Got Your Morning Coffee?

…so you can pull a seat up and sit a spell.

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“I’m Stupid”

This simply worded sign caught the attention of my family while traveling home from the beach this past weekend. We had just gotten to a long stretch of highway that has proven many times to be an endless, boring ride. The sign was written on a large index card with a thick, light pink marker. The person who’d made the sign had it posted in the window next to where she was seated; the front passenger seat. Accompanying the sign were strange actions she’d chosen to display to everyone passing by; a means of demonstrating the authenticity of her sign. With a blank look on her face, she’d press her nose against the passenger window, dragging her face down a bit until her nose resembled a pig’s nose.

She was a pretty blonde girl who looked to be in her early twenties. Our first impression was that her mother, who was driving, had made her mad and this was her means of retaliation. The next impression I’d gotten was that she truly had a mental problem; thus bringing out feelings of sympathy. Finally we determined she was doing it for fun, to break the monotony of the long ride. Her silliness went on for miles. Back and forth our vehicles would go within the mixture of numerous cars, motor homes, buses, and an endless list of other vehicles, all traveling in the same direction. However, after reaching our turn off, we knew that was the end of our entertainment.

Being the silly person that I am, I started referring to our entertainer as “STUPID.” I meant no harm, it’s just that we didn’t know her name and I was only referring to her as the name she’d given herself. I’d make comments like, “Recon where STUPID’s at? I miss STUPID!” And finally, I pretended to cry and said, “STUPID needs me, she needs me to build up her confidence.” We laughed so much over one simple act this girl did to bring laughter to others; she truly freed us from boredom!

Our last pit stop was a short one before facing another long stretch of highway. Of course STUPID was brought up once we were on our way, but she was just a fleeing thought. Suddenly my husband looked in his side view mirror and yelled, “Here comes STUPID!” Excitement burst from my daughter and me as we began twisting in our seats to look at the vehicle approaching us from behind. Sure enough, STUPID had caught up with us, and yes, her sign was still posted.

Since we were nowhere near a popular visiting site, the highway was quite bare. STUPID’s mom blew past us, taking full advantage of the wide open road. It was at that time I’d come up with the idea to write a reply to STUPID’s sign. Finally we were fast approaching a traffic light that would give us the opportunity to be on STUPID’s side of the car. When we’d finally come to a stop, a guy in a black truck was parked beside STUPID and her crew. He’d got them to roll down their window (STUPID and her sister who was sitting behind her) and was chatting away. He was eating up our time at the traffic light, and our time to connect with STUPID. ARGGG, this man needed to move up so we could show STUPID my sign! Finally, just as the light had changed and the traffic began to move, my husband sped up until we were side-by-side with STUPID. My daughter held the sign up in my husbands’ side window, “AT LEAST YOU SPELLED STUPID RIGHT!” is what was displayed. At that point Silly Ole STUPID rolled her window down revealing her and her mom rolling in laughter. Obviously they hadn’t got, nor were they expecting, a written reply of any kind; much less one pointing out a positive from her silly negative persona.

What I took away from STUPID’s silliness is, though she didn’t care what first impression she’d left with others, she was willing to do so to break the tedious ride home for those around her.

So STUPID, if by chance you’re reading this, my family and I want to thank you for bringing a smile to the faces of everyone traveling Hwy 501 in S.C. and 601 in N.C.

Best Wishes to You Girl  🙂


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Life’s Changes… Just Keep Moving Forward

It’s been a while since my last post, and boy have I missed the simple concept of writing!

Pfff, I laugh at the word simple.  It’s italicized because simple isn’t simple anymore.  As of January 2013, when everything was in full swing, life dealt me a difficult hand to play.  I’d been attending college, after starting later in life, and was working toward three associates degrees.  That was going to be my “steady” source of income.  However, for a fun means of making money I took a semester of auctioneering class so I could have my own business on the side.  My “Type A” personality was being fed like hungry sharks during a feeding frenzy.

(Insert squalling break sounds here)

Out of the blue my body begins shaking uncontrollably.  My head moves from side to side as if I were constantly telling someone “No.”  The rest of my body shakes in a similar fashion, making me look like an elderly lady suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  To keep from stumbling or falling while walking, I befriend every internal wall within my house.  Fatigue has become one of my constant battles, unfortunately, most of the time it wins.  And my memory?  Everything I’ve encountered within the last minute, hour, day, or week has a tendency to slip my mind.  However, and unfortunately, I’ve lost most everything I’d learned in college pertaining to my degrees.  Let’s not forget my cognitive issues, the main cause of my poor writing abilities.  It’s as if I’ve developed ADD or ADHD overnight.  Sitting still to read or write causes a lot of agitation.  My brain is like a washing machine going back and forth.  Going in one direction agitates me so I change course and go in the other direction, only to be agitated again.  My cognitive difficulties have me looking and sounding like a total idiot while talking to others, including my own child.  I either can’t think of the word I want to say, or I get tongue-tied, but it doesn’t stop there.  I’ve become “typographically dyslexic.”  I know how to spell simple words, yet my brain and fingers don’t communicate properly.  Ex: while typing the word “yet” I first typed “et.”

Moving along now.  I’m taken to the E.R. and worked up for either a “stroke or M.S.”

“Huh?  What did the doctor just say? Not me!”

After a three day hospital stay, where I’m given a head CT and MRI and several labs are drawn, I’m told I’m depressed and given a diagnosis of “Conversion Disorder.”  That’s where, when faced with devastating stress, my body responds with physical symptoms to whatever stressed me out.  (Yea, right!)

After two and a half years, and a growing list of symptoms, I’ve finally convinced my doctor into ordering more MRI’s, including my brain, C-spine, and lumbar. (Coming in the near future).

All symptoms are compared to various diseases, where each disease is ruled out in order to pinpoint what exactly is causing my problems.  My list of possible diseases have been narrowed down; leaving me with one probable disease; M.S.  If you’re an MS’er I’m sure you’ve heard stories, or possibly experienced it yourself, where it can take years for the correct diagnosis.

My motto is: “My Type ‘A’ personality has taken a beating but it hasn’t been knocked out!” In the mean time there’s money to be made.  Not being able to finish my degrees, or work in public doesn’t mean I’ve given up on helping my family out financially.  Though, before giving up on working in the public I tried simple jobs; jobs that quickly reminded me of my disabilities and sent me humbly back into the safe inner walls of my home.

After being told I have a knack for crocheting, I opened up an Etsy Shop, as well as having my own facebook page, to bring in requests for my product.  I crochet dolls that resemble people, such as wedding couples, etc.  However I’m looking into expanding my list of items in the near future due to the consumption of time it takes to complete any given item.  My Etsy Shop is listed as: BellesandLapels, whereas my facebook page is listed as: Belles & Lapels.  Your help in helping spread the word about my shop is greatly appreciated.

Goodness, it sure has been fun settling down to write again.  I must admit, it’s taken me several hours to complete this, yet the desire to write has been lit once again.

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Christmas Begins with Christ…

The title I’m using, “Christmas begins with Christ,” was copied from a message that appeared on my face book wall and has stuck with me for so many reasons. It touched me so much so, I chose to use it as my wallpaper for the month of December. But it’s also a message that I feel Christ wants me to share with each of you.

With Christmas around the corner, the public’s being lured to retail stores like herds of cattle being steered toward a slaughter house to wreak havoc on their very lives. The only difference between Christmas 2013 and those before and after this year is the level of intense advertising and means of enticing us to buy from each store. Think about it, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping appears in songs, movies, or any where it can be fabricated to look like the “in” thing to do because, after all…”Tis the Season.”

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Christmas season gets more frantic as years pass, and with it comes the price one puts on another’s worth, or so some think. Now, who hasn’t uttered these words or overheard them from someone else, “Well, I know Junie usually spends ten to twenty dollars on our presents so I’ve got to spend as much on hers.” Or how about this one, “We have to buy a present for ______ because they bought us one last year,” a phrase notoriously heard by many.

Well, let’s slow down a minute and think about this. “Christmas begins with Christ.” Hmmm. We could take that a few different ways. There’s:

1. Christmas
2. We celebrate Christmas because Jesus Christ was born
3. Honestly our first thought, our day, our very existence should start with
praising Christ.

Let’s focus on #2, celebrating Christmas because Jesus Christ was born.

Matthew Chapter 2:11
11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Just as it says in Matthews Chapter 2, the three wise men went and saw Jesus who was with his mother, Mary. They brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The bible doesn’t say they brought Joseph and Mary gifts; only Jesus. (Hence, Jesus, a child, is the reason for the season).

Christmas should be celebrated by both adults and children, with Christ at the center of the celebration. However, giving presents should be more so for children than for adults. Hopefully, everyone has had a wonderful childhood where both their wants and needs were met by either their parents or the fictional character, Santa.

Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not saying adults shouldn’t exchange gifts with one another; after all, giving is more enjoyable than receiving. But let’s be honest with ourselves, how many of us have blown our Christmas budget (if you had such a budget set aside) to accommodate funding for all the gifts needed for any given year? Or are you still paying for 2012’s Christmas gifts, or quite possibly gifts from one, two, or even three years before that?

Society has jumped on a train that is moving way too fast; similar to the Polar Express, if you will. The only difference between us and the characters on the Polar Express is we’re not going to the North Pole; we’re headed straight to financial destruction while retailers smile and wave as we go by. We need to slow down. Spending is not the reason for the season, Jesus is!

Earlier today I watched a program that gave some great ideas for gifts, its gifts of time. Examples include: offering to cook dinner for your friends or family, or drop the neighbors’ children off at school even if your children are grown up and on their own. What about volunteering to sit with your neighbors’ grandmother who’s in the nursing home to give your neighbor a break? Or go watch television and spend quality time with someone who just lost a loved one and hasn’t had time to adjust to being alone.

Here’s a thought…
If stores are able to lower their prices for “Black Friday,” which turned into “Thrifty Thanksgiving Thursday” this year, then can they not lower their prices the rest of the year if we show them what’s important? It would take time, and it’d be a ripple effect, but personally I’m getting tired of paying $13-15 for paper that’s being flushed down the toilet, aren’t you?

In closing, I just want to reiterate that society needs to slow down, to get back to the simpler times, and that Christmas isn’t about “keeping up with the Jones.” Christmas is about reflecting on Jesus’ birth and the miracle of birth in itself. For those of you with children, you were given the ultimate gift from God. We all have family. Whether it’s your biological family, a friend, or your lifetime partner, smile and know in your heart that you are loved.

That love began with Christ!