Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ritual Lies

Last January 1, I posted a New Year's resonse on my Yahoo 360 page called Lies in Fancy Dress. It was to all those who spend time lying to yourselves by making resolutions. I stopped doing that a long time ago because I realized I'd made a fool of myself two months later. So, since I am a big enough fool as it is, I stopped my ritual lying. Actually, I try to avoid telling all lies but ritual lying is the subject of the blog.

I must honestly admit that I failed to attain all the goals I set. But the difference in a resolution and a goal is where we've been set up to fail. Resolutions are are things that you must do and legally bind yourself to do. Your signature is at the bottom to signify that you swear to do what you have said. Goals are always before us and we continually strive to attain them, fully knowing that we may fail! It is the attempt that counts and the prize is reaching the goal!

We may crawl across the finish line, nails ripped and torn, knees scraped raw and burning, drenched in sweat, bleeding from the trips and falls we've taken, tears pouring from tired red eyes and dead last. But. . . we will have crossed the finish line! Our goal has been reached! Regardless of the condition of our body or the position in line, to attain the goal means we won!

In Philippians 3:14 Paul stated this goal - "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." A "mark" is a goal. Paul had set the highest goal possible. He must have been a sports fanatic because because he talked about races, and pressing forward, gaining and attaining - all words that bring to my mind sporting events. He knew what a real goal was and what was required to reach it. And he knew that while failure was always a possibility, giving up wasn't.

Don't waste time resolving to do things you will never do. Set a goal, put it in front of you where you can see it every day. And never, ever, ever, stop striving to reach that goal. No matter how many New Year's come and go, no matter how many of the failed resolutions you pass on the way, keep striving toward the mark you have set.

Read the Philippians 3. Paul has numerous goals in this chapter and you may consider using them as a pattern to creat your own goals. You can do it! I'm cheering you on!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Writing Fuel

Since the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November I've been generating more words on paper than I have in speech! My change over to multiply has also made a difference in the word process. I seem to be putting up more focused content most of the time. I don't know if that is because the NaNoWriMo or because of Mulitply. Perhaps it is a bit of both.

I've been working on Hidden in the Mist (working title) because I have a reader hounding me to get to it. In the last couple of days some things have become more focused regarding the story. And it is about time, since my word count is over 45,000 but it has taken a year to get there! For those of you who don't have a clue about HITM I apologize. It would take too long to explain here but for those reading it (Alice) this might give you some insight.

This morning as I fixed a cup of Hazelnut coffee (Mmmmm, as Lisa says) I began to think about power. We all have power in us that is untapped, possibly because it is unknown to us. I don't mean mind bending or disappearing elephants magic. I mean mountain moving power that simply requires us to speak it or think it. The abiltiy to speak into existance things that weren't but are. There lies within each of us the ability to speak into existance good things or bad things. Motivation is what directs this power: why do we want something to exist? Negative reasons will create negative outcomes. Positive reasons will create positive outcomes. Do not come here and tell me this is impossible. I won't be deterred by the blind. You see, I've proved it too many times, both the negative and the positive. I KNOW it works.

So, as I drank my coffee and pondered my story I relized that this is what Mist is all about. Two worlds and untapped, unrecognized, misused power.

We live in a world that exist within worlds. It is a world suspended between two worlds and our world is a mixture of both. We hang between the two and are faced every day with the choice of which world we would like to inhabit.

One is a place of pollution, violence, anger, frustrations, murder, deceit, avarice, extortion, and disrespect. This world glows with a light that, from a distance, is alluring, exciting our senses. It is filled with unknown wonders; sights and sounds that please the eyes and ears and gorge the body. We are drawn to it's glittering promise, deeper and deeper until we step across the boundary into the unknown, a place that suddenly reveals that it is dark and frightening. We don't know how we got there and we can't find our way out. Every attempt sends us back into the dark. Only once in a while may we escape. But it has left it's mark.

The other world is a place of beauty, peace, harmony, respect and honor, a place where love abounds and brotherhood is in the air we breath. Every need is met. We have only to ask. It isn't shinning glittering towers of commerce, superficial decoration, and empty promises. It isn't a place of gluttony of the body but of satisfied spirit and mind. It is a place that glows with a light far brighter than any man can generate because the pollution doesn't exist. And once in awhile, we find our way there. We step across the boundary, into that world that seems at first glance, plain and untouched by progress. But, if we stay long enough, we realize that here is rest and sustenance that is constant. Here is peace and safety. None go lacking. We realize that this world is real and we can stay as long as we desire. We can leave whenever we want. And some do.

We are drawn to the one by our eyes. We are drawn to the other by our hearts. Occassionally, there are those who step into the real world with only one goal, to steal the hearts and draw us back through the Mist. It is a choice for each of us. How we choose will determine our course for eternity.

Choose wisely.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Worth a Thousand Words


We set off along the path that lead down to the church. The snow crunched beneath our feet and our breath hung in the air in clouds. The night was filled with that hush that one only hears during a heavy snowfall. Around us the trees creaked beneath the weight of snow and ice in their branches. Occasionally, we heard a snapping sound followed by a crash as a limb gave way beneath its load. Everything has a breaking point, I thought.


My heavy coat gave me a sense of warmth but everywhere the air touched was chilled. My cheeks felt frozen and my lips numb. The tip of my nose tingled. I pulled my scarf up, around my face, leaving only my eyes so I didn't fall down. I'd probably be all right if I did fall. The ground was like a feather bed.

We came out of the trees just west of the church, near Harper’s pasture. The moon was above the horizon and glowed in an opening in the clouds. I could see the church on the left and the Cooper place on the right. Their tall spruce decorated in colored lights that glowed against the snow frosted branches and turned the snow beneath it into a multicolored carpet from an some exotic land. Lights glowed from every window of the Cooper home and I could see Mr. Cooper's car in back. He must have closed the drug store early tonight because of the weather. Not many would venture out on a night as cold as this. They were a large family with half dozen children. Always when I walked by I could hear laughter or the wild chattering of playing children. It was a happy place. Even the snowman, in his scarf and slouch hat, wore a grin and waved.

I slipped my gloved hand into the crook of Tom's arm as we passed the end of the rail fence around the pasture. He smiled down at me and my heart leaped from the highest peak. He could still do that to me, after all this time. I slipped on a patch of ice and he steadied me, still smiling.

As we passed the church, Deacon James was leaving and he tipped his hat to us. Mr. Irving and his boy Billy slogged across the church yard toward the warmth of the sanctuary. It was such a lovely little church. I thought how much the windows looked like precious gems set in the walls. I suspected the windows of Heaven would look much like those windows, with their glowing jewels and the light of God illuminating them. As if to confirm it, in the stillness it seemed as if the voice of an angel floated out on the air and up the road, flowing among the houses and into the mountain valleys in the distance. It was Maggie O'Hara, singing O Little Town of Bethlehem with the choir. I doubted if any angle could utter notes as beautiful as Maggie.

The blanket of snow that lay over roofs and mountainside alike reflecting the silver of the moon created a strangely comforting landscape. I looked up the road and in the distance, I could see the lights of the other village houses along the hillside. We lived on the edge of town and from here, the warm, soft glow was as peaceful and serene as ever a place could be. We walked in silence past the church and as I hugged Tom’s arm, I thought there was no place on earth I’d rather be tonight than in this snow covered place, listening to an angel’s voice sing of the new Savior of the World.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

In the Still of the Night

It is quiet in the house. There is no one at home but me. I've spent the day doing good deeds for others, getting home around 10:30 p.m.. I've bought gifts for one set of children and my grand-daughter and my spouse. I still have one son to go and a birthday gift for the other. He was born on Dec 30th, an annoyance to both of us. And I have to get my sister something special. She shopped with me tonight.

But now, the house is quiet and only the clicking of my keyboard can be heard. Rain has fallen all day and it is a small, cold drizzle at the moment. The promised snow storm has not appeared but there are a few flurries here and there. I suppose we should be thankful but I do love snow. We Southern Belles view it as a special treat designed just for us.

I've not been writing for several days now. I've been restless and unable to forment a thought. So, here I sit, in the stillness of the midnight trying to convey what I am thinking. There is something about midnight that I really love. I tend to be a night owl and this is one of my favorite times. The world has all drifted off on whatever dreams they dream. The racous glare of the day has slipped into a quiet darkness that I can wrap about my shoulders like a velvet cloak and stroll along silent streets that echo the sound of my heels. Or I can simply sit here, in my dimly lit study and write about the cushion of darkness that buffers me from the harsh reality of the daylight.

Perhaps that is what I really like about the midnight hour. All the troubles of the day, the trials and tribulations of dealing with people or just the trauma of survival are somehow lessened in the down-filled darkness where the gentle twinkle of stars and a silver orb lull one into a sense of peace.

Dreams are dreamt at night because the intrusion of reality is weakened at night and the mind can race along paths never opened in the light of day. God is closer at night. I think it is why more people die at night. It's true, you know, they do. Ask the hospitals. I don't believe they are giving up because the darkenss overwhelms them. I think their bodies struggle in the light of day to survive but with the coming of midnight, they find that, in the stillnes of the night, is a sense of peace that becomes a stronger draw than survival.

I'm going to bed soon and dream some dream that will be driven back by the rising of the sun. Another day to survive until the still of the night returns.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Top of the Hill

Ah, Wednesday. Standing at the top of the hill looking down is an awesome sight. If I look behind me there is a pile of stuff back there. Best be careful and not tip over or I'll end up back at the bottom!

But forward, well, it's a steep road down. I don't have much head for heights anymore. (Me the tree climbler and roof runner. That's another day's story.) And there is just as much stuff on the downhill side as there was on the uphill side. Thing just go faster on the downhill side. I just have to check the wheels on my skates. Yep, they are running smooth as silk. It isn't my equipment but the debris in the road that is the killer!

We had a case manager leave and they distributed her case load between the five remaining case managers. That leave me with 365 case files. In additiion to the landlord accounts. I've getting buried quickly, particularly since the girl who left has files no one wanted because they are such a mess.

However, God gave me this job a long time ago and as long as I am here I guess He still wants me to do it. So, {rolling up sleeves and pushing back hair} here goes.

Several have said a prayer for me and I do appreciate it. My husband suggested I stay home today and it sounded nice. But no sick time! So, here I am at the top of the hill. My pain level has been horrible. My back is in pretty bad shape today. It has been building for several days and last night it was at the point I considered going to the doctor. Shoulders are bad, particularly the left. My knees, oddly enough, are much better. I guess the Y helped on Monday night. They just are very stiff. I lower legs feel as if I have shin splints but LOL, I haven't done anything to cause it! I need to go back tonight but my back really is not good at all and has spread from the lower back all the way to my shoulders. What is it like? Hmmmm, someone took a rolling pin and pounded me on the back with it, all but the place in my lower back that feels like a knife is sticking in it.

Ok enough of the complaints. I hate whining over aches and pains but some days this is the only place to pour it out. And some things are better for you if you pour it out rather than keep in it.

I got my leave approved for Christmas. I have 11, count them, ELEVEN days off. I just took three vacation between Christmas and New Years. When I get off on December 21, I don't have to be back here until January 2, 2008!

I wasn't going to take it because of all the work but I finally decided it was going to be here whether or not I am here. It isn't going anywhere. So, I'll be taking that vacation time.

So, with all that said, I'll start my journey down the hill. Someone move that log out of the way! Here I go! YeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaawwwwwww!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Beyond Endurance

Somehow a rainy Monday is a nice way to start a week. I always like waking up on Monday to rain. I know, that's crazy but it seems to me such an awful day must have a redeeming quality if it starts with rain. There is something cozy about rain and any day with rain feels less painful.

Although, today and all weekend the rain has probably been the reason for my elevated pain levels. I have a doctor's appt this morning at my rheumatologist, not that it will do any good. I wish I could wear a heated coat.

I took four hours vacation time for this morning so I could do this appointment but probably won't need it all. I will go in to work as soon as it is over and spend the rest of the day doing work I should have done on Saturday.

I sat on the edge of my bed this morning an realized what my problem, well at least one of my problems is. I've been praying for strength for years. And you know, I have people tell me, "You are so strong. I don't know how you handle all you are handling. I couldn't do it." I realized, sitting on the edge of my rumpled bed in my p.j.s that the way you gain strength is by adding weight. Each time you reach a comfort level, you add weight. Once you can lift that weight comfrotably, you add more. Duh! Basic weight training.

The strange thing about all this realization stuff is that I went to bed praying to understand what was wrong. I was asking for answers to questions to which God never seems to respond. But when I woke up, the answer was there. You see, every time something got heavy, I'd pray for strength. The load only got heavier. I never prayed for patience, but when you are carrying a heavy load, patience is required so it is a secondary effect of the training. It takes time to build strength. Patience isn't a problem when strength is the goal.

It was at that point in my revelation that I decided now's a good time to stop praying for strength. I'm tired. I don't want to lift any more weight. I want someone else to carry the load for a while. I don't want to bear anyone's burden. I don't want to solve anyone's problem. I don't want to carry anyone. I want a place to rest and sit down while someone else gets strong, I don't even want to be strong anymore. Every weight trainer has a limit. You can work toward that limit and even strive to go beyond it but there is a point in time when the body builder reaches a maximum limit. They can do irreparable damage trying to go beyond their enduance.

So now, my body is breaking down from the weight. I can't carry any thing else. The result of too much weight is stress. The stress is probably the biggest factor in the pain I have. When I am off work for any length of time, I feel better in 24 hours. When I take a vacation from my family I feel better in 24 hours.

So, I guess I got an answer. I don't know if it is what I wanted to hear but at least I understand the cause. I just don't know how to fix any of it. Story of my life. When that happens, I've always asked for strength.

Not today.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Achey, Breaky Body

I've been busy all week and today I was supposed to work. However, when I woke at 7 a.m. to get up, I couldn't. I hurt all over. I rolled over and thought I'd go in a bit later, when I could move. I got up around 9 a.m. but still felt terrible so I just lay down on the sofa and went back to sleep. I slept until noon! Lazy bag of achy bones.

Anyway, I got up and did a load of dishes and then went out shopping for a very short time, looking for the kids Christmas presents. I bought for Sarah but found nothing else for anyone. I just don't know what to get them. I came home, and then my sister came by around 7 p.m. and we went to Sears where I preceeded to buy the skirts I needed. Bought four and got them all at about half off. Still too expensive but at least I have some things to wear to work for a bit until I can get others. Nice to see I could wear a 16 in a skirt. My top is still pushing an 18+.

Well, it is after midnight and I am going to get to bed. I still ache in places but I believe cold wet weather is my enemy. I have a heating pad in the bed to warm where I put my feet and I think this has helped me in the mornings since my feet are not hurting as much. Go figure.

Night all!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Autum Leaves

It finally arrived. The cold, biting chill of Winter arrived on my doorstep, hautily huffing and puffing its way in, just like a rude vagabond looking for a handout. The pouring rain Sunday was a tearful Autumn bidding farewell and by Sunday night, Old Man Winter had arrived in full force and began to unpack his bags. Until then, he'd only stuck his nose in brifely to find Autumn stubbornly clinging. It was a sad parting and I will miss Autumn. But I'm certain she'll return. Spring will arrive and run the old man out of town on a rail.

National Novel Writing Month ended just before Autumn caught the last train. So, all in all, it was an exciting month for me. I miss NaNoWriMo, too.

So, here we are, in the midst of a chill following the thrill. I find myself excited about moving forward on some things. I want to work on Mist and move the story forward. I also want to pull out a story I started some time ago that has morphed a bit. It's called Dark Mountains and my unnamed 2006 NaNoWriMo is the sequel that. So, a lot of stuff to work on in that department.

I also need to make some clothes. I have reached a point that I'm beginning to wear out the skirts I bought. . . well, I'm embarrassed to say how long ago, but let's just say they are no longer fit to work in. In my job I have to look fairly professional and I wear black skirts a lot. So, must either buy them or make them. I want to sew for Sarah so I can sew for me while I am at it.

Christmas is weeks away and I have to put up the tree. I suspect I won't have any Christmas time off. I asked for three days but even if they are approved, I may not take it. I will be completely out of vacation time if I do and I'm not comfortable with that. We'll just have to see.

Thus begins December. I'll be busy and ready for the approaching new year. I suspect it to be a year of changes and surprises. Keep dropping by and see what happens.

Monday, December 3, 2007

T'is The Season

It is so neat the way everyone is trying on new holiday backgrounds in their blogs. Some of us are copying each other's backgrounds. For women, it is a bit annoying for another woman to show up somewhere wearing the same dress as another. I hope copying blog backgrounds doesn't cause the same annoyance. The first time it happened to me, my nose was a but out of joint but then I realized that all these nice extras multiply provides is why I love it. And the people creating the backgrounds are willingly sharing them. How generous to give your work away! So I went an copied someone else's background.

This morning, I visited my friend, Skeeter's blog and found she was dealing with the old Christmas tree/pagan idol thing. It is an interesting argument and one that has been around for decades. I think she and her husband have worked it out.

We had a tree at Christmas all my life but I was never under any impression other than my family celebrates Christmas because it is the day we honor the birth of Jesus Christ, our savior. We can't know exactly what day he was born on so, someone used a day, widely celebrated at the time, to mark the most momentous event in history. I think that overshadowed whatever the pagan ritual was back then.

But there will always be people who feel strongly about Christmas trees. Not too long ago I found that Christmas trees are actually mentioned in the Bible. Oh, they aren't called that but when you read it you won't have any problem understanding what it is talking about. Frankly, I always check the Word for any confusion I have on any matter. I've read all the other scriptures people tout as proof that God hates Christmas trees and that to have one you are worshiping an idol. I don't particularly feel that way.

But for those of you confused by the issues, for those who think they know the all the answers, for those who haven't decided but kind of lean toward getting rid of tree, for those who haven't decided but kind of lean toward keeping or getting a tree here is what Jeremiah says. I used the New King James Version but you can take a quick trip over to Biblegateway.com and use any translation you like.

Jeremiah 10:1-5
1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the LORD:
“ Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.”

Jeremiah had seen the trees, too. To him it was just a silly tree, he said futile which mean pointless, with no power to do anything. Of course, maybe they didn't plug their's in...

So for those of you against trees, that's all right. Just stop quoting what you think is a prohibition. You can put up all your nativity scenes and let the world know what Jesus Christ means to you.

Of course, if you insist that your intrepretation of "Christmas tree sin" is right, you might want to consider another scripture, just to be totally right. Those little nativity scenes you put up instead of a tree... they are graven images. The Bible is pretty clear on those.

Personally, it is those stupid blowups of Frost the Snowman with the lightbulb inside that I find a sin.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Uneventful Weekend

The weekend is over and was rather uneventful. I am so glad I was able to go to church tonight. I didn't get to go this morning as I intended. I kept Sarah last night and she kept me up most of the night. Every hour she woke up crying and I had to get up and settle her down. I put her to bed with me and she rolled all over the bed when she slept! She's busy even in her sleep! So, by 9 a.m. I was exhausted and could barely sit up. I got up and thought about church but I fed Sarah and put her down on the floor to play and I went to sleep on the couch with her in front of me. She eventually came and climbed on top of me and went to sleep, too.

But I did go tonight. I was so good to be back. I was surprised when my assistant pastor read an email he got last week. When he started it I thought, I've read that then I realized, it was my blog post about Black Friday and called A House of Worship! I chuckled but kept quiet. At the end he told everyone who wrote it. It was very nice to hear someone appreciate something you wrote.

After church, my son was telling me that he and the sound guy were listening and David told the sound guy, "Someone has too much time on their hands." At the end, when they told who wrote it, David said, "Oh." I cracked up when I heard it. It was so like David to speak first and ask questions later.

I rained all day today,hard and I just knew that it was going to turn cold. It has! It was 55 this today and rather warm when we got to church at 6 p.m.. Right now, it is 36! I will hate having to go in to work in this cold!

Well, I'm signing off for now. Hope you all stay very warm and cozy and have a great week.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Glory Be!

I got my car back on Thursday with the transmission fixed. I can now go back to church! I have not been in a month and I miss it.

So, with that said, I'm off to bed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome to the Winner's Circle

Well, friends, it is done! I have finally finished the National Novel Writing challenge! One day early. I have the certificate to prove it and they even gave me winner logos! Aren't they so pretty? I think I love yellow.

Whew, am I glad that is done. And you know, at the end, the story is a potentially good one. I may do something with it at some point but just to get this far is fantastic. Last year, I didn't make it and I was so disappointed. So this year, I had to try again. I am so glad I did.

Skeeter, keep going! You got one more day. And there is NEXT YEAR!

I encourage all of you who love to write, who want to write, or who want to challenge yourself, in 2008 join me at NaNoWriMo!

Lord have mercy, that was fun!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let's Take a Christmas Trip

All right, I've been seeing those Christmas blogs pop up everywhere! So, in the spirit of that, here are a couple of websites that you Christmas fanatics will enjoy. If you have children, or if you are a kid at hear, you'll enjoy this. I encourage you to visit the Disco Santa.

http://www.northpole.com/
http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/index.htm

And for you Christmas cooks, what could be better that borrowing Ms. Claus' Cookbook! Be prepared, it will take you until next Christmas to cook all this stuff!

http://www.northpole.com/

Have a great time!

Nose Pain

Yes, I'm back at the grind stone. Without the bells on either. I came in to a stack of papers nearly three inches thick and several problems that couldn't be resolved without my assistance.I have managed to solve those and sort through the pile, file some, and am now processing the remainder.

LUNCH TIME!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and holiday. A week off is not good for someone who has no choice but to work. I am no looking forward to another vacation. December will be a long month.

I worked a bit more on NaNo last night before I went to bed and so I am a teensy bit ahead of the count for today but that is what I want for the next four days. I am so nervous I have butterflies thinking about getting it done. Ideally, it would be done by Thursday. We'll see.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Health Warning

Someone sent me an email today with a health warning. When I get such warnings I always check the story out before I even think about forwarding it. This story states that eating soy products causes a number of health issues, the most serious being thyroid cancer.

Now, I am not into health foods and don't believe I use many things with soy in it. So, I wouldn't normally worry but my granddaughter is unable to drink regular milk because of lactose intolerance. Some people have suggested we get soy milk but we just bought DairyEase, regular milk with no lactose for people with this disorder. So, in part, because of the potential for her to be put on soy milk by well-meaning physicians, I thought it wise to research the story.

So, I have done the research on the web to find any mention of this and was shocked that I did. Soy is such a largely used product in the food industry it is impossible that there would be any harm in it, particularly when it is touted as a heart health food.

I am not going to relate every symptom here but I am providing the links to the sites where the information is. There appears to be a smoke from this fire. So, if you or someone you know uses soy products, READ THESE CAREFULLY and do your own research. These sites all have additional links. You can do a search on Ask.com or Google for "soy and cancer". In this instance, the more information you have the longer you might live.

http://thyroid.about.com/cs/soyinfo/a/soy.htm
http://forum.mesomorphosis.com/mens-health-forum/soy-info-links-134240576-print.html
http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/02testimonies.htm

I'll be checking my pantry.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Late Nite with NaNoWriMo

Once again, the word count is progressing. Someone mentioned wanting to read this when the competition ends. It probably won't be posted on a public blog. However, I may put it on another invitation only at Blogger. I have one already that some of you were invited to read. I want to get back to that next week, after the 30th.

As for what will happen to Shakedown, I don't know. I liked the story in planning. I like parts of it now. But it is so far off my original plan that I am not sure I can finish it. We'll just have to see.

This has made we want to pick up last years NaNo project and work on it but first, I have to do the project I started before that one!

Is this not confusing?

O.k. here is how it goes. I started a novel. I think it is a good one. I was working on it when NaNo2006 began. The book I started for that NaNo turned out to be a sequel to the first work! NO! Not on purpose. It just happened. Now, as it turns out, a character in this year's NaNo is linked to the main character in two previous works!

I'm tired. Even explaining it is exhausting.

So, that is were I am with this mess. Notice the word count has gone up again. Tonight I must have 40,008 by midnight. I'll get it.

Hasta manana!

Slow Day

My week off is coming to a close and I am not looking forward to it. My pain levels have plummeted in the last week to the point that I am virtually pain free. So, what does that sound like? Doesn't matter. Back to work Monday. I was taking that day off too but there is really no reason to do that now.

I've been working hard on the NaNoWriMo competition and I am pleased with the progress. I am pusshing to get the required 1667 a day in. It is difficult because I got off track so far that the story is pretty much stalled. Yesterday, I went over that outline I had and went back to fill in the gaps. That got me yesterday's word count. Today is another day. I remember that last year by this time I was ready for it to be over. I am ready today. When things start dragging I do to.

I've done nothing really constructive this week. Just goofed around and wrote. Not much cleaning, a little laundry, some cooking but the house needs a thorough cleaning. I just don't want to spend what little time I have left doing it.

So, I am here, thinking about what I am going to do to progress the plot of the story.

I.... have... no ... idea.

What I am going to do right now is try and get a skirt made for work. I have an old jumper that my sister handed to me to give to someone. We don't wear the same sized clothes but the fabric is in excellent condition and I can get a skirt out of it. So, that is where I'm going.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A House of Worship

So, it is the day after the bit "T" day and all of you are out participating in the consumer holiday "Black Friday". Personally, and my family will attest to this, I despise shopping, particularly today.

Today, you will worship at the altars of Walmart or Target or Kohl's or some other pagan shrine. You will gladly pay your tithes to the gods of marketing. You will go without sleep to do this, rising before the sun, even if you went to bed at midnight! You will go into the highways and byways to bring as many people as possible with you to the houses of marketing to worship with you.

You will push and shove to make your way to the mark down altars where you will pray for the blessing of cheap merchandise so that you can give someone a cheap blessing. When you find you have received a bargain, you will dance before the altar and rejoice with a loud voice and you will pay with gladness and joy for the blessing.

You will dine on leftovers at home or you will drive beneath golden arches or kneel before the King of burger and partake of a holy communion of levened bread and colas. You will do this with hundreds of other worshipers of your faith.

You will be horrified that anyone would NOT participate in the worship on this, the most holiest of all shopping days. Should anyone criticize your worship, they will be regarded as ignorant, self-righteous, infidels, or just plain crazy because they do not worship your god. You will laugh at them because they have missed the blessings of the god of marketing and have not drunk from the fountain of the king of burgers nor rested beneath golden arches.

You will return to your dwellings, sated with worship and bad food. You will laugh and dance over the riches you have found in your temples and brought home with you.

Sunday will dawn and you will roll over, to tired to brush your teeth so your breath won't reveal your mouth to be an open grave. You will be sore and achy and your feet will hurt from your Friday worship. You have given your all on the altar of commerce.

There is nothing left for the One who created you.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks Giving

I wanted to write something positive about this holiday but I realized during my processes, that in this age of political correctness no matter what I say, it will be construed as capitalistic, imperialistic, chauvanistic, racist, self-righteous, ignorant, uninformed, uneducated, terroristic, hedonistic, sacreligious and unAmerican. I can't win so I might as well say what I please.

If you are a citizen of the United States of America, you owe a great debt to American soldiers for the last 200+ years for your right to be here and reap the benefits of that residence. You owe God thanks for the direction of events that lead to the creation of this nation and for at least 200 years, a nation that was PROUD to call itself CHRISTIAN.

If you are a legal resident, you owe the American people a debt of thanks for allowing you the gift of legal residence. And you owe God thanks for the direction of events that led to the creation of this nation and for at least 200 years, a nation that was PROUD to call itself CHRISTIAN and espoused Christian charity that allowed us to grant you that gift.

If you are an illegal resident, you owe the American people even greater thanks because you have no right to be here and you reap benefits you have no right to, paid for by people who are not allowed those same benefits but who have fought and sacrificed for those benefits in the hope that their children would have an inheritance but which is no being used up to support you criminals. The only thing you have to look forward to is a bankrupt nation brought to bankruptcy by the expense of supporting a population of criminals. God doesn't approve of criminal actions so I don't think thanking Him will help you much. He is into droughts, however, and when the money dries up, you might try something else.

I am thankful for my family, my nation, and my salvation. Life without any one of those things would be meaningless. Thank God someone set sail for the shores of a primitive land because they sought a fresh start in a land of promise. Some came with hope, some with greed, some with need. Some lived justly and some unjustly. But thank God they came and built a hope for many nations.

It is said that when a nation abandons the very things that made it great, the fall of that nations can't be far behind. When you remove the foundation of any building, it can't stand.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (King James Version)

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.






Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Calling Prayer Warriors

I have repeatedly ask those of you who pray to pray for my friend Nancy. I am asking again this weekend. I was just visiting the blog that her sister and my friend, Alice has made for her. Alice has posted an update in the comment section and it must be horrible for her to even have to post it. It is not for the squemish.

After reading the post, I feel it is a very critical time for Nancy. It is very difficult in these situations to know how to pray and I don't think I am the only one to feel this way. I began by praying for complete healing but when things get as bad as they are right now, it is hard to know what to pray, for me anyway. I don't know God's mind or plans. I just know He is able to do all that we ask. But He works according to His will, not ours. And at times, we are not happy with that.

Emotionally, I am horrified at what Nancy is going through right now. I have been praying for her for weeks now and I know others have too. If what Alice says is true, she has very little time left and that time appears to be beyond anything I can imagine anyone having to endure.

So, I have begun praying for God to ease all her pain, calm any fear she may have during this time, and give her peace in her soul. I am praying for the comfort her family needs now and the peace they will need later. This has been so swift and so terrible that this family will be in shock for a while before they can even realize what has happened!

I don't know if the blog is open to everyone but here it is if you want read the post: http://novelwoman.multiply.com/ If it is not open, let me know and I will see if Alice can post it on her blog for everyone.

YeeeeHawwwww!

Check out the word meter on the home page! I am CURRENT! For the first time in two weeks I am current. Tonight before midnight, I have to write 1667 words. That will bring me up to today's total. Thank God for those polar bears! (You'll have to go read the exerpt of this section at Nanowrimo. >> http://www.nanowrimo.org/user/152098 ) I posted this part because it was what saved my bacon this week.

{Sighs loudly}

Now, if I can maintain that level for the next 9 days I will finish this thing with my 50,000 words! Oh my goodness, I can't believe it. I am current! that is just so exciting. This time last year, I knew I was not going to make it. I was days behind and could not get caught up. I finished with about the same number of words I have right now! In fact, the 2006 final word count was 33834, just a little ahead of where I am right now.

I might just make it, guys and gals!

Whooo hoooo!

Monday, November 19, 2007

When God Steps In

As many of you may know, I've been asking you to pray for my friend Alice's sister, Nancy. She was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in stage IV about 6 weeks ago. She is considered terminal. I has been a heartbreaking situation. Nancy is in her late 40's with children.

Many have been praying and while Nancy is not well, recently there have been some miraculous events. I encourage anyone needing a boost to their faith, to visit Alice's blog and read about this situation. As I told Alice, I don't know the outcome, but I know God has a plan in this situation. I believe when God steps in, something is about to happen.

Continue to pray for Nancy and for her family.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Light Through the Curtain

It is Sunday afternoon and sunlight is filtering in through the sheer at my window as I write this. I am snug in my berry blush study, in my burgandy fuzzy slippers, a cup of hot cocoa nearby. It is quiet and peaceful here at the moment. I suppose it is cold outside but have not gone out to see. The imps have been driven back to their pit and little Sarah Cheyenne seems to be getting better.

But I am annoyed. I have not been able to go to church for three weeks now and it has become stressful. My car is still in the shop so I have no way to go anywhere.

I am going to spend the rest of the afternoon working on Nano to try and get over 30,000 words. If you look above, you can see that is not an easy task. One day behind is not too bad but after that, it becomes a juggling act when you have a job and family.

At any rate, things are back to a more even keel, if not totally smooth sailing.

Alice has been asking when I would be getting back to writing Hidden in the Mist. Probably in a couple weeks I will be ready for different material. I miss it a bit myself. And this story has generated so much disgust that I am actually wanting to go back to last years Nano and a story that preceeds that. They are linked and I discovered this week that this Nano story is linked to those. The Main character in Shakedown (NaNo title) is the sister in two previous stories I have started. {dismay} I seem to have a serial in the works and I don't have a single one finished.

This is NOT the way to write a novel. But I swear, it was an accident.

Ok, I'm off for now. Hope you all have a lovely Sunday afternoon.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Boom, Boom, Boom

Is there anyone here old enough to remember the Sonny & Cher song "The Beat Goes On"?

This morning there is a "poundin' in my brain". Yes, I woke up with a headache! Right behind my left eye,above my left eyebrow, back to a point just beyond my left ear and then down, behind my ear and down my neck to a point just at the muscle on top of my shoulder at the base of my neck. You can find this muscle yourself by pressing your fingers at the curve of your neck and moving them just about an inch toward your back. . . there, big elipitical muscle. If I continue to press on this area or I put pressure on my head in the area described, well, I'll confess to just about anything. This is an early warning that a migraine will be here within the hour unless I take swift action. Chopping off my head comes to mind but I keep hearing this voice say that perhaps that is a bit extreme.

This time of year is living hell for me. Low pressure systems abound in the midwest in winter. I am going for the Icy Hot to put on my shoulder and neck. This is actually something I discovered by accident when I had an RA flare that set off a migraine. I apply it to my shoulder and up my neck to my hair line on that side. Then, I take an Imitrex.

Does anyone remember the Salem, Mass. witch trials? One of the tortures was to put the person on a board, lay a board on top, and pile stones on it until they confessed their evil ways. They usually died of suffocation. This morning, the migraines imps have my head in such a device.

Today I will be doing a lot of writing for NaNo... I hope. I am behind but since I am off this week I have the potential to catch up if I really work at it. Of course, these imps would seek to prevent me from attaining my goal of Word Domination. Viewing the monitor is quite painful but I shall defeat them . . . and their little dog, too.

I depart for distant shores of Imitrex and onward to NaNoWriMo. Farewell, fond friends. Adios, amigos. Bye to the rest of ya. As a couple of great people once said, "I shall return."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Figured Out By Morning

I went to the hospital to see what was happening because I have not heard anything since 3 p.m. this afternoon. They were still in the emergency room when I left them at 7 p.m.!

Sarah does have a rash on her that is probably an antibiotic allergy. She was cranky and fussy. Hugged me, walked with me and growled at me. No kisses tonight except the ones I stole. She wanted to get down and play because her fever was down but there were a dozen children there at least.

So, I told them to call me when after they saw the doctor. I am tired and couldn't sit in those miserable chairs more than an hour.

I have taken a hot bath, put on some warm sweats and my fuzzy houseshoes and am going to write and watch t.v. Then, I am going to bed.

I can't fix any of my problems. I can't change the world. So, I'll go to sleep. Maybe someone will have things figured out by morning.

Sick, Tired, and Falling Behind

I am behind in my word count again. With Sarah sick and some other personal issues, I am just so tired that the last two nights I simply did nothing. I went by last night to see about Sarah because Becca had been fighting all day to keep her from having a seizure. They were both tired.

I took them over to her mom's to stay the night with the baby so she would have someone to help her and hopefully get some rest. David can't miss any work and had to sleep so he couldn't help and the same is true of me. During the night, the baby spiked a fever of 103 and the were busily trying to get her stripped down to prevent a seizure. Becca, obviously, got no sleep but she did have her dad stay up with her all night to give her help. Becca says if she is no better tonight she is taking her in to the hospital.

I am just so tired I can't hardly sit here and write, let alone write in NaNo. I did do some longhand at lunch yesterday so I could add to what I have but I haven't transcribed it to the computer yet. But I know I am three days behind. That's 5000 words. I don't know if I can recover that. Priorities have just bumped this to the rear but I am disappointed.

Continue to pray for this baby.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pray Request For Saray

Please pray for Sarah. She was taken to the ER last night because she had another seizure from a high fever. She has pneumonia in one lung.

We had Sarah at the ER on Monday because of an upper respiratory infection and becauses all the medications you used to be able to give a child her size have been pulled. She had gotten worse as a result of not being able to fight off the cold. The ER MORON did not treat her, gave her no meds, no advice, refused to advise her on any over the counter meds she could take, and told her mother to just give her Tylenol for the fever and sent her home to develop pneumonia.

So please, once again, put Sarah on your prayer lists. She is almost 15 months old but only weighs 17 lbs. Since she is so tiny it is very dangerous for her to get very sick.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Race is Not to the Swift?

Malarky.

Of course it is to the swift. I'm two days behind in word count, despite my determination to have 25,000 by Thursday. For the neophyte, that is just over 3000 behind. I'm working on catching up now but it will take a couple of days to do that. Only the swift stay ahead of the game of NaNo.

And let me tell you, this story is so bad I am ashamed of myself. I can't believe I'm even continuing. I've almost chucked it twice but when you're this far into it, starting over is not an option.

On top of that, I am depressed. Probably from too little sleep, too much stress, and too many things to do! So, back to the word mill and grinding out the words. I just don't think I'm going to make it.

I'm tired. I want to rest. I want to go somewhere where there is no phone, no people, nothing to intrude on the solitude.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Racing the Clock

Thursday will be the halfway mark for NaNoWriMo. I hit just over 20,000 today. By Thrusday, I have to be at 25,000 to be halfway. Lots of people are already halfway.

Well, maybe they have more spare time than I. Maybe they type faster. Maybe they have a story that is actually moving forward instead of wandering around an demolished town trying to figure out what she is going to do with her life!

I just popped in before bedtime to let you know that things are progressing. . . very slowly.

I can't believe I am almost halfway. If is willing to stick their neck out, you might pray for divine inspiration for this story. Cause unless someone resurrects it, I have to plan the funeral.

Seventeen days.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NaNo Hell

There are many kinds of hell. Did you know that? There is the kind with flames, that burn forever and can't be quenched. There is the kind where you have endless drugs pumped into you but the high is torment and you can't come down and would give anything to feel normal again. There is the hell where they pour alcohol into you with a funnel and you beg for a taste of water as the alcohol drys you out and you puke it up only to have it pumped back in you and you feel constantly hung over.

There are others but there is one special hell you may not know about. It is NaNo Hell. Here you are given tools to write a story and told to write 50,000 words in 30 days. You begin with a wonderful story and great optimism. But somewhere about the second week you notice the story is stagnant, not moving. You move the players around but they don't do anything and they start talking stupid dialogue and refuse to interact with othes with any flair. They look at you and spit at you and sit down when they are supposed to run and laugh at your frustrations.

You drag out scenes and lines and places but they just wander around, uttering meaningless drivel that not even a lost soul would want to read. And you start to pull you hair out and you roll your eyes and scream at the monitor before you. "GET ON WITH IT ALREADY! YOU MORON, CAN'T YOU EVEN PRETEND YOU HAVE SOMETHING INTELLIGENT TO SAY?"

You do your word count and you find you are getting behind and you type faster, writing more meaningless words and you pound your head on the key board. And the characters jump at you and scream profanities at you and tell you what a terrible writer you are and that you are going to be enslaved forever with them and never know what it means to reach
NaNo Heaven!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!



Friday, November 9, 2007

Friends and Family and Other Folks - The Few, The Called, The Chosen

I love the written word, stinging them together to create a visual image that stirs imagination and emotions. I don't just hear words. I feel words. They are the lover's whisper, the tyrant's command, the child's laughter. They are the strong arms that wrap themselves around me and pull me ever forward, half resistant, half willing, along a path paved with multicolored jewels, through a land filled with magic and wonders that only my mind can create. Words are swirling dancers, pirouetting effortlessly, through marble halls of castles built on mountaintops wreathed in clouds set afire by flaming suns.

Words are soothing, healing, encouraging and music to the ear. Words are powerful and destructive. And as such, words are an attraction to others. All kinds of others. Blogs are words.

My contact list is a patchwork of characters, personalities, and faces. Some came with me from Y360. Some have been with me since birth. Some are recent additions based on contacts I've made here and there along a path on the web. Friends, Family, and other folks. Interests wax and wane with the moon and the subject. Some of my contacts I love. Some of my contacts I like. Some I don't know well but their blogs made me think I might like to get to know them better.

I look at the words on your blogs. Yes, I look at the photos, and neat little gadgets you may have. I may marvel at your designs. I may even think your pets or babies are absolutely adorable. But for me, in the end, the words make or break my interest in you.

So I don't accept every invitation I get nor do I reject every invitation. And I don't typically drop people, but I have. Words are always there reason.

I do tend to be very selective as to who I accept. I have specific methods whereby I make my choices. I do not deviate from this.
  1. I ALWAYS pray about the person asking to be added.
  2. I wait about two weeks before I make a final decision.
  3. I ALWAYS check your site several times while I "wait".
During my sojourne with Y360 I added several people for whom I neglected rule #2 & #3 even though I followed #1. It turned out every one was a bad choice. Some were worse than others. Ultimately, since starting this new blog, I have become more picky in my selections and more strick in my dealings with old and new contacts.
  • I no longer add because you are a contact of a contact. You get added on your own merits, not someone else's say so.
  • I don't add anyone who is obviously diametrically opposed to Christianity. What's the point? You'll get mad and I'll get annoyed and we will both say things best left unsaid.
  • I don't add anyone who is into pornographic material. It isn't personal, but my Mama said :If it isn't for sale don't advertise it." I'm not in the market, thank you. And you don't have that much money.
  • I don't add a lot of men because they don't usually ask women interested in intellectual pursuits. Sorry, I'm into brains. If you're into other stuff, well, you might try those advertising.
  • I add more people who are into creative pursuits rather than receipts because I hate cooking.
  • I don't add only people who share my faith. Rememeber, its all about the words.
  • I don't bear any malice in any choice I make. It's all about me.
Also, please note: I never, ever, ever give my name, location or phone number to anyone that I do not know personally or to whom I am not related. Nor do I want your personal information. If this bugs you, perhaps you we're not a good match. The day we live in is fraught with risk. The internet is a predators dream come true. I'm protecting myself.

Protect yourself. I've seen on some of your blogs that your profile is visible. It shows your name, address, phone numbers, where you work, where you go to school, etc. This is a risky thing if your preferences are set to anything beyond contacts you know personally. You can block your profile and I strongly suggest you do. If you do not block it, please put in a bogus name and in the zip are put a 9 five times. It will show you are in the USA but not a city.

Ultimately, I add contacts the way I buy my mustard. There are all kinds of mustard but I won't buy or eat anything but French's. So, if you made it to my contacts list, you passed mustard.

Now, lets see if you can cut the mustard. It's all about words


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Monday Disguised as Wednesday

I was off yesterday and it was really nice. Sarah spent the night with me and we had a great time Tuesday. I did some writing last night to try and catch up on my word count. But today, I got to work only to learn that it's really Monday.

I know it is because the paperwork is unbelievable and I feel as if I am spinning my wheels! I can't seem to get ahead at all. I'd be happy with treading water but it isn't working. I'm drowning.

I have a hearing this afternoon with a client I withdrew because she forgot to tell us she was renting out her deceased father's home. Well, it is a long story and I won't go there. Let's just say I hate hearings.

Now back to the grind. I've had my lunch and I am fueled. I hope you all have a great afternoon and I'll be back to update the word count later tonight!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NaNoWriMo - Day 6

I am a bit behind. I kept Sarah overnight Monday night and took her home at 7 tonight. So, I'm getting a late start. I just hit 7178 words and am going to try and hit 10,000 tonight. That is where I should be anyway.

Story seems to be dragging a bit but I expected it. Just not so soon.

Keep those fingers crossed and say a few prayers for my inspiration.

Update

Sarah went to the doctor yesterday and every single test came back normal. Her iron level is normal, all blood test=normal. There is nothing wrong with her. Her mother said she fought the doctor like a little tiger. (She has seen this doctor before and was an angel.) She bit him, kicked him, slapped him, twisted and flopped around. When he tried to check her ears she wouldn't hold her head still. When he tried to check her throat she bit down on the depressor and wouldn't let go. Becca said it took all he could do to hold on to her. She weighs 17 lbs for heaven's sake but when she is being difficult she flows like butter and you can't hardly hold her. The doctor said he didn't know why she behaved that way. He said she was going to be small and to let her have all teh fat and sugar she wants.

So I want to know where that gene came from and why I can't have one?

I kept her last night and she went to bed at 10 and slept until 8:30 this morning. Her appetite seems fine although she seems to eat small portions to me. But when she doesn't want it, she just pushes it out with her tongue and looks at you with a frown.

I told my pastor last night that I don't know what was wrong but as far as I am concerned, the Lord took care of it.

Thanks to all of you who offered prayers.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Say a Prayer for Sarah

My granddaughter, Sarah, is sick. If you are one of my contacts, I know most of you pray. Please pray for her. She is not eating and has not slept all night. She is already underweight and we are worried about it.

She doesn't seem to want to eat all the time. She can't drink milk because she is lactose intolerant (my native american heritage passed on) Our concern is they will have to hospitalize her and put a tube in to feed her because she is so small. She is 13 months old and weighs 17 lbs.

I'd also like to know if anyone else has heard of a child not eating like this.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Day Four

Day four of NaNo. The word count is (drum roll please) 4570. That makes me 431 words short of day three's goal. I wanted to post it on the site but they are down for maintainence. So, I'll have to wait.

I'm on my way to bed. The story stalled out a bit so no point struggling to stay away to write. My brain is already asleep.

Third Day of NaNo

Yes, we're now into the third day! And I posted 3091 total words last nightI I am down by about 300 because I was sick yesterday and had to take some cold medicine. That extra from the first day really helped here because by the time I had to stop last night, I was really sick and when I sat down to write, I thought, "I can't do this! What was I thinking!"

But I am going to try. Everyone keep your fingers crossed.

I see some of my buddies have pulled way ahead. One has nearly half the required word count. They must not have jobs!

Well, I'm on my way to get the grandbaby and play for a few hours. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2007

You Heard It Here

We are into the second day of NaNoWriMo and what a start. I typed past midnight so I am already on the second day's word count by 592. Ahead is good, very good. I may need that 592 in a week or so.

If you visit the site today, you will see the first day site visit stats in Chris Baty's blog post and the current global word count at the bottom of the page.

For those who want to read my story opening, well, there is an excerpt for those truly hardy souls whose curiosity is just too great. Shakedown Have I over estimated my abilities? Am I deluded, crazy, misguided? You be the judge. Visit and read the excerpt.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Yahoo Exploded

My 360 is inaccessible. I can't use any of the shortcuts. When I type in the link, it says page not available. Soooo, I guess December was not actually the deadline after all? I'm glad I got most of my stuff out.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Countdown Begins to NaNoWriMo

Well, only a few hours until the kickoff of the National Novel Writing Month! I am so nervous and excited. Chris left note in the Multiply comments that says she is experiencing the same symptoms. I think I know where I am headed with it but I have some blanks ahead. Of course, my tentative outline is far more than I started with last year!

For all you creative writers out there, there is still time to sign up for NaNoWriMo. In fact, they will allow you to sign up for the whole month of November! But if you do it by midnight tonight, you will be there when the starting gate opens. So, join Chris and I and about 90,000 other people around the world as we race for 50,000 words in 30 days!

And say a prayer for us... cause we're gonna need it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pray for Nancy

The following is an update from Alice O about her sister Nancy. As many of you know, I've asked prayer for her on my blogs. The situation has worsened as it too often does with cancer. I am again, asking for a special prayer for Nancy. Her suffering has escalated and the outlook is bleak. But God IS real and he DOES heal and save.


I've been told 2 weeks to 2 months.

The type of cancer she has is hereditary...believe that one?!!!

The type of cancer is called: Scaymous Cell Nasopharengeal Carcinoma - Stage IV.
Hospice has already been called in. She is taking Oxycodone for the pain. She is taking radiation treatments one day, then chemo the next day.

She's been losing weight (which she never needed to do to begin with). I've been making her some "milk" shakes (they consist of 350Calorie Ensure, 2 Scoops of Protein Building Whey, and the rest ice cream - everything is chocolate flavored). They've put 3 lbs on her in a week. Which is good.

She still has the double vision, so Jim and I went to a halloween store and bought all their pirate eye patches. We've had a decorating party for the "passion patches"...

She now has a wheelchair, quad cane, shower chair and a high rise toilet seat.

She cries with pain. This morning when we were alone, she started crying and telling me she hurts so bad that she wondered if she was dying and if it was going to hurt this bad when she did die...

It's pitiful. I don't know if I should go back home and wait...should I stay here? Our house payment needs to be made, we have bills to be paid...this is ALL of our vacation time being used up...so what do I do? (Don't worry, I know you don't have the answer...just blowing off some steam)...

More later - and pass this on to whoever you feel necessary.


Keep those prayers a coming!

Alice

Changing The Way I See

I have never used Firefox browsers before but I've hear a lot about in from various sources. This week, I downloaded it at work and thought it looked pretty good. Today, I downloaded it at home and I am sold. Everything looks better! Why in the world is that?

And it is so much faster! I have an old system (500 mhz!) and no money to buy a new one. So, I have to get the most out of this one. The browser is really faster!

My sites look so much better and the graphics seem sharper. That makes no sense to me! There are some need addons that you can try and even themes to change the look. I just made it look like the XP silver to blend in with everything.

If you haven't tried Firefox, you should test drive it today. If you don't like it, you can remove it.

Recovery

I'm trying to recover from a stressful weekend. I did not go to work today because I am not feeling well. I'm tired from lack of sleep and I have a headache because I didn't take some medication on time.

I was looking over my contact and I see I have nearly all my wonderful friends and a few new one that I think I will enjoy having here. For the new, my blog is not just where I gripe or whine, although I am apt to do both, it is also where I write at times and post news about what is happening to me, my family, and maybe the world around me. So, some days you may be bored to tears while other you may be laughing or crying. If the latter is true, I have succeeded.

My love is writing and I have a couple of things going on in that area. I have a novel in progress posted on Blogger. Hidden in the Mist is an invitation only blog that I am working on. The last month has been a bit of a problem and so I have not posted anything. I need to catch up a bit.

However, Thursday is the kickoff for the National Novel Writing Month (hereafter referred to as NaNoWriMo). I am trying for the second year to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I have been thinking and planning on what to write this year, as opposed to my seat of the pants, spur of the moment, off the cuff mode of last year that garnered me just over 30,000. I was elated to reach that but felt I could have done better. Check some of the older post and you will see what caused my shortage. To help me keep a bit more on target, I have started a blog for this years challenge. I will be able to access it from any computer and can therefore write whenever I have a chance. I am hoping this will help me build my word count and keep it up.

I hope everyone has a great week. Mine will be long and tedious. End of month usually is.

Pain levels are up but I think it is because of too little rest. I hope to take care of that tonight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday from Chevy

I was looking forward to the weekend. It is my birthday Sunday and my aunt and uncle are coming up from Atlanta. But my car broke down last night and I am depressed.

I do not know what is wrong but it won't back up. My concern now is that it is going to cost me money I don't have. I have no credit cards anymore so I can't charge it. And I owe more that the stupid car is worth. I didn't buy the junk heap, my husband did. And I can't afford a $300 a month car payment!

Any constructive ideas are welcome. All prayers are too.

Happy blinking Birthday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Coming Home Late

This story originally appeared in The Haven Times newsletter and is posted on my website, www.cindysplace.4t.com. I am posting it here because the message hasn't changed and today is the Lord's Day. Permission is not granted to repost on any other site. You may forward the web address to this site if you want to share it.

Mama let me date him because he was a “church boy”, meaning he went to our church. She also knew his mother and so it was all right. To my 14-year-old eyes, he was wonderful. He was 16 and had a car. He was tall and played the guitar. And I was the new girl in town.

It was a small church and I was one of three teenaged girls. One of them already had a boyfriend outside the church. Her sister, Debbie, and I were the same age and immediately at odds with one another. We all know about green pastures and he saw a break in the fence.

We dated through the summer and into the school year. During one of the first football games of the season, we were on a date and he was supposed to pick up his brother after the game, truly the cuter of the two but with no car.

My curfew was always 10:00 p.m., no matter what. I seldom rebelled on any rule Mama set but then, it never occurred to me that I could. Nevertheless, we rode around the parking lot looking for his brother and the clock kept ticking. He finally said he better get me home. Suddenly, I knew Mama wouldn’t mind if we were a bit late. After all, his brother was my age and was standing around somewhere waiting for his ride. We couldn’t leave him here. The stadium would be empty soon. He would have to stand around in the dark, alone, waiting for his ride that was not there because it was taking me home.

At 11:00 p.m. we pulled up into my yard, without the brother. And as my young man walked me to the front door, Mama got up from her rocker and, in a quiet voice, said, “Do you know what time it is?” Well, of course, we did, but I don’t remember thinking that she was asking for the time.

We both said, “Yes, m’am.” She proceeded to tell me who I was and what I was supposed to know. During the course of her speech she managed to politely tell him how much she thought of him and how she expected him to have me home when he said he would. I, of course, tried to explain about his poor brother standing somewhere at the school waiting for a ride that still had not appeared. Mama was sympathetic but unmoved. I had come home late.

It was a short romance and only lasted about three more weeks. We never dated again. He discovered his old school girlfriend, who happened to be one of my classmates. I don’t know if she had a curfew but my guess is she didn’t have my Mama. She tried to be nice to me and I liked her but I could never really hit is off with her. She wasn’t a church girl and she took my boyfriend.

I am a beast about punctuality and it is no wonder. My life has always been about keeping appointments and knowing where I was supposed to be and when. When I was 17 and dating my husband, he was always careful to get me home on time. Whenever Jerry brought me home my great-grandmother’s mantle clock was striking the hour. I didn’t have to tell him, he had a Mama, too. One night as we walked into the house Mama jokingly commented, “I believe you two sit around the corner and wait for that clock to strike.” We all laughed but Mama’s eyes twinkled at me. I had never come home late but once.

I have been re-evaluating many things that have evolved in my life and that only now I think I understand. I feel as if I have come home late and that Mama is sitting on the porch, in the dark waiting for me to roll in. I hear that quiet voice is saying, “Do you know what time it is?”

I have raised two sons and they now have wives of their own. I feel I did the best I could under the circumstances of our life but as I watch their foolishness, I doubt myself. I see the waste, the unconcern, and the lack of dedication. I feel like Mama sitting on the porch, in the dark saying, “Do you know what time it is?”

It is not just in my children that I see it. It is in a whole generation. There is time to spend hours living in a small box where a world of make-believe people live and fantasy events happen. There is time to spend hours at an amusement park, a ball park, the beach. There is time to cruise hour after hour along whatever street is cool and be seen by countless others just cruising through life along the same street. And I hear Mama, sitting on the porch in the dark, asking in a quiet voice, “Do you know what time it is?”

There is no time to spend in church. There is no time for prayer. There is no time for any pursuit that enriches minds or hearts. A thousand excuses overflow to fill the time.

“Do you know what time it is?” Never before have I heard that voice so clearly. It cuts me to the quick because all the excuses have been mine. At the time all of the reasons seemed, well, reasonable. And yet, “Do you know what time it is?

I look at all the days of my life and wonder. If life was like a carousal where I could capture brass rings of time as I sailed by, I would reach out and pull the ring of time that let me spend wonderful laughing hours with Mama. I would pull the rings of my children’s lives and never let go of any of them. I would grab the rings that let me relive the most precious moments I have ever known; putting my head in mama’s lap, my marriage, the birth of my children, my sons’ baptisms, every minute of their childhood, my children in my lap, my family reunions, my sons’ weddings. I would grab every ring of opportunity to pray more and truly converse with my creator, to read my Bible. I would grab rings to relive every exciting service I ever attended and re-listen to every riveting sermon I ever heard. I'd grab every laugh, every sigh, every heartache, every tear and I'd hang on to them.

I cannot recapture one moment of time.

Brass rings of time.

“Do you know what time it is?”

I only came home late one time. It took 30 years for me to realize what it meant.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Oasis

234 magnify
"I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

"I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me."
This poem is the ending to the devotional for September 19 in a devotional book of mine by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. I'll tell you the name of the book shortly. This is my second copy of the book. The first was bought sometime between 1984-1988. I bought the original at a second hand shop. It had a devotional for every day of the year. Little did I know when I bought the book that it would be a lifeline for me for three years.
You see, when I bought the first copy, I was in a desert. I had no church to go to of my faith. Oh, there was one where I was but I had to leave for reasons I won't go into here. Let's just say it was a lot like David's situation with Saul. He ran for his life. I ran for my soul.
What is interesting is that the original copyright of this book is 1925. I didn't know one thing about her. I didn't know where she lived, who her family was, where she came from, if she was still alive, nor what religion she professed. All I knew then was that Mrs. Cowman wrote a book in 1925 that ended up on a table in a second hand book store in a very small town in South Carolina in the late 1980's. It was waiting for me.
For nearly three years Mrs. Cowman's stories and poems contained answers to tormenting questions. Innumerable times I found comfort when I became overwhelmed. I can remember times when I would read the day's devotion and weep because it was exactly what I needed at that moment. It soothed a parched spirit as well as any sermon I have ever heard although each day's reading is only one page.
You see, I was alone in a desert place. I had no church family to call, my spouse was not living for God, my children were small. I had not one single Christian friend in that city or state. Every person dear to me aside from my husband and two children were hundreds of miles away in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. A desert place, oh, you have no idea what a desert place. There came a point in time that I began to hear preaching in my sleep. I actually wrote a couple of the sermons down! Even I was shocked by that.
I can't tell you everything about that time because it is far too painful. I can tell you I came out of that desert a very different woman than the one who went in, partly because of Mrs. Cowman. God used an odd devotional by an unknown author to tell me he heard me and was in the desert, right next to me, every minute of every day. In the midst of the heartache, whether I was lonely, or hungry, or thirsty, in a dry and barren land, he was there.
Oh, the name of the book? "Streams in the Desert"

Fireworks on the Riverfront

Fireworks on the Ohio, July 4, 2007
.. I am so tickled at these shots. This is the photos I took when we spent the evening on the Ohio River on July 4, 2007. I've never been sucessful when I tried this in the past but I had a roll of film and it was Sarah's first 4th celebration, so I took a "shot" well, 24 shots and these are the ones that came out. They were taken with a Canon AE1 and I used the bulb setting and just held the apeture open for different counts. I believe some were as little as 10 seconds and the longest time was 30 seconds. Some are not that great but I am very pleased with the overall results. I'll be interested in what Art Guy has to say about these. He inspired me. (This blog previously posted on Yahoo 360)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Rarin' to Go

Well, I've managed to get things up and running here at Multiply. Now, we'll see how it runs. I really like my 360 page but I see problems ahead and I am not going to get caught in that mess. I now have four blogs on Blogger, one on 360 and this one. How stupid is that? Of course, one of the Blogger sites is defunct, another is by invitation only, and one is going to be just for NaNoWriMo where I can post my writing for my friends. It will be limited to my blog friends and contacts only.

Today I am going to have lunch with my friend who is leaving town. I mention him in the post called Honor Where Honor is Due. I doubt I'll get to see him again so this will be a bit sad. I've truly enjoyed his friendship over the last 17 years. It is hard when friends leave. I don't have a lot of close friends to start with and so losing one has been very sad for me.

I am supposed to work tomorrow but I don't really want to. The weather is turning cool again and I don't know what effect that will have on me. Also, I don't have but one day a week that is truly completely mine and that is Saturday. Even that is often shared with other people wanting something. I just want to be alone and quiet and do the things I need to do at home. So, when I get up in the morning, I'll decide how I feel. If my pain level is up I won't be in.

I must say here that November will be a slow month for me. NaNoWriMo begins Nov. 1 and I plan to participate again this year. I have written about it a bit in my 360 blog. For those who are game, join me there as a writing buddy and write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days! I reached over 30,000 last year but I've done some planning this year and I want to reach the goal. My ID is Dixiegirl.

Now back to work. I took a few minutes to update. Nice thing is that this post will be cross-posted to my other blog, A Dixie Girl's Ramblings.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A 360 Wanderer

I just started this Multiply thing and I think it may be just what I wanted! I've transfered some post from one of my other blogs, A Dixiegirl's Ramblings at Blogger to kind of give you an idea of what interest me.

There is another blog I have on Yahoo 360. In fact, it is why I am trying this out. They are about to change things on 360 and my experience so far is that they mess up something everytime they change things. A lot of us love 360 but I'm just tired of the hassel and lack of response. I've backed up my blog there and probably will be posting some of it here.

Now if I can talk my friends there into joining me here, I'll have every thing I want in my blog and my friends too!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rules of Respect

I was cleaning a file today and ran across something I wrote when my sons were entering those troublesome teen years. For several years it was posted on my refrigerator and every time they got in trouble they had to read it aloud to me and review the one that applied to their situation.

Rules of Respect

  1. Show courtesy to everyone. Please, Thank you, Sir, M’am, You’re welcome, and excuse me, are all keys that open doors. Everyone likes respect. You get what you give.
  2. Ask first. Do not take something that is not yours. If you “borrow” without asking, it is stealing. Get permission
  3. Wait your turn. Do not interrupt others when they are talking. Or, if you are not part of the conversation and need to speak to someone, “excuse me” is an appropriate way to get their attention if you have waited for several minutes.
  4. Know who’s in charge. If you see a need or problem, do not give orders – find the person in charge and politely mention the problem. If you have not been put specifically in charge, allow the person in charge to give the orders.
  5. Refuse to argue. Ask if you can quietly discuss the problem. The Bible says “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” Usually, it is hard to yell at someone who won’t yell back. After a while they get tired. Remember, sometimes it doesn’t work, especially if you have wrecked the car or broken curfew.
  6. Allow the other person to be right. No one is right all the time but neither are they always wrong. YOU could be wrong. It is more embarrassing to loudly declare you’re right and be proven wrong than it is to keep your mouth shut and let others loudly declare when you are right.
  7. Offer help. If someone is ill, physically unable to do a chore, or simply needs an extra pair of hands, offer to help. Do not wait to be asked. Offer kindly. If your help is refused, say nothing and allow them to do it themselves. If asked -- give your help to the best of your ability.
  8. Respect other’s privacy. Do not ask questions about someone’s personal life unless it will affect you personally. For example: You do not need to know about someone’s sex life unless you plan to have sex with them. Do not tell secrets you have been told unless there is a danger involved or a crime. Do not listen in on others’ conversations uninvited. Do not tell something you have overheard in a private conversation. Would you want someone to tell your secrets?
  9. Do unto others. If you want kindness, give it. If you want love, give it. If you want help, give it. If you want friendship, give it. If you want understanding, give it. If you want fairness, give it. If you want truth, give it. If you want joy, give it. If you want peace, give it. If you don’t want any of this, do nothing and you’ll get nothing.
  10. Overlook the jerks. There will ALWAYS be someone who defies all of the above. And because of it, no matter what you do, it will never be enough or it will always be wrong – to them. Walk away and smile. If you have done your best and followed the rules, you have won anyway. Always, always, always let them go before you. When the axe falls, it will be their head that rolls.

You have been taught a set of values. If you choose to abandon these, we will not avert the consequences of your actions. If you get arrested, we will not bail you out; if you catch a disease, we cannot cure you or even get expensive medical care. Adult behavior requires adult responsibility. You are on your own when you set your own values and rules of behavior. If they conflict with our moral code, you must move out and support yourselves. We will still love you but we made our choices before you were born. We have not changed our minds since then and will not do so now. As a result, we may lose you but if we give in, not only will we lose you but we will also lose ourselves.

Today, when I found them and read them again, I realized that all the self-doubts I’ve had lately were foolish. I did do something right. I didn’t neglect the important things. They may not have stuck but I did the right thing. I can’t understand why the sons I raised became who and what they became but it is not my fault.

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