NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY

tl-9-24-national-punctuation-dayhttp://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

Make sure you click on this link because they are having a writing contest and it looks like a lot of fun!

Wouldnt the written word be frustrating to read without its punctuation?  Its making me crazy to write without it too.

Today we celebrate those little marks that make all the difference in how we interpret what we read:

For example, if you read

Let’s eat grandma

It has a completely different meaning than

Let’s eat, grandma.

That little comma lets us know that we are not going to eat grandma after all.  Whew!

We’re going to learn to cut and paste kids.

That’s a little scary – it sounds much better to say,

We’re going to learn to cut and paste, kids.

How about this one…

I enjoy cooking my family and my pets.

That makes me say, “Oh, really?”

This is much better and less like a psycho:

I enjoy cooking, my family, and my pets.

Here’s an unfortunate advertisement from Goodwill:

Your donation helps someone.  Get a job.

Wow…  really?  Let’s try this again:

Your donation helps someone get a job.

Yeah – now that encourages us to give!

Punctuation and spelling matter.  Writing is a form of communication, and if we want the meaning of our words to be understood as we intend, we need to be careful.  Punctuation is like the traffic lights and stop signs for words.  A comma means you pause – it’s like a yellow light in the intersection.   A semi-colon means you pause for a longer time.  A period means you come to a complete stop.

When you see…

It means there’s more to the thought than is revealed.  Most of the time the rest of the thought is something that is fairly obvious.  It would be rude to use …  otherwise.  Am I right???

The question mark – it means we are to ponder a question.  Whether the question is easily answered or not, we are still to respect the question mark by pondering the question.

I use dashes once in a while, which is basically like using a semi-colon.  A colon is usually used before a list having to do with the subject mentioned.  An example would be:

  • This
  • That

This and that.

Punctuation is important!  The exclamation point is used to emphasize the subject.  Punctuation is not only crucial for those of us who write, but for those of us who are expected to read what we write.  People appreciate a relatively flawless flow of words with punctuation used correctly.

The most debated part of punctuation is THE OXFORD COMMA.  I don’t always use it, but I definitely understand why it’s used.

I had eggs, toast and orange juice.

So…  is the orange juice poured all over the toast???  Ugh…

Maybe usage of the Oxford comma would clarify things a bit.

I had eggs, toast, and orange juice.

The Oxford comma remains in my punctuation tool box.

Have a great National Punctuation Day…  ,  ;  :  !  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A SALUTE TO ALL THINGS PUMPKIN

tl-9-23-a-salute-to-all-things-pumpkinIf I listed everything related to pumpkin, you’d be reading until next Tuesday!  This is my favorite time of year and most of the reason has to do with pumpkin everything!

  • PUMPKIN PATCHES

https://wichita.citymomsblog.com/fall/pumpkin-patches-in-wichita-2016/

  • PUMPKIN SONGS
  • PUMPKIN MUFFINS FROM STARBUCKS

Just keep in mind, these yummy cream cheese muffins are a whopping 53g carbs and 14g fat!  I do make a copycat recipe at home, however – it makes me feel less guilty.  Will I share it?  Well, of course!  My recipe will still have carbs because it uses all-purpose flour, which is what gives baked goods the bounce and great texture we love.  Does it have as many carbs?  No – I substitute Splenda for sugar and cream for milk.  Let’s make muffins!

COPYCAT PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

For the muffin:

1 cup Splenda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup pumpkin puree’

2 eggs

1/4 cup cream

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Splenda

1 tsp. vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put muffin liners in tins.  Stir pumpkin, oil and Splenda together in a large bowl.  DO THIS BY HAND.  Stir in eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda.  Stir in 1 cup flour, then stir in cream, then stir in remaining 1 cup flour.  Divide batter among muffin tins, filling 1/2 full.  Stir together cream cheese, Splenda and vanilla.  Drop 1 Tbs. onto the top of each muffin.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin part comes out clean.

Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.  Store in refrigerator.  You can freeze these for a quick snack later.

  • PUMPKIN HAIR MASK

Nope – I’m not joking!  Thanks to NaturallyCurly.com for this really great hair mask!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbs. honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put everything in a bowl and puree well.  If you don’t, you’ll end up with pumpkin chunks in your hair.  Separate hair in sections and smooth from root to tip all over.  Put on a shower cap and wait 20-30 minutes.  Shower and shampoo/condition as usual.

Fun Fact:  Pumpkin contains over 100 beneficial nutrients and is exceptionally high in beta carotene thus making it an ideal ingredient for hair products.

  • PUMPKIN SCENTED LOTIONS

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=4304786

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin from Bath and Body Works – well, that really WORKS for me!  Have you tried it?  If they made that into a wax melt, I’d buy it!  Okay, I may not buy it if it’s super expensive, but I’d want to buy it.  😉

  • PUMPKIN WAX MELTS

Here’s how I roll on wax melts…  when I can get them for .89 a package from Bed, Bath & Beyond – I go for it!  There’s just one drawback to buying wax melts on the cheap…  I buy the fall and winter scents in the summer, and the spring and summer scents in the winter!  On a good day, I can buy up all they have and use my handy dandy coupon for more savings!

I’ll tell ya though – I don’t like paying upwards of $2 a package for them, so I buy the pumpkin scents in June, July and August because if I live long enough, autumn will show up eventually and it will be time to use them.

  • PUMPKIN POETRY

I have enjoyed sharing Lucinda’s poetry on my blog – and I know you’ve enjoyed reading it!  When I mentioned a salute to all things pumpkin, she got to work!  I thought I’d see one, maybe two poems at the most.  LOL – can you believe this…  she wrote a ton of pumpkin poems!!!  I couldn’t think of one to write – is this girl talented or what?

autumn-pumpkinsfall-on-the-farmpunkin-pieOh wait…  that one was mine – from like 3 years ago!  Thanks again to Matthew Deets for sharing a photo of his punkin’ pie!  I’m looking forward to some punkin’ pie pretty soon – with whipped cream on top!  Yum!  I did a non-scientific poll of my friends on facebook, asking what their favorite PUMPKIN thing is – and most said PIE – and I’m right there with ya – it’s pie for me too!  That’s my pumpkin thing, followed closely by the pumpkin spice coffee creamers – sugar free, of course.

Let’s enjoy some more pumpkin poetry from Lucinda:

autumn-times

pumpkins-and-patches

autumns-harvest

And a couple of poems I wrote to add – right at the last minute – whew!  Made it! 

the-orange-army

my-favorite-basketOf course, my favorite part of fall is decorating with my pumpkin baskets!

Nothing is more cute than seeing little people with little pumpkins – just so cute!!! 

pumpkins-just-their-size

We’ll be talking about this more on October 1st, but there’s some special pink pumpkins that are important to us.  Ladies, if you have not had your mammogram yet this year – get it done!  fall-awareness

There are so many ways to PUMPKIN-IZE your autumn!  Have some fun and make the most of the season.  Oh, and don’t forget to make the punkin’ pie!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (31)12075076_1019943578045285_2006305397285375045_nHAPPY FALL, Y’ALL!!!  I don’t know why we are always so anxious to rush into this season more than the others, but my house has been decorated for autumn for at least two weeks!  We’ve had so much rain this month, it’s almost as if we’re jumping into spring instead of fall – but it’s fall according to the calendar – so we’re going to go with that!

Today I want to ask you if you’ve ever had a “happy accident”???  Take a moment to let that sink in before you answer.  The two words don’t seem to belong together – happy and accident – do they?  Hmm…  has Linda been hitting the sugar-free apple cider a bit too much?  No…  I really do want to know if you have a story to tell about a “happy accident”.  Oh…  I said that phrase again.  Does it set your teeth on edge?  I could see where it would.

Sometimes we think our mistakes are deal breakers for life.  We can’t seem to get over them, even though the most over-used sentence in America is LETITGO.  Thanks, Reba…  we’re learning.  I’m a work in progress.  Once I ask forgiveness from God and He forgives, it makes it easier for me to forgive myself and THEN I can letitgo.

The other day I was trying to find some images, photographs, for poetry I wanted to design.  My go-to place is Pixabay because I’ll be honest, I can’t afford to pay money for the images I use here on the blog or for poetry designs.  Lucinda and I also have good friends who have graciously given me unlimited permission to peruse through their facebook accounts for photos – thank you so much to Chris Cummins, Dave Mock, Karen Tubbs Stell, Sheri Berezowecki-Lemay, Valerie McKinney, Bill Woods, Terri Boggs Rowe, Marian Poppy Ballestero, Jimmy Stone, Katrina Huckabay, Stephanie G. Lutz, Candace Waters, Pete Lord, Sam Peters, Arleen Krueger, Gina Womack, Joanna Hays and Mike Durbin.

I also want to thank Lucinda not only for her wonderful poems, but for letting me use photos from her facebook page for my poems.  🙂

I was searching Pixabay for a certain kind of image – I had a very specific type of photo in mind.  I thought I typed a certain word in the search engine – but when I double-checked, I typed a completely different word.  It took me to a subject I know absolutely NOTHING about – and I mean nothing…  SPORTS.  Every writer knows this…  you write about what you know.  Never try to fake what you don’t know to be fact.

I laughed out loud and told God, “Wow – that was a huge OOPS, wasn’t it?”  God impressed me to take a look at the images on the page – and one in particular caught my eye – then another.

It was A HAPPY ACCIDENT – I knew these images needed to be used.  I also knew that I didn’t know a thing about football.  I fought with God – and said, “Lord, I don’t know anything about this subject – there’s no way I can write anything good.”  Then I heard God say, “Lucinda does…  give this to her.”

It’s funny because when we’re obedient, God rewards us – He really does.  Once I sent the image to Lucinda, look what she did…taking-a-knee

But wait…  God’s not done.  He gave me words to use for the second image I found!teach-us-to-pray

I know the term “happy accident” is from Bob Ross…  we all know how he used to refer to the OOPS in painting as a happy accident.  Around the time all of this was happening, I also saw this interesting photo from Bill Woods and thought, “That describes what happened perfectly!  I’m going to call it a ‘happy accident’ – like Bob Ross did!”  14067573_10208342567854653_5861265440443893614_n

Photo courtesy of BILL WOODS.  Thanks for the reminder!  The timing could not have been better.

God blesses our efforts when we obey.  I love “happy accidents” because when it’s all said and done, it was not an accident at all.  It was A GOD THING.  He works differently with each of us because we aren’t robots who can be dealt with the same way – we are individuals in God’s eyes, and He works with us in just the right way.  I’m so thankful that God can make anything work for the good…  aren’t you?  🙂

 

WORLD ALZHEIMER’S MONTH

tl-9-21-world-alzheimers-month

http://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month

hamburg-1508785_1920

If this horrific condition has touched your family, you are all too familiar with the frustration associated with it.  When you so desperately want to FIX something for your loved one…  but you can’t.  To watch a person once so quick-witted and sharp become a person you no longer recognize is so difficult.  Alzheimer’s touched our family – and it touches many families around the world.  The symptoms usually show up in older people over 65 years of age.

The most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • Memory Loss.  We’ve all walked into a room and stood there wondering why we went there.  Maybe I’m speaking for myself – I’ve done it.  Sometimes that’s just because your mind is fragmented in so many directions and you’re having difficulty keeping it all straight.  True memory loss is when sections of your day seem to be forgotten easily.  That’s why it’s so important for seniors to try to stay active and use their minds to solve puzzles or do research on a subject that interests you.  When you just sit in front of a TV set all day, that’s not really working much of your brain – unless you’re watching game shows like Jeopardy where you have to come up with answers to questions.
  •  Problems Performing Tasks.  As we age, it gets more difficult to accept change, but it can also be a challenge to learn new skills and retain the steps of how to do the task.  Sometimes an individual has done the same task for years without a problem but suddenly it seems daunting and confusing.  If someone you love seems overwhelmed with everyday tasks, it’s probably time to see a doctor.
  • Not Paying Monthly Bills.  As much as we’d like to forget to pay bills, it’s not good when they don’t get paid on time.  It’s not good to have the electric shut off in wintertime.
  • Visuoperceptual Difficulty.  When what we see and what we perceive in our brains seems to disconnect somewhere along the way.  This can result in illusions, misperceptions and misidentification.  It broke my heart when my mother looked at me and called me “Frankie” (her sister who passed away in the early 1970’s).  I never corrected her, but just smiled, knowing that she loved her sister so very much and was devastated when she lost her.
  • Loss of Motor Skills.  Confusion, memory loss and visual issues can all impact one’s fine motor skill set.
  • New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing.  It goes a bit beyond just finding the right word to use.  It’s the inability to follow a conversation, or when writing, I refer to it as “the train of thought derailing.” 
  •  Misplacing Things / Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps.  When you find your car keys in the refrigerator but are unable to retrace your steps to figure out how they got there.
  • Questionable Judgment.  When you start giving large amounts of money to organizations, or start buying everything that is sold on TV.  When you start to ignore basic daily grooming.
  • Withdrawal From Social Activities.  Showing a lack of interest in hobbies, church or sports.  It could be too difficult to keep up, or it may be that other symptoms of the disease have taken a toll and made it a challenge to participate in activities that once held interest.
  • Moodiness or Change in Personality.  Imagine how frustrating it would be to deal with confusion, suspicion or depression with this disease.  It can make a person fearful or anxious I’m sure.  Sometimes they are easily upset with friends or family, but especially when they are out of their comfort zone.  This was true when my mother and I went to a funeral together.  She was not in her little world for a couple of hours, and began complaining about everything.  She was like a person I didn’t recognize and I had to be the adult, telling her it would be alright and that she’d be back home soon.

I love this!  They use poetry to connect with those living with Alzheimer’s Disease!  Check this out.  ❤

http://www.alzpoetry.com/

I am a caretaker for a 92-year-old veteran with Dementia.  I have been with her for 5 years and have witnessed the decline.  However, I’ve also witnessed some beautiful moments and had the opportunity to write and share her great wisdom.  She may not always make sense but when I listen to God translate for her I get the message.  I’ve written over 25 poems inspired by this sweet lady.  Sometimes her children don’t understand why she’s still here.  When she passes I hope to put a booklet together of the poems and comments made about them, and give to her family so they can see that even thorough her Dementia, God was still using her.  – Lucinda Berry Hill

Here are some poems and the statements and stories that made them come alive.

Today is tomorrow.  – Mrs. C

today-is-tomorrow

She gets her problems and puts them into baskets.  – Mrs. C

a-womans-baskets

Nothing would ever hit you except your own mouth.  – Mrs. C

dont-be-hit-by-your-own-mouth

I could never do it, unless I did.  – Mrs. C

take-a-leap

It’s a good time to have a good smile.  – Mrs. C (during prayer)

a-good-time-to-smile

Take Him to your friends.  – Mrs. C

take-him-to-your-friends

Maybe the sun is better than candy.  – Mrs. C

sun-and-candy

Hang up your blessings.  – Mrs. C

hang-up-your-blessings

It’s good to have a son in the basement.  – Mrs. C

a-son-in-the-basement

If you’re hungry, wear your color.  – Mrs. C

colors

I gave Mrs. C some tea and she asked do I have some.  I told her I had coffee.  And she asked, ‘Do you like electricity in your coffee?’  Talk about being caught off guard!  I thought, ‘There’s a poem there somewhere.’  – Lucinda Berry Hill

a-tribute-to-coffee

Mrs. C’s daughter was upset because nothing was going right for her one day.  Mrs. C put her arms around her and said she was a good person and she loved her.  – Lucinda Berry Hill

her-actions-speak-love

Mrs. C, when praying to God, will state what she has, followed by, ‘And we thank You for that.’   One day she prayed, ‘It’s a day we can’t do by ourselves, and we thank You for that.’  My first thought was, ‘It sounds like a bad day, what’s to be thankful for?’  But then it all made sense.  – Lucinda Berry Hill

we-thank-you-for-that

Mrs. C was looking at her copy of ‘Coffee with Jesus.’  She looked at the title and said, ‘Coffee with Jesus,’ maybe He’ll wake up and take us!’  – Lucinda Berry Hill

if-jesus-drank-coffee

He’s a good kid.  – Mrs. C

the-kid-of-the-king

I don’t like eggs before me.  Only when I’m not eating them.”  – Mrs. C

eggsIt’s not easy to be the family member dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s.  Patience on the part of the caregiver is short sometimes, and you learn to cry in the rain, in the shower, at the gym…  there are creative outlets for emotions.  Once the journey is over and you look back, it’s good to be able to say, “I didn’t lose my temper and I did the very best I could to care for my loved one.”  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (3)

It’s Suicide Prevention Month.  We’ve all felt down at times, but some folks just can’t seem to crawl out of the pit they find themselves in.  Suicide is a very real problem not only in the United States, but around the world.  When people are contemplating suicide, they are really just wanting to stop the pain, whether it be emotional or physical.  Keep in mind that suicide is a very permanent solution to what is probably a temporary problem.

I know that when you’re at the lowest point, the last thing you want to do is pray.  The feeling of utter hopelessness has you in its grasp and praying just doesn’t seem to do much good.  The truth is, that’s when it does the most good.  The enemy of your soul wants you to stay in that pit, but the God of the universe wants to help you climb out – take His hand and trust in His ability to pull you out.

I’m old enough to remember old hymns, and one of my favorites is UNDER HIS WINGS.  The truth in that hymn shoots straight to my heart.  Whether I’m playing it on the piano or singing it in the congregation, it makes me cry.  I want to abide under God’s wings forever.

We all have what I call gray days…  days when we feel alone or unloved.  I wonder how many times we feel that way instead of feeling like God has blessed us with an opportunity to be alone with Him so that we can feel Him loving us?

choose-to-pray

One of my favorite pastors once said, “There’s a big difference between feeling lonely and being alone.”  I’ve not forgotten those words.  I don’t remember Scripture references to back it up, and I don’t remember much of anything else regarding the sermon – but that one statement has stayed with me.  God gives us what we need to get through gray days…  even if it is one sentence from a sermon almost ten decades ago.

The point is, we can choose the attitude we will have about the circumstances we find ourselves in.Before we choose a permanent solution to a temporary situation, we really need to involve God.  If we will just call on Him with honest words – even if they are angry words…  there’s no use in trying to hide your true feelings because God made you.  He knows your thoughts and your true feelings.  Be truthful with Him and let Him answer your cry for help.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.   – Psalm 91:4

I read an article on facebook that just melted my heart!  I think you’ll like it too.

When Lucinda read this story, it inspired her to write a beautiful poem!

be-that-changeHow much could we do to help others???  We may be surprised at what we could be doing to prevent tragedy in another person’s life.  Today, ask God to reveal to you a way in which you can make a difference in someone’s life.  You may be surprised at the answer you get!

I want to leave you with one more poem of encouragement.  Remember that God is faithful. 🙂he-is-faithfulGod is a light in the darkness.

a-light-in-the-darknessIf you are feeling depressed about life, find a friend and enjoy some tea together.  If you are preparing tea, ask God to put someone on your heart and mind who may need to share tea with you.  We’re here to take care of one another.  We obviously take care of our own families, but it’s amazing what we could do for someone we don’t even know…  yet.  🙂

RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAY

TL 9-19 RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAYRespect For The Aged Day is a Japanese designated public holiday celebrated annually to honor elderly citizens.  The holiday recognizes the contributions that elderly citizens have made to Japanese society.

I wonder how much America could learn from this tradition?  In this country it seems that our elderly are not honored, but tossed aside or institutionalized where they become someone else’s problem.  It’s so sad because our senior citizens have so much wisdom to offer.  They’d be more than happy to share with us if we’d just ask.

WEAK MEMORY, STRONG HEART

Choosing to love an elderly person, whether they are family or not, is a choice.  We can choose to be impatient and irritable with them, or kind and helpful.  You could think of it this way…  if you live long enough, you’ll eventually be elderly.  How do you want to be treated?  It goes back to the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  – Ephesians 4:32

If there’s an elderly person in your life, take some time today to show respect for them.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • A phone call shows that you care.  Let them know you’re thinking of them.
  • Send a card that says you’re concerned about their welfare.
  • Ask questions about how things were back when they were younger.  They’ll be happy to share stories.
  • Show appreciation for any special gifts and talents they have.  Compliment the most recent project.
  • Give a little present to show love and appreciation.  It doesn’t have to cost a bundle, but it’ll do so much good.
  • Plan a special outing if possible.  There’s nothing quite like an occasion to look forward to – and dress up for.  It doesn’t have to be expensive – just a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant would be nice.
  • Offer a ride to an appointment or to the grocery store.
  • Share your precious time with someone who is more than likely lonely and may need some human contact and conversation.i-must-take-time

We all just want to be respected, don’t we?  We would like to have our efforts and our contributions appreciated once in a while.  How much more would we like all that if we were older and possibly all alone?  As we age, we need even more help, but we also need common courtesy from others and wouldn’t it be great to get some respect?

Remember the old Rodney Dangerfield routine… I DON’T GET NO RESPECT – ???  Well, it’s funny as a bit, but it’s really not very funny when you don’t get respect in real life.  :-/

 

BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

TL 9-12 BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

September 12-18 is BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK.  I want to invite you to make this little flamingo your profile photo on facebook and take a look at this pdf listing the top 10 facts about vestibular disorders.

https://vestibular.org/sites/default/files/page_files/Documents/Top%20Ten%20Facts%20about%20Vestibular%20Disorders.pdf

Also, please follow VEDA on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/vestibulardisorders/

The fact that struck me most about vestibular disorders is that there is no cure for most of them.  You know, we take our balance for granted until we lose it.  Most of us just bounce out of bed in the morning without giving it much thought.  Some are not able to maintain their balance well enough to bounce out of bed.

The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, secondary endolymphatic hydrops, and perilymph fistula. Vestibular disorders also include superior canal dehiscence, acoustic neuroma, ototoxicity, enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome, and mal de débarquement. Other problems related to vestibular dysfunction include vestibular migraine and complications from autoimmune disorders and allergies.

If you’ve ever had a head cold and your ears get plugged up a bit, sometimes it can cause you to lose your balance.  Aren’t we thankful that this condition will eventually pass?  I could not imagine having a disease that I knew would not go away.

I’m reminded of the perfection that awaits us in Heaven one day.

BODIES NEW AND STRONG

Today I hope you’ll take a moment to say a prayer for folks with these conditions.  A friend of mine has problems with balance because of an autoimmune disorder.  She takes about 40 medications a day and I think one of them is to help with the balance issue.  It seems that while each medication helps what it’s supposed to help, it also causes a side effect which in turn needs a medication to make that side effect better…  such a vicious cycle really.  We’ve talked and laughed about it several times, and she ends up saying, “You know, one of these days I’ll have a brand new body and won’t have to take a single pill.”

I agree…  these bodies are so fragile – and at times fickle.  Our new bodies will be perfect!  🙂