Saturday, December 4, 2010

Deed #10, #11...New Challenge

As is my usual fashion, I blog for a while and then get distracted by life. As you may know, I have been working on a challenge to myself to do 111 kind deeds in the last 111 days of 2010. Did I do it? Well...yes and no.

There was a Friday when I was at a Christmas Bazaar at a retirement community. I brought my boxes inside and then went back out to help other people bring their products and displays into the building. Then my display got set up after I finished helping.

We had a Christmas Gift Exchange at LOTH, and one of the ladies had to bow out due to a family tragedy. That left someone else without a Secret Sister. Even though I was not participating in the exchange, I stepped in and played the part of that person's Secret Sister.

I could go on and on, and I very well may have reached my goal. However, my challenge to myself was to do kind deeds that were purposeful for this challenge, and that proved to be difficult since it
is my nature to do for others, anyway. Thus, I may also have failed at reaching my goal.

You know what they say, though: If at first you do not succeed, then try, try again.

Update to challenge! Since I have documented eleven deeds, that leaves 100 to go. My new challenge to myself will be to do 100 focused, kind deeds in the first 100 days of 2011. That makes my new deadline April 10th.

Bear in mind that the intention for this challenge is not to come on here and brag about kind deeds that have been done. The intention is to challenge myself to be more focused on other people and doing what I can to bring a smile to their faces or to help them with something or to make their lives just a little bit easier.

PS I am also going to try to get up to 100 Followers of my blog because the more people who I have holding me accountable (and encouraging me), the better I believe that my odds will be of reaching my goal!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deed #9

There are a number of families who have made known their desire to be bombarded with Christmas cards this year. Though I do not know these families personally, what easier way could there be to add some Holiday cheer to the season for some folks?

Now the mystery of why I bought stamps at the post office last week even though we did not need them has been solved!

Deed #8

Are you one of those people who will avoid public restrooms at all costs if it is realistically possible?

I am.

I am horrified by the disgustingness of filth and germs. UGH! If I absolutely have to use a public restroom...there is no resting involved. It is stressful. I try not to touch anything. When finished, I scrub my hands like I am getting ready to perform surgery.

You might be "one of those" people, or you might not. If you are, you know that it is difficult to touch the handle to make the paper towels come out...because other people have touched it, and there might be germs. The horror!

Being on vacation this past weekend, I found myself faced with not being able to avoid using public restrooms. Since I had to suffer, anyway, I decided to try to ease the suffering of the next mysophobe who might be forced to use the public restroom after I left.

I made an effort to lower the paper towels out of the dispenser so that the next person did not have to touch the potentially dirty, germy, yucky dispenser knobs or (handles).

You may have to be "one of those people" to appreciate this. I am sure that someone did!

Deeds #6 & #7

I am so far behind that I am going to have to be doing kind deeds left and right this month to accomplish my challenge to myself. No worries, though. I can do it!

We went to the mall at NC last week, and there was a woman walking up ahead of us who had a garment bag with a big lump at the bottom. That did not seem right, so I trotted up to where she was and pointed it out to her. This deed may seem small, but even the small deeds matter to the people that they affect. The woman had apparently just bought a new sweater that did not stay on the hanger, and she was grateful that I let her know so that she could open the bag and hang the new garment properly.

Last Sunday, our pastor challenged us to actually see people. When we were at a mall at SC, I made a point to look at people and notice them. When eye contact was made, I smiled at them. I was not obnoxious or silly. I just gave a friendly smile to acknowledge them and hopefully give them a smile (since smiling is so often contagious). My observation was interesting: I think that every single person seemed to nervously turn their gaze away when they realized that I realized that we had made eye contact. I wonder why people are so nervous around...people.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Deed #5

The guys and I went to a department store on Saturday to look for some slacks for Hubby. While he went to try on the pants, Boy and I walked over the the children's section of the store to look at toys and clothes. Boy played with a few things, and then I decided that it was time to head back to find Hubby.

As Boy and I walked past a rack of clothes, I noticed that something had fallen on the floor. Instinctively, I leaned over and picked it up. Then it occurred to me that this could be a kind deed! As we walked back toward where Hubby was, I kept my eyes scanning the floor, picked up items that had fallen, and hung them back on their respective racks.

No one may have even noticed that it was done, but I felt good knowing that some employee later that day (or night) would have a little bit less work to do.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Deed #4?

Dawn and I were working a booth for Discovery Toys at a Holiday Bazaar this weekend at the Cannon School this weekend. Yesterday when I pulled into a parking space, I could see a woman, another vendor, struggling to gather all of her supplies together to carry inside in one trip. She may have needed to make two trips. It sort of looked like a comedy skit while she would add one thing to her cart and something else would fall off and then she would pick that up and another thing would fall off.

Thinking about it now, it is one of those things was probably frustrating in the moment but about which she might laugh later.

After parking my car and turning it off, I got out, walked straight toward her, and offered help. She gratefully accepted. Once we got through the doorway of the building, she said, "I can take it from here," and promptly dropped her things again. Well-choreographed comedy. I helped her get her supplies to her booth.

The reason that I put a question mark next to the title of this post is that I would have helped this woman anyway, so I am not sure if it counts for my 111 Deeds challenge to myself. I am a bit behind on my deeds, though, so I am counting it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Deed #3

On Thursday, Boy and I went to meet some friends at Chick-fil-A for a play date. I had done temporary airbrush tattoos for a Kids Night there recently and had traded for some free food coupons.

When we were getting ready to leave, a family arrived with a little girl. I asked the (I assume) dad if they would be purchasing a Kid's Meal. He told me, "No."

Then a lady who works there asked if I needed anything. I thanked her and told her that we did not and that I had asked the guy because I had a meal coupon that I would have given him. Then the guy said something like, "Oh, if it is free...." LOL.

At that point, it did not seem like the guy appreciated it, but I gave him the free Kid's Meal card, anyway, in the hopes that it would be a happy surprise/treat for the little girl.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Deed #2

This past weekend was the Southern Women's Show at Charlotte. Lila (my upline) and I worked the show and met so many people. On Friday, as we were walking across the parking lot to enter the building, I saw three women sitting in a car. they were obviously not exhibitors, or they would not have been sitting outside waiting. Since I had some extra tickets, I walked over to the car and told
the ladies that I was going to give them a gift. It turned out that two of them already had tickets, yet they were very grateful that I gave them an additional ticket so that they could all go to the show for free.

We also met a couple on Saturday who were considering returning on Sunday. I gave them each a free ticket to return. Then the gal's mother did not want to be left out, so I gave her one, too. Hehe.

On Sunday, two gals to whom I had given tickets last weekend visited our booth at the SWS and told me how excited they are about their Discovery Toys party next week. That was a happy thing for me to hear!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Deed #1

Boy and I went outside and headed down the hill with the intention of checking the mailbox to see if there was any mail. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill, we wound up continuing across the street to the end of the neighbors' driveway where the empty garbage pail was sitting. Boy and I walked the garbage pail down their loong driveway, put it next to the house, and then walked back up the loong hill. On the way back up the driveway, we noticed that the other neighbors' garbage can was sitting at the road. We headed over there and dragged their garbage can down their even longer driveway, we parked it near the garage, and we headed back up the hill toward our mailbox and then home.

While this may not seem like a great task, these are long driveways that go downhill. Hopefully we relieved someone from doing a task that they might not enjoy doing, which gave them something about which to be happy this evening.

Friday, September 10, 2010

111 Deeds in 111 Days

September 11th marks an indescribably horrible tragedy for our country and for so many people personally. Evil attacked. Lives were impacted. Bad happened for so many.


My post today is not about the September 11th, 2001, attacks. My post is about doing good for others. I mentioned 9/11 for two reasons. One is to recognize the anniversary of this tragic event and to express compassion for those involved. The other reason is to recognize that there is bad in this world. We know that there is. However, we can add more good.

No, the majority of us probably will not have the opportunity to impact thousands of lives in one act. That does not mean that we cannot impact one life.

I am reminded of a story. Do you know the one about the starfish? I am posting a video here to share it with you. (This particular video is a recognition for teachers, but I liked it the best of all of those that I viewed on YouTube.)



While each one of us may not be able to make an impact on the masses, think of how one small act could impact even one person. Quite possibly, that person might, in turn, do something good for someone else.

"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." -Hebrews 13:16 NIV

Here is my challenge to myself. On September 11th, there will be 111 days left in 2010. My goal is to do 111 good deed in 111 days. Will I reach this goal by the end of the year? I certainly hope to.

I know, I know, we do kind things for one another every day, sometimes without even thinking about it. At other times, though, I suspect that we can so caught up in our own lives and experiences that we do not think of others as much as we should. For this challenge to myself, these will be purposeful and conscious tasks with the intention of making something a bit easier for someone or making someone feel a bit better about themselves or even just adding a smile to someone's face that was not there before.

So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. -Galatians 6:9 TM

If you would like to join me on this journey of 111, I hope that you will share what you do with me. Maybe I will get some new ideas for your good works. Until tomorrow....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ice Cream Hangover

Before you do something that you want to do, it is wise to get all of the facts. That seems like a logical statement, right? However, how often do you do something because it is what you want? How often are you just making a selfish decision when it might not be what is the best decision or even the right decision?

When I was young, I used to enjoy doing things with the Boy Scouts. Yes, I am a girl. However, my dad was a troop leader for many years, and there were often activities happening. One weekend, when [I think] I was thirteen years old, I was going to be getting up early Saturday morning to go to a Boy Scout camp with Dad. I was looking forward to it.

Friday night, I decided that I wanted mint chocolate chip ice cream Mmmm...that was my
favorite flavor. Mommie made the best homemade ice cream, and I decided that it would be genius to make my own mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I went to the freezer and got a container of Mommie's homemade vanilla ice cream. I want to the refrigerator and found a bottle of some minty-smelling liquid in the back. I went to the cabinet and got a bag of chocolate chips. I went to the drawer and got a spoon. I was set. I mixed the ingredients really well and enjoyed the mint chocolate chip ice cream that I wanted. Mmmm.

The next morning at somewhere around 7:00 or 7:30, it was time to get up to leave for the Boy Scout camp. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I had such a headache and felt sick to my stomach. How much of that ice cream did I eat? Did I eat too much?


As it turned out, I had a hangover. I did not realize that until years later. After all, how would I know? I did not even know what a hangover was. I also, apparently, did not know what Creme de Menthe was.

That is right. I wanted something, so I went about making it happen for myself without asking for help or finding out all of the pertinent facts. Then I suffered for it. (Some of you may have heard me say that I have never been drunk yet once had a hangover. Now you understand.)

How often do you find yourself acting on your own wants and desires and doing whatever you need to do to make what you want to happen happen only to find out that it was probably not the best thing for you at the time, after all? Worse yet, do you get the facts and choose to ignore them because they do not suit what you want?

He who separates himself seeks his own desire,
He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

-Proverbs 18:1

My challenge for you is that the next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to make a decision, if you have even the slightest question about whether or not you might be making the right decision, then seek the facts necessary and consider them objectively. You may wind up saving yourself (and possibly others) some hurt or frustration when you make the right decision because you had the right information.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Like at First Sight

While we were away, we got to do so much, including watch our Boy continue to be such an amazing child.

Boy is not even two and an half yet, and he had three teenagers doting on him at the pool...the first time that he went there! He called them his ladies. By the end of the second day, the girls and a couple of their guy friends were "hanging out" with Boy. They could not seem to get over how adorable he is, and he certainly enjoyed being a part of their group. They played, they laughed, they booped each other's noses, they "walked" the pool wall, the talked. The last time that he saw them, he obligingly gave each one of his new girl friends a hug good-bye when they asked and then told each of them, "Bye-bye, (name of girl)."


How amazing is it that the children can like someone right away and just enjoy the time with them? How willing are we, as adults, to instantly like someone and welcome them to our lives.

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Jesus has a special place in His heart for the little children. Could it be because the youngest of us are the least jaded and the least cruel and the least hateful of all of the people? Could it be because the children are the closest to what Jesus would have each of us be with their open hearts and welcoming kindness toward others.

Matthew 18:4 tell us, "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Who among us could take a lesson from the children rather than trying to teach them one?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thankful on Thursday - Summer

Yes, I have been quiet for a couple of weeks. My little blog was getting a rest. We had some time away, some time visiting with friends, some time getting to know more about people, some time getting to know the Lord more. All in all, it was a good time.

One of the things that we did during my time away from Words from DUG was to head down to our place at Hilton Head Island for a vacation. What a beautiful place that island it. The quiet sounds of the forest mixed with the soothing sounds of the beach make for such a relaxing atmosphere.

While I am thankful this summer for our first "real" family vacation since...umm...I do not even remember for sure, I am also thankful for so many things that summer offers.

Summer brings around our wedding anniversary, and my marriage is one things for which I am so thankful. God put together a great team when he matched up my husband and me.

Swimming pools with water that is just the right temperature are another thing for which I am grateful. I love the feeling of clean water rolling across my body as I swim and play.

I have a heartwarming thankfulness for the happy image of my husband and our son playing outside and doing "boy things" and being able to bond as father and son in the midst of the beauty and boldness of summer's vegetation.

I am thankful for sun dresses to wear and sea gulls for Boy to feed and pelicans to admire and dolphins to make us smile and back porches to sit outside and eat and countless other summer time things.

Admittedly, though, I am not grateful for the weeds that seem to have taken over our gardens and mulched area. Two weeks away and a bunch of rain will do that for a yard.

What makes summer special for you? What are some things about summer that make you feel grateful?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Did you miss my blog?

Did you miss my blog? It will be back tomorrow, so get ready to smile, laugh, be touched, get ticked at me, be inspired, or whatever it is that my blog does for you each day.

Sunshine and smiles,
Dug 8^)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dickie & Dug -- July 19th (Pt. 3)

Once they finally found the Chapel in the Village, the guy and gal liked it. Plus, they allowed you to dress in period costume for your ceremony. How fun!

Figuring that people would need to plan months in advance, the couple asked the woman when was their next opening. She looked through her calendar and said, "Eleven o'clock."


Huh?!

"What time is it now?" the couple asked. Looking at her watch, the woman responded, "About ten to eleven."

The guy and the gal looked at one another. "Do you want to?"

"I do not know. Do you want to?"

"Sure!"

"Okay!"

They chose their old-timey outfits and settled on a Cowboy (complete with a hat, trench coat and gun holster) and a Southern Belle (if you know the gal, you know that there was a hat).

They made their way up the stairs to the chapel.
Did I mention that the guy was on crutches and wearing a cast-boot through all of this? That is love and dedication.

The ceremony.



Completely in love and happily married, the couple was on track for a life together full of adventure and many stories to come.

Happy Anniversary, Husband!


******* If you want more details about that time, then you are welcome to attend a speaking engagement to hear my husband and me share our testimony.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dickie & Dug -- July 19th (Pt. 2)

Once they got together, it was as if the guy and the gal had always been together. Their whirlwind relationship progressed quickly.

On February 22nd, about six months after that first dinner which no one else attended, they had an engagement party in the form of a mock wedding. Dress, flowers, guests, "minister" and all. What a romantic event that was.

Truth be told, they would have gotten married for real by that time, but the gal still had a house in New York that she wanted to sell. The gal did not want to get married until she had her financial obligations taken care of...and, frankly, the guy was okay with that.

The gal's house was sold on July 5th. Yay!

Unrelated, the guy and the gal decided to go to Smokey Mountains of Tennessee for the weekend of July 18th. While they were there, they talked about it and thought that the mountains might be a romantic place for a wedding and were not too too far away for guests who might want to attend. Saturday morning they went looking at chapels in the area to get some ideas.

The guy and the gal could not find one chapel, so they phoned and left a message on an answering machine. They went to another chapel, which looked just like a little church building. Technically, I suppose it was. Was it closed? If I remember correctly, they looked at it through the windows. There were several wedding chapels in the area where the guy and the gal were looking.

After wandering for a bit, the couple thought that they found the chapel that they could not find earlier. The cellular telephone rang. The gal answered it. The woman on the other end said that she was returning their call from the Chapel in the Village. The gal opened the door and said, "I think I am looking at you."

Then...well, to find out what happened then, return tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dickie & Dug -- July 19th

The year was 1996. The city was not important. It was a time when the "interweb" was not overly populated. AOL chat rooms were popular and "normal" people typed and got to know one another. There was a local chat room for the area. A local gal decided to throw a party with a friend. They invited the people from that chat room. If I can remember correctly, eighty-seven people were in attendance at that night club. One of those people was the guy.

The gal and the guy met one another, as well as many other people. A group of those people got along well and decided to meet for dinner together the following week. When the evening arrived, the gal and the guy were the only two to arrive for the dinner.

The rest, as they say, is history!






Okay, okay, we will not stop there because one of my readers did ask me to share the story. Also, entire books are written about historical events, so why not a few posts on a little blog that almost no one reads anyway?

When the gal and the guy met, there was an instant attraction. However, the guy was not exactly what you would call "available." He sort of had a lady friend who was out of state. Thus, the guy and the gal became and remained friends. They spent time together, enjoyed one another's company, and eventually became roommates-- in a two bedroom apartment.

As time went on, it became apparent that they guy's lady friend was not going to turn out to be the other half of his future. He probably knew that for while. Then, one day, it hit the guy like a slap to the forehead. The guy had had the "right" gal right for a while, and she was wonderful. He realized that he had loved her since that night when they were the only two to meet for that dinner. What next? I will tell you more tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Father's Love Letter

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.

Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4

And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.

Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.

1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.

1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…

Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God


Father's Love Letter shared with permission.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are You Offended?

Yes, I know. I told you that you could look for this post over the weekend, and you did not see it. Sometimes things in life do not work out on our schedules, and that is okay.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am welcoming a guest blogger for the topic of being offended. I am excited to share his post with you because when it comes to the right attitude about being offended, he has it. Enjoy!

-DUG

*******
There is an awful lot of offensive behavior going on these days. There must be. Just look at all of the people that are being offended. It seems that everyday you can read a story about someone who was offended. It's terrible.

Let me, just for the record, send a message to all of those offended people:

Get over it!

Seriously, what does it actually mean to be offended? I looked it up. The first meaning pertains to sin or a violation of the moral code. The rest of the definitions were centered around doing something that was unpleasant. I noticed two key things in the actual definition of the word. First, to "offend" is primarily an action of the person undertaking the behavior. I have to DO something before you can be offended. Second, the behavior in question is subjective.

What does that mean? It means that my actions are the catalyst for being offended, but whether or not they are offensive is up to someone else.

I can do nothing to offend you. You can do nothing to offend me. The behavior, or words, or smells, or actions are only offensive if someone deems them to be offensive.

But, you say, people often do things with the intention of being offensive.

They certainly do...and the more offended you become by those people, the more power that you give to them.

Think of the most offensive thing someone could say to you.

Do you have it. It is already making you a little uncomfortable?

Now pretend I just said it to you. Are you offended? I only said it because you thought it was offensive.

If you are thinking clearly, there is no way you would give me or anyone else the power to control you that way. When someone says that they are offended, look at the offense in question. It will tell you more about that person than years of small talk.

The next time that you are about to cry out that you are offended, here is what you can do.

First, I have found that most people are not intentionally offensive. When you put that filter on most behavior, and realize that the interpretation of offensive is purely yours, the offense should go away.

Next, look at the source of the offense. In other words look at the offender. Was the offender trying to offend you? Most of the time, you will realize that the offender was not even trying to offend you. Instead, it was you who decided that the behavior was offensive. Then it was you who decided that it should make you angry (or sad or disappointed).

Now, here is the critical part. Do not let that "offense" have any power over you. Sure, you could nicely point out that the action is unpleasant and makes you uncomfortable. You could even draw a line in the sand and refuse to be around someone who commits that offense. Remember, though, that the very nature of offense is that it is your subjective judgement of someone else's behavior.

So...before you go and get all offended, take a look at your behavior. Who are you offending?

Hint, you are at least offending people who are offended by people who get offended.

Written by: "R" HUG

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reminder

Friends, we have what I think are some great posts coming up this week. In addition to my guest blogger, I have a three part story that one of you requested, a wonderful letter, an embarrassing story and more.

Right now I want to take a moment to remind you that the June/July Contest is still going on, so be sure to check out the details here to see how you can win.

Here are some photographs of that fabulous bag donated by Bonnie. Bonnie makes purses and totes and bags in many themes and beautiful designs, so please think of her the next time you want a creative gift for someone. Here is "Stars R Stripes" from three angles.

Check back tomorrow as I get back into the swing of things here at Words from DUG!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thankful on Thursday - Bloggers

As you know, my baby blog is just about two and an half -- months, that is. So far it has been such fun helping her grow, yet, being new (or new again) to the blogosphere, I have been unsure of how to spread the word and grow my readership. There are a few people who have helped me spread the word a little bit, and I want to take today to thank them.

Dawn of Dawn's Learning Toys regularly shares my blog posts on Facebook and comments here often. Thank you, Dawn, for your support!

Jackie of Once Upon a Fairyland has a pretty good readership, and I asked her if she would not mind sharing my blog with her readers. She did! Thank you, Jackie, for giving my blog a shout out here.

Remember that I have a contest going through July 31st for referring new followers to my blog (and for commenting), so go check it out, and you might be the person to win one of the faaahbulous giveaways!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Not Offended Today

Sooooo...the "offended" post did not get added today, and that is okay. Hopefully no one who was waiting for it will be offended that I did not get it posted. Hehe. It turns out that I will be welcoming a guest blogger to tackle this topic, so it will be a treat for you and me. Be sure look for it this weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good, Old-Fashioned Manners

Manners. What happened to them? They are still out there, right? You occasionally see them as they make their way into life. However, have they become the ab-norm?

What are manners? Manners are ways of behaving with reference to polite standards, kindness and consideration from one person to another. Have you noticed that when someone shows basic manners, some people wonder, "What is wrong with you?" or "What are you trying to gain?"

Mind you, I am not talking about etiquette. I am not talking about keeping your elbows off of the table or using the right fork. I am talking about treating people with what should be common decency.

When is the last time that you received a thank you card for something that you did or for a gift that you gave? When was the last time that you sent one?

We sent a box of gifts to a family for an occasion. Not only did they not send a thank you note, they did not even acknowledge that they got them. What is up with that?

After our son's last birthday party, we sent thank you cards for each gift. Granted, he was two, so we "helped" him, yet even from an early age, we try to instill gratitude and appreciation as a basic foundation for his character.

As simple as it is, a thank you seems to be a lost manner in today's society.

People talking with food in their mouths bug me to no end. Oh, and when they spit food at the same time-- ugh. Gag. Really, I can wait eight seconds until you swallow that, thank you.

I cannot fathom why sometimes, when I am eating, and someone asks me a question, they seem to get annoyed that I wait until I swallow my food before I reply. Do we really need to be in such a hurry to talk that we cannot have the consideration to not show people our disgusting, chewed up mush -- and spit it on the table in front of them?

Oh, and do not get me started about people talking to me while they are chewing gum like a cow chewing its cud, complete with spittles squishing out. I know, I know; someone will probably get offended by me saying that, but it is just not polite. If you are offended, then you will be welcome to return tomorrow for my post about being offended.

Speaking of a lack of manners...cellular telephones. These little creations are a tool of rudeness for today's world. I went somewhere one time with a friend that was about a half an hour drive. A few minutes into the drive, she got on the telephone with another friend of hers and yakked about nothing important for almost the entire trip...with me sitting right there next to her with my jaw in my lap, astonished. Why was chit-chatting with that person on the other end of the cell phone more important than me, the person sitting right next to her?

Then there is texting. You know what I mean. Some people text all of the time. Have you been in the middle of a conversation with someone when they kept looking down to text with someone else? Did you wonder if your company was that boring?

Again, manners is simply behaving with politeness toward others. Are we raising our children to understand this? Our son knows to say please and thank you. He even says, "Please nicely." Hehe. He is two. It is cute. We are off to a good start.

As time goes on, though, will our son grow to be the kind of person who disrespects his elders or the kind of person who calls people "Ma'am" and "Sir" as a sign of respect? Will our son grow up to be the teenager who rolls his eyes and hurries past the woman struggling with a stroller, four bags of groceries and two more children in tow because she is in the way, or will he grow up to be the young man who holds the door for her and offers to help her carry those groceries? Will our son grow to be a self-centered product of today's society, or will he grow to be a loving, compassionate, respectful man of God -- dare I say, a man with manners?

No, I am not Little Miss Perfect. I sometimes forget a thank you card. I probably speak with food in my mouth from time to time. I may pass someone in need of help without "seeing" them. However, I will continue to make efforts to have manners, to have consideration, and to do for others when I can. I would rather that people wonder what I am up to because of my kindness than because of something else.

If my post today bothers you for any reason, then I accept that. We cannot all agree on everything. How about if we just shake hands and be friends, anyway. Just give me a minute here....









Monday, July 5, 2010

Why Blog?

Someone asked me why it is that I decided to start blogging.

Blogging:
Never had so many
had so much to say
to so few
about so little.

Why does anyone blog? I think that I have something to say. I like to talk. I like to share. Right? Hey, I am just being honest here.

Truthfully, though, I also like to encourage. I like to give people a laugh or some inspiration or just a smile. Those of you who know me know that I relish your comments. I know that comments are not important to a successful blog, yet what is a successful blog? Thousands of readers? Advertisers? Awards? Articles? To me, my success is felt when someone lets me know that they appreciate or enjoy something that I have posted. Simple, right? Why would it need to be more?

I could go off on a rabbit trail about success and defining what it is and how it is different for each of us, but I will not.

My baby brother told me about a t-shirt that he saw. My baby brother. That is kind of a joke in our family since he is almost thirty. Anyway, the t-shirt made me chuckle.

More people have read my t-shirt
than have read your blog.


That may very well be true, but I would like to hope that my blog has had a positive affect on more people than your t-shirt.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, USA!

Today is our 234th birthday as a free nation. One nation. Under God. The United States of America. We celebrate with parades and fireworks and parties and all kinds of festivities. We certainly have fun with the 4th of July, yet we must remember to also take time to be thankful for exactly why we are celebrating this day -- Independence Day. We are so blessed.

Because I find this interesting, I want to share with you what John Adams, Vice President under George Washington and then President after him, said in a letter to his wife, Abigail:

"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142)

Interesting, is it not? Our family celebrates each year with a big party on the Saturday before the 4th. Food, fireworks, family, friends, fun times. This year was no exception. Historically, the day was almost always observed and celebrated on July 4th. An exception was in 1779, when the 4th fell on a Sunday, and the holiday was celebrated on Monday, the 5th. Do you know why?

In 1791, the 4th of July Observance was first recorded as Independence Day. Do you know anything about that? If so, please share your history knowledge with the rest of us.

The United States Congress make July 4th an unpaid holiday for federal employees in 1870. Is that still the case?

There are soooo many interesting facts and events related to July 4th. Most importantly is what the day represents for us as a nation. My hope is that while participating in all of our various celebrations this past weekend, we as Americans all remembered to take the time to appreciate why we are here celebrating.

Back to us and our celebration, I started the day yesterday heading to march (ride) in a local Independence Day parade to honor veterans with my friend, the Mistress of Mayhem. We "Hatted" ladies certainly bring the fun with us wherever we go.


Next I headed home to meet up with my guys to finish getting ready for our annual party. This year was smaller than in previous years, yet there were quite a lot of events planned for the same night. No worries, though. If you know us, you know that we have fun no matter what. Hehe. Life is too good not to enjoy it.


With a few dozen friends, we ate, swam, took the boat out on the lake, ate more, shot off fireworks, ate more, visited for a while, and said, "Good night," to our last guests at about a quarter to one this morning. I do not even remember going to sleep, so it must have been quickly. Hehe.

Now it is actually the 4th. After a busy weekend of observances and festivities, I am looking forward to a relaxing evening with my guys. Happy Independence Day, My Friends, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Taking for Granted or Blessed to be Granted?

My husband took a picture of our closet. I am not sure why. Maybe he was playing with the camera. Looking at this picture afterward, though, it make me think. Wow. I told Hubby that this photograph made me think of a topic about which I should write.

Do we take for granted what we have, or do we know that we are blessed to be granted what we have?

We have two walk-in closets in our bedroom. This is the smaller of the two.


I measure it and discovered that this closet is approximately 72 square feet. How does that fit into the perspective of being blessed?

There is a family of six at San Antonio de Palopo, Guatemala, who live in a 216 square foot house. That is the size of my closet three times. We barely have enough room in the closet for our clothes, and there is a father, a mother, and their four children living in something equal to just three of this closet. If you live in the United States of America, chances are that your bedroom is larger than this family's home. Are you blessed?

I was reading something written by a woman who was excited by the opportunity to get a rental car. She and her son usually ride buses and trains to get where they are going. She mentioned that riding on a bus can be uncomfortable and loud and put you around rude people and in uncomfortable situations. She mentioned that being in your own car gives you peace.

When you are riding in your car, do you consider it a place of peace? Do you appreciate it? Do you instead complain about the traffic, the cost of fuel, something else? If you have one, do you realize how blessed you are to have a car? Two? Three?

Do you get out of bed in the morning and take a shower? Do you ever soak is a relaxing bath? Is there a faucet where you can pour yourself a glass of water? Do you have a washing machine, or can you go to a laundromat to clean your clothes? Do you cook with water? Do you appreciate how blessed you are to have available, clean water to do all of these things and so much more?

Do you know that there are people who do not have access to clean water? Can you imagine drinking, bathing, washing your clothes, etc. in filth -- and to top it off, having that be normal?

While searching the internet for a photograph to use, I came across the web site for Living Water International. That is not where I found the picture above, however, I am sharing a link with you because it is an interesting web site and well worth checking out.

It is time to start getting ready for church, so I am going to finish this post. Oh. Church. The privilege to go that so many take for granted and so many others do not have. Yet another thing with which I am blessed. What blessings do you see in your life that you may take for granted?