Marriage Isn’t For You

Amberr Meadows:

This post is amazing.

Originally posted on Seth Adam Smith:

Kim and I

Kim and I

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my…

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SOPA Turns America Into China: We Are All Screwed If This Bill Passes

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”~John Adams

Image credit: Blue Sun Photography

It’s Thoughtful Thursday, and I decided to share something we should all think about and act upon immediately. I have only heard vague rumblings about the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) since it was introduced on October 26, 2011, but after exploring some of the facets of the proposed law, SOPA is a garbage bill that needs to be thrown out. Check out this video from Dino Dogan, co-maker of Triberr and talent behind DIY Blogger:

More than 687 businesses are on board with this BS, which I find appalling, because they are thinking only of their pockets and not of the people. I realize the idea of stopping piracy on the internet is appealing, but if you allow SOPA to pass, you are giving the government permission to control everything you view on the internet. This law allows the government to censor anything they want. Yes, it might be a step to controlling piracy, but it is also an infringement on our rights. The consequences of signing away our freedoms far outweigh the benefits of stopping piracy.

Research the SOPA bill and really study what it is proposing

How will you feel when you say something the government doesn’t like, and they shut your website down? They could under SOPA. This is serious.

If this idea pisses you off, take action. Here is what you can do right now:

1. Visit DIY Blogger and get the “Stop SOPA” Ribbon to place on your blog or website.

2. Visit this post for ways to contact congress about this bill and the other crappy bill under consideration, called the Protect IP Act. (WordPress.com won’t allow me to imbed the script, which is one of many reasons I’m moving to self-hosted VERY soon)

3. Spread Awareness about this bill. It is NOT just going to stop at piracy, folks. Never, ever think that. Please post about this on your blogs and add the ribbon to your websites. Tell your friends, family, anyone you can think of to write to their representatives. Move quickly, because they are trying to pass it on January 24, 2012.

What are your thoughts on SOPA? How do you feel about the possibility of forfeiting more of your First Amendment rights? Tell me in the comments.

If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one or others in the archives. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog through the available RSS options or via email. I’d be grateful if you took advantage of the sharing buttons located at the bottom of the post, and if you enjoy this blog, please click the “like” button to the right for my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

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Chasing Waterfalls Isn’t Always Dangerous

Welcome back for another installment of Wildcard Wednesday! Today I thought I’d share a little music and a photo gallery from my most recent weekend escapades.

Over the weekend, KP (the hubby) and I took a daytrip to see some waterfalls in the North Georgia Mountains. North Georgia is known for beautiful waterfalls, and we were lucky enough to see four of them–Bad Branch Falls (two waterfalls for the price of one), Minnehaha Falls (love the name, because it seems like laughter) and Toccoa Falls.

While we were in the mountains, I thought about the song ‘Waterfalls’ by TLC, released in 1994. I loved listening to the song back then, although they played it absolutely to death on the radio for months, it seemed. I grew tired of it for awhile, but enough time has passed that I can now enjoy it and remember what a great song it is.

Do you remember this song? (If not, you’re probably too young to be reading this blog).

TLC-Waterfalls

If you listen to the lyrics, they are actually short-short stories about a few unfortunate individuals who meet disaster, because they deviate from the right path and choose one that is  completely self-destructive–“chasing waterfalls” is the metaphor used for the familiar premise.

Fortunately, in my area of the world it’s actually fun and safe to chase waterfalls, provided you don’t do something stupid, like tubing over a waterfall or down an unfamiliar river. If you plan your hike and have proper GPS coordinates, as we did, the only risk you face is experiencing a little of nature’s artwork and maybe getting some nice shots with your camera.

Here is a little photo gallery I put together from our weekend adventures. Make sure to click on an image to see the gallery in it’s full glory. It’s MUCH better when you do…

That’s all I have for Wildcard Wednesday, and admittedly, I almost blew Project 365 (or 366, with leap year), but I’m still in five hours before Thursday. Whew! I’ll see you tomorrow with something thoughtful.

If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one or others in the archives. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog through the available RSS options or via email. I’d be grateful if you took advantage of the sharing buttons located at the bottom of the post, and if you enjoy this blog, please click the “like” button to the right for my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

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The Enchanted Forest: Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa

It’s time for another installment of Travel Tuesday, and for today’s reading pleasure, I have a fantastic guest post from Kelly Stone Gamble. You might remember her from her last guest post on The Alamo, and if not, read it and see why I am delighted for her to post here as often as she wants. Without further ado, I present Kelly and her “Enchanted Forest.”

Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa

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I recently returned from my third trip to the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa, a historic hotel  in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Of course, I could easily tell you about the fantastic food, the amazing service and the array of activities available, but those are the things you can see on their website.  I would rather tell you about the magic that happens at the Mountain View Grand and why it is affectionately known as ‘The Enchanted Forest’ by me and one hundred or so of my closest friends.

Each time I have visited has been in the winter.  Driving two hours from Manchester, New Hampshire into the mountains, dodging the mythical moose and avoiding icy patches on the winding roads didn’t, initially, sound like much fun to a desert rat from Las Vegas.  But I soon learned that a winter paradise shouldn’t be easy to get to, and I would gladly make the trip with a dogsled if I had to.  It is difficult to explain why it is such a special place, because what happens there is always different, but for me, it is the equivalent of being dropped into the middle of a fairy tale; Cinderella at the ball, Snow White without seven small men to feed, Sleeping Beauty who has just received that eye-opening kiss.

Winter in the White Mountains in New Hampshire

Of course, the view is unequaled. Look out any window and you will see snow covered mountains.  For those that enjoy the cold weather, skiing, ice skating and horse drawn carriage rides are just a few of the activities that are available. For those of us that really just like to look at the pretty white stuff that falls from the sky, there are fireplaces to keep us warm, and an indoor pool to keep us occupied.  The rooms are comfortable and it is very easy to be at home.  Except no-one at home puts little chocolates on my pillow at night.

It’s not unusual to see a piano player in the lobby, or a group of guitar strumming musicians.  Bridal parties are common, as it is a beautiful venue for a wedding. I have traveled there with a group of writers each year, which in my opinion, is like adding a little chocolate to the peppermint schnapps.  You just never know what to expect, spontaneous fun and always someone new to meet.

And then there is the staff.  Although I would love to give a shout out to each and every one, I can only give a few examples of the hospitality and the personalized service they extend to each guest.  This year, I arrived at 3:00 am and was greeted by Rosemary at the counter.  She had no problem with my two friends and I running around in the middle of the night in our jammies and pirate hats as we went to a coffee party at the Cafe Stella on the third floor (No, there isn’t really a Cafe Stella, but there was that night).  Rosemary put up with a lot of craziness from a few of us writer types and is just an exceptionally wonderful lady.  I must tip my pirate hat to her.

"Pirates": Kelly Stone Gamble and friends

The housekeeping staff were amazing.  Aside from just performing their duties, they kept an eye on me, which is a job in itself.  I had a ‘fairy’ leaving things outside my door during my visit, and they would collect my treasures and keep them safe, making sure I got them during the day.  Without mentioning what some of these ‘treasures’ were, let’s just say that was a good thing.  Thank you ladies, I do have a reputation to protect.

And since I was not traveling with small children, I spent a lot of time in the pub.  I hope the bartenders all received combat pay for the time they worked during my visit.  Instead of calling it ‘shift change’, Jim and Jessie, I’m sure, tagged off like it was a wrestling event.  And what can I say about Troy, who is officially my favorite bartender on the planet?  How about this: Go to Mountain View Grand.  Order a ‘Hot Nutty Kelly’.  If the drink doesn’t warm your heart, the smile you get surely will.

I realize this review doesn’t do the place justice, but that is a bit intentional.  As I said, you can get all the details from their website, but it’s hard to describe the magic that happens in the Enchanted Forest.  You really just have to make the journey yourself.

About the author: Kelly Stone Gamble is a freelance writer and the author of the historical novel Ragtown. Visit her Blog or find her on twitter @KellySGamble.

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Kelly, thanks for another great post!I appreciate you. ;-)

For everyone else, enjoy this short video to experience more of the beautiful White Mountains; particularly if you are considering potential winter travel destinations.

That’s all I have for today, and I’ll be back with a Wildcard Wednesday adventure tomorrow. In the meantime…

If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one or others in the archives. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog through the available RSS options or via email. I’d be grateful if you took advantage of the sharing buttons located at the bottom of the post, and if you enjoy this blog, please click the “like” button to the right for my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, travel, writing | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

Music Makes Housework Tolerable

Welcome back for another installment of Music Monday! Today is housecleaning day, and as much as I dislike doing mundane chores, they would be impossible to perform without music.There is no method or madness to the music I choose for housecleaning; most often I just turn on the radio and listen to a genre until I tire of it and move on to the next.

This week, I’ve decided to put together a short playlist of some of the songs I listened to earlier in the day to help facilitate my housecleaning efforts…

Coldplay-Paradise

Santana-Oye Como Va

Kanye West-All of the lights ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi

Audioslave-Like a Stone

Kanye West, Jay-Z-Otis

Fleetwood Mac-Second hand News

What do you listen to when performing mundane chores? Tell me in the comments.

I’ll be back with an “enchanted” Travel Tuesday tomorrow. :-)

If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one or others in the archives. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog through the available RSS options or via email. I’d be grateful if you took advantage of the sharing buttons located at the bottom of the post, and if you enjoy this blog, please click the “like” button to the right for my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

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Hypochondriacs

Sunday Soapbox: It is wise to be concerned about what’s going on in your body, but foolish to think every sniffle, sneeze, cough or bump on your buttocks requires medical attention.

Have you ever known a hypochondriac? If so, how did you handle it? If, not, how would you handle it? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments.

If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one or others in the archives. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog through the available RSS options or via email. I’d be grateful if you took advantage of the sharing buttons located at the bottom of the post, and if you enjoy this blog, please click the “like” button to the right for my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

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Gospel Music-The Best in Me

Image courtesy of Maxxer

“He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.”-1 John 4: 8

Growing up with a southern baptist background, church was often a terrifying experience. I remember sitting in the pews in “Sunday’s finest” week after week, listening to words of hell, fire, brimstone, and damnation from a red-faced preacher who never seemed to touch on the more important qualities of God.

I don’t remember him preaching often on mercy, compassion, forgiveness and the enduring love of the Lord, and that’s probably why I abandoned the idea of organized religion and began celebrating my faith in a more personal manner as soon as I was old enough to do so. I knew the preacher was wrong, and because he passed judgment, preached intolerance and missed the most fundamental  points of worship, he was only masquerading as a true man of God.

See, I’m of the school of thought that everyone is worthy of love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness, and no matter how wretched we humans can be, God still loves us and sees the best in us. Even if we’ve made terrible mistakes that have caused our loved ones to turn their backs on us, God never turns his back on us. He never abandons us, even when we try to abandon him.

Today I thought I’d share a song from one of my favorite Gospel singers, Marvin Sapp. In the past couple of years, I’ve played this song many times. If you’re struggling now and not feeling right about where you are and what you’ve been doing, don’t worry; God sees the best in you. No matter what anyone thinks of you, says to you or even if they condemn you, it doesn’t matter. God has your back, and he always will.

Right now, I encourage you to turn up your speaker volume and listen to this beautiful song…

Marvin Sapp-The Best in Me

That concludes this installment of Sacred Saturday. I’ll be back with Soapbox Sunday tomorrow.

If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one or others in the archives. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog through the available RSS options or via email. I’d be grateful if you took advantage of the sharing buttons located at the bottom of the post, and if you enjoy this blog, please click the “like” button to the right for my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.

Posted in Blogging, Music, Reflection, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments