The Kingdom Life

Why is it that we so love stories about fairytale kingdoms, castles, horse drawn buggies (well, I guess they’re called carriages in jolly Old England) and heroes on horseback?

If you don’t believe me, just look at the throngs of people lining the streets when a royal wedding is going on.

I think Americans are even more enamored by the pomp and circumstance. We don’t really have anything to compare to it here, except maybe a presidential inauguration and even that doesn’t captivate the way a royal affair does. The Kennedy family used to be our “royal family”, but that doesn’t even hold true anymore. The Kennedy’s, sadly, have kind of faded into the background.

The idea of a tiny kingdom with kings, queens and maidens conjures up all kinds of neat stories about love and life. Somebody is always talking to a mirror and being saved from an evil stepmother.

I can imagine the old doublewide sitting upon a hill so chill (that’s fairytale language) with a moat and a drawbridge. In this story, it would have to be expanded to include a dungeon and a tower. All fairytale doublewides have to have that to even qualify.

Can you imagine the Queen of England living in a doublewide…  It would have to have a big ol wooden deck on the front where she could wave to the crowds.

Anyway, back to our story. The doublewide husband would have to ride everywhere on horseback and fight dragons and such.

I really like the part about being part of a royal family. You get to make decrees and everything!

You know what’s cool? We really are part of a royal family. Christians are part of God’s royal family. The Bible says we are a royal priesthood.

I love that – being in a royal family. No matter what goes on around us, we know that we’re in this world but not of it. That means we’re not limited by what’s going on around us.  The world may seem to be in bad shape sometimes, but it doesn’t define those who are in Gods family.

I hope that encourages you! Get into God’s Word and find out what it says about you. You’ll find out a lot more truth about who you are in God’s royal family and just what that truly means. Don’t worry – you qualify even if you don’t have a doublewide.

 

 

 

Be Kind

This is no coincidence.

I started writing this piece several days ago, not knowing that today was “Kindness Day”. I was saving it to post later in the week, but it seems like it was meant for today.

Life is too precious not to be kind every time you can.

It’s not hard to be kind. It doesn’t take extra time from your schedule. So, be kind.

This goes beyond just being “nice”. Sometimes I think I’m too nice, but I hope it’s more than that. I hope that it’s more me being inclined toward being kind.

I don’t understand mean people. They aren’t kind and I don’t like them very much. I don’t hate them … I just don’t like them. Well, maybe it’s really the meanness that I don’t like. They just need Jesus, like the rest of us.

When I encounter a mean person, I’m struck between wanting to kick their shins and needing to be kind to them. I believe this is how the Southern saying “bless your heart” came to be. On second thought, I’m pretty sure that’s for when you decide to be nice instead of telling them off.

Be kind to people, even if they’re mean.

The Doublewide husband and I got to help feed some of the homeless in our community last week. I loved helping serve the meal and showing kindness to people who probably don’t get a lot of that. Many of them thanked us.

I tend to get misty-eyed every time I get to go help out. I don’t know why — maybe I’m a human water park. Being kind will make you misty-eyed sometimes.

I kept hearing down inside me that this is what being the hands and feet of Jesus is. I saw the people there, waiting around the tables, just as they were right at that moment. Just people who needed to be fed. I wanted to be kind to them and show them love.

There are all kinds of ways to be kind.  It doesn’t cost a thing (or very little) and it’s pretty easy to do. I tend to get in a rush sometimes, or get really focused on what I’m doing, and not pay attention. That happens to all of us.

We should take time to look outside our world every once in a while and notice other things that are going on. I bet it would make a huge difference if we all did that.

Here are some tips, in case you need a little help knowing where to start: pray for somebody, encourage a friend or a non-friend (and make a friend), let somebody else have that parking place near the mall entrance, pay for the person’s order behind you in the drive-thru line, serve a meal, help feed somebody’s pets when they’re out of town, open a door, let another person have the seat you love because it has the best view — see, it’s not so hard.

Kindness. It might even help put a stop to all this dad-burned fussing and fighting that seems to be going on everywhere. Now that would be well worth it.

 

 

 

Closet Surprises

I finally got into my closet over the weekend  to start cleaning out some junk.

At one point I found myself sitting on the floor, looking through old shoes, when a bunch of tops, socks and pajamas from the “needs to be washed” pile tumbled down on me. I figure if a tornado ever comes through, I can just get in the closet under all those clothes and be perfectly safe.

Little did I know that I would have a new wardrobe when I started digging. I  found things I had completely forgotten about buying.

Boots that were long forgotten resurfaced. Score!! I love my boots, as I mentioned in an earlier post.

It was like going shopping for free. Well, almost free. Like somebody else paid for it free.

I also discovered that I had not lost as much weight as I thought I had. Score for the “give away” pile!

I think my waist got longer too – a lot of my old tops shrunk while laying  in the closet and  are now too short. The pile leaving the house keeps growing…

What do you do with a big ol box of socks that are multi-colored and match nothing? Ain’t nobody gonna want that.

I guess that’s the box you shove to the back and hope it fades away. I wonder if sock wreaths are in for gift giving this year…

If you’re playing the White Elephant game at a Christmas party this year and I’m there, you might want to keep that in mind.

At this rate, I’ll go into Spring 2019 less cluttered and somebody, somewhere with a short waist will be wearing my shirts.  Score, again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog Language

I just told my dog I would be back with her “in just a minute” and held up one finger like she knew exactly what I was saying.

She knew. I know she did because she nodded in agreement.

Does anybody else do that?

I see memes on Facebook about people who talk to their dogs. Everybody else is laughing hysterically and I’m staring at my phone thinking, “yep, that’s me”, or wondering what’s so funny (or weird) about that?!

Mary Grace and I understand each other. I know what her little dances and whimpers mean, and she knows what I’m saying when I tell her to “wait” or “you’re mommy’s sugar sweet, lovey, huggy, dumplin baby doll”.

I know I’m not the only dog parent who does that.

Or this scenario: you’re at a restaurant and you have some  pizza crust left – you:

A. Forget you’re not in your own kitchen and, out of habit, hold a piece of crust at dog-level beside the chair waiting on your dog to snatch it, until you notice odd stares from people sitting near you (evidently these are not dog people),

B. Remember you’re not at home in your own kitchen and quickly wrap it up in a napkin, along with any other available morsels, to take with you.

This is also a frequent exchange at my house when I’m leaving for work, or going to the store – I hand her a treat and her Kong and then apologize for leaving. “I’m so sorry, but mommy has to go to work and make money to buy more milk bones, baby.”

The Doubwide husband is just as guilty. When we go out, after a few hours he’s checking his watch to remind me how long we’ve been away from her.

We have a Yorkie too. He’s pretty chill about the whole thing, though. His attitude is kind of like… “just keep the Rachel Ray kibble coming and I’m good.”

He does look at us a little funny when we apologize to the Boxer.

 

 

 

Shelter In Place

The first day of classes on the main campus at the university where I work saw a little excitement – and not the good kind.

An emergency announcement went out to shelter in place because an assault had happened on campus and there was a man with a weapon on the loose. Even though we weren’t on the main campus, we got the notice too and stayed inside like we were instructed to do. We finally got more information through text and email alerts.

While sitting there in the library basement in a small room with several students who were studying, I thought about the situation and the whole thing irritated me.

I wasn’t mad at the police or the university – they did a great job of keeping us all safe. I had a bone to pick with the nut who was causing the whole thing. It made me downright mad that one person was controlling the situation and disrupting everything.

We didn’t have all the details at first, so we didn’t know how big the threat was. Everything turned out ok and within about an hour the police had the suspect in custody, and they gave us the “all clear”. I’m glad it wasn’t any worse than it was and, as far as I heard, nobody was hurt in the assault that started the whole mess or after the assault when the guy with the weapon ran.

Something else I decided – and I know this is a very controversial subject – I want to learn how to defend myself and get a carry permit and a handgun. I’m not speaking for anybody but myself here. I didn’t like the feeling of sitting there with virtually no way to defend myself.

I work on a federal campus so we’re not allowed to have a weapon at work, but I could carry it other places. Incidents like that don’t just happen on college campuses.

Like I said, I’m telling my side of the gun/no gun issue. If there’s somebody with a gun out there running around intending to hurt me, I want to have a fair chance to defend myself if I need to.

But here’s the thing – I don’t want to merely get a good score shooting at a target and then get my little card that says I can carry. I want to know how to handle said gun. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it could get you or somebody else hurt.

I may get hate mail for this one, but that’s ok. I’m giving my opinion and I’m open to hearing what others have to say. Just keep it clean.

Off to Work I Go!

I don’t work on an auto assembly line. Thank you, Jesus.

I’m being thankful for the little things as I get ready for work. Also, Monday is behind me.

Working on an auto assembly line is not necessarily a bad thing — in fact, it’s a nobel occupation. Think of where we’d be without the auto workers! Yay for the auto workers!

That kind of work just isn’t for me. I couldn’t handle it. Staying in one place all day, not being able to talk to other people. I’m a social person. I have to have my visiting time. You know … when I’m not hard at work (just in case my boss reads this).

I dont think I could handle having a little buzzer telling me when I can go to the bathroom, or when I can go to lunch, either. I would definitely have words with that dang buzzer.

I actually worked in similar sutuation once. Oh my goodness – – worse situation ever, for me anyway. This wasn’t an assembly line – it was an attorney’s office…

This is turning into, “Jobs I Probably Shouldn’t Try – Part Two”!

I once worked in the front office for a physicians group. That was actually ok. I handled it, but it wasn’t ideal. And, bless their hearts – I worked with a bunch of women… side by side … every single day. ‘Nuff said.

I’m more of a free-style creative, think it through kind of person. Give me a project to work on and I’m off devising a plan to get it done. I’ve gotten good at herding people. Give me a group and I’ll figure out where to put them. And I can deal with a little whining too. I don’t like it, but I can deal with it.

I’m really good at coming up with Plan B in short order, too. You know, when you have a plan and you’re working that plan, and you think every detail is covered. Then somebody throws a wrench in things, or you realize at the last minute that you’ve forgotten something. Plan B to the rescue!

I think the theme I’m seeing here is that I have learned to be flexible and anticipate that I might need an alternate plan at the drop of a hat. It also helps if you’re creative. I may just be the McGyver of creative planning and the “work smarter, not harder” idea.

It sure cuts down on stress and I’m not running around like my hair’s on fire.

The moral here – think ahead and be willing to be flexible.

It doesn’t hurt to have a Plan B in your hip pocket, either.

Lend Me Your Ear

Ear candling can bring families together.

It’s true – my mom and I bonded over ear candling just the other day. I think it was due to the fact that I didn’t burn her hair up in the process.

She thought she had a bug in her ear and wanted me to see if I could get it out. We don’t go to the doctor for such things; we candle!

Timeout – before I get hate mail for using an alternative method for bug removal – I had an experience with a bug in my ear many years ago. It was no fun. I went to the ER and laid on a table while they dug down in my ear canal for a moth that felt like it was the size of a seagull. I’ll never again walk near an outside light at night without something covering my ears.

So, I read the instructions on the ear candle box, googled “ear candling for dummies” and got started.

I collected the necessary tools – damp towel, bowl of water, metal pie plate, candle…check.

By the time we got everything set up, it looked like she was trying to tune in life from some distant galaxy.

Mom got in place in her chair, I put the candle in her ear (yes, I got the correct end in the ear) and had her hold it while I struck the match.

I don’t like fiddling around with matches so this was a little scary, but I did it.

I lit the big end and away we went. As it burned down, I followed the instructions and kept my fingers on the candle about four inches from her head so it wouldn’t burn down too far. I knew it was time to extinguish the flame when my fingernails started to get warm.

The bowl of water, in case you were wondering, was there to plunge the candle into when we were done. I took the candle out and managed to drop it on the table – ear candles can put off quite a flame, let me tell you.

All was well though – I grabbed the flame-throwing candle off the table and dunked the burning end into the bowl. No one was harmed and mom felt that it was a success.

I can report that ear candling really works! She didn’t find a bug, but it did pull some gunk out of her ear.

She felt better and I may add “ear candling” to my resume.

The moral to this story is – don’t be afraid to try new things. Also, ear candling works as long as you’re careful and follow the directions, and keep a bowl of water handy.

Weight a Minute

I’ve never really been one to follow diets or weight loss gimmicks – so I’m a little surprised at myself. I’m trying something new in previously uncharted Doublewide territory.

I’m allowing an electronic gizmo on my phone – an app – to tell me what to do.

This magical little receptor is helping me get healthy, or so they say. It receives information that I feed it, calculates all my points, calories, fat, binomials, monomials, pie charts and the like, and then fusses at me if I veer off course. I mean, who’s the boss here? With one flick of my thumb I could obliterate this little fitness fiend.

I hold up a jelly donut in defiance.

“You’ve exceeded your fat grams today” it tells me. “What’s that in your hand?”

“It’s a donut and I’m not sorry!” I sass back. I feel like I’m getting ready to duel this thing to the death.

I haven’t lived with my mother in years, but I find myself hiding from my phone like a kid who’s about to get into big trouble. I peek out from my spot behind the ‘fridge.

My husband bemoans something he ate in a weak moment and I say, “it’ll be ok – just don’t tell the app.”

A lot of help I am.

My little fitness pal does give me break once in awhile. It calculates my steps and grants me more calories as my exercise increases. It’s kinda like getting an E for effort.

Bacon, oh how I miss you. I see a cheat day on my horizon. (I’m not telling the app)

It’s really ok to have a cheat meal once in awhile when you’re dieting. You just don’t want to make it a habit. I’m certainly not an expert, but I think you have to treat yourself sometimes to keep the motivation up.

Just don’t go overboard with it – you don’t want to undo all you’ve achieved in the first week. I started doing all this healthy stuff to support my husband who’s trying to lower his cholesterol and it’s really not all that bad. I recommend the buddy system- it can help make the journey almost fun.😊

I’m not sure the app would approve of the buddy system, though. Its M-O is more like “divide and conquer”… or duel to the death.

Jobs I Probably Shouldn’t Try

 

In this life, we all take different paths. Everybody has their own things they’re good at.

I’ve come to realize there are jobs I’m just not cut out for.

Do you ever hear about a job and think, “I bet that would be fun.” Me too – all the time. One of my long-time goals has been to work in a Krispy Kreme donut factory. I’ve always thought it would be a great little post-retirement gig (whenever I retire).

I think I could handle the donut thing, but there are plenty of jobs I know I wouldn’t be good at.

First up – law enforcement officer.

I admire and appreciate our police and sheriff’s deputies, but it’s not something I think I’m cut out for. I’d probably be more like Barney Fife than Matt Dillon.  Here’s me dealing with a criminal: “I know you really didn’t mean to break into that bank. Now, if you promise to do better next time…”

I probably wouldn’t be good as an EMS worker, firefighter, nurse, doctor or anything like that. I can’t do much for you when you get sick, except run out for juice and medicine. If you throw up, I will throw up right along with you. Now, if your house caught on fire I’d do my best to help. I just don’t do well in emergency situations. I saw a wreck happen one day and couldn’t even find my phone in the seat beside me to call 9-1-1. I get too emotionally involved in things.

Another job I probably shouldn’t sign up for is anything military. I like green, just not drab green. I’m grateful and thankful for all of our military, though- sa-lute!

So, maybe I should stick to jobs and hobbies that I do pretty well. I like to sing and they still let me be part of the music team at church. I like to write – especially where funny is concerned. And I do pretty well on my day job. My evaluations are always good, anyway.

I think I’ll just stick to doing what I do. That might be best for all of us.

 

 

 

Buyer Beware

“Mattresses Cheap!”

Should I buy a mattress advertised on a little sign on metal legs stuck in the ground by the side of the road? Are these used mattresses? Are they defective? How can they be so cheap?

There are all kinds of little metal signs along the road advertising everything from low cost wifi to real estate classes. I’m all for the little man, but I have to question something like bedding being sold on a tiny sign along the road.

Pizza, I get. Store closings, I get. I understand politicians putting up “vote for me” campaign signs that litter every four-way stop in town at election time. I don’t mind those — I just wish they’d clean up the mess after it’s all over.

What other kinds of things do we buy that are “cheap”, that maybe, just maybe we should think twice about ….. like steaks at the dollar store. Can filet mignon for a dollar really be good for you? Picture it – date night at your neighbor’s house – “I thought we’d stay in tonight. I got this great deal on steak at the Only $1 store and they had movies too. Won’t it be fun reading the subtitles?!”

I like a bargain like anybody else, but I don’t know about some of this stuff. Where does it come from? This goes right along with those trucks that drive around neighborhoods trying to sell meat out of the back. (my in-laws actually bought some of that meat one time – can  you say “tough as whit leather”)

Sometimes it’s just not worth the cheapo price when it makes you sick (beware dollar store pizzas, too. I know this from firsthand experience…) or you have to keep replacing said item. Now, dollar buys are not all bad. I love their holiday cards, bags and candy!

Just remember, boys and girls, a bargain may not always be a bargain. Especially if you fall for the ‘ol “let’s make it look exactly like the name brand item” only to get home and find out your Post Toasties aren’t Post at all, they’re Past Toasties. Check the label, people – check the label.