04/25/14 You Just Never Know…


I had two realizations this week: Cats can fly! Just look at my boy cat Omar, lunkhead and adventure seeker extraordinaire. 🙂 We’re still not quite sure how he got up on our neighbor’s roof!

 

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The second was more of a question.

During dinner with my friend Christine, we talked about places to possibly go for missions trips, in the future. It seems we typically think of third world countries with no running water, an abundance of flies, foul odors and famine; upon hearing the words ‘missions trips’.

In 2014, with the ever increasing problem of heroin addiction that decimates lives in Northern Kentucky and an area of Cincinnati known as Cheviot; a weird thought crossed my mind. I wondered if someday churches might start sending people to Cincinnati and my figurative backyard of Cheviot to spread hope and the love of Jesus? Cincinnati a missionary’s destination? It’s a bit sobering to realize there’s an area of such despair virtually within walking distance.

Maybe I can begin my mission work without packing a bag or setting foot on a plane. Helping out in the soup kitchen at Vineyard Westside Church in Cheviot, my home church, might be a most worthy ‘mission trip’.

I suppose I want to toss the thought out there that there’s probably SOMETHING each of us can do, to make our corner of the world a less suffering place. We don’t have to wait until that far off day in the future to help. The world and its many nooks and crannies needs our help NOW.

Peace.

12/20/12 G.L.A.D. Holiday Smorgasbord


Queen Porkunia, By Bill Seitz

Queen Porkunia, By Bill Seitz (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

So many things are going on in the world lately, one could be forgiven for wondering if the Mayans might be right! If so, I thought I’d post one more post before the big…. what…. what happens if it IS indeed it? I have no clue. I wasn’t too convinced the end might be near until the Twinkie nightmare (normally sensible people everywhere burst through doors of retail establishments to scarf up every Hostess product in sight, except, it seems, for the Blueberry Muffins. I saw a few boxes of the poor muffins sitting lonely as could be on shelves at Remke Biggs, very near their expiration date.) Another sign that the end might be near? I realized, in a most unexpected way, that I don’t hate myself anymore. I always felt I’d learn to like myself: a) when pigs flew (I’m in Cincinnati, pigs fly here. That was a bad choice of markers!), b) when I was pushing up daisies at the cemetery (meaning, I had died), or c) when the world ended. As I said, pigs DO fly in Cincinnati, I’m still upright and breathing, so the world must surely be nearing that apocalyptic day.

I pondered long and hard about whether to share the next bit with you, not sure if it made me a questionable person, or a repressed woman in a world with few limits anymore. The answer to that still eludes me, but a friend said my story might inspire other souls. My life-changing moment came about a few weeks ago. I wanted to recapture a feeling of freedom I got to experience this summer, freedom from a lot of emotional baggage I’d carried most of my life. This desire led me to question my appearance, avoiding mirrors, body image, those things that some women are doggedly pursued by. I wanted to know what I look like, REALLY look like. Not the image I present to the world of a body covered by whatever black, blue or gray fabric gets pulled out of the closet that day. But ME. The naked truth. I thought about this for days. The part of me that felt this was just bad on my part wrestled with the inner person who questioned, “why?” What was I afraid of? I didn’t know.

One night, I screwed up my courage, uncovered down to the skin I was born with, and looked in a mirror. It’s almost as if I were looking at an exhibit in a museum, observing myself from this angle and that view. I made the surprising discovery that I didn’t have a single negative remark to make about myself. WHAT? No slams about the excess pounds making me a loser, lamenting that I wasn’t a size two, no haranguing that someone who looked like me had nothing worthwhile to offer the world? No. I merely commented, “So this is what I look like.” I think the past few years of embracing my inner squirrely self has taken some of the pressure off of me. It’s given me an ability to embrace my squishy softness that huggers and cats everywhere seem to be attracted to. (Or do the cats just think there’s really a squirrel in there?!)  Honestly, it doesn’t get much cuter than my squirrely self, what do you think?

                                               Sue Glamour Squirrel

The interesting result I’ve noticed is that I want to take better care of myself since viewing the real me. It’s not: “Oh, I need to lose a billion pounds, though a loss would be beneficial, I’m sure.” It’s more a case of feeling an acceptance toward myself that I’ve never experienced before and wanting to treat myself like a friend. I go for walks now, eat more sensibly, go to bed earlier, all kind of strange things that people who like themselves do!

The shooting last week in Newtown, Connecticut brought such a sober, harrowing twist to the holiday season. I don’t know why the shooter did it, or why fantastic people meet such an awful fate. I’ve been awed by the acts of heroism the teachers displayed at Sandy Hook Elementary. I’ve been blessed by all of the good that has poured forth in this nation and from around the world in our country’s time of sorrow. I pray that blessings rain down on the people of Newtown.

Christmas is upon us. I’ve had a real mixed bag of thoughts this year. Money is tighter than ever, which rules out giving cash to a variety of good causes. My energy level hasn’t been up to snuff in ages, so giving my time isn’t happening as much. I’ve kept my holiday projects a little closer to home and am focusing on people I hope can use a little love. Sometimes I question if I’m following the right path or not, but my current actions feel right for this day. My goal continues to be to show Jesus’ love to everyone I encounter as I celebrate His birth. Some days I feel as if I do that so poorly, those days when a rabid pit bull is cheerier than I am. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is pretty amazing about weaving some calming presence into my soul and my attitude straightens out again for another day.

I hope my blog has added a bit of light to your week, a little humor with your coffee or an insight that helps your day. Every single one of you reading this are a warm blessing to me.

Blessings and Peace  🙂

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

9/24/11 Thoughts on a Beautiful Fall Saturday :-)


The main cast of Keen Eddie

Image via Wikipedia The cast of "Keen Eddie": Best One Season American Show Filmed In London EVER!!

Isn’t it the most gorgeous morning? This will give me a chance to upload some photos I took last Fall (Autumn in some parts of the world!) while I was walking on my lunch break around Priceless Hill. Oh, I see some other ones from last Fall worth mentioning as well. There’s Kevin at two different sessions of the Price Hill Library Art Club: one showing a wreath he made, (for the record, he’s shown in front of my workplace, which is next door to the library. This was not a mug shot or an audition for future arrestees!!) and one showing him winning the prize for Best Turkey. Now, I will leave it to you, dear readers, as to the meaning of that!

This is a nice chance for a shout out of Price Hill. If you’re from Cincinnati and your only knowledge of Price Hill comes from the news, you could be forgiven for assuming all we know how to do here are conduct gun fights, break ins and all sorts of tomfoolery…. but I’d like to let you know there’s a brilliant monthly art club for budding young artists at the Price Hill Library. One MUST mention Price Hill Chili. My favorite restaurant in Cincinnati and lucky for me it’s at the top of my street! Life can be sweet sometimes. 🙂 There are also so many beautiful homes around Price Hill. I fleetingly thought of doing a photo project last year titled something along the lines of “Price Hill Jewels and Treasures”. I didn’t go anywhere with it, but I have a few houses firmly in mind for photographing. This would be such a satisfying future blog for me. I’m getting ready to purchase a new digital camera and that would be a great first project. Here’s the daffy truth about me: you know how football fans get over that time of the year and NASCAR fans get all giddy at the smell of engine fluid or whatever it is they smell at those races…. that’s how I get when I look at the various camera ads and pick out just the one I want. So, look for a future post showing my new photo efforts. 🙂 For now, here’s a fond gaze at 2010 in Lovely Price Hill.

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I just got an update of the person I blogged about in my last post. They’re finally off of the respirator and breathing on their own. I’ll be going over to visit this weekend. It’s taken them quite awhile to reach this point. I’m not sure what I’ll say or do, but God has a way of taking care of those small details for me, when I let Him.

Celtic Fest is this weekend. They’ve moved it to Fountain Square this year. I’m not sure what I think of that. Originally, it was held in Ault Park, which felt like a divine location to me. Celtic music and nothing but nature surrounding me. I hope to give Fountain Square a try today or tomorrow and will let you know what I think.

Hasn’t the change in weather been kind of crazy? Cincinnati goes from blazing hot to CHILLY in one fell swoop. Probably not really, and it probably seems that way in all towns, But really, Cincinnati does seem to jump from one to the other without much in between weather. I do love Fall though!

My wedding anniversary is tomorrow. 29 years. Crikey, that makes me kind of old!!!

My birthday is coming up shortly. I’ve been updating a post periodically about the birthday month experiment of deliberate acts of kindness. That one will appear on September 30th. For now, I’m planning my day out for the 29th. Lunch somewhere. I have some videos I bought for myself a few birthdays ago that I’ve not opened yet. The “Keen Eddie” series. An Emerson, Lake and Palmer video collection …. “Beyond The Beginning”. I may buy a 12 pack of Tab and party on at home that afternoon with the ELP video and an episode of Keen Eddie. 🙂   Little Brothers will be down on Fountain Square that day at lunchtime handing out carnations and manning/womanning a booth to promote “International Day of Older Persons” which is October 1st. That would be a lovely deliberate act of kindness to help out with. 🙂 Chinese take out for my birthday is another of those…. come on Hank Williams Jr. fans…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHjaW9sXl7s       It’s a….. “Family Tradition” 🙂

OH, I must reveal my redneck side just a little. I thought of it while writing about ELP.

ELP were my FAVORITE band in my youth. I was such a geek for them. 🙂  WELL, they highlighted the High Voltage Festival in London last year, 2010. My husband had on the Palladium Channel a few weeks ago. You can not even imagine the hyperventilating, quivering, teary eyed MESS I turned into when none other than THAT festival popped up on the screen and my beloved ELP appeared…..

Okay, for most humans, this would have been nothing. But for me, think: delirium at warp speed. As they broke into “Fanfare For the Common Man” I turned the volume all the way up on that 52 inch buggy, uh, t.v. and got to be 17 for a few minutes!!!! My animals ran from the room, my child belllowed TURN IT DOWN.   Uh…… NOOOOOO! I had the presence of mind to hit “Record” when it started. I NEVER have presence of mind….. I should have played the lottery that day!!!

It was truly a wonderful few minutes and my ears stopped ringing by the next day. 🙂

Alright, back to 2011 and my 51 year old self. Oi, that was a short venture to younger, happier times. 🙂

Real life calls.

Cheers! 🙂