Monday, February 4, 2013

WE WON!!!!!


It was a great first half for us here in the Raven Nation. 

When half-time was over, Jacoby Jones ran a whopping 108 yard kickoff return, to tie an NFL postseason record, and boosting the score to 28-6. 

And then....

The lights went out in the Super Dome. It was mostly downhill from there with San Francisco coming dangerously close to stealing the game. We were able to pull it out in the last few minutes (literally) and won 34-31!!!

BUT, Jacoby did more than tie a record and help lead our Birds to victory. He gained $600,000 in free furniture for some folks back home in the Baltimore metro area. A local furniture retailer had made the offer that all furniture bought in their stores on Sunday by 3 p.m. would be free if such a play occurred either at the start of the game or at the start of the 2nd half. I'm sure, Jacoby has made some friends for life here!!!  

Ray Lewis congratulates Jacoby Jones on his  record tying kickoff return and TD !

In other highlights of the game, the Newtown Elementary Chorus sang America the Beautiful in the Opening Ceremonies for the game. I was touched, both by their heartfelt performance and by my husband's reaction. this big tough guy was so moved his eyes filled with tears watching the performance! I was surprised. I didn't realize he was so sensitive. (Incidentally, we were in a roomful of tough macho men. Many had similar reactions and gave the kids a standing ovation!)

I hear those children will also perform at the Grammys. if you missed the game, please catch them there. These kids have true heart and exemplify the American Spirit to the core!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This is RAVENS Country!!!!

We live in the heart of the RAVENS' NATION so life has been wild here lately. One doesn't leave home if you're not wearing purple!!! Don't own purple? Buy some, NOW!!! 

I'm short of time as there's food to prepare for a party tonight - enough for a crowd of, well, 75-100. (We party hardy here, too!)

So, I'll just share this little ditty with you for now - (Sorry, I do not know who originated this verse!)

"Twas the [morning of] Super Bowl,
And all through the house,
John Harbaugh was praying,
And so was his spouse:
Let Ray hit hard, and Kruger hit clean,
Let the team come together, 
As a Super Bowl machine !
Let Ngata be powerful and Suggs be strong,
Let Ray Rice and Flacco do no wrong!!
Let Pitta and Anquon and Torrey be alone
As they dive for a catch  in the end-zone.
God we've been waiting ... and God knows 
We care,
And God bless the Ravens !!!
We deserve to be there!!! "

GO RAVENS !!!!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ground Hog Day

We here in the MidAtlantic count on a rodent named Punxatawney Phil to tell us what to expect weather wise in the coming weeks. Phil, allegedly, resides in a tree trunk in Punxatawney, PA and is roused by his handlers each year to prognosticate to an audience of thousands. (This year's crowd was estimated at 30,000! It was 11 degrees there and these folks began to gather at 3:30 a.m. for a 7:30 ceremony!) Let's just say Phil says we should expect an EARLY Spring!!! Yay!!!!

Of course, we had snow less than 12 hours after his announcement so maybe we need to ask Phil to actually define the term "EARLY SPRING"!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Are you a carrot, egg or coffee?


It really is hard to beat Grandma's advice when it's given with great love and concern.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. "What's the point,grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter.

"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

A new month, a new try at regular blog posting.  Looks like I didn't do a very good job at "daily" posting in January. I've really had trouble getting back into it. 

They say it takes 14 days to form a new habit so I'm going to really, really try to post daily for not just 14 days but ALL 28 days of February. Lately, I've seemed a bit dense so I'm figuring it might take twice the effort so 2 x 14 = 28. ( Math was never my best subject so I hope I've figured that right.)

As I've mentioned along the way, I still take notes, jot down thoughts and shoot pictures "for the blog". I just haven't done well at getting them past the draft stage for the last few months. I'm going to cheat just a little today and post one of those items I've been holding in reserve. (Wow! First day and I'm already taking shortcuts!) It's one of those "stories with a moral" and it sort of made me stop and think about my life when I read it. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Our Newest Family Member

What do you get a retired guy who has everything he needs, refuses to make a Christmas wish list and simply takes the fun out of the holiday by telling folks NOT to buy him anything?

Apparently, a REALLY, REALLY  BIG FISH !!!!

The Big Guy is a tropical fish enthusiast. He has maintained a large home aquarium (often more than one) since he was nine years old. He owned a fish store at one time and our home is decorated in what I like to refer to as "Traditional Sea Life".

With this in mind, one of Santa's helpers thought we truly needed a 4 foot long, helium-filled, remote controlled clown fish. Who knew there even were such fish in the sea at our local mall?
The first night, Big Fish simply explored the living room.
Using the remote, one can make him go up and down and steer him by moving his tail fin.  Turned off and left to his own devices,  he does the usual helium balloon thing of floating aimlessly (and silently) around the house on his own. Once I got past the creepiness of this "wandering", we started to make fun of him and took pictures of his strange antics, posting them on FB with captions.  (We're now getting messages both for and about him!!) Folks want to know what he's up to!
We figured he was getting hungry when he tried to go into the kitchen.

The Big Guy is determined that he is merely a generic clown fish and is NOT Nemo. So, we call him "FISH" or "BIG FISH".

Wonder what the little guys in the tank thought when they saw him!! We did NOT pose him. He went over to take a look all on his own!
In the first week here in the house, he had enough helium, and we kept him balanced enough (through the adjustable levels of ballast suggested), to keep him fairly close to the ceiling. At that height, he was unable to clear doorways so he stayed in the stairwell, the living room or the hallway. in that state he would work his way to a specific doorway and simply stick his nose in the room to look around but his top fin kept him from going into those rooms.

We have found there is one spot in the living room where he kind of noses his way into the corner and tends to stay there a while. The other day he had been sitting there for hours when he overheard me on the phone telling a family member that we had snow through the night and the street was pretty well coated. We watched, stunned, as Fish quickly backed out of his corner and turned to stare out the picture window.  He then circled the living room and headed down the hallway(as if running from the snow.)  

Did I mention he has now lost enough helium that he can enter the various rooms on his own ?

Well, I found him later, floating over our bed staring at a picture of a seagull. I think he was yearning for a warm beach, after all, he IS a TROPICAL fish!!! (Personally, snow makes me want to find a warm, sunny beach, too!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year !!

Happy New Year,  Everyone!!

Here's to a happier, healthier, safer New Year for all of us. May we all be a bit wiser, a bit more patient and tolerant and a huge lot of happier in 2013!!!!

A fresh new year = a fresh new start. After 6 months of a blogging "sabbatical" for me, I hope to be back here on a regular (if not daily) basis. My last post was on 4th of July, complete with fireworks, so it is only right that my comeback post includes fireworks once again!!

I'm not offering any long apologies or explanations here today - just announcing my efforts for a comeback. Hopefully, someone is still out there listening. I would, however, like to thank those of you who have stayed in touch or have contacted me just to touch base during these last few months. I appreciate your messages and thoughts.

Hope to chat with you again this week.