In Good Company

 

 

Have you ever come across someone you just seem to click with? You say something first, then the other person chimes in and says that they were just thinking the exact same thing. How about when you are pondering whether or not to give a friend a call and the next thing you know, your phone is ringing and who is on the other end? That friend who was so heavy on your mind. It’s like the two of you have some kind of telepathic connection. You are kindred spirits. This kind of connection doesn’t come in droves, and that’s probably a good thing. Can you imagine having a strong link like this with many? Somehow, I don’t know if the connections would be as sacred as that with that one key person who seems to understand you no matter what is going on in your life. Please correct me if I’m wrong. The uniqueness of the bond is what helps to create that special relationship where you can commit your undivided attention.You can share your deepest thoughts with the ease of knowing that your secrets are safe with this person.

 

On Sunday June 1st, I got an early start on the celebration of “me”. Yes, my birthday is quickly approaching…this Sunday June 8th to be exact. I share the exact same birth date with a mutual friend of mine and my sister. Normally, we all celebrate over dinner together almost every year. However, my sister canceled due to a conflicting schedule. I thought to myself, it sure would be nice if the party could still go on. After all, it was our birthday. I didn’t want to present the idea because I just felt it might be overstepping my bounds. You see, my sister and this person were friends first. Yet, her and I have always clicked and found that we have a lot in common and think the same way about a lot of things. Nonetheless, I opted to leave the envelope where it was and not push it.

 

A couple days after my sister canceled our gathering, I got an instant message from our friend. She wanted to know how I felt about keeping the plan to get together for a pre-birthday celebration in the name of us. I quickly accepted and was pleasantly surprised that once again, we were on the same page. We met for dinner at LongHorn’s Steak House. At first, we were a little taken aback because the place was almost empty. We wondered where everyone was. We stood out in the lobby and debated where we would go next if we did leave. Finally, we decided to stay there and give the place a chance since it was where we had already agreed to go. It certainly was beautiful inside and out and had an inviting ambiance that could not be ignored, even though the place was scarce at the moment.

 

I’m thrilled to say that the evening was a huge success. But was that any surprise? Hardly. We ate great food, we laughed, we sipped lovely berry filled Sangria wine. We brought our like-minds successfully to the table….literally. We must have sat there talking for hours, but the greatest thing was that neither of us had to rush off to be some place else. We had no curfew and had no other place to be accept right there where we were, enjoying great food, outstanding service, but most importantly, we were in good company.

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

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Sundae, Fun day on Sunday Marks Memorial Day Celebration!!

This is an awesome post from my friend lucylula who is new to the blogging world. This is a beautiful piece that commemorates the Memorial Day holiday! Feel free to welcome her and show her some love by commenting. Enjoy!

Lucy Kool!!

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Correct me If I am wrong but I always remember that Memorial day was the last day of the Month. This year 2014 marks Memorial day to be celebrated on the third week of May. A little confusing I must say. Although I know what Memorial day represents, I admit I do take if for granted as much as a majority of Americans do,I suppose. If it weren’t for a Facebook status I created on marking Sunday as fun day to enjoy and have as the name implies, a delicious Sunday,fun day, sundae I would have truly not thought of the true meaning of Sunday or any other day of the week for that matter.

A friend replied with a  comment on my status stating  the following message:” Don’t forget to take a moment to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom to allow us to have a sundae on…

View original post 1,079 more words

Ribs Rally in Roc City

 

 

The Roc City Rib Fest 2014 is on and poppin’ again and runs from May 23, 2014 – May 26, 2014. Charlotte Beach had been the home of this festive occasion. However, since the festival has grown so much, it has been relocated and will now be held at the Genesee Valley Park in Upstate Rochester New York. The sweet smell of success and bbq is definitely in the air!

 

This event proudly hosts one of the largest and most professional barbeque competitions in the country! Not bad Roc City! Unbelievably, tickets are more than reasonable with adult pricing for ages 12 and older only $5.00! There are no parking fees or activity fees for children. But it doesn’t stop there – there are no premium band tickets! This is definitely the place to be where you can eat,drink, and be merry; all while listening to great music. Yes, this event definitely covers all the bases!

 

You may be wondering how a festival of this kind came to be. Evidently, it came into being by way of Avon, New York in of all places….a corn field! A group of family and friends wanted to get together and have some fun, so they organized what then was a small bbq festival and rib cook off that was held on Labor Day Weekend in 2008. Seven teams later and 1,000 plus festival attendees, it was unanimous….the people were hooked! Ever since then, the festival competition has been exploding on to the scene yearly and has swelled to 100 teams and an astounding 30,000 people!!

 

Not only is the Roc City Rib Fest a fantastic place to meet and mingle with family and friends, and even make new friends, but is also focused on giving back to the surrounding community by donating a major portion of the festival’s proceeds to its main charities: The Children’s Hospital at Strong and the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester New York. The economic impact of this event is unmistakable as it draws thousands from all over the country putting Roc City in Upstate New York on the map once again.

 

I know…..this is pretty late notice for such an awesome event, but I was reminded of it earlier today when I caught a blurb on an advertisement. There’s still one day left – tomorrow, Memorial Day! If you don’t feel up to pulling out the grill and all the clean up that’s involved, this may be the place to be!

 

 

 

Delivery is everything!

 

 

 

 

I’ve attended many church sermons in my life, some thoroughly relevant, while others have sometimes been somewhat mundane and more or less lost me in the message. But I am happy to say that today, I attended church where the assistant pastor gave the sermon in the head pastor’s absence. Let’s just say that I couldn’t be happier that I chose today to attend.

The assistant pastor spoke of the importance of a man showing honor to his wife. He made note of 1Peter 3:7, where the bible says that a husband should dwell with his wife. He supported the scripture by stating  that not a day should go by where a husband neglects to remind his wife of how beautiful,special, and loved she is.  He went on to reinforce that a man that finds a wife, finds a good thing and that a wife is a man’s prize and/or gift from God. The man’s role is as a protector and a provider for his wife. As I sat there taking in his message, I realized how much what was being said resonated with me and to many others in attendance as they confirmed their agreement in audible shouts of uplifting acknowledgement. Now, as I said earlier, I’ve heard many sermons, and this pastor didn’t have any particular style that stood out. But what did hit home was in the way he delivered his message.

This pastor delivered today’s sermon with a grin, one that was almost out of place, but the message itself and his ability to weave himself throughout the fabric of the content, made it a standout sermon in my mind. I was even led to jot down a few notes while he spoke. It was the kind of message that should have been recorded and played back to the masses so that it could help someone later on down the road. There’s no doubt in my mind that it would indeed strike a chord in someone’s spirit, some where.

I was so moved that I had to approach this pastor after service ended and commend him on his powerful message. Surprisingly, he responded with the same laid back, casual demeanor and grin he always has; almost as if he hadn’t delivered a message at all. I guess that’s just the way he is; a humble spirit. Evidently, it works well for him. I’m not sure if he truly realizes how important the words he spoke meant to not only me as a woman, but the rest of the congregation in attendance. This was a message that needed to be said, but more importantly, it needed to be heard.

On Sunday mornings, I try to start my day by listening to Pastor Joel Osteen at 9:00 am. Interestingly, he delivered a similar message this morning but provided a kind of flip side to the pastor’s message I later heard at church today. Pastor Osteen expressed the importance of a wife finding one thing that she could praise her husband for and practice finding something positive daily and he referred to this as pouring honor into your husband and marriage. Pastor Osteen said that the wife is in control of what he termed the honor faucet. In other words, the more she, the wife, turns this faucet on with her positive words of encouragement, the more honor will flow throughout the marriage. Pastor Osteen believes that doing this regularly will bring about amazing results.

Needless to say, when I heard the pastor begin to deliver his sermon in church, I immediately recognized the parallel to Pastor Olsteen’s earlier message. It was truly an aha moment for meBut I can’t help but wonder, had I not heard Pastor Osteen’s message first this morning, would the pastor’s sermon I heard at church have moved me as much? I think it would have regardless because a big part of what made it work was in the delivery. After all, delivery is everything!

Failure to Launch

 

Failure to launch…..an interesting phrase. But more than interesting, it is a serious real life occurrence that is happening more often than some may realize. First of all, you may be wondering what this phrase means? Maybe you’ve never heard of it before now. You can glean from the words that something has failed to take off. Yes, failure to launch is when our 20 something young adults still live at home with seemingly no plans to leave. This incidence seems to happen predominantly with males. Now, this could be for any number of reasons. Do you think that maybe young females are more independent and yearn to be on their own more than their male counterparts? Maybe so, maybe not. Could it be that in the instances where a young male has failed to move on and go out and find out what life is all about, is because he often comes from a single-parent female head of household? Would you agree that the lack of male influence and guidance has left him with little or nothing to go on in terms of what he should be seeking in life for himself as a young man? This may sound like a cop-out and in some ways it may be. But couldn’t these young males look at their single parent mother(s) as an example of all that she has accomplished by herself? Wouldn’t that seemingly be enough inspiration for them to take the bull by the horns and seize life? Evidently not in some instances. This scenario is very much alive and well. But why?

It would be easy to just say that some young males today are lacking in ambition and are not motivated by much of anything. The main form of stimuli for many of these males comes in the form of a video game system where they can be found any time of day glued to the screen as if they were hypnotized. You might be wondering how I know all this? Well, I happen to have a failure to launch situation of my very own! Yes….I live this every day. I have one son, age 23 and as the years go by(more and more quickly), he seems to dig his heels in deeper. It seems there is really no plan to explore life on his own any time soon. Without going into a whole lot of detail, I will say that the reason for this is the result of a combination of things.

I too am a single mother. You mothers out there know as well as I do that as women, we can only teach our ‘sons’ so much. We can teach them how to be respectful men, but we can’t teach them how to be men. A thin line to walk.  Almost so thin, it’s non-existent! Aside from all the wonderful technology that has been bestowed on society, I will admit that I have unintentionally contributed to the failure to launch issue in my home. I have often stepped in and solved a problem simply because I would not only make sure it got done, but timely. It seemed so much easier to just do whatever it was myself rather than go through the hassle of getting my son to produce results. I found myself to be very lenient when a stricter adherence to rules would have made all the difference in the world. I guess you could say, I more or less created a bit of a monster. Would you move out if everything was at your beck and call? Would you be anxious to go out into the world if it meant suddenly becoming responsible for everything? I may have raised a somewhat spoiled and entitled child, but I didn’t raise a fool. Why would anyone rock the boat who had it so good? Would you blame him?

I remember the times when my parents would encourage me and my siblings to go outside and play. We naturally triggered our imaginations as a result of always being outside in nature. My parents’ main request was that we had to be back in the house before the streetlights came on. As kids, we had a certain desire and curiosity about the good old outdoors, and bugs and the like. Television was limited and we couldn’t stay up until all hours of the night. We lived in a much more structured way of life than what many children experience today, including that which my son experienced in earlier years.We didn’t seem to have outrageous expectations and for the most part, were very satisfied with what we had.  It’s a different animal today that parents have to contend with. Technology has firmly planted the young minds of our children right where they stand; constantly enticing them to remain focused on some technological advance as opposed to some good old fashioned thinking.

So, how do parents solve this problem of failing to launch? A good starting point might be to begin reinforcing confidence and providing the proper tools to our young people in hopes of inspiring them to handle problematic situations on their own instead of waiting to be bailed out. The  cycle has to be broken at some point. The constant feelings of accomplishment will no doubt build and before you know it, you’ll be witnessing a successful launch instead of a failed attempt.  If you have a 20 something young adult still living at home, there’s a 50/50 chance you may experience this. What will you do?

A Dog-Eat-Dog World

 

    

Who would think that the beautiful island of Puerto Rico would have an escalating problem such as ‘stray’ dogs? Unfortunately, it is true and the problem only seems to be getting worse. An Emmy Award-winning film called 100,000 directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, chronicles this issue as depicted in the hair-raising and eye-opening documentary. In Puerto Rico, these abandoned or feral dogs a-k-a ‘satos’ are increasing in number and can be frequently observed wandering the streets freely.

How sad is this? Such adorable animals that just need a good home and to be cared for and loved! It’s hard to imagine seeing so many homeless dogs at any given moment just living on the streets fighting to survive every day. Not to mention the ones that are taken and abused. It would seem that they would be better off left to the streets. At least that way, their suffering wouldn’t be at the hands of those who are supposed to be human.

The 100,000 documentary largely raises the awareness of this problem and also sheds light on the volunteer efforts to assist in decreasing this problem. Unbelievably, the government has done little to provide help in finding a solution. In the meantime, the dogs continue to take their chances out on the streets of Puerto Rico. Following the airing of this film in 2010 by director Juan Agustin Marquez, he teamed up with Purina of Puerto Rico to create and initiate a 20 school film tour which allowed students to view this topic and become educated about the seriousness of this situation. As a result, students made a pledge to help these abused animals. The pledge has been taken by thousands: to decrease the overpopulation problem and to promote the proper care of dogs. Here are a few of the points covered by this pledge:

– Educate myself about dogs and think hard about it before having one.

– Adopt, instead of buying.

– Spay/neuter my dog.

– Integrate my dog to my family for his/her entire life.

– Vaccinate my dog and take him/her to the vet when he/she is sick.

– Register my dog with the microchip.

– Bathe my dog.

– Walk my dog on a leash every day.

As you can see, there are several ways that the abuse and overpopulation of animals can be stopped and prevented in Puerto Rico. Most importantly, spaying and neutering needs to be promoted and encouraged. Evidently, communication has broken down in these areas due to a kind of ‘machismo’ mindset that deters the whole idea of controlling the animal population. According to director Marquez, it is crucial that education begin at an early age as to how to care for and treat animals.

Do you think Puerto Rico will ever truly address the growing problem with these stray animals? Or will it continue to do nothing and just remain a dog-eat-dog world? What are some suggestions you might add to this pledge? What other problems do you think exist as a result of so many of these dogs roaming around without any supervision? I know many of you out there are animal lovers, as am I. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share!

 

 

Ahh….The Sweet Smell of Lilacs

The infamous Rochester New York’s Lilac Festival’s inspiration dates back to 1898 when 2,000 people visited the park on one Sunday in May to observe the beautiful lilacs. The numbers grew to 25,000 over the next 10 years marking the first annual Lilac Festival. Over time, viewer numbers ballooned to 500,000 in attendance for the now 10 day event. The lilacs are showcased among more than 1,200 bushes with over 500 varieties. Truly a spectacular sight!

Rochester New York’s 2014 annual Lilac Festival will take place this year from May 9, 2014 – May 18, 2014. This prestigious event is unprecedented for many reasons. Of course the gorgeous variety of beautiful aromatic lilacs at their peak bloom; drawing people from miles around. People come in record numbers to bear witness to nature’s beauty at its finest. The magnificent lilacs adorn the rolling hills of Upstate Rochester New York’s Highland Park.

This year, this annual event has achieved another milestone making it an even grander attraction on the world’s map. Lilac Festival participants came together to set a Guinness World Record! That’s right! Rochester New York’s Lilac Festival is now officially the world record holder for the world’s largest human flower by Guinness World Records. More than 2,200 people (2,297 to be exact) expressed their love and showed their support for the City of Rochester and this wonderful annual festival! But wait, it gets better! All participants will be able to access a link that has a special code which will allow them to obtain their official Guinness World Record Certificate; a symbol of their participation in this ground-breaking, history-making event! Go Upstate New York!

The Lilac Festival is an event that has something for everyone! There are horse and carriage rides and various arts & craft exhibits. There’s a craft beer garden and wine & chocolate tasting events, music concerts and more. This a family-friendly event, so everyone should be able to find something they like at this festival. I will admit that I haven’t attended this festival in a few years, but hey….there’s still time. The festival runs through this Sunday May 18th! So, if you’re in the neighborhood and looking for something fun to do, this may be a great option! So, check it out! A visit may be well worth your time!

 

Where is the ‘Social’ in Media?

 

Like thousands of others, I’ve been a part of the social media scene for a while now. It has been enjoyable for the most part, but I’ve been noticing over time that something is missing. Maybe this whole social media scene could use a light overhaul; an infusion or transfusion of some kind. Especially since it has become a main vein in the broad band(s) of communication. Have you noticed that when you put yourself out there and try to ignite conversations, all you hear are crickets? Or maybe some pins dropping? Why is that? Maybe your topic was a bit much, so people feel that it is better to just be quiet and leave you out there hanging on a limb all by your lonesome. But wait a minute….aren’t these the same people that are ‘friends’ with you;oftentimes the initiator of your ‘friendship’ status? So why aren’t they being social? After all, that is what this thing is called right? Social Media?

I sometimes feel like I’m just typing words that float off somewhere out there into the ozone, where I can only hope they are received. But the maddening thing is that you know that you’re being heard but for whatever reason, you get no response. Are some people afraid to put themselves out there, just a little in order to respond? Instead, they prefer to just creep in the background and check out what you’re doing and saying and whether others are responding or not. The social media scene would seem to be a great sounding board and a way to communicate without face-to-face conversation; if that is what you’re in to. So why not use this avenue to say something? Anything!

I’m starting to really wonder why this huge arena has been labeled ‘social’ media? Have we forgotten what ‘social’ means? Would you go to a bar after work with your co-workers, only so you could sit alone in a corner and not be bothered by anyone? Certainly not. Or would you host a big family picnic only to whisk yourself away to your room leaving everyone behind to fend for themselves? Absolutely not!  So then, what is the purpose of having a ton of friends, if no one is interacting with each other? Oh, excuse me. Some people only interact with certain people, cliques if you will,  a whole other future post. But my apologies….I digress. I guess my whole point is that there could be a bit more interaction on the ‘social’ media scene. Maybe it should be called Interactive Media? Then again, maybe not. This just might create even less interaction once a formal name meant to define and drive this entity is given to it. What do you think? And please…..by all means….say something! I dare ya!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Where’s the Beef?

 

The Today Show tv show photo

The Today Show did a short segment on the shortage of cattle in this country.  Reportedly, this is the biggest shortage since 1951. In an article written by Michael Snyder on February 3, 2014, he states that due to an extreme drought, the number of cattle in the U.S. is the smallest it has been since 1951. He also notes that there were about 154 million people living in the U.S. at that time. However, there are now well over 314 million people currently living here.

The U.S. cattle herd shrinking has been going on for 7 years consecutively which is propelling us quickly toward  a shortage of beef that is incomparable to any that the U.S. has undergone before. According to Michael Snyder, the major cause for this beef shortage is the result of a devastating drought that has imprisoned the western half of the country. He also noted that 2013 was the driest year ever for the state of California. This lack of water caused ranchers to start selling off their livestock for slaughter.

Like with everything else, what can be expected when there is a shortage of anything? If the supply is low, the demand goes up and so does the price unfortunately. So what are you to do when you love your beef and feel you must have it at least three times a week? Will you continue to buy beef as the prices continue to soar? Or will you opt to explore other options? You could always go Vegan but that’s going to require a lot of adjustment and commitment. Not that you can’t make the change, but it’s something to consider as you ponder your options. Chicken is always a tasty alternative, not to mention it can be prepared in a variety of appealing ways. But if you feel about beef like so many of us do, you will simply find a way to pinch those pennies a little harder and enjoy your burgers and steak regardless until the beef shortage eliminates this option all together. Even though you may not be feeling the affects of the cattle shortage right now, don’t be surprised if you one day find yourself asking, “where’s the beef?”

Know your Achilles’ Heel

 

 

Would it be safe to say that everyone has an Achilles’ Heel? You know, that weak spot or point of vulnerability that you may try to keep hidden as form a of self-preservation or protection. Being human, you may agree that everyone has an Achilles’ Heel. The thing is to find out what that area of weakness is for you. Some people have become very good at concealing their weaknesses, and with good reason. For example, say for instance you’re a person who just learned that  you’re diabetic. Your family is having a huge family picnic coming up this weekend. Now, you’ve only recently discovered your diagnosis, so your family is unaware. Everyone is contributing and bringing a dish to pass; all the fixins and then some. You’ve already had a private conversation with yourself and concluded that what your family doesn’t know, won’t hurt them. You carry on normally as you would have prior to your diagnosis. You don’t know much about the disease of diabetes, but you were just diagnosed, so how bad could it be? Your plan is to eat, drink and be merry.  And that’s exactly what you do!

There is tons of food, all kinds; grilled meats,baked beans,salads, an array of deserts that you cannot resist. Now, you’ve always had a voracious appetite, so taking in a hefty amount of food has never been an issue. For you, it’s no holds barred. You pile your plate high and eat everything that doesn’t eat you first! It doesn’t take long for you to notice that you suddenly aren’t feeling too well.  You try to guzzle down some soda in hopes that it might settle your stomach but that only seemed to make things worse.  You attempt to stand up but get a major head-rush and have to quickly sit back down. “What in the world is happening?” One of your family members notices you and comments on how pale you look and asks if you’re okay. You can barely respond but manage to choke out a reply saying that you feel very sick and that you think you may need to go to the “emergency” room. This is the last thing you remember!

When you realize anything, you’re in a hospital room and your doctor is standing over you. He questions you about what you were doing prior to coming to the hospital. You told him you remembered being at your family’s picnic and that you were eating at which time you started feeling ill. Your doctor then asks you what you had to eat. As you begin to run down a list of tasty but unhealthy choices, he interrupts you  before you can finish. He very firmly reminds you of your recent diagnosis. Your doctor then looks you right in the eye and warns that you have to be extremely careful about the food you intake. He further advises that you need to view sweets and starchy foods as your Achilles’ Heel and that if you continue to make these unhealthy choices, this disease will progress much more quickly and can be potentially fatal;not to mention all the complications that come along with this disease. You just look at him like he has two heads, but you hear the warning loud and clear. It is explained to you that you had an episode of hyperglycemia and that your blood sugar level was severely elevated. You assure the doctor that this only needed to happen to you once and that you would be making much better choices in the future. It’s one thing to be walking around and not know what your Achilles’ Heel is, but once you know better, you will most likely try and do better!

 

 

 

 

 

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