A GREAT-ER kind of movie….

Good morning all. I’m here to share an amazing movie with you. If you haven’t heard of it, then please take the time to look it up, rent it, watch it. You will not be disappointed. The movie I’m talking about is                 

                          GREATER

The story of Brandon Burlsworth, possibly the greatest walk-on in the history of college football.

You do not have to be a football fan to enjoy this movie because although Brandon’s goals were to become an Arkansas Razorback and eventually for an NFL team, the movie is about much more than that. 

It’s about faith, family, ambition, determination, drive, and beliving in yourself when no one else does. And if after watching it, you aren’t touched, then you better check your pulse because you may not be alive.

Brandon Burlsworth worked hard for everything he had and everything he wanted. But one of the best things was that unlike a lot of people, he was not only focused on himself but also on his friends and family. He made those around him believe not only in him but in themselves as well. 

He was living his dream-playing for the Razorback team, graduating with a master’s degree, and signing with a NFL team when out of no where, tragedy struck.

Sadly, Brandon was killed in a car accident one day in April 1999 while on his way to pick up his mom for church services. 

His death rocked not only his family, friends, fellow players, and coaches but also the the entire football industry and fans. 

It was a tragic loss of great man. A kind and and gentle giant with the biggest heart and soul anyone had ever known.

In the months following his death, there were several things done to honor Brandon:

  • Brandon’s jersey #77 is retired at the University of Arkansas. It is only the second retired football jersey in school history.
  • His locker is enclosed in a glass case in the Razorback locker room.[7]
  • The Harrison Youth Center in Harrison, Arkansas, was renamed the Brandon Burlsworth Youth Center in May 1999.

The Indianapolis Colts wore his initials, BB, on their helmets for the 1999 season.


In addition to these, Brandon’s family and friends created several charities and organizations in his name:

  • Brandon Burlsworth Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brandon-Burlsworth-Foundation/191029321118

In honor of his work ethic and Christian values, the Christian organization’s mission is to support the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities. The foundation’s logo prominently features Brandon’s signature boack-framed glasses. 

  • Burl’s Kids

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/burlskids.html
For this program, the Burlsworth Foundation provides underprivileged youth a chance to attend Razorback and Colts football games. Since 2000, the Foundation has bought 30 tickets to each Arkansas Razorbacks home football game. The tickets are distributed through Razorback Clubs across the state. The children are a big part to the foundation. The children are given an official “Burls Kid” T-shirt and replica glasses similar to what Brandon wore on the field.

  • Eyes of a Champion

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/eyeschampion.html
The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in partnership with Walmart/Sam’s Optical Department and independent optometrists across Arkansas, provides eye care to thousands of pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Primarily they come from working families that cannot afford extras like eye care and do not qualify for state funded programs. Applications must be submitted by school nurses or counselors and are available in English, French, and Spanish.

  • The Brandon Burlsworth Football Camps

http://www.brandonburlsworth.org/footballcamp.html

These camps are for youngsters going into 3rd grade through 9th grade. They are held once each summer at F.S. Garrison Stadium in Harrison, Arkansas, and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas. Children are given a chance to learn from former Razorbacks. Past participants included Anthony Lucas, Clint StoernerJoe Dean DavenportMadre Hill, Grant Garrett, Russ Brown, Barry Lunney Jr., Chad Abernathy, Michael Smith, Lucas Miller and others. The campers learn football skills but more importantly, they are taught throughout the day about character, attitude, morals, priorities and the desire to do it “The Burls Way.”

Memorial ScholarshipsEdit

Each year the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation gives out several awards and scholarships at various school levels. Eighteen students at the University of Arkansas who are primarily from smaller towns and who are characterized as academic “overachievers” receive $5,000 scholarships. Additionally, a Razorback football player who began his career as a walk-on, but then earned a football scholarship, is honored as the year’s Burlsworth Athletic Scholar. The students are selected by the University of Arkansas Scholarship Committee and are recognized in a ceremony in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

High School Football AwardsEdit

High School awards include the Brandon Burlsworth High School Football Awards. Every high school football coach in Arkansas has the opportunity to nominate one player from the team. Those players receive a plaque and a copy of “Through the Eyes of A Champion, the Brandon Burlsworth Story” autographed by Brandon’s mother, Barbara Burlsworth. An even greater honor, the Brandon Burlsworth Championship Award is presented at the Arkansas state football championships games to one player from each team for conduct above and beyond expectations.

State Championship AwardsEdit

Harrison (Arkansas) High School continues to award the Brandon Burlsworth Award to one male and female athlete who best exemplify the strength of character and work ethic known as “The Burls Way”.

The Brandon Burlsworth Award is given out yearly to a male and female at Harrison High School and the University of Arkansas.

In 2010, the Burlsworth Trophy was created and named in his honor.[13] The award is given yearly to the most outstanding Division I FBS college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

TO SOME, BRANDON BURLSWORTH WAS A HERO. TO MANY, HE WAS AN INSPIRATION. TO ALL, HE IS GREATER. 

Here to Tantalize Us….Ryan!

Hello all. Today I have Ryan Jo Summers and her newest book, Glimpse Eternity,  a sweet contemporary romance novella.

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Good morning Ryan. I am so glad you stopped by to visit. The cover of your book looks amazing. Can you tell us more about your book?

Kasey Griffin is determined to prove a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis isn’t going to ruin her life or define her expectations. She is dedicated to her pregnant sister, her pets and operating her bookstore, ‘The Next Chapter’. She has everything she needs to have a full and satisfying life–the daily challenges of her condition notwithstanding. 

Then hunky musician Ben Salem rolls into town. Ben’s subtle charm quickly reminds Kasey she is more than a woman with a disease, she is also a woman with a heart. And Ben wants it.

Will Ben still desire her once he learns the terrible details of her condition?

Wow. I already love this and I haven’t even read it yet. I can’t even imagine what a struggle it is to live with such an awful disease. This must have been a very emotional book to write. How did you relax afterwards?

I actually relax by reading. But I have many other ways to relax. Sometimes I go to the nearby river and sit on a rock by the water. Or cooking/ baking. All the chopping/ cutting/ stirring/ etc.. is a form of therapy for me. I write poetry  to work through emotional issues. Mah Jongg. Brushing the cat/ dog. Sometimes just a long drive helps, relaxing and listening to the radio and thinking about some writing puzzle. Sitting on my porch and watching the rain fall while drinking coffee. Swinging on the swing in the patio, basking in the dappled shade while my dog runs around the yard. 

That definitely sounds nice. Everyone can use a little down time. Sometimes I like to listen to music to wind down. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you remember the first concert you went to? 

My very first concert was Styx with my then-husband. It was horrible. The loud, booming noise, music I didn’t like or understand the words, the screaming fans and terrible smoke. I couldn’t wait to leave. The things we do in the name of love, right? I’ve been to a few concerts since to artists I like and was turned off by the insane screaming of the fans, drowning out the performers. I’d rather stay home and watch them  on the computer. 

I agree. Sometimes it can all be a little overwhelming with all of the crowds and pyrotechnics. Music has certainly changed a lot over the years that’s for sure. Imagine what past generations would think of the way things are now. Hey, speaking of which, if you could live in any other time, when would it be?

I would have loved to be around in the later 1800’s. Civil War is ending, new century on the horizon. The frontier is still unsettled. There are so many opportunities for people to make their mark. Life would be simpler without all the technological hindrances of today. Harder, but also less intense, stress–filled with our hurried pace.

Yep, there are certainly plenty of pros and cons with any era. One thing I think would enjoy about that time would be the  old fashioned dresses and riding horses everywhere you went. They are such beautiful animals.

I know! I love horses, all things about them. Their strength, beauty, spirit, grace, willingness to be our friend and helper. They are such gentle giants (usually). I dearly miss having horses. Perhaps one day…

There is nothing better than seeing horses running, just enjoying life. *sigh*  You know, one of my friends loves horses so much, they have a tattoo of one. What about you? Do you have any tats?

I don’t have any tattoos but sometimes dream of getting a phoenix. The mythological bird that burns itself every 500 years on a funeral pyre and is reborn. To me, it is my personal mantra, or symbol of starting over from the ashes of my previous life. I am brighter and better than before. 

It has been really great talking to you today. Before you go, can you tell us a little but more about yourself?

Okay. I’m a North Carolina writer who likes to pen romances with a twist. Love stories blended as inspirational, with paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. I also write non-fiction for regional periodicals. My dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry, so I came by the writing gene honestly.
I live in a 1920’s cottage with a menagerie of pets. And I often daydream of the shore and frequently uses water as settings in my stories.

What about hobbies?

My hobbies include poetry, bird watching, houseplants and gardening, gathering with friends, hiking in the forest, painting canvas and ceramics, and working wiggly word find puzzles, mah johngg or chess. 

Ryan, thank you again for stopping by. Where can readers find you?

They can click on one of the links below.
 
WEBSITE: http://www.ryanjosummers.com  

BLOG: http:summersrye.wordpress.com  

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/RyanJoSummers

FB:  
www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Jo-Summers-author-page/312875648810797

ROMANCE REVIEWS:
http://www.theromancereviews.com/mypage.php?location=ryanjosummers

GOODREADS:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6604705.Ryan_Jo_Summers

Shaving A Shih Tzu…..

Hi everybody! It’s summer time and you know what that means. Hot, hot, hot. Everyone attempts to stay cool. Now it’s your job to keep your pets cool. Like giving them cold water to drink, keeping them inside when it’s too hot to be outside, and maybe even giving them a haircut if their hair is long. But….have you ever tried to shave a Shih Tzu? 

 

Well believe me, it is hard work. The best thing, of course, would be to take your furry friends to the groomer.  
 

However, when you don’t have the $65-90 per dog to do that, your only choice is to do it yourself. It takes a lot of time and patience. And don’t forget good clippers.  


    
 

Most dogs generally don’t like being groomed and they would much rather run for the hills.  

   
Take my two for example:

 

Now Tucker tries to run as soon as he sees the clippers emerge from their case but finally realizes that it’s going to happen so he might as well just go with it. 

But Dylan on the other hand… 

 

He tries to run before, during, and after getting shaved. I guess he thinks that if he keeps trying to get away, it will eventually pay off. Wrong…

Shih Tzus have a lot of hair. A LOT. And it’s thick too. When you finally get through that dense mass with the clippers, you will probably have a pile similar to these. They may not look very big but keep in mind that they are about 5-6 inches deep in the center: 

   

  
Next, it’s bath time!   

 

Here again, my dogs are completely opposite when it comes to baths. Tucker tries to flee the tub while Dylan just takes it all in. Afterwards, Tucker just wants a good old fashioned towel dry but Dylan likes to be pampered with the blow dryer… 

   
Now that their baths are over, it’s time to let them go enjoy their new hair do. Or not…  


    
Well they may not be real happy right now but I know that if they could talk, when it’s super hot this summer, they would both give me a big, loud  

   
  Which I would of course take as: “Thank you and we love you too. “