God's Word for Today

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Perfect Moment…

7:30 A.M.

There was a pleasantly warm breeze, the blue sky was dotted with wispy white clouds, the birds were enjoying the landscape, the butterflies were darting about and the bee’s were hovering over the blossoms. My new patio umbrella was providing the perfect refuge from the morning sun, my coffee was steaming and I just sat and enjoyed the moment.

I think at times there is heavenly perfection here on earth in small human doses…

Happy Friday Y’all



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project 365 ~ Week 25: What I love about summer…..

Sunday, June 17

It’s a love hate relationship really.

I love my summer veggies but I hate the reality that I am still struggling to figure this gardening thing out. I commented on FB that I was still waiting to make a first harvest in my garden. One of my wonderful church sisters brought me a whole bag full from her garden. She is a much more experienced gardener than I am and has much better success.


Monday, June 18

My next favorite thing about summer is fresh fruit. I have about given up on ever getting any decent produce at the grocery store and have decided to refrain from wasting any more hard earned money on inferior fruits and veggies. Yes it means an additional trip up to Chadwick's every so often but it is so worth the extra effort. I can not tell you when I have enjoyed a cantaloupe more. It was simply the best cantaloupe I have had in such a long time. There is just nothing better in my book that enjoining the wonderful flavors that God provides of us in the simplest thing like a wonderful ripe cantaloupe.


Tuesday, June 19

That Zucchini got sliced up and tossed onto the grill along with some very nice pork chops. It was so good y’all.


Not to mention to giant salad I served along side as well. Another reason to love summer.


No pictures on Wednesday, June 20 or Thursday, June 21

Friday, June 22

A miracle happen, I went down to the workout room with the girlchild!

She has taken to working out with one of her besties several days a week. However she was unavailable so the DD asked me if I wanted to go. She had an ulterior motive as she still does not have her drivers license so she needed me so she could drive herself down to the clubhouse.

Walking in I notice right away that they have rearranges all the equipment and it is much more user friendly. The one thing I did not care for was they had the treadmills and elliptical facing this large floor to ceiling mirror so you got to watch yourself in all your jiggling glory as you sweated step after step. Now they have the treadmills facing a wall with a television mounted on it and have moved the weight machine over to where the mirrors are. I have also noticed that those with well developed muscle tone enjoy basking in there own radiance as they work there magnificent muscles.

I took it very slow for my first attempt back after injuring my knee. I did a very modest 15 minutes on the treadmill and then did some free weights….


Saturday, June 23Saturday evening we had bee invited to a birthday party. We rarely venture into the city of Atlanta, however this party was defiantly what you would consider urban living. It was with in walking distance to many of the downtown highlights and had a stunning view of the skyline from he rooftop of the condo where the party was held. Regretfully my phone takes horrible pictures (Note To Self: get a small point and shoot for the purse…DUH!) so this does not do the view justice.


Well that’s it for my week. For more P365 y’all head over to Sara’s and link up. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer weather.



Friday, June 22, 2012

Part Four: In a New York State of Mind ~ Lady Liberty

Our last full day in New York was a jam packed day. Our hotel was a good ways away from the 9/11 Memorial.

There was NO way I was hiking it down the million city blocks to get to Battery Park where we were to catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, so we hoped a taxi and gave our tired feet a rest. Since the 9/11 memorial was only a few blocks from Battery Park we made our way over to catch the ferry after our visit to the memorial.

Again more waiting in line, about an hour, more security lines, more x-ray machines and finally we made it on the ferry!


Regrettably there was some renovations still going so there was no access to the interior of the statue. We had a leisurely stroll about the island, is is not very big and I snapped of a lot of very good pictures of Miss Liberty!


Before we hopped the ferry to Ellis Island we had lunch at the cafe. It was worth the $25.00 dollars just to get a cool spot under a tree to eat our lunch…


or so I thought until I noticed this not so pleasant addition to my purse from one of the birds that was in the tree above.



The view of Ellis Island as we approach after leaving the Statue of Liberty!


Ellis Island is not very big either. One of the original buildings has been converted into an Immigration Museum.. The Hubs loves all the history stuff, me not so much!


These lovelies would never survive today's baggage handlers.


I enjoy a good historical romance novel, but standing around with hundreds of other folks reading millions of placards just like this one…well it just is not my thing. I was patient and allowed the hubs to soak up all the history he could stand while I found a nice cool spot to sit and enjoyed  bit of people watching.


I loved this view of Lady Liberty from Ellis Island.


Reality bites sometimes, we were so spent from our day of walking around that we both had more of a desire to return to our room for a well needed rest than exert any more effort to explore Battery Park. I did manage a few pictures as we made our way out in search of a taxi back to our room.


After recovering for our days walking we had to venture out for our last evening in the Big Apple. There was a pub not to far from our hotel and we went there for diner. The Heartland Brewery.


We tried one of there signature brew’s made in their Brooklyn Brewery. Not being a beer aficionado it tasted like any other beer to me but then I rarely drink beer so …..it was a good paring with my dinner!


One of my rules when I travel is that I try to take advantage of the foods that are local to that regions or city. I was perusing the menu trying to decide what to get and finally noticed they had a New York Style Rueben on the menu. The decision was made. Also taking in to consideration that I had never had a Reuben before I was feeling adventurous. I was even willing to put my aversion to Sauerkraut aside to further flavor my New York experience.


I was so glad that I did. It was by far the beast sandwich I have had in a very ling time. The Corned beef, the melted Swiss and the sauce and the rye bread were the absolutely wonderful combinations and I even enjoyed the Sauerkraut surprisingly!

After dinner we walked a bit further down the street to a bakery called Europan Cafe.

We had passed the window the day before and it was filled with these wonderful looking chocolate drizzled pastries. We made a mental note to try to fit this in before we left. It’s a horrible picture with the glare from the glass but they looked amazing!


I should have gone with my gut and gotten the Napoleon, but I bowed to the New York experience again and ordered the Cannoli.


I hate to be a Debbie Downer…but I was not impressed. Maybe I just got a bad Cannoli, but it was a bit on the bland side and the cookie was a bit stale and rather bland as well. It was overly sweet and the whole experience left me wishing I had chose the Napoleon that was sitting next to it in the case.


Well that is the closing bell on our New Your adventure. I have some very definite feelings about my New York experience. I enjoyed all the sights we saw, for the most past the food was wonderful, however I can defiantly share that the pull to go back and visit again is not very strong. As we were flying away from Hawaii I had a yearning to return, New York not so much.

I can defiantly see the appeal of living the urban lifestyle if you are fortunate enough to live above the fray and have a view of Central Park and a limousine at your dis[posal. The rich and famous live the good life while all the rest of the normal folk were schlepping it along the dirty sidewalks, taking their lives in their own hands as they crossed the street trying to avoid the taxies and the delivery trucks. The near constant scream of sirens and jack hammers was a bit of a deterrent as well. It seems that the only place to get some peace and quiet in a town like New York would be to drive out to the Hamptons, where you have to be rich as well!

I don’t think my feet have ever been put to such a test. It took me several days to recover from the wear and tear they experienced. My new walking shoe were not as good as they should have been and I came how with multiple blisters on both feet in various places. I was more than ready to board the plane and return home after our foray into the big city.

I’m with Mr. Douglas on this one!

It was good to visit but I wouldn't want to live there…….



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Part Three: In a New York Sate of Mind: Incongruent but then not…

Our last full day in New York began with mixed feelings. It has been ten years since that unimaginable day in September of 2001. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial was very different from what I expected.

If you are heading to NY and want to visit the 9/11 Memorial you will need to get a ticket which can be done on the website ahead of time. It is a free pass but you MUST have one to gain admittance to the memorial. Also do not expect to just walk up to the memorial, there were endless pathways of turning corners and snaking through security lines to get to the actual memorial. The Hubs and I discusses the need for security however I found the process of getting in to be very very difficult. There is still quite a bit of construction going on in the immediate vacuity so there was a lot of construction noise as well.



The South Tower pool.

Once inside the memorial area there were many, many people. It was at times difficult to get up close to the edge of the fountains. It was an ebb and flow kind of people. The fountains were inspiring to look at but I could not help but stand a bit stilled by the memory of what the reality of this place is. For a moment I just stopped, before I knew it I was weeping. The memories of that terrible day just washed over me. I was just a visitor, what must it feel like to visit this place knowing that a loved one lost their life in the very spot. It is almost to difficult to comprehend. 

The best word to describe the experience would be incongruent. It was at times like two different things were taking place in the same space that simply did not line up. Knowing what the memorial stood for and knowing that thousands of people lost their lives in this very spot it was a very different contrast from some of the variety of activities going on around the monument. There were small children running about, teenager laughing and standing in front of the monument getting there picture taken. Before I even realized what was happening the hubs had handed the camera to a passerby and we were having our picture taken in front of the monument as well. After the picture was snapped I thought to myself that in a place such as this it should be more introspective more respectful of the final resting place of so many people.

However another thought crept into my head as I was looking around at all the different people. For as horrible and indescribable as the 9/11 experience was for our nation, the fact that we were all standing there, that our nation had recovered and that praise God there have been no successful attacks to date spoke to the strength and reliance of our nation. The determination that we as Americans have practiced for hundreds of year overcoming all adversities and surviving the difficulties that at times evil brings our way. We did not just sit back on our wounded laurels. We picked up, cleaned up, rebuilt and grew from this experience. The great lengths we had to go through to get in to the memorial were still a very clear reminder of the threat that still is present every day, but even with that threat the work continues to proceed. The people still come to stand, to run their fingers over names that they do not even know and to remember a day that will never be forgotten.



This is not a very good picture but as I was leaving the memorial I realized that it was the only one I had. This lone tree (to the very far right of the picture) actually survived the attacks of that day. You can see the guard rail installed around the base. You can also see that several of the limbs on one side had been damaged and that it has been protectively staked to the ground to protect it from further damage. Amazing to think that in all the havoc of that day this tree managed to survive, survive, then recover and begin to thrive again!


This a a cropped and enlarged version so you can actually see part of the tree.



The North Tower pool, occasionally a strong gust of wind would blow through and you would get brushed with a gentle spray of cool water. Looking down into the pools and seeing the constant stream of flowing water did give me a very strong visual image of how things continue to carry one just like the continual flow of the fountains of both memorials.


Finally as were were about to leave I noticed this off to the right. There was a large group of young people. They had all gathered in a circle and they were holding hands and praying. I sat and watched for several minute. I said a prayer of gratitude that for all the people that were were visiting that day there was a small group that were taking the time spend a few minutes in recognition to the one who truly can heal all things. What I notices as I walked by this prayer circle was that there were several people sitting inside on a small stone bench. I can only speculate that possibly those on the inner circle had loved ones lost in this place on that terrible day.


It was no doubt a powerful experience that left me greatly thinking about many things. I had planned to finish of my vacation post with more pictures of our time at the Stature of Liberty, but then I began to think about my feelings of incongruence. The experience of standing in front of the memorial pools needed to stand alone.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Part Two: In a New York State of Mind ~ A View three ways…

A View From the Ground: Central Park

Wednesday morning we made our way down to Central Park. We encountered a few scattered showers but nothing that compared to the downpour we experienced the day before.

Central Park was beautiful, fountains, rambling paths, expanses of deep green grass, flowers and thousands of bench lined paths. 


Even with all the big city hustle and bustle these two little guys were happily getting in there morning bath!


There is just something so peaceful yet magnetic about a gentle winding path.


Central Park has a small zoo. We spent some time there along with what I think may have been quite possible every elementary school in the greater New York area. The zoo was reasonably prices at $12.00 per person, but I will say that having to maneuver along the minefield of a billion elementary age children was at times a bit tiresome.

This magnificent seal was the star of the show. He/She had no illusion as to his/her gorgeousness. It would pop up out of the water and pridefuly raise his head and just bask in the adoration of the excited crown.


Confession time here, I think I may have visited my last zoo. Every time I find myself at a zoo I have very intense feeling of sadness at seeing the animals in captivity. I know there are some who feel that the animals really don't know any better due to the reality that they have never experienced anything different. I may be reading more into the expressive nature of the animals and letting my empathy override my logical thinking. What happens when I look at this magnificent polar bear is I begin to wonder does he realize what he is missing. Trying to imagine living my life in a small contained space and never moving past the glass. Yes, I know that the zoo has taken great pains to make the habitat as close to reality as they can get, but basking in the sun on top of a fake rock in the middle of Manhattan is miles away from the arctic circle.

It just makes me sad y’all!


A new version or the familiar childhood game……turtle, turtle…….duck!


More of Central Park, I just loved the ivy covered bridge.



I had a small list of things to check off my list and experiencing a New York Hot Dog was one of them. We had lunch at a place called the Shake Shack, when we strolled up the the counter there was a hefty line and a packed out house so we figured the food was good. The Hub’s waited at the counter while I wadded through the crowd in search of an open spot for us to rest our tired feet.

I can now check a New York hot dog of my list.


A View From Above: The Skyline

Later in the afternoon we made our way down the the Empire State Building. First let me say that I was averse to paying $50.00 for two tickets just to ride an elevator. We could have saved a bit of money and bought the ticked on site but we figured it was worth the $4.00 fee to avoid any long lines at a ticket booth. However when you factor in that it took longer to wade through all the lines to get to the elevator than it did for us to actually walk around the observatory I am not sure the it balanced out! There were also way to may choices, four different options, main observatory deck, upper observatory deck, express tickets, combo tickets…it was all a bit confusing. We settled on the basic trip up to the main observatory deck.

Let me just put to rest any illusion you may have of walking in the front of the Empire State building like Meg Ryan does in Sleepless in Seattle and hopping the elevation up to meet the love of her life on the top floor! That is about as far from reality as it gets. You bypass the front all together and then you go round the corned, enter through the side door, then you proceeds through a series of security mazes, twist, turns, you go up one  floor then get off, then snake through another set of security mazes, then you have to go through another set of security check point and x-ray machines. After that then you have to go through yet another set of those security mazes, then you get on another elevator and go up to the 80 floor, then get off, then get on a different elevation that takes you up to the observation deck.

It makes me tired just thinking about it!


The view was spectacular. Normally you have a full 360 access the the observation deck. When we FINALLY got up to the main deck we noticed that they had one side section cordoned off. We could only access 3/4 of the view. I’m thinking $50.00 and I only get 3/4 of a view!!!!!!

They had these plywood partitions blocking off both access point to one whole side. Occasionally you could see something the looked like one of the movie microphones hovering above the barricade. Occasionally your could see a movie camera peeking out to get a shot of the city. It was obvious that there was some kind of filming going on and they had taken great pains to make sure the public was kept out of the way. The had several security guards posted to make sure you did not wander over and get to close to the barricade. I politely asked if there was some filming going on and the guard smiled and me and gave me a non committal big smile in return. Basically denying the obvious. Yes there was something being filmed and no he was not allowed to tell us what was going on. It was a big apple secret on the top of the empire state building.

After fully experiencing the 3/4 of the New York skyline to it’s fullest we made our way back through the exiting maze. Fortunately for us we made it on to an elevator with someone from the film crew and again fortunate for us we ended up being only ones on the elevator. The Hub’s being un-intimidated by meeting strangers just barrels right in and asks “So, what going on up there?” Well apparently the crew was not sworn to the same code of silent as the guards up top and he spilled the beans.

He told us that they were filming a Tom Cruise, movie and the he was up there shooting some scenes for his next movie!


I can’t boast about seeing a celebrity but I can say I was in the same place as one and even there when they were filing the movie. The guy told us the movie was called “Oblivion”. I did a Google search and it is scheduled to be released in 2013!

The view was awesome, and if I did not think about how high i was I managed to keep my phobia about heights in check. I will say  that the Lord and I were in serious conversation in the elevator on the way up.


The view from Herald Square, and this is the side they had blocked off. I kept staring up at it expecting to see Tom Cruise hanging from a cable bouncing off the side of the building, sadly it was not to be.


We had a nice rest and several moments of people watching at Herald Square.


These of course were everywhere! I began to wonder what they do with there carts at night, but then New York never sleeps so maybe they just stay open all the time????


We finally had some time in Time Square with out the rain. This is the familiar ABC News ticker in front of there studio. I had vision of making it down early one morning to watch a taping of Good Morning America but with our limited time and my need for sleep it was not to be either!


I’d call this a billboard wouldn’t you?

It was huge taking up two entire city buildings!!!! Did y’all see The Hatfield's & McCoy's on The History Channel? It was excellent and I highly recommend it, but then I am a HUGE Kevin Costner fan!!!!!


More Time Square….


A View From Behind: The Naked Cowboy

We were making our way to dinner and low and behold this walks by. The Hub’s had mentioned this person called the Naked Cowboy, and boy did we see him. I did not have my camera at hand when we was in front of me but I was able to get a nice little booty shot. Why YES that is a man walking around Time Square in his tidy-whities playing the guitar. If you are interested you can also join the franchise and have your own Naked Cowboy enterprise. he has a website and Facebook page and basically makes his living strolling around time square in his undies playing the guitar.


We had dinner at John’s Pizzeria, it was a traditional Brick oven New York style pizza. We had pepperoni, prosciutto and mushrooms and it was excellent! The perfect end to a good day.


I think we may have walked about 20 miles today and my feet were over done after our long day! I am forming so definite thought about New York which I will share in my last vacation post coming up!

Next on the agenda is the 9/11 Memorial, The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.



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