To Shred or Not To Shred

I’m just tickled with my new filing system.  As I began this project, I was determined to make things involving paper a little more pretty and a lot more organized. How many times in a week do I pick up something and think, “What do I do with this?  Do I keep it or trash it?  If I keep it, where do I put it so I’ll remember where it is?  It’s enough to make me want to hole-punch someone!


Years ago, once we decided to trash something, you just wadded it up and tossed it in file thirteen. Now we have paper pilferers and electronic embezzlers whose goal is to heist your life.

Our paper shredder.
Our paper shredder.

I couldn’t resist.

Fight Identity Theft

So every piece of paper I touched that was to be trashed, now had a third action to consider. To shred or not to shred?  According to “Fight Identity Theft” , there is a list of precautions to take to prevent life-heisting. Things I didn’t think of that are on that list are:

  • Address labels from junk mail and magazines
  • Documents containing maiden name (used by credit card companies for security reasons)
  • Documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses
  • Un-laminated identification cards (college IDs, state IDs, employee ID badges, military IDs
  • Items with a signature (leases, contracts, letters)
  • Luggage tags
  • Medical and dental records
  • Pre-approved credit card applications
  • Report cards
  • Resumés or curriculum vitae
  • Transcripts
  • Travel itineraries
  • Used airline tickets
  • Utility bills (telephone, gas, electric, water, cable TV, Internet)

Shredding my John Hancock

While I may be tickled about my new filing system, I am NOT delighted at the new task of making sure my “paper-life” has been cut to ribbons.  Who would have thought that we now have to protect our signatures from a “John Hancock” crook?!  The picture in my mind now is of the “hamburgler” tip-toeing through a landfill with his magnifying glass looking for my name scribbled across some random scrap of paper.

Photo Credit: Amy Burdette
Photo Credit: Amy Burdette


Shreds of our life. Photo Credit: Amy Burdette
Shreds of our life. Photo Credit: Amy Burdette

I can remember thinking sometime in my childhood how cool it would be to know that someone else would want to be me.  Well, now I am trying to protect myself and my family from that very thing.  I am me and there can be NO duplicates.


The Gracious Folks of Atlanta, GA

I recently spent two wonderful days in Atlanta, Ga.  I haven’t been to Atlanta in years and quite honestly, I was pleasantly surprised at what a wonderful time I had.  My Hubby-Do had a business trip, so I went with him.

During the drive, we were commenting on what an easy trip it had been even with all the road construction, when low and behold we see a sign announcing an accident ahead that has the left four lanes of traffic blocked.  Count them…1…2…3…4…out of six….in Atlanta, GA. I can only imagine what type of accident would do this.  It had to be tragic.

A Gracious Blogger Friend

Of course, I had made this trip to spend time with Hubby-Do, but I was really looking forward to meeting a very successful blogger friend, who had so graciously agreed to meet me for lunch.  Time keeps on ticking…

I 75 Traffic in Atlanta. Photo Credit:
I 75 Traffic in Atlanta. Photo Credit:

Can you imagine four lanes of traffic merging into 2?  I texted my friend to tell her what was going on and to my great surprise, she said she would wait for me.  I had no idea if this would take 10 minutes or 2 hours, but if she would wait, I would GO!  At this point, I was wishing our car was a tank.  We crept along for about 30 minutes and then it was as if the traffic fairy had sprinkled cooperation dust over all the drivers and we all merged together like we loved each other.  It was magic.

Once we were able to exit the freeway, we put the address for the restaurant in my phone and began to follow the voice through downtown.  The voice didn’t know what type of neighborhood she was leading us through, but she sounded certain enough about our surroundings, so I was sure we’d be ok.  Hubby-Do wasn’t so sure.

Restaurant Closed

Finally, at 1:25 pm, we stop in front of the restaurant – only to see the sign in the door being flipped over.  Right before my eyes it changed from OPEN to CLOSED – due to no water. Area construction woes! My friend was sitting on a bench at the front of the restaurant and fortunately, already had a Plan B.

Osteria del Figo
Osteria del Figo

It was an Italian restaurant and the food was very good.  More importantly, however, was the time I spent with this new friend.  I am new to blogging and the lady I was meeting is a veteran.  She started blogging about 6 or 7 years ago and agreed to meet me because we had attended church with a mutual friend.  I know how busy she is, so for her to take the time to meet with me was such a blessing.  We spent about 1 1/2 hours together and she gave me some great advice.  Advice that you, my nearest, dearest and newest will benefit from in the future. She suggested that I:

  1. Purchase a professional blog design.
  2. Resize photos before uploading them to the blog.
  3. Learn all I can about photography.
  4. Purchase a  DSLR camera.
  5. Take my time in growing this business.
  6. Keep my posts to under 500 words. (I’m trying!!)

Shopping with Gracious Folks

After lunch, Hubby-Do and I drove over to Virginia Highland for some shopping.

Virginia Highlands
Virginia Highland

We discovered the neatest consignment shop.  Wellspring Treasures.  Everything in the store is donated by Atlanta residents and the proceeds go to an organization that benefits victims of sex trafficking in Atlanta.  Even the sales people are volunteers!!!!  This was my purchase from Wellspring Treasures…

My purchase to help victims of sex trafficking.
My purchase to help victims of sex trafficking.

They will look great in my guest room.  I am planning a shopping trip to fill them with house plants that I will try not to kill.

It seems that everywhere I went, I met friendly, helpful folks during day one of my trip.  While crossing the street, a lady rolled down her car window and shouted, “You are beautiful!” At first I thought it was strange, but I turned and smiled at her which prompted her to say “you belong in Hollywood, I hope y’all have a great day!”  Just before that, a salesperson  told Hubby that he looks like Tommy Lee Jones without the scars.  Hey, we need to plan a “discovery” trip to Hollywood, because most of his life, he’s been told he looks like Robert Urich.

After a waitress told me about Scout Mob – an app for discount shopping in Atlanta, Hubby-Do turned into Hubby-Don’t.  No matter – we’d experienced courteous drivers, helpful waitresses, volunteer salespeople, complimentary residents, and last but by far not least…

The most gracious of my trip….

Rhoda Vickers and me.
Rhoda Vickers and me.

Rhoda Vickers of Southern Hospitality Blog.  It was a great day with the folks in Atlanta, GA.

Freshman Move-In Day

Move-in day for college freshman is stressful, exciting, and hard work.  With careful planning, it is a lot easier.  My recent post, Preparing for Dorm Life is a good place to start, but here are more tips from my niece’s actual move in day.  Family took these pictures with cell phones. I apologize for the quality.  But, you’ll get the picture!

Organizing your packing
Organize your packing. Car #1

Organizing the Cars

Fortunately, my sister is very organized and each car is packed with similar items.  If you look closely, she even had a wardrobe bar installed in her car to keep all her baby’s fashion neat and tidy.

Car #2.
Luggage is loaded in the second car headed to college town.

The luggage is full of blankets, towels, curtains, toiletries and kitchen items.

Yes, it took 3 cars to move our princess to her miniature castle.
Yes, it took 3 cars to move our princess to her miniature castle.

In this car, she packed her brand new customized bedding, cleaning supplies and tools needed for this big day.

Having unloaded the carSSS, they are hard at work getting everything unpacked and set up.

Storage Containers
Unpacking on freshman move-in day isn’t a chore when organized.


A place for everything and everything in it's place.
Mom helps place everything into the dorm room.


My niece and her "other" aunt.
My niece (the happy freshman)  and her “other” aunt.


Brand new, customized, extra long twin bedding.
Brand new, customized, extra long twin bedding.

Decorating a Dorm

My sister loves to decorate and the two of them did a great job with the bedding. She purchased the comforter and sham, and then had pillows and bedskirt made to coordinate.  Sheer draperies accent.

My niece moved into her dorm.  They made the bed and hung the curtains. She put her clothes away.

Mom, on the way home.
Mom, on the way home.

The tissue box is handy. This is likely the end of every freshman move-in day.

I have a new project.  Once 007 retired and cleaned out his work office, we had a few too many items to display.  He received so many gifts and awards through the years, that we decided to focus on his accomplishments. He has worked very hard the last 36 years and I wanted it to show. I’ve taken a few before shots without even straightening the desk.  I want you to see it in it’s full disfunction.

Home Office Before

Organizing a Home Office Using Antiques & Collectibles

In its current state, it feels sloppy and disorganized.  The vine hanging down was an accident, thanks to Mr. O’haraRoo – our cat. That’s a story for another day.

Office BeforeI apologize for the poor quality photos. These were made with an old phone. One good thing I can say about this tho, it’s a “view to a thrill.”  The pictures on the desk are family photos taken in Disney World.

Home Office After

Using Antiques in Home Office Decor

Home Office

My retirement gift to 007 was an antique voltage meter which I placed on top of the credenza hutch.

miss electra

Alabama Power’s Miss Electra is an award he earned.


36 Years of Southernisms at Work.

His coworkers made this for him. It contains all of his repeated sayings. Such fun!

corner curio

Family photos were updated and an inbox added to keep us on our toes. Hehe! You’ll notice the baby shoes on the desk. They’re on the list to be bronzed. What do you think of the corner curio? Should I paint it? If so, I’m thinking of adding books, etc. for the office instead of storing our extra china.

family photos

Thing 1’s Wedding Day

antique suitcase speaker

This suitcase was a gift to 007 from his mom. She gave it to him the day he graduated from Auburn University. He packed his suits for interviews, swim trunks for vacations and steel-toed boots for plant visits. It was a great gift. He didn’t want to part with it when he changed to rolling luggage, so Wade at Dr. Music converted it into a bluetooth speaker for him. Now we can enjoy our playlist from any room in the house, including the office.

Home Office Before and After

So what do you think? Better?

The Spirit of Stillness

I just got into Birmingham after a long drive north.  The only sound I hear is the tapping of this keyboard, my grand-kitty playing with a toy in the floor and the air conditioning.  Thank the Lord for air conditioning, kittens and laptops.  But for the purposes of this post, I thank Him most for silence.

As I am re-reading this chapter from Emilie Barnes’, The Spirit of Loveliness,

Used by permission of Harvest House publishers.
Used by permission of Harvest House publishers.









Solitude is for Me

I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for this book.  I remember, when my children were little, how very sacred my “quiet times” were.   Now, no matter what is going on, I am in control of my schedule. Famous last words.  I know, having written that down, all chaos and misery will descend on me like a plaque of locusts. However, if you read my post, The Spirit of Loveliness: Femininity, you’ll remember that I mentioned my Sunday naps.  Solitude is for me.  Quiet times are a different type of rest. They are a time of learning, meditating, prayer and worship.  It is time for me and my Father.  And my rest is in Him.

Now, I have no idea if you are a believer.  I pray you are. If not, perhaps this little post from an Alabama girl will ignite in you a desire for a quiet time.  They can literally be the salvation of your soul.  Now, perhaps you don’t think your soul needs saving, or you may believe but don’t have time for a quiet time, nor think they are necessary.  I will quote Emilie to make you feel better…

“keep reminding yourself that stillness is neither an impossible luxury nor an unreasonable demand.  You need your quiet time in order to have the inner resources to take care of the business of your life.  As Isaiah 30:15 puts it, ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.'”

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.

Keep Calm and Carry On

There is a popular phrase that’s currently being used in decor, “keep calm and carry on.”  I love this and wish I had it written above my front door to encourage a calmer state of mind.   How often do you rush out the door only to get to the corner and realize you’ve forgotten something? Am I saying that a quiet time will help your memory?  Prior to 50, yes! After 50, a quiet time helps with mood swings and killer instincts.

I’m sorry.  My sense of humor is lethal.  I think it’s part of the change of life.  I’ve changed from a calm, even-temperatured, kind, intelligent woman into a swashbuckling, sweaty, forgetful gypsy, who can’t remember her address part of the time.

My pirate and me.
I’m the gypsy on the left.

How the heck, do I keep calm and carry on after that? Well, here is an example of what my quiet times look like.

I do it the old-fashioned way with the Word, a journal, pen and a formula I discovered in another book I read a few years ago.  I guess you’ve figured out by now, that I am a voracious reader.  It’s amazing what God tells me through authors that haven’t had the privilege of being canonized or included in the Holy scriptures. He can speak through whomever/whatever He pleases. If He can speak through a jackass, I guess I can listen to a fellow human being.  (Numbers 22:28)


Wayne Cordeiro is the author of The Divine Mentor  and it was in this book that I found an acronym that helped tremendously with my conversations with the Father.  The acronym is this… S O A P.

S is for Scripture

  • I start in any book of the Bible and read chapter one.
  • Each day I read one chapter until I’ve read the entire book.
  • I pay attention to what the Spirit is telling me.  One or two verses usually stand out as pertinent to something going on in my life.
  • I write these in my journal.

O is for Observation

  • I scrutinize these verses.  I ask myself the 5 W’s and an H.  Who, what, when, where, why and how in order to learn what the Author is teaching.
  • I also look for keywords and define them in the Greek so I know exactly what they mean.
  • One word of advice – DO NOT take the verse out of context and apply it where it need not apply.  If needed, read verses from the previous chapter to be sure you understand what you are reading. Because…. Sunshine, If you are angry with someone and you choose the scripture, Acts 7: 59, 60 that speaks of Stephen being stoned to death, that doesn’t mean God is telling you to kill someone.  ALWAYS keep scripture within context.
  • I write down what I’ve observed about the verses.  Oh… don’t be surprised, when God Himself causes you to laugh.  Where do you think humor came from anyway?  It’s called  J – O – Y !

A is for Application

  • This is the personal introspective part.
  • What is God telling you?
  • How do you apply the verses to your life?
  • I write down how I believe God is speaking to me through these verses.

P is for Prayer

  • My prayer-life changed drastically when I began to pray HIS WORD to HIM.  We are speaking HIS language when we do this.
  • I write my prayer in my journal so when He answers I can see how I prayed and most importantly, how He answered.
  • Once I’ve completed this, I titled the page and record it in the table of contents I created at the front of the journal.

    S O A P Journal
    A page from my S O A P Journal

You will not believe that you can do this in 15 minutes, but you can.  Sometimes, you will be drawn in by the Author and not want to stop after 15 minutes.  That’s ok.  He is also the Author of time and can stop the world from turning on its’ axis if He wants. (Joshua 10:1-15) Just go with it.

Something Profound

It’s amazing how God works.  While researching for this article, I discovered something profound. On July 5, 2011 my verse was from John 20:31,

“But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may have life in His name.”

What God told me in these verses is not important. Apply SOAP, it cleanses the soul.  What is He saying to YOU?

As always, comments are welcome, compliments to the Father are LOVED!  Have a blessed day and forgive me.  This was longer than I promised.

Adapted from: The Spirit of Loveliness. Copyright © 1999 by Emilie Barnes. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

The Life of Riley

I have heard this phrase most of my life.  It is used in reference to someone “living the good life” and in most cases is used in a derogatory manner.  I’ve heard, “she’s living the life of Riley” in reference to a stay at home mom.  Or “he’s living the life of Riley” about a student on a full scholarship to university?  Now, really, I ask you, which of these two depicts the good life to you?  Discovering spit-up on your tennis outfit, or “studying” in the Caribbean? It’s a tough choice.

Who the Hell is Riley?

As a stay at home mom who never played tennis, I can truthfully say that spit-up on your one-date-night-a-month-with-the-father-of spewing-baby-dress, can cause equally distressing words to flow from your mouth.  The Life of Riley?  Who the hell is Riley and where can I find him?  I’ve got some people in my life who need him.  Where, did this phrase come from?  And why does it seem to dig at the very core of who we are when we hear it being said about us personally, or a friend?  And why does “the good life” have to come from a Riley?  Why not a Rachel or Rowena?

Well, thank you Ms. Wiki, I’ve found the answers.  One possibility is that it came from “The Life of Riley” – a radio show in the 1940’s .  A character named Chester A. Riley coined the “most popular catchphrase of the 1940’s, with his frequent outburst, “what a revoltin’ development this is.”  And I couldn’t agree more.  I mean, when it’s all said and done, who exactly out there is living said “life of Riley?”  Even the very wealthy have to work very hard to earn and keep their “O’Reilly’s”

O’Reilly Coin. Photo Credit


What is an O’Reilly, you ask? Well once again we will glean from Ms. Wiki.  Once upon a time, there was an Irish clan, called the Reilly’s and they actually minted their own coins.  These coins were even accepted in England at the time and so when a gentleman was seen freely spending money, he was “living on his Reilly’s.”  I like this story the most.  Minting their own coins.  It seems I’ve heard this story lately.  Perhaps we can update this saying, now to “living on his Bernanke’s”.  Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Eavesdropping on a Stranger

Well, thanks to my eavesdropping on a stranger who was most certainly implausibly accused of “living the life of Riley”,  we now know who the hell this guy is.  We can also deduce from the nature of this sayin’, that when someone accuses us of this, it implies we’ve not worked for our Bernanke’s.  Well, I never! Who in this story do you think, in reality, does not work?

It’s hard work studying, no matter where you are when you stick your nose in that book.  And to all those “stay at home mom’s” living said life of Riley, the majority of Riley’s out there wouldn’t trade their coin-making jobs for yours.  Oxymorons!