Monday, March 31, 2008

Don't worry, bee happy.


I am having a slight case of writer’s block. I am sure I will come up with something soon but I just have to wait for the cobwebs to clear out and my brain to function again. I get like this every spring as I overdose on allergy medication. I am beginning to think that my wife is right and that there is a lot of vacant space in my head. I hate to be gross but I have been blowing my nose so much that there is no way all that stuff could be contained in nasal passages. I know my coworkers are disgusted from hearing me blow my nose but I really can’t help it. I don’t feel that bad but my nose won’t stop running. Ok it is pretty gross.

It is very cloudy today but we are getting very little rain. I love the rain and how it washes all the pollen away. Seeing all that yellow stuff going down the drains makes me happy. Every spec of pollen that gets washed down the drain is one less that I have to deal with. I wonder if fish have allergies. If they do, I bet they hate the rain. I guess it could be worse. I could be a honey bee. They have to deal with all that pollen all year long. They also have to deal with mites which seem to be killing them off at an alarming rate. Maybe that is what it is. Maybe my allergies are bad this year because I am allergic to bee mites. Now wouldn’t that something. What will I think of next?

Have a great day,
Greg

Friday, March 28, 2008

Where has all the love gone?

This morning on my way into work, I was happy to see that my coffee store was back open. Yea!!! They were however having trouble with the new computers so it was taking a while to check out. The manager announced; “Anyone who has just coffee, can have it for free” Several people left with their free coffee. Usually that would have included me but I needed gas today so I waited patiently. Several other people stormed off angry because they didn’t want to wait.

Several miles up the road, I stopped at a traffic light. In the intersection ahead there lay two large suitcases. They must have just fallen off of someone’s car. I put on my flashers, ran and got them and placed them on the side of the road in hopes that the owner would discover them missing and return. As I ran back to my car, a lady pulled into the other lane to go around my car, cursing at me as she passed. (by her hand signal she may have been telling me I was #1) I didn’t let it bother me because I not only saved the luggage but may have prevented an accident. As I was driving away I saw some construction workers taking the luggage and tossing it into their truck. Oh well I tried.

Last night was another hectic one. My grey hair generator, AKA youngest son hurt his foot and we had to go get it x-rayed. We opted to have it done at my wife’s chiropractor’s office instead of taking him into town to the emergency room. It meant paying for it ourselves but it was well worth it vice having to call our primary care doctor, getting a referral, going to the emergency room, waiting for hours, picking up all those germs, etc etc. Yes he has a slight fracture but it is so small that he just needs to stay off of it. I am sure he would have been put in a full leg cast at the emergency room.

After all that, I managed to get a good nights sleep. I think it was more like passing out from exhaustion than sleeping. But whatever you call it, I needed it. I had a vision too and may have come up with the idea of a lifetime. This idea is big. No, bigger than Big. No, more like huge.

It is bigger than:




It is bigger than:





How does this sound: Greg’s back yard Monastery. Now before you say “no way”, hear me out. First off, I think there are lots of tax advantages to the idea. I bet I could cash in my 401k and donate it to my Monastery and not have to pay a dime. I may even be able to get some extra tax breaks in the process

I still need to work out all the details and do some research but I think it has merit. So what would Greg the Monk do you ask? The answer is simple. Grow Goji berries. I read about them last night in the doctor’s office. I believe there is a huge market for them now and Tibetan Monks have been growing they for centuries.



Another positive aspect of this idea is clothing. I would save tons of money by only having to wear a robe. I think I would look pretty good as a monk. This is how I might look:









So what do you think? Pretty good idea isn’t it. Just think about it, peace and tranquility, free Goji berries, no taxes. I may even raise some llamas. Pretty soon you will all want to join me but you better hurry. I am sure there will be a waiting list. I have limited space. Oh and I haven’t cleared this with my wife yet but I am "sure" she will approve.

Have a great day,

Greg (soon to be Greg the Monk) Well Maybe

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I got it.

"It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood".....but I got the blues. It's just going to be one of those days. I guess they can't all be wonderful. Maybe things will turn around for me soon. I am hoping they do anyway.

I woke up with another allergy attack last night. It was right at the stroke of midnight. It took me over an hour to get back to sleep and I had to take more medicine. This caused me to wake up tired and groggy. This should tell you how sleepy I was: After I got cleaned up, I was drying my hair and realized that it wasn't wet. I forgot to wash it, so I had to start over. When I got to my coffee stop, the lights were off. They are installing a new computer today and so they were closed. I had to stop someplace else for coffee and it put me behind schedule. All the way to work, people were cutting me off and driving behind me with their high beams on. When I got to work, my ID badge wouldn't work so I had to take a long way in and now I need a new badge. My co-worker brought me a sausage biscuit. When I opened it, they had covered it in mayonaise. Yuck!!!

I know all this seems trivial but I also have a lot of things on my mind. They are mostly little things but they are never the less there. And lots of little things make one big thing.....Stress. I just want to go back to bed.

Have a great day,
Someone needs to. :(

Greg

Update:
I am finally awake and yes today has gotten better. I think I shook off the funk that had me by the throat. Some days are just like that I guess. That groggy feeling has gone away and my allergies aren't bothering me at the moment. I had a vending machine burger for lunch but it was actually good. Time to put on some upbeat music and get happy. Thanks for all the concern. See my new face below. I used to have a big picture like that in my old office and it would drive people crazy. I think I will put it up in my new office.




Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

With summer rapidly approaching and my boys getting older, I am reminded of my own childhood and the summers I had. I remember running barefoot through the Florida woods, fishing in the Halifax River, and catching all kinds of living things to keep as pets. I loved having pets and had everything from snakes to squirrels. My mother swore I would get bit and I would have to get painful rabies shots. My fondest memories however were of the trips to Camp JOY in West Virginia.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was raised Seventh Day Baptist. During the summer, our Church members would pitch in money and supplies so that we could go to camp. We would all load up in a big station wagon with the preacher driving and head to West Virginia. I know that there were a lot of us packed in the car but I can’t remember exactly how many. I am sure it was more than the law now allows. We would head out of Daytona early in the morning and stop for the night somewhere in North Carolina.

This Church was, and still is a tight family community and we stayed for free in someone’s home. I can’t remember the name of the person that let us stay with them but I remember a big white house on a hill with a pond beside it. The pond water was red from the clay in the area. I was able to see a few fish in it when I tossed in worms that I dug up from under the hay in the barn. I can still remember the smell of the farm in the morning when I got up early to explore. After a breakfast of cereal and fresh milk (right from their cow), we hit the road again.
As soon as we crossed the West Virginia state line, our preacher would start singing;

"Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills!
If o'er sea o'er land I roam, Still I'll think of happy home,
And my friends among the West Virginia hills."

The first few years we went to camp JOY, it was held at a 4H camp somewhere in West Virginia. It was in a little valley with mountains on all sides and it had a stream running all around the camp site. We stayed in cabins. Each cabin had a preacher/chaperone and the boys and girls cabins faced each other across a large field. We had Bible study, sporting activities, quiet time and we swam in the stream that surrounded the camp. I would turn blue from the cold water because this “Florida boy” wasn’t used to it. At meal time, we all ate together in a big cafeteria. The residents of each cabin would sit together and we sang challenges to the other tables;

“Stand up table one stand up,
stand up table one stand up.
We won’t shut up till you stand up,
stand up table one stand up.”

There were other songs but for some reason that one is etched in my brain. (Perhaps because I heard it thousands of times during the week.)

Each morning, we met at the flag pole and said the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. One of the girls at the camp had a little stuffed bear that she kept with her. One day she left it on one of the picnic tables and one of the boys took it. The next morning as we met at the flag pole there was the little bear at the top of the pole. The girl started crying and one of the counselors had to climb up and get the bear down. Camp was a lot of fun.

A few years later, they changed the location of the camp. The new camp site was in Berea West Virginia. We stayed in an old school house and slept in sleeping bags. The boys slept upstairs and the girls slept downstairs. There was a girl there that year that had a crush on me. She sent me a “love” note and told me that she liked me a lot and didn’t have a “steady”. She kept following me the entire week. She caught me alone once and told me that if I wanted to kiss her it would be ok and she wouldn’t tell anyone. I told her I had a cold and it wouldn’t be a good idea. I was really shy back then.

There was a huge strawberry patch right beside the church and one day I ate so many I broke out in hives. I didn’t eat strawberries for a long time after that. The drinking water there was terrible so I only drank milk. One day several of us went for a hike and happened onto a house that had an open well. The man that lived there went and got some cups and dipped us some water. It was the best tasting water I ever had. We had a lot of fun at those camps. Sadly, that was the last year I went to camp in West Virginia.

They held the camp in Florida one year but it wasn’t as special as those trips to West Virginia. I will never forget summer camp and I keep singing that song over and over in my head, even after over 35 years; "Still I'll think of happy home, And my friends among the West Virginia hills."

Have a Blessed day,
Greg

Monday, March 24, 2008

Promise of a new day

I hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday. I did although I was miserable with a massive allergy attack. I somehow managed to function yesterday even though I was heavily medicated. Today is a new day and although I am still somewhat groggy from the medicine, I am feeling much better. I am going to put yesterday behind me and get started with the rest of my life. The pain I suffered yesterday was my fault. I know better than to spend so much time outside in the spring. There was so much I wanted to get done on Saturday though so I forced myself to go outside.

There are tons of new allergy medications on the market. Some block histamines some deaden your senses while others just make you so groggy that you don’t care. I have tried everything on the market. Nothing seems to totally work for me. I get the most relief my just washing the pollen away. I found out by trial and error that the best thing I can do when I am being attacked is to wash my face and then sit quietly in a cool place and relax. It gives me instant relief and nothing works like clean cool water when it comes to getting relief.

Coincidently, that same thing happens to a lot of us spiritually. We find ourselves getting attacked with day to day troubles. We find our energy draining away. It gets difficult just to get up in the morning. We can try as we may all kinds of new remedies but nothing soothes like good cool water. So when life gets you down, try going back to the basics to find relief. Cool water and quiet meditation. That’s the answer.

This time of year, I often think about just getting away. I know if I were someplace dry and arid, I wouldn’t have to put up with all this pollen. But then I remember that; If I want to see flowers, there has to be pollen. Besides running away isn’t always the best answer. Sometimes you have to face some pain to get where you want to be. I thought about that yesterday being that it was Easter. I thought about how easy it would have been for Jesus to say “enough is enough” and defeat those wanted to kill him. Instead he remained and died for us. I guess I don’t have it so bad after all. I can handle a little discomfort. It really is just discomfort. Nothing really compared to what He endured.

Have a Blessed day,
Greg

PS here are some of our azaleas:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Newton's Law, Well kind of.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I woke up this morning around 2 am thinking about this. That sounds strange doesn’t it? My brain works like this sometimes. I will get something that initially seems quite trivial on my mind at the strangest times. I tried to drift back to sleep but no luck. Laying there in my half awake state, I began to put the pieces of the puzzle together and it became quite clear why this was on my mind.
At first I tried to disprove it as far as it pertains to people. In the end I realized that he was right. Even when it comes to people and someone’s actions, this theory is rock solid. It may not seem obvious but it never less is. So what does this have to do with today?.

I apply this theory to my day to day life. You see, I am slow to say what is on my mind or to do something that may offend others. Before I do or say anything, I think about it and imagine what the possible consequences are of what I am about to do. Thank God our minds work fast or I would just stay there staring off into space but this process usually only takes a few seconds. Some more complex actions take longer to go over but usually I have time. Before I act, I analyze what the best and worst outcomes are from my actions. After giving it some brief thought, I decide whether I should act at all.

Some people act and react blindly without a purpose in mind and without considering the consequences. Here is an example of what went on today. As you know I work in a power plant. Our job is to make sure that you get electricity whenever you want it. From time to time, we have to work weekends or holidays to keep the plant running or to do necessary repairs. Today was such a day. We are in a maintenance outage and behind schedule. If our schedule slips then we could possibly impact the reliability of your power. So we had to work today. Now we aren’t working for free either. We get paid 8 hours of holiday pay and then time and a half on top of it.

Our plant manager decided to serve chilidogs today to give everyone a break. That way they don’t have to fix lunch. This was totally free. One group of workers here decided that they didn’t want hotdogs. “That is cheap” they said. “It’s an insult to serve us hotdogs for lunch. We aren’t going to eat that trash." So the whole group decided to boycott lunch just to “show” the plant manager they wouldn’t stand for something this low. So they passed up a free lunch just to prove a point. So what was the point? And what did they expect to accomplish?

Well they accomplished nothing. They gained nothing. They lost out on a good meal and most of them ate crackers or a dry sandwich for lunch. I on the other hand had two chili dogs, chips, baked beans and iced tea. All for free. And the best part was it was prepared by one of the best cooks in South Carolina. That’s right, I helped fix it. Am I angry that they boycotted? Not in the least bit. I still don’t know what they expected to gain from all this but the only thing I heard the plant manager say was I guess I will quit trying to do things for them.

Now the rest of the story; Just two weeks ago, he served them pork tenderloins for a free lunch. They forgot about that. They also forgot that they are making around 50.00 per hour today if you count the holiday. Some people are never satisfied no matter what you give them. I bet the nice meals go away now too. I also bet that the next time someone asks for something for free, they don’t get it. So their action didn’t get the reaction they wanted. Did they really think that he was going to say. Yes you are right, hotdogs are cheap, next time lets have lobster. Not hardly.

And that is why I woke up thinking about Newton's Law. I knew this was going to happen today. I just hoped they would come to their senses.

In case I don’t get to post before then, have a great Easter everyone.
Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Does anyone know what day it is?

I think my batteries are in need of a good charge. I have been working weekends now since mid February and I can tell it is taking its toll on me. I woke up this morning wondering what day it was. At first I thought it was Wednesday but then I changed my mind and thought it was Friday. After waking up a little, I realized that Friday is “Good Friday” so I knew it must be Thursday. If this sounds confusing, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. I am confused as well.

I really do feel drained and need some quality rest time. I do have to work on Good Friday but I am supposed to have Saturday and Sunday off. My plans are to do a little garden work on Saturday and take the entire day off on Sunday. I will get everything ready for out Easter meal ready on Saturday so that all I have to do is pop it in the grill before church and we can eat when we get home. Sounds like a great plan to me now let’s see if I can stick to it. I use the grill like an oven because it keeps the heat out of our house.

Another indicator that I need some rest (besides not knowing what day it is) is that we got into an argument last night about vacations. This is one area where we have a difference of opinion. To me a vacation is time off from work where I get to totally rest, unwind from the day to day monotony and recharge my body. I prefer a quiet setting, somewhere in a beach or beside a pool just relaxing. My family however thinks of vacation as an adventure. They want to go someplace exciting and new and fill each minute of the day with excitement and fun.

Now I like excitement and fun, it is just that I don’t get to do much relaxing. My family suggested separate vacations but that doesn’t sound to me like a good idea either. I will just have to try to work in a little “me” time into our vacations. I am also coming up with a plan where everyone can chip in and help out with the vacation arrangements. Now that sounds like a plan.

I was curious how you all feel about vacations. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

Well back to work for me. I will keep working and trying to improve myself and others. As Paul said in Colossians 1:29; "To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." I feel some energy coming on.



Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

She amazes me.

Since today is my wife’s birthday, I thought I would write about her. I really am amazed she is still alive today. Over the years, I have tried to kill her numerous times and she has done some miraculous things but somehow she managed to survive. None if it was ever intentional but things just happen. I am going to plead insanity though and blame it on getting hit in the head by the cast net weights. Those were the weights from the same cast net I bought her. Hmmmmm I wonder if that was intentional. She did however make a comment last night after reading my blog that; she liked the cast net and was only picking. She also wanted me to say thank you for all the birthday wishes.

She is much tougher than I am.

This “accident” happened before we were even married. She swears it wasn’t an accident. I accidently pulled her water skiing across an oyster bar. She fell onto the oysters and they cut her up badly. I never saw anyone bleed like that before. She never even went to a doctor though because he grandmother, “Nana” didn’t believe in them. “just take some cod liver oil and put some flax seed on it and it will be ok” She said. I guess Nana was right. Several months later, after many bandages and flax seed treatments, she was almost as good as new and managed to limp down the aisle to get married. I got some similar oyster cuts a few years later and I spent three weeks in the hospital and almost lost my foot.

She is also much braver than I am.

One day, we were driving through town and there on the edge of the road was a young boy throwing rocks at cars. He looked to be about 5 years old. This is an area where two highways meet and the cars usually travel around 45 mph. Diane shouted “stop the car” so I did. She then hopped out and grabbed the young boy. After a good scolding, they headed down a side road. I was petrified because this was not a good area to be in. It was known for harboring drug dealers and there have been lots of killings on those streets. To be quite honest, it is a black neighborhood and it is dangerous for white people to even drive down these streets. I rolled up my windows and reluctantly turned down the street to follow them.

She continued walking and leading this young black child by the arm. So picture this, we are in an all black neighborhood, and a white woman has a young black child by the arm and is dragging him down the street. I remember thinking; “we are going to die right here and now.” We were getting deep into some dangerous territory when they turned and headed up a side walk. Without hesitation, she opened the front door and walked right in. She then proceeded to wake this child’s mother up and scold her for not taking better care of her child. The mother who had passed out either from drugs, alcohol or both just stood there and took it. Somehow we made it out of that one alive but I will never forget it.
She is kinder than I am.

To some people she comes across as a little harsh but we know different. She does put up a good front, but deep down she is a softie. Now don’t get me wrong, she is no pushover and won’t back down in an argument but when it comes to children, animals, or people truly in need she goes out of her way. Let me explain.
She hates giving to those who really don’t need or appreciate her help. But when those firemen are out on the street asking for donations, she always gives. She has a fit when I say I am going to throw away old clothes and insists on taking them to Goodwill. She is the first to take up money for flowers or to help out a friend that is down or in need. She will also go out of her way to save an animal literally. I have seen her almost take out an oak tree to avoid hitting a squirrel. I am sorry but I have my limits and it would be “oak tree-1, squirrel-0.” She will do anything for our kids too and puts them first on her list. Do anything to or say anything bad about our children and you better get ready for a fight.

So here is wishing my “Better half” a Happy Birthday. I won’t say how old she is but as she puts it; “I am always younger than you are” I guess she has me there.



Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bad start

Achoooooo

I am under attack this morning. I spent most of the day on Sunday out in the yard and because of that I am suffering today. My allergies have flared up and I am miserable. The battle had already begun when I first got out of bed. My glands were swollen, my throat was scratchy, my eyes are puffy and burning and the inside of my ears itched. In fact my entire body is itchy. I don’t have bad allergies I have terrible allergies. I really don’t know anyone that has it as bad as I do. Let me tell you how bad they are.

To soothe my scratchy throat, I will eat potato chips and not chew them up all the way. That way when I swallow, they scrape their way down my throat and give me a little relief. I usually wash my face and eyes about every 15 minutes to try to relieve the burning. I pour alcohol into my ears to try to relieve some of that pain but it too is only temporary. This is the time of year when I start thinking about matches and how much pain I could inflict on a forest with only one little match. Yes I dream of burning down tree after tree and watching all that yellow pollen go up in smoke. I won’t actually do it but I do have this same fantasy each spring.

The only thing that keeps me going, is knowing that the worst is usually over In a week or two. After that it will only be mild pain. I know also that this is all necessary if we want to have trees and flowers but it still doesn’t make me feel better physically. Oh and I did take something for it but it only gives a little relief and I end up being a zombie at work.

I know better than to go outside this time of year but I had a lot of things that I wanted to do and they were all outside. First off, we had to clean up after the storms we had. We were under a tornado warning for about three hours on Saturday evening. They spotted several on the ground and one was heading our way. We ended up getting lots of wind and rain but no tornado. Our youngest was flipping out and he got out the flashlights, candles and blankets in case we needed to cover ourselves.

Next I wanted to finish working in the rose garden. Tomorrow is my wife’s birthday and I bought her a nice bird bath to go in the garden but I needed to get the weeds out first. That was a major project but it does look really nice if I do say so myself. She likes the birdbath much better than the cast net I got her one year. Before you shoot me for giving a woman a cast net, let me explain.

We had only been dating for about 6 months and I knew she liked fishing. The first time we went fishing together she had a very old cast net which was full of holes. Me being the thoughtful person I am went out and got her something she could really use: a brand new cast net. To this day, she has never let me forget that one but in my defense, she did use it and liked it at the time. When she brings it up, I just remind her that several months before, for our first Christmas, I got her emeralds. See I am not all bad.

I am feeling better now. The ice water compress I just had on my eyes did the trick.

I have more to say but I want to save some desert for tomorrow. :)
Have a wonderful St. Patricks day,

Greg

Friday, March 14, 2008

What is it?

Can anyone identify these black mountains?




Actually they are man made. They are in South Carolina but came from Kentucky. They were moved by train. Give up? Ok it is a huge mountain of coal. It will be used to make electricity for your home.


Here is where the process takes place. Notice the clean air above the plant. The air isn't that clear above the paper mill just down the river. Everyone complains about the power plant but no one complains about the paper mill. Everyone needs power more than they need paper. People just like to complain.






Home invaders:

We put up these gourds as homes for the purple martins but these starlings took over the apartment. People go to great lengths to get rid of the starlings but try to encourage the purple martins. People are just plain Prejudice when it comes to birds. And other things.



Speaking of home invaders, power and dark things…..

As yet another politician comes under the gun for his bad decisions; I have to wonder if it is power that corrupts these people or are they already corrupt. I am not saying that all powerful people are corrupt. I do believe there are good people in positions of power. What I am saying is; when a bad person gets into a position of power he tends to further his corruption until it ruins him. I should say here that by saying “him” I could just as well say “her”.

In reading 2 Kings, I have noticed three kinds of politicians. There are those that are corrupt from the start. They usually force their way into their position of authority and then lose it by the same method. Almost never does a bad one turn to good once he reaches power. Second there are the ones that are good from the start and remain good throughout their term. These seem to be few and far between these days just as they were in the days of old. Then there are the ones that start out good but go astray once they are in office. These are the ones I wonder about. I wonder if they were just faking it to get into office and then got caught once they gained power or did something happen to change their beliefs once they were in office. I guess we will never know.

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another day another dollar

Does anyone know who made that statement? In my earliest days of working the least I made was one dollar an hour. I can't imagine working for a dollar a day. That wouldn't work these days since I use up about ten dollars a day on gas. Dis you know that most of our gas comes from Canada. Just a little something I found on the web.

It's big meeting day today. That means we sit around and talk about all the things we did over the past two weeks and lose another day in the process. I don't mind though, I get paid the same if I sit in a meeting or really work. As I was leaving work yesterday, I saw one person checking his watch and two others yelled out: "leaving early today?" One of these days I will wait by the gate in the morning and yell"getting to work late these days?" You see I start my day 30 minutes early so I leave 30 minutes early. It all works out.


I am working on my new Real Estate Blog so check it out later this week. The shortcut is on the right.


Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring back, fall forward

Not a Geiko comercial.



Yes, its clock changing time again. I know what the original purpose for the time change was but I think it is "time" to leave it in one place and forget it. There was so much hype this year about making sure that your clocks were changed properly that "even a cave man could do it." Did I mention that my MIL forgot to set hers. :)

This morning I woke up at 4:00 on the button. I thought man, my alarm will go off in 15 minutes so I'm going to just lay here and relax. Then I thought: "hmmmm I have everything ready for work so why not set my clock back 15 minutes and maybe I can get another half hour of sleep". Setting my clock is easy, so easy a cave man could do it. Sorry I did it again. Anyway I reached over in the dark to hit the set button but hit the wrong one and my alarm began going off.

My alarm clock is really smart. It has a mind of it's own. This morning "it" decided it was time for me to get up. Once the alarm starts, there is no way to shut it off. You either have to wait 10 minutes for it to time out or unplug it. Since my wife was laying there "trying" to sleep, I decided to pull the plug. After a few seconds I plugged it back in but it refused to shut up. That's what I get for replacing that battery. I finally gave up and decided to get my day started. I left my clock unplugged. Don't worry, my wife has her own clock which will be going off in one hour.

At first I was grumpy, thinking that I lost out on 30 minutes sleep but then I realized that my body was awake and I really didn't need more sleep. All of a sudden it dawned on me (no pun intended). Here I was about to give away 15 minutes of my life and instead God gave me an extra 15 minutes. Wow a free gift at 4 am. Not many people can say that. So now I have an extra 30 minutes today to do with how ever I choose. Here is what I did with it.

First off a little present for me; I took a short 10 minute soak this morning before going to work. It was nice just sitting in my big tub with a hot towel across my eyes. Since it is allergy season this was especially nice.

Next I devoted 10 minutes to God. I spent an extra 10 minutes reading 1 Kings this morning. I am still enjoying my morning reading. I doubt if I will be able to keep all these Kings straight. There were as many bad ones as good ones. Politics never changes does it.

I took 5 minutes to stop into McYummies this morning for a tasty sausage biscuit. As I stopped at the drive through ordering screen, Miss "I hate mornings" spoke up saying "Welcome to McYummies, can I take your order." I wanted to say: "that's may I" but instead I quickly replied in a perky voice: "Good morning I would like a sausage biscuit please." In her best Eyore voice she said: "First window." I could tell someone didn't take their happy pill this morning. Usually I turn the radio off when I go through the drive through but I could tell she needed some encouragement so I turned the volume up and made her listen to a minute of "Give me Jesus" while she counted my change.




Next I drove to the pickup window with my misic still playing loudly. To my surprise though the window opened and I was greated with a bright cheerful smile and very happy person. Did I just go through a time warp or something? This girl was right out of the McYummy comercials. I thought about the statement: "Put your best foot forward" and wondered if the manager had every heard that saying.

The final thing I did was devote 5 minutes to my blogging friends. I wasn't going to post this morning but I decided why not. Since I was given some extra time, I should pass some of my good fortune (and happy attitude)along. I hope everyone has a day as great as mine will be.


Happy Tuesday,
Greg

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Miracle

Last week, I stumbled onto a blog with the heading "Monday Miracle". (I can't seem to find it now either) After reading about several of them I posted some comments and said that I would post today about a miracle that happened to us about 10 years ago. Life itself is a miracle but this concerned something that happened to our son Sean. When I said I would post about this on THIS particular Monday, I didn't even realize at the time that today is Sean's birthday. Talk about a timely post, he turned 11 today.



Like I said, life itself is a miracle and we see miracles all around us but sometimes things happen that make us just stop and think. Sean has always been a wonder and he is defiantly responsible for many of the grey hairs I have today. He is the kindest most considerate child I know but he has a way of getting into trouble that would make a saint want to curse. Also one of the reasons he gets into trouble is because he is very smart. He is able to figure things out so normal parental defenses just don’t work with him.

There was the time he got away from us on the river boat at Disney World and hid laughing as I frantically screamed his name. I know I looked like an idiot. He was only playing but I almost died from fright thinking about all that could happen. There was also the time I went a few houses down the street and returned to find him on the roof of my shed. He was only a few years old. There he was waiving to me as I pulled in the driveway. But neither of these things compared to what happened when he was only one year old.

It was a warm spring afternoon. There was a storm brewing and the sky was dark and eerie looking. The wind was gusting and the trees were swaying back and forth. As I pulled in the drive, I saw my family running into the house just as a large bolt of lightning hit a nearby tree. It was close enough that I felt the static electricity in the air. It wasn’t raining though because like many storms in our area they stop at the river and we either only get a brief shower or nothing at all. It was close enough to send lightening into our area but we never did get any rain.

I grabbed my things and quickly ran into the house just as another bolt of lightning hit the ground. I closed the door with my foot because my hands were full and I headed for the kitchen counter to unload. Sean was in the living room as I passed though and as usual greeted me with a smile. As soon as I put the things down, I returned and locked the door to keep Sean inside. He was a fast child and even though he had just learned to walk, we had to keep the door locked to keep him inside. After locking the door, I returned to the kitchen to put my things away. Sean had gone into the bathroom where my wife was busy folding laundry that she had just taken off the line. Or so I though.

After about 10 minutes, I called to my wife and said: “Sean sure is quiet, Is he helping you fold clothes?” She replied: “Sean isn’t in here. Isn’t he with you?” No I said, so I set out to find him. I checked his bedroom and he wasn’t there. Next I checked our bedroom and he wasn’t there either. I began to panic as I checked out each room more carefully. I was running now and my wife had joined in the search. Sean was nowhere to be found. The door was locked so he had to be inside somewhere. I had only been left unlocked for about 15 seconds when I first came home. He couldn’t possibly have gotten out that fast could he? With panic in our hearts, we both ran for the door.

It wasn’t the fact that the road we live on is a busy one or the fact that it was still lightning that had us afraid. What we were both thinking was about our pool and the fact that in everyone’s haste to get inside, no one had locked the gate. As soon as we got outside, we heard Sean crying. There he stood on the deck, soaking wet, about 10 feet from the pool. He had made it to the pool and fell in. That part didn’t surprise us. What did was how he got out. He had only recently learned to walk and couldn’t swim. The pool was way over his head and from the water marks showing where he fell in, he would have had to swim several feet to even get to the ladder. Even if he made it to the ladder, the rungs were way too far apart for him to climb out. But somehow he did make it out.

I am convinced that a miracle happened that day and there was some Devine intervention which got him out. I still get shivers when I think about it and know in my heart that God was watching over him.
Happy Birthday Sean!
Have a great day,
Greg

PS, this is a picture he painted. We love it so much we hung it in our living room.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The proof is in the puddle

I see why I have been getting headaches lately. I am cursed with really bad allergies. Mostly I am allergic to tree pollen. Now you see why I set the tree on fire when I was a child. I am miserable this time every year but I will try to keep smiling and maintain my positive attitude even though there is a war going on inside my sinuses. I know it is only a temporary thing so soon enough it will be over. No this picture isn't inside my nose although it will be looking like this soon. This is a puddle at work after the rain we had this morning. Time for some Benedryl.

"Yellow Gold"



It's not really gold. It is only valuable to my doctor. :)



Happy Friday,
Greg

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Scatterbrained"

No, it's not another game. It is how my brain is functioning this morning. :)It seems to be jumping from one subject to the next like a little honey bee.

Great meeting:

We had a great meeting last night at our real estate office. For those that didn’t know it, my wife and I are both real estate agents. It is another one of our many talents. We work for “Carolina Real Estate Connection” in case anyone wants to buy or sell homes or property in the Charleston area. We are only an email away. My email is listed on my blog. Also you can visit our site at: www.mlsincharleston.com I had nothing great to report at the meeting though only because everything is going so well for me now that nothing stands out. This is a good thing. Now don’t quit coming to my blog just because I said I am an agent. For some reason that tends to scare people away. We don't bite, really. Well some do but my wife and I don't.


We need change!

That seems to be the focus of this year’s presidential campaign. At least the candidates left seem to like that phrase. I guess it is now down to three candidates and I am saddened to say, none of the three fit the mold of what I think a president should be and none of them have values close to mine. I have noticed some “change” in the two democratic hopefuls though. Have you noticed that Obama is losing weight and Clinton is gaining. Not that it makes any difference but I know from experience that stress causes weight fluctuations so both must be stressing out. Stress also causes grey hair which I know TOO well so McCain is stressing too. I wonder how any of these will hold up when they are under real stress and take office.

I started wondering if Obama keeps losing weight will his voice turn squeaky and start to sound like Ross Perot. I fear that soon he will take out the charts and start drawing. They say that Clinton is gaining momentum. The equation for momentum is P=MV where P (momentum) equals Mass times Velocity. Since she doesn’t appear to be moving faster one can only assume……… You do the math. Another report said that Obama’s supporters were disappearing. Could it be that Clinton and her supporters are eating them? Talk about a dog eat dog strategy. No pun intended. McCain is still my candidate of choice only because he is eligible for Social Security so we may not have to pay him if he gets elected. Think about it.

Spring has sprung.

Spring is officially here. Not according to the calendar but the plants know. My pear tree is in full bloom and so is the big maple tree in our front yard. They are predicting temperatures in the thirties this weekend though so let’s hope we don’t get a freeze. I would hate to lose all these pears. Not that I get to eat them because the deer love them. I have never seen so many blooms on my tree. Most likely the limbs will break under the strain.




Sound of silence.

I have grown tired of all the radio shouting that seems to be the norm these days. For some reason DJ’s or whatever they are presently called like to scream and shout. The DJ’s do it, the advertisers do it and even the singers do it. I like it calm in the morning though so I quit listening to the scream and shout radio. I now drive with my radio off and listen to the quiet. I have found a great radio station to listen to when I want music and they don’t need to scream to get their message across. I still surf through the other channels to try and find something calming but I usually end up back at "His Radio". You can also listen live at http://www.hisradio.com/common/contenthottop.asp?PAGE=351
By the way, they are having a fund raiser now so that we don’t have to listen to the shouting. Check it out if you have the time.


Happy Thursday everyone.
Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Discoveries

You probably never heard of me before this blog but I made some interesting discoveries myself. As a child, I was always curious about things and this curiosity led me to many interesting discoveries. They weren’t earth shattering like finding America or discovering gravity but they were never less discoveries.

Did you know that tweezers fit perfectly into an electrical outlet? Even at my young age, I noticed the similarities and performed an experiment to prove my theory. They fit in easily enough and aside from some burnt fingers, a damaged outlet, melted tweezers and a blown fuse, I would have to say the experiment was a success.

Did you know that those vines that Tarzan used to swing from are really ropes? I didn’t believe it myself so I climbed a really big oak tree and found a nice solid grape vine that looked sturdy enough. After chopping it off, I tugged on it a little before giving it a try. It held up quite nicely as I was going down but after I hit the bottom of the arc and started back up, I felt the vine giving way. Good thing I landed on my back on some palmetto bushes or I may have gotten hurt. I still have a scar on my arm from that one and my back has never been the same.

Did you know that eating mushrooms growing in the back yard won’t kill you? Neither will telling your mother that you let your little brother eat them to see what would happen but it will get you a sore bottom. It really was no big thing. Once they pumped his stomach out, all was well. I don’t get what the big deal was.

Did you know that a little tiny BB could break a windshield? Me either. No one told me. I figured it would ricochet off and never leave a mark. Man was I wrong on this one. And another thing I discovered about windshields is that they totally shatter into a million pieces when they break and are not installed. That car was old anyway. I thought my neighbor would never notice but somehow he did.

There is no such thing as modesty when there is pain involved. Did you know that when you have a scorpion in your pants, it doesn’t matter where you are or who see’s you, those pants are coming off. There I was in our front yard when the little critter began stinging and biting his way up the inside of my leg. It started around my knee and was getting higher and higher. Lucky for me, no one was around but I really didn’t care and took my pants completely off in our front yard. I am sure these days I would be arrested for such an act. I tell you though, I would do it again in the same situation and so would you. (those of you who like to go commando may want to remember this lesson)

I hope you have many discoveries today but that they are more pleasant than the ones I had as a child.

Have a wonderful day,

Greg

Monday, March 3, 2008

Discovery

As I mentioned before, my favorite channel on TV is The Weather Channel. My second favorite however is Discovery. Some of the shows on there are so interesting and they explain a lot of things that I have always had questions about. Last week they had a show about mummies and it was fascinating. They uncovered Christian mummies in Egypt. This contradicts Christian belief so they believe that this was a transition time for Christians in this area.

A few days ago, there was a show on Discovery about wooly mammoths. They say scientists recently discovered an entire baby mammoth frozen in ice. The episode told about a cave way up north where they keep all these frozen artifacts and examine them. It literally is an ice cave where all the frozen specimens are kept. They have found many pieces of mammoths but this one was whole.After analyzing the baby mammoth, they went on to tell how they think it died and how old it was and all kinds of interesting facts.

Next the topic shifted to genetics and they went into genetic research. There was this scientist that was "playing" with chicken embryo’s trying to mutate them in the hopes of recreating a dinosaur. He was able to introduce a virus into the developing embryo during different stages of growth and cause birth defects in chickens. Now we have shifted from interesting to in my opinion just plain wrong. I could give a thousand reasons why we shouldn't bring back a dinosaur and not one reason why we should. Ok maybe one reason....To eat stupid scientists.

Now there is a show on this week about the snow leopard. In case you don't know anything about them, they are almost extinct. I believe there are only 50 left in the wild and soon they will all be gone. Don't you think it would be better to put all these genetic scientists working on saving animals we still HAVE instead of bringing back ones that have been long gone? Am I the only one that thinks like this? My family agrees with me on this so there are 4 of us right here that feel the same way.

The other thing that sometimes irks me about this channel is when they are running a show about an animal that is endangered. For the sake of the TV show they film one of them being killed or dying of hunger or thirst. I remember one show where this baby white rhino had narrowly escaped from a lion. The camera men sat there and filmed this rare animal bleeding to death. Wouldn't it be a good idea to save these animals and show a dramatization instead of letting one of the last remaining animals die? It sometimes just doesn't make any sense.

I know where all this genetic research is heading, They say all this research is for the good of man and all they are trying to do is find cures for diseases but I have already heard talk of people wanting to create "perfect" humans, cloneing themselves and bringing back people that have died. They are trying to be God.

Genesis 2:15
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

I believe He wants us to take care of what He gave us and not try to create our own garden.

Have a great day,
Greg

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"The Root of the Problem"

It’s been said that Money is the root of all evil but I have to disagree. Some people say that the love of money is the root of all evil but again I disagree. Money and love are not evil. I believe that evil lies in people and it is only evident through their display of money and/or their lack of love and compassion. I know a lot of poor people that are evil and some wealthy people that are blessed.

Some people are just jealous of anything that others have. It starts when we are children. If you put two children in a room with only one toy, I bet a fight will break out. If babies could talk you would hear the words; ”you have” and “I want.” Most of us grow out of it or learn to share and love but there are those that never learn those lessons. It upsets me to see people that take from others just because they can. When I have to lock things up so that they “don’t walk off” I feel violated.

I am working today and you wouldn’t believe how jealous people around here are of me. I really do have a lot to do and things are running so smoothly now I hate to take a chance and let things slow down. It all boils down to jealousy. I know that’s all it is. Yesterday a conversation I had went like this:

He said: Greg, I guess you don’t have to work this weekend. I wish I could have the weekend off. It must be nice having the weekend off……

I said: No I have to work too. My boss wanted me to come in and work this weekend.

He said: They are going to let you come in and work? Man it must be nice to get to come in and make all that overtime.

Notice how he went from him having to work to letting me work. He wants the money but doesn’t want to work. Perhaps we should just hand out money on Friday and tell people not to come in. I am sure some people would not be satisfied with that either. All it would take is for one person to have to work and he would say: I had to work to get my money, why didn’t he? I think too many people just worry about what someone else has and not about themselves.

In management class, they teach us about motivation factors. They start out by asking; “What is the best motivator?” Almost always the first thing said is “money.” Then the instructor will tell everyone why money is the worst motivator. Here is the explanation:

If you give a man more money, whether it is a raise or a bonus, two things happen. First anyone who see’s it wonders why they didn’t get some money too so it de-motivates them. “Why should I work as hard as him? He gets more money.” The second thing that happens is the person getting the money becomes comfortable with it and then it becomes the norm for him. Soon he will forget why he got the extra money and want and expect more.

I have been reading a lot lately about the Israelites. I am up to 1 Samuel if anyone is keeping track. :) They fell into the same trap. God gave them the promise land but they became comfortable with it. Soon they weren’t happy with what they had and wanted more. Eventually, they forgot why they were given the land and only remembered that it was their land. Then, one God wasn’t enough so they sought others. Time and time again, God punished them to remind them why they got the land and time and time again they forgot. I believe they still forget that part today but that is my opinion.

I think the root of all evil is greed and hatred and it lives in each of us. The secret to being happy is to channel these two things properly. First off, be greedy with God. Ask for Him, demand Him and never be satisfied. Keep wanting more God not more Gods. Secondly, hate evil. I don’t mean just dislike it but hate it with all you have. Don’t just let evil deeds pass you by. Say or do something. Show others that it is not ok to be that way. Letting an evil deed go without acknowledgement is just as bad as doing it yourself. I am not saying to seek revenge but instead do something to counter the evil deed.

There are passages to back up everything I have said but unfortunately, I have some work to do so you have to look them up yourself today.

Look it up at:

www.biblegateway.com


Have a Blessed day,

Greg