by Tina Stone
Wanna know what a frog has to blog about? Read on!
I have decided to give this blogging thing one more shot. I had one but it was filled with random stuff, not focused and I'd go days and weeks without making updates. Well, I joined a blogging group called Take Up Your Cross and they supply daily prompts, which I've noticed has helped tremendously. Thus far, I've only made two late entries!|
Now, I've decided to up the anty, and I want to try the 30-day blog challenge. I've decided to create THIS blog specifically for that purpose! I think, getting daily prompts helps. It serves as a reminder to make a post and it also helps to focus my thoughts onto to something specific and not random things.
I am a F.R.O.G. this did not happen overnight but was a gradual morphosis that happened over the last 45 years of my life. No, I didn't turn into a brightly colored reptile that hangs out on a lilypad. A F.R.O.G is someone who Fully Relies On God.
It is my hope that my entries in this daily blog will reflect my F.R.O.G personality and lifestyle and maybe, just maybe some of you will decide to become F.R.O.Gs as well!
Write about a community service or volunteer experience you’ve had in your life that made an impact on you.
This is a timely topic. As many know, my husband and I moved to Houston back in December and have been living in a motel while searching for a more stable residence. A few months ago, I got referred to a man named Mr. James Mas. He is a caseworker in a division of the United Way Agency that works directly with the homeless and with those facing possible homelessness. Through him and his help, we have kept our room here at the motel, he has gotten my husband in a work program that has been assisting him in finding work AND getting his education. Mr. James is also the person who found our apartment! He is the one who advocated for me and worked with this apartment manager to get us approved. Had it not been for Mr. Mas and the services he and his agency offer the community I would still be struggling to just get from month to month. Even as busy and as overloaded with cases as Mr. James is, he still finds the time to touch base with me at the very least once a week, but usually two or three times. I have no doubt he is an Angel sent from above to help guide me through this time in my life!
|If your job gave you a surprise seven-day paid break to rest and recuperate, what would you do with those seven days?
WhooHoo, let the fun begin! Now, do I have to share this seven-day miracle with my husband, or is this a me, myself, and I kind of thing? Either way, I'd love to head up to the mountains and if hubby is with me, pitch a tent. If I am on my own, I'd find a nice little cabin. Then, I'd spend the next few days basking in the sunshine, fishing, swimming, reading, writing, being lazy. In the evenings, I'd experiment with different dishes and maybe even cook up some of the fish I hopefully caught. I'd spend time watching the wildlife and just letting my imagination run loose. After a few days of that, I'd return home and putter around doing "girl" things until time to return to work.
Write about a movie franchise or book series that you love.
I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but the first thing that came to mind was the Little House on the Prarie books and shows. I was captivated by them for years growing up.
The Box Car Children, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys were all series I loved. I remember Mom loved it when I got into a particular series of books because then she knew exactly what to get me for special occasions. On more than one occasion I remember the tooth fairy slipping a book under my pillow rather than coins, gum, or candy.
I have not done a whole lot of reading lately except for things I find here on WDC. My husband loves watching CSI and Criminal Minds, so I suppose I hear and listen to that by default lol though I'm not particularly "into" either one of them.
What was the best thing that happened in your life over the weekend? Looking at the week ahead, what are your goals and how will you motivate yourself to achieve them?
Since I am running very late on my entries, it is already Wednesday, and a little late for making goals for this week. Last weekend I enjoyed several things. First, I spent several hours talking to my nieces and nephews who are ages 9, 5, and 4. The 5-year-olds are twins. The 9-year-old thinks he is 15. And the 4-year-old tried to pick up a rattlesnake. So, I heard all about it from her freaked-out parents and her side of the story. I can never be bored talking to these children! They crack me up all the time. They have another set of twins (that's right, my sister has six kids, three under the age of 5) but they are too young to talk to me, they just hit their 8-month mark and from what I understand, are in their hair-pulling phase.
After spending time talking to them, I bribed my husband into helping me make homemade eggrolls. It is easier to make MANY at once rather than just a few. So, I put him in charge of frying them. He is horrible at rolling them! Together we made almost 150 eggrolls. We gave some to our neighbors on both sides of us and I stocked the freezer. If you freeze them in single layers, they are so easy to take a few out, pop in the microwave, and poof an instant meal or snack, depending on what else you're having. My husband swore he'd never fry that many things again in the mini elec skillet again! lol But all in all, we had fun doing it together.
The goals for this week, are to contact the apartment manager and find out what is taking so long! We have been officially approved, which was last month. He is supposed to be modifying the apartment to be wheelchair friendly..but how much longer is this going to take? We have pretty much all our belongings packed up and we are just waiting...and waiting...and yeah. Waiting.
I do need to make a point to get out of this room at least for a little while. It's been a few weeks since I've even left this room. No reason, in particular, I just haven't felt much like going out. It rained several days, which with a motorized wheelchair, staying in was a good idea. But I can't blame the rain for ALL the days. Husband has been hinting he would like a roast. He is terrible at picking out roasts from the store, so that could very well be my mission by Friday. To make the trek to Walmart and find a pork roast I can make for him.
No real significant goals this week really. Just keep waiting for the call we can move! Hang out here on WDC and try not to stir up or get into too much trouble. Wrangle a ninja monkey or two and toss around a few merit badges here and there.
|First, let me apologize for my very late start! It is day 5 and am just now getting started on May prompts. My blog is nice enough to point out it has been 20 days since I last updated it. Time to get back on track!
Write about one (or more) of your creative idols. Who do you look up to? Whose work are you most inspired by? Why?
I love so many writers it is hard to pick and choose. In High School, I had a teacher who was also a published author by the name of Flemmings. He taught English and Creative Writing and sometimes he had a tendency to mix the two. He gave what we teens thought of as "crazy" assignments such as interviewing the family vehicle and writing a short story personifying a cracker. But, as I write this, the tingle in my brain is nudging me to remember I loved reading even before then. The first author I ever actually took notice of was E.B. White and the book Charlotte's Web. Like most kids I just read the stories, I never considered where they came from...that someone somewhere was actually writing them. In grade school I had a teacher read Charlott's Web to us out loud and for every book she read allowed, she would introduce the author and teach us about the person. She was the one who made me realize for there to be a book or story...someone had to write it!
The first "adult" books Mom introduced me to were written by Victoria Holt. Mom liked her books and one day I was "bored" and pestering her so she handed me a Victoria Holt novel and told me to go read it. I spent an entire summer reading every one of her books I could get my hands on and that started my love for mystery and kinda creepy scary stories.
Lillian Jackson Braun dazzled me with her crime-solving cat Koko and his sidekick YumYum. There was a whole year in middle school when I begged Mom for a Siamese cat. I wanted a chocolate seal point just like the ones in her books.
Of course, I read Steven King, but then, I found a book by John Saul who spooked me way more than King ever did. I made very sure not to read John Saul's books when I was alone or in the middle of the night. I am in awe of his twisted, devilish mind! If I had to write a horror story, I would look to John Saul for inspiration.
We really would be here all day if I were to list ALL the authors I look up to and admire. I DON'T idolize them! They are NOT my idols. But they ARE people I greatly admire and respect.
|I finally have a few dolls I managed to take some pictures that came out half-decently! Taking pictures is not my strong talent and my phone is terrible. But, ya use what ya got, right?
For this set of flower fairy dolls, I made a purple rose, pink peony, white daisy, and orange marigold. They do not have faces yet. I can't decide if I should use acrylic paint or perm marker. The faces are actually foam balls covered in a corn husk. The store was OUT of wooden beads, which is what the video called for. I improvised!
This is all the dolls in a group.
When I get some ribbon, I'll make some flowers for them to hold, or make baskets. I'll work on the embellishments. I'd like to make another set and make tiny bonnets. Now, my imagination tells me these flower fairies need an enchanted garden to hang out in! Once we get moved and settled, I'll find a box and some supplies to make a special doll garden for them :) I also want a set to add tiny magnets on the back and hang on my fridge. ANNNND, I have some essential oils...rose and lavender...I think I'll spritz them with it and make them smell pretty!
The WDC system tells me it's been 7 whole days since I've updated my blog. Where does time fly?
Truthfully, not much to update on yet. I'm still waiting to hear from the apartment manager who is making the modifications to the apartment so that it will be wheelchair-friendly. I'm paid up till Thursday here at the motel. I'm really hoping to be out of here and in our new place by then. As much as my husband and I love each other, we are getting on each other's nerves in this single-room unit.
Dolls have me preoccupied lately. I've been making fairy dolls from wire, embroidery floss, beads, hot glue, and silk flowers. Here is the video I found that teaches how to do it: https://youtu.be/KYa5iifGl4A as you can see, it is super, super simple and the supplies needed are pretty cheap.
In addition to these dolls, I've also been learning and practicing making cornhusk dolls. The Native Americans have a delightful little story they tell about these dolls. Here is the video that tells the story as they show you how to make these lovely dolls. https://youtu.be/Cknaga6Mqjo
It has been a lot of fun learning how to make these dolls and once I've mastered these, I plan to brush up on my rag doll-making skills. I used to make rag dolls some years ago. It is the first type of doll my Grandma taught me how to make. She made rag dolls and crochet dolls that were beautiful. I'm not sure why I've been bitten with the doll-making bug but it seems I have. Ragdolls are a little more complicated and take a bit more supplies than the other dolls. So they will have to wait until we are in our new place.
I'll try to post some dolls once I get them made.
|Sorry, I kind of dropped off the last week and my poor blog collected some dust. Several things to report in this update.
I've been keeping super busy with Easter Hunt 2021, it has wrapped up and I am happy to say it was a huge success! But it took a LOT of time and I let other things fall behind. Call me crazy, but I've already begun thinking about NEXT year's hunt and how to make it bigger and better and hopefully "flow" a bit more easily. I had some fantastic helper Bunnies, that without them, I could have done none of it! They are ALL amazing!
I never followed up with what happened with the house I'd found and got approved for. As it happens, I narrowly escaped falling into a scam that would have not only taken all our money but literally put us on the street. Thankfully, we had some kind people from an organization step in and help us and we've stayed here in the Motel room.
However, that is due to change within the next two weeks. This time, the agent who has been helping us through a division of the United Way found a low-income apartment that, we just barely qualify for. He did not have a wheelchair-accessible apartment open, but, once he heard we needed one, he offered to make the modifications to one of his empty units! He has been SO nice and said the modifications should be finished within two weeks. So...that is what we are waiting on!
Over the weekend, I had a long chat with my sister and we got to talking about crazy things kids do. My nephews were playing "Goats" and decided to climb onto the roof of her shed, which is slick metal and the boys were roughhousing, butting heads (like goats} when the oldest lost his balance and fell. He broke his wrist, thankfully that is ALL he broke. After she told me the story, I commented how glad I was I never acted like that as a kid...
She laughed and told me not to be so sure. She then told me of a hot summer day in 1979. I was 5 or 6 and I was outside playing when Mom, my sister, and brother heard a thump, silence then a blood-curdling shriek. She told me I was playing Dukes Of Hazzard...with my imaginary friend...and got so wrapped up in the game, I took a running leap headfirst into my brother's car. He had left the window down. I hit the side of my face on the gear shifter and knocked the wind out of myself.
She said when my brother asked what I thought I was doing, I placed my hands on my hips, glared at him, and said, "well, what else do you do when the po po is on your tail??" My sister said my brother had to walk away so I wouldn't hear him laugh and I sported a purple and yellow shiner for nearly a week after that. Mama just glared at my brother and said, "now see what you've taught her?"
My husband and I had a nice, quiet dinner together and watched movies. But, not your typical Easter movies, cos none were playing! Instead, my husband wanted to watch First Blood, a Rambo movie. Our neighbor friend down the hall passed on some "exotic" stuffed eggs that were delicious. His brother's, wife's Aunt made them and gave them to her niece, who shared them with our friend who shared them with us. Gotta love the way people share sometimes :)
Anyway, this Queen of Eggs as I now consider her made two very different types of deviled eggs. The first was a spicy one she mixed the egg yolks, cocktail sauce, horseradish, and lemon juice and topped it with a single large boiled shrimp and dusted it with a bit of chive. That was really different and boy was it spicy!
The second egg, which was my absolute favorite was the egg yolks mixed with cream cheese, ranch dressing (powdered mix) finely minced jalapeno, crumbled bacon, and sprinkled with a little paprika and finely crushed and toasted bread crumbs. I hate to admit it, but if I ever make these for us, I'm gonna have to make no less than a dozen, and maybe, just maybe I'll share with the husband... These put my more traditional eggs to shame!
In your entry today, write about one of the most frightening moments of your life.
It was 1991 and I had spent the weekend at my sister's house. She lived about 45 miles from my hometown at the time. At the last minute, my third older brother decided to stop by and insisted he take me home because he was going to visit mom anyway. My sister agreed and I climbed into his beat-up Pinto with his girlfriend.
My brother, as I've said a few times was a hard-core biker and lived a hard life. So, don't be too shocked when I say, as soon as he got back in the car, he popped a top of a beer. He had ripped out the center between the two front seats and usually kept a cooler there. Yep. This was before the huge crackdown on drinking and driving. Also before the crackdown on the whole seat belt issue, because he'd also ripped out ALL the seatbelts as well. My brother was also a heroine and coke addict, and he was high as a kite and in a foul mood. He and his girlfriend were at each other's throats, screaming and cursing before we even got out of the driveway.
Both were drinking. Both high. My brother drove fast and kept going onto the side of the road and several times he drove in the grass. At one point he turned and started driving IN a cornfield. A REAL, actual cornfield! OH boy was he angry and oh wow was his temper boiling. Every time his girlfriend said something he didn't like, his foot got heavier on the gas pedal and he got more erratic driving.
Then, we got to the railroad crossing and the light was flashing and the arms of the "thingy" were coming down. You could SEE and hear the train coming...and my brother took that as a challenge. We still had nearly two blocks before we got to the crossing, there was more than plenty of time to stop...but NO...my brother hit the gas and the little car hit almost 90.
All this was before I became a steadfast child of God. But I'll tell you, I have never prayed as fervently or with such conviction as I did when my brother tried to outrun that train. My heart was pounding and at first, I prayed God would protect us, keep everyone safe, make my brother come to his senses. Then, as we got closer and closer, I just knew I was about to die. I thanked God for my life, asked forgiveness for my sins, and asked God to not let it hurt much and to please just let me die on impact. I asked him to take care of my Mom and cats.
My brother shot across the tracks and you could FEEL the wind from the train push against the car, that is how close it came! The rest of the way home, I just kept thanking God for his protection and for keeping us safe from harm. I'm sorry to admit, but after that, I lost some of the trust I had in my brother and I always had an excuse NOT to get in a car or on a bike with him if he was the one driving. And that was the longest 45-minute ride of my life! Something else happened during that ride as well. As terrified as I was, I found it was also exhilarating...the high speed...ah, but that is a story for another time!
|What’s the best or worst practical joke that you’ve played on someone or that was played on you?
I was 8 or 9 when I "discovered" Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it was being played at the local movie theater. I pitched a week-long begging, pleading, and bribing campaign at Mom trying to convince her I was old enough, brave enough, and most of all, independent enough to go see it. When Mom still refused, I did the only thing left to do. I told my oldest brother.
My brother went and rented the movie and he and I sat in his bedroom with the door closed (mom was busy and never paid much attention to what he was doing anyway since he was an "adult"). He also had a king-size water bed and allowed me to have popcorn, candy, and a soda and we sat and watched the whole thing.
I will admit, it was grosser than I had anticipated. I'd never seen a true horror movie before and I was a bit queezy from the movie, the motion of the water bed and all the junk food. However, Mom yelled dinner was ready just as the movie was getting over with. I walked into the kitchen and there on the table sat three bowls of steaming hot CHILLI. I had to sit there and force myself to nibble at that blasted chili without getting sick and letting on to Mom what I'd just watched.
I still swear mom had somehow known I watched that movie and had fixed that on purpose. She always swore she had no idea. But how many people you know make a pot of chili in the middle of a Texas summer when temps are in the high 90's??
Incidentally, this did not put me off from wanting to watch horror movies. When Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween came out, it was my brother who I begged into watching them with me. Oh the things my poor brother used to do for me! lol
My other older brother loved giving me surprises, the kind that made little girls squeal, shriek, and do other unladylike sounds. My brother loved playing a particular game with me. He'd say, "I got a surprise for you baby girl," and I was expected to close my eyes and hold out my hands. I never knew WHAT he was going to put in my hand. Only that is was going to be something....unexpected. Sometimes it was a lizard, a snake, a worm, a crawfish, beetle bug, baby snapping turtle, a mouse, once it was a raccoon he'd been taming. My brother LOVED wildlife and thought it was hilarious when I'd open my eyes and sometimes I'd like what was in my hand and oooh and ahhhh over it but some things, like the snake or worm...I'd get all girlie and squeal and try to shove it back at him. He'd laugh and say, "they are all God's creatures honey, gotta love them all."
I seriously think this is why I love animals so much now. My brother passed that on to me. He always had an assortment of critters at his house. He had injured raccoons he saved and kept as pets, he rescued a mother skunk and her babies...and after the scent sac was removed, they were indoor pets. He had pet possums, a pet monkey, huge aquariums filled with turtles he rescued off the side of the road, fish, frogs, lizards. His house was like a zoo and I loved spending time over there.