Quantity vs. Quality

I’m not quite sure why this thought came to my head today.  It’s just one of those butterflies I chase every once in a while.  For some reason, however, I began pondering this concept of quantity time versus quality time.  Where did I hear this concept?  I heard it in church of all places.  Not one, but many preachers have applied this concept to the family.  My determination this morning is that not only is this concept not biblical, but it is not accurate either.  This is a business construct that people believe they can apply to the home.

From a business standpoint, quantity versus quality works.  It is better to go in to work and devote four hours of hard, focused work than to go in and spend eight to twelve hours “half-assing” it.  You can accomplish more in a short burst of focused energy than in long periods where you can tend to procrastinate.  Procrastination leads to losing focus on the task at hand and making mistakes.

From a family standpoint, quantity versus quality just doesn’t work.  Your job needs your work output.  Your family needs your presence.  Your children are growing, developing, and changing every day.  They go from total dependence on you to developing their own thoughts, dreams, and desires.  If you don’t spend that quantity time, you’ll blink and they will be grown and you won’t even know who they have become.  Their thoughts and likes and dislikes change so often that if you aren’t spending that quantity time with them, you won’t even know what quality time means to them.  If you aren’t devoting the time, then you’ll find yourself forcing your likes, dislikes, and dreams on them instead of developing the relationship necessary to nurture their likes, dislikes, dreams and personality.  Your family doesn’t need your bursts of work output.  Your family needs you. They need enough time with you to know who you are, and you need enough time with them to know who they are.  Your family needs to know that if they need you, you are there.  They need to know that they come before your job.  They need to know that they matter and are at the top of your priority list.

That being said, I believe that the biggest problem in America today is that the family unit is becoming obsolete.  We have replaced our family with work.  We have lost the concept that work is to provide for the ones we love, and we have replaced it with identifying ourselves with what we do in the workforce and “loving” our work.  We have come to a place where we treat our family as a form of entertainment for the times between work. We need to get back to identifying ourselves by our family and truly loving our family.


Anxious Struggles

My skin is on fire
Every pore bursts with electricity
I want to be held.

You touch me, try to hold me.
I cringe.
It hurts.

It doesn’t make sense
It’s confusing
I can’t control it

I’m drowning
I can’t breathe
The waves crash over me

I hear every sound
I sense every movement
It feels like a thousand tiny needles pricking into my skin, invading my brain

The rain makes me sad
The moon keeps me awake
The color gray makes me disappear

Crowded places are a nightmare
Stress overwhelms me
Thoughts consume me

But when I’m okay…

I feel alive
I feel free
The sun shines all the way into my heart

Fireflies make me want to dance
Butterflies make me smile
Birds make me want to sing

I want to hike trails
Climb rocks
Ford streams

I want to take pictures
Find beauty in everyone and everything
And show them to the world

I want to write
To tell the world what I think
How I feel

Snuggles warm my soul
Laughter fills my world
Wonder, delight, and adventure are around every corner

But I want to be loved…

Even when I’m not okay
When all seems hopeless
When the world feels dark

Even when I am okay
When all is smiles and laughter
When the sun shines bright.

Because after all, I’m still me either way.

Sweet Memories

013015_Perfume Bottles_920.jpg

Today I worked on a photo challenge for a Google Community group that I am a member of called Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s challenge was to take a photo of unique perfume or cologne bottles, so I set about to gather up the old perfume and cologne bottles we had around the house. This little scavenger hunt brought up all sorts of memories.

The first bottles I found were the ones my husband made for me when he worked for a perfume bottle manufacturing company called SGD Glass. They were pretty bottles, and I think he made them for me on Valentine’s Day, because they had hearts on them. They have sat on my nightstand for years. He went to work for this company when our son was born, 18 years ago. It was a good transition, because the company he worked for was not stable and was threatening to close its doors. Though the pay was much better and the company was more stable, it was a tough time for us. I had to grow accustomed to 12-hour swing shifts and being home alone with a baby at night. I also came to understand how dangerous work in a glass plant is. I toured that plant one day and saw what my husband had to do, and after that, I constantly feared that I would get a call that molten glass had burned a hole through his arm. Needless to say, I was very glad when he went to work for General Mills when our daughter was born.

Then, my daughter searched her room for some bottles. In this collection was an old car cologne bottle. My father used to have a couple of these sitting on the bookshelf when I was a child. My grandfather also had a couple of these cologne bottles, too. That combined with the rest of the bottles she found got me to thinking of my Granny and Papa, so I got a few things out of my jewelry box that belonged to them and came up with a little set for the photo.

My Papa worked for Hanover Wire, and he had an old watch he got for 25 years of service there. I got that old watch after my Granny died. It was in her jewelry box. I chose to keep that old watch in memory, and I was asked by my aunt if there was anything else I could think of that I wanted. There was only one other thing. There was a pair of earrings that belonged to my great-grandmother. I remember perusing my Granny’s jewelry many a summer day, and I would always ask if I could wear those old earrings. They were my favorite. They were made of jade and gold, and they were still in their box from the jewelry store. I would wear them with a jade Avon necklace my Granny got from a catalog order. I still wear them just the same today (I got that old necklace too).

So, I took that old jewelry and a few pieces of my own and created a lovely scene for the photo shoot. The perfume bottles reminded me so much of them. I would often go into my Granny’s bedroom and examine all of the things she had laid out on top of her dresser. There was always a collection of perfume bottles, jewelry, lotions, brushes, a little make-up, and a few things of my Papa’s as well. She had the most lovely smelling perfume. It was White Gardenia. I still love that fragrance, and I get lotions and body sprays with that scent whenever I can find them. I would put her Pond’s cold cream on my hands, and I would try her lipstick sometimes. To this day, the smell of Pond’s and White Gardenia remind me of her. And whenever she would allow it, I would take her jewelry box into the living room and look at all of the lovely pieces.

Now, my grandparents didn’t have much, and little of what they had was of any value. The value to me, however, is priceless. The memories these small items bring back of warm summer days, ice cream with Papa, and waking to the smell of Granny’s pancakes and eggs are worth more than the most precious of gems. How I would love to go back and visit one of those lazy summer days again.

I Feel Purple

Colors. What do they mean, really? I have seen so many articles linking colors with emotions. In fact, we link them to emotions every day. When we feel sad and down, we say we’re blue and everything looks a little grey. Yet, we have the bluebird of happiness, and a blue sky makes us feel light-hearted and joyful. So why do we say we’re blue when we’re sad when blue is a happy color? Red is associated with passion and love, and yet it is also the color of anger, killing, and hatred. Grey is more of a sad color, yet when we see black and white photographs, it doesn’t really present a feeling of sadness but of nostalgia and connection with the past. In fact, I love monochrome photography because of the detail that becomes visible. You see the subject rather than the color. I have come to the determination that associating color with emotions is a rather subjective science in that the same color can have so many different meanings in so many different situations.

Color is beautiful, expressive, and awakens the senses in so many different ways. From the dullest grey to the most vibrant explosions of the colors of the rainbow, color is amazing. Even the things that have no color of their own can reflect it in such amazing ways. So what is the association between color and emotion? Does emotion reflect color, or does color reflect emotion? Or does it bounce back and forth endlessly like light bouncing from mirror to mirror until you can’t decide where it originated or where it ends?

Color is as complex and rich as the emotions of each individual. So, since I can’t determine what a color means for someone else, I’ve decided that I will simply share with you what it means to me today, for tomorrow that emotional color palette may change with each new picture developed.


10350002_573203206110987_1693842229_o 10362024_575987179165923_1885096989_o



(Evening light, reflection, beauty)

Fall '13-14

(Fall, my favorite time of the year, warmth)


fort mountain-58

(Peace, tranquility, happiness)

Eastside Trail_-16-3

(Vibrant beauty)


Eastside Trail_-2-2


Halloween '14 (edited)-10-2


Charleston (edited)-6

(Life, slowed down a bit)

Charleston (edited)-38

(those remembered)

Milledgeville Asylum (edits)-108

(those forgotten)


Square Perk '12 (6)


Fall '13-96

(brightness, light, joy)


101312_Apple Festival_005 101312_Apple Festival_008 101312_Apple Festival_010

(Peace, tranquility,beauty,contentment)

I feel purple today.

Princess Molly

Our  little, furry, Pekingese-mix princess is quite a handful. Who knew a year ago that this floppy rug of fur would stake out her very own place in our hearts and home forever?

In August 2013, a call went out over facebook from one of our pastors looking for a foster home for a little pup. Her daddy was having some trouble, and he needed someone to take her in for a while. And being the animal lover that I am, I answered the call. After all, we have a dog and a fenced in yard. Why not?

She was supposed to stay for 2 or 3 weeks, just temporary until some things were figured out. Well, we got her settled in, and it didn’t take very long for her to find a comfy little spot on our daughter’s bed to sleep every night and snuggle her way right into my daughter’s heart. A couple of weeks soon turned into a couple of months, and the family let us know that they needed to find a more permanent home for the princess. Considering she had already found her place in our family, I was ready to take her in. My husband, however, needed a little convincing. Some efforts were made to find her a permanent home, though I don’t think they were very heartfelt efforts because, of course, everyone knew she had already found her home. My husband knew that, too, he was just fretting a bit over the cost of another fur baby in the house. Eventually, her little chewbacca face melted his heart, and he resigned to the fact that she was staying. And we are ever so glad she stayed.


She has quite a personality. She definitely takes her position as princess seriously. Commanding the prime spot snuggled up next to her human of choice and growling away any kitty that decides to usurp that spot, she thinks she owns the place. (The kitties, however, do not agree, so this has turned into little growling matches all too often. It has settled down as of late, however, and they share…somewhat.)

She loves her walks and car rides, so she is a perfect companion for our Dixie. Their favorite pastime of course is chasing squirrels. They sit at the door, wait for the right moment, and then whine to be let loose to chase.

When they finish chasing all the squirrels away, they begin to chase each other. Molly is always chasing Dixie. She thinks she is the one in charge, and Dixie seems to be compliant and allows her to believe that myth. (Dixie is good that way, acting as shepherd and protector.) Dixie teases Molly, and Molly gives chase. And sometimes, Dixie refuses to come back inside the house. When we call her and she doesn’t come in, Molly runs out to bark at her and try to make her come inside. Little does she know this is Dixie’s plot to convince her to come out and play some more.

When Molly tires of play, however, she apparently starts to search the fence for ways of escape. Is it because she wants to run away from us? Certainly not! It is because she has discovered, like Dixie did, that Nanny lives just a short walk through the woods. How did she discover this? Well…that would be our fault. We’ve taken her there on the leash, and she follows our scent down the well worn path. When she gets loose, we never really have to worry about where she is, because she always shows up at Nanny’s house. It has become her favorite game.

First, she finds a way out of the fence. Then, she chases squirrels in the woods for a bit, and finally, she goes to my mother’s house to visit. At first we thought she was going to see their dog, Jagger, but now I think she just wants to see Nanny. When she gets to their house, apparently she makes the rounds. She sniffs around the house, drinks some water, eats Jagger’s food, gives Nanny a kiss, and then settles down on the foot of Nanny’s bed and watches out the window waiting for her subjects to come get her. Once, we were a little slow about coming to get her, and she got a little antsy, but usually, we discover her escape rather quickly and come to retrieve her. It has become her favorite game. And we just laugh and play along…most of the time. As I type, we are in search of the latest escape route. I’m sure I’ll find it soon.

Princess Molly…our little mess. How glad I am that she found us!



A Thanksgiving Scrooge?

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s…all the wonderful, cheerful holidays. This time of year is my favorite and least favorite time of year. The bipolar (and I use that term loosely and perhaps a bit flippantly) time of the year that makes my head and heart spin with thoughts and emotions.

Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. If anyone asked what my favorite holiday was, I would tell them Thanksgiving. And when they asked why, I would tell them that it was because we could get together with family, eat, and play. There was no need to worry about gifts. The only thing you would bring was yourself and some good food, and oh how I love turkey and dressing and sweet potato souffle. We could watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade before eating and the Thanksgiving Charlie Brown special after eating while our parents and grandparents played cards. We could eat till we were stuffed and climb trees and play hide-and-go seek. And when I grew up, got married, and had children, the fun came to our house.

Of course, with the fun comes the stresses, too. My husband’s parents were divorced, so there came the decisions to make about who would be invited and who would not. Then there were the marital issues, personal issues, etc. going on with everyone as well. It’s hard being an adult. Somehow, our generation was getting a little messed up in the holiday department. Then, to top it all off, our fabulous local retailers introduced the sale craze of the decade. Now, these started out being the day after Thanksgiving, so my retail-employed sister began having to leave earlier and earlier every year. Now, these sales have leaked into Thanksgiving Day, so her presence the past two years…well, non-existent. She has to be there for Thanksgiving, Blitz Day, and the whole rest of the weekend. Then, of course, there’s the “who gets the kids” issues with the family members who are divorced. So my favorite family holiday that used to be so simple just isn’t so simple anymore. It almost seems like the family is dwindling every year, and the world has replaced family with money-making and stuff-getting.

My take on the whole matter on this particular day while I’m feeling down-and-out about the holiday season…Mr. Scrooge has inched his way all the way into Thanksgiving with his “Bah Humbug” and chasing the gold. And who is Mr. Scrooge? Well, we must really take a good look at ourselves and ask that question. How do I behave? Do I enjoy a festive family feast while I expect others to sacrifice time with their families so that I can go out and spend my hard-earned gold for a thrill? Or am I Mr. Crachit who spends the day with my family and friends and perhaps even does something special for someone who is a little less fortunate, all the while looking to end that time all too soon to go back to work for Mr. Scrooge (that is even if I’m allowed the time with my family)?

I guess where I was today was in a place of feeling like the world needs a little visit from “The Ghosts” not only to remind us of what should be important, but to show us how much we’ve slowly been sacrificing chasing after the gold at the end of the rainbow. I feel like I desire to be a Crachit in a world filled with Scrooges. Oh how wonderful it would be if people could just be home for the holidays…and invite over anyone and everyone who doesn’t have anyone to be with. Maybe it’s just a fairy tale, but I think it’s a fairy tale worth pursuing.