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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Strong Arm

My boss walked in this afternoon and told us we could go home. That is something you don't have to tell me twice. On the way home I thought about the evening ahead..... What did I want to do?  The one thing that kept coming back to me was... I just wanted to cuddle up close to my man on the couch and enjoy his presence.  I mentioned this morning what a rough year I've had.... It has NOT been fun.  That being said, the one thing that has remained steady, is the constant support I received from the love of my life for 33 years.  Have I taken him for granted???  Oh, you bet!! Am I a rascal???? Oh, he definately has his hands full and then some (if you know me at all you will say AMEN!). But in all the years that we have been together, he has remained my strong arm. He hasn't always made me happy (who could, I'm a woman?), I haven't always been gracious (note the rascal comment above), but in spite of my hormonal mood swings and rollercoaster  emotions, he has remained a constant strong arm of unwavering love and support. I don't live on the crumbs of his affection, I bask in it every day and I am ashamed to say... Yeah, I've taken it for granted... And then came 2010-2014. During those 4 years, not only did he handle me and my TBI with kid gloves and a bussel of patience (I was not an emotionally stable person), but when I told him I was moving in with Mom and Dad to help with Mom's illness, he didn't just wish me well, he moved in right beside me. Not a lot of spouses who would do that. I did not suffer and grieve over my mom's illness alone, he was with me every step of the way.... That my friends is true love and a strong arm. His love hasn't been predicated on my behavior or emotions.... It has been predicated by pure unconditional love and completely in spite of my actions! Sometimes it takes the brutal reality of life to make you see just how good you really have it. He is my strong arm and in those strong arms are exactly where I want to end what has been a VERY difficult year. My wishes for you this year is.... A strong arm.  Be loved!

The Other Side

It's 4 a.m. on New Year's Eve. Today would have been my mom's 78th birthday. Typically I would go to The Ginger Jar to pick up a gift for her during their annual sale. That isn't on my list of things to do today. Recapping 2014 is not pretty. It was marked by grief piled on top of grief. I lost several significant friends this year. Each one had an enormous impact on my life in one way or another. I saw people I truly care about lose loved ones as well. I saw their tears, I felt their pain and not a day goes by that my heart doesn't hurt with them and for them. After attending funeral after funeral, July hit with devastating news that my employer was selling. The news was like another funeral of sorts, but one that never seemed to end. As one door was beginning to close, God did what only God can do. Change is so scary, but for reasons I will never fully understand, he opened a door which I walked right through and miracles of miracles I stepped into a place that felt like home from day one.  A friend came in the office the other day and asked me how the transition was going. I could only answer from my side of the desk and told him the transition had been completely seamless. I can't speak for my co-workers, but I feel like I've been there forever.... In a good way.  I guess you could say that my faith has been restored. It's not that I had lost faith in God, just that I had lost the impenetrable security of knowing I was on his radar screen. I feel like I've been drifting about on an abysmal ocean completely discombobulated as to what purpose, if any, God has for me. Knowing I am still on his radar gives me hope that I can still be of use. That may not make sense to anyone else, but for me, it's huge. I'm not the only one who found themselves on God's radar screen this year. After 9 years in the Navy, my sailor transitioned from a life of constant change to the life of a civilian. If you think changing jobs is scary, imagine having little or no control over your life (because you belong to the government), to being handed the keys to a life in you haven't driven in years. God did his God thing again and my Sailor made a seamless transition into life as a civilian. Sounds simple, but it's not. The highlight to what began as a dark and lonely 2014, was the birth of Mr. Levi Atlas Patterson, my first grandchild. Having a grandbaby is one of those things that is indescribable, even to a wordsmith. There simply are no words to express the hope and joy holding that little bundle of love has brought me. So I sit here in the dark hours of early morning listening to a bitter cold wind blowing outside. I am a little sad, but tremendously blessed. I can feel in my bones that 2015 will hold its share of loss, grief and change, yet I'm confident it will also hold magical moments of joy. And really isn't that all we can ask for?  As long as I know I'm on God's radar, I can weather any storm and come out on the other side. So come on 2015.... let's do this thing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Love Story

A Good Man
He wrapped his arms around her as she rested her head on his shoulder, for the first time in hours she was at total peace.  She reached up with a tender finger and traced the outline of his jaw, his eyes never left hers. He stared at her as if staring into her soul as she began to melt. She felt completely at home and safe in his arms, a place she never wanted to leave. She could feel his strength and it made her feel delicate, like something to be cherished. He brushed her cheek with his fingertips and pushed back a strand of hair that had fallen across her eyes, then he took a small cloth and wiped a bead of sweat that had formed on her brow. She caught her breath for just a moment and he reached down and rubbed the small of her back until she began to relax again... It was going to be a long night. They sat in silence and she was completely comfortable with that because they needed no words. Truly there really were no words to express the emotions that grew in either of their hearts; so silence was good. She had pondered many things over the last few months, but how this man had come to be hers was one of the more prevalent of all her pondering. She had always believed that God would provide and that he would make a way where there seemed to be no way, but with this one.... well it seemed to be too good to be true. In spite of the comfort she felt in his arms the pain became more than she thought she could bear. It came in waves that shook the core of her being and she began to wonder if any good could thing come from such agony. Wave after wave of pain riped through her.  He began to nuzzle her and whispered words of encouragement into her ear. She wept and he wept with her as she struggled to bring light into a very dark world. He felt so helpless, so unprepared for the task at hand and she seemed so young and fragile, but she had no doubts. She knew every thing God had spoken to her was true, unbelievable but true. If she ever had a doubt it was quickly chased away when Joseph refused to send her away. God had worked many miracles in her life, but the most stunning of all was the man he had selected to accompany her on this journey of journeys.... Yes, God had given her a good man.

Not a Typical King

The wings of the angles spread out touching tip to tip creating a barrier around the young couple. They had been given strict instructions about the amount of comfort they could give. Their presence provided cover from the evil forces that searched throughout the area looking to interfere with the Father's plans. The head angel had been the one chosen to deliver the message to the young girl in the beginning. He remembered how young and innocent she looked as he relayed the message of the coming events. For just a second he wondered if he had misinterpreted his instructions and was giving the news to the wrong girl. Surely this could not be the one the Father had selected to bring the Savior into the world. A quickening in the heaven's got his attention and he continued to recite the news to the girl who stood mesmerized by his words. Tonight she looked totally different than she had the day he first saw her. It seemed she had aged 10 years. No longer did she look like a child, tonight she looked like a woman in the travail of giving birth. Being selected by the Father doesn't mean the journey will be easy, that's why such care is taken in those he chooses. Tonight the Father's instructions were very pointed. They were sent to provide protection, strength and encouragement. They were prevented however, from relieving the couple from any pain or trouble experienced in a typical earthly childbirth. It was difficult to stand back and not intervene. The best they could do is prompt Joseph with encouraging words to offer Mary and to give them both strength that had been sent with them from above. Still it looked to be a very agonizing process, this birth. The angels staunchly held their ground and trusted that the Father knew best when it came to the process of saving the world. This wasn't what they imagined when they were given the assignment of protecting the couple as they delivered the King of Kings.... This was much more humble and these people more common than they expected . No, this couple was not the typical royal family most would be looking for, and their son would prove in every possible way that he would not be.... a typical King.
No Ordinary Night

The night was as still as they had seen it in a while. Not a breeze could be felt as they lay around the camp. The older of the shepherds had already drifted into their nightly slumber. Since they had seniority they got the first hours of watch, the one in the early evening hours. They left the early morning hours to the young shepherds. The older shepherds had seen all of the strange early morning happenings, heard all of the alarming noises that accompanied the darkness. As far as they were concerned the young ones needed the experience in determining the difference between real danger and imagined danger. It was funny the tricks your mind could play on you when all you had was the moon and the sound of the earth to keep you awake. Besides, watching the young ones get used to the dark hours amused the old ones immensely. The young ones would not wake the old ones unless they knew there was a real threat. They were tired of their over reactions being the topic of every village meal once they returned home. After a while it just wasn't funny anymore, at least not to them. The shepherds like the rest of the world had been lulled into somewhat of a spiritual slumber. Stories of the coming Messiah was part of their heritage, something they grew up hearing about all their lives. The 400 years of silence had brought some Jews to cease the anticipation of the long awaited Messiah. Many had gone about their daily lives as if a Savior would never come. Among the shepherds in the field that night, many of the young ones had never given it much thought.... That was until the sky began to lighten as if covered by a white mist. At first they stared in total shock, there was no way they would wake the old ones because the sky was turning a hazy white. Then as they continued to look the outline of the angels began to materialize before their very eyes. Ever so gradually angel after angel appeared, transfixed between heaven and earth. Although the stillness never ceased, an atmosphere of anticipation began to sweep over the country side awakening the older shepherds. Their eyes popped open like wild prey was standing over them. Immediately their eyes turned upward to see the appearing of what looked like angels... If this was a dream it was no ordinary dream and if this wasn't a dream then this was no ordinary night.
Heaven Meets Earth

By the hundreds they gathered over the field, a whole host of angels. They could see the shepherds thoughtlessly going through their duties, the way earthly bound beings thoughtlessly went about everything. Some of the more cynical angels seemed a little disappointed that the proclamation they were prepared to give would be done in such a mundane setting, but those thoughts were fleeting. This was the night that all of heaven had been preparing for thousands of years. This would be the night that changed all of humanity for eternity. The angels could not help but wonder if the earthly bound beings would grasp the meaning of it all. They were so limited by their insight and knowledge of all things spiritual. Yet, that was not their concern. Their mission had been carefully planned, the announcement would be made as soon as the signal was given. That was another thing. Although the mission carefully planned, the announcement meticulously written the actual signal itself had not been described. They were simply told that they would recognize the signal when it was given. The angels had no trouble accepting this as fact and eagerly awaited the moment. The earthly bound beings may not know what was going on this gentle evening, but without a doubt the earth herself knew that all things would soon change. The shepherds had began to notice the ever changing sky and they stood like statues staring in awe at the sight that unfolded before them. The angels, the shepherds and even the sheep stood in anticipation, waiting for the moment when heaven and earth would meet in the form of a crying child.

She gasped for air, she prayed for strength and she thought the pain would never end. For hours her body had been torn apart by wave after wave of pain. Sweat poured from her brow, her lips were parched from her rapid breathing and she didn't know how much longer she would be able to endure. The arms that had cradled her so gently earlier were now like a noose around her neck. She didn't want to be touched, she didn't want to be left alone, she just wanted it to end and end quickly. Joseph paced back and forth, wringing his hands in worry. Each time he saw her relax for a second or two he would kneel beside her, offer her a drink, wipe her brow then quickly step aside before the next wave of pain started. How much longer he wondered. Suddenly she sat up and took a deep breath. When she exhaled a moan escaped her lips that was so deep and so barbaric that it caught him by surprise. Her face became white as ash and her head dropped till her chin touched her chest. At that moment he heard the release of water and blood pour from her womb. In an instant the earth was caught in a large vacuum like all of the oxygen had been sucked from the air and then immediately a rushing wind swept through the manger, then silence. Nothing but silence. She reached down and picked up the pasty infant that lay between her legs. With her touch he let out a wail. His arms waved wildly in the night air, his fingers and toes were spread apart like he had just been dropped in ice cold water. He shook all over as he cried and quickly, so quickly his skin turned red. The softest of sighs came from her chest as she brought him to her cheek. The babe turned his head to meet her cheek as if to give her a kiss. For the first time in history, heaven met humanity and without a doubt it was love at first sight.

Extraordinary Examples of Praise
The heavenly host could feel the signal they had been waiting for all night. The shepherds stumbled below being caught off guard by the sudden stillness then a gust of wind that seemed to come from nowhere. Even those who slept in town were suddenly awakened by what they thought was a nightmare that could not be recalled. What really had happened was heaven had just breathed life into heaven on earth and the long awaited Messiah had taken his first breath. At precisely the second The Messiah let out his first cry the angelic choir began their refrain. Thousands upon thousands of voices joined in harmony to proclaim the birth of the child. The sound was like a fragrant incense that hovered over the earth than rose to the heavens leaving a scent of worship and adoration that had never been seen or heard before. Those that were chosen to receive the message fell to their knees and began to spontaneously worship from the core of their being. They heard the message, they knew in their hearts all that was spoken was true. There was only one thing left to do... They must see for themselves... They must see The Messiah. Some unseen force pulled them in the direction of the manger. They didn't know where they were going, when they would get there, or what they would find, yet they went. They found themselves outside a nondescript manger. Sensing their presence a man came out to usher them in. He looked like he hadn't slept in days, yet there was something about him, an energy. He seemed eager to direct them inside where a young woman lay cradling a sleeping infant in her arms. She looked up at the strangers and with gentle smile she nodded for them to come forward as if she had been expecting them for hours. There was nothing breathtaking about her beauty, yet she was breathtaking. Perhaps it was the air of absolute peace that seemed to cover her from head to toe. The shepherds once again found themselves unable to remain standing and fell to their knees. In unison they began to worship, not just the shepherds, but the woman and man as well. Here in this common manger there were no words, for words could not truly express all that was stirring in their hearts. Here in this common manger, common people began to worship an uncommon King as he turned their ordinary lives into extraordinary examples of praise.

The birth of our Savior. He was sent without being called, he was given without being deserved, he lived without sin, and he loved without hesitation. May this gift of gifts be found in the manger of your heart this Christmas. May it breathe the breath of life into your soul and be the beginning of a beautiful love story between you and your Savior.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Not so Silent Night Beyond the Veil

Each year when we go Christmas caroling with friends, we sing, among other songs (I Wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas... My all-time favorite and a real crowd pleaser), the standard Silent Night. Tonight during my quiet time the song came to mind. It renders images of a serene couple, rolling with the punches at what is to be a very stressful time. Imagine traveling afar with a wife who was admittedly, according to scriptures is... "great with child." That phrase alone should dispel all images of a sweet young couple with no worries about being far from home, great with child AND basically... homeless. If you have ever traveled with a pregnant woman who is "great with child", I'm sure you'll agree that not being able to find a clean restroom can send raging pregnancy hormones into... Well a rage. I think we have Mary type cast as a meek and mild virgin who was so holy we rarely view her as human. Although Mary was absolutely chosen for her spiritual qualities, she was still very much human. When the couple couldn't find a room in the inn, I'm sure her mothering instincts which were probably already in high gear, turned into a manic urge to nest. Realistically, she was probably terrified at the predicament they found themselves in. She was away from her family during the most monumental time of her life, with a husband, she was still getting to know. I imagine the two, huddled in the hay. I imagine Joseph being white as a ghost in spite of his olive skin. I imagine beads of sweat on the holy mother's brow as cries of anguish slipped from her cracked lips in pain. I imagine him gently soothing her and whispering words of encouragement as he fervently prayed for divine intervention. What he couldn't see was the spiritual war erupting in high places. The roaring lion we read about in 1 Peter 4:8, was very much on the prowl during the birth of our Savior, and he wasn't alone.

I believe the heavenly host of angels did much more than proclaim tidings of great joy. I believe they surrounded Bethlehem as a heavenly shield. I imagine angels standing wing tip to wing tip around the couple as Mary "travailed in birth" .  In my mind, mighty warring angels patrolled heaven and hell making sure hell's minions were viciously kept at bay while God's promise was fullfilled. I believe that holy night was anything but silent as swords clashed in a bloody spiritual conflict that left Satan gnashing his gnarly teeth at his impotence against the waring angels of God, and his inability at preventing prophecy from being fulfilled... Again! Was there peace? Oh absolutely, because God specializes in the kind of peace that passes our human understanding, but that in no way implies things were meek and mild, calm and collected, and it certainly doesn't mean things were silent.  There was a lot going on in the little town of Bethlehem... If you look beyond the veil.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Just Do It

John 13:34-35 says.....

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

It doesn't say....
"When one another are loveable."
"When it's convenient."
"When they love you back."
"When you understand them."
"When they are easy to get along with."
"When it suits you."
"When you feel like it."

Nope, it just says do it, so that's what I'm going to do. It may not be easy, but it is absolutely what is required.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cagey Competition

Something fishy
Oh the Poinsettia wars are brutal this year.  I sent an email to the girls asking for "Proof of Life", since it had been a full week since we got them. I got back the pictures and there was something fishy about one.  The one I usually run neck n neck with on who makes it to the wall of shame first... something seemed kind of hinkie. Her message said... "See the big one? In the middle? I found some Poinsettia
This is legit
stimulant drops."  It was fishy, very fishy. I asked where she found the drops and she claimed she couldn't tell since it was a competition. My mind went back to last year. After we were given our Poinsettias, I looked out my office window and saw a flower shop delivering a Poinsettia the size of Pluto.  At first I thought our boss (oh he, the great giver) was getting a healthy dose of Karma. Instead I walked down the hall to find my co-worker standing in stunned silence staring
Same person taking care of these
at the monstrosity. I completely lost it in a fit of unrestrained laughter. When I finally caught my breath, I asked her.... "OMG! Who did this to you?!" She just shook her head in complete dismay and said her husband had sent it because it was their wedding anniversary (oddly, we share the same wedding anniversary).... "I guess he hasn't listened to a word I've said about my luck with Poinsettia!" OMG the look on her face was PRICELESS! I texted her back and said... "Your husband got them again this year for your wedding
This is typical me, maybe above average

anniversary didn't he?" Again she reiterated that it was a competition and she could not disclose such information, but she knew she had been busted and finally sent me a picture of the real Poinsettia that hadn't been prepped for competition with doping. I think next year we'll have to have stricter guidelines. The other co-worker had been roped into Poinsettia sitting since the owner was out until the 1st of the year.... "considering her two choices of co-workers.... she made the logical choice" I told her.  So, the competition has been a little cagey this year which only goes to show you how desperate we are to bring some joy into a workplace where most of the joy has packed up and left or been completely sucked out. I do my part to liven things up even if it's from afar. I may not be with them physically, but I'm with them spiritually and am wishing them, more than anything, peace of mind in the coming new year. I love you guys and thanks for letting me play along with you in the reindeer games.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spoken Perhaps a Tad too Soon

You know how you know certain things about yourself.... Things that are grounded and sure? All women have certain steadfast qualities they know will never change. At one time I had the steadfast knowledge that I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of crocks. Then a couple of years ago I stumbled upon some sandals that were so comfortable and cute, I just had to have them. When I turned them over... They were crocks! They were different than the crocks I still wouldn't be caught dead in, but crocks nonetheless.  On my first full week of my new job, a co-worker walked past my desk and paused. I had my standard heels on and some typical Jackie outfit. The dress code at work is casual, but I don't do causal well. If I can find any excuse whatsoever to dress up, that's what I'm going to do. This history goes all the way back to my elementary school years. It's a trait I absolutely got from my mother who wouldn't leave the house without being dressed to the nines. I remember when she would come to my daughter's softball games dressed to kill, because she didn't do causal. One reason I don't like to wear anything but heels because I walk like a duck in flats... it isn't attractive. So, she paused at my desk and said... "I give you two weeks and you'll be coming to work with your hair in a ponytail and no makeup."  I didn't even let that sink in for a second because this I know about Jackie-isms...She doesn't do causal... ESPECIALLY ponytails and no make up. My ponytail phobia began with my first prom. I thought proms required an up do which I did. When I opened the door to my handsome date, his face fell like a stack of pancakes. When we were in the car headed to the prom he said... "I was really hoping you would wear your hair down... I like it down." The disappointment on his sad face turned up do's pretty high on my list of do nots. The one exception being last year the day my mother died. I had sat up with her all night long so dad could get some sleep. I listened to every breath she took. The next day, I made it into work for a few hours with my hair in a ponytail topped off with a ball cap. It was a low point for me on many fronts because I was too exhausted to function... BUT I still had my makeup on, because a natural beauty I am not. I can appreciate my co-workers statement, because she is a natural beauty and has youth on her side... must be nice (insert frowny face here).  This weekend I went Christmas shopping and came across some really cute house shoes all blinged out with sequins. I was so exhausted Monday morning, for a split second, yoga pants and house shoes sounded like a trendy thing to try... Then I drank a cup of coffee and came to my senses. I will admit though, that she wasn't completely wrong. I actually did wear a pair of  yogo pants last Friday. One of my co-workers I knew prior to taking the job stopped in her tracks when I walked in. She said to the others.... "Do you know this is the first time I have ever seen her wear pants." I guess she wasn't there the day my mom died. My reply was I was wearing them because I'm allergic to my job... it's causing my butt to break out in fat and the fact that I'm too exhausted to exercise hasn't helped, nor has the fact that we have enough food and snacks to munch on In the kitchen, it looks like we're a bunch of preppers instead of accountants.  I've been there a month and I am full throttle busy every day.  The full throttle is causing me to re-think my quick reply. I may have spoken just a tad too soon about the ponytail sans makeup thing. In fact, I bought another pair of yoga pants this weekend (a girl can't have too many pairs of yoga pants). It is totally  possible I could show up for work on Friday in yoga pants, crocks and blinged out slippers posing as shoes... But in reality it's more probable that monkeys will fly out my butt. Never say never, that's what mom used to say... And yes, I still love my job and think my co-worker's are awesome with or without makeup and ponytail.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

One Christmas at a Time Minus One

The Christmas season is here.  I was just thinking about how difficult this year has been... Not just for me, but for countless people I love. I am facing my first Christmas without my mom. My dad is facing the first Christmas without his wife of 57 years. A dear friend of mine is facing the holidays without his wife who was also a dear friend. A former co-worker dreaded the first Christmas without her daughter. The thought of putting up the standard tree embellished with the ornaments she collected over the years was too painful, so she bought a hot pink tree and new ornaments to which she had no connection symbolizing Christmas past. The list goes on and on. My prayers and thoughts go out to each family who will be sitting down to Christmas dinner this year minus one. Christmas will never be the same,. Although it seems like it shouldn't, life goes on.... one Christmas at a time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A New Low

I got the final picture with the following notation....

"He didn't want the loss to be so traumatic for me this year, so... he set the bar low."

Well, that changes everything.  The two of us usually run neck -n- neck for who can kill theirs the fastest.  Last year we actually discussed buying a stash of replacement Poinsettias to switch out so we wouldn't be the first on to appear on "The Wall of Shame".

Gone But Not Forgotten - Poinsettia Hell Games

I think it's already looking droopy :-(
I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  Since I started my new job before the holiday season officially began.... Marked by the delivery of lovely and coveted Poinsettias, I thought I would miss out on the Poinsettia hell games and my standing on the Poinsettia "Wall of Shame".  Much to my surprise, I looked up this morning to find ex-boss #2 standing at my desk with dreaded Poinsettia in hand.  Yes!!! I still get to participate in the games.  I promptly took a picture of my Poinsettia to verify its condition upon taking ownership and emailed the others to take pictures and forward them to me so we could make every thing official. I'm so happy that although I may be gone... I am not forgotten.  Love you guys and gals to the moon and back :-)
Dinah actually put her poinsettia in poinsettia daycare last year when she left for vaca
Tiff's, she usually wins


Monday, December 8, 2014

Tiny Doses

I greeted my boss this morning with a.... "How bout them Cowboys"  I did not get a response, but his body language said all that needed to be said... So noted.  I went by my old stomping grounds to stir the Bedlam pot. If a Bedlam win doesn't call for some shenanigans, then nothing does. I started the shenanigans at church by posting a "OSU Fan" sign on my former bosses truck. I later received a picture showing me that he had edited my wording. After work today I gifted Choo Choo something that will be given to him tomorrow morning. I'm sure he will be tickled pink (or orange) at my thoughtfulness and generosity. I told my partner in crime that
I had learned that my new co-workers do not respond well to losing Bedlam and having it mentioned to them first thing in the morning. He grinned at me and said... "That didn't slow you down did it?" Oh he knows me so well....  "Well, actually it kinda did." He cocked his head in dismay. He has never known me to back down from a prank or a good jab.  "Well" I explained... "I am pretty new, and they're not quite sure how to take me yet. I hate to go full throttle Jackie on them and totally overwhelm their systems... So yeah, I shut it down. " He nodded and said... "Yeah, better to introduce them to small doses so they can build up some tolerance." EXACTLY! A full dose of Jackie-ism can take a while to get used to... this I know. Look how long it took me to liven up the group of "PPP" (pocket protector people... it's code for Engineer). I've gotten a lot of emails telling me things aren't the same since I left. I imagine they are hinting that the fun factor has taken a nose dive, but they could be saying that things have become nice and quiet but, oh so dull. I'll mind my p's and q's with the new group, and will keep fun Jackie under wraps with tiny
doses of fun thrown in. In time maybe I can dial the fun factor up a notch or two with no harm, no foul. I can do reserved Jackie for a while (I have trouble maintaining her for long).  It may take a while before they meet Jackie unplugged.... From the look I got this morning, it may be a VERY long time. Life is too short to take football so serious and a healthy dose of laughter should be a part of everyone's daily diet.... Plus a good belly laugh burns belly calories (I'm pretty sure that scientific fact is somewhere on the internet so it has to be true). Tis the season to bring joy and cheer to those around you and nothing does the heart good like a genuine smile. Go out there and spread the joy!!!  At least I can say I tried.
Lil Cecil Johnson present and accounted for and working harder than a Choo Choo Train