Category Archives: Society

GW ~ a great new store

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My friends Betty and John, from the now closed Trump campaign office in west Jacksonville, told me about an abfab new store they shop at. “It’s GW,” they said.

“GW?” I asked. “Never heard of it.”

“Goodwill,” they laughed.They go on Monday, which is senior day and get another percentage off the already low-low prices. They often get designer clothing for $4 to $6. Many times they get items with the original price tags on showing the item was three to four times what they’re about to pay for it.

I’m a Christian and I believe in God’s blessing, provision, and His bounty. But I’m also frugal and think frugal is fun. I’m conservative in many ways and think that “conserving” and “conservation” is derived from conservative thinking. I want to live believing He will provide for me…but also having self-control with my money.

So, after I went to the veterinarian to pick up heart worm meds for my dog, I stopped by the GW just down the street. Lo, and behold, I found a mug that had to be part of the set I’d purchased in Brooklyn at Marshall’s. I’d gotten them one by one , or two by two until I had eight. They weren’t all the exact pattern, but they were the same mug. Unfortunately, I’d broken one. So, when I spotted this one that was from the exact same batch, I picked it up and it was half the price I’d paid for the others. Thank You, Lord. Since I’m not shopping at Marshall’s anymore…because they turned on the Trump brand, I was glad to pick up this mug.

Proverbs 28:25 [NLT]  ~ Greed causes fighting, trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.

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‘Big Data’ Got It Wrong ~ epic fail

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One of the things I love about America is the individualism of its people. I love quirky people with unique personalities who can’t be quantified and parceled into neat little marketing groups. I guess that’s why I’m not fond of focus groups. So, I wasn’t at all unhappy when ‘big data’ got it wrong about the 2016 election.

The fact that all the analysts couldn’t slice and dice and pigeon-hole the American people thrilled me, gave me hope for the future. I’m not speaking politically in terms of Republican or Democrat. I’m saying they couldn’t predict the behavior of the American electorate and I like that.

Of course I’m sure the analysts and marketeers are having break downs. They’ve made lots of money off of the American people and can well afford the price of their psychiatrists. So, I don’t feel too badly for them. They’re freaking out because they are now doubting their ability to accurately segment the American populace into groups they can sell more stuff to. That’s a good thing, IMO. And I’m not against selling. I’m not even against data. We just rely on it much too much. Especially in our intelligence agencies. We need to get operatives on the ground, but that’s another topic.

This is about what I’m for. I’m for the type individualism in America that has bread excellence. I’m for the American entrepreneurial spirit, creative genius, the can do attitude that has always been part of our nation. I’m for the get-up-and go that has been demonstrated in the American story. I’m for the colorful differences between the many groups in America (the races, religions, ethnicities…all of them, don’t leave out the ones that don’t appear to be PC). I love the pride and the quirks of regional America. I want to celebrate these attributes which are found in a people with spirit and a greater reliance on individualism.

Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters. ~ Colossians 3:23 [NIRV]

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ~ Philippians 4:13 [KJV]


Neighborhood Clean-Up After Matthew ~ a dirty job

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This morning, after walking Sophie around the immediate neighborhood to check out the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, I came home and cleaned up the tree limbs and debris from my yard. Then I was too exhausted to even make a sandwich. Since our area has power,  went down the road to the Golden Corral for lunch.

 

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Thankfully, there wasn’t much damage. That may be because most of my neighbors have chainsaws and when they have a sick tree behave as if they’re in a scene from “Chainsaw Massacre” and immediately take it down. So, there wasn’t much for Mother Nature to do in that regard. ~~ The tree on my corner, kitty-corner from my house.

 

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Tree limbs down outside the playground of the Christian school down the street from my house.

 

 

 

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I heard something(s) banging around outside last night but it was too dark to see what was making the racket. I believe the culprits were the garbage can somebody left outside at the church across the street and a plastic planter somebody didn’t secure. ~ Since I lived through Super Storm Sandy in Brooklyn, I’m storm preparedness compulsive. I take everything inside, everything.

 

 

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The only damage I saw was this tree limb down on my neighbor’s fence.

 

 

 

 

 

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A tree on Sophie’s walking route that has weathered many a storm and has the battle scars.

 

 

 

 

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The only tree I saw uprooted was in the front yard of a house for sale. I guess nobody from the cast of “Chainsaw Massacre” lives there anymore to mercilessly take down a sick tree.

 

 

Tomorrow I go to my church, which is on the beach, for Sunday services. I’ll get a first look at the damage in that community from Matthew. Though, I understand community efforts at clean up have been so swift that I won’t see the true level of devastation.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hurricane Matthew Approaches Florida ~ stay safe

hurricane-evac-routeThere’s a light rain outside, but winds have been brisk at times portending what is to come… and that’s Hurricane Matthew. This, they say, is the ‘big one’. I lived through Super Storm Sandy in NYC, so I know what a ‘big one’ can do. Plenty.

 

There is a mandatory evacuation of Jacksonville Beach. Dangerous winds of 55 mph are expected to hit the JAX area tomorrow afternoon. That will be the outer edges of the storm. As the eye comes closer, the winds will increase. They were as much as 110 mph when they hit Haiti, which was devastated. The Bahamas were very hard hit as well. I love the Bahamas, love the people. Have been there twice. Hope to go again. Many of the buildings on these islands are not up to the ‘hurricane code’ we have in Florida.

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Open air street market, very common in the Bahamas. Many homes are small wood framed structures.

There is a steady stream of cars and trucks, some pulling campers, and RVS pulling cars going north on I 95. The entire city of St. Augustine is under mandatory evacuation. ‘They’ are taking this very seriously. Governor Scott has given several press conferences and local mayors have been giving alerts on radio. The weather channels are doing an excellent job.

I spoke to my cousin Lois early yesterday. She lives in Melbourne with her grown daughter. At that time we thought Matthew would land on Daytona Beach, which is about in the middle of where we both live. We bolstered each other’s moods and said we “thought we’d be okay through it.” Now I’ve heard reports Matthew may land in Melbourne and I’m worried for her and her daughter.

I manged to get outside this morning when the rain was light so Sophie could do her business. She’s’ become quite the Florid1an trooper, truckin’ along between the drops. Unfortunately, once inside, I became ‘mean mommy,’ as I’m holding off on breakfast. It’s going to be a long day with winds and rain increasing and she will probably NOT be able to go out this evening, and might not be able to tomorrow morning. I’ve placed plastic covered by towels by the back door in case she has an “accident.”

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I’ve got all necessary gear. Food that doesn’t have to be cooked that will last me more than four days, a good supply of drinking water, plus water for the pets, a hurricane lamp with batteries, a flashlight, candles. I’m as ready as I can be. Now all that’s left for me to do is pray. Has it come to that? [A feeble joke. I’ve been praying right along and will continue to.]

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10, NASB


When Over-50 Christian Women Join eHarmony ~ seasoned Christians crush it

img_2160I first joined eHarmony in New York when my husband was spending most of his time with his girlfriend. I charged a year’s subscription to his credit card. I was then living in Brooklyn, NY and knew I’d be moving to north eastern Florida. So, I asked for “matches” (that’s what they call it) who lived in Florida. It was safe because of the long distance. In an entire year, I got one nibble. Still, I amused myself reading the profiles of men in Florida looking for women to be their special something.

So, my eHarmony subscription expired and I didn’t renew. I was in the middle of packing boxes and moving to Florida with a small dog and three cats. I’d no sooner gotten settled in Florida and unpacked, when I got an offer from eHarmony that was too good to refuse. [Somebody who works there has to have been born and raised in Brooklyn.]  I had a full life in Florida, was a member  a great church and of a group that had nothing to do with dating or single life. But the price was right and I signed up again for three months.

This time I was way more picky. And I soon discovered that men who considered themselves to be “Christian” simply meant their parents and grandparents were Christian. It was a family thing, like a box he checked of on the census. To be fair, some of these men sounded really interesting though none of them shared my grace-oriented Christianity beliefs. I’d venture a guess that most of them didn’t own a Bible. There were a few (thankfully, very few) who were looking for well endowed women. I wanted to message them saying, “You’re no kind of Christian.” I did manage to restrain myself. I guess after filling out an exhaustive Q&A personality questionnaire, I expected more from eHarmony. Most of the men (truly Christian or not) didn’t bother to answer any questions. I suspect women on eHarmony fill out the questions, but not so much the men. So, how can women tell what the men are all about? Unless you have true discernment, it’s a crap shoot.

My subscription will expire in another month. It’s been an interesting experience, though not fruitful in the sense of what the company offers. I will not renew again no matter how good the financial offer. I have a friend who met her second husband through Match.com. So I do know God can and does move through online dating. And I do have to note that according to Barna research, there’s a higher rate of divorce among Christians than non-believers. So, quite a few Christian women should be aware of online dating…and not everyone will have my experience,

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“Thou Shalt Not” ~ don’t be misled

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I’ve moved to the northeast coast of Florida and am starting a new life. So, when browsing in the local discount Christian book store (there are many of them in north Florida), I purchased a new Bible, a detective story by an author I’d never heard of before (a review is coming), and another silver ring (inscribed with, Phil 4:13). As if I don’t wear enough silver rings.

My old Bible was the Comparative Study Bible with four translations (KJV, NASB, AMP, NIV). I loved that Bible, marked it up, and eventually had to tape it to keep the hard cover binding from falling off. So, it was definitely time for a new Bible. I looked at four translation study Bibles, but like the one I had, they were all very heavy which made it cumbersome taking them to church or growth groups or whatever. I finally decided to get a Parallel Bible with NASB and Amplified translations and I love it.

So, I’m reading through it and have gotten up to Leviticus, the book of laws that seems to go on and on. I joked with God the other day, “Didn’t you know this is my favorite book of the Bible?” Yes, I joke with God. I talk to Him, share with Him, and sometimes cry to Him.

Here I am reading page after page of Leviticus and I can’t wait to get through with it. Yes, I know there are Bible scholars who relish a good day delving into Leviticus, but I’m not one of them.

When I came to Leviticus 20, which the NASB heads, “On Human Sacrifice and Immoralities” I well knew the Old Testament prohibited the sacrifice of Israelite babies and children, which was common among the natives in Canaan at that time. Many “child jar cemeteries” were found near ancient Canaanite altars.

Then I got to the part about who’s nakedness thou shalt not uncover, translated into modern speak, that means who you shall  not marry and/or have sexual relations with. This sets out what have become modern laws of incest, and beyond those laws to what are still mores, or generally held morality. So, the Lord clearly states a man shall not uncover the nakedness of his mother, his sister, or any of his father’s wives. In those days a man cold have as many wives as he could afford. They each had their own tent and households which each wife ran and of course the husband had to pay for.

The text goes on to say a man shall not lay with his father’s wife’s mother. That a man shall not take two sisters as wives, so the sisters will not become rivals…and on and on. As I read all of this, I had the profound realization much of this has become the underpinning of civilized society wherever Judaeo-Christian teaching became the norm. Who wouldda thunk the Lord would stop me cold in the middle of Leviticus, Leviticus to give me this moment of deep discernment. These writings were also the very beginning of the notion of the protection of women and children within a society. The modern feminist cries out, “This is not nearly enough.” Remember this was written between 1440 and 1400 BC and was revolutionary then.

In Exodus, God continually calls the Israelites an obstinate people who turn from His ways at a drop of the hat and always thereby get themselves into some sort of trouble. He calls the pagan practices (child sacrifice, selling ones daughters into sexual slavery as temple prostitutes, and all types of fornication) as being evil. It seems today, society is all too ready to push aside rules that have stabilized society for generations in favor of doing whatever they please. Let the good times roll…

Am I advocating strict biblical law for this modern age. No, I believe the church is now under “grace” not under “the law”. I’m suggesting a return to the spirit of the law, as taught by Jesus. We will and are finding that the loosening of many of these age-old rules has and will put women and children at risk, not to mention the elderly as well. Ultimately, it puts all of society at risk.

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Preparing For Tropical Storm Hermine ~ don’t get caught

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I’m not a novice when it comes to tropical storms. I survived Tropical Storm Dennis when I lived in Miami in 1981. I’ve also survived several hurricanes that hit New York City, while living in Brooklyn, including Super Storm Sandy. And I’ve learned to take all storms very seriously.

I now live in Jacksonville and we’re hunkering down and waiting for Tropical Storm Hermine to hit tonight. It will be the first large, hurricane-type storm to hit Jacksonville in 11 years. I’ve learned that even if I’m not in an area sure to be flooded (and I’m not), a water main can break and I’ll need to have a supply of water in the house. Everything runs on electricity in JAX. If the power goes out, the stove goes out, the refrigerator. Everything.  I filled my Brita filtered pitcher with water to drink, filled an ordinary pitcher with filtered water, and made a container of fresh brewed iced tea for drinking. These I’m keeping in the refrigerator. I put all my thermal freezer bags in the freezer compartment of my refrigerator.I filled my container for ice cubes to the top with cubes and made two additional trays of ice. I didn’t shop for meat this week and I’m hoping what I have will keep if power fails.

I will fill my large blue plastic salad bowl and keep it filled in the sink for washing dishes. I filled plastic containers with water for washing dishes, and if (God forbid) a water main breaks and I need water to flush a toilet. I’ll also fill all my pots and containers in case they’re need for bathroom use. (Uugh) In addition I have new batteries for my emergency lantern and I have candles, if needed. I have easy access to my cat carriers in my outdoor storage ares should an evacuation be needed, but they’re not predicting anything as bad as that. I will keep my eye on the weather reports and if predictions worsen, I’ll bring my cat carriers into the house. I have cat and dog food and pet dishes I can easily transport, but I don’t think that will be necessary this time. Cans of tuna and a manual can opener are sitting on my kitchen counter, in case. These are easily transportable, if I have to leave, but I don’t expect that. I have a briefcase style purse near the door with my wallet (drivers license, bank cards, medical insurance cards). I know where my Social Security Card, birth certificate, will, and other important papers are if the storm gets bad in the wee hours, and I need to take them. I know where my rain poncho is.

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Last week, during a heavy rain, not a major storm, large tree limbs in the neighborhood were severed and fell. So, when the rain gets heavier (probably around 5 or 6 o’clock this evening) I’ll move my SUV to the center of the church parking lot across the street from my house. It should be safe from branches falling on it there. I always keep a blanket spread out in the cargo area of my vehicle. So, if needed, I’ll have a blanket. Just by happenstance, I have a few beach towels in the back seat of the SUV and I’ll leave them there for the duration.

Super Storm Sandy was grossly underestimated and under prepared for. The results were devastating and some NYC residents have not recovered from their losses yet. Equally, many in New Orleans have not recovered from Katrina and Rita.

 

 

 


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