I went to the Trinity Baptist Trunk & Treat event tonight to support my two gal pals Lyn Wood Rix and Deborah Williams (translation = eat their candy). They both decorated the trunks of their cars and gave out sweets, as other adult members of the church did.
Parents and children from the church and surrounding community vote on the best looking trunk and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are announced at the end. Trinity Babtist is a church, a private school academy, and a Christian college.
Florida Christian fiction writer Dalyn Woods and I took off to relax for a week in central Florida. It was my first vacation since my husband passed away, nearly one year ago. We had a terrific time, yet it felt strange being there without Joseph. Daylyn and I stayed at Westgate Town Center and Resort in Kissimmee. [Disclaimer: this is a time share resort and I know they are somewhat controversial, but my husband purchased and paid for a time share thinking he and I would use it.]
Then it was off to the on-site waterpark where we floated in the lazy-river, had lunch, then lazed in lounge chairs watching children playing in the water.
The resort is affiliated with Disney. While we were there we watched at no charge (in their little theatre) two Star Wars movies and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
A word about FOOD…
We also went off campus to eat at Giordanos for Italian and the Wildside Barbeque and Steakhouse. I took photos at Giordanos but we were so hungry when we went to the Wildside we just dove in and I didn’t get any shots. The food was real good in both places. BTW, we got coupons from the resort for both.
The weather was balmy in Jacksonville today. That’s the only word to describe it. In the low 80s with a soft breeze. I had to mention it.
This is the street Sophie and I walk down twice a day so she can do her business.
Since I’m a transplant from Brooklyn, I hate to lord it over anyone…especially since the northeast is supposed to get more snow. Oh, who am I kidding. It’s fun teasing you Yankees about it. All of a sudden, I’m a southern gal. Isn’t that a kick?
I moved my fire-pit today. I live in what they call a duplex here. In Brooklyn they would call it an attached house. It had been on my neighbor’s side of the property. He didn’t complain. But I knew I’d put it up too far over. So, I remedied the situation. As the day was gorgeous, the little bit of work went quickly.
Disclaimer: I’m a yuge Trump supporter, so everything written here has to be viewed through that lens. The rally was held tonight at 7pm in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. I was supposed to meet author Linda Wood Rondeau and her husband Steve. In fact I never would’ve printed out a ticket if Linda hadn’t said she was going. They were scheduled to leave at 4pm. I’m new to Jacksonville and unsure of driving downtown, so I left at 3:25 and arrived just after 4pm. There was already a line and people were being admitted into the arena. Street vendors sold a variety of Trump paraphernalia. A bottle of water cost $3.00. I decided I didn’t need hydration right then.
The line moved quickly and folks were admitted right away. What totally amazed me were the number of supporters who chose to stand for the entire event just so they would be under the podium. My friends Linda and Steve hadn’t yet arrived. I suspected it would not be easy to meet up with them in that crowd, so I looked for a seat. The very best ones were already taken, but I did manager to get one with an excellent view of the podium half way up in the bleachers.
There were plenty of red “Make America Great Again” hats in evidence around the arena. The crowd was much more diverse than is reported in the media. To be sure, white working class males were in evidence. However there were also quite a number of blacks, Latinos, women, as well as teenagers and college kids. Two twenty-something guys ran around in homemade ‘Trump-capes’ like super-heroes. I found the people around me to be friendly. Active cross-conversations were taking place. Supporters not only spoke to the persons on either side of them, but leaned forward to talk to those in front of them and turned around to address those behind.After all, there would be at least two hours to fill before the opening speeches. The arena holds 16,000 and it was packed solid. My earlier suspicion was correct. I never did find Linda and Steve, though we texted each other for a while.
The opening speeches were rousing, though the crowd didn’t need much pumping up. Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry didn’t run away like John Kasich did at the RNC Convention. Mayor Curry warmly welcomed and addressed the crowd. The local chair of the RNC and Sharon Day, co-chair of the national RNC spoke, the dynamic Florida senator Ted Yoho, as did Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The bottom line seemed to be jobs, national security and personal safety, and the Supreme Court. There was an obvious law enforcement presence and all of the speaker lauded them, as well as giving accolades to first responders, and the military. This was always accompanied by loud cheering from the crowd…and I clapped and cheered along with everyone else.
I was a bit surprised by the pounding music which seemed to favor songs by the Rolling Stones, although there were a few arias by The Three Tenors tossed in. And odd combination to say the least, but also emotionally moving.
Finally Donald J. Trump arrived with Secret Service agents preceding and following him.
Naturally Trump spoke about building the wall and having Mexico pay for it. He decried how heroin and crime were coming across the border, saying a nation without borders is not a nation. He said jobs that had been outsourced to foreign countries would come back to the United States. That the American people would win-win-win so much, they’d get sick of winning. He instructed each supporter to not only vote on November 8th, but to bring five people to the polls with them.
When the crowd left it was dark outside and the atmosphere had changed. Protestors shouted at us, but the police had the situation under control. What shocked me was the number of vendors had astronomically increased and they were hawking tee shirts bordering on the obscene. They yelled at supporters to get our attention focused upon what was printed on the shirts. I won’t repeat any of it here, but many of the blurbs on the shirts involved Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton and were graphic. I hurried to my car without incident. There were few police in the parking lot and few were needed. I got out of the lot relatively quickly…then got stuck in the traffic jam rally goers were creating.
And I kept having the sense that I’d become part of American political history. That sitting there waving my ‘Trump sign’, standing and cheering over and over, I’d become part of a phenomena that had never before occurred in American political history. A phenomena that didn’t’ pay attention to the political rules, and it felt good. Of course this phenomena occurred because the average (and that cuts across all categories of those voters, not just HS educated white males) had been lied to by their politicians for decades. Trump couldn’t do this with out us, and we couldn’t do it without his leadership. It felt real good. And I have to admit, yelling “Lock her up,” is fun.
I’m a believer in God’s blessing. I believe He delights in blessing those who love and follow Him. That said, I also believe in good stewardship. And I don’t believe ‘frugal’ and ‘blessing’ are opposed to each other.
I’m also a list maker and one who always has Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.
If statistics are correct, a great number of people, when the January bills came in last year, nearly had a stroke? Their Christmas spending literally wiped out their savings? It would be a good idea not to do that again this year. Proverbs 21:20 [The Living Bible] ~ The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.
Tips For A Wonderful Christmas Than Won’t Break The Bank:
Tip #1: Decide what you can afford to spend…and then pay with cash. People who use cash spend less than those who pull out the plastic. Paying cash insures you won’t go into debt.
Tip #2: Make a list (not a naughty or nice one). Simply divide your budget by the number of people on it. You might have to make two lists, one for the people you’ll be giving more expensive gifts (loved ones), and one for associates you’d like to bless but you intend to spend less. With either list, if the ideal gift for one is less than you’re spending for others (but is still in the ball park and doesn’t look cheap), don’t try to compensate by throwing in a bunch of pointless do-dads that eat up money. If it looks cheap, then perhaps you should question if it’s ideal. Remember frugal doesn’t equal cheap.
Tip #3: Have your list in your hand when you shop for gifts (or for food, for that matter). Stores will have incredible Christmas sales and you’ll be tempted to overbuy. This is also where shopping with cash will help you. You can’t buy it if you can’t pay for it. Leave your credit cards home.
Tip #4: If you have an aging parent, get all the “kids” together to purchase one big, more expensive item mom or pop might be yearning for but can’t afford, rather than a bunch of smaller gifts.
Tip #5: Create a Christmas menu for your holiday dinner(s) and/or buffet(s). Make a list . Don’t wander around the super market picking up whatever catches your eye. If you do that, you’ll wind up with items you won’t use and have to come back for what you should’ve purchased the first time — a costly mistake.
Tip #6: If you shop with coupons (and that’s a real good idea) throw away those for items you don’t usually use. Don’t wait until you get into the store because you might succumb to the temptation to purchase those items because they’re a bargain…and honestly, you’ll be staring at them on your shelf for a long time until you finally throw them out.
Don’t forget to include in your budget a gift to whatever mission or charity your church is sponsoring this Christmas. Send a check to a TV or radio ministry you’ve watched for years but have never financially supported. Give to your local food bank. Whenever you see a Salvation Army worker ringing a bell, throw a dollar or two into the pot. A wonderful idea is to fill a shoebox and send it to Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child. Or you can fill a box online, or simply make a small contribution. While we’re cautious about spending, we can budget in ways that honor the Kingdom of God.