Today is my oldest daughters birthday. Today she is nineteen years old. It’s hard to believe how fast time goes by. It seems like you blink a few times and they are grown.
We have so many wonderful memories of childhood, even though there were various hardships and struggles along the way. Just watching your children grow is a privilege and honor.
Sisters fight, boss, share, play and love each other. I love my girls, they make my life so much more complete.
Now my oldest daughter is nineteen with so much of life in front of her. Now her path is her choice and her dreams are something she can pursue on her own. I am so thankful to be a part of it. I love watching her change into an adult a little more each day. Just as I’ve watched her little sister change into a highschool Freshman over the summer.
If you have children or there are children in your life then you too are part of their lives and you too will influence them, their purpose, and their dreams. We are all here to help each other. We all have a purpose and when you invest in the youth, you are investing in the future.
There’s no better example of unconditional love that a dog. Whether you’ve been gone for 5 hours or 5 minutes they are still happy and excited to see you.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes just like people. There’s a little puppy for everyone who wants to add a member to their family.
Passing judgment, we all have been guilty of this at some point in our lives. I think one time I know I was most guilty had to do with a book signing that happened with Robert Schuller back when I worked at B. Dalton Bookseller.
Mr. Schuller came in with an entourage of people who were, quite frankly, in the way and somewhat intimidating by nature. They were dressed all in black and there was one on each side of the store. We were told they were body guards. We weren’t given a real reason why they were necessary, but then I guess that was a need to know thing.
We set Mr. Schuller’s books up in a big display in the center of the store and I was responsible for keeping people in line, orderly and making sure the displays continued to look sharp and full. Mr. Schuller looked a bit tired, so I asked him if he would like a drink of water. To my surprise he glared at me and told me he was fine, then turned and took a water bottle from one of his people. I ignored this and set up more books for his display.
Time passed and there wasn’t a great rush of people, but instead a small trickle of patrons that came in to request autographs and go on their way. I’m not sure if this irritated him more, or if he was just in an all-around bad mood, but Mr. Schuller was not pleasant to be around that day. Oh he would smile and act all pleasant around someone buying his book, but the minute they would walk away the bad attitude would return.
When there was no crowd around Mr. Schuller would bark orders at people, including me, and though we wore name tags he kept referring to me as “hey.” After about the fifteen “hey” I was getting kind of irritated myself and started watching the clock to see when he’d leave.
It was when I glanced at my watch the last time that he spoke up and said, “well, I guess you’re glad I’m out of here, aren’t you glad? Not a very nice thing to do to stand and check your watch so much.”
I said softly and up close to him, “My mom reads your books, but after meeting you in person I wonder why. You have been the most arrogant and rude author I have ever worked with, and you can report me, but I still feel like someone should tell you that what you do away from the crowd matters too.” He stood there for a moment, looked at me, then gathered his stuff and left without another word.
I fully expected to be reported and possibly fired for being so bold, but I never heard anything from anyone about it. I went home and debated on whether to grab all of his books and throw them in the trash. I didn’t.
Robert Schuller has a good message and has touched the lives of many people with his books. The man is, however, human and as a human being he too is entitled to having a bad day. Being a public figure can bring a type of stress I have not personally experienced and cannot identify with. Did I have any right to pass judgment on him? I didn’t approve of the way he treated me or the other employees that day, and I can’t say I have gone out of my way to read his books since then, but the truth is I knew nothing about what kind of day he had been having, nor why he needed extra security, or why he looked tired. So, though he wasn’t exhibiting the kindness or good attitude I thought he should have, I had no right to pass judgment.
They say that first impressions are everything and while there is some truth to that, I think that if you really want to know someone, then take the time to see behind whatever that first impression is be it good or bad. Just as it’s true that not everything that glitters is gold, it is also true not everything that is unpolished and worn should be overlooked or thrown out.
Cherry Coley ©
I was reading some articles this morning saying that erotica is now the most popular type of ebook selling. It made me pause to think about that. Really? Erotica? It must be the fascination with the “50 Shades of Grey” books.
What does this mean to us as a society? Does it mean great masses of people all want to escape into a wild, uninhibited sexual fantasy? Perhaps this is the case. It is interesting that action, mystery, horror, regular romance, Christian romance and science fiction are all taking a back seat. I had to ponder why, but there are a few things that came to mind – just my personal opinion.
First, even those people who don’t like to read much, or don’t have the ability to visualize much while reading might like erotica because well, it is very visual and mixes in all types of drama and emotion as well. Erotica doesn’t generally take a lot of concentration to read like action, mysteries, science fiction, some romances, or horror novels. Though I love each one of these genres, I confess my current bliss is running along the biography, autobiography, self-help and business book line at the moment.
So what is the draw to erotica? As I see it we live in a world that is highly social on-line. We socialize and meet people, touch-base and talk to them in person, on the phone and on-line, but the true physical interaction of going out to meet people is not even close to what it once was. Even though in many ways we are more social and more connected as a society, we are often connected at the office or in our own homes, which can lead to a lot of highly connected, but sometimes lonely people.
Not only are we lonely, but in our highly stressed day and age, sometimes we just want a good escape from reality and though all the different genres do offer escape, perhaps erotica adds in that element of mixing wild passion, high stakes and risk without the real life worry about all the diseases and problems out there. In a book you can create the environment the characters live in and erase the nightmares of reality or blow them up to epic proportions and make one of the characters a hero to save the day.
One of the great things about ereaders like Kindle, Nook, ipad, and all the other devices that you can read on, is that it’s all private. You can take whatever book you are reading to any location and read to be entertained or expand your knowledge without anyone else knowing what you are reading. This leads me to think that while a lot of people might not seek out or venture to purchase an erotica book off the shelf of the local bookstore, they can download to their hearts content and no one is really the wiser.
I’m not knocking erotica by any means. I think we have an amazing assortment of choices to choose from at any given time and with the ebooks ready, available and easy to download it has made my library expand to 3 times the size it once was, but it isn’t taking up my shelf or floor space any longer and it’s all portable.
All that being said, I have come to really love and sink into the ebook for so many reasons, the least of which is that I am getting to read and enjoy the works of new authors that might never have been published had they been made to submit and struggle through the hoops of publication from a publisher, and seasoned authors who are finding it enjoyable to release ebook singles and series. Granted there have been some books that are not that informative or up to standard, but for the most part the books I have read have had useful and up to date information.
I am thankful for this technological age and encourage people to expand their horizons, read some things they’ve never read before, touch base with some new authors, make new friends and take advantage of the information age, but don’t forget to go out in the sunshine, spend time meeting friends and get out of the house and office now and then too, heck you can take your ereader with you. ha.
Cherry Coley ©
Isn’t it a shame that in this day and age it’s sometimes a challenge to eat healthier? I can’t help but wonder how successful a restaurant that offered good, fast, healthy food would do – even in this economy. Honestly, I would go visit them. It’s hard sometimes to find anything remotely healthy on any of the menus of the popular restaurants. It seems everything is super-sized, and loaded in calories. Even some of the salad choices aren’t really healthy when you start looking at them.
I find myself wanting to eat healthier and after looking up some of our favorite recipes realize I need to revamp and toss out a lot of them, not just for everyday meals, but for holidays too. Sure, I love the turkey and dressing, the sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, pecan pie and so many more dishes that are popular that time of year, but are they really good for us? No, not really and make matters worse we pile it all on the plate generously, and then go back for more later in the day, especially at Thanksgiving. It’s the American way, right?
Well, this year I want to have good dishes – as close to traditional as possible, but more healthy. I am not sure where to begin, but I have been scouring some of the various cookbooks and also utilizing some stellar websites like www.Allrecipes.com which is a great resource containing recipes from many popular magazines, for just about any occasion you can come up with. Many of the recipes are also posted with nutritional facts and helpful hints for adding flavor, cutting calories or making them healthier. The other website I frequent is www.EatRightAmerica.com which also emails recipes and helpful hints. They also offer lots of information on High Cholesterol, Hypertension, Migraines, Heart Disease and Allergies.
I love that so many blogs are dedicated to cooking and trying new recipes. There’s so much information available now that it can be overwhelming at times. Still, that is why it really bothers me that there are not more healthy alternative restaurants out there, there really should be.
Cherry Coley ©
I am sad to say that there have been moments in my life when I haven’t listened as well as I should have. I have on occasion found myself hurrying someone along so that they would get to the point and I could go on my way many times in the past, especially with the storytelling personality of some people.
My dad could tell wonderful stories. When I was a child I used to love to sit and listen to him for hours. My youngest daughter has inherited this gift as well. Oh, I know you’re thinking I am a story-teller as well. You are right; I used to sit in groups of kids at different schools telling all sorts of stories each day. Somehow my storytelling has found its way to the written form more these days.
My youngest daughter has an imagination beyond compare, the tales she can weave span entire generations and involve so many characters that about half way through you’re wondering how you got from point “A” to point “P”. She is truly amazing! Sometimes, when life is hectic, we tend to try to hurry her along so she will find the point, make it, and we can change the subject. She is hard to get to hurry or change “channels” and often will stick to the rambling until she’s done, you’re frustrated, she’s mad, and the point got thrown out the window.
Yet, that is not active listening. Active listening would involve listening to the story, asking questions if needed, but not to interrupt, putting your own feelings and emotions aside, and allowing yourself to be in the moment and enjoying the conversation. That also includes turning off the radio, putting down the cell phones and focusing on the person speaking. The effect is amazing. The attitude of the speaker improves because they are being heard. The person listening is learning about the speaker by listening, eye contact and watching expressions, both people gain by the encounter and the relationship is strengthened.
Listening and communication have always been the most important things in relationships, but especially now in this high pressured, busy, sometimes almost frantic pace we all keep to make sure everything is done each day, it seems more important than ever to find that person that is a true friend, an oasis in the midst of chaos, that we can turn too and have them just….listen.
Cherry Coley ©
I prefer another definition that says that scatter brained people are usually highly imaginative people who take in so many details at a time that if the details are deemed unimportant they get put to the side. Well, it sounds better than flighty and simpleton, as I am neither of those things. Yet, I have found that I DO forget things and now I am noticing that I forget them. How weird is that?
For instance, I drive the same way to work each day and both on the way to work and on the way home I go through a tunnel for a bit. Oddly enough, I remember this and notice it every day on the way home, but in the mornings, most of the time, I will get to work and not remember ever going through the tunnel, yet I had to have gone through it to get there.
That’s not the only thing either. Here’s a stupid example, the lawnmower I bought, I took back to Home Depot because I thought the pull chord had broken / pulled out too far and wouldn’t go back in so it wouldn’t start. It wasn’t broken, it was fine – it had come unhooked from the bar so it just looked different. Thing is, I didn’t remember it being hooked up there to begin with, how scatter brained is that?
There are other things too, that I will suddenly notice are different and my kids will say – “mom, it used to be this way all the time.”
“Well, heck, where was I?” I reply.
“Um…..you put it there,” they say. Yes, that makes me feel so smart I want to go play ostrich for a while.
I went on www.luminosity.com and joined up so I could practice brain training games. Their games are supposed to build focus, hand eye coordination and help with memory. I pass with flying colors every single time and usually with a high score, so obviously it’s something else, which brings me back to the definition that highly imaginative people basically filter out details that seem unimportant.
I have noticed that when I repeatedly do something and it’s the same each time – like going through the tunnel each morning – if my mind is thinking of other things such as getting to work on time, an upcoming meeting, or things I need to do that day, then it just basically dumps the unimportant detail that I went through the tunnel – again.
The lawnmower chord didn’t matter, until it wasn’t where it was supposed to be and doing what it was supposed to be doing, stupid chord. Just like the door knob spinning a bit didn’t matter until the door knob fell off, the nerve of inanimate objects!
At least I know I do focus when it counts the most, I might be a little scatter brained at times, but it’s not because I’m really disorganized or simple-minded, it’s just another symptom of juggling too many things in this busy world we live in.
I have, in recent days, made more time for self-reflection and meditation. There’s something about the peaceful calm combined with focused intention that puts things back in proper perspective, and helps me remember the details each day.
Cherry Coley (c)
Every now and then I feel a little “dark.” I can’t claim it’s something caused by grief as it’s something that I have felt now and then all of my life. In these moods I tend to turn up Evanescense and light candles. She just seems to speak to my soul in those moments.
When I was very young and my mom worked at the church daycare, during nap time I would sneak into the dark sanctuary inside the church. I both loved and feared the dark church. The church was alive, you could feel the spirit in the building. Oh, I know there are people who will think I’m full of it, but go into an active church sometime, alone, in the dark, sit down and listen, stay awhile and then tell me you don’t feel anything.
The feeling in the sanctuary wasn’t always the same. Sometimes it was a very comforting feeling, sometimes it was a vibrant and joyous feeling, sometimes it was an almost forbidding feeling that scared me. At times you could hear echoes of conversations or music playing.
I’ve always loved old buildings, cathedrals, castles, court houses, and old houses. There is just something about them that speaks of history and echoes of the past. I love running my hands along the old stones or wood, wondering about the hands that worked on creating the building. Who were the people? Were they forced to work on the building, or did they lovingly put together each brick? You can tell the care that went in to some buildings, especially the cathedrals with their intricately carved beams.
It looks like it’s time for a trip to Old City Park or maybe some old churches. Time to touch history.
Cherry Coley (c)
I can’t count the times when I’ve wished later that I said something other than what actually came out. Words taken then wrong way can be damaging and hurtful. Words not spoken at all can lead to hurt as well because sometimes we give the impression we don’t care, or are preoccupied.
I love words, but sometimes they have been my enemy. I have struggled and fought with them to make them share my thoughts in a way that might make sense to someone else. I don’t always succeed. Sometimes clear communication can be elusive.
It’s times like those, when words just aren’t enough, that I am thankful to be able to reach out, hold, hug, touch someone’s hand, or just share a smile. At times when words won’t come, tears or a look can say far more than anything I could manage to say out loud.
Communication is far more than just words, with some people it comes easy, while others are a bit more of a challenge because we are all different. Yet communication is a gift that can bring together people of all ages, all nationalities, and from every circumstance given the chance.
Cherry Coley (c)