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 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!


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.


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, 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


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.