Friday, July 31, 2009

Thank you, Thank you.

Thank you everyone for all the wonderful comments and encouragement. I am finally up and running. My site is called Charleston Gardening. It is going to be all about growing things in the Charleston area. I am by no means an expert but I do have a really green thumb and seem to be able to grow almost anything.

I dedicate my first post to my Grandmother Green who originally got me interested in gardening. Her favorite flowers were zinnias. When I was really young, I would spend entire days with her working in her flower gardens. I always left with a pocket full of seeds which I planted back at my parents house. They never did very well back then because Dad was a water miser. Most of my plants died from lack of water.

Every week my grandmother would pick several vases of zinnias and take them to church with her. There were always fresh flowers in our church as long as my grandmother was alive. So please visit my webpage and check it out. And if you feel so inclined sign up for email notices that will tell you when I post. I plan on posting at least twice a week, more if I have time,

Thanks again and have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday. Opportunities.

Wow, it has been a great week and I have so much to be thankful for. It will be hard to pick the top 5 but I will try. If you would like to participate in Thankful Thursday, go over to Sonya’s blog and sign up. I am sure she would love to have you join in.

1. I am thankful for the rain we received last night. Not only did we get some much needed rain, we got a spectacular light show. I had to wait for the storm to pass before heading out to my spinning class. On the way there, I was following the storm and the lightening show was awesome.

2. I had a great workout at the gym. Mary, the spinning class leader really pushed us to our limits. In addition to leading us on our spinning journey, she is also very spiritual and keeps us thinking positive and feeling good about what we are doing. She is a great leader. I am thankful for Mary and another great spinning class.

3. I am thankful for my green thumb. Being able to grow things is a blessing from God. My Grandma Green is the one who got me interested in gardening. She was a Godly woman and an inspiration to many people. She would be so proud if she could see my zinnias. They were her favorite flower. She supplied her church with fresh cut zinnias all summer long for as long as I can remember. If there are zinnias in Heaven, I am sure God put her in charge of them. Check out what I grew. It is a yellow watermelon.




4. I am thankful that our pile of firewood is growing daily. My family has been getting up early and chopping, splitting and stacking firewood. (it’s the free stuff that we got over the past month) Last night my youngest son was complaining about the “slave driver” aka “mom.” He said she was working them to death. He said he was tired and aching from all the work. I asked him if he would rather be sick, weak or feeble and unable to do work like that. After giving it some thought he agreed that being tired and sore isn’t so bad after all.

5. I am thankful for opportunities I receive each and every day. Every day I am given opportunities. Sometimes they are opportunities that test me and other times they are opportunities to have faith. I am getting better at both of these as I am passing more tests and gaining faith. God is truly awesome. My latest opportunity is that I am going to be writing for the “Charleston Gardening Examiner.” As an Examiner writer, I will be publishing my articles alongside great Examiner writers like Kelly Combs of “Chatty Kelly” fame. Kelly, along with some others like Terri Tiffany have inspired me to push forward with my writing. I hope I don’t disappoint you all. I will try to make you proud. I will let you all know when my Examiner page is up and running. Thank you all for your support.


Have a great Thankful Thursday,
Greg

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Are you communicating?

I want to thank Sonya again for the book; The 5 love languages. It was an awesome book and I do believe that it has improved the communication in our house. It was about all kinds of communication and not just “love” languages. After reading the book, I realized that perhaps I wasn’t getting my messages out in other areas of my life as well. I have also applied some of the concepts at work with positive results. I think that the book would do a lot of people some good.

The other day I dropped by the grocery store on my way home from work. There is a Publix that I pass so it is an easy place to stop for a few items. I like this Publix because it is clean, neat and it has nice wide aisles. I only needed one thing (bottled water) so I made a beeline for the water aisle when I entered the store. I knew, pending any unforeseen delays, I would be in and out in a matter of a few minutes. As I passed the registers, there were four young people standing in the middle of the aisle near the checkout registers. There were two boys and two girls and they were in their lower 20’s.

They were chatting and laughing and it appeared like they came from and were returning to the beach. I know this because they were all in bathing suits and their hair looked like it had been wet. Each of the boys was carrying two cases of beer and I assumed they were trying to invite the girls to a party or something like that.

It only took a moment to get my water and return to the checkout lines. I passed them one by one trying to decide which one would be faster. There were at least two people in each line until I came to the one closest to the 4 people talking. There was only one girl in that line and she was just about done checking out. The four were still talking and laughing and I stood there for a few seconds waiting on them to start checking out. One of the guys glared at me for looking at them so I turned my attention toward the checkout line. The last person in that line was finishing up and getting her change so I walked into the line and put my two jugs of water on the conveyor.

As I was greeting the checkout girl one of the guys who had been standing in the aisle said in a loud and condescending voice; “Excuse me, what do you think you are doing?” I replied “checking out.” (I can be a smart you know what when I want to be) He then made some comment about being in line to which I replied; “How was I to know, you were just standing there in the aisle and this line was empty.” By this time the girl had finished ringing up my water and I was handing her the money. Now the guys still didn’t have their four cases of beer on the conveyor and one was still saying goodbye to the girls. In a loud voice, the other guy said; “Whatever.” I simply smiled and left the store. Sometimes saying nothing is the best way to communicate.

Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Going WayBack.

I thought you could all use a good laugh and since nothing funny has happened today (so far) I thought I would enlist the help of an old friend from my youth. Every Saturday without fail, I watched this guy perform his magic with the help of his Way-Back machine. Of course I am talking about the world famous Mr. Peabody. Along with his faithful sidekick Sherman, he traveled to earlier times and faraway places. I always loved the stories and especially the witty endings. Little did I know it was actually educational. Now if you don’t know who Mr. Peabody and Sherman are then you may be too young to be reading this because I assure you the ending is really scary.



Mr. Peabody: Today Sherman we are traveling back to the year 1970. The place; Tomoka State park which is just north of Ormond Beach Florida. I will set the way back machine to June 27th of that year. We are at the base of the giant statue of Seminole Chief Tomoka. It is an interesting statue depicting the Seminoles shooting arrows at their Chief. I am guessing they just had a bad hair day. It is of particular interest to young boys because the Indian woman in the statue is topless. On this very night a play will be enacted by the Boy Scouts and one brave girl. (no pun intended)




Sherman: Gosh Mr. Peabody, don’t you think it’s strange for Minors to be putting on a play here with all that nudity and violence in the background?

Mr. Peabody: No stranger than a talking dog. Besides it will seem normal when we get back to 2009.

Mr. Peabody: Now where was I? Yes, the park. Yes this very night, there will be a play depicting friendship and a treaty between the Seminoles and the early French settlers. Of course this is the white man’s version so some liberties were taken as far as the story. And because no self respecting Seminole would be in this dreadful play, several suckers were coerced, I mean several Boy Scouts “volunteered” to be in the play.

Sherman: What could possibly convince these Boys into doing something so embarrassing?

Mr. Peabody: I believe it was required in order to get a Citizenship Merit Badge.

Sherman: A Merit Badge? Isn’t that kind of like a dog tag?

Mr. Peabody: That’s right Sherman, only they don’t have to get a shot to get one. And that reminds me, I didn’t have a rabies vaccine in 1970 and my mouth is feeling a little foamy?

Sherman: That’s right and you weren’t neutered in 1970 either so quit looking at my leg like that.

Mr. Peabody: Anywhoo, tonight will be a fabulous play where white children are forced to play Seminoles even though they don’t even slightly resemble Indians. And they will be totally humiliated and will vow to never act again.

Mr. Peabody: In the first scene we see the Indian scout hitting the brave on the chest in some kind of ritual. (Early husband beating I presume)



Mr. Peabody: In the second scene we see the Indians and French sitting down together at a feast of grapes and oranges. In the third scene we see two of the actors shaking hands and agreeing to never tell a sole that this happened.
Sherman: How is this possible Mr. Peabody. I have never heard of grapes growing in Florida.



(note: In the actual play, the French man took off his glasses and we were all dyed a dark brown/red color. That's right we invented body painting.)

Mr. Peabody: That’s correct Sherman. After dining on grapes and oranges, the French got really bad stomach aches. They were so angry that they raided the vineyards and wiped out all the grapes in Florida. The only surviving grapevines were taken back to France where they thrived and were later used to launch the French wine industry.

Sherman: Are you sure about that Mr. Peabody? I don’t remember reading that in any of the history books.

Mr. Peabody: It’s true Sherman. I know you have heard of Conquered Grapes haven’t you?

Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, July 27, 2009

TGIM B

Thank God it’s My Birthday.

I am guessing that since no one asked for my address that there won’t be a big influx of cards or presents today. I called the Post office, UPS and Fed Ex and told them to stand down and tell the extra people that they brought in to go home. Seriously I have been celebrating (telling everyone I know)since last Thursday so don’t feel bad if you didn’t get me anything.

Thursday we had our United Way kickoff dinner here at work. And it started out with a kick too. When the guy showed up at the caterers to pick up the food, the owner said; “That was today?” Oops no food. They scrambled and substituted and we had plenty to eat but it wasn’t the food we planned on. I had my heart set on smoked chicken but I had BBQ pork instead. It was still good. And I won a door prize. A gift certificate to Wally World. Whooo Hooooo. What a way to start my birthday weekend. Did I mention that today is my Birthday?

So Friday my youngest son and I went to play golf. It was one of those male bonding days plus I felt I needed a day off for my Birthday. We had a great time and both of us did well. By the time we got home, it was beginning to get hot so we all headed for the pool.

We had a great day at the Farmers Market on Saturday. I sold lots of wine and my oldest son sold lots of plants. He used some of the money to buy stuff for my Birthday meal on Sunday. That is all I asked for so he prepared it. We had seafood marinara with garlic bread and sautéed mushrooms. It was an awesome birthday meal for me. Oh the market; There weren’t too many strange sightings at the market. We did see “Dress guy” and “Flasher girl” Other than that nothing much to report.
After dinner on Sunday I just vegged by the pool. It was nice to just sit and relax. That is all I wanted to do on the day before my birthday.

Guess what? I think I came up with my million dollar idea. You know how I am always coming up with great ideas? Well this one I think is going to put me over the top. You know how almost everyone (except my family) has these Wii things? They have Wii golf, Wii bowling, Wii tennis etc. Well I have come up with something great. How about Wii video game. You can sit there with your Wii and pretend that you are playing a video game. I am sure with a great idea like this, someone is already working on it but remember you heard it here first.

So who knows what today is? Can anyone guess?

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday. Feeling the Burn.

It’s that time again. It’s time to stop and be thankful. I am actually thankful most of the time. Yes I (Mr. Happy) even get down sometimes and forget to be thankful but for the most part I am usually happy and thankful. But it is nice to stop and list the things I am thankful at least once a week so here goes my Thankful Thursday list.

I am thankful for another great night of spinning. It was an awesome class last night and I felt the burn in my legs as I pushed myself to a new limit. The instructor; Mary, did a thing she called “Stairway to Heaven.” What we did was start out at a good pace while seated. Then about every 10 seconds we turned up the resistance until we got to a level where we could no longer pedal from a sitting position. Then we had to stand and continue to pedal while increasing the resistance to the max. After about a minute of that, we slowly decreased the resistance while increasing the speed. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound like Heaven.

I am thankful for my coffee this morning. I have been awake since about 1 last night but it is my own fault. After last night’s spinning class I got a fruit smoothie that they sell at the gym. It was mango, guava and banana with a few vitamins and some protein powder thrown in. It was really yummy. I forgot to mention that I was going to bed soon so they must have thrown in some go-go juice as well. About 1 this morning, my eyes popped open and I was wide awake. I felt like that little dog in “Go Dog Go” who was the only one awake in bed. I fell asleep briefly around 4 but woke again at 4:30 and decided to just get up. Hence the need for extra coffee this morning.

I am thankful for being able to hold my tongue and not lash out when someone does something like this:

When I stopped for coffee, I decided to get a few doughnuts to bring in for my co-workers. It is something that a few of us do from time to time. (4 out of the 80 people who work here do it, the rest just eat the doughnuts and complain about the varieties) Anywhooo, I got the doughnuts and coffee and then stood in line to pay. When I got to the counter, with the dozen size box of doughnuts, the cashier asked how many doughnuts I had. I was puzzled by the question since the box said a dozen on it but I told him that I indeed had a dozen. After ringing up the items, the total came up to 8.01. I handed him a 10 and began searching my pocket for a penny.

I know I had some change out in the car but there was a long line behind me so I decided not to go for it.

I told him I didn’t have a penny so he began counting out 99 cents. As he handed me the money and I am struggling to pick up the doughnuts and coffee I notice that behind my coffee cup was one of those “leave a penny, take a penny” cups with several pennies in it. It threw me off because I wondered why he didn’t just give me two dollars back and take a penny out of that cup. While I was thinking he abruptly said Have a nice day. I was still struggling and hesitated for a moment and he said again in a really gruff voice this time; HAVE A NICE DAY. I really wanted to say something back but instead I just said; “you too.”

I am again thankful for little blessings like more free firewood, little reminders to be thankful and great blogger buddies like you all. Give yourselves a pat on the back for being so great. No really do it. If anyone sees you doing it, just say that Greg said to do it and you deserve it. That should throw them for a loop.

I am thankful for great kids who are out doing chores while I write this. Along with the chores at our house they are helping my brother in law with some things around his house. He is the one who had lung cancer and he can’t handle the heat very well. So my boys have been helping him with a few things like mowing his two acre yard and trimming and removing some branches that fell recently. And I am also thankful for my wife who took the time to raise them properly and instill these values in them. She is also planning on cleaning her brother’s pool and getting it in shape to swim in again. Everyone seems to be having pool problems this year. It must be the global warming.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All up in my grill(z)

For those that aren’t as hip as I am, “All up in my grill(z)” means “up in my face.” I will leave off the (z) for the rest of the post. (note: using the term HIP tells you just how un-hip I really am)

If there’s one way to turn me off, it is getting all up in my grill. The moment someone gets in my face, I immediately begin to resist and put up a front. It’s not the closeness that makes me push back; it’s the aggression or demanding attitude. I don’t like being pushed and getting all up in my grill is a sign that you intend to push me. Up goes the resistance and I fight back. Sometimes though I don’t push back, I simply ignore the person. (A trait I learned from dear old Dad)

It has been a pretty tough year for me as it has for many of you out there. On the whole I am still doing pretty well but there have been lots of setbacks for me and my family. We have had lots of financial setbacks and the stress level is at an all time high. The stress increase isn’t due to anything personal it is just that there are lots of stress factors around us all these days. Lots of people have gotten up in my grill and It has taken all I have inside not to snap. Someone else got in my grill though and I simply ignored them.

I am still trying to figure it all out but the events that have transpired this year could only mean one thing; God is all up in my Grill. That’s right, God is trying to push me or tell me something and I chose the ignore option. I know that sounds like a bad thing but I dare say I am not alone. Since the first of the year I have hit three deer, my son totaled his car, several of my nieces have wrecked their cars. And yesterday I find out about a dear friend’s accident. Before this year, accidents in my life were few and far between. In fact before this year, I only hit one raccoon in the 35 years I have been driving. And if that isn’t bad enough, every time I turn around something else breaks around our house.

So what is God trying to tell me? Slow down? Quit driving? Go into hiding? Rob a bank? Blog more? Or maybe just “Open your eyes Greg.” Like I said, even with this rash of setbacks, things are pretty good for me as compared to many people out there. I mean, I have a good job, a house to live in, cars to drive (some with dents), a great family (immediate)and a little change in my pocket. Life is still pretty good for me. Maybe God is just trying to let me know that life can change in a second so slow down, enjoy it and be thankful for the little things that I have. I will go with that for the time being and see if He has a bigger message for me. Yes I will stop ignoring you God so you can stop the deer attacks, anytime now. Please.

Have a great day and thanks for all the warm wishes yesterday,
Greg

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fed up

(WARNING-This isn't one of my usual upbeat posts)

When I was young I was constantly picked on. I was overweight and a bit of a nerd so the “it” people picked on me for entertainment. I remember how the boys would play cruel jokes on me and then everyone would laugh at me for being so gullible. Because of that I always dreamed of living alone somewhere deep in the woods, far away from everyone else. I still think about that dream from time to time when people get me down.

Lately lots of people have been getting me down. Now don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with my family and many of the friends that I have (including my blogging buddies) but overall the masses have gotten me angry. Even though I manage to keep my chin up and a smile on my face, more and more I am seeing people that I just want to slap the tar out of for being so stupid. They are the ones who constantly complain but never do anything about it. They are also the ones who break the rules of society and seemingly get away with it.

In this past election, the “majority” of Americans wanted Change. They stood on the street and chanted “We want Change.” There was talk about making the world greener, saving fuel, cutting back and helping the needy. Let’s make the world a better place to live, they said. That is what the majority wanted. So what happened?

There are more vacant houses in American than ever before but the new house market is again on the rise. That’s not very green.

This morning, I was rapidly passed by over 50 cars on my way to work even though I was doing the speed limit. That’s not being responsible.

The trash on our street is just as heavy as it ever was. I thought we wanted to clean up the world. I don’t see any new trash pickup people out there.

There are still homeless people on the street corners begging for food. Why aren’t some of the people who want to feed the hungry stopping to pick them up or feeding them?

And all the wealthy people who wanted healthy care for everyone are now squawking because they will have to pay for it. They should be rejoicing, it is that they wanted.

People aren’t changing. Only the laws are changing. Why do people need to be pushed to change? If we are only changing to stay inside the laws then we really aren’t changing, we are only avoiding penalties. Change has to come from within and I don’t see a lot of that happening. I don’t need to be pushed to change, only I can change myself.


When I got into High School, I began to change. I never reached the “it” status but I was no longer picked on or called a nerd. I decided to try harder and make friends. I had a small group of friends that accepted me for who I was and not how I was. I grew taller and thinner and started feeling good about myself. One of my new friends stood out not because she was beautiful on the outside but because she was beautiful on the inside. Anna was the sweetest person I ever knew. She was kind and a friend to everyone she met. She was going through the same things I did only a year behind me. We were both a lot alike and became good friends. Anna had a twin sister named Alice who was equally as sweet.

After high school, I lost track of Anna and Alice but I did think about them from time to time. Anna grew taller and thinner and became very beautiful on the outside. In her senior year she became the High School beauty queen. Even though she was beautiful on the outside her inner beauty continued to shine through. This morning, I received some bad news from a mutual High School friend. Last October, Anna and her husband were killed in an auto accident. They were traveling on their motorcycle and a drunk driver crossed the center line and killed them both. Now Anna and her husband Rocky are gone and a young man is spending the next 10 years in prison. Again; forced changes. Wake up America!

Have a Blessed Day, and remember Anna and Rocky in your prayers.





Greg

Monday, July 20, 2009

What do you believe?

Before I get to my question, let me tell you about my weekend. It was a great one. We had an outstanding day at the market. There was a great crowd all day and no odd people sightings. It was never totally packed but it was steady and so were the sales. I can’t complain at all. I actually have nothing to complain about at all except maybe some sore muscles but they aren’t that bad.

Sunday I fixed a nice dinner consisting of Shrimp Gumbo with hot Peach Cobbler for desert. I grew the okra and tomatoes myself and I used fresh local peaches in the cobbler. The only thing missing was some vanilla ice cream. Because of our hectic schedule we don’t always get to sit down to eat as a family but we try to do that every Sunday.

With all the things going on in our world these days, it is becoming increasingly evident that we can’t believe everything that we see, hear or read. And that makes me wonder about certain things. The government, backed by the media tells us what they want us to hear. I have heard countless stories that were reported as true only to be labeled as false at a later date.

This past weekend marked the 40th anniversary of landing a man on the moon. I remember watching it on our Zenith TV. It was one of those huge models that sat on the floor and it was always breaking down. For the longest time, I thought the TV repairman lived at our house. I don’t think a week went by that he wasn’t there replacing tubes. Technology just wasn’t that great back then. There were no microchips or modern computers as we know it today. There were only tubes and magamps. So the fact that we were able to make a spacecraft that would travel to the moon and return is truly amazing. Too amazing!

So do you think we really did it? I mean with all the advances that we have in technology these days, we have trouble getting the space shuttle to lift off on time. Somehow way back then, using primitive technology we were able to do something that gives us trouble now. This morning there is a report that the toilet is clogged on the space shuttle. Hmmm something sounds fishy. I didn’t say smells I said sounds.

My theory is that it never happened. I think the government staged the entire thing just so we could say we were leading the space program. And I am not alone in this thinking. Lots of people believe as I do. Now they are talking about taking a photo from the space shuttle of the flag on the moon to “prove” that we really did it. Well if they can put on an entire show, from the surface of the moon they can surely come up with some fake photos. So what do you think? Did it happen?

Have a great day,
Greg

Friday, July 17, 2009

Strike Three

Lots of things come in threes; Peter, Paul and Mary, Three Dog Night, Inna-godda- Davida (baby). Even the Bible makes lots of references to the number three; Father Son and Holy Ghost. Mathew, Mark and Luke, The three wise men. Yes I know the bible doesn’t technically say “three” wisemen but my Children’s Bible did and I am going with that. From what I remember it said there were three Wise Men. The first brought Gold, the second brought a friend named Frank Insense and the third brought the mertz’s (spelled myrrh for some odd reason). I am assuming it was Fred and Ethel.
Hey that’s what I thought when I was young and this is my story. Anywhoo…..

So Wednesday night which just happens to be the third day of my week I went spinning for the third time. The instructor was younger than the previous one and so were the majority of the participants. Because of that the workout was much more intense. I am sure in a few days I will be able to walk normally again. We did a Cancer ride and everyone put the name of a person touched by cancer on their bike and we paid tribute to them while we rode. It was very inspirational and moving. (no pun intended)

So that takes us to Thursday morning. (stay with me please) As some of you know, I had to attend a day of training. I actually got to sleep in a bit since I wasn’t going to the gym. Those two workouts on Wednesday did me in. I headed out at 5:15 because the training location was about an hour and a half away. It was at my old office which is why I transferred to where I am now. Who wants to spend 3 hours a day on the road just driving to and from work? There is no easy way to get there but I do know a shortcut if you can call it that.

There is a little country road that goes between Jacksonboro and Canadys. It’s called Round-O road. It's named that because half way between Jacksonboro and Canadys is a bump in the road town called Round-O. I am not making this up, Google it. I don’t know who came up with that town name but it didn’t take a lot of thought. I can hear the town meeting now;

Future Mayor; “Well did anyone come up with a town name since our first meeting?”
Town person #1; “How about Square-O.”
Future Mayor; “For some reason that sounds odd.”
Town person #2; “Oh, I know, Triangular-O.”
Future Mayor: “No that doesn’t work either.”
Little Jenny Pickens (who would be the schoolmarm if they had a school in Round-O) “Oh Oh pick me (hand waiving in the air) What about (big pause) Round-O. “
And the rest is history.

So there I am enjoying my nice morning drive, coffee in hand, light beginning show in the east, enjoying a little soft music when out of the corner of my left eye, I see something brown. Now let me say that the events to follow all happen in about two seconds and I am traveling at 55 MPH because that is what the speed limit is and I always do the speed limit. So I notice this brown object emerging out of the green woods and it is moving in my direction. Suddenly I realize it is a deer and for some reason it wants to cross the street in front of my fast moving car. Why I don’t know at this point. Suicidal deer perhaps.

About a half second has passed and I gently apply my brakes causing a loud screeching sound black marks in the road and smoke to bellow out the back of my car. (Translation; I locked them up with all the strength I had in my leg) At this point, the doe is right in front of the car and she realizes she isn’t going to make it (duh I knew that a half second before that) so she jumps. I actually think this was a good move on her part and mine. So there she is front legs up in the air and I do think if she had an additional second she would have made it but she didn’t.

Now I want to take a moment to thank the person (NOT) that sent me the email the other day showing the deer in the front seat of the car because in that next half second, that picture flashed before my eyes and so did the deer and my life. Clipping her back legs sent the entire deer into my windshield. For those that don’t know it, I drive a Honda Civic so this deer was about as big as my car. After denting my front fender, and bouncing off my windshield the deer was tossed about 8 feet in the air and it landed in the road behind me just about the time I skidded to a stop.

I looked back excepting to see a dead deer which I would have to then drag off the road (because it is the right thing to do). Instead I saw a doe with a very sore behind struggling to her feet and running off into the woods. I am hoping that the back legs were only bruised but I am guessing there were more serious injuries. I was only a few miles from my destination too and that makes the third deer I have hit this year. What’s up with that?

But being proactive like I am, when there is a problem, I have a solution. Bumper stickers:

I brake for venison.

Caution, deer Crossing.

Meat eater on board.

The Buck stops here.

I eat at the roadkill cafe.

Go ahead, make my dinner.

I hate Bambi.(I don't really)

And my personal favorite:

Deer, the other red meat.

And if that doesn’t work I have idea #2. Road signs at animal crossings. But don’t put them for the drivers, turn them sideways and put them for the animals:




So it’s Friday and I am thankful for being alive and only minor damages to my car. The worst part of the entire day was the training wasn’t worth a dime or should I say wasn’t worth a Buck, yuck yuck.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday (a little early)

First off I have a confession. In case you didn’t pick up on it, I am posting this on Wednesday night instead of Thursday morning. I have training all day Thursday so I had to post this early. Please forgive me for breaking the rules. I want to thank Kelly for adding me to Sonya’s list of participants. Please join us at Sonya's blog for Thankful Thursday. So without further ado, let me get to my list for the week:

1. I am thankful for my family who support me when I need it. They are also doing a bang up job at getting all the plants organized at home which means that I have my evenings free again. I am not sure what to do with myself. Can someone pass me the remote and the popcorn?

2. I am thankful for my father who taught me how to cook. Now my mother also taught me to cook but she taught me recipes like; burnt liver and onions, overdone chicken, and salmonella salad. If you never heard of salmonella salad let me give you the recipe; You cut up raw chicken on a wooden cutting board and while you are overcooking the chicken, you simply cut up the salad on the same cutting board. It’s as simple as that. Anywhoo, dad taught me how to fry fish, cook pot roast and make Cole slaw and many other things. I am making Cole slaw today for lunch because we are having a dinner to raise money for the Heart Association.

3. I am thankful for a the stomach ache I had this morning. The stomach ache didn’t last very long but it was a reminder not to over indulge when I eat something good. I went grocery shopping yesterday and they had the best looking cherries. They weren’t red or purple like most of them are, they were yellow and pink. (yes they were ripe) They tasted so good that I washed them and left them on the counter by the sink. Every time I passed them last night, I had one or two. Before I knew it, half of them were gone. Hence the stomach ache this morning.

4. I am thankful for having a little cash in my pocket. Last weekend I took an item that had been hanging in my shed with me to the flea market. It was a fish scale that I really didn’t need. It was a rather expensive one so I tried to sell it at for less than half price. Everyone at the flea market turned up their noses when they saw how much I was asking. So Monday I put it on Craigslist for the same price. Within two hours it was sold. I love Craigslist.

5. I am thankful for living in Charleston. Charleston is nicknamed the Holy City because it has more churches per square mile than anywhere else. So you really have no excuse for not finding a place to worship. We go to the church or our choosing because it is uplifting and it has a great children’s program. On the way there, we must pass 50 or so churches. This past Saturday at the Farmers Market I took these two photos from the same spot. If you look closely you can see a third church in the photo. Which one do you like?









Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day and Night

It was a busy weekend for me. I not only went to the Farmers Market in Marion Square, I also went to the Flea Market in Ladson. I did both locations because I had some items that I needed to get rid of and yard sales just don't work out where we live. These two locations are as different as night and day. I decided to take Photos at each location and let you decide which one you like best.

These photos are at the Farmers Market in downtown Charleston:

Canned Fruits and vegetables. They make the best salsa and jams.




This place makes all kinds of breads. I could gain some weight here.





These are local tomatoes. Some are heirloom varieties.




I thought these squash were really unique.




Just down from us is this booth called my My Big Fat Greek Restaurant. If you like Greek food this is the place to go.




Carolina peaches are said to be better than Georgia Peaches. I think they are.




More fresh SC produce.




Now onto the Flea Market:

There is something for almost everything at the flea market. You just have to find it.




If there isn't enough room on the ground, just hang the items up.




The worst thing about the Flea Market is the location. It tends to be a little dusty when the wind blows. Well that may not be the worst thing. :)




I was lucky this week to get next to someone who was nice. They were selling these ceramics that the girl had made. (note to self; don't assume that a 25 year old woman and a 50 year old man are father and daughter.) Oops.




Now right on the other side of this couple was this pile of rubble that someone was going to sell. Imagine our surprise when the owner of this valuable stuff came climbing out of the pile around 6:30. I am guessing he lives here. Home sweet home. After a quick trip to the bathroom to wash up, he was ready for the day. Talk about convenience.




Ok I am feeling that it is a toss up at this point, so let me leave you with a comparison between two vendors.

This is one of the vendors from the Farmers market:




And this is one of the vendors from the Flea market:




No comment.

Have a great day,
Greg

Friday, July 10, 2009

The truth is……

There are laws that prevent advertisers from claiming things that aren’t true. For instance if I were selling cod liver oil I couldn’t advertise that it cures cancer because it doesn’t. The laws were put in place by our government and were intended to protect the public. I guess it all started back with the snake oil salesmen who sold snake oil that not only cured every ailment known to man, it also removed stubborn stains and made a darn good hair oil. I think it was the precursor to Dippity Do. How many of you remember that stuff? The point is, snake oil didnt'work.

There are also laws that protect us when we are taking out a loan. They are called Truth in lending acts. They protect us from bad lenders who would slip in things like huge balloon payments or astronomically high interest rates. Well it’s supposed to anyway. Some lenders just hide it in the small print. Since most people don’t read the fine print these bad lenders are able to still prey on the unknowing public. What they are doing isn’t a “legal” crime it is only a “moral” crime. No legal laws were broken so they get away with it. Until the end that is.

But what about Truth in reporting? Where are the laws to protect us from false or misleading reporting? This wasn’t a big problem years ago but it seems to be the norm these days. Maybe it was always like this but I don’t think so. For years, reporters just reported what they saw or heard. There wasn’t any opinion thrown into the mix. Opinion type reporting was done in the “Letters to the Editor” section. Those articles usually have a disclaimer stating that what’s written is the opinion of the editor and not necessarily the opinion of the paper or magazine.

Now when a reporter does a story, they only report the part that they want you to know. These partial stories are written in an attempt to sway or persuade the readers. Headlines are written in a misleading fashion. Facts are omitted to make us believe the truth is something that it really isn’t. They also throw in their own opinion to enforce their point. It is no longer unbiased reporting. It is trickery and deception and there is nothing we can do about it. Does this seem right to you?

Just yesterday I was reading a story about unemployment. The headlines said: “The rise in unemployment is the lowest it has been since January.” Sure that statement is true but it is very misleading. I heard someone in our office make the comment that unemployment was finally coming down. That’s not what I read, so I looked a little closer (read the fine print) and got the real story. The more correct headline would have been: ”Unemployment up again for the 7th straight month.” That’s what the truth is. It’s just not rising at as high of a rate as it was last month. The reporter also stated that they felt this was a sign that the recession was ending. This reporter wanted to print good news so he twisted the truth to make it sound good.

Why has happened to us that we have to resort to deception in order to sell a news paper or magazine. To me this is wrong. Reporting is now just fictional writing with a bit of truth thrown in for legal reasons. And now I have to wonder how many people read that and are happy with the way things are going in America. I'm not.

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Wow where did the week go? I can’t believe it is Thursday already. And because it is Thursday, it is also Thankful Thursday so here is my list for the week:

1. I am thankful for the rain we have been getting. Sometimes I wonder if God has a sense of humor. Everyone prays for rain. I can just imagine God saying: “You want rain? I will give you rain. Take that.” We got lots of rain last night along with some strong winds and even some hail. Be careful what you pray for, you may just get it.

2. I am thankful for more sore muscles. My legs are killing me after spinning twice over the past week. The workouts are great and they really give my heart a good beating. (Pun intended)

3. I am thankful for an ever growing level of patients. I seem to be coming to grips with the fact that there are things out there beyond my control and I need to not just go on with my life and not let them affect me.

4. I am thankful for new friends and old that I am meeting through Blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Some would say that these relationships aren’t real but I beg to differ. Many of you have touched my life though your stories, comments and encouragements and I thank you all.

5. I am thankful for encouraging and uplifting music on “His Radio.” I listen to the morning show with Rob and Kristen every morning on my way to work and they play some awesome music and give encouraging thoughts to start my day. Here is one of the songs they play:



If you would like to join in with Thankful Thursday, Check out Sonya's blog: Truth for the Journey.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I’ll keep this short and to the point.

What a spectacle we have seen over the past week. Just think of all the money that was spent to make that funeral and the events leading up to it so special. It’s a shame that he will be going where ever he is going without a dime. Don’t get me wrong, I liked most of his music and no one can argue that he had talent. But something has been puzzling me.

Maybe it’s just me but there isn’t anyone on earth that I worship (these days) to the extent that I would make a pilgrimage to stand outside a building where a funeral is being held. I’m sorry but that is just the way I feel. Like I said he did have talent but he wasn’t a God and because he wasn’t a God he shouldn’t be worshiped like a God. And there have been others before him too.

And as for you who worship and adore him to the extent that you would build little shrines to him and travel thousands of miles at great expense just to be near his body, I have to wonder where your values lie. Just think how wonderful the world would be if you put that kind of effort into being a better person instead of worshiping false idols? And I didn’t even mention the negative things that he did. I’m just saying…

Have a great day.
Greg

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Wow what a weekend. Three full days off and it seemed like more. I guess that is because we jammed so much into it. It all started on Friday. I slept in until 430 when I headed for the gym to try out the spin class. I had a blast and it was a really tough workout. I was sweating too much to take photos but this is what it looked like:




It reminded me of doing wind sprints on a bike but it was a lot more fun. They turned down the lights and turned up the music and everyone really got into it.

When I got home we all went out in the boats and did some watersliding and fishing. Here are the photos of the water sliding that we did.







Saturday we had a good day at the market. It was much cooler than it has been and sales picked up because of it.

Our Display: (#1 Son)


The market church:(this was early)


Fresh Blueberries:



Pastries and lemonade:


Local Artist:


Sunday we went out in the boat again and just relaxed around the house. I took more photos.

Orange Sherbet day lily: (the last ones)

Okra:


My first watermelon:


A garden visitor:

My grapes:


Shark bait: (just my family in the water)


A beach flower:

Sand dunes:

Beach trash: (my wife did her cleanup of the beach)

An old wheel makes an excellent toy:

My boat: (that is Seabrook Island in the background)

I hope you enjoyed the photos and had a great 4th. Sean put a video on his blog if you have time check it out. He is at the bottom of my blog list. He loves visitors.

Greg

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday, Oh my aching back!

Believe it or not, I woke up at 2:30 this morning and started thinking about Thankful Thursday. The second thing I thought was; man my back is aching. And that is the first thing I am thankful for.

1. I am thankful that my back was aching this morning. The reason it was aching is because they are clearing the power lines along our street and we get as much free firewood as we want. My wife and sons have been loading it in the truck and bringing it home and in the evenings once it cools down to 90 Deg. We cut and stack it. Last night we spent about an hour cutting and stacking firewood. But it is free and that is a blessing. Our plants will be nice and toasty this coming winter.

2. My aching back also reminded me that I need to do more upper body exercises at the gym. So this morning, I started my workout with 100 crunches, then 100 back extensions and finally 75 butterflies. After that I had just enough time to get in 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. So I am thankful that I have a gym to go to, the drive to keep going and some really good gym friends. Oh and also some great blog friends who encourage me to keep going.

3. After my workout I was nice and limber which reminded me not to be so stiff necked. I tend to be that way sometimes. (no say it isn’t so) As I was driving in to work I saw the most beautiful sunrise reminding me that God is still in control and I am thankful for that.

4. Thank God it’s Thursday. I made it through another week and now I have a three day weekend to look forward to. Three whole days off, whoot whoot whoot. Working at the market on Saturday doesn’t count because I really enjoy that. I have a plan to boost sales too and I will tell you all about it this weekend. If it works that is. :)

5. I am thankful for Faith, Hope and love. Throughout my life I have maintained my faith even though there were times it wasn’t that evident. No matter what life throws at me I keep hoping and praying for a better tomorrow. And finally I am thankful for being able to love and for being loved. So no matter what life throws at you remember this promise:

1 Corinthians 13
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Have a great day,
Greg