What’s New With You?

Hi there, strangers! What’s new in your world?

*i can’t get my pics to go where I want them, so they’re just inserted randomly – sorry! Haha*

My photographer friend Christy took our family photos here at our home in January.  I’ll post more of them in a later post.

image image imageimageimageByron and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary this past Sunday.  Time flies!  We went deep-sea fishing on the Gulf of Mexico  image

with four friends on one of our friends’ boat.  We went 22 miles out off of Horseshoe Beach.imageimageIt was beautiful!  They were fishing for sheepshead, a super creepy looking fish.  They caught seven of them and several grunts.  I mostly soaked up the sun and scenery; it was so relaxing out there! We had a great time.

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The weather has been lovely here for the past week. We’ve enjoyed a picnic at the park with my nieces, and a walk to the creek with water-loving Bo.

Last month we purchased six baby hens.  They grow amazingly quickly and we’ve already moved them outside to the chicken coop.  They are so cute and I can’t wait till they start laying!

Shelbie has a new job at the after school program at the elementary school that all of my kids attended and her baby sister also currently attends (her dads youngest daughter).  She loves it! And she’s doing well in college.  Tim was recently in his friends wedding and just got his second motorcycle.  Yay.

Elayna is winding down her last year of middle school, which totally freaks me out.  Lately people are saying she looks a lot like me, which I LOVE!!!

Knock on wood, life is peaceful and I’m working on keeping it that way!

Some Thoughts on Karma

Karma is one of those words that gets thrown around all the time.  I see people use that term frequently on the internet, and I hear it in conversation.  They say they believe in karma, or hear about an event and say “Ha!  That’s Karma for ya!”
These people aren’t Buddhist or Hindu, but I understand that they are using the common or ‘informal’ usage of the word….sort of.

kar·ma
noun: karma
(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences
informal – destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

But I have to tell you, I am not quite so certain that karma really works the way some people seem to think it does. Sure, it’s easy to say, when something unfortunate happens to someone you dislike ,”Well, that’s what they get, karma’s a bitch!”  But in my many years on this earth, I’ve seen a lot of things happen to people.  Good people and bad people.  Good things and bad things.  And I’m just not sure I believe in that kind of balance, reward, retribution theory.
We all know people who are just….unpleasant.  Gossipy, rude, arrogant, or much worse.  And sometimes, those people seem to have it made.  Nothing negative ever seems to happen as a result of the harm that they do to others.  They seem to just live their life on their terms and never suffer any consequences.

But what really causes me to question the theory is when really, really horrible things happen to really, really wonderful people.  Particularly, things like, when children get cancer.  That child has done NOTHING to deserve that, ever.  Or when good parents lose their children.  In particular, I think of my longtime blog friend Hallie, who tragically  lost her precious son CJ to suicide.  Nobody deserves that.  Period.

And the situation going on right now in Georgia, with the older couple, Bud and June Runion, who went to buy a classic car from someone they contacted via Craiglist.  They haven’t officially stated that the bodies they found are the Runions, but it’s very clear that they have been killed.  This story has grabbed my heart, and now, broken it.  They had three daughters who loved them, grandchildren, etc….that is NOT karma, my friends.  Nothing you can say would convince me otherwise.

And of course, there are tons of people in this world who have literally gotten away with murder, rape, child molestation, on and on.  Where’s karma in those situations?

I’ve tried throughout my life to treat people the way I wished to be treated.  I am not in any way claiming to have been perfect in my attempts!  But I truly have tried.  Yet, I’ve had some pretty awful things happen to me in the past, things that I know in my heart I did not deserve in any way.  For example – a 100% faithful wife being cheated on doesn’t make sense under the “karma” theory, does it?  (although in the end, it ended up being a blessing, but that’s a whole ‘nother post!)
Oh and I am NOT referring to my current wonderful husband, by the way.  He’s a far better man than that.  

And I wonder how other things could be explained by people who firmly believe in the popular concept of karma.  Like, a relatively young, married couple BOTH being diagnosed with major, serious, lifelong health problems/diseases.  While not life-threatening, they are incurable and will cause both of them pain, discomfort, struggles, money concerns, etc. throughout the rest of their lives.  By this logic….what did they do to deserve such “bad karma”?

What are your thoughts on karma?  Why do terrible things happen to wonderful people?  Why do good things happen to bad people?

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A Little Bragging (OK, maybe a lotta bragging)

Time for some Mama bragging!
My youngest daughter, Elayna, is in the 8th Grade and will be 14 this month.  On Wednesday night, she was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society!  We were super proud of her.  My family tends to turn out for things like this.  There were only about 12 kids total who were inducted, and the ceremony was held in the school library.  They set up 5 or 6 rows of seven chairs.  Elayna’s group filled one full row, and three seats in another row!   And my sister and her family are often at these events as well, but they didn’t make it to this one.  My parents did make the long drive in order to support their youngest grandchild.

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So – obviously, I’m proud of Elayna for earning this honor.  I’m also proud that not only my 19 year old daughter Shelbie but also her boyfriend, Dusty, attended the ceremony.  Dusty was clearly exhausted, after working all day, but still came to spend time with Shelbie and watch the induction.  And last but not least – Mama brag on my son, Tim.  I texted him that morning to let him know about the event, and sure enough, he came.  He almost always attends his sisters’ school concerts, awards ceremonies, etc. and I am so proud of that.  He’s 21 years old and lives on his own (with his cousin as a roommate), so it’s not like he’s just piling in the car with the rest of us; he’s making a special effort for his sister.  This makes my Mama heart smile!  He is not an overtly loving brother;   they pick at each other like any other brother and sister, and Tim is a “strong, quiet type”.  But by coming out and supporting Elayna, he’s showing how much he cares about her.
I am also proud of Tim’s wicked sense of humor.  He and I tend to find the same things amusing.  At one point during the induction ceremony, the teacher lit a candle and then the students went around and lit one anothers’ candles.  Tim leaned over to me and said, “Hey Mom….if they start passing around Kool-Aid…DON’T DRINK IT.”  Love that kid!

laynaNJHS

I’m all about family.  There’s just nothing else more important in my life.  And I am bragging about the fact that I have obviously taught that lesson to my children very well.  My kids have an abundance of people who love them.  I hope they always know and remember that.

Wanna brag?  Feel free to fill my comments with your own Mama brags!

Finally Friday Fragments!

I just realized it’s Friday (holidays have my days all mixed up) and I can do a Friday Fragments post!  YAY!  I’ve missed this.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

~ Byron is still hunting and has killed several deer and hogs this year.  He and a friend made wild hog sausage and OMGoodness, it was the best sausage I  have ever had!

~ What are gas prices in your area?  In my town the lowest I’ve found so far is $2.32/gallon.  Which is great!  It costs about $60 to fill our tank now instead of $80+, and if I just put $20 in the needle actually moves – a LOT!   I’m loving it.  A sweet old man was chatting with me at the gas tank today and said his relative in Ohio is paying $1.95 per gallon.  If it goes below $2 here I will throw a party!

~ I’m trying to adjust to using a tablet.  This one has a full, and decent-sized, keyboard, which helps me a lot.  But remembering that I can, and often SHOULD, touch the screen helps even more.  This newfangled technology is tricky for us old folks!

~ Before Christmas, the girls and I went over to my parents’ house, and my niece brought her girls over.  We all made and decorated Christmas cookies.  It was fun!

cookies

~ How cute are these girls???

hayleighalexis

~ Elayna had a Christmas Concert at the high school.  She loves band and is doing very well.

elayna ~ Dusty is right on track to be totally done with cancer treatment in the Spring.  I am so happy for him!  Shelbie takes good care of him, and he spoils her.

shelbiedusty ~ My son Tim is almost 22 but still loves to get down on the floor and play with his baby cousins.  Sidenote: His hair is currently longer than Shelbie’s.

tim ~ Me and Byron, Christmas Eve.  Sidenote: I have tried every editing program and I can’t get rid of my red devil eyes!  And aside from that, I really like the picture!

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OK – that’s all that’s floating around my head. TGIF! Have a great weekend!