As i get... more mature (yea, go with that) i find that i do not really like that saying. Especially having seen what my Pop went through during his working years (he's "retired" now). But, it fit with where i wanted to start my ramblings today.
If you are a regular (thank you), or have been here before (thank you), or have just drfited by (thank you too) you may have notived a few changes around my "dojo". OK, if you've never been here before... probably not noticed any change, but i digress. First, i would like to thank TULIP for the really cool Blog Banner up top and what i refer to as my "end cap". She was working on learning a new piece of software and happen to think of me and asked if she could play around with some images... we went back and forth on concepts, etc. and VIOLA! Then, i went and changed the layout some (see below) and now i need to see if she would be willing to tweak just a little bit more. Even if she is too busy, i am very grateful for the new images to liven up the old place. Because, let's face it... when you use Blogger's "Minima Black"... it can be pretty bland. 8) Yes, i know they have a lot of templates to choose from, but i like the minimalistic look, somewhat, and black suits me.
I have also been itching to stretch the blog sideways some, and although i cannot remember how i ran across the blog "Cute and Cool Blog Stuff", i am glad i did. This woman has a talent for editing blogs, etc. and she has a self help tutorial on how to add that nifty colomn you now see to the left here. It only took me two tries too!
I have found several blogs out there of people who have taken a lot of time to figure things out in regards to how to spruce up their blogs, and then have graciously shared their learned experiences and tasks. Really cool.
This past week has been pretty off balance so to speak. As a result i was able to take yesterday off to catch up on some doctor's things, as well as scout a nearby museum and mow the lawn. I had wanted to surprise my Beloved with a trip to the museum, but it is nearly impossible to do so. Surprise her that is. She is very smart, and has this uncanny ability to know when i am scheming. I don't think i have ever been able to lie or deciever her... at least not for very long. (There is a reason that i do not refer to myself as a Christian Ninja. ;-) ) Yesterday was more about life getting in the way than my ability to surprise her though. DS2, my Aspie, ran into trouble at school. He's a great boy, and smart as a whip. His aide said, "he's had so many good days, we just don't know what happened". Statements like that drive my Beloved nuts. While i have had several well meaning friends try and show me ways to "cure" Autism, the truth is that there are a lot of methods to help improve the social interaction but there is no cure for Autism. Some things work, others don't. We continue to try new things for DS2, but sometimes there are just "bad" days.
The Carolina Panthers had a pretty decent draft, if i am to believe the analysts. I never know what to expect. I would just like to see the Panthers string two winning (i.e. 9+ wins) seasons back to back. As a football fan i am nervous about the next two seasons. This season is an "uncapped" season. not really sure what that means other than it is helping the Panthers soak up a huge (well deserved) bonus they are paying Jake Delhomme whom they let go during the off season (who is now a Cleveland Brown). Another high profile loss was Julius Peppers. While i totally respect his athletic ability, the past three seasons or more, his heart just wasn't in Carolina. I am sad about that because as a Panther fan i want all players to be happy to play for the Panthers, but the truth is that's just not possible. As concerned as i am about this season though... i am very concerned about the collective barganing agreement being reached in time to save the 2011 season. I am not a concerned party in those negotiations, nor do i really understand either side's position so... all i have to say is... guys... work it out... please. Oh, and speaking of football... I am rooting for Caleb Campbell. Some may remember that he was drafted out of West Point two years ago. Long story short, it looks like he will be given a shot to make the roster of the Detroit Lions this year. Go Army!
The first character sketches from my friend for Ian Hauk, (one of the characters i mentioned previously) i like to write about is in (right). I have been blessed with some really creative people around me. While i like to write, and that is my creative out let, people like MANGA (it's all i could come up with...), TULIP, the woman at "Cute and Cool Blog Stuff", and my Beloved. I am very thankful for them all because while my writing feels black-and-white, creatively speaking, to me, each of them adds a splash of color. Which is really cool, and inspiring. I have a daily goal of about 100 words that i want to add to my short stories, but i've been in a rutt lately. Just too busy to stop and smell the roses, but the other day a friend just made a little comment about something (i forget now), and it was like a floodgate... i wrote about 2,000 words in just two or three days, and i have a small outline to help me keep track of my train of thought going for two of the stories.
To wrap all this up, ever notice that when it seems like God is getting ready to move in your life, the enemy stirs the pot so to speak. Hardships, temptations, distractions, and out right strife seem to strike. I am thinking that is not really a coincidence. I think God allows those things to happen to help you learn that you need to focus on Him more. Are the things of God, really of God or of yourself? For me, i have found that when i have the least "resistance" to seomthing it is almost always because it has been of my own initiative. This may sound wierd, but i am grateful for trials such as those. It helps me learn to rely on God more, and myself less. It is WAY too easy for me to go off trapsing on my own. Lately i have been praying for God to show me how He is wanting me to serve within the body of Christ. I believe i am heading in the right direction, but i always like to look up and see if there are any course corrections to take place. I may not end up where i think i am going... but at least i am going... and i will end up somewhere.