In response to Rosemary

Rosemary posted some questions/thoughts. I typed up my response to her queries and musings as a comment, went to post my comment, and was notified that my reply was too long.  Moi? Long-winded? Go figure. I thought about paring down my reply, or posting it as two comments, then thought better of both options and decided to post it here. So, go read Rosemary’s post, then come back and read this one.

Okay, you’ve read Rosemary’s post, right? If you haven’t, the following will make no sense whatsoever, so go read hers. Right now. And don’t come back until you have. Alright then. Read on.

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Yard sale? You have yard sales? I keep threatening to, but can’t quite get organized enough to pull one off, so it’s a moot point for me.

Dog sweaters and coats = acceptable in extreme weather (though Riley wears neither). The rest, not so much.

Because he’s a man. Duh.

Neither!!!!!!!!!!!

Both (even though you said I couldn’t answer). Both. One does not preclude the other.

I wonder the same thing about foreign dogs – why do they have to poop on MY lawn when their own lawn is right across the street?? At least with the turkeys pooping on your cement you can just wash it off with the hose. Dog poop on the lawn MUST be scooped up. Yuck! Riley provides me with more than enough opportunities to engage in that less-than-pleasant activity, thank you very much. I don’t need neighbor dogs contributing their deposits as well.

I neither hated nor loved high school, except when I was the yearbook editor my senior year (loved it then).  I like most of the people I went to school with, but was not part of the “in” crowd by any means. I didn’t dislike many people. I just felt spurned by the popular kids. I suppose that’s typical high school stuff. I never went to any reunions until my 30th. I thought by then we’d all have grown up and the cliques would have dissolved. Turns out that wasn’t the case.  The cliques were still quite evident, and I was still an outcast. But I got to see my best friend for the first time since high school.  Seeing her again made it well worth attending. I went to 7 different grammar schools. I remember the schools, the teachers, and one or two of my classmates, but not much else.

I wish your children lived closer (to YOU, not you to them, because that would mean you didn’t live here). Dogs can help, but they don’t fill the hole completely.

I don’t see you with a black lab, though. I see you with a Jake-type lab. I’ve got my ears open.

He is pretty darned nice, that’s for sure.

Blossom…. 🙁

I used to like him…. sigh.

Well, you LOOK fantastic, but I’m telling you, there is a lot of evidence to show that a fat-free diet does not lower cholesterol, and that it’s more a factor of simply losing weight than whether or not you CONSUME fat. There is also a lot of evidence to suggest that low cholesterol does not necessarily protect one from heart disease and high cholesterol does not necessarily predict heart disease so much as genetics does. I’m a big fan of bacon. And cheese.

I will pray for you. Men and colds. Bleh.

See above. Men are idiots. Sorry Sling. You’re excluded.

My dad has no middle name either. He must have felt cheated as well. In fact, the only sibling that had a middle name was his brother, Fausto. The only reason HE had a middle name was because the priest said he wouldn’t baptize him because of Dante’s Inferno (Faust). Apparently he felt it was an evil name. His middle name is Vincent. His wife’s family always called him Vince, not Fausto. Dad made up a middle name. He went by Franklyn Thomas Filippi at various times in his life. Funny. He had to doll up his given name too. He is really just plain old Frank Filippi.

I’m half Italian, 1/4 German and 1/4 English. I always say, “I’m Italian”. Why is that? I could be Italenerman, but I prefer just being Italian. It feels right to just be Italian. The only thing that might be AS good would be if I were part Scots. I do have some Scots, but just a drop or two. I think the Scots are as proud of their heritage as the Italians.

Sorry. There is none. Fortunately, I’m not a sufferer.

The 4AM daylight is awesome, given I get up at 4:30. The 8PM daylight makes it really difficult to get Riley to go to bed when we do at 8-8:30. That problem is only going to get worse as the days get longer.

It sounds like Violet gets car sick. Riley looks out the window for a while, then he puts his head down and closes his eyes. I think he gets car sick a little too. The whining and yapping is a sort of bichon/poodle thing… Riley’s bark is piercing and very annoying. Thankfully, he doesn’t do it in the car.

Mother’s Day does not hold the same cachet it once did, that’s for sure. It’s just not the same once they’re all grown up with families of their own. I miss the days of homemade cards, surprise breakfasts in bed, and sticky, syrup-covered faces giving you Mother’s Day kisses.

I like the name. Shall I paint you a sign for your forest?

When I finish A Breath of Snow and Ashes, I will read one.

I want to have lunch with Diana Gabaldon, though I have “talked” to her via the literary forum in Compuserve. She’s a VERY interesting person! I’d like to watch Michelangelo and Caravaggio paint, and ask questions along the way. I’d like to ask Seurat how he had the patience to paint all those dots. I’d like to have lunch with Orson Scott Card and JRR Tolkein because they both created amazing worlds that don’t really exist, and I want to know how they did that. I would like to meet Jamie and Claire Fraser and Brianna and Roger Mackenzie and the rest of the gang in Diana Gabaldon’s novels – but mostly Jamie and Claire. I think I am in love with Jamie.

And yes, I would love to have a ritzy lunch with all my Blogger and Facebook friends, but in Paris, Rome, or Edinburgh. And I think we should all get DROIDs, Kindles, Nooks, or iPads, not so much iPhones. 🙂

None of the above makes any sense whatsoever unless you have read Rosemary’s post, so now, go back and do that for real this time.

Giving Thanks

Sure, it’s what we’re supposed to do this time of year – give thanks.  The reality is probably that a lot of us don’t think very much about what we’re thankful for until it’s time to gather around the heavily laden table with our loved ones.  Some families have a tradition in which each person at the table shares something for which they are thankful.  Some simply let the person saying grace state the many things or which they are all thankful – good health, bountiful table, friends and family, etc.  Then everyone digs in, and the thoughts of thanksgiving give way to conversation, eating, game playing, football, and naps.

I want to change things.  I want to really, truly, give thanks every day – not just on Thanksgiving, not just on the days before Thanksgiving, but every day.  I want to get up each morning and thank the Lord for the day, before it even starts.  I want to thank Him for the day before, no matter how it went.  I want to have an attitude of thanksgiving every single day.  It’s how I believe the Lord hopes we approach life.  It is the way Paul approached his post-salvation life.  It is the way I want to live my life.  I know it is going to be difficult to get into the habit of giving thanks every single day for every single thing.  It’s so much easier to complain, or to have a pity party about how horrible our day was or how badly we were treated.  It’s human nature to do grumble and complain, and Christ’s nature to give thanks in all things.  I’d really like to have Christ’s nature, not human nature.  So, I’m going to work on that.

I had a nice long chat last night with my good friend, JoAnn.  She’s the mom of YS’s freshman roommate.  She’s an awesome Christian woman.  There is something about her that I just love so much.  I think of her, and I am inspired.  We’ve only spent the equivalent of a few days together over the past 5 years, but there was an immediate connection when we met, and I knew right away we’d be friends for life.  I think about her far more than she probably imagines.  I miss her an awful lot when we don’t talk for long periods of time.  We both lead very busy lives, which means connecting is not always easy, but when we do, it’s as if we just had coffee yesterday.  There is never an awkward lull in the conversation, or a feeling of disconnect.  We “get” each other.  Our boys are strikingly similar in many ways, and have struggled with many of the same issues throughout college, even though they didn’t really hang out after that first year.  As a result she and I have shared many of the same struggles and concerns about our boys as they’ve taken the journey from young boys on their first day of college to young men on the threshold of their adult lives.  It has helped knowing I was not alone, that JoAnn understood and would not judge, and vice versa.  I knew I could always count on her to pray extra hard about a difficult situation, which she has done on many occasions.  I knew I could share my shame at my lack of spirituality with her, and she’d understand, not judge.  I know that she will always be there for me, and that she keeps us in prayer every day, as I do her and her family.  I thank the Lord every day for bringing her into my life.  She has encouraged me in so many ways – and she probably has no clue.  Last night we talked about not only our boys, who will both be finishing their college educations this spring, but about our faith.  It was such an uplifting talk.  I wish she lived across the street so we could hang out and talk like this every day.  She is really awesome.  Thank you, JoAnn, for being my friend.  You mean the world to me!

I think my “favorite” person in the Bible is Paul.  Paul inspires me.  Why?  Because Paul struggled every single day in his “normal” life – he was imprisoned, he had a “thorn in the flesh”, which could have been a physical affliction or some sort of family issue (some think he had a really contentious wife), he clearly had it rough, yet he kept his eyes on Christ and sought to serve Him every single day. He spent his life encouraging Christians throughout the world, despite his persecution. Whenever I start to think I have it rough and start a little pity party, I remember Paul.  I figure is this man, who served the Lord so unwaveringly, had to endure the horrible things he endured, who am I to complain about anything?  Even moreso, who am I to expect life to be easy?  And then there’s Jesus.  He was without sin, yet he was persecuted, ridiculed, physically and verbally abused, and finally, of course, killed.  And he never struck out at his persecutors, he never sat around complaining about his lot in life.   And I think I have it rough?  Right.  Now, it’s easy to say, “but hey, He was the Son of God.  He IS God. It’s not really the same.”  Okay… but Paul was just a man, a regular guy like you and me.  That’s why he is such an inspiration to me.  Anytime I start to feel sorry for myself, I think of Paul.  If a guy who was sold out for the Lord struggled and suffered, why on earth do I think I deserve an easier life?  Another thing I keep reminding myself of is this – the Lord did not promise us HAPPINESS, He promised us JOY.  There is a huge difference.  We can be joyful in all circumstances.  Happiness is strictly circumstantial, and fleeting.  Paul was joyful, though I doubt he was happy.  I want to be truly joyful every single day.  That means I need to make that time daily to spend praying and reading my bible.  Being close to the Lord is the only path to joy, and it’s tough to be close to Him if you don’t spend some time with Him frequently.

On a completely different note – Riley is sick. He was up all night, making multiple trips outside.  I don’t know if he has diarrhea or is constipated, but he’s definitely in distress.  Naturally, when he’s up, I’m up, so I got little sleep last night.  That wouldn’t be a big deal except I have a hair appointment at 8AM (going back to blonde), and then a day full of pre-holiday chores.  Oh well, maybe I’ll get a nap before YS, OS and his family, and my brother arrive later today.  If I don’t, I still plan to be very joyful!  🙂

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.