Thursday, January 29, 2009

Re-Visiting 2008

I was going back through some old post on this blog and ran across this one from Feb 2008. I begin to think again about this post and remembered the passion I felt at that time. I looked back over the year and wondered where that passion went. I still feel that way, but I haven't been as passionate about doing the things necessary to follow through with everything I had laid out.

I have done some downsizing, de-cluttering, and organizing. We did rid ourselves of one storage shed and have cleaned out the garage. We did park the jeep in there for a while, but Andrew bought a new top for it and he is driving it more so he now parks it outside. So we can actually get around and find things that are in the garage.

We did pay off our vehicles! That was a huge thing last year that we did accomplish. Thank God for His provision.

Affordable, efficient housing is something we are still working on. We have been reluctant to buy here, because of the economy. So we are still renting the same place and spending the $1000.00 a month, plus utilities. Thank God that we didn't since we are now moving. We are going to go in March to find a place in North Carolina to live. Hopefully we can find something that will be more efficient than here. But knowing that it is only a 3-4 year job at the most, we won't buy unless the housing situation changes in this country and the economy picks up considerably. We don't want to get stuck with a house that we couldn't sell later. However, I would like to buy some land somewhere that we could have, to look toward the future, maybe build a small cabin or something that we could use as a base later in our life.

I will have to downsize and de-clutter and organize more as we face the move. Things we just can't part with but don't want to take with us will go to our storage shed behind my parents house. I made a vow that we would not take anything with us to North Carolina that we don't really love!
Quotes of the Day
Ideas without action are worthless
~Harvey MacKay~
The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.
~Greg Anderson~
focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
~Greg Anderson~

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Food Obsessions!

I think I have talked about this here before, but sometimes I get obsessed by certain foods. Usually it only lasts a few days, with the exception of Sushi, that took a while. Anyway, I will eat something and it will trigger this obession for that food and I have to have it. Of course, I tend to get stuck in a track and eat the same thing over and over again. I suppose that would be mindless eating or maybe just laziness. I don't want to work hard to figure out what I want to eat, so I just eat the same things. Anyway, Sunday Andrew cooked some chicken, like chicken pieces and he spiced them and marinated them. Then he put them in the oven covered in foil to steam in their own juices. Then he takes the foil off after they are done and lets the skins crisp up a little, and they are so good.

Sunday night I came in from church a little hungry but not wanting to put much on my stomach before going to bed, I decided to heat up the wings that were left from the day. I have to say, those wings must have been the most delicious things I have ever tasted, or my body was needing something in them desperately. Since then I have been obsessed with chicken wings...

Those little nibblets of goodness. Wow! Anyway, yesterday Andrew came home and decided to order pizza for supper. I didn't want pizza, so I got an order of hot wings...

Today I had to go into work for a meeting and on the way home it started. That craving, that need for more hot wings...It was so strong, I looked around for somewhere to get some, but at 10:00 am, it is kind of hard to find hot wings. So I came home, tried to forget about it. I looked through the fridge, I rummaged the cabinets, but could find nothing that I wanted to eat. All I could think of was those hot wings...

So I waited until 11:00 and called in an order of hot wings at the Pizza Hut down the street. I got ten mild buffalo wings and I ate every little piece of eatable off of them. As shameful as it is, I actually sucked on the bones!! I haven't done that since I was a kid.

I know your probably thinking what a lame post this one was, but I just had to share . I can't help wondering if I am the only one who has such obsessions with certain foods. I am sure that in a day or two, I will get my fill of chicken wings, and will continue on my merry little way, until the next time some unsuspecting food reaches out and grabs hold of my imagination and my taste buds. Boy wouldn't it be great if that food was something healthy like salad or some fruit. Why can't I obsess over tofu and bean sprouts with carrot and broccoli souffle or yogurt and banana smoothie with wheat germ...

I thought I would leave you with a good visual of my latest food obsession...

Makes you hungry doesn't it? Go ahead, admit it! It's okay, were all friends here. You can admit that your mouth is watering just thinking of how those wings would taste!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike

I don't know where I have been all day, but I just found out that John Updike died today! I didn't realize he was sick.

I went to hear him speak, oh it must have been 1996 or so. He came to Northwestern State University where I attended school. I was taking a Lit course that semester and my prof required that we go.

Later I said to a history prof that I had gone, and she was like:

"I can't believe you went to hear him, he is such a chauvinistic pig."

She couldn't stand his writing.

I was indifferent to it. Some of it was okay, other things didn't appeal to me, but I didn't take it personally like she seemed to do.

It is strange, when someone you don't really know, but you feel you know because of their work, dies it actually is sad. As though you lost something.

If you aren't familiar with Updike you can read more about him here.

The Singing Butler, Mt Rainer and Seattle

Some of you may have noticed the painting on my side bar of the couple dancing. It is called The Singing Butler and it is done by Jack Vettriano. I really love his paintings. They aren't anything complicated, just the simplicity of the subject matter and the simple lines and bold colors he uses is what attracts me.

From the first time I say one of his painting, I fell for his work. This summer when Andrew and I went to Seattle on our anniversary trip, we drove out to the Pacific ocean and stayed a night there. The room we stayed in had a print of The Singing Butler over the couch. I took this photo of it.

While Christmas shopping this year I ran across a framed print of this photo at Kirkland's. They had it on clearance and I couldn't pass it up! So I bought it and put it over our bed. Now when I walk into my bedroom and see the photo my mind always goes back to the wonderful time Andrew and I had on our trip to Seattle and it makes me want to go back.

Of course with the move coming soon, it may be a while before we get the chance to take a trip back to Seattle, but we do plan to go back.

Here is how it looks over my bed.

Here are a couple more photo's from our trip.

There was nothing more beautiful than looking out the airplane window and seeing this! It was incredible! Awe inspiring! But it still wasn't as awesome as the first glimpse I got of it from Seattle. For the first couple of days we were there it was cloudy and we couldn't see Mt Rainer. But one day, the clouds parted and there it! It was amazing! When I see a photo of Mt Rainer I gasp and remember that first time I saw it with my own took my breath and my heart!
Here you can see it rising through the cloud line, but this doesn't capture the awe of it. It literally almost stopped my heart for a moment, I had to catch my breath and just stand there taking in the majesty of it. I know that sounds honky, but it is so true. People who can wake up and see this on a daily or weekly basis, they are lucky people. It reminds me of the majesty of God, that He spoke this into existence...WOW!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The decision has been made...

The decision that we were wrestling with has been made. After some time of prayer and considering all the options, we finally came to the decision today.

We are moving...

Not just up the street, around the corner, or across town...but 900 miles away.

We are moving to North Carolina!

Andrew accepted the offer of a job from the company he use to work for, and we are preparing to move.

There is one catch in this whole affair...

Lauren isn't going with us!!

I won't share all of the detail on this web page but if your interested in knowing more about that, you can email me and I will share.

My baby has grown up...I knew this day would come. Andrew is having a hard time with it, and I am sure when the time comes for me to drive off 900 miles away, I will probably have a big problem with it. But for now, I feel comfortable about the arrangements for her to stay.

I feel at peace about the decision, and am excited about the idea of the move. However, there is so much to do to get ready for the move.

We will have to make a trip there and find a house, which could take a little time. Then come back here, prepare for the movers. This means lots of going through things and getting rid of stuff. It is time to rid ourselves of the storage unit we rent. If it is something we absolutely can't part with, but don't want to move it with us, we have a storage shed behind my parents house. Which means a trip there to clean out that storage shed to prepare it for the new things that will be moved in there.

Hopefully we will find a new place that will accommodate our antique pieces we have stored in our storage shed in La. and we can bring those with us. We have been needing to downsize our junk and organize...
The time has come, the walrus said...
So many things to think about...
So many plans to make...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

In life there are sometimes very difficult decisions that we must make. Since I am notorious for indecision, when the time comes to make a difficult decision I go into panic mode. I get obsessed with the decision that is to be made and can literally make myself sick over it.

I find myself in just such a dilema now. I can't give details, (I am sorry that I can't), but just know that it is a major life decision that will affect so much of our lives. There are so many things to consider in this decision that my head spins just thinking about it.

When I was younger, this would have been an easy decision to make. I would have made it and gone on. But now that I am older, and hopefully wiser, I am stuck for an answer...

I have prayed and asked God for His direction...but I haven't heard from Him yet. I know He has heard my prayer, but I just haven't received the answer yet. Sometimes God is that way, sometimes He is silent or so it seems, but He always comes through. So, knowing this I am trying to not stress so much...

I have come to realize that once I thought I had the answers to the questions of life or at least I felt they weren't as difficult as they seem to be now.

I have found that the older I get----the less I know---the fewer answers I have, and the more uncertain about some things I become. But one thing I am certain, I am depending upon God for the direction and the answer I need...

Prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Historic Day for America

Today America is experiencing an historic event...

We are swearing in a President. That is my take on the events of the day. It is a wonderful event that we can witness. The peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to another. Although I didn't vote for Obama, he will be the president of the United States of America.
Yes, I am concerned about the "changes" that will come. I am concerned for the direction this country is taking. It is no secret that I am Conservative in my thoughts and beliefs. For this I DO NOT apologize or back down...

I am concerned for the future that my kids will face with a country that is so different and I fear will continue to move in the liberal direction until we become a very Godless country. But...

The Bible says that God raises them up and he brings them down. This is all in God's plan to bring about the prophecies of the Bible. Because no matter who is president I have no doubt and no fear Jesus is still King and still on the thrown. HE is still in control and my faith is not to be in the government, or in the economy, but my faith is to be in God...
So as I watch the events of the day, I do it as a free American who enjoys the process of our democracy. I am glad to still live in a country that is free, I still enjoy the freedom of worship and the freedom to choose where I live, what I do and how I live. I celebrate today as a part of our freedom. I pray that God's mercy will continue to extend to our country that we may continue to enjoy the freedoms we do now. But even if we don't, my God will continue to be my source of peace, strength and power. I have nothing to fear, for God is with me.

When I read in the Bible of the things that God's people endured because of their beliefs. When I read the reports of people in our time, in other countries that suffer at the hand of the oppressors because of their belief and their faith in the ONE true God, I am humbled and feel inadequate to stand beside them before God, knowing that I have suffered nothing for HIS name sake.

My hope is that we won't have to suffer because of our faith, that God will return and take us home to live eternally with Him before we have to face such things. No one wants to think of suffering or the thought that our children would suffer, but we know that it happens, and it could happen in our time.

But in spite of those things, God is still God. He is still in control, and as long as we live for Him, put our faith in Him, and obey His word, He will keep us in the palm of His hand. We are to fear not what the enemy can do to our bodies, but fear what the enemy could do to our souls. A time like no other, we need to pray for God's faith to be strong in us, so that if we become weary we will not faint, but be strengthened by Him.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Remembering a friend

Today is a national holiday and the country is getting ready to swear in a new president tomorrow. But for myself, today is another day full of activities; Gymboree for Noah, lunch with a friend, Ortho appointment for Megan, and pick Lauren up at the airport this evening. Throughout the day I will also be remembering a dear friend of mine who passed away several years ago.

Her name was Tina. We went to school together from 7th grade until we graduated. We were friends and had a lot of fun times together with our group of friends. We were also distantly related.

Tina married later than most of us, I think she was in her early 30's when she married. She had two boys within a short time after marrying.

Tina liked to joke around and had a good personality. I will always remember her laugh.

The photo above was taken on our senior trip to Red River, New Mexico. She was 18, this was 1984. We went to New Mexico on a skiing trip. Can you just imagine kids from Louisiana going snow skiing? It was a lot of fun, but most of us had never seen that much snow in our lives. This was at the end of the trip and we were all pretty tired and worn out. I can just imagine what our chaperone's felt like!!

While I was living in Kentucky; May 2000- Dec 2003, my mom called me one day and told me the news.

I was later told that she and her husband were buying a home, and she was very excited about it. In fact, I was also told that she woke up that morning, leaving her two young boys with her mother, and drove to a nearby town to sign the papers on their new home. It is told that she said to her mom, "this is the happiest day of my life!" While at the bank, or finance company to sign the paperwork for the loan, she suffered a massive heart attack and couldn't be revived.

She was in her 30's. She left a husband and two little boys...

Today would have been her birthday. She would have been 43.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Random Tuesday

Well it is Tuesday again already. Where does the time go? Can you believe it is almost the middle of January? I can't believe it...

There isn't a lot going on yet today, so I just thought I would be random with this post.

I started working on a quilt top the first of January and just now got around to piecing it together. I ran short on one type of fabric, so I have to run to Hobby Lobby to get a little more of it to finish the quilt top.

I have always loved the art of quilting. I have worked on a few through the years. I made each of the kids a quilt/comforter. I was working on one for my brother when he was killed. I never really finished it. I have it put up to one day maybe...

Again, for my grandma's 90th birthday I started working on a memory quilt to give her. It featured a photo of her and her husband(my grandpa: I refer to him as her husband because he died in 1944, so I never knew him, in fact, my mother was born 3 months after his death.) Anyway, then in the squares around it were going to be photo's of my mom and her sister and their families. I had all of the squares sewn together, and some of the photo's copied and ironed onto the fabric then my computer crashed, or my printer died...then we moved, then my sewing machine needed work...after a while we moved again...and like life, time got by, the quilt was not really forgotten, just out of sight and out of mind...then we moved again, and again...then my grandma got sick and passed away...

A few months ago when we were cleaning out one of the storage units we rent, and downsizing, I found a tote with fabric and craft things...inside was the quilt top...

Again, another half made quilt for someone that had passed...I put the quilt top back into the tote and decided to save it for another time, another time when the emotions weren't quite so raw. Another time when I can take it out and work on it without the regrets being so strong. I wanted so much to finish that quilt to give to Maw Maw, but it wasn't to be, I just don't think I can work on it yet. In time, in time I will...

But back to is a photo of what I am attempting isn't for anyone,(I am almost afraid to make a quilt for anyone after the past experiences!LOL!), just to have around the house, in a basket to use as a throw in the living room.
One day recently during a cold Sunday afternoon, I wasn't feeling well and I wanted to lie down on the couch and take a catnap. I went into the hallway to the linen closet and pulled out an old quilt that Andrew's granny had made. We haven't used it in years, because we all have queen and king beds and it is a full size quilt. So the quilt had been stored up and we also found it while cleaning out the storage shed. Now everyone fights over it, even Noah. Anyway, I wrapped up in that quilt that was aged with the years and use, and thought how comforting it was to have the weight of it on me. I catnapped all afternoon, which is unusual for me, I am not a daytime sleeper, and felt so comfortable and secure. So I begin reading about quilting again, and about quilts. I decided then and there, I would start quilting and make several to hand down to my kids and grandkids. So one day, if the world is still standing, many years from now, when I am dead a gone, one of my grandkids or great grandkids will find comfort and warmth in a quilt, worn with age and use, and know that their grandmother; me; made that quilt, and that will make them feel even more warmed and comforted...

Back to the quilt top. I got a magazine recently called Quilts and More by Better Homes and Garden on the cover was this quilt:

I couldn't find the exact fabrics, but I loved those turquoise and browns together. So that was the inspiration for the fabrics I chose. I want to go to Hancocks to see if they have some that are more similar to the photo. That will be for my second quilt. For now, I have to complete this one, just to prove to myself that I can. I have a few more rows of squares to add then comes the quilting...that is what takes the longest. I would love to start a quilting bee...yes, in the crazy world we live in today, that seems impossible. But I remember when I was a young girl, a neighbor had a quilting frame that hung from her ceiling and it could be raised back up when not in use. The ladies would get together and work on quilts. Wow! Wouldn't that be great. I wish I knew a circle of women locally that would be interested in reviving those lost arts. But for now, I will work on machine quilting to make a few things to pass to my children...

Speaking of children. Here is a cute photo of Noah getting ready for Sunday School a couple of weeks ago.

I will close with a couple of quilting quotes

Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts!

Good friends are like Quilts. They age with you, yet never lose their warmth

Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love

Quilters touch the past and the future

Monday, January 12, 2009

Breast Cancer 3-day

Have you seen this?
I so wish I could do this. I would love to do the Seattle 3-day. It will be Sept 11th-13th. Someone want to sign up and go with me? I can start preparing now. I can start walking until I get my body in shape enough to walk 60 miles in 3 days. 20 miles a day, I've done it before, well, I've walked 12 miles in a day and maybe more, just didn't keep track. Of course, the 12 mile walk was many, many, many years ago, when I was young and lets just say...gravity didn't pull on me so much...

But I could do this, especially in Seattle. What a wonderful place to be...I want to go back...If I have ever loved a city, Seattle is the one. If I have ever felt like this is where I want to be, Seattle is it...

So why don't you join me...lets do the Breast Cancer 3-day walk in Seattle! Come on you know you want to.

Check out the link above and tell me you aren't moved to do it too...

If I had someone to do it with me, I wouldn't hesitate to go...

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Lauren was getting on to me for some of the photo's of her on my blog, so I thought I would post some new ones she recently had done.


I should have added this to the bottom of the previous post on Family History but I didn't think of it yesterday...

For those who are interested in the journal idea, please email me your address and I would love to have your email address also so we can stay in touch through the process.

So if you would, please email me current snail mail and email addy's. My email address is please put something in the subject line that will catch my attention. Because it will go to my junk mail first, and I don't want to delete a good email!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Family History

This post is basically a call out to my extended family that read this blog. I hope you all are still out there reading occasionally at least. I first want to say thank you to those of you who do read my pathetic attempts at writing/journaling, whatever you call it, and thank you for the nice comments you leave and the emails you send. I am honored to have you reading.

So this post is to talk about something that I have been thinking on lately. I would love for us to have a family journal. I would like to get a journal and pass it around for each O'neal family member to write memories they have of growing up in our family. It could be memories of Grandma, or any other family member, memories of the old homeplace, times spent at family gatherings, anything related to growing up part of the O'neal clan.

I have so many memories from childhood that include our extended O'neal family. I suppose I am getting old, but I want to somehow document those things, so that I can pass that along to my children. I can remember so many times when the extended family was together at the old homeplace. You all are such a big part of my childhood. I want to share those memories with my kids.

I am just in the beginning stages of this latest plan, but it goes something like this: I will purchase a journal and we will pass it around to all the family members that would like to participate, each of you share memories you have. You could include copies of photo's you especially want to share, recipes you have that have a family connection or just something you would like to include. Whatever you want to contribute to the journal would be fine. Not only will it include things from the past but you can also include things about your family so that we can all get to know you now and things about your family now. It will be a "living" journal, a work in progress...

After the journal has made its rounds then I could have it published through a online publishing company and everyone could get a copy through the publishers.

My idea was to notify each family, by that I mean each of the offspring of the original seven brothers and sisters, and those who will be willing to participate will be placed on a list and the journal will be mailed, or passed around if you live close to each other, until it goes to everyone, then back to me for publishing. In the process, you each get to read what other have written before you! Then in the end, we could have photo's past and present put into the journal and everyone could have a great copy of a little piece of family history.

What do you think? Yes, it will involve a little effort, but I would love to see it happen. If you think it would be a good idea, let me know. If you think it is a silly idea; well keep your thoughts to yourself! LOL! No, not really, just kidding. But seriously, what do you think? Let me know, either by leaving a comment or sending an email. I don't have email addresses or home addresses for all of you, very few of you actually. So let me know, maybe I could get a little help with email and snail mail addresses from some of you.

Okay, so there is one of my project ideas for 2009. Now, I am just waiting to hear from you...

I am waiting...
Still waiting.....
I'll just go wait someplace else........

Give you a chance to think it over and you know, get back to me
when you can........

Monday, January 5, 2009

Word or words of the year

So I have been hearing about this idea of picking a word for the year. Supposedly it is to replace making a resolution or go along with your resolutions. Anyway, you are to find a word that best describes what you want to have 2009 mean for you...

So many little time!!!

How do you pick one word to sum up a whole 365 days? A year can be a long time, so many things can happen during that year. The word that grabs your imagination in January may not have anything to do with May or July...

So how about a word for each month? There is an idea...

So I narrowed my January word down to five...(yeah, decision making; not my strong point!)

who couldn't use more joy in your life
I definitely need more joy, or expressions of joy in each day.
I need to be more aware of others and the needs and feelings of others
I am aware of the needs of those near me, but what about those I meet
on the street, in the mall, on the job. I need to become more aware
of the world around me and its inhabitants.
Finding my creativity again will be a year long quest
I have forgotten where I stored it. I once felt creative
daily, but now, not so much. So the search begins...
Spiritual growth tops the list of things that need growth in my life
next will be growth through learning, reading, studying, and seeking.
I also need growth in the part of me that stretches toward others
not staying so self-centered, but reaching out beyond my "comfort zone".
By nature, I am a recluse, yes, I have admitted it. I accept this part of myself that longs for isolation. I use to feel this was a major character flaw, but now I embrace it and dream of one day retiring to a little mountain village, a mountain village that has high speed Internet access of course,...but for the most part I could become a hermit.
I could very easily live in a cabin in the mountains and be perfectly content living there, growing a garden, crafting, cooking, reading...etc. Of course I would have my family there with me, and I would come down from the mountain cabin to explore and do some shopping...
but I digress...
Every day needs to begin with Gratitude and thanksgiving. I am trying to pay more attention to the things I do have than those I don't have. I want to show gratitude to God and to those around me. I am so very thankful for the many blessings of God. I acknowledge that every good and perfect gift in my life comes from Him. I am already very humbled, thankful and acknowledge that without Him I am nothing and would have nothing. But I want to be more literal with my Gratitude, I want to notice the little things in my life for which I am thankful.
Today, I am grateful for the comfortable warm bed that I crawled out of with much hesitation this morning. Remembering the homeless person that I passed sleeping in a doorway downtown.
I am grateful for my children who are safe and healthy. Thinking of the mothers who's arms are empty or for those sitting in hospital rooms beside very sick children.
I am grateful for my husband, who in spite of the wet, cold weather, rose before daylight and left us sleeping while he went to his job, so he can provide for his family. I think of so many this year who have lost jobs due to the economic downturn.
I could go on this way for the rest of the day, but I am sure that you get the jest of my gratitude. I could spend the whole day being grateful and not get anything done around here.
So this is a rundown of my "Word(s) of the month" idea. Try it! See how one or two or five words could change your whole outlook.
Quote of the Day
For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice~
T.S. Eliot
The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul~
G. K. Chesterton
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day~
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Okay, so maybe decision making should have been my word for the month!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The new year ahead...

The new year has me thinking about fresh starts,
new beginnings, things past, things present
and things to come...
I am thinking of shedding some things;
pounds, habits, thoughts, feeling, clutter, old ideas,
things that aren't working for me...
Letting go of past hurts, disappointments,
and expectations...
While holding close wonderful memories, good friends,
and still attainable dreams...
I don't like to call them resolutions
I don't like to name them out loud
I just prefer to spend a few days at the beginning of the year
clearing away the clutter of the past year and thinking on
ways to make the coming year better...
So I will be working on my "list" of thoughts and ideas for the year ahead
I may share some of them here, but some of them will be things that I will keep to myself
for they will be things that require inward reconstruction and maintenance...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Prayer and Blessing...

My hope and prayer for each of you in 2009!

An Irish Prayer
May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!


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