Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quote for 12/31/09

"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Years Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to."
Bill Vaughn

I hope none of you feel that way. I know I'm looking forward to tonight's celebration.

Have a safe one, everybody!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The tradition continues

Many of you have been reading my blog for a few years now, so you're already familiar with the annual tradition that I'm speaking of; mine and JT's New Years Eve Movies-n-Munchies Marathon.

This is a tradition that began for us shortly after my EX decided that she didn't want to be married to me anymore. And it just seemed like such a great way for JT and I to get together to hang out and blow off some steam without having to worry about crashing the car or fighting through a crowd of people that we don't know.
Now, another part of this tradition is that anyone who wishes to attend is welcome to do so - though nobody else ever does. Except for this year. My Beloved will be joining us for the festivites. She'll be the one bringing the veggie tray. But she also promised to bring something else with her, some kind of pork. She must really love me...

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Now that it's over

I just want to share a little bit about how Christmas went for me and the family this year.
First off, I have to say this was quite possibly the best Christmas I've ever had. And I will say that the reason for it is because I finally have my Soul-Mate with me to celebrate the holidays.

That being said; our festivities actually began on Wednesday night as Paula and I with Bob and her two youngest kids, Tad and Tim, headed off to see the Rite-Aid Celebration of Lights at Hartwood Acres. A wonderful drive-thru light display that raises money for one of the Salvation Army's charity projects each year. Too bad I can never get pictures of any of the lights. I guess you'll just have to go see them for yourself...

Christmas Eve was a run-around day for us. Bob and I joined Paula in visiting her family at her sister's house. I got to meet her family for the fisrt time and they liked me. And since there were several younger children there, Bob had a blast throwing them around and wrestling with all of them.
After leaving there we headed over to my brother's house for my family's traditional Christmas Eve celebration.
There were 4 generations present.



Not to mention that my grand-nephew Conner was also there so it was 4 generations for my sister-in-law, Beth's family too.

Of course there was plenty of food to be had.



And after everyone had their fill it was time to open presents.



This is CJ's first Christmas and I enjoyed watching him opening his gifts. In fact, in this pic Both CJ and Conner are opening the presents I gave them.



Here are Paula's youngest sons opening the presents I had for them.



Tim is sitting on the loveseat beside Paula and Tad is standing up behind them.
A few weeks earlier we had all gone out to see A Christmas Carol - the 3D animated version starring Jim Carrey - and when we were done we had gone to Toys-R-Us to play with the Nerf swords. We had a blast - me, Bob, Tad & Tim - just running around the store beating on each other with the foam swords so I made sure to pick them up for Tad and Tim. They loved it!

Then mom opened her present from Paula.



It's a wooden carving made of olive wood from the Holy Land. Mom really appreciated it.

And of course I got to spend a little one-on-one time with CJ.



After we left my brother's house Aliesha and Bob headed over to their mother's. Paula and I returned to my house to watch A Christmas Story together. She'd never seen it before, but she enjoyed it. And she would have to in order to fit in with my family.
When the first showing of the 24 hour A Christmas Story marathon was over we went to her house so that we could celebrate Christmas with her kids in the morning.

This is Paula's Christmas tree.



We all woke up sometime after 7:30 and were soon opening presents.
Seated here are Tim, Fran - Paula's daughter who is her oldest - and Ted.



And here we have Tad and Paula.



I'm sure she wants to kill me for posting this pic, but I'll make up for it with the last picture I post.
Anyways, Paula made everyone breakfast and then we just kinda lounged around for the remainder of the day. Tad and Tim played with their Nerf swords and I played with them a little bit. And as the day progressed I took a little nap. Or maybe I should say that a nap took me, because I was wiped out.



Yeah, I posted that pic so Paula can't be too mad at me for posting the one of her having only recently woke up. I still think she's beautiful.

And that was about it for this year's Christmas celebrations. I trust all of yours were wonderful, too.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quote for 12/23/09

"Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home."
Carol Nelson

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For the time being

I must apologize for neglecting my blog of late - save for the Quotes about Christmas - I've been far too busy to actually post anything significant. And my brain has been far too frazzled to come up with anything profound.
You see, I've been working a lot of Over-Time. Ten hour weekdays and eight hour Saturdays have wrecked my sleep cycle. Good for the bank account, but it takes it's toll on one's other aspirations - like posting something worthwhile on the blog. Not to mention that I have a very special someone that I've been able to share some time with and I'm doing my best to make the most of that time. Thus, the blog has been relegated to my "To Do" list.
All of that being said, I do promise to maintain my Christmas tradition of re-posting my parable on Christmas Day. But I've also decided to begin a new tradition by re-posting something else that is dear to me. And that post will come tomorrow; Christmas Eve.

I may even find some time over the next few days to come up with something original to post as well.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Quote for 12/22/09

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
Burton Hillis

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Quote for 12/21/09

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!"
Hamilton Wright Mabie

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quote for 12/19/09

"Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year - and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority."
W.J. Cameron

Less than a week away !!!

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My apologies

For those of you who read my previous post and were concerned with my reaction to the anonymous comment, I apologize for dragging all of you into the situation. I was hoping that the anonymous commentor would return to see if I had replied and discover his/her error. Because I am convinced that this is a matter of Anonymous mistaking me for the person that I was making reference to in the original post.

I also apologize for letting my "gammar nazi" out for a moment. Sometimes I just can't help myself...

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Anonymous

So, I found this new comment in my mailbox to an old post that has me really confused. Or maybe it's the person who wrote the comment who is really confused, because I have no idea what this person is talking about.
See for yourself...

"Your fruit of actions sound louder than your words...Unfortunitly your actions of late(bigomy, lieing,unaccountable for actions) have been corupeted and there is little going on inside are far as shame of the fruit you have produced. Nor do you feel it is right to apoigise and make restitution to all you have harmed or wronged. How can you justify in Gods eyes that what you do is upright?"

Anonymous, I just want you to know that I am not JD. I simply quoted him. And that quote came from a time when he was at least acting like a respectable and faithful follower of Christ. But I'm in no position to comment any further on his behavior since that time. I've neither seen nor spoken to him in more than a year. So, whatever accusations you seem to be leveling in your comment - you've got the wrong guy! Check my profile and see for yourself.
However, if you think you know me and you're convinced that I am the right guy, please present your reasons for believing that I've commited bigamy. I know I've lied, plenty of times, but you'll need to point out some specific examples of my lying so I can apologize for them. Then I'll be willing to stand accountable for my actions. Otherwise, try not to hide behind your anonymity if you're going to bring such allegations against me. Especially if you've mistaken my blog for someone elses.

BTW, your spelling is an abomination before God and men, and your grammar leaves much to be desired.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quote for 12/13/09

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible."
T. E. Lawrence (aka, Lawrence of Arabia)

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Quote for 12/9/09

"The joy in life is to be used for a purpose. I want to be used up when I die."
George Bernard Shaw

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Yummy

I have one of the coolest kids in the world.
Bob decided to make sushi for dinner. How cool is that?












But don't ask him to fill the ice trays...

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

More pics - n other stuff

I wanted to share a few more of the pics that Paula and I took together last week. In part because I really like them. But more importantly because Paula is a professional photographer (you can check out some of her work at Studio Paula), and we had some fun taking them - as well as editing them a little bit, too.

We didn't do anything to alter the ones that are just below, but I absolutely love the subject of these shots.



I love her smile in both of these pics. Especially the one below since she looks so playful in it.



And you all know me and my love for edged weaponry. Well, we couldn't resist playing around with one of my favorite toys.



Doesn't she look like she's having fun with it? Is it any wonder I love her so much...

Then we did a little more "serious" pose.



Cropped it a little and shaded it.



Then we edited the color.



I really enjoyed creating those pics with her.
Then we got one of her and my masterpiece of body art.



This is sooooo cool because she was originally put off by my branding and tattoo. It's not something she ever expected her soul-mate to have or be interested in. Yet, here I am! And she has come to truly love the whole design. Now she says she can feel the energy that my brand puts out and she can't resist touching it when she's with me.

After I finished playing with my camera, Paula took a few pics of me. And of course, since we were playing I had to have my toys in this shot with me.
Paula liked taking this one.



So I e-mailed her the pics that she wanted and she used Photoshop to blend these two together.



This is such an awesome creation.
OK, that's all I wanted to share with everyone. I hope you liked the pics.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Another reminder

For those of you who care, A Charlie Brown Christmas is on tmorrow night at 8:00PM on ABC. It was originally scheduled for last Tuesday, but the President's speech pre-empted it.
I only mention this because it has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. Maybe not as much as Rudoph. But I'm especially fond of the fact that A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the few Christmas specials that actually has anything to do with Christ.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Quote for 12/5/09

"We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them."
Buddha

Emphasis mine. And every follower of Christ ought to embrace this idea, as well.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Lovely

So, Paula stopped over on her way home from work the other night and just out of the blue we took out my camera and got a few pics of each other. Just for fun.

Well, some of them turned out really nice. I'm especially fond of this shot of her.



And then we did a little editing to get this picture of the both of us.



There were a few others as well, but I'm keeping those ones a bit more personal. I need not share everything about my life here on the blog...

I apologize if my most recent posts make me seem like some love-struck teenager, but it's been a long time since I've felt as good as I do now. And there's a depth to our relationship that far exceeds any relationship I've ever experienced before.
I thank God for this woman every day of my life!

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Quote for 12/3/09

"Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love."
Mother Teresa

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Quotes from 11/2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

This is serious

I dunno, is a cell phone the modern day equivalent to an engagment ring?

Paula gave me her old cell phone and bought a new one for herslf so we'll never have to go 5 days without being able to contact each other again. Unlimited calling to each other.

She must really like me or something...

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A reminder

Just so everyone knows, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is on tonight at 8:00 - on CBS.

And we're already two days into ABC/Family Channel's 25 Days of Christmas.

Now go get your Holiday Spirit charged up and running. It's almost Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

While I was away

I don't have a great deal to share about my visit to Ft. Recovery over Thanksgiving, but I do have a few things to write about. However, I do have a lot of pictures that reflect my joyous holiday spirit. I'll get to those shortly.

Our adventure began Tuesday morning with breakfast at Denny's. Mom and I enjoyed it the last time we did one of these trips, so we thought we'd try it again. Only this time we had a couple of additional guests with us. Bob came along since we didn't do our traditional Sunday dinner with Mom this week - we didn't want her to have to fuss over dinner on Sunday with us leaving on Tuesday. We were also joined by Paula since she didn't have to leave for work until after noon.

Now, just so everyone knows, this was not the first meeting between Mom and Paula. Paula, with two of her sons, had accompanied Bob and I to one of Mom's Sunday night dinners two weeks earlier. And I was overjoyed by how well they got along. This is always a good sign.

Anyways, Mom and I managed to get on the road shortly after 12:00. And we arrived at my Aunt Kathleen's shortly after 6:00.
It was really nice driving through some of the small communities that lie on the last leg of the ride. Several of them had their Christmas decorations up and it gave us such a sense of warmth along our way. There was a rather homey sense of comfort that came over me as I admired it all. And it only got better when we arrived in Ft. Recovery to see their decorations, as well.

I suppose I could say that my days were spent in much the same way they always are in Ft. Recovery. I woke in the morning to eat breakfast, took a walk around town to see if anything had changed - and nothing does, then back to Aunt Kathleen's for a nap before eating again, walking again, and napping again. Of course there was also time spent reading and praying, and there were visits from family throughout the weekend. But the most profound difference between this trip and any others was the way in which I was feeling the absence of my lady. Five days without seeing her face, hearing her voice, or even opening an e-mail from her. It sucks to be that far removed from someone you love. And for the first time that I can recall, I wished I had a cell phone, and I was also excited when it came time to return to Pittsburgh.

OK, all of that being said, here are the pics I took while I was gone. Enjoy!

The Steeler fans have a new flag this year.



Walking through town.



Day and night.







The Fort















This is the place where Santa stays when he visit's Ft Recovery for all of the children there.



Of course, I had to get a shot with the water tower in the background.



And it's just barely visible in this one too.



And more shots with the water tower in the background.





For those of you who don't already know this about me. The water tower is what I consider to be the quintessential image of Ft Recovery. Maybe even more than the replica of the fort. It was always the first thing I'd see when we came here when I was young. And it was always the last thing I'd see as we left. It was the beacon that stood out as if to say "This way for food and rest". And rest I do find while I'm there.
of course, the following pics also lend to that sense of homey comfort that I mentioned earlier.









And, as I mentioned the last time I visited, I spent some time sitting in the park next to this "memorial" to a fallen brother.



I find a strange solitude with God here. Moreso than anywhere else I know.

But I also find a pleasure in the fact that the nearby park/playground is another comfort of home that I can enjoy here.



And finally, a couple of shots that have a more specific significance to a few people that will enjoy them.

Well, JT, apparently the most interesting man in the world does his grocery shopping in Ft Recovery, because they've got his beer right here on their shelves...



Stay thirsty my friends.

Now, allow me to share the story behind this flower arrangement.



Remember how I said Paula had come to dinner at Mom's on Sunday night two weeks earlier. Well, she brought these flowers with her. And since Mom enjoyed the flowers, the colors and even the length of time that they've remained alive & beautiful, she decided that there was no point to leaving them at home where nobody else would be able to enjoy them. So Mom brought them along on our trip. And here they are, exactly two weeks after Paula brought them to her, still looking beautiful. That, to me, is a sign from God!
But this is all I have for now. I promise to share more about how Paula and I came together - in the not-too-distant-future. But for now, you'll just have to be patient as we allow God to grow our relationship into something that is nothing short of a miracle.

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