Friday, November 6, 2009

Tuning Out Television

We are trying something new at our home….time without television. Instead of waiting until the “new year” to try, and fail, at yet another resolution, we decided to give it a go now. I feel that as parents, we sometimes use our television sets as babysitters. It occupies their time and keeps them out of our hair. Unfortunately, I believe we are creating unproductive and unimaginative children. When we were little, we had to go outside and play. It’s very rare that you see children outdoors playing. They are usually inside, parked in front of a TV playing a video game or watching yet another program that is not suited for them. Prime time TV schedules have plummeted, with those shows that are not rated for children being shown at a time when they are surely watching. We’ve had enough.

Instead of spending time “vegging” out in front of the TV, our children are spending time learning about something we feel is not taught in school….what it means to spend time with your family. Our decision, for now, is to participate in family reading time after dinner. We think books are an excellent way to stimulate a child’s mind. Children can create the scenes in their minds. They can visualize the characters in their own unique way, instead of assigning a Hollywood face to each one.  They are learning that the characters are not always “pretty”.

For November, we decided on the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel. It is an account of his time spent in a concentration camp in Auschwitz. It’s upsetting and deep, but our children need to know the truth about what happened and why….so that it never happens again. Next month might be family reading time or we may spend every evening working jigsaw puzzles. The important thing is that we are spending time together as a family, re-establishing relationships with one another and strengthening bonds that we hope will last for generations. Might I encourage you to do the same?

I'm just sayin',


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Are you a photographer or a photo taker?

“Anyone can take a photo but not everyone can be a photographer.” No, this is not my personal mantra, but it is a quote I’ve heard several times over the past few weeks. Specifically, two of my photography instructors have repeated it many times in class. Yes, I still take classes. It’s called CPE – Continuing Photography Education. In this digital age, most people don’t feel they need any particular photographic skill to shoot a GOOD photo. And they are right. While the combination of having a digital camera and (name your preferred photo enhancing software here) produces many good images, it takes a lot more knowledge to produce a GREAT image and be a photographer.

In our society, most people who own some form of a digital camera fancy themselves a “photographer” (especially if their digital camera costs more than their neighbor’s digital camera), which is quite different from “someone who likes to take photos”. My good friends Merriam and Webster define photographer as follows:

Photographer: one who practices photography; especially, one who makes a business of taking photographs.

Thus, leading to the definition of photography:

Photography: the art or process of producing images on a sensitive surface (as film or a CCD chip – they had to add this last part when digital cameras arrived on the scene).

Sadly, the true art of photography is dying. I recently wrote an artist statement for a series of images. I needed a “peer review” of the statement and chose someone in one of my classes. In said statement, I mentioned how awesome it was to watch an image appear in a tray of liquid…it was magical. She asked me to clarify this as she had no idea what I was talking about. I explained it was part of the manual darkroom process…watching the image “appear” on the fiber paper while sitting in a tray of developer. This process was totally foreign to her…she has never been in a darkroom. What a tragedy. The darkroom is a very magical place indeed… epicenter of photographic creativity.

If you consider yourself a photographer, as opposed to a photo taker, use the checklist below to ascertain which category you fall into:

What is the definition of aperture?
What is the f-stop scale?
What f-stop should be used on really sunny days?
How do aperture and shutter speed work together? How do they work independently?
What does ISO mean?
If the ISO of my camera is set at 100, what lighting is going to be best for these photos?
If the ISO of my camera is set at 800, what lighting is going to be best for these photos?
What is a grayscale?
What is the Divine Proportion?
What is the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio?
What is dodging and burning?
What is exposure?
How does the Fibonacci Number System relate to photography?
What is the Rule of Thirds and how does that apply to my photos?

Are these questions a hard-fast rule to determine what category you fall into? Definitely not. It’s just some information to gauge yourself to see where you are and where you might want to go. If you’ve never been in a darkroom…..find one…..go there. It definitely offers a more magical experience that anything you will see at Disneyworld….and it doesn’t cost as much! Photography, as opposed to taking photos, will take on a whole new life for you.

I'm just sayin',


Friday, October 9, 2009

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

I would like to know how many of you out there actually receive letters from friends or family in the mail? Come on, raise those hands! That’s what I thought….no one. In our tek-no-logical world, sadly, the use of pen and paper to communicate with others has become an obsolete form of communication.

Many years ago, before the invention of the telephone, it was the ONLY way to communicate with others who lived far away, or right next door, because occasionally right next door was 10 miles down the road. Writing a letter is a lost art in and of itself. Art, you say? Letter writing is not an art! Yes, it is.

A few months ago, realistically closer to a year ago, I purchased a stack of letters dating back to the late 1800’s. They were beautiful. The handwriting was crisp, clear, concise and very artistic. The words were poetic. Back in the day (don’t you just love that cliché), people took time to sit down and pen a letter to a friend or loved one. They were not merely words on a page hastily composed at the last moment. The words were well thought out and the grammar impeccable. They did not have the luxury of white out, erasers or even a “delete” or “backspace” key, so they had to really think about what they were writing. They often told of their day-to-day life - deaths, births, illnesses, marriage - much like we do now. However, when the intended receiver of the letter actually had an opportunity to read its contents, sometimes months would have gone by; unlike today, where it only takes seconds for one message to be sent and received by another.

Today, we speak in a language totally foreign to our ancestors: tweet me, message me, text me, e-mail me and catch me on my cell. Gone are the days of anxiously awaiting a visit by the postman for a special letter traveling from overseas or from the house 3 doors down. Our time is spent sitting in front of our computer awaiting that little voice that says: “you’ve got mail”.

I'm just sayin',


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Missed Opportunities

I have a new post on my photography blog:  Check it out!  I posted it there because it focused on a photography matter...makes sense....right?

I hope to have a new post here (hopefully less controversial than my last few posts) within the next few days.  Sooooooo, while you are waiting, mosey on over (that's country-speak, which I picked up from living on a small farm and around horses, for "take a look at") to my sister blog and read what's going on in my photography world.  While you're there, sign up to follow my new blog and if you are so inclined, check out my new photography website:

I'm just sayin',


Friday, September 4, 2009


In 1968, the Beatles wrote a song entitled “Revolution”…which is the theme of my blog today. I believe it’s time for a good, old-fashioned revolution, or at the very least, a mediocre civil war between the conformists and non-conformists! You see, I’m a non-conformist…I refuse to go along with the crowd…a rebel per se! I march to the beat of my own drum. If I were born in a different time period, I would have been riding astride when all the other ladies were riding side-saddle. I would have been on the battlefield reloading muskets, wearing britches, while all the other ladies were taking care of the wounded.

We have a president in office who has touted ‘change, change, change’ ever since he became the democratic nominee for president. However, his big plans for change have done nothing but flop like a fish on dry land. Everyone wants change, but we want change for the good of all, not for the good of those who choose to avoid work, moral ethics and abuse my tax dollars.

I’m ready for a change…in the White House, in Congress, in the Senate. No, I didn’t vote for Obama. I wasn’t happy with Bush either, but he wasn’t trying to shove healthcare reform down my throat or trying to make me swallow loads of garbage, all the while telling me it was for my own good. Sure, he put it out there, but at least I had a choice as to whether or not I was going to accept it. Currently, we are not being given a choice! I don’t think it should be left up to Obama to decide about MY healthcare. I think the citizens of these United States should have the say so, an opportunity to vote and decide on their own. You know why he won’t put it to an American vote? Because Obama knows it will never pass if the citizens are given a choice. I am opposed to healthcare reform. What will it take to get this person to understand his methods and ideas are flawed? He thinks the United States of America would function better under a socialist dynasty. One cannot replace capitalism with socialism and expect Americans to lie on their backs and accept it. Read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Let me know what you think.

So, Mr. President, if you want to push something on American citizens that they don't want and are unwilling to accept, you better expect and be ready for the ensuing revolution! Vive la Révolution!

I'm just sayin',


You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Can you be a mom, a Christian AND a porn star?

While driving into work this morning, the radio station to which I frequently listen, held a discussion on whether or not a porn star could be a good mom. Some of the morning crew felt that you could not be a good mom, as you get caught up in a pornography lifestyle, which in turn, affects all other areas of your life. Some of the others felt you could participate in pornographic activities and be a good mom. A girl called in who stated that she was 24 years old, had 4 children and had recently become an internet “porn star” and had plans to broaden her horizons (to DVDs I suppose). She said she was a Christian and felt she was a good mom. I was a bit dumbfounded to say the least. I believe God is clear in His Word about being involved in promiscuous and sexual acts outside of marriage and what the consequences of those actions will be. When we become Christians, we set aside our old ways and conform to a new way of life. I do realize there are slips and times that we must ask for forgiveness for our sin, but is your conscience not pricked when you purposefully and willingly participate in those things that you know are not Christ-like? Unfortunately, I was not able to hear whether her internet pornography forays were with her spouse (if she has one) or with other men. I would venture to say that since she was earning income from these activities, the acts were with other men and/or women.

In my own thought processes, I took it a few steps further. Do other Christians consider it a sin if you participate in sexual acts with your spouse and post them on the internet? Is this being judgmental? Does God consider it a sin if you participate in sexual acts with your spouse and post them on the internet? Do these activities make you a bad parent? If you participate in pornographic acts with someone who is not your spouse, does this make you a bad parent? Can you maintain your Christianity and relationship with God and be a “porn star”, knowing that being such requires you to participate in sexual acts with someone other than your spouse?....Knowing that these acts are sin and that sin separates us from God?

I’m just askin’,


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Giving Thanks

.....even when you don't feel like it!

Why is it that some of the hardest words for us to say are “thank you”, especially when things aren’t going well in our lives? Why is it we only tell God thank you when all is right in the world. It’s easy to tell God thank you when we are sitting on the mountaintop all happy and smiley-faced, but what about when we are in the valley, sad and defeated? We don’t even think about saying thank you to Him. When our burdens are heavy, we forget about the wonderful blessings He’s given us and are angry about the troubles we face. All we can see is our present darkness. Even though we can’t see it at the time, there is always a positive force in our trials — God. We should make it a habit to say thank you to Him for trying times, as well as good times. First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in ALL circumstances. Several of the Psalms include the verse “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Regardless of your current circumstances, remember to thank God for the valleys, not just the mountaintops.

I'm just sayin',


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Laundry hates me. How do I know? Because everytime I place two socks into the dryer, only one returns. Someone please tell me where do the clothing items go?

I'm just sayin',


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Manners - Plain and Simple

The more you are in public, the more you have an opportunity to experience (not willingly) the bad habits and manners of those around you. This is quite unfortunate for those of us who do not appreciate or look kindly on our "ill-mannered" brethren.

Today, I ate at Chick-Fil-A
downtown. I sat outside to review my Bible study lesson for tonight and relax. A couple sat down behind me. While I couldn't actually see them, I could hear their voices and knew them to be male and female. As I was enjoying my waffle fries (they are the best), I hear this loud disgusting belch that reverberated down the street, I kid you not! I almost choked on my fries and am quite surprised that I was able to swallow the current bite. Apparently the female said something to the male about his poor table manners because I heard him say, "I don't care, it's a normal, bodily function."

Here I was sitting outside, minding my own business, enjoying the beautiful day and am forced to have such abhorrent behavior thrust upon me. I immediately became incensed!!! I rehearsed, repeatedly, in my mind what I was going to say when I got up from the table if they were still there; however, when I turned around, I noticed he was a "less than exemplary citizen" of these United States and would have been a little bit in fear of having my throat cut while walking away. In the event that the person in question has an opportunity to read my blog, this message is for you:

"Your mother obviously didn't bother to raise you in a barn, but chose instead to raise you under it. While belching is a normal, bodily function, so is defecating, but you don't see me doing it at the table in public -- perform your normal, bodily functions in private!!!"

I'm just sayin,


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And you thought. . .

Just when you thought that Catholic church activities couldn't get any more bizarre.....

Reverend Elvis "All Shook Up" In Sex Scandal -- A Catholic priest in New York City was suspended after he apparently used his confessional booth to pick up women. The action came after Judith Rodriguez-Lytwyn filed a $25 million lawsuit against Our Lady of the Snows in Glen Oaks, New York. She met Reverend Elvis Elano while going through a divorce when she entered his confessional and he told her, "Your presence struck me like a thunderbolt," according to her lawyer, Andrew Laufer. "For lack of a better word, he was hitting on her," Laufer said, adding that the two began dating and eventually engaged in sex. The woman ended the affair when Elano sent her an e-mail indicating he had a sexually transmitted disease he may have gotten from another woman.

I'm just sayin,


The Future of Farm Town

If you are an active member of Facebook, you are more than likely familiar with, on an intimate basis, a game called Farm Town. Farm Town is a virtual farm. You plow your land, plant your crops and reap the rewards (coins) of selling those crops at harvest time. You even have the ability to "prostitute" yourself in the village market by offering to harvest other farmers' crops. You can sell your farm for larger farms, purchase silos, waterwells, logs, barrels, pigs, chickens, roosters, get the picture. You beg your "farming" friends to send you gifts of animals and trees so that you will not have to make these expensive purchases yourself. After all, you are saving your coins so that you can buy that farming mansion and pond you've been lusting after on the neighboring farm.

However, the future of Farm Town may be compromised. My son called earlier to let me know Facebook had a new virtual farm game called Farm Ville. He's at level 3. Will the popularity of Farm Ville cause Farm Town to become a Ghost Town? Will that spur a trend of popular "ghost" games. Or, based on the following story, does this mean that players from Farm Town and players from Farm Ville will engage in illicit "farming" affairs? Will the farmer take a new wife with each new virtual "farm" game created? Only the future will tell.


Amy Taylor, 28, filed for divorce after she caught her husband cheating in Second Life, an online community where players create avatars and transport themselves into virtual worlds. "I caught him cuddling a woman on the sofa in the game," Taylor told England's South West News Service. Taylor married Dave Pollard, 40, after the pair met in an online chat room in 2003. She said the first sign that their marriage was in trouble occurred in 2007, when she caught her husband's avatar having cyber-sex with a virtual prostitute.People become emotionally invested in their virtual identities, according to Ellen Helsper, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, who has studied the impact of the internet on relationships. "For a while, there was this impression that as long as it's online, it doesn't matter," she told the Associated Press. "But research has shown it's not a separate world." She added that infidelity was "just as painful, whether it's electronic or physical."


I'm just sayin' I gotta go harvest my crops,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who Moved My Cheese?

Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, MD, was recommended to me by a co-worker in an effort to help understand and deal with circumstances in my life. As I read this book, I was amazed to find bits and pieces of myself in the characters of this book – Hem, Haw, Sniff and Scurry. Hem and Haw are two "little people". Sniff and Scurry are two mice. The four of them live in a maze and each day venture out to find "cheese". "Cheese" represents something different to each character, but it's never a person. The book tells how each of these 4 characters search for "cheese" and how they react and adapt to the changes they encounter.

After reading this book, I analyzed myself to determine which character I mostly resembled…I am Hem. I'm in my comfort zone and even though I know there is nothing left of the "cheese" supply, I don't want to leave. I've started questioning why I haven’t changed the things I am capable of changing. Am I afraid of finding new "cheese"? Am I afraid to let go of the old "cheese"? Do I feel the effort to find new "cheese" is more than I want to put forth and I will be disappointed with the results? Or, and most importantly, is it because I know it requires a change that I’m not ready to make…..a change in ME? I guess the bottom line is that I am comfortable with the stale "cheese" because I know what to expect, when to expect it, and how to use the stale "cheese" to make life work. But as reality usually goes, it has hit me in the face and forced me to realize that my comfort zone is no longer comfortable….someone has moved my "cheese". Instead of accepting that the "cheese" has moved and venturing out on a different path to find new "cheese", I've stayed in the uncomfortable comfort zone hoping the new "cheese" will come to me. My current "cheese" area will never be the same again and honestly, do I want it to be the same? Part of me says yes, because it's what I know. Another part yearns for new "cheese" and knows that something better is out there, IF I will allow myself to look for it.

Even though this book is not a Christian book (and is used largely in the corporate world), it has some of the same messages that I've found in the Bible, especially the following:

Psalms 55:4 - My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me. (My "cheese" has moved – life, as I know it, is changing.)

Psalms 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me". (This requires a change in ME – to overcome my fearful feelings and search for new "cheese".)

Now, don't get me wrong, this is not the first time my "cheese" has been moved. However, I feel like I've always adapted well to the previous "cheese" moving, but this time, it just feels different. Every day I travel back to the empty "cheese" bin and wait for something different to happen. What I've determined is that I do not handle drastic changes well because they are out of my control. When your "cheese" moves, you have no control over what happens. I've also determined that if I want to find new "cheese", I have to make the necessary changes in me.

I'm just sayin',


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Fruit of Peace

-- a five-letter word that makes a profound statement...or does it? What is peace? Peace is a state of tranquility. What does it sound like? Quiet. What does it feel like? Harmony in relationships and freedom from oppressing thoughts and emotions. We all say we would like “some peace and quiet”, NATO leaders speak of “world peace”, and of course, we all want “inner peace”. In the old west, Indians raised their right hand, palm outward, as a sign of peace towards strangers. They also smoked “peace” pipes.

In the 60s and 70s (especially during the Vietnam War), people would flash two fingers as a sign of peace. President Nixon adopted this sign as part of his “I am not a crook” campaign. People wore PEACE symbols on chains around their necks. Anti-war demonstrators carried signs touting “make peace, not war”. But how can we have true peace without God? Philippians 4:7 speaks of the peace of God which transcends all understanding. Romans 5:1 says we have peace with God. 1 Peter 3:11 states we should seek and pursue peace. Proverbs 17:1 indicates eating little food with peace is better than eating a feast in a house full of strife.

I'm just sayin', state your piece on PEACE,


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Sacrifice

Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Dizzy Dean and Eddie Collins. What do all of these men have in common? They all hold outstanding baseball records and are all members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I’m sure you must be asking yourself, “Who is Eddie Collins?”

If you are female and live with or have ever lived with a male of any age, you know SOMETHING about baseball — outside of the fact that it’s this country’s national pastime! And if you know ANYTHING about baseball, you know about a sacrifice. A sacrifice is when the batter hits the ball in such a manner that he will be called “out” in order to advance the runner to the next base. The player has to sacrifice himself as an out to help the team score.

Eddie Collins was just such a person. He holds a record that has yet to be broken — 512 sacrifice hits. Eddie knew that even though he was an excellent batter, he could be more helpful to his team by sacrificing himself. He loved his teammates and the game of baseball so much that he took his eyes off himself and personal accomplishments and looked toward the goal — home plate and winning runs. He made the ultimate sacrifice — he sacrificed himself in the place of the runner.

Have you ever sacrificed yourself for the good of “the team?” Have you ever given up your personal goals in order to help someone else achieve theirs? Jesus did. He made the ultimate sacrifice. He died on a cross so that we could live. He forfeited his life for ours — he bore our sins so that we could have eternal life with our Heavenly Father. He gave Himself so that we could make it to home plate and score the winning run — heaven. You might think this is a stretch, a 7th inning stretch to be exact, but it’s not. God asks us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Him (Romans 12:1). We are also reminded to do good and share with others, for such sacrifices, God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16). The next time you watch a baseball game, think about the sacrifice play— Jesus dying on the cross in your place.

I'm just sayin',


Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root, root for the home team, if they don’t win it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, at the old ball game.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When Faith Struggles

As some of you may know, we have an upcoming visit to Johns Hopkins (June 24-27) for further evaluation and testing regarding Jared's syndrome. As all of you know, our last visit was not a positive visit. Jared was diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and we were also made aware of an aortic aneurysm, which required immediate surgery.

I do not have a good feeling about this visit. Neither does Jared. I have not made him aware of my feelings about the visit because I don't want to create further angst for him. We will not only be seeing Dr. Dietz for updates on how the syndrome has progressed, but will also be seeing a spine specialist and an endocrinologist who specializes in bone disease. Jared's health has been deteriorating over the past few months and he has experienced several episodes where he passes out.

I would like to ask that you remember us in your prayers -- for strength, peace and acceptance of whatever this visit may bring. I'm drowning in helplessness because there is nothing I can do to fix this problem. As a friend stated yesterday, the absolute worst feeling in the world is the total helplessness one feels when they cannot help their child, but can only stand by and watch the events unfold. I cried off and on all day yesterday and it looks like it is going to be that way again today. Thank you to those who talked with me in between my crying jags yesterday. I appreciate your love, encouragement and support. I love it when God uses others to deliver His message and especially when He throws in that little extra thump on the head Himself (you know, like being hit over the head with a newspaper) -- my e-mail devotion today is entitled "When Faith Struggles".

"Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:3-4 (NIV)

God is faithful.
God always works in our best interests.
God's ways are beyond our understanding.

I'm one of those people who has to have an answer to my "why" in order for things to make sense to be logical. However, I'm learning that I have to accept the fact that there is not always going to be a logical answer and my "why" will be left unanswered more times than not.

Edward, thank you for your encouragement and support. I know it's alot to take in. Mother, sometimes we just have to face what is and ask for the strength to accept it. Christie, it's okay to be real [and fake :-)], as God knows your heart. He knows what many do not -- "our smiles do not bespeak the pain within our hearts". Gordon, I'm counting on your mom's "direct line". Elaine, do what you do best in your love and ministry -- spread the word!

I'm just sayin',


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Friend is Closer Than a Brother

What would you do for your friends? For your "best" friend? John 15:13 says "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Would you lay down your life for your friend?

My devotional story today talked about a naval officer in World War II. He said he was on a troopship carrying over 10,000 men to Europe. Early one morning as he and another officer were watching the sunrise and noting how beautiful it was, they spotted an enemy torpedo headed straight for their ship. They sounded the warning but knew it would be too late to move their ship out of the path of the torpedo. About that same time, he and the other officer noted a destroyer headed towards them -- right into the path of the torpedo. The young skipper of that vessel placed his ship in the path of the torpedo to prevent it from hitting the troopship. His destroyer sank within 10 minutes. The young skipper knew that by placing his ship in the path of the torpedo to save the troopship, he would be killed. He made the ultimate sacrifice. Why? Because he and the naval officer on board the troopship were best friends. He knew his friend was on that troopship and he gave his life for his best friend!

In our society, it's difficult for us to sacrifice our time for each other, much less our life. Not one of us is promised tomorrow so maybe we should be making the most of today. It's something to think about.

"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

I'm just sayin',


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cost of a Vice

Vices. We all have them. We all pay a price. However, some vices cost more than others. I’m going to pick on cigarette smokers because that is the vice that got my attention in a very drastic way today.

I’m not a smoker so I have not paid attention to the price of a pack of cigarettes in a very long time. I just know it’s expensive. While picking up some junk food (I do realize I’m plucking at the speck in my neighbor’s eye while toting a plank in my own) from the convenience store in our lobby, a man came up behind me and requested a pack of cigarettes…Marlboro Menthol Smooth Ultra Light in a box. I glanced up as the clerk reached for the pack of smokes and gasped when I saw the price -- $5.05 per pack! I almost dropped my M&Ms, Salt & Vinegar chips and Reese's Cups. That is outrageous for a pack of cigarettes. Then, tack on 10% sales tax courtesy of the City of Birmingham and you have a grand total of $5.56 for a package of cancer a la carte! I paid for my calories and quickly left the store. Upon returning to my desk (and my handy calculator), I did the math. This is how the numbers add up.

One pack of cigarettes = $5.56
Smoking 1 pack per day 7 days a week = $38.92 per week
Multiply $38.92 by 52 weeks = $2,023.84

$2,023.84 is a very nice vacation for one with lots of spending money OR 3 ½ new laptop computers OR a new 16.2 megapixel digital camera.

However, the average smoker smokes at least two packs per day (stats per Benita Roberts who has lived with smokers her entire life – until now).

Two packs of cigarettes per day = $11.12
Times 7 days a week = $77.84
Multiply $77.84 by 52 weeks = $4,047.68

$4,047.68 is a European vacation for one with lots of spending money, etc., etc.


As I sit here finishing off the Salt & Vinegar chips (accompanied by my M&Ms – you always have something salty and sweet together), I’m just flabbergasted at how much it costs to smoke. Not to mention that nasty little cancer thing that usually tags along with a pack of cigarettes.

I’m just askin’, what’s your vice and how much does it cost?


Is it Permanent

Recently, during a discussion with my husband, he made the statement that he did not believe in "permanency", stating that nothing was permanent. I have been mulling over this statement for a while and find I have to disagree with him. While there are many things that change as often as my hair color, there are things in this life that are permanent; it's just that our society has an "everything is disposable" mentality. Permanence, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I believe in permanence.

To me, marriage should be permanent while on this earth. You take vows before God. I married my husband with a "til death do us part" attitude...I may kill him, but we will be married until such time I choose to do so. When I decided to get my tattoos, I got them with the same attitude "til death do us part". Well actually, they won't part; they will decay with my flesh. Employment is permanent; it may not always be at the same company, but I will be permanently employed -- somewhere. Debt is permanent as I'm always going to owe the IRS something; there is no way around it, except dying. Unfortunately, our government is working on a way to tax death, so I will eventually owe them from beyond the grave. Love is permanent. While not all relationships last forever, we will always LOVE someone. Being a parent is permanent – nothing will ever erase the fact that I gave painstaking birth to two sons. I will never let them forget it! Last, but not least, salvation is permanent. God doesn't rescind His gift of grace and mercy, even when I'm at my most undeserving. I'm thankful for His permanence.

I'm just sayin',


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Badge

As I walked through the lobby of my building, I noticed one thing everyone had in common – they (we) were all wearing an identification badge of some sort. The badges are all shapes, sizes and colors, just like people. But they all serve the same purpose -- to give us access to a certain place. Soooooo, I started thinking (yes, I know it is dangerous when I think, however, this is a good one). What if we all had to wear a badge regarding our salvation; to show whether or not we would be admitted to the Kingdom of Heaven?

We all wear our work badges prominently displayed on our person to show we have access to a place where others aren’t permitted to go. But, given the opportunity, would we wear our “I am a Christian” badge just as proudly or would we hide it behind the lining of our coat? What if we were forced to wear a badge that listed all of our sins – on a daily basis? That each day we got up, the badge would look different according to the sins we had committed the previous day. Would we proudly wear that badge? I think the answer would be no. But you know what? Jesus wears the badge of our sins – daily, proudly. The scars on his hands and feet prove it.

I’m just sayin’,


Monday, May 18, 2009

The Truth About Homemade Gravy

I enjoy cooking. While my own palate is not varied, (I’m a meat, potatoes and M&M’s kind of girl) I do enjoy preparing a variety of foods for my family. Whenever possible, and time permitting, I like to make things “from scratch” as opposed to opening up a mix of some sort. Stop laughing -- it’s true!

Recently, my husband and I endeavored to prepare our own “from scratch” biscuits and gravy. Some of you may think this is the easiest and most natural thing in the world; however, homemade gravy has always intimidated me. I’ve never been able to get it right and always ended up with a blob of something that even the hungriest of dogs wouldn’t ingest. One morning, while preparing our homemade biscuits (a recipe we have now perfected), my husband suggested that we make our own gravy. WHAT??...Homemade gravy??...No way!! I immediately broke out in a sweat. I admitted to him that I had never been successful in preparing an edible gravy mixture. He insisted it couldn’t be that difficult and there had to be a good recipe on the internet. After a few minutes of searching, we found a simple recipe to try. I held my breath throughout the entire process. Would it be lumpy? Would it be smooth? Would it be the right color? Would it be toxic to those who ate it (I don’t eat gravy)? Would the boys hide for fear that we would force them to eat a globbed and burnt mixture? And most importantly, how would it taste? Finally, the moment of truth came. It was a success! The recipe turned out to be fool/Benita-proof. Since that morning, we have turned out many a boat of gravy with no flops!

For those who might be interested, here are the recipes for Roberts Homemade Biscuits and Gravy:

Homemade Biscuits:

2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
5 tablespoons shortening
1 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in shortening; then add milk, stir. Roll dough out onto a floured surface, until approximately ½ to 1 inch thick (depends on your preference). If dough is sticky, add a small amount of flour. Cut with biscuit cutter (or any desired shape). Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. This time is approximate depending on your oven.

Notes: We use a baking stone instead of a cookie sheet. We also found that brushing a little bit of olive oil on the top of each biscuit during the last 5 minutes of baking improves the browning process.

Homemade Gravy:

¼ cup bacon grease
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

Add flour to hot grease. Stir very well to eliminate lumps. Cook on low heat until mixture turns “golden” in color. Continue to stir frequently. Slowly, very slowly, add milk, stirring constantly. If you add the milk quickly, it will scorch. Cook on low boil until thickened. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. It doesn’t take but a few minutes, but it is best NOT to turn your back on the gravy or leave it unattended. It is an attention hog and likes to be stirred for best results.

If you have a good "from scratch" recipe, let me know.

I'm just sayin',


Monday, May 11, 2009

Summertime Memories

As I was driving on the interstate going to lunch one day recently, I found myself driving behind a small pickup truck with 3 children in the bed of the truck. Yes, I know this is illegal and I should have run them down and made my best Gomer Pyle "citizen's arrest" address, but they seemed so carefree, just enjoying the sun on their faces and the wind in their hair. Oh how I would have loved to be one of those children, riding down the road, not a care in the world. I began thinking back to my childhood, reflecting on how we spent our summers, and I found myself asking “whatever happened to the good old days?” Now to each person, the “good old days” represent something totally different, but to me, those days represent a life full of happiness, naiveté, anticipation and excitement.

When I was a child we spent our entire summer outdoors. We had no video games to play nor did we have 175 channels to watch on TV. We spent all of our time OUTSIDE – which is almost unheard of this day in time. We played 4-square, hide & seek, hopscotch, and Barbie. We baked pies on the mud table an older gentleman had built at his house across the street. We shucked corn, hulled peas and ate plums and peaches until we thought we would be sick. We had picnic lunches consisting of PB&J sandwiches and potato chips. We would swing on our swing sets and pretend we were touching the sky with our toes. We would roll down large grassy hills until we were itching all over. We endured the ever dreaded “tick search” when we came inside. We rode our bikes over the numerous dirt hills in our neighborhood and picked blackberries. We had lemonade stands…we drank it all of course. We ate muscadines and crab apples right off the tree. The only cleaning they received before we ate them was on our muddy shirts. We went swimming….alot! And on the days we couldn’t go swimming, we ran through the sprinkler. We put towels on our heads and pretended they were our bridal veils. And oh, the mosquito bites….we were covered in them, but we didn’t have to worry about West Nile Virus back then, we just scratched and went on our way. We could walk around the block, several times, with no fear of someone snatching us off the street. We were angry because we had to come inside at dark – we had so much more playing to do and were afraid we were going to miss it! I will never forget standing on the street in front of our house, money in hand, waiting on the Popsicle® man. We couldn’t hear our mothers call us in at dark, but we could hear his special music 3 streets over and knew he would soon be coming with pushups and bomb pops.

One of my fondest memories was anxiously awaiting the Weekly Reader to come in the mail…something addressed to me and me alone. It was a big deal for a child to receive something in the mail! There would be a really cool special edition the week of the 4th of July. I would read each one of those little newsletters cover to cover and pretend I was one of the kids who got to go on all the wild adventures.

On the 4th of July, we would eat all the barbequed ribs we could and didn’t worry about cholesterol, calories or carbohydrates…..just ate until we were full! We also ate watermelon and let the juice run down our arms…it didn’t matter how sticky and messy we were.

Yes, these are some fond memories from my childhood….oh to be a kid again!

I'm just askin', what are your favorite childhood memories?


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Letter to the Editor

Dear Margo,

Lately, I have alot in common with Chad Kroeger and Santana....."every time I try to talk to you, I get tongue-tied, it turns out that everything I say to you comes out wrong and never comes out right...."

Do you ever feel like everything in your life is upside down and inside out? That it doesn't matter what you say or do it's always the wrong thing? I hate it when that happens. I feel as though there is a little imp following me around, wreaking havoc in my path. Lately, that is what my life has been -- everything I say or do seems to be the wrong thing. I'm told the best intentions count for nothing if the person on the receiving end doesn't receive it as such. So, what does one do? How do you approach a situation when you think that everything you say or do is being measured and taken the wrong way? You know your heart and what you mean, but how do you convey that to another person?


Nothing Seems Right

Dear Nothing Seems Right,

First of all, let me preface my response by saying that, in the future, when you send in your letter, please include the decoder ring. Sometimes messages get jumbled in transit and it's best to have a clear message to respond to. Rambling never accomplishes anything.

I understand your problem (if I've interpreted your message correctly) and would like to suggest the following as a solution:

  • Eat chocolate - lots and lots of chocolate. Chocolate has many healing properties and always gives one a clear perspective on life.
  • Drink real Coke; not that diet stuff. Real Coke stimulates the healing properties of chocolate.
  • Spend a day at the spa - don't worry about the balance on your credit card bill. It's amazing how much better one feels after a pedicure, manicure, facial and massage (by none other than Orlando Bloom's identical twin). Tip heavily. After all, money is no object when it comes to one's peace of mind.
  • Get highlights. Nothing like a new hair color to make a girl feel and look incredible.
  • Stop listening to Santana.

If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me again. But please, for the love of Mike, include the decoder ring so that I don't have to frazzle myself trying to decipher your message.

Hugs and kisses,


Thursday, April 23, 2009

View Through a Lens

I'm a photographer. I own a Canon SLR digital camera. I cannot use, nor do I like to use fake cameras. By "fake" I'm referring to anything that has "point and shoot" in it's title. I am totally unable to take a decent photo with one. Amazing isn't it. You would think that if you are a photographer you would be able to pick up any camera and take a great photo. Doesn't work that way. It's like eating steak all your life then one day trying a mini-burger....yes, they are both meat, but they do not look or taste the same. Right about now you are saying to yourself "she doesn't like fake cameras because she can't use one." You would be incorrect in that assumption. I can use one in the literal sense, per se, I just can't use one to take decent photos.

I like seeing things through new eyes (my camera) and through old eyes (my own -- which are in desperate need of contacts). The view through a lens is remarkable. You are given the opportunity to see things in a new way -- framed and hanging on the wall. You find yourself with a new perspective on life; you pay attention to details that you would never notice in the course of a day. It takes hours to drive from one destination to the next because you stop along the way taking photos of things that you glimpsed from your window. You run off the road, sometimes scraping a mailbox or clipping a fence (or two), because you are staring at something you want to turn around and take a photo of. You stop people on the street to ask if you can take their picture. You annoy people in their homes when you knock on their door to ask permission to take a photo of a leaf you spied in their front yard.

As a photographer, you find yourself visiting places you would not normally visit. For instance, a couple of years ago, I did a documentary photography project on inmates. A friend who works for the Jefferson County Sheriff's department helped me go where no woman has gone before (at least not as a visitor)....into an all male county jail. I had the opportunity to interview, without the safety of plexiglass and a telephone, five inmates. I sat in a cell with each one for a chat and photograph. Two murderers, one drug dealer, one assaulter (he almost beat a man to death for money) and one who wrote bad checks. It was a very interesting mix of that you would never believe could be or should be behind bars, except one.....the drug dealer, who, for the sake of propriety, we will call Leon.

Leon, in his interview, kept telling me "the man" owed him something. That it was "the man's" fault he had to deal drugs to survive. He couldn't get a job because of "the man" and "the man" always sent him home broke each time he left prison (not his first stint in the big house, obviously). I informed Leon that "the man" (which I assumed was the government) didn't owe him anything, that it was his responsibility to make his own way in life, to work to earn a decent living and not blame others for his shortcomings (I was brave in my speaking because an armed sheriff was right outside the door and I figured he could draw his pistol before Leon could stab me with the "shiv" he made from a shoelace cap. Apparently, Leon learned many skills from watching reruns of McGyver.) When I left, Leon and I were not friends, which was okay. I don't think it's a good idea to be friends with drug dealers, as they always draw you into their drama and, eventually, your own stint in the big house. However, it was an interesting experience. I've posted a few photos from "my jail days". Incidentally, I was told that I could not photograph their faces because their rights had to be protected. My response, "What rights? They gave up their rights when they changed their name to a number". As you can see, I was forced to comply.

I'm just sayin',


Friday, April 17, 2009

Pirates of the Caribbean….no wait, that was Pirates of Somalia

When one hears of a “pirate attack”, we automatically envision Johnny Depp in all of his glory boarding a wooden ship and taking the “booty” and the beauty hostage. Her lover plans an audacious rescue to save her honor, an exhilarating sword fight ensues with the hero winning (of course) and everyone lives happily ever after. We think it’s romantic and daring. Unfortunately, there is nothing romantic about modern day piracy. Through movies, such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Captain Ron”, we are led to believe the life of a pirate is somewhat glamorous, dangerous and exciting. However, modern day pirates are nothing more than terrorists, albeit not as high on the terrorist food chain as those who blow themselves up for the love of Allah and the 72 virgins they will receive upon entering Heaven, but terrorists nonetheless. They hold people and ships hostage to extort money out of other countries. Yes, I realize this is what Captain Jack Sparrow did as well, but it didn’t seem all that bad on screen! However, we know that in real life it is a nasty situation.

I was shocked to find out that the Prime Minister of Somalia is barely able to govern the country and he has little to no power. He stated the government barely had control of a few square miles inside the capital of Mogadishu. Several countries, including the United States, are making valiant efforts to put an end to piracy in the Horn of Africa, which is one of the busiest and most precarious sea lanes in the world. The United States brought their captured pirate to New York to stand trial, while the Netherlands and France are prosecuting suspects in their own courts. Other countries feel that a special court should be established for trying pirate suspects because normal court procedures won’t apply. I think a punishment other than “life in prison without parole” should be inflicted, as I do not want to support these people the rest of their lives. Maybe they could be sentenced to something like, I don’t know, being tied to the mast of a ship for the rest of their days and fed raw squid until they throw up? OR walking the plank – from a submarine? OR made to clean toilets that only men use? That’s a good punishment!

What shocked me even more was to find out that these pirates are not just “plundering” for the sake of “plundering” but they are actually being sponsored by powerful businessmen and politicians all over the world! WHY?? Doesn’t Ted Kennedy have enough to do with chemo treatments and ruining other people’s lives?

And for my final question: the pirates arrive in small speedboats….SMALL SPEEDBOATS! Will someone PLEASE explain to me how 5 smelly men and a small speedboat can capture an entire ship??? I know they are armed……but

I’m just sayin’,

Your favorite pirate -- Captain Jack Sparrow aka Johnny Depp!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Snakes On A Plane!

I don't like snakes, have never liked snakes. They are sneaky, slimy and seem to strike at the most inopportune moment. Of course, I can't really think of an opportune time for them to strike...but still....

What "skeers" me is that these were being shipped on a plane. Did the passengers KNOW they were traveling with snakes? Is this something that should be disclosed pre-boarding? I think so, as I would definitely make alternate travel arrangements. WHY didn't they drive them to their destination? Why would they subject passengers to crawly reptiles in an enclosed environment, where, if they got loose (which they did) there would be nowhere to run? Trapped, literally, like rats in a cage.

What is even more frightening is that said snakes were never found. WHY? According to the "reptile expert", the snakes [probably] somehow escaped outside the plane after it landed. No they didn't; they crawled into the passengers' luggage and surprised them when they opened their bags....."Hi, honey, I'm home. Mommy's got a surprise for you!"

My skin is crawling just thinking about the tragedy of it all. This is why ALL planes should be equipped with parachutes...for those times when you need a place to go!

I'm just sayin' (I'm skeered),


PS.....on this one --
what can one possibly say -- tastes like CHICKEN???!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If You Frown, Your Marriage is Going Down!

The internet has been around for a while. You would think there would be nothing left out there to astonish, shock or amaze me. But you would be wrong in that thinking. I recently read a story, as I'm sure you did also, that now, Clara Mosokowitz of, has determined your marriage will be successful if you smiled in your yearbook photos. WHAT? WHAT? If I smiled in my school photos, my marriage will be successful and less likely to end in divorce? WHAT? You have got to be kidding me. Do these people have NOTHING better to do than to search through school yearbooks that have been thrown into the recycling bin and create bizarre stories with statistics? How did they even come up with an idea like that? Oh, look, there's Matilda, she didn't smile in any of her school photos. She will be unsuccessful in her marriage endeavors with Leonard, George, Frank and Tom. Does it matter that Matilda didn't smile because she had just lost a tooth, got braces or heaven forbid, some mean little child told her she had bad breath or an ugly smile? Those things affect whether or not we smile that day. She could have just returned from having a root canal and didn't fill much like smiling because when she opened her mouth she drooled from lip numbness caused by the excessive use of Novocain. Maybe Matilda had a chipped tooth and her parents didn't have the money to have it repaired, so she never smiled in her school photos. AND, more importantly, what if Leonard, George, Frank and Tom all smiled in their school photos? What does that say for them if they marry Matilda -- the have a 50/50 chance of marriage failure? What their study determined was "overall, the results indicate that people who frown in photos are five times more likely to get a divorce than people who smile." What utter and complete foolishness and nonsense! Where is the love, people? The sad thing is that you can no longer say, "smile, you're on Candid Camera", you have to say, "smile, or your marriage ain't gonna last"!

I'm just sayin',

85% of you smiled in your school photos.....for those 15% who didn't, might I suggest marriage counseling?

Somalia - You Give Pirates a Bad Name

Good pirates (very good looking and a little smelly, which can be tolerated somewhat because of their looks)

Bad pirates (not good looking and very smelly, which is NEVER tolerated -- if you are unattractive and stinky, then you definitely have a problem)

Got it.....get it.......GOOD! Just want to make sure everyone knows the difference.

This is part 1 of my pirate rant. With today being April 15th, I bet you thought it would be on something taxes....

I'm just sayin',


Monday, April 13, 2009

You Don't Know Jack!

No, I may not know Jack, but I definitely know the speed limit around town. Two weeks ago, while still in my euphoric fog from visiting Cameras Brookwood (which it's really not in Brookwood anymore so they should probably change the name), a Homewood police officer had the audacity to pull me over....for speeding! It always amazes me how idiotic most police officers sound when they pull you over. They say things such as "did you know you have a tail light out?"....yes, I do and I'm on my way to purchase the bulb to replace it; "did you know you have an expired tag?"....yes, I know, I received the new sticker in the mail today and haven't been able to get home to paste it on over the old one, see, here it is; "did you know you were speeding?"....obviously not or I would have slowed down before I reached the location of your radar gun. SHEESH....if you are a police officer reading this, PLEASE come up with more original lines. You sound like the man from the bar with the worst pick up lines EVER! AND why do you scream at little old women to NOT get out of the car?? What could they possibly do to you...hit you with their cane? You are a cop, you have a gun; honestly, how much pain could she inflict upon you before you shoot her?

Anywho, this police officer pulls me over and tells me I was speeding. I told him I was coming off the mountain (Vestavia) and was downshifting to third gear, how could I be speeding? I inquired as to the speed limit. He replied it was 40 and I was doing 63. Now, for those of you who drive a stick, you know there is no way you can drive 63 mph in third gear, comfortably. I argued the point. I told him I wasn't going 63. Now, I suppose I should point out that I really have no idea how fast I was driving, but I do know it wasn't 63. He obviously "clocked" me as I started my drive down the hill, before I downshifted to third gear. He took my license and insurance information and walked back to his moped. When he returned to my car (I had my door open, thank you very much as it was hot), to present my gift of a speeding ticket, I noticed he had changed the speed limit to 35. I asked him again, what was the speed limit and why did he change it. He said he made a mistake the first time and that the speed limit was actually 35. I said, "you mean to tell me you are out here giving tickets and you have no idea WHAT the speed limit is?" He turned very red and became flustered. He said he did know what the speed limit was and that he made a mistake the first time and asked me if I had ever made a mistake. I told him "no, I'm perfect, can't you tell?" I again questioned his competence of handing out tickets when he wasn't quite sure about the speed limit. He said he worked in several areas and there were many different speed limits throughout the City of Homewood and he just made a mistake. He began fumbling with these little cards in his hand, almost dropping them. I'm thinking I have a rookie cop at my door and he's having to look up the speed limit on cheat sheets. Anyway, the argument lasted for a few more minutes before I finally started closing my door which was his signal to move on or get hit with the door. He chose to move on.

Now for the best part of this story (no, it wasn't that I got a ticket -- do you people always delight in another person's misfortune?). When I got back to the office I had a voicemail from said police officer telling me he made another mistake and that the speed limit was actually 40 mph and would I please change my copy of the ticket. I almost fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard. I immediately called his superior officer and lodged a complaint. I was transferred several times and made sure that I told my tale to each person I spoke with....they ALL laughed. I made sure I gave his name as well.

The only good thing that came of this event was that I won a blog giveaway from my friend Jamie. The contest was to use 5 words to describe yourself -- my five words: "looking for competent police officers."

I’m just sayin’,


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Run for the Border

Once every blue moon I will make a “run for the border” and eat at Taco Bell for lunch. A couple of weeks ago I had a craving for something from there, so I went downstairs to grab some lunch. I ordered my usual -- 2 crunchy tacos and a drink. Everyone that knows me well knows how picky I am about my food. I like tacos; I just don’t like them with cheese and lettuce. Bizarre, I know. I like them with meat only. In addition to my tacos, I also like a side order of nachos with peppers. When I received my order there were no peppers! An abomination, as what are nachos without peppers! They are notchos! They are chips and cheese. That would be like ordering a hamburger with no meat – which is actually pretty common because no one is ever exactly sure WHAT is between the buns at fast food restaurants. It resembles meat, but what is it truly? But I digress.

N E Way, I asked the cashier, who by the way had a nasty attitude, what happened to the peppers I ordered with my nachos. I didn’t have time to enlighten her on the proper etiquette of nachos, that without the peppers, they were just chips and cheese. She searched through the bag I handed back to her; I told her they weren’t there. She turned around and spoke to the “cook” and asked about the peppers. THAT person said they weren’t on the order so they didn’t add them to the bag. I explained to the cashier that I did request peppers with my side order of nachos. I was then informed that if you want peppers, you gotta pay for peppers. People, we are in a deep recession. Shouldn’t I be receiving free food because I stepped out on a limb and made a purchase at their establishment? After all, I did order my tacos without cheese or lettuce – is it wrong to expect peppers in return for my generosity?

I wanted to bring this fact to the attention of the cashier, but I didn’t want anything extra on my tacos, so I took my order, with said peppers - which I did receive for FREE - and made a fast getaway. That will be the last time, well maybe the last time, I eat at Taco Bell, where the peppers are NOT free and they never leave the light on for you. Now I ask you, is it wrong of me to expect peppers for FREE with my nachos? And what will they make you pay extra for next – the shell???!!

I'm just sayin',


Friday, April 10, 2009


I believe exercise is way overrated, after all, look at the number of toned, fit, perfectly healthy people who drop dead every day! As I sit here eating my Snickers® bar (reduced fat I might add – as I’m only eating half the bar, I ate the other half yesterday), I’ve been contemplating the pros and cons of exercise. Pro – if I exercise, I won’t have cellulite. Con – I’m going to sweat. Pro – I won’t be out of breath after climbing 2 flights of stairs. Con – gym memberships are expensive AND other people will see me sweat. Pro – I can go without hose in the summer because my calves will be toned. Con – I do that anyway and offend many. Pro – I will have more energy. Con – that translates to having the energy to do more work. Pro – I really can’t think of anything else, but my list of “cons” is endless.

Now, I’m not an advocate for being lazy and not exercising at all, I just don’t believe in the rigorous stuff. Bending down to put on my shoes constitutes exercise -- right, after all, I’m NOT just standing there, I am moving. Also, when I take the laundry downstairs, I am exercising by walking up and down the stairs. So, it’s not like I'm not getting any exercise and I figure when God is ready to bring me home, He’s going to take me. I just want to make sure it’s not while I’m on a treadmill or in the middle of my 42nd abdominal crunch trying to stay healthy!

I'm just sayin',