Friday, October 31, 2008


Boo, YA! Granny accompanied her favorite little goblin to Trunk or Treat at Res Life in Grand Haven. Cute idea~many of the church members parked in the lot of the church, decorated their trunks, filled them with candy, and handed the candy out to all the children who came around in the loop. It was a warm, dry, clear night. Just perfect! One of the nicest Halloween nights I can remember. The church also hosted a face painting area. Jayden and Paige had a wonderful time. I loved it, too! This cuts way back on all the walking and is so much safer than going out on the streets and sidewalks where you have to worry about watching out for cars. What'll they think of next!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Pound of Cure: I AM the biggest loser!

Here's one of those issues that has fallen into the know-do gap in the past but no more! One of my pre-fifty, life-changing projects is to tackle the excess pounds I've been dragging around. More and more data indicates that obesity plays a crucial role in the development of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, hypertension, and even Alzheimer's. One of my girlfriends pointed out that you know you're getting old when you're more motivated to lose weight because of Alzheimer's than just to look good!Sooo, I'm back at weight loss church(Weight Watchers) because that has always been the safest, most sensible program I have ever been involved with. A few years back I lost about 30 pounds on the program. The kinds of changes you make are just healthy lifestyle habits that everyone should be following regardless if they are overweight or not. Changes such as eating more reasonably sized portions and eating at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies each day. Who wouldn't benefit from drinking 6 or more glasses of water per day? Exercise is beneficial for all of us. There isn't anything on this program that most people wouldn't benefit from so why not go for it! I have had several gals in my circle who have recently lost big numbers of pounds on WW so I am inspired by their success. If they can do it, so can I. With my 50th birthday just 7 months away, I've got my work cut out for me. I'm going to have all of you help me be accountable by posting my weight-loss journey on this blog. Feel free to post comments and the occasional word of encouragement would also be appreciated~or maybe you'd like to join me?! I'm not going to post my actual weight but I will tell you that my goal is to lose 78 pounds. I joined last week, 10/20. My first week on the program I lost 6.6 lbs-not too shabby! So now, I have 71.4 pounds to goal. I'm a 5 lb sack of potatoes and 1 lb brick of butter lighter than I was at this time last week! Once a month I'll tell you where I'm at with inches lost. Of course, there will be photos...Time to live it, not diet, cuz' diets don't work but Weight Watchers does! I CAN do this!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Path I walk:Service

I have been experiencing a spiritual renaissance of sorts. VPM, as a community of believers, has been involved in an all-church study called Outflow. We've been taking a look at how our personal relationship with God impacts the quality of our own lives, the lives of our family and friends, the community, and the world. In particular, we have been looking at the acts of service that we can do that convey the love of God to others. That was the key reason for hosting the Community Party last weekend. In mid-November, we're having a Sunday "service" outside the church-not actually meeting for church-but going out into the community that day instead of having church and doing acts of service for people in our local area. I have to say, with all the uncertainty going on in the world presently, it is the natural tendency to become more self-focused because of fear and worry. This study has really challenged me to put that lack of faith behind me and become more outward-focused in my lifestyle. I think all of us in Christian circles shrink back when the E word gets spoken: Evangelism. That conjures up images of Bible thumpers handing out tracts or standing on a street corner somewhere spouting off the hell fire and brimstone REPENT message. Really, what this Outflow series has drawn our attention to is the everyday opportunities we have to do small random acts of kindness to anyone and everyone that we come across, starting with our friends and family-which is sometimes harder because of our history with them! Pastor Steve reminded us that, when it comes to our interactions with family and friends, we cannot undo the past, control the future, or make anyone a follower of Jesus. Some of the things we discussed during church that all of us can do for others: Pray for people~Listen to people~Serve others in any way that we can when the circumstance presents itself~Share the message of God's love in a non-offensive way with gentleness and respect whenever we are given the chance. Actions speak louder than words!
Charity does begin at home...and flows outward!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Decision 08' : THE MUSICAL

You all know how I love a good political satire. Take the time to click on the link below for a real deluxe treat!We all need a good laugh! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crane's Orchard 2008: The apples of my eyes and my pies!

A relatively new family tradition is to go to Crane's Orchard to pick apples, get pumpkins, go on the hay and cow rides, walk the grounds, and stop at the Pie Pantry for cider, doughnuts, and pie. We made it to early church to get a jump on the crowds at Crane's. Lucky that we did. The place was it's usual crowded beehive of activity. Once the word gets out that a place is great everyone wants to experience it. Crane's has been making this time of year special for families in our area for many years. The weather was crisp but sunny and there wasn't a care in the world!Unfortunately, the pumpkins sold out yesterday. We'll have to find some pumpkins for Halloween next weekend. Still, we got enough apples to make quite a number of pies, applesauce, baked apples, and apple crisp. Worth the effort for sure.


The Official Meeting of the Ya-Ya's took place on October 18th in downtown Holland. The sisters partook of the festivities on the Groove Walk. Present were the usual suspects, plus a few. What, you say, is a groove walk? Well, all the eating/drinking/entertainment establishments downtown hosted live entertainment from 9pm-1am. Each place had drink specials and appetizer specials in addition to the entertainment. A bus would take you on the loop to all the establishments. The Ya-Yas went to New Holland Brewing Company first. They had a group called Creolization that did some original Louisiana style funky music with accordion and washboard, drums, guitar, keyboards and vocals. Our next stop was 84 East where we caught up with Court and Trev who were out on the town celebrating the 21st BD of Ben T. 84 East had '80's Express. Trust me, we knew the words to every one of these songs! Next stop, Carragh Irish Pub and the jazzy sounds of James Reeser and the Back Seat Drivers. They were smooth and mellow but oh, so goooood!  Then on to City Sen, the bar inside the City Flats Hotel. The band there was Trilogy Unplugged. The theme was request-driven music from 7 decades! We knew quite a few of these songs too....This bar is famous for its martinis. So, we all had cosmos like the girls from Sex and the City. Ran into a lot of Trev's friends from the Ben T. BD Party and a number of old friends from around town that I haven't seen in a long time! Last stop, Boatwerks. They had Zion Lion. Interesting sound. They did a version of Old Time Religion, the likes of which I've never heard before! All in all-good times! Official meeting of the official Ya-Ya Sisterhood, adjourned until next time....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Victory Point Ministries Community Party

This year, VPM combined the Family Fun Night and the Community Picnic into one event and opened up the campus to our own VPM community but also the community at large.
The day couldn't have been nicer. There was a little something here for everyone. We had door prize drawings, a cupcake walk, bingo with prizes, sack races, a hole-in-one golf game, blowup toys for the kids to play in, face painting, food, pumpkin painting, a petting zoo and programs put on by the Critter Barn, a Yo-Yo expert, a clown, a guess-how-many m&m's in the jar game with a nice prize, music, balloon animals, parafin hand wax treatments, chair massages, other games for kids and adults alike, plus there were two NASCAR simulators.This year I was joined by Paula Phillips, Heather Langjans, and Tressa Kalkman from Body Perfections out in the pamering tent-one of the most popular places! It was a blast! See for yourself...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where have I been?

While not blogging...

I have been hard at work on some very important, life changing pre-fifty projects...
Stay tuned~next week I will be unveiling just what I've been up to lately and why I haven't been able to post more than once or twice a week. What has been taking up all my time? Hmmm. Any guesses?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Decision 08' : DEJA MOO!

The vague sense that we have heard this BULL before!

(Free Clip Art Pics & Funny Cartoons)

Not an original thought, but one I can wholeheartedly embrace! After listening to the third, and thankfully last, presidential debate, my feeling is that November 4th cannot get here soon enough! Were it not for the SNL skits, the commentaries of Jay Leno, David Letterman, The Daily Show with John Stewart, and the Colbert Report, I simply could not bear another moment of the political shuck and jive we are witnessing! I am absolutely obsessed with the Tina Fey/Amy Pohler skits from SNL. I've been watching for nearly 30 years and I can honestly say that this is some of their best work. The schtick about Palin's foreign policy statement, "I can see Russia from my house" -PRICELESS! If you haven't seen any of the skits, go to Youtube. Don't miss out. We all need a little levity thrown into the political mix.
More interesting than the debate itself, was the informal poll taken at Brann's the night of the debate. The patrons were asked which audio they wanted-the debate OR major league baseball. Well, you guessed it...Those of us politically-minded folk were relegated to a back table that had a tiny little screen which we were allowed to turn up the audio for at our own table but cautioned to be mindful of not infringing on the baseball fans! Soooo, that gives you some idea of how important the debate was at least in the minds of that audience.
I had done my research earlier per NPR and was feeling like the debate could just be superfulous floof anyway considering that every election since Nixon has been accurately predicted by the sale of Halloween masks and since the Obama masks are outselling the McCain masks two to one, I guess it's a done deal~
I do have to say that this debate showed a better side of John McCain than the prior two. Barack Obama seemed a bit off his game. The post-debate rehashings portrayed both candidates as about equal as far as public reaction was concerned. I still prefer that Obama is not as much of a crap-talker as McCain. He sticks more with the issues and stands on his own merits and doesn't do as much tearing John McCain down to make himself look better as John McCain seems to do to him. Even if I agree with the jist of what is being said, I still do not like that tactic. If feel like Obama has taken the high road for the most part on that count. He is firing back more often here lately but, after the attacks he's been subjected to, I can hardly blame the guy. It would only be human to get sick of being verbally abused and want to retaliate. It is my personal opinion that Obama has been classier in how he's gone about it. I get the sense that he fights a bit more fairly.
During the first debate, John McCain started every answer with, "What Senator Obama doesn't seem to understand is..." which I found very insulting, arrogant, and disrespectful. Barack Obama is obviously a highly educated, intelligent man. McCain did not gain points with me for speaking in this tone. It made it hard for me to be open to his message and to really listen to what he had to say.
During the second debate, McCain did a number of things that really bugged me! He had his repeater on that night too. He kept saying, "My friends..." I counted one sentence that had that phrase, "my friends" three times!!! John McCain kept wandering around aimlessly and seemed to let his temper flair a good share of the time. My impression was that of a hothead. Not sure I want him answering the phone at 3 am! Plus, he kept answering when it wasn't his turn, cutting in on Senator Obama and wanting to rebuttle beyond his allotted time. Very rude and pushy I felt.
 Then when Sarah Palin and Joe Biden debated, I noticed the same tactics. Sarah Palin had her repeater on. She kept saying "Maverick" until I felt like a good horse had been ridden to death! And there is nothing so dead as something that's been dragged to death! Seriously, I thought the winking was just over the top. I am sick of Sarah! I don't want to hear any more about hockey moms and lipstick. I am tired of the artsy folksy "yah-shur-youbetcha" lingo. She sounds like a toothless tree-topper from the UP! Joe Six-pack, wink,wink! And the "say it ain't so, Joe" thing sounded like a slam to me. Doggone it! Wink, wink! Not once did Joe Biden ever call her Sarah. He gave her the respect of calling her Governor Palin. It is my feeling that Sarah is in way over her head on this one. She has potential but needs time to grow into this role.She's not there yet. Now with some of the information coming out about her unethical use of power to have her former brother in law fired... well, let's just say, I'm no longer a fan! I did get a naughty little kick out of Jay Leno speculating about the porno flick spinoffs this debate could possibly inspire. For instance, he suggested the names of the porno flicks might be: Nailin' Palin and Ridin' Biden. Hey, they rhyme!Have to admit I chuckled a bit at that one.
I still hold to the philosophy that to be in politics you have to be somewhat crooked to begin with or you wouldn't be attracted to that field. You have to be willing to play the political game. Given that, I do still hope that everyone votes. There does seem to be a lot of discouragement but it is our civic duty. Otherwise, no griping! I hope that people take time to do the research and determine for themselves who they feel will do the least damage and vote for that candidate. The only thing I'm going to miss after the election is the SNL skits. I comfort myself with the knowledge that whomever wins the election will provide ongoing fodder for comedy relief.
Now, readers, take note that I am speaking my mind at great risk to myself. I live in a Republican dominated area. I could get my mailbox smashed or tires slashed or car keyed or I could be shunned or any number of other unpleasant consequences. But remember, Democrats are people too!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Do you think Chris Columbus was a hottie?

Hat is too queer...

Fringey thing too much like EX!

Strange resemblence to Christopher Walken~not a fan!

In honor of the day, here are a few fun facts from the International Columbian Quincentenary Alliance:
Myths about Columbus' Expeditions Dispelled

MYTH: Columbus set out to prove the earth was round.
FACT: At the end of the 15th Century, most everyone knew the earth was a sphere. What was in question, however, was the size of the earth--its circumference. Columbus underestimated the size of the earth by one-fourth.

MYTH: Queen Isabella sold the crown jewels to pay for Columbus' voyage.
FACT: The queen may have suggested this at some point, but her financial advisers assured her that there were other ways to finance the enterprise. One way was to make the city of Palos pay back a debt to the crown by providing two of the ships. Another way was to get Italian financial backing for part of the expenses. The crown had to put up very little money from the treasury.

MYTH: The crew of the three ships on the voyage of discovery was made up mainly of criminals and nare-do-goods.
FACT: The crew was primarily comprised of seasoned sailors from the towns of Palos and Moguer, Spain, thanks to the efforts of the Pinzon brothers. Just in case Columbus might have had trouble attracting a crew, the crown did offer amnesty to criminals. However, only four criminals were on board: one a convicted murderer (he killed a man in a quarrel); the other three, accused of freeing him from prison.

MYTH: Several hundred sailors were aboard the three caravels on the initial voyage in 1492. The ships were relatively large for the anticipated long journey on an unpredictable sea.
FACT: Only 90 men made the first voyage of discovery. The ships were quite tiny by modern standards--no longer than a tennis court, and less than 30 feet wide. The Santa Maria had 40 men aboard, the Pinta, 26, and the Ni$a, 24. Only the Ni$a and the Pinta returned to Spain, as the Santa Maria was shipwrecked on Christmas Day, 1492. 39 men volunteered to stay behind at the fortress called "La Navidad" on the northern coast of present-day Haiti (they all perished at the hands of the Indians prior to the return of Columbus the following year).

MYTH: Columbus suffered from syphilis and probably died from it.
FACT: Columbus suffered in later life from a form of gout--an arthritic condition in his joints caused by the rigors of the sea. His eyesight was also declining. While syphilis was introduced into Europe after 1492, probably by the Indians Columbus brought back to Spain or by the sailors who had contact with them in the new world, Columbus was not infected by it.

MYTH: Columbus died a pauper, in chains, in a Spanish prison.
FACT: Despite the fact that the Spanish crown retracted some of the privileges promised to Columbus, he was a relatively rich man at the time of his death. Although he returned to Spain in chains in 1500 after his third voyage, the King and Queen apologized for the misunderstanding and had them removed. Columbus died quietly at the age of 55 in Valladolid, Spain, on May 20, 1506 in his own apartment attended by family and friends.

MYTH: Columbus is buried in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.
FACT: There is much controversy surrounding the whereabouts of the remains of Columbus. There are records of the transferral of his remains on different occasions, so that it is possible that parts of his remains are in several locations. The prevailing belief, however, is that his primary burial place is in the Cathedral of Seville, Spain, with some of his bones or ashes in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and some in Genoa, Italy. At one time they were in Cuba.

MYTH: Columbus set foot on North American soil at some point now a part of mainland United States.
FACT: Columbus never saw North America. His first landfall was in the Bahamas, probably the current San Salvador (Watlings Island), although even this is disputed (Samana Cay, an island 65 miles south of San Salvador is a strong contender). There are proponents for seven other possible island landing sites. The only current U.S. territories either sighted or visited by Columbus are the U.S. Virgin Islands, which Columbus named on his second voyage, and Puerto Rico. While in anchor of St. Croix (USVI) on November 14, 1493, some of Columbus' crew experienced the first hostile encounter with the Indians. Five days later he landed at San Juan Bautista, now Puerto Rico. Later he would visit the northeastern tip of South America and the eastern coast of Central America, but never mainland U.S.A. The fact is that Columbus never admitted that he had discovered a new continent.

If you're a history buff and hungry for more:
Columbus Day page
Or you can try the Columbus Day word puzzle:
Enjoy the day...especially since you have an extra day before all your checks clear!
No worries, George Clooney, you're still a much bigger hottie than C.C.!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 11, 2008

Walk with me and see what I saw on this glorious day...a road less traveled

Days like this will be a vague memory soon enough! For now, let's cherish every moment of this radiant season! Here are some quotes to go along with our celebration of Fall:

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Anne Frank (1929 - 1945), Diary of a Young Girl, 1952

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)

When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters.
B. Cybrill

Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.
David Letterman (1947 - )

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.
Edwin Teale

A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.
Eric Sloane

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.
Henry Beston, Northern Farm

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.
Mitchell Burgess, Northern Exposure, Thanksgiving, 1992

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 - 1864)

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.
P. D. James

There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)

In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November.
Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden, 1905

Fiery colors begin their yearly conquest of the hills, propelled by the autumn winds. Fall is the artist.
Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

If you enjoyed the quotes above, you can find more at:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reflections of a Ragamuffin

Thanks, Lindsey, for recommending The Ragamuffin Gospel. I am having a much different perspective this week thanks to reading that book!



Every morning I pull into the parking lot at Body Perfections. I arrive at the last minute, jump out of my car, and run for the door so I can be on time for my first appointment of the day. Not very organized in the mornings,  I'm afraid! I have a sense of urgency. Rush, rush, rush! There is a large, open field that faces our parking area. Once in awhile I allow myself the luxury of sitting there for a moment to admire the flowers~even though most of them are just weeds. There is beauty all around us if we will just open our eyes to it...if we will just take the time to become aware. The field looks different with each season, of course, but it has a rough beauty no matter what time of the year it is. Soon, there will be heavy frost on all the plants. It will be all sparkling and shimmery in the morning light. Then another month or two will go by and the field will be a blanket of snow. Still beautiful but differently so. Eventually the spring thaw brings new life all green and fresh. The vitality of rebirth. Followed of course by the sultry dog days of summer. A cycle that reminds us that we are beloved children of a source way bigger than ourselves.

A few more thoughts from Brennan Manning and The Ragamuffin Gospel:

*Quote from Maurice Blondel: If you really want to understand a man, don't just listen to what he says, but watch what he does.

*Whatever we have done in the past, be it good or evil, great or small, is irrelevant to our stance before God today. It is only now that we are in the presence of God.

*The trouble with our ideals is that if we live up to all of them, we become impossible to live with.

Trust me, you gotta get this book...

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