The Revenant

Slight spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it! I apologize.

The movie, The Revenant, was released in 2015; however, not being a real movie-goer, I am just seeing it. I started watching it in the middle (not that it matters, its 3 hours long) and was glued to the story. To my husband’s utmost disgust, I caught up with its beginning elements by asking him questions as we watched.  Anyway, long story short…. a man, Leonardo Dicaprio, was left to raise his son alone after his wife was killed by an army of soldiers. He became a guide to a group of fur traders, but was left for dead by the group after being attacked by a bear. One man from the group also killed his son. Somehow, Lord knows I wouldn’t have, he survived and avenged the death of his son and the atrocities committed against him.

The word revenant means: a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead. Applying to the movie because this man was all but dead; yet, he through sheer will and determination managed to heal, find the bad men and right the wrongs.

However, what I am stuck on is the definition of revenant. Was it a good thing or not? He’s alive, but he is still dead. All that matters to him is lost. Was there anything  left alive but sweet vengeance? What does he do now? I was left open, raw, and wanting at the movie’s end. Was that the director’s purpose?



Drop everything and…

(In the voice of Sophia Petrillo from the Golden Girls) ” Picture this!”

Back home in the Neal household, books were being read by the children while the mother washed dishes and cooked dinner, simultaneously (imagine that, men!)All of a sudden a voice could be heard from one of the children “She didn’t need him for anything, so that made him want to give her everything! His heart included!” Those words sounded so strange coming out if a child’s mouth. The mother turned to find one of her six-year-olds reading the romance novel she had so carelessly thrown on the couch. DEAR time ( Drop, Everything, And, Read) suddenly turned into DEAGTDB time (Drop Everything, And, Grab, The, Damn, Book!)  Yeah, one of those days….needless to say, the books are now put away.

Camp Boggy Creek


My daughter has a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus. She was first diagnosed in October of 2015, so we are a year shy of the first anniversary. To say this has been a battle would be like saying climbing Stone Mountain was a piece a cake (BTW – tried that, almost died). Anyway, I digress…Back to my daughter. She takes so many medications, has infusions every two weeks and receives a weekly injection at home (daddy-not me!). She has flare-ups of muscle inflammation, pain, lethargy, and a good-dose of adolescent attitude coupled with female hormones. This all makes for a great daughter at certain times of the month. With all the negatives associated with the disease, positives are always welcome and one came our way through a recommendation to a apply for Camp Boggy Creek from a nurse at her Rheumatologist.

Camp Boggy Creek is a proud member of SeriousFun Children’s Network. Founded by Paul Newman, SeriousFun Children’s Network is a growing global community of independently managed and financed camps and programs creating opportunities for children with serious illnesses and their families to reach beyond illness and discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibilities, always free of charge. Its mission is to foster a spirit of joy by creating a free, safe and medically-sound camp environment that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families.

We applied and she was accepted to attend the summer camp week for children with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hemophilia. It is a sleep-away camp She had a blast and came back reeking of camp – three minute showers! Uggh.  The camp also sponsors family retreats. During weekends in the spring and fall we welcome 32 campers and their whole families to camp where parents can relax and find needed support among other families dealing with similar emotional and financial challenges. Brothers and sisters get to participate in the same fun-filled activities since every family member is considered a camper during family weekends.

Well, we went this past weekend, Sept-23-25 with the immediate family – me, husband, and three daughters (13,6, and 6). Guess what? We also had a blast! The camp staff was so attentive and caring. We enjoyed archery, horse-back riding, miniature golf, therapy dogs, woodshop, crafts, boating, fishing, a NASA presentation, a visit to the pool, and GREAT FOOD! We stayed in an air-conditioned cabin equipped with 3 restroom stalls and 2 showers. We were loaded up with freebies such as quilts, stuffed bears, t-shirts, and drawstring backpacks. We sang songs, learned cheers, and dances. Boy, did we dance! I loved it and can’t wait to apply for the next retreat.  And remember, this is a free benefit for us. A positive in a sea of negatives. Thanks Boggy Creek! Visit the site below and remember to buy Newman’s Own products. All proceeds go to sponsor the camps.

Camp Boggy Creek

Newman’s Own








Obsolete oblivion

Mimeograph, 8-track, phonograph, phones with cords, typewriter? Yep, you guessed it , items that have long been obsolete and replaced by more efficient things to ease our lives… I guess. However, have you ever stopped to consider the things that will quickly join the Hall of Obselete Fame?  I learned today that my-six-year-old daughters have no idea what a disposable camera is. When presented with one, they were perplexed as to how to work it and what the purpose was of having a “camera” that could not instantly produce pictures like a phone or digital camera. They quickly tired of the nuance of the object and discarded it for serving no immediate purpose for them. In a mind-halt moment, I realized I wanted the pace of life to slow down. The hustle and bustle, the immediacy, the getting to the next step mindset that makes us tire of the good and stable for the new and faster.

A hello to all

Melissa approached her”black sister” at a craft fair in Palm Harbor on Saturday 9/10/16. Her purpose was to invite me to share in her ministry of greeting all of God’s children with a simple hello. Melissa also made sure to communicate to me that she especially makes a point to greet her black brothers and sisters because she hopes to dispel the feeling that all white people are racists. While I can appreciate her ministry, her presentation was off-putting. It was the serving of a gourmet meal on a garbage pan lid. I kinda didn’t want it, even though it was good. To my Melissas out there…not everyone you meet is like everyone you have met. Let your message speak for itself without all the caveats. It has its own power. Watch…

Hello, my brothers and sisters, I want to acknowledge your presence and your importance.


Peekaboo Personality

Hello all,

We all love tests that can tell us more about ourselves – the ins and outs, the whys and the why nots! I have finally found one that really is the truth. It is a 100 questions long, but goes quickly with immediate results that you can email to yourself.

16 personalities

I took it and found that I am…ESTJ Personality (“The Executive”)

Individual traits: Extraverted – 82%, Observant – 56%, Thinking – 59%, Judging – 93%, Assertive – 75%.

Role: Sentinel

Strategy: People Mastery(LMFAO!)

ESTJs are representatives of tradition and order, utilizing their understanding of what is right, wrong and socially acceptable to bring families and communities together. Embracing the values of honesty, dedication and dignity, people with the ESTJ personality type are valued for their clear advice and guidance, and they happily lead the way on difficult paths. Taking pride in bringing people together, ESTJs often take on roles as community organizers, working hard to bring everyone together in celebration of cherished local events, or in defense of the traditional values that hold families and communities together.