Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goal: Maiden Voyage

Inspired by, I've started this blog to track and document my goals. This is more to me than just New Year Resolutions; this is a transition of lifestyle.

You are welcome to follow along with me. I know I will need your encouragement through this journey.

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Romantic Spiritual Extrovert.
0% of the 13653 people who have taken this quiz are like me. Go Figure!

Here are the initial goals
Hair: transition hair from relaxed to natural
Book1: get Book 1 published
Book2: complete draft of Book 2
Story1: complete draft of Short Story 1
IntApp1: deploy internet application 1
IntApp2: deploy internet application 2
GetFit: Complete goal of getting fit by age 40
Move: Complete unpacking in bedroom and garage
Windows: Purchase or make window treatments for dining room, office, and guest room
Office: Unpack and organize office
SonRoom: Decorate son's bedroom
DiningSet: Get a new dining room set
FamilyRoom: Get new seating furniture for family room
Master: Get new bed in master bedroom
HubbyRoom: Add addition to house for Hubby's space

A New Journey

Martini & Rossi Asti Spumanti  from Labels at Wine Library
As many do this day, I reflect upon what I have accomplished this past year, note the tasks that were left incomplete, and set goals for the upcoming year.

I've decided to take New Year's Resolutions much further than I have done in the past. I've verbalized them; I've written them on a list. Now that I love blogging, I've started a new blog, A Plan In Action, to document and track my personal goals. The goals are not just for 2009, as I know all will not be attainable in one year, but a place so share my desires and aspirations.

You are welcome to join me. I look forward to your comments, concerns and suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by to visit. You have always been welcome.

Happy New Year! 2009

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Feeling of Christmas

I have been wondering for days what would be my Christmas post. A version of this touching story came through my email, but before posting, I researched its validity. I found the text below on Perfection at the Plate which appears to be the original.

Also while researching, I found several sites that reviewed this story in a manner that saddened me to know that I contributed to the sites’ statistics. I will not link those sites here. Basically they did not get it. This story is about how we treat those less fortunate than ourselves. It’s about what we should value in life. These “reviewers” criticized the manner the child was being treated. Suggesting the child was being belittled because the assistance that was given to him. I do not believe the parents, teammates, or the people in the stands thought with malice in their hearts. They gave the child a moment of peaceful joy. There should be nothing wrong with that.

The Feeling of Christmas = Love + Peace + Joy

Merry Christmas,

Sista GP

In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school careers, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs. There are a few children who attend Chush for most of the week and go to a regular school on Sundays.

At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything that Hashem does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is Hashem’s perfection?” The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and stilled by his piercing query.

“I believe,” the father answered, “that when Hashem brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that He seeks is in the way people react to this child.”

He then told the following story about his son Shaya.

Shaya attends Chush throughout the week and Yeshivah Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway on Sundays. One Sunday afternoon, Shaya and his father came to Darchei Torah as his classmates were playing baseball. The game was in progress and as Shaya and his father made their way towards the ballfield, Shaya said, “Do you think you could get me into the game?”

Shaya’s father knew his son was not at all athletic, and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya’s father understood that if his son was chosen in, it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging.

Shaya’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked, “Do you think my Shaya could get into the game?”

The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, “We are losing by six runs and the game is already in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.”

Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field, a position that exists only in softball. There were no protests from the opposing team, which would now be hitting with an extra man in the outfield.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded and the potential winning runs on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shaya was told to take a bat and try to get a hit. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible, for Shaya didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so that Shaya should at least be able to make contact.

The first pitch came in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s teammates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shaya.

As the next pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game.

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far and wide beyond the first baseman’s reach. Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first! Shaya, run to first!” Never in his life had Shaya run to first.

He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the rightfielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head, as everyone yelled, “Shaya, run to second! Shaya, run to second.”

Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran towards him, turned him towards the direction of third base and shouted “Shaya, run to third!”

As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shaya, run home! Shaya, run home!”

Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit the “grand slam” and won the game for his team.

“That day,” said the father who now had tears rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of perfection. They showed that it is not only those who are talented that should be recognized, but also those who have less talent. They too are human beings, they too have feelings and emotions, they too are people, they too want to feel important.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Am I a true Libran?

For some odd reason, horoscopes popped in my head. To follow the thought, I started Googling to see if I matched the description of my zodiac sign, Libra. Here is what I found on (italicized) and the pic.

You’re born under the sign of Libra, which represents the element of air, or the intellect. You’re most definitely a thinker — you like to use your mind to tackle problems. Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac, which refers to relationships of all sorts and your connection to the world around you. I love word problems, except for those approaching trains.

People know you as someone who loves to socialise. Your outgoing nature and love of communicating brilliant ideas to people around you is one of your strengths. You’re rarely at a loss for words … even on your worst day you have the gift of the gab! Well, talking did get me in trouble in school until 3rd grade. Parents put a stop to it.

You not only have the ability to share your ideas in a very natural way; you also have charm in the way you convey your feelings. This is another of your very positive traits. Even people who don’t agree with what you have to say can’t resist you and will usually behave well around you — you’re simply a nice person. I wish my son would behave around me.

Your love of communication makes you an excellent mediator and negotiator. Coupled with the fact that you’re always reasonable in the way you deal with people, this means your friends and co-workers can always depend on your having a balanced viewpoint, even in the fiercest of arguments. Not unless I'm in the argument then it's 'my way or the highway'. No, just kidding.

In fact, if there’s a problem with you, it comes out of the fact that you’re so good at seeing all the sides of a problem and staying impartial. This makes it hard for you to commit to one side of an argument — you don’t want to be seen as biased, and you want everyone to like you! Or I just don't agree with either side.

What ends up happening is that the way you get everyone’s approval is by agreeing with everyone. This is not a good idea, because you’re agreeing to things for the wrong reasons: to keep everyone on side, rather than because you’re firmly committed to something. Try not to do this, because it can mess up your dealings with people. You don’t need to bend over so far just to be accepted. NO, NADA, NON, Nr, and NEIN. This is not me.

Making decisions is an area in which you excel, but again, don’t jump to conclusions simply to please others. You have the ability to look at all sides of an issue, so use it. Sometimes you get stressed if you feel you’re being obstructed somehow. The answer is to get all the relevant facts; running off and asking others to support you will just confuse things. OK, OK, you got me on this one.

And anyway, if you look inside yourself you’ll realise that you can rely on your own experiences. You don’t need to use others as a crutch for your decisions. Not others as a crutch but I will use their decision as encouragement or caution.

When you get to know people, you are perfectly comfortable sharing your feelings with them, and you’ll go to some trouble to make them feel at ease. You create harmony in your environment to match the harmony in your character. Yeah, that's true.

This relates to the fact that your ruling planet is Venus. This is a soft and gracious planet, and feminine by nature. Your softer side is expressed in pretty much everything you do — the way you entertain guests, the type of home furnishings you like to buy, the clothes you wear and even your personal grooming. I do prefer solid, soft colors.

All these things express the natural flair and grace which is part of that Venus temperament. There’s no way others won’t notice your style. People see you as elegant and tasteful — and that’s people who know you well as well as people who’ve just met you. Really, aw, shucks now.

You often make a great first impression because you are such a good communicator and connect so easily with people; this makes you an ace networker. Some people believe you must have an ulterior motive because you are dealing with so many people at once, but it’s really just that you absolutely love socialising and partying. You are a real ‘people person’. Uh, blogging?

Because Venus is the planet of love, you seek love this in everything you do, and particularly in relationships. Finding your soulmate is a big dream, perhaps even your most significant life mission — you will go to great lengths to meet lots and lots of people. Who knows where you’ll find the right one? You have a lot to give to the person you feel is your perfect match. Already found him.

Very few Librans find the peace and satisfaction they’re looking for until they’ve connected with that special person. Once this happens, they can really get into their work, family and other domestic affairs with energy. Gets tiring too.

There are three grades of Libra. Which of these do you fall under? You can figure it out by the date of your Libran birth.

If you're born between the 24th of September and the 3rd of October you are a true die hard Libran and have the qualities of Venus fully dominating your life. You are artistic, caring and full of love and social warmth. Venus provides you with loads of friends, perhaps too many at times.
This is my category. Uh oh, Twitter Followers 400 and counting.

Librans born between the 4th and 13th of October are a little wacky by nature but harmless. If that's you, life is a bundle of fun and you can expect the unexpected from time to time. You like the surprises that life throws at you.

The final portion of Libra occurs between the 14th and 23rd of October. Were you born during this time frame? If so, you are the type of Libran who is constantly on the hunt for knowledge and information. You are an eternal student who will never tire of learning news things. As well, you will never grow old as Mercury's co rulership of your life ensures a sprightly and youthful attitude.
Hmmm, I'll to compare to other Librans I know.

Libra is a movable air sign, which means there’s creativity in you. You are quick to grasp ideas, and you have a need to produce works of art and unusual or original things. You bring a touch of art to anything you do. Remember to incorporate this part of you into all your life’s activities; you’ll be richly rewarded. Confirms I should publish my book and get the internet application online?

What about you? What is it about you that matches your zodiac profile?
Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra
Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Do ED meds trigger mental illness symptoms?

I was talking to a Sista the other day and she informed me of several relationships that were in trouble. In all the cases the women were contemplating leaving or have already left their husbands. These marriages ranged in length from 2 years to about 60 years.

Unfortunately it was not surprising that the marriages were in trouble. The troubling issue was the cause of breakups. In each case, the husbands had demonstrated or had been diagnosed with mental problem, such as depression, paranoia, and hallucinations.

We wondered why it seems there are more cases than usual and only the men were inflicted. She posed a question that made me wonder, 'Could erectile dysfunction medication trigger mental illness symptoms?'. She had no evidence that any of the men had this ailment, it was just a thought since there is a bombardment of commercials for ED.

I have done some Googling and not have found anything to substantiate a positive response to that question, but then again there wouldn't be if no one has done the research.

So what do you think? Does this question have any merit?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thank You, Thank You Very Much

Twitter Friend, Shon Bacon (@chicklitgurrl), has gracefully blessed me with the Honest Scrap Award.

There are some simple rules to accept this award:
1. List 10 honest things about yourself, hopefully interesting.
2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers

Here's my list of 10
1. I have difficulty verbally expressing my true emotions
2. Unintentionally, I can offend those closest to me by humor
3. People may be shocked at how often random stuff pops into my head
4. I have a fear of growing old alone. Women in family have out-lived husbands.
5. I am the social odd-ball among my siblings
6. I am excellent at putting forth ideas, but am dreadful in following through
7. #1 goal for 2009, launch internet application that I started its design a little less than 10 years ago.
8. #2 goal for 2009, publish inspirational novel that was completed in 2007
9. I have highly sensitive hearing. Normal sound levels for others annoy me.
10. I can visualize #7's fruition, but not path to get there

I bestow this award onto these for their straight-forward approach to writing
1. Raw Dawg Buffalo
2. A Choice of Weapons
3. Aunt Jemima's Revenge
4. Renaissance Black Woman
5. Oyin's World
6. The Certain Sound
7. What Tami Said

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Condom on Mall staircase

I know I wrote about prevention, but this is not quite what I expected. It has been said that you have to be careful what you asked for.

My son and I were perusing the Macon Mall last night in search of warm clothes for his ride today on a float in a Christmas Parade. Normally I would have parked at Sears, went in, made my purchases and left. I am not a "walk all over the mall shopping" type of person anymore, especially with a kid in tow who asks for every Batman, Transformers, and Star Wars toy he sees. But since Dad was at work and niece at a sleepover, it was excellent oppportunity for mom and son time. He hasn't had much of that in a long time.

I did park near Sears expecting it would be where I would make my purchases. We walked from that end to the other visiting several clothing stores. Noticing the Steve & Barry Going Out of Business sale and many other shops that have closed since my last visit was the first disturbing revelation. As we approached Dillard's became aware that store was closing also for it had already opened a new store across town. The upper floor in the two-story mall had been sealed closed. Only the lower floor allowed entrance. Having no nearby escalator, the 6-ft wide staircase was the only option to descend to the lower level. At approximately the 6th step down, I almost stepped on the item pictured above. Thankfully son was to my right using the banister. Coincidentally, son was concerned with a painful substance that suddenly appeared in this shoe. He did not notice I had stopped to take the picture.

What puzzles the mind is where did this encounter occur and how did the paraphernalia get discarded in the middle of a staircase in the middle of the mall, appearing to be freshly used?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Geeky Holiday Dream (2nd Place Tie)

Geeks tie for 2nd place in Door Decorating Contest held at work place.

Hey check this out for theme details. He posted before me. Why repeat? He had included his great original poem that he wrote that went along with the decorated door.

Even though we did not win 1st place by the judges, we did gain...

1. Unofficial Peoples Choice Award from those who understood its meaning
2. 1st time we were able to work on a project together, normally assigned to different teams
3. Opportunity to demonstrate our creative skills outside of programming.
4. I discovered a new toy, The Glue Gun, LOL

Monday, December 8, 2008

From a Yankee to a Dixie Gal

my fave pic from mom's garden
As a dear friend plans to move her family from the New England area to the Land of the Dixie, I feel it is my duty to assist in the preparation of sticker shock.
They may be some things that we understand naturally that her family needs to know beforehand. I will try my best to list as many as I recall from the differences I discovered while working one winter in Chicago.

1) When offered ‘tea’, assume it will be sweetened, sometimes twice as much as necessary.
2) Expect dinner rolls to warm and coated in honey butter
3) There are only two seasons, HOT and NOT SO HOT. You may get one week of what you may call winter, but rare. I haven’t seen my parka since I left The Windy City in early 2000.
4) Don’t expect snow. You may get flurries, even some accumulation, but it will be a memory in two days.
5) You may think that triple-digit weather is bearable, but you must take into account the high humidity. Every day can be a bad hair day. Ponytails are common.
6) You will have BUGS, not insects, year-round, especially skittas (mosquitos) and gnats.
7) You may be accustomed to sandy soil. Especially in Georgia, you will have red clay. It’s staining, mushy, and will definitely kill your plants if not properly prepared.
8) If you do not have outdoor allergies, you will develop them. Since no Winter, plants and grasses can bloom all year
9) States are bigger. It may take you days to drive across them.
10) Southerners are NOSY. We will know your entire family history at first meeting. You will not need a video security system, everyone will know who’s been to your house, just ask. And no need to order the local paper. Folks will tell you everything you’ll need to know, even if you did not ask.

It may take some time before you are fully converted. Hubby has been here since 1988. He has given up the Indians for the Braves, Browns for the Falcons, but still wants Fried Fish and RICE. One day he’ll be converted to Fish-n-Grits.

And please don’t be like Cousin Vinny, “What’s a Grit?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Giving Thanks for Blessings and Awards, Part 3

I have been working on this three-part post for almost two weeks. Having put in 12 hours OT last week, hosting family and friends for the holiday, and then finally taking some recommended rest, did not leave much time for blogging and twittering.

It was great having everyone here. My Mom was estatic she had her mom, all her sisters, her children and grandchildren under one roof. My older brother and a friend flew into the ATL and drove down here. My younger brother and his family made a day-trip from the ATL. Grandma and aunts drove in from Savannah, GA and the rest were from this area. We had 18 in all out of the expected 19. There could have been at least 10 more from Savannah, but they were not able to come.

It was a long tiresome day, but a true blessing that we all could share it on the first Thanksgiving in my new home.

Here a few pics of the fixings...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Giving Thanks for Blessings and Awards, Part 2

This blog was started to improve my writing skills but it developed into so much more and to my surprise received some new great friends, especially RawDawgBuffalo and LoveBabz. They are leaders by example of how visions become alive. Their most recent endeavor, Raw Dawg Buffalo Radio, exemplifies what can be accomplished in a short amount of time.

Recently this blog received some unexpected accolades...

I was shocked, excited, and honored for this blog to receive its first blog award, Superior Scribbler Award, from Revvy Rev. I thank you.

Words cannot express the warmth I received from his kind words in his presentation to me. Having been newly introduce to The Certain Sound, the articles have provided clarity on modern issues and their spiritual relationship within the church.

Within days, this blog received its second blog award from my SisterCuz, LoveBabz .

I have been humbled to receive this award from someone who has inspired me so to move forward in all aspects in life for there should be no limitation in my potential.

Before I pass on these awards, here are the rules:

Superior Scribbler
1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Uber Amazing Award
1. Put the logo (award image) on your blog or in a post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs that you feel are Uber Amazing!
3. Let them know that they have received the Uber Amazing Blog Award by commenting on their blog.
4. Share the love by linking to this post and the person you received the award from.

Even though there are many blogs that inspire or move me, here are a few that I have read for some time.

I pass the Superior Scribbler Award on to:
Reading Writing Blogging
Morphological Confetti
The Prisoner's Wife
this is my it or leave it

I pass the Uber Amazing Blog Award on to:
Lisa C Writes
From My Brown Eyed View
Mothers Who Write
Living Loving Laughing
Free Spirit

Giving Thanks for Blessings and Awards, Part 1

Even though I do it all year, it's great to dedicate a special time to give thanks to the Lord for all the Blessings in your life. That is what this holiday is for me. Giving sincere thought and thanks for that I have been blessed within the previous year.

A few highlights...
After being on my own for 10 years and having to go back and live at Mom's (heavenly thankful) for 5 years, we were blessed to be in our own home again.

Both hubby and I have recovered well with the diverse medical procedures we had in the past few months.

At school, son is finally being successful in conduct along with his usual academics.

We are blessed with the opportunity to help my niece live in a stable productive enviromnent.

My mom (in her sixties) is well as usual. Since we moved out in May, she has painted the walls and refinished the hardwood floor in room hubby and I stayed, refinished an antique bed and dresser for that room, painted ceiling and wallpapered the bathroom my family used, and now just finished painting the ceiling and hallway leading to our rooms. Great Role Model.

A few weeks ago, became a (step) grandmother to a beautiful baby girl. (pics later)

There are many more, but these were just a few.

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