Monday, January 25, 2010

Fort Worth Rodeo ~ Yeeee Haaawwww!

A friend of mine scored tickets to the Fort Worth Rodeo for Friday night. Not only did we get to go to the rodeo, they also fed us a brisket and sausage dinner, complete with beans, cole slaw, potato salad, rolls, and cookies. Delicious!

This is how the rodeo starts - with the 6 flags over Texas riding out on horseback. After they take their places the participants and sponsors ride out to join them. My favorite part is when they passed by the AMERICAN flag. At that point, all the cowboys took off their hats and held them to their chest. It was almost a tearjerker for me.  Then when everyone was out, they said a prayer and we sang the Star Spangled Banner. Oh Lord, was I trying to keep my composure!!

These are two of my favorite people in the world! Cooper (left) is 10 and he calls me his "second mom." When his first mom isn't around, he just calls me "Mom."  :)  Matthew (right) is 9 and he was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to go to the petting zoo. We did, however, see Elsie and her baby, Bouregard.

Of course, Cooper wanted to take some picture with my camera and so I had to put on my very best face!

This is tough to see but it is a picture of what Texas kids do for fun. They let loose a whole herd of calves and whoever caught one got $500! Even the ones who didn't catch a calf got to go home with a new pair of Justin ropers. Those are boots, for you city folk :)

My mother does beautiful work ~

This is my back door. Isn't it beautiful??

For about 6 weeks after I moved in, this door had nothing over the window. And although it is in the back of the house, I just had a feeling that when the train went by the conductor could see right into my house. It was also kind of scary at night, especially when I got up in the middle of the night to get a drink. I would walk into the living room and see my reflection and freak out, thinking it was some wild woman standing right outside my window. So my mother, who is very crafty, came over and made this beautiful curtain to go over the window. It is difficult to capture the beauty of it in a picture but it is turquoise blue with a turquoise and brown tie around it. Very snazzy!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm a Mandarin ~

I just took an on-line personality test. I don't know what made me do it except I was trying to figure out what type of talents I have and I came across this test.  Well, guess what?
I'm a Mandarin!
And here's what that means:
You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.
And here are my percentages as indicated by the test:
Talent: 46%
Lifer: 44%
Mandarin: 54%
Just go here to take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz yourself!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day Soap and Night Soap ~

I have tried a lot of soaps in my time. Facial Cleansers you might call them.  I've tried the really expensive kinds and the regular kinds and I've even tried the generic, off-brand kinds. You know, the ones that are supposed to be the same as the name-brand but the bottle usually has a really plain black-and-white label.  I've fallen for everything when it comes to cleansers for the face.  I've used the ones that burn like the dickens, the ones that smell like medicine, the ones that have moisturizers built right in.  I've tried them all because I have what you could call problem skin. My skin makes lots of oil which traps lots of dirt which leads to blackheads and pimples. On parts of my face, the pores are the size of manholes.  Ok, actually, I've seen a lot worse skin than mine but it is my skin so it makes it seem worse to me. Thus, the reason I have tried every cleanser known to mankind.
Recently, I found a new new one that is supposed to be used when you go to bed at night. It is purple and the smell is soooo soothing. The claim on the bottle is that it is full of elements that will relax you and send you off into a night of relaxing sleep.  I used almost the whole bottle before I determined that it had not, nor would it ever create a calming atmosphere for me in which to fall asleep.  So then not so long after that, I found another one.  It was orange and had little orange beads floating around in it.  The bottle claimed that when one used this cleanser, they would immediately be awakened with a burst of energy so that they could face the day. Well, if I wasn't going to get a good night's sleep as that other soap had promised, then I definitely needed a burst of energy the next morning!  So I bought that one too.  The rationale was that I would use the orange one in the morning and use the purple one at night until it was all gone. (I've never been one to waste anything).  However, as I was reaching for the orange bottle one morning, it slipped right out of my hand and landed on the floor where the spout promptly broke off.  I was disappointed because there was at least 3/4 of a bottle of it left and I had no way to get it out unless I took the lid off and pounded on the bottom until it came out.  I didn't have the energy to do that every morning - that IS why I bought the soap in the first place - to get more energy!  But then I spied the purple one, which had only about 1/4 of the soap left in it.  Now, I'm no math whiz but it doesn't take a genious to figure out that 3/4 + 1/4 = 1 whole!  So, feeling like I had won the lottery, I combined the two bottles of soap and ~ voila! ~ I had a whole bottle of brand new soap with a workable spout! 
That's when it hit me.  When was I supposed to use the cleanser? Now there were both day and night formulas in the one bottle.  If I used it in the morning would it put me to sleep? Or if I used it at night, would it keep me awake? Or would I stay awake only 3/4 of the day???  I didn't know, so I decided to jump right in and try it.  I picked up the bottle and noticed right away that the color was horrible. Orange and purple do not mix to make anything very pretty.  It was greyish-brown with a little orange bead floating here and there.  While that wasn't too appealing, I had to wash my face with something.  So I pushed the pump and a rubbed my hands together and brought them to my face.  I don't know who else is in this boat, but I was blessed with a very keen sense of smell.  The aromas of relaxing lavender and energy-bursting orange just do not quite go together.  It wasn't a horrible smell, but it wasn't good either.  It was more like... well, confusing.  It didn't make me want to throw it down but it did make me somewhat uncomfortable using it.  The whole facial cleanser thing was just very unsettling.  And that is when a fragment of a scripture shouted in my mind:
"What communion has light with darkness?"
That is all I could remember at the moment but I made a mental note to look into it later.  As confusing as this soap ordeal was, there had to be something more to it than just soap, or which soap to use for day or night. So as soon as I could, I looked it up.  The whole scripture in context goes like this:
2 Corinthians 6:14, 15 (NKJV) 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial (Satan)? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
It came to me then that God was reinforcing something to me by using a practical illustration, something that I had known all along.  God has a way of doing that because he knows where my mind will go before it quite gets there.  I had been contemplating something but when I read this scripture, probably for the umpteenth time, the struggle fell away and a peace settled within my heart.  I had done the right thing this time!  I had rejected the thing that had no fellowship with God, it had no place in my life.  If I let it in my life, it would vie for position of first place and I knew that Christ would not share that spot.  It wouldn't be like the day soap and night soap, competing with their colors and smells and little orange bursts. It wouldn't be just uncomfortable and confusing. It would be much more serious and devastating.  Maybe you are laughing and maybe you are thinking that this soap thing is a stretch of the imagination. God uses whatever He needs to use to get our attention. This time it was facial cleanser and this time it worked.  And just in case you are wondering, I continue to use that soap because I've found out that it works pretty well for my skin and also serves as a gentle daily reminder for my spirit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This Last Year ~

I did this last year because one of my friends did it and I'm a copycat. I'm doing it this year because I want to be able to look back and see what God has brought me through. I'm a little bit late because I seem to have had writer's block for the past couple of months. I even considered shutting down this blog (it's more for myself than for anyone else anyway) but I think I will hang in there. So here it is:

January ~ I traded my beloved SUV in for a compact car. Also, my divorce was final this month. I had no idea how difficult it would be but it took months to get through it and I may still not be completely past it.
February ~ Started working on the preparations for my parents' 40th Anniversary party. It was a lot of work but it was worth it. We are so proud of them!
March ~ I think this is the month I started working the day shift. Finally. We had the Anniversary party at the beginning of this month and it was a lot of fun!
April ~ This month I finally started making my apartment a home. I had lived there for five months already but I did so hated being divorced. I wasn't ready to accept it until around this time.
May ~ I started working for Mr. Korman at Hospitality Concepts. I love Mr. Korman, he is so professional and respectable.
June ~ Where was I this month?? I don't remember any of it!
July ~ Attended a mandatory First-time Home Buyers seminar that took up a whole perfectly good Saturday. Tug also was extremely ill the night before and the doctor said he had a stomach virus. I was so worried!
August ~ Looking for a house to buy, which actually started way back in June. August was some super-serious looking because time was running out. Then, just when I had given up, I found the perfect one!!
September ~ My birthday was this month but really nothing special happened for it. However, me, my mother, and my aunt went to San Antonio for a weekend and had a fun time. It was the first time I'd ever heard of a skunk egg. Yummy!!
October ~ Lost my full-time job. And that is all I have to say about that. I also started attending Richland Hills Church of Christ, a big shocker for me. But I love it and I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people and getting much more involved.
November ~ Closed on my new house and moved in! Still looking for a job.
December ~ This month is always fun for me but much of the spirit was dampened with worry and regret. I was still looking for a job. However, I finally came around and enjoyed celebrating the birth of Christ.
When I looked back over this past year, I realized that I had weathered some difficult things, some of them I haven't even talked about here. The second thing I realized is that I have learned something from all of it. In 2010 I plan to have more fun and make more memories than I did in 2009. I want to pack in as much as possible and really live life to the fullest!