Just A Few Crowns

Did you know that the cities of Charlotte, North Carolina and St. Augustine, Florida as well as the Kansas City Royals baseball team have a crown as part of their logos? Our site features a crown as its logo also. It got us to wondering what other companies are known for their crowns.

Here are just some that feature crowns in their logos. These are ones that most people have heard about.

Dolce & Gabbana Is described as “an Italian luxury fashion house founded in 1985”. The top quality fashion brand was started by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

Hallmark Primarily known for their greeting cards and TV network, the Hallmark Channel. “Hallmark Cards, Inc. believes that when you care enough, you can change the world.”

Rolex A classic high-end watch company. They are known for being “robust, sturdy and reliable”. They use products that make them resistant to corrosion and provide a high sheen. They also maintain their value.

Saab A Swedish company that focuses on keeping people safe. They stopped making cars in 2011, but still operate in security and military defence.

Starbucks A coffee company that has locations all over the world. They are known for their coffee crafting and doing good. They support many initiatives to help communities.

The Ritz-Carlton “The Gold Standard of Hospitality”. They are committed to service and have high quality rooms and environments with locations all over the world.


Happy 4th of July

It’s 4th of July and for many, history lessons from school have been replaced with beach parties, picnics and fireworks. So here’s a refresher on what Independence Day is really about.

According to Britannica.com, July 4th celebrates the passage of the Declaration of Independence when in 1776, Congress voted to be free from Great Britain’s monarchy.

From the National Archives, here is how the Declaration of Independence reads. Why not announce this at your party?


For Your Spirit-Living in the World

What does living in the world but not being of the world, really mean? You’ve probably seen some of the bumper stickers that say something like Not of This World.

This saying comes from the Bible verse,

John 17: 15-17, “I do not ask that you take them out of this world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of this world, just as I am not of this world, 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

So what does it look like to navigate this world while still being in the truth? Do we shed our old lives, leaving them bare? Do we start a whole new life and reject the old? Or, is it that we navigate a world with a new perspective coming from the truth? How do we choose projects and people that align with a new view and still thrive in the world? It can get tricky but I believe you can do it. 

Do people know that you are a Christian, if you are one?  Or, do you stay hidden, afraid to be rejected if people knew the real you?

The verse before John 17:15 is John 17:14, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of this world, just as I am not of the world.”

We may not have heard about many ordinary people who have chosen not to be of this world. They have proclaimed Jesus’ name without fear. You may have passed them on the street speaking or singing about their love for God. Most of them help in community service or at church. They may have risked everything for their love and yet they remain unknown.

There are a few famous people that are in this world but choose to speak about not being of this world. Below are some categories with people who have spoken about the love that shines inside of them. You might have seen a trend where once they announced their faith, they had challenges from the world. You might not agree with everything they stand for but you have to agree they had courage. Possibly, there was a lot of controversy around them. Most likely, you haven’t heard of all the challenges they went through because they tried to stay focused on what matters.

So, regardless of the challenges that might arise, are you willing to tell people about Jesus, or are you trying to hold on to this shaky world for fear the world will hate you?

Please note, initially this list was written with names of examples in each category but after careful consideration, it was determined to not include their names in order to protect them from further issues that might arise. So, when you think of people in each of these categories what names come to mind?

Yes, TV Preachers


TV Hosts

Movie Stars



Creative Writing Session

Last week, I held a creative prompt writing session on Zoom because the place that we have been meeting at has been under renovation and there is a change of ownership. So, I thought I’d take it online like so many others are doing lately. It also opens up the group to people in other areas. It isn’t meant to replace meeting in person and I hope to have a more permanent home for it soon.

One of the things we do during our meetings is give the opportunity to share writing with others. I model this off the Brown Bag writing prompt group I used to go to in San Diego.

The prompt we worked off of last week was to write in the perspective of a city official where the town has suffered from a high tech firm causing problems in their community. The place is at an old fashioned town meeting. The prompt was inspired by an article in the May/June 2022 Writer’s Digest titled “Writing Prompts That Teach.”

I thought I’d share my writing with you. It’s in raw form–what I wrote without stopping to think or edit. It needs revisions. For one thing, I mostly haven’t attributed the quotes to a speaker, but the great thing about writing practice is, since I only wrote for 15 minutes during the timed prompt I don’t have much investment in it. I can take it or leave it. That’s what writing without thinking too much about it is. You can decide if you want to use it or toss it. Sometimes it just needs to sit for a while to percolate.

It could be considered a brave step for me to bare this raw material. Or, some might think it’s laziness to not polish it up before posting, but I think what I’m aiming to show is that everything we create has a starting point. Some of it gets to a polished end and some of it gets thrown into the trash. You decide.

And, if you’re available on Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m. EST, join me for the next zoom session. Just post in the comments section and add your email address. Comments are monitored so I don’t have to show your email to the world!

Raw prompt writing sample.

“I’m here to address the issue of the high rise tech firm causing excessive traffic in the community and the offensive odors being emitted…”

“Mr. Mayor, I have a comment…”

“Please, no questions until after the issue is addressed–”

“But Mr. Radison…”

“As I said, in order to keep our meeting in the time allotted, we need to hold our questions.”

“But, …”

“As I said, so now, where were we? OK, look folks first off, I would like to apologize to the community for the trouble. We are in the process of addressing your complaints. We understand, there was a traffic jam outside just to get into this meeting.”

“Yeah, Mr. Radison, we’ve never had none, no problems like this before.”

“As I stated, we are sorry for many of you having trouble finding parking for this meeting. We have a plan being worked up for a parking structure on 6th & Stevens.”

“But, Mr. Radison.”

“We will need to adjust the budget to make room for the structure.”

“But, Mr. Radison, what about the offensive odors? My kid got sick.”


“One issue at a time. As I was saying, about the parking structure, the funds need to build it far exceed our budget. We’ll need to move budgets around to have enough. Our extra recycling services will have to go.”

“But wait, that’s my job.”

“Can we raise more money?”

“As I was saying, we’re looking at shifting around funding. You can send your questions and comments to the email address on the screen.”

Mr. Radison paused and wiped the sweat from his forehead. He wasn’t sure how to address the issue of the people that were regularly getting ill from the fumes. He coughed, then wondered if he was also getting impacted. He hoped not, took in a deep breath and dove in.

“OK, again, I am so sorry for the reporting of illnesses. We are working with the city departments to investigate the matter.”

“My kid was out of school for two weeks.”

“Yeah, mine too.”


Vacation Packing Checklist

Growing up, every year I looked forward to summer camp. One item that was sent with the registration was a list of things to pack. There are still good memories of the shopping trip prior to traveling–little containers of shampoo, lotion and toothpaste. I would purchase snacks like Corn nuts, sunflower seeds,  and Bubble Yum that I’d share with my bunkmates. And, a pack of cards for those times I could play solitaire instead of taking a nap during the scheduled time.  

One thing I make sure of packing nowadays is an emery board and nail polish remover. Too often I would break a nail, or have chipped nail polish that I would have no remedy for unless a market was nearby. I found most hotels don’t supply those.

Another fun thing to do is to bring stationary and stamps to write and send old fashioned letters, and a journal to keep notes of everything. Think of the person that would be most happy to receive a personal note from you. You can also purchase postcards at your destination.

[Note, I am not getting affiliate compensation for the links I’m providing. I just thought I’d add interest to show some items I enjoy]

Packing Checklist

Here is a list of Items to pack on your vacation. This checklist is for traveling where there is bedding and towels already supplied like when you are staying in a hotel. Check with the place you will be at to make sure you will not need to bring your own sheets and towels or any extra items like electronic adapters if you’re going overseas.

One of the best things about planning your packing is that you can spend time thinking about how much fun you’ll have, and sort of experience your trip before you go.  Most hotels supply shampoo, conditioner, and soap. I suggest keeping jewelry to a minimum.

__ Nightclothes

__ Outfits for the total number of days and a few extra items just in case

__ Shoes and sandals

__ Underwear

__ Swimsuit

__ Exercise/special activity clothes

__ Extra items like hiking boots or wet suit depending on your destination

__ Evening wear for special outings

__ Sunscreen

__ Deodorant

__ Hairspray/gel

__ Makeup

__ Razor

__ Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Dental Floss

__ Facial cleanser

__ Hairbrush/comb

__ Socks

__ Prescriptions/vitamins


__ Deck of playing cards

__ Snacks

__ Novel

__ Sunglasses

__ Emery board

__ Nail polish and remover

__ [What else do you need?] __________________________________________


Summer 2022 Fashion

After two summers of lockdowns, the 2022 Summer fashion trend will focus on sparkles to celebrate life according to Instyle.com. For women, even during the daytime, expect to see brightness from rhinestones, sequins, beading to other flashy items. In addition, handmade accents will be on display. A return to Regencycore, a trend that focuses on floral and feminine dresses, will also appear inspired by the show Bridgerton.

For men, Bermuda shorts are back and pink and green colors are the trend. Sandals, cardigan and sleeveless sweaters should make the scene. There’s also the Varsity jacket but does that ever go out of style? For more, visit the French Vogue site. Click here.


Happy Memorial Day

How many people spend memorial day thinking about the U.S. military officers who have died in service? Most, are glad to have a day off to celebrate. It’s good to spend time with family and friends, but the hope is that a few minutes would be spent thinking about those people who sacrificed themselves.

Being in a military town, there is greater awareness but as I drove down a street named Memorial Drive the other day, the thought came to mind about those that are still alive but have sacrificed themselves in different ways to be of service to other people.

How about this Memorial Day, taking a moment to think about them and reflect on how they have positively impacted your life?  Why not thank the ones who are still around.

Happy Memorial Day.  Thank you for being a part of my community.


Doors and Gates

North Carolina Museum of Art

At first glance of the exhibit of Doors of Jerusalem, perched high on the ceiling of the North Carolina Museum of Art near the stairs, it’s hard to tell what the ghost-like images are trying to say. An arch of the head reveals scripture on the face and arms. A somewhat hidden plaque explains what it means. There are three images that represent the doors of Jerusalem from the Song of Songs. The above image’s mouth has Lions across it. The Lion’s gate is one of seven openings in the Old Walls of Jerusalem.

Here’s a link to their site: Click Here


Writing Prompts

I thought I’d share a couple of writing prompts that my writing group is working on. I’ve posted some before, but just a quick recap on the process. When you write from prompts, just write continuously for the whole time without editing, reading what you’re writing or stopping for a while to think. Just keep writing, then see what comes out. Have fun. You can always go back afterward and edit and change it if you like what you wrote. I would love to see what you wrote. Feel free to add your writing in the comments.

Here are the prompts. [write for 10 minutes]

•The tunnel was dark and bleak…

•The little children were huddled together with no parent….

[These starts came from writings in the book Once Upon a Time, by Debbie Macomber]


Public Art Displays

I guess my love for public art displays started in second or third grade when I was picked to paint one of the fire hydrants near the elementary school I went to. I’ve noticed, at times in San Diego and other places I’ve lived and visited, that public art displays pop up at various times. Did you ever wonder who the artists were that created the pieces? Most of the time their art is the only thing people get to know about them. Next time you notice, think about who the creator behind the scenes was. What do you think caused them to make the project? How does their work impact you?