No Phone?

We are leaving on vacation today (Mexico) and I am struggling. Not because I am going to enjoy a week in the sun relaxing, visiting and playing…but because I have to remember how to function without a phone. Yep, its the withdraw from technology I am struggling with.

We spent 45 minutes on the phone with AT&T (last night) trying to do things we should have done months ago…(please don’t judge…we know we are procrastinators!) AT&T has this new rule that you can’t get unlimited calls unless you have their cable service…well our cable service is in Tina’s name…we tried getting international for me but found it was still going to be expensive….so to make a really long (45 minutes to be exact) story much much shorter….we’ve decided I will simply not use my phone…..NOT use my phone!! Wow….

Its not really about the phone calls…I don’t care to talk on the phone. Its more about posting on Facebook, playing games, Instagram, WordPress, and texting thoughts that pop into my head to people who might (or might not) care to hear those thoughts….it’s feeling cut off.

Driving to the airport this morning Tina and I talked about how we used to vacation without cell phones. We actually used to function every day, quite well without cell phones. But not anymore. I have checked my “cell phone pocket” multiple times this morning…just to be assured its there.

So my little farm and factories on “Township” will have to wait till I return. My Words with Friends opponents will have to wait longer than usual for me to play my turn. And my cousin (one of 2 people that will play Wordox with me) will also have to put our games on hold.

I know my time will be occupied, I’ve even considered reading a book while we are away, and I know after a few days I will even quit checking my “phone pocket” for the security blanket…wish me luck. And of course wish Tina luck…she will have to deal with my withdraws!!

American Thanksgiving

Someone asked me earlier this week how it is possible to celebrate Thanksgiving without turkey.

I gave up eating meat nearly two years ago…so not eating a turkey on Thanksgiving is not a problem for me…but the question itself made me stop and think.

Why do we (Americans) celebrate Thanksgiving?

Do we celebrate Thanksgiving so we can over eat, nap and watch football? Maybe.
Do we celebrate Thanksgiving so we can wrestle our fellow americans for a TV that is marked 50% off? Maybe.
Do we celebrate Thanksgiving so we can enjoy a 4 day weekend? Maybe.

Without digressing into a story about Europeans landing on foreign soil that they would infest with disease and eventually dominate and destroy…I would like to consider what Thanksgiving could be…if we as americans could turn a few of our priorities around and focus on the good in ourselves and each other rather than the external things that we surround ourselves with.

Maybe if more people looked across the table at their family member and sought the things that make that person good and kind…instead of focusing on our disagreements.

Maybe each of us could take a minute to think of those who don’t have family members to share a meal with. And realize how fortunate we are to be in a house full of love and goodness.

Maybe we could extend an olive branch to the individuals that we have shut out of our lives.

Maybe we could spend time talking about the Grace our God freely gives and the forgiveness we are granted…even when we don’t deserve it.

Gratitude is an easy thing to forget…We often take our lives, our family and our friends for granted…

Lets all take a minute to say thank you…
to our family,
to our friends,
to a total stranger,
to our God

for our family,
for our friends
for the strangers that surround us,
for our God

Happy (American) Thanksgiving everyone…may we all find a reason to be grateful everyday.

My Phlox Drama Continues

In March 2015 I blogged about my small phlox and how I covet my friend Corey’s large phlox.

Some things never change. Each spring my little patch of phlox brightens up, spreads about an 1/8 of an inch, blooms, then fades away.

While across town Corey’s phlox burst across his flower bed laying a blanket of flowers across the dirt.

The good news is…I may finally have an edge on Corey and his phlox.

Tonight I noticed my little patch of phlox was blooming!!

Its the night before Thanksgiving and my little patch of phlox is vibrant and blooming. I guess the important question is whether Corey’s phlox is also blooming…but then again, if I don’t ask then I can imagine his phlox laying dormant, unaware that there is a brave little patch of phlox across town that is outshining it tonight!!

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My Brave Little Phlox

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trains and Tracks

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Grapevine Texas

This week Cee has challenged us to find and post photos of trains and/or tracks.

I happened upon this train a few years ago. It is part of the Grapevine Heritage collection in Grapevine Texas.

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1927 Santa Fe Turntable

The track is also part of the Grapevine Heritage Collection. It is a Santa Fe 1927 railroad turntable that was salvaged in 1992 and placed in its permanent location in 1995.

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Visit Cee’s page and you will be treated to many challenges and many wonderful photos by many wonderful bloggers.

Signs of Fall…

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Its mid November…I realize much of the United States has experienced Fall and expect winter to blow in anytime. But here in Texas we are still experiencing warm temperatures (today it was in the 80’s fahrenheit).

We never experience much of a Fall…but this summer has really dragged on. So needless to say when I noticed a couple leaves on the tree in our front yard changing I grabbed my camera.

My Fight…Nothing Compared to Her’s

As many of you know I began participating in the Susan G Komen 3 Day as a walker. And I did this in memory of my favorite Aunt…Kathleen Coffman. I walked for 3 years.
Sadly due to knees that could no longer handle the miles of training I had to stop…I thought my time of actively participating in this awesome event was over.
However, last year someone suggested I sign up for “Crew” as a member of Route Safety. I could ride my bike, and be involved. I followed that suggestion and this past weekend I (once again) felt like I was part of the solution.img_7070
This past weekend I had the opportunity to help others, make new friends, laugh, cry and sleep in a pink tent…As a member of the route safety team I got to be an important cog in the wheel of the 60 miles in 3 days

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Route Safety…some of the crew

I captured many memories…but one moment stands out.
Day 3, after lunch, less than 4 miles to the finish, in pouring rain. I stood at the intersection of Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas…working with Chuck Kelley….helping walkers navigate an extremely busy intersection.
As I stood there in the shadow (metaphorically speaking) of the Texas School Book Depository and steps away from the site where President John F. Kennedy was shot, I thought of my Aunt Kathleen. The woman I loved so much…and still miss everyday. The first time she visited me in Texas, a visit to the Sixth Floor Museum was at the top of her to do list.
I stood there, cold, soaking wet, tired, and dreading the next several hours I would spend in wet clothes….when I remembered the fight my aunt waged against breast cancer, never giving up and always remaining positive…and I thought….this moment of discomfort will pass, my soreness will fade away and my feet will dry. But the fight so many women (and men) face, after being diagnosed with breast cancer…well that is serious and that is important…for them I need to stand in the rain, keep smiling and appreciate my opportunity to serve.

Thursday Doors – A Sign of the Times

I’ve always wanted to participate in Thursday Doors hosted by Norm Frampton (Norm 2.0) But for some reason Thursday always seems to sneak by me and no door is posted.

Last week I was driving through Downtown Fort Worth and decided to stop and take pictures of the doors at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. I was excited about the idea of photographing church doors. I love the architecture of old churches.

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Unfortunately as I started taking photos of the doors I couldn’t help but be annoyed with the “no handguns permitted” sign posted at the two outer doors…making it very difficult to get decent photos.img_6696

Don’t get me wrong…I am a pacifist and I am pretty sure church is NOT a place where guns need to be carried. But I live in Texas. I live in a state that is very proud of its “open carry” laws and if you are a church and you don’t want gun toting parishioners sitting in your pews…then you need to be very clear about that.

I just wish they had chosen a way to get their point across…Without interfering with my photo!

I hope everyone will visit Norm’s page and click on the blue frog…you’ll enjoy all the doors.