Day 44-Story Week-My Shot With Sam

img_2538 You only have one chance to get it right, and this was my chance.

Earlier this year, while on a trip down to the Bolivar Peninsula, I passed my favorite Texas monument and thought how awesome would it be (albeit dangerous) to get the perfect selfie shot with my man Sam Houston in the background. Somehow, while watching the traffic, (thank God it was light) and balancing the camera (iPhone) just at the precise angle, I managed to snap this awesome (pat myself on the back) pic of the hero and myself while traveling at a speed of 55 mph (lets just stick to that story shall we). I really can’t remember how fast I was going, I think the speed limit is 65-70 mph through there, but since it’s close to the prison, everyone slows down and minds their manners. Which means I was risking that as well! Luckily, I got the shot and wasn’t caught!

We’ve travelled this stretch of road more times than I can count, and my husband always knows, just as he does when going over the bridge in Waco that I want that pic of the beautiful Brazos River, that I’m going to take yet another picture of good ole Sam Houston every time. Why the reason for my love affair with Sam is unclear even to me, except for the fact that the statue is massive, the tallest statue of an American hero in the world,  at 67 ft tall, he was designed by artist David Adickes and dedicated to the city of Huntsville in 1994. He is an impressive icon who sits atop a ten foot granite base. I have yet to make it to the visitor center (should have gone when I was alone) something my hubby has promised yet not fulfilled as of yet. Men are always in such a galdarned hurry to get to their destination, they fail to take in the sights and historical places along the way. Why is that?

Anyway, I was proud to capture this image and my only complaint about it was that in my rush to complete the task at hand, I forgot to smile! By the way, any of you who want to get the other picture I referred to earlier of the Brazos river, don’t plan on getting it while crossing the bridge in Waco! They have since put of some kind of support structures that completely block your view. So if you gotta have that pic, you’ll have to find a place to park and get out of the car to get it.

So maybe this wasn’t a story in the typical sense, but it’s my story and I’ll have the picture to prove it, from now until the end of my days.

What monuments have you visited and do you have some incredible shots to share? I’m sure you do, leave me a comment below, I’d love to see them! Until then, I’ll be waiting on the patio. 😉

Day 43-Story Week-Race To The Sun

I was originally going to have this week be a combo of local events and then a story I craft from a word prompt. After taking a gander at the city’s official event calendar instead of the newsletter, I realized that unless y’all want to hear about trash bash or the next time my buddies band is playing, I’ll just stick to a story-for tonight at least.

Secondly, I was going to do my story off a word prompt but decided to go off a picture prompt for my first attempt. 😊

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As her eyes popped open, it hit her that she might already be too late. She hurled herself out of the bed, as quietly as she could, so as not to disturb her sleeping roommates. Hurriedly, she threw on some clothes, grabbed her iPhone and flip flops and raced down the stairs and out the front door of the rental she shared with eighteen other women that weekend. Four of her party were on the balcony, enjoying their morning coffee as she blew past them with no words. She knew they were aware of her  motives, she’d been telling them all week that this was on her list of things she wanted to do.

She almost fell down the stairs of the cabin in her rushed state, and the other ladies hollered at her something like, “whoa, you ok?” She yelled back “yeah, I’m alright” and walked as fast as her short little legs could get her there. She could see the sky starting to change and kept thinking, ” I’m not gonna make it!” Still, she pushed on, only a few more feet now and she would be on the beach. All at once she crested the top of the dune and saw her acquaintances standing on the beach. They heard her approach and called out, “Hey! You made it!” Out of breath and overjoyed at the fact that she did indeed get there in time,  she greeted them as she took up the perfect position.

They all did, they had talked about wanting to do this just yesterday while meeting for the first time at the beach. “They” were a nice family visiting from the Houston area that struck up a friendly conversation with her as she was getting some sun and enjoying some beach time. The ladies she was with on this trip were all members or former members of a group called Sertoma that she was in when she had lived close by just a few months previously. They knew she was more about beach time than they were, so they gave her her space when she would just take off with little notice. Now she was here again, together with this other nice little group of people, all on a quest to get the sun rising over the ocean and catch it on film.

She had finally done it, as many times as she had been to one beach or another in her lifetime, this was a first for her. It had been hazy and at first, even though she’d been on time, it didn’t look good-like God was mocking her and saying, “can’t get it this time either” but then the haze cleared and there it was. She tried to adjust the size of the picture so it would show up but not have the image be blurred. She should have brought her “real” camera but the iPhone would have to do. She was proud of her efforts and so happy she bypassed coffee and conversation to get the amazing shots that nature provided….once one got their butt out of bed early enough to capture the beauty.

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Day 42-Free Days-Let Freedom Ring

As I clean up from another successful family gathering, I’m aware of the anniversary today is and think of the fifty word story I submitted just a few days ago, commemorating 9/11 in my own small way.

[Survivors and the families of lost loved ones gathered en masse to gaze at the blue lights the city had erected. In the same way they cannot forget, they will not forgive either. “We will seek justice”, they chant together. With that, the plan is hatched, retribution will be theirs.]

It has been suggested that I expound on the story, and I have been thinking on it, but I’m still not ready and honestly I don’t know if I’m that good of a storyteller.  Even after watching yet another magazine feature on the story and what has become of ground zero, I still didn’t formulate any grand idea yet. If you didn’t see CBS Sunday Morning show today, you missed a good one and what they have done is breathtaking. Inverted fountains with all the names of the missing and the dead, forever etched in stone surround each of the finished fountains, with more monuments to come. The monolithic masterpiece that stands in the place of the twin towers is a stunning, middle finger to the enemy and shows just how much we refuse to bow down and cower in fear. To me it says “we will not go quietly into the night.” It is a constant reminder that we will not forget, forgiving is up to each individual family that lost someone or survived the horror of that day and therefore, cannot be determined by me or anyone else that did not witness or personally lose someone that day.

I like to imagine that the survivors gather as a group with these things in common and dream of a way to get vengeance. If I do ever expound on the story, I will preface it with a disclaimer that it is purely a work of fiction, since I can’t begin to guess what each member of said group might be thinking. I bet one thought remains true with each and every one of them though…let freedom ring.

I thought of what I would write about this week and came up with a couple of possible topics, one was Local Events Week where I would highlight upcoming important days for citywide happenings. Another thought I had was to strengthen my storytelling skills by having story week, off of a word or sentence prompt found somewhere on the web. What would you, my followers rather hear, or, what would be helpful or interesting to you? Drop me a line, suggestion or comment and I’ll work it into the calendar for the remainder of the month. If I don’t hear from you, I guess I’m on my own and free to choose what I want. I’ll be thinking about it while sitting on the patio. 🇺🇸

Day 41- Free Days-Interesting Infestation & Remodel Update

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So….yesterday, I opened the blinds in the office window to let my puppy look out and found this! It appears to be an infestation by carpenter ants that ate some material out of the window and then produced this green by-product. Talk about freaked out, I was like…what the heck is that!!!  So I took pics and then this morning I vacuumed up the mess. If we get an exterminater later (we need one) I can then show him the pics I took.

Meanwhile, in the master bedroom, my hubby was trying to finish up the trim paint and get the room ready for flooring. We shopped a couple of stores and I think we came up with a winner.

Wall previous to window wrap and blind installation
Wall previous to window wrap and blind installation
Walls after windows were wrapped, blinds installed and crown moulding painted
Walls after windows were wrapped, blinds installed and crown moulding painted

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Soon, we will install the floors, build a custom headboard and get a new king sized mattress and box spring (right now we have a queen) and buy new bedroom furniture. We are going for the beachy cottage look. I can’t wait to show it all finished and decorated. We got the floor samples today…what do you think?

Floor sample-it's varigated, so this is part of the pattern
Floor sample-it’s varigated, so this is part of the pattern

It may be hard to see since it’s sitting on the concrete floor. I will post an update if we choose this one after it is installed. I’m thinking once all the details are addressed, it will all come together and look great! Can’t wait to share the progression. My hubby is so handy and I’m blessed to have him and my son get this project rolling quickly! My job is to advise, consult and decorate, lol. He also got the doors ready for the tv cabinet in the living room. Soon, it will be ready for flooring as well. Moving right along!

Tomorrow, we plan to go buy the flooring but probably won’t install it until later this week. We will be otherwise occupied with church, grocery shopping and planning family dinner. We love hosting it and I can’t wait until all the remodeling is done and our kitchen will probably be the last (huge) project we do. Once finished, things will be so much easier to work around in and so much more roomy.

I hope you enjoy the updates and you feel free to comment or make suggestions-it’s never to late to make changes if necessary. Until tomorrow, I’ll be relaxing on the patio. 😉

Day 40-Support a Cause Week-FUMCW Fall Festival

I’m going to talk a little but about my church today, well, it’s not really my church, I’m not a member, just a regular (sort of) attendee. I feel comfortable there and I like the pastor, Mike Love and have a friend Elise and her family that I sit with when we happen to be there at the same time. When she isn’t there, Mike’s wife Susan sits with me, which is so nice of her to do. It makes me feel like I’m cared about, and that’s important! I’ve thought about becoming more involved with activities and such and that’s where today’s post comes in.

Sept. 24 the church is having their Fall Festival. It begins at 7:30am and goes to 4pm. Besides stuff for sale and homemade goodies, there will be a quilt raffle by United Methodist Women. I’m sure there will be many opportunities to volunteer time and or donate things to sell as well as the opportunity to buy clothes, furniture, crafts etc.

I’m going to post the flyer, in case you can’t see the website and phone numbers-I’ll list them here. The church is located at 6112 Watauga Rd., Watauga, Tx. 76148  The phone number is 817-485-0312

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The website is http://firstmethodistwatauga.com

Check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/firstumcwatauga/

Please join us for a fun filled day and consider volunteering or donating items for the sale. I plan to check and see what I have (scads of jewelry I’ve made) or bake some kind of goodies to bring. I might see what clothes we have that could go into the sale also and I’ll check the website to see where else I might be helpful.

That about wraps up Support a Cause Week, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more out there to support. Look around, maybe your own church needs you or you would like to get involved with a different charity of your choosing. Giving from your heart feels good and so does volunteering your time when you can. I hope you all find one or more causes close to your heart that call you to some kind of involvement. Of course, we can’t give to everything, or be everywhere all the time, but doing a little here and there is better than nothing and I personally feel that it strengthens our relationship with God to give of one’s self in some kind of way. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you tomorrow on the patio. 🙂

Day 39-Support a Cause Week-Tarrant County Heart Walk

Ok folks, this one is coming up real soon, so strap on your walking shoes and get ready to head to Will Rogers Memorial Center and join thousands of others for the Tarrant County Heart Walk. The full schedule and donation info can be found at http://heartwalk.kintera.org and is sponsored by Subway and benefits The American Heart Association.

There will be many events including music provided by AeroMotion, a great local band out of Lockeed Martin Aeronautics.  Festivities start at 8am and the walk will happen, rain or shine. It’s all happening this coming Saturday so make plans to attend and support the ones you love and walk for better health!

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Will Rogers Memorial Center is a famous venue in Ft Worth, Texas and the weather is supposed to be great. There will be lots going on and prizes awarded for registered donors that donate more than $100 and other giveaways and contests are posted on the website.

Walk for yourself, someone you lost, someone you love- just walk! You can choose between two distances, one mile or three. Ft Worth is a lovely area with so much to see and do, you won’t be disappointed! Hope to see you there!

Day 38-Support a Cause Week-Breast Cancer Walk

I’ve made it a point this week to talk about worthy causes that are having fundraisers in the form of walks and runs. Today’s post features a walk close to the area I live in called Making Strides of North Texas and it benefits breast cancer research, education, and patient services. It helps support patients and their families and shows them that you care enough to walk beside them, hold their hand and lift their spirits up. The walk is scheduled for Oct. 29th at 9am at The University of Texas at Arlington.

I’m going to include a picture with all the pertinent info on it, so that if you desire, you can join in the walk, donate to the cause or simply volunteer your time. Please try to support this worthy cause, as millions of people are affected by breast cancer every year. There is also the famous Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, you can find a walk near you by checking it out online at www.raceforthecure.org.

http://www.main.acsevents.org is the website to get all the info (in case the picture I insert isn’t linkable) Sorry I got this post on too late to enter for the cute pink Converse shoes they were giving away, had I noticed, I would have posted this one yesterday. I’m sure there will be all kinds of fun things happening at the walk itself, so do try to attend or support the walk in whatever capacity you feel comfortable with.

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Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting one or all of the causes I feature this week, and I’ll see you tomorrow when I feature the 2016 Tarrant County Heart Walk. Until then, I’ll be enjoying reading your comments on the patio.😉

 

 

Day 37-Support a Cause Week-PKD Walk

Fall is shaping up to be very busy, with all kinds of walks and festivals to help support worthy causes. Everything from my personal health issue (PKD) to one of the most famously supported causes, breast cancer awareness.

Although I have covered the PKD Walk before, it bears repeating, since I’m trying to reach a specific monetary goal for my team-$250, not that much in the big scheme of things, but if every team walking reaches their goals, it would help the foundation so much in their search for new medicines to treat and/or cure this potentially fatal disease.

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As stated before, you can donate a little (or a little more) to my team by heading to www.walkforpkd.org/northtexas and search my name, Kim Smyth. So far, one kind blogger that follows my blog donated $10. That was very sweet. I would like to point out that if all my followers donated just $5 each, I would definitely reach my goal. I am personally donating $50 for myself and a memorial pledge of $50 for my mother who passed away from complications of PKD in 2014.

I’m going to post these causes, each day a different one, starting with the month of Oct. and working backwards to Sept. my thought being about how much time you have to get ready for each one. Tomorrow’s post will feature some kind of walk for breast cancer, (there are so many) I wanted the latest one in October for my area so we would all have more time to get ready for it. Even if you don’t live in the area, you can make a pledge/donation at the website I will be providing.

We should all do our part to help out worthy causes when we can, don’t you agree? If you can’t help financially, they always can use volunteers. However you choose to donate, with your time, or money, it will all be greatly appreciated, and you can feel good knowing you helped make a difference.

Now a bit about PKD for those who have never heard of it. The letters stand for polycystic kidney disease, it is potentially fatal because the cysts will at some point grow large enough to choke out the kidneys and at that time one needs to either go on dialysis or get a kidney transplant. Polycystic means multiple cysts. Nothing can be done currently to remove or drain the cysts, although they are always working on finding medicines to treat it. I choose to be proactive and at least eat as well as I can, that is why I live the Paleo lifestyle. My mom chose dialysis, I found out my diagnosis when being screened as a potential donor for her. By the way, every person with PKD stands a 50/50 chance of passing it to their children. Mom was on dialysis for 18+ years and eventually, her organs started shutting down one by one and she went into a nursing home and then on hospice about a month later. She lingered another week or so, at which point they made her comfortable with medications and stopped feeding her. It was so painful to witness her wither and not be able to communicate with her due to her dementia. I assume it was a very painful and uncomfortable month for her as well, although she could not express this in words. I have decided if and when I progress, I will opt for a transplant, if I’m able. I’m told one can’t even get on the list until you become more symptomatic. Currently, I have too many cysts to count but my kidney function is fine and my lab work is perfect. I was lucky to find out early enough to get on top of it, my doctor keeps very close tabs on me.

I want to help others as well as myself, that is why I became a member of the foundation and why I’m bringing attention to this cause.

Please, go to the PKD Foundation for more information about this disease and/or how you can help. I appreciate what ever you can do, and so will thousands of others affected with this disease. Until tomorrow, see you on the patio. 😊

 

Day 36-Free Days-Reason to Celebrate

image HAPPY LABOR DAY!!

Ok, I found this flag pic on Pinterest and thought it represented my hope that you all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend. 🇺🇸 It kind f reminds me of the old ads where the kid says, with arms out wide, “I love you this much!”

I “worked” a few hours this morning and spent the afternoon with friends, I say worked that way because my job isn’t like work at all, I’m simply helping someone out and we’ve created such a bond that it doesn’t feel like work at all.  Since the holiday is about   celebrating the achievements of American workers, I thought it appropriate to say I did work for a little bit today.

Labor Day is really a tribute to the American Labor force and what it took to improve work place conditions. On this day in 1882, several thousand workers took to the streets of New York to participate in possibly the first Labor Day parade ever. They took time off with no pay. It was important to get the message across and became so popular that other states soon passed legislation to make it a holiday as well.

The official holiday wasn’t approved until 1894 and while the founder of it is still in question, that doesn’t stop millions of people from observing it. So, I do hope you had fun in whatever way you chose to celebrate today, I know we did-alcohol free for me, but plenty of pool time and fun in the sun. We also ate bbq, a very popular thing to do. How do you celebrate Labor Day? Did you work or get the day off? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you tomorrow, when hopefully I’ll have come up with a new theme for this week. 😉