Monday, May 20, 2013

My new blog

Well I tried to go to Wordpress but I found it too difficult so I decided to do my new blog on blogger. I already know what to do here so it made the transition easy. My new blog is at http://reflectionsofgreg.blogspot.com/ I invite all my old blog friends to go there and join me in this new venture. Some of my posts will be quite personal so be prepared to find out more about me than you ever imagined. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Almost the end


Well this will be my next to the last post on this blog. For those that have followed me, I thank you for all your support. But it is time for a change of direction and along with that I am going to start a new blog. I am looking at a new venue for my blog though so good bye Blogger.com. A lot is happening in my life these days and it is all good. I think it is time to put the past behind me and look to the future. I have learned to accept the past for what it is and to quit trying to hide from it. It is what it is and nothing I can do will ever change that. I can however learn to deal with it and go on with my life. For those that have helped me through some difficult times I say thank you. And for those that are interested, my next and last post on here will be a link to my new blog. I will caution you though, my new blog will be totally from the heart and the truth may not be so pretty but it will set me free.

Have a great day,

Greg

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Let’s just face it, I am a happy person.


I’ve said it before and I will say it again, being happy is a choice. You can go through life looking at everything with a negative attitude or you can be positive about things. It is sort of like the glass is half empty or half full. It is the same glass with the same amount of liquid in it, but different people look at it from different angles. And what about a glass that is one quarter full? You can say you only have a quarter cup of water or you can be happy that you have something. It’s not always easy in every situation but I do try to see the bright side.

But here are a few things about people that tend to get me down.

First off I don’t like liars. When someone can look you in the eyes and tell you a lie that says something about their total character. I recently caught someone telling me a lie. What really hurts is that I liked this person and trusted them. I thought they were straight with me and that they respected me. Obviously I was wrong about them. I found out about the lie quite by accident and I would never challenge this person about the lie but I will remember not to take what this person says in the future as “Gospel”. Doesn’t it say somewhere that if you put your faith in man you will be let down sooner or later?

I also don’t care for mean people. When someone goes out of their way to harm or embarrass another person that just grates on my nerves. I used to be like that but I changed my ways. When someone did me wrong, I would hold a grudge and keep that hatred locked inside so that one day I would get my chance and get even. I can honestly say that I never took the first step to harm someone else but in my younger days I would get even. But even then I never did anything that caused anyone serious pain, just a bit of inconvenience.

There was this one time when someone owed me a lot of money. I took them to small claims court but the judge turned out to be a friend of theirs. So he ordered them to pay me back 5 dollars a month until the debt was paid. The guy laughed at me on my way out of court. He ended uppaying me one time and then told me I would have to take him back to court if I wanted more. I would have to split court costs though and he knew it. So I decided to get even. Late one night I went to his house and loosened the valve stems on all his tires. His car was parallel parked on the street in front of his house. All his tires were slowly deflating. It was snowing when I did the dirty deed and it was supposed to snow all night.

Early the next morning I drove to where he lived and parked about a half block away where I could see his car. Since the snow was several feet deep around his car, he had no idea that the tires were flat. He came out and began shoveling the snow. He shoveled enough so that he could get the door open and enough so he could drive over the snow that was left and he started his car and went inside to let the heater start working. I just sat there down the street smiling. All of a sudden the snow plow showed up and went down the street throwing snow all over his car again. I sat there and watched as he came out cursing and he again started to shovel. Finally he got enough snow removed to get back in the car and he attempted to drive away. That is when he noticed that the tires were flat. I He got out, began cursing and then pulled the car back into his spot. Just then the snow plow showed up again and threw more snow on his car which made him curse even more. I laughed and laughed till I had tears coming from my eyes and I didn’t care about the money he owed me anymore.

But those days are behind me now but I can’t help smiling when I think about that story. I keep telling myself a lesser man would have cut the valve stems or punctured the tires. These days I would most likely leave him an anonymous note saying; God is watching you, do what is right. And I am thankful for my new attitude.

And here is the picture I promised you. I painted this last night at “For the Love of Art”. I am very proud of my work even though it isn’t all that great. I really do enjoy painting.



Have a great day,

Greg

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why haven't you written?



I often ask myself that question in reference to this blog. Well to tell the truth I have written. I have started writing posts almost daily. Sometimes it is a rant, other times it is a heartfelt story and yet other times I just write to be writing. But the truth is I seldom finish what I started. Either what I was thinking just doesn’t look good in print or I run out of time and just go on to another subject.

This year I had two things on my bucket list. I wanted to get my CWP and I wanted to take an art class. Well I am happy to say that it is only February and I have already taken an art class and the CWP class. CWP stands for concealed weapons permit. Now all I have to do is wait on the paperwork and I will have my license. So now what do I do for the rest of the year?

Tonight I am taking another art class. I actually bought two classes with a groupon but even if I hadn’t, I enjoyed the first class so much that I would have signed up for a second one. And me liking it has nothing to do with the fact that we have wine and snacks while we paint. And it has nothing to do with the fact that it is mostly women painting alongside me or that both instructors are women. I just thought I would get that out in the open. I get accused of having alterative motives sometimes. Ok a lot of times.

So 2013 is off to a great start and I am open for suggestions as to some other things to try this year. And don’t’ say; try blogging a bit more often. I know I should do that.

Oh and you can expect to see a photos of my first two paintings here soon.



Have a great day,

Greg

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hey Grandma, what’s for breakfast?



Several years ago I posted about the classic Hee-Haw skit; “Hey grandpa what’s for supper?” I got to thinking how ironic that statement is for me because I only remember one of my grandpa's and that memory isn’t a very good one. Truth is he never made dinner for us. Truth is he didn’t cook, he only drank. And that is the only memory that I have of him. I can barely even remember when he died. The funny thing is that the original post is one of the biggest feeds into my blog. It is amazing how many people search for that phrase and one of the links takes them here.

My grandmother’s did cook though and they were both great cooks. My grandmother Lottie not only cooked for her family, she also used to be a cook for Ormond Elementary School. It was Corbin Avenue Elementary at the time. She also drove the bus for the school. She would get up, fix breakfast for her children and get them ready for school, then drive the school bus, fix lunch for the school children, drive the kids back home and then take care of her children when she got home. And she did it all by herself. We have it so easy these days.

Grandma lottie could make steak out of hamburger. She knew how to stretch what she had and make it into something great. I used to love her chicken and rice (mostly rice) and her meatloaf. Someone once asked her why her meatloaf tasted so good and she laughed and said; because it doesn’t have much meat in it. It was mostly crackers….and a lot of love.

Sometimes on weekends we would get invited to Grandma Lottie’s house for breakfast. She would make waffles and sausages. She had an old waffle iron that she got at an auction. She loved going to auctions and they knew her by name at the local auction house. That old waffle iron must have made thousands of waffles. It wasn’t very fancy but it worked great.

Grandma Lottie died while I was out at sea serving in the Navy. I remember getting the death notice and whishing that I could be there for the funeral. It was almost a month though before I made it back home and when I got there I went to see her house one last time. I had hopes of finding some little memento to remember her by.

It was sad seeing the house empty of furniture and all the other treasures that she got from the auction house. The only remaining items were in little piles on the porch where they had been claimed by all the relatives. Anything with any monetary value was already gone so the stuff that was left was basically worthless to anyone but family. As I sadly looked over the remaining items, I spied the waffle iron. So I took it. I deserved to have it as much as anyone else. When she was alive, I spent more time with her than any of her other grandchildren. I mowed her lawn because no one else would do it for the 50 cents that she paid. And it was a big yard too.

I cleaned that little waffle iron up and I still use it to make waffles for my family. I used it just last weekend in fact. And it always reminds me of Lottie.

Have a great day,

Greg

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday, I have no intention…….



On the last day of 2012, I took a Yoga class. I knew it would be a great way to end the year and it was. During the class just like in most classes the leader suggested that we set an intention. For those that don’t take yoga, what this means is that you pick an object or thought to focus on during the class. It can be an object like a flower or a bird or something less concrete like love or peace. In this class we were told to try and think of an intention to set our focus for 2013. Try as I may, I just couldn’t come up with just one thing.

All kinds of ideas were popping into my head for what I want to accomplish in 2013 but there was no common theme to focus on. As in the past, I do want to lose weight this year. I want to get in shape. I want to become healthier by eating better, drinking less, exercising more and minimizing the stress in my life. I would like to do more volunteer work, help others more, and reach out to those in need. I would like to make some new friends and get rid of some old habits that no longer suit me. I would like to strengthen my spirituality. I would also like to try my hand at some new things this year. All good things but there is no central theme.

After giving several days of thought, I have decided that I really don’t have just one direction. So what do you do when you have no clear direction to go? The answer was so obvious that I just couldn’t see it; When you have nowhere to go, just stay put. It’s ironic that several weeks ago when I was getting ready to start my yoga class, the instructor came over and asked how I was doing. I told her that “I” was doing great. There was trouble in the world all around me but in my little space everything was perfect.

And that is how it usually is for me. Any turmoil or grief in my life is caused by some external force or person. If I were all alone, other than feeling alone, I would have nothing at all to complain about. My little world is calm and serene. Inside I am happy and content. It’s only when I have to deal with the chaos around me that I get upset. So where does that leave me?

I guess that I need to focus on what I already have and try to strengthen it. I need to make improvements and take care of myself so that I can face the turmoil all around me. It is obvious to me considering what is going on in Washington that no one else is going to watch out for me so I must do it myself. And maybe, just maybe, if I strengthen myself, I can start to make changes to the world around me instead of having it affect me.

So today I am thankful for my will to survive and knowing that all things are possible through God. I know that no matter how bad things get in the years to come, I will make it through. And even if I don’t have a direction at the moment I still have a purpose for being here.



Have a great day,

Greg

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday, I don't believe

There are so many things in this world that are fake these days. Someone said that you can't put anything on the internet if it isn't true. That in itself is so untrue. I think that 90% of the information on line is fake and the rest is blown out of proportion by the media. I never thought that a day would that you couldn't believe what you read in a news paper but that day has arrived and it came with a bang.

So I don't believe anything I read in the paper, on line or anything I see on TV. Especially those "reality" shows. If you didn't already know it, those shows are fake. Yes the people are real and the shows somewhat revolve around their normal lives but they are scripted and those people are doing crazy things just to boost ratings.

I also don't believe in UFO's, free things, that Honey Boo Boo will ever amount to anything normal, and I don't believe that the path to Heaven goes through the front door of a church. It can but that comes with conditions.

I have a problem with some churches these days. When I go to church, I look around when we are singing songs. Most of the time what I see are expressionless or sad faces staring into the hymnal, singing words with little or no feeling. If I see that in a church, I have to wonder if these people left their hearts at the door. When I go to church I want to rejoice and praise God when I sing. I think we should all be happy and feel glorious that we can be there and praise God and we should rejoice in doing so. I may be the only one that feels this way but I think you should leave church feeling uplifted and renewed. I mean we just spent time with God.

So the front door to a church can be a path to Heaven but you have to come out arm and arm with Jesus. And I think that you should feel good about it so that is why I am happy in church.

So today I am thankful that I can worship God in the manner of my choosing. And yes I like the more modern church where people greet one another, they smile and make you feel welcome and you leave feeling good about yourself and life in general.

Don Williams said it best in a song;

I don't believe that Heaven waits
For only those that congregate,
I like to think that God is love
He's down below
He's up above,
He's watching people
Everywhere
He knows who does
and doesn't care

Have a great day,
Greg