All posts by ann888

Oklahoma, Texas, Tornado, 911

Labor Day was visiting with my beloved Dad in Tulsa, Ok. Then relaxing with a friend, munching salad and shrimp and sipping beer, at Southern Hills Country Club.  A cozy, safe and wonderful world!

The next day, it was lunch at Diamond Jack’s, for a drip beef sandwich. I crave these, at times, and have eaten there for decades.

That evening, it was the new Wolfgang Puck’s Bistro on Peoria, for dessert and Mojitas.
The next day, after visiting with friends, and before my drive back to Texas  even though, I knew that it would make my four hour drive back to Texas, start a bit late, I just had to go to Goldie’s Patio Grill for one of the best burgers ever!
  It was days and nights of visiting and eating. What could be better? Not much!

It was raining cats and dogs (as my mother used to say) as I headed out of Tulsa and back to Texas. I called my Dad to see if he had heard of any bad weather and he hadn’t. He said just lots of rain and to be careful.

So, off I go. It rains and it rains harder. The rains stops. It rains again. I drive, rocking out to my Meatloaf CD, “Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are.”, and making good time as I travel.  I am so looking forward to getting home and out of this down pour. I really don’t like driving in the rain, never did, and never will.

Outside Durant, Ok. traffic slowed to a crawl. It was raining so hard that I could barely see, even with the windshield wipers flying across the windshield, at rapid pace. I am walled in by large trucks as we crawl along. Something is not right. Something is really off! Too slow and the back up looks like it goes on forever! 

I lower my window to get the attention of a truck driver. “Hey, do you know what’s going on?” His reply. “Power lines are down on 75.” (I know, Amy. I should’ve asked, “Dude, can I snap your photo for my blog?” But, I didn’t. My mind was elsewhere.)

We crawl along going next to nowhere. Police cars appear on the other side of the road. Up ahead, a policeman stands in the middle of the street. I ponder, ‘Okay! What to do? What to do?‘ My mind flashes to that traffic jam in China that could last for months. Okay! Enough already! I’m getting out of this mess!

I dial 911 and tell them where I am and inquire as to what’s going on. The operator informs. “A tornado hit on 75 just outside of Durant. It flipped over a semi-truck and power lines are down. It T-RF-05could take up to 3 hours to get the road clear.”

Me to 911: “Are there more tornadoes around??? I didn’t even realize that there was a tornado watch.”
   
911 Operator: “No, it swooped down, just in that spot, as far as we can tell, for now. Total surprise!”

Oh my gosh! A Tornado! Three hours!???!!!! Three hours sitting in my car on this highway in the rain!

We all just wait. It’s so dreary! I feel dwarfed and alone in my Jaquar surrounded by trucks and the rain comes down harder! I am getting hungry. Sure, wish I had another burger from Goldies. I call 911 again. There must be a back way out or some way to get off this road and back on my way?!

Me to 911: “Ma’am I am trying to get to Plano. I am stuck on 75 just outside of Durant. Any idea about what I can or should do?”

911 Operator: “Get over to the access road and go down to the road named, Platter, then turn right and head West, then turn left and head towards Plano. It’d be better than just sitting there.”

Me to 911: “That’s for sure. Okay, I’ll give it a try.”

Anything (I think?) is better than just sitting and waiting in the pouring rain. I wave to get the attention of a truck driver. He let’s me through and over to the access road. Truck drivers are usually nice people.

I head down the access road in the blinding rain. ‘Umm, why hasn’t anyone else thought to do this? Ummm… this is bizarre. Is this dangerous?! Was this wise?! Okay, God take care of me and guide me. This feels a bit freaky.’

Then up ahead, I see policemen. I stop and holler out the window as rain slams into my face. “I am trying to get to Plano!?” 

He directs me to turn right then to head West on an empty backroad. I do and it RAINS HARDER!

There is one other car in front of me as I travel the desolate road and wonder, ‘Where in the world am I going?’

I ponder…How fast can one go from indulgent eating in cozy environments with friends to alone driving in the pouring rain not knowing where you are. Cozy to survival can happen really fast! Okay God, please, guide and protect me.’

Then up ahead I see policemen, fire trucks and ambulances, at an intersection. I holler out my window. “I am trying to get to PlaJaguar X-Type 2008no!” He motions to turn left.

I do and it’s onto an even more desolate road. Oh, my gosh! I am the only one driving on this road in this down pour!

My phone rings and it’s a friend in Dallas. “Tornadoes are hitting down in Dallas and there’s flooding in Arlington.”

I tell her what I am dealing with and where I am.

“Ann, Be careful! The weather is crazy today! I will pray for you.”

We stay on the phone talking (I know real stupid to drive and talk on the phone) until, I see more policemen and holler out my window again as the rain assaults my face. “I’m trying to get to Plano!”

He motions to turn left. “Just up ahead, you will connect to 75.”

Hooray! Back on 75, there are few cars, the others must be back there still waiting. LUCKY ME! I was guided out and around. Whoo! HOO!
 
I am once again rocking out to rockn’ roll as the rain clears and I am back on my path!

Meat Loaf performs at the Celebrity Theatre Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010 in Phoenix.

Like a bat out of hell!

Bat out of Hell II: Back into HellAint no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

Aint no doubt about it
Baby got to go and shout it
Aint no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed

Cause we were barely seventeen
And we were barely dressed

What an adventure! The road less traveled got me home faster. It was a bit scary, I was alone, but I took it anyway! Of course, I was never really alone, I had guidance from both above and below.
Once again, I am back in my cozy world! Thank you 911, Meatloaf (singing to his CD’s), friends, Dad, truck drivers, policemen, and of course, God! I hope that everyone else in that adventure made it home safe and sound!
When I got home and settled, I indulged in one of my favorite treats!

Primavera, I know that wine’s involved and pasta, too!

By Ann

Saturday Night Special! Easy, quick and delicious!

Ingredients:

Spinach noodles
Crisp Bacon
Black olives
Green olives
Articoke hearts
frozen peas
Cherry tomatoes
Cream Havarti cheese (several slices)
Parmesian Cheese
Splash of lemon juice
Garlic Salt
Parsley
White Wine (I like Sauvignon Blanc)
Olive Oil
Brummel and Brown Natural Yogurt Butter (50% less calories as butter and taste fab)
Salt and Pepper to taste

To begin, put five slices of center cut bacon on a papertowel, then into the microwave for five minutes. I don’t use a microwave often, but for crispy bacon, it’s the best and the papertowels absorb the grease. Perfection!
I love bacon and if prepared this way, you lose the negative aspects and keep the positive. I think bacon gets a bad ‘rap’ and I love things wrapped in bacon… such as shrimp…


Next, saute all the vegetables in the Brummel and Brown yogurt butter, add the splash of lemon juice, along with about a glass of white wine, and garlic salt to taste and parsley. Simmer while you continue preparation, taking sips of wine and nibbling cheese and olives as you go. Prepare the frozen peas in microwave as directed on the package, then pour into bowl and mix with butter, add salt and pepper to taste.  Now, that I think about it, I do use the microwave several times in preparation of this dish.
Boil water, add olive oil and salt then add spinach noodles. Boil three to five minutes, making sure not to over cook.

When noodles are al dente, drain. Then in a large bowl combine the noodles and vegetables including the peas. Add a bit more garlic salt, parsley, and also more wine and butter and a generous sprinkling of Parmesian Cheese. Toss then place pieces of Havarti cheese on top.  Place the bowl in the microwave for a minute to a minute and a half, until the Havarti is melted. 
Crumble the crisp bacon strips then sprinkle on top.
And dinner is ready! Serves two generously…

You can obviously do your own variations by adding different veggies or ham, instead of bacon, or in addition to bacon. Bacon adds that extra crunchy, salty yum! Of course, instead of spinach noodles, you can use other pastas. I like spinach because, you don’t get that ‘after eating pasta’ fullness.
.

One of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs is Edna Valley Vineyard. It has vibrant aromas and flavors of grapefruit, guava and peach with a crisp appealing acidity, full bodied and a long finish. Perfect for light pasta dishes, chicken and fish. Clos Du Bois also makes a good, Sauvignon Blanc. 

For dessert, may I suggest, pieces of chocolate accompanied by orange slices.

A perfect Saturday evening meal! Enjoy!!!
or any day of the week actually….

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What Secrets Does Your Man Keep?

by Ann

Continued from OUR WORLD PAGE…

Does your man keep secrets from you? And are they light secrets or serious, dark ones?

What are the secrets that men keep? What secrets might your man be keeping from you???? And if you don’t think that he keeps any secrets, well, think again…

Any idea???? HUH?

On Our World page is a related article to get your mind going, if you can’t think of anything…

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Are you a Man Eater?

Signs You’re a Man-Eater  

Spotting a player is one thing, but knowing that you’re a player is an entirely different thing altogether. There are several levels of players, with the man-eater being the upper echelon for women. If you’re curious as to whether you’re a mini-player or full blown man-eater, read the seven descriptors below. If you’re guilty of one or two of these actions, you’ve probably played the field, but haven’t rocked the love boat too bad. If you identify with five or more of these descriptions, there’s a good chance that you’re a mom’s worst nightmare, and probably also your own!

1. You Use Sex as a Weapon Against Guys

Man-eaters use whatever they have to gain leverage against guys, and one of their most valuable assets… is free sex. Whether it’s holding the possibility of sex over a guy to get your way, or using your three greatest sexual assets (legs, midriff, and cleavage) to get attention, the man-eater knows what she’s got, and isn’t afraid to use it. You aren’t necessarily looking for sex, but using it as bait to lure your next victim (or ex) into your clutches.

2. You Have a String of Exes You Still Sleep With

Since the majority of your relationships are most likely non-committed (whether he knows it or not), when a relationship ends, you will be neither too upset or poised to do what’s right by him. This is why you’ll usually find yourself stuck among a long string of exes that continue to call long after the break-up. Considering you like the attention and convenience of having a built-in booty-call roster, you’ll usually let them hang around awhile as long as they know their place, and allow you to stay in control.

3. Your Life is One Big Secret

Nobody wants to be labeled a player, so in order to stay in the game it’s essential to keep as low profile as possible. To accomplish this, you may find yourself lying on a regular basis to cover up the fact that you’re dating several guys at once. You may avoid hook-ups in the broad daylight or public places to minimize the possibility of your guys running into each other. Man-eaters tell guys what they want to hear, rather than dealing with the truth, which would only cramp their style.

4. It’s Difficult to Nail You Down to Plans

The man-eater is difficult to pin down because you live life waiting for the next best thing. You prefer to make last minute plans. You do not offer commitment to anything, even if it’s only for one date. This roller coaster ride often works to your advantage, as while he may be disappointed when you stand him up (roller coaster low), he will be all the more happy when you do actually come through (roller coaster high).

5. You Avoid All Major Events

Family reunions, birthdays, and weddings are difficult for the man-eater, as it means being cast under the watchful eyes of relatives. Whether it’s showing up to your own functions or being slipped under the microscope of his, you avoid these major events, preferring to keep distance from anything that might label you a “couple.” If he’s always reaching out to you and you never reciprocate, you’re probably not into him, but are enjoying the attention too much to let him go.

6. You Avoid All Talks About the Relationship

The man-eater knows the best way to string multiple guys along, is to keep the relationship a mystery. While deep conversations are pertinent to building a solid relationship foundation, you are not concerned about a good relationship, but just having fun. After all, it is these very conversations that promote deep feelings and understanding, which is something you’ll want to avoid. Guys that get too attached, become more trouble than their worth once cast into ex-status.

7. Can’t Remember the Last Time You Did Something Nice for a Guy

Man-eaters are selfish. You’ve become so accustomed to accepting gifts of kindness, you’ve forgot how to return them. If you do go out of your way to make a guy happy, there is most likely a motive. More times than not, he will fail to show his appreciation in the way you imagined, and he’ll be cast off the love boat. The guy who does reciprocate appropriately will grow boring, as it’s hard to respect a guy who’s a door mat. In other words, these guys will all fail no matter what they do.

If this sounds like you, stop, drop, and roll, as you are headed in the direction of a very burned and rocky life!

This must be a very empty existence.
And of course, all these behaviors can apply to Males and they might be called what?… Woman Haters?
by Ann

ANGER! FRUSTRATION!


by Ann

FRUSTRATION – a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.
 Feeling frustrated long enough and the emotion of anger
 occurs. If anger is left to fester it may bubble into aggression.

Feelings create emotions… Anger : Couple arguing. Stock Photo

Anger
 can have many physical and mental consequences.The external expression of anger is shown by facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and at times,even in public acts of agression. The internal effects of anger include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline.

Anger is a completely normal and a healthy expression of an emotion. Except, when it gets out of control and turns destructive, then, it may lead to problems – at work, in personal relationships, and in the overall quality of life. And it can feel as though you are at the mercy of an unpredictable and over-powering emotion.
 

ANGER is important to feel when it serves as a reaction that can be a protection when others try to dominate, manipulate or abuse and it can motivate us to take action. But it’s important to release anger in constructive ways. Otherwise, you’ll be like a pot of boiling water with the lid left on. If the steam doesn’t escape, the water will finally boil over and blow its top! When this happens to you, it’s no fun for anyone. And anger can turn into abuse of self and of others. 

Constructive ways to diffuse anger: 

THINK IT OUT – analyze, ponder, look at both sides…try to figure out the reason that you are frustrated or angry. Identify it. Pull out of your emotions and into your head.

TALK IT OUT
– to friends, a counselor, each other… sometimes, just talking can release it.

WRITE IT OUT – get paper and just write, or type it out…then read what you have written, it will help you process the feelings and bring about awareness to the cause of the anger.
 
LET IT OUT – SCREAM! SHOUT!  KNOCK YOURSELF OUT! LOL! Well, not really and just make sure that you are where no one can hear you or that you are anywhere that you might scare someone.

CHANNEL IT OUT – Listen to music, read a book, or poetry, paint, draw or sing… create. 

CHILL OUT – take a nap, watch TV, go to a movie, sip wine, eat a good meal, cook a meal.

WORK IT OUT  – jog, jump rope, exercise, ride your bike, play tennis, move, jump, get out and about. Dance around the house to soothing music  or boogey around the house to the beat of rockin’ roll.  Movement shifts energy.

Doing the things listed above, will shift the energy and bring you into a new perspective. 

We are living in times, where ordinary feelings can move fast into anger. Use common sense and skills to release anger from your body and mind so that you will arrive back at peace and joy.  

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MAN HATER!


by Ann
Why is it that if a woman doesn’t like what a man says or does, and calls him out on it and holds him accountable, that some men will call her a MAN HATER?
 
Or he may say that she is like a man, or that she needs a weak man, that she can boss around, or that she is too strong-willed. 

Like these are considered some sort of insults that as soon as a woman is called MAN HATER or designated these things, that she should curl up in a ball and shrivel up. Like WHY?

As the person usually a man, stating that she is too strong-willed, is just upset that they can’t manipulate her, in the way and manner, that he wants to. So, I say that’s a good thing.

Some men like a malleable, subservient women that they can manipulate and control. And some women make it a game to play these type of men. There is never any real or honest communication in this type of interaction. It’s mostly all placating, control and manipulation.

Some men deserve to be stood up to and called out for their abusive, manipulative, controlling, hateful actions, words, deeds, and behaviors. And the woman doing this is not a MAN HATER, but a lover of herself and that is a healthy thing. And controlling, manipluating, predators don’t like healthy confident people…they much prefer weak, insecure PREY.

And if or when they can’t beat someone down, they resort to what they ‘think’ are insults or name calling.

The use of name calling to control behaviors and to try and shame others has reached an all time high these days. It is almost laughable, except that those weak in spirit and will, often succumb to this type of obvious behavior modification and allow their behavior to be controlled. It’s as if they are being manipulated and name-called right out of their own beliefs, will, confidence, instincts and even existance.

At times, it’s just fine to be a MAN HATER! Because some men deserve to be hated, at certain times, because of their words, actions and deeds.

I say call me what you want. I know who I am! And if you call me a MAN HATER,  how about look at yourself to see why you think that you are being hated.

That is, if you are a strong enough man to do so…

OR might it be that persons and men that shout MAN HATER are really projecting their hate onto women because, actually, the truth is that they are WOMAN HATERS?  UMMMMM… something to ponder….

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Clairvoyants, Psychics. and Astrologers

by Ann     
 Clairvoyants ‘see’ with the mind’s eye. Clairaudients ‘hear’ information, and clairsentients ‘feel’ things. 

Psychics rely on intuition. They tune into the energy vibrations around the subject to get information.

Psychics are tuning into the probable, not the absolute. Energy may change by choice, others, and timing.


Astrologers give information based on the position of the planets and stars.  In a natal chart, at their exact time of birth, an individual becomes the center of the universe with planets and stars positioned around them.

If you have ever been to one of these seerers of the future, what have been your experiences ? Good? Bad? Interesting? Stupid? Scary? Accurate? Or dead wrong?

Do you think that there is any validity to them or a waste of time or a combination of both?

More about Psychics on the THINK ABOUT IT page in the website…

Momma Mia! That’s Italia!

By Ann
In my need for ‘comfort’ food, I decided to make a variation of my Mother’s Spaghetti sauce. I recall coming home from school and smelling its fabulous aroma. Makes me hungry and full of warm feelings, just thinking about it.

While shopping for the ingredients, I decide to do it like on a cooking show, or blog and take photos as I go. Others do it, so why can’t I?

So, here goes…

Ingredients:
One pound of Angus ground sirloin
One whole brown onion
Carrots
Zucchini, one yellow and one green – sliced or chopped
Mushrooms – sliced
One 14 ounce can of diced tomatos
One 10 oz can of tomato puree
Lemon juice – splash
Spices:
Garlic salt
Oregano leaves
Basil leaves
Parsley leaves
Whole bay leaves – 2 to 4 – to taste.. I use 4 – love bay leaves…
Dry red wine – appoximately one cup… or more… 

Brown the ground sirloin, chopped onion, and carrots in skillet.  (carrots give it  sweetness)
Pour off grease, if there is any. I use quality meat, so there usually isn’t much.

Add spices to taste. I am generous as I like it Italiano spicey. Put in Bay leaves whole… but make sure to remove before serving. (Bay leaf edges can cut innards) My Mom told me that and I never forgot.

Add a splash of lemon juice, about a cup of red wine and the cans of diced tomatos and tomato puree.  Bring to a bubby simmer then cover and simmer on low for, at least, two hours. So, the spices get all intermingled. I have simmered it as long as all afternoon… the longer the better.


About 30 minutes before serving, add the chopped or sliced zucchini and mushrooms. At this time, I also add a bit more wine and a sprinkling of garlic salt.  Then bring to a boil then back to simmer, then simmer 30 to 45 minutes longer or until the vegetables are soft. There are many varitions, sometimes, I add black olives or artickoke hearts.

Add olive oil to water in a pot and boil spinach noodles, al dente.

 Fini! Serve this delight over the spinach noodles and top with a drizzle of Parmesan cheese, accompanied by crusty, buttered, garlic bread, a light salad and dry red wine.

And you will say…        
Momma Mia! 
That’s Italia!
Serves two very generously or four small servings or six really small servings…adjust quantities as desired. And as leftovers, it tastes even better the next day.

In honor of my Mom. I feel close to her when I cook one of her delicious recipes. She would laugh, because even though, she was a really good cook, she didn’t like to cook. So, it’s interesting that some of my fondest memories of her are around her cooking. “Ah! Oh! Momma Mia! There I go again, how can I forget you!”

A suggestion, on this hot end of the summer weekend, stay inside and make a wonderful dinner… create some kitchen/food memories. So, that someday, when someone, needs some comfort food and memories, they will be there for the taking.

I am EXPLODING about this!

By Ann

THE SWITCH
… a movie getting ready to come out starring Jennifer Aniston. It’s premise – a single woman having a party to get pregnant and the sperm gets ‘switched’.  Charming premise or is it mostly disgusting? An insemination party… and this is ‘supposedly’ a comedy. How sick is our society becoming to make light of such a serious subject?! And how irrevelant is this making the part of a male in the creation and life of a child? A man replaced by a turkey baster. And that not knowing who your father is…what? No big deal!

Well, it is a REALLY BIG deal! The example that my father set for me and the security that he provides was and is paramount to who that I am as a person. My father’s love and my knowing who that he is and that he made a committment to my mother and out of their union, based in love, is how I was brought into this world, matters to me.
 
The premise of this movie, THE SWITCH, is a horrible example for our young people. Bringing a child into this world is a serious and profound decision and to make light of it in this manner disgusts me to a level where I am EXPLODING!

Then Aniston makes the comment across the self-promoting airwaves, that a woman does not need a man to get pregnant or to have a child or to rear one. This is a self-serving statement to promote ‘her movie; and is only ‘her’ opinion.  Aniston is a millionaire, divorced actress with no children… who is she to be giving this kind of advice that may be taken to heart by young people?

Sure, single women get pregnant and rear children everyday. But is that a desired state???!!!

This breakdown of traditional family is insidiously breaking down our society and must stop.Seems that Hollywood, the entertainment field and some stars will say and do anything to promote a movie in order to glean popularity and money. Morality and common sense and the message that they are sending seems to matter NOT when greed takes over.

I have volunteered with young, unwed, pregnant girls and to hear one comment, “That Hollywood actresses have children without being married and take care of children alone. So, I can do it, too.” Makes one want to explode. In that, the young woman making this comment in REAL life, hasn’t the means, education or common sense to discern fantasy from reality. She no ability to know how difficult it is to rear a child. She is only thinking ‘how fun it would be to have a baby to love and to have someone love her.’

Sad to say.. really sad to say.. that many think that the message in a movie is one that they can  implement in their lives.. when the ability to do so is practically non-existant. And when a popular actress makes a statement, many think that it is true when it is only their opinion.

What happened to, fall in love, get married, THEN start a family? So that, children can have the security and example of both a male and female in their lives? Sure, there are alternate life styles and families, but the exception is on its way to becoming the rule. This breakdown and disrespect for the process of bringing a child into this world is destructive to us all as a society and is going to backfire on our quality of life. There is a switch going on and it’s the demoralization of our country and the devaluing of that what is precious. The comception and rearing of a human being.

I am boycotting this movie as it is a sad statement and reflection of a distorted view as it diminishes the importance and seriousness of what bringing a child into this world is and really means to both the child and our society.

What is ‘Fun’?

 By Ann
As
an adjective FUN is defined as amusing, enjoyable, entertaining, pleasurable, etc., its antonym is boring.

FUN as a noun is enjoyment, amusement, excitement pleasure, joy, entertainment, etc. its antonym, boredom.

So, FUN is a feeling or an experience. You hear people saying that they want to have fun. But FUN is different things to different people even as it is often used as a catch all word for so many things.

Work is fun to some. Cleaning is fun to others. Working out is fun to many. But to others, work, cleaning and exercising are boring.

What is boring and tedious even torture to one person may be wonderfully fun to another. FUN can even be a state of mind or an attitude. Some people can make most anything fun, while others seem to suck the fun out of everything.

Amy is always saying that she wants to have some fun. I am usually always having fun. Even working hard, researching something, figuring out something, beating my head against a wall to get something done can be fun for me, but not to others. Challenging can be fun. And fun can depend on mood and timing.  What you may think is fun one day, may not be fun the next. And too much of a good thing and fun can become unfun quickly even morphing into tedious torture.

How do you know when someone is having fun? Is it when they smile or laugh?  Those are pretty good indicators, only a person with furrowed brow deep in concentration may also be having fun. 

FUN encompasses many things and can be so many different things to different people.

Have you ever looked back at at time and thought? ‘That was fun!’ But while you were living or experincing it, you didn’t recognize it as fun. FUNNY thing is …You never know, what you are doing now, even though you might be thinking, it is unfun, when you look back, you may recall it as fun…

I think FUN is what keeps you completely engaged, where time stops and you are focused in and on the moment. Being compleltely engaged with all your senses and you have FUN!!!

What is NOT FUN to you? What is FUN to you? How do you have FUN?… SHARE WITH US! We want to share in FUN with you!
 
NOW THINK about what FUN is to you!  IMAGINE yourself having FUN

NOW, GO DO IT! HAVE SOME FUN!  Do something that lifts your spirit. Then come back and share your fun with us!

Dedicated to Amy