Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Kind of Fun!!!



Actually...at least a dozen exclamation points' worth!!!


It began with my popping into the nail shop
to get my toes pedi'd.
There was no one available at the time,
so I needed to return in 30 minutes.
Gene Allen's is right next door, so what
better place to spend spare time?


When I went in I saw these:


Hmmm.  This had the look of a bargain hunter's dream!
It was!
Everything I could fit in this sack from the sale section
would be $20!
Actually, according to the salesladies, there was
not a lot left, even though the sale had just
started that morning.
That did not deter me.
I'm always on the lookout for things for 
Mission Arlington
for their Christmas store, and, I'm tellin' you,
Miss Tillie will welcome anything with open arms!


Well, the first thing I saw were books!
There were 10 of these: (originally $9.95!)


and 2 of these (originally $24.95, and with the
security tabs on the batteries still in place!)


Next, the sweet saleslady showed me these:


Three perfect snow globes--not a chip!
(Tinker Bell $44.95, Captain Hook $79.95, 
and Dumbo $44.95!!!)


Pretty quickly I went to two sacks!


I got 4 great looking Maverick t-shirts
(a S, a M, and 2 L's) $24.95 each



Five pretty pastel scarves: ($12.99 each!)


*Does everyone know that children of the apartment
ministries of Mission Arlington get to come
select a gift at Christmas for their mothers?
So...doesn't have to be just toys!


I got 14 of these little animals soaps (or bubble baths--
I'm not exactly sure, but they're cute!)



ETC., ETC., ETC.!!!


Here's a picture of all my loot!



If you'll notice, the snow globes are sitting
on top of their original boxes!
A giant thanks to Becky at Gene Allen's
for going the extra mile(s) for me!


Of course, a dedicated bargain shopper like I am
would add up the total original costs
vs.
the sale cost.
I paid $43, including tax.

Get ready for this--
$738, NOT including tax!!!

Definitely the bargain of my long lifetime!


I'll never find another bargain quite like this,
but I do run across really good close-out 
type deals occasionally.
If you find something irresistible and have some
"discretionary funds," don't forget
Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex!


I had the time of my life,
and I owe it all to you...Gene Allen's Hallmark!!! 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Miss America--You've Come a Long Way..."


but I'm sure I'd best not call you 'baby'!
 Did anyone else watch the pageant last Saturday?
Or maybe I should say, will anyone admit to
watching?
Well, it was impressive!


The production was slick, gorgeous, just about perfection!
It was condensed to a strict 90 minutes, so
there were no fillers and no wasted time.


The contestants were beautiful, well spoken, 
intelligent, and talented.
Well...talented except for maybe the winner!


**There were opera singers**


**There was a marvelous pianist**


**A former American Idol finalist**


**Excellent dancers**



And then there was the winner...
doing the cup song.


 A pretty but pretty laid back version of the cup song.
She said she was hoping to encourage and 
make happy all the 9-year-olds that would be watching.
"Uh...but what about the judges?
I thought they were older than that!"


Here's a shot of her parents after she performed.
Her mom is holding her own red cup, 
and her dad is saying, "Look at me, all you suckers
who paid for dance, voice, and piano lessons.  
Not only did I get out for a red cup, I didn't
even have to buy fancy shoes!"
(I hope you can see--she's barefoot.)




Now if you're into the Miss America thing at all,
you are probably saying,
"Well, there's a lot more to it than just the talent."
That's true. but...
Talent is supposed to be more important than
anything else--35%.
(Interview 25%, Swimwear 15%, Evening Wear 20%,
and the onstage question 5%.)

Speaking of the questions...


The ones from these judges to these finalists
sent shock waves through media world.
I certainly question the judgment of the judges!!!

The finalists were given a whopping 
TWENTY (20!) SECONDS 
to answer the hardest questions imaginable.
I must say I thought much more of the
contestants and their answers
than I did of the judges and their questions.


Kathy Ireland asked one poor contestant:
"We were all rocked by the video of football star
Ray Rice punching his wife Janay.
She's standing by him.
As a woman, what do you think of her decision?
I wish the contestant had said:
"What I think is that your decision to ask that
question is totally inappropriate!"
Instead, she answered as well as possible.


This one is even worse:
Brigadier General Ann McDonald asked,
"The savagery of the ISIS threat to our security
was demonstrated by the gruesome videos of
two journalists and an aid worker being beheaded.
What should our country's response be?"
Whaaat?  Ridiculous!
We should make her President, not Miss America,
if she has the answer to that!


It reminds me of the days when the joke was that
every girl's platform was "world peace."
The judges might as well have asked,
"Now Miss XYZ, exactly how do you plan to bring about
world peace if you become Miss America?"


Yeah, this pageant's come a long way since 
sweet old Bert Parks sang 
There she is, Miss America, 
and the judges asked the contestants
questions like, 
"If you were an animal, what would you be?"

   
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ten "Most Favorite" Books!

No one has actually tagged me to list the 10 books
that have most impacted my life.
So...I'm just playin' like someone did!

 Without spending a lot of time thinking, these
are my choices.
There is a wide variety, somewhat following
the path of my life.


1.  The Bible
 {Really in a category all to itself}

2.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
{The earliest "favorite" in my memory}

3.  Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman
{Daily devotions which carried me through the
Alzheimer years}

 4.  The Testament by John Grisham
{A Grisham with a message}

5.  The Firm by John Grisham
{Grisham had me at The Firm)

6.  1,000 Places to See Before You Die 
by Patricia Schultz
{Never dreamed I'd have any reason to own this}


7.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
{Stirring, gut wrenching, unforgettable}


8.  The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
{If I love it so much, why haven't I finished it?}


9.  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
{Even more stirring, gut wrenching, and
unforgettable than The Help}


10.  Evidence That Demands A Verdict by
Josh McDowell
{Irrefutable, amazing evidence for a Creator God}



That was fun!
Anyone reading this is hereby challenged to list
your favorites!
 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Trip to the Apple Store


I had three back-to-back appointments.
There is a bit of a doe-see-doe before you actually
get your turn at the genius bar.
You check in, you are moved to this table,
someone scouts out your problems,
you are moved to another table,
then you get assigned to a genius.
As I was waiting my turn, I checked out all
the genii.  (That's my plural of genius.)
There was one who was older than the rest,
had very long, curly salt and pepper hair
parted sharply down the center,
and a long, straggly beard.
(You were wondering if it was a male or female
genius, weren't you?)
 I thought, "That's probably who I'll get."


He was probably scanning the sea of people 
waiting, thinking, "I'll probably get the
old white-haired lady with all the frou-frou stuff."
Yes, here's what I was totin'.

 My shocking pink MacBook Pro, my pink clad
(w/Mickey Mouse!) iPad Mini
(a gift of Jay and Terri),
and my leopard covered iPhone.
Along with my looong list of semi intelligent questions.


His name was Chris.  Yep, we got each other.
I could tell right away he was going to be great.
He turned on my computer and immediately
reached up, touched something, and voila!
My computer came to life. 
It was a beautiful thing.
I could see it!!!!!


I hadn't even put my problem with seeing my
computer on my list.
I had rather grown used to it.
About a month ago, something seemed to happen.
  I could no longer see it as well as I had.
I blamed it on glare and closed all the shades.
I held it up real close to my eyes.
That was a sight to see!!!
I used my magnifying glass--more than usual!


No one had ever told me that you could control
the brightness of the screen.
(Well, if they did, I forgot.)
All Chris did was press "F2" and I had a
bright new computer!
I'm sure I had accidentally turned it down.
 I doubt that he's ever had a customer so excited
over such a small thing. 
(I actually feel it was kinda pitiful.)
I think it inspired him to try to get through
all my first world problems.


And get through them he did!
He answered every one.
I can now not only take a screen shot
but shoot just part of a page!
And drop it in my iPhotos!
I have an external hard drive for back up.
My phone no longer switches to the
French alphabet constantly!
Etc., etc., etc.


 The Apple Store is a happy place for me.
It is also a "happenin" place.
I sort of put on my swag just walkin' in there!
I really do!
And in spite of my very limited knowledge
and slowness in understanding,
I have never been treated disrespectfully at all.
They allow me to feel cool!


I HEART APPLE!
(and Chris)



 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

May I Tell You My Story?


Last Sunday at church I was again challenged to write
"My Story" and share it with at least
one person this week.
The story of how Jesus came into my life and
why He will be my Lord forever.
I can't tell you how many years I've realized that
I need (and want) to do this.
In my usual perfectionist manner, I was and am hesitant.
Not because I'm not sure.
Because I'm afraid I won't tell it perfectly.
Because I'm afraid it will be too long.
If it's not too long, then I may leave something out.
"Get thee behind me Satan!"
I'm doin' this.

 ************************
 
 From the time I was very young, I was surrounded by
the knowledge and love of Jesus.
I was blessed.   My parents were believers.
They took us to church every week.
I invited Jesus to live in my heart at a young age.


I feel that I muddled through my child raising years,
really trying to handle life in my own power.
 I was a faithful church attender, and would have
been called a "good person."
I devoted a fair amount of time to attempting to
 serve others.   Again, as best I could powered by
my own ability and fluctuating dedication.
 I feel that my faith in Jesus Christ was always
there, but very anemic.
I was lacking that personal relationship with Him;
that surrender of my desires to His plan.

 
(Wow.  Did God ever cover me. 
Just look at His two children, Susan and Jay!
To Him be the glory.)


Two things happened in the year 2000.
Simultaneously.  
Alzheimer's in Jack and Bible Study Fellowship
for me.
I began a steady progression toward 
constant communion and closeness
 with my Savior.
And He was my Savior through this time.
(As always.)
He truly rescued me from despair.
He drew me closer.  I now feel Him
 every minute of my life.
I pray without ceasing.
He is my life.
He is my world.

Without Him I would be nothing.
Without Him I'd surely fail.
Without Him I would be drifting,
Like a ship without a sail.


And that is My Story.
 
 
 


 





 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Time for a Commercial Break

Before I switch gears from vacation to serious stuff,
I need to tell you something important.
Very, very important.
Especially if you are over...say, about 50 years of age.


I never really thought about Jack getting
Alzheimer's,
even though his mother suffered from the disease.
 If that's surprising, then even more surprising is that
I had never given one single thought to
long term health care insurance.
I'm not altogether sure I'd even heard of it.


So what changed?
As I remember, it was a total God thing.
In 2000 I went to Bible Study Fellowship 
for the first time.
  In our small group we went around the circle
telling just a bit about ourselves.
The lady sitting beside me said that her
(very young) husband had had Alzheimer's Disease
for several years.
It was like a jolt of electricity to me.
I was pretty sure my husband was starting
down that road, but I hadn't told
anyone yet.

 

My friend had been unable to have her husband
at home for a long time.
One of the things I learned from her
was how financially devastating 
assisted living facilities are.


 It was too late to get
long term health care insurance on Jack.
The fact that he was already taking Aricept
disqualified him.
Of course, my plan did not include the need
for a facility anyway, as detailed HERE.
But I did pursue a policy for me
with John Hancock.


The yearly premium for my policy is less than
two weeks of care for Jack at Silverado.
(Not  a typo--weeks, not months!)
I do acknowledge that Silverado tips the
scales on the expensive side, but
no care facility is inexpensive.
And Jack was there 17 months.



My policy also includes provision for some at home
care like I originally envisioned for Jack.
I actually need to contact my agent and review
its provisions.
There are other benefits in the event the
policy is not needed, I believe.



Maybe many of you have this coverage.
If you don't, I hope knowing about our situation
will encourage you to check out
long term health care insurance.


















Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Are Your Panties in a Wad?"

I was truly like a wide-eyed kid when I walked
onto the plane to bring me home.
It was a new American Airlines 777 300 ER,
and I've never seen anything like it.
The business class seats were sort of in an "S"
configuration so that you had no one beside you.
Neither could I see the person in front of me.
Super private.
Here is my best (not very good) picture.

!

The TV flips out toward you at the touch of a button.
The blanket area is where your feet go when
you recline the seat to a sleeping position.

Most impressive was the fact that as I was placing
my bag in the overhead bin, the captain
(or one of the captains)
came down the aisle, greeted me, welcomed me,
and shook my hand!

Here is my best shot of the controls for the seat and TV.


I didn't have a clue.
I did manage to find my headphones, but I could
not find where to plug them in.


Enter SFA #1.  (That's Surly Flight Attendant.)
I felt like a dummy asking such a basic
thing as where to plug the headphones in,
and she certainly seemed to agree that I was.
(a dummy.)
She reached over and jerked open the door to a
 compartment beside me and gestured toward an area, 
 which I had to use a mirror to see!
Let me just say, it was neither basic nor easy.


There was also,,,SFA #2.
They were really like something straight from a 
Carol Burnett routine.
Cold, unsmiling, just going through the absolutely
necessary motions with as much UNenthusiasm
as they possibly could possibly
muster up.


Although I had no idea how to work anything
I wouldn't have dreamed of asking the SFA's for help.
Somehow I did manage to get a game going on my TV,
and a friendly male FA from the other side of the 
plane came over and acted like he was going
to make a play on my screen.
I was able to ask him how to work everything
and even got to watch a movie
on the way home.


At one point I got a water bottle out of my
compartment.
I twisted the lid until my hand was raw but
couldn't get it open.
I decided to press my FA call button.
Guess what happened?
Good guess.  Absolutely nothing.
Thank goodness I didn't have an emergency.

I probably would not have taken the time to
write and complain about this, even
though it was a huge deal to me that I had burned
approximately 1 jillion AAdvantage miles
to be in 4J!!

However, when we deplaned, I learned something
that made me mad enough to compose a complaint.
The lady on my right here


was my 'idol' on the trip.
Her name is Betty Bob, and we celebrated
her 87th birthday at dinner one night!
She in great health and is sweet as can be.
She wore that cute hat which had souvenir pins
all around it from her travels.


Betty Bob had splurged and was in business
class, too, just a few rows behind me.
She fell victim to Surly Flight Attendant #2.
Poor Betty Bob made the
 tremendous, horrible, unforgivable mistake
of asking SFA #2 to help her get her bag
down from the overhead.
(Don't forget she's 87 years old.)
SFA #2: "Well, how did you get it up there?"
Betty Bob: "A gentleman helped me."
SFA #2: "Well, I suggest you get him to help
you get it down."

Okay.  That did it!  Even if I don't have my bag 
unpacked, I'm writing AA.

I received a fairly sincere sounding letter of apology
from Customer Relations,
although I'm sure the only original thing about
it was my name in the address line.


At least I tried.  I did all I could do, except...


 I just think it would have been so funny if I
had motioned to SFA #1 that I had something
to whisper to her.
She leans down, and I say,
 "Honey, you can tell me...
your panties are in a wad today, aren't they?"
Then she would storm back to SFA #2 and
say, "That woman (probably not what she
would have called me) in 4J just asked me if
my panties are in a wad!"



I'm laughing so that I can hardly type just
thinking about it!
Of course, who knows what kind of misery
they would have dealt me the rest of the flight!