Fun and Free

o2bFun COVER

Krispy Kreme NATIONWIDE on Thursday, October 31, 2013 is giving Away One Free Original Glazed Donut to Each Person coming into ANY Krispy Kreme in their Halloween Costume … Nationwide so that means everyone can enjoy!

Another bit of information, this coming Sunday, November 3, 2013 is Daylight Savings Time so you know the Drill … FALL BACK!  Saturday Night at Midnight move your clocks back one (1) hour and chose to either get an extra hour of sleep or party on!

Until next time make it Real … REAL FUN that is 🙂  Brenda

Goddesses

She came from afar to visit us, one of those three (3) BFFs of mine!  The Hubs (who told me what to entitle this post) took these photos of ‘his Goddess’ and her BFF at The Parthenon pillars along with the remake of the Goddess Athena, known as goddess of Wisdom (her structure is in gold leaf where she stands 42 foot and 10 inches from floor to the top of her helmet!) 

The Parthenon was originally constructed about 500 BC in Athens, Greece and remained intact until the 1800’s when the Phoenicians stored munitions in it then an enemy shell exploded and destroyed the structure.  The only thing that remains standing today are the pillars and due to the popularity of the structure in Athens the city left this temporary structure standing as is after the explosion along with a museum nearby full of historical information.

VivBrendaGoddesses   VivBrenda BGoddesses  godesses VivBrenda

Greece Night View

In 1897, the city of Nashville undertook building the full-scale replica for the Tennessee Centennial year as a gallery space, after that year as expected the structure started to decay, so Nashville decided to create a complete replica of the original Greek temple both inside and out.  On May 21, 1931 the Nashville Parthenon reopened to the public attracting over 10,000 visitors from 46 stated and 12 foreign countries during its first month! 

Since it’s unveiling in 1931 the Nashville Parthenon still attracts large crowds daily so if you can make a Nashville trip enjoy it, BUT if you come to Athens, Greece their economy would love the American economic shot and you might see us, either way hope you have enjoyed a bit of the Hubs Greek History!

Until next time, keep it Real … REAL FUN that is!  Brenda

Bangkok

In tourist areas of Bangkok you will find plenty of Western known hotels (Marriott) or restaurants (Hard Rock) but please visit Local Restaurants before you orchestrate a shopping extravaganza suitable for any purse size as long as you shop at Thailand local markets not the Western known places.  There are a number of attractions to be found in the outlying areas of Bangkok and adjacent provinces such as King Rama IX Royal Park, Nonthaburi, The Ancient City, and the one that caught my eye … Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (rent daily 7 am to 1 pm longtail boat and float to each local fruit, vegetable or flower boat to purchase their goods.)  Bangkok has a sky rail and metro subway for best access around.  Also important (or at least to me) public bathrooms are not readily available so look for Western hotel or restaurant around town to use unless you are willing to try a “squat house.”

Note, never ever insult Thailand Royalty or Buddhism!  Buddhism in Thailand is nearly 95% of the population belief and worship style, this stems from when King Ramkhamhaeng the Great made this the predominate religion. Thailand is similar to that in other Southeast Asian countries which Thailand shares cultural and historical heritage from Buddhism.

The first major force that has influenced the development of Buddhism in Thailand is from Theravada school of Buddhism, imported from Sir Lanka. The Theravada school provides most of the major themes of Thai Buddhism, by traditional Pali and the language of religion in Thailand. Scriptures are recorded inPali, using either the modern Thai script or the older Khom and Tham scripts. Pali is also used in religious liturgy.

The second major influence on Thai Buddhism is Hindu beliefs received from Cambodia. Vedic Hinduism played a strong role in the early Thai institution of kingship, just as it did in Cambodia, and exerted influence in the creation of laws and order for Thai society as well as Thai religion. Certain rituals practiced in modern Thailand, either by monks or by Hindu ritual specialists, are either explicitly identified as Hindu in origin, or are easily seen to be derived from Hindu practices. While the visibility of Hinduism in Thai society has been diminished substantially during Chakri dynasty, Hindu influences, particularly shrines to their god Brahma, continue to be seen in and around Buddhist ceremonies.

The Thai tradition supports men to go into a monastery, dress and act as monks, and study while there. The time line is based on three, staying as a monk for three days, or three weeks, or three months or three years, or example of three weeks and three days. This retreat is expected of all male Thai, rich or poor, and often is scheduled after high school. Such retreat brings honor to the family and blessings (merit) to the young man. Thai businesses make allowances for men who follow this practice, such as holding open a job.  Female Theravada bhikkhuni lineage was never established in Thailand. As a result, there is a widespread perception among Thai is that women are expected to live as lay followers, making merit in the hopes of being born in a different role in their next life. 

You might also want to get and read before going a book called “Insight Guides Thailand” by APA Publications  which the Hubs has read for all of Thailand!  Frona hope you enjoyed this and as “we personally” believe the “next life,” will be with God not in reincaration… just say’en!              Until next time everyone, keep it Real … REAL FUN that is 🙂 Brenda

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BangkokA

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Columbus Day

Barceolna Spain ChristopherColumbus Statute   ColumbusDay Photo

A U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century but did not become a Federal Holiday until the 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. Throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have appeared in recent years.

Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer had set sail two months prior, backed by the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and Spice Islands of Asia; instead, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century.

Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba and believed it was mainland China; in December the expedition found Hispaniola, which he thought might be Japan. There, he established Spain’s first colony in the Americas with 39 of his men. In March 1493, the explorer returned to Spain in triumph, bearing gold, spices and “Indian” captives. He crossed the Atlantic several more times before his death in 1506; by his third journey, he realized that he hadn’t reached Asia but instead had stumbled upon a continent previously unknown to Europeans.

In many parts of the United States, Columbus Day has evolved into a celebration of Italian-American heritage. Local groups host parades and street fairs featuring colorful costumes, music and Italian food. In cities and towns that use the day to honor indigenous peoples, activities include pow-wows, traditional dance and lessons about Native American culture.  Otherwise it’s a Government Holiday so enjoy your day off work and if you have to work you can still have ‘work fun,’ just get Vicki “Games” Grimes to help create something for you as she’s da Best!

Until next time, keep it Real … REAL FUN that is  Brenda 🙂

T.B.T.

For the past year “Throw Back Thursday (TBT)” has been popular most especially with social media.  So for the first time ever, here are my ‘throw backs.’  Going out to the #2A and #2B men in my life …

2A = My Son whom I am so very proud of, brag about and the best young man any mother could ever be proud of.  These three photos of my Nate are ones I cherish since they display to me three important times of growth in his life.  First is when he was “momma’s little man,” then second with “Exodus 20:17 His Band,” and ending with the Best thing he could have ever introduced into our family his beautiful bride, Catie note this was their first ever prom together … I hope you enjoy!

NateCatiePROM  Nate.Mom 1991

Nates Band Exodus 20.17

2B = My Daddy, William Hatfield, I talk about my Daddy isim’s a lot and he has taught me to be the giving person that I am today (or in my opinion that is how I see myself).  Dad never was a talker he’s always been a listener and discerner with the gift of giving.  Now as most parents he both gave in fun and gave in discipline so I have had my share of discipline if you know what I mean 🙂       Photos below are my Dad as the young father I remember, making jokes at Christmas time and the most recent one of us all together.  I truly hope I took all the good of my Daddy and make him proud daily.

Dad 1949  Dad Laughing

Mom.Dad.Brenda

So you probably guessed what my #1 Man is … yes 1A is God and 1B is the Hubs!  I haven’t physically seen God/Jesus so I cannot include any photos here and the Hubs asked I not show his photos on “the internet” so being the respectful wife none of him to be included. 

In closing I wanted to share something from Sunday and I hope it speaks to you as it did to me, Pastor Ben mentioned:  “Have you ever seen someone do something that they ‘got by with it’ yet when you tried to do something very close to what they ‘got by with.’  All hell broke loose and you wonder why can’t I ‘get by with it also.’  Pastor stated that you have Christ in you and he is not going to allow ‘his temple,’ to ‘get by with things or actions not pleasing to God.’  OK for me light bulbs went off so again another work in progress.  I hope this helps you when you (like me) have your selfish moments … just had to share that!

Be sure to let those you Love know how much they mean to you and this Social Media “Throw Back Thursday’s” is a Great opportunity to do that in a fun-loving way!  Anyways, until next time let your #1 or #2 or #3 or #4 or #5’s know they mean the World to you …

Keep it Real … REAL FUN that is 🙂  Brenda

It’s Tough

I’ve often heard “let it roll off like water from a ducks back,” but it’s so very hard when you hurt.  Once again I seem to be at this point in life and if you are like me, when it rains it pours in Three’s so there is never one hurt at a time and they are from every direction for Both of our Families.

Emotional or tough times hurt us all so deeply that for me, I need to use wisdom and that’s tough when you hurt.  In my opinion what works for me is to get lots of good sleep, do an activity that’s emotionally Fun for me, watch/listen to something that will make me laugh, not make any major decisions for 24 hours and I need to saturate myself in the Word.  Again this is me and yes I am a believer with my own personal relationship with God!

I chose to surround myself with like-minded friends and family but learn to share or gain directions from like-minded Friends.  Why, for me Right Now as much as I love and need my families input when sharing they only support me without looking at the big picture, we need Honest Constructive direction that comes from true friends that love us by wanting situations to be better not just band aided until the next time.  I am thinking of my BFF who I so appreciate as she WILL tell me when I am being selfish or over reacting or when something does not look good no matter how much I like it!  I have grown to appreciate her wisdom along with the “take it off now,” especially when I see myself in a photo with the outfit she told me not to purchase but I did, then I scream at how I look, she just smiles, makes no comment.

Also I was reminded of a great story shared by a classmate that I hope you like (it’s just a story the Hubs and I are GREAT!):           As a little girl she continues to remember how one night after a hard day of work her Mother fixed breakfast for dinner but burnt the biscuits on the bottom.  When Mom sat the food in front of her husband he simply slathered butter/jelly on the burnt part and ate several biscuits then complimented his wife on a great dinner, at which time she stated sorry I burnt the biscuits.  That night before bed my friend said she asked her Dad do you really like burnt biscuits which he replied “your Mother had a rough day and sometimes I do like burnt biscuits because I love Mom more.”  Every time I think of this I am reminded we need to “pick and chose our battles,” sometimes (the key word here) burnt biscuits are better than ‘burnt words.’  So, today I am grateful for this story along with all the years of Joyce Meyer teaching as it’s making these “lows” easier (But I Am NOT there yet peeps!) so I am still learning how to let that water roll off and let it go to God’s will.

One of my current lows is forgiving as forgiveness is necessary for my mental health but I have found that I also need to set and keep boundaries for my future emotional hurts.  Set your necessary boundaries but love people through the hurt, sometimes the best gift you can give yourself is to forgive others even if they don’t think they did anything wrong or accept your apology.  This is really tough for me so personally I look at these verses for help: Proverbs 4:23 and Colossians 3:13-15, again just say’en this is my way and again the Hubs and I are Great!

On a FUN Note … Oldsmar Top of the Bay Oktoberfest is coming up and when I worked at the chamber we grew this event with so many added Fun activities that I Always Promote Oktoberfest!  You must go October 18-20 to enjoy the oomph Bands, watch Shoe platter Dancers, enjoy Real German food, participate in Log Sawing, Keg hurling and Stein Holding contests then close out your visit at both the Carnival area (be a kid again!) and Art/Craft Vendors, forget promotion heck I am pushing this event!

Until next time, keep it Real … REAL FUN that is by visiting Oktoberfest Oct 18-20 and let me know what fun you had!                

REAL FUN … Brenda 🙂

Oktoberfest

o2bFun COVER

Hong Kong

So a recap on a trip which truly gave me culture shock even though it was 21 wonderful days in Beautiful Kowloon Hong Kong.  Kowloon, Hong Kong was named this as it name stems from Nine Dragons which refers to eight mountains around Kowloon also a tidbit is that 48% of the Hong Kong population lives in Kowloon. 

Kowloon when first explored on our first day, reminded me of the movie ‘Blade Runner,’ the large building with packed streets the architect was just so much more modern that in the states and 1000% different from in the states, I can truly say to this day it has other countries beat when it comes to Culture Shock but all in a great way! 

“Dragons” are quite respected in Hong Kong, did you know each building must be built allowing a complete cut out of the building for the ‘dragon to pass through during the night.’  It’s true each building has a space where there is a big hole through and through for the dragon!  Quick note, we made friends with a lady who had a five (5) year old daughter that when she saw me she said “that lady has blue eyes like the dragon and yellow hair like the dragon,” I’m hoping that was a compliment.

Victoria Harbour was just outside out hotel window where we saw small boats they call “junks” that locals lived on, another culture shock to me as they have their pets living on these boats.  We were on a business junk headed to visit “Jumbo’s Kingdom Floating Restaurant” (this experience will be a whole different blog with photos, have you ever heard of red bean sauce as a dessert, like I said a whole different blog!) when I saw my first residential junks.  Here their dog honestly perched his little hinny over the side of the boat to go to the bathroom, at first I went ewww then I laughed, can you image your pet doing that here in the states, I hope not or the coast guard will be called to your boat, just say’en!

We stayed at The Kowloon Hotel on Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong … of course I felt at home the place is on “Nathan” road so close to my son’s name Nathaniel and even though he was not with us in “name” he was.  A very nice first class hotel where each “wing” of the hotel had their own assigned concierge at you’re beckoning call 24/7/365 and I do mean your beckoning call.

September weather is 83 degrees F but felt like 92 with 82% humidity during the day at nights 80 degrees F but felt like 88 degrees so very sticky.  Considering weather, the best time to be in Hong Kong is December through February annually which is also heavy tourist season.

In their mountain area which is about 30 minutes ride from our hotel, you can find all the local vendors selling their wares/produce/creations.  Boy did I have fun these people are ‘under tall like me,’ the ladies have small feet and I truly believe in what I call God Winks as I do not speak Cantonese (since this is traditional Chinese country, they speak Cantonese and I was away from Hotel Translators) I just opened my wallet to show these sweet ladies what I had, they took what I guess they needed and on I went.  Not to mention when I returned to the hotel I was told I had not spent a lot of money, yea God Wink with enough money left to have a custom-made cocktail dress!  The Chinese bow before you when talking/purchasing/ordering meals/etc. so bow back out of respect.

I truly wish someone had told us in advance about flying to Hong Kong so here is you’re “Heads Up!”  We flew from Charleston, WVa early in the morning to San Francisco, CA and the next day our flight left for Kai Tak Airport just outside Kowloon.  When you get on the California plane about 10 a.m., they do tell you it is a 14 hour flight, this plane has plenty of room where each seat reclines back a little further than normal with foot rests.  NOW the kicker is they feed you a light lunch then begin closing all windows, turning down the lights, bring around a warm wash cloth and tell all passengers to please enjoy quiet time and get some rest because when you arrive in Hong Kong it will be 12 hours ahead of the current time in California.  REALLY, if I had known this I would have stayed up all night playing games and enjoying a bit of Vino.  Sleep, are you kidding me, I just slept for Seven (7) full hours but OK I will tried to do as instructed, I paid for this when we landed so for your future Hong Kong travel if you are leaving from CA. don’t sleep!

Last just remember when traveling to most of the Orient they are 12 hours ahead of your home state so the best time to call or text family/friends is evening.  Your evenings that is say when it’s 7pm your time it’s 7 AM their time so I tried to only connect with family/friends between 8 pm to 11 pm my Hong Kong Time but don’t expect others to remember that it’s an Honest mistake as my phone rang many times between USA 10 am (my 10 pm) and 5 pm (my 5 AM) … on well I chose to love them!

That’s a quick update on the past Hong Kong trip and I believe one of my longest blogs but hope it helps! 

Until next time, keep it Real … REAL FUN that is 🙂 Brenda

Kowloon Hotel

The Kowloon Hotel as you head to the “streets”

Kowloon HongKong

Post Card photo from hotel window

 

HK Junk photo.o.photo

Photo of a Photo of “Residential Junks” in Hong Kong Harbour