wonder and amazement...

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. Steve Jobs

As I headed for the grocery side of Costco, went through the electronics isle and where the former HP tablet had been, after being put out to pasture in seven weeks, was the newest replacement, what ever it was. As I glanced over to take a better look, this 20 ish year old man, had one in his hand, contemplating making the purchase. It was still over $400 and I couldn't help myself...

You are going to be disappointed, just get the iPad...I know, he said.

Steve Jobs was asked how much marketing and consumer research he did in anticipation of his I line. He replied, None. His greatness is not in giving us what we want but what we didn't even know was possible. I couldn't have thought up the Nano, Shuffle or iPad if I had a million years. I knew that buy albums when I just wanted songs was a Big Deal but in all my years, never saw this product coming. I have shed tears while listening to my iDevices, I am not proud to say but only because I love them so.

Reminds me of the way that God works. We think we know best when in reality, we don't have a clue. If I only had this, if only I weighed this, or drove this or lived in this. That and please protect my family from all harm is about all we've got. He is about so much more than this and we would do ourselves a bit more justice to remember that.

Last night, Twitter was all ablaze with Steve Job's announcement. It was almost like, he had already, passed away. With his gaunt appearance in June, that is easily understood. Whatever time he has left, I hope he and his, spend every precious moment together. Mr Jobs, thank you for what you have taught us. May God bless you now. may your days be rich, filled with light and love...

Off to a little R&R with my kiddoes. Going to hit the beach, and have a blast. Have a great week, Labor Day and will see you September 7! Love zalaine.


Have to say I am not much of an outdoorsie person. When I get out, I love it but is takes quite a bit to make that happen.

There are things, however, that makes me deliriously happy and will even get to jump out of a moving car. Crop dusters - can't get enough of them. Now, those big outdoor farm sprinklers are my new love.

They are mammoth in size. Seem to go on forever. There is Something very romantic about misting water and a long line of sculpted, circular metal. Huge, usually in the middle of no where. Like they were dropped there by aliens. Have never seen a human moving them, or anywhere near them, for that matter.

I have taken photos of them in the dead of winter, but summer is my favorite. I can linger without suffering the elements and there is a smell of green that lingers for a while. When I first got into photography, it was all about people. Now, it is about sprinklers, crop dusters and people. There is a lesson in there Somewhere and can only imagine, that when I learn it - I will only use the power for good...

goals, the long and short of it...

There is a reason to have short and long term goals. They serve completely different purposes. Getting them mixed up could bring bad results.

For instance, losing weight. If one is working at weight loss as a short-term goal, you have a 95% change of failure. That is what the experts say, I would guess higher. Some things just demand being in for the long haul. Would you ever put marriage or parenthood in the short term World? Most of us would not, I know those who have and again, the results were disastrous.

Watched my first episode of Extreme Couponing on accident last week. Another branch in the family of addiction, that is why they call it extreme. Yes, you can save lots of money. Hoarding at Albertson. Getting your fix at the Piggly Wiggly. Addiction is addiction, no matter what color dress it wears. Yes, it is nice to have a month's supply of toilet paper, but to buy 73 bottles of mustard at one time to add to the 50 some you already have. When is enough, enough?

It is not a bad idea to list your goals and make sure they are in the right place. Make sure that having these goals are not only right for you but in their proper place so they can be given the attention needed to make them happen.

Do I have anything in the short term cart that needs to be put in the long term basket? As a matter of fact, I did. Made a course correction, and off I go. Will probably have to make more, guaranteed. Looking at the list in front of me today, I am good to go. If the phone rings and I have to go...I will be ready for that too. Always leave room for the unexpected...always.


I have never felt anything like this...

The minute he said that, I knew it was a kidney stone. He had never had one, I have.

When he finally decided that I may be right, we headed to the hospital. Good thing we only live a few miles away and a better thing that the ER was quiet. It is usually not. Saturday night is the big Party Night in any town, and ours is no different. The pace would pick up in a few hours but for now, he got his 2 hits of morphine and waited to be taken for a CT scan. Later, the scan would confirm what me, and the nurse already knew. A couple of kidney stones and a infection to boot.

In between all the tests, I amused myself listening to the staff talk about how quiet is was. Very unusual, they kept telling me. A bit later, the phone rang and it was the hospital down the road that had seen 8 assaults so far. They also had a guy who ran out of the ER gushing blood and told this ER, if he showed up, call 911.

Later on, a man came in who had 2nd degree burns when he got hit with hot oil. My ears perked up because DH sister company in our town, is the only place that he couldn't have come from. DH heard them and when his nurse came back, he ask his name. This man of mine has obviously never heard of HIPAA and she told him if she told him, she would have to kill him. Loved her.

By a little after 7AM, we had hit the all night pharmacy and were home. Still nauseated, he took all his pills and hit the sheets. I stayed up a while to reflect on the night. You never know what will happen, you never know where you might go. For most of life, you do not get a heads up. Wish it was so. New day, new experiences. Hopefully, today's fare will be a bit more fun...


It was nine years ago today, that this Little Man made his way into our lives. He had a hard time getting here. It was a rough month. His grandmother died few weeks before he arrived and his great-grandmother would suffer a tragic stroke, that would change her life forever. Still, he persevered and now, we know why.

We have had nine years to get to know him and who he is. He is too smart for his own good, and we are learning how to channel all this energy and smarts into something, hopefully that will be of use to him Someday.

He is polite, loving, specific, and self-confident. He loves football, rock and roll, shrimp, and talking. Spend some time with him and you will start questioning most things you believe. He can ask questions for hours. Good questions, questions that matter. He believes in Jesus and has his on take on religion. Not too much he doesn't have an opinion on. He can convince you the sky is yellow.

Knowing him has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. Praying for him is a hoot. He talks fast and long, keeps me on my toes.

Happy Birthday Gage, I can't wait to see what you capture on your camera. To see the world through your lens is going to be a blast, I can't wait. Love you buddy...

one on one...

I drive my family crazy, asking questions.

What is your favorite movie?
What's your favorite food on vacation?
What makes you happy?

So, this morning I thought. This time, it is your turn. The cool part is I get to ask the questions I want and the other half of my brain has to come up with an answer. Here we go...

When you hear the word hero, what comes to mind?
I think we have heroic Moments. I could probably think of those Moments in a lot of people I know but to label someone a hero, just doesn't make sense to me.

You have got a spare 10 mins, what would you do? I love praying for people I will never meet. I love, love praying for Keaton, Gage and Morgan's grandchildren. I imagine them as adults and it just puts a smile on my face. Think about their strengths and what wonderful role models they will be. One of my favorite things to do.

Dark Moment, what does it look like? The realization that comes over me every once in a while that life is fleeting and I will not get to see all I want to see. It doesn't last long, but it is reoccurring.

Someday, your family will look back at your blogging, Facebook and Twitter profiles. What do you hope they will see? I hope they will see that I wasn't afraid to ask the big questions, and would try to be as open as I can be. Don't worry much about them seeing the flaws, they don't let me get by with a thing now.

What scares you? The same thing that makes me happy - sarcasm.

Glass half full or empty? Today, half full.

Best blood pressure lowering advice - earphones blasting, music everywhere.

What question would you beg, not to be asked? The one that would make me cry.

Working inside your comfort zone, crowd or one on one? Always and forever, one on one.

80/20 rule...

It wasn't until we were part of planting a church that the 80/20 rule came into my sphere of being. 20% of the people do 80% of the work. The same formula is also true for the financial giving of a church. That was the first time I had ever heard of the80/20 rule. That is what I thought until today.

Apartment Therapy had a designer on talking about color, your home and the 80/20 rule. He said your home should be 80% neutral with 20% color to make it pop. It immediately resonated with me that I have been doing this for years in my own home. When I have ventured over the 20% color line, it has been disastrous. Many years ago, we weren't even finished putting WallpaperIHadToHave in the kitchen, and I knew, it was coming down. And it did, in a few days. Too much, made me crazy.

Now days, I have 8 rooms and 2 hall ways in my 1200 ft home. Living room, kitchen and eating area are basically one room and along with the 2 small hallways, all have color on the walls. The other 5 rooms are Polar Bear white. It makes me so happy. The color will change again but not the configuration. I have dabbled with the idea of painting closets and the pantry, some wild colors, Intrigued by the idea, now that I see the 80/20 in the house, maybe not.

Imagine if one did some digging, there would probably be more areas of 80/20 in our lives than we imagined. What about the Story of the Little Red Hen?

Once upon a time there was a little red hen. She lived with a pig, a duck and a cat.

She asked each on for help around the house and yard. Each had the same answer,

I will not

But when it was time to reap the benefits of all the hard work, they each had the same answer.

I will

What we forget is that the Little Red Hen said, Ok, all for me. We don't do that today. Mostly the 80/20 rule is as big as ever. Sometimes it feels, so natural and sometimes, it seems so unfair...


My heart aches so bad I can barely breathe. My cousin, basically my brother, died in the line of duty as a Dallas firefighter tonight. Bart Millard/Mercy Me.

Two completely different situations, yet related by the nature of being unexpected. Even the act of seeing this photo when I was checking on the news, took me back. The police had taken the Norway shooter back to the island to have him recreate, step by step, each shot he took that would leave 69 people dead.

Unexpected can be a good thing, not as often and when it is good, we have to do a quick emotional u-turn. The couple that won over 200 million dollars in the lottery last week, had just sought financial counseling and the results were not good. In a second, their whole life changed forever.

We have all experienced the unexpected, in some way. Some in little ways and some in mighty big ways. Most of the time, I imagine you would be hard pressed to remember the first few Moments. Like Bart, he said it for all of us. A later Tweet would sound less emotional, the acceptance phase had began.

The knock at the door, the path report from the Doctor, the late night phone call. None of which you can practice for. Think the only thing that is fluid is how long you stay in those first few Moments. Some people stay there forever, never learning to live with the new normal. I hope we are stronger than we think. For me, I am counting on it...

learning by history...

If you do Something enough times, a history starts to form. You start to make decisions based on that history. There may some variation but history tells us there is a baseline that sets up the learning truth.

Have made many decision, positive and negative based on history. Things I will and won't do. Once you know what is, you can decide how to respond. Even if it is not a good thing, having all the knowledge up front gives you the chance to decide if you are willing to take a risk or not.

Because of history, I have made decisions about family that have not been easy to make. Family may be the toughest because saying no, always, always brings repercussions and you have to decide if you are ready and willing to take on that kind of drama. I have learned to say no because of family history and there has been fallout but in not one of these situations, would I have done it any differently, given a another chance.

I love the fact that tomorrow is another day, that life may be a bit sweeter tomorrow and that I can lay my head on the pillow, knowing I made the best choice I could have made with the information I had. There is a Time and Place for warm fuzzies, and Sometimes with family, they are few and far inbetween...


If you say you have never cheated, I will call you a liar to your face. If have all cheated at something, sometime in our life. On purpose, we knew that we were doing was wrong and did it anyway.

There, I said it. It is out and now, we can begin to deal with cheating. It is our nature to cheat. It is not in our nature to take the high road, every time.

I have cheated at those Are You A of Do You Have, insert problem area here, in Reader's Digest. I have constantly cheated at assorted tasks in my life. As early as 5th grade, I cheated in math for the whole year. Because the prize was chocolate cake made by the math teacher. I don't remember his name but he was a large man who loved to cook and if you were the best in the class, the most wonderful chocolate cake you could ever imagine in 5th grade was your and I made sure, it would be mine. I remember being found out but it must not have been traumatic because I don't remember the details so no traumatic memory was made.

Cheating/per Wikipedia
1.An act of deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition

We do it all the time. We hide it all the time. Face it, admit it and learn to do better. That is best we can hope for, this side of heaven...


This side of heaven, some things will never change. No legislation or ordinance can make it so. Just like the sun rising and setting, you can set your watch by these truths.

Imagine if we compare our lists, there would be a some variety. There may ever be fireworks of disagreements as we go back and forth. Could we all agree that this side of heaven, prostitution is here to stay?

Could we further agree that true peace among man and nations is unrealistic? The reason I bring this up is, it seems if we can take some things off our proverbial plate to discuss, argue and worry about and concentrate on the things we can change, life would be better. It doesn't mean we condone these things but that we are honest about their place in our world.

If I had three magic wishes, or was in the running for Miss America - dreaming of world peace would never be on of them. There are things we need to accept, acknowledge and learn to live with. It is part of growing up. People will always take unwanted kittens for a drive out in the country, no matter what...


I always in a hurry. I eat fast, walk fast, think fast. We all go at an unusually fast pace thinking it is not that fast and that everyone is doing it. The line that defined a normal pace, has been changed and with it, our view and actions that follow.

Every once in a while we are jolted back to reality. We clearly see what is right before our very eyes. We are able to slow down, look around and see what we have been missing. It is not always fun and uplifting. Sometimes, many times, we are agitated by being made to stop at the pace we were at. The truth is, we need more to these times and if we are completely honest, we need to make them happen ourselves, not wait for a life experience to get our attention.

I wish everyone could have a Gigi in their lives. We all hover over her, making sure she is drinking her cherry Coke, keeping her cool and walking her to the car. She no longer knows any other pace and we are learning her way. We are lucky to have her...


I see myself as a progressive student. For one who never cared for formal education, I find myself ready, willing and able to learn. Even with my life calendar in front of me, the idea of getting another chance everyday to learn Something gives me a new appreciation for what learning can be.

Right now, I am getting my PHD in life and using Ted talks as my source of education. Not constained by the title of a certain educational environment, Ted is taking me places I could never imagine and doing it 18 minutes at a time.

I have learned more than I ever did in college. Maybe it my age and the understanding of the value of being more fluid, more open. This is an ongoing education with no end. It will end the day I do.

If you do not see yourself as a student, you will start putting yourself up on a pedestal and that, will get you nowhere or in big Trouble. We all take turns being the student and teacher in situations in Real Life but the mentality of always learning, keep your ego in check - should be in the forefront.

It is a form of gratitude. Acknowledging that one does not know it all, that everyday we get a chance to do better, because we know more. It is a submissive stance, a mindset, a way of life. Can imagine it any other way...


Do you find it odd that a word that means to give up Something you believe in for the greater good, contains the word, promise?

Does that mean you can put aside having it 100% your way and promise not to yell foul, later?

When you and Compromising cross paths, what does it look like? How does one decide when to compromise and when to hold your ground?

We do it a hundred times a day. With parents, husbands, children, family, jobs and community. Sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes, not. What does good and bad compromise look like and what are the consequences of either choice.

The first part is to figure out if a compromise is warranted. Compromising on something that should not be on the table, can bring difficult consequences. Likewise, being unwavering on something that should be considered bringsequally bad results. Be a student and learn to tell the difference. It will always be an ongoing project but you will get better and better at it.

Next, when you start the negotiating of said compromise, give away the chocolate, not the cream corn. Ever asked to bring food from your pantry for a special function and you start digging in the back of the can shelf for that cream corn that no one will eat. Grab the chocolate, compromise should be about value and the giving up the good stuff.

Third, stand by your promise. Meet in the middle and stay there. Don't waver or do takesie backsies. Stand by your word. You may even learn Something, imagine that...


Spent more than half my life avoiding anything to do with chemistry thinking it was all about beakers and lab coats and while that is still my thinking, I am now all about the other kind of chemistry. The kind that has to do with us humans.

Heard Emma Stone/The Help talk about having to take a chemistry test with a fellow actor to make sure they clicked before starting a movie. Didn't know they did that sort of thing but it makes perfect sense.

Just like speed dating. You can tell in very little time if you are compatible with someone whether it be romantically, friendship or even in a job interview. There is a certain chemistry that attracts us to each other, nothing you could ever put your finger on but as real as real can be.

Years ago I asked about five guys who didn’t know each other to meet me for breakfast. I hand chose these guys. Each of them were intelligent, driven, successful and emotionally stable. We got together early one morning and I introduced them to each other. Then I did something very strange. I told them we all needed to be friends. I told them the world was in need of good leaders, and good leaders only become good leaders if they affect each other. As odd as it was, that group continued to meet for two years, and now we are all deeply imbedded in each others lives.Donald Miller.

I can't imagine anything sweeter than putting together women I know that I think, would love each other. I have thought about this many times, and if location was not a hindrance - would have gone there by now. Have had discussions about women and mentoring but you have to consider the chemistry factor and if it isn't there, it isn't there. I have been on both ends of the chemistry debate. I have learned to trust it and move on. We can't like everybody and everyone won't like us. You can like someone in an instant and try for years to make something happen that just isn't there. Trust it and move on. There are bigger fish to fry...


Read the preview of the September book club pick and then proceeded to read about 40 customer comments of those who have read the book. It confirmed my thought that I am going no further and will not finish the book. This has happened before, not a prude but Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do.

Amazon, Apple, I have learned that reading the collective comments of others has saved me more than once. Whether toward or away from a product, comments can be a serious way to help one choose. Of course, you can't go by one review but when most of the reviewers love or hate a product and tell you why, that gives you a sense of where it fits into your scheme of things.

Total strangers. I don't know them from Adam. Don't know anything about them. Thier political leans, or emotional state. How they feel about the color red or mexican food. Some obviously are biased, those you throw out. There is always one doubting Thomas and always, always one that wouldn't like it, no matter what.

They are all telling it as they see it. How did it work, taste, feel. It is an individual call and you have to take that into account. I am thankful for those you give reviews. I have written a few but only when I love something.

Thank you to all who do reviews. From cameras, to coconut water to apps. You guys rock, all except those of you who loved Lovely Bones...


Part of learning to live in the Moment means you understand that there a Time for everything. You understand that sno cone shacks are not open in winter, no explanation needed. You know that school supplies are dirt cheap in August and not in February. You don't get upset about everything that fits in the Time for Everything folder but you get it.

Some people never get this. Whether they are even aware of living in the Moment or not, they always expect that with enough complaining and loud yelling, whatever they want will magically appear. I come from a long line of these kind of people, I know them well.

The lady was next to me in the produce section, by the onions, tomatoes and avocados. She was obviously in a huff and I tried using my charm to calm her down. The avocados were all light green and hard, they way they always are. I have learned that if I don't want the nasty green stuff in the plastic container, I am going to have to plan ahead. Two days is about perfect. Not knowing if she was from around here, I told they were always sold in this store, this way. She answered angrily, I know THAT but I need them today. My charm would not be of much use today. She knew how it was and expected a different outcome.

One who knows about guacamole, know about life. It has taking many years, but I finally get it. Another piece of the Big Puzzle of Life. Thank you...


Even with GPS and ongoing technology, we look for signs everywhere we go. Signs are everywhere. Most of us have some kind of decorative signs in our homes. If you have ever left yourself a yellow post-it note, there's your sign. Life may update and want us to Like it but signs will be around forever.

Sometimes they come, as a little whisper in one's ear. Not married to the physical, those quiet times when you aren't sure you heard what you thought you did. If it is a true sign, it will come back and try again. If you are open, you will sense it and try to figure out what is going on and what it means.

Had one of those today and not sure where it is all going. This tweet from Donald Miller, runs along these same lines.

God changes our path over and over to keep us from trusting in formulas.

Don't know what it means but imagine time will tell. It usually does...