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Hope Faith and Love

Faith Hope Love

I met one of the most beautiful ladies recently. She is lovely with a gentle nature.  When she talks, life radiates from her eyes. She’s a good conversationalist and well educated.  Her spirit is meek and kind.   She has had many experiences in her life & been blessed with opportunities to work in many fields (that I often found interest in my younger days).  Her eyes sparkle when she smiles and she has no idea she is special.  She loves the Lord and knows him well.

Who is this beaming woman of whom I write? She’s a new friend that lives close by.  I am blessed to have met her.  I don’t think it was a coincidence we met either. She makes me happy when we talk or get to spend time together and I think I needed this.  Although she smiles, there is pain there as well. Who doesn’t carry some of that with them, right? Somehow her inner sadness touches my heart and I pray for her gentle spirit to be healed.

When life seems bleak, how do we cope?  When the lights go out and we are alone, where does the mind go for comfort? Those who are gifted seek out positivity to remind themselves how beautiful life can be.   They hold tightly to Hope. Embracing it and seeking signs of it around each corner.  They know that their Faith leads them there – to Hope of all things.  It’s that same Faith that tells them they are worth loving.  Faith that they know our Savior loved us enough to die for us.  Love that they know they are deserving of.

But… what of those without this gift? The gift that helps them continually seek out encouragement? Where do they go in their mind when they are swimming in doubt?  I scares me to think about it.

Where do you go for your uplifting dose of inspiration? Is it a person, place, thing or a website?

Carefree as a Bird

I am not a bird watcher nor a bird enthusiast. My neighbor however is. She frequently feeds them and finds great joy in them. I personally couldn’t tell you a mockingbird from a warbler (I had to look up how to spell that). I just identify birds by their colors. I like to see them come and they are quite inspirational to watch. I’ve just never delved that far into it to figure out which birds I’m looking at.

One thing I have noticed is they don’t seem to have the worries that we do. Not that they don’t face adversity, but they don’t appear to sit around in their nests discussing how their kids lives may end up or if they will be able to make their nest payment. Maybe their chirping to each other is a discussion about how to keep  the sun up longer or about how they wish it would rain to bring out the worms…I just don’t know – but I doubt it.

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There is a momma bird that comes by daily to gather food for herself. I assume she is ensuring her own health and well-being so that she will be able to provide for her young. After she is satisfied, she then begins to hunt food for her babies.  She takes care of herself first(Is this selfish? I don’t think so. It’s wise and natural. I doubt her social media friends on Instabird will condemn her for it out of jealousy.)   She makes many trips back and forth from the ground to the safety of her nest.  (When she gets to the nest, she doesn’t have to post it on BirdBook or check-in to prove she made it.)  Most of the time she returns with nourishment for her babies, but not every time. Each time the little birdies see her they perk up and become vocal. She seems content with her home nest while she is providing.  She sings a beautifully happy and melodious song.  (She doesn’t take a selfie with her young eating to prove she provides.)

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I see the daddy bird wearing his Majestic colors, taking turns from nest to ground, alternating his trips with the mama bird.  (He too fed himself before he began to take care of the kiddos. He does not have to post it on SnapBird though because he is strong and confident. He doesn’t need to prove he helped build the nest.)  The babies are not vocal when he returns to the nest. Because I’m not an avid birdwatcher and have not studied them, I am not sure why this is. I assume it is out of respect. Sometimes he has food as well for the young but not near as often. I think he is there more for security.

Each morning during this daily ritual, there’s a large brown squirrel that appears. He’s huge, at least the size of a large Tom cat. He wants the same food that these birds need and for some reason he also wants to get to the nest. It is as if they play a game comparing cleverness and whit. He will race the birds from the ground to their nest back and forth. It’s hard to tell if he’s trying to take their babies or if he’s more interested in their food. This squirrel is their adversary and they work together to stop him.

Most mornings are the same song and dance routine. While the birds are alternating from the nest to the ground, they are also alternating which goes after the squirrel. Usually the male bird goes after the squirrel’s tail and he is the first line of defense. If the squirrel is extremely persistent, the momma bird will fly down and attack the squirrel’s head. Most mornings this show of force is enough to make the squirrel go elsewhere to rummage for food. But this morning, that squirrel was not going to budge.

With the daddy bird swooping down and grabbing at the back side of a squirrel, the squirrel fought back. I heard an unfamiliar sound as they encountered each other. The bird with its usual loud warning chirps warning Mr squirrel and the squirrel with a high pitched scream. Who knew squirrels could scream? Anyway it was obvious that the male bird was failing. The momma bird swooped in for the victory blow. Both birds attacked the squirrel at the same time. Then they flew up and back down, grabbing the squirrel and lifting him several inches off the ground. Finally the squirrel gave up and left. He screamed the whole time he was running away.  (Chances are really good the squirrel didn’t post his drama on BirdBook either.)  High-five birds!

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Observing Nature’s little Adventure this morning brought my mind to a very important realization that I often forget. The birds of the air don’t sit around and worry about their troubles. They know what they need to survive and they do it. They started off working together by working separately. In the end, they worked together by focusing on the same thing. They are able to overcome their adversity without sitting around discussing their worries, problems, and trials.  They worked together without hesitation because they know that it’s the only way to solve their problem in the end . Scriptures remind us of this:

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  MATTHEW 6: 26-27

Although this is probably one of the most common verses preached, taught, and shared… it is often the most forgotten. At least I know that I forget it.  It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. It is easy to only focus on getting by and forget to live. I believe everyone has their own interpretation of purpose and I am not here to say what one person’s purpose is over another. But, I will say that I don’t think anyone’s purpose is to sit around and worry about things. Will worry help you achieve your purpose? Will worry and the anxiety it brings change any circumstance? Will worry bring  you happiness or help you fulfill your goals?

If you have forgotten your purpose like I catch myself sometimes doing, maybe it’s worth thinking about a little deeper. Purpose doesn’t mean answering that age old question “why am I here?”.

Purpose is knowing what you want out of life and striving each day toward that goal.

With Love,

Chrissy 😊

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Hope is all I Need

Hope is every breath I breathe.  It cuddles me when I am faint.  It lifts me up when I am sad & it allows me to go on from day to day.

Hope is my life.  When I am filled with doubt, Hope reassures me.

It is the gentle break of day light coming through the bedroom window.  It’s the meow of my old Puddy cat or the dog licking my face with her stinky tongue.

Chrissy Adventures

ChrissyAdventures

Hope is the radiating love that shines forth from my husband and it is the stars in the sky at night.

I hope to see the sunrise. I Hope to feel the sunset.  Hope. Just Hope.

 

Graceland – 20 years later

Earlier this month my husband took me on an amazing honeymoon stay and we visited Graceland. 🙂 We had a wonderful time, but only because we made it wonderful!  The tour was not so good!

After purchasing our Platinum Tour tickets at a discounted price, we were instructed to stand at the door to board the next bus to the Mansion. The wait wasn’t long. Next we were ushered to a staging area for a Graceland souvenir picture and handed a set of headphones. After being seated on the bus, we were handed an iPad and instructed to log in. At first I thought, “wow, this is super cool!”.

When the bus started moving, the young lady at the front of the bus mechanically stood up and said:

“Place your headphones on your ears at this time. Press GO”. Then she sat back down. John Stamos began talking about the tour, the iPad, and such. While this was playing in my ears, I looked around at the other tourist. My husband’s iPad wasn’t English. It was Spanish. Several of the older tourist were having difficulty with the technology and had not even started the tour by the time we arrived at the mansion.

At the Mansion, a woman was talking at the door. I had no idea what she said. John Stamos was talking in my ear and evidently, while I was trying to read her lips …I missed several scenes on my iPad. My husband nudged me and motioned for me to remove the head set. Ah ha! That’s what the lady had yelled over & over. “Take the headset off!!!” There was an elderly couple of men in front of us that were hearing impaired. The hearing aid gave it away for me, but not for the lady yelling on the front steps of the mansion “TAKE YOUR HEADSET OFF!!!!!!!!”

It was all very unorganized, impersonal, and unprofessional.

On the inside of the mansion, there were cattle herders (employees) holding out their arms to prevent passage into different areas and pointing to where they wanted you to go. Everyone on the tour was  bumping into one another as they were attempting to walk while looking down at their iPad. That was it for me. After seeing the stunned look on all the faces in there, I realized this was not excitement I saw, but confusion. People tried to do as instructed with the headphones and iPad, but most were not coordinated enough to not bump into someone else while doing so. I saw so many stumble and almost fall into a “display”.

I mean come on…really? Experience a tour of the iconic Home of Elvis Presley’s Graceland with eyes wide shut? That’s exactly what they did.

My husband taking a picture of himself in the hallway of a million mirrors. (Notice the Borg like iPad junk hanging around his neck?)

My husband taking a picture of himself in the hallway of a million mirrors. (Notice the Borg like iPad junk hanging around his neck?)

I didn’t want to be assimilated by this Borg, so I removed my headphones and hung the iPad from my neck to ignore it. I tried to hand it back to an employee, but they wouldn’t take it. Anyway, that is when the tour opened up and the excitement creeped in! My husband followed my lead after the next room and we thoroughly enjoyed the photo-ops! We took shameless selfies and had fun with the staff. Did you know the employees are actually people, like real humans? Yeah, surprised me too! The entire experience of a personal tour guide was removed from the Graceland tour back in August 2014 when the iPad tour was introduced. I assume this is a way to cut payroll substantially as there is obviously very little training required to work at the mansion now.

Anyway, when we took over our own personal experience of the tour, we had a blast. Several other patrons did the same after they saw my husband and I having so much fun 🙂 By the end of the tour, only 4 people still had the headphones on – their loss.

Resist the Graceland Borg!! Headphones off and iJunk ignored!

Resist the Graceland Borg!! Headphones off and iJunk ignored!

Selfie with the Lisa Marie!

Selfie with the Lisa Marie!

My husband shooting a picture of the shooting area.

My husband shooting a picture of the shooting area. Notice the absence of headphones?

We of course, just had to do the archive tour. There was a short movie around Christmas time to see there and a Big Bird that Lisa Marie held onto that Elvis gave her. That’s it really. The Archive experience lasted 10 minutes from the time we unloaded the shuttle bus until we loaded back onto the shuttle bus.

When we were back in the parking lot of the admissions area, we were handed a photo as soon as we got off the bus. We were told these were $30.00 if we wanted to buy them. My husband bought them. We went through a gift shop to enter the Airplane area. We walked through the Lisa Marie and that was it.

Inside the Lisa Marie Airplane

Inside the Lisa Marie Airplane

There were 3 other planes/jets in that area, but they were “Closed”.

We went through another gift shop to enter the Car Museum. I loved the cars and props that were there. Fun-fun.

"Walking in Memphis" okay, not really...that's way too dangerous!

“Walking in Memphis” okay, not really…that’s way too dangerous!

We had so much fun at Graceland!

We had so much fun at Graceland!

All in all, we had a spectacular time and gained some memories of a lifetime. My last trip to Graceland was 20 years in 1995 and oh goodness… technology has not made a positive impact on this place. Although…one thing that is totally different now is that the guards could care less if you touch the cars in the museum now. Shoot, there were even kids crawling around inside them while we were there! So, this might be nice for someone wanting a photo-op inside one of Elvis’ cars…  I didn’t this time 😉

I would still recommend a visit though 🙂  Go, make your own fun and enjoy!

Love y’all,

Chrissy

Old Man Puddy

In several articles, I have mentioned my feisty long time companion Puddy. Mr Puddy is a special breed of kitty. He’s the kind of cat that thinks he is human…seriously! He also thinks that we are the dumbest owners on the planet. He shows his frustration more and more as he ages. In this past year, he has begun to lose patience with his stupid owners (or servants in his mind).

Since January, his aggression has grown and he shows his frustration with us in new ways leading up to present day. I’ll try to sum it very briefly. After the new year began Addy, our dog, was missing for a few days. We received a call from a neighbor that she had been hit by a car. We kept her inside the house while nursing her back to health and continued therapy. Puddy was not happy. He would pace through the house and hiss. He would sneak into the sick room and stare at the dog and growl. He decided he would begin marking his area inside the house (something he had never done before). So basically, he started peeing on anything that was laying in the floor.

I know that there are “cat people” and “dog people”, but I have always been both. Mr Puddy has been with us for over 8 years now & he was an adult when we got him. He was a rescue in 2007 from a veterinary office, where he had lived in a 2×2 crate since he was a kitten. He was neutered and had never “marked” anything before.

Back to the story, he marked Addy. The poor little doggy who could no longer walk was peed on by the cat! It was sad, Puddy was scolded. As the dog healed and went to live back outdoors in March, one of my grandbabies came to spend the weekend with us. The cat was angry and promptly went into the laundry room and marked all the clean clothes in a basket. He was scolded and not happy. On the 3rd day, his behavior was better because my grandbaby went home. He strange behavior continued throughout the year. If his water bowl or food dish was getting low, he would leap out from behind a piece of furniture and attack anyone walking by – then go mark something.

He had a love/hate relationship with my middle son. He would pee on my son’s belongings if he left them in the floor (which he did regularly) and then purr loudly and then compete for his attention when he’d get home from football practice each day. My son would yell at him, scoot him out of his room, and then I’d catch them sleeping together or loving on each other.

Anyway, the strange marking activities continued. He used every opportunity to mark something. He was slowly becoming a markaholic. He was happy, he’d pee on something. He was mad, he’d pee on something. Someone has a birthday, he’d pee on something. Someone knocked on the door, yay – he’d go mark something!! It was a holiday, he’d pee on something. Each time was the same…there was an event to celebrate or be upset about, he’d sneak off & mark something. Then filled with regret, he would come to one of us with a sweet meow, begin meowing, purring, and loving on us. I began to wonder if he was suffering a bi-polar condition.

He was always a very clean kitty, never messy. A couple of months after the strange markings began, he started kicking all of his litter out of the box and carelessly slinging his food all over the floor. All cleanliness had left him and it seemed as though he became a different cat. It was sad, frustrating, and we were all perplexed. His attacks were becoming more vicious and he was dangerous to live with. After eating one tiny piece of cat food, he would demand more be poured in his bowl or risk meeting his sharp blades (claws). His weight increased to 14lbs. He had always carried extra weight, but he was eating non-stop! His addiction was controlling him. I searched online for a resolution and found many possible reasons for his behavior, but none of those fit. It got worse. He stopped obsessively cleaning his fur and began to stink. I called the vet and was told it was a phase that would pass. “But,” I exclaimed, “this he’s addicted and we don’t know how to help him!” This occurred for months and then the worst thing happened.

We woke up one morning and he was laying in the floor covered in slobber. I freaked out! He was sick…very sick. An intervention was imminent and no longer could anyone tell me this phase would pass! We rushed him to the vet and there he stayed for a week while they performed multiple procedures on him to save his life. The vet advised me he was near death.  He had an IV, a urinary catheter, antibiotics, and I’m not sure what else. His diagnosis: stones. He had urinary blockages that he couldn’t pass and his bladder had filled up inside his body to the point of bursting. They put him on a special food and I warned them that he wouldn’t eat anything different. After a self-imposed starvation strike of 5 days, he finally began to eat the prescription food. During a lengthy recovery, he was the sweetest kitty 🙂 $880.00 later, we thought we had a new cat – but with no warranty expressed or implied!

Once completely healed, he resumed his natural personality traits and begun the hateful-old-man-Puddy traits. The Vet reminded me that he is 10yrs old & much like someone with dementia, I needed to have patience with him. After several months had passed, his marking was much better. He now only sneaks to his addictive behavior rarely and has almost completed his recovery program.

I never in my life would have thought that I would help a family pet through addiction recovery, but now I can say I’ve seen it all…nah!

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