Friday, February 27, 2009

Everyday Epiphanies - Week 1

Do you want to know the secret for living well? It’s understanding that your life can make a difference and acting upon that knowledge.

Imperfect action is better than
perfect inaction. ~Harry Truman

Thus my small gestures to show kindness intentionally everyday for 40 days have lifted my spirit and heightened my hearing. I feel like a musician listening carefully for the notes that are my cue to come in. I have a part to play. There’s a song in my heart. Come! You have a part too!

This week, I started by writing simple notes to people who have been on my mind and I haven’t taken the time to write. It didn’t cost me anything but a stamp. It has encouraged me to begin. I have things in mind I want to do in the coming week: dropping cookies by to a neighbor I haven’t seen in awhile, encouraging another neighbor with a small contribution to the charity she is working for… one day at a time. I want to be kinder and more aware of the people around me. I am using my calendar to make little notations of what I'm doing as a simplified diary.

Your thoughts, ideas and inspiration are like a gentle rain on my intentions. This is the first week of Everyday Epiphanies. You are welcome to link your post below or join me anytime during this quest.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

7 Quick Takes

1. With a speaking engagement this week and launching Everyday Epiphanies, I shouldn’t have been surprised that Monday and Tuesday I was hit with my arch-enemy: discouragement.

2. Cupcake is a sick kitten. I advised her to go to the doctor yesterday. It’s frustrating when your peeps live in another city and need mom.

3. I’ve been so frugal and I’m really tired of it. I think one good shopping trip would do me a lot of good. I’m just sayin’.

4. I’m ready for spring. I love warm weather and green grass. Thankfully, it’s around the corner in Florida. I can almost smell it- my nose is in the air.

5. Squall line updates: The legal saga with Cupcake’s old apartment complex is ongoing. I’ll celebrate when that is settled. My kooky neighbor that had reported that I snatched her dog apologized.

6. Squall line will be suspended during the 40 days of “Everyday Epiphanies”. I'll put the posts up on Fridays and you can link up throughout the weekend. I'm having fun already!

7. Thanks so much to Edie at Rich Gifts for helping me with the HTML code thingy that makes it simple to put the to put the pretty daffodil tag on your site. She’s a gem.

Jennifer at Conversion Diaries hosts 7 Quick Takes every Friday. She has a baby coming Monday, so she might take next week off, ya think?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Leading an Extra Life

I often feel sorry for people who don't read good books;
they are missing a chance to lead an extra life.
~ Scott Corbett ~

I just finished one of those books you race through because it’s so good and then you’re sad because it’s over.

In A Gentle Rain, the main character describes the accepting attitude of the folks that make up his staff of ranch hands, all of whom had disabilities. Ben said , “Most people look at a leaky soul and see nothing but trickles of good intentions falling on bone-dry earth. But these folks? They see a gentle rain."

I’ll be seeking more books by Deborah Smith right away. Gentle Rain was especially meaningful to me as a Florida cracker. This story brought my ancestral history and my imagination to life with stories of the “real Florida”; cattle ranching, Seninole Indians, palmetto scrub, alligators and rodeos. I’m told my ancestors were called crackers because of the sound of the bullwhips popping. My husband has his great grandfather’s bullwhip - a neat piece of history.

Another recent read was John Grisham’s recent release, The Appeal. As usual, I applaud Grisham for his strong characterizations and gripping plot. However, I found this book rather depressing; way too close to the evening news to be entertaining. Greed, corruption, buying candidates, manipulating elections - blech.

I’ll leave you with the name of the best business book I’ve read in ages. Check out Michael Pink’s The Rainforest Strategy for fresh insights and inspiration for business success in tough times. You can get his book for the cost of postage HERE. I also enjoy Michaels’ blog.

In my early morning reading time, I’ve been camped out in Ephesians for the last month. I’m continually amazed that the Word of God is living… no matter how many times you read it, it always speaks something new.

Books are like friends- you can't have too many! What's on your nightstand?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unconditional Love

It’s not dog breath that makes a best friend. It’s the unconditional love flowing your way that seals the deal. I kept my new grandpuppy, Bunker, while our son and daughter-in-love were out of town for the weekend. I noticed I spent a massive amount of time playing with him. It was hard to get his picture because he didn’t sit still except when he was asleep.
So it seems animals and children can teach us much on the subject of unconditional love.
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

Then there was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry.”

Monday, February 23, 2009

Everyday Epiphanies

You've heard of paying it forward. You've heard of random acts of kindness. You've probably heard about the book Love Dare, made popular by the movie Fireproof.

I've been interested and intrigued by all of these but have fallen short of implementing consistent actions that embrace the intent of these honorable concepts. Then the idea of Everyday Epiphanies blossomed in my thoughts.

I now resolve to challenge myself to 40 days of showing love in an intentional and unexpected way to someone every single day. I realize I can learn so much if the plan is multiplied through my bloggy friends, so I invite you to join me for Everyday Epiphanies.

The goal is to show love in some small way, whether it be to a spouse, a neighbor, a child, a stranger… whoever you have opportunity to be a blessing to. It can be a note, a smile, a word of kindness; it doesn't have to cost more than a moment in time.

This Weds. Feb. 24th is the beginning of Lent. It matters not whether the church you attend formally commemorates Ash Wednesday and the time of reflection that leads up to Resurrection Sunday (mine doesn’t). I think the timing is perfect for this 40 day commitment.

Epiphany means “manifestation of the divine.” Will you join me in looking for simple ways to be a breath of hope and love in someone’s life?

I will post every Friday with my updates and give you opportunity to link up and tell what you are experiencing in this journey. Your post can be in whatever form inspires you; a diary, a story of one day’s epiphany or ideas for simple things to do for others. You can post anytime during the weekend, ideally sometime between Friday and Monday. This challenge will go to Easter Sunday, April 12th. Whether you participate for one day or 40 days, blog about it and link up!

I’ll figure out this week how to post the HTML code for the tag in case you’d like to put it on your blog and share the challenge. I’m excited to see what God will do through Everyday Epiphanies.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fairy Dust for Friday

Anyone have any spare fairy dust? Truth is, I’d rather be the fairy godmother than Cinderella. I made my theatrical debut in 4th grade in that role and I still am in the wings, ready with my lines.

What I really need is some fashion advice. I’m preparing for a seminar next week and there will be a videographer taping the presentation. What do I wear? I mean for the camera to like me. Some of you who are handy with a camera surely know the rules regarding colors, prints, etc. Oh, and what can I wear that will make me look slender and lovely? Yeah, that’s what I thought- there’s that need for fairy dust.

If you know anybody in the Tallahassee, FL area that needs some encouragement in their marriage, please pass the word and send them here to register. It’s next Saturday, Feb. 28th, 9 AM -1 PM. It would be a first for me to meet someone that I’ve only known through blogging!

Have a great weekend. I’m keeping my grandpuppy so I’ll have some really cute pictures!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker...

This is the wrap week in my review of the 4 Basic Personality types.

Deep. Intellectual. Artisitic. Organized. Moody.

The Melchanchoy, or Analytical as I prefer to call them, can be the toughest to spot because they are rather complex. Gary Smalley likens the Analytical to a beaver, who is busy, and a precise perfectionist. This is the friend who has the cans in her pantry in alphabetical order. She is usually very neatly put together. Analyticals tend to be rather reserved. They are excellent at finishing tasks.

As bloggers, these people are often quite funny. To quote Uncommon Blonde who describes it best: “I always try to be ladylike and polite which results in a running dialog in my mind of sarcasm, comebacks and uncommon stuff which I usually refrain from actually saying." So they blog it! I know Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee is Analytical as well. (Remember her obsession with the perfect gingerbread house? Gingervitis?) Humor is a saving grace for analyticals, as they naturally tend toward taking life quite seriously.

These friends aren't very spontaneous, they relish a well thought-out plan. They can be pessismists and tend toward irritability.

Careers you might find an analytical in are accounting, medicine, science or even as a principle musician in an orchestra. My husband is an excellent builder because of his attention to detail and demand for perfection.

Keep in mind, that a mature individual will normally have developed strengths from another personality’s profile in order to grow and be effective. A person’s weaknesses are apt to be more revealing of their personality type.

Our family of 5, which is now 7 soon to be 8, displays a gallery of the classic personality types. We LOVE to travel together and here’s how it works. Uncommon Blonde does in-depth planning and research to insure things go smoothly. Builderman takes responsibility and is in charge of independent forays and adventures that are legendary. Cupcake makes sure things are going her way satisfactorily and provides drama and entertainment. Fireman is flexible and up for anything, as long as you feed him. And me… I am laughing my way through thick and thin with the joy of knowing we’re together.

I’ve had fun reviewing the “LEAP Personality” material. Our differences keep life interesting and balanced. Repeat that 3 times and smile.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Personality Quiz

In preparation for tomorrow’s last post on personality types I have a brief quiz for you:

There is a very, very tall coconut tree and there are 4 animals,
a Lion,
a Chimpanzee,

a Giraffe,

and a Squirrel,

who all pass by.

They decide to compete to see who is the fastest to get a banana off the tree.

Who do you guess will win?
Your answer will reflect your personality.
Try and answer within 30 seconds.
Got your answer? Leave it in the comments and come back tomorrow to this comment section for the answer.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Squall Line Vol. 7 – Who Needs Reality TV When There’s Reality?

Hurt. Indignation. Humor. Sagacity.
It took me 5 days to process this incident and gain some perspective on it. (FYI, sagacity can be defined as discernment.) This is a true story but the names have been changed to protect the kooky innocent. For this story, I’m going to give this neighbor the nickname of Mercurial Mable. You’ll understand why in a minute.

A sheriff’s officer showed up at my house the other day. He explained that my neighbor had called about the fact that her missing dog was last seen at my house and wanted to know what I knew about that. Her black lab puppy, named Obama since they got him on election day, loves to visit our 2 labrador retrievers. I told the deputy I was aware the dog was missing and had been looking for him myself. In fact, I had called my neighbor and spoken to Mr. Mable to offer to make signs or help in the search effort.

After the officer left, I wondered if I could have misinterpreted that conversation, but it sounded as if Mable had called the sheriff’s office to accuse me of harming or stealing her dog. Surely that couldn’t be; this is someone I have friendly talks with several times a week! I figured I would simply call her and be sure there wasn’t a problem. Bad idea.

When she answered the phone and I expressed my concern for Obama, she WENT OFF like a fireworks display. (Except this one was all smoke and noise - nothin' pretty about it.) I listened in stunned silence to her anger and venom. Yes, she’d called “The Law” on me because her dog had been last seen at my house. How could I hurt her and her husband like this by harming their dog? And on and on she went. When I would try to say something she would yell “I’M NOT FINISHED TALKING!” And when she had exhausted her rant, she hung up on me.

I couldn’t believe it! I was upset. I couldn’t find any humor in the episode.

Mable’s husband called that night and spoke to my husband to report the happy news that Obama had been found. He had been hanging out at someone’s home 2 miles through the woods on another road. My husband felt that the call was meant as an apology. And we are really happy Obama is back where he belongs. He’s very appealing but he can really stir up trouble. (Double meaning intended.)

Who needs to watch reality TV? I mean really? Give me happy endings and a meaningful script, but I can tune into my own neighbors for strife and drama.

By the next day, I started seeing some humor as my husband teased me by calling me a dog-snatcher.

Very quickly I made the conscious decision to forgive Mable. It’s a good thing I learned years ago that forgiveness is an act of the will – my emotions don’t always line up right away. It helps when I rationalize her behavior by wondering if she’s on some medication that makes her crazy, or maybe she was furious with someone else and I unwittingly wandered into the line of fire. Regardless of the reason, common sense tells me that if you know there’s a wasp nest in a tree, don’t mess with that tree or you’re going to get stung.

And you know that thought (in my 25 random things post) I had to run for public office? Forget it. My skin is not thick enough to be chewed up and spit back out.

If you have a squall, feel free to link up to the Squall Line. Please link the exact post below. It doesn't have to be a post from today!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Front Porch Wisdom

I went to see LouLou on Valentine’s day and she was in fine form. As expected, she was dressed in red with a Valentine necklace on. She has always loved jewelry, and though now it’s inexpensive costume jewelry since she lives in a facility, she still coordinates it and enjoys it immensely. There’s much to be said for small pleasures.

It’s hard for to me to grasp all that she’s experienced in 102 years of living and I cherish the hours spent with her. During my visit, I asked for her advice to couples on how to have a happy marriage. She pondered for a moment and replied, “You should be loving every single day. To stay together, you have to overlook a lot. To be happy, you have to overlook even more.”

So says LouLou and she oughta know. Remember Squall Line is tomorrow and I have a whopper of a story to tell you – that’s all too true.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Smashing Recipe - Bananas at Their Best

In a family of 5, everyone has their favorites and often they are different from one another. However, this is one recipe that is loved equally by all of us. This can be baked in a loaf pan to make bread as well, but muffins are faster to bake and therefore more popular at my house.

Smashing Banana Muffins

1 stick of butter
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 Cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
½ tsp vanilla
1 T water

1 ½ C flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt

½ cup pecans, optional

Mix softened butter with sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Add mashed bananas, water and dry ingredients. Pour into muffin cups (about 2/3 full) and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until lightly brown.

Carol is hosting Saturday Stirrings with a give-away today, so click on over there to join the fun.

Happy Valentine's Day! Dinner will be homemade chicken pot pie with homemade carrot cake for dessert. My sweetie's favorites.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Transcending Ginormous Differences

With all the talk about personalities and a week where the differences have been highlighted (blog fodder for next week), this 3 minute video clip about the "animal odd couple" is heart-warming and inspiring. Enjoy!

Watch CBS Videos Online

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Of Fluency, Fun and Fountains

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve introduced you to the Choleric (leader), the Phlegmatic (peaceful) and today you meet the Sanguine (expressive). Expressives are the social, fun-loving creatures; they love to talk and laugh and be around people. Expressives are full of hope, optimism and energy. Weaknesses can be lack of follow-through, disorganization and a tendency to waste time (talking!).

Oh mercy, this makes me think of one of our family gatherings… where the decibel level is astonishing as a room full of women compete for talk-time and multiple conversations run right over the top of each other. My husband (the analytical) has to go outside! I’m right in the middle of them, of course.

Typical jobs for Expressives would be public relations, personnel, teaching, radio or TV or sales.
Bloggers with this personality type would surely include BigMama and me. (Since I'm right in there in the same league. LOL) I'll tell you something about me though... my humor is not expressed very much in writing. But put me on a stage with a microphone in my hand and something happens that I can't explain.

I’ve mentioned animal comparisons, but if you were a structure or could be described as architecture what would you be? I have friends that are bridges, libraries, schools, cafes and hurricane shelters. I’m a fountain. I’d like to say I’m beautiful fountain like this:
But truth is, I’m out there with the kids.
Leave a comment and tell me what structure you would be!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dancing in the Rain

Some people have a jar for coins; they collect them and roll them for use on a rainy day. I collect quotes; as I re-read them they are morsels of inspiration and encouragement. Here are a few that are speaking to me this week.

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.
- William James

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain!

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy - they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. - Marsel Proust

Monday, February 9, 2009

25 Random Things You Don't Need to Know

I've enjoyed reading numerous other people’s “25 Random Things” and I got tagged by the Seven Chicks for this. It was harder than I thought to give you things you're not likely to know about me, so these are indeed random.

1. I met my husband when I was 15 years old and he’s the only man I’ve ever been in love with. When we got engaged, we had just reunited from a break-up and were anxious to move ahead. We talked to my parents on the 4th of July and the wedding was Labor Day weekend. Looking back, I can’t believe I did that to my mom. : )

2. Hong Kong is one of the few places I’ve visited that I don’t want to return to. It’s really far and I didn’t care much for the congestion. I didn’t like the food at all. Glad I went- but one time was enough for me.
3. I rarely get really angry. But when I do…. Stand back, cause “Thar she blows!” As a natural peace-maker, I tend to stuff my frustrations until they just overflow. All at once.

4. When we got married, I drove a hideous red 1964 Mercury Comet. (That was in 1978). My parents believed I should work to buy my own car, and I’m telling you, it wasn’t much. Builderman thought it was a great car.
5. I love my Lexus RX300. When we bought it, I had to push really hard for it – Builderman thought a Ford Taurus would do nicely. Some things are worth fighting for. (I pick my battles carefully) He liked it so much that we now have 3 of them in our family. (No, he doesn’t drive one; he drives an F-250 truck.)6. I don’t think I ever spanked our children. It’s a good thing Builderman was good at discipline and order and rules. I think they would have turned out wonderful and well-mannered anyway, just from the osmosis of being with me. ; ) And I’m also known as Pollyanna.

7. I have burned more dinners than some people have ever cooked. I’m the queen of multi-tasking and don’t focus my attention like I should.

8. I’m a great cook. This is my family’s claim. I didn’t consider myself one because I don’t do gourmet and I have to have a recipe. I’m not creative and intuitive in the kitchen and I burn things. They say I’m a great cook because I cook everything from homemade pizza and yeast rolls to fresh vegetables to yummy cookies. I like to use fresh vegetables and make things from scratch. And I do have years of experience.

9. If you want a shopping companion who can justify almost any purchase, I’m your girl. As long as we’re indulging on someone else. I am not very indulgent when it comes to stuff for me. Is that the result of motherhood?

10. I rarely wear perfume. Builderman is very sensitive to smells. But when he commented about the lady of the house’s perfume from a home he was building, I called her to find out what she wears and went and bought Carolina Herrera perfume. He was embarrassed that I called that lady. I wasn’t. : )

11. I have entertained thoughts of being a foster parent and never spoken that out loud. So now I blogged it. What do you do with all the nurturing instinct that remains when you have an empty nest?

12. I have also entertained thoughts of running for public office. Since these 2 things are so compatible, right? This is actually more probable than number 11. And I’d have to be insane to run for office. I know that.

13. I am an auditory learner. If a speaker has an annoying voice, I have a real problem listening – especially on a CD or the radio. I also have trouble listening to an out -of-tune choir or soloist. It’s like fingernails on the chalkboard to me.

14. When I am concentrating on reading (in other words, engrossed by a good book), I totally tune out other conversations. You can be talking straight to me and I won’t hear you. Go figure.

15. My first job was cleaning silver in a jewelry store. Pretty things, awful job. I hate the smell of silver polish to this day. My second job was in a bakery; it smelled much better.

16. I really loved my part-time job at Selby Botanical Gardens while I was in high school. That job impacted my decision to major in ornamental horticulture at Univ. of FL. I’ve never worked in that field since. 17. I am an over-achiever. I was always obsessed with having As in school. Yet I was embarrassed when I was the valedictorian of my graduating class… probably because I was the principal’s daughter and I didn’t want people talking about me.

18. I can actually remember the turmoil when schools were de-segregated. It’s amazing to think how much has changed, and yet how much hasn’t changed when it comes to prejudice.

19. My drawers and my closet are never neat unless Cupcake goes in and organizes everything for me. (Which she does!) I can keep them that way for awhile and then… not so much.

20. I have always been really into vitamins, herbs and homeopathic remedies. Anyone at my house knows if they complain of an ache or pain, I have a natural remedy ready for the need.

21. Our youngest child did not have immunizations. Though my first 2 did, I felt strongly led not to go this route with her. It wasn’t easy on a lot of levels (like dealing with the school system) but I have always been confident in that decision.

22. I love to shop for designer clothes in consignment boutiques. It thrills me to pay $20 for something that retails for $150.

23. My favorite jeans are Calvin Klein. I have several pair and I didn’t pay retail for them!

24 I want to be a Hospice volunteer. I also want to continue to volunteer in a school, even though my kids are grown. There are just not enough hours in the day to do all I want to do!

25. I don’t have a goal to ever retire. I want to re-fire and keep on making a difference until I move to heaven. Since LouLou is 102, I might only be halfway through this pilgrimage!

Hurray for you if you’re not asleep by now! If you haven't done this and want to, Tag, you're it!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bliss in Every Bite

If you are concerned about calories and fat, stop reading NOW. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I picked up this recipe over at Pioneer Woman’s while on the hunt for a homemade chocolate cake for our son’s birthday this week.

I was intoxicated by the chocolate fumes while making it. And I would make it again just for the chance to lick the bowl. To eat it is bliss.

From the comments on PW’s site, it looked like this is a classic recipe. When I was telling my Mom about it, she said my grandmother used to make it. She described it perfectly from memory, sheet cake baked in a jelly roll pan with finely chopped pecans in the icing. Thankfully, I sent most of it home with our big guy. This cake would be the perfect Valentine treat for a chocolate lover.

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever (Chocolate Sheet Cake)

Combine in a mixing bowl:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, melt:
2 sticks butter
Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa. Stir together.
Add 1 cup boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup buttermilk.
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking, make icing:
Chop 1/2 cup pecans finely.
Melt 1 3/4 sticks butter in a saucepan.
Add 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat.
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb minus 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Stir together.
Add pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.

My picture taking is not called photography, but here’s a snapshot:

I found out the great advantage of a sheet cake; I didn't have to worry about it caving in the center like my bundt pan cakes do! For more great recipes, check out Saturday Stirrings.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fashion Friday – I’m No Frump

I’ll admit that if I had not given birth to two fun and fabulous fashion mavens, I might look like a frump. A fun frump, but still a frump. But no, I knew I would have a lifetime of free advice when my then 4-year old daughter remarked on an outfit, “You need to change that belt. It’s not appropriate with that.” She was right.

It was Uncommon Blonde who told me about Huggable Hangers. You really need these. I never knew I would care about hangers. But it’s really unsightly to walk around looking like you have growths on your shoulders from crummy hangers.

So when you’re at Target this weekend, spend $5 to try these. The hangers save space, keep your clothes from slipping off, and don't leave little hanger marks in the shoulders of your tops.

Now scoot on over to Big Mama’s Fashion Friday Fest and pick up as much advice as you can handle.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Portrait of the Peaceful One

This is week 2 of an impromptu review of Hippocrates’ ancient personality classifications. This week's spotlight personality spotlight is the opposite of last week's Choleric. The choleric (leader's) animal link is the lion. Today, I want you to meet the Phlegmatic, or Peaceful as I prefer to call them. Everyone needs at least one friend in the group that’s Peaceful. We’re talking NO DRAMA. The golden retriever is a portrait of the peaceful.
Faithful and loyal, competent and steady. The Peaceful personality is somewhat of an introvert and is of the slow and steady wins the race mentality. They are able to bring harmony to a group because a primary motivation is keeping the peace. They are great under pressure and have administrative abilities.

They can be frustrating in their flexibility when decision-making time comes. If you ask them to decide where the group is eating, it’s hard to get an answer. They’re the ones who say “anything is fine”. They are not very self-motivated and can become couch potatoes if you leave them alone. They tend to deal with conflict by trying to ignore the problem.

George Bush, Sr. was a peaceful personality, proving that they can be leaders too. He was often criticized for being clueless because he was slow and thoughtful in his responses. He was also considered to be wishy-washy; surely a factor in losing his bid for re-election in 1992 to Clinton.

Natural professions for the Peaceful would be teacher, diplomat and social worker.

My son, who I told you a little about yesterday, is primarily a Peaceful personality. Clues in what I told you – he was an easy child and he didn’t care for team sports. He is everybody’s friend.
I would venture to say that a well-known blogger who fits this personality profile is Lysa TerKeurst. Bear in mind that rarely do people fit neatly into one type but are often a blend of two types. Both of these mentioned have a good dose of the Sanguine as well.

As we mature, we usually consciously develop certain attributes that assist us in accomplishing our goals. Thus, it is often a person’s weaknesses rather than her strengths that reveal more about natural temperament.

Next week, I’ll tell you more about the Sanguine. This is a playful otter type.
I'm saving the most complex for last... the Melancholy (Analytical) , represented by the beaver.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wild At Heart

Our son is 24 years old today. I was told when he was a toddler not to blink – that he would be grown if I did. I blinked.

I love how women recount childbirth stories like men recount their best hunting adventure ever. I went into labor with him about 11 P.M. after we had gone to bed. Since labor was 18 hours with our then-4 year old, I decided to let everyone sleep until I was in serious labor. When I awakened Builderman an hour later, it took some convincing for him to understand that we needed to waste no time in getting to the hospital. I was in transition labor in the car! The labor and delivery were swift; I really didn’t have time to think about much more than the fact this baby was coming fast. He was born at 3:02 am, 9 lbs 7.4 oz and 22 inches long.

He has always been a pleasure. Adventurous is his middle name. He didn’t like team sports much when he was younger- he was much more interested in “extreme sports.” He started with skateboarding and went on to surfing, wakeboarding, motorcycle riding, rock climbing, body building and just returned from snowboarding in Colorado. He’s a firefighter in his work hours.

When he and his bride were engaged, she bought him the book “Wild at Heart” by Steve Eldridge. I read it and it strengthened my heart to know how well his wife understands him.

Look what happened when I blinked…

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Squall Line 6 - Song of the South, Sweet Potato Pie & Shut My Mouth

This squall is dedicated to those of you from the South. I'll tell you straight up, I stole the idea for this post from the Seven Chicks.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Bless your heart”? Perhaps this was spoken by a well-meaning old lady with clucking tones and good intentions. I heard a comedian say this figure of speech has evolved into something that’s said when you’re struck speechless. Translated, it means, “You’re so stupid”. That’s delivered with a smile, by the way.

When you don’t know how to respond to a judgemental, insensitive or just plain annoying remark, in the South, we say “Bless your heart!”

Case in point: I was in a line with my mother (who is 30 years older than I am) and a man of indeterminate age (in other words- old) said, “You two look so much alike you must be sisters!” The best response I could come up with was “Well, bless your heart!” In other words, “Do you need glasses or do you want a sock in your mouth?”

I am inviting you to share your own version of a “Bless your heart” response.
I borrowed the examples below from the comments section of the Seven Chicks post on this subject last week.

“You think that just because I stay home with my kids that my husband must be rolling in the dough? Would you like to see our pay stubs?” Bless your heart!

“You think that just because I have a demanding career that I don't have my priorities right? Bless your heart!

This is for the ones at my office who are upset because you are asked to work all 8 hours at your job. Bless your hearts!

“I don't have children and you want to know why I have failed to produce at the ripe old age of 31." Well, it is really none of your business. Bless your heart!

"I don't know if I could adopt, because I’m not sure I could love it like my own."
Well let me assure you I love mine and he is my own and babies are not called IT. Bless your heart!!

“What do you think Jesus thinks of your tattoo?” WELL BLESS YOUR STINKIN HEART.

Okay, it’s your turn. Leave a bless your heart comment. You’ll feel better. ; )

And if you have a squall you want to link here for others to read, Mr Linky awaits. Please be sure to put the direct link of the post.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Miscellanea

1. I am thinking about the opportunity to attend something this week called “Books Alive”, sponsored by the county library and held at the community college. There are a dozen well-known authors offering workshops.

I have a dream to write a book … one day. The dream seems rather remote, I admit. However, it seems that hanging out with people who could be mentors and role models is a smart thing to do. Pondering this opportunity.

2. We actually attended a Super Bowl party last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Builderman is not normally much of party-goer.) When we were on the way, Builderman laughingly said “Shoot, I forgot my rifle.” He explained by saying that where the couple lives, we would probably see deer right behind their house at dusk. Sure enough, they were there at the edge of the woods with a big buck in the lead. I didn’t even have my camera.

3. Even more picture-worthy than the deer were the cakes our hostess made. They were worthy of Southern Living magazine. Low –cal too, I’m sure. Especially the chocolate almond Hershey bar cake.

4. I pulled out our tax stuff on Sat. Ugh. I used to procrastinate terribly and found out it only made the task worse. So I am starting this dreaded task. I wish I was more interested in investments and numbers. I can’t generate any enthusiasm in that department. My sister belonged to an investment club and my feeling is I’d rather stab myself with toothpicks than go to something like that. Now a book club… oh yeah.

5. Tomorrow is Squall Line time and it’s going to be a fun one! Imagine that. Thursdays are Personality IQ days for the next few weeks. I wish I could figure out how to put this personality test online. A worthy project. We’ll see.

My wish you for this week is that you find delight in the little things. And may audacious hope warm your heart and lift your mind.