Cheery Thoughts

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Looking forward to the weekend, hoping all of you in blogland will be having

a terrific time. It will be chilly here. I am concerned about my grandson’s Boy

Scout camping out adventure with his Great Uncle Rick, my youngest brother.

My oldest daughter and I went shopping, flying down aisles, since she had a

list and we were on a ‘mission.’

We bought long underwear and thick socks on ‘clearance racks.’ We bought

a collapsible bowl and a set of reusable silverware on a clip for my brother,

she bought both for her son, Skyler. We found a camping mat to keep my

brother’s sleeping bag dry. (There is a prediction of rain.)

Carrie has a mat for under Sky’s sleeping bag.

We found this cool backpack, which the leader and pack had suggested

others to purchase, which has a removable plastic collapsible 2 L. water

bottle inside. She bought this backpack since Sky’s bookbags are all very

heavy weight. This was purposefully made for hiking; lightweight and has

some padding on both the straps and the actual part of the backpack

which leans on the person’s back. (I hope you can follow this round-about

explanation.)

We bought some Field and Stream pants which will ‘wick’ the water, should

Skyler get soaked on their three mile hiking adventure.These super pants

can be unzipped and become shorts. They cost a ‘pretty penny,’  which I

did suggest handing the receipt to his Daddy, to have him consider splitting

the costs. If we had gone to the Boy Scouts of America store, many of the

items would have been double the cost. We shopped at Meijer’s and Kohl’s.

This post is partly to explain about my family’s plans for the weekend,

along with some extra fun ‘weekend’ or ‘escape messages’ given.

I like to let you know, since there are gaps in my posting and commenting.

Just to say, my Saturday and Sunday will be spent with “left behind younger

brother,” little Micah.

To get some things ready for our fun times, I picked out two great movies

from the library. (We have seen the only kids’ movie at the Strand theater,

here in Delaware, Ohio.) I found three Franklin the Turtle library books, along

with buying at Kohl’s (yesterday) one stuffed turtle. If you have never stood at

the check-out and seen the “Kohl’s Cares” different books and stuffed animals,

you may wish to check these reasonably priced items out. The books I got from

the library saved me money but the turtle (as are all of the “K. C.” products)

priced at $5. This will be Micah’s “camping at Nana’s toy and new compaion.”

My own brief summary of Kohl’s Cares for Kids:

The proceeds from sales go to health and education initiatives in communities

where the purchases are made. Kohl’s is giving back to the local people who

are purchasing and supporting this cause.

There is a fun article titled, “What Living in Paradise Taught Me,” by Amanda

Walkins on “Huffington Post.” This caught my eye. Many times on our work

days, when someone asks someone else, “How are you doing?” or “How are

you today?” I was ‘taught’ by a sweet twenty-three year old coworker who has

gone on to ‘better things’ (I hope!) to say, “Just another day in paradise.” So,

of course this article intrigued me.

Amanda W. spent time in Roatan, Honduras working in a legal association,

leaving Washington, D. C. behind her.  I like one of her opening sentences:

“Anyone, anywhere, can cultivate the calm that vacationers and expats like

me famously find in the tropics.”

Here is a break down of her five topics which were her paradise lessons:

1. “Electricity is Over-rated.” Power outages must happen there in the tropics

often and this place made her feel like she was ‘living off the grid.’ Meaning

no laptop, iPhone or Kindle sometimes available for usage.

Her final sentence in this #1 topic is a great lesson for us all:

“But when I’m faced with no electricity, I remember to breathe, reflect and

listen to the waves and the wind.”

~*~ We could always listen to the wind, in Ohio, I thought.

2. “Make do- – It’s fun!” Apparently, in Honduras staples like bread or milk

or tomatoes, along with chicken may not be available to purchase.

She mentioned this for #2:

“I’ve learned to get creative. Thinking of new culinary concoctions is a

favorite pastime.”

3. “Needs are Different from Wants.” When you live simply she suggests

in an area which is impoverished, you can get away with hole-y pants,

worn out clothes and stains, too. This is just what happens to people.

Here is Amanda’s summary of her thoughts on #3:

“It’s liberating to realize that I don’t notice what anyone is wearing,

what type of phone a person has or whether or not someone owns a

vehicle.”

4. “Time Shouldn’t Dictate Life.” Oh yes! I need to embrace this one,

I thought. When you feel like you have to ‘schedule everything in your

life,’ you may wonder where time has gone.  Tourists and the islanders

tend to be laid back and relax, feeling no pressure to finish things in

a hasty manner.

She tells us all:

“When the sun rises, a new day begins. When it sets, a new night begins.

It’s that simple.”

Her final topic or lesson~

5. “Trust these Words.”

She is quoting another author, Karen Blixen:

“I know the cure for everything- –

Salt water. . .

In one form or another.

Sweat, tears or the salt sea.

There’s nothing that

One or all of those can’t fix.”

*****************************************************

~*~ Here is my P. S. ~*~

*******(Post Script)*******

I like to drink different teas.

Have you ever tried “Yogi” tea?

I received in just this past week

Four Important messages.

I felt they were a lot like getting

************ Fortunes **************

Yogi message # ONE:

“Where there is Love,

There is no Question.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yogi message # TWO:

“Travel light,

Live light,

Spread the light,

Be the light.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yogi message # THREE:

“An attitude of

Gratitude

Brings opportunities.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yogi message # FOUR:

“I am beautiful,

I am bountiful,

I am blissful.”

I truly hope one of my Yogi Tea messages

or one of the Paradise lessons will be

extra meaningful to you.

Enjoy your weekend and hope the Boy Scouts

don’t end up sleeping in the parents

and leaders’ vehicles!

Tough Decisions and “Ultimatums”

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The song, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” came out in 1973, performed by the rock

‘n roll “shock” artist named, Alice Cooper. I happen to enjoy many of his songs,

especially, “Only Women Bleed.” This is a post about setting limits, deciding

where to draw your line in the sand and ‘ultimatums.’

Do ultimatums ever work?

Think back to when you may have been in charge of children, as a parent,

aunt, uncle or presently, you may be living this nightmare. Oh, “Welcome

to My Nightmare” is another favorite of Alice Cooper’s song play list.

Here are some examples when I took a casual poll of my coworkers. They

were ‘all about it,’ when I introduced the subject matter.

I told my tablemates about some examples of poor discipline, which come

back to ‘haunt’ me when my kids get together and start talking about their

own children’s ‘behavior problems.’ Then, they will launch into the time my

son, Jamie, had been up on the roof hanging out, his window opened on to

a level of roof. I had told him sternly, “You better get in here!” when a couple

of the babysitting kids had ‘told on him.’ He had taken his ‘good, ole’ sweet

time coming in.’ I had been rounding up the kids, sending groups into the

bedrooms, preparing for our Tuesday at the Pool time. Jamie got ready after

everyone else was. I just loaded everyone up, making sure they each had

their ‘book bags’ which stored their flip flops, towels, snacks and snack money.

While we were driving, I used a very casual voice,

“I forgot to pay a traffic ticket so we will need to stop at the police station.”

When we arrived, I told them,

‘”This will only take about 10 minutes, everyone hold hands and follow

me into the station.”

When I saw a big wooden bench along the wall, I pointed to this and had

them all sit down. They were excited about the pool, so good manners were

being used, directions were being followed. I explained to my coworkers that

if there was ‘bad’ behavior on the way to the pool, they would have to sit out

the rest of the time period until the next break was over. Everyone always had

their library books in their book bag, so they were supposed to read, parents

knew this and the kids abide by these rules.

I walked over to a wall with a plate glass (looked like it was bullet-proof) window,

where there was a woman sitting looking at a computer screen. There was a

circle at about my forehead level, with a metal grate covering it. There was a

button on the circle.

I leaned into this metal-grated circle, pushing a button, asking if an officer may

talk to me about something. The woman looked at me, saw my determined look

on my face and went to get someone. When a young man came out, he politely

asked,

“Is there a problem, m’am? May I help you?”

I leaned in close and whispered,

“I am a single mother of three children and babysit these other

children to support my family. My son over there in the red t-shirt,

decided after lunch to go out on a ledge by his window, a level of

our roof. The house we live in is old and this is unsafe, besides

being a bad example for the other children I watch.”

He nodded and gave me a pressed lip smile,

“I gotcha covered, m’am. What’s his name again?”

“Jamie.”

The police officer took my son into the basement where there are apparently

only a couple of holding cells. The Delaware County Jail is not located ‘in town,’

but is out on Rte. 42 North.

The officer must have given him ‘some talking to,’ because Jamie came back

with a teary eyed face. He did not even wipe them off in front of the other kids,

even though he always felt he was ‘cool’ and they looked up to him.

Everyone at the table felt this was a great example of discipline. I am not sure

it was, but it certainly worked.

The times I ran around the house with a big hair brush make my three kids

laugh out loud, since this was never with babysitting kids as ‘witnesses,’ nor did

it ever end up with a spanking. We usually ended up on the sofa or the ‘guilty

party’s’ bed, talking about the way my Dad would say these words:

“This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.”

I have a friend who has been telling her boyfriend, for some time now, they

need to “Get more serious or break up.” She has an inner voice telling her

that he is in a ‘comfort zone,’ where he may never live in the same house.

I have posted about ‘Peggy and Tim’s Love Story,” before, but this happened

to touch a nerve with her today. Peggy told all of us this ‘threat to take action,’

just happened a week ago on a Saturday night:

“Tim, you and I need to decide where we are going to live in the future. I

would like to live in your house and sell my house. I think we would enjoy

living out in the country together. Do you think we could place a time limit

of by the end of summer?”

When I had written about them, I had mentioned they had lived apart for

fifteen years. Tim has never married, Peggy has been divorced for 20

years.

Peggy look worried, “Do you think Tim will break up with me?”

This was my serious answer,since everyone else was chewing their food and

looking down at the table or up at the “Price is Right,” television show.

“Peggy, if this is what you want and he decides against living together, will you

be able to go through with not being a couple?”

I took a breath and continued,

“Think about this carefully, Peggy. Every time you both take off on a trip on

his motorcycle, to Lake Erie, every time you have had a week of vacation, you

have decided together where you will travel to. He makes good money, is very

generous, you share so much together. I will always remember when you were

at Micheli’s Tavern for St. Patrick’s Day, 2012 or 2011, where you were trying

to figure out which song you would sing together for karaoke. Your heads were

leaning together and you had the big playlist book on the table. Bill, (my guy

friend) and I pointed to you both and said, ‘That is love.’ I still envy your easy-

going way you work things out. Are you certain that you want to give up 15

years because you feel as you are growing older, you want him in the same

house?”

Here are some other important decisions and ‘ultimatums:’

One of my coworkers wants her husband to stop smoking in both their

vehicles. She said,

“When he can wait through a two hour movie, why can’t he wait until we

arrive at the grocery store, 1/2 hour car rides and other short trips?”

When we looked at her and asked,

“Have you given him an ultimatum?”

Stephanie answered, “Well, no. . .”

Another person offered up a situation with her daughter and son-in-law.

She mentioned that they are planning on moving to a place where no

pets are allowed. They are at odds with each other, since the man doesn’t

want to give up the dog, but he has nipped at their younger kids’ feet

and toes before.

We felt the dog might be best placed at another family member’s house,

since this will be hard on the father to give up his dog.

We then had a discussion about this lawyer who advertises on Channel 10,

who is part of a law firm, where he talks about using ‘clout,’ and ‘giving results.’

This made us come up with the solution that is one all parents have to come

to, eventually. We made a list of general steps or guidelines:

“What is the root of the problem?”

“Do you mean business?”

What will be your follow through?”

“What will make the most impact?”

“What will get results?”

“What will be the most effective tool to wield?”

“What will be your last straw?”

We talked also about intermittent rewards which can be effective, letting

someone know you appreciate what they have done and rewarding ‘baby

steps,’ too.

I mentioned ‘grounding’ and ‘time out’ for punishment, which some people

agreed they were good ideas, but one person said,

“Grounding my teenager” was more of a punishment to Me!”

Then, I had to laugh, as I was again thinking of my punishment for Jamie’s being

up on the roof. The table asked me what was making me chuckle? I told the

group,

“It was never the same situation, each one had to be met with an action,

sometimes the punishment went with the crime and others did not. Jamie was

the one who liked to ‘test my limits,’ but sometimes the episodes were funny.”

They all wanted to know another story, so I will tell you when I was a teacher

I was tickled to have ‘snow days,’ but as a babysitter, I was not. So, when it

would start snowing, I would watch the weather. I sometimes would put my

kids to bed, with the television on quietly. Jamie one time came down and

asked, “Mom, is it a snow day?” I didn’t want him to know, since that might

mean he would want to stay up. I treasured my ‘peace and quiet time.’

Later, when I went up to bed, I looked in each room, I liked to kiss them one

more time. (Although we had extended book reading, songs and prayers

every night, this was a special kiss meaning I knew they were tucked into

bed, safe and sound.)

Well, this particular night there was no Jamie in bed.

I told them, “That little dickens!”

I went downstairs and examined the coat rack, Jamie’s coat was not there.

I put my coat, boots, hat and scarf on, walked out onto the porch. There

were his footprints, evidence of a boy on the loose!

I tried to follow them but they went down a gravel alley and were not as

distinctive as when he was walking down the sidewalk. I turned around

and went home. I put the kettle on and made some “Sleepy Time herbal

tea,” to quiet my nerves. (Celestial Seasonings brand of tea.)

One half hour later, there was a knock on the front door.

I had put on a bathrobe over my flannel pajamas and opened the door.

There was a policeman with Jamie. This was nearly six months after the roof

incident. It was not the same young man, this was even scared me with his

grim look on his face.

“Did you know your son was not home, m’am?”

“Yes,” I said in a trembling voice.

“Well, he broke curfew and here is his ‘ticket.’ ”

I did not say a word, but in my head I was praying it was not a ‘real’ ticket.

“I appreciate your bringing him home, officer. He certainly won’t do this again!

Right, Jamie?”

Jamie looked nervous, but I was a little concerned that there was no evidence

of any tears. He shook his head, “No, sir.”

I did not bother to tell the officer about his summer episode, nor did I tell him

I was trying my best as a single mother to control his curiosity without killing

his enthusiasm.

When I closed the door firmly, locking it and bolting it, I turned to see his tears

start pouring out.

“Mom, I just knew it would be so quiet, the stars would be so bright and the

snow was so beautiful.”

I just hugged him.

The group all said I was a ‘marshmallow.’

Have you ever had to set limits or give an ultimatum to anyone?

Don’t you love the idea of being, “No More Mr. Nice Guy (or girl)?

“Super Powers”

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While the temperature was 77 degrees last Saturday afternoon, my oldest

daughter, one of her boys, Micah, and I had headed off to Blue Limestone

Park.  Although we like to play with Micah, we were relieved to see a couple

of boys running, climbing and jumping on the ropes and parts of the Big Toy.

We sat down on the bench of a picnic table in the shade. Carrie had had a

long hike on Friday, over the Delaware Dam, with Micah and her boyfriend.

They had been out in the windy day, thinking nothing of sun protection.

**Side track for one moment:

I think we need to have a commercial with a name brand of sun protection,

where an athlete asks another one, “Do you wear SPF 30 or SPF 45 while

you are out in the sun?”

Then, while they are running the one being asked answers,

“When I remember. . . I wear SPF 30.”

Then, like the new V-8 commercials, instead of getting hit up side of the head,

the advertising ‘geniuses’ need to come up with an appropriate gesture or

comment which would be like saying, “Duh!”

I did not say, “Duh,” or any kind of “What were you thinking?” to my oldest daughter,

since she was displaying a red face and chest.  Micah’s face looked ‘rosy.’

On Saturday, Carrie was wearing a pretty hat, lotion on her nose and had

“learned her lesson (the hard way)” and had put lotion on Micah too.

He has sensitive skin so it was probably a baby lotion brand.  Her face and

chest were ‘beet red’ due to sunburn and not embarrassment.

** Back to the park.

While we watched Micah approach a rather tall, gangly and skinny boy. Silently

I wondered at his courage. We know he really prefers to play with kids his older

brother, Skyler’s age. (Ten and a half years old.)

We cannot convince him to go up to little kids from age 5 to age 7. We both try

to encourage finding kids his own age, since he is six and in kindergarten.

The boy Micah was attempting to engage in play could have been 9 or as old

as 12 years old.

His grandmother was standing against the only tree around, while we were sitting

under the shade of it.

I asked the woman,

“How old is your son?” (I never assume or assign “grandmother-hood” to

anyone!)

She turned towards us, while Carrie and I ‘scooched over’ on the picnic bench

to make room for her to sit down saying,

“He’s my grandson of 7 years old and his father is 6′ 6″ !”

We both gasped in unison, since the boy definitely will be a ‘string bean’ and

the potential of his height astounded us. Carrie told the woman,

“He is tall for his age. I expected since Micah’s Daddy is 6′ tall he would be tall,

but he won’t be as tall as your grandson!”

We then introduced ourselves, learning the grandmother’s name was Beverly.

I mentioned to her that her grandson certainly was a very nice looking boy who

seemed quiet and calm.

Micah was loudly asking him,

“What ‘Super Powers’ do you want to have? I am choosing to be able to become

invisible and also, to be like a chameleon.”

The boy just looked at Micah.

Micah turned on his ‘charm’ and said,

“That’s okay, you don’t have to have any ‘Super Powers’ just yet!”

The grandmother looked at us and seemed to feel we could be trusted with an

important piece of information about her grandson.

“Ian nearly died, had to be resuscitated when he was a baby. Turns out he is

our ‘miracle baby.'”

We asked her questions and she provided answers.

“Ian was born with four defects in his heart. They have opened his chest and

repaired 3 of the 4. This was very serious and we have chosen to tell Ian he

can do whatever he wants to do.”

Beverly went on to explain using an example,

“In the middle of Winter, his older sister and brother were dropped off at Big

Walnut Skate Rink, over in Sunbury, (Ohio). Ian wanted to go immediately to

a store and buy his own pair of roller skates. I told him we could do that.”

She leaned over, like she was imparting a secret,

“We had to go to three different stores, until we found roller skates in the sports

section of Sears. That boy made me hold his hand and we went up and down

the driveway, eventually down the sidewalk and around the block. We did this

with thick coats, gloves and scarves on. It was Winter, for God’s sake!”

We looked upon Ian, who suddenly seemed more fragile, knowing his ‘back story,’

and my daughter asked,

“Do you worry about his falling or hurting himself? Does he have to be told not

to run too fast?”

I got a few tears, which I blame the wind on. Getting a tissue out of my purse,

I silently wondered about Ian’s imaginary play times, when he was alone.

Did Ian wish for ‘Super Powers?’

All of a sudden we looked up. All three women together, as one.

The shrieks were what caught our attention.

The sight was heart-warming to us all, too.

Micah and Ian surprised us by coming down the bumpy slide.

Ian’s legs were wrapped around Micah, both boys grinning from ear to ear.

Micah shouted out to us, “We are a super sonic train!”

You betcha’ that boy got blueberry pancakes, with lots of blueberry syrup and

whipped cream, too.

When we splurged and went out to eat at Bob Evans later.

Musical Notes

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There will be much more information about the musical news which I will

summarize here.

First of all, in Northeast Cleveland, Ohio over the weekend, a low-key

gathering of 20,000 people listened to the Foo Fighters. This was held

in Grohl’s home town area.

Second of all, The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees were given

their awards and tribute in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday. Even Ringo

Starr made a big point of saying it was nice the ceremony was held in

Cleveland. Sometimes, it is held in New York City, but since the Rock

Hall is in Cleveland, we may pout a bit if they go somewhere else.

The Class of 2015 was diverse, eclectic, rhythm and blues, electric blues,

rock n roll and soul. Some were posthumously given to family members.

1. Ringo Starr- Someone commented on the radio, that he doesn’t have

the body of work that others who are often in the ring contending for a

spot. I think the D.J. wished for Styx to finally make it. Ringo was the last

Beatle, who did have influence in the different international projects,

has been knighted and was overdue to be given his respect, I feel.

Sir Paul McCartney gave the award and made a joke about “Inducing”

Ringo. Then laughed and said, “I mean Inducting Ringo.”

2. Johnny and Edgar Tanner were the musicians who composed the band,

“The 5 Royales.” There were other members, hence the name of “5” but

the ones who led the group were the two Tanner brothers. This was a

rhythm and blues band which played from 1945-1965. They were the ones

who later were recognized as worthy of having their music “covered” and

considered strong influence on such greats as Ray Charles, Eric Clapton,

and The Rolling Stones’ lead singer, Mick Jagger.

3. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I know you love their immortal or iconic

song, “I Love Rock and Roll. . . put a quarter in the jukebox, baby…”

I will let you look up their other famous songs or listen to parts of the

actual honorary ceremony. (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has its own

website and may have the whole thing on tape.)

4. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, known for playing blues at Woodstock,

from the 1960’s, coming from the South Side of Chicago. Their influence

of a genre called, “electric blues,” inspired such famous musical artists as

The Doors,  Santana, Steve Miller Band,  Allman Brothers and the J. Geils

Band, who had their ‘front man,’ Peter Wolf, present the induction trophy.

5. Green Day, who has not performed any new music for two years was

chosen for their body of work. They have been popular on the radio, too.

The group was given a tribute from an ensemble including John Mayer

singing their songs in a medley. I like their upbeat tempo and some of the

songs like “The Time of Your Life, ” while I have had my kids say they like,

“American Idiot,” “Dookie” and “Holiday.”

6. Lou Reed, who died in 2013 but his wife was given the award by Patti

Smith. I mentioned Lou Reed in my post about Jane’s and how I love the

song, “Sweet Jane.” Lou Reed is also known for “Walk on the Wild Side”

and “Perfect Day.”

7. Bill Withers, singer and lyricist. The famous tunes he is known for are

“Lean on Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Use Me,” and “Lovely Day.” Although

he has not sung for decades, at age 76 was asked to get up with a group

of artists, band members and he was not able to be heard. This may be

fine, since some people said he may have been ‘lip synching’ anyway.

8. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, who have been recognized

for quite some time as needing to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall

of Fame. I like his vocals and the band is always so vibrant in “Pride and

Joy” and sweet tones in “Little Wing.”

*********************************************************************************************

The Main Event of the Weekend for me was on Sunday evening:

“The Fiftieth American Country Music Awards Show.”

The Duo of Hosts:

Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.

I am someone who likes to be able to watch the awards shows, as they are

on television. I did enjoy watching parts of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Induction Ceremony on Youtube. I did not see it as it was going on, nor did I

get to see it in its entirety.

I would have liked to seen the country music entertainers have a Red Carpet

Event. I checked on the channel the show was presented on, but it did not

have a Red Carpet. I started at 7:00 looking at “E!” Channel, which did not

have a Red Carpet for this either.

Well, guess why?

They were having to pack into the Texas “A T & T” Stadium. There was no

gracious way of filing in neatly or in nice little pockets, where journalists

could interview them. I was sad that everyone missed this opportunity to hear

what each country singers’ latest projects were. I think it was a shame they

could not reveal details about their wardrobe including jewelry, shoes, dress,

tuxedo suit. I like to hear which designer created their fashion for the evening.

The first announcement explaining the zoo-like energy in the stadium was

this Award Ceremony and Show had made the Guinness Book of Records!

This was the largest gathering of people for an awards ceremony.

Ever.

The show opened  with a tribute to Merle Haggard. The song medley was

sung and guitars were played by Eric Church and Keith Urban. I enjoyed

this a lot. I only know the songs from the lyrics, so please fill in any blanks

you wish to in the comments section! I heard “Pledge Allegiance to the

Country?” “Love on a Sunday Night,” and “Raise ’em to the Sky” in the

words they sang.

The black and white background seemed appropriate for someone who

is recognized as one of the ‘all time greats’ of country music. It seemed

like an old-time set, with Keith and Eric both wearing black, too.

Later, another country music great was acknowledged as having been

“Entertainer of the Year,” for four decades in a row:  George Strait.

There were recognition awards given to the following besides George

and Merle:

1. Garth Brooks

2. Brooks and Dunn

3. Kenny Chesney

4. Miranda Lambert

5. Reba McEntire

6. Taylor Swift

The song, “Sipping on Fire” scared me with such pyrotechnics and dramatic

flames surrounding the group, “Florida-Georgia Line.” I enjoy their singing

and was happy they won “Best Vocal Event of the Year.”

The “Best Song of the Year,” was given to Miranda Lambert, who writes her

own songs and is a very good singer. The song, “Automatic,” was chosen.

If you wish to hear a touching song, please listen to “Little Red Wagon.”

(I wrote about the Italian man who invented the Radio Flyer wagon, should

you wish to read about his interesting story, you can use your cursor to find

‘Radio Flyer wagon’ in the tags in the right column and it will take you to story.)

Other performances worth looking up and noting were:

Dirks Bentley singing, “Riser.”

Sam Hunt singing, “Make You Miss Me.” (I think, it started out as “I don’t wanna

make you love me. . .”

Casey Musgrave singing, “Follow Your Arrow.”

Everyone was dancing and singing along to Martina McBride’s infectious song,

“Independence Day.” Taylor Swift was dancing with a friend in the audience, too.

Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon looked beautiful and wished to thank

Miranda Lambert for writing a song for their movie coming out soon. Sofia was

wearing a black sequined tight dress and Reese was wearing a silver glittery

dress, knee length, It had ‘swing’ to it. The song is called, “Hot Pursuit.”

The Band Perry introduced the nominations and then gave the award for

“Best Vocal Duo” to the Florida-Georgia Line.

All together, Miranda Lambert won 4 awards and as I mentioned, Luke Bryan

won “Best Entertainer of the Year.”

Little Big Town may have won “Best Vocal Group of the Year,” but I don’t think

I will have time to check this one out. I like the way their voices blend together.

One of their nostalgic songs came out awhile ago, “Boondocks.” I love this one!

They sang, “Girl Crush,” on the awards show.

Rascal Flatts and Christina Aguilera sang together. Christina’s song is called,

“Shotgun,” while Rascal Flatts is called, “Riot,” and they made this into a

fantastic duet.

By the way, if you have not caught (ever) “Nashville,” check out last week’s

episode where Christina sang country song on stage and this was so much

fun.

Christina’s character, Jade St. John,  had pink-colored hair but previews

show her in dark hair next week. She is trying to ‘rock the boat’ and break

up a couple on that silly evening soap opera.

I check “Nashville” out during commercials. . . smiles!

The music was louder than I have ever heard it at an awards ceremony,

with the stadium really echoing the voices. I enjoyed it, wished I had had

some kids to dance around the living room with, since I just sat and watched.

Sunday nights are fun nights to have award shows and the next one isn’t

until May, 2015.

One last positive musical ‘note’ is that Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi

Christina, has come out of her coma. There is hope for her to be able to

recover from her horrible, tragic bath accident, which may or may not have

involved drugs or foul play. I am just hoping for Whitney’s mother, Bobbi’s

grandmother’s sake, that she makes a full recovery.

Gardening Joy

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It is therapeutic for some to garden. I love the way the earth feels between my

fingers, almost as good as the sand at the beach. I do feel digging and pulling

can be such good ways to get your anger, anxiety and angst out. I was hoping

since both Earth Day and Arbor Day are around this time of year, you may not

mind some ‘gardening tips.’

Earth Day is on April 22, 2015.

Arbor Day is on April 24, 2015.

S. Kelley Harrell, author of “Nature’s Gifts Anthology:”

“Regardless of geographical region or culture- -gardening is

perhaps the most common and shared experience of Nature.”

I have mentioned in recycling posts, we used to have a compost pile, while we

grew up in the 60’s through the 80’s. My parents discontinued this practice

when they retired, although they were great at recycling, also using various

parts of stuff that washed up on their beach, to make interesting additions to

their gardens.

Here are some suggestions on what to use for composting:

1. Fruit and vegetable scraps.

(More and more people use the peels for stew and soups,

also eating them off the fruit.)

2. Grass clippings, twigs, leaves and wood chips.

3. Eggshells, broken into small pieces.

4. Coffee grounds, loose tea and tea bags.

5. Unbleached coffee filters, paper and cardboard.

(Reminding you to buy unbleached coffee liners.)

To moisten your compost pile:

Add “green” (plant based) waste.

To dry and reduce moisture in your compost pile:

Add brown waste.

Please don’t use in your compost pile:

Pet waste

Meat and dairy products.

When you don’t have a yard or place to have a garden, you may enjoy a

windowsill box, planters and pots. If you compost, you generally want to

use the waste on outdoor plants. Lovely worms and other insects like when

you have a compost pile.

Composting in multi-tiered boxes:

Multi-tiered boxes are good for people looking for low maintenance but quicker

results than a pile or bin. The average to large household may wish to use this

method. The organic waste works it way downward through the decomposition

cycle, eventually the ‘finished compost’  comes out a door at the bottom.

The smaller bins system, allows the different elements to ‘cook’ faster, being

transformed into a rich, dark compost. Our pile was in the back corner of our

yard, where it was cordoned off with landscape beams. I used to like taking

a garden rake and ’tilling’ and turning the soil over. I liked the way it became

such a great way to fertilize naturally the gardens.

My good friend, Jenny and her husband, Dave, have a store bought compost

bin. This is used on many of their gardens outdoors.

The multi-tiered system has a series of stacked boxes with removable panels,

allowing organic waste to go from the top level down. Some users of this system

report their first ‘batch’ of compost ready to use in only four to six months.

There is one other way to compost, called the Green Cone method:

This is also possible to buy from “Solarcone Inc.” It can handle up to two

pounds of kitchen waste daily, including meat, fish and dairy.

It won’t compost ‘brown waste.’

Users bury the bottom basket in the yard.

Then, adding green waste, from plants and grass clippings, along with an

“accelerator powder” into the cone hole at the top.

The waste turns into water.

Every few years, users need to dig a small amount of residue out of the

bottom, that can be added to the garden.

Here is a plan or action steps to take:

“Don’t waste food.

Reduce your garbage.

Take only what you need from the land.”

~(Anonymous.)

I am not sure of the cost of the Green Cone method, but it sounded

fascinating in its description in the March, 2015 “Natural Awakenings”

magazine.

Do you have any gardening or composting tips to share or add to this post?

I have been away from gardening for the past 8 years of living in an apt.

building but enjoy the lawn and gardens of Ohio Wesleyan Campus, my

own trailing ivy plants and seeing my oldest daughter and my friend, Jenny’s

great efforts to produce lovely vegetables and flowers. My son has a massive

garden, but is one who will start after Memorial Day. It always produces the

right amount of pumpkins in October, too.

Let’s “Hug It Out”

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When did the phrase which is getting my ‘goat’ start?

I am annoyed with hearing this expression, given next,

in all sorts of venues.

No, not the title of this post.

I like this statement.

The one I am recently offended by, which I don’t want to

give any more ‘credit’ or ‘due’ than necessary. It has been

a month or so, since I have had a ‘gripe session,’ a rant

of sorts.

So, here goes ‘nothing.’

Who uses this awful expression?

“Grow a pair.”

What does it mean?

It means,

“Stop your belly-aching.”

“Quit complaining.”

“Quit yer’ bitchin.’ ”

“Quit whining.”

“Stop crying.”

“Stop being a ‘baby.’ ”

“Get stronger.”

“Act like an adult.”

I have heard it on playgrounds coming from fathers who

don’t want little boys to cry. I have heard it on playing fields.

I heard it in my break room, AIMED at me!

I cannot “grow a pair” unless I underwent extreme surgery.

I don’t wish to grow a pair of testicles!

I was saying, “We have so many bombs and other military

bases, but still don’t have little babies and children being fed

in America.

Then, of course, expecting a lively debate, including my friend,

Melvin, who is the most docile person, a good friend, but also

a pro-military man, after all he served in the Army. I support all

those, at any time, including now, who are in the military services,

but don’t mind quoting a recent AARP article where some men and

women crossed the border into Canada, gathering in certain locations,

evading the “Draft” into Viet Nam War.

How does my ‘growing a pair,’ work? I asked this. I could not help

myself.

It was a woman who had worked at Advance Auto for over 20 years,

who had done heavy bulk, who had been in receiving for a long time,

deciding since she is now over 60 to ‘wind down’ to what some may

consider an ‘easier’ place to be: Bin Order filler position.

I was not complaining (as I have done in the past) about my wrist “RF”

or mini-computer which has Blue Tooth functioning, nor was I griping

about the management still pressuring me to go over and be once

again, cross-trained as a pallet riding heavy bulk order filler. Struts,

batteries, other heavy auto parts on a double pallet. Nope, I know better

than to complain about this in front of Diana.

Diana is my new ‘nemesis’ and is not like the old “Queen Bee,” who I

managed to ‘win’ or ‘warm over’ and become friends with.

Diana is not like my longtime Filipino friends who have become once

again close friends.

All I had to do was take the ‘high road’ and I say,

“Let’s agree to disagree about the black culture statement you were

ready to argue about.”

(My last rant was about making ‘blanket statements’ which meant when

Felda asked Melvin (my black friend):

“Why do African Americans raise their children in a climate of hate?”

(I am so over my rant that followed this erroneous statement!)

I have actually heard a journalist on television, a popular entertainment

journalist quoting someone with this comment, “They need to grow a

pair.”

I feel a little LESS testosterone in the meida, the general public and the

world would not hurt us a bit. It may make a softer, gentler society, it

may help us remember how we felt when we were children and wanted

to hug and be held often by our parents. If we were in a challenging

family, then it was a teacher, a minister or youth group leader, a nice

and gentle grandparent or neighbor may have filled our need to have

affection shown to us.

The less we need to ‘grow balls,’ the better, is how I feel.

What comes in Pairs?

Breasts.

Ovaries.

Socks.

Shoes.

Crutches.

Turtle Doves.

Bicycles built for two.

Animals embarking on to the Ark.

Lungs.

Eyes.

Lips.

Arms.

Legs.

*Speaking of which probably George Carlin or some other

comedian has commented on this before:

Why is it we have two legs but only wear one “pair” of pants?

(Sometimes missing one limb or both will hurt and effect your

whole life. Parapalegic’s and Wounded Warriors are part of

who we need to protect.)

I have an argument where it would not hurt at all if we

Doubled our. . .

Efforts.

Hearts.

Compassion.

Empathy.

Love.

Hope.

Brains.

So, in answer to the next time you may overhear someone saying this

annoying phrase,

“Grow a pair,”

Why not say this back,

“Let’s hug it out.”

I like this expression so-o-o much more.

What recent expression is bugging you?

Nature’s In Tune with Spring

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“Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine

I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine.

A million tomorrows shall all pass away,

‘Ere I forget all the joys that are mine,

Today…”

A dear old campfire song, which I have mentioned

before, comes to mind when it is Spring, along with

meeting for a hike, park visits, looking at nature and

fun moments ahead.

I received an early ‘picture message’ on my cell phone

today. It brightened my morning and started this busy

day off with a good message. It was from my youngest

brother, about his latest race.

Rich Oldrieve ran in the Bach Race, winning first place,

with his golden retriever beside him. His ‘catchy’ message

was simply:

“First man, First dog, First Bach Race.”

(Held on Baldwin Wallace campus, benefiting the BW

Singers, honoring Bach’s music.)

I hiked  for  three miles or more, with my youngest

daughter, Felicia, this morning.  We met at 10 a.m.

at Highbanks Park, part of the Columbus Metroparks

System.

The park has tall ledges, which once Native Americans

had used as natural ‘look-out’s’ for other tribes and

dangers.

This also provided protection for later, a family of pioneers

who chose this rugged terrain to settle on. There is a small

grave site, which my own children and babysitting kids

liked to stop and examine this. They were fascinated by the

old grave stones, since a couple of the deaths were of

children.

The Joseph and Sally Pool family settled there in 1812.

The Pools traveled from New York to Delaware County

(Sharon Township), eventually having 13 children.

We walk at a fast clip, I was listening to her business plans,

recent marketing endeavors and exciting connections. The

wheels for Better Blends are definitely spinning!

My side of the conversation was about meeting a fellow

coworker, Debby, at Cracker Barrel for Friday dinner. She

is in receiving department at my warehouse. She is a recent

widow. One who is amazingly strong, has such a positive aura

about her. Her granddaughter, Kaylynn saw ‘angels by the

hospital windows,’ while Debby’s husband was taking his final

breaths.

Debby regaled me with more wonderful experiences and about

her life ‘well spent’ with her hubby, Bill. Debby was only 17 years

old when she met Bill. When they waited until she was 18, she

married a 37 year old. She felt who loved and adored her. They

had two daughters and two sons together.

Debby says, “I could not have asked for a better 43 years

together, Robin.”

I recounted some of this conversation with Felicia, telling her

that Debby and I talked about my meeting my first husband at

age 18.

How we would have had 42 years together, married in 1978 so

we would have had a 37 year anniversary. “It was not meant to be,”

but I could relate to feeling strongly for someone at such a young

age. Having hoped I met ‘the man of my dreams’ at an early age.

I could see it possibly working out with a different combination.

Felicia remonstrated, “Don’t dwell on the past, Mom!”

I mentioned I made a good friend recently, who is an artist and

potter. She likes my pen and ink watercolor children’s pictures

while I am excited to see more than just photos of her pots which

she will sell at the Delaware Farmer’s Market, both on Saturday

mornings and Wednesday evenings, starting soon. I told her

that Marty is single, so we may end up going out together to

share a drink, keeping our eyes open for possibilities.

I drove away from our hike, coffee and lunch at Panera Bread

restaurant, feeling uplifted and more completely involved with

my youngest daughter. Texting and quick phone conversations

keep us in touch, but we really need to have ‘face time’ to feel

connected. Hugging is necessary, too!

We had bought blue and white frosted cookies for dessert

and to benefit Children with Autism. This is the most yummy

cookie, almost like a butter shortbread, with blue sugar

crystals sprinkled into a puzzle piece pattern. (“Pieces of Hope”

with proceeds going towards Autism research.)

If you have a Panera close by, try one or two of these delicious

cookies, please.

Heading North on Route 23, I face more traffic.

Leaving Highbanks Park, Panera Bread and passing Camp

Lazarus, I see all the signs of people wanting to get out and

interact. The Home Depot parking lot was packed, while the

Boy Scouts camp parking lot was crowded, too. This is where

families were hiking around and seeing new growth, climbing

up and down creek beds, seeing the little waterfalls, too.

I love watching the different people, getting out of cars, being

able to watch young parents with little children and strollers,

ones greeting each other as they emerge from cars, side by

side. People who meet each other at the park, families who

were gathering at the B.S. location.

Spring is in the air!

I had taken photos of trillium, both yellow and white, purple

and white violets, Spring beauties, May Apples, Johnny Jump

Up flowers and brilliant green mosses and undergrowth.

I would look at them once I get my blogging finished.

I need to be out of the sun, out of the library fluorescent lights.

to truly get a good ‘view’ of the photographs on my cell phone.

Later on, at 3 p.m. will be picking up my son and daughter in

law’s crew, taking them to Blue Limestone Park, here in Delaware,

Ohio. My oldest daughter and her two boys may join me, so the

‘cousins’ can play together and I have an adult to chat with. She

was telling me that my daughter in law needs to rest, while she

may wish to do her daily chores without all four kids underfoot.

Ice cream may ‘spoil their dinners’ but may get permission to

indulge all with such a treat, anyway.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend and seeing lots of

beauty, joy and hope in your surroundings, however the

weather and situations going on around you are going.

“Oh, I’ll be a dandy and I’ll be a rover,

You’ll know who I am,

By the song that I sing.

A million tomorrow shall all pass away

‘Ere I forget all the joys that are mine,

Today. . .”