Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Pic of the Day

A Song For New Year’s Eve

A Song for New Year's Eve
William Cullen Bryant - 1794-1878

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
For his familiar sake.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away. 

The kindly year, his liberal hands
Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
Because he gives no more?
Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away. 

Days brightly came and calmly went,
While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
How sweet the seventh day's rest!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away. 

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
Of all they said and did!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away. 

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
Oh be the new as kind!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Pic of the Day


We are in for a major snow and ice storm today. They are predicting a nasty one. I plan to stay inside if it’s too bad, but I realized last night that I’d forgotten about my doctor’s appointment today. I’m not going to get out if the weather is too bad, so I will probably have to reschedule the appointment. I also hope that this storm is over and done with by tomorrow night. I have tickets for New Queer’s Eve in Burlington. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks. I hope my plans continue without difficulties.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Pic of the Day

Show Kindness

He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. (KJV) ( Proverbs 14:31 ) 

As the new year approaches, it is important that we take this message to heart. God cares about the poor, oppressed, and needy. He is a God of justice. We please our Maker when we show kindness to those in need. Find one practical way to show compassion towards someone in your life today. So in the new year, I hope we will all show more kindness than last year. Some are already kind beyond words, but I don’t think we can ever be too kind.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Pic of the Day

All Is Calm

Last night, my aunt and I went to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to see the play All Is Calm. It’s based on the remarkable true story from the Western Front, Christmas, 1914. In a silence amid the combat, a soldier steps into no man’s land singing “Silent Night.” All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 relives an astounding moment in history when British troops and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together, sharing food and drink, playing soccer, and singing carols. This dramatic retelling weaves together firsthand accounts of World War I soldiers with patriotic tunes, trench songs, and Christmas carols.

It really wasn’t what I expected, though I’m not sure I know what I’d expected. I just know the play that was performed was not what I expected. I expected there to be more of a plot, but it was merely a lot of firsthand accounts interwoven with songs. My biggest criticism is that the uniforms were all wrong. The uniforms were a hodgepodge of different styles, including one French uniform even though the French did not participate in the Christmas Truce. Thankfully it was only an hour long, or else I’m not sure I could have stood the whole thing. The accents used were also mostly unintelligible. My poor aunt, who is no historian, was mostly lost during the whole play. I was even having a hard time following it.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Pic of the Day

The Day After

We had so much food last night and so many leftovers. My niece and nephew, for some reason, refused to eat anything. I love them, but they are rotten. Shortly after their parents left them with us for the night, I had to go to bed. I’d spent six hours nonstop cooking because my mother is sick with a bad cold and no one else offered to help. I did make them do all the dishes since I did the cooking. I made ham (my dad cooked the turkey), macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, cornbread dressing, green beans, crescent rolls, shrimp cocktails, two cakes, and a pie. Also, I made two types of gravy: turkey and giblet. I was exhausted.

We opened presents after dinner. My nephew got all sorts of Paw Patrol stuff and two remote control cars. My niece got mostly jewelry and a few other fun things. I got books, gift cards, and money. All good stuff.

Today I’ll spend some more time with my parents then my aunt and I will go to Montgomery to do a few things before seeing a play at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. We are going to see “All Is Calm” about the WWI Christmas Truce in 1914. I hope it’s good. Mama was supposed to go with me, but as I said earlier, she’s sick. Poor Mama, I hope she feels better soon.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Pic of the Day

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas this year. I’m home spending Christmas with my family. This morning I’ll go to my sister’s house to see what my niece and nephew got for Christmas. We will have breakfast and then head back home to prepare for tonight which is my family’s big Christmas celebration. We’ll have quite the Christmas feast before opening up our presents. What will you be doing this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Pic of the Day

A Visit From St Nicholas

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Cruise

This post is a lot later than I had planned. I had planned to get it done by 6 pm, but my mother and I have been cooking all afternoon and evening. Tomorrow we will have the whole family at the house for Christmas, do we’ve been getting ready.

So, you want to know about the cruise. The first thing I will say is that Carnival has some beautiful gay men working on the Valor. They are all so sweet too, and they were the best part of the cruise. A couple of things about this cruise: 1) the seas were very choppy and the weather was terrible, 2) the food was not as good as the last time I went on a cruise, and 3) there are some ugly, trashy people that go on cruises.

Now on to what we did. Monday we set sail several hours late because of an issue with fueling the ship. Tuesday was a day at sea, where we spent most of the day exploring the ship and trying not to be seasick. Wednesday, we went to Cozumel where we spent the day shopping. I was able to buy a few Christmas gifts. Then we headed back to the ship as it started to rain. Thursday, we docked in the tiny fishing village of Progresso. This is where we got onto a bus for an excursion. The bus first took us to the Mayan city of Mayapan, which was the last major city of the Mayans. There, we were able to climb one of the pyramids. I learned that I am too old to climb pyramids. It was quite a workout. However, the major workout was yet to come. We next headed to a place near what they claimed was a palace of Empress Carlota (I do not believe the were correct because while Carlota toured the very rural Yucatán, she apparently did not stay long enough to build a palace). At the ruins of the palace are underground caves you can swim through. It was billed as a tubing trip, but they only told you on the way that the lazy river in the caves was really lazy and had no surface currents. So, we had to swim. Thank goodness we didn’t have to swim far because it really was a workout. I was sore for days afterwards. We were fed lunch after the swim. The lunch was good but cold. We were on the #4 bus, and I’m sure the #1 bus had warm food. We then explored the palace ruins for a few minutes and the boarded the bus back to the ship. Friday was another day at sea.

While we were on the ship and basically confined to the inside areas because of the rain, we took in a lot of the activities onboard. We played trivia and came close to winning a few times and finally did win the one called Calling All Nerds. I’m a historian and sci-fi geek and the two girls I played with are nuclear physicists, so no one else stood a chance. We also took in a few Christmas shows. They were fun, especially when Alex, one of the Carnival workers from Mexico City, sang “The Hat I Got for Christmas Is Too Big.” Actually he lip synced it and did a little dance. It didn’t hurt that he was the most beautiful man on the ship. We went to some of the comedy shows as well. They had two comics, one was fairly funny, the other was not. The unfunny one was an insult comic and that’s just not my humor. I also went to the hairy chest contest hoping to see some hot men. It was incredibly disappointing as some of the men didn’t even have hair on their chests.

That was about it for the cruise, but there is one other thing. I was so proud of this one young person. I guess they were non-binary. During the day he dressed as a guy and at night as a woman. I have to say that took a lot of courage. Cruises out of New Orleans are filled with rednecks and judgmental people. It’s not easy for a passenger to be gay and with a boyfriend. The ships do have nightly LGBT get togethers, but I’ve never seen more than half a dozen people show up for them. I didn’t get to say to the person how proud I was that they were able to live their true self because I felt either that they might take it the wrong way or something like that. I also never got the chance to say anything to the couple anyway, but I was very proud of that young couple.


I’m back home in Alabama for Christmas. I spent yesterday with my parents. I’d planned to use today’s post to talk about my cruise, but by the end of the day when I usually write my posts, I’d developed a bad headache. Hopefully, I’ll feel better today and I can write my cruise post for tonight.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Pic of the Day


The Birth of Jesus

(Luke 2:1-20)

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and Angels

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Pic of the Day

Cruise Day 1: Leaving New Orleans

I will not have internet once the cruise starts and we get into the Gulf, so I won’t be able to update everyone on how things are going. Be assured there will be a post detailing the trip once I return. I do have posts set up during the week, but they’ll just be pictures. Enjoy your week.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Pic of the Day

Show Kindness

He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. (KJV) ( Proverbs 14:31 ) 

God cares about the poor, oppressed and needy.  He is a God of justice.  We please our Maker when we show kindness to those in need.  Find one practical way to show compassion towards someone in your life today. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Pic of the Day

Crazy Neighbor

I probably shouldn’t be unkind about her, but we all know gays can be a bit catty at times. A little over a year ago, I had a new neighbor move in downstairs. At first I was excited. She was a fellow southerner; she was outgoing; and she was friendly. I knew right away, I would have someone who would take care of Isabella while I was traveling, which she does do. (Isabella actually adores her.) 

I knew she didn’t have much money, and I’d often pay for her when she’d go and do things with me. I don’t like going to things by myself. The problem was that I quickly realized that if I gave an inch, she’d take a mile. If she went to an LGBT event at a bar with me, and I was paying for drinks, she would often drink three times as much as I would. If we went out to eat, she’d order the most expensive thing on the menu. I was just trying to be kind, but she’d take advantage. I just quit asking her to go places and often went on my own. I’m still not completely comfortable going by myself, but I certainly couldn’t afford her. All that just makes her a mooch.

You see, I was always taught that if someone else was paying and you were having drinks, never to drink more than they did or just drink less. The only exception to this was if they insisted, and still you should at first refuse. I was also taught to get something less expensive on the menu unless the person insisted or you really and truly knew the person wanted you to get what you wanted, but still you should at first refuse. It’s the southern and the polite way. Never take more than you should. Always be polite, and never take advantage of someone’s kindness. I try not to be a mooch.

Taking advantage monetarily is one thing. Now though, she’s gotten where she calls me constantly, during work and when I’m home: if I don’t answer, she keeps calling and calling. When I do bite the bullet and answer, she always either wants to complain about something or complain about someone she perceives has done her wrong or she wants sympathy over whatever tragedy she perceives has happened in her life. The worst is when she fake cries. I tried having sympathy, I really did, but I’m getting worn thin. I just can’t take all the negativity. She’s getting crazier and crazier with her “woe is me” attitude and all the things she perceives are wrongs against her.

There is a possible bright side. A coworker told me the other day that a two bedroom apartment above her was available to rent. It’s cheaper and bigger than my current apartment and it has a washer and dryer on site. My current apartment does not. I was sold. I contacted the landlord yesterday and am going to see the apartment Saturday before I go away on Sunday. I’m sure of two things though: my current neighbor will have a nervous breakdown when she finds out I’m moving out, if I do get the apartment, and she probably still won’t leave me alone because I’m one of the only people here who puts up with her and she’s attached herself to me.

I’m just hoping I get the apartment and can put some distance between me and the negative energy below me.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Pic of the Day


I honestly don’t have much to say today. I spent over an hour trying to think of something interesting to write, and I just came up with nothing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Pic of the Day

Emily Dickinson's Birthday

Birthday of but a single pang 
by Emily Dickinson

Birthday of but a single pang
That there are less to come --
Afflictive is the Adjective
But affluent the doom --

I could not let the day go by without wishing Emily Dickinson a Happy Birthday. Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest and most original poets of all time. She took definition as her province and challenged the existing definitions of poetry and the poet’s work. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830 to Edward and Emily (Norcross) Dickinson. 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Pic of the Day


I’m a big Star Trek fan. I’m an even bigger fan of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. René Auberjonois died yesterday at age 79. He’d played Odo on DS9, probably one of the most complex characters in all of Star Trek. His son, the actor Rèmy-Luc Auberjonois, said the cause of death was metastatic lung cancer.

Mr. Auberjonois moved easily among television, film and the stage, and between comedy and drama, often playing scene-stealing characters who injected comic relief or snark or a plot wrinkle into the proceedings.

Major roles on long-running television shows in three decades — “Benson” in the 1980s, “Deep Space Nine” in the 1990s and “Boston Legal” in the 2000s — made him the kind of star whose face was familiar to millions, even if they might not immediately be able to put a name to it. Across almost 60 years as a professional actor, he was rarely not in demand.

I loved him as an actor and I’ve seen all three of the TV shows he starred in. I’ve been a fan most of my life. I’m heartbroken that he’s no longer with us.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Pic of the Day

Willing and Able

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (KJV) ( 1 Corinthians 3:16 ) 

It's important to take care of your body. When the body of Christ needs your help we should be ready, willing, and ABLE. If we are too tired, unhealthy, or weak we will miss being a part of the movement of our community and local church. There are times when it's important for us to step up and help friends move homes or cook meals after surgeries. While nurturing your health may not directly minister to others, it does allow you to be ready to lend a hand to someone in need which reveals the character of Christ. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pic of the Day


December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

We also remember those who lost there lives this week at Pearl Harbor in the terrible act of violence that happened there this week and that happen a few days later in Pensacola.