A Shoebox House, by Rhonda Phelps

Coming in September:

It’s rare to find a date the organic way. Cyber-dating is the fad of the century, but it wasn’t what I expected when I signed up on Match.com. I had heard raving reviews about people on dating sites nurturing relationships, meeting their match, and pledging marriage. In spite of the online trolls that tried to sabotage the fun, unexpected friendships and romance manifested within a few months.

When sparks started to flow, the world was poised for pleasure and I was entwined in adventure with my internet boyfriend. Picnics, splashing in the rain, and gentle massages accompanied fine wine, succulent grapes and brie cheese. Summer glistened on waterfalls while hiking in the spacious national forests, and the night life hosted fun and friends. The cultural intake from museums, car show’s and live music linked our interests and we formed an indescribable bond. We were embracing life.

One weekend when he came to town, I became flustered and disoriented and everything was going wrong. I was beginning to doubt my rational existence. Two days later I was tossed into a lifeless and foreign world, and my friendships were in jeopardy. I felt like a fool, my spirit was hollow, and I craved answers. Obsessed with redemption, I discovered the truth as it was revealed through a series of real life emails, social media, Messenger logs and hand-written letters.

All Rights Reserved

Words just don’t get enough credit…

A word that you use over and over again that is not a “real” word, may end up in the dictionary.

The dictionary is “a users manual for communication”, as sited by Merriam-Webster. Who knew that “LOL” (laughing out loud) would achieve dictionary status? I wasn’t expecting the meaning of “SIC”, but it rang true.

WTF is listed, and why not, who doesn’t know what that means?

It seems to me that common words listed in the dictionary are the words we use frequently, and they earn the gateway to word heaven. Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” That quote is misleading and untrue; words will either leave a breath of life, or permanently bruise the soul. Words are powerful, think before you speak… and cradle them lightly.

Other words are skillfully created by people who have jobs to create words. Yes, really, and if you want to be a lexicographer, you can be the author or editor of a dictionary. The internet is a vast resource for word databases, if you can possibly imagine. I wonder how many people are employed to determine a new word.

As we blog every day, let’s not take advantage of the endless supply of words that we use to share our passions, photos or whatever pops into our mind. They simply just don’t get enough credit!

WORD!

Thank you for reading my post…

Enjoy your day
Peace,
Rhonda

https://merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/how-does-a-word-get-into-the-dictionary

OH NO! I ate too much during the Holidays!

Who likes fruitcake? Thankfully, there are many other goodies available during the holidays!

Are you concerned about over-eating this Christmas and New Years? The good news is that home-made goodies are in abundance, and that minimizes consumption of the boxed foods that contain… who knows what.

Don’t tell yourself “It’s hard not to gain weight during the holidays”. Why? Because you will gain weight. You need to be specific. How about… “I am going to let myself gain 2 lbs during the holidays” or ” I am not going to gain weight during the holidays.” (I admit, that’s a tough one.)

Stay positive.

Next, don’t tell yourself that you ARE going to gain weight over the holidays, that’s a sure-fire way to set yourself up for failure if you are managing your weight. Set goals instead, keep the concept reasonable and attainable. Food is in abundance and it is very tempting. Before you leave your house for a party, set your limits. For example: I am going to try 6 different things, one of each. I love the sweets, so I am going to select which three I want to try. Do the same thing at home, every day. (Pick your own quantities.)

And for goodness sake, watch the alcoholic beverages and pop. Most cocktails have between 100-300 calories per drink; may as well eat snickers bars. Apply the same goals to your drinks.

So… you say you don’t want to disappoint or offend your host/hostess, and other appetizer contributors. It’s a valid concern. Here’s a solution:

Fellow party attendee, “Did you try my sugar cookies? It’s my great grandmother’s recipe.” (Now there’s a guilt trip.)

You, “Those look wonderful! I saw several people enjoying them. It’s amazing that you still have your great-grandmother’s recipe. Do you share the recipe? If there are some leftover, may I take a few home with me?”

At this point, the attendee been redirected, and probably hasn’t even noticed that you haven’t tried any. You’re off the hook and sticking to your quantity goals. You may want to rehearse a few appetizer side-stepping replies on your own, be creative.

Don’t let an obsession about gaining weight keep you from enjoying parties. I also highly recommend limiting your alcohol intake for other reasons… our judgement is not at our best under the influence of the inhibition destroyer. Watching what you eat and drink can also help to avoid indigestion, bloating, discomfort, flatulence, embarrassing situations and hangovers. And don’t forget about the infamous sugar buzz!

Now, you are armed with self-confidence, a positive attitude, a rockin’ ugly sweater or cocktail dress/suit, and a bright smile.

Out the door you go…

Have a great Christmas and New Year!

Thanks for visiting my post!
Peace,
Rhonda

 

Christmas… Gifts… and then what?

Over 40 years ago, my main Christmas gift was a stuffed bear, it seemed giant-size at the time. Last week I was rummaging through my old treasures that I couldn’t live without, and saw the bear sitting atop a shelf in my closet. His fur was stiff and his dark marbled eyes were tucked back in his head, covered partially by fluff. I vividly remember waking up and running into the living room to see Santa’s gift, I was ecstatic! I grabbed the bear, squeezing and cuddling, it was almost as big as me.

Gifts at Christmas used to mean so much more, the colorfully wrapped sentiments have lost their value and have become an expectation. I would get one or two gifts under the tree, and they were special. I bought my children several presents when they were younger and unless the goody was coveted, they often lost interest in a short period of time. I was guilty of materialism during the holiday.

My family would gather for a meal, games, laughter and reminiscing, the air was light and Christmas music twinkled softly in the background. Although the traditions still aspire, I see it all over the world, the events often take on the theme of a “party” – alcohol abuse, arguing, judging… and don’t leave first or you may be the topic of gossip.

Not every family experiences the doldrums of the holidays, but for some, the holiday season is a nightmare. (Note: I’ve noticed we now have a “Holiday Season”, not Christmas.) Stores can barely contain themselves and they wait, biting nails, to put out their big displays and sale ads. The overall dollars are tracked to see which year had the best sales volume. People spend their paychecks and then dread January when the credit card bills roll in.

Quality non-profit organizations help less fortunate families obtain gifts and provide a wonderful service to the community, I have donated several times. Although I see the purpose, I wonder if the true meaning of Christmas is conveyed with the exchange.

Even though I may sound like a negative-Nellie, it is not the purpose of my post. I encourage everyone to engage in thoughtful presentations of sentiments to everyone you meet, now, and always. The “holidays” can be wonderful and joyous, and painful and devastating; you may find yourself with either perspective depending on your current situation. We know the happiness and the sorrow… we see and feel it. This year, make it a goal to do something about it. Focus on making a difference in someone’s life, help make it better… just one person, pick anyone. Pay it forward…

I intentionally left out the meaning of “Christmas” because I’m honestly not sure what it stands for anymore. The following site explained it to me, granting me a better understanding of the world-wide participation.

Thank you for joining me and reading my post, I know it is one of many…
Peace and Joy,
Rhonda

http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas