Friday, August 31, 2012

Mapstew (and Kate) Are Wonderful Because...

Wanting to do something charitable is easy. Convincing other folks that your charity is worthwhile, and worthy of their financial assistance, is another matter.  

In an election year, it's on the verge of disheartening to see how much money the public will shower on politicians, while hoping those who were wounded while serving our country will somehow figure out how to fix themselves.

But I had an idea. I did my research.  I found music in the public domain, meaning anyone can use it.  And then I ran right into a brick wall.   It's called copyright infringement.  Because music has two copyrights: the original score and another for the musician who performs it.

So I did what I always do when I feel like I'm in over my head: I asked for professional help.

The professional in this case was Mapstew.

I turned to our good friend to ask for advice.  How could I proceed with some background music for a video presentation without getting sued?  He didn't tell me, "Good luck!".  He didn't tell me it wasn't his problem...after all he's on the other side of the pond.   No, he told me to give him a couple of days.  

I had no idea what gift our charity was about to receive.   

Thank you isn't big enough for this one.  Throwing around words like "Brilliant!"  "Talented!" and "Generous beyond words!" doesn't come close.  And if you stick around for the credits, you'll know why I got so choked up when presented this gift...of music.

With apologies to Kate, who I thought was the performer, not a co-writer.  Oh ye talented Stewarts, I you hope don't mind I had to "stretch" it a bit...but it's so lovely, I can't listen to it enough.

And the loveliest irony of all, 
which didn't even hit me until I added the credits?  
Most of these soldiers are from....
Ft. Stewart.   
I kid you not.

Here, take a listen.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friday 55

It's time for a 55 word story.  And the more I think about, the more I believe that not only will I share my 55 word wonder with the g-man, he gets my vote for Best in Weekend Wishes.  :)

"I don’t like that outfit."

"Doesn’t smile enough."

"Not sure I agree with that.
Smiles too much at the wrong time if you ask me."

"Is that any way to walk?"

"Walk?  Did you see that hair?"

Overhearing the news reporters argue
made me wonder.
Are Obama and Romney
running for President
Mr. America?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sharing is a Good Thing

And after our charity's Board meeting on Thursday night, I hope to be able to share a thing or two with y'all.

In the meantime I can only say this.....

and so is his daughter Kate!
Oh.  And talented.
How could I forget talented? 

More to follow.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Space...The Final Resting Place

R.I.P.  Neil Armstrong.   

You were one of the highlights of my childhood.  I always thought it was cool that I was 11 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  You probably don't remember, but I went outside and waved at you.

Whenever I see the moon, I will continue to be amazed that man walked there.  I will smile knowing that you were the first.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Friday 55

Yes, boys and girls, we now come to that portion of the week where a mere 55 word story will get you wished a most enthusiastic good weekend.  Be sure to let the G-man know he owes you a visit.  I hope he knows we thank him for coming by. 

The face brought a flicker of memory.

Slowly, it came into focus. 
Annoyed sibling. 
Wishful revenge.

An older brother’s angry declaration, followed by shock.

Her memory heard him loudly intone,
“I wish Cotton was a monkey!”

Wish fulfilled!
Or so he thought,
unaware his little brother had walked off,
Not transformed.

When I was a kid, every Saturday we watched reruns of “Our Gang” and the “Little Rascals”…many of which can actually be found on YouTube!  Amazingly, the dumbest things stick in the mind of a 7 year old…especially one who grew up, but allowed those memories to stick around.  Unfortunately, the worse the pun/joke, the harder it stuck.  (“Define ‘isthmus’”, the teacher commanded, to which one of these sweet smart alecks replied, “You’re my teacher, so is mus be my lucky day.”)  Hey, at least I married a person who, upon hearing the word isthmus, cracks up for the exact same reason.

While by today’s standards I’m sure the above scenario would be viewed as politically incorrect, to Little Kid Me it was a thrilling opportunity to hear another kid secretly wish their younger sibling would turn into something more... interesting. 

As for that face?  He can be found on my sidebar for and “Click to Donate”.   They have a variety of causes to support.  But every time this little guy’s face comes up on my screen, I hear that small boy fervently say, “I wish Cotton was a monkey!”   Let’s just say that donation in particular is cool karma for making a secret wish or two of my own as a kid.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Feliz Cumpleanos, Mi Amigo!

Today is our friend Jorge's birthday...he being the first soldier we helped and the inadvertent spark which put me on another road to travel.  You can read about him here.  It still amazes me that a 17 year old boy in Puerto Rico believed that serving in the U.S. military was one of the highest honors he could obtain!  And he went in spite of his Mama's pleas not to.  Although he could've retired this summer, Jorge re-enlisted in order to help other soldiers who've been through the same place he's been...ready to help them come out on the other side.  Back to what we consider "boringly normal".

Luckily for those soldiers, not only is Jorge patient and kind, he bears no malice for what his Country asked of him.  Or that they asked him to perform that service six times.  And be wounded each time.  He has somehow learned to overcome the fact that, for a long time, the military looked the other way, pretending conditions like PTSD didn't exist.  Ignoring the fact that not all wounds come with visible scars.  No, Jorge seems to be stronger for having faced his fears...and deciding fear didn't get to win.  Or rule his life.

So today, rather than be irate (and it's been one of those days at work!), I will concentrate on how lucky we are to have crossed paths.

Can't wait to see what's down the road...for all of us!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday 55

Did you write a 55 word story?  Better yet, did you share it with the g-man?  If so, carry on.

“I know it’s hard to hear,” she began as his eyes widened.
“And what you’ve done is extraordinary.  
 Really,” she added, seeing his lip quiver.

“But honestly,” she smiled, 
“the Mark Spitz poster hanging on my door as a kid 
was because his generation swam in a Speedo.   
They didn’t model one in a bathtub.”

And in case you haven't seen it....
 By the way,
he's not selling Speedos.
He's selling Louis Vuitton luggage. 

NOTE: Oh the irony of stumbling on this story.
I just got a news feed "Phelps May Be In Hot Water"
because someone published this photo 
a day earlier than allowed by Olympic rules.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In a Slump on Hump Day

I figure once school starts back and life is focused beyond summer travels and the Olympics, perhaps my Blogger friends will return to share their adventures.  And photos.  Lots of photos please.  And yes Savannah, I mean grandbaby photos too!


I'm just trying to stay out of trouble as the original, "Hey, it'll take about 2 months for that renovation!" hits the 10 and a half month mark today. I don't know what's worse: (a) realizing that what I suspected about what happens in "The Office" is actually worse than my imagination or (b) that the Inmate* feels sorry for me.

Okay.  Someone tell me a joke.  Make me laugh.  As long as I maintain my sense of humor, I can get through the L-O-N-G-E-S-T day of the week.

*For those across the pond, the Inmates we are "loaned" here at work [to basically be the janitor], are in jail for minor, non-violent criminal offenses.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday 55

As a respite from Olympic coverage (almost) it is time to share your award winning 55 word story with the g-man.  No spoilers here...just the facts.

Bronze medal: Sheer Youthful Stupidity
Justin “Bad Manners” Beiber
For chiding host Prince William’s baldness. 

Silver medal:  Shooting Himself in the Foot While Putting Foot in Mouth
Usain “Formerly Respected”  Bolt.
Self proclaimed legends shouldn’t trash Carl Lewis.

Gold medal: Spirit of the Games
You came.  You tried.  We admired that.
Feel better, Stephan Feck*.

*German Diver Feck turned the phrase “slap on the back” into the most painful dive in Olympic history when his arms slipped during a somersault and he landed in the pool...flat on his back.  As if that’s not bad enough, his last name has been universally used as a headline pun, literally adding insult to injury.     

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

And The Gold Goes To...


For on this day, 32 years ago, he married me.  

And to his credit, he's never tried to trade me in on a newer model or smother me in my sleep if I snore.  He's the best kind of husband: accepts me for who I am (heaven help him!) and loves me in spite of it. Plus he's a helluva cook!

It's not a myth.  You can have happily ever after if you're willing to compromise, listen and still say "I love you".  And mean it.

I do.  Still.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Entertaining Myself

I found something better to do than merely pout as I begin Month 11 of solitary confinement in my "Broom closet" office.

Crocheting "Chemo Caps" for hospice patients.  
They're made to be head hugging for those who've lost their hair to chemotherapy.  These represent my last batch...a myriad of colors and textures in a simple pattern that I can actually crochet.  To date, I've done about 45.

Hubby saw them the other day and suggested when I'm done with "my project", I could do some for him to sell in his shop.  If you look closely, you'll see a camouflage one beneath the rainbow.

Seems I've turned boredom into a way to help others.  Cool.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday 55

You may not win a gold medal from the g-man, but if you write a 55 word story and share it with him, you'll at least get wished an interesting weekend. 

At an outdoor cafĂ©, two women watched the handsome man approach.  
 His stride was confident.   
A sly smile tugged at his lips.   
His left hand clutched an unseen object.

“Candy? Flowers? Jewelry?” one guessed as he neared.

With a suave nod, he passed.

The second woman stifled a giggle.
He’s holding up his pants.”

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Take a Second Look

As a kid you believe finally obtaining “Grown up” status will make everything fall into place and 95% of the time life will go your way.  The other 5% would, sadly, be dedicated to going to work, which was better than school only because you would get money to do that.  Besides, my parents taught me that working was the correct way to obtain money.

This morning I contemplated starting the day by screaming, “It’s not FAIR!” at the top of my lungs.  However that would (a)  Scare Hubby out of a sound sleep (b)  Only underscore my frustration rather than solve anything and (c) truth is, Life isn’t fair.

So I pulled on my Big Girl panties and went to work, even though it is the source of my frustration.

Opening my e-mail, I found yet another forward from one of my seniors.  It was able to melt my frustration into a warm fuzzy which was truly needed.  Whether you deem it cornball, a cliche or something you received two years ago, the sentiment helped get me back on track.  So as I sit here in  “Hell’s Hallway” remember the following:

There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.

At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because
they want to be just like you.

Your smile can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.

Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

You mean the world to someone.

You are special and unique.

Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

When you make the biggest mistake ever,
something good comes from it.

When you think the world has turned its back on you,
 take another look.

Always remember the compliments you received. 
Forget about the rude.

"Whenever God Closes One Door 
He Always Opens
Even Though
Sometimes It's Hell in the Hallway"

For Thom

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

YOU Are A Winner!

All this Olympic talk makes me wonder...

...if you received a Gold medal for what you're best known for,
(a talent, hidden or otherwise, or even that "dependable" factor)
what would earn you a medal?

And since we can't be the best ALL the time, 
what would earn you a Silver 
and a Bronze?

Let the games begin.  :)