope not. 😀

I’ve always believed it was better to give than receive and have loved finding and giving the perfect gift for those I love.  As a matter of fact, I’ve made and given gifts to at least one person each month of this year.  I began the year with what I called “The Year of RAK”.  I painted, made jewelry or crocheted items for just about everyone on my Facebook friends list.  I made two large blankets and several baby blankets.  I’ve also crocheted three blankets for charity.  I love giving.

BTW, RAK is “random acts of kindness” and were gifts I gave anonymously to friends with a note that said to pay it forward.  It was the best year ever!!!!  I loved seeing them post their joy at a surprise gift from a “stranger” as they said Thank you to “whoever” sent it.  I did it locally and distance.  I’ve enjoyed every little bit of it.  I absolutely loved the satisfaction of giving to them and making them smile.  I even had two friends say it was a blessing to receive on a not so nice kind of day.  😀

I, personally, feel that giving a gift is not an obligation; but a privilege to show someone how much you think of them.  If I don’t think enough of the person to give them a gift, I don’t.  It’s that simple.  If it feels like an obligation, I skip it.  I want to be a joyful giver.  I want my gift to mean something to them and me.

So, remember this holiday season, that it is love in the giving or it’s an impersonal token of obligation. 😦  Hopefully, joyful giving is the win!