Definitions of definitions

Technically, this would be:

a statement expressing the essential nature of something b: a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol <dictionary definitions>

Having said that, how would you define yourself?  Intelligent?  Happy?  Old?  It’s interesting how we see ourselves and also how we explain ourselves to others.  For example, if you thought you were pretty, would you TELL people you were pretty, or let them figure it out themselves?    And how do you measure happiness?  Is that based on an inner knowledge or on outside stimulus?  Do we NEED things to be happy, or do they just add to the happiness that is something that is inside of us that was placed there by our Lord or our faith or our essense?

I, like you, WANT to be happy.  I can laugh with not much influence – in fact, Rona could probably tell you I laugh pretty darn easily!  And that is a part of me that is so natural, so real, and such an immense reflection of my inner happiness.  When I am laughing, I find a peace as if they universe is aligned and all things are perfect.  Yet all things are NOT perfect, and that’s why it is so supernatural to me.

So what the heck am I SAYING here?  Maybe “finding happiness” doesn’t have to be so complex, really.  I make it too complex.  I define things that I want (or, as the case may be, tell myself “I need” it) and tie happiness to those objects.  Or create scenarios in which, once reached, I will be happy.  But maybe happiness is not reached, but is with us, inside.  Maybe I need to focus on the simple things when defining my happiness, and anything above that could just be gravy.

For example, I have the best family and friends a person could ever ask for!  Why do I seek more?  Why do I tell myself that I NEED more?  Because, in truth, just having my family and friends in my life make my heart sing.  And that is supernatural.

Further, despite the crap that has been flung at me from “Christians” lately, I cannot deny that Jesus brings me much happiness.  It’s funny – when things were going well in my life, I threw out that phrase rather easily.  Yet, after the last 3 or so months, when my days were blacker than any other time in my life, He truly showed me His supernatural peace, love, and acceptance.  I could try to ignore it, try to run from Him, but He loved me throughout my darkest moments.  He did not manifest the horrible, pharisaical attitudes of that reached by a Christian Credit Union located in Brea, California (and based on information that, at best, was crap), but manifested love for me when I needed it the most.  And that has made me happy as well.

Okay, so officially, the definition of happy is:

enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment <is the happiest person I know> <a happy childhood>

And that is all the reflecting I will do today!

Another Week Down the DRAIN!

One thing about being unemployed is you lose track of what day it is!  My boot camp is helping me with that, although taking it four days a week tends to get a little muddled still!  The toughest part is having to think what day it is to cheer my first glass of wine!  LOL

Anyway, it is approaching a month since I parted ways with my last employer – y’all that know who that is, know who that is.  That’s a weird feeling, as I’ve never really been unemployed before!  I have been looking for a job, but I have to tell you, it’s been tough – way different than I am used to!  Either I am overqualified, they want to pay me too little, or I really don’t get a response!  So, there you go.  I refuse to be pitiful or give up because I know there is a great job out there for me!

Well, I began writing this BEFORE boot camp, and now it is AFTER boot camp and I am BEAT!  So I’m off to shower and nap!

Crazy Summer Days ROCK!

Summer days, when I was a kid, used to be so amazing!  Running around barefooted, playing outside all day long, going to the beach just as the sun was coming up and staying all day, water balloon fights, sleep overs – they were the best!  And I am happy to share that this summer, many of those activities are occurring for this old lady!

As you might remember, Sandy and Aaron are in town, which in itself calls for a party!  So, because I am just a generous person, I will share some of the highlights of yesterday!

The day before ended with a little silliness:

Then, true to form and after staying up SOOOOOO late the night before, Rock Band was the activity of choice!  (The last one Kirstie might be smiling, but I think she had just threatened my life…..):

Then, when everyone REALLY started to wake up, the fun really began!  This fun factor became more serious when Stephanie, Emma, and Austin arrived!  Further, Rona, Sandy, and Emma offered to make FOOD! (Rona is a little shy….she doesn’t usually cook with hair in her face):

The rest of us worked really hard as well sat around waiting for the food:

But, of great concern, was some questionable activities in the kitchen!:

When all was said and done, we were all pretty tuckered out! 

Maybe I will tell you later how, under the bad influence of Rona and Sandy, Kenny punked me!  As for now, Gina OUT! 

My Addictions are so MEANINGLESS…….

…..but now have a new life!

Okay, let’s do a quick inventory of my addictions: Coffee, computer/internet, sunflower seeds, and Guitar Hero. Blah, worthless! Because there’s a new kid in town! Let me explain:

I was excited to find out that Sandy and Aaron would be visiting – they arrived last night around 10:30pm. EVERYONE was excited by this news, including Kenny and Josh. When Kirstie found out about the news, she and Elliot headed on over too! Their appearance was cause for great rejoicing in all areas! The world truly felt whole again!

But, wait, there is an important factor I am excluding! Aaron, who will probably be rewarded with non-stop “Aaron Days” **, brought his ROCK BAND game!!!!

For those of you who do not know what Rock Band is, it is similar to Guitar Hero, but adds to the guitar drums and a mic. All players form a band and rock out! Talk about ADDICTION! We were up until 2:30 am (including Josh, who was too excited to go to bed, although Kenny hit the hay at about 1 am)! I think we would have stayed up even longer if we weren’t so bone tired!

BTW – everyone did quite well on the game! Rona is the best bass player, I did alright singing, on the guitar, and the drums. Sandy does some mean singing! Aaron was not feeling well but still rocked the guitar and used his rough voice well. Kenny stuck to the drums and rocked. Kirstie kicked it on expert guitar, of course. Josh did surprisingly well on the drums and sang “Mississippi Queen” better than his mom! I think we should go on the road……

So, now my existing addictions pale in comparison! If you haven’t every played it, be warned that you will become addicted! And maybe that’s a good thing!

Okay, people are still sleeping here, but the gardener is outside making awful noise, so I hope to be able to play again soon! Woohoo!

Gina OUT

** I have been known to assign days to individuals, where they are “it” and get special treatment. Aka “Today is a Rona Day” (which, incidentally, she complains never occurs). Since Aaron did such a good job with the game, filling my heart with addiction, he will be treated special the entire time he is in SoCal. If you would like to know how YOU can be given your own day, let me know and I will advise you!

Massages and other decadence

Most of you who actually know me, know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE massages! They are so wonderful and I miss having frequent ones by Ann at work. So it was with great jubilation that I got to get an hour swedish massage yesterday! Whoot whoot! It was SO relaxing, especially with all the drama in my life right now as well as my sore muscles from boot camp!

Oh, have I talked about boot camp yet? Hmmmm, I can’t remember! So forgive me if this is duplicate….

I started a four week boot camp program this past Monday; I go Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5:30am to 6:30am. This is non-stop activity for the whole hour! The first day it was HARD and I sweat SO MUCH! I thought I was going to DIE! The second day was a bit better, but let me tell you – my legs hurt SO MUCH that it was almost impossible to walk (especially down the stairs)! Rona and Kenny would laugh so hard at me (and, don’t tell them, but I was saying bad words in my head!). But by Thursday I was feeling much better! This Friday we had a timed mile and I was concerned because I haven’t exercised in so freaking long! So, I set the goal of not trying to run too fast and trying my best to maintain my pace. I used a training technique that Cat taught me when she was helping me get ready for a 5k run – jog/run for a period of time and walk for a period of time. So I did that and here are the results of my 3 lap mile:

Lap 1 4:09, Lap 2 8:18 (4:09 lap), 12:21 (4:03 lap) so I reached my goal!

Okay, back on track – what other decadence have I been experiencing? Air conditioning, healthy food, time to meditate, time to relax and feel loved, laughter with friends, talking one-on-one with my kids, knowing God is in power and loves me unconditionally.

Wow, how decadent!

Oh wait, life is calling again – back to work!

Life and Other Absurdities

So, do you think this post is going to talk about all the horrible things that have occurred? How I have been wronged, turned against, dealt with pain and loss? Of course! Have I dealt with the pain of family members is failing health, where I have no power? Have I hit my head against the wall over and over? Well, those things will have to be addressed in another post for another day!

Life is STILL absurd, however! The definition of absurd is as follows:

1: ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous <an absurd argument>2: having no rational or orderly relationship to human life : meaningless <an absurd universe>; also : lacking order or value <an absurd existence>3: dealing with the absurd or with absurdism <absurd theater>
Oh wait, am I saying life is MEANINGLESS????  It has no VALUE?  Wow!  Maybe this post WILL be a downer, huh?  Heavy, really!
But, I guess what I really wanted to communicate today that even if/when life is absurd, there is always SOMETHING that brings hope into your day.  There is something or someone whose path you will cross or a joke your kid will tell or a miraculous creation that God exposes to you that suddenly slaps you in the face and you realize there IS order in life, there IS something of value to hold, there IS meaning to aim your heart toward.  And that, my friends, may seem fleeting at times, but is exists.  And I hope you are exposed to it today so you can feel it as well.  And I will remind myself that too as I struggle through the muck that is my life as well!
Gina, Philosopher, Out!

Happy Birthday Mom and other announcements

Some interesting events related to today, June 17th:

Of course, it’s also my mom’s 73rd birthday!  Here’s to another year mom!  Just focus on being cantankerous and stubborn, as all good Italian mothers are!  (Okay, okay, for my Italian relatives……you know I am just kidding!  No need to call Guido, honest!)

My mom was born in upstate New York (well, I THINK that’s where Endicott is!) and moved to Los Angeles when she was about two.  She definitely looks Italian, although she always had her father’s English blonde hair and light eyes.  I love looking at pictures of her when she was young – what a sexy biatch!  LOL  My dad met and fell in love with her quickly, which I am grateful for as, yeah, I kind of owe it to them for causing my conception…… this where y’all tell me “TMI!”?

My mom has had a rough few years with her COPD, heart condition, diabetes, and myriad other issues.  She is a fighter of course, but it’s wearing down on her!  It would be great if you could pray not only for her health and protection, but also her quality of life.  And a call today (or any day!) would be wonderful (although I can’t promise she’ll remember it occurred!)

Happy Birthday Janice Lorraine – Mom – I love you!

Boot Camp

I signed up for boot camp with my friend Sonya, which happened to begin yesterday.  I will be going 4 days a week for 4 weeks (and adding some Wednesday hikes and Saturday workouts too!).  Let me tell you, day one KICKED MY BUTT and I even CHEATED on many of the routines!  Dang, I am so freaking SORE!  So today, as I am about to leave (class is from 5:30 to 6:30 am) I am a bit apprehensive!  But I also hope the routines will loosen up my tight muscles, even for a moment.  I will keep you posted on my progress.  I really want to get into shape – not only to look better and have more stamina, but also because I am reminded of the health issues I potentially have inherited from my parents……

So, Gina OUT

P.S.  Special shout out to my friend – you know who you are – who I am thinking about right now!  Thanks for making me smile!

P.P.S. Special shout out to Katelyn from Fargo, ND!  Her message to me was awesome and, well, I get the impression from her that Fargo is a kicking hot place to live!  I am glad you stumbled onto my blog and that you’ve remained!  I promise to try to keep things interesting!  Thanks for responding to my note!

I am having too much fun with this!

I was pointed to an amazing site – Church Sign Generator! It is so fun to mess with! I have been there for about three weeks, thinking of funny things to say, but coming up pretty short. So, suddenly, a quote attributed to my best friend hit me like a ton of bricks! Let’s see…..

I thought that was hilarious and chose to share it with Martin, who (at least in this case) shares my weird sense of humor regarding this quote! But alas, he raised the bar by sharing another person’s use of said site which has made me LAUGH OUT LOUD OVER AND OVER AGAIN! To see if you have a warped sense of humor as well, check out Church Sign Smackdown!

Have a great weekend, I know I will!

P.S.  I am very, very intrigued by the fact that I have a regular reader for FARGO, ND!!!  If you are comfortable, send me a comment – I won’t post it unless you say to, but I am curious how you found this site, what you enjoy about it, etc.  So no pressure……but yeah!

Two Graduations, One set of Pics

Well, it’s been quite a week!  On Wednesday, Kirstie graduated from high school!  On Thursday, Kenny graduated from elementary school!  This mom has had a lot of excitement, happy tears, pride overflowing…..yeah!

I don’t have Kirstie’s graduation pics yet – I took them on her camera so she needs to give me copies.  Suffice it to say, it was a fun experience.  It was HOT, so we were basking in the sun.  In fact, I ended up with a glorious Farmer’s tan….yep…..too much sexy.  One exciting thing was that Ramiele Maluby (you know, from season 7 of American Idol) was at the graduation, apparently she is a relative of someone who was graduating.  She first walked by and Kristin (a long time friend of Kirstie’s and like a daughter to me) was like, “That’s Ramiele!”  I was like, “are you serious?”.  It certainly was!  Kenny braved the crowds and took the video camera up close….maybe I will be able to upload it, we shall see!

Special shout out to Edgar, who got there very early and got primo seats for us!  And Grandma Ellie was SO EXCITED to see Kirstie graduate.  We had a wonderful celebration afterward at Edgar’s house, where Grandma Anita made scrumptious food for all.  Woohoo!  So, I will post pics soon….

Thursday, Kenny graduated from 6th grade.  He was adorable, wearing a suit and trying to be ultra cool.  Here he is before the ceremony began (and yes, I realized the tag was still on his sleeve and removed it):

Of course, we got there well before the ceremony started – again, Edgar was intent on getting great seats, which we did.  As we waited the approximate hour before it started  (yes, we arrived at 7:30 am!), I heard Kirstie and Kristin complain that they were tired.  Can you imagine?  Here they are:

Here is Kenny as the ceremony began and getting his promotion certificate:

After the ceremony, we went to Lucille’s and Kenny had his favorite food – RIBS!!!  Here he is enjoying them to the fullest:

Yep, it was a pretty eventful week!  This mama is VERY proud of ALL my kids!  In fact, here is Josh the morning of Kenny’s graduation.  He was excited because, as it was the last day of school, his class was having movie day (which explains why he is holding a pillow!) and a pic he took with Kristin at Kirstie’s celebration (he jacked my phone):

Okay, well, I am going to have some more coffee and get some errands done today!  Woohoo!

Whoa there…..

A few posts ago, I referred you to an pretty good blog posting about how a particular non-Christian viewed us when we evangelize.  In that post was a reference to another, specifically What Non-Christians Wants Christians to Hear. If you have time, you should check it out.  Not that I accept every view shared, but it certainly makes us realize some of the things that we, as Christians, do to those we are reaching out to.  And the writer of the blog published a book regarding this, if you’re interested.

One particular post touched me personally, as I have been exposed to this treatment as well:

“When did it become that being a Christian meant being an intolerant, hateful bigot? I grew up learning the positive message of Christ: Do well and treat others with respect, and your reward will be in heaven. Somehow, for a seemingly large group of Christians, that notion has gone lost: It has turned into the thunders and lights of the wrath of God, and into condemning everyone who disagrees with them to burning in the flames of hell. Somehow, present-day Christians forgot about turning the other cheek, abandoned the notion of treating others like they would like to be treated themselves; they’ve become bent on preaching, judging, and selfishly attempting to save the souls of others by condemning them. What happen to love? To tolerance? To respect?”—S.P., Nashville